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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( Be^ng a History of India from 600 to 1200 A. D.)

Vol. i

( Circa 600-SOO A. D. )


C. V. VAIDYA» M. A., LL. B.,

HoNY. Fellow Bombay University

AND Author of

Mahabharata: a criticism,

Riddle of the Ramayana,

AND Epic India



( All Rights Reserved. \

Printed at the 'Aryabhushan' Press, Poona City, by

Anant Vinayak Patvardhan, and published by

Chintaraan Vinayak Vaidya, at Poona.




to the beloved memorv

Lok. Bal Gangadhar Tilak

in token of

admiration for hi s learned researches

and affectionate interest in studies

relating to the ancient

greatness of India.





I Accession of Harsha ... ... ] — 9

II Harsha's Empire ... ... 10 — 15

III The Kingdoms in India in Harsha's Time... ... 16 — 32

Notes— 1 The Maukharis of Kanauj ^ ... ... 33—34

2 Devagupta of Malwa ... ... 35 — 38

3 Sir V. Smith on Maukharis and Guptas ... 3y— 4(1

4 The Date of Harsha's Birth ... ... 41—42

5 Bana on Harsha's Exploits ... ... 43 — 44

6 Siladitya of Molapo ... ... 44—47

7 Indian Kingdoms described by Hiuen Tsang. 48 — 57

IV The People* ... ... 58—75

Note — Jats, Gujars and Marathas ... ... 76 — 88

V Social Condition ... ... 89—99

VI Religious Condition ... ... 100-114

VII Political Condition ... ... 115-127

VIII Civil Administration ... ... 128-141

IX Army, Nobles and Court ... ... 142-155

NOTES — 1 System of Valabhi Administration about

A. D. 500-700 ... ... 156-157

2 7H Lakhs Rattapadi ... ... 158-160

BOOK 11.



I Revolution in Sind ... ... 161-167

II Conquest of Sind by the Arabs ... ••• 168-186

III Sind down to the end of the 12th Century ... 187-189.

IV The Shahis of Kabul ... .- 190-198
Note— Was the 1st Shahi dynasty Turki ? ... 199-201

