Gotama, Sariputta, Zoroaster and Tiŝŝa in the Persepolis Tablets

 

Contd.

 

          The tablets were the state records under Darius-I, Xerxes and Artaxerexes-I. Two archives of such tablets were found in Persepolis between 1933-38 by the archaeological expedition of the Oriental Institute of Chicago University. Thanks to the painstaking work of R. T. Hallock, W. Hinz and others, the tablets, which date from 509 to 494 B.C., have opened up new vistas of research in world history. The tablets deal with transactions (mainly covering distribution of grain and other foodstuffs, management of flocks, and provisioning of workers and travellers) at locations throughout most of Persis and eastern Elam, and probably at some locations to the northwest and southeast of those areas. Some texts had different functions. PF 1342, for example, records the transfer of silver from Susa to Matezzis. The bronze-age finds at Jiroft call for a reappraisal of the geography of the tablets. It has to be recalled that in the fourth century B.C. Alexander the Great found Indians in this area and rejoiced his victory over them. Jiroft or Djiroft was Dvaravati, capital of Kamboja. Maturban cited in several tablets may have been an early Mathura. Commodities were sent to Persepolis and Susa from Maturban. After Persepolis the most important centers were Shiraz, Matezziŝ and Uranduŝ. From the tablets it seems that Matezziŝ is the most important site. It is said to have been near Persepolis but this is far from certain. Hallock writes that although Shiraz is also mentioned quite frequently the largest work group at Matezziŝ is much larger than any at Shiraz. In PF 1572 a group of Indians travelling from the king to India receive rations at Matezziŝ; from this it is presumed that it lies east or north-east of Persepolis. The records were drawn up at different sites and were sent to the central office at Persepolis. They originated from a vast hinterland of Persis and Elam and some were actually written in Susa. Matezziŝ appears to have been an important city of the Indians. Yaŝda or Yaŝudda, the Haturmakŝa of Matezziŝ, mentioned in PF 760 and PF 761 reminds one of Yashoda of the Indians. Yashoda was the foster-mother of the famous Yadu hero  KŗşņaKaraŝna of PF 1959 is given the designation hazatap but his name echoes Kŗşņa. The Indo-Iranian Yadus appear to be linked to the pre-exilic Jews and, as the name Ŝudda-Yauda suggests, also to the Buddhists.

        Historians of Persia generally underrate the inseparable bond that existed between ancient India and Persia and are beguiled by the Nepalese frauds and Jones' error. A. D. H. Bivar's view that the tablets shed no light on the geography of India is also false. Moreover, the excessive reliance on the Greco-Persian tradition combined with a total neglect of the Pali texts has greatly falsified Persian history. R. N. Frye also writes that Kambujiya and Kurash may be non-Iranian names but stops short of stating that these are in fact Indian.

       The neglect of the Pali sources has greatly impaired the interpretation of the tablets. Ŝakka the Etira (officer in charge of commodities) is cited in PF 1970. PF 1987 also mentions Ŝakka. Sakka is the name of Indra in the Buddhist texts. Gotama was called a Shakya. More significantly Tiŝŝa, a famous name in Buddhist history, is cited in PF 781 and PF 1124. Umaya who is mentioned with Gaumata in PF 756 may be Upatissa (Batissa of PF1129) or Sariputta. Tammaŝba of PF 793 may be Dhammasava of the Buddhist texts. Ŝakŝaka of PF1511 and PF 1781, who is expressly declared as an 'Indian' (Hinduiŝ), may be Gotama's uncle Sukkho-dana. Furthermore Nunudda of PF 1966 may have been Nanda, Gotama's half-brother.

