Pune Inscription of Prabhavati-Gupta

Written by Alok Mohan on September 19, 2022. Posted in Uncategorized

  • Pune Copper-Plate Inscription of Prabhavati-Gupta
  • Prabhavatigupta belonged to Gupta dynasity and was a vakataka queen. Prabhavati Gupta was the daughter of Chandragupta 2, one of the most important rulers in early Indian history. She was married to Rudrasena 2 of the Vakataka Dynasty and later acted as the regent to her sons Divakarsena and Damodarsena post the death of her husband.
    Following the death of her husband, she effectively ruled the Vakataka kingdom as regent.
    Prabhavati was a brave, fearless woman, who helped her father, Chandragupta, with resources and support in his final defeat of the Sakas of Gujarat. Rudrasena 2, had a short reign of only about five years before he died. After the death of Prabhavati’s husband in 390 A.D., Prabhavati ruled for 20 years with the help of her father.
    Prabhavati had three sons with Rudrasena – Divakarasena, Damodarasena, and Pravarasena – but none of them were adults at the time of their father’s untimely death.
    Divakarasena, the eldest son of Rudrasena and Prabhavatigupta, was the Yuvaraja or Crown Prince of the Vakataka kingdom. Since he was still a child, Prabhavatigupta assumed the reigns of government and ruled in his name. We know that Prabhavatigupta ruled for at least 13 years as a regent because her Pune grant is dated to the thirteenth year of her own rule, where she calls herself “Mother of the Yuvaraja Divakarasena”. 
  • During Prabhavati’s time in power, Gupta influence over the Vakatakas reached its peak. Prabhavati’s inscriptions provide her own Gupta genealogy and emphasize her own natal connections. Her gotra is given as Dharana, which was the gotra of her father, rather than the Vishnuvriddha gotra of the Vakataka dynasty. Indeed, for the 20 or so years of Prabhavati ‘s regency, the Vakataka realm was “practically a part of the Gupta empire.”
  • Showcasing herself on the Udaigiri built by Chandragupta she built the Ramagiri and Mandhal sanctuaries which are unique in their iconography and have a very unique idea of the co-existence of Hinduism.
  • When she moved to Nandivardhana, she had her sculptors experiment with new forms of iconography and had set up a workshop for the production of high-quality red sandstone sculptures.
  • A. The Main Nandivardhana Branch.
    Inscription number 1.
    Pune Copper-Plate Inscription of Prabhavati-Gupta -Regnal year 13
    Provenance: Pune (Poona), Pune District, Maharashtra.
    Script: Nail-headed variety of the Late Brahmi of the Southern class (with some peculiarities of the
    Northern class) of the 5th century A.D.
    Language: Sanskrit.
    Metre: vv. 1-2:
    References: K. B. Pathak and K.N. Dikshit, Ep.Ind., XV, pp.41ff.
    D.C. Sircar, Sel.Inss., I, pp.435-38.
    Footnote 1
    The legend on the seal clearly indicates that Prabhavati Gupta received nripasiri, i.e. royal power, apparently as
    a regent. Hence the year given must be her own regnal Year.
    It is interesting to note that in her 13th regnal year, her eldest son, Divakarasena, who had at least two
    brothers younger to himself was not invested with royal power, although he could not be minor at this date.
    (see H.C.I.P. classical Age, pp.180). A Yuvaraja Divakara is mentioned as an author in the Sadukti-Karnamrita.
    2. The plates were found with a copper Smith of Pune. He originally belonged to Ahmadnagar. They appear to have
    been a heirloom in the family for several generations.
    First Plate
    Footnote 2
    1. From the facsimile in Ep.Ind., XV, facing pp-42.
    2. In the left margin on the level between lines 3-4.
    3. The ishta-deva of the Vakatakas was Siva. But Prabhavati inherited Bhagavatism from her Gupta ancestors, who had made Bhagavatism or Vaishnavism very popular in India,
    even the southern parts, by the 5th century AD.
    Many inscriptions of this period begin with the Vaishnava invocation. ज़ितं भगवता
    cf. Pallava Grants
    of simhavarman and his successors (Infra Vol IV,, 25-30 ) and the
    grants of Madhava (and II of Western Ganga dynasty) (infra IV,51-52).
    It may however, be noted that even Prabhavati’s son, Pravarasena II, continued the famly allegiance to
    Siva ( see his chamak grant of the year 18, infra Vol-III, Inscription number. 4.
