Inscription of Vasishthiputra Pulumavi

Written by Alok Mohan on July 20, 2022. Posted in Uncategorized

Inscription number 165.
Nasik Cave Inscription of Vasishthiputra Pulumavi.
Regnal Year 19 ( = C.149 A.D)
Provenance: Nasik, Nasik district, Maharashtra. On the back
wall of the verandah in Cave number. 3 above the entrance.
Script: Brahmi.
Language: Prakrit.
References: Bhagwanlal Indraji, Mumbai Gazette, XVI, pp.550 ff,
Number. 2, Buhler: Archeological survey of western India., IV, pp.180 f, Number 18, Senart, EP.Ind., VIlI,, pp.60 ff., Number.2 Luders list Number 1123 (for other references, Sircar Sel.Inss,
I, pp. 203-7.
Footnote 1
1. From the Facsimile in Ep.Ind, VIII, Pl.I, Number. 2.
This record also may have been copied on the Cave wall, from a grant on copper plates or cloth. The gift of the
Cave to a new sect of monks suggests that the earlier occupants had vacated it. The usual enlogy of the deed,
King is possibly due to the queen-mother’s desire to
recapitulate the family’s past glory, at a time when much of her son’s conquests were recovered by the Sakas.
There is no proof that Gautami putra and Pulumavi ruled conjointly.
2. The marks above seem to be redundant.
3. A letter originally engraved by mistake has been erased here.
4. Compare this list of countries with that in the Junagarh Rock Inscription of Rudradaman1. Year 72.
Anarta is not mentioned here. It may sometimes have been regarded as part of Kukura. What Gautamiputra gained from Nahapana, he or Pulumavi lost to Chashtana and Rudradaman.
The reference to Malaya (W. Ghats to the south of the
Nilgiris) and Mahendra (East Ghats) points to a vague claim
of suzerainty over the Deccan Peninsula possibly based an
a digvijaya (cf. ति -समुद्र -तोय -पीत -वाहनस )

Footnote 2
1. Some read- वात
2. Vindhiya = The Eastern Vindhyas Rikshavat = the vindhyas
to the north of the Narmada Pariyatra = the Aravali and
Western Vindhiyas, sahya = the western ghats, Krishnagiri =
Kanheri hills near Nagarjunikunda in Guntur district.
3. Senart: पटीपुण पटीपूण-प्रतिपूर्ण for परिपूर्ण
4. CF. प्रजासुखे सुखी राजा तददु खे यश्च दु खित
स कीत्र्तयूक्तो लोके – स्मिन प्रेत्य त्वर्गे महीयते
Vishnu Samhita 3.37

5. The Sakas have been particularised at Khakharata (Kshaharata) in 1.6.
For many years the Kshaharata
Mahakshatrapas of western India checked the northward expansion of the Satavahanas till Goutamiputra Satakarni broke their reslstence, occupied better part of their
dominons and wiped out the Kshaharata family. The
adjective अपराजित -विजय -पताक Suggests that the
recovery of Saka dominons by Rudradaman
has to be placed after his death and in the relgn of vasishthniputra Satkarni, whose queen in her
Kanheri buddhist. Tank Inscription (Luders 994) claims to
be the daughter of a certain Kardamaka king. Most Probably Rudra Daman. The yavanas (lndo Greeks) and
the Pahlavas (Parthians) ruled in est punjab N.W.F.P Sind Afganistan region.
Footnote 3
It refers to well-known mythical belief that the gods and other higher beings assemble in the sky to watch the
brave deeds in wars of. Ramayana II, 24,19, समे युश्च महात्मानो युध – दर्शन – काडिक्षण : ऋषयो देव –
गंधर्वा: सिधाश्च सह -चारणे :
and other numerous references. Cf. also Chateswara temple inscription referred to by Banerji in his History of Orissa, I, pp.261.

Footnote 3

1. cf.the Bhaddayanika Community of the buddhists (Geiger
Mahavamsa. translation. pp-26) The bhadrayanikas were
a branch of the Sthaviravadins (IHQ, XXIV, pp-252)
Luders List No. 1018, mentions a budhist school, called
Bhaddajanijja, which is evidently identical with Bhadrayanikas.
2. Read निरठ The absence of usual formulae of charters suggests that some Passages of the original, have been omitted here. The Swastika mark at the end of this grant, is followed by another
grant of the year 22, (see below)

