ancient indian history

Samudragupta inscriptions

Samudragupta was the second emperor of the Gupta Empire of ancient India, and is regarded among the greatest rulers of the dynasty.
He was the grand son of Ghatotkacha and As a son of the Gupta emperor Chandragupta I and the Licchavi princess Kumaradevi, he greatly expanded his dynasty’s political and military power.
Samudragupta was the most important ruler of the Gupta Dynasty as he, expanded the boundaries of his empire & covered the several kingdoms and republics within his dominon that existed outside its pale within his dominion.
It is famous that Samudragupta had fought a hundred battles, acquired a hundred wounds that looked like marks of glory, and earned the title “Prakrami”

He was a great warrior. Samudragupta, son of Chandragupta, was perhaps the greatest king of Gupta dynasty. Most detailed account of his accomplishments are available in the rock pillar of Allahabad, composed by Harisena, the court poet of Samudragupta.
Consequent to assuming power as king, of Gupta empire,
Samudragupta did not take rest until he had conquered almost the whole of India. His vast military campaigns had no parallel in the military history of India. He attacked the neighbouring Shichchhatra and Padmavati kingdoms. He conquered whole of the West Bengal. Some Kingdoms like Nepal and Assam accepted his dominance. He absorbed many Tribal states like the Malvas, the Yaudheyas, the Arjunayanas, the Abhiras and the Maduras, in his rmpire. The later Kushanas and the Sakas paid him tribute. He defeated Pithapuram’s Mahendragiri, Kanchi’s Vishnugupta, Mantaraja of Kurala, Mahendra of Khosla and many more till he reached the river Krishna.
Samudragupta extended his Kingdom in the west over Khandesh and Palaghat. However he preferred to maintain friendly terms with Vatakata in Central India. He performed Aashvamadha Yajya, after winning each and every big battle.

Samudragupta’s territories extended from the Himalayas in the north to the river Narbada in the south and from the Brahamaputra River in the east to the Yamuna River in the west. His greatest achievement can be described as the political unification of most of the India or Aryavarta into a formidable power. He assumed the title of Maharajadhiraja. Samudragupta is also known as father of Gupta economic system.
He started minting seven different types of coins. They are known as the Standard Type, the Archer Type, the Battle Axe Type, the Aashvamedha Type, the Tiger Slayer Type, the King and Queen Type and the Lyrist Type. They exhibit a fine quality of technical and sculptural finess.
This great warrior had a benevolent heart. He showed great nobility towards all those kings who were defeated. He gave various tribal states autonomy under his protection.
His court was full of Poets and Scholars. He had a keen interest in music and was probably an accomplished Lyrist (a kind of Musical Instrument).
Samudragupta was succeeded by his son Chandragupta 2, also known as Vikramadiyta.

The Meherauli Iron Pillar Inscription refers to the achievements of Chandragupta while The most important source for the reign of Samudragupta is the Prayagraj Pillar inscription. This inscription is engraved on an Asokan pillar. It is written in classical Sanskrit, using the Nagari script. It consists of 33 lines composed by Harisena.
Inscription no 4
Kacha Type of Samudragupta
King standing to left, nimbate wearing close.fitting cap coat and trousers ear-rings and
necklace holding standard surmounted by a wheel in left hand and sprinkling insense on alter with right hand Brahmi (Late Northern) legend beneath 1. arm and underneath it
circular legend on the margin.
Inscription Number 5.
Prayagraj Pillar inscription of Samudragupta (C. 335-76 AD)
Provenance: The Prayagraj Fort U.P.
Script: Late Brahmi of northern class.
Language: Sanskrit.

English Translation of Samudragupta inscriptions Number 4 & 5
Ll.29-30 This pillar has been raised as if it were the arm of the earth proclaiming that the fame that had pervaded the entire surface of the earth because of
(his) rise caused by the conquest of the whole world. is enjoying the charming and pleasant preambalations after
having reached the abode of ( Indra), the lord of the gods of the Maharajadhiraja shri Samadragupta,-
Ll.1-2 who- — by his own kinsmen..
whose pure in nature from birth
Ll.3-4 burst of laughter
Fled when he strung his bow
Ll.5-6 whose mind was befitting at peace in consequence
of (his) wisdom who was supporter of the real truth of the scriptures
firmly fixed by
(This sub script occurs at the right bottam of the whole text. Just under the spot where a large chip of
stone has broken off. It seems to have escaped the notice of Fleet. Sircar and other scholars. (his) command who having destroyed the antagonism between good Poetry and wealth by his order and
qualities enhanced by wise men enjoys in the world of the learned, the kingdom of fame (arisen from) many
lucid poems
Ll.7-8 Come Come with these words who was embraced by his father with thrilled hair that indicated his
Intentions while the courtiers held their breath
(Lit. heaved a deep breath) and (In anticipation of the great event) and others of equal birth watched with
discolored faces and after surveying him with a Penetrating eye, heavy with tears and soft with love was commanded thus Protect thou the whole world.
L.9-10 On seeing whose numerous super – human deeds many people
withe outbursts of rapture at the
(stood) enjoying with deep
appreciation (while) many (others burnt by his prowess, sought his Protection after perfoming obeisance
in whose conduct towards those suffering from pain.
LL.11-12: By whom the great offenders were always conquered by
His arms in battle,
–tomorrow and
tomorrow – -Pride—— repentance
Lifted with contentment and expanding with much clearly displayed pleasure and affection—the Spring.
Ll. 13-14 Who single handed uprooted in whiff the kings,.
Achyuta Nagasena (Ganapati and others in battle)
with the impetuosity of his arm’s prowess billowing to great heights. Who got the scion of Kota family
Captured by his armies, while himself remaining at play in Pataliputra.
Ll. 15-16 Building ramparts of righteousness fame together
with offshoots as bright as the rays of the moon, learning capable of penetrating the essence of things
tranquillity as sharp as an axe excessively charming personal dignity the path of the sacred
hymns worthy to be studied and also poetry capable of expelling (i.e. surpassing) the wealth of genius
of poets which one of his (attainments enumerated
above) is not worthy of thoughtful attention by those who understand merit and wisdom
L1.17-18 who was skilful in engaging in a hundred battles of various kinds whose only ally was the
strength and prowess of his own arm who was a symbol of prowess, whose body had grown more charming with the increase of beauty of a hundred
scars of overlapping wounds caused by the blows of battle-axes, arrows spears, pikes, barbed darts
Swords, lances, Javelins, iron arrows vaitastikas and other weapons.

