ORIGIN Very little reliable information on the origin of the Pallavas is available. They appear to have intruded into the south. Katyayana (fourth century B.C.) mentions the Pandyas and the Cholas, but not the Pallavas, Ashoka (third century B.C.) refers to the Cholas, the Pandyas and Keralas, but not the Pallavas. The Pallavas were a branch of the Pahleves of Parthians is the opinion of some scholars, like father Heras; but there is no positive evidence for the Phalava migration into the south. That Pallavas were an indigenous dynasty which rose to power after the dismemberment of the Andhra empire, is another thesis. Probably their leaders gathered around them selves the Kurumbas, the Moravars, the killers and other predatory tribes in order to form one great community. According to srinivas Aiyangar, the Pallavas belonged to the anciert Naga people who them selves were composed of a primitive Negri, an element of Australisian and the later mixed race. To start with they lived in the Tondaimandalam districts around Madras. Later, they conquered Tanjore and Trichinopoly districts. The Pallavas recruited their troops from the martial tribute of pallis of Kurumbas. The Pallavas were the hereditary enemies of Tamil Kings. Even now the term palava means a rogue in Tamil language; and a section of the Pallavas who settled in the Chola and pandya countries came to be known as kallar or thieves. All these people doubtless belong to a Naga race. The third is that the Pallava dynasty emerged and owed its origin to a Chola prince and the Naga princess of Manipallavam an is land near Ceylon. According to this theory, the son born out of the wedlock was made the king of Tondaimandalam by his father, and the dynasty was so named after his mother’s home land. Dr.



Krishnaswamy Aiyangar argues that the Pallavas are mentioned as Tondaiyar in the literature of the Sangam era and that they were descended from the Naga chieftains but owed allegiance to the Satavahana kings. But this theory, too, is doubtful because of their continual fight with the cholas and their striking northern character as compared to the Cholas. 80

Dr. K.P.Jayaswal argues that the pallavas were a branch of the Brahmin dynasty of the Vekatakas. Except for their early copperplate charters which are in Prakrit. All the other epigraphich records are in Sanskrit. Hiuen-Tsang says that their language and literature differed very slightly from that of northern India. The Talagunda inscription, however. States that the Pallavas were Kshatriyas. POLITICAL HISTORY of PALLAVAS The first important ruler was Siva Skandavarman who performed an Aswamedha and other Vedic sacrifices. His capital was kanchi. Samudragupta forced the pallava king, Vishnugopa, to acknowledge the Gupta suzerainty. And the story of the Pallavas in the 5th and 6th centuries is very sketchy. By end of the sixth century the Pallavas re-emerged on the scene. Simhavishnu (575 to 600 A.D.) captured the territory of the Cholas and humbled the pride of his neighbours including Ceylon. He was ovavaishnava faith as borne out by the magnificent reliefs representing Simhavishnu and two of his consorts in the Varsha cave at Mamallpuram. With Mahendravarman I, the son and successor of Simhavishnu, began thetitanic tripartite struggle with the Chalukyas of Vatapi and the Cholas. The Chalukya king, Pulakesin II, captured Kanchi. Pulakesin II won the pitched battle fought at Pullalur, fifteen miles north of Kanchi. However, Narsimhavaram I, the son and successor of Mahendravarman I, defeated pulskesin II in many battles and probably killed pulakesin himself. He also defeated the Cholas, the Cheras and the pandyas. He even sent two naval expeditions to Ceylon and placed his protégé on the throne of Ceylon. Narasimhavarman I was a great builder too. Mamallapuram was embellished during his time. Hiuen-Tsand visited his kingdom. He states that the soil was fertile and produced abundance of grain; flowers and fruits were many precious gems and other luxury articles were known; and the people were courageous and greatly attached to learning, honestry and truth. Narasimhavarman II. He too, fought with the chalukyas. He was succeeded by Paramesvaravarman I in whose reign Vikramadhitya I of the Chalukyas, in alliance with the Pandyas, renewed the hostilities. He probably captured the city of Kanchi. Later, Paramesvarvarman I defeated Vikramadhity II. The Pallava records claim that the Chalukya pattack was hurled back. Yet, as we know, the Chalukyas once again swept through the Pallava dominions under the captainship of Vikramaditya II in the 8th century, A.D. Nandivarman was defeated and Kanchi was captured. By then, the Pallavas faced a serious challenge from the rising dynasties of the south. The Pandyas advanced along the banks of Kanchi. The last nail in the coffin was driven by Aditya Chola who defeated Aparajita Pallava and took possession of his kingdom towards the end of the 9th century A.D. The Chalukya victory over the Pallavas in 740 A.D. was the beginning of the end of the Pallavas supremacy. The Cholas, in alliance with the Pandyas, defeated the Pallavas by the close of the 9th century. Very soon even the Chalukyas collapses



but the Pallavas: chiefs continued to exist till the end of the 13th century. After the 17th century. All traces of the Pallavas as a distinct community of clan disappeared; but the Kallar, Palli and Vellala castes trace their origir origin from them. 81

