Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions/Names of Feudatory Kings and High Officers

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Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions

Tej Ram Sharma

Concept Publishing Company Delhi, 1978

The full text of this chapter has been converted into Wiki format by Laxman Burdak

Names of Feudatory Kings and High Officers


Names of Feudatory Kings and High Officers

Names of Feudatory Kings

First, we analyse the names of subordinate rulers or feudatory kings dividing them into the following categories :

Names based on Ganapati

1. Ganapati (No. I, L. 13) :

One of the kings said to have been uprooted by Samudragupta in northern India. The name violates the laws laid down by the Grhya-sutras which prohibit the giving of the names of deities to human-beings directly.1

2. Ganapatinaga (No. 1, L. 21) :

Another king of Aryyavartta defeated by Samudragupta. The first part is Ganapati and the second is 'naga', which signifies that the king belonged to the Naga dynasty. He probably ruled at Mathura.2

Names based on Moon

1. Chandravarmman : (No. 1, L. 21) :

One of the kings of Aryyavartta defeated by Samudragupta. The first part is Chandra and second is 'Varmma' which is a form for the original term 'varman', a surname generally used for kshatriyas. He may be identified with the king of that name whose record has been found at Susunia in Bankura district, Bengal.3

2. Suraśmichandra (No. 1 8, L. 4) :

He is described as the ruler of the country that lies between the rivers Kalindi and Narmada, and governing with the qualities of a regent lording, one of the quarters of the world, and enjoying the title of a maharaja during the reign of Budhagupta.


Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions 39


Literally it means 'a moon possessed of good rays'.

Names based on Naga

1. Nagadatta (No. 1, L. 21) :

One of the kings of Aryavartia defeated by Samudragupta. The first part is Naga which refers most likely to 'a holy serpent' and the second is 'datta' meaning given. Thus the full name may mean 'born by the grace of a Naga'. D.C. Sircar takes the compound as a Caturthi Tatpurusa instance meaning 'dedicated to a Naga'. However, the compounds are usually taken as Tritiya Tatpurusa instances. The names do not indicate towards bali but such names as Gurudatta, Sivadatta and Nagadatta may exhibit reverence to Guru, Siva or Naga by whose worship or blessings the son was born which is attested to by tradition of such names.

2. Nagasena (No.1, L. 13, 21) :

The first part of the name is Naga and the second is sena. Nagasena of the L. 13 and L. 21 looks to be the same.4 According to L. 21 he was one of the kings of Aryavartta uprooted by Samudragupta. In L. 13 he is mentioned as having been defeated by Samudragupta by the valour of his arms. He seems to have been an important king. 5

Names based on Siva

1. Rudradatta (No.52,L.3):

He is given the designation of a maharaja and is mentioned as a padadasa (slave of the feet) of Vainyagupta. The first part literally meaning roaring, dreadful or terrible6 denotes Siva and the second 'given'; the full name meaning 'given by Lord Shiva'.

2. Rudradeva (No. 1, L. 21) :

He is described as one of the kings of Aryyavartta defeated by Samudragupta. The first part of the name is Rudra which denotes Lord Shiva and the second is 'deva' which means 'god'. It is another name based on Lord Siva. Rudradeva has been differently identified by various scholars. Dr. D.C. Sircar has identified him with the Western Satrap Rudrasena II or his son Rudrasena III, while K.P. Jayaswal, K.N. Dikshit and R.N. Dandekar identify him with Vakataka Rudrasena I. U.N. Roy7 differing with the above scholars proposes his


40 Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions


identification with Vakataka Maharaja Rudrasena II, the son of Prthvisena I.

3. Ugrasena (No. 1, L. 20) :

He is mentioned as a ruler of Pālakka during the reign of Samudragupta. Ugra meaning 'powerful mighty or terrible', is another name of Rudra or Siva. 8 Sena is merely a surname. Or we can give another explanation of the whole as Ugrā senā asya, i.e. 'having mighty army'.

Names based on Sun

We find only one such name which is as given below :

1. Prabhakara (No. 32, L. 8) :

He is described as a king (bhumipati) and a destroyer of the enemies of the Gupta dynasty. He was the overlord of Dattabhata. He is not known from any other source. The name of his capital or territory is not mentioned. Probably he was the contemporary local chief of Dasapura and a feudatory ally of the Guptas in their struggle against the Hunas.9 Dattabhata does not include in the inscription the genealogy of his master. It is possible that Prabhakara was a self-made man who did not have a distinguished ancestor worthy of record. He may have been appointed as a ruler of Dashapura by the paramount power, after the extinction of the Varman dynasty.10 That Prabhakara was not a scion of the Varman dynasty would also appear from his name which, unlike the names of the known members of that dynasty, does not end in Varman.11 The name violates the laws of Grhyasutras which forbid the direct imposition of the names of deities upon human-beings.

