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An A6okan miscellany

K.R. NonuN

of work done by other scholars in recent years, some of the suggestions

I have made in the past about the Aokan inscriptionsr can now be seen to be incorparticularly so in the case of suggestions made upon the
rcct or misleading. This is
basis of the version at Erragudi,2 where I and others, including U. Schneider,3 had
been misled by D. C. Sircar's edition,a which we wee unable to check personally
ftom the inadequate plates which accompanied it. The publication of a new edition by
As a result

U. NiHas,s although unfortunate not accompanied by plates, has enabled me to corred some of the things I have already written, and if not to solve problems at least to

All who work in the field of Alokan studies will also

painstaking studies of certain inscriptions,6 and to
be grateful
p.K. Andersen for his edition of all the known versions of the MREs.t Other publications, even when I do not agree with all their conclusions, have forced me to reconsider, and sometimes revise, views which I have expressed.
their nature mre clearly.


Abbreviations: Hultzsch = E. Hultzsch,Instiptons of Asol<a,Oxford 1925; Bloch = J. Bloch,

Izs inscriprtons d'Asoka, Paris 1950; CPl, lI, III, IV = K.R. Norman, Collected Papers,Yolsl,
II, UI, IV, Oxford 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993; (lvf)RE = (Minor) Rock Edict; PSM = Pdia-saddanalu14avo; Skt = Sanskrit; Pkt = Prakrit; MIA = Middle Indo-Aryan; NIA = New Indo-Aryan;
NW = North-West; GDhp = GandharDharmapada; CDIL = Comparative Dctionary of the IndoAryan languages.
Abbreviations of the names of Rock Edict sites: Dh = Dhauli; G = Girnr; I = Jaugada; K
= Mnsehr;Sa = Sannati; Sh = Shahbazgar.hi;So = Spr; Y = Erragudi(Iuse
this abbreviation, rather than E, for consistency with my other writings about the A6okan inscrip2

=Klsi; M


U. Schneider, De grofen Felsen-Ediloe ASokas, Wiesbaden 1978.

D.C. Sircar, "Eragudi edicts of Asoka" , Epigraphia Indica 32, L957-58, pp. 1-28.

Ulrike Niklas, De Edtionen der ASoka-Inschrifien von EryaguQi, Bonn 1990.

Especially: Abstute und Schlussvolcalveneichnungen in ASolcn-Inschrifien


Studien zu den

Aol-Inschrifien. lX & X), Wiesbaden 1972.

Paul Kent Andersen, Studies in the Minor Rock Edicts oJ ASokn;



I Critical Edition, Freiburg





In this paper, offered in honour of Professor Klaus Bruhn, I should like to examine a number of points in the ASokan inscriptions, and to develop or revise sugges_
tions which I have made in the past.

do I agree with Filliozat in his belieftz that256 represented the number

home,'. Nor
outside the rainY Period'

with the question of A6oka's pillars,s l sttede that I assumed

that Aloka's conversion to Buddhism occurred after the war in Kaliga, which
states in RE xtrI(A)lo took place when he had been consecrated eight years. There
followed more than two and a half years when he was not very zealous, and then
a paper dealing

more than one year when he was zealous. I assumed that when he issued MRE
was therefore at a point just short of his twelfth year.

In my paper about the version of MRE I found at Ahraur,l3 I said that I did

any significance should be attached to the mysterious number 256 which

not think that
in a number of the versions of that edict. It was, I thought, simply the date

1. Aoka's 256 nights




I now think that I was wrong to calculate in this way. I think that ASoka was
referring to an overall (all-inclusive) period of Zt/z years in MRE r, not3Vz.I think
he says, "There are more than ZVz lstirelni aQhatiydni vasnl years since I am
(i.e., in English, since I have been, since I became) an upsalca. But I did not make
much progress for one year" [Brahmagiri, Siddapura, Nittr, U{egofam (this version
is defective'at this point, but the word el<nr;nis legible), Eagudi and Rjula-Ma4dagiri add el<art savachararTtl: "lt is more than a year li.e. 2t/z less the year in which

did not make much progressl since the sarygha was approached by me [whatever
that meansl, and I have made good progress". I assume that this means that he was
converted to Buddhism, but was not very successful for approximately one year. He
then "approached the sartgha" (perhaps visited avihra for instruction in Buddhism),
with good results.
In short, I now agree with Hultzsch's statementlt that ASoka issued MP-EI2t/2
years after becoming an upsal<a, and more than one year after approaching the sary-

gha.Ido not, however, agree with Hultzsch that the number 256 refers to the number
of days that had passed since he went on tour. This statement is based upon the
mistaken belief that vivuthena, etc., at the end of MRE I mean "being away from



on which the edict was issued, counting from the beginning of the regnal

in saying that the

think it was the date, but it is possible
iru*U", had no particular significance. I still
particular day because the number had some numerological sithat Aloka chose that
x2 x 2 x 2) -just as many people
gnficancefor him (256 = 2t = 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x2
because of the fact
irote letters to their friends on the 8th of August in 1988, simply
of their letter'
that they could write 8/8/88 at the top
u,ear. Atthe moment


I would merely


say that

was perhaps wrong

of the view that Asoka's Zt/z yeas includes the year of little

upon calculations
progress and the more than one year ofgood pfogress has abearing

various scholars which try to explain the number 256.H' Falk suggestsla
that256 is the number of uposath days in3r/z years. I find it hard to accept
days for a layman
arithmetic, partly because it depends upon there being 5 uposatha
that the uposain each month, and I do not understand how this can be so. I assume
tha days are the new and full moorf days and the two quarter days, i.e. four in each
years, not
month. Even if we were to accept five, his calculation is based upon 3t/z



2Vz, which is what

now believe the correct figure to be'

2. RE XIV(C) K nar.n
Dealing with syllables which have been omitted in'the Aokan inscriptions,rs
I suggested that niaryt at K in RE XIV(C) was a mistake for n <y) a4n.Ibased
this suggestion upon the reading nilcayam which Sircar gave for Y at this point' The
new edition

ofthe Y version of the edictsr6 shows that Sircar's reading was incorrect.

