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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and beards". "The temple" says Istakheri in 975 A. D. " is
situated in the most populous part of the city in the
market of Multan between the bazaar of ivory dealers and
coppersmiths. The idol has a human shape and is seated
with its legs bent in a quandrangular posture on a throne
made of bricks and mortar. Its whole body is covered
with a red skin like morocco leather and nothing but its
eyes are visible. 'Some say that the body is made of wood.
The eyes of the idol are precious gems and the head is
covered with a crown of gold." Some time after 976 A. D.
Multan was captured by a Karmatian chief of Zelem, son
of Shaiban, when the priests of the temple were massacred,
the statue of the sun god was broken to pieces and the
the temple itself was converted into a mosque.

"But the zeal of the Hindus and the avarice of the
Mahomedan rulers (for they profited from the offerings of
the devotees) restored the sun god and a temple seems to
have been built near the old one (as everywhere else in


India e.g. at Benares, the Visvesvara temple and atUjjain,
the old Mahakala temple or at Ayodhya). Therefore
although when Abul Rihan visited the city of Multan
there was no temple nor statue, the worship of the sun god
"was flourishing when Idrisi wrote in 1130. A.pparently in
his time the Ravi had changed its course and it was now a
little river — only an overflow from it in the rainy season.
Kazwini in 1-63 gives the same account but adds that the
great mosque was near the temple i.e. in the very middle of
the fort. The temple is described by the French traveller
Therenot who visited the place in A. D. 1666. He
describes the idol as clothed in red leather with a black
face and two pearls for eyes. This was before Aurangzeb
had begun his bigoted persecution of the Hindu religion.
The jSnal destruction of the temple and the idol is rightly at-
tributed to him and the temple and the sun god exist no more.
It may be added that this worship of the sun is Indo-Aryan
und not borrowed from the Persians, as some believe. In
the first place the Persians do not worship idols and the
idol of the sun can only be Hindu. Its covering red
leather, its ruby eyes and the halo crown round its head
with its curing skin diseases are also Hindu ideas.
Even on coins the sun is represented in this way.
Thus says Cunningham'^ (Arch.S.R. Vol.V. p. 122) describing

* Cunningham describss the fort of Multan minutely. There are no remains of _
ancient structures, for in Multan stone is not available and buildings are built only of'
bricks. He therefore in order to find the history of the fort sank a-v(fell until undis-
-turbed 'mother' earth was reached about -10 feet below the surface all of which was the
accumulation of ages and he has given a most interesting description of the layers of
debris found. " The accumulation of debris seems to be about one and a half feet per
century. Two coius were discovered at a depth of about 10 to 12 feet, the upper one of
Kaikobad A. D. 12S'? the lower one of Samanta Deva of Kabul A. D. «00 or itoO. Bricks
found increase in size as one goes deeper. This shows that the ancients used larger
bricks, But the two interesting discoveries made in this Archaeological well were the
great masses of ashes found at two different depths. The upper one vyas about 3 feet
thick and found below 16 ft. The position of this deposit corresponds
with the period of Mahamad Kasim's conquest of Multan in 712 A. D. when the fort was
stormed and burnt. The other layer of ashes was found at a depth of 32 feet which
corresponds nearly with the period oE Alexander's capture of the capital city cf the
Malloi It is possible that this layer may b; the remains of some conflagration that
attended the massacre of the inhabitants committed by Grecian soldiers enraged at
Alexander's wound. Even below this layer of ash;s v.-ere found a shoemaker's sharpen-
ing stone and a copper vessel filled with about 2 coins square in shape but unrecognis-
able, being entirely coroded ". The last proves that coins were current in India long
before Alexander's invasion ( p. lii) )•


a coin "The reverse is a bust of a god which Princep
refers to as the Mithra of the Persians, but which I believe
to be the Multan sun god called Aditya. The head is
surrounded by rays after the Indian fashion and quite dif-
ferent from the head dress of the Persian Mithra. (This
coin Cunningham believes to belong to Dewaij founder of
the dynasty which ruled in Sind before Chacha about the
year 500 A. D. ).