  • Footnote 3
  • Better नान्दीवर्द्धनात ! आसीदगु
    Nandivaradhana has been
    identified with moden Nandardhan near Ramtek, in Nagpur District. M.P. The city is mentioned in Kothuraka grant
    of Pravarasena 2, Regnal year 2 (Ep.Ind., XXVI, pp.159f
    and Rithapur plates of Bhavadattavarman. (ibid. XIX, pp.10)
    It can not be identified with Nagardhan in the same neighbourhood. For the latter we should look for some
    ancient city, Nagavardhana. गुप्तादिराज:
    = गुप्तानामादिराज
    (= the first king among the Guptas in her Rithpur Plates.
    (see below).
    2. In fact, the title of chandragupta 1, was Maharajadhiraja.
    3. Though in the genealogies of his successors’ inscriptions,
    he is eulogised चिरोत्सन्नाश्वमेधाहत्र्ता and his Asvamedha type of coins, bearing the legend, अश्वमेध – पराक्रम:
    are known, it is nowhere claimed that he performed many Asvamedhas. It should also be noted that the usual
    epithets of Samudragupta invariably found in Official Gupta records, are transferred here to Prabhavati-guptas
  • Footnote-4
  • We know from Sanchi Stone Inscription of chandragupta 2- year 93 (Supra II, 12) that he had a favourite alias Devaraja. The present inscription read with channak grant of Pravarasena 2
    makes it clear that Devagupta mentioned as Prabhavati’s father in the latter inscription was identical with
    Chandragupta 2, and is not to be identified with Devagupta of the Later Gupta dynasty.
    2. Note that Prabhavatigupta, uses not only the cognomen and the gotra of her parents, instead of her husbands,
    but also she gives pride of place to her parental Genealogy.
    Apparently, it was due to the great power and prestige of the Gupta emperors, that makes her
    assert her descent from them, not because of any
    injunctions of the Dhanmasastras, which sircar (sel.Inss, I, pp.436 n.9) discusses in this context,
    Second plate
  • 1. The district is also known from the Kothuraka grant
    (Ep.Ind., XXXI, pp.158f.). It has been identified with the Hinganghat Tehsil of the Wardha District.
    2. Pathak and Dikshits दड़न्गुणग्रामे Hinganghat is
    possibly corrupted from उडन्गुण
    3. दत्ति = gift. अपूर्व – दत्तया = according to the custom relating to things that were not previously granted.
    4. Better सृष्ट ! यत:
    5. भट is probably policeman. छात्र
    (Literally an umbrella-bearer) appears to be the leader of a posse of
    Presumably छात्र = चाट found
    Compounded with भट in other records.
  • Footnote-6
    1. Better चर्माड्न्गार: अ – लवण क्लिन्न क्लिन्न क्रेणि = moist commodity (like honey and juice of sugar cane and other
    क्रेणि = purchase or a purchasable (i.e. marketable commodity
    खानक:= minerals, चारासन =
    Pasturage, according to fleet or as sircar suggests,
    पार = free movement (cf. free ferrying’ in some records) and
    आसन = encamping—the two
    phrases referring to the needs of the king’s touring officers or army.
    According to Mirashi,चार = grass for the horses of touring officers.
    आसन – चर्मन = hides for their seats.
    अडन्गार = charcoal for their cooking.
    Elsewhere we also have अपरम्परा बलीवदर्द ग्रहण अपारम्पर
    free from customary obligations.
    2. पशु – मेध्य =मेध्य – पशु sacrificial animals that the villagers were expected to provide the king.
    3. निधि
    treasure-trove or unclaimed wealth, उपनिधि = surface finds. But according to the Vishnu-Samhitaa, III, 3639, निधि = wealth, whose owner is not known.
    उपनिधि = Sealed deposit
    4. क्लृप्त = possibly a fixed tax. उपक्लृप्त =
    Occasional or casual taxes, According to Mirashi .
    क्लृप्तोतोपक्लृप्त = सोद्रड़न्ग: सोपरिकर:
    : (i.e with major and
    minor taxes) of other records.
    English Translation of the inscription
  • Seals This is the enemy-chastising command of the mother
    of the heir-apparent, who is the ornament of the Vakatakas (and)who has obtained royal dignity in
    due succession.
    In margin seen.
    L1. Success ! Victorious is the Lord (Vishnu). Hail!
    From Nandivardhana.
