tailika-śeēṇi, ‘guild of oil-men’ headed by Jīvanta, to enable two palas of oil being daily and
perpetually supplied to the temple.
It is curious that not a single Buddhist inscription of Skandagupta has been found, but
one Jaina is known, that engraved on the stone pillar found at Kahāuṁ (No. 29 below) in
the Gorakhpur District, Uttar Pradesh. It states that in Gupta year 141, in the peaceful reign
of this Gupta monarch, five images of the Jaina Tīrthaṁkaras (pathi . . . . arhatām=ādi-kartṛīn)
were installed by Madra, sculptured in a lofty stone pillar in the village of kakubha (Kahāuṁ)
They are no doubt the five standing nude figures in the niches of this column. Madra, again,
is described as affectionate towards Brāhmaṇas, religious preceptors (gurus) and ascetics (yatis).
This shows that, though by religious persuasion he was a Jaina, he was a Hindu socially.
There is also a sixth epigraph1 which we have to note in this connection. It is dated Gupta
year 148, and records the setting up of an image of Anantasvāmin (Vishṇu) and the endowment of a grant. Unfortunately the ruler’s name has been effaced. But having regards to the
phraseology (pravarddhamāna-vijaya-rājya-saṁvatsara) occurring in the inscription and to the
fact that the last known date of Skandagupta is Gupta year 148 read on some of his silver
coins, the record in all probability pertained to the reign of this Gupta sovereign.
Successors of Skanda(Puru)-gupta
Who succeeded Skandagupta and how they were related to him is a subject of great
controversy which has given rise to many conflicting views. This much, however, is
certain, that, if Pūrugupta is identical with Skandagupta, one of his successors was
surely his son, Narasiṁhagupta, who was in turn succeeded by his son Kumāragupta (III).
This is clearly proved by the Nālandā clay seals (Nos. 44 and 45 below) and the Bhitarī copper-silver seal of this last prince (No. 46 below). But several inscriptions and clay seals of other
Gupta rulers of this period have been found. Thus, we have Kumāragupta (II) with the date
Gupta year 154 supplied by a Sārnāth inscription (No. 34 below), and Budhagupta with
dates ranging between 157 and 165 furnished by Sārnāth, Dāmōdarpur and Ēraṇ records
(Nos. 36, 38 and 39 below). The other Gupta princes are Vainyagupta with the date Gupta
year 188 contained in the Guṇaighar plate2 and Bhānugupta with the date 191 given by the
Ēraṇ stone pillar (No. 43 below). Similarly we have clay seals found at Nālandā not only of
Narasiṁhagupta and his son Kumāragupta III but also of Budhagupta and Vainyagupta
(Nos. 42 and 33 below). How exactly to determine the order of succession among these Gupta
Princes with and without their dates has become a thorny question. Perhaps, it will be better
if we tackle the question beginning with the clay seal of Budhagupta picked up in the excavations at Nālandā. The fact his pedigree has been set forth in exactly the same order from
Mahārāja Gupta down to Kumāragupta I as in the case of the Bhitarī seal of Kumāragupta
III known to us for upwards of fifty years shows that Budhagupta pertained to the Imperial
Gupta line, a conclusion which is supported by the imperial titles with which his name is
coupled in the Dāmōdarpur copper-plate charters. Unfortunately that portion of the inscription on his seal intervening between his name and that of Kumāragupta I is somewhat blurred,
though it leaves no doubt as to his having been his grandson. Nevertheless, as we have remarked
elsewhere, what little is preserved of the name of his father and also of his mother shows that
their names were rather Pūrugupta and Chandradēvī than anything else. And we shall not
be far from right if we presume that like Narasiṁhagupta he was a son of Pūrugupta and
1 CII., Vol. III, 1888, No. 66, pp. 267-69.
2 IHQ., Vol. VI, pp. 53 ff.