The record runs thus: " Sivaneya Nayaka.... With five of his
servants, fulfilled his engagement or vow with Ballala Deva. Lakkeya Nayaka, with his wife
Ganga Devi and three servants, fulfilled his engagement with Narsinga. In the Saka year
specified, Kanneya-Nayaka with his wives, Ummavve Jananavve and Kallavve, and with ten
maid-servants and twenty-one men-servants, six times embraced Garuda on or from the head
of an elephant and fulfilled his engagement with Someshvara Deva " (K.P. 19).
'In the Saka year (specified) Singeya-Nayaka, the son of
Kanneya-Nayaka, with his wives Kettavve, Honnave, Nochavve and with ten maid-servants and
twenty men servants, on or from the head of an elephant, six times embraced Garuda and
fulfilled his engagement with Narasimha Deva.' Inscription No. 146 of the Kadur Taluq76
which records the death of Bammarasa in the battle-field in 1180 A.D., also describes the
death of his follower, Bammaya Nayaka, who sacrificed his life in order to win fame. A
Virgal is said to have been erected in his memory by his son Hariyama Nayaka.
The above account clearly shows that the practice of Anumarana was
widely prevalent in the north and south of India, about the 11th century A.D. The
earliest reference to the existence of the custom is, however, obtained from the account
of Bana. The Anumarana in its simplest form, i.e. the self-immolation of a widow on the
death of her husband, can be traced to an earlier date.
It has also to be noted that the person or persons who thus immolated
themselves were, with the exception of the wife or the nearest relatives, pledged to do so
before hand and hence on the death of the person fulfilled their Pledge and in so doing
showed their devotion to their master. The second point that is characteristically
striking is that, with the exception of a single passage from the Atharva-Veda, the entire
ancient Hindu literature, sacred and pro- fane, has nothing to say in support of the
self-immolation of women. On the contrary, there is ample evidence that goes against such a
The contemporary literature, as we have seen, condemns it and terms it
as a kind of suicide. This clearly shows that the custom is foreign to Indian soil, at
least to Aryan culture. It has been adopted in Aryan society only at a very late period.
India has been the victim of the invader from age to age. Hordes of foreign races swept
over the northern plains frequently in its earlier days, and it is not improbable that
some of these foreign races brought with them this new custom, which was absorbed into
Aryan culture gradually.