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of Calcutta 


of the 

Department of Letters 

Vol. XIX 



Reg. No. 439 B.J. November, 1929 F 



1. The Mountain System of the Puranas, by Hem- 

chandra Kay Chaudhuri, M.A., Ph.D. ... 1 27 

2. New Light on Nature in the Age of Pope, by 

P. K. Das, M.A. ... ... ... 142 

3. Date of Composition of the Ramayana, by P. C. 

Sengupta, M. A. ... ... ... 119 

4. A Brief Phonetic Sketch of the Noakhatr Dialect of 

South-Eastern Bengali, by Gopal-Haldar, M.A. 1 40 

5. India in Puranic Cosmography, by Hemchandra 

Kay Chaudhuri, M.A., Ph.D. ... ... 120 

6. Mayavada, by A. Rai Chaudhuri ... ... 1 87 

7. Government and Administrative System of Tipu 

Sultan, by Surath Charan Sen Gupta, M.A. ... 147 

8. The Linguistic History of Certain Dravidian 

Words, by L. V. Ramaswami Aiyar, M.A., 

B.L. ... ... ... 114 

9. The Songs of Jnanadas, by Biswapati Chaudhuri, 

M.A. ... ... ... ... 114 

10. The Maharastra Purana, by Tamonashchandra 

Dasgupta, M.A. ... ... 1 16 


( ^^tw ) ^rt 1 ^ Hretfow 1 ^ "rtift, 

12. Some Central Problems of the Rig-Vedic History 
and the Vedic Scholars, by N. K. Dutt, 
M.A., Ph.D. (Lond.). ... ... 75199 





The entire mountain system of the world, as conceived 
by Puranic writers, centres round Meru which is supposed to 
stand in the middle of Havrita, the most centrally situated 
and highly elevated subcontinental region (varsha) of Jambu- 
dvipa, the innermost of the great island continents of the 
world, which is said to be surrounded on all sides by the 
sea of salt. 1 The terraqueous globe, as is well known, 
is described by ancient Hindu cosmographers as comprising 
seven concentric islands (Saptadvipa T^asundhara) 2 separated- 
by encircling seas which are likewise seven in number. The 
innermost of these dvipas is Jambudvlpa. It is described as 
low on the south and north, and highly elevated in the middle. 8 
On the southern half of the elevated ground are three sub- 
continents (varsha), viz., Bharata, Kimpurusha and Harivarsha. 
On the north, too, are three, viz., Ramyaka, Hiranmaya 
and Uttara Kuru. Ilavrita is situated between those halves, 
and is said to be shaped like the half moon. East of it is 
Bhadrasva and west is Ketumala. Meru, "the mountain of 
gold,' 5 stands in the middle of Il&vrita. 

* Below the central mountain are, we are told, the four 
Tishkambha Parvatas (" subjacent hills ") : Mandara on the 
east, Gandhamadana on the south, Vipula on the west and 
Suparsva on the north. 

Each of the northern and southern varshas has its 
own subcontinental range (varsha-parvata) . Three of the 

1 Agni Parana, Chs. 107-108 ; Marka^deya Purana, Ch. 64. Pargiter's trans., p. 275 f. 
4 Sapfcadvipa Vasumatl (Patafijali's Mah5bhshya, Kielhorn's edition, I. 9). 
Dakshinottarato nimn madhye tungSyata kshitib (Mark. P. 54. 12). 


varsha-parvatas, viz., Nila, the parvata of Ramyaka ; Sveta 
(or Sukla), the parvata of Hiranmaya or Svetavarsha, 1 and 
Srifigl (Sringavat or Tri sringa), 2 the parvata of Uttara Kuru, 8 
lie to the north of Meru. Three others, viz., Nishadha, the 
parvata of Harivarsha, Hemakuta, the parvata of Kimpurusha- 
varsha and Himavat, the parvata of Bharata, Himahvaya or 
Haimavata varsha 4 lie to its south. 6 These Varsha-parvatas 
seem to be conceived as parallel ranges stretching east and 
west and extending into the ocean. 6 Their number is stated to 
be six. But the inclusion of Meru, the mountain of the central 
Varsha, raises the total number to seven. 7 

In addition to the Varsha-parvatas which mark off the 
northern, central and southern varshas from each other and, 
in some cases, actually give the subcontinents the^r distinctive 
names, 8 every varsha has seven principal ranges styled Kula 
.parvata* (group-mountain or clan-mountain), besides a 
number of smaller hills (kshudra parvatah) 10 which are situated 

1 Agni P. 107. 7. Sveta Varsha in apparently the Sveta Dvtpa of the Narayantya 
story. Mbh. VI. 8 associates Sveta with * Ramanaka ' and Nila with Hiranmaya. C/. alto 
Seal, Vaiahijavism, p. 47f. 

* Mark. P. 54. 9 ; Mbh. VI. 6.4 ff. ; Agni 108.26. 

* Airavata varsha according to the Mbh. VI 6. 37 ;*8. 11. The MahfibhSrata places 
Uttarakuru to the south of Nila and on the border of Mern (Mbh. VI. 7.2). Referring to the 
northernmost region the Great Epic says, " na tatra Suryastapati." The Ramayana also 
tells ns (IV. 43.55) " Sa tn deso visuryopi tasya bhaa prakasafe." N. Das and Seal find here 
a reference to the Aurora Borealis. 

* Agni P. 107.5 ; Brahmanda/.35.30. In Mbh. VI. 6.7 the name Haimavata is given to 
the Kimpurushavarsha the Kinnarakhanda of Abul Fazl, Ain-i-Akbari, Trans. III. 30.31. 

* Agni P. 107. 5.7; 10.8'5. 

* Samudrantalj pravishtafcha sadasmin VarshaparvAtah (Mark. P. 54.12). * 
Pragayat suparvSnafc sadime Varshaparvatafc. 

avaga^hab'nbhayatafo samudrau purvapafichimau, Brahmanda, 35.13 j Padma, Svarga, 
2.22 ; Mbh. VI. 6.3. 

, 7 , Himavan Hemaku^agcha Rishabho (variant Nishadho) Merureva cha. 
Nflah gvetae tatha gringi saptasmin Yarehaparvatah (Mark. P. 54.9). 

8 Cj. the names Meruvarsha (Mark, 59), Sveta varsha (Agni, 107), and Haimavata- 
varsha (Brahmanda, 35). 

9 Sarveshveteshu Varsheshu sapta sapta Kulachala^. Agni, 108.32. According to 
the Mark. P. BhadrSsva has five Kulaohalas ; but Ketumala, like Bh^rata, has seven (Oh t 

10 Mftrk.69-5, 


near these (bhudharah ye samipagah), The names of the 
Kulaparvatas of Bharata- varsha are thus given in the Great 
Epic and the Puranas : 

Mahendro Malayah Sahyah Suktiman Riksha parvatah 
Vindhyascha Paripatrascha saptaivatra 

The four outlying subcontinents, viz., Bhadrasva, Ketu- 
m&la, Bharata and Uttara Kuru are marked off from Il&vrita 
and other inner varshas by a group of ranges styled Maryada 
parvatas (boundary mountains). 2 These are eight in number, 
viz., Jathara and Devakuta on the east side of Meru, separa- 
ting the central varsha (Ilaviita) from Bhadrasva ; 3 Nishadha 
(No. 2) and Paripatra (No. 2) on the west, separating Il&vfita 
from Ketum&la ; Kail&sa and Himavat on the south mark- 

ing off Bharata from the central Varshas ; Sriiigavat and 
Jarudhi (or Rudhira) 4 on the north cutting off Uttara Euru 
from the rest of Jambudvlpa. 

The distinction between the Maryada parvatas and the 
Varsha parvatas is not easily understood, and some of the 
former, notably Himavat and Sringavat (=Sringl) actually 
figure as Varsha parvatas. It is, however, to be noted that the 
name Maryada parvata is given to mountains on all sides of 
Meru which separate the central varsha or varshas from the 
four outermost subcontinents. Varsha-parvatas, on the other 
hand, include Meru itself and the ranges separating the 
northern and southern (but not the eastern and western) * 
varshas from one another. All of them, with the exception of 

1 Mbh. VI. 9.11, Mark. 57.10. 

* BhSratafe Ketumalascha Bhadrasvafe Kuravastatha patrani lokapadmasja Maryftda 
fiaila bahyata^.Agni, 108. 22.23. 

Mfirk. 54. 22^6 ; 59. 3.4. 

* Agni, 108.26. 

* The number of Varshas seems to have been originally seven (sapta Varsh&ni, 
Mbh. VI. 6.53). The inclusion of Bhadrasva and Ketumala afterwards raised the number to 
nine. Cf. Ntlakan^ha "atraiva kechid Bhadrasva Ketumalayor varshantaratvam prakalpya 
Ni.vavarshan-ifcyachakshafcft. " 


Meru, are represented as running from east to west and 
extending to the sea. lhat there is overlapping in regard 
to the northernmost and southernmost ranges is what may 
naturally be expected. The innermost Varsha- parvatas, viz., 
Nlla and Nishadha, lying immediately to the north and south 
of Meru, join two other ranges, viz., the Malyavat and 
Gandhamadana (No. 2) which are associated with the eastern 
and western Maryada parvatas respectively, and completely 
shut off Il&vrita from the rest of the world. 1 They are the 
Quadrangular mountains referred to by Alboruni. 2 

There is much that is fabulous in the Puranic account 
summarised above. The division of the globe into seven 
concentric islands is, of course, entirely imaginary, though 
some of these dvipas refer to real countries inhabited by 
historic peoples. 8 The description of the earth as low on 
the south and north, and highly elevated in the middle, and 
Iflie account of the Varsha parvatas and the Maryada parvatas 
given above, may, on the other hand, have been based upon 
stories recounted by travellers and traders, pilgrims and 
explorers, about the orographical features of Middle Asia the 
great plateau in its centre, and the hills and mountains which 
intersect it, marking off the tablelands from one another 
and from the level plains watered by the Ganges, the Oxus 
(Vamkshu) 4 and other streams. But the details, as given 
in the Purai^as, are too fantastic and conventional to 
accord with reality ; and there is reason to believe that some 
of the so-called Varsha parvatas were in fact parts of tha 

1 Ain-i-Akbari, III, pp. 30-31. Cf. MSrk. 54. 22-23. 

3 " In the east the Malyavant (parallel to Jathara and Devakufca ?), in the north inila 
(sic), in the west the Gandhamadana (parallel to Nishadha No. 2, and ParipStra P), and in 
the south the Nishadha (No. 1). Alberuni, I. 248. Cf. Mbh. VI. 6.9. Brahman4a PurSna, 
Oh. 45. 

* gakadvipa, for example, undoubtedly refers to a part of Iran (Seistan?). The Brahma 
Purana (Ch.20. 71 f.) and the Agni Pnrana (119. Ch. 21) refer to the Maga Brahma^as who 
inhabit the Dvlpa and worship Suryarupadharo Harih. Kuiadvipa may refer to the country 
of th KuBkanas. 

* Ketumalamato Varsham nibodha mama paiohimam ye pivanti mahanadyo 

Eamkihum (Vai^kshum) Syamam Sakambalam. (Mark. 60. 12.15.) 


Himalayan chain which poetic fancy transformed into mounts 
of gold and classed as independent and parallel ranges haunted 
by supernatural beings who enjoyed eternal felicity. 1 
Alberuni, for example, tells us that Meru is in Himavat 
and cites the authority of Aryabhata in support of this view. 2 
He further informs us that Mount Nishadha is close to the 
pond Vishnupada whence comes the river Sarasvat!. 8 The 
contiguity of Nishadha to the source of the Sarasvati leaves 
no room for doubt that it, too, must have really been connect- 
ed with the Himalayan chain. According to Pargiter, Hemakuta 
was c< a mountain or group of mountains in the Himalayas in the 
western part of Nepal." 4 Thus many of the so-called Varsha 
parvatas merge in the Himavat range which is the one great 
mountain chain connected with the plateau of Central Asia 
about which we have some authentic details in our ancient 

The oldest designation of the range is Himavat the 
Imaos of classical writers. The current name Himalaya is 
first met with in the Bhagavad Grlta and the works of Kali- 
dasa, though some scholars equate it with * Simalia,' queen 
of snow mountains, known to the ancient Babylonians. 5 

The Himavat had a wider denotation in ancient times. 
This is made clear by all our ancient authorities, Indian as 
well as Greek. A passage of the Markandeya Purana says 
" such is this country Bharata, constituted with a fourfold 
conformation. On its south and west and east is the great 
ocean, the Himavat range stretches along on its north, like 

1 C/. Ilavritasya madhye tu Meruh Kanakaparvatafc. Mark. 54. 14 ; BrahmS^a, 
35. 15f. ; 44.2f ; Agni, 107. 9 f. ; Alberuni, I. 147 ; Mbh. VI. 6. 10 f. The association of 
Meru with the " Balukarnava " to the north of the Himavat (Mbh. XVII. 1-2) suggests 
that the Puranic writers understood by Ilavrita a region not far from the desert of 
Gobi. Cf. also " Poh-lu-ka " of Yuan Chwang (I, p. 64 f.). 

* Alberuni, I. 246. 

Alberuni, II. 142. 

4 Mark P., p. 360. Kailasa, too, stands Himavatah priahthe (Matsya, 121, 2). 

e Cambridge History of India, Vol. I, p. 76. 


the string of a bow." 1 Referring to this passage Pargiter ob- 
serves, "this implies that the Himavat range included also the 
Sulaiman Mountains along the west of the Panjab. The simile 
must refer to a drawn bow, with the string angular in the 
middle." That the Himavat included the Sulaiman range 
is also proved by those passages which say that it stretched 
from the eastern to the western ocean, and that the city of 
Pushkaravati (in the Peshawar District) adorned it like a 
garland. 2 The classical writers, too, describe the Imaos as the 
source not only of the Indus and the Ganges, but also of the 
Koa (Kabul river) and the Souastos (Swat). 8 This leaves no 
room for doubt that the western part of the range embraced 
the contiguous hills of Kabulistan. 

The intimate acquaintance of the ancient Hindu writers 
with the Himavat is proved by frequent references to peaks 
like the Mujavat or Munjavat, 4 Trikakud (or Tri-kakubh) 6 
fcnd Saurya. 6 Erom Mujavat came the famous plant, Soma, 
and from Tri-kakud came the salve Anjana. Parts of the 

1 etattu Bharatarh Varsham chatuh saoasth&na sarasthitam. 
dakshinaparato hyaeya purvena clia mahodadhih, 
Himavannttareuasya karmukasya yatha gun ah. 

(Mark. 57-59.) 

* Avagadha byubbayatafc Samudrau purrapaschimau (Mbh. VI. 6. 3). 
Kailaso Himavamschaiva daksbinena mahabalau 
purva paechayala veta varnavantar vyavasthitau. 

(Mark. P. 54. 24.) 

astynttara>yara disi devatStma Himalayo nfima nagSdhiraja^ 
purvftparau toyanidh! vagabya stbita^ pritbivya iva manadagtfafc. 

(Kumarasambhava, I. 1,) 
Maulimftlam Himagirer nagartm Paabkaravattm. 

(KathaBaritsagara, 37-82.) 
asti Praleya fiailftgre nagart Pushkaravati. (Ibid, 37.22.) 

nisithe cba Himadrau tSmanuragapara pitul? 
purlm Vidyadbarapate^ prftptavan Pusbkaravatlm. 

(Ibid, 37-180.) 
s Ptolemy, VII, 1, 26 (Majumdar's ed., p. 81). 

* See Vedic Index and Mbb. XIV. 8. 1. 

Vedic Index, Matsya, 121. 15. 

8 Patafijali's Mahabhaahya, Kielhorn's ed., I, p. 150 : ' Saury e nama Himarafca 


great chain remained, however, unexplored, and the defici- 
ency of knowledge was made up by legends about MahaMeru, 
Mainaga, Krauncha and Manoravasarpana which we come 
across already in the later Vedic period. 1 

As already stated, Bharata, like other Varshas, is described 
in thePuranas as being adorned by a number of comparatively 
small ranges, besides the mighty Varshaparvata on its north. 
These are styled Kulachalas or Kulaparvatas. In the 
account of these mountains we reach the terra firma of solid 
facts. The Kulaparvatas are seven in number,^., Mahendra, 
Malaya, Sahya, Suktiman, Eiksha Vindhya and Paripatra 
or Pariyatra. They are placed by Rajasekhara in that part 
of Bharata-varsha which was known as Kumar! Dvlpa, 2 

The meaning of the word c Kula-parvata ' or c Kulachala* 
is not explained in the Bhuvana-kosha or geographical section 
of the Puranas. Some such group of mountains must have 
been known to Ptolemy who speaks of the Apokopa, Sardo- 
nyx, Ouindion, Bettigo, Adeisathron, Ouxenton, Oroudian, 
"Bepyrrhos, Maiandros, Damassa and Semanthinos ranges. 8 
Ouindion, Adeisathron, Ouxenton and Maiandros clearly sound 
like Vindbya, Sahyadri, Rikshavat and Mahendra respectively, 
though by strange errors of information the Western 
geographer was made to misplace most of them, notably the 
Mahendra range, which, along with Tosali and Trilinga, 

1 The first three are mentioned in the Taittiriya Aranyaka and the last one in the 
flatapatha Brfthmana. See the Vedic Index. Cf Brahmanda Purana, 43.27 f. 

a Kavya Mtmamsa, Desavibhaga : " Tatredaifi Bharatam Varsham. Asya cha nava- 
bhedah Kumarl Dvipaschayam navamah Atra cha Kumarldvtpe 

Vindhyascha Paripatraschn guktimSn Rikshaparvatafe 
Mahendra Sahya Malayah saptaite Kulaparvatafc (p. 92). 

3 Ptolemy, VII. i, 19-25; ii, 8. Apokopa has been identifiedjby scholars with the 
Aravalli mountains, Sardonyx with Satpura, Oui'ndion with Vindhya, Bettigo with Malaya 
(Tamil Podigai), Adeisathron with the Western Ghats in which the Kaveri rises, Ouxenton 
with the Riksha, Oroudian with the Vaid fcrya (northern section of the Western Ghats), 
Bepyrrhos (Vipnla ?) and Damassa with the Eastern Himalayas, Maiandros with the Yuma 
chain of Arakan, and Semanthinos with the "extreme limit of the world" (S. N, 
Majumdar's Ptolemy, pp. 76-81, 2(H-207). 


is located in India extra Gangem. Bettigo is, as we shall see 
later on, the Greek equivalent of Podigai, the Tamil name of 
the Malaya. It is thus clear that Ptolemy knew most, if not 
all, of the Kulaparvatas. But the distinctive nomenclature 
of the group is not found in his work. It is, however, 
constantly met with in the epic and the post-epical literature 
of the Hindus, and is apparently hinted at by that acute 
foreign observer, Alberuni, who speaks of the " great knots " 
of Mount Meru, viz., Mahendra, Malaya, etc. 1 

The word Kula, has the meaning of race, country or 
tribe. 2 And it is significant that each Kulaparvata is parti- 
cularly associated with a distinct country or tribe. Thus 
Mahendra is the mountain par excellence of the Kalifigas, 3 
Malaya of the Pandyas, 4 Sahya of the Aparantas, 5 Sukti- 
mat of the people of Bhallata, 6 Eiksha of the people of 
Mahishmatl, 7 Vindhya of the Atavyas and other forest folk of 
central India, 8 and Paripatra or Pariyatra of the Nishadas. 9 

Mahendra is frequently metioned in literature and 
inscriptions. On it stood the hermitage of Hama (Jama- 
dagnya). 10 It is said to have been conquered by epic heroes 
like Raghu 11 and also historiqal kings like Gautamiputra 12 

i Albertmi, Ch. 23 (p. 247); Ch. 25 (p. 257). 

ft See Ipte's Dictionary. 

8 Cf. Raghuvamsa, VI. 53-54 where the king of Kalifiga is called " Asau Mahendra- 
drisamanasarah patir Mahendrasya mahodadhescha," cf. also the Chicacole grants of 
Indravarman (Ind. Ant. XIII. 120-123). 

* Cf. the epithets ' Malay adh vaja ' and * Podiya.verpan ' given to the Pandya king- 
in the Mahabharata (VIII. 20. 20, 21) and Tamil literature (Hultzsch in Ind. Ant., 1889, 
204 f.) respectively. 

5 Cf. B,aghuvam6a, IV. 52-59. 

a Bhallatamabhito jigye guktimantara cha parvatam (Mbh. II. SO. 5 f.). 

1 MahaSmasaDghatavatf Rikshavantam upa^rita 

Mahismatt nama purl prakasamupayasyati (Harivamsa, Vishnnparva, 38. 19). 
' it av y fi k Savarftschaye 

Fulinda Vindhya MauleyS Vaidarbha Dandakai^saha 

Matsya, 114. 46-48, Vayu, 45. 126; Mark. 57. 47, etc. 

Kayavyo nama Naishadifc Pflriyatrachara^ sadfi (Mbh. Xjl. 135. 3.5). 

10 Mahendradrau Bamam drishtvUbhivadyaoha (Bhagavata, X. 79). 

11 Sriyam Mahendranathasya jahftra natu medinim (Baghu. IV. 43). 
11 Raoson. Andhra Coins, p. xxxiv. 


Satakarni and Samudragupta. 1 It is said to have formed the 
southern boundary of the empire which Yasodharman claims 
to have subdued. 2 On its " pure summit " was established the 
holy Gokarnasvami whose feet were worshipped by Indravar- 
man and other kings of Kalinga-nagara. 3 Pargiter identifies 
the Mahendra range with the portion of the Eastern Ghats 
between the Godavari and the Mahanadi rivers, part of which 
near Ganjam, as pointed out by "Wilson, is still called 
Mahindra Malei. The restriction of the name Mahendra to 
the ghats on the north of the Godavari, seems to be supported 
by (a) the intimate association of the range with the Kalinga 
country, (b) the names of the rivers issuing from it the 
Rtshikulya (which flows past Ganjam), the Vamsadhara (which 
has Kalingapatam on its banks) and the Langulini or 
Langullya (on which stands Chicacole), 4 and (c) the lines 
of the Bha^avata Parana which clearly place Mahendradri 
between ' Ganga-Sagara-sangama ' and ' Sapta-GodavarS.' 5 

But the restriction suggested by these lines is not always 
observed by our ancient writers as the following passages of 
the Ramayana would seem to indicate : 

yuktarii kapatarh Paiidyanam gata drakshyatha vanarah 
tatah samudramasadya sampradharyartha-nischayam 
Agastyenantare tatra sagare vinivesitah 
chitrasanurnagah sriman Mahendrah parvatottamah 
jatarupamayah srimanavagadho maharnavam. 

Kishk., 41, 18-20. 

1 Fleet, Corpus, III, p. 7. 

a 5.Liuhifcyop\kinthal> talavamtgahanopatyakada Mahendrat (tbtd, 146). 
3 Ind. Ant., XIII, 120 f. 
* Mark. P., Oh. 57. 
6 Gayam gatva pitrinishtra Gangasagarasafrgame 

upasprisya Mahendradrau Rarnam drish^vabhivadya cha 
Sapta GodJrarim Venram P.impam Bhtmwafchlrh tatah 

Bhfig. P., X. 79. 


tain Sahyaih samatikramya Malayancha mahagirim 
Mahendramatha samprlpya Ramo rajlvalochana^ 
aruroha mahabahuh sikharaih drumabhushitani 
tatah sikharamaruhya Ramo Dasarathatmajah 
Sseduranupurvyena samudrarh bhimanihsvanam. 

Lanka, 4, 92-94. 

In the Sundara Kaiida " Mount Mahendra is said to have 
the foam of the sea collected about it, though Velavana may 
have intervened between it and the sea." l Pargiter regards 
the Mahendra of the Ramayana as altogether distinct from 
Mahendra of the Pura^as, and identifies the former with the 
most southerly spur of the Travancore hills. There is actually 
in the Tinnevelly District a mountain called Mahendragiri 2 
which ends abruptly, and is the last of the Tinnevelly ghats. 
But though the name Mahendragiri is now applied to two 
distinct hills in Ganjam and Tinnevelly respectively, there is 
no reason to think that any such distinction was intended by 
the poet of the Ramayana. On the contrary, the position of 
Mahendra in relation to Malaya and Sahya, as described in the 
passage quoted from the Lafikakanda, leaves little room for 
doubt that * Mahendra' of the Ramayana is the famous Kula- 
parvata of the same name mentioned in the Bhuvana-kosha in 
juxtaposition with Malaya and Sahya, and that it embraced 
the entire chain of hills extending from Ganjam to Tinnevelly. 
Malaya is, next to the Himavat, perhaps the most 
famous mountain in Sanskrit literature. It gives its name 
to the cooling breeze of the south which finds frequent 
mention in Indian poetry. 8 Sanskrit writers refer to it also 

1 Pargiter, the Geography of RamVs exile, J. R. A. S., 1894, pp. 261-262. 

* Gaz. of Tinnevelly Diet., Vol. I, by H. E. Pate, 1917, p. 4. 

3 Tn Dhoyi's Pavanadafca,the breeze of Malaya carries a love message from a Gandhar- 
va maiden of the Far South to King Lakshmanasena of Bengal. ' Malayaja-Sitala* IB an 
epithet which is applied to his motherland by a cfreat Bengali writer of recent times, 


as Srikhaiidadri, Chandanadri or Chandanachala. 1 The Tamil 
name is Podigei or Podigai, the original of the Bettigo of 
Ptolemy. 2 

Like Mahendra, Malaya figures also in inscriptions (e.g. 9 
the Nasik Prasasti of Gautamlputra Satakarni) though not 
so prominently as in literature. 

Malaya is the hill par excellence of the Paridyas, 3 as 
Mahendra is of theKalingas, and Sahya that of the Aparantas. 
The name is connected with the Dravidian word 'Mala' 
meaning ' hill.' 4 From it are derived the designations of the 
country of Mo-lo-ku-t'a referred to by Hiuen Tsang, and the 
language called Malayalam spoken by the people of c Mala- 
bar/ The names of the rivers issuing from this Kulaparvata, 
viz. 9 Kritamala or Vaigai (on which stands Madura or Dakshi^a 
Mathura 5 ), and Tamraparnl (on which stood Korkai or Kolkoi, 
and Kayal, three miles lower down the river), enabled scholars 
to identify it with the portion of the Western Ghats (south of 
the Kaverl) from the Nilgiris to the neighbourhood of Cape 
Oomorin, with the exception of the most southerly spur of the 

Malaya is the mountain where, according to the Rimopakhyana (Mbh. III. 281.44 f.) the 
monkey host, sent by Sugriva in quest of SftS, saw the vulture Sampati, and from it Hanu- 
mat made his famous descent on Lanka. It should, however, be noted that in tho Rama- 
yana Vindhya is mentioned in connection with Sampati, and Mahendra in connection with 
the exploit of Hanumat. 

According to the Bhagavata Purana (X.79) the hermitage of Agastya stood on the sum- 
mit of Malaya. 

1 See D hoy i' s Pavanaduta. 

4 MoCrindle, Ptolemy, 1927, 78. 

According to Dhoyi the Pandyadesa lay at a distance of only 4 miles from grl- 
khantfadri, i.e., the Malaya Hills. 

SrikhaQdadreb parisaram atikramya gavyutim&tram 
gantavyaste kimapi jagati ma^danam PSndyadesalj 

As already stated the Pandya king had the epithet Malay a-dhvaja. 

* Hultzsoh in Ind. Ant., 1889, 240 f. 

5 Dakshina Mathuraaila Kamakoshthi haite 
tahft dekhfi haila eka Brahmana sahite 

sei vipra Mahftprabhur kaila nimantrana 
Ramabhakta sei vipra virakta mahajana 
Kpitamaiaya snftna kari aila tanr ghare. 

Chaitanya Oharitamrita, Madhyalila, Oh. ix, p. 141. (C/. N. Dey.) 


Travancore Hills. The king of the Pc^iadyas is referred to in 
literature as the lord of the Malaya (c/. Podiya-verpan of Tamil 
literature and Malaya-dhvaja of the Mahabharata 1 ) just as 
the king of Kalifiga receives the epithet of Mahendranatha. 

Sahya, like Mahendra and Malaya, finds mention in the 
Nasik Prasasti of Gautamipatra Satakami. In the Alina 
copperplate inscription of Stl&ditya VIE of Valabhi, it is pro- 
bably associated with the Vindhya, the two being mentioned 
as the breasts of the earth. 2 Kalidasa describes it as " nitamba- 
miva medinyah" (Raghu., IV. 52), and connects it with the 
Aparantas, i.e., the people of "Western India, and particularly of 
the Konkan. 8 The Puranas describe it as the source of the 
Godavarl and its tributary, the Vaujul^ or Maiijira ; the 
Krishnavena or Krishna and its tributaries the Bhlmaratha or 
Bhima and the Tungabhadra ; and the Kaverl. It has, there- 
fore, been correctly identified with the northern portion of the 
Western Ghats from the Tapti down to the Nilgiris. Ptolemy 
apparently divides it into two parts. To the northern part 
the source of the river of Masulipatam (Maisolos), i.e., the 
Godavari or the Krishna, he gives the name of the Oroudian 
mountains. 4 The name is considered to be equivalent to 
'Vaidurya' of Sanskrit literature, which the Mahabharata 
associates with the rivers Payoshni and Narmada. 5 The 
southern part of the Sabya is known to Ptolemy as the 
Adeisathron range, and is described by him as the source 
of the Khaberos (Kaverl). 6 

* Kalidasa,too,testifies to the intimate connection between 'Malayadri' and the Paudya 
(c/. Raghu., IV. 46.49). In Raghn., IV. 51, Malaya is associated with Dardara stanavira, 
diia stasyah gailau Malay a-Dardurau. 

* Fleet, Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum, III, pp. 176, 184. 

8 'Aparanta' has a wider and a narrower denotation. In its wider sense it means all 
India lying west of the MadhyadeSa; iu the narrower sense only tho Konkan. 

* Ptolemy, VII, 1.37, Majumdar's ed., pp. 81, 103. 

* Mbh. III. 121. 16-19 : sa Payoshayam narasreshfchab snatva vai bhratribhifc saka 

Vaidurya-Parvataflchaiva Narmadancha mahanadlm 
Vaidurya-Parvatam drish^va Narmadam avatlrya cha 
6 Ptolemy, VII, 1,35. 


The Suktimat is the least known among the mountain 
ranges of Ancient India. 1 According to the Markandeya 
Purapa it is the source of the Rishikulya, the Kumar!, the 
Mandaga, the Mandavahinl, the Kripa and the Palasint. 
Variant names of the rivers are given in some of the other 
Puranas including the Vayu copy consulted by Alberuni. 2 
The Vamana Parana omits these altogether, and mentions 
the Suni and the Sudama among rivers issuing from the 
Suktimat range. Further it confounds the rivers of Sukti 
with those rising in the Malaya. 8 Tn view of all this 
confusion it is difficult to say which rivers actually issue 
from the Suktimat, The uncertainty in regard to the names 
of most of the rivers renders their identification difficult, 
and makes the precise location of the parent range almost 
a hopeless task. Abulfazl seems to regard the Suktimat 
(as well as the other Kula-parvatas) as running from east 
to west, and makes it the dividing line between Kaser and 
Tamravarna, two of the nine divisions of Bharata. 4 But his 
account of the position of the Nava-khanda and the seven 
mountains is, in the main, not borne out by any early Indian 
author, and is indeed in conflict with what is known about 
them from other sources. 

According to Cunningham 5 Suktimat is the mountain 
range to the south of Sehoa and Kiinker, which gives rise to 
the Mahanadt (=Suktimati according to him), the Pairi 
and the Seonath rivers, and forms the boundary between 
Ohattisgarh and Bastar. Pargiter rejects this view as it 
confounds the Suktimat with the Mahendra range. But 
it is by no means clear that the Mahendra range extended 
as far as the source of the Pairi and the Mahanadl. The really 

1 It is the only Kula-parvata which is not referred to in the Nasik Pragaati of Gauta- 
mtputra Sstakarni. Kalidasa, too, ignores it in the account of Raghu's conquests. 
a Kurma, Purvabhaga, 46, 38-49 j Matsya, 114.32 j Alberuni, 1. 257 (Ch. XXV). 
8 VSmana, XIII, 32-33. 
* Ain-i.Akbari,!!!, pp t 30-31. 
6 Pargiter, Mark. P., p. 285. 


weak point in Cunningham's theory is the tacit assumption 
of a connection between Mount Suktimat and the river 
Suktimatl, and the identification of the latter with the 
Mahanadl. As a matter of fact the Suktimati takes its rise 
not from the Suktimat but from the Vindhyan chain, 
using the word Vindhyan in its wider sense. Cunningham 
does not stand alone in his view that the Sukti Mountain is the 
source of the Suktimati. Beglar, too, makes the same mis- 
take. Identifying the Suktimati with the Sakri, the Eishi- 
kulya with the Kiyul, and the Kumari with the Kaorhari, he 
places Mount Suktimat in the north of the Hazaribagh District. 
The identifications are rejected by Pargiter 1 who points out 
that the Suktimati is not connected with Mt. Suktimat, that 
Sakri is not the equivalent of Suktimati, but of Sakuli, and 
that the Hazaribagh hills are not remarkable, being rather 
the termination of the Vindhya range than a separate system. 
The last objection is not quite valid because the Suktimat, 
too, is not a remarkable range and is rarely mentioned in 
literature. It is fche only Kula-parvata which does not find 
mention in the Nasik Prasasti of Qautamlputra Satakar^i. 
As to the objection that the Hazaribagh hills are not a 
separate system it may be pointed out that the Eula-parvata 
Pariyatra, too, is not a separate system, but part of the 
Vindhyan chain. 

Pargiter was at first inclined to identify Suktimat with 
either the Aravalli Mt. or the southern part of the Eastern 
Ghats. But he finally preferred the Garo, Khasi and Tipperah 
hills in Eastern India, 2 " for Bhima in his conquests in that 
quarter marched from Himavat towards Bhallata and con- 
quered the Suktimat Mountain," and "the river Lohita and the 
country, Kamarupa, were known." Pargiter ignores the fact 
that Bhima did not cross the Lohita or Lauhitya (Brahma- 
putra). The identification of the rivers Kumarl and Kripa 

> Mark. P. (trans.), 265. 
* Ibid, p. 306. 


issuing from Suktimat (with Somesvari and Kapili) suggested 
by him, is also hardly satisfactory. 

C. V. Vaidya identified the Suktimat with the Kathiawar 
range. 3 The Junagadh inscription of Rudradaman no doubt 
mentions a Palasini as issuing from that range, and we know 
that Pal&sinl is the name of one of the rivers rising in Sukti 
Mountain. But the other rivers springing from the Suktimat 
cannot be identified, and the evidence of the Mahabharata 
points to some range between Indraprastha (Delhi) and 
Lauhitya (Brahmaputra), as the real Suktimat. 2 

Dr. R. C. Majumdar 3 and Mr. Harit Krishna Dev 4 propose 
to identify the Suktimat with the Sulaiman range. We are 
told that the two names closely resemble each other, that 
Kupa, one of the streams issuing from the Suktimat, sounds 
very much like Kubha (the Kabul river), and that Kum&ri, 
Mandaga, Mandavahinl, Palasini, Rishikuly& and Bhallata 
with which Sukti is associated, are equivalent to Kunar, Hel- 
mand, Panjshir, Euaspla and Bhalanas respectively. It is 
further suggested that the epic list of places visited by Bhima 
and his brothers was not drawn up strictly according to geo- 
graphical position, and that, therefore, the evidence of the 
Mahabharata cannot be a valid objection against the identity 
of Sukti with Sulaiman which is the only extensive range, 
besides the Assam Hills, which has not been appropriated to 
the Kulaparvatas mentioned in the Bhuvana-kosha. 

But the philological equations proposed above are with 
one exception hardly tenable. 5 As to the equation Kupa= 
Kubha, it is to b^ rem r 3tnb3red that the form Kupa occurring 
in the extant Vayu (and Brahmandi), is not met with in the 

1 Epic India, p. 276. 

2 The mountain is mentioned in the account of the Digvijaya of Bhima who started 
from the P<Xndu cipital and marched eastwards as far as the Lauhitya. 

evam bahuvidh&n dean vijigye Bharatarshabha 

Bhalla^mabhito jigye guktimantafioha parvatam. Mbh. IT. 30. 5. 

3 Pro. Second Oriental Conference, 1923, p. 609 f. 

4 Ibid, p. ci ; ZDMG. Leipzig, 1922, p. 281 n. 

6 Jayaawal, Pro. Second Oriental Conference, 1923, p, xliii. 


Vayu text consulted by Alberuni. That text and many extant 
Puranas have Kirpa, 1 Kripa 2 or Kshipra 3 which obviously cannot 
be equated with Kubha. Moreover, we have actually a Kopa, 4 
a Kumar! 5 and a Paras (Palasini ?) in Eastern India. What- 
ever we may think of the evidence of the Mahabharata, the 
fact should not be ignored that Sulaiman, as pointed out by 
Pargiter and shown in the early part of this paper, was 
considered to be a portion of the Himavat, the Varsha-parvata. 
The Kula-parvatas are expressly stated by Rajasekhara to be 
in the Kumari Dvipa whose furthest limit according to the 
Skanda Purana was the Pariyatra. 7 Further, if the Suktimat 
be really the mountain range which runs south from the 
Hindukush, is not the omission of the Suvastu, Gomati and 
Krumu from the list of its rivers rather inexplicable ? 

The really important clues in regard to the identity of 
the Suktimat are its association with Bhallata and with 
'Sankha' and " Vaidurya saila " (Mark. 5S.24). The Maha- 
bharata as well as the Jatakas seems to connect Bhallata with 
Kasi. 8 The Kalki Purana, while describing the march of a 
victorious army, mentions Bhall&ta-nagara just before Kanchanl 

Alberuni, I. 257. 
Matsya, 114.32. 
Kurma, Purvabhaga, 46. 39. 

Or Sal, a tributary of the Drarka or Bab^a (O'MUley, Birbhura, 1910, p. 5). 
The Kasai receives the water's of thi Kumart at Ambikamgar. 
(O'Malley's B uakura, 1903, p. 7 , c/. Ooupland's Manbhum, 1911, p 7.) 

M G Hallett, Ranchi, 1917, p. 6. It is a tributary of the ' Koel.' The name Koel, 
we are told, is a common designation for river in Chota Nagpur. It may refer to the 
Rishikulyl which is also a common river name in the PurSijas, being the designation of at 
least two streams one rising in the Mahendra and the other in the Suktimafc, It is 
interesting to note that the Koel unites with the Sankh to form the Brahman!. In the 
Puranas gankha and Sukti are associated together (Mark. 58.2<i Sankha-Suktyadi- 
Vaidurya-gailaprSnta charas'chaye). 

7 Skanda Puraoi, Kumarikakhanda, Ch. 39.113 : " Pariyatrasya chaivarrak khapdam 
Kaumarikam smfitam." 

Mbh. II. 30. 5-7 ; Bhallatamabhito jigye guktimantam cha parvtam 

Pandava^ sumahavtryo balen-i balinam varafc 

sa Kasirajam samare Sabahum anirartinam 

rase chakre mahabahur Bhtmo bhimaparakrama^. 


purl, the hill fortress of the Nagas, which id doubtless identical 
with 'purim Kanchanikam ' governed by Pravlra, the son of 
Vindyasakti, in the third century A.D. 1 A tribe called 
Phyllitai is mentioned by Ptolemy as living in Central India. 1 
These indications would point to the central, and not the 
easternmost or northwestern, part of India as the place 
where Bhall&ta, and consequently Suktimat, were situated. 
And this accords with the Puranic evidence about the connec- 
tion of Sukti with Sankha and Vaidurya. The suggestion 
of N. Das that the name Suktimat is preserved in the Suktel 
river which joins the Mahanadi, near Sonpur, and also in 
the Sakti Hills in Eaigarh, C.P., seems plnusible. 3 Sakti ' 
actually stands midway between ' Sankh ' arid Vaidurya which 
the Mahabharata places in the neighbourhood of the Payosh^l 
and the Narnmda. The name Suktimat was probably applied 
to the chain of hills that extends from Sakti in Raigarh, C. P., 
to the Dalma Hills in Manbhum drained by the Kumarl, and 
perh-ips even to the hills in the Santhal Parganas washed by 
the affluents of the Babla. 
Riksha and Vindhya. 

The great chain of mountains along the Narmada which 
separates Northern India from the Deccan is probably 
mentioned in the Kaushitaki ITpanishad under the 
name of Dakshina Parvata. 4 At the present day the whole 
range is known by the name of the Vindhyas. In the 
period of the epics and the Puranas, however, different 
parts of the range had distinctive names, and ranked as 
separate Kula-parvatas. These names were JRiksha, Vindhya 
^proper) and Pariyatra or Paripatra, all of which find 

1 Kalkt Purftpa, III. 7.86 j III. I4.3f. 

C/. Pargiter, Dynasties of the Kali Age, p. 50. 

* Ptolemy, VII. 1.66. ' Phyllitai ' sounds very much like BhallAjfa. 

* A note on the Aticiont Geogtaphy of Asia compiled from Vftlmiki'. Bftmfty.* a (1896), 
p. 51. See also Imp. Oaz., Atlas volume, plate 39. 

4 Kauri. Up,, II. 8. 


mention in the Nasik Prasasti of Gautamlputra Satakanjd. 1 
The first two are referred to by Ptolemy as the Ouxenton 
lEikshavant) and the Ouindion ranges. 

The Eiksha is probably so called because it stood in a 
territory which abounded in bears (rikshas). 2 There is a 
good deal of confusion in the Bhuvana-kosha section of 
the Puranas between the two Kula-parvatas Riksha and 
Vindhya. While the Vishnu, Brahma, and some other texts 
describe the former as the source of the Tapt, Payoshnl 
and Nirvindhya, and the latter as the source of the Narmada, 
Uasarna, etc., the Kurma, Matsya, Brahmanda, Vamana 
and Vayu texts, including that known to Alberuni, reverse 
the order, making the Biksha the source of the Narmada, 
Dasarna, etc., and the Vindhya the source of the Tapi group. 
The Bhuvana-kosha underwent such textual corruption even 
in the time of Alberuni that little reliance can be placed on 
it in determining the identity of the two Kula-parvatas, Riksha 
and Vindhya. 

No conclusion regarding the relative position of Riksha 
and Vindhya can also be drawn from the constant asso- 
ciation of the former with the Narmada 8 and that of the 

1 Bapson, Andhra Coins, p. xxriii. The Prakj-ita forms are Achavata, Vijha and 

Rikehadvlpa.samakula. Revfttha^da, VI. 36. 

Asti Pauravadayado Vidurathasutafe Prabho 

Rikihail? samvarddhito vipra Rikshavatyatha par rate. Mbh., XII. 49. 76. 

3 Rikshavantam girigresb^hamadhyaste Narmadam pi van. 

Barn., Lack., 27. 9. 
puraScha pach&ohcha yatha mahanadi tarn Rikshavantam girimetya Narmada- 

Mbh.,XII. 52. 32, 

sa Narraada-rodhasi dikarfldrair marudbhiranartita-naktamale 
niveSayainasa vilaA^hitadhv.^ kantarfi rajo dhusaraketu saioyam 
athopariahtad bhramarair bhramadbhi^ praksuchitanta^-salila-prave^a^ 
nirdhauta-danamala^ai^dabhittirvanyab saritto gaja unmaraajja 
ni^eaba Fikshalita.dhatan&pi vaprakriyam Riksha vataatateebu 
otlorddhvarekb^-6abalena ^arijsan dautadvayenyma vikni^tbitena. 

Raghu, Ch. 5. 42*44. 


latter with the Reva, 1 for, though the Bhagavata and the 
Vamana Pura^as 3 seem to distinguish between the two rivers, 
the R/eva-kliandia regards them as one and the same, 4 a fact 
borne out also by incidental references in the Bhagavata* 
itself. 6 

More fruitful results may be obtained by an examination 
of the evidence of Ptolemy and the inscriptions, and certain 
incidental references in the Mahabharata, the Puranas, the 
Harivamsa and the commentary of Nilakantha. It will be 
seen that the name Biksha is invariably applied to the central 
part of the chain lying north of the Narmada, while the 
eastern part together with the hills standing so nth of the 
Narmada and extending as far as the ocean bore the name of 
Vindhya. Ptolemy, for instance, describes the Ouxenton 
(Ltikshavant) as the source of the Toundis, the Dosaron and 
the A/lamas. The identification of these rivers with the 
Brahmagil, the VaifcarapA and the Suvarnarekha, has little to 
support it. Dosaron sounds very much like the Dasar^a 
(modern Dliasan near Saugor in C. P.) which actually occurs in 
the list of rivers issuing from the Riksha as given in many 
Puranas including the V c ayu copy used by Alberuni. The 
position assigned to the mouth of the river by Ptolemy is no 

1 Viridhyasyavandhyakarmma sikhara-tafa-patat-paadu-Rev&mbu-raser 

Fleet, C. I. I., 154. 
eruyatarn dvija-s&rdfilafo kara^am yena kandaratn 

Vindhyasyehagato ramyarh Revavari-kanokshitam. 

Mark. P., IV. 22 
Revam drakshyasyupalavishame Vindhyapftde visirnam. 

Meghaduta, 19. 
9 BhftgaTata, 6, 19, 17. 

Vamana, XIII, 26-30. 

kimarthaih Narmada prokta Reveti cha katham smritft. 

Revft-khanda, 5, 7. C/. Ind. Ant., 1887, 263. 
Narakantakari Reva satirtha viivapavanf 
Narmada dharmada chastu aarmada Partha te sada. 

Ibid, 229, 28. 

prayisya Revftmagamad yatra Mtiishmatipuri (Bhag., X. 79). In the HarivaiWa 
(Vishnu Farva, 38, 14f.) Narmada is the name of the river which flows past Mahishmatl. 

Ptolemy, VII. I, 39-4 1, 


insuperable objection against the proposed identity, because 
the western geographer had a very wrong idea about the con* 
figuration of India ; and many of its mountains and rivers are 
* hopelessly out of position/ 1 While the Ouxenton is connected 
with the Dosaron (Dasarna or Dhasan near Saugor), the 
Ou'indion (Vindhya) is represented as the source not only of 
the Namados (Narmada) but also of the Nanagouna (laptl). 2 
This proves that while the Riksha lay in the region of the 
Central Vindhyas, near Saugor, the Vindhya proper in the 
days of Ptolemy, comprised chains at the source of the 
Narmada and the Taptl. 

The connection of the Riksha with the Central Vindhyas 
lying north of the Narmada appears clear also from Indian 
evidence Thus the Vayu Purana 8 represents a chief named 
Jyamagha as crossing the Riksha on his way from Narmada- 
nupa 4 to Suktimatl, the capital of the Chedis, which lay to 
the north in the direction of the Yamuna. The Harivamsa 
refers to the city of Mahishmati (Mandhata ?), the capital of 
Narmadanupa, as nestling under the shelter of Mount Riksha- 
vat (Riksha van tamupasrita). Nilakantha, commenting on the 
Harivamsa, Vishnu parva, Chap. 38, verse 7, 

Vindhy-arkshavantavabhito dve puryau parvatasraye 
nivesayatu yatnena Muchukunda suto mama, 

says ' Vindhyasyottaratah llikshavato dakshi^ata ityarthah ' 
implying that the two cities mentioned in the verse lay north 
of the Vindhyas and south of the Riksha. The Bhagavata 
places the hermitage of Atri, on the Riksha, and we learn 
from the RamayaQ^ that Atri's hermitage lay not far from 

Gl. Ptotemy, Majumdar'aed., p. 76. 

Ibid, VII. i. 31-32, pp. 102-103. Cf. Tap! nftma nadi ohejam VindhyamulAd vinifcurftft 
(Prabh&aa Khan^a. 11, 108). 

Viyu, 95, 31. 

Tbe district on the Narmada of which Mahishmatt was the capital (Eaghu, VI. 37-43), 

Bcakma^i ohodita^ gfishtavAfcrir Brahmaridlm vara^ 

aha pat&yft yay&vBikshazh Kalftdrim tapasi sthita^ 


Chitrakuta. 1 The Nalopftkhyana of the Mahabhfirata places 
the Riksha mountain between Avanti and Dakshinapatha. p 
On the other hand it expressly connects the Vindhya with the 
Payosh^l 8 a river of the Tapl or Tspti group. The association 
of the Vindhya with the region to the south of the Narmada 
testified to by Nilakagtha and the author of the Nalopakhyana 
of the Mah&bharata, is further confirmed by the popular 
belief that Satpura means seven sons or seven folds of the 
Vindhya. 4 In the famous Mandasor stone inscription of 
Yasodharman and Vish^uvardhana we have reference to a 
tract of land, "containing many countries, which lies between 
the Vindhya (mountains), from the slopes of the summits of 
which there flows the pale mass of the waters of (the river) 
Reva,and the mountain Fariyatra, on which the trees are bent 
down in (their) frolicsome leaps by the long-tailed monkeys, 
(and stretches) up to the ocean" (Sindhu). 6 If the Vindbya 
(when distinguished from the Pariyatra) means the range 
east of Bhopal as suggested by Pargiter, then the countries 
between it and the P&riyatra must be inland territory which 
cannot be said to extend to the ocean, or even to the rivers 
called Sindhu. But if Vindhya includes the hills to the south 
of the Narmada, then the region between it and the Pariyatra 
does extend to the ocean. It would, however, be a mistake 

tasmin prasunastaraka-palag&doka- kfinane 

varbhil; sravadbhirudghushfe Nirvindbyay&b samantata^. 

Thii Nirvindhya need not be the river of the same name belonging to the Tftpt group. 
There was another tfimndhya which lay on the way from Viditf (Bhilsa) to Ujjayint 
(Meghaduta, I, 25.29). 
1 Ram., II. 117. 5. 

* ete gaohchhanti baharafe panthftno Dakahiogpatham 
Avanttm Rikshavanfcttficha samatikramya parvatatn. 

Mbh., Ill, 61.21, 

* eiha Vindhyo aahUsila^ Payoshnt cba aamudragi, 

Mbh., III. ei. M. 
Cf. Prabbasa Kkafida, 1M06, cited above. 

* 0. P. Dtot. <**. Betul . b - y fiusfieH, 1907, p. 258. Of. the name Indhyidri, 
given to the hilk a* Aj.nti (Bomb. Ga*., I. ii. 36i), ad f< Ban dab " (OAwil^rh bilJi) ia 


to think that the Vindhya lay wholly to the south of the 
Narmada, because an inscription of Anantavarman Maukhari 
mentions that mountain as extending up to and including the 
Nagarjunl Hill in the Gaya District. 1 

The question of the inclusion of the Amarakantaka moun- 
tain the source of the Narmada presents a real difficulty. 
We have seen that Ptolemy makes it a part of the Ouindion 
(Vindhya) range. But the Reva-kha^da of the Skanda Parana, 
with, .^qiial clearness, makes it a part of the Biksha. 2 The 
truth-seams to be that ancient Hindu writers commonly re- 
garded Vindhya and Biksha as interchangeable terras. But 
one fact is clear. While the name Vindhya was loosely applied 
to the whole chain of hills from Gujarat to the Gaya District, 
lying on . both sides of the Narmada, 8 the Biksha, when 
referred to incidentally in literature, is invariably associated 
with the Middle Narmada region of which Mahishmatl was the 
most important city, and the Dasarna (Dhasan) a notable river. 
The Vindhya, when distinguished from the Biksha, denotes the 
chain lying south of the Narmada, as Nilakantha suggests. 

Pariyatra. We now come to the Pariyatra or P&ripatra 
which marks, according to the Skanda Purana, the furthest 
limit of Kumar! Kha^dla the heart and centre of Bharata- 
varsha. The earliest reference to the mountain is probably 
that contained in the Dharma Sutra of Bodhayana, where 

1 Ibid, pp. 227, 228. 

9 tatafe sa RikBhasailendr&t phenapunjft^tahasini 

vivesa Narmada devi samudram saritampatira (Reva-khanda, V. 51). 

gono Mahanadasohaiva Narmada Surasa Kritff 

Mandakini DasarQa cha Chitraku(a tathaiva cha 

Rikshapada-prasutastah earva vai Rudraeambhaval? ibid, IV. 46-48. 
9 See particularly Ptolemy's association of the Oultndion with both the Namados and 
the Nanagouna, and the Harivamia verse, II. 38. 20, 'Ubhayor Yindhjayo^ pftde nagayo stam 
mahapurlm,' where we have reference to two Vindhyas, viz., the Vindhya proper and the 
Biksha. Note also the name 'Nir Vindhya, ' i.e., issuing out of the Vindhya, applied to rivers 
on both sides of the Narmada. One of the Nirvindhyfis is associated with Ujjayini and 
Avanti,and hence lay north of the Narmadft. Another belongs to the Tapi-Payoshnt group, 
C/. also the Vindhya-dakshi^a-pada of the Kavya Mtmamsa, p. 94; and RamSyaaa_IV, 52. 


it forms the boundary line between Sry&varta and the 
land of the barbarians. 1 Even in the days of the Mahabharata 
it was the favourite resort of one of the most important of the 
* barbarian' tribes, viz. t the Nishadas. 2 The earliest epigraphic 
reference to it is probably that occurring in the Nasik 
Prasasti of Gautamlputra Satakarni. It also finds prominent 
mention in the Mandasor inscription of Yasodharman and 
Vishiiuvardhana. The mountain apparently gave its name to 
the famous Po-li-ye-ta-lo orPariyatra 8 country ruled by a Vaisya 
king in the days of Huien Tsang. The names of the rivers 
issuing from it, viz., the Mahi, Parnasa, 4 Charmanvatl, 
Sipra, Sindhu 6 and Vetravatl, clearly support the view of 
Pargiter that it corresponds to the portion of the modern 
Vindhya range west of Bhopal, together with the Aravalli 

Besides the Kulaparvatas. the Puranas mention a number 
of smaller hills (Kshudraparvata) which are situated near the 
former (bhudharaye samlpagah). They may be conveniently 
grouped under the following heads : 

(1) Hills associated with the Eastern Ghats e.g., (a) Srl- 
parvata. It "overhangs the Krishna in the Kurnool District " 
and is usually identified by scholars with Siritana of the 
Nasik Prasasti. It was famous as the site of the Saiva shrine 
of Mallikarjuna. 

(b) Pushpagiri. It lay eight miles to the north of Cud- 
dapah. 6 

1 I. i. 25 : " PrSgadarsanat prafcyak Kalakavanad dakshiijena Himavantam ndak Pari* 
y&tram etad JLrySvartam." 

Mbh., XII. 135.3.6. 

ft Cf. Harsh a-charita (Cowell and Thomas, trans., pp. 210-211), and Bpihat Sarbhita, 
XIV. 4. 

4 The modern Bangs, a tributary of the Chambal or Oharmanvatf (Pargiter). 

9 Either Kalisindhu, a tributary of the Chambal, or Sindh, a tributary of the Jumna, 
lying between the Chambal and Betwa (Vetravatf). 

9 ED. Ind., III. ^4. Parffiter ^as unable to identify ^. % - -,_. 


(e) VeAkata* It is in Draviga forming the boundary 
line between the Tamil and Telugu countries. 1 

(d) Aru*ehak 3 or Sonachala. It stands on the river 
Kampa which flows past KMcbl. 

(e) Rishabba. It is placed by the Bh&gavata Parana 
(X. 79) between the Kaveri and Madura. The Mahabharata 
(III. 85, 21) places it in the Pa^dya country. 

(2) Hills associated with Malaya. The most important 
among them is the Dardura. Pargiter suggests its identification 
with theNilgiris or the Palni Hills. The Raghuvamsa (IV. 51) 
refers to Malaya and Dardura as the breasts of the southern 
region. In the Sabhaparva of the Mahabh&rata the Chola and 
Pandya kings offer sandal from Dardura. 8 A monkey chief 
according to Pargiter inhabited Dardura and drank of the river 
Parnasa. But the text calls the chief Dardurasafikas'o 4 which 
does not necessarily indicate that he resided in Dardura. 

(3) Hills associated with Sahya e.g., (a) Vaidurya 6 
connected by the Mahabharata with the Payoshn! and the 
Narmada, and identified by scholars with the Oroudian moun- 
tain mentioned by Ptolemy. 

(fe) Qovardhana the hill of Nssik. 8 

(c) Devagiri the " towering hill " of modern Daulatftbad. 
Bomb. Gaz., I. ii. 501, 534. 

(d) Erishnagiri (Ka^hagfri of the Nasik inscription)-^ 
modern Eanheri. 7 

1 Smith, tlfitlS p. 456 : ' Drarideshu mah&pu]jyam dnsKtVadrirfi rdfikatam Prabhul?.' 

(Bhftgarata, X. 79.) 

* See Aru^aohala M&b&tmya of the Skanda Parana, Ch. Ill, 60-61 ; IV. 9, 13, 21, 37. 

* Mbh., II. 52.34. Dardura is also mentioned in XIII, 165.82. See also Pargiter, 
fttAS, 1804, 261 

Rftm., Lanka., 26.42. 

* ' Vaidurya ' apparently included the northernmost part of th* WeAtern Qhafa as 
the evidence of Ptolemy guggwts. Bat it also included a part at least of the Satpura 
range as the Mahabhftrata clearly indicates. It is the connecting link between the Sahy* 
and the southern Vindhya with both of which it seems to have been confounded. 

* Cf. Rttpson, Andhra Coins, pp. ix, xlvii, Ivi. 

' Ibid, xuiii. It is in Salsette, Betftb. GftX, I, ii. 9, The mountain in te mt* 
tionsd in the Rftmftyana (VI, 


(e) Trikuta. It is placed in the Aparanta country. It 
gave its name to the Traikutaka dynasty. 1 

(/) Kolva, probably the hill near Kolhapur. 2 

(g) Eishyamuka. It stretched, according to Pargiter, 
from Ahmadnagar to beyond Naldrug and Kalyani, dividing 
the Manjira and the Bhima. 

(fe) Malyavat. It lay in the Kishkindhya country, and is 
identified by Pargiter with the curved lines of hills near 
Kupal, Mudgal, and Eaichur. 

(i) Prasravana. It is associated with the Godavarl and 
the Mandakini (Ara^ya, 64.10-14) as well as with a Vindhya 
in the extreme south of India (Ram. Kishk., 52.31), and 
seems to have also included the Malyavat. 8 It was perhaps 
the general name of the mountain chains stretching from the 
Mandakini and the Godavari to the southern sea. 

(j) Gomanta. It lay in a Vwara of the Sahya. To its 
north stood Vanavasi. 4 It is, therefore, to be placed in the 
Mysore region, and not near Nasik as suggested by Pargiter. 
(4) Hills associated with the western Vindhyas. 

(0) Urj jayanta. It is the Girnar Mountain in Kathiawar 
(Surashtra) 5 which figures so prominently in the Junagadh 
Bock inscriptions of Rudradaman and Skandagupta. The 
mountain is also mentioned in the Mahabharata (III. 88.^3) 
and is probably hinted at in the Rig Veda (II. 13.8). 

(b) Raivataka. It is the hill opposite to Urjayat or 
Girnar. 6 In literature it is associated with the Yadava tribe. 

(c) Arbuda. Mount Abu. We have a detailed account 
of the mountain in the Arbuda Khanda of the Skanda Parana. 

1 See Raghu, IV. 59, and Rapson, Andhra Coins, LXIII. 

1 See Bhag. P., V. 19.16. Kollagiri is placed in outheru India in the description 
of Arjuna'a march with the sacrificial horse (in the Agvamedhaparra). Cf. Kollagiri in 
Bomb. Gaz., I. ii. 497 ; Mbh., II. 31. 63. 

9 See JRAS, 1894, Geography of Rama's exile, pp. 256, 258. 
HarivaiDBa, Vishnuparva, 89. 62-64. 

Fleet, Oil, p. 57. 

9 Fleet, Oil, 646. Fasohimabhage, Skanda, Vastr. 1.68, 


(d) Govardhana the famous hill near the Jumna. 

(5) Hills associated with the central Vindhyas, e.g., 

(a) Amarakantaka or Mekala. It is the source of the 
Narmada, the Sona and the Mahanadl. 

(b) Kolahaia. It is placed by Pargiter between Panna 
and Bijawar in Bundeikhand. The Mahabharata connects it 
with the river Suktimatl (Ken). 

(<?) Chitrakuta. It is the name of a famous hill lying 
65 miles W.S.W. of Allahabad (JRAS, 1894, 239). The Maha- 
bharata associates it with Kalanjara, Mbh., III. 85.56. 

(6) Hills associated with the eastern Vindhyas, e.g., Pra- 
varagiri-Gorathagiri. It is the Barabar Hill (Fleet, Oil, 
222-223). The identification of Gorathagiri with the Barabar 
Hill was suggested by Jackson in JBORS, I. 159f. 

Paiicjava. It is che name of one of the five hills of 
Kajagriha mentioned prominently in Buddhist literature 
(Cunn., AGI, 530). 

Vaibhraja or Vaihara. It is also one of the five hills of 
Rajagriha mentioned in the epic and in Buddhist literature, 
modern Baibhara. 1 

Vatasvana. Bathan in South Bihar according to Beglar, 

A.S.R. VIII. 48. 

Mandara in the Bhagalpur District (Fleet, Oil, p. 211). 

(7) Hills in the Far East 
Kamagiri. Kamakhya in Assam. 

UdayagirL It refers either to the real Udayagiri in 
Orissa or S. Bihar, or the mythical mountain, associated with 

* The names of the five hills of Rajagriha mentioned in the Pftli annals of Ceylon 
are (in Sanskrit) Gfidhrakfitft, Kishigiri, Vaibhara, Vipnla and Pfinflara (Cunn., AGL, 530). 
Of these only the second, third and probably also the fourth, find mention in the Maha- 
bbarate (II. 21. 2). Gridhrakufa, identified by Marshall with Chhath&giri (AST, 1905-6, 
pp. 86-90) is probably " Ohaityaka " of the Mahabharata. Pa^ava, identified by Gunning- 
bain with Ratnagiri, is in .that case Vrishabha of the epic and Vrfshabha-dhvaja of the 
?ur$nai. The Mbh. II. 22.45, however, connects the Pig^arai with Ohaityaka, 


(8) Hills associated with the Himavat : Mainaka, Kraun- 
cha, 1 Hemagiri, 2 and Indraparvata (Mbh., II. 30.15). 

(9) Hills whose identity is unknown : Vaidyuta, Svarasa, 
Tuftgaprastha, Eochana, Kutasaila, Kritasmara, Kora, 
Afijana, Jambu, Manava, Surpa-karija, Vyaghra-mukha, 
Kharmaka, Karvatasana, Suryadri, Kumudadri, Manimegha, 
Kshuradri, Khanjana, Dhanushmat, Vashumat (Markandeya 
Parana) ; Mangala-prastha, Varidhara, Drona, Gokamukha, 
(BhSgavata Pura?a). 

1 Fargiter, Mftrk. P., 376 n. Kraufloha u appears to hare been a portion of the 
Mainaka mountains in the great Himavat mountain system/' It is " the portion of the 
Himalaya chain bounding Nepal at the extreme north-west.' 1 

* Pargiter, Mirk. P., 869 n. 


On Nature in the Age of Pope 

P. K. DAS, M.A. 


The name of Addison is sometimes coupled by writers 
with that of Pope while naming the age which is more com- 
monly known as the age of Pope. In fact, both of them are 
regarded as representatives of the age, their works embodying 
nearly all the characteristics of the literature of the period* 
One of the principal features of the poetry of this age is 
usually stated to be the absence of the feeling for nature ; 
while the men of letters, including the poets, are described as 
members of a brilliant society of wits characterised by their 
absorbing love for the city and inability to appreciate the 
beauties of external nature. In spite of all the allowances 
that are usually made by critics for such notable exceptions 
as are to be found in writers like Lady Winchelse^, Thomas 
Parnell, and Allan llamsay, it remains an accepted opinion 
that Pope and his contemporaries were lacking in imagination 
and feeling especially a genuine feeling for the beauties of 

It is not, however, the intention of the present writer to try 
to prove the above opinion to be wholly unfounded ; for, it is to 
be admitted that, in the main, the attitude of the Augustan 
school towards external nature, so far as it finds expression 
in the important works of the time, is marked by indifference 

2 P. K. DAS 

and artificiality. But this does not necessarily prove that 
the writers themselves were devoid of the power of appreciat- 
ing the beauties of nature. i?or, as Henry Beers says, " The 
literature of an age does not express its entire, but only its 
prevailing, spirit. There is commonly a latent silent body of 
thought and feeling underneath, which remains inarticulate 
or nearly so." 1 Hence it is quite possible that for causes 
which might be attributed to the peculiar social or political 
conditions of an age, its writers may refrain, out of prudential 
or other considerations, from adequately expressing in their 
works some of the most ordinary feelings that beat in the 
heart of every man. Appreciation of nature, after all, is an 
ordinary human trait, which can hardly be found altogether 
lacking in a number of sensible and cultured minds of the 
same age. 2 It will therefore be our endeavour to show, from 
the various materials we have been able to collect from the 
writings (in prose as well as verse) of Addison, Pope, Gay, 
Berkeley and other contemporary men of letters, that the 

men of letters of the age of Pope including 
The thesis. the great hierarch himself had greater power 

of appreciating the beauties of external 
nature than they have generally been credited with, that 
however negligible in literary value the passages cited by us 
in the following pages may be, they are sufficient to prove that 
Pope and his contemporaries were by no means ' insensible 
to natural beauty of scenery/ as men in no age ever were. 

A thesis like this might be deemed unnecessary by 
reade rs who do not believe in the existence of such an erro- 
neous or exaggerated notion about Pope and his circle as 
has been pointed out above. But not ot speak of what we 

1 English Romanticism in the Eighteenth Century , Ch. II, p. 61. The italics are 

* Cf. " There is nothing radically new in the so-called love of nature. Any number 
of poets from Chaucer downwards may be cited to show that men were never insensible to 
natural beauty of scenery." Leslie Stephen, English Literature and Society in the 
Eighteenth Century, Ch. HI, The italics are mine. 


find in the ordinary manuals of English Literature, even 
some of the scholars who have made a special study of the 
period, have gone so far as to make such sweeping assertions 
as the following Cl Nature arid Pope were not destined to 
become friends ; he looked at her * through the spectacles of 
books/ and his description of natural objects is invariably of 
the conventional type ; " l ts Now, all was lost. The poets, 
the wits, the cultivated folk were wholly of the town. They 
despised or hated country life. Nothing in it spoke to their 
hearts. In Pope's poetry this reached its climax." 2 We shall 
now leave it to the readers of the following pages to judge 
for themselves whether the old idea about the insensibility of 
Pope and his circle to the beauty of natural scenery is ten- 
able or not, warning them at the same time against assum- 
ing that we propose to show anything like an intimate inter- 
pretation of nature in their works, as we find in Wordsworth 
or any other poet of the Romantic Revival. Their appreciation 
of nature had its limitations ; they could not wholly free 
themselves, while dealing with her, from the taint of arti- 
ficiality, which was the prevailing characteristic of the time ; 
but they were not dead to the feeling for nature. 

1 John Deuuis, The Age oj Pope, pp. 29-30. The italics are mine. 

2 Stopford Brooke, Naturalism in English Poetry, Ch. I, pp. 21-22. 



Addison, in the year 1700, "proceeded in his journey to 
Addison: A Letter Ita1 ^ whic V says Dr. Johnson, "hesur- 
from Italy (1701). veyed with the eyes of a poet ;" and from 
Geneva he addressed his poetical Letter from Italy (1701) 
to Lord Halifax. In this poem we find glowing descriptions 
of * gay gilded scenes ' and ' blossoms and fruits and flowers 5 
seen by him. Probably he was the earliest of the few poets 
of the century to notice the beautiful odours in nature, and 
points out how 

Trodden weeds send out a rich perfume. 

From a careful study of this poem it will appear that he 
*does not show himself herein to be a mere enumerator of the 
different objects of nature, but a sincere admirer who greatly 
delighted in their beauties ; cf. 

For wheresoe'er I turn my ravished eyes 
Gay gilded scenes and shining prospects rise. 1 


Fired with a thousand raptures I survey ;etc. 

But what is more important in this poem is that we also 
find in it the mention of hills and mountains the scenery of 
which he seems, evidently from his own words, to have greatly 
enjoyed ; cf. 

How am I pleased to search the hills and woods; (1. 17). 
1 See Appendix A. 


And it is here, probably for the first time in the century, 
that a poet of the age of Pope is found to speak of hills and 
mountains in terms of approbation. 1 Besides the line just 
quoted, also compare, 


Still to new scenes my wandering muse retires, , 
And the dumb show of breathing rocks admires. 

But what avail her unexhausted stores, 

Her blooming mountains, and her sunny shores. 

It should be noted in this connection that, unlike the 
conventional or generalised descriptions of nature found in 
the poetry of the time, Addison's descriptions are the result 
of first-hand observation of the scenes visited by him during 
his travels in Italy, of which he has left a record in prose in 
his Remarks on Several Parts of Italy (1705). 

Strangely enough does Prof. William Lyon Phelps ' take 

Addison as a conspicuous example ' of the classicists who ' had 

no more love for wild nature than they had for Gothic archi- 

The charge of m abi- tecture or Romantic poetry ; ' 2 and in support 

lity to appreciate the , . . * ji 4 11 * 

wild and stern aspects of his view he quotes the following from 
dison. ure against " Mr. Perry's Eighteenth Century Literature : 
" In one of his letters, dated December, 1701, he wrote that he 
had reached Geneva after ( a very troublesome journey over 
the Alps. My head is still giddy with mountains and preci- 
pices ; and you can't imagine how much I am pleased with 
the sight of a plain ! ' This little phrase is a good illustration 
of the contempt for mountains, of the way they were regard- 
ed as wild, barbaric, useless excrescences.' ' 8 The learned 
professor himself gives a fitting reply to the assertion of Mr. 

1 See the present writer's article, ' The Earliest Expression of Delight in Monntaini 
in the Poetry of the Eighteenth Century ; The Modern Language Review (Cambridg 
UDIV. Press), April, 3928, pp. 215-16. 

8 The Beginnings of the English Romantic Movement, Oh. IX, p. 167. 

8 Ibid. 

6 P. K. DAS 

Perry in a foot-note to the passage cited above, where he says, 
" But much of our modern love for mountains and precipices 
is doubtless due to the circumstances in which we view them. 
Carried to the top of the Rigi in a comfortable car, we are 
in a condition to enjoy to the utmost the glorious view : but 
if the Rigi represented an obstacle, something that must be 
passed over with infinite discomfort and even peril, I am 
sure we should not appreciate the view so keenly. 51 1 But this 
is not all. For, where is the expression of contempt for moun- 
tains in the passage in question cited by Mr. Perry ? The 
words, " My head is still giddy with mountains . . . . " are 
by no means expressive of contempt for mountains, particu- 
larly in the context of * a very troublesome journey.' The 
terms that may be used by a man to indicate the worries and 
discomfort of a journey need not necessarily be taken to 
signify a habitual disgust or dislike for the scenes themselves 
visited by him. With all our modern love for the sterner 
aspects of nature, we would not possibly refrain from describ- 
ing a journey as nothing but troublesome or disgusting, if 
the sufferings undergone in accomplishing it were of an 
overwhelming nature. The aim of Addison, in the above 
letter, is primarily to refer to the troublesome nature of the 
journey ; and in course of this he speaks of the pleasure 
afforded by the ' sight of the plains, 9 obviously because the 
plain gives him relief from troubles ; to take the expression 
* sight of the plain ' as contrasted with the sight or scenery of 
mountains he passed through, would be giving too literal an 
interpretation to it which is not justified either by the context 
or by other passages from his writings in which he has des- 
cribed mountains. On the other hand, that Addison had no 
dislike for, or prejudice against, hills and mountains will be 
clear from dozens of passages that may be quoted from his 
Remarks on Several Parts of Italy (1705), in which he has 

1 Ibid. 


described hills, rocks, mountains and precipices seen by him. 

cf. 1 -- 

( i ) The next morning we were not a little surprised to see the mountains 
about the town covered with green olive trees, or laid out in beautiful 
gardens, which gave us a great variety of pleasing 
P ros P ects > even in the de l )th of winter. (< Manaco, 
Genoa, etc.,' p. 1.) 
Here we see that he was ' surprised ' (but not horrified) 
at the sight of the artificial (" laid.. ..gardens ") as well as the 
natural aspect (" covered .... olive trees' J ) presented by the 

() The neighbouring mountains are covered with them (trees) and, 
by reason of their height, are more exposed to the dews and drizzling 
rains than any of the adjacent parts. The river runs extremely rapid 
before its fall, and rushes down a precipice of a hundred yards high. It 
throws itself into the hollow of a reck, which has probably been worn by 
such a constant fall of water ... I think there is something more astonifk- 

ing in this cascade than in all the water-works of Versailles 

(' Pesaro, Fano, etc., to Rome/ p. 74<.) 

(3) These mountains likewise very much increase their summer heats, 
and make up a horizon that has something in it very singular and agree- 
able. On one side you have the long tract of hills that goes under the 
name of Mount Jura, covered with vineyards and pasturage ; and on the 
other, huge precipices of naked rocks rising up in a thousand odd figures, 
and cleft in some places so as to discover high mountains of snow that lie 
several leagues behind them. Towards the south the hills rise more 
insensibly and leave the eye a vast uninterrupted prospect for many miles. 
(< Geneva and the Lake/ p. 209.) 

But these are not all ; there are other instances of a more 
positive character showing clearly his genuine appreciation of 
the beauty and grandeur of mountain scenery ; cf. 

(4) The fatigue of our crossing the Apennines, and of our whole 
journey from Loretto to Rome, was very agreeably relieved by the variety 

1 In judging the value of the passages quoted here, we have to bear in mind that 
they were written in an age when mountains are said to have been looked upon with 
horror or disgust, and mentioned by jtoets, if at all, only in terms of disapprobation. 

All the references given here are from ' The Miscellaneous Works of Joseph Addison, 
Vol. 4, Oxford, published by D. A. Talboys, 1830. The italics are mine. 

8 P. K, DAS 

of scenes we passed through. For not to mention the rude J prospect 
of rocks rising one above another, of the gutters deep worn in the sides of 
them by torrents of rain ... we saw, in six days' travelling, the seasons of the 
year in their beauty and perfection. 

(< Pesaro, Fano, etc., to Rome,' pp. 77-78.) 

Note that the view of the rocks is one of the several pros- 
pects which agreeably relieve the fatigue of his journey. 

(5) In sailing round Caprea we were entertained with many rude 
prospects of rocks and precipices that rise in several places half a mile high 
in perpendicular. At the bottom of them are caves and grottoes, formed 
by the continual breaking of the waves upon them. I entered one..., 

( f The Isle of Caprea/ p. 124.) 

(6) The state of Milan is like a vast garden, surrounded by a noble 
mound- work of rocks and mountains ; indeed if one considered the face of 
Italyin general ..(' Pavia, Milan/ etc., ' p. 21). 

One would not use the epithet c noble' while characterising 
a thing one dislikes or shrinks from ; this adjective is clearly 
expressive of Addison's admiration. 

(7) The bay of Naples is the most delightful one that I ever saw. 
Three parts of it are sheltered with a noble circuit of woods and mountains. 
(' Naples/ p. 94. ) 

(8) Mount Pasilypo makes a beautiful prospect to those who pass by 

it ; at a small distance from it lies the little island of Nisida (' From 

Naples to Rome/ p. 125). 

(9) Tue Sulfatara is very surprising to one who has not seen mount 
Vesuvio, But there is nothing about Naples, nor indeed in any 'part of 
Italy^ which deserves onr admiration so much a$ this mountain. I must 
confess the idea I had of it did not answer the real image of the place when 

I came to see it... 

(* Antiquities near Naples/ pp. 109-110.) 

Here is a clear example of his admiration of a mountain 
scenery which, according to him, surpasses every other spot in 

x The word 'rude' is not used in disapprobation of the sight presented by the rooks ; 
that the general feeling of the writer ia one of delight and admiration will be evident from 
the use of the same word in extracts (6) and (11) given below. 


Italy an instance of what may be called ecstatic admiration, 
striking a somewhat modern note. 

( 1 0) There is the noblest summer prospect in the world from this walk, for 
you have a full view of a huge range of mountains that lie in the country of 
the Orisons, and are buried in snow, (' Fribourg, Berne, etc.,' p. 221.) 
The last four or five instances are sufficient to prove Addi- 
son's appreciation of mountain scenery ; we shall however add 
one passage more which, read with those given above, will 
conclusively establish our point : 

(11) Such are the prospects of an open champain country, vast uncul- 
tivated desert, of huge heaps of mountains, high rocks and precipices, or a 
wide expanse of waters, where we are not struck with the novelty or 
beauty of the sight, but with that rude kind of magnificence which appears 
in many of those stupendous works of Nature. (Spectator, No. 412.) 

His delight in various other aspects of nature (mild or 
pleasant) is to be found in the following : 

From Verona to Padua we travelled through a very pleasant country, 
it is planted thick with rows of mulberry trees... The 

Addison s apprecia- * 

tion of the various trees themselves serve, at the same time, as so many 

aspects of nature. gtayg f Qr their ^^ wfaich faang all a]ong Hke 

lands from tree to tree. Between the several ranges lie fields of corn. 

(MemarJcs on Italy : ' Brescia, Verona, Padua',) 

Passages containing statements of a general nature show- 
ing his attitude towards different aspects of nature are to be 
found in his contributions to the Spectator ; of. 

A beautiful prospect delights the soul as much as a demonstration. 
A man of polite imagination often feels a greater satisfaction in the pros- 
pects of fields and meadows, than another does in the possession. 

(Spectator, No, 411.) 

In the Spectator, No. 412, he shows a keen sense of the 

pleasures arising from the sight of what is Great, Uncommon, 

or Beautiful ; and in course of his explanation of what he 

means by Great, he goes far In advance of his age by showing 


10 P. K. DAS 

his appreciation of the vast and grand in nature in the 
passage we have quoted above. (See No. 11.) 

Like a true lover of nature he can also enjoy the 

beauty arising from the very wildness and irregularity of 

His delight m the uncultivated nature and derives an additional 

^KwSL^K P leasure that Proceeds from a sense of 

landscape. vastness and immensity at the sight of 

unbounded fields and meadows : 

If we consider the works of Nature and Art, we shall find the last 
very defective in comparison of the former... There is something more bold 
a nd masterly in the rough careless strokes of nature, than in the nice 
touches and embellishments of art. The beauties of the most stately 
garden or palace lie in a narrow compass... but in the wide fields of Nature, 
the sight wauders up and down without confinement, and is fed with an 
infinite variety of images, without any certain stint or number. For this 
reason we always find the poet in love with a country life* 

(Spectator, No. 414, June 25, 1712.) 

The above statement being of a highly generalised nature 
does not however satisfy us ; hut compare the following record 
bf his first-hand observation : 

I must confess I was most pleased with a beautiful prospect that none 
of them have mentioned, which lies at about a mile's distance from the 
town. It opens on one side into the Roman Campania, where the eye loses 
'itself on a smooth spacious plain. On the other side is a more broken and 
interrupted scene, made up of an infinite variety of inequalities and shadow- 
ings, that naturally arise from an agreeable mixture of hills, groves, and 
valleys. But the most enlivening part of all is the river, Teverone, 
which you see at about a quarter of a mile's distance throwing itself down a 
precipice, and falling by several cascades from one rock to another, till 
it gains the bottom of the valley, where the sight of it would be quite lost, 
did it not sometimes discover itself through the breaks and openings of 
the woods that grow about it, (Remarks on Italy : ' Town near Rome.') 

It is interesting to note that Addison anticipates, to some 
extent, the * nature-religion ' of Thomson in looking ' through 
nature up to nature's God ' : 

The cheerfulness of heart which springs up in us from the survey of 
Nature's works, is an admirable preparation for gratitude. The mind has 


gone a great way towards praise and thanksgiving that is filled with such 
secret gladness. (Spectator, No, 898.) 

Steele also expresses the same kind of sentiments in the 
following lines : 

" Thunder and lightning, rain and hail, the painted bow, and the 

glaring comets, are decorations of this mighty theatre 
Similar sentiment , ,, x T1IT1 T ., ,,. . ... .. . , 

in Steele. (earth)... When I consider things m this light, 

metbinks it is a sort of impiety to have no attention 
to the course of nature, and the revolutions of the heavenly bodies. To be 
regardless of those phenomena that are placed within our view is an 
affront to Providence..." (Guardian, No. 169, Sept. 24, 1713.) 

Tickell, who also was one of the contributors to the 

Guardian, devoted the whole of the 

Tlckelli paper No. 125 to the subject of "The 

Pleasures of Spring Music of Birds," writing in the following 

way : 

" I make it a rule to lose as little as 1 can of that blessed season : and 
accordingly rise with the sun, and wander through the field, throw myself 
on the banks of little rivulets, or lose myself in the woods ; I spent a day 
or two this spring at a country genleman's seat, where 1 feasted my 
imagination every morning with the most luxurious prospect I ever saw. 
I usually took my stand by the wall of an old castle built upon an high 
hill. A noble river ran at the foot of it, which... wandering through two 
woods... shone here and there at a great distance through the trees... The 
music of the birds at this time of the year, hath something in it so wildly 
sweet as makes me less relish the most elaborate compositions of Italy." 

(August^, 1718.) 

If there had been among the people of the time a real and 
habitual dislike for the country or indifference towards nature, 
it is hardly probable that the well-known writers of these 
popular publications should have deliberately chosen to speak 
so highly of the charm of rtature in their contributions, in 
direct opposition to the taste of the reading public. i 

12 P. K. DAS 


Ambrose Philips, in the Preface to his Pastorals (1708), 
speaking highly of the dignity and antiquity of the pastoral 
which delights us ' after a peculiar manner, 5 giving as it does 
* a sweet and gentle composure to the mind/ goes on to say 

When I see a little country dwelling, advantageously situated amidst 
a beautiful variety of hills, meadows, fields, woods, and rivulets, I feel an 
unspeakable sort of satisfaction, and can not forbear wishing my kinder 
fortune would place me in such a sweet retirement. 

What is particularly noticeable in the above passage is 
the mention of c a beautiful variety of hills ' along with other 
pleasing objects of nature, showing the poet's appreciation 
of the scenery of hills. 

The pastorals of Ambrose Philips, though in many 
respects conventional in diction and imagery, 

B^SSX!^^ iu some P laces show si S ns of a first-hand 
observation of, and a genuine feeling for, 
nature : 

The ground with grass of cheerful green bespread, 
Through which the spring flower up- rears the head ; 
Lo, here the kingcup of a golden hue, 
Medley'd with daisies white and endive blue. 
And honey-suckles of a purple dye, 
Confusion gay ! bright waving to the eye. 

Fourth Pastoral. 

In addition to his expression of delight in hills, which has 
been noticed above, we find the evidence of 

He was the earliest . . 

of the century to write his appreciation of a gloomy aspect of nature 

a poem on Winter. i- u i. j i-iv , . , . , 

^ which had hitherto remained unnoticed by 

other poets of the time. He was the earliest of the poets 
of this century to write a complete poem on Winter. His 


poetical Epistle to the Earl of Dorset written from Copenhagen 
is purely a descriptive poem in which he has given evidence 
of his first-hand observation of the various aspects of nature 
in the ' hoary winter.' The following are some of the beauti- 
ful instances from the poem : 

(1 ) In pearls and rubies rich the hawthorns show, 
While through the ice the crimson berries glow. 

(2) The frighted birds the rattling branches shun, 
Which wave and glitter in the distant sun. 



John Gay is known to have been one of the notable poets 
of the School of Pope. " A distinct and interesting figure in 
the fascinating circle to which he belonged " he had, as says 
Prof. Saintsbury, " more special sympathy for the country, 
as opposed to the town, than Dear Mat.., He was born in the 
same year (1688) with Pope, at Barnstaple, in the country 
which contains the most exquisite mixtures of scenery in 
England." 1 

In his Rural Sports, which has been praised for ' contain- 
ing some description more vivid and direct 

pJ^TZ^bM than tbe a ? e generally showed/ 2 we find 
with mountain see- John Gay frequently describing phenomena or 
scenery associated with hills and mountains ; 
and in doing so he never uses words expressive of horror or 
disg , st, unlike other poets of his age who would look upon 
these stern aspects of nature with contempt or horror, if at 
all, or would take no notice of them altogether. Of. 

(1) In rising hills the fragrant harvest grows. Rural Sports^ Canto I. 
(8) And glancing Phoebus gilds the mountain's head. Ibid. 

1 A Short History of English literature, Bk. VIII, Oh. V, p. 559. 

14 P. K. DAS 

(3) The distant mountains echo from afar. Ibid, Canto II. 

(4) When the gay Sun first breaks the shades of night, 
And strikes the distant eastern hills with light. 

A Contemplation on Night (1714). 
(5J Let us seek out charge ; the flocks dispersing wide, 
Whiten with moving fleece the mountain's side, 

Dione : Act I, Sc, III (1720). 

His delight in hills is perhaps seen at its highest in 
following : 


Some delighted have been with a meadow or vale, 

His sense of ecstatic ,,,.,,,, , , ijj.ii 

delight in hills. But with these my taste never could tally j 

The meadow is pleasant : enchanting the dale, 
But a hill I prefer to a valley. 

For prospect extended, and landscape most rare, 

With health-breathing breezes inviting, 

No daisy-pied mead with a hill can compare, 

No garden yield sweets more delighting ; 

But the hill of all hills, the most pleasing to me, 

Is famed Cotton, the pride of North Devon ; 

When its summit I climb, I then seem to be 

Just as if I approached nearer heaven ! 

When with troubles depressed to this hill I repair, 

My spirits then instantly rally ; 

It was near this blessed spot I first drew vital air, 

So a hill I prefer to a valley. 1 

It is of great significance to note that the scene of his 
Acis and Galatea, A Serenata, is laid in " a rural prospect 
diversified with rocks, groves and a river... Mid Polyphemus 
discovered sitting upon a mountain/' while that of his Dione, 

1 A Devonshire Hill ; Poems from Gay's Chair, pubd. 1820. That this poem was the 
result of his personal observation and enjoyment of the beauty of a hill in Devonshire is 
known from the fact that he made a journey to Devonshire in the summer of the year 1715, 
of which * he has left a pleasant account in the shape of a rhymed epistle to Lord Bur- 
lington. He seems to have made another visit to Devonshire in the following year.'-* 
Gay'* Poems, 'Introductory Memoir/ by J. Underbill (The Muses' Library) , p. zxxvii. 


a pastoral tragedy, is in " a plain, at the foot of a steep 
craggy mountain." 

The following passage from his Rural Sports is perhaps 

one of the earliest instances of appreciation of the scenery of 

the ocean, which was another neglected object of nature in 

Appreciation of ^ e poetry of the Augustan school, in which 

ocean scenery. .,. wag eyen legg f re( j uent ly no ti ce d than 

mountains : 

Far in the deep the Sun his glory hides, 
A streak of gold the sea and sky divides ; 
The purple clouds their amber linings show, 
And edged with flame rolls every wave below: 
Here pensive 1 behold the fading light, 
And over the distant billow lose my sight. 

i/ t/ 

The above instance is remarkable for accuracy as well as deli- 
cacy of observation, especially of colour, and might, in all 
fairness, be attributed to any poet of the age of Wordsworth. 
The last two lines are expressive of a pensive melancholy, 
and, as such, strike a note that is essentially a modern one. 
In his Elegies there are frequent descriptions of scenes like 
the following : 

Oh ! lead me to some melancholy cave, 
To lull my sorrows in a living grave ; 
From the dark rock, where dashing waters fall 
And creeping ivy hangs the craggy wall ; 

For his observation of odour, cf. 

At the close of the day, 
When the bean-flower and hay 
Breathed odours in every wind : 

The Coptet Mother and her Daughter, 

16 P. K. DAS 

Night which is another neglected aspect of nature in the 
poetry of the time, is not left unnoticed by him, cf. 

Now Night in silent state begins to rise, 
And twinkling orbs bestrow th' uneloudy skies ; 
Her borrow'd lusture growing Cynthia lends, 
And on the main a glittering path extends. 

Rural Sports, Canto 1. 

Among the poems of his Miscellanies we find a complete 
poem entitled A Contemplation on Night (1714), which speaks 
in terms of appreciation of the sky at night. 

That Gay had a sufficient acquaintance with country life, 
its pleasures and its beauties, is amply testified to by his 
Rural Sports and The Shepherd's Week. The latter, of course, 
is not a " complete and entirely accurate picture of country 
life in the early eighteenth century, but it contains much 
curious and valuable information concerning rural customs, 
rural employments, rural songs, rural amusements, and rural 
superstitions." 1 

In his dedication of the Rural Sports to Pope, Gay points 
out that it was out of necessity owing to his poverty that lie 
was compelled to have recourse to the life of the noisy town, 
where he 

' Respired its smoke, and all its cares endured ; ' 

but his mind seems to have been after the repose and the 
refreshing influence of the country. While engaged in writing 
his second opera, he says in a letter to Dr. Swift, dated March 
18, 1728-29, " I am impatient to finish my work, for I want 
the country air ; not that I am ill but to recover my 
strength." Henceforward he spent much of his time at 
Amesbury, so that Pope, writing to him on October 23, 1730, 
says, " I also wish you were not so totally immersed in the 
country ; I hope your return to town will be a prevalent 

1 " Introductory Memoir, "p. xxx, Poems of John Gay, edited by J. Underbill. 


remedy against "...Only a month before his death he came to 
town in November, 1732, soon after his return from a visit to 
Orchard- Wyndham, the seat of Sir William Wyndham in 
Somersetshire, of which he gives the following picturesque 
account : 

I think the country abounds with beautiful prospects.... We are often 
entertained with sea-views, and sea-fish, and were at some plaees in the 
neighbourhood, among which I was mightily pleased with Dunster Castle, 
near Minehead. It stands upon a great eminence, and hath a prospect of 
that town, with an extensive view of the Bristol Channel, and on the other 
side we could plainly distinguish the divisions of fields in the Welsh 
Coast." * To Mr. Pope ; Oct. 7, 1732. 


George Berkeley, the celebrated philosopher, was a notable 

figure among the English writers of his time. He contributed 

several essays to the Guardian, and was * intimate with 

Addison, Arbuthnot, Swift, Pope, and the rest of the gifted 

circle.' In 1713, he travelled to Sicily as chaplain to the 

Earl of Peterborough. " They crossed Mont 

His travels. Oenis on New Tear's Day in 1714 one of 

the most difficult and formidable parts of the Alps which 

is passed over by mortal man/ as he tells Prior in a letter 

from Turin. At the end of other six weeks we find him at 

1 Roaooe's Pope, Vol. X ; the italics are mine. G-ay shows a love for the vast and 
extended landscape in the lines quoted above, as also in the following : 

Next morn, twelve miles led o'er th' unbounded plain, 
Where the cloak 'd shepherd guides his fleecy train. 
No leafy bowers a noon-d&y shelter lend, 
Nor from the chilly dews at night defend. 

Epistle to' the Sari of Burlington. 

18 P. K. DAS 

Leghorn ; " 1 and from this place he wrote a letter to Pope on 
May 1, 1714, in which we find the following : 

"...I know not whether it might not be worth a poet's while to travel, 
in order to store his mind with strong images of nature. Green fields and 
groves, flowery meadows and purling streams, are nowhere in such perfection 
as in England; but if you would know lightsome days, warm suns, and blue 
skies, you must come to Italy ; and to enable a man to describe rocks and 
precipices, it is absolutely necessary that he pass the Alps." 2 

The above remark, though of a general nature, is ob- 
viously based on his personal observation and enjoyment of 
the beautiful Italian scenery ; and shows, in particular, his 
attitude towards mountains, which is by no means one of 
horror or disgust. 

In 1717, Berkeley had been engaged travelling tutor to 
the son of Bishop Ashe, with whom he " crossed Mont Cenis 
a second time. They reached Rome at the beginning of 1717. 
His Journal in Italy in that year, 35 says Professor Campbell 
Fraser, " and occasional letters to Percival, Pope, and 
His ardent interest Arbuthnot, shew ardent interest in nature 
in nature, and art He travelled through a great part of 

Sicily on foot ; clambered over the mountains and crept into 
the caverns to investigate its natural history and discover 
the causes of its volcanoes." 8 On October 22, 1717, 
he wrote the following in another letter to Pope from 
Naples: " The island Inarime is an epitome 
of the whole earth, containing within the 
compass of 18 miles a wonderful variety of 
hills, vales, ragged rocks, fruitful plains, and 
barren mountains, all thrown together in a most romantic con- 
fusion. Several fountains and rivulets add to the beauty of 
this landscape, which is likewise set off by the variety of some 

1 Works of Berkeley, Edition of A. 0. Fraser, Vol. I (1901) ; 'Life of Berkeley' 

Ibid, Vol. IV (Bdn. 1871). 

Ibid, Vol. I (Bdn. 1901). 


barren spots and naked rocks. But that which crowns the 
scene is a large mountain rising out of the middle of the 
island. Its lower parts are adorned with vines and other 
fruits ; the middle affords pasture to flocks of goats and sheep : 
and the top is a sandy pointed rock, from which you have the 
finest prospect in the world." 1 

In the above passage, evidently the attitude of Berkeley 
towards mountains among other things is not only not one of 
horror or disgust, but one of positive appreciation. There may 
not be, in the language he has used, anything like 'a spirit of 
devout ecstasy' similar to Shaf tesbury's a but undoubtedly we 
notice in the above extract a genuine admiration of, and an 
interest in, the mountain scenery as well as the wild and 
romantic scenes visited by him. Nowhere in his famous Jour- 
nal of Italy (1717-18), which gives an account of his minute 
and careful observation of all kinds of natural objects, do we 
find any evidence of the feeling of dislike for mountains ; 
rather, he shows therein a great interest in volcanic pheno- 
mena, one of which he has described in a letter to Arbuthnot 
(dated April 17, 1717). This letter, from the very beginning 
to the end, is nothing but a detailed account of an eruption of 
Vesuvius which he seems to have minutely observed. 8 

Another point of great interest and significance which 

may be noted here is his use of the word 

rnSoTL"' " ' romantic' in the above extract from the 

letter to Pope (dated October 22, 1717) as 

also in the following passage : 

" There is a strange confusion of rocks, hills, vales, clefts, plains, and 
vineyards one above another, jumbled together in a very singular and 
romantic manner." 4 

1 Ibid., Vol. IV, Journalin Italy (edn. 1901), p. 296. The italics are mine. 

* 0. A. More : " Among the stock examples usually quoted we do not come across a 
spirit of 'devout ecstasy 1 similar to Shaftesbury's until we reach Gray's no tea on the Alps." 
~-8tudiet in Philology, Vol. XIV, pp. 204-66. 

< Works of Berkeley/ edn. of A. 0. Fraser, Vol. IV, p. 286 (1901) 

* Ibid, 'Journal in Italy/ p. 299. 

20 . K. DAS 

The sense in which he uses the word in both the passages 
is not the usual Augustan sense of 'wild/ 'fantastic* or 'gro- 
tesque,' expressing disapprobation or condemnation, but one 
almost similar to the modern sense expressive of the quality of 
'strangeness added to beauty/ as Walter Pater puts it ; and 
this will be clear from the expression 'strange confusion 1 in 
the above passage. 

