Wednesday, October 7, 2009

3. The Aihole inscription

An inscription has been discovered in the temple of Siva in the village of Iballi in the Dharwar district, recording a gift deed. The date of the inscription is mentioned in it as 3735 years after the Mahabharata war or 556 years of the Saka era, = 634 A.D., i.e., 556 + (78 A.D. corresponding to Salivahana Saka). The inscription is by Pulakesin II. The text has been published in the Indian Antiquary Vol. V pp. 67-71.)

The same has again been published in No. 34 of the Kavya Mala series, as the 16th document with the title "the stone inscription of Sri Pulakesin II of the Chalukya dynasty". The author has examined with the kind help of Sri Rallabhandi Subbarao Pantulu, Retired History Professor in the Govt. Arts college, Rajahmundry and Honorary Secretary of the Andhra Historical Research Society, the text published in the Indian Antiquary as well as the photographic copy of the inscription itself which are reproduced below:-

This has been published in the Prachina Lekha Mala with a little alteration in the 2nd line.
The text of the inscription should read when arranged in the prose order:-

Bhaarataa daahavaaditah, Kalau Kaale, Trimsatsu trishasreshu + saptaabda sata yukteshu + Sateshu Abdeshu panchasu panchaasatsu + shatsu + panchasataasucha, samaasu samatitaasu sakaanaamapi bhuubhujaam"

and when rendered into English:—
(37 years elapsed) after the Mahabharata war (up to the beginning of the Kali 1st year) and in Kali 30+3000+700+500=4230, and after 50+6+500=556 years after (the destruction of the Saka kings).

But this reading cannot yield any cogent meaning. So a mistake is inferred in the carving of the letters of the inscription and two alterations have been suggested and incorporated in the translation and in the text as published in the Praachina lekha Maala,
1. "Saptabda" is altered into "satabda" and
2. “Sateshu" into "gateshu."

with these alterations the inscription is made to yield the following meaning:

3135 after Kali or 556 after the Saka kings.

According to this reading of the text:
Since 556 of the Saka era is equal to 634 A.D., 3135 of Kali=556 of Saka era or 634 A.D.; Kali 1 is 3135-634= 2501, and the Mahabharata war is located in 2538 B.C.(= 38 years before Kali 1 according to this calculation,2501 B.C.)

This does not tally with any determination of any school of historians of Ancient India, eastern or western, ancient or modern.

So we suggest that two alterations are unnecessary. One, the second of "Sateshu" into "gateshu" is enough.

Then the inscription means that 37+(30+3000+700+5)—(50 +6+500)=37+3735=3772 after the Bharata war minus 556 of Saka era or 634 A.D. Therefore the year of the Mahabharata war=3772—634=3138 B.C.,which tallies with our determination based on other indisputable historical and inscriptional evidence.

The expression 'Sakanamapi Bhubhujam' in the inscription has been interpreted by modern Indian historians, as 'from the time of coronotion of the Saka princes'. That is not correct. The expression is to be interpreted not as we please but according to the traditional usage in the country.

Kalidasa has explained the expression thus in his Jyotirvidabharana ,Chapter X verse 109.

It means "who-ever kills the Sakas in large numbers would be called a "Saka Kaaraka", an emperor, and founder of a new era, ousting the previous era".

Salivahana who destroyed large numbers of the Mlechchas, the Sakas, and Protected the country, became the founder of an era after his name in Kali 3179 (A.D. 78), and emperor of Bharat. After the founding of his era, the vogue of the era of his grand-father, emperor Vikrama diminished.

Beginning of the Salivahana era Kali 3179 78 A.D.
Time elapsed in the (Salivahana) saka era 556 556

3735 634 A.D.

less 3101 B.C.

634 A.D.

This inscription had been discovered in 1880 A.D. But this date 3138 B.C. has been used all these years in our history as the sheet anchor of Ancient Hindu Chronology.

Dr. FIeet‘s translation of the inscription in the Indian Antiquary Vol V. p. 73 is as follows.
"Three thousand seven hundred and thirty years having elapsed since the war of the Bharatas and (three thousand) five hundred and fifty years having elapsed in the Kali Age and five hundred and Six years of the Saka kings having elapsed, this stone temple of Jinendra, the abode of glory, was conatructed by the order of the learned Ravikirti etc, etc."
This rendering also does not hold good.

It is clearly revealed in this inscription that after the Mahabharata war, by the year Saka 556(=634 A.D.) 3772 years and after Kali 3735 years had elapsed, i.e. the year of the Mahabharata war is 3772—634=3138 B.C. and the Ist year of the Kali era is 3735-634=3101 B. C.
Even after such clear inscriptional evidence has been available, to locate the date of the Bharata war in 3138 B.C, in exact conformity with the evidence of the Puranas that modern historians should ignore it all and persist in holding and propagating, even to this day, the erroneous view, foisted upon us by interested and prejudiced European orientalists, that the Bharata war took place in 1500 B.C., is significant and disgraceful. Even in the history published in volumes by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, under the general editorship of Dr. Munshi, the date of the Mahabharata war is given as 1500 B.C. If these modern historians have real faith in the inscriptions as they vociferously profess they should now change the views they had held previously, in view of the inscriptional evidence advanced above and endeavour to reconstruct the ancient history of Bharat from 3138 B.C., according to the Puranas.

The true histories of Magadha, Kashmir and Nepal, available in the Puranas and other indigenous literature of ancient times, proclaim unequivocally and with one voice, that the Bharata war took place 36 years before Kali(of 3102 B.C.) or in 3138 B.C.. Inscriptional evidence in support of the determination is now available.

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