The Rummindei Inscription and the Conversion of Asoka to Buddhism

download The Rummindei Inscription and the Conversion of Asoka to Buddhism

of 29

  • date post

  • Category


  • view

  • download


Embed Size (px)

Transcript of The Rummindei Inscription and the Conversion of Asoka to Buddhism

The Rummindei Inscription and the Conversion of Asoka to Buddhism Author(s): J. F. Fleet Reviewed work(s): Source: Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, (Apr., 1908), pp. 471-498 Published by: Cambridge University Press Stable URL: . Accessed: 28/03/2012 19:35Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact

Cambridge University Press and Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland.




I. The Rummind?? rilHE text of the Rummind?i edict


styled at first inscription, of Padari?," to have been appears first published in the Anzeiger for B?hler, by Professor the 7th January, and Historical 1897, of the Philosophical Section of the Imperial of Sciences, Vienna. Academy A translation of it was given by M. Barth in the Journal des Savants, 1897. 73. The record was fully edited by an excellent Professor with in the B?hler, facsimile, 5. 1 ff. Some terms in it difficult Indica, Epigraphia " the As?ka have berichte examined in the Sitzungs Pischel by Professor of the Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences, 1903. 724 ft". And Mr. Vincent Smith has favoured us with one of it entitled as the "The been

in his A ?oka, 145, and another in an Rummind?i hitherto Inscription, known of As?ka," Paclariy? Inscription, published in the Indian 1905. 1 ft*. From this last Antiquary, article we learn that the broken which bears the pillar article stands close to a mound of ruins, near the inscription a of which there is a of shrine as known top goddess Rummind?? is close on the north of ; that this mound another mound which marks the site of an ancient village or small town ; that the tapp?, the subdivision, itself, including a number of villages, also is known by the name Rummind?? and the ; record is to be that, consequently,


472 known the as

THE RUMMINDEI INSCRIPTION AND the Rummind?i from better of the than as

Padariy? inscription inhabited village, about a mile to the south. In connexion with the statement that Rummind?i is also the name of verse 683, the tapp?, I may observe that the Suttanipata, tells us that Buddha was born :? Saky?na g?m? janapad? " a in in of the the Lumbin? ; Lumbineyy? village Sakyas or I add that the record district." may country, territory, " " as an classed cannot of A??ka, be properly edict as it does not commence with inasmuch any of the in the edicts, and that there presented it as a record framed by to mark fact, anything : to have been drawn at all it appears up by formulae authorities, As?ka. Thethe fact,

inscription, the name


is not, in the king the local set up by lies inwas






the pillar to thisas the




attachesas soon


that discovered, that, as there is no reason for supposing it was the pillar does not stand in the very place in which traditional set up, the record locates the exact originally was born,? the Lumbin? Buddha site of the place where and of the Divy?vad?na or Lumbin? vana grove or garden v.l. Lumbinivana, and the Lumbinivana, the Lalitavistara, in The name of the village as given of the Nid?nakath?. form of the Sanskrit is the Prakrit the record, Lummini, : and, the change of I to r- being a very common Lumbin? of the at once that the first component one, we recognize ancient Lummini.1 the name is Rummind?? modern Lumbin?, from the which I give text of the inscription, The facsimile as accompanying follows:?name Rummind??





1 The






Babu 1, shews



in the Tarai, Antiquities sketch-map, Mukherji's ' ' towards miles about Rurain-dei twenty-four is. It may the inscribed the place where pillar Lumbini district. of the ancient stretch

plate the west-by-south give an indication

a village from of the



Text. 1 2 3 4 5 D?vanapiy?na ata?a agacha l?jina visati-vas-?bhisitena Piyadasina hida Budhe j?te Sakya-munr?ti mah?yite cha usap?pite sil?-thabhe k?l?pita sil-?vi-gada-bhich? j?te =ti Luihmini-g?me ubalike kate


Bhagavam cha athabh?giye text is clear

And throughout. is exactly laid down by the same as that my reading 3 I take ch?, not that in line writers; except previous as another the form of cha, 'and,' but as forming with There are, however, the word bhich?. syllable preceding The and unmistakable expressions of which pretation* *








