Ayaka Pillar Inscriptions

Written by Alok Mohan on July 29, 2022. Posted in Uncategorized

Inscription number 178
Nagarjunikanda inscriptions of virapaushadatta-Regnal Year 6.
Provenance: On the ayaka Pllars attached to a stupa in
ruins in the valley of the Nagarjanikonda hills, on the right bank of the river Krishna Guntur
district. Andhra Pradesh.
Script: Southern Brahmi of the second half of the 3rd century AD.
Language: Prakrít.
References J.Ph. Vogel, Ep.Ind, pp.15,ff., Sel, Inss. 1, pp-228-33
Footnote 1
Buhler (Ind.Aqt, at XI, pp.256 f and Vogel. Ep.Ind., XX, pp.2) aseign his reign to the 3rd century A.D., prior
to the accession of the Pallavas to power in Vengi.
2. आयक -खंभा (आयक -स्कम्भा)
entrance pillars invariably occupied a position right opposite the entrances to the Sacred enclosure, often on all the four cardinal points. They carry Budhist
emblems and dedicatory Inscriptions and had no stuctural function as supporting members.
3. Time river is called Kannapenna or Kannavanna (= Skt. Kishnavana) in Pali literature
Number 1
Ayaka Pillar inscription C3,
Foot note 1,
From the facsimile in Ep-Ind, XX, Ayaka pillar inscription number 3.
2. According to buddhist works, the qualifications of a
Bhagwan are: Issaria, (anima etc-) dharma (transcental virtuous) Yasa (pure fame oE universal recognition)
Siri (All around accomplishment) kama (all objects of desire and payatana (supreme effort to gain sovereignty overall)
The vidhnu Purana VI, 5. 73 defines bhaga as:
एश्वयेस्य समग्रस्य धर्मस्य यशस: श्रिय:
ज्ञान वै राग्य योश्चैवषष्णा भग इतीड्गना

3. Some of the Nagarjunikonda records read
इमम्हि or इमंम्हि before महाचेतिये
4. Some records read अगिहोतागिठोय – वाजपेयासमेध – याजिस
after परिगहितस
, 1.e. of a digvijaya campalgn against the
Asvamedha was perfomed at the conclusion of a digvijaya i.e a victorious campaign, against the surrounding states. sometimes even against the fomer overlords.
Santamula apparently ousted the Satavahanas from suzerainty over the Krishna Guntur region.
5. Some records read हिरण
Footnote 2
1. Some records read चावमूलस For the change of श into च see, DC. Sircar Successors of the Satavahanas pp17, n.1.
2. In Vinayavijaya’s subodhika commentary on the Kalpasutra
(Nirnaya Sagara Press, ed., leaf 60, 11.6-7) talavara
is explained as तुष्ट – भूपाल – प्रदत्त – पट्टबंध – विभूषित राजस्वानीय
i.e a feudatory ruler. Talara a modification of the same word, is used in Harishenas Brihatkathakosha
(1931-32 A.D.) in the sense of an administrator of a city or the prefect of the city police (J.U.P.H.S.. XIX,
Pts.1-2, pp.79-83). In this context the Talwar’s sub-caste of the Panjabi Khatri’s may be noted. Also to be
noted are Tamil words. Talavay (= a general) and talaiyari (A village watchman), Kannarese word talavara,
talavara (= a wataman, a beadle).
The Mahatalavaras are mentioned in early Jaina literature along with
18 ganarajans.
3. Some records have वासिठी -पुतस
which is the correct version.
4. Some records have खंदगिरि
5. Read बम्हण

Footnote 3

1. One record has वैनामिक and two others वैलामि.
Valama, a Brahmana, is celebrated for charity in Buddnist mythology (Jataka, I, pp.228, vibhangatha-Katha, pp414, Anguttara Nikaya, IV, 394 f, Ep.Ind. XX, pp 33, of reference to Karna, in later records. Velama was a priest of King Brahmadatta of Ranarasa. He spent the
great wealth inherited from his father in continuous charity for seven years and seven months (of. I. C. Ghosh, Jataka, I, pp.86, no-2) For the velama Jetaka see
B.E.E.E.O. XLIV, 2,1959,pp609ff.
2. चाँतिसिरि In some other records
3. वटमानके In some other records
4. परिनामेतुन In some other records
5. सुख – निवाणथनाय In some other records
6. वा प is written under the line

Footnote 4
1. virupaksha is one of the ganas of Siva, whose son,
Mahasena or Skanda, is the Commander of these Ganas
as also of the entire army of the gods. Kadambas of
Banavasa and imtating them, the Chalukyas of Badami (Vatapipura) also claimed to have been under
the Protection of Mahasena.

