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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

RELIGION

 

CHAPTER VIII
RELIGION

...THERE was unprecedented religious activity in the age of the Vākāṭakas. The founder of the royal family was the Gṛithapati Vākāṭaka, who was a follower of Buddhism. He went on a pilgrimage to the distant holy place of Amarāvatī in the Guṇṭur District of Andhradēśa where he has left an inscription recording his gift of a stone pillar for the longevity of himself, his two wives, friends and relatives.1 The gift was made at the instance of the Thēra (Buddhist Bhikshu) Bōdhika. The descendants of this Gṛihapati Vākāṭaka changed their religious faith and became staunch supporters of the Vēdic and Purāṇic religion. They were guided in this by a pious Brāhmāṇa family of Vallūra. This family maintained its reputation for Vedic learning for several generations.2 Its founder was Yajñapati, who was probably a contemporary of the Vākāṭaka king Vindhyaśakti. His son Dēva had great influence with the ruling prince; for, we are told that on account of him the whole kingdom including the king engaged itself in religious activities.3 As a matter of fact, we find a phenomenal religious activity in that age. Pravarasēna I, the son of Vindyaśakti I, who had made extensive conquests, performed a large number of Vedic sacrifices such as four Aśvamēdhas and the seven Sōma sacrifices including the Vājapēya.4 Thereafter we have no record of Vedic sacrifices being performed by later Vākāṭaka kings,5 but they must have extended liberal patronage to learned Brāhmaṇas and helped them in the performance of Śrauta sacrifices.6 Thus, one grant of Pravarasēna II records the gift of 8000 nivaṛtanas of land to as many as a thousand Brāhmaṇas.7 Several other grants of this prince and his mother as well as of some princes of the Vatsagulma branch have been discovered, which recording gifts of land and even of whole villages to learned Brāhmaṇas.

... Purāṇic Hindusim also received a fillip during the age of the Vākāṭakas. Several temples dedicated to Hindu gods were erected throughout their dominion. Most of the Vākāṭaka princes were devotees of Śiva. So the temples of that god must have been mush larger in number than those of other deities. Owing to paucity of inscriptions we do not, however, notice many references to them. Pravarasēna I, the great Emperor who distinguished himself by his numerous Vedic sacrifices, is known to have constructed a temple of Śiva under the name of Pravarēśvara.8 The territorial division of twenty-six villages in which it was situated came to be known by its name. His grandson Rudrasēna I, who succeeded him, also constructed a dharmasthāna (temple) at Chikkamburi,9 modern Chikmārā in the Chāndā District, which was probably dedicated to his ishṭa-dēvatā Mahābhairava.
_______________________

1 Ep. Ind., Vol. XV, p. 267.
2 No. 26, line 8.
3 Ibid., line 5.
4 See e.g. No. 3, line I.
5 They are known to have performed Gṛihya rites like the Gaṇayāga. The Jāmb. plates off Pravarasēna II record his gift to a Brāhmaṇa who is described as Gaṇa-yājin. No. 3, line. 19.
6 Ancestors of the famous Sanskrit poet Bhavabhūti, who were learned and pious Brāhmaṇas and originally belonged to Udumbara, were probably invited by the Vākāṭakas to their capital Padmapura, where they settled down and performed several Vedic sacrifices. See Ep. Ind., Vol. XXII, pp. 210 f.
7 No. 6, line 20.
8 No. 4, line 13; No. 5, line 14, line 1. The names of Śiva generally ended in īśvara and those of Vishnu in svāmin. So the temple of Pravarēśvara was probably dedicated to Śiva.
9 No. 1, line 6.

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