and cobblers in favour of the Jaina and Hindu temples were made not by the rulers but by
the meetings of the guilds at which the representatives of the government and the localities were
present. Ordinarily, such levies must have been collected by the local committees of the guilds
and utilised for local purposes. We have here an instance of locsal self-government. The heads
of districts (Nāḍa-pegaḍes) and other royal officers that attended these meetings must have seen
to it that the affairs of these committees were carried on properly.
The guilds were autonomous in regard to the management of their own affairs. The
rulers did not interfere with them. The guilds could keep the necessary force for the safety
of their caravans etc. It was called ṡreṇi-bala. The kings could ask for its help in case of need.
The people preferred to deposit amounts for the formation of endowments with these
guilds rather than with the State; for the governments changed, but the guilds continued
to flourish for centuries. The first three inscriptions included in the present volume mention
such akshaya-nīvis (perpetual endowments) for the worship of the Buddha, the repairs of the
vihāra, the raiment of the Bhikshus and the purchase of religious books at the Mahāvihāra
of Kṛishṇagiri (Kānherї). These amounts must have been invested by the authorities of the
Vihāra at local guilds, though this is not explicitly mentioned in the inscriptions.
The rate of interest prevailing in the beginning of this period can be calculated from
the particulars given in one of the Kānherї inscriptions. We are told that a devout person
deposited two hundred drammas with the Saṁgha there in order to create a permanent endowment of 29 drammas, of which twenty were to be utilised for the worship of the Buddha, three
for the repairs of the Vihāra, five for the supply of raiment to the Bhikshus, and one for the
purchase of the (sacred) books. This gives fourteen and a half per cent per annum as the rate
of interest. We have no means for determining the rate of interest in subsequent periods or in
the other parts of the Silahara kingdom.
Our records do not contain information about the economic condition of the different
strata of society in the age of the Śilāhāras, but they furnish some particulars about the condition of the Brāhmaṇa donees. Vṛitti was the term used to denote the extent of land necessary
for the maintenance of a Brāhmaṇa family of the average size. From the Tāḷale plates we
learn that this vṛitti in the Kolhāpur territory at least was of three nivartanas. This was in the
case of a Brāhmaṇa family. In the case of a deity, the vṛitti required for worship, offerings, and
the service of musicians, dancers etc. was one nivartana. There were different standards of
measurement current in the country. In North Koṅkaṇ, the standard of Kallivana (modern
Kaḷvaṇ in the Nāsik District) was in vogue. In the Kolhāpur region those of Kuṇḍi (modern
Beḷgaon) and Eḍenāḍa (local) were in use. The nivartanas were , therefore, of different types.
According to the Lilāvatī (I, 6), a nivartana was equal to 400 square rods (daṇḍas), each rod being
10 cubits or 15 ft. in length. Therefore, a nivartana covered land measuring 40, 000 cubits
or 10,000 sq. yards. As an acre is equal to 4850 aq. yards, three nivartanas constituting the
vṛitti of a Brāhmaṇa in the Kolhāpur region were equal to slightly less than 61/4 acres. This
was hardly sufficient for the maintenance of even a small family off five persons. The Kolhāpur
plates of Gaṇḍarāditya mention the following articles of the donee’s daily meal, besides
tāmbūla : cooked white rice, soup of āḍhakī (Cajanus Indicus Spreng, tūr in Marathī) or some
other pulse, clarified butter and four vegetables. The living of even learned Brāhmaṇas was,
Yajñavalkya, IV, v. 192.
No. 1, lines 3-5.
No. 45, lines 29-30.
No. 14, line 170.
No. 48, line 31; No. lines 29-30; No. 59, lines 8-9.
The economic holding at present is about 54 acres.
No. 48, lines 36-37.