A second coin bears the same head and the name of
Khushru Parvej of Persia showing that some parts of Sind
were conquered by that king as even the Chachanama
states. And the third coin bears the same sun god's head.
Or: the obverse is a legend with the words "king of Multan"
at the end and on the reverse the rayed headof the sun with
the name in Nagari of "Shri Vasudeva" and "Fancban
Zabulistan". This shows according to Cunningham that a
king by name Vasudeva ruled in Multan sometime very
near the days of Chacha. He was probably the same as
the Taki mentioned in the Chachanama.

Multan was known also for another temple and thence
called Pehladpuri. The city was also called Kasyapapura
noticed in Greek histories as Kaspeira. Kasyapa is supposed
to be the father of Hiranya-Kasipu and it is believed
this demon ruled here and wanted to kill his son Pralhada
for worshipping Vishnu. The temple of Pralhada at
Multan was long famous, an annual mela being held
about it on Narasimha's birth-day. This temple was blown
up by an explosion of a powder-magazine in its vicinity
about 1859 A. D.


The meagre details we have recorded regarding the three
kingdoms of Tekka, Jalandhara and Multan raise the
question why in the Panjab which is the undoubted home
of the Indo Aryans and which has always been warlike, no flourishing
Hindu kingdoms are found in,this mediaeval period ci Indian history.
The fact appears to be that since the invasion of Alexander that pro-
vince has usually been under the rule of foreign races. Indeed the
Panjab has been the buffer province of India, always trampled down by
conquering hordes from the north-west. When Alexander came he
found here many kingdoms and peoples, more warlike than those he
had met with in Asia thitherto. About 70 peoples are mentioned in
the Panjab by Arrian as having opposed Alexander. The
ancient Puranas and the Mahabharata too mention many kingdoms in
the Panjab; some names stillsurvivingtothe mediaeval period. Gandhara,
Takshasila, Kekaya, Madra, Trigarta, Malava Kshudraka, Sibi, Amba-
shtha, Yaudheya, and many other warlike Kshatriya tribes had thus
kingdoms in the Panjab when Alexander invaded India. Most of them
were conquered and many Kshatriya warriors were massacred. Inva-
sion after invasion followed Alexander's conquest. For a few ye^rs
only the Panjab wus subject to Chandragupta and Asoka but since 200
B. C. Bactrian Greeks ( 200-100 B. C. ) Sakas ( 100 B. C— 100 A. D. )
Kushans (100-300 A. D.) and finally Huns 400 A. D.) invaded India and
ruled in the Panjab. Thus while Alexander had almost destroyed all
Kshatriya kingly families, the Panjab was devoid of native rule from
200 B. C. to about 500 A. D. When the Hun power was overthrown
native rule again estajlished itself; but there were no powerful Ksha-
triya kingly families to assert themselves again and the province was
ther.fcre chiefly divided between Kashmir and Sind, while Gandhara
to the west of the Indus and a seat of Hun power was. as we have
seen, taken possession of by the powerful Kshatriya family of Kabul.
Taxila arid Sinhapurwerein the apossession of Kashmir; arid Multan and
Polato were in that of Sind their boundaries being conterminous. In
eastern Panjab there were as stated above the two kingdoms of the Tekka
which had seized the Hun kingdom of Sakala or Sailkot and Jalandhara*

How did then the Panjab remain Indo-Aryan as ethnology and
tradition unmistakably prove, down to the present day ? That is a
most interesting question whish rises here. Notwithstanding foreign
rule for 1300 years in pre-Mahomedan times and Mahomedan rule
for nearly 700 years again from 1000 A. D. to 1700 A. D. Panjab still is
par excellence the laud of the Aryans as Sir H. Risley has found. He
has clearly shown that it is in the Panjab and Rajputana alone that
the popjlation is Indo-Aryan almost from the highest to the lowest
strata. To understand this condition of things correctly we must go
back to the Vedic period and trace the history of the Indian Aryans
down to modern times.