Names based on Visnu

1. Achyutanandin (No. 1, L. 21) :

He is included in the list of kings of Aryyavartta forcefully uprooted by Samudragupta. Achyuta is the name of Vishnu or Krishna,12 and Nandin is the name of an attendant of Siva and also the name of Siva's bull.13 So literally the expression would mean 'one who is a servant of god Visnu'. Nandin also means gladdening or rejoicing. 14 So it may also mean 'one who pleases or wins over god Visnu'.

Achyutanandin seems to have been a ruler of Ahichchhatra



Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions 41


(near Bareilly district).15 The Puranas give names ending in 'Nandin' in the list of Naga kings and coins bearing 'Achyuta' have been found from Ahichchhatra.16 Therefore, it is possible that Ahicchatra was a seat of government of Achyutanandin.

2. Dhanyavishnu (No. 18, L. 8) :

He was the grandson of maharaja Indravisnu and younger brother of maharaja Matrvisnu. We also find his name in line 5 of the Eran Stone Boar Inscription of the time of Toramana(A.D. 500-515 ).17 It signifies the tendency of naming persons by using adjectives before the names of deities. Dhanya means 'bringing or bestowing wealth or the opulent'.18

3. Harivishnu (No. 18, L. 6) :

He was the great-grandfather of maharaja Matrvisnu. Hari here specifies the Krishna apparition of Visnu.19

4. Indravishnu (No. 18, L. 5) :

He has been mentioned as a maharaja, great-grand-father of Matrvisnu; a brahmana devoted to studies and celebrating sacrifices and belonging to Maitrayaniya (sakha). The vedic counterpart is Indravisnu m. dual.

5. Matrivisnu : (No. 18, L. 7) :

He was the installer of the stone pillar at Eran, a maharaja, grandson of maharaja Indravisnu. We also find his name in the Eran Stone Boar Inscription of the time of Toramana (A.D. 500-515).20 Matr stands for one of the seven Matrikas 21 and may refer to the prevalence of the Mātri cult. The name is formed by the similar process of the combination of the names of two deities, Mātri and Visnu. Matri, if taken as a short form for the Vedic Mātarisvan, together with Visnu would mean Agni and Visnu an interpretation that is relevant to the context.

6. Varunavishnu (No. 18, L. 5) :

He was the grandfather of maharaja Mātrivisnu. The name is based on the combination of the names of two deities Varuna and Visnu. Varuna is the sea-god of the Vedic pantheon.

7. Vishnudasa (No. 3, L. 2) :

Maharaja Vishnudasa belonged to the Sanakanika family. Visnu signifies the Lord Visnu and dasa means 'a servant'. Thus the whole literally means 'a servant or devotee of Lord Visnu'.


42 Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions


8. Visnugopa (No 1, L. 19) :

A ruler of Kanchi. According to Diskalkar Visnugopa is undoubtedly identical with an early Pallava king of that name.22

It can be a synonym of Lord Krishna who originally an incarnation of Visnu took his birth as the son of Nanda who was a Gopa.

Names according to their suffixes

Now we study the names grouping them according to their suffixes.

Names ending in 'datta'

1. Parnadatta (No. 14, L. 8, L. 9) :

He is mentioned as a ruler of Surastra appointed by Skandagupta. He was the father of governor Chakrapalita. Sankalia considers it to be an Iranian name.23 But it can can very well be an Indian name. Parna means a leaf and is as well the name of a tree called Palasa. We find 'Parnadatta' to be the name of a man in the Maitrayani Samhita.24 It signifies 'a person born as a result of the worship of the Parna (Palasa) tree'.

2. Svamidatta25 (No. 1, L. 19) :

He is mentioned as one of the Dakshinapatha kings. He was a ruler of Kottura and was defeated by Samudragupta.

Literally the name means 'given by God', the first part being Svamin and the second datta.

Names ending in 'Giri'

1. Mahendragiri (No. 1, L. 19) :

The first part is Mahendra, i.e., the great Indra and the second is 'giri', which means a mountain. It is also an honorific name later on given to one of the ten orders of the Das-nami Gosains (founded by ten pupils of Sankaracarya; the word giri is added to the name of each member).27 We also find it used with the names of ascetics.

He was one of the Dakshinapatha kings defeated by Samudragupta.

Names ending in Mitra

Pushyamitra (No. 13, L.I 1,) :

The name is mentioned in plural.28 It is said that Pushyamitras


Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions 43


who had developed great power and wealth were defeated by king Skandagupta.

