From the Jacket
Kalhana’s Rajatarangini is the most famous historical poem which records the oldest and fullest history of the legendary kings of Kashmir as well as gives accounts of the Kashmirian kings of the historical period.
The interest of this treatise for Indian history generally lies in the fact that it represents a class of Sanskrit composition which comes nearest in character to the chronicles of Medieval Europe and of the Muhammadan East. Together with the later Kashmir chronicles which continue Kalhana’s narrative, it is practically the sole extant specimen of this class.
Its author’s object is to offer a connected narrative of the various dynasties which ruled Kashmir from the earliest period down to his own time. The final portion of the work, considerable both in extent and historical interest, is devoted to the accounts of the events which the author knew by personal experience or from the relation of living witnesses. These events are narrated from the point of view of a more or less independent chronicler and by no means the purely panegyrical object of the court-poet.
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Kalhana’s Rajatarangini is the oldest and fullest record of Kashmir history. Sir Stein, recognizing the inestimable value of the only work of its kind, succeeded in publishing the critical edition of the text as early as in 1892 which has been printed here as Vol. III of this three-volume set. Later he followed this illustrious venture by presenting a fully annotated translation of the Chronicle, in two volumes, printed as Vol. I and Vol. II here, the former containing the translation of the first seven tarangas of the original Sanskrit and the latter that of the remaining eighth taranga.
The translation is preceded by a comprehensive and scholarly Introduction in which Stein has endeavoured to elucidate inn the first place the data which can be gathered as regards the person of Kalhana, his family and the milieu in which he lived. In the second chapter (of the Introduction) the author has examined as closely as our available materials would permit, the objects and methods which guided Kalhana in the composition of his work, the sources he used for it, and the form which he gave to his narrative. The condition in which the text of the Chronicle has been handed down to us, and the materials the author has used for its reconstitution, are discussed in the third chapter, while the next chapter contains an exposition of Kalhana’s system of chronology. In the concluding and longest chapter of the Introduction it has been the author’s object to present a critical summary of Kalhana’s narrative and of the historical data contained in it. The Chronological and Genealogical Tables attached to the Introduction are intended to present in a condensed form the information furnished by the Rajatarangini regarding the date and descent of successive rulers of Kashmir. The Memoir which follows (Vol. II) the Translation and Notes presents a connected and detailed account of the ancient geography of Kashmir.
IT was in the summer of 1888, on my first visit to Kasmir, that I was attracted to the task which the present work is intended to complete.
Amidst the ancient remains and traditions which the Valley has preserved in such abundance, I could not fail to become impressed with the importance of KALHANA’S Chronicle, our oldest and fullest record of Kasmir history. I realized that in order to render its contents fully accessible- for research it was necessary, on the one hand, to obtain a critically correct text, and on the other, to collect for its elucidation whatever data a close study of the country and its old remains could furnish.
My subsequent visits to Kasmir offered valuable opportunities in both directions. In 1889 I succeeded in securing the codex archetypus of all extant manuscripts of the Rajatarangini, and with its help. I was able to publish in 1892 my critical edition of the text of the Chronicle. In its preface I expressed my intention of embodying the materials I had collected for the interpretation of the work in the form of a commentary to be published as a second volume. Heavy official labours and another literary duty did not allow me to approach this portion of my task until the summer of 1895, when an arrangement between the Kashmir Darbar and the Punjab University, adopted on the recommendation of the Tenth International Congress of Orientalists, secured to me the necessary facilities. Availing myself of the two months’ periods of ‘special duty’ granted to me in extension of the summer vacations of 1895, 1896, and 1898, I was able to expand the plan of my labours and ultimately to complete the present annotated translation of the Chronicle which, together with its Introduction and various Appendices, is now offered in place of the commentary originally contemplated.
The detailed analysis of the BAJATARANGINI contained in the initial chapters of my Introduction will explain the reasons which make the Rajatarangini so important for the study of ancient Kasmir and for Indian historical research generally. This importance and the exceptional interest which attaches to Kalhana’s “River of Kings" as practically the sole extant product of Sanskrit literature possessing the character of a true Chronicle, account for the efforts which have been directed towards the elucidation of the work ever since European scholar- ship became aware of its existence. A brief review of these earlier efforts will help to indicate more clearly the object of the present publication and the nature of the labours it has involved.
