Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Pāratas & King Yolamira (125 AD)

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"The Pāratas, an Iranian people and ruling dynasty from what is now western Pakistan, are known essentially through their coinage, which typically exhibit the bust of a particular monarch on the obverse ( having long hair within a headband), and a swastika within a circular legend on the reverse in Kharoshthi (usually copper coins) and sometimes in Brahmi (usually silver coins). Coins depicting Pārata monarchs have been found in and around the district of Loralai, Balochistan, western Pakistan. This may have been their capital."

"The Pāratas in Classical & Historical sources.....Herodotus in c. 440 BC describes the Paraitakenoi as a tribe ruled by Deiokes, an Iranic monarch who ruled on eastern-most region of the Iranian plateau. (History I.101)......Arrian describes how Alexander the Great encountered the Pareitakai in Bactria and Sogdiana, and had them conquered by Craterus (Anabasis Alexandrou IV)......The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (1st century CE) describes the territory of the Paradon beyond the Ommanitic region, on the coast of Balochistan."

Coin 1: Yolamira, silver drachm, early type.....c. 125-150 AD......Diademed bust right, dotted border /Swastika right, Brahmi legend ..... Yolamirasa Bagarevaputasa Pāratarāja ......(Of Yolamira, son of Bagareva, Pārata King).....The names Yolamira and Bagareva betray the Iranian origin of this dynasty. The suffix Mira refers to the Iranian deity Mithra. Yolamira means "Warrior Mithra." Bagareva means "rich God."

"The Pāratarājas are identified as such by their coins: two series of coins, one mostly in copper bearing legends in Kharoshthi and the other mostly in silver bearing legends in Brahmi. Among coins known so far, there has been no overlap between the two series, which appear to be quite separate from one another, despite commonalities of content. The notable feature of both series is that almost all of the coins bear the name ‘Pāratarāja’ as part of the legend, and they nearly always bear a swastika on the reverse (the exceptions being some very small fractions that seem to eliminate the swastika and/or the long legend, including the words ‘Pāratarāja’, for lack of space). The coins are very rare and, when found, are discovered almost exclusively in the Pakistani province of Baluchistan, reportedly mostly in the area of Loralai..."......NEW LIGHT ON THE PĀRATARĀJAS by PANKAJ TANDON.......http://people.bu.edu/ptandon/Paratarajas.pdf

"According to Bon tradition, the founder of the orthodox Bon doctrine was Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche of Tagzig...... some writers identify the region with Balkh/Bactria. The name Shenrab has an Iranian sound to it.....One of the most powerful and resonant words in pre-Buddhist Tibet was yungdrung (g.yung drung). It was a the key terms for the old royal religion, the mythological backdrop to the kingly lineage of the Tibetan Empire. For example, the inscription of the tomb of Trisong Detsen has the line: “In accord with the eternal (yungdrung) customs (tsuglag), the Emperor and Divine Son Trisong Detsen was made the ruler of men.” I discussed how to translate that term tsuglag in an earlier post. Here, as you no doubt noticed, I have translated yungdrung here as “eternal”. Eternity seems to be the general meaning of yungdrung in the early religion. In addition, the word was associated with the ancient Indo-European swastika design, which in Tibet was the graphic symbol of the eternal...what did the early Buddhist writers and translators do with this term? Many of them just attached it to the word “dharma” (i.e. Buddhism), no doubt in an attempt to transfer its prestige from the earlier religion to Buddhism. Thus we see “the eternal dharma” (g.yung drung chos) in many Dunhuang manuscripts.".....http://earlytibet.com/2008/04/30/buddhism-and-bon-iii-what-is-yungdrung/

"the Pāradas of the Mahabharata, the Puranas and other Indian sources........

