Inscriptions of Yajna Satakarni

Written by Alok Mohan on July 22, 2022. Posted in Uncategorized

Inscription number 170
Nasik Cave Inscription of Yajna Satakarni (c. 174-202 A.D.)
Regnal Year 7 C 181 A D)
Pxovenance Nasik, Nasik district, Maharashtra, On the back wall of the verandah in cave No. 20.
Script: Brahmi.
Language: Prakrit
References: Bhagwanlal Indraji, Mumbai Gazette XVI, pp.596,
Number.24, Buhler, Archeological survey of western India,. IV, pp.114
Number 20, Senart, Ep.Ind, VIII,
pp.93-94, Number.24: Luders list no.1146 (for other references) D.C. Sircar
Select Inss, I, pp.211-12.
Footnote 1
1. Such Official designations sometimes refer to feudatory chiefs or governors. Military officers were sometimes appointed to such posts.
2. Assumption by the wife of the husband’s designation in its
feminine form ia interesting.
3. 0thers read आवासो
4. The full stop is indicated by a short slightly curved horizontal stroke.
5. Senart renders उकुते into Sanskrit उत्कृत्त Cut ie excavated
English Translation of the inscription

– 1
Success ! on the first day of the third-3rd-fortnight of winter. in the seventh 7thr year of the king, the lord
Sri Yajna Satakarni, son of Gautami, the cave-dwelling that was being created excavated by the ascetic Bopaki and
was as good as unfinished, having been neglected for many
years. has been brought to campletion by the Mahasenapatni
Vasu, wife of the Mahasenapati Bhavagopa of the Kausika family,
and given as an abode to the Samgha of monks from (all) the four directions.
Inscription number 171,
China Stone Inscription of Yajna Satakarni
Regnal Year 27 (A.D. 201)
Provenance: On the sea-shore close to the village China, Krishna district. AP. (Now in Chinnai Museum)
Script: Brahmi.
Language: Prakrít
References: G. Buhler. Ep.Ind. I.pp.95-96.
Reproduced from Buhler, Ep.Ind. I, pp-96, where no facsimile is provided.
2. Equivalent to Sanskrit आर्यक and is
used in the same sense as स्वामिन found in the position in other andhra inscriptions.
3. Slanting stroke above ह seems to be accidental.
4. Or Perhaps मही
English Translation of the inscription

Success ! Adoration to Lord vasudeva. ( Dated) the fifth 5th day of fourth 4th fortnight of winter of the
twenty-seventh 27th, years in the projected hundred years
of auspicious reign of the noble king Sri Yajna Satakarni, the son of Gautami.
on this aforesaid date by the noble

A brief discussion
Sri Yajna Satakarni and Vijaya Satakarni, were among the last rulers belonging to the Satavahana dynastic lineage.
Yajna briefly revived the Satavahana dynastic rule during 170–199 CE. He encouraged trade and issued coinage.
His coins feature images of sail ships, which shows his achievements in naval/marine trade. As his coins are found in a big region of Nashik, Kanheri, Guntur etc we can presume that his rule extended over both eastern and western parts of Deccan.
He recovered most of the lost territories from Western Kshatrapas, and issued silver coinage, imitating them. During the last years of his reign, the Abhiras captured the northern parts of the kingdom, around Nashik region
After Yajna Satakarni , the dynasty was soon extinguished following the rise of its feudatories, perhaps on account of a decline in central power. On the other hand, the Western Satraps would continue to prosper for the next two centuries, until their extinction by the Gupta Empire. Yajna Sri was succeeded by Madhariputra Swami Isvarasena. The next king Vijaya ruled for 6 years. His son Vasishthiputra Sri Chadha Satakarni ruled for 10 years. Pulumavi IV, the last king of the main line, ruled until c. 225 CE. During his reign, several Buddhist monuments were constructed at Nagarjunakonda and Amaravati. Madhya Pradesh was also part of his kingdom.
After the death of Pulumavi IV, the Satavahana empire fragmented into five smaller kingdoms.
Northern part, ruled by a collateral branch of the Satavahanas (which ended in early 4th century.
Western part around Nashik, ruled by the Abhira dynasty. Eastern part (Krishna-Guntur region), ruled by the Andhra Ikshvakus. South-western parts (northern Karanataka), ruled by the Chutus of Banavasi. South-eastern part, ruled by the Pallavas.
According to Madhukar keshav Dhavalikar the Satavahana sculptures and architecture should have been recognised as a unique school of architectural designs having distinctive characteristic features The earliest in point of time is that in the Bhaja Vihara cave which marks the beginning of sculptural art in the Satavahana dominion around 200BC. It is profusely decorated with carvings, and even pillars have a lotus capital crowned with sphinx-like mythic animals.

Alok Mohan

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