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ERRATA.

Page 68.—For Purņas’ubhakaran, read Purņas'ubhakaraní.

Page 320.—In line 21, and also line 26, in place of No. X., read No. IX.

INTRODUCTION.

ALIKE as to limits and as to influence, the Indian kingdoms of former times were, with few exceptions, inconsiderable; such of them as lay conterminous were often at open feud; and their cities, or fortified towns, constituted, in fact, their only stable boundaries. It was, probably, with the dominion of the Kâsis as it was with other seats of Hindu power. Deriving its origin from some city, as Pratishthâna,' or Vârâņasî,” it must have acquired extent and consideration by very gradual development.

At least since a hundred and twenty years before our era, Vârâņasî, as denoting a city, has been a name

1 Vide infra, p. xxv., note 1. * Also called Varâņasî and Varanasî, according to the Haima-kośa and the Sabdaratnávali, respectively. The latter of these vocabularies is of small authority.

A rational system of Romanized spelling would give us, instead of Benares, Banâras. The form qalth was the work, perhaps, of the Muhammadans. It should appear that the metathesis of r and ņ, in the original word, must be later than the times of Fă Hian and Hiouen Thsang

Vide infra, p. xxviii., notes 1 and 2. In the ordinary belief of the vulgar of Benares, the name of their city is connected with Raja Banâr,---a mythical magnate, of whom mention is associated with that of the reformer Kabîr, of the beginning of the fifteenth century. Asiatic Researches, Vol. XVI., p. 57. “According to some of the Muhammadan accounts,” says Mr. James

familiar to Brahmanical literature. The word is crudely referred, by modern inventiveness, to a combination of Varaņâ and Asi ;? and all the other explanations that we have of its source are equally questionable.

1

Prinsep, but without naming his voucher for the statement, Benares

was governed by a Raja Banâr, at the time of one of Mahmûd's invasions, or in A.D. 1017, when one of his generals penetrated to the province, and defeated the Raja.”--Benares Illustrated, p. 9. General Cunningham states that Raja Banâr is traditionally believed to have rebuilt Benares about eight hundred years ago. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, for 1863, Supplementary Number, p. xcvi.

Vârâņasî is specified more than once in Patanjali's Mahâbhâshya. On the age of that work, see my edition of Professor Wilson's translation of the Vishnu-purâņa, Vol. II., p. 189, ad calcem.

2 So allege the Pandits of the present day; repeating, no doubt, a long-current conceit of their predecessors : see the Asiatic Researches, , Vol. III., pp. 409, 410. This notion, though it has found expression in the Araish-i-mahfil and other recent Muhammadan books, is, I believe, only implied in the Puranas. It is said, for instance, in the third chapter of the Vámana-purâņa, that Vârâņasî lies between the Varaṇa and the Asi:

हरिरुवाच ।
महेश्वर शृणुष्वेमां मम वाचं कलखनाम् ।
ब्रह्महत्याक्षयकरों शुभदां पुण्यवर्धिनीम् ॥
यो सौ ब्रह्माण्डके पुण्ये मदंशप्रभवो व्ययः ।
प्रयागे वसते नित्यं योगशायीति विश्रुतः ॥
चरणाद्दक्षिणात्तस्य विनिर्गता सरिद्वरा।
विशुता वरणेत्येव सर्वपापहरा शुभा ॥
सव्यादन्या द्वितीया च असिरित्येव विश्रुता।
ते उभे च सरिच्छ्रेष्ठे लोकपूज्ये बभूवतुः ॥
तयोर्मध्ये तु यो देशस्तत्क्षेत्रं योगशायिनः ।
त्रैलोक्यप्रवरतीथं सर्वपापप्रमोचनम् ॥
न तादृशं हि गगणे न भूम्यां न रसातले ।
तत्रास्ति नगरी पुण्या ख्याता वाराणसी

शुभा॥
यस्यां हि भोगिनो नाशं प्रयान्ति भवतो लयम ॥

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