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|Subject: Short Essay on THE RASHTRAKUTAS Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:46 pm|| |
Rashtrakuta means chief of a rashtra, that is, a division or a kingdom, and the term is found in the inscriptions of several dynasties after the fourth century AD indicating the designation of a class of regional officials under the control of a central government. It is inferred that the line of kings who bore the dynastic name of Rashtrakutas belonged to this class of officials. Some scholars are of the view that the Rathikas of Asokan epigraphs are the ancestors of the Rashtrakutas, but the Rathikas during the Mauryan times were a tribe and nothing has been found connecting them to the Rashtrakutas emerging after nearly eight centuries. Fleet discounts the possibility of any connection of the Rashtrakutas with the Kannada-Telugu caste name, Reddi or Raddi, because in Central India and the northern region of Maharashtra, the original home of the Rashtrakutas, people belonging to the Reddi castes are not generally found at present.
Kannada was, however, the mother tongue of the Rashtrakutas and their inscriptions are in this language. In state documents, however, Sanskrit was used widely. A title commonly used by the princes of the main Rashtrakuta dynasty as also of the collateral families gives an idea of their place of origin. The title is Lattatura Puravaresvara, meaning 'the lord of the city of Lattatura', modern Latur in Bidar district.
The Rashtrakutas claimed descent from the varnsa (lineage) of Yadu (Sanjan copper plates). Grants issued in the reign of Govinda III stated that just as the Yadava varnsa became invincible after the birth of Lord Krishna, so did the dynasty of the Rashtrakutas after the birth of Govinda III. Six or seven decades later, this idea led to the claim of descent from the Satyaki branch of the Yaduvamsa and from an ancestor named Ratta descending from Tunga or a line of Tunga. As most of their contemporary royal dynasties in the South were claiming Puranic ancestry at the time, no significance should be attached to the names the Rashtrakutas had given for their ancestry.
Mananka is the earliest known founder of the ruling family of the Rashtrakuta, and another such family was ruling in Betul (in Madhya Pradesh). The Naravana plates (AD 743) of the Chalukya, Vikramaditya II of Badami, states that the Rashtrakuta Govindaraja, son of Sivaraja, was a vijnapati (petitioner) meaning that the Rashtrakutas were feudatories of the Chalukyas. Then there is the Autroli-Chharoli plate with a Garuda seal (AD 757) belonging to a subsidiary clan of the main Rashtrakutas and mentioning four generations: Karka I, Dhruva, Govinda
and Karka II of Lata. This family was ruling in Lata, and their relationship with the main Rashtrakutas ruling in Malkhed is not known. As, however, Karka II (who issued the Autroli-Chharoli grant) was a contemporary of Dantidurga, Nilakantha Sastri says that Karka 1 could also be the grandfather of Dantidurga (the founder of the Malkhed Rashtrakutas).