Showing posts with label Harsha. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Harsha. Show all posts

Old Saka Era - Varahmihira 's Sree Harsha Era

We have consistently seen Saka era along with Vikrama Samvat are two era used in India for the last two thousand years. We have seen Pulakesin gives shalivahana saka starting at 78 AD. Vikram Samvat starts at 56BC. In Indian Literature these dates are counted from start of Kaliyuga that is 3102 BC. in Kaliyuga counting Saka era starts at 3180 and Vikram samvat starts at 3046. These dates are well established by Indian and Foreign experts. So what is the problem. Let us see.

Varahamihira Saka

Varahamihira quotes Vraddha Ganga "According to Vrddha Ganga, the Sages (Saptarsis) resided in the Magha nakshatra, when king Yudisthira ruled the earth, and the year of the reign can be obtained by adding 2526 years to the number of saka years elapsed". 


Now we have Vraddha Garga , who is an impeccable astrologer and Varahamihira even more versatile one, why will they give the dates wrong. When we see this saka era it starts at 576 BC. We know Shalivahana Sake Starts at 78AD. 

Let us analyse.
 Who is varahamihira
Vahara Mihira was Astronomer , Mathematician and Astrologer who lived in Ujjain, he was born in Avanti region (Malwa) to Astronomer Adityadasa. He was educated at Kapitthaka. He is considered as one of the Nine Jewels of Vikramaditya of Ujjian. His son Prithuyasas was also Astrologer, his work Hora Sara. 


His main Work is Panchasiddhantika (treatise of Five cannons(Astronomical)). He gives info on older Indian Astronomical works now lost namely Surya Siddhanta, Romaka Siddhanta, Paulisa Siddhanta, Vasishtha Siddhanta and Paitamaha Siddhanta. It is a monumental Work. 


Another major work is encyclopeidic Brihat Samihta. It covers wide ranging subjects of Human interest, including astrology, planetary movements, eclipses, rainfal, clouds, architecture, growth of crops, manufacture of perfume, matrimony, domestic relations, gems, pearls, rituals etc. 


His Other works in Astrology include Brihat Jataka, Laghu Jataka, Samasa Samhita (Swalpa samhita), Brihat Yogayatra, Yoga Yatra, Tikkani yatra, Brihat Vivaha Patal, Lagu Vivaha Patal, Lagna Varahi, Kutuhala Manjari, Daivajna Vallabha.

 427 - Saka
Varahamihira says 427 must be subtracted from saka era for his era. So 427 saka was the start of his era or birth of varahamihira. Amara raja gives the date of 509 Saka for varahamihira death. Indologists comes with 427 + 78 = 505AD as the birth of varahamihira. So the problem is solved. But why does the dates don't reconcile.


The Astronomical Positions mentioned in his works don't match for celestial positions of 6th century AD.

Shalivahana Saka is famous in South and West of India and Ujjain or Malwa especially followed Vikrama Samvat. Now why does one refer to Shalivahana Saka, which is from rival powerhouse.

If Aryabhatta was in 5th century AD, Varahamihira was in 6th century AD. Pulakesin Edict is 7th century AD. While Aryabhatta and Pulakesin Edict gives 3102BC and Varahamihira 2448bc.

Working from 576BC as start of Saka era gives varahamihira date as 149 - 67 BC , which places Varhamihira in Vikramaditya court as one of the nine jewels.

There is a traditional as well as modern view that kalidasa and Varahamihira are contemproaries

Jyotividabharana, a treatise on Astrology says it was completed on month of kartika of the year 3068 of kali (34BC). It says that the framing rule for finding ayanamsa is 445 years after saka and remainder divided by 60.

If we go by Al beruni statement, Gupta reign ended 241 years after Saka era, If we take 78AD, than it comes to 319AD.

There is no scope for Vikramaditya of Ujjain reigning in 6th century AD for Varahamihira to become his navaratna.

Alberuni says that Year 400 years before Vikramaditya or 457 BC was in use before Vikaramaditya. He calls it as Sree Harsha Era. This era was available in 11 century AD.

Sree Harsha Vikramaditya
Kota Venkatachalam says, based on the authority of Bhavishya purana, that this Vikramaditya is a son of Gandharvasena , a King of Ujjain. His son Deva Bhaktha reigned after him.

T S Naryana Sastri says that Sri Harsha Vikramaditya of Kashmir defeated the sakas and in commoration of his victory founded the Harsha era, in the year 457BC. In his work Haidimba Vaidagdhya, he identifies Matrgupta of the court of king Harsa Vikramaditya of ujjain as Kalidasa I living in 6th century BC and Medharudra on the court of of vikramaditya of Malwa as Kalidasa II in first century BC.

