« PreviousContinue »
and 3 where they are larger than the rest. Towards the middle of the side whence the writing begins, the plate is projected some 6 inches upwards to form an ornamental top in the shape of a heart which contains the royal seal. The seal is circular, about two inches in diameter, and fixed with a pin which is soldered at the back. It has in relief on a depressed surface, across the centre, a legend giving the name of "Srī Samgrama Gupta" and in the upper part a representation of a bull facing towards the proper right in a slightly recumbent posture. The inscription leaves a space of about 3 inches at the bottom and abruptly comes to an end before the last sentence is completed.
The language of the record is Sanskrit, and excepting lines 1 to 13, which constitute the formal part of the grant, the whole is in verse-the metres employed being mainly the Sarddula and Anushṭubh. The characters belong to the Eastern variety of the Nagari alphabet which Bühler has described as Proto-Bengali. They are of the same type as those in the Deopara Prasasti of Vijayasena. A few forms, the A, Kha, Ga, Na and Bha, bear a close resemblance to those used in Vaidyadeva's land grant of A.D. 1143, while some, for instance, the Ja, Na, Ta, Tha and Sa appear to be later developments more identical with those of Bhimdeva's record in about A.D. 1200.
As regards orthography the text calls for few remarks. Some of the peculiarities met with in the inscription are noted below: (1) One sign is used throughout for B and V. (2) The letter Va is doubled after the anusvära in Samvatsare in line 5. (3) The consonants are doubled in conjunction with the preceding R, as in Arkka and Sarvva 1. 13 and Vinirggata 1. 11 but not in Kārya 1. 13 and Sûrya 1. 18. (4) The anusvāra is throughout indicated by a small point placed above the line. (5) The superscript R is not employed in the conjunct Rņņa in Churṇpa. (6) The initial A is represented by a vertical line without a top-stroke in Aushya 1. 12. (7) The same sign is used for A and half T, both of which are denoted by a vertical line curved a little at the bottom, The text appears to have
been carefully prepared and hardly contains any grammatical mistake.
The inscription records the grant of a village named Vanigamă situated in the district of Jambūvani made by the Paramabhaṭṭāraka, Mahārājādhiraja, Parmeśvara and Mahāmāṇdalika Samgrāma Gupta, who is described as the lord of Jayapura and the most devout worshipper of Mahesvara. The donee is a Brahman of Sandilya gotra, Kumara Svamin by name, learned in the Yajur-Veda and having the three pravaras of Sandilya, Asita and Devala, son of Krishnaditya and grandson of Sri Rama, who hailed from Kolañcha. No particular occasion is mentioned for making the grant except that it is made on account of great favour shown to the donee. The greater part of the inscription is taken up by an account of the ancestors of the donor which gives the following genealogical table :—
(1) Yajnesa Gupta..
(2) Damodara Gupta..
(4) Rājāditya Gupta.
(5) Krishna Gupta.
(6) Samgrama Gupta.
It is, however, noticeable that while Rājāditya Gupta is credited with all the Imperial titles of Samgrāma Gupta, Krishna Gupta is dismissed with the only epithet of Rajaputra which seems to indicate that he met with a premature death in the lifetime of his father. Though one or two verses have been devoted to each of the royal personages, no historical fact is referred to in the inscription which may lead to their definite identification. The mention of "Gupta Vamsa " as referring to the dynasty to which the king belonged, is however suggestive of the fact that the royal line might have been in some way connected with the later Guptas of Magadha.
The charter is issued from the Royal Camp of Victory and mentions the designations of some officials, most of which occur in the grants of the Pāla and Sena Kings of Bengal. It is dated on 9th day of the dark fortnight of the month of Kartika in the 17th year of the reign of the King. No era is mentioned, but on palæographical grounds the inscription may be assigned to a period not later than the twelfth century A.D.
