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Sir William Jones, conceiving the Vikrama mentioned in the “ memorial verse
to be the same as the founder of the Samvat Era, places Kálidása in the century preceding the Christian Era. Many eminent Orientalists have followed him in this opinion. He has thus come to be regarded as the contemporary of Horace and Virgil,-the
—the reign of Vikramaditya at Ujjayiní rivalling in brilliancy that of Augustus at Rome,
Mr. Bentley, on the authority of the Bhoja Prabandha* and the Ayeen Akbari, supposed the patron of learning to be the same as “ Rájá Vikrama, successor to Rájáh Bhoja," in the eleventh century of the Christian Era. Col. Wilford and Mr. James Prinsep place Kálidása in the 5th century, and Mountstuart Elphinstone adopts this date in his admirable History of India. In Gujarat, Malwa, and the Deccan, Kálidása is believed, chiefly on the authority of the Bhoja Prabandha, have flourished at the court of Bhoja, the nephew of Munja, at Ujjayiní, in the 19th century of the Christian Era. There have been several Bhojas as well as Vikramas or Vikramadityas at Ujjayiní, the last Bhoja having flourished in the 17th century of the Christian Era ; and to reconcile the two suppositions, it is necessary to suppose that the Vikrama or Vikramáditya, at whose court the “ nine” learned men flourished, was also styled "Bhoja.”
Professor Lassen assumes Kálidása to have flourished in the second half of the 2nd century after Christ, at the court of Samudragupta, chiefly on account of the designation, " friend of poets,” applied to that king in inscriptions.
Mons. Hippolyte Fauche, who, it appears from the “Saturday Review” of January 1860, has published a French translation of the complete works of Kálidása, supposes the poet to have lived at the time of the posthumous child, who is said, at the end of the last canto of the Raghuvans'a, to have succeeded to the throne.
This would place Kálidása, at the latest, in the eighth century before Christ. Mons. Fauche thinks there is nothing so perfect in the elegiac literature of Europe as the “ Megha Duta” of Kálidása.
Professor Wilson avoids giving any decided opinion regarding the exact
respect* M. Thedore Pavie has published the Bhoja Prabandha with a French translation and occasional comments, in the Jour. Asiatique, t. iv, sér. 3e, p. 210 et seq.
This work is entirely untrustworthy, and has contributed much to mislead the early inquirers into Indian Antiquities. It is now scarcely necessary to point out all the errors of a book the compiler of which, ignorant alike of history and the true character of his heroes, was only bent on producing a light work to suit a modern, degenerated taste.- Author.
ing the contemporaneous existence of the poet with the Vikrama of the Samvat Era.
Colonel Tod, in “the Annals of Rajasthan," vol. i. p. 92, observes, “While Hindoo literature survives, the name of Bhoja Pramára and the nine gems of his court cannot perish; though it is difficult to say
which of the three princes of his name is particularly alluded to, as they all appear to have been patrons of science.” In a note, the learned Colonel gives, -Samvat 631 (A. D. 575), Samvat 721* (A. D. 665), and Samvat 1100 (A. D. 1044), for the first, second, and third Bhojas respectively.
There are good reasons for accepting the above dates as correct. A Vriddha or older Bhoja is described in several Jain works as having had for his spiritual adviser, Mánatunga Súri, about the second or third century of the Christian Era, calculating from the lists of Jain hierarchs ; but there is evidently some mistake here. Mánatunga was, according to some Jain authorities, a contemporary of the poets Bána and Mayúra, but these two last undoubtedly lived at the beginning of the seventh century, as Báņa, in one of his rare productions in Sanskrit, called the “Harsha-charita," describes his visit to Harsha-Vardhana, king of S’rikantha. There is abundant evidence to prove that this king, HarshaVardhana Siladitya, is identical with the Siladitya of Kanoge, who honoured the celebrated Chinese Buddhist traveller Hiouen-Thsang. Indeed, the Indian poet and the Chinese traveller relate the history of the king with so much similarity, that one would be disposed to believe that Bána wrote the Harsha-charita after reading the historical notes of the Chinese traveller ; and there is a singular passage in the work which would give a colouring to this supposition, in which Báņa speaks of the Yavana-prayukta-puráņa.
