ancient indian history

Mandeva, Lichchavi king’s Inscription

King Man-deva  was a Lichchavi king of nepal. This inscription dated 495-96 AD  gives valuable information about his rule as well as geographical boundaries of the influence of his empire.. He suppressed several feudal chiefs of the east and west, who raised their heads in rebellion and conquered Mallapuri.
He minted coinage which is called Mananka.
The Lichchhavis are said to have migrated into Nepal from north India. The first Lichchhavi king of historical importance was Manadeva I. A fairly wide kingdom stretching from the Gandaki to possibly the Kosi seems to have existed under him.
The Lichchhavi period is often synonymous with good governance (including dual governance system) and administration. There was peace, prosperity and stable political scenario during this period.
The Lichchhavi period is called
golden age of Hindu India’s history.

The society of Lichchhavi was based on caste system which seperated society according to family professions. They separated Brahmin, kshatriyas, Vaisya and Shudra as major castes.
People used to live in joint families. The women of his empire held dignified position in the society.

Changu-Narayana Pillar Inscription of
Man-deva.(Lichchhavi) year 386 (=495-96 A.D.)

Provenance: Changu- Narayana temple. neer Kathmandu. Nepal.
Script: Late Brahmi of the Northern Class of about the 4th-5th century A.D.
Language: Sanskrit.
Metre: vv. 1-17
References Bhagwanlal Indra and Buhler Ind.Ant, IX, 1880, pp-163 ff, Fleet Corp.Ins.Ind, III, Intro, pp-955, Levi Le Nepal, II, pp- 126, III, pp- 10-14, R Gnoli, Nepalese Inscriptions in Gupta Characters, I, Roma, 1956, pp 1 ff,
(No-1) D.C Sircar Sel.Inss. Vol I,
pp. 378-82.

1. चाड़न्गु is a nepali language word meaning “one with a beak” i.e Garuda. The temple contains an image of
Narayana or Vishnu, riding the Garuda.
2. Identification of the era is controversial. Bhagwanlal
Indra Ji assigned the Year to VIkrama era that commenced
in 58 B.C. and fixed the date of the record in 329 AD.
Sircar reject it on the ground that such an early use of Vikrama era in nepal is unlikely. Fleet.(Ind.Ant.
XVII pp.210 C.I.I, Intro. pp-95) identified the Year with the Gupta era commencing in 319 A D. and assigned
the record to 28th april, 705 AD. He based his conclusion on the mention, in Golmadhitol Inscription of the Year 316 or 318( Ind. Ant, XIV, pp.97) also
(IX, pp.168), of Mahasamanta Ansuvarman of the Thakuri dynasty,

as a contemporary of the Lichahhavi or Suryavansi King Sivadeva I. Hiren- Tsang mentioned Ansuvarman
as a recently dead ruler, thus he was a senior contemporary of Harshavardhana (606-47 A D.).
The epoch of the era, therefore in which year 316 of the Golmadhitol inscription is to be assigned as ascribed by Feet to 319 AD. Sircar rejects his theory on the ground that the script of the present record is
much earlier than the one used in 7th-8th century inscriptions as those of Ansuvarman. According to Sylvain Levi’s calculations the astronomical data in the Kisipidi inscription of the year 449 which had an intercalary Ashada agree only with Saka 482 current.
Therefore the Lichchhavi era of Nepal started in 482-449 AD =33 Saka, i.e
110 AD.
The astronomical data of the present Inscription. too according to him
leads to the same conclusion. Accepting the year 386, of the present record as the one in the Lichchhavi
reckoning, we can date. it in 386 + 110 = 495-96 AD.
But Sircar prefers to assign it to Saka or Kanishka era, which commenced in 178 AD, since he thinks that the records of Manadeva and his successors are dated in Saka era. Accordingly he assigns the present record to 464 AD.

Footnote 2

1. From the facsimile in Le Nepal III; and Gaoli, Nepali Inscriptions of Gupta Characters, I, Plates I, -III, L 1-16, 27,-42, 51-67. From transcript in Ind.Ant.
IX, Pls. pp -163 – 65, LI 1-17, 27-43, 51-70, the rest of the text from Sel.Inss, pp. 378-82.
2. The eighth of the fifteen muhurtas of a day is called
. According to an authority quoted in tha Sabdakalpadruma s.v, the merit from the gifts made on an ascendant Rohini in the अभिजित
Muhurta is imperishable
अपराहणे तु संप्राप्ते अभिजिद्रोहिणोदये
यदत्र दीयते जन्तोस्तदक्षय मुदाहत्तं
3. Indraji and Buhler
बाहु ( रूचिर: ) —– —स्म (र्तृ)
English Translation of the inscription.

