ancient indian history

Betul Inscription of Samkshobha

Ancient India had most advanced civilization & was ruled by powerful empires, which discouraged invasions from neighbouring unethical kingdoms, and emerged victorious. Their glories could be heard afar.
We have several literary or non-literary resources, which educate us about our ancestors. There are several archeological sites where we find evidences of ancient India’s glorious past. It holds the glories of Indus Valley Civilization and ancient kingdoms.
The Parivrajaka dynasty had ruled parts of central India during 5th and 6th centuries.
Maharaja Samkshobha, succeeded his father Hastin, and inherited the entire ancestral territory under control of Parivrajaka dynasty, including the 18 forest kingdoms.
Like his father, he also made several land grants.
He was a very noble and virtuous king and maintained ancient Varna and ashram system. He is the last known of this dynasty.
The end of Parivrajaka rule, probably coincided with the end of the Gupta empire. Parivrajakas were followed by Aulikara empire.
Inscription number 39.
Betul Copper-plate Inscription of Samkshobha.
Gupta Year 199 (518 A.D.)
Provenance: Betul, Betul district. Madhya Pradesh.
It seems to have been brought there, possibly from Narasinghpur (adjoining Jabalpur), where it may originally have been issued.
Script: Brahmi of the Northern class
Language: Sanskrit.
Metres: vv.1-3.श्लोक अनुष्टुब
v.4 उपजाति (इन्द्र वज्रा + उपेन्द्रवज्रा)
References: Hira Lal, Ep.Ind., VIII, pp- 284-90, Postscript to above by F. Kielhorn, ibid, pp.288-90.
1. From the facsimile in Ep.Ind., VIII, between pp-286 and 287.
2. Expressed by the spiral symbol. Part of the left side of the spiral curve is missing.
This plate proves beyond doubt that the spiral symbol stands for ओं,
which is the integral part of the mantra
ओं नमो भगवते नारायणाय It should, once for all end the controversy that the symbol is for सिद्धम.
English Translation of the inscription.

Om !
Salutations to the divine Narayana !Hail. !
In his glorious, augmenting and victorious reign; in a
century of years increased by ninety nine, in the enjoyment of
sovereignty by the Gupta kings, in the Maha-marga-sirsha year on the tenth tithi of the month Karttika – on this tithi
specified as above by the year, month and day,-by the Maharaja, the illlustrious, Samkshobha, who is born in the family of the Royal sage Parivrajakha susarman, who had learnt the whole truth of the fourteen receptacles of Science, who like the great sage Kapila, knew all the first
principles, and who was of Bharadvaja gotra, who is the great grandson of the son of Maharaja, the illustrious
Devadhya, who is the great grandson of the Maharaja, the illustrious Prabhanjana, who s the grandson oF the Maharaja, the illustrious Damodara
who is the son of the illustrious Maharaja Hastin, who was the giver of thousands of cows, of many elephants, horses, gold and lands, who was
earnest in paying respect to his preceptor, father and
mother, who was victorious in many hundreds of battles, who sought to govern properly the kingdom of Dabhala together. With all the country, included in the eighteen forest
kingdoms and whose fame was renowned through many good
qualities who is intent upon establishing the religious
duties (codes af conduct) of the castes, varnas and periods of life
ashramas, who is a most devout Bhagavata, who is extremely
devoted to (his) ancestors (and) who causes the happiness of his Own race by him for the purpose of increasing the religious merit of his parents and of himself, half of the village Prastaravataka and a quarter of Dvaravatika in the province vishaya of Tripuri. In the accordance with the
usage of the specifications of thelr ancient boundaries,
– are granted by a copper charter as agraharas to the Brahmana, Bhanusvamin of the Bharadvaja gotra, a student of the Madhyandina-Vajasaneya (sakha) to be enjoyed by (his) sons, grand sons and (further) descendants, with the
udranga and the upari-kara, and with the privilege that they are not to be entered by the district begar officers and troops, except for apprehending thieves and rebels.
Therefore even in future times, no obstacle, to the enjoyment of this
grant should be caused by those who are born in our family or by my feudatories. This injunction having been given, he who behaves otherwise, — him I will consume with great
contempt, even when I have passed into another body. And
it has been said by the venerable supreme sage Vyasa, the
arranger of the Vedas:-
(Here four of the customary verses follow)
And (this charter has been wrltten by virtue of his office by Isvaradasa, the grandson of Jivita (and) the son of Bhujangadasa. The Dutaka (is) Punarvasu.
the year 100 +90+9
in the year Mahamarga -sirsha), on the 10th day of Karttika.
In the Gupta year 199, corresponding to the expired year 3619 of the Kaliyuga, a month by the rules of mean intercalation would have had to be intercalated before the month of Karttika, and should have been
named after the preceding month Asvin, instead of Karttika as we find here. It is not certain to which
of the two months, the date has been referred. The Inscription records the tithi without reference to the
Lunar fortnight (paksha.) That creates another uncertainty. The month chaitra of the Khoh plates of Samkshobha appears from the manner of dating therein to have been a purnimanta one. Khoh plates of Gupta year 209 as also the Majhgawam plates of Hastin of the
Gupta year 191, indicate that it was the custom to quote, when a date was repeated in figures, the number of tiths elapsed, since the commencement of
the month, irrespective of the lunar fortnights. Kartika divasa 10 here would thus be the 10th tithi of the first, i.e. dark, half of the purnimanta karttika
(or कात्र्तिक – बहुलपक्ष – दशमी ).
A Maha-Margasirsha year occurs when Jupiter at its heliacal rising, i.e. its first appearance in the morning after its conjunction with the sun, is in either of the nakshatras Mrigasiras or Ardra, i.e. when at its heliacal rising, its true geocentric place (or true longitude)
according to the equal space system, is between 53° 20′ and 80° according to the Brahma siddhanta between
52° 42′ 20″ and 72° 28′ 12.5″ and according to Garga, between 53° 20′ and 73° 20′ Before sunrise of 25th
as well as 26th May, 518 A.D. Jupiter’s true longitude was more than 53° 20′ and that of the sun 64° 23′ 35″
and 65° 20″ 31″ respectively. Hence Jupiter rose, helically, in the nakshatra Mrigasiras, according to all
the three systems.
Therefore, the year which then
commenced was Maha-Margasirsha year. Accordingly the date of our record correspond s to either Monday, the 15th October, 518 A.D. (if the second Karttika is taken) or to saturday, the 15th September, 518 AD. (i.e the tithi is referred to the first intercalatory Karttika.


