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Similar in character though less ample in detail, is the description of Kaśmir and its capital Pravarapura which Mankha, Kalhaņa's contemporary, inserts in'the iii. Canto of his Kāvya Srikanthacarita.l Here we have the advantages of a commentary written by Jonarāja, the Chronicler, which duly notices and explains the points of local interest. 26. To complete our review of those Kaśmirian texts of topo
graphical interest which may be distinguished The Lokaprakāśa.
as“secular, we must refer briefly to the curious glossary and manual which goes by the name of Kşemendra's Lokuprakāśa. Professor A. Weber bas recently published valuable extracts from this text. I myself have had occasion to refer to it frequently in the notes on the Rājatarangiņi. The work represents a strange mixture of the usual Kośa and a practical handbook dealing with various topics of administration and private life in Kaśmir.
A great deal of the information contained in it is decidedly old, and probably from the hand of our well-known Kşemendra. But there are unmistakeable proofs, both in the form and contents of the book, showing that it has undergone considerable alterations and additions down even to the 17th century. This is exactly what we must expect in a work which had remained in the practical use of the Kaśmirian "Kārkuns' long after the time when Sanskrit had ceased to be the official language of the country.
The Lokaprakāśa supplies us with the earliest list of Kaśmir Parganas. It gives besides the names of numerous localities inserted in the forms for bonds, 'Huņdis,' contracts, official reports, and the like which form the bulk of Prakāśas ii. and iv. The Pargana list as well as these forms exhibit local names of undoubtedly ancient date side by side with comparatively modern ones. Some of the latter belong to places which were only founded during the Muhammadan rule.
He conla thas verify on the spot every point of the description which Bilhaņa gives of that "coquettish embellishment of the bosom of Mount Himālaya ;" see Report, pp. 4 899.
| See Srikanļhnc. iii. 10–24, 68 899.
4 Compare, e.g., in Prakāśa ii. Jainanagara, founded by Zainu-l-'ābidin (see Jonar. 1153); Aläbhadenapura (Sriv. iv. 318), etc.
SECTION VI.—THE NILAMATA AND MĀHÂTMYAS.
27. We have already above drawn attention to the fact that
Kasmir has since early times been pre-emiThe Nīlamata. purāņa.
nently a country of holy sites and places of
pilgrimage of all kinds. These objects of ancient local worship have always played an important part in the historical topography of the Valley and the adjacent mountain regions. It is hence no small advantage that there are abundant materials at our disposal for the special study of this Topographia sacra of Kaśmir.
The oldest extant text which deals in detail with Kaśmirian Tirthas, is the Nilamatapurāna. This work which Kalhaņa used as one of his sources, claims to give the sacred legends regarding the origin of the country and the special ordinances which Nila, the lord of Kaśmir Nāgas, had revealed for the worship and rites to be observed in it.
It is unnecessary to refer here to the legends which are related at the commencement of work, and to the rites proclaimed by Nila' which together with the former occupy about two-thirds of the extant text.3 These parts have been fully discussed by Prof. Bühler in his lucid analysis of the Nilamata. The remaining portions, however, deserve here special notice as forming, - to use Prof. Bühler's words—“a real mine of information, regarding the sacred places of Kasmir and their legends."
In the first place we find there a list of the principal Nāgas or sacred springs of Kaśmir (vv. 900–975). This is followed by the interesting legend regarding the Mahāpadma lake, the present Volur, which is supposed to occupy the place of the submerged city of Candra. pura (vv. 976–1008). The Parāņa then proceeds to an enumeration of miscellaneous Tirthas chiefly connected with Siva's worship (vv. 1009-48). To this is attached a very detailed account, designated as Bhūteśvaramāhātmya, of the legends connected with the sacred lakes and sites on Mount Haramukuța (vv. 1049-1148). Of a similar Mābātmya relating to the Kapateśvara Tirtha, the present Kōthēr,7 only a fragment is found in our extant text (vv. 1149-68). The list of
I See Räjat. i. 14. % Compare Rājat. i. 178–184. 8 Nilamata, vv. 1-366, contain the legends, v. 367–899 the rites above referred to.