NOTE ON CHALUKYA-PALLAVA CONFLICT The Chalukya-Pallava war began with Pulkasin II and ended with the collapse of both the dynasties singnificantly, the power that rose thereafter, the Rushtrakutas and the cholas, continued the same sort of struggle. This was because the Chalukya-Pallava struggled was to a great extent determined by the geographical loation of the Chalukya and Pallava kingdoms. After the first bout was over, the Pallavas agenged their defeat during the days of Narasimhavarman I. He captured the lost territories. In thie he was assisted by the king of Ceylon. He entered the capital of Bademi in 642 A.D. and assumed the title of Vatapikonda, that is, the conqueror or Vatapi. After that, for the next tweleve years there was a respite; the Pallavas were involved in naval wars while supporting the Ceylonese kings, and the Chalukyas were troubledby their feudatories, Afther the Chalukyan house was set in order in 655, they re-occupied the terrirtories lost to the Pallavas. This was the third phase. Soon thej tables were reversed. There was a rift in the Chalukyan royal family. Taking advantage of this, the Pallavas once again entered Badami. Details of relating to this compaign are to be found in the Pallava grant found near Kanchi. This was th fourth phase. The fifth phase started when the Chalukyas and the Gangas united in 731 to attack the Pallavas. The reigning Pallava king was killed and Kanchi was occupied. Later, the council of ministers chose Nandivarman II. In the last phase the ball was in the the court of Pallavas. At this time, the neighbours of the Pallavas in the south, that is, the Pandays, Joined the conflict. The Pandyas of Madura were not well disposed towards the Pallavas. In the meantime the Chalukyas wre threatened by the Arabs, the latter already being in occupation of Sing. While the Chalukyas were engrossed in the threat from the north, one of their feudatories Dantidurga, broke away from the but they, too, within a century ment their end, the last of the Pallavas was assassinated by the son of a feudatory. PALLAVA SOCIETY The Pallavas political history covering four centuries is tortous and complex but their contribution to society is singnificant in two ways – comletion of Aryanisation of southern India, and consmation of traditional or indigenous art. The Aryanisation of south India as completed during the period of the Pallavas. Their grants show that the Aryan structure of society has gained frim hold on the south by the sixth century. Grants to brahmins are specifically mentioned which show that the north Indian Dharma Sastras had acquired authority in the Pallava kingdom. Sanskrit had established its sway. The university of Kanchi played to doubt a great part in India, and we know from Hiuen-Tsang that it was the greatest center of education in the south. Vatsyayana, the logician, the author of Nyaya Bhashya who lived in the fourth century. A.D, seems tohave been Pandit of Kanchi. Denage the famous Buddhist dialectian is also said to have had his training in the souther capital.



In the fifth century we have epigraphic record of Nayurrasarman of the Kadamba family going for higher studies to Kanchi. In fact it can ligtimately be calimed that Kanchi of the Paalvas was the great center from which the Sanksritisation of the south as well as the Indian colonies in the far-east proceeded. Pallavas were orthdox Hindus and they patronized the great reformation of the medival ages. Most of the kings ere brahminical Hindus devoted to the worship of 82

Shiva. Mahendravarman was the first, who about the middle of his reign, adopted the worship of Siva and he was influenced by the famous saints of the age. He showed reverence to other Hindu gods also. But, he was intolerant of Jainism and destroyed some Jain monastries. Some Vaishnava and Saiva saints lived during his time. In general, the Pallavas were tolerant to other sects. Buddhism and Jainism lost their appeal. Indeed Hiuen-Tsang saw at Kanchi one hundred Buddhist monastries and 10,000 priests belonging to the Mahayana school but this has to be taken with a pinch of salt. In general, the vedic tradition was super imposed on the local traditions, As brahmins were custodians of Vedic tradition, they automaticalldy enjoyed privillages. The Vedic tradition, a little later, received stimulus because of Sankarcharya. The Temples were the focal points. The out-castes were not permitted to enter the precincts of the temple. Even then, Tamil saints of the 6th and 7th centuries, who were the progenitors of the bhakti movement, mostly belonged to the lower castes. The hymns and sermonsof the nayanaras (Shaivism) and the slvars (vaishnavism) continued the tradition. Amongst the Shaiva saints the important were Appar (supposed to have converted Mahendravarman) Sambandar, Manikkawasagar, and Sundarar. The most ………………………….. about them was the presence of women, Saints, such as Andal. This Bhakti cult was derived from the ideas in the Upanishads and also from the heterodox doctrines. Dr. Thapar opines that the concepts of comapassonate God was a resultant of the impact of Buddhist ideas particularly the bodhisttava concept, although the chirstians in malabar might have provided a new perception of religion. What the bhakti movement contributed was great. The religious hymns and music as popularized by Tamil saints were sung during temple rituals. Dancing was also included. From the Pallavi period onwards dancers were maintained by all the prosperous temples. Regarding education, in the early days, education was imparted by Jains and Buddhists. The Jaina institutions were located at Madurai and Kanchi. Soon brahminical institutions superseded them. Ghatkias or Hindu colleges were attached to the temples. They were primarily Brahmin institutions are mostly confined themselves to advanced studies. And in the 8th century the maths also became popular, which was an ominous institutions because of its being a rest-house, a feeding center and an education center. In all these colleges Sanskrit was the medium of instruction which was also the official language. Kanchi, the capital, was a great cencentre of Sanskrit learning. The scientific works of Varahmihira and the poetry of Kalidasa and Bhairvi were-known in the Pallava country. And Parameshvaravarman I granted the Kurran copper-plate that was made for the recitation of the Mahabharata in a mandapa at the village of Kurram, near Conjeevaram. By the beginning of the 7th century the Pallavas of Kanchi, the Chalukyas of Badami



