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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of Maharashtra) were proud, spirited and warlike ; grateful
for favours and revengeful for wrongs, self-sacrificing
towards supplicants in distress and sanguinary to death
with those who treated them insultingly. Their martial
heroes went to the conflict intoxicated and their war ele-
phants were also made drunk before engagement. Relying
on the strength of his heroes and elephants the king
treated neighbouring countries with contempt. The bene-
volent sway of this king reached far and wide and his
vassals served him with perfect loyalty. The great king
Siladitya (Harsha) was invading at this time east and
west and the countries far and near were giving him
allegiance but Maharashtra refused to become subject to
him. (Records Vol. II, Watters, page 239.) The Life says,
"The king always supports several thousand men of valour
and several hundred savage elephants. These in a drunken
condition rush against the enemy and without fall put the
foe to flight. Siladitya Raja in spite of his skill and the
invariable success of his generals, marching himself at the
head of his troops could not subjugate him." ( Life of
H. T., p. 147.) By a strange concommittance thus, India
was divided at this time into two empires ruled by two
powerful kings who were a match to each other and who
came to the throne at about the same time. The dividing
line of these southern and northern empires was naturally
the Nerbudda which divides India into two portions



HARSHA'S EMPIRE 13

ditfering from each other in many characteristics both
of country and people.

Except in a passage which we will notice in a note,
it is unfortunate, that we have not an account from
Bana wi'Ji regard to the actual establishment of Ilarsha's
empire or its extent and we have to rely on the single*
testimony of Hiuen Tsang. It is from him that we learn
that Harsha conquered India during the course of six years
"during which time neither the men nor the elephants
were unharnessed," and that for 35 years more he ruled
in peace and without any conflict. Of coarse the war with
Pulakesi II which is placed by Vincent Smith about
620 A. D. and the war with Ganjam which was waged
towards the end of his reign have to be excepted. This
latter war was waged against the people of Ganjam
or Kangoda about C43 A. D. as has been inferred from
the Life of Hiuen Tsang, page 159, where it is mentioned
that"Harsha was just then returning from the subjugation
of Ganjam."

It would be interesting to quote Hiuen Tsang as
to how Harsha maintained this vast empire. " Hav-
ing extended his territory he increased his army, bring-
ing the elephant corps up to 60,000 ^nd cavalry to
1,00,000, and then reigned in peace for 30 (thirty)
years. He was just in his administration and punc-
tilious in the discharge of his duties. He forgot sleep
and food in his devotion to good works. He prohibited
the taking of life under severe penalties and caused the
use of animal food to cease throughout the five Indies.
He establishoci travellers' rests throughout his dominions.
The neigliboLiring princes and statesmen who were zealous
in good wo'ks, he called "good friends." He would not
converse w; li those who were of a different character.
The kirg mi:



Online LibraryChintaman Vinayak VaidyaHistory of mediæval Hindu India (being a history of India from 600 to 1200 A.D.) .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 3 of 38)