hinduhome Non commercial website, for knowledge sharing. Free to copy and use, if you find it useful.

Shalivahana or Satavahana

He is one of two era founders (Shalivahana and Vikramaditya).

The Shalivahana era, or Saka era, named after Satavahana (Gautamiputra Satakarni) is used with Hindu calendars, the Indian, Balinese, Javanese and Cambodian Buddhist calendar. Shalivahana era begins near the vernal equinox of the year 78, after defeating Scythian king Maues. Shalivahana is the next phase or start of Yuga of Learning. Shalivahana patronised popular dialects in preference to the elites' language Sanskrit.

Shalivahana born to Ramakrishna from Pallandupuri on river Cauvery and potter's daughter Satakarni from Prathishtanapuri. Ramakrishna left them after some time. So, he was brought up by a hunter. The boy Shalivahana was extremely intelligent and had an extreme fascination towards pottery and hunting. He can make dolls of soldiers, weapons and so on, which look real. One day he sat on a large branch of a Shali tree and shouted, "This is my Shali-vahan" and friends began to call him, Shalivahana. As a youth Salivahana broke-up the gangs that robbed traders' caravans. The people of Paithan on the bank of river Godavari made him local chief.

Shalivahana was an assistant to a local king, who was paying tribute to king Vikramadhithya. Shalivahana stopped paying Tribute. When Vikramadhithya sent his representative, he told them, “If emperor is capable, let him wage a war against me and collect the tribute.” Vikramadhithya got very angry and marched with all his army towards the kingdom. He defeated great emperor Vikramaditya with deception, using clay figures, which look like actual soldiers and army. The invaders could not distinguish between real and large number of dolls. Salivahana could easily kill Vikramadhithya. Thus, he became an emperor. Pahlavas, who were under Vikramaditya, started rebelling against him.

Pahlava king wanted to marry Amaravathi princess NAkanikai, who is the most intelligent and learned girl that time. Shalivahana take NAkanikai as hostage and challenges Pahlava king to rescue her. Shalivahana, a smart hunter ambushes Pahlava king and married NAkanikai.

Shalivahana, ruler of the Satavahana Empire, defeated the Yavanas, Sakas, and rulers of Nahapana and Ushavadata (from Nahapana's coins). The Nasik Prasasti describes Gautamiputra as the ruler of the Aparanta, Anupa, Saurashtra, Kukura, Akara, and Avanti. Kanishka of kushan may have been a Shalivahana. He is one of two era founders (Shalivahana and Vikramaditya).

There are several contradictory legends about him. Most legends associate him with another legendary emperor, Vikramaditya of Ujjain. In some legends, he is presented as an enemy of Vikramaditya. The earliest association of Shalivahana with the era beginning in 78 CE is found in the Kannada language work Udbhatakavya by Somaraja (1222 CE). Many of the legends about Shalivahana feature fantasy and mythical elements, but believed to be based on a historical figure.

Jnana sabha

Shalivahana did not have formal education. The king, head of jnana sabha (educational forum of top pandits) will be meeting all learned people in 6 months time. His well learnt wife NAkanikai, is assisted by 2 best teachers of that time, charvavarman and kunAdhyA. kunAdhyA challenges that it will take few years and lot of efforts to make King literate. Charvavarman teaches Shalivahana sanskirit with kaumAram and all basics in 6 months. kaumAram (கா-தந்திரம்) used in kashmiram, Tibet etc..
The king is supposed to give top most degrees to pandits at the annual forum. The King asks only one question, "What is scriptures or living about?". Every one says what they know, and feel king is not competent to test them in different subjects. In the end, King asks learned men, "what do you want from me?". They feel that King is not able to test them and wanted to make fun of illiterate king who does not understand much, and pandits request:
போஜநம்தேஹி ராஜேந்த்ர க்ருதஸூப ஸமந்விதம் |
மாஹிஷம்ச ஸரச்சந்த்ர சந்த்ரிகாத வலம்ததி||
King, give us food, with ghee, dhal and yogurt made from buffalo milk (whilte and cool like moon)

King answers:
போஜனப்ப்ரிய! விஜ்ஞானம் நாமரூபம் சதயதனம்
Loving food only or you are just fit for eating!
Living is about Consciousness - Mind and Matter - Sense Gates
ஸ்பர்சம் வேதனம் திருச்ணம் உபாதனம்
Contact - Feeling - Craving - Clinging
பவம் ஜாதி ஜாராமரணம் நிறுபயம் சக்ரவர்திம்
Becoming - Birth Aging and Dying - Even great king is helpless, have to accept harsh realities
King answers Vedas contain:

மந்திரம் தந்திரம் லௌகிகம்
(விஜ்)ஞானம் தர்மம் ப்ரஹ்மஸ்வருபம்
ஸுன்யப் பிரச்னம் போதிஸத்த்வம்
[vedic hymn/rituals/techniques are for worldly things. Knowledge/Truth/laws are the forms or views of ultimate reality. Only by questioning with open or empty mind, one can attain enlightenment. Openness or egoless state is the way to the attainment of perfect knowledge or enlightenment - by salivahana

This is similar to Muruga story. People read vedas with out knowing meaning of Om, starting point. Every one will say, all are in Vedas, with out knowing anything. Many learned people just memorise small part of the work with out understanding the content and what the works are about

KunAdhyA looses challenge and destroys all his work (ப்ருஹத் கதா, ப்ருஹத் கதா மஞ்சரி) and sets fire to his huge library. Thus he burnt many valuable works and lot of literary works were lost due to wars.

Note: ஒன்பது இலக்கணங்கள்: ஐந்திரம் or இந்திர வியாகரணம்; சந்திரம்; காஸாக்ருத்ஸ்னம்; கலாபம் or கௌமாரம்; ஸாகடாயனம்; ஸாரஸ்வதம்; ஆபிஸலம்; ஸாகலம்; and பாணினீயம். தொல்காப்பியம் இந்திர வியாகரணத்தை ஒட்டி எழுதப் பட்டது.
Email Contact... Website maintained by: NARA