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struct anything approaching a history. The kingdom of the Kasis, and its rulers, as is evinced by the frequency of reference to them, enjoyed, from distant ages, more or less of notoriety; and this is, substantially, all that the Hindu memorials teach us.

The Puranas specify but one dynasty of Kasi kings; a goodly catalogue, beginning, in the most authoritative of those works, with the son of Kasa.l To Kasa, by a lapse of perhaps two centuries, succeeded Divodasa, in whose reign Buddhism seems to have been still acting on the aggressive.2 In this synchronism there is no discernible improbability; and, with some likelihood, it embodies an historic fact. A reflexion of actual events may, likewise, be afforded in the story of the burning of Varanasi by the discus of Vishnu.a Of the age of Ajatasatru, as of other very early leaders of the Kiwis, none but most vague indications have, as yet, been discovered. Some of these personages ruled, not at Benares, but at Pratishthana ,1 and, at the time of the Muhammadan conquest, Benares and the surrounding country appertained to the throne of Kanauj.2

1 A Kas'a is named in the gana on Panini, IV., I., 10.

According to my five wretched copies of the Vdyu-purdipa, Kas’a was followed by Kasaya (???), Rashtra (‘2 ‘2), Dirghatapas, Dharma, Dhanwantari, Ketumat, Bhimaratha, Divodasa.

The Brahmdizda-purdaa has, in one place, Kas's and Kas’iya, as sire and son, and, a little further on, instead of them, Kas'ika and Kas'eya. Kas’ika, as evolving Kas'eya, must be considered as an optional elongation of Kas'i.

’ See the English Wshpu-purdqza, Vol. IV., pp. 30-40.

We read, in the Vdyu-purdna :

fritters {fit emit smmsrfwi‘r meal rsfiafis ass a 3'6‘ swmff ‘3121 | ‘131 fq'i'awmm we are W: n Then follows an account of the expulsion of Divodasa from Varanasi. So far as we know, he was the only king of the Kiwi family that had to do with that city. a See the Vishnu-purdrpa, Book V., Chapter XXXIV.

1 Its site was near Allahabad. Puru’s capital was Pratishthana, in the kingdom of the Kas’is, according to the Rdmdyaqza, Uttarakdgzda, LIX., 18, 19 :

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Before Pfiru, his father, Yayati, “lord of all the Kas’is,” reigned at Pratishthana. Mahdbhdrata, Udyoga-parran, $7. 3905 and 3918.

Purfiravas received Pratishthana in gift from his father Sudyumna. English Vishnu-Purina, Vol. III., p. 237. Also see Burnouf’s Bhdgavata-purdrga, Vol. III., Preface, pp. XCVII.—XCIX.

Pratishthana appears as a district of the kingdom of which Kanauj was the metropolis, in comparatively recent times. Vida supra, p. xxii., note 4.

Pratishthana is the name of a kingdom, or of part of one, in the Kathd-sarit-sdgara, VI., 8.

’ Vide supra, p. xxii., note 4. Several Sanskrit land-grants have been published,—two among them by myself,-from which it appears that the kings of the latest dynasty of Kanauj, from Madanapala to the unfortunate Jayachandra, were masters of Benares, in succession to their predecessors; and that they were so is fully made out by the Muhammadan historians.

In the fifth volume of the Asiatic Researches is a professed transcript of a short inscription from a stone, now long disappeared from sight, which was exhumed near Benares, in 1794. We read, therein, of a king of Gauda, Mahipala, father of Sthirapala and Vasantapala; and, at the end, the date 1083. An easy credulity may accept these statements, no longer possible of verification; but there still remains the question as to the era. of the year 1083, whether Vikramaditya’s, or Salivahana’s—better, Satavahana’s,—or Harsha’s, or whose. Not only are the blunders in this inscription, as printed, so many and so gross that we are forbidden to suppose they were in the original; but they provoke the surmise that the interspersed patches of the record which read as if correct


Flagrant as is the exaggeration of the Hindus, it is surpassed by that of the Buddhists. The Brahmadatta who figures so largely, in their sacred writings, as king of Benares 1 very likely was not a mythe ; 2 but there is no ground for crediting that Gautama ever governed that city at all, notwithstanding that they represent him to have reigned there- during nineteen several states of existence.3 In a similar spirit, they assert, that, at the same capital ruled, in turn, eighty-four thousand monarchs descended from Asoka.‘ From these specimens it is manifest that the Buddhist scriptures are little to be trusted for throwing light on the history of Benares. That Buddhism, or any Buddhist king, ever dominated

there is altogether problematical.

Some relevant details, scant, but interesting as far as they go, are derivable from the itinerary of Hiouen Thsangf a Buddhist pilgrim from China, who visited India in the first half of the seventh century. At that date, as he informs us, the kingdom of Varanasi had a circuit of eight hundred miles,1 while its capital measured nearly four miles by somewhat more than one. The inhabitants of the kingdom were, for the most part, Hindus. These were, mainly, worshippers of Siva; and among them were two classes of ascetics.2 Their

may be, to a large extent, equally products of ignorant mistake and misrepresentation. A good deal of weight has been allowed to this inscription; and it has been, from time to time, honoured as a piece of genuine historic evidence. Uncritically enough, I once followed the herd, myself, in this respect: see the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, for 1862. p. 8, first foot-note. It now appears to me rash to see, in it, proof that Benares was subordinate to Gauda, or anything else whatever claiming reliance.