Footnote 5
1. According to childers, Pali Dictionary. S. V. Nibbano, the expression निब्बाण – संपति (Sanskrit Nirvana-sampatti)
in the Knuddakapatho means, the enjoyment of arhatship’.
But more plausibly sapati or sampati in these inscriptions
stands for skt. samprapti, i.e. ‘attaniment’.
2. One of the Ganas.

English Translation of the inscription

Success ! Salutations to the Lord honoured by the king of gods possessed of a highly enlightened knowledge; omniscient compassionate towards all sentient beings; who
has attained liberation (nirvana as a result of having conquered attachment, hatred and ignorance; the bull and musk elephant having great Spiritual leaders; the perfectly enlightened one, who has assumed the form of ashes. At this great chaitya, the Mahatalavari santisri, the uterine sister of the Ishvaku King Vasishthiputra Sri Santamula, who is favoured by skanda, the lord of Virupaksha, ( and who
is the giver of crores of gold pieces, lacs of cows and lacs of ploughs. and is unimpeded in his objectives in ail matter.
Santisri, the paternal aunt of king Mathari- putra srivirapuru-shadatta, the wife of the Mahasenapati, the Manatalavara, Vasishthiputra skandasri of (the family of) the Pukiyas; and
the mother of Skandasagara, the giver in an unbroken stream of donations and presetns comparable to Velema, out of campassion, for the Sramanas, the brahmanas, the indigent merchants, and the ne destitutes, the lover of all good people, mistress of great magnificence, having an eye for the (blessings) past, future and present and for the attainment of well-being
and happiness in both the worlds for herself and for both
the houses to which the she belonged. for bringing about the
attainment of nirvana for herself and for the attainment of welfare and happiness by all the world, has erected this pillar on the tenth 10 day of the sixth, 6th. fortnight of the rainy season in the Year Six, of King Virapurushadatta.
Number 2
Ayaka pillar B 2,
From the facsimile in Ep-Ind, XX, Ayaka pillar B 2, facing pp17.
English Translation of the inscription
Success ! The Mahtalavari Adavi Santosri, the daughter of Maharaja Vasishthiputra Ishvaku Sri Santamula,
the offerer of ashvmedha sacrifice, the giver of many crores of gold pieces, hundred thousands of kine, and hundred thousands of ploughs (of land of unimpeded purpose in all
(his) aims, the sister of King Sri Virapurushadatta, the
wife of the Mahasenapati, the Mahatalavara the Mahadandanavaka
Skandavisakha (of the family of dhanakas; for securing the
fruit for both the houses to which she belongs, and for the
attainment by herself of well-being and happiness in both the
worlds has erected this pillar in the Great Chaitya chapel of the Lord, Buddha, the truly enlightened one now reduced to ashes
(Lit. to the best of elements).
The 10th day of the 6th fortnight of rainy season of the sixth year of the reign of king Sri Virapurushadatta.
According to M. L dela Vallee Paussin dnatuvara here stands for Dharmadhatu, which was sometimes a kind of Buddhist Brahmana for the followers of tne Mahayana.
Number 3
Ayaka Pillar B-5
Footnote 1
1. J.Ph Vogel takes hala in the sense of a measure of land.
2. From the facsimile in Ep-Ind XX, Ayaka pillar inscription number B 5.
3. गंधहतिस In other records
Footnote 2
1. The names of many Saka kings of Ujjayini begin with Rudra. See sircar. Suc. sata, pp22f.
2. Vogel likes to corect it to निवाणा धनाय ( = निर्वाणार्थनाय )
3. दीनार of later records. derived from the Roman denarius दीनारि here may refer to actual Roman coins
Imported in South India or to their local limitations.
See Sircar, Suc.Sata pp. 27 n.te..
English Translation of the inscription
Success ! Salutation to the Lord who is honoured by the king of gods, who is possessed of a highly enlightened
knowledge, who is omniscient, who is compassionate towards all sentient beings, who has attained liberation (pirana) as a result of having conquered attachment, hatred and ignorance:
who is like a bull or an elepnant among great spritual leaders, who is perfectly enlightened (and) who has assumed
the form of ashes, this great chaitya. the chief queen
Rudra Bhattarka the Maharaja’s daughter hailing from Ujayini erected this rock-pillar for the attainment for
herself, of wellbeing. happiness and liberation. And While the great chaitya of this great vihara was being raised, the respected Mahatalavari santisri of the family of the Pukiyas,
raised (i.e. gifted one and red and seventy 10 dinara, mashakas and (erected a pillar for the (well being happiness and liberation of) the Mahatalavari (ie. herself.) On
the 1Oth day of the 5th fortnight of the rainy season of the year 6 of the king Sri Virapu and Sri Virapurushadatta.
Number 4.
Ayaka pillar C2.
Footnote 1
1. From the facsimile in Ep-Ind XX Ayaka Pillar inscription C2.
2. Read; संम – संबुधस
3. Read; अगिहोतागिठोम
Footnote 2
1. cf पंदरस in 1.2 of Hathigumpha cave inscription of Kharavela for change of
पंच to पंद (Supra no 34, L2)
2. For cross cousin marriage, see Sircar Suc.sat, page 13.
English Translation of the inscription
Success Salutations to the Lord, honoured by the king of gods possessed of a highly enlightened knowledge one who has assumed the form of ashes. At the great Chaitya
the Mahadevi Bappisri, the wife of King Sri Virapaushadatta and the daughter of Harmyasri, the uterine sister of the
Ishvaku Maharaja Vasishthiputra sri Santamula, who in all
matter is unimpeded in his objectives, who is the donor of crores of gold pieces, lac of cows and lacs of ploughs and the Performer of Agnihotra, Agnishtoma, Vajapeya and
Asvamedha (sacrifices and is and under the protection of
Mahasena the lord of upakshas has established this stone-
pillar for the benefit of her mother Harmyasri and for bringing
about the achievement of nirvana by herself.
This new construction consisting of the great chaitya has been completed and the pillars have been set up by the reverend Ananda, who knows by
heart the dirga and the Madhyama nikayas and is the desciple
of the Acharyas of the arya-Sangna who reside in Parnagrama and
are the preachers and preceptors of the dirgna and the Madhyama (nikayas) ana of the five Matrikas (sacred texts)
on the 10th day of the 6th fortnight of the Rainy season of the
year 6 of King Sri Virapaushadatta.

