Indian Influences in the Far East
K. A. Nilakanta
published in 1949, this seminal work by one of the greatest
Indian historians is a gold mine of information on the spread
of Indian civilization in South East and Far East Asia. Long
out of print, it was reprinted in 2003 by the Tamil
Arts Academy and is reproduced here with the kind permission of Dr. R.
Nagaswamy. (The text was scanned and proofread by IFIH in
A. Nilakanta Sastri, besides teaching for many years at the
Madras University, authored several important works on Indian
history, the best known of which are perhaps A
History of South India (Oxford
University Press) and The
Cholas (University of Madras), both
of which remain unrivalled classics.
for long vowels, diacritical marks could not be preserved
in the scanning; we hope to release later an updated version
with all diacritics. The map referred to by the author in
his preface is unfortunately missing; we will try to include
it in a later release.
is also available for download as
a pdf file (550 kB).
manuscript of this small work was completed in 1942 and submitted
for publication in the first instance to the University of
Madras. War conditions prevented the publication of the work
by the University before my retirement from service in 1947.
With the permission of the University the work is now published
by Messrs Hind Kitabs Ltd.
only change in the original manuscript has been the inclusion
of a notice of the additional Yupa inscriptions of Borneo
at pages 137-138. The finds of Buddhist images in gold and
silver in Sambas in the same island has not been noticed as
they have been included in a recent publication of mine, History
of Srī Vijaya published by the University of Madras.
obligations to the French and Dutch archaeologists who have
worked in Indo-China and in Java, in particular to the learned
contributions of Professors G. Cœdès and N. J. Krom,
will be apparent on every page as also in the map that accompanies
the book. Other works mentioned in the Bibliography have also
been found very helpful.
K.A. NILAKANTA SASTRI
10th October 1949
K.A. Nilakanta Sastri was the most outstanding historian of
South India, whose contributions are well known. His book
on The Cholas is a classic. He brought to bear on his
writing absolute objectivity and thoroughness. Among his various
writings this work South Indian Influences in the Far East received the admiration of international scholars. This has
been long out of print and not available for scholars for
long. The Tamil Arts Academy is happy to bring out this reprint
on the occasion of the International Conference on Mahabharata
that focuses on artistic and cultural contact India had with
South East Asian countries.
I. Introduction: Early Culture Movements
Our aim in the following pages is not to offer a systematic account of the Hindu colonization of the East, much less a history of the various kingdoms that were established as a result of that movement. It is much more limited; we propose to consider only one particular aspect of the movement, and of the early history of the States, their art and social life with a view to estimating the role of Southern India in their evolution.
before we enter upon this task, it is necessary to have some
idea of the state of culture attained by the peoples of the
lands to which our colonizers went. However far we go back
in pre-history, the evidence from skulls shows distinctly
that the races had become thoroughly mixed, and it is therefore
safer to speak of a people rather than of a race as the authors
of any particular culture. And for the limited purposes of
our study, it is not necessary for us to go further back than
the latest phase of the New Stone Age. The most characteristic
feature of this period is the different forms of adzes with
quadrangular sections. This quadrangular adze-culture, says
Heine-Geldern, “probably came to the Malay Peninsula and Indonesia
by way of China and Central Indo-China (Laos and Siam) between
2000 and 1500 B.C. Its bearers introduced to Indonesia
the Austronesian languages, the outrigger canoe, rice cultivation,
domesticated cattle or buffaloes, head-hunting, and the custom
of erecting megalithic monuments. Beaked adzes belong to this
culture as also four-cornered ones. Their gradual development
can be traced archaeologically along the trail of the Austronesion
migration from Upper Laos through the Malay Peninsula to Indonesia.”
Of the adzes of Sumatra and Java in particular, the same writer
observes: “Both the quadrangular as well as the beaked adzes
of Sumatra are very similar to those of Java. The neolithic
cultures of both islands show the same preference for semi-precious
stones and coloured varieties of silex, and the same wonderful
perfection of stone cutting. Some of these adze blades are
real works of art.”
a careful study of the linguistic evidence, Kern showed in
1889 that in the cradle-land from which the Indonesians began
to expand there were grown sugarcane, cocoanut, banana and
bamboo—all tropical products. Rattan was also known, and rice
was the staple food. The people were also a sea-faring folk.
This cradle land he located in Campā, Cochin-China, Kambuja
and the neighbouring lands, although he did not rule out the
possibility of a still earlier home. This earlier home Heine-Geldern
finds in Yunnan and Southern China.
neolithic men thus received from Yunnan the people whose speech
later grew into the Indonesian languages and who occupied
the coastal lands on the east whence they began to practise
sea-faring. Their river boats—hollowed tree trunks—developed
later into the outrigger boats used in the archipelago. The
neolithic migration which reached the islands by way of the
Malay Peninsula does not seem to have gone beyond Moluccas;
it did not reach New Guinea. The relatively high culture attained
in this period is attested not only by the cultivation of
rice and the fine adzes already mentioned, but also by the pottery and weaving
of the time which appear to have attained a high level of
next stage in the cultural development of these lands was
marked by the extensive use of bronze, coupled with a knowledge
of iron, and a greater skill in the arts of navigation and
ship-building. Ships of considerable size, manned by large
crews, are portrayed on the bronze kettle-drums which were
also a remarkable trait of this period. This culture is often
designated Dong-son culture; Dong-son is a village on the
right bank of the Song-ma, in the Tanh-hoa province of Annam,
and many bronze drums were found here.
investigations have traced the origins of this culture to
the Yueh people who inhabited the coastal regions of China
about 2000 B.C. Eberhard says of the culture of the Yueh people:
“As typical of this coastal culture we may mention the following
traits: A developed navigation; the practice of holding boat
races, with its outgrowth, the dragon boat festival; the use
of bronze drums decorated in a way showing connection with
that rite; and the concept of the dragon as river god ...
Elements of this culture were the worship of serpents, of
sacred mountains (the latter destined to develop into important
temple festivals), and of certain trees.”
He adds significantly that the whole subject of
the affiliations of these early cultures of the Pacific lands
can yet be handled only in a tentative manner; it also raises
the question of the existence of the many parallels between
the Central American civilizations on the one hand and those
of Eastern Asia and Farther India on the other.
the bronze kettle-drums, which surprise us by their huge size
and by the thinness of their walls, swords, daggers and helmets,
household utensils and small statuettes, all of bronze, ornaments
of shell and semi-precious stones have also been unearthed
 This late Bronze Age culture probably began to
penetrate South-East Asia from the north not later than 300
even as early as 600 B.C., and must have lasted till about
Bronze casting was practised à cire perdue. The
big drums are hollow and exhibit no casting-seams inside;
clay cores must have been used and the distance between the
core and mould, i.e. the thickness of the wall, must have
been held by small bronze pieces of which relics are still
discernible in some of the drums. The binding between the
body of the drum and its ears is finely achieved—it is not
known by what process. The alloy is not copper and tin, but
copper and lead as in the mints of China in the Han period,
and this alloy could be made into a thin flowing liquid which
was easy to cast into the thin-walled drums. Later, in Hindu
times, the usual copper-tin alloy came into use.
 The find spots of kettle-drums, glass beads, stone
cist graves, etc. in the Malay Peninsula furnish the necessary
links indicating the route taken by this culture in its migration
from Tonkin to the islands.
are thus enabled to distinguish two main element in the culture-complex
of Indo-China and Indonesia as it had developed before the
advent of the Hindus—one a late neolithic element, and the
other of a late Bronze Age both developing in Indo-China and
spreading south and south-east, though the roots of both may
possibly go back to a much earlier time and to remoter districts
of China. There is enough evidence at hand to show that it
is wrong to think of the pre-Hindu population
of these lands as utter savages to whom civilization first
came with the Hindus. There is in fact accumulating evidence
of a widespread Austric culture, as it is sometimes called,
not confined to the archipelago but spreading across the peninsula
to portions of north-eastern India.
is possible, however, that influences from China and India
had begun to operate in this area much earlier than is generally
believed, though they were not yet strong enough to make much
difference to the content of its culture. We have gained from
the few excavations that have taken place very valuable evidence
of trade contacts in the Bronze Age between South China and Indo-China
on the one hand and the mountain lands of Sumatra which attracted
gold-seekers on the other.
evidence taking us still farther back comes to hand from the
Philippines where Prof. Beyer conducted a remarkable series
of excavations at his own cost during the years 1926-1930.
That part of the evidence which most concerns us is thus summed
up by R. B. Dixon who visited the Philippines and examined
the objects brought to light by Beyer's excavations: “It is
from finds in the Iron Age strata which overlie the neolithic
deposits that immediate conclusions can legitimately be drawn.
These comprise pottery of a considerable range in quality
and types of decoration and a very large variety of forms.
Secondly, iron implements and weapons such as knives, axes,
daggers and spear-points; thirdly, glass beads and bangles,
both green and blue, and finally beads of semi-precious stones
such as agate, cornelian, amethyst and rock-crystal. It is
certain that some at least of the iron objects were of local
manufacture, since deposits of iron slag and evidences of
iron smelting have been found. It is uncertain as to glass,
but unfinished beads adhering to each other in series of half
a dozen or more are found, and clear evidence of the repairing
of broken bangles. In the earlier Iron Age strata only green
glass, whose colour is due to iron, occurs; in the later both
this and a blue glass whose colour is due to copper.
both the iron and glass objects are similar to and in some
cases identical with the prehistoric glass and iron finds
in the south of India. These occur in the dolmen tombs and
urn burials which are found by hundreds of thousands, and
which almost certainly antedate the historic Chera, Chola
and Pandyan kingdoms, whose history goes back to the beginning
of the Christian era or before. As finds of similar glass
beads and bangles have recently been made in the Malay Peninsula,
in dolmen tombs in Java, and in North Borneo, the inference
is inescapable that we have clear evidence of a trade contact
between the northern Philippines and southern India, running
well back into the first millennium B.C. The extensive trade and colonization
and later conquests of the South Indian kingdoms, in Sumatra
and Java as well as in Indo-China in the early centuries of
the Christian era are of course well known. This new material,
however, seems to make it clear that this was far from being
the beginning of such contacts, but rather the last stages
in an association reaching as far as the northern Philippines
which had begun many centuries before. In Chinese historical
sources, there are a few references to maritime traders bringing
typical Indian products to China as far back as the seventh
century B.C. These accounts have generally been
regarded with incredulity or strong suspicion at least. In
view of this evidence from the Philippines the probability
of these accounts is greatly increased, with consequences
for the history of Chinese culture which are obvious.”
need not apologize for the length of this quotation; it deals
with an important aspect of pre-history which no summary could
reproduce exactly. If the facts and arguments of Dixon
are accepted as correct—and I see no reason why they should
not be—it would follow that South-East Asia was touched by
cultural streams not only from the North but to some extent
from the West as well, and it seems possible that the sources
of some of these reach farther west than India. A Hittite
stone bead of about 700 B.C. was found some years ago among a
large collection from the Johore river, the bulk of which
belong to a date about the first century A.D. when the Roman
Empire came into active contact with India and the Far East.
and India were thus the two main sources from which higher
cultural influences kept flowing into south-eastern Asia in
prehistoric as well as historical times; the movements were
by no means always only in one direction and Indonesian influences
can be traced on some aspects of Indian life. For a general
estimate of the respective spheres of Indian and Chinese influences,
we may well accept the following statement from Bishop at
the conclusion of his illuminating paper on the “Origin of
the Traction Plow”:
China, again, the traction plow travelled to the East India
Archipelago, occupation of which it shared with the type from
India. Generally speaking, the line of demarcation between
the two fields of cultural influence extends, though with
many interpenetrations, from east-central Tibet southward
through the Indo-Chinese peninsula, thence swinging off in
a south-easterly direction into Indonesia. Formosa, the Philippines
and North Borneo remain on the Chinese side, while Sumatra,
Java and their nearer neighbours fall within the Indian sphere.”
within the Indian sphere so defined, the Chinese did establish
themselves at selected points from olden times for purposes
of trade and formed colonies in course of time; but they always
remained colonies of foreigners with little inclination to
mix with the local populations, and in contrast to what the
Hindus achieved, there is nowhere any trace of the taking
over of Chinese culture by the children of the soil.
the beginning of the Christian era when the historical period
may be said to commence in Indo-China, the peninsula was inhabited
by a number of peoples.
