Chandragupta Vikramaditya Inscriptions

Written by Alok Mohan on August 11, 2022. Posted in Uncategorized

Chandragupta 2, also known as Chandragupta Vikramaditya, was one among the great rulers of Gupta empire. He was the third ruler of the Gupta Empire, and was the most powerful emperor of his times.
Consequent to taking over reign, from his elder brother Rama Gupta, Chandragupta continued the expansionist policy of his father Samudragupta, through various military conquests. Chandergupta 2, was father of Kumaragupta Prabhavatigupta and Govindagupta. His Grandchildren were Skandagupta, Puru Gupta, Pravarasena and Damodarsena & his Grandparents were Chandragupta I and Kumaradevi.
Names of his Great grandchildren are Narasimhagupta, Kumaragupta II and Vainyagupta
and Ghatotkacha was his great grandfather.
Chandergupta 2, gave tough resistance to Hunas by strengthening military of Gupta empire. Huns, a central asian tribe, had invaded Gupta territory and caused significant damage to his empire.
However Gupta Empire ended in 550 CE, when it disintegrated into small kingdoms after a series of weak rulers after him and many invasions faced by them from the east, west, and north.
The Gupta Empire had flourished under Chandragupta 2, but began to falter under his son, Kumaragupta, and grandson, Skandagupta.

During his reign, art, architecture, and sculpture flourished, and the cultural development of ancient India reached its climax. According to tradition, Chandragupta II achieved power by assassinating a weak elder brother Ramagupta.

Mathura Pillar Inscription of Chandragupta 2- Regnal year 5.
Gupta Year 61 (= 380 A. D.).
Provenance: Chandul Mandul Bagichi
near Rangesvara, Mahadeva
temple at Mathura, U. P. (Now in Mathura Museum, Number. 1931).
Script: Middle Brahmi resembling Kushana script of 2nd century A D.
Language: Sanskrit.
References D.R. Bhandarkar, Ep.Ind.. XXI, pp1 ff. D. B. Diskalkar, I.HQ XVIII, pp.271-75 Sel.Inss., Pt.I. pp 277-78.

Footnote 1

This Inscription provides a valuable synchronisation of the
date of accession of Chandragupta 2, vikramaditya and the commencement of Gupta era, which according to Al-Beruni, began 241 years later than the Saka Kala (Sachau Alberuni’ India, II, pp.7). Accepting Al-Beruni, Smith
propounded that the Gupta ere started with effect from February 26, 320 A.D. on the coronation of Chandragupta 1.
and it’s first year ended on 13th March,
321 A D. ( E Hist. Ind., 4th ed.. pp.296) Some attempts have been made in recent times to prove some other date for the establishment of this era, e.g. 57 B.C. 200 A. D. and 272 A.D, but have not yet found favour with historians. Gupta
era continued in for several centuries in India and in widely separated regions.
A cursive script existed side by side with the one generally used in Inscriptions. It is also possible that the scribe hailed from the North-west, where Kushan style still prevailed.
We also have an Inscription of Kanishka’s 14th regnal year
from Mathura, written in the Eastern variety of Gupta script.
(see, Ep.Ind. XIX, pp.96 ff)
Footnote 2

