Prabhavatigupta

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Prabhavatigupta (प्रभावतीगुप्त) was the chief queen of Vakataka King Rudrasena II (356-378 CE). She was daughter of Gupta King Mahārājādhirāja Chandragupta II born of the union with a Naga princess Mahādevī Kuberanaga. Prabhavatigupta has recorded herself born in a Naga family of Dharana Gotra, which at present is found in Jats of Rajasthan, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

Reign of Prabhavatigupta

On the death of Rudrasena II, his queen Prabhavatigupta, the daughter of Chandragupta II (376-413 AD),ruled her husband's kingdom for at least about 13 years, even though she is known to have three sons. Prabhavatigupta issued the Poona copper plate inscription in the 13th year of her rule as the mother of the Yuvaraja Divakarasena. In her Riddhapur copper plate inscription issued in the 19th regnal year of her son Pravarasena II, Prabhavati is represented as the mother of Maharaja Damodarasena and Pravarasena II. [1]

Gotra of Prabhavatigupta was Dharan

In this context we must note that Prabhavatigupta, the daughter of Chandragupta II and chief queen of the Vakataka king Rudrasena II describes herself as belonging to the Dharana gotra in her Poona and Riddhapur copper plate inscriptions. Dharana is clearly the gotra of her father, as the gotra of her husband Rudrasena II is specifically mentioned as Visnuvrddha in the Chammak copper plate inscription of Pravarasena II. [2][3]

K P Jayaswal takes it to stand for Dharan, a Jat clan found in Amritsar, and on the basis of the Kaumudimahotsava he concludes that Chandragupta I was a Karaskara or Kakkar Jat. [4]

This view has been supported by Gokhale.[5]

Poona Plates of 13th year of Prabhavatigupta

Sanskrit Text of Poona Plates of 13th year of Prabhavatigupta
First plate

१ द्रष्टम् [।*] सिद्धम् [।*] जितम्भगवता [।*] स्वस्ति [।*] नान्दिवर्द्धनादासीद्गुप्तादि[राजो] म[हाराज]

श्रीघटोत्कचस्तस्य सत्पुत्रो महाराजश्री चन्द्रगुप्तस्तस्य सत्पुत्रो-

३ नेकाश्वमेधयाजी लिच्छविदो(दौ)हित्रौ महादेव्या कुमारदेव्यामुत्पन्नो

४ महाराजाधिराजश्रीसमुद्रगुप्तस्तस्य(त्स)त्पुत्रस्तत्पादपारिगृहीत

५ पृथिव्यामप्रतिरथस्सर्व्वराजोछे(च्छे)त्ता चतुरुदधिसलिलास्वादित-

६ यशा नेकगोहिरण्यकोटिसहस्त्रप्रद=परमभागवतो महारा-

७ जाधिराजश्रीसमुद्रगुप्तस्तस्य दुहिता धारणसगोत्रा नागकुलसम्भू-

८ ताया (या) श्रीमहादेव्या कुबेरनागायामुत्पन्नोभयकुलालङ्कारभूतात्यन्तभगवद्भक्ता

वाकाटकाना महाराजश्रीरुद्रसेनस्याग्रमहिषी युवराज-

१० [श्री]दिवाकरसेनजननी श्रीप्रभावति(ती)गुप्ता सुप्रतिष्ठाहारे

Second plate

११ विलवणकस्य पूर्व्वपार्श्वे शीर्षग्रामस्य दक्षिणपार्श्वे कदापिन्जनस्यापरवा[र्श्वे]

१२ सिदिविवरकस्योत्तरपार्श्वे दङ्गुणग्रामे ब्रह्मणाद्यान्ग्रामकुटुम्बिन=कुशल-

१३ मुक्तवा समाज्ञापयति [।*]विदितमस्तु वो यथाम ग्रामोस्वाभि स्वपुण्याप्यायना[र्थ]

१४ कर्त्तिकशुक्लद्वादश्या(श्या) भगवत्पादमूले निवेद्य भगवद्भक्ताचार्य्यचनालस्वामिने पूर्व्व-

१५ दत्त्या उदकपूर्व्वमतिसृष्टो यतो भवद्भिरुचितमर्य्यादया सर्व्वाज्ञा=कर्तव्या[*]पूर्व्व-