"...coins of Yolamira is in itself a breakthrough, as this is one king for whom we have independent evidence. Konow reports on some pottery fragments from Tor Dherai in the Loralai district that carry an inscription relating to one Shahi Yolamira. Konow says the name Yolamira is not known to us. These coins, found in the same area, provide further evidence of the existence of this king, and can place him in some historical context.....Once again, the validity of this reading is buttressed by examining the meaning of the name. In Bactrian, the name Yola-mira means ‘warrior Mithra’....http://people.bu.edu/ptandon/Paratarajas.pdf

"...Of the Shahi Yola Mira, the master of the vihara, this water hall (is) the religious gift, in his own Yola-Mira-shahi-Vihara, to the order of the four quarters, in the acceptance of the Sarvastivadin teachers. And from this right donation may there be in future a share for (his) mother and father, in future a share for all beings and long life for the master of the law’ .......Sten Konow, Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum, Vol. II pt. I, pp. 173

"....As permanent monasteries became established, the name "Vihara" was kept. Some Viharas became extremely important institutions, some of them evolving into major Buddhist Universities with thousands of students, such as Nalanda."

"fixing the reign of this dynasty in the interior of Baluchistan during the second and perhaps the third centuries AD fills an important gap in the history of the region. Very little has hitherto been known of the politics of this area from the time of Alexander’s departure to the arrival of Islamic invaders in the early eighth century. Some historians have tended to assume that the Kushans must have held sway over this region, but that hypothesis does not appear to be correct, as the Pāratarājas appear to have been ruling precisely at the time when the Kushan empire was at its zenith...".......http://people.bu.edu/ptandon/Paratarajas.pdf

"Given Konow’s suggestion that Kanishka began the use of the term Shahi, a suggested date for the Pāratarājas would be around the middle of the second century, give or take a quarter century or so."........http://people.bu.edu/ptandon/Paratarajas.pdf

"The swastika mark is not encountered on Kushan coins, but it is an element on Kushanshah coins.."..http://www.academia.edu/2078818/The_Mint_Cities_of_the_Kushan_Empire

"The Kabul Shahi also called Shahiya dynasties ruled one of the Middle kingdoms of India which included portions of the Kabulistan and the old province of Gandhara (now in northern Pakistan), from the decline of the Kushan Empire in the 3rd century to the early 9th century. The kingdom was known as Kabul Shahi (Kabul-shāhān or Ratbél-shāhān in Persian کابلشاهان یا رتبیل شاهان) between 565 and 879 when they had Kapisa and Kabul as their capitals, and later as Hindu Shahi.....The Shahis of Kabul/Gandhara are generally divided into the two eras of the "Buddhist Shahis" and the "Hindu Shahis", with the change-over thought to have occurred sometime around 870 AD with the Arab conquest....."....Sehrai, Fidaullah (1979). Hund: The Forgotten City of Gandhara,

"The mountainous region of Central Asia comprising the eastern parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan and northwest India has always known war. Even now, the area, high in the Hindu Kush mountains, proves difficult to hold......In the sixth century C.E., the place was known as Gondhara, and nominally controlled by the Huns—a people famed for being great horsemen and even greater warriors. Some 200 years later, Gondhara was ruled by a succession of kings called the Hindu Shahi.....It was the Hindu Shahi kings who first minted these silver coins—a simple and elegant representation of the diversity of the region. On one side is the Hun soldier on horseback; on the reverse, the bull that is so sacred to the Hindus."....http://www2.educationalcoin.com/2012/12/21/bull-horse/

Charles Frederick Oldham The Sun and the Serpent: A Contribution to the History of Serpent-worship, 1905..Serpent worship; The Shahis of Afghanistan

"King standing facing, head turned to right, Brāhmi legend at left: Koziya....Koziya issued several differnt types of copper drachms, some of very fine style, such as this one. So Koziya must have risen to the throne as a teenager and probably had quite a long reign, given the wide variety of types he issued."....http://coinindia.com/galleries-parata-rajas.html

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Email....okarresearch@gmail.com

July 2015

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