Prom all the evidences given above it is now clear that 
Dean Berkeley, a celebrated prose-writer of the age of Queen 
Anne, notable for the excellence of his style and one of the 
'men of merit ' 1 forming that brilliant society, 2 was a genuine 
lover of nature for her own sake and in all her aspects, stern 
as well as mild. It is also evident from the descriptions 
themselves that Berkeley, as says Wart on, the celebrated 
critic of the eighteenth century, "joined with an imagination 
the most splendid and magnificent, the uncommon talent of 
describing places in the most lively and graphical manner." i! 
Professor Campbell Fraser tells us that immediately after he 
had reached London in January, 1713, " he writes to Percival 
that... and enlarges on the beauty of rural England, which he 
liked more than anything he had seen in London". 4 

Further, it should also be noted that the letters contain- 
ing such graphic descriptions as are given above were written 
to men like Percival, Pope and Arbuthnot, and, as such, these 
were most probably not unnoticed by the rest of the gifted 
circle ; but none of his friends is known to have expressed his 
disapprobation of Berkeley's nature descriptions an evidQijce 
of their capacity to appreciate the beauties of nature, as also 

1 At the end of 1712, Berkeley resolved to visit "London, as he told Percival, * in 
order to print... and to make acquaintance with men of merit.' Dr. Fraser, ibid, 'Early 

* "Berkeley now became intimate with Addison, Arbuthnot, Swift, Pope, Steele, 
and the rest of the gifted circle, by whom he seems -to have been sincerely loved." Cham- 
bers, Cyclopaedia of English Literature, Vol. II. 

8 Warton, quoted by W. Boscoe, edn. of the Works of Pope, Vol. X, p. 67. 

* Berkeley'? Complete Works, Vol. I, p. xxxvii (1901). 


of the fact that they were not opposed to the delineation of 
the beauties of nature in their private correspondence. 1 


Wordsworth's commendation of Pope's Windsor Forest 

for * a passage or two ' contained in it describing * new images 

of external nature ' is well-known. In fact, 

instances of faith- there are to be found in this poem some 

plpe ? 8 8ervat ^!> n r instances of faithful observation of animal 

Forest (1713), jj fe an( j rura j scenery m i x ed up with des- 

criptions of a conventional or generalised 
sort : 

(1) There, interspersed in lawns and opening glades, 
Thin trees arise th t shun each other's shades. 

(2) There wrapt in clouds the blueish hills ascend. 

(3) And in the new shorn field the Partridge feeds 

(4) See ! from the brake the whirring Pheasant springs, 
Ah ! what avail his glossy, varying dyes, 

His purple crest, and scarlet-circled eyes, 

The vivid green his shining plumes unfold, 

His painted wings, and breast that flames with gold ? 

(5) Oft in her glass the musing shepherd spies 

The headlong mountains and the downward skies, 
The watery landscape of the pendant woods, 
And absent trees that tremble in the floods. 

Quoting the last two of the passages given above, by way 
of illustrating his remark, M. Taine observes, " There is in 

1 Also see Appendix B. 

32 P. E. DAS 

Pope a minute description, adorned with high coloured words, 
local details... Every aspect of nature was described ; a sun- 
rise, a landscape reflected in water, a breeze and the foliage, 
and so forth." 1 The above statement of M. Taine is perhaps 
better borne out by some passages from Pope's letters than 
by his poetical descriptions. His letter to 
His letters showing Mrs. Martha Blount, dated June 22, 1715, 
naturafBcen^rj? 11 f contains a beautiful and most graphic des- 
cription of Sherborne and the country 
ground, which would do credit to any writer or poet of the 
Romantic School. What is particularly notable in this letter 
is that he has shown in it a keen power of 
His sense of the appreciating the romantic in nature and has 

romantic in nature. rr 

used the word 'romantic 9 quite in the modern 
sense in connection with nature, earlier than Berkeley or 
any other writer of this age ; of. 

To enjoy those views, which are more romantic than imagination 
can form them. 

Other passages quoted from the same letter would further 
explain his sense of the romantic in nature: 

The gardens are so irregular that it is very hard to give an exact 
idea of them, but by a plan. Their beauty arises from this irregularity... 
...Another walk under this hill winds by the river side, quite covered 
with high trees on both banks, overhung with ivy ; where falls a natural 
cascade, with never ceasing murmurs. On the opposite hanging of the 
bank (which is a steep of fifty feet) is placed, with a very fine fancy, 
a rustic seat of stone, flagged and rough, from whence you lose your eyes 
upon the glimmering of the waters under the wood, and your ears in 
the constant dashing of the waves. 

The attention of the readers is drawn particularly to the 
expression, "whence you lose your eyes..." etc., which is 
remarkable for its suggestiveness a quality that is distinctly 

1 tiistory of Eng. Lit., Bk. Ill, Ch. VII. 


It may be pointed out for our present purpose that Pope 

and Addison 1 were the two most conspicuous figures among 

those who helped to give an impetus to a growing taste for 

gardening after a new style based upon the 

His taste for gar- . , - . . . 

principle of giving preference to the " ami- 

able simplicity of unadorned nature " " over 
the nicer scenes of art ; " and Pope observed that it is the 
men of genius who " are chiefly sensible that all art consists 
in the imitation and study of nature." (The Guardian, 
No. 173, Sept. 29, 1713.) 

Writing from ' Oakley Bower '(Oct. 8, 1716), Pope 

It is the place that of all others I fancy ...... It does not cease to be 

agreeable to me so late in the season ; the very dying of the leaves adds a 
variety of colours that is not unpleasant. I look upon it, as upon a 
beauty I once loved, whom I should preserve a respect for in her decay. 

More than twenty-five years after the above letter was 

written, Pope addressed two letters to Mrs. Blount in the 

year 1742, both of which contain passages which are beauti- 

fully descriptive of natural scenery like the two quoted 

above. The first of these, written from 

The evidence of two Bristol (dated Monday, 1742), gives, at 

letters written short- \ ; ' , , 

ly before his death. great length, an account of Bath; " nothing 
can do it," says he, " but a picture, it is so 
unlike any scene you ever saw. " C/. 

From Bath you go along the river, or its side, the road lying generally 
in sight of it : on each bank are steep rising hills clothed with wood 
at top, and sloping toward the stream in green meadows, intermixed 
with white houses, mills and bridges, this for seven or eight miles ..... 
Passing still along by the river, you come to a rocky way on one side, 

1 For the remarks of Addison who had the credit of giving expression to similar 
views, much earlier than Pope, in "a holder and clearer strain, of. The Spectator 
Nos, 404 and 477. For an abler and fuller treatment of this subject, see Hits Myra 
Reynolds, Nature in English Poetry : Chap. V, "Gardening; 11 also cf. Leslie Stephen's 
English Literature and Society in the Eighteenth Century, pp. 123-26-. 

24 P. K. DAS 

overlooking green hills on the other and as you go further, more rocks 

above rocks, mixed with green bushes and turning on the left, there 

opens the river at a vast depth below, accompanied on both sides with a 
continued range of rocks up to the clouds , of an hundred colours, and so 
to the end of the prospect, quite to the sea. But the sea nor the Severn 
you do not see : the rocks and the river fill the eye. 1 

The second letter, dated Saturday the 24th, 1742, continues 
the description given in the first. For want of space we 
quote only a few lines from it below : 

There is first near Bristol a little village upon this down, called 
Clifton, where are very pretty lodging houses, overlooking all the woody 
hills ', and steep cliffs and very green valleys within half a mile of the 
Wells; where in the summer it must be delicious walking and riding, 
for the plain extends one way many miles. 

The fact that these two letters were written at a much later 

stage of his life only two years before his death goes to 

prove that his liking for nature was not the result of a fit 

of inspiration, but proceeded from an abiding 

His liking for nature r . . .. ' . * , , ^ .f 

was not the result of sense of delight in the charm and tranquil- 

a momentary inapira- . . 

tion. lity of peaceful country scenes. The 

following extracts from the correspondence 
of his earlier years will further illustrate his attitude towards 
the country : 

(1) 1 have been so well satisfied with the country ever since I saw 
you, that I have not once thought of the town, or enquired of any one 

in it besides Mr. Wycherley and yourself So much fine weather, 

I doubt not, has given you all the pleasure you could desire from the 

country, But nothing could allure Mr. Wycherley to our forest; 

he continued (as you told me long since he would) an obstinate lover 
of the town, in spite of friendship and fair weather. (To Mr. Cromwell, 
November 1, 1708.) 

1 Mark that the high priest of ."the classical school does not fail to appreciate the 
beauty of hill scenery ; also compare : 

There wrapt in clouds the blueish hills ascend ; 

Windsor Forest. 

The italics in all the extracts quoted above as well as in the following pages from 
tfce letters of P<ope are mine. 


(2) I expect much towards the civilising of you in your critical 
capacity, from the innocent air and tranquillity of our forest. (To the 
same, May 10, 1710.) 

Of his love of solitude or tranquillity in rural life, he 

writes, while introducing his famous Ode on 

His love of solitude Solitude, the earliest of his productions, to his 

was of early origin. ' I ' 

friend Mr. Cromwell (July 17, 1709) : 

Having a vacant space here I will fill it with a short 'Ode on 
Solitude '...which I find by the date was written when I was not twelve 
years old ; that you may perceive how long I have continued in my 
passion for a rural life, and in the same employment of it. 

Erom these words of Pope, uttered by him when he was 
only twenty-one, it may reasonably be concluded that his 
love for rural life was genuine and of early and spontaneous 
origin ; it was not certainly the effect of a temporary revul- 
sion of feeling caused by the distractions of his public life in 
London to which he was as yet quite new. 

Pope also, like Addison and Thomson, looks upon the 
contemplation of the works of nature as the basis of 
heavenly enjoyment : 

The weather is too fine for any one that loves the country to leave 

it afc this season I am growing fit, I hope for a better world, of which 

the light of the sun is but a shadow ; for I doubfc not but God's works 
are here what come nearest to his works there ; and that a true relish of 
the beauties of nature is the most easy preparation and gentlest .transi- 
tion to an enjoyment of those of heaven as, on the contrary, a true town- 
life of hurry, confusion, noise, slander, and dis8enaion 9 is a sort of 
apprenticeship to hell and its furies. (To Mrs. Blount, 17&7.) 

It has, however, been pointed out that Pope " often 

rebelled at his banishment from town 

The question of delights, as did his ' fond virgin ' when 

insincerity in the . ., t 

utteranees of Pope. compelled to seek wholesome country air. 1 
That his heart was after the town delights 

i See Myra Keynolds, Nature in English Poetry, Chap. I, p. 3. 

26 P. K. DAS 

and its intellectual atmosphere is undeniable ; yet, we can 
hardly agree with Miss Reynolds when she says that in 
reading Pope's letters every statement is instinctively taken 
cum grano sails, because of his known insincerity and striving 
after effect. 1 The passages that have been quoted above to 
show his feeling for nature are, as we have pointed out, 
taken from his letters written at different periods of his life ; 
and we have no ground for thinking? that he was insincere in 
his utterances on nature in every one of them, unless we are 
inclined to question the sincerity of everything that he said. 2 
The very fact that he had written the Ode on Solitude when 
he was only twelve years old speaks of the genuineness of his 
love for rural life which he had early imbibed in the midst 
of the surrounding scenery of Windsor Forest. Besides, we 
can hardly ignore the fact that if there is any artificiality or 
insincerity in the words expressive of his liking for country- 
life, it is equally noteworthy that there is a tone of artificiality 
or exaggeration ia his preference for the fashionable people of 
the town, as is evident from the following letter : 

From Mr. Wycherley to Mr. Pope (April 1, 1710) "I have had 
yours of the 30th of the last month, which is kinder than I desire it should 
be, since it tells me you could be better pleased to be sick again in town in my 
company > than to be well in the country without it. Tour love to the country 
I do not doubt... do with my papers, as you country gentlemen do with 
your trees, slash, cut, " etc. 

Now, the best explanation that can be offered for these 

conflicting utterances of Pope is that in his, 

An explanation for as j n the poetry of the reaction, we notice a 

the conflicting state- . 

ments of Pope. conflict of two tendencies one of which was 

slowly gaining power and the other falling 

into natural decay, probably not being quite suitable to the 

1 Ibid, Chap. II, p. 81. 

8 "There are, no doubt, occasional passages, and even whole letters, which ought 
to be excepted from any summary condemnation. Pope's reply to Atterbury, of date 
Nov. 20, 1717, is manly, sincere, and not ungraceful. 1 ' Pattison: Essays XX. 


English mind. Moreover, in those days of great political 
activity characterised by a " fraternisation of the politicians 
and the authors/ 5 it is quite possible that he should sometimes 
consider himself as proving useless by too much rest in the 
country ; and that at other times, after a 

London 1 hlTotasion long residence in the midst of the noise and 
fche smoke of London > harassed by all its 

PO e in the mind f cares an( * C l a8 h* n g interests, he should feel 
a craving for the sweet repose and tranquil- 
lity in country retreats the blessings of which he had known 
from his boyhood. Thus he also came to entertain a perfectly 
balanced view regarding both the kinds of life, as will be 
clear from the following lines of a letter of his to Mr. Steele 
(dated June 18, 1712): 

I find you shift the scene of your life from the town to the country, 
and enjoy that mixed state which wise men both delight iu, and are 
qualified for. Methinks the moralists and philosophers have generally run 
too much into extremes in commending entirely either solitude or public life. 
In the former men for the most part grow useless by too much rest, and 
in the latter are destroyed by too much precipitation j 1 as waters lying 
still, putrify, and are good for nothing, and running violently on, do but 
the more mischief in their passage to others, and are swallowed up and 
lost the sooner themselves, 

The question of insincerity can hardly be raised on the 

view expressed by Pope in the passage 

The sanity of his quoted above; it is characterised by a sanity 

ofTi S e ie P tter8? d m one and moderation that may be regarded as 

sufficient evidence of the sincerity of his 

attitude. Besides, the fact remains that the lines are taken 

from his private correspondence with one who was a parti- 

cular friend of his, and with whom, therefore, he had no 

reason to play the hypocrite. And this letter, as we have 

1 Lord Bolingbroke in one of hier letters to Dr. Swift says, " As to retirement, and 
exercise, your notions are true: the first should not be indulged so much as to render us 
savage, nor the last neglected so as to impair health." Roscoe's Pope, Letter OVII. 

28 P. K. DAS 

seen already, is not the only evidence of its kind that 

may be produced to prove our point. There are some letters 

written by Bishop Berkeley to Pope which may be looked 

upon as a clear, though indirect evidence of 

the he ietter8 m of 7 hu the fact that Po P e was known to Berkeley 
friends to his interest as one ^fo i appreciate the beauties of 

in nature, rr 

nature that the latter intended to describe 
in his letters to the former. While introducing the subject 
of his letter written from Naples (October 22, 1717), Berkeley 

says : l 

" Italy is such an exhausted subject that, I dare say, you'd easily 
forgive my saying nothing about it -, and the imagination of a poet is a 
thing so nice and delicate that it is no easy matter to find out images 
capable of giving pleasure to one of the few, who (in any age) have come up 
to that character. I am neverthless lately returned from an island where 
I passed three or four months which, were it set out in its true colours, 
mighty methinks, ammeyou agreeably enough for a minute or two" 
And a little further on he adds, 

The islands Caprea,... the bay of Naples, the promontory of Minerva, 
and the whole Campagna Felice, make but a part of this noble landscape ; 
which would demand an imagination as warm and numbers as flowing as 
your own, to describe it. 2 

From all the above utterances of Pope as well as those 
of his friends evidences internal as well as external it is 
now clear that Pope was by no means lacking in imagination 
or feeling for nature, and that his dislike for the country was 
neither deep-rooted nor of a permanent character. It is, of 
course, to be admitted that we cannot characterise him as a 
lover of nature from a careful study of all his poetical works. 
But merely the want of a large number of 
^appreciating poetical descriptions of the beauties of nature 
$P should not, on the other hand, lead us to 
conclude that he was generally devoid of 

" Works of Berkeley," edition of A. 0. Fraser, Vol. IV (1901), p. 296. 


the power of appreciating them. Eor, as it has heen rightly 
said by Prof. W. P. Ker, " Nothing of Pope's poetry and not 
the whole of it all together represents fully what he thought 
or admired... Pope's poetical work is not the whole of his 
life." 1 The evidences given above furnish a clear and suffi- 
cient testimony to his capacity for observing and portraying 
(chiefly in prose) the various objects of nature and deriving 
pleasure therefrom. Nor does he even altogether fail to 
represent poetically the objects of nature ; the passages 
quoted above from his Windsor Forest 9 which show his first- 
hand and delicate observation of rural scenery, are instances 
in point. In fact, the truth about Pope regarding the sub- 
ject before us has been recently well expressed by Mr. Lytton 
Strachey in the following words, which lend great support to 
the view that the present writer has sought to establish in 
these pages : 

And, if one looks more closely, one perceives that there were a good 
many things that Pope could do very well when he wanted to... It is true 
that he did not often expatiate upon the scenery ; but, when he chose, he 
could call up a vision of nature which is unforgettable 

Lo ! where Moeotis sleeps, and hardly flows 
The freezing Tanais thro* a waste of snows, 

We see, and we shiver. 2 

The opinions that are entertained of him even to the 

present day are still the old ones that were formed by the 

critics of the Romantic School. But, as the same scholar 

observes, IC The romantics were men who had lost their 

faith; and they rose against the old dispensation with all the 

zeal of rebels and heretics. Inevitably their fury fell with 

peculiar vehemence upon Pope. The great 

Lytton strachey on idol was overturned amid shouts of execra- 

the prejudice against nit M > A j i 

Pope. tion and scornful laughter." And it is no 

wonder that in their zeal for the denounce- 

1 The Art o/ Poetry Lecture on Pope (1923), pp. 113-14. 
4 Pope, The Leslie Stephen Lecture for 1926. 

30 P. K. DAS 

ment of their enemy the critics should have failed to form 
a correct estimate of his powers and abilities as a poet and as 
a man. " Now that we have perhaps emerged from romanti- 
cism, it is time to consider the master of the eighteenth 
century with a more impartial eye." l 



And we need not feel surprised at the above conclusion 

arrived at by us about Pope's power of appreciating the 

beauties of nature. Incredible as it may 

Pope shared in the 

attitude of ail the lit* appear, Popes attitude of appreciation to- 

erary men of his age. JJ.T_I j * j. * t 

wards the beauties of nature is not to be 
looked upon as an exceptional one for a writer of the Classical 
School. It was the attitude not of Pope alone but probably of 
the whole nation and especially of almost all the well known 
persons of literary talents of the time. And the reason is not 
far to seek. For when we come to think of the extremely 

disturbed state of society in London conse- 

They had reasons to . ,. . 1 . 

hanker after peace in quent on the political struggles through 
the country. which England had been passing for over 

half a century, or of the factious conflicts which are always 
going on at the court, and consider how these circumstances 
must have distracted the mind of the whole nation, it appears 
but natural that all the writers of the age, who by the exigen- 
cies of the time were involved in the affairs of the state, should 
at times sincerely look forward to the prospect of peace and 
retirement in country-retreats, 

* Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife.' 

They were, as a rule, compelled to have recourse to town 
life for the sake of worldly interests and ambitions, and not for 

1 Ibid, 


the sake of a genuine love for its artificial society to which, 
however, they came to be reconciled in time, still conscious of 
its worries and distractions. The following lines from the 
Guardian (No. 22, Monday, April 6, 1713) written by Steele 
will bear us out: 

Though ambition and avarice employ most men's thoughts, they are 
such uneasy habits, that we do not indulge them out 
ntbi / choioe ' bui f rom 80me "0. real or imaginary. 

writings of Steele and We seek happiness in which ease is the principal ingre- 
others. lib 

dient, and the end proposed in our most restless pur- 

suits is tranquillity. We are therefore soothed and delighed with the repre- 
sentation of it. Health, tranquillity , and pleasing objects are the growth 
of the country , and though men, for Ihc general good of the world are 
made to love populous cities, ihe country hath the greatest share in an 
uncorrupted heart. 

Gay expressed almost the same sentiment when he wrote the 
following : 

To Mr. Pope. 

You who the sweets of rural life have known, 
Despise the ungrateful hurry of the town ; 
In Windsor groves your easy houis employ 
And, undisturbed, yourself and muse enjoy ......... 

But I, who ne'er was blessed by fortune's hand, 

Nor brightened plough-shares in paternal land, 

Long in, the noisy town have been immured t 

Respired its smoke, and all its cares endured t 

Where news and politics divide mankind, 

And schemes of state involve the uneasy mind. 

Friendship for sylvan shades, the palace flies, 

Where all must yield to interest's dearer ties, 

Fatigued at hist a calm retreat 1 chose, 

And soothed my harassed mind with sweet repose , 

Where fields, and shades, and the refreshing clime, 

Inspire my sylvan song and prompt my rhyme Rural Sports. 

What wonder, then, that Pope who is rightly regarded as the 
representative of his age, should, in so beautifully portraying 

32 P. K. DAS 

the various scenes of nature, as he has done in his letters, 
express hut the common attitude of his literary compeers 
towards the country and the enjoyments afforded by its peace- 
ful scenery ? It would not, after all, be unreasonable to judge 
that the intellectual part of his nature was 

The just estimate of . L 

Pope's attitude to- given to the taste as well as glamour of the 

wards the country. .. , . T -, 1^1 , . 

society of wits in London, which no literary 
man of the age could afford to ignore for various reasons, some 
of which are clearly indicated in the two extracts just quoted, 
while the emotional side of his nature did really feel for the 
beauty and tranquillity of nature in the country like that of 
any cultured, sensible and normally-disposed man of the town 
even of our present age. 

And what is true of Pope, it may not be unreasonable 
to conclude, is also true of all his contempDrary writers in prose 
as well as verse. It is true that the number of descriptions 
showing their love of nature and these are not merely conven- 
tional ones is very limited ; but it is natural that it should be 
so in an age when " people seek for what they call wit, on all 
subjects and in all places." 1 Moreover, the dearth of descrip- 
tions does not prove the want of their power to feel the charm 
of nature on other grounds as well. Eor, in the first place, 

they have given us some instances, at least, 
preyed Ihat^of hfs f genuine nature description. This shows 
vertTweii Uprose 11 that the 7 did feel for or appreciate the beauty 

of external nature, however rarely it might be. 
Then we know that they were not, either personally or as 
members of a group or school of writers opposed to the repre- 
sentation of Nature in their works. 2 And this fact together 

1 A clear evidence of the fact that Pope tried to satisfy the literary taste of his age is 
to be found in the following passage of his letter to Walsh (1706) : " I have not attempt- 
ed any thing of a pastoral comedy, because I think the taste of our age will not relish a 
poem of that sort. People seek for what they call wit, on all subjects and in all places, 
not considering that nature loves truth so well, that it hardly ever admits of flourishing." 
Pope's Works, W. Boscoe's edition, Vol. I, p. 40, 

Bee Appendix B, 


with the one stated above, leads us to conclude that as there 
was nothing standing in the way of their appreciating the 
beauties of nature, they were free to indulge in this kind of 
feeling, and that they did in all probability appreciate 
because it is so natural on the part of every one to do so the 
charm of the outdoor world of nature when- 
ever they had an opportunity to do so, though 
they did not always care to express their 
feelings in their writings, especially in 
poetry; 1 for, as pointed out above, this kind of work was not 
wanted of them in those days, 2 and not because it would be 
positively against the taste of their friends and readers. 3 
Thus it came about that their poetry did not fully represent 
their life what they felt, thought and enjoyed. 4 And this is 
a fact too well kaown to require a fresh discussion by us here ; 
but at the same time it is a string point in support of our 
view, warning us, as ifc does, against drawing conclusions about 
the facts of their life, especially their feelings and sentiments, 
from their poetical productions. 

Thus we see that the remark of Prof. Saintsbury that 
Lady Winchelsea "is a most remarkable 
The conclusion. phenomenon, too isolated to point much of a 

moral " 5 does not appear to be wholly correct ; for among the 
contemporaries of Pope in the field of prose, we have had 
sufficient evidence of love of nature in Berkeley, Addison, 
Steele 6 and Shaf tesbury ; 7 and among the poets of the same 

1 Mr. Oswald Doughty very aptly says : " They could not help feeling emotion as men 
in all ages have felt it. But they could and did refuse to express it in passionate verse." 
English Lyric in the Age o/ Reason, ' Foreword.' 

See footnote 1, p. 32. 

3 The letters of Berkeley, Pope and others, as well as the contributions of Addison, 
Steele and Tickell to the periodicals of the day, containing nature paintings or observations 
in praise of nature, are evidences in point. 

* See the remarks of W. P. Ker on Pope given above, p. 29. 

6 A Short History of English Literature, Book VIH, Ch, V, p. 563. 
Bee above. 

7 See The Return to Nature in English Poetry of the Eighteenth Century by 
0. A. More ; Studies in Philology, Vol. XIV, 1917 ; University of North Caroling. 

34 P. K. DAS 

era, notice has been taken by various critics of the nature- 
painting of Ambrose Philips, Gay, Lady Winchelsea, Parnell, 
Allan Ramsay, Thomson and Dyer, the list including, as we 
see, almost all the well-known writers of the time except 
Swift. 1 From the materials of the study before us, it there- 
fore appears to be reasonably certain that a fresh judgment 
will have to be formed by the twentieth century about the 
much-maligned eighteenth-century writers regarding their 
insensibility to the beauties of nature ; and that the hitherto 
accepted conventional distinction between the terms 
' classical * and * romantic/ as applied to the literature of 
the Age of Pope and that of the Age of Wordsworth respec- 
tively, will stand in need of revision ; says David Nichol 
Smith, * Sooner or later we have to enlarge or qualify the 
meaning which we attach to them (the terms c classical ' and 
6 romantic ') if they are to fit all facts ; they tempt us to 
manipulate the facts to fit our definitions." 2 

1 A connected account of the treatment of nature of all the writers named above may 
be found in the present writer's essay, "Evidences of a Growing Taste for Nature in the 
Age of Pope," published in the Journal off the Department of Letters of the University of 
Calcutta, Vol. XVII (1928) ; of many of them in Miss Reynold's The Treatment of Nature 
in English Poetry ; also in Geese's Eighteenth Century Literature, Ch. VII, etc. 

8 The Oae/ord Book of Eighteenth Century Verse, Preface, p. ix. 



The epithets used in this verse smack of artificiality, no 
doubt ; but our endeavour is to show that Addison's descrip- 
tions are expressive of his appreciation of the beauties of 
natural scenery, inspite of their artificial mode of expression 
a defect from which no writer of the age was free. Besides, it 
should be noted that the epithets used here, in particular, 
appear to have an air of artificiality chiefly because of our 
consciousness of the fact that they come from a writer of the 
age of Pope. For, even in Wordsworth we find similar use of 
these words in descriptions of the same kind ; cf. 

(i) The firth that glittered like a warrior's shield, 

The sky, the gay green field. Artegal and Elidure, 1. 192. 
(ii) Theguilded turf arrays in richer green Evening Walk, 1. 161. 
(in) And glistening antlers are descried ; 

And gilded flocks appear. Evening Voluntaries, II, 1. 32, 

( 35 



In literature, Dryden, who was justly regarded as the 
leading critic of his time, inspite of all that he did " to pro- 
mote the new correctness that was coming in from France/' 
could never feel happy in the triumph of the French genius. 
He and his followers defined their literary principles and 
established their own school of criticism 1 in conformity with 
the taste and requirements of their countrymen who came to 
dislike the yoke of the French principles in art and criticism. 2 
Steele expressed the general temper of the time when he 

Let those derision meet, who would advance 
Manners of speech, from Italy or France. 

Epilogue to Lying Lover. 

Now, the new Augustan school in English literature, as 
we see, was not on principle opposed to the treatment of 
nature as a proper subject for poetry. 8 Dryden himself says, 

1 C/. " The numerous Essay sand Prefaces scattered throughout Dryden's works, formed 
the real starting point of English Criticism." Courthope, History of English Poetry, Vol. 
V, Oh. IV. 

* C/. L. Stephen : ' His (the wit's) patriotic prejudices pluck at him at intervals, and 
suggest that Maryborough's countrymen ought not quite to accept the yoke of the French 
Academy.' English Literature and Society in the Eighteenth Century. 

Also Courthope " The Rules had never harmonised with the popular genius, and even 
when French models were encouraged by the taste of Charles II, they had failed to estab- 
lish a paramount authority at the English Court." History of English Poetry, Vol. V. 

8 C/, G. C. Macaulay ; James Thomson (E. M. L.), Ch. Ill, p. 92. 

( 86 ) 


For'gaides take Virgil and read Theocrite : 
to of t^ae *o? B ? them alone y ou>11 easil y comprehend 

erito o 

Drvden towards exter- How poets. without shame, may condescend 

nal nature. 

To sing of gardens, fields, of flowers, and fruit, 

To stir up shepherds, and to tune the flute. 

The Art of Poetry, Canto IIj Pastoral. 

From this advice of Dryden we can justly infer that a conven- 
tional treatment of natural objects after the manner of the 
great masters was not only allowed but also recommended for 
the art of writing poetry in the age of Dryden. And when 
we come to the age of Pope, we find that the critics of that 
generation were not only not opposed to the 

The attitude of the f . r , 

critics of the age of treatment of nature in poetry but also rather 
Pope ' inclined in favour of it. This is evident 

from the praises of the critics with which they acclaimed the 
poems dealing with nature, the number of which, in this age, 
is found to be much greater than in the preceding one, and goes 
on increasing as the country advances. Let us see how they 
were received by the critics and the reading public of the day. 
(1) Pomfret's Choice, published in 1699, 1 written in 
praise of a peaceful life in country -retreats, is known to have 
been very popular throughout the eighteenth 

Evidences of the 

popularity of the century. Dr. Johnson's remark on the 

nature-poetry of this t , , ... 

age. poem was, perhaps DO composition in our 

language has been oftner perused than Pom- 
fret's * Choice 9 ; " further, " His Choice exhibits a system of 
life adapted to common notions and equal to common ex- 
pectations." This verdict of the great critic of the Classical 
School, which besides testifying to the popularity of the poem 
also declares its subjects to be '* adapted to common expecta- ' 
tions," may be regarded as a very valuable evidence throwing 
light on the social as well as the literary taste of the day. 

1 According to Mr. Courthope " it was issued separately in 1700." 
4 " Why is Pomfret the most popular of the English poets ? The fact is certain 
and the solution would be useful." Southey's Specimens. 

38 P. K. DAS 

From all that have been said above about the poem, we can 
justly conclude that the idea of enjoying a peaceful life in the 
country was welcome to the people of the time and that treat- 
ment of nature as a suitable theme of poetry was not found 
inconsistent with the principles of the Classical School by the 
critics of the day. 

(2) Addison's poetical Letter from Italy (1701), which 
mainly describes the beauties of natural scenery enjoyed by 
him, is thus spoken of by the same critic, " The Letter from 
Italy has been always praised, but never been praised beyond 
its merit." * If the suject-matter of the poem had been 
opposed to the taste of the reading public of the day, the 
poem would not have received such unstinted praise from the 
critics of the time merely for its metrical or other qualities. 

(8) John Philips' Cyder, published in 1707-1708, which 
describes in great details and with truth to nature " the care 
of orchards and the making of cider, was received with loud 
praises, and continued long to be read." 2 The poem reached its 
fourth edition in 1728, and the year 1744 saw the tenth edition 
of his collected works. 3 

(4) The attitude of the age towards nature is further 
known from the enthusiasm with which the people greeted 
Thomson's Seasons. Winter, which was published in March, 
1726, went through several editions before the year was 
out ; and the Seasons, collectively or in parts, had numerous 
editions in the poet's life-time. His choice of subject was 
totally new ; yet from the immediate and unprecedented 
popularity of the poem it is evident that the subject-matter 
as well as the form of writing was particularly congenial to 
the spirit of the public. Further, as for the appreciation it 
received from the eminent persons of the time, Mr. J. L. 
Robertson says, " Its publication brought him many friends 

1 Johnson : Lives / the English Poets. 

* Ibid. 

3 Harko De Maar : Modern English Romanticism, Oh. X. 


and patrons among others the Countess of Hartford, Mr. Bubb 
Dodington...; besides the approval and active services of such 
influential critics of the time as Aaron Hill, the Eev. Joseph 
Spence, and the Rev. Robert Whately." l Thomson's friend 
and biographer Patrick Murdoch says, " The poem of Winter, 
published in March, 1726, was no sooner read than universally 
admired, everyone wondering how so many pictures, and 
pictures so familiar, should have moved them but faintly to 
what they felt in his descriptions." 2 

(5) Another evidence of exactly the same kind is to be 
found in the following c advertisement from the Publisher ' 
of Armstrong's poem on winter : " Mr. Thomson, soon 
hearing of it, had the curiosity to procure a copy by means 
of a common acquaintance. He showed it to his poetical 
friends, Mr, Mallet, Mr. Aaron Hill, and Dr. Young who, it 
seems, did great honour to it; and the first-mentioned gentle- 
man wrote to one of his friends at Edinburgh, desiring the 
author's leave to publish it." - 

Direct evidences of the favourable attitude of the 
critics of this age towards the love of the poets for the 
country are to be found in statements like the following : 

The beauties of the most stately garden or palace lie in a narrow 
compass,.... bat in the wide fields of Nature, the sight wanders up and clown 
without confinement, and is fed with an infinite variety of images, without 
any eertain stint or number. For this reason we always find the poet in 
love with a country life. The Spectator, No. 414, 
Later , on, Joseph Warton writing about Pope in 1756 
said, " It may be observed in general, that description of the 
external beauties of nature, is usually the first effort of a young 
genius, before he hath studied manners and passions/' 8 Dr. 
Johnson, who to a great extent expresses his own ideas in the, 
words of Imlac in his Rasselas, says, IC Being now resolved to 

1 L. Robertson : Thomson's Seasons and Castle of Indolence (Oxford), Biographical 

3 Quoted by G. C. If acaulay, James Thomson (E.M.L.), p. 81. 

* Essay on the Genius and Writings of Pope ; the italics are mine. 

40 P. K. DAS 

be a poet, I saw everything with a new purpose ;...! ranged 
mountains and deserts for images and resemblances, and pic- 
tured upon my mind every tree of the forest and flower of the 
valley. I observed with equal care the crags of the rock and 
the pinnacles of the palace.... To a poet nothing can be useless. 
Whatever is beautiful, and whatever is dreadful, must be 
familiar to his imagination ; he must be conversant with all 
that is awfully vast or elegantly little. * 

It is unnecessary to add more instances to the list given 
above to show that from the beginning of Pope's career the 
attitude of the generation towards external nature or the 
country was no longer one of indifference or disgust. It is 
evident that the French or Neo-classic model in manners and 
taste with its conventional sense of decorum 

The classical decorum 

was uncongenial to and ceremonv could not long retain its hold 

the English mind. . 

on the English mind which rebelled against 
its restraints. Partly as a natural reaction of the artificial 
drawing-room life that prevailed in England since the Restora- 
tion, and partly owing to e the incommensurability of the 
classical decorum and the English mind ' naturally strong in 
sensations and thoughts, the craving for return to nature 
manifested itself in the life and literature even of the age 
of Pope. We cannot do betterjthan quote here the follow- 
ing lines from M. Taine's remarks on this point as at once 
sound and highly illuminating : 

Under Louis XIV, and Louis XV, the worst misfortune for a noble- 
man was to go to his estate in the country and grow rusty there. In 
England! inspita of the artificial civilisation and worldly ceremonies, the 
love of the chase and of physical exercise, political interests and the 
necessities of elections brought the nobles back to their domains. And 
there their natural instincts returned. Thus is genuine descriptive poetry 
born. It appears in Dry den, in Pope himself, even in the writers of elegant 
pastorals, and breaks out in Thomson's Seasons. 2 

Ch. X ; the italics are mine. 

History of English Literature, Book III, Ch. VII, 


It has been stated in the f Pref?ce ' that the writer has 
come across passages containing suggestive remarks made by 
eminent scholars which lend support to the views expressed 
in the foregoing pages ; these passages are given below : 

1. William Lyon Phelps, The Beginnings of the English 
Romantic Movement : " I think that Pope, notwithstanding 
his manifest limitations, had more imagination and enthusiasm 
than he generally has credit for; but he was forced to bow to 
the public opinion which he himself had done so much to 
form." (P. 8.) 

"Matthew Arnold's remark that Gray would have been 
another man in a different age, would be much nearer the 
truth if spoken of Pope ; for the great wit and satirist did 
have occasional touches of emotion and imagination, which in 
another age, he would have fostered rather than repressed." 

(P. Ik) 

2. Prof. Henry Beers, A History of English Romanticism 
in the Eighteenth Century : " It would b a mistake to suppose 
that the men of Pope's generation, including Pope himself, 
were altogether wanting in romantic feeling." (P. 01.) 

" Pope was quite incapable of making romantic poetry, 
but not, therefore, incapable of appreciating it. He took a 
great liking to Allan Ramsay's c Gentle Shepherd ; ' he 
admired 6 The Seasons,' and did Thomson the honour to 
insert a few lines of his own in * Summer. 5 " (P. 79.) 

3. G. 0. Macaulay, James Thomson (English Men of 
Letters] : c< It is certain that the average Englishman's love of 
outdoor life and of outdoor sports had not been repressed in 
deference to any new French fashion. Nor is it the case that 


42 P. K. DAS 

the natural beauty of fields, woods, streams, and hills was 
altogether unappreciated by the poets of the period." 

(Pp. 88-89.) 

" What was wanting in the case of Pope was not so much 
power of observation as Enthusiasm for the subject." (P. 90.) 

4. W. P. Ker : " The poetry of Pope has been judged 
indirectly and with deference to opinions, cavils, and mis- 
givings about him ;... Pope is valued not exactly as he is, but as 
ne is thought about. He is judged through * second intentions. 5 
The estimate of Pope's poetry, more than of any other poet, is 
made through the judgment of other people." 

' Lecture on Pope ' (1923). 

5. Lytton Strachey : " The romantics were men who 
had lost their faith ; and they rose against the old dispensation 
with all the zeal of rebels and heretics. Inevitably their fury 
fell with peculiar vehemence upon Pope.". ..(See above.) 

Pope : The Leslie Stephen Lecture for 1925. 

6. J. W. Mackail : " Pope's known and recorded admira- 
tion of the * Gentle Shepherd ' shows how * the return to 
nature * was a real motive, a sincere aim, even at the time 
and among the circle in which poetry was most artificial, and 
most heavily fettered by a classicist tradition." Essays and 
Studies by Members of the English Association, Vol. X (1924). 

7. Oswald Doughty : " They could not help feeling 
emotion as men in all ages have felt it. But they could and 
did refuse to express it in passionate verse." Foreword : 

English Lyric in the Age of Reason (1922). 




Lecturer in Indian Astronomy, Calcutta University, and 
Professor of Mathematics, Bethune Coltege, Calcutta. 


In the present paper it is proposed to discuss, and approxi- 
mately to determine, the time when our great epic the 
Ramayana took the form in which it is now available. The 
word ' composition ' as used here is to be understood in the 
sense of ' compilation ' and addition of new matter to an older 
poem of the same name. As to the date of the original 
Ramayana, Macdonell observes, "the cumulative evidence of 
arguments makes it difficult to avoid the conclusion that the 
kernel of the Ramayana was composed before 500 B.C., while 
the more recent portions were probably not added till the 
second century B, C. and later/' Weber in his History of 
Indian Literature says, " At the head of these (Kavya) poems 
stands the Ramayana of ValmlJci, whose name we find cited 
among the teachers of the Taittirlya-Pratiiakhya" The 
original Ramayana has "passed through many phases of 
development." As to its various recensions we shall use the 
Bombay recension, particularly the edition of it published 
by the Niniaya Sagara Press, Bombay, with the commentary 
of Rama Tarma or Rama Sarma, who speaks of himself as a 
Rama-pravartaka or the 'founder of a sect of Bama-worship- 
pers. As to this recension Macdonell says, "quotations 
from the Ramayana occurring in works that belong { to the 


eighth and ninth centuries A.D., show that a recension 
allied to the present (Bombay recension) existed at that 
period/ 5 

The date of the original Ramayana perhaps cannot be 
ascertained definitely. We learn that there was a Ramayaoa 
composed by Valmlki, when the Mahabharata was composed. 
Hopkins says, " The Mahabharata besides giving the Rama 
story as an episode Rama-upakhyana, has four direct 
references to the Ramayana." These references are quoted 
below : 

(1) ^rfq ^TS*} gtr 

Mbh. VII, 143, 67. Found by Jacobi. 

(2) ^gtarwrrf IJTT 'ffart 


Mbh. XIT, 57, 40. 

Mbh. Ill, 147, 11. 

(4) %% ?:II?T^^ g^ *TK^ WT^IH i 

^rrft ^TS^ ^ TO ^ ^ft: ^rs^ faft n 

* Mbh. XVIII, 6, 93. 

Weber has shown that Bhargava is a title of Valmiki. 
From these slokas it is not possible to settle definitely 
whether there was a written epic Ramayana known to the 
writer of the Mahabharata. The word iffa; means " sung." 
Weber says that " the poem was originally handed down orally 
and was not fixed in writing till afterwards, precisely like the 
Mahabharata." In the Ramopakhyana as told to Yudhishthira 
by the sage Markaydeya, although there is a general agree- 
ment in the story itself, the differences are too many when 
we come to details. In the Ramayana, Ravaya's general, 
Prahastaj is said to be killed in battle by the * monkey * general, 

t>, C. SENGUPTA 8 

Nlla> while in the Ramopakhyana he is spoken of as killed 
by Vibhlshana. According to the Ramayana, Kumbhakarna 
is described as killed by Rama himself, while in the Ramo- 
pakhyana he is spoken of as killed- by Lakshmana. Again in 
the Ramopakhyana the party sent out towards the south to 
search for Slta, meets the "Vulture king" Sampati on the 
Malaya hills and not on the Vindhya hills as described in the 
Ramayana. These discrepancies in regard to details could 
not all be found, had Ramayana been a written epic at the 
time when the Mahabharata became a written epic. A written 
epic cannot be much distorted in its narration. We may 
therefore conclude that the Ramayana became a written epic 
after the time when the other epic was committed to writing. 
We now pass on to ascertain the date of this original written 
epic. We shall consider the internal historical evidences in 
outline and then consider fully the astrological and astro- 
nomical internal evidences. 


That the Ramayana was compiled after the time of 
Buddha may be inferred from the following extracts : 

(a) The mention of the words "Buddha" and u Tathagata" 
is found in II. 109. 34 : 

(Also found in the southern recension, Kumbhakonam.) 
" A Buddha (i.e., a follower of Buddha) is as good as a 

thief ; you are to take a Tathagata for an unbeliever (in the 

next world)." 

(ft) The word " Bhikshu " occurs in IV. 3. 2 : 

(This line is also found in the southern recension, in 
Gorresio's and in Aryamuni's editions.) 

" The monkey with a deceitful intention assumed the form 
(and dress) of a Bhikshu." * 


(c) The word " Sramaya " is found in I. 14. 12 : 


(Found also in Gorresio's edition and in the southern 

" Every day the helpless were fed as well as those 
having their guardians, every day were fed the hermits as 
well as the Sramanas" 

The same word again occurs in IV. 18. 33 : 


mtf art cscm n 

(Found also in Gorresio's and in Aryamuni's editions and 
in the southern recension.) 

"A terrihle punishment was decreed by my revered 
(ancestor) Mdndhdta for an offence by a Sramana, of the 
same nature as thou hast committed." 

(d) The word " Sramavil " is found in II. 38. 4 : 

(Found also in the southern recension.) 
" Sita has become like a nameless Sramanl. " It is also 
found in III. 74. 7 : 

(Found also in Aryamuni's edition and in the southern 
recension. Gorresio reads *isff for 'opriftf. ) 

c *Then Eama said to that * Sramanl 9 who had been 
living a religious life, etc. " 

This *ret made obeisance to Rama and Lakshmana by 
touching their feet when she first met the princes. This is in 
marked contrast with what happened when they first met 
Ahalya. It was the princes who touched the feet of Ahalya 
and not Ahalya of the princes. We shall perhaps be not 
wrong if we take this " Sramay/i " to be a real Buddhist 


(e) The word " Chaityaprasada" is found in V. 43. 3 : 

(The word is also found in Gorresio's edition and in the 
southern recension.) 

** By leaping up to the top of the * Chaityaprasada ' 
which was as high as the peak of the mount Mem." 

In one of the above quotations the king Mandhata is re- 
presented as having decreed severe punishment to a criminal 
or sinful Sramana. Again from the genealogy of the solar 
race of kings given in I. 70. 20-43 and also in II. 110. 5-35, 
we come to know that Mandhata had a grandson named 
Prasenajit who being the second son of his father could not by 
tradition be the king of Ayodhya. One Prasenajit is known 
in Pali literature as a junior contemporary of Buddha, reigning 
not at Ayodhya but at Sravastl. The SaJcya clan, we are told, 
was exterminated by the Kosalas after the death of Buddha. 
The mention in the Ramayana of this decree of Mandhata may 
refer to this extermination of the Sakyas by the Kosalas. If 
we take Mandhata to be a contemporary of Buddha, and as we 
find from the genealogy given in the epic that Rama was the 
25th descendant from Mandhata, taking 30 years to have been 
the mean length of the rule of each king, we may infer that 
Rama is later than Buddha by about 720 years. Hence the 
time of Rama comes to about 233 of the Christian era. 
This estimate, however, requires corroboration from other 

We next turn to the geographical knowledge exhibited 
by the poet and specially consider the orders given by the 
' monkey * king Sugrlva to the different ' monkey ' armies 
sent out to the different directions to search for Romans wi|e 
Slta. The writer forgets that Kishkindhya, the ' monkey 1 
king's capital, is south of the Vindhya mountains. 

The list of countries, etc., to be searched in the south 
contains the following : the "Vindhyas, the rivers Godavarl 
and Krishviaveiyiy the DaSarna cities, Avanti, the Andfrras, the 


the Cholas, the Pantfyas, the river Kaverl, the 
Malaya hills, the river Tamraparni and the gates of the 

(Gorresio's edition as also the Southern recension are in 
agreement as to this list of countries.) 

All these names are not to be found in this order in 
the Brhat Samhita of Tarahamihira. Bhattotpala in his 
commentary on this work, Chapter IV, 8-14, quotes Para$ara. 
We find the Ramayana list in fair agreement with 

The list of countries, etc., ordered to be searched towards 
the east contains the following names : The river Bhaglrathi, 
the Sarayily the Kausikl, the Sona, the Brahmamalas, the 
Videhas, the Malavas, the Kasis, the Kosalas, the Magadhas, 
the Angas, the country of silk cocoons, the country of silver 
mines, the Karnapravaranas, the country of man-eaters, the 
Kiratas, the country of the handsome and golden-coloured 
races with pointed crests, the eaters of raw fish, the island 
of Java having seven kingdoms (Gorresio reads sranffan^ the 
gold and the silver islands. IV. 40. 20-30. 

(Gorresio's edition and the southern recension are in 
fair agreement with this list.) 

Here also the Ramayana list fairly agrees with that of 
Para6ara as quoted by Bhattotpala. The author of the 
Ramayaya had heard of the island of Java and perhaps also 
of Australia. He thus belonged to the time when there was 
a great maritime activity in India, and Java had been actually 
colonised or had come under the influence of Indian 

The list of countries lying to the north to be searched 
contains the following names : The Mlechchhas, the Pulindas^ 
the Sftrasenas, the Eurus, the Madras, the Kambojas, the 
Tavanas and the cities of the Sakas. 

(Gorresio's edition and the Southern recension also give 
these narfies.) 


These names are also given by Paratara as quoted by 
Bhattotpala, but not lying exactly in this direction. The 
writer of the epic had already come to hear of some of the 
cities that were founded by the Saka kings to the North- 
West of India. 

These are briefly the points of historical evidence I have 
been able to find out in the jRamayana. They tend to bring 
down the date of the epic to the 1st or 2nd century A.D., 
at least, even if Mandhatd be not taken to be a con- 
temporary of Buddha. 


"We now pass on to another class of internal evidences, viz., 
the astrological references. The first inference that we make 
is that the author of the epic was an astrologer as will 
appear from the following quotations : 

N t* u 

I. 18. 8-10 and IS. 

(Found also in the Southern recension as also in Arya- 
muni's edition.) 

86 In the twelfth month from that time, in the ninth 
day of the light half of Chaitra, when the moon was in 
the nakshatra of which Aditi is the presiding deity (i.e., 
Punarvasu) and five planets were in their ascendant houses, 
the sign of Cancer resplendent with the moon and Jupiter, 
was rising, KauSalya gave birth to Rama who * bore the 
marks of heavenly grace, 5 was the lord of the universe and 
was adored by all the worlds/' 


" Bharat* was born when the moon was in the nakshatra 
Pushya and the sign Pisces was rising. The two sons of 
Wumitra were born when the moon was in the nakshatra 
Aslesha, and the sun in the sign Cancer was rising." 

These stanzas give the times of birth and the horoscopes 
of the four princes. The author speaks of the signs of 
the zodiac and of the ascendant houses of the planets. This 
is apparently Greek astrology as will be seen from the 
following oft-quoted stanza : 


The assignment of ascendant houses to planets is here as- 
cribed to Yavana in unmistakable terms. We have besides from 
Varahamibira that in astrology the Yavanas were the masters. 


Brhat Samhita, 2. 14. 

" The Yavanas are mlechchhas indeed ; amongst them 
this Sastra (science) in its entirety exists ; if they be adored 
like rshis, what then is to speak of a Brahmin astrologer ? " 

Some other astrological references are given below. 

The King Dasaratha apprehending his death at no 
distant date and intending to install Rama as the Prince 
Regent, thus addresses him : 

t 11 

n \* n 

II. 4. 17-18. 

(Found also in Qorresio and the southern recension.) 
"Moreover, Kama, last night I had inauspicious dreams; 


heavenly meteors with loud noise and thunders were falling 
to the earth. The astrologers say that my natal naksatra is 
attacked by the dreadful planets the sun, Mars and Rahu 
(the ascending node)." 

Again when Rama is departing from Ayodhya on his 
long exile, we have 

ii it n 

II. 41. 10-11. 

(Found also in Gorresio's edn. and the Southern recension.) 

<c The star Trisanku, the red planet Mars, Jupiter and 
Mercury and all the planets having approached the moon 
were situated portending dire evils. The stars lost their 
brightness, the planets their heat and the Visakhas (i. e., the 
constellation of the Kosalas) were seen smoky in the heavens." 

When the " monkey " army was marching to the south 
from the city of Kiskindhya, Laksmana seated on the 
shoulders of Angada thus encouragingly speaks to Rama of 
the favourable omens 


- VI, 4, 48-51. 

(Found also in Gorresio and the Southern recension.) 

2 i 


" Usana the Bhargava (Venus) with propitious light is 
following you, clear are the stars of the Brahmahfdaya 
(Auriga) group, the great rfh (* ? , the stars of the Great 
Bear) are also brightly shining and going round the Pole Star. 
The star Tritafiku in our front with his priest also appears 
bright who is the grand ancestor of our high-souled race of 
Iksvakus. The two stars (i. e., a and /8 Librae) of Fisakha, 
the constellation of our race, are shining without any evil 
influences. While Mula, having for its presiding deity Nirrti, 
which is the constellation of the Nairrtas (i. e. 9 Raksasas) 
is severely oppressed by a cornet having its head touching 
the naksatra." 

Again when in a single combat Rama was sorely pressed 
by Ravaga, the poet says 


:: MS n 

:: i ?8 n 

VI. 102. 31-35. 
(Found also in Gorresio and the Southern recension.) 

" Then on seeing Rama sorely pressed, the Siddhas and 
the great rsis and the * monkey' chiefs with Pibhlsana 
were all greatly pained. Not having seen the moon in the 
form of Rama as if devoured by the demon of Savaya, the 
planet Mercury, inauspicious for men overtook the star 


Rohinl (i.e., Aldebaran) of which the presiding deity is 
Prajapati, and which is the beloved of the moon. The sea also 
burning (as it were) with anger, foamy and rough with 
billows, rose up touching the sun. The sun looked lustreless 
like polished steel and ominous, and was seen marked 
with a headless trunk of a human body, being touched 
by the head of a comet. The red planet Mars also stood in 
the sky striking the naksatra Visakha which has for its 
presiding deities India and Agni, and which was the con- 
stellation of the Kosalas." 

There is no doubt that our poet is an astrologer even if 

we take the stanzas giving the horoscopes of the princes 

to be later interpolations. The question now is whether his 

astrology is of the pre-Greek type. We have seen that his 

geography is derived from Para^ara, we shall not be very 

wrong if we assume that his astrology belongs to the same 

school. As to his astronomy we may conclude that he knew 

the seven planets by name and appearance, knew also the 

naksatras or the lunar mansions by their configurations 

in the sky. As to the planets, the references further tend 

to show that our poet knew some rules for the calculation 

of the longitudes of planets, however rough they might have 

been. The earliest date that can be ascribed to this state 

of astronomical knowledge in India must be that of the 

Fasistha Siddhanta as summarised by Farahamihira in his 

Panoa Siddhantika. The date of this Fasistha Siddhanta 

must be later than that of the Kautillya Arthasastra. The 

Fasistha Siddhanta speaks of the motions of all the planets 

and is generally more accurate than the Paitamaha Siddhanta 

of Varahamihira, of which the calculation starts from 2 of 

the Saka era or 80 of the Christian era. The KaufiUya 

Arthasastra speaks of the lunisolar mean motions exactly 

as the Paitamaha Siddhanta of Varahamihira with this 

addition that it knew something of the caras or the apparent 

motions of Venus and possibly also of Jupiter. In chapter 


41, on Sltadhyaksa, the Arthasastra speaks of three 
equal divisions of the year as recognisable from the sun's 
conjunction with Jupiter and the periods of droughts, the 
heliacal risings, settings, and apparent motions of Venus, 
and from the changes in the nature of the sun (i.e., of the 

Chronologically therefore, the order of these 'books appear 
to be 

(1) The Paitamaha Siddhanta of Varaha, dating from 
80 A. D. 

(2) The Kautiliya Arthasastra. 

(3) The Vasistha Siddhanta of Varahamihira. 

The date of this Vasistha Siddhanta cannot be ascertained, 
but it must be before the time of Aryabhata as we can infer 
from the Pancasiddhantika. The llamayaiia poet also appears 
to be prior to the time of Aryabhata. 


We now consider another class of references which are 
of an astronomical nature. Our poet had already heard much 
and learnt much about the motion of planets among the 
stars as also of the coming together of two planet* in the 
sky. The whole of Eamayana abounds in similes which 
are meaningless to an ordinary reader, but can convey 
meaning to an observer of heavenly phenomena. For example 
when Ravana seizes Slta with the intention of carrying 
her away, the poet describes it in the following way ; 


III. 49. 16. 
(Found also in Gorresio and Southern Recension.) 


<c Havana seized Slta as Mercury does the star Rohinl 

The maximum possible elongation of Mercury from the 
sun being of about 22, all stars however bright lose their 
brightness when Mercury comes near them. The meaning 
is now clear that Slta was overcome and turned pale when 
she was seized by Ravana. 

Again when Hanuman finds Slta in the AsoJca grove of 
Lanka being spoken to by Havana, she is described as : 

V. 19. 9. 

(Found also in Gorresio and Southern recension.) 

" As oppressed as the star Rohini is, by an overtaking comet." 
When Ravana being struck with severe grief at the death 
of Indrajit, goes to kill Stta, the poet describes that in the 
following terms : 

VI, 92, 42. 

(Found also in Gorresio and Southern recension.) 

i.e., " Ravana in great rage ran towards her just as a planet 
does towards Rohiql." The same simile is repeated a little later 
on, in stanza 57 of the same chapter, as also in many other places. 

When the Raksasa general Khara marches out to avenge 
on Rama the indignity that had befallen on his sister Surpa- 
nakha, the poet cannot resist his temptation to use an astro- 
nomical simile 

^ Stai 


III. 25. 5. 
(Found also in Gorresio and in the Southern recension.) 

i.e., "That Khara seated in a car in the midst of the Tatu* 
dhanas (Eaksasas], became as prominent as the planet Mars 
in the midst of stars/ 9 


Again whenever two warriors fight, the poet indulges in 
astronomical similes. Thus when Bali and Sugriva fight, 
and the result is uncertain, the poet compares this to 

IV. 12. 17. 

(Found also in Gorresio and the Southern recension.) 
i.e., " A terrible fight in the heavens of the planets Mercury 
and Mars." This "fight" of planets takes place wheo they 
come near ; that planet is considered victorious which looks 
brighter. On this sort of fight of planets the reader is referred 
to the Brhat Samhita of Varahamihira, Chapter XVII. 

Again when Laksmaiia and Indrajit fight, the contest 
is described as severe and doubtful as the fight of two planets 
in the sky : 

VI. 88. 35. 

These references give us an idea of the mental habit of 
the poet, and show unmistakably that he belonged to the age 
when observation of stars and planets in the heavens 
was seriously taken up in India when the Babylonian 
astronomy transmitted to India was being verified and 
corrected and the same perhaps was being dona to the very 
imperfect Greek astronomy that came to India along with 
astrology from both the sources. But he himself was not 
an observer in the true sense of the term as the following 
stanza will show : 

^ wf?r 

VI. 71. 24. 

(Qorresio and the Southern recensions read ^iren^ in place 
of ^JtffaPKH; this is obviously a misreading.) 

Rama on seeing Ravaiia's son AHhaya coming to the 
battle, thus speaks of him " His very dreadful face adorned 

P. C, SENGUtTA 15 

by both the ear- pendants shines like the (equally dreadful) 
full moon which has got (as it were) between the two stars 
of the naksatro, Pnnarvasu." 

The naksalra Purnarvasu has two bright stars which 
are known as Castor and Pollux. Pollux is the " junction " 
star of that constellation. Now the full moon can only be 
dreadful in midwinter, i.e., at the time of winter solstice. 
The stanza seems to suggest that when at the instant of 
opposition the moon got between the stars Castor and Pollux 
it was mid-winter or winter solstice. Or the summer solstitial 
colure lay between the stars Castor and Pollux, 

The nautical almanac for 1908, gives the following mean 
declinations and right ascensions of these stars: 

Star Right ascension Declination. 

Castor 7 hrs. 28 m. 439 sec. 325' 28"'13N. 

Pollux 7 hrs. 39 m. 41284 sec. 2814'56"-34N. 

Transformation of these celestial co-ordinates leads to 
the following celestial longitudes and celestial latitudes of 
these stars : 

Star Celestial longitude Celestial latitude. 

Castor 10914'24" 108'0" 

Pollux 11147'22 6 41'57" 

The maximum celestial latitude of the moon being about 
516', it does not appear possible for the moon to get between 
the stars Castor and Pollux. The poet has indeed spoken of 
a hypothetical case. 

Let us now take that the poet has indicated the 
position of the summer solstitial colure accurately. Now 
taking the mean of the longitudes of the stars to be 
11030' we infer 2030' to be the arc by which the 
solstitial point shifted in 1908. If we take the mean rate 

* ThU is in agreement with Varahamibira's statement q|H)<!(Wi g!%fl; | 

P. SiddhftBtikS, III, 31, 


of precession of the equinoxes at 60"'2 per year, 2030 / of 
the precession corresponds to 1,470 years, i.e., the time indicat- 
ed by the statement is 438 of the Christian era or 360 of the 
Saka era. This time is about 38 years before the birth of 
Aryabhata. That this is nearly the time of the astonomer- 
poet may be inferred from another consideration. 


According to our poet the rainy season begins with the 
month of Srdva^a. In the Kiskindhyakatyda, Chapter 26, we 
find it stated : 

(Pound also in Gorresio and in the Southern recension.) 
"This, my friend, is the first month of the rainy season 
called ravana noted for the advent of clouds. The four 
months called Varsika (rainy) have now begun." 

As to the time when this rainy season or Srdvana begins 
we have from II. 63. 14-16. 

UTa^JSTHT WT ^fWf^ftnt II 18 II 

tffari Tf^rr^T^ f^*n ii m 11 

: 11 ^^ u 

(Pound also in Gorresio and in the Southern recension ; 
perhaps the reading in Gorresio is much better.) 

i.e., "Then began the rainy season which always stimulated 
my passions (for games). As the sun after having removed 
the moisture of the earth and by his rays scorched it, turned 
towards the gloomy direction of the abode of departed 
souls, i.e., the south, forthwith the heat of the summer disap- 
peared and refreshing clouds appeared. Then frogs, cranes 
and peacocks were all delighted. 


We gather that the rainy season began when the sun 
crossed the summer solstitial point, and this was the begin- 
ning of the month of Sravana. The sun's longitude at the 
summer solstice is 90 as measured from the vernal equinoc- 
tial point. This agrees with what happened at Aryabhata's 
time. The part of the year the sun took to pass from the 
vernal equinoctial point to the summer solstice, comprised 
the months of Paisakha, Jyaistha and Ksadha. Sravana 
began when the sun crossed the summer solstitial point, 
but Aryabhata's solstitial point was different from the 
solstitial point of the Ramavana poet as is being shown 

The sun's longitude at the summer solstice is 90 which 
is in naksatra units = 6 naksatras and 10. According to 
Aryabhata, the longitude of Pollux is 6 naksatras and 12. 
It is clear from the investigation given above that the 
Ramayana solstitial point at Aryabhata's time (499 A.D.) 
had a longitude of 6 naksatras and 1045', i.e., 115' less 
than that of Pollux. Now 45' of the precession of the equi- 
noxes represent 54 years preceding the time of Aryabhata's 
time of observing this star. The time of B/amayana now 
becomes 44.5 A.D. instead of 438 A.D. as found before. Here 
a difference of 7 years is negligible. 


It seems now almost certain that the date of "Composi- 
tion" of the Ramayana is approximately 438 A.D. The 
other evidences quoted above also seem to indicate that 
our poet belonged to the time which preceded the time of 
Aryabhata by whom Indian astronomy was given the present 
epicyclic form. Our poet was the author of the Adikavya, 
the first poem, and must have been the first of the glorious 
list of the Sanskrit poets of whom the most illustrious was 
Kalidasa. Politically this period synchronises with the 
brilliant Gupta age of Indian history. 


That Kalidasa's time is a little later than that of our 
RamHyaiia poet appears from the following considerations 

In the poem the Meghaduta, or the "cloud messenger 55 
we have the well-known stanzas 

(I I. 2 

^ ftf gTrtfw u I. 3 

u I. 4 

Here apparently the first appearance of clouds is spoken of 
as having taken place on the last day of Asadha and not on the 
first day of Sravana. The laksa looks up to a piece of new 
cloud floating against the side of the hill for a long time, and 
to keep up the spirit of his wife in his absence wants to send 
to her the message of his health and due return. He address- 
es the same piece of cloud as the month of Nabhas or Sra- 
vaya has drawn near. 

We may conclude that the solstitial point had now pre- 
ceded by 1 since the time of Aryabhata. Now 1 of preces- 
sion is equivalent to about 71 years. We shall not perhaps 
be wrong in taking thedate of our B/amaya^a poet to be about 
100 years earlier than that of Kalidasa. According to Amara- 
sirpha, the lexicographer and Varahamihira, the astronomer, 
the months of Sravana and Bhadra constitute the rainy season, 


It seems the traditional "nine jewels" were really contemporary 
with Varahamihira who lived till 587 of the Christian era and 
who must have had established a reputation as an astronomer 
at least 50 years before his death. Hence the time when 
the nine jewels were known to be so, should be the year 537 
A.D. A. hundred years before that date brings us to 437 
A.D. as the date of Ramayaija poet. Hence we can state 
definitely that the time of our Ramayaija poet was about 
438 A.D. 







1. The District of Noakhali in the Chittagong Division 
of Bengal has an area of 1,515 square miles and a population 
of 1,472,786 according to the census of 1921. The census 
returns show that 1,472,072 speak Bengali. 

2. It is not easy to determine what percentage of the above 
Bengali-speaking people came from outside and retain a non- 
Noakhali dialect. But their number may be presumed to be 
counterbalanced by the people of the dialect who act -is lascars, 
manjhis, settlement-ws, and in many other avocations 
throughout Bengal and even in Burma. Roughly, therefore, 
the Noakhali speech may be*said to have a population less 
than one and a half -million for its adherents (Sandip people 
being included in the number *), the majority (about 77 p.c.) 

1 Perhaps it is not too late nn hour to re-open the question whether the island of 
Saiidip, 'more than a hundred miles south-east of Dacca, at the mouth of the river 
Meghna,' rather the last strip of land from the shores to the Bay of Bengal, with a 
population of 124,884 sonls, belongs linguistically to the South-Easteru Group of Bengali 
or to the Dacca variety of its Eastern Group. The eminent editor of the Linguistic Survey 
of India is confident that Sandip is to be classed in the Eastern Group 'a curious isolated 
example of the Eastern Bengali spoken in the Dacca Distiict' (LSI., Vol. V, Pt. J, 
pp. 247-260). This he attributes to the peculiar history of Sandip'a kind of Alsatia 
colonised by the pirates who came from the upper reaches of the Meghna, near Dacca,' 
(LSI., op. cit. t p. 201). The upper and middle classes of Sandip also proudly and 
stoutly maintain that they are descended from some Dacca stock, both in blood and tongue. 
But that is more or less claimed by all Noakhali people aspiring for aristocracy, and 
nothing can be built on this. Undoubtedly Sandip has been the storm-centre in South-Eastern 
Bengal, especially in the waning years of the Mughal Empire, when Arakanese, Chitta- 
gongese, Bakharganjites, and Portuguese pirate-adventurers no loss, made it their base 
and spread their depredations into the heart of the South-East along the Meghna. The 


of whom are Mohammadans. It is to be borne in mind that 
Noakhali is the Mollah-supplying district for nearly the whole 

belief, however, that Sandlp is a mere offshoot of Dacca on the Bay and has nothing to do 
with the nearest mainland of Noakhali seems to be unwarranted. The Portuguese, who 
made it their base of operations once, have been wiped off by Islam from Sandlp, but their 
descendants, about 800 in number, still have a small settlement in the village of Ezbfiilla 
(P Isabella), a suburb of the town of Noakhali. The three Sandlp specimens presented in 
the LSI. (op. cit, t p. 249 ff. ) cannot be identified with any known Dacca variety of the 
dialect easily. It is not the Mftnikganj variety (LSI., Vol. V, Pt. I, pp. 206ff.), the 
only Dacca dialect in the volume j that it is far from the Bikrampur! (Dacca) can be 
confide ntly asserted ; and farther still it is from the Dacca-town Bengali (not the Dacca 
Musalmanf or corrupt HindostSni) ; nor does it seem to be specially connected with the 
South- Bakharganj speech. No doubt, the specimens show affinities with all of them to some 
degree, but the affinities are greater with the mainland variety of Noakhali. The islands 
of Noakhali contain a good sprinkling and some almost a majority, as in Char Banel, of 
people who come from the upper-Meghna islands and speak a Dacca or Dakkhln- 
Shahabazpnn variety of the Eastern Bengali. They might lead an occasional observer 
to conclude that the island tongue is of the Eastern group, which in fact is otherwise. It 
is not known who supplied the LSI. specimens of Sandlp speech whether one of 
those natives of Sandlp who try to trace blood connection generations up in Dacca, or one 
without that frailty and at the same time careful enough to adopt Sandlp patois. The first 
specimen (the parable of the Prodigal Son) leads us to suspect from the pretty large 
number of Standard Bengali forms that appear therein that complete fidelity has not 
been observed, e.g., [tader] = Dac. [tago] , = Bakhar. [hergo],=Noa. [hetego] ; [Je] = Dac. 
[he], = Bakhar. [he]?, = Noa. [hete]; [ Jo dejer] = Dao. (? also Bakhar.) [hei dej r] Noa. 
[h(e)ide/er] ; [tsakorbakor ke], [take], [amake] etc., show curious instances of the dative 
in [ke] which is absent everywhere in East Bengal. 

Still, its only variation from Noakhali dialect seems to be in [tader], [targore], [komu], 
[khai(e)ao batsae] (the last, it seems, belongs to no known variety of Bengali), and possibly 
two or three more. Otherwise, it is quite in harmony with the mainland speech, showing 
the typical turns of expression like [peter b'oke motte si], [befcar kabel noo], etc From the 
second specimen of the LSI., nothing could be ascertained, for it is an attempt at 
Standard Bengali composition, like many such others to be found throughout the district, 
though it is a folk-song. The third specimen, quite familiar to the mainland people as well, 
more faithfully embodies the folk-speech as a folk-song. It has only one expression, 
an exotic, which is not entirely of Noakhali, in*., [dzae dzabe] ; otherwise, it is in Noakhali 
dialect through and through. 

Not having lived in the island it will be more or less presumptuous on our part to 
contradict the conclusions of the learned editor of the LSI., but the speech of the 
common people of Sandip, as heard on the mainland, forces on as the conclusion that it 
belongs to the South. Eastern Group of Bengali, and such it is taken to be until further 
enquiry and proof make us retreat. 

LSI. takes HStiya to be full of Chittagongese affinities ; and it is undoubtedly so. 

Islands like Bang! have a Dacca group of people, some of whom again are migratory. 
They, along with the great number of Bikrampurl and other foreign elements throughout 
the District, are leffc out of consideration for the purpose of this paper. 


of Bengal, and the Mohammadan orthodoxy of its people 
amounts to bigotry. Hence, quite a number of Perso-Arabic 
words prevail in the patois, though these do not seem to 
make any significant difference to the sound system. 

3. Broadly speaking, the District is bounded on the north 
by Tipperah, while on the east the Baro Pheni (Feni) river 
marks it out from Ohittagong ; and on the west it is separated 
from Dacca and Bakharganj down Chandpur by the river 
Meghna which also washes its south till it is lost in the Bay. 
The south, however, is studded all over with the small and big 
chars, beyond which lies the Bay. 

4. The speech of Noakhali belongs to the South-Eastern 
Group of the Bengali dialects (LSI., Vol. V, Pt. I, pp. 203 if.). 
Chittagong is the centre of the Group, and Noakh'-tli is its 
eastern variety till it shades off after Raipur, a thana in 
Noakhali with 59,773 as population, into the Chandpur variety 
(which is almost the trans- ileghna Dacca speech with different 
stress [?] and intonation systems) of Eastern Bengali. 
While the influence of Chittagong dominates Feni sub-division 
(population 377,065) to a considerable extent, the Chhagal- 
naiya area (population 99,072), the easternmost boundary, 
may even be reasonably said to merge dialectically into 
Chittagong. To a careful ear it is patent that the marked 
divergences in grammatical forms, the large prevalence in 
Chittagongese (as also in Tipperah-Sylhet) of some sounds, 
viz., spirants like [x] and [9-], some doubling of consonants, 
widespread nasalization as a result of the elision of intervocal 
-m- , reduction of [-s-] of verbal -ach-, -ch- to [-lg(j)-, 
[-rg(j)-] after -1-, -p- etc., etc., which all exist, natural or 
sporadic, in Noakhali dialect, but have no great hold on it, 
mark out these two dialects of the same group distinctly. The 
fact is brought home with considerable force when a Western 
Noakhali person or a Central Noakhali person has to confess 
that Cbittagongese is almost unintelligible to him. Curiously 
enough, it is to be noted, the neighbouring District of 


Tipperah has no great linguistic hold on the Noakhali-borders 
except in some slight influence over a strip on the north-east 
(Khaiidal Pargana, which forms a part of Chakle Rosanabad 
of the Tipperah Raj). On the contrary, the Noakhali dialect 
may be said to have penetrated into Southern Tipperah, 
reaching Laksam, the Assam Bengal Railway junction. 

5. A study of the phonetics of the Noakhali dialect 
means in fact a study of that of the general patois. No one 
has as yet tried to lift it up to the status of a literary language 
no trace of it in the Paragall or Chhuti Khan's Mahabharata, 
though something of the atmosphere and surrounding speech 
could with reason be expected from these. It is almost drowned 
in the very popular ballad of ' Chaudhurir narai ' (Chaudhurl's 
Fight), which we are told Calcutta University is going to edit 
ami publish soon ; nor does it find any conscious echo even in 
the present-day compositions, e.g., the popular song of the 
Swadeshi days regarding the Comilla riot, beginning nabab 
Salimulla eisesilen Komiliay*. No such serious effort has been 
made : nor does it seem likely that it will ever be. The 
people of Noakhali were but one decade ago in love with 
the Bikrampur variety of the Dacca dialect, The gentry of 
Bhulua tried to maintain, and still do it, marriage ties with 
Dacca, their * former home ' as they consider it. The Brahmans 
would often go to study in the reputed seats of learning of 
Bikrampur, and above all Bikrampur people were the first 
torch-bearers of English education in the district ; and as men 
of light and leading, with that typical tenacity and obstinacy 
for their own dialect which distinguish the Bikrampurites still, 
perhaps more than any other section of the Bengali people 
speaking a dialect, their speech appeared to the less advanced 
people of Noakhali as 'models of genteel tongue' to be imitated. 
Hence, even in ordinary folk songs, Dacca-forms sometimes 
appeared and do appear still, though the Standard Bengali 
Colloquial (or the Calcutta Colloquial, as it should be called 
in accordance with the opinion of the East and South- East 


Bengal) is fast driving it out of the field. The educated 
people outside home still adopt an affected Dacca- dialect, now 
strongly modified by the Standard West Bengal speech, and it 
is only the common people who stick to the patois in and 
outside home ; but some of the latter also at times try to appear 
'genteeP by affecting a curious Dacca air, as some others, back 
from the Kidderpore Dockyards in Calcutta, try to pass 
themselves as adepts in the Calcutta Colloquial with an amusing 
admixture of forms and sounds 

6. In the following pages, however, a study of the 
phonetics of the patois, as distinct from the affected Bikram- 
puri or affected Calcutta dialect, is attempted under the 
instance and guidance of Prof. Suniti Kumar Chatter ji of 
Calcutta University, who started the study of the dialects 
of Bengal separately and is keenly interested in stimulating 
such study by the Bengalis themselves who are intimate with 
the different dialects of Bengal. The plan for the present 
paper has been borrowed from that set out by Prof. S. K. 
Chatterji in his own study of the phonetics of the Standard 
Bengali Colloquial (A JBrief Sketch of the Bengali Phonetics, 
International Phonetic Association, University College, London, 
1921 ; also A Bengali Phonetic Reader, London University 
Press, 1928). As a first attempt the present paper is necessarily 
imperfect, and is meant to stimulate further interest in the 
scientific study of the particular dialect as well also of the 
other dialects of Bengal. 

7. The essential phonemes (see Bengali Phonetic Reader, 
p. 8) of the Noakhali dialect appear to be 38 : 
[P] W, [t] [d], LI] HL W Eg], [ts] [dz], [m] [n] [,], [1], [r], [.] [/] 
[], [o] [e], H, W M, [x] [], [$; [i] [I], [e] [], W [], [D] [3], 
[o], [6], [u] [u]. 

To these may be added the following five stops and one 
affricate with glottal closure, besides others with glottal closure 
though one cannot be very sure of all of those last, which are 
not therefore mentioned here : 


PL [b f j, [d'J, [d'], [g'L [#]. 

Note. The symbols above, and henceforth, are those 
employed by the International Phonetic Association as adapted 
for the purpose of the transcription of Bengali by Prof. 8. K. 
Chatterji : of. his Bengali Phonetics, Bengali Phonetic Reader, 
and Origin and Development of the Bengali Language 
(abbreviated here for reference into ODBL.), pp. xxviii-xxxiv. 
The illustrative words have been given in these phonetic 
symbols first, then in the Bengali script as faithfully as possible, 
the Standard Bengali form, when different, following next, and 
the whole being closed by the English equivalent of it. 


8. The following is the table of all possible consonants 
in the dialect : 
















.. . 




Plosives with 

glottal closure 








Affricate , 

ts dz 



\t V 















F 15 

. . . 


. . 



Semi- vowel 








9. The unvoiced plosives [t] [t] [kj are not accompanied 
by breath (same as in Gal. Col.). But [p] undergoes a peculiar 


transformation becoming [F], and then almost always ap- 
proaches, if not actually becomes, [h] (ODBL. 278), leading 
to complete elision : e.g., [pam] *Ffa=*rfa' betel,' [birod] or [biod] 
fTOfa)T fawr 'difficulty, danger,' [pa:p] or [ha:*] 5 yPF 9 lt 9 t 
'sin.' How far the tendency is at work will be seen from the 
conscious effort at correct pronunciation of the word sarpa 
by the common people, viz., [forFo] 1^*3T*f * snake,' which never 
goes so far as to become [prhoj. Though the tendency, [p>F>h], 
is very much marked : generally [F] as the best compromise is 
retained here, though [h] might as commonly and more properly 
be used, and more usually employed almost in all cases when 
the speaker is off his guard. 

10. The voiced plosives [b] [d] [d] [g] are fully voiced 
as in Cal. Col. in intervocal position, and slightly in initial and 
final position, [b] has a tendency to become [F] and this 
behaves like all [p]>[^]: e.g.* [^odza] or even [hodz*] <?Fl(c?1)^1 
=C3t^1 'burden' or 'luggage,' [forrtt] *n^F<2, = *f?R. 'cold drink.' 
Noteworthy again is [b] (obviously from [6]) iu some causatives, 
e.g., [khabag] *fftT3=*t1Wfa 'feeds,' [dsbae] C^RfP (<CW^TfS<CTTfa 
<CWft) 'shows.' 

11. Complete explosion of the plosive groups [-kt-], 
[-kt-], [-pt-] etc., is found as in Cal. Col. : [tsitkar] f^rfars 
fteFft 'shout,' [hstkaS] C^T^Ffa (#/ Dacca c^l^ts) 'grins like 
an|idiot,' [mokto] C*Tt^ (< ^Pers. muft ?) 'gratis' or 'free,' 
[i?okto] C^l^ (< Pers. poxt ) =* C'TNf* 'strong.' 

12. [t] [d] are true dentals (cf. Cal. Col.) 'made by 
striking the point of the tongue against the back of the edge 
of the upper ridge' and 'the tongue is spread out like a fan* : 
e.g., [oto] <s(\5 'so much,' [tfli] ^=^ 'you,' [dada] fffifl 
'elder brother,' [bade] ^tOT 'after' or 'excepting' or 'leaving off.' 

1 2a. Instances of dental > retroflex are furnished by the 
semi-tatsama [-ndr-] groups, e.g., [norDndo] J?J\5=rc?l5F ' Naren- 
dra* a proper name, [-deberrjo] OfC^ 5 5^=C?C^S * Devendra * a 
proper name; cf. tatsama [tsorrto] 5|v5=^S 'moon* but tad- 
bhava ftsaml frp^ljtW 'moon,' 

L. J 


12i. A rare instance of medial dental [-tfc-] > palato- 
alveolar [ccf] through the influence of a y-sound is to be found 
in common [ 9 aiccfa] beside [ 9 aitta] f|^1 ( < 3t^5Jl < 3tf5S1) 
'Hatiya,' the island of the name. 

^ [t] M : khe point of articulation is just behind the 
teeth-ridge, and these are not truly retroflex, rather fc supra- 
alveolar' or c pre-retroflex' as in Cal. Col. (see Bengali Phone- 
tics, 11) : e.g., [tea] C&srt=TjlT| 'rupee,' [kaitse] ^tl]>^==^11lhrftW 
has cut,' [rabta] ^|1=tf1 'document,' [.a:b] ^ * green 
cocoanut,' [daba] ^1=^1 sfc^1 ' the hookah' (from the shell 
of the cocoanut which supplies the bowl), [ka^Je] ^tra^^td* 
'cuts'. English t, d become [t] [<j] as in Standard Bengali : e.g., 
[taun] fet^ 'town,' [tjaol] <5T^=^t^T 'double.' 

13a. It is obvious from some of the above examples that 
single intervocal [-t-] is voiced, and supplies most of the 
intervocal [-<.'-] sounds: e.g., [ka-.'e] ^FtC^^^tC^ 'cuts,' [ 9] 
^rtC^=ttC& 'walks'; but [i^it] ^= *if& 'jute' never occurs 
with final [-0-] : cf. [bo Ma] ^^5l=?\5 'big' (with enclvctic -1 
to emphasize). 

136. While in Cal. Col. earlier intervocal [-<.-] and final 
[-c.J] of Prakrit and Sanskrit are reduced to [rj, the flapped 
retroflex sound, [rj is totally absent from Eastern aud Southern 
Bengali, and there is no difference in sound between ^\5l 
Mead body,' and *Rf| c to die,' ?^tl?=^^ > 'to whom' and ^ttf5 
'snatches away,' the sound being pronounced as an alveolar 
trilled or flapped [r]. In some rare instances like [porha] *RT| 
*to read' we can see a reminiscence of the Old Bengali retro- 
flex aspirate in *(IJ1 parha still existing in the dialect with an 
aspirated alveolar. 

The dental and retroflex have signific difference (cf. 
Cal. Col.) : e.g., [dula] g*fl (< 5^3 < $!*%)= TO 'bridegroom 1 
and [tjula] ^ *a kind of basket for carrying fish,' and 
so on. 

14. [k] [s] are generally as they are in Cal. Col. : see, 
however, [x] [9.] below, 33, 34. But intervocalic single 


[-k-] usually becomes [-g-] or [-&-], and then often complete 
elision is frequent. For examples, see 33, 34. 

14b. Significant is the insertion of a [-g-] between 
a preceding [- r -] and a following -y- semi-vowel with a 
vowel [o], [a] or [ oe ] : e.g., [buirga, (-)] 
'old woman* sometimes [buria], [kuirga (-se)] 
fC? ' idle/ [pirgolal] pRpmta < f^Wta==fR!*rl*J Triyalar 
(a proper name). Herein there is not absolute accord with 
Chittagongese : e.g. Chittagongese [rairgjom] Noa. [rarum] 
or [Farigum] or [rainim] c I shall be able. 5 (See ODBL., 
p. 144.). 

15. [ts], [dz] are the alveolar affricates which the dialect 
shares in common with East and North Bengal as substitutes for 
Cal. Col. palatal affricates [of] [$$] (see Bengali Phonetics 
16, ODBL., 132, 255, 256ff.) : e.g., [tsoil] m 'go', [dzoil] 
^f 'water,' [matsa] Tt^l 'platform,' [madza] sjt^l 'to cleanse* 
or 'to rinse,* [/aits] 4tF=*ft5 'five, 5 |ja:dz] ^p (puristic for 
[fiardz] ^t^) 'dressing, 5 etc., etc, 

L6. The palatal affricate is not, however, entirely absent 
from the dialect. It is a variety generally, as far as it can 
now be ascertained, to be found in intervocal places when the 
affricate is doubled in connection with a preceding [-r.] which 
is lost: e.g. [koiccje] ^5Cfl&(< ^?^a + Ci < ^ft + CW)=^fWtC? 'has 
done/ [moiccje] *tefl& (< q^+ Cf ) ^fiWlCf 6 is dead, 5 [d'oiccfe] 

C bas caught. 5 In [maiccfa] 

do not beat, 5 [d'oic 

' do not catch/ etc., we note a similar change of [s] 
(the dialectical substitute both for second person imperative 
verbal \j] and [cfh], palatal affricate aspirated, of the 
Cal. Col.), and in addition to it peculiar is the assimilation 
of the nasal of the negative [na] when the syllable is reduced. 
The instances of [$] in the dialect are, however, not many 
and even at times are not clearly marked out. 

17. The unvoiced aspirates [th, th, kh] but not [cfh], 
(see 16) live almost solely in initial places (of. Cal. Col.); 


and when medial and final these are deaspirated, and some 
from that again are voiced, and others are elided: e.g., 
[potnk] Vff (< ^fW+*t^) s9 tft* 'traveller 5 (the bilabial 
aspirate [ph] is like the bilabial plosive [p] > [*] and 
thus in fact [ph] has no existence), [thamba] <*Tfa1 (< ^) 
'pillar, 5 [thaur] il^J=it$* 'god' or applied in referring to a 
Brahman, [kheti] C^=^ 'loss,' [* a :t] rF5 = 3te 'hand/ 
[u:t] $&*i 'get up!/ [jo:k] RF=*H 'desire,' [kota] ^N$i=<pt1 
'word/ [fiikae] ft^==C*Wa 'teaches. 5 Intervocal [-th-] is 
always voiced: e.g. 9 [u<Je] ^5=^ 'rises' (but [u:t] 'rise up! 5 ), 
[parla] or [hada] ^PfiSl, 3ft5l = *frkl ' he-goat/ [thsda] dR5l=C$^1 
(< (Jhittha, dhrsta, see ODBL. p. 493) 'obstinate/ Inci- 
dentally it may be noted that this particular change [-th-] 

> [-<}-] is found in the Bast Maimansing dialect as well 
(? through Tipperah-Sylhet) but not, however, in Dacca: e.g., 
[tharja] M^I^Dacca M^l, the word for ^3 ' thunder/ [kaiji] 
^tfe== Dacca and Standard Bengali ^H^ 'stick 5 etc., are similar 
in Noakhali and East Maimansing. Elision of the aspirates 
is particularly noticeable in the case of [-kh-] and [-ph-] 

> [-F-] > [-h-] or zero, (see 9) : e.g., [oon] w^[=4^R 
'now/ [BiaS] ft^rfo also [fiikag] c"IW 'teaches/ [tuan] or 

^^Tf^, ^Ff^ ' placating' or 'storm/ [tuaiona] 
' stormy/ 

18. The plosives with glottal closure [b', d', (j'> g', ft'] 
are the substitutes in the dialect for the Cal. Col. and West 
Bengali as well as the common New Indo-Aryan voiced 
aspirates [bfi, dfi, (R, gfi, ftfi] (see ODBL., pp. xxviii-xxxiv, 
pp. 8, 1059) ; and the glottal plosive [*] appears to replace the 
glottal fricative [fi (h)]. They are spread all over East Bengal, 
and occur only initially medially and finally while these 
are reduced to voiced plosives (like Cal. Ool. aspirates), the 
glottal closure is transferred to the initial consonant which has 
sometimes a peculiar stress in addition, e.g., [b'ait] <sf 'cooked 
rice/ [d'am] *Tfa 'paddy,' [tf'aik] Ft* 'cover' or drum/ [g'oir] TO 
'house/ [&'o:r] m^^S storm, ['ail] <8rl^5t*| ' rudder* etc.; 


as plosives, e.g., [b'a:g] TW = ^f 'tiger/ [Yodza] 
* luggage/ [b'ada] TW=^TM 'barrier/ [foba] "also [;ova] *Rl= 
v\<&\ * meeting/ No medial or final [<f] occurs, as [d], [ofi] 
in that position become [r], [rfi] which in the dialects of 
East Bengal =[r]. Hence, no instance of [-(}-], [-4'-] in the 
dialect, except the [- f ?-] arising out of [-fc-], as in 130. 

18#. The unpractised West Bengal ear fails to perceive 
any difference between [b] and [b'] f [d] and [d 5 ], [<J] and 
[(j'J, [g] and [g'], [$] and [$'], but there is a difference, 
though more perceptible in Dacca dialects and East 
Maimansing, South Sylhet and Tipperah dialectical groups than 
in the present one, e.g., [o'akar c>k] ITf^t? ^F c the mail from 
Dacca/ No one of the speakers of the dialect would generally 
confuse [d] with [<J'] f and so on, unless he is influenced by the 
Cal. Col. 

19. Nothing is so characteristic as the largescale elision 
of stops and aspirates (especially of the velars and bilabials), 
intervocally in the dialect (of. the 'Second AHA' conditions, 
ODBL., pp. 83, 253). 

The dentals resist this tendency ; the alveolar fricatives 
(of. 16, 25) are out of its pale ; and the retroflex plosives 
[ft, ci,] (see 13) remain intact. 

190. Spirantization (see 33, 34) of the single stops and 
aspirates, though not so marked a feature as in Chittagongese 
or Tipperah-Sylhet dialects, once more bears a parallel to the 
c Transitional MIA' conditions (see ODBL., 135). 

20. [m] is the fully voiced nasal (of. Cal. Col.): e.g. [ma:] 
Tl * mother/ Intervocalic f-m-] tends to be lost after nasalizing 
the preceding vowel a distinctly Chittagongese trait : e.g. [a:r] 
^t?=^TW? 'of mine/ [tar] C^M^C^W?I 'of yours/ 
[ksSfco] c^&5 (<f*R$) C*FR 'how/ etc., etc. The tendency 
is almost as universal as in Chittagongese ; and while final 
[-m] is preserved, intervocalic [-m-] is retained only if it 
is a reduction of groups like [-mb-] : e.g. [fiamaS] 
(< Middle Bengali *TW4, arfat^^gFF 'enters/ [fiomondi] 


' wife's elder brother', (but note [BoSndir fiuter goru] 
CTt?F 'thou bullock of a brother-in-law's son* 
the carter's abuse of his bullocks), [kodom] ^ff ^f^ c the 
kadamba tree or flower.* Again, [mama] *rt*Tl generally 
becomes [mat>a] and sometimes [maa], 'maternal uncle. 1 

21. [n] exactly as in Cal. Col., an alveolar sound, is a 
little forward before [t, d]. Noteworthy are the insertion of 
it in [g'uncji] ^s = ^5 'kite' (of. Hindustani ghuddl, gu(Jdl) 
and in [nondi] rf^f*=^ 'river' the popular word being 
[doirgae] (<Pers. darya); the assimilation of a following 
[-d-] in [tsa:n] Ffa^ft* c moon/ [kansil] ^t^fi?^ =; $twft*r c was 
weeping ; ' the retention mainly in connection with voiced 
consonants followed by vowels as in [*indu] ^=fe^ ' Hindu/ 
[andor] *$*%* *=W*ft 'inside/ [tsanda] Ft^f1=ttw1 'subscription,' 
etc. ; and the slight cerebralisation of it in connection with 
the retroflex (cf. Cal. Col.), as in words like [noronc>] 5^$ = 
*O5 ' Narendra ' a proper name, [dancla] ^5t^1 * rod,' etc. 

22. [g], the alveolar nasal, is never initial in Bengali; 
and when final is generally written as ' anusvara ' : e.g. 
[%.fa)] f*K=^*F 'horn', [<fo:g] R 'queer ways,' [/o:g] 
*K 'clown,' etc. If followed by a vowel it usually 
retains an original [-g] : e.g. [boggo] ^ (puristic), but [bagla] 
^t^1 or ?t<^1 'Bengal;' [baggal] rather than [bagal] ^trf^ 
'East Bengal man' whence * uneducated/ ' foolish * or ' unpolish- 
ed' ; [magga] Tt^Tl = Tf ^ c Costly/ [Bagga] %tf1 < fl*='W 
' remarriage of Mohammadan widows/ [moggol kandi] ?(5f^<rtf^f 
' Mangal-kandi/ the name of a village. 

23. L 1 ] as in Cal - c l- possesses no 'dark variety' (of. 
Bengali Phonetics^ 20), and has as well a subsidiary retroflex 
value before [t, d]: e-ff- [ulta] ^^ 'opposite 'or 'contrary/ 
[tsolta] ^^ * coating* or 'cement of a house* or 'bark of 
a" tree/ but [tsoilto] ^p=FplC^ c to go.' There is no 
* unvoiced [1] ' anywhere in Bengali. A few instances of 
[n]>[l] are known, e.g. [li:l] ^=%l * blue/ but not so 
plentifully as in West Bengali dialects ; and [l] > [n] as in 


Cal. Gol. [noa] <?TN C^t?1 c iron/ [no:k] C5Tfa=C*rte 'people,' 
etc., is unknown. 

24. [r] is more of an alveolar flap than an alveolar 
rolled or trilled [r] even in initial position (contrast Oal. Col.), 
and has a slightly higher articulation before [t] as in Cal. 
Col. (of. Bengali Phonetics, 21). It is generally lost 
medially when appearing in a consonantal group (cf. ODBL , 
247, 294), the other member of which is doubled : e.g., 
or [ fio ggo] *ffi*f or^5f^ ' heaven/ [maiccje] ^C^ 
^T%tC? 5 'has beaten' (see 16), [atton] 
(< Tfo + C$fa <^t^ + ?*?fa) = <5Tl*rft C*IW ' from me ' or 
Ho me/ [attai] or [> tai] *rlfc cr *rfo frfc (< ^Tt^+^), the 
latter being preferred to the former, equivalent in sense to 
[atton] ^tC^St 5 ?. ^Noteworthy also are [/a:rt], [r] with an 
advanced articulation, more popularly [ja:t] or still better 
[sa:t]=*r| 'shirt/ [tsorbi] 5?rf^F^t 'lard/ As the whole 
of East Bengal possesses no [r] , it is also the substitute for 
that phoneme : see 136 [rora] ?p?1=^v5l ' reading 'or 'lesson/ 
[mora] ^1^1 'dead body/ As an instance of partiality for 
[1] in place of [r], may be cited [khatil] for [khatir] *Tff$? 
* intimacy * from Persian xatir . 

25. [s], the alveolar sibilant fricative, is in most East 
Bengal dialects the substitute for the standard [cfh], the palatal 
affricate aspirated : e.g., [sag.ol] or [saol] 5t*P% lt^^=Wtt^f s goat/ 
[misa] f^1 = f^^|Tl 'false/ 

25#. [/], the most distinctive Magadhi feature, almost 
the sole sibilant in Bengal, is at times turned into [s] in the 
dialect, e.g., [somne] prc^TttW 'in front/ A similar 
tendency may be noted among the Mohammadan population 
of the Calcutta bazaars (who are recruited largely from Bihari 
and Eastern Hindi areas) when they speak Bengali. But this 
has no influence on the dialect in question, e.g., corrupt Cal. 
Mohammadan [sante]=Noa. [junte] or more propularly 
[finnte] c to hear/ corrupt Mohammedan [sobur]=Noa. [jbbur] 
' waiting/ etc. 


255. [/] with [t], [n], [r] to follow is turned into [s] 
(cf. Cal. Col.), e.g., [juste] or more properly [finste] 
(< Persian sust) 'slowly* or 'at ease', [abosta] ^rft^ftsrl 
'condition/ [sna:n] =*. beside sts. [s:n] OP^^fa 'bath/ [STOOD] 
5f1W (sts.) (ETfal 'Sravana, the name of a month.' But [jvl] 
or [sd] group is a rarity in the dialect, and with [-1-] following 
[s-] we get in the dialect [/-], as in Dacca speeches and in 
contrast to that of Cal. Col.: e.g., [oflil] <Bj*ffa[ * indelicate, 9 
[jlsij] CSR 'satire/ etc., in which Cal. Col. sticks to [s]. 

25<?. The Persian value of the sibilant in *fTK? (not, 
however, when applied to Europeans), C*f?tW, Sprafr, ^?rf3l, 
etc., are reasserting itself in the dialect through the Maulavl 
influences on pronunciation: [sa:b], [seradz], [soltan], [bosra], 
etc. (the last through European influence). The [s] pronun- 
ciation in Persian and Arabic words in this as in other East 
Bengal dialects is being revived with a conscious effort, 
especially in proper names. 

25d. [s,/] are distinct phonemes in this dialect, although 
they are varieties of the same [j 1 ] phoneme in Cal. Col. 
(Bengali Phonetics, 23), e.g., [masi] sflfi? 'fly/ [majl] *Ttfr 
'mother's sister' ; [mars] *rlf 'fish' [ma:;] yft c month.' 
For initial [/], see 26. 
For [z], see 30. 

26. [/] the Bengali favourite as a sibilant, is pronounced 
'without lip-rounding' (cf. Cal. Col.) : e.j., [jbndor] C*ttira 
'beautiful/ [fotan] *t^fa~*KK5to 'Satan/ [^Je] 
'smiles, laughs/ [ba/i] ^rt-ffll 'flute/ [kofur] 
'fault/ etc. Initial [/-] is often turned into [R-], the 
glottal fricative, e.g., [Rotan] ^5t^= 1 W5l^ 'Satan/ [fiolla] or 
from careful speakers [folia], Wl=w1 'advice' or 'resolution/ 
etc. This is true of the Eastern and South-Eastern Bengal : 
but note that while Dacca has [mofiog] *?3S, the Noakhali form 
is [mofoS] CTl*RfCal. Col. [mojai] *Kft(^) ^ir.' Intervocal 
[.j r ] is not changed in the dialect, generally : cf., however, 
[fiour] ^ 1 WW father-in-law. 


