« السابقةمتابعة »
parts of India which have furnished their contingent to the phalanx of Sanskrit authors. Yet unfortunately this is by no means the case.
The advantageous position we enjoy in Kaśmir is due to a combination of causes of which the most important ones may at once be bere indicated. In the first place we owe it to the preservation of connected historical records from a comparatively early date which acquaint us with a large number of particular localities and permit us to trace their connection with the country's history.
Another important advantage results from the fact that Kaśmir, thanks chiefly to its geographical position and the isolation resulting from it, has escaped those great ethnic and political changes which have from time to time swept over the largest portion of India. Local tradition has thus remained undisturbed and still clings to all prominent sites with that tenacity which is characteristic of alpine tracts all over the world. The information preserved by this local tradition in Kasmir has often proved for our written records a most welcome supplement and commentary.
Finally it must be remembered that in a small mountain country like Kasmir, where the natural topographical features are so strongly marked and so permanent, the changes possible in historical times as regards routes of communication, sites for important settlements, cultivated area, etc., are necessarily restricted. The clear and detailed evidence which the facts of the country's actual topography thus furnish, enables us to elucidate and to utilize our earlier data, even where they are scanty, with far greater certainty and accuracy than would be possible on another ground. The observations here briefly indicated will be in part illustrated by the review of our Kaśmirian sources. 17. Epigraphical records on stone or copper such as elsewhere in
India form the safest basis for the study of Kalhana's Rāja.
local topography, have not yet come to light tarangiņi.
in Kaśmir. The few fragmentary inscriptions hitherto found are all of a late date and do not furnish any topographical information. In their absence Kalhaņa's Rājatarangiņi is not only the amplest but also the most authentic of our sources for the historical geography of Kaśmir. The questions connected with the historical value of the work, its scope and sources, have been fully discussed in the introduction to my translation. Here we have only to consider its character as our chief source of information on the old topography of Kasmir.
KALHANA's work, composed in the years 1148-49 A.D., is our oldest record of the history of the various dynasties which ruled Kaśmir from the earliest period to the time of the author. The earlier Chronicles
which Kalhaņa has used and quoted, have all been lost. We are hence unable to judge what he took from each, and bow he worked up their contents. Largely legendary in the first three Books, his narrative reaches firm historical ground with the Kārkota dynasty in the Fourth Book. From Avantivarman's reign (A.D. 855-883) onwards which opens the Fifth Taranga, the Chronicle may be considered an accurate and reliable historical record. As the author approaches his own time, his narrative grows more and more detailed.
In illustration of the latter fact it may be mentioned that of the whole work comprising uearly eight thousand Slokas, more than one-half is devoted to the relation of the reigns which fill the century and a half immediately preceding the date of composition. We have certainly no reason to regret the fulness with which Books vii. and viii. relate the events of the author's own time, and of the period that lay near it. From a historical point of view, Kalhaņa's detailed account of contemporary history and the near past must always retain its value. We can appreciate its advantages also with special regard to the elucidation of the old topography of the country. This will become at once clear by a brief analysis of the topographical information contained in the Chronicle.
It is doubtful whether Kalhaņa writing for readers of his own country and time, would have deemed it necessary to give us a connected and matter-of-fact description of the land, even if the literature which he knew and which was his guide, had furnished him with a model or suggestion for such a description. The nearest approach to it is contained in a brief passage of his introduction, i. 25-38. This acquaints us in a poetical form with the legends concerning the creation of Kaśmir and its sacred river, the Vitastā, and enumerates besides the most famous of the many Tirthas of which Kaśmir has ever boasted in abundance. The few panegyric remarks which are added in praise of the land's spiritual and material comforts, i. 39-43, do credit to the author's love of his native soil. But they can scarcely be held to raise the above to a real description of the country. 18. Notwithstanding the absence of such a description Kalhaņa's
Chronicle yet proves by far our richest source Kalhaņa's notices
of information for the historical geography of of Tirthas.