Sakas
Sakas came to prominence on the periphery of India around 800 BC. They Came into prominence in India after the collapse of Satavahanas dynasty in Magada (802BC). They were in prominence for 380 years (802 - 422 BC). They were in considerable power struggle with local Indian rulers. In 551BC Darius has collected all the scattered Saka and invaded India. Which confirms 576 BC to be date when Sakas were soundly thrashed and scattered by Sree harsha. This may start Saka era in this case old saka era.

The saka era of kalahana

Saka of Kalhana and Varahamihira are same. Kalhana also talks about Sree Harsha Vikramaditya of ujjain.

Disucssion
Varahamihira was one of the nine jewels of Vikramaditya court.
Varahamihira was born in 427 Saka. He died in 509 Saka.
Shalivahana saka does not fit to this dates. As there is no vikramaditya in Ujjain during at that time(6th century AD). There were no sakas also at that time. Hunas were already vanishing. So there is no probability of Vikramaditya in 6th century AD at Ujjain.

Date of old saka era is 3102-2526 = 576BC. Some people take the start 2526 from Start of Yuddhistra era and arrive around 612BC. Here 576 is calculated from end of Yuddhistra reign, which ended soon after Kali yuga started.

When Varhamihira talks about saka kala, Saka Bhupakala, Sakendra kala, Saka Nrpati Kala, it refers to rule of saka rulers in India not shalivahana saka.

Conclusion.
All these points when we consider does indicate there was old or original saka era started by Sree Harsha in Sixth century BC. Varahamihira, Vraddha Garga and few others quote this saka era. Even alberuni seems to mention this saka era. Later on he seems to have confused himself with Harshavardhan of Kannuj. This varahamihira was in the court of vikramaditya of Ujjain in first century BC. 


Date of start of Old saka era is 576BC.

Source
https://oldthoughts.wordpress.com/ancient-indian-calendars/how-many-kinds-of-sakas-eras-are-there/
Essays on Indian Antiquities, Historic, Numismatic, and Palaeographic By James Prinsep
http://www.heritageinstitute.com/zoroastrianism/saka/index.htm#introduction
History of Civilizations of Central Asia: The Development of Sedentary : By A. H. Dani, UNESCO Staff, M. S. Asimov, B. A. Litvinsky, Guang-da Zhang, R. Shabani Samghabadi, C. E. Bosworth, Unesco
Kaliyuga, Saptarsi, Yudhisthira and Laukika Eras by K.D. Abhyankar and G.M Ballabh
Saka Era by Ajay Mishra Shastry
History of Classical Sanskrit Literature by By M. Srinivasachariar
Essays on historical and mythological India
Age of Bhārata War edited by Giriwar Charan Agarwala


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Are Maukharis and Malwa Guptas Feudatories of Imperial Guptas?

We are looking at the question "Are Mukharis , Malwa Gupta's, Gaudas and Maitrakas" feudatories of Imperial Gupta's? All these dynasties ruled between 500 and 700 AD. This we can date from Harsha Vardhana, who is historically datable. We are looking at the inscription and other references to see whether any Imperial Gupta presence is there.

Mukharis (Maukhari)
Maukhari has been found in Ashoka inscriptions as Mukhalinam. But First official inscription is of Anantavarman in Barabar Nagarjuni hill cave inscription. We learn a line of Mukhari chiefs starting from Yajnavarman , his son king samanta cudamani sri Sardula and his son king Anantavarman. These Inscriptions are undated. There is not much we can prove here as evidence, except these early Mukharis ruled Northern Magadha and were earlier than the mainline mukharis,whom we are going to talk now.

Maukhari and Malwa Guptas
Let us start the Mukharis with Yajnavarman. His Son Sardula was most ferocious and was death to many rulers. At the same time another Dynasty of Malwa Guptas were rising in West with Krishna gupta. Jivitagupta I clipped the wings of Anantavarman. This Mukhari line went into decline. But at the same time another Mukhari line Harivarman was rising around 500AD. Harivarman was contemproary of Krishnagupta. Adityavarman son of Harivarman married Harshagupta daughter of Krishnagupta. Adityavarman was followed by his son Isvaravarman who has married another Gupta Princess UpaGupta. Third member of the lines both Isvarvarman of Mukhari and Jivitagupta I of Guptas made conquests and brought fame to the dyansties. JivitaGupta I defeated Mukhari Anantavarman and conquered Magadha. Isvaravarman son Isnavarman assumed title Maharajas. Haraha inscription refers to his victories over Andhra (Vishnukundin), Sulki(Chalukya) and Gaudas. The Campaign against Gaudas must be placed in 550AD. After this that Isnavarman takes Imperial Titles, who is styled as Maharaja in the Asirgarh inscription, as Rsitipati in the Haraha inscription, and as Nrpati in the Jaunpur inscription. This conquests alarms his Malwa Gupta Contemporary KumaraGupta and Clash follows between allies. According to Apahad inscription the first round goes to Kumaragupta. Next Attack came from Survavarman son of Isnavarman. Damodaragupta eventhough repulsed the attack succumbed to his injuries (562AD). Sarvavarman declares himself emperor of Magadha. Damodara Gupta was succeeded by Mahasenagupta. Mahasengupta goes for a alliance with AdityaVardhan of Pushyabhutis. But his challanges were huge. Chalukya Kirtivarman (567-597AD) declares that he won victories over Anga, Vanga and Magadha. His Adversary is Mahasenagupta. Guada King occupied South Magadha and Tibetan king Sron Btson gambo (581-600AD), Mana Dynasty has established independent kingdom between Midnapur and Orissa. With so many troubles Mahasenagupta retired to Malwa(582AD). But Peace was not there Kalachuris took over Malwa. Soon Chalukyas dislodged Kalachuris and Mahasenagupta rival DevaGupta unsurped throne and Prabhakaravardhana has to resuce Kumaragupta and Madhavagupta sons of Mahasenagupta (602-603AD). Harsha Vardhan appoints MadhavGupta as the ruler of Magadha. Adityasena(Apshad Inscription) son of Madhavagupta became king of Magadha can be said as the first Independent Malwa Gupta to rule Magadha and rise of Later Guptas.

Mukhari Line is as follows.
Magadha line
Yajnavarman
king samanta cudamani sri Sardula
Anantavarman

Kannauj Line
Harivarman
Adityavarman
Isvaravarman
Isanavarman (530-554 A.D.)
Sarvavarman (560-5 to 585.)
Anantivarman (A.D. 585-600)
Grahavarman (600-605 A.D.),

Malwa Guptas
Krishnagupta
Harshagupta
Jivitagupta I
Kumaragupta III
Damodaragupta
Mahasenagupta
Madhavagupta
Adityasena
Deva Gupta
Visnu Gupta
Jivita Gupta II

Pushyabutis
Rise of Harshavardhana
According to Harsha-Charita, a royal line was founded by one pushyabhuti, a devout Saivite, some where near Thaneswar in the Ambala district of Harayana. Nothing much is known about this ruler. It was only the fourth ruler prabhakaravardhana that the title Maharajadhiraja was assumed. A few details of Prabhkarvardhana are to be found in Harshacharita. He was the great General, who possibly defeated the Hunas also. Bana also mentions that he was the devotee of the sun. Prabhakaravardhana had two sons, Rajhavardhan and Harshavardhana and one daughter Rajyasri. Grahavarman of the Maukhari dynasty was married to Rajyasri. After the death of Prabhakaravardhan in 605AD, Rajyavardhan ascended the throne. Soon bad news came, Mukhari Grahavarman was killed by the Malwa Gupta ruler Deva Gupta. Rajyavardhan went after the Malwa ruler. The Malwa king Deva Gupta was defeated and possibly killed. On his return Rajyavardhana was confronted by Sasanka(Sasanaga), Guada king of Bengal. All the available authorities declare that Rajyavardhana was killed by Sasanka(Shashanika) throught they differ in details. After his death, Harsha succeeded to the throne of Thaneswar and Kanauj with the title of Rajputra and style of Siladitya in 606AD. This is how Harsha Vardhan came to the throne. With Malwa under his arm as his mother was Malwa Princess and Magadha was occupied by Sasanka. Until Sasanka died Harsha could not do anything there. Once Sasanka died, Harsha vardhan got Magadha and Orissa and his ally Baskaravarman of Kamarupa got Guada. As brother in law of Grahavarman he also got the Magadha kingdom.

Guada Kings
Rise of Sasanka
Guada kings were confined to Guada by Later Guptas until the time of MahaSenaGupta. Increasingly the Mahasenagupta faced difficulties from Mukharis, Gaudas, Chalukyas and Tibetans. Gaudas under invaded western and Central Bengal including Karnasuvarna and occupied them. The Mukhari rulling at that time was Avantivarman, son of Sarvavarman. After death of Avantivarman, the Mukharis split into Two amd Jayanaga predecessor to Sasanaga invaded and occupied the southern part of Magadha under Sarva Varman. After the death of Jayanaga, sasanaga came to the Gauda throne. In 601AD Sasanka(Soma) became king of Gauda and he invaded Kamarupa under Baskarvarman and made it subordinate. He also invaded Orissa, defeated Mana king and annexed it. Thus he became the most powerful ruler in the region. Grahavarman seeing the rise of Gauda king should have been alarmed and offered marital relations with Prabhakaravardhana of Pushayabutis and married his daughter Rajyashri. Prabhakaravardhana should have been under threat from Deva Gupta coming on the Malwa throne. With Defeat of Kalachuris by Chalukyas, there was no contest from that space. It is in this scenario that marriage was concluded and their concerns were proved right after the death of Prabhakaravardhan. From 601-625AD, nobody could do anything to Sasanka. Guada Kings eventhough call themselves Mahasamantas do not mention any overlords, neither do Mana rulers.

Break up of Mukharis
Sarvavarman conquered Magadha around 575AD. Sarvavarman is first Mukhari ruler to be recognized as the soverign of Magadha. The Malwa Guptas were feudatories of Mukharis. He was master of Uttarpradesh. Marriage of his granddaughter Vasata(Suryavarman's Daughter) to prince of Mahakosala Harshagupta brought him closer to deccan. Mahakosala ruler Chandragupta has just inherited the throne from his father Trivaradeva who was defeated by Vishnukundin ruler Madhavavarman I around 570AD. Sivagupta son of Harshagupta came to throne after death of Chandragupta in 596AD. Sarvavarman's Mukhari Empire extended from Punjab to Narmada in South.We have seen that breakup of Mukharis into two resulted in weakening of the empire and resulted in disappearance. Let us reconstruct this scenario. Sarvavarman has approinted his brother suryavarman as the incharge of Magadha. Suryavarman strengthened his position by marrying his daughter to Harshagupta of Mahakosala. Suryavarman son was Bhaskaravarman. Normally Baskaravarman would have succeeded Suryavarman. But instead Avantivarman appointed his younger son Suca(Sucandravarman or Suvartavarman) as the governor of Magadha. After the death of Avantivarman Grahavarman succeeded in Kannauj. Suca declared himself ruler of Magadha. This was not liked by Bhaskaravarman son of Suryavarman. With taking over of the throne by Suca the Magadha and Kannuaj became independent of each other and thus lead to invasion and occupation of Magadha by Guadua king soon after.

Maitrakas
The Maitrakas ruled over Saurashtra from their capital of Valabhi from about 500to 700AD. The founder of the dynasty was Senapati Bhattarka. They have made grants in which they call themselves Mahasamanta. The Mahasamanta is said by Indology scholars as feudatory position. According to the scholars they must be feudatory to none else but Imperial Gupta. We have to see here that Maitrakas do not mention Guptas.,The phrase Parama Bhattaraka Pandanudhyata(dated 183) occurs in the reoords of the Valabhi ruler Dhruva sena I, who ruled till 545AD. Valabhi Kingdom was visited by Hiuen Tsang in 640 A. D. . He states the that the king was a Kshatriya his name being Dhruvasena, and that he was son-in-law to Harsha the Emperor of India and king of Kannauj. The Gurjaras of Broach use in their grants the Traikutaka otherwise called the Kalachuri era ( starting point 249 A. D. ) Their grants are also written in the Gujarati version of the southern Brahmi character(Satavahana-Kadamba style) while the royal signature at the end is Norther Brahmi. Here again Indologists equate Parama Bhattaraka as Imperial Gupta Monarch. In all these places Era's mentioned by the kings are equated with Gupta era, even though there is no evidence.

Yashodharman
In Jaunpur Inscription Isvaravarman describes himself who estinguished the spark of fire coming from dhara. Yasodharman is also of same period. Yasodharman Mandasur inscription is 532AD(589 Vikrama samvat). Yasodharman defeated Huna Mihirkula around 515AD(Mihirkula came to Malwa throne in 510AD). Now here Dhara is equated with Yashodharman. Here we have to know that Dhara is a city (Modern Dhar), while Yashodharman is a person.

We have established the scenario, Now let us come to our Questions
Are Maukharis and Malwa Guptas feudatories of Imperial Guptas?
Nowhere we see in any inscriptions, Imperial Guptas being mentioned. Neither does Imperial Guptas mention Mukharis. So we have to say Imperial Guptas and Mukharis did not know each other. Same goes for Malwa Guptas, they don't mention any Imperial Guptas, neither does Imperial Guptas mention them. Neither of them use Gupta Era. The main claim by indologist is they use the term Mahasamanta in their inscription, which will mean a feudatories.
AsirGarh Copper Plates does not give any Overlord
Haraha Inscription - Does not give any Overlord
Juanpur Inscription - Does not give any overloads
All use Malwa Samvat - Even though there is Gupta Overlords?

Question of Samanta
We may note that even in the Arthasastra, the word samanta has often the meaning “neighbour”, without alternative — as for example in Arth. 3.9 when transfer of title to houses and plots of land is in question. However, in every single case, Samanta can consistently be translated as neighbour, whether royal or commoner, without incompatibility. There is no samanta baron in the Manusmrti. The earlier Guptas rule over no samantas in their inscriptions; the posthumous Harisena inscription of Samudragupta on the Allahabad pillar mentions no Samantas. Dharasena of Valabhi who appears as the first mahasamanta is an independent king friendly to the Guptas (from the tone of his inscriptions), not a peer of the realm. The Mandasor pillar inscriptions of Yasodharman, who drove Mihirakula and the Huns out of Malwa, say that the king defeated and humbled all the samantas, which can only mean neighbour kings. But the Visnusena charter, takes samanta only in the sense of petty feudal viscounts who might press labour for corvee, or infringe upon the rights and immunities of merchants to whom the charter was granted. Thus, the change in meaning falls within a period around 600AD. It is confirmed by the Ten Princes of Dandin,where samanta can only mean feudal baron, though the author shows remarkably close reading of the ArthaSastra as of many other works. The copper plates of Harsa, supported by Chinese travellers Hieun Tsang accounts prove that feudal relationships and samanta “ baron” had come to stay in the seventh Century AD.

Huns
Kuvalayamala(700Saka- 778AD), the Jain Account of Toramana tells, He is Soverign of Uttarapatha and his guru was Hari Gupta. The most extensive account is by Hiuen Tsang. Huns led by Mihirkula as per Hiuen Tsang are dated some centuries before 633AD, when he visited Sakala. Watters points out Chinese agree with this view. Both Toramana and Mihirkuala are Staunch saivites. The end of Gupta empire is predicted on Huns, we don't know whether these two are Huns or Kushana chiefs. The territories identified by Huns and the two kings also differs. Beal Identifies areas Tokharistan, Kabulistan and Zabulistna and Chavannes adds according to chinese history (by Sung-Yun), the only Indian Countries under Huns are Gandhara and Chitral. But Toramana and Mihirkula are in a entirely different plane. I dont consider Toramana , Mihirkula and Yashodharman relevant here as Mukharis , Yashodharman, Malwa Guptas and Imperial Guptas ruling whole of North India invisible to one another.

Baladitya
The other place Scholars mention about Imperial Guptas is when Hieun Tsang mentions Baladitya as the one who defeated and eliminated Huns. Baladitya has been identified with the conqueror of Mihiragula. Baladitya captured Mihirakula but later released him on his mother’s request. Paramartha also mentions that Baladitya was sent to Vasubandu to study Buddhism by his father. Hence it is possible that Mihirakula’s move against Buddhism would provoke Baladitya to take strict steps. Mihirakula’s reign is assigned to about 520 CE. Could the Baladitya of Hiuen Tsang same as Narasimhagupta Baladitya of the Gupta dynasty? As per Indology dating there is a gap of fifty years in the current proposed date of Narasimhagupta and the date of Mihirakula which is very hard to justify. Even if we assume that Narasimhagupta was ruling in 520 CE, would it be possible for him to wage war against Mihirakula at that very old age? A N Dandekar mentions that Baladitya of Hiuen Tsang is not Narasimhagupta but someone else. But the existence of several Baladityas renders this identification doubtful.

Yashodharman, Toramana, Mihirkula, Aulikharas and Huns, we will see in different Article.

Conclusion
Mukharis, Malwa Guptas, Gaudas, Maitrakas all had their origin in early part of 6th century AD. According to Indologists Imperial Guptas were still ruling North India and specifically Malwa, Magadha. But we don't find any evidence to the same. So our conclusion is Imperial Guptas are not overlords or Contemproaries of Mukhari, Malwa Gupta, Gaudas and Maitrakas.

Sources
Dynastic History Of Magadha By George E. Somers
Rise and fall of the imperial Guptas By Ashvini Agrawal
History of Kanauj: To the Moslem Conquest By Rama Shankar Tripathi
Vakataka - Gupta Age Circa 200-550 A.D. By Ramesh Chandra Majumdar, Anant Sadashiv Altekar
D. D. KOSAMBI ON HISTORY AND SOCIETY PROBLEMS OF INTERPRETATION
The imperial Guptas and their times By Dilip Kumar Ganguly
Ancient India: History and Culture By Balkrishna Govind Gokhale
Rise and fall of the imperial Guptas By Ashvini Agrawal
Indian History and Architecture

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