As early as the seventeenth century Dr. Bauman, to whose visit to Kasmir in the summer of 1664 we owe the first European account of the Valley, and one as accurate as it is attractive, had turned his attention to the ‘histories of the ancient Kings of Kachemire.’ The Chronicle, of which he possessed a copy, and of which, as he tells us, he was preparing a French translation, was, however, not Kalhana’s work, but a Persian compilation, by Haidar Malik, Cadura, prepared in Jahangir’s time avowedly with the help of the Rajatarangini Also the summary of Kasmir rulers which Father TIEFFENTHALER a century later reproduced in his "Description de l’Inde," was still derived from that abridged rendering.
Even before, however, the work of the Tyrolese missionary appeared in print, Mr. Gladwin had published his translation of the Ain-i Akbari of Abu-l-Fazl, and as the latter distinctly quotes Kalhana’s Chronicle as the authority for his own abstract of early Kasmir history, the Sanskrit original could no longer escape attention. We accordingly find the "history of India from the Sanskrit Cashmir authorities" prominently included among the tasks which Sir WILLIAM JONES had contemplated The life of the pioneer of European Sanskrit studies was cut short before he could obtain access to these authorities. It was not until the year 1805 that Mr. COLEBROOKE secured in Calcutta an incomplete copy of Kalhana’s work, and even then twenty more years passed before his intention of giving an account of its contents was realized.
To Dr. HORACE HAYMAN WILSON’S justly famous " Essay on the Hindu History of Cashmir " belongs the merit of having first acquainted European students with the general character of Kalhana’s work and of having furnished them with a critical abstract of the contents of its first six cantos The sound judgment and thoroughness displayed in this publication of the distinguished Sanskrit scholar deserve all the more credit, as the three incomplete Devanagari manuscripts at his disposal were so defective" that a close translation of them, if desirable, would have been impracticable." This serious difficulty 'accounts for most of the mistakes which Professor Wilson’s article undoubtedly contains, and which in some instances have been reproduced also in subsequent accounts of Kasmirian history.
Even before Professor Wilson’s Essay was published Mr. Moorcroft, the traveller, had made a successful endeavour in Kasmir itself to obtain better textual materials. During his sojourn in Srinagar, in 1823, he had a Devanagari transcript prepared from an old Sarada manuscript which, as I have shown elsewhere, was no other than the codex archetypus of all extant Kasmirian manuscripts. Nevertheless, the editio princeps of the Rajatarangini, which appeared in 1835 under the auspices of the Asiatic Society, Bengal, and which was mainly based on Mr. Moorcroft’s transcript, failed to furnish a critically reliable text of the Chronicle. The corruptions of all kinds which appear through the whole of the Calcutta edition, and which render its text wholly unintelligible in many passages, can easily be traced to two main causes. The numerous mistakes plainly due to faulty transcription from Sarada into Devanagari characters show that Mr. Moorcroft's copy shared the usual defects of all Devanagari manuscripts prepared in Kasmir. But it is equally evident also that the Calcutta Pandits, unable to follow in many places the details of Kalhana’s narrative owing to want of familiarity with the topography, traditions, and other local lore of Kasmir, had frequently altered the text in an unscrupulous manner.
In 1840 Mr. A. TROYER, who, while Principal of the Calcutta Sanskrit College had occasion to become acquainted with the labours preceding the issue of the editio princeps, began the publication of a new edition of the text and of a French translation under the auspices of the Société Asiatique at Paris. This edition was prepared practically from the same materials as those used at Calcutta, and was not carried beyond the first six Books. His translation, however, accompanied by elaborate historical and geographical dissertations, was completed in 1852.
