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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But there is one bad act of this famous king which
Kalhana says was prompted by the Kali or iron age. He
had the Gauda king killed in spite of his promise not to
harm his life given on oath of his favourite god Parihas?.
Keshava of his favourite town- Who this Gauda king was
and why Lalitaditya did this horrible deed so unlike him-
self, Kalhai-a does not describe. He however relates that
when the most loyal servants of the Gauda king heard cf
this slaughter, they started at once for Kashmir and having
got entrance to the kidgdom on pretext of visiting the
Sarada temple they came to Parihasapura. The king was
fortunately absent on an expedition to the north- The
exasperated men in their mad zeal went to the temple of
Parihasa Keshava to take vengeance on the god who had
allowed his oath to be broken. Finding the temple of Rama-
svami* open they mistook that god for Parihasakeshava
threw down the silver idol, broke it into pieces and even
atoms and strew them on the road as they went back.



•This idol was believed to have been made by Rama himself and viras found in a
tank. The names of idols in Kashmir often end in Svjimi which means of course
'Lord" Lord of Rama and so on.



214 THE FIRST HINDU KINGDOMS

Such is the strange story of the slaughter of the Gauda
king and the religious frenzy of his loyal servants.

The end of this wonderful king was alike wonderful.
Where and when he died is not known to Kashmir his-
torians. He certainly did not die in Kashmir. A mes-
senger arrived from his camp somewhere among the North-
ern barbarians announcing that the king could not return
and that the ministers should proclaim his son king. He
is said to have ruled for 36 years and thus his reign came
to end in 736 A. D. Comparing this account with the account
derivable from foreign sources as related by Smith we may
say that an embassy from China in 733 A. D. may have
been received, investing Lalitaditya with the title of king.
Of couse it must be taken subject t(.) Chinese misrepresen-
tation in that the Chinese Emperor was believed to be the
Tuler of the whole world. Lalitaditya also looked upon
himself as Emperor and the embassy must have been
nothing more than greetings between rival emperors
claiming sovereignty over Turkestan. As for the date of
his victory over Yasovarman, Smith on the authority of
Levi and Chauvanes places it in 740 A. D. But this does
not seem to be correct. It is against the authority of the
Tarangini which places his death in 736 and also against
the evidence of the Chacha-nama which seems clearly to
place this victory before the conquest of Sind by the Arabs
in 712 A. D. This date will be further discussed in a note.

Lalitaditya was succeeded by his son Kuvalayapida a
very sensitive man. When a minister disobeyed his order
he was so incensed that he passed a sleepless night, but re-
flecting in the morning in the opposite strain he resigned
sovereignty as full of difificulties and disquiet and retired
to a forest. He ruled for one year only and 15
days. He was succeeded by his brother Vajraditya
a man of an exactly opposite temperament. He imme-
diately threw himself headlong into the pleasures of
kingly power and naturally succumbed after a bad reign
of 7 years and some days. He was succeeded by his elder



THE KARKOTAKAS OF KASHMIR 215

son Sangramapida who too died after a short reign of
7 years. His brother Jayapida and a grandson of Lalita-
ditya now came to the throne of Kashmir. Kis goodness
and greatness had already been marked and foretold by
his grandfather and we come to the reign of another
brilliant king as illustrious as Lalitaditya and only next
to him in foreign conquests.

Jayapida like his grandfather commenced his reign
by issuing out for world conquest a favourite game with
powerful Indian kings. His first enemy was of course
tlie king of Kanauj name not mentioned. Conquering him
he proceeded as far as Prayaga where he made liberal gifts
to Brahm.ins. His army, however, afraid of long journeys
into the south as in the days of Lalitaditya, returned to
its native country. Nothing daunted Jayapida is said to
have gone into Bengal single-handed. He came to
Paundra Vardhana town ruled by one Jayanta Having
killed a tiger which had become a terror to the town he came
to the notice of Jayanta who gave him his daughter
Kamaladevi in marriage. This story sounds more as fable
than as history. Jayapida then subdued five Gauda princes
in Bengal in behalf of his father-in-law and then returned
in triumph to Kashmir with his bride. On his way back
he seized the precious throne of Kanauj and took it t-o
Kashmir. In his absence his brother-in-law, one called
Jajja,had seized the Kashmir throne. Jajja was overthrown
and killed in a battle and the country was proud and glad
to be again under the rule of its rightful king Jayapida.

