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Vidyapati Thakur-By NAGENDRANATH GUPTA
A Note on Mahamahataka Candesvara Thakkura of Mithila.-By
Plate I: Gold coins of Samudra Gupta, Sri Vigharaha, and
III: Gold coin of Muhammad ibn Tughlaq; Silver coins of
IV., nos. 1 and 2: Buroi Fortifications (Assam).
LIST OF PLATES
JOURNAL, VOL. LXXIII., PART I.-1904.
Cliff at the north end of Buroi Fortifications (Assam).
VI: Khurda Plates of Mádhava.
VII: Language Map of West Tibet.
VIII: Gadhaiya coins (obverses).
IX: Gadhaiya coins (reverses); Gold coin of Naşir-ud-din
I: Extra No.: Copper coins of Akbar, Ahmadābād Mint.
II: Extra No.: Silver coinage, Murshidabad Mint; Silver coins of Aurangzeb, Siva Singha Shah and Pramathesvari (jointly); and Dewas State copper coin.
ASIATIC SOCIETY OF BENGAL.
Part I.-HISTORY, LITERATURE, &c.
Mr. Edward Heron-Allen has published an English translation of the Quatrains of Baba Tahir, under the title of "The Lament of Baba Tahir." The translation is a very creditable performance, without doubt. But, I am afraid, his version of the text is not always correct, nor are all the sixty-two Quatrains he has put together Baba Tahir's. Those numbering 15, 34, and 56 in Mr. Allen's book bear unmistakable evidence of having been written by someone else. The style, metre, and language employed in no way resemble Baba Tahir's. As for the inaccuracies of the text, I have thought it fit to correct them and give a prose translation, adhering as far as possible to Mr. Allen's words. Indeed at one time I had an idea of issuing a new edition of the Quatrains myself. But the advice of my learned friend, the Hon'ble Nawab Imad-ud-Mulk, Bahadur, whom I consulted on the matter, has prevailed with me so far, that I have decided to restrict myself to the less pretentious task of revising Mr. Allen's translation in the way I have indicated. And I trust that my work will be found useful by the students of Persian Literature.
Before proceeding, however, to point out, and correct the inaccuracies in the text of the Quatrains, as given by Mr. Allen, I should like to say a few words about the date of Baba Tahir's birth.
J. I. l
The Quatrains of Baba Tahir, edited and translated by
Same As Broom. Mirza Mehdyk
In his introduction to "The Lament of Baba Tahir," Mr. Allen gives 410 A.H. as the date of the Baba's death. Riza Quli Khan in his volume of "The Majma-ul-Fusaha" gives the same date, and considers the Baba to be a contemporary of the Dailamite Dynasty. I quite agree with Riza Quli Khan in that opinion, as the Dailamites reigned between 321 and 487 A.H. corresponding to 933 and 1094 of the Christian era. The Seljuks began their reign from the time of Mas'ud (1031 Christian era), the grandson of Mahmud, of Ghazni. That Baba Tahir lived before Firdusi, Ansuri, and others, there exists no manner of doubt, as these were the poets of the court of Mahmud, and Mahmud was before the Seljuks came into power. The Baba must therefore have died about 410 A.H. because, in the first place, his Quatrain No. 29 he tells us that he was born in 326 A.H., and, next, he died, from all accounts, a very old man. According to the Abjad system of chronography, letters have numerical values; and it is well known that this fact is taken advantage of by oriental writers to denote events. And this is exactly what Baba Tahir has done in the quatrain above referred to which runs as folows:
موان بحرم که در ظرف آمد ستم * موآن نقطه که در حرف آمد ستم بهر الفي الف قدم که در الف آمد ستم الف قدي بر آیو :
Letters have two kinds of values, the Zabar "written," i.e., the j value of the letter itself, and the Baiyyinat, i.e., the value of the other letters, besides the Zabar which give the spelling of the name of the letter, and both put together are called Zabar and Baiyyinat. For instance() Alif has its own value as one, and this is called the Zabar of 'alif; but the name of the letter is pronounced alif, therefore the letters J lam and fa are the Baiyyinats of that is () has two values, the Zabar oft alif ist = 1; and the Baiyyinat oft are J lam and fa=30+80=110; and the Zabar and Baiyyinat together will give the value of it as 111. So the letter while generally standing for one, may sometimes stand for I+J+3=1+30 +80=111. Now let us apply both these methods of valuation, so to say, to the fourth line of the quatrain quoted above. The poet says "I am the Alif kadd who has come in Alf." According to the Zubur method, adding the values of the letters composing alif kadd and alif together we get the
; 80 = ف
80 = في
; 100= ق
; 4 = د
Summing them up we have 1+30 +80+100+4+1+30 +80=32 and this 326 is the year of the poet's birth. Sometimes an Arabic word