Item Code: NAB839
by M. A. SteinHardcover (Edition: 2009)
Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
Language: (Sanskrit Text with Eglish Translation
Size: 9.6 inch X 6.8 inch
Weight of the Book: 3.220 Kg
Price: $155.00 Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
Kalhana’s Rajatarangini is the most famous historical poem which records the oldest and fullest history of the legendary kings of Kashmir as well as gives accounts of the Kashmirian kings of the historical period.
The interest of this treatise for Indian history generally lies in the fact that it represents a class of Sanskrit composition which comes nearest in character to the chronicles of Medieval Europe and of the Muhammadan East. Together with the later Kashmir chronicles which continue Kalhana’s narrative, it is practically the sole extant specimen of this class.
Its author’s object is to offer a connected narrative of the various dynasties which ruled Kashmir from the earliest period down to his own time. The final portion of the work, considerable both in extent and historical interest, is devoted to the accounts of the events which the author knew by personal experience or from the relation of living witnesses. These events are narrated from the point of view of a more or less independent chronicler and by no means the purely panegyrical object of the court-poet.
Back of the Book
Kalhana’s Rajatarangini is the oldest and fullest record of Kashmir history. Sir Stein, recognizing the inestimable value of the only work of its kind, succeeded in publishing the critical edition of the text as early as in 1892 which has been printed here as Vol. III of this three-volume set. Later he followed this illustrious venture by presenting a fully annotated translation of the Chronicle, in two volumes, printed as Vol. I and Vol. II here, the former containing the translation of the first seven tarangas of the original Sanskrit and the latter that of the remaining eighth taranga.
The translation is preceded by a comprehensive and scholarly Introduction in which Stein has endeavoured to elucidate inn the first place the data which can be gathered as regards the person of Kalhana, his family and the milieu in which he lived. In the second chapter (of the Introduction) the author has examined as closely as our available materials would permit, the objects and methods which guided Kalhana in the composition of his work, the sources he used for it, and the form which he gave to his narrative. The condition in which the text of the Chronicle has been handed down to us, and the materials the author has used for its reconstitution, are discussed in the third chapter, while the next chapter contains an exposition of Kalhana’s system of chronology. In the concluding and longest chapter of the Introduction it has been the author’s object to present a critical summary of Kalhana’s narrative and of the historical data contained in it. The Chronological and Genealogical Tables attached to the Introduction are intended to present in a condensed form the information furnished by the Rajatarangini regarding the date and descent of successive rulers of Kashmir. The Memoir which follows (Vol. II) the Translation and Notes presents a connected and detailed account of the ancient geography of Kashmir.
IT was in the summer of 1888, on my first visit to Kasmir, that I was attracted to the task which the present work is intended to complete.
Amidst the ancient remains and traditions which the Valley has preserved in such abundance, I could not fail to become impressed with the importance of KALHANA’S Chronicle, our oldest and fullest record of Kasmir history. I realized that in order to render its contents fully accessible- for research it was necessary, on the one hand, to obtain a critically correct text, and on the other, to collect for its elucidation whatever data a close study of the country and its old remains could furnish.
My subsequent visits to Kasmir offered valuable opportunities in both directions. In 1889 I succeeded in securing the codex archetypus of all extant manuscripts of the Rajatarangini, and with its help. I was able to publish in 1892 my critical edition of the text of the Chronicle. In its preface I expressed my intention of embodying the materials I had collected for the interpretation of the work in the form of a commentary to be published as a second volume. Heavy official labours and another literary duty did not allow me to approach this portion of my task until the summer of 1895, when an arrangement between the Kashmir Darbar and the Punjab University, adopted on the recommendation of the Tenth International Congress of Orientalists, secured to me the necessary facilities. Availing myself of the two months’ periods of ‘special duty’ granted to me in extension of the summer vacations of 1895, 1896, and 1898, I was able to expand the plan of my labours and ultimately to complete the present annotated translation of the Chronicle which, together with its Introduction and various Appendices, is now offered in place of the commentary originally contemplated.
