ancient indian history

Mandasor Inscription of Prabhakara

Inscription number 31.
Mandasor stone Inscription of the time of Prabhakara – Malava (=Vikrama) year 524 (467-68 A.D.)
Sircar has no doubt that Prabhakara belonged to the Aulikara family of Dasapura and was a descendant of
King Bandhuvarman whom we find ruling over this region, as a subordinate of Kumaragupta 1,. in the Malava year
493 (436 A.D.) (see his Mandasor inscription of the Malava year 493 and 529; (supra II, 23 ), and the son
and successor of visvavarman of Gangdhar record (supra III. 23) of the Malava year 480 ( = 423 A.D.)
Provenance: Fort at Mandasor. Madhya Pradesh, Now in Archaeological Museum, Gwalior.
Script: Brahmi of the Southern class.
Language: Sanskrit.
v.1: वसन्ततिलका Vv.2-16: उपजाति
v17: पृथ्वी V18: श्लोक अनुष्टुब
References: M.B. Garde, Ep.Ind., XXVII, pp.12-18, Sircar Sel.Inss, pp.406-9.
1. The fort is said to have been founded by Ala-ud-din Khilji (1296-1316 A.D.) and considerably extended by
Hoshang shah of Malwa (1405-1434 A.D.) (Gwalior Gazetteer, I, pp266). A number of mutilated sculptures, carvings and other stones taken from the ruins of old temples have
been used promiscuously in the construction of the fort.
Mandasor is identified with the ancient city of Dasapur, mentioned in several inscriptions (e.g. Nasik Cave
Inscriptions Nos.1131 and 1148 of Luders’ List of Brahmi Inscriptions,
EpInd.X, Appendix and Mandasor
inscription oE Adityavardhana, Ep.Ind. XXX, pp.127 ff. XXXIII, pp.205 ff). and Mandasor inscription of Kumara-gupta and Bandhuvarman of Malava
years 493 and 529, C,I.I., III, pp.81 ff. and Suprą, II, 23 and in Kalidasa’s Meghaduta, I. 47; the
Brihatsamhita (6th century. AD.) etc.

1. From the facsimile in Ep-Ind XXVII, facing pp 15.
2. त्रि – पदिक – धर्म = Buddhism which stands on the three feet, namely, the budha, dharma and samgha.

1. ( जनया मास ) Curative form was required here,
not प्रजझे which means, “was born.” But this is not an isolated case of its type in old records. Cf, तेन जात: for तेन जनित:
on Bhaskaravarman’s seals and अजनि and जझे in the causative sense
In chatesvara inscription (Ep.Ind., XIX, pp.122).
2. Indra fears the Asvamedha and Rajasuya monarchs, i.e. the chakravartins or Paramount rulers, who become entitled to the former’s throne.
Hence the belief of some scholars that Govinda-gupta was an imperial ruler.
But this appears to be only a poetic exaggeration

as the available evidence does
not support such an assumption (see I.H.Q.. XXIV, pp.72-75, and vv 6 and 13 of Gangadhar record of Visvavarman,(supra, III, 30) Sircar suggests that Govindagupta was ruling over the south-western provinces, recently
conquered from the Sakas, as his father’s viceroy with Ujjayini as his headquarters. But his surmise seems
to have been based only on evidence of the find-spot of the present inscription, which was put up in 467-68
A.D. when even the reign of Skand agupta was nearing its end.
1. ईश = शिव . The reference seems to be his wisdom and knowledge as the originator of Panini’s grammar by providing him with the fourteen basic aphorisms, known
as the Mahesvara sutras, and illumination to build on them his entire grammatical structure.
does not mean, the lord (of speech), i.e. Brihaspati here, as some scholars think (See M. B. Garde, Ep.Ind. XXVII, pp-17).
It indicates that Prabhakara was a 2. Gupta feudatory.

