Mahabharata in Epigraphy

Dr Y. Vassilkov iiasguest10 at RULLET.LEIDENUNIV.NL
Thu Oct 26 10:40:16 UTC 2000

Dear colleagues,
could anybody tell me, what is the earliest epigraphical reference to the MahAbhArata and its heroes (except SaMkarSaNa and VAsudeva)? I trusted the information given by C.B.Pandey in his article "MahAbhArata and epigraphy" (MahAbhArata: Myth and Reality: Differing Views, Delhi, 1979, p. 139: "We do not have any inscription of a very early date containing the MahAbhArata theme. The earliest inscription is of the Gupta period, i,e., 5th century A.D."), but it proved to be wrong. Some Epic heroes (Arjuna, Kezava, BhImasena, NahuSa, YayAti, AmbarIza) are mentioned in NAsik Cave inscription (No. 18) of VAsiSThIputra PuLumAvi (in PrAkrit, mid 2nd cent. A.D.; see: G.Buhler. Indian Inscriptions and the Antiquity of Indian Artifitial Poetry. Calcutta, 1970; D.C.Sircar. Select Inscriptions..., Vol. I, 3rd. ed., p. 205). Could you give me references to another early inscriptions mentioning the names of the MahAbhArata heroes?
    Many thanks in advance,
                                                       Yaroslav Vassilkov 

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