THE GUPTA INSCRIPTIONS
(Verse 1) When a century of years, increased by fifty-four, of the Gupta (had
passed away), on the second day of the month of Jyēshṭha, when Kumāragupta was
protecting the earth;
(Verse 2) This unique image of the Teacher (Buddha), unparalleled through (his)
merits, was caused to be made for worship by the monk Abhayamitra whose mind was subdued with devotion;
(Verse 3) Through this spiritual merit, may this body of sentient beings, supplemented
by (my) parents and preceptors, obtain the desired extinction (of wordly existence) . . . .
NO. 35 : PLATE XXXV
MANDASŌR INSCRIPTION OF KUMĀRAGUPTA (I) AND BANDHUVARMAN:
THE (KṚITA) YEARS 493 AND 529
This inscription was first brought to the notice of scholars in 1885 by Peter Peterson in
the JBBRAS., Vol. XVI, pp. 380-81, where he has given us a brief summary of its contents
and discussed the significance of the date. It was, thereafter and for the first time, edited in
full by J.F. Fleet in the Ind. Ant., Vol. XV, pp. 194 ff. The credit, however, of discovering
it goes to the latter scholar as the copyists he sent to Mandasor for taking impressions of the
fragmentary pillar inscriptionÂ¹ of Yasōdharman, discovered not only the duplicate copy of
this pillar inscriptionÂ² but also of the record that is under consideration. The inscription was
afterwards re-edited by Fleet in an amplified form in CII., Vol. III, 1888, pp. 79 ff., and
Plate XI. There were, however, many mistakes in Fleetâs reading and rendering of the text.
Most of these were corrected by R. G. Bhandarkar in the JBBRAS., Vol. XVII, Pt. II, pp.
94 ff. and some by Durgaprasad in Nos. 51-52 of the Prachina-lekha-mala published in the
Kavyamala Series. The whole text and most of the translation were afterwards revised by G.
BÃ¼hler in Die indischen Inscriften und das Alter der indischen Kunstpoesie, pp. 91-96 and pp. 8 ff.
Mandasōr or more properly Daśōr, is, as already stated, the chief town of the Mandasōr
District of Madhya Pradesh. The inscription is engraved on a sand-stone slab which was
originally built into a wall of the flight of steps leading to a shrine of Mahādēva on the river
and consequently to the Mahādēva ghāṭ called after that god. About the end of April 1905
I visited Mandasōr and inspected the inscription which I then found was in an utterly neglected condition.³ As no particular sanctity attached to it, I recommended the removal of
the stone to some place of safety. The stone, however, was not removed from the place till
M.B. Garde was appointed Superintendent of Archaeology of the Gwalior State. It is now
in the Museum at Gwalior.
The inscription opens with three verses of maṅgala addressed to the Sun, the first and
the third of which invoke the blessings of the divinity and the second and middle one of which
Lāṭa or Gujarāt to Daśapura or Mandasōr. Verses 6-13 give a word picture of Daśapura, its
position in the world, its lakes and its edifices. Then follows a graphic description of the
Guild and the different hobbies pursued by its different members (Verses 14-20). Verse 21
describes the pre-eminence of the silk cloth manufactured by them, and the next, the desire
of the Guild to make some religious benefaction, having regard to the transitory nature of
1 CII., Vol. III, pp. 149 ff. and plate.
2 Ibid., pp 142 ff. and plate.
3 PRAS. W. C., for 1904-05, p. 63, para 84.