1. काले = वसन्त काले Whose characteristics are narrated in the following lines.
2. i.e of the Buddha.
3. Sircar: धातुवर
English Translation of the inscription.
L.1. Success !
(v.1) Obeisance to the Buddha, who, desirous of delivering this world sunk in succession of births and
cessations of life, which is a continuity of sorrows of various types, preached the three-fold Dharma, and one who has attained peace (i.e. nirvana).
(V.2) In the firmament of the gupta dynasty, there was a moon-like king with the famous name, sri chandra-
gupta, who, like freshly risen moon, was the stealer (i.e. attractor) of people’s eyes.
(V.3): Equipped with the tools of his wisdom and prowess, he forcibly deprived kings of their lordship over
the earth, and bound it over with the network of his family members, from which (net) it cannot escape even today. (v.4) That lord of the earth
(1.e. Chandragupta) who was as famous as Krishna
or qualities and dominance, produced a son, bearing the forceful name Govinda-gupta, who resembled the
sons of Diti and aditi.
(v.5) When kings, their powers curbed, rubbed their heads on his (Govindagupta’s) feet, even the king of gods (i.e, Indra) beset with apprehension was on the horne of a dilemma.
(v.6.) He had a general Vayurakshita, the forces of whose enemies melted out of view on contact with his army.
(v.7) Owning a voice as deep as
the thunder of clouds, this one individual (Vayurakshita)
posessed a multitude of virtues, such as honesty (saucha) loyalty (anuraga, lit = love), industry, wisdom, skill,
forgiveness etc. as also bright like the rays of the moon.
(v8) He begot on a princes, the very moon light from the family of a northern king, a son, Dattabhata by name, who, like his father, was an abode of virtues and fame.
(v. 9) Who though one vas fancied variously, as Kubera (the god of wealth)
in munificence, as siva in wisdom and speech, as cupid in love, and as Yama (the god of death) in battle, by suppliants, learned men, beliefs and enemies (respectively).
(v.10) King Prabhakara, who was to the enemies of the gupta dynasty like
fire to trees, appointed him (i.e. Dattabhata), who was endowed with the prowess of Baladeva, as the Commander-in-chief of his armies in appreciation of (his) merits.
(v.11) wishing to requite, however inadequately, the obligations of his parents, so as to ensure an auspicious
denouement for them, he (Dattabhata) excavated this well, full of waters, as deap as those of the ocean, and with a stupa, a piao and a pleasure garden attached.
(v.12)s The people are comforted, frequently drinking from this (well) the water, cool as union with a bosom friend, pure as the minds of sages,
and wholesome as the words of elders. (v.12) When five hundred
and twenty-four years, proclaiming the fame, as spotless as the rays of the autumnal moon, of the Malava dynasty
had elapsed one by one
(v.14) when there had arrived the (spring) season, in which the lotus-buds are languid with the weight of bees
sitting on them), the teak-trees (sala) are charming.
the Sweet-hearts, whose lovers are living abroad, are tormented by
(Lit., have become fuel) the fire of love (v.15) the tree-groves wear fresh charm, Swaying in breezes neither very hot nor very cold, resounding with fresh notes of intoxicated cuckoos, and are covered with leaf-buds red like the lips of Sweet-hearts
(v.16) (at such time) white like a jasmin
flower or the moon, with pinnacle rubbing against the clouds,
this stupa with the well, has been constructed (in commemoration) of Him (the Buddha) who, having destroyed the elemental evils,
(dhatu-matre) explained (i.e. preached) the accomplishment of all actions.
(v.17) May this store of water (i.e, the
well), ever enjoying the festivity of union with the bodies of many women (who come for bathing) never be exhausted, as does the ocean enjoying constant festivity of union with
many river-wives. And may this stupa, worshipped by gods demons, mortals and serpent-kings, also last as long
as the heavenly mountain, the sun and the moon.
(v,18) The stupa, well, the piao, and the garden, which have been described (above), are included within the limits of the Lokottara monastery.
This is Ravila’ s composition.


1. The Buddhist monastery seems to have been the property of the Lokottaravadin sect of the Hinayana.form of Buddhism.
2. The three padas (lit. steps) may either refer to the three saranas of the Buddhists, namely the Buddha, Dharma and samgha or to the three stages,
sotapatti, sakadagad and anagami, on the path of nirvana, or else to the three principles, anitya, duhkha and anatma.

He does not figure in the genealogical lists of any Gupta inscription but is known from a clay seal of his mother Mahadevi Dhruvasvamini (better known as Dhruvadevi) (A.S.I Annual Report for 1903-4, pp.102 and 107) found in excavation at Basarh (ancient Vaisali).
In this seal he is styled only as Maharaja, indicating that he was at that time, ruling merely as the Governor
of the district of Tirabukti, with its capital at Vaisali, presumably in his capacity as the Yuvaraja (heir-apparent) being the eldest son of chandragupta 2.
The next verse (No.5) gives an indication that he may have ruled briefly as the Gupta sovereign, after the
death of Chandragupta 2. As a collateral, he did not figure in the genealogical lists of his younger
brother, Kumaragupta and his successors.
2. Diti’s sons are known as Daityas or demons, and Aditi’s as Adityas or Devas =gods) The underlying idea is
that Govinda-gupta resembled demons in physical strength and gods in virtues.

i.e Balrama, the famous vrishni and foster brother of Krishna, This form of the name seems to have been
deliberately used to suggest that Dattabhata was as powerful as Bala-Deva, i.e. the god of power.

Garde translates the Malava–vamsa here into “Malava-race”. But the word vamsa is never used in the sense of jati or race
Lit. त्रि – घातिताष्टौ means
three multiplied by eight.

1. The reference is to the Nidana sutra, in which he preached the theory of प्रतीत्य समुत्पाद i.e cause and effect i.e
प्रतीत्य समुत्पाद सूत्र See Nalanda Brick Inscription of the year 197, infra, I, 77, and II, 51.
2. The word kshayin also means consumptive’. The suggested idea with this double sense (slesha) is
that the ocean is different from men who contract tuberculosis from overindulgence in women (i.e. sex), according to the prevailing belief.
3. Garde takes the heavenly mountain, in the sense of the Meru. But the Himalayas seem to have been meant. as they were regarded as the abode of gods. Cf. Kalidasa, Kumara
Sambhavam. V. 45 : पितु: प्रदेशास्तव देव – भूमय:
i.e. the lands of your (i.e. Parvati’ s) father (i.e. the Himalayas) were the homelands of gods.

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