1. From the facsimile in Ep.Ind. XXI, facing pp.8.
2. The deciphering of the year is due to D. C. Sircar. According to the synchronisation in the present record,
the date accession of Chandragupta 2, comes to the Gupta year 57. equivalent to C. 376-77 A D.
3. Read एकषष्टितमे
4. Bhandarkar restores आषाढ़ मासे प्रथमे ie in the first of the two intercalary months of Ashadha in the year 380 AD. According to Swamikannu Pillai
(Indian chronology pp.42 table X) there was an intercalary Ashada in the lunar year in 380 A.D. current.
Thus Gupta 61 must also be the current
Year (not the expired one).
5. Read पंचमे
Footnote 3
Bhandarkar identifies this Kusika with one of the four desciples of the great Salva saint Lakculinor Lakulisha, who was the last incarnation of Mahesvara
or siva and flourished about the beginning of the 2nd century A D. at Kayavarohana or Kayavatara, identifed with Karvan in the Dabhoi talluk in the Baroda district, Gujrat. The four disciples of Lokulisha, according to the vayu and the Linga Purana,
were Kusika Garga Mitra and Kaurushya,(Kusika, Gargya
Kaurushaya and Maitreya as recorded in the chitra Prasasti of the Chaulukya king Sarangadeva (see Ep.Ind. I, pp.271
The four were founders of four lines of the Pasupatas.
2. Bhandakar suggests this reading.Apparently the
representations showed as if Upamita and Kapila were standing each with a linga on his head.
3. Read तौ
English Translation of the inscription
Accomplished. In the year five. 5, of the victorious reign of the Bhattaraka Maharaja Rajadhiraja, the illustrious
Chandragupta, the noble son of the Bhattaraka Maharaja Rajadhiraja, the illustrious Samudragupta on the fifth of
the bright half of the First (Ashadha) of the year 61 of the current era (i.e. Gupta era) an this aforesaid (day (the
Lingas) Upamitesvara and Kapilesvara (bearing) the images of
teachers (in bas-relief)were installed in the Teachere’ Shrine.
by Arya Uditacharya, the tenth from Lord {Bhagavat) Kusika
fourth from Lord Parasan, a stainless disciple’s disciple of
Lord Kapila (and) a stainless disciple ot Lord Upamita, for
the glory (or commemoration) of the preceptor and for the
augmentation of the religious merit of self.
It is not written for my own fame. Here a request is made to the worshipper of
Mahesvera. and an address to the Acharyas of the time being
that considering it to be (their own) property. they should
in addition to worshipping preserve this property without
hesitation. This is the request. Whoever will đo harm to this memorial and whoever do harm to the writing above or below, shall be possessed of the five great sins and the five minor sins.
And may divine Danda, the staff of Siva (.e. the terrific Linga) the foremost leader always be victorious.
Rudra has different meanings. For example:
1 Siva
2 Terrific

Footnote 4
1. यथाकालेन = यथाकालं In proper time आचार्याणां = गुरुणां
2. Read परिग्रह इति = परिग्रहो भविष्यतिति
3. Read कुर्युरिति = माहेश्वरा कुर्युरिति
4. Bhandarkar suggests the correction;भगवान्दण्ड स
which will make the line a half stanza in Arya or Giti metre.

Inscription number 11

udayagiri Cave Inscription of Chandragupta 2
Gupta Year 82 (- 401 AD.)
Provenance Udayagiri Hill, near Vidisha, M.P.
Script: Number -1, Bon-headed, Late Brahmi.
Number 2 Northern Brahmi.
Language: Sanskrit.
References: Thomas and H.H. Wilson Princeps Essays, Vol. I,
pp.246 f, .n. 4 (1958) Cunningham, A.S.I. Vol. X, pp.50
Fleet. C.I.I., III. Number 3, pp. 25f(for Number 1 only) pp 34 ff.
(for Number 2)
Buhler Viena Oriental Journal, V,
pp226 ff. Bhandarkar’s List. Numbers 1260 and 1541. and references Sircar Sel.Inss. I, pp 279-80.
Footnote 1
1. रुद्र दंड का श्लिष्ट अर्थ भयंकर दंड भी ध्वनित होता है
2. From the facsimile in C.I.I, III, Pl ii, B, opposite pp 20.
3. Fleet reads a stop after म्
Footnote 2
राज was left and inserted later above the line over श्री
2. Stop is redundant अनुध्यात = meditating on. Implied sense is favoured.
3. Fleet suggests ढ़ as the second of the two lost letters.
Sircar suggests full name as सोढ़ल
4. From the facismile C.I.I. III, Pl IV, opp pp 36,
5. Engraved to the left of line 3 in the margin.
6. Sircar suggests the restoration
मुव्च्र्याम्भाति निरन्तरम दिवा विभावरी व्यापि
7. अवक्रय
8. मान
9 Sircer suggests the restoration of the half verse as
यस्य शासन सरक्ता धर्मझस्य वसुन्धरा
English Translation of the inscription
Number 1
Success !
In the year 80 +2 = 82, on the eleventh
luner day of the bright fortnight of the month of Ashadha.
This is the pious gift of the Sanakanika Maharaja –
dhala, the Grandson of the Maharaja chhagalaga and the son of Maharaja Vishnudasa, who meditates on the feet of the Paramabbattaraka Maharajadhiraja Sri Chandragupta 2.
Footnote 2
1. Hereditory minister were preferred in Hindu states, of Ramayana, II, 100.26 etc, We know from the Prayagraj
Prasasti of Samudragupta (Supra II, 5) that Harishena was his Virasena of the present inscription, may be his son and inherited his

