Chintaman Vinayak Vaidya.

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

. (page 6 of 38)
Online LibraryChintaman Vinayak VaidyaHistory of mediæval Hindu India (being a history of India from 600 to 1200 A.D.) .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 6 of 38)
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the Karkota dynastj- onwards, previous to it the dates and history
given by Kalhana are not so. This viewMs borne out also by the con-
temporary evidence of Hiuen Tsang. For when he was in Kashmir a
Karkota king was evidently ruling there. The Records state: "Being
protected by a dragon the kings crowed 'Over their neighbours." From
the date of Durlabha Vardhana given by Kalhana this king appears to
be on the throne of Kashmir when Hiuen Tsang visited it. His date as
given by Kalhana is 3677 of the Laukika era or 602 A. D. Now before
this king. Kalhana mentions five rulers upto Pravarasena II as follows
proceeding l)ackwards; —



Name.


Laukika Year.


L<


sngth of reign


1. Baladitya ...


...


3641




36


2. Vikraraaditya




3597




42


3. Ranaditya


...


3299




300


4. Lakhana


...


3288




13


5. Yudhishthira II ...


...


3246




39


6. Pravarasena II




3186




60



Thus Pravarasena II according to Kalhana came to the throne in
3186 L. E. or HI A. D. He took the kingdom from Matrigupta who was



SILADITYA OF MOLAPO 45'

sent to rule Kashmir during an interregnum by Vikramaditya of Malwa,
on Vikrama's death. Kalhana takes this Vikrama to be the first
Vikrama who founded the era of 57 B. C. This makes Vikrama die at
least after II 1 + 57 = 168 years of rule which is an obvious absurdity.
There is also the absurdity of Ranaditya ruling for 300 years in this
dynasty of kings. All this hopeless confusion has been caused by
• Kalhana's mistake in giving up the original tradition fortunately pre
served by Kalhana himself that Vikramaditya Sakari cr the first Vik-
rama was a different person from the one who sent Matrigupta to rule
over Kashmir. The first Vikrama according to the tradition reiected
by Kalhana was a relative and a contemporary of a previous king of
Kashmir by name Pratapaditya. If we take the Vikramaditya who
sent Matrigupta to Kashmir to be Yasodharma Vishnu-Vardhana of
Malwa who defeated the Huns in 528 A. D., and established an empire
over the whole of Nothern India as stated in his Mandsaur pillai in-
scription we get at some reliable history and dates and we are supported
also by the evidence of Hiuen Tsang. For Hiuen Tsang relates that
when he visited Kashmir the capital of that country was newly built
and the traveller speaks of the new capital as distinct from the old
Now it is certain that Pravarasena II founded the present capital
Srinagar called also from him Pravarapura. When Hiuen Tsang.
visited Kashmir in 631 A. D., we may take it that this new capital was
not yet a hundred years old. Thus Pravarasena's coming to the
throne must be placed some time after 531 A. D. — a time which is not
inconsistent with the date of Vikramaditya Yesodharma of the Mand-
saur pillar inscription of 533 A. D. We must give up the genealogy and
history of the later Gonardiya kings given by Kalhana altogether and
take two or three salient facts only as certain, namely, that Pravara-
sena II founded the new capital of Kashmir about 540 A. D., that Vikra-
maditya Yasodharma had sent a man named Matrigupta to rule
Kashmir before this Pravarasenaand that Pravarasena assisted Vikra-
maditya's son Pratapasila, also called Siladitya, to regain his kingdom
lost owing to his expulsion by enemies. This Pratapasila named alsO'
Siladitya may thus have been the Siladitya o\ Malwa who is mentioned
l)y Hiuen Tsang as ruling in Molapo.

But there is one difficulty. Hiuen Tsang states that the king of
Valabhi, son-in-law of Harsha, was a nephew of the Siladitya of Malwa.
If Siladitya of Malwa after a rule of about 50 years, died 60 years before
640 A. D., i.e., about 580 A. D., and was a son of Vikramaditya who must
be supposed to have died about 530 A.D., how can his nephew be in 6'iO
A.D. a young man? If we suppose that nephew stands here for a sister's
son, even then:this relationship cannot be accepted if we tear in mind the
disparity of age between a supposed sister of Siladitya whose father
died say about 530 A. D., and Dhruvabhata of Valabhi who was a young
man of twenty-five or thirty in 630 A. D. Of course, if we take Hiuen
Tsang's Siladitya of Malwa to be a different person from the son of



46 HARSH A AND HIS TIMES

Vikramadity a it is possible to conceive that he had a sister from -whom
Dhruvabhata was born in the Valabhi family. The conclusion is that
the identity of Siladitya of Malwa with the PratapasTla Siladitya, son of
Vikramaditya mentioned by Kalhana in the Eajataranginl, is a matter of
considerable doubt.