The Burmans, still in touch with their congeners,
the Tibetans, already occupied the upper course of the Irawady,
and the Peguans (Mon) its lower valley and possibly also the
valley of the Lower Menam where we find them later. The Thai
were still in Yunnan, their original home, where they preserved
their independence till the thirteenth century. The Khmers
(Cambodians or rather their ancestors) inhabited not only
the present-day Cambodia but a good part of Laos and Cochin-China.
The Chams, who spoke a language closely related to Indonesian
tongues, occupied southern Annam, from Cape St. Jacques in
the south up to Tourane in the north. Lastly, the Annamites
held the north of Annam and Tonkin. Indo-China was already
divided between two civilizations: the Chinese sphere comprising
the Annamites, and the Indian sphere embracing Pegu, Kambuja
age of Indian colonization in Indo-China is by no means certain.
There is no reference to it in Kautilya, though the contrary
opinion has been expressed occasionally.
But the third or even the fourth century B.C.
is not an improbable date for the beginning of this movement.
Buddhist legends relating to the conversion of Suvarnabhūmi
seem to afford a valuable clue; and Blagden has succinctly
summed up the position in the following words:
precise position of Suvarnabhūmi is not beyond doubt
but its early missionaries, Sona and Uttara, have long been
claimed by Burma as the founders of their branch of the church;
and though the tale has been embellished with many legendary
accretions in the course of ages, it can hardly on that account
be dismissed as being altogether devoid of foundation. Evidence
is gradually accumulating from various different quarters
which tends to show that Indian influence made itself felt
in Indo-china from about the beginning of the Christian era,
or possibly even two or three centuries before that date;
and there seems to be nothing antecedently improbable in the
story of a Buddhist mission being sent there at a relatively
early period, though it may well be hazardous at present to
fix that date precisely.”
Indianization of the southern and south-eastern parts of Indo-China
must be looked upon as a pacific penetration, proceeding by
slow imperceptible stages just like the similar movement that
preceded it in the Deccan. Whether these missionaries of Indian
civilization came by land by way of Burma, or by sea (possibly
after crossing the Isthmus of Kra), their culture prevailed
wherever they went. Sanskrit became the official language
of the Khmers and the Chams; Hindu beliefs, from Vedic sacrifices
down to sectarian beliefs, particularly Saivism, were adopted
by them; and with Brahminism came also Buddhism.
Golden Chryse doubtless included Burma and must have been
a translation of Suvarnabhūmi, the classical name of
Burma. The central region of the country was called Sonāparānta
in Pāli, from Sona (Sk. Suvarna) meaning gold, and prānta
or aparānta meaning ‘frontier country’. “Sonāparānta
was regularly used in the record of the titles of the kings
of Burma, and it was the name given to the territories round
the capital in all State documents. It is also to be noted
that up to the end of the monarchy, Tampadipa (copper island
or region) figured among the royal titles, and this is no
doubt Ptolemy's Chalcitis.”
is easily approached only by sea, and indications are not
wanting of early maritime connexions of the outside world
with Burma. (There were land routes across the north but they
do not concern us here.) The author of the Periplus of
the Erythraean Sea records that very large ships, called Colandia, sailed to Chryse from the ports on the eastern
coast of South India, and Ptolemy mentions fleets from Ceylon
following the same course. Musicians and jugglers are said
to have arrived in Burma as early as A.D. 120 from the distant Roman province
of Syria (Ta-Ts'in).
The sea coast of Burma must once have lain much
farther north than it now is. “Cables and ropes of sea-going
vessels have been dug up at Ayathema, the ancient Takkala,
or Golamattika, now quite twelve miles from the sea-shore,
and not many years ago remains of foreign ships were found
near Tunte (Twantay, close to Rangoon) buried eight feet beneath
the surface of the earth.”
name Talaing, often applied to the Mon people, is said to
be a memento of Telingana, the original home of some late
arrivals among these people, if not of all of them; this view,
however, is by no means universally accepted. Tradition credits
to the Telingas the foundation of Thaton in 543 B.C.
It also states that disputes between
the Brahmins and the Buddhists marked the early years of the
new kingdom, and that as a result of the Third Buddhist Council
convoked by Asoka at Pātaliputra c. 250 B.C., Sona and Uttara were sent as missionaries
to Burma, to ‘revive’ Buddhism there.
But all this is highly doubtful, and Asoka himself
has nothing to say in his inscriptions about Burma or his
mission to it. Equally devoid of foundation are the stories
relating to Buddhaghosa, his birth in Burma, his crossing
over to Ceylon and his return to Burma with a complete set
of the Tripitaka. The Cambodians also claimed that Buddhaghosa
came to them. There is nothing in the more authentic sources
of Buddhaghosa's life that supports the claims of these two
historical times we find the Peguans, Mon or Talaing, related
to the Khmer and occupying the coastal districts of Lower
Burma, and their country, Rāmanyadesa, had for its capital
Hamsavati (Pegu). Tradition places the foundation of this
kingdom about A.D. 573, but the Indianization of the
country appears clearly to have started much earlier. The
Mon, who once occupied a wide area in Lower Burma and in the
Malay Peninsula, were the earliest peoples of Burma known
the north of this kingdom lay the land of people who were
more nearly related to the Tibetans, and who had Prome (Srīksetra)—Hmawaza—for
their capital till the ninth century when it was shifted
to Arimaddana (Pagan). During the Prome period this kingdom
was also subject to strong Indian influences, though the language
of the inscriptions is an archaic Tibeto-Burman idiom, otherwise,
unknown; it is convenient, following the Chinese name of P’iao for this early Burman kingdom, to call this idiom employed
in the official records of the Indianized Prome kingdom Pyū.
In fact an early Mon inscription (A.D. 1101-2) mentions side by side the three
ethnic terms Tircul (indigenous name for the Pyū), Mirma
(Burmese), and Rmen (Mon),
thus clearly distinguishing the three elements
of the population. The people who spoke Pyū are best
regarded as the forerunners of the Tibeto-Burman movement
into the southern parts of the Irawady valley; they had reached
the neighbourhood of Prome, where all their known records
are found, long before the Burmese came down from the north.
Pyū seem to have received their veneer of Indian civilization
at second hand from the Mon people of the delta. When this
happened is not known; but the alphabet of the Pyū records
is archaic and contains forms which were going out of use
in India even in the fourth century A D. and the Pyū word for gold seems
to be borrowed from Mon  They seem to have been completely absorbed by
the Burmans and left nothing behind except short funerary
inscriptions and some bilingual records in Pyū and Sanskrit
or Pāli containing mostly extracts from the Buddhist
canon. But the Pyū version of the Myazedi inscription
shows that the nation was still sufficiently important at
the beginning of the twelfth century for its language to be
recognized as of equal importance with Burmese and Mon.
effect of the Burmese conquest which began about the middle
of the eleventh century and came to an end five centuries
later was less disastrous to the Mon people only because there
was Siam to which they could go at first; and in later times,
when the Alompra dynasty actively pursued a policy of annihilation
of what was left of the Mon, even the indifference of the
British government in Tennesserim was found to offer a welcome
refuge. But the language no longer maintains a literary standard
and has sunk to the level of a patois comprising a
congeries of local dialects.
this preliminary sketch of the background, the reader will
be in a position to appreciate the details of the evidence
on the Indian influences at work at different times in the
early history of Burma. The earliest epigraphical text so
far known is engraved on two thin gold plates discovered in
1897 at Maunggun village near Hmawaza in the Prome district.
 The inscription comprises quotations from Pāli
Buddhist scriptures written in a clearly South Indian alphabet
of the fifth or sixth century A.D. Pāli Buddhism was quite strong
in South India all along the east coast; and the Krsnā
valley, Kāñcīpuram and Ceylon, not to speak of less-known
places in the Kāvēri and elsewhere, were well-known
centres of Buddhism, most favourably situated for intercourse
with Burma across the Bay. Dharmapāla, the great rival
and contemporary of Buddhaghosa, lived in Kāñcī
in the fifth century. The particular connexion of some of
the colonies with the Pallavas and their cultural traditions
is well known and traced in detail elsewhere in this book.
We may note here that Srīksetra, the kingdom of Prome,
appears to have had an alternative name Vanavāsi which
reminds one of the capital of the Kadambas in the western
part of South India; this becomes clear from an old inscription
on a metallic image of the Buddha from Prome, which begins: idam Vanavāsīrattha-vāsinam pūjanatthāya, meaning, this is for the worship of the residents of the
kingdom of Vanavāsi.
conclusion suggested by these facts is strengthened by the
discovery in 1910-1911 at Hmawaza of part of a stone inscription,
also written in Pāli, in characters very similar to those
of the Maunggun plates; the full inscription must, it has
been calculated, have covered a space of 1.4 metres by 1.75 metres and constituted
a large panel in the wall displaying the selected text from
the Vibhanga for the edification of the faithful.
excavations in the neighbourhood of Hmawaza in the year 1926-
1927 brought to light striking and valuable evidence pointing
in the same direction.
At a site known as Khin-bha-gōn near the
Kalagangon village, a relic chamber of a stūpa containing
many finds of great interest was exposed. The chamber was
found closed by a stone slab bearing a representation of a
type of stūpa having a cylindrical dome with a rounded
top and five umbrellas above the hti; “the prototypes
of these forms must be sought for in South India” (Duroiselle).
In the relic chamber itself, there was a silver gilt stūpa,
cylindrical in shape, supporting on its flat cover the trunk
of a Bo tree, of which the branches and leaves had broken
off and lay scattered about the chamber; the stūpa with
the tree is 26” high and has a diameter of 13” at the top and 16” at the base.
“Around the drum of the stūpa are four seated Buddhas,
each with an attendant monk standing on one side. The stūpa
itself is hollow, with no bottom, and is of silver plate with
the images repoussé in high relief. The top, forming
the cover, is removable and has, round the rim, a line of
inscription in Pyū and Pāli, in an early Telugu-Canarese
script of South India, very closely allied to that of the
Kadambas of Vanavāsi and that of the Pallavas of Kāñcīpura.
The character is practically the same as the script of the
Maunggun plates.... Each of the passages in Pyū gives
the name of the Buddha immediately below it; and after each of these names comes
a short extract consisting of a few words from the Pāli
scriptures.” The four Buddhas named are those who have appeared
in the present Kalpa, viz. Konagamana, Kakusandha,
Kassapa and Gotama; the attendants are the four disciples
of Gotama, viz. Kassaba (Kassapa), Maulana (Moggalāna),
Sari (Sāriputta), and ... da (Ānanda). “Around the
lower rim of the same stūpa is another line of inscription,
also in Pyū, of which some letters are missing owing
to the rim, which is very thin and brittle, having broken
off.” The inscription is difficult to interpret, but contains
two names Srī Prabhuvarma and, separated from
it by a few words, Srī Prabhudevī, possibly
the reigning king and queen. Notice the -varman ending
of the king, a South Indian feature common to most of the
colonies in the East.
images of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and others in gold and silver,
bowls, caskets, symbolical coins of various sizes, beads and
other ornaments, and gold and silver plates with inscriptions
have been discovered in considerable numbers. Prominent in
the last category of inscribed plates is “a manuscript in
every way similar to the palm leaf manuscript so common in
India and Burma but with leaves of gold, twenty in number,
with writing incised on one side. These leaves, within their
two gold covers, were found bound together by a thick wire
with its ends fastened to the covers by sealing wax and small
glass beads. There are two holes in each leaf and cover, through
which the gold wire was passed, to keep the whole in position
and proper order. It was necessary to cut this wire in order
to free the leaves.” Each leaf, 6½ x 1½, contains three lines
of writing, except the last but one with four lines and the
last with only two. The characters are similar to those of
the Pyū inscription round the rim of the large silver
stūpa described above, and of the same date (sixth or
early seventh century). The manuscript is made up of short
extracts in Pāli from the Abhidhamma and Vinaya Pitakas,
the Dhamma as preserved in the Tripitakas being an object
of worship among the Buddhists. Another gold plate (part of
it missing) bearing the text of a well-known formula of the
Vinaya and Sūtta Pitaka in two lines of the same
early South Indian script was found in the Kyundawzu village
in Old Prome.
