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good fortune of having his endorsement as to the names, the most material portions of the inscriptions. If I have succeeded in establishing the equation between Acha and Aja and the existence of Varta Nandi in the Puraṇas the material controversy is over. I shall, however, try by my further submissions to satisfy Dr. Barnett on the remaining and minor differences as well.


The difference with regard to the reading of the second inscription is limited to the first two letters only which he reads as y and I as sapa, rather saba. There is no substantial difference, in the reading of the next two letters: his Khata against my Khate (in either case the meaning remaining the same) :

yakhata Vata Nandi.

Dr. Barnett:
Jayaswal Sabakhate Vata Nandi.

We must take into consideration the fact that the differing versions" yakhata" and "chhanivike" give no meaning. Dr. Barnett has admitted this in dealing with the latter and he offers no interpretation of yakhata as well 1. On the other hand my interpretation of the disputed passages, as I read them, (chhonidhis'e, king of the land", "saba-khata", sarva-khatra," of complete empire") has not been challenged.

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To take the question of vowel marks. The inscriptions are most difficult to reproduce in impression, and I selected only those copies for reproduction which gave the majority of letters in good relief. I could get no single copy in which all the letters had co no out satisfactorily. On receipt of Dr. Barnett's criticism I have re-examined the stone and I find the top line deeper on the ch and chh which indubitably indicates the o-matra. These are the only two o-marks in the inscription and in both cases they are

1 The attempt to make acha chha-akshaya (Indian Antiquary, 1919, page 28) need not be considered. Any one knowing Sanskrit and Prakrit will not entertain it even for a second.

missed by Dr. Barnett as the matrā assumes the form of a straight horizontal line and inclines to get submerged in the drapery line. But in fact the marks are very, very clear on the stone.

Since the above was written Mr. Green, the expert, and Mahamahopadhyaya Haraprasad Shastri have examined the incisions. Both gentlemen find the incision on the top of the letters decisive. Further, the letters of the inscription have been kindly traced for us by Mr. Bishun Swarup, Superintending Engineer, Eastern Circle Bihar and Orissa, from paper cast impressions. The eye-copies prepared by Mr. Shastri and Mr. Green and the tracing by Mr. Bishun Swarup would convince Dr. Barnett of the existence of the vowel marks in question. With o-mark the ch is to be read as cho and the third letter as chhoni, "land", not chhani, the meaningless In the other inscription as to the vowel mark on t, Mr. Shastri says that it has to be read either as o or a (not e as I had proposed) and I accept this and read it with hin as to (krat). The mark on the top of ki is disregarded by the Mabamahopadhyaya as I had done, for the reison that it is not connected with the letter. The revision from khate to khato, though it does not affect the meaning, is important for the sake of accuracy, and I thank Dr. Barnett for being its indirect cause.

The next letter after chhoni, Dr. Barnett takes to be v against my dh. He says that it is remarkably like v of the second century BC. and refers to Mathura and Hathigunpha. I am reproducing these 's side by side with the letter in question and an undisputed v from our present inscriptions. The v's which Dr. Barnett cites differ materially from our letter. Then, if the letter with slightly curved sides and a long neck bar on the other statue is v, and we are unanimous that it is v, then the triangle without any such neck can hardly be the same letter in the script of the inscriptions in question. If we had no example of in the inscriptions Dr. Barnett's proposal would have stood on an arguable basis. But when we have in the inscriptions an undoubted v, it would be inadmissible to read the dis

puted letter as v. The only other possible reading of the letter is dh as it is evident from a comparison with known dh's which I am reproducing. And it is dh which gives a meaning not v. Taking it as a dh-form, if we compare it with the Kalsi and Bhattiprolu forms we at once see its old character. The latter two with cursive tendency are the same form only topsyturvy, a phenomenon well known in the development of early Brahmi. The right form (as opposed to the Kalsi head-down) descends in the archaic or "retrograde " scripts of Western India, e.g. at Nanaghat (150 B.C., see reproduction) and Nasik (Bühler A.R.W.D., IV, 72) and earlier at Girnar ( As'oka ) (see the reproduced letter).

As to the reading of the first two letters of the other inscription, the top horizontal bar to the right-hand diagram (see the drawings by Mr. Shastri and Mr. Green and the tracing from the impression by Mr. Bishun Swarup) excludes conclusively the possibility of taking the left-hand figure (my s) as the right hand part of a Kushāņa y. It can only be a b or p, rather b than p, as corrected by Mr. Banerji. The initial part thus left to itself cannot be any letter but a S, either cerebral or dental (see comparison with S's in the plate). The deepening at base stops below the first vertical bar of 6, thus separating it from the previous letter. The proximity of the two letters may be compared with that in Acho in the other inscription where two letters come even in closer contract. Then also the two letters saba would, if taken as one letter, cover double the area of any single letter in the inscription, and would make the reading (yakhata) nonsensical. F in any case is out of question in view of the top horizontal to the two parallel verticals.