        Ŝedda appears with Ŝuddayauda in PF 149, and with Abbateya and Mitrabauddha in PF 1224 where he is described as the Hatarmabattis of Persepolis. Hallock explains the name as Atharva-pati, a kind of a priest. His name also occurs in PF 148, PF 221, PF 250, PF 376, PF 573, PF 574, PF 587, PF 635, PF 639, PF 786, PF 1215 and twice in the journal PF 1968. His personal seal is not known but PF 250 which mentions Ŝedda and is sealed by PFS 79 offers a valuable clue.  PFS 79 was also used on PF 241, PF 245, PF 251, PF 262, PF 317 and the journal PF 1948. The apportioner in PF 245, PF 251 and PF 1948 was Ŝuddayauda.

 

PFS 79, Seal of Gotama? (Picture courtesy Oriental Institute, Chicago)

 

         That the owner of the seal PFS-79 was a very important person is indicated by H. M. Koch, M. B. Garrison and M. C. Root. This is also indicated by the fact that it was used to seal the journal PF 1948. Koch assigns PFS 79 to an official who oversaw grain transactions at Iriŝdumaka, Makarkiŝ and Dur and wine transactions at Hiran, all in the South-eastern region. Garrison and Root note that PFS 79 always occurs alone in the tablets that it seals which shows that it belonged to a very important functionary.

 

PFS 79 on PF 1948. A holy relic of Gotama at the Oriental Institute, Chicago?

 

      The bird-headed winged lion creatures that the hero holds in the seal may be very significant. Garrison and Root note that the birds have their mouths open which may point to an affectionate relationship. In a famous Buddhist legend Gotama rescues a fowl which was injured by Devadatta. Whether this is in any way linked to the fact that Bakadada, and Pirtiŝ (PF 1754) are associated with rations for fowls (basbas) is not clear. Bakadada may have been Zoroaster and the fowls could have been used in rituals.

      The five-pointed dentate crown worn by the hero of PFS 79 is of great importance as it was used only by Darius himself and three other vassal kings. This may, in fact, indicate a family relationship. It is not impossible that the five-pointed crown was linked to the name Spentadata of both Darius and Gomata. That Cyrus or Kurash could have been linked to the Kurus of the Mahabharata was hinted by great scholars like A. Toynbee. Darius was distantly related to Kurash and the same may be true of Gomata. The Kurus were closely linked to the Panchalas who may have had a five-fold aspect. The Panthialaeans mentioned by Herodotus as one of Kurash's tribes may have been Panchalas. Gotama's name in the tablets agrees with Herodotus' crucial information (Herd. I, 125) that the Daan or Dana people were under Cyrus and therefore in Indo-Iran.

     That Ŝaman was a name of Gotama is well known. Ŝaman corresponds to Haman in the Book of Esther. The eminent scholar on Judaism R. de Vaux hinted that Haman episode was linked to Achaemenian history. In an inscription of Kartir, the Buddhists are called Saman. Al-beruni also describes the Buddhists as Shamaniyas. That Darius-I did not kill Gaumata is clear from the tablets. PF 1537 reads,

 

Four QA (of) beer Barnuš received, and four men (are) receiving each 1 QA. He carried a sealed document of Ŝaman. (He is) the karamaraš of Ištibara.

 

The sealed document (halmi) of Ŝaman shows that he was a person of authority. Ŝaman was the same as Ŝedda. Gotama's other name Bagapa is considered to be a good Iranian name by E. Kuhrt but there is more to the name. The Indian god Bhaga who closely resembles the Iranian Baga was a distributor much like the ŝaramanas and this explains why Ŝedda ŝaramana was called Bhgava or Bagapa.

      The scale of misrepresentation of history due to a faulty perspective can be gauged from the tone of Mary Boyce, a leading authority on Persian religion,

 

Throughout the ancient history of Iran the eastern regions are less well known than the western ones, because of the absence of written records; and there is no literary evidence to shed light on a remarkable building whose remains have been uncovered at Dahan-i Ghulaman, a town of the Achaemenian period in Drangiana (Seistan). The ruins of this town were excavated in the 1960's, and what appears to have been an imposing temple was brought to light. This was built of mud-brick, but had resemblances, it seems, in layout and architecture to the palaces of Persepolis. This has led to its being assigned to the late sixth or early fifth century B.C., a date supported by the few pottery fragments found. Such a building could hardly have been erected without the approval of the Great King - that is Darius, or probably his son Xerexes. Moreover, the town in which the temple stood appears to have been deliberately founded in the early Achaemenian epoch, where no town had previously existed.

