Page:Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal Vol 7, Part 1.djvu/522

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454
[May,
Examination of the Inscription,


stood as the initiatory grade of the priesthood*, as well as self-mortifi- cation for religion's sake. The word is frequently to be met with in the Mahdwanso whence I extract the following passages, along with Mr. Turnour's translation, in illustration of both meanings of nikhama. Purisdnan sahassancha, itthiyo cha tatodhikd Khattiydnan kuldyeva nikkhamitwdna pabbajun.

• A thousand males and a still greater number of females, descendants exclusively of Khattiya families, impelled by their religious ardor, entered into the priesthood :' — Jdtejdte rdjagehe' d&rake ruddrakkhasi Samuddato nikkhamitwd, bhakkhitwina gacchati.

' la those days as soon as an infant was born, a marine monster emerging from the ocean devoured it and disappeared.' Epitome Mahawanso, p. 81.

Following the translator's first example, the passage Ujenyd kumdle nikhdmayisati hidasam vatam, may be rendered, * The prince in Ujjein shall enforce with devotional fervor the self same conduct.'

Taking it for granted that the Devdnampiya of these two edicts is still Piyadasi or Asoka, we may easily discover who was the ' prince at Oujeiri to whom he alludes. He must be either Ujjenio or * the profoundly sapient great Mahindo' (Mahendba) son of Dharma- soka who entered the priesthood at an early age, and who was deputed along with his sister Sangamitta to spread Buddhism in the Island of Ceylon, in the year 306, B. C. (following Buddhist reckoning.) Ujjenio and Mahindo were the twin offspring of a romantic attach- ment of the young Asoka, with the daughter of a gentleman or Setthif at a place called Chetiyagiri when he was on his way to assume the viceroy ship of Avanti. Probably the elder son held this government afterwards, and dwelt there with his mother, who was styled Queen and resided in a rich palace : for we find Mahindo paying them a visit previous to his departure for Ceylon. Tadantare n&tiganan datthun katw&na manasah, Upajjhdyancha sanghan cha wanditwd pucchi bhupatih, Ad&ya chatu.ro third Sanghamittdya utajah Sumanan samanerancha, jalabhinnan mahiddhikah. Ndtinan sanghan kdtun agama Dakkhinagirih ; Tathd tatthd charantassa chhammdsd samatikkamuh. 1 Having formed an earnest desire to visit his relations during this interval ; rever- entially taking his leave of his preceptor and of the priesthood, and having also obtained the consent of the king (his father Dhammasoko), taking with him four theros and the Samanero Samano, the son of Sanghamitta, who was preter- naturally gifted, and master of the six branches of religious knowledge departed for Dakkhinagiri for the purpose of administering the comforts (of religion) to his (mater- nal) relations. There this pilgrim passed six months in this avocation. 5

  • See the Amera kosha (Clough's Pali vocabulary, page 111) ; " nekkhamman— the

priestly state, renunciation of worldly pursuits for the purpose of devoting one's-self to religious meditation, release from transmigration, mental abstraction or vision, &c."

f One of the Seth family, or ijf%- the president, or foreman of an association.