Rajatarangini of Kahlana- (Book-I)

WHAT an indescribable thing, is the merit of a good poet! By means of it, his own fame as well as that of others is immortalized! Who, but a poet can bring back the past in sweet composition, and what can make it intelligible if his art cannot? Although grace has been sacrificed in this work, for the sake of briefness, yet there are some things which will please the good. Happy is he, who is without worldliness and envy, and is favoured by the Goddess of Learning in narrating the past. I shall include past records in my writing and the good will not turn away without knowing the usefulness of my work. Modern writers have tampered with the records of the eye-witnesses of past events, and it requires skill, therefore, to write a history of the past. To write the truth is my object.

The elaborate original records were epitomized by Suvrata, in order that they might be remembered with ease, and so the original was lost. The style of Suvrata is tough and obscure.

Though Kshesandra had the powers of a poet, yet through his carelessness, his history of kings has become faulty.

I have seen eleven old works on the history of kings, and also the book of Nilamuni, and have corrected many errors by examining gift-deeds of ancient kings.

Twelve thousand works on the history of kings were compiled by the great ascetic Helaraja.

No mention is made of fifty-two kings on account of their irreligion. Four of these, Gonanda, etc. are named by Nilamuni; Padmamihira following Helaraja gives and account of eight kings, descendants of Ashoka from Lava; and Shrichchhavillaka speaks of five only. He writes, “From Ashoka to Abhimanyu five kings have been named out of fifty-two.” These fifty-two kings, whose histories have not been written because of their evil works, were contemporaneous with the Kauravas and the Kaunteyas of the Kali Yuga. They reigned with might, rode elephants, attained great prosperity, and in their houses were ladies, hidden from view like moon-light in the open day; yet these great men are not now known or remembered, as if they had never been born, simply because poets did not favour them by writing their histories. I bow to the poet’s great art without which the world is dark.

[The translator has taken great pains to fix the date of the original dynasty. We have given his elaborate arguments combating certain then-existing errors on the subject, as well as our calculations fixing the dates of the different reigns and events as deduced from the author’s date, in Appendix A. Translator.]

Kashmira is studded with high cliffs, and cannot be conquered even by the strength of a good army; and the people are afraid of nothing but the future world. In winter there are hot baths by the river, in summer the cool river-banks; and the rivers are calm, and not infested with water animals. It I a country where the sun shines mildly, being the place created by Kashyapa as if for his glory. High school-houses,, the saffron, iced water, and grapes, which are rare even in heaven, are common here. Kailasa is the best place in the three worlds, Himalaya the best part of Kailasa, and Kashmira the best place in Himalaya.

The following is a list of gods and holy things which existed in Kashmira from the earliest time:

A wooden image of Shiva, the destroyer of vice, to touch which is to gain salvation;

A current of water which flows at evening over a hill. This can be seen by virtuous, but not by the vicious;

Brahma in the shape of fire, which rising from the earth burnt the forest;

The goddess Sarasvati in the form of a swan in a lake on the top of the Devibheng Rock whence the Ganges takes its rise.

The shrine of Nandi Kshetra where the spots of sandal, with which the gods performed worship, are visible to the present day.

Therefore, at Nandi, is also Sarada or Durga, by seeing whom one gains immediate salvation and the gift of the flowing and sweet speech of a poet.

The only country is adorned with gods Chakrabhrita, Vijayesha, Adi Keshava and Ishana. It is full of shrines.

But it to the glory or shame of the country or the time, we will speak the truth, regarding the history of kings. This book contains accounts of many ancient manners; and what wise men will not feel charmed with it? The triumph of contentment will be apparent if the frail of life of man to be contemplated. Listen then to this sweet history clearly narrating the actions of kings.

For six Manvantaras from Sarskalpa the world lay filled with water, bedded in the lap of the Himalaya, and on the approach of the present Vaivasvatakalpa, Kashyapa invited the gods from above, and struck the earth and caused it to be heaved above the water, and thus established the kingdom of Kashmira. Then reigned Nila over the Nagas; his royal umbrella was the hood of the serpent (Naga). There lived various classes of Nagas whose jewels made the city as rich as the treasury of Kuvera. The first king Nila was invited by the Nagas to reign over them. He had a scepter one and a half cubit long, and had an umbrella placed over him, and a kunda.