Lastly numberless terracotta plaques have also
been found carrying the effigy of the Buddha in the bhūmisparsa
mudrā on the obverse, and extracts from the Abhidhamma or the ye dhammā formula
on the reverse in South Indian characters of varying dates
from the fifth to the seventh century A.D.
the fifth and sixth centuries Prome was thus a centre of Southern
Buddhism—though Mahāyāna is also known, witness
the Bodhisattvas—where doctrinal Pāli texts of an abstruse
character were studied and the writing employed was of South
Indian origin. What is true of Prome is the more so of Pegu.
Finot has observed: “It is not impossible that Siam borrowed
it from Pegu and transmitted it to her eastern neighbours,
and that the inscriptions of Maunggun and of Hmawaza are thus
indirectly the beginnings of modern Buddhism in Cambodia.
a slightly later period belong the seven short Pyū inscriptions
on funerary urns bearing dates from 35 to 80 presumably in the Burmese era starting
from A.D. 638; these inscriptions reveal the
name of three kings with Indian names in mixed Sanskrit and
Pāli form, viz. Sūriyavikrama, Harivikrama, and
Sihavikrama, and record the dates of their deaths.
It may be noted in passing that neither these -vikrama kings nor the -varman ruler noticed
earlier find any mention in native tradition.
To the same age must be ascribed a broken Buddha
from Hmawaza with a bilingual inscription on the pedestal
in South Indian characters of the seventh or eighth century;
the Buddha is in dhyāna mudrā and the treatment
of his dress seems to show Gupta influence; the inscription
is in Sanskrit and Pyū, the words in the Sanskrit version
being apparently arranged according to Pyū syntax,
and not always correct. Another small headless
Buddha from the same place bears the Buddhist formula in Gupta
characters of the seventh century.
Another inscription in Gupta characters of the
seventh or eighth century is found engraved in two lines on
a bronze bell from VesāIi (Arakan); the language is mixed
Sanskrit as in some Jaina inscriptions from Mathurā;
the inscription records the name of the Caitya to which the
bell was presented and of the donor who made the gift.
have thus evidence of Sanskrit at Prome from a fairly early
period, besides Pāli and Pyū and of the working
of North Indian influences side by side with those from South
India. Buddhist texts in Sanskrit, however, do not all of
them necessarily belong to Mahāyāna; the Mūla-sarvāstivādins,
a sect of the Hīnayāna, had also a Sanskrit canon;
and “they spread themselves very early over a vast extent
of Asia, having settled in Turkestan, China, Indo-China and
the Indian Archipelago.”
complete this account of the Buddhist antiquities of Indian
origin at Hmawaza we must add that the clay votive tablets
with Pyū and Sanskrit inscriptions range up to the ninth
or tenth century A.D., some going up to the eleventh century
as well, and some bearing Nāgarī legends possibly
under the influence of Nālandā.
These and the numerous bronze figurines of Bodhisattvas
are distinctly Mahāyānist in character. It has been
noted also that the figures on some of these later tablets
exhibit decidedly un-Indian facial features; they were clearly
of local make and the features must be taken to be typical
of the Pyū physiognomy of which we have no other specimens.
not strictly relevant to a study of South India influences
in Burma, a brief mention of the Arī and their place
in the early religious history of Burma may well be considered
necessary and useful.
The name does after all seem to be related to
Ārya; nevertheless, the suggestions that its correct
form is Arañ, an abbreviation Pāli Arññaka (Sanskrit
Āranyaka), that in early Buddhist literature this term
is used to describe the purest member of the Sangha, and that
we must suppose that its significance suffered a change for
the worse in Burma, turn out to be untenable on phonetic grounds.
The Arī wore black, worshipped Nāgas,
enjoyed a sort of the jus primae noctis and practised
animal sacrifice. Their cult was definitely suppressed by
royal edict in the middle of the fifteenth century. They are
usually taken to have represented a form of corrupt Mahāyāna
Buddhism mixed up with Tantrism and Saivism, and first introduced
into Burma from north-east India about the sixth century A.D.
But they are not strictly confined to Burma, and some of their
practices can be traced in Cambodia, Laos and Siam; it seems
possible, therefore, that some widespread, primitive, indigenous
cults might have contributed their share to the make-up of
the bizarre cult of Ari. In any event, this is not the best
side of the Indian influence on Burma, and South India had
little part or lot in it.
comprising the worship of Siva and Visnu was also known and
practised in Lower Burma in early times of which we have been
speaking. Vestiges of Hinduism are however not so common in
Lower Burma as in some parts of Indo-China. “At Thaton have
been discovered three fine bas-reliefs, one representing Visnu caturbhuja, seated, the two others Nārāyana
recumbent on Ananta, with a lotus coming out of his navel
and supporting the three gods of the Trimūrti.”
Prome glories in the name of Pissanumyo, the town
of Visnu, and excavations there have yielded
a Visnu caturbhuja standing
on Garuda. At Pagan itself “we have found a small temple which
was evidently consecrated to Visnu; many statues of this god survive
and the external walls are decorated with bas-reliefs of the
ten avatārs.” Another standing Visnu and a Visnu recumbent on Ananta
and supporting the Trimūrtis on lotuses issuing from
his navel, both sandstone sculptures, were discovered at Kalagangon,
near Hmawaza, in 1920,
and these have been assigned to an eighth century
date, and the style of art is probably of Gupta inspiration.
Hinduism, it has been suggested, counted its followers
in ancient Burma mostly among the foreign settlers and colonizers
who hailed generally from South India, while the bulk of the
Pyū population must have been Buddhists. And not only
in Prome, but in the whole of Burma, Saivite remains are rare
as compared with the relics of the Vaisnava creed.
Coins of the eighth century bearing the Saiva
symbols of the Nandi and trident have been found in Vesāli
(Arakan), and local tradition seems to point to Bengal as
the source of the people who used them.
A linga 14” in height was found in the
village of Kalagangon meaning ‘the village near the mound
by the Indian tank’, near Hmawaza, very near sites which yielded
some of the Vaisnava statues and the most important Buddhist
relics already noticed.
we must make mention of an interesting terracotta plaque first
noticed in 1935 and the first of its kind so far discovered
in Burma. It is I’ 6” square and 2” thick and made of hard clay. It
bears a large sunken medallion in the centre bounded by a
circle of beads and portraying “a party of musicians, of whom
there are five arranged in two rows. In the upper row are
two figures, the one on the left blowing a kind of French
horn and the other on the right playing on some uncertain
instrument which has broken off. In the lower row, the two
figures on either side are beating drums, and the one in the
centre, probably the worse for liquor, is dancing, steadying
himself on the shoulders of his companions. The figures are
well portrayed.... Their style, dress and features are purely
Indian. They wear each a necklace of beads, armlets and a dhoti, and the dancer has in addition a piece of linen
across his chest. The hair is parted in the centre, and formed
into two big tresses falling just over the shoulders and covering
the ears. Their bodies are plump, and their faces round.”
The half-medallions at the corners were doubtless
meant to be completed by similar ones in adjacent plaques,
all adorning the base of a fairly large-sized monument. The
plaque is said to have be found by a Buddhist monk at the
bottom of a tank in Kyontu, Pegu District, while the tank
was being cleaned. There is now no means of fixing a definite
date for this interesting find.
these sculptures, the large number of Sanskrit words in Talaing
and Burman is another strong proof of Hindu influences.
Besides the short Pāli sentences in Talaing
records attesting the influence of Pāli Buddhism and
the pedantry of the composers of the records, there are Indian
loan-words in considerable numbers in the Mon text itself;
“these form an integral part of the language and are not merely
tacked on like the Pāli sentences. They are very common
in the early inscriptions, and many of such loan-words have
survived through the mediaeval into the modern form of Mon.
A remarkable proportion of these words is of Sanskrit origin,
not Pāli. Sometimes we find mixed forms, partly Sanskrit
and partly Pāli. The Sanskrit forms include some of the
commonest religious terms, such as dharma, swar (from svarga), and the like. As to the reason for
their presence in early Moil, allowance must be made for the
fact that Brahmans, who are often mentioned in the inscriptions,
played a great part at all Indo-Chinese courts from Burma
to Campā.” Again, in the earlier Mon inscriptions the
proper names are Sanskrit, Pāli, or mixed, and this feature
persists in mediaeval times when other names of native origin
begin to appear. The kings, both Burmese and Mon, “indulged
in a double nomenclature: an elaborate Indian name, sometimes
of stupendous length, was used by them as their royal style,
though they had shorter native names as well, by which (as
a rule) they are known in the histories. In the inscriptions
the Indian style is given the preference, presumably because
it sounded grander and was the specifically royal name, the
other one being personal. Certain conventional phrases based
on Indian originals are also sometimes used; for example,
the people in general are styled ‘the four castes’; although
there is no real reason to believe that, apart from the Brahmans,
who were of foreign introduction, any real division into castes
was recognized in Burma.”
Blagden has compared
the Burmese conquest of the Mon country to the
Roman conquest of Greece. Prior to this conquest, the Burmese
were no more a race of savages than the Romans were when they
conquered Greece. “But just as Rome became in a great measure
Hellenized, so the Burmese adopted much from the Mons.” The
southern form of Buddhism with its Pāli canon, the particular
variety of South Indian script in use among the Mons, and
certain useful crafts and ornamental arts were all taken over
by the Burmese from the conquered people; and much that is
now supposed to be distinctively Burmese was derived from
the Mons who had themselves got it from India and Ceylon.
contact with India was also actively maintained during the
mediaeval period and, in fact, has continued with interruptions
down to our own day. In his account of the reign of Alaungsithu
(A.D. 1112-1187) Scott
has observed. “The connection with India was still
maintained and the forms of many of the Pagan temples suggests
architects from the Dekkhan, along with others which certainly
point to Singhalese models. Many of the images and their attitudes
are quite South Indian, and the square structures with mandapas or porches, instead of the round tumulus, to say nothing of
the vaulted chambers and corridor passages, all suggest Indian
influence rather than the present conical style of pagoda.”
And the presence of a considerable number of South Indian
Tamils is attested by the well-known Grantha-Tamil inscription
of Pagan attesting the existence of a Visnu temple built there
by the Nānādesi merchants, and a gift to
the temple made in the thirteenth century by a merchant from
one of the port towns on the Malabar coast.
the early Christian era, the country that later became Kambujadesa
was divided into two political entities known to us only by
their Chinese names of Fu-nan and Chen-la. Both the States
claimed an Indian origin and cherished foundation legends
of a very similar character—the rulers of Fu-nan tracing their
descent from the union of Kaundinya of the Somavamsa (lunar
line) with the nāgī Somā, and those
of Chen-la from that of Maharsi Kambu of the Sūryavamsa
(solar line) with the apsara Merā.
it has been pointed out, is the Chinese representation of
the word which has survived to this day as Phnom, meaning
hill or mountain;
the underlying idea is that the capital city of
a State, the residence of its king, occupies the same place
in the kingdom as Mount Meru, the abode of the Gods, does
in the Universe.
occupied the lower valley of the Mekong, the area now designated
Cambodia and Cochin-China. Its capital was probably Vyādhapura,
or modern Ba Phnom.