1 Burnouf’s Introduction (2 Z’Histoire clu Buclzlhisme Inclien, Vol. I., p. 140; and Mr. R. S. Hardy’s Manual of Buzlliism, p. 101.

2 Another king unknown to the Hindu records is spoken of by the Buddhists. His name is Bhimas'ukla. See Der Buddhismus, translated from the Russian of Professor Wassiljew, Part I., p. 54.

I 3 Mr. R. S. Hardy’s Manual of Buclhism, p. 134.

‘ So states the .Dipavarhs'a. See the Journal of the. Asiatic Society of Bengal, for 1838, p. 927.

‘ Mémoirea sur les Contrées Occidentales, Vol. I., pp. 353, et seq.

temples amounted to a hundred, which gave lodgement to about ten thousand devotees.a The Buddhists, who are stated to have been much in the minority, kept up thirty religious houses, tenanted by three thousand inmates, all of the Sammatiya sect. In the capital1 were twenty Hindu temples, and a latten statue of Siva, a hundred feet in height. We are not apprised whether there were any sacred edifices of the pilgrim’s fellowreligionists in the capital itself; and the obvious inference is, that there were none, or none worth commemorating. On the monasteries, towers, and reservoirs of the immediate vicinity,2 hallowed by Buddhist

1 “About four thousand lis.” On the length of the li, consult Father Vivien de Saint-Martin, in Mémoires, etc., Vol. II., pp. 256— 259.

a On M. Julien’s own showing, both in the Mémoires and in the M'éthode, one of these classes, that of naked mendicants, has the name, in Chinese translettering, of ni-kien-t’o, i.e., niggantha, or even nigdntk,—a Prakrit word softened from the’ Sanskrit nirgrantha, which the French translation exhibits. Nowhere in his works does M. J ulien acknowledge, what he must have known full well, that he constantly puts into the mouth of Hiouen Thsang Sanskrit words, where he really used Prakrit. But there was a theory to support; and facts must be fitted to it.

a In the first instance, M. J ulien wrote : “On compte une centaine de temples des dieux (Déudlayas) 01‘1 habitent environ dix mille hérétiques, qui, 1a plupart, adorent le dieu Ta-tseu-t’sat‘-t‘ien (Mahégrvara. déua).” And there should seem to be no improvement in his later rendering: “ On voit une centaine de temples des Dieux. I1 y a environ dix mille hérétiques qui, la plupart, reverent le dieu Tatseu-theai' (Mahégvara Deva).”

The Chinese does not, to be sure, as the translator at first expressed it, literally quarter the aforesaid heretics in the temples, or, rather, monasteries; and yet its indefiniteness easily endures this interpretation. So I am informed by Professor Summers, my obligations to whom I shall presently acknowledge in connexion with a matter of graver import. And this construction alone quadrates with the previous context. For Hiouen Thsang makes Benares a large kingdom, and one in which the Hindus much outnumbered the Buddhists; and there must, then, have been many times ten thousand of the former.


One need do no more than collate M. Julien’s two versions of Hiouen Thsang’s short account of Benares, to be satisfied that the translator’s notion of the sense of his original is, sometimes, of the vaguest.

1 Its name is not specified. Fa Hian—of the beginning of the fifth century, and so an earlier traveller than Hiouen Thsang,—is translated as speaking of “la ville de Pho lo na'z', dans le royaume de .Kz'a chi.” Foé Koué K'i, p. 304.

’ Two of these remembrancers of the Buddhist faith, towers at Samath, beyond the Varana or Burns, are still conspicuous landmarks. The larger of them is called, by the natives, Dhamekh,— a corruption, in all likelihood, of an old word involving dharma as its first factor.

On the word of M. Stanislas Julien, Hiouen Thsang locates a monument “ au nord-est de la capitals, et a l’occident du fleuve de Po-lo-ni-sse (Var-amen,” and tells of a certain monastery at the distance of “environ dix li au nerd-est du fleuve de Po-lo-ni-sse (Varanaqi).” In a foot note, the phrase “ s l’occident du fleuve de Po-lo-ni--sse (Varanagi)” is explained to signify “a l’occident du Grange.”

As the Chinese pilgrim again and again names the Ganges, it seemed to me unlikely that he should anywhere speak of it by a periphrasis like that of “the river of London.” I had observed, too, that, instead of “environ,” etc., M. Klaproth had written : “ Au nord [sic] de la ville coule la riviére Pho lo nd (Varana); sur son bord, a dix H de la ville,” etc. ; Plw lo mi sse being, as he says just before, Hiouen Thsang’s name for Benares. Moreover, in M. J ulien’s

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