Tuesday, September 29, 2009

2. Maurya Inscriptions of Ashoka

35 inscriptions of Asoka have been discovered so far. But in none of them is the time of Asoka himself given. Only the year of the reign of Asoka is mentioned every now and then— eg:'in the 7th year of the reign of Emperor Asoka'. It is therefore not possible to determine the time of Asoka with the help of these inscriptions. Nor is any direct evidence forth—coming in the shape of literature, inscriptions, coins or buildings, for fixing with certainty the time of Chandragupta Maurya, the grandfather of Asoka, the vaunted sheet-anchor of the modern construction of Ancient Indian history.

If we consider the alleged evidence in the writings of the Chinese pilgrim, Hieun-tsang, it is admitted and declared by General Cunningham as well as the editors of the history published by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan that his writings are unreliable and contain more false than true statements. We have reproduced these opinions of the worth of the alleged writings of Hieun-tsang as evidence for historical purposes in connection with our discussion of Hieun-tsang. The alleged statemcnts in his writings, advanced in support of their theories of the time of Chandragupta Maurya by the modern historians must have been interpolated into his writings by themselves for their own purposes. These could not have been written by Hieun-tsang. There could be no reason for Hieun-tsang who visitcd India 22 centuries after the time of Chandrngupta Maurya to refer to the great emperor of such remote past. At least Hieun-tsang’s evidece is after all based on hearsay and popular tradition. Such evidence could never annul or disprove the indigenous history by native writers based on the court records of the emperor.

These modern historians have willfully neglected and ignored the authoritative historical literature of the country and therefore to buttress their unwarranted determination of the time of Asoka as the 3rd century B.C., they were obliged to resort to several fictitious statements, as:

" The Yona princes mentioned in Asoka‘s inscriptions as ruling on the frontiers of his kingdom have been identified as Greek princes of the 3rd century B.C., ruling in Syria, Egypt, Macedonia, Epirus and Cyrene by the European orientalists." But none of these kingdoms could have been on the borders of his empire.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Inscriptions - 1. Kharavela Inscription

Most of the Inscriptions, advanced as infallible evidence in support of their conclusions and determinations by the European orientalists, and their disciples among the modern historians of ancient India, are liable to criticism of the following eight kinds: 1. Misreading, 2. Misinterpretation. 3. Misrepresentation. 4. Misapplication, 5. Forgery, 6. Destruction,7. Rejection of genuine inscriptions as spurious, 8. Neglecting or ignoring of genuine inscriptions.

To support the alleged contemporaneity of Alexander the Great and Chandragupta Maurya and consequently the time of Chandragupta Maurya in 324 B.C:

The Kharavela inscription or Hatigumpha 1345 is advanced very often. This inscription does not contain any date within it. We do not know when it was inscribed. There are 17 lines in it. Only 4 of these 17 lines are legible and in a fit condition to attempt deciphering. They refer to the boyhood, of Kharavela and the stage when he was the heir apparant. Most of the letters in the other lines are defaced and hence do not admit of reading with definiteness. One or two of the letters are considered to be deciphered and others are imagined to fit in with their preconceived determinations and the whole line is published and interpreted as evidence to support their conclusions, by the European orientalists and their disciples.

It is alleged that in the 16th line of the inscription the date of the inscription is referred to as the 165/164 year after Raja Muria and this is interpreted as 324-165=159 B.C., on the assumptions that (1) the Raja Muria referred to is Chandragupta Maurya. (2) his time is 324 B.C., then, taking this date of the inscription, thus arrived at, of 159 B.C., as proved fact and (3) alleging that the inscription mentions the names of Nandaraja, Sungaraja and Kanwaraja, (4) it is inferred by these research scholars that Kharavela was acontemporary of three kings of three diffenent dynasties and (5) they also belong to 159 B. C. All this is mostly their own wild imagination as there is no number like 165 mentioned directly or by implication in any part of the 16th line or any other line.

E.J.Rapson writes in this connection:-
"This is one of the most celebrated and also one of the most perplexing of all the historical monuments of India. Unfortunately it has been badly preserved. Of its 17 lines only the first 4 remain in their entirety.-
All the other lines are more or less fragmentary. Many passages are irretrievably lost, while others are practically obliterated and can only be restored conjecturally."

Even the fundamental question whether the inscription is dated or not is still in dispute. Some scholars contend that a passage in the sixteenth line can only be interpreted to mean that the inscription was engraved in the 165th year of the Maurya kings or of the Maurya king, while others deny the existance of any such date." (Vide, Cambridge His. of India, Vol I, Ed. 1922 p.534)

N.B.:- No date is given in the original or in the translation, of Prof. Jayaswal or in the Telugu translation of Mahamahopadhya Kalaprapurna, Dr. Sri Chilukuri Narayarzarao Pantulu M.A.,Ph.D., Anantapur, published by Mr. R.Subbarao Pantulu in his Kalinga History of 1930, (Vide Kalinga_Desa Charitra in Telugu appendix p.25) by Mr. R.Subbarao Pantulu. M. A., B.Ed. Hon., General Secretary, Andhra Historical Research Society, Rajahmundry.)

Text of the 16th line of the Kharavela inscription as read by Jayaswal aud R.D. Benerjee:—

"Kharavela erected four pillars, ornamented with bells with precious stones embedded in them, brought over the Anga Sapthikam with four parts and sixty four limbs, bestroyed in the time of Raja Muria, (Kharavela is) a monarch of Security, progress and prosperity, a just king who enjoyed many triumphs."

There is nothing in the above lines to indicate any date. The sentence, ‘brought over the Anga Sapthikam with sixty-four limbs', has been interpreted fancifully to mean one hundred and sixty-four and tacked on to Raja Muria in another sentence and , a reference to the year one hundred and sixty-four after Raja Muria has thus been imagined and accepted as the date of the inscription (164 years after Maurya Chandragupta).

As a matter of fact only the first four lines of the inscription, which yet remain complete and legible, can be accepted as of historical value. The rest of the lines of the alleged text of the inscription and their significance alike belong to the wild imagination ol the western scholars. In the clear, and therefore acceptable, part of the inscription there is no mention either of Raja Muria, or Nandivardhana or Pushyamitra Sunga, or Satakarni, or the year 165/I64. Imaginary fabrications cannot pass for history. (for full discussion on the inscription please See pp. 139-149 of "The Plot in Indian Chronology" By this author.(Pandit Kota Venkata Chelam) )

Mr. V.A. Smith in his Early History of India writes:- Scions of the Satavahana Race apper to have established minor Kingdoms in different parts of the Deccan,"Early His. of India By V.A. Smith P. 226).

"Descendents of the great Asoka continued as unrecorded local subordinate Rajas in Magadha for many centuries; the last of them, and the only one whose name has been preserved being Purnavarma, who was nearly contemporary with the Chinese piligrim, Hiuen-Tsang in the seventh century," (V.A Smith’s His. of India P. 204)

"Later Mauryas reigned in Konkan between the western Ghats and the sea" (Vide V.A. Smith‘s History P 205.)

"Petty Maurya dynasties, apparently connected in some unknown way with the imperial line, ruled in the Konkan between the western ghats and the sea and some other parts of western India, during the sixth, seventh and eight centuries, and are frequently mentioned in inscriptions." (V.A. Smith’s His. P. 205).

"The early Pallava dynasty, and as late as the seventh century, the Chalukya Monarchs subdued Maurya Chiefs in the Konkan. A tradition recorded in an inscription of the twelfth century states that Kuntala, a province which included the Western Deccan and the north of Mysore, was ruled by the Nandas." (Early His. of India. By V. A. Smith P. 158). (For the Maurya survivals in western India, see Dr. Fleet in Bombay Gazetteer 1896, Vol. I. Part II, P. 202-204.)

