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The Rājûkas (P. E." IV) were authorized to grant theʻ anugrahas' privileges to the Jana-pada Body. Now we know from the inscription of Khāra-vela that it was the king's jurisdiction to grant anugrahas to the Janapada. The Artha-Sastra also assumes that the king granted anugrahas to the Paura and Janapada bodies (page 394). The Rajûka's jurisdiction (conferred by P. E. IV) to do the same is a further proof of the fact that they exercised sovereign authority in government from the year 27th of Aśoka's coronation.

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Scholars have taken rājúka as a derivative of rajjú, rope. But Rājû is a known Pali form (Jâtaka, I. 179,504), in the sense of ruler,' 'king'. The citizens of the republican Lichchhavi State are called rājûs (I. 179), and seven kings who attacked Benares were called rājans and rajûs. The Rājûkas of Aśoka thus were the rulers or Rulers-Ministers, the committee of the Parisă vested with real executive powers over the whole empire. Such a committee or smaller body of the ministers are called in the Mahā-Bhārata, Mantra-Grāhas, 'those vested with the policy of State. '* Compare rajúnam rājamaha-mattānam of the Vinaya. They are not viceroys because the Rajûkas were gutas, i.e., members of the executive service (ministers), and like the Provincial ministers they were subject to the rule of transfers and the viceroys (uparājas) were to see to the transfers of the corresponding Prādesikas. No provision for the transfer of the viceroys was made.

Rājú is a diminutive form of Rājā in spoken Hindi. The form rājú is connected with rājā. But it is wrong to suppose that it is an optional form of raja itself. Philologically an independent lease, rājû, is necessary. Rājúka may mean ' holder of the reins (of government, cf. sûtradhāra). But it never occurs in that sense in literature, while mahā-mātras are called 'rājās (Childers sub-rājā).

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The year 27th.

In the 26th year elapsed or the 27th year current of his abhisheka, Asoka was 51.t In that year he composes the *Santi, 83, 50 (Kumbakonam ed.)

† J. B. O. R. S., III., 438.

Pillar Proclamations and the next year he surveys his past good acts (P. E. VI.) According to the rule that coronation took place in the 25th year (Khāravela's inscription),* the 27th year of consecrated reign was Aśoka's 51st year of life. He thus practically retires from official life after his 50th year. † (5)

Former Kings.

'Pillar Edict' VI shows that some predecessors of Asoka on the Magadha throne had been heterodox. They are said by Aśoka to have desired the spread of the Dharma, which, to be judged by the description of his own achievements in that connexion (P. E. VI), appears to have been of a heterodox nature. It aimed at the abolition of sacrifices. Even Bimbisāra would have been regarded by Aśoka as one of such sovereigns. The reference may be to him, to any of the Nandas, or to them and to Chandra Gupta who is said to have retired as a Jain ascetic. The kings who wanted to discourage sacrificial killing of animals had been more than one, or rather two, as Aśoka refers to them in the plural.

*J. B. O. R. S., III., 488.

+ Cf. Divyāvadāna, page 432, which says that the Emperor was deprived of 'authority' by the ministers.

A passage in the Divyāvadāna actually describe Aśoka referring to the religious work of Bimbisāra and others' (page 398).

IV.-Gholam 'Ali Rasikh.

By Khan Bahadur Saiyid Zamir-ud-din Ahmad.

AT the downfall of the Moghul Empire in India when the Government of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa was changing hands there was born in the district of Patna a man named Gholam 'Ali, afterwards known by his pen-name 'Rásikh', who was destined to leave his mark in the domain of Urdú poetry.

He was born in 1162 A. H. (1749 A. D.). There is no recorded account of his family to trace his descent. It is said that his grandfather came to Bihar from Shahjahanabad (Delhi), and settled here. They say that 'Rásikh' was born at a village called 'Sáin' which is at a distance of ten or twelve miles from Bankipore, but in his early years he permanently removed to Patna to take his abode there. Up to his death, however, he never built a house of his own and lived in a tenanted building. It is said that his first teacher in poesy was one 'Mirza Sharer '. Later on he became a pupil of Mir Taqi Mir' of Delhi, who then ruled in India as the enthroned King of Urdú poets. Both Muhammad Husan Azád' and 'Ali Muhammad 'Shád' in their books say that 'Rásikh' went to Mir' to sit at his feet, but when the latter saw his verses he told him that he need not bother himself to be his pupil as he himself, to tell the truth, was a past master of poesy. However, on the insistence of the young poet, he simply changed a word or two in one of his verses, and thus impressed upon him his Hall-mark which entitled him to pass as a recognized poet of the Urdú language. In his various verses Rásikh' prides upon his being a pupil of Mir. On the death of the latter Rásikh' was recognized as his true successor. All the other poets of his time recognized him as their 'Ustád.' They used to flock at his place and take lessons from him in poesy. Rásikh hints at this in his various verses.