V The Karkotakas of Kashmir ... ... 202-219

VI Later History of Kashmir ... ... 220-231

Notes— 1 Political Condition of Kashmir. ... 233-235

2 Genealogy of Kashmir kings ... ... 236-237

3 Some Notable facts about Kashmir ... 238-240

4 Exactions of Sankarvarman .. ... 241-


V[I The Maitrakas of Valabhi ... ... 242-250

VIII The Gurjaras of Broach ... 251-257

IX The Chalukyas of Badami ... ... 258-276

Note— Flight of Vijayaditya ... ... 276-278

. X The Pallavas of KanchI ... ... 279-293

Notes— 1 Kuram Pallava grant. 2 Some NasikCave

Inscriptions ... ... 29t-296

XI The Eastern Chalukyas of Vengi and Kalinga ... 397-311

Notes— 1 The Chandravarasa pedigree in later

Chalukya grants ... ... 312

2 Andhra ... ... 313

3 Aryan Advance into South India ... 314-317
XII The Kesari dynasty of Orissa ... ... 318-326

XTII The Eastern Kingdoms

1 The Guptas of Gauda ... ... 327-330

2 Vanga ... ... 331

3 Karaarupa ... 332
XIV The Varmas of Kanauj ... ... 333-342

Note— Gaudavaho, Conquests of Yasovarman and

Paraslkas ... ... 343

XV The Haihayas of Kosala ... ... 344-347

Note— Chhattisgarh or Ancient Kosala ... ... 348-349

XV[ The Kainkila Yavanas of Andhra ... ... 350-35 4

XVII The Western Kingdoms

1 The Gurjara Chapas of Bhinmal ... ... 35^-35

2 The Vardhanas of Western Malwa ... ... 359

3 Central Malwa ... ... 3 60

4 Jejakabhukti and Mahesvarapura ... ... 361-362

XVIII Himalayan States ... ... 363-364

Nepal ... ... 365-376

Notes— 1 Lichhavis ; 2 Minor Himalayan States ... 377-381

XIX The Kingdoms of the Panjab • ... ... 382^388

Note — Why the Panjab remains Indo-Aryan ... 3S9-394

APPENDIX— Some Inscriptions in the Original ... L95-400


In these volumes it is proposed to give the history in
detail of India during what may be called the Mediaival
Hindu period. The histor}'' of India naturally falls into
two main portions, the ancient and the modern. It is
plain that the modern history of India commences from
the establishment of the Slave Dynasty of Mahomedan
emperors and is divisible into three periods viz. ( 1 ) the
Mussalman period from about 1200 A. D. to roughly 1650
A.D. ( 2 ) the Maratha period from 1650 A.D. to 1818 A.D.,
the date of the fall of the Peshwas and ( 3 ) the British
period from 1818 A. D. down to the present day. The
ancient history of India also sub-divides itself into three
main periods which may be called the Aryan period, the
Aryo-Buddhistic period and the Hindu period. The Aryan
period commencing from the most ancient times variously
considered to go back to from 4000 to 2000 B. C. comes
down to about 300 B. C. and closes with the invasion of
India by Alexander. Ancient Aryan Kshatriya kingdoms
then disappeared and the Sudra Maurya dynasty, of em-
perors was established in India, ushering in the supremacy
of Buddhism under Asoka. The second period is remark-
able for the alternate triumphs of Buddhism and Aryanism
politically as well as religiously, and this period may,
therefore, be called not Buddhistic but Aryo-Buddhistic.
It extends from 300 B. C. to 600 A. D. and closes with the
final and greatest triumph of Buddhism under Harsha.
The third period of ancient Indian history wliich it is
proposed to treat of in these volumes begins with the fall
of Buddhism after Harsha and the rise of new Hindu (not
Arj'-an) kingdoms in India. Hinduism, as it is to-day,
was then formed and gathering strength it finally overthrew
Buddhism by the aid of the revived PurvaMimainsa philoso-
phy which re-established the supremacy of the Vedas and

ii Preface

the Vedic sacrifices. The long prevalence, however, of
the religion of non-salughter had created sentiments
among the people too strong to be suppressed; and although
Buddhism was extinct in India excepting IMagadha, that
sentiment /eared its head again in the rising popularity
of Jainjsm and Vaishnavism and in the reviving ascen-
dancy of the Uttara Mimamsa philosophy of the Vedanta.
The first Hindu kingdoms established after the death of
Harsha about 650 A. D. fell about 800 A. D. both by na-
tural decadence which overtakes kingly dynasties after a
period of about 150 to 200 years, and by other causes
which will be presently discussed. About this time, how-
ever, fresh orthodox Hindu kingdoms of Rajputs arose to
withstand the first onslaught of the Mahomedau religion
on India under the Arabs and raised Hinduism to its
climax. These kingdoms lasted from about 800 A. D.
to about 1000 A. D. when they fell before the
second onslaught of Mahomedanism under the Turks of
Mahmud of Ghazni. He, however, retired from India
excepting the Panjab and a third set of Hindu kingly
dynasties ruled in India for about 200 years m.ore and
these finally fell before the third onslaught of Mahome-
danism under Turks and Afgans who now settled in the
country and established Mahomedan rule in India on a
permanent footing. The principal Hindu period thus ranges
from 600 to 1200 A. D. and it may also be called, by refer-
ence to time, the Mediaeval period of Indian history. But
although in Hindustan, or Northern India, the Hindu period
thus closed about 1200 A. D. Hindu independent kingdoms
continued to rule in the Deccan for a hundred years more
and these fell before the conquering expeditions of
Allauddin Khilji and his general Malik Kafur in about 1300
A. D. South India rallied again for the last time and
reared a strong independent Hindu kingdom viz. that of
Vijayanagar, and this kingdom, after a brilliant career
of about 200 years, was finally defeated and completely
destroyed bv the Mahomedan powers of the Deccan at
the battle of Talikot in 1561 A. D.

The reader will now see that the history of the
Mediajval Hindu period which we propose to write in
these volumes falls into three sub-periods viz. first from
647 A. D. the date of Harsha's death to about 800 A. D.

