ancient indian history


Inscription number 56.
Sarangarh Copper Plates of Maha-Sudeva.
Provenance: Sarangarh, Chhattisgarh, Division, Madhya Pradesh.
50 km. from Raigarh on the Bengal-Nagpur Railway.
1. Only the first two plates, the second of which is engraved on both sides, are preserved. The third plate, bearing five or six lines, is lost. The latter contained,
as do the others of the same king and of Maha-Jayaraja, the date in regnal years, and some customary verses.
2.:All the charters issued by sarabhapura kings are dated in their regnal years, hence it is not possible to
assign them an exact date. Hira Lal assigns them to 8th century AD which is too late. Considering the affinity of the script of their plates with that of the
Vakataka records, they can not be placed after 6th century AD. Since the name of the earliest known ruler
of the family, known from Pipardula plates of Narendra Year 3 , (Supra III, 96) and most of their plates are issued from Sarabhapura, they are referred to as the Sarabhapurias. However their family is called Aryakula, in a solitary copper plate Inscription, namely Mallar plates of Parvara 1 and Vyaghraraja of the year 41., (Supra III, 51)
Script: Box-headed variety of the Central Indian Brahmi, of the type used in Vakataka records.
Language: Sanskrit.
V.1s वसन्ततिलका
V.2 इन्द्रवज्रा
References: Rajendra Lal Mitra, J.A.S.B. XXXV, pp.195 ff. Hira Lal, Ep.Ind, IX,
pp. 281-85.
Footnote 2.
1. From the facsimile in Ep.Ind. IX, facing pp.283.
2. Expressed by the spiral Symbol.
3. It appears that in this and other plates of this king, two top strokes separated at the base, mark
the medial, while the same strokes starting as a single line at the base and forking off at the top
stand for medial o.
Second plate second side.
(The inscription abruptly ends here)
English Translation of the inscription
Om Hail !
From sarabhapura the illustrious Maha-
Sudeva-raja, whose two feet are washed by the water which is the effusion of the lustre from the crest jewels in the tiaras of the chiefs, who have been subjugated by (his) prowess who is the cause of cessation of hairdo
by the ladies of his enemies, who is the giver of riches, of land and of cows, who is a devout worshipper of Bhagavat (Vishnu); who meditates on the feet of his mother and father,
issues the (following) comand to the householders living in Chullandaraka in tha territorial subdivision of Tundaraka:-
Be it known to you that this village, which will lead to the establishment of happiness (to the donors) in the
abode of Indra (i.e. in heaven),– having been donated with libation of water through a copper-plate charter by the chief queen of the realm and by (other) members of the royal family for the increase of religious merit of
(their) parents and themselves, to Bhaskarasvamin the possessor of three thousand fold knowledge, Prabhakarasvamin, Barbari-svamin, Botasvamin, Dattasvamin, Vlshnusvamin, Phalgusvamin
svamikirtisvamin (and) Sankarasvamin(all) of Kausika gotra,
to be enjoyed as long as the world, with its terrible darkness dispelled by the rays of the sun, the moon and the
stars endures together with its treasures and deposits, not to be entered by district begar officers and soldiers and free from all taxes, has been sanctioned by us. Being aware
of this, you should be attentive and obedient to the commands,
and dwell in happiness rendering in proper manner (their) share of enjoyment. And he enjoins upon future kings:-
The ancients, whose minds were decisive in respect of religious duties, say that the virtue that arises from the
preservation (of a grant) is superior to (that which arises from the donation (itself). Therefore your mind should
incline to preserve land that has been given to a Brahmana of very pure family and holy learning. So this gift should be
preserved by you also. And they cite on this point the verses that were sung by Vyasa
Gold is the first offspring of Fire, the earth is that of Vishnu and (cows are) the daughters of the Suns (therefore,
the three worlds are given by him who gives gold, and a cow and land).

1. The footnote is typed on the previous page)
2. As a mark of widowhood, Identified by Hira Lal with modem Tundra, about 10 km. south of Seori Narayan on the Mahanadi and about 56 km.
west of Sarangarh. Chullandaraka has not been identified.

1.Apparently identical with Vishnusvamin, the donee of
Khariar plates. He also belonged to Kausika gotra and received a village in Kharia zamindari from this king.
Khariar plates show that the kingdom included a large portion of Mahakosala, or roughiy speaking Chhattisgarh
division. Srihasika of the Khariar plates has been identified with modern Sirhasi 50 km north of Tundra, in Baloda Bazar tehsil The vilage Panva of Arang
plates of Maha Jayaraja, another king of this dynasty, has been identified with modem Pamgarh, 33 km north of
Tundra, in Janjgir tehsil of the Bilaspur district.
2. The name, most probably was, Kirtisvamin. The extra Svami
added before it seems to be an erroneous repetition.
3. The wod chata is usually translated irregular troops. But Vogel in a letter to Hira Lal, pointed out that in Chamba state, now a part of Himachal Pradesh,
“Char” evidently derived from Sanskrit chata, is the designation of the head of a pargana. His job was to collect villagers for forced labour for the state and to arrange for supplies and load-carriers in case the Raja or some
traveller of importance visited his district. We can call them district begar officers.
The privilege of a-chata-pravesya implies that the district officer was not allowed to collect labourers and demand supplies on behalf of the state.

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