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deductions; or any thing more than the mere imaginations of a mind, keen, investigating, well-informed, and able, yet too little under the control of piety and judgment, and too much given up to fanciful resemblances, and Ignis-fatuus-like hypotheses.
It next devolves on us to investigate his etymological construction of Salivahana into “cross-borne.” We have recently seen this meaning of the name introduced into a respectable and useful Madras Periodical; apparently without suspicion of its fallacy. The process of the derivation, according to Colonel Wilford, is this: Vahana means a vehicle, or borne ; next, Sula means a club or stake driven into the ground for impalement, and may, by accommodation, be taken to be a cross; Sula may become Suli in composition; hence Sulivahana, or Salivahana, means cross-borne; and Christ was borne, or crucified, on a cross. But it is a pity that the learned writer should thus play with his uninformed reader, while rightly considering his own knowledge of Sanscrit beyond impeachment." In that language, Sula, means the trident of Siva, one of his weapons; and the word is transfused, in that sense only, into all the vernacular dialects of the Peninsula, with a dialectic termination, such as the mute m in Sulam of the Tamil. It never means a stake, still less for impaling; which, like a cross, is known by another name. Besides, the vowels will not bear to be so treated. The a in Sali is long in quantity, and cannot be interchanged with u; and though vahana has the meaning stated, yet Salivahana does not mean cross-borne. What it does mean we do not pretend to determine. There are many proper names which have no meaning, or particular derivation. A. D. Campbell, Esq. in his valuable Telugu Grammar, says, “ The vulgar derive the name of Shalivahana from Shali, a heap of straw, or Sala, a kind of tree, and vahana, a car : that is, he whose car was a heap of straw, or the Sala-tree. In some encounter with Vikramarka, say they, Shalivahana was obliged to mount this tree, or heap of straw ; but all traditions respecting this prince are obscured in the most extravagant fables."* Mr. Campbell here indicates his own want of confidence in the derivation, and will not expect it from others. Yet is it, at all events, more vraisemblable than the one we repudiate; being unattended with the like orthographical perversions.
Moreover, in reference to this cross-borne hypothesis, we have adduced, by Colonel Wilford, a tale from the Mahabharata, of an old man, who gave out that he came to die for men, and actually died for a thief, whom he took with him to heaven. Admitting this tale to be in the poem adduced, for we have not yet had an opportunity of verifying it, still, as far as regards human authorship, it could not have any reference to the mysterious transaction on Calvary, unless it be a spurious interpolation ; for the Mahabharata unquestionably is a book of very early composition, and nothing related in the genuine work can be of later date than a thousand years B. C.; though it may be earlier. But Salivahana was somewhat posterior to the Christian era : the benevolent old man has another name than Salivahana, and was an old man; whereas, in Hindu records, Salivahana is usually spoken of as a child. According to Colonel Wilford, some authorities indeed make Salivahana become a muni, living in penance, and dying at eighty-four years of age. Now to die naturally, aged eighty-four years, is not to be crucified at thirty-three and a half years of age; at which
* Appendix, p. 10. The Sala-tree is the Shorea robusta, vulgo, Saul-tree.
period no one is termed old. Besides, at what time did the mild and compassionate Jesus put himself at the head of an army, whether of men of clay, or of real bones and muscle, to go forth and fight? What reigning king of the earth did he slay with his own hand ? Did he consent to be made an earthly king? And how can he be identified or compared with Indian fables ? without wresting of facts, and a perversity of interpretation.
