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THE DATE OF ĒKĀVALI.
The Ēkāvali was first described at length in Dr. Bhaṇḍārkar's Report on the Search for Sanskrit MSS. in the Bombay Presidency during the years 1887-1891, pages lxv.-lxxi. Last year (1903) it was printed in the Bombay Sanskrit series, as No. 63, under the editorship of Mr. Kamalāçaŋkara Prāṇaçaŋkara Trivedi, with an introduction, Mallinatha's Tikā Tarala, lengthy notes in English, and several indices, making up a fairly big volume of 780 pages.
The Ekavali is divided into eight Unmēṣas or openings (i.e., chapters). The Text consists of kārikās or the rules of Poetic art (in verse), and Vṛttis or comments (in prose), with udaharaṇas or examples (in verse). Most of these udaharanas are the author's own, composed in praise of the king Nrsimha Dēva, as the author himself says in kārikā 7 of the 1st Chapter (p. 15). I say 'most' advisedly, and not 'all' as Mr. Trivedi says (Introd. p., xii), as will appear from the following analysis of the udaharanas:
Depends upon the identification of the panegyrised king.
Examples in praise of
Total Ēkāvali's date is discussed in Dr. Bhaṇḍārkar's "report," p. lxvi. et seq., and his supplementary note in the Its date. Introduction to the Ekāvalī, pp. xxxiiixxxvii; and this is practically followed by Mr. Trivedi in his own Introduction, pp. xvi-xxiii.
Having been quoted in Singabhupala's Rasārṇavasudhākara and commented upon by Mallinatha, both of the latter half of the 14th century, Ēkāvalī cannot be put later than that century. The verses in praise of Nrsimha Dēva, king
of Utkala and Kalinga, can therefore reasonably apply only to Nrsimha Dēva I (Çaka 1160-1186), or to Nrsimha Dēva II (Çaka 1200-1-1227-8). Both Dr. Bhaṇḍārkar and Mr. Trivedi identify the panegyrised king with Nrsimha Dēva II, mainly on the following grounds :
Firstly, Ēkāvali refers to certain "Hammīra," in Hammira-kṣitipāla-cētasi (p. 176), vikṣya Hammiram (p. 177), Hammira-māna-mardana (pp. 257, 260). This Hammira whose pride is humbled is identified with the Cōhāna prince of Çākambhari (A.D. 1283–1301) [vide “Report," pp. lxvii-viii; Introd., p. xxiii].
Secondly, in kārikā 11 (p. 19), the poet Harihara is said to have got amazing wealth from Arjuna (the king of Malwa). The latest known date of this Paramāra prince is 9th September A.D. 1215, and Harihara thus "flourished during the early decades of the 13th century " ["Report," p. lxvi; Introd., p. xxi]. A sufficiently long time should be allowed to pass the news on from Malwa to Orissa, and the later the date the better.
The Reasons for identifying him with Nrsimha Dēva II.
Thirdly, in the copperplate Inscriptions of Nrsimha Deva IV, Nrsimha Dēva II is described as kavi-priyaḥ, and kavi-kumuda-candraḥ, epithets given him probably for patronising poets like Vidyadhara. A somewhat similar expression, I find, is applied to the Ēkāvali's Nrsimha, Kavi-kula-kumuda-vyuha-nakṣatra-nathaḥ (p. 160).
To these I would add one more ground, seemingly the strongest, deduced from the date of Mahima Bhaṭṭa, whom Vidyadhara criticises in p. 32, and apparently follows in pp., 173-177. Mahima Bhatta's date is not yet ascertained, and his Alankara work vyakti-vivēka is not yet. published. But from certain passages in the Sahitya-darpana, he would seem to be not earlier than Candraçèkhara, who composed a stanza in praise of Bhānu Dēva (presumably I). The passages in the Sāhitya-darpaṇa run as follows:—
While criticising the opinion in the Vyakti-viveka that from inference (anumāna) one is capable of perceiving the suggested meanings of sentiments (Kārikā 270), Viçvanatha goes on to say in the last part of his Vrtti
Regarding the verse beginning with 'by his forts impassable &c,' the allegation of Mahima Bhatta that no second meaning exists in it,that is verily an elephantine wink to deny what is established by (actual) perception."
This verse is of Chandraçēkhara, father of Viçvanātha, and is quoted in the latter's Vrtti to karikās 25, and 257, with the following
"By his forts impassable in battle, excelling Cupid by his splendour, waited upon by prosperous kings, venerable, surrounded on all sides. by nobles, not (even) looking at the Kṣattriya chiefs (so high he is), with deep devotion to him whose father-in-law is the Mountain (Çiva), holding the earth in possession, with a form adorned with dignity, shines (the king) the beloved of Umā." [The other meaning is in connection with Çiva].
