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Yashovarman

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Yashovarman (eighth century) was a medieval ruler of Kannauj in India according to Rajatarangini[1]. There are few sources that provide information of his life, although he was indubitably a powerful man. Yashovarman sent a minister to China in 731 AD.

Variants of name

The king of Kannauj

Yashovarman was king of Kannauj in the early part of the eighth century. The city (then known as Kanyakubja) had previously been ruled by Harsha, who died without an heir and thus created a power vacuum. This lasted for around a century before Yashovarman emerged as its ruler.[2] Alexander Cunningham, an archaeologist of the British Raj period, speculated on possible rulers of Kannauj during the period between Harsha and Yashovarman but there is little evidence to support his claims.[3]

Little is known of Yashovarman

Little is known of Yashovarman or his family, with most information being derived from the Gaudavaho (Slaying of the king of Gauda),[4] a Prakrit-language poem written by Vakpati. Yashovarman was a supporter of culture and Vakpati was among his courtiers: the extent to which the poem can be relied upon for statements of fact is impossible to determine.[5] Vakpati's work has been variously said to describe Yashovarman as either a divine incarnation of Vishnu[6] or a kshatriya of the Lunar dynasty; Cunningham considered him likely to be related to the Maukharis, who had ruled Kannauj prior to Harsha, and some Jain works say that he was related to the Chandraguptas who ruled the Mauryan empire.[7] The dates of his reign are also obscure, with assertions including c. 728–745 (Vincent A. Smith), around the late-seventh century/early eighth-century (Sankara Panduranga Pandit) and, according to the calculations of Ramashandra Tripathi, probably 725–752.[8]

The Gaudavaho depicts Yashovarman as conquering large swathes of northern India — including Bihar, Bengal, the western Deccan, Indus Valley and Kashmir — before returning in triumph to Kannauj. However, Kalhana, a Kashmiri court chronicler who lived around the 12th century CE, gives a very different story in his Rajatarangini, depicting Yashovarman as a ruler who was among those defeated by Lalitaditya Muktapida, a ruler of Kashmir. The variant claims of stupendous conquests given by both of these courtiers are improbable,[9] with Tripathi saying of those in the Gaudavaho that "These exploits read more like fiction than sober history".[10] Other early sources are the Prabhavakacarita, Prabhanda-kosa and Bappabhattasuricarita, which are Jain documents.[11]

Although R. C. Majumdar is among those who are wary of the ancient accounts of conquests, he believes that Yashovarman was "unquestionably the most powerful king [in the region] about this time." He believes that diplomatic relations existed between the Chinese court and that in Kannauj, evidenced by Yashovarman sending a minister to China in 731, and that he was for a time in alliance with Muktapida, with the two rulers defeating the Tibetans. These two diplomatic events may be connected because China was at that time at war with Tibet but it is also possible that the Chinese relationship grew from a shared concern about the growth of Arab power. The alliance with Muktapida collapsed around 740, according to Majumdar because of jealousy felt by the Kashmiri king. While Majumdar says that Lalitaditya then defeated Yashovarman and annexed his lands,[12] Tripathi believes that Kalhana's account of what happened is inconsistent and that Yashovarman may have been allowed to remain on his throne after a "nominal acknowledgement of supremacy" to Lalitaditya.[13]

In Rajatarangini

Rajatarangini[14] tells that in the history of Kashmir Tarapida (693-697AD) was succeeded by his youngest brother Lalitaditya (697-733 AD). He was a very powerful king, and carried on wars against his neighbours, but did not fight against those who submitted even at the moment of his victory. People fled from the cities which ho attacked, and towns became empty as by miscarriage. Almost the whole of his reign was speent in conquest. He carried his victorious arms to the east. He conquered Gadhipura (Kanyakubja) where the women, were hunch-backed. Yashovarmma, the king of the place, wisely submitted. But the king's servants were prouder than the king, even as the breeze from the sandal trees is more pleasant than


[p.68]: the spring. Yashovarmma unfortunately placed his name before that of Lalitaditya in the document of the treaty which was about to be concluded between the two kings ; which ran thus — "Peace is established between Yashovarmma and Lalitaditya." This offended Mitrasharma, who was minister of war and peace, as he regarded it as a slight to his master. The king who with his army was waiting with impatience, approved of the conduct of his servant in taking offence, and was so pleased with him that he made him head of the fire office': which he created out of eighteen that had existed Before- and in which five departments, Shahi and others were made heads. The five offices are thus named - the Great Constabulary, the Military Department, the great Stable Department, the Treasury, and the Supreme Executive office. Yashovarmma and his family were extirpated. The poets Vākpati, Rājashri and Bhavabhuti, &c,, who were in the court of the king of Kanyakubja, now came over to the king of Kashmira and used to chant songs to him. Kanyakubja, from the Yamuna to the Kalika submitted to him even like the courtyard of his own house.