Thus it is evident the Kharavela inscription does not in any way serve or contribute to fix the time of Emperor Chandragupta, founder of the Maurya dynasty of Magdha. It is far-fetched to translate as ‘Brihaspathi Mitra’ the name alleged to be found in line 12 as "Bahupathi Mitra" and then to interpret this name ‘Brihaspati Mitra’ as ‘Pushpamithra Sunga'. According to the chronology of the Puranas Pushpamithra Sunga belongs to 1218-1158 B.C., where as the Kharavela inscription belongs to the 6th, 7th or 8th century after Christ. Princes of the Maurya, Sunga, Kanwa and Sathavahana dynasties of Imperial Magadha could have nothing to do with it. It might be connected with the later descendents of the Maurya, Sunga, Satavahana and Nanda dynasties who ruled over petty principalities in the Deccan or others, borrowing their names, patronymics and titles.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Alexander's contemporary wrongly identified

The Greek historians who accompanied the army of Alexander the Great during his invasion of Western Bharat have mentioned the names of three successive kings of the country at about the time, in their writings. The names recorded by them clearly were Xandrames, Sandrocottus and Sandrocyptus. But European orientalists of recent times have been able to reduce the antiquity of the history and culture of Bharat by a wrong identification of the kings. They have wrongly identified the three names with those of Mahapadmananda, Chandragupta and Bindusara, successive kings of Magadha and hence determined (wrongly) the time of Chandragupta Maurya, held he was the actual contemporary of Alexander in 326 B.C., and his coronation to have taken place in 324 B.C. From this date thus arrived at as the basis, counting forward and backward for the times of the kings of the Royal dynasties of Magadha mentioned in our puranas, reducing the periods of the reigns of kings and, dynasties mentioned therein arbitrarily to suit their own convenience, constructed a false history and chronology of ancient Bharat. The Puranas definitely and specifically date the Mahabbarata War in 3138 B. C., and record the names of kings, and the periods of their reigns, from that time onwards, in unbroken succession; and according to their version the coronation of Chandragupta should have taken place in 1534 B.C. By assigning it to 324 B.C. instead, and making this the basic date for their chronology, the entire chronology of ancient Bharat has been shifted forwards by 1210 years. On the other hand, if the name referred to as Xandrames were to be identified as the Greek version of Chandramas in Sanscrit or Chandrasri, the last of the Andhra dynasty, and the other two, Sandracottus and Sandrocyptus, with Chandragupta and Samudragupta of the Gupta dynasty of the kings of Magadha, that succeeded the Andhra dynasty, and locating Chandragupta I of the Gupta dynasty as the contemporary of Alexander in 326 B.C., and counting back along the dynastic lists of the puranas the date of the Mahabharata War should work out to 3138 B.C., tallying with the independent determinations of its time on the basis of astronomical calculations and the Kali era, the calamity of shifting forward the ancient chronology and reducing the antiquity of Indian culture could not have occurred. But the European orientalists deliberately rejected the more plausible and correct alternative and fastened upon the less plausible and incorrect alternative for their own reasons. Sandrocottus is the 2nd name of the three. The last king of the Andhra dynasty was Chandramas (note the close correspondence of it to the Greek Xandrames). His minor son, who came to the throne after him, was killed and succeeded by Chandragupta, the founder of the Gupta dynasty. His son and successor on the throne was Samudragupta (note again the closer similarity of this name to Sandrocyptus than of the altogether different word Bindusara, the successor of Chandragupta in the Maurya dynasty. So Chandragupta of the Gupta dynasty was, it is clear the contemporary of Alexander the great and not Chandragupta of the Maurya dynasty. By the wrong identification of the European orientalists of this basic figure (of Alexander’s contemporary in India), all the chronology built upon it has been vitiated. How can the chronology built upon such untenable foundations tally with the chronology in thc Puranas? If there is no agreement between the two, it is the chronology of the Europian orientalists, and the current accepted history of ancient Bharat that should be held wrong and rejected and not the chronology of tho Puranas. For the reconstruction of the true history of ancient Bharat the current history and the chronology in it has to be revised into conformity with the information available in the puranas. The starting point in the ancient literature of Bharat, of the ancient history of India, is the Mahabharata war of 3138 B.C. The starting point of the socalled ancient history of Bharat of the European orientalists and their Indian disciples now current and accepted uncritically is the date of Alexander’s invasion 324 B. C. The difference between the two is 2810 years.

1. Modern historians assign the Mahabharata war variously, some to 1500 B.C., others to 1900 B.C. They have not been able to show any direct inscriptional evidence for their determinations which is completely contrary to the evidence of indigenous tradition and historical and scientific writings of ancient times, annual calenders and daily repeated measure and progress of time.

2. They (the modern historians) are not able to show any direct inscriptional evidence for their hypothesis that Alexander and Chandragapta Maurya were contemporaries much less have they advanced any evidence of ancient historical records. The Greek historians who accompanied Alexander in his invasion of Bharat noted only the Greek (version of a) name Sandrocottus. The identification of this Sandrocottus with Maurya Chandragupta is entirely the inference and conjecture of recent European historians of ancient India. How can we accept it as a historical fact to serve as a basis and starting point ?.

3. Mr. E. J. Rapson is of opinion that Chandramas would be the equivalent in Sanskrit of the Greek appellative Xandrames. (Vide his Ancient India pp. 469, 470)
To identify the Greek word Xandrames as the equivalent of Dhanananda or Mahapadma nanda is inconceivably absurd.
The last of the kings of Magadha of the Andhra dynasty was named Chandramas or Chandrasri. His minister was Chandragupta of the Gupta dynasty. His son Samudragupta was a commander in the Magadha army and led the forces in battle. The last Andhra king Chandrasri and his son Puloma who succeeded him to the throne were incompetent, and Chandragupta who was already the virtual ruler of the kingdom, seized the throne for himself, putting the minor Puloma to death.
If we work out the times of the reigns of the successive rulers of the different dynasties of Magadha according to the Puranas from the time of the Mahabharata War of 3138 B.C., the Andhra dynasty comes to a close in 327 B.C., and the rule of the Gupta dynasty commences. Then, in 327 B.C, the Andhra Empire of Magadha expired and the Gupta Empire began. At this juncture occurred the invasion of Alexander. The Greek historians who visited the land in the company of Alexander noted the names of the three successive princes on the throne of Magadha, Chandrasri, the last of the Andhra dynasty, Chandragupta the first of the Gupta dynasty that succeeded and Samudragupta, his son, a renowned warrior who extended his empire to the farthest limits. That, according to the Puranas, Chandragupta Maurya came to the throne in 1534 B.C., is admitted even by Sir William Jones. (Vide the fourth volume of his writings - in the chapter on the chronology of the Hindus)
In these circumstances, to identify Xandrames as Mahapadmananda and Sandrocyptus as Bindusara, with no conceivable similarity or correspondence to justify an identification is outrageous. With such identifications at the basis, the entire current history of ancient Bharat has been vitiated and its antiquity reduced. The king mentioned by the Greek historians could be only Chandramas, the last Andhra king and Chandragupta and Samudragupta of the Gupta dynasty and not Nanda and the Maurya kings.

4.There is clear proof available in the Puranas for the determination of the date of the Mahahharata war in B.C. 3138. The puranas date the commencement of the Kali era, 36 years after the Mahabharata war. The Kali era began in 3102 B.C. And hence the time of the Mahabharata war is fixed as 3138 B.C. Another era, the Saptarshi era, is mentioned, beginning 26 years after Kali i.e., in 3076 B.C. at the time of the ascent to heaven of Yudhishtira; it is otherwise known as the Laukikabda. Dr. Buhler, the European Orientalist says of this Saptarshi era:-
"I do not doubt for a moment that the calculation which throws the beginning of the Saptarshi era back to 3076 B.C., is worth no more than that which fixes the beginning of the Kaliyuga in 3101 B.C. But it seems to me certain that it is much older than Kalhana’s time because his equation 24=1070 agrees with it. It may therefore be safely used for reducing with exactness the Saptarshi years, months and days, mentioned in his work to years of the Christian era. etc. (Vide pp. 264-268 of the Indian Antiquary Vol. VI}.
Most of the wel-known European Orientalists, Sir William Jones, Dr. Buhler, General Cunningham, Dr. Fleet. Dr. Hultzsch, Dr. Wilson and others admit the first year of the Kali era in 3101 B.C., and of the Saptarshi era in 3076 B.C. The Kali era actually commenced at 2-27’-30" on the 20th of Feb. 3102 B.C., and has been used for reckoning time in all the indigenous calenders published from year to year and current in the different regions of the country.

(a) All ancient Indian historical writings vouch definitely that the Kali era begins in 3102, the Saptarshi era in 3076 B.C. and the date of the Mahabharata war is 36 years before Kali

(b) Some of the prominent among the European orientalists also have expressed their approval of this determination.