27. [B] : While a derived [fi] from [j*] has been mostly 
retained in initial place, the original [B] has been replaced there 
by [*], the glottal stop, except in foreign words like [fiaram] 
'prohibited thing or food,' [Bakim] 3tf^R 'judge/ [fiarmad] 
ruffian ' (?< Portuguese armada with an intrusive 
[B-]) etc. : cf. [>ib6] 'fa=^ 'will be/ [v.t] '<3rf3>=5t3> 
'hand,' ([Bait] ^5=^1^ 'seven'), [*i:t] J ^=f^5 'good/ etc. 
Medial [fi] pre vocal and after [m, n, 1] had in all dialects 
the tendency to be elided (ODBL., 304) : e.g., [koe] 
'speaks/ [moit] CTl^S (sts.)=(&\fc5 'charmed/ Qaof] 
'courage/ [tsinno] fa (sts.)=$^ 'sign/ [bamon] 
'Brahman/"[allad] ^aitHtW (s^.)=^t^it? 'delight.' 

270. How far [B] owes to [/] and [h] to [F<P] is 
apparent from the following instances curiosities due to 
confusion of the phonemes because of frequent conversion 
from one to the other: e.g. English half -ticket ' = Noa. 
sometimes [ Jartikot] which shows the attempt on the part of 
some ignorant people at purity under the notion of restoring 
[/] for initial [fi], English ' Town-Hall 5 = Noa. at times 
[taunFDl] which shows the notion of restoring [F] at work, 
and [WFO] fwl [<bii?a<bibafio] =^t^ 'marriage. 5 

276. [h], an unvoiced variety of [fi], is often found in 
many places in which [fi] is on the way to elision, and in 
the unvoiced aspirates [th, tb, kh] : e.g. 9 [oeh] I5J5 (=ttC5) 
c yes ' ; the interjections [ih] \l, [uh] &, etc., which also take 
as alternatives the corresponding spirants, e.g., [ig], [UF], etc., 
as in Cal. Col. (ODBL., 305). 

28. [o] the semivowel is found in diphthongs, mainly before 
[a] : but is not so common as in Cal. Col. : e.g., [dabi-daoa] 
WtflWt^1 'claims and demands/ [kooakota] ^etf. 
also [koa-kota] ^^1-^51=^^1 ^^\ 'spoken word/ The 
glide has, however, the tendency to be lost in the dialect, e.g., 
[doa] Offal (<Perso- Arabic) 'blessing/ [moa] CTl^ll (< CTft^O 
'a kind of sweet/ [monamDti] *FTfaf^ = sRW*f\ft c Maynamatl/ 


a proper name, [fio(8)ad] C^tStff^^tW 'taste/ [Bo(5)a/] 
n|f*r 'breath/ etc. 

29. [g] is preserved as a glide between two vowels when 
two syllables come together in ordinary quick speech : c.g , 
[diSail] farfrl (fW + Tftl)=fWl *Itft*r ' having given came, 5 
[saSainlo] ftoft=W' (<5l + jft5pl)=Wl *tifa*\ 'brought the cub/ 
[kagej] ^tC5*t 'estimate/ etc. It is found finally, as in [?o&] 
'ra==53 ' happens/ l>] * 'takes/ [dzaS] m?T^ 'goes/ 
etc. The tendency, however, is to omit the glide when there is 
a simplification or contraction of syllables as diphthongs 
are turned into monophthongs (of. Standard Colloquial, ODBL , 
pp. 415-16). Thus, [km/] ^f*f with a suggestion of [i] 
in a very much fronted [a] (see ODBL., op. cit.) for [kagej], 
O>>J] ^'*t for [boSof] TOI 'age/ [>'J] *lt'*t=*Tte*I 'courage.' 

30. L z ]> the alveolar voiced spirant, seems to occur when 
[-S-] is preceded by the voiced consonants [-b-] or [-g-] [b'aibzil 
<b'aib-f sil] ^t^Jfec ; f=^tf<lVllft^, the [maigzil<maig-l-sil] Tt^f^f 
' begged/ etc. But [-B-] preceded by [d-] gives 


from [saidz-]) 'dressed' 'requested.' 

31. [r] is one of the most characteristic sounds in the 
dialect, and, as has been noted, pronounced with the lips so open 
as to seem to be reduced to [h] (see 9, ODBL., 278) : e.g., 
[eani] *ptPf, also almost [hani] 3tft=*ffft 'water.' Examples can 
be multiplied almost to any extent. Indeed, the prevalence 
of [F] will be apparent from the following English sentence 
as pronounced by a Noakhali lawyer in the district court : 
[sparsn$li di F&di oadz sarlaed st dst Frais] = 'apparently the paddy 
was supplied at that price.' 

32. [u] occurs medially : e.g. [ouab] <3F5t3 'want' or 
'dearth/ [gouindo] OtTf^F also [goindo] ctl^f 'Govinda/ a 
proper name. 

33. [x], the spirant from the unvoiced plosive [k] is to 
be found in abundance in the eastern part of the dialectical 
area which has very great affinities with Chittagongese, 


The spirant is widespread in Tipperah-Sylhet as well. 
Thus, [xotta] *W1=*Sl 'master,' [xai(8)um] *rt^=*lttTl' I 
shall eat/ [dsxaB] OT*Tft 'shows, 1 etc., will come naturally from 
a Feni man, but Bhulua people will not speak so, and 
the influence of Bhulua is widespread through the district. 
Perhaps the traditional (and sentimental) belief of the 
Bhulua people that they are an imported stock is not 
absolutely baseless ; and this accounts for the divergence of 
the speech from the Ohittagongese. Otherwise we could 
account for this elision (see 19) as parallel to the spirant 
leading to elision of Prakrit stages ; but how can we 
explain the recrudescence of [k-~] in initial places as found in 
Bhulua area a process which would suggest an alteration of 
the spirant back to the plosive ? 

34. [g] : what is true of [x] is true of the voiced 
spirant [9.] also : e.g. [fiogol] 3?ffi=*Rre| 'all,' [kagodz] iftVffi 
'paper' are to be found everywhere, more in abundance on 
the Feni side. As mentioned in 19, 19#, both [x] and [g] 
have a tendency to be elided when non-initial ( [g] is never 
initial) : e.g. [JeaS] C*TOt&=CW*rft 'shows/ [fool] 3^f=*rareT 
'all/ also [Bool]. 

35. Though strictly speaking it falls within the scope 
of Phonology and not Phonetics proper, we may note in this 
connection some peculiar modification of consonantal sounds. 

35a. Assimilation of consonants in contact : 

degressive of the same group : 

[e:k + g'o:r] 4<R?> [sfifg'or] vfpTW 'one houseful/ [pa:k + g'o:r] 
] *Ff?N* 'cookshed/ [fia:t+di:n] ^fafw^ [fiaddin] 
'sevendays/ fi [boro-f4Sa] ^ C&T!< [bodcjea] ^5Sfn 
(C^fl^^tf?: tf. Maithil nediu or neru ) 'the 
older calf/ 

Of different groups : 

[dzo:dz+Ja:b] ^ + *Tt'^ > [dzojjab] W^sTOItR* 
'judge/ "[Fftts+Jeir] $\WK > [raj/cr] *Ht*ffl - ftR?Rr 'five 


seers, 5 [a:r + ton] ^*R5fa> [atton] %STfa=**|t*rft ^FtCS to me ' 
or 'from me/ 

Progressive Assimilation : 

[ro:dz+ka:r] C3t^t3> [ro.|&ar] C3Tfairf3*=C3t^t3 'earning/ 
[ nomofkir ] W3ft?[> [ noSfJar ] ^^^ flspjffa ' salute/ [tsornij 
CFfa^t > [tsunni] gfa 'a woman thief/ 

35fi. Doubling of consonants occurs to emphasize, e.g. 
[fiokkol] ^sfssij^ci 'all/ etc., and in groups which have a sub- 
scribed -m,-r,-y in -db,-jo,-kkh (<ks) groups : e.g. [b'.>ddor] 
s53f 'gentle/ [/og^o] ^fla^f 'heaven/ [b'aiggo] 
{ fate/ Muok/ [poildo] ^r=m * lotus/ -[biddan] 
'learned/ [oiggan] ^^t^^ = "Sfwt^ 'unconscious/ [Foikk(h)oJ 

f=^t^5 'sid?/ etc., etc. Noteworthy also are the classes 
[koiccfa] ^^1 = ^f?[^ 5*1 = 'don't do it' (IG), etc., and 
[Baij&il] ^^f^^ = ^t%rf|81, or ^rtftrWflwi 'requested* or 
'dressed/ Doubling is significant: e.g. [ksla] C^11 = ^c11 
'plantain' and [kslla] CVH1=WI, or ^ (<f%prl) 'neck' or 'fort/ 
Simplification of some duplicates without the lengthening 
of the preceding vowel is characteristic in Sanskrit viords : 
e.g. [b'o:t<bfiotto], [no:t<notto], [do:t<dotto] ^fe, ^, W5. 
respectively for the surnames Bhatta, Natta, Datta. 

350. Some instances of metathesis are met with : [tokro] 
^53P< [toiko] ^ ' ocntroversy/ [urFe] ^?(W<[up(o)re] 'on 
high/ [larki] Tf?rf%<[lakri] cTf^vft = ^^\f| [lokri] c faggot/ etc. 


36. The approximate position of the Bengali vowels 
in relation to the Cardinal Vowels, as also in their relationship 
among themselves in the Standard Colloquial (i.e. Cal. Col.), 
and therefore in Standard Bengali, has been indicated by 
Dr. Chatterji (Bengali Phonetics, p. 12 ; Bengali Phonetic 
Reader, p. 11). It is necessary to bear in mind the values of the 
vowels as related there, i.e., broadly speaking a Bengali vowel 
(short) stands just about halfway down from its 


value to the next cardinal, while when long or nasalized, 
it rises higher, stopping midway between the short and the 
cardinal values ; short [a] stands between cardinal front 
[a] cardinal back [a], and Bengali long [a:] and nasalized 
[ft] between Bengali short [a] and cardinal back [aj. 

The vowels of Noakhali dialect retain tbo same values, 
only [o] seems to be a bit higher than cardinal [o], and [], 
almost totally absent from the dialect, is being replaced 
by [e], which is a rarity in Cal. Col. 

37. Long [i:] : e.g. [g'i:n] ft^^KI 'repulsion/ [ri:t] 
^) C^ffe ' beat thou,' [fii:t] 4fa=% ' winter/ pi:t] ' 
=f^5 ' good,' [ti:n] sffa = f^ < three/ etc. 

Short [ij : e.g. [khsti] C*t%=^ 'loss/ [>6rib] 
'poor/ [sabi] ?tft=frtfo 'key,' [isnj %&**< 
1 this one/ [itor] ^5? t vulgar/ etc. A very large number of 
cases of medial [-i-] is duo to the Epenthesis which still lives 
on in almost all East Bengal dialects without undergoing 
:my modification (as in Cal. Col.) by Vowel Mutation and 
Vowel Harmony. This epenthetic [-i-], it has to be 
remembered, is very weak by nature, and ought properly to 
be represented with [-'-] : but this is not done so here as their 
nature is clear to all. Thus, [koillam] ^s^tif=^Ff|3Tt*f 
'I did/ [tsoillam] S^pfa =5fWto ' I went,' etc., etc,, would be 
found in this paper not as [ko'llam], [Wllam], with the 
imperfect [- 1 -] above. 

38. Long [e:]: such words are extremely rare, and are 
to be found in words like [ke:] C^F 'who/ [de:] CW 'give/ 
[ne:] CT ' take/ [de:n] Cff^=$Tfa c you give ' (honorific), (also 
[ds:n]), [/em] <7R 'Sen/ the surname (also [/s:n] ), [ge:l] 
C^=c^T ' went f (also as [gslo]). (See 39.) 

Short [e] is to be found quite in sufficient number, e.g. 
[beil] c^=C3?i1 'time/ [te] C$ or its equivalent [fiete] 
RC^=CT 'he/ [mainnee] = [mainne] + emphatic [e] <[main/e-f- 
emphatic [i] ^W^^Tt^CT^ c all men ' or 'men alone/ etc. 
In loose speech the locative -instrumental [-te] of nominatives 


as well as the emphatic [-e] may become [-ts], [-s], in 
harmony with the vowel of the preceding syllable : e.g. [lists] 
C3C5=C*f * he,' [*ram&s] ?TfC*M) i&TC^ * Ram alone,' etc. : these 
however are not so common. 

39. [s] is par excellence the Eastern Bengal vowel 

for Standard Bengali close [e], for open [] and for [s] 

wherever it is found (generally in final position) in 

the Standard Colloquial. (ODBL., cf. p. 142.) While in 

Cal. Col. it is a rarity, its prevalence in Eastern and 

South-Eastern Bengali at the cost almost the total 

extinction of [w], and partial eclipse of [e], is an important 

fact so far as the vowel sounds are concerned. Tims we 

may note [bs:/] C^t 'dress/ [ds:j*] CW 'country,' [tss:k] 

CFF 'cheque' or 'check,' [ms:g] pro ' cloud/ [s:m], [sin], 

[:1] in pronouncing the English letters m, n, 1, [bston] 

' salary/ [ksol] c^FW, (or [ksbol] c^^r) c only/ [bsgom] 

'queen/ [gons(e)] ^tCT=^(?? 'counts' [fion(s)e] C5tFf 

'hears/ etc., etc., in all of which Cal. Col. and Standard 

Bengali has [e], long or short as the case may be. Similarly, 

in [s:k] 4^ 'one/ [ds:k] c?^wt\ ' thou see/ [ksbla] c^^l 

=^rft*!t c Kyabla ' a proper name from [kelol], etc., we see 

Standard Bengali [re] giving place to [s] in the dialect. [] 

is almost absent, the Standard Bengali tatsama [tae:g] ^STffi 

'sacrifice/ [rokkhsbj ?^1 'protection/ [kolln] ^^Jt^t * good/ 

being turned into [ts:g] CW, [roikkha] ?^f^t1, [koillan] 

^^HJ e ^ c -5 ^ n the dialect. [] may be found optionally at 

the end of the words like [buirgaf)] ^?^tj1 'old' [kuirga(a)] 

^[5|J1 'idle/ and in proper names [kailla )] ^^1=Ttf^Hl 

(Cal. OVC*I) [moinna(ae)] 1^1=1^1, etc., etc., in familiar 

or contemptuous form of the name, with original iya affix. 

Again, [ e ] is not so preciously infrequent as in Dacca dialect 

(see 38), nor does Noakhali show that hopeless confusion 

between [e] and [e] whih characterises the neighbouring 

Tipperah : of. Tipperah-Sylhet [bed]=Eng. ' bad/ [mela] for 

Standard Bg. [maela] 'exhibition' or 'many/ [/s:] (puristic) 


for [Je:] 'he/ [eksept]=English ' accept,' [skse(s)pt]=Eng. 
'except 5 (of. also Tippcrah-Sylhet confusion between [o] and 
[u], both of which are illustrated in the following common 
hit against that dialect, viz. [mola khste tsur gsse tsole d'oira tul] 

*'C3 C$t*l (Cal. Col.) ' the thief lias entered the radish fields, 
catch him up by the hair/). None of these are in evidence 
in Noakhali. Noakhali stands thus: it has no [], some [e], 
and mostly [&]. 

As in Calcutta cockney, [a] nasalized sometimes gives \_$] 
(of., ODBL., 161 ; Bengali Phonetics, 39) : e.g., [kskra] cfCTI 
or [k8ora] c*W(1=*rt^5l 'crab/ [bSa] cfot=^W 'crooked/ [tSa] 
cf^l^l^W 'rupee ' (see 40). 

Naturalized English words have [s] (Cal. Col. has 
[ej): .#., [Jft()ar] C*!^? 'share/ [tss()ar] CFSt? 'chair/ etc. 

40. [a], [a:] (see also [a], 36); : following Dr. Chatterji's 
Bengali Phonetic Reader (p. 18, 41), in the present article 
[a] has been used for the sound, and not [a] as in the ODBL., 
and Bengali Phonetics : [a:, a] are more backward than [a], 
which is a central sound. Examples : [ma:] 31 'mother/ 
[ 9 a:t] '^TtessSf 'hand/ [fiat] 3te *TT5 'seven/ [baa] <rfsrl or 
[bar] ^1=^1 'papa/ [teatsa] FtFl 'uncle/ etc., etc. See 39 
for [-a-] > [-5-]. There is no change of [a] to [e] and [o] 
through vowel mutation as in Cal. Col. 

41. [o] is a common sound seems to approach the English 
vowel in 'not/ * hot/ rather than the Cal. Col. [o] which 
is slightly higher than the corresponding English sound : e.g., 
[tsole] w& 'goes/ [dzole] $^=^1 ' burns/ etc., are not exactly 
as in Cal. Col. with regard to the vowel [o], though the dis- 
tinction seems to be very small (smaller than that bet ween Dacca 
[o] and Calcutta Col. [o]). At the end of a word it does not 
often become so close as in Cal. Col. (=lax [o]) ; but is in many 
cases close enough to be transcribed by [o] 9 i.e. 9 midway between 
cardinal [o]and[o] : e.g., [ f o:r] TO' house/ [so:n]^=^ c straw/ 
[do:r] ra 'price/ Long [:] is slightly accompanied by lip- 


rounding). Short [V : [Bogol] sW=*re*! 'all/ [bogol] 
'armpit * (both may lose [--])> [J^ol] 1W 'simple, 5 [kobor] or 
equally frequently [koor], ^P^?, W3 'grave/ etc.; [&to] <i)E$1 'so 
much, 5 [Roto] tWl=CTte 'He down/ [koito] ^CWl=^ftp5 ' to 
tell,' [*oi)6] '<s^*f (optionally, such future and past forms 
generally like [ 9 oil], [*oib] have no final vowel)=^^f 'happened' 
etc., etc. 

42. [o:] long : not so much lip-rounding as in cardinal 
[o] : e.g., [b'o:g] Caffi (c^t^t <C^W=f *t <Skt. bubhuk^a 'hunger' 
or 'good,' |>o:k] <^Ffa = c*rfa1 'insect/ [dzo:r] OSrt? 'strength/ 
[lo:k] C*Tfa 'peoj)le/ etc. [o] has also a lower position, e.g.,, 
[jbdza] (7ftr| 'easy/ 'straight/ [fodza] CTW=C^1^1 'burden' or 
'luggage' (cf. Benga i Phonetics, 43). 

[o] : see 41. [-0-] is slightly fronted when followed by 
[ij ; because of epen thesis. This [o] is often represented 
here as [-0-]. 

It is to be noted that in many cases of [o] > [o] in Cal. 
Col., this dialect (as also many other forms of East Bengali) has 
not favoured the change. Thus [bo:n] ^ 'forest/ [mo:n] *R 
'mind/ etc., are not [born], [mo:n] as in Calcutta etc. 

The climbing up and sliding down between [o] and [o] 
are at times indefinite and it often depends on the personal 
equation of the speaker, : <?.#., f$ft( = 'ffltw^t) a proper name 
is [kuudi], [Modi] and lastly often [kuodi], [dzoto] or [dzoto] 
or [dzoto] ^\5=*p$' 'as much/ etc. 

43. [u], [u:], like [i], [i:], make no variation from the 
Standard Colloquial : e.g., [b'n:t] ^5=s^\5 'ghost/ [*u:t] *F5 
^ 'son/ [Ru:t] f^ N =C*t1 'He down' Early Beng. 
[tsoumuni] C^jP( (purism gives [tsoumufiani] <C^+^( 
sjtft) 'the meeting place of four streets/ also proper name 
for a big mart of the District, [imoir, h-] or [FUIF, h-] ^"a^, 
^J=^JSJ 'tank/ [Bonn] ^=qp 'vulture/ etc. Vowel 
Harmony seems to have a little influence : e.g., [d'o8] C*fft 
'washes/ but [d'uil] ^ 'washed/ [buna] (for Calcutta Col. 
[bona]) ^1=0^^1 c the act of weaving' or 'something that has 


been woven* : [-u-J > [-0-] occurs before [-e], but not 
before [-a]. 

44. All the above vowels can be nasalized : e.g., [c]l(8)a8] 
'pokes,' =fs-Sft 'crosses/ [tsa] C&*rtfrW 'rupee/ [kaor] 
'bite/ [kook] ?Nfrl = 'Wit OT^ 'oranges/ [k5or] 
= 'waist/ also ^\51 'pumpkin', [tui] ^= <ffo 'you. ' 
The nasalized vowel has a higher tongue position (of. Bengali 
Phonetic Pleader, pp. 11 ff.). 

The number of vowels is thus doubled by nasalization, when 
we take stock of phonemes. 

Nasalization, derived from Prakrit it is to be remembered, 
is generally dropped in the East Bengali dialects, including 
this form of Souih-Eastern Bengali :e #., [gadza] 
(tffsl) 'ganja/ [ba:j] *H=^W 'bamboo,' [tsaral] 5l*t 
low caste,' etc. On the other hand preservation of the 
nasal as a 'reduced nasal' or as a full nasal marks these 
dialects : [tsanda] FN1 = l>tWl 'subscription,' [bandi] ^t 5 fl= ; ftft 
'maid-servant' or 'slave,' etc. (See 21; ODBL., 176.) 
Instrusive nasals also occur: e.g., [nondi] ^f^f = ^ 'river/ 
[dziggai] %^1t f^M tf^ 'i ask/ etc. Spontaneous nasalization 
is found as in Standard Bengali : [aor] ^t^l? (<%^ [arjkhoro] 
=W^ 'alphabet' in the sense of 'word/ [kg(k)(o)ra] *crab' (see 
ante), [Kuti]^*f%=^t'book/ [rSus] C^tW= 9 ! ; 55t^ 'arrival' and also 
'acquaintance/ [bga], [tsa], (see ante) etc. The most distinctive 
feature of the dialect in this matter is the change of common 
Bengali intervocal [--] to a nasalization : this connects our 
dialect specially to Chittagongese : e.g., [ai] *rt^=^ftfl *!/ 
[tui] $^ 'you/ [tSar] cttrt^=(75W?f 'yours/ etc., etc., 
But compare [amuer] ^t^(pR?l (-m- < -^- < -15 <-p-) = ! It^5rt? 
'yours' (honorific) (also by assimilation [anner] ^ItCfl?), [somner] 
^C^=3ft1C^? 'of in front of/ etc., in which [m] is not intervocal. 

45. The number of diphthongs is about 24. The loss of 
medial consonants have increased their number. 

(i) [is]: not common like the Cal. Col. [ie], which is 
plentiful there because of Epen thesis and 'V owel Modification ; 


=fl i rft ' this one/ [dzis(e)n] fiTCOT-CWfa 'that 
one (which),' [tsorie(s)] frfr^ = bfetfft * the moment (he) got up ' 
or ' only by getting on/ etc. with emphatic [e] (e)=Cal. 
Col. [i]. 

(ii) [ia] : e.g., [BialJ %r^==cRrt*l 'jackal/ [fiia] 

'that' as [Bia koi ki la:b']-f^1 ^ 1% *rfa=Stf1 
* what good in saying that ? ' 

(iii) [io | :<?.#., [fiiol] fc*WfWl 'chain/ [biod] 
(<h<i?<p) ftfflf difficulty (more properly [biodj f?W). 

(iv) [io] : e.g., [kio] f^^f^c^ ' what oh !/ [dio] 
c give/ and in such future precative 2nd person endings ; 
[nariol] rtft > 1= s rtftlWI c cocoanut/ [dzlot] 'Bpf^^=^!ft^ 
c living/ etc. 

(v) [iu]: not common, e.g., [fiiuk] f^^ = m^F 'let 
(him or them) learn/ Eng. * union * [iunion] t^^ I 

(vi) [ei]: e.g. [dzeite] cfe=CT c he who/ [dei] CW^ 
=f^ ' I give/ [beil] ^9f=c^i * time/ 

(vii) [si] : <?.#., [bsinna] c^^1=ft^tC^ ' in tbe morning/ 
more properly [bsainna] cwftRl,[ei-e] ^4=^^ 'this alone/ etc, 

(viii) [sa] is common, e.g. [J&a] C^i^ (<W^1? Persian) 
* counting/ [khsa] c^t^rl 6 ferry/ [dsa] C?^1=W^1 'seeing/ 
Eng. c chair l=s [tesar], 

(ix) [su]: not many, 0.0., [<.-'su] C?^ ' wave/ [g'&u-g'&u] 
CT^-C^ a dog's * bow-wow/ 

(x) [ai] : most common : e.g^ [b'ai] 'St^ brother, 
[khail] ^rf^ss^t^' 'ate/ [tsail] ^9f.Ff^f 'rice/ [balai] 
^tTfe 'an object or person that is unwelcome ' (<Persian 
bala= 'calamity '), etc. 

(xii) [ae] is common: e.g., [khae] *tt% 'eats/ [gad'ae] 
5|tfRl=fltW '(by) ass/ 

(xiii) [ao], in imperatives like [dzao] or [dzoo] 
^=^8 * go/ [thao] otts=^IW c stay/ 

(xiv) [au]: <?.^., [bau] ^t*-^ Sir, Babu/ [JJj f au] 


(xv) [oe]: e.g., [koe] TO=TO 'says, 1 [loe] *RT ' takes; f 
but note [so: ]= Standard Bg. [cfhoe] 53 'six/ [no:] 5[=Std. Bg. 
[noe] TO 'nine, 1 [Foila] *t^*rl=Std. Bg. [poela] *tMl, 'first, 1 etc. 

(xvi) [oo]: e.g.> [oon] TQ^ = i<l*R 'now/ [koo] VQ 
=^ 'say': in such imperatives, and also in East Bengali 
verbal nouns like [koon] Wf=^3l 'the act of saying.' 

(xvii) [oi]: this diphthong (in the alphabet Bengali is 
represented by Jf): e.g., [doi] far * curds/ [boi] ^ ' book,' alsoss 
?fe '(I) carry' and ^fef1 c carrying ' (conjunctive participle), 
[jbi] *$=*rf3, *ff5$1, *HFt and Tpstfe '(I) sufPer, 5 ' suffering ' (conj. 
participle), * friend ' (among women) ' and signature ' (<Perso- 
Arabic sahl^>). The conjunctive participle in [-i] supplies 
many [oi] diphthongs in this dialect. 

(xviii) [oe]: e.g., [d'oe] C^T 'washes,' [tsoe] CFto= 
JCT 'sucks,' [roe] C?t?r ' sows ' (< [roa] at^Tl the little sprouts 
that have to be replanted), etc. 

(xix) [oa]: e.g., [roa] orW lit. ' that which has been 
sown 1 >*that which has to be planted;' [noa] CTRrt* 5 *^ 
[khoa] c^ll^l 'lost' and 'pieces of street macadam, 1 
^^l 'prayer for blessing' (a special Moham- 
madan term of Perso- Arabic origin), etc. 

(xx) [ou]: e.g., [bou] <$( 'wife ' or 'daughter-in-law/ 
[toouk]5^FC&W ' e y e / [nouk] pf^-'W 'nail/ [Rour] ^ 
"''W? { father-in-law/ etc. The diphthong is represented 
in Bengali by & 

(xxi) [oi]: e.g., [dzuit] ^ (?<|%)=^f| *ad- 
vantage' or 'opportunity/ [fiiiis] ^*^f=a^5 'needle;' also 
conjunctive participles like [d'ui] ^=^?(1 * washing/ [nui ] 
1 S^= s 5^n 'bending/ etc. 

(xxii) [ue] : not commonly occuring except in [mue] 
3jD=3C< ' in the mouth or face/ |juer] ^^r^^PT^ c of joy ', ' of 

(xxiii) [ua]: e.g., [tsua] g 1 ^-^ 'sour/ [kbua ] ^Jd 
=^prW 'fog/ [gua] ^S^rl*^^? (which latter form, as [fuari], 
is now more popular) = ' betel nut/ [b'ulla] ^fil (in affected 


speech [b'ulua] also) =^1 ' Bhulua Pargana,' [b'fia] 
ffl) 'false,' etc. 

(xxiv) [uo]: e.g., [Buor] ^ra** 1 ^ * swine/ [muor] 
* of mouth ' and in such genitives. Standard 
Bengali [uo] is not found. 

45a. Double vowels are found as in Cal, Col.: thus, [ee] 
or [ss] e.g. [fietee] or [Betas], (the former more usual), C5CS&4 
=CT^ 'he alone;* [aa], e.g. ; [baa] ^^1=^31 'papa;' [ii] 
e.g. [diit] f^=fiffaC3 ' in the tank,' [kiitto] f^3=fo ^foffS 
'what for;' [oo] e.g. [Bool] 3*1*1 =*R*?I 'all'; etc. (of. 
ODBL., 230). While Vowel Mutation and Harmony give 
scope to doubling in Cal. Col., the South-Eastern dialect 
of Noakhali owes that to the very large number of cases of 
elision of intervocal consonants. 

156. Most of these diphthongs can be nasalized. 

46. The loss of consonants must lead to the increase 
of the number of triphthongs, but the tendency to conden- 
sation, and elision is so pronounced in this patois that it is 
not easy to decide how many triphthongs (whether larger or 
smaller in number than in Standard Bengali: see ODBL., 231), 
the dialect possesses. The following 22 triphthongs can be 
found on a little examination, viz., [&oa, sio, sis, sai, sao, aie, aiu, 
aua, aoi, aoa, aia, nio, uai, uis, uae, use, iai, oao, oui, oai, oia, 
oio]; and at least some tetraphthongs are found [iais, oaio] 
etc. The number can be increased by the addition of 
emphatic [-s] or the verbal suffixes [-0, -sn] etc. The 
triphthongs also are not exhausted, and some more will be 
revealed on a careful search ; but that makes no fundamental 

47. Though strictly within the scope of Phonology, 
the following changes are noteworthy : 

4*7#. Epenthesis is widespread, but has no marked modi- 
fication by Vowel Contraction and Umlaut (contrast Cal. Col.); 
e<g. 9 Epenthesis of [-i-]: thus, [tsair] tffa (<5tft)Ff* 'four,' 
[toil] ^*[=^ft*l 'said,' [loikko] ^^^^WI 'aim.' [dzoiggo] 


f=TOl f sacrifice,' [koillan] ^rtlfl^^wiTM 'good/ etc. The 
post-vowel epenthetic [-1-] is not fully uttered, as has been noted 
in 37. Epenthesis of [-u-]: [tsouk] E^C5tt'eye/ [auk(g)], 
^t^(*t)=^J * sugar-cane,' etc. 

476. Anaptyxis : [pottor] WG3 or [hotter] "$&% (<*t3l) 
'letter/ [gsram] C^t^Stft 'village,' etc. 

470. Prothesis : [istiri] %ft=$t ' wife ;' Dutch schroef 
[sxrup] = [iskurup] ^pp*t or [iskurub] ^R c screw/ etc. 



48. Length is indicated with [:] and [] after the 
phoneme. (In this paper vowel length has heen expressed 
thus, but consonants have been doubled to express their 
length as a matter of conformity to usual practice). 

48a. Vowel length, almost as in Oal. Col. (of. Bengali 
Phonetics, 54), is dependent on the rhythm of the sense 
group. Generally three shades are recognised of length : e.g., 
[:] = long, as in [b'art] ^5 * cooked rice ' ; [*] half -long, as in 
[koillo-j ^M=3Ff?*l 'did/ and short, not marked, as in [dsi(S)um] 
Of^5=OTf^ ' (I) shall see.' 

486. In isolated syllables monosyllables as a rule have 
long vowels (cf. Bengali Phonetics, 55a) : e.g., [g'oir] ^? 
'house/ [b'a:t] ^5t$= 'cooked rice/ etc. 

480. The final vowels of disyllabic or polysyllabic words 
are generally half long (see Bengali Phonetics, 56) e.g., 
[mata-]qW=irN1 'head/ Ougairlo'] ^^5=^tf33T, 'blew/ etc. 

48rf. Length (usually described as ' doubling ') of conso- 
nants has been noticed in 356 and examples need not be 

49. Vowel length is very difficult to make out in connect- 
ed quick speech such as the patois emphatically is. The 


speaker's emotion is a factor in the matter it decides the 
rhythm of the sentence, and necessarily the length of the 
words (cf. Bengali Phonetics, 57). As it is difficult to put it 
beyond any shadow of doubt, it is better to adopt the * sense- 
group ' division, the vertical lines marking out divisions and 
the double vertical lines signifying a slight pause (as in 
Bengali Phonetics, 57). This perhaps will represent the 
speech more correctly if we leave out the factor of emotional 
length and intonation out of it. 


50. The stress system of the Bengali the Standard 
Colloquial Speech has been most ably discussed by Prof. 
S. K. Chatter ji in his * Bengali Phonetics ' (op. cil. 9 58) and 
the whole of its history has been revealed in his ' Origin 
and Development of Bengali Language,' Chapter II. Cf. 
also Bengali Phonetic Reader \ pp. 24-27. We can do no 
better than quote his conclusion on the Standard Collo- 
quial : The stress is dominantly initial ; and word stress 
surrenders itself entirely to sentence stress, the initial syllable 
of the first important word in a sense-group having the stress, 
and the other words losing their stress if they possess it when 
isolated. (ODBL., 113.) This seems to be true of the 
Noakhali dialect as well a dialect apprently more influenced 
by the Tibeto-Burman than many others. The large number 
of words with initial ^1 [a:, a] which have been lengthened from 
[D] bear testimony to it. Such are j/aosta] itevi *=<SR*I1, 'condi- 
tion', ['larki] *tftfa=5Wf$ ' faggot,' ['<Jabol] ^m ['daol] ^8^= 
<5^*f * double ' (English). The elision of the short vowel of the 
next syllable or the shortening of a long vowel goes to bear 
out the same contention. Thus, ['suitka] f^j^l 'lad' (cf. 
Biharl [cfhutAkka]), [>ani] ^==*rtfa 'water' (cf. Biharl 
[pA'nia]), Oarfari] ^f?r=^OTtft 'a village personality' 
(<accountant) ['b'aigna] ^?N=stfaFra 'sister's son,' [>etni] 
<C*tMD 'female ghost,' |>aimi] 


(< ttfaft) 'moonlight', [aflbr] eqVpnr (< 

* alone 5 etc. In words of foreign origin like [elka] 

' area ' from Persian ilaqah , the stress is thrown back as 

noted in LSI., Vol. V, Part I, p. 203. 

58. The stress-system, however, is not so simple, and 
a formidable number of words may be produced as puzzles. 
(i) Modification of a following vowel through the influence 
of a preceding one (as the result of strong initial stress) is 
greatly in evidence in Standard Bengali, but is resisted by 
the dialect in common with many others (cf. ODBL., 192). 
The extended forms of names in intimate or contemptuous 
address, e.g., [fiasoinna] ^^1=5Wf^1<5ll^==^W^ 'Hasan, 5 
[fioseinna] GSflX^Hl = CCtlXftSi < C3tC*l C*tW = * Hosain,' [aunna] 

m$m="H3 (? Tl*) ' anu ' [kMtta] frra===RR5fl<WH 'Kshitisa/ 
[bir(h)inna] ftfr(ft)ifl = ftptf^ <ftf*R ' Bipin,' etc., etc. 
Contrast Cal. Col. forms, which would be ftrtpi [bipoe], ftps 
[khite], CSfifR [Bofne], SfttFl [fiajtoe]. 

On the whole it can be safely held, however, that in a con- 
nected sentence or passage the initial word-stress prevails just 
as in the Standard Colloquial speech. We take an example 
at random which happens to be the LSI. Sandip Specimen 
No. 3 ; ['Ruin so nio* | *''fiasoinnar ba* H *'tsao mia dze I 'koi Fa^aise II J 
5^5 f5|^, ^ibmRJ ^1, ^H faSl OT ^t Vt^tlCf ?=f5Rltf ^ ^K 
^Wtr^t^ ^t, Stff-^qsl c*r ^fert fftftstti ? Have you not 
heard, oh Hassan's father ! what word Chand Mian has 
sent ?' Another folk-song has a line : [na' dzani kon i 'kalar Jate 11 
'Bortal badzaise H ] ^1 ftf^ C^H ^t*lfa ItC^I ^TOfT ^t^t^C? 
= ...... ^t^ifeltlf 4< I don't know with what Kala (=lover, 

charmer, lit. Krishna the Black One) she has run into 
a scrape. 5 (* Hartal' the famous word has in this dialect 
acquired the sense of c confusion,' 'intrigue/ 'scrape,' etc.), 

59. The dialect of Noakhali has never been used in 
literary composition. It is, however, a pertinent question 
whether this dialect par excellence of vowels, which has elided 
intervocal consonants to an astounding degree, and has thus 


made itself considerably liquid (like Maharastrl Prakrit of old) 
and at the same time has not developed many awkward 
Ohittagongese traits (e.g.) the frequent double consonants of 
the Chittagongese that would act like too many breaks and 
cataracts in its even flow), is in itself poor in sound or rhythm. 
The writer is not born to it, and cannot perhaps be accused 
of 'patriotic bias' in the matter. It is, however, his 
impression that the dialect, specially when it comes from 
the polished Bhulua Brahmans, though in their mouths a 
little more Sanskritic than usual, is a delight to hear, and 
is at least more delicate and sweeter than the Dacca tongue 
(which, incidentally, is the present writer's own dialect) and 
less grotesque and 'un-Bengali-like' than Chittagongese. No 
doubt the elision of non-initial consonants makes it more or 
less unintelligible to the speakers of the Standard colloquial, 
or Western Bengali ; but it must be conceded, after one gets 
acquainted with the speech, that it is not bad to the ear. 


61. A few specimens of the dialect will bring out the 
whole phonetic system more clearly, and, hence, they are 
presented herewith with brief notes to introduce and elucidate 
the passages. Each passage is given first in the I.P.A. 
script, then in the Bengali character as much faithfully as 
allowed by the conditions; this is followed by the Standard 
Bengali equivalent, and finally is given a literal English 


The following passage is supposed to be a dialogue between a Mohammadan day- 
labourer and a young Hindu gentleman who on purpose speaks the patois. It represents 
speech of the town of Noakhali quite faithfully. The idea and the materials for this 
belong to my friend Sj. Anutosh Sen-Gupta, B.A , Asst. Master, Arun Chandra High 
School, Noakhali, but for the linguistic framework I should be hld entirely responsible. 

The man (No. 1.). 'bau, | taun-Foler | 'maidde 'eida II kr *o8? II 
The gentleman (No. 2.). 'aidiza 1 'nacjog ase. D 


(No. 1.) 'toi, I 'amra | 'tsaitam h(r) ait tarn no-? N 
(No. 2.) 'F(h)uisa ainso ni ? II 

(1) 'h(F)uisa to nai | 'ba*u. D 

(2) 'Beile I i?(h)aitta no. H 

(1) 'h(F)uisa| 'koncjai h(F)ai(8)um ? H 'Baindzer, okte | 'baillai | 'h(F)ot 
oisi || kono, | 'Joda(e)ati 'loisi, II 'h(F)an 'loisi, | 'tsail 'loisi, | 'borbiillai 'kod 
loisi, | 'thamu(ii) 'loisi. H 'h(F)uisa to ar nai, | 'bau? || 

(2) ai kirum ? H Xh)uisa noile | F(h)aitta'no, I 'baura dito no. II 

(1) 'amne koile (8)eto I 'fiamaito h(F)ari. H toi, | 'amnereto bau | 
'sui$ka deiksi. I) 'amne | 'kuodi-baur h(F)ut | '(h)Firgolal no f ni ? || 'amne 
aggo | 'tsinen na-ari N 7 a:(h) Bare, | koto 'gesi, I koto 'aisi ! H 'doirgaS- aggo 
khail-ari. H 'amnegoo bau | ki: 'bai gese^ I ki: 'g'or ! I ki: 'dslan ! N 'toi, | 
amra 'ekkana I "fiamai na, bau?| 'oone tsoli / ai(e)um.|| ksbn, bau? || 

(2) aitssa (aiccfa), 'buirga, 'dzoo. II toi, | 'aimontor | 'koitb 9 6ib5 I 
x ki. deikhUI 

(1) 'koi(8)um, 'bau | 'koi(8)uin. H 

(He enters, After sometime, when he comes out.) 

(2) 'ki deikla, 'buirgafe) ? II 

(1) 'deiklam | 'bau | 'maidde 'ki: rojnai ! II 'ki: bakka ts&rag ! II 'kursi 
Bo(9.")oler 'h(F)ore | 'bau-Bo^ol | 'boi roise, || urre ki 'ragka 'aie-dzae !|| 
somne 'Ii:l h(F)orda. II 'ai reni 'roisi H 'atsombite I baj*i 'hugoiccfe ar | 
'h(F)orda urji gese.H x ai to 'atsauok ! N somne 'del ki ki: 'mondzar sk 'h(F)orda ! '| 
'indzil ase, I X b5t ase, I 'dza(B)adz ase II 'nondir kule I ki: | 'bakka 'tsmala 

W V V/ 

dslanlH ai reni 'roisi, || ba/i 'huirlo ar | 'h(p)orda hi&n | 'u<Ji gel. H 'tar 
bade | 'kono x F(h)ola-Bo(9.)ol | 'Jadzi ai | ki: 'git gailo, | / F(h)ori-ho(o f )oler 
nain | 'naitslb, H kono 'ajol F(h)ori no, | 'Jadzi aisil-ari. H 'tar bade I 'aar baji 
'hugoiccfe- ar | rorda 'udi gese. II 'd&i | 'bau-Bo(g.)ol | 'Jadzi ai | 'kitssa koilo. I 
'dzuddo koillo. || 'baj*i huare ar | Forda udi dza. I ar 'Betenra I 'kitssa ko$. II 
" (2) toi 'buirga(se) | 'a/ol deikla ki ? " 

(1) h(F)orda | 'ude (g)al'lame | h(F)orda | 'ude(S) al'lame || 'ajol 
dsoner 'fii&n H 

(2) 'ka: ? I 'git fiuinla na ? II 

(1) 'aggo-ton kono | 'dzuit dWe no. H 'bau, | 'Basa kota 'koito ki | 
'fieidinna dzen | 'dzatra 9 oil, I ukil 'binod baur bait, | 'rsbotir doler, | 'aggo 
ton | 'fiiene b'ala laigze. H 

(2) 'ka:?ll 

(1) 'bau | 'dzum laigdzil 'fiiene H 'amnego ^indugo 'kota ari | 'amra 
kisu 'buj^i no: II 'too bau | 'dzum laigdzil 'fiiene H 'Fuloif fio(9.)oler loe I 
'ijkuilla F(h)ola-Ro(g.)oler | ki: 'tsura laigdzil ! H 'baura tsillai, | andor-bair 


'maidde | / mai-(h)olara 'kandi ! II 'amra kono 'mati no. II too, 'dzam hwgdzil 
'fiiene. 'iene-to ksol | X h ) 0rda I 'u4e-(8)'allame, | 'u<Je-(S)'ailame I 'eie,- H 
too I 'mainne iene I 'killai 'ta-h(p)uisa di I 'aie, I ai 'taddzab ! II 


Noakhali Dialect. 

(i) ?t$t %1^ *pc*ra *rt^T 4^51 fa ra t 



(2) S(*)*f1 ^frff ft T 

(i) f(^ j^i ^ sift, 




^tWlCT ! ^5* Ctff i ^ Tftff :i ifeplCfl ^ItOTl 'Hl^l-^tfiT I 

c^tts, ^, f^ Tft c^tcw ! ft ^ ! f% cwt^ i ^, *it*ral 

l, Tt^ ? 


(He enters. After he returns.) 
(2) fa 


i PICT cw^ fa, fa ^J 

0?, ^f^r? fi^f fa ^rw cs*rt*fl 
' f ^rt?i ^ fe?R ^ ci 8 ! i 


i OT? TtvS-^w *rtf^ ^t^ fawt 





(1) ^tCTTHS'* C^tC^I 

twrft i 

' i 
i, *ro--tCT, ^t-4 i 

Standard Bengali. 

(No. 1.) 7t^, fet^^OT^ TO*! ^fel ft W ( =*^>U* ) ? 

(No. 2.) 

(No. 1.) 

(No 2.) *RR1 'srtf^^ ft ? 

(No. 1.) *RW1C^1 5rft,7t^l 

(No. 2.) <8W ^OT ^ItfilCT ^ 

(No. 1.) 


(No. 2.) <srffSr ft ^yf?R ? *Rffil ?r| 

i i 

(No. 1.) 'STffifa ^pfe^ $ gfttfS *ltft I ^1, 

t ^re f^ratfe t ^^5 ^tf^ratfe i wfwft 
i ^r^Rtwiw ft *tf 

(No. 2.) ^1^51, ^51, m^ i ^ci ^rrfei fag 

(No. 1.) ^ffcj, ^, ^fe^ i 

(He enters. After he returns.) 
(No. 2.) fa CWftOT, ^?1 ? 

(No. i.) cwr^rm, ?t^, wij f^ CTHjrft i 

ft 9 iW'i ^fiTf-^fa i it^c^ ^r ^^ri i ^tft ^t^feri ( c^= 

), ^rt^^ ^fert PI^KS i 

ft, ^l WftI ^I^F ^ I ^f^ WlO?, C*rf& ( pftl > Boat ) 



(No, 2.) 
(No. 1.) 

(No. 2.) 


(No. 1.) 

(No. 2.) 

(No. i.) 

( or ^^rtlfc'r ) i 

f ) ! 

rft i 


"(No. 1.) Sir, what is this going on inside the Town Hall ? 

(No. 2.) There is a dramatic performance this evening. 

(No. 1.) Then, shall we not be allowed to see it ? 

(No. 2.) Have you brought money (paisa - pice money)? 

(No. 1.) We have no money, Sir. 

(No. 2.) Then, you cannot. 

(No 1.) Where shall I get money from ? I have just 
taken the way for home this eventide, taken the things I 
bought, taken the betel leaves, taken rice, taken catechu for 
the senior wife, and I have taken also the tobacco-mixtures 
(with me). There is no pice with me any more. 

(No. 2.) What can I do ? You cannot (see) without pice, 
the authorities won't allow you. 

(No. 1). If you allow, we can enter. Ah ! Sir, I saw 
you a mere lad. Are you not Kumudini Babu's son Priyalal ? 
You of course do not know us. Ah ! How often have I 
not been to yours (lit. goiie to your house and come back 
from that). No doubt, Sir, the river has ruined us. What 
a home Sir, have you not also lost 1 What houses ! And 


what a building ! Then, why not let us get in for once ? 
We shall come back just this moment. What do you say, 
Sir P 

(No. 2.) Well, old man, you may go. But when you 
come out, you must say what you see there. 

(No. 1.) I shall say, Sir, I shall say. 

(He enters. After he returns.) 

(No. 2.) What did you see, old man ? 

(No. 1.) What an illumination I saw inside ! What 
beautiful lamps ! On the chairs remained sitting the gentry, 
upwards what a fan was coming and going (when pulled) ! 
In front a blue curtain. I kept looking at suddenly the 
whistle blew, and the curtain was up. I was astonished. 
Before me I saw what a beautiful scene (lit. curtain). There 
was engine, there were boats, there were steamers, there 
was on the bank of the river what a fine three-storied 
building ! I kept looking at the whistle blew out, and 
that scene also went up. After that, boys (chokras) coming 
dressed-up sang what a beautiful song, danced like the 
fairies they were not real fairies, however, they were 
dressed up. After that, the whistle blew out again. I saw 
gentlemen dressed up entering declaimed some stories, and 
fought. Then, the whistle blew out, and the curtain went 
up and they declaimed (again). 

(No. 2.) But, old man, what was the real thing worth 
seeing ? 

(No. I.) The curtain went up and down, the curtain went 
up and down : This is the real thing worth seeing. 

(No. 2.) Why ? Did you not listen to the songs ? 

(No. 1.) To us, these had no interest (or appeal). Sir, 
to tell you the truth, theya/ra-performance of Rebati's party 
performed the other day at the house of Binod Babu, the 
pleader, had more interest for us there. 

(No. 2.) Why ? 


(No, 1.) Sir, There we felt a real enthusiasm. The 
stories were indeed of you Hindus, we could not under- 
stand. Still there we felt a real enthusiasm. What a fight 
was there between the police and the school-boys 1 The 
gentlemen shouted ! In the zenana the ladies cried I We of 
course kept quiet. Still, we felt there the real enthusiasm. 
Here, only the curtain goes up and down, goes up and down 
that is all. Why do the people pay money (lit. pices and 
rupees) to come here I wonder I" 

The next two specimens (No. 2 and No. 3) are the dialec- 
tical versions of the first three paras of Rabindra Nath 
Tagore's * Kabulfwala.' To guard against the temptation 
to which the educated speakers of the dialect so often fall 
a prey, only the English version of the story from the ' Stories 
from Tagore ' (Macmillan & Co., Limited, 1924) was set 
before them for the purpose. The two specimens represent 
the western and eastern parts of the district, and it is 
apparent from these that the difference between the two is 
after all slight. After the phonetic transcript and the 
Bengali representations of each of the specimens follow 
Tagore's own Bengali original and the English version of 
that from the c Stories from Tagore,' which are not, there- 
fore, tagged after each of the specimens, as that would be 
unnecessary. The original Bengali and the English version 
differ to some extent, and the difference is noted within 
brackets in the Bengali. 


The credit of the version belongs to a student of the highest class of Khilpara H. E. 
School, one of the flourishing villages of the west, of the district and was kindly 
supplied to me by my friend Sj. Yagneswar Datta, B.T., a teacher of the school. It is 
faithful to the dialect of the locality. 

&:r I 'has bosoirga soda mai(8)a I 'mini | 'rstsal na Fuji | 'tbaikto 
we na H 'Btea | 'a:r tai lage 1 'iga dzonmer moidd'e i 'tsup kori &k 

V V V 


'don<}6 | 'fiuda-fiuda 'kadae* no. || fiigar 'ma I 'iar-lai | FOraie 't&kto *oi I 
'd'omkai I fiigar 'muk i 'bondo kori dito fcsa8 : H 'kintu I '&i fiia Fari 


na. II 'mini tsup kori 'thaikle I 'a:r-Jai | smon 'alga-alga lage dzen, | ai 
'onokkbou | 'fieitfa '$&}&'* koittam Fari na. H 'fiiar-lai I 'fiigar ar' Sir kota I 
'khub 'dzomi ude.|| 

'fiei din 'bsainna | 'ai fiobe ar | 'uFoinnaJer 1 'J*otro oidd'aSer | 'moidd'e 
aisi ;n 'fiemne-e l a Sr 'miniga | 'aste-aste I &r 'g'orer moidd'e 'fiftndai I Sr ' ? ater 
uFre /? at rai I 'koito laiglo,H 'baova I / ramdo(8jal 'daroan I 'kaure 'koua 
koe. ft' fiste 'kisu dzaue na ; || 'ksmon o ? II 

'ai fiobe fiigare I 'bu^5ai(e)um I si 'rirtimite | x fiogol kota I 'sk-room 
no, II iar age-e I Riga 'onno arek kota I 'Juru kori dil ; || 'baba | 'amner-tai 
'ksrom lage-o ? ' b^ola ko8 I 'meg'er modd'e | 'eigga /9 ati ase U 'higa bole I 
'sorta di I 'dzo:l sl*li halae, l ar | 'iar-lai bole | 'bijti 'oe H 

i fafa ^fii ^irt^OT <t? 



""f W 

? CSt^Tl ** CTPBf ^*W 4^1 '^tlt (^ I fipfl 
ft Sp 


The present specimen is a version of specimen No. 2 by a student of the Mangalkandi 
H. E. School (P. O. Kazirhafc), a village of the east, and was kindly supplied to me by my 
friend Sj. Soresh Chakravarti, B.A., Headmaster of the School, himself an enthusiastic 


student of the dialects. The version, however, is not completely faithful to the patois 
and approaches nearer to the Standard Bengali forms than the preceding specimen (No. 2), 
perhaps because the student was imbued with the idea that his dialect is not 'genteel/ 
Thus, for example, ' novel'... Standard Bengali fe^fSTfo is first given as ^twH and then 
turned into $Wt*t. The former, however, is more natural m the dialect, and it is 
adhered to here. Except for such slight changes and orthographic modifications in the 
Dialectal Bengali versions, the specimen is presented here as supplied to me. 

&:r | 'Fas botsori(&)a soda mai(8)a | 'mini | 'kota na koi I 'mo(jo-6 
'thaikto Fare na. || 'ar kase lage, | 'fieti fiara dzibone | sk-'mufiutto-o | 
'tsup kori thaS no. | 'fietir ma I 'onek pmoS | 'tekto *oi | 'fietire 'kota kdito 

dito no. H 'kintu | 'ai erum Fari na. II 'karon, | 'mini tsup kori thaikle I 


dze 'abosta *oe | 'ai Bia 'Boitam Fari na. II 'fiiar-llai | 'fietir loge 'kota-batta 
'koito I ar' b'ala lage. 

'beainna I ar 'uFoinnaJer I 'J*otro poritesode I dzoon /9 at disi 'toon-e 
mini ai 1 ar /9 ater uFre /? at rai | 'koilo, H 'baua | 'ramdo(e)al 'daruan | 
'kauare 'koua kc>8. || 'Bete 'kissu dzane na || 'dzane ni ? H 

'ai fie tire I ei 'pirthimir | sk 'b'ajar 'fiogge I ar-ek 'b'ajar 'bsjkom I 
b'u ^aoner age-i I 'Bett ar-ek kotaS | 'tsoli ail : H 'baua-go, | 'b'olae ko | 
'aa/D | 'sorta di dzol sldi de() ;7l 'Bi(e)ellai | 'bi/fci ^oe. 11 

< 1? 

f ft fen ^ti ^tf? ^1 1 


^ra i rere f^| vtw HI i 

^CT ^rfif ^I 


1TH f OFRRfl fw ^T fiffr OT 1 

Standard Becgali Original: 




rcwi? f^w ^ft^c? ^T^ fwrtw 
?tf^i?rt ^rt^g 
i c*r ft^ ttw ^rt, 

> fwnr VM c^c^, vft ?fl w i" 

English Version (Stories from Tagore? p. 1). 

My five year old daughter Mini cannot live without 
chattering. I really believe that in all her life she has not 
wasted a minute in silence. Her mother is often vexed at 
this, and would like to stop her prattle, hut I would not. 
For Mini to be quiet is unnatural, and I cannot bear it long. 
And so my own talk with her is always lively. 

One morning, for instance, when I was in the midst of 
the seventeenth chapter of my new novel, my little Mini 
stole into the room and putting her hand into mine, said, 
" Ramdayal, the doorkeeper, calls a crow a krow. He does 
not know anything, does he ?" 

Before I could explain to her the difference between one 
language and another in this world, she had embarked on the 
full tide of another subject : " What do you think, father ? 
Bhola says there is an elephant in the clouds, blowing water 
out of his trunk, and that is why it rains 1" 

India in Puranic Cosmography 




India surrounded on three sides by the great ocean and 
bounded on the fourth side by the most 
ofind^ n menclature stupendous mountain system of the world 
which * stretches along on its north like 
the string of a bow ' (karmukasya yatha guiiah) 1 is un- 
doubtedly a geographical unit. But we have no compre- 
hensive designation for the country in the earliest literature, 
whether Indian or foreign. Neither Sapla Sindhavali, the 
name applied to their homeland by the Vedic Aryans, nor 
Aryavarta, the designation of Aryandom in the days of 
Bodhayana and Manu, meant the whole of the Indian 
sub-continent ; and even the terms ' Hidus ' 2 and ' India 9 3 
when used by Darius and Herodotus did not probably 
denote at first any territory beyond the Indus valloy. The 
reason is not far to seek. The Indian and foreign peoples 
to whom we are indebted for the earliest notices of 
Hindusthan, were acquainted only with one corner of this 
vast sub-continent, viz., the north-west region watered by 
the Indus arid the upper Ganges. It is only in or about 
the fourth century B. 0. that we have the first indubitable 
proof in the pages of Katyayana 4 and Megasthenes 5 of the 

1 Markandeya Parana, 57, 59, Pargiter's translation, p 347. 

8 Ancient Persian Lexicon and the texts of the Achaomenidan Inscriptions by H. 0. 

3 Herodotus, Book III, Ch. 97-98. 

4 Varttika to Papini, iv, 1, 168 (Pander dyan). 
8 Fragments LI, LVI. B, LVIII. 


exploration of the whole country down to the 
realm in the extreme south. 1 And it is precisely about this 
period that we have the first clear indication of the use of 
a comprehensive term for the great territory stretching from 
the Himavat to the sea. That term is Jambudvipa. 

As is wellknown, Jambudvipa is mentioned in one of 
the minor Bock Edicts of Asoka 2 as the 
no"[aHon. dv!pa ^ ltSde designation of the extensive region through- 
out which the Pakama (ParSkrama) of the 
Maurya Emperor made itself felt. The term is used to 
denote the dominions of Asoka in the seventh century 
A. D., by I-tsing 3 who clearly distinguishes it from China 4 
and mentions Fu-nan or Poh-nan (Kuo) as lying on its 
south corner. 6 But already in the period of the Epics 
and the Puranas Jambudvipa has acquired a wider denota- 
tion. Though still distinguished from Sakadvlpa the land 
of the Maga dvijas who worship the sun-god 6 it is re- 
garded as practically identical with Kshiti (the earth), 

1 There are no doubt references to the Pandya country in the epics. But these can- 
not be dated even approximately. 

Y (i)-iraaya kalaya Jarabudipasi amisa d a husn te dani m(i)s kat. Pakamasi hi 
esa phale. 

3 I.tsing's Record of the Buddhist Religion, trans, by Takaknsu, p. 14. 

4 Ibid, p. 136. 

5 Ibid, pp. 12-13. Fa-nan corresponds to Siam and part of Cambodia (Takaknsu). 

6 Maga Magadhamanasya Mandagascha dvijatayah. 

yajanti Suryarupantu gakah kshirabdhina vritafc (Agni P., 119. 21), 
Maga Brahmana-bhuyishtha Magadbafc Kshatriyastu te 
Vaisyastu Manasastesharn gudrft jfieyastu Mandagft^ 
Sakadvtpe sthitair Vishnu^ Surya-rupa-dharo Harilj 
yathoktairijyate samyak karmabhir niyatatmabhih (Brahma P., XX. 71f.). 
C/. Also Kunna Parana, I. 48. 36-37 j Mbh., VI. 11. 8-38. In the epic, however, g&ka- 
dvlpa seems to be regarded as a centre of gaivism (pujyate tatra Saiikaral?, V]., 

11. 28). 

The Sun-worehipping Maga Brahmanas are doubtless the Magi of Iran (Bhandarkar, 
Vaishnavism, gaivism and Minor Religious Systems, p. 153). In the gafikara* worshipping 
inhabitants of S&kadvipa we may perhaps find a reference to Scythic Kings like Kadphises 
11 and VSsudeva I. Note also the presence of the Padupatas in "Lang-ka-lo" which was 
subject to Persia (Wat tors, 11. 257). Vidyabhushana identifies S&kadvipa with Sogdiana 
(JASB, 1902, Part I, p. 154). 


and is described as being " low on the south and north, 
and highly elevated in the middle " (dakshi^ottarato nimna 
madhye tungayata Kshitih). 1 Among its divisions we find 
mention of Ketumala, the valley of the Vafikshu 2 (Oxus), 
Ilavrita, the district round Meru 3 which the Mahabharata 
places near the sandy desert beyond the Himalayas, 4 and 
Uttara-Kuru, another trans-Himalayan tract 5 which has 
become quite mythical in the Pura^ic period. The Island of 
Java (Yava) is also included within its limits. 6 

As the denotation of Jambudvipa becomes wider need 
is felt for a new term to mean the country 
Dv^sandta'shas'. south of the Himavat. Such a term is 
Bharatavarsha which, in the opinion of 
Liiders, is mentioned as early as the Hathigumpha Ingcription 
of Kharavela, king of Kalinga. 7 Jambudvipa, however, still 
continues to be used in its narrower sense as a synonym 
of Bharatavarsha. 8 The world is now conceived of as com- 
prising seven concentric island continents (Saptadvlpa 
Vasumati 9 ) separated by encircling seas 10 which ' increased 

1 Markajjdeya P., Ch. 54. 12 f . 

4 Ibid, Ch. 54. 8-14 ; 56. 13f. ; 59. 12-17. Vaukshu is often corrupted into Chakshu, 
Rafekshu, Sra-rakshu, etc. See Ind. Ant., 1912, p. ?65f. 

4 Madhye tv-llavrito yastu Mahamerolj samantatah (Brahipanda Purana, Ch. 35. 22). 

* Mbh., XVII. 2. 1-2, 

tataste niyetatmana Udichim dBamasthitah 

dadrigur yogayuktSscha Himavantam mahagirim 

tarn chapyatikramantasto dadpsur balukarnaram 
avaikshanta mahaBailam Merum sikhari^am varam. 

* Parena Himavantam (Aitareya Brfthma^a, VIII. 14 ; Vedic Index). 
Brahmanda (52.14.19). 

7 Liiders, List of BrShml Inscriptions, No. 1345. 

* Cf. Mbh., VI. 6. 13 : tasya pargveshvaxaf dvipaschatvarah saihsthita vibho 

Bhadrasrah Kctumalascha Jambudvipascha Bharata. 
Cf. also Brahman^ Purana, 37. 27-46 : 43. 32. 

9 Patafijali's Mahabhashya, Kielhorn's ed., Vol. I, p. 9. 

Cf. Sapta-dvipavati Mahl (Brahmanda 37. 13). The number is sometimes raised to 
nine (sasSgaru navadvipa datta bhavati Medint, Padma, Srarga, VII. 26) or reduced to four 
(Mbh., VI. 6. 13). 

10 And apparently floating on thorn Talopari malil >ata naurivaste sanjjale 
(Garada, 64. 4). 


double and double compared with each preceding one 5 
(dvigu^air dvigu^air vriddhya sarvatafc pariveshtitah). 1 
These insular continents (" dry collars " of Alberuni) are 
further divided into smaller areas (Khandakan) 2 called 
Varshas* Bharata being the name of the southernmost 
Varsha 4 of the innermost continent, Jambudvipa. 

As pointed out by Alberuni 5 and Abul Eazl there is 
considerable diversity in the order of the Dvipas and Varshas 
and their extent and other particulars. There is, however, 
agreement in regard to the first and seventh Dvlpas which 
are invariably named Jambu and Pushkara 7 respectively. 
The names of the Dvipas and seas as given in the Agni 
and most of the other Puranas are mentioned below : 

Jambu- Plakshahvayau dvlpau Salmalischaparo mahan 
Kusah KraunHiastatha Sakah Pushkarascbeti saptamah 
ete dvipah samudraistu sapta saptabhiravritah 
lavaiickshu-sura-sarpir-dadhi-dugdha-jalaih samam. 8 

Alberuni 9 seems to prefer the evidence of the Matsya 
Purana which, along wtth the Padina, mentions the names 
in the following order : Jambu, Saka, Kusa, Krauncha, 

1 Mark. P., Cli. 64.7 ; Albcruni, 1. 233, cf. Uie Buddhist teaching about the world 
and the system of which it forms a constituent as summarised by Hiuen Tsang (Walters, 
Yuan Chwang, I, pp. 31-36) : " In the ocean, resting on a gold disk is the mount Sumeru. 
Around the Sumeru are seven mountains and seven seas. Outside the seven gold mountains 
is the salt sea. In the sea there are four islands, viz., Kuril, Godana, Videha and Jambu." 

* For Khandakan see Garuda Purana, Ch. 54. 12. 

J Varsha is thus defined in the Brahroanda (53, 133 134) 

Viahayo luvasanlyasmin praja yasmachchaturvidhulj, 

tasmad Varshamiti proktam prajaDarh sukhadaritu tnt 

Kisha ityeva Rishayo yrislialj sakti prabandhane. 

iti prabandhanat siddhira varshatvath tena toshu tat. 
dakshiijam varsham Himahvara (Brahmanda ch. 33.44). 
Vol. I, p. 236. 

Ain-i-Akbari, III, 32 (trans, by Jarrett). 

dvipft maya prokta JambudvIpadayo...Pu8hkaranta|? (Mark. P., 54, 5). 
Agni, 108, 1-2. 
Vol. I, p. 236. 


Salmali, Gomeda (in the place of Plaksha), and Pushkara. 1 
Abul Fazl 2 regards the legends about the six outer conti- 
nents as being beyond the limits of credibility. So he puts 
them aside and confines himself to a few particulars 
regarding Jambudvlpa. It may at once be conceded that 
the description of most of the seven dvipas in the extant 
Purayas marks them out as things of fairyland, 3 compar- 
able to the Isles of the Blessed or the Spanish El Dorado. 
The very conception of the earth as an aggregate of seven 
concentric islands surrounded by seas is pure mythology. 
It is, however, well to remember that the word dvipa ori- 
ginally meant nothing more than a land between two sheets 
of water 4 (usually rivers), and that some of the Puranic 
dvlpas are obviously named after tribes, or connected with 
localities, which can bo identified with more or less certainty. 
Sakadvlpa, for example, is obviously named after the Sakas and 
the description of its inhabitants as ' Maga-dvijas ' who worship 
" Surya-rfipa-dharo Hari" clearly points to its identification 
with Sakasthana or Seistan in Iran, the land of the Magi and 
of the Mihira cult. 5 Votaries of this cult migrated to India in 
large number probably in the Scythian period and consti- 
tute the Sakadvlpi community of the present day. The 
name of the next dvlpa mentioned in the Matsya Purana, 
viz., Kusa, reminds us of the famous race which, according 
to Baron A. von Stacl Holstein, 7 gave India the powerful 

1 For the enumeration of the dvipas see Matsya, Oh. 122-123 ; Padma Svarga-khanda 
Ch. IV. " ' 

* Ain.i-Akbari, III. 29. 

3 Cf. Vishnu Purana, II. iv. 9-15, otc. 

"nadhayo vyadhayo vapi sarva-kala-sukham hi tat." 
" Plaksha-dvipadisbu Brahman akadvipantikeshu vai 
panchavarsha-sahasrani janft jivantyanamay&k" etc. 

* Dvirapatvftt smrito dvipafc (Brahmantfa 53. 140). Cf. Mahabhashya, Kielhorn's ed, 
Vol. I, p. 131. Cf. also gakaladvlpa mentioned in the Mahabharata (II. 26. 5-6) which 
was clearly a tract between two rivers (the Kavi and the Ohenab). 

3 C/. Bhandarkar, Vaish^avism, Saivism and Minor Religions Systems, p. 153. 
Cf. Bhandarkar (Prof. D. R.) Foreign Elements in the Hiftdu Population (Ind 
Ant.), p. 11. Vidyabhushana, JASB, 1902, Part I, pp. 152-155. 

7 JRAS, Jan., 1914, pp. 79-88 ; Smith, Early History of India, 4th ed., p. 266n. 


emperors of Kanisbka's line. Plaksha which is placed 
next to Jambudvipa by many Puranas 1 as well as the com- 
mentator of Patafijali, 2 has, as one of its streams, the river 
Kramu or Krumu 8 mentioned as early as the Rigveda, 4 and 
identified by scholars with the modern Kurram, a western 
tributary of the Indus, In one Puranic list we find Kubha 
(the Kabul river) in place of Krumu. 5 These facts may point 
to some region immediately to the west of the Indus as the 
probable site of the ' Plaksha dvlpa ' of the Puraiias. 6 A 
Puranic passage quoted by Alberuni 7 places Pushkara between 
China and Maftgala (Mongolia?). Thus the account of the 
'seven dvlpas ' may have had originally a substratum of 
reality. But the extant texts bearing on the subject are so hope- 
lessly corrupt that the kernel of truth is in most cases buried 
beyond reach underneath a vast mass of Utopian myths. 8 It 
is only in the account of Jambudvipa that the poet has not 
altogether thrust out the geographer. 9 

Vidyaohusha^a (JASB, 1902, Part I, p. 151) compares the Damin Brahmanas of Kusadvipa 
(Vishnu Parana, II. iv. 39) with the Damnai and other tribes inhabiting Serike (Ancient 
India as described by Ptolemy, ed. S. N. Majumdar, pp. 299, 305). 

1 Cf. Plaksha-dvipa-parikrantara Jambudviparn nibodhafca (Brahmanda, 34-40. Cf. 
also 50-4). 

4 Alberuni, Vol. I, p. 235. The Bhashya on Patanjali's Yogas utraa is meant here. 
It is attributed to Vyasa. 

8 Brahmanda, 53.19; Garuda, 56.4. 'Anutapta Sikhi chaiva VipaSa Tridiva Kramul;.' 
* See Vedic Index. 

5 Kurma Parana, I, Ch. 48.7. ' Anutapta Sika chaiva VipapS Tridiva Kubha.' 

Vidyabhushana is inclined to identify Plaksha-dvtpa with Ariana (JASB, 1902, 
Part I, p. 151). 

7 Oh. XXV, p. 2G1. 

8 Vishnu, II, iv. 9-15 quoted above. Compare also the textual corruptions in the 
account of Sakadvipa in Brahrnanda, 53.76f, and GUruda, 56, 14-15 ; In Vishnu, II. iv. 
69f, Maga (= Magi) becomes Mriga 1 Cf. also the account of Pushkaradvipa in Vishnu, 
Book II, Ch. IV, 73-93, esp. " Bhojanam Pushkara- dvipe tatra svayamupasthitam, 
shadrasam bhufijato vipra prajah sarvah sadaiva hi." This dvipa is surrounded by the sea of 
?gKfsqt (sweet water), beyond which lies the golden earth (Kaftchani bhumi) which is 
sarva-jantu-vivarjita. Behind it lies Lokaloka Biila, a mountain of the height of ten 
yojanas ! ! ! Bhaskara in the Sidihanta Siromini <( dismisses the system of dvipas as 
Pauranikl katha " (Seal, Vaishnavism and Christianity, p. 48). 

9 Jambudvipa is the continent inhabited by human beings* Jambudvipo narasrayaty 
(Brahman4a, 37.34). 


Jambudvipa also called Sadarsanadvlpa is said to 
. , r , . derive its name " from a tree growing in it, 

The Varshas of o o > 


the branches of which extend over a space 
of 100 Yojanas." l It is said to be shaped like a lotus with 
Meru as its kanaka 'pericarp) and the Varshas or Mahadvlpas 
Bhadrasva, Bharata, Ketumala and Uttarakuru as its four 
petals. 2 Less poetical, but more important from the point of 
view of sober geography, is the description of Jambudvipa as 
being low on the south and north, and highly elevated in 
the middle. 1 3 The elevated region in the centre is styled 
Mvrita or Meru Varsha, i.e., the district round Meru. 4 To 
the "north of this tract lie Ramyaka, 5 Hiranmaya 6 and 

1 For the derivation of the name see Alberuni, I. 251 ; Brahmanda, 37.28-34 j 50.25-26 j 
Matsya, 114.74-75. 

Sudariano nama mahftn Jambn-vrikRhah sanStanah 

taayanamna samakhyato Jambudvipo vanaspatetj (Matsya). cf. Mbh., VI. 5.13-16 j VI, 


Thore was also a river called Jambu nadi which takes the place of Suchakshu (Oxus) 
in a passage of the Mahabharata (Hopkins, Epic Mythology, p. 5). Is Amu a corruption of 
Jambu ? 

8 JambudvipaSchaturdala-kamal&karafc (Nilakaijtha's Commentary on|Mbh., VI. 6.3-5). 

tadevam parthivam padmam chatushpatram mayoditara 

Bhadrftsva-Bharatadyani patranyasya chaturdisam (Mark., 55, 20f). 

Prithivipadmaifi Maru-parvata-kar^ikam (Brahmanda, 35.41). 

MahadvipSstu vikhyatagchatvaralj patrasamsthitah 

Padma-kar^ika-sarpsthano Merurnama mahSbalal? (ibid, 50). 

Chaturmahadvipavati seyamurvl praklrtita (Brahmanda, 44.35). 

The names of the " four mahadvipas " are given in Oh 35, verses 60-61, and 
Ch. 44, verges 35-38, as Bhadrasva, Bharata, Ketumala and Uttara-kuru. In Ch. 37, 
verses 27-46 ; Ch. 43.32 and Mbh., VI. 6.13, Jambudvipa takes the place of Bharata, 
while Buddhist authors replace Bhadrasva and Ketumala by Purva-videha and A para- 
godana respectively (Kern, Manual of Indian Buddhism, p. 57 ; Waiters, Yuan Chwang 
Vol. I, pp. 31-36). Jambudvipa according to Buddhist writers is divided by four 
lords the elephant-lord who rules the South (India), the lord of precious substances 
who rales the West (Rome?), the horse.lord who rules the North (Scythia ?) and the man- 
lord who rules the East (China). 

8 Mark., 54.12f. 

* Meruvarsham may proktam madhyamam yad-Ilavritam (Mrk, G0.7). Madhye 
tv-Ilavrito yastu Mahamerolj samantatafc (Brahmanda, 35,22). 

* Also called Hamanaka (Matsya, 113.61 ; Mbh., VI. 8,2) and Nilavarsha (Brahmartfa, 
34.46). The Garuda Purana places ifctm the north-west of Meru (Ch. 55.3). 

Hiranmayam nama yatra Hairanvat! nad! (Mbh., VI. 8.5), also called firetavarsha 
(Brahmanda 34.46 j Agni, Ch. 107.7). The Garuda Purana places Hira^vat in 
. 55.1). For the name Hiranvat see also Matsya, 113,64. 


Uttatfakuru, 1 and on the south are Bharata, 2 Kimpurusha 8 
and Harivarsha 4 Bharata being the southernmost region 
(varsha) separated from Kimpurusha by the Himavat chain, 
and described, like Uttarakuru (the northernmost region), as 
being shaped like a bow. 5 To the seven original varshas 6 are 
added two others of a longitudinal character, viz., Bhadrasva 
(east of Meru) and Kefcumlla (west of Meru), raising the 
number to nine. 7 

The description of the trans-Himalayan Varshas is, in 
the main, as idealistic and mythical as the account of the island 
continents surrounding Jambudvlpa. The Markandeya Purana 
naively says : 8 

yani Kimpurushadyani Varshanyashtau dvijottama 
teshudbhidaditoyani raeghavaryatra Bharate 

1 Also called grififfavad-varsha (Brahmanda, 34.47) and Airavata varsha (Mbh. VI. 


8 Also called Himahva (Brahman4a, 34.44, 53), Haimavata (ibid 35.30 j Mafc^ya, 
11328) and Ajanabha (Ind. Ant., 1899, p. 1) 

8 Also called Heraakuta varsha (Brahmanda, 34.44), Huimavatavarsha (Mbh., VI. 
6.7) and Kinnara-khanda (Ain-i-Akbari, III, pp. 30.31). 

* Also called Nishadhavarsha (Brahmanda, 34.45). The Garnda Purana places 
Harivarsha in the South- West of Meru (Ch. 55.2). 

5 Dhanuh-samsthe cha vijneye dve varshe dakshinottare (Rfatsya, 113.32; Brahmanda, 

35.33; Mbh., VI. 6.38). 

a Sapta varshaai vakshyami Jambudvipaih yathavidham (ifatsya 113.4). Varsbani 
yani saptatra (Brahmanda, 35.24) ; varshani sapta (ibid, 28). Cf. Mbh., VI. 6.53. 

7 Nava Varshani (Matsya, 114.85; Brahmandi, 3448); navavarahaih Jambudvipam 
(ibid, 35.7). Cf. Nilakanfcha's Commentary on Mbh., VI. 6.37 ; " Kechid Bhadras>a-Kefcuma- 
lay or varsh&ntaratvarii prakalpya nava varshnttyachakshate." 

The Brahmanda Parana applies the names Maly a vad- varsha and Gandhamadana- 
varsha to Bhadras>a and Ketnmala respectively (Ch. 34.47-48). In 45.24 and 4635 
BhadraSva is called Purvadvipa (c/. Purva Videha). In Agni, 108 14, the name is given as 

8 Ch. 66. 22*26, cf. also Ch. 53. 35, yani KimpurushSkhyani varjjayitva Himahvayam, 
tesh&m svabhavata^ siddhifc sukhapraya hyayatnata^?. 

14 Perfection exists naturally in Kimpurusha, and the other continents, with the excep. 
tion of that named from the mountain Hima j and the perfection is almost complete happi. 
ness which comes without exertion" (Pargiter). 


na chaiteshu yugavastba nadhayo vyadhayo na cha 
punyapunya-samarambho naiva teshu dvijottama 

" In Kimpurusha and the seven other countries, Brah- 
man, waters bubble up from the ground ; here in Bharata we 
have rain... And in these countries the ages do not exist, nor 
bodily nor mental sicknesses ; nor is there any undertaking 
involving merit or demerit there, O Brahman" (Pargiter). 

There are, however, some faint indications that the 
original accounts may have been based on some real know- 
ledge of the topography and physical features of Central and 
perhaps also Northern Asia. The elevated var$ha in the 
middle of Jambudvipa may have reference to the high plateau 
between the Oxus and the Tarim valleys, not far from the sandy 
deserts of Central Asia the Balukarnava which the Maha- 
bharata places close to Meru. 1 Ketumala, the western Varsha, 
drained by the Vankshu (Oxus),- which flows past " China, Maru 
(desert), and the country of the Tusharas, Pahlavas, Daradas 
Sakas," 3 etc., is obviously to be connected with "Western 
Turkestan, while Bhadrasva watered by the Sita, the mjtMcal 
prototype of the Yarkand and Yellow rivers, 4 apparently stands 

1 Dr. Seal (Vaishnavism and Christianity, 48-49) compares Mount Mora with " Pamir 
or Bam-i-duniya, the roof of the world." In the seventh century A. D. " the Po-lo-se-na 
range of the great snow mountains " near the frontier of Kapis, was considered to bo the 
highest mountain in Jambudvlpa (Wattors, Yuan Chwang, IT. 267), and the Ts'ung Ling 
(Onion Barige) the centre of that continent (ibid, pp. 270, 282). The Ts'ung Ling is the 
Bolor Tagh and Karakorum Mountains of modern geographers (Waiters). It separates 
Eastern Turkestan from Western Turkestan. 

For Vakshu (Variants Ohakshu, Sva-rakshu, Rankshu,Vaukshu),see Brahmanda, 51.47; 
Mats} a, 121-45 ; Mark., Oh. 56.13 f ; 59.15, Ind. Ant., 1912, p. 265 f. 

3 Atha China Marumschaiva Tafiganan sarva Mulikfin, Sandrams TusharamsTarapakan 
(Lampakan ?) Pahlavan Daradiiu Sakan, etSn Janapadan Chakshuh ( = Vankt*hu) plavayantl 
gatodwdhim (Vayu, 47*44.45). 

4 For Sita see Brahmanda, 45.17-24. 51. 44-45 and Viiyu, 41.43. The Brahmanda 
expressly connects this river with " Sirindhran Kukurftn Chinan," and also with the 
"Rushas" (Russians ?). The Matsya (121.43) has the reading " Sasailan Kukuran Randhran 
Varvarau Yavanfin Khasan" and the Vayu (47'43) "Sirindhrau Kuntalan Chluan Varvaran 
Yavanan Druhan." The S!t5 is apparently the Yarkand river (Watters, II. 283, 288), 

According to one theory it flows underground until it emerges at the Chi-shih Moun- 
tain and becomes the source of the Yellow River of China (Watters, I. 32). 


for Eastern Turkestan and North China. Uttarakuru placed 
beyond the Himalayas by the Aitareya Brahmana, and im- 
mediately to the south of Uttarah payasdm nidhih (the Arctic 
Ocean) by the B.amayaiia, 1 is an indefinite semi-mythic tract 
which Nabin Chandra Das 2 identifies with certain countries 
in Northern Asia. Beyond this is the c Northern deep ' 

"Where springing from the billows high 
Mount Somagiri seeks the sky 
And lightens with perpetual glow 
The sunless realm that lies below." 

Scholars find in these lines a reference to the Aurora Borealis 5J 
and are inclined to credit the Eamaya^a with some accurate 
knowledge of the North. The Uttarakuru of the Puranas is, 
however, a sort of El Dorado 4 which it would be futile to 
equate with any terrestrial region. Attempts have been made 
to identify the remaining trans-Himfdayan Varshas c but with- 
out any plausibility. 

The southernmost Varsha, Bharata, lying between the 
Himavat and the sea, is, of course, India. 

Bharatavarsha. ^ ^^ howeyerj ^ uged by p ura]?ic 

cosmographers, embraces much more than India Proper 
as is apparent from the names of some of its divisions 

1 Kishkindhya Kanda, Canto 43 (Bangabasi edition). 

2 A note on the Ancient Geography of Asia compiled from Valmiki RamSyana, pp, 67- 

* Seal, Vaish^avism and Christianity (MDOOOXCIX), p. 49. The suggestion is already 

found in Nabin Chandra Das's Note on the Ancient Geography of Asia (1896), pp. 67-68, 

* Cf. Vayn Pnrana, 45. 1.1 f ; Pliny, Ilk, XVL. c. 17, "About the Attacori (Uttaraknro) 
A mom etna composed a volume for private circulation similar to the work of Hecataeus 
about the Hyperboreans." (McCrindle., Ancient India as described in Classical Literal ure, 
p. 113) ; c/. also McCrindle, Megastheues and Arrian, Chuckervertty and Chatter joe's ed., 
pp. 76-79. 

5 C. V. Vaidya, Epic India, p. 268/. 

Seal, Vaishnavism and Christianity, pp. 47-50. The identification of Ramyaka with 
Rome is clearly untenable (c/. Ain-i-Akbari, HI, pp. 30-31). 
e Uttaram yat samudrasya Himavaddakshinaficha yat 

Varsharb tad Bharatam nama yatreyam BhSrat! praja (Vayu, 45, 75-76). 


which " extend to the ocean, but are mutually inaccessible " 
(samudrantarita jiieya ste tvagamyah parasparam). 1 Among 
these are Kataha 2 and Simhala, identified with Kedah 8 (in 
the Malay Peninsula) and Ceylon respectively. 4 

The name Bharata varsha is said to be derived from the 
legendary king Bharata 5 whom most of the Puranas represent as 
a descendant of Priyavrata, son of Manu Svayambhuva. 6 We 
are told that Priyavrata had ten sons three of whom became 
recluses and the remaining seven were anointed asrulersof the 
seven great island continents of the Puranic world. Agnidhra, 
who got Jambudvipa, the innermost continent, had nine sons 
to each of whom he assigned the sovereignty of one of the 
nine Varshas into which his dvipa was divided. 7 Bharata- 
varsha fell to the share of Nabhi 8 The son of Sabhi 
was Rishabha. And it was Bharata, son of Rishabha, who 
gave his name to the southern Varsha styled Himahva. 9 In 
certain Puranic passages, however, it is stated that Bharata 
was an epithet of Manu himself and the country was named 
after him. 10 In view of the discrepant testimony of the Puranas 

1 Maik., 57.6. 

" Vamana Parana, XIII. 10-11 ; Garmla, Ch. 55.5. 

5 Sir Asutosh Mookerjoe Silver Jubilee Volumes, Vol. Ill, Orientulia, Part I, pp. 3-4. 

4 Alberuni (I, p. 295) says "Bbaratavarsha is not India alonu". Alml Fazl (Am, III, 
p. 7) says, " Hmdusthan is described as enclosed on the east, west and south by the ocean, 
but Ceylon, Achin, the Moluccas and a considerable number of islands are accounted within 
its extent." Cf. the reference to Yavadvipa in the Kamayana (IV. 40.30), Brahmanda 
(52, 14-19), and Vayu (48.14 f.) ; (miscalled Yamadvipa). 

5 Himahvarii dakshinam Varsharii Bharataya nyavedayut 

tasmattad Bharatam Varsham tasya namna vidur budhah (Brahmanda, 34*55). 
Bhagavata, XI. 2.15 f. 

7 Garuda Parana, Ch. 54 ; Brahmfinda Parana (Bangabasi edition), Ch. 34. 

8 Nabhestu dakshinam Varsham Him&hvantu pita dadau (Brahmanda, 34'44). Cf. the 
name Ajanabha given to Bharata Varsha in the Bhagavata Parana (Ind. Ant., 1899, p. 1). 

9 The name Himahva is derived fiom the Himalayan chain. Cf. also Brahmanda, 
Ch. 35.30, " idam Uaimavatam, Varsham Bharatam nSina visrutam." In the Mah&bharata 
however (VI. 6.7) the name Haimavata is applied to Kimpurushavarsha. 

10 bharanachcha prajanam vai Manur Bharata uchyate 

Nirukta-vachanachchaiva Varsham tat Bhratam smritam (Matsya, 114.-5; 
Brahman4a, 49.10). Cf. Alberuni (I. 251), "we find a tradition in the Vayu Parana that the 


it is perhaps not unreasonable to suggest that the name 
of the country south of the Htmavat was derived, not from 
the mythical Bharata of the Puranae, but from the historical 
Bharata tribe (of. Bharatl praja of Vayu, 15.76) which plays 
so important a part in Vedic and Epic tradition. The political 
domination of the greater part of India by ' seven Bharatas 9 
is testified to by Buddhist texts. 1 The cultural supremacy of 
the tribe is equally clear from the evidence of the Elk and 
Yajus Samhitas, the Brahmanas and the Great Epic which 
bears the name of Mahabharata. 

While the Puranas name India after a mythical tree 

(Jambu), a legendary hero, or the great 
a " mountain of snow (Hima) which walls it off 

from the rest of the world, foreigners, par- 
ticularly those coming from the north-west, named it 
after the mighty river which, like the Nile in Egypt, con- 
stitutes the most imposing feature of that part of the 
country with which they first came into contact. It is 
only the Chinese pilgrims and Muslim scholars well-versed 
in Buddhist or Brahmanical lore, who show acquaintance 
with the traditional Indian nomenclature, and employ terms 
suggestive of social and religious characteristics. 

Of the names derived from the Sindhu (Persian Hindu, 
Greek Indus) the earliest are those recorded by the ancient 
Persians in the Avesta and the Inscriptions of Darius. In the 
Vendidad we have the name Hapta Hindu, doubtless identical 
with Sapta Sindhavah of the Rig Veda. 2 The famous name 
Hi(n)du occurs in the Persepolis and Naksh-i-Rustam inscrip- 
tions of Darius." It corresponds to c India ' of Herodotus 
which constituted the twentieth Satrapy of the Persian king 

centre (sic) of JambudvJpa is called Bharata vareh a, which means those who acquire 
something and nourish themselves." 

1 Dialogues of the Buddha, Part II, p. 270. 

* Camb. Hist. Ind., Vol. I, p. 824. 

8 16^,335. 


and apparently signified only the Indus valley bounded on the 
east by the desert of Rajaputana. " Of the Indians," says 
Herodotus, " the population is by far the greatest of all nations 
whom we know of, and they paid a tribute proportionately 
larger than all the rest, 360 talents of gold dust; this was the 
twentieth division. That part of India towards the rising sun 
is all sand... the Indians' country towards the east is a desert 
by reason of the sands." 1 But "India " was already acquiring 
a wider denotation, for Herodotus speaks of Indians who " are 
situated very far from the Persians, towards the south, and 
were never subject to Darius/' 2 

In the days of Alexander and his immediate successors 
the term acquires a still wider meaning " in accordance with 
the law of geographical nomenclature." 3 Megasthenes, for 
instance, applies the name to the whole country " which is in 
shape quadrilateral," and has "its eastern as well as its western 
side bounded by the great sea, but on the northern side it is 
divided by Mount Hemodos from that part of Skythia which is 
inhabited by the Sakai, while the fourth or western side is 
bounded by the river called the Indus. The extent of the 
whole country from east to west is said to be 28,000 stadia, and 
from north to south 32,000." 

A further stage in the widening of the denotation of India 
is reached in the days of Ptolemy who includes within its 
limits not only Hindusthan, but also the vast region lying 
beyond the Ganges (India extra Gangem). 

The earliest Chinese writers (e.g., Chang-Kien and his 
successors) employ the terms Sh&n-tu and Hsien-tou (Sindhu) 
which is soon replaced by T'ien-chu. 4 With the Tang period 
came a new name Yin-tu which is soon confounded with 
Indu (the moon), and it is naively suggested that " the 

* Book III, 97-98 (trans, by MoOrindle). 
4 Ibid, 101. 

" Eapson, Ancient India, p. 24. 

* Waiters, Yuan Chwang, 1, 132, 137, 140, 


bright connected light of holy men and sages, guiding the 
world as the shining of the moon, have made this country 
eminent, and sn it is called In-tu." 1 

Along with these foreign names of riparian origin and 
traditional Indian appellations like Jambudvipa we find, in the 
records of Hiuen-Tsangand T-tsing, other designations of India 
which are suggestive of its geographical position in relation to 
China, its grand regional divisions, and its religious and social 
conditions, particularly the prominence of the Indra cult and 
the ascendency of the Aryans and especially of the Brahmanas. 
Such names are Si-fang (the west), Wu-t'ien (the five coun- 
tries of India), A-li-ya-t'i-sha (Aryadesa), Po-lo-men-kuo or 
Fan-kuo (Brahma-rashtra) and Indra-vardhana. 2 

The latest foreign name of India is probably Hindusthan 
which reminds us of ' Hi(n)du ' of the old Persian epigraphs. 
In Brahmanical records the term Hindu is probably first met 
with in the inscriptions of the kings of Vijayanagara. 3 Like 
India, Hindus th&n, too, had a wider and a narrower denotation. 
" Hindustan in its wider sense means all India lying north of 
the Vindhya mountains ; in the narrower sense, the upper 
basin of the Ganges. Further the term is sometimes loosely 
applied by modern writers to the whole of India." 4 

In the description of Bharata, as in the account of the 
continent of which it constitutes the 
aJSg f to In t d he southernmost part, we have a curious blend 
ancients - of fact and fiction. This is apparent from 

the confusing and contradictory details about its shape and 
territorial divisions given in different sections of the Pura^as. 
In some passages it is described quite correctly as being 
* constituted with a fourfold conformation f (chatuh-sarns- 

1 Beal, Records (Si-yu-ki), I, p. 69. 

2 Takakusu, I-tsing's Record, p, lii. Waiters, Yuan Chwanff, I, 131-40. 

8 Cf. Satyaraangalam plates, Kpigraphia Indica, III, p. 38, " pararaja-bhayaftkarafc. 
Himduraya Suratrano vamdivargeija varnyate." 
4 Roberts, History of British India, p. 2n. 


thana-samsthitam), 1 ' on its south and west and east is the 
great ocean, the Himavat range stretches along on its north 
like the string of a bow.' This accuracy is not, however, 
always maintained, and the Kurma-nivesa section 2 shows a 
total misconception of the configuration of India by making it 
conform to the shape of a tortoise "lying outspread and 
facing eastwards." A third set of passages 3 describes India 
as being bow-like (i.e., semi- circular) in shape thus ignoring 
the triangular form d of Peninsular India bounded by the sea. 
The account of the nine-fold division (nava-bheda) of 

India shows the same mixture of inaccurate 
of India* 6 Divisions or imaginary details with sober statements 

of facts. In the Nadyadi-varnana section 
(Canto 57) of the Bhuvana-kosha of the Markandeya Purana 
for instance, we are told that Bharata-varsha is cut up into 
nine parts (kha^da or bheda) " which must be known as 
extending to the ocean, but as being mutually inaccessible." 5 
They are 

Indradvipah Kaserumams Tamraparno Gabhastiman 
Nagadvipastatha Saumyo Gandharvo Varunastatha 

1 Mark., 57.59. Cf. the description of India as a rhomboid, or unequal quadrilateral 
by Eratosthenes and other writers (Cunn., Geography 2; Cambridge History of Ancient 
India, Vol. I, pp. 400-402). 

* Mark., 58. Cf. also the Kurma Vibhaga section of the Brihat Samhita. In the Geo- 
graphy of Ptolemy, too, " the true shape of India is completely distorted, and its most 
striking feature, the acute angle formed by the meeting of the two coasts of the Peninsula 
at Cape Comorin is changed to a single coast line, running almost straight from the mouth 
of the Indus to the mouth of the Ganges" (Cunningham, Ancient Geography of India, ed. 
by S. N. Majumdar gastrf , p. 9). 

> Dhanuhsamsthe cha vijfleye dve varshe dakshigottare (Matsya, 113.32, Bran- 
maflda, 35.33; Mbh,, VI 6.38). Cf. Nilakaptha, "Bhftratavarshasyadhanuktfkaratvam" (comm, 
on Mbh., VI. 6.3-5). Hiuen Tsang, too, apparently compares the shape of India to a 
half moon, with the diameter or broad side to the north, and the narrow end to the south 
(Cnnn., Geography, p. 12; Watters,Yuan Chwaug, Vol. I, p. 140). 

* Regarding the triangular shape of India see Nllakaytha's commentary on Mbh., VI. 6. 
3.5 'Bharata-varshastrikooal?,' and the Chinese Fah-kai-lip-to which says," this country in 
shape is narrow towards the south, and broad towards the north (Cunn., Geography, p. 12). 

Samudrantarita jneyaste tvagamyftfc parasparam (Mark., 57.6), 


ayam tu navamastesham dvlpah sagarasamvritah 1 
yojananam sahasrara vai dvipo'yaiii dakshinottarat 
purve Kirata yasyaste paschime Yavanas tatha 
Brahmanah Kshatriyah Vaisyah Sudraschantahsthita dvija. 

The Vamana Parana 2 reads Kataha and Simhala instead of 
Saumya and Gandharva, and mentions Kumara, 1 ' 5 (=Kumarika, 4 
Kaumarika khanda) as the name of the Navama dvlpa. The 
ninth dvipa having at its east end the land of the Kiratas 5 and 
at the west the Yavanas, 6 and inhabited by the Brahmanas, 
Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Sudras, is obviously India proper, 7 
here regarded as only a part of Bharata-varsha which must, 
therefore, be taken to denote a wider area. The epithet 
"sagarasamvritah" applied to Kumarl Dvipa hardly accords 

1 Albernni wrongly puts it as Nagarasaihvritta (I, 295). 

9 XIII, 10-11 j also Garuda, Ch. 55.5 Nagadvtpah Kntahascha Simhalo Varunastatha. 

3 KumSrakhyaparikhyato dvipo'yam dakshinottarah (X11I, ii). 

* Kumftrika Khandum, 39.69. Indradvipah Kaseruscha Tftmradvlpo Gabhastimn, 

NSgah Saumyaacha Gandharvo Varunasclia J^umarika. 

Rija6okhara says in his Kavya Mlmafosa, Desuvibhaga (p. 92) :" tatredam Bharatara 
Varsharn. Asya cha Nava bhodah : Indradvipah ..Kumarldvtpaschiiyam navamah ..atra 
cha Kumarl-dvipe 

Viiidhyascha Paripatrascha Suktiman Rikshaparvatah 
Mahendra-Sahya- Malay ah saptaite Kulaparvatah 
C/. also the ' Kumara Khanda ' of the Ain-i-Akbari, III, p. 31. 

5 Doubtless identical with tho Kirrhadia of Ptolemy (ed. S. N. Majumdar, p. 219), 
located near Mount Maiandros. For the position of Mount Mahendra in relation to 
Kumarl dvlpa and Indradvipa, see Skanda Purana, Kumarika Khanda, 39.113. 

e C/. the Yonas mentioned in the inscriptions of Agoka in connection with the Kam- 
boias and Gandharas, and the country of the Yonas referred to in the Mahavamsa (Geiger's 
trans., p. 85). Their capital was Alasanda ( = Alexandria, Geiger, p. 194n) near Kabul. 

Cf. the Matsya (114.10) and Brahman^a passage (49.15):" ayato hya Kumari- 
kyficla Gaftga-prabhavachcha vai." The Skanda Purana restricts ' Kaumarika Khanda' to 
the territory between the Pariyatraand Mahendra (KumSrika Khanda, 39.113), while accord- 
ino- to the Garuda Purana (Ch. 55.6) it was bounded on the east by thtf Kiratas, on the west 
by the Yavanas, on the south by the Andhras and on the north by the Turushkas : 
purve Kirata stasyaste paschime Yavanfi^ sthita^. 
Andhra dakshinato Budra TurushkSstvapi chottare. 

