Shankaracharya Hill, Kashmir
Kalhana’s Rajatarangini is a work relating the Parampara of kings that ruled Kashmir. It is written by Kalhana in the form of poems in eight chapters termed Tarangas (Waves) describing the lives and exploits of these kings and the conditions that prevailed in Kashmir during their times. This way it contributes to the study of history of that region during those times. This study is based upon the book written by M.A.Stein, who has translated this work in English from the Sanskrit original.
Essence of the THIRD BOOK
Book III starts with an invocation to Ardhanareesvara Shivs, krittivasa
Meghavahana from nearby Gandhara is installed in the throne by the subjects. This king prohibited the killing of living beings in his country and helped the butchers and others in finding other means of livelihood. (iii.6). Bhutabali in the sacrifices was by an effigy made of ghee, in the shape of the animal to be sacrificed. He had many wives and all were associated with building Viharas for Bhikshus.. This king went forth for the conquest of the world so that he could impose upon the other kings his prohibition against the killing of living beings. (iii.27). He returned to Varuna his parasol, which was taken away from him by the father-in-law of his father and was praised by Varuna for abstention from killing beings, as though as a prayaschitta for the sin committed by his predecessor Vasukula’s son (Mihirakula) (iii. 57). He then proceeds to Lanka on an expedition and makes friends with Vibhishana and prohibited killing of living beings among
the demons there. Meghavahana died after ruling for thirty four years. ( iii. 96)
Sreshthasena , who is also referred to as Pravarasena I and Tunjina II , succeeded him
He constructed Pravaresvara shrine together with Matruchakra and consecrated various shrines at Puranadhisthana (iii 99)
His son Hiranya (king) and Toramana(yuvaraja) succeeded him after his death after 30 years. Toramana struck coins in abundance and put them in circulation. This angered the king and he was put in prison.. His wife Anjana who was pregnant gave birth to a son in a potter’s hut and was named Pravarasena after his grandfather. Hiranya died issue-less after 30 years’ reign. At that point of time there lived in Ujjain King Vikramaditya, who was also called Hardha. (iii125) He had a poet in his court by name Matrgupta. King Vikramaditya pleased with Matrgupta’s loyalty made him king of Kashmir, then under his sovereignty.
Matrugupta built a temple for Vishnu called Matruguptaswamin. When Vikramaditya dies, Matrgupta leaves Kashmir and was met by grown up Pravarasena, and requested by him to continue in Kashmir. But Matrgupta proceeds to Varanasi and becomes a yati there disowning the wealth (got from the revenue from Kashmir) sent by Pravarasena to him (iii.320-322) He lived ten years as a yati. ( while writing a footnote to sloka iii.326M.A.stein refers to Tadidala as a kind of earring in Panjab The use of Talapatra by Tamil ladies as earrings is known to us)
Pravarasena becomes king of Kashmir as Pravarasena II He resided in the city of his grandfather Pravarasena I. ( M.A. S’s footnote: This corresponds with the modern day Srinagar iii. 339-349) This king was the first to build the Brihat setu (great bridge) built on the Vitasta. Jayendra, the great uncle of this king caused the Jayendra Vihara and a statue of the great Buddha (Brihadbuddha). That city had as much as 36 lakhs of houses and temples of Vardhasvamin and Vishvakarman. (iii357)
Yudhishtira II, born to this king and his queen Ratnaprabha ruled the earth (after him) for forty years.. Lahkana-Narendraditya ruled after him for thirteen years. He was succeeded by his younger brother Ranaditya. He created the temple for Ranaswamin(Vishnu) and Ranesvara (Shiva) (iii453-454). Heis reported to have ruled the earth for three hundred years. (iii. 470)
His son was Vikramaditya and he ruled for forty two years. After him his next eldest brother Baladitya came to power. He founded an agrahara of Bhedara for the Brahmanas. His wife built a shrine for Shiva, Bimbesvara. Baladitya after ruling for thirty seven years less four months passed away without a son. As foretold by the astrologer the sovereignty of the race of Gonanda came to an end and his son in law of a purer family of Karkotaga Naga came to power after him.
Thus ends the third Taranga of Rajatarangini
This essence of the Rajatarangini has been prepared by Sri. S. Chidambaresan, devotee of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. The author can be contacted at email@example.com