Ll,19-20 Who possessed a great good fortune arising out of the
mingling of glory, Produced by the favour shown in capturing and then liberating Mahendra of Kosala,
Vyagraja of Mahakantara, Maharaja of Kaurala,
Mahendragiri of Pishtapura, Svamidatta of Kottura, Damana of Erandapalla, vishnugopa of kanchi, Nilaraja
of Avamuktaka, Hastivarman of Vengi Ugrasena of Palakka, Kubera of Devarashtra, Dhananjaya of Kasthalapura and all the other kings of the Southern region
Who abounded in majesty that had been increased by violently exterminating Rudradeva, Matila, Nagadatta,
Chandravarman, Ganapatinaga, Nagasena, Achyuta, Nandin ,
Balavarman and many other kings of the land of Aryavarta; who made all the kings of the forest countries to become (his) servants;
Ll.22-23 whose imperious commands were fully gratified by giving all taxes, obeying (his) orders and coming to
perfom obeisance, by the frontier-kings of Samatata,
Davaka, Kamarupa, Nepala, Kartripura and other (countries) and by the Malavas, Arjunayana as.
Yaudheyas, Madrakas. Abhiras, Prarjunas, Sanakanikas.
Kakas. Kharaparikas and other (tribes)
L1.23-24: whose fame sprung from reinstatement of many royal
families fallen and deprived of sovereignty. had
rested only after spreading all over the world:- who had effected the integration of the earth by means of

amplitude of the vigour of (his) arm characterised
by the acts of respectful service by way of presenting themselves (in his court). effecting presents of maidens, seeking (his) permission under his seal of Garuda emblem to rule over their own
districts and provinces, and by other means by the Devaputra Shahi Shahanushahis, Sakas and Murndas.
and by the people of simhala and the: dwellers of all other island, who was the matchless warrior in the world-
L 25 who by the overflow of the multitude of (his) various
virtues adorned by a hundred good actions, rubbed out
the fame of other kings under the soles of (his feet)
who is the veritable incomprehensible purusha, that causes the uplift of the virtuous and the destruction of the wicked – who being ful of compassion. has a tender heart that can be won over
simply by devotion and obeisance, who is the giver of many hundreds of thousands of cows-
L 26
whose mind received initiation into the sacrifice in the form of emancipation of the miserable, the poor.
the orphans, and the afflicted who is the refulgent personifications of kindness mankind,
who is equal to (the gods) Kubera, varuna, indra and
Yama, whose officers are perpetually engaged in restoring the wealth of various kings.

L 27 Who put to shame (Brihaspati) the preceptor of (Indra)
the lord of the gods and Tumburu and Narada and others, by (hi sharp and polished intellect and musical
accomplishments and fine arts who established his title of king of Poets by various poetical compositions that were means of subsistence of learned
people whose many wonderful and noble deeds are worthy of praise for a long time
LL.28-29 Who was a mortal only in performing the activities
in terms of human condition (though in reality)as a god dwelling on the earth who was the great-grands of of the Maharaja, the illustrious Gupta, who
was grand son Maharaja, the illustrdous chatotkacha,
who was the son of the Maharajadhiraja, the glorious
Chandragupta (1)(and the daughter’s son of the
Lachchhavis begotten on the mahadevi Kumaradevi;-
Ll.30-31 (And) whose fame over heaped up higher and
higher by the development of his liberality, of prowess of arm of composure and (study of) the
precepts of the scriptures, traveling by many paths. Purifies the three worlds as if it were the
clear water of the Ganga rushing after release from confinement in the thickets of the matted hair of
(the God) Pasupati.

Ll. 31-321 This poetical composition is by the son of Mahadandanayaka Dhruvabhiti. (namely) Khadyetapakika,
Sandhivigrahika, Kumaramatya, Mahadandanayaka,
Harishena. who is the slave of the same venerable Majesty (and whose intellect has blossomed by the
favour of constantly walking in the presence of His Majesty. May it be for the welfare and happiness
of all beings.
L. 33.
(This work has been executed by the Mahadanda-nayaka, Tilabhattaka, who meditated on the feet of the
L. 34 Through the administrative channel.

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