The detailed analysis of the BAJATARANGINI contained in the initial chapters of my Introduction will explain the reasons which make the Rajatarangini so important for the study of ancient Kasmir and for Indian historical research generally. This importance and the exceptional interest which attaches to Kalhana’s “River of Kings" as practically the sole extant product of Sanskrit literature possessing the character of a true Chronicle, account for the efforts which have been directed towards the elucidation of the work ever since European scholar- ship became aware of its existence. A brief review of these earlier efforts will help to indicate more clearly the object of the present publication and the nature of the labours it has involved.
As early as the seventeenth century Dr. Bauman, to whose visit to Kasmir in the summer of 1664 we owe the first European account of the Valley, and one as accurate as it is attractive, had turned his attention to the ‘histories of the ancient Kings of Kachemire.’ The Chronicle, of which he possessed a copy, and of which, as he tells us, he was preparing a French translation, was, however, not Kalhana’s work, but a Persian compilation, by Haidar Malik, Cadura, prepared in Jahangir’s time avowedly with the help of the Rajatarangini Also the summary of Kasmir rulers which Father TIEFFENTHALER a century later reproduced in his "Description de l’Inde," was still derived from that abridged rendering.
Even before, however, the work of the Tyrolese missionary appeared in print, Mr. Gladwin had published his translation of the Ain-i Akbari of Abu-l-Fazl, and as the latter distinctly quotes Kalhana’s Chronicle as the authority for his own abstract of early Kasmir history, the Sanskrit original could no longer escape attention. We accordingly find the "history of India from the Sanskrit Cashmir authorities" prominently included among the tasks which Sir WILLIAM JONES had contemplated The life of the pioneer of European Sanskrit studies was cut short before he could obtain access to these authorities. It was not until the year 1805 that Mr. COLEBROOKE secured in Calcutta an incomplete copy of Kalhana’s work, and even then twenty more years passed before his intention of giving an account of its contents was realized.
To Dr. HORACE HAYMAN WILSON’S justly famous " Essay on the Hindu History of Cashmir " belongs the merit of having first acquainted European students with the general character of Kalhana’s work and of having furnished them with a critical abstract of the contents of its first six cantos The sound judgment and thoroughness displayed in this publication of the distinguished Sanskrit scholar deserve all the more credit, as the three incomplete Devanagari manuscripts at his disposal were so defective" that a close translation of them, if desirable, would have been impracticable." This serious difficulty 'accounts for most of the mistakes which Professor Wilson’s article undoubtedly contains, and which in some instances have been reproduced also in subsequent accounts of Kasmirian history.
Even before Professor Wilson’s Essay was published Mr. Moorcroft, the traveller, had made a successful endeavour in Kasmir itself to obtain better textual materials. During his sojourn in Srinagar, in 1823, he had a Devanagari transcript prepared from an old Sarada manuscript which, as I have shown elsewhere, was no other than the codex archetypus of all extant Kasmirian manuscripts. Nevertheless, the editio princeps of the Rajatarangini, which appeared in 1835 under the auspices of the Asiatic Society, Bengal, and which was mainly based on Mr. Moorcroft’s transcript, failed to furnish a critically reliable text of the Chronicle. The corruptions of all kinds which appear through the whole of the Calcutta edition, and which render its text wholly unintelligible in many passages, can easily be traced to two main causes. The numerous mistakes plainly due to faulty transcription from Sarada into Devanagari characters show that Mr. Moorcroft's copy shared the usual defects of all Devanagari manuscripts prepared in Kasmir. But it is equally evident also that the Calcutta Pandits, unable to follow in many places the details of Kalhana’s narrative owing to want of familiarity with the topography, traditions, and other local lore of Kasmir, had frequently altered the text in an unscrupulous manner.
In 1840 Mr. A. TROYER, who, while Principal of the Calcutta Sanskrit College had occasion to become acquainted with the labours preceding the issue of the editio princeps, began the publication of a new edition of the text and of a French translation under the auspices of the Société Asiatique at Paris. This edition was prepared practically from the same materials as those used at Calcutta, and was not carried beyond the first six Books. His translation, however, accompanied by elaborate historical and geographical dissertations, was completed in 1852.