He marched thence with his army towards the east. He passed Kalingga, where elephants wore caught. And then he came to Goura. Thence he reached the Eastern Sea, and pursued his course along the coast towards the south, conquering as he went. Karnāta submitted on his approach. A beautiful Karnāti lady named Ratti who ruled supreme in the south, her territories extending


[p.69]: as far as the Vindya hills, also submitted to him. The army then rested on the banks of the Kaveri beneath the palm trees, drinking the water of coconuts. Thence he marched to Chandanadri. And then the king crossed the sea passing from one Island to another ; and thence marched towards the west, the sea singing the songs of his victory. He then attacked the seven Kramuka and the seven Kongkana which suffered much thereby. His army was anxious to enter Dvaraka situated on the Western Sea. The army then crossed the Vindya hills and entered Avanti where there was an image of Shiva named Mahakala.

Legacy

Little physical evidence exists of Yashovarman's reign, although he is reputed to have constructed the temple at Harischandranagari (present-day Ayodhya).[15] An inscription has been found at Nalanda, and some coins elsewhere, that may relate to him but there is no certainty.[16]

करूर

विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[17] ने लेख किया है ...2. करूर (AS, p.141): करूर पाकिस्तान में मुल्तान और लोनी के बीच में स्थित एक स्थान है। इस स्थान पर भारत के नरेश विक्रमादित्य ने शकों को हराया था। इतिहासकार स्मिथ ने इस राजा को चंद्रगुप्त द्वितीय माना है। अन्य इतिहासकारों की राय में यह राजा यशोवर्मन था।

External links

References

  1. Rajatarangini of Kalhana:Kings of Kashmira/Book IV (p.67)
  2. Chopra, Pran Nath (2003), A Comprehensive History of Ancient India, Sterling Publishers, ISBN 978-81-207-2503-4, p. 194
  3. Tripathi, Ramashandra (1989), History of Kanauj: To the Moslem Conquest (Reprinted ed.), Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 9788120804043,p. 192
  4. Majumdar, Ramesh Chandra (2003) [1952], Ancient India (Reprinted ed.), Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 9788120804364, p. 259
  5. Another poet who lived at the court of Yashovarman was Bhavabhuti. Majumdar, Ramesh Chandra (2003) [1952], Ancient India (Reprinted ed.), Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 9788120804364, p. 259
  6. Eraly, Abraham (2011), The First Spring: The Golden Age of India, Penguin Books India, ISBN 9780670084784, p. 92
  7. Tripathi, Ramashandra (1989), History of Kanauj: To the Moslem Conquest (Reprinted ed.), Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 9788120804043,pp. 193–194
  8. Tripathi, Ramashandra (1989), History of Kanauj: To the Moslem Conquest (Reprinted ed.), Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 9788120804043, pp. 194–197
  9. Eraly, Abraham (2011), The First Spring: The Golden Age of India, Penguin Books India, ISBN 9780670084784, pp. 92–93, 622
  10. Tripathi, Ramashandra (1989), History of Kanauj: To the Moslem Conquest (Reprinted ed.), Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 9788120804043, p. 197
  11. Tripathi, Ramashandra (1989), History of Kanauj: To the Moslem Conquest (Reprinted ed.), Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 9788120804043, p. 193
  12. Majumdar, Ramesh Chandra (2003) [1952], Ancient India (Reprinted ed.), Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 9788120804364, p. 259
  13. Tripathi (1989), pp. 202–203
  14. Book IV (p.67-69)
  15. Elgood, Heather (2000), Hinduism and the Religious Arts, Bloomsbury Publishing, ISBN 9780826498656, p. 144
  16. Tripathi (1989), pp. 205, 207
  17. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.141

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