Kalawan Coper-Plate Inscription

Written by Alok Mohan on May 25, 2022. Posted in Uncategorized

#Kalawan #Coper-Plate #Inscription
Year 134 (77 AD)
Provenance: From the foundation of #satupa in Kalawan, 5 miles South East of Sirkap (Taxila). Rawalpindi District, Pakistan.
Script: Khroshthi
Language: North Western Prakrit
References: Sten konow Ep.ind XXI, Page 251ff, Sircar, Sel.Ins, I, Page 131-32

Kalawan means “The caves”
It is the name of a famous archaeological site in Taxila, Pakistan.
Once there was a very big Buddhist establishment here.

Kalawan has one among largest monasteries in south asia. This inscription, records the enshrinement of relics as a gift to the Sarvastivadin School, which was found in a chaitya hall.


संवत्सरे १, (x + 100 + 20 (+)). 10(+) श्रवणस मसस

दिवसे त्रे lविशे 20 (+) 1 (+) 1 (+) क्षुणेण चन्द्रभि उभसिस

2. प्रंमस ग्रहवतिस भद्रवलस भय छड शिलए शरिर प्रइस्तवेवि

3. वमि सध भ्रदुण नंदि वढ़णेण
ग्रहवतिण सध पुत्रेहि शमेण सइतेण च धितुम च

4. ध्रमए सध ष्णुएहि रजए इद्रए य सध चिव्रणदिण शमपुत्रेण
5. वक्षण परिग्रहे रठ निकमो पुयइत सर्व स्वत्वण पुयए णिवणस प्रति अए होतु

संस्कृत छाया
संवत्सके १, चतु स्त्रिशदधिक 134 अयस्य (Axis II) श्रावणस्य मासस्य दिवसे त्रयोविशे 23 अनेन क्षणेण चन्द्राभी ( ना म्नी नगरे ) शरीरं (भगवत: बुद्धस्य देहावशेषं) प्रतिष्ठापयति गृहस्तूपे सार्द्ध भ्रात्रा नन्दिवर्धनेन गृहपतिना सार्द्ध पुत्राभ्यां शमेण सजितेन य दुहित्रा च धर्मया सार्द्ध स्नुषकाभ्यां लज्जया इन्द्रया च सार्द्ध जीवननन्दिना शमपुत्रेण आचार्याणां सर्वास्तिवादानां (वादानां) परिग्रहे राष्ट्र निगमौ (जन पदं नगरं च ) पूजयित्वा सर्व सत्तवानां पूजायै निर्वाणस्य प्रस्थाये ( लाभाय) भवतु

1 From the facsimile in Ep.Ind XXI. Plate Facing page 259.
2 Sir John Marshall J.R.A.S 1914, Page-973 ff, suggested that Ajasa here and Ayasa in Taxil silver seroll refer to the era of Saka Great King Azes.
Fleet and Konow rejected this theory. Konow at first interpreted the word I e ayasya i.e of the first Sravana.
He assumed the occurrence of second
intercalary month of Sravana in the year 134 but had to give up his
theory when it was pointed out that we shall have to assume the existence of a second second intercalary month
of Ashdha in the year 136 of tha same era used in the Taxila silver scroll Inscription where, too the word Ayasa,
(rendered by him to adyasa) occurs with the figures of the Year.
There cannot occur to intercalary months within 2-3 years.
Konow then proposed to interpret the phrase as “In the year so and so” Azes style, but refused to accept that the era was founded by Azes. He performed the theory that “we must refer to the
datas of not only Tekht-i-Bahi Inscription of the year 103 but also of the Panjtar record of the year 122, the
Kalawan plate of the year 134, and the Taxila scroll of the year 136 to tha vikram era, and if we reckon with
elapsed karttikadi years, these dates would roughly correspond to AD 46, 77 and 79 respectively.

(Ep ind XXI, Page 236) D C Sircar Sel.Inss.I, Page 131 no 2, though admitting that the style e.g of the Taxila Copper Plate of Patika which reads as
संवत्सरए अव्सततिमए 78 महरयस महृतस भोयस पनेमस
मसस दिवसे पंचमे
Would prove that
Ayas also refers to a King, he does not consider it possible to connect the origin of the era with Azes on the strength of the word अजस or अयस
According to him the era used here is the old skytho Parthian one.
Starting from the foundation of an independent Kingdom in East Iran
by Vnones and its use was carried to india by his saka feudatories, and that Azes II (C. 1 to 19 AD) was being mentioned as the reigning king by some people even after his overthrow by Gondophernes. The Kushanas probably conquered the country from the Parthians on behalf of Azes II and the fiction of latter’s rule continued for some time.
In fact no satisfactory theory has been
advanced so far and the controversy regarding the era used in Saka, pehlva and kushan records rages on.

English Translation of the inscription
In the year 134 of Azes II, on the twentythird day of he month sravana, at this moment te female worshiper
Upasika, daughter of the householder dharma, wife of Bhadrapala, establishes relics of the Buddha in Chehadasila in the stupa within her house, together with her brother,, the householder Nandivardhna with her sons Sama and Sajita (or Sachitta) and her daughter Dharma, with her daughter’s in law Lajja and Indra, with Jivanandinthe, son of Sama, in acceptance of the teachers of Sarvastivada school, having venerated the country and the town for the veneration of all beings. May it be for the attainment of salvation.

Alok Mohan

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