Rajatarangini of Kalhana:Kings of Kashmira/Book V
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Being A Translation of the Sanskrit Work
By Jogesh Chunder Dutt
1887London: Trubner & Co.
[p.106]: Avantivarmma cleared the kingdom of all enemies, and by his good behaviour pleased the good. The minister obeyed the orders of the king, and the king complied with the requests of the minister. The king was forgiving and grateful, the minister devoted to his master, and without vanity. Such a union is rare. The wise king, although he had obtained a kingdom, did not forget his past condition and used to meditate in the following manner : — " The regal dignity inspires ambition in great minds, and leads men to crime. There is none who is favored with royal dignity but feels misery in the end. How can she (Fortune) who rose from the ocean along with the courtesans of heaven, learn to be faithful to one. She has no affection, and has followed no king to the other world though long solicited. The stores of golden drinking vessels of departed kings no longer belong to them ! Why do not kings feel ashamed to eat from plates from which others have eaten before them? "Who does not fear to look on the huge plates of silver marked with the names of departed kings? Who can feel pleasure at the sight of those unholy necklaces which have been taken out from the necks of dying kings? And who does not feel terrified to touch these ornaments left by them with their regrets and lamentations at the time of their death.
[p.107]: Wealth is purified when bestowed on proper persons."
Thus thinking, the king broke the golden ornaments and things, and gave them to Brahmanas. One Brahmana instead of saying, " admirable ! king," when he received the gift, addressed him by name and said " admirable ! Avanti ! " The king was so pleased at this that he bestowed much wealth on him. The king gave away everything in charity retaining only his Chamara and umbrella, and thus he spent the accumulated wealth of his predecessors.
His brother and brother's son rose against him several times, but he defeated them in battle, and having restored peace in his kingdom, he divided bis wealth among his friends and servants, out of affection towards them. Out of his affection too for his step-brother Suravarmma he raised him to the dignity of heir-apparent. This Suravarmma bestowed the villages of Khadhuya and Hastikarna to Brahmanas, and set up images of two gods named" Suravarmmasvami and Gokula. The holy king also set up a Matha, the pride of the world, and bestowed the village of Panchahasta on Brahmanas. Another brother of the king named Samara, set up images of Rama and his brothers as well as one of Samarasvami. The two younger brothers of Sura named Dhira and Vitrapa who were accountants, built up two temples named after them. These two brothers went up bodily to Kailasa, the heaven of Shiva ! Sura had a door-keeper
[p.108]: named Mahodaya who set up a god named Mahodaya soami. It was in this temple that Rāmaja whose school of grammar was then celebrated, was employed as expositor. Prabhakaravarmma, the king's minister, built a temple of Vishnu named Prabhakarasvami. He had a tame shuka bird who accompanied other Shukas and brought many pearls ; whereupon the minister built the celebrated Shukavali.
The minister Shura patronized learning and encouraged the learned, and many learned men were brought to the court in royal carriages drawn by pair, and were well received. The following authors flourished in this reign :Muktākann, Shivasvami, A'nandavardhana and Ratnākara. Kritamandāra the bard of the minister Shura used to repeat the following sloka in the court as a hint to his master. " This is the time to do good, while fortune lasts, for fortune is naturally fleeting, and danger is always at hand, and when danger comes, there will be no more opportunity to do good." Shura raised many edifices, and among others one for Hara- Parvati, a figure half male and half female, at the shrine Sureshvari. This temple was very strongly built. And having set up the god Shureshvara, he built the temple Shura-matha, as high as his own mansion, for the dwelling of devotees. He built a beautiful town named Shurapura and brought there the celebrated drum which was is Kramavartia. Ratnavardhnna, his son, set up an image
The king who had no vanity in him, allowed his brothers and Shura and Sura's sons to bear the royal arms. The king was from his childhood a Vishnuvite, but out of regard for Shura he inclined towards Shivaism. He built the town of Avantipura at Vishvoukasara the shrine ,where the souls of the dead receive salvation. There, before he became king, he had set up the image of the god Avantisvami, and after becoming king he set up that of Avantishvara. And out of his silver bathing vessel he made three seats for three gods, Tripureshvara, Bhutesha, and Vijayesha.
His minister Shura was so devoted to him, that he cared neither for his life nor for virtue nor oven for his son in the service of the king. One day, when the king had offered his offerings, befitting his wealth, to god Bhuteshvara, he saw that the wild Utpalashāka vegetable had been placed by the priests on the seat of the god. And when the king asked the reason, they fell prostrate, and clasped their hands, and replied : — " In Lahora there lives a fiery and strong man named Dhanva who is as beloved of Shura as his own son. He always worships gods and has the power to bring down rain. Now this person has taken possession of the villages attached to the temples and consequently this wild vegetable is
[p.110]: all which can be had, and which has been offered to the god." The king pretended not to hear the above, and feigning to be suddenly attacked with colic pain, left worship, and went out. But Shura guessed that there was some reason for the king's leaving off the worship and getting a sudden attack of colic pain, and began to enquire into the matter. And when he learnt the true reason he became angry. He entered the temple of Bhairava which was near the temple of Bhutesha, and in which was Mitrichakra. There he prevented the people from crowding, and encircled by a few followers, he repeatedly sent messengers to bring Dhanva. Dhanva, cruel though brave, arrived with his infantry. But no sooner had he entered the temple than the armed men of the minister severed his head from his body, even before the god Bhairava. The minister threw the bleeding body into a neighbouring tank, and went out to assuage the anger of the king. The king heard that the minister had beheaded him whom he had loved as his son, and wondered, and his anger abated. And when Shura enquired about the health of the king, he replied that his pain was gone. The minister then raised him from his bed and caused him to finish his worship. Thus the minister who understood the motives of the king, was ready to serve him and even to sacrifice his own life, although not ordered to do so. The king and the minister were never angry with each other, and never have a king and a minister like them been seen or heard of.