It was a strongly Hinduised land from the earliest
times in which we begin to hear of it. Here is the oldest
account of the introduction of Hindu culture into Fu-nan given
by K’ang T’ai, a Chinese writer who visited Fu-nan about A.D. 245-250.
the beginning Fu-nan had a woman named Lieou-ye (Willow-leaf)
for ruler. In the country of Mo-fou there was a man Houen-chen
by name who offered worship to a spirit with great love and
ardour. The spirit was touched by his extreme piety, and one
night Houen-chen dreamt that a man gave him a divine bow and
asked him to embark on a boat and set out on the sea. Next
morning, Houen-chen entered the temple and found a bow at
the foot of the tree which was the home of the spirit. He
then got into a large boat and set sail. The spirit so guided
the wind that the boat reached Fu-nan. Lieou-ye wished to
rob the boat and capture it. Houen-chen raised the divine
bow and shot; the arrow pierced the barge of Lieou-ye through
and through; she became afraid and submitted, and Houen-chen
thus became master of Fu-nan.”
divine bow is part of the folklore which has been traced by
Goloubeuw to Herodotus’ account of the Scythians. The cult
of the spirit is the Chinese way of referring to Brahmanism.
The location of Mo-fou is unknown, though the cast coast of
the Malay Peninsula has been suggested; if this is correct,
Fu-nan received its Hindu culture at second-hand from one
of the earlier colonies of the peninsula. It seems possible
in any event that this story preserves the name of the leader
of the first band of Hindu colonists to reach Fu-nan, a leader,
whose name and country of origin might well have been preserved
by tradition two or three centuries after the event.
early kingdom has left some traces behind in the form of inscriptions
and monuments which are being discovered and identified by
the progress of modern research. As in many other sections
of Indo-Chinese archaeology and history, Cœdès leads here
also. Pelliot has collected all the Chinese texts on Fu-nan
and provided an illuminating commentary on them.
With their assistance, let us review the early
history of Fu-nan from our standpoint.
the successors of Kaundinya, Fu-nan seems to have become a
great kingdom commanding several vassal states. It is fairly
certain that from the second century A.D. at the latest, relations were established
between India and China by way of the Isthmus of Kra and of
the Malacca Strait; Fu-nan was on this route and must have
served as a necessary stage in this long voyage.
at first commander of the troops of Fu-nan, and later king,
was the founder of the greatness of Fu-nan. He subjugated
neighbouring kingdoms and reduced them to vassalage; he fitted
out a navy and conquered a good part of the Malay Peninsula;
he was the first to assume the title of ‘Great King of Fu-nan’.
He fell ill in the course of an expedition against Suvarnabhūmi,
doubtless Lower Burma, and died soon after, sometime in A.D. 225-230 or perhaps a little earlier.
celebrated Sanskrit inscription of Vo-Canh from South Annam,
engraved in a definitely South Indian alphabet has been assigned,
on palaeographical grounds, to an age not later than the third
century A.D. And recently Cœdès has suggested
that this most ancient inscription of Campā must be taken
to have been the work of a ruler of Fu-nan, and that Srī
Māra mentioned therein as the ancestor of the king was
no other than Fan-che-man, Fan being the -varman ending
which the Chinese took to be a family name.
The Vo-Canh record is Buddhist in inspiration,
but we shall see that Buddhism was known and practised in
Fu-nan under the successors of Fan-che-man.
was followed on the throne, according to the Chinese sources,
by Fan-Tchan, his elder-sister's son who murdered the legitimate
heir Fan Kin-cheng. The reign of this usurper is important
because it witnessed the commencement of direct official relations
between Fu-nan and the princes of India. From a Chinese who
had travelled from the west across India to Fu-nan, Fan-Tchan
heard of the glories of India and sent one of his relations,
Sou-wou by name, as ambassador to India. He embarked from
Takkola, which is evidence of the authority of Funan over
the west coast of the peninsula, reached the mouths of the
Ganges, met the king of the Murundas in the interior, and
returned with a Hindu companion and a present of four horses
from the king of the Indo-Scythian country. Sou-wou was absent
for four years on this mission (c. A.D. 240-4) and these years witnessed
many political revolutions in Fu-nan.
was assassinated by the second son of Fan-che-man who had
come of age, and was in his turn removed by General Fan-siun.
It was in the reign of Fan-siun that the Chinese mission of
K’ang T’ai and Tchou Ying visited Fu-nan (A.D. 245-250), and
from this time regular missions were sent from Fu-nan to the
court of China. Fan-siun is credited with a long reign, but
a period of confusion seems to have followed. In 357, the
Hindu Tchou Tchan-t’an, we learn, ‘called himself king’ and
sent an embassy to China. Another three-quarters of a century
passes before we hear of the next embassy in 434. But this
interval is said to witness another complete transformation
of Fu-nan by the arrival of a Kaundinya from Pan-pan who reformed
the institutions of Fu-nan on the model of those of India,
and completed the Hinduisation of the land; this occurrence
may be placed at the end of the fourth or the beginning of
the fifth century A.D.
the reign of one of the successors of Kaundinya, Jayavarman,
we are somewhat better informed. He sent some merchants to
Canton who, on their return, were shipwrecked on the coast
of Campā together with the Hindu monk Nāgasena who
then gained Fu-nan by land. In 484 Nāgasena was sent
by jayavarman with presents to China and a request for aid
against Lin-yi (Campā); the emperor received the presents
thankfully but declined to help against Campā. From the
account of the embassy we learn that Nāgasena told the
emperor that there was in Fu-nan a mountain called Motan on
which Mahesvara descended incessantly and where the plants
never withered. To this cult of Siva must have belonged the
images with two heads and four arms, or four heads and eight
arms, and holding an infant, an animal, the sun and the moon.
It is possible that some were Vaisnava images; for the presence
of that creed in Fu-nan is attested by inscriptions of the
time, as we shall see later. Buddhism was also practised side
by side. This becomes clear also from the fact that two monks,
Sanghapāla and Mandrasena, who were employed in translating
Buddhist texts into Chinese at this time are said to have
come from Fu-nan. Let us note in passing that though the Sanskrit
texts translated into Chinese by these monks were Mahāyāna
texts, we have no reason to conclude from this fact that the
Buddhism practised in Fu-nan was of that variety.
Jayavarman sent another embassy to China in 503
and got in turn the title ‘General of the peaceful South,
King of Fu-nan’.
died in A.D. 514 and was followed on the throne
by Rudravarman, his eldest son by a concubine. Rudravarman
put to death the younger son of Jayavarman by his legitimate
queen. He sent many embassies to China.
legitimate queen and her unfortunate son have left behind
one inscription each, both Vaisnavaite in character, and both
engraved in correct Sanskrit verses in South Indian characters
of the fifth century A.D. or so. The queen's inscription calls
her Kulaprabhāvatī, the chief queen (agramahisī) of Jayavarman; its purpose is to record the foundation
by her of a hermitage, tank and temple (ārāmam
satatākam ālayayutam). The opening verse of
the inscription is a fine invocation of Visnu anantasāyin in Sārdūlavikrīdita metre.
prince who was deprived of his rights by Rudravarman may well
be identified, as Cœdès has suggested, with Gunavarman of
the Thāp-muoi record. In this inscription, Gunavarman
is said to have been appointed by the king to a religious
office in spite of his tender age (bālo’pi) on
account of his character (guna), an allusion to his
name, and valour (gunasauryyayogāt). In this capacity,
Gunavarman consecrated the feet of Visnu under the name Cakratīrthasvāmi, with the aid of Brahmins who
were versed in Vedas and Vedāngas and were equal to the
gods (vedāngavidbhir amarapratimair dvijendraih, Srutisu
Pravināh), and performed an eight days’ ceremony
for the purpose. The part of the mother in the function which
is alluded to is not clear owing to a gap in the record; we
have only the phrase: ātmajananīkarasampra ……
How completely the technical phraseology of Vaisnavism is
adopted in this record is clear from some other words like padam Vaisnavam, bhāgavataih, and Visnoh paramam
upon these Vaisnava records of Kulaprabhāvatī and
her son Gunavarman comes the Buddhist inscrition of Rudravarman
himself. The inscription, a long record of eleven Sanskrit
verses in different metres, is too damaged for us to understand
even the general import of the matters recorded. But enough
of it survives in the beginning to attest its Buddhist character
(the first two verses are in praise of the Buddha), its authorship
(the third and fourth verses praise Rudravarman), and the
relation of the author to jayavarman (tat pitrā Jayavarmanā,
last embassy of Rudravarman to China was in 539 when he sent
a Buddha relic in the form of a hair twelve feet long.
Rudravarman, we hear of no other king of Fu-nan, but the annals
proceed to narrate the conquestof Fu-nan by Citrasena, the
king of Chen-la, whose son Īsanasena sent an embassy
to the Souei court of China A.D. 616-17. And the inscriptions of
Kambuja reveal us a predecessor of Citrasena, by name Bhavavarman
who has left a number of inscriptions, all undated, but most
probably belonging to the second half of the sixth century.
art of this early Hindu state of Fu-nan has not survived in
a definitely identifiable form; in fact, the history of Fu-nan
is itself a subject of recent discovery and the differentia
of the art of this period are still in the process of tentative
formulation. Parmentier, whose knowledge of early Khmer art
is unrivalled, has succeeded in isolating some characteristic
features of the art of Fu-nan; he has done this by looking
for motifs that are rare in clearly primitive Khmer monuments
and disappear altogether in classical Khmer art, and by adopting
the rule that the monuments in which such motifs dominate
may well be ascribed to the Fu-nan period. The geographical
distribution of the monuments goes far to support this assumption.
The two motifs that fully satisfy these conditions are the kūdu, and the somassūtra or the water-spout
in the form of a makara. Both these are decidedly South
Indian in origin, and the general appearance of the buildings
that may be assigned with more or less certainty to Fu-nan
recalls the well-known Pallava and Indo-Javanese forms of
pyramidal vimānas on a square base characterized
by diminishing stages culminating in a sikhara, each
stage being ornamented by kūdus, pilasters, etc.
The lingas of the period are also seen to have an ovoidal
shape with a small face of Siva, features which are continued
in early Khmer art for a time. A number of pesanis,
or grinding stones for preparing sandal paste, may also be
ascribed to this age. Lastly, the considerable number of Visnu statues with the characteristic
cylindrical headdress may also without hesitation be ascribed
to this period. The wide diffusion of their provenance shows
their close association with the earliest Hindu colonies and
attests the extension of the empire of Fu-nan.
the admittedly deceptive grounds of style and general appearance,
Parmentier counts among the products of this archaic art of
Fu-nan two fragments of beautiful statues, one from Mahā
Rosei with an uplifted arm, the other a fine bust with four
arms and a striking coiffure and facial appearance, found
by M. Dalet at Vat Ari Roka to the north of the province of
the feudatory states of Fu-nan was the land of the Kambujas
which the Chinese called Tchen-la. This vassal kingdom had
its capital at Sresthapura near Vat Phu. The Kambuja princes
traced their descent from rsi Kambu and the apsaras Merā,
another version of the recurrent motif of foundation myths
of Indian royal families in South India and the colonies.
The Kambuja rulers were steadily aggrandizing their power,
but we know little of the history of this period. Srutavarman
and his son Sresthavarman are mentioned in many later inscriptions
as having secured freedom from tribute for their people (apāsta-vali-bandhakrtābhimānāh,
v. 13 of Baksei Camkron inscription).
the death of Rudravarman, the last king of Fu-nan, the succession
to the throne seems to have been disputed, and Bhavavarman,
king of the Kambujas, who was perhaps a grandson of Rudravarman,
seized the occasion for the overthrow of Fu-nan;
and in this task he was greatly assisted by his brother Citrasena.
This campaign did not result in the total destruction of Fu-nan
but only in a diminution of its power and a change of capital
for its rulers. Fu-nan no longer held the first place as an
Imperial power in the eastern and central portions of Indo-China
as it had done for some centuries, and according to the Chinese
annals its rulers were forced to migrate from To-mou (Vyādhapura,
Ba Phnom) to Na-fou-na, more to the south, to escape the incursions
Bhavavarman we learn a good deal from the inscriptions. Only
one of them, however, may be taken to belong to his reign—the
beautiful single line record of Phnom Banteai Neang
in Sanskrit verse, announcing the consecration
of a linga by the king with the aid of riches won by
the use of his bow (sarāsanodyoga-jitārtha-dānaih). The script of the record falls in line with that of the
Fu-nan inscriptions and admirably fits its age.
other records mention Bhavavarman in greater detail but are
of a slightly later period. Only one of them is well preserved
and is known as the Han Chey
inscription; the object of this long record is
to commemorate the consecration of a Sivalinga under the name
Bhadregvara at Ugrapura by a loyal and highly favoured servant
of two kings, Bhavavarman and his son. In this record Bhavavarman
is described as king of kings, who was impregnable in his
strength, and like unto Mount Meru:
srī-bhavavarmmeti patirāsīn mahībhrtām
apradhrsya-mahāsattvah tungo merurivāparah. (v. 2)
particularly he is said to have overthrown the mountain kings
(jitvā parvatabhūpālān, v. 10), a clear reference to the rulers of Fu-nan.
