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ERRATA.

Page 68. ---For Purnas'ubhakaran, read Purnas'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 Kåśis as it was with other seats of Hindu power. Deriving its origin from some city, as Pratishthâna,' or Vârâņasí," 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

Vide infra, p. usv., note 1.

Also called Varanasi and Varaṇasf, according to the Heima-kasa and the Sabdaratnávali, respectively. The latter of these vocabularies is of snall authority.

A rational system of Romanized spelling would give us, instead of Benares, Banaras. The form IT was the work, perhaps, of the Muhammadans. It should appear that the metathesis of rand. in the original word, must be later than the times of Fi Hian and Hionen Thsang. Vide infra, p. xxvij., notes 1 and 2.

In the ordinary belief of the vulgar of Benares, the name of their city is connected with Raja Banar,-a mythical magnate, of whom mention is associated with that of the reformer Kabir, of the beginning of the fifteenth century. Asiatic Researches, Vol. XVI., p. 57. "According to sone of the Muhammadan accounts," says Mr. James

• .

xviii

ORAYA.॥
Y INTRODUCTION.

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

1 Vârâņasf is specified more than once in Patanjali's Mahábháshya. On the age of that work, see my edition of Professor Wilson's translation of the Vishnu-purana, Vol. II., p. 189, ad caleem.

• 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 Vamana-purana, that Vârâņast lies between the Varana and the Asi:

हरिवाच ।
महेश्वर शृणुष्वेमा मम वाचं कलखनाम् ।
ब्रह्महत्याचयकरी शुभदा पुण्यवर्धिनीम् ।
यो सौ ब्रह्माण्डके पुख मदेशप्रभवो व्ययः ।
प्रयागे वसते नित्यं योगशायीति विश्रुतः।
चरणादक्षिणात्तख विनिर्गता सरिद्वरा।
विशुता वरणेत्येव सर्वपापहरा शुभा।
सव्यादन्या द्वितीया च असिरित्येव विश्रुता।
ते उभे च सरिछ्रेष्ठे लोकपूज्ये बभूवतुः ।
तयोर्मध्ये तु यो देशस्तत्वेचं योगशायिनः ।
चैलोक्यप्रवरतीर्थ सर्वपापप्रमोचनम् ।
न तादर्श हि गगणे न भूम्यां न रसातले ।
तवास्ति नगरी पुण्या ख्याता वाराणसी शुभा।
यस्यां हि भोगिनो नार्थ प्रयान्ति भवतो लयम् ।

Convertible, in later usage, with Vârâņasî is the deThere is a statement to the like effect in a section of the Padma purána, the Kasi-mahatmya, V., 58:

वाराणसीति यत्ख्यातं तन्मान निगदामि वः।

दक्षिणोत्तरयो द्यो वरणासिय पूर्वतः । The same idea occurs more than once in a putative appendage to the Skanda-purdņa, the Kasi-khanda. It will suffice to quote XXX., 20, 21:

दक्षिणोत्तरदिग्भागे वासिं वरणां सुराः।

क्षेत्रस्य मोक्षनिक्षेपरक्षारिवृतिमाययुः। Particular reference may, also, be made to stanzas 69 and 70 of the same chapter ; and similar passages might be extracted from other Purâņas.

The Asi—now known as the Asl, and still trickling during the rainy season, despite Father Vivien de Saint-Martin's scepticism as to its existence,-has a niche in the Haima-kośa, a work of the twelfth century. The Varuņa (sic) and Ast are named in the Calcutta edition of the Mahabharata, Bhishma-parvan, śl. 338. But, in my annotations on the English translation of the Vishnu-purdņa, VOL II., p. 152, it is surmised that this stanza is an interpolation; and it may be added that is omitted from the text of the Mahabharata as accepted by the commentator Nilakantha; while the scholiast Arjunamisra reads, at least in my manuscript, Charuņâ and Asi.

Dr. Schwanbeck-Megasthenis Indica, p. 36, noten-is reminded, by Arrian's 'EpévveoLs, of Varâņast. Hereupon, Professor LassenIndische Alterthumskunde, Vol. I., Appendix, p. LIV.,-precipitately took the two for one; and he still holds to this opinion; for, in the second edition of his great work, Vol. I., p. 161, note 1, (1867), he writes: “Des Megasthenes Erennesis ist die vereinigte Varanast." This "conjunct Varanasi "-or, rather, what he unwarrantably calls its modern name, Baråņasi,-he compounds, incautiously, after Mr. Walter Hamilton, of two unknown streams, the Vard and the Nast.

The Jábala - Upanishad places Avimukta - which is a Paurâņik title of Benares,-between the Varaņā and the Naśf or Násf; and the commentator, Sankarananda, disciple of Anandâtman, etymologizes the words. An anonymous expositor of the same Upanishad, whose work I consulted in India, reads varand and ast, explains them by pingald and idd, and makes the result of their conjunction, váránasi, in some acceptation or other, to be equivalent to suskumpd. One need not stop to expatiate on such trifling.

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