L1.1-2. On the first day of the bright half of the month Jyeshtha of Samvat 386, while the moon stood in the
constellation Rohini, in the excellent muhurta called Abhijit.
L1.3-6, Victorious is Hari, whose resplendent beautiful, broad
and high chest is marked by Srivatsa, whose joy has highly increased by
the arms and the lotus like breasts of Lakshmi, Whose hand is perpetually engaged in rotating the revolving machine that is the three worlds who is eternal, who dwells on the Dolagiri (mountain) and who ie worshipped by the gods animishaih = Lit, those who do not wink).
L1.7-10. There was an incomparable king Vrishadeva; who reduced
strife with (hd) counsel, resolution policy, valour and wealth. Who rose being true to his words who grew in
power with his learned, very proud, steady. famous and obeident and properly controlled sons, as the sun
grows with his bright rays.
Ll.11-14: His son, comparable to a lion, as Sankaradeva, whose country was prosperous, who was unconquerable in
battle by his enemies who was a terror to his enemies, who had a truthful mind who having gained great fame
because of his learning valour, gifts, honours (conferred on deserving persons) and wealth protected the earth with the help of loyal servants.
L1,15-20s Even of him, (Sankradeva) who had excellent piety deeds and fame.
There was a pious and undertanding son of superior qualities, the king Sri
Dharmadeva, who a religious soul, strive to imbibe modesty. Having established himself with the
righteousness in his vast kingdom, inherited from his ancestors and having expanded it with prudence, with royal and saintly conduct and by pleasing the minds of people, the king, equipped with moon-like lustre
and a clean body and heart, having settled down over the earth shone forth with and the wealth of rich counsels.

L1, 21-22. His excellent wife, the illustrious Rajyavati,
born in a pure family was most dear to his very soul, because of high birth and virtues, as Lakshmi was
to Hari.
LL23-26 After illuminating this entire world with the rays of his f,ame-
when the king went to heaven
as if on a trip to a garden the Queen Rajyavati) who remained busy with th ritualistic activities.

concerning gods and fasts (lit modes of eating) before separation from him
(the king), then became very lustreless, afflicted with grief and dull.
L1, 27-30. The queen Rajyavati, though known as the queen of that king, was (in reality) his rajyalakshmi (sovereignty). and was bound to follow hin to become his consert in the
other world,
To her had been born the illustrious king Nanadeva of blameless conduct, who always exhilarated the
world with his lustre like the autumnal moon.
Ll.31-361 Having recovered, heaving a long sigh, she lovingly spoke to her son, with faltering accent and tear soaked
face. Alas my son, your father has departed for heaven. As thy father is dead now, what shall I do with my useless life. Reign thou dear son. I follow my husband on his road this very day. 0f what use are the fatters of hope,
that only serve to lengthen the sentence of suffering
(the consequences of my actions), and live without my husband, in an order where union is like an illusion
and a dream”
L1.37-40 When she stood firm with the words, “I will depart”, the distressed son pressed her feet reverentially with his head, and told her painfully, “what is the use of luxuries to me or of pleasures of life after separation from you. First I shall give up my life only thereafter
mayst thou go to heaven.
Ll.41-42 Thus she stood lika a snared bird, firmly bound by word bonds, that, mixed with tears, lay in (his) mouth.

Ll.43. Then together with her virtuous son on his regaining composure she (performed) the last rites or her husband.
Ll.44-46. (thereafter) with (the memory of her husband in her heart the faithful wife lived a regime of rituals, with
her heart absolutely purified with the restraint of good conduct liberality self control and fasts, distributing money to Brahmanas, for the increase of her
(husband’s) religious merit like varitable Arundhati.
Ll.47-50 The son, too possesses vigorous strength energy and
patience is forgiving and affectionate towards his subjects. is a door, never a braggart, talks with a smile
on his lips, alway the first to accost, is majestic but not proud, not that he does not resort to worldly wisdom,
is a friend of destitutes and orphans, loves his guests, and is the destroyer of tho arrogance of his enemies.
Ll,51-54. His positive manliness is manifest by his qualities
and skill in the application of weapons and counter weapons. He has resplendent beautiful arms, and has a
fair and charming complexion like burnished gold; has
stout shoulders; his eyes compete with the petals of a fully blown blue lotus (in short) with his figure like the
veritable cupid, the king is a festival of coquetry for women.

(Arundhati, the wife of saint Vasishtha, is considered to be the paragon of virtue and faithfulness to husband)

L1,55-58. My fathor adorned the earth with beautiful, high rising Sacrificial pillars, Here I stand initiated
in the rites of the battle-sacrifice befitting the Kshatriyas. Let me quickly depart on an expedition to
the east to annihilate my enemies, I shall instal (comfirm)
those princes who are obedient to me,
Ll,S9-62. Thus the king saluted and spoke to his mother, whose
sorrow had gone. Mother, I cannot pay the debt due to my father by pure austerities but I can do so by
employment of arms, which I duly acquired through serving his feet. (Now) I shall go.
L1,63-66s Then, on his mothar permitting him with pleasure,
the king set out along eastern road, Having reduced to obedience, those roguish feudal chiefs of the east with
their diadems fallen from their heads, bent in prostration,
the king like a fearless lion with thick and bristling mane, marched from there to the westorn lands.
Ll.67-70. And hearing there the evil doings of a chieftain,
shaking his head and slowly touching his arm that (in strength) resembled his elephants trunk, he proudly
spoke thus. “If he does not come at my command, then he shall be brought under my control by my valour.
What is the use of uttering many useless sentences, let me
state briefly.
Ll.71-74. “Dear uncle, you cross today with your army, the River Gandaki, which rivals the ocean with massive and uneven disturbance, and whose water is restless, with terrible whirlpools and waves. I will follow your army accross the river, along with hundreds of fully acoutred excellent horses and elephants.”
Ll.74-76 With this resolution, the king then having fulfilled his vow by conquering Mallapuri, returned to his own country by slow marches. And pleased in mind he gave
inexhaustible wealth to the Brahmanas.
Ll.77-78. And the queen (mother) Rajyavati, was also firmly advised by the virtuous son, “you also, mother,
with a happy heart bestow gifts with devotion”

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