and the portfolio of and
(peace and war)
3. This confirms Chandragupta’s conquest of the Sakas of Western India
The claim here of conquest of vast lands is in agreement with the statements in the Mehrauli pillar inscription (Supra II, 13) to the
effect that Chandra (i.e. Chandragupta I2) conquered vahilika (Bactria) in for North vanga (Eastern Bengal in the east and entire country of the southern sea)

Number 2

English Translation of the inscription
L1.1 shining like the sun, that wonderful inherent refulgence called chandragupta pervading day and night
shines forth continuously on the earth.
Ll.3 Purchased at the cost of valour
the earth whose Kings have been humbled into slavery, has got enamoured of the rule of that righteous king-
Ll 3-5 Virasenas, of Kautsa gotra, known by his family
name as Saba, who attained ministership by inheritance, of that saintly king-of-kings of inconceivably
brilliant deeds (and) who holds the portfolio of peace and war, who is a scholar of grammar, arthashastra
(Finance) logic and worldly affairs (or lokayata materialistic or Buddhist philosophy)- who is a
poet and a native of Pataliputra (and) who has accompanied the king to this place on his expedition to
conquer the whole world has got excavated this cave
because of his devotion to the Lord shambhu.

Inscription number 12.
Sanchi stone Inscription of Chandragupta 2.
– Gupta Year 93( = 412 A.D.)
Provenance: Sanchi, Raisen District, M.P.
Script: Late Brahmi of the Southern class.
Language: Sanskrit.
References J. Princep. J.A.S.B. VI, pp.451ff. Fleet. C.I.I, Number 5, 111)
pp. 29 ff., 7 Bhandarkar ‘s List
Number. 1262 (For other references) D.C. Sircar, Sel.Inss. Volume.I,
Footnote 1

1. From the facsimile in C.I.I., III, Pl. iii,B.
2. Above the beginning of line 1.
3. Apparently, the old name of Sanchi,
4. Originally व was engraved instead of प
5. Fleet: कृ — ताय Present reading is by D.C.
6. A member of the royal family or a nobleman. It also means the king’s court or court of justice, hence a member of that court. The locality called isvaravasaka was
purchased by Amrakarddava from the Rajakulas, Maharaja,
Sarabhanga and Amrarata and donated to a monastery.

Footnote 2

1. पन्च-मंडली = mod. पंचायत
i.e. a village Jury
usually of five members. Cf. पंचाली(presumably a mistake for
cf. A Nepalese inscription
(Bhagwanlal Indraji, Nepal Inss. , Number 10, 1-16 Ind.Ant.,
(IX pp.173) पंचालिक
pp.168 of Ind.Ant, IX, Seems to denote ‘a member of a Panchala or Panchayata.
2. Read पन्चविशतिञ्च
3. Fleet fills up the lacuna by प्रिय-नामामात्यो भवत्यस्य
and takes देवराज
for an officer of Chandragupta 2,.
But Pravarasena 2, vakataka refers to his maternal Grandfather – Chandragupta 2, as Devagupta (Infra, III, Number 3, L,11, IND III, L15)
Devagupta or Devaraja,
therefore, was an alias of Chandragupta 2 himself.
4. रत्न- गृह =the Stupa, the abode of the three jewels of Buddhism. namely ( the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Samgha.

