South Indian Inscriptions
INSCRIPTIONS OF THE MINISTERS AND FEUDATORIES OF THE
(e.g. Lāṭa-, line 14) it has assumed a dimunitive form. The language is Sanskrit and the inscription is in verse throughout. The verses are thirty-two in number. As regards orthography, we may note the doubling of the consonant after r as in nirvvāpaṇa-,line 1 and the use of the guttural nasal in stead of anusvāra in vaṅśa-, line 3. The upadhmānīya occurs in lines 2 and 10, and the jihvāmūlīya in line
...The inscription is one of the minister Varāhadēva of the Vākāṭaka king Harishēṇa. The object of it is to record the dedication of a cave-dwelling (vēśma) fully decorated with pillars, picture-galleries, sculptures etc. to the Buddhist Saṅgha. It is undated, but since Harishēṇa ruled from about 475 A.C. to 500 A.C., it may be referred to the end the fifth century A.C. It is noteworthy that Fergusson and Burgess also assigned the Ajaṇṭā cave XVI, where the present record is incised, to about 500 A.C. on the evidence of the style of its architecture1.
... The inscription falls into two parts. The first part comprising the first twenty verses gives the genealogy of the reigning king Harishēṇa and incidentally names and eulogises Hastibhōja and his son (Varāhadēva) who as ministers served the Vākāṭaka kings Dēvasēna and Harishēṇa. The second part describes the cave-dwelling containing a Buddhist temple (chaitya-mandiram) and an excellent hall (maṇḍapa-ratnam) excavated by Varāhadēva which he dedicated to the Buddhist Saṅgha for the religious merit of his father and mother.
... The main interest of the inscription lies in the first part which gives the Vākāṭaka genealogy right from Vindhyaśakti, the founder of the family. The present inscription describes Vindhyaśakti as a dvija (Brāhmaṇa) who became renowned on earth, having increased his power in great battles. His Pravarasēna I is next glorified in verse 6 as one whose lotus-like feet were kissed by the rays of the crest-jewels of hostile kings.
Pravarasēna I’s son and successor was named and described in verse 7, but owing to
the unfortunate mutilation of the record in this part, the name is partially lost. Only the
latter part of it viz., -sēna is clear. Bhagvanlal, who first noticed the name, thought that sēna was preceded by a faintly traceable form like dra, so that the name might have been
Bhadrasēna, Chandrasēna, Indrasēna, Rudrasēna, etc. In his transcript of the record
he adopted the reading Rudrasēna evidently because this name occurs soon after that of
discovered before. This reading was also adopted by Bühler, who next edited the present
inscription. It must, however, be noticed that according to the aforementioned landgrants of Pravarasēna II, Rudrasena I was not the son of Pravarasēna I, but was his grandson, while the present inscription clearly states that the successor of Pravarasēna (I) was his son.
We must therefore suppose either that the poet committed a mistake in describing this
relationship, or the reading of the royal name adopted by Bhagvanlal and Bühler is incorrect.
The former alternative does not appear likely; for the inscription was composed under the
direction of the Vākāṭaka king Harishēṇa’s minister and is, on the whole, very correctly
written. It is, however, very much abraded in the portion where the name occurs, and
therefore a mistake in reading is not unlikely. Both Bhagvanlal and Bühler also were not
quite certain about this reading, but the former thought that he saw ‘a faintly traceable
form like dra’. If we refer to the lithograph used by both of them, we find that the upper
member of the ligature read as dra is quite illegible, but there appears a loop below it, which
seems to have been taken as the subscript r of dra. There are several instances of the subscript r in that lithograph, but in none of them is it denoted by a loop; it is always shown
... 1 The Cave-Temples of India, p. 306.