(c) According to the native calenders of the country prepared annually from year to year of the Kali era, the current year 1956 A.D. is the 5058th of Kali or 36+5058=5094 years after the Mahabharata war. So the Mahabharata war must have occurred in 5094-1956=3138 B.C.

(d) The Puranas give us the dynastic lists of kings and the duration of their reigns, from the time of the Mahabharata war, i.e., the chronology of the ancient history of Bharat from the year 3138 B. C.

(e) Nepal Rajavamsavali: The dynastic lists of the kings of Nepal begins with 3102 B.C., and gives us lists of kings before and after it?

(f) Rajatharangini, a history of Kashmir begins with the Saptarshi era i.e., 3076 B.C. These three eras, or standards for reckoning the passage of time and determining the chronology of the kings, have been in vogue in the country in their respective regions. We find in the Puranas, an additional clue for verification, in the observation that according to calculations based on the positions and movement of the Saptarshis or the constellation of the Great Bear, the time elapsed from the time of the Mahabharata war to the close of the reign of the Andhra dynasty in Magadha works out to 2811 years.

(g) There can be no doubt that the European orientalists were aware of these three indigenous eras. We have reproduced above the sentences relating there to, of one of them, Dr. Buhler. Similar extracts from Vol. IV of the writings of Sir William Jones assigning the Kali era to 3102 B.C., is given here-under. "Now the Hindu Astronomers agree, that the 1st January 1790 was in the year 4891 of the Kaliyuga or their fourth period, at the beginning of which, they say, the equinoctial points were in the first degree of Mesha and Tula, but they are also of opinion that the vernal equinox oscillates from the third of Mina to the twenty seventh of Mesha and back again in 7200 years, which they divide into four padas, and consequently that moves in the two intermediate Padas from the first to the twenty-seventh of Mesha and back again in 3600 years; the colure cutting their ecliptic in the first of Mesha, which coincides with the first of Aswani, at the beginning of every such Oscilatory period. (Vide "Sir William Jones works Vol. IV, page 52)

(h) With a view to reduce and discount the antiquity of the history and culture of Bharat, these European Orientalists have wilfully ignored these important indigenous eras of whose existence they were definitely aware and further initiated a false propaganda that the Hindus have no date in their ancient literature for the reconstruction of the ancient history of their country.
"No date or public event can be fixed before the invasion of Alexander. (Vide "History of India", 5th edition; p. 11 by Elphinstone; Max Muller's history of Ancient Sanskrit Literature pp 3-8 of the 1859 Ed., and p. 9 of the Allahabad edition; and Dr. Fleet's article in "Epigraphy in the Indian Empire"-—Imperial gazetteer of India —-Vol. II, pp. 3-6.)

(i) Thus the European orientalists have injured us doubly by their false propaganda (1) that we the people of Bharat have no eras of our own for reckoning time with the help of which the correct chronology of our ancient history can be evolved and (2) therefore there is no alternative to their procedure of starting with the date of Alexander’s invasion, of 326 B.C., for determining of ancient Indian history.

(j) A true account of the ancient history of our country could be evolved on the basis of any of the three above mentioned, wellknown eras and according to such an account based on any of the indigenous eras and indigenous historical writings of ancient times and the lists of kings and periods of their reigns recorded therein, Alexander's invasion in 326 B.C., occurs in the reign of Chandragupta, the founder of the Gupta dynasty of Magadha; and the coronation of Chandrugupta Maurya occurs in 1534 B.C.

(k) Obviously with a view to reduce the antiquity of the history of ancient India, the European orientalists wilfully ignored the ancient indigenous eras of the country of whose existence they were fully aware, alleged on top of that, that we had no indigenous eras to proceed upon; paid no attention to Xandrames, the first of the three names mentioned by the Greek historians who accompanied Alexander to India, identified only the second name Sandracottus but wrongly, delibarately, with Chandragupta Maurya instead of with Chandragupta of the Gupta dynasty, fully aware of the greater plausibility of the other alternative; and thus shifted the time of Cixundiaguptu Maurya from 1534 B.C. to 324B.C., and making it the basis or sheet·anchor for the determination of other reigns and events, constructed a fanciful and false history of ancient India. They have no direct evidence, inscriptional or literary (historical) for their alleged contemporaneity of Alexander and Chandragupta Maurya. It is based on no authentic or authoritative evidence but merely on the strength of their conjecture, concoction and bluff dogged iteration. While on the one hand they cry hoarse over the lack of inscriptional evidence to confirm the facts recorded in our puranas, these gentlemen, it is strange to reflect, ignore the need for such direct inscriptional evidence to substantiate their conjectures and theories.

(l) To set up their wrong doctrines and theories the western historians have been producing some alleged inscriptional evidence. Our native historical scholars have been taught to insist upon such inscriptional evidence for every historical event. So we propose to enquire. in detail, into the nature of some instances of such inscriptional evidence,to prove to our readers, the unreliability and futility of such evidence and the conclusions based on such evidence.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pataliputra Empire -- The Gupta Emporers - Part 2

3. Chandragupta II: Son of the Great Emperor Samudragupta by his senior queen Dattadevi, called after his grand father in accordance with the Hindu custom and who had been already as crown prince with his noble father in the cares of Government, came to the throne peacefully and without contest under the title of Vikramaditya—(Sun in prowess) in the year 58 of the Gupta Era, founded by his grandfather, corresponding to Kali 2833 or 269 B.C. and ruled the Pataliputra Empire for 36 years from 2869-2905 A.Y, 2833-2869 Kali or 269 to 233 B.C. (Vide K.R.V.).

Chandragupta II was a man of mature age at the time of his accession and found himself in a position to undertake the extension of the wide dominion bequeathed to him by his ever victorious father. His chief military achievement was his advance to the Arabian sea through Malva and Guzarat, and his subjugation of the peninsula of Saurashtra or Kathiawar, which had been ruled for more than a century by the Sakas or the Persians known to European scholars as the western Satraps. Our knowledge of his campaign in the Vanga countries (modern Bengal) is confined to the assertion made in the elegant poetical description on the celebrated iron pillar of Delhi which states ‘when warring in the Vanga countries, he (Chandra Gupta II) breasted and destroyed the enemies confederate against him. The same document also states that he "crossed the Seven mouths of the Sindhu and vanquished in battle a nation called Bahlika", which apparently occupied part of Punjab at that time.

4. Kumara gupta I, son of Chandragupta II by his queen Dhruvadevi, came to the throne of his father under the title of Mahendraditya in the 94 of the Gupta Era, corresponding Kali 2869 or 233 BC. He ruled the Pataliputra Empire for 42 years from 2905 to 2947 A.Y,, 2869 to 2911 or Gupta Era 94 to 136 or B.C. 233 to 191. (Vide K.R.V.). He, like his grandfather, is said to have celebrated the Horse Sacrifice, as an assertion of his paramount sovereignty and to have successfully driven out the Huna hoards who began to burst through the north-western passes.

5. Skanda Gupta, son of Kumara Gupta I by the senior queen Ananta Devi assumed the title of Paraakramaaditya and came to the throne of his father in the year Kali 2911 or Gupta Era 136 or B.C. 191. He ruled the Pataliputra Empire for 25 years, from 2947 to 2972 A.Y., Kali 2911 to 2936 or Gupta Era 136 to 161 or B.C. 191 to 166 B.C. The year of his succession is said to have been marked by the bursting of the embankment of the Sudarsana lake, which is said to have been repaired by Chakrapaalita, son of Parnadatta, who had been appointed as Governor of Saurashtra in the year 137 of the Gupta Era. The Hunas, in his time, appear to have spread in a destructive flood all over western India and Skanda Gupta is said to have restored the falling fortunes of his family, to have conquered the Pushyamitras and faught successfully with the Hunas. Skanda Gupta had no heir of his own, and adopted Narasimha Gupta, son of his half brother ‘Stira Gupta’ (or Pura Gupta as Mr. V.A· Smith calls him), the son of Kumara Gupta I by the junior queen Anandadevi, and breathed his last in the year 161 of the Gupta Era corresponding to 2972 A.Y., Kali 2936 or 166 B.C. When he passed away, the Great Gupta Empire practically perished, though the Great dynasty continued to remain for 2or 3 more generations.