The other readings suggested by scholars are Puspamitra and Yudhyamitra. But a careful scrutiny will support the reading Pusyamitra as more likely. In the passages quoted by Buhler from the Prakrit Gathas, ascribed to Merutunga, Dharmasagara and Jayavijayagni 29 , the name of the early king Pusyamitra, the contemporary of Patanjali appears as Pusamitta and thus supports the reading Pusyamitra.

Pusyamitra in plural may denote the followers of king Pusyamitra. Pushyamitra, the name of a tribe in Central India, is also mentioned in the Puranas.

Names ending in Rājan(Raja)

1. Devarāja (No. 5, L. 7) :

Fleet fills up the lacuna30 and takes Devarāja to be the name of an officer of Chandragupta II.31 But D.C. Sircar takes it as another name of Chandragupta II.32 The view of Sircar is more plausible and has been generally accepted by scholars.33 It may, however, be noted that in Vakataka grants Devagupta is mentioned as another name of Chandragupta II.34

Literally the name means 'a king of gods' which is also another name of Indra.

2. Goparaja (No. 19, LL. 3, 5) :

A feudatory chief who is said to have accompanied the mighty king glorious Bhanugupta and fought a famous battle. Goparaja died in the battle and his wife burnt herself on the funeral pyre along with him.

The inscription informs us that he was the son of a king named Madhava, and was the daughter's son of the Sarabha king, belonging to the lineage of Lakṣa of which he is described as an ornament.

Literally the name means 'a king of the Gopas', i.e., milkmen or Ahiras. Raja is a surname signifying 'the king'.

3. Maṇṭarāja (N. 1, L. 19) :

King of Kurūḷa (कुरूळ), one of the rulers of Dakshinapatha defeated by Samudragupta.

In this name the first part is Manta and the second is Raja. The meaning of the first part is not clear. It is clearly not a


44 Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions


Sanskrit word. As Woolner has pointed out words with cerebrals are often non-Aryan or influenced by non-Aryan elements.35 Another possibility is that these names show dialectal elements. Even now-a-days we give names like Mantu, Bantu, etc., to little children. There is also a possibility that the Sanskrit word 'mantra' meaning 'a hymn or magical formula' got changed to 'manta' through a process of Prakritization, or we may derive it from an artificial root 'mant' to act as intermediator.36

4. Nīlarāja (No. 1, LL. 19-20) :

A king of Avamukta, one of the Daksinapatha kings defeated by Samudragupta. The first part of the name is Nila and the second is raja.

Nila means 'of dark colour' especially blue or green or black37 and is also the name of a Naga and raja is the surname added to it.

5. Śarbharāja (No. 19, L. 4) :

He was the maternal grandfather of Goparaja, the feudatory chief of king Bhanugupta.

Sarabha is the name of a people and also refers to a fabulous animal supposed to have eight legs and to inhabit the snowy mountains; it is represented as stronger than the lion and the elephant.38 The name may literally mean 'a king of the Sarabha people'. It may also be treated as a name based on an animal.

6. Vyaghraraja (No. 1, L. 19) :

He was the ruler of Mahakantara and was one of the kings of Daksinapatha defeated by Samudragupta. He has been identified with the Vakataka feudatory prince Vyaghra whose inscriptions have been found at Nach-ne-ki-talai and Ganj in Central India, who is also said to have been the ruler of the Ucchakalpa dynasty in Bundelkhand. 39 But an objection to this view is that he must be a ruler in Dakshinapatha as mentioned in our inscription and has accordingly been identified with the ruler of Maha-vana, a synonym of Maha-kantara, also called Jeypore forest in Orissa. 40

The name is based on the animal Vyaghra, or tiger implying that in Mahakantara his subordinate chiefs were like tigers and he was their ruler. The name is a good selection in the


Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions 45



context of the fact that the region of Mahakantara is known to have been infested with tigers.

7.... raja (No. 19, L. 3) :

The first part of the name has been damaged. He was a king and was the grandfather of Goparaja, the feudatory chief of king Bhanugupta. He was the founder of the Laksha lineage.

Names ending in Varman

1. Balavarmman (No. 1, L. 21) :

One of the kings of Aryyavartta said to have been forcefully uprooted by Samudragupta. The first part of the name is Bala which means strength or power and the second part Varmman is a surname used for kshatriyas. The name may literally mean 'one who protects with his power'. It is a name based on quality.

