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Dr. Bloch’s conjecture14 as to the existence of "a symbol of the three jewels' at Boodh-Gayā having the shape of three wheels placed upon a pillar ” is not tenable ; nor is any such conjecture needed. At the period to which the

. inscription belongs institations representing the Triad in the shape of colossal monuments were already in existence at Bodh-Gaya, 16 The passage in the Divyávadāna shows that "kārāwas done "to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.” The collective tri-ratna, therefore, does not refer to a collective tri-ratna shrine but to the three members in the ordinary and general sense.

" “ This expression, again, is not clear to me. I suppose, however, that it may refer to some sacred spɔt within the Bodhi area at Bodh-Gaya, where, perhaps, a symbol of the three jewels', sic. Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, may have stood, having the shape of three wheels, placed upon a pillar, like similar symbols known to us from other ancient Baddhist localities in India.”--A. S.R., 1908-03, p.156, f.n.

16 It appears that the monastery which was commenced at Bodh-Gaya by the Ceylonese king Meghavarna during the reign of Samudra-Gupta had already been completed and established when this inscription was carved.

IV.-Some Problems in Gupta Chronology

By Panna Lall, I.C.S.

The accepted dates of the Gupta Fmperors are as follows (vide V. Smith, Early History of India, 1914 Edition) :

Chandragupta Il Vikramādityi ... 380-414 A.D.
Kumäragupta I

... 414—155


-4802 Puragupta



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485 – 535 Kumāragupta II

.., 535-550 Two other branches of the Gupta Kings are also known to have existed, one in the East, in Magadha, fro:n the year 4758 and the other in the Western part of the Empire, viz. in Malwa. The rulers of this latter dynasty of whom we have records are Budhagupta and Bhānugupta, whose known dates are 4844 and 49.45 for the first and 5106 for the second. Recently two images of the Buddha have been discovered during excavations made by the Archælogical Survey of India’ at Sārnāth, near Benares, with inscriptions which give the dates 154 and 157 expired, of the Gupta Era for Kumāragupta and Budhagupta respectively. These correspond to 474 and 477 A.D.

The Kumāragupta mentioned in this inscription must, it is said, be the third of that name. Attempt has been made to show

1 Hærnle, J.A.S.B., 1889, page 96.
3 V. Smith, Early Hist. of India, page 311.
8 Fleet, Corpus Inscript. Indic., Volume III, int. pige 14.
• Fleet, C.1.1., Volume III, page 88.
6 Coins, vide Allan, Cat. of Gupta Coins in Br. Mus., page lxii.
6 Fleet, C.I.I., Volume III, page 91.

? Report of Supdt., Hindu and Budúh. Monuments, North -rn Cir.le, 1914-15, mages 6-7.

that this third, (the Sārnāth), Kumāragupta together with Budhagupta and Bhānugupta represent an independent branch of the Empire possibly descended from Skandagupta and reigning at the same time as Skandagupta and his descendants. But there are difficulties in the way of accepting this simple solution.

1. How could the Sārnāth Kumāragupta be ruling simultaneously with a powerfulj chief like Skanda in the very heart of his Empire ? And even if he could who was he? Neither inscriptions nor coins give indication of more than two Kumāras.

2. Budha zupta's known coins were found at Benares. Now his inscription has also been found near there. (Sārnāth is only four miles frm Ben ires.) Also a copper plate grant, discovered at Dinājpur in Bengal, mentions him as the ruling sovereign. His inscription at Eran (in the Saugor District) has been known for long. He cannot thus be what for sone years he is supposed to have been, viz. a local chieftain of Malwa.

3. Also if the dates accepted at present for Pura and Narasimha are right, it is difficult to explain how mulers of limited powers like them could co-exist with a rival like Budhagupta at Sārnāth.

4. Again, we have the following records to examine the epigraphic evidence of

(2) Bhitri pillar of the reign of Skandagupta who ruled

from 455 to 467 A.D. The inscription is dateless. Bhitri seal, dateless, of Kumāra, son of Narasimha

(said to have ruled from 535 to 550 A.D.) (iii) Sārnāth Kumāragupta inscription, dated 474 A.D. Vincent Sinith admittedo that the script of the seal appeared to be of an earlier date than what he was assigning to Kumāra. Hørnle said 10 that the script of the seal appeared to be of the same period as of the Bhițri pillar. This was a puzzle. Now we have a third record to increase our difficulty, for there is still

& Fleet, C.I.I., Volume III, page 88. 9 Ind. Ant., 1902, p. 264. 10 J.A.S.B., 1889.

no indication that the script of the seal is later than that of the Sårnāth inscription. How is this to be explained ?

These difficulties are not easy to solve if we adhere to the dates given at the head of this paper. A fresh study of the authorities on which they are based has led me to the conclusion that they need considerable modification. The chronology which I have suggested elsewhere 11 solves these difficulties and does not seem open to any other objection. I give here briefly the history of the establishment of these dates to enable the reader to judge for himself what value to attach to them.

Our first genealogy of any length was furnishud by the Bhitri pillar. It is as below :

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It gives no dates. Skandagupta's latest certain date was 148 Gupta Era (=467 A.D.) on a coin. The next landmark was the Eran inscription of Budhagupta of the year 481.

It was therefore supposed that Budhagupta followed Skanda a: a real Gupta Emperor though his exact relationship with Skanda was not known. Indeed Fleet in his Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum, Vol. III, suggested 13 as much, and in his genealogical table on page 17 showed Budhagupta just below Skanda.


11 Hindustan Review, Allahabad, January, 1918. A number of Indian and Earopean Scholars bave since written to mo expressing their agreement with my conclusions. Mr. Vincent Swith thinks it very likely that I am right. [ses J.B.O.R.8. ante, p. 344–K. P. J.]

11 P. 1.

Then came, in 1889, the discovery of the Bhițri seal. It gave the following genealogy



1 Chandragupta.



1 Kumāragupta

. Puragupta



Skandagupta was not meutioned. The first question was to explain this o nission. It wis suggested that Pura was a brother of Skanda, and therefore the later emperors in tracing their descent from the early emperors did not feel it necess iry to mention collateral relations. This is a simple and natural explananation, though authority is still wanting in support of 1h) suggestion. [Another explanation was that Pura was another name of Skanda.]

This seal thus gave us thrze new emperors Pura, Narasimha and Kumāra, but no dates for them. There was no other data available to fix them. Coins of Nara Bālāditya had been known. It was suggested that he was the same as the Narasimha of the seal, and further that they were identical with Bālāditya, raja of Magadha, who was mentioned by Hiuen Tsang as having defeated the Hun Mihirakula. The defeat of the Huns was estimated to have taken place about 535 A.D. Narasimha of the seal was therefore at once tied down to this date (535 A.D.) and the period between it and the last known date of Skanda (467 A.D.)

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