This silver scroll was unearthed by Sir John Marshall in 1914 in a chamber to the west of the Dharmarājīka Stūpa in Taxila, Pakistan and is now in the collection of the National Museum in New Delhi, India. The inscription is dated to year 136 of the Azes era, 89 CE, during the reign of the first Kushana king, Kujula Kadphises. It was found, together with a small gold casket and some minute bone relics, inside a silver vase inside a steatite vessel. The collapse of the chamber roof had crushed both the vessel and the vase but left the casket and the scroll largely intact. The scroll, of thin metal, was tightly rolled with the inscribed surface inwards. The cleaning of copper efflorescence from the verso exposed the punctured dots of the lettering as the sheet was unrolled and broken into sections.
Conventional Name Taxila Silver Scroll | Findspot Pakistan, Punjab, Taxila – Dharmarājīka Stūpa – Chir Mound | Archeological Report: Marshall 1914 | Item Rectangular Silver Sheet | Surface Recto | Dimensions Height: 3.5 Width: 15.9 | Date Azes 136 | Collection | Current Location National Museum, New Delhi, India – 8789 Dh’ 12-65 | Language/Script Gāndhārī/Kharoṣṭḥī
In the year 136 of the Azes era a Bactrian resident of Ṇoaca establishes relics of the Lord in his personal Bodhisattva shrine for the health of the great Kuṣāṇa King and in honor of all Buddhas, sangha, all beings, parents, friends and relatives. The donation is also for his own health and nirvāṇa.
Benefit, Buddha, Donation, EraRulerDate, Establishment, Honor
Konow, Sten. 1929. Kharoshṭhī Inscriptions with the Exception of Those of Aśoka. Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum, Vol. II, Part I. Calcutta: Government of India Central Publication Branch. 51, 70–7
Lüders, Heinrich. 1940. “Zu und aus den Kharoṣṭhī‐Urkunden.” Acta Orientalia 18: 15–49.
Brough, John. 1962. The Gāndhārī Dharmapada. London Oriental Series, Volume 7. London: Oxford University Press.
Bibliographic details of references to this inscription are available from
Gāndhārī Language and Literature
Research on this edition and production of the digital edition was completed with the generous support of the Prakaś Foundation. The transliteration, translation, chāyā and glossary have been reviewed by Mark Allon and Stephanie Majcher.
Digital publishing by Ian McCrabb
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