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signation Kâśi' or Kasi.Whence it arose history has
Something of the same sort is to be seen in the fifth chapter of the Kaft-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 Varanasi below their confluence, and the city Varâņasi therefrom denominated. Mémoires 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 Varâņa, la petite rivière eût pris le nom composé de Varanasi 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 mythopeic method of geographizing, what are, at first, only suggestions, very soon ripen into indubitable certainties : "Cette rivière (the 'Epévvedis), la dernière de la liste d’Arrien, so 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 Latine de l'Inde, p. 286.
This author more than inclines to see Vârânâsi 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 Vârânâsi, forme sanscrite de notre Bénards."
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 Varana and Asi would, therefore, combine into Varanasi. 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, "& sword.”
· This is the oldest form, and that recognized in the Haima-kosa and by Ujjwaladatta's commentary on the Unnddi-sutra.
• Kasi is not so markedly feminine as the more usual Kası, its derivative. Most Indian cities have feminine appellations.
long forgotten;' but conjecture may, possibly, unravel its etymology.
Among the descendants of Ayus: was Kâsa, whose son is noticed under the patronyms of Kâśeya, Kasiya, and Kâśi.' The regal successors of Kâśi, and
Kasika is found in the Kási-khanda, XXX., 70, and elsewhere. Compare Avantika for Avanti, as in note 1 to p. xxxiii., infra.
The vocabularists refer the word to káś, "to shine." And herewith agrees the Kasi-khanda, XXVI., 67:
काशते च यतो ज्योतिस्तदनाख्येयमीश्वर।
अतो नामापर चास्तु काशीति प्रथितं विभो। In the stanza immediately preceding this, the city is called Muktikshetra. Krishṇa is speaking; and he says that the radiance of Kasi emanates from Siva.
If, where they interpret Kâst 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 kasint. See the Asiatic Researches, Vol. III, p. 409.
· Professor Wilson has already written: “It seems probable. that the city [of Kâsi] was founded, not by him (Kshattravsiddha), but by his grandson or great-grandson, denominated Kâśa and Käsiraja." Mr. James Prinsep's Benares Illustrated, p. 8. It is meant, here, I suppose, to hint a derivative connexion of Kasi with Käsa or Käsiraja. The latter name Professor Wilson everywhere puts, erroneously, for “King Käsi.” See note 7 in the present page.
• See the English Vishnu-purdņa, Vol. IV., pp. 30–32.
• Compare Mâņņûkeya, from Mâņqdka; and Swâphalki, from Swaphalka
. So reads the Harivañía, sl. 1734, in the best MSS. accessible to me.
• Gana on Panini, IV., II., 90; and the Brahma-purdna.
'Bhagavata-purdņa, IX., XVII., 4. In the Vishnu-purdņa, he is called Kaširdja; but the term, a compound, is there to be explained “Raja Käsi.” Differently, Kaširdja, Kasipati, otc., descriptive of Ajátasatru, Divodâsa, Pratardana, and others, signify “Raja of the Käsis.” That anfittat: may be the same as anfang 79: is clear from the Mahabharata, Anuśásana-parvan, fl. 1949 and 1952.
equally their subjects, were called Kasis.' 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
· Kasi'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.
Kasi, 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, Kaseyl. This, like the corresponding Kaśyâ of the Mahdbhdrata, Adi-parvan, fl. 3829, is a derivative of Käsi.
• See the English Vishnu-purdņa, Vol. IV., p. 125.
• "In the Mahabharata, frequent mention of Kasi 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 MaAAB Karala
Not till medieval times, it seems, do we read of the city of Kasi. To the authority, on this behalf of the Puranas may be added that of an inscription which I have deciphered and published in the Journal of the Ariatic Society of Bengal, for 1862, pp. 14, 15. The document in question, « land-grant, was issued by Vinayakapala, Raja of Mahodaya or Kanauj, about the middle of the eleventh century, it may be. Kig is there indirectly described as in the vishays of Virånast, in the bhukti of Pratishthana For Pratishthana, vido infra, p. xv., note 1.
It is, in my judgment, very doubtfal indeed that Ptolemy's Karriba metamorphoses Kasi, as has been confidently asserted by Colonel Wilford and very many others. Soo the Asiatic Researcher, Vol III., p. 410; Vol. IX., p. 73.
F Hian may have intended to reproduce Kasirdjya, " kingdom of the Kisis," in his words rendered by "lo royaume do Kia chi." Vide infra, p. xxviii., noto 1.
and its chieftains, occurs repeatedly in Sanskrit works of all but the highest antiquity.' Of Kâśi, in whatever sense of the word, we cannot, however, collect, from indigenous records, materials from which to con
The expression wifeyrt attual, in the Daša-kumára-charita, means “Vârâņasí, a city of the Kâśis.” In the subjoined verse, from the Ramayana, Uttara-kanda, XXXVIII., VI., 17, Vârâņasí is qualified by an expression meaning, the commentator says, “a city in the country of the Kâsis :"
तद्भवानद्य काशेयपुरों वाराणसी ब्रज। Finally, in the Mahabharata, Ádi-parvan, śl. 4083, 4084, we read of the king of the Kâšis as dwelling in the city of Vârânasi.
The oldest among them, probably, is Pâņini, IV., II., 116; with which compare IV., II., 113. Then come the Satapatha-brahmana, the Brihad-dranyaka 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, fl. 5907,--means, etymologically, Kásian. But commentators on old writings explain it, and rightly, to signify “ king of the Kasis." Kasiraja and Kâśya 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 Rigvedanukramanika, 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 Kasis. It may be added, that there is no ground for considering Badhryaswa and Bhimaratha to be two names of one and the same person. See the English Vishnu-puråņa, VOL. IV., pp. 33, and 145, 146. Badhryaśwa, not Bahwaswa, 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
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 Purâņas specify but one dynasty of Kasi kings; a goodly catalogue, beginning, in the most authoritative of those works, with the son of Kâśa.' To Kāśa, 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 historio 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 Kâśis, none but most vague indications have, as yet,
"A Kaša is named in the gaña on Påņini, IV., I., 10.
According to my five wretched copies of the Vayu-purana, Kasa was followed by Kasaya (???), Ráshtra (??), Dirghatapas, Dharma, Dhanwantari, Ketumat, Bhimartha, Divodása.
The Brahmanda-purdna has, in one place, Kâśa and Kaslya, as sire and son, and, a little further on, instead of them, Kasika and Kaseya Kašika, as evolving Kåseya, must be considered as an optional elongation of Kasi.
• Sco the English Vishnu-purdna, VoL IV., pp. 30-40.
दिवोदास रति ख्यातो वाराणस्थधिपो भवत् ।
शून्यां विवेशयामास पेमको नाम राचसः । Then follows an account of the expulsion of Divodása from Värinasl. So far as we know, he was the only king of the Kasi family that had to do with that city.
• Soo the Viskņu-purana, Book V., Chapter XXXIV,