Bharhut inscriptions

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The Stupa of Bharhut: Buddhist Legend & History, 3rd century BC, by Alexander Cunningham 1879 provides information about Inscriptions at Bharhut which may have been established by the Maurya king Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE. They record the names of the donors of different parts of the Railing, as of a Pillar, a Rail-bar, or a piece of Coping. Some of them also give the calling or occupation of the donors, and several add the name of their native city, or place of residence. The Sanchi inscriptions are generally limited to these announcements. But at Bharhut we have a considerable number of inscriptions which are labels, or titles, of the sculptured scenes above which they are placed.

Location of Bharhut Stupa

Main article: Bharhut

Bharhut (भरहुत) or Barhut (बरहुत), is a location in Satna district of Madhya Pradesh. Bharhut stupa is one of the earliest extant Buddhist structures.

The Inscriptions

There are hundreds of inscriptions found at Bharhut. The Buddhist stupa site of Bharhut has yielded some 225 inscriptions, of which 141 are donative in nature while the remaining 84 are labels describing the accompanying sculptural representations of Jatakas, avadanas etc. Bharhut pillar inscription (C I I:2.2,11-12) recording the donation of gateway (torana) provides the only epigraphic attestation of dynastic name Sunga. [1]

Text of Inscriptions from Bharhut

Note - This section is from The stūpa of Bharhut: a Buddhist monument ornamented with numerous sculptures by Alexander Cunningham 1879, pp. 127-140

The inscriptions on the Railing of the Bharhut Stupa are of the same character as those of the great Sanchi Stupa near Bhilsa. They record the names of the donors of different parts of the Railing, as of a Pillar, a BRail-bar, or a piece of Coping. Some of them also give the calling or occupation of the donors, and several add the name of their native city, or place of residence. The Sanchi inscriptions are generally limited to these announcements. But at Bharhut we have a considerable number of inscriptions which are labels, or titles, of the sculptured scenes above which they are placed. Thus we have the visit of Raja Ajatasatru to Buddha inscribed with the words —

Ajatasatru Bhagavato vandate

"Ajatasatru worships [the feet] of Buddha;" and also a large tree inscribed with —

Bhagavato Sāka Munimo Bodhi,

or, the " Bodhi Tree of Buddha Sakya Muni." These short records are quite invaluable, as they enable us to identify the different scenes to which they are attached with absolute certainty. We thus obtain the means of distinguishing one class of people from another with confidence, and of ascertaining what legends were current and most popular at the early period when this Stupa was erected.

There is also another prominent difference between the Bharhut and Bhilsa Railings, which adds greatly to the value of the former. This is the representation of Yakshas and and Yakshinis, and of Naga Rajas and Devatas with their names duly attached to them, from which we learn that the old Indian cosmogony, as represented in Buddhist as well as Brahmanical books, with its Nāga-loka, and its Guardian Rajas of the four quarters of the universe, was all fully elaborated as early as the time of Asoka. These inscriptions also teach us that the curiously shaped gateways of the well known Sanchi Stupa were called by the name of Torana, and that the Rail-bars were named Suchi, or " needles," no doubt because they seemed to thread all the pillars together.

The alphabetical characters of the inscriptions are precisely the same as those of Asoka's time on the Sanchi Stupa, and of the other undoubted records of Asoka on rocks and pillars. None of the letters have any heads, as in the coin legends of Amogha-bhuti, Dara-Grhosha, and Vamika, and in the still later Mathura inscriptions of Sudasa, Kanishka Huvishka, and Vasu Deva. These Bharhut records also preserve the simple style of dānam, which was used in the Asoka period, and which certainly belongs to an earlier age than the more elaborate phraseology of Deya-dharmma, which is the prevailing form of the Indo-Scythian inscriptions. The Bharhut records also are distinguished by the persistent use of the letter r, instead of changing it into l, as in lāja for rāja, of most of the Asoka edicts. That this was the actual pronunciations of the people of this part of the country is proved by the same use of r in the genuine Asoka edict engraved on the neighbouring rock of Rupnath.[2]

128 The stūpa of Bharhut by Alexander Cunningham 1879

Inscriptions on Gateways

No. 1. On Pillar of E. Gateway.

1. Suganam, raje rājno Gāgi-putasa VISA-DEVASA

2. pauteṇa, Gotiputasa AGA-RAJASA puteṇa

3. Vāchhi-putena DHANA-BHUTINA kāritam toranam

4. Sila kammata cha upanna.

No. 2. Gateway Pillar at Batanmāra.

Sagnam Raja . .

Aga Rajna . .

toraṇam . .

No. 3. Gateway Pillar at Batanmāra.

. . hena

. . toranamcha

. . kata.

Nos. 2 and 3 must be portions of different inscriptions, and from different Grateways, as the word Torana is mentioned in each of them. This is important, as it proves that there were three separate Toran Gateways ; and if there were three we know that there must have been four, as the comer pillars of the Rail-way found at the four cardinal points show that there were four openings.

For the following translation I am indebted to the kindness of Babu Rajendra Lal, who suggests that the word upanna, is most probably upāna, a "plinth," but this could hardly be applied to the pillars of the Gateway, which are baseless, and spring direct from the ground.

"In the kingdom of Sugana (Srughna) this Toran, with its ornamented stonework and plinth, was caused to be made by king Dhana-bhuti, son of Vāchhi and Aga Raja son of Goti, and grandson of Visa Deva son of Gāgi."

Here it will be observed that there are three other names in addition to those of the three Rajas, namely Gāgi or Gārgeya, Goti or Kautseya, and Vāchhi or Vātseya, which Babu Rajendra Lal considered "to be feminine names or the names of the mothers of the different "persons they refer to." Now it so happens that these are also the names of three distinguished spiritual teachers, Darga, Kautsa, and Vatsa, who gave their names to the three schools of the Gārggi-putriyas, Kautsi-puttriyas, and Vātsi-puttriyas, which led me to suppose that possibly the three Rajas might have belonged to these three different schools. I therefore referred the inscription with my conjectures to Dr. Buhler, whose great acquirements as a Sanskrit scholar are only equalled by his willingness to impart his knowledge to others, and from him I received another translation of the inscription, with the following clear and satisfactory explanation of the feminine names, " I agree with " Rajendra about the meaning of Gāgi (i.e. Gargeyi) putra, &c. Philologically any other "interpretation is impossible. If the kings wanted to characterise themselves as adherents

The stūpa of Bharhut 129

of the schools of Gārgiputra, &c, they expressed themselves incorrectly. The usage of "calling sons after their mothers was caused, not by polyandria, as some Sanskritists "have suggested, but by the prevalence of polygamy, and it survives among the Rajputs to the present day. In private conversation I have often heard a Kuwar called the son of the Solankani, or of the Gohilani, &c. Here you will observe the Rani is called according to her family name, not according to her proper name; and you will know, from intercourse with the Rajputs, that the Ranis are always mentioned in that manner.1

Now all the metronymica of the ancient kings and teachers, both Buddhistic and Brahmanical, are formed by a female family name with the word putra. Thus we have Vasisthhiputra, or Vasithiputra, Sātakarni, &c., and these names ought to be translated, 'son of the (wife) of the āasishtha family,' &c. The name was just intended to distinguish the king or teacher from the other sons of his father by naming his mother according to her family name.

There is another point connected with these metronymica which deserves attention ; viz. that the family names are all those of Brahmanical gotras. The explanation of this fact is that in accordance with the precepts of the Smriti, the Rajas were considered members of the gotras of their purohitas, and called themselves after the latter.