Preface iii

the date of the full of the empire of the Varmas of Kaiuiuj,
second from 800 to lOOO A. D. that is the period of the
supremacy of the Pratihara emperors of Kauauj and
third from 1000 A. D. to 1200 A. D. the date of the fall
of the Gaharwar Rathod emperors of Kanauj. It must be
mentioned here that during the whole of the Hindu period
Kanauj was looked upon universally as the capital of
India just as in the previous Aryo-Buddhistic period,
Indian kingdoms looked up to Pataliputra as the Urbs
Prima of India. In the Deccan, these three sub-period >s
were distinguished by three Maratha kingly dynasties viz.
the Chalukyas of Badami, the Rashtrakutas of Malkhed
and the later Chalukyas of Kalyan, brought on in the rear
by the Yadavas of Devagiri from 1200 to 1300 A. D. These
three sub-divisions of the Hindu period we propose to
treat of in three separate volumes to which a fourth
volume may be added dealing with the history of the Deccan
during the fourteenth century and the history of South
India down to the final fall of the Hindus of Vijayanagar
in 1561 A. D. In fact our history may well be described
as the history of the decline and down-fall of the
Aryan empire in India, like the immortal work of
Gibbon on the decline and fall of the Roman em-
pire ending with the fall of Constantinople in 1453 A. D.
We have, however, called this work of ours by the more
modest name of the history of Medictval Hindu India con-
taining as it does the history of the several Hindu
independent kingdoms which ruled in India in medireval
times. This first volume contains the history of the first
set of Hindu kingdoms which ruled in India from about
650 to 800 A. D. though in particular cases like that of
Kashmir it has been found advisable to bring the history
down to the end of the Hindu period i.e. to 1200 A. D.
AVe have, however, followed the example of Gibbon in one
important respect and have given in Book I a detailed
account of the reign of Harsha which is in a manner the
basis of this history, and we have also taken a survey of the
political, social and religious condition of the country in
the time of that emperor, a condition which furnishes the
starting point for the subsequent evolution of the Hindu
people. As the reign of the Antonines was the culmi-
nating point of the Roman empire so was the reign of
Harsha the culminating point of India's evolution, and

iv Preface

curiously enough it will be found from these pages that
Harsha resembled the two great Roman emperors in many
and most marked points. And it is interesting to note
that as reliable materials are available for giving an
account of the reign of Harsha and the condition of hii.
times, as were available to Gibbon in writing about the
age of the Antonines. The records of the travels of Hiuen
Tsang and the life of Harsha written by the court-poet
Bana, supply us with two most vivid and detailed pictures
drawn by eye witnesses, which are invaluable to the his-
torian of ancient India. It is no wonder, therefore, that
we have in this volume based most of our remarks on the
observations of these two writers who, it is refreshing to
find, corroborate each other in the minutest details.

The momentous question will here be naturally asked —
a question to which the writer of these pages is expected
to give a reply — what were the causes which led to the
decline and down-fall of the Aryans in India ? They
had withstood successive invasions by the Greeks, the
Sakas, the Kushans and the Huns. They had not only
stubbornly resisted these invasions but freed India
within a hundred years each time. What is it that made
them unable to beat back the Arabs who permanently
enslaved Sind in 712 A. D. and the Turks and the Afghans
who finally subjected India to Mahomedan rule in
1000 and 1200 A. D. ? What was it in the history of
India from 500 A. D., when approximately the last foreign
rule of the Huns was overthrown, down to about 1000 A.D.
that sapped the strength of the Indian people and made
their warriors fiill like card-board sepoys before the Turks
of the Ghaznavide Mahmud 'i The historian of India who
lias studied this period of about 500 years of Indian
history is bound to throw light on the solution of this
momentous question and we proceed to indicate our views
succinctly in this matter.

The first and the foremost cause of the fall of the Indo-
Aryans was the complete ascendancy gained during this
period by what may be called the doctrine of the divine
right of kings. During the Aryan period Indian kingdoms
were lookied upon as belonging to the people. In Alexan-
der's days there were even some states where there were

Preface v"

HO kings and which are described by Greek writers as re-
publics. States and even kings were then known by
the names of the peoples and not by the names of
kingly families. Gradually during the Aryo-Buddhistic
period, owing to the recurrence of foreign invasion and
foreign rule, the people were less consulted in governmental
concerns, the kingly power gradually became absolute
and kingship was eventually looked upon as derived not
from the people but from divine favour. It came to be
believed that those who had performed severe austerities
in their previous births became kings in this. During the
Hindu period, therefore, kingdoms came to be known
by the names of kingly families or by the names of
the capitals they ruled. Instead of the Kurus and the
Panchalas, the Madras and the Surasenas of the Aryan
period we find in Hiuen Tsang, the same kingdoms called
by the names of Thanesar and Kanauj, Jalandhara and
Mathura. The mass of the people ceased to care who \
ruled them and were in fact ready to transfer their j
allegiance to any new king or kingly family which
was strong or fortunate enough to establish his or its
power. As explained in Chapter VII Book I at length,
under such view the sentiment of patriotism had no scope i
and in fact did never develop in India. The sentiment
of loyalty alone could flourish and did develop in
this country. But this system of political philosophy
conduced to the development of treason also along with
loyalty and treason has consequently always been
more in evidence in the history of India than in the
history of the West. Not only, therefore, did the Indian
people as a whole never fight against the Mahomedans but ,
traitors were always found ready to serve as instruments i
in the hands of foreign invaders. For Hindu superstition '
looked equally upon foreigners as enjoying divine favour, as
is illustrated by the history of Sind recorded in this volume.
Where the feeling of nationality is well-developed
and strong, not only is there less inclination towards
treason, but the whole people offer stubborn resistance
at each point in time and space to foreign conquest
and make it almost impossible. The case in India during the
Hindu period was exactly the reverse of this.