I. Filliozat, "L'nigme d 256 nuits d'Asoka" , JA L949,
Studics in Asol<an Inscriptions, Calcutta 1961 , pp. 9-19).

pp. 143-53 @nglish translation in

K.R. Norman, "Notes on the Ahraur version of Aloka's First Minor Rock Edict', //"I 26'
2S1l = CPll, pp. 250-68 fp- 2571.
H. Falk, "Die 256 Nchte Afokas" , ?-DMG 140, 1, 1990, pp. 96-122'


K.R. Norman, "A$okan sila+harybhn-s urd dharyna+harybha-s" , crya-vandan (D.R. Bhnn'

darkar Birth Centenary Volune), Calcutta 1982, pp. 3 I 1-18 = CP II, pp. 224-32.

lbd., p.313 note 7





I follow Hultzsch's division into paragraphs.

lrHultzsch, p. xlvi.

1983, pp. 277-92 tp.


K.R. Norman, "Notes on the Asokan Rock Edicts", IIJ lO,

= CPI, pp. 47-58 [p. 52 note 1].

Niklas, p. 161.

1961 ,

pp. 160-70 [p' 165 note 18]



AN ASoKAN Mlscenrtw

The corect reading is nicam. Although it would be preferabre to

have had new phtes
of the Y edict, so that we could check such readings for ourselves, neverthebgs
Niklas's discussion of each doubtfur alcpara makes rt
it clear that her readings

are Iike
to be much more reriable than sircar,s

It is certain,

then, that my earlier suggestion was incorrect, but the

now is more, rather than less, confusing, since it is not at all clear
what the *ruti
ship between nicam and nilqart might be. we can interpret y nicamin


a) it may be a word for which the expected Eastern form is nicam (*rrut"u",
origin); b) it might be a Western version of nitiyamwhich has come into
the text
$ 5 below), but against this is the fact that the expected Eastern form nitiyamappear
at Y in RE xm(or7; c) it is the emendation of the scribe at y in prace
of *rnffi
which he received; d) it is a mistake, i.e. either the ca-arqara shourd
be somethin!
else, or something has been omitted.

we can arso interpretKnam in several ways. since the scribe atK

-ky- in a mechanical wayr8 wherever -fr- occurs after -i- in his exemplar,t,
we could
assume that K received a form with -- in it, either correctly,
or as a mistake for
something else. The received nilcary which I postulate, could have
been a mistake, i.e.
-fr- was written in error or one or more aaras might have been
omitted (as I ori_
grnally suggested).
There are those who suggest a solution ofthis problem based on the
the writing of -lE'indicates a palatalised sound as a preliminary to
the development
leading to -c-. on this basis K could write niamin place of nicam.I
cannot accept
this suggestion. Even if we were to accept that -tcy- is part-way towards -c-,


should not expect K to write -- where -c- was in his exemplar. He

does not do so
elsewhere, e.g. in RE XIII(O. I believe that -- shows a pronunciation
of -t- which

towards -y-. I support this belief with the observation of Lders2o that
is parway


v-er occionally h_"_f-litl to do rhis, e.g. nkaya

E xltr(J), presumably by an oversighr,
. " niya
occurs at RE




fe-aso writes -gy- after ,'i-, but this is presumably done mechanically by analogy with -te^ -.
It is not really appropriate in the *orl Kotigyo ftr xnIla, u."uu*r i* rrrou"ro
bewritten Kalinga. where the nasal is writren, rair in the i
crll, r o* oot
write -gy-.

-Y- only after --'

In RE XII(Q) Y has (nrtOa)m2l where Khas nicam, and Sh M have nica.

We must surmise that either Y bacldormed the received nicam to nitiyarp, or K
form nicarTt. Of these two possibilities the second seems more
received a Western
the original had nitiyam "constantly, pernahkely, in which case we can accept that
nently", rather than nicam, which is translated by Hulsch as "towards the South".z
see a contrast between the places where
where they do not go ()(m(S)). If this
constantly, and the
the messengers
suggestion is correct, then we might deduce that sentence (Q) should end after sasu
piyojanasatesa Q quote the Y form). A new sentence should then begin with <ata
ilta devdnampiyasa yamti) ata amtiyoke "where the messengers go, where

If this is so, then we should probably

is", but by mistake the eye of the scribe responsible for writing the master
exemplar jumped from the f:rl:st ata to the second, so that the words ata d[tta deAntiochus

vnaqnpiyasa yani were


4. RE XIV(E) sarT*haya
As is well known, the KharothI script has a character which is used to denote
the development of As in the North-Vy'estern Pk1.23 This is usually designated by ch',u
although Hultzsch, somewhat confusingly, transliterates it by ft{ without, as he
states, implying anything about the pronunciation of this character. In this article I
employ the usual transliteration c'.

Knowledge of the use of this character gives us information about the etymology of Gndhan- words, or in the case of the ASokan inscriptions, knowledge of what




3. RE XIII(Q) nitiyar.n I nicatyt

This does not necessarily invalidate the suggestion. The mixture of Eastern
and Western forms
which occurs (see $ 8 below) shows that scribi were not always consistent
in their ,,translation"


Quoted by J. Brough, The Gdttdhti Dharmapada, London 1962,




Nikl, p.146.
2 Hultzsch, p. 48.