1. The 14 Vidya-sthanas are:-
पुराण न्याय मीमासां धर्म शास्त्राड़न्ग मिश्रिता: !
वेदा: स्थानानि विद्यानां धर्मस्य च चतुर्दश !!
2. This refers to the 25 tattvas of the sankhya doctrine, propounded by Kapila.
1. Dabhala is evidently the older form of Dahala, which was in later times a province of the Haihayas or Kalachuris of Tripura, about 9 km. from Jabalpur, whose original capital was Kalinjar.
(Fleet Gupta Inss. pp.113 f.). In the vikramankadeva-charita (XVIII 93 and 95) Dahla and Dahala, both forms of the name are used indiscriminately. The six Inscriptions of the Parivrajaka Maharajas were found
either at Khoh, Majhgawam or Bhumra, all of which are quite close to uchchakalpa or modem uchahra, the
capital of the erstwhile, Nagod State, where another family, closely connected chronologically and
territorially with the Parivrajaka Maharajas, ruled. Uchahra is about 96 km. from Bilahri, which village,
as we know from Bhumara pillar inscription. (Fleet Gupta Inss., pp.111, and Supra, III, 36) formed the boundary between the two territories. Dabhala country was therefore, co-extensive with the boundaries of the present
Jabalpur district to the north and extended to about 192 km. Erom Tripuri town, the villages granted in the
present inscription being situated midway between Tripuri town and the boundary of the Dabhala kingdom in the north. Betul being outside these limits, the present inscription does not belong to it.

1. The eighteen forest kingdoms must have been contiguous to Dabhala, and must be located in or around chhattisgarh, which comprised thirty six forts or kingdoms,
divided into the groups of eighteen each, one subordinate to the senior branch of the Haihayas, ruling at Ratanpur, and the other held by the junior branch ruling at Raipur. For detailed discussion see Hira Lal, Ep.Ind.
VIII, pp.286.

2. Tripuri is modern Tewar about 9 km from Jabalpur. Prastaravataka has been identified with modern Patpara.
Philologically Prastaravataka –
Pattharwara – Patpara). Dvaravatika is represented by the present Dwara, near Bilahri, 15 km from Murwara town and about 96 km.from Tewar the old Tripuri.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top