6. Narasimha Gupta, the nephew and adopted son of Skanda Gupta and the natural son of Stira Guapta by his queen Vatsadevi, came to the throne of his adopted father Skanda Gupta in the year 161 of the Gupta Era, corresponding to 2972 A.Y. 2936 Kali or 166 B.C. As he was a minor at the time of his appointment to the throne, his father ruled the Empire as guardian of his minor son for a brief period of 5 years under the title of Sri Prakaasaaditya from 2972 to 2977 A.Y., 2936 to 2941 Kali or 166 to 161 B.C. He is said to have restored the purity of the coinage which suffered a decline in the amount of pure gold or Suvarna, on account of the difficulty which the treasury of Skanda Gupta experienced in
meeting the cost of the Huna war. Narasimha Gupta, who attained his age in the year 166 of the Gupta Era, actually came to the throne in that year, and reigned Pataliputra for a further period of 35 years from 2977 to 3012 A.Y., 166 to 201 G.E., 2941 Kali to 2976 Kali or 181 to 126 B.C., under the title of ‘Baalaaditya’. But as Stiragupta or Sri Prakaasaaditya reigned only as a guardian to his minor son, the Kaliyuga Rajavrittanta does not count Stira gupta as seperate king, and assigns to Narasimhagupta or Balaaditya a total period of (5+35) 40 years for his reign.

Narasimha gupta is said to have removed his capital to Ayodhya. He built a brick stupa more than 300 ft. for Buddhists at Nalanda, in Magadha, which was remarkable for the delicacy of its decorations and inscriptions and the lavish use of gold and gems in its furniture. He is said to have rigorously resisted the tyranny of the Hunas, and to have successfully put down the pride of the Kalingas who had risen against him. In all his victories Narasimha gupta, Baalaaditya, is associated with one Yasodharman, a petty Raja of Central India who is a subordinate to the Gupta Emperors.

7. Kumara Gupta II, son of Narasimha Gupta by his queen Mahadevi or Srimatidevi, came to the throne of his father in the year 201 of the Gupta Era, corresponding to 3012 A.Y, 2976 Kali or 126 B.C. He is said to have reigned for 44 years from 3012 to 3056 A.Y., 201 to 245 G.E., Kali 2976 to 3020 Kali or 126 B.C. to 82 B.C. (Vide K.R.V.). In an Aphsad inscription of Adityasena, Isanavarman is said to be a contemporary of Kumaara Gupta II, who is said to have defeated him in the year 245 of the Gupta Era, which shows that his death must have taken place either in that year, corresponding to 3020 Kali or 82 B.C, or subsequent to that period. According to K R.V. Kumaara Gupta’s death took place in that very year; which tallies with the number of years of reign` assigned to him. He assumed, like his predecessors, the tltle of Kramaaditya and he seemed to have had a hard task in resisting the Hunas who came like swarms of locusts and utterly destroyed the Gupta Empire about 82 B.C.

So, far as is known the line of the Imperial Guptas or Sri Guptas terminates with kumaara Gupta II. Bhatarka, one of his generals is said to have conqured Guzarat and held it as a dependency of the Gupta Empire. After the over-throw of the Great Gupta Dynasty, three different dynasties of Guptas, known as the later Guptas seem to have retained power in three different parts of the empire, in Eastern Malva, Eastern Magadha and Oudh. Though they all claimed imperial dignity, yet none possessed any very great extent of territories. The most notable member of the later Gupta Dynasty founded by Krishna Gupta, was Adityasena, the 8th king of that dynasty, who asserted his independence after the death of the paramount sovereign Harsha or Harsbavardhana Silaaditya of Kanyakubja--the patron of Bana--in 648 A.D., and even presumed to celebrate the Horse Sacrifice in token of his claim to supreme rank. The last known Raja of the Dynasty was Jivita Gupta, who reigned early in the 8th century after Christ about the end of that century, or in 863 A.D. Magadha passed under the sway of the Pala kings of Bengal.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pataliputra Empire -- The Gupta Emporers - Part 1

Kali 2775-3020 : B.C. 327-82 : Total 245 years.

S.NoName of the EmperorYears reignedKaliB.C.Gupta Era
1Chandra Gupta I72775-2782327-3201 – 7
2Samudra Gupta512792-2833320-2697 – 58
3Chandra Gupta II362833-2869269-23358 – 94
4Kumara Gupta I42869-2911233-19194 – 136
5Skanda Gupta252911-2936191-166136 – 161
6Narasimhagupta being minor by gaurdian Stiragupta … 5 years Narasimha Gupta himself after attaining majority402936-2976166-126161 – 201
7Kumara Gupta II442976-3020126-82201 – 245

From the account of the Great Gupta Dynasty as given in Kaliyuga Raja Vrittanta(K.R.V), it is clear that the Gupta Dynasty consisted of only seven kings, and every one of them had a title ending with the word "Aaditya", and that they reigned as Emperors of India for a total period of 245 years from 327 B.C. to 82 B.C.
(Vide: Age of Sankara Part I B. Ed. 191 by T.S. Narayana Sastry, B.A.B.L., High Court Vakil, Madras.)

1. Chandragupta I, otherwise known as ‘Vijayaditya’ on account of his valour, founded the mighty Empire of the Guptas, annexed a part of Magadha to his own territory (Tirhut and Ayodhya) having Pataliputra as his capital. He was the son of Ghatotkacha Gupta and grandson of Sri Gupta, from whom the Dynasty founded by Chandra Gupta took its name. The Great Guptas originally belonged to the Surya Vamsi Kshatriya caste, who settled themselves as locai chiefs at Sri Parvata near Nepal, from which circumstance they come to be known in history as Parvatiyas. These and the Lichchavis of Vaisali were associated with the kings of Nepal. They were Kshatriyas of the Aryan Descent of Nepal. Both of them belonged to a warlike caste. The Lichchavis were chiefly noted for the beauty of their girls, and kings were proud to have them as queens. Some of the later kings of the Aandhra Dynasty had taken their daughters for their wives and many of the Lichchavis had settled themselves in the big cities of Magadha such as Girivraja and Pataliputra etc., as officers of state under the Aandhra kings, and Sri Gupta and Ghatotkacha Gupta had already entered into the service of Sivasri Satakarni, the 27th king of the Aandhra Dynasty as his generals, and won many great victories in battles for him and his succession to the throne was effected by most violent means of regicide. Chandrapupta, the grandson of Sri Gupta, by his personal valo`r added greatly to the dominions of the Aandhra kings, and his political importance as commander-in-chief of Yajnasri Saatakarni and Vijaya Sri Saatakarni, won for him the hand of Kumaradevi, the daughter of the king of Nepal, by whom he got a most brave and warlike son by name ‘Samudragupta’. It is said that Chandragupta had already married a princess of the Lichchavis, whose sister was given in marriage to Chandra Sri Satakarni. By his Lichchavi princes Chandra Gupta had another son by name ‘Kacha’ or ‘Ghatotkacha Gupta’ and certain it is that this Lichchavi connection elevated him from the rank of a general as enjoyed by his father and grand—father to the rank of commander- in-chief, and Chandra Gupta, the king’s syala (Rashtriya Syala) as he was called, seems to have controlled the state even during the life time of his nominal master Chandra Sri, who was completely in the hands of his Rashtriya Syala. It is stated that the queen of Chandra Sri had fallen in love with her sister’s husband; and Chandragupta had by some stratagem murdered the king Chandrasri and under the pretext of acting as guardian to his minor son Puloman III, and in the course of seven years, Chandragupta made himself master of the whole situation, put to death the last scion of the Aandhra kings and proclaimed himself as Emperor of Magadha in the year Kali 2775 or 2811 from the Great Mahabharata battle i.e., in B.C. 327. He is said to have established an Era known after his name, as the Gupta Era (327 B.C.). Oriental scholars, on the supposed synchronism of Saudrocottus of the Greeks with Chandragupta Maurya, wrongly state that the first year of the Gupta Era, which continued in use for several centuries, ran from 319-320 AD., although there is absolutely nothing to support their assumption.

Chandragupta, designated as the First, to distinguish him from his grandson of the same name, is described to have extended his own dominion along the Gangetic valley as far as the junction of the Ganges and Jumna, annexing a part of Magadha, a populous and fertile territory which included a greater part of Aryavartha. This king is said to have struck coins in the joint names of himself, his Lichchavi queen and the Lichchavi clan to which he was the chief.

