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Essence Of Raja Tarangini


Bhagvat Purana
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 SIXTH BOOK
This Taranga starts as before with an invocation to Ardhanareesvara. The appeal here is to Parvati,  who got to become the left half of  the Universal Lord, by dint of her rigorus penance, eating only the dry leaves.
The  book starts with Yashaskara (939-948) who, through the power of his intellect restored the ordnances of former kings  which had fallen into abeyance and brought order into the country, ridding it of robbers and cheaters. This king built on a piece of land, which had belonged to his father, a Mutt for students from Aryadesha, who were devoting themselves to the acquisition of knowledge. (vi. 87). On the bank of the Vitasta, he granted the Brahmanas fifty-five agraharas furnished with various implements.
 He installed his paternal grand uncle Ramadeva’s son, Varnata  and entrusted his own son Samgramadeva to his care. Finally, when he died  due to illness and by being poisoned by his own men, his son  Samgramadeva succeeded him.
Samgramadeva (948-949) had his grandmother as his guardian. However, Parvagupta installed himself as the master of the palace, adopting to himself all powers, and  with the title Rajanaka{meaning literally almost a king} ( This Rajanaka  title came to be known as Razdan  - a very frequent  family surname  among Brahmanas-in later days). Parvagupta killed Samgrama deva and ascended the throne. (vi. 126-129). He died in A.D. 950 and was succeeded by his son  Kshemagupta and the country came into bad ways, due his misrule. King Simharaja of Lohara gave him his daughter Didda in marriage. The maternal grand father of this queen  Bhima Sahi  built a temple for Vishnu. Bhimakeshava. Kshemagupta died in 958 A.D. and his child son Abhimanyu (A.D. 958- 972 ) became king under the guardianship of Queen mother Didda. Like before, palace intrigues and witchcraft continued in this reign also. Officials  of cruel character plundered Kashmir during the reign of this
 good but ineffective king. Finally his reign came to a close with his death in  A.D. 972. His son Nandigupta ( A.D. 972-973 ) ascended the throne   Didda, the queen mother built a temple for Vishnu Abhimanyusvamin and the town of Abhimanyupura, in memory of her late son. (vi. 299) She also built another temple for Vishnu Diddasvamin together with Diddapura town (Didmar quarter in Srinagar)  and a Matha for residence of  people from  Madhyadesa,Latha and Saudotra. Kankanpura (modern Kangan) on the banks of the river Sind (Sindhu) was also built by her. She also built  a second temple for Vishnu by the same name Didda svamin with white stones and a Vihara with high quadrangle, as an abode for Kashmirians and foreigners. She built another temple for Vishnu in the name of her father, Simharajah and named it Simhasvamin and a Matha for residence of foreign Brahmanas  and a few more Mathas on the confluence of the rivers Sindhu and Vitasta . In all she made
 sixty-four foundations in different localities (vi  306) and restored many ruined temples (Jirnoddhara) (vi 307). However she fell into witchcraft and bad ways and killed Nandigupta first (A.D. 973) and her grandson  Tribhuvana  (A.D. 975) and put her last grandson Bhimagupta (A.D.975-980) in the throne. After putting Bhimagupta to death, Didda herself ascended the throne in  A.D. 980/1  and reigned till  A.D. 1003.   Didda made Samgramaraja  the son of her brother Udayaraja as Yuvaraja . She died in A.D. 1003.
                             Thus ends the Sixth 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 sankarachidambaram@yahoo.com

Read the other Tarangas

Tarangini1    Tarangini2    Tarangini3     Tarangini4    Tarangini5     Tarangini6



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