Another record of a slightly later date, A.D. 668, states that Bhavavarman took
the kingdom by force, svasaktyākrānta-rājyasya.
had a sister; her name is not given, she being called simply
the daughter of Viravarman. She married a learned Brahmin,
Somasarman, and had a son, Hiranyavarman. Somasarman was first
among the knowers of the Sāmaveda, and he established
images of Tribhuvanesvara and the Sun with great éclat, and arranged for the permanent exposition of the Rāmāyana,
the Purānas and the entire Bhārata, copies of which
he presented to the temple.
The record is undated, but its script would place
it between the inscription of Bhavavarman and the two others
in which he is mentioned.
now we turn to the Chinese annals, they seem to tell a slightly
different tale of the rise of Tchen-la. The Souei annals of
China say that Citrasena, the king of Tchen-la, overcame Fu-nan
which was formerly suzerain of Tchen-la; after his death,
his son Īsānasena succeeded him. The same source
also mentions an embassy to China from Tchen-la in A.D. 616. The New History of the Tang
ascribes the conquest of Fu-nan to Īsāna himself
in the period 627- 649.
are some inscriptions of Citrasena, all bearing very close
resemblance to the South Indian Pallava inscriptions of the
early seventh century. One of them from Thma-kre, meaning
stone-bed, from a large level rock in the bed of the Mekong
between Sambok and Kratié, is a single anusthup verse
recording the erection of a linga by Citrasena after
obtaining the permission of his parents.
The other record is found in two places, Phou
Lakhon in Laos
and Khan Thevada in the province of Ubon.
It comprises three verses in the same anusthup metre. It opens with the statement that the grandson of
Sārvabhauma, the younger son of Viravarman, was not inferior
in prowess to his elder brother, Bhavavarman; then it says
that this younger son was Citrasena who took the name Mahendravarman
at his consecration, and after having conquered the entire
country set up a linga of Girisa (Siva) on the mountain
as a symbol of his victory.
events, the liberation of Kambuja and the erection of the linga, must have taken place a little before A.D. 616; in fact, the nearly contemporary Souei annals cited above place them between A.D. 589 and 618, and this is in perfect
accord with the date unmistakably revealed by the palaeography
of the inscriptions of Citrasena. It is clear that at the
time of the first record he had not yet become king.
will be recalled that about the same time another Mahendravarman,
the first of that name and most talented among the Pallava
rulers of South India, erected a shrine to a linga on
the rock of Tiruchirapalli overlooking the Kāverī
river. Considering the very close resemblance in the lettering
of the inscriptions of the two Mahendravarmans, one is tempted
to ask whether this is not more than a mere coincidence. Separated
by several hundreds of miles of land and sea, the records
of these two rulers are evidence of exactly the same type
of culture, same in almost every detail that can be thought
us now see what the inscriptions reveal of Īsānavarman,
doubtless identical with Īsānasena of the Souei annals. A number of inscriptions have come down to us
from his reign, not to speak of references to him in the records
of his successors. The script of all of them belongs to the
same South Indian variety whose spread and growth in the various
colonies constitutes one of the chief attractions for students
of the subject in South India. Some are not dated but mention
the king by name; for instance, the Svai Chno inscription
(in the province of Phnom Penh) recording the
foundation of an āsrama by Arya Vidyādeva,
and the Ang Pou (in the province of Trēang)
record commemorating the consecration of Harihara
image and an āsrama to Bhagavat by Muni Īsānadatta.
The reference to Harihara in the second record is in these
i.e. this image of which one half is Sankara and the
other Acyuta. The record contains a Khmer part also rather
are, however, two records of Īsānavarman clearly
dated Saka 548 and 549 (A.D. 626 and 627). The first from Vat
Chakrat (in the province of Ba Phnom)
praises the king's valour and fame; it refers
to a vassal ruling over Tāmrapura who is said to have
long enjoyed the privilege of subjection to the three cities
of Cakrānkapura, Amoghapura and Bhīmapura; this
vassal king obtained the permission of his suzerain and installed
an image of Harihara (haritanu-sahitam sthāpayāmasa
sambhum). The wide popularity of the Harihara cult
in this period in Indo-China is very well attested by its
epigraphy and sculpture. The second record comes from Sambor
and comprises fifteen Sanskrit verses in an excellent
state of preservation. The opening verse is an invocation
to Kadambesvara; five verses follow in which the valour, policy
and fame of Īsānavarman are praised; the next three
verses introduce Ācārya Vidyāvisesa appointed
by the king for the supervision of all his spiritual affairs;
this ācārya was well-versed in many spheres of learning,
particularly in Sabda (grammar), Vaisesika, Nyāya, Sāmkhya
(Samīksā) and Buddhism; he was an eloquent poet
and knew the ways of the world. In his great devotion to Īsāna—note
the double reference here to the king, his master, and to
Siva, his deity—Vidyāvisesa erected a lingam (v.
10), and presented to the shrine the village of Sākatīrtham
with its servants, cattle, fields, etc. (v. 11); a Brahmin
pāsupata appointed by the king was to be in charge of
the worship in the temple to the end of time (v. 12). The record closes with an exhortation
for the continued maintenance of the foundation (v. 13), the
date with full astronomical details (v. 14), and the mention
of some fresh dignities and gifts bestowed by the king on
Vidyāvisesa (v. 15).
inscriptions attest the power of Īsānavarman and
the prosperity of his reign, but say little directly on his
part in the completion of the conquest of Fu-nan. In fact,
it is a little difficult to determine exactly the parts played
by Bhavavarman, Mahendravarman (Citrasena) and Īsānavarman
in the elevation of Tchen-la at the expense of Fu-nan. We
may suppose that Citrasena probably assisted his brother Bhavavarman
as commander of his forces and that the first conquest of
Fu-nan in which the brothers took part meant the capture of
the northern provinces of the empire of Fu-nan, a surmise
supported by the absence of any inscriptions in the Ba Phnom
area of a period earlier than the reign of Īsānavarman.
But there was perhaps a raid or raids on the capital itself
which may have accounted for the change of capital to Navanagara
recorded in the Chinese sources. The definite overthrow and
occupation of the Ba Phnom region must have been the work
is not necessary to follow the history of Kambuja any further;
for our aim in this study is just to draw attention to the
most significant factors in the Hinduisation of Indo-China
and assess the role of South India in this process. But there
are still a few inscriptions of this early period which remain
to be noticed. The first part of the inscription of Ang Chumnik,
dated Saka 551 (A.D. 629), records the reconsecration of a
Sivalinga and the temple called Rudrāsrama by Ācārya
Vidyāvinaya, and though it does not mention the name
of any king, Barth thinks that it may be assigned to the reign
interesting, if somewhat enigmatic, is the earliest inscription
from the temple of Bayang.
It bears two dates in the Saka era, 526 and 546,
corresponding to A.D. 604 and 624. Though the lettering
of the record is wonderfully conserved and looks as if it
were fresh from the hands of the engraver, the stone being
of very fine grain has peeled off in many places causing gaps
in the inscription which seriously hamper its proper interpretation
though its general sense is clear. It refers to the erection
in A.D. 604 of a temple where the feet of
Siva were worshipped: girisasya padam (v. 5), sambhoh
padasyedam (v. 8), pasupati padabhāk (v. 10), padam aisam (v. 11), sivapādāya (v. 12),
and of a tīrtha (salilasthāna)
attached to the temple, both by a Brahmin named
This inscription, which most probably spans the
reign of Bhava, Mahendra and Ïsāna by the two facts recorded
by it, is of great interest in many ways. Like all the other
inscriptions of the time its characters are unmistakably South
Indian, and if its provenance were not known, no epigraphist
could distinguish it from, say, a Pallava inscription of the
seventh century. Moreover, its language is flawless Sanskrit,
and there are employed many terms of technical import in Pāsupata
lore. As this is of some importance, no apology is needed
for transcribing here the second half of the opening verse
and the succeeding lines where these terms mostly occur and
of which no translation can reproduce the impression created
by the original.
Yam antaran jyotir upāsate budhā
niruttaram brahma param jigīsavah (1)
na kevalam tat phalayogasanginām
asanginām karmaphalatyajām api (2)
dhiyām atītam vacas (ām agocaram)
(anā)spadam yasya padam vidurbudhāh
entire apparatus of the religious experience and philosophical
thought of India as specially adapted by the Pāsupatas
is here, and the particular reference to yoga is noteworthy as making an interesting phase in the development
of saiva religious practice.
The dominant position of the Pāsupatas in
Kambuja and even earlier in Fu-nan is well attested from several
sources. We have noticed above that the Sambor inscription
of Vidyāvisesa provides that a Brāhmana Pāsupata
should offer worship to the linga set up by him. Besides
the other ācāryas noticed above, we find
another mentioned in the inscription of Phnom Prah Vihar of
the time of Bhavavarman II—a royal preceptor who was a Pāsupatācarya
of the name Vidyāpuspa, a poet who was an adept in Sabda,
Vaisesika and Nyāya.
There is no need to gather here
all the instances from the inscriptions of Kambuja; but the
atmosphere of saivism which prevailed in the court and dominated
the minds of the court-poets is best illustrated by a verse
in an inscription of the commencement of the reign of Jayavarman
V, A.D. 968. The king is compared to Srīparvata
in a manner that brings out forcibly not only the saivite
leanings of the author of the verse but also the source of
Kambujan Saivism. The verse reads as follows:
vinyasta-sarassiddhiprado’ rthinām Yuktam yo yuktinipunais-srīparvata
“Distributing his wealth by way of daksinā (having
his essence in the Deccan), giving success to those who come
to him with solicitations (giving siddhi to those
who desire it), he received logically from experts in logic
the name of Mountain of Prosperity (Srīparvata).”
striking allusion in the tenth century to the famous centre
of Saivism in the Deccan shows the strength and continuity
of South Indian influences on the culture of the colonies.
Tchou-ta-kouan who visited the capital of Kambuja in the thirteenth
century found Saivism still flourishing there.
the Bayang inscription marks the modest beginning of a celebrated
shrine, the history and architecture of which have been the
subject of an illuminating study by Henri Mauger in recent
He thinks that the Girisa of our inscription was
a large bronze image of Siva of which only the feet have been
recovered in recent excavations on the site. It must have
been in every way a remarkable work of art to which these
beautifully modelled feet belonged. Judging from the size
of the feet, the entire statue must have been more than life-size,
say, nearly two metres in height. “By the naturalism of its
modelling," writes Mauger, “this work is clearly pre-Angkorian;
to judge it by the care for detail and by the delicacy of
execution of this humble fragment, the divinity must have
been of such beauty, assuredly, as to cause the construction
of a prasat as imposing as this original sanctuary.”
He thinks that the words in the inscription, padam aisam,
vinibaddham istakābhih, taken along with anāspadam
yasya padam vidurbudāh of verse 3 cited above, imply
that this large bronze had no pedestal, and that it was stood
on a brick platform together with a large slab of stone with
rounded corners into which the legs had been fitted and which
did not permit of the heavy tenon below usual in such statues.
