Impact of Vedic Culture on Society

by Kaushik Acharya | 2020 | 120,081 words

This page relates ‘Sanskrit Inscriptions (B): The Maitrakas’ of the study on the Impact of Vedic Culture on Society as Reflected in Select Sanskrit Inscriptions found in Northern India (4th Century CE to 12th Century CE). These pages discuss the ancient Indian tradition of Dana (making gifts, donation). They further study the migration, rituals and religious activities of Brahmanas and reveal how kings of northern India granted lands for the purpose of austerities and Vedic education.

Sanskrit Inscriptions (B): The Maitrakas

[Study of Sanskrit Inscriptions Issued During Early and Early Medieval Period (B): The Maitrakas]

In the last quarter of the fifthcentury CE, the Maitrakas of Valabhī was rising to prominence in the Kathiawar Peninsula in Gujarat. There are many inscriptions of this dynasty that records the emigration of vedic brāhmaṇas.

The impact of vedic culture in society at the time of Maitraka rule in Northern India can be assumed through their land grant charters. Most of the donees were migrated from different places, and they were experienced performers of vedic sacrifices associated to mostly śukla-yajurvedīya śākhā. Let us find out where they relocated themselves and where they finally settled to initiate vedic culture.

The Maitrakas were followers of the Śiva except for Dhruvasena-I who was vaiṣṇava and Dharāpada who was sun-worshipper. They all used the title of Paramamāheśvara before the names of king except those two. Palitānā Plates of Dhruvasena (c. 525 CE)[1] issued by the King Dhruvasena -I, records a grant to the brāhmaṇas Kumāraśarman and Jarabhajyi of Chāndogya branch of Sāmaveda for their performance of rites of bali, caru, vaiśvadeva (first three of the five great sacrifices). Dhruvasena I was a devout worshipper of Bhāgavata (Viṣṇu).

This inscription records (1) one hundred and forty pādāvartas belonging to Kuṭumbi-Īśvara (2) a well, sixteen pādavartas in extent in Madkānā village in the division of Hastavapra, and (3) one hundred and forty pādāvartas measured by Dhindaka standard in the village of Tāpasiya and also (4) one hundred pādāvartas along with a well,in the northeast in the village of Tinishaka bestowed on the Brāhmanas Kumāraśārman and Jarabhajyi of Śāndilya gotra and Chāndogya branch (i.e., Sāmaveda) both the brāhmaṇas were residing at Śankaravātaka as per the terms of brahmadeya perpetually for their performance of the rites of offerings to animals, birds, etc., (bali) offerings to deity in the form of cooked rice (caru) and offering to the manes (vaiśvadeva) for him and the merit of his parents. No obstruction shall be caused in this respect. Future kings of our lineage or others shall form to this gift and shall not interfere, failing which they will incur the guilt of the five great sins along with minor crimes. Madkānā is probably Mukharid near Talajā in Saurashtra in Gujarat. The other places mentioned in this section are not identifiable.

During c. 589-590 CE, Dhārasena-II issued a charter that records two villages viz. Asilapallikā and Barejādi that situated in Kheṭaka or modern Kaira district in Gujarat. The villages were given to Brāhmaṇa Viṣnumitra. He hailed from Ānarttapura, which has been identified with Ānandapura or modern Vaḍnagar in Gujarat, and was living in Kheṭaka or Kaira near which he later received a village.

Just as other kings who had granted to a larger group of vedic brāhmaṇas, so too Śilāditya-I of Maitrakas of Valabhī dynasty, by his Navalākhī Plates, (c. 605-606 CE Or, c. 545-546 CE)[2][3] granted the village Bhoṇḍānaka included in Vaṭanagara-sthalī, to fortyfour brāhmaṇas, engaged in austerities and studies for the augmentation of the merit of his parents. They belong to different gotras and caraṇas. Interestingly all forty-four brāhmaṇas[4] had emigrated from Saṃgapurī. H.M. Bhadkamkar,[5] the editor of the grant, has identified Saṃgapuri, as Śahapur near Junāgadh, seems to have read this name as Sargapurī[6] and has stated that it was near Navlakhi (near Vanthali) the findspot of the plates.[7] But the donated village has not been located yet. As regards the place Vaṭanagara after which the territorial division (here referred to as sthali) was named, the editor is somewhat uncertain about its identity. He says that Vaṭanagar may be either Vadādar, ten miles north of Vanthali[8] or Vaḍnagar in Baroda/ Vaṭapadra which according to Buhler, was the same as modern Vaḍodra or Baroda,[9] Vaḍnagar was a prime habitat of brāhmaṇas. Hence, all these forty-four brāhmaṇas who were living in Śāhapur near Junāgarh were migrated to Baroda region. And they all enjoyed the village they got. All of them enjoyed the income of the received village together.

