Chastana

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Coin of Chastana British Museum

Chastana (चस्टान) was a ruler of the Saka Western Satraps in northwestern India around 130 CE. He was satrap of Ujjain during that period. Chaṣṭan (चष्टान) is of Iranian origin. It may be related to Pusto word "Chastan" meaning "Master". [1]

Bhim Singh Dahiya [2]writes quoting a footnote from Buddha Prakash's Studies in Ancient Indian History and Civilisation.

"That the Kusanas in India considered themselves related to the Sakas is manifest from the fact that in the ancestral gallery (devakula) of the Kusana kings found at Mat, near Mathura, the statues of Vima Kadphises and Kanishka have been found along with that of Caṣṭana, the son of Ysomotika, one of the Western Satraps of Saurashtra and Malwa.[3] This shows that Castana, a Saka by birth, was treated as a member of their own clan by the Kusana Emperors. It is also significant that in the same gallery, a head wearing a high Scythian cap with the tip tilted forward, reminds us of Saka tigrakhuda. "[4]

The costumes and armaments of the Indian Sakas and the Kushanas were identical with those found in the graves of the Sarmatians, i.e., the Alains. In fact this word Alains (Alans) is formed from the original 'Aila' which is the same as the Ailavat Jats. The high boots, pant, long coat and headgear of all these people are common. It is this very dress which is found on the coins of the so-called early Gupta Emperors of India who belonged to the Dharan clan of the Jats. The Sakas under Castana, Rudradaman, up to Rudrasimha-were all the same as the Kushanas, the Kangs, etc.[5]

Bhim Singh Dahiya writes that The great Satraps, Chaṣṭan and Rudradaman belonged to the Sahrawat clan of the Jats. [6]

A statue found in Mathura together with statues of the Kushan king Kanishka and Vima Kadphises, and bearing the name "Shastana" is often attributed to Castana himself. Chastana is called Tisman by the bards.

Chastana was mentioned by Ptolemy as "Tiasthenes" or "Testenes", ruling a large area of Western India into the 2nd century CE, especially the area of Ujjain ("Ozene"), during the reign of the Satavahana king Vasisthiputra Sri Pulamavi.[7] Ptolemy in his "Geographia", where he qualifies the Western Satraps as "Indo-Scythians", describes Chastana's territory as starting from Patalene in the West, to his capital Ujjain in the east ("Ozena-Regia Tiastani", "Ozene, capital of king Chastana"), and beyond Barigaza in the south:

Moreover the region which is next to the western part of India, is called Indoscythia. A part of this region around the (Indus) river mouth is Patalena, above which is Abiria. That which is about the mouth of the Indus and the Canthicolpus bay is called Syrastrena. (...) In the island formed by this river are the cities Pantala, Barbaria. (...) The Larica region of Indoscythia is located eastward from the swamp near the sea, in which on the west of the Narmada river is the interior city of Barygaza emporium. On the east side of the river (...) Ozena-Regia Tiastani (...) Minagara". [8]

Chastana was the grandfather of the great Western Satrap conqueror Rudradaman I.

Notes

  1. Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study), p.75
  2. Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study),p.54
  3. J, Ph. Vogel in ASIAR, 1911·12 p. 126.
  4. SIH & C, p. 251 (footnote).
  5. Bhim Singh Dahiya: Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study),p.54
  6. Bhim Singh Dahiya: Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study),p.74
  7. "According to Ptolemy, Siristolemaios (Sri Pulumayi), son of Gautamiputra Satakarni, continued to reign at Paithan (Pratisthana), while Ozene (Ujjain) fell into the hands of Tiasthenes (Chastana)." Alain Danielou, A Brief History of India (Inner Traditions, 2003), mentioned here
  8. Ptolemy Geographia, Book Seven, Chapter

References

  • "The dynastic art of the Kushans", Rosenfield

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