and the Pandyas of Madurai emerged as the three major states. By the time the political rule of these dynasties came to an end, an event known as the revolt of the Kalabharas took place. The Pallavas, the Kadambas (North Canara in Karnataka) and the Chalukyas of Badami along with along with a large number of their contemporaries were the protage of vedic sacrifices. Logically, the brahmins emerged as an important segment of society but at the expense of the peasantry. Possibly, this predominance was oppressive leading to the revoltof the kalabhars in 83

the 6th century. A.D. It is also said that they overthrew in numberable kings and established their old inTamilnadu. They ended the Brahmadeva rights earlier granted to brahmins in numerous villages. It is also said that the Kalabhras patronized Buddhism. In the end, the revolt of the kalabhras could be ended only by the Joint efforts of the Pandays, the Pallavas and the Chalukays. PALLAVA ADMINISTRATION Kingship was attributed to define origin. The kings claimed their descent from the God Brahma. It has hereditary. Yet, on one occasion a king was elected. Most of the kings were accomplished scholars. Mahendravarman I wrote the famous burlesque, Masttavilasa Prahsana. Many of the vaishnava alvars and saiva nayanars flourished during their rule. The kings adopted high-sounding titles like maharajadhiraja, dharmamaharjadhiraja (great king of kings rulling in accordance with the dharma), agnistomavajpeya, asvamedha-yaji (he who has performed the agnithtomavajapeya and asvamedha sacrifices) They were assisted by ministers. History shows that the ministerial council played a great part in the state policy in the later period. A hierarchy of officials in provincial administration, the governor ofa province was assisted by district officers, who in turn worked in collaboration with automous local bodies. In local administration the meeting of assembles were frequent, and the administration the meeting of assemblies were frequent, and the assemblies were of many varieities and of many levels. Often special meetings were held. As the village levelthe assembly was the sabha which looked after almost all the matters of the village, along with endowments, irrigation, crime, maintaining census and other necessary records, Courts at villages level dealt with minor criminal cases. The judicial courts of the town and districts were presided over by government officials, climaxing with the king as the supreme arbiter of justice. The sabha worked in close association with the urar, and informal gathering of the entire village. Above this unit was a district administration. Finally, the head man of the villages was the link between the village assembly and the official administration. Theoretically the king owned the land. The status of a village depended on the prevalent land tenure. The fist variety was the village with inter-caste population where in the people paid taxes to the king. The second was the brahmadeya village in which the entire land was donated to a single Brahmin or a group of brahmins. A variation of this village was the agrahars grant which, was an entire village settlement of brahmins. Both these forms were exempt from royal taxes. In the devadana village the revenue was donated to a temple, and the temple authorities in turn provided employment for the villagers in the temple whenever possible. In the Pallava period the first two categories of villages were in vogue. Apart from these major points relating to land there was a special category of land,



the sripatti or tank land. The revenue from such a land was sent apart for the maintenance of the village tank. The tank itself was built by the efforts of the entire village. All shared the water stored in the tank. Very many inscriptions of the Pallavas refer to the up-keep of tanks. There are two Points about taxes. The land revenue varied from one-sixth to one tenth of the produce of the land. This was paid to the State. The local taxes that were collected in a village were spent for the needs of the village. As land revenue 84

was necessarily small, the State revenue was supplemented by additional taxes on draught cattle, marriage-parties, potters, makers of clarified butter, textile manufacturers, washermen and weavers. The major source of revenue was from land, since the revenue from mercantile activity was not fully exploited. Regarding expenditure, most to the revenue want for the maintenance of army. The king preferred a standing army instead of feudal levie. The army primarily consisting of food soldiers and cavalry along with a sprinkling of elephants. Indeed the Pallavas developed a navy although the mercantile activity was not great. Two dockyards were built at Mahablipuram and Nagabatnam. This pioneeringh effort of the Pallavas reached its climax during the days of cholas. The navy served a double purpose. It was meant for defence and also assisted the maritime trade with sout-east Asia, particularly with the three kingdoms of Kambuja (Cambodia) Champa (Annam) and Shrivijaya (Malayan peninsula and Sumatra). PALLAVA ART Four distinct stages of architecture can be gleaned from the Pallava temples. The first is the Mahendra style. The influence of the cave style of architecture is to be seen in an ancient pillar engraved in the Ekambaranatha (Kanchipuram) temple. The second is the Mamalla style. The seven Pagodas are small temples, each of which is hewn out of a single rock boulder. They lie near Mahabalipura Mahabalipuram, founded by Narasimhavarman. These monolithic temples are complete with all the details of an ordinary temples and stand as an undying testimony to the superb quality of the Pallava art. The third is the Rajasimha style. The most famous temple of this style is the kailasha style. The most famous temple of this style is the Kailasha temple of kanchi. It has a pyramidal tower, a flat-roofed mandapam and a series of cells surround it resembling rathas. This style is a very elaborate one foreshadowing the ornate Chola architecuture. The fourth is the Aparajita style. This is more ornate resembling the Chola architecture. A few temples built in the style are found at Dalavanur. The note worthy feature of some shrines is that they are aborned by beautiful life-like images of Pallava kings and their queens. All told they are unique in the history of temple architecture. Pallava sculpture owed more to the Buddhist tradition. On the whole it is more monumental and linear in form, thus avoiding the typical ornamentation of the Deccan sculpture. The free standing temples at Aithole and Badami in the Deccan and the Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram in the Tamil country, provided a better background for sculpture than the rock-cut temples. And the Pallava sculpture was monumental and linear in form resembling the Gupta sculpture. Although the basic form was derived from the older tradition, the end result clearly reflected its local genius. Now for literature it has been recently proved that Bharavi and Dandinlived in the Pallava court. Bharavi’s Kiratarjuniyam and Dandin’s Dashakumaracharita were the



two masterpieces. One of Dandin’s poems was written with such skill that when read normally it gives the story of the Ramayana; and whe read in reverse, the study of Mahabharata. Dandin was the author of a standard work on poetics. Till the eight century Pallava influence was predominant in Cambodia. Saivism was the of ficial form of worship. And the Pallava type of sikhara is to be found in the temples of Java, Cambodia and Annam. This dissemination of Hindu culture proves that it was dynamic till 1,000 A.D. in southern India. 85

