Friday, January 15, 2010

We deem it our duty to make minor alterantions to periods of Kings of Kashmir

Ancient records and old inscriptions should be the sources for history. The narratives constructed on the basis of personal predilections and racial prejudices should be considered as romances woven out of idle fancies but do not deserve the name of history. There might be lapses and slips in the traditional records maintained by the chroniclers from generation to genaration. In the absence of the printing press, certain errors might have crept in due to the negligence of the scribes or the lack of comprehension on the part of the writers. When similar slight mistakes occur, the duty of the modern research scholar will be to mend them in such a way as to maintain the trend of the popular tradition but not to mangle and mutilate the original with insertions and interpolations, so that it might appear a monstrasity. On the flimsy ground of a contradiction here and there, the historian should not condemn it as a legend and reject the first three Tarangas as Dr. Buhler did. Further, it will be highly blameworthy and injudicious to overhaul the old history and to write a new one so as to suit their misconceptions of modernity. As regards Kalhana and his Rajatarangini, the western writers played the game of ‘run with the hare and hunt with the hound'. Dr. Buhler, who rejected the first three Tarangas, expresses that "with this key, it wiil become possible to fix the chronology of the latter Kashmirian kings with perfect accuracy" and in doing so Buhler blows hot and cold in the same breath. We are not able to reconcile how Buhler could accept the authenticity of ‘Saptarshi Era' made use of by Kalhana and recognise ‘The last three books of his chronicle', while at the same time he rejects the authority of the first three Tarangas, (i. e. the whole history of the Gonanda dynasty consisting of 89 kings, covering a period of 3702 years from 3450 B.C., to 252 A. D.).

Rajatarangini gives a detailed description about Matrigupta as fo1lows:- On hearing the death of Vikramaditya, king of Ujjain and son of Gandharvasena in Kali 3120 or 19 A.D., Matrigupta abdicated the throne of Kashmir and went to Benares to lead the life of a recluse. Then Toramana’s son Pravarasena II administered the kingdom and remitted the Surplus income of Kashmir to Matrigupta, in spite of the refusal of the latter to accept the amount. So Matrigupta gave it as gifts to the poor. The Bhavishyad Purana also related that Kali 3120 or 19 A.D., to be the last date of Vikramaditya. Hence the same was the date of the abdication of Matrigupta and there is no scope to alter it. As the initial year of the rule of Gonanda III, 1182 B.C., was fixed as a demarcation mile-stone there is no chance to change it. From that year to the end of Andha Yudhistira, a period of 1014 years, might have been subjected to an addition of 104 years by others; which being deducted ( 1014-104 =) 910 years should be taken as the difference between Gonanda-III and Andha Yudhistira. As in the same way, others have meddled with the reigning periods of the kings, we have to adjust them. While giving the history from the beginning of the reign of Gonanda III, the 53rd king to the 73rd ruler Andha Yudhistira, the book did not speak of the reigning period of the latter (Andha Yudhistira ). The sum—total of the remaining monarchs comes to only 967 but not 1014 years and we get a detriment of 47 years. (We may assign this period of 47 years to Andha Yudhistira ). If we take Andha Yudhistira’s reigning period to be 47 years, the total will be 967+47 = 1014 years, the intervening period of monarchs from No. 53 to No. 73. Then the difference will be 1014-910 = 104 years, excess and this is adjusted by reducing the periods of the kings in the following manner :-

1. No.65 monarch's period of 63 years to 40 years -- reduction 23 years
2. No.68 monarch's period of 60 years to 35 years -- reduction 25 years
3. No.71 sovereign's period of 57 years to 35 years -- reduction 22 years
4. No.73 sovereign's period of 47 years to 13 years -- reduction 34 years
-------------------------------------------------Total reduction 104 years

In this way we are obliged to adjust the excess period of 104 years, if not, Matrigupta, the state-poet of Vikramaditya who was sent as ruler of Kashmir, will come to a later date of about 104 years, after the expiry of Vikramaditya in 19 A.D., and this will be contrary to history. Out of regard to facts mentioned in ancient chronicles, to see that it is not contradictory and with a desire to delete the insertions and interpolations introduced by some mischief-makers to discredit and damage the old records, we deem it our duty to make the above minor alterations and slight changes, to vindicate the value of historic truth and to bring home to the minds of the present and future generations the unchallengeable fact that Vikrarnaditya and Matrigupta were contemporaries in the Ist century after Christ.

