Memorial stelae have been found in numbers in Rajputana called Devli. They
are small stone uprights, sometimes sculptured with figures, and engraved with an
inscription. They were erected in commemoration of the women, mostly of the Rajput race,
which immolated them selves on the funeral pyres of their husbands. The words engraved on
them clearly point to this.
Many such have been found at Ghatiyala in the Jodhpur State, the
earliest of which is dated V. 947-A:D. 890 and records that there, was a Rajput chief,
called Ranuka, whose wife, Sampalla Devi, followed him as a Sati. 63. The same report says
that not far from Ghatiyala is the village of Osia, from which Jain Oswals are supposed to
This place is full of old memorial stones, the earliest of which is
dated V. 895 A.D. 838. 64. In fact, the whole of Rajputana and Central India are full of
such stelae. The earliest of these, however, has been traced to Eran in the Sagar district
of the Central Provinces. It is a small pillar, bearing an inscription. It is dated G. 191
A.D. 510 and belongs to the reign of a Gupta prince called Bhanu Gupta.
The inscription records that Bhanu Gupta had a chieftain named
Goparaja, who came, apparently, to the place where the pillar was set up and fought a
battle in which he, was killed, and that his wife cremated herself on his funeral pyre. We
are thus on sure ground when we say that the practice of self-immolation of a widow was
coming into vogue about the beginning of the 6th century A.D.
There are, besides, other features connected with the social revolution
of this period. As we have seen, Bana has made a clear reference to various types of
Anumarana, not merely of a widowed wife following her dead husband, but also of relatives
and friends following their dead relatives and friends.
The annals of Kashmir set forth some interesting in stances of
Anumarana, which show clearly how different was the custom from what it was in the Gupta
period. In these singular instances we find the Anumarana practiced not only by a wife or
wives, but also by concubines, slaves of the household, mother, nurse, Man servants,
faithful friends and followers.