ancient indian history

Umachala Rock Inscription of Surendra-varman (470-94 A.D.)

Inscription number 77.
Umachala Rock Inscription of Surendra-varman (470-94 A.D.)
Provenance: Umachala, Asrama on Umachal Hill (North-eastern)
slope the Kamakhya or Nilachal hill) near Gauhati, Assam.
Bhauma-Naraka Dynasty of Kamarupa. 
This Inscription records construction of a cave  temple of Lord  Balabhadra Svamin by the illustrious king Surendra-varman. The rock Inscription is one among the early epigraphic evidences of bhauma dynasty, discovered in Assam.
The mention of this dynasty is found in various sanatna dharma epics like Ramayana, Mahabharata, Yogini Tantra etc.
As per hindu religious scriptures, this dynasty was established by Naraka (Narakasura) of Videha consequent to removing the kirata chief Ghataka, of Danava dynasty.
As per hindu mythology, Satyabhama killed Narakasura and freed 16000 girls, captured by him. Lord Krishna married these girls in a gesture of retrieving their lost honour.
However subsequent embellishment of the Naraka legends point to legitimization of the three dynasties of the Kamarupa kings.
Naraka is regarded as the legendary ancestor of all the three dynasties of Pragjyotisha-Kamarupa, and the founding ruler of the legendary Bhauma dynasty of Pragjyotisha. The Bhauma dynasty is the second legendary dynasty of Pragjyotisha, after the Danava dynasty.

Footnote 1.
1. D.C. Sircar tentatively identified him with Mahendra-varman. (Surendra and Mahendra being synonyms) of
the Bhauma-Naraka dynasty, which flourished in Pragiyotisha or Kamarupa, from about 350 to 650 A.D.
The founder of the dynasty, Pushyavarman ruled £rom
350 to 374 AD. His son Samudravarman, from
374 to 398 AD., grandson Balavarman from 398 to 422 A.D.
great-grand son Kalyanavarman from 422 to 446 A.D. and
Great great-grandson Ganapativarman from 446 to 470 AD.
Ganapativarman’s successor was Mahendra-varman,
(470-494 AD) whose son Narayanavarman (494 to 518 A.D.)
and grandson Bhutivarman or Mahabutivarman (518 to
542 A.D.)  both performed horse sacrifices. Barganga
inscription of the latter seems to be slightly later than the present record.

Script: Eastern variety of Gupta Brahmi of 4th to 6th century A.D.
Language: Sanskrit.
Reference: D.C. Sircar and P.D. Chaudhary, Ep.Ind, XXXI, pp.67-69.
Footnote 2.
1. From the facsimile in Ep.Ind. XXXI, facing pp.68.
2. Vasudeva (Krishna) Balabhadra-sankarshana Pradyumna,
Aniruddha and samba are the five defied heroes of the
Yadava-Satvata-Vishni clan. The first four of these came to be worshipped as the four vyuhas by the
Bhagavata or Pancharatra sect of early Vaishnavism.
Krishna and Balabhadra of the four were held in higher esteem than the other two. We have enough evidence to
the effect that Balabhadra was Independently worshipped
before the rise of the Imperial Guptas.
The inscriptions of the Gupta age do not refer to such worship though the
Vyuha doctrine finds a prominent place in the Pancharatra samhitas, some of which were composed between the
fourth and eighth centuries of the christan era. The  Amarkosha composed during this period speaks
of all the four vyuhas. Gradually Balabhadra came to
be recognised as one of the avataras of vishnu. The present record testifies to his worship in Assam about
the fifth century A.D.
English Translation of the inscription.
This cave (i.e. Cave – temple) of Lord  Balabhadra svamin is constructed by the illustrious Maharajadhiraja Surendra-varman.
(Balabhadra is the god of the Vaishnavite pantheon)

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