       Given such data, one might expect the temple to be a Zoroastrian one, especially since Drangiana was an old centre of the faith. But not only are no Zoroastrian temples known from this early period, the temple at Dahan-i Ghulaman has installations and traces of observances which seem wholly irreconcilable with the Zoroastrian cult.

 

Firstly, nations like India and Iran are seen as fitted in tight compartments and boundaries which is in sharp contrast to the broader outlook of elder scholars like Sir Charles Eliot who warned against writing history based on modern borders. Secondly, nothing was made out of the significant name Ghulaman which echoes the name of Gotama. Thirdly before the schism centred around Gotama and  Devadatta(Zoroaster), Buddhism Zoroastrianism and were sister religions which were heresies of older sacrificial religions. Mary Boyce forgets the history of Gomata of Shakyavati and also the fact that Sir Aurel Stein had identified a Buddhist temple at Kuh-i Khwaja in Drangiana itself. For her Zoroasrianism grew in isolation and had nothing to do with religions like Buddhism. Sir Charles Eliot, on the other hand, held that they were interrelated.

      Although Zoroaster is supposed to be absent in the tablets, a closer look shows that this may not be the case. According to Herzfeld, his adversary Graehma was Gaumata who can be seen to be the same as Gotama. Although the name Zoroaster is absent, it is crucial to look for his other possible names. Just because the name Asoka or Piyadassi is absent in the Greco-Roman accounts, R. Thapar concluded hastily that he was unknown in the West. As the presence of Elamite kings like Ram-Sin or Rama Chandra shows, the Elamites were half-Indians. Thus it is sensible to expect that the Elamite scribes who wrote the tablets would use Devadatta, the Indian name of Zoroaster. About Damidadda, a functionary at Susa mentioned in PF 1752, Mary Boyce writes (Op. cit. p. 143) with an air of certainty,

 

Rāman occurs as proper name on Aramaic documents from the treasury and fortifications, and this might be the common noun meaning 'peace, joy, or it might be in honour of the Zoroastrian yazata  Rāman, who is linked with both Mithra and Vayu. Another name attested on the Elamite tablets, and elsewhere in Aramaic script, is Dāmidāta. There is no dispute that this means 'Created (or given) by the Creator', but it is uncertain to which divinity it refers. It seems probable that in ancient times it meant Varuna, and so this may well be yet another traditional name in honour of 'the Baga' - the god who in Iran was never named. In later times, however, the adjective was understood to refer to Ahuramazda.

 

Even a rudimentary knowledge of Indian religion shows that Rāman and Vayu are Rama and Hanuman, son of Vayu. Rama can be seen to be an ancestor of both Darius-I and Gotama.

   At one level, 'datta' in Sanskrit and 'data' in Persian does have the sense 'given', and her interpretation, 'given by the Creator', is echoed mindlessly in the academic circles, yet due to her narrow interpretation of Persian religion, Boyce glosses over Rama, a very crucial name of Persian and Indian history and ignores that 'dat' in Persian also meant 'law'. Damidatta is clearly an Elamite rendering of Devadatta, a name of Zoroaster in the Buddhist texts. In the Indian texts Devadatta was the son of Suprabuddha and a cousin of Gotama. Suprabuddha, father of Zoroaster, was probably dead when the tablets were written, but there are about eight references to Supra in the tablets who may be a close relative of Zoroaster. Gopa, (also known as Bhaddakacchana) the wife of Gotama, was the daughter of  Suprabuddha. Zoroaster's wife was Hvôvi. In some texts Ananda, the close associate of Gotama, is a brother of Devadatta.  