I must say that while I have cited the corresponding Sanskrit
words of the original inscription, M. Mauger seems to have
relied throughout on Barth's French translation which gives
an air of plausibility to Mauger's views. But the Sanskrit
original is shattering in its effect on Mauger's airy structure,
and I think we are in the presence of one of the clearest
examples of the dangers of rearing far-reaching theories on
the basis of translations. There is nothing in the original
to indicate that anything more than the feet of Siva formed
the original object of worship in the shrine, and the words padam aisam vinibaddham istakābhih mean simply
that an image of Īsa's feet was made of bricks (and mortar),
not stone. Consider also the number of times the word for
‘feet’ is repeated in the course of the inscription, as pointed
out above, and it becomes certain that we have here an instance
of Sivapāda just like Buddhapāda and Visnupāda
which we find in many other shrines. And it is very doubtful
if at the beginning of the seventh century the technique of
the art of bronze-casting had attained the efficiency required
to manipulate the mass of metal needed to cast so perfectly
such a large statue as that indicated by these feet. It would
be more reasonable to suppose that this statue was a work
of the eleventh century or the tenth at the earliest, the
date of the apogee of bronze-casting in Southern India under
the Cōlas. The beginnings of the Bayang temple were therefore
much more modest than Mauger supposes; it began with a brick
image of the feet of Siva.
facts of particular interest remain to be mentioned before
we take leave of early Kambujan epigraphy. First is the direct
reference to the rulers of Kāñcī, i.e. the Pallavas,
in a eulogy of Jayavarman I (latter half of the seventh century)
in a context which is unfortunately not easy to make out on
account of a break in the stone; the phrase is ā-Kāñcīpura-nrpā.
The other is the reference to Bhagavān
Sankara, the great South Indian teacher of Advaita Vedānta,
in an inscription of the reign of Indravarman I, dated Saka
80x, i.e. between A.D. 878 and 887. Sivasoma, the royal
guru, is thus described in this record:
learned the sāstras from him who is known as Bhagavan
Sankara, and whose lotus feet are licked by the row of bees,
i.e. the heads of all scholars." There can be no doubt
that for many generations, in fact, for centuries after they
first established themselves in the lands of the East and
began the work of civilizing and Hinduising these lands, the
leaders of Hindu society in the colonies eagerly kept up a
live contact with the original springs of the great culture
of which they were the carriers into distant lands.
of the old Hindu ceremonial has survived in Cambodia to this
day, and a European observer has recorded in much detail the
elaborate formalities attending the Cūlā-kantana-mangala
(the auspicious tonsure) of a prince royal at Phnom-Penh at
the beginning of the current century. The Cūdākarma, as is well known, is one of the samskāras of
the ancient Indian manuals of domestic ritual; it is performed
in the royal household of Cambodia today by court Brahmins
called Bakus under their ācārya, and the
ceremony as it is now practised contains a large admixture
of Buddhist forms. But the Khmers still say that this tonsure
at the age of puberty was instituted by Prah Iso (Siva) who
himself shaved the head of Prah Kenes (Ganesa) when he was
eleven years old, at Mount Kailās.
has been observed with justice that while ancient Brahmanism
has left many vestiges of a material nature in the form of
temples, images and so on, not much of its influence in the
moral or spiritual sphere has survived in modern Cambodia.
Hindu deities have been absorbed by Buddhism and relegated
to subordinate positions in its system, and the beliefs and
ceremonies which are not of Buddhist origin in modern Cambodia
are related not to Brahminism but to old animistic conceptions
widely spread among the savage tribes of Indo-China. It seems
probable, therefore, that the strong Hindu influences that
came into the land in the most ancient days of which we have
spoken above were effective only with the aristocracy and
the court circles, and that to the masses at no time did they
give anything more than a superficial veneer.
most important survival of Brahminism at Phnom-Penh today
is the existence of the Brahmins of the Court, the Bakus,
whose part in the tonsure ceremony we have just mentioned.
The name Bakus or Bako has not been satisfactorily explained.
The Bakus are distinguished from others around them by their
long hair and their Brahminical cord (upavīta). It is from this class which
practises some abstinences and enjoys certain privileges that
the priests who play an important part in ceremonials are
recruited. “At the royal palace they are in charge of certain
old cult images in metal which they guard together with the
sacred sword, and carry behind the king when he takes command
of his armies. They prepare the lustral waters, and take them
to the king in gold-tipped conchs when the king performs his
ablutions and purifications for the new year and on other
important ceremonial occasions, as also both before and after
a battle; they recite the mon (mantra) and akom (āgama) or mystic formulas; they light
a dozen sacred candles and carry them in the pradaksina path the prescribed number of
times; at the cremation of princes, they light the pyre if
the king does not himself perform this last duty; in a word,
they conduct all the sacred ceremonies of the palace, or rather
they assist the king who is the supreme priest.”
To this account given by Aymonier, of the functions
of the Bakus, Cœdès adds other details. The court Brahmins
still play a part in the administration of oaths to officials,
in ploughing the first furrow, and at the ‘Feast of the Waters’.
The prayers they recite or chant on such occasions are in
corrupt Sanskrit, often unintelligible, but still written
in the grantha characters of South India. The
writing is palaeographically much later than that of ancient
Kambuja; this proves, Cœdès thinks, that these Brahmins are
not direct descendants of the ancient Brahmins; but this is
not a necessary inference.
Brahmins of Cambodia are also Buddhists like the other Cambodians,
and frequent Buddhist temples during festivals. The small
chapel in the royal palace where they jealously guard the
sacred sword, the palladium of Khmer royalty, contains, besides
Brahminical idols, images of Buddha and even a magnificent
Lokesvara dating from the days when the cult of this Bodhisattva
on the east coast of Further India (11° to 18° N.L.), the present Annam, formed
a half-way house between Java and China, and had a large part
in the spreading of Hindu culture in the Far East. This name
has generally been held to have come from Campā, the
capital of the Anga country in the lower Ganges valley;
but it may be recalled that this was also the
name of the ancient capital of the Cōla country, Kāvēripatnam,
which was also a famous seaport. The oldest inscription in
the region of Campā so far known, the Vo-Canh rock inscription,
is decidedly South Indian in its script, and the name Campā
may well have come directly from that quarter. Some Chinese
authors place the foundation of Campā in A.D. 137; Marco Polo mentions it at the
close of the thirteenth century; it was overrun by the Annamites
(Yavanas of the late Campā inscriptions) at the end of
the fifteenth century. Today the Cams are few in number, about
a hundred-thousand, confined to the province of Phan-rang,
the ancient Pānduranga. Ancient monuments
are present only in the provinces of South Annam.
They are all in brick, stone being used only for the gates
and for decoration.
inscription of Vo-Canh dates from the third century A.D., or even the second. It is only partly
legible and mentions the line of Srī-Māra to which
the king belonged. The inscription is clearly Buddhist in
inspiration, though its author was no adept in the doctrine.
Fifty years ago Bergaigne
compared the script of this inscription with that
employed in the Girnār inscription of Rudradaman and
the contemporary Sātavāhana inscriptions at Kānheri,
and reached the conclusion that the Vo-Canh record was anterior
to the fourth century A.D. and might even go back to the second.
The third century, he said, would be a good date for it, and
it would be one of the most ancient records in Sanskrit. The
progress of Indian epigraphical studies since then has confirmed
the estimates and fixed the definitely South Indian origin
of the earliest phases of Hindu culture in those distant lands.
This result again should cause no surprise if we recall that
even Ptolemy knew of geographical names of Sanskrit origin
belonging to this region and to the archipelago.
Vo-Canh record and the Srī-Māra line, however, do
not belong to the history of Campā; they are, as we have
seen, relics of the time when lower Campā at least formed
part of Fu-nan,
one of the oldest Hindu kingdoms of Indo-China
of which we have any knowledge.
earliest inscriptions from Campā proper are the inscriptions
of Bhadravarman of about A.D. 350.
One of them, the Cho’-dinh inscription, mentions
a sacrifice performed on behalf of the Dharmamahārāja
Bhadravarman or possibly one of his descendants. The title
of this king is clearly derived from South India where the
Pallavas and Kadambas are known to have employed it; it means
‘the great dharmic ruler’. The -varman ending of his
name, henceforth a regular feature in the names of the rulers
of Campā, also recalls the practice of several South
Indian dynasties like Sālankāyanas, Kadambas and
Pallavas. Again, the record is engraved in bold box-headed
characters very similar to those of Vākātaka inscriptions
on the one side, and the Kutei inscriptions of Mūlavarman
on the other. In fact, as Bergaigne pointed out,
the comparison of the alphabets of the Indian
and Farther Indian inscriptions leads us to two conclusions
of considerable importance. First, the stage of development
exhibited by the letters of an inscription and its general
appearance furnish a very reliable datum for determining its
age; secondly, the closely parallel development of writing
in the mother country and in the colonies implies incessant
intercourse among them in those far off times.
Cho’-dinh inscription is a very short record; its age, the
excellence of its preservation and its value as evidence of
prevailing religious beliefs and practices justify the reproduction
of the text of the record.
(I) namo devāya bhadresvara-svāmi-pāda-prasādāt
agnaye tvā justam karisyāmi (2) dharmamahārāja
srī bhadravarmmano yāvaccandrādityam tāvat
putrapautram moksyati (3) Prthivīprasādāt-karmmasiddhir-astu. This means: “Homage to God! By the favour of the feet of Lord
Bhadresvara, I shall make thee pleasant to Agni. As long as
the sun and moon endure, he will release the sons and grandsons
of the great dharmic king, Srī Bhadravarman. By the favour
of the Earth, may the sacrifice be successful.” This is followed
by a short inscription in smaller letters of the same type: Sivo dāso baddhyate, meaning “propitiatory dāsa is bound (to the sacrificial post).”
This inscription, like the Yūpa inscriptions
of Mūlavarman of Borneo, attests the prevalence of faith
in the Vedic religion of sacrifice; and it is unique in its
employment of liturgical formulae. To cite Bergaigne once
“The formula agnaye tvā justam karisyāmi,
for instance, appears to be borrowed from a ritual very similar
to those of the Srauta- and Grhya-sūtras, while the addition of Bhadresvarasvāmipāda-prasādāt places the ceremony under the auspices of Siva, and also
attests an advanced stage of Saivism, the deity being adored,
according to a custom we shall find perpetuated at Campā,
under a name recalling that of the king who raised the temple
to him. There is no introduction other than the invocation namo devāya, and no conclusion other than the
Yet this inscription incised with an admirable regularity,
in deep and large-sized characters must be something more
than the simple fancy of an idle priest.” The postscript seems
to imply human sacrifice, and there is perhaps nothing to
prevent our accepting this for a fact seeing that offering
human sacrifices to propitiate Siva is mentioned in the Atharvaveda and the Mahābhārata.
inscription of the same age is engraved on a rock called Hon-cut
about 28 kilometres south-south-east of Tourane and contains
only an invocation of the Lord Mahādeva Bhadresvarasvāmin.
This short record contains a bad error in Sanskrit grammar,
employing one dative between two genitives, and other examples
of a similar nature occur also in the inscription to be noticed
next. But the record is so much like the Cho’-dinh inscription
that they must both be assigned to the same ruler.
shrine of Bhadresvara alluded to in these two records is the
earliest royal linga of the Far East and is represented
today by an imposing array of ruined structures in the village
of My-son, eight kilometres to the south-east of the Hon-cut
In front of the main temple in this group was
discovered a stele of a type generally found among the early
antiquities of the Malay Peninsula and the archipelago. The
slab which is two metres high and one metre broad is inscribed
on both sides in the same characters as the two preceding
ones. Parts of the inscription have suffered damage, but enough
remains to reveal the language of the inscription and its
purpose. It records the grant to Bhadresvara of the entire
valley enclosed by three mountains in which his temple is
located and the gift is described as an aksaya-nīvī after the Indian manner. There is no doubt that this inscription
is the foundation charter of the temple; but it bears no date.
The language of the record is faulty Sanskrit, and one peculiarity
in its orthography may well be taken to point to the Telugu
country as the original home of the colonists: Prithivī is written for prthivī, and duskritam for duskrtam, and we know that to this day these
words are pronounced by the people of the Andhra country nearly
as they are found written in the My-son record, though sometimes
a u sound takes the place of the infixed i.