The King Śīlāditya not only granted the land, but he granted the village as dharmadāya (a religious gift or gift made in fulfillment of one’s duty as prescribed by the codes of behavior in life) with all possible rights and privileges he could do.[10]

The next year in 606 century CE,[11] the same King Śīlāditya-I issued ‘Valā Plates’ which records a grant. The grantee of this donation was Brāhmaṇa Bhaṭṭi, son of Bhaṭṭaguha who had emigrated from Ānarttapura or Ānandapura, and was a resident of Valabhī,[12] received a hundred and twenty pādāvarttas of land in the north-east quarter of the Kālāsāmaka village from the Maitraka ruler. Unfortunately, the village Kālāsāmaka is still unidentified. This is interesting to note that the said village was under the lordship to the west of the field, the satka[13] of Pippal, the satka of Karkkaka, to the north of the field, the satka of 1) Ūshaka the satka of miśraṇa, to the east of the field, the satka of maṇṇaka and to the south of the field, the pratyaya of the householder (kuṭumbi) Vasta on the border of the village Chīṭṭīyānaka, and of the stepwell (vāpī) known as Mochanikā occupying an area of sixteen pādāvarttas of land which was again the pratyaya of the same Sīhadatta in the northwest of the village Kālāsāmaka. The beneficiary (grantee) of this grant was Bhaṭṭi-brāhmaṇa, the son of Brāhmaṇa Bhaṭṭa-Guha, the student–an adherent of Kauthuma school (śākhā) of the Chāndogya branch belonging to Bhāradvāja-sagotra, who had settled in Valabhī having migrated from Ānarttapura. This statement makes it clear that the grantee was a resident of Valabhī, the capital of the Maitrakas and that Kālāsāmaka, where the land and vāpī were granted to him was in the neighborhood of Valabhī that is kāṭasara. However, K. K. Virji argued if it is doubtfully identified with that place.[14] Ānarttapura has been recognized with Vaḍanagar of the modern days, a city in Mehsana district in the state of Gujarat.

Another inscription from this dynasty “Virdi Plates of Kharagraha I” (c. 616-17 CE)[15] records a grant as a dharmmadeya with all probable rights and privileges[16] to Brāhmaṇa Bhava, son of Bhadra, a sabrahmachāri of Maitrāyanīya school (Yajurveda), belonging to Bhāguri sagotra, who hails from chiñchānaka. The village chiñchānaka is probably represented by the present-day Chinjhka, two miles to the south of Lusdī near Mandal[17] in Bhavnagar District, Gujarat. The findspot of the grant is Virdi presently under Lathi in Kathiawar, Gujarat. However, the king issued this charter from his victorious camp at Ujjayinī.

Amreli Plates of Kharagraha I (c. 616-17 CE)[18] issued by the King Kharagraha I record a grant of two vāpis to Brāhmaṇa Gupta, son of Brāhmaṇa Āpta, a sabrahmacārī of the Vājasaneya branch of Śukla-Yajurveda, who hailed from (vāstavya) tramadī having emigrated from Kāśahrada. The name of the place wherefrom the donee Gupta hailed has been doubtfully read as Tramadī by Gadre. It has been understood to be a different form of Trāmadia, or Trāvada, ten miles south-west of Amreli and Kāsahrada, the place to which the donee originally belonged has been identified with Kāsandrā, 25 miles to the south of Ahmadābād.[19] The grant, as stated, have been accompanied by the same rights and privileges mentioned in the other Maitraka grants.[20] Through the privileges, e.g., undraṅga, uparikara, vāta-bhūta-pratyāyam and among others mentioned in this charter, it seems that the donation was not only the two vāpīs but was also the land irrigated with the help of the two vāpis.

While the Gurjaras held sway over the region around Broach, another part of Gujarat was under the Maitrakas of Valabhī dynasty and then,Dhruvasena-II Balāditya, who was a contemporary of the Gurjara King Dadda-II, issued several charters in favor of vedic brāhmaṇas.

During c. 630-631 CE[21] Dhruvasena-II issued “L.D. Institute of Copper Plate” which records a grant of a village to Brāhmaṇa Mātṛdatta, son of Shashtidatta. Brāhmaṇa Mātṛdatta was a student adherent of Chāchhāgaleya school and belonged to Aśvalāyanasagotra, and was one of those well-versed in all four Vedas. Having emigrated from Daśapura, Mātṛdatta was living in Valabhī. There is the enigmatic mention of cāturvidyā-sāmãnya with the prefix Valabhī. This phrase might have indicated that the place Valabhī was abounding in scholars in all the four Vedas of whom the donee was one. Daśāpura was the ancient name of the modern Mandasor in Madhyapradesh. It is needless to say that the land been granted along with udraṅga, uparikara, bhūta-vatapratyāya, and among other privileges.