The Kumari dvipa, according to the Markandeya passage quoted above is "a thousand 
yojanas from south to north." Patrokles put down the distance as 15,000 stades (1,724 
miles, Oamb. Hist,, p. 400). Megasthenes put the extent at 22,300 stades. The actual 
distance is about 1,800 miles. The distance from west to east, where it is shortest is about 
1,360 miles (Camb, Hist). 


with reality because India proper " is not surrounded by the 
sea, but bounded by it only on the east, south, and west, and 
only partially so in the east and west for verse 8 places the 
Kiratas and Yavanas there respectively." l It is not easy to 
say how many of the other dvlpas belong to the domain of sober 
geography, and our task is rendered more difficult by the 
obvious corruption of the text as is evidenced by the substitu- 
tion, in most of the Pura^as, of Saumya and Gandharva 
in place of the well-known lands of Kataha and Simhala. 2 

Alberuni with singular inaccuracy represents Indradvlpa 
as identical with Mid-India. 8 Abul Fazl shows greater 
acquaintance with Puranic tradition by placing it between 
Lafika and Mahendra. 4 In the Skanda Purana Indradvlpa is 
expressly mentioned as lying beyond the Mahendra range. 5 
If the testimony of the Ain-i- Akbari and the Skanda PurSjia 
is to be accepted we shall have to place Indradvlpa some- 
where beyond the Mahendra (Eastern Ghats), i.e., in the Bay 
of Bengal. But where is the 'island ' in the Bay of Bengal 
which answers to the Puraijic description of Indradvlpa P The 
ingenious suggestion of Mr. S. N". Majumdar Sastrl that 
Indradvlpa is Burma deserves attention and may explain 
why Ptolemy was led to place Maiandros (Mahendra) in 
India extra Gangem. 

Kaserumat is placed by Alberuni to the east of the 
Madhyadesa, and by Abul Fazl between Mahendra and SuktL 
Mr. Majumdar's identification with the Malaya Peninsula 
lacks plausibility. 8 

Pargiter, Markai^eya P., p. 284 n. 

Only the Vamana and Garuda Puranas retain the names of Kataha and Simhala. 

1 IndradvTpa ' or Madhyadesa, i.e., the middle country (Vol. I, p 296). 

Ain-i- Akbari, III, p. 31. 

Mahendraparatadchaiva IndradvTpo nigadyate 

Pariyatratya chaivfirvAk khandaih Kaumarikam smritam (Skanda, Kumarika- 

khanda, 39.113) 

e In the MahSbharata, III. 12.32, Kaserumat is the name of a Tavana chief killed by 
Krishna Indradyumno hatafc kopad Yavanagcha Kaseruman. The Sabhaparva (31.72) 
mentions a YavanSnam puram not far from the sea-coast, from which envoys are said $* 
have been sent to Vibhishana, King of Lafika. 


Tamravarna (Tamrapangia according to the Kurma and 
Tamraparnl according to the Matsya Parana) is usually 
identified with Ceylon which the ancient Greeks called Ta- 
prohane, and Asoka refers to as Tambapamni. But this identi- 
fication is hardly tenable in view of the fact that the Garucja 
Purana clearly distinguishes it from Simhala. Alberuni 
places ft in the south-east of India, and Abul Fazl identifies 
it with the tract between Sukti and Malaya. These facts 
probably point to the district drained by the river Tamraparnt 
which rises in the Malaya range. But this view can hardly 
be reconciled with the statement in the Kavyamimamsa that all 
theKulaparvatas including the Malaya were in theKumaridvlpa 
which is sharply distinguished from Tamravarna. Equally un- 
acceptable is the view of Abul Fazl that Gabhastimat lies 
between the Kiksha and the Malaya, and the Nagadvlpa 
between the Riksha and the Pariyatra. Alberuni places the 
former south of the Madhyadesa and the latter on the south- 
west. Nagadvlpa may refer to the Jaffna peninsula which 
Tamil tradition represents as the domain of a Naga king. 1 

Saumya obviously is a misreading for Kataha identified 
by Qoedes, a French scholar, with the present port of Kedah 
in the Malay Peninsula. 2 

* Gandharva ' placed by Alberuni on the north-west of 
the Madhyadesa may stand for Gandhara as a passage of the 
llamayana seems to suggest. 3 But it can hardly be character- 
ised as a c dvipa * inaccessible from India proper. The read- 
ing c Simhala ' found in the Garuda Purana seems to be pre- 
ferable. ' Simhala ' is of course Ceylon. 

Varuna, the eighth division of Bharata, is omitted by 
Alberuni. Abul Fazl identifies it with the western portion of 
the tract between the Sahya (the Western Ghats) and the 

* Smith, EHI, 4th edition, p. 491. 

Sir Asulosh Mookerji Silver Jubilee Volumes, Vol. Ill, Orientalia, Part I, p. 4, 

3 Uttaraka^da, 113.11 ; 114. 11. 


While the description of Bharata by the PurSnic cosmo- 
graphers as an aggregate of nine islands which are mutually 
inaccessible can hardly be made to accord with reality, the 
ninefold division (nava-bheda) of astrologers set forth in the 
Kurma-nivesa section is of a different character. 1 Though 
there is even here considerable misconception in regard to the 
assignment of the various janapadas to particular divisions, due 

1 The navabheda of astrologers is best described in the .following words of Alberuni 
(Sachau, I, p. 296-298) : 

" Astronomers and astrologers divide the directions according to the lunar stations. 
Therefore the country, too, is divided according to the lunar stations, and the figure which 
represents this division is similar to a tortoise. Therefore ifc is called Kurma-chakra, i.e., 
the tortoise circle or the tortoise shape. The following diagram is from the Samhita of 


H Jyesbtha, 
9 Mula, 


Varaha calls each of the navakhag<Ja a Varga, He says : ' By them (the Vargas) 
Bharata varsha is divided into nine parts, the central one, the eastern, etc.* Another 
astronomer who described the navakhaijda ia ParaSara. The PuranJc compilers apparently 
borrowed the Kurma-nive^a section from astronomical works. 


in part to the absurd attempt to make the shape of India 
conform to that of a tortoise (Kurma) lying out spread and 
facing eastwards, the divisions themselves are of a geographical 
character being based on the points of the compass. 

The most accurate account, however, from the purely 
geographical point of view, of the main territorial divisions of 
India, is that contained in the verses of the Nadyadi-varnana 
section which describe the seven regions of ' Kumart Dvipa' 1 
viz., the Madhyadesa, Udichya, Prachya, Dakshii^apatha, 
Aparanta, the Vindhyan region, and the * Parvatasrayin ' or 
Himalayan region. 

1 Of. tairidaih BhSratam Varahaih saptakhandaih kritam pura (Brahma^da, 34.64). 

The primary division was into five great regions which are already met with in the 
AtharvaVeda (XIX. 17.1-9) and the Aitareya Brahmana (VIII. 14). This division was 
adopted by Buddhist writers and authors like Raja6ekhara. 





The Hindu believes that the Vedas contain the highest 
truths revealed to man. Satiikara and his rival commentators 
all base their arguments on the Vedas, although they bring in 
other evidences in support of their respective positions in 

The Vedas have two parts the Sathliita and the Brahmana. 
The first deals with karmas or sacrifices and the second with 
jnana or adhyatma-cinta. The second part contains the 
majority of the upanisads. 

Upanisad is another name for Vedanta. " Vedanto nama 
upanisat pramanam " (the Vedanta-sara) . Upanisad means 
Brahmavidya. That which teaches the nature of Brahman is 
known as upanisad (see Samkara's introduction to the commen- 
tary on the Brha. Upanisad). The word comes from the root 
' sad ' with the prefixes ' upa ' and ' ni ' and with the suffix 
' kvip.' The root ' sad ' is used in different senses (1) 
Visarapa, (2) Gati and (3) Avasadana. " $adl visarana- 
gatyavasadanesu " (the Dhatupatha). c Upa ' means nearness 
or haste and ' ni ' means certainty. Thus the word means that 
knowledge which unmistakably leads to Brahman or that know- 
ledge, when duly attained, enfeebles or destroys the world with 
its cause, " Tatparaijam sahetoh saihsarasyatyantavasSdan&t,'' 
says Sai&kara (Intro, to the com. on the J3rha.). In former 


days, the word also used to signify ' rahasya ' or secret 

The upanisads are often regarded as the concluding por- 
tions of the Vedas. But this is not correct. Mahamaho- 
padhyaya Pandit Durga Carana Samkhy a- Vedanta- tlrtha rightly 
points out that tsa, Kausitaki, and other upanisads would then 
be excluded from the Vedanta, for they are included in the 
Sariihita portion of the Vedas. Further the Vedanta is often 
called Vedasirab, Srutisirah, etc. (Fellowship Lectures, Vol. 1, 
p. 174.) 

The upanisads have the appearance of a bundle of contra- 
dictions. They say that Brahman is nirguiia (Katha, 3-15); 
Brahman possesses qualities (Mundaka, 1-1-9). The world does 
not exist (Brha. 4-4-19; Sveta. 6-8); the world comes from 
Brahman (Taitti. Bhrguvalli, 1). Brahman cannot be known 
(Katha, 6-12; Kena, 1-5; Brha. 4-5-15); Brahman is the only 
thing to be known (Brha. 4-4-19, Taitti. 2-1-1). Jiva and 
Brahman are one (Chandogya, 6-16-3); Jiva is different from 
Brahman (Katha, 3-1, Sveta. 4-5). 

Samkara solves these apparent contradictions with his 
maya-doctrine. Nirgu^a Brahman, says he, is the only 
reality as inculcated in the upanisads. He is pure undifferenced 
unity; there is, in Him, ' kalpita 5 difference only. Maya is 
an indeterminate sakti of Brahman which is ' sadasadbhya- 
manirvacya' and ' mithyabhuta sanatanl.' The world is due to 
maya; it has no reality. When its cause is destroyed by true 
knowledge (of the Eeal), it is also negated. The upanisads 
first derive the world from Brahman and then negate it in 
Him. This is technically called, by later Vedantists, ' adhya- 
ropa-apav5da-ny5ya.' The elaborate discussion of the creation 
of the world has not 'srstau tatparyam/ but ' advaye brahmani 
eva;' because Brahman is discussed in the beginning (upakrama), 
in the middle and in the end (upasatiihara) and the rule is that 
the contention (tatparya) lies in that which is referred to in the 
beginning, the middle and the end. Negation of the world in 


Brahman might imply its existence elsewhere. So Brahman is, 
at first, called the source of the world and then it is negated in 
Him. This would clearly prove the ultimate falsity of the 
world. Thus the world is real with the reality of Brahman. 
Just as a poor lady invited by a rich relative, goes to the 
latter 's place with borrowed garments and ornaments on her 
person and passes there as rich, so the world with the reality of 
Brahman, passes as real. This is technically known as ' Yacita- 
mandana-nyaya.' The following sloka of a later Vedantist 
echoes this sense : 

'^1^5 wf?i fro ^ri 

Moreover, it has been shown that the world being an effect 
is not real; the cause is only real. Just as the earthen jars, pots, 
etc., have no reality they are only name and form; reality 
belongs to the earth only. " Vacarambhanam vikaro nama- 
dheyam mrttiketyeva satyam " (Chan. 6-1-4). The word ' eva ' 
shows that the effects have no reality. In later Vedantic tech- 
nique it is expressed thus "karyyasya-karanatirikta-sattaka- 
tvabhavah." Further " neha nanasti kincana " (Katha, 4-11) 
and other texts (Brha. 2-4-14) clearly show that the world (the 
manifold) does not exist in Brahman. 

Jlva is, in its ultimate nature, Brahman. In mukti, jfva 
realises its own nature, that is, becomes Brahman. " Brahma- 
veda brahmaiva bhavati." (Muncjaka, 3-2-9.) Dr. Thibaut 
who holds that Kamanuja is more consistent with the spirit of 
the Brahma-sutras, admits that the upanisads teach absolute 
unity between jTva and Brahman in the state of liberation 
(Intro, to his translation of Samkara-bhasya, p. 121). One 
can, then, easily see that this absolute unity is not possible 
unless the difference is false. 

The apparent contradiction between knowability and un- 
knowability of Brahman is solved in the following way. ' Un- 
knowable ' refers to knowledge in the ordinary epistemological 


sense; or ' unknowable ' because Brahman is knowledge itself. 
In the case of ordinary vrtti-jnana, vrtti destroys the ajnana 
about an object and manifests it. But in the case of Brahma- 
jnana, vrtti only destroys the ajnana about Brahman. But it 
cannot manifest Brahman just as the light of a lamp cannot 
manifest the Sun. (See PancadasJ, 7-89 and 7-91.) But it is 
' knowable ' through intuition or ' aparoksanubhuti.' 

Bamanuja holds that Saguna Brahman is the truth. Jiva 
is not Brahman itself, it is a part of the Whole. Sruti texts 
about Nirguna Brahman and the unity of jlva and Brahman 
mean that Brahman is devoid of impure qualities only and that 
jlva is not wholly different from Brahman. Passages dealing 
with the negation of the world merely signify that the world has 
no independent reality (svatantra satta), and not that it is false. 

Both Samkara and Eamanuja perceive that a reconciliation 
of the contradictory texts in the upanisads is possible only by 
modifying the meanings of one or other kind of passages. 
Bamanuja's explanation of Nirguna Brahman does not seem to 
be quite satisfactory. It is childish to suggest that Nirguiaa 
Brahman means that Brahman is devoid of impure qualities 
only. No one is so silly as to ascribe them to the absolute; and 
the rule is that what can be predicated can only be negated. 
" Praptam hi pratisidhyate." On the other hand, Samkara's 
solution seems to be a more plausible one. He admits the im- 
portance of sagupa Brahman for upasana which is necessary for 
cittasuddhi an indispensable condition of moksa. " Neha 
nanasti kincana" (Brha. 4-4-19), according to Eamanujites, 
means that the world is not an independent reality. But this 
is rather far-fetched. Obviously it means that there is no 
difference (nanatva) in Brahman. Again, the force of the word 
' iva,' in Brhadaranyaka (2-4-14), is overlooked by them. The 
word clearly suggests that dualism is not real. Moreover, as 
Vacaspati points out, difference (bheda) being an established 
fact (loka-prasiddha) cannot be the aim of Sruti (na sabdena 


Dualists take their stand mainly on the following Srutis : 

(Katha, 3-1.) 

This is said by Yama in reply to Naciketa's query as to the 
nature of jlvatman. If we carefully read the sloka, it will be 
found that ' dvaita ' is not the aim of sruti. Naciketa asks 
about the nature of atman (jlvatman) and it is not proper for 
Yama to discuss about Paramatman. Yama refers to it in 
order to prove that jlvatman is essentially the paramatman. 
Moreover, there is no word in the text implying that difference 
is real. It can further be pointed out that Katha Upanisad 
itself afterwards speaks against dualism (Katha, 4-11). (See 
MM. Pandit Candra Kanta's Fellowship Lectures, Vol. 2, pp. 
21-26.) Even if the sloka be taken to mean dualism, it may be 
said that Samkara recognises it on the vyavaharika plane. 


(Mun., 8-1-1; Sveta., 4-6.) 

The Veda (Paimgirahasya Brahmana) itself explains it. ' Sakha* 
ya' means jlvatman and antahkarana-sattva and not jlvatman 
and paramatman (see Pandit Candra Kanta's Fellowship 
Lectures, Vol. 2, p. 27). 

Saiiikara seems to occupy an advantageous position. He 
can talk any way he likes. He is intelligent enough to admit 
grades of reality. Paramarthika satta belongs to Nirguna 
Brahman only; the God (Saguna Brahman), the world and the 
jiva have vyavaharika existence; and things experienced in 
dreams, illusions and hallucinations are real in pratibhasika 
sense only. He does not deny difference, he only states that 
it is not real in- the ultimate sense. 


We see then that Samkara more consistently gives a coher- 
ent account of the teachings of the upanisads and this he does 
by means of his doctrine of maya. Maya, the mother of infinite 
riddles, appropriates the contradictions of the upanisads and 
gives them harmony and consistency instead. This, then, is 
the value and importance of maya for Saihkara. 

Dr. Prabhu Dutt Sastrl says that the idea of maya is very 
old, certainly older than the word itself (The Doctrine of Maya, 
p. 35). " The word, in its usual sense, occurs for the first time 
in the Svetasvatara Upanisad (4-10) but the idea may be traced 
to the later stage of the Vedic civilisation " (ibid, p. 36). 

The word, says Dr. Sastri, is very fluid and had different 
meanings at different times. It generally means, in earlier 
language, art, wisdom, extraordinary or supernatural power. 
Saya^acarya, in most cases, gives the meanings prajna and 
kapata. Prajna signifies mental as distinguished from physical 
power; kapata means deception. In Ug Veda (3-53-8), Indra 
is spoken of as assuming various forms and it is not done by 
any physical power. 

Although the word has different meanings, it is true that 
the idea of mystery or wonder was always present and it is this 
very element that in its developed form gives the sense of illu- 
sion or appearance (ibid, p. 31). 

The word maya does not so often occur in Sama Veda and 
Yajur Veda. But it occurs frequently in Atharva Veda. In it, 
it means magic (Whitney translates it as illusion). The super- 
natural element of the word in Rg Veda is more emphasised 
in Atharva Veda. It also occurs in the Vajasaneyl Samhita, 
in Aitareya, Taittirlya, Satapatha and Paiicavimsati Brahmanas 
in most cases it means supernatural power. Sayafla gives 
the following : Aghatitaghatana saktih or Paramavyamohakari- 
m saktih. In Brha. (2-5-19), Prasna (1-16) and Sveta. (1-10; 
4-9; 4-10) the word means magic or cosmic illusion]. The word 
frequently occurs in many later upanisads with almost the same 
meaning. (See Dr. Sastri's ' The Doctrine of Maya/) 


From this brief reference it may be noted that the germ 
of the doctrine of maya is in the Vedas and the upanisads, the 
general trend of which is unqualified monism. The Rg Veda 
distinctly says " Ekam sad vipra bahudha vadanti" (1-164- 
46). The upanisads again and again declare that there is no 
duality, no multiplicity (Brha. 4-4-19; Katha, 4-10 and 4-11; 
Chandogya, 6-2-1 and 6-2-2). Dr. Thibaut says that the later 
growth of the maya-doctrine on the basis of the upanisads is 
quite intelligible and he fully agrees with Mr. Gough when the 
latter says that there has been no addition to the system from 
without but only a development from within, no graft but only 

Division I 



Brahman, according to Samkara, is the only reality. It is 
saccidananda-svarupa. It is being-consciousness-bliss. It is 
not existent, conscious, blissful. These are not its qualities. 
It is existence as such, consciousness as such, bliss as such. 
There is no guna-guni-sambandha. 

Being means absence of negation. c Satyatvam Badha- 
ruhityam,' says PadmapFida. But this does not mean that 
Brahman is abhfiva-svarupa. It is the witness and substratum 
of all negation. Negation or badha requires a positive back- 
ground. Brahman cannot be negated, for then, this negation 
would require another witness another substratum. So there 
will be anavastha regressus ad infinitum. Being thus signi- 
fies that Brahman is not sunya or void. If sunya has a wit- 
ness, then the doctrine ' all is void ' is gone ; if there be no 
witness, then sunya itself is not established. 

Brahman is cit-svarupa or consciousness as such. It is 
svaprakasa ; because everything else is manifested by it. 
Every other thing becomes object of knowledge. As Brahman 
is knowledge itself, it is avedya cannot be an object of know- 
ledge. But avedyatva does not signify that it is paroksa. So 
Citsukha defines svaprak&satva as ' avedyatve sati aparoksa- 
vyavahara-yogyatvam.' (Nirnaya-sagara Ed., p. 9.) This cit 
or jnana is permanent. If not, then another jnana is required 
to witness that the former jnana is anitya. So there will be 


Brahman is ananda-svarupa. Brahman circumscribed by 
becomes jiva and jivatman's love for itself is self-evident. 
Because atman is bliss as such, self-love is possible. We love 
other things also not for their own sake but for the sake of 
self. Love for other things is a means and not an end in it- 
self. This is beautifully expressed in Brhadaranyaka Upanisad, 
The author of Samksepa-sarlraka says that self-love is proved 
in dreamless sleep. In that state, no knowledge of any object 
exists. So the bliss that is experienced in su^upti cannot be 
due to visaya-jnana (Chap. I, Sloka 23). 

Brahman is akhanda or infinite, meaning that it is not 
limited by space, time or any other thing. Space cannot cir- 
cumscribe it, for it is ubiquitous ; time cannot limit it, for it 
is ever permanent ; nor can things put a limit to it, for it is 
the soul or antaryamin of all things. Sarvajnatma Muni says 
that Brahman's infinity proves that things of the world are 
false. Just as the unreal ' gandharba-nagara ' cannot limit 
the akasa, so the worldly things cannot limit Brahman. If 
they are real, they should constitute a bar to the infinity of 

Being is not different from consciousness. If it be so, it 
becomes an object of consciousness and consequently false. 
This problem has been fully discussed in Advaita-siddhi. Con- 
sciousness, again, cannot be different from being. If it be so, 
it becomes mithya or false, and false jnana cannot be regarded 
as jnana proper. So, ananda cannot be different from jfiana or 
consciousness, for it would then be an object of knowledge and 
hence false. Therefore no one would hanker after it. Ananda 
is identical with being also, otherwise it becomes false Thus 
being, consciousness, bliss all signify the same Brahman. 
Instead of one, the three are used in order to indicate different 
aspects of Brahman. But the words ' different aspects ' should 
not mean that they are dharmas or qualities. Brahman has 
been regarded as absolutely nirguga. So the author of Vedanta- 
paribhasa says that the so-called aspects are all ' kalpita,' 


ESmatirtha, in his commentary on the Vedanta-sara writes in 
regard to these words " 

(Jlvananda's Vedanta-sara, pp. 
2-3.) These words are used in order to make Brahman somehow 
intelligible to the human mind. Strictly speaking, sat, cit and 
ananda indicate that Brahman is not their opposite. Brahman 
is beyond all determination. This is like Spinoza ' all deter- 
mination is negation.' So we find in the Upanisad that the 
preceptor, being questioned as to the nature of Brahman, re- 
mained absolutely silent. That is why Sruti attempts to point 
out Brahman by saying ' neti neti.' Brahman is not this, not 
this, not that, not that. But behind all this negation there is 
an indefinite position an ' Everlasting Yea.' 

Brahman is absolutely a homogeneous unity. It is devoid 
of any kimd of difference. Difference may be conceived in three 
ways : (a) Sajatiya (difference from something else of the same 
class) , (b) Vijatlya (difference from something else of another 
class) and (c) Svagata (difference within a single body). Pan- 
cadasl expresses these in a beautiful couplet 

f f(T*ro*i ^rsrratsit ftamfta: f*rerf??r: H " (ii. 20.) 

Anandagiri, in his gloss on ' ekamevadvitiyam ' (Chan., 6.2.1) 
remarks that by 'ekam' sajatlya-bheda and svagata-bheda 
dnd by * advitiyam ' vijatiya-bheda are excluded from 

According to Samkara, this Nirguna Brahman is the 
highest truth the only reality. Because it only is permanent, 
everything else is changing ; and persistence is the criterion of 
reality. To attain salvation, one should realise it through 
intuition oY ' direct experience.' Does Spencer mean some- 
thing like this when he says that we can have ' indefinable 
cbiiscipusness-of the Beyond.' 

- Sathkara's Nirgu$a Brahman is not like Spinoza's Sub- 
stance, because 4 the Substance possesses attributes, It is not 


like Fichte's Absolute Ego, for in Fichte, the Anstoss or the 
principle of self-limitation of the Absolute Ego is real. Evi- 
dently it his no similarity with Hegel's Absolute, whose nearest 
approach in Indian philosophy is Kainanuja's Hari. It is not 
like Kant's * Ding-an-sich.' For, Kant does not posit its ob- 
jective existence. The concept ' noumenon * is merely the 
correlative of phenomenon and thus limits the sphere of 
sensibility. It is a concept whose corresponding extramental 
existence we can neither affirm nor deny. We cannot know 
that it exists, for ' knowing ' is the categorising of sensations ; 
but we must think it as existing, for it is the nece&sary pre- 
supposition of all knowledge it is a postulate without which 
no knowledge is possible, though itself no knowledge. But 
Samkara positively asserts the existence of Brahman ; in fact, 
it is the only existence through which the quasi-existence 
of every other thing is possible. Kant is rather an agnostic 
or semi-agnostic in regard to the position of the thing- 

The best analogue of Nirguna Brahman in European philo- 
sophy is the Eleatic Being. Following Xenophanes more 
rationally and rigorously, Pannenides declares that pure simple 
being is the truth. This being, according to him, is "im- 
perishable, whole and sole, immutable and illimitable, indivi- 
sibly and timelessly present, perfectly and universally self- 
identical ;" the illusory ideas of multiplicity and change are 
totally divorced from it. He next passes on to the discussion 
of the phenomenal world with the remark, that truth's discourse 
is ended and it is only mortal opinion that is to be considered. 
He explains the phenomena of nature by the mixture of two 
immutable elements, heat and cold ; the first he collocates with 
being and the second with non-being. All things are made up 
of this antithesis and the more heat the more being, the more 1 
cold the more non-being. 

Between the two parts of his philosophy ,, the doctrine of 
being and the doctrine of seeming, no logical or scientific 


connection is established. !aihkara, with his notion of maya 
and the consequent conception of ' grades of reality/ seems to 
work out his problem more logically and consistently. It was 
Zeno who rather attempted to present dialectically the basis of 
the Parmenidean conception of being. " If Parmenides main- 
tained that only the one is, Zeno, for his part, polemically 
showed that there is possible neither multiplicity nor movement 
because these notions lead to contradictory consequences." 
(Schwegler's History of Philosophy, p. 18.) 

The philosophy of Plotinus also closely resembles that of 
aihkara. The highest concept in his philosophy is God. Like 
Sathkara's Brahman, it is pure thought, pure light ; it is the 
source of everything though it is produced by none. It has 
neither goodness nor beauty nor intelligence, but is goodness, 
beauty, and thought itself. In as much as every quality assign- 
ed to it limits it, we must refrain from giving it attributes. 
It is beyond all change, all contrasts. Like Samkara's Nirguna 
Brahman, it is also unspeakable, unthinkable. It is pure Form, 
absolute Unity excludent of all and every detenninateness, for 
that would render it finite. It does not strive for anything, for 
it is complete like ' aptakama ' Brahman. Though he posits 
matter and says that every being is composed of matter and 
Form or God, it does not stand as a second absolute. Though 
it receives the form, it does not constitute an absolute anti- 
thesis ; as there is, in the last analysis, one supreme principle ; 
Form, Unity or God. The highest aim of man is to realise 
God, to attain to it not through objective knowledge but 
through his inner mystical subjective exaltation, in the 
form of immediate vision, of ecstasy. Knowledge of the 
true cannot be won by proof or by any intermediating 
process. When God is known, all distinction between the 
knower and the known vanishes. In like manner Samkara says 
that the summum bonum of human existence is moksa or realisa- 
tion of the Absolute which is to be done by direct experience 
or aparoksanubhftti. 


Critics are not found wanting who would vehemently 
inveigh against such conceptions of intuition and the extra- 
rationality of the Absolute. They hold that reality is rational 
and to speak about intuition, direct experience, etc., is to 
destroy philosophy altogether and to restore theosophy and 
theurgy in its place. Dr. Caird even goes so far as to say that 
intuition to be intuition proper, must be 'to and through 
reason/ But, is it not an extra-demand of reason to assert 
that reality is rational ? Is it not preposterous to suggest that 
to talk of intuition or mystic exaltation is to banish philosophy 
and to court theosophy? Every true philosophy must be based 
on experience and experience is no monopoly of reason. There 
is such a thing as supra-con sciousness through which many 
things might emerge which reason hopelessly gropes in dark- 
ness to discover. Reason has its proper place and function in 
philosophy. It can claim the procedure in philosophy to be 
rational and the general background to be of logical explanation. 
But we must, on no account, over-emphasise and monopolise it. 
We should remember that reason thus deified becomes subver- 
sive of both philosophy and life. 

Now, if Brahman be absolutely homogeneous, if it be the 
only reality what is the explanation of the finite and the world ? 
Samkara solves the problem with the concept of maya. The 
projection of the world and the appearance of the jlva are due to 
may. Maya has been regarded as a sakti or attribute of 
Brahman. It should be noted in this connection that the word 
' attribute ' is used neither in the Cartesian nor in the Spino- 
zistic sense. It simply signifies that Brahman is the substra- 
tum of maya. 

Brahman viewed in its essence is nirguoa ; viewed in rela- 
tion to maya is saguoa. The Saguga Brahman is the source of 
the world. Just as a magician conjures up many things by his 
magical power, so Brahman with its maya-sakti projects the 
appearance of the world. As the things conjured up by the 
magician are false, so the projected world is ultimately false. 


Again, due to this maya, the infinite Brahmam appears to be 
the limited and finite jiva. In reality, jfva is not finite. 

With regard to the explanation of Saguna and Nirguna 
Brahman, Sathkara materially differs from Eamanuja. In Sruti, 
passages are found indicating both these conceptions. Samkara 
holds that Nirguna Brahman is the truth. The value of Saguna 
Brahman is for Upasana. It thus feeds the heart of man. 
Eamanuja, on the contrary, maintains that Saguna Brahman is 
the truth as intended by Sruti. According to him, the Sruti 
texts, dealing with Nirguna Brahman, merely indicate the 
absence of impure qualities (heya-prakrtika-guna) in Brahman. 
Samkara's solution seems to be a more satisfactory one. 

Kant's Thing-in-itself seems to stand opposed to pheno- 
mena, so supposing a cleavage between the two, it is inferred by 
his critics that it is impossible to bring the two into relation. 
The same criticism has been preferred against Samkara' s 
Nirguna Brahman and Saguna Brahman. The whole criticism 
rests on a misunderstanding. Saguna and Nirguna Brahman 
are not two distinct entities. It is the same thing viewed from 
different standpoints. Brahman is nirguna in its essence ; 
it is saguaa in relation to maya. Maya is not a real entity, 
so that no dualism is set up between the two. Samkara 
does not posit Brahman first, maya next, then conjoin the 
two into the Saguna Brahman and last derive the world of 
beings and things from it. He simply analyses the given 
and comes by his concepts of Brahman and maya. When 
the final stage of analysis is reached, Brahman only is 
retained. The process in philosophy is not a downward 
movement but an upward one. The analysis of the given 
leads to the ultimate categories but the categories do not 
lead to the given. Philosophy is not science or 'mathema- 
tics. The error of Hegel consists in actually deducing the 
world from the absolute. The dance of the categories is the 
actual evolution of the world. Hegel confounds the business 
of science with that of philosophy. It is , science that 


both generalises and deduces. Spinoza also labours under a 
similar misconception. He adopts the geometrical method 
in his Ethics. He first states the definitions of Substance, 
Attributes, Modes, etc., and then deduces his conclusions from 
them. Philosophy does not derive experience from the cate- 
gories. It is mathematics that starts with axioms and 
postulates and computes results from them. 


We have already seen that, due to maya, Brahman 
attains the jiva-bhava. This may be conceived in two 
ways : 

(1) Pratibimba-vada (Brahma-Sutra "Abbasa eva ca," 

In order to understand it, let us take the example of 
the Sun reflected in water. The real Sun is not touched 
by any impurity or movement of the water, but the image- 
sun is. Again, the Sun is the same but it may be reflec- 
ted in different waters. So the pure cit reflected in differ- 
ent antahkaranas appears to be the different jlvas. 

Among the acceptors of pratibimba analogy, Nrsimhasrama 
and his followers think that when pure cit is reflected in 
maya, Isvara is produced ; when reflected in avidya, jlva is 

Here we may note the distinction between maya and avi- 
dya as drawn by later Vedantists. Maya is that aspect of 
ajnana by which only the best attributes are projected 
(sattva is predominant), whereas avidya is that aspect by 
which impure qualities are projected (rajas and tamas are 
predominant). In the former aspect, the functions are more 
of a creative or viksepa type, in the latter, avarana or veil- 
ing characteristics are prominent. 

Other acceptors of pratibimba analogy, e.g., Sarvajnatma 
Muni, do not distinguish between maya and avidya ; they think 
that when cit- is reflected in ajfiana, we get Isvara ; when 


reflected in the antafckarana a product of ajnana, we have jlva. 
(Das Gupta's Ind. Phil., Vol. I, p. 476). 

(2) Avaccheda-vada (Brahma-Sutra, 2-3-43). 

Let us understand this doctrine with the help of akasa. 
As the akasa appears to be limited by pot, jar, etc., so the pure 
cit seems to be limited by the buddhis. The akasa does not, 
in reality, suffer any modification ; so Brahman, in its nature, 
is entirely unaffected by this apparent limitation. The multi- 
plicity of buddhis accounts for the diversity of jivas. 

It is very difficult to choose between the two views. Most 
of the ancient icharyas adopt the first view. The author of 
Batnaprabha says that the word 'eva' in the Sutra ' abhasa eva 
ca' shows that the Sutra-kara himself supports Pratibimba- 
vada ; moreover, pratibimba-vada exactly echoes the sense of the 
Sruti texts 'rupam rupam pratirupo babhuva, etc.' (Katha, 
1-9). MahamahopadhytLya Candra Kanta Tarkalamkara, in his 
Srigopal Fellowship Lectures, decides in favour of pratibimba- 
vada. But, it seems, that avaccheda-vada, more prominently, 
shows the essential unity of jlva and Brahman that the two 
are by nature, one and the same cit. However, the views do 
not materially differ, for both have to admit that there is some 
sort of connection or relation between the antahkarana and the 

There is another vexed question regarding which the 
Ad vaitists are divided. Is jlva one or many? Some say that 
cit reflected in antahkarap.a is jl vat man and as there are many 
antahkaranas, jivas are many. Others hold that cit reflected in 
ajnana is jiva and as ajnana is one, there is only one jlva. 
The upholders of eka-jlva-vada say that if antahkarana be the 
medium of cit's reflection), it will be difficult to admit creation 
after pralaya ; for, in pralaya all the antahkaraiias completely 
merge in their material cause and consequently the jivas would 
be destroyed. But the supporter of aneka-jlva-vada will reply 
that the different antafckaranas merge in the material cause 
leaving behind their respective peculiarities (saihskara). On " 


the other hand, the eka-jlva-vadi explains the different experi- 
ences of pleasure, pain, etc, (bhoga), of different men by 
maintaining that the ajiiana-pratiphalita jiva has many antab- 
kara^as for that purpose. But this theory fails to explain 
systematically bondage and emancipation. The eka-jlva-vad! 
has been forced to admit that no man has ever attained salvation. 
Salvation will come only once and for all. Strict solipsism 
also requires that the experience (pratyaksa) of the many 
other persons should be regarded as svapnika. Just as a man sees 
different things, animals or men in a dream, so the jiva sees 
all these different persons, different things, as if in a dream. 

Jag at 

We now come to the consideration of the world. We have 
already said that with the power of inaya, Brahman projects 
the world and the appearance of the world is ultimately false. 
Pure undiffer^ntiated unity is the only reality and the element 
of plurality is false superimposition of Nescience. 

In what sense is the world false ? 

It is not false in the sense that sasasrnga or a khapuspa is 
false. It is not false in the sense that dream-world is false. 
Gaudapada and others would maintain that this world is exactly 
like the dream- world. As in dream "sj ?nr ^T: f THWllT: T 

TO ^ar&" (w, tntR*), so 

also in actual experience. In Ma^cjukya-karika, Gaudapada 
explains that the world which people call real is no more real 
than a dream-world. ' The only difference is that waking- world 
is external, dream-world is internal.' (Vaitathya prakarana.) 

Samkara explains it' logically as follows : " 
I SWSTTf^f^ $gt I 

: i mi wi GX SITTTTH urannii ?fr*i HIT 
rftftre^ natron i .^'WT^ ^mrft^jfcr 

" (Commentary on Man. karikft, 2-4.) 


Of course this position is quite sound. Bertrand Eusse 
admits that this is a very consistent and logically un- 
assailable position. Dr. Prabhu Dutt Sastrl writes in the 
Doctrine of Maya, "Mr. F. H. Bradley, the well-known 
author of ' Appearance and Reality/ once told us that there 
could be no difficulty whatever on speculative grounds in holding 
this position." 

But Samkara would make some distinction. He distin- 
guishes between pratibhasika and vyavaharika worlds. The 
' silver in the nacre ' is false ; the actual experienced world is 
also false. The ' silver in the mother of pearP or the pratibha- 
sika world is daily sublated ; but the vyavaharika or phenome- 
nal world is not so. It is negated only when true knowledge 
or Brahmajnana arises. Again, the former is purely subjective, 
while the latter has objective validity. We may note here that 
while discussing the dream-world, Samkara often uses the word 
c maya-matram.' 

Let us first explain the psychology and metaphysic of 
illusion or pratibhasika reality, for a proper appreciation of it 
will help us in understanding the falsity of the world. More- 
over, as the problem has been discussed in a new and original 
way, it really deserves close attention. 

Take the particular example of ' sukti-rajata.' How do we 
come to perceive silver when there is nacre before us? First 
there is the contact of the defective eye with the presented thing 
(idam). Then follows vrtti or modification of the antahkarana 
in the form of * idam ' or ' this ' and ' brilliance/ Only the 
general characteristic (brilliance) of the nacre is perceived, the 
special characteristics remain quite unknown (otherwise there 
would be no chance of error at all). Next the caitanya parti- 
cularised by *idam ' is reflected in the vrtti ; the three caitanyas 
one limited by the mind, another limited by the vrtti and the 
third limited by the ' idam ' become one or non-different from 
one another (if the upadhis have the same time and place, 
then those, limited by them, become non-different from one 


another). Then the avidya which transforms into nacre 
(suktitva-prakarika) and whose substratum is the visaya- 
caitanya or the caitanya limited by the presented thing that 
is already non-different from the pramatr-caitanya), aided 
by the residual traces of the past cognition of silver (the 
memento, of course, is 'brilliance* or the element common both 
to silver and nacre) and also some kind of defect, cataract or 
the like becomes transformed into the ' apparent silver ' and 
the so-called knowledge of the silver. 

I " (Sarat (Ihosal's Vedanta 
Paribhasa, p. 62.) 

We may note here that the defect may be of different kinds, 
e.g., disease of the eye, distance between the perceiver and the 
perceived thing, insufficient light, etc. 

Though the silver is superimposed on the visaya-caitanya 
it is also ' adhyasta ' on the saksin, for the two have become 
non-different by the outgoing of the mind. Now, the apparent 
silver, like pleasure or pain, is cognised by the witness-self alone 
(kevalasaksivedya); it caonot be known or perceived by any 
other means. 

I" (p. 84.) 

Several objections are brought against this explanation of 
the psychology of error. 

The question is what is the substratum of this newly 
created silver ? The answer, of course, is caitanya. But a 
difficulty arises here. Why the silver (whose asraya is caitanya) 
is identified with the presented (purovartti) thing. The reply is 
that the substratum of the silver is not the unlimited caitanya 
but that limited by ' idam ' or the presented thing and that is 
the reason for this identification) of the silver with the presented 

Again, if the silver is superimposed on the saksin, the 
cognition should take the form of " I am silver " or "I am 
possessed of the silver " (like " I am happy ") instead of " this 


is silver." The reply is Like saihskara, like cognition ; and we 
have no samskara like that (' ' I amjsilver ") "*rer 

Paribhasa, Ghosal's Ed., p. 65.) 

As already stated, the avidya which transforms into silver 
also undergoes modification in the form of ' rajata-jnanc^bhasa.' 
We may ask why? When the silver is in direct touch with 
the witness-self, it can be known directly. What is the further 
necessity of avidyfc-vrtti ? No. The vrtti is required for the 
perception of the silver. 

(Vedanta Paribhasa, Ghosal's Ed., p. 68.) 
Another objection is according to the Vedanta, both the 
real (vyavaharika) and the apparent (pratibhasika) silver are 
modifications of avidya, both are superimposed on the self, and 
both are regarded as false. But how arc we to distinguish 
between the two ? The reply is vyavaharika reality is due to 
avidya only, while pratibhasika reality is due to avidya and 
some other kind of dosa (disease of the eye, etc.). 

We see that though there is here no real silver at all, it is 
maintained by advaita-vedanta that some kind of silver is 
produced for the time being. The naiyayika would hold that 
there is no need of admitting the creation of the silver. Illusion 
is due to erroneous judgment. The Vedantist's reply is that the 
illusory silver must be presented before, for we actually perceive 
it. To avert this difficulty, the naiyayika says that the real 
silver elsewhere is the object of perception and this is possible 
through ' alaukika sanndkarsa ' or some kind of noo-sensuous 
contact (jSanalaksai^a pratyasatti) . But then inference might 
be regarded as perception, for the fire (in the inference " the 
hill is fiery " ) can be an object of perception through ' alaukika 

It might be asked by the critic of the Vedanta that if the 
silver is present before (for it is created for the time being), why 


should only the person with diseased sense-organ see it and not 
others standing by him ? The vedantist will reply that both 
the perception and the production of the ' apparent silver ' are 
due to some kind of dosa. Or it may be explained in another 
way. Does not the whole thing rest upon the possibility of 
creation (of a thing) for one individual only ? There is every 
justification for such am assumption. What is creation, after 
all ? It is nothing but the maturation of the residue of the 
past karmas. So when the karma-phalas of one man mature, 
there is srsti or creation for him. Creation, in Vedanta, implies 
a strict correlativity between the subject and the object. 

Pratibhasika things are regarded as modifications of avidya 
either primary (mula) or secondary (tula). Sometimes they are 
destroyed along with the material cause, sometimes without the 
material cause. In the case of mula-avidya-parinama, the 
material cause persists ; here the destruction is of the nature of 
nivrtti or cessation. In the case of tula-avidya-pnrinama, the 
material cause also goes away here wehavebadha or sublation. 
Badha is due to an intuition of the underlying reality. Cessa- 
tion originates when a counteracting mode (virodhinl vrtti) 
arises or the original defect disappears. 

We now pass on to the metaphjsic of illusion. The un- 
reality of this apparent silver is apprehended when the reality 
underlying it, 'namely sukti, is known ; then it will appear that 
the silver never existed, docs not exist and will not exist again. 
But the question is how arc we justified in asserting the 
' traikalika-nisedha-pratiyogitva ' of silver when it existed for 
sometime at least during its perception ? The answer is that 
the prtibhasika rajata is not the object of negation ; but 
*' laukikaparamarthikatvavacchinna-pratibhasika rajata" is 
" nisedha-dhl-visaya/' An objection is raised in the Sikha- 
mani (a commentary on the Vedanta Paribhasa) : " "WIW- 


meets the objection thus : < *tnOTVPf 


is admitted in Vedanta. In other words, it 
means that the silver was not cognised as pratibhasika simply 
but as identified with the vyavaharika rajata. It is no error 
to know a pratibhasika thing as simply pratibhasika. The 
vyavaharikatva of the underlying reality makes the apparent 
silver as phenomenally real (vyavaharika) . 

Madhusiidana Sarasvatf, the author of Advaitasiddhi, ex- 
plains the whole problem in a different way. He says that 
* idam * means * pratibhasika silver ' and ' rajatam ' means 
' vyavaharika silver.' When we arrive at a true knowledge, 
we say ' Nedam rajatam.' It means that there is reciprocal 
difference (anyonyabhava) between ' idam ' or pratitika rajata 
and ' rajatam ' or vyavaharika silver. The identification of the 
two is wrong. ' Atyantabhava ' and not ' anyonyabhava ' is 
signified by mithya. Anyonyabhava is to be understood, when 
the two words are of the same case-ending as in the case of 
'Idam rajatam na.' But when the two have different case- 
endings (as ' atra rajatam na) we are to mean atyantabhava. 
Although anyonyabhava is meant by c Nedam rajatam/ in- 
directly it comes to signify mithyatva of rajatam. 

(Advaitasiddhi, Nirnayasagara 
Ed., p. 130.) 

Mithyatva thus comes to mean ' traikalika-nisedha-prati- 
yogitva.' That which does not exist (in any time) in its 
7 abhimata adhisthana/ is to be regarded as false. Mithyatvam 
is defined in the Vedanta Paribhasa as : "^CT^T^TTfitR?!- 

(Ghosal's Edition, p. 99). The 

apparent silver is false, for it does not exist (in any time) 
ini its substratum, the sukti. So the world is false for it has 
' atyantabhava ' in its substratum, the Brahman. There is 
the world so long as the asraya is not perceived ; but when the 
substratum is once realised, the world vanishes into nothing. 
Brahmam is thus the ground of the illusory imposition of the 


" Some would object to this and say that in ordinary 
psychological illusion as ' idam rajatam,' the knowledge of 
'Idam ' as a thing is only of a general and indefinite nature; 
for it is perceived as a thing but its special characteristics as 
sukti is not noticed, thus illusion is possible. But, in Brahman 
or pure jnana, there are neither definite nor indefinite character- 
istics of any kind, hence it cannot be the ground of illusion. 
The reply is when Brahman stands as adhisthana of the 
world-appearance, its characteristics as sat are manifested, 
whereas pure and infinite bliss is not noticed. Or it may be said 
that illusion of the world is possible because Brahmani in its 
true nature is not revealed to us in our objective consciousness ; 
when I say ' the jug is/ the ' is-ness ' or ' being ' does not shine 
in its purity but only as a characteristic of the jug-form and this 
is the root of illusion." (See Dr. Das Gupta's Indian Phil., 
p. 451.) 

Another objection is raised against the position of the 
Vedfinta that since jagat serves all practical purposes, it is real. 
But the Vedantist would reply that a false thing can also 
serve practical purposes; as ' a snake in the rope ' can cause fear, 
etc. Again, in dreams, we feel happy or sad. Some dream may 
be so harmful as to incapacitate the actual physical organs of a 
man. Yacaspati notes in his BhamatI that ' arthakriyakaritva * 
cannot be the criterion of reality, for that would imply duality. 
(Veriikates'vara Ed., p. 16.) 

It is sometimes said that in the case of sukti-rajata, illu- 
sion is possible for there is real silver elsewhere; but in the case 
of world-illusion, no real world exists anywhere so that the illu- 
sion may be possible. It is said in reply that for illusion, 
knowledge and not the existence of a thing is required. 

(BhamatI, Vemkatesvara Ed., p. 16). 

The past impressions (samskaras) imbedded in 
us, continuing from beginriingless time (anadi) are sufficient 
to account for our illusory notions, just as impressions 


produced in actual waking life account for dream-creations. 
The priority of the world to its saraskara cannot be held 

In this connection we may discuss the nature of the nega- 
tion of the world-appearance. Is the negation true or false ? 
If true, then the doctrine of advaita is gone, for there will be 
two Reals one ' Brahman/ another c negation of the world/ 
If false, then the world becomes true, for negation of negation 
of the world is tantamount to the position of the world. 

The advaitist replies that the negation may be considered 
in both ways and the advaita position will not suffer thereby. 

The world is vy^lvaharika, its negation also is vyavaharika. 
The vyavaharika negation contradicts the vyavaharika world. 
The rule is that the dharma which has the same kind of exist- 
ence with its dharmi will contradict its (dharma's) contradic- 
tory dharma. It is found that the dharma which is not des- 
troyed (nivrtta) by the realisation (saksatkara) of its dharmi 
will contradict its opposite dharma; and the dharma which is 
destroyed by the realisation of its dharmi, cannot contradict its 
opposite dharma. To understand it more clearly, let us take the 
example of ' the snake in the rope/ In the instance where a 
rope is wrongly perceived as a snake, dharmi is the thing, and 
rope-ness and snake-ness are its dharmas. Now, here, rope- 
ness will contradict snake-ness and not snake-ness rope-ness. 
Because, when the thing is realised (when its true nature is 
known), rope-ness persists and snake-ness does not. So in the 
case of Brahman and the world. In Brahman, the world is 
illusorily superimposed. Here Brahman is the dharmi and not- 
world-ness (nisprapancatva) and world-ness (prapancatva) are its 
dharmas. When the nature of Brahman (dharmi) is realised, 
not- world-ness dharma persists and world-ness dharma does not. 
So not-world-ness will contradict world-ness and not world-ness 
will contradict not- world-ness. 

We thus see that the mithyatva of jagat whether mithyS or 
satya, cannot affect the Vedantic position that Brahman only 


is real (paramSrthika sat) and the world is ultimately (in the 
paramarthika sense) false. (See Candrakanta Tarkalamkara's 
Fellowship Lectures, Vol. V, pp. 280-282.) 

The problem has also been tackled in other ways. Even 
if it be admitted that the negation of the world is true, still it 
(negation) will not stand as a second truth; for the negation is 
not different from Brahman which is its substratum. 

" ( WWfirft:, Nirnayasagara Ed., pp. 

It should also be remembered that negation of negation is 
not always equal to position. The previous non-existence (pra- 
gabhava) of a jar is negated when the jar is produced; and 
when the jar is destroyed, that is, when the jar is negated, the 
previous non-existence of the jar does not* come back. 

l" ( ^rt?rf%ftr:, Nirnayasagara 
Ed., pp. 105-7.) 

We have already seen that Brahman is the adhisthana of 
the illusory imposition of the world. Brahman is thus to be 
regarded as the cause of the world. 

With regard to the cause of the world, there is some diver- 
gence of opinion among the Vedantists. 

(1) The author of Samksepasarlraka says that pure Brah- 
man is the upadana or causal substance of the world. " Brah- 
maiva upadanam kutasthasya svatah karanatvanupapatteh 
mSya dvara karanam." (SiddhSntalesa, ChowkhSmba Ed., 
pp. 75-76.) 

(2) According to Vivarana, Brahman associated with mays 
is the cause of the world. (Ibid, p. 59.) 

(3) Some hold that the world is the pariii.&ma of mya of 



Isvara, but mind, etc v is the parinama of the avidyft associated 
with the Jiva. So Isvara is the cause of the akasa and other 
things, while Jiva is the cause of the mind. (Ibid, p. 65.) 

(4) Others hold that Isvara is the cause of the vyava- 
harika world and Jiva is that of the pratibhasika world. (Ibid, 
p. 69.) 

(5) Others are of opinion that Jiva projects everything 
from Itfvara downwards -just as it projects a dream-world. 
(Ibid, pp. 70-71.) 

(6) Vacaspati Misra thinks that Brahman is the cause of 
the world through mayS associated with Jiva. Maya is thus 
the auxiliary or sahakarinl by which Brahman appears in the eye 
of Jiva as many. (Ibid 9 p. 77.) 

(7) Prakasananda holds that maya is to be regarded as 
the cause of the world. "M&yasaktireva upadanam na Brahma, 
Brahma is jagadupadana-mayadhisthaniatvena upacarat upa- 
danam/' (Ibid, p. 78.) 

(8) The author of Padftrthatattvaniriiaya adopts the view 
that both Brahman and maya are to be regarded as cause of 
the world, " Brahmamaya ceti ubhayamupadanam sattajadya- 
rua-ubhayadharm&nugatyupapattik. Tatra Brahma vivarta- 
manatayop&danam, avidya parinamamanataya. (Ibid, p. 72.) 

Vedanta Paribha^a agrees with this view in holding Brah- 
man as the vivarta causal matter and maya the pari^am! causal 
matter of the world. Paribhasakara notes that Brahman's 
'upad&natvam' is ' jagadadhyasadhisthanatvam ' or 'jagad&karega 
pari^amyamana-mayadhisthanatvam.' (Sarat Gbosal's Edition, 
p. 196.) 

(9) The author of Pancadasi says that Brahman viewed 
an relation to the Hamas' aspect of maya is the upadana cause ; 
and in relation to the 'sattva' aspect is the efficient cause. 

" Jagato yadupadanam m&yamad&ya tamaslm, 
Nimittam suddhasattvam tamucyate Brahma tadgirfi." 

(Paflcadas'I, 1-44.) 


(10) Saihkara explicitly says that Isvara or Brahman asso- 
ciated with maya is the efficient and material cause of the 
world. In opposition to Sarfikhya he points out that the non- 
intelligent prakrti cannot be the cause of the world. He 
brings forth the teleological and other arguments against the 
position of Samkhya. How is it that the acetana jagat come 3 
out of the cetana Isvara ? Samkara gives the example of 
hair, nail, etc., produced by the living purusa (see Brahma 
Sutra, "Drsyatetu," 2-1-6). 

In conclusion we note that Brahman as associated with maya 
is the cause of the world. The world is vivarta of Brahman, 
and pari^ama of maya. ' Vivarta' means that the cause and 
the effect have different kinds of material and 'parinama' signi- 
fies their identity immaterial. " Upadanavisamasattakah karya- 
pattih vivartafc, upadanasamasattakat karyapattih pariiiamah/ 1 
(Ghosal's Vedanta Paribhasa, p. 63.) 

Division II 


What is Maya 

Maya has been called the 'pivotal principle' of the Vedanta 
philosophy. It is " the logical pendant to Samkara's doctrine 
of Brahman as the undifferenced self-shining truth." Like 
Brahman, it is also beyond any natural proof. But it is an 
intelligible concept, though accepted as an article of faith. 
iWith its help aihkara seeks to establish that nirguna Brahman 
is the reality. In it only lies the solution of the manifold. 
Hence a clear idea of it is necessary for a proper appreciation 
of the advaita system of metaphysic. 

Satbkara, in his introduction to the commentary on the 
Brahma Sutras, states that all experience is based on the 
reciprocal identification (itaretarabhava) of subject and object 
(cit and jada). The ego and the non-ego are opposed to each 
other like light and darkness ; maya or ajnana is the root of 
their non-discrimination and identification. This is known as 
adhyasa. Saiiikara defines adhyasa as " smrtirupah paratra 
pHrvadrstavabhasah." It is due to ajnana that we mistake one 
thing for another, e.g., the illusory perception of a rope as a 
snake. Evidently the rope cannot be the locus of snake-ness. 
So Batnaprabha explains 'paratra 3 (in the definition of adhyasa) 
as * ayogyadhikara^e. 1 Adhyasa may be samsargadhyasa or 
superimposition of an attribute of one thing on another, and 
tadatmy adhyasa or identification of one thing with another. 
This adhyasa is natural for its root (ajnana) is inherent in 
every being. " Naisargiko'yam lokavyavaharah." Being due 
to mithy ajnana, it is false* Ajnana lies at the root of adhyasa 


which is the basis of life and experience. Ajfiana has, for its 

characteristic, bheda or difference and is the source of 

all misery and pain. Let us see what this ajfiana or 
maya is. 

Definition of Affiana 
Ajfiana is defined in the Vedantasara as 


Ed., pp. 34-35.) Ajfiana cannot be sat ; for it is destroyed 
by knowledge or jfiana. The real cannot be destroyed 
can never be sublated. " TTCnft f^nsi^ Wit *fWT*ft ft^ 
| " (Gita, 2-16.) So it cannot be taken as real 

(Jlvananda's Vedantasara, 

p. 35). Nor can it be said to be asat. For it is the cause of this 
jagatprapafica. An unreal thing like hare's horn cannot be 
the cause of anything. So if we take it to be asat then 
there will be no justification for or explanation of this 

world. ^^^TTWif^^^cfd^flf^^rrgcrcrf^T:'' TW^W: i (Ibid, 
p. 35.) 

" Ajfiana, therefore, is a category which baffles the ordinary 
logical division of existence and non-existence and the principle 
of Excluded Middle." It cannot be said to be ' is ' nor 'is 
not.' Hence it is called " sadasadbhyamanirvacanlya.' 5 

It is trigunatmaka. It is the composite of the three 
guiias, sattva, rajas and tamas. Sruti says AjSmekaih 
lohitasuklakrs^am. (Sveta 4-5.) Lohita is rajas, sukla is 
sattva and kis^a is tamas. Ajfiana has not the three gunas 
but it is itself the three gu^as. There is no relation like gu$a 
and guni. 'gmgfMft^^f^sTT fa?j^TO^srw*i' TOT^I: i 
(Ibid, p. 35.) 

It is jnanavirodhi. Ajfiana is destroyed by knowledge. 
true knowledge arises, the illusion ceases. It is to be 


noted in this connection that ajfiana is not opposed to suddha- 
jfiana but vpttijiiana. Before the emancipated state occurs, 
vfttijnana arising from ' Aham Brahmasmi ' or ' Tattvamasi ' 
destroys ajfiana about itman and the pure intelligence or Atman 
shines forth. So it is said in the Glta 

ran i<nw *w irar 

n " (iii. 14.) 

Again, this ajfiana is not jftanabhava (negation of jfiana) but 
bhavarupa ajfiana. It is something like positive. It is 
held by some that ajfiana is not positive but negative. 
Ajfiana as jnanabhava may be conceived in three different 
ways : 

(1) Ajfiana as saksicaitanyabhava. * OT*ft %IT WTrf? 
3?faR^ trTT5Wf%i: \" But the defect of this view is that 
s5ksicaitanya being permanent, cannot be counter-entity to 
negation (abhava-pratiyogi) . 

(2) Ajfiana as antahkaraiiavrttyabhava (vrttijfianabhava). 
Against this we say that vrttijfianais 'aupacarika' or secondary. 
So its absence cannot be called primary (mukhya) ajfiana. But it 
may be said that vrttijnana is not ' aupacarika ' but mukhyajfiana 
as Samkhya holds. Our reply is that according to Saihkhya, 
vrttyabhava is nothing but the svarupavasthana of buddhi which 
forms the upadana of vrttis. 

(3) According to Nyaya-Vaisesika, jnana is an attribute of 
the self. Ajfiana, according to this view, is atmagunabhuta- 
jnSnabhava. Now what is the meaning of it? It may mean 
jn&na-visesabhava or jnanasamanyabhava. But ajfiana cannot 
mean jfianavisesabhava. For, when I say "I am ignorant, I 
do not know anything/' I am ignorant not of any particular 
thing- I am ignorant in a general way. There is ajfiana but no 
jfiSna-visea. Hence ajfiana cannot mean jfiana-visesabhava. 


If it be said that though jnana-samftnya is indicated here, 
jnana-visesa is to be understood (visaya-visesa-paryavasSyi), 
the reply is then jnana-samanya itself would be abolished 
( jMna-samanya-vilopa), if in every case of it, we are to under- 
stand jnana-visesa (even if there be no non-justification about 
samanya being the object of knowledge) . And if there be no 
such thing as jnSnasamanya, then we can understand negation 
or absence of jar where a jar is; and dreamless sleep will not 
stand as a fact (for, in it, no knowledge of any object whatso- 
ever exists). " Tatha ca ghatavatyapi bhutale ghata-samSnya- 
nisedha-prasamgah, susuptyabhava-prasamgasca syat" (Eama- 
tlrtha on Vedantasara, Jlvananda's Ed., p. 36). 

Ajnana cannot be taken as jnanasamanyabhava. For 
abhavajnana is 'dharmipratiyogijiianasapeksa.' It is by jnana 
that we know ajnana. But of that jfiana (which knows ajnana) 
atman is the locus, that is, that jnana has its asraya in atman 
or is the attribute of atman. Hence "atmani abhava-pratiyo- 
ginah jficinasya vartamanatvat, 15 we cannot say that ajnana is 

jnana-samanyabhava. Ramatlrtha says 

(Ibid 9 p. 36.) 

We conclude that ajnana is not absence of knowledge but 
is bhavarupa. "Positivity, here, does not mean the opposite 
of negation, but notes merely its difference from negation 
(abhava-vilaksanatvamatrain vivaksitam) . " It is not a positive 
entity like Brahman but is called positive simply because 
it is not pure negation. In fact, it is neither positive nor 
negative but indefinite. Hence the word 'Yatkincit' in Vedanta^ 
sara's definition. SubodhinI, a commentary on the Vedanta* 
sara, notes thus 


I*' (Jlvananda's Vedantasara, p. 36.) 


Beally we cannot say anything definitely about ajngLna. 
It is not sat, nor asat mor sadasat. So it is best for us to 
characterise it as indefinite. This cannot be regarded as a 
defect. Ramatlrtha remarks, ' sarvanupapatteralamkaratvat.' 
So it is said 

(I *' 

(Brha. Bhasyavarttika, 181 quoted by Ramatlrtha.) 
Suresvara, in his Naiskarmyasiddhi, says 

wit y$y% f^^fBi^n ii ' ' 

(3-66 quoted by Ramatfrtha.) 


, 4, quoted by Ramatlrtha.) 

We cannot resist the temptation of quoting an illuminating 
passage from Ramatlrtha "qtJfrraff* *?^TO T 3T 

l" (Jlvananda's Vedantasara, p. 37.) 
In this connection it may be mentioned that Vedanta 
recognises three kinds of padarthas, viz., bhava, abhava, and 

Further this ajfiana has no beginning. It is anadi. 

It may be objected that it is not beginningless, for it is a 
mere illusory imagination of the moment caused by dosa. But 
the reply is " it might be regarded as a temporary notion, if 
the ground as well as illusory creation associated with it came 
into being for the moment. But the ground cit is ever-present, 
so ajnftna associated with it is anadi. " (See Dr. D5s Gupta.) 


It is held by some that what is beginningless is also end- 
less or ananta. So ajnana, if beginningless, cannot be finite,; 
i.e., santa (cannot be destroyed). We may say in reply that this 
rule does not always hold good. For the previous non-existence 
of a thing, though beginningless, has an end. 

It is not legitimate to ask anything about ajnana with 
regard to time. It is associated with Brahman. At what 
particular time it became associated such question cannot be 
asked. The" category of time cannot be applied to ajnana. As 
Kant would say that the forms of Sensibility and the categories 
of the Understanding cannot be applied to the Ideas of Eeason. 
They, by their very nature, are beyond the reach of the forms 
and the categories (which cannot have any transcendent appli- 
cation) . They are restricted to phenomena only. In making 
a transcendent use of them, Reason is hopelessly confronted 
with puzzles and contradictions. So we say that this question 
about ajnana is not legitimate, because "the association does 
not occur in time either with reference to the cosmos or with 
reference to individual persons." (See Dr. Das Gupta's Ind. 
Phil., p. 442.) 

In this connection we give the derivation of the word 
maya. The root of maya is "ma" meaning "to measure" 
the immeasurable Brahman appears as if measured. The root 
also means "to build" leading to the idea of 'appearance 5 or 
'illusion.' (The Doctrine of Maya by Dr. P. D. Sastri, p. 29.) 
Dr. Sastri gives another fanciful derivation, maya may!, i.e., 
that which is not that which truly is not, but appears to be, 
(Ibid, p. 30.) It may also mean "that which causes to get 


A. AjMna established by Perception 

AjfiSna is directly experienced in such perceptions as "I 
am ignorant" or " I do not know myself " or " I slept happily 
and did not know anything." " Such perceptions point to an 
object which has no definite characteristics, and cannot properly 
be said to be either positive or negative." An objection is 
raised here : it is not the perception of something indefinite, 
but the negation of knowledge. Our reply is : ' 'It is not the 
perception of negation merely. For negation implies the thing 
negatived* In fact, negation generally appears as a substantive 
with the object of negation as a qualifying factor specifying the 
nature of the negation. But the perception I do not know' does 
not involve the negation of any particular knowledge of any 
specific object but the knowledge of an indefinite objectless 

" If negation meant only a general negation and if the per- 
ception of negation meant in each case the perception of gene- 
ral negation, then even where there is a jug on the ground, one 
should perceive the negation of the jug on the ground for the 
general negation in relation to other things is there." (See Das 
Gupta's History of Indian Phil., Vol. I, p. 454.) 

With regard to "I slept happily," "I did not know any- 
thing," the naiySyika points out that it is an inference and not 
perception. But it is not so. "For it is not possible to infer 
from the pleasant and active state of the senses in the awakened 
state that the activity had ceased in the sleeping state and that 
since he had no object of knowledge then, he could not know 
anything for there is no invariable concomitance (avinabhava) 
between the pleasant and active state of the senses and the 
absence of objects of knowledge in the immediately preceding 
state." (See Dr. Das Gupta, p. 456.) 

The fact is that during sleep there is avidyakara vrtti and 


in jftgrat state, one remembers from the samskara and says ' I 
did not know anything/ So it is a case of perception and not 
inference as the Naiyayika holds. 

B> Ajnana established by Inference 

Ajnana is also inferred from such perception 'I did not 
know it before, but I know it now/ Present knowledge of a 
thing involves the removal of a veil of something indefinite. A 
thing (previous to its being known) is veiled by ajnana. Vrtti- 
jnana removes the veil and manifests the object. 

In the Vivarana, the following form of avidyasadhaka- 
numana is given : fl " ~ 

Pandit Krsiia Nath Nyayapancaniana explains it as follows: 

ftwfH I (Vedanta ParibhasS, 
p. 228.) 

Prama^a-jnana is preceded by something positive 
(vastvantarapurvaka) which is not the previous ab- 
sence of jnana (pragabhava-vyatirikta), which veils the 
object of knowledge (svavisayavarana), which is destroyed by 
knowledge (svanivarttya) and which has the same locus as that 
of knowledge (svadesagata) . 

For knowledge manifests an object which was not mani- 
fested before by removing that ' something ' which veiled it. 
Further the existence of ajnana is proved by the fact that the 
infinite bliss of Brahman is not revealed in its complete and 
limitless aspect. So there is ajnana which obstructs its complete 


Again, if there be no ajnanaj there is no possibility of illu- 
sion. Ajnana constitutes the substance of bhrama. Brahman 
cannot be regarded as constituting the substance of illusion, for 
Brahman is unchangeable, 'ekarupena avasthitah.' 

C. 'Ajfiana established by Sruti and Smrti 

In Nasadiya Sukta it is said thus ' Nasadaslt no sadastt.' 
(8-7-27.) There was not asat, there was no sat. Again we find 
there that tamafc existed ' Tamah aslt.' Now this tamah 
there means ajnana. By ' Nasadaslt no sadaslt ' by these 
nisedhadvayas we get sadasadbhyam-anirvacanlyata of ajnana. 

In Chandogya we find, * Anrtena hi pratyudhab ' (8-3-2). 

This ' anrta ' means ' mithya ajnana. 5 Ramanuja takes 
it in a different sense. He says ' Rta ' means ' phalakamana- 
rahita karma 5 and anrta is its opposite. But this explanation 
cannot be accepted on obvious ground. For anrta as meaning 
mithya, is very familiar. In Svetasvatara Upanisad we find 

: IWT: 

: 11 " (IV. 5.) 

irarfH f^n^Tnr^ng w^r^ i ff (IV. 10.) 
i " (i. 3.) 

In the Manu Samhita it is said 

: u " (I. 9.) 

In the Devi Purana (Chapter XLV) 


In the Gita 

sww: i " (V. 14.) 
r f \" (VII. 25.) 

lit W*T gnnra 5 * ?m wrar *ararr 1 " (III. 14.) 

In all these maya means the same thing. Tamafr of Rg 
Veda means also the same thing. Thus we find that ajnana 
or maya of Samkara is not a new invention ; it is supported 
both by Sruti and Smrti. 

D. Ajnana established by Arthapatti 

Ajnana is also established by arthapatti. Arthapatti is 
defined by the author of Vedanta-paribhasa as 

I fa sRT <i^gMM^ ?W^ ^MMI^M I STO 

I " Without ratri-bhojana, plnatva 
of a man who does not take his food in day-time is 
not established. Plnatva is here upapfidya. Again, in 
the absence of ratri-bhojana, the plnatva of a man (who 
has not taken his food) is not established. Eatri-bhojana is 

In the Upanisads, oneness of Jiva with Brahman is 
taught (Tattvamasi). If the difference between Jiva and 
Brahman be not illusory, the identity cannot be established. 
By upapadya jnana (the knowledge of the oneness of Jiva 
with Brahman) we infer the upapadaka (the difference created 
by ajnana ajnana-kalpita-bheda). Thus we see that the 
pramana of arthapatti also establishes ajnana. 


A. Locus of Ajnana 

What is the locus or asraya of ajnana? There are different 
views on this question. 

(1) According to some, ajnfina rests upon pure cit. 
Pure cit is not opposed to ajnana. Vrttijnana only is opposed 
to ajnana. It Js said thus 'Ssrayatvavisayatva-bhagini 
nirvibhaga-citireva kevala.' The cit when reflected in vrtti, 
becomes opposed to ajnana and destroys it. 

(2) Vacaspati Misra holds that Jlva and not Brahman is 
the locus of ajnana. ' Jlvasyaivaham ajna itjevam pratyayat. A 

One may say that this theory does not hold good. Here 
arises the fallacy of anyonyasraya. The Jlvabhava itself 
is due to ajnana. So if it be said that the Jlva is the locus of 
ajnana, then there will be anyonyasraya-dosa. But the reply 
is " Anaditvat ajiianajlvabhavapravahasya bijamkuravat na 
anyonyasrayah." As the tree yields the seed and the seed 
produces the tree, so Jlvabhava is due to ajnana and ajMna has 
its locus in Jlva. This pravaha is anadi. So there is no 

Prakasananda, the author of Vedanta-siddhfintamuktavalf, 
following Vacaspati Misra, says ' Jlvasraya Brahmapada 
hyavidy^i tattvavinmata.' 

(3) Madhava reconciles the two views and says that ajnana 
may be regarded as resting on Jlva from the point of view that 
the obstruction of pure cit is with reference to Jlva. 

' Cinmatrasritam ajnanam jivapaksapatitvat jlvasritam- 
ucyate.' (Dr. Das Gupta's Ind. Phil, p. 457.) 

The Vedantaparibhasa writes thus ' Yadavidyavilasena 
bhutabhautika-srstayah, etc.' 


What is the meaning of ' yadavidya.' Pancjit Krsija Nath 
Nyayapancanana thus explains "it : ' yasya paramatmanah 
avidyayah saktibhQtayah mayaya. vilasena, etc.' This 
jagatprapanca is due to the vilasa of avidya which is the 
sakti of Brahman or Paramatman. From this we may gather 
that avidya has its locus in Paramatman. Nyayapancanana 
also gives a different interpretation. ' Yadavidyayah yadvi- 
sayakcTJfianasya vilasena, etc. ' i.e ., ajnana has Brahman as its 
object we may infer from this that ajnana has its locus in the 

(4) Some make a distinction between may a and avidya 
and say that may f a is the upadhi of tsvara ' Mayopahitam 
caitanyam ts'varah,' and avidya is the upadhi of Jiva 
' Avidyopahitam caitanyam Jivah.' Thus the locus of maya 
is Isvara and that of avidya is Jiva. Advaitasiddhi points out 
that there is no anupapatti in any view. 

JS. Object of Ajnana 

With regard to the object of ajiiana, all are of the same 
opinion. Brahman is its object. By the power of avarana- 
sakti, it veils the nature of Brahman. But this avarana is 
only apparent. It cannot really veil Brahman, but appears to 
us as veiling Brahman; just as we say that the clouds veil the 
self-luminous Sun. " Ghanacchannadrstih ghanacchanna- 
rnarkam" (Hastamalaka). It also projects the appearance 
of the world. There is, in reality, no world. It is simply due 
to the projection of false ajiiana (viksepasakti of ajnana). 

Though ajnana is one, it veils Brahman in various modes. 
These modes or states of ajnana are technically called tfllajnana. 
Vrttijnana removes tulajnana and reveals the object of 
knowledge. It should be noted here that the obstruction of 
cit by ajfiana is not only with regard to consciousness but also 
with regard to bliss. 


Ajfiana one or many 

We may note, in this connection, one important point 
with regard to ajnana. 

(1) Some say that ajnana is many. There are many 
ajnanas as there are many Jlvas. If there be one ajnana, when 
one Jlva is emancipated, other Jlvas must necessarily become 
emancipated. But this cannot be. So there are many ajnanas. 

(2) Others hold that ajnana is one and not many. 

Of course, in the Sruti, the word maya appears both in the 
plural and in the singular number. ' AjamekSm lohitasukla- 
krsnaam ' ; ' Mayantu prakrtim vidyat ' ; ' Taratyavidyam 
vitat^m, etc.* Here the singular number is used. Again, we 
find c Indro mayabhih pururupa lyate ' (Rg. 6-47-18), where 
the plural number is used. 

The author of the Vedantaparibhasa solves the problem thus 
he says that maya or ajn&na is one. The plural number in 
the Sruti is used with reference to the vicitrasakti of maya or 
with reference to the three gupas of maya sattva, rajas, 

I J> (Ghosal's Ed., p. 52.) 
Again, he says, if we take maya as one, then there will be 

kalpana-lSghava. H3f3^fW%T ^raITJ*yrt?Nl ^ TOIKIT mraf 

ft^t^r (Ibid, p. 53.) 

The Vedantasara says that ajnana may be viewed in both 

ways. It is one and also many. Ajnana is one with reference 

to its samasti. It is many with reference to its vyasti. 

nanda's Edition, p. 38.) 

As the samasti of many trees is called the forest, so 

qr: r (ibid, pp. 39-40.) 

Ajnana from the aspect of sSmSnya is one and from the 
aspect of visesa is many. 

Division III 



Ramanuja, in his well-known Srlbhasya, has brought seven 
principal objections against Samkara's concept of Maya. 

1. The Asrayanupapatti of Avidya. 
Ramanuja observes ' * 

| 1 ' (Srlbhasya, Ed., by 
Durgacarana, Vol. I, pp. 170-171.) 

Rflmanuja asks What is the locus of Avidya ? Jiva 
cannot be its locus ; for Jlvabhava itself is due to Avidya. Nor^ 
agaim, Brahman can be its asraya ; for Brahman is Jfiana- 
svarupa and that which is Jnanasvarupa cannot be the locus of 
Ajnana which is Jnanana^ya. Jfiana and Ajnana being contra- 
dictory cannot have the same locus. 

2. Tirodhananupapatti of Avidya. 

Avidya, according to Sarhkara, veils the nature of 
Brahman which is svayarhprakasa that is, the svayampraklisa- 
svabhava of Brahman is avrta or tirohita by Avidya, 
Ramanuja holds Tirodhana of prakasa cannot but mean 
svarupa-nasa. He writes " 



Ramftnuja says that Brahman being avisaya of jnana 
(cf. ' Avaftmanasagocarah ') cannot be the visaya of 
ajnana. We may have ajnana about that thing of which we 
may have jnana. But Brahman is not so ; it is, as admitted 
by Samkara, jnanasvarupa. 

Further, tirodhana of prakasa may mean (a) obstruction 
of prakasotpatti. But Brahma-prakasa is svayamsiddha and 
not upapanna or adventitious. So prakasa-tirodhana cannot 
mean prakasotpatti-pratibandha. Hence, it must mean (6) 

Thus the contention of Ramanuja is that to say that the 
svayamprakasata of Brabman is tirohita by ajnana is to 
affirm the destruction of Brahma-prakasa. 

3. The Svarupa nupapatti of Avidya. 
Ramanuja writes " 

(Ibid, pp. 174-175.) 

What is meant by saying that jnana or anubhuti though 
nirvisesa and nirasraya becomes the ananta-asraya of ananta- 
visaya only on account of asrayadosa. Is it real or unreal? 
It cannot be real for its reality is not admitted (anabhyupa- 
gamat). It cannot be unreal. For, if it be unreal, it must 
be identified with drasta, drsya or drsi. It cannot be drsi- 
svarupa. For difference (bheda) im jnana is not admitted. 
Further, the distinction between drasta, drsya and drsi being 
illusory (kalpanika) there must be some original defect for it 
and that again, would require another defect (dosa) and so on. 
Thus there will be anavastha or regressus ad infinitum. If it 
be said that the dosa is Brahmasvarupa-anubhuti itself, RamS- 
nuja would say in reply that it is absolutely futile to suppose 
Avidya when Brahman itself can be regarded as the root 
cause of the world. Also if Brahman itself is doa, there 


cannot be moksa, for Brahman being nitya, the dosa also will be 

Thus Rfananuja concludes that it is not possible to posit 
the separate existence of avidyarupa-dosa and consequently the 
falsity or illusory appearance of the world cannot be maintained. 

4. The Andrvacanlyatvanjupapatti of Avidya. 

The anirvacanlyata of Avidya, Ramanuja maintains, cannot 
be established. For everything is perceived by us either as real 
or unreal. Nothing is perceived as being beyond reality or un- 
reality. "Sarvamhi vastujatam pratltivyavasthapyam, sarva ca 
pratltih sadasadakara. " If it be said that by the knowledge of 
either real or unreal a thing which is neither real nor unreal is 
known, the reply of Ramanuja is then anything can be an 
object of any knowledge. 

i " (Ibid, p. 176.) 

5. The Pramaaanupapatti of 
The Advaitists bring the following inference in support of 
bhavarupa ajnana : 

I " (See Vivarai^a.) Ramanuja points out 
that the inference is fallacious as the hetu (middle term) is 
viruddha and anaikanta. A hetu is called viruddha when it 
does not exist in the paksa or the minor term. " Yak sadhya- 
vati naiv&sti sa viruddha udahrtah " (Bhasapariccheda, sloka 
55). A hetu is sadhara^a or anaikanta when it exists both in 
sapaksa (it is that pakga where the sadhya or the major term is 
ascertained as existing) and vipaksa (it is that paksa where the 
sadhya is ascertained as not existing). " Yak sapakse vipak$e 
ca bhavet sadhara^astu sah "(Ibid, sloka 54). 

Bight knowledge (pramana-jnana) is preceded by some- 
thing else (vast van tara-purvakam), for it manifests a thing 
which was not manifested (aprakasitartha-prakasakatvat). 


A pot previous to its being known, was unmanifested, that is, 
was covered by something (ajnana) which is removed by 
jnana or knowledge when it (jnana) manifests the pot ; just 
as the first rays of light remove darkness in a room and mani- 
fests the things that were covered by darkness. Thus the 
existence of ajnana (as something positive) is established by 
this inference. Ramanuja points out that the hetu (aprakasi- 
tartha-prakasakatva) which proves ajnana would establish 
another ajnana. For, the inference has for its object bhavarupa 
ajnana and this bhavarupa ajnana must be previously veiled by 
another ajnana which the inference (being a pramana-jnana) 
removes and manifests (makes known) its object which is the 
former bhavarupa ajnana. Thus a second ajnana (veiling the 
first ajnana) is also established. Therefore the first ajnana 
(being covered by another ajnana) cannot be efficacious that is, 
it cannot veil or cover a thing (which is manifested by jnana). 
Hence the thing was not unmanifested ; and if the thing be not 
unmanifested, the hetu (aprakasitartha prakasakatva) does not 
exist in the paksa (pramaija- jnana) and thus becomes viruddha. 

There are also attendant difficulties. If ajnana be veiled 
by another ajnana, it cannot do its work, that is, it cannot veil 
the nature of Brahman and if Brahman be not veiled, there 
will be no bondage ; also it cannot be said that Brahma- jnana 
destroys ajnana. 

Again, if the second ajnana (veiling the first ajnana) be not 
established, the hetu becomes anaikanta. The hetu (aprakasi- 
tartha prakasakatva) exists in the pramaiia-jnana (whose object 
is pot or jar) this prama^a-jnana is sapaksa ; the hetu also 
exists in the vipaksa which is the inference (anumiti-jnana) 
whose object is ajnana. The form of inference, in the case of 
vipaksa, would stand thus : the inference (right knowledge is 
preceded by something else, for it manifests a thing previously 
unmanifested) is preceded by something else, for it, that is, 
the inference manifests or makes known a thing (ajnana) which 
was previously unmanifested. But the advaitists would not 


admit such other ajrmna and hence it is vipaksa for the sadhya 
(vastvantara-purvakatva) does not exist in the paksa (ajnSna- 
visayaka-anumiti-pramana- jnana). Thus the hetu (aprakasi- 
tartha-prakasakatva) is anaikanta or sadharaiia for it exists in 
sapaksa as well as vipaksa. 

The example (drstfmta) also is faulty. For the light of a 
lamp never manifests a thing. It is jnana or knowledge that 
manifests things. 

Avidya is not established by Sruti, for the scriptural texts 
cited by Samkara, mean something different. 

Nor perception can prove the existence of ajnana. Per- 
ceptions" like " I am ignorant," " I do not know myself " do 
not prove the existence of bhavarupa ajnana but jnanabhava. 
If it be said that ajnana (meaning jnanabhava) and jnana 
(which is the counter-entity to ajnana) being contradictory 
cannot have the same locus which is really the case in these 
perceptions (atman is the dharm! or asraya of both ajnana and 
jnana), Kamanuja would reply : " yastu jnfma-pragabhava- 
visayatv virodha uktah sa hi bhavarupajnane'pi tulyah " 
(Pandit Durga Cararia's Ed., p. 181). This difficulty cannot be 
averted even if ajnana be taken to mean bhavarupa ajnana. 
For, according to Samkara, ajnana, though bhavarupa, is con- 
tradictory to jnana. If it be said (by Samkara) that bhavarupa 
ajnana is opposed to visada jnana only and not every jnana, 
Eamanuja would say, in like manner, that ajnana as jnana- 
bhava is opposed to visada jnana and not all jnana. Thus 
arises also the Bhavarupatvanupapatti of avidya. 

6. The Nivarttakanupapatti of Avidya. 

According to Samkara, mukti means nothing more than 
avidya-nivrtti. The removal or destruction of avidya takes 
place when Nirvisesa-Brahmajfiana dawns (Nirviseabrahma- 
jnariat avidyanivrttih) and Brahmajnana arises out of the 
knowledge of such Sruti texts as ' So'ham.' Eamanuja objects 


to this and says that ' Nirvisesabrahmajnant na avidya- 
nivrttib.' For, it would contradict such Upanisadic passages as 

w ' ' 

(Taitti. Ara^ya., 3-13-1.) 

^rftrt fww: svn^fw i J ' 
^r^m^ w^rPw i '* 

(Maha. Kara. Up. 1.8. 10-11.) 

Hence, Eamanuja concludes, that these texts point out that 
moksa is due to Savisesabrahmajnana or the knowledge of Hari 
who is the repository of all good qualities in infinite degree 
and who is free from any taint of blemishes. 

7. The Nivrttyanupapatti of Avidya. 

As the nivarttaka of avidyfi is not established, there can 
be no nivrtti of it. It is held by Sainkara that the nivartaka 
of avidya is Nirvisesabrahmajnana. But, as already shown, 
this cannot be. Thus avidya can have no nasa or nivrtti. 
Further, EfimSnuja maintains that " the individual soul's 
bondage of ' ignorance ' is determined by karma which is a 
concrete reality. It cannot therefore be removed by any abstract 
knowledge but only by divine worship and grace." 


(1) Asrayopapatti of Avidya. 

Brahman can be the locus of avidya. Samkarites do not 
admit any contradiction between pure cit or Brahman and 
avidya. Avidya is opposed only to vrttijnana or cit reflected 
in vrtti. Kamanuja would say that if pure cit is not opposed 
to ajnana, then it cannot be held that cit reflected in vrtti is 
opposed to it ; for both have prakasarupata. But it may be 
said in reply that the causality of vrtti-phalita-caitanya (the 
effect being the destruction of ajnana) lies not in the aspect of 
caitanya as such, but in the relation of caitanya to vrtti. 
" Vrtti-phalita-caitanyasya ajiiana-virodhitve ca vrttisambandha 
eva karanam, na tu caitanyatvam." (MM. Pai^dit Ananta 
Sastrl's Intro, to the Vedanta Paribhasfc, p. 38.) 

Jlva also can be regarded as the locus of avidya. Rama- 
nuja contends that jlva is ' parabhavika ' or avidya-kalpita. 
Though ajnftna is logically prior, ontologically nothing can be 
said. For the relation between avidya and jlva is beginningless 
like that between the tree and the seed. 

(2) TirodhSaopapatti of Avidya, 

The whole force of Ramanuja's argument falls to the ground. 
$axhkara would not admit real tirodhana of Brahman Brahman 
is tirohita iva. The Hastamalaka writes " Ghan&cchanna- 
drstir ghanacchannamarkam, etc." (sloka 10). Due to our 
ignorance or ajfiSna we fail to see that Brahman is 


self luminosity, This does not mean that Brahma-prakasa is 

(3) Svarupopapatti of Avidya. 

Samkarites admit that ajnana is an object (drsya). But 
it is not subject (drasta) or knowledge (drsi). Ajnana, though 
illusory, is beginningless and establishes itself (svanirvahaka) ; 
it does not require any other (original) defect as Ramanuja 
supposes. This beginninglessness answers to the charge of 
regressus ad infinitum. Ramanuja might argue that a thing 
establishing itself is neither seen nor reasonable. The reply 
would be that this very fact of unreasonableness would prove 
the indeterminateness of ajnana. 

Ramanuja is fighting with a shadow when he says that if 
the permanent Brahman be regarded as avidya, mukti is not 
possible. This is not admitted by Samkara. 

(4) Anirvacaniyopapatti of Avidya. 

Ramanuja says that the object of ' sadasadakara pratiti ' 
cannot be something which is neither sat nor asat. The author 
of Advait&moda points out that the colour (rupa) of darkness, 
though not the object of light or prakasa (for they are contra- 
dictory), is established by light (for the absence of light is 
necessary for the perception of it ' abhava-pratiyogitaya 
prakdsapeksa asti '). 

" (Advaitamoda, 
p. 139.) 

Moreover, it can be said that sat and asat are not contra- 
dictory terms as Ramanuja takes them to be. The Advaitist 
means by them something very different from him (see Appen- 
dix B). 


(5) Pramanopapatti of Avidya. 

Ramanuja points out that the inference (proving ajnana) 
is fallacious, the hetu being viruddha and anaikanta. But his 
arguments do not hit the target, for, the Advaitists do not say 
that the inference proves the existence of ajnana. They hold 
that it establishes bhavarupatva only (and not the existence) 
of ajnana. The existence of ajnana, according to them, is 
proved by perception like " I am ignorant," 

Ramanuja further says that the example is faulty. But it 
may be replied that the prakasakatva of light cannot be totally 
ignored. Eamanuja might say that light merely helps mani- 
festation (upakaraka) and if prakasakatva of an upakaraka is 
admitted, then the senses (eye, etc.) also would have prakasa- 
katva. It may be replied that the Vedantists do not admit 
prakasakatva of any upakaraka, but only of that which removes 
any obstacle to manifestation. The light removes darkness 
which obstructs the manifestation of an object. Hence it is 
called prakasaka. But the senses do not destroy any obstacle to 
manifestation ; they merely effect a relation or connection of 
mind with the object. 

As regards Sruti pramana we say that Ramanuja's inter- 
pretation of the scriptural texts (cited by Samkarites in favour 
of maya) is obscure and far-fetched. 

Ramanuja contends that perception does not prove the 
existence of ajnana. Perception like ' I am ignorant ' indicates 
absence of knowledge and not bhavarupa ajnana. But bhava 
and abhava being contradictory cannot have the same locus at 
the same time. Ajnana as bhavarupa however can remain 
side by side with jnana in the same place and at the same time. 
Ajnana is cancelled by vrttijiiana ; the ajnana which is proved 
by perception like * aham ajna ' will be destroyed by the vrtti- 
jnHnia in the form of ' aham jna.' Moreover, it has been shown 
that ajnana cannot be regarded as absence of knowledge (see 
Chapter II). 


(6) Nivarttakopapatti of Avidya. 

In Sruti, passages referring both to Saguna and Nirguija 
Brahman are found. Sarhkara says that the knowledge of 
Nirguna Brahman leads to emancipation. Ramanuja, on the 
other hand, holds that the knowledge of Saguna Brahman brings 
moksa. But we have seen that the general trend of the Upani- 
sads is to show that Brahman is, in its essence, nirgu^a. 
Hence it is proper to regard the knowledge of Nirguna Brahman 
as the cause of the destruction of ajiiana. The knowledge of 
Saguna Brahman is not the unconditional cause of moksa, but 
it is a means to the cause of cnoksa (upasana is necessary for 
the knowledge of Nirvisesa Brahman) a ad hence it has been 
called the cause of moksa in Sruti. Moreover, is there any 
meaning in saying that the God is Almighty, etc., when 
everything in the jiva is sought to be explained with reference 
to karma or adrsta. Further Ramanuja's Brahman having jiva 
and jagat as its body, cannot be wholly free from errors, evils 
and other imperfections. 

(7) Nivrttyupapatti of Avidya. 

The soul's bondage, according to Rarnanuja, is not due to 
avidyabut is determined by karma which being a concrete 
reality cannot be destroyed by knowledge. But it is said in 
Sruti and Smrti that bondage is due to maya and that jnana 
destroys karma. "Kslyante casya karmagi tasmin drste 
paravare" (Mun, 2-2-9), " Jnanagnih sarvakarmani bhasmasat 
kurute tatha " (Glta, 4-37). Ramanuja is of opinion that 
without the grace of the Lord, salvation is not possible. Dr. 
Sastrl rightly observes " Surely the idea of grace, etc., is not 
an exalted conception " (Doctrine of Maya, p. 132). The idea 
of grace may have its theological significance but its philosophic 
value is nil. 

Division IV 


Is Adoaita Ethics a contradiction in Terms f 

As Samkara says that Brahman or the Atrnan is the only 
reality and as man's Summum Bonum consists in the realisa- 
tion (jnana) of the Atman, it is understood that he underesti- 
mates the value of karma. Samkara says that rnoksa should be 
the alpha and omega of human existence and as moksa has no 
direct, relation to karma, it is understood that he belittles the 
importance of karma. As Samkara says that karma brings 
bondage which is the very opposite of moksa, it is understood 
that he rejects karma altogether and fosters inaction. With- 
out understanding the proper import of Samkara's interpretation, 
men believe that " the tendency is apparent in the upanisads 
towards an intellectualism which forsook the performance of 
practical duties," that Ethics has no place in the Vedanta 
system of philosophy. 

According to Sarhkara, it is true that the world is ulti- 
mately unreal, that all our miseries and sorrows are due to 
avidya whose characteristic is bheda-buddhi, that our ultimate 
aim should be to know the underlying umity (abheda) ; still a 
proper understanding of these would go to prove that these can- 
not be made any ground for laying the charge of ' inaction ' at 
his door. 

Samkara distinguishes between three kinds of exist- 
ence paramarthika or .ultimate as of Brahman it is that 
kind of existence which is never sublated; vyavaharika or pheno- 
menal, as of God, world and Jiva it is that kind of existence 


which is sublated only when Brahniajnana dawns; pratibha- 
sika as of ' the snake in the rope ' or things seen in dream 
it is that kind of existence which persists so long as the percep- 
tion of the things remains (pratlti-matra-satta). It is sublated 
when we come back from the state of illusion or dream to the 
phenomenal world. 

Moksa consists in realising Brahman, the paramarthika 
reality then follows the subsequent sublation of the vyavaha- 
rika reality. (The word ' follow ' is necessarily used in a res- 
tricted sense.) The Jlvanmukta realises the falsehood of the 
world. For him, therefore, the actions have got no meaning at 
all. But to the man who is on the vyavaharika plane, the world 
is as real as anything just as things experienced in dream are 
actual (real) to a man who is in dream-state. So the man, 
who has not attained Brahniajnana, must perform the duties of 
life. (Saihkara is not opposed to varna&rama dharma. The 
genius of the Hindus consists in conceiving the different 
asramas. It is a grand coalescence of the Ideal and the Eeal.) 
The ordinary man may do the Vaidic karmas for happiness 
here and hereafter. But the man, desirous of moksa, should 
avoid all such karmas, for they bring bondage they will en- 
tangle him further in the meshes of maya. Some say that the 
performance of such karmas is not entirely bad. For the man 
may become fit (to some extent) for moksa in the next life. 
Vacaspati Misra thinks that " the performance of them helps a 
man to acquire great keenness for the attainment of right 
knowledge." Prakasatman is of opinion that it serves to bring 
about suitable opportunities by securing good preceptors, etc., and 
to remove many obstacles from the way. (See Dr. S. N. Das 
Gupta's A History of Indian Philosophy, p. 490.) 

Karmas may be kamya, nitya, naimittika and nisiddha. 
Barring the first and the last, the mumuksu must perform the 
other two for they purify the mind. The importance of per- 
forming nitya karmas will be evident from the following 
quotation from Naiskarmyasiddhi of Suresvaracarya 


:, ?RT: 

, ?r?Tt 

l" (Chowkhamba Ed., p. 47.) 
He should also cultivate moral virtues like amanitva, 
adambhitva, ksanti, maitrl, karuna, mudita, etc. As enjoined 
in the Glta (one of the Prasthanatrayl) men should perform 
karmas without any selfish motive. Samkaracaryya also em- 
phasises niskama karma which brings cittasuddhi. With- 
out cittasuddhi, no Brahmajnana, without Brahmajnana, no 
removal of nescience. (In fact, Brahmajnana or moksa is 
nothing more than the removal of ajnana ) It is Jnana which 
destroys ajnana. Karma has no direct relation to mukti. In 
nyaya technique, it is anyathasiddha. As the end of niskama 
karma is cittasuddhi, it has got no value when the goal is 
reached. What meaning has it for the man who has attained 
salvation ? 

Kant also says that duty must be done for duty's sake 
out of a pure regard for the moral law. It is a grand concep- 
tion in the philosophy of the West. But the question is 
What does it lead to? Vedanta has emancipation as the goal. 
But Kant finds the Summum Bonum elsewhere. He is compelled 
to bring in the idea of God as a necessary appendix to his ethi- 
cal system. He finds virtue and happiness combined together 
not analytically but synthetically. God will distribute happi- 
ness according to the degree of virtue, because He contains the 
principle of connection between virtue and happiness which is 
the exact harmony of happiness with morality. Thus it is 
morally necessary with Kant to assume the existence of God. 

The defect of Kant is his failure to rise to the height which 
Vedanta reaches. The conception of the personality of God (as 
the Distributor of good and evil ) is perhaps the last vestige of 
anthropomorphism in Idealistic Philosophy. Vedanta retains 
all these in the vyavaharika sphere. Try to rise higher and 


then you will find that the personality of God, the problem of 
good and evil, ethics, religion, metaphysics all sunk in that 
Ocean) of Infinite Bliss. The beauty of the Vedantic conception 
is that it retains everything, yet cancels everything (save 
AtmanK Eising higher and higher, you reach Brahman and 
then you will see that nothing higher can be conceived the 
question of higher and lower, better and worse, loses its mean- 
ing altogether. " Morality/' as Prof. Kfidhakrsnan says, " is a 
stepping-stone and not a stopping place." (Indian Philosophy, 
Vol. II, p. 035.) 

Vedanta is sometimes charged with inaction. But it is 
perhaps the only system of philosophy which supplies the real 
basis of morality. Christianity says " Love thy neighbours 
as thyself." Kant writes (< Always treat humanity, both in 
your person and in the person of others, as an end and never as 
a means." We ask why? The solution of this 'why* is 
satisfactorily given only in the Vedanta. Because all beings are 
Brahman in their essence or ultimate nature. The principle of 
advaita or abheda is the basis of morality. Bearing this in 
mind, we can establish the ' Kingdom of God ' on earth. How 
noble is the conception of " vasudhaiva kutumbakam." It is 
not a fantastic dream of the theorist but a noble ideal. 

" (Rg. Veda.) 

There are some critics who would find fatalism in the 
Vedanta doctrine of karma. They think that the Freedom of 
the Will is denied to man. This rests on a misconception. It 
is true that our life is shaped by karmas done in previous births. 
But the karmas are our own we are to reap the fruit. We are 
responsible for our whole career. We are not determined by 
something from without. Thus determined by our own karmas, 
we are entirely autonomous. Determination is determination 
when it comes from without. We are not to suffer for the sins 
of Adam. We cannot hope for redemption through the 


expiation of Christ for there would be * akrtabhyagama.' 
What we are is the result of our own deeds. What we shall 
be will be the result of o//r own actions. Vedanta teaches 
that man has the power to shape his future career. Of. 
"Yogah karmasu kausalam." (Gita, II. 50,) We thus see 
that Vedanta does not deny the doctrine of the Freedom of the 
Will. Without such a postulate, morality becomes meaningless, 
mukti cannot stand. 

