others prayed for life by tying a sword to their neck, and still others were
always eager to salute the emperor. Bana in his Kadambari mentions four
modes of saluting the king (pranam-agamana) by the vanquished chiefs.
These included salute by bowing the head, bowing head and touching the feet
of the emperor, bowing the head and taking the dust from the feet of the
emperor, and finally placing the head on the earth near the feet of the
emperor. Again, in the same work Bana enumerates three modes of service
undertaken by the defeated kings (parichariki-karana). They held chowries
in the court of Harsha, served as door-keepers in the court, and also served as
reciters of auspicious words uttering jaya (success).
    According to Bana, the third obligation of the defeated samantas is to
furnish their minor princes or sons to the conqueror. These were probably to
be trained in the imperial traditions, so that they might grow loyal to their
overlord. But, by and large, the obligations of the vassals known from Bana
relate to the defeated chiefs called satru-mahasamanta, who were required to
serve the conqueror in various ways in consequence of their defeat.
    Generally one of the most important obligations of the samantas was to
render military aid to their overlord. Bana’s description of the march of
Harsha in Harshacharita shows that the army was made up of the troops
supplied by the rajas and samantas and their number was so huge that Harsha
was amazed at the sight of the concourse. The only probable explanation
seems to be that his army was a feudal militia which was mustered only in
times of war. This view is supported by Pulakesin’s Aihole Inscription, which
describes Harsha as equipped with the troops supplied by his vassals.
    However, it is not clear either from Bana’s works or from the lawbooks
whether the samantas had the obligation to perform any administrative or
judicial functions in peace time. But from the Harshacharita, we learn that
on the advice of the pradhanasamantas, whose voice could not be
disregarded, Rajyavardhana took food when he was afflicted with grief on the
imprisonment of his sister Rajyasri. So, if the counsel of the vassals could not
be ignored in personal matters, it could be less so in administrative affairs
where not only their advice but also help and cooperation were badly
    It seems that the samantas living in the court of the overlord even had to
carry out certain social obligations   as well. It is recorded in the kadambari