NAGAS AND DRAVIDIAN KINGS DEFEATED BY SAMUDRA GUPTA (Post No.11,047)

WRITTEN BY LONDON SWAMINATHAN

Post No. 11,047

Date uploaded in London – –    24 JUNE 2022         

Contact – swami_48@yahoo.com

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NAGA is an interesting word. We see Nagan as suffix even in the names of Tamil Sangam poets. Who are these Nagas? It is a debatable matter; unsettled until today. Their names are found in literature, inscriptions and stories. We come across Naga Kanyas, the beauties in the water sources. Generally speaking, any one from the islands of Bay of Bengal and Indian ocean is a Naga. But we see Nagaland even in the North East Part of India. Strangely they speak different languages, not understood by one another. They have similar mongoloid faces, but different languages!

One important inscription of Gupta period gives us lot of details about the Nagas and kings of South India. Gupta period was the Golden Age of India. Samudra Gupta was the son of Chandra Gupta I and Kumara Devi. He was an allrounder, interested in music, arts and language. His name itself shows that he conquered islands of Indian ocean. His territory covered larger parts of India including Tamil Nadu.

He ruled between 325 CE and 375 CE. His minister Harisena’s inscription known as Allahabad Pillar Inscription is in Allahabad Museum.

It says he conquered the following kings in his southward march (Dakshinapatha):-

1.Kaushalaka Mahendra

2.Mahakantaraka Vyagraraj (Puli Thevan in Tamil??; Kantara in Sanskrit means Deep Forests)

3.Kaushalaka Mantaraj (Chera King Mantrancheral Irumporai??)

4.Pishtapuraka Mahendragirika (Girika in Sanskrit means Lord of the Mountains). Kakinada area of Andhrapradesh??

5.Kantaraka Swamidatta

6.Erandpallaka Dama (Erand is a tall tree which may be the totem symbol of that king)

7.Avamuktaka Nilaraja

8.Kancheya Vishnugopa (Pallava King of Kanchipuram)

9.Vijayaka Hastivarman (of Vengi ??)

10.Palakaka Ugrasena

11.Devarashtraka Kubera

12.Kausthalaparaka Dhananjaya

(According to Jayaswal, Kings Swamidatta and Dama were the vassals of Mantaraj Kurula (Kerala??)

Hastivarman, Ugrasena and Kubera were the feudatories of Vishnugopa of Kanchi)

Following are the few lines in the Sanskrit inscription-

“Whose magnanimity blended with valour was caused by (his) first capturing, and thereafter showing the favour of releasing, all the kings of Dakshiṇāpatha such as Mahēndra of Kōsala, Vyāghrarāja of Mahākāntāra, Maṇṭarāja of Kurāḷa, Mahēndragiri of Pishṭapura, Svāmidatta of Kōṭṭūra, Damana of Ēraṇḍapalla, Vishṇugōpa of Kāñchī, Nīlarāja of Avamukta, Hastivarman of Vēṅgī, Ugrasēna of Pālakka, Kubēra of Dēvarāshṭra, and Dhanañjaya of Kusthalapura.[3]

Xxx

Samudragupta defeated the following kings of North India (Aryavarta) as well:-

Rudradeva mantil

Nagadatta

Chandravarman

Ganapati nagan

Achuta nandi

Balavarman

The inscription also states that the oligarchies of

Malavas

Yaudheyas

Mudrakas

Abhiras

Prarjunas

Sahasranikas

Kaka

Khariparakas etc

Were subdued by him.

The above areas were part of Punjab and the Gangetic plain.

The inscription further records that the states of

Samatata Devakaka

Kamarupa

also agreed to pay tributes to Samudragupta. He also controlled the Atavikas  (the tribals??); they could attack he caravans passing through the forests.

Xxx

Naga Tribes

‘Snake’ is derived from Naka in Sanskrit.

Serpent is derived from Sarpa in Sanskrit

They had snake totem. They might have tattooed their bodies with snake pictures and the kings might have snake crowns. We see them in many sculptures. Tamils called them Oviar (Painters). Probably they painted their bodies with snake pictures.

Oviyar Perumakan of Sirupaanaatrupatai (Sangam Tamil Book) is Nalliyakotan (The name is similar to Karkotan, a Naga name)

Xxx

Historian Jayaswal says that the Naga tribes ruled some of the areas on the banks of Ganges. Bharasiva Naagas worshipped Lord Shiva in Linga form. They performed Asvamedha Yagnas. Coins with Naga heads have been discovered in Eran in Madhya Pradesh.

Ganapati Naga performed Asvamedha.

Source book- Society and Religion- from Rig Veda to Puranas, Jayant Gadgar, 1996, Bombay (Book is in SOAS library)

Xxx

Nagas of Bastar

Nripati Bhushana- Dharani Varaha- Madhurantaka- Somesvara- Kanhara- Somesvara II- Jagadeka Bhushana- Kannara- Harischandra

Xxx

24 Nagasvamins of Kavardha

Ahiraja -Rajalla -Dharanidhara-Mahimadeva-

Sarvavandana-Gopaladeva (1088 CE)-Nala deva-

Bhuvanapala-Kirtipala-Jayatra pala-Mahipala-

Vishama pala-Jahnu-Jana pala-Yaso raja-Kanadha deva-

Kannada deva-Lakshma varma-Khadga deva-Bhuvanaika malla -Arjuna-Bhima-Bhoja-

Lakshmana-Ramachandra

Xxx

The Elamite God In- Sushinak is Sesha Naga according to, Aryan Tribes and Rig Veda , B S Dahia, Sonepat,1991, SOAS library.

In= God

Sushinak- Sesha Naga

Yaska’s Nighantu says that is the name of God (2/22), Seat of Vishnu is Sesha Naga.

Xxx

More than 20 Naga(n) names are in Sangam Tamil books.

Mahavamsa of Sri Lanka refers to

Kallada Naga (50-44 BCE)

Chora Naga (3 BCE to 9 CE)

Ilanagan 37 CE

Mahallaka naga 134

Chula naga 192

Kudda naga 194

Sri naga 195

Abhaya naga 236

Sri naga II 244

Xxx

Pre Nanda Kings

Naga dasa

Sisunaga

Xxx

Kallaada is an interesting name in Tamil. We find it in Sangam and Post Sangam books. It may be a Naga name from North India.

Ila Nagan is another interesting name found both in Maha vamsa and Sangam Tamil Books

Xxx

Pili valai is described as a Naga woman by Manimekalai, one of the five Tamil epics. According to this book, Naga island is part of Northern part of Sri Lanka.

Xxxx

Ptolemy on Nagas

Egyptian astronomer and geographer Ptolemy (150 CE ) mentioned Barasiva Naga and Chora Naga.

Chora Naga, 26th King in the Mahavamsa king list, may be Choza Naga, belonging to Tamil Nadu.

Gatha Sapta Sati and other Prakrit books have several Naga names.

To be continued………………………

https://tamilandvedas.com/tag/nagas/

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1.    

4 Aug 2018 – Posts about Naga Panchami written by Tamil and Vedas. … tamilandvedas.com/2012/06/17/serpent-queenindus… Picture shows Indus Snake …

–subham–

tags- Nagas, Samudra Gupta, Harisena, Inscriptions

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