MATERIAL: Bronze
TYPE: Manuscript
DIMENSIONS: 13.5 x 20 cm.
COMPONENTS: Three bronze leaves; connecting ring with Buddha figure seal; 12 lines of Sanskrit on each of the four inside leaves
CONDITION: some corrosion
ITEM ID: 437

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Hindu Bronze Manuscript with Buddha Seal

DATE
Year: 941
Decade: 940s
Century: 10th (901-1000)

Three bronze pages with connecting ring with a Buddha seal from Western India, probably Maharashtra. The translation reads, “Land Grant with Buddha Seal.” This land grant is dated on the front plate (plate ‘D’) in both letters and numbers, which state the year 863 of the Shaka calendar, corresponding with 941 AD. The day is the seventh of the dark fortnight (waxing moon) of the month of Chaitra, which corresponds to late March or early April depending on the moon cycles of that year. The inscription most likely belongs to the Rashtrakuta dynasty due to its mention of Amoghavarsha, a great ruler of that dynasty, and the city of Lattalaura (modern Latur in the state of Maharashtra). The Rashtrakuta king reigning at the time was Krishna III. Although the name of the donor is illegible, the characters of the inscription look very similar to those of a published inscription of Krishna III from 940 AD. One could therefore assume that the king was making this donation, but it could have been some other major personage.Content:The first plate (Plate ‘D’) starts with a generic verse invoking Vishnu and referring to him as being aided by Shiva and Brahma. This is followed by the date, and then by the full title and name of King Amoghavarsha, who was apparently named as a revered ancestor and model (it continues with a long title starting with “upon whose feet meditates”) and what might be the name and epithet of the present king, although it may not be Krishna. Then it begins to tell the genealogy of the king which continues into plate 2 (Plate ‘C’). At the end of plate C there begins the actual text of the donation, “informing” officials that this donation is being made.The majority of plate 3 (plate ‘B’) describes the land donated (and probably contains the recipient’s name and family, although the writing is too corroded to be legible). The land is granted with an array of rights, such as no entry upon it by royal soldiers, the right to collect taxes, the right to mine in the land, etc. The land concerned is apparently a village named Ankollavandalaka, although this name is not written in Sanskrit, making it problematic, as it is difficult to identify the characters with any certainty. Ankollavandalaka is bordered on the east by another village whose name ends in ‘-pallika’; on the north by a village called Vatapallika; on the south by Helliga (?) and on the west by Talapadraka (?).At the middle of plate 2 (‘B’) it continues to say that life is transitory, suggesting that donations are appropriate for longevity, and the present donor is now making a donation to increase his and his parents’ fame and merit. Plate 4 (‘A’) states that the donor made this grant in due ritual circumstances (possibly also stating the name of the donee here) and that it should be respected by future kings. This is followed by a number of stock verses that describe the heavenly rewards of granting land and the punishments for taking it away, continuing in this style until at least the 5th line of the unlettered plate, where a barely legible verse popularly quoted states that one who would take away land, whether given by himself or by another, shall be reborn as a worm in faeces and live in this manner for sixty thousand years.Lines 9 and 10 possibly state the name of the scribe as a person called Vimalamati (“spotless mind”), although it could also be the name of another king.