2. Bandhuvarman (No. 17, L. 15, L. 16) :

Bandhuvarman was the son of Vishvavarman. He was probably a feudatory chief, ruling at Dasapura, Mandasor in Western Malwa,41 in the time of Kumaragupta I. He has been mentioned as a king (nrpa) governing the city of Dasapura and it was under his rulership that the Sun-temple was caused to be built by the guild of silk-cloth weavers at Mandasor Dasapura). The relevant lines in the inscription lay a stress on his name Bandhu. He is described as possessed of firmness and statesmanship; beloved of (his) kinsmen; the relative, as it were, of (his) subjects; the remover of the afflictions of (his) connections; pre-eminently skillful in destroying the ranks of (his) proud enemies. 42 Varman is a kshatriya surname meaning 'the protector', the entire expression may literally be translated as 'the protector of his relatives'.

3. Bhimavarman (No. 26, L. 1) :

He is mentioned as a maharaja and seems to have been a feudatory king of Skandagupta. Bhima was the name of one of the five Pandavas (the second son of Pandu) mentioned in the Mahabharata. Literally the name may mean 'one who protects by awfulness'. Bhima is also the name of Rudra-Siva, one of the eight forms of Siva.43 Thus it may be a name based on god Siva.

4. Hastivarmman (No. 1, L. 2) :


46 Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions


A king of Vengi (वेंगी) in the time of Samudragupta and included in the list of the Dakshinapatha kings defeated by the latter. He is identical with the king of the Salankayana dynasty whose record has been found at Peddavegi. 44 It is a name based on animal. The name Hastin (elephant) denotes fatness and valour.

5. Vishvavarman (No. 17, L. 14) :

A ruler (Goptr) in the time of Kumaragupta I. Literally the name may mean 'a protector of the world'. There is a second possibility that it is a name based on the deity Visnu, because Visva meaning all-pervading or all-containing, omnipresent,45 is also the name of Visnu-Krishna.

One-word names

1. Achyuta (No. 1, L. 13) :

It is the same as Achyutanandin mentioned in line 21.46 It is the abbreviated form of the full name Achyutanandin where the latter part is dropped. The abridged form 'Achyuta' leads to the violation of the injunctions of the Dharma-sutras which forbid giving direct names of gods to human-beings. Achyuta is the name of god Visnu or Krsna.47

2. Chagalaga (चगलग) (No. 3, L. 2) :

A maharaja, grandfather of a maharaja whose name in line 2 is illegible and who belonged to the Sanakanika tribe or family, who was a feudatory of Chandragupta I. We find the word Chagala literally meaning 'a hegoat'48 in the Unadi-sutras of Panini where it is the name of a Rishi.49 It seems to be a non-Aryan word. The words Chagala, Chagalaka orChagalaga mean the same.50

3. Damana (दमन) (No. 1, L. 19) :

A ruler of Erandapalla who was one of the Daksinapatha kings conquered by Samudragupta. We get this name in the Mahabharata and the Puranas. Literally the word daman means 'taming, subduing, overpowering';51 hence the name may mean 'one who subdues or overpowers others'.

4. Dhananjaya (No. 1, L. 20) :

A ruler of Kusthalapura and one of the Daksinapatha kings defeated by Samudragupta. The name has some connection with the Epic. In the Mahabharata Dhananjaya is one of the


Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions 47


epithets of Arjuna

Literally it would mean, 'one who wins a prize or booty or acquires wealth'.

5. Kubera (कुबेर) (No. 1, L. 20) :

Ruler of Devarashtra mentioned in the list of the kings of Daksinapatha who were defeated by Samudragupta. According to Bhandarkar Kubera was perhaps the father of Kubera-naga of the Naga family, who was a queen of Chandragupta II.52 In this case the name of Kubera, the god of wealth, has been given directly which is against the rules prescribed by the Grhya-sutras.53

6. Madhava (माधव) (No. 19, L. 3) :

Father of Goparaja, the feudatory of Bhanugupta; born of Laksha lineage. It is the name of Lord Krishna given to this king which violates the rules of Dharmasutras.

7. Matila (मतिल) (No. 1, L. 21) :

One of the kings of Aryyavartta defeated by Samudragupta. According to Panini,54 a polysyllabic name was sometime shortened in order to express affection. Thus in the case of names ending in 'ila' we find Devila being derived from Devadatta; Yajnila and Yajnadatta; Makhila from Makhadeva; Agila from Agnidatta ; Satila from Svatidatta; Nagila from Nagadatta, and Yasila, Yakhila from Yaksadatta.55 Similarly Matila can be formed from Matideva or Matidatta.

Names of Ministers

1. Amrakarddava (No. 5, L. 5) :

Hailing from Sukuli-desa who loyally served Chandragupta II by fighting and winning many battles for him.