In the year c. 632 CE, Dhruvasena-II granted a field in the western quarter of Hastikapallikā-grāma in Koṇakapathaka in Kheṭāhāra-viṣaya to Brāhmaṇa Mātrakāla, a resident of Kheṭaka and an emigrant from Girinagara.[22] The places Girinagara and Kheṭaka can be identified with modern Girnar in Kathiawar and Kaira in Gujarat, respectively. However, the donated village has not been traced yet. But the Kheṭaharaviṣaya in which the granted village Hastikapallikā-grāma lay, can be identified with the district Kaira, where the Brāhmaṇa Mātrakāla was living, having already emigrated from Girnar.

Dhruvasena-II in the year c. 632 CE[23] issued the Goras Copper Plates records, in the village Bahumūla, included in the Vaṭapallikāsthalī in the Saurāshṭras, the land hundred pādāvarttas in extent distributed in three plots to two brāhmaṇa cousins . One of them was Brāhmaṇa Devakula, son of Brāhmaṇa Śarmma, a sabrahmachāri of Chāndogya branch of Sāmaveda and belonged to Kapisshṭhala-sagotra. Another donee was Brāhmaṇa Bhāda, son of Brāhmaṇa Dattila and nephew of Brāhmaṇa Śarmma. They had come from Valāpadra and had settled in Gorakeśa.[24] Valāpadra has not been identified yet. However, scholars have different opinions regarding Valāpadra.

D.B. Diskalkar, the editor of the plates, stated that it might be identical with the village of Velāpadra included in Jhāristhalī, mentioned in another grant of DharasenaII.[25] Here, Jhāri can be identified with modern Jhār in the Amreli district of Kathiawar. Maybe it was a territorial division having the modern village of Vadla in the Mahuva district of Bhavnagar State as its Chief town.[26] Valāpadra, as found written in the record, was the same as Velāpadra.[27] Velāpadra has been doubtfully identified with Vélivadar in Kathiawad, Gujarat.[28] According to H.D. Sankalia,[29] if Velāpadra and Valapadra are the same, they may be traced to modern Valavad, two miles from Sihor in Kathiawar. Gorakeśa, where the donees were residing, is the same as the village Goras, in the Mahuva district in former Bhavnagar State. The cousins were given two fields, each of a hundred pādāvartas, in the village Bahumūla has not been appropriately identified. Even Vatapallika-sthāli has not been identified, but which, as the plates say, lay within Surashtra, Gujarat.

Nogāwa Plates of Dhruvasena-II ‘A’ (c. 639-640 CE)[30] issued by the King Dhruvasena-II records a land grant to two brāhmaṇas. One of them was Agnisvāmin, who emigrated from Udumbara-gahvara and another was Brāhmaṇa Saṅgaravi, was migrated from Jambūsara. Both the brāhmaṇas were the residents of Āyānakāgrahāra and well versed of Vājasaneya śākhā (white Yajurveda). Ayanakāgrahāra, where they were residing, have not been identified yet. Udumbara-gahvara also occurs on a plate of Dharasena-IV. Here Buhler, G., had analyzed the significance of the name Udumbaragahvara but had not designated that place.[31] Jambūsara is stated to be known by the same name even today, and it is the headquarters of the Jambūsara Taluk of the Broach District in Gujarat.[32]

Similarly, a year later, for the augmentation of merit of his parents, Dhruvasena II issued another set of the inscription Nogāwa Plates of Dhruvasena-II ‘B’ (c. 640-641 CE).[33] It records a grant of a hundred bhuktis inthe southern quarter of a village Chandraputraka in uchchamāna-viṣaya in Mālavakaor Mālava to two Brāhmaṇas, Dattasvāmi and Kukārasvāmi. Both of them emigrant brāhmaṇas like Agnisvāmin in the previous grant andhad come from the same place Udumbaragahvara[34] and was a resident of Ayanakāgrahāra.[35] Both the sites are unidentified, as stated above. However, Ayānakāgrahāra may have been near Daśapura or Mandasor in modern Malwa in Madhya Pradesh. Hence, sometime before the date of the grant, both the donees had left their homes in Gujarat. And then, they had come to western Malwa in Madhya Pradesh. The village Chandraputraka in uchchamāna-viṣaya lay in Mālavaka, D. C. Sircar[36] identifies Mālavaka with Mālava or Malwa and points out that Dhruvasena-II, the donor, is known to have granted land in the district of Mālava, apparently in the Māhi-valley. It can be said that by this time the Maitrakas had acquired a portion of western Malwa. Both the brāhmaṇas associated to the Yajurveda and resident of the same place and a Trivedi (well versed in three Vedas) of Daśapura.

A great devotee of Maheśvara, King Dhruvasena-II granted those properties for the augmentation of merit to his parents. However, all the places in this inscription have not explicitly identified yet. We may notice educated people from different provinces, but the same branch was being brought to one location, and they were given the same land equally for their enjoyment. It is noteworthy that the number of migrants from the Kathiawar coast was high at the reign of King Dhruvasena-II.

