ancient

Inscriptions of buddhagupta

Budhagupta was a Gupta emperor and the successor of Kumaragupta 2. He was the son of Purugupta and was succeeded by Narasimhagupta

Gupta Empire ruled entire India between c. 300 and 560 CE. This period witnessed for its achievements in the field of arts, architecture, sciences, Religion, and philosophy.
Chandergupta 1 established himself as the first powerful ruler of the Gupta empire.
The empire had successive powerful kings, who had, not only, administered Gupta Empire but influenced the entire world, by encouraging trade & economic activities. Purugupta, ruled from 467-473 CE effectively, but after him, came a succession of weak kings, beginning with Kumaragupta 2, from 473-476 CE, followed by Budhagupta, the son of Purugupta. The Hephthalites broke through the Gupta military defenses in the northwest in the 480s, during the reign of Budhagupta, and by 500 CE much of the empire in northwest was overrun by the Hunas.
The empire thereafter disintegrated into several small
kingdoms, ruled by chieftains. A minor line of the Gupta Clan continued to rule Magadha, one of the 16 Indian Mahajanapadas, or “Great Countries,” but the Gupta Empire fell by 560 CE.

Inscription number 35
Sarnath Buddhist Image Inscription of Budhagupta, Gupta Year 157 ( 476 AD.)
Provenance: Sarnath, Varanasi district. U.P.
Script: Late Northem Bami.
Language: Sanskrit.
Reference: Gupta, A.S.I, A R. 1914-15, pp.124-25 Jagannath,
Proc.Ind.Hist.Cong. Lahore 1940,. pp 60,
Meters: अनुष्टुभ श्लोक 1-4,

1. Nalanda seal, though fragmentary provides enough evidence,
to the effect that budhagupta, was a son of Purugipta and
a grandson of Kumaragupta 1 (See Nalanda seal of Budhagupta,
below) Yuan Chwang. (watters, on Yuan Chang’s Travels, pp164) refers to a Buddhagupta, son of $akraditya, whose
dominions included Nalanda. From the present seal it is clear that we cannot identify the Gupta kings, Budhagupta
with Buddhagupta, nor Sakraditya with Mahendraditya, i.e.
Kumaragupta 1, as was done earlier.
2. From the facismile in A.S.I. A R, 1914-15, Pl.LXIX-P.
The restorations have been made with the help of a similar record in it. Plate LXIX-O.
English Translation of the inscription
vv.1-3 When one hundred and Fifty seven years of the Guptas had elapsed and Budhagupta was ruling over the earth, when the Mula constellation had entered (i.e. was visible during the dark fortnight, on the seventh day of the month of vaisakha, the Buddhist monk Abhayamitra caused to be sulpted this divine image of the Adi Buddha,
which is adorned with a lotus seat and an excellent umbrella with an erect ubrella staff. and is beautified
with a lay-out of paintings,
whatever merit accrued from getting the image fashioned may that be mine and that of my mother father and
Preceptors and may it lead to the end of the worldly life.
(i.e. the cycle of transmigrations)

The metre here requires a short 5th and a long 6th syllable in the third pada.
2 कृष्ण पक्ष गते मूला नक्षत्रे
3. The Buddha belonged to the Sakya clan and hence was also called Sakyamuni. Later his followers also came to be known as the Sakyas.
4. देवपुत्रवत = आदि बुद्ध
the origin of the Dhyani Buddhas.
5. Gupte चित्र विद्या सचित्रिता यदत्त्र
6. Gupte मया भृतम
Inscription number 36.

Varanasi Pillar inscription of the time of Budhagupta.
Gupta Year 159 (= 479 A, D.)
Provenance: Rajghat, Varanasi, UP.
Script: Late Northern Brahmi.
Language: Sanskrit.
References: D.C. Sircar, J.R.A.S.B. XV, 1949, pp. 5ff.
Sel.Inss, pp. 332.
English Translation of the inscription
In the year one hundred and fifty nine, on the twenty eighth day of (the month of) Margasiraha, during the reign
of Maharajadhiraja Budhagupta, this stone-pillar was set up by
Damas Vamini, the daughter of Maravisha, a resident of
Parvarika and the daughter of Sabhati.
Footnote
1. Reproduced from Sel.Inss, I, pp 332.
2. Read संवत or संवत्सरे
3. Sircar (Sel.Inss.. I, pp.332 n.4) opines, “The pillar
was probably raised by Damasvamini in memory of her dead parents, Maravisha and Sabhati.”

