The points we'd like to make on the basis of the inscription are as follows:
- There is no reference to any India or Bharata as a bigger political unit which any of the kingdoms mentioned in the Inscription are part of. The only thing larger than the Chalukya kingdom (as per the inscription), is the World itself which is described as "an island in the sea of Knowledge of Jinendra". So hierarchically, there's the World and then at the next level is the Chalukya kingdom directly, without having to "pass through" an India or Bharata.
- There is certain reference to spirituality, here in the form of Jainism (which is one of the great spiritual philosophies / movements of this part of the world).
- There is also a reference to the Bharata war (presumably the Kurukshetra war as described in the Mahabharata), but no reference of a politcal unit called Bharata having been formed thereafter, and in any case not including the Chalukya kingdom.
- On the basis of reference to spiritual unity (due to Jainism here) or cultural exchange (as exemplified by the fact that the inscription itself is in the Sanskrit language written in Kannada script, and by reference to Kalidasa and Bharavi here) between the Kannadiga kingdom of Chalukyas and the rest of India, it may not be concluded that there was a political unity. On the contrary, it may certainly be concluded that there was a certain political disunity and the urge of one kingdom to defeat another.
- Thus, it is correct to say that Pulakeshi II - or the thousands of other kings who have ruled Karnataka (and other Indian states today) are certainly Indian because India is one political unit today, but were not Indian during their respective times. That is, of course, because there was no political unit called India (or Bharata or by any other name) then.
Here's the full text:
(Verse.) Victorious is the holy Jinendra--he who is exempt from old age, death and birth--in the sea of whose knowledge the whole world is comprised like an island.
(V. 2.) And next, long victorious is the immeasurable, wide ocean of the Chalukya family, which is the birth-place of jewels of men that are ornaments of the diadem of the earth.
(V. 3.) And victorious for very long is Satyashraya, who in bestowing gifts and honours on the brave and on the learned, both together on either, observes not the rule of correspondency of number.
(V. 4.) When many members of that race, bent on conquest, applied to whom the title of Favourite of the Earth had at last become appropriate, had passed away,-
(V. 5.) There was, of the Chalukya lineage, the king named Jayasimha-vallabha, who in battle--where horses, footsoldiers and elephants, bewildered, fell down under the strokes of many hundreds of weapons, and where thousands of frightful headless trunks and of flashes of rays of swords were leaping to and fro--by his bravery made Fortune his own, even though she is suspected of fickleness.
(V. 6.) His son was be who was named Ranaraga, of divine dignity, the one master of the world, whose superhuman nature, (even) when he was asleep, people knew from the pre-eminence of his form.
(V. 7.) His son was Polekeshin, who, though endowed with the moon's Beauty, and though the favorite of Fortune, became the bridegroom of Vatapipuri.
(V. 8.) Whose path in the pursuit of the three objects of life the kings on earth even now are unable to follow; and bathed by whom with the water of the purificatory rite, when he performed the horse-sacrifice, the earth beamed with brightness.
(V. 9.) His son was Kirtivarman, the night of doom to the Nalas, Mauryas and Kadambas, whose mind, although his thoughts kept aloof from others' wives, was attracted by the Fortune of his adversary.
(V. 10.) Who, having secured the fortune of victory by his valour in war, being a scent-elephant of a king, of great strength, at once completely broke down the multitude of the broad kadamba trees--the Kadambas.
(V. 11.) When his desire was bent on the dominion of the lord of the gods, his younger brother Mangalesha became king, who by the sheets of dust of his army of horse, encamped on the shores of the eastern and western seas, stretched an awning over the quarters.
(V. 12.) Who in that house which was the battle-field took in marriage the damsel, the Fortune of the Katachchuris, having scattered the gathering gloom, (viz.) the array of elephants (of the adversary), with hundreds of bright-rayed lamps, (viz.) the swords (of his followers).
(V. 13) And again, when he was desirous of taking the island of Revati, his great army with many bright banners, which had ascended the ramparts, as it was reflected in the water of the sea appeared like Varuna's forces, quickly come there at once at his word (of command).
(V. 14.) When his elder brother's son, named Polekeshin, of a dignity like Nahusha's, was coveted by Fortune, and finding his uncle to be jealous of him thereat, had formed the resolution to wander abroad as an exile,-
(V. 15.) That Mangalesha, whose great strength became on all sides reduced by the application of the powers of good counsel and energy gathered by Him, abandoned, together with the effort to secure the kingdom for his own son, both that no mean kingdom of his and his life.
(V. 16.) Then, on the subversion of that rule encompassed by the darkness of enemies, the whole world grew light again, invaded as it were by the lustrous rays of His irresistible splendour. Or when was it that the sky ceased to be black like a swarm of bees with thundering clouds, in which flashes of lightning were dancing like banners, and the edges of which were crushed in the rushing wind?