It is said Chandragupta, before his death selected as his successor Kacha, or more fully Ghatotkacha; his son by the Lichchavi princes and Samudra Gupta, his eldest son by Kumaradevi, the daughter of the king of Nepal, who had already distinguished himself in many adventures against Mlechcha invaders who attacked his maternal grandfather’s territories, coming to know of the treachery intended to be practised by his unscrupulous father, collected large bands of warriors from Nepal and from the Mleccha sects of North-west India, marched against his father’s capital, and by putting to death his father and his half brother Kacha succeeded to the throne of Pataliputra to which he was rightly entitled in the year Kali 2782 or 320 B.C.

2. Samudra Gupta, son of Chandra-Gupta I by his wife Kumaradevi, known also as Asokaditya reigned Magadha Empire with Pataliputra as his capital as the supreme Emperor of India for a long period of 51 years from Kali 2782 to Kali 2833 or from B.C. 320 to 269. B.C. The account given of him by his poet laureate Harisena makes him no doubt the greatest of all Indian Emperors, and he most fairly and fittingly claims the title of ‘Indian Napolean’ given to him by Mr. V A. Smith. Source: http://www.cngcoins.com Samudragupta.1.Left: AV Dinar (7.71 gm). Lyrist Type. seated left, playing lyre set on his knees; footstool below / The goddess Laksmi, seated left on wicker stool, holding diadem and cornucopiae. 2.Right AV Dinar (7.61 gm). Standard Type. Samudragupta, nimbate, standing left, holding standard; Garuda standard behind, crescent above / The goddess Laksmi seated facing on throne, holding diadem. MACW 4779.

He was a most aggressive and ambitious monarch and resolved to increase his dominions at the expense of his neighbors. When his fighting days were over, he employed a learned poet to compose an account of his achievements which he caused to be engraved on one of the stone-pillars set up more than a thousand years ago by Asoka, king of Kashmir, wrongly now ascribed by oriental scholars to Asokavardhana, the grandson of Chandra-Gupta Maurya. In that pillar inscription at Allahabad, Samudra Gupta is said to have uprooted Achyuta and Nagasena, to have captured and liberated Mahendra of Kosala. Vyaghra Raja of Mahakanthara, Mantaraja of Kerala, Mahendra of Pishtapura, Swamidatta of Kottara, Damana of Erandapalla, Vishnugopa of Kanchi, Nilaraja of Avamukta, Hastivarman of Vengi, Ugrasena of Palakka, Kubera of Devarashtra, Dhananjaya of Kusthalapura, and all the other kings of the region of the South; to have exterminated Rudradeva, Matila, Nagadatta. Chandravarman, Ganapatinaga, Nandin, Balavarman, and many other kings of Aryavarta; and to have overthrown the Devaputras, Sahis, Shahanushahis, Sakas, Marundas, Yavanas, and the people of Simhala and all other dwellers in islands.

Harishena classifies his lord’s compaigns geographically under four heads: as those directed against 1. eleven kings of the south; 2. nine named kings of Aryavartha, besides many others not specified, 3. the chiefs of the wild forest tribes, and 4. the rulers of the frontier kingdoms and republics. He also explains Samudra Gupta’s relation with various Indigenous powers who settled themselves in the western parts of India from the frontiers of Persia, such as the Sakas, the Tusharas, the Yavanas who were Yavana Kshatriyas of Abhisara, Ursa etc., and who were degraded as Mlechchas by discarding the Vedic Dharma, but not the Greeks as the modern historians think, the Marundas who began to pour into the country from the north-western parts of India crossing the Indus, almost from the beginning of the Aandhra Dynasty. It is said that the kingdoms of Samataata, Kaamarupa and Davaka and other border countries in the East, as well as those of Malava and Khandesa acknowledged his supremacy, and even the Sakas of Sakastan,Yavanas of modern Afganistan and Devaputras, submitted to him. Only the kingdom of Nepal, then, as now retained its autonamy under the suzerainty of the paramount Power; and perhaps, out of his regard for his maternal grandfather and meternal uncles, who were most attached to him, Samudra·Gupta did not attempt to subdue that mountainous kingdom. At his time, the Yaudheyas occupied the banks of the Sutlej. the Malavas occupied Guzerat, Madrakas the central parts of Paunjab, and Pauravas, the Northern parts of Punjab. The reader may remember in Alexander’s time these regions were similarly occupied by autonomous Kshatriya sects then _ called Malloi, Kathaloi, Paurae and so forth. We are distinctly told that Samudra Gupta maintained diplomatic relations with the kings of Gandhara and Kabul, with Sakas, and Yavanas (who were Hindu Mlechcha sects); and the greater sovereign of the same race who ruled on the banks of the oxus, as well as with Ceylon and other distant islands. Speaking about the limits of his Empire Mr. V. A. Smith says :-
"The dominion under the direct Government of Samudragupta in the middle of the fourth century thus comprised all the most populous and fertile countries of Northern India. It extended from the Hooghly on the East, to the Jumna and the Chambal on the west, and from the foot of tie Himalays on the North to the Narmada on the South."
"Beyond these wide limits the frontier kingdoms of Assam and the Gangetic delta, as well as those on the southern slopes of the Himalayas, and the free tribes of Rajaputana and Malwa, were attached to the empire by bonds of subordinate alliance; while almost all the kingdoms of the South had been overrun by the emperor’s armies and compelled to acknowledge his irresistble might."

"To proclaim the universality of his dominions, Samudragupta is said to have revived the ancient rite of the Horse Sacrifice (Aswamedha) which had remained long in abeyance since the time of Yudhishtira, and which was only performed at the time of Pushpamitra, the contemporary of Patanjali (13 th century B.C.). The ceremony was duly carried out with appropriate splendour, and acccmpanied by lavish gifts to Brahmans, comprising it is said, millions of coins and gold pieces. "Specimens of the gold medals struck for this purpose", says Mr V. A. Smith, “bearing a suitable legend and the effigy of the doomed horse standing before the altar; have been found in small numbers."

Speaking of the personal accomplishments of Samudragupta, the learned writer of the "Early History of 1ndia" states:-

"Although the courtly phrases of the oflicial eulogist cannot be accepted without a certain amount of reservation, it is clear that Samudragupta was a ruler of exceptional capacity, and unusually varied gifts. The laureate’s commemoration of his hero’s proficiency in song and music is curiously confirmed by the existence a few rare gold coins which depict his majesty comfortably seated on a high backed couch, engaged in playing the Indian lyre. The allied art of poetry was also reckoned among the accomplishments of this versatile monarch, who is said to have been reputed a king of poets; and to have composed numerous metrical works worthy of the reputation of a professional author. We are further informed that the king took much delight in the society of the learned, and loved to employ his acute and polished _ intellect in the study and the defence of the sacred scriptures, as well as in the lighter arts music and poetry,"

It is only Kaliyuga Raja Vrittanta that has continued to narrate the history of the various Hindu Dynasties upto the Muhammadan conquest, and it ends with the description of Arjuna Bhoja or Arjunavarma Deva, the 7th successor of Bhojaraja Deva the famous Bhoja of Samskrit Literature belonging to the family of Paramara Parameswara Sri Krishnaraja Deva-who reigned from 4250 A.Y. to 4299 A.Y. or in other words from 1112 A.D. to 1161 A.D. The Bhavishya Mahapurana gives another line of Paramara Dynasty, beginning from the founder Paramara, Kali 1710 or 392 B.C. Vikramaditya, Kali 3000 or B.C. 101 to Gangasimha, the last king who fought in the battle of Kurukshetra with Muhammud Gori in Kali 4295 or 1193 A.D.

We entirely agree with the following remarks made by Mr. Vincent A. Smith, regarding the recovery of the history of Samudra Gupta:-
"By a strange irony of fate this great king- Warrior, poet, and musician——who conquered nearly all India, and whose alliance extended from the Oxus to ceylon, is unknown even by name to the historians of India. His lost fame has been slowly recovered by the minute and laborious study of inscriptions and coins during the last 70 years; and the fact that it is now possible to write a long narrative of the events of his memorable reign is perhaps the most conspicuous illustration of the success gained by patient archaelogical research in piecing together the fragments from which alone the chart of the authentic early history of lndia can be constructed."