It is found in the following words: Sh ach'tti RE V(E); Sh M moch'ay RE V(L); Sh

ch'arlati RE )I(G) G charyatil: Sh istridhiyach'a- M istrijach'- RE XIIO4); Sh ch'atnitaviya- RE
XmG); Sh ch'ananaye RE XIII(L) lG chatnitavel; Sh ach'ati RE )m(O) IG achatih Sh ch'amti RE
)mG) lG chat); Sh' saqch'itena RE X[V(A) IG sant:hitenal.

See H.W. Bailey, "Gandhrl", BSOAS XI, 1946, pp.1&-97 lp. 7701.
p. 55 note 5.




the scribes26 thought was the etymology of any word in which they wrote this character. we must, however, remember that the scribes sometimes copied what was in
their exemplars without making the necessary translations, e.g. in RE IX(c) M writes

khuda because that is what his exemplar had, and he did not realise that he should
have written ch'uda 1 lcsudra (G has chuda). The factthat Sh writes putika in this

place suggests the possibility that this word was not common in the North-west. In
RE x(E) sh writes khudrakena and M khudakena 1 ludraka (G has chudaka), i.e.
neither site writes c&'.
Whatever the origin and general distribution of the two-fold development of the
> kkh and cch,27 it seems clear that in the ASokan inscriptions as a general

group fr.J

rule the development



ch'in westof the ASokan inscriptions, as in the case of ch', the use of

(k)kh is found in Eastern Pkts, and

(c)ch or

ern Pkts.28 In the context

(c)ch in a Western dialect implies that the scribe identifred (k)kh in his exemplafe as
occurring in circumstances where (c)c would be appropriate in his own dialect.
Sometimes the information which these writing patterns give us is contradictory.

In RE XIV(E) we find in all the extant versions except G the phrase desam
smkhya, or variations of it. The interpretation of this phrase depends, of course,
upon the identification of the verbal root which underlies saryA:hya. At sh M the
reading is samkhya, implying that the scribes, rightly or wrongly, did not recognise
this word as being the equivalent of any root in which they would use the character
c' ( Skt ls. There seems to be little alternative to believing that they understood the
underlying root to be the equivalent of Skt salnWry-, and we can assume that they
took the phrase to mean "considering the region". This is usually taken to refer to
such phenomena as the omission of REs XI, XII and XIII at the Kaliga sites.
At G, however, we

frnd sachaya, doubtless for samchy. Hultzsch's sugges-

tion that the scribe thought the underlying root was samldry- cannot be correct, be-


use the word "scribe" in the very widest sense to include all those who were responsible for
the trnsmission of the edicts, whether in the region or not.



H. Berger, Zwei Probleme der minelindischen Inutlehre. Mnchen 1955, pp. 65-87.


I use the terms "Western" and "Eastern" with reference to the t)pe of Pkt used at a site, and
not in a geographical sense. Although So is in the West of India, the Pkt employed there is an Eastern one, except for the change -l- ) -r-, which is carried out in a purely mechanical way by the

I use the word "exemplar" to mean any document which w copied anywhere in the train of

-cch- ' If the scribe had recognised the equiva-k|ty- does not usually develop
his exemplar,
*trre Skt rootklrya- in the word sarpkhyawhich he received in




of a verbal
The writing of c implies that the scribe assumed the existence
of skt ,t{. Hultzsch's alternative suggestion of
root which contained the development
'sqtkaroot k- in Skf' and
can probably be discounted because of the rarity of the
into MIA. It would seem very probable that the
irre unlikelhood of it continuing
sarylui- in mind, although the absolutive from this
scribe had the equivalent of Skt
desaprobabty meant much the same as elcnroot is not saryaya in Skt, and for him
in contrast to sava "the whole" ' For him'
desa " apart", which occurs in RE VII(D)
i'e' failing to write' a part"' This too'
then, the phrase probably meant "destroying,
way of referring to the omission of
in a manner of speaking, would be an appropriate
edicts at the Kaliga sites.

5. RE XII(G) chanat
in Eastern Pkts and
The distinction between the development of skt tq > t<kh
> cch or ch' in western Pkts is not always maintained in the Asokan inscriptions'
at Y and equivalent phrases
In RE XII(G) the phrase atapsamdar.n ca chanati occurs
that the scribe there saw the
occur at the other sites. At Sh we frnd ch'a\ati, showing
writes charyati, and clearly did
root as being the equivalent of Skt,tsn-. M, however,
his exemplar was an exnot recognise that the fotm chanati which he received in
(which was in
to the general rule that he should wnte ch'when his exemplar

very difficult to see what else

an Eastern Pkt) had (k)t<h < As. Nevertheless, it is
must, I think, assume that the
chanatican be except a development 1 an-, and we
stood for or meant'
scribe at M did not understand what the word in his exemplar


have a western form ? we

achati sh ach'ati 1 al<sati. \hy should the Eastern Pkt
of some centuries before
must remember that the Pkts had a history of development
early as the $V, e'g' the genithe time of Aioka, with some Prakritisms occurring as
x-trs. we should therefore not
tive singular of -t stems is -ras instead of the expected
already occurred by the time
be surprised so much by the fact that dialect mixing had
inscriptions' we
of Aoka, as by the fact that there are so few traces of it in the


distinction could be drawn

rather than the Eastern khanati because this meant that a
an Eastern -z- in place of
between the root khan- "todestroy" (< skt an-,bttwith
II(D)' Pli'
-n) and its homonym khan- "todig" (( skt khan-), which we find in RE

basically a Western dialect, although it contains a number of Eastern forms, doubtless

brought into the language from early Buddhism, e.g. bhikkhu, bhil<khun|, etc., with
-l<lrh- and bhilrkhunl, nibbna, etc. , with -n-, has adopted the Eastern fotm khan- , bu
with the Western retroflex -z-, which has led to a situation where the two roots khanand khalt- are frequently confused.