    Ll.1-7: There was Maharaja sri Ghatotkacha, the first
    King among the Guptas. His noble son was Maharaja Sri Chandragupta. His noble son was Maharajadhiraja
    Sri Samudragupta, who was the performer of many asvamedha sacrifices, who was the daughter’ s son of the Lichchhavis (and) who was begotten on the chief queen Kumaradevi. His noble son, accepted (or favoured) by His Majesty was Maharajadhiraja Sri chandragupta, who was a matchless warrior on the earth who was the exterminator of all the kings, whose fame was
    tasted by the waters of (all) the four oceans, who was the giver of many thousands of crores of cows and
    Gold and who was the devout worshipper of Lord vishnu.
    Ll.7-13 His daughter of Dharana gotra, and begotten on the illustrious chief queen, Kuberanaga (herself) born in
    the Naga family the illlustrious Prabhavatigupta, who is the chief queen of Maharaja Sri Rudrasena(2)
    of the Vakatakas and the mother of the heir apparent. Sri Divakarasena
    and who is an ornament to both the
    Families, and is extremely devoted to Lord vishnu- after announcing her wellbeing commands the Brahmanas
    and other householders of the village (living) in the unguna village in the supratishthahara, (and located)
    to the eastern side of (the village) Vilavanaka, to the
    southern side of the village Sirsha, to the Western side of Kadapinjana, (and) to the northern side of
  • L1.13-15 Be it known to you that we have, for the enhancement of our religious merit, bestowed this
    village as a fresh grant, with libation of water, on this twelfth (day) of the bright (half) of (the month of) Karttika after having first offered it at the feet of Lord Vishnu upon Acharya chanalasvamin,
    a devotee of Lord vishnu. For this reason, you should
    carry out all injunctions wth proper deference.
    L1.15-18 And herein we confer the exemptions incident to an agrahara (village) belonging to a (community of)
    Chaturvidyas, (as) approved by the earlier kings viz
    the village is) out of bounds fo policemen and
    umbrella-bearers (or police officers) is free from the.obligation to provide (to the state) right of movement
    and encampment (of troops), hides, charcoal, moist Commodities and minerals, free from customary
    obligations) free from the obligation
    to provide sacrificial animals free from the demands of flowers and milk with right to treasure-troves and
    other unclaimed wealth (and) free from fixed and Casual tax.
  • Ll.18-20: So this (grant) should be protected and increased by the future kings. Whosoever, disregarding ouur
    charter, shall make or cause to make the slightest obstruction here, him, on being reported by the Brahmanas, we will arrest and punish.
    Ll.20-21 In this context there is a verse sung by Vyasa-
    (Here a customary imprecatory verse is quoted).
    L 22: And this charter is written in the thirteenth year.
    Engraved by Chakradasa.

Alok Mohan

The admin, Alok Mohan, is a graduate mechanical engineer & possess following post graduate specializations:- M Tech Mechanical Engineering Production Engineering Marine engineering Aeronautical Engineering Computer Sciences Software Engineering Specialization He has authored several articles/papers, which are published in various websites & books. Studium Press India Ltd has published one of his latest contributions “Standardization of Education” as a senior author in a book along with many other famous writers of international repute. Alok Mohan has held important positions in both Govt & Private organisations as a Senior professional & as an Engineer & possess close to four decades accomplished experience. As an aeronautical engineer, he ensured accident incident free flying. As leader of indian team during early 1990s, he had successfully ensured smooth induction of Chukar III PTA with Indian navy as well as conduct of operational training. As an aeronautical engineer, he was instrumental in establishing major aircraft maintenance & repair facilities. He is a QMS, EMS & HSE consultant. He provides consultancy to business organisations for implimentation of the requirements of ISO 45001 OH & S, ISO 14001 EMS & ISO 9001 QMS, AS 9100, AS9120 Aero Space Standards. He is a qualified ISO 9001 QMS, ISO 14001 EMS, ISO 45001 OH & S Lead Auditor (CQI/IRCA recognised certification courses) & HSE Consultant. He is a qualified Zed Master Trainer & Zed Assessor. He has thorough knowledge of six sigma quality concepts & has also been awarded industry 4, certificate from the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation Knowledge Hub Training Platform  He is a Trainer, a Counselor, an Advisor and a Competent professional of cross functional exposures. He has successfully implimented requirements of various international management system standards in several organizations. He is a dedicated technocrat with expertise in Quality Assurance & Quality Control, Facility Management, General Administration, Marketing, Security, Training, Administration etc. He is a graduate mechanical engineer with specialization in aeronautical engineering. He is always eager to be involved in imparting training, implementing new ideas and improving existing processes by utilizing his vast experience.