Sunday, March 29, 2015

'Sulakas and Mulakas' by Dr S. Srikanta Sastri

Prominent Mulukanadu Personalities 
The identification of Sulakas with Cholikas put forward by Rev. Mr. Heras seems to me untenable. Mere word resemblances unsupported by other facts, cannot be accepted as conclusive. As instances of this deceptive method we can put forward the resemblances between Sulakas and Salikis, Salkis etc. Salki, Chalukya, Salikya etc., are used as variants of the same word Chalukya e.g. the Bezwada inscription of Yuddhamalla; speculations as to the origin and exact connotation of the term mulaka as found in the name of an Andhra community “Mulaka Nadu”, are too numerous to mention. Reference might be made to two of such theories put forward to show the futility of such linguistic gymnastics. One theory is that it derives its name from “Mulks”, Ibrahim Mulk and his descendents; the other is that it ought to be Munikula Nadu, Both of these, to put it mildly, are fanciful.

Mulaka is mentioned in the Jatakas along with Assaka. The Assakas again must be
Fr. Heras
differentiated from Aswakas, a term sometimes applied to the western Kshatrapas as Skandasishya is said to have taken the Ghatika of Kanchi from one Satyasena an Assaka. Asmaka was one of the eighteen earliest Janapadas mentioned in Buddhist literature. Panini mentions Asmaka (iv. 1. 173). In the Baveru Jataka, we are told that the disciples started from the Asmaka country to Mahissati, Ujjeni, Paithana of Mulaka country, Gonaddha, Vidisa, Vanasa, Havya, Kosambi, Saketa, Savatthi, Setavya, Kapilavatho, Kusinara, Pava, Vesali, and finally to Asmaka Chetya where the Buddha was residing. Avanti was evidently North of Assaka as they are spoken of together in Anguttara Nikaya and Sona Nanda Jataka. To the south there was the Mulaka country. Assaka and Mulaka like Kasi and Kosala were probably tribal names which gradually became identified with the country the tribes occupied from time to time. At the time of Alexander’s invasion, the Assakeni were to be found in the North-west also.

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