Finot has rightly said:
“The fact that the three inscriptions are all
in the name of Bhadravarman proves, besides, that the Chams
formed a unitary state and ‘not a series of independent petty
with the Sanskrit inscriptions of Bhadravarman I is an inscription
of three lines engraved in large characters on a rock face
two metres in length and one metre in height at a place about
a mile to the west of the ancient city of Tra Kieu. It was
discovered in 1935; the script is the same as that of the
Sanskrit inscriptions, but the language is Cham, though the
record opens with Sanskrit siddham and contains the
words nāga, svargga, paribhū, naraka and kula, all Sanskrit. It mentions a
king but not his name. Its purpose is to invite attention
to a holy nāga of the king, perhaps enshrined
in a neighbouring temple of which some relics are still traceable,
and to invoke the joys of heaven for those who treat it with
respect and threaten any one who insults the shrine with a
thousand years in hell for himself and seven generations of
his family. The interest of this record is two-fold. It attests
the early prevalence of the nāga cult in Campā.
And it is the earliest text known in any Malayo-Polynesian
dialect. It is three centuries earlier than the earliest Malay
inscriptions of Srī Vijaya, which belong to the
close of the seventh century A.D.
fine bronze Buddha of Dong-düöng and the inscribed vessels
from the ‘treasure’ of La-tho,
both from the province of Quang-Nam go to confirm
our opinion on the original home of the early colonists of
Campā. The Buddha statue over a metre in height is a
beautiful work of art in the true Amarāvati style; it
is a finely modelled standing figure, with the right hand
(of which the palm alone has survived as a broken fragment)
in cinmudrā and the left in kataka; the treatment of the robe which leaves the right shoulder
bare and falls in a straight fold at the back is unmistakably
inspired by Amarāvatī art. It is surely no accident
that the region of Dong-düöng also bears the name of Amarāvatī.
From La-tho we have a platter and a pitcher both inscribed
in South Indian characters of a very early age, not later
than the sixth century A.D. The platter is made of an alloy
in which silver predominates, and the inscription on it reads: Sri-vanāntesvara. The pitcher is of silver and
bears a sloka:
Campāpurapati raupyam kalasam sraddhyātmanah
is a king of Campā presenting silver vessels to a Siva
temple and recording his act in a correct Sanskrit verse.
seems soon to have embarked on a policy of expansion northward
and come into rather sharp conflict with China. She seems
to have sought in vain the aid of Fu-nan in this adventure.
The story of the war that followed as given by
the Chinese is of interest to us as giving some clue to the
conflict between the two civilizations contending for supremacy
in these regions and to the considerable wealth that the Hindu
temples of Campā had already accumulated in gold and
otherwise. Campā suffered terribly in the wars against
China (A.D. 431-46); not only did Fan Yan-mai,
for that was the name of the king, fail to realize his ambition
of extending the power of Campā northward at the expense
of China, but he lost everything; the whole of his country
was occupied by the Chinese, and his capital and all the temples
in the kingdom were pillaged. The idols alone when melted
yielded, we hear, a hundred thousand pounds weight of pure
gold. This subjection of Campā was only temporary; how
it came to an end we do not know.
stele from My-son, broken and mutilated, gives the first dated
of Campā and one of considerable importance
for the further history of the Bhadresvara shrine. The record
must have contained three dates at least: the date in which
the temple of Bhadresvara was burnt down in a fire, that of
the death of Rudravarman and that of the reconsecration of
the new temple by his son and successor Sambhuvarman. Only
the first of these dates has been preserved, and in it only
the figure for the hundreds, thus¾yuitaresu
catursu varsasatesu sakānām vyatītesv agnidagdham
devadevālayam. This places the occurrence in the
fifth century of the Saka era, between A.D. 479 and 577. The new temple bore
the name Sambhubhadresvara, prefixing that of the renovator
to the original name of the shrine. The inscription speaks
of Campādesa and is the earliest to do so.
janayatu sukham Sambhubhadresvaroyam.
writing in this record exhibits some traits common with that
of Bhhadravarman's inscriptions, but has undergone several
from My-son, in the village of Tra Kieu in the province of
Quang-nam (Annam), recent excavations have led to the definitive
location of the most ancient capital of Campā, called
Simhapura in the inscriptions. This location first suggested
by Pelliot and Aurosseau on the basis of a Chinese description
of the Cham citadel, has now received striking confirmation
from the field work of J. Y. Claeys.
Dominating the town towards the east was an important
group of shrines devoted to the Saivite cult, although Vaisnavism
also seems to have been held in honour, as is shown by the
inscription of Prakāsadharma (A.D. 650-679) recording the construction
and dedication of a temple (pujāsthānam) to Vālmiki; the sage, says
the record, was an incarnation of Visnu, and in his grief,
he uttered a verse that was highly respected of Brahmā:
sokāt samutpannam slokam Brahmābhipūjati Visnoh
pumsah purānasya mānusasyātmarūpinah.
numerous lions and elephants sculptured in relief and in the
round in the principal group of temples distinctly recall
the Kailāsa temple of Ellorā. This group comprised
eight temples. “The principal shrine must have been a building
remarkable not only for its vast dimensions but also on account
of the quantity and quality of sculptures which supplied its
plastic decoration. In the middle of this sanctuary there
stood a sandstone altar of imposing size, adorned all round
with a frieze in high relief, representing a succession of
musicians and female dancers. The eight temples were raised
on platforms decorated with raised ornaments and mouldings.
They were built of brick, as is indeed the case with all the
monuments constructed by the Chams.” The temples were easily
accessible from the sea by way of the adjoining river. The
palace of the king and the residences of palace servants must
have adjoined this group of temples, and the whole city was
surrounded by a massive wall which protected it against damage
from the annual floods in the river.
inscriptions of Prakāsadharma are of great interest from
several points of view. We have just noticed his foundation
of a temple of Vālmīki, and the reference in the
foundation charter to the story of the meeting between Brahmā
and Vālmīki found in the opening cantos of the Bālakānda.
In another inscription of this king at My-son we find another
episode of the Rāmāyana, this time from the Uttarakānda
summed up similarly. The occasion is furnished by the foundation
of a temple to Kuvera Ekāsapingala.
These two inscriptions establish beyond doubt
the vogue in Campā of the seventh century A.D. of the text of Vālmīki's
Rāmāyana in the form in which we now have it. And
if we recall that the temple of Vālmīki was not
a new foundation but a renovation of an already existing shrine¾pūjāsthānam punastasya krta … is the inscription, it becomes
probable that the currency of the epic goes back much further.
In another of his inscriptions Prakāsadharman is himself
compared to Rāma, the son of Dasaratha, for his nobility
and valour, and for the prosperity of his reign:
aviratanaradevabrahmavasyas svatejah samitaripusanātha(h)
Dasarathanrpajo’yam Rāma ityāsayā
yam srayati vidhipurogā srīr
no greater proof could be needed to show that Vālmīki's
great poem enjoyed the same hold on the imagination of the literati in Campā as in Kambuja and India.
worship of Visnu was, Mus has suggested,
introduced into Campā by Prakāsadharma
from the Kambuja country. The inscriptions say that his father
Jagaddharma somehow reached Bhavapura where he espoused the
princess Sarvānī, daughter of Īsānavarman,
and the several Vaisnavite inscriptions of Kambuja in this
period reviewed in the section on that country sufficiently
attest the Vaisnava persuasion of its royal family.
But it is difficult to believe that Īsānavarman,
with his capital at Īsvarapura, or his daughter bearing
the name of Siva's spouse, were Vaisnavas in the sense of
being exclusive worshippers of Visnu. But there is no doubt
that the relics of Visnu worship are more numerous and date
from an earlier time in Kambuja than in Campā. The cult
of Brahmā and of Harihara mentioned in inscriptions though
no image is known, as also Buddhism, were known in Campā.
My-son inscription of Prakāsadharman (A.D. 657) contains also the legend of
the foundation of the Kambujan kingdom by Kaundinya in the
form it had taken at the date of the inscription. After the
mention of Bhavapura in verse xv, we read:
Asvatthāmno dvijagresthād Dronaputrādavāpya
Someti sā vamsakarī prthivyām
āsritya bhāvetivisesavastu yā
manusāvasam uvāsa (17)
Bhavisyato’rthasya nimittabhāve vidher
acintyam khalu cestitam hi (18)
Kaundinya got a trident from one of the heroes of the Mahābhārata,
the Brahmin Asvatthāma, son of Drona, and in some mysterious
manner this enabled him to espouse the Nāgī maiden
Somā who had then taken to a human mode of life and enabled
her to become the founder of a royal line on earth (vamsakarī
prthivyām); the whole episode is represented as the
inexplicable result of the working of Fate. We are thus in
the full flood of the cycle of Nāgī legends that
are known very well to Tamil literature and to the relatively
late Amāravatī stone inscription of the Pallavas
where Asvatthāma's liaison with Madanī, an apsaras, gives rise to the Pallava line of kingsso called because
the offspring of the alliance was cradled in a litter of sprouts (pallava).
We may note in passing that Kaundinya,
Kambu, Bhrgu and Agastya were names warmly cherished in the
colonies as the symbols of the great work of Hinduising and
civilizing these extensive lands in which learned Brahmins,
actuated by a high sense of the duty they owed to their fellow-men
to give them of their best, took the leading part.
cult of Bhagavatī held an important place in the minds
of the ancient Chams, and in a study of South Indian influences
on the colonies, this fact deserves more than a passing mention.
The sanctuary of Po-nagar, the Lady of the City, as the Umā-Bhagavatī
of this shrine is called in the inscriptions, survives in
part to this day, though not in its original form, and it
has recently been renovated by the Ecole Française d'Extrême-Orient,
Hanoi. The original structure of wood was burnt down in A.D. 774 by pirates from the south who
raided the country in some strength, and we have no means
of knowing what it looked like. The subsequent history of
the temple can be gathered from its numerous inscriptions,
and it is worth noting that this temple and that of My-son
are the most important Cham monuments containing a large number
of the most valuable inscriptions of Ancient Campā. The
present image of the goddess was installed in A.D. 965 by Jaya-Indravarman; but even
this image has undergone a remodelling as the head is clearly
of ugly Annamese workmanship that ill suits the rest of the
image. The worship of Bhagavatī is a cult very popular
on the west coast of South India.
of the Po-nagar inscriptions (A.D. 918) mentions the Kāsikā, the well-known work on Sanskrit Grammar, and Jinendra's
commentary on it, the Nyāsa or Kāsikāvi-varana-pañjikā. This attests not only the cultivation of grammatical studies
in Sanskrit but also contact with Bengal, the home of Jinendra.
“The Chams,” says Finot, “have to this day the
custom, in certain festivals, of smearing on the face of the
deities a thin layer of paste.” This is without doubt a paste
of sandal mixed with scents, and the practice is well known
in South India. The paste was apparently prepared with the
aid of a quern-stone, and it is interesting to note the existence
of an inscribed stone of this character bearing two letters pu vya, a Cham expression meaning ‘Her Majesty
the Queen’; doubtless, the stone was a gift from the queen
to some temple.
These stones are usually called rasang batau (Cham); Cœdès, however, considers pesanī a
better name for this utensil, and he draws attention to the
domestic and ritual uses to which it is put elsewhere¾for
grinding spices for curry and in some domestic ceremonies
in South India, and for mixing medicines in Siam. He also
rightly points out that sandal paste is got by rubbing sandalwood
against a round stone of a particular type. But there is nothing
in all this to prevent our supposing that in the temples of
Campā sandal paste used to be made in the past as evidently
it is being made today with pesanī.
us conclude this part of our study with a reference to a curious
survival from ancient times in modern Indo-China. The Muslim
priests of Cham are called ācār (Sanskrit ācārya), and among them the head of
the community, priests and laity taken together, is known
as gru (Sanskrit guru).
The Brahminist Chams who still survive call their
priests baseh. The derivation of this last word is
not quite clear; it has been taken to come from upāsaka or upajjhāya. It has been treated as a shortened
form of Pāsupata on the assumption that the baseh are modern representatives of the pa-sseu or pa-sseu-wei mentioned by the Chinese traveller Tchou-ta-kouan in the
thirteenth century. Cœdès has argued that the pa-sseu-wei were tapasvins and cited a Kambujan inscription
of the eleventh century which mentions ‘the holy assembly
of the tapasvins of the Sivasthāna’ (vrah sabhā
This is perhaps the best view of the question.
