|THE ENDNotes on the Changunarayan Inscription|
Licchavi Kalka Abhilekha
According to Sylvain Levi, Prithvi Narayan Shah had cut the noses not only of the inhabitants of Kirtipur, but also of the seven royal princes of Bhaktapur, who were Ranajit Malla's illegitimate sons. They were known as Sat Bahales because Ranajit Malla had constructed one house with a courtyard (bahal) for each of them. One of them was imprisoned, and his property confiscated, when he fought against the Gorkhalis from Jaya Prakash Malla's side. When Prithvi Narayan Shah granted the house and other property confiscated from him to Sardar Ram Krishna Kunwar, the latter endowed them as Guthi to supply food to pilgrims on the occasion of the Shivaratri festival. The property of the six other princes had been reconfirmed. None of them lost his ears and nose. The imprisoned person was released when Ranajit Malla had said that he would like to take him to Banaras along with him. that prince lived for two years with Ranajit Malla in Banaras until the latter's death. Later, he tried to attack Nepal with the support of the British in Patna, by claiming that he was entitled to the throne of Bhaktapur. Among the Sat Bahales, he was the only one who eventually disappeared.
There is an aneedote in Gorkha which seems to be true. A minister of Patan, who was in charge of the defense of Kirtipur, informed Sura Pratap Shah of his willingness to surrender if the levies of the inhabitants were spared, when nobody came to his rescue. Prithvi Narayan Shah accepted this offer. But the minister of Patan requested Sura Pratap Shah to enter the town in the night, lest the people should get excited. By the following morning, the town was already under the control of the Grokhalis. A few hooligans then attacked the Gorkhalis in the night and killed eight or ten Gorkhalis. When Sura Pratap Shah asked Prithvi Narayan Shah what punishment should
be inflected upon the hooligans, the latter ordered that they be banished from Kirtipur, and their ears and noses cut, since he had already promised to spare the lives of the inhabitants of the town. The Gorkhalis maintain that Prithvi Narayan Shah visited that town soon after this inciendent. But the Christian missionaries had tried to make a mountain of a molehill. Sylavain Levi had even attempted to portray Prithvi Narayan Shah as even more barbarous. Landon followed in this footstep. Other Europeans also are following this tradition. The truth will come to light if the royal orders issued by Prithvi Narayan Shah, and the writings of Dalitaballabh, are published.
Notes on the Changunarayan InscriptionX
The Changunarayan inscription states that Shankardeva ruled in a commendable way, that they country was prosperous during the rule, and that he gained much fame by displaying bravery. Beyond this nothing is known about Shankardeva.
Shankardeva was succeeded by his son, Dharmadeva, who also ruled the country properly, and made it more prosperous. Dharmadeva was a man of religion, and he organized many religious functions. The Changunarayan inscription also mentiones that he was skilled in that art of warfare, and hat he personally initiated his son, Manadeva, in that art.
XDhanavajra Bajracharya, ''Changunarayanasthanako Manadevako Abhilekha.'' (Manadeva's inscription at the temple of Changunarayan), in ^ . (Inscription of the Licchavi period). Kathmandu: Institute of Nepal and Asian Studies, 2030 (1973).
The Changunarayan inscription also states that Dharmadeva had won the hearts of his subjects through ''Rajarshicharita.'' It is necessary to explain the meaning of this term. In the sixth chapter captained Rajarshibritta of his Arthashastra, Acharya Kautilya has described the duties of an able ruler. He defines royal virtues (Rajarshicharita) as control of the the senses, acquiring learning by association with scholars, collection of information through spies, insdustriousness, humility, work for the well-being of all avoidance of greed and association with toher women, a balance between morality and temporal affairs, observance of royal dignity, and so on. Thus Rajarshicharita litereally means the character of an ideal king. King Manadeva has thus tried to project his father as ideal King.