It is unnecessary to discuss at length the grave defects which characterize this, the main portion, of Mr. Troyer’s work; for they have long ago been recognized by all qualified Sanskritists. Though the patient industry and perseverance of the aged scholar may justly claim our admiration, we must acknowledge with Professor Buhler, the most competent and fairest of judges, that Mr. Troyer who " has seldom been able to make out the meaning of the text except where Kalhana uses the simplest, plainest language," had undertaken a task very much beyond his strength! The most striking of the translator’s shortcomings directly result from a want of proper preparation, easily intelligible in view of the peculiar circumstances connected with Mr. Troyer’s personal career and his literary labours. But his failure is largely due also to the insufficiency of the materials then available to European scholars. This observation applies with particular force to the materials required for the proper comprehension of all those points in Kalhana’s narrative which are connected with the history, topography, economic conditions and other local features of Kasmir.
The difficulty in dealing with these points without the materials which only local research could furnish, is illustrated by the results of the labours which two Indologists of the first rank bestowed upon the Kasmir Chronicle soon after the Valley became fully accessible to Europeans. General (then Captain) A. CUN- NINGHAM, whom political duty had brought to Kasmir after the first Sikh war and the establishment of Dogra rule in the Valley, was able to elucidate with remarkable success a series of important questions bearing on the chronological system of the Rajatarangini and on the numismatic history of the country. With the help of the information obtained through local inquiries he correctly ascertained the era employed in Kalhana’s chronological reckoning, and thus succeeded in fixing with fair accuracy the dates for almost all the kings from the advent of the Karkota dynasty onwards. In the same paper, published in the Numismatic Chronicle for 1946, he communicated the results of his search for ancient Kasmirian coins, and proved by their analysis the great value of numismatic evidence for the critical control of Kalhana’s records. Equally useful for the study of Kasmirian antiquities was his rapid survey of the most conspicuous architectural remains of the Hindu period still extant in the Valley? It threw light on the history of interesting temple-buildings mentioned in the Chronicle, and also enabled General Cunningham to identify a number of localities which are important for the ancient topography of the country.
Professor LASSEN, who in his great encyclopaedia, the Indische Alterthumskunde, gave an exhaustive analysis of Kalhana’s Chronicle, had no original materials of any kind at his disposal. We can, therefore, scarcely feel surprised if even this learning and acumen failed to extend materially the store of trustworthy historical data already gathered by Professor Wilson and General Cunningham. The conjectural attempts to establish synchronisms between the semi-legendary portion of Kalhana’s record and the earlier epochs of general Indian history could not be expected to furnish useful results at a time when the reliable data regarding the latter were yet so scanty. Similarly I have been obliged to point out elsewhere that the tendency towards purely conjectural identifications of local names displayed in this analysis has often caused the narrow territorial limits to be ignored to which the events recorded in the later and historically most valuable portion of Kalhana’s narrative are in reality restricted.
All these labours had clearly proved that trustworthy materials were required before the contents of the Chronicle could be made fully available for historical and antiquarian study. Yet no attempt was made to secure them until Professor G. BUHLER, then of the Bombay Education Department, during the summer of 1875, visited Kasmir in search of Sanskrit manuscripts. Many important results rewarded his brilliant researches and render this tour a memorable one in the annals of Sanskrit philology. But none among them, perhaps, show more clearly the keen historical sense and the sure perception of the departed great scholar than the lucidity with which he indicated the task concerning the Rajatarangini and the materials that were at hand for it.