Thus, the Pallavas rendered invaluable service to the country both within and without as they were one of the torch bearers of Hindu civilization to south-east Asia. Far more singular is their contribution to architecture-transforming the architecture and suculpture from wood to stone. Smith opines that this grat disparimmense length of the course of Indian history, and the extreme slowness with which changes have been effeated. ADDITIONAL POINT The temples of the Pallavas bear resemblance to the Buddhsit cave shrines. The temples of Mahabalipuram reveal traces of barrel-vaults and archways associated with Buddhist cave shrines. CHALUKYAS OF BADAMI OR EARLY/WESTERN “Telephone Director” is the epithet used by a Chinese scholar to summarise the nature of the history of India. To any syperficial observer this striking epithet betrays weaknesses of India historical material, and in particular the meager date relating to dynasties like the western Chalykyas. But truly speaking the variegated nature of Indian history is more occasioned by the vastness of the country than anyting else. Besides, the essential harmony and the subtlecontinuity of Indian history are overlooked because of non-appreciation of its underlying currents. The origin of Chalukyas (early/western/Badami/Vatapi) is controversial. Bilhana, the author of Vikramanka-deyagharita, the court poet of Vikramaditya VI, and the later Chalukya inscriptions, lay claim to Ayodhya as their ancestral home. Some regard them as related to the Gurjaras. What ever might be their origin, by the mid 6th century A.D., pulakesin I carved out a small area around Vatapi or Badami. He performed an asvamedha ceremony. His successor was kirtivarman who conquered both konkan and north Kerala. Many other conquests are attributed to him but the claim cannot be substantiated. His successor was Mangalesa who conquered the Kadambas and the Gangas. He was killed and succeeded by his nephew, Pulakesin. The Aihole inscription of Pulakesin Ii deals with the history of this dynasty. The Chalukya power reached its zenith under Pulakesin II (609 to 642 A.D.). To begin with, he subjugated his rebellious feudatories and neighbours. He Captured the capital of the Kadambas; overawed the Ganges of Mysore; and subdued the Mauravas of North Konkan. The latas of Gujarat, the Malavas, and the Gurjars also submitted to him. King harsha ws defeated by him. Another victim was the Pallava king, Mahendra varman. The Cholas, the Keralas and the Pandyas submitted to him. He occupied Pistapura and installed his Brother, Kubja-Vishnuvardhana, as his representative. But in 642 A.D. the Pallava king, Narasimha Varman, stormed Vatapi and probably killed pulakesin II, this ws followed by a periof of confusion from 642 to 655 A.D. Pulkesin II maintained friendly relations with Khusru II, the king of Persia. The



reception given to the Persian Mission is depicted in one of the Ajanta cave paintings. Hieun-Tsand visited his kingdom. He describe it as rich and fertile. “The inhabitants were proud-spirited and war-like, grateful for favour and revengeful for wrongs, self-sacrificing towards suppliants in distress and sanguinary to death with any who trated them insultingly.” About Pulkesin II, the traveler observes, “His plans and undertakings are widespread and his munificient actions are felf over a great distance. 86

After his death, the Chalukya dynasty was in an eclipse, His son Vikramadiya I (655 to 680 A.D.) plundered the Pallava capital, Kanchi. Vikramaditya’s successors, Vinayaditya and Vijayditya, were powerful rulers. During the reign of Vikramaditya II the Pallavas were once more defeated. Probably, he drove back the Arab intrusion into southern Gujarat. His son, Kirti, Varman II, was defeated by the Rashtrakuta ruller, Dantidurga, in 753 A.D. and with him the history of the dynasty to an end. Regarding their achievements, the first was their maritime power. It is said that Pulkasin, with a hundred ships, attacked and captured the capital ofa bostile state. The central government of Chalukyas exercised a paternalistic control over village administration. This is unlike the administrative practices of south India. The Chalukyas recieveda limited income from land. Added to this, the earnings from tradewere not considerable. Muc of what the State earned was spent on army. The standing army was supplemented and cavalry. Often, army officers were sued in civil administration. Whenver an emergency arose. Regarding religion, the Chalukya kings were Hindu brahmins but they respected other faiths too. The Chinese traveler noticed more than one hunred Buddhist monasteries. Buddhism was on the decline although Hieun-Tsang opined that it was popular. Jainsim enjoyed royal patronage. Buddism gradually gave way to Jainism and Brahminis. Sacrifices were given great importance and many treaties were written on them. The king himself performed a number of sacrifices including Asvamedha and Vajpeya. Despite this stress on the orthodox form of Hindu religion, the Puranic version grew popular. It was this popularity that gave momentum to the bulding of temples in honour of Vishnu. Shiva and other gods. Regarding architechture, the Chalukyas perfected the art of stone-building stone finally joined without maortar. Under the auspices of the Chalukyas, the Buddhists and the brahmins built cave temples. The cave frescoes began earlier but thefinest speciments of them belonged to the Chalukyaa are of the 5th and 6th centuries. The murals depict both religious and secular themes. In the first monastic hall of the Ajanta one mural depict the reception given toa Persian embassy by Pulakesin II. The temples of Chalukyas belong to the Deccan style. His tradition began earlier in the rock-cut temples of Elephanta. The aihole and Badami temples of the Chalukyas represent the Deccani style. This style reached its culmination in the Kailash temple of Ellora a Rashtrakuta achievement. The cave temples of the Chalukyas were the counter-parts of Buddhists save temples as borne out bytheVishnu temple at Badami. Apart from this feature, the Chalukyan temples were stone-built-stone finely joined without morat like the temple of Shiva at Meguti. This temple has a prasasti on Pulakesin composed by Ravikriti. Out of all their temples, the best reserved is the Vishnu temple at Aihole. It bears an inscription of Vikramaditya II and is built on the lines of the Buddhists Cahitya-hall. One more temple is the favous Virupakasha temple at Pattadakal. This temple has