Again, in the year c. 642-643 CE, Dhruvasena-II issued his Amreli Museum Plates, which refer to the Brāhmaṇa Somaśarman, son of Sāmbhakumāraśarman.[37] His family had emigrated from Ānarttapura or Vadnagara, and at the time of the grant, he was residing at Valabhī or modern Vāla near Bhāvnagar in Kathiawar , Gujarat. Dhruvasena-II donated him a field at the northern border of the village Machchoṭikā in the Uttinnaijja division. Both of these localities are unidentified. This much is known according to the charter, which the village Machchoṭikā and Uttinnaijja division lay in modern Saurashtra, Gujarat.

Again, unlike these charters, wherein the original homes of the donees have been located, a copper-plate, Bhavnagar Plates of Dhruvasena-IV ‘A’ (c. 645-646 CE)[38] records a land grant along with usual rights and privileges[39] as dharmmadeya for the augmentation of merit of his parents. The gift was made to two brothers, Brāhmaṇa Arjuna and Mankasvāmin, the son of Brāhmaṇa Guhāḍhya who was a sabrahmacārī of Chāndogya branch of Sāmaveda, and belonged to BhāradvājaSagotra, who was a Siṃhapura-cāturvidyāsāmānya (product of the institution imparting education in all the four Vedas at Siṃhapura). Both the brāhmaṇas whose ancestral home has not identified, were inhabitants of Siṃhapura but at the time of the grant,they were residing at the village Kikkaṭāputra. Later the brāhmaṇa brothers received two fields and a well in the village Śarkarāpadraka, a village included in the district of Kikkaṭāputra and the Kālāpakapaihaka of Saurashtra. The village in which the areas were situated in is not located yet. According to the charter itself, it lay in Saurashtra. As regards, Siṃhapura from where the brāhmaṇas came, four places are having the name Simhapura, in Punjab, in the Kaliṇga country, in Rādha, and Gujarat. However, as most of the land grant charters issued by the rulers of Maitrakas of Valabhī dynasty record domestic migrations within Gujarat itself, thus Siṃhapura here may be the same as Siṃhapura or Sihor in south-east Kathiawar, in Gujarat. From where the brāhmaṇas migrated to the Saurashtra region, sometimes before they received the grant. Siṃhapura has been identified with Sihor, the modern village, twelve miles from Valabhī or modern Vāla, an ancient city located in the Saurashtra of Gujarat, near Bhavnagar in western India.[40]

The Maitrakas of Valabhī were still developing and spreading successfully in the Surāṣtra region during this period. Through his Alina Plates, Dharasena-IV in the c. 649650 CE,[41] handed over the village Desurakṣitijja in Simhapallikā-pathaka in Kheṭakāhāra to a Ṛgvedic Brāhmaṇa viz. Nārāyanamitra, son of Keśavamitra as dharmmadāya for the augmentation of merit to his parents with the usual rights and privileges. Scholars have identified Desurakṣitijja with modern Desor, eight miles south of Thasara, which lay in Kheṭaka / Kheda or the Kaira district, in Gujarat. The charter tells about the donee Nārāyanamitra that he was an Ānarttapura-cātur-vidyā-sāmānya, a sabriahmachārī of Baḥvṛcha [Bahvṛca?] (Ṛgvedic branch of Vedas) belonging to Śarkkarākshisagotra, who had emigrated from Ānarttapura or Vadanagar[42] and was residing in the village of Kāsara,[43] which, however, is unidentified.

Notably, a good number of land grant charters issued from this dynasty give the names of brāhmaṇas very precisely who had left their homes. Still, unfortunately, we have failed to locate them accurately in most cases. With the usual rights and privileges “Kheda (Kaira) Plates of Dhruvasena-IV”(c. 649-650 CE)[44] issued by the same King Dhruvasena-IV records another grant of two fields, one in Kolamba in the viṣaya of Kheṭaka and the other in the village of Duhuduhu of Nagaraka-paihaka. All the places mentioned here not identified to date except Kheṭaka . The editor of the grant, Buhler refers, Nagaraka-pathaka means the area immediately surrounding the town, and this as surrounding Kheṭaka itself. So the donated fields lay in the region of Kheṭaka. The donee was Brāhmaṇa Aditiśarman, son of Brāhmaṇa Bhavīnāgaśarman, a sabrahmacārīVājasaneyī (adhering to the Vājasaneya branch of white-Yajurveda) and sāmanya (well versed in all four Vedas), was a resident of Kheṭaka at the time of the grant. But he had emigrated from Udumbaragahvara,[45] the modern equivalent of which remains to be found. And Kheṭaka has been identified with the contemporary Kheda, the headquarters of the Kaira district in Gujarat. There was a viṣaya named after Kheṭaka too, as discussed earlier . In the above examples, we see that the migrations during the reign of the King Dhruvasena-IV were mostly native to Gujarat.

