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of Magadha, was also doubted as far back as 1909, and by the very scholar who first advocated it. But historians like Mr. Vincent Smith persevered in their faith as to the legend being authentic and had to go to the length of conjuring up a confederacy of Indian kings to combat the Hūņa6. It was due to the mistaken identification (on the basis of this legend) of the Magadhan Bālāditya with Bālāditya NarasimhaGupta and the confusing of both these with the destroyer of Mihirgula that the date 530A.C. for Narasimha-Gupta was arrived at. Mr. Panna Lall has brought together in his paper sufficient evidence to settle this point. As so ably proved by

. Mr. K. P. Jayaswal in the Indian Antiquary (July 1917, p. 153) the hero who annihilated Mihiragula was other than Yasodharman of the Mandasor pillar inscriptions whom this scholar has identified with Kalki of the Purāņas. In this matter, therefore, Mr. Panna Lall's thesis is supported by Mr. Jayaswal's examination of Purāņic and Jaina datang to the subject. So this question has now been settled. The dates for Skanda-Gupta and his successors now suggested by Mr. Panna Lall will, therefore, be accepted and future discoveries-unless these be such as to weaken the literary, epigraphic and numismatic evidence collated by Mr. Panna Lall-may be expected to confirm his conclusion.

With regard to the second point, however, Mr. Panna Lall's proposition is not equally sound. So far as the identity of the Kumāra-Gupta of the Sārnāth inscription and the KumāraGupta of the Bhitri seal is concerned the learned author has established his case. The chronology as now revised will not allow two Kumāra-Guptas in this period. The evidence of palæography and numismatics and of literature also leads to the same conclusion.

But when we come to the identification of the Kumāra-Gupta of the Sārnāth inscription with the Kumāra-Gupta of the Mandasor inscription of M.E. 529, the case is entirely different. Mr. Panna Lall would interpret the Mandasor inscription to refer to the

5 J.R.A.8., 1909, pp. 92–95. Early Ilistory of India, page 318.

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reign of Kumāra-Gupta II. For this he has to put upon the text a construction which, though not opposed to Sanskrit syntax is obviously not the natural one. In this he has repeated the mistal e unfortunately made by the late Dr. Fleet, though differently. Both Dr. Fleet and Mr. Panna Lall would have us believe that the Mandasor inscription is a "eulogy". There is no word in the original inscription itself for this "eulogy". The composer of the text himself calls it "history.

अंण्यादेशेन भक्त्या च कारितं भवनं रवः ।

पूर्वा चयं प्रयत्नेन रचिता वत्सभडिना ॥
The most natural meaning of this verse would be :--

“This temple of the Sun was caused to be built by the command of the Śreņi (corporation) and this history? (pūrvá stands for pārvā kathā) was composed, out of devotion, by Vatsa Bhatti.” Fleet's translation, “this (eulogy) that preceeds” is opposed to Sanskrit idiom and Mr. Panna Lall should have avoided this obvious error which is indirectly responsible for his identification of the Sārnāth Kumāra-Gupta with Kumāra-Gupta (I) overlord of Visvavarmā of Western Malwa.

The Mandasor inscription is unique among the epigraphic records of India in that it gives the history of a temple commencing with its founders. The main facts of history preserved in this inscription may be briefly stated as follows :

The famous silk-weavers of Lāța left their beautiful country and migrated to Daśapura with their families, where they settled ; and as the city grew into importance in course of time, it became the “fore-head ornament of the Earth”. Here they were admitted to all the privileges of citizenship and betook themselves to various honourable professions. Among them were archers, story-tellers, religiously-minded men, lecturers, astronomers and soldiers, while some of them retained their hereditary occupation of silk-weaving. Silk was a favourite article of clothing among

* Compare for instance the different expressions found in the Gupta inscriptions, शासन, सद्धम्मख्यापन,प्रशस्ति, शिलालेख, काय and भोक ।

It would be absurd to adopt a aniversal term " eulogy" for all these.


