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Mallasarul Copper Plate Inscription of Vijayasena

Inscription number 73.
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Mallasarul Copper Plate Inscription of Vijayasena, of the time of Gopa-chandra. – Regnal Year 33.
Several copperplates that have been found in Bengal, helps in rebuilding the history of ancient Bengal.

Provenance: Mallasarul, Burdwan District, West Bengal.
Script: Late Brahmi of the Northern class of the middle of the 6th century A.D.
Language: Sanskrit.
( Eastern variety of the Gupta alphabet according to Majumdar.
Footnote 1.

  1. From the facsimile in Ep.Ind. XXII between pp,160 and 161.
  2. He has been identified with the Maharaja Mahasamanta Vijayasena, who hold several important offices, under the Gupta king Vainyagupta (see Gunai ghar grant of Vainyagupta of the year 188 = 507 A.D. Supra, II, 46
    11, 15-16 ) Thus his overlord, Gopachandra, mentioned
    here has to be placed shortly after Vainyagupta.
    The seal also bears a two-armed god, standing, with chakra in the background. He has been variously
    identified with the Buddhist deity Lokanatha and the Vaishnavite chakrapurusha. According to Sircar, the
    conception of chakrapurusha seems to indicate an identification of vishnu’s Sudarshana chakra and the Buddhist dharmachakra.
    Footnote 2.
  3. Usually Identified with Trilokanatha or Vishnu, But taking his cue from
    Majumdar, Sircar identified him
    with the Bodhisattva Trilokanatha, and thinks that Lokanatha Dharma and samgah, refer to the Buddhist
    Trinity — the Buddha, Dharma and samgha.
    B.ch. chhabra has correctly pointed out the inconsistency in accepting
    the seal and the invocation as Buddhistic, while the nature
    of the whole record is Brahmanical. Lokanatha, (the restoration can as well be Trilokanatha) is included in
    the thousand names of Vishnu. cf. Visnusahasranama, 93: लोकबन्धुर्लोकनाथो माधवो भकत वत्सल:
    ( See also Mahabharata
    Anusasana parvan, part.II,) Dharma is another name of Vishnu.
    cf. Vishnusahasra. 58 0r it is used in its normal sense of l.aw
    So also santah is in the sense of ‘good people’ Chakra-purusha on the seal is alo vishnu.
  4. Restoration is due to Majumdar.
  5. The province around modern city of Burdwan.
    Footnote 3.
  6. According to Sircar वतर्तमानोपस्थित = Those who are serving at the present time on the spot.
    Che pepea
    2.i.) कातर्ताकृतिक = Officer incharge of i.e. executed and unexcuted business of state.
    These officers kept the king informed of whether the work assigned to various officers was completed
    or not, and if not completed, the season why.
    Cf. see Matsya Purana, CCXV, 17:
    ii.) कुमारामात्य = An executive officer of the same
    status as the Kumara or prince.
    iii.) चौरोद्वरणिक = Officer incharge of eradicating thieves.
    Sometimes
    iv) उपरिक = A viceroy; a superior Officer.
    Sometimes combined with महाराज as उपरिक – महाराज.
    v) औद़डिन्गक = A collector of the tax called उद़ड्न्ग.
    i.e. the principal Or fixed tax.
    vi) आर्गहारिक = Officer looking after the agraharas or villages gifted to brahmanas or to gods.
    vii) और्णस्थानिक = 0fficer superintending the उर्णस्थान or wool markets.

Footnote 4.

viii) भोगपतिक Presumably = भोगपाल or
भोगीन् The last term according to comentary on the Gathasapta+sati (VI56). means a grama-bhokta adhikari i.e
an Officer enjoying the fief of a village. He may have performed duties similar to those performed by the present day numberdar in Punjab. or he may be
equivalent to a Bhakti-pati, i.e lord of a Bhukti.

ix) विषयपति = Administrator of a district,
x) तदायुक्तक i e an आयुक्तक or appointee of the last, namely the vishayapati. His duties may have been magisterial or administrative.
xi) हिरण्य सामुदायिक = Collector of taxes payable in cash, probably in lieu of the king’s grain share
xii).पत्तलक = possibly a ruler of a territorial division called पत्तला according to D.C. Sircar.
xiii.) आवसधिक = One who keeps the avasathya or domestic fire burning or possibly a superintendent of the avasathas or residential colleges.
xiii.) देवद्रोणी = Temple Property cf. Veraval Inscription. 1.12 (Ep.Ind. XXIV, pp-144).
देवद्रोणी सम्बद्ध should be an officer incharge of temple property; or perhaps, the superintendent of the procession
of temple idols.