The Changunarayan inscription indicates that Dharmadeva died suddenly. However, it doens not indicate how he died, and where. The relevant portion of the pillar-inscription reads as follows: ''Dharmadeva died when his queen, Rajyavati, was engaged in a religious ceremony at a temple. This caused panic among the royal attendants. Queen Rajyavati immediately stopped her prayers and returned to the palace, overwhelmed with grief. Manadeva was informed of the death of his father by his brother.'' In any case, the cause of Dharmadeva's death appears to be mysterious. The Gopalavamshavali and other sources have been concocted the story that Manadeva and unwillingly murdered his father.
The custom of sati was prevalent at that time. However, it was not compulsory. This is evident from the fact that Rajyavati, Manadeva's mother, Abhiri, Bhauma Gupta's mother, and Vatsadevi, mother of Jayadeva, had not become satis on the death of their husbands. The Vishnudharmottara, Naradasmriti and other writings enjoin on women either to become satis or lead pious lives after the death of their husbands. These instructions were followed during the Lichhvi period, as this pipper-inscription indicates. Queen Rajyavati had at first expressed her determination to become a sati on the death of Dharmadeva. But she changed her mind when her son, Manadeva, pressed her not to do so. Rajyavati then led the life of a pious widow. (Sativrata) Abhiri and Vatsadevi too opted for pious widowhood.
The history of the Lichhavi period becomes clearer and more authentic as we rech the time of Manadeva, who possessed all the virtues of an independent ruler. Several inscriptions mentioning specific dates, coins, etc of his time have been discovered.
Let us first discuss the references contained in this pillar-inscription itself. Manadeva performed the funeral ceremony of his father according to traditionally rites. Rajeshwari observed a fast, praying for peace to her deceased husband's soul.
At that time, feudal lords of vassal states tried to become independent whenever any weakness appeared at the center for any reason. Failure to subdue such vassal states meant the disintegration of the state itself. Mandeva also was confronted with a similar situation. On hearing of the death of Dharmadeva, and the accession of Manadeva, the feudal kings of neighbouring Vassal states attempted to secure their independence. They did not present themselves at the palace on hearing of the death of Dharmadeva and the accession of Manadeva. Manadeva, however, was not a weak man. He had already been traied in the art of war and in handling weapons. Hence he resolved to suppress these feudal rulers so as to maintain the intergrity of the state inherited by him from his father. He made necessary arrangements in this regard. At that time, of crisis, he received full support from his maternal uncle.X
With the permission of his mother, Manadeva proceeded toward the east along with his troops. It was not difficult for him to subdue the feudal lords of that region. Before long, they accepted the supremacy of Manadeva, who thereupon confirmed them in their statues as chiefs of vassal states. The Changunarayan inscription describes them as ''Shatha,''
XIt is not known who Manadeva's maternal uncle was. Manadeva is quoted as having said, at the time of his invasion of Mallapur: ''Dear uncle, please cross the Gandaki river today. I too shall cross the river along with my troops and join you.'' This seems to indicate that Manadeva's maternal uncle had come with his own troops. This leads us to assume that he was the ruler of some state in India. This is confirmed to some extent by the reference made in the pillar-inscription to Manadeva's mother. She is described in the inscription as ''born in a pure dynasty.''
a disparaging term. This leads one to assume that the feudal rulers of the eastern region were Kiratas. In his description of Kirata Kings, the author of the Gopalavamshavali writes; ''There were thirty-two Kirati Kings. Kiratas are now inhabiting the region between the Tamakoshi and the Arun.'' The Gopalavamshavali indicates that some Kiratas moved toward the east after the Licchavis established a state of their own by driving then out. However, in the absence of further evidence, nothing can be said for certain in this regard.