The use of Western forms in the East might, therefore, have reflected the actual speech patterns of the area, i.e. perhaps ASoka did actually use the occasional
Western form. Where we find all sites using a Western form, this is of course very
possible as an explanation. Since, however, these lilestern forms are, for the most





Since we should expect a passive form in -iy- in the Eastern sites,33


that the alcsaras neyu which are all that is legible at K in RE XIII(N) was a miswriting for (hani)yeyu, since theya-alaracan sometimes be confused with zc''* Now
that we have the Y reading haryneyu, however, we can see that my suggestion was

incorrect. An investigation of the examples of the development of -ny- in the A6okan

: *naltiya 1 nyryya,
inscriptions shows that with the exception of ananiyalnaneya
the group -ny-, whether original or as a dialect variant of -w-, develops 2 -mn- in
Eastern dialects, e.g. manyate ) mamnart, anya > ar.nna,3s purya ) pu(rylna, i'e'
there is assimilation rather than resolution of the consonant group.

part, used haphazardly, there is the possibility that between the dictation of the edicts
by Aoka and the despatch of the individual exemplars to the sites, the edicts were occasionally subjected to a Western influence. This could be explained as arising during
the copying process, which might sometimes have been carried out by scribes whose
native dialect was a Western one, or had Western features. I have elsewhere3o tried
to explain the occasional agreement between G and Sh, although they belong to dif-

the suggestion that hamn- is a passive stem is rejected, then, since there are
many examples in MIA of verbs being conjugated in classes which differ from those
used in Skf,36 it could be taken as a Class IV active stem. Alternatively, we might see

ferent recension branches, as being due to the fact that the same scribe was responsible for copying out the versions to be sent to those sites, in the course of which he introduced the same idiosyncrasies into both versions. See also $ 8 below'

to be extracted from this form, with the resultant indicative form haati.38 This
would explain the form ahaarury at Ja IV 395, 18x, which is glossed haantu.


hameyasu as being based upon a double optative endinglT which is a blend of -e

*han-ye > Pli

-et and -ya < -yat, i.e. x-y. The optative of han- would then be
hae (AIV 254,t7'*). It would then be possible for an analogical present stem ha'

6. RE XIII(N) Sh harpeYasu

The occasional departure from this pattern is probably by mistake, e.g. Y bh.s. (all that can be

In my discussion of ASoka's attitude to capital punishment,3l I referred to the

fact that there was a dispute between scholars about the voice of Sh hameyas in RE
Xm(N. I preferred to take it as passive, because the comparable form hamamti in
RE I(G) is certainly passive, as it is the equivalent of dlabhiyarpti and other passive
forms at the other sites. It seems to be a genuine leical variant in RE I(G) at Sh,32
and was possibly used because arabh-lalabh- did not have the meaning "kill" in the
Sh dialect. Whatever the reason, the scribe used it once only. Elsewhere in RE I he

Norman, "Some orthographical problems in the Alokan inscriptions", in Indian History and Epigraphy (Dr. G.S. Gai Felictation Votume), Delhi 1990, pp. 100-105 tp. 1031) that this may be due to

used rabh-.

an uncorrected

(a)l.bhis.(m)(t) in (II) in contrast to alabhiamrt in (G); and -ibhesu

ibhya, although we cannot rule out the possibility of
has -ibhyesu
Western forms being in their exempls.

of dlabhis) at RE I(F)


at K in RE V(K) where Y

K.R. Norman, "studies in the epigraphy of the Alokan inscripfions", Stud.ies in Indian Epi2, 1975, pp. 36-a1 [p. 37] = p l, pp. 214-19 [p. 215].
With the exception of one example of anye in SepE I at J. I have suggested elsewhere (K'R.


writing error.

K.R. Norman, "The dialectal variety of Middle Indo-Aryan" , Sanslcit and World culture, Ber1986, pp. 389-96 tpp.392-931 = CPl[l, pp' 115-25 [pp. 119-21].


s In my review of U. Schneider, Die grofien

Felsen-Edike Aols (see note 3), in Acta Ori-

entala 40, 1919, pp. 346-53.


K.R. Norman, "ASoka and capital punishment: Notes on a portion of ASoka's fourth Pillar
= CPl, pp' 200-13.

Edict", JRAS 1975,pp. 16-24


K.R. Norman, "Lexical variation in ttre ASokan inscriptions", TPS 1970, pp. t?l-36 lp. l22l

= CPl, pp.




As Mme Caillat suggests in "Asoka et les gens de la brousse", BEI9, 1991, pp. 9-13 tp' lll'
am gratefrrl to Mme Caillat for showing me a pre-publication version of a paper entitled "The
'doub optative suffix' in Prakrit: Asoka XIII(N) na hatnnesu - na harfleyasu" , ABUONLXII and
L>On (for the years 1991 and1992), Am{tamahotsava Volume, Poona, 1993, pp.637445 in which
she sets out in greater detail the evidence for her belief that hgtpEasu is active.


Cf. Pli tlajjeyyatha Yin1232,7) which shows the 2 pl. optative ending -eyyth added to the
stem dajj-, which is extracted from the 3 sg. optative daiia < SK datyat; cf. 2 sg. impv. daiiehiYin
t[r 2t7,4.




whatever the solution to the problem, we must suppose that the scribe at Sh
took the group -mn- in the received hamneyu and replaced it, mechanically, by the
same replacement which he used for the stem marytn-, i.e. -ry-. The result, as noted
above, was identical with the stem which he had already used as the passive in
I(G), although it is fruitless to speculate whether he was aware of this and, if ss,
whether he thought that what he had written was active or passive. Since modern interpreters are undecided about "kill" or "be killed", it may well have been that the an-

8. The development ofretroflex consonants

cient scribe was equally confused, and saw no reason to doubt that the apparently passive form which had been produced by his mechanical way of translating was correct.