We anticipate the objection, that Colonel Wilford places his forced analogies on the suppositious basis that forged gospels, and spurious narratives, respecting our divine Saviour were early brought to India. Let that plea, in justification, secure Colonel Wilford, by all means, from any deeper censure than that of mistaken hypothesis, and unchastised judgment. We seek for reasons to exculpate him from graver fault, and therefore readily admit this. At the same time, we submit that it is unattended by adequate evidence in attestation. The visit of the apostle Thomas to Mailapur, is a doubtful occurrence, not positively authenticated; but if it did occur, it would leave him, in the track between Mailapur and the Malayalim country, where he is said to have landed, widely distant from Ougein: nor would the Bramins, who martyred him as reported, have been likely to listen to what he preached. Still less would they have identified these things with accounts of Vicramaditya and Salivahana; though the great battle between these certainly nearly synchronises with the death of the apostle Thomas. Again, as regards the settlement of Syrian Christians in North Travancore, certainly not earlier than the fourth century, there could be nothing to influence the historical records and traditions of the north arising from that location. We repeat, that any evidence of Christianity having ever penetrated, in early ages, into Central India is wanting. Nor is it likely to have accompanied the incursions of north-western invaders from Persia or Khorassan. The simple fact, that Sapores slew Vicramaditya in battle, as we have already stated, is a sufficient clue to the whole question,
The circumstance stated by Colonel Wilford of there having been many Vicramas, we esteem to be of no consequence. Vicrama is a very common name of Indian kings, as must be visible in this book alone. Of all the deductions from the Tri-krama, or a tripleenergy, all we conclude is, that Colonel Wilford had more information and ingenuity than solid judgment. That there was only one Vicramaditya of super-eminent fame, and one Salivahana, his conqueror, remains, notwithstanding, a simple historical fact, which no learning or ingenuity can contradict or disprove.
And here we would take leave of the subject, did it not appear desirable, in passing, to notice a statement of Colonel Wilford, that in the Peninsula, the Baudhists are often spoken of as being Christians; taken in connexion with his endeavours to transform the sacred tree of the Baudhists into a germinating cross. We say the sacred tree, knowing that the Baudhists do hold a particular tree in veneration. Nothing certainly can be more distinct from Christianity, than Baudhism. The latter flourished before the former, considered as a system distinguished from earlier dispensations, began. The locality where Baudhism first flourished was Magadha and the Calinga country; thence passing to Pegu, Siam, farther east probably, and certainly westward, to Ceylon, and Continental India. To say where Christianity first prevailed is superfluous. Nothing can be found in common between the two systems, except, possibly, some moral precepts: and as to the identity of the two classes of professors, as reported, in the Peninsula, we can only say, that we have seen and heard something of Baudhists, and much more of native Christians, and have lived several years in a part of the Peninsula, yet never heard of such identity even hinted at: we must therefore class this alleged identity among other precipitate conclusions, for which we lament we have to consider Colonel Wilford as responsible; and, in candid truth, much to be blamed.
It is probable that after the effects of Sapores' invasion had passed away, the kingdom of Ougein revived, and continued to exist for some centuries contemporaneously with various other small states; of these, Canouge in the north, and Calinija on the Godavery, with the southern kingdoms in the Peninsula were perhaps the chief. Of the former, we possess no details, except as connected, at a later period, with Mahomedan invasions. Any specific notice of the Calinga country, does not come within the limits of our plan in this first volume. And the southern kingdoms of the Peninsula are expressly said in our manuscripts to have felt the influence of those powers, obscure in their traces, which are termed, Abiral, Kertapiyal, Buvathiyal, Yeranal, Kural, Maruntiral, and Mavunal. These are alluded to by Sir W. Jones, and by Colonel Wilford, both differing a little from each other in the names and their order, and both from our manuscript; but all concurring in the fact of there having been seven dynasties of such kings: our own authorities being the most particular in specifying the number of kings of each race. The names, as