But Jayapida became more famous than his grand-
father Lalitaditya as a patron of letters. He himself was
a great pandit ; and the poet historian says that he was as
jealous of a rival in the field of arms as in the field
of letters. He revived the study of the Mahabhashya (the
great work on grammar by Patanjali) and appointed Kshi-
rasvarai as teacher of grammar. The head of the council
of pandits was L'dbhata the well-known author of Udbha-
talankara on poetics and paid him as pay one lakh of
Dinaras per day (most certainly a hyperbole of the poet



•216 THE FIRST HINDU KINGDOMS

historian even if like Mahmud of Ghazni Jayapida gave
coppei- Dinaras instead of silver or gold ones). Other
famous literary names are Manoratha, Sankhadanta,
Chataka and Sandhiman poets, Vamana (writer on both
grammar and Alankara), Damodargupta author of Kuttini-
inata (mathematics) and Thakkiya who was originally
superintendent of granary in the service of a minister of
his. The best men in the whole land of India were
called and patronised by Jayapida, so much so that
Kashmir became famous as the land of learning and as
the poet historian remarks, there was a famine of learned
men in other countries of India. Though a conqueror he
assumed the title of Vinayaditya or the sun of education.
The poet historian observes, "Equally divided between
va,iour and learning, as if placed between two reflect-
ing mirrors, the king seemed not doubled only, but made
hundred fold."

He renewed his foreign expeditions many times, ac-
companied by many subordinate kings among whom is
mentioned strangely enough Mummuni. But in Nepal he
had a reverse unlike his grandfather and fell a prisoner
into the hands of the king of Nepal, named Artundi. In
this misfortune he was saved by his minister who brought
another army into Nepal and by a stratagem enabling
Jayapida to escape from the castle where he was impri-
soned, by the sacrifice of his own life placed him in pos-
session of new forces. Nepal was defeated and Jayapida
returned triumphant to Kashmir, mourning, however, for
the death of his faithful minister Devasarma son of Mitra-
sarraa the famous minister of his grandfather.

It is unfortunate that this valiant and learned king
became in his later days a tyrant and an oppressor of
Brahmins. Perhaps his misfortunes in spite of his victo-
ries left him poor. It is said that a serpent having pro-
mised to reveal to him a mountain of gold revealed in the
€nd, owing to his mistake, only a mountain of copper
situated in the Kramarajya ( a province of Kashmir ) and
lie had 99 crores of copper dinaras struck. But he had a



THE ARKOKTA.KAS OF KASHMIR 217

dirth of gold and for the sake of gold he began to oppress
his sul)3ects through his Kayastha officers. We must speak
here of the Kayasthas, a caste to whom Kalhana always
refers with contempt and disapprobation. The Kayasthas
are found in the history of Kashmir onward, always assist-
ing oppressive kings with their bad counsel and are
generally associated with a rapacious administration.
Kayasthas did not meet us in the history of Sind. They
are in fact (even now) not found in large numbers either in
Sind or in the Parijab, where their place is taken by the
Khatris who like the Kayasthas were the competitors of
Brahmins in the ranks of government servants. Even
now Kayasthas are to be found predominant in Kashmir,
in the U. P. and in Bengal both in the population and in
government service. They are not found to the south of
the Nerbuda except in the Konkan. In the Deccan and in
the south they are not to be seen. Undoubtedly the Kayastha
claim to Kshatriya origin is correct though there is
admittedly a mixture of blood. The mixed caste of Kaya-
sthas is not mentioned in the earlier Smritis and finds
mencion only in one or two latej ones. They are
mixed Kshatriyas whose caste occupation is writing and
government service as we find even in the Mrichhakafcika.
By intelligence and energy they are undoubtedly Aryans
and Kshatriyas. But strangely enough Kayastha public
servants are, though efficient, generally unpopular and
oppressive. In the Panjab, government service is almost
monopolised by Khatris. They are clearly Kshatriyas who
have given up the sword for the pen and their intelligence
as certainly indicates their Aryan origin as their physique,
but they are not specially mentioned in ancient history like
the Kayasthas. To return to our history from this digression;
Jayapida through his Kayastha officers began to oppress
his subjects by various exactions. He was opposed by the
Brahmins who are usually a fearless out-spoken people

Jayapida now became unpopular even among the pandits
who at once turned their wit against him. The following
verses are typical and well worth quotation. They are of
2i