By the examination of good though modern Sarada copies of the Chronicle, Professor BUHLER was able to prove the absolute superiority of the Kasmir manuscripts over the Devanagari transcripts. He also ascertained that the former were all derived from a single old Sarada manuscript. Though unable himself to obtain more than a glimpse of this jealously-guarded codex archetypus, he thus showed the way for the critical reconstitution of the genuine text. He recognized clearly the importance of a minute study of the ancient geography of Kasmir for the correct comprehension of Kalhana’s narrative, and pointed out the most valuable help which could be obtained for such researches from the Nilamatapurana, the legendaries (Mahatmyas) of Kasmir Tirthas, and other Kasmirian texts he had discovered. As regards the difficulties arising from the peculiarities of the Chronicler’s diction and style, he showed how they might be overcome by close attention to the form of composition adopted by Kasmirian poets who immediately preceded and followed Kalhana. The long discussion on the Rajatarangini embodied in his famous Report finally gave Professor Buhler also an opportunity to trace some of the critical principles which must guide us in regard to the use of Kalhana’s work for the history of Kasmir and of India. He thus expressed his conclusion as to the task that remained to be done. "A new attempt to translate and to- explain the Rajatarangini, and to use its contents for the history of India, ought to be made. But it is a work of very considerable difficulty, and will require much time and patience." The manner in which he contemplated this new translation was illustrated by a specimen given in the Appendix of his Report and containing a masterly exposition of verses 1-107 of Kalhana’s First Book Professor Buhler had himself at one time planned to undertake the work which had attracted so much of his interest. But other tasks and probably also the conviction that further local researches were indispensable for its satisfactory execution, prevented him from following up this plan after his return to Europe, in 1881.
Subsequently Dr. E. HULTZSCH utilized the manuscript materials which Professor Buhler had collected, and others obtained during his own visit to Kasmir in 1885, for a series of articles which appeared in Volumes xviii. and xix. of the Indian Antiquary. They were intended to supply an abstract translation and historical summary of the Chronicle. Though these articles were not continued beyond the commencement of Book iii., they have yet furnished a considerable number of useful critical observations, particularly in regard to Kalhana’s system of chronology.
Before concluding this review of previous labours, reference must be made to Mr. Yogesh Chunder DUTT’S English version which appeared at Calcutta, 1879-87, under the title; Kings of Kashmira : being a translation of the Sanskrita work Rajataranggini of Kahalana (sic) Pandita. This translation though published some time after Professor Buhler’s researches, is based exclusively on the corrupt text of the Calcutta edition of 1835, and was manifestly prepared without reference to any of the Kasmirian sources of information which are indispensable for the correct comprehension of Kalhana’s narrative. Exegetical puzzles are passed over without any notice, and practically no attempt is made to grapple with the difficulties arising from Kalhana’s constant references to local topography, institutions, and other realia of ancient Kasmir." Though the rendering of those portions of the text which are not altogether obscured in sense by the defects of the Calcutta edition, is distinctly superior to Mr. Troyer's version, and though the patient labour of the Bengali translator deserves commendation, it is yet evident that a publication of this kind could scarcely help towards the solution of the real difficulties in Kalhana’s work and towards the elucidation of those points which mainly interest the critical student.
It would be impossible to enumerate here all the works in which European and Indian Sanskrit scholars have incidentally discussed particular portions or passages of the Rajatarangini, and have thus in varying degrees contributed towards the interpretation of the Chronicle. Referring for the most prominent among them to the note below I may now turn to the labours which have led to the production of the present work during my first visit to Kasmir to form the plan of a critical edition of the Rajatarangini. My first endeavour was to secure the use of the codex archetypus of all extant manuscripts of the Chronicle, of which Professor Buhler had not been allowed more than a glimpse and which subsequently to his visit had been divided between the three heirs of the former owner. In this I succeeded during my second visit in 1889, notwithstanding the additional obstacles created by the above division. I was then able to ascertain that the codex had been written by a well- known Kasmirian scholar, Pandit Rajanaka Ratnakantha, probably about the third quarter of the seventeenth century, and that it contains besides a wealth of various readings and corrections from several old hands, a great number of important glosses. The features which make that codex so valuable for critical and exegetical purposes, have been fully set forth both in the preface of my edition and in the résumé contained in Chapter III of the Introduction to the present work.
