Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Ancient History of Malva State - Malawa Gana Saka

Before the Bharata battle, Malwa was an independent kingdom. Since the Bharata War, it was incorporated in Hastinapura Empire and was a feudatory State. In the year of dissolution of Hastinapura Empire, in Kali 1468 or 1634 B.C., "Maha Padma Nanda" became Emperor of Bharat, in Magadha. He invaded against sub-ordinate rulers, killed Kshatriya kings and installed non—kshatriya monarchs in their places. So, the Puranas described him as "Sarva Kshatrantako Nripah" or the Destroyer of all the Kshatriya rulers.

In 850 B.C., a Brahmin by name,"Dhunji’ with the help of the people, united the Malavas and became king. But he was obliged to be a vassal of the Sovereigns of Magadha Empire. In 730 B.C., a descendant of the Dhunji family declared Malava an Independent State. "In Indian Manuscripts, we find Malwa noticed as a separate province eight hundred and fifty years before the Christian Era, when Dhunji, to whom a divine origin is attributed, is said to have established the power of the Brahmins and to have been the founder of a powerful dynasty.

"The family of Dhunji is said to have reigned three hundred and eighty seven years before Putraj, the fifth in descent dying without issue. Adab Panwar, a prince of a Rajput clan still numerous in Malwa, asended the throne. establishing the Panwar Dynasty which continued to hold sway for upwards of one thousand and fifty eight years.”

" During the period that Dhunji’s family held Malwa, we find no particular mention of them until about seven hundred and thirty years before Christ, when Dbunji’s successor is said to have shaken off his dependence on the Sovereign of Magadha. From this time we lost all trace of the kingdom of Malwa until near our own era, when Vikramaditya, a prince whom all Hindu authors agree in describing as encourager of learning and the arts, obtained the Sovereignty". (memoir of central India by Ch. Payne,M.A., pp. 7 ,8) (Vide Kota Venkatachelam’s Kali Saka Vijnanam, part III, pp. 40.)

When Malawa asserted independence in 730 B.C., there was a quarrel with Satavahana Emperor "Sri Satakarni" of Magadha. He was the fifth king in the list of "Aandhra Emperors". Some time might have elapsed to make him accept the independence of Malawa. By 725 B.C. Malawa had its independence recognised and it entered into friendly alliance with the rulers of Magadha. From that date, the Malwa people might have established an Era which concerned their community and termed it "Malwa-Gana-Saka". According to this 493rd year equal to 232 B,C., would be 95th year of Gupta Saka. During that year, the Mandasor inscription might have been written by the orders of Kumara Gupta I. As related in the Puranas, according to the movement of the Saptarshi Mandala after the Andhra Satavahanas, the Guptas came to rule from 327 B.C. So, the year 493 (272 B.C) mentioned in Mandasor inscription would be "Malava—gana~Saka" but not "Vikrarna Saka" which was otherwise called 'Samvat' but nowhere as "Malva-grana-Saka". Vikramaditya was born after expiry of three thousand years in Kali; as stated in the Puranas, "Purne Trimsat Sate Varshe".
So the king by name Vikramaditya was born in 101 B.C. He was crowned king of Ujjain, in 82 B.C., and he founded his era in 57 B.C., after expelling the Sakas from the country. As Vikrama Saka was established in 57 B.C., and was promulgated by the Sovereign, its founder, the previously existing 'Malava-gana-saka’ went out of use. There were not many signs of its reference after the advent of Vikramarka. (For full Particulars please see "'The Indian Eras" by this author, Kota Venkata Chelam)

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