7. RE D((C) ambal<ajanil

In an investigation into the lexical differences which occur in the Aiokan inscriptions, I suggested3e that the variation of vocabulary which we find in RE rx(c)
was due to a syllable being lost from an original ambalca-janiyo, with the result that
the scribes had to translate the resultant *arybal<a-jano.My suggestion was based in
part upon the readings arybaka-janiyo given by Hulsch for K and anbot<a-janil<o
given by sircar* for so. Janert, however, reads ambal<n-janiafor K,a1 and ambal<a-

janil for

so.a2 These readings and

original reading

w as aqnbalca-j

(a)rybal<a-ja(In)itk.l) make


clear that the


It is,

however, still possible that the variations arose from the omission of a
syllable, i.e. ambaka-jan[ik]a, or at least from the belief of the scribes that the second
element of the compound was not < jan "a wife" but was in some way connected

jana. If this was so,


little to the meaning of the compound, and

could be omitted. This would seem to be the most likely explanation for the way in
which some of the scribes made no effort to include this part of the compound in their




J. Bloch's description of the development of consonant groups with -r- as the

first member is not entirely correct. He states: "On a partout va44h- pour vaddh-,
mais les sourdes ne sont crbralises qu'au Nord-Ouest: ShI['d anuva!-, G et ailleurs

anuvatt-i Sh atha et ahra (anha), mais M athra et ailleurs attha" .4 The pattern of
development which we nd in the Pillar Edicts, however, which show fewer scribal
idiosyncrasies than the other series ofAsokan inscriptions, supports the view that the

-rdh- usually develop to -fr-,os -th- and -QQh- respectively in the

Eastern Pkts, whereas they usually develop to -tt-, -tth- and -ddh- in the Western
Pkts,a6 with -r- sometimes inserted into the group in the NW. There are, however,
exceptions to this, with Eastern forms being retained in the West, perhaps as a result
of an oversight on the part of the scribes, and Western forms being written very

-rt-, -rth-


occasionally in the Eastern Plfs.aT

The developments of Skt -- in the REs are as follows:


(C) Y (lca)av(flyeo'KJ M

l<ataviye G lcatavyo Sh knava

IV(F) G samvaaRE V(E) G satnvafaRE V(E) Y (a)n(u)vat.(s)aryQ)i K anuvasa4nti Dh anuvatisalnti G anuvartsare
anuv a(i S amti M anuv ai
RE V(O) Y anu(vata)ru K Dh Sh anuvatatuM nuvaatu
RE VI(D Y (lcaviya-) K Dh M lcataviya- G l<ntavya- Sh lealava
RE VI(M) G anuvataraqn
RE IX(D) Y trata(v.)y(e) K Dh J So M l<ntaviye G katavyam Sh l<ntavo
RE D(G Y lcaa(v)iye K J M knaviye G lcatavya Sh l<navo



4 Bloch, 12 (p. 54).


6 Even in the PEs the development is not entirely consistent:

e K.R.
Norman, "Lexical variation in the ASokan inscriptions',, TpS
CPl, pp. 130-43 [pp. 13S-39].

cf . pateyev in PE IV(D) wittt

palihalave in PE IVQ). Similady, it is impossible to be certain whether dhatlnayutena in PE IV@)
is from -yuloa ot -Wq or vurt in PE IV(L) is from -yuldi or -vrtti.

lgl,},pp. 12l-36 tp. l31l

{oD.c. sircar, "soparafragmentof

RockEdictIXof Asoka", EpigraphiaIndca32,pp.29-30.



lbi., p.


Jarler, op. cit.,


Nikl, p.




6 These geminated consonants are, of course, written as single in ttre ASokan Brhmi script.

It must be borne in mind that it is perhaps dangerous to base any theory upon the -th-l-h- alter
nation, because the two characters are so similar in appearance in the Brhm script that the writing
of one for the other may be merely a scribal error, opposed to a genuine dialect form.
4 In these lists I give full information about doubtful syllables


Y, following Niklas's readings,

since her edition may not be available to all readers. I do not show doubtful syllables at other sites,
since full information about the is available in Hulsch.



RE IX(J) Y niva(t.)yeyde K niva{ey ShMr nivaeya

RE IX( Dh I lcataviya- G katvyaRE fX(Vl) Y (ni)vatarga)n K nieti M nivateti Sh nivate
RE IX(N) Y (n.v.)t.(ti)5t K nivateti ShM' nivateti
RE X(A) Y M k{i K kiti Dh kit c ktti Sh kitri
RE X(B) Y k(i K c kti Dh kit Sh kitri M kti
RE XI(D) Y l<a.a(v)iye KM tcataviye G l<atavyam Sh lcatavo
RE xtrI(R) Y (an)u[v]atarTt(t) K anuvatamti G anuvatare sh anuvatamti
The developments of Skt -r-th- in the REs are as follows

RE I(F) Dh I supalhye G supthaya Sh supathaye M supathraye

RE I(c) G spthya
RE m(C) Y .(th)ye K ahaye G athayaM athraye
RE IV(I) Y athasaK athash athasa G athamhi Sh}d athrasa
RE rv(J) Y (ath)aye K athaye Dh athaye G athya sh athnye M athraye
RE rv(J) Y lcaha(sa) [&- by mistake] K athas Dh sh athasa G athasaM

RE V(O) KDh athye G athya Sh athaye M hraye

RE VI(B) Y .((ha)- K Dh J Sh aha- G atha- M athraRE VI(D) Y (abam)e K Dh J Sh atham G atheM athra
RE V(E) Y (a{h.\ KDh atham G athe Sh ahraM athra
RE VI(F) K (a)haye Dh J athasi G athya Sh athaye M athraye
RE VI(H) K Dh J Sh atha- G atha-M athraRE V(J) Y ath- K Dh J ShM atha- G athaRE VIO{) K (a)haye Dh J athaye G athya Sh athaye M athraye
RE D((c) Y ni(lalthl)*yar;nK ntnthiyaDh nilathiyaryr G niratham so sh
nirathiyamM nirathiya
RE fX(H) Y G athasaK athasDh athasa Sh ahrasaM athrasa
RE IX(J) Y athKSh atharnM athraqn
RE IX(M) Y (a{har.n) K Sh atham M athram


Niklas, p. 90.

