The epigraphic records also indicate that these principles were followed
in practice to a certain extent and the kings refrained from tyrannizing the
people. The Naianda Copper Plate Inscription of Samudragupta describes
him as, ‘equal to the (gods) ... the giver of the many crores of lawfully
acquired cows and gold’. The Udayagiri cave inscription of Chandragupta II
describes him as, ‘the Earth, which is ... (being protected with) righteousness
(and good policy)’. Further, there are inscriptions belonging to Kumaragupta
I, Skandagupta and Buddhagupta, which praise all these rulers for good
conduct and ruling according to the law-givers.
Rate of Land Tax
The law-givers of our period have not only enunciated the principles of
taxation, but have also recommended the rate at which the land tax may be
collected by the king on land. Even Hiuen Tsang, while describing the
conditions of the people, mentions that the king’s tenants pay one-sixth of the
produce as rent. It appears that a sixth part was traditionally accepted as the
rate of the share of the king to be taken as land tax. However, the probability
that the king could levy different rates for different types of soil cannot be
ruled out. Brihaspati lays down the rates of one-tenth and one-sixth on khila
land, on the land exposed to the rain water (devomatrika), and on the crops
harvested in vusanta respectively.
    The epigraphic evidence of the period does not give any clue to the rate
of land tax, which was actually taken by the rulers. Only in the inscriptions of
Bengal do we find reference to one-sixth share of the merit, which would
accrue to the king. The reference to the expression dharmasadbhaga in Gupta
epigraphs may suggest that the king’s normal grain share was one-sixth of the
produce. It is, however, curious that we do not find any reference to any
revenue terms in Bengal epigraphs belonging to the Gupta and the post-Gupta
periods, as in the land charters belonging to central and western India.
Assessment of Land Revenue
Regarding the mode of assessment, it seems that land reveneue was assessed
on individual holdings of land. The precision, with which the granted fields
and villages were marked on