        'Baga' had the sense of 'Deva'. Thus Bakadadda cited in many tablets may be linked to Zoroaster. There were perhaps several persons having the name Bakadada but it is highly likely that the owner of the seal PFS 1243 whom Garrison and Root identify as

 

PFS 1243 may be Zoroaster's seal. Courtesy Oriental Institute, Chicago

 

Bakadada may be Devadatta or Zoroaster. H. Koch places him in the Shiraz area. The fact that Pirtiŝ appears together with both Bakadada and Damidadda is very significant. 

       Devadatta corresponds to Diodotus in Greek and 'dmy dty' in Asoka's Taxila Aramaic inscription. It can be taken to mean 'Deva who is the Ordainer of Law'. 'Deva' not only was a word for god, in the Buddhist texts and the Shahnama it is also a clan-name. Firdausi writes about the 'white Divs' and the black Divs'. Just as the Daevas were despised in the Zoroastrian texts, Devadatta was a hated name in the Buddhist circles. Both Asoka and Gotama are called Deva and Zoroaster who was a relative of Gotama, was certainly also a Deva. Darius' tirade against Gomata does not distract from the fact that the latter was his relative. Darius maligned Gaumata in the Behistun inscription but as Olmsted writes, being a cunning politician he did not kill Gomata. In fact he may have maintained equal distance from both Zoroaster and Gaumata who, as Herodotus testified, was an immensely popular hero. There is a similar hint also from the Buddhist texts. PF 756 actually names Gaumata.

      The possibility that Zoroaster was already dead and Damidadda was only a namesake cannot be ruled out. However, PF 732, which is sealed by PFS 38, the personal seal of Irtaŝduna (Artystone), names Ŝedda, Artystone, and Bakadadda together which is very significant. Being the wife of both Darius and Bardiya, Artystone may have been close to Gaumata too. This may, in fact, indicate that Zoroaster was alive in the 25th year although Bakadada may again be only a namesake.

       Mary Boyce writes about the religion of Darius-I,

 

It seems unlikely that a magus worshipping at Persepolis under Darius would have venerated any but an Iranian god; and the suggestion has been made that Turma/Turme is a rendering of Old Persian Durvā, nominative or vocative of Durvan, the equivalent of Avestan Zurvan. This interpretation is necessarily speculative.

 

Turma may only be the very important deity Dharma who, as Sukumari Bhattacharji writes, is closely related to Yama (or Yima), a principal Indo-Iranian god. Turma may even be related to Adhamma or Adam. PF 1138 mentions Kukamukka which is related to the God Kokamukha of the Puranas. Kokamukha was also a holy pilgrimage centre mentioned in the Mahabharata. Kshudrakoka and Mahakoka are known from Bharhut inscriptions.

        One of Zoroaster’s sons was Khvare-chithra (Khwarra = bright) which reminds one of Chitrangada, one of the sons of Dhrtarashtra who may be linked to the Mohenjodaro (Maha-Anga-Dwara) area which was Anga. Another Anga was Daranj or Zaranj (Dvara-Anga) in Seistan where Diakonoff and Gnoli place Zoroaster.

       Hallock considers Ŝuddayauda-ŝaramana, (also called Ŝuddayauda-damana) to be an important official who was an assigner and apportioner of ration for workers. The title Damana reminds one of the Damanavadi Sanghas mentioned by the learned grammarian Panini. In PF 372 Ŝuddayauda is declared as a priest. H. Koch, on the other hand, holds that there were two officials of that name, one a Kurdabattiŝ or supervisor of workers who operated in what she calls the South-eastern Region III and a second who was the Kanzabarra or treasurer stationed at Persepolis. Hallock writes that Irŝena was the assigner of workers in the Susa area whereas Karkiŝ and Ŝuddayauda were responsible for the Persepolis area.

