same time it will be granted that they may have seen, and part of them very likely had seen, original documents, of whatever description these may have been. To declare their testimony to be of less value than that of a liar, like the Pseudo-Kalidasa, is an undertaking nobody is likely to attempt. I will not deny that there may have been some king before our era, called Vikramaditya, but the authenticity of the story is many degrees lower than the authenticity of the stories about Romulus; the latter are at least genuine myths, the former does not deserve even that name. Whatever doubts may linger about the date of Vikramaditya, the conqueror of the £akas and the founder of the £aka era, it is certain that he cannot have been the contemporary of Varaha-mihira, nor, if tradition speaks truth, of Kalidasa and Amara-simha. Who was it then?
In the £atrunjaya-Mahatmya 1 a king Vikramaditya is said to have ascended the throne in the year 466 of the £aka or 544 A. D. As we have seen before, Varaha-mihira's life must have extended over that time. On the other hand Kalidasa's patron is not called Vikramaditya, but Bhoja by Ballala-Migra, the author or compiler of the Bhojaprabandha. Now Bhoja is held to have ascended the throne 483 A. D. or, with a discrepancy of 84 years, 567 A. D.2 Wilford states that a tradition in the Dekhan ascribes to Bhoja a reign of fifty years and some months, whereas in the Bhojaprabandha it is 55 years, 7 months and three days.
Pancagatpanca varsani sapta masan dinatrayam |
Bhojarajena bhoktavyah sa-Gaudo Daksinapathah || 3 If we assume the date 483 A. D. forBhoja's ascending the throne to be correct, he must have reigned, according to this stanza, till 538 A. D. This tallies well enough with what we know about Varaha-mihira. Thequestion now is, whether Bhoja be really the same with Vikramaditya. Notwithstanding the discrepancy between the different records and the silence of Ballala-Migra about Bhoja bearing the title of Vikramaditya, such an hypothesis is far from inadmissible. It might be supposed too, that Kalidasa and Varaha-mihira found two patrons first in Bhoja, afterwards in Vikramaditya. With the materials as yet at our disposal, nothing conclusive is to be said in either way. The problem which remains to be solved may be stated thus: can it be gathered from various sources in Sanskrit literature whether Bhoja and Vikramaditya are only two names for one and the same person? If so, which of the three dates 483 A. D., or 544 A. D., or 567 A.
1 Not having the Qatrufijaya-Mahatmya at hand, I must rely upon tlio statements of Wilford, As. Res. IX, p. 156.
2 Prinsep's Useful Tables, ed. Thomas (1858), p. 250, and As. Res. 1. c.
3 The residence of Bhoja is said to be Dhara.