Page images
[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][graphic][ocr errors]

The alphabet of the Allahabad inscription offers certainly a great apparent similarity to that of a part of the Gya inscription, examined by Dr. Wnxiivs, [As. Res. vol. i. page 279,] as pointed out by Lieut. Boar, of the Engineers. It almost entirely coincides with that of some inscriptions on the rocks of Mahaimalaipur, (vide Trans. of Royal As. Soc. vol. ii. part 1, Plates 13, 14.) Notwithstanding this similarity ‘common to a great number of Indian alphabets, it is not yet easy to fix the value of each letter of an ancient writing, in such a manner as to preclude the possibility of a doubt. ‘

It was principally the alphabet of the Mahamalaipur inscriptions that enabled MADHAVA RAO to transcribe in Devanagari characters, the remains of ‘the ‘inscription copied from the pillar at Allahabad. This consists of 30 lines; More-than a moiety of the first 13 lines is entirely pealed be ; theother 17 are fuller‘-, but evidently more or less cut ofl’ at the right extremity, and all with many intervening chasms.

An even 'sli'ght' examination of the transcript made in Devanagari characters‘ is sufiicient ‘toi finda number of Sanscrit words, and the whole inscription may withdut hesitation be‘ pronounced to be Sanscrit. In' the accompanying paper, the translation of the Sanscrit words, which could without difiiculty be found in each line, is given. Scarce any change has been made in the words of the transcript, except in a few instances, such a correction as is too often indispensable even in not inaccurate manuscripts. These few changes are marked above the lines.

As the frequent and wide disjunction of words, the terminations of which are mostly wanted, renders it impossible to fix the relative sense of each word, as well as to determine the general purport of the whole,

any conjectural labour in changing vocables and supplying deficiencies would have been hopeless.

So much only appears indubitable from the words themselves, that they are encomiastic epithets of a Raja, the name of whom, if satisfactorily made out, might furnish an historical datum of no small importance.

Names are really found in ‘the 17th, 18th, and 21st lines which seem insignificant; not so thosein the 25th and 26th line, which happen to be more complete and connected than the others : thus we have in the twentyfifth line ;——-“ of the great-grandson of Sm Cl-IANDRAGUPTA, the great Raja, of the grandson of the great Raja Sm YAGNAKACHA, of the son of the great Raja, the first (supreme) Raja (Adhiraja) Sm CHANDRAGUPTA :” and in the twenty-sixth line, “ of the son of the daughter of Lion-cn’na Vurnrrr of the family of Maimmvrn KUMARA——0f the great Raja, the supreme Raja Sm SAMUDRAGUPTA, whose fame caused by the conquest of the whole earth, increasing and expanding throughout the whole ground of the earth, was equalling TRIDASAPATI (.lNDRA)."

The name of Cmmnnnourn repeated here twice, as that of the greatgrandfather, and that of the father of a Raja, cannot fail to excite attention.

According to the Hindee genealogies of the Vishnupurana and other books, Cnnnnaaourrn, a son, or at least a relative, of NANDA, founded a dynasty (called by his name, and also the Maurya dynasty, from his mother Mona), of 10 kings, who reigned during 137 years from the year 1598 to 1735 of the Kaliyug, (from 1504 to 1367 before our era.) in Magadha, the capital of which was Palibothra. It needs scarce be repeated that the Indian name Cnnxnanourrn (the moon-protected) was found to be the same with SANDRA-COTTUS, or Sannaoxurros mentioned by the Greek historians. It is also known that from the similarity of these names, an identity of the persons of the contemporary of ALEXANDER and ally of Ssnnuous Nrcaroa, and of the before-mentioned founder of the Indian dynasty of that name was supposed, and that a whole system of Indian chronology was made dependent upon this supposition.

No disquisition upon this important and extensive subject will here be expected, so much less as the imperfect remains of the inscription here examined furnish no vestige of a date, nor any other data which may lead out conjectures towards, if not fix, a historical fact. It would be adventurous to assert that the Cnnnnaaourra of line 25th, was the founder of the Maurya dynasty : all that appears in the inscription is, that a Raja Snmunnnourrn (the sea-protected) was a descendant in the 4th generation of a Cnaunanourrn.

It is further to be remarked, that the name of the second CHANDRAGUPTA and that of Ssnonaaourrs are joined with the title Adhiraja, supreme Raja, and not with that of Chakravartti, or emperor of the world, always assumed by the ruler of India. We may therefore infer that the Adhirajas of the inscription did not pretend touniversal, although but titular, sovereignty ; but may have been only counted among the many Rajas who at all times divided India among themselves. It was probably by their flatterers that the conquest of a few provinces was made the conquest of the whole world; in which expression, found entire among the ruins of so many others, nothing else but a monument of empty vanity was preserved.

[graphic][merged small]

Il.—-1. minding sacrifice of the gods. 2. for the sake of a better state.

-— IlI.—-3. counting the low. 4. knowing good qualities. 5. in heaven. . . 6 and 7. enjoying a poet’s fame and a kingdom. . . . . -'

« PreviousContinue »