« PreviousContinue »
been discovered. Some of these personages ruled, not at Benares, but at Pratishthâna ;' and, at the time of the Muhammadan conquest, Benares and the surrounding country appertained to the throne of Kanauj.”
Its site was near Allahabad. Püru's capital was Pratishthana, in the kingdom of the Kâsis, according to the Råmdyana, Uttarakanda, LIX., 18, 19:
त्रिदिवं स गतो राजा ययातिनहुषात्मजः ।
प्रतिष्ठाने पुरवरे काशिराज्ये महायशाः। Before Päru, his father, Yayâti, “ lord of all the Kâsis," reigned at Pratishthâna. Mahabhdrata, Udyoga-parran, śl. 3905 and 3918.
Purûravas received Pratishthâna in gift from his father Sudyumna. English Vishnu-puráņa, Vol. III., p. 237. Also see Burnouf's Bhagavata-purana, Vol. III., Preface, pp. XCVII.-XCIX.
Pratishthâna appears as a district of the kingdom of which Kanauj was the metropolis, in comparatively recent times. Vido supra, p. xxii., noto 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 unfortunato 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 Vasantapâla ; 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' very likely was not a mythe;' 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. 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 Thsang,' a Buddhist pilgrim from China, who visited
may be, to a large extent, equally products of ignorant mistake and mnisrepresentation. A good deal of weight has been allowed to this inscription; and it has been, from time to time, honoured as a picco of genuino historio evidence. Uncritically enough, I once fol. lowed 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 Bonares was subordinate to Gauda, or anything else whatover claiming reliance.
'Burnoufs Introduction à l'Histoire du Buddhisme Indien, Vol. I., p. 140; and Mr. R. 8. Hardy's Manual of Budhian, p. 101.
"Another king unknown to the Hindu records is spoken of by the Buddhists. IIis name is Bhimasukla Soe Der Buddhismus, translated from the Russian of Professor Wassiljew, Part I., p. 54.
• Mr. R. S. Hardy's Manual of Budhism, p. 184. • So states the Diparashia. Soe the Journal of the Asiatic Society Bengal, for 1838, p. 927. • Mineiras sur les Contrées Occidentale, Vol. I, pp. 353, e seg.
India in the first half of the seventh century. At that'
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.
• On M. Julien's own showing, both in the Mémoires and in the Méthode, one of these classes, that of naked mendicants, has the name, in Chinese translettering, of ni-kien-t'o, i.e., niggantha, or even niganth, - a Prakrit word softened from the Sanskrit nirgrantha, wbich the French translation exhibits. Nowhere in his works does M. Julien 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.
• In the first instance, M. Julien wrote : "On compte une centaine de temples des dieux (Déválayas) où habitent environ dix mille hérétiques, qui, la plupart, adorent le dieu Ta-tseu-t' sai-t'ien (Mahégpara déva)." And there should seem to be no improvement in his later rendering: “On voit une centaine de temples des Dieux. I y a environ dix mille hérétiques qui, la plupart, révèrent le dieu Tatseu-thsai (Mahêcvara Dêva).”
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.
equally their subjects, were called Käsis. Though at first a masculine appellation, Kási, as applied to the city so styled, is feminine. An exact parallel to this hypothetical evolution is not far to seek. The name of King Champa, femininized, became that of the metropolis of Anga, Champa.
The term Kâsi, denominating, if not a city,' a people
"Kâsi's successors were likewise known as Kaśyas and as Kasikas. These terms are, all, actually employed. The last is, also, applied to persons or things pertaining to Käsi.
• Kunti, a woman, was so called from Kunti, a man.
Kâst, according to the Vishnu-purâņa,-seo the English translalation, Vol. IV., p. 159,-was the name of the wife of Bhimasena. Tbe reading is, however, erroneous, most probably. I find, as a variant, Kaseył. This, like the corresponding Kašyâ of the Mahdthdrata, Adi-parcan, śl. 3829, is a derivative of Käsi.
• See the English Vishnu-purdna, Vol. IV., p. 125.
• “In the Mahabharata, frequent mention of Kâsi occurs,” according to Professor Wilson, as quoted in Benares Illustrated, p. 8. I should be much surprised to find Käsi mentioned even once in the Ma. hábharata
Not till medieval times, it seems, do we read of the city of Kasi. To the authority, on this behalf, of the Purâņas may be added that of an inscription which I have deciphered and published in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, for 1862, pp. 14, 15. The document in question, a land-grant, was issued by Vinayakapâla, Raja of Mahodaya or Kanauj, about the middle of the eleventh century, it may be. Kâśi is there indirectly described as in the vishaya of Vârâņası, in the bhukti of Pratishthâna. For Pratishthâna, vide infra, p. xxv., note 1.
It is, in my judgment, very doubtful indeed that Ptolemy's Kagoida metamorphoses Kasi, as has been confidently asserted by Colonel Wilford and very many others. See the Asiatic Researches, Vol. III., p. 410; Vol. IX., p. 73.
Fi Hian may have intended to reproduce Kaširdjya, “kingdom of the Kâsis,” in his words rendered by "le royaume de Kia chi,” Vide infra, p. xxvüi., note 1.
and its chieftains, occurs repeatedly in Sanskrit works of all but the highest antiquity.' Of Kåsi, in whatever sense of the word, we cannot, however, collect, from indigenous records, materials from which to con
The expression aufgit artuHt, in the Daśa-kumára-charita, means “Vârâņası, a city of the Kâsis.” In the subjoined verse, from the Ramayana, Uttara-kaņda, XXXVIII., VI., 17, Vârâņasi is qualified by an expression meaning, the commentator says, “a city in the country of the Kâsis :"
तद्भवानद्य काशेयपुरों वाराणसों व्रज । Finally, in the Mahabharata, Ádi-parvan, śl. 4083, 4084, we read of the king of the Kâšis as dwelling in the city of Vârâņash.
· The oldest among them, probably, is Pâộini, IV., II., 116; with which compare IV., II., 113. Then come the Satapatha-brahmara, the Brihad-aranyaka and Kaushitaki-brahmana Upanishads, etc., etc. In some of these works, the substantive is involved in the adjective Kâśya. This word, like Kâśika,—for which see the Mahabharata, Udyoga-parvan, sl. 5907,-means, etymologically, Kášian. But commentators on old writings explain it, and rightly, to signify “ king of the Kaśis.” Käsirâja and Kaśya are used of the same person in the Bhagavad-gita, I., 5, 17.
The Rigveda affords no warrant for connecting with the Kasis any person whom it mentions. It speaks of Divodása, and it speaks of Pratardana ; but only in later literature are they called father and son, and rulers of the Kâsis; and, where Kâtyâyana, in his Rigvedanukramaņika, characterizes the latter as Kaširdja, he may have expressed himself metachronically, under the influence of a modern tradition which he and his contemporaries accepted. As to the former, we find, indeed, in post-vaidik books, two Divodâsas; into whom a single personage seems to have been parted One of them is son of Badhryaswa, as in the Rigveda ; but it is the other, the son of Bhimaratha, and father of Pratardana, that is called king of the Kâsis. It may be added, that there is no ground for considering Badlıryaśwa and Bhimaratha to be two names of one and the same person. See the English Vishnu-purána, VOL. IV., pp. 33, and 145, 146. Badhryaswa, not BahwaŚwa, is the reading of the Vishnu-purána. Correct accordingly Professor Wilson's translation of the Rigveda, Vol. III., p. 504, note 1. See, further, the Mahabharata, Anuśdsana-parvan, Chapter XXX.