After subduing the feudal rulers of the eastern region, Manadeva headed toward the western region. His success in the eastern region had boosted u his morale. The Changunarayan inscription also says; ''As fearless as a lion waving its mane, Manadeva headed towards the east.'' However, Manadeva was not successful in his western expedition to the same extent as in the east. The feudal ruler of Mallapuri, situated in his western region, refused to accept the suzerainty of Manadeva. Manadeva had summoned him for negotiations, but he openly defied Manadeva. This angered Manadeva, and he resolved to subdue the feudal ruler of Mallapuri. Mallapuri was situated across the Gandaki river. It was not easy to cross that river. Even so, Manadeva made preparations to invade Mallapuri. He first requested his maternal uncle to cross the Gandaki river with his troops. Later, he too crossed the river along with his troops, and invaded Mallapuri. The feudal King of Mallapuri was unable to resist the invasion, and finally accepted Manadeva's suzerainty.
It is necessary to discuss how Mandeva crossed the Gandaki river. Accordingly to the account given in the Changunarayan inscription, Manadeva's army possessed hundreds of elephants. some historians have doubted this, saying that the presence of elephants in a hilly region is incomceivable. However, there exist elephants of one type in hill areas. According to Kautilya's Arthashastra, there are two types of elephants, these that inhabit the areas situated in the vicinity of rivers, and those that live in the hill region.
Other Lichhavi inscriptions contain references to elephants. Amshuvarma's inscription at Handigaun states that the King mounted on an elephant during the coronation. There still exists a settlement called ''Kisipindi'' between Thankot and Balambu. A Lichhavi inscription calls this settlement
''Kichaprinchi.'' The inscriptions found in this area frequently refer to ''Hastimarga'' while specifying boundaries. For example, we pay cite the inscription installed by Vasanatadeva at Thankot. It shows that elephants were kipt in this area during the Lichhavi period. Narendradeva's inscription at Taleju-Chok in Lalitpur also during the Lichhavi period. For this reason, the view that Manadeva's ermy had elephants also cannot be dismissed as imaginary.
In ancient times, elephants are used to cross rivers. The peot Kalidasa thus describes the victory procession of Raghu, ''Raghu formed a bridge of elephants to cross the Kapisha river along with his troops. After crossing the river in this manner, he headed towards Kalinga, as he had been shown the way by the Utkalas.''
Kautilya has emphasized the utility of elephants in these words: ''Elephants are employed for such purchoses as construction of roads, shelters, and ferries in areas where there exist none.''
In the light of all this, it may be assumed that Mahadeva had formed ''a bridge of elephants'' to cross the Gandaki river. (See also Purnima, No. 24, PP. 223-26).
Some historians appear to be confused with regard to the location of Mallapuri conquered by Manadeva. They argue that Manadeva could not have conquered Mallapuri, situated across the Gandaki river, inasmuch as it was his own vassal state. They claim that Manadeva had defeated the Malla kings of Gorkhapur in the courage of his campaign of territorial expansion.
In the Changunarayan inscription, Manadeva has described his position clearly. According to this inscription, Manadeva did no launch the campaign for the sake of conquering new states. He merely sough to preserve his state because of the attempts made by some feudal rulers to secede after the sudden death of his father. In the eastern region, he did not have to fight any battle at all. In the western region, he had to fight against the feudal ruler of Mallapuri alone. The inscription clearly shows that the rulers Mallapuri was not an independent King, but had occupied a vassal status since the time of Manadeva's predecessor. Had it not been so, none
could have described the kingof an endependent state as a vassal state. Had the feudal ruler of Mallapuri been an independent King, he would not have readily accepted Mandeva's to suzerainty, and it would have been absurd for Manadeva to feel infuriated at the former's failure to appear before him on his command.
Moreover, there is no evidence that there existed any Malla state, or any territory known as ''Mallapuri'', in the Gorakhapur area. Buddhist writings, including the Mahaparinivvansutta, way that there existed a Sangha Rajya in the Gorkhapur region at the time of the Buddha. But this state was 1,000 years older than Manadeva. During the rule of Manadeva, Gorakhapur was a part of the Gupta empire. This is confirmed by the inscription discovered at Kahabama in Gorakhpur. In this isnscription, which was installed during the reign of Skandagupta, and is dated 141 Gupta era (517 Vikrama), Sumundra is quoted as having said that he had uprooted all the kings of Aryavarta. Let us cite the Mahaparinivvanasutta, the piller-inscription of Prayag, and the inscription of Kahabama.