We close this chapter with a word on asceticism. It is a 
common fallacy to judge a thing on one level according to a 
standard which holds good on a different plane. The life of an 
ascetic is certainly different from that of an ordinary man. 
The man whose mind soars high, who nurses a passion for sal- 
vation, must regulate the senses, must control the paevions, 
must try to set the mind at rest. There can be no denying the 
fact that the senses are naturally towards the external objects 
tlTTf^ WTfr 3zranj?i WTO: I fare, 2-1-1.) We cam easily 
understand that ^STfrf^sron?! ftviOTfcr aprfa i (Manu, Ch. II, 
215.) So there is meaning in the retirement of the ascetic into 
solitude. But, even then, he is not relieved of duties. He has his 
karmas to perform. Even the Jlvanmukta who has nothing to 
do for liimsclf, does work for 'Lokasamgraha.' " 

g*^fT*i wTOTfjiratowT^sfo ^taf ^ERF? rauggra sFrrsin i" 

vrTOI, Jlvananda's Ed., p. 14.). Otherwise, there would 
be no difference between a Jlvanmukta and a block 
of stone. Such karmas for ' lokasamgraha' on the part of 
the Jlvanmukta should not be understood to mean Unit 
he is still fettered by moral laws. But some would perti- 
nently ask if he is not bound by morality, is he at liberty to do 
immoral acts? They forget that for the Jlvanmukta, there 
exists neither immoral nor moral. If anything exists, we 
may call it non-moral. For him, morality is meaningless, im- 
morality is psychologically impossible. He is not a " bundle of 
negations " as some suppose. He holds the mirror of life up to 
the ideal, To live such a life is certainly nobler than to 


build a three-storied house or to fondle one's children, or to 
bestow a caress on one's wife or even to invent new theories, 
new appliances, to do social works like starting an orphanage 
or a rescue home. 

Lastly we should remember that if we judge the liberated 
by worldly laws, "we might be tempted to call them monstrous 
aberrations from the paths of nature." In fact, they only are 
the 'choice specimens of humanity/ 


We have seen above that Jlva is, in its essence, infinite 
and unlimited it is Brahmasvarupa. Due to avidya or 
ajnana, Jlva cannot realise its own essence. Really it is ever 
mukta. Emancipation, according to the Vedanta philosophy, 
means nothing more than the removal of the avidya which veils 
the nature of Jlva. Emancipation is not produced it is, for 
ever, established. For, to be mukta means to become Brahma- 
svarupa which the Jlva naturally is. And Brahman is nothing 
but pure knowledge and pure bliss. This Brahmajnana or 
BrahmSnanda being nitya cannot be janya. For that which is 
janya is anitya. That which comes into being must end. We 
thus see that Jlva is ever mukta. Simply he forgets this, 
because he is avidyopahita. "Anisaya socati muhyamanah " 
(Mund., 3-1-2). 

This fact is made clear by Vedartins by resorting to a 
story. Mukti is like ' kaiithacamikaravat.' A boy forgets 
that he has a necklace on his person but his superior points out 
that the ornament which he is searching for, is round his own 
neck. Thus the boy gets back the ornament. This sort of 
prapti is Brahmaprapti. So it is said that mukti is prapta- 
prapti and parihrta-parihara. SHOT ^^*PTfTOI?njW^ TO 

*TRTHH *^ mrsMri i srar ^r 

I (wi-irftuwi Ghosal's Ed., pp. 261-262.) 
The bliss one gets in the emancipated state is already got. 
So also the pain one avoids is already avoided. Before emanci- 
pation, all this is not clear 'to him because he has avidya in 
him. With Brahmajnana (here jnana is avagatiparyantam)^ 


which is the same thing as the realisation of its own nature, 
Jlva removes or destroys the ajnana. 

Now, to attain mukti, the following preliminaries are to be 

The man desirous of emancipation must, first of all, study 
all the Vedas with its amgas. He must perform nifcya and 
naimittika karmas, either in this life or in previous birth. 
Nitya karma is Sandhyavandana, etc., the non-performance of 
which engenders papa. 'Akaraiie pratyavayasadhanani sandhya- 
vandanadmi.' (JTvananda's Vedantasara, p. 14.) 

According to some, regular performance of sandhya, etc., 
destroys all previous vices ; others would say that it precludes 
further vice 

It is further said 

(Quoted by Pandit Durga Carana in his Fellowship Lectures, 
Part I, pp. 148 and 149.) Perhaps this eulogising is to maintain 
strict discipline. 

Naimittika karma is performed on special occasions, as 
1 Jatesti kriya of the son ' or ' bathing in the Ganges ' on the 
occasion of lunar or solar eclipse. He must avoid kamya 
karmas (selfish actions) and nisiddha karmas or prohibited 
actions. Thus, being purged of all impurities of the mind 
(' nirgata-nikhila-kalmasataya') he becomes an adhikari fit for 
Brahma-vidya. He should also have the following sadhanas : 

(1) Nityanityavastuviveka distinction of nitya from 

(2) Ihamutr&rtha-phalabhogaviraga abstinence from 
enjoying fruit of any action either in this world or in other 




(6) Dama 

(c) Uparati 

(d) Titiksa J?t<T 

(e) Sraddha 

(/) Samadhana 

(4) Mumuksutva the man must be desirous of moksa. 

A man, possessing these virtues, should try to understand 
the Upanisads correctly this is sravana 


paribhasa, Sarat Ghosal's Ed., p. 272) ; he must then strengthen 
his conviction by arguments in favour of the purport of the 
Upanisads this is manana JWT rfW W^TWlfrSs^ iii(n~<- 

( i I) id , 

pp. 272-273). Then by meditation (mdulh\asana) he 'has to 
realise the truth. Meditation includes all the yogc'i processes. 

(ibid, p. 273). 

To recapitulate, the man should learn the purport of the 
Upanisadic texts such as " Tattvamasi " or " So' ham," then 
he should strengthen his conviction by manana and after that 
he is to meditate on the meaning of the texts. 

Through these processes a man possesses Brahmatmaikatva- 
vijnana and becomes emancipated. 

In the acquirement of ordinary knowledge, the smaller 
states of ajnarua are removed ; when Brahmajnana dawns, ajnana 
as a whole is destroyed. When this knowledge arises, the 
state of knowledge which at first reflects itself (and which being 
a state is itself a manifestation of ajnana) is destroyed. "As 
fire riding on a piece of wood would burn the whole city and then 


the very same wood, so in the last state of mind, knowledge of 
Brahman would destroy the illusory world-appearance and at last 
destroys even that final state." (See Dr. Dasgupta, History 
of Ind. Phil.). So the TTf^W in Vyasabhasya on Patanjala 
satirically remarks" q^gsff ! wSrpr \ 

I " (Patanjala-sutra, 2-24.) 
According to the Vedanta, even when Brahmajnana arises, 
the body continues. This is about Jlvanmukta. Karma is 
divided into three classes (1) Sancita, (2) Prarabdha and 
(3) Kriyamana. The body is due to prarabdha karmas. 
Kriyamana karmas are those which are performed in this life. 
Sancita karmas are those done in previous births and which are 
not yet phaladayi. By knowledge of the Atman, sancita and 
kriyamajgia karmas are destroyed. So it is said in Sruti 

( 3w*ffn, 2.9.) 

Glta also says, c wnf^I *WFirrfnr WH^T^f^ 7W\ \' (IV. 37 ) 
But the destruction of prarabdha karmas comes only through 
enjoyment or bhoga. ?W ?!FI%3 f%t m*n ft*fa5OT W^l I 
(W?far, VI. 14. 2.) When the body is destroyed through 
bhoga, the Jlvanmukta completely realises his oneness 
with Brahman, i.e., becomes Brahman. This is called 

But a question is raised here. How is it that the JnanI 
retains his body? Should we, then, suppose that ajnana is not 
destroyed by Jnana only or that Jivanmukti is a mere shibboleth. 
The reply is 


Ed., p. 291.) Sikhamani explains ^ 


I f f (Vemkatesvara Ed., p. 437). 


Balabodhinl, a commentary on Vedantasara write? : ? 

: i 

HT f%3frf^ I ?R8[T^ f^gfTTOT WTO 

I (Rajen Ghosh's Vedantasara, p. 120.) Ajnana is 
not totally destroyed, so long as there are prarabdha karmas. 

It cannot be said, as some hold, that the body which is the 
effect of ajnana may continue even after the destruction of 
ajnana, just as shivering of the body, which is the effect of the 
' snake in the rope J continues even after the true knowledge of 

the rope, for ^rf 

, Vemkatesvara Ed., p. 437.) 
It may be noted in this connection that some Vedantists do 
not admit such a thing as Jlvanmukti. Their contention is that 
Brahmajnana totally cancels ajnana which is not so in the 
case of a man (who has attained the knowledge of the Atman) 
retaining his body and living in the world. After Brahmajnana, 
there should not be the least trace of ajnana or its effects. 
Nayanaprasadinl, a commentary on Citsukbl, remarks that 
if the state of Jlvanmukti be not accepted, mukti cannot stand. 


T^ar ^Nnjffc: I (Nir^aya Sagara Ed., 
pp. 383-84.) 

We may note that one may have conceptual or discursive 
knowledge about the illusoriness of things. But such is not 
Jlvanmukta's which is of intuitive character. 

The conception of Jlvanmukti is one of the important 
achievements of Hindu Philosophy ; although the idea appears, 
to some extent, in Platonism, Christian Mysticism and in some 


of the philosophical products that have been nurtured on the 
Hellenic ethos. 

We conclude this chapter with a brief reference to the 
exact nature of mukti. Mukti, in aflvaita vedanta, means 
identity with Brahman. Some interpreters, however, point out 
that according to the theory of eka-jlva-vada (solipsism) mukti 
is identity with Brahman ; but according to the theory of 
aneka-jlva-vada (the doctrine of many jlvas) it is identity with 
Isvara or Saguija Brahman (see Pagtjit Ananta Sastri's Com. 
on the Vedanta Paribhasa, p. 367). But there is a difficulty 
in adopting this view. For then, the maya of Isvara will not 
be negated or cancelled even after the mukti of all jlvas. It 
cannot be said that the maya will be negated when the last jlva 
will be liberated. There is no reason (or vinigamaka) for such 
speciality in the mukti of the last jlva. Neither can it be said 
that Isvara-bhava is permanent, that is, the maya of Isvara 
will not be cancelled. For maya, though beginningless, has an 
end. It has also been distinctly said that in the paramarthika 
state there remains no distinction between Brahman and Is'vara 
or anything. "Neha nanasti kincana " says the Brha. Upanisad 
(4-4-19). Moreover, it is said that the jlva when liberated, 
realises its true nature and it has been clearly stated that the 
real nature of jlva is like that of Nirguna Brahman. The 
aspect of Isvara (Isvara-bhava) is false from the paramarthika 
standpoint and it is not proper to suppose that a liberated jlva 
attains a state which is ultimately false. The Sruti also says 
" Brahmavidapnoti param " (Taitti., 2-1). He who knows 
Brahman becomes Brahma-svarupa. " Parana " is " sarva- 
samsara-dharmatita-brahma-svarupatvam ' ' (see Samkara's com. 
on the text). There are texts or sutras signifying that mukti 
is tsvarabhava ; but they, according to Samkara, refer to 
"gauna mukti" (not mukti ini the real sense). In &arhkara A 
mukti always means identity with Nirguija Brahman. 



We bring our review of the doctrine of maya to a close. 
The doctrine of Samkara is one of the most important achieve- 
ments in Hindu Philosophy. The genius of Samkara is of a 
very high order. The important points in his philosophy are : 
Distinction between Paramarthika, Vyavaharika and Pratibha- 
sika reality ; the doctrine of Maya ; and that Brahman is the 
only reality, Jlva is essentially Brahman and Jagat is ultimately 
false. Samkara retains everything on the vyavaharika plane 
but cancels everything (save Xirguiia Brahman) on the para- 
marthika plane. He explains the origin and diversity of the 
world of mind and matter by resorting to the principle of mayca. 
He does not posit maya as a second principle side by side with 
Brahman. Maya, though the explanation of Jlva and Jagat, 
is ultimately false " Mithyabhuta sanatam ;" this is often 
misunderstood. That is why Sir John Woodroffe says ' The 
fact of positing Maya at all gives to Shangkara's doctrine a 
tinge of dualism' (Shakti and Sh&kta, p. 105). According to 
Samkara, every empiric action is true, so long as the true 
knowledge of self is not reached. " This fact is often ignored 
and consequently the Vedanta is charged with fostering in- 
action, pessimism leading finally to a zero-point." Samkara 
repeatedly tells us that the transcendental unreality of the world 
does not deprive it of its empirical reality. Karma-tyaga, in 
Samkara, refers only to kamya and nisiddha karmas. He lays 
stress on the point that karma has no direct relation to moka. 
It is for cittasuddhi only. 

Samkara's Brahman is 'Saccidananda-svarftpam.' Thus it 
is distinguished from the iSunya of the Madhyamikas. Sat is 
being, Cit is consciousness and Ananda is bliss. These do not 


form the qualities of Brahman which is homogeneous. The 
meaning of the word 'Cit' is not generally understood. There 
is no word in English, says Sir John Woodroffe, that can ade- 
quately describe it. It is not mind ; it is not sentiency. It 
may be called consciousness, says Woodroffe, if by conscious- 
ness we mean ' atomic or physical consciousness, comatose or 
trance-like consciousness of plant-life, animal consciousness, and 
man's completed self -consciousness. 5 Git is however pure con- 
sciousness which is, as Professor Pramathanath Mukhopadhyaya 
describes it, an infinitude of ' awareness/ lacking name 
and form and every kind of determination which is a state of 
complete quiescence where the potential is zero or infinity 
(quoted by Sir John Woodroffe). 

Further the Yedanta is a practical philosophy. In fact 
almost all Hindu philosophical systems are not merely dis- 
cursive but practical also. Indian philosophy has this peculiar 
advantage over the philosophy of the West. Sir John Wood- 
roffe observes, " Hinduism will disappear if Sadhana ceases 
for then it will no longer be something real but the mere sub- 
ject of philosophical and historical talk." (Shakti and 
Shakta, p. 51.) 

Some point out that knowledge derived from the sastras 
cannot be regarded as true, for, according to Samkara's own 
admission, the sastras are false, being based on maya. The 
sastras have meaning only with reference to maya. Samkara 
has clearly stated this in his adhyasa bhasya. In reply, 
Samkarites would say that the effect may be true though the 
cause is false. As the knowledge of ' the snake in the rope ' 
though being false, yields results (e. g. 9 fear, shivering of the 
body, etc.) which are true, so the sastras though ajiiana-mu- 
laka, yield true knowledge of Brahman. Or it may be explain- 
ed in the following way. We maintain that there is no contra- 
diction between the content of a saying and the speaker the 
ego which formulates a judgment and the judgment itself. 
The sastras say that the knowledge of Atman cancels avidya. 


The sastras might be ajnana-mulaka, but that does not invali- 
date the proposition ' the knowledge of Atman cancels avidya.' 
The subject and the content should not be brought into relation 
in order to prove any contradiction. Contradiction or inaccu- 
racy, if there be any, must be sought within the content of the 
judgment itself. Perhaps the only possible exception to this 
rule can be found in the case where the ego formulates a judg- 
ment in which its own existence is denied. 

Samkara repeatedly says that the paramarthika unreality of 
the world does not deprive it of its vyavaharika reality. A 
misunderstanding of this caution has often engendered what 
may be called the ' Abuse of Vedantism.' The following sloka 
will bear testimony to it. 


To show the futility of such arguments it is sufficient only to 
state them. Prior to the knowledge of Brahman, the world is 
as real as anything and in vyavaharika reality all distinctions 
are kept and observed. 

Lastly we must not forget to mention that Samkara is a 
master of the Sanskrit language. In discussing philosophical 
problems he uses so simple and beautiful Sanskrit that one is re- 
minded of Kalidasa. Moreover, his method of argumentation 
is simple, clear and forceful. We may not be at one with him 
in philosophy but we must not miss the opportunity of eulogis- 
ing the qualities that he really had. 

Dr. Thibaut writes " Neither those forms of the Vedanta 
which diverge from the view represented by Saihkara nor any 
of the non-Vedantic systems can be compared with the so-called 
orthodox Vedanta in boldness-, depth and subtlety of specula- 
tion." (Introduction to the translation of the Brahmasutras 


with Sathkara's commentary.) Max Miiller says that he was 
perhaps the greatest argumentator born in the world. Prof. 
Radhakrisija writes "whether we agree or differ, the pene- 
trating light of his mind never leaves us where we were." 
(Indian Philosophy, Vol. II, p. 447.) 



1. Maya and the HyU of Plato 

Almost similar to the distinction between paramarthika and 
vyavaharika worlds in Vedantism, Plato distinguishes between 
the world of ideas and the world of sense. The world of ideas 
is only real. The world of sense is unreal it is real in so far 
as it copies the world of ideas. The ideas are the eternal 
patterns after which the things of sense are made. The world 
of sense is fashioned after the patterns by the Demiurge who is 
the poetical personification of the Creator and the pattern of 
creation as merged in the creative Idea. But creation 
cannot be out of nothing. There are the patterns or 
forms which require something to be impressed upon. 
This something is Plato's Hyl6 or matter. It is indefi- 
nite, undefinable and formless, but it is capable of copying all 
kinds of forms. Being or reality belongs to the Idea. Matter 
is non-being, meaning that it has a lower kind of existence than 
that of the Idea. It is thus distinguished from both being and 
nothing. It is not-being for it is opposed to the Idea or being ; 
it is not pure nothing, for it is the substrate of the sensuous 
world. It is regarded as passive but its " passivity does not 
consist in non -interference." It resists the form while receiving 
it. Though it does not limit the Idea, it limits its operation. 
Matter is thus a second principle which is necessary for the 
explanation of the world. 

Samkara's maya also is distinguished from sat and asat. 
Like Hyl6 it is indeterminate and undefinable. Though re- 
garded as a sakti of Brahman, it is inert and passive. Thus it 
is akin to Plato's matter. In Samkara, maya is the material 
cause of the world ; in Plato, Hylfe is regarded as the substrate 


of the sensuous world. In both cases however, the actuality of 
matter is denied. 

But there is important difference between the two. Maya 
is regarded as a sakti of Brahman. Plato seems to posit matter 
side by side with the Idea. Hence Samkara's system is abso- 
lutely monistic, while Plato, so far as his philosophy of nature 
is concerned, verges on dualism. 

2. Maya and the Anstoss of Fichte 

According to Fichte, in the action of the Ego there is an 
opposed principle of repulsion which bends back the action of 
the Ego and reflects it into itself. This principle of repulsion 
is called Anstoss. " This repelling principle consists in this, 
that the subjective element cannot be farther extended, that the 
radiating activity of the Ego is driven back into itself and self- 
limitation results." We thus see that through the Anstoss, 
the Absolute of Pichte finitises itself, limits itself and becomes 
other than what it is. But amkara's Maya, on the other 
hand, cannot be regarded as the principle of repulsion in 
Brahman. Brahman never finitises itself (the finitising of 
Brahman is not regarded by the Vedantist as ultimately real). 
It is ananta. Again, due to this principle of Anstoss, the 
unconscious Absolute of Fichte becomes conscious. But Maya 
. has got nothing to do with Brahman in this respect. Brahman 
is Consciousness as such. We have already said that through 
Anstoss, the Fichtean Absolute alienates itself becomes other 
than what it is. In the case of Samkara, though Maya projects 
the appearance of the world and thereby leads to alienation, 
still this alienation, being illusory, does not materially affect 
the absolute reality of Brahman. 

3. Maya and the ' Dark Ground ' in the 
Absolute of Schelling 

The f Dark Ground ' in the Absolute of Schelling is con- 
ceived by him as something in the Absolute (not the Absolute 


itself) just as Maya is considered by arhkara as something in 
Brahman. The Absolute of Schelling becomes the creator or 
the God of Love only in and through the Dark Ground, as 
Samkara's Brahman becomes Isvara or the Lord of Creation in 
relation to Maya. Again, finite individual forms are the results 
of Maya in one case and of the Dark Ground in the other. 
" Lastly, every individual being has, in it, two principles both 
according to Samkara and Schelling a principle of Freedom or 
Self-will which makes it individual and finite and which it 
receives from the Dark Ground in the one case and from Maya or 
its adjunct in the other; and another principle, viz., Brahman or 
the Infinite itself whereby the individual is free from finitude." 
Thus Schelling's Dark Ground is almost similar to &am- 
kara's May Ft with this difference that in the philosophy of 
Schelling the Dark Ground is a principle of self-revelation in the 
Absolute but it is not so in the case of Samkara. Brahman is 
eternally self-revealed and self-manifested. 

4. Maya and the Materia Prima of Leibniz 

Maya and Materia Prima agree in this respect that both of 
them hinder the self-realisation of the finite. In Samkara, 
Maya is the principle of obstruction in the individual. The 
individual is, in reality, the Universal Jiva is, in its true 
aspect, Brahman. Owing to Maya, Jiva fails to realise its own 
nature. Jiva is Brahmasvarupa, Anandasvarupa, but on 
account of Maya it forgets, for the time being, its infinitude and 
' anlsaya socati muhyamanah. ' Eealising the truth of the 
Vedantic texts such as 'So'ham,' ' Aham Brahmasmi,' Jiva 
dispels Maya and realises its identity or oneness with the 
Absolute. But Leibniz does not enter into all these discussions. 
He simply says that the Monad, due to the Materia Prima, 
fails to become one with God. The finitude of the Monad is 
due to the Materia Prima. As the string is to the bow, Materia 
Prima is to the Monad. The inherent tendency of the, bow is to 
be straight. But the string stands in the way of realisation or 


fulfilment of this tendency on the part of the bow. In like 
manner, Materia Prima does not allow the fulfilment of the 
ideal which is innate in every Monad. It is the inherent ten- 
dency of every Monad to become one with the Infinite or God. 
It cannot fulfil its cherished aim for the Materia Prima stands 
in the way. 

5. Maya and the Matter of Berg son 

Bergson is a philosopher of experience and intuition, of 
action and vitality. He rejects Absolutism and Intellectualism 
for they do not satisfy the crying needs of humanity in general, 
for they fail to do justice to the ' sense and values of the average 
man/ Intellect gives us a distorted vision of reality ; and 
Logic fails to guide us in life. 

Bergson believes in a real temporal creative evolution. 
The vital impulse or the Elan Vital is responsible for it. It is 
one conscious flow, a continuous upward psychical movement. 
For purposes of evolution it requires matter which retards, 
checks and sets back its forward movement and the result is 
the creation of novel things and beings. Thus alongside with 
life or vital impulse, matter has an independent separate exis- 
tence. Matter is ' indispensable for both the origin and 
continuance of evolution.' There is thus set up a dualism 
between life and matter. This is the view advocated by 
Bergson in his ' Time and Free Will,' although he greatly 
modifies this dualism in ' Creative Evolution ' by making 
life and matter as the opposite or cross currents of the same 

Samkara's Maya, though responsible for the evolution of 
the world, has no independent existence of its own. It is the 
sakti of Brahman ; but it is false from the paramarthika view- 
point. Thus while Bergson is dualistic, Sariikara is absolutely 
monistic. Further, according to Bergson, evolution is real ; but 
Samkara allows only a vyavahlrika satta to it. 


Bergson holds that reality is a continuous flow. Change is 
the essence of reality. But, according to Saihkara, persistence 
is the criterion of reality. Lastly, Saihkara also is not a rigid 
intellectualist because he holds Intuition to be the final step 
towards the realisation of truth. But he does not underestimate 
reason or intellect. Season carries us to the gate of reality ; 
it is the general assistant to Intuition or Aparoksanubhuti. 

6. Maya and the Prakrti of the Samkhya Philosophy 

Sarakhya-Prakrti, like the Maya of Vedanta, is something 
indefinable and undemonstrable. Originally it is the 
equilibrium of the three gunas * Sattva, Rajas and Tamas* 
" Sattvarajastamasam Samyavastha." It is ' indefinable 
because so long as the reals composing it do not combine, no 
demonstrable quality belonged to it with which it could be 

Prakrti as a category is different from Maya in this respect 
that Prakrti is real, while Maya is neither real nor unreal but 
indefinite and indeterminate ' ' S ada sadbhyam Anirvacy a . ' ' 
Again, according to Samkhya, when a Puruga becomes eman- 
cipated by cancelling the illusion arising from aviveka or non- 
discrimination between Purusa and Prakrti, Prakrti remains as 
real as before ; but, according to the Vedanta, when a man is 
emancipated, Maya not only ceases to operate on him but is 
itself cancelled. Like Prakrti, Maya also is trigu^atmika. 
" Ajamekam Lohitasuklakrsnam," says Svetasvatara. Further, 
Prakrti is independent ; Maya, on the other hand, is wholly 
dependent on Brahman. It has got no separate, independent 
existence. Prakrti, in Samkhya, is a second principle posited 
side by side with Purusa. 

7. Vedantic Maya and Tantric Maya-Sakti 
Although Sakta Tantra has been regarded by some as the 
Practical Vedanta the aymbolisation of the Vedanta " through 
the chromatics of sentiment and concept," still there are 
marked differences between the two, 


Maya of Advaitavada, though a sakti of Brahman is regard- 
ed as inert (ja4a). But Maya-sakti of Sakta-Tantra is not 
unconscious. (Sir John Woodroffe's Shakti and Shakta, p. 71.) 
May5 is a mysterious sakti of Brahman a mystery which is 
separate and not yet separate (from it. Maya-sakti in Tantra 
is an aspect of Siva Himself. According to Samkara, Mays 
cannot be said to be real, it is Sadasadbhyam Anirvacya. But 
Maya-sakti (in Tantra) is real, for Siva and Sakti are one ; 
Siva represents the static, while Sakti the dynamic aspect. 

According to Samkara, the Mayic world is not true ini the 
absolute (paramarthika) sense but Sakta-Tantra says that 
the world is real, for it is Siva's experience. (Ibid, p. 78.) 
" The Abhasa of Tantra is a form of Vivarta, distinguishable 
however from the Vivarta of Mayavada. Because in the 
Agama whether Vaisnava, Saiva or Sakta the effect is regarded 
as real, whereas according to Samkara, it is unreal " (ibid, 
p. 72). Thus the Sakta-Tantra School assumes a real causal 
nexus between Siva and the world. Visvasara Tantra says 
' what is here is there' (" Yad ihasti tad anyatra "). 

Again, according to Samkara, mind and matter are un- 
conscious but appear as conscious through Cidabhasa. The 
Sakta Agama reverses the position and says that they are in 
themselves conscious but appear as unconscious by the veiling 
power of consciousness itself as Maya-sakti " Nisedhavyapara- 
rupfi Saktib." (See Woodroffe's Shakti and Shakta, pp. 106-7.) 
We may note here that " Shakti is mot a male nor a female 
'person/ nor a male nor a female ' principle,' in the sense in 
which Sociology .which is concerned with gross matter, uses 
those terms/' (Ibid, p. 48.) 

8. Maya and the Mdya-$akti of the Vaisnava Philosophy 

The highest category of Gaucjiya Vaisnavism is Kysiia or 
BhagavSn. He has three energies : (a) svarupa-sakti compri- 
sing Sandhinl, Samvit and Hladinl. SandhinI corresponds to 
being, Samvit to cit and Hladinl to bliss. Among 


these three the last is the best. Because, as Baladeva points 
out in his Siddhanta-ratna, in Hladinl, there is being, cit, and 
bliss ; in Samvit, being and cit ; in SandhinI, being only. 
(6) Ksetrajna-sakti is jlva. (c) Maya-sakti an inert principle 
(ja<Ja dravya) having the three qualities sattva, rajas and tamas. 
Bhagavan is being, consciousness, bliss and also existent, 
conscious and blissful. So is jlva. Samkara vitally differs 
on this point from the Vaisnava philosophers. The Trinity 
may be conceived in another way : Bhagavan, Nirguiia 
Brahman, and Paramatman. " Bhagavan is the Perfect Person 
in His own Essence, unconditioned, absolute, infinite in excel- 
lence and power ; Paramatman is Bhagavan, manifested in 
relation to the world and individual souls. At the same time, 
Paramatman is comprehended in Bhagavan as partial aspect in 
the whole. Brahma, again, is Bhagavan taken simply as pure 
and absolute Intelligence, without distinction of subject and 
predicate. Brahma is also a manifestation, either real in the 
Lord, or subjectively reflected in the worshipper when, in a 
certain state of trance or meditation (yoga-samadhi), he loses 
all sense of Ego and non-ego, subject and object, and appears 
to be merged in the absolute Intelligence." The Vaisnava 
conception differs materially from the Christian, Sir Brajendra- 
nath Seal writes " the Vaishnava Trinity, then, differs 
fundamentally from the Christian in as much as Brahma and 
Paramatma are partial aspects, moments, stadia, in the Perfect, 
Lord. Brahma corresponds to Hegel's Absolute Idea ; Paramat- 
man to its heterization in Nature and Spirit, and Bhagavan to 
the completed cycle of the dialectical process. Only the 
Vaishnava philosophers more clearly than Hegel, begin with 
Bhagavan, the eternally perfected absolute person, and also 
end in him." (Comparative Studies in Vaishnavism and 
Christianity, p. 89.) We may note here that Paramatman is 
regarded as the part (arhsa) of Bhagavan and Brahman a 
manifestation of Him. (See Jlva Gosvaml's Tattva-sandarbha, 
edited by Satyananda Gosvami, p. 67.) 


Bhagavan is being, consciousness, bliss and also existent, 
conscious, and blissful. So is Jiva. The difference is that 
Bhagavan is the whole, the eternal, infinite, the Lord (sevya), 
self-subsistent (svatantra) and the inner principle (antar- 
ySmin) of jlva and maya; while jlva is partial, eternal, infinite- 
simal, the servant of the Lord (sevaka), dependent on the 
Lord (asvatantra). Jlva's bondage is due to beginningless avi- 
dya which subjects him, though pure in original eternal essence, 
to real impurity and imperfection. In the Bengal school, 
this avidya or maya is constituted by separation from the 
Lord, and release can come only through turning towards the 
Lord which is effected by love of, and devotion to, God 
(prema and bhakti). Baladeva, in his commentary on Jlva 
Gosvamr's Tattva-sandarbha writes : first, there is anadi- 
bhagavad-vaimukhya and then maya. iirtg^f T ftrflFTf sfa* 

SWT TO *TTsNftf?r I (Satyananda Gosva- 

mi's Ed., p. 71.) Maya thus deludes jlva and causes his bondage. 
Maya is real, so her delusion too is real. When jlva is releas- 
ed, maya (like Samkara's) is not destroyed. Bhagavan knows 
and sees that maya deludes jlva. He, out of charity (daksi- 
#ya) towards her, does not obstruct her in her work. He is 
only indifferent. Jlva Gosvaml writes FOTT*I9 ?T5T 
I (Satyananda Gosvaml's Ed., p. 

According to Vaisnavism, the cause of bondage is the be- 
ginningless Ignorance (which is negative) of the Lord. So Jlva 
Gosvaml uses the word 'bhagavad-ajnanamaya-vaimukhya.' 
According to Samkara, the cause of bondage is the beginning- 
less Ignorance (which is bhava-rupa) of Brahman. There 
is, then, fundamental difference between the two views. 

In this connection it may be noted that both Vaisna- 
vism and Advaitism regard &ruti as the ultimate proof. 
Ihe Advaitist refers to the Vedas and the Upanisads, but 
the Vaiwnava to the Bbagavata Furana. Jlva Gosvaml says 
that as the Vedas are vast and some portions of them have been 
lost (lupta and gupta) we cannot properly have recourse to them. 


Vyasa first systematised the Vedas and wrote their substance 
in the form of Brahma Sutras and then * discovered ' the 
commentary to them the Bhagavata. In the matter of 
Brahma Sutras and the Bhagavata, Vyasa had no agency 
(karttrtva). They are eternal. They are Sruti. He simply 
discovered them in meditation. Jlva Gosvami adduces evi- 
dence in support of all these by quoting passages from differ- 
ent Puranas. Thus, in the Bhagavata alone, we get the real 
teachings of Sruti. It is apauruseya (not written by any 
person), eternal, Sruti herself, a 'real' commentary to the 
Brahma Sutras (akrtrima-bhasya-bhuta) and contains the 
summary of the Vedas, the Puranas and the Itihasa, etc. It 
is thus regarded as the highest proof (sarva-pramananam 


Samkara's philosophy has been called 'concealed Buddhism' 
and he himself a Orypto-Buddhist. Vijnanabhiksu, in 
support of his contention, quotes the following passage from 
Padma Pura^a "MayavadamasacchSstram pracchannam 
Bauddhameva ca." (Samkhyadarsanam Ed. by Jlvananda, 
p. 6.) 

Dr. 8. N. Das Gupta in his History of Indian Philo- 
sophy observes " Saihkara and his followers borrowed much 
of their dialectic form of criticism from the Buddhists. His 
Brahman was very much like the Sunya of Nagarjuna. It is 
difficult to distinguish between pure being and pure non- 
being as a category. The debts of Samkara to the self-lumi- 
nosity of the Vijnanavada Buddhism can hardly be overesti- 
mated. There seems to be much truth in the accusations 
against Samkara by Vijnanabhiksu and others that he was 
a hidden Buddhist. 55 He further writes, " Samkara's philo- 
sophy is largely a compound of Vijnanavada and Sunyavada 
Buddhism with the Upanisadic notion of the permanence of 
the self superadded " (pp. 493-494). It is true that Samkara 
had taken much of his dialectic form of criticism from the 
Buddhist Philosophers, he even used certain Buddhistic terms, 
but that does not signify that he was a hidden Buddhist. 
Samkara's main object was to controvert Buddhism and to 
re-establish Brahmanism . So it would be convenient for him 
to use Buddhistic terms and dialectic in discussing with the 
Bauddhas. Moreover, that form of dialectic and certain 
terms as pratibhasika, etc., were familiarised in the philosophic 
world before the advent of Samkara. 

( 76 ) 


According to Samkara, Nirguna Brahman is the only 
reality. This Nirguna Brahman must not be confounded 
with the Sunya of the Madhyamikas. It is ' Saccidananda- 
svarupam.' Hamatlrtha, in his commentary on the Vedanta- 
sara, notes that the force of the word 'Sat 5 lies in distinguish- 
ing Brahman from Anrta and Sunya. Vidyarajjya-svaml says 
'yat na kincit tadeva tat.' (Pancadas'l, III. 81.) 

The following are some of the defects of Buddhism as 
pointed out by Samkara. The Buddhists explain identity by 
similarity or sadrsya. But identity implies continuity and 
not momentariness. Here Samkara's arguments are the 
same as those of the Neo-Kantians against the Sensationalists. 
On the Ksaiiika-hypothesis, the Buddhists cannot explain 
1 reciprocal action ' between causal conditions co-operating to 
produce an effect. Again, 'Spontaneous action' cannot be 
explained on such a hypothesis. 

Samkara's Absolute Idealism is not nominalistic or con- 
cept ualistic. It is realistic in the sense that the categories if 
they are to be real, must correspond to reality only the 
reality is vyavahlrika. Samkara's philosophy is not subjective 
Idealism, for, like the Vijnanavadins, he does not hold that 
the things of the world are modifications of our mental states. 
External things, although not real in the strict sense of the 
term, enjoy at any rate as much reality as the specific cog- 
nitional acts whose objects they are. Buddhism favours 
Nominalism or rather Nominalistic conceptual ism. It has 
been pointed out that the word Maya occurs in early Pali 
Buddhistic writings in the sense of 'deception or deceitful 
conduct/ Buddhaghoga uses it in the sense of 'magical 
power.' In Nagarjuna and Lamkavatara, the word has 
acquired the sense of ' illusion ' both as a principle of creation 
as a sakti and as the phenomenal creation itself. But this 
need not throw out any hint that Samkara took the idea of 
Maya from the Buddhists. For, as we have already seen, 
the word with those meanings is found in the Vedas and the 


Upanisads. From the apparent similarity we can only gather 
that both Saihkara and Buddhism suck the same mother the 

Perhaps obsessed with the Hegelian idea, some say that 
it is difficult to distinguish between Pure Being and Pure 
Non-being as a category. But the distinction is fully brought 
out in Vedantic works. Pure Being or Sattvam, in Vedanta 
means non-contradiction in all times (trikalabadhyatvam) and 
Pure Non-being or Asattvam is " kvacidapi upadhau sattvena 
pratlyamanatvanadhikaraiiatvam' ' ( Advaita-siddhi, Nirnaya 
Sagara Ed., pp. 50-51). Sat is that which is not contradicted 
in any time ; Asat is that which has not the capacity of being 
presented (pratityanarhatvam). Samkara, as it seems, under- 
stood the ultimate category of Vedanta as Pure Being and 
that of Buddhism as Pure Non-being. Hence to identify 
Buddhism with Vedanta is to identify zero with infinity. 

Dr. B. M. Barua writes " Was Samkara's Philosophy 
itself * possible or intelligible ' without reference to Buddhist 
philosophies, the Madhyamika in particular, which flourished 
in South India? The question, as we are now persuaded, 
must be answered in the negative." (Prolegomena to a 
History of Buddhist Philosophy, p. 19.) Apart from the 
consideration that the doctrine of Maya can be found in the 
Upanisads that it is not a graft from without but a growth 
from within, it may be observed that " it would not be diffi- 
cult to perceive that the doctrine of Maya is a necessary 
corollary of the doctrine of the individual being Brahman in 
moksa (absolute liberation) ; for it is only in this identifica- 
tion that he realises that individuality was an illusion and 
that the distinction of Subject, Object, etc., possible only 
through this individuality, was an illusion too." (Prof. 
Bhattacharyya's * Studies in Vedantism,' Introduction, p. 8.) 


Almost all orthodox philosophical systems in India admit 
the validity of the Vedas as a distinct source of knowledge. 
" Sabda pramana " is resorted to, generally in the case of 
' Sampadya ' or what is to be established, e.g., Dharma ; it is 
also applicable to the case of * Sampanna ' or * that which is 
ever established,' e.g.. Brahman. The heterodox systems of 
Jain ism and Buddhism also regard 'authority* as a pramana, 
that is, they have their respective Gurus or 'Pravaktas,' 
although they refuse to obey the Vedas. 

Samkara's arguments in philosophy are always based upon 
Sruti. It is mainly for this reason, scholars are of opinion 
that gamkara has mainly Theology and very little Philosophy 

Samkara, in his Bhasya on * Tarkapratisthanat,' etc. 
(Brahmasutras, 2-1-11), conclusively proves the utter futility 
of arguments not based on authority or self-evident truths 
which are free from error. It is not merely for scholastic 
reference to authority that Samkara and other eminent 
writers often refer to Sruti-texts or older authorities, but 
that critiques, in order to be rescued from barrenness or frag- 
mentary character, must ultimately be based on some self- 
evident truths which are free from error ; otherwise c tarka ' 
would have no pratistha. We should bear in mind that 
Hindu Philosophy is essentially * practical.' 

As Bacon thought that the mysteries of creation and salva- 
tion, etc., form the subject-matter of Revealed Religion, because 
they are above Reason ; . but, as regards the existence of 
God and His attributes, Philosophy has its proper right 

79 ) 


although certain attributes of God (e.g., His lore of man) are 
above Philosophy, so Saihkara holds that in a general way 
the existence of God, etc., can be established by Tarka or 
Anumana. But the nature of Brahman and the nature 
of the relation between Jiva and Brahman cannot be 
established indubitably by Tarka. AparoksanubhUti and 
Sabda as a necessary step to it, are necessary. Negatively 
Anumaaa, etc., are very useful, but about positive knowledge 
of Brahman, Anumana, etc. (not grounded on Sruti), are 
quite helpless. This is the position of Sathkara in Theology. 
Authority as a distinct pramana is also found in the philosophy 
of the Middle Ages in Europe. But the Mediaeval philoso- 
phical systematisers made much of authority, which proved 
a bane to their philosophy. Indeed they really stemmed the 
tide of philosophic growth. But in India, authority, instead 
of arresting the growth of philosophy, sought to settle it on a 
firmer and sounder basis. 



Foreign scholars fail to understand the proper signifi- 
cance of the Indian Doctrine of Adhikara. Adhikaravada 
plays an important role in Indian Philosophy. In ancient 
times the Guru never inculcated the Brahma-vidya to the 
uninitiated. The learner of the secret doctrines of the 
Upanisads must, first of all, be an Adhikari. By a careful 
study of the Vedas and by performing the necessary disci- 
plines and nitya and naimittika karmas, the learner becomes 
purged of all impurities of the mind. He should also have faith 
in the Sastric injunctions. As Bacon says * Learners must 
be believers.' To such a man the principles of Brahraa- 
vidya are to be given, otherwise the secret doctrines will be 
abused by the uninitiated. Brahma-vidya is secret and was 
kept in confidence among the gurus and the disciples. Dr. 
Thibaut is not correct when he says that Upanisad is not a 
secret treasure. In fact, it is often termed in the Upanisads 
themselves as ' Rsisadighajustam.' The Sastras themselves 
select disciples to whom such vidya is to be given. 

(Upadesasahasri, si ok a 

So disciples are to be chosen carefully otherwise there 
is the danger of abuse of the doctrines as we find in the 
case of present-day Vais^avism and Tantrikism. The Chris- 
tian gospel says Throw not your pearls before swine lest 
they trample upon them and then rend you. 



It is also a psychological fact that all minds are not of 
the same capacity. All kinds of glass do not reflect the sun 
in exactly the same manner. With an open eye to this fact 
the teacher should instruct the learners. Different minds 
are suited to different things. According to this principle, 
the Carv&ka philosophy and the ' six systems ' are harmonised. 
The principle is technically called ' Arundhatl-darsana-nySya.' 
Foreigners find it difficult to understand this principle of 
AdhikSra as they are naturally prone to think that philosophy 
is merely discursive. The doctrine of Adhikara has an 
important function to perform with regard to Indian Philo- 
sophy as the latter is essentially 'practical,' Indian Philo- 
sophy, to borrow the words of Prof. Pramathanath Mukho- 
padhyaya, is one " which not merely argues but also experi- 
ments " (quoted by Sir John Woodroffe). It is this practical 
aspect of Indian Philosophy which saves it from being 
merely * logic-chopping ' and c intellectual jugglery.' 



Philosophy, says Plato, begins with wonder. Man, con- 
fronted with the vast panorama of the world, stands stupefied, 
mystified and bewildered After the lapse of this state of 
mind, he naturally begins to ponder over these questions 
What is this world in its ultimate nature ? Whence is it ? 
Who am I ? Is there a ruler, a regulator of all these beings 
and things P Everything in this world is changing but not 
without a principle. There is harmony in discordance, unity 
in multiplicity, uniformity in diversity. This regularity in 
the midst of change gives rise to metaphysical quest. But 
this questioning is inherent in man. Really speaking, there 
can be no such thing as the * Origin of Philosophy/ Man, 
as man, must philosophisa. So, as Dr. Stephen puts it, the 
question is not of philosophy or no philosophy but of a good 
philosophy and a bid one. 

(1.) Whatever may be the practical origin of Indian 
Philosophy, we find that at a later date, the question of philo- 
sophising in India had a practical bearing. It is the principle 
of Liberation or Moksa that determines the different systems 
of Indian thought. Philosophy has been cultivated not 
merely for the sake of Truth as truth, nor as a sort of intellec- 
tual pastime. This practical touch mainly distinguishes 
Indian thought from the Western. 

(2) Moreover, Indians had their own way of expressing 
things. For instance, we find 


(Rgveda, Puru$a Sakta.} 



; nr^ft TE^tf f^nwra mrffi ^fat\ ifa wwjjinirow n 

(Muiidakopanisad, 2-1-4.) 



, 2-6.) 

These descriptions do not refer to a Monster or a Demon 
as Gough understands by them. This 'Mammoth Man' 
denotes very much the same thing which Green understands 
by * Eternal consciousness.' 

(3) Sometimes the Rsis of old would explain a thing 
gradually. Brahman is, at first, taken to be Anna (Food or 
Matter) ; this definition is cancelled and it is taken to be 
Prana (Universal Life or Vital Force) ; from Prana we pass 
on to Manas (Mind or rather the Sensations), then to Vijnana 
(the Understanding or Reason) and finally to Ananda (Bliss 
or the Absolute, the Infinite or the Perfect). ' Bhuma * is the 
word in Chan., 7-24-1. (See Taitti., 3-2-1, 3-3-1, 3-4-1, 3-5-1, 
3-6-1.) The lower definitions though cancelled in turn are 
not wholly false. They are true in their proper place. As 
in Hegel, the Absolute is first defined as Being ; we rise high 
in the scale of Truth and get it as Essence ; rising higher up 
we understand by it the Notion. The lower categories are 
regarded as incomplete definitions of the Absolute as im- 
perfect * adumbrations ' of God. Though negatived they are 
retained in the higher categories. Thus in the ballet dance 
of the- categories, the meaning of the Absolute becomes 
fuller and richer till it becomes the fullest and richest. This 
is the process of self-realisation of the Absolute. 

The difference between Samkara and Hegel may be noted 
in this connection. According to Hegel, the lower categories 
though incomplete are not false. Simply they do not express 
the full truth. Samkara would say that they are true in their 
proper place, i. *., on the vySvaharika plane ; but on the 


paraniarthika plane they are totally false. Hegel further 
adds that this intellectual process has its counterpart in the 
actual process. The Logical is thus identified with the Real. 

We thus see that in Indian Philosophy, ideas are often 
expressed* through Mythology and Symbology. Analogy also 
is often resorted to. It is for this reason that "the very 
iiame of philosophy has sometimes been denied to Indian 
speculation " and it has also been declared in a loud voice 
" that the Oriental intellect is not sufficiently dry and has 
not masculine virility enough to rise to anything higher than 
grotesque imaginative Cosmogonies." 

Mythology makes the thing interesting and Symbology 
intelligible. The use of symbols in Hindu religion has a 
great significance. Like other religions, it does not overlook 
thfe different capacities of different minds. All are not 
equally capable of conceiving the Absolute as Nirguna, Form- 
les, Pure Being. A symbol is not to be misunderstood as 
the thing itself. It helps a man to move forward in the path 
of religion. It is utter puerility to denounce it as a '* con- 
scious alliance with falsehood, the deliberate propagation of 
lies/' On the contrary, it is criminal to ask every one to tread 
along the highest path from the very beginning. Religion, to 
retain its force and meaning, should be divested of all such 
vain boasting and conscious hypocrisy. 

Analogy, as we know, serves different purposes. In Lite- 
rature, it is often introduced for aesthetic purposes. It may 
have logical or scientific value. As we go on multiplying 
the instances through analogy we come very near the general 
or scientific truth. It has also a. symbolic function as in 
Philosophy. The subtleties or abstractions that we reach 
through dialectic reasoning are kept in touch with the con- 
crete through the legitimate use of analogy. Hindu Philo- 
sophy has this peculiar advantage over the Philosophy of the 
West. Of course, in some European Philosophers we some- 
times find this tendency of keeping abstract thoughts in touch 


with the concrete real. For instance, Plato gives the ex- 
ample of ' the chariot and the driver ' when he considers the 
relation of the lower anima to the Nous. 

(4) All systems of philosophy have presuppositions of 
their own. In fact, philosophy cannot proceed without posit- 
ing some higher principles or evident truths without some- 
thing taken for granted. The Postulates of Indian Philosophy 

A* Logical and Pragmatic 

It is the limit to doubt, to tarka, to philo- 


B. Moral 

(1) WHTO No lapse of the effect of what has been 

(2) *cawwpnff We cannot reap the fruit of what has 
not been done. 

C. Epistemological 

i Conceptual knowledge is impossible without 
the subject-object series. 

D. Psychological 

T Psychoses presuppose variety in nature. 

E* Ontological 

(1) qmhnTOOT9 None can do away with the causal 


(2) *ROTOT Regressus ad infinitum. 

The following also are widely held : 

(1) Atman is eternal. 

(2) It is ubiquitous. 

(3) The Doctrine of Karma and connected with it the 

Doctrine of Re-birth. 


(4) Belief in Mukti. 

(5) Jlvanmukti or ' Life Divine ' in this world. 

(6) Yoga some sort of moral or spiritual discipline is 

necessary for Cittasuddhi which is preliminary to 
(See Dr. Seal's Syllabus of Indian Philosophy, pp. 8-12.) 

Government and Administrative System of 
Tipu Sultan 




The career of Tipu Sultan is well worth study ; for none 
of the native rulers of India in modern times has had a more 
ambitious political programme or more extended schemes, 
with the exception of Mahadji Sindhia, the great Maratha 
warrior and statesman of the 18th century. Tipu was no 
mere fanatic, though he certainly was a bigoted Moslem ; he 
was possessed by a consuming ambition, and was not inca- 
pable of forethought, of diplomacy, of political combinations. 
But he had not much of the coolness, the clear-sightedness, 
the dispassionate calculation of the real statesman. His 
pride, it seems, supplied, in a greater or lesser degree, the 
motive force for his ambition. 

Tipu's neighbours were all his enemies, -the three chief 
enemies were the English, the Marathas and the Nizam. He 
wanted to humble them and, if possible, conquer their terri- 
tories. And he had perhaps a greater ambition. The most 
pathetic and pitiable position of the unfortunate Mughal 
Emperor did not escape his notice. The sovereignty of Delhi, 
it appeared, and, of the whole of India, would really pass, 
sooner or later, either to the hands of the Marathas or the 
English; and, it seems, he also wanted to have a chance in the 
game of political leadership of India. 

Especially against the English he cherished an undying 
hatred. The humiliating peace of 1792 sank deep into his 


soul. He was thenceforth guided by a strong sentiment with 
a keen sense of honour ; and a bitter spirit of revenge troubled 
his brain throughout the rest of his life. The author of the 
Tarikh-i-Tlpu tells us that he forthwith gave up his bed and 
soft mattress and slept thenceforth on a coarse cloth (khaddi) 
spread upon the ground. 1 " A nice sense of honour," he 
once declared in his Darbar, " should be predominant in the 
character of a king, and that one who had suffered misfor- 
tunes from the superiority of his enemies, should not be 
appeased until he had obtained ample revenge." His mind, 
he said, was " principally occupied " for " effecting the ruin 
of his enemies ; " and " to keep in remembrance the misfor- 
tunes " he had experienced " six years ago," caused by the 
malice of his enemies, 2 he had " discontinued " sleeping in a 
cotton mattress. "When I am victorious," declared the 
Sultan, " I shall resume the bed of cotton." 8 

Tipu tried on all hands to raise up allies against his 
enemies. He had a series of correspondence with many 
foreign powers both Muslim and non-Muslim as suited his 
purpose and sent embassies beyond the seas to some of them, 
with a view to gain their sympathy and active help in the 
achievement of his own political ambition in India. He 
expected and tried his best to gain over Muslim sovereigns 
everywhere as his brothers and natural allies. He opened 
systematic correspondence with the " Grand Sultan" of Cons- 
tantinople, with Zaman Shah, the King of Kabul, and Fatteh 
Ali Khan, the King of Iran, and sent embassies to the first 
two. 4 He seems to have assumed the r61e of Champion of 

1 Tarikh'i-Tipu Sultan (Col. Miles' trans.), p. 281. 

2 Alluding to the conquests of Oornwallis and his humiliating treaty with the 
English in 1792. 

3 Beatson, View of the Origin and Conduct of the War with the late Tipu Sultan 
(London, 1800), pp. 152-158. 

* Official Correspondence of Tipu's Government, translated and published by Kirkpa- 
k ' Select Letters of Tipu #aZtan,' pp. 212-213 ; Official Documents of Tipu's Govern. 


Islam in India and held out before them the plan, so to say, 
of starting a Pan-Islamic movement to crush the non- 
Muslim powers in India. He made repeated and most 
emphatic declarations of his grand ambition of waging 
a " holy war " against the " Kafirs " (infidels) of India. 
He thus tried to excite the foreign Muslim sovereigns and 
the principal Muslim nobles of India to take up his cause. 1 
The English and the Marathas were, no doubt, the two most 
obnoxious kafirs who stood in his way ; and the Nizam, 
though a co-religionist, was the third great kafir, whom also 
he hated none the less. Plans of revenge against " the three 
Kafirs " by which he distinctly meant the English, the 
Marathas and the Nizam formed the chief subject of his 
meditations and even of his dreams. 2 

Nor did he stop by trying to win over his co-religionists 
only. He knew very well the anti-English feelings and in- 
terests of the French in India, and he negotiated with the 
French, with the object of inducing them to make common 
cause with him and renew hostilities against the English in 
India. His first embassy to France was sent in 1787 via 
Constantinople ; but it was stopped at Constantinople and in 
1788 another embassy was sent, which reached France. With 
the Directory, he carried on a regular correspondence ; he sent 
letters to Napoleon Bonaparte, who in return encouraged 
their "greatest friend, Tippoo Saib " in his schemes against 
his enemies and assured the Sultan of his help, to deliver him 
" from the iron yoke of England." 3 Towards the end of his 

ment (trans, by Edmonstone), published in 1799 by order of the English Government in 
India, pp. 63-78 (or see Documents and State Papers, in Asiatic Annual Register, Vol. I : 
1 Supplement to the Chronicle ', pp. 196-2U). 

1 Official Correspondence (Kirkpatrick) ; Official Documents (Edmonstone), pp. 63-73. 
(See Chap, on Church and Religious Policy.) 

a English translation of a part of the Register of Tipu's Dreams (Beatson's View of the 
Origin and Conduct o/ the War icith the late Tipu Sultan, Appendix 35). 

a State Papers, in Asiatic Aauaal Register, Vol. I : ' Supplement to the State Papers, 1 
pp, 232-33 (Baatson, op. cit., Appendix VII). j 


reign, the Sultan was making preparations to send a third 
mission to France, with a view to eater iato an offensive and 
defensive alliance with the French Republic, so as to curb 
and, if possible, " annihilate " the power of the English, their 
" common enemy " in India, In his letter, dated July, 1798, 
to the French Directory, he made it a point to mention that 
he had incurred the enmity of the English because of 
his "connection and friendship" with the French. Be- 
tween 1797 and 1799, he sent envoys to the Governor of 
Mauritius and obtained French recruits for his army. 1 

In the second half of his reign, while he was all along 
trying his best to make a mighty preparation to inflict a 
crushing blow to the English power, he took utmost care to 
continue his normal friendly correspondence with the English 
Governor-General in India. 2 And when the final war with 
the English became inevitable, he tried, though in vain, to 
win over the Marathas by sending at once a, Vakil to the 
Poona Court for the purpose. 8 

The Sultan's passionate desire and his tenacious efforts 
for the realisation of his great political ambition did indeed 
make him mad ; and he certainly showed here signs of a very 
active, though restless, mind, and perhaps herein one may 
also discern some signs of his real greatness. But he could not 
always gauge a situation aright and underestimated the 
strength of his enemies. His plans, accordingly, were to a 
great extent grandiose rather than politic or practicable. In 
his dream world, he might have the pleasure of seeing the sure 
possibility of the destruction of "the three Kafirs,"* but in the 

1 State Papers, in Asiatic Annual Register, Vol. I : * State Papers, 1 pp. 96-99, 
* Supplement to the State Papers/ pp. 215-232 (some of these State Papers to be found 
also in Beatson, op. cit., Appendices III and XIII) ; Beatson, op. cit. fpp. 38, 184-185. 

2 Sultan's Correspondence with the English Government (Official Documents, 
Edmonstone, pp. 143-171 j or Asiatic Annual Register, Vol. I : * State Papers, ' j?p. 68-74). 

8 Contemporary Marathi evidence (Khare's Aitihasik Lekh Sangraha, Vol. XI, 
p. 6758). 

* Register of Ttpu's Dreams (Beatson, Op. eft., Appendix XXXV). 


world of reality, he was fighting against forces which proved 
too strong for him. His allies were far away, unable, even 
if they were willing, to give him any effective help ; and 
Tipu's elaborate political plans collapsed like a house of cards, 
and his grand ambition met with a tragic end. 

In this work, however, we are concerned, not with Tipu's 
political programme and his diplomacy, but with his system 
of internal government and administration. Here also, as in 
the sphere of foreign policy, we meet with a restless mind, 
inventive, resourceful, full of designs, sometimes childish and 
futile, sometimes wise and brilliant. In whatever he did, the 
Sultan was always vigorous and energetic. He issued regu- 
lations without number, altered, amended, reformed indefati- 
gably. He was an autocrat, no doubt, but he was no indolent 
voluptuary ; the greatness of the monarch, the good of the 
country, the welfare of his peaceful subjects, were constant- 
ly in his mind. 

The Sources. 

In discussing the sources which have been used, it should 
be confessed that many of the relevant Persian manuscripts, 
which are now in the India Office and British Museum 
Libraries, have been available only in English translations. 
This is not satisfactory, as it is often very difficult to be 
certain whether the technical terms have b^en uniformly or 
accurately rendered. Where possible, the translation has been 
checked and corrections made if necessary. 

The sources may be classified thus : 

A. Official Documents and Papers of Tipu's Government 
Translated by N. B. Edmonstone, the Persian Translator 
to the British Government in India, and some papers in 
French translated by G. G. Keble. Published by order of the 
Governor- General in Council in Calcutta, 1799. 


This volume contains a large number of official papers of 
Tipu's Government, including his correspondence with the 
French, with the British Government in India and with some 
other powers. 

Many of these papers were also printed in the Asiatic 
Annual Register for 1799 (Vol. I). They were also reprinted 
in the Appendix to another important publication, ' A Review 
of the origin, progress and result of the late decisive war in 
Mysore, in a letter from an officer in India (James Salmond), 
with notes and appendix. Published by M. Wood, London, 
1800. Salmond's letter was dated Eort St. George, 5th August, 
1799. The Eeview itself is of no value for our present 

A few of these official papers, with certain other interest- 
ing documents (translated from original Persian MS,) were 
printed in the valuable appendices to Beatson's ' View of the 
Origin and Conduct of the War with the late Tipu Sultan' 
(London, 1800). 

B. Official Correspondence and other Papers, translated 
and published by Col. Kirkpatrick : 

(i) Official Correspondence. 

A vast number of official letters, chiefly relating to inter- 
nal government and administration, were found in a Register 
of Letters of Tipu's Government after the capture of Serin ga- 
patam. A selection of about a thousand were translated by 
CoL Kirkpatrick and published under the title of " Select 
Letters of Tipu Sultan" (1811) ; and some others were pub- 
lished in the Asiatic Annual Register, Vol. XII (for 1810-11). 
These, however, formed but "a fragment " of the Register, 
which Kirkpatrick supposed to contain copies of all the official 
correspondence of Tipu's reign. 1 He would seem to be wrong, 
however, in believing that these official letters were all Tipu's 

1 ' Select Letters of Tipu Sultan,' Preface, pp, ix-x. 


letters, i.e., written by him personally or dictated by him in 
full to his MunshU (writers) J It can hardly be supposed that 
Tipu used to sit down to deal personally with every detail of 
every department of his government, when there were so 
many departmental chief officers, described in this work. He 
tried, no doubt, to interfere very often in departmental 
questions, but surely there must have been a limit to his time 
and energy. Most likely, these were letters sent by the 
Central Government, generally by the departmental heads, to 
the officers of different kinds, in the capital, in the provinces 
and districts, as well as to those stationed in foreign countries 
dispatches under the Sultan's seal or, in matters of special 
importance, over his signature. It may be reasonably assumed, 
of course, that some of the most important letters in the 
collection, including those addressed to some high officials in 
the capital and elsewhere, were written with direct and full 
instructions from the Sultan letters written and despatched 
by the Hnzur-Kachharl (described in Chap. IV), or those sent 
by the departmental heads, who, it appears, reported verbally 
important matters to the Sultan for his instructions on the 
same. The character of these letters or papers, some of which 
may be properly called Official Circulars, may thus be described. 
These were letters, occasionally sent by the Central Govern- 
ment, to the officers of various kinds, containing short instruc- 
tions, referring to, or urging upon a strict observance of, 
the general elaborate instructions or rules already issued ; 
instructions or orders amending or altering such general rules, 
as to the proper discharge of their duties ; orders and instruc- 
tions sent on particular occasions and on particular points; 
etc. (hukm-namas, parwanas, etc.). 

This Collection is of the utmost value to us. The corres- 
pondence published by Kirkpatrick unfortunately ends with 
the year 1 790 ; and we are unable to avail ourselves of the 

1 Ibid, Appendices, pp. xi, xvii, 


later correspondence. But what there is, throws a great deal 
of light on the nature of the administrative system and 
especially on the manner in which it worked in the provinces, 
districts and even villages. 

(ii) Government Rules and Regulations and other documents, 
published by Kirkpatrick. 

Besides the official letters, Col. Kirkpatrick has given, in 
Appendices to his published volume, translations of some other 
official documents, including those containing some important 
Government Rules and Regulations, often only epitomes or 
abstracts rather than literal translations, such as the Commer- 
cial Regulations of 1793-94, Marine Regulations, Military 
Ordinance, etc. 

0. Fath-almuj&hidln (^>xa>LsiJ) ^G) 

A military treatise or code written under the direction of 
the Sultan himself by Zain-al c Sbidin Musawl ibn Sayyid 
RadJ of Shushtar (generally known as Zain-al ( Abidin Khan 
Shushtrl) in 1783. The author sometimes commanded the 
Sultan's armies. This was not a mere ideal military treatise. 
It contained Rules and Regulations for the army, which were 
meant strictly for the practical guidance of the military 
officers, and is a valuable source of evidence on Tipu's army 
administration during the early part of his reign. The Persian 
MS. is now in the India Office Library (Hermann Ethe's 
Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts in the India Office Library, 
Vol. I, No. 2738). Col. Kirkpatrick has given extracts 
from it in Appendix I of c Select Letters of Tipu Sultan \ We 
have thought it proper and convenient to mention it under 
State Papers and Documents. 

D. Government Rules relating to the administration of a 
District, dealing more particularly with revenue administra- 
tion, issued in 1785 translated and published by Burrish 
Crisp under the title, c The Mysorean Revenue Regulations , f 


This detailed Hukm-nama was sent to a district for the guid- 
ance of " the present and future " Amils or District Officers, 
who were bound to obey them exactly, under pain of '* severe 
punishment." The Rules we have relate to one particular 
district, but there is no doubt that tbe same or similar rules 
applied to other districts as well. Crisp's translation, first 
published at Calcutta in 1792, was afterwards reprinted in a 
valuable anonymous publication, British India Analysed, 
London, 1795 (ascribed to Greville of the India Office). It is 
this edition of the translation that I have used ; and the page 
references are to it. I shall refer to it as, District Administra- 
tion Rules (Crisp) ; and sometimes as Revenue Rules (Crisp). 

II. Charles Stuart's cc Descriptive Catalogue of the Ori- 
ental Library of the late Tipu Sultan of Mysore " together with 
Memoirs of Hyder AH Khan and Tipu Sultan (Cambridge, 
1809), contains an account of the books and official papers in 
Tipu's Library and is of considerable value. The memoirs 
prefixed are, however, only of secondary importance. 

III. TariUh'i-Tlpu : a history of Tipu Sultan's reign by 
a contemporary Muhammadan writer. The writer, Mir 
Hussairi 'Ali Khan Kirmanl, wrote a complete history of the 
Moslem rulers of Mysore. The first part, Ni$han-i-Haidarl, 
describes the reign of Hyder Ali and the second, Tarlkh-i- 
Tlpu Sultan that of Tipu. Both were translated and published 
by Col. W. Miles, the second part as ' I he History of th* 
Reign of Tipu Sultan,' London, 1864. I have compared 
the translation with the Persian text l ; references and quota- 
tions will generally be made from the translation. 

IV. History of the Reigns of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan 
by a contemporary Hindu writer. 

A translation of the original Marathi MS. was published 
by Charles Philip Brown of the Madras Civil Service, in 1849, 

1 Nishan-i-Haidan together with Tarikh-i-Tipu Sultan. Lithe, ed. (Bombay.. 1$9Q). 


under the title, " Memoirs of Tipu and Hyder" He says that 
the MS. was probably found at Serangapatam after its capture, 
and was handed over by Lt.-Col. Barry Close in 1801 to Major 
Mackenzie. The work is anonymous, but Brown surmised the 
author to be one Ram Chandra Raw of Punganoor, commonly 
known as 'Punganuri,' who was in the service of Hyder and 
Tipu. He is not however to be confused with Raja Ram 
Chandra Raw, lonsj Diwan of Bangalore under Tipu (Kirk- 
patrick's Official Correspondence; Brown, p. 46). 

V. Memoirs of Tipu Sultan, written by himself. 

The Persian MS. copy, which was in the possession of Col. 
Kirkpatrick, is now in the india Office Library (No. 3565, glass 
case). I have used a photographed copy of this MS., in the 
possession of Prof. Jadunath Sarkar. According to Kirk- 
patrick, in his c Select Letters of Tipu Sultan,' this Persian 
work was designated ' Tarikh-i-Khuda-dadi,* History of the 
Rhuda-dad Sarkar (God-given Government). He found the 
work in an imperfect state, ;he narrative coming down only to 
1787. iho India Office MS. wants in the first three pages and 
begins abruptly with the Siege of Bednore, of which there is 
a vivid account. (See the writer's article, * Siege of Bednore, 
1783,' 'Indian Historical Quarterly,' Vol. II, No. 4, Dec. 
1926 and Vol. Ill, No. I, Mar. 1927.) 

VI. An account written in 1790 by one of Tipu's Officials. 
A translation of the original Persian MS. was published 

in the Asiatic Annual Register, Vol. I. 

VII. Francis Buchanan's 'Journey from Madras through 
the Countries of Mysore, Canara and Malabar. 9 3 vols. (1807). 

Buchanan commenced his journey on April 23, 1800, and 
travelled through various districts which had lately been 
under Tipu. He has left us minute accounts of various as- 
pects of local administration in these districts, and a really 
valuable description of the social and economic condition of 


the country, based for the most part OB actual observation 
and inquiry on the spot, in others on reports from others. It 
can, of course, be hardly expected that he could always get 
correct and accurate reports or gather other reliable sources 
of accurate information. Buchanan's narrative, however, is 
of great value for our purpose, especially for certain old- 
established customs in Land Revenue administration and so 
forth. In some matters, he is our only source ; in others, he 
confirms and amplifies the evidence furnished by official 
papers of Tipu's government. He is particularly useful for 
the practical result on the country of the administrative 

VIII. Report on the Interior Administration, Resources and 
Expenditure of the Government of Mysore, by Major M. Wilks, 
acting Resident at Mysore, written and transmitted to the 
Secretary to Government in the Secret, Foreign and Political 
Department, dated Mysore, 5th December, 1804, together with 
some valuable appendices. Published by Order of the Governor- 
General in Council, Fort William, 4th May, 1805. 

The Eeport deals of course with the new regime after 
Tipu's fall, but is extremely useful for the reign of Tipu 
also ; and it is moro detailed and accurate on some points 
than Buchanan. 

IX. English Papers. Letters, Reports, Abstract Returns, 
etc., on various matters relating to Tipu Sultan, published in 
Asiatic Annual Register, Vol. I, and a few others in the appen* 
dices to Beatson's 'View of the Origin and Conduct of the War 
with the late Tipu Sultan. 9 Many English' papers concerning 
Tipu may be found also in a later publication, 'Extracts from 
Oapt. Colin Mackenzie's work, regarding the dominions of the 
late Tipu Sultan ' (Calcutta, 1854). But most of the papers 
in this publication which are valuable for our present purpose 
are only reprints of those published in Vol. I of the Asiatic 
Annual Register. 


X. " Historical and Political View of the Deccan, south of 
the Krishnah, including a sketch of the Extent and Review of 
the Mysorean Dominions as possessed by Tipu Sultan at the 
commencement of the war in 1790, with an appendix showing 
the alterations which happened in the Einance and relative 
condition of that prince in consequence of the Partition Treaty 
concluded in 1792" and subsequent to that. Published anony- 
mously, London, 1798. The author, as known to the contem- 
porary English writers, was James Grant, the welUcnown 
writer on various important matters relating to India. (See 
Asiatic Annual Register, Vol. I : c Characters,' p. 5 ; Beatson's 
View of the Origin and Conduct of the War with Tipu Sultan, 
p. 229.) From the manner of the author's treatment of the 
subject, it appears that he had accurate knowledge about 
Tipu's dominions. He has given an elaborate account of the 
revenue of the different parts of the Sultan's dominions, a sub- 
ject of which he seems to have had a special study. 

XI. Records of the Sringeri Matha. The celebrated 
Hindu Matha of Sringeri (properly Sringagiri), on the 
left bank of the Tunga, founded by Sankaracharyya, 
was in a most flourishing state even under the Mus- 
lim rulers of Mysore, Hyder and Tipu, in whose domi- 
nions it was situated. A few years ago, a large number of 
valuable records was discovered in this Matha, consisting of 
Sanads, grants, letters, etc., from the early 17th century on. 
Many of these are from the time of Hyder and Tipu ; some of 
these records and particularly the letters of both of them to 
the Swami of the Matha throw a very interesting light on the 
relation between the Muslim rulers and the Hindu Swami. 
Many of them have been summarised in the Annual Report 
of the Mysore Archaeological Department for 1916. 

XII. Narrative of contemporary English writers, 
having personal knowledge about various matters relating to 
Tipu and his dominions. 


There is a considerable number of these, which are all 
useful for a comprehensive study of the history of Tipu's 
reign, particularly his relation with the English. The. most 
useful for our purpose, as giving a picture of Tipu's govern- 
ment, army, his treatment of the prisoners of war, the condi- 
tion of the people and so forth, are the following : 

(i) Memoirs of the War in Asia from 1780 to 1784, in- 
eluding a Narrative of the imprisonment and sufferings of Eng- 
lish officers and soldiers, by an officer of Col. Baillie's detach- 
ment. (Second ed. 9 London, 1789.) 

The writer of the narrative has given a detailed descrip- 
tion of the cruel treatment of the English prisoners in Mysore 
under both Hyder and Tipu (during 1780-84). 

(ii) ' An Authentic Narrative of the treatment of the Eng- 
lish who were taken prisoners on the reduction of Bednore by 
Tippoo Saib, from 28th April, 1783 to 25th April, 1784.' By 
Capt. Henry Oakes, Adj. Gen. to the Army under the com- 
mand of General Matthews (a sufferer and a spectator of the 
horrid scenes he has described). With an Appendix relating 
to " the conduct of the British forces upon their first becoming 
masters of that place," by Lt. John Charles Sheen, " who was 
upon the same service. 53 (London, 1785.) 

(Hi) ' View of the Origin and Conduct of the War with 
the late Tipu Sultan. 9 By Alexander Beatson. (London, 
1800.) There are some valuable appendices. 

(iv) ' A Narrative of the Operations of Capt. Little's 
Detachment, commanded by Parsuram Bhaw, during the late 
confederacy in India against Nawab Tipu Sultan Bahadur/ 
By Edward Moor. (London, 1794.) 

(v) 'A Narrative of the Campaign in India, which terminated 
the war with Tipu Sultan.' By Major Dirom. (London, 

XIII. Historical Sketches of the South of India, in an 
attempt to trace the History of Mysore. By Lt.-Col. Mark 
Wilks. (2nd Ed., 1869. 2 Vols.) 


Wilks wrote the first comprehensive history of Mysore 
and a better history has not yet arrived. But he did not use 
the voluminous state papers of Tipu's government exhaust- 
ively, although he had access to them ; and he had perhaps 
lit tie or no access to the numerous contemporary Marathi docu- 
ments and papers, which have been published in recent years. 

Wilks pays very little attention to Tipu's internal govern- 
ment and administration and is therefore of little use for our 
purpose. His account of the administration of Mysore under 
the early Hindu rulers, including the famous reforms of Chick 
Deo Raj, is, however, valuable. 

XIV. Accounts of French writers : 

(i) * The History of Hyder All Khan Nabob Bahadur, or 
New Memoirs concerning the East Indies, with historical 
notes.' By M. Le Maitre De La Tour, for some time Com- 
mander-in-Chief of Hyder's Artillery, and of a body of Euro- 
pean troops in his service. This work has been of some use 
for our purpose. 

The original French edition was published at Paris in 
1 763 (2 torn in one). The first English edition was published 
in London, 1784. I have used the second edition, published in 
London, 1786, 2 Vols. It was afterwards reprinted in 1818 
(Calcutta) and in 1855 (London). 

(ii) Michaud * Histoire des progrtis et de la chilte de 
1 J Empire de Mysore, sous les r^gnes d'Hyder Aly et Tippoo 
Saib.' (Paris, 1801. 2 torn.) 

The work does not seem to be of first-rate importance and 
value for our purpose. 

(Hi) ' Tipu Sultan Revolutions de V Inde pendant le dix- 
huitidme sidcle, ou MJmoires de Typoo Zaefe...ecrits par lui- 
m&ne, et traduits de la langue Indostane.' Published by A. 
Pantin Desodoards. (Paris, 1796. 2 torn.) 

I have not been in a position as yet to judge the work 
thoroughly and have not used it. 


XV. Marathi Sources : 

Much valuable material in Marathi on Hyder and Tipu 
is now available. Especially, there is a large number of news- 
letters of first-rate importance, including a long series of 
letters of the Maratha Vakil at the Mysore Court sent to the 
Poona Government (published in D. B. Parasnis's * Itihas 
flangraha* ; Raj wade's * Marathyflnchya Itihasachin Sadhanen,' 
Vol. 19). Any attempt to write a complete and accurate poli- 
tical history of Tipu's reign and that of his father must take 
exhaustively the Marathi evidence into account ; but for our 
purpose we have only been able to glean a few points from 
the letters published in V. V. Khare's ' Aitihasik-Lehh-San- 
graha, 9 Vol. VIII. 

Authorities how referred to and Abbreviations. 

I. A. Official Documents (Edmonstone) .. Off. Doc. t K<1. 

I. B. (/) Official Correspondence (Kirkpatrick) ... Off. Corr. Kirk. 

Official Correspondence (Kirkpatrick), in Off. Corr. hirk. in 
Asiatic Annual Register, Vol. XII. A. A. R. XII. 

I. B. (w) Official Documents (Kirkpatrick) ... Off. Doc. Kirk. 

Rules and Regulations (Kirkpatrick) ... Rules and Reg. Kirk. 
Commercial Regulations (Kirkpatrick) ... Comm. Reg. Kirk. 
Marine Regulations (Kirkpatrick) ... Mar. Reg. Kirk. 

Military Rules and Regulations (Kirk- Mil. Rules and Reg, 
patrick), etc. Kirk., tie. 

I. C. Fath-almnjahidm (Kirkpatrick) ... Mujahidln, Kirk. 

\. D. District Administration Rules (Crisp). .,, Did. Adm. littles, 

Revenue Rules (Crisp) ... Rev. Rules, Crisp. 

II. Stuart's Descriptive Catalogue of Tipu's CM. Stuart. 


HI, TarlM-i-Tip* (Persian) ... T.'T. (Pers.) 

Tartlc&i.K?>& ( Miles) ... T. T. < Miles} . 


IV. Punganuri (Brown) ... Pnnganuri, or Pung. 

V. Memoirs of Tipu Sultan (India Office MS., Memoirs of Tipn 

Sarkar's photographed copy). (LO.MS.),or Mem. 


VI. Persian Account of 1790 (Asiatic Annual Pers. Aoc. 1790 
Register, Vol. I). (A.A.R.I). 

VII. Buchanan's Journey ... Buchanan, or Buck. 

VIII. Wilks, Report ou Mysore Administration ... Rep. Wilks. 

X. Historical and Political View of the Deccan ... Tie of the Deccan, 

or View. Dec. 

XI. Sringeri Records ... Sring. Rec. 

XII. (*) Narrative of an Officer of Col. Baillie's Narr. Officer, BailliJs 

Detachment, Detachment. 

(it) Narrative of Capt. Henry Oakes ... Narr. Capt, Oakes. 

(iii) Beatson, View of War with Tipu Suifcan ... Beacon's 

View of War, or 

(tv) Moor, Narrative of the Operations of Capt. Moor's Narrative, or 
Little's Detachment. Moor. 

(0) Dirom, Campaign in India ... Dirom. 

XIII. Wilks, History of Mysore ... Wilks. My. 

XIV. (t) Le Maitre De La Tour, History of Hyder M. De La Tour, or 

AH Khan. M. D. L. T. 

XV. Khare's AitihasiU-Lekh-Sangraha, Vol. VIII ... LeU-Vangraha, VIII. 

Some of the other works consulted. 

I. Eennell's Memoir of a Map of the Peninsula of 

India, 1793. 

This work contains an estimate of Tipu's total revenue, 
which, however, differs from that of the author of the 


View of the Deccan. The official materials are too scanty 
to allow of any definite, independent estimate being 
made. The two estimates, it appears, are not based on 
a thorough calculation and seem to include only the land 
revenue. Of the two writers, the author of the View of the 
Deccan seems to have had a more accurate study. 

2. Rennell's Memoir of a Map of Hindusthan (2nd ed., 

3. Mysore Gazetteer. 

4. Mysore Letters and Despatches of the Duke of 
Wellington. (Bangalore, 1862.) 

5. J. R. Henderson, The Coins of Hyder Ali and Tipu 
Sultan. (Madras, 1921.) 

6. Krishna Raw, Brief History of Mysore. (Bangalore, 

Based on Wilks and other English authorities. The last 
chapter on Purnia's administration is valuable. 

7. Karnama-i-Haidari. 

A compilation in Persian, by Abdur Rahim, of second- 
rate importance, based mainly on English sources. (Calcutta, 


1. Wilson's Glossary of Revenue Terms. 

2. Hughes, Dictionary of Islam. 

3. Encyclopedia of Islam. 

4. A*ln-i-Akbarl (tr. Blochmann and Jarrett). 

5. Sarkar's Mughal Administration (2nd ed., 1924). 

6. Revenue Farmans of Auranffzib translated and 
published, with Persian text, by Prof. J. N. Sarkar in J. A. 
8. B., June, 1906 (pp. 223 ff.). The English translation is 
reprinted in Sarkar's Studies in Mughal India and Mughal 
Administration (2nd ed,). 

7. W. H. Moreland's Development of the Land Revenue 
System of the Mughal Empire, J.R.A.S., Jan. 1922* 



8. Akhbarat. (Copies from Persian MSS. Prof, J. N. 
Sarkar's collection.) 

9. 8. E. Kohli's Army of Maharaja Eanjit Sinffh, ' Jour- 
nal of Indian History/ Vol. II, Part II, June, 1923. 

10. Irvine's Army of the Indian Moghuls. 

11. Selections from the Satara Rajas 9 and the Peshwas* 
Diaries, by G. 0. VacL, 9 vols. 

12. S. N. Sen's Administrative System of the Marathas 

13. Quran Sale's translation. 

14. J. Forbes, Oriental Memoirs, 4 vols. (London, 1813.) 

15. Gulshan-i-Ibrahlmi, commonly known as Tarikh-i- 
Ferishta by Ferishta, properly Muhammad Qnsim Hindushah. 
English translation by J. Briggs : " History of the Rise of 
the Muhammadan Power in India," London, 1829. 4 vols. 


Our object in this chapter is to analyse briefly the charac- 
ter of Tipu's Government, its aim and policy, and to sketch 
some of the chief general features of the government and the 
administrative system, of which the later chapters will fill 
in the details. 

Some preliminary observation would not perhaps be quite 
unnecessary. It would be difficult to make an accurate study 
of an Indian government and administration, if at every step 
we are too much possessed by some modern conceptions of 
western government and administrative system, and, moreover, 
if we fail to take proper note of the forces of particular time 
and environments. Our analysis, in short, must be thorough, 
deep and truly historical, and it should bear the mark of a 
really independent and detached observation and accurate 
judgment. In going to study Tipu's government and, in 
fact, any other Indian government flourishing during the 
century and a half before the establishment of the British 
Raj, we should always take into particular account the pecu- 
liar political forces prevailing in the country in that age. And 
in making a proper judgment about an Indian government 
in the pre- British period, it would be perhaps fair to judge 
it, from certain considerations, by the actual results of the 
administration upon the country and the people, especially 
upon the masses, which formed the backbone of the country. 

Briefly and roughly, Tipu's government may be described 
as a despotic monarchy of the paternal type ; 

and jt shared in the ? eneric characteris- 
tics of such a form of government. 

The sovereign was absolute ; the administrative machinery was 
created by him and depended on him ; there was no body or 


institution which could limit or check the will of the monarch ; 

there was no constitution in the strict sense of the term at all. 

It is true that the administrative machinery was elaborate 

and specialised. The number of boards and 

Elaborate and speci- . u_ i- i i i j -IT. 

administrative officials was multiplied, each charged with 

mac mery. definite duties and functions. But none of 

them had independent powers and the monarch attempted to 
hold ail the strings in his own hands. There was thus no real 
devolution of duties and the elaboration of the machinery in 
some way made the system more difficult, not more easy, to 
work. Externally, the administrative system of Tipu's 
government, with its various departments, of which the princi- 
pal ones were organised into what may be described as 
Administrative Boards, and its Advisory Council of Depart- 
mental Heads consulted by the Sultan on important questions, 
was not unlike the administrative system of a modern state. 
But Tipu's policy of constant interference in all the business 
of the State, his personal whims, his love of 

An obstacle to the ' r . ' 

harmonious working power tended to impede the harmonious 
e sys em. working of the system. The chief officials 

or administrative heads, too often checked and overborne by 
the Sultan's interference, and always required to carry out the 
Sultan's, often capricious, instructions, could very little deve- 
lop any real initiative or responsibility and tended to degrade 
to a position of complete dependence. Apparently Ministers, 
in reality they were no better than Secretaries. 

As a natural corollary, the government was over-centra- 
lised. 1 If little freedom was left to the 

An over-centralised 

Government. departmental heads, it was not likely that 

the local officials would be granted larger 
;powers. An increasing stream of Despatches, Instructions, 
Orders poured on the provincial and district officers, the 
Daroghas of government commercial factories in foreign 

1 C/. Napoletn's over-centralised government, as criticised by Holland Eos (Life 
of Napoleon, Vol. I, pp. 268-270). 


countries, the generals in distant fields, etc., whose action in 
the smallest details was not only liable to correction, but wa^ 
often dictated by the Central Government. They were 
directed to follow always strictly detailed official instructions 
or rules sent to them, and they were severely reproved if these 
were violated. Over and over again, we find in the official 
letters, the admonitory order, " Act according to the instruc- 
tions which have been delivered to you and do not pursue the 
suggestions of your own fancy/ 52 We see even a provincial 
Diwan asking for sanctio'n to appoint a sweeper for his Kach- 
harl (office) ; the answer runs, '* You may, as you propose, 
engage a sweeper, at the monthly wage of 10 or 12 fanams." 8 
The consequence was that the officials, local and central, 
feared to assume any responsibility. Even 

Eft'ect of over-centra- 
lisation, when immediate action was called for, they 

waited for instructions from headquarters. 
The Sultan seems to have often fully realised its bad effects ; 
and sometimes he had, again, to reprove the officials for wait- 
ing for orders or for following their instructions too literally, 
without taking action on their own responsibility in urgent 
matters. 4 

Another result of this " Kaghazi-raj " or "Paper-Govern- 
A Paper-Govern" ment " (to borrow Prof. Sarkar's expression) 

ment and its inevitable 

result. was that it was almost impossible to main- 

tain strictly the hierarchy of official rank. An order, on a 
matter not provided for in the General Instructions or Rules, 
might be sent for execution to a provincial Diwan or to the 
Bakhshi of Ahsham (in a provincial headquarter) or even to 
the Qil'adar of the fort. The Central Government might 
deal directly with any official. The instructions sent, again, 
were sometimes altered or cancelled or contradicted by later 
instructions ; and the local officers often found it difficult to 

a Official Correspondence (Kirkpatrick)." 

3 Ibid, p. 12. 

* E.g., an official letter to the Diwan of Bangalore (Off. Corr. t Kirk., pp. 210-211), 


know which to obey. 6 This was perhaps, at least to some 
extent, due to the neglect or inevitable mistakes of the offi- 
cials keeping such bulky records. 

The Sultan interfered not only with his servants, but 

A paternal and witl1 his subjects as well; his government was 

denevoient Govern- paternal, in the fullest sense, and, perhaps we 

ment and its striking * 9 r r 

interferences. can say, it was also benevolent. The pream- 

ble of many of his laws ran thus, " All praise 
and glory be to the most high God, who . . . had raised some 
chosen individuals to rank and power, riches and rule, in order 
that they might administer to the feeble, the helpless and the 
destitute and promote the welfare of their people/' 6 Nor 
was this a mere empty profession ; the Sultan seerns to have 
been really inspired by such lofty principles. 

Interest and good of f .7 , 

the subjects well There is sufficient evidence, seen through 

attended to. , . , , . . . . ^ . _ , 

reliable sources including official documents 
and papers, to show that Tipu was keenly alive, within the limits 
of his own despotism and fanaticism, to the needs and interests, 
the welfare, of his subjects ; and he did his best to promote their 
material prosperity and protect them from the oppression and 
extortion of the nobles and officials. 7 

The Sultan appears to have worked with the idea that he 
. , j l had a right, and perhaps he also regarded it 

Special and moral x A 

life of the people tried his duty, to interfere with and regulate, if 

to be regulated. * ' 

thought necessary, the social and moral life 
of the people. Much of his attempts in this direction, through 
legislation, instructions and orders, etc , was truly marked by 
a strong moral sense and puritanic spirit and extreme pater- 
nalism. The Rules of 1785 made it incumbent on District 
Officers to prevent persons of illegitimate or of slave birth 
from marrying into respectable families or receiving any 
education. No one was to keep prostitutes or female slaves 

6 Off. COTT., Kirk. 

Rules and Regulations (Kirkpa trick), Appendix E. 

7 See chap, on Revenue Administration. 


in his household. 8 The Sultan's government was not also at 
all indifferent to the moral conduct of the official class. 
Officials, known to be immoral, were corrected or dismissed. 
To give an illustration, we learn from the official correspon- 
dence how Government tried to correct a Faujdar, the 
Faujdar of Calicut, who had been leading an immoral life 
under the influence of a favourite courtesan. The Diwdn of 
Calicut was directed to take necessary action to correct him, 
The Faujdar was dismissed from his office, and the courtesan 
was imprisoned ; but afterwards, the Faujdar having come 
" to his senses," he was restored to his office, and the woman 
was released and " driven " from that place. 9 

Following the precepts of Islam, and perhaps guided 
more by his own strong sense of morality 

Ban on liquors and . . . , . 

other intoxicants. and puritanic spirit, lipu made a determined 

effort to eradicate the use of spirituous 

liquors and other intoxicants, heedless of the heavy loss of 

excise revenue. 10 

The Sultan was never timid in undertaking social reforms. 
When he wanted to reform social evils or bad customs, he 
tried to do it boldly, by strict orders or drastic rules. Wilks 
has mentioned that Tipu made an attempt to reform certain 
social vices of Malabar. u We get definite information in the 
official correspondence that the Sultan tried to put a stop to 
the Nair custom of polyandry. Our information runs as 
follows. 'After the peaceful settlement of the country of 
Furkhy (Calicut), inhabited mostly by Naimars (Nairs) and 
Maphilars (Moplays or Moplas), when all rebellions and dis- 
turbances in that part of Sultan's territories had been crushed, 
a Hiikm-noma (Mandate or Circular) was addressed, in March 
1789, to the chief men or leaders of the country. A part of 

$ See chap, on Disj,. Administration. 

Off. Corf., Kirk., p. 464. 
10 See chap, on Revenue Administration. 
1 * Wilka, History of Mysore, Vol. I, p. 288. 


the hukm-nama ran thus, "...Moreover, as among the tribe 
of Naimars, the woman has no fixed husband, or the man any 
fixed wife... now this not being [a] good [custom], it is fit 
that you should desist from so harmful a practice. " 12 We 
learn from Tarikh-i-Tlpu that in the Balaghat territories, 
" most of the Hindu women " were accustomed to go un- 
covered above the waist " like animals ; " and the Sultan 
tried to abolish this " immodest custom " by issuing an order 
that " no woman should go out of her house without a robe 
and a veil. " 13 

The Sultan's mind was much exercised by the evils 
arising from the rivalries and quarrels be- 

Drasbic rules to A 

prevent the evils of tween two particular groups of very low- 
caste rivalries. ,, j i i 

ranked Hindu castes, which gave rise 
to constant disturbances and riots ; the Pariahs and Chucklars 
were the rival champions of the two respective groups. The 
Sultan tried to trace the origin of the sects and the grounds 
of their quarrels and device means to prevent the evils of 
such caste rivalries ; and he made severe and drastic rules, 
under heavy penalties, intended to prevent a recurrence of 
the trouble. Wilks has aptly compared these rules to the 
Draconic Laws. 14 The Sultan, no doubt, acted from a good 
motive, but the nature of the regulation shows that he far 
exceeded the proper limits of a sound and sober reforma- 

14 Government Circular to Budruz Zaman Khan and others, dated 6th March, 1789 
(Off. Corr. t Kirk., in A. A. R. XII, letter 14). 

Interesting accounts of the Nair custom of polyandry have been left by sone well 
known European observers. Readers feeling interested in the subject may read the 
accounts of Lewis Vertomannus, a Roman traveller who visited Malabar in 1503, James 
Forbes, who visited the country after more than two centuries and a half (he wrote in 1773), 
and Francis Buchanan, who visited the land by the end of 1800 A. D. (See Forbes, 
Oriental Memoirs, Vol. I, pp. 885-386, 390 ; extracts from the old English translation from 
the original Latin ed. of L. Vertomannus's Travels, in Oriental Memoir*, Vol. I, p 411 ; 
Buchanan's Journey, Vol. II, pp. 411-412.) 

T3rfcfc.t.Ttptt Chiles), p. 283. 

* WUks, My., Vol. II, pp. 271-972, 


Our Muslim ruler of Mysore even tried to regulate the 
economic life of the people. The village 

Attempt to regu- r r o 

late the economic life peasant* or rayats were not to be allowed 
e peop e. ^ waste their substance ; it became the 

duty of the district officials to enforce strict economy upon 
the villagers and see that a village did not spend more than 
1 % of its wealth on charity and festivals. 13 The Mughal 
Government, as we are told by Prof. J. N. Sarkar, refused to 
interfere with the life of the people in the village and did not 
disturb the villagers " so long as there was no violent crime or 
defiance of royal authority in the locality." Every village 
had been left " free to continue the noiseless even tenor of its 
life along the old grooves, untroubled by Government, if it did 
not trouble the Government." 16 Even Aeoka, one of the 
greatest benevolent despots of Ancient India, who tried his 
best to enforce many moral and ethical rules upon the people, 
did not try to regulate their economic life. 

Tipu, it is apparent, did not believe in the policy of 
"laissez faire, laissez aller." But perhaps 

Go\ eminent in the ' . . .. * 

role of medical ad- the most striking instance of paternalism of 
the government was its r61e as medical ad- 
viser. The evidence of the Official Correspondence shows that 
if any officer fell ill, particularly if the case was serious, the 
government sent elaborate directions to him about medicine 
and diet and sometimes even sent the medicines too. It 
appears that medical aid was practically forced upon such a 
sick man ; he was not generally allowed to choose his own 
doctor and take medicines as he liked. There is evidence to 
show that sometimes such an officer was directed which doctor 
he was to cill in, if he had to cill a private doctor, and the 
doctor himself was instructed what should or should not be 
done. 17 An amusing example is supplied by the following letter 

16 District Administration Rules (Cmp), p. 25. See chap, on Dist. Administration. 
18 Sarkar's Mughal Administration^ pp. 13-14. ^ 

17 Off. Corr. t Kirk., pp. 146-U7, 231, 310, 8U. 


to a fckim : " What you have humbly set forth in support of 
[the expediency of] amputating the leg of Mir Inait Kullah 
Khan, and which you state to be the opinion [both] of the 
physicians and the patient [himself] is known.... But the 
moment the leg is cut off, the patient will resign his soul to 
God. You must [therefore continue to] administer [to him] 
the medicine with which we favoured you ; and as soon as it 
is expended, state the same to the Presence, when a further 
supply shall be graciously bestowed [on you] ' ' 18 

The Sultan was not content with healing the bodies of his 
servants, he must also save the souls of his 

The sovereign as 4 _ .. ,, _. 

Head of subjects. Like other Muslim rulers, he was 

p a e ' the religious as well as the temporal head of 

the State. Prof. Sarkar says, " Every Muslim Sovereign is, 
in strict theory, the Khalif of the age, or the latest successor 
of the Prophet in the command of the faithful/' The 
Islamic conception of the State is a theocracy and its 
sovereign is " God's representative " (Khalifa or Vice-gerent) 
on earth. 19 Tipu assumed to the full this position. His 
government was variously described as c Khuda-dad Sarkar ' 
and * Ahmadl Sarkar 9 and ' Asad-Ilahl Sarkar,' meaning 
a government by divine ordinance. 20 (Off. Documents 
and Papers; Mem. Tlpn.) On the palace gate was 
inscribed in 1790 a high-sounding Arabic title which Tipu 
obtained from the Sultan at Constantinople, " The Royal 
Tipu Sultan, the shadow of the most gracious God, defender 
of the Faith : may God ever bless his country and kingdom 

18 Official letter to Hakim Wasil, dated 21st January, 1789 (Off. Con., Kirlc., in 
A. A. R. XII, letter 9). 

19 Sarkar's Mughal Administration, pp. 18, 146-148. 

40 Khuda-dad Sarkarlit. God-given government. Ahmad- f ,$&+&*} ) adj. from 

Ahmad, one of the names of the Prophet Muhammad. Ahmad, lit. means, one who is 
praised (from hamd, praise). 

Asad-Ilahi ( v ^Jf ] ) lit. means, Divine Lion. Asad, a lion; and Ilahl, divine 
h t for Allah, a 'god). 


with prosperity/ 5 21 In the middle of the Great Seal of State 
ran an Arabic quotation from the Quran (probahly used as 
a motto), meaning, " I am the Messenger of the True 
Faith." 22 

In Muslim churches, part of the ceremony consisted of 
the khntba ; it was a sort of sermon recited by persons called 
khatibs, wherein a sovereign was prayed for and his praises 
were sung, after praises of God, the Prophet, etc. ; and the 
Emperor of Delhi was thus usually mentioned in the mosques 
of India. But in all the mosques in Tipu's dominions, his 
own name was substituted in the khutba as " a Prince of the 
Faith," " a true protector of the Muhammad an religion," 
who " keeps in view, on all occasions, the honour and 
interest of Islam and exerts himself for its increase and 
diffusion." All khatibs were ordered to use regularly this 
prescribed form in the khutbtf, " after the praise of God and 
the Prophet." 2j The Sultan does not appear to have been 
satisfied in re in lining merely the he ii of Muslim religion in 
his own do.ninions. There was practically nothing but the 
empty title clung to the " Bnparor of Dallii " ; and Tipu 
seems to have aspired to b3 roognis^cl as the leader of all 
Indian Moslems, as the Champion of Islam in India. 2i 

The government was a theocracy and the influence of the 
influence of the state Church was constantly felt by the 
state church. Muslim subjects. Religious and moral 

rules of the Quran were strictly enforced upon them ; and the 
transgressors were punished in the Qazls' courts. To the 
non-Muslim subjects, the Sultan was generally indifferent. 
His respectable attitude towarJs the famous Hindu m^ha of 
Sringeri and his attention to its prosperity was the exception 

Bl Punganuri (Brown), p. 42. 

aa Dirom, GawQqign in India, Plate no. 9 (Appendix III), 

94 Off. Corr., Kirk,, pp, 360, 436. 

2i See chap, on Church and Religious Policy. 


rather than the rule, 25 The enforcement of Hindu social and 
socioreligious or sodo-moral rules, such as those of caste, 
rules regarding sexual relations, etc., was left to non- 
governmental bodies or agencies, such as the village 
councils, the authority of which was sanctioned by the 
government, * 

The Masjids or mosques served also as centres of educa- 
tion for the Muslim population, The Sultan 
ofetoatfon* 8 centres P aid s p ecia l attention to primary education 
of Muhammadan boys, consisting of religious 
and moral teaching as well as rudiment \ry knowledge of 
arithmetic, reading, etc., which was imparted in the mosques 
He actually tried to enforce fully such primary education of 
boys among all his Muslim subjects. 27 No such attention was 
paid to the education of the non-Muslim subjects. But we 
should not forget that the great Hindu 

Mafchas and temples . f . . . 

as centres of Hmda temples and mathcts in the Suit in s domini- 
ons, most of them old, could continue to 

diffuse education and culture among the Hindus. 28 

Tipu's government had re illy wide activities, some of 
them of the socialistic or rathar quasi- 

An active Govern- * 

ment. socialistic character. We notice both 

activities or enterprises undertaken with the motive of 
enriching its treasury, as also those which airnod at the 
improvem3at of the coniition of the country and the people. 
Its activities were sometimes unnecessary and arbitrary 
even, which we usually find in paternal despotisms. We 
have already given some idea bafore about the activities 
of the Govern tient in some particular lines; and we shall 
mention below some other notable aspects of its activities 
or enterprises. 