[p.111]: For ten years during this reign, animals did not kill one another ; in so much that Patina fish left the cold water, and basked fearlessly under the autumn sun on the banks.
In this reign lived Shrikallata and other sages. And though their history is long, yet I shall relate briefly the anecdote of one of them as it concerns the present history. Kashmira, intersected with many rivers and lakes, was never a very productive country. It was owing to the vigorous efforts of Lalitaditya that the country was drained in some place and the produce of the land had been a little increased. But after the death of Jayapida, the kings who succeeded were feeble, and the waters again increased to their former bulk. And the consequence way a famine. Paddy was sold at one thousand and fifty dinars per khari (खारी).* To save men and animals from this calamity, Suyya, one of the sages, was born. No one knew of , his birth ; and it was apparent from his actions that, although born in tho Kali Yuga, ha was not born of man. Suyya, a chandali by caste, was on one occasion sweeping the dust from the roads, when she found a now earthen pot covered; and on raising the cover, she saw a boy lying in it, and performing Japa; and its eyes were like lotus leaves. She thought that some unfortunate mother must have left the beautiful child there. While she was thus thinking,
* 32 seers=l drona, 16 drona=l khari.
[p.112]: suddenly, and out of affection for the child, the milk came into her breast. Without polluting the child with her touch she lodged it in the house of a wet nurse of the Shudra caste, to whom she gave money enough for its support. The child was named Suyya ; and when he grew up and was educated, he became the tutor of boys in a rich man's house. He was, for his good conduct and intellect, considered as chief in the circle of the learned. Ono day, when some people were grieving on account of the recent floods, be remarked that he had intellect, but not money, and he could therefore give no redress. This speech was reported to the king by his spies, and the king wondered, and caused him to be brought before him. The King asked him as to what he had said. He fearlessly repeated that be had intellect but no money. The courtiers pronounced him to be mad, but the king, in order to try his intellect, placed all his wealth at the disposal of this man. Suyya took out many vessels filled with dinnaras , and went by boat to Madava. There in the village named Nandaka, which was under water, he threw a pot of dinnaras, and returned. Although the courtiers pronounced him to be undoubtedly mad, the king heard of his work, and enquired as to what he did afterwards. At Yakshadara in Kramarajya he began to throw dinnaras by handfuls into tho water. The Vitasta was there obstructed by rocks which had fallen into its bed from both its rocky banks ; and the villagers who were suffering from scarcity, began to search for the
[p.113]: dinnaras, and in so doing removed the rocks which, were in, the bed of the river, find cleared the passage of the water. No sooner had the water flowed out than Suyya raised a stone embankment along the Vitasta, which was completed within seven days. He then cleared the bed of the river, and then broke down the embankments. The passage was now quite open, and the river flowed easily, and rapidly towards the sea, as if anxiously and eagerly, after this long detention; and consequently the land again appeared above the waters. He then cut now canals from the Vitasta wherever he thought that the course of the river had been obstructed. Thus many streams issued out of one main river, even like the several heads of a serpent from one trunk. Sindhu which flowed from Trigrama to the left ; and Vitasta on the right were made to meet one another at Vainyasvami.
And even to this day the junction made by Suyya near this town exists ; as also the two gods Vishnusvami and Vainyasvami at Phalapura and Parihasapura situated on either side of the junction; and the god Hrishikesha whom Suyya worshipped, just at the junction. And to this day may also be seen the trees which grew on the banks of the river as it flowed before, distinguished by marks of ropes by which boats were tied to them. Thus Suyya diverted the course of rivers. He raised a stone embankment seven yojanas in length ; and thereby brought the waters of the Mahapadma lake under control. He joined the waters of the lake Mahapadma with
[p.114]: those of the Vitasta, and built many populous villages after, having rescued the land from the waters. The low lands which he protected by embankments are to this time called Kundala, and there the harvest is very plentiful. Even to this day when the rivers become narrow in autumn, marks of the pillars which were erected by Suyya may be distinguished. When the waters receded, the jars of dinnaras which he had thrown in deep water at Nandaka, were found again. He examined several places and irrigated many villages, the produce of which did not depend on rains, by means of artificial canals cut from the Chanula and other rivers until the whole country became fruitful. Thus Suyya benefited the country such as even Kashyapa or Valadeva had not done. Before his time, paddy sold in Kashmira at two hundred dinnaras a Khari even after a bumper crop, but since his time the same quantity has sold at only thirty-six dinnaras. He built a beautiful city after his own name on the Vitasta where it issued from the Mahapadma lake, and he made a law that as long as the world existed the fishes and birds of the lake should not be killed. He bestowed the village of Suyyakundala to Brahmanas, and erected a bridge Suyyasetu after the name of her who had found him in the street.
Avanti-varmma and other kings built thousands and thousands of villages on the land thus rescued from tho waters.
[p.115]: shrine of Jyeshteshvara on the hill of Tripuresha, where on the approach of death he manifested a leaning towards Vaishnavism. He died listening to the Bhagavadgita, and meditating on Vishnu's heaven. His death happened in the month of Ashara, on the 3rd day of the bright fortnight of the moon, in the year 59 of the era.
On his death all the members of the family of Utpala aspired to the throne. But Ratnavardhana the Royal guard raised Shankaravarmma, son of the late king, to the throne. The minister Karnapavinnāpa became envious, and raises Sukhavarmma the son of Suravarmma to the dignity of heir-apparent and so the king and the heir-apparent became enemies to each other, and consequently the kingdom was frequently disturbed by their quarrels. Shivashakti and other warriors refused offers of wealth, honor, &c, from the opposite party, and remained faithful to their master, and died for him. Honorable men never desert their party. After much trouble the king prevailed at last. He defeated Samaravarmma and others, on several occasions, and acquired great fame.
Having thus beaten and subjugated his own relatives,he made preparations for foreign conquests. Though the country was weak in population, he was able to set out with nine hundred thousand foot, three hundred elephants, and one hundred thousand horse. He, whose command had been ill obeyed in his own kingdom a short while before, now began to pass orders on kings.
[p.116]: His army was joined by the forces of tributary kings, and increased as he went on. On his approach the king of Darvabhisara fled in terror and there was no fighting. The Kashmirian army caught several lions and confined them in a fort, a sort of abode in which they had never lived before. The king then marched for the conquest of Gurjjara. Prithivi-chandra the king of Trigarta hid himself, but his son Bhuvanachandra, on whom the king of Kashmira had bestowed wealth before, came to pay homage. But when he saw the large army of Kashmira, he became afraid of being captured, and accordingly turned and fled. The king of Kashmira, whom the historians describe as a very handsome man, was regarded by other kings as Death. Shankaravarmma easily defeated Alakhāna king of Gurjjara who ceded Takka a part of his kingdom to his conqueror. The king of the Thakkiyaka family took service as guard under the king of Kashmira. The latter caused the kingdom of the Thakkiya king which had been usurped by the king of Bhoja to be restored to him. The king of the country which lay between Darat and Turushka, (as the Aryavarta lies between Himalaya and Vindhya,) Lalliya Shahi by name, who was among kings even as the sun is among stars, and was also lord over Alakhāna, did not submit to the king of Kashmira, on which the latter drove him out of his country.
After his conquest, Shankaravarmma returned to his country, and built a town named after him in the
[p.117]: province of Panchasattra. In that beautiful town he also set up two images of Shiva, Shankaragaurisha and Sugandhesha — the former named after himself, and the latter after his queen Sugandha, daughter of Shrisvami, king of Udakpatha. One Nayaka, a learned man, built another temple to Sarasvati in tha neighbourhood of the above mentioned temples. Poots purloin from each other's poetry, and the great rob other men of their properties and thereby increase the beauties of their own works. In order to adorn this new-built town, tho king conveyed into it beautiful things from Parihasapura. The salo of beasts for which the town of tho Pattavas was celebrated, now went on in this new-built city. Ratnavardhana the minister, who had raised tho present king to the throne, set up a Shiva named Shriratnavardhana. It is strange that the king who had once done glorious acts, now began to do things which were evil. He became avaricious, and began to oppress his subjects. His treasury was empty, and in order to meet the heavy expenses of his luxury, he at last, and after consultation with his advisers, commenced to plunder the temples. He raised money from towns, houses, and villages, and created two offices named Attapatibhaga and Grihakritya.* He cunningly appropriated the money which was set apart for the purchase of incense and oil for the use of the temples. And
* The duty of these officers appears to have been to help him in his extortion. According to Dr. Goldstucker they were revenue officers in Kashmira where duties were levied on perfumes, sandal wood, oil &c. The Sector regards the offices m one and tho game.
[p.118]: on pretence of superintending temples he plundered sixty-four of them through their headmen. He took loase of villages attached to tho temples, but appropriated all the income without paying anything to the gods. The king gave only one-fourth of what had hitherto been given annually to the courtiers for the cost of their food, blanket &c. ; and this was more than what he wished to give. When he found village officers absent from their posts, he fined them one year's pay through the respectable persons of the villages. He also fined innocent rural officers their year's pay. Thus he introduced heavy and impoverishing imposts in villages ; these imposts were of thirteen sorts. He impoverished villages by collecting the monthly salaries of his Kayasthas who were given to cruel extractions, and by various other means. From the savings made by reducing gifts to temples as also from the fine imposed on villages, he managed his household expenditure. He established five camps and a sixth named Lavata the principal treasury, on spots where the various industries of the country were carried on.
When the subjects were thus severely oppressed, the king's son Gopalavarmma, took compassion on the people and one day thus spoke to his father : — "O father ! the boon which you promised to grant me before, and you are a truthful man, I ask of you now. The steps which you have adopted through the advice of Kayasthas, hardly leave any hope or means to your subjects to live upon. It is 'not
[p.119]: likely that any good will come to you in this or in tho next world from your tyranny. Who can say what effect these oppressive acts may bring in the future world? But in the present world there is nothing but mischief. People suffer from the avarice of kings more than from famine, disease, &c. When the king is avaricious, no one wishes for his welfare. Charity and kind words can conquer the world, but avarice destroys charity and kindness. The avarice of kings destroys their beauty, length of reign and power. The inheritors of an economical man thrive ; but no servant will do good to him, who is not grateful. Even his own men try to kill him who has gathered immense wealth. What unpleasant things may not be effected by avarice, — as by enemies? Avarice is tho cause of disgrace to kings, so desist from snob, avarice." Having heard the gentle words of the prince the king smiled and calmly replied " your advice against tyranny has roused in me the feeling I felt of yore. When I was young like you, I was a prince, and, like you, loved the subjects. According to my father's direction, I used to wear iron mail in summer, in winter I could not wear warm clothes, and was made to go about with my feet bare. Hunters who used to go before me, saw me walking by my horse, my feet torn with thorns, and eyes filled with tears, and spoke ill of my father. But my father said that he had risen to the diguity of a king from a low position, and that he knew how,to appreciate the labors of those who served in
[p.120]: diffrent capacities ; and that after undergoing such pain myself I should be able to know the sufferings of others, which otherwise I should never be able to appreciate, being born rich. I, who have thus been schooled by my father in hardships, am now oppressing my people after getting the kingdom. As the sentient being, when born, forgets the pain which it felt when in the womb. when so the king, after getting a kingdom, forgets the thoughts , he used to entertain before. Therefore, grant me a boon that after getting the kingdom you will not be more oppressive than I am. When the king had said thus, the courtiers who were there, smiled and looked on the prince, who held down his face in shame.
The king was unwilling to make presents and there-fore kept himself aloof from the company of learned men, while Bhallata and other minor poets attended his court. Good poets did not get any pay from him, but Bharikolavata used to get two thousand dinnaras as his salary. The fact of the king's birth in a family of Kalpapāla was betrayed by his vulgar words which were like those of a drunkard. His venerable looking minister Sukharaja behaved like an actor on the stage, in order to do things according to the wishes of the bad king. The king fearing a rebellion, killed during night the innocent and heroic chief of Dārviābhisāra, Naravahana and his servants. Twenty or thirty of this wicked king's sons died without any disease, through the curse of his subjects. Kings who oppress their subjects lose their
[p.121]: wives and children, wealth and life in a moment ; and I shall narrate hereafter, how even his name has been lost by his cruel deeds.
He built a town named Pattana, and made his minister Sukharaja's nephew (sister's son) lord of Dvara, but that man lost his life at Bīrānaka through his own carelessness. This incensed the king, and he marched upon, and devastated Biranaka, and entered Uttarapatha. He conquered many kingdoms on the banks of the Indus, and when the affrighted people of those places submitted, he returned.
Death: When he was entering Urasha with the inhabitants of the place, and his army lay encamped, an arrow of a hunter came from the top of a hill and accidentally pierced his throat. When on the point of death, he ordered his faithful men to lead back tho army to his country. He was carried on a karniratha. His sight became dim, but he knew his weeping queen Sugandha, by her voice, entrusted to her care his boy Gopalavarmma, and expired as the arrow was extracted from the wound. His death happened on the way, on the 7th day of the dark fortnight of the moon in the month of Phalguua, in the year 77 of the Kashmirian era.
Sukharaja and others safely conducted the army through the hostile countries, concealing the fact of the king's death. By some contrivance made by means of a cord, the king's dead body was made to bend to the feudatory princes who bowed to him. After sis days the
[p.122]: array reached Vallāsaka, a place within the Kashmirian territory, where being free from fear, they performed the funeral rites of their dead king. Surendravati and two other queens perished on the funeral pyre, as also the grateful Valavitu and able Jayasinha, and two servants Lāda and Vajrasāra. Thus perished seven persons in the flame.
Then the virtuous and truthful Gopalavarmma, began to reign under the direction of his mother Sugandha. Though he was yet a boy, and lived among the vile and the seduced, yet he did not contract any bad habit. His mother was now a widow, and living in luxury, asked Prabhakaradeva, a minister (treasurer), to her embrace, and bestowed on her paramour wealth, rank, and three good districts. The treasurer robbed the queen of much wealth and built a town Bhandapura at Shahirajya. The reigning Shahi* disobeyed his orders to build the town, on which he changed the name of the country to Kamalaka, and gave it to Tomarana the son of Lalliya. Returning thence he entered the capital, proud of his victory and of his intrigue with the queen. In the pride of his victory, he constantly insulted warriors with harsh words. No one was allowed to enter the palace as long as he was there as if it were a house of ill fame. The young king came to know of this
[p.123]: affair at last ; and once accidentally met the minister who was robbing him of his wealth and honor. The king then examined the treasury, and there being a deficit, the treasurer explained that the amount wanting had been spent in the war with the Shahi. The treasurer was afraid of the king, and caused magic to be performed by his friend Ramadeva, through the influence of which the king was burnt to death. He reigned for two years. The evil work of Ramadeva being known, he became afraid of punishment and committed suicide.
Sangkata, the brother of the last king, and like him, picked up in the streets, then became king ; but he died in ten days.
Sugandha: The dynasty of Shangkaravarmma being now extinct, the queen Sugandha at the request of the subjects began to reign herself. She built a town named Gopalapura, a temple Gopalamatha, and a god Gopalakeshava ; and another town named after her. Nanda, the widow of the late king Gopalavarmma, and born of high family, devoted herself though young to the services of god Keshava. She was then in the family way, and her brother-in-law hoped for a son. But the death of the child, which happened after delivery grieved the reigning queen, and she was anxious to make over the kingdom to some one of the family. The foot soldiers formed themselves into companies here and there. Sugandha reigned for two years with the help of her Ekānggas.
[p.124]: The Tantris* were her ministers. In order to make over the kingdom to some worthy person, she invited to council the Tantris and tho Ekanggas from among her ministers and the captains. As the line of Avantivarmma was extinct, she selected Nirjjitavarmma, son of Sukhavarmma by Gargga, and grandson of Shuravarmma, in the hope that being her relative, he would act according to her directions. But she was opposed by some of her ministers as her nominee was unfit for the kingdom on account of his bad habits. For he used to squander money in nightly dissipation and to sleep during the day, and was moreover extremely idle. In the mean time the Tantri infantry separated themselves from her party, and made Partha, son of Nirjjitavarmma, a boy of ten years, king, and expelled the queen out of the country. The ministers who were insulted by the treasurer Prabhakaradeva, the queen's paramour, thought themselves avenged by the expulsion of the queen. She was driven out of her territory and spoiled of her possessions, left the capital seeping. Those of her servants on whom she relied, now joined the enemy. However in the year 89 of the Kashmirian era, the Ekangga soldiers combined together and brought back Sugandha who was then dwelling at Hushkapura. Hearing of her approach the Tantris who
* Ekangga and Tanris are eviilently two sects of people who played conspicuous part, though for a short time, in Kashmira at this period.
[p.125]: were in favor of Partha, went out at the and of Chaitra to fight with the ex-queen's men. On the 90th year the ex-queen's army was signally defeated, and she was captured when in the act of fleeing. She was afterwards murdered in a deserted Buddhist Vihara. Strange is the unsteady rise and fall of fortune !
Anarchy now prevailed, and life and property became insecure. The king being a boy, his father " the idle" was his guardian ; he took bribe, and joined the ministers and oppressed the people. Feudatory kings began to out-bid one another in giving bribes, and serving the Tantris, and to carry on sanguinary feuds among them-selves. The kings of Kashmira had formerly conquered Konouje and other countries, but now her kings bribed the Tantris that they might be allowed to live. The sons of the minister Meru who set up an image of Vishnu named Shrimeruvardhana, now engaged themselves in a deep plot to usurp the kingdom. They got wealth by oppressing the people. The eldest of them Shangkaravardhana entered into friendship with Sugandhaditya and secretly robbed the palace.
Now it so happened that when the people were numerically reduced, the Autumn harvest of Shali corn was destroyed; so that one khari of grain sold for one thousand dinnaras. Consequently in the year 93, there was a great scarcity, and many died of the famine. Hardly could the waters of Vitasta be seen, so thick did the swollen corpses of men float on its waters. The bones
[p.126]: of the deceased lay thick on every side like one vast field of the dead. At this time, the ministers and the Tantris became rich by selling rice at high prices. That minister was the king's favourite, who at this time sold the people and bribed the Tantris. The king's father " the idle" felt himself at ease though ho saw men in trouble, even like a person sitting within a warm chamber, and seeing persons outside battered by the storm in a wood. Many subjects were murdered by tho king. Happily the kings of this time reigned for short periods only; even as bubbles in the ruin-water. Sometimes Partha reigned setting aside his father by the help of the Tantris; and sometimes his father set him aside by the same means.
The wives of "the idle" took Sugandhaditya as their paramour. Vappata, one of the queens of " the idle," gave her lover Sugandhaditya much wealth. The sons of Meruvardhana, had, in the hope of acquiring influence in the kingdom married their beautiful sister Mrigāvati to "the idle." And she too accepted Sugaudhaditya as her lover. This man used to visit his paramours by turns; and as each wished to get her son coronated, each gave him wealth, and yielded her person to him.
In the year 97, in the month of Pousha, the Tantris set aside Partha and set up his father " the idle," their protege to the throne. But in the month of Magha next year he died after having coronated his infant son Chakravarmma. The Tantri infantry, then in favor of Partha, fought with tho Ekinggas of the opposite side for the
[p.127]: kingdom. Queen Vappata, mother of the infant king, was his guardian for a short time but then her mother took care of the child for ten years. During the infancy of the king his bad character was not apparent.
In the year 9 (of the next century) the ministers set aside Chakravarmma, and raised to the throne Shuravarmma son of "the idle," by queen Mrigavati. His maternal uncles, sons of Meruvardhana, had no affection for him. They withheld what was due to the Tantris, and hence became the cause of his deposition.
Though the king was a good man, yet he was no favourite of the Tantris, for they received no money from him. After a year he was deposed, and the Tantri infantry got much wealth from Partha and again made him king. A public women named Sāmbavati, who had set up a goddess named Sambeshvari, and who knew the art of arranging the Tantri army, became the favourite of Partha. Chakravarmma waited his time, offered large wealth to the Tantris, and in the year 11 in the month of Ashara was made king again. The foolish Chakravarmma reposed much power on the sons of Meruvardhana who were known to be bad. They and the conspirators enjoyed the kingdom, setting aside Partha and other kings : they took much land from the kings, they dethroned the king's father and brother, and even injured their relatives with whom they were related by mutual marriages. The king made Shangkarabardhana, the eldest of them, Chief Justice, and made Shambhubardhana,
[p.128]: another of them, the head of the office of Grihakritya. In the mouth of Pousha of the same year, he failed to pay the Tantris their due for want of money, fled fled in fear.
The king having fled to Madava, Shangkarabardhana with the intention of becoming king, sent his brother Shambhubardhana to the Tantris as messenger. But the latter having promised large wealth to the Tantri, came to an agreement with them, and caused himself to be made king, thus out-witting his elder brother. The large fish eats the smaller fry, the heron eats the large fish, and the Fowler kills the heron.
Chakravarmma, spoiled of his glory, entered one night into the house of a headman of the Dāmara tribe, named Sangrāma, living at Shralhakka. He knew his guest to be the king, and made his homage to him, and gave him his own seat. The king, now humbled, and driven from his kingdom, asked him for aid. " Who counts the Tantris or grass in battle" said Sangrama " and what are we not capable of doing in your service ? But if we help you now, yon will kill us afterwards, for kings do not remember the services done to them after the work is done. As the woodman, when he descends from a tree, cuts down the branches -which helped him to ascend, even so are kings. He, whose intellect and patience helped the king to rise, is feared by him on account of those very virtues lest they being about his fail. In the days of prosperity, the king
[p.129]: forgets the past services of those who aided him in his danger, and remembers their faults if they chance to commit any. Kings when powerful, kill through shame those very followers who had seen them in disease, hunger, pain, and in fear of enemies &c. Though the king be a good one, yet nothing can be expected from him, for evil Councillors speak evil of others. The king's mind may be averted from evil during the day time, but none can avert his mind from the teachings of his queen, his instructor by night. What is infused with difficulty during the day, the king like a white ass forgets during the night. Every one who approaches the king, becomes the object of his avarice, and afterwards his victim. The king destroys those near him, not those who are afar. No one can know beforehand the evil propensity of kings who wait their time. The lion stoops when he kills, the serpent embraces when it bites, and the devil smiles when he destroys. Even so the king praises when he murders. If you do not oppress us afterwards, I shall march with my army along with you even tomorrow morning." The king felt abashed, and replied : " You who are doing me this service will be kept as safe from harm as my soul." Then they both put their legs on the bloody skin of a sheep, and with swords in their hands embraced each other. On the morning Chakravarmma followed by innumerable Damaras, marched towards the capital. The Tantri infantry placed Shangkarabardhana at their head, and
[p.130]: went out on the 8th bright lunar day of Chaitra to meet the enemy. Chakravarmma made rapid marches unostentatiously and in disguise. A slurp fight ensued outside the town of Padmapura in which Shangkarabardhana was killed by Chakravarmma who rode a horse. On his death, the Tantri army fled in every direction. But Chakravarmma overtook them in their flight and beheaded them with his sword. In this battle the Tantris lost five or six thousand men, who were killed by Chakravarmma and remained under the shadow of vultures' wings. Who did not admire the Tautris who rose and fell together ? There too perished Shankarabardhana with his greatness and his followers. Those Tantris who perished there had once ruled the proud and unapproachable king of a great family at their will, as the snake-players do the snakes. They of whom kings had begged for their very life were thus humbled ; and these cruel evil-doers who had once insulted Chakravarmma, and put him to grief, were now destroyed by his deep- felt enmity.
On the second day Shambhubardhana collected the broken army of the Tantris ; but in the meantime Chakravarmma entered the capital followed by his captains ; the ministers and the Ekanggas and soldiers covering the roads from all sides and coming from several directions with loud din. Chakravarmma rode amidst his cavalry, holding the reins of his horse and his turban to his left hand, and in his right the sword, which reflected the
[p.131]: sun's rays on bis car-pendent. His iron mail pressing on his throat made his face red and terrible. He checked the greedy soldiers who were plundering the shops, and pacified the frightened inhabitants of the place. The sound of the kettle drum, and the cry of blessings of the people deafened the ear. When the king, flushed with success was seated on his throne, Bhubhata brought Shambhubardhana bound, and to show his zeal for the king, killed him in the royal presence. Shambhubardhana had rebelled against kings who, were like fathers to the people, and thereby had destroyed them. He was the king's enemy and had protected men who had violated the laws of virtue.
Now Chakravarma having got the kingdom and destroyed all his enemies, became vain and cruel. He loved flattery and those who flattered him. Soothed by flattery, and considering himself a god, he did many foolish acts. At this time a foreigner named Rangga who was a good singer, and of Domva caste, came to his court. He was made to wait outside, while the guards seated the ministers and petty chiefs according to their ranks, a space being left in the front of the king. The court was crowded with white turbans, and illumined with lamps, and the cool night breeze blew. The ladies of the zenana wishing to hear the song, peeped through windows, their lips smelling of Asava wine. The Domva followed by his train then entered the court. He had two beautiful daughters Hangsi and Nagalatā, on whom all gazed with
[p.132]: eagerness, and they too cast their glances of love on all sides as if for the second time they scattered flowers in the court. The court rang with the song of the singers singing the praise of the king and "Long live the king," "Victory to the king," &c. The two girls tuned the flute to the tune of Pangehama, and sang without moving the head or the eye ; and it appeared as if only one person was sinking. The king gazed on them without moving and steadfastly. The girls marked the king's emotion, and wing more charmingly. They and the king interchanged their thoughts by their glances. One of the court ion marked the king's feelings and thus encouraged his passion. " As the Maireya wine, O king, is perfumed by camphor, so is tho song, by the lips of these two girls. The moon kisses their white teeth as they sing; they by their motions, songs and glances charm even the gods. One of them, knowing that we are speaking of them, is smiling and looking at us ; the Other is singing with down-cast face, her ear-rings waving, while she makes voluptuous gestures. Happy is the youth fur whose absence such women sing in loneliness. How can, according to the dictates of Shastras alone, every thing be accepted, and one thing only be discarded. It is no sin to see beauty, to hear song, but how can it be sin to touch her." The passion of the naturally restless king, thus encouraged by the words of the courtier, became violent. Courtiers often lead kings to evil-path, even as lions are misled by clouds. If sophist courtiers
[p.133]: could not beguile fools, who would have wandered in hell. The king who was as liberal as Radheya (Karna) but on unworthy objects, pleased the Domvas with tho presents of Hara, Keyura and Kundala (ornaments) and went to the inner apartments. Fie to them who spend their wealth on simple songs mistaking them for poetry. The beauty of harlots, of the rainbow, and of the ordinary song abideth not long. The king could not rest satisfied without those two girls. They too, while they were singing, embraced the king, at which he felt ashamed. The perspiration caused by his passion made the king's body cool, and it seemed as if the warmth of his good fortune left him.
Hansi was made his principal queen. Those who ate the remnants after her meal became good courtiers. The ministers who served the Domva were promoted to the posts of judges in the courts of justice &c. Some of the Domvas, on account of their ignorance were not created ministers ; others who knew of politics managed the kingdom. The newly created ministers were thieves. The queen and the favourites were of low caste (literally; those who cooked dog's flesh). Every thing was unusual in the kingdom. The queen after the menses gave gifts of her clothes stained with her blood, and the ministers entered the court covered with these clothes and felt themselves proud. Some determined to oppose the king, and did not take the food tasted by these low caste people, and they were considered as of
[p.134]: high caste like those who drink the Soma juice. Surely no powerful gods existed in the country, for then low caste people could not have entered the temples. On the Tiladvalashi day the principal queen visited Ranasvami followed by the proud people of her caste. The orders of these people because of their connection with the king, were obeyed as king's. The king bestowed the village of Helu to Rangga, but the Patta (clerk) did not write out the gift. Rangga entered the court of justice, and angrily asked the clerk, calling him the son of a female servant, why he did not write out the gift. Terrified at the anger of Rangga, the clerk wrote out the gift at last. What law is not upset when the king is bad?
The king asked what expiation would palliate his connection with the low caste women, and his gay companions made him perform some ludicrous acts. His courtiers advised him that cold is destroyed by cold, and crimes by crimes. In order to palliate his connection with low caste women, he corrupted the wife of a Brahmana who had been fasting for a month for some religious purpose. Some Brahmanas were still more vicious than the king; they ate in the king's house, and received gifts of villages from him.
The king erected Chakramatha for the Saivas, but he died when it was half finished, and his queen completed it after his death which happened in the following manner. The ungrateful king who loved the low caste women, forgot past benefits and privately killed many innocent
[p.135]: and faithful Damaras. Some of the Damara thieves therefore were seeking an opportunity and pretense to assassinate him. One night they found the king unarmed in the privy near the room of his principal queen. Having got this opportunity they quickly hurled on him numerous sharp weapons from all sides. He was dosing but, was quite awakened by the fall of the weapons, like a man sleeping by a lake and suddenly thrown into it, and he began to bawl aloud. He searched for his weapon but in the meantime he was severely cut. He fled to his bed-room, followed by his pursuers. The queen embraced him weeping, but his enemies killed him in her embrace. Instigated by the other queens, the murderers smashed the knees of the dying king with a stone.
On the 8th day of the bright moon in the month of Jaishta of the year 13, the king was killed like a dog by villains.
Sharvata and other ministers then raised Unmattavanti son of the wicked Partha to the throne. This king was worse than his predecessor. Sarasvati stops here in fear of contamination by narrating the sinful acts of this king, but I shall lead her as one leads a frightened mare. This monster was the destroyer of his father's line. He used to strike his Ministers on their heads, and those who could produce sounds by their noses became his chief ministers. The shameless ministers used to please him by flattery &c., and those ministers in time became kings. Parvvagupta became the king's greatest favourite by dancing naked in the court. Since the revolution
[p.136]: caused by the Tantris, kings, as Parvvagupta perceived, had become powerless, and he aspired to the sovereignty. He contracted friendship with minister Bhubhata, and the four principal ministers Sharvata, Chhoja, Kumuda and Amritakara who were robbing the treasury with the intention of becoming kings. The king made Rakka of celebrated valor his chief minister. The king had witnessed in a battle the singular prowess of this man, then fighting on foot. Rakka saw the goddess Shri in the tank neer the window of the house of Sangrama, the Damara chief; and he raised an image of the same shape as he had seen, and named it Rakkajāyā.
Guided by the advice of Parvvagupta who wished to clear the country of all enemies, and then to usurp it, the king began to destroy his kindred. He plundered his father Partha who was supported with his family by the gifts of the beggars of Jayendravihara where he resided. The king closed up the doors of tho room where Shankaravarmma and his infant brothers were, and thus starved them to death. He then intended to murder his father ; and gave gifts of clothes &c. to some of his ministers who favored his view, the rest he confined with chains. One night according to the king's orders, Partha was surrounded by ministers, captains, Tantris and Kayasthas. They shut the door and murdered his wife, and also murdered her infants weeping and embracing their mother. The Minister Kumuda and other favourites of the king; dragged Partha by the hair, naked
[p.137]: over the gravel which cut Ins body, and murdered him helpless, unarmed and naked, lean for want of food, and crying. The king heard the news of his father's death, and on the morning went to the spot out of curiosity accompanied by his ministers, and was glad to see the occurrence of tho previous night. The courtiers prided , themselves and pointed out the wounds -which each of them had inflicted. With, the king's permission, Parvvagupta told his son Devagupta to paint the king with his father's blood whereupon the young man sent a knife into the dead man's limbs and the blood spouted out and smeared the person of the king. This made the king laugh long.
After the murder of Chakravarmma the Damaras plundered the country. The king again raised the wicked Kayasthas, who oppressed the country, to high posts. Advised by evil ministers, he learnt the use of arms by striking off the breasts of prostitutes. Ha ripped open the wombs of pregnant women to see the fetus, and he hacked the limbs of blacksmiths, in order to try their strength. Brahmanas accepted from him gifts of villages, either through avarice or through fear of life.
The king was attacked with consumption, a disease befitting his cruelty ; and he suffered great pain as long as he lived. Not only wore his subjects glad of his death, but so also were his fourteen queens. The Jung died during summer of the year 15.
A feudling was then seated on the throne, and he was falsely declared by the female servants of the zenana to
[p.138]: be the son of the king, and was named Shuravarmma. This infant was placed in charge of the ministers, the Tantris, the Ekanggas and the captains. Kamalabardhana lord of Kampana, who was then residing at Madava, and who alone was capable of subduing the Damaras, was the enemy of the late king. On the 7th bright lunar day of A'shada, the king set out to visit Jayasvsvami. Kamalabardhana informed of the fact by his spies, took this opportunity to approach the capital with his captains; and besieged it with the Ekanggas and Tantris. His army had been wearied in subduing the Damaras, in the way, but were still able to overcome the enemy here. They deputed one thousand horse of the enemy with a smaller number of their cavalry, and entered the city unopposed.
Hearing of this defeat the soldiers deserted the infant king ; and his mother fled with him. The victorious prince either through sins of past life, or through the evil council of the bad ministers, did not ascend the throne. He retired to his own house wishing to be coronated some other day. Afterwards he collected the Brahmana, and asked them to select some countryman of theirs, young and worthy to be their king, expecting foolishly that they would select him. Who is more to be pitied than he who finds some rare and beautiful woman alone and without enjoying her then, sends a female messenger for her in a subsequent day ; or he who leaving suddenly got wealth, wishes to acquire it on a subsequent day by fair means. The Brahmanas covered with thick
[p.139]: blankets, looking like hornless bulls, and with their beards burnt with smokes, met at Gokula. And now that the line of Utpala, was extinct, they began to discuss as to whom they would select. But on account of difference of opinion they could not bathe (coronate) any one, except their mutual beards with spitting ( the effect of hot discussion.) Kamalabardhana appeared before them in order to remind the Brahmanas of his claims but they pelted at him. During the five or six days that they passed in discussion, there came many courtiers to the Brahmanas with many followers and loud music and with banners and umbrellas in their carriages. Kamalabardhana now repented.
The widow of the late king who had murdered his father, sent officers to the Brahmanas to urge the claims of her infant son (who had lately been dethroned by Kamalabardhana,) whom she had been concealing. Viradeva had a son named Kāmadeva in the village Pishachakapura. This Kamadeva bore a good character, and used to teach boys in the house of Meruvardhana. In time he became the treasurer, and his son Prabhakara soon became the treasurer of king Shangkaravarmma. Prabhakara who was the paramour of queen Sugandha died in the subsequent revolution. His son Yashaskara became very poor, and went out of the country with his friend Phalgunaka; but dreaming a good dream he returned to his country hopeful. The messenger who were sent by the widow of the parricide, selected him, and sent
[p.140]: him, because of his eloquence, to the Brahmanas. But no sooner had the Brahmanas seen him, than they all of a sudden cried out loudly — " let this be king," and they soon, bathed him king. Providence ordains, that when the bamboo forest is burnt up by forest flame, the roots are saved by a shower. When a tree is blown down by the wind, the roots are preserved being embedded in rooks. If the son of Partha guided by his servants had not destroyed his own line, if Kamala-vardhana had not upset the grandson of Partha, how could Yashaskara, the beggar wandering about the country, become king? The people crowded in the streets to see him king, whom they had once seen going on foot alone like a common man. On his way towards the palace, he heard the blessings of gazelle-eyed women without feeling pride ; and he entered the palace surrounded by sun-like white umbrellas, and things made of silver looking like moon and stars, and hearing the blessings of women with which the palace was resounding. Thus he commenced to reign.
Here ends the fifth book of Rajatarangini by Kahlana, son of Chainpaka Pravu, the great minister of Kashmira.
There were eight kings of the line of Kalpapala beside foundling, some female, and ministers, who reigned, al-together extending over a period of eighty-three years and four months.