            

 

PFS 32, Seal of Ŝuddayauda (Picture courtesy Oriental Institute, Chicago)

 

The hero in the seal apparently has his right shoulder (and the left leg) bare. The human-headed winged lions shown in the seals may have a totemic meaning. Gotama was often called Shakyasimha (simha=lion). The fact that the hero appears bearded may not be related to Ŝuddayauda's actual appearance as even Irtaŝduna, Darius' wife, is shown bearded in her seal (PFS 38). The place where the texts were actually inscribed cannot be established with certainty. According to Hallock they may have been written at the various sites by scribes who periodically travelled about carrying PFS 32, the personal seal of  Ŝuddayauda and the important treasury seal PFS 1 which was also used by him. Hallock writes,

 

The ubiquitous Ŝuddayauda exercised his functions more or less simultaneously at many different sites. It is unlikely that every time a text mentions Ŝuddayauda it means that he was present at the distribution of the commodities.

 

PFS 32 appears in thirty inscriptions but only in six of these Ŝudda-yauda is mentioned.

      Ŝuddayauda disappeared in the year 26 and his role as both the assigner and apportioner was taken up by Baratkama who also appears to have been linked to India or Bharata. One of the names of Ananda, Gotama's close associate, was Bharata. He was known to be a very rich person. Ananda who was the son of Amitrodana was also known as Nanda which may correspond to Mannanda or Mahananda of many tablets. Mannanda could also have been Gotama's half-brother. Together with Parnadadda he had the exclusive prerogative of  assigning for artisans and ornament makers. Another possible name of Ananda, son of Amitrodana, is Mitrabauddha.

       The hallucination created by Führer was so great that no importance was attached to Hsuan Tsang's crucial report that Langka-lo in Persia had more than 100 monasteries and more than 6000 brethren. The location of this place where thousands of Buddhist monks resided is of crucial importance in the history of not only Persia but also Buddhism. Was Langka near Bandar-e Lengeh in Laristan in the Gulf?

 

Chehelkhaneh and Haidari were in Lanka of Hsuan Tsang

 

     Incidentally about 70 km inland of Bushehr are the mysterious rock-cut cave complexes at Haidari and Chehelkhaneh which must be very ancient. PF 772 refers to the Lan ceremony at Lankuel which may be presumed to be Hsuan Tsang's Langka. Incidentally this region is called Sangara in the Egyptian records which corresponds to the name Simhala of modern Lanka. The civilisation of modern Sri Lanka is closely linked to this region. Lanka holds a very important position in the Buddhist legends and the country of Lanka which was visited by Gotama may be this area. 

     In fact the birth-place of some of the earlier  Buddhas can be located from the tablets in Indo-Iran. Mandumatis of the Persepolis Fortification tablets (PF 2069, 2080 and 905) may have been Bandhumati, the birth-place of Vipassi Buddha, the nineteenth of the twenty-four Buddhas. Vipassi Buddha is depicted on the panel of cave-17 in Ajanta. Vipassi Buddha

 

Vipassi Buddha depicted at Ajanta was from Mandumatiŝ (PF 905)

 

preached his first sermon at Khema-migadava which was some kind of a deer-park similar to the famed pairidaeza, which the Greeks rendered as paradeisos. These were fabulous parks and pleasure gardens of the Indo-Iranian kings and nobility which were meant for pleasure and hunting but at some stage violence against animals was censured. The famous letter of the sage Matrcheta to king Kanika (Maharaja Kanika Lekha) in which he urged the king not to be cruel to animals may have been addressed to Alexander the great who was very fond of hunting. The pairidaeza has some similarities with the Assyrian kirimahu. These were not just formal gardens, but were used for growing and storing fruits and also served as zoological parks and hunting reserves.

 

The Garden of Eden by Lucas Cranach der Ältere

 

The Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve lived before expulsion may have been a pairidaeza similar to Khema-migadava.