Inscription number 37

Mathura Stone Pedestal Inscription of the time of Budhagupta
Yesr 161 ( 480 AD.).
Provenance: Bank Colony near Govindnagar on the outskirts of
Mathura, UP
Script: Brahmi
Language: Sanskrit.
References: Kiran Kumar Thapalyal and Arvind Srivastava,
J. Epigraphical Society of India IX 1982. pp.611.

Footnote 1

1. From the facsimile in J.Ep. Soc. Ind, IX, 1982, Pl.II.
2. The first half of 1.1 is considerably worn out and hence the reading is not beyond doubt. A Small portion
containing few letters in 11.1 and 2 is totally lost.
3. Dasaballin, Lokanatha and Jina are well-known epithets of the Buddha.
3. Conjecturally restored
English Translation of the inscription

Success – – Salutation to the Buddha, who preached the doctrine of destroying births (ie nirvana) He, who installs on earth, an image of the Buddha, ‘the lord of the world becomes happy and pleasing to the eyes in the land of the Cupid (i.e. when reborn in
this world of passions) . Now when King Budhagupta of the famous dynasty is administering the whole earth, in the year, one hundred and sixty one, in the month of Bhadrapada, on
the sixteenth day, a set of four images of Jina (lit the conqueror, i.e. the Buddha) is installed with devotion by
Sankhika, the Rashtriya (Governor), Son of Gangabala as a religious duty Whatever merit be there in this act, may that be for the interminable (i.e.. complete) nirvana of his parents
and all sentient beings of the earth.
Footnote 2

1. It appears, the pedastal held a set of four images, which have totally disappeared. Only the pedestal has
survived.
2. It presumably, represents the word rashtriya, i.e. Governor. and has been reduced to suit the need of the
metre. Sankhika, the Rashtra does not give a plausible sense, But from Eran stone Pillar Inscription, we know that in
the year 165 – 484 A. D. ) Surasamichandra as ruling as a Governor of the region between the Kalindi (Yamuna) and Narmada.
Mathura is just within this area. It
appears Sankhika ruled over a smaller ares as as rashtriya under Surasamichandra (or was Governor elsewhere) and
had come to Mathura on, pilgrimage).
3. The realm of mara is obviously this world, where Mara, the god of sexual passion, rules supreme.

(The other known dates of Budhagupta are: 157 (Sarnath Buddhist Image Inscription. 159 ( Varanasi i Pillar Inscription, I 3
163 – Damodarpur Grant 165 (A Stone Pillar Inscription
I68 – Sankarpur Copper Plate Inscription.
175 – On 5 of his coins
(See Altekar Coinage of the Gupta Empire. pp- 275 ff.)
and 180 – (499 AD.) (also a coin, See Altekar ibid.)
Inscription number
 
Inscription number
38
Damodarpur Copper Plate Inscription of the time of Budha gupta-(Gupta) Year 163 (482 A.D)
Provenance: Damodarpur, Dinajpur, district,Bangla Desh.
Now in the Museum of the Varendra Research Society,
Raja shahi, Bangla Desh.
Script: Late Northern Brahmi.
Language: Sanskrit.
References R G Basak, Ep. Ind. XV pp135 f, D.C. Sircar, Sel.Inss, I, pp-332-34.
Footnote
1. From the facsimile in Ep.Ind, XV,
Pl-iiia and iiib facing pp138.
2. The record proper now commences with the pious invocation स्वस्ति
3. Two towns in the neighbourhood of Dinajpur, one about 16 km. to N,E. and the other about 25 km. to N.E., are named Palasabari. The first is about 22km. north and the other 32 km. north of the findspot. Another place, about
15 km.. N,W. of the findspot and about 18 km. S. E. Dinajpur is known as Palasadanga. It is not certain, which of these represents the ancient Palasavrindaka.