218 THE FIRST HINDU KINGDOMS

course based on pun of words. Jayapida who prided him-
self upon his learning is said to be not inferior to Panini
the grammarian. "f?RTRctf^^r?TT^ 5^^%-Tl^^: l -^ju^-iivh-ii'ik'A
qiwR^j f%??7r^i^ II fdHMiTe^RT ipr^grf^i-TTRrs: i ^ri^^rr'TT^t^rRT tttw-
^aj f^JT^'i^iT II ." The king, however, was incorrigible and
ill-treated aud despised the Brahmins the more till at last
by the curse of a Brahmin, so the poet relates, the golden
pole of his tent fell upon him and he died of the wound
received. He is said to have ruled for 31 years. Thus his
reign may be said to have ended in 736 -^l-f7 + 7 + 31 = 782
A. D. the kings intervening between him and Lalitaditya
ruling for one, seven and seven years only.

We may close this chapter with a short account of the
remaining kings of the Karkota dynasty which coming to
a decline was now represented by incompetent men. The
same spectacle of worthless sovereigns set up and deposed
hy ambitious and unscrupulous officers as is witnessed at
the end of Mogul or Abbaside Khalifa or other kingly dy-
nasties appears. Lalitapida son of Jayapida ruled for 12
years and squandered the riches unjustly amassed by his
father on courtezans and sycophants. His brother San-
gramapida ruled after him for seven years and was suc-
ceeded by a minor king named Chippata (the lesser) Jaya-
pida son of Lalitapida son of the elder Jayapida. His ma-
ternal uncles Utpala and Mamma ministers fought for
power. Now Utpala to secure power in his own hands set
up another minor Ajitapida in place of the now major
Jayapida while Mamma set up another. The two minis-
ters fought a battle between themselves and Utpala was
successful. The last minor king hereafter set up was
Anangapida who was eventually set aside by Avantivar-
man grandson of the powerful Utpala and he founded the
Utpala dynasty in about 855 A. D.

Kashmir during the reign of the Karkota dynasty
enjoyed great power politically being twice the overlord
of the whole of Northern India. Within the empire it had
several provinces or rather districts of the Panjab under it
and the territory of Kashmir itself is shown to be divided



THE KARKOTAKAS OF KASHMIR 219

into several divisions called Rajyas in the [RajataranginT
(Kramarajya, Maclavarajya etc. appear to be divisions of
Kashmir). The kings were usually worshippers of Siva
and also often of Vishnu (Vishnu temples being styled by
names ending in Svami and Siva temples in Isa or
Isvara — a distinction which is clearly apparent iu the
Rajatarangini). The people were bothSaivites and Vaish-
navites but there were also some who were Buddhists,
especially among lower orders and foreigners. Under this
dynasty Kashmir not only maintained but even increased
its renown for learning and many noted names in Sanskrit
literature belong to this period. We can thus understand
why it was an ambition with Indian pandits to conquer
the pandits of Kashmir as is apparent from Sankara's
visit to the temple of Sarada in that country to which we
shall have to refer in our next volume.



C HAPIKK V
II LATER HISTORY OF KASHMx-

Though not connected with the period treated of in this
volume, we shall go on to relate succintly the later history of
Kashmir down to the end of the Hindu period, as Kashmir
in the next portions of that period seems to be practically
cut off from India. This history has not much importance
for the general history of India, but it has an importance of
its own. It exhibits on a smaller scale how despotic kingly
government always tends to abuse after a period of glorious
exhibition of justice and valour, how degenerate and debau-
cherous kings succeed highly vigorous and conscientious
kings in the same line, how while kingly power is borne
with a great weight of conscience by some kings, in the
hands of others it becomes the instrument of oppression
and opportunity for licentiousness, how for some time
able ministers under the firm guidance of able rulers
achieve great progress in administration, and how during
another period unscrupulous ministers keep the country
under their heel by bribery and terrorizing under incap-
able masters, how while under some kings an organised
army is the means of securing peace at home and respect
abroad, under others it becomes the de facto master of the
state raising to the throne puppet after puppet, and how
lastly the love of kingship sets father against son
and son against father, not to speak of brother
against brother and even mother against son and
wife against husband. These and similar regular tenden-
cies of despotic rule are as fully exhibited in this history
of Kashmir as they were at Rome or at Baghdad, at Delhi
or at Cairo. We will, therefore, describe this history in
some detail and show how after all, a form of government
combined of king and people is the best for securing con-
tinuous good government and progress.