When the Indo Aryans came to the Panjab in their migrations tO'
the south in Vedic or Avestic times they found a land just to their
hearts' desire, a land plain and fertile devoid of hills and ravines. These
Aryans were an agricultural people and coming from the plains o'
Central Asia they were probably averse to living in a mountainous
country. They liked a land which Manu designates Jangala and
which he describes as a fertile plain devoid of forest and with a dry-
climate like their Central Asian habitat. They found the Panjab just
as they had wanted, but as the Avesta says it was extremely hot and
full of serpents. The aboriginal Dravidian population here seems to
have been sparse and as the Aryans settled and took to cultivation, that
population receded southwards. It is hence that the Panjab is popu-
lated from the highest to the lowest strata by an Aryan population
throughout its different layers. It may be remarked here that
a country cannot be said to be inhabited by a people unless .the culti-
vators belong to the same race as the rulers. In the Panjab the culti-
vators or the Vish are Aryans as has been said over and over again and
it is hence that the Panjab is a land of the Indo-Aryans par excellence.
The lowest strata or labourers and menials were probably of the
Dasa or Dravidian race but the province down to Alexander's conquest
was generally full of the Aryan population which in this fertile land as
in America in a short time must have multiplied and filled the
whole country.

This people belonged to the first race of Aryan invaders or the
solar race according to our view. The second race of Aryan invaders
the lunar race people came subsequently through Gilgit into the valley
of the Ganges like a wedge in the Indo-Aryan land then extending from
Gandhara to Ayodhya along the foot of the Himalayas, a tract which
has a milder climate than the parts west-wards. The new invaders
could not expand either in the Panjab or in Oudh und hence spread south-
wards along the iKinks of the Jumna as far as the Vindhya range of
mountains i.e. from Jubbulpore and Ujjain in the south to Allahabad and
Ghazipur in the north. In this tract, however, the aboriginal population
was denser and stronger and it remained practically the cultivator af
the soil except in Kurukshetra, the tract where the lunar Indo-Aryans
first settled. The condition of this southern tract, therefore, differed
from that of the Panjab as the people consisted of two layers of popula-
tion, the lower Dravidian and the higher Aryan. While the warriors
and prelsts and traders were Aryan the cultivators and the artisans and
labourers were Dravidian. The Aryans in this tract intermarried
to a larger extent with the lower Dravidian population and hence
grew up that mixture of Aryan and Dravidian races which characterises
the population of the present United and Central provinces (as noted
by Sir H. Risley. )

In Bengal the Aryans went later. Only some Brahmins
went of themseUes as religious teachers and some were even called


by native kings. But into the Maharashtra the ^ndo-Aryans went
in larger numbers. For as we have said theywore fond of a dry open
fertile plain and the plains of Maharashtra were just of this kind.
There was a forest there no doubt but the country was not very hilly
and the Indo-Aryans settled in this land with great enthusiam. These
were of course Aryans of the second horde of invaders viz. of the lunar
race and with their peculiar tendency they inter-raarried with the
local Dravidian population. That population, was sparse and not
thick. Hence the Indo-Aryans though they became mixed to some
extent in Maharashtra imposed their language and their religion easily
upon the people. Hence also it is that Maharashtra including Vidar-
bha or Berars is notably a land of the Indo-Aryans though not
par excellence yet to large extent. As remarked above a land can be
said to be inhabited by a people when the agriculturists belong to that
people. In Maharashtra next after the Panjab the cultivators are
Aryans or rather mixed Aryans ; and hence it is that the
yeomanry of Maharathtra has signalised itself so often in ihe history
of India as a martial people.

To the further south i. e. in the Madras Presidency the Dravidian
population was thick along the sea-coast and much more advanced in
civilization than their brethren in the rest of the country. Brahmins
alone, therefore, migrated into this land or were specially invited.
Though they gave their religion to th3 people they could not give their
language to them but on the contrary adopted the language of the latter.
In Konkan on the west coast though the cultivators are Dravidians that
Dravidian population was sparse and hence the Aryans imposed their
language upon it but on the east coast i. e. in Andhra, ihe Dravidian
population was too numerous to be impressed and the Indo-Aryans
chiefly mixed Aryans, eventually adopted the language of the people.*

