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There are few regions of India possessing an ancient civilization about which we have less definite historic information than the region north of the Ganges variously known as Videha, Tirabhukti, or (from its capital) Mithila.
Neither the work of Prinsep, nor its excellent successor, that of Miss C. M. Duff, attempts a 'Dynastic list' for this country. Chronological indications are thus peculiarly valuable. There would seem to have been a certain degree of literary intercourse between Nepal and Tirhut, the frontier state on the direct route to the plains. Accordingly a large number of the MSS. in the present Catalogue are written by Tirhuti scribes in their characteristic (Maithili) script and dated mostly in the common era of the country, that of Lakṣmaṇa Sena.
On pp. 131-2 we find a case where a MS. is by a Tirhuti scribe domiciled in Nepal. For it will be observed that not only are the writing and the era those of Mithila, but the scribe goes out of his way to describe Lalita-pattan ('Patan'); where the MS. was copied, as 'situated in the kingdom of Nepal.'
A notice of far greater interest and importance is preserved through a case of intercourse in the opposite direction, where a Nepalese scribe was living in Tirhut. This is the case of the MS. of part of the Rāmāyaṇa, No. 1079, briefly noticed at p. 34 of the Catalogue. The colophon in question occurs at the end of the Kişkindyakāṇḍa at ff. 375-6. As it is not given in the Catalogue, I here transcribe it from my own notes: Samvat 1076 (30) aṣāḍha badi 4 mahārājādhirāja punyavaloka-somavamsodbhava-gauḍadhvaja-śrimad-Găngeyadeva
bhujyamāna-Tīrabhaktau kalyāṇavijaräjye Nepāladesiya-śri bhāñcu sālikaśrī Ẩnandasya pāṭakāvasthita (kāyastha)1 paṇḍita śrī śrī Kurasyātmajaśri. Gopatinalekhidam. Interpreting this according to the somewhat 'free-and-easy' Sanskrit used by scribes, I understand it to mean that in Samvat 1076 Gopati, son of Srikura, (Kāyastha) paṇḍit belonging to the country of Nepal and living in Ananda's pāṭaka2 belonging to Bhāńcu śāli (?), copied this during a victorious reign in 'Tirhut, when it was ruled by Gangeyadeva, the great king, beholder of holiness, sprung from the lunar race and banner of Gauḍa. The writing of the MS. is the archaic Lantsa' of Nepal, so that we may quite well
1 Added in a different hand.
2 Cf. Ind. Ant. XVIII. 135, where pataka is interpreted to mean the subdivision of a village; hence bhāñcu śālika may well contain the name of the larger village or district.
refer the Samvat to the Vikrama era. If this be granted, it must surely follow that we may identify the king with Gangeya-deva, Kalacuri of Cedi, likewise of lunar lineage, who was thus reigning in A.D. 1019, or some 11 years before Alberuni 2 mentions him as ruling in Dahāla, in 1030. Gangeyadeva's influence has not been hitherto traced so far east as Tirhut; but it is noteworthy that his son also, Karnadeva, claimed influence in Gauda, still further east.
Nothing appears to be known of the rulers of Tirhut from this time to the 14th century, when the Thakur dynasty appeared. A full genealogical table of this family was given by Dr. Grierson in Ind. Antiquary XIV, p. 196, and this was supplemented by him with further notes in the same journal in March 1899 (XXVIII, p. 57). Our Catalogue gives (p. 63) a date, L.S. 392,4 for one of the later kings, Kamsan ārāyaṇa, also called Lakṣminātha, which is the more acceptable as I have elsewhere shown,5 that the native chronology for this dynasty is incorrect. In the same year, Lakṣmaṇa Samvat 392, was copied the MS. described at Cat., p. 122, which gives a further confirmation of the succession of this dynasty, calling it the Srotriya (brahmanical) vamsa. At p. 65 we meet with an interesting confirmation of the correctness of the details given in Dr. Grierson's table, as we there find a MS. by order of a non-reigning prince, viz., Gadadharadeva6 (mahārajādhirājavara kumāra) in L.S. 372 (A.D. 1490), a date which fits very well with that last mentioned.
If Rāmasimha, the king of Mithila mentioned at p. 23 med., be the same as Rāmabhadra, then the composition of Srikara's commentary on the Amarakośa there described falls at the end of the 15th century.
The prince Indusena, or Indrasena, the author of the work described at p. 265, would seem from his biruḍa Rupanārāyaṇa to have belonged to this family.
I subjoin a short table of this dynasty (Table III).