a pillared mandapam or meeting place for people. The roof is supported by sixteen monolithic pillars with sculptured bracket capitals. The Chalukyas erected a large number of temples at Aihole. This particular style was follwed in the close by towns and Badami and Pattadakal. Aihole had 70 temples, whereas, Pattadakal had 10 temples. In the latter are found the famous temples of Papanatha and Virupakasha. The walls of the temples are adorned with beautiful sculptures representing scenes of Ramayana. 87

After the eight century land grantswere made to these temples, a common feature of temple maintenance in South India. The evidence relating to this aspect is recorded on the walls of the temples. Also the Jaina followers erected some temples in Karnataka during the dyas of the Chalukays. The Chalukya temples were an evolution of the gupta shirne. However, at the apex of their glory, the Chalukyan temples bear evidence to both the northern and Dravidian styles of architechture. The examples of this development are the rockcut temples in Elephanta. The Kalidashnatha temple built during the days of Rashtrakutas is an example of transition from rock-cut to the free-standing style. Sanksrit was thelanguage of the day. Vernaculars also came to be developed. An inscription of the seventh century mentions Kannada as the local language, and Sanskrit the language of the elite. Thus, even though the delineation of the political history of the Chalukays is quite dull, their importance consists in their having continued the traditions of India. Thus, even though the history of India appears to be a Jig-saw puzzle, there is a pattern underlying it. THE ARAB CONQUEST The establishment of Arab rule in Sind in 712 A.D. was preceded by a number of efforts to penetrate India. The first military expedition was sent to Tahan near Bombay in 637. More were sent in the coming years against Broach and Debal. The view that the Arbas indeed were not interested in territorial acquisition till the ruler of Sind in 700 A.D. provoked them, is not accepted by the book ‘A Comprehensive History of India’. This book relies on the authority of baladhuri, who is regarded as the most reliable authority on the subject. Accroding to the book, the Arabs made systematic inroads on the three kingdoms of Kabul, Zabul and Sind. Very often the first two were united in resisting the aggression of the Arabs. Baladhuri says that after 650 A.D. the Arabs entered India. One more expedition was sent by the Caliphate of Ali to conquer Kabul but was frusterated. Another attempt was made in 698 A.D., which was still less successful. The weakness of the Arabs was undoubtedly due to internal troubles and weakness of the Caliphate during the last days of Umayyids, but after the establishment of powerful Abbasid Caliphate the earlier designs were repeated. Kabul was conqured but again escaped from the control of the Caliphate. Zebul was conquered only in 870 A.D. Although both Kabul and Zabul succumbed to Islam the heroic resistance they offered checked the spread of Islam into the Subcontinent. Fe countries in the world, that too small principalities like these, have defied the arms of Islam so bravely and for so long 2000 years. Good number of details are found regarding the history of Sind in the 7th Century A.D. in Chachnama, a Persian translation of an old Arabicc history of the conquest of Sind by the Arabs. An expedition of the Arabs was sent against Debal some time



before 643 A.D. Baladhuri speaks of Muslim victory but Chachnama says that the Muslims were defeated. The conquest of Sind was abandoned for some time.When then new Calipha Uthman attempted to conquer, he too left it after a setback. During the daysof Caliphate of Ali, a well-equipped Muslim Army came along the land route, According to Baladhuri, the Muslims were put to rout. After this, a series of expeditions were sent to conquer an outpost of Sind, which all ended in failure. 88

