Page images

To the Devanagari transcript is annexed a close interlineary version, in the only language (one excepted) whose freedom of collocation and general analogy to Sanscrit made it available for this purpose—distinguishing always by brackets the version of the intercalated or added syllables, the necessity of which will thus be often apparent to the Western reader. I have now to subjoin a somewhat looser version in

_ English—to which I would prefix merely the following brief analysis of

the inscription. LrNE.l .Unintelligible, and most probably unconnected with what follows. 2, 3. Invocation in behalf of the sculptor and blackener of the letters of the inscription.

4—l2. Various descriptions, at first dependent on the relatives _1/as, yasya (who and whose), but afterwards governed by the antecedent personal pronoun sa, (he,) all of which evidently relate to the same person, and that the king—but which, from the incompleteness of the lines, and the absence of verbs governing the principal substantives, cannot be traced in their conjunct meaning as one sentence, which itis evident they must have composed.

13—27.Panegyrical descriptions of the same king in the genitive case, (connected at first with the nominatives of line 13, but afterwards evidently with the Pillar-Arm at the conclusion,) viz. SAMUDRA-GUPTA, son of CHANDRA-GUPTA, of the Solar race, all sutficiently perfect and intelligible.

28. Comparison of the king’s glory to the sacred water of the netherrnost Ganges in the Mahabharata.

28, 29. Name and description of the self-satisfied author of this panegyric, (whose intellect, as he tells us himself, was utterly subverted by his intimacy with the great king, when he ventured on this composition,) concluding with a salutation to the Deity.

Then, after a very wide space, comes 30. A compliment, somewhat obscure and imperfect, to the author’s immediate superior and patron.

[ocr errors]

1. The jackal [left the b]ear in the forest. (.9)

2. This goodly s[ign] of one endued by nature with a mind of fire having been, for the conveyance of his commands, covered over with ink; may the ma[ker also] fixed [as the letters themselves by the durability and immortality of the monument he has raised, viz.]

3. The [king’s] dependant Vrrxn, having formed these [letters] for the love of the multiplied virtues of the son of the bow-armed grvn [viz. Gsrznsn patron of letters] enjoy in heaven, evenin the city of VEDHAS [BRAH-MA] himself, the royal glory of eminent poetical dignity !

4. He who while worthy of eulogy, yet by means of informers, whose cha. meter is muchto be ooncea1ed,men whose hair is diminished by being of. ten pulled, was entangled and impeded by the pride of men of obscure family, a hoary-headed counsellor being - _ .. _ - _ _ _

5, He who was distinguished in letters, even by the able ontologistCnsns, called familiarly the talking Guru, with the honourable appellation of one in whom all [admirable qualities] are united. - - - - - _ _, ,

6. By this [excellent Guru] resembling those [true sages] who are utterly alien from all delight in selfish worldly occupations, _ ~ - _ _ _ ,

7. He, having been inflamed with warlike prowess, before whom prostration being made even by the enemies’ forces, the conjoined battle strife of armies disappeared, - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ._.

8. Whose mothers-in-law*, formerly proud and addicted to high minded oppressions perpetually, having been by his own arm subdued with the sword of battle, [1riz. SANHA'R10A' and the rest, - _ (line 18.)] - _

9. By their passions, at first fiercely erect and tall as the stalks of green barley, at length bursting forth and ripening into affection through the abundant juices within, thus became penitent [in heart permanently from that time ; and]

10. When, sprung from the bank of the [sacred ?] river, the strength of the arm of RIXASA and the rest, directing his arms, had even removed mountains by the death of the formidable [rapid victor] XANAJIT,-then he also

11. With assiduous oiferings to the planetary deities—did in his own pleasure gardens, from which are gathered noble garlands of flowers

the immortals].

12. But though the glories of greatness, of clemency, and of warlike prowess were in him blended into one, as [the several colours] in the pure white rays of the moon ; yet was there at this time no [remis] sion of his past grievous offence.

13. Still not his was the path of those devoted to the present life, nor any dereliction of the wisdom and power which belongs to contemplative sages; nor was there any poetical censurer of him, whose gifts were without end.

ii The great Rajas of India have frequently been polygamlsts—and in these cases, the father and mother of each wife, as well as those of the sole rightful queen, bear the honourable names of svasura and svasd (socer and seems), i. e. father and mother-in

hope of royal oifspring, in lines 18, 19. With respect to the grievous sin for which his repentance is recorded in line 12, the incompleteness of the line precludes all but the merest conjecture.--On the 6th and 7th lines it may be remarked that the heroic

plative devotion.

14. Of him therefore, skilled in the due performance of the hundred libations of consecrated ghee to Bnnnms, who by the strength and power‘ of his arm reduces his foes to bondage, and brandishes for the destruc. tion of their hosts barbed darts and swords and lances* ;

15. Of him whose salvation is in the guardian of waters [VARUNA] the terrible SIVA and Vrsrmu, surpassing the graces of the most adorned recited speech by the rising splendours of a name illustrious for the hundred wounds inflicted on the [rival] tribe by strokes of the flesh-devouring arrows of iron, as well as of weapons grasped by the hand and others ;—

16. Of him, who after the royal insignia had been destroyed by the hand of the [hostile] monarch, as it were the tiger of the forest, the great lord of wild bufi‘aloes,-yet having from the resources of his excellent guardian GIRI-KABLA'RAKA the gift of infantry and other soldiers—be_ came by the mixture of this benevolent aid with the royal majesty that sprung from it, no longer unfortunate ;

17. Of him whose mind was next intent upon the capture of all the kings of the South and of the East, as well as of DHANANJAYA, protector of the North country, springing from the race of the divine Uenssnwn, splendid as the sun, and patron of Hnsnvnnnnn-—a bard equal to the blue sovereign ESIVA P] himself ;——who therefore is justly worshipped by his ministering lieges, as sole king of all the gods ,'—

18. Of him whose state might be propounded as an object of imitation, in respect of troops, chariots, and other [war-like apparatus] even to the divine RUDRA, the wise Nsennnrrn, to CHANDRA [god of the moon] to Vnnrzr [or Aura, lordof fire], to Gnrmsn, to Name, [brother of Ixucv, of the solar race], to Nnassnrm, and to the unmoveable forces of the N mvnrs [SrvA’s attendant g0ds]—-and who moreover by SANHA 'moA' and all the rest [of the vanquished mothers-in-law] who have the accumulative incentive of the wish and prayer for a royal oifspring, is approached with all just payment of tribute, with propitiatory gifts, and with reverent prostration ;—

19. Of him who when his fame penetrated to the friendly province of Pines —to Cdmarripa [the present kingdom of Assam]—-and to Nepal, did for the sake of procuring a shower of darts to pierce the princes even of the extreme west and other quarters, dispose his soldiers in ambush behind the stations of the cowherds of 1Wadra—-and is therefore celeL brated by the poet whom this battle raised up [to commend the strata. gem], as equal in the rapid destruction of his foes to' the Lord SIVA, or to CAMA or Annm, [the gods of loveand fire—thus celebrated] also by SANHA ’n1cA' and all the rest [of the allied princesses] ;—

20. Of him whose government is invariably strict—-who moreover has the glory, a glory pervading the highest heaven, of largesses to destitute persons, invited by him in pursuance of the restitution of a royal race sprung from a kingdom which the [enemies] soldiers had subverted

* Or “ iron clubs.” For the Sanscrit W bears both meanings.

who moreover imposed on the rank foliage of forests, on the lakes. and on the land, the chains [of clear roads and of bridges respectively]-— who on the earth has no equal as a car-borne warrior ;-

21. Of him who bears a gentle and kind disposition, to be hailed by the inhabitants of all the islands of the ocean with pure constant worship of oblation and sacrifice—the materials of which spring from the rich revenues obtained by his wise assessment from the produce of cultivators firmly and devotedly subjected to him as was the bird Gamma to V1sr1NU, [a devotion testified] by the harmonious confluence of their loyal words and songs addressed to himself~—-who also without being addicted to works [alone, but spiritual science also, yet] bestows hundreds and thousands upon the affairs of heaven and of earth ;—

22. Of him whose glory in war obliterates that of all other kings beside himself, by reason of the multitude of virtues, diverse in kind, embel.. lished in hundreds of poems——from fear of whose [vigorous rule] dissensions never arise—-who is alike pure from the stains of grief and of foolish laughter—who is in devotion unrivalled-and who having by his own arm subdued so many kings, has succeeded further in taming the so great fury and wrath [that such reverse naturally produces] by the continual intercourse and profit of the western commerce begun with the riches derived from that conquest ;-