We only regret to note that the learned writer and his numerous collegues in India and elsewhere, even after the recovery of the complete account of Samudragupta, should not have directed their attention to the so-called identification of Sandrocottus with Chandragupta Maurya and come to a conclusion by an unprejudiccd and impartial comparison of the two accounts, in the light of the new materials furnished to them by archaelogy, though not by a comparative study of the Puranas which furnish them meterials from which alone the chart of the authentic history of Ancient India can be safely constructed and acted upon. We have discussed more fully about this vexed point in the previous chapters of this book.(Ancient Hindu History by Pandit Kota Venkata Chelam)

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Aandhra(Saatavahana or Saatakarni) Dynasty of Magadha-The eighth dynasty

Kali 2269-2775 Kali, B.C. 833-327 B. C,
Total nouber of kings - 32 :: Period of reign - 506 years.

S.No. Name of the King Years reigned Kali Era B.C.
1Sindhuka or Sisuka or

Srimukha23 2269-2292 833-810
2 Sri Krishna Satakarni182292-2310810-792
3 Sri Malla Satakarni10 2310-2320 792-782
4 Purnothsanga 18 2320-2338 782-764
5 Sri Satakarni 562338-2394 764-708
6 Skandhasatambhin182394-2412708-690
7 Lambodara182412-2430690-672
8Apitaka 122430-2442672-660
9 Meghaswati18 2442-2460 660-642
10 Sataswati 182460-2478 642-624
11 Skanda Satakarni 7 2478-2485 624-617
12 Mrugendra Satakarni3 2485-2488 617-614
13 Kuntala Satakarni 8 2488-2496 614-606
14 Soumya Satakarni 12 2496-2508 606-594
15 Satasatakarni 1 2508-2509 594-593
16 Puloma Satakarni or Puloma-I36 2509-2545 593-557
17 Megha Satakarni 38 2545-2583 557-519
18Arishta Satakarni 25 2583-2608 519-494
In this king’s reign in 509 B.C. Sree Sankara was born.
19Hala Satavahana52608-2613494-489
20 Mandalaka 5 2613-2618 489-484
21 Purindrasena 21 2618-2639 484-463
. In this king's reign in 477 B.C. Sri Sankara attained Nirvana

22Sundara Satakari1 2639-2640 463-462
23 Chakora Satakarni ½ 2640-2640½ 462-461½
23a Mahendra Satakarni ½ 2640½-2641461½-461
24 Siva Satakarni 28 2641-2669 461-433
25 Goutami Putra Sri Satakarni25 2669-2694 433-408
26 Puloma II 322694-2726 408-376
27Siva Sri Satakarni72726-2733376-369
28Sivaskanda Satakarni72733-2740369-362
29Yajna Sri Satakarni192740-2759362-343
30Vijaya Sri Satakarni62759-2765343-337
31Chandra Sri Satakarni32765-2768337-334
32Puloma III (minor)72768-2775334-327

The eighth of the dynasties that ruled over Magadha is the 'Aandhra Dynasty'. From the time of the king Aandhra who gave his name to the Aandhra country and the people, the Aandhra Kingdom was ruled by Aandhra kings seperately. The Known history of Aandhra kings dates from Kali 2269 or B.C. 833.

1. Simhaka Sri Satakarni or Srimukha, or Sindhuka, an Aandhra in the service of Susarma, the last prince of the Kanwa dynasty of the Emperors of Magadha, rose gradually to be minister of state and commander of the armed forces and enlisted an Aandhra army in the service of the Magadha king and finally, perhaps with the help of his Aandhra army, killed Susarma, the king, and usurping his place, became the ruler of the Magadha Empire, which extended at that time all over Bharat from the Himalayas to Cape Comerin.

He traced his origin to the pure Aandhra Dynasty of kings founded by Saatavahana at Deccan with Pratishstana as his capital. His family name is Balin (K.R.V.), Balika (B.P)or Balipuchchaka (Vi.P). He is said to have been employed as minister under the last two kings of the Kanva Dynasty, who appear to have been puppets in his hands. With the aid of the Aandhra forces in his service, he slew Susarman, the last king of the Kanva Dynasty and made himself master of the whole of the kingdom of Magadha not only by usurping the throne of the Kanvas, but also all that remained of the later Sungas who were ruling a small portion of the kingdom of Magadha simultaneously with the Kanvas with Vidisa as their capital.

The Satavahanas (Aandhra Emperors) The Aandhra emperors that ruled over Magadha are described with the patronyms of Saatavahana and Saatakarna in our Puranas. The same titles are found in their inscriptions also. The Aandhra dynasty of, Magadha is known as the Aandhra Satavahana dynasty. Saata means a lion. Saatavahana therefore means one with the lion for his conveyance. The kings with the image of a Saatavahana as their emblem on their flag are Saatavahana kings. The Aandhras as a race show special, regard and love for the lion. A woman riding on the lion, ‘Simhastha’ is a popular deity in their religious literature and in the images of goddesses carved on the walls in their religious institutions.

In the Devi Bhagavata, goddess Katyayani is described as mounted on a lion while proceeding against the demons to destroy them. Everywhere in Aandhra on the walls of temples, the compound walls of private premises, by the side of the main gate of a building we find frequently the image of a lion. The Aandh· ras as the race be said to have imbibed, by admiration leading to imitation, the qualities of the lion among the animals such as strength, valour, grandeur and magnanimity. They show· an affinity to the lion in every way.

On page 129 of the ‘Goshti’ of March 1941, we find "Ever since the time of the Amaraavati Sculptures down to the recent time of ‘Sata silpi’ the lion seems to be emblem and the ideal of the Aandhra race. The god Narasimha, half man half-lion, is the deity of several popular shrines in Aandhra. The Aandhras enjoy even to this day a reputation for impulsiveness, enthusiasm and zest for noble action, like the lion. The privilege of being seated on the lion, the throne or seat of power is the ambition of every Aandhra. Many of them are named after their popular deity ‘Narasimha’. The peacock is the national emblem of the Burmese. The fish is the emblem of the people of Bengal as well as of Oudh. The parrot of the Tamilians. King Rajaraja assumed a cow with iet calf as his emblem. The Vijayanagara rulers adopted the Adivaraha( An Avatara of Vishnu) as their emblem. The Kalingas favoured the elephant. In the same manner the Saatavahanas, Aandhra emperors of Magadha had the warrior seated on the lion for their emblem" (Ghosti paper).

2. Krishna Satakarni, Krishna, Sri Saantakarni(Vi.P.,B.P.) or Sri Saatakarni(Va.P.,Br.P) , the younger brother of Srimukha, ruled for 18 years.
This king, vulgarly known as Kanha, is said to have extended his kingdom as far as the town of Nasik, near the source of Godavary in the Western Ghats.

3. Sri Malla Satakarni, son of Krishna reigned for ten years

19. Haala, son of Arishta Saatakarni reigned for 5 years, from 2644 to 2649 A.Y, or 494 to 489 B.C. We learn from Chitsukha's Brihat Sankaravijaya and Sadasivendra's Jagadguru Ratnamala that Sri Adi Sankaracharya, the author of the famous Bhashyas on the Prasthanatraya, was a contemporary of this king.King Hala's association with literary tradition possesses special interest, as marking a stage in the Hindu Literature. He is said to have bestowed special attention to the development of the Prakrit or Vernacular literature of the country. The Katantra grammer, arranged with special reference to the needs of students more familiar with the Vernacular speech than with the so-called classical language is attributed to one of the ministers of this king. Haala himself is credited with the composition of the Anthology of erotic verses, called the 'Sapta-Sataka' or 'The Seven centuries written in the ancient Maharashtri dialect.

21. Purindrasena (K.R.V. and M.P.), Purlishasena, Purikashena, Putrikashena(Va.P.) son of Mandalaka, grandson of Haala reigned for 21 years from 2654 to 2675 A.Y., or 484 to 463 B.C. In this king's time the Saptarshi Mandala (or the Great Bear) completed one cycle of 2700 years commencing from the entrance in Magha in 3176 B.C. and begins its 2nd cycle from Magha again in 476 B.C.

26. Puloman II (M.P), Vasishti-putra Sri Puloma Satakarni (K.R.V.), son of Gautamiputra Satakarni reigned for 32 years from 2730-2762 A.Y., or 408-376 B.C. With the end of this king , 376 B.C., the first cycle of the Saptarshi Era of 3076 B.C. came to a close.

27. Siva Sri Satakarni or Sivasri vaasishtiputra Saatakarni reigned for 7 years from 2762 to 2769 A.Y., or 376 to 369 B.C. It is said in all the Puranas that the 2nd cycle of the Saptarshi or the Loukika Era commenced with the reign of this 27th king of the Aandhra Dynasty.