adduced by Sir W. Jones, have been given before; and according to Colonel Wilford they are the Abhiras, or Shepherd-kings, whose locality was on the upper parts of the river Indus; the Sacas, or Persians; the Tushcaras, or Parthians; the Yaranas, or Greeks of the kingdom of Bactria; the Maurundas, or Huns, being the Morundae of Ptolemy; the Maunas, perhaps Huns; and the Gardhabhinas, or dynasty of the Persian Bahram.gur. We should infer, that the exact order is not to be depended on; and the difference of names, by the three authorities adduced, unimportant; each respectively denoting the same thing: only the Sacas we cannot regard as Persians; they must have been Scythians, termed Sacæ in ancient geography. In such notice as we are able to give, we shall take the liberty to follow our own manuscripts; perceiving no material objection thereto. It would appear, specifically on the testimony of Herodotus, that the very ancient Persian kings derived a large tribute from India, not less than 4680 Euboean talents; but, from the names mentioned, we conclude that the province of Sinde, on the left bank of the Indus, was the country intended; consequently not India proper. On the whole, we conjecture that the Abiral, is a term intended to denote the incursions of Alexander, Seleucus, Antiochus, and others connected with them. The manuscript indeed says, that these came after Vicramaditya, which strongly militates against such conjecture. Strabo speaks of a river on the western confines of India, named Arbis; from which the name may be derived, and this may be the country of the Shepherd-kings of Colonel Wilford. We observe that Colonel Wilks, in his account of Mysore, mentions that Ramchund, one of its kings, took the epithet of Arbiral, or sixfingered; but as there is a radical difference in the prosodial quantity of the two words, we believe that epithet has no other relation than apparent resemblance to the word Abiral, under investigation. This we are compelled to leave in all its obscurity; at least for the present. The Gardhabhinas we think to be incorrectly placed last in order by Colonel Wilford; nor can we accede to his etymological derivation. Between the Gardabhin of Sir W. Jones, and the Kertapiyal of our manuscript, the difference of orthography is merely dialectic; and the order is the same. We are inclined to derive the term from the province of Khorasan, the most easterly province of the ancient Persia, including the ancient Aria and part of Bactria, and bordering on the country of the Usbec Tartars; an invasion from which country did take place in the fifth century. The Mavunal, we should be inclined to suppose might be Usbec Tartars of Sogdiana, more lately called Maver-ul-nehr. This region is a part of the Indian holy-land of the primitive period of their history; and we should conjecture that its Tartar races may, at some period, have overrun portions of more modern India, With regard to the Buvathiyal, Kural, and Maruntiral, we have nothing certain that we can offer. The latter may have been Huns, who, after overthrowing the kingdom of Bactria, might have extended their ravages to India. And should later invasions, such as those of Mahmud of Ghizni, or of Timur, be intended, then certainly we have explanations sufficiently extensive. And, at all events, those later incursions render it likely that they only followed a track well known to their forefathers; as leading to regions abundant in wealth, and easy of spoilation. The information which we possess, on all these ancient hostile incursions, is most satisfactory in reference to the Yevanal. These are not to be confounded with the very ancient Yavanas, before the subject of some investigation, who were, properly speaking, heterodox Hindus, expatriated through persecution; but the Greeks of Bactria, to whom the name was given as indicative of abhorrence, contempt, and implied barbarism. And thus, also, the confusion sometimes occurring in speaking of the Yavanas as Greeks, the descendants of Javan, becomes cleared up. The Greeks, properly speaking, were unknown to the very ancient Hindus before the time of Alexander; but when the Greeks of Bactria came into contact with the Hindus, these, in all probability, applied to the Greeks this the most opprobrious term they could find; thus amply repaying the said Hellenides for their own country fondness in the use of the term “barbarians.” Justin and Strabo are the only ancient authors who treat of the kingdom of Bactria, chiefly the former: and Bayer, in more modern times, it seems, has written on the same subject; though we have not his work within our attainment. Dr. Robertson has condensed the subject with sufficient brevity to admit an extract here; which is the following one:
