Salhana

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Salhana was King of Kashmir for 3 months and 27 days in 1111 AD. Bhoja of Kashmira was son of Salhana.

Jat Gotras

Sahlana made king

Rajatarangini[1] mentions: [p.32]: Though all asked Garga to ascend the throne, he did not do so, and thus he held his duty sacred. He intended to set up the infant son of Uchchala to the throne, and enquired after the boy. The people now wondered at the work of those whom they at first had thought unfit even to beg. Mallaraja had by queen Shveta three sons, Sahlana, &c, of whom the second had died before. Shamkharaja (Radda) had sought to kill the surviving Sahlana and Lothana and they fled in fear to the Navamatha. Learning that the rebels were dead, the shameless Tantri , and cavalry officers consulted together and brought them back. Garga did not free any one else fitted for the kingdom and he anointed Sahlana,


[p.33]: the elder of them. O! that within four praharas of day and night there were three kings. The wicked servants of the king who at evening served Uchchala, and Radda the next morning, came to Sahlana at noon.

Sussala was at the gate of Lohara when he heard of the death of his brother, a day and a half after the event, and became excessively grieved. The messenger sent by Garga threw himself on the ground weeping and dispelled all doubts as to the truth of the occurrence. From this messenger Sussala did not hear of the accession of Sahlana to the throne, but only learnt the news of his brother's death and received an invitation from Garga. Garga, when he left his house, did not think that he would be able to accomplish the difficult task of putting down the enemies so soon, and had sent a messenger to Sussala asking him to come. Sussala spent that night in weeping, and at dawn he set out towards Kashmira without collecting his army. Another messenger from Garga met him on the way, told him all that had happened and asked him not to come. "The rebellion was soon put down and you were not near so your younger brother Sahlana has been made king. What is the use of your proceeding ? " When he heard this message from Garga he was unable to bear it, and through anger he said with a smile to his servants. — "This is not our ancestral kingdom that our younger brother would possess it. I and my elder got it by the strength of our arms, when we got the kingdom, no one made a gift of it to us ; and has the means by which we first got it, now disappeared ?"


[p.34]: He said so and stopped and marched with his men and sent many messengers to Garga.

Sussala reached Kashtavata (काष्टवात), and Gargachandra on behalf of Sahlana came out and arrived at Hushkapura. When the night approached, men who came and went called Garga a rebel, though he spoke kind words to all.

Though the king [Sussala] was very busy with his work, yet he sent Hitahita, son of his nurse, to Garga. Bhogasena devoid of his senses came at this moment to the king accompanied with the Khāṣhakas inhabitants of Vilvavana. He sent Karnabhuti, a horseman, to the king and assured him that he would overcome Garga. Without waiting for an opportunity, he searched for a fitting place to kill the rebellious brother and was considered a bad man by the people. Garga rebuked the king through his messengers and asked how he can accept the help of him who rebelled against his brother. Bhogasena had retreated from the road and halted, it being dark. At the end of the night Garga attacked him and killed him and his followers. Karnabhuti fell a hero gracing the battle with his fall ; his step-brother Tejaḥsona did likewise. By the king's [Sahlana's] order the latter was set up on a pale, and the like was also done to Marichi, son of Ashvapati, inhabitant of Lavarajya. On account of the opposition, the king inflicted punishments &c, but his army became too uneasy to remain in order.

Sanjapala who had preceded king Sussala but, at evening, was left behind, collected many horsemen and joined


[p.35]: the king. On their arrival Sussala's army received some opposition. Garga's general Suvāshpa with a large number of troops arrived. On seeing them the enemy became eager for fight, and the king, clad in armour, was, by his own men, with difficulty, set up on a horse. The arrows from the enemies covered the sky like locusts and fell on all sides in continued showers. They attacked the whole body of the royal [Sussala's] army. The brave king whose men they killed and wounded got out alone from amidst the enemies and fled hi haste. He fled riding his horse and crossed the roaring and headlong current of the Sindhu without going over the bridge, and got himself out of the range of the arrows. Sanjapala and one or two more were able to follow him and dispersed those who opposed them at several places. Sussala's enemies gave up the pursuit as he, with twenty or thirty followers, entered Viranaka, a town of the Khashas. Without raiment or food, attended with a few followers, he stopped there, and without fear attacked and chastised the Khashas. He fortunately returned to Lohara in time, passing through roads difficult to traverse on account of fall of snow. He faced death at every step but his period of life was not yet ended, and he lived and thought of the means of obtaining Kashmira. Garga became angry with poor Hitahita and threw him into the Vitasta after tying his hands and feet. But Hitahita's servant threw himself into the water just before him, and though he descended down [into the water] he ascended [high in heaven.]

King Salhana's character

Rajatarangini[2] mentions: [p.36]:Garga was particularly honored by king Sahlana on his return ; for it was he who gave Sahlana a kingdom and destroyed his enemies. The king was without a minister and without valor, and with an unsettled mind he looked on the kingdom as on a wheel turning round him on all sides. He had no policy, no valor, no wiles, no simplicity, no charity, no avarice, nothing predominated in him. During his reign even at noon the thieves would steal things from the people in the capital, what then must they have done to others living outside the town ! Even lame persons could violate the chastity of women, while the king, although a man, lost his senses through fear. The kingdom was shared in common by Sahlana and Lothana, one reigned on one day and the other the next day. The king understood not the nature of men and when he erred, he was laughed at by the men of state. He employed Ujahsurya, father-in-law of Lothana, in Dvara where much valor and sternness were required ; but Ujahsurya was fit to be among hermits. He said that if he repeated his mantra a hundred thousand times there would remain no more cause of fear from Sussala.

The wicked king, through the orders of Garga, tied a piece of stone to his enemy Vimba, a Nilashva Damara and threw him into the Vitasta. Garga had killed the enemies of the king and the king bestowed favors on him. He killed many Hālāha Damaras by means of poisoned food. The king was disregarded and the life


[p.37]: and death, of all, whether great or low, whether in the capital or without, were at the mercy of Garga.

Once when Garga returned to the king from Lohara, the citizens in the metropolis became anxious and frightened. There arose a rumour that the furious Garga had come to kill all the dependents of the king, on boats by fixing pales. Such a fearful rumour which can cause abortion in women kept all men in a fever of anxiety for two or three days. Tilakasimha and others, therefore, without waiting for the king's Orders, attacked Garga's house. The whole country became excited and the people armed themselves and ran to and fro ; and Gargachandra was alarmed. The shameless Dilhabhaṭṭara, Lokkaka and others were seen riding about in the road leading to Garga's house. The king did not prevent them but on the contrary sent Lothana to encourage them as they were weak. Lothana with his soldiers blocked the road but could not surround Garga's house nor could he burn it by fire. One Kaushava, a good archer and the head of a matha at Lotikamatha, greatly checked Lothana's soldiers by killing many of them with iron arrows. When the king's partisans had retired as they had come, Garga set out on horse-back at evening, with his followers and unopposed, he went to Lohara.

On his way he captured Ujahsurya, who was at Tripureshvara suffering from ill health. " But what is the use of arresting this hermit" he said, and he liberated him the next day. Sussala was overcome with anxiety but Garga did not dispossess him of Lohara.


[p.38]: From that place the citizens received at times, rumours of Garga's approach and used to bolt their houses. The weak king was anxious to come to terms with Garga and for that purpose the great Sahela went to Lohara as a messenger. With difficulty Garga was made to promise to bestow his daughter on the king. Peace was then established with Sussala, but the proposed alliance although asked for was never made.

When Garga went to Visharākuta in Mandala, the king caused Sadda, Hamsaratha and Nonaratha to be brought to him by messengers. The wicked king tortured them by sparks of fire and points of needle and left them all but dead. The king determined to dishonor Allā, the widow of Bhogasena, who was, after the death of her husband, leading a pure life and was living privately. He saw the weakness of all around and was only afraid of Dilhabhattara and poisoned him. This vicious sovereign was not born of the royal line nor was he powerful, since he removed persons into his secret manner. Dilhabhattara's sister Alla reproached the king for his effeminacy and proudly burnt herself. His reign though of short duration became intolerable owing to these fears, as a night becomes intolerable with bad lengthy dreams.

Sussala understood the signs of the times, and though as yet there was peace, he had misgivings about Garga. He was anxious to come to Kashmira but he first sent Sanjapala. The king had bestowed wealth and Dvara on Lakkaka who with difficulty reached Barahamula.


[p.39]: Garga remembered that it was Lakkaka who had attacked him in his house, he came up to him from behind, destroyed his army and plundered both the soldiers and the place Barahamula. Lakkaka fled. Among the dead that lay on the ground and graced it like garland of pearls were the leaders Ruppachuḍa and others. Their character was good and they were born in good families. On the approach of Sanjapala, Lakkaka's fear abated and, helpless as he was, he was brought to Sussala.

References


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