The 32 kings of the Aandhra dynasty reigned for a period of 506 years; and while they are still on the throne their kingdom passed into the hands of the Guptas, who are known as Sri Parvatiya Andhra-Bhrutya kings. Chandragupta, son of Ghatotkcha Gupta and grandson of Sri Gupta, who appears to have come from Sri Parvata or Nepal, and originally entered the service of Vijayasri Satakarni as one of his generals and with whose help, he managed his tottering kingdom. The last two kings of the Aandhra Dynasty- Chandrasri and his son enjoyed little power, and were mere puppets in the hands of their generals, Ghatotkacha Gupat and his son Chandragupta, the latter of whom, under the guise of protecting the country on behalf of Puloman III, the minor son of Chandra Sri, murdered the prince and ascended the throne of Magadha under the title of Maharajadhiraja in the year 2811 of the Yudhistira Saka or 2775 Kali or 327 B.C., just when Alexander the Great was attempting to enter into the Great continent of India through the Hindukush Mountains.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Kanva Dynasty--The seventh dynasty of Magadha

From 2220 to 2305 A.Y. :: From B.C. 918 to 833 ...Total 85 years.
S.No.Name of KingYears reignedA.Y.B.C.
1Vasudeva Kanva392220-2259918-879
2 Bhumimitra 24 2259-2283 879-855
3 Narayana 12 2283-2395 855-843
4 Susarma 10 2395-2305 843-833

Total 85 years
Vasudeva, the first ruler of the Kanva Dynasty was a descendant of Kanvayana Brahmin family. As he was a minister of Devabhuti, the last king of the Sunga Dynasty, he is described in some of the Puranas as the Srungabritya and his Dynasty as Srungabrutya Dynasty.(Vide M.P. chapter 270 and Va.P. Ch. 99)

It appears from these Puranas that Vasudeva, the Brahmin minister of Devabhuti had not altogether done away with the family of his master, for there are statements in these Puranas that the Andhra kings who came next, annexed not only the kingdom of the Kanvas but also what remained of the once powerful Sunga Dynasty. So it is most likely that Vasudeva ruled the kingdom with Girivraja as his capital and the descendants of his master ruled a portion of the country with Vidisa, the modern Vilasa as their capital. He is said to have ruled the kingdom of Magadha with justice and efficiency for a period of 39 years, from 2220 to 2259 A.Y. or 918 to 879 B.C. (Vide M.P. and Va.P. ad K.R.V.)

The last Kanwa king Susarma was killed by his general and minister by name Sindhuka or Srimukha (an Andhra Brahmin) who ascended to the throne of Magadha in 833 B.C.
Thus ends the Kanva or Kanvayana, Sungabhritya or Sringabhritya or the seventh dynasty.
(Vide "Age of Sankara" Part I. B.)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Kings of the Sunga Dynasty,the Sixth Dynasty of Magadha`

From 1920 A.Y. to 2220.A.Y., :: From B.C. 1218 to 918.....Total years 300
Sl.No... Name of King... Years reigned From-To Kali. From-To B.C.
1. Pushyamitra or Pushpamitra 60 1884-1944 1218-1158
2. Agnimitra 50 1944-1994 1158-1108
3. Vasumitra 36 1994-2030 1108-1072
4. Sujyeshta 17 2030-2047 1072-1055
5. Bhadraka or Andhraka 30 2047-2077 1055-1025
6. Pulindaka 33 2077-2110 1025-992
7. Ghoshavasu 3 2110-2113 992-989
8. Vajramitra 29 2113-2142 989-960
9. Bhagavata 32 2142-2174 960-928
10. Devabhuti or Kshemabhumi 10 2074-2184 928-918
Total 300 years

1. Pushyamitrah(Vi.P.,B.P., K.R.V.,and one version of Va.P.) or Pushpamitra(M.P., Br.P. and one version of Va.P.) , the commander-in-Chief of Brihadradha (the last king of the Maurya dynasty) murdered him and ascended the throne of Magadha and became Emperor. He performed "Aswamedha Sacrifice". He reigned for 60 years from 1920 to 1980 A.Y.(After the coronation of Yudhistira) or 1218 to 1158 B.C.(Vide Vayu Purana, Brahmanda Purana, and Kaliyuga Raja Vrittanta).
The sentence "Ihapushpamitram yajayamah" is found in the Mahabhashya (commentary on the sutras of Panini) of Patanjali and therefore it is inferred by V.A.Smith and other historians (Vide Early History of India P.228) that Patanjali was a contemporary of Pushyamitra Sunga and attended the Aswamedha Sacrifice performed by him. But the author need not have been present at the Sacrifice which he mentions incidentally by way of comparison (as an illustration of a principle) in a treatise on grammer. Nor does it follow necessarily that Pushyamitra was alive at that time his sacrifice is mentioned by way of comparision.

Even if we grant both the assumptions and the consequent contemporaneity of Pushyamitra Sunga and Patanjali it is wrong to assign both of them to the 2nd century B.C.( as the European historians of India and their Indian followers do.) If we accept the chronology according to our Puranas of the dynasties of kings from the time of the Mahabharata war (3138 B.C.) and by the reference of Patanjali Maha-Bhashyam in Rajatarangani(Kashmir history), Pushyamitra Sunga, the first Sunga king who performed the Aswamedha reigned from 1218 B.C. to 1158 B.C. So Patanjali must have belonged to twelfth or the 13th century B.C., and not the 2nd century B.C.
Brihadraha, the last king of the imperial Maurya dynasty of Magadha was a man of dissolute character (given to women) and neglected the administration of the kingdom. Hordes of Sakas and Yavanas of North-Western India( not Greeks) grew bold enough to cross the Indus and the people (east of Indus) were exposed to danger to their lives and property and honour. So, his General and Minister Pushyamitra put him to death and proclaimed himself Emperor. He was a brahmin of the Sama Veda branch. He performed Aswamedha Yajna, won great honour for himself and became the founder of the Sunga dynasty of Magadha. The Barhat Stupa(Pillar) in Central India between Allahabad and Jubbalpur was built by kings of this dynasty.

3. Vasumitra, son of Agnimitra reigned for 36 years. According to Kalidasa, Vasumitra is clearly described as the son of Agnimitra by Dharini (wife of Agnimitra) and as the grandson of Pushpamitra. He is said to have conquered a Yavana force(,these are the degraded Yavana sub-sect of Suryavamsi Kshatriyas of Bharat,they are not the Greeks of Europe) on the bank of the river Sindhu and recovered the sacrificial horse left by his grand father, and to have been instrumental in carrying through the Royal Sacrifice to its successful completion, like Amsuman in the case of Great king Sagara.

The K.R.V. gives the following interesting account.
" Devahuti ( or Devabhuti), the last king of the Sunga dynasty, having been addicted to a life of pleasure and sexual enjoyment from his boyhood, entrusted the kingdom to the care of his Brahmin minister Vasudeva, and he himself retired to Vidisa, noted in those days for its dancing girls, where he began to lead a most licentious and immoral life with his voluptuary companions, corrupting the fair maidens of the city to satisfy his lust and becoming an object of hatred to his own subjects. On hearing the extraordinary beauty of the daughter of his Brahmin minister Vasudeva, who has been living with her husband, he sent for them to come to Vidisa and live by his side, and on one day, after secretly disposing of her husband, the king seduced her in the disguise of her husband and the poor girl, who was most true and devoted to her husband, coming to know of the treachery practiced by the king, at once gave up her life. On hearing the sad news of the fate of his daughter and of her innocent husband, Vasudeva contrived to send to the king a damcing woman, fully furnished with poison, dressed as one of the chief queens and had him killed by her hand. People hailed the death of their licentious king with joy, and made Vasudeva, his upright minister, to take charge of the kingdom and rule the country henceforth. ( Age of Sankara, Part I. B.,pp. 83,84).

The European Orientalists now generally give to:-
1. The Nanda dynasty a total period of 45 year.
2. The Maurya dynasty a total period of 137 years.
3. The Sunga dynasty a total period of 112 years
(Vide Age of Sankara, part I B. pages 70 ff., by T.S.Narayana Sastry, B.A.B.L., High court Vakil, Madras)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Maurya Dynasty--The Fifth dynasty of Magadha

Correct Reigning periods of kings of Maurya Dynasty
Reigned for 316 years at 'Girivraja' as capital of Magadha Kingdom
From 1604 After Yudhistira(A.Y.) to 1920 A.Y. :: From B.C.1534 to 1218

Total rule 316 Years.