''Please go, Ananda, to Kushinara. The Lord has attained Nirvana. Please ask the Mallas of Kusinaas to do what is dictated by the situation.'' (From the Mahaparinivvansutta).
''His influences spread after he eliminated by force several kings of Aryavarta, such a Rudradeva Matila, Nagadatta, Chandravarma, Ganapatinaga, Nagasena, Achyutanandi and Ballavarma, etc.'' (From the Pillar Inscription of Prayag).
''The place wher he (Shandagupta) takes salute is swept by the wind that blows when hundreds of kings bow their heads before him. Tranquility reigns in the empire of Emperor Skandagupta, whose fame had spread far and wide, who is blessed with good fortune, and who is like Indra. At the village rendered sacred by the presence of good men, and having the gamous name of Kakuva (Kahabama), in the month of Jestha 141 Gupta era (517 Vikrama). (From the Kahabama inscription).
Manadeva ruled nearly forty-one years. Had he sought to conquer new territoties, he would have done so only after consolidating his own Kingdom and his position. He would not have embarked on such a venture at a time when had had hardly consolidated his position after the death of his father and his uncle.
All this proves that Manadeva did not conquere new territories, and that he had merely tried to defend his ancestral Kingdom, because the vassal states had tried to become independent taking advantage of the slight commotion prevailing at the center.
The actual location of Mallapuri is still a subject of research. The Kali-Gandaki, river is the best known among the seven tributaries of the Gandaki river. The areas situated along this river are alos important from the historiacal viewpoint. The word ''Gandaki'' mentioned in the Changunarayan inscription probably referes to the Kali-Gandaki. Moreover, two Lichhavi inscriptions, discovered in Gorkha, indicate that area was not a feudatory state, but was directely administered from the center.
This possibly means that the Gandaki crossed by Manadeva was the Kali-Gandaki. For this reason, exploration across the Kali-Gandaki may help to locate ''Mallapuri.''
Manadeva returned to his capital after subduing the feudal reler of Mallapuri. He was very happy, because he had been able to meet the threat he had faced immediately after his accession to the throne. In fact, the state of Nepal would have disintegrated at that time had he failed to suppress the rulers of feudatory states in both the eastern and western regions. That is why he made ritual gift on his return to the capital and had his mother, Rajyalaxmi, also do so. since the inscription is imcomplete, the reference made therein in regard to such gifts is illegible. However, the broken inscription on the pillar stading on front of the temple of Changunarayan does indicate that Manadeva also endowed lands as Guthi for the worship of Narayana. This possibly means that he had ordered the installation of the ''Garudadhwaj'' pillar.
Some foreign historians have maintained that the frontiers of Nepal were confined to Kathmandu Valley and some adjoining areas since ancient times, on the basis of some texts written during the time when Nepal was divided into several states. Some Nepali historians are also supporting this view. But this is not true. The inscription of Changunarayan indicates that Nepal was bigger in size during the period of the Lichhavis. The inscription describes how Manadeva controlled the feudal kings of the east and west, who had wanted to become independent after the sudden death of Dharmadeva. This areas in the west, formed parts of Nepal at that time.
The inscription of Samudragupta in Prayag sheds enough light on the frontiers of Nepal during the Lichhavi periodj. It mentions that Nepal's boundaries were situated east of Kumaun and west of Assam. This was already been mentioned above. Lichhavi inscription have been found from Dolakha and Mulkot in the east to Gorkha in the west. More inscriptions of this period may be found in other areas too if explored properly. The ''Mananka'' coins of Manadeva have been found in western Baglung. Mud-built Chaityas with inscriptions in the later Lichhavi script have been found in the Lamathada caves in Jumla. This shows that Nepal was bigger during the Lichhavi period.