To come to palæography, I submit that Dr. Barnett is wrong in calling our ch a late type. Dr. Barnett has followed Bühler's method and opinion in determining the age of letters. But Bühler himself 1 regards this type of ch, what I described as a ch with


1 References are to the translation of Bühler's Indian Palæography by

Dr. Fleet, I.A. 33.

perpendicular line produced independently of the lower body, as the most archaic. My characterization of the ch probably would have been better understood if I had cited the example of the Bhattiprolu ch or employed the popular description of Bühler— "the tailed ch" (I. P. p. 13). The ch of our inscription is found at Bhattiprolu in the Drāviḍi variety of Brahmi. About this ch Bühler says thus "three signs c (ch), j and s, ......... are more archaic than those of the Asoka edicts and of the Eran coin". Out of these three letters, the referred to by Bühler occurs also, as I shall presently show, on one of our statues; j is unfortunately absent. Now the conclusion which is derived by Bühler is that "the Draviḍi alphabet separated from the main stock of the Brahmi long before the Eran coin was struck, at the latest fifth century B. c." I also regard this ch as oldest but on the theory that greater effort and larger number of strokes prove higher antiquity in evolution, our ch requiring greater strokes and effort, the Asoka ch being written in practically one flourish without lifting off the pen.

The statues were found here in Patna, not in the Dravidi country of Madras Presidency. If here at Patna we find in a script the Draviḍi Brahmi letters on which Bühler bases his theory, can any one who accepts Bühler's theory resist the conclusion that the Patna script must be dated "at the latest. in the fifth century B. C.", that is, the period before which the separation between the Southern and Northern Brahmi took place? And it is the fifth century B.C. date that I claim for the statues and their script. To give visual demonstration I am reproducing the ch of the statue and ch's from Bhattiprolu. I reproduce the southern & also along with our s The southern

with crossbar has been read by Bühler as sh. As he has shown, it cannot be the dental s, for a separate sign for it is found all along in the Bhattiprolu inscriptions. It can be therefore either the palatal or lingual s. The palatal occurs on the crystal at Bhattiprolu but the script of that, as Bühler admits, is "ordinary Brahmi" (p. 38 ). Bühler could have read


his each and every Drāviḍī s occurring at Bhattiprolu as s in place of sh without the least phonetic objection and without having the necessity of saying that "it can only be doubted whether (=sh) has been put erroneously for s as often in the Jaina inscriptions from Mathura " (p. 38). In any case the point is not material for our controversy, for s and s and sh are promiscuously employed in Prakrit inscriptions, and as Bühler says the signs for the three differed very little in shape and were evidently derived and differentiated from one original. Now the shape of what I read as s should be compared with the Drāviḍī s with the crossbarl (s or sh.) It should be also compared with s of ordinary Brahmi along with the proposed forms of decay (development) shown in dotted lines in the plate. In placing the history of the letter I cite also two letters from the cairn pottery characters amongst which a number of Brahmi letters have been identified by Mr. Yazdani. The cairn letters not only supply us with a prototype for our s but also for our bh. This latter Dr. Barnett has read with me as bh and he has not declared it to be later. But nowhere else in the whole range of Indian epigraphy is bh found without the vertical bar. Now, I say it is a bh, and it is accepted. If I show that it occurs in monuments older-older by centuries than Aśoka's-and nowhere else later, it ought to be also accepted that we have in the letter another sure proof of an ancient date. Nobody will question the date of the cairns. The granite slaves of the coffins, shown to me in situ by Dr. Hunt of Secunderabad, are so old that they crumble to touch. Likewise if you put your finger on the pottery bearing the writing you can bore a hole and put your finger through. Again, for those who believe in Bühler's theory of a Semitic origin of Brahmi I cite a Semitic b which again is an exact parallel of our statue bh. Whatever the origin of Brahmi and cairn writing, our bh form is far, far older than Aśoka, judged either from the cairn type or the Semitic prototype.

It goes

1 Annual Report of the Archæological Department of His Highness the Nizam's Dominions, 1917, p. 10; Journal of the Hyderabad Archaeological Society, 1917, P. 57.

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