१६ [राज्जा]नुमताश्चात्र चातुर्विद्याग्रहारपरिहारान्वितरामस्तद्यथाभट्च्छत्र प्रावेश्य

१७ आचारासनचर्म्माङ्गारकिण्व क्रेणिखनक अपा [र*]म्पर[*]अ[खनि]मेध्य अपुष्पक्षीरस[न्दोह]

१८ सनिधिस्सोपनिधिस्सकृपतोपकृप्त [।*]न[त] देष भविष्यद्राजभिस्सरक्षितव्य [*] परिवर्द्ध-

१९ यितव्यश्च [।*] यश्चास्मच्छासनमगणयमानस्सवल्पामप्यत्राबाधा(धा) कुर्य्यात्कारयीत वा

२० तस्य ब्राह्मणे(णै)रावेदितस्य सदण्डनिग्रह कुर्य्याम [।*] व्यास्गि(गी)तश्चात्र श्लोको भवति [।*]

२१ स्वदत्ताम्परदत्ता(त्ता) वा यो हरेत वसुन्धरा(राम्) [।*] गवा(वां) शतसहस्त्रस्यहन्तु-र्हरति दुष्कृतम् [॥*]

२२ सवत्सरे च त्रयोदशमे लिखितमिद(द) शासनम(म्) [।*] चक्क्रदासेनोत्कट्टितम [।*]

Seal

१ वाकाटकललामस्य

२ [क्र]मप्राप्तनृपश्रिय [।*]

३ जनन्या युवराजस्य

४ शासन रिपुशास[न][म्।।*]
Poona Plates of 13th year of Prabhavatigupta [6]

Reference - Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum, Vol. V, 1963, pp.5-9

These copper-plates were found in the possession of one Balwant Bhau Nagarkar, a coppersmith of Poona who originally hailed from Ahmadnagar in the Mahâràshtra State. They are said to hâve been preserved as an heirloom in his family for some générations. They, however, seem to hâve originally belonged to the Hinganghât tahsil of the Wardha District in Vidarbha, for, as shown below, most of the places mentioned in this grant can be located in that tahsil. The plates were at fîrst very briefiy noticed by Prof K. B Pathak in the Indian Antiquary, Vol XLI, pp 214-15. Their importance was immediately recognised and the information furnished by them was utilised by V. A. Smith in his article entitled 'The Vakataka Dynasty of the Central Provinces and Berar' published in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society for 1914, pp 317f. They were later edited with facsimiles and an English translation by K B Pathak and K N Dikshit in the Epigraphia Indica, Vol XV, pp 40 f. They are edited hère from the same facsimiles as their présent whereabouts are not known.

Poona plate of Prabhavatigupta

The record commences with drishtam, 'seen'. The plates were issued from Nandivardhana by Prabhavatigupta, the chief queen of the Vâkataka Maharaja Rudrasëna II and mother of the Yuvaràja Divakarasena. She was then acting as Régent for her minor son. The plates record the grant of the village Danguna which the dowager queen made to Âchârya Chanālasvāmin on the twelfth tithi of the bright fortnîght of Karttîka, evidently after observing a fast on the preceding Prabôdhinï Ekâdasî. Prabhavatîgupta is described as a fervent devotee of the Bhagavat (i.e. Vishnu) She first offered the gift to the foot-prints of the Bhagavat, who is probably the same as Râmagirisvâmin mentioned in her later Riddhapur plates, and then made it over to the Achârya The donated village was situated m the Supratishṭha āhāra and lay to the east of Vilavanaka, to the south of Sîrshagrāma (Sirïshagràma?) and to the north of Kadâpiâñjana. The grant is dated in the thirteenth year evidently of the boy-prince's reign. The scribe was Ghakradāsa.

It is noteworthy that though Prabhavatîgupta describes herself as the Chief Queen of the Vâkataka Maharaja Rudrasena II, she gives the genealogy of the Guptas and not of the Vakatakas in the introductory portion of the present grant. This is also noticed in her later grant recorded in the Riddhapur plates. She was evidently very proud ôf her descent from the imperial Gupta family.