Kaśmir. This is due to the mass of incidental notices of topographical interest which are spread through the whole length of the narrative. They group themselves conveniently under three main heads.
Considering the great attention which the worship of holy places has at all times claimed in Kaśmir, we may well speak first of the notices which appertain to the Topographia sacra of the Valley. Kaśmir has from early times to the present day been a land abundantly endowed with holy sites and objects of pilgrimages. Kalhaņa duly emphasizes this fact when he speaks, in the above-quoted introductory passage, of Kaśmir as a country where there is not a space as large as a grain of sesamum without a Tirtha.'!
Time and even the conversion to Islām of the great majority of the population has changed but little in this respect. For besides the great Tirthas which still retain a fair share of their former renown and popularity, there is scarcely a village which has not its sacred spring or grove for the Hindu and its Ziārat for the Muhammadan. Established as the latter shrines almost invariably are, by the side of the Hindu places of worship and often with the very stones taken from them, they plainly attest the abiding nature of local worship in Kasmir.
This cannot be the place to examine in detail the origin and character of these Tirthas and their importance for the religious history of the country. It will be enough to note that the most frequent objects of such ancient local worship are the springs or Nāgas, the sacred streams and rivers, and finally the so-called svayambhū or selfcreated'images of gods which are recognized by the eye of the pious in various natural formations. These several classes of Tirthas can be traced throughout India wherever Hindu religious notions prevail, and particularly in the sub-Himalayan regions (Nepāl, Kumaon, Kängra, Udyāna or Swāt). Still there can be no doubt tbat Kaśmir has from old times claimed an exceptionally large share in such manifestations of divine favour.
Nature has iudeed endowed the Valley and the neighbouring mountains with an abundance of fine springs. As each of these has its tutelary deity in the form of a Nāga, we can easily realize why popular tradition looks upon Kasmir as the favourite residence of these deities. 8 Fliuen Tsiang already had ascribed the superiority of Kaśmir over other countries to the protection it received from a Nāga. Kalhaņa, too, in his introduction gives due prominence to the distinction which the land
8 The Nilamatapurāņa, 900–972, gives a long list of Kaśmir Nāgas and puts their number at thousands, nay Arbudas (see 971).
• Si-yu-ki, i. p. 148. Hiuen Tsiang, like other Chinese pilgrims, calls the Nāgas by the term of 'dragon ;' no doubt because the popular conception represents them under the form of snakes living in the water of the springs or lakes they protect.
enjoys as the dwelling-place of Nila, king of Nāgas, and of many other of his tribe.
Kalhaņa's frequent references to sacred springs and other Tirthas are of topographical interest, because they enable us to trace with certainty the earlier history of most of the popular pilgrimage places still visited to the present day. The list already mentioned acquaints us with the miraculous springs of Pāpasūdana and Tri-Sandhyā, Sarasvati's lake on the Bheda hill, the Self-created Fire' (Svayambhu), and the holy sites of Nandikşetra, Sāradā, Cakradhara and Vijayeśa. It shows which were the Tirthas most famous in Kalhaņa's time. The legends connected with the early semi-mythical kings give the chronicler frequent occasion in the first three Books to speak in detail of particular sacred sites. Almost each one of the stories furnishes evidence for the safe location of the latter. But also in the subsequent and purely historical portions of the work we read often of pilgrimages to such sacred places or of events which occurred at them.
Kalhaņa shows more than once so accurate a knowledge of the topography of particular Tirthas that his personal visits to them may be assumed with great probability. This presumption is parti. cularly strong in the case of Nandikşetra which his father Caņpaka is said to have often visited as a pilgrim and to have richly endowed, and of the neighbouring shrine of Bhūteśvara.8 Also the distant Tirtha of Sāradā in the Kişangangā Valley seems to have been known person. nally to the Chronicler. Considering the popularity which pilgrimages to sacred sites have always enjoyed among Kaśmirians, the conclusion seems justified that Kalhaņa owed perhaps no small part of his practical acquaintance with his country's topography, to the tours he had made as a pilgrim. 19. A second fruitful source of valuable topographical notices is
contained in those very numerous refereucos Kalbaņa's references
which Kalhaņa makes to the foundation of to foundations.
towus, villages, estates, shrines, and buildings by particular kings. If we leave aside the curious list, i. 86-100, taken by
1 Rajat. i. 28–31. The Nāgas are supposed to have come to Kasmir when Kabyapa, their father, had drained the lake of Satī,' and to have found there a refuge from Garuda ; comp. Nilamata, 59 899.
