ancient

Bardula Plates

Inscription number 61.
Bardula Plates of Maha-Sivagupta- (Regnal) year 9.
Maha-Shivagupta was a very powerful king of Panduvamsi dynasty and took special interest in growth of religious and cultural activities of his kingdom.
He was son of Maharaja Harshagupta and the queen Vasata. Consequent to the death of Harshagupta during 595 CE, He succeeded the empire. He had one son namely Shivanandi.
He was a liberal king and helped promoting religious beliefs, by building Buddhist monasteries, Jain & hindu temples, in his kingdom. He himself, was a Shaivite, and his seal featured Shiva’s bull Nandi.
His younger brother, namely, Ranakesarin, helped him growing his empire through several military conquests.

Provenance: Bardula, Sarangarh district, Madhya Pradesh.
Script: Box-headed variety of central Indian Brahmi.
Language: Sanskrit,
References: P.B. Desai, Ep.Ind., XXII, pp. 287-91.
Footnote-1.
1. He is identical with the Pandu-vamsi king Maha-Sivagupta Balarjuna known from the Sirpur stone inscription (Ep.Ind., XXIII, pp.115,) and Lodhia plates, (Ibid., XXVIII, pp, 319-25, Infra III, 62,) which latter were issued in his 57th regnal year. During his long reign,
he is known to have issued at least three copper charters and half a dozen stone Inscriptions. The Pandu-vamsis ruled over South Kosala, it is surmised,
during the 6th and 7th centuries A.D. Since their inscriptions do not refer to any known era, it is not possible to pin-point the exact period of their rule.
V.V. Mirashi (a Note on the Date of the somavamsi Kings, Ep.Ind., XXVI, pp. 227ff) has placed Maha-sivagupta
in the first half of the 7th century A.D. His reign may have commenced late in the 6th century A D. The characters closely resemble those of the Rajim
(C.I.I., III, Pl.XLV) and Baloda plates (Ep.Ind. VII, between pp.104-105) of Tivaradeva and Mailar and Lodhia plates (ibid. XXVII, between pp. 324-25;infra, III,62) issued by Maha-Siva-Gupta himself.
First plate.
Footnote 2.
1. From the facsimile in Ep.Ind. XXVII, between pp.290 and 291.
2. Expressed by the usual spiral symbol.
3. The reading in Lodhia plates of sivagupta, (infra III, 62)
gunavatsamasrayah, in which case the phrase, meaning “A shelter to the talented,” becomes an independent
adjective of Maha-Sivagupta-Rajah.
It is clear from the text of the seal that the proper name is only Sivagapta. Maha is added only as an honor.
4. The mark of punctuation is superfluous.
5. Vatapadraka is identified with the small village of Batapadaka, about 7 km. from Bardula the provenance of the present plates. Kosira Nandapura Vishaya appears to be identical with Nandapura bhoga mentioned in the
Pipardula plates of the Sarabhapur ruler, Maharaja Narendra (I.H.Q,. XIX, pp.144, supra, III 46).
Nandapura is distinguished from some other Nandapura by the adjective Kosira, i.e, scrubby (from Kusara). It
ay be identified with the two adjoining villages, named Nandapura, Big and small, in Bilaspur district, near
Sakti, on Bengal-Nagpur railway. A coin of the Sarabhapuriya king Prasannamatra was discovered here
(I.H.Q, XIX, pp.144-45).
2. Chhatranata sounds like some Dravidian names, denoting
such as Punnata and Karnata, It has not been identified. Most probably. the phrase was meant to indicate that all the donees were settled within
chhatranata. There fore, the reading may be emended to
of chhatranata-sima- nivishte bhyas ie lodged within the limits of chhatranata
(chhatranata-simani)

Footnote 3.

1 The mark of punctuation here serves the same purpose as comma does in English.
2. Desai treats अविग्रहचरित as an adjective of Brahmana, and explains the phrase as, “a Brahmana of unimpeachable character who, he thinks, is to be
nominated later. It is odd to donate land, without specifying the donee.
Hence I believe अविग्रहचरित
to be the name of the donee, and meaning of this name is ‘a person of peaceful character since विग्रह = war
3. Third plate च is engraved below the line.
English Translation of the inscription.

Om ! Hail ! Born in the Luner dynasty, and a devout worshipper of siva and blessed by his parents, the illustrious
king Maha Sivagupta, who is the son of the illustrious king Harshadeva, as Karttikeya was of Siva, who is expected
to rise very high by the strength of his superior valour and intelligence and the talented persons in his service, who
has attained all the qualities associated with the love of victory, by means of the wealth of praiseworthy decipline
acquired through the specialised study of all the royal (i.e administrative)
sciences; being in good health and after offering his respects to the Brahmanas in the village of
Vatapadraka bel.onging to Kosira-Nandapura district, commands
the residents together with the headmen (the grama-pradhanas) .
and the officers headed by the Tax Collectors (Samahartri) and
Inspectors (Sannidhatri) as and when posted (in the area) and all the other Officials serving us including the
executive officials (karanas):- Be it
Known to you that on the twelfth day of the bright fortnight of the month of Karttika we have granted with libation of water through (this) copper-charter,
this village, together with major and minor deposits, together with ten offences, together with all the taxes free from all manner of impositions (pida), with the entry of district begar officers and soldiers banned, and to be enjoyed for the duration of the moon and the sun. So the increase of religious merit of my mother, father and myself, to the twelve
Brahmanas, camping at chhatranata namely Narayanopadhyaya who
is a student of the samaveda and lives within the limits of chhatranata,
Trailokyahamsopadhyaya, Vidyadhara-hamsopadhyaya, Paramahansopadhyaya, Nakshatrarupa, Salonavidyadhara, Vidagdhasura, Prithivirupa, Durgakalasa Podavaraha, Talarupa and Madhyahnarupa, and thirteenth share, to Avigrahacharita,
who is to enjoy a half share. Therefore, offering them, obediently an appropriate revenue (bhoga) and share (in Produce) and the like, you should live on happily. It is being stated for the attention of the future kings:-
Here two verses pointing out the good and evil consequences of nursing and confiscating donated land are recorded.
In this context verses sung by Vyasa are quoted.
(Here four of the customary verses are quoted).
The year 9 of the increasingly victorious reign, the 12th
day of the bright Fortnight of (the month of) Karttika.
Seal.
This charter of the virtuous king sivagupta, the son of Sri Harshagupta, stands (i.e. is valid so long, as the world lasts)

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