It is unnecessary to discuss at length the grave defects which characterize this, the main portion, of Mr. Troyer’s work; for they have long ago been recognized by all qualified Sanskritists. Though the patient industry and perseverance of the aged scholar may justly claim our admiration, we must acknowledge with Professor Buhler, the most competent and fairest of judges, that Mr. Troyer who " has seldom been able to make out the meaning of the text except where Kalhana uses the simplest, plainest language," had undertaken a task very much beyond his strength! The most striking of the translator’s shortcomings directly result from a want of proper preparation, easily intelligible in view of the peculiar circumstances connected with Mr. Troyer’s personal career and his literary labours. But his failure is largely due also to the insufficiency of the materials then available to European scholars. This observation applies with particular force to the materials required for the proper comprehension of all those points in Kalhana’s narrative which are connected with the history, topography, economic conditions and other local features of Kasmir.
The difficulty in dealing with these points without the materials which only local research could furnish, is illustrated by the results of the labours which two Indologists of the first rank bestowed upon the Kasmir Chronicle soon after the Valley became fully accessible to Europeans. General (then Captain) A. CUN- NINGHAM, whom political duty had brought to Kasmir after the first Sikh war and the establishment of Dogra rule in the Valley, was able to elucidate with remarkable success a series of important questions bearing on the chronological system of the Rajatarangini and on the numismatic history of the country. With the help of the information obtained through local inquiries he correctly ascertained the era employed in Kalhana’s chronological reckoning, and thus succeeded in fixing with fair accuracy the dates for almost all the kings from the advent of the Karkota dynasty onwards. In the same paper, published in the Numismatic Chronicle for 1946, he communicated the results of his search for ancient Kasmirian coins, and proved by their analysis the great value of numismatic evidence for the critical control of Kalhana’s records. Equally useful for the study of Kasmirian antiquities was his rapid survey of the most conspicuous architectural remains of the Hindu period still extant in the Valley? It threw light on the history of interesting temple-buildings mentioned in the Chronicle, and also enabled General Cunningham to identify a number of localities which are important for the ancient topography of the country.
Professor LASSEN, who in his great encyclopaedia, the Indische Alterthumskunde, gave an exhaustive analysis of Kalhana’s Chronicle, had no original materials of any kind at his disposal. We can, therefore, scarcely feel surprised if even this learning and acumen failed to extend materially the store of trustworthy historical data already gathered by Professor Wilson and General Cunningham. The conjectural attempts to establish synchronisms between the semi-legendary portion of Kalhana’s record and the earlier epochs of general Indian history could not be expected to furnish useful results at a time when the reliable data regarding the latter were yet so scanty. Similarly I have been obliged to point out elsewhere that the tendency towards purely conjectural identifications of local names displayed in this analysis has often caused the narrow territorial limits to be ignored to which the events recorded in the later and historically most valuable portion of Kalhana’s narrative are in reality restricted.
All these labours had clearly proved that trustworthy materials were required before the contents of the Chronicle could be made fully available for historical and antiquarian study. Yet no attempt was made to secure them until Professor G. BUHLER, then of the Bombay Education Department, during the summer of 1875, visited Kasmir in search of Sanskrit manuscripts. Many important results rewarded his brilliant researches and render this tour a memorable one in the annals of Sanskrit philology. But none among them, perhaps, show more clearly the keen historical sense and the sure perception of the departed great scholar than the lucidity with which he indicated the task concerning the Rajatarangini and the materials that were at hand for it.