See Report, pp 38 sqq. 6 Compare below, $ 74, and Report, p. 10.
Compare below, $ 57, and Rajat. notes i, 36, 107, 113. 1 See below, $ 112, and Rajat. i. 32 note.
Vişnu-Tirthas which succeeds it (vv. 1169-1248), is comparatively short, as indeed the positiou of this god is a secondary one in the popular worship of Kaśmir.
After a miscellaneous list of sacred Samgamas or river-confluences, Nāgas and lakes (vv. 1249-78) we are treated to a somewhat more detailed synopsis of the chief Tirthas of Kaśmir (vv. 1271-1371). This is of special interest, because an attempt is made here to describe the Tirthas in something like topographical order, and to group with them such localities as are visited on the same pilgrimage. It is thus possible to determine, with more certainty than in the case of other Tirtha lists, the particular holy sites intended by the author.
This synopsis starts in the east with the fountain of the Nilanāga (Vērnāg), and follows with more or less accuracy the course of the Vitastā and its affluents down to the gorge of Varābamūla. A short Vitastāmāhātmya, describing the origin and miraculous powers of this the holiest of Kaśmir rivers (vv. 1371–1404), closes the text of Nilamata, such as it is found in our Manuscripts.
This text is unfortunately in a very bad condition owing to numerous lacune and textual corruptions of all kinds. Prof. Bühler held that the Nilamata in its present form could not be older than the 6th or 7th century of our era. It appears to me by no means improbable that the text has undergone changes and possibly additions at later periods. On the whole, however, the local names found in it bear an ancient look and agree closely with the forms used by Kalbaņa. The difference in this respect between the Nilamata and the Māhātmyas, in their extant recensions, is very marked and helps to prove the comparatively late date of most of the latter. On the other hand it deserves to be noted that without the more systematic and detailed accounts of the various Tirthas as found in the Māhātmyas, the identification of many of the sacred places referred to in the Nilamata would probably have been impossible.
The fact of all extant copies of the work showing practically the same defective text, seems to indicate that the changes and additions to which I alluded above, cannot be quite recent. If such a revision had been made at a time comparatively near to the date of our oldest MS, we could, after the analogy of other instances, expect an outwardly far more correct, i.e. 'cooked,' text. The operation here suggested was actually performed some thirty years ago by the late Paņdit Sāhibrām. Receiving the orders of Mahārāja Ranbir Singh to
1 Compare Report, p. 40. The oldest and best Ms. of the Nilamata which I was able to secure and collate, is dated in the Laukika year 81. This date judging from the appearance of the MS. probably corresponds to A.D. 1705-6.
prepare the text of the Nilamata for edition, he “revised' the work with scant respect for its sacred character by filling up the lacune, expanding obscure passages, removing ungrammatical forms, etc. Fortuvately Prof. Bühler reached Kaśmir early enough to learn the origin of this 'cooked 'text, and to give due warning as to its true character,
The Nilamata seems thus to have escaped in recent times that process of continual adaptation which, as we shall see, must be assumed to have greatly affected all extant Māhātmyas. The reason probably is that it could never have been used, like the latter, as a practical pilgrims' manual and itinerary by the Purohitas of the various Tirthas. 28. Among the texts dealing specially with the sacred sites of
Kaśmir the Haracaritacintāmaņi can be placed, The Haracaritacintāmaņi.
perhaps, nearest in date to the Nilamata
parāņa. It is not like the latter and the Māhātmyas, an anonymous composition, claiming recognition in the wide folds of canonical Purāņa literature. It owns as its author the poet Jayadratha, of the Kaśmirian family of the Rājānakas, and a brother of Jayaratha. The pedigree of the family as given in Jayaratha's Tantralokaviveka, a Saiva treatise, shows that Jayadratha must have lived about the end of the 12th or beginning of the 13th century.?