Footnote 2

महत्तर = Chairman of a village (ग्राम महत्तर)
Or of a larger administration unit (e.g. – (विषय महत्तर ).
ग्रामिक= headman of a village.
According to manu VII, 115-19, he was the king’s representative in the village.
अष्टकुलाधिकरण = the village jury consisting of eight
members including the Chairman.
According to Sircar
आमिकं = village headman
कुटम्बी = agriculturist householder
The word is the origin of the peasant
subcaste kurmi or kulambi of East Bihar and U. P. Chandagrama
appears to have been located within the jurisdiction of the
legal administrative headquarters at Palasavrindaka.
2. According to the customary terms of sale prevalent in the villages.
3. समुदय – बाहय = yielding no income अपर्दा = non-transferable
4. Read कत्र्तुमिति

Footnote 3

1. द्वयं which was inadvertantly left out was later inserted in the lower margin of the plate. The rates per kulyavapa
of waste land sold by State varied. Presumably according to location and fertility. In another Damodarpur plate of
the same reign the rate recorded ie three dinaras per kalyavapa instead of two dinaras as here (See infra,II, 40, .12)
2. Revenue Clerks. Sircar’s amendation “स्थानपाल”
3. The same as modem Baigram near in Bogra district.
4. Read अष्टक-नवक -नलाभ्याम
The measurement appears to
have been 8 x 9 reads (measuring rods). Sircar op.cit
pp 334, n.2, suggests that since dual number is used in length with a rod 9 cubits long and breadth by one 8 cubits long. He also suggests the possibility here of and being related respectively to अष्टक-नवक = having measured apart.
and नवक being related respectively to
दक्षिन पश्चिम and पूर्व of 1.9.
अपविनछय = having measured apart
5. Read. चतु स्सीमा उल्लिड्य i.e. After marking out all in four boundaries

English Translation of the inscription.

Samvat (100) + 60+3 on the 13th day of Ashadha, while
Paramadaivata, Paramabhattaraka, Maharajadhiraja, the illustrious
Budhagupta was the lord of the earth, and while in the Pandra-vardhana province (bhukti). Uparika Maharaja Brahmadatta, favoured by His Majesty was the administering agent..
Peace from Palasavrindaka, the village jury of eight families headed by the Mahattara, and the village headman and the householders, being in confidence, after wis ning their well-being inform the prominent householders among the subject,
led by the Brahmanas in (the village of) Chandagramaka, as follows:

Nabhakas, the village headman, petitions to us for the increase of religious merit of another father and myself.
I desire to settle some noble Brahmans. So kindly favour with the transfer of non-transferable fellow fields yielding no income after collecting from me the price in cash (hiranya)
according to the customary terms of sale prevalent in the village, whereas it was determined by the record keeper Patradasa (thus), ” has rightly petitioned. This is a case within
the customary terms of sale. Therefore, (the Same) be granted to him for the increase of religious merit of His Honorable Majesty the Great King.
Again as determined in accordance with the determination of this ‘same Patradasa, (and) on receipt of two dinaras from Nabhaka, after being duly entered in the revenue register by
the Revenue-Clerks, Kapila and Sribhadra after inspection
in the south, west and north of the exact boundary (satya maryada) having been measured out with rods of eight, nine and nine standard and (duly) de-markated with boundary-marks
on all the four directions by the jury headed by the Mahattara and the householders, one kulyavapa of non-transferrable fellow land yielding no revenue situated to the Northern circumference of the Vayi-gamaka has been given to Nagadeva. So in future
(this grant) should be Preserved by the administration,
having regard for dharma (pious duty). And the great sages.
have said:-
Here follow three of the customary verses of impercation.

Persva is obviously used here in the Sense of circumference or outer boundary. since the farmland was
situated to the south of the clearly marked Northern perimeter of the village, only to Southern, western and
eastern boundaries of the farm needed inspection and de-markation

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