$ Niklas, p. 91.

Niklas, p. 91.


Ba (a square) is written by mistake for ra (a circle).



Sh atham


M hrar.n

RE IX( Y (ath)e K ahe Sh atho M athre

RE X(A) y (m)ahatha- K maha- G mahath- sh

mahaha- Nr mahathra_
RE XII(M) Y olhaye K ahaye G a Sh ahaM
RE xIII(x) y (a)th(ay)e K afiaye G athaya

XIV( y (alha)saK

sh athaye M athraye

athna G athasa Sh ahasaV nrasa

The developments of Skt -rdh_ in the

REs are as follows:

IV(A) y va(Qhi)te K vadirc Dh J vadhite G

sh vaQhito M vadhite
RE IV(C) Y y(a)Qhte K Dh c SnM- vante
RE IV(D) y [va]Qhi(t)e K vadhita Dh J
c vadhite sh varhita.n M vadhrite
RE IV(E) Y v(adh.yi)sati K vadhiysati Dh
J G vadhayisati sh vadhiart M vadhra
RE rv(F) y (v)a(dh)a(y)isarpti KDh pravadhayisaryti

G pravahayisamti

p rav ad h e i arytti

M p av ad hayiS amti
Y (v.)Qhaga)t(i) R valhiyati c M vaQhay,t
sh vagheti




)II(B) y





There is a similar inconsistency in

the development of skt _r_ followed
by a
dental. In this position dental -r- usuafly
develops > -r- in the East, and remains
-r- in the west. In the NW the
development > -t- is more common,
_r_ some_
times inserted.

tr( Y (tq.)

R tta

tta sh krita M kata

to,tr tn
M trate

Y uctl
Y su(k)a({.ry KDh sukaaryr G sut<ataryt
sh sukiar7tM srkata
V (dut(laryK Dh Sh dukalaryt G dutcataryt
M tutta
VCol Y (k)a(te) K Dh trae G


kataKDh lt, G tcatd Sh kitaM trata

v )iytfut!! *Dh viyapaa c

Sh vapala M vapua
uf*l y bhat.- K sh M bhata_ ni in_ iii*a
c inat*

g _U(*) Y (v)iyapaa Klh vtyapaa G vyapat Sh vapaa M viyapw
uOl Y (t)l- K Dh lcat- c kat- Si Ao_
M r<atra_
RE vG-)
Y v(i(p)at@) K


v(M) y

viypa Dh vtyapa! G vypatd

sh vyapaaM

(v[]yapaa) K viyapate Dh viyapata

G vyapat sh
vyaputa M viyapata

RE V(N) Y vi{gap.)aKDh viypala Sh viyapaaM vapua

RE VI(C) Y (k.e) K Dh J kale G katam Sh kita@t) M kiar;n
RE VII(E) Y kiQ)a- G luta-Kll kita- Sh kiraRE IX(G) Y -(bhatak)asi K Dh J So M -bhaal<asi G -bhatal<amhi Sh

RE IX(H) Y (n)ivu(t.y)K nivutiya Shll nivutiya


IX( Y (nivlu)t)a*si

Sh nvutaspiM nivutsi

RE X(A) Y -yutalnK -vatam G Sh M -vuttf

RE X(E) Y u(s)a({)ena K usutena G Sh M usalena
RE X(F) Y (u)s(a)lenev(a) K ryalena Dh J G usalenn Sh usae M usaleneva
RE X(C) Y -(bha)ta(k)asiK -bhatakni G -bhatalcamhi Sh - bhataI<nnaryM -bhataleasi
(vi)y(a)pa. K viypaa G vypat Sh vapataM vapua

RE XtrI(B) Y (ma)eKMmae G matam Sh mute

RE XIII(G) Y (agabh.It.l)-K agabhn- Sh M agabhuti-

RE XIII(G) Y -bh.ta..(s)iK -bhaakni Sh bhaalcanaryt

RE XIII(K) Y ma(te) K mae Sh muto
RE XIII(S) Y -(v)u(ta)ryK -vutam Sh -vutamM -vuta
RE XIV(A) Y vithaQ.n.)KvithatenI vithatena G vistatena Sh

Similarly, after -- dental -ddh- usually develops > -44h- in the East, and remains as -ddh- in the West. In the NW the development is ) -ddh- at Sh, but more
commonly > -ddh- at M, with -r- sometimes inserted into the group.
RE IV(C) Y Dh vudha- Sh vuQhanamM vudhrara
RE IV(I) Y v(a)dhllKvadhiDh vaSht G vadht Sh vadhiM vadhri