“ Though the great monarchs of Syria lost, about this period, those provinces in India “ which had been subject to their dominion, the Greeks in a smaller kingdom, composed of “ some fragments of Alexander's empire, still maintained an intercourse with India, and even “ made some considerable acquisition of territory there. This was the kingdom of Bactria, “ originally subject to Seleucus, but wrested from his son or grandson, and rendered an inde“ pendent state, about sixty-nine years after the death of Alexander. Concerning the trans" actions of this kingdom, we must rest satisfied with gleaning a few imperfect hints in “ ancient authors. From them we learn that its commerce with India was great; that the
conquests of the Bactrian kings in that country were more extensive than those of Alexander “ himself, and particularly that they recovered possession of the district near the mouth of the “ Indus, which he had subdued. Each of the six princes who reigned in Bactria, carried on “ military operations in India with such success, that they penetrated far into the interior
part of the country, and proud of the conquests which they had made, as well as of the o extensive dominions over which they reigned, some of them assumed the lofty title of Great “ King, which distinguished the Persian monarchs in the days of their highest splendor. But
we should not have known how long this kingdom of Bactria subsisted, or in what manner “ it terminated, if M. de Guignes had not called in the historians of China to supply the “ defects of the Greek and Roman writers. By them we are informed, that about one “ hundred and twenty-six years before the Christian era, a powerful horde of Tartars, pushed “ from their native seats on the confines of China, and obliged to move towards the west by “ the pressure of a more numerous body that rolled on behind them, passed the Jaxartes, and “ pouring in upon Bactria, like an irresistible torrent, overwhelmed that kingdom, and put an “ end to the dominion of the Greeks there, after it had been established near one hundred
and thirty years."* He adds, jin a note, “A fact cursorily related by Strabo, and which “ has escaped the inquisitive industry of M. de Guignes, coincides remarkably with the “ narrative of the Chinese writers, and confirms it. The Greeks, he says, were deprived “ of Bactria by tribes or hordes of Scythian Nomades, who came from the country beyond “ the Jaxartes, and are known by the names of Asij, Pasiani, Tachari, and Sacarauli. Strab. “ lib. xi. p. 779. A. The Nomades of the ancients were nations who, like the Tartars, “ subsisted entirely, or almost entirely, as shepherds, without agriculture.”
We have met with an ephemeral publication,t issued in 1809, obsolete as to its main object, and become ridiculous through the events of time, of which the most valuable part is a rapid abstract from Ferishta; and as there is one portion of sufficient brevity to admit of being extracted, which bears in some degree on the obscure subject under inquiry, we quote the passage. It extends from Vicramaditya down to Mahmud of Ghizni; and is the following:
“ The Indian monarchy, which had feebly existed on sufferance rather than on its own “ strength, was dissolved in the time of Callianchund I into several small states, nor was it “ afterwards distinguished but by petty feuds until the time of Bickermajeet, the patriot king “ of Malva and Gujerat, a contemporary and an illustrious rival to the celebrated Sapor. “ The reign of Bickermajeet was a bright day in the history of India, and his name is still “ dear to the natives. He died in battle, 9 and with him was extinguished the glory of his
country, which continued to pay tribute to Persia, and languished in decline, although
marked, towards the year 330, by two virtuous monarchs, Basdeo || and Ramdeo, who were “ obliged to acknowledge the supremacy of Feroos Sarsa, the father of Kaicobad.
“ On the death of Ramdeo, Purtabchund, a stranger in blood, mounted the throne, and willing to gain popularity, suspended the usual tribute to Persia. But Noshirvan was not “ a prince who would readily relinquish his rights. A Persian invasion ensued, and india,
long agitated by party quarrels, and rendered by repeated revolutions indifferent to the
* Hist. Dis. p. 33. + Hopkins on the Dangers of British India. " $ Before Christ, 170." “ A. D. 89."
A This we believe to be Boja-rajah; for Deva, shortened colloquially into Deo, is a common appellative of their kings by Hindus, as shewn in many cases by our Manuscripts. Bas, in Persian orthography, many represent Boja, the final a being seldom pronounced in spoken dialects. If the two names relate to the same king, then there must have been a considerable interval of Persian or other ascendancy between Vicramaditya and Boja-rajah, as intimated by the Telugu narrative before abstracted.