Samudragupta was a great warrior - this is well proved by the account of Harisena in Allahabad Pillar inscriptions although the description is poetic "whose most charming body was covered over with all the beauty of the marks of a hundred confuse wounds caused by the blows of battle axex, arrows, spears, pikes, swords, lances, javelines". At least three types of coins - Archar Type, Battle - Axe and Tiger type - represent Samudragupta in martial armour. The coins bearing the epithets like 'parakramah' (valour), 'kritanta-parashu', vyaghra parakramah', prove his being a skilful warrior.
Thatd Samdudragupta was brilliant commander and a great conqueror is proved by Harisena's description of his conquests. He mentions that Samudragaupta exterminated nine north Indian states, Subdued eithteen Atavika kingdoms near Bajalpur and Chhota Nagpur, and in his blitz - like campaign humbled the pride of twelve South Indian Kings, Nine borderstribes, and five frontier states of Smatata, Devaka, Karupa, Nepal and Krtripur 'paid taxex, obeyed orders and performed obeisance in person to the great Samudragupta'. The conquests made him the lord - paramount of India. Fortune's child as he was, he was never defeated in any battle. His Eran inscription also stresses his being 'invincible' in battle. Samudragupta's Asvamedha type of coins commeorate the Asvamedha sacrifices he performed and signify his many victories and superemacy..
SCHOLAR, POET AND MUSICIAN :
According to Allahabad Prasasti's exaggerated picture, 'samudragupta was mano of many sided genius, who put to shame the preceptor of the lord Gods and Tumburu and Narad and others by his sharp and polished intellect and Chorla -skill and musical accmplishment. His title of Kaviraj (King of poets) is justified by various poetical compositions. Unfortunately none of these compositions have survived.
The presence of the two celebrated literary personalities like Harisons and Vasubandhu definitely proves that he was a grent patron of men of letters.
Harisena's commemoration of Samudragupta's knowledge and proficiency in song and music is curiously confirmed and corroborated by the existence of a few rare gold coins depicting him confortably seated on a high-becked couch engaged in playing the Veena (tyre or lute) : the scene is obviously from his private life.
Statesman and Administrator :Samudragupta displayed greater foresight in his conquests and in the administrationi and consolidation of his empire. A practical statestesman as he was he adopted different policies of different regions. "His treatment of the nine kings of the north India was drastic, they were 'forcibly rooted up' and their territories were incorporated in the dominions of the victor, but he made no attempt to effect the permanent annexation of the twelve southern States; he only exacted a temporary submission from the defeated chiefs, and then withdrew after having despoiled the rich treasures of the south; the policy of Dharm-Vijaya which Samudragupta followed in respect of the kings of south India is symbolic of his statesmanship, and was based on the needs and situations prevailing at that time. It was not an easy task to control effectively the far off regions from Pataliputra particularly when the means of transport and communication were too meager. The later history of India bears testimony to this fact. To the distant tribal states of the Punjab Eastern Rajputana and Malwa he granted autonomy treating them as buffer Kingdows against the foreign rulers like sakas and Kushans.
That Samudragupta was an efficient administrator is clear from the very fact that he not only established a bvast empire but also left it as legacy to his successors well-knit and well-organised. The Allahabad Pillar Prasasti makes the mention of officials known as 'Mahadandnayaka' 'Kumaramaty' and 'Sandhivigrahika' and that his administration was severe and tyrannical and that Samudragupta was very firm towards sinners but generous towards righteous people.
Vedic religion and philanthrophy :Samudragupta was the up-holder of Brahmanical religion. Because of his services to the cause of religion the Allahabad inscription mentions the qualifying title of 'Dharma-prachir Bandhu' for him. But he was not intolerant of other creeds. His patronage to Buddhist scholar Vasubandhu and the acceptance of the request of the king of Ceylon to build a monastery of Bodh Gaya emply prove that the respected other religions.
His Asvamedha types of coins with other coins bearing the figures of Lakshmi and Ganga together with her 'vahas' makara (crocodile) testify his faith in Brahmanical religions.
Samudragupta had imbibed the true spirit of religion and for that reason, he has been described as 'Anukampavan' (full of compassion) in the Allahabad incscription. He has been described "as the giver of many hundreds of thousands of cows"
Personal Appearance, despite the small of the coins and the limitations of reproducing the real image by striking the die, can be judged from his figures on the coins 'tall in stature and of good physique he has strong muscular arms and a fully developed chest.
From the above description it is clear that Samudragupta was endowed with no ordinary powers - Physical, intellectual and spiritural.
About 380 AD Samudragupta was succeeded by one of his son who was selected as the most worthy of the crown. This ruler is known as Chandragupta-II. Later he took the additional title of Vikramaditya, which was associated by tradition with the Raja of Ujjain who was known for defeating the sakas and founding the Vikram era.
Policy of Matrimonial Alliance
The most important event of his reign was his matrimonial alliance with the Vakataka king rudra Sena II and the subjuqation of the peninsula of Saurashtra of Kathaiawar which had been ruled for centuries by the Saka dynasty as the Western Satraps. Matrnimonial alliances occupy a prominent place in the foreign policy of the Guptas. The Lichchhavi alliance had strengthened their position in Bihar;Samudragupta had accepted gifts of maidens from neighbouring courts. With the same purpose, Chandragupta II married the Naga Princess Kubernaga and gave his own daughter, Prabhabati, in marriage to Vakataka king, Rudra Sena II. The Vakataka alliance was master stroke of diplomacy as it secured the subordinate alliance of the Vakataka king who occupied a strategic geographical position. It is noteworthy that Rudra Sena died young and his widow reigned until her sons came of age. Other dynasties of the Deccan also married into Gupta royal family, the Guptas thus ensuring friendly relations to the south of their domain. This also means that Chadragupta II did not renew Samudragupta's southern advantures preferring to seek room for expansion towards the South-west.
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