Heliodorus pillar


Heliodorus pillar

The Heliodorus pillar is a stone column that was erected around 110 BCE in central India in Vidisha near modern Besnagar, by Heliodorus, a Greek ambassador of the Indo-Greek king Antialcidas to the court of the Sunga king Bhagabhadra. The site is located only 5 miles from the famous Buddhist stupa of Sanchi.

The pillar was surmounted by a sculpture of Garuda and was apparently dedicated by Heliodorus to the god Vasudeva in front of the temple of Vasudeva.

Inscriptions

There are two inscriptions on the pillar.

The first inscription describes in Brahmi the situation of Heliodorus and his relationship to the Sunga and Indo-Greek kings.

quotation|"Devadevasa Va [sude] vasa Garudadhvajo ayam
"karito i [a] Heliodorena bhaga-"
"vatena Diyasa putrena Takhasilakena"
"Yonadatena agatena maharajasa
"Amtalikitasa upa [m] ta samkasam-rano
"Kasiput [r] asa [Bh] agabhadrasa tratarasa
"vasena [chatu] dasena rajena vadhamanasa"|Original inscription.

:"This Garuda-standard of Vasudeva (Krishna or Vishnu), the God of Gods [
thumb|300px|The_first_inscription_of_the_Heliodorus_pillar_that_was_made_by_Heliodorus_110 BCE.] :was erected here by the devotee Heliodoros,:the son of Dion, a man of Taxila,:sent by the Great Greek (Yona) King :Antialkidas, as ambassador to:King Kasiputra Bhagabhadra, the Savior:son of the princess from Benares, in the fourteenth year of his reign." :(Archaeological Survey of India, Annual Report (1908-1909))

Although not perfectly clear, the inscription seems to be referring to Heliodoros as a Bhagavata (Sanskrit: “One Devoted to Bhagavan (Lord)”), meaning "a devotee". In the context of Hinduism, a Bhagavat would be a member of the earliest recorded Hindu faith devoted to Vishnu.

The second inscription on the pillar describes in more detail the spiritual content of the faith supported by Heliodorus:

quotation|"Trini amutapadani‹ [su] anuthitani
"nayamti svaga damo chago apramado"|Original inscription

:"Three immortal precepts (footsteps)... when practiced:lead to heaven: self-restraint, charity, consciousness." :(Archaeological Survey of India, Annual Report (1908-1909)).

Notes

ee also

*Bhagavata
*History of Hinduism

External links

* [http://www.gosai.com/chaitanya/sastra-vedas/heliodorus-inscription.jpgPhoto of the pillar with Brahmi inscription]
* [http://www.vidisha.nic.in/tourism/vidisha.htm Heliodorus pillar at Vidisha]
* [http://projectsouthasia.sdstate.edu/docs/HISTORY/PRIMARYDOCS/EPIGRAPHY/HeliodorusPillar.htm Text of the inscriptions on Heliodorus pillar]
* [http://www.gosai.com/chaitanya/saranagati/html/vedic-upanisads/vedic-archeology.html Vedic archeology]


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