I differ. that calls to neuter the of for notice Sanskrit is mahiy ite, line 2. the mahiyitam,

The This of the

tirst term is equivalent


mahiy, to prosper, thrive ; to be held has been taken here as meaning This word 'homage ' ' was done/ worship was done/ reverence was done/ And, be cited in which mahiy, instances might without doubt, is explained and commentators which by grammarians of p?j?,* and has etc/ increase, growth, is fully equivalent to that of 'to be which ' ' as a religious to do p?j? But does object/ worshipped ' ' : it denotes mean to do religious worship not necessarily or to great, also the act of paying influential, respect whereas is venerable And, mahiy people. ultimately being vriddttau, a meaning 'in p?j?y?m, the sense of connected root from which we have also mahat, numerous we can in which, there passages 'great/ ' to be made great, to be honoured/ see, it plainly means with the are as used 'in the sense

singular verb nominal

the past participle passive or 'to be joyous happy; in high honour/

474Thus :?


M?navadharmasastra, Brahma-l?k? nityam himself in



mahiyat?* this manner, and

Vyap?ta-kalmash? (a Brahm?n, conducting with acquainted becoming "


the V?das), becomes freed from sin, and is ever glorified in the world of Brahman," t?na svarg? ?u?r?shate Ibid*, 5. 155 :? Patirh y?na " ; if (a woman) mah?yat? obeys her husband, by that she is exalted in heaven." marshayaty=?rtais=t?na Yat=kshipt? " ; if (a king), when he is reviled by those svarg? mahiyat? in distress, he is on that account bears it with patience, in heaven." magnified in the above three passages In rendering the word by "is glorified, I have simply followed exalted, magnified," Dr. Burnell, endorsed Tlie Ordinances by of Manu, vol. Manu Professor B?hler, Tlue Laws 25) ; the (SBE, of ' ' But it is obvious in the three cases. latter using exalted ' ' here. that the idea of being is inadmissible worshipped S. Again, ? 83, we 6027 in the Mah?bh?rata have :? Sarva-vy?dhi-vinirmukt? ed.), (Calcutta Brahma-l?k? Ibid., 8. 313:?

a man who bathes "(O best of the Bharatas!, mahiyat?; the at freed from all ailments tirtlia of K??i?vara) becomes in the world of Brahman." and is exalted 99 " So, also, we have in the R?m?yana ed.), 1. ? 1, (Bombay :? ; sa-ganah pr?tya svarg? mah?yat? Sa-putra-pautral? which reads this tale, the R?m?yana, (the man who in heaven he dies, he is exalted when confers long life),?

along with his sons, his sons' sons, and his followers." mah?t 2. ? 12, 37 :? Viv?sa R?masya Ibid. (Gorresio), " the entered man? ; (Sumantra) mahiyam?nam griham R?ma." of the high-minded to 2. 38, Visv?mitra says Bhattikfwya, :? bhavat=?tim?tram. R?ma Mah?yyam?n? " all measure bh?mih ; honoured (who by thee beyond at the sacrifice of demons the voracious didst overcome honoured And house in the

THE CONVERSION OF ASOKA TO BUDDHISM. the gods), the earth, even before ashamed It is thus plain inscription as much But A??ka unless Rummind?i done/ quite was done/ the whatever certain


of a hero, is not (thus possessed the heavens adorned by Indra)." mean in the that mahiyite may 'it was as 'it was have was he cannot honoured, honour was worship worshipped, " " at done worship a Buddhist. and And, of bearing


be the apparent may purport statements in the Dipavamsa and

it certain that he his records make a Buddhist when he visited the village Lummini,? in the : to his anointment after the year twenty-first sovereignty they make only about converted (see page the middle of the to Buddhism, and I it clear 496 f. below) thirtieth year that it was that he was a Buddhist disciple

the Mah?vamsa, had not become


as take mahiyite meaning ' was but honour done/ :? I take the whole And phrase l?jina.ata?a " literally by the king, agacha mahiyite,? by himself, " as the king come, honour was done,"? having meaning the honour of coining did (this place) in (here) person." on a state progress was Aa?ka the through part of : he was districts northern of his dominions making a tour in connexion a dhammay?t?, as with his duties a king, in accordance