Footnote 4

A passage in l.4 of the Hathigumpha inscription (e.g.कन्ह बेणा गताय च सेनाय वितासिति असिक नगरं ) suggests that
the Asika ( Rishika) country lay between the Krishna and the Godavari, and to the south of Asmaka, while the
city of Asika was on the Krishna river.
Ramayana, IV, 41, 11,
groups it with Vidarbha.
Asmaka was on the Godavari,
near Mulaka, a district adjacent to Pratishthana ( mod.
Paithan) the Satavahana Capital. The Asmaka country comprises the Nander-Nizamabad region. Its capital,
Paudanya is modern Bodhan in Nizamabad district.
Vidarbha is modem Berar. For the identification of the other countries, see supra Number-I35,1.lI, n.1.
2. अविपन्न means not ill or expired
i.e. living.
Footnote 5
who organised melas on the small and big festivals.
In fact क्षण and उत्सव
are anonymous cf. the Amarkosha:
क्षण -उद्वव- उत्सव
2. See, Abhiinana sakuntalam, II.14.
3. Senart equates it with Sanskrit-पिर्त – प्राप्तयै and explains on the authority of Childers that पत्ति (=प्राप्ति ) in Buddhist, Pali is a technical term denoting the application to another of the merit acquired by good
works,a gift or a foundation.
English Translation of the inscription
Success ! On the thirteenth- 13th-day of the second-2nd-fortnight of summer of the year nineteen– 19 of sri Pulumavi, the son of Vasishthi The great queen
Gautami Balasari, devoted to truth, charity, forgiveness and
non-injury to life busy protecting Penance, self-control,
restraint and religious fasts, fully living upto her designation
of a saintly king’s wife, the mother of the king of kings.
Sri Sattakarni, Gautami’s son, who was equal to Himavat Meru
and Mandar mountains, in strength, who was king of Rishika,
Amaka, Mulaka, Surashtra, Kukura, Aparanta, Anapa, Vidarbha,
Akara and Avanti, who was the lord of the mountains vindhya,
rikshavat, Pariyatra, Sahya Krishnagiri, mataya, Sristana, Malaya, Mahendra Sreshthagiri and chakora, who was obeyed by the circle of all the assemblies of kings, whose face was like a flawless lotus, bloom open by the rays of the sun, whose
chargers had drunk the water of the three oceans, whose face
was lovely and radiant, like the orb the full moon whose gait as beautiful like the gait of a choice Elephant. Whose arms were muscular, rounded, broad and long as the expanded head of a
Lord of serpents, whose, hand was wet by pouring out water in token of granting fearlessness (safety) keen to serve his living mother, who properly marked out time and place for
the three objectives of human life, who shared with the citizens weal and woe equally without discrimination, who
crushed down the pride and conceit of the Kshatriyas, who
destroyed the Sakas, the Yavanas and the Pahlavas, who properly
apportioned the tax revenue collected lawfully, who abhorred
hurting life even towards offending enemies, who nourished the
families of the twice born and their inferiors, who uprooted the dynasities of no the Kashaharatas, who established the glory of
tne Satavahana family, whose feet were saluted by all provinces,
who stopped the admixture (adulteration), of the four varnas, who had conquered multitudes of enemies in many battles, whose excellent
capital, with its unvanquished victorious banner, was unassailable
to the enemies, who had inherited from a long line of ancestors,
the high designation of king, who was the abode of traditional lord
(agamas) tha refuge of the virtuous, the asylum of Fortune,
the fountain of good manners, the unique authority the unique Archer, the unique hero, the unique brahmana, in Prowess equal to Rama, Kesava, bhima, Arjuna and Bhimasena, who organised huge & happy festivities , who possessed lustre equal to Nabhaga, Nahusha, Janamejaya, Sagara, Yayati, Rama and Ambarisha; who vanquished his enemies in a manner measureless, inextaustible. unthinkable and
marvellous at the head of battles traversed (witnessed) by wind, Garuda the Sidhas. tne Yakshas, the Rakshasas, the Vidyadharas, the Bhutas, the Charanas the moon, the sun, the austerisms, and the planets; who plunged into the sky as it
were from the shoulder of his excellent elephant (and) who,
(thus) raised his family to high fortune
(The great queen Gautami Balasri)
–caused to be made as a pious gift, on the top of the Trirasmi mountain resembling the peak of Kailash mountain (this} cave dwelling, as lavish
as a divine mansion.
And this cave-dwelling, the great queen,
the mother of a great king and (also) the grandmother of a
great king, gives to tne fraternity of the bhiksus of the order of Bhadrayaniyas.
And for the sake of embellishing the cave the pictures and desirous of serving and pleasing the great
Sri Pulumavi, the lord of the Dakshinapatna, grants for the gratification of his (late) Father and for serving as a bridge of piety (to heaven)
the village Pisachipadraka, (situateed) on the south-west side
of mount Trirasmi, absolved of all kinds of royal enjoyment (i.e taxes etc.)

Senart: “of unchecked obedience towards his mother”
Following is the list of Satavahanas Rulers and their contributions for general awareness. Satavahanas were also called as the Andhras in Deccan and their capital was at Paithan or Pratishthan. . The Satavahana’s Empire had collapsed, when Abhiras seized Maharashtra and Ikshvakus and Pallavas appropriated the eastern province.
Following Satavahana rulers
Founder of the dynasty
Brother of Simuka Extended the empire towards south
Satakarni 1 A powerful king also known as lord of Dakshinpatha’ His name is inscribed on Sanchi Stupa
Sivasvati He had to abandon his capital Junnar and moved to partishthana due invasions of western satraps
Gautamiputra Satakarni He was the first king who prefixed his mother’s name before his name. He was known as king of kings. He had issues extensive coinage.
Vasishthiputra Pulumavi he set up his capital at Paithan or Paristhan on the bank of Godavari river. He extended the borders of his empire to eastern Deccan. Encouraged trade at Java and Sumatra.
Vashishtiputra Satakarni 2
He married the daughter of Rudradaman I of the Western Kshatrapa dynasty, so as to forge an alliance.
Shivaskanda Satakarni
He was defeated twice in battle by his Western Satrap enemy Rudradaman
Yajna Sri Satakarni He encouraged trade and issued coinage.
Vijaya He was the last ruler of Satavahana dynasity.

Alok Mohan

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