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signation Kâği' or Kasi. Whence it arose history has
Something of the same sort is to be seen in the fifth chapter of the Kasi-khanda.
Father Vivien de Saint-Martin-the genesis of whose fictitious river I trace in note 2 to p. xxviii.,-began with being disposed to make the Asi an affluent to the Varâņâ, with a Varâņasî below their confluence, and the city Varâņasi therefrom denominated. Témoires sur les Contrées Occidentales, Vol. II., p. 361. Here "il serait trèspossible que l'un de ces ruisseaux se fût nommé Asi, et qu'après sa réunion à la Varâņâ, la petite rivière eût pris le nom composé de Varâņas qu'elle aurait communiqué à la ville.” This, as speculation, will pass; but, to this writer, with his bias in favour of the theological or mythopeio method of geographizing, what are, at first, only suggestions, very soon ripen into indubitable certainties : “Cette rivière (the 'Epévveous], la dernière de la liste d’Arrien, se reconnait sans difficulté dans la Varanasi, petite rivière qui se jette dans la gauche du Gange à Bénarès, qui en a pris son nom (en sanscrit Vârânâsi).” Etude sur la Géographie Grecque et Latins de l'Inde, p. 286.
This author more than inclines to see Vârânâst in the words Erarasa (or Cragausa) metropolis, foisted into the Latin translation of Ptolemy. Ibid., pp. 227, 351. Here, very much as just above, having to do with a Latin interpolation, hô sets out with describing it as such, and as offering “un reste de ressemblance qu'on entrevoit encore à travers la corruption du mot;” and, a little while afterwards, as if process of time necessarily stood for an accession of facts and reasons, persuades himself that he may speak of “une ville que Ptolémée énumère sous le nom altéré d'Erarasa," and that he finds, therein, “la trace bien reconnaissable de Vârânâst, forme sanscrite de notre Bénarès."
I have everywhere scrupulously reproduced the varieties of spelling indulged in by the writer just cited.
The final d and the initial a of two words coalescing into a compound might, possibly, yield a; and Varaņā and Asi would, therefore, combine into Varanast. But this form seems to be the peculiar property of a single recent and very indifferent lexicographer; and, moreover, the name of the second stream is, correctly, Asi, not Asi. In the Kasi-khanda, XXX., 18, it is the subject of a pun, in connexion with asi, "a sword.”
1 This is the oldest form, and that recognized in the Haima-kośa and by Ujjwaladatta's commentary on the Unnddi-sutra.
• Kasi is not 80 markedly feminine as the more usual Kâsı, its derivative. Most Indian cities have feminine appellations
long forgotten;' but conjecture may, possibly, unravel its etymology.'
Among the descendants of Ayus: was Kâśa, whose son is noticed under the patronyms of Kâśeya," " Kâsîya, and Kâsi.' The regal successors of Kâśi, and
Kašika is found in the Kást-khanda, XXX., 70, and elsewhere. Compare Avantikâ for Avanti, as in noto 1 to p. xxxiii., infra.
· The vocabularists refer the word to kds, “to shine." And herewith agrees the Kasi-khanda, XXVI., 67:
काशते च यतो ज्योतिस्तदनाख्येयमीश्वर।
अतो नामापर चास्तु काशीति प्रथित विभो। In the stanza immediately preceding this, the city is called Muktikshetra Krishna is speaking; and he says that the radiance of Kâği emanates from Siva.
If, where they interpret Kast by “splendid,” Colonel Wilford and his numerous followers intend to take the word from the adjective kasin, they have forgotten that the feminine is not kast, but kasini. See the Asiatic Researches, Vol. III, p. 409.
• Professor Wilson has already written: “It seems probable • that the city (of Kâfi) was founded, not by him [Kshattravșiddha], but by his grandson or great-grandson, denominated Kâśa and Käsirâja." Mr. James Prinsep's Benares Illustrated, p. 8. It is meant, here, I suppose, to hint a derivative connexion of Kâsi with Kasa or Käsiraja. The latter name Professor Wilson everywhere puts, erroneously, for “King Kâsi.” See note 7 in the present page.
* See the English Vishnu-purana, Vol. IV., pp. 30-32.
• Compare Mândûkeya, from Mâņạúka; and Swaphalki, from Swaphalka
. So reads the Harivanía, śl. 1734, in the best MSS. accessible to me.
• Gana on Pâņini, IV., II., 90; and the Brahma-purdņa.