The history then presents a blank till the reign of Gonanda-I at the beginning of the Kali Yuga. This powerful king was contemporary with Yudhisthira and a friend of his enemy Jarasindhu. Gonanda-I, who ruled in Kashmira, where the Ganges flows cheering the mount Kailasa on her way, was invited by Jarasindhu to help him in his invasion of Mathura, the capital of Krishna. With a large army they invested that city and encamped on the banks of the Yamuna to the great terror of their foes. On one occasion the army of Krishna was defeated in a battle, but Balarama not only retrieved the confusion of his army, but made a vigorous attack on the allied force. For a long time victory remained doubtful, till at last Gonanda-I, pierced with wounds fell dead on the field, and the army of Krishna was victorious.

On his death, Damodara-I ascended the throne of Kashmira, and though possessed of this beautiful kingdom, he was far from being happy; his proud heart brooded on his father’s death. While in this state, he heard that the Gandharas had invited Krishna and his relatives to the nuptials of some of the daughters of their tribe, to be celebrated near the banks of the Indus, and in which the bridegrooms were to be chosen by the brides. While great preparations were being made for the nuptials, the king moved with a large army of infantry and horse, and interrupted the festival. In the battle that ensued, many of the Gandharas were killed, but the king, pierced to the heart with Krishna’s chakra, perished.

He left his queen Yasabati pregnant, and she was by Krishna’s orders raised to the throne. This step was opposed by his envious ministers, but he silenced them by repeating a verse from the Puranas, to the effect that the girls of Kashmira are Parvvatis. “Know,” said he, “that the sovereigns of Kashmira are portions of Hara, and they should not be hated by the wise even if they be wicked aand worldly-minded. Man does not value the woman he enjoys but the subjects will see in her their mother and goddess.” In due course the queen gave birth to an auspicious male child, and it was a sapling of a family which had well-nigh become extinct. The ceremonies of his birth and coronation were performed by Brahmanas, and he grew up and was named Gonanda after his grandfather. Two nurses were employed for him, one, his mother, to give him milk, and the other to do all other work. His father’s ministers would bestow wealth on those on whom he would smile, though the smile of a child is meaningless. If they could not understand his lisping words they left ashamed. They would often set him upon his father’s throne, his feet not reaching the footstool, and while his hair waved in the breeze of the chamara, they would administer justice to his subjects in his presence. It was at this time that the great battle of Kuru Pandava was fought, but he was then an infant, and was not therefore asked to help either of the parties.

After this, the names of thirty-five kings are lost in the sea of oblivion,as their history has not been written because of their irreligiousness.

The next king whose name is mentioned was Lava, a renowned prince. He had a vast and powerful army under him, and probably carried on many wars with his neighbours. It is said of him that the noise of his army made his people sleepless, but lulled his enemies to long sleep (death). He built the town of Lolora which, it is said, contained no less than eighty-four lacs of stone-built houses. Nothing more is said of him than that he bestowed the village of Levara in Ledari on Brahmanans before his death.

He was succeeded by his sone Kusheshaya, who was a powerful prince. He bestowed the village of Kuruhara on Brahmanas.

His son Khagendra, who succeeded him, was a valorous and patient king. He destroyed many of the Nagas who were his enemies. He founded the villages of Khagikhuna and Masa.

After his death his son Surendra succeeded him. He was a prince of great valor, of pure character, and mild temper. He built near Darat a town named Saura, and within that town he erected a palace which he named Narendra Bhavana. He died childless.

On his death one named Godhara, born of a different family, became king. He gave away the village of Hastishala to Brahmanas.

His son Suvarna, who reigned after him was a liberal prince; he gave away gold to beggars, and caused a canal which he called Suvarnana-Mani to be dug at Karala.