* 8 See chap, on Church and ReL Policy* 
* See chap, on Village Administration. 
* 7 See chap, on Ditt. Admn t 
18 Buchanan's Journey. 


Tipu's government took up the r61e of a trader and 
manufacturer, and it was quite successful 

Government as . .. , . 

manufacturer and in its attempt to become the chief merchant 

trader, banker and . , . _ .-,., , , , . . 

money-changer. of the country. It paid strict attention to 

banking and money- changing business as 
well. It carried on manufacture and trading on a large 
scale, both at home and abroad. This, naturally, discouraged 
private enterprise and tended to thwart the natural develop- 
ment of the resources and commerce of the country. 29 

Tipu's government was a great patron of the Arts and 
had attention to the development or im- 

Arts and Industries. pruvement of arfcs and industries in the 

country. The Sultan warmly encouraged home industries ; 
and he himself actually set the example of using only 
country-made goods. But he was fully alive to the advantage 
of establishing in the country some of the useful arts and 
manufactures of other peoples, which he actually tried to 
do by bringing experts from foreign countries. He was 
particularly keen about introducing some of the arts and 
crafts of Europe. He tried to draw from France artisans 
and mechanics, expert in different trades, offering tempting 
remuneration, and actually succeeded in obtaining the 
services of many such experts. 80 

A few words may be said next on justice, police and the 
military organisation. 

There was no organised system of law courts. The 

Qazls* courts were inadequate and dealt with 

Administration of O nly certain kinds of cases. 81 The highest 


Court of Justice, the King's Darbar, though 
open to all, was practically beyond the reach of many. The 
administration of justice by the responsible officers of the 

** See chap, on the A.dmn. of the Commerce Department. 
30 See chap, on the Admn. of the Commerce Department. 
> See Chap. IX, 


provincial and district organisations was far from satisfactory. 
One of the reasons was that ]udieial, executive and revenue 
functions were all combined in the same hands ; and such 
highly responsible officers like the provincial Diwans and 
the District Officers were burdened with so many duties of 
different kinds, 82 that they could hardly be expected to pay 
proper attention to, and spare sufficient time for, this very 
important function of a government. Of course, as every 
high official was both a judge and a magistrate, justice could 
be summary and prompt. The villagers had a sufficient 
hand in certain branches of the rural administration of 
justice. 33 

The entire police force was not controlled by a single 
head or organised in one separate depart- 
The Police. ment. In the capital, there was a strong 

body of police and spies, consisting of two separate sets of 
officials, working alternately month by month. 3 * In other 
towns, the Kotwals had certain police duties. 35 In the 
country, the Faujd'irs discharged the chief police functions 
the miintenance of general pt'aee and order, suppression 
of disturb inces, etc. as under the Mughal Government. 86 
Besides, there was a larg^ force of irregular troops or 
militia called Ahsham, who, together with a numerous 
body of armed men, constituted the chief police force, of a 
semi-military character. They served under different depart- 
mental officers and did different kinds of work, including 
police work. The Bakhshi of Ahsham, in the capital and in a 
provincial head quarter, also frequently discharged some high 
police functions like the Faujdar* 1 

* See chaps, on Provincial Admn. and District Admn. 

* See chap, on Village Administration. 

* See Chap. III. 
8 See Chap IX. 
8 See Chap. IX. 

See Chaps. II, III and VII. 


The military force was strongly organised in one promi- 
nent department. But it was not expected 

Importance attach- , ... /v . i TI 

ed to the military that all the civil officials would remain 

Htrength of the State. / j j. 1.1 M j j. i 

always confined to their civil duties only, 
detached wholly from the military side of the state. In the 
Mughal Government, Prof. J. N. Sarkar tells us, the Wazir, 
" like every other high official," t was expected to command 
an army." We further learn that "every officer" of the 
government was " enrolled as a commander of so many horse " 
(a mansabdar), although ' it did not mean that he had ac- 
tually to maintain so many horsemen in his service ; " and 
" thus, theoretically even the civil officers belonged to the 
military department, and therefore the salary bills of all offi- 
cers had to be calculated and passed by the paymaster of 
the army." 38 In Tipu's government, the same principle was 
recognised, but was not so strictly enforced or so widely 
applied. Every officer of the government was not, even 
theoretically, regarded as a commander of horse, and the 
salary bills of all officers had not to be passed by the military 
department. But it appears that the high civil officials in 
the capital, including the Chief Diwan, were expected to be 

able to fight, if necessary. Mir Muhammad 

High civil officials Sadiq, the Chief Diwan, was a commander 

ders. lltary omman " of horse. Purnia, a well-known Diwan, was 

equally a military commander ; the evidence 
of an official document of March, 1797, shows that he was then 
even recognised as a Mir-Mlrdn (a chief officer of the military 
department), and he actually commanded a large section of 
the army in the last war of the Sultan with the English. 89 In 
a list, given by Beatson, of the "principal officers " who held 
commands in Tipu's army and were killed and wounded in the 
service from March to May, 1799, we find such high civil 

86 Sarkar's Mughal Administration, pp 4, 24. 

39 Official Documents (Edmonstone), p. 14 ; Beatson'e View o/ War, p. 64, an 
Appendix no. XXX. 


officials as the Mlr-Asafs and the Mir-Khazains.* Q Tipu's 

government also tried to enforce some kind 
trSnT n P g UU ry mUitary of compulsory military training of the whole 

people. 41 It is thus clear that much impor- 
tance was attached to the military strength of the state; and, 
in this connection, we may remember the critical political 
condition in India in the 18th century, particularly during the 
second half, when there were almost constant wars and diplo- 
matic fights between the different powers, in the north as well 
as in the south. 

Tipu's system of administration, as it would appear from 

what has been said already, was to a great 

Mysore Administra- extent based on the Mughal system. The 

Admi D is a t n ration Mughal latter had taken deep root in India and all 

later governments owed much to it. Even 
the illustrious Maratha administrators, inspite of their Hindu 
orthodoxy, did not hesitate to borrow from the Mughal sys- 
tem. The early English administrators in India also had to 
retain the Mughal structure or frame- work to a great extent 
and to use many of the tested regulations of the Mughal 
Government. And it is nothing strange that the Muslim ruler 
of Mysore borrowed a good deal from the Mughal administra- 
tion. We therefore notice, as is quite natural, many close 
similarities between Mysore administration and Mughal ad- 
ministration. But, on the other hand, Tipu's machinery was 
more elaborate and highly organised than the Mughal ; and 
his fondness for innovations, the survival of many ancient 
customs in Mysore and other reasons account for the impor- 
tant differences between the two. The difference is particularly 
marked as regards certain elements in the administrative 
machinery ; and it can be noticed also in the sphere of admi- 
nistrative policy, in its aims and principles. 

40 Beateon, p. 199, and Appendix no. XXXI. 

Mlr.Asaf and Mlr-Khazain see next chapter. 
'"* l See cbap. on Dist. Admn. 


The old traditions and customs of Mysore were, for the 
a most part, respected and retained by both 

Old traditions and r > JT j 

istoma of Mysore res- Hyder and Tipu as far as practicable. This 

,cted and retained. 11 i j j L 

was specially so m land revenue administra- 
tion ; but it may be noticed in other departments as well, e.g., 
in village administration, the system of panchayat trials 
which was used even in the capital in the case of persons 
accused of high treason, and in the Cattle Department, insti- 
tuted by the famous Hindu ruler of Mysore, Chick Deo Raj, 
which was retained by the Sultan under the name of Amrit 
Mahal** Many Kanarese terms survived, although Persian 
and Arabic terms were substituted for others. 

To the Maratha administrative system, we shall notice 
Land Revenue Sys- Some resemblances in Mysore, particularly 
to the m M r rr 8 atiIa lan ad- in the Land Revenue system, such as in 
ministrative system. some of the principles f ollowed in this ad- 
ministrative branch and in the position of some of the lower 
officials of the revenue department. 44 This does not, however, 
necessarily indicate imitation or borrowing; from a study of 
the resemblances, we have little doubt that both rested largely 
on the common traditional systems of South India and the 
Deccan, As to some of the principles followed in Land 
Revenue administration, we may further remember that the 
Indian rulers generally followed a wise traditional policy 
suited to the Indian soil, and blending happily the interests 
of the sovereign and of the general mass of the country, the 
great peasant class. 

In the organisation of the army, particularly, there was 

conscious imitation of European institutions. 

P ean m m a sti^onf ar ?n The French officers in the Sultan's army were 

the army organisation. probab i y consulted when military regulations 

were issued. Tipu, like his father, fully realised the utility 
of maintaining a strong European corps in the army, and of 

*a Wilks, History of Mysore, Vol. I, p. 63. (See Chap. !) 
** See chaps, on Dist, Admn. and Rev. Admn. 


organising the latter to a great extent on the European, parti- 
cularly French, model. It should be mentioned that the 
Councils of War in the Mysore army may not be regarded as 
wholly borrowed from the Europeans, because there were also 
war- councils in the Mughal Army. 46 In some matters of army 
administration, we notice a mixture of the Mughal and the 
European systems. 

Such, in broad survey, was the character of Tipu's govern- 
ment and administrative system. We proceed now to study 
its different aspects in greater detail. 

* B E.g., Humayun's War-Council (Ilahdad Faizi Sirhindl's Tarikh-i-Humayun 
Sh&ht) ; Councils of War io Auranzib's army (Prof. J. N. Sarkar), 


Administrative Departments and Boards the Departmental 
Heads and other Officials of the Central Administrative 

There were various administrative departments, the 
principal ones organised into Administrative Boards, and 
there were the departmental heads or chief officers and 
the subordinate officials to conduct their business. The 
Sultan, of course, was the Supreme Head of every depart- 
ment of every Board. 

The Principal Departments and Boards were 

This was the Revenue and Finance Department, with which 
were mixed up both the Judiciary and the Executive. The 
chief head of the department was the Chief Diwan, and under 
him there were other Diwans for conducting or superintending 
the business of the Central Revenue Kachharl. The Chief Offi- 
cers of the department, including the Chief Diwan, were called 
the Mir-Asafs. iraJ They formed an administrative body, 
with the Chief Diwan as their head (or President), which 
may be described as the Central Board of Revenue and Fi- 
nance. The President of this Board, the Chief Head of the 
Revenue Department, may perhaps be described as the Minister 

*(a) Off. Doc, i Ed., pp. 23, 29. See Notes annexed to this chapter, note (*), on Mir- 
. saf ("Assof" in Edmonstone's translation). 


(or the Chief Minister ? ) of Revenue and Finance ; and we 

should remember that he was the Prime Minister of the 

Sultan's State. We may conveniently refer him here as the 
Chief Mlr-Asaj. 


The Heads or Chief Officers of this department, the Mlr- 
Mlrans, l(b) constituted, similarly, what may be described as 
the Military Board. One of them, having the same designa- 
tion (Mlr-Miran), was the Head or President of the Board. 2 


The Chief Officers of the department, the Malik-ut-tujjars 9 * 
formed a Board that can be described as the Board of Com- 
merce and Industries, with a Head or President, having the 
same designation. 4 We shall in the next chapter deal fully 
with the constitution and working of this Board. 


Ihis was a semi-military department, concerned chiefly 
with the forts and garrisons, viz., with the work of superin- 
tending and inspecting the forts and garrisons, and looking 
to their proper defence by the regular supply of armed 
force, ordnance and other war-like stores, provisions, etc. 

l (6) " Meer Meeraun " in Edmon stone's translation. 

9 Off. Doc. (u) Ed. t pp. 28, 29. 

3 See note , on MaUk-ut-tujjar ( "Mullick-oo-Toojar " in Edmonstone'a transla- 
tion and " Mulikut Tujar " in Kirkpatrick's). 
Off. Doc., Ed., pp. 23, 29. 

As it appears in Col. Kirkpatrick's translation; " Suddoor " in Edmonstone's 
tiauslation (?). \ am not quite sure about the exact word in the original, and, for the 
present, I have thought it better not to make an attempt to have a correct rendering. 


Col. Kirkpatrick has described it as the " Ordnance and Garrison 
Department." 6 The chief officers of this department, the 
Mlr-Sudoors, appear also to have constituted a sort of Board, 
with one of them at the head. 7 

The principal task of the department, of course, was that 
in connection with the forts and garrisons mentioned above ; 
but the principal officers of the department, in the capital 
and in the provincial headquarters, were not confined to 
tbat work alone. 8 A large body of Ahsham troops was placed 
under this department, who performed different kinds of mili- 
tary or semi-military and police work, 9 either engaged direct- 
ly under the officers of this department or supplied to some 
other departments. And there was a numerous body of irregular 
Foot, or a general class of armed men, of different descriptions, 
who were employed in various sorts of work, including police 
work. 10 They served in large numbers under the officers 
of different departments, including that under discussion ; 
but, as regards their pay-accounts, they appear to have been 
brought under the same department with the Ahsham. The 
Ahsham troops and these armed men (we shall call them 
armed peons) constituted, as mentioned in Chapter I, the 
chief police force, of a semi-military character. There 
is evidence in the official documents which shows that 
there were the " Kushoons 11 (regiments) of the Mir-Sudoor 
department," which were often sent, on "any service" of 
the Government, with " the Kushoons of the Mir-Miran 
department." u This would show the military character of 
the department. 

6 Off. Con., Kirk., Appendices, p. xlv; Off. Corr., Kirk., in A. A. R. XII, letter 
no. XXIV. 

' Off. Doc., Ed., pp. 16-17; Official Documents (Ktrkpa trick >, Appendices A aud 
E, pp. xxix, xlv. 

8 See chaps, iii and vii. 
& l Described fully in Chap. VTI. 

11 Correctly, Qashun a brigade or regiment. (See chap. <m m Army.) 

19 Commercial and Miscellaneous Regulations (Kirkpatrick), Appendix E, p. xlv. 



This was of later origin than the departments mentioned 
before. The marine force of the Sultan's government was 
at first directed chiefly to the purpose of conducting the 
maritime trade, and, as such, it was for a long time placed 
under the supervision and control of the Commerce Depart- 
ment. A separate and independent naval department was 
organised in 17J6. The chief officers of the department, 
the Mlr-Yamms> 1B constituted a Board of Admiralty, with 
one of th im at the head. 14 


This was principally in charge of the Treasury and the 
Mints. Some other subordinate establishments were also 
placed under this department. 16 The chief officers of the 
department, the Mlr-Khazains (Lords of the treasuries), 
appear to have constituted, in like manner, some sort of a 
Board, with one of them at the head 17 (who may perhaps 
be called the First Lord of the Treasury ?). 

In certain official documents we notice that these six 
are considered to be the principal departments of the state. 
To these, however, we may add the following one, which 
was also an important department. 


Under the Darogha or Superintendent of the Post and 
Intelligence in the capital and those stationed in some other 
principal towns. 

18 See note (ut), on Mn-Yamm (" Meer Yem " in Edinonstone's trans, and " Meer 
Yumm " in Kirkpatrick's). 

14 Off. Doc., Ed., pp. 16, 29; Marine Regulations (Kirkpatrick), Appendix K. 

1 5 See next chapter. 

,* a See note (to), on Mir-Khazain ("Meer Ehauzin" in Edmonstone's trans, and 
'* Meer Khazin " in Kirkpatrick 's). 

17 Off. Doc., Ed,, pp. 17-18; Rules and Regulations (Eirkpathck), Appendix, E, 
pp, xlv-xlvii. 



1. The Royal Household under the Mlr~Samani. 

2. The 4 writ Mahal Cattle Department. 

Chick Deo Raj had instituted a cattle department, both 
to form a breeding stud as well as to furnish milk and 
butter for the palace, which was called * Bennea Chaouree,' 
or Butter Department. Tipu first changed the name of the 
department which he retained to * Amrit Mahal * (Amrit, 
Sans. Amrita, nectar) and afterwards to 'Keren Barick.' 1B(a) 
Prom the rules issued in 1785, it appears that this depart- 
ment was in charge of the government establishment of 
cows as well as sheep. 18(6) 

Besides those mentioned above, there were other estab- 
lishments which appear to have ranked more or less as 
departments. In giving a short description of the state 
papers of Tipu's government, Charles Stuart says that there 
were several volumes of Hukm-namas, containing " rules and 
regulations " for various "departments of Government f> ; 
and he has referred to many such departments (not all), 
which are mentioned below (leaving aside two of the princi- 
pal departments he has mentioned along with these, which 
we have discussed before). 

3. (i) Hospital. 
[(ft) Wardrobe]? 

It must, however, be pointed out that there is evidence 
to show that the Wardrobe was brought in direct relation with 
the Treasury and was subordinate to it. (See next chapter.) 

4. (Hi) Seals of Office. 

5. (iv) Herald's Office. 

"(a) WiOf9 t My,, I, p. 63. 
18 (6) Dist. Adm, Rules, Critp. 


6. (v) Caravan Department. 
/. (vi) Armoury. 

8. (tw) Fortifications. 

9. (mii) Granary. 

10. (ix) Kitchen. 1 * 

To these we may add the following two : 

11. (i) The Slave Department under the Head Darogha 

of the slaves. 20 

12. (') Public Buildings Department under the Darogha 

or Superintendent of public buildings. 21 


There was a large number of officers, high and low, in 
the capital. It is difficult to give a complete list of all of 
them, especially of the subordinate and petty officials. We 
can, however, obtain a fair idea from the following list. 

1. The Chief Diwan, or the " Huzur Diwan" He was 
the highest and the most influential officer of the State. 
(See Ch'ips. Ill and V.) 

2. The Principal Departmental Chief Officers i.e., the 
chief officers of each of the six principal departments 
enumerated before, viz., the Mlr-Asafs (leaving the Chief 
Diwan as one of them), the Mlr-Mlrans, etc. 

3. The Darogha or Superintendent of the Post and 

4. The subordinate officers and clerks of the principal 

5. The officers of the establishment of Espionage and 
Police in the Capital. (See next chapter.) 

6. The Head Munshl or the Personal Secretary to the 
Sultan. (See Chap. V.) 

19 Stuart'a Descriptive Catalogue of Tipu's Library, p. 93. 

20 Narrative of an Officer of Col. BailWs Detachment, p. 127, 
41 T&nkh-i-Tipu (Miles), p. 140, 


7. A large number of Munshls, or Assistants (writers), 
of the Suzur-Kaehharl, under the Head Munshi. (See Chap. V.) 

8. The Mlr-samani, who may be called the Lord Steward 
(or the Chief Chamberlain ?), at the head of the Eoyal House- 
hold. (Of. the Khan-i-Saman of the Mughal Government. 22 ) 
He "arranged all things conducive to pleasure and enjoyment/* 
Like the Khan-i*saman, he was a distinguished officer ; and a 
person appointed to this office was always selected from 
among the nobility, the Khans and Amirs. 

9. The Darogha or Superintendent of the 'Amrit Mahal. 9 

10. The Darogha of public buildings. 

11. The Head Darogha of the slaves ; and, apparently, 
one Assistant Darogha, or two or more Assistant Daroghas, 
under him. 

12. The officers at the head of other minor departments 
(or establishments) mentioned before, perhaps each under a 
darogha (?). 24 

13. The Urz-Begl the presenter of petitions. 26 

14. The " Taalukdar " (?), or Superintendent (?), of the 

We get an idea as to the nature of his functions from 
an official letter, in which we notice the direction of the Gov- 
ernment to a person holding this office to teach the dancers 
certain Rekhta Odes, 20 " meant chiefly for recitation and 
singing. 207 ' The purpose of composing such odes, it is clear, 

98 See Prof. Sarkar's Mughal Admn., pp. 25-26. 

83 Tartkh-i-Ttpu (Miles), p. 241. 

In the description of Hyder's Darbar given by De La Tour, an eye-witness, we 
find mention of a class of young " chamberlains," who were selected from the young 
nobility. " Ordinarily," four of them used to "stand in waiting each day " in the Hall 
of Audience, in the evening, "distinguished by their sabre," which they carried "in their 
hands in the sheath, using it nearly as a walking stick." [M . De La Tour, Vol. I, pp. 85-86.] 

** In Mughal Government, every branch or establishment (Karkhanah) had ita 
darogha. Prof. J. N. Sarkar has given a big list of the Mughal karkhanahs in his Mughal 
Administration, pp, 22, 190-196. 

Tartkh-i-Tipu (Miles), p. 245. 

80 ' Rekhta, Deccani Urdu. 4<J * Off. Corr,, Kirk t p. 894.. 


was to glorify the monarch ; these abounded in praises of "our 
King" (the Sultan), and touched specially upon the King's 
valour and the cowardice of his enemies the English, the 
Marathas and the Nizam. 27 

15. The QiVadar or Commandant of the Fort at Seringa- 
patam, and other subordinate officers of the fort. 

We shall deal fully with the fort administration in a 
subsequent chapter : here, we shall give very briefly an idea 
of the position and authority of the QiVadar of the fort in the 
capital. At the head of the principal fort of the kingdom, 
he held naturally a high position, and exercised great autho- 
rity in matters relating to the fort administration. Besides, 
it appears that he also often exercised high executive author* 
ity on even matters outside the jurisdiction of the fort. 
To give an illustration, there is an instance, mentioned 
in the contemporary Marathi account of Ramchandra 
Raw, of the QiVadar of the fort of Seringapatam taking 
very prompt and rigorous action against an officer who had 
been strongly suspected of * 6 plotting'* against the Govern- 
ment. The QiVadar without waiting for an order from 
the Sultan who was then absent from the capital, at once 
"imprisoned " that officer together with "two hundred per- 
sons connected with him," out of which " he hanged some 
and killed others by dragging them at the foot of an 
elephant/ 9 and sent the information to the Sultan at 
Mangalore. [Punganuri, 35.] There was one important and 
responsible duty of the QiVadar in connection with prisons 
within the fort, meant specially for political or war-prisoners ; 
he had, in this respect, to do more or less the work of a 
Superintendent of Jails of our time. 28 It may be further men- 
tioned that his duties appear to have been multiplied by reason 
of the fort being often used to serve the purpose of miscella- 
neous store-houses. For example, in an official letter we 

27 v Extracts from these odes, Off. Corr., Kirk., pp. 891-893. 
8 8 Warr. Officer Baillie's Detachment, pp. 40 ff. 


notice a direction to the QiVadar of Seringapatam to make 
proper arrangements for storing silk-worms brought from 
Bengal, to supply their food (leaves of trees) and find out 
the best means " for multiplying them." 29 

16. The " Myars " or Town-Majors "the " Mun- 
shoors " (?). 

In the narrative of the imprisonment and sufferings of 
the English officers and soldiers in the prisons of Tipu, 
by an officer of Ool. Baillie's detachment, who was one 
of the sufferers, we find mention of an officer of Tipu's 
Government, in the capital, who has been called u the 
Myar or Town-Major " ; and there is also mention of a 
Cl Second Myar." From the evidence of this English account, 
it appears that they were high officers, having much authority 
in connection with the treatment of political prisoners con- 
fined in prisons within the fort. Thus, it is mentioned that 
the English prisoners had to make repeated applications to 
the "Myar or Town-Major" for the removal of one of their 
grievances; and we further hear of the " Second Myar" 
visiting the prisoners and ordering an English officer's irons 
to be taken off. 80 From the Official Correspondence, we come 
to know of an officer called " Munshoor," 81 in a district town 
or in a provincial head-quarter ; and there is also mention of 
a " Second Munshoor" Ool. Kirkpatrick has described this 
officer as a u fort adjutant," or a kind of " town-major." 
The evidence of the Persian Account of 1790 shows clearly 
that these " Munshoors " (more than two) were the officers of 
fort, with special duties assigned to each. From the evidence 
of the Official Correspondence also it appears that the 
" Munshoors " were the officers of fort ; but it seems possible 
that the " First " and the i( Second" Munshoors might have 
had certain other duties besides those strictly relating to the 

* 6 Off. Corr., Kirk., p. 418. 

80 Narr. Officer Baillie's Detachment, pp. 41, 110.* 

3 1 As rendered by the translator ( ?). 


It) ft administration. 82 Now, it seems possible that the " Myair 
j/ Town-Major " and the " Second Myar " of Seringapatam, 
a4 mentioned by the English observer, referred to the First 
and Second " Munshoors " of the fort, who had naturally some 
jurisdiction over the prisoners confined within it. As to 
whether they had certain duties which justified their being 
called the Myars or Town-Majors, it is difficult to say any- 
thing definitely, in the absence of any positive evidence. We 
shall discuss fully the position and duties of the Cl Munshoors " 
in a subsequent chapter on Fort Administration. 

17. The Kotwal of Seringapatam. 

We shall discuss fully the nature of the functions of this 
official, placed in principal cities and towns (including the 
district towns), in a subsequent chapter. We have no evi- 
dence to show whether the Kotwal of the capital city did hold 
a particular important position, with some special functions, 
which the other Kotwals did not possess. 88 

18. The Qdzl of Seringapatam, or the Chief Qdzl. 

The office of the Qdzl was borrowed from the Mughal 
Government. We shall see in a subsequent chapter (Chap. 
IX) that there were several other Qdzls, besides the Qazl in 
the capital, who maybe called the Chief Qdzl. Following the 
general character of the position and duties of the Mughal 
Q&zl so far as it is confirmed by the evidence of the official 
papers of Tipu's Government, we may thus describe briefly 
the position and functions of the Chief Qdzl at Seringapatam. 
He was the highest officer of the State Church and held a 
very dignified position. One of his principal religious duties 
was to carry out the missionary work of the Government, 
namely the conversion of Kafirs to the " Holy Faith." This 
ho did with the help of the Qazls in the provincial head-quarters, 

84 Off. Corr tt Kirk., pp. 287, 317, 340, 351 ; Pers, Ace. 1790 (A.A.R.l) * 

8 See Cfhap* IX. 

** Sarkar's Mughal Administration, pp 26-28,* 108-109, 1U-117. 


district towns, etc. He had also high judicial authority in cases 
of the violation of the religious or socio-religious rules of 
Islam by the Muslim subjects. And, in fact, he could deal 
with matters relating to the Qu'ranic Law in general. The 
high authority of the Chief Qazl, in this respect, may be 
guessed well from what we come to learn about the authority 
of a provincial Qazl in dealing with such matters. 86 (See Chap. 

35 Off. Corr., Kirk., pp. 56, 272 j Dist. Adtn. Rules, Crisp, p. 43; Beatson'B View of 
War, p. 148 


Note I. Mlr-Asaf 

Mir (jb*) lit., a chief, leader. Isaf (<*-A*I) Solomon's 
vizier; the grand vizier; a pasha having rank of such. 
[Steingass, Arabic- English Die.] This Wazir or Prime 
Minister of Solomon is alluded to in the Qu'ran as " he with 
whom was the knowledge of the Scripture." [Hughes, 
Dictionary of Islam, p. 23.] Tipu appears to have tried to 
substitute the much familiar use of the term Diwan in 
Mughal India by this high-sounding name well known in the 
Islamic World. The principal officers of the Revenue 
department in the capital, including the Chief Diwan (Prime 
Minister), were called the Mlr-Ksafs, as a contrast to the 
Asafs of the provinces. (See Chap. VII.) 

Note II. Malik-ut-tujiar (jUuJ) <JA/) lit. means, Prince 
or Lord of Merchants. From Malik, a king or lord ; and 
tujjar, merchants. [Steingass, Arabic-English DicJ\ 

It may be mentioned that " Malit-ut-tujjar " was one of 
the most honourable titles prevailing in the Deccan when 
Ferishta wrote his memorable history, ' Gulshan-i-Ibrahlml> 
in the very early part of the 17th century. In 1422 A.D., 
King Ahmad Shah of the Bahmuni dynasty conferred this title 
of " Malik-ut'tufj&r " upon one Khulf Husan ( V2r * A , ^-iU), 
who had formerly been a merchant, but was now made a 
military officer of high rank, being given the command over 
twelve thousand horse. [Ferishta, Persian text, Briggs's 
trans., Vol. II, p. 398.] 

Note III. Mir- Tamm (ftj**) lit., " Lord of the Ocean " 
(Lord High Admiral). Mir, lord ; and Jamm, the sea, the 


Note IF. Mw-Khazain (^yL j^)lit t , Lord of the 
Treasuries. Khazain, lit. treasuries; treasures. It is plural of 
Khazana (**]}&), a treasury ; treasure, which should not be 
confused with Khazlna (*^), a treasury. 





Maharaja's College, Ernakulam. 

A. Tarn. tSndru, tottru ; Kann. t5r; Tuju toju ; Mala- 
yalam t5r and tonnuka, (Tarn, tonu), to appear or to 
occur to the mind. 

(a) Occurrence of the Form in Dravidian Dialects. 

TGnnn is a common Malayalam word, current in every- 
day parlance with the figurative meaning : Cl to suggest 
itself in the mind." In old Malayalam, it had a literal sig- 
nification : to appear. Old Mai. tGr also had the same 

In modern Tamil the corresponding colloquial form t5nu 
(< t5ndru) has the same metaphorical signification as in 
modern Malayalam, in common parlance. 

In Old Tamil, t5ndfru with its variant tGttru had the 
literal meaning : to appear ; besides, the forms meant also : 
to see. 

In Kannada, the form appears as t5r with both the 
literal and metaphorical meanings. Kannada tor also hears, 
in addition, the causal signification : to cause to appear, to 
show, etc. 

In Tuju, tSju similarly possesses hoth the literal and the 
figurative meanings. 

In Kui and in Kiwi (central Dravidian dialects), t5nj 
means : to appear, and f5ss has the causal meaning : to show. 

In GCtydi, another Central Dravidian dialeet, the form 
as such does not appear; but, as we shall see below, 


does possess a cognate word with a slightly different 

In Malto (a North Dravidian dialect) the form tus<J or 
tond has the meaning : to see. 

In Brahui (the Baluchistan Dravidian dialect) toning 
and its variant taring mean : to show ; the cognate httr 
means : to see. 

In Telegu, tsudi, undoubtedly cognate with the above 
forms, means : to appear or to look. Tel. tonsu (to occur to the 
mind) is unmistakably allied to Tamil tonrfru, Kann. tf>r, etc. 

(b) Other Cognate Forms in Dravidian Dialects. 

Telugu tstidu and tsu : to see. 

Tu]u tu with its variants su and hu : to see. 

GSiicJi sud with its variants hud and hur : to see. 

Kui sud and Kuvi huijd : to see. 

Kurukh hUr and Ir : to see. 

Brahui hur : to see. 

Kannada Susu : to appear. 

That these forms are allied, through the root, to the 
forms given in (a) will be seen from the following discussion. 

(<?) Original Radical and Derivative Forms. 

The original Dravidian radical or base from which all 
the above words have been formed is tu. The resemblance a of 
this form to Skt. dhu (to shine), dhup, dhf, chly, tidha, etc,, 
is remarkable, but the antiquity of the Dr. root is beyond 
any doubt. 

In its most elementary state, the root tu, appears in 
Tuju with the meanings : fire, heat 9 light , to shine and to see. 
All the meanings exist in current Tulu. 

1 Other correspondences may also be mentioned here in view of the" recent postulates 
about the contact of Dravidian with Austria on the one hand, and with Finno-Ugrian on 
the other (vide Prof. Przyluski's articles in BSI, and Prof. Schrader's in ZTT) : 
Finno-Ugrian tu, tfy (fire), etc.; Austric sin (sun),"*Sr, gur (to burn), etc. These 
resemblances may, however, be purely fortuitous. Austric initial s- in the above is, 
according to Schmidt, original in that group of languages, 


The primary meaning should have been light from which 
by a process of semantic development, the other meanings 
given above have arisen. 

Tamil tl (a variant of tu, as in the case of ml (before) 
from mu, etc.) conveys this primary meaning : fire ; Tamil 
tuiii, light; tu^du, to light up ; tuy, to shine, etc. ; tu, putity, 
whiteness, etc., show the original root. In Tamil tiAga], 
to shine, the form tl appears as the radical. Tl occurs in 
Kann. and Mai, while Tel. has kittu which is different, and 
probably cognate with kay, to heat. 1 

Tamil su<J, to heat (with its derivative sad, heat) also 
shows the root tu (vide infra for the initial fricative). 

Kurukh sundyas (distiller) is cognate. 

Gondi taw (to see, to be seen) ; sur (to see) ; surr (to 
bake) ; and sur (to look out for) are clearly related to this group. 

Kui-Kuvi hud (to burn) ; dispa, to burn, hend (to see) ; 
t5j (to appear) and tos (to show) are similarly allied. 

Telugu turupu, east, as we shall see below, is derived 
from tu ; Telugu tsudu (to see) and its development tsGpattu, 
to appear contain the root tu. Cf. also Tel. tsucju (to burn), 
tsupu (look) and tontsu (to appear). 



Tamtl : 


Telegu : 


Tulu : 

Kui-Kuvi : 

Malay alam 


Kurukh : 







































1 Brahui khaykhar (fire), Q-ondi kis, Kui-Kuvi bijje, GCndi kis, Kurukh cicc and 
Telugu kittu are all to be derived from a base Kay which has produced numerous other 
forms Comparison of these forms with the other group with initial t- might suggest 
that the initial t- of the latter may have been derived from k- through the intermediate 
stage represented by s or c. Indeed the change of s to t is not uncomitfon in the south, 
especially in the adaptation of Skt. words, e. g., samayam (time), tarn ay am, etc. But such 



Tamil : Telugu : Kodagu : Kannafya : Malayalam 

t! tindru tittu ti tl 

tifigal (to cause to Tula clndu (to 
burn) burn) 

jJtege (torch) 

(d) Phonetic History of the Forms. 
(i) Tamil tondru, Malayalam tonnu etc. 

1. The root tu meaning brightness, light, etc., combined 
with the Old Dravidian formative affix -ir (from ir, to be 
and produced the form * tur with the verbal force, meaning : 
to have light or brightness, and hence to be visible, to appear. 
For the formative affix producing such verbs from roots, 
compare Tamil undru (u + ir), to be fixed, f or r- verbs ; 
and for r- nouns, kujir (kul-t-ir), velir (ve] + ir), etc. (infra). 

2. Ancient Dravidian r (which alternated with r) often 
incorporated an alveolar d l when conspicuously rolled. 
Compare, for the production of such an alveolar, Tamil 
causals of verb-bases ending in -r, e^ru, to raise, etc., 
transitival adjectives formed from nouns ending in -r, 
e.g., paya^rangay, bean fruit, and flexional terminations. 
The alveolar so produced was either the single voiced alveolar 
with the spontaneous nasal (ndr), or the long voiceless alveolar 
(ttr) ; the difference depended entirely on the stress with 
which -r was rolled. 

a change of k>s>t cannot at present be postulated for the following reasons: (a) 
conclusive parallel instances could be given ; (b) Initial t' of the forms for " see," etc. is 
presumably original in view of its occurrence in many dialects and, further, in view 
of the existence of forms in which t- has changed into 6 ore in an earlier stage (see below). 

1 Vide my paper on Alveolar t, d in Tamil- Malayalam (" Indian Historical Quarterly," 
March, 1929). 

See also my pap^r on the same topic in the first number of the Bulletin o/ the Rama 
Varma Research Institute (1929). 


therefore became tanrfr and then tSnrfru, the alter- 
nation of u and o being common in Dravidian. 

Tf5Wru was an alternative Tamil form where ~r was rolled 
with greater stress. 

3. The consonant group ndr developed invariably in 
Malayajam into nn through an obvious intermediate nd. 
Compare Tamil panrfri, nanrfru, konrfru and Malayajam 
pawwi (pig), na?wu (good), konnn (having killed), etc., the 
change in Mai. therefore was : 

tonrfru > tcJradu > tOftftu 

The fondness of Malaya]am for nasals accounts for this 
assimilative process. Compare, in this connection, the 
manner in which Malavalam assimilates the Sanskrit 
consonant groups nd, nj, nd and ng as nn, nn, nn and fm, 

4. The group -nrfr developed into -ju in Tulu and -nj 
in Kui ; the change of nrfr or die into -ju and -nju is illus- 
trated by many instances like the following : 

Tulu : Kui : Tamil : 

Fiji aju am (six) 

pajji panji panrfri (pig) 

5. -ndr developed into ij(J in Kurukh and Malto. The 
cerebralisation of the alveolar group nd has analogies in the 
Tamil dialects Kaikadi and Burgandi, in Tel. and in Kurukh. 

6. Kannada preserved the primitive form in t5r ; it has 
also a few forms with c, e.g., cftpu (to show), etc. 

7. Telugu tsuflu, to see, is derived from turfru with the 
initial t- fricatised directly, or through a post-dental s, into 
s and with the cerebralisation of the alveolar. The 
cerebralisation of the alveolar in Telugu is illustrated 
by the oblique inflectional forms of the so-called " irregular " 
nouns in Telugu which show the cerebral t, while in 
the corresponding forms of Tamil we have the alveolar, 
<?, Tel. eru (river), eti; pagalu (day), paga$ etc., Tarn. 


from aru (river), etc. Telugu never assimilated the 
alveolar but in numerous cases substituted the cerebral. 
Compare Tel. vattu (to be dried) and Tamil vaWru, etc. In 
Telugu, therefore, the change was : tur > tudr (without the 
nasal) > tsud. The cognate forms with initial s- are all to 
be explained in this way. 

8. The forms with initial h- (hud, hur) found in Brahui, 
Kurukh and Malto are peculiar, s- does not seem to have 
directly changed into h in these dialects of Dravidian, as 
it undoubtedly has done in some dialects of Indo- Aryan. 
On the other hand, it appears probable that s and h were 
independently produced in the process of the change of an 
original k- or t-, or prothetically as in certain central 
Dravidian dialects, as for instance Kui, where common 
Dravidian forms with initial vowels appear alternatively 
with initial s- and initial h-, these being peculiar to the 
central Dr. dialects only : e.g., Kui eju, wisdom, has the alter- 
native forms seju and heju. The initial s in this instance 
is certainly due to the full development of the on-glide y 
into s and s, the alternative aspirate being produced by a 
parallel but independent line of change. 

Aspirate sounds, it is true, are not native in Dravidian ; 
but some of the Central Indian and Northern Indian dialects 
have at a comparatively late stage developed aspirates as 
shown above. 

The Tulu dialectal forms su and hu have to be explained 
on the basis of the same principle of change of t to s and 
to h along independent lines. 

(ii) Other Forms from the Root tu and tl. 

1. Malayalam and Tamil. 

Su<J and sud 1 are from tu + id, the latter being a 
common formative ending in Dravidian. 

1 The ohange^of an initial t to s may have been direct in Telugu, Tu}u, etc. ; 
or it may have passed through an intermediate palatal fricative s* as a result of the point 
of articulation of the tongue being raised. Tamil shows the latter process in words like 


Tamil tuy, to shine is obviously a verb from the root, tu ; 
tugj, light, is its noun-derivative with the ending -i ; tUijxJu 
(used in the literal sense) : to light up, and in the figurative 
sense : to intimate, should have arisen from an older tucj. 

Tamil tigaj, to shine, is composed of ti light, -g- (from 
gey, to do) and the Tamil ending il, 1 having subsequently 
changed to J-. 

Tamil tinga], moon, is similarly constituted of ti (n) 
fg + a](< 01 < u]). The meaning: month which this word 
has in Kannada is derived from moon by the semantic process 
of prossemy. 

Kannacja has sogasu (shine), sokku (to become mad) su(j. 
(to be hot), tigaj, tingal, tuy, like Tamil. 

In addition it has the form cudar, 1 which means : the 
sun ', the development of the meaning from the combination 
of cucj and the affix -ar (< ir) is self -evident. For the similar 
use of affixes -ar, -ir, compare kulir, cold ; velir, to become 
white ; peyar, name ; malar, fried rice ; tajir, young shoot, etc. 

tarandu (to scrape) from torandu (A/tor). Kannada s in initial and medial positions is the 
further development of the palatal fricative s* which may have been derived from an 
original k or an original t (vide my paper on " The Affricates and Fricatives in 

It seems doubtful if in all cases where s and h alternate, we could straightway say 
that s directly gave rise to h ; Kui s (which should have arisen, in some instances, from 
an older t or k and, in some others, in connection with the production of the characteristic 
prothetic palatal glide y) suggests that s and h may have been independently developed 
along different lines of change : 

(a) k ()> cy, > 6 > s (b) k ()> cy > 9 > h 

Brahui ka, Kurukh khe, to die Kui sa and ha 

(a) y (glide) > y > 6 > s (&) 9? (with palatal fricative) > c > h 

Tamil er, plough and Kui sSru, heru 

The initial affricate c [c/] appearing in Mai., Kann. and some instances of Kurukh 
ia derived directly from cy. 

1 The change of t to 6 or c under the influence of a neighbouring palatal vowel has 
been recognised in Dravidian ; what, however, has escaped the notice of students of 
Dravidian is the change, apparently ^not under the influence of any extant palatal, of an 
original initial t to s or c which should have occurred at a comparatively fcarly 
stage in Dravidian, as the following instances would show : torai? forai (blood) ; 
tdl, s51 (in Kanna4a, to be defeated) ; Tamil 6uJ and Kann. suji (VtuJ); torn, 65ru 


B. iiayir, the sun. 

(a) This is an old Malayajam word, in current use only 
in the derived form nayarajcha, Sunday. It is directly 
related to Tamil nayir, the sun. Neither modern Tamil nor 
modern Malayalam employs the word to-day for conveying 
the idea of the sun, for which the Sanskrit surya has been 
adapted with characteristic changes (suryan in Malayalam 
and suriyan in Tamil). 

Kannacja has nesaru, meaning: the stm; Tula 1 also 
shows the word. 

(b) Probable Original Radical from which the form has 
been produced : 

1. The original root has been a puzzle. Caldwell, in 
despair, gave up the task of tracing it, contenting himself with 
a suggestion that it is cognate with a "Scythian root." 
None of the later philologers have been able to give a 
sufficiently satisfactory explanation of the constitution of the 
word or of the original root on which it is based. 

The basic root, in my opinion, is *ay or *sey which 
should have meant : heat. 

SB -fir produced seyir, that in which heat exists, on the 
analogy of kulir, cold; ta]ir, young shoot ; payir, plant, etc. 
The formative -ir originally should have denoted more or less 
the same signification as -il, though the root -ir (from which 
the affix arose) subsequently came to possess a verbal 

(to drop; '/tor, to open); Tamil tatfcai (< A/tag, to fit) and Kann. eatte (flatness) ; 
Tarn. 6ori (to itch) and Kann. tore ; Tamil tol (skin) and Tula coli, etc. The interchange 
of t and a* or B is most active in mod. Tula and dialectal forms of Tamil-Mai. Tn the 
above instances, t- is undoubtedly original. Of. Tulu suka (< tuka, weight), sdpu 
< A/tol, to be defeated, etc., Kui sunju (to sleep) for Southern tu&gu; supu (to spit) for 
tuppu, etc. 

1 (Southern Prakrit nesru is from Dravidian. Kui nani (fire) is probably connected 
with Indo-Aryan- agni. Tarn, fiegiru (fire), Tel. nega<Ji (fire) may, however, be cognate 
with nayim ; cf. also Tarn, nagu (to shine), 


2. There are a large number of words in Tamil which 
show forms with and without the initial n-, alternatively : 

arakku, to cut narakku 

ajavu, measure nalam 

ir, wetness, water nir 

agii, to smile agi]l 

igaru, to become high nigaru 

ijal, shade nilal 

mgu, to move nlngu 

Ira, that which has percolated nu^u 

It will be seen that in all such instances, the forms with- 
out the initial n- are the originals, for they are directly 
connected with original Dravidian roots with initial vowels. 
In all such cases, therefore, the initial n- of the alternative 
forms should be considered to be prothetic. This is indeed a 
unique phenomenon which can be explained only on the basis 
that the tendency to introduce an initial n- in words like nan, 
-an, (/) ; naman, eman, yama, etc., under the influence of the 
nasal already existing in the words, should have become 
generalised and applied also to words without the included 
nasals. Julien Vinson wrongly considers the forms with 
initial n- as the originals and explains the other set of forms 
as having rejected the initial nasal. This explanation be- 
comes totally invalid when we analyse the forms and find 
that it is those which are without the initial nasals that show 
direct relationship to the original Dravidian roots from which 
numerous independent forms have arisen. 

On this principle, then geyiru, 1 that in which heat exists, 
i. e. 9 the sun, took on an initial nasal intrusive n- and became 
nseyiru. For the meaning, cf. kann. cudar (cud -fir), the sun. 

Initial n- in Tamil words developed in Tamil itself the 
tendency to become n, as in nseman, etc. 

3. ngeyiru, following this tendency, became nayiru in 
late Old Tamil and this form was adopted by Malayajam. 

1 This form is represented in Tamil by eendru (sun) where ndr <old r. 


4. Kannada nesaru < nsesaru < nseyiru. 

(c) Other forms that have sprung up from the same root : 
The above view receives abundant confirmation, when we 

examine the various other forms that have probably arisen 

from this root ay or aey. 

The following native Dr. forms, when analysed and 

divested of their characteristic Dr. formative endings, would 

furnish sufficient inductive evidence to justify our postulate : 

1. This primitive root exists in Tamil ava (to desire), 
adu (to cook), avir (to glisten), avi, steam ; iyiftgu, heat ; 
ehgu, to heat ; eyyil, sunshine ; eri, to burn. Tamil nl?% ashes 
and ner- in nerippu, fire, show the prothetic n-. Tarn, enrfru 
( < e + ir ) sun ; engal, to fade, contain the primal root. 

Kannada isu ( < isi < aeyi ) heat ; elli, sun ; ese, to burn ; 
also show the old root. 

Telugu emja, sunshine ; eiidu, to heat akali (hunger), avi 
(steam) are direct developments from the root, while nippu, fire 
shows the prothetic nasal. Gojidi addi (heat), am (to feel heat), 
afki (fever), attu (to cook), nir, 1o burn, ei, to be scalded are in- 
stances of connected forms, with and without the prothetic nasal. 

Tu]u has eri, glare and eriyuni, to burn. 

Kui ay, atu to cook ; nan, fire and nirahpa (to be burnt) 
are also cognate. Brahui ira^A (bread) may also be connected. 
Cf. also Kur. ir (to fry), erchar (perspiration) and ac (flame). 

2, These are not all ; there is another group of words 
which have been formed along a different line of development. 

v (< v, the prothetic on-glide 1 ) is found sometimes as 
a permanently assimilated initial sound in many Tamil and 

1 The recognised usage of mod. Tamil shows a palatal prothetic glide before palatal 
vowels and a dorsal glide before dorsal vowels. But the latter in prothetic positions has 
apparently not been assimilated in the modern dialect , though in the ancient forms it 
appears as a full initial consonant ; and, further, even before a back vowel like a (in ar, 
anai, etc.) the palatal glide is found inserted to-day. This may have been either 
due to a tendency to change the character of a in late Old Tamil or to an indjs.- 
triminate use of the glides in the past, 



GQruJi words. Originally, it should have appeared as a 
mere glide (v) which later developed into the full bilabial v. 

Thus an initial v- having appeared before ay, we had 
the root vay or vey, heat or to burn, from which are produced 
Tamil veyil, sunshine, venal, summer, veyirve, perspiration, 
vam (to fry), vegu, to get hot or boiled ; Malayajam vaiku, 
to grow late, etc., Kannacja benki, heat, bii, hot ; Kui bis, 
hot, vaja (to cook) er (to kindle) ; Brahui bega, evening, 
bis, hot, basing, to become hot, beghing, to knead ; bising, 
to bake } etc. ; Kurukh biy (to heat) ; bis (to cook), etc. ; Telugu 
varuju (to cook), veca (hot), vette (hot summer), veiiki (fever), 
vensu (to fry), vedi (heat). 

The change of the initial v into b, of SB (or a under the 
influence of palatal y) into e, and of y into s (through s) are 
characteristic changes in Dravidian. 

The remarkable fact thus emerges as a serious probability 
worth further inquiry, that the same primary root aey or ay 
forms the basis of a number of apparently unallied groups in 

ay (eey) Tamil-Mai. 

1 1 









Tamil- Mai. * 



^vaippa, etc. 



nlm, etc. ^ 

It may be observed here that even in Old Tamil the rale of palatal and dorsal glides 
was not strictly followed (see Vinson's Grammar, page 30), a fact which is only to be 
expected from the character of glides which merely perform the function of inducing ease in 

In the particular instance given in this article, we can in any case reasonably presume 
-the dorsal glide which later developed into full v. Compare, in this connection, the 
following groups of words in Tamil : alayal, valayal (sorrow) ; annan, vannam (size) ; 
igattal, vigattal (to separate) ; aju, valu (to rule) ; etc. Cf. Tarn. au and Tel. 
ari and vari (paddy), etc. Cf. also Gondi vaak < an, to say ; bdr < ar, who, etc. 

5y or sey Telugu, Kauns. Tuju. 





| vettu 

nippu (Tel) 
nereppu (Kann.) 



Tel. <{ vad'a 


| veiiki 





Kann. < 


Tulu. J ba ^ e 


* ' y bade 

Tu}u eri 


ay or gey Central Dravidian dialects. 

Q5ndi < am 







vay (Kui) 
' vatt 
] ve 
C verchi 

nir (GSndi) 

ay or eey Kurukh and Brahui. 








I have been unable to 



find n- forms in 

ir (to 


Br. from amongst 



the materials avail* 



able. The only pos- 


f beghai 

sible instances in 

w heat ) 

i barun 
BrSfiiii ^ 

Kur. are nari(fever) 

ira ( gh 

ner (to be dried) ; 


niyur (embers). 


0. Vayiru, basir, banji (belly). 

(a) This is another form in Dravidian which has not 
yet been properly explained. 

Tamil has the forms vayiru, vayiru, belly. 

Kannada has basir, belly. 

Tulu has banji, belly. 

None of the other L Dravidian dialects, so far as the 
material available enables us to see, possesses cognate forms 
for belly ; Telugu has kacjupu, and some of the central 
Dravidian dialects have potta (which latter is also found 
in some of the Southern dialects), Brahui has pid, Kurukh 
kul and Malto pot. These latter forms are evidently not 
allied to the bayiru-group ; but as we shall see now, there are 
words in the Central and the Northern dialects of Dravidian, 
which have arisen from the base underlying bayiru. 

(b) Derivation of bayiru or vayiru. 

In my opinion, vayiru or vayiru (r alternates with r in 
Dravidian) is constituted of 

vay, hunger +\r, the formative affix. For the force of 
the formative affix, see above, 

The meaning : belly or the place where hunger exists is 
obvious, as in kujir (cold). 

The physical feeling of hunger should undoubtedly 
have led to the creation of the word signifying the place 
where this feeling is located. 

vayi, hunger, exists in Old Malayalam ; Kannada shows 
bayi, hunger ; Tamil shows payi, paidal, pasi, hunger, vayavu, 
pain or hunger ; these latter evidently are developed forms 
where p <b <v, and d < s < y; Kuvi bis, hunger ; BrahQi 
bin (in binguri), hunger 9 and Malayalam ves (in vesappu are 
directly allied to vayi. Of. also Eurukh pac-ta (to feel hungry). 

i pir (belly) may be connected with vayiru, bayiru. 


Exactly analogical to bayiru or vayiru is the formation 
of Telugu Kacjupu, belly. 

kacju means pain, hunger in Old Telugu ; and Kurukh 
karu, hunger and Kui karu are cognate. The formative -pa 
(< vei, to place) should have helped in evolving the meaning : 
belly 9 from hunger. That the " belly " is considered to be the 
seat of feelings, is clear from the Telugu forms (derived from 
Kadupu) : Kacjup-ubbu (envy), Kadupu-manta (ill-will, etc.) 

Tulu banji < ha(i)dri < bayidru < bayiru. 




The Vaisnava padas are admittedly recognised as the most valuable 
lyrical treasure of the Old Bengali Literature ; but it is a pity that 
they have not yet received any scientifically accurate treatment from 
our scholars. True, Eadhamohau Thakur's ' Padamrita Samudra/ 
compiled in the 18th century, gives us a valuable Sanskrit com- 
mentary on the Bengali and Brajabuli songs of the Vaisnava poets 
and 'Padakalpataru/ compiled a little while after by Vaisnab Das, 
presents us with a rich anthology in which we find the largest collec- 
tion of Vaisnava lyrics yet extant, arranged and classified according 
to the canons laid down in the ' Ujjala Nilmani ' and other works 
on poetics, yet none of these compilers have avowed the accuracy of 
the texts or compared the different readings in order to find out their 
correct versions. As these songs were extensively sung in the country- 
side, they underwent great changes owing to local causes, loss of 
memory and desire to improve the original to adapt the language to 
more modern forms. 

We find now quite a wilderness of readings, presenting different 
forms, in which not only the language but also the spirit of the lyrics 
have been tampered with, showing striking dissimilarities and a great 
departure from the original. The reader will indeed be perplexed if 
he compares the texts of the various anthologies published by the 
enterprising editors of Vaisnava works with those found in hundreds 
of old manuscripts, 

A thorough scrutiny is indispensably required in this direction if 
we are to preserve the pristine beauty and accuracy of the poems, 
which have been declared as the best in our early literature. 

It is indeed a huge work, for the number of these poets beginning 
with Chandi Das in the 14th century down to Gokulananda Sen, the 
compiler of the ' Padakalpataru ' in the middle of the 18th centTkry, 


verges on more than a thousand, and if we choose the noted ones among 
them, there will be about two hundred poets, who have shown some 
singular merit in the field, deserving a close examination and scrutiny. 
We intend to do this work in a thorough manner, and for this must 
first of all take up a dozen of poets, who are decidedly the best of 
these. We have begun with Jnanadas and shall proceed to discuss 
the various readings of the texts so far as his poems are concerned. 

The different readings of the padas of Jnanadas as found in 
the old manuscripts and printed editions available to us, are 
noted below. 

Variations in readings in regard to the pada *<IJC^F 

*($ yrfi cstc* ^ i 

Padakalpataru (Mr. Satis Boy's edition). 
W ft I 

osfrtet ^ ii 

Calcutta University MS. No. 331. 

Padakalpataru (Mr. Satis Roy's edition). 
* 1W I Calcutta University MS. No, 331. 

Padakalpataru (Mr. Satis Roy's edition). 

Padakalpataru (Mr. Satis Roy's edition). 
tfl I Calcutta University MS, No. 831, 
C*T C*T C^fl fiPW TW I Padfimrtasindhu. 

The song beginning with *WCT1 ?f^ ^tCRl 5fl 
Different readings : 

Padakalpataru (Mr. Satis Roy's edition). 


Calcutta University MS, No. 831. 



Padakalpataru (Mr. Satis Key's edition). 

Calcutta University MS, No. 381. 

Padakalpataru (Mr. Satis Roy's edition). 


Padakalpataru (Mr. Satis Roy's edition). 


Calcutta University MS. No. 831. 

Padakalpataru (Mr. Satis Roy's edition). 

Calcutta University MS. No. 881, 

Padakalpataru (Mr. Satis Roy's edition). 

fwrt ^^t c^m Ttrt i 

Calcutta University MS. No, 381. 

IfM fljrtt W ^t^rl I 



Padakalpataru (Mr. Satis Roy's edition). 

^ C^pl I 

Calcutta University MS. No. 331. 



Padakalpataru (Mr. Satis Roy's edition). 

Cf T?1 I! 
Calcutta University MS. No. 331. 


Padakalpataru (Mr. Satis Roy's edition). 

Calcutta University MS. No. 331. 

Padakalpataru (Mr. Satis Roy's edition). 

Calcutta University MS. No. 331. 

Padakalpataru (Mr. Satis Roy's edition). 



Calcutta University MS. No. 881. 

*nr ^ i 



Padalahari (Bangabaei edition). 

Regarding the song "5fTC<5 fl *ffa ^C^RT ^5tC^r ...... * we get the 

following variations in the reading : 

Padakalpataru (Parishad edition). 
<?T ^^ ^C^t I 

Calcutta University MS. No. 331. 

Padakalpataru (Parishad edition). 


Padalahari (Bangabasi edition). 

Calcutta University MS. No. 33], 

Padakalpataru (Parishad edition). 

Calcutta University MS, No* 381. 
W ^^1 ^thf I 


Different readings in regard to the song beginning with 

Padakalpataru (Parishad edition). 


Calcutta University MS. No. 381. 




Padakalpataru (Par is had edition). 
Calcutta University MS. No. 381. 



Padakalpataru (Mr. Satis Roy's edition), 
Yaisnavapadalahari . 

Calcutta University MS. No. 331. 

c^ror i 

Padakalpataru (Parishad edition) 

fw i 

Calcutta University MS. No. 331. 

fsraw i 

Padakalpataru (Parishad edition). 

Calcutta University MS. No. 831. 

Regarding the song " s^Rfif 5f ^ftro ^jR^li*! ^C? * we get the 
following variations in the reading : 

fPf C55l% Tfa ^Ift^ll 

pffir it 

Parishad MS. No. 978. 


Padakalpataru (Parishad .edition). 


*ftt*f*J Wfft II 

Vaisnavapadalahari . 

Parishad MS, No. 978. 

Padakalpataru (Parishad edition). 

Padakalpataru (Parishad edition). 

Different readings in regard to the son 

H * 

Parishad MS. No. 201. 

Padakalpataru (Parishad edition). 

In the manuscript we get the following two new lines, which are 
absent in the Padakalpataru : 

Regarding the song *5t^ 55 ^ft ^ Ft? ipf ^f*f ...... * we get the 

following variations in the reading : 

Padakalpataru (Mr. Satis Jloy's edition). 


Padakalpataru (Mr. Satis Boy's edition). 

Parishad MS, No. 

Padakalpataru (Mr. Satis Roy's edition). 

Parishad MS. No. 201. 

Padakalpataru (Mr. Satis Roy's edition, p. 344, Part I). 


Padakalpataru (Mr. Satis Roy's edition, p. 291, Part I). 

Padakalpataru (Battala edition). 


Parishad MS. No, 201. 



Padakalpataru (Mr, Satis Roy's edition, p. 344*). 

ffltt ^5ft II 
Padakalpataru (Mr. Satis Roy's edition, Part I, p, 291). 

Calcutta University MS. No. 331. 

C 3 ! 

Padakalpataru (Mr, Satis Roy's edition, p. 344, Part I). 

ore <( 


Padakalpataru (Parishad edition, p. 291). 


Calcutta University MS. No. 




Calcutta University MS. No. 381. 

^pl wrt w 

Aprakashita Padaratnavali, p. 52. 

The following four lines are to be found nowhere except in the 
song belonging to the Calcutta University Manuscript No. 831 : 



Aprakashita Padaratnfivali, p. 52. 

Parishad MS. No. 201. 

Aprakashita Padaratnavali, p. 52. 


P^risbad MS. No, 20J. 


Padakalpataru (Parishad edition). 

Regarding the song *C3t*T &(\13 ^1%^ fr I* we get the following 
variations in the reading : 

Aprakashita PadaratnEvali. 

njai i 

Calcutta University MS. No. 331. 

Aprakashita Padaratnavali. 
up ^ TH1 I 
Calcutta University MS. No. 331. 

Aprakashita Padaratnavali. 

l i 

Calcutta University MS. No. 331. 


Aprakashita Padaratnavali. 

Calcutta University MS. Nds 331. 


Different readings in regard to the song *^tS Of 
<4 $fi> srcrfffTO Vrtl I* are given below : 


Calcutta University MS. No. 381. 

Calcutta University MS. No. 324. 


Fadakalpataru (Parishad edition). 

Padakalpataru (Parishad edition). 

Calcutta University MS. No. 324. 

Padakalpataru (Parishad edition). 

Calcutta University MS. No. 881. 



Padakalpataru (Parishad edition). 

TO n 

Calcutta University MS. No. 831. 

Regarding the song "fafe fsjfe 
we get the following variations : 



Calcutta University MS. No. 831. 

frftfa H 

f*Nt> f^TO I 

CfrWft f^fe I) 
Calcutta University MS. No. 331. 

Different readings in regard to the song 
...... * are noted below : 

Padakalpataru (Parishad edition). 

Calcutta University MS. No. 831. 


Padakalpataru (Parishad edition). 

^r i 

Calcutta University MS. No. 331. 




First Chapter, Bhaskar Parabhava, by Gangaram Bhat. Substance, 
country-made paper, size 14"x5". Folia 1-6. Lines, 12 to 14 on a 
page. Date 14th Pausa, Saturday, 1672 Saka and 1158 B.S. ; condition, 
soiled and worn-out in part. Hand-writing, good. 


The present Bengali manuscript, the Maharastra Parana 
(Chapter I) was discovered by the late Mr. Kedarnath 
Majumdar of Mymensingh, who first brought it to public 
notice in an Industrial- Agricultural Exhibition held at the 
town of Mymensingh in 1311 (B. S.). Unfortunately the 
book is incomplete. But though it consists of only six folia, 
it gives within that small compass a tolerably large mass 
of historical materials. The matter treated in these few 
pages pertains to the First Chapter ; but it is complete in 
itself beginning with the Maratha incursions of Bengal in 
1743 A. D. and ending in the death of the Maratha leader 
Bhaskar Pandit in 1744 A. D. 

The native place of the poet Gangaram is not known. 
From the fact that the manuscript in question was found out 
in a village of Mymensingh Mr. K. N. Majumdar surmised 
that Gaftgaram was a native of that district. It has also 
been said of him that though he was an inhabitant of 
Mymensingh, he passed many years in Murshidabad, the 
then capital of Bengal, where he had opportunities of 
knowing the incidents of Maratha invasion direct. ^From 
the spelling of certain words indicating the intonation of 


the people of ' Ra<Jha Desa,' Mr. Byomkesh Mustafi imagined 
that Gafigaram was probably a native of the Burdwan 
district, 1 Prof. Jogendranath Samaddar stated, on what 
authority I do not know, but probably following Mr. K. N. 
Majumdar's assertion, that the descendants of the poet still 
lived in Mymensingh. 2 A theory has been started that 
the manuscript in question is in the hand* writing of the 
poet himself and much conjecture is rife in regard to such 
points, but we are not prepared to countenance any of these, 
as no historical evidence has yet been adduced to prove any 
of them. 

The date (14th Pausa, Saturday, 1672 Saka and 
1358 B. S.) given at the end of the poem is believed by some 
to be that of the composition of the poem. Iff that case 
Gangaram himself might have written this manuscript. 1 
It is usual with the scribes to give their names at the end of 
the manuscripts. As, however, in the present case, no such 
name is found, but the date is given, one might suppose 
that the poet himself was the scribe. But after all, these are 
conjectures on which we cannot fully rely. 

The date of the poem is 1751 A. D. according to Mr. 
Mustafi and Prof. Samaddar, and 1750 A. D. according to a 
recent writer on the subject. 4 This discrepancy in respect of 
dates is due to a misapprehension. If a close scrutiny is made 
it will be found that the discrepancy is an imagined one, 
and that the Saka and the Bengali Eras refer to the same 
date, e.g., 1750 A. D. There is, besides, a specific mention of 

* Bee the article ^fif WlTfa * TOfatJI ^Itl, Sfthitya-Pariad Patrika, Part IV, 
1313 B. 8., p. 193, by Byomkesh Mustafi. 

* See "The Maratha Invasions of Bengal "in 1743, by Prof . J. N. Samaddar, 
Bengal, Past and Present, Vel. XXVII, p. 55. 

* See ^iWWl T?tl flWtTfa fiftflwi PPHM, by Chintaharan Chakravarti, SShitya 
Parisad Patrika, Part H, 1385 B. 8. 

* Bt'^u Chintaharan Chakravarti, writer of the article, TfrfrtW ?^ ^TW? 
: see Sfthitya ^ariaad Patrika, Part II, 1885 B, 8, 


the exact day and month, which exactly show the correct 
time of the copy (1750 A. D.). 

In discussing about the poet G-afigaram and his poem, 
Mr. Mustafi makes the remark a *fa fffal 

If* ; ^fiM tW nffW 

*tPI ^ftwRT (Sabitya Parisad 
Patrika, Part IV, 1313 B. 8., p. 194) 

Sahu, 1 the grandson of Sivaji, is a well-known and con- 
spicuous historical figure. The word 'ifflM TCT f evidently 
refers to a town in the Deccan. The name of his capital 
Satara is also to be found in the poem. We do not know how 
in the face of these significant historical facts there should 
be any hesitancy felt in identifying the great prince Sahu 
of the Maratha history. Further, that the poet did not care 
to mention adequately the names of the commanders wbo 
served under the Nawab of Bengal (Aliverdy Khan), is also 
unfounded, as will be shown later on. 

Mr. Mustafi observed that Bbaskar's worshipping the 
Goddess Durgfi is not justified as the Marathas do not worship 
that deity. All such reflections we consider to be mere 
gibberish. There are many sects amongst the Marathas and 
the worship of Sakti is nowhere interdicted in their religious 
code. Further, all facts of Bhaskar's life are not described 
anywhere that we know of. The omission of an incident in 
stray historical treatises does not justify its rejection. 

Prof. J, N. Samaddar of the Patna University published 
a free translation of the book in the periodical " Bengal, 
Past and Present " in the year 1924 (Jan.- June), Vol. XXVII. 2 
The translation gives in many places a mere gist of the 

1 Daring the reign of Sfihu, three Peshwas (chief ministers) succeeded one another, 
e. ?., B&laji Visvanath, Baji Rao, and Balaji Rao. It was during the Peshwaship of 
Balajl Rao who became Peshwa in 1740 A. D. (August) that the Maratha raids in Bengal 

9 Before this translation Mr. '8am add ar referred about the Mahara?tra PurSna in 
his articles on Seir-ul-Mufakherin in Bengal, Past and Present (Vol. ^XXV, Jan. -June, 
192 ^t PP- 158-163). Besides he devoted another article on the subject entitled " The Bargi 


Bengali work omitting much of its details which we believe 
to be important. As the descriptions given by Gangaram 
of this momentous period of the history of Bengal show 
the point of view of a Bengali, these details possess a unique 
interest. We have already Mahomedan and Maratha 
accounts of these times. The Bengalis, however, suffered 
greatly from the Bargi raids and the tale told by one of 
them, who was a contemporary writer, has the value of 
directness and a picturesque presentment of the psycholo- 
gical side of a suffering population. It ushers us straight 
into the arena of the military operations, giving occasionally 
such informations as no other historical account would 
provide. It has therefore been found necessary to give 
here a full literal translation of the texts omitting nothing 
of its details. We have, besides, given exhaustive notes 
relating to each of the historical episodes involved. The 
readers will find an opportunity to compare the different 
versions of the same historical event given by the different 

The chief interest of the Maharastra Purajaa lies in 
the fact that it gives a graphic description of the ravages 
of the Maratha army and some very valuable details about 
the routes followed by the Marathas in Bengal and also the 
localities in which they committed their marauding depreda- 
tions. There are certain differences as regards some historical 
details about the raids. Special attention should be drawn 
to the circumstances leading to the expedition undertaken by 
the Bargis as the Maratha raiders were called. In the 
Bengali manuscript we find that Sahu demanded 'chouth* 
for Bengal from the then Emperor of Delhi (Mohammed Shah) 
who expressed his inability to comply with it on the ground 
that his authority was hardly recognised in the Province. 

Invasion of Bengal " in a meeting of the Indian Historical Records Commission, ^Yol. 
VI, pp. 150 ft. He bad also another article on it entitled " Mahratta Invasion of Bengal, 
Bihar and Orissa," iff the Journal of Indian History, 1925, p. 80. 


The Emperor suggested that Sahu should himself invade 
Bengal for realising the 'chouth.' The advice was accepted 
and Sahu directed Raghuji (Eaghuj! Bhonsla of Nagpur) 
to take the responsibilities by leading an army into Bengal 
for the purpose. Raghuraja, however, did not personally 
take up the task and he, in his turn, appointed his deputy 
named Bbaskar-vana or Bhaskar Pandit to march at the 
head of a Maratha army. It will be seen from the quota- 
tions in the early portion of the poem dealing with the 
Maratha raids in Bengal that our poet's description of the 
cause of the raids does not fully tally with the historical facts. 
His account of the interview of Bhaskar Pa$<Jit with Aliverdy 
Khan is also different. Again it should be remembered 
here that our poet gives a somewhat different story regarding 
the last interview of Bha&kar Pandit with Aliverdy 
Khan at Monkora. Grant Duff in his Maratha history does 
not give any detail while Mutakherin, which is a much 
later work than the Maharastra Purana, gives some details 
of this interview which do not agree with that of Gangaram. 
We are inclined to give a greater credit to the account of 
Gangaram as he wrote it only seven years after the occur- 
rence of the said event. Gangaram says, the Nawab out* 
wardly put on a friendly appearance and left the place on a 
frivolous plea, and as he never returned and as it was getting 
late, the Maratha general left the Durbar accompanied by 
the leading n(ien of both sides. As he was just going to 
mount his horse he was cut to pieces by somebody from behind. 
But Mutakherin makes the following statement : 

** When the Viceroy asked in an audible voice which of 
those eminent officers was the valorous Bha-Sukur Pandit ? 
And having been answered on the point by Mirza-Hekim-beg, 
who pointed to him with the finger, as did many others who 
had been stationed there for that purpose, the question was 
repeated. Three times did the Viceroy ask the question 
and three times was it answered by pointing witjh the 'fingers 


and now Bha-Sukur drawing near, the Viceroy commanded 
his people to fall upon those free- hooters. * * * * 
Mir-Cazem-Qhan, being the foremost of all, closed 
with Bha-Sukur and at one stroke felled him to the 
ground." 1 

Besides some differences as regards these points 
there is another point on which our poet is silent. It was the 
circumstances which led to the first departure of Bhaskar 
from Bengal. Gangaram is also studiously silent about 
Balajl Bajl Rao and Raghuji Bhonsla's attack of Bengal 
in person. The ravages of the Marathas, as described by 
Gaftgaram, covered an extensive area. It was chiefly the 
present Burdwan and Presidency Divisions which 
suffered most from the cruelties perpetrated by the 
Bargis. The villages affected, named by the poet, are as 
follows : 

Chandrakona, Medinipur, Dignagar, Ehirpai, Burdwan, 
Nimgachhi, Sherga, Simaita, Cbandipur, Syampur, Satsaika, 
Ghandpur, Kalna ^Kalmara, ParishadecL), Bansberia, Madwai, 
Jadupur, Bhatohhala, Meerjapur, Chandada, Kudban, Palasy, 
Bauchi, Beuda, Samudragad, Jannagar, Nuddea, Mahatapur, 
Sunanthapur, Puranpur, Bhatara, Madada, Sarbhanga, 
Dhitpur, Jagirabad, Kuraira, Baultali, Nirada, Kadai Kaithan, 
Chadail, Siddhibaka, Gho^ana, Samastail, Gotpad, Igdid, 
Patani (burnt in one night), Ataihat, Pataibat, Dainhat, 
Beda-bhaosing, Biki-hat, Indrail Pargannah, Kaga-Mogft 
(Kaga-Moga was an inland port belonging to the Dutch), 
Jenuakandi, Birbhum Pargannab, Amdahara, Mahadevpur, 
Goalabhuin, Senabhuin, Vishnupur (it was saved due to the 
mercy of the tutelary deity, Gopala), Malukpada, Satai, 
Kamnagar, Mahuna, Ghourigachha, Kathalia, Adhar-manik, 
Ranga-maita, Goaljan, Budhaipada, Neanispada, Dahapada 
and Hajiganj. 

i For a detailed account see S. U. Mutakherin (published by B. Cambray ft Co.). 
Vol. I, pp. 484-436. * 


It appears from the description of the ravages wrought 
by the plundering Marathas that some of these villages 
were in a highly flourishing condition, at the time. The 
author tells us bow the palaces of the millionaire Jagat Seth 
and the Raja of Satsaika were looted. Parts of Vis^upur 
were ravaged but Vana-Vis$upur, it is said, was saved 
through the favour of the tutelary deity Gopala. There 
are many country ballads current in Birbhum describing 
this supernatural tale. 

In this connection it should be noted that the Maha- 
rastra Puraiia mentions the Dutch port of Kaga-Moga on the 
bank of the river Hooghly. The Marathas under the direction 
of Meer Habib requisitioned some of their sloops for transport 

Gaftgaram incidentally throws some valuable light on 
the composition of the Maratha army. The whole Maratha 
army which invaded Bengal under Bhaskar Pandit was 
divided into several parts each under a Jam ad a r. Bhaskar 
himself was the Sardar (General) or Commander in-chief 
of the army. No definite information is given as regards 
the exact number of soldiers who were led by each of these 
Jamadars. That their position in the army was of consider- 
able importance, unlike that of the present day, is shown by 
the fact that some of them are often mentioned as leading 
thousands. There may be some exaggeration in these 
statements, but the information given by the poet seems to be 
substantially correct. On the whole, mention is made of 
twenty-four Jamadars leading the Maratha army. They 
were : 

(1) Dhamdhwama, (2) Hiramankasi, (3) Gangaji-AmrS, 
(4) Simanta-Yasi, (5) Balaji, (6) Sivaji Kohada, (7) Sambhuji, 
(8) Kesaji Amoda, (9) Kesava Singha, (10) Mohan Singha, 
(11) Ball Rao, (12) Sesa Rao, (13) Sisa Pandit, (14) Semanta 
SehacJS, (15) Hiraman Bandit, (16) Mohan Rai, (1?) Siso 
Pandit, (18) Pita Rai, (J9) Niraji, (20) SamSji, (21) Firanga 


Rai, (22) Adi- (other letters indistinct), (23) Sultan Khan, 
and (24) Bhaskara. 1 

It is necessary, if possible, to attempt identification of 
these Maratha leaders, from contemporary Maratha records 
that are extant even now. 

On the other hand the following names of the Jamadars 
who fought on the side of the Nawab of Bengal, have been 
mentioned by Gangaram, but not noticed by Mr. Mustafi : 

(1) Mustafa Khan, (2) Samser Khan, (3) Eaham Khan, 
(4) Karam Khan, (5) Ataulla Khan, (6) Meer Jafar Khan, 2 
(7) TJmar Khan, (8) Asalat Khan, (9) Thakur Singh, (10) 
Fateh Haji, and (11) Ohhedan Haji. Many of these com- 
manders became famous afterwards. 

It is interesting to note that there were Mahomedan 
officers of a superior, though unspecified, rank in the 
army of the Marathas. Two of them, Meer Habib 
and Ali Bhai (Aly-Caraol) deserve special notice. Meer 
Habib was a man of talent and served as the Dewan 
of Orissa which province was under the Government 
of Bengal when Aliverdy Khan slew his rivals and 
made himself independent. Meer Habib quarrelled with 
Aliverdy and joined the Marathas who first invaded 
Bengal at his invitation. He was of the type of Daulat Khan 
Lodi and Meer Jafar Khan men who have appeared often 
during India's political turmoil. About Ali Bhai, we learn 
from Mutakherin that, "Bha-Sukur who had 
attached to himself Aly-Caraol, a famous General of the 
Deccan, to whom he had given the command of six or seven 

1 Prof. J. N. Samaddar writes Sivaji in place of Niraji, Sambhaji in place of 
Samaji and Kesari Singh in place of Kesava Singb, which we find in the MS. Besides 
in the translation he makes no mention of the Jillegible word. Sesa Rao has been 
mentioned in 8. U. Mutakherin, Vol. I, p. 394. Jamadar No. 24 bears the same name as 

that of tti Commander-in-chief. 


* Evidently the same Meer Jafar Khan who afterwards became the Nawab of Bengal, 


thousand horse, now thought of putting his talents to a trial. "* 
Aly-Caraol was, inspite of his abilities, a bit credulous which 
made him a puppet at the hands of Miverdy when the 
former was on an embassy to the latter's camp. 2 This at 
the end proved disastrous to Bhaskar Pa$(Jit so much so 
that it cost him his life. 

The Maratha raiders were known as the 'Bargis* in 
Bengal. We quote below from Grant Duff the meaning 
and significance of this term. 

" The Bargirs are the people next in importance in the 
history of the Marathas. Bargir is not a cast<\ Arv cavalry 
soldier who could not supply his own hoi He an'* orho was 
therefore left in charge of an animal belonging to a higher 
soldier was a Bargir. He may have belonged to any caste. 
He was the dread of Bengal, where he was kn^wn as Borgi. 
Sir Herbert Risley gives a lucid description of this Borgi 
the Maratha cavalry officer." He says : 

" The following notice of it in the new edition of Hobson- 
Jobson makes the matter clear : ' A trooper of irregular 
cavalry who is not the owner of his troop, horse and arms 
(as is the normal practice) but is either put in by another 
person, perhaps a native officer in the regiment, who supplies 
horses and arms and receives the man's full pay, allowing 
him a reduced rate, or has his horse from the State in whose 
service he is. [" According to a man's reputation or connec- 
tions, or the number of his followers would be the rank 
(mansab) assigned to him. As a rule, his followers brought 
their own horses and other equipment ; but sometimes a man 

1 S. U. Mutakherin, Vol. I, p. 430. 

a " Aaly-verdy-qhan did not cease to cultivate the Mahratta's (meaning AH Bhai's) 
good disposition by plying him incessantly with everything curious, costly or delicious, 

either in stuffs or in fruits, whether of the growth of Bengal, or imported from abroad 

in one word, the Marhatta's mind was entirely changed ; he became fond of Aalyyerdy 
qhan, etc., etc." 8. U. Mutakherin, Vol. I, p. 432. 

N. B. Here Ali Bhai is described as a Maratha, probably because he belonged to the 
Maratha army. 



with a little money would buy extra horses, and mount 
relations or dependents upon them. When this was the case, 
the man riding his own horse was called, in later parlance, a 
Siltdar (literally * equipment-holder*) and one riding somebody 
else's horse was a bJtrgir (' burden-taker ') W. Irvine' 9 The 
army of the Indian Moghuls, J. B. A. 8., July, 1896, p. 639.] 1 

Prominent mention is made of three principal officers of 
the Nawab in connection with the Maratha raids. One of 
them was a Hindu named Janaklram and the two others 
were Mahomedans named Mustapha Khan and Haji Saheb. 
From Mutakherin we know that " Radja Djanki-ram, Divan 
to Aaly-verdy-qhan, and of course a minister of the highest 
trust and credit with his master, who imparted to him alone 

his real scheme Radja Djanki-ram, as being himself a 

Hindoo as well as the Marhatta, passed whole days in his 
(meaning Bhaskar's) company and by that very reason 
proved greatly instrumental in this affair" a (meaning en- 
trapping and assassination of Bhaskar Pai^it). 

The writer of Mutakherin makes the following incidental 
observation about Mustapha Khan : "...he (meaning 
Aliverdy Khan) held frequent consultations with Mustapha- 
qhan about the manner of destroying the invaders, and of 
entrapping the Marhatta general and his principal officers, 
in such a manner, as that tht> whole of them, officers and 

troops and all, should take a journey to nothingness 

Mustapha-qhan, who was a man of design and contrivance 
as well as of prowess and execution and who to those advan- 
tages joined the talent of j speaking as well as he acted, 
could not resist so many temptations/' 8 

A History of the Mahrattas (Doff. Published by B. Cambray & Co., 1912), Vol. I, 
Appendix, p. iii. 

B. U. Mutakherin, Vol. I, pp. 484, 488. 

N. B. In Bengal there it a term still in existence called M ^rfl. M Here in land tenure 
: rtt?fa or fltf1 > is one who tills the land of another and shares the produce of land 
with th owner. 

MutakherinS Vol. I, pp. 480-431. 


Haji Saheb of the present topic seems to be SayecU 
Ahmed- qh an, a favourite of Aliverdy. In Mutakherin we 
find the following observation : 

" The subject 1 of discontent proved to be the govern- 
ment of Hooghly, which the Hadji wanted for himself, and 
which Aaly-Verdy-qhan bestowed on the Hadji's second son, 
Sayed- Ahmed- qhan." 

In this connection we also mention the name of Raja 
Ram Singh who was Faujdar of Midnapur and was in charge 
of the C. I. I). Department of the Nawab. 

The details of the ravages committed by the Bargis, 
as given in the work under notice, shows the nature and 
extent of the enormity of atrocities perpetrated by them. 
The worst sufferers were, of course, fair-looking youthful 
women. Inhuman cruelties were committed upon the help- 
less people*. whose limbs were chopped off and many of them 
were mercilessly slaughtered. 

It is regret-table to notice the entire absence of any 
organised effort amongst the people for resisting the reckless 
oppressions of these marauders. The Nawab himself proved 
unequal to the task, shifting his camp from place to place 
for avoiding an open engagement with the enemy. A general 
prinic was raised; even the very name of the Bargis was 
sufficient to make the people desert their homes in a body. 
Ihe ever memorable Bengali nursery rhyme current in Bengal 
remind one of the horrors of the Bargi invasion even to-day. 
The following articles contain references to the MaharSstra 
Puraiia : 

(also **ta *Ttfc5j tfiP 113W1, Vol. XV, p. 249). 

1 Mutakherto, Vol. I, p, 430. 



(4) Bengal, Past and Present. 

Vol. XXV. (Jan. June, 1923, pp. 158-163.) 

(5) Bengal, Past and Present, 

Vol. XXVII, pp. 14 ff. 
(English translation of the Maharastra Purana 

by J. N. Samaddar.) 

The article " The Maratha Invasion of Bengal in 1743" 
by J. N. Samaddar containing the above translation. 

(6) The Bargi Invasion of Bengal, 

J. N. Samaddar (Proceedings of the meeting 
of the Indian Historical Records Commission, 
Vol. VI, pp. lOOff.). 

(7) Marhatta Invasion of Bengal, Behar and Crissa, 

J. N. Samaddar (Journal of Indian History, 
1925, pp. 85 ff.). 

(M 3tsrr*!t<i 3^3 wrfaft 

(9) A brif notice of the work in "w^M ^ ^tfl^I ?J and 
" A History of Bengali Language and Literature " 
by D. C. Sen. 

Besides the above, the following English and Persian 
works contain some references about the Bargi raids in 
Bengal : 

(1) Hill's Bengal in 1 756-57. 

(2) Salimulla's Tarikh-i-Bangla. 

(3) Riyaz-us-Salatin. 

1 The writer bas di awn attention to an incidental reference of the Bargi raids in 
Bengal as given in a Sanskrit work named f&95"^ by Banesvar, wbicb according to the 
author COD tains earliest reference of tbe Bargi troubles incidentally. The work being 
completed in 1744 A. D. 


(4) Seir Mutakherin. 

(6) Tarikh-i-Yusufi. 

(6) Holwell's accounts 

(7) A History of the Marhattas (Vols. 1 & 2) 

by Grant Duff. 

Prof. Samaddar writes that " the Nagpur Marathas have 
left us no historical records and therefore, there are no 
Maratha sources. Neither there are any letters in Marathi, 
at least to my knowledge, on the subject, as these raids 
were undertaken by the now defunct house of Nagpur." l 

As Grant Duff based his treatment of the subject 
evidently on materials found partly from the Maratha 
manuscripts as acknowledged by him in footnotes we cannot 
accept Prof. Samaddar's view. 

There are some words like Cv5?Stf%, ^^t?* ifiPRt*. and C5^$ 9 
etc. in the Bengali manuscript (the Maharastra Purana) which 
are difficult to comprehend. Mr. Mustafl and Prof. Samaddar 
have also confessed their inability to explain the words. 

We give below a brief outline of historical events which 
occasioned the Maratha raids in Bengal for better appreciation 
of the subject : 

The Maratha raids occurred when Nawab Aliverdy Khan 
was the ruler of Bengal. Sahu (the grandson of Sivaji I) 
was the nominal head of the Maratha territories with Ballajee 
Bajl Eao (Balajl Rao) as his Pesbwa (or Prime Minister), and 
Raghuji Bhonsla, one of the Marata chiefs, was the ruler of 
Nagpur territory with Bhaskar Punt as his Commander-in- 
chief. Nadir Shah's invasion of India was over just a few years 
ago (e.g., in 1739 A. D.) and the Moghul Emperor of Delhi 
Mohammed Shah " had received his liberty and his crown 
after both had been subjected to the will of a despot." 2 
The Central power in Delhi being weak at the time ambitious 

1 " The Maratha Invasion of Bengal in 1743 " by J. N. Samaddar, Bengal J>ast and 
Present, p. 44, Vol. XXVII, Jan.-June. m 

* Grant Duff' s " A. Eistoty of the Marbattae," Vol. I, p. 459, 


members of the aristocracy in various parts of India 
asserted their independence. Thus Aliverdy Khan estab- 
lished his independence in Bengal while various Marata 
chiefs established their authority in various parts of Western 
and Central India. Sahu was only the nominal head of the 
Marata conflderacy while his Brahmin minister, the Peshwa 
really ruled the territories under his control. The following- 
passage from the Maharastra Parana will give an idea of the 
circumstances under which the Mahrattas invaded Bengal. 

" About this period, the usurper, Aliverdy Khan, estab- 
lished his authority over the provinces of Bengal, Behar 
and Orissa. From a humble situation in the service of 
Shujah-ud-deen Khan, Nabob of Bengal, Aliverdy had been 
appointed the Nabob's deputy in Behar ; Surfuraz Khan, 
the heir apparent to the nobobship, was stationed at Dacca, 
and Morshed Koolee Khan, the son-in-law of Shujah-ud-deen, 
was the deputy governor of Orissa, having for his dewan 
a native of Arabia, 1 named Meer Hubeeb. On the death of 
Shujah-ud-deen, Surfuraz Khan was appointed Nabob. 
Aliverdy Khan rebelled and slew him in battle. He also 
attacked and drove Moorshed Koolee from Orissa. Meer 
Hubeeb, the dewan, a person afterwards so instrumental in 
Marhatta progress, also fled, but subsequently submitted, and 
entered the service of the successful insurgent. Aliverdy 
Khan was acknowledged by the emperor as Nabob of Bengal, 
In consequence of sending a part of the property and jewels 
of Surfuraz Khan to Court. (Grant Duff, p. 460, History 

of the Marhattas, Vol. I.) It appears, that immediately 

after his master's defeat, Meer Hubeeb had invited Bhaskar 
Punt, the Dewan of Bughoojee Bhonsla, who was left in 
charge of the Government of Behar during his master's 
absence in the Carnatic, to advance into the Province of 
Kuttack, but Bhaskar Punt, having found it necessary to 

1 Mahratta MSS. Gholam fiossein Khan, author of tbe Seyr-ool-Mutuaqbereen, 
(Seir ul Mutakherifi) calls him a native of Persia, a pedlar from Iran* Meer Hubeeb was 
intimately known to tbe Mahrattas, wbo always designated him as an Arab. 


ipply for his master's permission. Before an answer could 
be received and the troops prepared, Aliverdy Khan had 
conquered the province, and Meer Hubeeb had submitted 

his authority. (Grant Duff, Vol. II, pp. 8 and 9.) Since 

the Peshwa's arrival at Mundelab, a negotiation had been 
going on between him and the Emperor, through the media- 
tion of Raja Jey Singh, supported by Nizam-Ool-Moolk. The 

chouth of the imperial territory was promised (1742 A. D.) 

In the meantime Bhasker Punt had invaded Behar 

The Marhatta army consisted of ten or twelve thousand 
horse, and report had swelled their numbers to nearly four 
times that number. Aliverdy Khan, although only at the 
head of three or four thousand cavalry, and four thousand 
infantry, resolved to oppose them; but the Marhattas 
attacked him with great success, surrounded his army, 
carried off most of his baggage, and reduced him to great 

distress...... He made good his escape to Cutwa In the 

meantime, the Emperor, on being apprized of the irruption 
into Bengal, ordered Sufdar Jung, Nabob of Oude, to drive 
out Bhaskar Punt, and at the same time applied to Ballajee 
Bajee Rao, to afford his aid. 

The Peshwa arrived at MursidaVad by the route of 
Allahabad as a friend of the Nawab. Raghuji Bhonsla with 
a powerful army, was advancing as an enemy of the Nawab 
from eastward. A settlement was arrived at by this time 
between Aliverdy and the Peshwa as a result of which Raghuji 
Bhonsla" had to beat a retreat. The Peshwa alone "overtook, 
attacked and defeated Raghujee's army." "Bhaskar Punt 
who was at the head of a party in reserve immediately retrea- 
ted through Orissa." So Ballajl Rao returned to Malwa 
(1743 A.D.) (Duff, Vol. 2, pp. 14-15). But eventually Raghuji 
reconciled with the Peshwa and Ballajl resigned Bengal to 
Raghuji Bhonsla (Duff, Vol. 2, p. 17). 

"Raghujee Bhonslay was intent on recovering iiis last 
looting in Bengal, and the Peshwa, in order to Sxcust? himself 


to the Emperor for not acting against Baghujee remaind in 
the Deccan. * * * Bhaskar Punt, Alee Kuraweel 
and several officers of note, supported by twenty thousand 
horse, were sent into Bengal by the route of Orissa. Aliverdy 
Khan prepared his troops, but on pretence of coming to an 
agreement, opend a negotiation with Bhaskar Punt, invited 
him to a Ziafut, or entertainment, with twenty of his prin- 
cipal officers, and most treacherously murdered them 
(1744 A, D.). One Seerdar, named Raghujee Gaekwar, who 
remained in charge of the camp, was the only one out of 
twenty- two principal officers, who escaped this perfidious 
massacre : he conducted the retreat of the army to Berar by 
the same route they had come, but many of the Marhatta 
stragglers were cut off by the exasperated peasantry." l 
Baghujl Bhonsla, then invaded Orissa and demanded thirty 
millions of rupees. Aliverdy at first assented but afterwards 
sent a vaunting message to Raghujl which put an end to 
all negotiations. l 

This is, in short r the history of the Maratha raids in 
Bengal. Bhaskar Punt attacked Bengal twice, as will be seen 
from above, once in 1742 A. D, and again in 1743 A. D. when 
he was treacherously murdered by Aliverdy Khan in 174 i A, D. 
But the Marathas mainly attacked Bengal thrice, e.g n in 1742, 
1743 and in 1744 A. D. and the trouble finally ended in 1751 
A. D. The Maharastra Parana deals, as mentioned before, with 
the attack of 1743 A. D. The poem while describing the poli- 
tical events of Bengal for a short period throws some important 
light on the social condition of the people. Interesting points 
relating to the manners and customs of the people who were 
oppressed, and of the invading Bargls, are mentioned inciden- 
tally, and we hold the poem to be an important contribution 
not only to the political history of the country, but also to 
the history of society of the Bengali people of that period. 

o ' 


* A History of the Mahrattas, Grant Duff, Vol. 2, pj>. 28-24, 

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BY DR. N. K. DUTT, M.A., PH.D. (LOND.) 


" There is nothing," says Prof. Max Miiller, " more ancient 

and primitive, not only in India, but 

TheKig.veda:and j n t h e w h o le Aryan world, than the 

its importance. * ' 

hymns of the Rig-veda." The Rig-veda is, 
indeed, the oldest known record of the Aryan world, and a 
living monument, and the hoary witness, of a hoary civilisation 
of the lofty ideals and many-sided activities and achieve* 
ments of the early Aryans, who came and settled on the banks 
of the Indus, and the Sarasvatl, and their tributaries, from 
without, about at least four thousand years ago. Though in 
the Rig-veda we meet with occasional references to the 
Ganges and the Jumna, yet it is evident, from the hymns 
themselves, that the regions watered by the Indus and its 
tributaries, and the Sarasvatl, the Apaya, and the Drsadvati 
the tract of land now covered by Kabulisthan, the Punjab and 
the North- Western part of the desert of Rajputana, and pro- 
bably Patiala, formed the earliest home of the Aryans in 
India, and the main scene of the many-sided activities of their 
life. And it was here, in this sacred land of seven rivers, 
" Sapta-Sindhavafc," that the holy Riks originally flashed 
forth like fragrant flowers under the bright and genial rays 
of the vernal sun, and that the ancient Hindus fought their 
earliest battles, defeated, and, in part, subjugated the Non- 
Aryan aborigines, originally found in possession of the soil, 
performed sacrifices, offered, in hymns, their earliest prayers 
to their gods and goddesses elemental poweft, and bright 

76 N. K. DtJTT 

and conspicuous objects of Nature and carried on various 
other activities of their life, and laid the foundation of their 
future society, religion and philosophy. As a history of the 
times and the peoples it deals with, the Rig-veda is, therefore, 
precious beyond words. And as a record of the genesis and 
gradual evolution of God-consciousness among men, it is simply 
invaluable, and without a rival, in the world. No record in 
the world, as Prof. Max Miiller himself very aptly observes, 
affords such excellent materials and " opportunities for a real 
study of the genesis and growth of religion " as the Rig-veda. 
In the science of Comparative Religion, the Rig-veda, therefore, 
naturally occupies a unique position. And over and above 
its importance as a faithful history of the period, herein lies 
the special significance of the Great Book, we have inherited 
from the past as a rich and precious ancestral legacy. 

The Rig-veda is a collection of 1,017 hymns, called 
Sftktas, supplemented by 11 others, from the 49th to the 69th 
Suktas of Mandala VIII, known as Valakhilya Suktas. The 
celebrated commentator, Sayana, has left no commentary on 
the Valakhilyas ; and they are, accordingly, regarded by some 
critics as forming no genuine part of the Rig-veda. Sayana, 
has, however, mentioned only eight Valakhiiyas. But in 
Prof. Max Miiller's edition of the Rig-veda, they are found to 
be eleven in number. Very likely the manuscripts of the 
Rig-veda, known to Sayana, contained only eight of the Vala- 
khiiyas ; and hence probably the discrepancy referred to above. 

The hymns or the Suktas of the Rig-veda are, according to 
one arrangement, divided into Ten Books, known as Ma^dalas, 
and, according to another arrangement, into eight parts, 
called Astakas. Each Sttkta consists of a number of verses, 
known as Riks. And the Rig-veda is a collection of such 
1,028 Suktas or hymns, composed by the early Aryan settlers 
in India, and divided into Mandalas or Astakas, as the case 
may bp. The Rig-veda, in X, 114, 18, tells us that the Riks 
number 15,000 in all, '%***! creR*nf*T OT?TT," Sahasradha 


pancadas&ni uktha. This, however, must not be taken 
seriously. The very expression immediately following the 
above, " m^l 'BfT^Tlfilft *f?f" Yavat dyavaprthivl iti, * they 
are as extensive as the sky and the earth/ unmistakably 
proves that the statement was never intended to be construed 
literally. In fact, quite as early as 600 B.C., every verse, 
every word, and even every syllable of the Rig-veda had been 
counted with the utmost care and devotion. And according 
to these estimates, the actual number of the verses varies 
from 10,402 to 10,622, which contain 153,826 words, and 
432,000 syllables in all. 