My last suggestion refers to the fourth line,

sila kammatā cha upana,

which I translate into Sanskrit,

Sila karmatā cha utpannā

and into English literally, 'And the state of one who performs] works of piety [has been] produced ; 'or more freely, ' And thereby spiritual merit has been gained.'

Upanā is uppannā, as these inscriptions do not note double letters, and uppannā is the regular Prakrit for utpannā. My translation of the whole is therefore —

"This ornamental gateway has been erected by the king of Srughna, Dhanabhuti, born of [the queen of] the Vatsa family, [and] son of Aga-rāja, born of [the queen of] the Gota family, [and] grandson of king [Visa Deva], born of [the queen of] the Gāgeya race, and spiritual merit has been gained [thereby]."

The genealogy of the Royal family of Srughna, according to this inscription, is as follows : —

Father unknown X Mother of the Gārgeya family.

1. Viswa-Deva X Queen of the Kautsa family.

2. Agni-Raja X Queen of the Vatsa family.

3. Dhanabhuti.

The Mathura inscription of the same family continues the genealogy for two more

1. This is invariably the custom with the Rajputs; and I remember a Sati memorial stone in the fort of Bhatner recording the burning of six wives of Dalpat Sinh of the Bikaner family, each of whom was designated by her own family name, written beneath her sculptured figure, as Bhattiyāni, &c. But a similar custom was also adopted by the Muhamadans, as in the names of the Akbarābādi Masjid and Fatehpuri Masjid at Delhi which were built respectively by Akbarābādi Mahal the Begam of Shah Jahan, and by Fatehpuri Begam his daughter.

130 The stūpa of Bharhut

generations, of which the first is also named in one of the short Bharhut records, as the donor of a Rail-bar.1 I read the Mathura inscription as follows : —

1. kala . . . [Dhana]

2. bhutisa . . . āātsi

3. putrasa [Vādha-Pā] lasa

4. Dhanabhutisa dāmam Vedikā

5. Toranānaām cha Ratnagriha sa —

6. va Buddha pujāya sahā Mātu-pi —

7. ta haisāhara chata . . pariahi.

The missing letters in the third line are exactly three, which I have supplied to complete the name of Vādha Pāla, the son of Dhanabhuti. I have also supplied the former half of Dhanabhuti's name in the first line. These restorations are fully justified by the occurrence of the names of Vatsi-putra and Dhanabhuti in the second and fourth lines, which show that the record must belong to the royal family of Srughna. Now the letters of this Mathura inscription have already got small mātras, or heads, an innovation which places this record of Danabhuti II. about B.C. 180 to 160, or contemporary with Agnimitra and Apollodotus. His grandfather Dhanabhuti I., must therefore have reigned from about B.C. 240 to 220, or during the lifetime of Asoka.

On Coping Stones

No. I. Coping.

1. Aya Nāgadevasa dānam = "Gift of the reverend Naga Deva."

No. II. Coping.

2. Magha Deviya Jātakam. = " The Magha Deva Birth."2

3. Digha-tapasisise anusasati. = [Dirgha-tapas instructs his female disciples.]

4. Abode Chetiya. = " The Mango-tree Chaitya." (?)

5. Sujāto-gahuto Jātaka. = "Birth (of Buddha) as Sujāta the Bull-inviter."3 (?)

6. Biḍāla Jatara4 Kukutta Jātaka. = "The Cat Birth." "The Cock Birth."

7. Dadani komo chakamo. = "Punishment of Works Region " (?) ; that is, the place of punishment, or Hell.

No. III. Coping.

8. Asadāvadhususane Sigāla ñati. = [Story unknown — Sigāla means a Jackal.]

1 See Plate LIII. No. 4, for the Mathura Inscription, and Plate LVI. No. 54, for the Bharhut record of Prince Vādha Pā1a, son of Dhanabhuti.

2 See Plate XLVIIT. fig. 2. 3 See Plate XLVII. fig. 3.

3. The cross stroke of the letter k has been omitted by the sculptor, which leaves only the upright stroke or r, as given above. See Plate XLVII. fig. 5.

The stūpa of Bharhut 131

No. IV. Coping.

9. Isi-migo Jātaka. = " Rishi-deer Birth.1. Buddha was born as a deer in the Mrigadāva, or "Deer Park," at Isi-pattan or Rishi-pattana, near Banaras.

10. Miga Samādaka chetiya. = " Deer and Lions eating together Chetiya." (?)

No. V. Coping.

11. Hansa Jātakam. = " The Goose Birth."2

12. Kinara Jātakam. = " The Kinnara Birth."3

13. Jātila Sabhā. = " Assembly of the Jātilians."

No. VII. Coping.

14. Uda Jātaka4 = [Story unknown.] The Uda Birth.

15. Sechha Jātaka5. = [Story unknown.] The Seeha Birth.

No. VIII. Coping.

16. Karahakaṭa Nigamasa dāmam. = " Gift of Nigama of Karahakaṭa."

17. Bhisaharaniya Jātaka. " The Lotus-offering Birth." (?)6

18. Vaḍukokatha dohati naḍode pavate. = [Story unknown.]

19. Jabu naḍode pavate. = I suppose that the tree in the bas-relief is intended for the Jambu.7

No. IX. Coping.

20. Janako Rāja Sivalā Devi. = "Janako Rāja (and) Sivalā, Devi." 8

21. Chitupāda Sila. = The inscription seems to refer to the split (Ghiim) in the rock (sila).

22. Dusito-giri dadati. = [Story unknown.]

1 See Plate XLIII. fig. 1.

2 See Plate XXVII. fig. 11.

3 See Plate XXVII. fig. 12.

4 See Plate XL VI. fig. 2.

5 See Plate XLVI. fig. 8.

6 See Plate XL VIII. fig. 7.

7 See Plate XLVIIL fig. 11.

8 See Plate XLJV. fig. 2.

9 See Plate XLV. fig. 9.

132 The stūpa of Bharhut

On Pillars

Pillars S.E. Quadrant No. I. Pillar.

1. Vedisā Chāpa Devāyā Revati Mita bhariyāya pathama thabho dānam. =

" The first Pillar-gift of Chāpa Devā, wife of Revati Mitra of Vedisa."
Vedisa is the old name of Besnagar, a ruined city situated in the fork of the Bes or Vedisa River and the Betwa within two miles of Bhilsa. The inscription is engraved on the first Pillar of the Railing next to the Gateway.1
No. II. Pillar.

2. Bhadantasa Aya Bhuta Rakhitasa Khujati-dakhiyasa dānam. =

" Grift of the lay brother (Bhadanta) the reverend Bhuta-rakshita of Khujati-dakhiya."

3. Bhagavato-Vesabhuno-Bodhisālo. =

" The Sala Bodhi Tree of the Buddha Viswabhu." The Bodhi Tree of this Buddha was a Sāla or Shorea-robusta.2

4. Aya Gorakhitasa dānam. = " Grift of the reverend Gorakshita."

5. Aya-Panthakasa thabho dānam. = " Pillar-gift of the reverend Panthaka."

6. Chulakoka Devatā. = " The goddess Chulakoka," (or Little Koka.)3

No. VI. Pillar.

7. Dabhinikāya Mahāmukhisa Dhita-badhikaya Bhichuniya dānam. = " Gift of the Nun Dhritabadhika, the Mahāmukhi (?) of Dabhinika."

No. VII. Pillar.

8. Yāniya dānam Pātaliputa Nāga Senaya Kodi. = " Gift of Naga Sena of Pataliputra, a descendant of Kaundinya." (?)

No. VIII. Pillar.

