So Finally “The Himalayan Voice” has turned into a “Bitter voice”. The voice has charged us the followings in a harsh manner by using some unwarranted words.
1. The retrieved/excavated archaeological evidences from various archaeological holy sites of Nepal have not been taken into consideration.
2. Do not recognize/agree with Lumbini, the birth place of the
Buddha being in Nepal.
3- And we have reacted ‘beyond sense’ in our last post.
Let us categorically respond on the above points. First thing we have studied almost all the published materials on the archaeology of Nepali Terai. Secondly, we have clearly accepted the existence of Buddha’s birth place Lumbini in Nepal, which has been appreciated by the Himalayan voice team in their last post. And finally nothing “beyond sense” has been stated by the ‘Kapilvastu Forum’ as indicated by ‘The Himalayan Voice’ in the 3rd Para of its last post.
In fact this is ‘The Himalayan Voice’ team which has been continuously engaged at one or other occasions in doing something ‘Beyond Sense’. At one instance they made a lot of hue and cry that India is trying to forge another Lumbini at Aligadhawa in UP. This was followed by a childish action in the form of writing an open letter to the Governor of UP. Even the available ground facts were never taken into account. The archaeological sites of Piprahawa and Ganwaria located near Aligadhwa are centrally protected monuments/sites and are being maintained and control by the Archaeological Survey of India. No where in any cultural text these sites have been projected as Lumbini. This was beyond imagination and very fascinating that the “Scholars” associated with ‘The Himalayan Voice’ did not even thought to take pain to examine the truth and veracity of media reports. Based on media report they tried to create storm in a teapot.
Similarly, with out learning from the above cited blunder they are misinterpreting the text of inscribed seals and sealing retrieved from Piprahawa. The readings on these artifacts are widely accepted among the Archaeologists and historians. In our last correspondence we have categorically mentioned these seals and sealings in favour of Piprahawa being the site of Kapilvastu (please see last line of 2nd para of 7th April’s post). We cannot afford to ignore such important evidence. But in contrast to that the blame labeled by the ‘Himalayan Voice’ is it self “Beyond Sense”. The attitude simply reflects to their adamant and fundamental views. While interpreting the text only such silly points were raised which in turn would suit their fallacies aptitude.
Now, coming to Archaeological examinations carried out by some renowned scholars. Thanks God, that yourself you have accepted the forgery made by Mr. Fuhrer (the than Archaeological Advisor , Government of Nepal) which was subsequently caught red-handed by V.A.Smith - an historian having Imperial Approach who always of the view that the origin and source of every good thing found in east is a bi-product or has been from the west. Now again, highlighting to your ‘beyond sense’ talent you are again quoting something on the findings of W.C. Peppe and indirectly trying to say that the relic casket was originally found from Tilaurakot which was sold to a Burmese monk by Mr. Fuherer and the same was captured by Peppe and later he declared it found from Piprahawa Stupa ! Bravo. Please accept our heartiest congratulations for such proclamation. Really it needs applause from scholars. You are certainly a historian beyond at par and times spend for the study of the “Philosophy of history and historiography” would be just wastage of your precious time. Hence, we withdraw our counsels.
It is claimed that the city of Kapilvastu was situated on the bank of river Bhagirathi identified with present Banganga by a group of scholars. Taking the identification of the river into account some scholars has identified the large settlement at Tilaurakot as the ancient Kapilvastu. However the whole theory does not hold any substance because apart from ‘Dulva’( a Tibetian work of late 14th century AD) no other reference supports the location of Kapilvastu on the bank of river Bhagirathi. So Tilaurakot cannot take advantage of being located on the bank of river Banganga.
The archaeological excavations at Tilaurakot throws light on the major structural activities taken place at the site from 2ndCent.B.C. onwards and continued up to the Kushana period (page 17 of T N Mishra). In contrast to this late structural activity, Piprahawa has yielded brick structures starting from C. 6th Cent. B.C.onwards.
Based on Epigraphical records Piprahawa has the privilege to be identified as Kapilvastu (vihare) but similar fortune we do not notice for the Tilaurakot or of other sites. The chronological order of epigraphical evidences is also interesting. The relic casket inscription has been dated to pre-Mauryan period. Whereas the seals and sealing revealed from Piprahawa are divided into three date groups on the basis of paleographic characters:
Group -I – C. 1st century B.C.
Group –II - C. 1st century A.D.
Group –III – 2nd - 3rd century AD
Putting these evidences in a sequence one can clearly see that Piprahawa is the only place where continuous succession of events supported by epigraphical evidence, seen through the ages–some time as the place for the ancestors of Buddha installing the relic casket containing body relics of Lord Buddha as mentioned in the Mahaparinivvan Sutta and sometime as ‘Kapilvastu vihar’ the abode for the Buddhist monks.
The Rumminidei pillar inscription of Asoka in the Luminigame which is known as the birth place of Buddha has great importance and it states that he had reduced the Bali tax from 1/6th to 1/8th. However all this never downplays the importance of Piprahawa epigraphical evidences. Visit of Emperor Asoka to Lumbini was of pure religious character and was nothing to do with political importance of Kapilvastu. It seems that much before the arrival of Mauryan dynasty in the political horizon of India Kapilvastu had lost its political influence. The site was only a religious place known for its religious edifies in the form of stupa and viharas such as the viharas of ‘Kapilvastu Bhiksu sanghas’ of Piprahawa.
The republics in ancient India were of small political setup having small capital town. The reason of declines of these republics was the political ambition of Magadha who started its political expansion soon after the death of Buddha in between the 5th – and 4th Cent .BC and subsequently, it happens to captured almost whole of the northern part of India. After that, up to the revival of Lichchavis (pre-Gupta period) on the political horizon none of the Republic could able to revive themselves. Their political significance was lost for ever. In this scenario, how does question arise about their royal palaces and capital set ups and how can we expect Tilaurakot developed as the capital city of Kapilvastu during Kushana period.
The question raised on the relative value of the epigraphical evidences revealed from Piprahawa comparing them with the Rumminidei inscription is also meaningless. We earlier have submitted that the Rumminidei inscription does not negate the importance of inscriptions from Piprahawa either by contents or by any means. Whereas, there is continuity of epigraphical evidence at Piprahawa starting from pre-Mauryan period (the relic casket inscription) and running through the ages as stated earlier. But Tilaurakot or any other site nearby does not have any such written evidence. Being the student of history and Archaeology we understand the importance of such evidences. Epigraphical evidences are always more reliable and authentic in comparison to the circumstantial evidences that Tilaurakot has.
So we would like to ask that why arguments are being placed to identify another place as Kapilavastu ? It is strange that the support for Piprahawa as Kapilvastu has earned for us a melodious term i.e. fundamentalist. Dear friend, neither we are adamant nor fundamentalist but talking about retrieved evidences. Please come up with evidence and jump to the scholarly battle with sporting spirit.
Kapilvastu Forum Team