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Four numbers of the Journal have been published during the year, and the contributions include papers from such eminent authorities as Sir George Grierson and Mr. Vincent Smith.
Sir George Grierson has edited and also given a metrical translation of the Pārijāta Haraṇa,1 a Mithilā drama by Umāpati Upādhyāya, who attended the Court of Hari, or Hara Deva, whom Sir George considers to be the King of that name who ruled in Mithila in the fourteenth century. In a subsequent paper, which is published in the December Number of the Journal,' he further discusses the identity of this ruler and the consequent date of the drama, as against a later date, early in the eighteenth century, which has been maintained by Pandit Chetnath Jha, which is based on a local tradition, that Gokulnath Upadhyāya who lived in the days of Mahārāja Rāghava Simha (1698— 1724), was a personal friend of Umapati Upādhyāya.
In both cases the question is one of tradition, and, until further evidence becomes available, it is not possible to state definitely which, if either, of the traditions is correct. But the argument which Sir George Grierson gives in support of the identity of Hari Deva, and the earlier date appear much stronger than those in favour of the later one. In this play, as in other dramas of Mithila, the superior male characters all speak Sanskrit, and the women, when speaking prose, use Sauraseni Prākṛit; but all the songs, whether sung by men or women, are in the Maithili dialect of the Bihari language.
Mr. Jayaswal has contributed two papers of considerable interest and importance on the Hathi-gumphā inscription of the Emperor Khāravela (173—160 в. C.)3 and Mr. R. D. Banerji has also contributed a note on the same inscription, which appear in the Journal for December. This inscription, which in point of age is the second inscription after Asoka, is, as the author points out, from the point of view of the Chronology of pre
1 J. B. Q. R. S., Vol. III., page 20.
2 J. B. O. R. S., Vol. III., pige 552.
J. B. O. R. S., Vol. III., p. 425 and p. 478.
4 Ibid, p. 486.
Mauryan times and the history of Jainism, the most important inscription yet discovered, and is also the earliest inscription in India which mentions an era, "the Kāla of King Muriya" (Chandra Gupta). Though the inscription has been previously read, this is the first time that a facsimile of the inscription and a reading prepared according to the modern method has been published. For this we are indebted to His Honour Sir E. A. Gait, who, at Mr. Jayaswal's suggestion, arranged with the Archæological Department to have an impression of the inscription taken, which was done by Mr. R. D. Banerji. The result has been that several new passages have been added to the text, and previous readings have been corrected and improved in several places, many of which now yield an entirely different meaning. This inscription contains a record of the reign and conquests of Khāravela, and one interesting addition to the text of former readings is the fact that in his first invasion of Magadha he came to Goradhagiri, which Mr. Jackson in a previous number of this Journal had independently identified as in the Barabar Hills in Gaya.1
An interesting fact which is deduced from the inscription is that Nanda Vardhan, king of Magadha, conquered Kalinga in the year 449 B.C.
Mr. Jayaswal, in his second note, discusses the name of Bahapati Mitra on the inscription, whom he identifies with Pushyamitra of the Sunga dynasty, and concludes therefrom that the coins hitherto known as the Mitra coins are coins of the Sunga dynasty and that the discovery of these coins at Ayodhya, Pañchāla and Kauśambi shows that those places were included in the Sunga empire.
Mr. Banerji also discusses the text of the inscription and the new light which it throws on the history of that period.
Another inscription, the Tezpur Inscription, on a rock on the Brahmaputra near the town of Tejpur, has been deciphered by Mahamahopadaya Hara Prasad Shastri. Only the first three lines
and the date of the inscription had been previously tentatively read by Dr. F. Kielhorn from a rubbing sent to hin. The present reading gives the inscription complete. The importance of the inscription, which concerns a local matter, lies in providing a certain and definite date for a line of Kings of Prāgjyotisha, and also in giving a sure testimony that the Gupta era was used even so far East as Tezpur in the ninth century A.D., when it was generally superseded in India by the Saka and Vikrama eras.
