Chintaman Vinayak Vaidya.

History of mediæval Hindu India (being a history of India from 600 to 1200 A.D.) .. (Volume 1) online

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Many Rajputs, therefore, who plainly by appearance, cus-
toms and history are none but Indian Kshatriyas claim
descent from members of the family of the Arabian pro-
phet and thus pose as true Sayyads. The Afghans similarly,
since their conversion, look for descent among the an-
cestors of the Arabs in the mythological history of Ebra^
him and Musa (Abraham and Moses). But they are un-
questionably Aryans by ethnology and by history. During
the invasion of the Greeks too we find they are treated as
Aryans and Indians. The country from Haraivati (Saras
vati) a name of the Persians is called Arachosia and
Archosia is said by L-iidorus to be also called by the
Parthians "White India" (p. 319 Ancient India by Ploteray
McCrindle). Kabul is not mentioned by Greek writers ;
perhaps it was not then in^portant. But Kabul was treated
as India by later Persians and also Arabs as appears from
their maps. "In the map given in Masatch or Mamatcb,
the Hirmand (Helmund) is styled the river of Hind and
Sind i. e., its western boundary and east of it was Hind
and Sind and Kabul was a province of Hind". Thus it
continued to* be down to its conquest by the Turks (p. 62
Raverty) about 1020 A. D.

We know very little of the ancient history of Kabul
and we are in fact not concerned with it in our work. At
the commencement of our history /. e. about the beginning
of the 7th centurj'^ A. D. it was certainly governed by a
Kshatriya king who was a Buddhist. Pliuen Tsang who
visited it in 630 A. D. (see his itirinery Appendix p. 563
Cunningham's Ancient Geography of India) states so and
further adds that Lampak, Nagar, (Jallalabad) and Gan-
dhara were subject to it. It was thus an extensive king-
dom. Its king undoubtedly bore the title of Shah, a title
which it must have borrowed from the Persians under
whose empire this country frequently was. The king was
thus a Buddhist, a Kshatriya and a Shah, a combination


of three traditions and civilisations viz. Chinese, Indian
and Persian. This title Shah of the Kabul king is frequent-
ly mentioned both by the Arabs and the Rajatarangini as
we shall notice further on. The subjects of these kingdoms
were generally Buddhists though in Lampaka and Gan-
dhara. the majority were of the Hindu faith (Hiuen
Tsang). The inhabitants of Lampaka, tlie Chinese traveller
states, were ignorant and ugly and thus do not appear to
be fair Aryans like the rest of the Aryans whose fair com-
plexion, not blackened by the fierce heat of the Indian
plains but rather preserved by the cold climate of the land,
had given the country the title of "White India." What
race the people belonged to and what family of Kshatriyas
the kings claimed to be born in is not yet traceable. The
Arab writers who hereafter came into contact with Kabul
call the king Kabul Shah Zantbil which Raverty says may
have been really Ranapal, the Persian letters r and j and
b and p being undistinguishable. It is indeed impossible
to guess what this name really was though some support
may be found for this guess in the references in theTaran-
gini, very meagre though they are. The Arab historical
references are continuous from 640 A. D, down to the
Turkish conquest about the 11th century. It is probable
that during these three hundred years or more there must
have been more than one dynasty. But the Arabs use the
same word Kabul Shah Zantbil throughout.

The Arabs conquered Mekran in 640 A. D. and Herat
in 650 A. D. and thus came to the frontiers of Kabul.
Their first invasion of the|country was however in 663 A.D.
( 4-'^ A. H. ) under Abdul Rahman who laid siege to Kabul
for one year and eventually took it. As in Sind, the
Arabs massacred the warriors, enslaved the women and
children and spared the Kabul Shah only on his consent-
ing to be a Mahomedan. The Arabs retired leaving him
a king paying tribute. But unlike Sind, Kabul was intrac-
table and the people again asserted their independence.
The same Hajjaj Viceroy of Iran who sent Mahomed
Kasim to conquer Sind sent one Abeiddulla to again