Footnote 3

पण्चानन्तर्य = Five sins that bring Immediate
retribution. They are five of the six abhithanas
namely मातु -पातो (matricide)
पितु -घातो (parricide)
(killing of an Arhat) लोहितु प्यादो
(shedding the blood of a Buddha)
सड्घ – भेदो ( Causing split in the Sangha)
अञ्ञ् – सत्धुददेसो
(Following other teachers) – with the exception of the last or the last but ones
English Translation of the inscription

Success !
Amraakardava, the son of Undana- whose means of subsistence have thrived through the favour of the
feet of the Maharajadhiraja Sri Chandragupta 2, who
is publishing in the world the noble thoughts, behavior and intentions of the virtuous dependents (of the king)
who has acquired banners of victory and fame in many battles (and) who is an inhabitant of (the town of
Nashti — – – in Sukuli (after paying
Obeisance to the Committee of five persons, gives (the village of) isvaravasaka, purchased from the royal family of Maja, Sarabhanga and Amrarata,
and (also gives) twenty five dinaras– to the community of the noble (i.e. the Buddhist) Samgha, that
is the College of the most excellent Sramanas, whose sense organs have been purified by the virtue
of good conduct, meditation and wisdom who, having
come from all the four quarters (of the world) are living in the great monastery of Kakanadabota.
L-1.7.10 –
From the interest of the dinaras given by him- (ie by me) with half (of it) let five bikshus be fed and a lamp
the jewel-house (i. e. the stupa) be kept alight for as long as the moon and the sun last, tor the gain of all
virtues and wealth to the Maharajadhiraja
Chandragupta (2), who loves his (other name Devraja, who
-and from me, my share of the other
half. let the same number of five bhikshus be fed and
a lamp (kept alight) in the jewel-house.
L1.10-11 whosoever shall cut short this initiated arrangement, he shall be guilty of the slaughter of a cow or
of a Bramana. and with the five sins that entail immediate retribution.
L.11- The year 93, the 4th day of bhadrapada.

Inscription number 13
Mehrauli Iron Pillar Inscription of Chandra.
Provenance: 1 Mehrauli, near Delhi.
Script: Lati Brahmi of the Northern class of the 5th Century A.D.
Language: Sanskrit.
References: Bhau Daji, J.B.B.R.A.S, X, pp 63 ff. J.F. fleet, C.I.I. III, Number 32, pp 138 ff, Bhandarkar’ List No. 1243,
(for earlier references) Journal Andhra History Res Society, pp.86 ff,.D.C Sircar,
J.R.A.S.B. Letters, V, pp-407 ff, Sel.Inss. I, pp. 283-84.
Footnote 1
identification of Chandra of the record with Chandragupta 2 Vikramaditya is now generally accepted by Scholars.
The grounds are:
I) Making an allowance for the hard
surface on which the Inscription is engraved and the straight linear edge of the tool that was incapable of
giving curvature to the letters the script of this inscription approximates to that of the Prayagraj Prasasti
of Samudragupta (Supra Volume II, number 5) It is even closer to the Bilsad inscription of Kumaragupta (sea infra, II Number. 15 ) The Inscription
therefore, belongs to this epoch.
ii) The copper coins of
chandragupta 2, bear exactly this reduced form of his name
namely chandra.
iii) His conquests in distant lands, in
all directions. as recorded here tally with his digvijaya, referred to by Virasena Saba in the udayagiri Cave
Inscription (supra. l. le I) (iv) in the 4th-5th centuries, to which the present script can be assigned
Delhi region was well within the Gupta empire, and our choice has to be confined to one of the Gupta rulers
The erection of this pillar in honour of vishnu could be the work of same vaishnava king, like Parama- Bhagavata
Chandragupta 2. The claim of no otner Chandra can be supported on the internal evidence provided by this
Inscription. For other views, See R. D Banerji, Ep. Ind. XIV., pp 367.ff.
Footnote 2
1. From the facsimile in C.I.I. III, Pl.XXIA facing pp142,
2. सप्त मुखानि here obviously means ‘seven tributaries, which should be, besides the five Punjab rivers and the Swat and the Kabul वाहलिका are no doubt the people of Bactria

