The Vishnu Purana

by Horace Hayman Wilson | 1840 | 287,946 words | ISBN-10: 8171102127

The English translation of the Vishnu Purana. This is a primary sacred text of the Vaishnava branch of Hinduism. It is one of the eighteen greater Puranas, a branch of sacred Vedic literature which was first committed to writing during the first millennium of the common era. Like most of the other Puranas, this is a complete narrative from the cr...

Chapter XXIV - Dynasty of the kings of the Kali age

Future kings of Magadhā. Five princes of the line of Pradyota. Ten Śaiśunāgas. Nine Nandas. Ten Mauryas. Ten Śuṅgas. Four Kaṇwas. Thirty Āndhrabhrityas. Kings of various tribes and castes, and periods of their rule. Ascendancy of barbarians. Different races in different regions. Period of universal iniquity and decay. Coming of Viṣṇu as Kalki. Destruction of the wicked, and restoration of the practices of the Vedas. End of the Kali, and return of the Krita, age. Duration of the Kali. Verses chanted by Earth, and communicated by Asita to Janaka. End of the fourth book.

THE last of the Vrīhadratha dynasty, Ripuñjaya, will have a minister named Sunika[1], who having killed his sovereign, will place his son Pradyota upon the throne[2]: his son will be Pālaka[3]; his son will be Viśākhayūpa[4]; his son will be Janaka[5]; and his son will be Nandivarddhana[6]. These five kings of the house of Pradyota will reign over the earth for a hundred and thirty-eight years[7].

The next prince will be Śiśunaga[8]; his son will be Kākavarṇa[9]; his son will be Kṣemadharman[10]; his son will be Kṣatraujas[11]; his son will be Vidmisāra[12]; his son will be Ājātaśatru[13]; his son will be Dharbaka[14]; his son will be Udayāśva[15]; his son will also be Nandivarddhana; and his son will be Mahānandi[16]. These ten Śaiśunāgas will be kings of the earth for three hundred and sixty-two years[17].

The son of Mahānanda will be born of a woman of the Śūdra or servile class; his name will be Nanda, called Mahāpadma, for he will be exceedingly avaricious[18]. Like another Paraśurāma, he will be the annihilator of the Kṣatriya race; for after him the kings of the earth will be Śūdras. He will bring the whole earth under one umbrella: he will have eight sons, Sumālya and others, who will reign after Mahāpadma; and he and his sons[19] will govern for a hundred years. The Brahman Kauṭilya will root out the nine Nandas[20]

Upon the cessation of the race of Nanda, the Mauryas will possess the earth, for Kanṭilya will place Candragupta[21] on the throne: his son will be Vindusāra[22]; his son will be Aśokavarddhana[23]; his son will be Suyaśas[24]; his son will be Daśaratha; his son will be Sangata; his son will be Śāliśūka; his son will be Somaśarmman; his son will be Saśadharman[25]; and his successor will be Vrihadratha. These are the ten Mauryas, who will reign over the earth for a hundred and thirty-seven years[26].

The dynasty of the Śuṅgas will next become possessed of the sovereignty; for Puṣpamitra, the general of the last Maurya prince, will put his master to death, and ascend the throne[27]: his son will be Agnimitra[28]; his son will be Sujyeṣṭha[29]; his son will be Vasumitra[30]; his son will be Ārdraka[31]; his son will be Pulindaka[32]; his son will be Ghoṣavasu[33]; his son will be Vajramitra[34]; his son will be Bhāgavata[35]; his son will be Devabhūti[36]. These are the ten Śuṅgas, who will govern the kingdom for a hundred and twelve years[37].

Devabhūti, the last Śunga prince, being addicted to, immoral indulgences, his minister, the Kaṇwa named Vasudeva will murder him, and usurp the kingdom: his son will be Bhūmimitra; his son will be Nārāyaṇa; his son will be Suśarman. These four Kāṇwas will be kings of the earth for forty-five years[38].

Suśarman the Kāṇwa will be killed by a powerful servant named Śipraka, of the Āndhra tribe, who will become king, and found the Āndhrabhritya dynasty[39]: he will be succeeded by his brother Kṛṣṇa[40]; his son will be Śrī Śātakarṇi[41]; his son will be Pūrnotsaṅga[42]; his son will be Śātakarṇi (2nd)[43]; his son will be Lambodara[44]; his son will be Ivīlaka[45]; his son will be Meghasvāti[46]; his son will be Patumat[47]; his son will be Aṛṣṭakarman[48]; his son will be Hāla[49]; his son will be Tālaka[50]; his son will be Pravilasena[51]; his son will be Sundara, named Śātakarṇi[52]; his son will be Chakora Śātakarṇi[53]; his son will be Śivasvāti[54]; his son will be Gomatiputra[55]; his son will be Pulimat[56]; his son will be Śivaśrī Śātakarṇi[57]; his son will be Śivaskandha[58]; his son will be Yajñaśrī[59]; his son will be Vijaya[60]; his son will be Candraśrī[61]; his son will be Pulomārciṣ[62]. These thirty Andhrabhritya kings will reign four hundred and fifty-six years[63].

After these, various races will reign, as seven Ābhīras, ten Garddhabas, sixteen Śakas, eight Yavanas, fourteen Tuṣāras, thirteen Muṇḍas, eleven Maunas, altogether seventy-nine princes[64], who will be sovereigns of the earth for one thousand three hundred and ninety years; and then eleven Pauras will be kings for three hundred years[65]. When they are destroyed, the Kailakila Yavanas will be kings; the chief of whom will be Vindhyaśakti; his son will be Purañjaya; his son will be Rāmacandra; his son will be Adharma, from whom will be Varāṅga, Kritanandana, Śudhinandi, Nandiyaśas, Śiśuka, and Pravīra; these will rule for a hundred and six years[66]. From them will proceed thirteen sons; then three Bāhlīkas, and Puṣpamitra, and Paṭumitra, and others, to the number of thirteen, will rule over Mekala[67]. There will be nine kings in the seven Koalas, and there will be as many Naiṣadha princes[68].

In Magadhā a sovereign named Viśvasphaṭika will establish other tribes; he will extirpate the Kṣatriya or martial race, and elevate fishermen, barbarians, and Brahmans, and other castes, to power[69]. The nine Nāgas will reign in Padmāvati, Kāntipuri, and Mathurā; and the Guptas of Magadhā along the Ganges to Prayāga[70]. A prince named Devarakṣita will reign, in a city on the sea shore, over the Kośalas, Oḍras, Puṇḍras, and Tāmraliptas[71]. The Guhas will possess Kāliṅga, Māhihaka, and the mountains of Mahendra[72]. The race of Maṇidhanu will occupy the countries of the Niṣādas, Naimishikas, and Kālatoyas[73].