II LATER HISTORY OF KASHMIR 221

When the Karkota dynasty came t'l an end, as usual
by becoming old and rotten, Avantivarman came to the
throne by his own power and founded the Utpala dynasty.
Utpala being his grandfather and the first minister of the
tottering Karkotakas who tried to seize the kingly status.
Avantivarman as usual with founders of dynasties was a
most capable and conscientious sovereign. Tales of his
extreme sense of justice are related in the Tarangini, which
we may pass over. But his revenue administration was
equally most successful. With the help of an able and
imaginative minister named Suyya, he excecuted various
works of irrigation by damming the Vitasta and other
rivers of Kashmir. Hundreds of new villages sprang into
existence and thousands of acres of land came under
cultivation. The poet historian relates that whereas
from the most ancient times a Khari ( Khandi ) of grain
(rice) sold in the m.ost prosperous days for 200 d:naras,
the same Khari in the same Kashmir land began to be sold
for 36 dinaras (V. 117).

The king was highly religious and of course built
several temples to Siva and Vishnu and so also his minis-
ters and queens. But he was also so liberal to the Brah-
mins and held riches of so little count thathe finally gave
away all his wealth to Brahmins except as the poet says
his sceptre and umbrella. He also appears to have been a
perfect Vaishnava and an upholder of the tenet of Ahimsa
(the mantle of Buddhism had in this respect now fallen
upon Vaishnavism ). He, therefore, prohibited totally
the slaughter of animals and the historian records that
for ten years as in the days of Meghavahana no animal
was killed throughout the kingdom (V. 64). The poet re-
marks that "tortoises leaving the cold waters of rivers in
winter securely basked in sun-shine on the banks". Bhatta
Kaliata it is further on said, and other sages were born in
the days of Avantivarman 'for the salvation of the coun-
try'. Who this Srikallata was we have not been able to
find ; but he must have been some Vaishnava writer. The-
king died as religiously as he had lived, hearing during his



222 THE FIRST HINDU KINGDOMS

last moments the Bhagavadgita recited. (This is the first
mention in history of the Bhagvadgita as a book of reli-
gious recitation). He died in 59 in the month of Ashadha
Shukla 3. (This according to Kashmir reckoning which
omits hundreds means 3959 Laukika era i. e. deductint;
3075, 884 A. D.) V. 123. He thus ruled for 29 years from
855 to 884 A. D.

His son Sankarvarman succeeded him. But it appears
there was a faction among the ministers and a party
appointed a cousin of his as Yuvaraja. He and his cousin
both being strong men, fought for power and many faith-
ful adherents on both sides lost their lives in this civil
war. Sankarvarman eventually got the upper hand and
ruled singly. He now led his forces in Digvijaya most
probably with a view to lead the fighting spirits of
the people into other channels. The names of the
countries and kings he conquered are important histoi>ical-
iy. He subjugated a king of Darvabhisaraand imprisoned
a king named Harigana. AVhile yet fighting with the
Gurjara king he put to flight Prithvichandra king of Tri-
garta and gave his kingdom to his son Bhuvanachandra
who had already submitted to him. He is said to have
9 lakhs of foot-soldiers and 300 elephants (the infantry
number is plainly exaggerated). With this immense force
he defeated Alakhana king of the Gurjaras (Alakhana
appears to be the name of a king and not of a place). The
Gurjara king handed over to him the Takkadesa "giving
up his own body in fact". He reinstated the descendant
of Thakkiya who had been ousted by Bhoja. "He lay
unconquerable between the Daradas and the Turushkas
like the country of Aryavarta lying between the Hima-
layas and Vindhyas". He remained firm in Udabbanda-
pura (perhaps a battle was fought here with the Northern-
ers.) "The Shahi king Lalliya was not reinstated owing
to his anger and took refuge with Alakhana."

The above account requires to be co-ordinated with the
history of other countries and we shall try to do so. Here
it may be noted that a gloss in the commentary of Rajata-



II LATER HISTORY OF KASHMIR 223

rangini, says Trigarta meant Nagarakota andTakka coun-
try meant 't^Wi^V^ 3[1^R^ ^TTJT and on Jj4,i the remark is
^^jj[



Online LibraryChintaman Vinayak VaidyaHistory of mediæval Hindu India (being a history of India from 600 to 1200 A.D.) .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 21 of 38)