There is no reason to amend it to
and identify it with the Punjab, thereby rendering the claim of crossing of seven tributaries of the Indus
3. The verse makes it clear that the king was no longer alive,
when the Pasasti was engraved. The idea of his expiry is repeated several times in different forms to leave no room for doubt.
And still Bhandarkar’s belief that the
king was alive though no longer ruling when this eulogy was written, does not appear to correct. The.
last verse gives further information that the iron pillar was set up in the fag end of the king’s life, when he had
very long time already enjoyed undisputed sovereignty for a very long time (सूचिर चैकाधिराज्यं)
after having acquired the vast dominion with his own prowess. The implication is clear that he died soon after erecting the pillar and the eulogy
was drafted and engraved under his son and successor Kumaragupta 1.

Footnote 3
1. Fleet
It is believed that the pillar was shifted from its original site. vishnupada mountain, to its present site in Mehrauli. The exact location of vishnupada is uncertain. According
to the Mahabharata, III, 73, 8 ff. and 103 ff.. it was not far from Kurukshetra. inid. III, 138,8 and Ramayana, II,
68, 18-19, locates it somewhere along the river Beas. Alberuni, (Sachau Alb.Ind. 11, pp-142) on the authority of
Matsya Purana, refers to Lake Vishnupada in the Nishadha
range as the source of the Saraswati.
of the Matsya ( 121,66) or of the vaya (47.64) and the
Brahmanda (51,66) do not support his view.The lowly spur of the Aravali, on which, it now stands may itself be the
vishnupada giri, cf. Govardhana Parvata in Mathura, which
is lower. The present site of the flag-staff in front of the ancient ruined temple in its rightful place to stand on.

English Translation of the inscription

Ll.1-2: He, on whose arm, fame was inscribed by the sword, in battle in the Vanga country, while churning and
smashing back with (his breast the enemies, who had united and mounted a charge (against him) he, by whom the Valhikas were conquered after having crossing in warfare the seven mouths (Tributaries) of the river sindhu –
he by the breezes of whose prowess, the Southern Ocean is fragrant even today.
Ll.3-4 He. the remnant of the great heat of whose endeavour, which utterly destroyed (his enemies, like (the
remnant of the great glowing heat) of a burned out fire, a great forest. even now does not leave the earth
though he, the king. as if wearied, has quitted this earth, and has taken his abode in the other world, moving
in his bodily form to the land (of paradise) won by his (good) deeds, (but) remaining on (this earth by the
(memory of his) fame–
Ll.5-6 : By him, the king
-who attained sole sovereignty in
the world, acquired by his own arm and (enjoyed) for a very long time (and) who having the name, Chandra,
carried a beauty of countenance like (the beauty) of the full moon– having in faith fixed his mind upon vishnu, this lofty standard of the Lord vishnu was set up on the Vishaupada hill.

14. A Silver Coin of Chandragupta 2 – Gupta year 90+x (= 409 or 410+x)
References: J. Allan, B.M.C, Gupta Coins, pp 49ff, Number 133ff, A.S.Altiker, Coinage of the Gupta empire, 1957, pp 153ff, Pl XXI, 3.
Observation,: Bust of king to right-with traces of Greek letters on one Brahmi legend. वर्षे + 90+x
Garuda standing facing with outspread wings, border of dots above on right cluster of dots
Late Northern Brahmi legend महाराजधिराज श्री चन्द्र गुप्त विक्रमादित्य

Alok Mohan

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