[Editorial. The reading of the copper-plate has been kindly compared with the original and a few corrections suggested by Mr. R. D. Banerji, Poona. On the find of the plate the Collector of Darbhanga has made inquiries resulting in the following information :-"Amiri Choudhury says that he was digging when his kodali struck against something hard, and he found a copper-plate The copper-plate was found by Amiri Choudhury in the south-west corner of his field in mauza Kali in the zamindari of the Maharaja of Darbhanga...............The field in which the copper-plate was discovered is about 2 miles from Amiri's homestead land in Panchobh. The nearest basti is Kali about
mile off. There is a raised site known as Bangali Dih east of the field about mile from the place of discovery and a similar site about mile to the east in mauza Panchobh. This site is said to have been much higher, but has been greatly levelled down..................A further inquiry discloses that the said Amiri Choudhury found the plate about four years ago." 1
The plate is of little historical importance. The record is not dated. The places mentioned in the plate are probably in the district of Monghyr, Jayapura being represented by the present day Jayanagar 2 and Jambūvanī is probably connected with the modern name Jamui.
Mr. R. D, BANERJI has sent in the following note on the plate:
"The mason at first attempted to incise the record in letters
1 Letter, dated 17th June 1919, from the Collector of Darbhanga to the Superintendent, Archæological Survey, Eastern Circle.
2 J.B.O.R.S, Vol. V., p. 297.
of a smaller dimension but gave up the idea after incising the first sixteen syllables. The characters of the grant resemble those used in the grants of Lakshmanasena of Bengal, and on palæographical grounds it would be difficult to assign a date earlier than the second half of the twelfth century to this record.
"The seal of the grant shows the läñchhana of the family, the bull-couchant, which is confirmed by the use of the word Vrishabhadhvaja in connexion with Rajadityagupta and the donor. The characters of the seal are of the same type as those of the grant, of. ga, ma and pa. The seal was cast and therefore looks older.
"The use of the title Mahamaṇḍalika along with the Imperial titles Paramabhaṭṭāraka-Mahārājādhirāja-Paramesvara in the case of Samgrāmagupta and his grandfather Rajādityagupta indicates that the family had been at first feudatories of the Palas or Senas and assumed titles of independence after the decline in power or the downfall of their suzerains.
"On palæographical grounds it may be stated with assurance that these local rulers assumed independence after the downfall of the Senas, when the sons of Lakshmanasena were quarrelling among themselves just before their expulsion from Lakshmaṇāvati by the Muhammadan freebooters under Muhammad-binBakhtyar.
"The mention of the word Guptavaṁśa 1. 15 may possibly indicate that these local rulers were descended either from the Imperial Guptas or from the later Guptas of Magadha, of which fact they, however, seem to have retained a very hazy impression. "The form of the grant is peculiar. The beginning is in prose but later on the entire genealogy is given in verse. Though this form of a grant is not altogether unknown in Indian epigraphy, it is rather antiquated for a twelfth century record.
"The metrical portion of the inscription provides us with the name of six generations while the prose portion mentions only two, so it is quite possible that Rājādityagupta, the grandfather of the donor Samgrāmagupta, was the feudatory chief whe assumed independence.
"A noteworthy point in the grant is the mention of the village or town Kolañcha whence Bhatta S'ri Rama, the grandfather of the donee, had emigrated. Koláñ ha is mentioned in the more authentic Kārikās on Kulašāstra or genealogical works of Bengal as the place whence the five Brahmanas, who were invited by king Adisura for the performance of a Vedic sacrifice in Bengal, originally came. Many conjectures have been made by modern commentators on genealogical works of Gaudiya or Bengali Brahmanas and it has even been suggested, if my memory serves me correctly, that the name may be a corruption. of some other name. The mention of the place in a twelfth century record confirms the statement of the ghaṭakas of Bengal about its spelling and its existence though the locality will remain doubtful until fresh light is available. "
The plate is now in the Patna Museum -ED.]