By the examination of good though modern Sarada copies of the Chronicle, Professor BUHLER was able to prove the absolute superiority of the Kasmir manuscripts over the Devanagari transcripts. He also ascertained that the former were all derived from a single old Sarada manuscript. Though unable himself to obtain more than a glimpse of this jealously-guarded codex archetypus, he thus showed the way for the critical reconstitution of the genuine text. He recognized clearly the importance of a minute study of the ancient geography of Kasmir for the correct comprehension of Kalhana’s narrative, and pointed out the most valuable help which could be obtained for such researches from the Nilamatapurana, the legendaries (Mahatmyas) of Kasmir Tirthas, and other Kasmirian texts he had discovered. As regards the difficulties arising from the peculiarities of the Chronicler’s diction and style, he showed how they might be overcome by close attention to the form of composition adopted by Kasmirian poets who immediately preceded and followed Kalhana. The long discussion on the Rajatarangini embodied in his famous Report finally gave Professor Buhler also an opportunity to trace some of the critical principles which must guide us in regard to the use of Kalhana’s work for the history of Kasmir and of India. He thus expressed his conclusion as to the task that remained to be done. "A new attempt to translate and to- explain the Rajatarangini, and to use its contents for the history of India, ought to be made. But it is a work of very considerable difficulty, and will require much time and patience." The manner in which he contemplated this new translation was illustrated by a specimen given in the Appendix of his Report and containing a masterly exposition of verses 1-107 of Kalhana’s First Book Professor Buhler had himself at one time planned to undertake the work which had attracted so much of his interest. But other tasks and probably also the conviction that further local researches were indispensable for its satisfactory execution, prevented him from following up this plan after his return to Europe, in 1881.
Subsequently Dr. E. HULTZSCH utilized the manuscript materials which Professor Buhler had collected, and others obtained during his own visit to Kasmir in 1885, for a series of articles which appeared in Volumes xviii. and xix. of the Indian Antiquary. They were intended to supply an abstract translation and historical summary of the Chronicle. Though these articles were not continued beyond the commencement of Book iii., they have yet furnished a considerable number of useful critical observations, particularly in regard to Kalhana’s system of chronology.
Before concluding this review of previous labours, reference must be made to Mr. Yogesh Chunder DUTT’S English version which appeared at Calcutta, 1879-87, under the title; Kings of Kashmira : being a translation of the Sanskrita work Rajataranggini of Kahalana (sic) Pandita. This translation though published some time after Professor Buhler’s researches, is based exclusively on the corrupt text of the Calcutta edition of 1835, and was manifestly prepared without reference to any of the Kasmirian sources of information which are indispensable for the correct comprehension of Kalhana’s narrative. Exegetical puzzles are passed over without any notice, and practically no attempt is made to grapple with the difficulties arising from Kalhana’s constant references to local topography, institutions, and other realia of ancient Kasmir." Though the rendering of those portions of the text which are not altogether obscured in sense by the defects of the Calcutta edition, is distinctly superior to Mr. Troyer's version, and though the patient labour of the Bengali translator deserves commendation, it is yet evident that a publication of this kind could scarcely help towards the solution of the real difficulties in Kalhana’s work and towards the elucidation of those points which mainly interest the critical student.
It would be impossible to enumerate here all the works in which European and Indian Sanskrit scholars have incidentally discussed particular portions or passages of the Rajatarangini, and have thus in varying degrees contributed towards the interpretation of the Chronicle. Referring for the most prominent among them to the note below I may now turn to the labours which have led to the production of the present work during my first visit to Kasmir to form the plan of a critical edition of the Rajatarangini. My first endeavour was to secure the use of the codex archetypus of all extant manuscripts of the Chronicle, of which Professor Buhler had not been allowed more than a glimpse and which subsequently to his visit had been divided between the three heirs of the former owner. In this I succeeded during my second visit in 1889, notwithstanding the additional obstacles created by the above division. I was then able to ascertain that the codex had been written by a well- known Kasmirian scholar, Pandit Rajanaka Ratnakantha, probably about the third quarter of the seventeenth century, and that it contains besides a wealth of various readings and corrections from several old hands, a great number of important glosses. The features which make that codex so valuable for critical and exegetical purposes, have been fully set forth both in the preface of my edition and in the résumé contained in Chapter III of the Introduction to the present work.
A series of antiquarian tours in Kasmir for which I utilized my summer vacations during the years following my first visit, allowed me to acquaint myself on the spot with the topography, archaeological remains, local customs, and other realia of the country. They also furnished opportunities for the acquisition of manuscripts of those products of Kasmirian Sanskrit literature, which like the Nilamata, the Mahatmyas of the numerous sacred sites, the poetical compositions of Kalhana’s period, have carefully to be consulted by the interpreter of the Chronicle. With the assistance of the materials thus collected and on the basis of the codex archetypus I was able to prepare my edition of the Sanskrit text of the Rajatarangini, which together with the complete apparatus criticus was published in 1892 under the patronage of the Kashmir Darbar.