The people called Kanakas will possess the Amazon country, and that called Mūṣika[74]. Men of the three tribes, but degraded, and Ābhīras and Śūdras, will occupy Śaurāṣṭra, Avanti, Śūra, Arbuda, and Marubhūmi: and Śūdras, outcastes, and barbarians will be masters of the banks of the Indus, Dārvika, the Candrabhāgā, and Kāṣmir[75].

These will all be contemporary monarchs, reigning over the earth; kings of churlish spirit, violent temper, and ever addicted to falsehood and wickedness. They will inflict death on women, children, and cows; they will seize upon the property of their subjects; they will be of limited power, and will for the most part rapidly rise and fall; their lives will be short, their desires insatiable, and they will display but little piety. The people of the various countries intermingling with them will follow their example, and the barbarians being powerful in the patronage of the princes, whilst purer tribes are neglected, the people will perish[76]. Wealth and piety will decrease day by day, until the world will be wholly depraved. Then property alone will confer rank; wealth will be the only source of devotion; passion will be the sole bond of union between the sexes; falsehood will be the only means of success in litigation; and women will be objects merely of sensual gratification. Earth will be venerated but for its mineral treasures[77]; the Brahmanical thread will constitute a Brahman; external types (as the staff and red garb) will be the only distinctions of the several orders of life; dishonesty will be the universal means of subsistence; weakness will be the cause of dependance; menace and presumption will be substituted for learning; liberality will be devotion; simple ablution will be purification[78]; mutual assent will be marriage; fine clothes will be dignity[79]; and water afar off will be esteemed a holy spring. Amidst all castes he who is the strongest will reign over a principality thus vitiated by many faults. The people, unable to bear the heavy burdens imposed upon them by their avaricious sovereigns, will take refuge amongst the valleys of the mountains, and will be glad to feed upon wild honey, herbs, roots, fruits, flowers, and leaves: their only covering will be the bark of trees, and they will be exposed to the cold, and wind, and sun, and rain. No man's life will exceed three and twenty years. Thus in the Kali age shall decay constantly proceed, until the human race approaches its annihilation.

When the practices taught by the Vedas and the institutes of law shall nearly have ceased, and the close of the Kali age shall be nigh, a portion of that divine being who exists of his own spiritual nature in the character of Brahma, and who is the beginning and the end, and who comprehends all things, shall descend upon earth: he will be born in the family of Viṣṇuyaśas, an eminent Brahman of Sambhala village, as Kalki, endowed with the eight superhuman faculties. By his irresistible might he will destroy all the Mlecchas and thieves, and all whose minds are devoted to iniquity. He will then reestablish righteousness upon earth; and the minds of those who live at the end of the Kali age shall be awakened, and shall be as pellucid as crystal. The men who are thus changed by virtue of that peculiar time shall be as the seeds of human beings, and shall give birth to a race who shall follow the laws of the Krita age, or age of purity. As it is said; “When the sun and moon, and the lunar asterism Tiṣya, and the planet Jupiter, are in one mansion, the Krita age shall return[80].”

Thus, most excellent Muni, the kings who are past, who are present, and who are to be, have been enumerated. From the birth of Parīkṣit to the coronation of Nanda it is to be known that 1015 years have elapsed[81]. When the two first stars of the seven Ṛṣis (the great Bear) rise in the heavens, and some lunar asterism is seen at night at an equal distance between them, then the seven Ṛṣis continue stationary in that conjunction for a hundred years of men[82]. At the birth of Parīkṣit they were in Maghā, and the Kali age then commenced, which consists of 1200 (divine) years. When the portion of Viṣṇu (that had been born from Vasudeva) returned to heaven, then the Kali age commenced. As long as the earth was touched by his sacred feet, the Kali age could not affect it. As soon as the incarnation of the eternal Viṣṇu had departed, the son of Dharma, Yudhiṣṭhira, with his brethren, abdicated the sovereignty. Observing unpropitious portents, consequent upon Kṛṣṇa's disappearance, he placed Parīkṣit upon the throne. When the seven Ṛṣis are in Purvāṣāḍhā, then Nanda will begin to reign[83], and thenceforward the influence of the Kali will augment.

The day that Kṛṣṇa shall have departed from the earth will be the first of the Kali age, the duration of which you shall hear; it will continue for 360,000 years of mortals. After twelve hundred divine years shall have elapsed, the Krita age shall be renewed.

Thus age after age Brahmans, Kṣatriyas, Vaiśyas, and Śūdras, excellent Brahman, men of great souls, have passed away by thousands; whose names and tribes and families I have not enumerated to you, from their great number, and the repetition of appellations it would involve. Two persons, Devāpi of the race of Puru, and Maru of the family of Ikṣvāku, through the force of devotion continue alive throughout the whole four ages, residing at the village of Kalāpa: they will return hither in the beginning of the Krita age, and, becoming members of the family of the Manu, give origin to the Kṣatriya dynasties[84]. In this manner the earth is possessed through every series of the three first ages, the Krita, Treta, and Dvāpara, by the sons of the Manu; and some remain in the Kali age, to serve as the rudiments of renewed generations, in the same way as Devāpi and Maru are still in existence.

I have now given you a summary account of the sovereigns of the earth; to recapitulate the whole would be impossible even in a hundred lives. These and other kings, who with perishable frames have possessed this ever-during world, and who, blinded with deceptive notions of individual occupation, have indulged the feeling that suggests, “This earth is mine—it is my son's—it belongs to my dynasty,” have all passed away. So, many who reigned before them, many who succeeded them, and many who are yet to come, have ceased, or will cease, to be. Earth laughs, as if smiling with autumnal flowers, to behold her kings unable to effect the subjugation of themselves. I will repeat to you, Maitreya, the stanzas that were chanted by Earth, and which the Muni Asita communicated to Janaka, whose banner was virtue. “How great is the folly of princes, who are endowed with the faculty of reason, to cerish the confidence of ambition, when they themselves are but foam upon the wave. Before they have subdued themselves, they seek to reduce their ministers, their servants, their subjects, under their authority; they then endeavour to overcome their foes. ‘Thus,’ say they, ‘will we conquer the ocean-circled earth;’ and, intent upon their project, behold not death, which is not far off. But what mighty matter is the subjugation of the sea-girt earth to one who can subdue himself. Emancipation from existence is the fruit of self-control. It is through infatuation that kings desire to possess me, whom their predecessors have been forced to leave, whom their fathers have not retained. Beguiled by the selfish love of sway, fathers contend with sons, and brothers with brothers, for my possession. Foolishness has been the character of every king who has boasted, ‘All this earth is mine—every thing is mine—it will be in my house for ever;’ for he is dead. How is it possible that such vain desires should survive in the hearts of his descendants, who have seen their progenitor, absorbed by the thirst of dominion, compelled to relinquish me, whom he called his own, and tread the path of dissolution? When I hear a king sending word to another by his ambassador, ‘This earth is mine; immediately resign your pretensions to it;’ I am moved to violent laughter at first, but it soon subsides in pity for the infatuated fool.”

These were the verses, Maitreya, which Earth recited, and by listening to which ambition fades away like snow before the sun. I have now related to you the whole account of the descendants of the Manu; amongst whom have flourished kings endowed with a portion of Viṣṇu, engaged in the preservation of the earth. Whoever shall listen reverently and with faith to this narrative, proceeding from the posterity of Manu, shall be purified entirely from all his sins, and, with the perfect possession of his faculties, shall live in unequalled affluence, plenty, and prosperity. He who has heard of the races of the sun and moon, of Ikṣvā.ku, Jahnu, Maṇḍhātri, Sagara, and Raghu, who have all perished; of Yayāti, Nahuṣa, and their posterity, who are no more; of kings of great might, resistless valour, and unbounded wealth, who have been overcome by still more powerful time, and are now only a tale; he will learn wisdom, and forbear to call either children, or wife, or house, or lands, or wealth, his own. The arduous penances that have been performed by heroic men obstructing fate for countless years, religious rites and sacrifices of great efficacy and virtue, have been made by time the subject only of narration. The valiant Prithu traversed the universe, every where triumphant over his foes; yet he was blown away, like the light down of the Simal tree, before the blast of time. He who was Kārtavīryya subdued innumerable enemies, and conquered the seven zones of the earth; but now he is only the topic of a theme, a subject for affirmation and contradiction[85]. Fie upon the empire of the sons of Raghu, who triumphed over Daśānana, and extended their sway to the ends of the earth; for was it not consumed in an instant by the frown of the destroyer? Maṇḍhātri, the emperor of the universe, is embodied only in a legend; and what pious man who hears it will ever be so unwise as to cerish the desire of possession in his soul? Bhagīratha, Sagara, Kakutstha, Daśānana, Rāma, Lakṣmana, Yudhiṣṭhira, and others, have been. Is it so? Have they ever really existed? Where are they now? we know not! The powerful kings who now are, or who will be, as I have related them to you, or any others who are unspecified, are all subject to the same fate, and the present and the future will perish and be forgotten, like their predecessors. Aware of this truth, a wise man will never be influenced by the principle of individual appropriation; and regarding them as only transient and temporal possessions, he will not consider children and posterity, lands and property, or whatever else is personal, to be his own.

Footnotes and references:


Munika, Vāyu; Pulika, Matsya; Śunaka, Bhāg.


For 23 years, V. and M.


24 yrs. V.; Tilaka or Bālaka, 28, M.


50 yrs. V.; 53, M.


Ajaka, 21 yrs. V.; Sūryaka, 21, M.; Rajaka, Bhāg.


20 yrs. V. and M.


This number is also specified by the Vāyu and Bhāgavata, and the several years of the reigns of the former agree with the total. The particulars of the Matsya compose 145 years, but there is no doubt some mistake in them.


Śiśunāka, who according to the Vāyu and Matsya relinquished Benares to his son, and established himself at Girivraja or Rajgriha in Behar, reigns 40 years, V. and M.


36 yrs. V. and M.


Kṣemakarman, 20 yrs. V.; Kṣemadharmman, 36, M.


40 yrs. V.; Kṣemajit or Kṣemārcis, 36, M.; Kṣetrajña, Bhāg.


Vimbisara, 28 yrs. V.; Vindusena or Vindhyasena, 28, M.; Vidhisāra, Bhāg.


25 yrs. V.; 27, M.: but the latter inserts a Kaṇvāyana, 9 yrs., and Bhūmimitra or Bhūmiputra, 14 yrs., before him. In this and the preceding name we have appellations of considerable celebrity in the traditions of the Bauddhas. Vidmisāra, read also Vindhusāra, Vilwisāra, &c., is most probably their Vimbasāra, who was born at the same time with Śākya, and was reigning at Rājgriha when he began his religious career. The Mahāvanśo says that Siddhatto and Bimbisaro were attached p. 467 friends, as their fathers had been before them: p. 10. Śākya is said to have died in the reign of Ajātaśatru, the son of Vimbasāra, in the eighth year of his reign. The Vāyu transposes these names, and the Matsya still more alters the order of Ajātaśatru; but the Bhāgavata coñcurs with our text. The Buddhist authority differs from the Purāṇas materially as to the duration of the reigns, giving to Bimbisaro 52 years, and to Ajatasattu 32: the latter, according to the same, murdered his father. Mahāvanśo, p. 10. We may therefore with some confidence claim for these princes a date of about six centuries B. C. They are considered co-temporary with Sudhodana, &c. in the list of the Aikṣvākavas (p. 463. n. 20).


Harshaka, 25 yrs. V.; Vansaka, 24, M.


33 yrs. V.; Udibhi or Udāsin, 33, M. According to the Vāyu, Udaya or Udayāśva founded Kusumapur or Pāṭaliputra, on the southern angle of the Ganges. The legends of Śākya, consistently with this tradition, take no notice of this city in his peregrinations on either bank of the Ganges. The Mahāvanśo calls the son and successor of Ajātaśatru, Udayibhadako (Udayinhhadraka): p. 15.


42 and 43 yrs. V.; 40 and 43, M. The Mahāvanśo has in place of these, Anuruddhako, Mundo, and Nāgadāso; all in succession parricides: the last deposed by an insurrection of the people: p. 15.


The several authorities agree in the number of ten Śaiśunāgas, and in the aggregate years of their reigns, which the Matsya and the Bhāgavata call 360: the Vāyu has 362, with which the several periods correspond: the details of the Matsya give 363. The Vāyu and Matsya call the Śaiśunāgas, Kṣatrabandhus, which may designate an inferior order of Kṣatriyas: they also observe, that cotemporary with the dynasties already specified, the Pauravas, the Vārhadrathas, and Māgadhas, there were other races of royal descent; as, Aikṣvākava princes, 24: Pāñcālas, 25, V.; 27, M: Kālakas or Kāsakas or Kāseyas, 24: Haihayas, 24, V.; 28, M.: Kāliṅgas, 32, V.; 40, M.: Śakas, V.; Aśmakas, M., 25: Kuravas, 26: Maithilas, 28: Śūrasenas, 23: and Vitihotras, 20.


The Bhāgavata calls him Mahāpadmapati, the lord of Mahāpadma; which the commentator interprets, ‘sovereign of an infinite host,’ or ‘of immense wealth;’ Mahāpadma signifying 100.000 millions. The Vāyu and Matsya, however, consider Mahāpadma as another name of Nanda.


So the Bhāgavata also; but it would be more compatible with chronology to consider the nine Nandas as so many descents. The Vāyu and Matsya give eighty-eight years to Mahāpadma, and only the remaining twelve to Sumālya and the rest of the remaining eight; these twelve years being occupied with the efforts of Kauṭilya to expel the Nandas. The Mahāvanśo, evidently intending the same events, gives names and circumstances differently; it may be doubted if with more accuracy. On the deposal of Nāgadāso, the people raised to the throne the minister Susunāgo, who reigned eighteen years. This prince is evidently confounded with the Śiśuuāga of the Purāṇas. He was succeeded by his son Kālāsoko, who reigned twenty years; and he was succeeded by his sons, ten of whom reigned together for twenty-two years: subsequently there were nine, who, according to their seniority, reigned for twenty-two years. The Brahman Chanako put the ninth surviving brother, named Dhana-Nando (Rich-Nanda), to death, and installed Chandagutto. Mahāvanśo, p. 15 and 21. These particulars, notwithstanding the alteration of some of the names, belong clearly to one story; and that of the Buddhists looks as if it was borrowed and modified from that of the Brahmans. The commentary on the Mahāvanśo, translated by Mr. Turnour (Introduction, p. xxxviii.), calls the sons of Kālāsoko ‘the nine Nandas;’ but another Buddhist authority, the Dīpawanśo, omits Kālāsoko, and says that Susunāgo had ten brothers, who after his demise reigned collectively twenty-two years. Journal of the As. Soc. of Bengal, Nov. 1838, p. 930.


For the particulars of the story here alluded to, see the Mudrā Rākṣasa, Hindu Theatre, vol. II. Kauṭilya is also called, according to the commentator on our text, Vātsyāyana, Viṣṇugupta, and Cāṇakya. According to the Matsya P., Kanṭilya retained the regal authority for a century; but there is some inaccuracy in the copies.


This is the most important name in all the lists, as it can scarcely be doubted that he is the Sandrocottus, or, as Athenæus writes more correctly, the Sandrocoptus, of the Greeks, as I have endeavoured to prove in the introduction to the Mudrā Rākṣasa. The relative positions of Candragupta, Vidmisāra, or Bimbisāra, and Ajātaśatru, serve to confirm the identification. Śākya was cotemporary with both the latter, dying in the eighth year of Ajātaśatru's reign. The Mahāvanśo says he reigned twenty-four years afterwards; but the Vāyu makes his whole reign but twenty-five years, which would place the close of it B. C. 526. The rest of the Śaiśunāga dynasty, according to the Vāyu and Matsya, reigned 143 or 140 years; bringing their close to B. C. 383. Another century being deducted for the duration of the Nandas, would place the accession of p. 469 Candragupta B. C. 283. Candragupta was the cotemporary of Seleucus Nicator, who began his reign B. C. 310, and concluded a treaty with him B. C. 305. Although therefore his date may not be made out quite correctly from the Paurāṇik premises, yet the error cannot be more than twenty or thirty years. The result is much nearer the truth than that furnished by Buddhist authorities. According to the Mahāvanśo a hundred years had elapsed from the death of Buddha to the tenth year of the reign of Kālāsoko (p. 15). He reigned other ten years, and his sons forty-four, making a total of 154 years between the death of Śākya and the accession of Candragupta, which is consequently placed B. C. 389, or above seventy years too early. According to the Buddhist authorities, Chan-ta-kutta or Candragupta commenced his reign 396 B. C. Burmese Table; Prinsep's Useful Tables. Mr. Turnour, in his Introduction, giving to Kālāsoko eighteen years subsequent to the century after Buddha, places Candragupta's accession B. C. 381, which, he observes, is sixty years too soon; dating, however, the accession of Candragupta front 323 B. C. or immediately upon Alexander's death, a period too early by eight or ten years at least. The discrepancy of dates, Mr. Turnour is disposed to think, proceeds from some intentional perversion of the buddhistical chronology. Introd. p. L. The commentator on our text says that Candragupta was the son of Nanda by a wife named Murā, whence he and his descendants were called Mauryas. Col. Tod considers Maurya a corruption of Mori, the name of a Rajput tribe. The Ṭīka on the Mahāvanśo builds a story on the fancied resemblance of the word to Mayūra, S. Mori, Pr. ‘a peacock.’ There being abundance of pea-fowl in the place where the Sākya tribe built a town, they called it Mori, and there princes were thence called Mauryas. Turnour, Introduction to the Mahāvanśo, p. xxxix. Candragupta reigned, according to the Vāyu P., 24 years; according to the Mahāvanśo, 34; to the Dīpawasanśo, 24.


So the Mahāvanśo, Bindusāro. Burmese Table, Bin-tu-sara. The Vāyu has Bhadrasāra, 25 years; the Bhāgavata, Vārisāra. The Matsya names but four princes of this race, although it coñcurs with the others in stating the series to consist of ten. The names are also differently arranged, and one is peculiar: they are, Śatadhanwan, Vrihadratha, Śuka, and Daśaratha.


Aśoka, 36 years, Vāyu; Śuka, 26, Mats.; Aśokavarddhana, Bhāg.; Aśoko and Dhammaśoko, Mahāvanśo. This king is the most celebrated of any in the annals of the Buddhists. In the commencement of his reign he followed the Brahmanical faith, but became a convert to that of Buddha, and a zealous encourager of it. He is said to have maintained in his palace 64,000 Buddhist priests, and to have erected 84,000 columns or topes throughout India. A great convocation of Buddhist priests was held in the eighteenth year of his reign, which was followed by missions to Ceylon and other places. According to Buddhist chronology he ascended the throne 218 years after the death of Buddha, B. C. 325. As p. 470 the grandson of Candragupta, however, he must have been some time subsequent to this, or, agreeably to the joint duration of the reigns of Candragupta and Bindusāra, supposing the former to have commenced his reign about B. C. 315, forty-nine years later, or B. C. 266. The duration of his reign is said to have been thirty-six years, bringing it down to B. C. 230: but if we deduct these periods from the date assignable to Candragupta, of B. C. 283, we shall place Aśoka's reign from B. C. 234 to 198. Now it is certain that a number of very curious inscriptions, on columns and rocks, by a Buddhist prince, in an ancient form of letter, and the Pāli language, exist in India; and that some of them refer to Greek princes, who can be no other than members of the Seleucidan and Ptolemæan dynasties, and are probably Antiochus the Great and Ptolemy Euergetes, kings of Syria and Egypt in the latter part of the third century before Christ. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, February and March, 1838. The Indian king appears always under the appellation Piyadaśī or Priyadarśīn, ‘the beautiful;’ and is entitled Devānam-piya, ‘the beloved of the gods.’ According to Buddhist authorities, the Rasavāhinī and Dīpawanśo, quoted by Mr. Turnour (J. As. Soc. of Bengal, Dec. 1837, p. 1056, and Nov. 1838, p. 930), Piyadaśī or Piyadaśano is identified both by name and circumstances with Aśoka, and to him therefore the inscriptions must be attributed. Their purport agrees well enough with his character, and their wide diffusion with the traditionary report of the number of his monuments. His date is not exactly that of Antiochus the Great, but it is not very far different, and the corrections required to make it correspond are no more than the inexact manner in which both Brahmanical and Buddhist chronology is preserved may well be expected to render necessary.


The name of Daśaratha, in a similar ancient character as that of Piyadaśī's inscriptions, has been found at Gaya amongst Buddhist remains, and like them decyphered by Mr. Prinsep, Journ. As. Soc. Bengal, Aug. 1837, p. 677. A different series of names occurs in the Vāyu; or, Kuśala, 8 yrs.; Bandhupālita, Indrapālita, Daśavarman, 7 yrs.; Śatadhara, 8 yrs.; and Vrihadaśva, 7 yrs. The Bhāgavata agrees in most of the names, and its omission of Daśaratha is corrected by the commentator.


Śatadhanwan, Bhāg.


The Vāyu says nine Sumūrttyas reigned 137 years. The Matsya and Bhāgavata have ten Mauryas, and 137 years. The detailed numbers of the Vāyu and Matsya differ from their totals, but the copies are manifestly corrupt.


The Bhāgavata omits this name, but states that there were ten Śuṅgas, although, without Puṣpamitra, only nine are named. The Vāyu and Matsya have the same account of the circumstances of his accession to the throne; the former gives him a reign of sixty, the latter of thirty-six years. In a play attributed to Kālidāsa, the Mālavikāgnimitra, of which Agnimitra is the hero, his father is alluded to as the Senānī or general, as if he had deposed his master in favour, not of himself, but of his son. Agnimitra is termed king of Vidiśa, not of Magadhā. Puṣpamitra is represented as engaged in a conflict with the Yavanas on the Indus; thus continuing the political relations with the Greeks or Scythians of Bactria and Ariana. See Hindu Theatre, vol. I. 347.


8 yrs. V.; omitted M.


7 yrs. V. and M.; but the latter places him after Vasumitra; and in the drama the son of Agnimitra is called Vasumitra.


8 yrs. V.; 10 yrs. M.


Andraka, V.; Antaka, M.: they agree in his reign, 2 years. Bhadraka, Bhāg.


3 yrs. V. and M.


3 yrs. V.; omitted, M.; Ghoṣa, Bhāg.


9 yrs. M.


Bhāga, M.; 32 yrs. V. and M.


Kṣemabhūmi, V.; Devabhūmi, M.; 10 yrs. both.


The Bhāgavata says, ‘more than a hundred.’ The commentator explains it: 112. The Vāyu and Matsya have the same period.


The names of the four princes agree in all the authorities. The Matsya transfers the character of Vyasanī to the minister, with the further addition of his being a Brahman; Dwija. In the lists given by Sir Wm. Jones and Col. Wilford, the four Kāṇwas are said to have reigned 345 years; but in seven copies of the Viṣṇu P., from different parts of India, the number is, as given in the text, forty-five. There is however authority for the larger number, both in the text of the Bhāgavata and the comment. The former has, #### and the latter, ### p. 472 There is no doubt therefore of the purport of the text; and it is only surprising that such a chronology should have been inserted in the Bhāgavata, not only in opposition to all probability, but to other authority. The Vāyu and Matsya not only confirm the lower number by stating it as a total, but by giving it in detail; thus:


The expressions Andhrajātiyas and Andhrabhrityas have much perplexed Col. Wilford, who makes three races out of one, Āndhras, Andhrajātiyas, and Andhrabhrityas. As. Res. IX. 101. There is no warrant for three races in the Purāṇas, although the Matsya, and perhaps the Vāyu, distinguishes two, as we shall hereafter see. Our text has but one, to which all the terms may be applied. The first of the dynasty was an Āndhra by birth or caste (jātiya), and a servant (bhritya) of the last of the Kāṇwa race. So the Vāyu; ###: the Matsya; ### and the Bhāgavata; ###. The terms ‘an Andhra by caste’ and ‘a Bhritya or servant,’ with the addition, in the last passage, of Vṛṣala, ‘a Śūdra,’ all apply to one person and one dynasty. Wilford has made wild work with his triad. The name of the first of this race is variously read: Sindhuka, Vāyu; Śiśuka, Matsya; Balin, Bhāg.; and, according to Wilford, Chismaka in the Brahmaṇḍa P., and Śūdraka or Śūraka in the Kumārikā Khaṇḍa of the Skānda P. As. Res. IX. 107. He reigned 23 years, Vāyu and Matsya. If the latter form of his name be correct, he may be the king who is spoken of in the prologue to the Mricchakaṭī.


10 yrs. V.; 18, M.


56 yrs. V.; 18, M.; 10, Brahmaṇḍa, Wilford; Simālakarṇi, Mats.; Śāntakarṇa, Bhāg.


Omitted, V.; 18 yrs. M.; Paurnamāsa, Bhāg.


Omitted, V. and Bhāg.; 56 yrs. M.; but the latter has before him a Śrīvasvāni, 18 yrs.


18 yrs. M.


Apilaka, 12 yrs. V. and M.; Chivilika or Vivilika, Bhāg.


Omitted, V. and M.


Patumāvi, 24 yrs. V.; Drirhamāna, Bhāg.


Nemi-kṛṣṇa, 25 yrs. V.; Aṛṣṭakarṇi, 25 yrs. M.


Hāla, 1 yr. V.; 5 yrs. M.; Hāleya, Bhāg.


Mandalaka, 5 yrs. M.; omitted, Bhāg.


Purīṣasena, 21 yrs. V.; Purindrasena, 5 yrs. Mats.; Purīṣataru, Bhāg.


Śātakarṇi only, V. and M.; the first gives him three years, the second but one. Sunanda, Bhāg.


Chakora, 6 months, V.; Vikarṇi, 6 months, M.


28 yrs. V. and M.


Gotamīputra, 21 yrs. V. and M.


Pulomat, 28 yrs. M.; Purimat, Bhāg.


Omitted, V.; 7 yrs. M.; Medhaśiras, Bhāg.


Omitted, V.; 7 yrs. M.


29 yrs. V.; 9 yrs. M.


6 yrs. V. and M.


Daṇḍaśrī, 3 yrs. V.; Candraśrī, 10 yrs. M.; Candravijaya, Bhāg.


Pulovāpi, 7 yrs. V.; Pulomat, 7 yrs. M.; Sulomadhi, Bhāg.


The Vāyu and Bhāgavata state also 30 kings, and 456 years; the Matsya has 29 kings, and 460 years. The actual enumeration of the text gives but 24 names; that of the Bhāgavata but 23; that of the Vāyu but 17. The Matsya has the whole 29 names, adding several to the list of our text; and the aggregate of the reigns amounts to 435 years and 6 months. The difference between this and the total specified arises probably from some inaccuracy in the MSS. As this list appears to be fuller than any other, it may be advisable to insert it as it occurs in the Radcliffe copy of the Matsya P.


These parallel dynasties are thus particularized in our other authorities:


The copies agree in reading Pauras, but the commentator remarks that it is sometimes Maunas, but they have already been specified; unless the term be repeated in order to separate the duration of this dynasty from that of the rest. Such seems to be the purport of the similar passage of the Bhāgavata. These kings (Andhras, &c.) will possess the earth 1099 years, and the eleven Maulas 300.' No such name as Pauras occurs in the other authorities. The analogy of duration identifies them with the Mlecchas of the Vāyu: ‘Eleven Mlecchas will possess the earth for three centuries:’ and the Vāyu may refer to the Maunas, as no other period is assigned for them. The periods of the Bhāgavata, 1099 and 300, come much to the same as that of our text, 1390; the one including the three centuries of the Maunas, the other stating it separately. The Vāyu apparently adds it to the rest, thus making the total 1601, instead of 1390. It is evident that the same scheme is intended by the several authorities, although some inaccuracy affects either the original statement or the existing manuscripts.


Kilakila, Kolakila, Kolikila, Kilinakila, as it is variously read. Sir Wm. Jones's Pandit stated that he understood it to be a city in the Mahratta country (As. Res. XI. 142); and there has been found a confirmation of his belief in an inscription, where Kilagila, as it is there termed, is called the capital of Mārasinha Deva, king of the Konkan. Journ. R. As. Soc. vol. IV. p. 282. This inscription dates A. D. 1058. The Purāṇas refer probably to a long antecedent date, when the Greek princes, or their Indo-Scythic successors, following the course of the Indus, spread to the upper part of the western coast of the peninsula. The text calls them Yavanas; and the Vāyu and Matsya say they were Yavanas in institutions, manners, and policy. The Bhāgavata names five of their princes, Bhutānanda, p. 478 Baṅgiri, Śiśunandi, Yaśnandi, and Pravīra, who will reign 106 years, and they are therefore imperfect representatives of the series in our text. The Matsya has no farther specific enumeration of any dynasty. The Vāyu makes Pravīra the son of Vindhyaśakti; the latter reigning 96 years, and the former 60: the latter is king of Kāñcana puri, ‘the golden city,’ and is followed by four sons, whose names are not mentioned. Between Vindhyaśakti and Pravīra, however, a dynasty of kings is introduced, some of the names of which resemble those of the Kilakila princes of the text. They are, Bhogin the son of Seṣanāga, Sadācandra, Nakhavat, Dhanadhamita, Vinśaja, Bhutinanda—at a period before the end of the Śuṅgas? (the copies have ###)—Madhunandi, his younger brother Nandiyaśas; and in his race there will be three other Rājās, Dauhitra, Śiśuka, and Ripukāyān. These are called princes of Vidiśa or Videśa; the latter meaning perhaps ‘foreign,’ and constitute the Nāga dynasty. Our text calls Vindhyaśakti a Murddhābhishikta, a warrior of a mixed race, sprung from a Brahman father and Kṣatriya mother.


The text of this passage runs thus: ###. ‘Their sons,’ the commentator explains by ‘thirteen sons of Vindhyaśakti and the rest.’ The Bhāgavata has a different statement, identifying the sons of the Vindhya race with the Bāhlikas, and making them thirteen: ‘The Bāhlikas will be their thirteen sons.’ As the commentator; ‘There will be severally thirteen sons, called Bāhlikas, of Bhūtananda and the rest.’ The following verse ‘Puṣpamitra, a king, and then Durmitra:’ who or what they were does not appear. The commentator says, Puṣpamitra was another king, and Durmitra was his son. Here is evidently careless and inaccurate compilation. The Vāyu, though not quite satisfactory, accords better with our text. ‘Pravīra,’ it says, will have four sons: when the Vindhya race is extinct, there will be three Bāhlīka kings, Supratīka, Nabhīra, who will reign thirty years, and Śakyamānābhava (quere this name), king of the Mahiṣas. The Puṣpamitras will then be, and the Paṭumitras also, who will be seven kings of Mekalā. Such is the generation.' The plural verb with only two Bāhlīka names indicates some omission, unless we correct it to it ‘they two will reign;’ but the following name and title, Śakyamānābhava, king of the Mahiṣas, seems to have little connexion with the Bāhlikas. If, in a subsequent part of the citation, the reading ‘trayodaśa’ be correct, it must then be thirteen Paṭumitras; but it will be difficult to know what to do with Sapta, ‘seven’ If for Santati we might read p. 479 Saptati, ‘seventy,’ the sense might be, ‘these thirteen kings ruled for seventy-seven years.’ However this may be, it seems most correct to separate the thirteen sons or families of the Vindhya princes from the three Bāhlikas, and them from the Puṣpamitras and Paṭumitras, who governed Mekalā, a country on the Narbada (see p. 186. n. 18). What the Bāhlikas, or princes of Balkh, had to do in this part of India is doubtful. The Durmitra of the Bhāgavata has been conjectured by Col. Tod (Trans. R. As. Soc. I. 325) to be intended for the Bactrian prince Demetrius: but it is not clear that even the Bhāgavata considers this prince as one of the Bāhlikas, and the name occurs nowhere else.


For the situation of Kośalā, see p. 190. n. 79. The three copies of the Vāyu read Komalā, and call the kings, the Meghas, more strong than sapient. The Bhāgavata agrees with our text. The Vāyu says of the Naiṣadhas, or kings of Niṣadha, that they were all of the race of Nala. The Bhāgavata adds two other races, seven Andhras (see note 63) and kings of Vaidūra, with the remark that these were all cotemporaries, being, as the commentator observes, petty or provincial rulers.


The Vāyu has Viśvasphāṇi and Viśvasphiṇi; the Bhāgavata, Viśvasphūrtti, or in some MSS. Viśvaphūiji. The castes he establishes or places in authority, to the exclusion of the Kṣatriyas, are called in all the copies of our text Kaivarttas, Paṭus, Pulindas, and Brahmans. The Vāyu (three MSS.) has Kaivarttas, Pañcakas, Pulindas, and Brahmans. The Bhāgavata has, Pulindas, Yadus, and Mādrakas. The Vāyu describes Viśvasphāṇi as a great warrior, and apparently as a eunuch: He worshipped the gods and manes, and dying on the banks of the Ganges went to the heaven of Indra.


Such appears to be the purport of our text. The nine Nāgas might be thought to mean the same as the descendants of Śeṣa Nāga, but the Vāyu has another series here, analogous to that of the text: ‘The nine Nāka kings will possess the city Campāvatī, and the seven Nāgas (?) the pleasant city Mathura. Princes of the Gupta race will possess all these countries, the banks of the Ganges to Prayāga and Sāketa and Magadhā.’ p. 480 This account is the most explicit, and probably most accurate, of all. The Nākas were Rājās of Bhāgalpur; the Nāgas, of Mathura; and the intermediate countries along the Ganges were governed by the Guptas, or Rājās of the Vaiśya caste. The Bhāgavata seems to have taken great liberties with the account, as it makes Viśvasphūrtti king over Anugaṅgā, the course of the Ganges from Haridwar, according to the commentator, to Prayāga, residing at Padmāvatī: omitting the Nāgas altogether, and converting ‘gupta’ into an epithet of ‘medini,’ the preserved or protected earth. Wilford considers the Nāgas, Nākas, and Guptas to be all the same: he says, ‘Then came a dynasty of nine kings, called the nine Nāgas or Nāgas; these were an obscure tribe, called for that reason Guptavanśas, who ruled in Padmāvati.’ That city he calls Patna; but in the Mālati and Mādhava, Padmāvatī lies amongst the Vindhya hills. Kāntipuri he makes Cotwal, near Gwalior. The reading of the Vāyu, Campāvati, however, obviates the necessity of all vague conjecture. According to Wilford there is a powerful tribe still called Nākas between the Jamuna and the Betwa. Of the existence and power of the Guptas, however, we have recently had ample proofs from inscriptions and coins, as in the Candragupta and Samudragupta of the Allatabad column; Journ. As. Soc. Bengal, March and June, 1834; and Kumāragupta, Candragupta, Samudragupta, Śaśigupta, &c. on the Archer coins, found at Kanoj and elsewhere; As. Res. XVII. pl. 1. fig. 5, 7, 13, 19; and Journ. As. Soc. Bengal, Nov. 1835, pl. 38 and 39; and in other numbers of the same Journal: in all which, the character in which the legends are written is of a period prior to the use of the modern Devanagari, and was current in all probability about the fifth century of our era, as conjectured by Mr. Prinsep: see his table of the modifications of the Sanscrit alphabet from 543 B. C. to 1200 A. D. Journ. As. Soc. Bengal, March 1838.


The Vāyu also mentions the descendants of Devarakṣita or Daivarakṣitas as kings of the Kośalas, Tāmralipta, and the sea coast; so far conforming with our text as to include the western parts of Bengal, Tamlook, Medinipur, and Orissa. One copy reads Andhra, perhaps for Oḍra, Orissa; and one has Campā for the capital, which is probably an error, although the two other MSS., being still more faulty, do not offer the means of correction.


The Vāyu has the same. The countries are parts of Orissa and Berar.


The Vāyu has sons of Maṇidhaṇya for the ruling dynasty, but names the countries those of the Naiṣadhas, Yudakas, Śaśikas, and Kālatoyas. The first name applies to a tract of country near p. 481 the Vindhya mountains, but the last to a country in the north. The west or southwest, however, is probably intended in this place.


The Stri Rājya is usually placed in Bhote. It may perhaps here designate Malabar, where polyandry equally prevails. Mūṣika, or the country of thieves, was the pirate coast of the Konkan. The Vāyu reads Bhokṣyaka or Bhokhyaka for Mūṣika. The Bhāgavata omits all these specifications subsequent to the notice of Viwasphūrtti.


From this we might infer that the Viṣṇu P. was compiled when the Mohammedans were making their first encroachments on the west. They seem to have invaded and to have settled in Sindh early in the eighth century, although Indian princes continued on the Indus for a subsequent period. Scriptor. Arab. de rebus Indicis. Gildemeister, p. 6. They were engaged in hostilities in 698 or 700 with the prince of Kabul, in whose name, however disguised by its Mohammedan representations of Ratil, Ratbal, or Ratibal, it is not difficult to recognise the genuine Hindu appellation of Ratanpāl, or Ratnapāl. Their progress in this direction has not been traced; but at the period of their invasion of Sindh they advanced to Multan, and probably established themselves there and at Lahore within a century. Kashmir they did not occupy till a much later date, and the Rāja Tarangini takes no notice of any attacks upon it; but the Chinese have recorded an application from the king of Kashmir, Chin-tho-lo-pi-li, evidently the Candrāpiḍa of the Sanscrit, for aid against the Arabs, about A. D. 713. Gildemeister, p. 13. Although, therefore, not actually settled at the Pañjab so early as the beginning, they had commenced their iñcursions, and had no doubt made good their footing by the end of the eighth or commencement of the ninth century. This age of the Purāṇa is compatible with reference to the cotemporary race of Gupta kings, from the fourth or fifth to the seventh or eighth century; or, if we are disposed to go farther back, we may apply the passage to the Greek and Indo-Scythian princes. It seems more likely to be the former period; but in all such passages in this or other Purāṇas there is the risk that verses inspired by the presence of Mohammedan rulers may have been interpolated into the original text. Had the Mohammedans of Hindustan, however, been intended by the latter, the indications would have been more distinct, and the localities assigned to them more central. Even the Bhāgavata, the date of which we have good reason for conjecturing to be the middle of the twelfth century, and which influenced the form assumed about that time by the worship of Viṣṇu, cannot be thought to refer to the Mohammedan conquerors of p. 482 upper India. It is there stated, that rulers fallen from their castes, or Śūdras, will be the princes of Saurāṣṭra, Avanti, Abhīra, Śūra, Arbuda, and Mālava; and barbarians, Śūdras, and other outcastes, not enlightened by the Vedas, will possess Kāṣmīr, Kauntī, and the banks of the Candrabhāgā and Indus.' Now it was not until the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries that the Mohammedans established themselves in Guzerat and Malwa, and the Bhāgavata was unquestionably well known in various parts of India long before that time. (Account of Hindu Sects, As. Res. vol. XVI.) It cannot therefore allude to Mohammedans. By specifying the princes as seceders from the Vedas, there is no doubt that the barbarians and outcastes intended are so only in a religious sense; and we know from indisputable authorities that the western countries, Guzerat, Abu, Mālava, were the chief seats, first of the Buddhists, and then of the Jainas, from a period commencing perhaps before the Christian era, and scarcely terminating with the Mohammedan conquest. Inscriptions from Abu, As. Res. vol. XVI.


The commentator, having no doubt the existing state of things in view, interprets the passage somewhat differently: the original is, ###. The comment explains ‘strong’, and adds, the Mlecchas will be in the centre, and the Āryyas at the end:' meaning, if any thing, that the unbelievers are in the heart of the country, and the Hindus on the borders: a description, however, never correct, except as applicable to the governments; and in that case inconsistent with the text, which had previously represented the bordering countries in the hands of outcastes and heretics. All that the text intends, is to represent infidels and foreigners high in power, and the Brahmans depressed. It is not unlikely that the reading is erroneous, notwithstanding the copies coñcur, and that the passage should be here the same as that of the Vāyu; ‘Intermixed with them, the nations, adopting every where barbaric p. 483 institutions, exist in a state of disorder, and the subjects shall be destroyed.’ The expression Mlecchācārāśca being used instead of Mlecchaścāryāśca. A passage similar to that of the text, noticing the intermixture of Hindus and barbarians, occurs in a different place (see p. 175. n. 4), and designates tare condition of India in all ages: at no period has the whole of the population followed Brahmanical Hinduism.


That is, there will be no Tīrthas, places held sacred, and objects of pilgrimage; no particular spot of earth will have any especial sanctity.


Gifts will be made from the impulse of ordinary feeling, not in connexion with religious rites, and as an act of devotion; and ablution will be performed for pleasure or comfort, not religiously with prescribed ceremonies and prayers.


The expression Sadveśadhārin is explained to mean either one who wears fine clothes, or who assumes the exterior garb of sanctity. Either interpretation is equally allowable.


The Bhāgavata agrees with the text in these particulars. The chief star of Tiṣya is δ in the constellation Cancer.


All the copies coñcur in this reading. Three copies of the Vāyu assign to the same interval 1050 years: and of the Matsya five copies have the same, or 1050 years; whilst one copy has 1500 years. The Bhāgavata has 1115 years; which the commentator explains, ‘a thousand years and a hundred with fifteen over.’ He notices nevertheless, although he does not attempt to account for the discrepancy, that the total period from Parīkṣit to Nanda was actually, according to the duration of the different intermediate dynasties, as enumerated by all the authorities, fifteen centuries; viz.


A similar explanation is given in the Bhāgavata, Vāyu, and Matsya Purāṇas; and like accounts from astronomical writers are cited by Mr. Colebrooke, As. Res. vol. IX. p. 358. The commentator on the Bhāgavata thus explains the notion: “The two stars (Pulaha and Kratu) must rise or be visible before the rest, and whichever asterism is in a line south from the middle of those stars, is that with which the seven stars are united; and so they continue for one hundred years.” Col. Wilford has also given a like explanation of the revolution of the Ṛṣis; As. Res. vol. IX. p. 83. According to Bentley the notion originated in a contrivance of the astronomers to shew the quantity of the precession of the equinoxes. “This was by assuming an imaginary line or great circle passing through the poles of the ecliptic and the beginning of the fixed Maghā, which circle was supposed to cut some of the stars in the Great Bear. The seven stars in the Great Bear the circle so assumed was called the line of the Ṛṣis, and being fixed to the beginning of the lunar asterism Maghā, the precession would be solved by stating the degree &c. of any moveable lunar mansion cut by that fixed line or circle as an p. 486 index. Historical View of Hindu Astronomy, p. 65.


The Bhāgavata has the same; and this agrees with the period assigned for the interval between Parīkṣit and Nanda of 1050 years; as, including Maghā, we have ten asterisms to Purvāṣāḍhā, or 1000 years. The Vāyu and Matsya are so very inaccurate in all the copies consulted, that it is not safe to affirm what they mean to describe. Apparently they state that at the end of the Andhra dynasty the Ṛṣis will be in Krittikā, which furnishes other ten asterisms; the whole being nearly in accordance with the chronology of the text, as the total interval from Parīkṣit to the last of the Andhras is 1050 + 836 =1886, and the entire century of each asterism at the beginning and end of the series need not be taken into account. The copies of the Matsya read, ‘The seven Ṛṣis are on a line with the brilliant Agni;’ that is, with Krittikā, of which Agni is the presiding deity. The Vāyu intends in all probability the same phrase, but the three copies have, ### a very unintelligible clause. Again, it seems as if they intended to designate the end of the Andhra race as the period of a complete revolution, or 2700 years; for the Vāyu has, ‘The races at the end of the Andhas will be after 2700 years:’ the Matsya has, ### and at the close of the passage, after specifying as usual that ‘the seven Ṛṣis were in Maghā in the time of Parīkṣit,’ the Vāyu adds, ### a passage which, though repeated in the MSS., is obviously most inaccurate; although it might perhaps be understood to intimate that the Ṛṣis will be in the twenty-fourth asterism after the Andhra race; but that would give only 1400 years from Parīkṣit to Pulomat; whilst if the twenty-fourth from Maghā was intended, it would give 2400 years: both periods being incompatible with previous specifications. The Matsya has a different reading of the second line, but one not much more satisfactory; ‘A hundred years of Brahmā will be in the twenty-fourth (asterism?).’ In neither of these authorities, however, is it proposed by the last-cited passages to illustrate the chronology of princes or dynasties: the specification p. 487 of the period, whatever it may be, is that of the era at which the evil influence of the Kali age is to become most active and irresistible.


The Bhāgavata has the same. Devāpi, as the commentator observes, being the restorer of the lunar, and Maru of the solar race.


To be the cause of Saṅkalpa, ‘conviction,’ ‘belief;’ and Vikalpa, ‘doubt,’ ‘disbelief.’ The Bhāgavata indulges in a similar strain, and often in the same words. The whole recalls the words of the Roman satirist;

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: