Kumaragupta I

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Gold coin of Kumaragupta I fighting with lion

Kumaragupta I (414 - 455 AD) (कुमारगुप्त प्रथम) was ruler of Gupta Empire. Chandragupta II was succeeded by his son Kumaragupta I. Known as the Mahendraditya in 414 AD. He ruled up to 455 AD. Towards the end of his reign a tribe in the Narmada valley, known as the Pushyamitras, rose in revolt to threaten the empire.

Kumaragupta I was succedded by Skandagupta.

Bilsad Pillar Inscription of Kumaragupta I (415-416 CE)

  • (Line 6.)-In the ninety-sixth year, (and) in the augmenting victorious reign of the Mahârâjâdhirâja, the glorious Kumâragupta,-
  • (L. 5.)-Who is the son, begotten on the Mahâdêvî Dhruvadêvî, of the Mahârâjâdhirâja, the glorious Chandragupta (II.), who was himself without an antagonist (of equal power); who was a most devout worshipper of the Divine One; (and)
  • (L. 4.)-Who was the son, begotten on the Mahâdêvî Dattadêvî, of the Mahârâjâdhirâja, the glorious Samudragupta,--
  • (L. 1.)- [Who was the exterminator of all kings; who had no antagonist (of equal power) in the world]; whose fame was tasted by the waters [of the four oceans]; [who was equal to (the gods) Dhanada and Varuna and Indra and Antaka; who was the very axe of (the god) Kritânta]; who was the giver of [many] millions of [lawfully acquired cows and] gold; who was the restorer of the ashvamêdha-sacrifice, that had been long in abeyance; (and)
  • (L. 3.)- [Who was the son of the son's son of the Mahârâja, the illustrious Gupta;-the son's son of the Mahârâja, the illustrious Ghatôtkacha];-(and) the son of the Maharajadhiraja, the glorious Chandragupta (I.), (and) the daughter's son of Lichchhavi, begotten on the Mahâdêvî Kumâradêvî;
  • (L. 7.)- On this (lunar day), (specified) as above by the day (&c.),-at this temple of the divine (god) Svâmi-Mahâsêna, whose wondrous form is covered over with the accumulation of the lustre of the three worlds ; who is the god Brahmanya; (and) who resides at . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .,-this great work has been accomplished by Dhruvasharman, who follows the path of the customs of the Krita age, and of the true religion, (and) who is honoured by the assembly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  • (L. 10.)-- Having made a gateway, charming, (and) . . . . . . . . . the abode of saints, (and) having the form of a staircase leading to heaven, (and) resembling a (pearl)-necklace of the kind called kaubêrachchhanda, (and) white with the radiance of pieces o f crystalline gems;-(and having made), in a very proper manner, a [religious] almshouse(?), the abode of those who are eminent in respect of virtuous qualities; resembling in form the top part of a temple;-he, the virtuous-minded one, roams in a charming manner among the items of religious merit (that he has thus accumulated); may the venerable Sharman endure for a long time!
  • (L. 12.)-This lofty pillar, firm and excellent, has been caused to be made by that same Dhruvasharman, whose piety, having acquired the excellent reputation of nectar . . . . . . . . . . . . . on the earth, is so highly esteemed by all perfect beings that there is no one who would fail to worship him; (and) by whom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by means of the abundance of (his) unprecedented accumulation of superhuman power.
  • From: Fleet, John F. Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum: Inscriptions of the Early Guptas. Vol. III. Calcutta: Government of India, Central Publications Branch, 1888, 44-45.

Gadhwa Stone Inscription of Kumaragupta I

  • Victory has been achieved by the Divine One! In the reign of [the most devout worshipper of the Divine One, the Mahârâjâdhirâja], the glorious Kumâragupta; [in the year] . . . . . . . . . . . ; on the day 10; [on this (lunar day), (specified) as above by the day (&c.)]: —
  • (Line 3.) — . . . . . . . . . . . [the community of] a perpetual almshouse . . . . . . . . . . there were given ten dînâras . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and in the almshouse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . three dînâras . . . . . . . . . . .
  • (L. 7.)— [And whosoever shall interfere with this branch of religion],— he [shall become invested] with (the guilt of) the five great sins!
  • (L. 9.)— Gôyindâ, Lakshmâ, . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  • From: Fleet, John F. Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum: Inscriptions of the Early Guptas. Vol. III. Calcutta: Government of India, Central Publications Branch, 1888, 40.