GORAKHPUR-C(H)AMPARAN. In this region, that is, in the country south of Nepal on both sides of the Gaṇḍak, there reigned during the 15th century a dynasty, hitherto not noticed by European writers, but
1 Ep. Ind. II. 9,11.
2 India (tr.) I. 202; Gāǹgeya is also known from coins, some of them found as far north as Gorakhpur: Rapson, Indian Coins (Grundriss, II 3B), p. 33; V. A. Smith, J. A. S. B., LXVI. i. 306.
8 Ind. Ant. XVIII. 217, moreover Karna's son made one expedition to Camparanya. Ep. Ind. loc.cit.
4 392 current. The date works out, as Dr. Kielhorn kindly informs me, to Wednesday 18th December, 1510.
₺ J. R.A. S. 1898, p. 233. Dr. Eggeling, Cat. I. O., p 875, seems to accept it somewhat too readily.
• Kumāra Gadādhara Simha in that table.
apparently connected with that last mentioned. Several of the rulers are mentioned in colophons of the present catalogue, and one of these must be in all probability identified with the issue of a series of coins, unpublished as yet and also undated, but apparently belonging to this century.
The first sovereign mentioned is Prthvisimhadeva in whose reign in [Vikrama] Samvat 1492 (A.D. 1434-5) at Campakaranyanagara was copied MS. No. 1508 () at p. 61.
His successor was probably, as we shall presently see, Saktisimha. Of the next king, Madana or Madanasimhadeva, we have three mentions in these MSS. At p. 51.1-3 we find him mentioned as reigning in Vikrama-Samvat 1511 (A.D. 1453-4) at Campakāraṇyanagara. His epithets are interesting. The first, vipraraja, seems to point to his belonging to the same śrotriya vamsa which reigned in (Eastern) Tirbut and so does the biruda ending in nārāyaṇa which all the members of that dynasty assumed. The pandit is uncertain about the reading daityanārāyaṇa, but I find from my own notes on the same MS. that I read the compound thus. I should propose to interpret it like daityanisūdana and daityari (both epithets of Visnu) by reference to the Vaisnava faith of the king. This would accord well with the legend of a set of coins first identified by Dr. Hoey with this same region and at present in the British Museum. This legend is faz ara que and on the reverse. The lettering of the coins may well belong to the 15th century and I am glad to have the authority of my friend Mr. Rapson, to whom I am indebted for my knowledge of the coins, that their general style and workmanship is referable to the same period.
At p. 29 (MS. 1001) we find another MS. of the same reign written at Gorakşapura in L.S. 339 (1457 A.D.) It is interesting to note that the era used is that of Lakṣmaṇa Sena, as it confirms the accuracy of the Vikrama date, and also forms the first instance hitherto noted of the employment of the era west of the Gandak, i.e., beyond the limits of Bengal. Lastly, Madana, appears as a royal author giving his name to the Madana-ratnapradipa (p. 223). This work is said in the colophon to have been composed (viracita) by the 'king Madanaṣimhadeva, who was the son of king Saktisimha [see above], adorned with many biruḍas.' At the beginning of the text, however, the work is only said to be 'promulgated (prakasyate) by Madana' and at the end we are told that he got the work done (kārita :-doubtless a, còmmon` case with Indian royal authors!) by one Viśvanatha living at 'Kāśī-tirtha,1 probably Benares.
1 Does the prefix Sri imply the abovementioned town of Campakāraṇya, ratherthan the mere region so-called?
KINGS OF NEPAL PROPER FROM THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE ERA OF NEPAL TO THE DIVISION OF THE KINGDOM
Abbreviations: 'V, V1, V2, V8,' represent the newly-discovered Vamsavali and its three divisions; 'Cat.' the catalogue of the
Dates in italic figures are derived from the chronicle (V.) only.
1 Communicated by letter.
Dr. Kielhorn's previous working (I. Ant. XVII. 252) of the date as a current year rested on a misprint in the Nagari Text (not, however, in the Arabic numerals) of my Cambridge Cat., p. 172.
213 expd. Caitra 219 current
Aṣādha. 243 Jyeşṭha
Camb. Add. 1684 2197
210 [expd.] Jyeşṭha 1090, May Kathmāṇḍu No.
Cat., p. 92
A.S.B. A 15
A.S.B. (coll. of
Minaev-coll. St. Petersburg
Vl; see plate fig. 4. India-office,Hodg
son, 73 A. Camb. Or 142
The Hodgson Collection of the Society.
Wording of date quoted above.