Y (va4hi) K G vadh Dh vaih Sh vaQhi M vadhri

RE V(J) Y -va(Qhiy)K -valhiyaDh -vadhiye Sh -vaQhiya M - vadhriya
RE V(K) Y (vuQh)e+(s)uK vudhesu Sh vudhesuM vudhresu
RE VIII(E) Y (v)u(dh)anamK vudhanam Dh I So vul.hrwp Sh vudhanaM vudharn
RE XII(B) K Sh M -valhi G -valh
RE XI(C) Y -(v)a4hiKSh -vaflhi G -vaihrM -vrulhi
RE )(L) Y -vadh(i)s3 K Sh M -vaQhi G -vaflh

which Niklas is giving, but I am not absolutely certain about

on top of a superscript numeral in the line below'
it because the

" I believe that ttris is the reading





There are some clear and unambiguous examples, e.g. forms from the root
vatlvat- < Skt vart-, where there can be no doubt about the derivation or the meaning, and we can be absolutely certain that the NV/ sites have -/- while the Eastern
sites have -f-. Any suggestions based on the fact that the Eastern sites have -f-, which
is taken as precluding a development from a form which contained -r- ot -l-o can now
be seen to be incorrect.

have in the past made such a suggestion, which must now be corrected. At
RE XIII(G) we find Y K agabhuti- Sh M agabhui-. There is no -/- in the Eastern
versions and I therefore assumed that retroflex -f- was an innovation in the NW,
which would allow an interpretation 1 bhuti = bhuti.s It is now clear that the ab-

of -t- t the Eastern sites does not prove that -l- is an innovation in the NW. It
is most untikely that if Sh M received the same exemplar as Y K in XIII(G), in which
there was a form with -t-, the scribes in the NW would replace this form with -. It
follows, then, that'the form with -f-, i.e. an Eastern form, was in the exemplar(s)
received at Sh M, although it was not in the exemplars at Y K. Since Y K Sh and M
normally follow the same recension of the REs, we should perhaps recognise an
occasional sub-recension, with Eastern forms sent to the NW, but with some Western
forms already inserted in the versions sent to Y K fcf. chani in $ 5 abovel. If this
is so, then bhui is a genuine Eastern form, and wp must take account of this fact
when interpreting it. We can deduce that bhuti is to be derived < Skt bhti, and not
< bhuti as I suggested. The meaning of *agra-bhrti, however, is not obvious. I
assume that it must mean "the state of being an agrabhyta = 'a topmost servant :
high ofcial"'.

The question arises of the way in which the exemplarq at Y K were produced.
It is clear that -y was not in the final versions of the exemplars, from which the actual inscriptions were made at those sites. Whether the final versions of the exemplar
were due to the scribes at Y K, i.e. the changes from -- > -t- were made locally, or
whether the versions were made by members of the secretariate at Ptaliputra, is impossible to say. If the final version was produced locally, then we must surmise either
that the local translator was inconsistent, sometimes translating into Western forms
and sometimes not, or that there were various local translators, who did not all translate in the same way.


the versions were produced at Ptaliputra, then


can easily

be understood that the persons responsible for producing the versions to be sent to the

* K.R.

Norman, "Notes on the Greek version of Afoka's Twelfttr and Thirteenth Rock Edicts",
ltl-18 [pp. 116-17] = CPr, pp. 144-55 [pp. 152-53].

JRAS1972, pp.




various sites varied from edict to edict, so that Western features were sometimes
introduced by scribes who were acquainted with western dialects. whichever
planation we adopt, we have to accept the fact that some inconsistencies crept into
versions, since we sometimes find both Eastern and Western forms
same edict.


in one and


The deductions which have been made about the developments of dental __
after Skt -r- enable us to be more certain about the meaning of another word. In
X(A) we find the phrase y dhammayutatTfs K dhammavataqn G dharymavutaryx


form he received, e.g. the scribe at Sh retained athain RE I(IF), and Sh M write
alha in RE VI(. Occasionally we find a half-way form, e.g. athra (= artha) atsh
in RE vI(F). Here the scribe has recognised that the group -()r- arises from the assimilation of a group containing -r-. He therefore restores this to the group, but does
not change -lh- to +h-. we similarly find half-way forms in the development of denls after h e.E. sh kira (: kirta) 1 krta in RE vII(E). comparable to this is the

writing of prati- in sh praivedetavo M prativedetaviye in RE vI(F),

way betwen the received pa{i- ar the correct NW formpratl-.

dhrammavuam M dhramavutat.n (anuvidhiyatu). Since there are no forms here

-l-, it would be possible to assume that -vuta : -vt.tta 1 ulaa "conform to the utter-

as a stage half-

I0. Ktato

of the dhamma", and the form -vaam at K would then be a scribal error which
had led to the omission of the u-mtra. At RE xIII(s), however, we find y

dhar.nmavutam Sh dhramavutam

M dhramavuta with the same verb. Here the exist-t- at Sh shows that we are dealing with the development of vrtta "conform
to the practice of the dhamma", which suggests that at RE x(A) we have the same
compound, although no site has -r- there. K -vatat.n at RE X(A) is, therefore, not an
error, but an example of an alternative development of Skt -r- ) -a- rather than )
ence of


9. -r- in consonant groups at Sh M

It is possible that there are still those who have not noted J. Brough's comment
that the reading of such consonant groups as vra in words at Nw sites, e.g. in savra,
is probably incorrect, and arises from a confusion between the groups rva and vra.56
on the basis of this we can deduce that other groups containing -r- ae perhaps also
to be read in the reverse direction from that written in Hultzsch. Realisation of this
enables us to understand more clearly some of the forms we find in the NW.
As noted above, in RE I(F) occurs the form read by Hultzsch as athra at M57
where the Eastern versions have aha (: aha), i.e. the scribe has correctly identified the form in his exemplar as containing {!h < rth, which he therefore wrote.
Sometimes, however, the scribe did not recognise, or at least did not "translate" the