The genealogy begins with Maharaja Ghatotkacha, the first king of the Gupta (dynasty). His son was Maharaja Chandragupta I ; the latter's son from the Mahàdevî Kuznâradevi was Mahàrâjàdhiràja Samudragupta, the daughter's son of the Lichchhavi (chief), who performed several asvamedha sacrifices , his son was Mahàrâjàdhiràja Chandragupta II a devout worshipper of the Bhagavat, the latter's daughter from the Mahàdevî Kuberanaga who was born in a Naga family was Prabhavatîgupta. She was the chief queen of the Vâkataka Maharaja Rudrasena II and mother of the Yuvaràja Divakarasena.

It will be noticed that the description of Prabhâvatï's Gupta ancestors given in the present grant does not agree completely with that noticed in genuine Gupta records. In the first place it makes no mention of Gupta, the founder of the dynasty. Secondly, Chandragupta I is mentioned with the lower title of Maharaja, not with the imperial one of Mahàrâjàdhiràja as in Gupta records. Thirdly, some of the epithets used hère to describe Chandragupta II were usually applied to his father Samudragupta Notwithstanding thèse différences, the grant is undoubtedly genuine as we find that the genealogy given hère is repeated Verbatim in the Riddhapur plates of the dowager queen.

The importance of the present grant lies in this that it placed for the first time the Vàkâtaka genealogy (viz. the Chammak, Siwani and Dudia plates of Pravarasëna II) Prabhavatîgupta was described as the daughter of Mahàrâjàdhiràja Devagupta. Fleet identified this Devagupta with


the homonymous king of the Later Gupta dynasty, mentioned in the Deo-Barnark pillar inscription and thus relegated the Vâkâtakas to the eighth century A D. His opinion was accepted by Kielhorn and Sukhtankar. The present inscription, which states clearly that Prabhâvati was the daughter of the Early Gupta king Chandragupta II, proved unmistakably, for the first time, that she lived in the last quarter of the fourth century A D. It has since been shown that Dêvagupta was a favourite name of Chandragupta II and so it finds a mention in Vâkâtaka grants.

As for the localities mentioned in the présent grant,

  • Nandivardhana (नान्दिवर्द्धन) was identified by Hiralal with Nandardhan or Nagardhan near Ramtek. The identification has since been corroborated by several proofs. The other villages, however, remained unidentified. A clue to their location was afforded by the Jâmb plates of Pravarasena II, discovered in 1940, which also mention the same Supratishtha ahara. With this clue I could identify some of the villages mentioned in the present grant.
  • Vilavanaka (विलवणक) seems to be Vanī, about 2-1/2 miles to the west, and
  • Kadapinjana (कदापिन्जन), Kadhâjan 3 miles to the south by east of Hinganghat. Hinganghât seems therefore to occupy the same position as the ancient village Danguna.
  • Danguna (दङ्गुण) = Hinganghat . The latter place-name appears to have been changed to Hingan in course of time, ghàt being added to it as it was a fording place on the Wunnâ. It is noteworthy that the name of the village
  • Kavadghât on the opposite bank of the same river also ends in ghât. As the villages mentioned in the Jâmb plates as situated in the Supratishtha àhàra can also be located in the Hinganghat tahsil, that âhâra seems to hâve comprised roughly the territory now included in that tahsil. The present plates of Prabhâvatîguptâ, though discovered in distant Poona, seem therefore to have originally belonged to the Hinganghat tahsil.