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the beiru monde in those days “no lady was considered charming however much she may be adorned otherwise, until she put

a pair of silk pieces”. These Daśapura weavers manufactured cloths of variegated patterns and designs, pleasing to the eye, and soft to the touch, and their articles were in great demand (lit. went for the adornment of the world ). Their material prosperity, however, did not stand in the way of their realizing the transitory nature of this world, life and prosperity and adhering to this virtuous idea. Now, while Kumāra-Gupta was Emperor of India (lit . ruling over the earth between the four seas ) their ruler was a king named Visvavarmā, renowned for his learning, his prowess and sympathy towards the poor, etc. His son was Bandhuvarmā, possessed of firmness, statesmanship, etc. It was in the reign of this very noble Bandhuvarman that a majestic temple of the Sun was “caused to be built " at Dasapura by the guild of silk-weavers from funds raised among themselves ( lit. with the stores of wealth acquired by the exercise of their craft ). It had "broad and lofty spires” was “white as the mass of the rays of the risen moon” resembled mountain and appeared like a "lovely crest-jewel” in the Western City. This temple was constructed (faatua:) on the 13th day of the bright fortnight of the month Sahasya (Pausha) in the Hemanta season in the 493rd expired year of the Mālava reckoning. When a long time and other kings had gone by, a portion of this edifice ‘fell into disrepair'. Now, therefore, the whole of this majestic temple of the Sun was "repaired” by the "munificient corporation”. It was “ lofty and pure touching the sky, as it were, with its charming spires, and caught the first rays of the sun and the moon as they rose.

When 529 years ( of the Mālava era ) had elapsed, on the 2nd day of the bright half of Tapasya ( Phālguna ) in the śiśira season, the whole city was gracefully adorned by this superior edifice as the cloudless sky is adorned by the moon and the breast of Vishnu by the Kaustubha gem.

“So long as the god Isa (Śiva ) wears his matted locks and the god Sārngin (Visbņu) the lotus garland on his shoulder 60 long may this noble edifice endure !."




This narrative is perfectly intelligible and no forced construction is needed to explain the dates mentioned in the record. The temple was first built in M. E. 493 (=437 A. C.) during the reign of Bandhuvarman. Bandhuvarman's father Viśvavarman was ruler of Daśapura during the imperial rule of KumāraGupta I. Mr. Jayaswal in a note in the Indian Antiquary for November 1917 believes on the evidence of the Mudrā-Rākshasa that Bandhuvarman, during his youth, was in the court of Chandra-Gupta, father of Kumāra-Gupta I. It is possible that this event marks the turning point in the history of Malwa whose former rulers had been independent sovereigns. The Mandasor inscription proves that it was Visvavarman who first acknowledged the overlordship of the Gupta Emperor ; for in the Gangdhār inscription ( Fleet, Gupta Ins., page 72) of 480 ( 424 A. C. ) he is described as an independent sovereign and there is evidently a reference to his successful resistance of the Gupta forces. The conquest of Malwa by the Guptas has, therefore, to be dated between 424 and 437 A. C.9 It must have been accomplished by Kumāra.Gupta I as the latter succeeded Chandra-Gupta in 413 A. C. This would explain why Kumāra-Gupta is specially mentioned in the Mandasor inscription of 529 M. E., and not the then Gupta Emperor whose hold over Malw at that time is doubtful, as the death of Skanda-Gupta was followed by a disruption of the empire and the outlying province of Malwa may be inferred to have been one of the first to take advantage of the weakness of the central government brought about by the attacks of the Pushyamitras and the Hūņas. This is also borne out by numismatic evidence.10 As such it does not appear reasonable to hold that Kumāra-Gupta II was overlord of Malwa 8 यः शक्यते न रिपुभिर्भयविहलाक्षेरुद्दीक्षितुं क्षणमपि प्रग्रहीतशस्त्रः ll. 9-10 in 529 M. E., and consequently the identification of the KumaraGupta mentioned in the Sārnāth inscription with Kumāra-Gupta named in the Mandasor record is untenable.

• Mr. K. P. Jayaswal, on the evidence of the Jaina Harivansa Purāņa by Jinasena ( 8th century A. C. ) dates the decline of Gupta power in Malwa after 431 A, C, Kumāra-Gupta's conquost must, therefore, have been only short-lived. Ind. Ant. 1917, p. 148.

10 V. Smith, Early History of India, p. 311; Allad, Gupta Coins, p. XLIX, 11 Compare also the date (431 A. C.) given by Jinasena for the decline of the Gupta power in Western India. Ind. Ant, 1917, p, 148.

The non-mention of the ruling king in this inscription to which Mr. Panna Lall draws attention in his paper, need not be emphasized to prove his identification. The history of Malwa in this period is not well known. It is quite possible that in the troublous times during the Hūņa invasions and the Pushyamitra wars Malwa passed into a kingless country and the guild of silkweavers at Daśapura had to find funds for repairing the most important religious edifice in their city; as otherwise the expenditure on the maintenance of religious shrines was borne by the State in Hindu times. 1 1 That such was the state of the country round Dasapura at the time we are considering may be surmised-although it remains to be supported by other evidence --from the subsequent history of the country and its occupation by Toramåņa in circa. 484 A. C.

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