Such in short is the history of the Aryan settlement of India down
to the days of the last recasting of the Mahabharata, which as we have
shown elsewhere was contemporaneous with the invasion of Alexander.
India was certainly fully populated in his days. It contained even then
as the Mahabharata Bhlshmaparva chap. 9 itself states, an Aryan, a
raixed-Aryan, and a Mlechha population. The Aryans were in the
Panjab and Oudh. The mixed Aryans were in U. P., C. P. C. I. and
Maharashtra and in Aparanta (or modern Konkan) and even in Andhra
which the Mahabharata list of countries includes among rhe Bharata-
khanda peoples. To the south of this were the Dravidian Mlechhas
(Pandya, Chola, Kerala, and others) and beyond India to the north
were the other Mlechhas, Saka, Barbara, Kamboja and so on. It is
necessary to add that Bengal (Anga, Vanga, Kalinga and Odra) was
also included among Indian countries and had probably mixed Aryan
populations. Let us now see what happened when inroads of foreign

* We may say that even in Andhra the language of the higher classes was Indo-
Aryan for a long time, see note on the subject.


Mlechhas began to come, in the wake of Alexandre's invasion and almost
destroyed all the Kshatriya kingdoms in the Panjab. We know from
verified history that though after Alexander the Panjab was for a time
included in the Maurya empire of Pataliputra yet from 200 B. C.
successive waves of foreign Mlechhas came into the Panjab and esta-
blished strong kingdoms there. First came the Bactrian Groeks, then
the Sakas, then the Yue-chi who under Kanishki had a wide empire
over lands as well beyond the Panjab to the nonh as extending south-
wards into the present United Provinces. Naturally all Aryan ruling
families in the Panjab were either destroyed ; or were forced south-
wards. The Malavas and other warlike independence-loving Kshatriyas
in this way migrated into the plains of Central India. But the settled
population of the Panjab remained Indo-Aryan as before. As water
poured over a pot full of water cannot enter or disturb the water within,
so the successive waves of invaders passed over the head of the settled
population of the province. It no doubt carried away the ruling families
but could not disturb or destroy the settled population of the country.

To understand this phenomenon we must try to realise how con-
quering fiations and peoples in later times have moved and fared. In
the primitive stages of the human evolution no doubt, settling expedi-
tions of men, women and children are found and these usually settle in
vacant or almost vacant tracts. In later history, however, conquering
peoples usually come into tracts already fully peopled and settle therein
not as cultivatfirs but as superimposed ruling peoples. The cultivation
of land and other work of labour and art are left to the already settled
people. The conquerors generally reside in capital cities and towns
and disperse over the country not into each village but over large divisions
as Jagirdars or barons. This is what happened for instance when the
Norman conquest of England took place. Tuis is what we see actually
happening in India under tho British conquest of the country. Even
when the conquering people are one in religion with the people already
settled, though not in race, the conquering people remain above the
country's old population like a separate layer. Living examples of this
are met with even in the India of to-day. The Marathas.of Scindia-
Holkar or Gaikwar or theiMoguls of the Nizam have not mingled with
the population of their territories and they still remain as distinct
layers superimposed, living mostly at the capital and in the larger
district towns, as officers or greater landlords. Now it will be clear to
Anybody that such a population does not by the very laws of nature
thrive. When the land is vacant, the population increases by leaps and
bounds and within a couple of centuries fills the land. But asuperampcsed
population enjoying the luxuries of a ruling people does not increase
For instance, the Maratha population of the Indore or BaVoda State or
the Mogul population of Hyderabad is practically stationary and has not
increased though near two centuries have passed since their rule was
©Btablished over their respective territories.