Gadhwa Stone Inscription of Kumaragupta I (417-418 CE)

  • [Victory has been achieved by the Divine One!] [In the reign] of the most devout worshipper of the Divine One, [the Mahârâjâdhirâja, the glorious Kumâragupta]; in the year 90 (and) 8; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ; [on this] (lunar day), (specified) as above by the day (&c.);—
  • (Line 3)— . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [for the purpose] of adding to (his) own religious merit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (to endure) for the same time with . . . . . . . . . . . . . . a perpetual almshouse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . twelve dînâras . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  • (L. 9.)— . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . shall become invested with . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  • From: Fleet, John F. Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum: Inscriptions of the Early Guptas. Vol. III. Calcutta: Government of India, Central Publications Branch, 1888, 41.

Mandasor Inscription of Kumaragupta I and Bandhuvarman

  • Perfection has been attained! May that Sun protect you,-who is worshipped by the hosts of the gods for the sake of existence, and by the Siddhas who wish for supernatural powers, (and) by ascetics, entirely given over to abstract meditation (and) having worldly attractions well under control, who wish for the final liberation of the soul, and, with devotion, by saints, practising strict penances, (who wish to become) able to counteract curses; (and) who is the cause of the destruction and the commencing (again) of the universe! Reverence to that Sun,-whom (even) the Brâhmanical sages, though they knew the knowledge of the truth (and) exerted themselves, failed to comprehend; and who nourishes the whole of the three worlds with (his) rays diffused in all directions; who, when he is risen, is praised by Gandharvas, gods, Siddhas, Kinnaras, and Naras; and who grants (their) desires to those who worship (him)! May that Sun, decorated with glorious beams, protect you,-who shines, day after day, with the mass of (his) rays flowing down over the wide and lofty summit of the lordly mountain of dawn, (and) who is of a dark-red colour like the cheeks of intoxicated women!
  • (Line 3.)-From the district of Lâta, which is pleasing with choice trees that are bowed down by the weight of (their) flowers, and with temples and assembly-halls of the gods, and with vihâras, (and) the mountains of which are covered over with vegetation, to (this) city of Dashapura there came, full of respect,-first, in thought; and afterwards (in person) in a band, together; with (their) children and kinsmen,-men who were renowned in the world for (skill in their) craft (of silk-weaving), and who, being manifestly attracted by the virtues of the kings of the country, gave no thought to the continuous discomforts produced by the journey and its accompaniments. And in course (of time) this (city) became the forehead-decoration of the earth, which is adorned with a thousand mountains whose rocks are besprinkled with the drops of rut that trickle down from the sides of the temples of rutting elephants, (and) which has for (its) decorative ear-ornaments the trees weighed down with flowers. Here the lakes, crowded with kârandava-ducks, are beautiful,-having the waters close to (their) shores made variegated with the many flowers that fall down from the trees growing on the banks, (and) being adorned with full-blown waterlilies. The lakes are beautiful (in some places); with the swans that are encaged in the pollen that falls from the waterlilies shaken by the tremulous waves; and in other places with the waterlilies bent down by the great burden of their filaments. Here the woods are adorned with lordly trees, that are bowed down by the weight of their flowers and are full of the sounds of the flights of bees that hum loudly through intoxication (caused by the juices of the flowers that they suck), and with the women from the city who are perpetually singing. Here the houses have waving flags, (and) are full of tender women, (and) are very white (and) extremely lofty, resembling the peaks of white clouds lit up with forked lightning. And other long buildings on the roofs of the houses, with arbours in them, are beautiful,-being like the lofty summits of (the mountain) Kailâsa; being vocal with songs (like those) of the Gandharvas; having pictured representations arranged (in them); (and) being adorned with groves of waving plantaintrees. Here, cleaving asunder the earth, there rise up houses which are decorated with successions of storeys; which are like rows of aerial chariots; (and) which are as pure as the rays of the full-moon. This (city) is beautiful (through) being embraced by two charming rivers, with tremulous waves, as if it were the body of (the god) Smara (embraced) in secrecy by (his wives) Prîti and Rati, possessed of (heaving) breasts. Like the sky with the brilliant multitudes of planets, it shines with Brâhmans endowed with truth, patience, self-control, tranquillity, religious vows, purity, fortitude, private study, good conduct, refinement, and steadfastness, (and) abounding in learning and penances, and free from the excitement of surprise.
  • (L. 8.)-So assembling together, (and) day by day received into greater friendship by (their) constant associates, (and) honourably treated like sons by the kings, in joy and happiness they settled in (this) city. Some of them (became) excessively well acquainted with the science of archery, (in which the twanging of the bow is) pleasing to the ear; others, devoting themselves to hundreds of excellent achievements, (became) acquainted with wonderful tales; and others, unassuming in (their) modesty (and) devoted to discourses of the true religion, (became) able to say much that was free from harshness (and yet was) salutary. Some excelled in their own business (of silk-weaving); and by others possessed of high aims, the science of astrology was mastered; and even to-day others of them, valorous in battle, effect by force the destruction of (their) enemies. So also others, wise, possessed of charming wives, (and) belonging to a famous and mighty lineage, are decorated with achievements that befit (their) birth; and others, true to (their) promises (and) firm in friendship with the accompaniment of confidence, are skilled in conferring favours upon (their) intimates. (And so) the guild shines gloriously all around, through those who are of this sort, and through others who,-overcoming the attachment for worldly objects; being characterised by piety; (and) possessing most abundant goodness,-(are) very gods in an earthly habitation.
  • (L. 11.)-(Just as) a woman, though endowed with youth and beauty (and) adorned with the arrangement of golden necklaces and betel-leaves and flowers, goes not to meet (her) lover in a secret place, until she has put on a pair of coloured silken cloths,-(so) the whole of this region of the earth, is (almost superfluously) adorned through them, (as if) with a silken garment, agreeable to the touch, variegated with the arrangement of different colours, (and) pleasing to the eye.
  • (L. 12)- Having reflected that the world is very unsteady, being blown about by the wind life the charming ear-ornaments, (made of) sprigs, of the women of the Vidyâdharas (and similarly) the estate of man; and also accumulations of wealth large (though they may be),-they became possessed of a virtuous (and) stable understanding and then;-
  • (L. 13.)-While Kumâragupta was reigning over the (whole) earth, whose pendulous marriage-string is the verge of the four oceans; whose large breasts are (the mountains) Sumêru and Kailâsa; (and) whose laughter is the full-blown flowers showered forth from the borders of the woods;-
  • (L. 13.)-There was a ruler, king Vishvavarman, who was equal in intellect to Shukra and Brihaspati, who became the most eminent of princes on the earth; (and) whose deeds in war were equal to (those of) Pârtha;-who was very compassionate to the unhappy; who fulfilled his promises to the miserable and the distressed; who was excessively full of tenderness; (and) who was a very tree of plenty to (his) friends, and the giver of security to the frightened, and the friend of (his) country;-.
  • (L. 14.)-His son (was) king Bandhuvarman, possessed of firmness and statesmanship; beloved by (his) kinsmen; the relative, as it were, of (his) subjects; the remover of the afflictions of (his) connections; pre-eminently skilful in destroying the ranks of (his) proud enemies. Handsome, youthful, dexterous in war, and endowed with humility, king though he was, yet was he never carried away by passion, astonishment and other (evil sentiments); being the very incarnation of erotic passion, he resembled in beauty, even though he was not adorned with ornaments, a second (Kâmadêva) armed with the bow that is made of flowers. Even to-day, when the long-eyed lovely women of (his) enemies, pained with the fierce pangs of widowhood, think of him, they stagger about through fear, in such a way as to fatigue (their) firm and compact breasts.
  • (L. 16.)-While he, the noble Bandhuvarman, the best of kings, the strong-shouldered one, was governing this city of Dashapura, which had been brought to a state of great prosperity,-a noble (and) unequalled temple of the bright-rayed (Sun), was caused to be built by the silk-cloth weavers, as a guild, with the stores of wealth acquired by (the exercise of their) craft;-(a temple) which, having broad and lofty spires, (and) resembling a mountain, (and) white as the mass of the rays of the risen moon, shines, charming to the eye, having the similarity of (being) the lovely crest-jewel, fixed (in its proper place), of (this) city of the west.
  • (L. 17.)-In that season which unites men with (their) lovely mistresses; which is agreeable with the warmth of the fire of the rays of the sun (shining) in the glens; in which the fishes lie low down in the water; which (on account of the cold) is destitute of the enjoyment of the beams of the moon, and (sitting in the open air on) the flat roofs of houses, and sandal-wood perfumes, and palmleaf-fans, and necklaces;-in which the waterlilies are bitten by the frost; which is charming with the humming of the bees that are made happy by the juice of the full-blown flowers of the rôdhra and priyamguplants and the jasmine-creepers; in which the lavalî-trees and the solitary branches of the naganâ-bushes are made to dance with the force of the wind that is harsh and cold with particles of frost;-(and) in which (the cold induced by) the falling of frost and snow is derided by the close embraces of the large and beautiful and plump and bulky breasts and thighs of young men and (their) mistresses, completely under the influence of love;-when, by (the reckoning from) the tribal constitution of the Mâlavas, four centuries of years, increased by ninety-three, had elapsed; in that season when the low thunder of the muttering of clouds is to be welcomed (as indicating the approach of warmth again);-on the excellent thirteenth day of the bright fortnight of the month Sahasya,-this temple was established, with the ceremony of auspicious benediction.
  • (L. 19.)-And, in the course of a long time, under other kings, part of this temple fell into disrepair; so now, in order to increase their own fame, the whole of this most noble house of the Sun has been repaired again by the munificent corporation;-(this temple) which is very lofty (and) pure; which touches the sky, as it were, with (its) charming spires; (and) which is the resting-place of the spotless rays of the moon and the sun at (their) times of rising. Thus, when five centuries of years, increased by twenty, and nine years had elapsed; on the charming second lunar day of the bright fortnight of the month Tapasya;-in the season when (Kamadêva), whose body was destroyed by Hara, develops (his number of five) arrows by attaining unity with the fresh bursting-forth of the flowers of the ashôka and kêtaka and sinduvâra-a-trees, and the pendulous atimuktaka-creeper, and the wild-jasmine;-when the solitary large branches of the naganâ-bushes are full of the songs of the bees that are delighted by drinking the nectar; (and) when the beautiful and luxuriant rôdhra-trees swing to and fro with the fresh bursting forth of (their) flowers,-the whole of this noble city was decorated with (this) best of temples; just as the pure sky is decorated with the moon, and the breast of (the god) Shârngin with the kaustubha-jewel. As long as (the god) Îsha wears a mass of tawny matted locks, undulating with the spotless rays of the moon (on his forehead); and (as long as) (the god) Shârngin (carries) a garland of lovely waterlilies on his shoulder;-so long may this noble temple endure for ever!
  • (L. 23.)-By the command of the guild, and from devotion, (this) temple of the Sun was caused to be built; and this (eulogy) that precedes was, with particular care, composed by Vatsabhatti. Hail to the composer and the writer, and those who read or listen (to it)! Let there be success!
  • From: Fleet, John F. Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum: Inscriptions of the Early Guptas. Vol. III. Calcutta: Government of India, Central Publications Branch, 1888, 84-88.

Mathura Jain Inscription of Kumaragupta I Gupta Year 113 (=A.D.432)

Ref - Epigraphia Indica II, p. 210

Tumain Fragmentary Inscription of the time of Kumaragupta I and Ghatotkachagupta Gupta Year (=A.D. 435)

Damodarpur Copper-plate Inscription of the time of Kumaragupta I Gupta Year 124 (=A.D. 443)

To add Ref - Epigraphia Indica XV, p.130, Select Inscriptions by D. C. Sircar p. 290

Damodarpur Copper-plate Inscription of the time of Kumaragupta I Gupta Year 128 (=A.D. 448)

To add

Ref - Epigraphia Indica XV, p.133, Select Inscriptions by D. C. Sircar p. 292

Mankuwar Image Inscription of Kumaragupta (448-449 CE)

  • Ôm! Reverence to the Buddhas! This image of the Divine One, who thoroughly attained perfect knowledge, (and) who was never refuted in respect of his tenets, has been installed by the Bhikshu Buddhamitra,— (in) the year 100 (and) 20 (and) 9; in the reign of the Mahârâja, the glorious Kumâragupta; (in) the month Jyêshtha; (on) the day 10 (and) 8,— with the object of averting all unhappiness.
  • From: Fleet, John F. Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum: Inscriptions of the Early Guptas. Vol. III. Calcutta: Government of India, Central Publications Branch, 1888, 47.

Sanchi Stone Inscription of Kumaragupta (450-451 CE)

  • Perfection has been attained! By the Upâsikâ Harisvâminî, the wife of the Upâsaka Sanasiddha, for the sake of (her) parents, twelve dînâras are given, (as) a permanent endowment, to the community of the faithful, collected from the four quarters of the world, at the holy great vihâra of Kâkanâdabôta. With the interest that accrues of these dinâras, day by day one Bhikshu, who has been introduced into the community, should be fed.
  • (Line 5.)-Also three dinâras are given in the jewel-house. With the interest of these three dinâras, day by day three lamps of the divine Buddha should be lit in the jewel house.
  • (L.6.)-Also, one dinâra is given in the place where (the images of) the four Buddhas are seated. With the interest of this, day by day a lamp of the divine Buddha should be lit in the place where (the images of) the four Buddhas are seated.
  • (L. 8.)-Thus this permanent endowment,-written upon stone (so as to endure) for the same time with the moon and the sun,-has been accomplished by the Upâsikâ Harisvâminî, the noble lady, the wife of Sanasiddha.
  • (L. 11.)-The years 100 (and) 30 (and) 1; (the month) Ashvayuj; the day 5.
  • From: Fleet, John F. Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum: Inscriptions of the Early Guptas. Vol. III. Calcutta: Government of India, Central Publications Branch, 1888, 262.

Udayagiri Cave Inscription of Kumaragupta I (425-426 CE)

  • Reverence to the Perfect Ones! In the augmenting reign of the family of the best of kings, belonging to the Gupta lineage, who are endowed with glory (and) are oceans of virtuous qualities;-in a century of years, coupled with six; and in the excellent month of Kârttika; and on the fifth day of the dark fortnight;-
  • (Line 3.)-He who has conquered the enemies (of religion), (and) is possessed of tranquillity and self-command, caused to be made (and set up) in the mouth of (this) cave, this image of a Jina, richly endowed with (the embellishments of) the expanded hoods of a snake and an attendant female divinity, (and) having the name of Pârshva, the best of the Jinas.
  • (L. 4.)-He is, indeed, the disciple of the saint, the Âchârya Gôsharman, who was the ornament of the lineage of the Âchârya Bhadra (and) sprang from a noble family; but he is more widely renowned on the earth (as being) the son, (begotten) on Padmâvatî, of the Ashvapati, the soldier Sanghila, who, unconquerable by (his) enemies, took himself to be a very Ripughna;-by his own appellation, he is spoken of under the name of Shankara; - (and) he has adhered to the path of ascetics, conformable to the sacred precepts.
  • (L. 7.)-Born in the region of the north, the best of countries, which resembles (in beatitude) the land of the Northern Kurus, - he, the wise one, has set aside whatever religious merit (there is) in this (act), for the purpose of destroying the band of the enemies of religious actions.
  • From: Fleet, John F. Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum: Inscriptions of the Early Guptas. Vol. III. Calcutta: Government of India, Central Publications Branch, 1888, 259-260.

दिलीपसिंह अहलावत लिखते हैं

कुमारगुप्त प्रथम (414 ई० से 455 ई० तक) -

चन्द्रगुप्त द्वितीय की मृत्यु के पश्चात् उसका पुत्र कुमारगुप्त प्रथम राजगद्दी पर बैठा। उसने सन् 414 ई० से 455 ई० तक शासन किया। वह भी एक महान् सम्राट् था और उसने अपने पिता के साम्राज्य को उसी तरह स्थिर रखा। उसके एक शिलालेख से पता चलता है कि उसने बन्धुवर्मन नामक राजा को पराजित किया तथा साम्राज्य में कुछ वृद्धि की। समुद्रगुप्त की भांति उसने भी अश्वमेध यज्ञ किया और तत्पश्चात् ‘श्री अश्वमेध महेन्द्र’ की उपाधि ग्रहण की। इस सम्राट् को पुष्यमित्र नामक शक्तिशाली जाति से युद्ध लड़ना पड़ा। इस जाति से युद्ध करने के लिए इसने अपने योग्यपुत्र स्कन्दगुप्त के अधीन सेना भेजी। एक भयानक युद्ध हुआ जिसमें स्कन्दगुप्त विजयी होकर लौटा। उसने हिन्दू धर्म के विकास के साथ-साथ जैनियों तथा बौद्धों की भी बहुत सहायता की। उसके काल में भवन-निर्माणकला, शिल्पकला तथा मुद्राकला बहुत उन्नति के शिखर तक पहुंच गई। अतः उसका शासनकाल ‘स्वर्णयुग’ का एक भाग माना जाता है। इस सम्राट् की सन् 455 ई० में मृत्यु हो गई।[1]


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