Who is Shalivahana? What is Shalivahana shake?

“Deeyataam dashalakshani shasanani chaturdasha|

Hastenasyachatushloke uthagacchatu gacchatu||

Saraswathi sthitha vaktre lakshmeehi karasaroruhe|

Sarvada sarvado seeti mithyaa samsthuyase budhaihe|

Narayo lebhire prushtam na vakshah parayoshitaah||”

These verses are from mahakavi Kalidasa’s Jyothirvidhabharana, he is praising a king here with such beautiful words. The king was so generous towards the kavi and had such a passion for good literature that, even someone who had only 4 good shloka could meet the king at the time they wished to.

The great king Dashalaksha varaha (10lakh coins) and 14 shasanas.

So Kalidasa says, “hey king devi Saraswathi resides in your tongue, devi lakshmi in your hands. Everybody praises you saying they get whatever they want from you. But it’s not true, your enemy will never get to your back, and para nari will never get your chest to lean on”.

The king whose greatness Kalidasa is speaking about is king Vikramaditya of Pramera dynasty.

The great king Shalivahana was his great grandson.

The British and communist historians have wrongly attributed 7th century AD, the era of Bhojaraja as the era of Shalivahana. Some even claimed that he belonged to Shatavahana dynasty just because his name rhymed with Shatavahana.

They also placed Vararuchi, Bhasa, Magha, Bhavabhuti, Dandi, And Kalidasa, all if the greatest Sanskrit scholars in same era and at same place i.e., king Bhojaraja’s court . But from their works it is clear that they existed in different times,and Bhojaraja was not Vikramaditya or Shalivahana.

Historians often quote references from Bhojaprabhanda of Bhallaladeva. But the point which is to be noted is, the above written shloka has been used as it is in 15th century Sanskrit work-Bhojaprabhanda. Just because Bhallaladeva copied these lines from Kalidasa, historians claimed Bhoja as Vikramaditya.

As for as originality of Bhojaprabhanda goes, almost every part of that work was copied from ‘Poojavali’ a book from Simhala, written about Kumaradasa. This Kumaradasa became Kalidasa in the Bhojaprabhanda. The way in which a Vaidika scholar Kalidasa was depicted as a mandabuddhi shepherd is outrageous.

When the 82nd ruler of Kashmir, king Hiranya died without a heir in 14 AD, Vikramaditya upon request from people kashmir, placed his minister Mathruguptha on Kashmir throne to avoid attacks from Mlecchas. But after his death the kingdom got devided in 18 pieces.

When Shalivahana ascended throne, he fought Shakas, Bahlika,yavana, mlecchas. He re conquered areas around Sindhu region and the kingdom came to be known as ‘Sindhusthana’. Which later on became Hindusthana.

To mark this achievement of king Shalivahana, Shalivahana Shake began in 78AD. It is still our national Panchanga.

Shalivahana shake:

“yudishtiro vikramashalivahanou

Naradhinatho vijayabhinandanah|

Imena nagarjunamedinivibhuhur

Bali kshamath shat shakakarakah||”

  • There are 6 shakakaraka(person who started an era) in Kaliyuga.
  • Yudhishtira’s shake was of 3044 years (total years in shake started by Yudishtira are 3080,36 in dwapara yuga and 3044 in Kaliyuga).
  • Vikrama shake was from time of Vikramaditya of 135 years i.e., from 57BC to 78AD
  • Shalivahana shake duration is 18,000 years(78 AD to 21257 AD)
  • Vijayabhinandana shake will begin from 21257 AD and will last for 10000 years.
  • Next will be Nagarjuna shake which will last for 4,00,000 years
  • The last will be Bali shake which is for 821 years.

“Shaleya Dharabhruthi shalivahanah|”

The Shalivahana of Pramara dynasty ruled from Dhara nagara as capital. Vijayabhinandana belongs to Gohila vamsha and will rule from Chitrakoota, Nagarjuna is of Sisodhara vamsha his capital will be Rogitaka, Bali is from Kalki Vamsha will rule from Brugukruchra as capital.

Due to the fact that Shalivahana defeated most of the foreign  invaders and needed their menace in his lifetime, there is a famous folklore as to why Shalivahana was invincible-

“Shalivahana had a skill of bringing inanimate objects to life. When shaka and other foreigners invaded, he began bringing all the clay toys such as elephants, horses, and soldiers to life. Thus no matter how many times the mlecchas struck the army of Shalivahana, they would turn to dust and rise again from the same dirt.”

This may be a story but Vikramaditya and Shalivahana are the great emperors, just kings who lived to liberate our land from foreign invaders. They reclaimed our pride. It might have been easy for the biased historians  to erase them from books but they can never erase such rulers from our heart.

No matter how much our so called intellectuals try to vanish these heroes from our history, they will rise from dirt and conquer just like Shalivahana’s clay toys.

Source: Shilegalalladagida sathya- book by Sri.Sadyojata Bhat.

Dr Sindhu Prashanth