Now consider what will happen supposing their rule is overthrown
The superimposed layer of the ruling people, separata as it is, will dis-
appear without impressing the people in the least. The English, for
example, will completely disappear if they lose their rule in India ; for
they not only do not increase but do not even make India their home.
The Marathas of Baroda or the Moguls of Hyderabad will mostly
retire to their respective home lands and those that have
made the new country their home will remain if they do remain as a
distinct people. Their number may even dwindle away under the adverse
circumstances of their condition. The hypothetical case which we
have here described was what must have actually happened in the
Panjab during the successive waves of conquest over it. The Greek
Bactrian rule was overthrown by the Sakas and left no remnant of its
population. So was the succeeding Saka rule overthrown by Vikrama-
ditya of 57 B.C. and left no trace in northern India and the Panjab.
Even the Kushans who enjoyed a long extensive rule in the Panjab and
adjoining lands frem 1.50 A. D. to later than 300 A. D. left no remnant.
The Kushans even if numerous were overlords spread in cities and
towns and could not have increased in population and when overthrown
must have left the land or dwindled away. The Huns came in about
400 A. D. were supreme for about a hundred years and were over-
thrown about 500 A. D. Their Gandhara kingdom went to the Ksha-
triya kings of Kabul as we find from Hiuen Tsang and their second king-
dom in the Panjab about Sakala was changed into the Tekka kingdom-
A Huna kingdom appears to have been left in India somewhere, for a
Huna Kshatriya family is mentioned later on. But they did not
impress the rural population which lei-oained uncontaminated. And
even if some remained the facility afforded by the Indian social ten-
dency towards the formation of subcastes bound by interdiction of
marriage must have prevented all intermixture of races. If we
therefore consider carefully how foreign conquests in historical times
afifect populations fully established, we can see that the lat^r conquer-
ing peoples, the Greeks, the Sakas, the Kushans and the Huns have
disappeared rather than that the original settliny Indo-Aryan popula-
tion fully settled in the Panjab could have disappeared leaving the later
Scythic peoples in the country as many Indian antiquarians seera ' o
believe. This is the true axplanation of the undoubted ethnic fact that
the population of the Panjab is still almost pure IndoAryan though
successive waves of conquest from the Greek down to the Mogul have
from time to time passed over it.

Two important inevitable consequences, however, followed from
these successive foreign invasions and foreign rules. The people of the
Panjab Indo-Aryan as they are lost that love of independence which
always everywhere characterises the Aryan people. Strong in phv-
sique and warlike and brave in their temperament, the people of the


Panjab yet rarely asserted themselves in later history and became in-
dependent. The Indian theory of politics explained in the first book
also came in to aid viz. that kingship is given by God to those only
who have performed austerities in former lives; that the people have
nothing to do with the form and the personnel of government and that
their dnty is to obey rulers established by divine will. The warlike people-
of the Panjab, therefore, fretted very little if the Arabs ruled from
Multan or the Kashmirians ruled from Sri Nagara. Many Kshatriya
families no doubt still remained in the land as overlords of one village or
groups of villages. Nay, many Rajput families appear to have come back
into the Panjab from Rajputana and elsewhere as we shall have to show
in the next volume, during the period of native rule between 500 and
1000 A. D. : but they never tried to establish new Hindu kingdoms, and
remained content with their petty overlordships. We have often said a
Kshatriya or rather Rajput (for the word Kshatriya or Khatri in later
times became degraded in the Panjab and applied to Kshatriyas taking to
mercantile occupations) must have some place, a petty village at the
least, where he maybe called a raja and bowed to by a barber or a tenant
As even theBhagavadgita observes, Isvarabhava or the attribute of lord-
ship belongs to theKshatriya by his very nature. Yet in the Panjab even
among the Rajputs this natural instinct does not seem to have developed
into a strong irrepressible desire for establishing self-rule. The people
lor a long while had become accustomed to foreign rule and did not
care who ruled them so long as they were left in the enjoyment of their
hereditary lands and villages with their hereditary customs and manners.

The other point of importance to be noticed is that during the first
period|of 1200 years' subjection to foreign rule in the Panjab, there was no
difference of religion between the rulers and the ruled. The foreign
invaders were with one exception Buddhists and they too were half Hindu
and half Buddhists. There was, therefore, no bitterness of religious
difference added to the gall of foreign rule during this period. The
Huns of Mihirakula were not Buddhist.s but were Saivites. But that
too was in response to and in consonance with the changed sentiment
of the people. A reaction had already set in against Buddhism and
Mihirakula did not offend the majority of his subjects when he person-
ted the Buddhists as related bitterly by Hiuen Tsang. Under Mihira-
kula too, therefore, there was no religious difference between the people
and their foreign rulers and it is hence perhaps that the warlike sturdy
people of the Panjab remained reconciled to foreign rule. The tendencies
generated by this long subjection to foreign rule consequently were
too strong to be suppressed by even the difference in religion when
Mahomedan conquest under the Turks of Mahmud came over the land
in 10"0 A. D. How it affected the people little we shall See in our
next volume.


Some Inscriptions in the original

( Corp. Ins. Vol. Ill No. 42 p. 200. )

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