The first part of the name is based on the mango tree. The second part is karddava.56 It is the name of some Nagas or serpent-demons thought to be inhabitants of the lower regions.57 Kadru is the name of the mother of serpents. Kadrava by metathesis becomes Karddava which literally means 'born of Kadru'. In south, among aboriginal people and lower castes, the practice of matriarchal names is well known. The whole term 'Amrakarddava' is inexplicable as one word. Amra seems to be his personal name and Karddava his family title.


48 Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions


2. Harisena (हरिषेण) (No. 1, L. 32) :

He is given several titles indicating offices held of a Khādyatapākika, 58 a Sandhivigrahika, a Kumaramatya and a Mahadandanayaka of Samudragupta. He is also the composer of this inscription which has been termed as a kavya.59

Hari is Visnu or Krishna and sena is to be obtained from Sanskrit sena. The name can be explained in two ways. That Hari is his personal name and sena or sena his surname. We may also explain it is, 'one with Hari as his army'. The Mahabharata informs us that there was big army on the side of the Kauarvas and there was only Hari, i.e., Lord Krishna on the side of the Pandavas. The Pandavas could get Hari on their side by foregoing the Yadava army to the Kauravas.

3. Virasena (वीरसेन) (No. 6, L.4) :

Hailing from Pataliputra he was Chandragupta Is minister for peace and war by hereditary right60 and accompanied the king on his far-reaching military expeditions. The first part is Vira which means 'brave' and the second is 'sena' the whole literally meaning 'one with a brave array'. Panini refers ta Senānta names in his Astadhyayi.61 We find many such names as Varisena, Rstisena, Bhimasena and Ugrasena.62 U.N. Roy conjectures the possibility of the composition of the 'Prasasti' inscribed on the Meharauli Iron Pillar Inscription by Śāba alias Virasena who was an accomplished poet and a favourite minister of Chandragupta II, Vikramaditya. 63 It is possible that he outlived his patron and when during a Dharmayatra he revisited the spot where the lofty banner had been raised as a mark of homage to Lord Visnu after the victory over the Vahlikas, was moved to compose and inscribe this Prasasti on the Meharauli Pillar.64

Names of Commanders

1. Dattabhaṭa (No. 32, L.7) :

A son of Vāyurakṣita, himself also a general of the armies of king Prabhakara (appointed by him). We find here the word 'datta' used as the first part of the name. The second part is 'bhaṭa' which means a 'warrior'.

2. Dhruvabhūti (No. 1, L. 32) :

He was a mahadandanayaka and is mentioned in the


Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions 49


Allahabad Pillar Inscription of Samudragupta. The first part is dhruva which means 'firm' or definite and the second part is bhūti which means 'wealth or prosperity', a surname generally used for Vaisyas. Literally it would mean 'whose prosperity is enduring'.

3. Gopasvāmin (No. 40, L. 11; No. 21, L. 15):

In No. 40, he has been mentioned as aksapātalādhikrta, mahapilupati and mahabaladhikrta. The Gaya spurious copper plate inscription of Samudragupta (No. 21) was written by the order of Dyuta-gopasvamin, aksapataladhikrta of another village. Literally Gopasvamin means 'Lord of herdsmen' which is a popular expression for Lord Krishna.

4. Harisena (No. 1,L. 32):

He has been mentioned as a mahadandanayaka in the Allahabad Pillar Inscription of Samudragupta. His name has already been explained among the names of ministers.

5. Tilabhaṭṭaka (No. 1, L. 33) :

He was a mahadandanayaka and is mentioned in the Allahabad Pillar Inscription of Samudragupta.

We find personal names with their first part as Tilaka but never as Tila.66 In the present case also the first part of the name was probably 'Tilaka' and the second was bhatta. Later on by the process of metathesis the name may have become 'Tilabhattaka'.

Tilaka is a mark on the forehead (made with coloured earths, sandal-wood, or unguents, either as an ornament of a sectarial distinction),67 the second part 'bhatta' is a surname.

6. Vayuraksita (No. 32, L. 5) :

He was a commander of the army (senāpati). The first part of the name is Vayu standing for 'the god of the wind', 69 and the second part is 'raksita' which means 'protected'. The full name literally means 'protected by the god of the wind'.

Names of Governors

1. Brahmadatta (No. 33, L. 2) :

An Uparika-mahārāja ruling over the Pundravardhana-bhukti in the reign of Budhagupta. The name would literally mean, 'given by (the grace of) God'.