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In connection with his writing verses it is worth mentioning that he never wrote verses unless he first refreshed his mind with the sweet melody of music. He was a very skilful singer and had a singular taste for music. In him 'music' and 'muse' were combined together. He had a very tender heart. It is said that whenever he read his 'ghazals' in 'mosha'iras' (parties held for reciting ghazals by several poets) tears dropped down from his eyes and he became so much overpowered by emotion that he could hardly control himself and read out his 'ghazals' to their finish.

He was well-read in 'Sufism'. He was fully familiar with the writings of Mukhdūm Shurf-ud-din Ahmad of Bihar, one of the greatest saints of the Muslim world, and during his closing days, as he himself writes to Shah Abul Hassan 'Furd' Sajjadahnashin of Phulwari, he had given himself up to reading books on 'Sufism.' This gives a clue to his being so full of pathos and of love and sympathy for mankind and God's creatures in general.

Lack of recognition of the indigenous talents and abilities, which is a significant characteristic of the Province, compelled him to go abroad and knock at the doors of men of other provinces for help and support. No doubt he got some rewards for h's poems, as he himself hints at it, from some of the grandees. of his native place, but they were by fits and starts and too insignificant to be of any substantial help to him. He was not a rich man-rather he passed his life in pecuniary difficulties. We find him complaining of this in his various Musnavies,' and also in the letter he wrote to Shah Abul Hassan Furd'. He writes to the latter that he was compelled by the vicissitudes of fortune to seek fresh fields and pastures new, and not to stick to his native place-Patna. This letter was written when the writer, as he mentions in the letter, was close upon 70 years of age. He visited several cities of Upper India, and once in his closing days he went to Calcutta also. He waited upon Ghazi-ud-din Hayder and Asif-ud-Daula of Lucknow, and presented a

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'Musnavi' to each of them. But it is evident that his talents and merits were not fully recognized and rewarded there. Had it been otherwise he would have been fixed to their courts as it was then a customary thing. The reason seems to be this that he did not belong to Upper India, but was a Bihari whom till then and till a long time after the Upper Indians did not consider as their peer in the Urdú language. While in Calcutta he was so hard-pressed for money and was reduced to such serious straits that he could not even pay for his expenses back to his home. He was at last introduced there by Quazi Seraj-ud-din Khan Mújid', the Quaziul-Quzzát of Calcutta and Maulavi Rashid pen-named 'Arshud', the Mufti of Calcutta to Maharaja Jagurnáth Bahadur. The latter appears to have been a patron of men of letters. Rásikh' wrote a 'Musnavi' and presented it to the Maharaja wherein he fully described his straitened circumstances and appealed to his generosity and sympathy. This must have had its proper effect, because we find Rasikh' giving expression to his sense of gratitude in some of his 'Ruba'is' for the help rendered by 'Mújid' and 'Arshud.'

As to his religious belief there is a controversy. Both 'Sünnies' and 'Shi'as' claim him to be one of their own sect. There are many verses in his writings in which he praises "Ali', but at the same time there are verses wherein he praises other 'Khalifs' too. It must be pointed out here that he has not written anything in praise of 'Ali' which runs counter to what 'Sünnies' ascribe to "'Ali' or which is in excess of what they think of him. As far as I have been able to deduce from his writings, I cannot but say that he was a 'Sünni' and 'Sufi' out and out. The 'Sufi' sect generally adore ''Ali', as he is the fountain head of their sect. It is hence that they are so profuse in his praise. With both 'Sunnies' and 'Shias' love of the descendants of the Prophet is a cardinal principle of their tenets. The difference is simply this, that while one recognizes ́ ́Ali' as one of the Khalifs', the other recognizes him as the only 'Khalif' and in their zeal speaks ill of the others. Over and above this had Rásikh' been a Shia' he would not have

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