A series of antiquarian tours in Kasmir for which I utilized my summer vacations during the years following my first visit, allowed me to acquaint myself on the spot with the topography, archaeological remains, local customs, and other realia of the country. They also furnished opportunities for the acquisition of manuscripts of those products of Kasmirian Sanskrit literature, which like the Nilamata, the Mahatmyas of the numerous sacred sites, the poetical compositions of Kalhana’s period, have carefully to be consulted by the interpreter of the Chronicle. With the assistance of the materials thus collected and on the basis of the codex archetypus I was able to prepare my edition of the Sanskrit text of the Rajatarangini, which together with the complete apparatus criticus was published in 1892 under the patronage of the Kashmir Darbar.
In the preface of this Edition I had promised,—as soon as the scanty leisure I could spare from teaching and office duties would permit,—to give in a second volume exegetical notes on the text together with a running commentary on those points of Kalhana’s narrative which are of interest for the history, archaeology, and topography of Kasmir. It was impossible for me to take up this task in earnest until the arrangement already above alluded to had secured to me the leisure of two summer seasons in Kasmir.
Already previously I had convinced myself that the only way of testing my comprehension of Kalhana’s text was for me to write down a close translation of it. I soon found that such a continuous rendering provided far simpler means of explaining and justifying my interpretation of the text than elaborate exegetical notes on all difficult or doubtful passages. There seemed also good reason to assume that a complete English version would not only bring the contents of the Chronicle within easier reach of all students interested in Kasmir and in Indian history generally, but would render reference to them also far more convenient to fellow-Sanskritists. I accordingly decided to offer in place of the promised commentary the present annotated translation which in view of its bulk and for other practical reasons had to take the form of a distinct publication.
The object which, as just indicated, led me to the preparation of a full translation, accounts also for the form given to the latter. It appeared to me that a close and as far as possible literal version was required in order to convey accurately the interpretation adopted for a text which combines with the intricacies of the florid rhetoric of the Sanskrit Kavya so many obscurities due to the subject-matter, the local allusions, and other peculiarities of Kalhana’s form of narration. In that section of my Introduction which deals with Kalhana’s style, I have discussed at length the various causes which have made it often so difficult to ascertain exactly the meaning of particular expressions and also of whole passages? Without referring to these here in detail, it will be evident that in the case of such a text where the interpreter can proceed only cautiously, and has often, as it were, to clear his way step by step, a freer form of rendering would be useful only for the purpose of giving an adequate conception of the work as a literary product to readers unable to study the original. Notwithstanding the poetical merit which we may allow to various features of Kalhana’s work, if judged as a Kavya, it appears to me doubtful whether the interest of that class of readers would ever justify more than comparatively small selections from the Chronicle being treated in the manner indicated.
These considerations have induced me to follow the example set by Professor Buhler in his abovementioned specimen-translation, and to adopt a form of rendering that allows the interpreter not only to reproduce plainly the meaning of the text, but also indirectly to indicate often the construction or other exegetical reason underlying his version. Thin square brackets have been employed throughout to distinguish words which are not actually found in the original, but require to be added in order to make the context intelligible in English, while round brackets denote additions having more the nature of glosses. Pedantic as this device may appear, it has often saved lengthy explanatory notes, and its advantages will be readily appreciated wherever reference to the exact words of the Chronicler is essential.
