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.

No comments:

Post a Comment