In 1123, during a period of intense pressure from besieging dāmaras and while mourning the death of one of his wives, Sussala abdicated in favour of his son, Jayasimha, He soon changed his mind and although Jayasimha was formally crowned as king it was Sussala who continued to govern.
Jayasimha succeeded his father in 1128 during a period when there was open rebellion. A plot intended to assert authority had backfired on Sussala and caused his death. Jayasimha was not a forceful character but he did nonetheless manage to bring about both peace and a degree of economic well-being during his reign, which lasted until 1155. Bhikşācara mounted further attempts to regain the throne during the first two years and no sooner had he been killed than another challenger, Lothana, a brother of Salhana, succeeded in taking control of Lohara. That territory was subsequently recaptured but challenges continued from Lothana and two others who sought the throne, Mallājuna and Bhoja, the latter being a son of Salhana. Throughout this period there was also further troublesome behaviour generally from the dāmaras, as so often in the past, and also as in the past it was the fact that those chiefs also fought among themselves which enabled Jayasimha to survive.
Peace came after 1145 and Jayasimha was able to employ his methods of kingship, which relied on diplomacy and Machiavellian plotting, for the greater good of his kingdom. In particular, Kalhana refers to the piety of Jayasimha, who rebuilt or constructed many temples which had been destroyed during the long years of war. His success has led Hasan to describe him as "the last great Hindu ruler of Kashmir."
An example of Jayasimha's vision can be found in his decision to enthrone his oldest son, Gulhana, as king of Lohara even though Gulhana was a child and Jayasimha was still alive. The reason for this appears to have been better to ensure the succession would not suffer any disturbance.
In the time of Kalhana and immediately after the accession of King Jayasimha (AD 1128-55) of the second Lohara dynasty when his position became precarious due to the uprisings and attacks of Bhikshachara, the great grandson of Kalasa, and his powerful Damara allies, the Avantisvamin temple braced a siege when its courtyard protected by mighty stone walls provided shelter to royal officers Bhasa and Kshemananda and their companions who were besieged by the Damaras of Holada.
The stone walls of the enclosure of the temple withstood the siege successfully and the Damaras headed by the powerful Tikka could not overcome the besieged, 'though they fought them by lighting fires, throwing stones and making breaches' Ultimately, the Damaras had to disperse at the approach of Sujji, the commander-in-chief of Jayasimha, to relieve Bhasa and his retinue.
Birth of Jayasimha
Rajatarangini tells ....At that time was born a son of Sussala who could raise the world from the misery into which it was sinking ; and the child was named Jayasimha by the king on account of the victories which he gained from the time of the boy's birth. His acts fully sustained the import of his name as Buddha's name of Sarvarthasiddha was sustained by his acts. When the king saw that the foot of the child was marked with the impression of saffron, he forgot his anger towards his brother. That sign in the
[p.22]: child's foot prevented the enmity between, its father and uncle and established peace between the two countries.
The king in the name of his deceased father raised a matha in the place where his father used to worship ; and in the great festival he gave in charity cows, lands, gold, clothes, food, and spent a large amount of money and was like a kalpa tree to all who asked for charity. The other kings were astonished at the presents which he gave to them. The queen Jayamati, in order to spend on some good purpose the money she had received from her husband when he was well pleaded with her, built a matha with Vihara. The king being somewhat short in virtues in his previous birth the matha which he built in the name of the child came to be called by the name of " New matha." The matha which he erected in the name of his sister Svala in another of his father's places of worship did not attain the celebrity it deserved.
Once when the king was at Kramarajya he went to the mountainous village of Varhanachakra in order to see the fire that lights of itself. When he was passing by the road of the village of Kamvaleshvara some armed Chandala robbers who lived there, surrounded him. Though they were intent on striking, and though the king's soldiers were few, yet being struck with panic they could not use their arms and so they did not strike. The king lost his way and wandered about with a few followers, and spent a night in a deep cavern. Soon on the morning this bad news reached the camp. From
[p.23]: camp the news slowly reached the capital. The Superintendent of the city was Chhudda of the family of the hero Kamadeva and brother of Radda. He quelled the disturbance in the city by arms, and then entered the palace with his brothers in order to determine what to do. When deliberations were going on as to who should be made king, Sadda a wicked Kayastha wishing to benefit his own caste people thus addressed him : — " You with your many friends, kinsmen and servants are unconquerable, rule this kingdom without opposition." When thus addressed the wicked man wished to enjoy the kingdom and soon tried to get on the throne. Whoever was conscious of his descent from the line of Shriyashaskara felt a desire to rule the kingdom. It appears that the wish that was inherent in them was inflamed by the words of an evil friend. They were not inclined to follow the right path, or why should they think of Sadda's evil counsel ? The low Sadda was born of the family of Lavata, the porter. Kshemadeva's son who held a small appointment behaved harshly like a very desperate and brave man. He stole a golden vase from the palace, and though ho was suspected yet, being a grave man, he was not discovered. He kept a small sword, was without a turban, laughed at all and prided himself, and like a prince despised the world. He always moved his fingers, and his notions of Government were cruel. By the words of this man and by their own evil desire, Chhudda and others aspired to the kingdom, but their de-
[p.24]: From that time the desire of being king was neither rooted out from their minds, nor was asleep, nor did it find an outlet. The king whose regard for them became unsettled gradually removed them from Government offices, and reduced them to an humble state. The king who was naturally rude in his speech now told them heart-piercing words. In the reign of king Harsha, they lived in the house of their young widow-mother after their father's death. Their neighbour an youthful friend and soldier named Madyasattaka was suspected with having formed an intrigue with their mother, and they killed him. But the king judged that they had not punished their unchaste mother and cut off her nose, and published this news behind their back ; and enquired after them as sons of the " Nose-cut." The king who was like death towards the Kayasthas had made Sadda the treasurer of the great treasury &c., and prevented him from doing mischief. But oppressed by Sadda's harshness his own accountant told the king that Sadda used to defalcate money from the treasury. The king in anger took away from him his post of Praveshabhagika and he again drove Radda and Chhudda to adopt their former plan.
Character of the king Jayasimha
Rajatarangini mentions ... Thus king Jayasimha ruled the subjects, and thus passed his time full of great excitements. When Chitraratha had gone to the place of pilgrimage, his two servants Shringara and Janaka who desired to touch his feet [ to serve him] became bards. The king gave large bribe to Shringara whom Janaka deserted, and Shringara promised to, the king [to serve his end] and became a sharer in the enjoyment of his master's ( Chitraratha's ) wealth. (p.211)
[p.213] The well behaved, king thus destroyed his enemies and freed the kingdom of foes. When the enemies who restrain kings are destroyed, kings generally appear fiercer, like the sun released from clouds. The latter days of the king have been prosperous, and the excessive sweetness of this jewel among sovereigns is like the sweetness of grapes just beginning to ripen. He encourages the performance of religious sacrifices with incessant gifts to Brahmanas, and he also encourages marriages, pilgrimages and proper religious festivities. He helps in the completion
[p.214]: of religious performance by pious men by supplying them with his own provisions, as the moon by his own power makes certain plants in the Kula mountains,* luminous. The sedate king promises to help with all necessary things, in the performance of marriages of the citizens' sons. For the increase of his treasure, he gave permission to owners of extensive forests to reclaim their lands, and he repaired the capital. The wise see with wonder his excessive fervour, like that of a Rishi, in the worship of Hara, though he is engrossed, in the duties of a king. From morning to evening he performs no act which is not guided by the wise. Jayapida and others, by their kingly grace, made wisdom shine amidst the deep darkness of injustice, like fleeting lightning in the clouds. But this king, by the gift of things of permanent value, prevented, like the rays of jewels, his other virtues from being known.