The Suktas are, however, of great historical value. Each 
of them begins with what may be characterised as a head- 
line, consisting of the name or names of the Rsi or Ris who 
composed or " saw " it, the name or the names of the deity or 
deities, i.e., the subject invoked or described therein, and 
lastly, the metre or metres in which it has been composed. 
Thus, the Suktas themselves contain a history of their own 
origin and purpose. From the head-line itself, the reader can 
at once find out how a particular hymn was composed, who 
composed it, and the subject it deals with. These head-lines 
were introduced by Katyayana he flourished in the 4th 
century B.C., chiefly from internal evidences, contained in 
the hymns themselves, and in part, it appears, from traditions, 
several centuries after the compilation of the Rig-veda 
Sarphita. Owing, however, to the great distance of time, the 
index of every particular Sukta could not be determined with 
certainty and exactness. But Katyayana, it must be said to 
his credit, discharged his duties honestly and faithfully. In 
cases of doubt, he never tried to conceal his honest doubts, 
but has, on the contrary, frankly confessed them. But in- 
spite of all vigilance and circumspection on his part, errors 
have crept into his statements here and there. In the 
Anukramanika, the name by which the Index is commonly 
Katyayana has, for instance, mentioned King 

78 N. K. DUTT 

Trasadasyu as both the Bsi and the deity of the opening six 
Biks of the 42nd SQkta of Manila IV. But it is evident, from 
the perusal of the Riks in question, that Varuna is the deity 
described. The expressions " ?m fai *W?n:," Mama visve 
amrtab, " all the immortals are mine," and " *r*^ TWT 3W:*" 
Aham raja Varuijah, " I am the king Varuna," occurring in 
the two opening Biks of the Sukta, make it quite clear that 
Varuiia is the deity described in them, and not Trasadasyu, 
as KatySyana imagined. The word, " Ksatriyasya," occurs 
in the very first Bik of the Sukta. But the word has, 
throughout the Big-veda, been used to denote the strong, and 
been applied to gods and men alike. Katyayana, it appears, 
forgot this fact, and hence the confusion referred to above. 
Sayana, in blindly following the AnukramanikS, has only 
fallen into the same blunder, and given it the additional 
support and authority of his great name. Katyayana's 
guidance is, however, thoroughly sound and reliable on the 
whole. And had it not been for his labours, the study of the 
Big-veda would have been infinitely more difficult than it is 
now, and this glorious record would have probably remained, 
more or less, a sealed book to the world. Judged in the light 
of the Anukramaiiika, the Suktas of the first and last Mancja- 
las are regarded as contributions of different Bsis, belonging 
to different families, and those of the remaining eight Maiicja- 
las as contributions, each of a particular Bsi family. Madhuc- 
ohanda Vaisvamitra, Medhatithi Kaiiva, Sunahsepa ijigarthi, 
Hiranyastupa Angirasa, Ka$va Ghoura, Praskanva Ka^va, 
Nodha Gautama are among the foremost Bsis of the first 
Ma$<Jala* The hymns of the second Maiicjala are attributed to 
Grtsamada of the family of Bhrgu, and his descendants. The 
third Ma^ala is, likewise, attributed to Visvamitra, and his 
family. The fourth Mandala to Vamadeva and his descen- 
dants, the fifth to Atri and his family, and the sixth to Bharad 
vaja atid his descendants, the seventh to Vasistha and his 
family, the eighth to Kaqiva and his descendants, and the 


to the descendants of Angira. And lastly, DlrghatamS 
Aucithya, Visvakarnm Bhauvana, Prajapati Paramesthf, 
Kavasa Ailusa, and Dhruva are among the foremost Rsis of 
the tenth Manila. 

The expansion of the Aryan settlement from the eastern 
Afghanistan, along the hanks of the Indus, the Sarasvatl, and 
their tributaries, is generally believed to have taken at least 
six centuries ; and it was during this period that the hymns 
of the Rig-veda were originally composed. The scholars are, 
however, divided in their opinions as to the exact time of the 
Aryan settlement and expansion in Kabul is than, the Punjab 
and its neighbourhood, and the age of the composition of the 
hymns. Golebrooke maintains the hymns to have been origi- 
nally composed between 2000 to 1400 B.C., and finally com- 
piled together and thrown into their present form at the end 
of that period. As far as the majority of the hymns are 
concerned, Dr. Martin is also of the same opinion ; but he 
regards the oldest hymns to be of still earlier origin. Prof. 
Max Miiller is, however, of opinion that the hymns were ori- 
ginally composed between 1500 to 1000 B.C., and finally 
collected together at the end of that period. Prof. Hopkins 
thinks that the hymns were composed between 1000 to 800 B.C. 
Prof. Macdonell regards the date of the Rig-veda to be 
1200 B.C. Mr. B. G. Tilak regards the hymns to be about 5,000 
years old. But in the midst of such differences of opinion, 
one fact stands out most clearly, namely, that the hymns are 
compositions of different Rsis or poets, and of different periods, 
and that they, on being composed, originally remained 
scattered, for a long time, in different families, committed to 
memory, and were transmitted, from generation to generation, 
by oral traditions. Each family took a great pride in the hymns, 
composed by its distinguished members, committed them to 
memory, and, as the art of. writing was unknown then, trans- 
mitted them, from generation to generation, as a rich*legaoy, 
until they were finally compiled together an<f thrown into 

80 N. K. DUTT 

their present form. Krsna Dvaipayana Vyasa was the compiler 
of the Rig-veda Sarnhita ; and this explains why he is 
generally known as " Veda- Vyasa." There are reasons to 
think, as we shall see presently, that Krsria Dvaipayana lived 
about 1000 B.C. So, that also must be the date of the compi- 
lation of the Eig-vedic hymns into their present form. 

According to a weighty and hoary tradition, the author- 
ship of the Mahabharata is also attributed 

The Age of the Epic. __ _ _ , 

to Krs^a Dvaipayana. And this has consi- 
derably added to the complexity of the problem of the 
date of the compilation of the Rig-veda Samhita. The 
terms " Bharata " and " Bharatadharmacarjyah " (in some 
MSS. " Mahabharata-dharmacarjya ") occur in Asvalayana's 
Grhya Sutra. Prof. Macdonell has, accordingly, inferred 
that the great Epic came into existence about the fifth 
century B.C., the date generally ascribed to Asvalayana 
(History of Sans. Lit, p. 285). But there are weighty and 
ample reasons to think that the Epic, in its original form, is 
a much older work, and that it was composed about 1000 
B.C. We incidentally propose to discuss this problem here. It 
is clearly stated in Book 1 of the Epic that it has passed 
through at least three distinct stages of transformation to 
attain its present form, and that before the incorporation of 
the stories and episodes into the work, it contained 24,000 
verses, and that originally it had consisted of only 8,800 verses. 
The original kernel, consisting of 8,800 verses, was then 
evidently the work of Krsna Dvaipayana ; and this kernel was 
based on a real and very ancient inter-tribal war between two 
neighbouring Aryan clans. And from what has been stated 
before elsewhere, it is evident that this was no other than the 
Great War of the Ten Kings, in the Rig-vedic age, between 
the Trtsu-Bharatas and the 'Five Tribes/ The Tait. Ar. 
(XI, 8) mentions Vyasa Parasarjya and Vaisampayana as the 
original authors of the Epic (see also Weber, Indian Lit., 
pp. 93, 184). c We further learn OB the authority of the 


Mahabharata itself that Vaisampayana first recited it to 
Janamejaya Pariksita, and that it was next recited by 
Ugrasena before the assembly of the Rsis under Saunaka, the 
teacher of Asvaiayana, at the Naimi$iya Forest. ^dgurufl^ya 
further tells us that, when recited at the Naimislya Forest, 
the Epic had Harivarpsa already incorporated into it (op. 
Miiller, Ancient Sans. Lit., pp. 223, 239). It is, therefore, 
quite clear that the Epic, in its original form, existed long 
before Asvalayana's time. " The Mahabharata," aptly 
observes Max Miiller (ibid, p. 42 note), "is called the 
Fifth Veda or the Karsna-Veda," after the name of its reputed 
author, but not from " Krsna, a form of Visj^u," as Prof. 
Macdonell wrongly holds (History of Sans. Lit., p. 284). In 
the Satap. Brah. (XIII, 3, 1, 1) we meet with a statement 
about the various sacred works required to be read at the 
celebration of the Asvamedha Sacrifice. The same account also 
occurs both in the Sankhayana Sutra (XVI, 1) and Asvalayana 
Sutra (X, 7), as was long pointed out by Max Miiller 
(ibid, pp. 37-40). On the eighth day of the celebration, which 
lasted for ten days, " the priest," we are told, " says * the Itihasa- 
veda is the Veda, this is the Veda ' ; and then recites an Iti- 
hasa." Here the term " Itihasa- veda" evidently stands for 
the Epic, in its original form. We also learn from the 
Chandogya Up., that Narada, while approaching Sanatkumara 
for Brahma- vidya, had already studied "the Eig-veda, the 
Yajur-veda, the Sama-veda, the Atharva-veda (which is) 
the fourth, the Itihasa and Parana (which is) a fifth, and the 
Veda of the Vedas (Grammar), etc., etc." In the Tait. Ar. 
(XI, 9) we also meet with a reference to " the Brahmanas, the 
Itihasa and the Puranas," as included among the sacred 
books ; and Sayana, in his commentary on the same, has 
identified the term, " Itihasa/' with the Epic. Max Miiller has 
treated this identification as untenable (ibid, p. 41 note). 
But we find no force in his objection. It is further* quite 
clear from P&jjini's rule IV, 2, 60, that the tejftc* " 

82 N. K, DUTT 

really stood for the title of a written work then in existence, 
as has long been pointed out by Weber. It is, also, quite 
clear from above that the Epic, in its original form, existed 
even before tfre composition of the Satap. Brah. But the 
Satap. Brah., we know, was regarded as an ancient work 
even in Panini's time (see Pa^ini's rule, IV, 3, 105). From 
a misconstruction of Paqani's rule, Max Miiller, Weber, and 
Benfey held that in Pagini's time Satap. Brah. was regarded 
as a work of recent origin. The mistake has, however, long 
been pointed out by Goldstucker (Pa^mi : His Place in Sans. 
Lit., p. 138), and it has been clearly shown that, even in 
PftQini's time, the said work was regarded as an ancient one. 
The origin of the Satap. Brah. must, therefore, be referred 
to a date at least about five centuries prior to Panini. But 
what is the age of Paaini ? Macdonell has placed Panini 
"about 300 B.C." (ibid, p. 431). Weber has also placed 
him "subsequent to Alexander" (Ind. Lit, p. 22 note). 
Goldstucker and Bhandarkar have gone to another extreme, 
and placed Paaini in the Pre-Buddhistio period (P&gini : His 
Place, pp. 12, 227, 243 j. But none of these views is tenable. 
It is evident from a perusal of Panini's Grammar, Katyayana's 
V&rttika on the same, and Patanjali's Mahabhasya, as has long 
been pointed out by Bhandarkar (Early History of Ihe 
Deccan, p. 6), that in Panini's time the Indo- Aryans were not 
familiar with the provinces and the tribes in the Deccan, but 
that they were so in Katyayana's time, and that the Maha- 
bhasya shows that Patanjali had an intimate knowledge of 
the South as well as of the different readings of Katyayana's 
Varttika, found in the texts of the different schools of gram- 
marians. It is, therefore, clear that the three grammarians 
were separated from one another by long intervals of time. 
Patanjali, we, however, know to-day on clear and definite 
evidence, lived in the second century B.C. We must, accord* 
fogly* place Kfttyfcyana in the fourth century B.C., and Panini 
fn the fifth* century B.C. Ma? Mitfler has, on vary good 


grounds, placed Katyayana " about 350 B.C." (ibid, p. 242) ; 
but he is clearly wrong in treating Paijini as a contemporary 
of Katyayana. There is nothing to show that Katyayana 
ever saw Pa^ini even in the latter's old age. On the contrary, 
it is quite clear from what has been stated above that Pa$ini 
lived at least one century before Katyayana. This can be 
proved in another way yet. The word * Nirvana f has been 
used by Paijini (VIII, 2, 50), in the sense of "not blowing 
as wind," and by Katyayana in the sense of " blowing 
out." Again, P&iiini has explained the term * Arai^yaka* 
to mean "living in the forest, " But Katyayana has 
remarked in his Varttika (IV, 2, 129) that the word is also 
used in the sense of cc read in the forest." Such differences 
between the two grammarians in the use of the terms 
also clearly prove that they lived in two different ages, 
and were separated from each other by a long interval of time. 
The said differences in the meanings of the terms do not, at 
the same time, at all establish Dr. Goldstiicker's contention, 
namely, that Panini lived in the Pre- Buddhistic age, before the 
origin of the treatises kno\vn as the Araiiyakas. There are 
reasons to think that the word ' Nirvana ' was originally used 
in the Buddhistic literature to mean " the cessation of (selfish) 
desires and tranquillity of the mind attained by perfect 
self -control." And thus understood * Nirvana ' really meant 
" not blowing as wind." ' Nirvana/ in Katyayana's sense of 
" blowing out," or perhaps better " blown out," evidently re- 
presents the Buddhistic ideal in a later stage of the movement. 
All that can, therefore, be reasonably inferred from the afore- 
said differences in the meaning of the term is that Panini 
lived in the earlier part of the Buddhistic movement, and 
Katyayana during a later stage, which is also exactly our 
contention. Again, the irai^yakas, we know, originally form- 
ed integral parts of their respective Brahma^as ; and it was 
subsequently that they obtained recognition as independent 
treatises. So, all that we can infer from the abofe-mandoned 

84 fr. tC. 

differences in the meaning of the term, * Ara^yaka,' is that in 
Panini's time the Aranyakas had existed as integral parts of 
their respective Brahmanas, but that in Katyayana's time, they 
obtained recognition as independent treatises. Thus, we are 
irresistibly driven to the conclusion that Paijini lived in Post- 
Buddhistic age, and was prior to Katyayana by a long interval 
of time. Now, it is evident from Panini's rule IV, 3, 105, as 
already noticed, that even in Pa^ini's time Satapatha Brahmana 
was regarded as an ancient work. So, if for reasons already con si- 
dered, we have to place Panini about the middle of the fifth cen- 
tury B.C., we must place the Satapatha Brahmana about 900 B.C. 
And as the expressions, " Itihasa-veda," and " this is the Veda,' 1 
occur in so ancient an work, we must place the Epic earlier still. 
The teachers' dynasty-list, given in the last book of the Sata- 
patha Brahmana, shows that Tittiri, the promulgates of the 
Black Yajur-veda, was a pupil of Yaska Paingi, the pupil of 
Vaisampayana, the pupil of Krsiia Dvaipayana. But Yajna- 
valkya, the author of the Satapatha Brahmana, was, it appears, 
a contemporary of Tittiri. We must, accordingly, place 
Krsna Dvaipayana, and the composition of the Epic, in its 
original form, in the tenth century B. G. And this must also 
be the date of the compilation of the Rig-veda Samhita. 

Now, to examine the problem of the composition and 

arrangement of the Rig-vedic hymns. In 

The human origin of the R.V. V, 18, 4, we meet with a reference 

the hymns. 

to a class of men, whose business it was to 
preserve the hymns by oral recital. The passage runs as 
follows : 

S.san uktha panti ye, 
1 those who preserve the hymns by oral recitals/ In the R. V, 
IV, 4, 11, Vamadeva, referring to a hymn, tells us that it came 
down to him from his father Gautama. The Rik runs thus: 

Tat ma pituh Qotamat anviyaya, 


* That hymn has come down to me from my father Gotama.' In 
the B. V. Ill, 39, 2, Visvamitra thus refers to another hymn : 

Yitathe sasyamana sa iyam asme sanaja pitrya, 
* This hymn, utterable in sacrifices, has come down from 
our ancestors, and is very old/ Again, in R.V. II, 36, 6, 
Grtsamada tells us: 

"*tm SSTT: foft?:," Hota puvyah nividafc, 
* Hota (one of the seven priests required in a sacrifice) is 
reciting old ancestral hymns.' 

Now, it is evident from above that the hymns, on being 
composed, remained scattered in different families, committed 
to memory, and were transmitted from generation to genera- 
tion, until they were finally compiled together, and thrown into 
the form in which they are found to-day. Many of the hymns 
are invocations to various gods and goddesses for protection 
and guidance amidst trials and sorrows, for victory in war, and 
for blessings in life ; and as such, they must needs be regarded 
as mere outbursts of human sentiments, and, therefore, as 
purely human in origin. 

But the orthodox opinion regards the hymns as of divine 
origin, eternal, and as uncreated, and the 

The belief in the ? ' ' ' 

divine origin of the Rsis as mere seers of the hymns, " OT 
ymns ' Mantradrastarab, 

:,' Rirdarsanaditi Yaskafc), 

and not as their composers or authors. It is impossible to 
state definitely when and under what circumstances the 
belief in the divine origin of the Vedas first came into 
existence, and obtained gradual acceptance. Jaimini, the 
reputed author of " Purva Mlmamss," endeavoured, in his 
well-known work, to establish the eternality of the Vedas 
philosophically, as a necessary corollary following from 
the supposed immutability and eternality t)f the relation 

dft tt. K, 

between words and their meanings. Badarayana maintained* 
the Veda to be the Original and Eternal Word, the fountain- 
head of all realities, the ultimate source from which the uni- 
verse, with its multiplicity of things and beings, has emanated, 
and, therefore, as divine. But the belief in the divine origin 
of the Vedas must have been in existence long before Jaimini 
attempted to demonstrate the same philosophically. Gautama 
Buddha, who flourished in the 6th century B.C., condemned 
externalism in religion in all its forms, and preached his 
Gospel of Universal love, Self-discipline, and Karma. He 
also denied the eternality of the Vedas, as inculcated in the 
BrShmanas, the oldest books of Hindu Rituals. The Brhad- 
arauyaka Upanisad (II, 4,10) describes the Vedas as well as 
all other forms of learning, and all existents as " the breath- 
ings of the Supreme Being." The passage runs thus : 


(Asya Mahato Bhutasya nisvasitametat yad Rig-vedo Yajur- 
vedab Sraa-vedo' tharvangirasat Itihasafe Puraiiam vidya 
Upani^adah Sloka^ Sutranyanuvyakhyanani vyakhySnani... 
Ayanca lokah parasca lokah sarvani ca bhutani asyaiva etani 
sarvai^i nisvasitani). But this is only a figurative description 
of the origin of all existents out of one Eternal Principle. 
Chandogya Upanisad, however, tells us : 

pravrhat Agnim prthivyafe Vayum antariksat 
Adityaip t divafc : Sah pravrhat Agner Bco Vayor 


"Prajapati (the Lord of the Universe) produced fire 
from the earth, the wind from the mid-region, and the sun 
from the sky. He then produced the Rig-veda from fire, the 
Yajur-veda from the wind, and the 8ma-veda from the sun/' 

The same conception also occurs both in the Satapatha 
Brabmai^a (XI, 5, 8, Iff*), and in the Aitareya Brahmaqia 
(V, 32-84). It is, therefore, quite evident that the belief in the 
divine origin of the Vedas is, at least, as old as the days 
of the Brahmanas. 

But there are ample reasons to think that, though very 
old, the said belief is the mere excrescence 

Rtfe claim the , _ L . _ 

authorship of the of a corrupt and degenerate age, and that 

hymns. . . _. 

it was more or less unknown in the Rig- 
vedic age. There are hundreds of B/iks in the Rig-veda, 
which, indeed, give a distinct lie to the aforesaid belief. 
In these Rika, we are told by the Rsis themselves, In the 
clearest and most unequivocal terms, that the hymns are 
purely human productions, and the outcome of their own 
composition. In fact, the historical evidence on the point is so 
very clear and conclusive that, had it not been for men's 
ignorance and bigotry, the absurd belief, in the divine origin 
of the Veda, would have long completely vanished from the 
world. Here are some significant and highly interesting Riks, 
in point, which will speak for themselves : 

1. llsi Nodha Gotama says : 

Eva te Indra brahmagi Gotanmsah akran, 
" O Indra, the descendants of Gotama have composed 
hymns surely for thee." 

2. The same Rsi says in R. V. I, 62,18 

Gotamah Indra navy am ataksat brabma Hariyojanftya, 
" O Indra, Nodha, the son of Gotama, has composed this 
new hymn for thee> the User of horses." 

88 N. K. DUTT 

3. In VII, 18, 4, Ri Vasitha says : 

Dhenum na tva dudhukan upa brahma^i sasrje Vasisthah, 

" O Indra, Vasistha composes these hymns with a view to 
wrench blessings from thee 9 like milk from a cow." 

4i. In B-.V. X, 80, 7, Bsi Saucika says : 

Agnaye brahma Rbhavah tataksuh, 
"Bvus composed hymns for Agni." 
5. In R.V. X, 4, 6, $si Apta Trta says : 

T," lyam te Agne navyasi manlsa, 
" O Agni,/or thee this new hymn (is composed by me). 

6. In R.V. IV, 16, 20, Rsi Vamadeva says: 

Indraya brahma akarma Bhrgavo na ratham, 
<( We, like carpenters, have made hymns, like chariots, 
for Indra." 

7. In R.V. X, 91, 14, ?,si Arjuna says : 
"TRT wfH ^it wron vr%, >f 

Hrda matira janaye carum Agnaye, 

11 / create, by reflexion, this excellent hymn for Agni." 

8. In R.V. II, 39, 8, Bi Grtsamada says : 

Etani vara Asvina vardhanani brahma stomaip Grtsama- 


<( Q Agvins, Qrtsamadas have made these extolling hymns 
for you two," 


9. In R. V. I, 181, 6, R^i Purucchepa Daivadasi says : 

Vajrin a me asya vedhasah naviasah manma Srudhi. 

" O wielder of the thunder, hear well this excellent hymn 
of this new Ri, my own self." 

10. In E. V. I, 9, 4, Rsi Madhucchanda Vaisvamitra 
says : 

Asrgram Indra te girah. 

11 O Indra, I have composed hymns for thee." 

11. In R. V. X, 148, 5, Ri Prthu, the son of Vena, 
says : 

Srudhi havam Indra Sara Prthyah uta stavase Venyasya 

" O mighty Indra, hear Prthu's invocation. Thou art 
adorned with the hymns of Prthu, the s6n of Vena. " 

12. In R. V. V, 2, 11, Rsi Kumara, son or descendant of 
Atri, says : 



Etarp me stomam vipra^rathain na dhlram svapa^i ataksam. 
" O Agni, I, thy worshipper, have composed these hymns 
as a wise and skilful man constructs a chariot." 

13. In R. V. VII, 22, 9, Rsi Vasistha says : 

**% ^r iji^iWRft ^ ^ gw: VR awrftr if WQ ftin: i >J 

Ye ca purvarsayo ye ca natnafc Indra brahmani janayanta 

"0 Indra, those who are old Rsis as well as those that are 
new have composed hymns (for thee)/' , 

90 N. K, DUTT 

14. In E. V.I f 61,,A R?i Npdha Gotaraa says : 

"*wn m* ^rtrf tfWtftr ^ f HOT flftruro " 

Asma it u s torn am gamhinomi ratham na tasteva tatsinSya. 
" I send this hymn to Indra, as a carpenter sends a 

chariot to its owner." 

~ ' ' * * i " : r i 

15. In R. V. I, 41, 7, Rsi Kanva Ghoura, addressing his 
colleagues, says : 

Katha radhama sakhayah stomam Mitrasya Aryamnal^ 
mahipsaro Varunasya. 

.' " friends, how shall we prepare hymns worthy of the 
greatness of Mitra, Aryama and Varu^a ? " 

16. In R. V. I, 20, 1, Rsi MedhStithi Ka^va says : 

"^ vtw: ftftfn: ^rwrar *rarft i" 

Ayam stomah viprebhih asaya akari. 

"This hymn has been composed by wise men with their 
own mouths." 

17. In R.V. VII, 94, 1, Rsi Vasistha says : 

^rn TOT 

vfim asya raanmanah Indragn! purvyastutib : 
Abhrat vrstiriva ajani. 

C *O Indra and Agni, this gf eat hymn has sprung from my 
mind like rains from the cloud" 

18, 111 R. V. VII, 22, 7, R?i Vasistha again says : 

Tu^bhyam brahmani 

41 For the, O Indra, I compose extolling hymns," 


19. In R. V. VII, 37, 4, Vasi^tha says : 

! . ; *M ,: r. , U ' 

Vayam nu te syama brahmakrnvanto Harivo Vasisthah. 

^O Indra, the possessor of horses, we Vasisthas shall 
continue to line composing hymns for thee" * 

. Again, in R,, V. I, 38, 14, a Rsi thus addresses his 



r .j 

Miralhi slokam asye parjjyanyah iva tatanah: 
Gay a gayatram uktham. 

"Compose hymns by the mouth and scatter them like clouds. 
Sing hymns composed in the Gayatrl metre." 

21. In R. V. VI, 45, 25, Sanju Varhaspatya says: 

Imafr u tva Satakrato abhi pra^onuvufc gira^: 

Indra vatsam na m&tara^. 

'*O Indra, performer of hundred feats, our hymns do 
repeatedly go towards thee, as the mother-cows go towards the 

22. In R. V. X, 152, 1, Sasa says: 
: I3BT WFT* ^f% ^iffi^^i^: ^R?f: \" 

ittha mahan asi amitrakhadafr adbhutah. 

" I, Sasa, thus adore (Indra) 1 Indra, thou art the 
destroyer of the enemies, (thou art) great and winder fifl.' " 

N. K. 
23. In E. V. II, 19, 8, Grtsamada says : 

: \" 

Eva te Grtsamadah sura manma avasyavafr na vayunani 

"O mighty (Indra), Grtsamadas have composed excellent 
hymns for thee, as men willing to go (from place to place) 
construct roads for them to go." 

24. In R. V. VII, 35, 14, Vasistha says : 

Adityab Rudrah Vasavat jusanta idam brahma kriyamanam 

" O Suns, Rudras and Vasus, enjoy this (our) newly- 
composed hymn." 

25. In R. V. I, 31, 18, Hirai^yastupa Angirasa says : 

sremn ^ri^^r wt ^rr 

Etena Agne brahmana vavrdhasva sakti va yat te cakrma 
vida va. 

<c Agni, be thou extolled by this hymn, which has been 
composed to the best of my powers and knowledge. 99 

26. Here is another Rik which will speak for itself : 

" WT csrr ^5 <sraremff mftft: in f fft ^w I M 

Ma tva Rudra cakrudhama namobhili ma dustut! vrsabha. 

'* O Rudra, the satisfier of desires, we shall not enrage thee 
by improperly -performed salutes nor by improper hymns." 

27. In R. V. X, 39, 14, Ghosa, daughter of King Kak?l- 
van, says : 



Etaip va stomam Asvinau akarma ataksama Bhrgavo na 
ratham : 

Nyamrksama yosanam na marye. 

" O Asvins, we have composed this hymn for you two, and 
have adorned it, as carpenters adorn a chariot, and as men 
adorn their wives." 

28. The R. V. X, 21, 1, runs thus : 


A Agnim svavrktibhih tva vrnfmahe. 

*' O Agni, we invoke thee with hymns of our own making. 

29. The R. V. I, 25, 3, runs thus : 
u fir 

Vi mrllkaya te manah rathlh asvam na sanditam : 
Glrbhih Varuna slmahi. 

" O Varuna, as the owner of a chariot eases his tired 
horse, so do we please thee with hymns for our happiness." 

30. In R. V. VIII, 100, 3, Nema V^rgava says : 

Na Indro'astTti Nema u tva aha, kafr im dadarsa kam 

81 Nema says c Indra does not exist ; whoever saw 
Indra ? Whom shall we adore ? * " 

31. In R. V. X, 88, 18, Murdhanvana says : 

Katyagnayab kati Suryasab katyu^asah katyusvidapab 

94 N K. DUTt 

Nopaspijam vafc pitaro vadami prcchami vat kavayo 
vidmane kam. 

" How many Agnis are there ? How many Suns ? How 
many Ugas ? How many Water-goddesses P O Fathers, I do 
not ask an insolent question. wise men, being ignorant, I 
ask you the above question only to know." 

It is needless to multiply instances. In the foregoing 
passages we have been distinctly told by the Rsis themselves 
that the hymns are entirely of human origin, and that 
they were composed by different Rsis for different purposes. 
In some of them (vide Extracts Nos. 6, 12, 14 and 27), the 
authors of the Riks have themselves told us, in the clearest 
and most unequivocal terms, that they have composed the 
hymns, and have adorned them with utmost care, as carpen- 
ters adorn the chariots of their own making. In the extract 
No. 27, Rsi Ghosa, daughter of Kakslvan, not only claims the 
authorship of the hymns, but frankly declares that she 
has adorned it as carpenters adorn chariots of their own 
making, and as men adorn their wives. In the extract No. 25, 
Hiranyastupa most explicitly tells us that he has composed the 
hymn to the best of his powers and knowledge. The extracts 
Nos. 26 and 29 are also full of significance. These clearly 
show that the Rsis were also particularly careful in making 
their hymns as much attractive as possible. In the last two 
extracts, the Ssis have doubted even the very existence of the 
deities mentioned in them. Thus, it is evident that the theory 
of the divine origin and infallibility of the hymns is mere 
excrescence of a later and degenerate age. Moreover, in many 
places in the Rig-Veda, the Rsis have characterised themselves 
as " vaiillFCi" krtabrahmanah, 'the makers of hymns, 9 
' stomatastasafr, 'the composers of hymns, 9 

'* 1fW f f karavafc, * makers of hymns/ and so on. In IX, 111, 3, 
Rsi Sisu Angirasa thus speaks of himself " 

karuraham, ' I am a maker of hymns.' Now, all these most 


conclusively prove that the Rsis regarded the hymns as 
purely human productions, and as of their own making. 

Here are four more Riks, on the point, which also will be 
read with great interest: 

1. " ^foRTRl f*TC*. 1: ^^jft* ifonn^l l" 

Josayase girah nah vadhuyuriva yosa^am. IV, 32, 16. 

" (O Indra), relish our hymns as a hen-pecked husband 
relishes the speech of his wife." This is quite significant, and 
clearly shows the hymns to be of human composition. 

2. " it srt tfaitfa 5iw% fsnfSf omTfr sw ^ wrf^ i 


Pra vam mantrani rcase navani krtani brahma jujusaiia 
imani. VII, 61, 6. 

" (0 Mitra and Varu$a), may these (our) hymns, newly- 
composed for your satisfaction, please you two immensely." 

3. " w^ iwrftr ^m rtfk: i fi 

Maho rujarai bandhuta vacobhih. IV, 4, 11. 

cc O (Agni), I shall destroy the powerful RSksasas, forti- 
fied with our friendship generated by the hymns." 

4*. " *nf ^5 g^ f rw Ararat ^f? ^ti? ^rf 

Ayam su tubhyam Varuna svadhavo hrdi stoma upasri- 

Cl O Varuna, possessor of food, may this hymn, composed 
for thee, be well impressed on thy mind." 

. Now, in these Kiks also human authorship of the 
hymns has been claimed in the clearest and most unmistak- 
able terms. The first and the last are both highly significant. 
Again, in R. V. I, 42,. 10, we are told, "We do not 
blame ]Pus&. We, on the contrary, adore hiiq with hymns/ 1 

fa," Na Pusa^LfSn meth&masi 

96 N. K. DUTT 

suktaih abhi grnimasi. Here also the impress of human 
hand is as clear as anything. 

This is not all. The Rig- Veda is not exclusively scriptural 
, ru in character. It is the repository of all 

Other proofs of hii- . r J 

man origin of the sorts of poems, religious or otherwise, com- 
ymns ' posed by the early Indo-Aryans, and found 

in the field at the time of their compilation. Some of 
these poems, technically called hymns, and there are many 
such in the Big- Veda dwell on such topics as <c ^nen/ 1 Aksah, 
c Dice/ " OTTO/' Gravanah, * the Stones for grinding Soma 
plants,' "*rT*grTfV Aranyani, ' the Forests/ " tra^cRT:/' Mandu- 
kah, c the Frogs/ "^rn/' Ghrtam, ' Clarified butter/ "*creft- 
Sapatnivadhanam, ' the Suppression of Co-wives/ 
Yaksaghnaip, ' the Cure of Consumption/ 
Dufcsvapnanasanam, ' the Prevention of 
Evil Dreams/ " ^fW/' Dakina, ' the Sacrificial Fee/ " iJt/ 1 
Go, ' the Cow/ and the like. The Big-Veda also abounds in 
hymns dealing with such purely abstract notions as ' Unity/ 
/' Samjnanam, < The Praise of the King/ "ran ^fot/' 
stuti^, and the like. Again, there are hymns 
which merely say something about the authors themselves, 
or describe some events of their lives. The Sukta 159 
of Maii(Jala X is an instance in point. Its author is a woman 
named Sad, and the deity or the subject-matter it deals with 
is also SacL These poems have no religious significance 
whatsoever. And is it not, therefore, most ridiculous and 
puerile to treat all such poems as inspired or of divine origin 
in any sense of the term ? In some of these hymns, as in the 
hymn Sapatnivadhanam, the lowest feelings and passions of 
human mind have found their expressions. And is it not 
most absurd to treat such compositions as of divine 
origin ? There can evidently be only one answer to this 

In what follows we propose to examine some of the 
hymns mention? ed above more fully. Here are some extracts 


from a hymn on " ire:," Aksah, c Dice,' which will speak 
for themselves: 

Pravepafcma vrhato madayanti irine vavvtanah. X, 34,1. 
" Large moving Dice, thrown about on the dice-board, 
please me greatly/ 5 


Dvesti svasrub apa jaya runaddhi na nathito vindate 
marditaram. X, 34, 3. 

" The mother-in-law dislikes and the wife forsakes the 
player at dice, and he gets no money-lender, even when he 
seeks one." 


Anye jayam parimpsanti asya yasya agrdhat vedane 
Aksalji. X, 34, 4. 

" Others touch his wife, whose wealth mighty Dice 


Na ma mimetha na jihlde esa siva sakhibhyah uta 
mahyam asit : 

Aksasya aham ekaparasya heto^ anuvratam apa jayam 
arodham. X, 34, 2. 

" She (my wife) was never displeased with me nor was 
she ever angry. She was kind to me and to my friends. 
But for the sake of Dice alone, I have forsaken my devoted 
wife. 1 ' 

5. " 

98 N. K. DUTT 

Jaya tapyate kitavaeya hlnft mata : 

Rna va dhanamicchamano anyesam astam upa naktam 
eti. X, 34, JO. 

u The wife as well as the mother of the Dice-player suffer, 
being forsaken. If sunk in debts, he, eager for money, goes 
to others* houses at night (to steal)/ 1 



Aksaih ma dlvyah krsim it krsasva vitte ramasva 
bahumanyamanah : 

Tatra gavah kitava tatra j&ya. 

" O Dice-player, do not play at dice, better take to culti- 
vation, and remain satisfied with its proceeds. Cows as well 
as wife are (found) in the same." 

7. " fast arorsf $ ^ * n\ ft ^ 

Mitram kr^vadhvam khalu mrdata nah ni vo nu manyufc 
visatam arati^i. X, 34, 14. 

" O Dice, make us friends, do good to us. May your 
wrath fast befall our enemies 1 " 

Now, in the foregoing extracts Bsi Kavasa Ailusa has 
described the evils of Dice-playing, and has expressed an 
anxiety to be free from them. In the concluding extract the 
Rsi has solicited Dice to cast their wrath on his enemies and 
to be friendly with him. These Biks must needs be treated 
as purely human productions, and can, in no sense of 
the term, be regarded as of divine origin. 

Again, here are some extracts from a hymn on ''Tragqn: " 
Mandukah, * Frogs,' which will also speak for themselves : 


Samvatsaram sasayanah Brahmanab vratacari$ah : 
Vacam parjanyajinvitam pra Mandukah avadisub. 

" The Frogs, lying prostrated for a year, are, like wor- 
shippers engaged in sacrifices, uttering words delightful to 

2. " 

Divyah apafc abhi yat enam ayan drtim na suskam sara- 
sisayanam : 

Gavam aha na mayuh vatsinmam mandukanam vagnulj 
atra sameti. VII, 103, 2. 

" When heavenly waters reach the Frogs, lying on large 
tanks like dry pieces of leather, their noise resembles that of 
cows, united with their calves." 

8. " *ffarrg: *T?TCI wi?ng: *r^i*i^f^t ^ ^fa i f> 

Gomayu^i adat ajamayuh adat harito no vasuni. 
VII, 103, 10. 

" May the Frog that shouts like a cow grant us riches ! 
May the Frog that shouts like a bull, and may the yellow- 
coloured Frog grant us riches ! " 

Now, could anything be more absurd than to regard such 
Biks as of divine origin ? 

Again, here are some extracts from a hymn on 

Sapatnivadhanam, 'the Suppression of Co-wives,' composed 
by Bsi Indraiil, which are still more interesting : 

Uttara aham uttare uttara it uttarabhyafc : 

Atha sapatnl ya mama adhara sa adharabhyal?. X^ 115, 8. 

100 N. K, DtfTT 

"O excellent (Plant), may I be great, the greatest of the 
great, and may she, who is my co-wife, be the lowest of the 

2. " 

Upa te adham sahamanam abhi tva adham sahiyasa : 
Mam anu pra te manah vatsam gauriva dhavatu, patha 
vab iva dhavatu. X, 145, 6. 

" O husband, I make this powerful plant thy pillow, and 
support you (your head) well with this enchanted and power- 
ful pillow. May your mind seek me as the cow seeks the 
calf, and as the water seeks the lowest level ! " 


Aham murdba mama it anu kraturn patih sehanayah 
upacaret. X, 145, 2. 

"I am the chief (among the Co-wives). My husband shall 
only follow me, the suppressor of the Co-wives." 

Now, these Riks are the expressions of some of the 
vilest passions of human mind, and as such, no sane man can 
seriously treat them as of divine origin, or even as reveal- 
ed, in any sense of the term whatever. 

Here, again, are some extracts from some hymns on 
m^TO:, Gravasah, ' the Stones for pasting Soma plant, 9 which 
will also speak for themselves : 

Sunvati Somam rathirasafr Adrayafc nib asya rasam 
duhanti te. X, 76, 7. 

11 These Stones, being moved, make Soma juice. They 
squeeze out all the juice from the Soma plant." 


2. " *tw. * *^roa: *r% T 

Atyafc na hastayatah Adrih. X, V6, 2. 

" The Stone, when seized by the hand, becomes (i.e^ 
moves) like a horse." 


Trdilah atrdilasah Adrayali ca asramanah asrthitah amr 
tyavah : 

Anaturat ajarah stha suplvasab atrsitah atrsnaja^. 
X, 94, 11. 

" O Stones, you crush others, without being crushed your- 
selves. You are never tired, and are without indolence, 
without death, without decrepitude, without disease, full of 
vigour, without thirst, and without desires. " 

Apa hata Raksasa!h sedhata amatim : 
A nah rayirn sarvavlram sunotana devavyam bharata 
slokam Adrayah. X, 76, 4. 

< O Stones, destroy Eaksasas, remove the evil-doers, 
procure us wealth, together with descendants, and inspire us 
with hymns delightful to the gods." 

Now, these Riks also can, in no sense of the term, be 
regarded as of divine origin, and must needs be treated as 
human productions, pure and simple. 

Here, again, are some extracts from a hymn on " wirtf " 
Yakaghnam, 'the Cure of Consumption' by fisi Vitriha 
Kasyapa, which are also very interesting : 

l. " 


16& M. K. DUTT 

Akslbhyam te nasikabhyana karnabhyam chuvukat adhi : 
"Yaksam masti^kat jihvayah vivrhami te. X, 163, 1. 

" (0 Patient,) I drive consumption away from both thy 
eyes, both thy nostrils, both thy ears, thy chins, the brains, 
and from thy tongue." 

2 - 


Angat angat lomnali lomnafo jatam parvai^i parvani : 
Yaksam vivrharni te. X, 163,6. 

" I drive consumption away from thy every limb, every 
hair, and from every joint it has grown in." 

Now, can any sane man possibly regard these Riks as of 
divine origin ? There can evidently be only one answer to 
this question. 

Here, again, are some extracts from a hymn on " OT?tao" 
Sarameyah, ' the Dog,' composed by Vasistha, which will 
also speak for themselves : 

Stenam ray a Sarameya taskaram va : 

Stotrn Indrasya rayasi kim ducchunayase nisusvapa* 
VII, 55,3. 

" O Sarameya, attack the thief and the robber. Why 
dost thou attack the worshippers of Indra ? Why dost thou 
oppose them ? Sleep well. 5 ' 



Tvam sukarasya dadrhitava dardatu sukarah : 
Stotrn Indrasya rayasi kim asraan ducchunayase nisu- 
svapa. ^VII, 56, 4. 


"O ^ w arameya, may thou pierce the hog, and may the hog 
pierce thee ! Why dost thou attack the worshippers of Indra ? 
Why dost thou oppose them ? Sleep well." 

Now, here the Rsi has simply described an ordinary event 
of his life. These Riks also must, therefore, be regarded as 
purely human productions. 

It is needless to multiply instances. It is quite clear from 
the above Riks and there are thousands of such Riks in the 
Rig-Veda that the Rsis regarded themselves as the authors of 
the hymns, and that the theory of the divine origin and eternality 
of the hymns is but a concoction of a later and degenerate age. 

In the Rig- Veda, we, however, ccme across some Riks 
which seem to indicate the presence of a belief, 

D i vine origin of 

the Biks claimed in in some quarters, among the Vedic Rsis 
some p aoes. themselves, that the hymns were composed 

under divine inspiration. Nay, in some places, the hymns 
have even been represented as having been composed 
by gods themselves. In R.V. X, 88, 8, for instance, Rsi 
Murdhanvan tells us, ^RT3? TOW^ *r^3WT ^T:, Suktavakam 
prathamam ajanayanta Devah, * the gods first generated the 
hymns. 5 Again, in R.V. I, 23, 3, Rsi Grtsamada says : 

Vrhaspate usrah iva suryah jyotisa 

Visvesam it janita brahmanam asi. 

" O Vrhaspati, as the great sun generates the rays by its 
radiance, so art thou the creator of all the hymns." 

Again, in the celebrated Purusa-Sukta, as it is called, 
we are told ; R. V. X. 90, 9 : 

Tasmat yajnat sarvahQtah ^cah Samani jajnire: 
Chandamsi jajnire tasmat Yajustasmat a]ajfata. 

104 N. K. DUTT 

"From that sacrifice, wherein the Universal Person was 
given as an offering, came forth the Riks, and the Samans. 
Thence came forth metres as well as the Yajur-Veda." 

Now, in these Riks, the Rsis have, no doubt, characterised 
the hymns as of divine origin. But expressions like these 
must needs be taken with great caution and reservation, and 
should be construed more as effusions of sentiments than as 
serious statements of facts. It is quite evident that although 
in each of the three preceding Riks the hymns are represented 
as generated by gods, yet in no two of them have they been 
attributed to the same god. This is not all. In R. V. IX, 
103, 4, Rsi Apta Dvita describes the Soma as " ^T iTflN T*J*' J 
Neta matinam, e the Inspirer of the hymns.' In R. V, X, 96, 5, 
Rsi Pratardana even goes a step further and characterises 
Soma as "5ffrr?n WntaTH" Janita matinam, 'the Creator of the 
hymns/ In the same Rik Soma is also described as " 

Janita divah janita prthivyah janita Agnefc janita Suryasya 
janita uta Visnofc, c the Creator of the sky, the creator of the 
earth, the Creator of the sun, the Creator of Indra, and the 
Creator of Visiiu. ' In the next Rik, Soma is similarly described 
as " WRIT ^3111^' Brahma devanam, * Brahma among the gods.' 
In R. V. IX, 86, 10, Soma is again described as "fo?n ^raT*! " 
Pita devanam, c the father of the gods,' and in Rik 5 of the 
same hymn as " qfa: ft*H3T $31^ " Pati^ visvasya bhuvanasya, 
1 the Lord of the Universe.' Now, Soma is a kind of intoxica- 
ting drink, prepared from a plant of the same name. But yet 
it is represented in the preceding Riks as the Creator of the 
hymns, and of the gods, and as the Lord of the Universe. 
Expressions such as these are mere effusions of human 
sentiments, and, as statements of facts, they cannot but be 
regarded as extremely absurd and ridiculous. Again, in R. V. 
X, 76, 4, Rsi Jaratkarna describes the Stones for grinding the 
Soma plants ^as the inspirer of hymns, and invokes the 
Stones to inspire him and his men with such hymns as will be 


pleasant to the gods. The Rik runs as follows: 

i no devavyam bharata elokamadrayah. 

" Stones, inspire us with hymns pleasing to the gods ." 

Now, it is evident from above that the expressions like 
those mentioned before must be taken with great caution and 
reservation, and construed as mere outbursts of poetio 
effusions rather than as serious statements of facts. More- 
over, the entire Purusa-sukta has, for various reasons, been 
rightly regarded by scholars as, more or less, an interpolation, 
and as forming no genuine part of the Big- Veda. In the 
said Sukta a reference has been made to the division of the 
Vedas into Rik, Saman and Tajur-Veda. And this alone 
most conclusively proves that the Sukta containing such 
a reference must have been composed after the compila- 
tion of the Rig- Veda, and the original tripartite division 
of the Vedas into the Rig- Veda, the Sama-Veda, and the 
Yn jur-Veda. The said Sakta also contains a reference to the 
fourfold division of the Indo-Aryans into castes. But in 
the Rig-vedic age, there was no hard and fast division 
of labour, as we shall see in the next chapter and caste as 
based on division of labour according to fitness and capacity 
of individual men, was entirely unknown. This reference 
also clearly proves that the Sukta in question must have been 
composed at a time when the caste-system had made its 
appearance among the Indo-Aryans. These considerations 
irresistibly drive us to the conclusion that, if not the entire 
Purusa-Sukta, at least the parts containing the aforesaid 
references, must needs be regarded as an interpolation. 

Thus, it is quite clear that in the Rig-vedic age the hymns 
were treated as purely human productions, and that the belief 
in the divine origin of the hymns must be regarded as mere 
excrescence of a fallen and degenerate age. 

106 N. K. DUTT 

But Muir has attempted a reconciliation of the two afore- 
said contradictory sets of Riks. He is of 

and Tiiak's opinion (Muir, Original Sanskrit Texts, Vol. 

contention unten- r 

able. Ill, pp. 274-275) that very likely different 

Rsis entertained different views on the ques- 
tion of the origin of the hymns, and that, in some cases, the 
same Rsi maintained different views, according as the one or 
the other was dominant in his mind for the time being. Mr. 
B. (I. Tilak, however, considers Muir's explanation as un- 
satisfactory. Mr. Tilak has made a distinction between " the 
expression, language or form " of the hymns on the one hand, 
and their " contents, substance or subject-matter " on the 
other, and is of opinion that the Rsis regarded the " expres- 
sions of the hymns " as human, but " the subject-matter as 
superhuman or divine." (Tilak, Arctic Home in the Rig- 
Veda, pp. 459-462.) The distinction made by Mr. Tilak is, 
no doubt, an ingenious one. But though apparently ingeni- 
ous, it is entirely without any foundation, and does not stand 
even a moment's scrutiny. In no sense of the term, for 
instance, can the subject-matter of the hymn on 

Sapatnlvadhanam, ' the Suppression of Co- wives/ be regarded 

as superhuman or divine. And this remark also applies, 

with equal force and cogency, to the hymns on 

Yaksaghnam, ' the Cure of Consumption,' "*r ^3n:, 

1 the Frogs,* "^TWTfH," Araiayani, 'the Forests,' and to scores 

or hundreds of similar other hymns, found in the Rig-Veda. 

Evidently, therefore, Mr. Tiiak's contention is entirely unten- 

able. Nor does Muir's reconciliation, referred to above, seem 

to be at all satisfactory. The very fact that even Soma has 

been characterised as * the Creator of the hymns ' as well as 

of the gods, and " as the Lord of the Universe," clearly proves 

that the Riks of the second set were never intended to be 

understood as serious statements of facts, and, therefore, as 

literally correct. And even if, for argument's sake, Muir's 

explanation *be accepted as correct, though it is extremely 


difficult to do so, our main position, namely that the hymns 

are, after all, mere human productions, remains substantially 

intact and unassailable. So, we are irresistibly driven to the 

conclusion that the Rsis, under the normal state of things, and 

when in the proper mood of mind, looked upon the hymns as 

of their own composition. Evidently, therefore, the hymns 

must needs be regarded as human productions, pure and simple. 

The problem of the divine origin of the hymns has 

hitherto been considered only historically. 

Rationalistic un- _ ,, ,. i.,. , T j_ it 

soundness of the said From the rationalistic standpoint as well, 
behef * the theory of the divine origin of the 

hymns is equally untenable. We cannot here dwell on this 
aspect of the question adequately. But nevertheless, the 
following remarks will amply vindicate our position. Many 
of the hymns deal with past events ; and in describing these 
events, verbs, in the past tense form, have frequently been 
used in the Rig- Veda. But in an eternal and uncreated 
script, there can be absolutely no room for verbs in the past 
tense form. So the V3ry use of the verbs in the past tense 
form, frequently used in the Rig- Veda, alone clearly proves that 
the hymns dealing with the events so described, can, under 
no circumstances, be regarded as eternal and of divine origin. 
To the Universal and Omniscient Mind all events are directly 
present before its all-embracing sweep of vision ; and the 
limitations of time and space are non eat. Evidently, therefore, 
the hymns which are subject to such limitations must 
needs be regarded as purely human productions. This argu- 
ment applies with equal force to the theory of the divine 
origin of the scriptures in general. Again, among the hymns 
we, here and there, meet with statements that are unscienti- 
fic, ridiculous and absurd ; and we have already noticed some 
hymns of this description. In the Rig- Veda we also occa- 
sionally meet with instances of morally degrading conceptions 
the hymn on WjftWWifc Sapatnlvadhanam, c th Sup- 
pression of Co- wives' is an instance in point. Ufae presence of 

108 tf. E. DtfTI? 

contradictions in the contents of a work is another clear proof 
of fallibility and human origin. The R. V. contains many 
contradictory utterances. Some of these we have already 
noticed. We shall mention one more here. In R. V. X, 
88, 8, we are told that the hymns were first created by the 

gods, "^sraf mwt w*w*r SNr:," but in R. v. X, 167, 4, its 

author declares himself to be the first hymn-maker " ?jfof q 
Again, the Rig- Veda abounds in prayers 

offered to various deities. In R. V. I, 114, 7, for instance, its 
author prays " O Rudra, do not kill our father, do not kill 
our mother, and do not strike on our dear selves," m if ^fh 
ft?HC *T SW WRTT *T T: fwrr. TO: ^5? fHTW:. The Rig- Veda is 
full of such prayers. And these are mere outbursts of personal 
sentiments, and as such, purely human. And all these most 
clearly prove that the hymns must be treated as mere expres- 
sions of finite and progressive minds, and, as such, as 
purely human productions. The theory of the divine origin 
of the hymns, therefore, entirely falls to the ground both from 
the historical and the rationalistic standpoints. 


The hymns being compositions of different Esis and 
The arrangement of of different periods, naturally existed, as 
alread y aotfced, loosely and scattered in 
different families in the beginning, and 
were transmitted from generation to generation by oral 
traditions* until they were finally compiled together and 
thrown into the form in which they now stand in the 
Rig-Veda-Sarahita. But during the long interval of time 
between the composition of the hymns and their final compi- 
lation, the authors of most of the hymns had died, and 

the hymns had existed only in the memory of their respective 

descendants, ^nd it was from these sources that the hymqa 


were subsequently gathered and thrown into their present 
form. But people only remembered the words and seldom 
did they remember the occasions and the associations, 
much less the chronological order and the mutual relations 
of the hymns. And this rendered an arrangement of the 
hymns in their chronological and natural order entirely im- 
possible. The existing arrangement of the hymns in the 
Rig-Veda-Samhita and their division into the various 
Mamjalas has, accordingly, been exceedingly clumsy and un 
happy. And read in their present order, the hymns form a 
mere jumble, without any intelligent plan or order under- 
lying them. In fact, the Rig-Veda-Samhitca, as it stands 
now, looks like a huge wilderness, devoid of any traces of 
development and progress of thought and doctrine ; and the 
whole work looks more like a confused mass of endless 
repetitions than an intelligent and edifying record, which 
it really is. But this was more or less a necessary evil, 
and the compiler was almost helpless in the matter. For 
reasons already stated, an arrangement of the hymns m 
their chronological order, was a sheer impossibility. But 
even if an arrangement according to the chronological order 
was out of the question, an arrangement of the hymns in 
their logical order was certainly possible. And had the 
hymns been arranged in their logical order of development, 
the Rig- Veda would have been infinitely more interesting 
and edifying than it is. But there was one great difficulty 
in the arrangement of the hymns in their logical order. The 
theory of the divine origin of the hymns had already been 
in the field. And not only the hymns themselves, but also 
the order in which they were remembered had, it appears, 
long come to be regarded as sacred, and viewed with a super- 
stitious awe and veneration. And perhaps the demon of 
superstitious veneration for the order in which the hymns 
were found, made any change in the arrangement of ttys hymns 
equally impossible and inconceivable. But "inspite of the 

110 K. K. DUTT 

absence of any methodical arrangement, the hymns, rightly 
understood, and read between the lines, reveal unmistakable 
traces of growth and development of thought ; and as such, 
to an intelligent and wary reader, the Big- Veda is still 
an interesting and highly edifying study. In the Rig-Veda- 
Samhita the hymns, excepting those of the first and last 
Mandates, originally composed by the Rsis of the same family, 
have, as a rule, been sought, as already noticed, to be 
preserved together within one and the same Mandala. This 
was, no doubt, a very convenient arrangement. But it was 
exactly the reverse of the true and natural arrangement. The 
following observations will most conclusively prove that the 
existing arrangement of the hymns, in the Rig- Veda- Samhita, 
is extremely unhappy and unnatural. It is well-known that even 
in Panini's time the second Mancjala was regarded as of a later 
date than those of the other Mandalas ; and even a careful 
perusal of the very first Rik of the second Mandala fully confirms 
this view. In it we meet with a reference to the seven 
kinds of priests required in big sacrifices. And this clearly 
shows that this Rik was composed at a time when the sacrificial 
rites had grown extremely complex in their character. But 
we shall examine the problem more fully in what follows. 

1. In R. V. I, 45, 3, Praskanva Kanva, the author of the 
hymn, prays to Agni to hear his invocation as he heard (or hears) 
Priyamedha, Atri, Virupa, and Angira. The Rik runs as 
follows : 

Priyamedhavat Atrivat Jatavedah Virupavat : 
Angi'asvat Praskanvasya srudhi havam. 

Now, the above Rik occurs in Mandala I ; and from its posi- 
tion, one <( should naturally expect that the hymns of Priyamedha, 


Atri and others mentioned therein, at least some of j them,, 
must have been prior to it in origin. But in the Rig- Veda 
as we find it to-day, the proper order has been com- 
pletely reversed ; and Atri's hymns occur only in the fourth 
Mandala, and are met with nowhere before, and those of 
Priyamedha and Virupa occur in the eighth Mandala. 

2. Most of the hymns of Medhatithi Kanva occur in 
Mandala I. But some of the hymns of the 8th Mandala (vide 
Suktas 1, 2, 32, etc.) as well as some of Mandala IX (vide 
Suktas 42, 43, etc.) are also attributed to him. This also clearly 
proves that the chronological order of the hymns has been 
totally reversed in the existing arrangement. Had it not been 
so, these hymns, composed by the same author, would have 
stood much nearer than they are found to-day. 

3. In R. V. I, 117, 7, we are told by a Rsi that Ghosa, 
daughter of King Kaksivan, struck with leprosy, had lived in 
her father's house, and that the twin gods, Asvins, having 
been invoked, had cured her, and had united her with a 
husband. The Rik runs as follows : 

Ghosayai cit pitrsade durone patim jrryanta Asvinau 

Now, the foregoing Rik must have originally been com- 
posed after the actual occurrence of the event referred to 
therein. But yet Ghosa's own hymn Ghosa was also a Rsi, 
and had composed hymns herself relating these events of her 
life, immediately after their occurrence, have been mentioned 
in the 10th Mandala. This is also certainly a most absurd 
and chaotic arrangement. This is how Ghoga herself relates 
her change of fortune : 

Amajurah cit bhavatbafc yuvam bhagah. X, 3?, 3. 

114 N. K. DUTT 

"(0 ASvins), you two haye become the fortune of one 
(Ghosa) who, (struck with leprosy), had lived in her father's 
Again ; 

"srf*re ^NT a?ra?i ^i^*: r s 

Janista Ghosa patayat kanlnakah. X, 40, 9. 

"(0 Asvins), this Ghosa has grown into a woman, and a 
husband, desirous of a wife, has come to her." 

Now, these last mentioned Eiks were evidently composed 
by Ghosa immediately after the occurrence of the events ; 
and as such, they ought to have preceded the description 
of the same events given by another Rsi. But yet the 
description given by the latter occurs, as we have seen, in 
Ma^dala I, whereas Ghosa's own Eiks, containing an 
account of the events, are found in Maijdala X, which is 
evidently most absurd. Again, in fl. V. I, 122, 5, we also 
meet with a reference to the hymns composed by Ghosa 
relating the said events of her life. This is also most 
absurd. In the natural order of things Ghosa's own 
hymns should have been given a position prior to those com- 
posed by other Ilsis relating the same events. Under no cir- 
cumstances, Ghosa's own hymns should have been given in 
the last Mandala, and those others mentioned above in 
Mandala I. 

4. The opening hymns of the 1st Mandala are attributed 
to Madhucchanda Vaisvamitra, the son of Visvamitra, and 
some of the hymns immediately following the same are attri- 
buted to Jeta, the son of Madhucchanda. Prom their posi- 
tions in Rig-Veda-Samhita, these are apt to be taken as the 
oldest of the Rig-vedic hymns* But in reality they are some 
of the latest hymns of the Rig-vedic age. The hymns of 
Visvamitra, the father of Madhucchanda, and grand-father of 
Jeta, aft mentioned in the 3rd Mandala. l f his is. most 


absurd. The hymns composecl by Visvamitra should have, in 
the natural order of things, preceded those composed by hk 
son and the grand-son. But in the existing Big-Veda-Saiphita 
the natural order has been reversed, and the hymns of the son 
apd the grand-son have been placed at the very beginning of 
Big- Veda, whereas those of Visvamitra himself have been 
placed in the 3rd Mandala. 

The Biks \vith which the very first hymn of the Rig- Veda 
opens and similar B/iks also occur in the hymns attributed to 
Jeta run as follows : 

: ^fafa: tu: ww <ar*i H" 

Agnimlle purohitam yajnasya devaip rtvijam ; 
Hotararh ratnadhatamam. Agnih purvyebhifc 
nutanaih uta. 1. 1, 1-2. 

" T adore Agni, who, like the priest, invokes gods (to the 
place of sacrifice), and is the greatest giver of wealth. Agni 
was adored by the old Esis and is adored by the new Bsis as 

Now, here Agni is represented as the Priest presiding 
over sacrifices and invoking all other gods to coqae and par- 
take of the sacrificial offerings. But this is, to be sure, an 
extremely complex conception, and it implies and presupposes 
a considerable growth of thought and power of abstraction. 
And as such, a considerable period of time must have elapsed 
for such a complex conception to have suggested itself to the 
imagination of the Bsis. This also proves that the qpQjung 
hymns of the Big-Veda can, by no means, be treated ai the 
oldest of the Big-vedic hymns. To make our positioi* 
we shall examine this point more fully here. If we 

follqwing Biks addressed to Agm into consideration, 
between the opening hymns, mentioned ab<*ve, 


114 N. K, DUTT 

these other hymns will be found to be quite evident - 
(0 "wn^ i TOCT vrrft *rf% i" 

Ibhy&n na raja vanani atti. I, 65, 4. 
"(Agni) consumes the forests, as a king consumes his 

enemies/ 9 

(H) "ft MAr fijfir <wr w*i i" 

Vi dvesamsi inuhi vardhaya ilam. VI, 10, 7. 

"(0 Agni), scatter away the enemies, and increase our food. 

(Hi) "WB*I ura: nftrfif 
^trftr fiw 

KfQusva p&jafr prasitim na prthvlm yahi rajeva amavn 
ibhena : 

Astaasi vidhya Kaksasah tapistaih. IV, 4, 1. 

" O Agni, thou art the killer of the enemies. Spread thy 
heat like a net (spread for catching birds), and attack the Kak- 
gasas with thy fiercest rays, as a king, seated, with his minis- 
ters, on the elephant, attacks his enemies/' 


: \\" 

Tarn u tva vrtrahantamam yo Dasytin avadhfinuse : 
abhi pra nonumaji. I, 73, 4. 

" O Agni, thou removest the Dasyus from their places* 
We salute thee, the greatest killer of the enemies, repeatedly 
with bright hymns." 

Now, the contrast between these simple Kiks and the 
extremely complex Rik, *rfnmt% idftnfafif, Agnimlle puro- 
hitam, etc., * I adore Agni, the Priest, etc./ referred to above 
is quite evident The Rsis knew the use <?f fire, and by 
malting the best use of their superior knowledge, they killed 


or drove away their enemies whenever possible, by setting fire 
to the forests which gave them shelter, and wherefrom they 
surprised and harassed the Aryans from time to time. The 
Rsis, therefore, naturally looked upon Eire with a supersti- 
tious awe and veneration, and worshipped Fire as "the great* 
est destroyer of the enemies " and as " the greatest giver of 
wealth.' 5 With the gradual widening of the range of their 
knowledge and experience, they, however, came to perceive 
that Fire pervaded the universe, and that it was as much 
in heaven as on earth. And with the recognition of this fact 
a new conception dawned upon the minds of the Rsis, and they 
exclaimed with joy and wonder 


Agne yat te divi varcah prthivyam yat osadhi$u apsu. 
III, 22. 2. 

u O Agni, the rays that are in the sky, those that are on 
earth, those in the wood, as well as those in the water, are all 

Now, with the dawn of this new consciousness, there was 
a distinct and perceptible change in the attitude of the Rsis 
towards the Fire, as well as in the nature of their invocations 
to the Fire. And from the very depths of their heart they 
now exclaimed 

mf% ffcraw ^^ i" 

Adavdhebhih tava gopabhih asmakam pahi trisadhastha 
surln. VI. 8, 7. 

" O Agni, thou Pervader of the three worlds, protect us, 
thy worshippers, with thy invincible and sheltering rays." 

Now, the conception that Fire was as much in heaven 
as on earth, and that he pervaded the universe, gradually 
paved the way .for a belief that Fire might, with great^ad van- 
tage, be employed as a mediator between meq on earth and 

116 N. K. DttTtf 

gods iii heaveh. And henceforward the Rsis first leafndft to 
worship Agni as the Priest presiding over sacrifices, and as 
the divine Invoker of gods. Thus, it is evident that the con- 
ception underlying the very opening Eik of the Rig- Veda 

Agaimile purohitam, etc.. referred to 

above, is highly abstract and complex in its character, and 
that it could not ha ye dawned upon the minds of the Rsis 
they had considerably advanced in knowledge and 
, and learned to conceive Agni as fflrenrer,, Trisadhas- 
thah, 'the Pervader of the three worlds.' And hence the 
opening hymn of the H. V. as well as the similar othei* 
hymns following it, can, by no means, claim a place among 
the earliest of the Vedic hymns. In fact, these hymns must 
have been composed after the Rsis have considerably advanced 
in knowledge and in their power of imagination and abstrac- 
tion ; aud as such, these hymns must be regarded as entirely 
misplaced in the Rig-Veda-Samhita. 

Moreover, in the very second Rik of the opening hymn, 
referred to above, Madhucchanda himself characterises him 
as a new Rsi, and as having been preceded by many others 
who had worshipped Agni before him. And from this refer- 
rehce also it is quite clear that the hymn with which the 
feig-Veda opens must needs be regarded as of much later 
origin, and that it can, under no circumstances, be regarded 
as the oldest of the Rig-vedic hymns, though, from its exist- 
ing position, it appears to be so. In fact, the hymns attri- 
buted to Madhucchanda and Jeta, with which the Kjg-Veda 
opteits, ougfat to havp come after Visvamitra's own hymns, 
and not before them. The existing arrangement cannot 
but) therefore, be regarded as extremely unnatural and 

5. From what has been stated elsewhere in connection 
with the War of the Ten Kings, it is evident that Visvamitra 
and Vasistfra were contemporaries, the former having been 
e*! by tt\j9 latter as the high priest of the Bharatas 


Sud&s, Under the normal state of things, one should, therefore^ 
naturally expect the hymns composed by Vasistha to be more 
of less of the same age as those composed by Viivsmitra. 
But in the existing arrangement of the hymns in the Rig- 
Veda-Samhita, the hymns attributed to Visvamitra are found 
in the 3rd Mandala, whereas those attributed to Vasistha are in 
the 7th Mandala. Here also the natural order of the hymns 
has been completely reversed. 

6. The 20th Rik of the 164th Siikta, Mandala I, beauti- 
fully describes the nature of the extremely complex and 
subtle relation between man and God, in the light of an ana- 
logy taken from the world. The Rik runs as follows: 


Dva suparna sayuja sakhaya samanam vrksarn parisasva^ 
jate : 

Tayoh anyat pippalam svadu atti anasn anyo'abhica- 

"Two birds, beautiful in movement and attached as 
friends, dwell on the same tree. One of them eats delicious 
fruits, and the other, all the while fasting, simply looks at 
the former." 

Now, the conception underlying this Rik is evidently 
extremely complex and highly philosophical in its nature ; 
and it could have only dawned upon J;he mind of its author 
after he had greatly advanced in spiritual vision and experi- 
ence. The foregoing Rik is evidently an embodiment of the 
maturest spiritual experience of the age. This Rik also oc- 
curs both in the Svetasvatara Upanisad (IV, 6), and in the 
Muncjaka Upanisad (III, 1, 1) exactly in the same form. 
In fact, the cpnception underlying the Rik in question, is oat 
and out Ved&ntic; and such a highly complex Conception must 

118 M. It. DUW 

have dawned upon the mind of its author after he had attain- 
ed considerable progress in knowledge and philosophical 
speculation. It is, therefore, impossible to treat it as one of 
the earliest hymns of the Rig-Veda, though from its position 
in Ma$dala I it appears to be so. Here also the natural 
order has evidently been reversed. 

It is needless to multiply instances. From what has been 
stated above it is quite evident that, while compiling the 
scattered hymns and dividing them into various Maiidalas, 
the hymns were arranged in a promiscuous manner without 
any well-defined and definite plan or order, and that the 
original order of the hymns has been lost for good. But 
although the chronological order was lost for good, an ar- 
rangement of the hymns in their logical order was quite 
feasible. And had the Hymns been arranged according to 
the growth and development of the thoughts underlying them, 
the Rig- Veda would have been a much more interesting and 
edifying study. But probably out of fear and from a super- 
stitious veneration for the order in which the hymns had been 
found preserved in different families, Krsija Dvaipayana 
shrank from any such attempt. But this reversion of the 
chronological order has rendered the Rig- Veda a doubly 
human production, and has robbed it of much of its beauty, 
excellence and utility. 


The early Aryan invaders came into India, in hordes, with 
their wives, children and cattle; and wherever they came upon 
fertile tracts of land, they founded little colonies of their own, 
and lived as bands of strangers, in a strange land, surrounded 
by enemies. They were often intercepted, on their ways, by 
the inhabitants of the regions through which they had to pass, 
who, as already .noticed, tried all their guiles and stratagems 


to way-lay and kill them. No sooner, however, had the 
Aryans reached their destination, then they found themselves 
hurled into a nest of bees, as it were ; and swarms of swarthy 
races continued to pour upon the invaders, from all sides, and 
fought tooth and nail, with a grim determination, to expel 
the unwelcome visitants from their midst. But the invaders 
had come to stay, armed with the equipments of a superior 
civilisation ; and by their superior weapons, they gradually 
overcame all hostilities, and vanquished the enemies, and sub- 
jugated them in part; and the rest, driven from their homes, 
were obliged to take shelter in forests and mountain fastnesses. 
The Rig- Veda abounds in hymns referring to these early wars 
between the Aryans and the primitive occupants of the soil. 
These hymns are of great historical importance, and throw a 
flood of light into the dark subterranean chambers of the 
history of the period, and furnish the reader with precious 
and interesting details regarding the lives, manners and 
customs of the peoples concerned. Here are some Riks which 
will speak for themselves : 

Indra hatvl Dasyun pra Aryam varnam avat. III, 34, 9. 

* c Indra having killed the Dasyus, saved the superior class 
(the Aryas)." 

2. "IRTO: ^srj *renr: 

Anasajj Dasyun amrnali .vadhena. V, 29, 10. 

" (O Indra) thou hast killed the speechless (i.e., without 
language) Dasyus with thy thunder." 

3. "*r%f^B SWT *n: *w: WIP[ TO: tfrafa: i" 

Adedi^ta Vrtraha gab an tab kr$gan arusaih dham^bhib. 

III, 31, 21. 


"May Indra, the Destroyer of Vytra, send us r$ins! 
May he destroy the black-pom plexioned with his gr$at and 
radiant prowess ! " 

4. "ws: *nrt JTTCR *wm ws ararw ^TW&R \" 

Indrati manave sasat avratan tvacaip krsnam araiidhayat. 

I, 130, 8. 

" Indra destroyed those without rites for men, and topk 
off their black skin." 


Sasah tarn Indra martyam ayajyum Savasali pate. 

I, 181, 4. 

" O Indra, Lord of prowess, thou hast punished the mortal 
B&ksasas, without sacrifices." 


i H" 

Akrama Dasyu^ abhinah amantab anyavratah amanusafc; 
Tvam tasya amitrahan vadha^ Dasasya dambhayal?. 

X, 22, 8. 

"0 Destroyer of the enemies, pierce through the Dasyus, 
who are without sacrifices and without faith, and are unlike 
men, and of different rites, and seek to overpower us." 


Pisangabhrstim abhniam Pisacim Indra sammrna: 
Sarvarp Rak$o nivarbaya. I. 135, 5. 

" Jndra, kill the capper-coloured and Celling Pisach, 
outrjght, and extirpate all Baksasas/' 


8. " 

Sarasvati devanidah nivarhaya. VII, 6, 3. 

"O Saras wati,thou hast exterminated the revilers of gods. 


Ni asradhan ayajnan Dasyun Agnih vivaya. VII. 6, 3. 

" May Agni completely disperse the Dasyus, who are 
without reverence and without sacrifice " 

10. "W wfa ^rTT ^fS?: \" 

Mahah rujami vandhuta vacobhib. IV, 4, 1 1 . 
" O Agni, I destroy the powerful liaksasas by means of 
our friendship generated by the hymns." 


liayaskamo vajrahastam sudaksmam putro na pitaram 
huve VII, 32, 3. 

" Desirous of wealth, I invoke Indra, the wielder of 
thunder and excellent giver, as the son invokes the father." 

12. " 

Na yasya hanyate sakha na jlyate kadacana. X, 152, 1. 
" Whose (Indra's) friend is never killed nor vanquished." 

13. " 

Asvina putrayeva pitara mahyam siksatam. X, 39, 6. 
" O Asvins, teach me as parents teach the son." 

14. "srcrsraii ^rfi??r: wra; ^PT: ^?rn ^r: ^rf^rm i" 

Jambhayatam abhitah rayatah sun ah hatam mrdha^t 
Asvina. I, 382,4. 

t Asvina, destroy these that are yelling like dogs, and 
are coming to fight and kill us," 



15. " 

YajyS it ayajyol). vibhajati bhojanam. II, 26, 1. 

"May the offerer of sacrifices enjoy wealth (the food) of 
those opposed to sacrifices 1 " 


Para cit slrsa vavrjuh te Indra ayajyanab yajvabhijji 
spardhamanah. I, 33, 5. 

" O Indra, those without sacrifices and yet varying with 
the offerers of sacrifices, have fled with their faces (heads) 
turned back/' 


Yo dasaip varnam adharam guha akah. II. 12, 1. 

11 Who (Indra) has made the Dasa class low in caves or 
hiding places. 91 

18. "gf ^w*{ ^t^r^r: ^r^f ^nsr: ^RT srftftn 

Tvam Dasyfin okasah Agne ajah uru jyotih janayan 
Aryyaya.-VII, 5,6. 

" O Agni, having generated great heat, thou hast expelled 
the Dasyus from their homes for the Aryyas." 

Sudase Indrah sutukan amitran arandbayat vadhrivacah. 

VII, 18, 9. 

" Indra brought the chattering enemies, with their 
children, under the subjugation of Sudfts." 


Aiu dah^.sahamuran kravyadah, X, 87, 19, 


" Agni, may thou consume the eaters of raw meat root 
and branch ! " 

Now, in the foregoing Biks, the non- Aryans, whom the 
early Aryan invaders found in possession of the soil, fought 
and vanquished, are described as * black-corn plexioned/ "sp^TT:/* 
kr?6ah or * copper-coloured/ ' fcranraRTo" pisafcgabhrstayah, 
c Dasyus/ * Pisacis/ c Asuras/ ' god-less/ " <sr^T:/ f adevah, 
* without sacrifices, 9 " *r*rorT?i:," Ayaj vanah, and as with differ- 
ent rites " *PWC|:/' anyabratah ; whereas the Aryans are 
described as ' friends of the gods/ " *n^r:, " abhuvafc, * offer- 
ers of sacrifices, 9 " SWR:/' yajvdnah, as ' white-corn- 
plexioned/ " ftr^f :, 9> sityancah (VII, 33, 1), and as 
c makers of hymns/ " qm7T:>" karavah (VI, 45, 33). Some 
of the non-Aryans were, we are told, " *RT9! >" anSsah, 
c without language/ and even " ^lTT?JisrT:, n amanusat * un- 
like men/ and lived on raw-meat, " ?Rsm^:/' kravyadah, 
and were like yelling dogs. It is thus evident that the Aryan 
invaders widely differed from the children of the soil both in 
their complexion as well as in their customs, usages, rites and 
culture, and that they were much superior to their enemies in 
culture and civilisation. It was, therefore, no wonder if the 
Aryans, by their prowess and superior weapons and culture, 
completely crushed their enemies in war, and brought 
many of them under subjugation. Indra, we are told, 
in the extract No. 19, brought the enemies of Sudas, with 
their children, under his subjugation. But many of the 
non-Aryans, it is evident, preferred a life of exile to a 
miserable existence as serfs, under the victors, and took 
shelter in forests and mountains. Indra, we are told in 
extract No. 17, drove the D&sas to caves or hiding places. 
But some among the non-Aryans were evidently 
considerably advanced in civilisation, knew the uses of 
metals, and lived, it appears, in fortified towns and forts. 
Borne cff these *were very "rich ; and in R. V. IV, 25, 7, we 
are told that Indra does not approve of any al^ance with the 

144 N. K. 

wealthy Paiiis, "T ^srai qftRT *W{," Na revata Patina 
sakhyam. In E. V. VI, 45, 33, we find Bharadvaja singing 
the glory of Brvu, and thus praising him for his wisdom and 
liberality : 


Tat su nah visve a sada grnanti karavah : 
Brvum sahasradatam surim. 

" All our hymn-makers always sing the glory of wise 
Brvu, the giver of thousands." 

Brvu was, as Sayana tells us, the carpenter of the Paiiis, 
,* Brvurnama Panlnarntaksa. 

Again, it appears that some of the non-Aryans were 
traders. In K. V., I, 33, 3 we meet with the following : 
*HT lfv&" Ma Panirbhuh, " Do not be (i.e., want any 
return) like a trader." It is, therefore, quite clear that some 
of the non-Aryans, particularly the Panis, were considerably 
advanced in civilisation. The expression, "sr; qif% ^refe; arftaft* 
(I, 182, 3), Yah kascit ahavih mahlyate, *' Whosoever among 
those without sacrifices has attained glory," is indeed highly 
significant. It clearly shows that there were some among the 
non-Aryans who had really made considerable progress in 
culture and civilisation. But the superior valour and higher 
civilisation of the Aryans, gradually, hushed all opposition ; 
-and the enemies were, expelled from their hearths and homes, 
and were subjugated or driven* to a life of exile. Thus, gradu- 
ally there grew up powerful and flourishing Aryan colonies, 
here and there, on the banks of the Indus and its tributaries. 
And as time went on, these colonies multiplied in number, 
and the wave of the Aryan colonisation rolled on more 
and more eastward. The Five Tribes, on th<? banks* of the 
Sarasvati andrits tributaries, already referred to, was one of 


the most powerful of these colonies. And their territories 
formed the most easterly limits of the early Indo-Aryan 
settlement, known as Brabmavarta. 

Dr. A. 0. Das, in his Kig-vedic India, has, as already 
noticed, held that the original inhabitants of the tract of 
land watered by the Rig-Vedic " Seven Elvers," "wifoW." 
were all Aryans, and that the Rig-Vedic wars were only 
wars between the advanced Aryans and their backward kiths 
and kins. The foregoing Riks, however, clearly prove the 
utter absurdity of Dr. Das's contention. In fact, the 
expression, " O Agni, thou hast expelled the Dasyus from 
their houses for the Aryya (R. V. VIII, 5, 6) is alone 
quite conclusive. 

The following Riks will give us some idea of the weapons 
The weapons an d and the accessories of war with which the 
Aryans had armed themselves : 

i. "csf <*te* w[ ^rrofa ^ i" 

Tvam codaya nfn karpa^e sura. I. 22, 10. 

" O mighty Indra, thou sendest men to fight in war with 

2. Nhw fwi *RTCT: r ^TTRI r 

Codaya dhiyam ayasafr na dharam. VI, 47, 10. 

" O Indra, grant me intelligence s sharp as the blade of 
a scimitar." 

3. *Sf*eRT in: 

Dhanvana gah jayema ajixn jayema. VI, 75, 2, 

-* With tjje bow, we Shall win the enemies' cows, and shall 
win battles." 

128 N, K. DUTT 

4. "ITWWT sn TOT: vr: s^n i" 

ilSktS ya yasyah ayah mukham. VI, 75, 16. 

"(The arrow) which is dipped in poison and whose mouth 
is made of iron." 


Avasrsta parapata Saravye brahmasamslte : 
Oaccha amitran prapadyasva ma amisam 
kancana utsisah. VI, 75, 16. 

" O enchanted and skilful Arrow, when hurled, go hence, 
reach the enemies, and leave none of them alive." 


Jlmutasya iva hhavati pratlkam yat varml ySti : 
Tva varmano mahima pipai ttu. VI, 75, 1. 

" When the warrior, armed with a coat of mail, goes, he 
looks like a (terrific) cloud. May the glory of the coat of 
mail protect thee (O Warrior) ! " 


Vaje na asval^ saptivantah. X, 6, 8. 
u j ike swift chargers in war." 

8. "*fHH *rojfoi wrfsri \" - 
Saptim asumiva ajipu. X, 156, 1. 
" Like fast-moving cavalry in war. 11 

9. '' 

Brhaspate ^jaya a^Oniva ajau. X, 68, 


" O Brhaspati, place thy scattered rays among thy 
worshippers, like chargers scattered in war." 


Jenyam yatha vajesu vajinam. I, 180, 6. 

" As men admire a charger victorious in battles." 

11. "TOPI w *rr3Rm: i" 
Eathan iva vajayatah I, 130, 5. 
" As men, desirous of war, construct chariots of war." 

Now, it is evident from above that the Aryans fought 
from chariots in war, put on coats of mail, and fought with 
swords and scimitars, unpierced by the enemies' weapons. 
Some tribes of the Aryans excelled in archery ; and metallic 
arrow-heads were often dipped in poison to make them more 
effective and fatal. In the extract No. 5, quoted above, we 
find Bharadvaja invoking an enchanted arrow, dipped in 
poison, to go and fall upon the enemies, and to leave none of 
them alive. The Aryans, moreover, made use of horses and, 
of cavalries, in war, and occasionally even fought on elephants, 
The expression, " "mfe TT% *R3I*[ iflr," Yahi rajevaamavan 
ibhena, IV, 4, 1, " Go like a king, on the elephant, surround- 
ed by the ministers," is quite significant. We, further, learn 
from the Rig- Veda that the excited chargers often caused a 
great violence upon the enemies, and created consternation 
among them, and, at times, routed them in confusion and 
disorder. The following Riks shall behead with interest : 


Tlvran ghosan kr$vate vrsapaayah Asvah rathebhih 
eaha vajayantafr : 

vakr&m%ntah prapadaih amitran ksi$anti satrOn anapa- 
vyayantah. VI f 75, 7* 

,U8 N, K. DUTT 

" The chargers, rushing violently with the war-chariots, 
and scattering dusts with their feet, make terrible noises, and 
instead of fleeing away, strike the enemies with their hoofs." 

2. "<3?r m qi} areurfsr *r ?rrg* *Rjwt*rf*r fwfsft Htf \ 


Uta sma enam vastramathim na tayum anukrosanti 
ksitayo bharesu : 

Nlca ayamanam jasurim na syenarp sravah ca accha 
pasumat ca yutham. IV, 8P f 5. 

" The enemies scream on seeing it (the war-horse Dadhi- 
kra) making for their food and cattle, in the field of battle, as 
men scream on the approach of a purloiner of clothings, and 
as birds scream on seeing a hungry hawk coming down." 

Vanquished in open war, the non-Aryans often took 
shelter, as has already been stated, in forests and mountains, 
and waged a sort of guerilla war against the victors, and 
often harassed them from their hiding places. But even in 
such trying circumstances, the Aryans were not found want- 
ing. When ordinary resources failed, they punished the 
enemies by setting fire to their hiding-places, and often cap- 
tured or massacred them by thousands. Thus, fire, apart from 
its other uses, did the Aryans a yeoman's service, and in many 
cases, proved to be the only means of completing the effects 
of their hard-won victories. Naturally, therefore, Fire came 
to enjoy the highest esteem and veneration among the early 
Aryan settlers in India', and was worshipped as the greatest 
destroyer of the enemies, "gznF4ffR," Brtrahantama^, 1, 78, 4, 
and as the killer of the Asuras "*RJTB:, V Asuraghnafc, and 
as " the destroyer of the Raksasas," "^?T," Raksoha, 1, 
13, 1. Here are some Riks, in point, which will speak for 
themselves : 


Sanat Ague mrnasi yatudhanan na tva Raksamsi prta- 
nasu jigyuh. X, 87, 19. 

"O Agni, thou always killest the Raksasas, but they 
never vanquished thee in war." 

2. "TT3TT ^ it:," Raja iva jeh. VI, 4, 4. 
t (O Agni), conquer our enemies like a king/' 

3- "*r. ^sr: *&*&*( sw : i 

* fif^zr Tfisr: ^rfnr: flpsr: ^ ^f^srr: ^rftfir: i ff 

Ya^ dehyah anamayat vadhasnaih : 

Sajt nirudhya Nahusah Agnih visa^ cakre valihrta^ 
sahobhih. VII, 6, 5. 

" Agni who lowered the skill of the Asuras by his 
weapons, made them vassals of King Nahusa, besieging them 
by force.* 1 

. "*rfnr: SRI: ftfira: ^rf* v$fa vfcx: T sraror.*: WT \ 


Agnih jambhaih tigitaih atti bharvati yodhah na satriin 
sah vana. 1, 143, 5. 

" Agni kills the enemies like a mighty warrior, and con- 
sumes forests with his sharp teeth." 


Turvan na yaman Etasasya nu rane a yah gbrne. 

VI, 16, 5. 

" Who (Agni) was kindled quickly, in war, for the assis- 
tance of Atasa, (to kill the enemies), like a destroyer of 
the foes. 55 


ISO N.< K, DtfTf 

KrnUsva pajah prasitim prithvlm yahi rajeva amavan 
ibhena : 

anu prasitim drugftnah asta asi vidhya Rakf asah 
tapistaih. IV, 4, 1. 

" Thou art, O Agni, the destroyer of the foes. Spread 
thy heat like a net spread on the earth, and attack the Raksa- 
sas with thy fiercest rays, like a king, seated on the elephant, 
behind his quickly marching hosts, surrounded by his minis- 

In those early times, however, the modern scientific 
methods of kindling fire were unknown, 

Th* detfaod of ob- 

tainingfire. and fire could only be kindled by the 

tedious process of rubbing two pieces of 
twigs against each other. In every house, therefore* fire 
was, as a rule, preserved day and night, with utmost care, so 
that no house could ever be left without this most resourceful 
of friends. On this point the following expressions shall be 
read with interest : 

T*W:," Agne jajfignah. I, 12, 3. 
11 Thou art, O Agni, born of sacrificial sticks. 

2. "n 

Pra mStrbhyat adhi k*anikrAdat gftb. X, 1, 2. 

" O Agni, thou art born of two mothers, making repeated 

3. "ft winnt*" Yo jagarah. V, 44, 14. 
" He who is always awake." 

4. "fatl n Wfo" DlvR na naktam. J , 14$, 4. 
11 Adored afe night as In day- time.'* 


6. "in* *r. m *rw. 5; f?nw ^ i" 

Naktaip yalj im arusah yah diva npn. VI, 8, 6. 

" Who, kindled at night, sends men to their work as in 

Evidently, the great utility of fire gradually gave rise to 
the cult of Fire- Worship among the early Indo- Aryans. And 
Fire soon became one of the foremost deities of the Rig- Veda, 
and was adored as the greatest of the mundane gods, 

The Aryans, though split up into tribes and clans, were 
as a rule, conscious of the unity of their blood and religion, 
culture and civilisation, and regarded one another as their 
kith and kin. Occasionally, however, differences and hostili- 
ties arose among them ; and at times, they even took up arms 
in settlement of these differences. And the Big- Veda opntains 
distinct references to turmoils of wide-spread and gruesome 
inter-tribal wars among the early Indo-Aryans themselves. 
And the War of the Ten Kings is an instance in point 


The early Indo-Aryans were divided into clans, each con- 
sisting of several tribes. Each clan was under a king or 
sovereign, and each tribe had a ruling Chief or King. There 
were also confederacies of allied tribes. The Big- Veda tells 
us of the great and powerful confederacy of the 'Five Tribes' 
on the banks of Sarasvat! and its tributaries, and of its great 
King Asaraati, who, whether with sword in hand or not, 
always had his enemies prostrated in war, like buffaloes pros- 
trated before a lion. The Bik in question runs as follows : 

tab janai^mahisaniva atitasthau pavlravsn uta apaviravftn 
yudhS. X, 60, 1. 

fc& N. K. DtJTT 

The Rig- Veda describes him as " ?9Ri|f?i:," Satpatifc, 
the protector of the good," and his kingdom as " 

tvesasandrsam, " bright." We are further told that 
Iksaku was the Governor of the kingdom, and that " the 
people of the * Five Tribes ' were as happy as in Heaven " (X, 
60, 1 & 4). The Bharatas under King Sudas formed another 
powerful Aryan clan, consisting of Kusikas and several other 
tribes. And subsequently the tribe of the Trtsus, under 
Vasistha, joined the Bharatas as an ally, and led them to victory 
in their war against the ' Five Tribes.' 

The ideal of the government, among the early Indo- 
Aryans was exceedingly high and noble ; and the good of the 
people was the great ambition of the monarchs. In B. V. VI, 
19, 1, Indra is represented as " gladly fulfilling the desires of 
men like a king," " ^c^ ^iff^m:/' Nrvat carsaniprah. The 
Kings had their ministers and governors to help them in 
carrying on their work of administration. The expression 
"STfe ^I^fa *W3Tj; Wfa," Yahi rajeva amavan ibhena, 
IV, 4, 1, clearly proves that, in times of war, the kings, with 
their ministers, often accompanied the armies on elephants to 
instruct the generals. And the expression, "f%f% W M4|ttK4:," 
Divi iva Pancakrstayah, " the five tribes were as happy 
as in Heaven," clearly shows that, at least under some rulers, 
the people were really as happy as in Heaven, and that good 
kings always tried to satisfy the legitimate aspirations of their 
subjects, and that the good of the subjects was the end of the 

In R. V. X, 173, we come across a most beautiful des- 
cription of a Coronation Ceremony. Here are some extracts 
from the same, which will speak for themselves : 

HT Wl ii^faWP II 



A tva aharsam antah edhi dhruvah tista avicacalih : 
Visa^t tva sarva vanchantu ma tat ratramadhibhrasat. 

X, 173, 1. 

" O King, I place thee on the throne. Be thou the Lord 
among the people, and remain still and immovable. May all 
the subjects desire thee" 



Dhruva dyau dhruva prithivl dhruvasafr parvatah ime : 
Dhruvarp visvamidam jagat dhruvo raja visamayam. 

X, 173, 4. 

" The sky is immovable, the earth is immovable, these 
mountains are immovable, this universe is immovable. May 
this king of the people be also immovable ! " 

Again, in R. V., I, 173, 10, we also meet with a reference 
to " the ruler of a town always engaged in good government," 
" SJjfH flfllgV* Purpatim susistau. Now, it is evident 
from above that the good of the people was the chief object 
of the government. It also appears from the above- 
mentioned coronation Eiks that the people had some voice in 
the election of the King. The expression, " fnr; cSfi 3T*Q?Q," 
Visalj tva vanchantu, c may the subjects desire thou,' is not 
without its significance. In fact, the two expressions, " Be 
thou still and immovable," and " may the people desire thee," 
occurring side by side in the first of the* above-mentioned Eiks, 
clearly suggest that even thfen it was clearly known that the 
safety and stability of the monarchs always depended on the 
good wishes and the support of the people. It is also quite 
clear from above that every town had its ruler, or Magistrate, 
" Purpatik" and that it was the ambition of the ruler of a 
town*"&lways io rule the people well and for the good of the 
people. Amidst all uncertainties, it is quite qprtain that the 

134 H K. DtTTt 

government did not then exist for the few, but that it, on 
the contrary, existed for the good and welfare of the 
multitude. It is also clear, from the Riks quoted above, 
that the unhealthy theory of the Divine Origin or of the 
* Trusteeship ' of the kings was totally unknown among the 
early Indo- Aryans. 


The Rig- Veda presents to us the picture of a social organi- 
sation in which vocations of life stood undifferentiated, and 
every individual was both a civilian and a soldier. Pretensions 
of classes and sectional monopolies, based on a fancied su- 
periority of origin and birth, which form the ban of modern 
Hindu society, were totally unknown in the Rig-vedic age. 
The Rsis of the Rig-Veda were, as we have seen, all house- 
holders, and were engaged in different occupations. The 
Rsihood, morever, then formed no monopoly of any privileged 
class or sect. The Rsis, with the rest of the people, formed, 
on the contrary, one undivided and homogeneous nation, in- 
spired by one common end, and knit together by the ties of one 
common origin, one common social life, and one common 
culture. The Ilsis, like others, lived in families, and discharged 
the manifold duties of life as householders and citizens, with 
the greatest fidelity and diligence. Those among the people 
who composed hymns or poems, preserved in the Rig** Veda, 
are known as the Ksis. , Some of the Ris were, as we have 
seen, kings, such as Kutsa, Divodasa, Prthusrava, and the like. 
There were princes among the Rsis as well, such as IJhjasva, 
Ambarisa, Sahadeva, Vayamana, and the like. Many of the 
Rsis were valiant warriors, and led men in war, such as Vis- 
vamitra, Vasistha, Bharadvaja, and the like. There were 
physicians as well among the R?is, such as Bftriha Ktw/apa, 
Yam&yana, and the like. Some of the JBsig were, 


again, engaged in bommeree ; and we hare been told thit 
Rsi Dirghasrava was a merchant (vide R.V.I, 112,11). Some 
of the Rsis were engaged in agriculture ; and there were 
others who followed various other pursuits. 

The Rsihood was not, moreover, a monopoly of the stronger 
sex alone. The Big- Veda tells us of many Bsis who were 
women, and possessed great talents and learning. Visvavara 
and Apala, two daughters of Atri, Ghosa, daughter of King 
Kaksivan, Lopamudra, wife of Agastya, Bomasa, wife of 
King Bhabatavya, were all Bsis, and their poems are found in 
the Big- Veda. The Big-Veda contains references to several 
other Rsis as well, who belonged to the fair sex. Many of 
these ladies were highly cultured ; and the hymns attributed 
to Visvavara and Ghosa are of a very high order, both in 
elegance and richness of diction as well as in the sublimity of 
conception. Here is a Bik y attributed to Visvavara, which 
will be read with interest : 

Samiddhah Agnifr divi socih srayet pratyati TJaasam 
urviya vibhftti : 

Eti praci Visvavara namobhit devan ilana havisa ghptacl. 

-\, 28, 1. 

"Bright Agni acquires brightness in heaven, and ap- 
proaching the dawn, shines brightly. Visvav5rg, who adores 
gods, in heaven, with offerings of clarified butter in hands, 
with her face turned towards the east, approaches Agni." 

Thus in the Big- Veda, the very first thing that strikes the 
reader is the total absence of all those unhealthy and artifi- 
cial usages and restrictions .that vitiate and clog the progress 
of the modern 3indu society. The Ris of the Big-Vgda did 
not live in wilderness in meditation and penance, cut off from 

186 IT. K. DUTT 

all healthy concerns of life. They, on the contrary, lived as 
we have seen, in families, owned herds of cattle, cultivated 
lands, fought their enemies, and followed various other pur- 
suits, and prayed to their gods and goddesses, the Sun, the 
Dawn, Agni, Indra, Varuiia, and the like, for wealth, cattle 
and progeny, as well as for protection and victory in war. 
Generally the father of every family worshipped Fire, the 
chief domestic deity, and poured libations into it. And the 
women also joined in the worship, and helped men in the per- 
formance of their rites. The following Riks will be read with 
interest : 

1. "fWPft *raft $," Vimayante adhvare ye.-X, 40, 10. 

IC Those who engage (their wives) in the performance of 

2. " m %*rar wft *?*r:," Ya devatra krnute rnanafc. V, 
61, 7. 

" Who (Saslyasl, the wife of King Taranta) devotes her 
mind to gods." 

3. " fa HT WRt fa^n:," VI tva tatase mithunah. I, 13 1 ,3. 

" (O Indra), the married couple are engaged in sacrifice 
for thy satisfaction." 

4. " JPRpWpft ft" 3Ti ^JM< f Pfi?t v*q*^i TlfrtW \" 

PurukutsanI hi, vam adasat havyebhi^ Indra- Varupa 
namobhilj. IV, 42,9. 

" O Indra and Varupa, the wife of King Purukutsa pro- 
pitiated you two with sacrificial offerings and hymns." 

Some men and women were, however, more prominent 
than the rest, and distinguished themselves by their ^earning 
and infiuence and the excellence of their hymns. And these 
were the greaf Bsis of the Rig- Veda. 



The position of women in the family and in the society is 
an index of the culture of the age. The women, during the 
Rigvedic times, occupied a high position, both within the 
domestic circles and in the society, and were honoured 
and respected. They looked after all domestic affairs, 
and, at the same time, helped men, as already noticed, in 
the performance of various domestic, social and religious 
ceremonies. Some of ihe women were, however, more 
cultured than the rest, and composed hymns and performed 
sacrifices themselves. The unhealthy institution of the 
seclusion of women, which is one of the greatest evils of the 
modern Hindu society, was totally unknown in the Rigvedic 
age. The women then took part in all healthy concerns of life, 
and even fought, when occasion arose, side by side with men, 
against their common enemies, and even led men in war. The 
Rig-veda tells us of the great prowess of Mudgalanl, the wife 
of 5,91 Mudgala, who, we are told, " cast arrows like rains/ 5 
defeated the non-Aryans, and captured their cows, or recovered 
her husband's lost cows. The Rika in question run as 

Ut sma vatah vahati vasafo asyafc adhiratham yat ajayat 
sahasram : * 

Rathih abhut Mudgalanl' gavistau bhare krtam vyacet 
Indrasena. X, 102, 2. 

" When Mudgalanl, on ascending the chariot, captured 
thousands of cows, the fringe of her cloth was blown upwards 
by t behind. Indrasena, the wite of Mudgala, was in the 
chariot in search of cows, and took away herds of cows* from 
the. .enemies in war." 

133 I*. K. DUTT 


Parivrkta iva patividyamanat plpyana kucakreiia iva 
sincan. X, 102,11. 

" MudgalSnl, like a woman deserted by her husband, 
glorified herself, and cast down arrows like rains from a cloud." 

The following Riks will also be read with interest: 
1. " tW *f tn:, " Girim na venafe. I, 56, 2. 
"Like women, climbing on hills (for flowers). 11 

wsst OT 

Samrajiil svasure bhava samrajnl svasrvam bhava : 
Nanandari samrajn! bhava samrajnl adhidevrsu. 

X, 85, 46. 

M Be a queen to your father-in-law, be a queen to your 
mother-in-law, be a queen to your husband's sister, and be 
a queen to your husband's brothers." 

It is quite evident from above that the wife was the 
mistress of the family, and that she always had a great 
influence over the inmates of the house. And it is also clear 
that in the Rigvedic age, women, as a rule, enjoyed great 
respect and freedom in society. 