King Dharasena-IV had no son.[46] Dhruvasena-III succeeded King Dharasena-IV. During 653-54 CE, Dhruvasena-III issued Kāpaḍvaṇaj Plates (c. 653-654CE)[47] that records a land grant as dharmmadeya for the augmentation of merit of his parents to Brāhmaṇa Bhaṭṭi Bhaṭa, son of Brāhmaṇa Bappa, a sabrahmachāri of Vājasaneya school (white Yajurveda) belonging to Kauśika-sagotra, who was a cāturvvidyā-sāmānya. He was a native and emigrated from Mahichhaka,[48] who received the village of Pattapadraka in the Dakṣiṇapatta of Śivabhāgapura-viṣaya. None of these places is identified;however, according to H.D. Sankalia, Śivabhāgapuraviṣaya was in the Gujarat region. Again , Dakṣiṇapatta means modern Deccan, the region in South India. So maybe Śivabhāgapuraviṣaya is located Sothern Gujarat region. As for the identification of Mahichhaka, K.K. Virji just says that ‘it lay near Kāpadvaņaj.’ Kāpaṇdvaaj of Gujarat is the findspot of the present set of copper-plates. It is not known if the village Mahichhaka continues to exist with the same namein recent times.

After Dharasena-IV, a certain change occurred in the ruling family. The power passed from the line of Dharasena-IV to anotherbranch of the Maitrakas, i.e., to the house of Śilāditya-I. Alīnā Plates of the King Kharagraha-II (c. 656-57 CE)[49] records a grant of a village Paṅgulapallikā in Ghṛtālaya-bhūmi in Śivabhāgapura-viṣaya with the usual rights and privileges as dharmmadāya, to the same Brāhmaṇa Nārāyaṇa as mentioned and donated in the previous Alina Plates of Dharasena-IV in c. 649-650 CE,[50] son of Brāhmaṇa Keśava a sabrahmachāri of Baḥvṛcha branch of the Vedas belonging to Śārkkarākshi-sagotra, a sāmānya of all four Vedas of Nandpura, emigrated from Ānandapura and a resident of Kheṭaka[51] or Kaira. It is noteworthy; Brāhmaṇa Nārāyaṇa was living in an unidentified village Kāsara at the time of previous grant. And then, within seven years, he moved from Kāsara and relocated to Kheṭaka or modern Kheda of Kaira district, in Gujarat. The places Paṅgulapallikā, Ghṛtālaya-bhūmi and Śivabhāgapura-viṣaya not identified, but according to H.D. Sankalia, Śivabhāgapuraviṣaya was in the Gujarat region.[52] It is difficult to say if the village Nandpura and Ānandapura were the same; however, Ānandapura has been identified conjecturally with modern Vaḍnagar located in Mehsana district in Gujarat as discussed before.

Two Maitraka charters, one dated in the c.669-670 CE, and another in c.671-672 CE is said to have belonged to Śilāditya-II. However, there seems to be some doubt about the date of those grants or the names of the donors. According to R.C. Majumdar,[53] the dates of Śilāditya-III range between c. 662, and 684 CE. Based on this, the donor of the two grants mentioned above should be Śilāditya-III and not Śilāditya-II. Again V. D Mahājan[54] in his book ‘Ancient India’ has given a complete chronological chart of the dynasty, in which he mentioned the reign period of Śīlāditya-II is between c. 658 CE to c. 685 CE and Śīlāditya-III between c. 690 CE to c. 710 CE. So, whatever it is, the first charter refers to the grant of some lands and a pond in the village Desenaka, which stood at the mouth of the Madhumati River in Saurashtra. The donees were two brāhmaṇa brothers and emigrants from Dvipa[55] or Diu in recent times.

Another inscription during c. 671-72 CE Lunsaḍī Plates of Śilāditya-II ‘B’ (c. 671-72 CE)[56] records a grant of a field in Dhūṣā village, which has not identified yet, to Brāhmaṇa Magopadatta son of Brāhmaṇa Kikkaka, an Adhvaryu belonging to Gārgyasagotra, familiar to three Vedas . The donee Magopadatta like many others had left Ānandapura and came to settle in Valabhī[57] viz. Vāla, which has been discussed earlier.

According to the analysis of V.D. Mahajan the Chronological list of the Rulers of Maitrakas of Valabhī dynasty as follows:

