ancient indian history

Gunji Rock Inscription of Kumaraviradatta

Inscription number 155.
Gunji Rock Inscription of Kumaraviradatta
(Regnal) Years 5 and 6
Provenance: On a rock, on the bank of Damau Dehra kunda, near the village Gunji, 22 km. N W. of Sakti
railway station, on the Calcutta-Nagpur line, Raigarh district, Madhya Pradesh.
Script : Brahmi of 1st century AD.
Nothing is known about this king. His name reminds us of the Ikshvaku kings, Virarapurusnadatta and Rudrapurushadatta,
mentioned in several inscriptions found at Nagarjunikonda, Guntur district of Aadhra Pradesh and one at Uppugundur in the same district (see infra number. 178-82 ) who belonged
to the late 3rd century A.D. But there is no evidence, to connect Kumaraviradatta with these Iksvaku rulers.
2. Though generally resembling the characters in the Nasik cave Inscription of Ushavadata, placed in the 2nd
century A.D. the present Inscription has some more archaic letter-forms, indicating an earlier date.
It is understood that in the vicinity of Gunji, well-known Sitavenga and Jogimara caves at Ramgarh hill, with several inscriptions of the second century B. C were found.

Language: Early Prakrit.
References: D.R. Bhandarkar. Arche Survey of Western India, Report 1903-4, p- 54, R B. Hiralal, Inscriptions
in C.P and Berar, Second ed. pp.180, V.V. Mirashi, Ep.Ind.. XXVII, pp.48-52, D.C. Sircar. J.A.S. Letters, XIX, pp-59-61, Ep.Ind. note, XXVI,, No. 46. pp.318 ff.; Sel.Ins, pp.223-24.


1. सिथ (II) नमो भगवतो (II) रञे ( रञे: ) कुमारवीरदत्त – सिरिस संव छरे पचमे ५ हेमत पखे चतुर्थ 4 दिवसे (पंचद) सं १०(+ ) ५ भगवतो उसुभ -तिथे अमचस पोठचिय पपोतस
2. मोडछस णतुकेण अमचस मतजु ( =ज) न पालित [ स ] पु [ ते ] [ न* ] अमचेन दंडनायकेन बलाधिकतेम वासिठि पुतेन पोव्दतेन दतं वस-सहसायु-वधनिके
3.[ ब *] म्हनाणं गो-सहसं १ooo संवछरे (7): ठे -6 गिम्ह पखे छठे दिव से 10 बितियं गो-सहसं दत्तं 1000 (I)
एतस ये व भाव टा अमचेन दंडनायकेन दान [ स नति के ] न
4. [ सपुतेन] *इददवे ते न दता बहुमनानं गो सहसाय


1. From the facsimile in Ep.Ind., XXVII, , facing pp51..
2. Mirashi कुमारवरदत्त
3 Rishabha Tirtha is apparently identical with Damau Dahra. In ancient times, this was a famous centre of pilgrimage in South Kosal; cf. Mahabharata, Tirtha-parvan in
Aranyaparvan adhyaya 83. v. 10
ऋषभं तीर्थमासाध कोशलाय़ां नराधिय
वाजपेयमवा प्नोती त्रि रात्रोपोषितो नर :
4. Mirashi पठवि य ध (मेन )
5. Mirashi बोध दतेनFoot note 2

1. Mirashi विभावना
 in view of this gift
2. Mirashi.दिनिक नगि ति केन
Tctas-af( Ta) A
3. Mirashi.दत्तं
4. Mirashi:गो सहसं य
5. Meaning a gift from (i.e. born through the grace of)
Kumaravira ‘, i.e. God Karttikeya, Cf. names like virupakshadatta, i.e. a gift from Siva, etc.
6. The holy place,. also mentioned in the Mahabharata, III,, 83., 10.

7. दण्डनायक (leader of forces) and बलाधिकृत
(Military officer) may indicate two distinct assignments. The
former may have been the designation of a military governor.
8. Meaning ‘decorations etc
English Translation of the inscription
Success ! Obeisance to the Bhagavat. In the year, five. 5. in the fourth 4th fortnight of Hemanta. on the fifteenth
15th day of the king. the illustrious Kumaraviradatta, a thousand
cows were donated for augmenting his life for a thousand Years to Brahmanas, at Rishabhatirtha of (i.e sacard to)
the Bhagavat. by the amatya, Dendanayaka and Baladhikrita
Praushthadatta the son of Vasishthi and of Anatya Matri-Janapalita and the gand son of Godachha, who was the great grandson of Amatya Praushthadhi. In the year six (6.) in the
sixth 6th, summer fortnight, on the day 10, a second donation of a thousand, 1000. cows, was made. Of this (gift of one thousand cows) whatever were the decorations were donated to
the Brahmanas for the thousand cows by the Amatya Dandanayaka
Indradeva, son of —- and and the grandson of the donor.

(“Son of Vasiṭhi” vasishthniputra, mentioned here might be identical with the mention of same name, in the Ajaṇṭa cave inscription No. 1, and therefore this record might, in that case, may be connected to the second century B. C)
The context here being Brahmanical, Bhagavat must be taken in the sense of Vishnu, or more probably, of Siva.Note tne names, Kumaraviradatta and Matri-Janapalita.. Kumara, the son of Siva, was brought by six divine mothers Rishabha Tirtha, too, seems to have
been to the Rishabha, i.e Siva’s bull.
According to the Vedic texts there was one king Rsabha, who was known for performing Asvamedha sacrifices. There was another Rsabha, who was a son of Visvamitra of Mahabharata times. There is a mention of Rsabha-tirtha also, which was situated near Ayodhya region. This tirtha is also mentioned in this Gunji Rock inscription of Kumaraviradatta.
Although neither of the two epics, nor the Vedic texts, connect Rsabha with a heretical religion, there is little doubt that a king or ascetic called Rsabha was known from very early times.
However it is evident that Rsabha belonged to the Iksvaku lineage, and was the son of Nabhi and Marudevi.
Inscriptions at Mathura also show that Rsabha was regularly being worshipped as a Tirthamkara in the Mathura region from the first century AD onwards. It is understood that there is a reference to one king Rsabha of Ayodhya In Ramayana also.
Gunji is a small village, 14 miles north west of Sakti, in Chhattisgrath & lies on the Calcutta-Nagpur line of the Bengal Nagpur Railway. At the foot of a hill near the village there is a kuṇḍa (or a pool of water) called Damau Dahra, which obtains its supply of water from the neighbouring hills. On one side of this pool there is a rock on which the record edited here is engraved.

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