beneficiaries. Haifa dozen land grants of the Gupta period, made to the
Brahmins by the big feudatories in central India, show us that the residents of
the gifted villages were asked not only to pay the customary taxes to the
recipients but also to obey their commands. Two land grants of the post-
Gupta period clearly direct certain government officials (employed as
sarvadhyaksha), regular soldiers and umbrella-bearers not to cause any
disturbance to the Brahmins in their gifted villages.
    The surrender of police functions by the state to the Brahmins in the
gifted villages was particularly done from the post-Gupta period onwards.
Henceforth in central and western India some royal donors began to confer
upon the Brahmins not only the right to punish thieves (criminal justice), but
also the right to punish all offences against family, property; and person (civil
justice). These grants, using the term abhyantarasiddhi, armed the donees
with such powers that they could easily turn the benefices into practically
independent pockets.
    Gupta grants normally do not authorise the grantee to alienate or grant his
rents or land to others. But the Indore grant (made in AD 397 by a local
merchant to a Brahmin with the consent of one Maharaja Swamidasa,
probably a feudatory of the Imperial Guptas) authorises the grantee to enjoy
the field, cultivate it and get it cultivated so long as he observes the
conditions of the brahmadeya grant. This leaves clear scope for creating
tenants on the donated land and provides perhaps the earliest epigraphic
evidence of the subinfeudation of the soil. This process of subinfeudation
increased in the western part of central India in the fifth century AD and
characterised the grants of the Valabhi rulers to their donees in the sixth and
seventh centuries.
    The priests, in return for land grants, were required in the charters, to
render religious services, which might secure the spiritual welfare of the
donors or their ancestors. But their secular obligations were rarely mentioned
in the charters for they were probably taken for granted. However, it is but
natural that the priestly beneficiaries more than repaid their generous donors
by maintaining law and order in the donated lands and impressing upon the
people the sacred duty of carving out their varna functions and of obeying the
king. Hence, whatever may have been the intentions of the donors, it would
be wrong to think that these grants   served only religious purposes.