Meaning of the Above Sloka:-"These twelve Maurya kings Chandragupta etc., will rule for 316 years."

Note: Also see "History of Classical Literature" By Dr. M. Krishnamacharya and "Age of Mahabharata war" By Sri Nadimpalli Jagannadha Rao; and the manuscript copy of Matsya Purana in the library of T, S. Narayana Sastri. B.A, B.L., Madras. Author of the Book °‘Age of Sankara".

"The greatest mistake that has ever been committed in the field of the Chronology of Ancient India-nay the greatest harm that has ever been done to the cause and progress of the ancient Indian History and Literature-is the so called identification of Sandrocottus, Sandrocyptus, of the Greek writers of Alexander’s history with Chandragupta Maurya, the first king of the Maurya Dynasty, and of the so-called identification of Xandrames or Andramen with Nanda, the father of the said Chandragupta Maurya. We have shown from the various Hindu, Jain and Buddhistic accounts contained in the various Puranas, Kaliyugaraja vrittanta, Brihatkatha etc., and Mahavamsa, Dipavamsa, Asokavadana, Parisistaparva etc., that this Chandragupta Maurya, the son of Mahapadma or Dhana Nanda by his Sudra wife 'Mura', came to the throne of his father in the year 1604 of the Yudhistira Saka, corresponding to 1534 B.C., which is not the date of the invasion of India by Alexander the Great, that event being placed by all Greek historians in 328-327 B.C. The Greecian Empire itself had not come into existence at this early period of 1534 B.C. And Alexander the Great flourished nearly 1200 years after this period. There is absolutely no allusion to any foreign invasion into India in any of these Buddhistic and Hindu accounts about this period. The description given by the Greek writers about Sandrocottus and his father Xandrames are quite inapplicable to Chandragupta Maurya and could only apply to Samudragupta, and his father Chandragupta, the founder of the Gupta Dynasty (Andhra Britya Dynasty) which was raised on the ruins of the Andhra Dynasty, which came to an end about 2771 A.Y. or 368 B.C., according to the true interpretation of all the Puranas and Hindu accounts.

We know from the various Puranas that no less than eight great dynasties ruled at Magadha from the time of Yudhistira’s coronation up to the rise of the Gupta Dynasty for 2771 years from 1 A.Y. to 2771 A.Y. (corresponding to 3139-3138 B.C to 328-327 B.C.).
I. Barhadradha Dynasty......1006 years
II. Pradyota Dyniasty .........138 years
III. Saisunaga Dynasty........ 360 years
VI. Nanda Dynasty.............100 years
V. Maurya Dynasty........... 316 years
VI. Sunga Dynasty.............300 years
VII. Kanva Dynasty..............95 years
VIII.Andhra Dynasty............456½ years
Total period..................2771½ years

Subsequent to the downfall of the Andhra Dynasty,came a humble protage of the last Andhra king by name Chandragupta (Sandrocottus of the Greeks) to the throne of Magadha. His son Samudragupta (Sandrocyptus of the Greeks) conquered the whole of India; and became a Universal monarch and his biographer Harisena has truly depicted him as the greatest of all Indian Emperors, to whom even foreign powers paid tributes. It is most likely that these two monarchs, Chandragupta I and Samudragupta were contemporaries of Alexander and Seleukos Nikator, and were known to the Greeks under the names of Xandrames (Chandramas), Sandrocottus and Sandrocyptus, and they come according to the ancient Indian Chronology to the period of Alexander and his followers. The Puranas especially refer to the invasion of Sakas and yavanas at the close of the Andhra Dynasty and these are no other than the Persians under Darius and the Greeks under Alexander. The Sakas or Persians were finally turned out of India by Sri Harsha Vikrama of Ujjain in 457 B.C., and Alexander and his followers by Samudragupta in 324 B.C." (Vide "Age of Sankara Part I, B. Appendix pages 35 ff,)

The founder of the Maurya Dynasty was Chandragupta Maurya.
"According to all the Puranas including the Kaliyuga Raja Vrittanta, Chandragupta is described as the son of Mahapadma Nanda by a Sudra wife named Mura from whom he and his Dynasty took their names. He was, therefore, called Maurya and the dynasty founded by him the Maurya Dynasty. He owed his sovereignity to Chanakya, a Brahmin sage, an Indian Machiavel, the author of an excellent treatise, on Polity, who not only placed Chandragupta on the throne of Magadha by rooting out the nine Nandas, but trained him up in all the necessary arts and sciences. Chandragupta appears to have been merely a puppet in his hands and no great deeds are attributed to him as are ascribed to Sandrocottus by the Greek historians of Alexander the Great."
"The Buddhistic accounts such as Mahavamsa and Dipavamsa give a description of the first three kings only of this dynasty. The accounts given of Chandrsgupta’s origin and parentage are various and contradictory. But all the Buddistic works are agreed on one point that Chandragupta owed his sovereignty entirely to Chanakya alias Kautilya; and not 'called to royalty by the power of the gods and by prodigies’ as stated by Justin with reference to his Sandrocottus. Nor is there any reference either in the Hindu or the Buddhistic accounts to Chandragupta Maurya’s "Having traversed India with an army of 6,00,000 men and conquered the whole" as stated by Plutarch. This and the other descriptions given by the various Greek writers will be found to apply on all fours to Chandragupta and Samudragupta of the Gupta Dynasty and not to this Chandragupta Maurya at all" (Vide Age of Sankara Part 1, B. pp. 53. ff.)
"Chandragupta Maurya, according to the majority of the Puranas, Kaliyuga Raja Vrittanta and Mahavamsa reigned for 34 years from 1604 to 1638 after Yudhistira’s coronation (in 3138 B.C.) or from 1534 to 1500 B.C.

T.S.Narayana Sastry writes:- "Fortunately in my library(T.S.Narayana Sastry's Library) I possess a manuscript copy of Matsya Purana in Grantah Character, which gives a complete list of the Maurya kings with years of individual reigns.and I give the same below:-

The Buddhistic accounts of Asoka as given by the two great schools of Buddhism -Mahayana and Hinayana- not only differ from each other but also from the accounts given of Asoka, the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya, by the Puranic accounts of theHindus. There is a great deal of confusion in those Buddhistic works as regards the very family and geneology of Asoka, the Buddhist king; and one can easily trace that the life and times of Asoka must have been constructed by Buddhistic writers who flurished several hundreds of years after him, by jumbling up the lives of three different kings viz.,

1. of Asoka(Dharmasoka), the third in ascent from Kanishka belonging to the first Gonanda Dynasty of Kashmir kings as described in the first book of Kalhana's Rajatarangini, who is said to have freed himself from sins by embracing the faith of Gautama Buddha and by constructing numerous Viharas and Stupas, and by building the town of Srinagari with its ninety-six lakhs of houses resplendent with wealth.

2. of Asokavardhana (Chandra Asoka), the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya, as described in the Puranas; and

3. of Samudragupta or Asoka the Great,(Mahasoka), the son of Chandragupta, the founder of the Gupta Dynasty, as narrated by his biographer Harisena, and in the Kaliyuga Raja Vrittanta and as corroborated by his numerous coins and inscriptions recently unearthed by European scholars themselves.

The Asokavadana(according to the prose version in the Divyavadana) omits Chandragupta and Bindusara, the father of Asoka, is represented as being the son of Nanda. The metrical Ashokavadana, on the other hand, substitutes Mahipala for Ajatasatru, and exhibits numerous other variations, which make these Buddhistic accounts absolutely worthless and untrustworthy.

The conquests ascribed to Asoka in various Buddhistic accounts are no doubt taken from the conquests of Samudragupta or Asoka the Great, and the embassy of the Ceylon king is also traceableto the same origin. The story of his having embraced the faith of Buddha, of his having built Stupas and Viharas, of his having reconstructed the city of Pataliputra and of his having introduced several reforms in the affairs of the kingdom and in the matter of the appointment of the officers of the state, are all taken from the accounts of Asoka and his successors as given by Chavillakara and by Kalhana in his Rajatarangini." (Vide: Age of Sankara Part I,B. p. 59 ff.)