The unhealthy institution of early marriage, which is a 
great ban of the modern Hindu society, was also totally 
unknown in the Rigvedic age. And although the fathers 
generally selected bridegrooms for their daughters* .yet the 
women had Always some voice in the selection of their 
husbands. Here are some Riks which will be read with 


interest, and will convey to the reader some idea of the nature 
of the institution of marriage as it existed among the early 
Indo- Aryans : 

1. a fowft sftai *ttzr?r: 

KiyatI yosa maryataji vadhuyoh pariprita panyasS 

v&ryyeija : 
Bhadra vadhuh bhavati yat supesah svayam sa mitram 

vanute jane cit. X, 27, 12. 

" Many women are pleased with the wealth of those who 
woo them. But the woman who is gentle in character, and is 
graceful in appearance, seeks her beloved from among many 
(suitors). 99 

The following B/iks also clearly indicate that girls we*e 
married when they had grown adults : 

1 . 

TJdlrsvato pativatl hi ea Visvavaso : 

Anyamiccha pitrsadam v yak tarn sa te bhagafc janu^a 

tasya viddhi. X, 85, 21. 

" O Visvavasu, arise from here. This girl has got a 
husband. Go to such other maiden in her father's house as 
has got signs of puberty. Know her as thy share. 1 ' 

2. "tftaiSftt foiaaret *W*T tf wf en \ 
^sirrftr'BE waR*f ^f irat ^TWT ^i iT 

Udlr^vato Visvavaso namasa I^amahe tva : 
Anyamiccha prakavyam sam jayam patya srja. X,85, S3* 

"P Visvavasu, arise from here. Go to some other maiden 
who has her person well developed. Unite her with a husband 
as wife.' 1 

140 JNi K. BUTT 

It is evident from above that early marriage was un- 
known in the Rigvedic age, and that women had a voice in 
the selection of their husbands. In R. V. VIII, 48, 24, we 
are again clearly told that PrthusravS was the son of an un- 
married girl. And this also clearly proves that girls were 
married after they had grown adult. The Rig-veda also tells 
us of old maidens, who, for ever, lived with their parents, and 
.obtained a share of the paternal property. And from this it 
is evident that in the Bigvedic age the marriage of women 
was not even regarded as absolutely compulsory, and that 
there were women who remained unmarried for ever, and 
lived with their parents. Here is a Rik in point : 

ft^t: *r^r ^t ^rwn ^n ^w. srcfiro 

Amajuriva pitroh saca satl samanat a sadasah tvamiye 
bhagam II 3 17, 7. 

" A* a maiden living for ever with the parents, longs for 
a share of property from the common paternal house, so do I 
(O Indra), long for thee." 

This is quite conclusive and it clearly proves that the 
marriage of girls was not even compulsory in the Rigvedic 


The Rig-veda also contains unmistakable references to 
the remarriage of widows. From these references it is quite 
clear that the barbarous and inhuman custom of Sati was 
totally unknown among the early Aryans, and that it was the 
invention of a corrupt priesthood of a later and degenerate 
age. The following Riks on the point will speak for them- 
selves : 



Udirsva nari abhi jlvalokam gatasumetam upasesa ehi : 
Hastagrabhasya didhisoh tavedam patyuh janitvamabhl 
samvabhutha. X, 18, 8. 

" Rise up, O Woman, thou art lying by the side of thy 
deceased husband. Come to the world of the living and 
become the wife of one who, desiring to have theefor a wife 9 
holds thy hand to marry thee." 

h narlravidhavab supatnlranjanena sarpisa samvi- 
santu : 

Anasravo anamlvah suratnah arohantu janayo jonimagre. 
X, 18, 7. 

" Let these women, who have desirable husbands, enter 
into the house with collyrium and ghee, without feeling the 
pangs of widowhood. May these women (widows) enter the 
house at the head of others, well adorned and without shed- 
ding tears, and without being depressed." 

Kat vam sayutra vidhaveva devaram krnute sadhasthe 5. 
X, 40, 2. 

" O Asvins, who invoke you two to the sacrificial place, 
like a widow greeting her (deceased) Jiusband's brother, when 
lying on her bed ? " 

It is evident from above that in the Rigvedic age, the 
remarriage of widows was in vogue. The last of the above- 
mentioned Riks throws, it appears, a considerable light on the 
exact form which such marriages then generally assumed. 
The expressWh, "like a widow greeting her deceased Jhusband'0 
brother, when lying on her bed, 5 ' evidently iadicates that the 

14ft . K. 

latter-dgy custom of the remarriage of Hindu widows with 
their deceased husbands 9 brothers is as old as the days of the 
Rig-yeda itself. 


The institution of Sati was, as has already been stated, 
totally unknown in the Rigvedic age. And it is curious to 
note that subsequently it arose from the distortion of the Rik, 
"WT. frcfrfwi:" (Imak narlravidhavah, etc.), "let these 
women, who have desirable husbands, etc.," quoted above in 
support of the remarriage of widows. In the said Rik there 
is absolutely no reference to the burning of widows on the 
funeral piles of their husbands. It, on the contrary, urges the 
widows to shake off the pangs of widowhood, and "return 
home at the head of others," with a, view to be remarried, if 
necessary. But the corrupt and ingenuous priesthood, in a 
later and corrupt age, changed the word " ^nt " (Agre), 
occurring at the end of the Rik, into " Agne " " *pRf *' in the 
sense of C8 *Rft" (Agnau), "into the Eire," with a view to 
support and justify Sati (vide Raghunandana's Agtavim- 
satitattvam Part Suddhitattvam, pp. 427 and 430). It is 
difficult to say how first the custom came into existence. In 
Vis^u Samhita, we meet with the following passage : 


Mrte bharttari brahmacarjyam tadanvarohanam va. 

"On the death of the husband, the widow has to practise 
Brahmacarjya or to accompany the deceased husband on the 
funeral pile/' 

But in the same Samhita we also meet with references to 
remarriage of widows. The expressions, 

(PaunarhhavaScaturthah), " the son of a remarrYed widow is 
the fourth kind '* (of the twelve kinds of son) 


(Nirdhanasya strigrahl), VI, 30, " the debts of a aonless (dead) 
man are to be liquidated by one who takes or weds the widow," 
are quite conclusive. Parasara and Yajnavalkya Smrtis also 
support remarriage of widows. But when, it seems, the prac- 
tice of Sati came into existence, a justification of the inhuman 
custom was felt indispensable ; and interested men took 
recourse to the device referred to above. 


In R. V. Ill, 81, 1, we are told "g%: ^f%g: mn( *n?[ l" 
(Vabvili duhituh naptyam gat), "a father without a son 
obtains his daughter's son (as his)." Again, in R. V. VII, 
4, 7, we come across a reference to the custom of adoption of 
sons. But it is evident that men tried to avoid having an 
adopted son as much as possible, on the ground that such a 
son, " even if good and devoted, cannot be regarded as one's 
own," and that " he subsequently returns to his own house." 
"^far: ip: ^^f: Tjfa" (Okab punah it safc eti), as the Rig- 
veda puts it. 


The Rig-veda contains frequent references to Java, 
" barley,'* and to granaries for the preservation of barley, 
" *$* * m \" (Urdaram na yavena), R. V. II, 14, 11. 
It is, therefore, quite clear that barley formed the staple food 
of the early Aryans in the Punjab and its neighbourhood, 
Among other articles of food, milk, butter, curds, honey, 
sesame, beans, sugar-cane and various other kinds of vege- 
tables were of frequent use. The animal food was also of 
very common use ; and the Aryans took fishes and ate the 
flesh of rams, goats, birds, and even of horses, buffaloes and 
oxj> They also freely indulged in a kind of intoxicating 
drink made* of Soma plant ; and, in addition to several other 
hymns, the whole of the ninth Mandala of the Rig-veda has 

144 NJ K. DUTT 

been devoted to hymns composed in honour of the Soma, the 
most familiar and favourite drink of the time. In the Rig* 
veda we also come across references to Sura, an inferior kind 
of drink, and also to a kind of leather vessel, " fffi: " (Drtih), 
used for its preservation. It is, therefore, evident that as 
regards food also, the early Indo- Aryans were altogether free 
from all restrictions of the later age. Here are some Riks 
which will be read with interest : 

Prabhara Vrtraya vajram gaurna parva virada tiranca 
isyan arnamsi apam caradhyai. I, 61, 12. 

" O Indra, strike this Brtra (cloud) with thy thunder, 
and cut off his limbs, like those of a cow, for the downpouring 
of the rains." 

Apacat Agnih Mahisa trl Satani, V, 29, 7. 
" Agni cooked three hundred buffaloes." 

Agne vasabhih astspadibhih ahuta^L. III, 7, 5. 

" O Agni, thou art invoked with barren cows, bulls and 
pregnant cows (given as offerings)." 

"*nni *RRT 3 g^r* wtf tr^rft i" 

Aham ama te tumram vr^abham paclni. X, 27, 2. 
" O Indra, I cook for thee a bull having a hump, with 
the priests." 

Pacanti te vrsabhan X, 28, 3. 
" They are cdokinsr the oxen." 


Now, it is evident from above that the early Indo-Aryan 
took beef without scruples. The Rigveda also tells us that 
they took even the flesh of the horse (I, 162, 12), and of this 
buffaloes. The expression, " 9 nfort trfTCTCprf*! 1W " (Ye 
vajinam paripasyanti pakvam), "those who see the horse 
being cooked," is indeed quite significant. In E. V. X f 
89, 14, we meet with a reference to slaughter-houses, where 
cows were slaughtered probably for sale. The very expres- 
sion, "STO% f ill*: " (sasane na gava^i), 'like cows in a 
slaughter-house,' clearly shows that slaughter-houses were 
very common then, and that in these places beef was kept 
ready for sale. The leather of the cow was also utilised for 
various purposes and among other articles of use, bowstrings, 
chariot covers, and vessels for preservation of wine were made 
of it (vide VII, 75, 11 ; VI, 47, 27). In a later age, however, 
beef came to be forbidden chiefly from climatic considerations, 
and also, to some extent, from considerations of the utility 
of the cows. But even in the Vasistha Smrti and the Yajfia- 
valkya Smrti, it is allowed on important occasions. The 

(Brahmanaya rajanyaya va abhyagataya v5 
mahoksam va mahajaip va pacet), Vashi$tba Sam., Chap. IV, 
" a large bull or a large goat should be cooked in honour of a 
Brahmin, a royal person, or a guest" is quite significant. 
Moreover, one of the synonyms of the word, " ifrtn" 
(Gosfhnab), is * guest,' which is also highly significant But 
although forbidden subsequently, nowhere, in the Srnj-tis, 
beef-eating is included among the five Mahapatakas, the 
' great sins. 9 So the present-day Hindu attitude towards beef 
is entirely due to ignorance and fanaticism. 


It i$ also evident from the Rig-veda that the unhealthy 
institution of ca&te, which has split up the later Hindusociety 
into a thousand hostile camps and warring sects? with mutually 


146 N K. DUTT 

conflicting interests, was totally unknown among the early 
Indo-Aryans. The institution of caste originally arose from a 
division of labour, which, though originally innocent, became 
hereditary and extremely pernicious in the long run. But 
the Rig-veda contains absolutely no traces of any cut-and-dry 
form of division of labour, or of any hereditary monopolies 
whatsoever. Here are, for instance, some Riks which will 
speak for themselves : 


Karuraham tato bhisak upalapraksinl nans : 

Nanadhiyo vasuyavah anu gah iva tasthima. IX, 111, 3. 

c< I am a composer of hymns. My father (or son) is a 
physician, and my mother (or daughter) grinds corns on the 
stone. Desirous of wealth, we are engaged in various occupa- 
tions, like cows wandering in various directions for food." 


Agne sahantamibhara Dyumnasya prasaha rayim : 

carsanlh abbi asa vajesu sasahat, V, 23, 1. 

" O Agni, give me (Rsi) Dyumna, a son, who will over- 
come the enemies, and, equipped with hymns, will vanquish 
in war all enemies coming to attack us." 

Now it is evident from above that all unhealthy restric- 
tions of the present-day Hindu society imposed by caste, were 
conspicuous by their absence in the Rigvedic age. In the 
last-mentioned Rik, Rsi Dyumna prays for a son, who will 
be a great warrior, and vanquish enemies in war. We have 
seen that, in cases of emergency, even the wives of 4&o $9is 
f ought e side by side with men, and led men in war. In the 
first of the abovementioned Riks, we have been told in the 


clearest and most unequivocal terms, that the caste, as based 
on the division of labour, was totally unknown among the 
early Indo- Aryans, and that the members of one and the same 
family were employed in different occupations for self-main- 

It is true that in the Rig-veda one comes across frequent 
uses of such words as 'Varna,' Vipra,' ' Ksatriya,' and 
c Brahma;' and that even the word * Brahmana* has occasion- 
ally been used in the Rig-veda. Bat these words have been 
used in senses having absolutely no reference to the modern 
unhealthy institution of caste. The word * Varna/ for in- 
stance, has been exclusively used, in the Rig-veda, to indi- 
cate the distinction between the Aryans and the Non-Aryans. 
Again, the words. c Vipra ' and ' Ksatriya,' have been used 
in the sense of * wise ' and * strong ' respectively, and have 
been applied to gods and men alike exactly in the same sense. 
And lastly, the word ' Brahma ' has always been used, in the 
Rig-veda, to signify a hymn ; and the word, ' Brahmana,* 
simply means c the composer of hymns.' There is only one 
place in the Rig-veda where the word * Brahmana ' has been 
used in its modern sense, namely in the Purusa-Sukta. But 
the Purusa-Sukta is, for reasons already stated, rightly treat- 
ed as an interpolation, and as forming no genuine part of the 
Rig-veda. In fact, throughout the Rig-veda, the word 
' Brahmana/ has been used exclusively in the sense of c a 
composer of hymns,' or a worshipper or Stota. Here are 
some Riks, which will speak for themselves : 

To dasam varnam guhakah. II, 12, 4. 
" Who (Indra) drove away the Dasa Class to caves and 
hidden places." 

2. ""^TOfr ?F$Pl H ^TTOT ** >*Wl l" 

Hatvl Dasyun pra iryam varnam avat. ftl f 34, 9. 

tt ( fc. DtFTT 

" Having slaughtered the Dasyus, Indra saved the su- 
perior class/ 9 

3. "twr.*W: l" 

Suksatrah Varu^ah, VII, 64, 1. 
" Very strong Varu^a." 

Vipram viprSsah avase devarp marttasah utaye Agnim 
glrbhih havamahe. VIII, 11, 6. 

"We, wise men, invoke bright and wise Agni, with 
hymns, for our protection/' 


Brahmadvisah tapanah Vrhaspate. II, 23, 4. 

M O Vrhaspati, thou art the oppressor of the enemies of 
the hymns (i.e. the hymn-makers)/' 

6. " 

*' One who makes hymns." 

7. "^N?rc* WT^T^T: ?nw^n*. 94*4 iRw 

Samvatsaram sasayanah Brahmanah vratacarinah : 
Vacam parjanyajinvitam pra mandukah avadisu. 

VII, 103, 1. 

* The frogs, lying prostrated for a year, are uttering 
words delightful to Parjanya, like worshipper 8* engagecFin *a* 



Now, it is quite clear from above that in the Rigvedic 
age the unhealthy institution of caste, based on birth, was 
totally unknown. Here is another hymn which is full of 
significance : 

WRIT ftft: *ptf *w$ wrawnr: it" 

Ime ye narvak na parascaranti na Brahmanaso na 
sutekarasah : 

Te ete vacamabhipadya papaya sirih tantram tanvate 
apratajnapayah). X, 71, 9. 

" These ignorant men who do not reflect on the world to 
come, nor compose hymns, nor can prepare Soma, acquiring 
common (tilthy) language, become fit for the work of a 
cultivator or of a weaver." 

In the last-mentioned Rik, we meet with a clear and 
most convincing proof of the organic unity and solidarity of 
the early Indo-Aryan community. It also shows that a 
natural and healthy system of division of work according to 
fitness and capacity, was already in the field. But although 
the Rik seems to indicate a sort of division of work based on 
personal capacity and fitness, it is entirely free from any 
reference to all artificial and unhealthy restrictions between 
man and man imposed by caste on the present-day Hindu 
society. It simply tells us that men then had to choose their 
vocations according to their capacity and fitness. But the 
evils of hereditary caste were totally unknown in the Big* 
vedic age. The word Brahmana also occurs in R. V. X, 97, 22 
in the expression, " spar wqtfq cH^PJn" (Yasmai kynoti Brahma- 
$ah), " (the patient) whom the Brahmana treats/' but the 
term is used simply in the sense of " an offerer of sacrifices, 
the knowledge of medicinal properties of plants, 
" (Ogadhisamarthyajno jstota) & Sayana 

150 N. f K. DUTT 

puts it. Here also a priest is represented as a physician as 


It is evident from the Rig-veda that the early Aryans in 
India generally buried their dead. But in the iiig-veda we 
meet with references to cremation as well. Here are two 
Riks which will spenk for themselves, and will show that 
both the systems were in vogue then : 

a* *TOT fare? 

Ucchvancasva Prthivi ma nivadhathah : 
Mata putram yatha sica abhi enam Bhume unjuhi. 

X, 18, 11. 

" Earth, raise him (the dead) up, and do not cause him 
pain. Do thou cover the deceased, as the mother covers her 
son, with the hem of her cloth.*' 

MI enamagne vidahah ma abhisocah : 
Yada srtam kri^avo Jatavedah atha imenam prahi^utftt 
. X, 16, 1. 

"O Fire, do not burn him (the dead) completely. Do 
not cause him pain. Jataveda, as soon as thou hast burnt 
him well, send him to our fathers." 

The last-mentioned hymn is very significant. It con- 
tains a clear expression of the belief in the world to come, 
as well as in the Immortality of the soul ; and as such, it 
marks a distinct landmark in the evolution of ittoral progress 
of the eariy Aryans. We shall return to this topic hereafter. 


(1) Agriculture. 

Most of the early Indo- Aryans possessed lands, owned 
herds of cattle, and were engaged in agriculture. Their fields 
were watered by canals or by wells ; and the soil was culti- 
vated by ploughs, with iron or wooden shares, drawn by 
bullocks. In the Rig-veda, we meet with frequent references 
to cultivation of lands by ploughs, and to other instruments 
of agriculture. Here are some Biks which will be read 
with interest : 

Yavam vrkena Asvina vapanta isum duhanta manu- 
syava dasra ; 

Abhi Dasyum vakure^a dhamanta uru jyotih cakrathuh 

11 O beautiful Asvins, you two have displayed your 
great mercy towards the Aryans, sowing corns, with the 
plough, for the Aryans, sending down the rains, and killing 
the Dasyus by the thunder." 


2. "Jftft: IT* T m&\ l 

Gobhih yavam na cakargat. I, 23, 15. 

a As the peasant tills the land repeatedly with the 
bullocks for the cultivation of barley." 

3. "sff^T srcft ^W *$ ^TT VI SRTOT 


Kada vaso stotram harjyate ava smasa rudhafe vah ; 
Dirgham sQtam vatatyaya. X, 103, 1 . * 

15* N, K. DUTT 

"O Indra, we have given thee hymns, which thou 
desirest, and have given thee Soma in abundance for rains. 
When will the channels of our fields be full of waters, and will 
stop them from running out" 

Sah no vrstim divaspari sah nah sahasrinlh igah. I, 6, 6. 

" May he (Agni) give us rains from the heaven, and may 
he give us thousand kinds of crops." 


Arvaci subhage bhava Site vand&mahe tva : 

'Yatha nah subhaga asasi yatha nah suphala asasi. IV, 57, 6. 

4< O Fortunate Plough-share, proceed onward ; we adore 
thee so that thou mayest bestow on us excellent wealth and 
abundant crops." 


Sunarp vahah sunam narah sunaxn krsatu langalam. 

IV, 57, 4 

<c May the bullocks work well, may the cultivator work 

well, and may the plough till the fields well. 1 ' 

(2) Mechanical Arts. 
(i) Carpentry. 

The Rig-veda abounds in references to carpentry. 
The Aryans lived mostly in mud and wooden house^Jbuilt 
forts an mansions, and made wooden boats" ships, carts 
and chariots. They thus naturally acquired a great skill 


in carpentry. Here are* some Hike which will speak for 
themselves : 

Brahma akarma Bhrgavo na ratham, IV, 1H, 20. 

w We have composed hymns, as carpenters make 

(b) " ^R*: f%3p[ JPT uftTO*l I " 

Cakrathuh sindhusu plavam paksinam. 1, 112, 5. 

" Made a boat, propelled with sails, on the sea." 

(c) " 

Sindhau iva navam. X, 186, 9. 

** As men send boats to the sea." 

(ii) Weaving. 

The early Aryans also wove and put on fabrics of 
wool and cotton on a kind of simple hand-loom very much 
similar to those seen even now in India. And in the Rig* 
veda we meet with frequent references to weaving. And it 
is interesting to note that, in these references, the persons 
engaged in weaving are generally represented as women. 
Probably weaving was then largely a, domestic industry, and 
was generally left in the hands of the women. Here are 
some Riks in point : 

(a) "g*: *?ro^fr?f?i sspit \ " 

Punah samavyat vitataip vayantl. II, 38, 

Night draws back the scattered rays of tb# sun, 
like a woman engaged in weaving, " t 

154 1^ K. DUTT 

Ms tantufc ochedi vayatah. II, 28, 5. 

11 While weaving, may not our threads be torn." 

(c) "TOT W vtfqft &$ rt **W*ft \ " 

(Vajya iva vanite tantum tatam samvayantl. II, 3, 6. 
" Like two skilful women engaged in weaving." 

(d) " 

Naham tantum na vijanami otum. VI, 9, 2-3. 
" I know neither the warp nor the woof." 
(Hi) Tanning. 

The early Indo- Aryans also made use of various articles 
of leather. In the Rig-veda we meet with references, as has 
already been stated, to bow-strings, chariot-covers, made of 
cow's leather, as well as leathern vessels for wine. In the 
preparation of Soma-drink, a kind of leathern vessel was 
also used. Besides these, the Aryans also used, it appears, 
for deer-skin fabrics. It, therefore, follows necessarily that the 
Aryans knew the art of tanning. The following references 
will clearly prove that leather-made articles were of constant 
use : 


Gobhih avrtam ratham. VI, 47, 27. 

" A chariot covered with cow-leather." 

(b) M ihf*:wqwft,'' 

Gobhih sannaddha patati, VI, 75, 11. 

" T|je arrow, well placed on the bow-string made of cow- 
leather, shoots (falls)." 


(c) **Efa* <5*W<St ^5* 
Drtim suravato grhe, I, 191, 10. 
" A leather-vessel in the wine-maker's house." 
(iv) Embroidery. 

The Rig-veda further tells us that the early Indo-Aryans 
also knew the Art of Embroidery. In R. V. I, 126, 4, we 
meet with a reference for instance to horses adorned with 
coverings embroidered with gold, " 3nttTO9?f: *renl" (Kraiia- 
vatah atyan). 

(v) Smith-craft. 

The early Indo-Aryans had also acquired considerable 
skill in the smith-craft, and manufactured various kinds of 
weapons of war as well as agricultural implements from iron, 
and domestic articles from copper and other metals. They 
also manufactured and wore various kinds of ornaments 
generally made of gold. It also appears that they also made 
use of some kinds of gold coins. Here are some Riks which 
will speak for themselves : 


Dravih na dravayati daru. VI, 3. 4. 

" Like a goldsmith, Agni melts (consumes) the forests. 

(b) "rM ^RC; four: ^W? fasm: f%*wrsft: i" 

Vaksahsu rukmah sipraji slrsasu vitata hiranmayf. 
V, 54, 1." ' 

" Golden necklaces on the breast, and golden turbans 
spread on the head." 

Hiranmayam premkham. VII, 87, 5. 

iftti ty fc. BttTf 

" A golden pendulum.'* 

(d) M ^mrrmi M 

Khrgala iva. II, 39. 

" Like two coats of mail.' 1 

Pura Syasifc. II, 20, 8. 
* 1?orts made of iron." 

(/) " flftftW I " 
Drapimiva. I, 116, 10. 
f< Like a golden amulet." 

(3) Foreign Trade and Sea-Voyage. 

It is also evident from the B/ig-veda that the unhealthy 
restrictions of the modern Hindu society, forbidding sea- voyage 
were also totally unknown among the progressing and pro- 
gress-loving early Indo- Aryans. Here are some Riks which 
clearly prove the existence of extensive foreign trade and 
sea-voyage among them in the Bigvedic age : 

(0 " ftaifa 3t srr airats: f%f f *n*T ^fwt srfwrfi! \" 

VifivSni no durgaha Jatavedafe sindhum na nava durita 
atiparsi. V, 4, 9, 

" O Agni, lead us across all terrific days, as men go across 
the river on a boat." 

(U) " Tt^it gita *g* " ^ HWT ^rf^ra: i" 

E/odasI stuvlta samudram na sancarane sanisyavah. 

IV, 66, 6, 


" As men worship the sea, while embarking on a sea-voyage 

/or wealth, so dR> I, O Heaven and Earth, worship you two." 

flftE RtG-VEDIC HISfORY l5t 


(m) "955 *r *ww. i" 

Samudre na avasyavah. 1, 48, 3. 
." As men eager for wealthy send vessels to the sea." 
(it? " *$5 5f *^?$ *f5re*: l" 
Samudram na sancarane sanisyavah. I, 56, 2. 

" As men, desirous of wealth, go into the sea." 

The Rig-veda also contains frequent references to the ship- 
wreck of Bhujyu, and his deliverance by the twin gods Asvins 
by means of " floating boats " "*Rt?9frfa: ^fit: " (Apodakabhih 
naubhih), I, 116, 3, and as 6 propelled by sails,' " jaj crf%nr?{ " 
(Plavam pakfiiiam), I, 82, 6, and as * propelled by hundred 
oars' "irarfiwiw*" (Sataritram navam), I, 116, 5. It is, 
therefore, quite evident from above that many among the 
early Indo-Aryans were engaged in foreign trade, and that 
their country-made goods always found ready market abroad. 
It is also evident that boats were then propelled by oars as 
well as by sails. It is difficult to say what was meant by 
* floating boats attributed to Asvins. 9 The expression may have 
a general reference as well to a class of boats made of floating 
timber, used for the construction of the boats, which made them 
unsinkable, the like of which are seen even now in India. 


From what we have seen, it is quite clear that the early 
Indo-Aryans made considerable progress in civilisation. They 
were, as already noticed, divided into clans. Each clan con- 
sisted of several tribes. And each tribe consisted of a 
number of households of freemen. On the lowest grade of 
men were slaves, mostly taken, it appears, from the conquered 
non-Aryans. Each clan had its king, and each tribe its 
chief. The po'or people lived in villages in mud anji wooden 
houses. But the kings and nobles lived* in palaces and 

166 N. It. DtfTT? 

mansions and in fortified towns. The expression, %5F f q 
(Vesma iva drsyate), X, 146, 3, c looks like a mansion/ is quite 
significant. It also appears that the forts were made of stone 
and that fortified cities had protections of concentric walls 
made of stone. In the Rig-veda we meet with frequent 
references to villages as well as fortified cities and also to 
towns without fortifications. Here and there we also come 
across references to cities with iron fortifications. Some of 
these cities were, it appears, guarded by several concentric 
walls. Some of the non- Aryans also, it appears, lived in such 
fortified cities (vide R. V. I, 114, 1 ; II, 20, 8 ; IV, 27, 1 ; 
VII, 3, 7 ; VII, 15, 14 ; I, 166, 8). In some passages in the 
R. V. the protection afforded by the gods is represented to be 
as safe as that afforded by a city having a hundred iron fortifi- 
cations. And from this it is quite clear that the expression, 
"a city with iron fortifications/' "jp;: *rra*!t'/ ' (Purah ayasih), 
has been used in such connections, only figuratively. But the 
idea must have been suggested, as Prof. Muir aptly observes, 
by " forts, consisting apparently of a series of concentric 
walls, as actually existing in the country at the time." Again, 
even if the expressions, "g*; *rTOHt: " (Purafc ayasih), and "i 
SFfljfsf:" (Puh satabhujih), are treated as mere mythological 
references to the aerial cities of the Asuras, yet the ideas con- 
noted by them must have been suggested by their "prototypes " 
as Prof. Muir puts it, actually existing in the country. 
Hence it is evident that cities, actually protected by a series 
of concentric walls, really existed at the time. 

The early Aryans had also made, as already noticed, a 
considerable progress in the science of government. The 
government then did not, as a rule, exist for the few. It, on 
the contrary, existed for the good and advancement of the 
people at large. The love and veneration of the subject was 
always a high ambition of the ruler. The kings appointed 
governors for the good government of the ppople, aftd * had 
ministersHo advise them on all weighty concerns of the state, 


and the town had also their magistrates. The kings had also 
their ambassadors. The kings also often rode out, on ele- 
phants, surrounded by their ministers, to see the state of 
things with their own eyes, both in peace-time and during 
the war. The warriors fought, as already noticed, on chariots 
and horses. The army consisted of archers, infantry (who 
fought with light as well as heavy swords and axes), and 
cavalry, equipped with coats of mail and spears. Elephants 
were also occasionally used in war. In the Eig-veda I, 138, 2, 
we also meet with a reference to the use of camels in war. 
The Rik runs thus : '^rft f qfrpft *W." (Ustro na plparo 
mrdhah), ' (O Pusan), carry us through the war like 
a camel.' Although the non- Aryans vanquished in war were 
generally made slaves, some of the powerful non- Aryan kings, 
Turvasa, Yadu, and Anu, for instance, were all Aryanised, 
as already noticed elsewhere, and were made allies. 

In domestic and social circles, personal decorations were 
in vogue. In the Eig-veda, we meet with frequent references 
to elegantly adorned and well-dressed ladies. The dawn has 
often been represented as displaying her beauties like a smil- 
ing well-dressed and loving wife (vide I, 124, 7). Horse-race 
and hunting were, it appears, amongst the most favourite 
pastimes of the period. We also meet with references to 
professional hunters : and in I, 92, 10, we meet with a refer- 
ence to ' the wife of a hunter, given to slaughtering ' " igpgft W 
rer: ' ' (Svaghnl iva ki tnuk) . The services of professional jesters 
were also, it seems, in great demand ; and in I, 141, 7, we meet 
with a reference to men of this class, which runs as follows : 


Hvarajj na vakta anakrtah. 
< Like a (professional) jester of endless resources.' 
,D&ncing was another favourite pastime of the age. It was, 
however, often far from innocent. In I, 92, 4, the lawn has 
been represented as c uncovering her breast like a dancing 


girl ' "^j: tw ira groS W. OTTT: " (Nrtuh iva apa urnute vaksafc 
Uafc). Musical instruments were also in use ; and in R. V. 
X, 146, 2, we meet with a reference to ' Indian Blna.' In the 
Rik the natural music of birds and animals in a forest has 
been likened to the music of Blna, U *rrerfkft3 WRP|* as the 
Rsi puts it. And there was amongst others, a class of musi- 
cians, employed in the service of kings and nobles, whose 
business it was to rouse them by their songs, sung in chorus, in 
the early morning. In R. V. X, 40, 3, the Asvins, for in- 
stance, are represented as roused from their sleep, " with 
hymns, like two old kings," *smrr f* qniRn" (Jaraiia iva 
kapaya), as the expression runs. In R. V. VII, 80, 1 the 
dawn is also represented as roused, at the horizon, from her 
sleep by the Vasistas, with their hymns. These last-men- 
tioned Riks, it is interesting to note here incidentally, also show 
that the theory of the divine origin of the hymns was altogether 
unknown to their authors. Oil and scents (vide X, 18, 7) 
were also in use ; and in the 6th Rik of the 146th Suktaof the 
same Mandala, we meet with a reference to * scents made of 
musk and other ingredients/ "*n*SFtiff*7* ^fii" (Anjana- 
gandhim surabhim). Women dressed their hair in knots, 
plaits and in various other ways. The priest, it appears, 
shaved their heads, and only wore a tuft of hair. The Vasistas 
wore it on the right side, and have accordingly been described as 
"?ftWT: 9f<*&" (Daksi^atah kapardah), VII, 33, 1. In the 
Rigvada, there are also references to the shaving of the beard 
by the barber (vide X, 142, 4). But gods are often represented 
as keeping their beard intact (vide X, 23, 4 ; X, 26, 7). Hun- 
dred years was the average longevity of the Aryans in 
the Rigvedic age. In R. V. II, 27, 10, Rsi Kurma or Grtsa- 
mada, as the case may be, prays for " a life of hundred years.' 1 
The expression, " Grant us hundred autumns/' "*rq* ift TTC 
(Satam no rasva saradah), is quite significant. The 
$i further tells us here that that was also the longevity of 'the 
ancient Rjis. In R, V. V f 54, 15 Syavasva prays for w a life 


of hundred winters," Satam Himah. In R. V. X, 161, 4, we 
meet with the expression, "*tf|* ^fa *FC?: *RI* f Wm^ H?T* 
WHT1 " (Live for hundred autumns, hundred hemantas and 
hundred springs). Such expressions are quite significant. 

The early Indo-Aryans had also made a considerable pro- 
gress in Astronomy. The Vedic calendar consists of five 
seasons and twelve months. The Ksis knew both the Solar 
Year and the Lunar Year; and the question of the equation 
between the two had also been solved with considerable precision 
and exactness. Here is a Rik which will be read with interest: 
" %5 *TW. ^T^T %? ST. OTSrrasi" (Veda masah dvadasa veda 
yah upajayate), I, 25, 8, ' Varuga knows the twelve months, and 
also the additional thirteenth month.' They also knew that 
the movements of winds and rains were due to the influence 
of the sun, as is evident from the following : 


Vi rasmibhih sasrje Surjah ga^. VII, 36, 1. 

" The Sun creates the rains by his rays." 


Apascit asya vrate a nimrgnah ayam cit vatah ramate 
parijman. II, 38, 2. 

" On account of the sun's work the pure water (rains) as 
well as the winds move about in the sky.' 9 

These passages are quite significant. 

In philosophical speculations also the early Indo-Aryans 
had made a considerable progress. Their speculations about 
the creation of the universe, recorded in the Big-veda, are, 
indeed, very sublime. From Nature- worship they gradually 
rose to foe lofty conception, of Philosophical Theism. And 
when this stage was reached, the early Indo-Aryans came to 
look upon the multiplicity of forces at work & the universe, 


16& N K. DUTT 

and the world of plurality, as manifestations of one ultimate 
spiritual principle, immanent both in the world of matter and 
in the world of mind, and to discover a unity behind all multi- 
plicity and differences in the universe. A full consideration 
of this topic, we must, however, reserve for the next section. 
The poetic imageries, found in the Rig-veda, are also very 
lofty and sublime; and they also afford another clear proof of 
the progress and refinement of the age. 

But it is a mistake to think that in the Vedic age every- 
thing went on well and smoothly. In the Rig-veda, side by side 
with the pictures already considered, we meet with frequent 
references to the evils of polygamy, and to the rivalries among 
co-wives. The evil, it appears, was generally confined among 
the wealthier classes. The Rig-veda also contains reference* 
to the evils of gambling, which, it appears, was rampant 
then ; and the gambler's wife has, as already noticed, been re- 
presented as the object of other people's lust and intrigues. 
We also come across references to faithless wives, and to 
women who went away, conceived, and secretly threw away 
the contents of their wombs in distant lands, as well as to 
public women, "OTWift " (Sadharanl), I, 167, 4. Here are 
two extracts in point : 

l. "*wrar. i sfrw sw: afitfw 

Abhratarah na yosanah vyantafc patiripafr na janayah. 
IV, 5,5. 

" Like brotherless women, and faithless wives who go 


ire mat karta rahasuriva agah. If/,20,1. 

" (Q iditya) remove my sins from me, jusf as an unciiaste 
woman quietly forsakes the contents of her womb." 


In R. V. VIII, 29, 8, we come across a reference to another 
social evil, namely the custom of " two sojourners living with 

one woman.' 5 

But these were evidently exceptions, and form no index 
of the general state of morality of the age. In the Rig-veda, 
we, on the contrary, find that personal and social purity was 
always held in very high esteem. There is, indeed, a high 
moral fervour discernible everywhere in the Rig-veda, run- 
ning through the hymns. Here are some extracts which will 
speak for themselves ; 

Ava drugdhani srja nah. VII, 86, 5. 

" (0 Varuiia) absolve us from our bonds of sins." 

2. "%: TOPI it: <5Rwr:" 

Pranetah yuyam nah avaddhah. 11,28, 3. 

" None can go against the wisdom of (wise) Varuna, and 
he is the guide of the universe." 

3. "?($ w&( ^rnr: *F&F(' 

Hrtsu kratum Varuiiah adadhat. V, 85,2. 

" Varu^a has given resolution in the hearts of men. 5 ' 

Tau sektrbhih arajjubhih sinithuh. VII, 84, 2. 

" (0 Indra and Varuna) you two bind the sinners with 
your invisible (ropeless) fetters." 


mrlayati cakrasfe cit agah vayam sySma Varuae 
anagah. VII, 87, 7. 

fcr. Dirt t 


" May we remain guiltless to Faruya, who shows mercy 
even to the sinners." 

Conceptions like these are, no doubt, a clear index of the 
lofty morality and deep spirituality of the age. The early 
Indo- Aryans had also a clear knowledge of the causes of sins. 
And they clearly laid them down for the guidance of men, 
and warned all to beware of them, and to avoid them by all 
means. The following Eks will be read with interest : 

; *rf%1%: 
iwtm a " 

Dhrutih sa sura manyuh vibhidakah acittih asti jyayan 
kanlyasah : 

Svapnascan it anrtasya prayota. VII, 86, 6. 

" It (sin) proceeds from self-forgetfulness, wine, wrath, 
gambling, and want of moral insight or reflection. Young 
men are also led astray by those more advanced in years. 
And dreams, also, beget sins." 

The last-mentioned Ek is highly significant. In fact, 
conceptions like the above are an unmistakable proof of the 
great moral progress achieved by our ancestors in the Vedic 
age ; and they, at the same time, afford a clear and most 
conclusive testimony to the high civilisation, attained by the 
people. In R. V. X, 71, 2, we, moreover, come across a refer- 
ence to another proof of the great civilisation of the time. In 
it we are told that learned men and scholars often met 
together and held discourses on various weighty and grave 
topics. The Ilk in question runs as follows : 

Tatra dhlrah manasa vacamakrta atra sakhayah 
sakhyani janate. 

** "Where wise men hold discourses, there they enjoy one 
another's friendship." 

RtG-VEDIC HlSTO&y 165 

A class of critics have however held that the " notion of 

sin is wanting altogether, and submissive 

Weber's contention, gratitude to the gods is as yet quite foreign 

namely notion of sin * T. o 

is altogether absant to the Indian in the Vedic age " (Weber, 

among early Indo- 

Aryans, is untenable. History of Indian Lit., p. 38). But their 
contention is quite wrong. From what we 
have seen, it is quite clear that " the consciousness of sin," to 
use Max Miiller's words, " is a prominent feature in the reli- 
gion of the Veda : so is, likewise, the belief that the gods are 
able to take away from men the heavy burden of his sin." ( Vide 
Chips from a German Workshop, Vol. I, p. 41.) Here are 
some more extracts, in point, which are equally conclusive : 

1. " O Agni, far remove from us all iniquities, far remove 
from us sin, far remove from us all evil thoughts." IV, 

2. " If we have sinned against the men who love us, 
have ever wronged a brother, friend or comrade, the neigh- 
bour ever with us, or (even) a stranger, O Varuna, remove 
from us the trespass. If we, as gamesters, cheat at play, 
have cheated, done wrong unwillingly, or sinned of purpose^ 
cast all these sins away like loosened fetters, and O Faruiia, 
may we be thine own beloved." R. V., V, 85, 7 and 8. 

The Rig-veda is full of such lofty utterances. Words are 
but " fossilised thoughts/* and their testimony, respecting the 
state of things among the people using them, is, " as valu- 
able," to use Rev. Phillip's words (Maurice Phillips, Teachings 
of the Vedas, p. 113), "as the testimony of the rocks respect- 
ing the structure of animals which have long become extinct." 
The lofty conceptions like the above are, indeed, the clearest 
proof of the high culture of the age. 

The Rig-Vedic conceptions of heaven and hell also afford 
another clear indication of the presence of a 

The Rig-Vedio con- j i * zu 

ceptipns of heaven deep and, prof ound moral fervour among the 
and * el1 ' people. These conceptions have already 

been noticed before. The following ks addressed to 

166 If. K. DtJTT 


Soma will also be read with great interest in this connection : 

1. " * 

Yatra jyotifc ajasram yasmin loke svah hitam : 
Tasmin mam dhehi amrte loke. IX, 113, 7. 

" Where there is endless light, where the (bright) Sun 
dwells, carry me, (0 Soma), to that region of the immortals." 

2. " * 

Yatra anukamam caranam divah lokah yatra joy tismantah : 
Tatra mlm amrtam krdhi. IX, 113, 9. 

" Where the Sun moves freely, where the regions are ever 
bright, carry me there (0 Soma), and make me immortal.*' 

Now, expressions like these are also quite significant, and 

The concluding in- can be taken as a clear index of the deep 

led^and its ^mpor^ moral fervour of the age. Here is another 

tance * Kk which is equally significant. It runs 

thus : 

3*. ^TTff?!*. WRT "5^n V. I 

It " 

SamanI vah akutih samana brdayani vah : 

Samanamastu vah manah yatha vah susahasati. 

X, 191, 4. 

"May you be united in your efforts, united in your 
hearts, united in your minds, and united in your learnings." 

What a priceless treasure of wisdom is contained in the 
aforesaid Ek 1 In the present caste-ridden India, witb its 
thousand* warrir^ sects and sub-sects, chaos, riots, and 


confusion, it is, indeed, simply invaluable. The said Bk 
constitutes the concluding utterance of the Big-Veda. And 
the more we can be true and loyal to it the better for us and 
the country. 


" The position of a primitive man in the world/ 5 says 
Dr. VenB, " may be compared to that of some stranger 
who has wandered into a gigantic foundry or workshop. 
He can touch nothing without a risk of being burnt ; he 
does not know where he can stand without being knocked 
down ; at every moment he may be crushed by a steam- 
hammer, blinded by a spark, or swept away by a revolving 
band/* It was exactly so with the ancestors of the early 
Hindus, as with all primitive men. When they looked 
around, they saw movement and activity everywhere in 
the universe. The storms and hurricanes blew with terrific 
violence, and mercilessly pulled down trees and houses. 
The forked lightning flashed forth from behind the dark 
and thundering clouds overhead, and threatened the mortals 
below with destruction and ruin. The sun, the moon, and 
other luminaries majestically rode across the arena of heaven, 
bathing the world below alternately with light and darkness. 
There were activities and movements in the seas and in 
the rivers ; and they at times grew wild and ferocious. 
These movements and activities naturally inspired the early 
Aryans with awe and wonder, and "filled their minds with 
a profound sense of their *own insignificance and helpless- 
ness. With child-like simplicity they looked upon every 
movement as an expression of Life and Will, in the moving 
object, or otherwise working in and through it. Naturally, 
therefore, the powers and objects of Nature slowly came 
to le metamorphosed into subtle and mysterious Beings or 
Powers, who, they thought, shaped and influenced the things 

168 N, f K. DUTT 

and events 6f the world and the destinies of men. And 
they naturally sought to propitiate them with their hymns 
and sacrificial offerings. Thus, the whole universe gradually 
came to be peopled with gods and goddesses, whom they 
worshipped with awe and veneration. But the Bsis did not 
stop here. Their God-consciousness was, no doubt, entirely 
anthropomorphic in its character, in the beginning : and it was 
so, in the beginning, all the world over. But the early Aryans 
gradually advanced, by slow steps, and ultimately rose to the 
sublime conception of One God, without a second, conceived 
as the Author, Ruler and Sustainer of the universe. The early 
Aryans thus began with the worship of the Powers of 
Nature, and from Nature they gradually passed on to Nature's 
God. And when this stage was reached, they exclaimed : 

" sft *r, frar viftnt sft 

To nah pita janita yo vidhata dhamani veda bhuva- 

nani visva : 
Yo devanam namadhah ekah eva tarn samprasnarp 

bhuvana yanti anya. X, 82, 3. 

w He who is our father and creator, who knows all the 
places and things of the universe, He is One, though bearing 
the names of many deities. All men ask about him." 

With the dawn of this new conception, the gates of a 
new world, as it were, were flung open to the minds of 
the IJsis. And this gradually paved the way for a still 
deeper and higher conception of the Ultimate Reality, con- 
ceived as the Universal Spirit, immanent both in the world 
of matter and in the world of mind, and pulsating in the 
remotest of the stars above, and in the tiniest of the atoms 
below, and welling up from within as the ground and founda- 

tion of man's moral consciousness, and as the soul ,of his 


soul. Bu this profound conception took several centuries 
fully to unfold itself. 


"The very idea of divine powers sprang/' says Prof. 
Max Miiller, c( from the wonderment with which the fore- 
fathers of the Aryan family stared at the bright powers 
that came and went, no one knew whence or whither, that 
never failed, never faded, never died, and were called immortal. " 
In the infancy of humanity, the imaginations of the early 
Aryans were, indeed, peculiarly open to impressions from 
without. And " in the starry sky, in the dawn, in the 
morning sun, scaling the heavens, in the bright clouds, 
floating across the air and assuming all manner of magni* 
ficent or fantastic shape, in the waters, in the rain, in 
the storm, in the thunder and lightning, they beheld," to 
use Muir's words, " the presence and agency of different 
divine powers propitious or angry, whose character corres- 
ponded with those of the physical operation or appearances 
in which they were manifested." Naturally, therefore, 
religion, in India, as everywhere else, arose originally from 
fear and a sense of helplessness, and was polytheistic in 
character. Max Muller held that the earliest expression 
of religion need not necessarily be polytheistic, and that 
Fetishism may, after all, be only a corruption of Theism. 
But this contention is psychologically wrong and untenable. 
In fact, religious consciousness is bound to be polytheistic 
in the beginning, and India was no exception to this general 
rule. Pear, awe, wonderment, and a sense of man's helpless- 
ness and dependence have, indeed, always been a powerful 
incentive to the origin of religion. And the Rig-veda 
abounds in passages which fully substantiate the truth of 
this statement. Here are Some lliks which will speak 
for themselves : 

Srudhi bavam Indra marisanyah syama te davane 
vasfinam. * 

170 N. K, DUTT 


" O Indra, hear my invocation. Do not destroy us. We 
are worthy of thy gifts." 

Ma nah Agne amataye ma avlratSyai rlradah. III, 16, 5. 

** (O Agni) do not make us over to our enemies, nor leave 
us without sons." 

3. "HT 

Ma nah vadhlh Rudra ma paradafc. VII, 46, 4. 
" O Rudra, do not destroy us, do not forsake us." 

Ma nah dame va vane juhuthah. VII, 1, 19. 

"O Agni, do not envy us while at home or in the 

5. "*r *r: 3t% ?R$ *rr f: w m ^ hi in 

m ^t ?f5 wfiT^t ^Hft: Tft^^f : H^fir^ tsn ^^w% 11'* 

Ma nah toke tanaye ma nah ayau ma no gosu ma na^ 
asvesu rlrisah : 

Vlran ma no Rudra bhamitoh vadhlh havismanta^ 
sadamit tva havamahe. 1, 114, 8. 

" O Rudra, do not envy our sons, our grandsons, our 
relations, our cows anc[ our horses. Do not kill our heroes, 
when enraged. We shall always invoke thee equipped with 
sacrificial offerings." 

But as the early Indo-Aryans advanced in knowledge 
and spiritual vision, they gradually learned to transcend 
their old beliefs, and to look upon the objects of Nature and 
the elemental powers as mere expressions of One Ultimate 
Reality. But there was an intermediate stage between 

(THE RIG-VtlDIC jilSTORV. ift 

Polytheism and Theism. And Prof. Max Mailer has named 
this particular phase of thought as Henotheism. In this 
stage the various deities came, by turn, to be conceived and 
worshipped as the Highest. But this stage only formed a 
passing phenomenon in the evolution of God-consciousness, 
and was soon followed by a higher phase of thought. In 
what follows, we shall briefly consider these various phases 
of God-consciousness one after another. 


In the Polytheistic stage of God-consciousness, bright 
and conspicuous objects of nature and elemental powers 
were, as already noticed, represented as gods and goddesses, 
and worshipped as such. The following Riks will clearly 
show that the gods and goddesses whom the early Aryans 
invoked for protection and blessings, in the early stage of their 
God- consciousness were really none but powers and objects 
of Nature personified and worshipped as deities. 

1. Here are some Eiks referring to Usa : 

Rusadvatsa rusatl svetya a agat. I, 113, 2. 

"The bright and white- complexioned Usa, the mother of 
the Sun, is come." 

Esa Divo duhita pratyadarsi vyucchantl yuvatih sukra- 
vasah I, 113, 7. 

" The ever-youthful white-clothed Usa, the daughter of 
the Sky, ijf becoming visible, scattering all darkness. 5 ' 


172 N. It. DTTTT? 

Esa Divo duhita pratyadarsi jyotirvasanS purastat. I, 
124, 3. 

" lisa the daugher of the Sky, is becoming visible in the 
east, covered with light." 

(it?) "< 

Upo adarsi admasat na sasato vodhayantl. I, 124, 4. 

" Usa, rousing all inmates like a mother, becomes 
visible very near." 

(v) " 

Dure amitram uccha urvlm gavyutim abhayam krdhi 

Tavaya dvesah abhara vasuni. VII, 77, 4. 

" O TJ^a, shine forth, removing all enemies at a distance, 
and make our wide pasture-land free from fear, remove our 
enemies from us, and send us wealth." 

It is evident from the foregoing Riks that Usa is nothing 
but the Dawn personified. The Dawn, it is interesting to 
note here, has sometimes been described, in the Big-veda, 
as the daughter of the Sky, sometimes as the mother of the 
Sun, and sometimes, again, as noticed elsewhere, as the 
faithful and devoted wife of the Sun. Under the cover of 
the darkness of the ' night, the non- Aryans, as noticed 
before, often attacked and harassed the Aryan invaders. 
But on the approach of the Dawn, they fled away, pursued 
by the Aryans. The Aryans, therefore, naturally eagerly 
longed for the appearance of the Dawn, and welcomed her 
as a friend and protector of the Aryans. In the la$t of the 
f oregoingr Riks, the Dawn has actually beed invoked as a 
protector of the Aryans. 


2. Here are some Biks referring to Savita : 

(i) " 

Utsyah devah Savita savaya sasatvamain asthatl II, 
38, 1. 

"He, the bright Savita, rises every day for the regenera- 
tion of the world." 

(it) " 

Visvadarsato jyotiskrt asi Siirja. I, 80, 4. 

" Savita, thou art the revealer of the world, and the 
maker of the light." 

(Hi) " 

Anuvratam Savituh mokl a agat. II, 38, 3. 

" The night comes when the work of Savita is over." 

Jagatah sthatuh ubhayasya yo vasl : Sah no devah 
Savita sarmma yacchatu. IV, 53, 6. 

" May the bright Sun, the regulator of both the animate, 
and the inanimate, grant us hapiness." 

It is evident from above that Savita is none but the 
Sun personified. In the infancy of humanity the daily 
appearance of the Sun out of the darkness of the night was a 
mystery of mysteries. Besides, the Sun not only gave the 
Aryans light and heat and the rains, but also by its 
appearance in the Dawn saved them from the nightly 
depredations of the enemies, and enabled the Aryans to 
fight their enemies with advantage. Naturally, therefore, 
th* eatly Indg-Aryans looked upon the Sun as one of their 
most benevolent friends and worshipped him fts a god. 

174 K. fc. DUTt 


Savita was the greatest of the celestial gods ; and it is not 
difficult to see what bad made him so. 

3. Here are some Riks referring to Agni, which will 
also speak for themselves : 

(i) "&*: % iw awfor f^fa *^ w. *n*ra: i 


Tvesah te dhUmah krnvanti divi san sukrah atatah. 
VI, 2, 6. 

"O Agni, when lighted, thy white smoke spreads in the 
sky, and it transforms into clouds.' 9 

Vi dvesamsi inuhi vardhaya ilam madema satahimah 
suvlrah. VI, 10, 7. 

" O Agni, scatter the enemies, and increase our food. 
May we enjoy hundred Hemantas with excellent sons and 

(Hi) "B^wr iw: nf%fh* i ^ff ^rrf% 

Kr^usva pajah prasitim na prthvlm yahi rajeva amavan 

Asta asi vidhya Raksasah tapistaih. IV, 4, 1. 

lf Thou art, O Agni, the destroyer of the enemies. Spread 
the rays, like a net, on the earth, and attack the Raksasafr, 
with thy fiercest heat, as a king, surrounded by his minis- 
ters, seated on elephant, attacks his foes." 

(ft?) " 

iwh ^rfir 

Tarn u tva Brtrahantamam yo dasyun avadhunuse : r 
Dyumrfdih abhi pra nonumah. I, 78, 4* 


" O Agni, thou, the greatest killer of the enemies, re- 
movest the Dasyus from their places. We adore thee repeat- 
edly with bright hymns." 

It is evident from above that Agni was none but Fire 
personified. In those early times, fire was kindled, as 
already noticed, by rubbing two pieces of twigs against each 
other. And that is why Agni has been represented in the 
R. V. as "living in the wood" (VI, 2, 8). For the same 
reason Agni has also been described in the Big-veda as 
"born of two sacrificial twigs," "onm: " (Jajiianah), I, 12, 3, 
and as " born of two mothers, " "ftgwr" (Dvijanma), 1, 140, 2, 
and also 1, 31, 2. Agni was, as we have seen, of the greatest 
use to the early Indo-Aryans in subduing their enemies. 
When other resources failed, they set fire to the forests that 
gave shelter to their enemies, and killed them by thousands. 
And that is why Agni has frequently been described as the 
greatest killer of the enemies. It was accordingly, quite 
natural for the early Indo-Aryans to look upon Agni with 
superstitious awe and reverence, and to worship him as a god. 
Agni was one of the foremost gods of the early Aryans, and 
the greatest of the mundane gods. And it was quite in the 
fitness of things that fire came to occupy such an eminence 
among the deities of the Vedic age. In B>. V. I, 66, 1-4, 
Agni has been described as " the revealer of all things like 
the sun, the saviour of life like the life-sustaining winds, and 
a benefactor like the son," and as strong as an army des- 
patched in war, "^ft 1 V^ TT^ HTOt ftcsft 1 ^: %5fT W 
q&[\ l" (Suro na sandrk ayurjia prano nityo na sunuh sen&h 
iva srstafc. It appears from the Rig-veda that Atharva, 
Dadhici, Angira, Usij, Manu and Vena originally introduced 
and popularised the cult of Fire-worship among the early 

4." Agai here are some Elks referring to Indra : 

(i) "*r: win: if: il^r' IWPT *: ^irw TO: i" 

t76 N r K. DUTT 

Yah asmanah antah Agnim jajana sab janasah Indrah. 

11 men, be, who kindles fire behind the clouds, is Indra." 

(if) "*rfgpi:" (Adrivah).-I, 133, 6. 
" (Indra), the possessor of the clouds. " 


Tasya vajrahkrandati smat svarsa. I, 100, 13. 

" He (Indra) is the giver of good rains. His thunder 
always roars. " 

(iv) "q: *qt $m ^r: RTOt WK 5J 

Yah apam neta sah janasah Indrah. II, 12, 7. 

" O men, he, who sends down the rains, is Indra.*' 

(v) "OTI an 

Ut tv5 mamdantu stomah krnusva radhah adrivah : 
Ava Brahmadviso jahi. VIII, 64, 1. 

** Indra, may these hymns excite thee well O Wielder 
of the Thunder, give us riches, and kill the enemies of the 
hymns. " 

It is evident from above that Indra was the Rain-god 
of the early Aryans. In the Rig-veda Indra has been des- 
cribed as the sender of the rains, the wielder of the thunder, 
and as ruling over the clouds. Regarded as the sender of 
the rains, Indra naturally came to occupy a very high posi- 
tion among the Vedic gods. Indra has also been represented 
in the Rig-veda as the " killer of Vrtra," and as * the 
greatest killer of the enemies. 9 The Vrtras (often used in 
the singular number) were the supposed aerial demons who 


obstructed fertilising rain-waters and brought about droughts. 
The rain-bearing clouds are, at times, found to move about 
in the sky, reluctant to send down the fertilising rains, 
as it were. Now, it was Indra, who, on such occasions, 
waged war against the rain-obstructing demons, the Vrtras, 
smote them with his thunder into pieces, like the limbs of a 
cow and let loose the heavenly waters to flow downwards, 
"4^33 f%?!? *nri *Wzr" (Gauniaparva virada apam* caradhyai) 
as the Rig-veda tells us. Indra, in his wars against the Vrtras, 
had often the Maruts, the Storm-gods, as his associates. It is 
not difficult to see what led the early Aryans to look upon the 
dark and floating rain-bearing clouds as demons. These are, 
as has already been said, often found floating in the sky, 
reluctant to send down the rains, which the Aryans very badly 
needed for cultivation. They were besides dark and, from 
their movements, looked like living beings. Thus from the 
similarity of complexion and functions, they were naturally 
represented as the enemies of the Aryans, and therefore, as 
demons. The rain-obstructing aerial demons have been 
described, in the Rig-veda, by various other names as well, 
such as Ahi, Susma, Parvata and Sambara. Indra, as the 
deliverer of the rains, occupied a very high position among 
the Vedic gods, and vras regarded as the patron god of the 
Indian Aryans, and had the largest number of hymns dedi- 
cated to him. In the earlier books of the Rig-veda Varuna 
has been more frequently mentioned than in the later books. 
This has led Dr. Roth to maintain that Varuna, the supposed 
common Aryan god, was subsequently superseded by Indra 
in India. Prof. Roth's statement does not, however, appear 
reasonable. Prof. Benfey, in opposition to Roth, has main- 
tained that Indra was " the successor of Dyaus." There is, 
it appears, much truth in this statement. It is also interest- 
ing to note in this connection that in many of the hymns 
composed in honour of Indra, the authors of the hymns are 
often seen engaged in explaining to the people fts to who 

17 B JN. L. UUTT 


Indra was and what his functions and feats were. This is 
something rather very strange and lends a support to Benfey's 
view that Indra was the embodiment of a new conception, 
hitherto more or less unknown to the people. The expression, 
"9t SRHBR f*:" (O men, he is Indra), occurs repeatedly in a 
large number of hymns composed in honour of Indra, and 
this is quite significant. Roth's view, referred to above, 
rests on the supposition that the hymns composed in honour 
of Varuna were amongst the oldest of the Big-vedic hymns. 
But this hypothesis is, as we shall see hereafter, entirely 

Here are some Biks referring to Vayu : 

** I shall describe the glory of the wind which moves 
with the speed of a chariot. Its roar comes making various 
kinds of noise. It breaks the trees, and goes touching 
the sky, and reddening all directions, and scattering the 
dusts of the earth." X, 168, 1. 


Pravepayanti parvatan vivincanti vanaspatin Marutah. 
1, 39, 5. 

" The Maruts are shaking the mountains tremendously, 
and are scattering the trees." 

3, "^srwn $3T*rt *j*nw *w tomm' ^* w: w. \ 
iftat f ^r* *m wiw T!W ft^n i f> 

Atma devln&m bhuvanasyagarvo yath&vasam carati devah 

esah : 

Qho^a idasya sravire na rupam tastnai^vataya hst/isft 



'* This Vayu is the soul of the gods and is the soul of 
the world, and moves at pleasure. When it comes, its sound 
alone is heard, but its figure is not seen. We shall worship 
him with sacrificial offerings/ 9 

It is quite clear from above that V&yu was none but the 
wind personified. When it comes, its roar alone is heard, 
but its figure is not seen ; and it scatters the trees and shakes 
the mountains. It is, moreover, the soul of the world. 
Naturally, therefore, the early Indo- Aryans looked upon it 
with superstitious awe and veneration, and worshipped it as a 
god. Among the Vedic gods, however, Vayu does not occupy 
an important position. In the Rig-veda, a distinction has been 
made between winds and storm-gods ; and storm-gods have 
been worshipped under the name of Maruts. But they have 
often been similarly described. In the concluding part of 
the last-mentioned Rik, there are, it is interesting to note 
incidentally, unmistakable Jtraces of its human origin, as 
also in all the preceding Rik. 

6. The following Riks refer to Varu^a : 
1- " ; flWT *HP5: ^W Vf fiffa ft'^T fi?t.Mi*i l" 

Raja Varunah cakre etarn divi premkham hiranmayam. 

VII, 87, 5. 

' c The adorable Varu^a has created the Sun and placed 
it on the sky (to swing) like a golden pendulum." 

2. In R. V., VIII, 31, 3, we are*told 

" Varu^a supports the entire Universe." 

3. *'<fni) fWTT: ^nftWT ^CWff I M 

Rajaso vimanah sato asya raja. VII, 87, 6. 

* f ' Varuija *i the maker of water and is the kl^ig of all 
existence." * 

180 N* fc. DUTT 

4. In E. V., VIII, 41, 7 and 3 we are told 

"Varuna pervades all the directions and supports the 
entire Universe." 

5. In B. V., V, 85, 2, we are further told 

*' Varuna has given strength in the horses, milk in the 
cows and resolutions in the hearts of men, fire in the water 
and placed the San in the sky." 


Dameva vatsat vimumugdhi amhah. II, 28, 6. 

"(O Varuna), remove from me the fetters of sins as 
the milkman removes the rope from the calf." 

In the Rig-veda, the all-embracing sky was originally 
conceived and worshipped under the name of Varuna. The 
blue vault of heavem overhead, covered, as it were, all things 
of the earth, and gave them protection. The Sun, the Moon 
and all other celestial bodies are placed in the sky ; and 
all things and beings existed under the very gaze, and within 
the all-encompassing embrace, of the sky, as it were. It was, 
therefore, quite natural for the early Aryans to conceive and 
represent Varuiia, the all-encompassing Sky (from br, to 
cover), as the Lord and Creator of the Universe, and as the 
protector of all things. But subsequently a change came 
over the minds of the Aryans, and Varuna came to be wor- 
shipped as the god of water. The sky closely resembles the 
sea in colour ; and the Sea also appears to be without limits 
like the sky. These affinities ' between the sky and the sea 
probably slowly brought about the aforesaid change in the 
significance of the term Varuna. 

It is needless to multiply instances. It is quite clear, 
from what has already been said, that the early Aryans con* 
ceived and represented bright and conspicuous object's of 
Nature and elemental Powers as gods and goddesses, and 


worshipped them as such ; gradually, however, as they ad- 
vanced in knowledge, a great change came over their minds, 
and they learned to look upon every deity as an expression 
or embodiment of one universal principle, seeking to mani- 
fest itself in a world of plurality. 

In several Riks the gods have been represented as 
The number of thirty-three in number. In R. V., 34, 11, 
f or instance, we are told : 

*n ^resn fsrftr: 

" A Nasatya tribhih ekadasaih iha devebbih yatam. 

"O Asvins, come hither together with the thrice eleven 

In R. V., VIII, 28, 1, Agni has likewise been invoked 
to come with the " three and thirty gods," "$rsr: fa 

(Trayah trimsamavaha). In R. V., I, 4*5, 2, we also meet 
with a similar reference. There are several other passages 
as well in the Rig-veda where the gods have been represented 
as thirty-three in number. But it is very difficult to take 
these statements seriously. The number of the deities men- 
tioned in the Rig-veda, all told, far exceed this number. 
Again, in R.V., III, 9, 9, the Rig-veda itself describes the 
deities to be 3,339 in number, U !tf5f um ^ Wgnfr ftr*iR^ ^ 
%3TC 13T ^f " (Trlni sata trl sahasrani trimsat ca devah nava ca). 
Yaska has, however, represented the Vedic deities to be three 
in number, or better as belonging to three distinct types. 
" There are three deities," says Yaska, " according to the 
expounders of the Veda (Nairuktah), viz., Agni, whose place 
is on the earth, Vayu or Indra whose place is in the air, and 
Sdrjya (the Sun) whose place is in the sky. These deities 
receive severally many appellations, in consequence of their 
greatness, or of the diversity of their functions ......... or these 

gffds may all 4)6 distinct, for the praises addressed to them, 
and also their appellations are distinct." (Nir. VII. 5.) Yaska 

W* N. K. DUTT 


has, in the latter part of his work classified the deities into 
three classes or orders, terrestrial, intermediate or aerial, 
and celestial, each group having one as the foremost in the 
group. In Taittirlya Samhita, we meet with a similar classi- 
fication of the deities into the aforesaid three groups, each 
group consisting of eleven members. But though the total 
number of the Vedic deities are generally believed to be 
thirty-three in number, opinions differ as to the exact 
number of the deities in each group as well as their 
identity. According to Tait. Sam. (I, 4, 10, 1), as noticed 
above, each group consists of 11 deities. The Satap. 
Brah., however, holds thus : 8 Basus, 11 Rudras, 12 idityas, 
with the Sky and the Earth, make up 33 deities. We have 
already considered the general characteristics of some of the 
most prominent of the Vedic deities. And we shall now pass 
on to the consideration of some of the most prominent among 
the rest. 


Among the Vedic gods, Dyaus and Prthivi (Heaven and 
Earth) occupy a conspicuous position, and have been represent- 
ed as " the parents of the gods," "faro" (Pitara, I, 159, 2), or 
as "ftm ^ ?rom ^" (Pita ca mata ca, I, 160, 2). And why 
in the Eig-veda Dyaus and Prthivi have been so represented 
it is not very difficult to see. 

Aditi also occupies a conspicuous position among the 
Vedic gods, and has been represented as " the mother of the 
gods. 9 ' Though not the subject -of any separate hymn, she 
has been frequently referred to in the Rig-veda, and invoked 
for blessings as well as for protection and forgiveness. Yaska 
has represented her as "the mighty mother of the gods/ 9 
"*f%fa: *rftaT 3ronn" (Aditih adma devamata). Thinkers 
are, however, divided in their opinions as to the object ef 
which it is a symbolical representation. Prof. Max Miiller 


maintains that the word is derived from dita, to limit, and 
that it means the limitless. Aditi is, according to Max Miiller, 
the earliest name for the Infinite, invented by the Aryans, 
and connotes " the endless expanse, beyond the earth, beyond 
the clouds, beyond the sky/' *' the visible Infinite," as he 
calls it. Prof. Both, however, regards Aditi to denote the 
eternal element, or the " principle of the celestial light." 
In R. V., I, 29, 10, Aditi has been represented as " the source 
and substance of all things celestial and intermediate, divine 
and human, present and future." Prof. Muir is, however, of 
opinion that Aditi is, in all probability, a personification of 
universal, all-embracing Nature or Being. Sayana also thinks 
similarly and identifies Aditi with " universal Nature." But 
Aditi has not retained the same lofty character throughout the 
Rig-veda. In some of the Riks she has been described as a 
subordinate goddess and as the daughter of Daksa and the 
mother of the idityas. Daksa is, however, according to the 
Satapatha Brah. (II, 4, 4, 2,) identical with Prajapati or the 

The Asvins have also got a very large number of hymns 
offered to them. But the Vedic scholars, even from the time 
of Yaska, are divided in their opinions as to the identity of 
the objects signified by them. Some, as we know on the 
authority of Yaska himself, " identified them with Heaven and 
Earth, some with Day and Night, and some again with the 
Sun and the Moon." The legendary writers, Yaska tells us, 
** identified them with two virtuous kings." But, according 
to Yaska himself, they are " the symbolical representation of 
the twilight of the early dawn," the transition from darkness 
to light, M when," as we learn, on the authority of DUrga, the 
commentator on Yaska, " the intermingling of both produces 
that inseparable duality expressed by the twin nature of these 
deities^' and lf the becoming light is resisted by darkness.' 1 
The ASvins fte thus the" personification of " the mysteri- 
ous phenomenon of the intermingling of darkness, which is 

184 N. K. DUTT 


no longer the complete night, and of light, which is not yet 
dawn "as Prof, Muir puts it. In the Rig-veda the Asvins 
are represented as the parents of Pusa, the rising Sun, and 
as the husbands or the friends of Surya, whom Sayaiia has 
identified with the Dawn. They are also represented as the 
twin sons of Vivasvat and Saraiiyu, which, according to Prof, 
Muir, imply " the firmament expanding to the sight through 
the approaching light," and " the moving air, or the dark and 
cool air, heated, and therefore set in motion, by the approach 
of the rising Sun," respectively. And these characteristics 
fully correspond to the phenomenon just mentioned. The 
Asvins are represented in the Rig-veda, as the divine physi- 
cians and as the friends of the blind, the lame, the emaciated, 
and the sick. The early dawn has a bracing effect on the 
health. And this may explain why the Asvins have been so 
represented in the Rig-veda. 

Pusa is another mysterious Vedic god. Everything con- 
sidered, Pusa appears to be a symbolical representation of the 
rising Sun. We have fully discussed the nature of PQsa 
before. And we must refer our readers to what has been 
stated there about the nature of Pusa. 

Rudra is another important Vedic god. But who is 
Rudra ? The word Rudra is, according to Sayana, applied to 
Fire, Yaska also had identified Rudra with Agni. But 
though the word has often been used in the Rig-veda in the 
sense of fire, yet in several Riks the Maruts have been 
described as the sons of Rudra. In R. V., I, 114, 9, Rudra 
has been characterised as '" the father of the Maruts." "foflT 
TOpjUl" (Pita Marutam). Again, in R. V., I, 39, 4, the 
word "mm: ,* Rudrasah, has been used ; and Sayaiia has taken 
it to mean the Maruts, " the sons of Rudra, 5 ' "VKgffT: /' Rudra- 
putr&h. Now, if both these notions are combined together, 
Rudra may be taken to mean the Fire that gives rise to the 
storms, i.e., the thunder which is a necessary accompaniment 
of the storms, ^.nd this meaning of the word is further 


supported by the meaning of the root rud, to roar, from 
which the word Eudra appears to have been derived. Very 
likely, therefore, the early Aryans identified Rudra with the 
Thunder, i.e., the roaring Fire, and worshipped him as such. 
In the Rig-veda the conception of Rudra has always been 
associated with terror. And the following Riks will speak for 
themselves : 



Ma nah gosu ma nah asvesu rlrisah : 
Vlran ma no Eudra, bhamitah vadhlh havismantah sadam 
it tva havamahe. I, 114, 8. 

11 O Eudra, do not envy our cows and horses, do not kill 
our heroes, enraged ; we always adore thee equipped with 

2. u ?n *: srat: ftw* w w wrwf m r: fir^r: ?w: ^^ftcr: i 11 

1. 114.7 

Ma nah vadhlh pitaram ma uta mataram ma na^ priya^i 
tanvah Rudra rlrisah. 

" O Rudra, do not kill our father, and do not kill our 
mother, do not strike on our dear selves." 

Bfhaspati or Brahmanaspati is another important Vedic 
god. But he is " one of the divine beings," as observes 
Prof. Muir after Roth and others, " who does not stand 
immediately within the circle of physical life, but from the 
transition from it to the moral life of the human spirit." 
He is " an impersonification of the power of devotion,- of 
" the victorious power of prayer." Naturally, therefore, 
Bfhaspati has, in the Rig-veda, often been represented as 
an ally c Indra in his struggles against the Demon Brtra, or 
Glouci, for the Heliverance of the fertilising waters of the 
sky for the nourishment of the world. In, some '"passages, 

186 N, K. DUTT 

Bfhaspati has alone been represented as having broken 
through the caverns of Vala, in order to deliver and bring to 
light the hidden treasures of the fertilising waters, often 
figuratively described as " cows with abundant milk. 55 In 
the Rig-veda, Brhaspati has often been represented as the 
monarch and patron of prayers, and as the most renowned of 
the sages, and, therefore, as interceding with the gods on 
behalf of men and protecting them against the wicked, and 
as " the author of the hymns, "m*3K ^JTO 3fft : w (Samnah sam- 
nah kavih, 11, 23, 17), " as the creator of the hymns," " srfw 
?rspirT*l " (Janita brahmanam, II, 23, 2), and also as " the 
Oppressor of the enemies of the hymns,' 5 "smf^n Wtt>" 
Brahmadvisah tapanah, 11, 23, 4. 

Yama is another important Vedic god. In the Rig-veda 
Yama has been represented as the ruler of the world to 
come and as its benign master, and as the Lord and Custodian 
of the disembodied spirits. In the Rig-veda we meet with 
very few references to the world to come. And the paucity 
of such references clearly proves that the conception of the 
world to come and of heaven and hell, where the souls depart 
after death had dawned late on the minds of the early Indo- 
Aryans. There is, however, it is interesting to note, no 
element of terror associated with the Vedic conception of 
Yama. He is, on the contrary, represented as the guide and 
protector of men in the world to come, and as the dispenser 
of the heavenly blessings. He is, however, represented to 
have two terrible dogs, each with four eyes and wide nostrils, 
which guard the road leading to his abode. The early Aryans 
represented the heaven, as mentioned before, as a place of 
eternal sunshine and unending bliss 6 ' 
yatra jyotismantah, 

yatra k&mah nikamab yatra triptifc (IX, 112, 9-10), and as a 
place where fear and death cannot enter. The world to come 
is also represented to have a place where the souls of ''the 
wicked depart a^fter death and is full of darkness. " 


padam gambhlram (IV, 5, 5). Tama is represented 
as the son of Vivasvan ; and it appears that Yama originally 
meant the sun. 

It is evident from above that the Vedic conception of the 
world to come consisted of a domain having regions bright 
as well as dark, set apart for men differing in their merits 
and demerits, and that the bright regions were intended for 
the residence of the good after their death, and that the dark 
ones for the wicked. 

Some of the Vedic deities are, as we have already seen, 
personifications of tangible ob jects. Among these gods Soma 
occupies a conspicuous place, and the hymns of the entire 9th 
Mandal have been offered to Soma. Soma is the Indian 
Bacchus or Dionysius, as R. C. Dutt puts it. It is difficult to 
say under what circumstances the intoxicating drink Soma 
came to acquire such eminence among the Vedic gods. 
Prof. Whitney (vide Journal of the American Oriental Society, 
III, 299), thinks that as soon as the simple-minded early 
Aryans perceived that " this liquid had power to elevate the 
the spirits, and produce a temporary frenzy, under the in- 
fluence of which the individual was prompted to, and capable 
of, deeds beyond his natural powers,... they found in it some- 
thing divine ; it was, to their apprehension, a god, endowing 
those into whom it enters with god-like powers. 5 ' This ex- 
planation and analysis of the process o the deification of 
Soma appears to be quite reasonable. 

The Rig-veda, as already noticed, is not exclusively scrip- 
tural in character. Many of the hymjis are entirely secular 
in their nature, and have absolutely no religious significance. 
The hymns on Maiicjukah, " the Frogs/' Aksafc " the Dice/' 
Araiiyanl, " the Forests," and the like belong to this class. 
There are also hymns in the Rig-veda which deal with such 
topics as Unity, "tf^rwj" Samjnanam, "the Coronation 
Cerqjnony," "?r^t ^jf*T*/' Rajnah stutifc, " the suppression of Co- 
wives," OTftfcftiRfl* "Sapatnivadhanarh," " the Preservation of 

188 N. K. DUTT 

tfee Foetus," Garbharaksanam, and the like, technically called 
deities. These hymns also are without any religious signi- 
ficance. It is, therefore, a mistake to regard the Rig-veda 
as a scripture in the strict and proper sense of the term. It 
is, rightly understood, the repository of all poems composed 
by early Indo- Aryans in the Rig-vedic age, and found in the 
field at the time of their constitution. 

Before we pass on to the consideration of Henotheism, we 

must briefly discuss one point more. According to Prof. 

Hopkins the hymns offered to Varuna and lisa are older than 

the rest of the Vedic hymns. Prof. Roth, Max-Miiller and 

several other European Vedic scholars as well, regard 

Varuna as one of the oldest gods of the Aryan world. But 

be it what it may, the position that the hymns addressed to 

Varu&a are among the oldest of the Rigvedic hymns, is open 

to a very serious objection. The words Varuna and Uranus 

are no doubt of kindred origin, and have similar characteris* 

tics assigned to them. There may also exist some affinities 

between Varuna and Ahura Mazda of the Persian, though 

Prof. Spiegal, an eminent Zend scholar, has denied it. But 

still it does not necessarily follow that the same deity, 

signified by these various names, was worshipped by the 

ancestors of the Indians, the Greeks and the Persians, 

before their separation, in their undivided home. In the 

Rig-veda, Varuna is represented as " the great upholder 

of the physical and moral order. " Varuna, we are told, 

supports the entire universe (VIII, 41, 3), pervades all the 

directions (VIII, 41, 7), and is the king and ruler of all the 

worlds (VIII, 42, 1). He has- assigned to the wide heaven 

and earth their appointed places (VII, 86, 1), and has 

created the sun and placed it on the sky (VII, 87, 5). He 

is the maker of water and is the king of all existents 

(VII, 87, 6). He has given strength in the horses, milk in 

the cows, and resolution in the hearts of men (<V, 85, 2). He 

absolves noton from their sins (VII, 86, 5), and is the preserver 



of all sacred resolutions. None can go against the wisdom of 
the wise Varuna, and he is the guide of the universe fll, 28, 
3). Varuna shows mercy even to the wrong-doer (VII, 87, 7). 
Now sublime and abstract conceptions like these could have 
evidently been at all possible only at a comparatively later 
stage in the gradual evolution of God -consciousness among 
the early Aryans. In fact, the conception of the universe as 
a system, with a moral order underlying it, could not have 
dawned upon the minds of men so early as the Vedic scholars 
named above imagine. And this great psychological difficulty 
makes the position of the aforesaid scholars entirely untenable. 
The theory that Varuna is one of the oldest gods of the Aryan 
world had its origin from the recognition of linguistic simi- 
larity, as we have seen, between the Sanskrit Varuna, the 
Greek Uranus and the Iranian Ahura Mazda. But these 
philological affinities do not prove much. They simply prove 
that in remote past the ancestors of these peoples spoke a 
common tongue, or kindred tongues, and that they must 
have lived in close contact, as Dr. Barnett aptly observes. 
The words referred to above are all derived from kindred 
roots, meaning to cover ; and they were, therefore, naturally 
applied to denote one identical phenomenon in Nature, viz., 
the all-embracing Sky above, conceived as the Ooverer and 
Protector of all things and beings ; and that is all. But the 
very fact that the conception, like that of Varuna, regarded 
as the Great Upholder of the physical and moral order, must 
have taken a very long time fully to unfold itself, makes it 
extremely difficult to believe that ,such a lofty conception 
dawned on the minds of the* remote ancestors of the Aryans 
in their united home, And this consideration also makes it 
equally difficult to treat the hymns addressed to Varuna as 
among the oldest of the Vedic hymns. Here philological 
affinities seem to be altogether helpless before the psychologi- 
cal difficulty Deferred to above. Again, as noiiced before, 
some of the hymns containing references to Vwuga were 

190 N. K. DUTT 


Somposed by Vasista on the banks of the Sarasvatl. These 
were evidently some of the latest hymns of the Rigvedic age. 


In the earliest stage of God-consciousness, the early 
Aryans, as we have seen, personified bright and conspicuous 
objects of nature and elemental powers, and worshipped them 
as gods and goddesses. But gradually a change came over 
their minds, and they learnt to look upon each of the import- 
ant deities, as an expression or embodiment, as it were, of the 
Highest. In this stage different deities came, by turns, to be 
conceived and worshipped as the Highest. In R. V., VII, 7, 
3, Usa, for instance, is described as Indratama, " the chief of 
the gods." In R. V., VIT, 77, 3, she is again described as 
Cl the eye of the Devas," Devanam caksuh. In R, V., II, 1, 
1-11, Agni has again been described as Indra, again as Visnu, 
again as Brahma, again as Varuna, again as Rudra and again 
as Savita. In R. V., II, 23, 1, Brhaspati has similarly been 
described as " the Greatest of the gods," Gananam ganapatih, 
and in R. V., II, 24, 16, as Yanta, " the author and regulator 
of the universe." Similarly, in R. V., VII, 34, 11, Varuna 
has been described as " the Lord of the Lords,'* Raja rastra- 
nam, and again in R. V., II, 27, 10, as " the Lord of all," 
Visvesam raja. In R. V., II, 33, 3, Rudra has similarly been 
described as the Tavastamah tavasam, the " strongest of the 
strong," and as " the highest of all created beings," Sresthah 
jatasya. In R. V., IV, 53,, 6, Savita has, likewise, been des- 
cribed as " the Lord and Regulator of all things and beings, 
animate and inanimate," Jagatah sathatuh ubhayasya vasl. 
Again in R. V., IX, 86, 11, Soma, as already noticed, has been 
characterised as " the Lord of the Heaven," Patirdivah, and 
in Rik 10 of the same Sukta as " the Creator and the Father 
of the gods," "Pita venanam janita, and in Rik 5 o th$ 
same SQkta as " the Lord of the universe," Patih visvasya 


bhuvanasya. Again in E. V., II, 12, 7, Indra hy been 
characterised as " the Creator of the Sun and the Dawn," 
Yah surjam yah usasain jajana. 

It is evident from above that when the early Aryans 
made some progress in knowledge they learned to look upon 
their gods and goddesses as each a manifestation of the 
Highest Being. But even in this stage it was an object of 
nature or an elemental power which came to be identified 
with the Highest. 


But very soon another great change came upon the early 
Aryans, and doubts arose in their minds as to the reality and 
genuineness of the gods themselves. In this stage, they 
began seriously to question even the very existence of the 
gods and goddesses whom they had so long worshipped with 
awe and veneration, nay, even denied them. In B/. V., VIII, 
100, 3, Esi Nema is, for instance, found to deny the very 
existence of Indra. " There is no Indra ; who ever saw him 
and whom shall we adore ?" " No Indra astlti, kah im dadarsa 
kamabhistavama ? " exclaims he in despair. Again in R. V., 
X, 88, 18, another Esi expresses his doubts about the number 
and indirectly also about the existence of Agni, the Sun and 
the Dawn as well as the water-goddesses. In E. V., VI, 18, 3, 
we are told, " Indra, thou hast subdued the Dasyus. Thou 
alone hast given the Aryans sons and the slaves. But 
Indra 9 dost thou really possess that prowess ? The expression, 
"*rfer ftffcf^ Ifal fl^fl V5 ?" (Asti smit nu vlrjyam tat te Indra), 
" Dost thou really possess that prowess, O Indra ? " is highly 
significant. In E. V., VIII, 21, 17, another Esi similarly 
asks, " Has Indra given me this wealth ? Has the wealthy 
Sarasvatl given it ? Or O Citra, thou hast given me (this 
wealtJi) ? " But these doubts and uncertainties gradually paved 
the way for tfte dawn of a deeper and higher conception of 
God-consciousness, > 

192 N. K. DUTT 


The doubts and the uncertainties referred to above, com- 
pletely unsettled the minds of the Rsis for the time being ; 
and they found themselves plunged headlong into an abyss 
of darkness, as it were. But the clouds passed away, 
and gradually the sun shone forth brightly over their 
heads, and a deeper conception dawned upon the minds of the 
Rsis. They now came to see clearly that there was only One 
Ultimate Reality, one Author and Ruler of the universe. But 
it took some time for this new vision fully to unfold itself. 
The old doubts reappeared from time to time, in new forms, 
and robbed the Rsis of all peace of mind. They, however, 
now, for the first time, began seriously to investigate into 
the nature and character of the First and the Ultimate Cause 
of the universe. The following Riks, as an expression of this 
phase of God-consciousness, will be found highly interest- 
ing : 

1. " ftf f*i w' *r: sr *: s*: *n* srat srrerefSrat fowro 

Kim svit vanarn kah u sah vrksah &sa yato dyavaprthivl 
nistataksuh. X, 81,4 

" What is that Forest, what is that Tree, from which the 
heaven and the earth have been made ? " 

2. "qft ^sy jratf srotni* ^wsptf *R *RWSTT 

Eo dadarsa prathamaip jayamanam asthanvantam yat 
anastha vibharti : 

Bhumyah asuna asrk atma kvasvit kafc vidvamsam upagat 
pras^umetat). I, 164,8. 

<c Who saw the First-born, when the boneless (first) gaie 
rise to those having bones? The life is from the earth; 



but whence is the soul ? Who goes to the learned tp ask 
this P " 

3. "n i 

insrflT sraitm g ^q<ga; wirararrw^f**! 11" 

Na tarn vidatha yah ima jajana anyat yusmakam antaram 
vabhuva : 

Nlharenapravyta jalpya ca asutrpafc ukthasasascaranti). 
X, 82, 7. 

* c You cannot comprehend Him, who has created all 
these. Your mind is incompetent to know him. Being 
shrouded in ignorance and being fond of worldly pleasures, 
you only make fanciful guesses, content with uttering hymns 
in sacrifices." 

lyaip visrsti^ yatah avabhuva yadi va dadhe yadi va na : 
Yah asya adhyaksah parame byoman sah amga veda jadi va 
na veda. X, 129, 7. 

< Whence is this creation ? Has any one created it or 
not ? This is known to Him alone who exists in the high 
place as its Lord. He perhaps knows it or even he may not 
know it." 

Such queries and searchings gradually threw open the gates 
of a new world to the minds of the Itsis, and they now ex- 
claimed from the very bottom of their hearts : 

"m i: fwr srfom v. 

<CT i 

nah i/ita janita yafr vidhata dhamani veda bhuva- 

n&ni visva : 

194 N. K. DUTT 


yah devanam namadbah ekafr eva tarn samprasnarn bhu- 
vana yanti anya). X, 82, 3. 

" He who is our father and Creator, who knows all the 
places (and things) of the universe. He is One, though bear- 
ing the names of many gods. All men ask about Him." 

They slowly dived still deeper into the mysteries of the 
universe, and soon arrived at the conception of one God, 
without a second, of one ultimate Reality immanent both in the 
world of matter and the world of mind, and pulsating in the 
remotest of the stars above, and the tiniest of the atoms below, 
and welling up, from within, as the very source and foundation 
of our consciousness, and as the Soul of our souls. 

But though the thoughts of the earnest minds continued 
to flow among this new and deep channel, yet many of the 
Rsis passed their days as before. These men, as time went 
on, came to be more and more engrossed in external rites and 
ceremonials. Great sacrifices, lasting for months, came to be 
performed by the kings, from time to time, and the Rsis, 
engaged to officiate as priests in these sacrifices, were lavished 
with presents and rewards. And the Rig-veda frequently 
refers to the rewards with which the kings and rich men often 
vied with one another in honouring the Rsis, presiding over 
their sacrifices. Hymns were also composed in honour of " Sacri- 
ficial Fees," and in R. V., X, 107, 8, we are told that "the offers 
of sacrificial fees do not die, they do not undergo any humilia- 
tion, they do not suffer any pain and sorrows. The fees pro- 
cure for them whatever exists on earth and in heaven 9 " *% 3f%i 
$3f* qftvflfl *dr ^ftTOT W. ^?lfo " (Idamyadvisvara bhuvanaip 
khoscaitat sarvam daksina ebhyah dadati). Here also the 
impress of human authorship of the Riks is quite clear and 
unmistakable. See also the dialogue between Agastya and 
Lopamudra, <TJ. V., I, 179, 2-4r. The expression, 

(Dhiramadhira dhayati), " let the impatient woitian enjoy the 
patient m$n " is ovt and out human in its origin. Thus, there 



arose two parallel currents of thoughts. The phase of thought 
just mentioned gradually paved the way for the more com- 
plex rites and sacrifices included in the Brahma^as ; and the 
phase of thought mentioned before became deeper and deeper 
until it ultimately matured into the highly complex and philo- 
sophical Theism (Brahma-jnanam) of the Upanisads, which 
represents the very zenith and apex of the metaphysical spe- 
culation of the Hindus. 

The Tenth Mandala of the Eig-veda abounds in hymns 
which clearly mark the dawn of a deep speculative movement 
among the early Indo- Aryans. And in what follows we pro- 
pose briefly to examine the nature of some of these hymns. 

The celebrated Nasadlya hymn (R. V., X, 129) represents 
one of the earliest instances of such attempts at solving the 
supreme mystery of the universe. The poem tells us of the 
one which, before the origin of the world, breathed alone 
without air, with the * non-being/ the unevolved manifold of 
experience, latent in it, and of the * being/ the evolved mani- 
fold, as having sprung from it. In the third stanza of the 
poem, we are told, " the sages searching in the heart by 
wisdom discovered the root of c being ' in c non-being.' " The 
last stanza of the poem runs thus : 

" He from whom this creation arose, whether he made it 
or did not make it ; the highest seer in the highest heaven, 
he forsooth knows it ; or even he does not know. 55 

(c The poet himself is not quite clear," says Prof. Max 
Miiller (Six Systems of Indian Philosophy, p. 65), "in his 
own mind, and he is constantly oscillating between a personal 
and impersonal or rather super-personal cause from whom the 
universe emanated. But this step from a sexual to a sexless 
god, from a mythological Protos to a metaphysical Proton had 
evidently 4seen made at that early time, and with it a decisive 
step from mythology to philosophy had been taken." Prof, 
Deussen also regards the poem as " the most 9 remarkable 

196 N. K. DUTT 

"monuWent of the oldest philosophy" (Outlines of Indian 
Philosophy, p. 13). The poem is, indeed, the expression of a 
deep and profound yearning, clothed though it is in somewhat 
obscure language, as such thoughts are bound to be one first 
conceived. It is a bold attempt on the part of the poet for 
comprehending the ultimate source of the cosmic order, the 
ground "from which, as an eternal, unfathomable and un- 
speakable unity, all gods, worlds, and creatures 55 have evolved. 
But, Prof. Garbe has found in it nothing but " unclear, self- 
contradictory trains of thought 55 (Philosophy of Ancient 
India, p. 1). The indecision expressed in the last stanza of 
the poem is highly significant. And it is absurd to take the 
poet to task for it. Is the ultimate ground of the world of 
plurality an unconscious or sub-conscious principle, or is it a 
spiritual principle which has consciously evolved the world of 
plurality from within as materials of its own life ? This is 
in fact, the question at issue here. And the very fact that 
such an interrogation could have been so clearly formulated 
in so remote an age, is itself a great thing, and a clear proof 
of a distinct advance towards speculative philosophy. 

In R. V., X, 121, we meet with, what may probably be 
. .* * regarded as a still more remarkable expres- 

The significance of * 

the hymn, E. v., x, s i on o f the conception of the cosmic unity. 
The poem speaks of an all-pervading Reality, 
revealing itself in and through the cosmic forces, and tells 
us that the snow-capped Himalayas and the seas, with the 
rivers flowing into them, are but the expressions of his glory, 
and that all quarters are his arms, and that the sun rises and 
shines in him, "srer ^C: *fiflK fiwrft " (Tatra sflrah uditah 
vivhati). The poem ends with the following exclamation : 

" Than thou, O Lord of the Universe, there is none else, 
who holds in his embrace the whole Universe. 1 ' 

The conception embodied in this poem is indeed veity deap 
and lofty. The sense of the cosmic unity as the expression 


of an ultimate spiritual principle has indeed, found here 
a distinct expression. This poem has, however, heen greatly 
misunderstood. From the expression, "sirec %*fTO vfqqr fnm " 
(Kasmai devaya havisa vidhema). " To which god shall 
we offer our sacrificial offerings ?" which is the burden 
of the poem and has been repeated at the end of each stanza. 
Professors Weber and Max Miiller, as well as several other 
scholars, have treated the poem as an invocation to the 'Great 
Unknown/ and have accordingly, regarded the concluding 
couplet, wherein Prajapati, the Lord of Creation, has been 
mentioned, as an interpolation (Miiller, Six Systems, p. 62). 
The great commentator Sayana, following a confused tradi- 
tion, has, on the other hand, regarded the poem as an invoca- 
tion to "2ff:>" ' Kah,' used as a synonym for Prajapati, the Lord 
of the Creation. Thus the real implication of the poem, and 
of the query in particular, has, it seems, been completely 
misunderstood. The poem is not at all an invocation to the 
Great Unknown, nor is the last couplet an interpolation. The 
poem is consistent from beginning to end. It is the outcome 
of a living consciousness, on the part of the poet, of the 
cosmic unity and of the ultimate Reality, manifested in the 
world of plurality as Visvarupa. In the ecstasy of such realisa- 
tion, the poet naturally felt the absurdity and vanity of the 
old forms of worship. There is an ellipsis to be supplied in 
each stanza, immediately preceding the query. After " In 
whom the sun rises and shines," etc., for instance, comes the 
ellipsis in that particular stanza. And the lines, together 
with the ellipsis supplied, will stand, thus ; 

" In whom the sun rises and shines, etc. 
He alone is to be worshipped.' 3 

Sah eva sarvvaihtipasitavyah nanyah kak api. 
To which god shall we offer sacrificial offerings P 

198 N. K. t>UTT 

answer evidently is " There is no ( god to be so 
worshipped." And the term, Prajapati, not in its deistic 
sense, bat in the sense of the Evolver and internal Ruler of the 
cosmic order naturally presented itself as the right appella- 
tion for the all-sustaining and all-pervading Deity, conceived 
as the Universal Spirit. That this is the real implication of 
the query, can also be easily gathered from the expression, 
" Than thou there is none else," occurring in the last line of 
the poem but one. And thus understood, we also find a per- 
feet unity and continuity of thought running through the 
poem. The poem, in fact, represents the dawn of a new vision 
of the Reality, which is distinctly Vedantic in character. 
And Prof. Max Muller also seems to be, to some extent, aware 
of it. The sentiment embodied in the poem is, says he, much 
deeper than " the Semitic demand for a god above all gods, 
or for a father of gods and men, as in Greece ...... The ground 

for this lies deeper " (ibid, p. 56). 

The speculative genius of the hymnal period has, however, 

reached its acme, perhaps, in the celebrated 
iJ%ti and Purusa Hymn (R. V., X, 90). It represents 

the entire cosmic-order, with the multipli- 
city of things and beings, as the outcome of a process of self- 
differentiation on the part of the Ultimate Reality. Here 
are some lines of the poem which will speak for themselves : 

: u 

cc I 

c The embodied Spirit has thousand heads, thousand 
eyes, thousand feet. He pervades the whole world and tran- 
scends it by a (clear) space of ten fingers. All that exists, all 
that has beerij and all that shall be, is this Self (J* uru-saff). He 
is the Lord^of immortality." 



How significant are the words, '* All this is the SelfijF all 
that is, has been, and is yet to be is He." (Purusa eva<Mklam 
sarvam, yat bhutam yacca bhavyam.) JThis hymn also con- 
tains a reference to the four-fold division of the Vedas, as well 
as to the four-fold division of labour. The latter division 
was originally based on the principle of the division of work 
according to individual aptitude, capacity and fitness, and it 
was only later that it has degenerated into the morbid and 
unhealthy institution of caste. And it is evident, from these 
references as noticed before, that this hymn is comparatively 
later in origin. Originally, the Vedas were three in number, 
and the Atharva-Veda came into existence some centuries 
later. The presence of a reference to the fourth Veda in the 
Purusa-Sukta has, therefore, naturally led some scholars to 
regard it as an interpolation. It is really difficult to avoid the 
conclusion that, if not the whole of the Purusa-Sukta, at least 
the portion containing the above references, must be regarded 
as composition of a much later age. But, apart from these 
references, the poem may be regarded as really representing 
the high-water mark of the philosophical speculation of the 
hymnal age. We shall in this connection refer to one other 
Rigvedic passage, which has, it seems, escaped the attention 
of Vedic scholars ; and this shall be our last. In R.V., I, 
164, 20, we meet with a highly significant, though clumsily 
expressed, representation of the intimate and organic relation 
between the individual soul and the universal spirit. They 
are metaphorically represented as two beautiful birds, devoted 
to each other, and dwelling together.on the same tree, one of 
them (the individual soul) receiving his nourishment from the 
other, and the other offering the same with utmost delight, and 
requiring nothing whatever for his own nourishment. These 
and similar other reflective and quasi-philosophical poems, 
scattered here and there in the Rig-veda, formed the quarries 
whysreiu W3 discover the earliest rudiments of the Vedantic 
speculation in their slow process of crystallisation, j