ancient indian history

Parivrajaka Family

The kings of Parivrajaka dynasty, were feudatories of Gupta empire and ruled central India during 5th and 6th centuries. They bore the title Maharaja The details of this dynasty are evident from the inscriptions of Hastin and Samkshobha.
Most of the kings of this dynasity ruled the forest region.
Inscription number 36.
Bhumara Pillar Inscrlption of Hastin and Sarvanatha.
Provenance: Bhumara, in former Nagaudh state, Satna district.
Madhya Pradesh.
Script: Brahmi, Northern class.
Language: Sanskrit.
References: Cunningham, A S.I. Reports, IX 1879, pp.16,
No.9, Fleet, CI,I, III, pp.110-12; D.C. Sircar, Ep.Ind. XXXIII, pp.167-72.

The Parivrajaka king Hastin is known from his charters issued in the Gupta years 156(475 A.D.) 163(482 AD.)
170 (489 A.D.) 191) 510 A.D.) and 198 ( 517 A.D.) while the known dates of the Uchchakalpa king Sarvanatha are
the Gupta years 191 (510 A.D.), 193 (512 A D.). 197 (516 A.D.)and 214 (533 A. D.).
Both the kings must have been contemporaries for a brief period before and after 510 A.D. To this period the present inscription has to be assigned. A difficulty is created by the reference in the inscription to the existence of two independent rulers of different dynasties, one ruling over the Rajya kingdom, the other over a bhoga or a district, within it. To overcome this
difficulty, cunningham amended the word vala-yashti to valaya-yashti. interpreted the key phrase as, ” this
boundary pillar was set up” between the territories of the two rajas. But the text is clear that the vala-yashti
was erected in sarvanatha’s bhoga located within the rajya of Hastin. Sircar’s interpretation is more
convincing. Sarvanatha, owned a bhoga, i.e. a fief or a Jagir, perhaps received as dowry, within the dominions
of Hastin.
He quotes Ep.Ind. XXXIII, pp.170) the well- known story according to which Kasi-grama or Kasi-nigama
was gi ven as dowry by Mahakosala, the king of Kosala to his daughter Kosaladevi, when she married Bimbisara of Magadha, and it remained in his Possession till his death,
when it was resumed by Prasenajit the son of Mahakosala, and was again given by him to Ajatasatru of Magadha as dowry of his daughter vajra. Sircar takes vala-yashti in the sense of bala-yashti, i.e. a strong pillar. In the absence of a better interpretation, I have adopted the same.
He thinks, this was a memorial pillar, raised in memory of some dead relative and cites the words,
स्व – पुण्याप्या यनार्थ यश : कीत्र्ति प्रवर्धमान गोत्र शैलिका बलयष्टि : प्रतिष्ठा पिता वर्ग ग्रामिवेर्गा

From the supia Pillar Inscription
of the reign of skandagupta and dated in the year 141
(=460 A.D.), also discovered from the Bhumara region( Supra II, 28)
1. From the facsimile in Ep.Ind., XXXIII, Pl.- XV-A, pp.112.
2. Fleet: इन्दन

English Translation of the inscription.
English Translation

In Ambloda, in the kingdom of Maharaja Hastin, who meditates on the feet of Mahadeva and in the bhoga
(fief) of sarvanatha, ( this) strong pillar was erected by sivadasa, the son of the village headman Vasu, and the grandson of Indana, on the 19th day of the month of Karttika in the
Maha-Magha year.

The date is given in the Mahamegha year of the Jupiter’s twelve-year cycle. The year has been variously taken
as corresponding to the Gupta years 165 (484 A.D.), 189 (508 A.D.) and 201 (520 A.D.) (See Bhandarkar’s
List, No.1661). Among these 189 (508 A.D.), being nearest to 510 A.D. may be taken as the year under reference.

The term “Parivrajaka” means a wandering ascetic. The family came from a lineage Brahmins of Bharadvaja gotra.
They may have been wandering ascetics or this term, may just be a reference to the then tradition, wherein kings abdicating their thrones in old age, were becoming wandering ascetics, in accordance with ashram system.The term, Parivrajaka, is important to Hindus, who leave their homes for the sake of god realization.
Parivrajaka is a life style wherein the seeker forsakes attachments in spiritual pursuits on his own.
Damodara was a charitable king, and used to donate cows, horses, elephants, gold and land to brahmins. Maharaja Hastin, the son of Damodara, is also known for his initiatives in charity work. He had actively participated in Guptas’ war against Hunas.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top