In the preface of this Edition I had promised,—as soon as the scanty leisure I could spare from teaching and office duties would permit,—to give in a second volume exegetical notes on the text together with a running commentary on those points of Kalhana’s narrative which are of interest for the history, archaeology, and topography of Kasmir. It was impossible for me to take up this task in earnest until the arrangement already above alluded to had secured to me the leisure of two summer seasons in Kasmir.
Already previously I had convinced myself that the only way of testing my comprehension of Kalhana’s text was for me to write down a close translation of it. I soon found that such a continuous rendering provided far simpler means of explaining and justifying my interpretation of the text than elaborate exegetical notes on all difficult or doubtful passages. There seemed also good reason to assume that a complete English version would not only bring the contents of the Chronicle within easier reach of all students interested in Kasmir and in Indian history generally, but would render reference to them also far more convenient to fellow-Sanskritists. I accordingly decided to offer in place of the promised commentary the present annotated translation which in view of its bulk and for other practical reasons had to take the form of a distinct publication.
The object which, as just indicated, led me to the preparation of a full translation, accounts also for the form given to the latter. It appeared to me that a close and as far as possible literal version was required in order to convey accurately the interpretation adopted for a text which combines with the intricacies of the florid rhetoric of the Sanskrit Kavya so many obscurities due to the subject-matter, the local allusions, and other peculiarities of Kalhana’s form of narration. In that section of my Introduction which deals with Kalhana’s style, I have discussed at length the various causes which have made it often so difficult to ascertain exactly the meaning of particular expressions and also of whole passages? Without referring to these here in detail, it will be evident that in the case of such a text where the interpreter can proceed only cautiously, and has often, as it were, to clear his way step by step, a freer form of rendering would be useful only for the purpose of giving an adequate conception of the work as a literary product to readers unable to study the original. Notwithstanding the poetical merit which we may allow to various features of Kalhana’s work, if judged as a Kavya, it appears to me doubtful whether the interest of that class of readers would ever justify more than comparatively small selections from the Chronicle being treated in the manner indicated.
These considerations have induced me to follow the example set by Professor Buhler in his abovementioned specimen-translation, and to adopt a form of rendering that allows the interpreter not only to reproduce plainly the meaning of the text, but also indirectly to indicate often the construction or other exegetical reason underlying his version. Thin square brackets have been employed throughout to distinguish words which are not actually found in the original, but require to be added in order to make the context intelligible in English, while round brackets denote additions having more the nature of glosses. Pedantic as this device may appear, it has often saved lengthy explanatory notes, and its advantages will be readily appreciated wherever reference to the exact words of the Chronicler is essential.
IT has often been said of the India of the Hindus that it possessed no history. The remark is true if we apply it to history as a science and art, such as classical culture in its noblest prose-works has bequeathed it to us. But it is manifestly wrong if by history is meant either historical development or the materials for studying it. India has never known among its Sastras the study of history such as Greece and Rome cultivated or aS modern Europe understands it, Yet the materials for such a study are equally at• our disposal in India. They are con- tained not only in such original sources of information 88 inscriptions, coins and antiquarian remains generally; advancing research has also proved that written records of events or of traditions concerning them have by no means been wanting in ancient India.
This is not the place to examine the causes which in India have prevented the growth of a historical literature in the Western sense of the word. They are most closely connected with deep-rooted peculiarities of Indian thought and culture which have rendered the mind of the Indian scholar indifferent to the search for the bare truths of historical facts and have effectively prevented it from arriving at the perception of historical development and change.
It is a direct result of these causes that we find the great mass of what we must call records of Indian history, in departments of literature which to the student of European history would appear distant from the field of hIS research. Much of what popular tradition hall retained of the events of an early past, has found its way, overgrown and illtenyoven with myths and legends, into the Indian epics, the Purasnss, and the fable literature, The object to which we owe such records of traditional lore, was didactic and religious, but not historical.