In looking carefully over the various legends regarding Vikrama, as giren in the Vikrama-charita ; in the Sinhásana dwátrinsáti ; in the Vetála panchavins’ati, an essay on Vikrama and Kálidása by Merutunga ; in the Prabandha Chintámaņi ;t as well as in another called Chaturvins'ati-prabandh'a, by Rajas'ekhar'a, it appears tolerably clear that the Vikramaditya, who founded the Samvat Era, or from whom it has its origin, was a just, brave, liberal and ambitious prince; but that he was the patron of arts and sciences is nowhere clearly stated or implied. Jain records mention Siddhasena Súri, a learned Jain priest, as the spiritual adviser of this Vikramaditya.
* We possess a list of remarkable events, compiled by a Jain priest, in which a Bhoja is said to have “peopled” Ujjayiní iu Samvat 723.
† As it is desirable to place before the public the fullest information procurable regarding all authors who assumed the name of Kálidása, we have added translations of this and the following essay and of other stories, as appendices,.-on account of their great length.
Since the above remarks were written we have received a complete copy of the Katha Sarita Sagara, and going carefully over the stories of Vikramaditya, we were surprised to find in the 18th section, the statement that they had been related by the sage Kaņva to the king Naraváhanadatta of Kaus’á mbi in Vatsa. This Vikramaditya, , the hero of many interesting fables, appears after all, to have flourished previously to the 5th century before Christ, i.e. before Naraváhanadatta, who, according to many Jain authorities, the Kathá-sarita-ságara and the Matsya Puráņa, was the grandson of Sátánika,* the contemporary of Mahávíra and S'akya Sinha. One of the ancient Nassick caveinscriptions has a Vikramaditya, celebrated for his glorious deeds in the company of Nabhága, Nahusha, Janmejaya, Yayati, and Balarama.t Thus it is clear that popular ignorance has assigned to Vikramaditya of the Samvat Era, glories to which he is not entitled. The whole subject is so complicated yet interesting, that we shall take an early opportunity of clearing up the history of the “ Vicramádityas.”
In the Vikrama Charitra, composed by S'ri Deva, of which the MS. in our possession was copied in Sarnvat 1492 (i, e. A. D. 1435), it is stated that 470 years after the nirráņa (death) of Vardhamána, the last of the Jain Tirthankaras, Vikramaditya flourished in Vis’álá (Oujein) in Avanti Des’a. He released his subjects from debt and established his own era. There is no allusion to Kálidása.
Except the Jyotirvidábharaṇa, a Sanskrit treatise on astrology, ascribed in the concluding stanzas to Kálidása, we have not met with any work, in the Sanskrit or Mágadhi language, noticing the contemporaneous existence of the “nine gems” at the court of Vikramaditya of the Samvat Era. There are several works which mention a Vikramáditya or Bhoja in connection with the patronage of letters and arts, and particularly of Kálidása; but the omission of any distinctive appellation leads to the inference that the patron of Kálidása and other learned men was a later monarch of that name, who was also styled Bhoja.
The conclusion to the Jyotirvidábharaṇa, which contains the verse respecting the “ nine gems” so frequently quoted as a “memorial verse,” without any one having been able to trace it to its source, is given entire below, as the author enters into chronological details regarding himself not met with in any of the well-known works of the great Kálidása.
* Wilson's Vishnu Purána, p. 462. + Journal of the Bombay Branch Royal Asiatic Society, vol. v. p. 43.
Translation of Chapter 22, containing twenty-one Verses. 1. I now proceed to gire in order the subjects already treated of, and to describe the joy-producing monarch, Vikrama.
[The 2nd to the 6th verse contains the names of the subjects, and the 6th verse states that the total number of verses in the book are 1,424, and that the book is named " Jyotirvidábharaṇa Kávya.”]
7. By me has this work been produced in the reign of Vikrama over Málava in Bharata Varsha, which is rendered delightful by the study of the S’ritis and Smritis, and which contains 180 countries.
8. S’anku, Vararuchi, Maņi, Ans’udatta, Jishnu, Trilochana, Hari, Ghatakharpara, also Amara Sinha and other poets, adorned his assembly.