Poona Plates of Prabhavatigupta: English Translation

  • Seen Success ! Victory has been attained by the Bhagavat ! Hail ! From Nandivardhana—
  • There was the Maharaja, the illustrious Ghatotkacha, the first king of the Guptas. His excellent son (was) the Maharaja, the illustrious Chandragupta I, His excellent son (was) the Mahàrâjàdhiràja, the illustrious Samudragupta, (who was) born of the Mahādevi Kumāradevi; (who was) the daughter's son of the Lichchhavi [chief); (and) who performed several horse- sacrifices. His excellent son (is) the Mahārājādhirāja, the illustrious Chandragupta II, graciously favoured by him (i.e., Samudragupta), who is a fervent devotee of the Bhagavat (Vishnu) , who is a matchless warrior on the earth; who has exterminated all kings, whose fame has tasted the waters of the four oceans (and) who has donated many thousands of crores of cows and gold [coins) .
  • (Line 7) His daughter, the illustrious Prabhavatîgupta of the Dhārana gotra, born of the illustrious Mahādevi Kuberanaga, who was (herself) born in the Naga family, — who is a fervent devotee of the Bhagavat (Vishnu), who (was) the Chief Queen of the illustrious Rudrasena II, the Maharaja of the Vākāṭakas; who is the mother of the Yuvarāja, the illustrious Divākarasena; — having announced (her] good health, commands the householders of the village, Brāhmanas and others, (residing) in the village of Daṅguṇa, (situated) in the āhāra of Supratishtha, to the east of Vilavanaka, to the south of Sirshagrāma, to the west of Kadāpiñjana and to the north of Sidivivaraka, as follows —
"Be it known to you that on the twelfth (lunar day) of the bright (fortnight) of Kārttika, We have, for augmenting our own religious merit, donated this village, with the pouring out of water, to the Achārya Chanālasvāmin, who is a devotee of the Bhagavat, as a gift not previously made, after having offered it to the foot-prints of the Bhagavat Wherefore, you should obey all (his) commands, with proper respect.
  • (L. 16) And We confer here on (him) the following exemptions incidental to an agrakāra granted to the Chāturvidya (Brāhmanas), as approved by former kings — (This village is) not to be entered by soldiers and policemen, (it is) exempt from (the obligation to provide) grass, hides as seats, and charcoal (to touring royal officers), exempt from (the royal prerogative of) purchasing fermenting liquors and digging (salt) , exempt from (the right to) mines and khadira trees, exempt from (the obligation to supply) flowers and milk , (it is donated) together with (the right to) hidden treasures and deposits (and) together with major and minor taxes.
  • (L 18) Wherefore, this (grant) should be maintained and augmented by future kings. Whoever, disregarding our order, will (himself) cause or make (others) cause the slightest obstruction, upon him, when complained against by the Brāhmanas, We will inflict punishment together with a fine.
And there is, on this point, (the following) verse sung by Vyasa — (Hère occurs an imprecatory verse )
  • (L 22) This charter has been written in the thirteenth (regnal) year. (It has been) engraved by Chakradāsa.
Seal

(This is) the enemy-chastising command of the Mother of the Yuvarāja, the ornament of the Vākātakas, who has attained royal fortune by inheritance

Poona Plates of Prabhavatigupta: Hindi Translation

हिन्दी अर्थान्तरण
प्रथम पत्र

वाकाटक वंश के भूषण, राजलक्ष्मी को वंशानुक्रम से पाने वाले युवराज की माता का, शत्रुओं से भी माना जाने वाला शासन (आ-ज्ञापत्र) है।

शिद्धं ॥ विष्णु की जय हो । कल्याण हो । नन्दिवर्धन स्थान से गुप्त आदि राजा महाराज घटोत्कच थे। उनका सत्पुत्र महाराज श्री चन्द्रगुप्त उनका सत्पुत्र अनेक अश्वमेध यज्ञ करने वाला लिच्छवियों का दौहित्र महादेवी कुमारदेवी से उत्पन्न महाराजाधिराह श्री समुद्रगुप्त उसका सत्पुत्र उसके द्वारा स्वीकृत किया हुआ, पृथ्वी में जिसका सामना करने वाला कोई नहीं था, सभी राजाओं को नष्ट करने वाला, जिसका यश चारों समुद्र के जल तक फ़ैला था, कोटि सहस्त्र गौ, सुवर्ण का दान देने वाला, परमभागवत महाराजाधिराज श्री चन्द्रगुप्त की दुहिता (पुत्री), धारण गोत्र वाली, नागकुल की महादेवी कुबेरनाग से उत्पन्न, दोनों कुलों के कुलों की आभूषण भगवदभक्तया वाकाटकों के महराज श्री रुद्रसेन की अग्रमहिषी (बड़ी पत्नि) ।

