Nagarjunikonda Stone Inscription

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

  • Nagarjunikonda Stone Inscription of Abhira Vasushena
    Inscription number 153.
    Year 30(= 278 A. D)

Provenance: Nagarjunikonda, Guntur district, A.P.
Script: Middle Brahmi of the southern class.
Admixture of Sanskrit and Prakrit.
References: D.C. Sircar, Ep.Ind.. XXXIV, pp.197 ff.1 Sel.Inss.,I, pp.525-26.
1. From the facismile in Ep.Ind XXXIV
2. On the left margin,
3. It shows that Narayana was already identified with Vishnu..
4. The year appears to be referrable to the era of 248 A.D. which is believed to be Abhira institution. It appears that Vasushena occupied the Ikshvaku capital and retained hold over it to for a number of years between the death of virapurushadatt., and accession of
5. Mahagrama, i.e. a group of villages, was like a pragana or a sub-tehsil.
1. Sanjayapuri may be identified with the modern Sanjan in Thane district of Maharashtra, where certain Yavana
or Greek Princes appear to have been ruling.
2. Ashta-bhuja-svamin (a fom of Vishnu) is known from a
conch-shell Inscription found at the same place as the Present record.
संबरभव is possibly उदुम्बरभव
In the Gurdaspur distict of the Punjab udumba tree, is even now called rumbal tree. Udumbara : Ficus Glomerata.
4. Sedagiri is apparently the Present Siddhaldhari hill bordering Nagarjunikonda valley. It is mentioned
in the Nasik cave Inscription of Vasishthiputra Pulumavi Regnal year 19. see infra, Number 105,.
1. Sanskrit उल्लेखक means the engraver
2. Blessings to cows, is sought especially,Because the king was an Abhira, ie a member of the cowherd clan.
English Translation of the inscription
L.1. Success ! Obeisance to Lord Narayana, the supreme God of gods, the Primaval Purusha.
L1.1-2, In the regnal year 30 of the Abhira King Vasushena,
the son of Vasishthi in the 3rd fortnight gf the rainy season, on the Ist day.
Ll.2-6 This (statue of the) Lord, the eight armed god vishnu made of the udumbar wood, which was not shifted
to its place even by the Greek kings of Sanjayapura, the Saka king Rudradaman of avanti, and by vishnurudra-Sivalananda Satakarni (king o Vanavasa) has been
installed on the Sreshtagiri by the Mahatalavara,
Mahadandanayaka Sivasepa of Kaushika gotra and of
the family of Perividehas who is the administrator of the cluster of villages. And the ramparts of the hills, have been adorned with Pictures, and the Mahananda water Pool has been cleaned and 2 tanks (one each) on
Sreshthagiri and Mudera were got dug. and) tala forests planted by him (Sivasepa) who does not care
for even his life (if needed) for the brahmanas and friends: and from temperament, he is host to all (lit..
to whom are all are guests) friend of all remembers the favours received, observes the vow of truthfulness, is the
crusher of the hosts of (his) enemies, is straightforward devoted to the love of planting banyan trees, is pious and
hailer of the saintly people.
11.6 The engraver of this (charter) Sembaka hailing from
Vardhamana ( vardhamanaka of sembaka family)
This) has been composed with the (mental) capability, granted by
the Lord,. by the minister, Tishyasarman of Bharadvaja gotra.

An inscription dated 30th regnal year of the rajn Abhira Vashishthiputra Vasusena was discovered at the ruined Ashtabhuja-svamin temple in Nagarjunakonda. It records the consecration of a wooden image of Ashtabhujasydmi by Mahdgrdmika Mahd talavara, Mahddandandyaka Sivasevana of Kausikagotra, Yonarajas of Sanjayapura, Rudradaman Saka of Avanti and Vishnu-Rudra-Sivalananda Satakarni of Vanavasi.

The Abhira dynasty was founded by Ishwarsena. The Abhiras were from the Yaduvanshi Kshatriya clan.
Abhiras were in power for 67 years according to most puranas and one hundred and 67 years according to Vayu purana.
Almost all the puranas took information from Brahmanda purana, which was written 2nd Century A.D. Puranas gave information upto Gupta period.
Abhira Vashishthiputra Vasusena was son of Mathari and Sivadatta.
At about 270 A.D Abhiras lost sovereign status due to the rise of Traikutakas in Western Deccan and Ikshavakus in Eastern Deccan.
After the death of Abhira Vashishthiputra Vasusena, the Abhiras probably lost their sovereign and paramount status. The Abhiras lost most of their domains to the rising Vakatakas (north) and the Kadambas (south-west).The Abhiras were finally supplanted by their feudatories, the Traikutakas. But still many petty Abhira chieftains and kings continued to rule until the fourth century, roughly till 370 AD, in the Vidarbha and Khandesh region.

Alok Mohan

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