His son Janaka was like a father to his subjects; he built Vihara and Jalara.

His son Shachinara, of forgiving temper and of noble mind, then ruled the kingdom; he built Rajagrahara and Shamangasashanara. He died childless.

He was succeeded by Ashoka, the great grandson of Shakuni, and son of king Shachinara’s first cousin. He was a truthful and spotless king, and a follower of Buddha. He caused many stupas to be built on the rocky banks of the Vitasta (Jhelum) at Shushkaletra. On the extrtemity of Dharmaranya he built a chaitya so high that its top could not be seen. It was he who built Srinagara, which contained no less than ninety-six lacs of beautiful houses. He pulled down dilapidated wall of the compound of the temple of Srivijayesha and built a new stone wall in its stead. He also caused to be erected two palaces near the courtyard of that god, and named them Ashoka and Isvra. In his reign, it appears, the Mlechchhas (Scythians?) overran the country, and he retired into privacy and ended his life in devotion.

His brave son Jaloka, said to have been the gift of Shiva whom he pleased by his worship, drove back the Mlechchhas from the country and succeeded in regaining his father’s throne. An account of his accomplishments would astonish even the gods. If a golden egg were thrown into a tank, he could pierce it with his arrow. He knew the art of being under water, by which device he enjoyed the youthful daughters of the Nagas. He was the worshipper of Vijayeshvara, Nandisha, and Kshetrajyeshtesha- all different representations of Shiva. His victory over these foreigners, which gained him great reputation, did not cease with their expulsion from his kingdom, but he pursued them to the sea. Weary of battles against them, he rested at a place where he tied up his hair, for which reason the place was named Ujjatadimba. He then turned his arms in another direction, conquered Konouje, and thence carried to his kingdom, some men of each of the four castes, who were versed in law and religion. Before his time, Kashmira was a poor country and justice was not well administered. For the proper administration of the country he created seven new offices, viz. those of Chief Justice, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Treasurer, Commander-in-Chief, Ambassador, High Priest, and Augur. He entrusted the government of Dvara and other places to his queen Ishanadevi. He established eighteen places of worship and built Varavala and other edifices, and used to hear the Nandi Purana recited by a disciple of Vyasa. He set up the god Jeshtharudra in Srinagara, and also worshipped the god Sodara.

It is narrated of this king that one day, when he was going to the temple of Vijayeshvara, he met a woman in the way who asked him for some food, and when he promised whatever food she wanted, she changed herself into some deformed shape and asked for human flesh. Unwilling to kill anyone to satisfy her unnatural appetite, he permitted her to take off what she liked from his own body. The heroic self-devotion seemed to move her, and she remarked that for his tender regard for the life of others she considered him a second Buddha. The king, being a follower of Shiva, did not know Buddha, and asked her who Buddha was whom she took him to be. She then unfolded her mission and said that on the other side of the hill of Lokaloka, where the sun never shone, there lived a tribe of Krittika who were the followers of Buddha. This tribe, she continued with the eloquence of a missionary, were never angry even with those who did them injury, forgave them that trespassed against them, and even did them good. They taught truth and wisdom to all, and were willing to dispel the darkness of ignorance that covered the earth. “But these people,” she added, “you have injured. There was a monastery belonging to us in which the beating of drums once disturbed your sleep, and incited by the advice of wicked men you have destroyed the monastery. The angry Buddhists sent me to murder you, but our high priest interfered; he told me that you were a powerful monarch, against whom we would not be able to cope. He said that if you would listen to me, and build a monastery with your gold, you would atone for the sins of which you are guilty in destroying the former one. Here I came therefore and tested your heart in disguise.” Krittidevi then returned to her place after extorting from the king a promise to build a monastery, and agreeably to his promise he caused it to be created on the very place of their meeting.

At Nandikshetra he caused a house of Shiva Bhutesha to be erected and bestowed much wealth on it. It seems his last days were spent in devotion. On the banks of the Kanakavahini there was a holy place named Chiramochana. Here the king performed his devotions for three nights. At the time of song and dance, one hundred females of his household rose up to dance before the god Jeshtharudra and he bestowed those women on that that god. He and his queen died at Chiramochana.