His work which is written in a simple Kāvya style, relates in thirty-two Cantos as many legends concerning Siva and his various Avatāras. Eight of these legends are localized at well-known Kaśmirian Tirthas. They give the author ample opportunity of mentioning other sacred sites of Kaśmir directly or indirectly connected with the former.4
Jayadratha's detailed exposition helps to fix clearly the form which the legends regarding some of the most popular of Kæśmirian Tirthas had assumed in the time immediately following Kalbaņa. The local names as recorded by Jayadratha, agree closely with those of the Rājatarangiņi. They prove clearly that the forms employed by Kalhaņa must have been those generally current in the Sanskrit usage of the period. For the interpretation of Nilamata's brief notices the Hara
1 See Report, pp. 33, 38.
3 The Haracaritacintāmaņi has recently been printed as No. 61 of the Kavyamála Series, Bombay, (1897), chiefly from the text as contained in my MS. No. 206.
+ The cantos containing these legends are i. Jvālālingávatāra, iv. Nandirudrā. vatāra, vii. Cakrapradāna ; x.-xiv. Vijayeśvara., Pingaleśvara., Vitastā., Svayambhunātha-, Kapateśvara Avatāras.
6 An index of the Kaśmīr local names in the Haracaritacintīmaņi, with explan. atory notes, has been prepared ander my supervision by P. Govind Kaul and printed as an Appendix to the Kāvyamala edition.
caritacintāmaņi is of great value. Its plain and authentic narrative enables us often to trace the numerous modifications which the various local legends as well as the names of the localities connected with them have undergone in the extant Māhātmyas. 29. Reference has already been made above to the numerous texts
known as Māhātmyas which we possess of The Māhātmyas.
all the more important Tirthas of Kaśmir. They claim with few exceptions to be extracted from Parāņas or Purāņic collections (Samhitās). Ordinarily they set forth in detail the legends relating to the particular pilgrimage place, the spiritual and other benefits to be derived from its visit, and the special rites to be gone through by the pilgrims at the various stages of the itinerary. The abstract given of the S'áradāmāhātmya in Note B, on Rājat. i. 37, may serve to indicate the manner in which these subjects are usually treated in the average texts of this class.
Prof. Bühler was the first to recognize the value of the Māhātmyas for a systematic study of the old topography of Kaśmir. Among the Sanskrit Manuscripts which he acquired during his tour in Kaśmir, there are sixteen distinct texts of this kind.% My own search in this direction, facilitated by successive visits to the various Tirthas themselves, has enabled me to collect altogether fifty-one separate Māhātmya texts. The list of my collection which has been given in a supplementary Note8 may be considered fairly to exhaust the present range of this literature.
In extent the Māhātmyas vary greatly. By the side of texts like the Vitastāmāhatmya with its fifteen hundred Slokas, we have legendaries of more modest dimensions amounting only to a few dozens of verses. Equally marked differences in the matter of age become apparent on closer examination.
Unmistakeable indications prove that many of the Māhatmyas now in actual use are of late composition or redaction. Among the texts so characterized, the Māhātmyas of some of the most popular pilgrimage places, like the Haramukuța lakes, the cave of Amaranātha, Iseśvara (Is&bạr), are particularly conspicuous. The indications here referred to are furnished chiefly by the local names which in their very form often betray a modern origin. This may conveniently be illustrated by a
1 Most of the Kaśmir Māhātmyas allege to be portions of the Bhrngiếasamhiti. Others claim special anthority by representing themselves as parts of the Ādi, Brahma, Brahmavaivarta, Varāha and Bhavișyat Parāņas.
% See Report, pp. iv. 899. Nos. 48, 51, 52, 55, 62, 75, 82, 84, 99, 100 there quoted as separate texts are only chapters of the Amaranāthamahātmya. 3 See Supplementary Note AA.