History

The Mauryas

Inscription of Ashoka

Minor Pillar Edict (MPE) II or Queen’s Edict

Original text of the Allahabad Pillar text by Meena Talim

1.  देवानंपियवा वचनेना सवत महामता
2. वतविया |  ए हेत दुतियाये देविये दाने
3. अंबावडिका वा आलमे व दानगहे वा ए वा वा पि अंने
4. कीछिगनीयति ताये देविये पे नानि | हेवं (वि) न (नि)
5. दुतीयाये देविये तु तीवल मातु कालुवाकिये |

English translation of the above text by Meena Talim

1. By command of the Beloved of the God all Mahamattas
2. to be told (thus). Here are the charities made by the Second Queen.
3. mango-grove, park or charity house or such other
4. things that can be counted; all these are the charities made by the Queen,
5. Second Queen, the mother of Tivara, (named) Karuvaki.

English translation by V A Smith

According to the words of His Sacred Majesty, the High Officers everywhere are to be addressed :
” Whatever gift has been given here by the Second Queen  be it a mango-garden, or pleasure-grove, or almshouse, or aught else   is reckoned as proceeding from that queen.”  [Thus is  the request] of the Second queen, the Karuvaki, mother of Tivara.

English translation by D R Bhandarkar

By command of the Beloved of the gods the Mahamatras should everwhere be addressed. Whatever gift there be here of the Second Queen, be it a mango-tree, an orchard, an alms-house, or aught else that may be reckoned as from that queen, – all that may be taken to be of the second Queen, Karuvaki, mother of Tivara.

English translation by R K Mookerji

The Mahamatras of all the places are to be instructed as follows at the word of His Sacred Majesty: Whatever gifts here be of the Second Queen, whether mango-groves or gardens or alms-houses or whatever else, these must be reckoned as of that Queen. [This is the request] of the Second Queen, the mother of Tivara, Karuvaki.

English  translation by D C Sircar

The Mahamatras everywhere should be addressed in the following words of the Beloved of the Gods.
Whatever gift has been made here by my second queen, be it a mango-grove or a garden, or an almshouse, or anything else, should be specifically registered in the name of my second queen, Charuvaki, who is mother of Tivara.

Observations:

Need for this edict – We need to understand what was the need of this edict. It was not unusual that people from the royal family were involved in charity and donations, in that case why Ashoka had to instruct his officers that those charities must be recorded in the family member’s names?

Were such donations from the royal family members recorded under the king’s name? Also, why Ashoka only asked the officers to take care of donations of his second queen only, what about donations made by other members? Were those to be recorded under king’s name?

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