reduce Kabul. The Shah retired into the mountains much
like what the Afghans did in later history and cut off the
invader by seizing the passes by which he had followed
him into mountainous country. He was reduced to sub-
mission by starvation and allowed to return on payment
of 7 lakhs of dinaras (697 A. D. ). The implacable and
energetic Hajjaj sent another expedition under Abdul
Rahman and Kabul Shah again retired into the mountains
(700A. D. ). This time also the expedition failed because
Abdul Rahman himself rebelled against the haughty
Hajjaj, a conduct which is certainly strange and inconsis-
tent with the strong discipline of the early Arabs (compare
the conduct of Kasim )• Abdul Rahman made peace with
the Kabul Shah. Indeed he was supported by the latter
when he was invested by the force of Hajjaj, and rescued
Hajjaj died in 713 A. D. and Kabul remained unmolested
for several years thereafter. Under the Khalifa Haroun-Al-
Rashid in 786 an expedition under Abbas invaded Kabul
He seized and plundered a great Vihara outside Kabul
called Shah Bihar, a place still known. It appears the
king and the people were still Buddhists. But the Shah
and the country escaped subjugation by retiring as usual
into the mountains. For two centuries more the kingdom
of Kabul and the Hindu Shahi dynasty flourished. Ghaznl
meanwhile fell and was taken possession of by a Samani
dynasty of Arab Mahomedan kings and they conquered
Kabul also. But the Hindu dynasty was still allowed to
rule in subjection to Ghazni for nearly a century more.

The Turks now began to invade the country and in
934 A. D. took possession of Ghazni under Alf Tegin
( these are two words which are often wrongly combined ).
The Shah of Kabul assisted his suzerain of Samani dynasty
to fight against the Turks. Kabul became now indepen-
dent for a few years. But Sabak Tegin conquered it
probably in 975 A. D. and Kabul again became dependent
on the Turkish rule at Ghazni and we find a Kabul king
(see Alberuni) offering his aid to Sabak Tegin to fight
against his enemies. But the kingdom of Kabul coutd notlast
25 ■' '


before the growing ambition of Mahmud and after a final
terrible conflict (A. D. 1021 ) as we shall presently relate
Kabul was finally conquered by him and completely blotted
out as an Aryan kingdom, so much so that not even the me-
mirry of Kabul being once a Hindu kingdom remains. The
people were forcibly converted. Alberuni mentions an in-
teresting story of this conversion ( Vol. II p. 157 ). The
Ispahadad (governor) of Kabul consented to be a Mahome-
dan on two conditions viz: that he would not eat cow's flesh
ii7s4 that he would not follow another repugnant practice !
The people, however, were soon so completely changed in
sentiment that they too soon forgot not only these condi-
tions but the very fact that they were once Indian Aryans,

We now go on to notice the few important glimpses
which we get of the Shahi kings from the Rajatarangini.
King Sankaravarman who ruled between 884 and 902 A. D.
conquered the Shahi king Lalliya and seized the kingdom
when Lalliya fled from it and took refuge with Alakhana
Ourjara. This must have been in the time of the Samani
Mahomedan kings of Ghazni who were overlords of Kabul,
I as stated above, about that time. Then again Prabhakara-
deva after Sankaravarman's death during the regency of
his widow,queen Sugandhafor her minor son Gopalavarman
is said to have conquered the Shahi kingdom- ( it must
have rebelled against Kashmir sovereignty ) and placed on
the throne Toramana son of Lalliya. § This indicates that
for some time Kabul was under the direct government of
Kashmir during the period 884-904 A. D. Thereafter we
read that a grand daughter of a Shahi king and a daughter
of a king named Sinharaja of Lohara, by name Didda was
married to Kshemagupta king of Kashmir who reigned
fiom 26 to 34 Laukika era ( Raj. VI, 187 ) i. e. between 951
to 959 A. D- This Shahi king's name is available as he
built in Kashmir in honour of his grand daughter a temple

Online LibraryChintaman Vinayak VaidyaHistory of mediæval Hindu India (being a history of India from 600 to 1200 A.D.) .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 19 of 38)