% Compare the legends of the Sodara spring, i. 123 899.; of the Krtyaframa Vihāra, i. 131 sqq.; of the Jyeștharudra at Nandiksetra and Srinagarī, i. 113, 124; the story of the Subravas Nāga, i. 203 899.; the description of the pilgrimage to the Takşaka Nāga, i. 220 sqq.; the story of the Iseśvaru temple, ii. 134 ; of Raņasvāmin, iii. 439 899., etc.
3 See vii. 954; viii. 2365 and note v. 55 899. Compare also below, $ 57. + See Note L, viii. 2492, § 4.
J. 1. 5
Kalbaņa from Padmamihira in which certain local names are by fanciful etymologies connected with seven of the lost kings,'' it may be safely assumed tbat these attributions are based either on historical fact or at least on genuine local tradition. Kalhaņa specially informs us in his introduction that among the documents he had consulted for his work, there were 'the inscriptions recording the consecration of temples and grants (of land] by former kings.' Such records no doubt supplied a great portion of the numerous notices above referred to. Often such potices
have been taken from less authentic sources. But we may always claim for them the merit of acquainting us with the names of the respective localities and buildings, as used in the official language of Kalhaņa's time, and with the traditions then current regarding their origin and date.
The system of nomenolature which was regularly followed in Kaśmir in naming new foundations, must have helped to preserve a genuine tradition regarding the founder. In the vast majority of cases the names of new towus and villages are formed by the addition of -pura to the name of the founder, either in its full or abbreviated form. Similarly the names of temples, monasteries, Mathas and other religious structures show the name of their builder followed by terms indicating the deity or the religious objects to which the building was dedicated. Many of
I See regarding this anhistorical list note i. 86. The local names, like Khona. muşa, Godhari, Samängäsä, etc., are all genuine enough. What Padmamihira did was to evolve fictitious names of kings out of these by means of popular etymology.
% i. 15.
8 Thus we bave, e.g., the well-known localities of Huskapura, Kaniskapura, Juşkapura (which retain the memory of their Indo-Scythian founders) ; Pravarapura (for Pravarasenapura), the old official designation of the present capital ; Padmapura, Avantipura, Jayapura (for Jayāpīdapora) and a host of others. The custom of naming new localities in this fashion, or of renaming earlier ones in honour of the actual rnler, can be traced through successive periods of Mubammadan and Sikh rule down to the present day; comp. eg., Zainą põr (named after Zainu-l. 'ābidīn); Shahābuddīnpūr (now Shadipūr); Muḥammadpür ; Ranbirsinghpur (in. tended to replace Shāhābād), etc.
* Thus in the case of S'iva-temples -ián or-ibvara is invariably added (comp., e.g., Pravareśvara, Amsteśvara, etc.), as in that of Vişņu-shrines with equal regularity -svāmin (-keśava); comp. e.g., Muktasvāmin (built by Maktāpida), Avantisvāmin, Bhāmakesava (erected by Bhimapāla Sābi), etc.
Buddhist monasteries receive the name of their founder with the addition of -vihira or -bhavana ; comp. Jayendravihāra, Cankunavihāra, Amstabhavana (fonnded by Queen Amstaprabhā, the present Ântabavan), Skandabhavana (for Skandaguptabhavana), and many more, as shown in my Notes on Ou-k'ong, p. 4.
For Mathas compare e. g. Diddāmatha (Didamar); Subhatāmatha, Nandāmatha, Lothikamatha, Cakramatha, etc.