1. See Ibid, page 25 .
2. मातुका matrices. i.e. the texts original,
basic or fundamental doctrines. The word here seems to refer to the five nikayas of the sutta-pltaka. Viz दीघ-निकाय, मज्झिम – निकाय, सन्युक्त – निकाय,
अड्गुत्तर – निकाय, खुद्दक निकाय.
3. = मदन्तेन Both भदन्त and भन्त
seem to have been
derived from भवत
For the agma of द cf. pali
for skt. स्वाघ्र Barua and sinha, Barhut

Inscriptions . pp.4 f., equate भदन्त with
For the agama of . cf. Pali सदत्थ
Others derive it from भद्रते
the blessings with
which the monks always responded to the greetings of the people.

Number 5
Ayaka Pillar inscription C4
From the facsimile in Ep-Ind XX – pillar inscription C4 facing page 19.
Sircar elsewhere equates Parinametuna with sanskrit, Parinamayya.
Vogel (Ep.Ind. XX Page-31) takes it as an absolutivism of Pali parinamati of Sanskrit parinamayati) =
In the expression
apano mataram Nagalinim purato katinam in Jaggayyapeta
inscription as the same part of speech.
But in either case words are obviously tumunnanta. Pari + nam, are
here used in the sense of to apportion or to destine.
English Translation of the inscription

Success Adoration to the lord, the truly enlightened one, Who is honoured by the king of goda (and who has assumed the form of Pure elements. The chief queen Shashthisri,
who is the daughter of Hummasri, the uterine sister of Maharaja Vasishthputra Ishvaku Sri Santamula favoured by Mahasena the lord of Virupaksha.. the offerer of agnihotra.
agnishtoma vajapeya and asvamedha sacrifices, the giver of
a crores of gold pieces. and hundred thousands of kine and hundred thousands of ploughs of land, unimpeded of purpose in all
his objectives.
and (no 13) who is the wife of Maharaja
Madhariputra Sri virapurushadatta for honouring of her
mother Hammasri, and for the sake of attainnent by herself of
the bliss of nirvana, has erected this pillar. The 10th day
of the 6th fortnight of tne rainy season, of the 6th (regnal)
Year of S Virapurushadatta.

Number 6
Ayaka Pillar inscription G 2
1. From the facsimile in Ep-Ind XXI page 62, The text of Ayaka Pillar inscription G 3, including even the data is identical and hence it is being omitted.
Text of this Inscription is same as given in Inscription number 183 except that khera ends with सब – जिन नियुकतो.
The translation is already available in the inscription number 183.

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.