Glimpses of enormity of Vardhana dynasty

buzzo 1982

Apr 30, 2019
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Perhaps this is the fate of any country like India, witness of historical changes from time immemorial – we are focusing on one of the greatest shortcomings of the Indian political scenario. It’s the absence of a great power every now and then and it is the same frailty which is nothing save the originator of social evils to be dealt with the posterity in the forthcoming centuries. You may ask to point out such colossal absences – what you may do not know is that there has never been any end to such development. You don’t have to concentrate on the period in between the decline of mighty Mughals and rise of British India only. Even the situation in earlier India was no difference and the rise of the Vardhana Dynasty, mighty royal clan of once, happened to be the fallout of the same.

To trace the development of Vardhana Dynasty it is necessary to look into or explore its contemporary period – the period that was dominated by the decline of the mighty Gupta Empire and its gruesome effects. It is to be noted that the imperialist Huns were also sent back by that time and as a result, the whole of North India was completely devoid of any strong dominance. Taking advantage of the same situation, the whole of 5 th century witnessed the domination of small independent kingdoms in profusion and one of these was surely Kingdom of Thaneshwar,a major part of Srikantha Janpada.

If the writings of Bana, highly acclaimed author of Harsha Charita, are banked on, one person named Pushpabhuti, a great devotee of lord Shiva, was responsible for setting up Kingdom of Thaneshwar. Even though his clan was known as Pushpabhuti Dynasty, it was here only Parbhakarvardhan, first king of the Vardhana Dynasty, came to the throne in 580 AD. Parbhakarvardhan did also assume the royal titles like Parmabhatarka and Maharajadhiraj. The new king proved himself to be a warrior of great worth and soon came me to be known as an irritant in the vicinity.

Whatever might be his exploits, the greatest king of the Vardhana Dynasty was none other than Harshavardhana, the younger son of Parbhakarvardhan. What would be the future of Harsha was realized at his teenage days only. Only an instance would make the concept clear. Rajyasri, the sister of Rajyavardhana and Harsha, had been married to Raja Grahavarman, the Maukhari king. Raja Grahavarman, a few years later, got both defeated and killed by king Devagupta of Malwa. What was the fate of Rajyasri? The widowed queen was taken as a captive by the victorious king.

This proved to be one of the greatest insults to Rajyavardhana; he marched against Devagupta and defeated him disastrously. But he could not live long to take pleasure in the same. Sasanka, powerful king of Gauda in Eastern Bengal, entered the scenario and capitalizing on the confidence of Rajyavardhana killed him traitorously. Harsha vowed to get the retribution and did succeed even if Sasanka continued to rule.

King Harsha was known as one of the greatest patrons of Buddhism along with literature. But above than this he, being a true tolerant ruler, was a staunch supporter of all Hindu faiths – Vedas, Buddhism and Jainism. He was also one of the great patrons behind the University of Nalanda.