The Indian Analyst
 

North Indian Inscriptions

 

 

Contents

Introduction

Contents

Preface

List of Plates

Abbreviations

Additions and Corrections

Images

Introduction

Political History

Administration

Social History

Religious History

Literary History

Gupta Era

Krita Era

Texts and Translations

The Gupta Inscriptions

Index

Other South-Indian Inscriptions 

Volume 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Vol. 4 - 8

Volume 9

Volume 10

Volume 11

Volume 12

Volume 13

Volume 14

Volume 15

Volume 16

Volume 17

Volume 18

Volume 19

Volume 20

Volume 22
Part 1

Volume 22
Part 2

Volume 23

Volume 24

Volume 26

Volume 27

Tiruvarur

Darasuram

Konerirajapuram

Tanjavur

Annual Reports 1935-1944

Annual Reports 1945- 1947

Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum Volume 2, Part 2

Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum Volume 7, Part 3

Kalachuri-Chedi Era Part 1

Kalachuri-Chedi Era Part 2

Epigraphica Indica

Epigraphia Indica Volume 3

Epigraphia
Indica Volume 4

Epigraphia Indica Volume 6

Epigraphia Indica Volume 7

Epigraphia Indica Volume 8

Epigraphia Indica Volume 27

Epigraphia Indica Volume 29

Epigraphia Indica Volume 30

Epigraphia Indica Volume 31

Epigraphia Indica Volume 32

Paramaras Volume 7, Part 2

Śilāhāras Volume 6, Part 2

Vākāṭakas Volume 5

Early Gupta Inscriptions

Archaeological Links

Archaeological-Survey of India

Pudukkottai

THE GUPTA INSCRIPTIONS

MEHARAULI IRON PILLAR INSCRIPTION OF CHANDRA

known by the family-name of Śāba, conversant with Grammar, Polity, Logic and Popular Usage and Custom, a poet, an inhabitant of Pāṭaliputra.1

        (Verse 5) He has come hither with that same king who is desirous of conquering the whole earth and has through devotion caused to be made this cave to the divine Śambhu.

No. 12: PLATE XII

MEHARAULI IRON PILLAR INSCRIPTION OF CHANDRA

        This inscription was first brought to notice in 1834, in the JASB., Vol. III, p. 494, where James Princep published a lithograph of it (ibid., Plate xxx), reduced from a facsimile made in 1831 by Lieutenant William Elliot, 27th Regiment N. I. This lithograph was not accompanied by any details of the contents of the inscription; and it does not represent a single letter of the original correctly, and is quite unintelligible from beginning to end. In 1838, in the same Journal, Vol. III, pp. 629 ff., James Prinsep published a much improved lithograph (ibid., Plate xxxiii) reduced from an ink-impression made in the same year by Captain T. S. Burt, of the Engineers; and, with it, his own reading of the text and a translation of it. And finally, in 1875, in the JBBRAS., Vol. X, pp. 63 ff., Bhau Daji published a revised version of the text and translation, including the correct reading of the king’s name as Chandra, with a lithograph which appears to have been reduced from a copy on cloth made by Bhagwanlal Indraji. But it was critically edited for the first time by J. F. Fleet in CII., Vol. III, 1888, pp. 139 ff., along with Plate XXI A.

        Meharaulī, or Meṁharaulī—an evident corruption of Mihirapurī,—is a village nine miles almost due south of Delhi, the chief town of the Delhi District. The inscription is on the west side of a tapering iron column, sixteen inches in diameter at the base and twelve at the top, and twenty-three feet eight inches high, standing near the well-known Kutb Minār in the ancient fort of Rāy Pithōrā within the limits of this village.

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        The writing, which covers a space of about 2’ 9-½” broad by 10-½” high, is in a state of excellent preservation throughout, owing, of course, to the nature of the substance on which it is engraved. The bottom line of the inscription is about 7’ 2” above the stone platform round the lower part of the column. The engraving is good; but, in the process of it, the metal closed up over some of the strokes, which gives a few of the letters a rather imperfect appearance in the lithograph; this is especially noticeable in the sy of the opening word yasyō, and in the r of
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1 Fleet’s translation of verse 4 is hopelessly bad. That given by Bühler is much better. Sāndhivigraha, I take in the sense of Sandhivigrah-ādhikaraṇa0 occurring in some post-Gupta inscriptions (e.g., in Nos. 1209, 1312 and 1313 of D. R. Bhandarkar’s A List of the Inscriptions of Northern India). Lōka has, according to Bühler, the same meaning as Vārttā, which is explained by Kauṭalya thus:

.............................Kṛishi-paśupālyē vaṇijyā cha vārtā ﺍ
.............................dhānya-paśu-hiranya-kupya-vishṭi-pradānād=
.............................aupakārikī (Arthaśāstra, I. 4. 1-2),

“Agriculture, cattle-breeding and trade constitute vārtā. It is serviceable inasmuch as it brings in grains, cattle, gold, forest produce and free labour.” It is safer, however, to take lōka in the sense of lōk-āchāra, ‘Popular Usage and Custom’, in other words, ‘Law’, with which it was absolutely necessary for a minister to be conversant. As regards śabd-ārtha0 it is best to split it up into Śabda, ‘Grammar,’ and Artha, ‘Polity’ as Bühler has done, though Kielhorn has taken it in the sense of “the science of words and their meanings, i.e., grammar” in line 13 of the Junāgaḍh rock inscription of Rudradāman (Ep. Ind., Vol. VIII, p. 48 and note 2), because it seems more reasonable to take every one of the words forming the compound śabd-ārtha-nyāya-lōkajñaḥ as denoting one particular science as it can bear that meaning. And here Śabda by itself can denote Śabda-śāstra, ‘Science of Grammar’; and similarly Artha by itself Artha-śāstra, ‘Science of Polity’. Besides, the study of Artha-śāstra was, by no means, slack or neglected in the Gupta period. On the contrary, it was very much alive. It was indispensable for a king or minister to make himself thoroughly acquainted with it.

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