Rajatarangini informs us that the descendants of the Andhra Satavahana family ruled for Kali 4113 or 1012 A.D., in Kashmir. We already know that these reigned during that period over the region south of the Vindhyas. In the list of the kings, the 83rd was Matrigupta and the beginning of his reign was 14 A.D.. From this date to the 128th king, Sangrama Raja, the interval ought to be (1012-14=) 998 years but we get only 658 years in Rajatarangini as it stood now. The difference is a decrease of 340 years. (998-658= 340 years). Without the least shadow of doubt, Kalhana declared that the interval between the date of Gonanda III and that of his time 1148 A. D., was 2330 years and he might have given the dates to be in keeping with his statement. But, it looks as if the Rajatarangini was polluted by contact with the foreign chroniclers whose sole purpose was to tarnish the glory and splendor of the ancient history of a subject nation. After having announced that 2330 years elapsed from the date of Gonanda III to his date Saka era 1070 or 1148 A. D., will Kalhana commit a reduction of 340 years while narrating the history of the Kings? Or, the historian who gave the accurate details of the kings and their lives, together with the years, months and days, can he be so careless as not to verify, if the calculation came to the total period of 2330 years? We eannot hold that Kalhana would commit such a mistake. He would have mentioned correct periods on the basis of his records and source-books and calculated accurately so that the total would come to 2330 years. But some later writers might have meddled and tampered with the dates; so as to prove that it is contradictory; to achieve their object they enhanced 104 years during the time of Andha Yudhistira, and reduced 340 years from 2330 years, fixed by Kalhana so as not to make Matrigupta contemporary of Vikramaditya; these increasings and diminishings were made with a motive to support their theory of modernity. If we calculate the periods of Kings from Gonanda III :-

From 53rd King Gonanda III to 73 Andha Yudhistira---1014 Years
From 74 Pratapaditya------ to 79 Sandhimati--------- 192 years
From 80 Meghavahana -------to 89 Baladitya---------- 332 years
From 90 Durlabha-to 106 Sukhavarma of Karkota Family-260 years
From 107 Avantivarma------to 116 Unmattavanti-------- 84 Years
From 117 Yasaskara -------to 126 Ditta Devi---------- 76 years
From 127 Samgramaraja---- to 132 Harsha-------------- 98 years
From 133 Uchchala---------to 136 Jayasimha----------- 38 years
Date when Rajatarangini was written 1143 A.,D.--2094 years

If from Kalhana’s total 2330, the total as per above table 2094 is subtracted 2330-2094 = 236 years reduction is obtained. This difference we cannot attribute to the inability of Kalhana as it wil1 be doing injustice to him and it ought to be due to the tampering of interested interpolators. As the contemporaneity of Matrigupta and Vikramaditya does not accord in this, the excess of 104 years, which occurred during the period of 1014 years to the end of Andha Yudhistira, should be added to the above 236 years reduction and we get a total 236+104= 340 years detriment. So to have an accurate and correct calculation, these 340 years are to be distributed among the reigning periods of the successors of Matrigupta, so as to arrive at the grand total period of 2330 years, as mentioned by Kalhana. It seems that 260 years were set apart to the 17 kings of the Karkotaka family, from 90 to 106 rulers and the residue was deducted from this. The 260 years for 17 kings will roughly come to 15 years for each ruler. If we add the period of 340 years to 260 years mentioned as the reigning period of the above 17 kings, the total comes to (340+260=) 600 years. We have distributed the aggregated period among the rulers of the Karkota family as given below:-
Kings of KarKingskota Family
No. of King Period in the Book in Years Adjusted period in Years
92 9 59
93 4 34
96 7 57
97 4 44
99 31 51
100 12 52
101 7 57
102 12 52
103 36 56

Total =122 Total = 462
122+340=462 years.
The total of of Karkota race 260+340= 600 years have been adjusted and each king got an average of 35 1/3 years only, as the previous kings of other dynasties got.

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