The Arabs resumed their aggression against Sind only after 705 A.D. An Arab ship fell in thehands of pirates near Debal. A Muslim governor deamanded their release and also the arrest of the pirates. It appears, Dehar refused to oblige. As a matter of fact, the governor for Iraq was appointed for both the areas of Hindi and Sind. For long time the Arabs chafed at their failure to conquer Sind. Thus, the governor Hajja merely seized the plicy as a pretext to defeat and conquer Sind. After making elaborate preparation, Mohammad-Bin-Kasim, the son-in-law of Hajjaj, was sent with a well equipped army. He advanced to Makran and laid siege to Debal in 711 A.D. The capital was captured then, Muhammad advanced along the Indus to conquer the whole area. It appears that very often trachery led to the Arab conquest of Sind Muhammad advanced against Multan and succeeded in capturing it. According to Chachanam, Muhammad himself advanced to the frontier of Kashmir. The triumph and career of Muhammad wa suddenly cut short by political changes at home. Since the new Caliph was the sworn enemy of Hajjaj. Muhammad was taken prisoner, insulted and tortured to death. This development made Jaisimha, the son of Daher, to re-occupy Bahmansbad. The Caliph sent an army to subdue the rebels. They even parleyed with Jaisimha. Junaid, the Governor of Sind, defeated Jaisimha and took him prionser. Thus ended the dynasty of Daher and the independence of Sind. The comperatively easy conquest of Muhammad, son of Kasim, should not make us forget the long resistance offered by Sind to the Arabs. Later, Junaid sent several expeditions to the interior of India. They were signally defeated by the Pratihara kng Nagabhatta – I Pulakesin, the Chalukya chief of Gujarata, and probably also by Yasovarman. These defeats forced the Arabs to confine themselves to Sind. The Arabs lost control of Sind during the last years of Umayyids. The Abbasid Caliphs once again started to re-establish their power in Sind. A claim was made. The Arabs once again conquered Multan and Kashmir bu the evidence shows that Lalitadiya thrice defeated the Arabs. It was some time between 800 and 830 A.D. that the Arabs fully re-conquered the lost areas. It was during this period that the Arabs forces probably advanced as far as Chittor but the resistance offered by Indian kings probably forced them to retreat. After the collapse fo the Abbasid power, Sind became virually independent and was divided into two independent states. Niehter of them could become powerful. SIGNIFICANCE: It is no longer believed that the Arab conqeust of Sind was a mere episode in the history of India. What this event reveals is the Sea change that cave over Hindu Civilisation by 1000 A.D. A few Muslim traders earlier settled in the Malabar region. But the might of Islam was experienced in Sind. This challenge was met by rulers of the day. It is now well-known that the political ambitions of the successors of Muhammad-bin-Kasim were chaeckmated by Lalitaditya, Bhoja and a few other



rulers. This particular resistance bears testimony to the political consciousness of the day. It is this consciousness that was totally absent in India when Mahumud of Ghazni raided the country and soon he was followed by Ghori who succeeded in establishing Islamic rule in India. It is surprising to note that when the Sahiyas checkmated the Arab penetration in the north-west and rulers within India contained the penetration of Arabs in Sind, no concerted efforts were made by Indian rulers 89

after 1000 A.D. to defeat the invaders except for the first battle of Tarain to some extent. Instead, we hear that Hinduism retreated into its own shell, a fact sharply revealed by the observations of Alberuni. Apart from this significance, the Arab rule in Sind led to interaction between two cultures. It is held by some historians that Sind was the birt-place of later-day Sufism which in turn occasioned the emergence of the famous bhakti cult in the middle ages. Apart from this consequence, the Arab conquest of sind also led to the transmission of Indian culture-Panchtantra and scientific lore of ancient India like the digital system and knowledge of medicine. It is to ba kept in mind that after the collapse of the Roman empire intellectuals began to gather in Baghbad, meaning city of god in Sanskrit. The intellectual speculations that the city facilitated by the interaction of Greek and Roman heritage with that of the Indian lay at the base of the Renaissance movement in Europe in the 16th century. “We know definitely from Masudind Ibn Hauqal that Arab settlers lived side by side with their Hindu fellow-citizens for many years on terms of amity and peace, and Amir Khusrav mentions that the Arab astronomer Abu Mashar come to Benaras and studied astronomy there for ten years. Finally, the significance of the Arab conquest of Sind lies in the tolerance that was shown to Hinduism by Islam. Although jaziya was collected, the Arab governors chose to leave Hindu religious practices untouched. What India witnessed after the invasion of Mahmud of Ghazni was not Islamic influence as pioneered by the Arabs but central-Asian culture of the Turkish, nomade who carried the banner of Islam. In other words, what the history of Arabs in Sind conveys is the fact that persecution of other religious was not the avowed doctrine of Islam. India’s Impact on Southeast Asia Causes and Consequences The transmission of Indian culture of distant parts of Central Asia, China, Japan, and especially Southeast Asia is certainly one of the greatest achievements of Indian history or even of the history of mankind. None of the other great civilizations – not even the Hellenic – had been able to achieve a similar success without military conquest. In this brief survey of India’s history, there is no room for an adequate discussion of the development of the ‘Indianised’ states of Southeast Asia which can boast of such magnificent temple cities as Pagan (Burma; constructed from 1044 to 1287 AD,) Angkor (Combodia; constructed from 889 to c. 1300 AD), and the Borobudur (Java, early ninth century AD). Though they were influenced by Indian culture, they are nevertheless part and parcel of the history of those respective countries. Here we will limit our observations to some fundamental problems oncerning the transmission of Indian culture to the vast region of Sotheast Asia. Who Spread Indian Culture in Southeast Asia ? Historians have formulated several theories regarding the transmission of Indian



culture of Southeast Asia : (1) the ‘Kshatriya’ theory; (2) the ‘Vaishya’ theory; (3) the ‘Brahmin’ theory. The Kshatriya theory states that Indian warriors colonized Southeast Asia; this 90