Damodara-II then ascended the throne; it does not appear, whether this prince was of Ashoka’s line or of some other dynasty. He was very rich, and a devout Shaiva, and his glory is still remembered. He contracted friendship with Kuvera, king of the Yakshas, a neighbouring tribe, and caused the Yakshas to build a bridge crossing a swamp and gave the name of Damodarasuda to the city built by him in that swamp. Ambitious to do something uncommonly beneficial to his people, he thought of erecting high stone embankments to prevent inundations, employing the Yakshas in the work. But an accident prevented the accomplishment of his design. One day when the king was going to bathe previous to performing a Shraddha, some hungry Brahmanas asked him for food, but he disregarded their request and was proceeding to the river, when the Brahmanas by the force of their worship brought the river to his feet. “Look!” said they, “here is the vitasta (Jhelum), now feed us.” But the king suspected it to be the effect of magic, “Go away for the present,” replied the king, “I will not feed you till I have bathed.” The Brahmanas then cursed him saying that he would be turned into a serpent. When much entreated to withdraw their curse, they so far mitigated it as to say that if the king would listen to the Ramayana from the beginning to the end in one day, he would again be restored to his form. To this day, he may be seen running about at Damodarasuda in the form of a thirsty serpent. Curse is the power of Rishis that even such a good king should be destroyed by it. The glory lost by the force of an enemy may be restored again, but that destroyed by the curse of Brahmanas never comes back.

Then there were on the throne of Kashmira three kings reigning jointly, namely, Hushka, Jushka, and Kanishka; they built three cities and called them after their names. Jushka also caused a monastery to be built and another town named Jayasvamipura. Though they were of Turashka origin, they yet built several monasteries and places of worship on the plains of Shushkaletra. During their long reigns Buddhist hermits were all-powerful in the country, and Buddhist religion prevailed without opposition. From the death of Buddha Shakyasinha to this time of Lokadhatu, one hundred and fifty years had passed. Nagarjjuna a great Boddhisattva then stopped for six days in the woods of Kashmira.

Then reigned Abhimanyu without an enemy in the kingdom, and bestowed the village of Kantakousta Brahmanas. He caused an image of Shiva to be made on which his name was inscribed. He also built a city called Abhimanyupura after his name. It was in his reign that the grammarians Chandracharjya and others flourished, and wrote the history of this king with his permission. The Buddhists, under their great leader Nagarjjuna, continued to gain strength in the country; they not only defeated in argument the Panditas who upheld the worship, of Shiva, and rejected the duties prescribed in the Nilapurana, but had the influence to discontinue the ceremonies and worship enjoined by it. The Nagas, in consequence, rose in arms, murdered many people, mostly Buddhists, by rolling down ice from the mountains; and carried on their devastations year by year. The king avoided these scenes of tumult, and retired in winter to such places as Darvvabhisara, etc. At last Chandradeva, a pious Brahmana and a descendant of Kashyapa, appeased the tumult by worshipping Shiva who appeared to him in person, prevented the rolling of ice, and restored the rites according to the Nilapurana. This holy man had on former occasion stopped a massacre of the YAkshas.

Then came Gonanda-III to the throne, and established the rites of the Nagas according to the Nilapurana, and the wicked Buddhists ceased to be oppressed. He was a good and powerful king, and infused new life into the kingdom. He was the greatest of his line as Rama was in his. It is owing to the virtues of the people that good kings are born, and then the parts of the kingdom long dismembered are reacquired. Those who oppress their subjects perish with their dynasties, while those who relieve the oppressed flourish. From a study of the history of this king, the wise will be able to know the sign of prosperity or adversity with regard to future kings. He reigned for thirty-five years.

After him his son Vibhishana-I reigned for fifty-three years and six months.

Then followed Indrajita.

And then his son Ravana. The Shivalinga set up by Ravana may still be seen. This linga is marked with spots and stripes, and was kept within a temple, and had the power of prophesy; and to it the king dedicated the whole of his kingdom. The reigns of Ravana and his father together, extended over a period of thirty-five years and six months.