       Many tablets refer to Kemarukkaŝ which may have been Khema-migadava. Many Buddhist tales are centred around the deer-park at Sarnath which is usually located in eastern U. P. in modern India but this is absurd as it has no sound archaeological basis. The Greeks and others found Pairidaezas such as Khema-migadaya in Kerman-Seistan-Baluchistan. PF 2067 and PF 2068 are famous texts which give crucial religious information,

 

Tell Uśaya the “wine carrier”, Parnaka spoke as follows:

 

30 marriś (of) wine (is) to be issued to priests who (are) at Kemarukkaś. Let them perform (lit. “make”) the libation of the god(s) that (is/are) at Kemarukkaś. 22nd year. As formerly it was given to them.

 

        Most significant may be the last sentence 'As formerly it was given to them' which has a timeless sense. Although there are many references to single named priests (ŝa-tin or ŝa-tan ) in the tablets, at Kemarukkaŝ are they addressed as a group (ŝatinpe). Also PF 2067 and PF 2068 speak of 'libation for the gods' at Kemarukkaŝ whereas usually the tablets mention libation for a single god such as Ahuramazda, Humban, Mitra, Turma etc. However, PF 351 mentions libation for Adad and Humban together. PF 352, 353 and PF 377 also refer to libation for 'gods'. Many tablets refer to partetaŝ which, according to some scholars, is the same as pairidaeza. PF 149 links Ŝedda with the partetaŝ at Aptudaraŝ which may in fact be Sapta-dvara. The name may be traced even in the Indus-Saraswati seals (2396 00). Saptadvara may be linked to names such as Bodhisatta, Mahasatta, and Mohenjo-daro. In the tablets Kemarukkaŝ is not called a partetaŝ but it was surely an ancient seat of gods of Indo-Iran. Khema is one of the most sacred places in Buddhist history as Sumana Buddha, Tissa Buddha and Kakusandha Buddha were all born here.

    There are numerous references to Sumeru or Meru in the Indian texts which had different senses in different epochs and are difficult to classify. These often have a mythical connotation and are not related to Sumer in Iraq though the origin of the name 'Sumer' in Mesopotamian history is a legitimate topic of study. It was often the cosmic centre of the universe which may be linked to the existence of an ancient observatory here. For the Tibetan Buddhists it was mount Kailash in the Himalayas. Ŝumaru of PF 439 and PF 440 is a place-name of great importance. The name also occurs in Fort 5902 and, in a slightly different form, Ŝumair, in Fort 2512. It often stood for a hill and it is possible that originally it was the hill of Babil (Kuh-e Khwaja) in Drangiana in Seistan. The hill may also mean a ziggurat and Babylon or Babil which was famous for its ziggurat may also have been Meru of the Indian texts. The Old Persian form 'Babiruviya' almost exactly matches the Baveru of the Pali texts. Baveru of the Jatakas may be Babylon or even Kapilavastu which echoes Babil. Hallock interpreted all the references to Bapili in the tablets as Babylon in Iraq but there is a possibility that in some tablets Babil in Seistan may have been meant.

     Pukkusa in the Pali texts was often the name of a person. One of the disciples of Ăļāra Kālama who also taught Gotama Buddha was Pukkusa. Pukŝa of PF 1027 and PF 1049 were grain-handlers but Pukkusa was also the name of a despised caste. This may correspond to Pukŝa who received the hides of slaughtered goats in PF 72.

       As Al-beruni wrote, Gotama’s name was Buddho-dana which agrees with the fact that his father and and his uncles all had Dana-names. The appellation 'Yauda' may be very significant and may indicate that the Gotama's clan was linked to the Indian Yadus who are the ancestors of the Jews. As can be seen from the name of Daniel the Jew (Yahdu), the suffix 'Yauda' may be closely related to 'Dana'. Mirayauda and Karayauda are also mentioned in many tablets.

       Miššabaudda is mentioned in PF 1553 (together with Daaupirtana) and in many other tablets. Hallock renders his name as Mitrabada but a better option may be Mitrabauddha which clearly shows him as a Buddhist. He is linked to Ŝimparra which may have been an ancient Shivapura or Sippar.  The great importance of this city can be gauged from the fact that PF 1960 has six detailed entries regarding grain dispensed here in the year 23 for workers and horses, and other purposes, adding up to 7530 quarts. Mariyadadda (Mauriya-datta) of PF 690 and 689, Mariyabaddana (Maurya-vardhana) of PF191 seem absurd in the Jonesian scenario. Hiduŝ the priest mentioned in PF 596 may have been a worshipper of Hindu gods. 'Napir' in Elamite meant 'god' and the phrase for "the great god" was napir irŝara which reminds one of the Indian 'Isvara'.  Sandupirzana (Chandra Vardhana) of PF1963 reminds one of Asoka Vardhana. Kunuikka of PF282 is clearly a 6th century B.C. Chanakya. Abbatema who is said to be an Indian in PF 785 remains difficult to place. Mitraparzana or Mitra-vardhana reminds one of Asoka-vardhana and may have been an early Maurya. Ramanuya was a member of Darius-I's family

        Irdabada mentioned in many fortification tablets was a very important nobleman who was a grain officer. Mary Boyce considers him to be a good Iranian which is not untrue, yet there is much more. H. Koch places him in Elam but he may also have been associated with the Jiroft area. He is also cited in the Treasury tablets from Persepolis and is said to have been a 'lance bearer' of the king. He used the seal PFS 100. Irdabada may be Erapata Nagaraja immortalised in the Buddhist texts. The Nagas are usually linked with Nagaland in north-east India but this is totally false. He is also described as Erakapatra who meditated for twenty thousand years in the forest. The Nagas were seen as semi-divine and were strong and handsome. Asoka, who was allegedly very naughty in his youth, was sent to a Naga teacher. Naga maidens were famous for their beauty and many Epic heroes had Naga wives. Their kingdom is called Naga-loka, or Patala-loka, which is filled with resplendent palaces, ornamented with precious gems. Nagas were usually associated with wealth and treasure. L. B. Keny notes their links with the Gulf region. The land of the Nagas seems to be the Jiroft area which was Kamboja.

     Erapata is depicted in the beautiful stone carvings at Bharhut in his two forms, first as a serpent and secondly as a human being with serpent hoods attached to the back of his head. With his Queen and daughter he is shown advancing to the Buddha and then kneeling before him. This is significant, for in PF 771 Irdabada appears to be linked to Ahura Mazda.

 

Naga King Erapata and his retinue worshipping the Buddha (2nd Cent BC)

 

       Another important Indian was Virayauda or Mira-yauda, an important supplier of grain and flour who used, not one, but two personal seals, PFS 24 and PFS 18. He had the sole responsibility of assigning the 'razape' or masons (Rajmistry in Bengali) and 'dukape' (plasterers). He may have been the same as the Maurya king Virasena cited by Taranatha. It is not certain whether he can be identified with Viradana or Miradana of PF 2054. Irŝena, the powerful chief who controlled the workers in the Susa area, may also have been Virasena.

     As the name Hinduis shows, 'S' was often changed into  'H'. Thus the important official Harbamiŝŝa, who is mentioned in many tablets, may have been Sarva-mitra or Sabbamitta of the Buddhist texts. He is said to have entered the Sangha after seeing the Buddha's acceptance of the Jetavana. Another Sabbamitta was a learned man who was a teacher of Gotama.     

       Vassakāra, the powerful chief minister of Ajātasattu is mentioned in the Buddhist texts. One can only wonder whether he was the same as Basaka who (with Ammamarda) was entrusted with the huge amount of 5649 Bar of grain at Hiŝema. Herodotus (Herod. VII, 75) mentioned Bassaces, son of Artabanus who commanded the Asiatic Thracians in Xerexes' army. Bakadadda the Indian was probably not a noble but his name echoes Bhagadatta, a famous name in the Puranas. The name Bagadatu also appears in the Babylonian inscriptions.