  1. आग्रहारीण = अग्रहारिन् = possibly owner or part owner of the agrahara.

Footnote 5.

  1. Gohagtam on the Damodar to the south-east of Mallasarul.
    = Mallasarul also called Sarul.
    = Bakta, to the east of Gohagram.
    = Khandiuli, between Gohagram and
    Mallasarul, The word jotika is the etymon of jor (from Jota) meaning “a small stream” in East Indian dialects.
  2. खाडिग = खडिगन् = a swordsman.
  3. वाह = carriers or burden such as porters, draft animals and carts etc. Hence वाह नायक should be the designation of a ‘captain of transport’ Sircar, however, takes it in the sense of a superintendent of the plough.
  4. हलन्त न् = is indicated by a horizontal stroke under it.
  5. प्रवृत्ति = वृस्त्ति = Livelihood, maintenance.
    Footnote 6.
  6. पण्चमहायझ = बलि, चरु, वैश्वदेव, अग्निहोत्र and आतिथेय
    According to Manu, 3.70-71, they are: अध्यापन or ब्रहमयझ, पितृयझ, पितृतर्पण, होम देवयझ, बलि or भूतयझ and अतिथीपूजन or नृयझ.
  7. वारकृत = duty offlcer, i.e. person appointed for a particular duty on his turn. Possibly it is related to the word
    कुलवार = arbitrator. The latter term also
    occurs in the Faridpur plate of Gopachandra (supra,III, 72.L18)
    and Gugrahati Plate of samacharadeva (infra, III, 74 .L15)
  8. Better दत्तान्.
  9. Cf. वीध्यां संविभज्य with विषये विभज्य.
    in Faridpur grant of Dharmaditya of the year 3. (supra, III, 69, LL(,8-9)

Footnote 7.

  1. दानं = देयं = dues.
  2. वीथी – समुदये = in the revenue account of the vithi.
  3. प्राणाय्यं from प्र +आ + नी = commodities presentable by way of the state share. वोढ़वयं = to be borne or carried अव चूण्र्य = उपविञ्छय.
  4. cf. the use of genitive case ( षष्ठी विभक्ति ) here with the Kailan plate of Sridharanarata in I.H.Q.
    XXIII, pp. 221-41.
  5. Restoration by Majumdar.
  6. Note the peculiar procedure adopted in issuing this grant. Maharaja Vijayasena, in order to purchase land
    from them and settle it on the brahmanas, conveys his
    desire to the Administrative Board and various other dignitaries of the vithi, who jointly issue the charter.
  7. Modern Ambahula to the south of Mallasarul.

Footnote 8.

  1. Another ksha was engraved and then erased before kshe.
  2. Of the two म is engraved by mistake, the first was erased.
  3. Better आस्कोदयन्ति = jump from स्कुद caus, form.
    Footnote 9.
  4. According to the general rules of prosody, the 6th and 7th syllables of the first and third quarter, should have been long and the seventh syllables of the
    second and fourth quartar short. But license is taken, especially with respect to the first and third quarter,
    even in standard epics, like the Raghuvamsa.
  5. Before दू and क: superfluous दू and क
    were first engraved and then erased.
  6. Cf. a verse quoted in the Mitakshara on Yajna valkya, Acharadhyaya, v. 320:
    सन्धि विग्रह कारी तु भवेद यस्तस्य लेखक: !
    स्वयं राझा समादिष्ट: स लिखेद राजशासनम् !!
    English Translation of the inscription.

Seal (seal of Maharaja Vijayasena.
Om Hail !
V.1. Victory to the glorious Lakanatha who causes fruition to the good deeds of man beings who in the form of truthfulness and penance, is Dharma itself, the means of attaining the two worlds.
V.2. Next to him, victory for ever to the saints (lit. good People,) who have conquered deceipt and greed, who
desire the well-being of others, who are free from jealousy (and) who desire to win the next World with good deeds.
L1.2-8. while Maharajadhiraja Sri Gopachandra, famous for
prowess, good conduct and bravery, is ruling over the earth, like Prithu, after offering due respect to the assembled serving respectable dignitaries; in the
Varddhamana province (bhukti situated in the sacred