2. Chakrapalita (No. 14, L. 11, L. 27) :


50 Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions


Governor of Surastra in the reign of Skandagupta who restored the break in the Sudarsana lake and renewed the embankment. It has been shown by Charpentier that he was an Iranian.70 We find many Iranians adopting names after Hindu gods. 71 Chakrapalita means 'one protected by the disc (bearer)', i.e., a devotee of Visnu, a name adopted after this person became a Vaisnava (Hindu). 72

3. Chirātadatta (No. 34, L. 2, L. 3) :

The first part Chirata can be a Prakritization of the word Kirata which is the name of Siva (the god Siva in the form of a wild mountaineer or Kirata as opposed to Arjuna).73 Hence the complete expression would literally mean 'begotton by the grace of Kirata'.

4. Jayadatta (No. 33, L. 3) :

It is the name of an Uparika-maharaja in the reign of Budhagupta. Jaya is the name of Arjuna (son of Pandu). 74 The second part 'datta' is a surname. It may thus be a name based on the Epic. It may also be noted that Jayadatta was the name of a Bodhisattva. 75

5. Vijayasena (No. 52, L. 16) : He was a dutaka, mahapratihara, a mahapilupati, an uparika of five adhikaranas , an uparika over a pati, an uparika over a purapala, a maharaja and Sri mahasamanta during the reign of Vainyagupta. The name can literally mean 'one whose army always wins'.

Names of Kumārāmātyas76

1. Kulavradhi (No. 44, L. 1) :

One of the Kumaramatyas in the time of Kumaragupta I. This is a very good name which literally means 'one who increases the family'. A son is always considered to continue the genealogical sequence and hence to increase the family.

2. Pṛthivisena 77 (No. 39, L. 7) :

The son of Sikharasvamin, the minister, and the Kumaramatya mahabaladhikrta of Chandragupta II. He himself was the minister, the Kumaramatya and mahabaidahikrta of Kumaragupta I. His grandfather was Visnupalitabhatta, 78 the son of Kuramaravyabhatta 79 of the gotras Asva and Vajin and who was a teacher of Chandoga (Veda).


Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions 51


3. Revajjasvamin (No. 52, L. 17):

A kumaramatya in the time of Vainyagupta. The first part is Revajja and the second svamin. Revajja can be derived from revat which means rich or prosperous.80 Thus the name would literally mean 'master of the rich'.

4. Sikharasvamin (No. 39, L. 6) :

He was the minister and the kumaramatya of maharajadhiraja, illustrious Candragupta II and was the son of Visnupalitabhatta, the son of Kuramaravyabhatta, a teacher of the Chandoga (Veda).

Sikhara means a peak or summit of a mountain, hence the whole may literally mean 'one who is a master of sikhara The name seems to represent Lord Shiva due to Siva's connection with the Himalayas.

5. Vetravarman (No. 34, L. 4; No. 35, LL. 3-4) :

A kumaramatya in the time of Kumaragupta I. Vetra means the rod or mace of an officer, or staff of a door-keeper.81 So the whole will literally mean 'one who protects by means of a vetra'.

Names of Ayuktakas (Commissioners or District collectors)

1 Achyutadasa (No. 43. L. 1) :

Achyuta is the name of Lord Visnu. So the present name would literally mean 'a dasa or servant of Visnu'. According to the smrtis the surname dasa should be used for Sudras.82

2. Bhamaha (No. 52, L. 17) :

He has beerr mentioned as a bhogika in this inscription. It was also the name of the author of the Alarhkara-sastra and of the Prakrita-manorama (commentary on the Prakrita-prakaSa)83 Literally the name may mean 'one possessing great light, splendour or brightness'.

3. Chandragupta (No. 40, L. 12) :

He is mentioned as a kumara. This name has already been explained among the names of the Gupta kings.

4. Devabhattaraka (No, 37, L. 3) :

He is mentioned to have ruled over the visaya of Kotivarsa. The name is based on the name of Lord Sun. Devabhattaraka seems to be a metathesis of Bhattarakadeva which means 'The god Bhattaraka'.


52 Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions


5. Sa(ga)ndaka (No. 36, L, 3) :

D.C. Sircar takes the reading to be Gandaka which seems to be correct. 85 One scholar 86 equates Sandaka with Sandaka which means a 'bull' and. says that the word Gandaka yields no sensible meaning. But Gandaka has been accepted as the most probable reading by scholars.87 Gandaka is the name of a river in the northern part of India,88 So the name Gandaka based on the river Gandaki can be given to a person just as the name Ganga based on the river Ganges is given to a person. Gandaka is also the name of the Videhas living on the river Gandaki89 and also refers to a rhinoceros.90 It is possible that the present name, like Vyaghra discussed elsewhere is based on the name of an animal.

