well-known poem of Pravarasēna, called Sētubandha. That this Pravarasēna ruled over Kashmir
is clear also by his coins found in that region which by their type and Gupta characters belong
to a period not far removed from the time of Chandra-Vikramāditya.1 But Kalhaṇa speaks
also of another Pravarasēna who was his grandfather. The latter is, however, described as the
protector of the earth.2 This Pravarasēna is doubtless the founder of the Vākāṭaka dynasty;
and, as he has alone been described as samrāṭ in the records of that family, it is no wonder if
his rule spread over Kashmir also. But he was not the grandfather of Pravarasēna II, perhaps
the grandfather of his grandfather. But as we have remarked above, the first three books of the
Rājataraṅgiṇī abound in many legendary accounts with the occasional mention of historic
names and incidents, which we have carefully to pick up and distinguish from the others.
Who succeeded Chandragupta II to the throne of Pāṭaliputra is somewhat difficult to
determine. As early as 1904 a clay seal was exhumed by the late T. Bloch during his excavations at Basāṛh, the ancient Vaiśālī (No. 13 below). It pertains to the Mahādēvī Dhruvasvāminī,
who is there described as wife of Mahārājādhirāja Chandragupta and mother of Mahārāja Gōvindagupta. As it is a seal of the Gupta period and this Chandragupta is a Mahārājādhirāja,
he must be Chandragupta II, especially as we know from the Gupta records, that his queen
was Dhruvadēvī. It is true that Dhruvadēvī is not exactly the same thing as Dhruvasvāminī.
Nevertheless, that is no good ground for entertaining any doubt on the question. We have got
an analogous instance in the case of the Uchchakalpa family, where the wife of Jayanātha,
a prince of this feudatory family, is, in one inscription, called Muruṇḍadēvī, and, in two,
Muruṇḍasvāminī.3 It seems that the terms dēvī and svāminī were used synonymously. There
can thus remain no doubt as to the Basāṛh seal being one of Dhruvadēvī, the chief queen of
Chandragupta II. She had therefore a son named Gōvindagupta when the seal was issued.
But why is he called Mahārāja? Along with this seal of Dhruvadēvī many others were found
by Bloch during the Basāṛh excavations which leave no doubt as to Vaiśāli having been not
only the headquarters of Tīrabhukti but also a seat of the Yuvarāja, at any rate, in the earlier
part of the Gupta period.4 It will not, therefore, be unreasonable to conclude that Gōvindagupta was Yuvarāja stationed at Vaiśālī. Vaiśālī was the old capital of the Lichchhavis, and
we have seen how deeply indebted Chandragupta I, the founder of the Gupta dynasty, was
to this clan for his rise to political supremacy. It is therefore in the fitness of things that Vaiśālī
should be the seat of the Yuvarāja government. That Gōvindagupta held some such position
is shown by the fact that with his name is coupled the title Mahārāja. We may thus take it as
certain that Gōvindagupta was a son of Chandragupta II and Dhruvadēvī, that he was
selected as Yuvarāja and posted at Vaiśālī, and that he was expected in due course to succeed
his father to the Gupta sovereignty. But whether he actually ascended the Gupta throne we
do not known. On the other hand, we know of another son of Chandragupta II and Dhruvadēvī, namely, Kumāragupta I, for whom we have found many epigraphic records. We have
to suppose either that Gōvindagupta died in the lifetime of his father who was therefore succeeded to the throne by Kumāragupta or that Gōvindagupta was another name of Kumāragupta. In this connection it is worth noting another inscription5 which speaks of Gōvindagupta
in verse 4. The verse following it says: “When his lotus-like feet were touched by the heads
1 M. A. Stein, Rājataraṅgiṇī (trans.), Vol. I, Intro., p. 66.
2 Ibid., Vol. I, Bk. iii, verse 97.
3 CII., Vol. III, 1888, pp. 128, 132 and 138.
4 A.R. ASI., 1903-04, p. 107, Nos. 4, 6, 11, 12, 20, 21, 22, 25 and 29.
5 Ep. Ind., Vol. XXVII, pp. 12 ff.