Thursday, January 10, 2013

Bactrian Kshatriya Kings & Kapisa (644 AD)


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"Based on the account of the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang, who visited in AD 644, it seems that in later times Kapisa was part of a kingdom ruled by a Buddhist kshatriya king holding sway over ten neighboring states, including Lampaka, Nagarahara, Gandhara, and Banu."

Click on the Map to enlarge......"Kapisa, Kapilavastu? Sakala, Sakyan territory? Sakastan, the extent of Sakyan territory? Sakae reaching toward Tajikistan?.....the Indo-Greek empire of Bactria (Balkh) -- was Buddhist before Buddhism caught on in China. But certainly Greece is the fount of the West? Is it only a coincidence that the ancient land of the Shakyans (also spelled Sakyans) is on the map as Sakala, Sakae, and Sakastan (modern Afghanistan, nowhere near Nepal)."...Wisdom Quarterly: American Buddhist Journal ....

"Alexander the Great needed a strong base for his crossing of the Hindu Kush, and founded a city, which, as usual, was called Alexandria. The city was in fact a refoundation of an Achaemenid settlement called Kapisa....Alexander conquered Sogdiana and Iran. However, in the south, beyond the Oxus, he met strong resistance. After two years of war and a strong insurgency campaign, Alexander managed to establish little control over Bactria."

"Kshatriya, meaning warrior, is one of the four varnas (social orders) in Hinduism. Traditionally Kshatriya constitute the military and ruling elite of the Vedic-Hindu social system outlined by the Vedas and the Laws of Manu.

"Sanskrit akṣatra, ruling; one of the ruling order member of the Kṣhatriya caste is the derivation for Old Persian xšaθra ("realm, power"), xšaθrya ("royal"), and xšāyaθiya ("emperor") are related to it, as are the New Persian words šāh ("emperor") and šahr ("city", "realm"). Thai: กษัตริย์ (kasat), "king" or "monarch," and similar-sounding Malay kesatria or satria, "knight" or "warrior", are also derived from it. The term may also denote aristocratic status.

"The major branches of Kshatriya varna are: Suryavanshi (solar line, Sun Dynasty), claiming direct descent from Ramachandra, and descent from Surya; Chandravanshi (lunar line), claiming descent from Yadu, as Yadu was himself born in a Chandravanshi dynasty, and descent from Chandra; Agnivanshi, claiming descent from Agni; and Nagavanshi, claiming descent from the Nāgas.

"Hiuen Tsang further writes that the king of Kapisa is Kshatriya by caste. He is of shrewd character (nature) and being brave and determined, he has brought into subjection the neighboring countries, some ten of which he rules....Hiuen Tsang clearly addresses the ruler of Kapisa/Kabul, whom he had personally met, as devout Buddhist and a Kshatriya and not a Tu-kiue/Tu-kue (Turk) "......Si-Yu-KI V1: Buddhist Records of the Western World, Edition 2006, p 54-55, Hiuen Tsiang.

Click on the map to enlarge....

"Kallar (and his successors) as having been followers of Brahmanical religion in contrast to Shahi Katorman (Lagaturman) or his predecessors Shahi rulers, who were undoubtedly staunch Buddhists...."...H. M. Elliot, History of India as told by its own Historians, Ed J. Dawson, p 426; S. D. Singh Charak, PURB No 1, 1970, p 2ff.

"The Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang who visited Kapisa in 644 AD calls it Kai-pi-shi(h).....Hiuen Tsang describes Kai-pi-shi as a flourishing kingdom ruled by a Buddhist Kshatriya king holding sway over ten neighbouring states including Lampaka, Nagarahara, Gandhara and Bannu. Until the 9th century AD, Kapiśi remained the second capital of the Shahi dynasty of Kabul. Kapiśa was known for goats and their skin. Hiuen Tsang talks of Shen breed of horses from Kapiśa (Kai-pi-shi). There is also a reference to Chinese emperor Tai-Tsung being presented with excellent breed of horses in 637 AD by an envoy from Chi-pin (Kapisa). Further evidence from Hiuen Tsang shows that Kai-pi-shi produced all kind of cereals, many kinds of fruits, and a scented root called Yu-kin, probably khus or vetiver. The people used woollen and fur clothes and gold, silver and copper coins. Objects of merchandise from all parts were found here."

"Ghaznavids era.....Another crusade against idolatry was at length resolved on; and Mahmud led the seventh one against Nardain, the then boundary of India, or the eastern part of the Hindu Kush; separating as Firishta says, the countries of Hindustan and Turkistan and remarkable for its excellent fruit. The country into which the army of Ghazni marched appears to have been the same as that now called Kafirstan, where the inhabitants were and still are, idolaters and are named the Siah-Posh, or black-vested by the Muslims of later times. In Nardain there was a temple, which the army of Ghazni destroyed; and brought from thence a stone covered with certain inscriptions, which were according to the Hindus, of great antiquity."

"The Shahis of Kabul/Gandhara are generally divided into the two eras of the so-called Buddhist-Shahis and the so-called Hindu-Shahis, with the change-over thought to have occurred sometime around AD 870.....

"The confused accounts of 11th century Persian Muslim scholar Alberuni, ("which bear the impress of folklore for the early history of the Kabul Shahi rulers") state that: the Hindu kings residing in Kabul were Turks.....said to be of Tibetan origin.... that the first of them was a Barahatakin (founder of the dynasty), who came (from Tibet) into the country (Kabul), entered a cave and after a few days, started to creep out of it in the presence of people who looked upon him as a "new born baby", clothed in Turkish dress. People honored him as a being of miraculous birth, destined to be a king. And he brought those countries under his sway and ruled under the title of Shahiya of Kabul..."

".....Katorman (or Lagaturman) of the last king of the so-called first Shahi line of Kabul/Kapisa ....

"870 A.D. marks the first time that the Kingdom of Shambhalaactually came under Moslem domination.".....

"Legend reports that Vasubandhu came from the "Kingdom of Shambhala' (approximately, modern Begram, otherwise known as the ancient kingdom of Kapisha, north of Kabul) located in the Afghanistan region, north-west of Peshawar....Bagram (بگرام Bagrám), founded as Alexandria on the Caucasus and known in medieval times as Kapisa, is a small town and seat in Bagram District in Parwan Province of Afghanistan, about 60 kilometers north of the capital Kabul..".... Website of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Urgyen Trinley Dorje......


John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….January 2013


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