Ravana’s son Vibhishana-II then reigned for thirty-five years and six months.

Then came his son Nara-I, sometimes called Kinnara, to the throne. Whatever he did for the benefit of his subjects turned from want of proper judgment, to their injury. A Buddhist who lived in a monastery in a certain village eloped with his queen; this so enraged him, that he burnt thousands and thousands of monasteries, and gave to the Brahmanas, who dwelt at Madhyamata, the villages that supported those monasteries. He built a town on the banks of the Vitasata, which he laid out with spacious roads, and adorned with the spoils of other countries. It was crowded with rich shops, and graced with fruit and flower gardens, and the river below was covered with boats.

Now, in this city dwelt a Brahmana whose wife (the daughter of a Naga)* was possessed of exceeding beauty, in so much that the king heard of her beauty through spies, and became enamoured of her. Not even the fear of discredit could check his wayward heart. Then, again, an accident fanned his passion beyond control. One day while the girl was sitting on the terrace of her house, she saw a horse eating the grain which was left drying outside her house. She called her servants to drive away the animal, but none of them being there, she descended herself, and holding with one hand her veil which was slipping away owing to the haste she made, she drove the horse by pushing the animal with the other. Her palm and fingers left a golden impress on the animal. This the king heard, and enamoured as he was of her, became more violent. He first employed persons to seduce her, who tormented her with temptations, but to no effect. On this the shameless king blind in his passion, asked for her of her own husband. This failed also, and he received only abusive language in return, from the offended husband. At last he sent some soldiers to snatch away the girl. While the soldiers were attacking the house on the front, the Brahmana with his wife made their exit by another way, and came to the Naga for help. There he related the insult which the king had intended to offer to his daughter. The Naga became enraged, and in his vengeance burnt down the city; thousands who fled to Chakrachara for shelter were also burnt, and the Vitasta ran polluted with scorched human remains. The king perished in the conflagration.

Meanwhile Ramani, the sister of the Naga, issued out of her mountain cave and was coming to her brother’s help; but when about a Yojana from the scene of action, she heard of her brother’s success, and returned home after laying waste villages to the extent of five Yojanas around. The heaps of stones with which she destroyed the villages may be seen up to this time and is known by the name Ramanyatavi. After having killed many men, the Naga became disgusted with himself and was hated by others; he retired from the place, and lived on a distant hill, where he dug a tank which may be seen even this day only during the festival of Amareshvarayatra. Near this tank another was dug named Jamatrisara, which belonged to the Brahamana, who through the favour of his father-in-law was made a Naga.

The passion of the king may appear to the senseless as nothing guilty, but for that passion Nara-I suffered what none ever suffered. When a king, under the pretence of protecting his subjects, oppresses them, he generally meets such a death unawares. For it is known that the anger either of a chaste woman, or of a Brahamana or of a god can destroy the three worlds. Even to this day, the burnt houses and the tank near the hill Chakradhara remind the people of the occurrence

This king reigned over a period of thirty-nine years and nine months, and within this short time the town of kinnnarapura became as beautiful as Gandharvvapura.

It was by mere chance that Nara’s son prince Sidha was absent at Vijayakshetra when the catastrophe happened to the king and his capital, and thus his life was saved from the general ruin. He set himself to repairing the ravages done in the last reign. He was of a religious character and led a pure life, and passed his days in peace. The misfortune of his father was an instruction to him; and though surrounded by pleasures he kept himself clear of all temptations. He disregarded riches, and had his god Mahadeva always in mind whenever he did anything. After a reign of sixty years he without his servents went up bodily to Mahadevakoka, and the gods for seven days beat drums and published the fact. The servents of Nara came to grief because of their attachment to him, but when they came to serve his son, they were admired by the world because they went with him to heaven. They who take shelter with others always share the same fate with those who shelter them, be it good or bad.  The grass, made into a rope, descends into a well, but in the company of flowers ascends on the heads of the gods.