proposition has now been rejected by most scholars although it was very prominent some time ago. The Vaishya theory attributes the spread of Indian cultura to traders; it is certainly much more plausible than the Kshatriya theory, but does not seem to explain the large number of Sanskrit loan words in Southeast Asian languages. The Brahmin hypothesis credits Brahmins with the transmission of Indian culture; this would account for the prevalence of these loanawards; but may have to be amplified by some reference to the Buddhists as well as to be amplified by some reference to the Buddhsits as well as to the traders. We shall return to these theories, but first we shall try to understand the rise and fall of the Kshatriya theory. It owed its origin to the Indian freedom movement. Indian historians, smarting under the stigma of their own colonical sujection, tried to compensate for this by showing that al leat in ancient times Indians had been strong enough to establish colonise of their own. In 1926 the Greater India society was established in Calcutta and in subsequent years the renewed Indian historia R.C. Majumdar published his series of studies, Ancient Indian colonise in the Far East. This school held that Indian kings and warriors had established such colonise and the Sanksrit names of South east Asian rulers seemed to provide ample supporting evidence. At least this hypothesis stimulated further research, though it also alienated those intellectuals of Southeast Asia who rejected the idea of having once been colonized by a ‘Greater India’. As research progressed it was found that there was vary little proof of any direct Indian political influence in those states of Southeast Asia. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that Southeast Asian rulers had adopted Sanskrit names the mselves – thus such names could not be adduced as evidence for the presence of Indian kings. The Vaishya theory, in contrast, emphasized a much more important element of the Indian connection with Southeast Asia. Trade had indeed been the driving force behind all these early contacts. Inscriptions also showed that guids of Indian merchants had established outposts in many parts of Southeast Asia. Some of their inscriptions were written in languages such as Tamil. However, if such merchants had been the chief agents of the transmission of Indian culture, then all their languages should have made an impact on those of Southeast Asia. But this was not so : Sanskrit and, to some extent, languages. The traders certainly provided an important transmission belt for all kinds of cultural influences. Nevertheless, they did not play the crucial role which some scholars have attributed to them. One of the most important arguments against the Vaishya theory is that some of the earliest traces of Indianised states in Southeast Asia are not found in the coastalareas usually frequented by the traders, but in mountainous, interior areas. The Brahmin theory is in keeping with what we have shown with regard to the almost contemporary spread of Hindu culture in Southern and Central India. There Brahmins and Buddhist and Jain monks played the major role in transmitting cultural values and symbols, and in disseminating the style of Hundu kingship. In addition



to being religious specialists, the Brahmins also knew the Sanskrit codes regarding law (dharmasastra), the art of government (arthasastra), and art and architecture (silpasastra). They could taus serve as development planners’ in many different fields and were accordingly welcome to Southeast Asian rulers who may have just emerged from what we earlier described as first-and second phase state formation. 91

The Dynamics of Cultural Borrowings What was the role of the people of Southeast Asia in this process of cultural borrowing ? Were theymerely passive recipients of a culture bestowed upon them by them by the Indians ? or Did they actively participate in this transfer ? The passive thesis was originally emphasized by Indian advocates of the ‘Greater India’ idea, as well by as European scholars who belonged to the elite of the colonial powers then dominant in Southeast Asia. The concept of an earlier ‘Indianisation’ of Southeast Asia seemed to provide a close parallel with the later ‘Europeanisation’ under colonial to provide a close parallel with the later “Europeanisation” under colonial rule. The first transchant criticism of this point of view came from the young Dutch scholar JC van Leur. Van Leur highlighted the great skill and courage of Indonesian seafarers and emphasized the fact that Indonesian rulers them selves had invited Indian Brahmins and had thus taken a very active role in the process of cultural borrowing. Van Leur’s book an Indonesian trade and society was published posthumously, in 1955. In the meantime, further research has vindicated his point of view. The Indian influence is no longer regarded as the prime cause of cultural development; rather, it was a consequence of a development, which was already in progress in Southeast Asia. Early Indonesian inscriptions show that there was a considerable development of agriculture, before Indian influence made itself felt. However, indigenous tribal organization was egalitarian and prevented the emergence of higer forms of political organization. The introduction of such forms required at least a rudimentary form of administration and a kind of legimation of these now governmental forms which would make them, in the initial stages, acceptale to the people. It was at this point that chieftains and clan heads required Brahmin assitance. Althoug trade might have helped to spread the necessary information the inititative came forr those indigenous rulers. The invited Brahmins were isolated from the ruler. People and kept in touch only with their patrons. In this way the royal styles emerged in South-East Asia just as it had done in India. A good example of this kind of development is provided by thed earliest Sanksrit inscription found of Indonasia (it was recorded in Eastern Borneo around 400 A.D.) Several inscription on large Megaltihs mention a ruler whose name, Kundunga shows not the slightest trace of Sanskrit influence. His son assumed a Sanskrit name, Ashavavarman, and founded a dynasty (vansa). His grand son Mulavarman, the author of the incription, celebrated great sacrifices and gave valuable presents to the Brahmins. Of the latter it is explicitly state that they had come here – most likely from India. After being consecrated by the Brahmins, Mulavarman subjected the nighbouring rulers and made them tribute givers (kara–da) Thus these inscription present in a nutshell the history of the rise of an early Indonesian dynasty.