On the other hand we find that artificial Sanskrit poetry has availed itself, probably from an early date, of historical themes. They serve in this case mainly as a framework for the display of all the subtle poetic art and rhetorical embellish- ment which constitute the characteristic object and raison d'etre of the Kavya. It is no mere chance that almost all' historical Kavyas' (Caritas) which have yet come to light, deal with the. exploits of the poets' princely patrons or tho latters'. immediate predecessors, Sanskrit poetry of the Kavya type has always been an artificial product, dependent more than any other branch of Indian scholarship-for as such we must class it-on courtly patronage. If then the Kavi had enough originality to choose his theme outside the hackneyed spheres of mythology and romance, what subject more suitable could he find than the life of the ruler who was likely to reward his labours?
This restriction of the subject of the historical Kavya has effected in two directions its value as a source of historical information. The fact that it treats of contemporary events represents an undoubted advantage. But this is Impaired to no small extent by the obvious limitations implied by the panegyrical character of these poems. As the events described are supposed to be well known to the reader, the author's skill is not directed towards a lucid exposition of the facts and their causes, but rather towards their poetic embellishment. Hence results a striking want of accurate details without which the narrative cannot attain true historic reality, and an equally striking abundance of obscure allusions, the point of which must necessarily often escape us.
This character of the Caritas directly accounts for their rare preservation. Written for the delectation of a particular court and period, they were bound soon to lose popularity if they ever attained it. When no longer read by the Pandits, these works ceased to be copied, and the few extant manuscripts were exposed to all the risks attending Indian libraries. We can hence scarcely feel surprised that so few only of these texts should have come down to us.
The interest of Kalhana's RAJATARANGINI for Indian history generally lies in the fact that it represents a class of Sanskrit composition which comes 'nearest in character to the Chronicles of Medieval Europe and of the Muhammadan East. 'Together with the later Kasmir Chronicles which continue Kalhana's narrative, it is praotioally the sole extant specimen of this class.
THE EPLAN of the present Edition of Kalhana'« Rajatarangi'f.l1: first suggested itself to me in the summer of 1888 when a visit to Kashmir had directed my interest towards the antiquities and the history of -the Valley.
The Rajatarangi1J1: is our oldest written authority for the history of the various dynasties which ruled Kashmir from the earliest period down to the time of the author who began to write his Chronicle in the Saka year 1070 (A. D. 1148). Although it has for this reason been the object of much attention and research on the part of Sanskritists, an elaborate statement is scarcely needed to justify the present enterprise to those who have had occasion to consult the Rajatarangini its published Editions for the purposes of historical or philological research.
When Professor Wilson published in 1825 the first account of Kalhana's work and an abstract of its first six cantos, he had to rely for his text on three incomplete Devanagari MSS. which were so deficient that "a close translation, even if desirable. would have been' impracticable."! The editio princeps, which appeared ten years later at Calcutta under the auspices of the Bengal Asiatic Society," was based principally, as Mr. Troyer states, on a Devanagari transcript from a Kashmirian MS. which had been prepared for Mr. Moorcroft during that traveller's stay at Srinagar in Ig23. The fact that this copy, as we now can prove, was prepared' from the codex which must be considered as the archet ypus of all existing Kashmirian MSS., reflects no little credit on the care and judgment with which that energetic but ill-fated traveller endeavoured to serve on this occasion the cause of Sanskrit philology. But the numerous corruptions which have rendered the text of the Calcutta Edition unintelligible in many passages, and which can be shown to have originated mostly from mistakes in the transcription, prove that this copy shared all the defects which are inherent to Devanagari transcripts made in Kashmir from Sarada MSS. Frequently, too, the difficulties which the Calcutta Pandits evidently encountered in interpreting the text in consequence of their want of familiarity with the details of Kashmir topography and traditions, seem to have induced them to alter the text in an unscrupulous manner.