His son Utpalaksha, so named from the beauty of his eyes, then reigned for thirty years and six months.

He was succeeded by his son Hiranyaksha. He built a city called after his own name, and reigned for thirty-seven years and seven months.

His son Hiranyakula succeeded him and reigned sixty years.

And then his son Mukula, sometimes called Vasukula, came to the throne. He also reigned for sixty years. In this reign the Mlechchhas overran Kashmira.

He was succeeded by his son Mihirakula, who was as cruel as Death. Day and night were men murdered by his orders, even in places of his amusement; he rented not even towards boys or woman, nor respected the aged; and his presence and that of his army, were known by the assemblage of crows and vultures that feasted on the dead. Once he saw the breasts of his queen marked with foot-prints of a golden colour. This enraged him, and he called for explanation from the keeper of the zenana. The keeper replied that the queen wore a bodice made of Ceylon cloth, and that the Cingalese marked their clothes with golden foot-marks which denoted the foot-prints of their king. Whereupon he reached the Southern Sea and invaded Ceylon. He assuaged his anger by killing the king of the place, set up another, a cruel man on his throne, and teturned to his kingdom bringing with him from Ceylon a picture of the sun named Ushadeva. On his return he passed through Chola, Karanata, Nata, etc. The kings of these places fled on his approach, and returned to their ravaged capitals after he had gone away. When entering Kashmira, one hundred of his elephants were startled by the cries of one elephant which had fallen into a den, and the king ordered the hundred elephants to be killed. As the touch of the sinful pollutes the body, so the narration of his history pollutes the speech. One day when he was descending in to the river Chandrakulya, on his way stood a heavy block of stone which could not be moved. Now, he dreamt a dream afterwards, that the gods spoke unto him, and said, that a Yaksha, (a spirit,) raised in it, and that it coiuld not be moved but by a chaste woman. He then put his dream to proof, and many a citizen’s wife tried to move that stone in vain, till Chandravati, wife of a potter accomplished the feat. The king was enraged to find so many women unchaste; he ordered them to be killed together with their husbands, sons and brothers, three kotis in all. This action is lauded by some, but such massacre should be condemned. That the people did not rebel against their king and kill him was because the gods defended him.

However he did some virtuous acts; he set up the god Mihireshvara, named after him, in Srinagara, and founded a great city in Hola called Mihirapura after his name. He also bestowed some villages on the Brahmanas of Gandhara, who were equally vicious with the king. These Brahmanas were so shameless as to cohabit with their sisters and the wives of their sons. They were born of Mlechchhas. It is a wonder that such people ever existed. They sold their wives as they did other articles, and their wives too were shameless enough to live with others. The rainy season pleases the peacocks, and a clear autumn pleases the hansas; so he who gives, and they who receive, are of the same temper. In his old age this terror of the world became infirm, and suffered from many maladies. He therefore caused a fire to be kindled, and voluntarily entered into the flame. And at the time of his death he heard heavenly voice proclaimed that even the king who killed three kotis of men entered heaven, for he was cruel to his own people.

Some say that his sins were palliated by his gift of villages. They say that when these Brahmanas of Darad who were born of Mlechchhas, and who sold their wives, spread themselves in the country, the king established many good rites and extended the kingdom of the Aryas and performed hard tapa, and at last gave his body to the flames. He gave thousands of villages in Vijayeshvara to the Brahmanas of Gandhara. Thus died the king falling into the fire which kindled on swards, razors, etc and thus he expiated his sins. He reigned for seventy years.

After his death the citizens raised his son Vaka, a very good prince, to the throne. At first they were mistrustful of him as they were of his father, but in course of time they liked him, and welcomed his reign after that of his predecessor, as one welcomes the rains after summer. Virtue returned, as if, from another world, and safety from exile in the forest; and peace and security were re-established in the kingdom. He founded a city named Lavanotsa. At last, Vatta, a female devotee, came to the king one night in the shape of a beautiful woman, and with enticing words persuaded him to be present at a religious festival at her place. There the king went, but instead of witnessing a festival, he with his many sons and grandsons were all sacrificed except one son. A stone marked with the impression of her knees, as she knelt to sacrifice the king, is still to be seen; and this horrid tale is even now related in the monasteries at Khira. The king reigned for sixty-three years and thirteen days.