द्वितीय पत्र

युवराज दिवाकरसेन की माता श्री प्रभावती गुप्ता सुप्रतिष्ठित नामक आहार में विल्वण ग्राम के पूर्व पार्श्व में शीर्ष ग्राम के दक्षिण पार्श्व में कदापिञ्जन के दूसरे पार्श्व में दङ्गुण नामक ग्राम कुटुम्बियों के कुशल मंगल के लिये कहकर ब्राह्मण को दिया गया। ज्ञात हो कि यह ग्राम अपने पुण्य की प्राति के लिये कार्तिक शुक्ल द्वादशी को भगवत पाद मूल (पादुकाओं) पर निवेदन करके भगवदभक्त आचार्य चलानस्वामी को पहले दिया गया पीछे जल पूर्वक (हाथ में जल के साथ) पुष्ट किया गया । आप को उचित मर्यादा के अनुसार सबी आज्ञाओं का पालन करना चाहिये । पूर्व राजाओं की अनुमति के अनुसार दिया गया है चारों विद्याओं के लिये अग्रहारा, तालाब और वाटिकायें, सैनिक तथा छत्र (मठों के दल के एक प्रमुख) के प्रवेश के लिये, दौरे वाले अधिकारियों के घोडों के लिये घास (चारा), उनके रहने के लिये स्थान (आसन चर्मन), भोजन पकाने के लिये कोयला (अङ्गार), कोमल भोज्य पदार्थ (किन्न-क्रेणि), यज्ञ के लिये पशु (पशुमेध्य:), पुष्प, क्षीर, पृथ्वी के अन्दर प्राप्त होने वाली सम्पत्ति (निधि),पृथ्वी तल पर प्राप्त होने वाली सामग्रियां (उपनिधि), निश्चित कर (कृप्त) और अनिश्चित कर (उपकृत) । जो इस इस आदेश के पालन करने में कमी या बाधा उत्पन्न करेगा या करायेगा (rest translated by self ), जब ब्रामणों द्वार ऐसी शिकायत की जावे तो उसको दंड दिया जयेगा । यह लेख १३ वें वर्ष में चक्रदास द्वारा लिखा गया है ।

नोट - अंतिम दो पंक्तियों को छोड़ कर शेष अर्थान्तर भारतीय पुरालेखों का अध्ययन द्वारा शिव स्वरुप सहाय की पुस्तक पर आधारित है ।

Riddhapur plates of 19th year of Prabhavatigupta

Sanskrit Text of Riddhapur plates of 19th year of Prabhavatigupta' First Plate

जित (त) भगवता ।। रामगिरिस्वामिन=पादमूलाद्गुप्तान (ना) मादि

२ राजो महाराजश्रीघटोतकचस्तस्य पुत्रो महाराजश्रीचन्द्र-

३ गुप्त[*] तस्य पुत्रस्तत्पादपरिगृहि (ही) त (तो) लिच्छविदौहित्रो

४ महादेव्या(व्या) कुमारदेव्यामुत्पन्नो महाराजश्रीसमुद्रगुप्तस्तस्य पुत्र-

५ स्तत्पादानुद्धयातो न्यायागतानेकगोहिरण्यकोटिसहस्त्रप्रदस्सर्व्वराजो-

Second Plate First Side

६ च्छेत्ता पृथिव्यामप्रतिरथ=परमभागवतो महादेव्या(व्या) दत्तदेव्यामु-

७ त्पनो(नौ) महाराजश्रीसमुद्रगुप्तस्तस्य दुहिता धारणसगोत्रा

नागकुलोत्पन्नाया(या) कुबेरा(र)नग(गा)देव्यामुत्पन्ना उभयकुलाल-

९ ङ्कारभूता वाकाटकाना(ना) महाराजश्रीरुद्रसेनस्याग्रमहिषी

१० वाकाटकानाम्महाराजश्रीदामोदरसेनप्रवरसेनजननी भगव-

११ त्पादानुद्धयाता साग्रवर्षसतजीवपुत्रपौत्रा श्र(श्री)महादेवीप्रभ (भा)वती-

Second Plate Second Side

१२ गुप्ता ॥ कोसिकमार्ग्ग(र्ग्गे) अश्वत्थनगरे सब्रह(ब्राह्म)णपुरे(रो)गग्रामहहत्तरा(रा)श्च

१३ कुशलमुक्तवा सम(मा)ज्ञापयत(ति)[।*]ऐहीकामुत्रिकमस्मिननगरे स्वपुण्याप्या[यना]त्थ[र्त्थ]

१४ पारशरसगोत्राणा(णा) तैत्तिरीयब्राह्मणानामप्यपुत्रापुत्राणा अभ्य-

१५ न्तरनिवेशने[न*]सह कर्षकनिवेशनानि च चत्वार(रि)

१६ भुक्ता(क्त)काभोगक्षेत्रमुदकपूर्व्व(र्व्व) शासनेनो[न]सति(नि)बद्ध(द्धम) । उचिताश्चास्य

१७ पूर्व्वराजानुमताञ्चातुर्विद्यग्राममर्यादान्वितरामस्तद्यथा

Third Plate First Side

१८ अकरदायी(यि) अभटच्छत्रप्रावेश्य(श्य) अपुष्पक्षीरसन्दोह अचारा-

१९ सनचर्म्माङ्कार(र) अलवणक्लिन्नक्रेणिखनक(क) सर्व्वविस्वि(ष्टि)परिहारा(र)

२० परिहृत(त) सनिधान सोपनिधान सक्ल(क्लृ)प्तोपकलि(क्लृ)प्तम(मा)चन्द्रा

२१ दित्यकालिय(य) पुत्रपौत्रानुगामि भुञ्जता(ता) न केनचिद्वयाघात

२२ =कर्तव्य सर्व्वक्रियाभिस्सरक्षितव्य=परिवर्द्धयितव्यश्च[।*]यश्च(श्चा)स्मा(स्म)-

२३ च्छासनमगणयमान[*]स्वल्पामपि परिबाधा(धा) कुर्य्यात्कारयि(ये)त वा तस्य

Third Plate Second Side

२४ ब्राह्मण(णै)रावेदितस्य सदण्डनिग्रह करिष्याम [।*] अस्मि(स्मि)श्च धर्म्मादर-

२५ करणे अनी(ती)तानेकराजदत्ता(त्त)सञ्चित(न्त)नपरिपालन पुण्यानुकीर्तन-

२६ परिहारार्त्थ न कीर्तयाम [।*]सङ्कल्पाधि(भि)योगपराक्क्रमोपजि-

२७ जितान्वर्त्तमानामा(ना)ज्ञापयाम । व्यासगीतश्चात्र श्लोकxप्रमाण(णम्)[।*]

२८ स्वदत्ता(त्ता) परदत्ता वा यो हरेत वसुन्धराम्[।*]गवा शतसहस्त्रस्य

२९ हन्तुपिबति दुष्कृतमिति वाकाटकाना(ना) महाराजश्रीप्रवर-

३० सेनस्य राज्यप्रशासतसव्वत्सरे एकुनविश्तिमे कार्तिक-

३१ मासशुक्लपक्षद्वादश्या(श्याम) दूतको(को) देवनन्दस्वामी [।*] ली (लि)खित

३२ प्रभुसिङ्घेन ॥

Riddhapur plates of 19th year of Prabhavatigupta[7]
Riddhapur plates of Prabhavatigupta

Reference - Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum, Vol. V, 1963, pp.33-37

These plates were found in the possession of Mahanta Dattarāja of the Mahānubhāva sect. They were discovered at Riddhapur in the Morsi tahsil of the Amarâvatï District in Vidarbha. They hhve been edited twice by Mr. Y R Gupte, first in Marathi in the Bhārata Itihāsa Samsodhaka Mandal Quarterly, Vol. III, Nos 2-4, pp 89 f, and again, with negative facsimiles and an English translation, in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, New Series, Vol XX, pp 53 f. The plates are now deposited in the Bhārata Itihāsa Samsodhaka Mandal, Poona. They are edited here from the same facsimiles.

The inscription is one of Mahādevi Prabhavātigupta, the chief queen of the Vakataka Maharaja Rudrasena II and the mother of the Vâkataka Maharaja Damodarasena-Pravarasêna. As shown below, the record is dated in the 19th regnal year of the Vâkataka king Pravarasena II, but, strange as it may appear, the introductory portion of the grant gives the genealogy of the Guptas and not of the Vakatakas. This is also seen in the Poona plates which were issued when Prabhâvatï was acting as Régent for her miner son Yuvāja Divākarasena. The introduction of the Gupta genealogy in the latter grant can be explained as due to the influence of the Gupta officials sent by Chandragupta II to Vidarbha to help his widowed daughter in the government of the Vakataka kingdom.

No such explanation will, however, avail in the present case, for Pravarasena II was a grown up man when the present grant was made. In all his earlier grants he has given his own genealogy in the introductory portion. The use of the Gupta genealogy here must therefore be attributed to Prabhavati's pride in her descent from the Gupta family.

The genealogy of the Guptas is given here exactly as in Prabhâvatî's Poona plates, the only difference being that the imperial title Mahàiàjàdhiràja is here applied only to Chandragupta II, all his predecessors including the great Emperor Samudragupta being styled as Mahārāja. The Vâkâtaka kings Rudrasena II and Pravarasena II mentioned in the grant are also styled as Maharaja Prabhavatïgupta is described as meditating on the feet of the Bhagavat. Like her father, she was a devotee of Vishnu.

The plates were issued from the foot-prints of the lord of Ramagiri who is evidently identical with Ramachandra, an incarnation of Vishnu. The object of the inscription is to record the grant, by Prabhâvatï, of a field together with a house and four huts of farmers in Asvatthanagara which lay in the mārga (subdivision) of Kosika. The donees are not mentioned by name, but are described as Brâhmanas, with or without sons, who were of the Parashara gotra and the Taittirïya sâkhà. The grant is dated, at the end, on the twelfth tithi of the bright fortnight of Karttîka in the nineteenth regnal year of Pravarasêna. As Prabhâvatï was a devotee of Vishnu, she seems to have made the present grant on the occasion of the pâranà (completion) of her fast on the preceding Prabodhinî Ekâdasî. Her Poona grant also was made on a similar occasion. The Dutaka was Dêvanandasvâmin and the scribe Prabhusîmha.

There is one expression in the description of Prabhâvatï which has led to much controversy. Mr Gupte, who edited the plates, read it as s-àgra-varsha-sata-dîva-putra-pautri ā and proposed the following two renderings — (i) who has sons and grandsons, a life of full hundred years and will (in the end) live in heaven, and (ii) who has renowned sons and grandsons and who has lived a life of full hundred years. Mr Gupte remarked that the expression need not be taken literally and that what was intended was that Prabhâvatï-guptà lived for a long time and saw illustrious sons and grandsons. It has since been shownthat the correct reading is -jîva-putra-pautrâ not -diva-putra-pautra. Dr R.C. Majumdar took the expression literally and understood it as meaning that Prabhâvatï lived for more than a hundred years and had sons and grandsons. On this interpretation he based his theory of Vâkâtaka chronology. It does not, however, appear to be correct. In the expression cited above, jïva-putra-pautrà means 'having living sons and grandsons'. Similar expression, jiva-sutâ or jiva-putrà occur in the Rigveda, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana as well as some old inscriptions[8]. To have living sons and grandsons is regarded as a sign of good fortune and is therefore often mentioned in the description of women. The preceding expression Sâgra-varsha-sata indicating long life must evidently be connected with jîva. The expression, therefore refers to the long life of the sons and grandsons of Prabhâvatï and not to her own. Besides, to a widow like Prabhâvatîguptâ a long life of a hundred years is most distasteful. No Indian widow is likely to boast of it in her own record. The long life mentioned in the expression must therefore be taken to refer to that of the sons and grandsons of Prabhâvatï. The expression cannot, of course, be taken literally, but must be interpreted like the epithets dîrghàyuh or àyushmat applied to small children. The intention in such cases is to express the wish that they would be long-lived. The expression therefore means 'who has sons and grandsons who (it is hoped) will live for a full hundred years'.

Prabhvâtïguptà is again described in lime 10 as the mother of the Vâkâtaka Mahàrâja, the illustrious Damodarasena-Pravarasena. This expression also has been interpreted differently by different scholars. Dr. Mujumdar says that Dâmôdarasêna and Pravarasëna were two different sons of Prabhâvatï. We must note, however, that the expression uses the phrase Vâkâtakànàm Mahàrâjah in connection with the name of Dàmodarasêna, but not with that of Pravarasena II. When we remember how particular the drafters of Vâkâtaka grants were about the use of this title in connection with the name of every Vâkâtaka king who actually reigned, it looks strange that the title should not have been prefixed to the name of Pravarasena II, who was ruling at the time. Again, if the intention was to name all sons of Prabhâvatï, the name of Divâkarasena also should have been added. It seems probable therefore, that Damodarasena and Pravarasena II were identical and that the latter name was adopted by the prince at the time of his accession.

As for the place-names mentioned in the present grant,

  • Ramagiri is undoubtedly modern Ramtek, about 28 miles north of Nagpur. It lies only about 3 miles from Nandivardhana, modern Nagardhan, the earlier capital of the Vâkàtakas. In Kâlidasa's Meghadûta, Râmagiri is mentioned as the place where the Yaksha, exiled from Alakā, lived for a year. From the description in Kālidāsa's poem we learn that the hill was marked by the vénérable foot-prints of Raghupati (Ramachandra), and it is noteworthy that the present grant was made by Prabhâvatîguptâ near the foot-prints of the Lord of Râmagiri. The geographical situation of Râmtek answers to the description of Râmagiri in the Meghadûta and it is known to have been regarded as a holy place for several centuries. There should therefore be no doubt about this identification. Several grants of Prabhâvatîguptâ and Pravarasena II were made after being offered to the Bhagavat who was plainly none but the god Râmachandra whose pàdukâs were installed at Râmagiri.
  • Asvatthanagara has been identified with Asatpur in the Achalpur tahsil of the Amaravati District of Vidarbha.
  • Kosika, the headquarters of the mārga in which Asvatthanagara was situated, cannot, however, be located in its neighborhood.

Riddhapur plates of Prabhavatigupta (Translation)

  • Victory has been attained by the Bhagavat From the footprints of the Lord of Ramagiri : —
  • (There was) the Maharaja, the illustrious Ghatotkacha, the first king of the Guptas. His son (was) the Mahārāja, the illustrious Chandragupta I. His son, graciously favoured by him, (was) the Mahārāja, the illustrious Samudragupta, (who was) born of the Mahādevi Kumāradevi (and was) the daughter's son of the Lichchhavi (Chief). His son, who meditated on his feet, (was) the Mahārājādhirāja, the illustrious Chandragupta II, born of the Mahādevi Dattadevi who (was) a fervent devotee of the Bhagavat (Vishnu), who (was) a matchless warrior on the earth, who exterminated all kings, (and) who donated many thousands of crores of cows and gold (coins) which he had obtained by lawful means.
  • (Line 7) His daughter, the illustrious Mahādevi Prabhavatigupta of the Dharana gotra, born of the queen Kuberanāga, who was herself born in a Naga family, — who is an ornament of both the (Gupta and Vakataka) families, who (was) the Chief Queen of the illustrious Rudrasena II, the Mahārāja of the Vakatakas ; who is the mother of the illustrious Damodarasëna (alias) Pravarasena II, the Maharaja of the Vākātakas, who meditates on the feet of the Bhagavat (Vishnu) , (and) who has sons and grandsons who will live for a full hundred years6 — having announced (her) good health, commands the Mahattaras (elders) of the village led by the Brāhmanas (rending) in the Asvatthanagara in the mārga (subdivision) of Kosîka as follows —
" We have in this town donated the field enjoyed (so far) by Bhuktaka together with a farm-house situated in it (arid) four huts of cultivators, to the Brâhmanas of the Parashara gotra and the Taittirîya sâkhâ, whether they have or do not hâve sons, by pouring out water and issuing a charter for the increase of Our religious merit and (Own welfare) in this world and the next.
(For translation of lines 16-26, see above, pp 14-15)
  • (Line 26) We issue this order to the present rulers (who are) vanquished by Our resolve, attack or valour.
And the (following) verse, sung by Vyâsa, should be regarded as authoritative on this point
(Here occurs an unprecatory verse )
  • (Line 29) In the nineteenth year, while the illustrious Pravarasena II, the Maharaja of the Vakatakas, is governing his kingdom, on the twelfth (lumar day) in the bright fortnight of the month Karttika (this charter has been written) The Dutaka is Devanandasvamin. (This charter) has been written by Prabhusimha.

References

  1. Studies in the Political and Administrative Systems in Ancient and Medieval India, by By D.C. Sircar, p.33
  2. Tej Ram Sharma:Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions, pp. 16-17
  3. D.C. Sircar, Select Inscriptions, pp. 436-37, f.n. 9 : The queen refers to her paternal gotra rather than that of her husband's family
  4. Tej Ram Sharma:Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions, pp. 16-17
  5. B.G. Gokhale, Samudragupta, Life and Times, pp. 25-26.
  6. [http://www.archive.org/stream/corpusinscriptio014677mbp#page/n119/mode/2up Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum, Vol. V, 1963, pp.7-8]
  7. Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum, Vol. V, 1963, pp.35-36
  8. Cf (i) Rigveda X,36,9: (ii) MBT, V, 144, 2 ; (iii) Ramayana IV, 19, 11. (iv) Nâsik cave inscription, Ep. Ind. , Vol VIII, p 73

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