117 note 14) says that tato (RE IX(N)) is the only word in the East-

ern recensions of Aloka where Skt frnal -ah becomes -o. This is not strictly correct,
since as he himself points out,58 yaso (or variants) occurs in all sites (RE x(A) &
@)) and vyo also occurs (PE VII(HH)), in the compound vayo-mahla. we also
frnd Satiyaputo and Kelalaputo (RE u(A)) at K. Ar Y the former word is defective
and the latter is omitted,se so it is not possible to see what ending was there. The

word is not legible at Y in RE IX(N),o and it is not certain whether tato occtrs in
the other contexts in RE XIII(c) (F) (K) at Y since, according to Niklas, the readings
are doubtful in each place.6r

It would seem that Satiyaputo and Kelalaputo at K are clear examples of Western endings, and I think that yaso va kirt va- is probably a stock phrase in which the
Skt ending -o was kept. We should perhaps note that K also has, the Western form kiti
with a dental -t-. Another conscious Sanskritism or archaism can be seen in tadanaand yati-e "at present and in the future" in the same sentence at K. This was doubtless a standard phrase which had probably survived into MIA as a fossilised usage.63


Bloch, p. 47, g 4.


Niklas, p. 9.

Niklas, p. 91.


pp. 121, 124, 135.


Niklas, p. 95. The scribe perhaps took -v- as a glide consonant, and replaced it by -ys6
See Brough, GDhp, p. 235 (ad GDhp 176).


is interesting to note that M writes this form more frequently than Sh.

The two words are also found together in Skt, e.g. tadtve ca ayatyary ca (Kauiliya Arthastra, ed. R.P. Kangle, Bombay 1960, gg 5.1.57 5.a.e.

6 A comparable form is doubtls to

be seen in al<nsm in SepE I, which is a clear attempt at a

Sanskritism. This must also be a standard fossilised form, which probably represents a legal archaism
("un mot technique" according to Bloch [$ 14, p. 56]) "for no good reon".




It is possible, therefore, tht tato occurs onry at K, since in RE IX the Kalig

sites are following another recension, and RE XIII does not occur at Kalinga. In

GDhp (apar.to 265).68In fact a(p)pa is actually found in the Aokan inscriptions, in
MRE I(H) at Pngurri. The group tpa, written as pta, is not restricted to G, but is
found in apta at a number of sites in MRE I(H), as is atva which is actually written

of the other examples of Westernisms which occur at K I do not think it is necessary

to find a particular reason for it, except to say that as it is a pronominal adverbi
of the quasi-ablative suffix -ts it perhaps seemed to fall into a different class from
the other forms in -ate at K listed by Th. oberlies,fl which are nouns.

as such, not as avta. This would seem to support the view that the ligature pta is
indeed to be read as tpa.

Moreover at G we frnd -ptano (for -tpano,a mistake for -tpye

[i.e. the equivalent of KDh -naye = the dative of the -na suffixl). This is the antecedent of the
Apabhrama abstract noun ending -pparya (and Hindi -pan) < -tva + na, just as the
Apabhraryla absolutive ending -pi is 1 *-tp 1 *-tv, which underlies sh -(r)ri,

that in RE XIII(B) y and K have taph where Sh has /a/o,

suggesting that in the usual quasi-ablativaluse of tato those sites used a ablative equivalent of tasm. Khas tato in tato pacha in RE )ilIl(c), and in RE XIII(F) and (K)
tato is in similar constructions with galumata-, i.e. tato galumatatale and tuto


satabhage va sahaabhge va aja galumate. These show all the signs

than Apabhrama.

It is to be noted

ofbeing stock
phrases, where a scribe might well write the form which was most familiar to him
from his own (Western) dialect.

cannot quote any example of an absolutive form with

o. von Hinber

Xm(Q) G catpro "4


in MIA earlier

his view of the nature of G tpa upon the absence of

in the word for "four" in pli, pkt and NIA.6e This,
however, is to overlook the existence of Niya caparisalo 1 canriqnr, which
confirms the existence of a form *th -pp- < -tv-.
forms from catpro

11. RE




In his discussion of consonant groups containing -m-,ut o. von Hinber conx(F) etc. at G I have given elsewhere my reasons
for saying that this is simply a graphic idiosyncrasy for tpa6
- and states that this
spelling is not a precursor of Hind p. He goes on to say that G pt should probably
be tken as a still lightly labialised tu before the transitio n to tt. I must confess that
I do not understand this reference to tu.
siders the form pta (sic) in RE

He also states that appa first gained acceptance in later MIA in Apabhralna.67
Although it may be true that appa only appears consistently to the exclusion of and
in very late MIA, nevertheless it certainly occurs as an alternative to att at a much
earlier date. A glance at PSM shows that app is quoted from the Nydhammakaho,
a Svetmbara canonical text, and the word is actually found in one of the oldest texts
of that canon, e.g. at uttarajihayanasutta I.40. The development is also found in

s Th. oberlies, "Eine

Dissimilarionsregel in den Aloka-Inschriften", wz,KS 36, 1992, pp. L9-22.

6 oskar von Hinber, "Die Entrvicklung

der Lautgruppen -tm-,
Neuindischen", MSS q,1981, pp. 61-71 tp. 651.

-dm- und -.ra- im Mittel- und

K.R. Norman, "The orthography of the Girn version of the ASokan Rock Edicts", -BEl 5,
= CPllI, pp.274-82.

1987, pp. 273-85


"Erst im spteren Mittelindisch auf der Apabhramla-Stufe setzt sich tman-

von Hinber, op. ct., p.61).


app durch" (O.


GDhp g 63.

O. von Hinber, op.


'See T. Burrow, The Innguage of the Kharosthdocwnentsfrom Chnese Turlcestan,Cambridge

1937, $ 43 and CDIAL 456.


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