' Bhagavata-purana, IX., XVII., 4. In the Vishnu-purâņa, he is called Káśirâja ; but the term, a compound, is there to be explained “ Raja Kâsi.” Differently, Käsiraja, Kašipati, otc., descriptive of Ajâtaśatru, Divodâsa, Pratardana, and others, signify “Raja of the Käsis.” That aftTTT: may be the same as any 79: is clear from
काशिषु the Mahabharata, Anušásana-parvan, fl. 1949 and 1952.
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, Champå.
The term Kâsi, denominating, if not a city,' a people
· Kâsi's successors were likewise known as Kâśyas and as Kasikas. These terms are, all, actually employed. The last is, also, applied to persons or things pertaining to Kasi.
• Kunti, a woman, was so called from Kunti, a man.
Kast, according to the Vishnu-purana,-see the English translalation, Vol. IV., p. 159,-was the name of the wife of Bhimasena The reading is, however, erroneous, most probably. I find, as a variant, Kaseył. This, like the corresponding Kašyâ of the MahdBhdrata, Adi-parvan, sl. 3829, is a derivative of Kâği
See the English Vishnu-purana, Vol. IV., p. 125.
• “In the Mahabharata, frequent mention of Käst occurs," according to Professor Wilson, as quoted in Benares Illustrated, p. 8. I should be much surprised to find Kasi mentioned even once in the Mahábharata
Not till medieval times, it seems, do we read of the city of Käsi. 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 Vinayakapala, Raja of Mahodaya or Kanauj, about the middle of the eleventh century, it may be. Käsi is there indirectly described as in the vishaya of Vârâņası, in the bhukti of Pratishthana. For Pratishthâna, vide infra, p. xxv., note 1.
It is, in my judgment, very doubtful indeed that Ptolemy's Kaooida metamorphoses Käsi, as has been confidently asserted by Colonel Wilford and very many others. See the Asiatic Researches, Vol. III., p. 410; Vol. IX., p. 73.
Få Hian may have intended to reproduce Kaširdjya, “kingdom of the Kåsis," in his words rendered by "le royaume de Kia chi” Vide infra, p. xxviii., note 1.
and its chieftains, occurs repeatedly in Sanskrit works of all but the highest antiquity.' Of Kâsi, in whatever sense of the word, we cannot, however, collect, from indigenous records, materials from which to con
The expression caifugti atituut, in the Daśa-kumára-charita, means “Vârâņasî, a city of the Käsis.” In the subjoined verse, from the Ramayana, Uttara-kaņda, XXXVIII., VI., 17, Vârâņasí 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, wo read of the king of the Kâšis as dwelling in the city of Vârânast.
· The oldest among them, probably, is Pâộini, IV., II., 116; with which compare IV., II., 113. Then come the Satapatha-brahmana, the Brihad-aranyaka and Kaushitaki-brahmana Upanishads, etc., etc. In some of these works, the substantive is involved in the adjective Kaśya. This word, like Kasika,—for which see the Mahabharata, Udyoga-parvan, śl. 5907,-means, etymologically, Kásian. But commentators on old writings explain it, and rightly, to signify “ king of the Kâśis.” Kâśirâja 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 Kasis; and, where Katyayana, in his Rigvedanukramarika, characterizes the latter as Kdśirdja, 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 Kâśis. It may be added, that there is no ground for considering Badhryaśwa and Bhimaratha to be two names of one and the same person. See the English Vishnu-purdna, Vol. IV., pp. 33, and 145, 146. Badhryaswa, not Bahwaswa, is the reading of the Vishnu-purana. Correct accordingly Professor Wilson's translation of the Rigveda, VOL. III., p. 504, note 1. See, further, the Mahábhárata, Anušásana-parran, Chapter XXX.
struct anything approaching a history. The kingdom of the Kâśis, 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 Purâņas specify but one dynasty of Kåsi kings; a goodly catalogue, beginning, in the most authoritative of those works, with the son of Kâśa.' To Kâsa, by a lapse of perhaps two centuries, succeeded Divodása, in whose reign Buddhism seems to have been still acting on the aggressive. 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 Vârâņasî by the discus of Vishņu. Of the age of Ajâtaśatru, as of other very early leaders of the Kasis, none but most vague indications have, as yet,
" A Kâśa is named in the gaña on Pâņini, IV., I., 10.
According to my five wretched copies of the Vayu-purána, Kasa was followed by Kâśaya (???), Râshtra (??), Dirghatapas, Dharma, Dhanwantari, Ketumat, Bhimaratha, Divodâsa.
The Brahmanda-puråna has, in one place, Kâśa and Kâsiya, as
दिवोदास इति ख्यातो वाराणस्यधिपो भवत् ।
शून्यां विवेशयामास क्षेमको नाम राक्षसः।
• See the Vishnu-purána, Book V., Chapter XXXIV.