THE GUPTA INSCRIPTIONS
(A and B)
(Verse 1) When a century of years, increased by fifty-seven of the Guptas had passed away, when Budhagupta was ruling the earth;
(Verse 2) On the seventh of the month of Vaiśākha, when (the asterism) Mūla was
visible in the sky, the image was caused to be made by me, Abhayamitra, a Buddhist monk.
(Verse 3 and 4) Having caused to be made this wonderful image of (Buddha) accompanied by Dēvaputras, decorated with hands upraised, exquisite umbrella and lotus throne,
(and) painted with a layer of painting, whatever spiritual merit accrues, may it be for the
attainment of the extinction (of worldly existence) by (my) parents and preceptors and of
No. 37 : PLATE XXXVII
VĀRĀṆASI STONE PILLAR INSCRIPTION OF BUDHAGUPTA; THE YEAR 159
The pillar containing the inscription was discovered sometime in 1940-41 at Rājghāṭ in
Vārāṇasi, Uttar Pradesh and is now preserved in the Bhārat Kalā-bhavan at Vārāṇasi. It
was first noticed by Adris Banerji in JGJRI., Vol. III (1945), pp. 1 ff. and plate and subsequently published by D. C. Sircar in JRASB., (Letters), Vol. XV (1949), pp. 5-7 and plate.
The pillar is approximately 4 feet and 4½ inches in height. It is rectangular at base
up to 2 feet 4½ inches which contains four niches in which there are four avatāras of Vishṇu.
The characters belong to the eastern variety of the Gupta alphabet except in the case of
the letter h which is of the western type. The numerical symbols for 8, 9, 20, 50 and 100
occur in the record. The language is Sanskrit which is not free from mistakes of grammar.
In respect of orthography, it may be noted that the consonant following r is reduplicated.
The inscription belongs to the reign of Mahārājādhirāja Budhagupta of the Imperial
Gupta dynasty. It is dated in the Gupta year 159, the 28th day of the month of
Mārgaśīrsha. This date could correspond to 478 A.D. The object of the inscription is to
record the erection of a stone pillar by a lady named Dāmasvāminī, daughter of Māravisha (?),
a resident of Pārvarika, while her mother’s name seems to be Sābhāṭi. The purpose for
which the pillar was erected has not been mentioned in the record but it has been suggested
that the use of the word stambha indicates that it was votive in nature and that it has been set
up in a religious establishment with a view to acquiring merit.1
There is only one geographical name in the inscription viz. Parvarika which cannot
1 Sa[mva]3 100 50 9 Mārgga di4  8 Mahārājādhirāja-
2 Budha[gu]tpa5-rājyē Pārvvarika-vāstavya-Māra
3 [visha ?]-duhitā(trā) Sābhāṭi (?)-duhi[trā*] cha Dāmasvā-
4 mi[nyā] śilā-stambha sthā [p]itaḥ [|| *]
1 JRASB., (Letters), Vol. XV, p. 6.
2 From impressions.
3 Read saṁvatsarē.
4 I.e. Mārgaśirsha-divasē.
5 Read Budhagupta.