|List of Abbreviated Titles||xxvii-xxxi|
|Chapter I-The Author of The Chronicle||6-21|
|Section i. Kalhana’s person and descent, 1-4||6|
|Section ii. Kalhana’s literary training, 5-9||10|
|Section iii. Kalhana and his time 10-17||14|
|Chapter II-The Rajatabangini: Its Scope and Character||22-41|
|Section i. Kalhana’s conception of his task, 18-20||22|
|Section ii. Kalhana’s sources, 21-24||24|
|Section iii. Kalhana’s critical horizon, 25-29||27|
|Section iv. Critical constitution of the text, 52-53||44|
|Chapter IV.-The Chronology of the Rajatarangini||56-70|
|Section i. The system of Kalhana’s Chronology, 55-59||56|
|Section ii. The Chronology of the first three Books, 60-64||62|
|Section iii. The Chronology of the Karkota and later dynasties,, 65-69||66|
|Chapter V.- The Rajatarangini As a Historical Source||71-132|
|Section i. The kings of the First Book, 71-77||72|
|Section ii. The kings of Books II. And III., 78-83||80|
|Section iii. The Karkota Dynasty, 84-91||87|
|Section iv. The kings of Books v. and vi., 92-99||97|
|Section v. The first Lohara Dynasty, 100-107||106|
|Section vi. The second Lohara Dynasty, 108-116||117|
|Section v. The first Lohara Dynasty, 100-107||106|
|Section vi. The second Lohara Dynasty, 108-119||130|
|Section vii. Kasmir after Kalhana, 117-119||130|
|Note i-Kalhana and the Harsacarita||133|
|APPENDIX I.-DYNASTIC AND CHRONOLOGICAL TABLES||134-138|
|Appendix II.-GENEALOGICAL TABLES OF KASMIR DYNASTIES||139-145|
|First Book [i. 1-373]||1-55|
|Second Book [ii. 1-171]||56-71|
|Third Book [iii. 1-530]||72-119|
|Fourth Book [iv. 1-720]||120-185|
|Fifth Book [v 1-483]||186-235|
|Sixth Book [vi. 1-368]||236-266|
|Seventh Book [vii. 1-1732]||267-402|
THE RAJATARANGINI OF KALHANA
|Eighth Book [viii. 1-3449]||1-271|
|Note A. Bhedagiri and the Tirtha Gangodbheda||273|
|Note B. The shrine of Sarada||273|
|Note C. Jyestharudra at Srinagari||289|
|Note D. The watch-station of Kramavarta||291|
|Note E. The Castle of Lohara||293|
|Note F. Parihasapura||300|
|Note G. The Damaras||304|
|Note H. The term Dinnara and the monetary system of Kasmir||308|
|Note I. The confluence of the Vitasta and Sindhu||329|
|Note J. The Sahi of Udabhanda||336|
|Note K. The Skandabhavana Vihara||339|
|Note L. The Castle of Sirahsila||340|
|Chapter II.-Accounts of old Kasmir||351-385|
|Section i. Classical notices||351|
|Section ii. Chinese records||354|
|Section iii. Muhammadan notices||358|
|Section iv. Indian notices||364|
|Section v. The Kasmir Chronicles||365|
|Section vi. The Nilamata and Mahatmyas||376|
|Section vii. Local Tradition||383|
|Chapter III.-General Geography||386-431|
|Section i. Position and configuration of Kasmir Valley||386|
|Section ii. The Pir Pantsal Range||392|
|Section iii. The Vitasta Valley||401|
|Section iv. The Northern and Eastern mountain-ranges||405|
|Section v. Upper course of the Vitasta||410|
|Section vi. Lower course of the Vitasta||418|
|Section vii. Soil and climate of the Valley||425|
|Section viii. Ethnography||429|
|Chapter IV.-Political Topography||431-490|
|Section i. Frontiers of Ancient Kasmir||431|
|Section ii. Ancient Political Division||436|
|Section iii. The old and new capitals||439|
|Section iv. Ancient sites of Srinagara||446|
|Section v. The environs of S’rinagara||452|
|Section vi. Northern and Eastern Districts of Madavarajya||458|
|Section vii. Southern Districts of Madavarajya||468|
|Section viii. Southern Districts of Kramarajya||476|
|Section ix. Northern Districts of Kramarajya||484|
|SUPPLEMENTARY NOTE AA.-Mahatmyas of Kasmir Tirthas||491|
|Supplementary Note BB.-The Kasmir Parganas||493|
|Corrigenda et Addenda||553-555|
|Map of Ancient Kasmir||in pocket|
|Map of Ancient S’rinagar||in pocket|
|Map of Parihasapura and Confluence of Vitasta and Sindhu||in pocket|
|List of Abbreviations||xxiv|