It seems that the dynasty had been founded by a son of clan chiefly independently of the Brahmins, who on their arrival consecrate the ruler of the third generation. With this kind of moral support and the new administrative know-how the ruler could subject his neighbours and otain tribute from them. The process paralleled that which we have observe in south and Central India. In its initial stages, however, it was not necessarily due to Indian influence at all. 92

Around the middle of the first millennium AD several of such small states seem to have arisen in this way in South-East Asia. They have left only a few inscription and some ruins of temples, most of them were obviously very short lived. There must have been a great deal of competition, with many petty rajas vying with each other and all wishing to be recognized as maharajas entitled to all the Indian paraphernalia of Kingship. Indian influenced increased in this way and in the second half of the first millennium AD a hectic activity of temple erection could be observed on Java and in Combadiam, wher the first larger realms hac dome into existence. Though it is now generally accepted that southeast Asian rulers played on active role in this process of state formation, we cannot entirely rule out the occasional direct contrbutin of Indian adventures who proceeded to the East. The most important example of this kind is that of the early history of Fuman at the mouth of the Mekong. Chinese sources report the tale of a Brahmin, Kaundinya, who was inspired bya divine dream to go to the Funan. There he vanquished the local Naga princess by means of his holy bow and married her, thus founding the first dynasty of Funan in the late first century AD. We have heard of a similar legend in a connection with the rise of the Pallava dynasty and this way indicate that Kundinya came from south India where the Kundinyas were known as a famous Brahmin lineage. A Chineage source of the fourth century AD describes an Indian usurper of th throne of Funan. His name is given as Chu Chan-t’ an’ ‘Chu’ always indicates a person of Indian origin and Chan-t-an could have been a transliteration of the title ‘Chandana’ which can be traced to the Indo-Scythians of northern India. Presumably a member of the dynasty went to southeast Asia after having been defeated by Samnudragupta. In the beginning of the fifth century AD another Kaudinya arrived in Funan and of his it is said in the Chinses annals : He was originally a Brahmin from India. There a supernatural voice told him: ‘You must go to Funan, Kaundinya rejoiced in his heart. In the south he arrived at “P” anp’ an. The people of Funan appeared to him. The whole kingdom rose up with joy, went before him and chose him king. He changed all the laws to confirm to the system of India. This report on the second Kaundinya is the most explicit refernce to an Indian ruler who introduced his laws in southeast Asia. In the same period we notice a general wave of Indian influence in southeast Asia, for which the earliest Sanskrit inscription of Indonasia – discussed above – also provide striking evidence. We must however, note that even in the case of early Funan there was no military intervention. Kaundinya had obviously stayed for some time at P’an-P’an at the Isthmus of Siam, then under the control of Funan and he ewas later invited by the notables of the court of Funan to ascent the throne at a time of political unrest. THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE BUDDHIST MONKS So far we have discussed the contiributino of Brahmin to the early transmission of Indian culture to southeast Asia. Buddhist monks, however, were at least as



important in this respect. Two characteristic features of Buddhism enabled it to make a specific impact on southeast Asia, First Buddhist were imbued with a atrong missionary zeal, and second, they ignored the caste system and did not emphasize the idea of ritual purity. By his teaching as well as by the orginzation of his monastic order (Sangha) Gautama Buddha had given rise to this missionary zeal, which had then been fostered by Ashoka’s dispatch of Buddhist missionaries to Western Asia, Greece, Central Asia, Sri lanka and Burma. 93

Buddhism’s freedom from ritual restrictions and the spirit of the unity of all adherents enabled Buddhist monsk to establish contacts with people abroad, as well as to welcome them in India when they came to visit the sacred places of Buddhism, Chinese sources record 162 visits to India of Chinese of Buddhist monsk for the period from the 5th to the eigth century AD. Many more may have trvelled without having left a trace in such official records. This was an amazing international scholarly exchange programme for that day and age. In the early centuries AD the center of Buddhist scholarship was the University of Taxila (near the present city of Islamabad),but in the fifth century AD when the University of Nalanda was founded not far from Bodh Gaya, Bihar the center of Buddhist scholarship shifted to eastern India. This university always had a large contingent of students from southeast Asia. There they spent many years close the holy places of Buddhism, copying and translating texts before returing home. Nalanda was a cenre of Mahayana Buddhism, which became of increasing importance of Southeast Asia.We mentioned above that King Balaputa of Shrivijaya established a monastery for students of his realm at Nalanda around 860 AD which was then endowed with land grants by King Devepala of Bengal. But the Sumatran empire of Shrivijaya had acquired a good reputation in tis own right among Buddhist scholars and from the late seventh century AD attracted resident Chinese and Indian monks. The Chinese monk I-tsing stopped over at Shrivijaya capital (present day Palembang) for six months in 671 AD in order to learn Sanskrit Grammer. He then proceeded to India, where he spent 14 years, and on his retun journey he stayed another four years at Palembang so that he could translate the many texts which he had collected. In this period he went to China for a few months in 689 AD to recruit assistance for his great translation project (completed only 695 AD). On his return to China he explicitly recommended that other chiense Buddhists proceeding to India break journey in Shrivijaya, where a thousand monks lived by the same rulers as those prevailing in India. In subsequent years many Chinese Buddhists conscientitously followed this advice. Prominent Indian Buddhists Scholars similarly made a point to visit Shrivijaya. Towards the end of Seventh century AD Dharmapala of Nalanda is supposed to have visited Suvarnadvipa (Java and Sumattra). In the beginning of the eighth century AD the south Indian monk Vajrabodhi spent five months in Shrivijaya on his way to China. He and his disciple Amoghvajra, whom he met in Java, are credited with having indroduced Buddhist Tantrism to China. Atisha, who later became know as the great reformer of Tibeta Buddhism, is said to have studied for twelve years in Survarnadvipa in the early eleventh century AD. The high standard of Buddhist learning which prevailed in Indonasia for many centuries was one of the important precodition for that great work of art, the Borobudur, whose many reliefs are a pictorial compendium the Buddhist lore, a tribute both to the craftsman ship of



Indonasia artists and to the knowledge of Indonasia Buddhist Scholars