The description of the Chinese traveller, Hsaun-chuang, sheds light on the frontiers of Nepal at that time. He writes: Nipolo (Nepal) lies on the lap of the Himalayas. It has an areas of 4000 li. It is surrounded by mountains. Its capital has an area of twenty li.'' One li is equal to one-third of a mile, and thus 400 li are equal to 1172 miles. this shows that the length of Nepal was 400 miles, and its breath 200 miles. there is other evidence also to indicate that the size of Lichhavi Nepal was equal to that of modern Nepal.
The Changunarayan inscription also sheds light on the condition of the people during the Lichhavi period. Manadeva had proudly described himself as a Kshatriya. The inscription alos contains a description of the grants made by Manadeva and his mother, Rajyavati, to Brahmans. This shows that the caste system was observed at that time.
The Lichhavi rulers pursued that policy of creating a society based on the caste system. The inscription of Balambu can be cited as evidence. The Lichhavis felt proud of their success in maintaining the caste system.
Brahmans occupied a respectable place in the society during the Lichhavi period. Kshatriyas also occupied a leading position because of their special role in politics. References have been made to Rajputras (Kshatriyas) in many Lichhavi inscriptions. The inscriptions of Sikubahi (Shankhamul) mentions the names of Rajputra Vajraratha, Babharuvarma, and Deshavarma. Bahhruvarma and Deshavarma were ''dutakas'' during the reign of Gangadeva and Amshuvarma respectively. The inscription of Sanga mentions the name of Rajputra Vikramasena, who was a Rajputra dandanayaka.'' The inscription of Deopatan mentions Rajputra
Shurasena, and the inscriptions of Adeshwar mentions the Rajaputras Nandavarma, Jishnuvarma and Bhimavarma. This shows that the number of Kshatriyas was large in the Lichhavi period, and that they occupied top posts.
The Chinese account says that the numder of traders exceeded the number of farmers in Nepal. This shows without doubt that there were Vaishyas in the Lichhavi period. In the Tabahal inscription, Grihamitra calls himself a ''Vanik'' (trader), a Vaishya caste. The inscriptions of Narendradeva at Anantalingeshwar indicates that different communities, including Brahmans and Chandalas, lived together at Hamsagrihadranga. Chandala is a Shudra Sub-caste. This shows that there lived Shudras to during the Lichhavi period.
Different communities had been living here from ancient times. These communitite included those who did not observe the caste system. The Lichhavi inscriptions therefore contain reference to ''the Varnas and eighteen castes.'' The inscription of Vasantadeva at Thankot contains this term.
People enjoyed religious freedom during the Lichhavi period. They could prefess any religion they liked. However, people were not granted freedom of occupation. They could engage in the occupation pertaining to their caste. A separate officer called ''Bhattadhikarana'' was established to supervive whether or not this rule was followed.
The Changunarayan inscription nuturally contains a lengthy eulogy of Manadeva. Such a eulogy tends to be one-sided. However, it sheds light in the personality and character of Manadeva to some extent. Several inscriptions have described Manadeva as handsome and wheat-complexioned, with broad shoulders and large eyes. The Changunarayan inscription describes Manadeva as a youth. It also shows that Manadeva was killed in the use of weapons, experienced in dealing with people, brave, and religious-minded.
The Changunarayan inscription in important from point of view, not only of history but alos of scholarship. The name of the author of the text of the inscription is not known. However, he seems to be a scholar, well-versed in the Sanskrit language. He has given the dialogue between Manadeva and his mother Rajyavati in a very profound manner, when the latter was preparing to become a Sati. The style of other inscriptions of Manadeva is also beautiful and scholarly. This shows that during the period of Manadeva, scholars flourished in Nepal.