Mr. Troyer's edition, which, together with a translation, was published by the Societe Asiatique at Paris in 1840, was avowedly prepared from the same materials as the editio princeps," and has not been carried beyond the first six cantos. Besides correcting numerous misprints of the Calcutta Edition, Mr. Troyer's text shows an improvement by taking more carefully into account, in a certain number of passages, the reading of Mr. Moorcroft's copy. Of Mr. Troyer's translation of the Rajatarangini which was completed in 1852, it may, perhaps, be said without injustice that it has proved useful chiefly by bringing conspicuously before the eyes of Sanskritists the great defects of the text upon which it was based, and the insufficiency of the materials then available to European scholars for the interpretation of the work.
These defects did not escape the notice of scholars like Professor Lassen and General Cunningham who endeavoured to use Kalhana's work for the purposes of historical and chronological research; no effort, however, seems to have been made to obtain better materials till Professor Biihler's tour in search for Sanskrit MSS. in Kashmir in 1875. Amongst the many results which rewarded Professor Buhler's brilliant researches in Kashmir, not the least important was that he established the absolute superiority of the Kashmir MSS. of the Rajatarngini written in the Sarada character, over th se in Devanagari The acquintance gained with the genuine text of the Rajatarangini by the collation of a good, though modern, Sarada Copy, and the discovery of valuable fresh material for its explanation in other Kashmirian works like the Nilamatapurana, and the various Mahatmyas, enabled Professor Buhler to trace out with admirable lucidity the work yet to be done for the Rajatarangini Professor Buhler had clearly recognized the fact that all Sarada MSS. known to exist at present in Kashmir are, derived from a single Manuscript called by him the codex archetypes. But he had not been able to obtain more than a glimpse of this ancient MS. from the owner, Pandit Kesavaram, in whose family it had come down as an heirloom.
It had been my chief aim since my first visit to Kashmir to utilize the opportunities offered by a prolonged stay in the Valley for the acquisition of such materials as might enable me to undertake the task of preparing a critical Edition of the Rajatarangini, and to contribute towards the interpretation of the work. As regards the text of the Rajatarangini I had to content myself in 1888 with obtaining for collation a Sarada paper MS. in possession of Pandit Razdan Balabhadra , copied in the first quarter of this century, which had already served Professor Buhler for the same purpose, and another MS., copied about the same time from the codex archetypus and now the property of Pandit Govind Kaul. The careful collation of the above-named two MSS., which was completed in the Cold Season of 1888-89, revealed, in numerous passages; considerable discrepancies between them, not- withstanding their evidently common origin. This convinced me still more of the necessity of securing the codex archetypus itself for the purpose of my Edition.
On Pandit Kesavaram's death which took place after Professor Buhler's visit, the codex archetypus had been divided among three of the Pandit's heirs, and this circumstance had made access to the MS. still more difficult than in 1875. It was, therefore, not till I had made repeated endevours during my second visit to Srinagar in 1889 that the whole of the MS. was entrusted to me by the owners for the purposes of the present Edition. My success was chiefly due to the kind interest shown in the matter by Pandit Suraj Kaul. C.I.E., Member of the Kashmir State Council, and his son Pandit Hari Krishna Kaul, M.A., then my pupil, and now a promising young officer in the Statutory Civil Service of the Punjab. Their timely aid has made it possible to secure the contents of this venerable codex against the risks to which its worn decaying leaves have so long been exposed. Both gentlemen have thus well deserved the thanks of all interested in the ancient history of Kashmir.
The codex archetypus contains all the eight cantos of Kalhana’s poem, and consisted originally of 328 folia of age-worn country paper. . One leaf in the middle (fol. 167) and unfortunately also the leaf at the end (fol. 328) have been lost, probably when the above- mentioned partition between Pt. Kesavaram’s heirs was made. The number of lines to the page varies from 15 to 20. The leaves, of which two always form one sheet, are placed in forms or "samchayas" of different thickness, containing from 2 to 6 sheets. These-forms are found in the first half of the work, up to fol 166, bound up after the fashion of European books. The second part appears never to have been bound, and most of the sheets are now cut up into loose leaves.
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