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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

SOCIETY

 

CHAPTER IX
SOCIETY

...OUR records do not yield much information about the social condition in the age of the Vākāṭakas. Hindu society was then no doubt divided into castes, but the caste system had not become quite rigid. Some of the royal families of that age belonged to the Brāhmaṇa, and some to the Kshatriya caste. The Vākāṭakas were Brāhmaṇas of the Vishṇuvṛiddha gotra.1 Their feudatories who ruled over the Mēkalā country traced their descent from the Pāṇḍavas2 of the lunar race and evidently claimed to be Kshatriyas, The rulers of Mahākāntāra (modern Bastar District of Madhya Pradēsh and the adjoining territory) claimed descent from the famous king Nala. They also must have been regarded as Kshatriyas. In some other cases such as those of the rulers of Śarabhapura and Ṛishika we have no means to ascertain their caste.

... Thought people generally married within their caste, intercaste marriages of the anulōma type sanctioned by the Smṛitis3 were not unknown. The Brāhmaṇa prince Rudrasēna II married the Vaiśya princess Prabhāvatīgupta. This marriage brought no inferior status to her and her children ; for she became the agra-mahishī (crowned queen) of the Vākāṭaka king and her sons Divākarasēna and Pravarasēna II succeeded to the throne one after the other. Another inter-caste marriage of that age is mentioned in the Ghaṭōtkacha Cave inscription. Sōma, a learned Brāhmaṇa of Vallūra, married wives of both the Brāhmaṇa and Kshatriya castes. His sons from the Brāhmaṇa wives devoted themselves to the study of the Vēdas and made their native place famous by their learning. His sons from the Kshatriya wife, on the other hand, took to the military profession and distinguished themselves by their valour.4 Some of them became ministers of the Vākāṭaka kings.

...The Brāhmaṇas who devoted themselves to the study of the Vēdas and Śāstras were highly venerated. Some of them mastered more than one Vēda. This was indicated by epithest like Dvivēda prefixed to their names5, which had not yet become mere surnames. Some Brāhmaṇas officiated as priests at Śrauta sacrifices and Gṛihya rites. Those who performed certain rites like Gaṇa-yāgas were looked down upon and were not invited to a śrāddha. The Brāhmaṇa who officiated at such rites received a munificent gift. Some Brāhmaṇas preferred to lead a celibate life and were known as naishṭhika Brahmachārins. Kāluttaka, who received the Jāmb plates, was a Brāhmaṇa of this type.6 Some Brāhmaṇas were known for their pious and saintly life. Such was the Āchāya Chanālasvāmin who is describbed as Bhagavad-bhakta (a devotee of Vishṇu) in the Poonā plates of Prabhāvatīguptā.7 He was probably staying at Rāmagiri and appears to have been in charge of the temple of Rāmachandra there ; for, the village Daṅguṇa which Prabhāvatīguptā granted to him was first offered to the feet of the god on Kārttika śu. di. 12.
____________________

1 No. 3, line 2.
2 No. 19, line 1.
3 Manusmriti, III, 13.
4 No. 26. lines 7-8.
5 No. 12, line 22.
6 No. 3, line 19.
7 No. 2, line 14.

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