23. Of him who is pleased with long poems of victory closely following the battle-array formed by the king himself, whose disposition is that of the [Supreme Lord, the] Lord of the Poor; who is at the same time the slayer of elephants that smite in war-and is consecrated as the most excellent of learned kings by [Comma] giver of wealth, by VARUNA, by INDRA, and him who dwells in the mansions of death [YAMA] ,- who is renownedfor noble exploits to be heard to distant times, and sounded even to heaven ;—

24. Of him by whom are well understood, the Gnnmmnvas or celestial songsters, learned and of excellent wisdom; also the regent of the planet Mars; also [BALARA'MA*] foe of the earth; also the preceptor of INDRA himself, the lordof the thrice-blessed immortals [viz. Vamnsrsn, regent of Jupiter] ; also TUMBARU [the wise GANDHARVA], and N A IRADA, and all the rest [of the ultra.deified sages]--who moreover is consecrated as the most excellent of kings by acts worthy of the poems of the great Rishi VYANNACA [or the foodlesst], who is renowned for noble exploits to be heard to distant times, and sounded even to heaven ,'—

* So I conjecture from the legend found in the Sri Bluigavat and elsewhere concerning BALARA'MA, the 8th incarnation of VISHNU, having depressed all the eastern part of the earth. But perhaps the epithet may refer to the deities of the destroying elements Water or Fire.

1- Perhaps a title of the great Vaunxx, author of the Ramayana, who is said to have fasted ten thousand years ! unless the terms of the inscription should be thought to require the name of some poet who has sung the exploits of SAMUDBA-GUPTA himself.

25. Of him whose mind is in time of afiliction and distress, ever singly intent on the disposition and arrangement of charitable works ; who is a god in the mansion of the world ; the great grandson of the great king Guru, grandson of the great king Gnsrorx.-acnn, son of the great king, the supreme monarch Cannnnn GUPTA ,-- i

26. Of him who is also maternal grandson of Lrcnnnvr, conceived in the great goddess-like Cumdnn-Dnvi, the great king, the supreme monarch Snuvnnn GUPTA, illustrious for having filled the whole earth with the revenues arising from his universal conquest, [equal] to INDRA chief of the gods ;—

27. Of this child of the Sun, though clothed in hairy flesh, this lofty pillar is the arm, sustaining all his friends with powerful assistance both at home and in foreign travel ; of him, [I say,] whose fame raised by gradual accumulation of materials to the most exalted eminence in the strength of the arm of his liberality, and the abundance of his sentences respecting the law of tranquil meditation, is extended in various directions.

28. And that [fame] purifies the three worlds ; even as the [sacred stream given by ARJUNA the hero] of the house of PANDU, [purified the dying] Bnisnmn, thus encii-cled within the noble bandage of the clotted hair of Srvn [whence Ganges first sprung]. Such is the un. equalled eulogy, the composition of him who serves the countenance of the great monarch, who by reason of the favour of continually going about in his presence is even infatuated in mind,

29. The mature* dwarf—son of the great superintendant of penal justice SRAVA-BHU'Tl, who is both in peace and war, the counsellor of the young king, the great superintendant [of penal justice] Hnar Nn’ru. Salutation to [Goo], the kind friend of all creatures.

30. But with whom, however devoted to the study of the Rig Veda, the best gift of the Supreme Sovereign, [can we compare] TILABHATTA, the great superintendant of penal justice, surrounded by his army [of inferior ministers of the law] P

Remarks on the above Inscription.

The style of laboured ornament aifected in the public inscriptions of India is strongly contrasted with the severe simplicity of the same kind of composition in the monuments of other ancient nations: and the deciphering of the Allahabhd pillar does not appear destined to remove in any degree this reproach from the national taste. With the criticism, however, of this inscription, as a literary work, we are little

V ‘ I am by no means satisfied with this rendering of Eitqfifi but I can find no better. The translation “ culinary dwarf’Lhad occurred to me: thus associat_ ing to the character of dwarf (in Sanscrit ‘§§(§) that attachment to good cheer, which is a standing characteristic of the half bufl'oon, half counsellor, called Vidfishana in the Indian drama, and considered as a Brnhmanical appendage to royalty, But the words scarcely bear out either interpretation :—nm' is this RSS0l‘iation of the characters of dwarf and of royal attendant confirmed by any Indian example that I am aware of, however common in the fairy tales of Persia and the West.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »