by Mrs. Nandita Sarmah | 2014 | 67,792 words
This page relates ‘Part 2.2: Relation with Other Kings’ of the English study on the Harshacharita: A Sanskrit (poetical work) which can be studied as a Historical book of Indian society during the 7th century. It was originally written by Banabhatta who based his Harsacarita on the life of the Gupta emperor Harshavardhana. This study researches the religion, philosophy, flora and fauna and society of ancient India as reflected in the Harsha-Charita.
In the field of politics, a king employs all the saguṇas or the four expedients viz., sāma (espionage or reconciliation), dāna (defensive policies or bribery), bheda (internal discussion or judgment) and daṇḍa (punishment or open attack) etc. These are followed by a king for protecting the kingdom in a proper way. In this context, we can find the good friendship between Harṣa, the king of Sthāṇviśvara, and Bhāskaravarmaṇ, the king of Prāgajyotiṣa. For the smooth running of his kingdom, Bhāskara offered to make friendship with Harṣa, giving a valuable and precious umbrella as a symbol of good friendship among them. That umbrella was named ābhoga. Again, Bāṇa mentions through the words of Haṃsavega, the messenger of Bhāskaravarmaṇ, that the friendship of kings is generally dependent upon some purposes i.e., it is never disinterested. He also mentions several purposes which induced king Bhāskara to make friendship. It implies that the sovereign kings make friendship through the policy of espionage (sāma), defensive policies (dāna) with the powerful king.
Harṣa’s relation with many other kings is also described in the Harṣacarita. Among them, Harṣa crowned Kumāragupta, the older of the two Mālava princes who were the companions of his boyhood. His relation with kumāra Bhāskaravarman of Prāgjyotiṣa was that of everlasting friendship.
King Prabhākaravardhana’s relation with other feudatory kings was very great. He summoned, for the occasion of Rājyaśrī’s marriage ceremony, not only the notable citizens of his kingdom but also his important feudatories and neighboring monarchs. Many heroic stories of Harṣa and Probhākaravaradhana are found in the Harṣacarita such as-king Prabhākaravardhana fought successfully against the hūṇa, the king of sindhu, gujjara, gāndhāra, lāṭa and mālava and he had sent his elder son Rājyavardhana to conquer the hūṇas. From this description the name of different states (deśa) in the time of 7th century A.D. can be found.
On the eve of Harṣa’s expedition, the feudatory kings were awaiting for his arrival, greeted him and bowed their bodies, dutifully bent down, and the king also in turn distributed among them, the token of royal favor such as half smiles, a full glance etc. Again, it has been described that Harṣa transferred his capital from Sthāṇviśvara to Kanauj and became the sovereign ruler of the latter kingdom also by assuming the full imperial titles. The epithet-sakalottarapathanāth63 implies that he made himself the master of the whole of Northern India. Again, it is found that Harṣa having pounded the king of Sindu, made his wealth his own. Again, it is found in the Harṣacarita, that Harṣa “exacted tribute from an inaccessible land of the snowy mountains.”
Footnotes and references:
[a] citrīyamāṇacetāśca sarājako rājā daṇḍānusārādhirohiṇyā dṛṣṭva …..trailokyādbhutaṃ mahacchatram, Ibid.,VII.p.116 [b] rājā tu ….svayamapyutthāya ….. ābhogasya chāyām, Ibid.,VII.p.117
…..ekamajayaṃ saṅgatamapahāya kāsyantyā pratikauśaliketi, Ibid.,VII,p.117
[a]…tasminnāsanneṣu ca vivāhadivaśeṣu…avanipālapuruṣagṛhītasamagragrāmiṇānīyamāno--pakaraṇasambhāram …upanimantitāgatabandhuvargasaṃvargaṇavyagrarājavallabham…, Ibid.,IV.p.68 [b] upanimnitāgatabandhuvargasaṃvargaṇavygrarājavallavam, Ibid.
avanamati ca vinayamitavapuṣi bhayacakitamanasi…..śirasi…..rājacakre… …suśakunasampādanāya celuḥ, Ibid.,VII.p.112
…dikpālaiḥ..netrabhibhāgaiśca katākṣaiśca …samagrekṣitai…prvirāṇāṃ vīro yathārupaṃ vibabhāja rājakam, Ibid.