6. Sarvvanaga (No. 16, LL. 4-5) :

He was a visayapati in the. reign of Skandagupta. Sarvva is the name of Lord Siva91 and naga may be a surname indicating that the person belonged to the Naga tribe.

7. Svayambhu(u)deva (No. 37, I .4)

He has been mentioned as a Visayapati in the Damodarpur copper plate inscription of Bhanugupta. Literally the name would mean 'self-existent god', i.e., Brahma. As mentioned earlier the practice of giving names of gods to human-beings directly is against the tradition of the Dharmasutra.

References

1. Cf. Manava Grhyasutra, L18.1-2; यशस्यं नामधेयं देवताश्रयं नक्षत्राश्रयं देवतायाश्च प्रत्यक्षं प्रतिषिद्धम् ।

2. R.C. Majumdar, Pg. p. 141.

3. Ibid.

4. Cf.No. l, L. 13 : बाहु-वीर्य्य-राभसादेकेन येन क्षणादुन्मूल्याच्युत-नागसेन-गणपत्या दीन्नृपान्संगरे ।

5. No. l, L. 21 :रुद्रदेव-मतिल-नागदत्त-चन्द्रवर्म्म-गणपतिनाग- नागसेनाच्युतनंदि-बल-वर्म्माद्यनेकार्यावर्त राज-प्रसभोद्धरणोदवृत प्रभावमहतः । Cf. note 15

6. Fz. p.183, col. 1

7. U.N.Roy, Lz. pp.69-73

8. Fz. p.172, col.2, M.N.Sircar, Shavism, vide Ky pp.316-35

9. D C Sircar, Hz. p.408

गुप्तान्वयारिद्रुम-धूमकेतु: प्रभकारो भूमिपतिर्य्यमेनम्
स्वेषाम्बलानां बलदेव-वीर्य्यं गुणानुरागादधिपं चकार ।।10।।

Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions 53


We know that the Hunas were threatening to, invade the western portion of the Gupta Empire about this time.

10. To which Naravarman of the Mandasor inscription of M.E. 461, Visvavarman of the Gangdhar inscription of M.E. 480 and Bandhuvarman of the Mandasor inscription of M.E. 493 belonged. See GJ. XII, p. 315 ff, (Dx)1No. 17 and 13.

11. GJ. Vol. 21, pp. 14-15.

12. Fz. p. 9, col. 2.

13. Ibid., p. 527, col. 1-2.

14. Ibid., col. 2.

15. Cf. R.C. Majumdar, Pg. pp. 139-40; Acyutanandin seems to be the same as Acyuta mentioned in L, 13 of the inscription. Some scholars opine that Acyuta, Nagasena and others attacked the newly anointed king but were uprooted by Samudragupta (PJ., Suppl., pp. 24, 27, 37). We cannot give any definite reason for the repetition of these names but it may be said that Samudragupta exterminated them again' in "his Aryyavartta campaign.

16. Cf. R.C. Majumdar, Pg. p. 36. 'The Nagas, of Padmavati give a prominent position to Siva's emblem Trisula and vehicle Nandin, on their coins'. Ibid., pp. 39-40 : A king named Acyuta had risen to power in Ahicchatra (Rohilkhand) by the middle of 4th century A.D. From his coinage it is clear that he was a Naga ruler, most probably a scion of a collateral branch of Mathura family. He offered stubborn resistance to Samudragupta but it proved of no avail. His kingdom was incorporated in the Gupta empire.

17. D.C. Sircar, Hz. p. 421.

18. Fz. p. 509, col. 1. .

19. Ibid., col. 3, Hari is name of Visnu-Krsna (in this sense thought by some to be derived from hṛ to take away or remove evil or sin).

20. D.C. Sircar, Hz. p. 421.

21. Fz. p. 807, col. 1.

22. D.B. Diskalkar, Iz. vol. I, part II, p. 33; Cf. R-C. Majumdar, Pg. p. 145.

23. H.D. Sankalia, Pz. p. 105. "His name yields no sensible meaning, and seems to be "an Indianization of an Iranian name Farna-data which represents an old Iranian name Xvarenodata, meaning 'created by Majesty'; a name of the same type as Ahura-data."

24. Fz. p. 606, col.. 2; Cf. Lith. sparne; H. Germ, varn, farn; A rgl Sax. fearn, Eng. fern; Skt. parna (leaf); Xz. p. 437.

25. See the appendix III.

26. Ibid.

27. Fz. p. 355, col. 2.

28. No. 13, L. 11 : समुदित-ब(ल)-कोशा (न्युस्यमित्रान्श्च) (जि) त्वा...

29. HJ. Vol. 11, p. 362 f.n.


54 Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions


30. "प्रियनामामात्यो भवत्येतस्य"

31. (Dx)1 . p. 32.

32. D.C. Sircar, Hz. p. 281, f. n. 8.

33. Cf. R.C. Majumdar, Pg. pp. 165-66.

34. R.K. Mookerjee, Ag. pp. 44-45.

35. A.C. Woolner, 'Prakrit and non-Aryan strata in the vocabulary of Sanskrit', vide Kz. p. 70.

36. Fz. p. 775, col. 2.

37. Ibid., p. 566, col. 1.

38. Ibid., p. 1057, col. 2 :अभिधानाचिंतमणी कोश श्लोलो. 1286 शरभ: कुंजरा-रातिरुत्पादको-अष्टपादपि ।

39. JJ. Vol. I, p. 251; R.C. Majumdar, Pg. p. 146.

40. MJ. I, p. 228.

41. R.C. Majumdar, Pg. p! 174.

42. No. 17, LL. 14-15 : तस्यात्मज: स्थैर्य्य-नयोपपन्नो बन्धुप्रियो बंधुरिव प्रजानां । बंध्वर्त्तिहर्ता नृप-बंधुवर्म्मां द्वि(ड्) दृप्त-पक्ष-क्षपनणैकदक्ष: ।।

43. Fz. p. 758, col. 1.

44. R.C. Majumdar, Pg. p. 145.

45. Fz. p. 992,col.2.

46. R.C. Majumdar, Pg. p. 139.

47. Supra, See note 15.


48. अभिधानाचिंतामणिकोश श्लोलो. 1272: अज: स्यात् छगल: छागस्छगो ।

49. S.C. Vasu, Og. Vol. I. p.645. Cf. Jz. p. 63.

50. Fz. p. 404, col. 1.

51. Ibid., p. 469, col. 3.

52. D.B. Diskalkar, Iz. Vol. I, part II, p. 34.

53. Supra, See fn.l.

54. Panini, V.3.78; V.3.79; V 3.80.

55. V.S. Agrawala, Jy. p. 191.

56. O. pp. 371-72, Panini 6/4/147.

57. Fz. p. 270, col. 2.

58. As told by D.C. Sircar, a recent suggestion is that it is a mistake for Khadyakutapakika.

59. No. I, LL. 31-32.

60. अन्वय-प्राप्त-साचिव्य....।

61. IV.1.152; Also see VIII. 3.99.

62. V.S. Agrawala, Jy. p. 186.

63. U.N. Roy, Lz. p. 27.

64. Ibid., pp.25-26.

65. Infra, see 'Tilabhattaka' among the names of writers and engravers.

66. Fz. p. 448, col. 12.

67. Ibid., col. 2.


Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions 55


68. No. 32, L. 5 :सेनापतिस्तस्य बभूव नाम्ना वाय्वादिना रक्षित-पश्चिमेना

69. Fz. 942, col. 2.

70. See J. Charpentier, UJ. 1928, pp. 904-5.

71. Moti Chandra, (XJ) 1 . Vikrama Samvat, 2000, p. 184.

72. H.D. Sankalia, Pz. p. 105.

73. Fz. p. 283, col. 3 : Bharavi wrote a Mahakavya named Kiratarjuniyam based on this theme; D.C. Sircar, JJ. XIX, p. 13. Ciratadatta Sanskrit kiratadatta;

74. Mal.abharata, IV.5. 35.

75. Fz. pp. 412-13.

76. Kumaramatya is a technical official title and literally means 'counsellor of the prince';

Cf. Majumdar, Pg. pp. 281-82.

77. No. 44, L. 1 पृथिवीषेणो महाराजाधिराज-श्रीकुमारगुप्तस्य मंत्री कुमारामात्यो (S) नंतरं च महाबलाधिकृत: ।


78. Explained in Chapter V, see names ending in Bhafta.

79. Ibid.

80. Fz. 888, col. 1.

81. Ibid., p. 1015. col. 1.

82. H.D. Sankalia, Pz. p. 103.

83. Fz. p. 753, col. 1.

84. No. 40, L. 12 : कुमार-श्री-चन्द्रगुप्त

85. D.C. Sircar, Hz. p. 337, note 1.

86. GJ. XV, p. 138.

87. R.B. Pandey, Wx. p. 107, note 4.

88. Fz. p, 344, col. 2.

89. Ibid.

90. Ibid., अभिधानाचिंतामणिकोश श्लोलो. 1287 : गण्डक-गेंडा

91. Fz. p. 1057, col. 1.


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