Public works executed by the king : He built very high houses for the learned, and the seven Rishis† as if to see their beauty, spread themselves out over their head. Owing to religious sacrifices performed with intelligence, the wisdom of the learned became pure, and travelling by road became safe. The noise of the falling water with which the Linga was bathed, and which he listened forsaking the sounds of the flute and the lute, as he lay in his bed, was as dear to him as the varied speech of the learned, untainted with envy. The
- * The seven great mountains of the ancient Hindus.
- † The seven brightest stars in the Great Bear.
[p.215]: temples &c., which were set up in the times of Shrilalitaditya, Avantivarmma and others were now brought to perfection. The king made perpetual grants for all schools and houses of gods set up during his reign. The matha of Ratnadevi to whom her husband [ the king ] was strongly attached was the best of all that were set up.
At this time Rilhana who was the friend of the worthy was, of all the ministers, the first traveller in the path of virtue. Though this pure-minded man lived in a house of amusement, yet he could never forsake the chief Rishis and the elders in religion. His life was not void of virtue acquired by the gift of the skin of black deer, by giving shelter to men, by oblations, by good deeds, and by helping in the marriage of girls. This great man bestowed things suited for religious sacrifices on all the fire-worshipping Brahmanas, and made the performance of their work easy. His heart was untouched by envy, and in the wonderful sacrificial feast which he held, the people of the sixty-four castes enjoyed the delightful objects of enjoyment. By bestowing valuable villages on Brahmanas, by building large schools and bridges, he embellished the two cities of the two Pravarasenas. In the city of Pravarasena I, he set up the wonderful Rilhaneshvara [an image of a god] which was the chie of all the religious monuments he built. This pious man, for the memory of his wife Sussalā who was dead, caused a vihara to be built for the Buddhists,
[p.216]: at the place called Akaprapā. A female cat died of grief for the death of Rilhana's wife, and Rilhana feared lest he should forget the affection due to the brute creation, and called the vihara after the cat. In that district soiled by envy, and not far from the town, this cat lived and was dear to her master, as a human being. From the day on which Rilhana went on pilgrimage, the cat ceased to take food which was brought to her, and died of grief without a groan.
Works and death of Sussalā, wife of Jayasimha:
Didda, among the wives of kings and Sussalā, among the wives of ministers, reached the utmost perfection of virtue by setting up various religious establishments. Sussalā built the matha of Shrichankuna of stone which till then had existed only in name. She attained perfection in all kinds of virtues by building wells with masonary works, small wells, houses for students and other works. The whole city looked beautiful on account of her matha which covered the entire sacrificial land of the ancient lines of kings. She rapidly wasted away by consumption, and died at Shrisureshvari; and her death was like a harbinger of her absorption in tho Deity attained by her setting up religious edifices.
Works of Dhanya and Udaya and of others: The Brahmana village and the edifices built by Dhanya did not fulfill the purpose for which they were raised. How can fame be obtained, without virtue ? In the like manner, the religious edifices built by Udaya lord of Kampana, in the villages of the Brahamanas, and named after him, served no useful purpose except that they
[p.217]: went by his name. Udaya, lord of Dvara, with the help of the Gaṇa sect of Brahmapuri, built a beautiful religious edifice in which the lotus tank looked beautiful. At Shrīdvāra, Shṛiṅgāratantrapati, a jewel of a Brahmana and an owner of a large mart, built a religious edifice with garden and tank, and he adorned the earth by erecting rooms for bathing, religious edifices, and a bridge at Brahmapuri, and by similar works. The matha of Shṛiṅgārabhaṭṭa near that of Bhaṭṭāraka was like a well in an expanded ocean, and was deservedly forgotten.
Among the trees, karavira alone, owing to the loveliness of its floors, has the dignity of beauty, and the flowers become useful in the worship of the Shivalinga. So among the several ministers of the king, one alone named Bhuṭṭa, younger brother of Jahlu (?), attained, dignified excellence. The offering which he made to Mahadeva the Jyeshtarudra, otherwise called the Bālakeshvara, and set up by Vashishta, was accepted by the god who appeared in person. There he built a town without a defect, named Bhuṭṭapura with maṭhas, religious schools and high buildings. In the capital also he set up a Hara, named Bhuṭṭeshvara, and in the village of Maḍava he excavated a tank named Dharmmavibhramadarpana.
[p.218]: her own money made arrangements for their permanent maintenance. At Ratnapura, a town of great value, and which had many gates, the spotless religions school was the receptacle of virtue, and looked like a large cage for a swan. Mahadeva graced by his presence her white washed houses, like a white light, to destroy the transient state of man's existence. When she built sheds for cows, Shuravarmma and the other builders were reckoned as cows. There [at Ratnapura] adorned with cowsheds, where the kine roamed unrestricted, and which was washed by the waves of the Vitasta, she parted with her diseased body (died), At Nandikshetra she had raised religious schools, and in the principal places of the Yavanas she had built delightful mathas. In Dārvvā she built a town like the city of Indra, and named it after her name. It contained a beautiful and grand house befitting a king. The queen who was kind towards her dependants built various monuments consecrated to the memory of the great, the honored and the principal men who were dead.
The world held such jewels of women who were its ornaments. The chief among the kings made his own matha a specially desirable object. He was without vanity, and gave away in gifts many villages, the principal among which was celebrated as Simhapura by those who knew of his gifts. In this place the son of the daughter of the lord of Kārapatha established a
What need is there of narrating about the construction of mathas &c. by the king who turned the whole of Kashmira into Villages and towns. Owing to the troubles of the time, the country had become like a wasted forest, but the king again made it wealthy, populous and full of houses. From the beginning, when he engaged himself in giving what was asked from him, men of skill built mathas and houses of gods. He was not jealous, and when he gave valuable riches, clothes and jewels for the use of the public, the citizens celebrated various great festivities.
About this time the shall crop was destroyed by the sudden fall of snow, by fire and similar troubles, but there was no severe famine. Strange things happened, for though at night the voices of the Rakshasas were heard, and omens like comets were seen, people did not die.
Gulhana made king of Lohara
Rajatarangini tells.... The king (Jayasimha) then anointed Gulhana, the eldest of the sons of Raḍḍādevī, as king of the prosperous kingdom of Lohara. That prince was aged six or seven years, and he surpassed older kings, as a young mango tree surpasses worn out trees. As the queen Raḍḍā went to anoint her son, the feudatory kings bowed to her, and reddened her feet by the rays of the rubies on their heads, as if by red paint. When the prince was anointed, the clouds, as if in compliance with, the wishes of the queen, drenched the earth which had been dried up by a fearful drought. (p.306)
Rajatarangini tells.... After the king of Lohara (Gulhana), queen Radda's four sons, clever and eminent on account of their virtues, became kings. As Lakshmana bore inseparable love towards Rama, so Gulhana is loved by Aparāditya, and lives in prosperity in Lohara. As Shatrughna was brought up by Bharata, even so Jayapida lives under the fostering care of Lalitaditya. King Ahaskara was renowned on account of humility and was the fifth virtuous king, and rose like the young sun. He was restless on account of his young age, graceful on account of his reverence and power, and although like the beautiful sun, he softened men. His fair face with eyes lined with collyrium, and his lower lip red as copper, appeared like a golden lotus on which the rays of the newly risen sun were reflected. Though
[p.314]: young, his conversation was clear and full of magnanimity, and was as grateful to men as the source of the nectar, (the moon), churned out of the ocean. " He is horn of a great family, and the graceful dignity of his infancy indicates future expansion.
Four daughters, — Menila, Rajalakshmi, Padmashri and Kamala, — all bent on good deeds, were born to the king of Kashmira.
King and the queen: Always surrounded by beautiful children in the pleasure garden made for enjoyment? the unblemished king and queen look graceful like two gardens in the rainy season. By the reduction of the expenditure of the kingdom, hallowed by holy temples, the riches of queen Radda were augmented. The queen was followed by the king and petty chiefs and ministers in her pilgrimage to shrines of gods, and she beamed like the goddess of Royal Fortune. When she bathed, her companions in pilgrimage touched the person of that chaste lady and instantly abandoned their desire to touch the image of Sati. When she marched, the rain clouds in the sky always followed her, in order to see her, as they follow the rainy season ; no doubt, because, when she bathed in the shrines of this world, the shrines of heaven bathed her too, out of jealousy, in the guise of rain clouds. In her eagerness to go to shrines, the queen with her tender limbs does not think even the cloud-touching hills and the bank-breaking rivers in her way to be insurmountable. By setting up many images and repairing worn out temples, the wise and clever queen surpassed the
[p.315]: " Idle " (Nirjjitavarmma) and Didda. She set up a beautiful image of Rudra named Rudreshvara, made of white stone grateful as the source of the nectar, (the moon), and beauteous as the melting sea of cream. It shines to the day and destroys hunger, thirst, poverty and all disturbances. Set with pure gold, it is the graceful ornament of Kashmira, the essence of all beautiful things in the world. She also repaired the building named Shāntāvasāda.
Influence of the queen over the king: When the king is ruffled with anger, as the sea is by the sub-marine fire, the queen is the shelter of the servants, as the Ganges is of aquatic creatures. When the king is in even temper, punishments or favors on [subordinate] kings were awarded at her desire. She favored king Bhupala, son of Somapala, by marriage with the honorable Meniladevi. The dignity inherited from noble birth is easily discerned, and is, never, completely lost. The fiery sun has the power to destroy darkness, and the disk (moon) receives the power from the sun, and so destroys darkness. This kingdom, wonderful among all kingdoms on earth, and purified and full of jewels, displays in a befitting manner the virtues of the king. After Meniladevi was married, her father sincerely forgot his former displeasure against the bridegroom and bestowed on him a kingdom.
The king had, by his vigour, killed king Prājidhara and other enemies in battle. The powerful Ghatotkacha, younger brother of Prajidhara now tried to heal up his enmity with the king. He took shelter of Radda and
[p.316]: obtained a beautiful kingdom, and enjoyed a kingly fortune. Panchavata, helped by the ministers of the king, caused the kingdom of Angada including Prajji to he taken away from its owner who behaved with hostility towards his brother. His [ Panchavata's] prowess was as great as that of the Sohāradānā river, when full of water ; but by crossing it, he (Ghatotkacha) eluded that river as well as Panchavata's black sword flashing before enemies. The latter [ Panchavata ] created a bad name for the king, and by the prowess of the gods, took possession of Atyugrapura full of combatants. Under the beams of the white umbrella, beautiful is the moon, many joyful leaders of armies thus attained fame.
In this year 25 (=1149 AD), twenty-two years have now passed since the king obtained the kingdom. Owing to the .... of the subjects, the happiness attained by this king in the end was not equalled in any other place for many years and cycles. Water which naturally fows is, by n certain plant, consolidated, and it becomes like stone. Solid stone (sun-jewel) melts at the rising of the sun, and flows. Whose work can shine unchanged against the irresistible power of time, as long as such resistible power endures? Such is the power of Fate !
- Rajatrangini VIII, 2454
- Stein (1900), Vol. 1, p. 122.
- Hasan (1959), p. 33.
- Stein (1900), Vol. 1, pp. 16-17.
- Stein (1900), Vol. 1, pp. 126-127.
- Stein (1900), Vol. 1, p. 129.
- Kings of Kashmira Vol 2 (Rajatarangini of Kalhana)/Book VIII,p.21-24
- Kings of Kashmira Vol 2 (Rajatarangini of Kalhana)/Book VIII (i),pp.211.214-
- Kings of Kashmira Vol 2 (Rajatarangini of Kalhana)/Book VIII (ii),p.306
- Kings of Kashmira Vol 2 (Rajatarangini of Kalhana)/Book VIII (ii),p.313-316