Musanagar Brick Inscription

Written by Alok Mohan on April 28, 2023. Posted in Uncategorized

Inscription number 10.

Musanagar Brick Inscription of Devamitra.
Provenance : Musanagar, Kanpur district, Uttar Pradesh, now in Bharat Kala Bhawan Museum, Banaras Hindu University.
Footnote 1.
A king named Devamitra is known from a solitary coin preserved in the Indian Museum, Calcutta (Indian Museum Cat., I, Pl. XIX, 18) He flourished among the rulers of Ayodhya, who issued the Bull and Goose (or Cock) type of coins, palaeographically assignable to the end of the second century A. D. But the palaeography of our brick inscription is at least a couple of centuries earlier.
Of the 30 inscribed coins, out of 394 found by Cunningham at Kausambi (See A.S.I, X. p.4), sixteen bore the name of Bahasatimitra, two of Devamitra, one of Asvaghosha and three of Jyeshthamitra. Unfortunately Cunningham neither described nor illustrated any of Devamitra’s coins. And these coins are no longer
traceable among the collection, which was acquired by the British Museum. The kings known from Cunningham’s coins flourished from 150 B.C. to 50 B.C. The palaeography of the present record places our Devamitra also about the same period. Even rulers of small empires are known to have performed the asvamedha sacrifice, in ancient India, e.g. Ikshvaku Santamula I, Salankayana Devavarman and Kadamba Krishnavarman I, all of south India, and the obscure ruler Silavarman, whose Asvamedha bricks were discovered three kilometers from Kalsi, the site of Asokan rock inscriptions, in Dehradun district, U. P. and seems to have flourished in the second half of the 3rd century A. D. A number of names ending in mitra, and generally referred to as Panohala Mitres, seem to have some affinity with the Sungas, whom they succeeded in the westem Uttar Pradesh.
Script: Brahmi of about the beginning of the Christian era.
Language : Prakrit influenced by Sanskrit.
References: A.S. Altekar, Ep.Ind. XXX, pp.118-20.
Text: (वेजी) के? अश्ववाताबनि-पुतस देवमितस अश्वमेधे
संस्कृत छाया: वैजविके अश्ववाताबनी-पुत्रस्य देव मित्रस्य अश्वमेधे ।
English Translation: (The brick was consecrated) on the occasion of the
victorious horse sacrifice of Devamitra, the son of Asvavatayani.
हिन्दी अनुवाद
अश्ववाताबनि–पुत्र देव मित्र के विजयशील अश्वमेध में (इस इष्टका का चयन हुआ)
Footnote 2.
From the facsimile in Ep.Ind. XXX, facing p. 120.
2. Altekar. (च or चा) बेके He takes it as a four syllable name of the place where the asvamedha was performed. But the initial mark, which he believes to be an illegible letter, is exactly similar to the svastika-like cross at the end. वेज़िके is evidently an adjective of अश्वमेधे .
3. Altekar: अश्वमेर्ध (ध)
The editor. D.C. Sircar, has noted that the final syllable is – धे or धं –
The latter reads the name of the sacrificer as Devimitra, i.e Davimitra.


Alok Mohan

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