Comments on this in the Vṛtti to Kār. 25 :—
"In this case (the words) "the beloved of Uma" being applied by denotation to the queen named Umā and her beloved the king Bhānudēva, are to be understood as applicable by suggestion to the beloved of Gauri (Çiva)."
Again in the Vrtti to Kār. 257:
"Here in this case, lest the description of the king Bhānudēva the beloved of the queen named Umā, may not (apparently) be connected with the description of (Çiva) the beloved of Parvati, as indicated in the second meaning, what is hinted at is that Bhanudēva and Içvara stand to each other as the compared (upamāna) with what it is compared to (upamēya). Hence here (this) Uma-beloved (Bhānudēva) is like (that) Umā-beloved (Çiva), that is, the suggested sense is a figure of speech— the figure of speech of simile."
According to Viçvanatha, therefore, the above stanza of his father was made in praise of the king Bhānu Dēva (presumably I), and therefore Mahima Bhaṭṭa who criticised the same cannot be put earlier. As Vidyadhara refers to Mahima Bhaṭṭa he cannot be earlier than this Bhānu Dēva, and the Nrsimha Deva he eulogises was presumably Bhānu Dēva's son Nrsimha Dēva II.
These arguments are, however, open to several objections which may be mentioned here seratim.
The strongest objection is that in the Ekāvali the king Nrsimha Deva is described to have fought with the Mahomedans, and to have fought in Bengal on the banks of the Ganges. The battles with the Mahomedans are indicated in the examples having the words,-Yavan-āvani-vallabha [p. 202], Çak-ādhīçvara [p. 326] and Hammīra. The title Hammira should preferably be taken as that of the Mahomedans, having been in coins and inscriptions specially applied to the early Mahomedan rulers of India and Ghazni [see references, supra p. 124, and Cat., Ind. Mus. Coins, Part I, pp. 2-36]. This title had begun to be used before A.D. 1187 [Ind. Ant. Vol. xv, p. 11] and continued to be used by the Sultans of Delhi till the time of Balban [A.D. 12651287]. Then again, the fight with the Bengalis, Banga-sangara-sīmani [p. 203], and the reference to the waves of the Ganges, Ganga-taranga
dhavalāni [p. 136] apparently speak of Nrsimha's fight with the Bengal Viceroys of the Delhi Sultans.
Not a single record has yet been found in which Nrsimha Dēva II. is credited with any war against the Mahomedans, or with any invasion of Bengal; on the other hand the most prominent historical fact regarding Nrsimha Dēva I. is that his army invaded Bengal up to Gauṛa, and fought several times successfully with the Bengal Mahomedans.
Secondly, Nrsimha Dēva I. ruled from A.D. 1238-1264; so the latter part of his rule is fairly well removed from the time of the poet Harihara and the king Arjuna to permit the story of Arjuna's liberal gifts to pass on from Malwa to Orissa. Furthermore, the copperplate epithets of Nrsimha Dēva II. being vague and merely complimentary can hardly be relied upon; the Sanskrit poets in their praçastis generally without discrimination pile one epithet upon the other in praise of their patrons.
Thirdly, the deduction from the date of Mahima Bhaṭṭa and his vyakti-vivēka would be almost unassailable if it can be shown beyond doubt that the criticism on Candraçēkhara's stanza was made in the vyakti-vivēka, that the stanza referred to Bhanu Deva I., aud that this work Vidyadhara criticised. Otherwise, it is possible to argue that the criticism of Candraçēkhara's verse was made in a later work, or that Vidyadhara criticised some work of Mahima Bhaṭṭa other than the vyakti-vivēka, or that Umā-vallabha is some prince different from Bhānu Dēva I. Vidyadhara mentions only the name Mahima Bhatṭa and not the work; and so, too, in the para of the Sahitya-darpana as quoted above.
Fourthly, in Kārikā 11 [p. 18] the poet Criharṣa is praised very highly as one who "gained world-wide fame by making the poem, Evidently Vidyadhara knew Criharsa's poem well. If so, was the Tika on Naiṣadha-Caritam, known as Sahitya-vidyadhara, made by him? This Ţikā is certainly older than the Vikrama year 1353 (A.D. 1296) in which year Pandit Caṇḍu completed his Ţikā, Naiṣadha-Dipikā at Ahmedabad; cf. his verse beginning with
Tikām yady-api sōpapatiracanāṁ vidyādharō nirmamē,
[see Nirnaya-sagara Press Edition, Introd, p. 7,]. From the extracts given at the footnote of the N.P. edition, the comments in Sähityavidyadhara would appear to be more or less rhetorical, which would be natural with such an Alankarist as the author of the Ēkāvali.
If this identification holds good, then between the Tika of Vidyādhara in Orissa and a Tikā at Ahmedabad, a sufficiently long time should be allowed, a longer time ordinarily in the case of a Tika than in the case of say, an original poem or Alaņkāra work. If 30 or 35 years be
J. 1. 19.