9. Satya, Varáha Mihira, S’rita Sena, S’ri Badaráyaņi, Maạittha, and Kumára Sinha, were the astronomers, and myself and other professors of astronomy also.
10. Dhanwantari, Ks'apaņaka, Amarasinha, S’anku, Vetálabhatta, Ghatakharpara, Kálidása, the renowned Varáha Mihira and Vararuchi, are the nine gems of Vikrama.
11. Vikrama flourished, and at his court attended 800 Mándalika (minor) Rajas; and at the great assembly there were 16 eloquent pundits, 10 astronomers, 6 physicians, and 16 reciters of the Vedas.
12. His army occupied 18 yojanas of ground; his forces consisted of 3 crores of infantry, 10 crores of cavalry, 24,300 elephants, and 400,000 boats. No monarch could be compared to him.
13. He celebrated his victory over the world by the destruction of ninety-five S’aka chiefs, and established his era in the Kaliyuga ; and by daily giving in alms, pearls, gold, jewels, cows, horses and elephants, he brightened the face of dharma.
14. He destroyed the proud king of Dravida, also the king of Láța, defeated the king of Gauda, and conquered him of Gurjardes’a, removed the darkness of Dhárá, delighted the king of Kámboja, and conducted himself with success.
15. His prowess and qualities were like those of Indra, Ambhodhí, Amaradru, Smara, and Meru. He was the delight of his subjects, and humbled his enemies by conquering and restoring their forts to them.
16. He protects the capital Ujjayiní, the great city which gives beatitude to its inhabitants, and which is celebrated for the presence of Mahákála.
17. In a great battle he conquered the king of the Sa'kas in Ruma, paraded his royal prisoner in Ujjayiní, and afterwards set him free. Such was his irresistible prowess.
18. Whilst Vikrama thus reigned in Avantí, the people enjoyed prosperity, happiness, and wealth, and the injunctions of the Vedas were everywhere observed.
19. S'anku and many other pundits and poets, and Varáha Mihira and other astronomers, flourished at his court. They respect the genius of me, who am a friend of the king.
20. Having first composed three Kávyas, i. e. the Raghuvansá and others, I composed several treatises on Vedic subjects (S’riti Karmaváda); then from Kálidása proceeded the astrological treatise called Jyotirvidábharaṇa.
21. 3068 years of Kali haring passed, in the month of Vys’ákha I commenced composing the work, and completed it in the month of Kártika. Having zealously examined many astronomical works, I have composed this treatise for the edification of astronomers.”*
In verse 46 of the 20th chapter he says:-
“The people of Kamboja, Gauda, Andhraka, Málava, Surájya, and Gurjara, sing even to the present day the glory of Vikrama, shining with the liberality of gifts of gold.”
The existence of so distinct a statement in an astrological work of some pretensions to antiquity would have set the question of Kálidása's epoch at rest, but from a careful examination of its style, and from other internal evidence, it does not appear to be the production of the great Kálidása.
In furnishing a rule for finding out the Ayanáns'a (the arc between the vernal equinoctial point and the beginning of the fixed Zodiac or first point of Aries) we are told in the work that from the number of years after Saka (i.e. the era of Sálivá hana, A.D. 78), 445 years should be subtracted, and the remainder divided by 60. This alone proves that. the treatise was written at least seven centuries after the Vikrama Samvat, and there is abundant evidence to prove that the real author was of the Jain persuasion. Also as Jishnu, the father of Brahmagupta,t
* For the original Sanskrit text, see Appendix. + Brahmagupta gives the following date for the composition of his Siddhanta, of which we possess an excellent manuscript copy made in Samvat 1678. श्रीचापवंशतिलके श्रीव्याघमुखेनृपेशकनृपालात् ॥ पंचाशत्संयुक्तै वर्षशतैः पंचभिरतीतैः ॥१॥ ब्राम्हः स्फुटसिद्धांतः सज्जनगणितज्ञगोलवित्प्रीत्यै ।। त्रिंशदपणकृतो जिष्णुसुतब्रम्हगुप्तेन ।। २ ॥ अध्याय २४-आर्या ७-८
Translation.-" In the reign of Shri Vyâghramukha, of the S’rí Chápa dynasty, five hundred and fifty years after Saka king (i.e. S’áliváhana, or A.D. 628) having