The people of India were prevented b)^ another and
more important reason from offering resistance as a whole

-vi Preface

to the Mahomedans. It is our view that one of the three
or more main causes of the fall of the Indo- Aryans
was the prevalence of Buddhism in this country'. As
Gibbon has shown that the spread of Christianity was one
of the causes of the decline of the Roman Empire, an
impartial historian of India cannot help declaring that the
prevalence of Buddhism in India operated in a similar
manner. Buddhism worked to bring about this downfall
of Indian kingdoms in more than one important direction.
The high esteem in which Buddhism held sanyasa and the
fact that it allowed people of all castes, men and women,
old and 5'oung, to flock to the fold of recluses and pass a
life of idleness and begging spread among the people a
sense of carelessness about their political condition and
worldly prosperity, which materially impaired their
capacity to offer resistance to foreign invaders. The
history of the conquest of Sind as described in these pages
^vill afford the most lamentable illustration of this
tendency of Buddhism. Mediaeval Hinduism indeed tried
to eradicate this morbid feeling of the people towards
sanyasa, but the sentiment was now too deep-rooted in
the minds of the people and as we shall have to relate in
9ur second volume, the greatest philosopher of India
Sankara had to recognise it and inculcate it as a tenet
of the new doctrine he preached, although he tried to
restrict Sanyassi to Brahmins and to males only. The Hin-
duism of modern days does not respect this restriction and
thousands of Sadhus of all castes, young and old, male
and female live in temples and Mathas which have
practically replaced the Sangharamas of the Buddhists so
vividly described by Hiuen Tsang, and pass their time, not so
much in devotional prayers as in an unceasing struggle to live
by begging. Such a philosophy must act prejudicially
on a people's capacity to resist and it is no wonder
that the Indo-Aryans fell before the Mahomedans in a
manner they had never done before.

The second direction in which the prevalence of Bud-
dhism impaired the capacity of the people to resist was
the remarkable change which the practice of the principle
of Ahinisa effected during the Hindu period
in the food of the people. Like sanyasa, Ahirnsa too
belongs to the old Aryan religion, but Buddhism so com-

Preface vii

pletely identified itself with that tenet that Buddhist kings
in India's early history often employed their political
power to prohibit animal food along with animal sacrifice
in their kingdoms. Meghavahana of Kashmir and
Siladitva of Malwa were two most renowned kings in this
respect. The latter, as Hiuen Tsang relates, gave strained
water even to elephants and horses " lest insects might
be killed." The efforts of Emperor Harsha in this direc-
tion were more extensive and more successful and Huien
Tsang records that animal slaughter and animal food
ceased throughout the Five Indies. Now there can be no
question that a nation which adopts and practises absten-
tion from animal food as a high principle deteriorates in
its capacity to hold its own in the struggle of nations, unless
special efforts are made to keep up the fighting capacities
of the people. A non-flesh-eating people cannot possess the
physical stamina, the mental grip and tenacity, the restless-
ness, and even the ferocity so necessary for success in fight-
ing which, unhappily throughout history, characterizes the
evolution of the human race. The history of Mediaeval
Hindu India establishes the same fact. The Hindu king-
doms again and again gave their adhesion to the old Aryan
religion of animal sacrifice and again and again the senti-
ment of Ahimsa asserted itself till at last Hinduism accepted
abstention from animal food as one of its foremost te*nets,
and Hindu India finally fell before Mahomedans as we shall
have to relate in our third volume. Even now the fight-
ing portions of the people of India, viz. the Rajputs and
the Sikhs, the Marathas and the Jats, not to speak of the
outside Gurkhas, are flesh-eating people and these in
modern Indian history have certainly proved their capa-
city for resistance.*

Now we yield to none in our conviction that Ahimsa is
one of the few highest principles which the Indian Aryans
in their spiritual progress have evolved. As we have said
in this volume, there is no example in the history of the
world of a great people having given up animal food in
the pursuit of a high spiritual ideal, involving the loss of
so valuable a possession as political independence. The

*0f course flesh-eating cannot supply the went of martial instinct-
and several flesh-eating peoples are devoid of military qualities.



beneficial influence of Buddhism and Jainism cannot but
be acknowledged in stopping animal sacrifices in this
country. And if we cannot sacrifice animals to propitiate
the deity, we cannot, religiously speaking, partake of animal
food. The position which Jainism has taken in this respect
is the only logical one and INlax Muller has properly com-
plimented Indian thinkers on their fearlessness in taking up
the position at which they logically arrive. It would, there-
fore,be both illogical and unspiritual for us to recommend ani-
mal food much more animal sacrifices. The Vedas again do
not prescribe animal sacrifices only and we can still retain
our allegience to the Vedas if we make inanimate offerings
to the Vedic deities in the sacrificial fire. We need not,
therefore, recede from the high spiritual position at which
we in our evolution have arrived. Especially, the Hindus
including the Sikhs will never countenance the slaughter of
cows which have been sacred to them even from Vedic
times and which have become still more sacred in con-
sequence of their association with Shri Krishna. But
what we have to emphasize here is that the people of
this country have as a matter of history lost their politic al
independence, to a large extent, because of their havi ng
given up animal food in obedience to their higher spiri-
tual aspirations. The political danger involved in this
change of the food of the majority of the people was not
foreseen and as we shall see in our third volume no con-
scious effort was made to counteract the evil resulting
from the change. For, as we have said in the body of the
book, we believe that even a non-flesheating people can
hold their own in the struggle of nations, if they are inured to
arms and lead an abstemious life. Such unfortunately
ceased to be the case during the 12th and 13th ceiituries,
and India fell an easy prey to the inroads of the more
ferocious and sturdy flesh-eating peoples of the north.

We will lastly refer to the third most important cause
which impaired the power of the people of India to resist
foreign conquest as a whole. The ramification of the four
main castes or vainas which also took place during the
Mediaeval Hindu period contributed, in our view, very
largely to weaken the power of the people for resistance.
History shows that at the beginning of the Hindu period,
there was not an}^ extensive subdivision of the four main

Preface ix

castes and these again were not water-tight compartments
distinguished by the interdiction of marriage and even of
food. By the operation of several causes during the Hindu
period main castes began to subdivide themselves into innu-
merable subcastes not in consequence of any Buddhistic
influence, but in spite of it, till at last about the end of the
Hindu period that stupendous structure of caste, with its
jealousies and its prejudices, with its rigorous restrictions
on food and marriage which we see today was completed.
The natural result was that the people were divided and
could not and did not offer that united opposition which is
necessary to successfully resist foreign attempts at

Whatthen is the message we have to give to our Hindu
country-men through the pages of this history? It is this:-
first and foremost conscious efforts must be made to develop
the sentiment of nationality among the people of this coun-
tr}', overriding all the jealousies and differences created by
provincial or linguistic separation and even by religion.
Secondly, we must recognise more acutely our worldly
duties and responsibilities and systematic efforts must be
made, especially by those of us who do not eat flesh, to
develop our physical and mental capacities for fighting.
And thirdly all subcastes must be obliterated by free inter-
course in food and gradually even in marriage, though of
course it must be admitted that the division of the Hindu
society into the four main castes or Varnas is in-effaceable
and its obliteration should not be attempted. Every
religious revolution in India attempted it and failed.
Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Aryanism successively tried
to destroy varnas and so did even Christianity. Each and all
not only failed, but eventually succumbed to the
influence of caste. Subcastes, however, have no sanction
in the Hindu Sastras and systematic efforts to obliterate
them will be successful, especiall}- because they are the
growth of recent times only.

It remains for us to add a few words with regard to
the contents and the printing of this volume. It consists,
as stated before, of two books, the first treating of H^rsha
and his times, and giving the history of India from a bout
600 to 650 A. D. and the second giving the history of the
first set of Hindu kingdoms whicli ruled in the whole of

X Preface

India from about 650 to 800 A. D., though in particular
cases as stated above, the history has been brought down

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