In Archæology some very interesting papers have been-contributed. Mr. C. W. Anderson has contributed an important Note on Prehistoric Stone Implements which he has found in the Singhbhum district. These implements are paleolithic and their discovery is important; as hitherto paleolithic implements have been almost exclusively confined to the Madras Presidency and the South of India; only neolithic implements being found in Central and Northern India. The implements were found at different localities in the valley of the Sanjai river and in the banks scoured out by its tributary the Binjai, but always in the same strata of gravel, which lies at a depth of 18 feet below the surface. The jawbone of a small wild horse or ass was also found with some of them. the analogy of similar finds in Europe, and also from the depth of the strata in which they are found, these implements are separated by a period of many thousands of years from the neolithic implements so generally found throughout Chota Nagpur and the Santal Parganas, which are always found, by ploughing or otherwise, near the surface.
Mr. Jackson has investigated the route followed by the Chinese Traveller Hiuen Tsang (629–645 A. D.) in South Behar and has identified the Buddhavana Mountain with the Hanṛiā IHill, south-west of Rajgir, and also explains the scent of the "Ox-head sandalwood" which Hiuen Tsang describes as still lingering on the rocks by the side of or above the "stone chambers", now identified with the caves in the Hanṛia and Chandu
Hills, where it had been pounded by Sakra and Brahma Rāja in order to sprinkle the body of Buddha, in regard to which no theory has been hitherto advanced by archaeologists, as being due to the smell of the silagit (śilajit) which is referred to by Buchanan Hamilton, as exuding from the rocks, and which Mr. Jackson found to be exuding at the present time. Mr. Jackson considers that this is caused by water which is accumulated behind the cave and has to trickle through deposits of the excrement of bats, etc., before it reaches the outer surface through crevices in the rock. Dr. Caldwell has contributed a chemical analysis of this substance1, which shows that it is mainly organic, which supports the above theory.
Rai Bahadur Professor Joges Chandra Ray has given us a very interesting and complete account of Textile Industry in Ancient India and the materials and the dyes which were used, derived from Sanskrit and Pāli sources of information.
Babu Jitendra Lal Bose in "Notes on Club Life in Ancient India" explains certain words used in the Vedas and considers that they indicate that at that time people met together for social intercourse in the nature of Clubs.
Mr. K. P. Jayaswal has contributed an interesting paper on the Chronological Totals in Puranic Chronicles and the Kali-yuga Era.4
And Mr. R. D. Banerji gives the genealogy of the Bhanja dynasty of Orissa derived from a number of copper-plate grants of this dynasty, which have been brought to light during the last few years.
I would also refer to the work of Excavation that is being carried on in this province. Dr. Spooner's excavations at Kumrahar (Kumhrar) of the Palace of Chandra Gupta have been referred to in the previous Annual Reports. During the past year he has continued his excavations at Nalanda, which are still
in progress, and, at Bulandibagh, has discovered what, so far as present evidence points, would appear to be the timber city wall of Pataliputra, which is mentioned by Megasthenes, and which is in a wonderful state of preservation. These excavations will be continued during the present year, and may be expected to yield still further important results. Excavations are also going to be undertaken at Belwa in the Saran district, for which the Maharaja of Hathwa has generously promised Rs. 3,000.
Some interesting Sati Memorial stones have been found in the Manbhum district, and have been brought to the Museum. They will be described in the next number of the Journal. Although these Memorial stones are frequent in Central and Western India, they have not hitherto been noticed in this province.
In History some very interesting papers have been contributed. To take them in their chronological order :
Mr. Vincent Smith calls attention to a Note by Mr. E. H. Parker from the histories of the Tsang Dynasty of China, which shows that the sovereignty of Tibet over Tirhut, or Northern Bihar, which began shortly after the death of King Harsha Vardhana of Kananj in 647 A. D., lasted for only about half a century until 703 A. D., when both Nepal and Tirhut recovered their independence. The duration of Tibetan rule over Nepal and Northern Bihar has not been hitherto known, and Mr. Sylvain Lévi conjectured that 879 A. D., the epoch of the Newar era of Nepal, might mark the date when Nepal, and with it North Bihar, threw off its allegiance to Tibet.
Shams-ul-ulama Nawab Saiyid Imdad Imam has contributed a paper on the Pirs, or the Muhammadan Saints of Bihar. Mr. E. A. Horne has given an account of the first English Factory
in Patna, 1620-1621 A. D.,
derived from the letter book kept by
Hughes and Parker, the first Factors who were sent from Surat,
which have been edited by Sir Richard Temple and published in
1 J. B. O. R. S, Vol. III., p. 555.
2 Ibid, p. 841.
› Ibid, p. 324.