  1. Bhatarka (c. 470 CE -c. 492 CE)
  2. Dharasena-I (c. 493 CE -c. 499 CE)
  3. Dronasinha (c. 500 CE -c. 520 CE)
  4. Dhruvasena -I (c. 520 CE -c. 550 CE)
  5. Dharapatta (c. 550 CE -c. 556 CE)
  6. Gruhasena (c. 556 CE -c. 570 CE)
  7. Dharasena-II (c. 570 CE -c. 595 CE)
  8. Śīlāditya-I (also known as Dharmaditya) (c. 595 CE -c. 615 CE)
  9. Kharagraha-I (c. 615 CE -c. 626 CE)
  10. Dharasena-III (c. 626 CE -c. 640 CE)
  11. Dhruvasena-II (also known as Bālāditya) (c. 640 CE -c. 644 CE)
  12. Dharasena-IV (c. 644 CE -c. 651 CE)
  13. Dhruvasena-III (c. 650 CE -c. 654-655 CE)
  14. Kharagraha-II (c. 655 CE -c. 658 CE)
  15. Śīlāditya-II (c. 658 CE -c. 685 CE)
  16. Śīlāditya-III (c. 690 CE -c. 710 CE)
  17. Śīlāditya-IV (c. 710 CE -c. 740 CE)
  18. Śīlāditya-V (c. 740 CE -c. 762 CE)
  19. Śīlāditya-VI Dhrubhatta (c. 762 CE -c. 776 CE)

However, the analysis of V.D. Mahajan regarding the dates of the Maitraka kings,as mentioned in his book, seems doubtful, too, as Śilāditya-III, in c. 666 CE, issued two more charters. One of these was in favor of the Brāhmaṇa Yajñadatta. He was the son of Śridharadatta and emigrated from well known Ānandapura and was a resident of Valabhī.[58] He was given two fields, a hundred pādāvartas each. One of them was in Padmavaṭikagrāma in Kalākṣyetaka. The place is unidentified but must have been within Saurashtra region, and the other field was in an unnamed village in Hastavaprāhāra or modern Hathab in the former Bhāvnagar state in Saurashtra.

In the other charter in the same year in c. 666 CE, Śilāditya-III handed over two fields, each of them measuring fifty pādāvartas situated in Vāṭanumakagrāma and Dāccānakāgrāma which are unidentified. Still, both the places were in Hastavaprāhāra, which lay within the Saurashtra region as mentioned before. The donee was three brahmaṇas. Two of them were the son of Brāhmaṇa Bhaṭṭihari, Pittaleśvara Brāhmaṇa and Pittaleśvara's son Brāhmaṇa Nāga. Both the brāhmaṇas had come from Girinagara or modern Girnar in Gujarat, and they were living in Siṃhapura[59] or Sihor in Kathiawar in Gujarat. The third among them was Brāhmaṇa Soma, son of Dattulika Brāhmaṇa. The donee had been originally living in Kuśahrada,[60] which is not precisely identified yet. It was probably the same as Kāśahrada, which is pretty much identical to Kasardra, twelve miles away to the north-west of Ahmedabad, in Gujarat.

Śilāditya-III again issued two sets of Jesar Plates. The earlier set dated in c. 666667 CE records that the Brahmaṇa Dikṣita was the son of Sambadatta has resided at Valabhī, and he has emigrated from Puṣyasāmbapura.[61] He was given a hundred pādāvaṭṭas of land in a village named Kukkapadra in the Kālāpakapathaka of Saurashtra. But unfortunately, donee's original home and the village granted to him have been unidentified. However, Kālāpakapathaka, in which village situated, is modern Kalavada, sixty miles north-west of Porbandar in Gujarat, and it was included in the Saurashtra region.

The second set of Jesar Plates of c. 676-677 CE, referred to the same donee as the first set, Brāhmaṇa Dikṣita,[62] a cāturvidyā-sāmānya (well versed in four Vedas), son of Brāhmaṇa Sāmbadatta. This Vājasaneya-sabrahmacārī, belonging to Kauśika-sagotra, Brāhmaṇa Dikṣita received a hundred and four pādāvartas of land again from ŚilādityaIII on the northern boundary of the village of Madasara. He was mentioned here too as an emigrant of Puṣyasāmbapura . Madasara and Puṣyasāmbapura cannot be traced, as stated above. However, the grant mentions explicitly that the village Madasara was in Saurashtra.

In the same year the King Śilāditya-III through his ‘Aṇastu Plates’ (c. 677 CE)[63] handed over some land of a village to Brāhmaṇa Bāla-śarman, son of Ādityaśarman. He belonged to Upasmanyu-sagotra and was an Adhvaryu-sabrahmacārī. He was the resident of an unidentified place Śraddhikā. But,as per the description, he was cāturvidyā-sāmānya of that place. Brāhmaṇa Bāla-śarman has emigrated from Girināgara which has identified with the ancient township, now known as Junagarh, near the hill known as Girnar,[64] in Gujarat.

Bhāvnagar Plates of Śilāditya-III (c 691 CE)[65] records another grant of the village Loṇāpadraka along with Uparipaṭaka of Khoḍasthalaka and other rights and privileges of a dharmmadeya, in Loṇāpadraka-sthalī in Saurashtras, to Brāhmaṇa Bhūta-kumāra, son of Brāhmaṇa Droṇa, a sabrahmacārī (adherent-follower) of Maitrāyaṇīya school belonging to Bhāradvāja-sagotra, who resides at Valabhī,[66] common to four Vedas and three Vedas, and who has emigrated from Gomūtrikā. However Gomūtrikā has not been identified yet, and the identification of the other places is unknown, except Valabhī , although the donated village, as the charter says, lay in Saurashtra.

A later Maitraka ruler also named Śilāditya in the year c. 722-723 CE,[67][68] issued a charter that records the transfer of Āntarapallikā village near Dinnaputra in Saurashtra. The recipient of the grant was Bhatṭa Vāsudevabhūti, son of Damodarabhūti, and he was migrated from Śrīvardhamānabhukti and was a resident of Liptikhanda.[69] But these placesare still to be identified. Śrivardhamānabhukti may have been the larger territorial unit of the Maitraka dynasty at that time. It can be assumpted with a doubt that Vardhamānapura in Kathiawar was included in Śrivardhamānabhukti. Again, it seems that Śrivardhamānabhukti is the same as the modern Burdwan or Vardhamana district of Bengal, but the identification is not established and yet to be proved. If the latter assumption comes true, then this would be one of the earliest available instances of Brahmanical emigration from Bengal to Gujarat.

Footnotes and references:


Ibid., pp. 370-373.


Ibid., vol. IV, part I, pp. 159-166.


Actual date as stated in this charter was Samvat 286 which equivalent to Christian c. 605-606 CE. Hence this charter early years of the seventh century, not belongs to the middle of the sixth century.


Drona, Indravasu, Vatsa, Shashṭhi, Guhilā-bhaṭṭi Sūryya, Dinnabhaṭṭi, Ludraka, Ādityavasu, Dvi-Droṇa (second of that name in the list), Trī-Droṇa (third of that name in the list), Kumāra–śarmmā-Bhaṭṭi, Āditya, Ravi, Uñjhaka, Bappaṭaka, Mātrī–śarmmā, Iśvara, Boppasvāmi, DviBappaṭaka, Gopa, Dāma; Dvī–bhadra, Khokkhaka, Keśava, Govaśarmmā, Agniśarmmā, DviGopa, Nāvuvaka, Kumāra-nbhadra; sīha-Naṭṭaka;Giṅjaka, Goggaka, saṅgama, Dvi-bhaṭṭi; Bhānu.


EI, vol. XI, pp. 174-180.


Krishnakumari J. Virji, Ancient History of Saurastra, p. 309.


USVAE, vol. IV, part I, p. 164.


Krishnakumari J. Virji, op. cit., p. 313.


EI, vol. XI, p. 175.


Entitlements to a) udraṅga, b) uparikara, c) vāta-bhūta-pratyāya d) dhānya-hiraṇyaādeya e) daśāparādha f) utpadyamāna-vishṭi (free labour as could be commandeered by virtue of the holding of land in the village).

Privileges–a) No royal official could interfere or molest the grantees in the village. b) could be enjoyed hereditarily in the line of sons and grandsons. c) While the grantees enjoy the land by tilling it themselves or having it tilled (i.e.) while they manage the land directly or if they leased it out or if they part with the land by granting it or selling it, none should obstruct them.

Exception–whatever (land) in the village had been granted previously to gods (temples) and brāhmaṇas. In accordance with the rule pertaining to bhūmichchidra. The grant was to last till such time, the moon, sun, oceans, earth, streams and mountains last. The grant is followed by the usual appeal to future rulers of the area. Either belonging to the grantor -king’s own family or to other dynasties, not to resume the granted land or cause any damage to the rights of the grantees or their descendants in respect of that land. At the end of the grant there are three of the usual verses without attribution. We will discuss about those technical terms in another chapter.


USVAE, vol. IV, part I, pp. 172-176.


JBBRAS, p. 30.


It seems to have had a technical connotation with reference to a person's association with a piece of land. Usually it is loosely rendered as “(land) in the possession of”(USVAE, vol. IV, part I, p. 566).


Krishnakumari J. Virji, op. cit., p. 303.


USVAE, vol. IV, part I, pp. 681-687.


This grant was made as a dharmmadeya. The vāpī and the land as delimited clearly has been granted as dharmmadeya, with due oblation of water along with udraṅga, uparikara, vātabhūtapratyāya, the paddy and gold and benevolences, daśāparādha, the viṣṭika (free labour) as falling due (to the size of the land holding) with a bar on the laying of their hands (making claims in respect of the land granted) by all the persons representing the royalty (and the officials of the royal administration), excepting brahmadeya already granted, in accordance with the rule pertaining to bhūmicchindra, with the guarantee of the grant lasting so long as the moon, sun, oceans, the earth, rivers and mountains exist and of the right to bequeath (the land) to be enjoyed hereditarily in the line of sons and grandsons. Hence, while the donee enjoys the land with the rights accruing to it on being granted as a brahmadeya and as such, cultivates the land himself, (under his own management) or has it cultivated or gives it away, none should obstruct him.


USVAE, vol. IV, part I, p. 686.


Ibid., pp. 688-691.


Ibid., p. 690.


Privileges and rights mentioned in this inscription as follows, undraṅga, uparikara, vātabhūtapratyāyam, the levies in paddy and gold (as were payable to the king) the daśāparādha, viṣṭīka (free labour), as fell due (in proportion to the size of the holding), after barring any laying of their hands by those connected with the royalty (those belonging to the household of the king or the administrators of the royal administrative set up), with the exception of brahmadeya/ brahmadeyas already granted in accordance with the rule pertaining to bhūmicchidra with the guarantee of the grant lasting till the moon, sun, oceans, earth, streams and mountains exist and with the authorization for the enjoyment (of what has been granted) hereditarily in the line of sons and grandsons.


USVAE, vol. IV, part I, pp. 418-425.


JBBRAS, p. 70.


USVAE, vol. IV, part I, pp. 447-452.


JBBRAS, p. 55.


IA, vol. XV, p. 187.


Krishnakumari J. Virji, op. cit., p. 312.


As found in two earlier records, wherein it is stated to have been situated in Jhari-sthalī, the ancient territorial division of which Jhari was the chief village or town. This Jhari has been identified with the modern village Jhar in Amreli District in Kathiawād [Krishnakumari J. Virji, Ancient History of Saurastra, p. 302] .


USVAE, vol. IV, part I, p. 452.


H.D. Sankalia, Studies in the Historical and Cultural Geography and Ethnography of Gujarat, p. 62.


USVAE, vol. IV, part I, pp. 501-507.


See note: 40, about Udumbara-gahvara.


Krishnakumari J. Virji, op. cit., p. 302.


USVAE, vol. IV, part I, pp. 516-520.


It is noteworthy Pāṇini describes the Udumbaras as 'Rajanyās in his Gaṇapātha (IV. 2. 53) and he refer to their habitat near the people of Jullundur. The Bihatsamhitā (XIV. 4) places the people of Jullundur in the north-west with the Kapiṣthalas, who presumably lived somewhere on the bank of the river Ravi according to K.K. Dasgupta (A Tribal History of Ancient India, p. 39). But the brāhmaṇa donees of the inscription titled as Nogāwa Plates of Dhruvasena-II-A &B, hailed from a place called Udumbaragahvara which possibly can have no connection with the Jullundur or Kapiṣthala in Punjab. In the northern and central parts of Gujarat, the Udumbara tree is very common. However, on this basis, scholars points out, that it would not be right to conclude without any reservations, that Udumbaragahvara was a village in either of these regions in Gujarat as Udumbara trees grow in other parts of India. So Udumbaragahvara could indicate any place in India where Udumbara trees can be found. So this place remains unidentified.


EI, vol. VIII, p. 193.


D.C. Sircar, Studies in the Geography of Ancient and Midieval India, p. 208.


EI, vol. XXXV, p. 286.


USVAE, vol. IV, part I, pp.560-568.


Rights and privileges of undraṅga, uparikara, the contributions of paddy and gold (payable, daśāparādha, viṣṭi as due, with relief from interference by all royal officials), with the exception of what had already been granted to devas (temples of gods) and brahmas (brāhmaṇas), in accordance with the rule of bhūmicchidra, with the guarantee that the grant would last till moon, sun, oceans, earth, streams and mountains last and that the gifted land could be bequeathed in the line of sons and grandsons and with oblation of water.


USVAE, vol. IV, part I, p. 566.


Ibid., pp.587-593.


Ānarttapura has been identified with Vadanagar of the modern days, a city in Mehsana district in the state of Gujarat.


IA, vol. VII, p. 73.


USVAE, vol. IV, part I, pp. 587-593.


IA, vol. XV, p. 340.


Genealogical Tree of Maitrakas:


USVAE, vol. IV, part II, pp. 29-36.


EI, vol. I, p. 88.


USVAE, vol. IV, part II, pp.79-84.


USVAE, vol. IV, part I, pp.587-593.


IA, vol. VII, p. 79.


H.D. Sankalia, Studies in the Historical and Cultural Geography and Ethnography of Gujarat, p. 71.


R.C. Majumdar, The Classical Age, p. 148.


V.D. Mahajan, Ancient India, pp. 594-596.


EI, vol. IV, p. 80.


USVAE, vol. IV, part II, pp. 275-281.


IA, vol. XI, p. 309.


JBBRAS, p. 72.


Ibid., p. 74.


Ibid., p. 73.


EI, vol. XXI, p. 210.


Ibid., vol. XXIII, p. 119.


USVAE, vol. IV, part II, pp. 354-362.


Ibid., p. 361.


Ibid., pp. 524-529.


IA, vol. V, p. 212.


JBBRAS, vol. XI, p. 335.


According to the analysis of V.D Mahājan, the Maitraka ruler who reigned between c. 710 CE to c. 740 CE was Śilāditya IV.


JBBRAS, vol. XI, p. 344.

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