northern country uttara janapada, ( flourishing under hid rule as a result of the performance of pious deeds (or religious rites) respectable dignitaries,
such as The Kartakritika, kumaramatya, Chauroddharanika, uparika, Audrangika Agraharika, Aurnasthanika, Bhogapatika, Vishayapati, his Ayuktaka, Hiranya-samadayika Pattalaka,
Avasathika and the 0fficer Incharge of temple property and others: the Mahattara Himadatta belonging to the
Arddhakaraka agrahara, Mahattara suvarnayasas belong to Nirvritavataka, Mahattara Dhanasvamin belonging to
the Kapisthavataka agrahara, the Mahattaras, shashthi-datta and Sridatta, of the Vatavallaka agrahara, agrahara Bhatta Vamanasvamin of the
Kondavira agrahara, Mahi datta and Rajyadatta, both belonging to godhagrama agrahara, Jivasvamin of
salmalivataka, swordsman Hari of Vakkattaka, Swordsman
Goika of Madhuvataka, Swordsman Bhadranandin of
Khandajotika, superintendent of transport Hari of Vindhyapura etc. All connected with the Vakkattaka
vithi and the board of administration of the Vithi declares:-
1.8-11. His Excellency Maharaja Vijayasena, has petitioned to
us, I wish to donate, for the increase of religious merit of my mother, father and my self, eight kulyavapas
(of land) in the village of Vetragarta attached to this vithi, after purchasing it from you according to law,
to vatsasvamin of Kaundinya gotra and a scholar of the Rigveda, to be enjoyed by his sons, grand sons and further
progeny in continuity lasting till the next kalpa, for the purpose of performing the five great sacrifices.
Whereas we have arrived at the decision on his petition that this (indeed) is the custom, in respect of
the works of religious merit, being performed by the righteous people desiring to win both the worlds, and there will accrue (consequential) piling
up of one-sixth share of religious merit for His Majesty and, the gain of fame and good fortune for ourselves also on account of nursing the same.
And it is said:
L1.11-12. “He who approves even mentally a righteous deed, flourishes according to his desire, like the moon in
a bright for tonight.
L1-12-18. Thorefore, let his desire be fulfilled.
“Accordingly our duty Officers. after receiving the dinaras paid by him, after dividing out (the money) in the vithi (to those whose land was purchased), (and) with the proviso that from the eight kulyavapas, the presents by way of appropriate dues are to be carried
into the revenue accounts of that vithi.
Kulyavapas were this Vetragarta village, were given after marking them off (avachurnya) to Maharaja
Vijayasena and (the same donated by this king through (the present) copper charter to this Rigvedic scholar Vatsavamin of Kaundinya gotra. Further, the boundaries of these (eight kulyavapas) in the four directions are:- On the eastern direction, the
boundary of Godhagrama, on the southern also Godhagrama,
on the northern, the boundary of Vatavallaka agrahara,
on the western direction half the boundary of Amaragarttika. And pillars th lotus seed rosaries, engraved on them, will be sunk on (all) the four
directions (to mark the boundary.) Thus the boundary marks of these (kulyavapas) having been made, nobody, whether born in this (ie. our) dynasty or some one else
should make even a small obstructdon or interference to this Brahmana, while enjoying the same) for the
performance of the five mahayajnas. And having thus been
determined, he who does deserves to be executed, and also he should be joined to the five great sins and the minor sins and further.
L1.18-19: V.4: May not this oblations and food gifts (pinda) reach the gods and the manes (respectively) He shall
fall supportless as a headless goblin.

L1.19-24: There are verses spoken by the rishis, expressing merits and sins in giving, confiscation and nursing
of Land.
Here follow six of the traditional verses, three of which have been translated in the foreegoing pages. The translation of the remaining two, is as under)-
V.6 The manes jump. The grand parents dance and leap with Joy) saying, A Land-donor is born in our
family. He will emancipate us.
V.7: Whatever sin a man, beset with greed, commits,, is wiped off by donating land even so small as a cow
hide.
V.10. Knowing the human health to be very like the lightening and the waves, it is not proper for the good people to
destroy the institutions, settled practices, of Dharma.
L1.24-25: Kulyavapas 8. Dutaka is subhadatta. Written by
Bhogachandra, the Minister for Peace and war. Heated and sealed by the Record-keeper Jayadasa. In the year
33 on the 24th day of sravana.

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