Monday, October 5, 2015

Brahmin Prahasa of 1087 AD as per Silimpur Stone Slab Inscription

Brahmin Prahasa of 1087 AD as per Silimpur Stone Slab Inscription

In this post I talk about the life of  Brahmin Prahasa  of 1087 AD as per  Silimpur Stone Slab Inscription.

Prahasa (Sanskrit: प्रहास , Bengali: প্রহাস ) was an accomplished Vedic scholar who belonged to a Brahmin family renowned for its scholarship. He belonged to an orthodox family and was adept at performing religious rites as per injunctions of the shastras. Prahasa lived around 1087 AD.

He belonged to the Bharadvaja gotra. His ancestors were originally from Tarkari in Sravsati region of North Bengal (West Bengal and Islamic Bangladesh). From there they moved to neighboring Balagrama village and from some of them moved to a neighboring place called Shiyamava.

Brahmin Prahasa of 1087 AD as per Silimpur Stone Slab Inscription Map

The Silimpur Stone Slab inscription lauds him for his learning, sense of justice, truthfulness and freedom from avarice. He was a famous scholar and well-known for his expertise in Tarka Sahstra, Tantra and Dharma Shastra.

Achievements of Brahmin Prahasa
  • Prahasa set-up an image of Amaranatha (Lord Shiva) during a temple erection.
  • He dedicated an image of Trivikrama (Lord Vishnu) and excavated a tank for the spiritual benefit of his parents.
  • He built an alms-house.
  • King Jayapaladeva of Kamarupa tried to offer him 900 gold coins and landed property yieding an income of 1000 coins,  which Prahasa staunchly refused.
Date of Prahasa and his Ancestors

Bengali Brahmin Prahasa was a contemporary of Jayapala Deva, a ruler of Kamarupa who ruled from 1075 AD to 1100 AD.

Let us therefore date Prahasa to 1087 AD, the mid-point of 1075 AD and 1100 AD.

If we assume 33 years inter generational gap we get the following dates for Prahas and his ancestors.
  • Pashupati (Sanskrit: पशुपति , Bengali: পশুপতি ) - 889 AD
  • Sahil (Sanskrit: साहिल , Bengali: সাহিল ) - 922 AD
  • Manoratha (Sanskrit: मनोरथ , Bengali: মনোরথ ) - 955 AD
  • Sucharita (Sanskrit: सुचरित , Bengali: সুচরিত ) - 988 AD
  • Taponidhi (Sanskrit: तपोनिधि , Bengali: তপোনিধি ) - 1021 AD
  • Kartikeya (Sanskrit: कार्तिकेय , Bengali: কার্তিকেয় ) - 1054 AD
  • Prahasa (Sanskrit: प्रहास , Bengali: প্রহাস ) - 1087 AD
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Reference
Migrant Brahmanas in Norther India, Swati Datta, Motilala Banarasidass, 1989
Epigraphia Indica Vol XIII, No 26, The Silimpur Stone Slab Inscription, Pg 294 to Pg 297
Brahmin Image: Image Source - www.drikpanchang.com

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