9. Samanāyā Bhikhuniyā Chudathilikāyā dānam. = " Gift of the Nun Samana of Chudathilika."

No. IX. Pillar.

10. Bahaḍagajaṭiranatane Isā Rakhitaputasa Anandasa thabho (dānam). = " Gift of Ananda, son of Isi Rakshita, the . . (title unknown).

11. Bhagavato Konigamenasa Bodhi. = " Bodhi Tree of the Buddha Kanaka Muni."

1 See Plate XII. This Pillar has the Standard Bearer and Relic Bearer sculptured on its inward faces.

2 See Plate XXIX. fig. 2,

3 See Plate XXIII. fig. 3.

4 See Plate XXIX. fif. 4.

The stūpa of Bharhut 133

No. X. Pillar.

12. Bhojakaṭakāya Diganagaye Bhichhuniya dānam. = "Gift of the Nun Diganaga of Bhojakataka."

13. Naga Jātaka. = "The Elephant Birth"1

No. XII. Pillar.

14. Bibikāna Dikiṭa Budhino Gahapatino dānam. = "Gift of Dikshita Budhi, the householder of Bibikāna."

No. XIII. Pillar.

15. Supāvaso Yakho. = "The Yaksha Supravasu."

16. Dhama Gutasa dānam thabho. = "Pillar-gift of Dharma Gupta."

No. XIV. Pillar.

17. Bībikāna Dikaṭi Suladhasa Asavārikasa dānam. = "Gift of Dikshita Suladha, the Asavarika." The term Asawārika is most probably intended for an Aswār, Sawār, or "horseman."

No. XV. Pillar.

18. Pusasa thabho dānam. = " Pillar-gift of Pushya."

19. Miga Jātakam. = "The Deer Birth." 2

20. Jetavana Anādhapeḍiko deti koṭi santhatena keṭā. = " Anāthapiṇḍika presents Jetavana, (having become) its purchaser for a layer of Koṭis." 3 Mr. Childers' remarks on this inscription will be found in the "Academy" for 5th December 1874.

21. Kosambi Kuṭi. = " The Kosambi Temple."

22. Gandha Kuti. = " The Gandha Temple."

These two inscriptions are attached to the buildings in the famous Jetavana garden which is described in No. 20.
No. XVI. Pillar.

23. Dhama Rakhitasa dānam. = "Gift of Dharma Rakshita."

24. Chakavāko Nāga Raja. = "Chakavāka, King of the Nagas." 4

1 See Plate XXV. fig. 2.

2 See Plate XXV. fig. 1.

3 See Plate XXVIII. fig. 3.

4 See Plate XXI. fig. 1.

134 The stūpa of Bharhut

25. Virudako Yakho. = " The Yaksha Virudaka."

26. Gangito Yakho. = " The Yaksha Gangita.1

PLATE LIV. Corner Pillars — S. Gate.

27. Aya Isadinasa Bhānakasa dānam. = " Gift of the reverend Isadina of Bhanaka."

28. Bhagavato Sāka Munnino Bodhi. = "The Bodhi Tree of the Buddha Sakya Muni."

29. Purathimapusasudha Vasa Deva. = [Unknown,]

30. Utaram disatuni savatanisisa. = [Unknown.]

31. Dakhini disa chhaki mavam cha rasahāsani. = [Unknown.]

32. Sādika Sammadan turam devānam. =

This inscription is placed immediately below a bas-relief representing the dance and

song of the Apsarases, to which it directly refers in the words Sadika devānam, praises of the gods.

33. Misakosa Achharā.

34. Subhada Achharā.

35. Padumāvati Achharā.

36. Ahmbusa Achharā.

These four inscriptions are separately engraved, one of them being placed behind each of the four dancers in the bas-relief of the dance of the Apsarases. The names are easily recognised as those of four of the most famous of the heavenly courtesans, namely, Misrakesi, Subhadrā, Padmāvati, and Alambusha. The last was the mother of Raja Visala, the founder of Vaisāli.
Here we see that the Sanskrit ps was changed to chh in Pali, which was also the representative of ts.2

37. Kadariki. = This is inscribed between two standing figures, male and female, on Prasenajit's Pillar.3

38. Vajapi Vijadharo. = [Unknown.]

39. Bhagawato dharma chakam. = "The Dharma Chakra of Buddha."

40. Rāja Pasenaji Kosalo. = "The Raja Prasenajit of Kosala."4

41. Erapato Nāja Raja. = "Erapata, king of the Nagas."

1 See Plate XXI. fig. 2.

2 See Plate XV. fig. 1.

3 See Plate XIV. fig. 2.

4 See Plate XIII. fig. 1.

The stūpa of Bharhut 135

42. Erapato Nāga Rāja Bhagavato vandate.

"Erāpata, king of the Nagas, -worships [the invisible figure] of Bhagavat."
Here the king of the Nagas is kneeling before a flowering tree, beneath -which is a throne.1 The tree here represented is a Sirisa, or Acacia, beneath which Buddha is said to have received the salutation of the Naga king. The story is told in the commentary on V. 182 of the Dhammapada [see Academy, 5 April 1875], and also by the Chinese Pilgrim Hwen Thsang. The six Sirisa trees of the legend are all given in the sculpture.

43. Bahu hathiko.

44. Bahu hathiko Nigodha naḍode.

The first of these short labels means simply "the herd of elephants," to which the second adds the name of the tree Nigodha (or Nyagrodha), the Banian, before which they are bowing down. I am ignorant of the exact meaning of naḍode. The shorter label is on the railing beneath the scene ; the longer one on the throne beneath the Banian Tree.2

45. Susupālo kodāyo vetiko Arāmako.

This inscription is engraved in the field of the Elephant bas-relief above mentioned — just behind the heads of two human figures, who must be the Susupāla and Kodra of the label. The third word may also be read as Veduko.2

46. Yasika....= [Imperfect.]

On Pillars op Railings — S. W. Quadrant.

47. Sonāya dānam thabho. = " Pillar-gift of Sonā."

48. Chakulanam Sangha mitasa thabho dānam. = "Pillar-gift of Sangha-mitra of Chakulana."

49. Bhagavato Kāsapasa Bodhi. = "The Bodhi Tree of Buddha Kasyapa."3

50. Nāgaye bhichhunye dānam. = "Gift of the Nun Naga."

51. Bhadanta Valakasa Bhānakasa dānam thabho. = " Pillar-gift of the lay brother Valaka of Bhanaka."

52. Karahakaṭa chayahhutakasa thabho dānam. = "Pillar-gift of Chayabhutaka of Karahakata."

53. Kosambeyekaya bhikhuniya Venuvagāmiyāya Dhama Rakhita.

" Grift of the Nun Dharmma Rakshita of Venuwagrāma in Kosambi."
When I visited Kosam, the ancient Kosambi, after leaving Bharhut, I made inquiries about the village of Venuwagrāma, or "Bambu town." There is a Ben purwa still existing to the north-east of Kosam, where I found that some ancient brick foundations were being dug up by the zamindar.

54. Tikotiko chakamo. = " The region of Trikuta."4

This name has been discussed in my account of the Nagas, where I have suggested that the bas-relief to which this inscription is attached may be a representation of the

1 See Plate XIV. fig. 3.

2 See Plate XV. fig. 3.

3 See Plate XXX. fig. 1.

4 See Plate XXVII. fig. 1.

136 The stūpa of Bharhut

Naga Loka region of Snakes and Elephants (both called Naga), which was situated under the Trikuta rocks which supported Mount Meru.

55. Bhadanta Mahilasa thabho dānam. = "Pillar-gift of the lay brother Mahila."

56. Karahakaṭa Samikasa dānam thabho.

" Pillar-gift of Samika of Karahakaṭa."
The name of this place occurs also in No. 52. It may be read as Karhakata, and might possibly be the original form of the name Karha, near Manikpur on the Ganges.

57. Bhādanta Samakasa thabho dānam. = " Pillar-gift of the lay brother Samaka." '

58. Yava-Majhakiyam Jātakam. = "The Yava-Majhakiya Birth."1

I have given the story of this bas-relief in my account of the Jātakas, but it has not yet been identified with any of the published names of the Ceylonese Jatakas.

59. Sirimā Devata. = " The godess Sri-ma."2

The title of Srimā was given to Maya Devi, the mother of Sakya Muni. I presume that it is an abbreviation of Sri-māta, or the " fortunate mother" ; although it may also be a contraction of Sri Maya. The inscription is attached to a large female statue on one of the pillars of the South-west quadrant. It seems not impossible, however, that the statue may be that of Sirima, the beautiful sister of the physician Jivaka.

60. Suchiloma-Yakho. = "The Yaksha Suchiloma."3

This Yaksha has given his name to a discourse in the Sutta Nipāta.

61. . . . ratā bhikhuniya thabho dānam. = " Pillar-gift of the Nun . . , ratna.

Corner Pillars — W. GATE.

62. Bhadantasa Aya Isipālitasa Bhānakasa Navakamikasa dānam.

" Gift of the lay brother, the reverend Isipalita of Bhanaka" (Nava-kamika must be his title).

63. Ajātasata Bhagavato vandate.

" Ajatasatru worships (the feet) of Buddha."
The footprints of Buddha are carved on the step of the throne.4

64. Sudhamma Deva sabhā Bhagavato Chuḍa Maha.

" The grand head-dress (relic) of Buddha, in the Assembly Hall of the Devas." '
I take Chuḍa, which means a " crest, or topknot of hair," to be the name of the object which occupies the place of worship on the throne or altar. This object is beyond all doubt intended for Buddha's hair and head-dress, which were carried to the Trayas-trinshas Heavens by the Devas. When I first saw the small photograph of this bas-relief I read the words at the end of the first line as Reva Sabha ; but when I saw the pillar itself I found that the true reading was Deva Sabhā, or the " Assembly of Devas." This correction I communicated to Mr. Childers on the 18th April 1875. The same correction

1. See Plate XXV. fig. 3, 2. See plate XXIII. fig. 1, 3. See Plate XXII, fig. 2, 4. See Plate XVI. fig. 3, 5. See Plate XVI. fig. 1.

The stūpa of Bharhut 137

was published by him in the " Academy " for 1st May 1875, about ten days before the receipt of my letter.

65. Vijayanto Pāsāde. = " The Yijayanta Palace."

As this was the name of the Palace of the Gods in the Trayastrinshas Heavens, my identification of the object of worship in the Deva Sabhā is confirmed.

66. Mahāsāmāyikayam Arhaguto Devaputo dhakato Bhagavato sisani paṭisandhi.

The scene to which this label is attached represents the worship of Buddha's foot-prints.1
Pillars of Railing — N.W. Quadrant.

67. Moragirihma Nāgilāyā bhikhuniya dānam thabho.

" Pillar-gift of the Nun Nagila of Moragiri."

68. Bhagavato Vipasino Bodhi. = " The Bodhi Tree of the Buddha Vipaswin."2

69. Vedisa Phagu Devasa dānam. " Gift of Phalgu Deva of Vedisa (Besnagar)."

70. Dodapāpechena chharo. = [Unknown.]

71- Purikāya Dayakana dānam. = "Gift of Dayakana of Purika."

72. Bhagavato Kakusadhasa Bodhi. = " The Bodhi Tree of the Buddha Krakusandha.3 (Kakushtha?)

73. Vedisa Anurādhaya dānam. = "Gift of Anuradha of Vedisa (Besnagar)."

74. Chadantiya Jātakam. = " Birth (of Buddha) as a Chhadanta Elephant."4

Corner Pillars — N. Gate.

75. Vitura Punakiya Jātakam. = " The Vidhura (and) Punnaka Birth."5

76. Brahma Devomānavako. = [Unknown.]

Displaced Pillars.

77. Bhadanta Kanadasa Bhānakasa thabho dānam Chikulaniyasa. =

" Pillar-gift of the lay brother Kanada Bhanaka of Chikulaniya."

78. Yakhini Sudasana. = " The Yakshini Sudarsana."

79. . naḍoda pāde chena chhako... = [Unknown.]

1. See Plate XVI. fig. 2,

2. See Plate XXIX. fig. 1,

3. See Plate XXIX. fig. 3,

4. See Plate XXVI. fig. 2.

5. See Plate XVIII, fig. 2.

138 The stūpa of Bharhut

PLATE LV. Pillars of railing — N.E. Quadrant

80. Bhadanta Budha Rakhitasa Saṭupadanasa dānam thabo.

" Pillar-gift of the lay brother Budha Rakshita of Saṭupadana." (?)

81. Chada Yakhi. = " The Yakshini Chandra."1

I read as above because I suppose that if the name Chaṇḍa were intended it would have been spelt with the cerebral ḍ.

82. Kupiro Yakho. = " The Yaksha Kuvera."2

83. Ajakālako Yakho. = " The Yaksha Ajakālaka."

84. Moragirihma Pusāyā dānam thabho. = " Pillar-gift of Pushya of Moragiri."

85. Aya Chulasa Sutantikasa Bhoga vadhaniyasa dānam.

" Grift of the reverend Chula Sautrantika, the increaser of enjoyment." (?)

86. Moragirihma Thupadāsasa dāmam thabho.

" Gift of Thupadisa of Moragiri."
Thupadāsa, in Sanskrit Stupadāsa, or " servant of the Stupa," is in the inscription an actual name, and not a mere title.

87. Nāsika Gorakhitaya thabho dānam Vasukasa bhāriyāya.

" Pillar-gift of Gorakshita of Nasika, the wife of Vasuka."

88. Maharasa Atevāsino Aya Sāmakasa thabho dānam.

" Pillar-gift of Mahara, the pupil of the reverend Sāmika."

89. Bhagavato Rukdanti. = " Buddha as Rukdanti."'

This inscription has been discussed in my account of the bas-relief of Maya Devis' dream, where I have suggested that ruk may mean "sounding or trumpeting," from ru, to sound or make a particular sort of sound, which it is recorded the Chhadanta Elephant emitted as he approached the couch of Maya Devi.
Pillars at Batanmāra.

90. Sakāya thabho dānam. = " Pillar-gift of Saka."

91. Nandagirino Bhānakasa Selapuraka thabho dānam.

" Pillar-gift of Bhanaka Selapuraka of Nandagiri (? Nander)."

92. Ida Sāla guha. = " The Cave Hall of Indra."

93. Pusadataye Nagarikaye Bhichiniye. = " [Gift] of the Nun Pushyadatta of Nagarika."

94. Mugaphakasa Jātaka. = " The Mugaphaka Birth."

1 See Plate XXII. fig. 3.

2 See Plate XXII. fig. 1.

3 See Plate XXVIII. fig. 2.

The stūpa of Bharhut 139

Pillars.— Inscriptions on Rails.

95. Moragiri Jita mitasa dānam. = "Grift of Jita-mitra of Moragiri."

96. Karahakaṭa Utara gidhikasa thabho dānam.= " Pillar-gift of Uttaragidhika of Karahakata."

Pillars at Pataora.

97. Yambumano avayesi Jātakam.

This scene is called the Andhabhuta Jātaka, or the " Blindman Birth " in Ceylon.

98. Mahakoka Devatā. = " The goddess Mahākoka," or "Great Koka."

99. Chuladhakasa Purikāya Bhatudesakasa dānam. = " Grift of Chuladhaka Purika of Bhatudesaka."

100. Vedisa Aya Māyā dānam. = " Gift of the reverend Maya of Vedisa."

Inscriptions on Rails

Inscriptions on Rails— S. W. Quadrant.

1. Sapa Gutaye bhikuniye dānam. = " Gift of the Nun Sarpa Gupta."

2. Pātaliputa Kodiyāniya Sakaja Devāyā dānam. = " Gift of Sakaja Deva, of the race of Kaundinya of Pataliputra."

3. Kākandiya Somāya bhikuniya dānam. = " Gift of the Nun Soma of Kakandi."

4. Pātaliputa Mahidasenasa dānam. = " Gift of Mahendra Sena of Pataliputra."

5. Chudathilikāyā Nāga Devāyā bhikhuniya. = " (Gift) of the Nun Naga Deva of Chudathilika."

6. Chudathilikāyā Kujarāyā dānam. = "Gift of Kunjara of Chudathilika."

7. Dhama Guta mātu Pusa Devaya dānam. = " Gift of Pushya Deva, mother of Dharma Gupta."

8. Yajhikiyā dānam. = "Gift of Yajhiki."

9. Dhama Rakhitaya dānam Suchi. = " Rail-gift of Dharmma Rakshita."

This is the first occurrence of the term Suchi, which I have translated by Rail (or bar), as it is found only in the Rail-bar inscriptions, where it takes the place of thabho or pillar, in the Pillar inscriptions. Its literal meaning is "needle," and its application to the Rail-bars was no doubt due to its needle-like function of threading all the pillars together.

10. Ati Mutasa dānam. = " Gift of Atrimuta."

11. Laṭuwā Jātakam. = "The Latuwa (bird) Birth."

12. Nadutaraya dānam Suchi. = " Rail-gift of Nadutara." --- 1 See Plate XXVI. fig. 1.

140 The stūpa of Bharhut

Rail Inscriptions — S. Gate.

13. Mudasa dānam. = " Gift of Mudra."

14. Isānasa dānam. = " Gift of Isāna."

15. Isidatasa dānam. = " Gift of Isidata (or Rishi datta)."

16. Aya Punāvasuno Suchi dānam. = " Rail-gift of the reverend Punarvasu."

17. Gāga-mitasa Suchi dānam. = " Rail-gift of Ganga Mitra (or Garga Mitra)."

18. Kanhilasa Bhānakasa dānam. = "Gift of Kanhila of Bhānaka."

Rail Inscriptions — S. W. Quadrant.

19. Deva Rahshitasa dānam. = " Gift of Deva Rakshita."

20. Vedisā Tabhuta Rakhitasa dānam. = " Gift of Tabhuta Rakshita of āedisa."

21. Golāyā Pārikiniyā dānam. = " Gift of Parikini of Gola."


22. Purikayā Ida Devāyā dānam. = " Gift of Indra Deva of Purika."

23. Purikāyā Setaka matu dānam. = " Gift of Setaka's mother of Purika."

24. Purikāyā Sāmāya dānam. = " Gift of Sama of Purika."

25. Budha Rakhitaye dānam bhichhuniya. = " Gift of Buddha Rakshita the Nun."

26. Bhutaye bhichhuniye dānam. = " Gift of Bhuta the Nun."

27. Aya Apikinakasa dānam. = " Gift of the reverend Apikinaka."

28. Sanghilasa dānam Suchi. = " Rail-gift of Sanghila."

29. Sangha Rakhitasa Māta pituna athaye dānam. = " Gift of Sangha Rakshita on account of his father and mother.'

30. Dhutasa Suchi dānam. = " Rail-gift of Dhuta."

31. Yakhilasa Suchi dānam. = " Rail-gift of Yakhila."

32. Sihasa Suchi dānam. = " Rail-gift of Siha."

The stūpa of Bharhut 141

33. Isi Rahhitusa dāmam. = " Gift of Isi Rakshita."

34. Sirimasa dānam. = " Gift of Sirima."

35. Bhadanta Deva Senasa dānam. = " Gift of the lay brother Deva Sena."

36. . . . kaya bhichhuniya dānam. = " Gift of the Nun . . . ka."

37. Nadinagarikāyā Ida Devaya dānam. = " Gift of Indra Deva of Nandinagara (Nander)."

38. Gopālasa mata (?) Gosālasa dānam.

" Gift of Gosāla (or Gopala . . ."
This inscription is engraved twice on the same rail; first in thin and somewhat cursive letters, and second in thicker letters, as if the first record had been faulty, or disapproved. It might, however, be read as the " gift of Gosala the mother of Gopala."

39. Kachulasa .... bhāriyāya dānam. = " Gift of .... s' wife of Kachula."

40. Jeta bharasa dānam. = " Gift of Jeta Bhara."

41. Aya Jāto Sepeṭakino Suchi dānam.

" Rail-gift of the reverend Jāta Sepeṭaki."
The term Sepatiko occurs in the Arian Pali inscription of Taxila, where, according to Professor Dowson, it is the name of some " building or establishment." It is probable, therefore, that Sepetakino is the title of the reverend Jata, as keeper or guardian of the Sepaṭiko.

42. Buddha Rakhitasa Rupakārakasa dānam.

" Gift of Buddha Rakshita, the sculptor."
Here we have the name of one of the sculptors of the Bharhut bas-reliefs. I believe that it will be possible to recognise other specimens of his chisel by some slight peculiarities which I noticed in the shapes of some of the letters of this inscription.

43. Bhādantasa Mikasatha Rākutiyasa dānam.

" Gift of the lay brother Mikasatha of Rakutiya." (?)

44. Sirisapada Isi Rakhitāya dānam.

" Gift of Isi Rakshita of Sirisapada."
The name of this place, Sirisapada, was probably derived from the Sirisa tree or Acacia, as in the case of Sirsa, and of Siris Ghat on the Betwa between Jhansi and Lalitpur.

45. Moragirimā Ghāṭila Māta dānam. = " Gift of Ghatila's mother of Moragiri."

46. Atanakhatasa Bhojakatakasa Suchi dānam.

" Rail-gift of Bhojakataka of Atangkhata," or, " of Atangkhata of Bhoja-kataka."

47. Samidatāya dānam. = " Gift of Samidatta."

48. Chulanasa dānam. = " Gift of Chulana."

142 The stūpa of Bharhut

49. Avisanasa, dānam. = " Gift of Avisana."

50. (A duplicate of the last.)

51. Sangha Mitasa Bodhichakasa dānam. =

" Gift of Sangha Mitra of Bodhi Chakra."
Perhaps there may have been a Bodhi Chakra as well as a Dhannma Chakra.

52. Bodhi Rakhitasa Panchanekāyākasa dānam. = " Gift of Bodhi Rakhitasa of Panchanekāyāka."

53. Isi Rakhitasa Suchi dānam. = " Rail-gift of Isi Rakshita."

54. Dhanabhutisa rājano putasa Kumārasa Vādha Pālasa (dānam).

" (Gift) of Raja Dhanabhuti's son the Prince Vādha Pāla."
Raja Dhanabhuti was the donor of the Eastern Gateway :— See his inscription, No. 1, The present inscription proves that the Railing and the Gateways were of the same age.

55. Phagu Devāya bhichhuniya dānan. = " Gift of Phagu Deva, the Nun."

56. Kadāya Yakhiya dānam. = " Gift of Kada Yakshi."

57. Ghosāye dānam. = " Gift of Ghosa."

58. Yamidasa sa . . . = " [Gift] of Yamida . . .

59. Siriya-putasa Bhārini Devasa dānam. = " Gift of Siri's son Bharini Deva."

60. Mita Devāye dānam. = " Gift of Mita Deva."

61. Padelakasa Pusahasa Suchi dānam. = " Gift of Pushyaka of Pandelaka."

62. Asitamasāya Vala Mitasa dānam.

" Gift of Vala Mita of Asitamasā."
Perhaps the place here mentioned may have been on the bank of the Tamasā, or Tons River, which flows within two miles of Bharhut. Ptolemy has a town named Tamasis. But Asita was also a proper name, and the town may have been called Asita-masa, and not Asitamasa.

63. (Pa) rakaṭikaya Sirimāya dānan. = " Gift of Sirima of Parakaṭika."

64. Vijitakasa Suchi dānam. = " Rail-gift of Vijita."

65. . . . sa dānam Atenā. ...Charata . . .

66. Tiramnuti Migila Kuchimha Vasu Guto Machito Mahadevammi.

This is inscribed on the Rail which bears the bas-relief of the great fish swallowing two boats and their crews. Machito therefore may have reference to the fish.1

1 See Plate XXXTV. fig. 2.

The stūpa of Bharhut 143


1. Vedisa Vāsithiya Velimi = " Gift of Vāsitha (wife of) Velimi (tra.)"

2. Aya Nanda. = " [Gift] of the reverend Nanda."

3. Araha Guta Reva puta (sa damam). = " Gift of Arahata Gupta, son of Reva."

4. Avāsikā.

5. Mahada .

6. Chandā...

7. Satika . . .

8. . . rakatayāya . . .

9. . . yu, rajine adhi rājaka . . yata.

10. . . . tarasa .

11. . . yasini sayāni . .

12. (san) gha mi (tasa) . .

13. . . . sakusu . ,

14. . . . niya Jātaka,

15. (Na) n-dagerino dā (nam). = "Gift of Nandagiri."

16. . . yāyā dānam.

17. . . pancha sana.

18. . dusito-giri datina.

19. (Ba) hu hathikasa āsana.

(Bhaga) vato Maha Devasa.

By supplying the initial letters of both, lines I make out that this inscription refers to the scene under which it is engraved. This represents a throne (āsana) with a number of human hands (bahu hathika) carved on the front. Perhaps the hands are intended as symbols of worshippers.

Some of them of historical importance are as under:

Inscription of Narsinghadeva 1158 AD


1.(सिद्धि) स्वस्तिश्री परमभट्टारकमहाराजधिराज परमेस्वर श्री

2.वामदेवपादानुष्यात् परमभट्टारकमहाराजधिराज पर

3. मेस्वर परम माहेस्वर त्रिकलिंगाधिपति निज भुलोपा (जिर्ज) तअ

4. स्वपतिगजपतिनरपतिराज त्रयोधिपति श्री मन्नर

5. सिंहदेवचरणा: 11 वद्यवाग्रामकस्य महारा

6. जपुत्र श्रीकवयादित्य पुत्रवल्लालदेवकस्य वह:

7. संवत । 909 स्रावणसुदि 5 बुद्धे । (श्री)

8. राउत श्री वल्लालदेव ।।

Inscription of Narsinghadeva 1158 AD [3]

This inscription was put in the memory of digging a canal by the ruler Raut Ballaladeva son of of Maharaja Kavayaditya of village Badhwa. This bears Kalachuri samvat 909 i.e. 1158 AD. This reads as given in the table. [4]:

Inscription of Jayasingh

This inscription is about ruler Jaisingh of Tripuri. The inscription translated to Hindi language reads as under:

"यश रूपी अमृत से युक्त वह राजा का पुरुष तब तक कुशलता पूर्वक रहे,जब तक सरोवरों के कमलों पर भ्रमर मंगल गान करतेहैं।" [5]

Inscription of Ajatashatru

Ajātashatru (Sanskrit अजातशत्रु; ruled 491-461 BCE) was a king of the Magadha empire that ruled north India. There is not a great deal known about Ajatashatru. What is known is that he became a King of Magadha and the adjoining areas by murdering his father, Bimbisara. Also, he was a contemporary of Buddha, was a patron of the then-new religion of Buddhism, and he let the Sangha function in his Kingdom.

One of Inscription at Bharhut tells us that Ajatshatru visited this place and paid respect to Buddha. There is one scene about Raja Ajatashatru in which he is shown riding an elephant and moving with a procession to visit chaitya with Buddha's foot prints. The inscription reads as under:

अजातशत्रु भगवतो वन्दते [6]:

Translation - Ajatashatru vows to Buddha.

Inscription of Nagaraja Airawata

In another scene Nagaraja Airawata bows near a Bodhi tree and there is an inscription near it which reads as under:

एरापतो नागराज भगवतो वन्दते[7]

Translation - Nagaraja Airawata vows in obeisance to Buddha.

Inscription of Prasenjit

Prasenjit was king of Kosala in 600 BCE and son of Bimbisara. He was notable for being a prominent lay follower of Gautama Buddha, building many Buddhist monasteries. Soon after usurping the prosperous kingdom built up by his father Bimbisara, the parricide Ajatashatru went to war with his aged uncle Prasenjit, and gained complete control of Kashi. Just after this Prasenjit, like Bimbisara, was deposed by his son, Virudhaka and died. The new king, Virūḍhaka (in Pali Viḍūḍabha), then attacked and virtually annihilated the little autonomous tribe of Shakyas, in Himalyan foothills, and we hear no more of the people which produced the greatest of Indians, the Buddha. [8] In an another scene Raja Prasenjit is shown on a chariot with four horses paying respect to Buddhist Dhamma Chakra. The inscription reads:

भगवतो धम चक्रम[9]

Translation - The Dharma Chakra of Buddha

Sculpture of Virudhaka

Soon after usurping the prosperous kingdom built up by his father Bimbisara, the parricide Ajatashatru went to war with his aged uncle Prasenjit, and gained complete control of Kashi. Just after this Prasenjit, like Bimbisara, was deposed by his son, and died. The new king, Virūḍhaka (in Pali Viḍūḍabha), then attacked and virtually annihilated the little autonomous tribe of Shakyas, in Himalayan foothills, and we hear no more of the people which produced the greatest of Indians, the Buddha. [10]

Probably Virudhaka (विरूढक), like Ajatashatru of Magadha, had ambitions of empire, and wished to embark on a career of conquest after bringing the outlying peoples, who had paid loose homage to his father, more directly under the control of the centre; but his intentions were unfulfilled, for we hear no more of him except an unreliable legend that he was destroyed by a miracle soon after his massacre of Shakyas. A little later his kingdom was incorporated in Magadha. [11]

Misc inscriptions

Following inscriptions were discovered by Alexander Cunningham and compiled in his book.

  • Jatila Sabha - This sculpture is unfortunately broken, which is the more to be regretted as the scene would have been one of the most interesting subjects of the whole series. The only portions now remaining are a tree with rocks, and half of the head and upper part of the body of a man. But there can be little doubt that the original scene represented the " Assembly of the Jatilians," Jatila sabha, who were the followers of Uruvilva Kasyapa. The Mahawanso states that he had 1,000 disciples, but Spence Hardy gives him only 500 followers. This Kasyapa and his two brothers were fire-worshippers, and as such they are represented both in the Sanchi and in the Gandhara Sculptures. It is, therefore, very unfortunate that this still earlier representation of the Assembly of the Jatilian fire-worsliippers should have been so seriously mutilated. The name is said to have been derived from jatan assa attithi, "he who has " a top-knot of matted hair." This seems to be the peculiar headdress of the fire-worshippers in all these sculptures. It is curious, and perhaps not accidental, that the present peculiar cap of the Parsis has precisely the same shape and backward slope as the matted hair of these fire-worshippers of ancient India. [12]
  • Raja Janaka and Sivala Devi - Janak (जनक) is mentioned as gotra of Jats originated from Maharaja Janak. [13]. There is a need to find more details about Raja Janaka and Sivala Devi.
Cunningham gives following details:In this scene there are three figures, each with a label overhead giving the name. The chief figure is of a royal personage seated to the left, and before him stand two others, a male and a female. The name of the seated figure on the left is lost, but the first letter would appear to have been U, or perhaps B. The name in the middle is Janako Raja, and that to the right Sivala Devi.
In Burma this story of Janaka is included amongst the Jatakas, but it does not occur, under this name at least, in the list of Ceylonese Jatakas furnished to me by Subhuti. This legend is given by Bishop Bigandet, from which I have taken the following brief outline. When Arita Janaka, Raja of Alithita, was slain in battle, his queen, who was with child, took refuge in Champa, where she gave birth to a beautiful child resembling a statue of gold, to whom was given the name of Janaka. When grown up Janaka devoted himself to trade, that he might obtain the means of returning to his native country. When at sea on his way to Kamawatara his ship was wrecked, but he was saved by a daughter of the Devas, who taking him in her arms carried him to Mithila and placed him on the table stone of his ancestors. Here he fell asleep. On that very day his uncle the Raja of Mithila had died, leaving an only daughter named Sivali. Before his death the Raja had charged his inisters to select for the husband of his daughter " a man remarkable for beauty and strength, as well as for ability." He was to be able to bend and unbend an enormous bow, a feat which one thousand could scarcely achieve. On the seventh day after the Raja's death the ministers resolved to leave the selection of a husband to chance. So " they sent out a charmed chariot " believing that its inherent virtue would point out the fortunate man who was to be the husband of the princess. Accordingly the chariot proceeded straight towards the stone on which Janaka was sleeping. As the Brahmans perceived on the hands and feet of the stranger unmistakable signs foreshowing his elevation to the royal dignity, Janaka was awoke and taken to the palace in the charmed chariot. Here he performed the required feats of bending and unbending the great bow, and was "duly united to the beautiful and youthful Sivali."
The Bharhut bas-relief apparently represents this last scene. [14]
  • Dighatapasisise anusasati - According to A. Cunningham this inscription seems to refer to the well known Tirthika apponent of Buddha and Dirgha - tapasa or "long penace". The search of Jat history tells that Deeg is an ancient town in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan state in India . It finds mention in Skanda Purana as "Dirgha" or "Dirghapur". Deeg was the first capital of the newly carved out Jat state of Bharatpur, when Badan Singh was proclaimed its ruler in 1722.

  • Migasamadika Chetiya - This scene occupies one of the small panels of the coping. In the middle of the bas-reliefs there is a tree, which must be the Chaitya mentioned in the label. Seated around are two Lions and six Deer living most amicably together. This is the subject which I suppose to be alluded to in the inscription, where I take Samadika to mean the "eating together " of the Lions and Deer under the tree, which was accordingly named the " Chaitya under which Lions and Deer ate together." [15]

  • Ambode Chetiyam - This is another small bas-relief from the coping. In the centre stands a tree to which three Elephants are paying reverence. The tree is the Amb, or mango, and must therefore be the Ambode Chetiya, or " Chaitya mango tree" mentioned in the label. [16]
  • Dadani-kamo-chakamo - In this very curious scene an altar or throne occupies the middle place, behind which are four Lions with gaping mouths, and to the right five men standing in front of a sixth, who sits on the ground to the left in a contemplative attitude, with his head leaning on his left hand. In front are two gigantic human heads, with a human hand between them, and towards the throne or altar a bundle of faggots burning. I conjecture that this scene represents one of the 16 Buddhist hells, or places of punishment. This seems to be borne out by the inscription, which I would render as the place (chakamo or chakra) of punishing (dadani or dandani) works (kamo or karma) that is the division of the kosmos in which works (karma) received their reward, or in other words " hell." [17]

  • Chitu-pāda-sila - As the chief feature in this scene is a " Split rock," I think that Chitu may be intended for Chhitu, " splitting," of the rock (sila) ; but I am unable to explain pāda. The scene represented in the sculpture shows two parties of two men each seated on a broad-topped rock, and playing at some game like draughts. A square space on the surface of the rock is divided into 36 small squares, and beside the square are several small square pieces, with marks on the top, which have evidently been used in playing the game. They are exactly the same as the coins used for paving the Jetavana. But lo ! the rock has suddenly split between the two parties, and the two men on the right side are sinking downwards with the smaller half of the rock, which is already in a very slanting position. I have not succeded in discovering this legend but there is a story of a Raja named Chetiya, who is saddled with the ill repute of having told the first lie ever spoken in the world, which illustrates the chief point in this scene, and which may possibly be a different version of the same legend. " When "Chetiya, the son of Upachara, began to reign, he appointed as his principal minister " Korakatamba, with whom lie had been brought up, like two students attending the same schools, saying that he was senior to Kapila his elder brother. This was the first untruth ever uttered amongst men, and when the citizens were informed that the king had told a lie, they inquired what colour it was, whether it was white, or black,or blue. Notwithstanding the entreaties of Kapila, the king persisted in the untruth, and in consequence his person lost its glorious appearance, the earth opened, and he went to hell, the city in which he resided being destroyed. The version here given appears to belong to the Chetiya Jataka.
In the Bharhut Sculpture perhaps the point of the story may have been the first occurrence of cheating, and the consequent punishment of the offender. The two figures, who are apparently descending into hell along with the sinking rock, would be the party guilty of cheating, while the principal figure of the opposite party, who still remains seated on the main rock looking on with wonder and amazement, would be Buddha himself in a previous existence. [18]

Inscriptions could not be understood

The following inscriptions at Bharhut could not be understood by A. Cunningham, which need further research to reach at conclusion.

  • Vadukokatha dohati nadode pavate - This long label inscription shows a curious scene but could not be made out by historians. This curious scene has a long label inscribed above it which I cannot make out. To the right are some large rocks, and to the left is an ornamented bag or skin suspended from two pegs. In the middle is a man seated in front of the bag, the ends of which he holds as if he was in the act of milking. This action seems to be alluded to in this label, where I read dohati as " milks." Pavate is perhaps the Sanskrit pravritti, a " continuous "flow or stream."

We can speculate from the word Vaduko, which has been probably used for Burdak in prakrit language. Similarly a Vadukha prince has also been mentioned in Hathigumpha inscription also which historians were unable to understand. Hathigumpha inscription at Udayagiri and Khandagiri consists of one line. The text in Devanagari script is as under: कुमारो वडुखस लेणं (kumāro vadukhas lenam). This means - [This is] "the cave of Prince Vaḍukha". Thus this character is common at both Bharhut and Kalinga.
  • Jabu nadode pavate - It is again about nadode hill as above but could not be interpreted by historians. In this sculpture we have a companion scene to the last. Here a man is receiving both meat and drink from two hands which project from the trunk of a tree. In one hand is a bowl filled with solid food, and in the other a water vessel with handle and spout like a teakettle. I take Jambu as the equivalent of the Jambu tree, which here perhaps stands for the fabulous Kalpa drum, or "wishing tree " of Indra's heaven, that produced whatever was desired. I have since discovered a large sculpture of the kalpa drum, which forms the apex of the capital of one of Asoka's pillars in the ruins of Besnagar, at the junction of the Bes and Betwanti Rivers.

  • Asadāvadhususāne Sigālanyeti - In the foreground a man is lying down apparently either dead or asleep, and quite unnoticed by three Jackals who are watching a female sitting in a tree, to which she is clinging with both hands. As the inscription appears to allude to the young girl (Vadhu), and the jackals (sigāla) in a cemetery (Susāna), the man lying on the ground is probably a corpse. This long label inscription shows a curious scene but could not be made out by historians. The letters seem plain enough. There is a need to search this inscription and find out about whom it is.

The Jat clans in Bharhut inscriptions

The inscriptions at Buddhist Stupa at Bharhut record the names of the donors. Some of them also give the calling or occupation of the donors, and several add the name of their native city, or place of residence. We have provided links to the names which appear in inscriptions. We find that some of the links connect to the Jat clans without any spelling variations in these records. In others there is a slight variation with spellings of Jat clans. The spelling variations in inscriptions are recorded here in brackets of probable Jat clan. We find a large number of Nagavanshi Jat clans recorded in the inscriptions. There is a need to further research and establish proper historical relations. The probable list scanned from Bharhut inscriptions is as under:

Achra (Achharā), Aga, Ahlawat (Airawata), Ajmedia (Aja), Asi (Isi), Asit, Atri, Atwal, Bala, Bhar, Bhari (Bharini) Bharshiv, Bhatu, Bhoja, Bhoot, Bodhi, Budhwar, Burdak (Vaduko or Virudaka), Buriya, Chalka, Chandel, Chula, Dhama, Dhetarwal, Dhoot Gandha, Ghatela (Ghatila), Ghosalia (Ghosa), Gola, Gora, Guptas, Jakhar (Jakha, Yakha, Yaksha), Jakhaudiya (Jakha), Janak, Jat (Jāta, Jatila, Jatilian), Kachela (Kachula), Kak, Kadiyan (Kada, Kodiyāniya), Kadu (Kada), Kanka (Kanaka), Karad, Kasyapa, Khatkal (Kalika), Kok, Kot (Goti or Kaut), Kudi (Kodi), Kuninda, Kunjara, Lat (Latuwa), Malaya, Mahar, Mahil, Mahiya, Makara, Maurya, Mitya (Mita), Nagas, Nagil, Nanda, Nehra, Pandel (Pandelaka), Phageria (Phagu), Punya (Punā), Saka, Sepat, Singala (Sanghila), Vala, Varika, Vasati (Vāsitha), Vats, Veniwal (Venuwa), Visala,


Some of the terms in Bharhut inscriptions could not be identified by A. Cunningham. Here we are providing list which could be identified from other sources. Some terms are still unknown. These are put ? after them.

  • Bhānaka = Title of Buddhist reciter (Cunningham has treated it as a place name)
  • Moragiri - Two towns of this name are: 1.Morgiri, Raigarh, Maharashtra 2. Morgiri, Satara, Maharashtra
  • Khujati-dakhiya = Place name ? (Dakhiya = Dahiya ?)
  • Chudathilika= Place name ?
  • Bahaḍagajaṭiranatane = ?
  • Bibikāna = Place name ?
  • Gutasa, Guta, Guto = Cunningham has translated it as Gupta. But it seems wrong.
  • Kadariki = ?
  • Naḍode = ?
  • Chakulana = Place name ?
  • Karahakata = Modern Karâḍ, in the Sâtâra District, about forty miles north of Kôlhâpur. karahâṭa denotes the thorny shrub Vangueria Spinosa. [19]
  • Chuḍa = Kuḍâ,which occurs in the Ratnâgiri District (Cave-Temple Inscriptions, p. 16 No. 20), to at least as early a period as the times of Ptolemy and the auther of the Periplus.[20]
  • Purika = Purika City (Japanese: プリカシティ Purika City) is a Hoenn location exclusive to the anime. It is located in between Mossdeep City and Sootopolis City, and on Izabe Island. [21]
  • Punnaka = A Yakkha chief, nephew of Vessavana ( The story of how he won the Nāga maiden Irandatī is related in the Vidhurapandita Jātaka. In his previous birth he had been a young man named Kaccāyana in the Anga country.; he is also called Kātiyāna (Kaccāna). He is also referred to as Punnakaraja (J.iv.182).
  • Chikulana -
  • Nandagiri = "hill of pleasure". It is the name of several places in India. It may refer to a village in Andhra Pradesh, a suburb of Hyderabad or a hill fortress in Karnataka.
  • Bhatudesaka - ? The country of Bhatus
  • Chudathilika - ?
  • Yajhiki = ?
  • Parikini = ?
  • Apikinaka = ?
  • Nandinagara = ?
  • Rakutiya = A village in Midnapur West.
  • Atanakhata = ?
  • Panchanekāyāka = ?
  • Asitamasā = ?
  • Parakaṭika = ?
  • Migila
  • Kuchimha
  • Machito = ?
  • Nagarika = ?


  1. Indian epigraphy: a guide to the study of inscriptions in Sanskrit, Prakrit ... By Richard Salomon. p.141
  2. The stūpa of Bharhut: a Buddhist monument ornamented with numerous sculptures, end of p.127
  3. Prof. Dr Kanhaiya Lal Agarwal, Bharhut Stoopa Gatha (Hindi), Ed. Ramnarayan Singh Rana, Satna, 2007, p. 76
  4. Prof. Dr Kanhaiya Lal Agarwal, Bharhut Stoopa Gatha (Hindi), Ed. Ramnarayan Singh Rana, Satna, 2007, p. 76
  5. Prof. Dr Kanhaiya Lal Agarwal, Bharhut Stoopa Gatha (Hindi), Ed. Ramnarayan Singh Rana, Satna, 2007, p. 77
  6. Pragendra Pratap Singh, Bharhut Stoopa Gatha (Hindi), Ed. Ramnarayan Singh Rana, Satna, 2007, p. 72
  7. Pragendra Pratap Singh, Bharhut Stoopa Gatha (Hindi), Ed. Ramnarayan Singh Rana, Satna, 2007, p. 72
  8. A.L. Basham, The Wonder that was India, 1967, p. 47
  9. Pragendra Pratap Singh, Bharhut Stoopa Gatha (Hindi), Ed. Ramnarayan Singh Rana, Satna, 2007, p. 72
  10. A.L. Basham, The Wonder that was India, 1967, p. 47
  11. A.L. Basham, The Wonder that was India, 1967, p. 47
  12. A. Cunningham:The stūpa of Bharhut: a Buddhist monument ornamented with numerous sculptures. pp.93-94
  13. Dr Mahendra Singh Arya, Dharmpal Singh Dudee, Kishan Singh Faujdar & Vijendra Singh Narwar: Ādhunik Jat Itihasa (The modern history of Jats), Agra 1998 p.246
  14. A. Cunninghan:The stūpa of Bharhut: a Buddhist monument ornamented with numerous sculptures, p.95
  15. A. Cunninghan:The stūpa of Bharhut: a Buddhist monument ornamented with numerous sculptures, p.94
  16. A. Cunninghan:The stūpa of Bharhut: a Buddhist monument ornamented with numerous sculptures, p.94
  17. A. Cunninghan:The stūpa of Bharhut: a Buddhist monument ornamented with numerous sculptures, p.94
  18. A. Cunningham:The stūpa of Bharhut: a Buddhist monument ornamented with numerous sculptures, p.94-95

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