The surviving prince Kshitinanda then reigned for thirty years.

Vasunanda, his son, then ascended the throne, and reigned for fifty-two years and two months. This prince was the originator of the science of love.

He was succeeded by his son Nara-II, who reigned for sixty years.

And he was succeeded by his sone Aksha who reigned for sixty years. He built a holy place called after his name Akshavala.

He was succeeded by his son Gopaditya. His reign was like Satya Yuga. He bestowed the villages of Sakhelakhagikahari, Skandapura and Shamangadimukha on Brahamans, and some other villages on the Brahmanas of Dravira. He expelled from his country several irreligious Brahmanas who used to eat garlic, brought others of the caste from foreign countries and induced them to settle in Vishehika, etc. He set up a god named Jeshteshvara. He never pardoned the slaughter of animals except for religious purposes. He died after a reign of sixty years and six days.

His son Gokarna then succeeded him, and set up a god Gokarna after his name, and reigned for fifty-seven years and eleven months.

He was succeeded by his son Narandraditya otherwise called Khingkhila. He set up a god named Bhutesvara, and goddess Akshayini. His religious instructor Ugra set up another god Ugresha, and ten goddesses who were called Matri Chakra. After a reign of thirty-six years and a hundred days, this virtuous king died.

His son named Yudhisthira then ascended the throne; he was called the blind on account of the smallness of his eyes. He began his rule over his ancestral kingdom with great care, and maintained the ancient laws of the country. But after a short time, he became exceedingly vain of his royal affluence, took into his favour ignorant and unworthy persons, and became indifferent to the wise servants of the state. In distributing favours, he made no distinction between fools and the wise, and the latter therefore kept themselves away from his court in disgust. To see all alike is a virtue in a hermit, but is a fault in a king.The Brahamanas who were his flatterers soon got ascendancy over him, and made him a mere puppet. His gaiety and lightness with these Brahmanas became dangerous to men, and his favour uncertain and fleeting; for he would abuse those in their absence whom in their presence he favoured, and so he became an object of hatred to men. In short he endangered the stability of his throne. His ministers rebelled, and got the army under their command. They also made alliance with the neighbouring kings, who, encouraged by their offer, and hoping to get possession of Kashmira, kept themselves as watchful as vultures. The king knew not how to act, nor could any means be devised to keep the kingdom safe. He at first tried to reconcile his rebellious ministers, but in vain. For the ministers feared that should the king find himself again firmly seated on his throne, he would kill them; their rebellion was openly proclaimed, and they could not recede.

The ministers with their army now laid siege to the palace, sounding their trumpets, and clouding the top of the palace with the banners which waved over their elephants. The king at last came to terms. He agreed to retire from the city. As he issued out of his palace with his seraglio and treasure, and passed the dusty streets, the people wept to see his altered condition. The besiegers, however, robbed him of some of his women and riches. When weary of walking among the rocks, he would sit under the shadow of a tree, and then he would again set out again to beguile his grief by travelling. Sometimes he would be awakened from his sleep, by the noise of his enemy at a distance, and might be seen creeping into some fountain cavern to hide himself. Often weary of penetrating through woods, or crossing the streams, his tender queens would faint away. Sometimes they would turn their backs and see the kingdom they once enjoyed, and would weep and strike their heads with their palms, and mingle their tears with the waters of the fountains. Sometimes from the top of a mountain they would look on the fair realm of Kashmira, once their home, and bid a last farewell. Even the birds went to see them do this. At last some neighbouring king felt pity for Yudhisthira, took him under his protection, and consoled him for his misfortunes.

Here ends the first book of Rajatarangini by Kahlana, son of Champaka Prabhu, the great minister of Kashmira. There reigned* thirty-eight kings for a period of 1015 years 8 months and 9 days.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s