If the identity is, however, acceptedf the history of the western
portion of Malwa becomes very easy and straight and we may believe
that the line of the great Emperor who defeated the Huns did not be-
come obscure for a hundred years at least, but ruled in Western Malwa
to which couutry we may properly assign Mandsaur where his Jayastam-
bha was found. At the time of Hiuen Tsang's visit, the grandson of this
Siladitya must have been ruling, for Hiuen Tsang relates that Siladitya
who was a most devout Buddhist had built a temple of Buddha near his
palace. "The fine work had been continued for successive generations
without interruption" (Records Watters, Vol. II, page 242). The tem-
ple must have been added to in this way, for at least three generations,
when Hiuen Tsang visited Malwa. The dynasty may be, thus, supposed
to have ruled Western Malwa from before 528 to 640 A. D., for certain
Of course, the mention of successive generations of Siladitya by Hiuen
Tsang makes:it impossible toibelieve with Dr. Hoernle that this Siladitya
could have been alive in 606 A. D., to attack Grahavarma. As we have
already said the attacker of Grahavarma was Devagupta alone.

Dr. Hoernle's idea that Siladitya of Molapo was a Pro-Hunic king
seems also to be difficult of acceptance. I believe the only basis for
this supposition is that he invoked the assistance of Pravarasena II of
Kashmir. But Pravarasena II was not a Hunic king. Even if we be
lieve that his father was Toramana he was not according to Ealhana a
on of Mihirakula. I do not think Dr. Hoernle's reference here to the
Rajataranginl bears ih'is out. Toramana was the younger brother of
Hiranya, who imprisoned him for .striking coins in his own name. His
pregnant wife escaped and gave birth to Pravarasena. After Hiranya's
death therefore, there was an interregnum for a time during which ,
Matrigupta was appointed ruler by Vikramaditya. Pravarasena coming
of age, recovered his kingdopi onVikramaditya's deaih from Matrigupta.
If we believe Kalhanaj's story, then, Pravarasena was not a Hunic king.
And Pravarasena assisted Siladitya to regain his kingdom, with the
probable object of recovering the throne of Kashmir kings which Vikrama
had removed to Malwa as mentioned in Raj. Ill, 331.

If we keep Kalhana aside we may say that there was in Kashmir an

nterval of foreign rule, probably under the Huns, which Vikrama broke

and Matrigupta was appointed by him to rule it, there being no claimant

available. Pravarasena hearing of Vikrama's, death and claiming the

t And this may be done by takinc the word nephew to mean that Dhruvabhata'
father and Siladitya of Malwa were brothers in the sense^that they were the sons of two
full sisters.



SILADITYA OF MOLAPO 47

kingdom as a scion of the old reigning family took it back from Matri-
gupta. In short, in either case Siladitya could not have been a Pro-Hun.
He was a devout Buddhist and could not have been a bad man also
Of course, his capital was not Ujjain. Kalhana, as we have already said.
confounds Vikrama S'akUri,* the legendary hero of Ujjain with Yaso-
dharma, the conqueror of the Buns, who from his pillar erected at
Mandsore may well be taken to have really ruled in Western Malwa, and
his son Siladitya naturally ruled there.

On one point, however, I think it is not impossible to accept
Dr. Hoernle's idea. His suggestion that the coins of Harsa PratapasTla
and Siladitya found with those of Isanavarma and Grahavarma ;it
Bhitaura, Fyzabad District, noticed by Mr. Burn in J. R. A. S. 1909
mentioned before, should be attributed to Yasodharma and his son
Siladitya, deserves to receive more favourable consideration than it has
hitherto done. By a strange coincidence the names Harsha, Pratapasila
and Siladitya apply to both Harsha and PratapasTla of Thanesar and to
Yasodharma and his son Siladitya. Rajtarangini (III. 125) gives Harsha
as another name of Vikramadityaand his son Siladitya had also another
name of Pratapasila (Do. III. 330. )t Theyears on these coinsareasMr.
Burn says regnal. Harsha of Thanesar established an era of his own and
his years may be regnal, but his father Pratapasila like Isana would rather
use the Gupta era or some other era. He was not an emperor nor did be
claim to be one. His titles and those of Isana are the same and hence it
is not probable that he would use his regnal years on his coins. He does
not appear to have reigned long and his years, even if regnal, could not
have been so many as 33 or 31. Thirdly, it appears from the Harsha-
Charita that the coin of Haraiia was marked with a bull. At least this
was so in the first year of his rule (^HT^T^f\v{^■^iff^cfT ffB^nsff 5^ ^ttW^
H. C, p. 274) and the same would be the case with the coins of his
father if they did not copy the Gupta coins. These arguments should
induce us to attribute these coins to Harsha Yasodharma Vikramaditya
who was an emperor of India and his son Pratapaisla alias Siladitya
whowould use his own or his father's regnal years. The name Siladitya

t The foUowinS slokas from Raiata. Ill are relevant

T^^q- 5IcTFRlT?5 g ^ft^f^r'KTfM*'^ II and
TT^f^35f?:j^qrtt m^ll'^c2I^?Pi^ in '.Ml



48



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Online LibraryChintaman Vinayak VaidyaHistory of mediæval Hindu India (being a history of India from 600 to 1200 A.D.) .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 6 of 38)