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Monday, January 9, 2012


 

South Indian Inscriptions


 

Contents

Introduction

Preface

Contents

List of Plates

Abbreviations

Corrigenda

Images

Introduction

The Discovery of the Vakatakas

Vakataka Chronology

The Home of The Vakatakas

Early Rulers

The Main Branch

The Vatsagulma Branch

Administration

Religion

Society

Literature

Architecture, Sculpture and Painting

Texts And Translations  

Inscriptions of The Main Branch

Inscriptions of The Feudatories of The Main Branch

Inscriptions of The Vatsagulma Branch

Inscriptions of The Ministers And Feudatories of The Vatsagulma Branch

Index

Other South-Indian Inscriptions 

Volume I

Volume II

Volume III

Vol. IV - VIII

Volume IX

Volume X

Volume XI

Volume XII

Volume XIII

Volume XIV

Volume XV

Volume XVI

Volume XVII

Volume XVIII

Volume XIX

Volume XX

Volume XXII_Part I

Volume XXII_Part II

Tanjavur

Tiruvarur

Volume XXIII

Volume XXIV

Archaeological Links

Archaeological-Survey of India

LITERATURE

 

CHAPTER X
LITERATURE

... IT is well-known that in the fourth and fifth centuries A.C. Sanskrit literature flourished as it had never done before. This was no doubt mainly due to the liberal patronage which the Gupta kings extended to Sanskrit authors at their court. Some of these kings were poets of no mean order. From the Allāhābād stone pillar inscription we learn that the great Gupta Emperor Samudragupta had obtained the title of Kavirāja, ‘King of poets’, by his several poetical compositions which even learned men found fit to draw upon.1 His son Chandragupta II-Vikramāditya was probably the author of several subhāshitas current under the name of Vikramāditya, collected in some Sanskrit anthologies.2 According to a tradition recorded by Rājaśēkhara, he submitted himself to a test in the assembly of learned men at Ujjayīnī.3 when kings themselves took such an active interest in poetry, it is no wonder that their officers and subjects also did likewise.4 Some of the officers of the Guptas are known to have been poets. Besides Harishēṇa, the famous author of the Allāhābād praśasti of Samudragupta, who held the high offices of Sāndhivigrahika, Kumārāmatya and Mahādaṇḍanāyaka during the reign of Samudragupta, we know of Śāba of the Kautsa gōtra, the Sāndhivigrahika of Chandragupta II, who is described as the poet of Pāṭaliputra in the Udayagiri cave inscription. Several other princes and officers must have similarly distin- guished themselves in that age by their practice of the poetic art.

... This state of things was not, however, confined to the north. In the south also poetry as well as other fine arts flourished at the Vākāṭaka court. The first thing that strikes us is that almost all Vākāṭaka grants are throughout written in Sanskrit. The only exception is the Bāsim grant of Vindhyaśakti II, but in this case also the genealogical portion is in Sanskrit. This grant shows how Sanskrit began gradually to supplant Prakrit in the drafting of royal charters. Most of the Vākāṭaka grants are written in prose and in a matter-of-fact manner, and are therefore wholly devoid of poetic embellishment. This does not however, indicate that the Vākāṭakas took no interest in Sanskrit poetry. From the Saduktikarṇāmṛita of Śrīdharadāsa we know of a subhāshita composed by Yuvarāja Divākarasēna who is probably identical with the homonymous boy-prince for whom Prabhāvatīguptā was acting as a regent.6 Some other subhāshitas are ascribed to Pravarasēna. Several good Sanskrit kāvyas must have been written in that age in Vidarbha under the liberal patronage of the Vākāṭakas, though they have now passed into oblivion; for, otherwise, early rhetoricians like Daṇḍin would not have regarded Vaidarbhī as the best style of Sanskrit poetry, and Kālidāsa, the poet of Mālava, would not have adopted it for the composition of his works.7
___________________

1 C.I.I., Vol. III, p.8. Fleet’a translation of vidvaj-jan-opajivyamānu-kāvya-kriyābhiḥ as ‘by various poetical compositions that were fit to be means of subsistence of learned men’ is evidently incorrect,
2 Kavindravachanasamuchchaya, ed. by F. W. Thomas, Introd., pp. 160 f.
3 Rājaśēkhara, Kāvyamimāṁsā (G.O.S.., first ed.), pp. 105 f.
4 Cf. राजनि कवौ सर्वौ लोक: कवि: स्वात्‌। Ibid., p. 54.
5 C.I.I., Vol. III, p. 35.
6 Saduktikarṇāmṛita (ed. by H. D. Sharma), II, 31, 4.
7 That Kalidasa composed his works in the Vaidarbhi is well known. Cf. लिप्ता मधुद्ववेद्मासन्‌ यस्यनिर्विषया गिर: । सेनेदं वरर्म वैदने कालिदासेन शोषितम्‌ ॥ Avantisundarikatha, p. 2.

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