(V. 17.) When, having found the opportunity, he who was named Appayika, and Govinda approached with their troops of elephants to conquer the country north of the Bhaimarathi, the one in battle through His armies came to know the taste of fear, while the other at once received the reward of the services rendered by him.
(V. 18.) When He was besieging Vanavasi, which for a girdle has the rows of hamsa birds that sport on the high waves of the Varada as their play-place, and which by its wealth rivalled the city of the gods, that fortress on land, having the surface of the earth all around covered with the great sea of his army, to the looker-on seemed at once converted into a fortress in the water.
(V. 19.) Although in former days they had acquired happiness by renouncing the seven sins, the Ganga and Alupa lords, being subdued by His dignity, were always intoxicated by drinking the nectar of close attendance upon him.
(V. 20.) In the Konkanas the impetuous waves of the forces directed by Him speedily swept away the rising wavelets of pools-the Mauryas.
(V. 21.) When, radiant like the destroyer of Pura, He besieged Puri, the Fortune of the western sea, with hundreds of ships in appearance like arrays of rutting elephants, the sky, dark-blue as a young lotus and covered with tiers of massive clouds, resembled the sea, and the sea was like the sky.
(V. 22.) Subdued by His splendour, the Latas, Malavas and Gurjaras became as it were teachers of how feudatories, subdued by force, ought to behave.
(V. 23.) Harsha, whose lotus-feet were arrayed with the rays of the jewels of the diadems of hosts of feudatories prosperous with unmeasured might, through Him had his mirth (harsha) melted away by fear, having become loathsome with his rows of lordly elephants fallen in battle.
(V. 24.) While He was ruling the earth with his broad armies, the neighbourhood of the Vindhya., by no means destitute of the lustre of the many sandbanks of the Reva, shone even more brightly by his great personal splendour, having to be avoided by his elephants because, as it seemed, they by their bulk rivalled the mountains.
(V. 25.) Almost equal to Indra, He by means of all the three powers, gathered by him according to rule, and by his noble birth and other excellent qualities, acquired the sovereignty over the three Maharashtrakas with their nine and ninety thousand villages.
(V. 26.) Through the excellencies of their householders prominent in the pursuit of the three objects of life, and having broken the pride of other rulers of the earth, the Kalingas with the Kosalas by His army were made to evince signs of fear.
(V. 27.) Hard pressed (pishta) by Him, Pishtapura became a fortress not difficult of access; wonderful (to relate), the ways of the Kali age to Him were quite inaccessible!
(V. 28.) Ravaged by Him, the water of Kunala--coloured with the blood of men killed with many weapons, and the land within it overspread with arrays of accoutred elephants--was like the cloud-covered sky in which the red evening-twilight has risen.
(V. 29.) With his sixfold forces, the hereditary troops and the rest, who raised spotless chowries, hundreds of flags, umbrellas, and darkness, and who churned the enemy elated with the sentiments of heroism and energy, He caused the splendour of the lord of the Pallavas, who had opposed the rise of his power, to be obscured by the dust of his army, and to vanish behind the walls of Kanchipura.
(V. 30.) When straightway He strove to conquer the Cholas, the Kaveri, who has the darting carps for her tremulous eyes, had her current obstructed by the causeway formed by his elephants whose rutting-juice was dripping down, and avoided the contact with the ocean.
(V. 31.) There He caused great prosperity to the Cholas, Keralas and Pandyas, he being the hot-rayed son to the hoar-frost--the army of the Pallavas.
(V. 32.) While He, Satyashraya, endowed with the powers of energy, mastery and good counsel,--having conquered all the quarters, having dismissed the kings full of honours, having done homage to gods and Brahmans, having entered the city of Vatapi--is ruling, like one city, this earth which has the dark-blue waters of the surging sea for its moat;
(V. 33.) (Now) when thirty (and) three thousand and five years besides, joined with seven hundred years, have passed since the Bharata war;
(V. 34.) And when fifty (and) six and five hundred years of the Saka kings also have gone by in the Kali age;
(V. 35.) This stone mansion of Jinendra, a mansion of every kind of greatness, has been caused to be built by the wise Ravikirti, who has obtained the highest favour of that Satyashraya whose rule is bounded by the three oceans.
(V. 36.) Of this eulogy and of this dwelling of the Jina revered in the three worlds, the wise Ravikirti himself is the author and also the founder.
(V. 37.) May that Ravikirti be victorious, who full of discernment has used the abode of the Jina, firmly built of stone, for a new treatment of his theme, and who thus by his poetic skill has attained to the fame of Kalidasa and of Bharavi!
Picture: The Chalukya Kingdom during the reign of Pulakeshi II. Source: Wikipedia.