Simhadeva

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Simhadeva (b. ? - r.1127 AD) of Lohara family was the King of Kashmir. He was son of Sussala, who coronated him for the throne in 1125 AD. Ascension of Simhadeva to the throne took place in 1127 AD after murder of Sussala by rebellions. Rajatarangini[1] tells...The Damaras believed that the snow fell on account of the accession of the new king to the the throne, and therefore named him Himarāja.

Genealogy of Nara

Rajatarangini[2] provides us following Genealogy of Nara:

Genealogy of Nara, King of Darvabhisara

Formerly at Darvvabhisara there lived a king named Nara of the Gotra of Bharadvaja, who had a son named Naravahana, and Naravahana had a son named Phulla. Phulla had a son named Sarthavahana, his son was Chandana, and Chandana had two sons, Gopala and Sinharaja, Sinharaja had several children, his daughter Didda was married to Kshemagupta. Didda made Sanggramaraja (son of her brother Udayaraja) king. She had another brother, Kantiraja, and he had a son named Jassaraja, Sanggramaraja had a son named Ananta, while of Jassaraja were born Tanvangga and Gungga. Ananta's son was Kalasharaja, and of Gungga was born Malla. Kalasha's son is king Harshadeva, and Malla's sons were Uchchala and Sussala. Sussala's son was Simhadeva

History

Prince Simhadeva's coronation 1125 AD

Rajatarangini[3] mentions that The king Sussala, who was indifferent in mind and wished to resign his kingdom brought from Lohara, his son Simhadeva, who had just then passed his boyhood. He had made Bhagika, Prajji's brother's son, lord of Mandala and employed him at Lohara, and thus guarded the country and its treasury. When his beloved son Simhadeva arrived at Varahamula, he advanced and embraced him with joy as well as with grief....His father (Sussala) crowned him (Simhadeva) on the first of Ashada, and with tears in his eyes he taught him in the ways and policies of kings. It is in 1125 AD. [VIII (i),p.105]

" Bear thou the weight which is now placed on you, and which your father and your uncle could not bear ; they sank under it." Over-powered by fate, the king made his son bear the royal insignia and bestowed on him his possessions. No sooner was the prince installed than the siege of towns, drought, diseases, and annoyances by robbers abated, and the earth became so full of corn that the famine was over in the month of Shravana.

In the meantime Simhadeva, (the prince just crowned,) had been destroying the enemies in battle. But the king was told by informers that he intended to rise against his father. When the prince heard this, he, in his anger


[p.106]: and without judging rightly at first sent away from him the son Kayya, with his friends. He had anticipated this, and he now determined to remain unshaken before his father, terrible in his frowns, and he obeyed the orders of the king. On the next day Simhadeva, without taking food on account of grief, and much afflicted, was coming to his father in order to gain his confidence. He was afraid that since his father's suspicion was roused, the ministers would not be able to assuage him. But his father caused him to return form the way, by false assurances. The king after much deliberation decided that he would confine Simhadeva in prison.

Murder of the king Sussala 1127 AD

Rajatarangini[4] tells us....At the time of Murder of the king Sussala in 1127 AD, Sahajapala, the ornament of the line of Bhavuka, of superior prowess among the spiritless servants of the king, ran with sword and shield ; and when the rebels saw him, they went out by a side way. But this powerful man was wounded by their servants, and he fell on the ground. The shame of the Rajpoots was washed by his blood. The learned Nona went before them, and though a native of the country, resembled the Rajpoots in person, and so they mistook him for Rajpoot and killed him. When the soldiers saw the rebels go towards the village unwounded, they did not pursue them in anger, but remained stationary like painted figures. The fat bodied Rajpoots, beloved of the king, kept themselves quiet, and crowded in the courtyard which was a while ago deserted. It has been a burden to us to speak of these cowardly men from the time of king Harsha of Kashmir. We dare not pronounce the names of these sinful men through fear of contamination with their sins, and out of grief. Thinking it an act of great manliness to walk from the courtyard to the house, some of the principal men among these sinful people went to see their murdered master. They saw the king, his teeth pressed on his lower lip over which the blood was issuing and which seemed to be quivering, as if the king was giving utterance to his grief at his being deceived.


Rajatarangini[5] tells us ...At the time of Murder of the king Sussala in 1127 AD, They (Rajputs) did not do anything befitting the occasion; they only said " enjoy the fruit of being alone ;" and thus reproached him. They did not take him on horse or on carriage, nor could they burn him, for they fled to save their own lives. Nor was the body placed by any one afterwards on wood and burnt ; each took one of king's horses and fled ; and the soldiers, as they went into villages, were plundered by the Damaras. On the way which was covered with snow, neither sons protected their fathers, nor fathers saved their sons, whether they died or were killed or plundered. There was no warrior who thought of his dignity when menaced by his enemies on the road, and did not cast away his clothes and arms. But three died bravely. They were Lavaraja and Yashoraja, two Brahmanas who were well up in gymnastics, and Kāndaraja. Utpala and others saw from the neighbourhood, the soldiers thus fleeing and they entered the house, cut off the head of the king and took it away. When they had gone to Devasarasa, the headless king, like a murdered thief, became an object of sight to the villagers. Thus in the year 3, in the month of phalguna, on the day of the new moon, was the king killed by treason, at the age of 55 years.

Ascension of Simhadeva to the throne

Rajatarangini[6] tells us ...[p.116]: Lament of Simhadeva: It was when Simhadeva was lying at base, that the son of his nurse told him this evil news. Unarmed as he was, he felt all the anger of an armed man. Recovering from a long swoon, he regained his recollection, and impatient with grief, he lamented half aloud and half in whisper. " "You, O ! great king ! who governed the country for me, and cleared it of all enemies, for what an insignificant cause have you died? Did the foes approach you, destroyer of enemies ! when you were looking on them unarmed? You skilled your enemies and thereby pleased your father and your brother in heaven ; but alas ! your son cannot please you in the same manner. Think not for a moment that the world is like a wilderness and that there lives none in it like Kripa, Drona and Jamadagnya who extirpated the dynasties of their foes [to revenge the insult offered to their parents.] It is sad that grief has settled on you ; king ! But I will be revenged for it....


[p.117]: ...When he was thus rebuking, two or three ministers came to him, and he listened what they said for his benefit. Some advised him to leave the country and to go to Lohara without delay, as they apprehended mischief in the country from Bhikshu, at the dawn of day. Others calmly advised him to take over to his side, Garga's son, Panchachandra who was at Lohara, and to continue the civil war.

Bhikshu's intention to enter the capital : Now that Sussala was dead and Bhikshu purposed to enter the capital, none thought it advisable to remain in his own house. The ministers had no confidence in Simhadeva who told them that they would witness on the following day what would happen. As time went on, the king's grief for his father's death became manifest. He now ordered trusty guards to watch the treasuries &c.


[p.118]: ... On the morning he went to the courtyard to assuage the citizens, and thence he despatched horsemen in search of the soldiers who had fled. The clouds touched the ground and the hollows of the road were entirely covered with snow. Those who had been sent returned, but the king could not get even the names of the soldiers who had fled. After a moment's deliberation, he published in the town, by the beat of drum, that he did not wish to get back the things which had been taken away, and that he pardoned those who were guilty, and bad gone over to the enemy. When he had done this, the citizens flocked into the town from all sides and blessed the king. The proclamation which was in favor of those who had acted against the king bore its fruit on that very day. Simhadeva had about him less than one hundred followers only ; but men from all sides now flocked round him out of love. Lakashmaka obtained the post of prime minister for his kind and gentle words in presence of the king.

When the wise king had consolidated his government, by this policy, Bhikshu arrived with the intention of entering the capital just after midday. His army composed of Damaras, citizens, horsemen and plunderers appeared as usual. He had come to the capital, aspiring after the kingdom, when he heard of the death of his enemy.

References


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