Durand, who has an intimate knowledge of modern Chams, says
decisively that the baseh cannot be upāsakas, for as he rightly observes, the upāsaka and
the bhiksu go together in Buddhism, the bhiksu holds
out his alms bowl, and the upāsaka fills it. The baseh are the priests of Brahminical Chams. Durand
gives details of the hierarchy in which they are organized
and of the functions performed by the higher grade of these
priests at royal coronations.
Tchou-ta-kouan in his tract on the customs of Kambuja records
this interesting fact about the religious texts of that country
in the thirteenth century: “The texts they recite are very
numerous. All are on palm leaves put together very regularly.
On these leaves they write black letters, but as they do not
employ either brush or ink, I do not know with what they write.”
Of course they wrote with an iron style as they
did in South India till recently, or possibly with styles
made of hardwood like those which are in use even now among
the Chams. After writing, the palm leaves were treated with
some black substance to make the letters stand out for easy
scriptures of a relatively modern though uncertain date have
preserved traditions of Indian migration into Siamese territory,
and these have been summarized by a modern writer in the following
“In the year 687 of the Maha or Great Era
great political disturbances took place all over India, and
the inhabitants finding it impossible to make a living, were
forced in large numbers to leave their home and country and
settle amongst other nations.... At that time four tribes
of Brahmins, consisting of a considerable number of persons,
made their way eastwards from ‘Wanilara’ to Burma, Pegu (then
independent), the Laos States, Siam and Cambodja. Those coming
to Siam went partly to the northwest and settled in Sukotairajatani
and Lawo (the present Lopburi), others went from Pegu to Tanawassi
(Tennassarim) and across to Pechaburi, and still others came
to Lakhon (at that time called Sai Pet or Kai Pet) where they
built a temple and erected their Sao ching cha or posts
for the swinging ceremony. These pillars still exist in the
town as a proof that the Brahmins came to Lakhon before they
reached Bangkok.” The absence of the descendants of Brahmins
in Lakhon today is explained by the transfer to Ayuthya of
the inhabitants of Lakhon who were vanquished in war by a
Siamese emperor in A.D. 1769. This is not history, but
the shape taken in men’s minds by genuine historical events
attested by the more trustworthy evidence of archaeology.
the earliest relics of Hindu culture found in Siam are the
objects found in 1927
in the village of P'ong Tuk on the
right bank of the Meklong or Kanburi river in the province
of Ratburi, near the point “where the railway from Bangkok
turns south for the Peninsula and Penang” (Le May). These
finds include a Graeco-Roman lamp of definitely western Mediterranean
make of the first or second century A.D. This gives a rough date for the
finds and reminds us of the so-called embassy in A.D. 166 from An-tun (Antonine) to China
mentioned in the history of the Han dynasty. The Chinese annals
also mention that in A.D. 120 a company of musicians and acrobats
from Ta-Tsin (i.e. the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire)
reached China by sea. This date is also confirmed by a fine
bronze statuette of Buddha, clearly of the Amarāvatī
school, not later than the second century A.D. There were also several votive tablets
and bronzes and Buddha images, in the later style
of Dvāravatī showing traces of Gupta influences
and not later than the sixth century A.D.
have brought to light the foundations of two small buildings—one
being the basement of a circular stūpa 9 metres in diameter,
the other of a square building 6 metres each way, which contained
the pedestal of a fairly large statue and whose walls must
have been almost entirely faced with stucco decoration as
may be judged from the fragments recovered in the course of
the work. These structures recall some early Buddhist buildings
at Anurādhapura in Ceylon, also known to have been subject
to strong influences from Amarāvati.
Graeco-Roman lamp throws light on the fascinating problems
of the relations between Farther India and the Roman Empire.
But the possibility remains that it is an Indian copy rather
than an original brought from the Mediterranean; the Arnarāvatī
style of the image of Buddha and the mention of a similar
lamp in an early inscription from Allūru in the Krsnā
valley give support to this possibility. The find-spot of
these articles is not so removed from the highways of commerce
as might appear at first sight; for traders are known to have
avoided the strait of Malacca and chosen one of the land-routes
across the Peninsula or the isthmus of Kra, while a more northern
land-route from Burma passed along the Kanburi river “exactly
in the vicinity of P’ong Tuk, if not by P’ong Tuk itself”.
is clear then that this site was the home of an early South
Indian colony in the first and second centuries A.D. This colony flourished up to the
sixth century A.D. and came under North Indian influences
of Gupta origin. It is probable that in this later phase it
was part of the Buddhist kingdom of Tu-ho-lo-po-to (Dvāravati)
mentioned by Huien Tsang between Srīksetra (Burma) and
Īsānapura (Cambodia). Further excavations on the
site carried out eight years later
have generally confirmed these results. Le May
reproduces several other early bronzes of the Buddha from
Siam of unknown provenance; it is quite possible, though this
is by no means established, that some of them belonged to
“well-defined Indian or Sinhalese schools”.
is a pity that of this very early period of Hindu colonization
in Siam, the Amarāvatī period as it has been called,
no inscription seems to have survived; at least none has been
discovered so far.
the next succeeding period we have remains, still scanty,
but sufficiently varied-structures, statues and inscriptions—which
enable us to see that the people of Central Siam were of the
Mon-Khmer race, practising the Buddhist religion of the Hīnayāna
and maintaining a live contact with the Indian sources of
its cultural advancement. These remains fall into two groups—Indo-Kambujan,
and Indian non-Kambujan.
shall consider the purely Indian relics first as they are
doubtless the earlier ones. In the Pachim (Sanskrit Pascima = West) valley, a large enclosure called Muang Phra Rot
(the City of the Sacred Car) is formed of a spear-shaped embankment
of earth for a length of about 2.5 kilometres
surrounded by a wide moat; there are ruins of laterite and
brick structures scattered outside the enclosure on all sides,
but they are not enough to lead to any reasoned conclusions
on their origin and nature. At the centre of the enclosure,
however, in the Vat Na Prasat and its adjuncts, two small
fragments of a statue have been found; one contains a socket
between two heels, and the other a part of the crown of the
heads of a nā-ga, doubtless shading a Buddha;
the workmanship, particularly of the legs, is very fine and
totally different from the ugly and hideous treatment of legs
common to Kambujan statues.
Muang Phra Rot in Dong Srī Mahābodhi about
60 kilometres to the north seems to have been connected with
its namesake by a causeway of which some traces still survive.
This is also a large trapezoid enclosure behind a moat of
about 5 kilometres long, and the material employed is laterite.
The only traces of construction found inside are more or less
heavy wheels of laterite which might have served as bases
for wooden pillars in some kind of a light structure. Outside the enclosure
is a rectangular trench cut into the laterite bank which bears
on its walls a series of animal figures in relief, elephants, makaras, lions and so on, of a design so correct
and an execution of which the excellence is limited
only by the hardness of the material employed. Such figures
are not found anywhere else in Indo-China.
A linga of shape unlike those of Kambuja
and snānadroni found in the neighbourhood attest
the Saiva cult once practised there. A very finely modelled
statue of which the head with a tall cylindrical cap and thoroughly
Indian facial features was discovered by Lajonquière helps
to distinguish the school of art to which the ruins belonged
and determine their age.
a few kilometres to the north-west is the Dong Lakhon, a smaller
square enclosure of 500 metres, behind an earth embankment
4 or 5 metres high and a moat of a width of 40 metres. Its
entrances are pierced in the embankment near the angles and
not at the centre of the sides, as usual in Kambuja. There
are no structures, statues or inscriptions here; but from
the neighbouring temples have been got a fine stone Buddha
head like that of the Muang Phra Rot in which the upathisat is replaced by a tonsure adorned with a cakra cut in hollow, and grinding stones with rollers (rasang
batau) used for grinding colours like the curry
stones still in use in South Indian homes.
Pathom is today an important railway station about 30 miles due west of Bangkok. The
temple, reached by an avenue of trees from the railway station,
comprises a vast circular stūpa with four vihāras round it and a terraced platform.
The temple has been remodelled quite often and
all styles of construction are found mixed up in a confused
manner. But possibly the stūpa retains its original
shape, and legend assigns a hoary antiquity to the temple.
One tradition takes it back to the time of Sona and Uttara,
Asoka's missionaries to Suvarnabhūmi, while another ascribes
the foundation of the stūpa to an ancient king
of Ratburi who expiated an unconscious patricide by this pious
With the exception of a portable linga on one of the terraces, everything about the place is of Buddhist
origin, and there is no reason to think, as Fournereau did,
that this was originally a Brahminical shrine. A large number
of sculptures found on the site in the course of successive
remodellings and deposited in one of the local vihāras, attest the antiquity of the city. These include (a)
statues of the Buddha, entire or fragmentary, representing
him as standing or seated on a throne in European fashion,
a manner unknown to current Siamese statuary; (b) a
stele representing the Buddha standing between two women with
high chignons and holding fly-whisks, a group found also in
certain votive sculptures in the caves of the Malay Peninsula;
(c) a sculptured panel showing the Buddha seated on
a throne being fanned by two apsarases, one on either
side, preaching (right hand raised in cinmudrā) to a group of ten disciples seated on the floor,
five on either side, one set comprising the indigenous people
and the other, the disposition of whose dress recalls the
sculptures in the Madras museum, evidently representing Indians;
(d) fragments of ornamental panels, little resembling
those of Kambujan art; (e) very realistic statues of
couchant deer with necks turned back; (f) large stone
wheels supported on stands modelled like those in many panels
in the archaeological section of the Madras museum;
(g) some terracotta debris including a
vase without its base and carrying an apparently Buddhistic
inscription. Some Brahminical relics like a linga, pedestals
like snānadronis, and a grinding stone which may
belong to a neighbouring temple or even a Brahminical temple
in the same enclosure. None of the sculptures has any Kambujan
trait and they are generally of the same type as those of
the Pachim province, and such inscriptions as have been got
contain Pāli Buddhist texts inscribed in characters more
or less the same as in the other inscriptions noticed before.
They are all attributable to the Dvāravatī
period of the seventh century A.D. and earlier;
the wheels and the deer, which are probably earlier
than the sixth century, as also the preaching Buddha, show
that the shrine commemorated the First Sermon in the Deer
Park of Benares.
Suphan about 80 kilometres north of Phra Pathom there is a
colossal Buddha seated à la mode Européenne and
two rudely sketched sculptures of four-armed Brahminic deities,
a male and a female. The rock-cut Buddhas of the Phu Khao
Ngu cave at Ratburi on the Meklong, particularly the emaciated
ascetic form, recall early Indian types.
the valley of the Nam Sak, a mountain torrent in the midst
of a highly wooded country, are two sites Si That or rather
Srideb and Sap Xamphra; a fragmentary stone statue from the
former, now in the museum of Ayuthia, gives the clue to the
origin of these monuments.
In the fine form and studied modelling of the
body, as also in the shape of the head-gear, cylindrical at
the base and octagonal at the upper end, the statue clearly
stands apart from the usual run of Kambujan sculptures. Again,
unlike in such statues, this figure has no ornaments whatsoever
in the ears, on the neck or on the waist; arms and feet are
missing, but presumably they were also unadorned. We may suppose
that in spite of their eccentric situation, these monuments
were Hindu in origin, and later remodelled by the Kambujans
who preserved the older divinities in the new sanctuaries.
has come to be recognized as a site of very high importance
in recent years.
Lajonquière's surmise on the importance of this
site has been confirmed by the discovery of many early statues
and the fragment of a very early inscription. The inscription
comprises fragments of six lines and in its present condition
yields no continuous sense.
But the language is Sanskrit; and the stone on
which the inscription is engraved was once taken to be a linga, and is said to be explained by the Siamese as being a
foundation stone (a lak mu’ang, une pierre de fondation
de ville); but I think that the inscribed stone was chiselled
into its present shape at a later time by someone who had
no regard for the inscription and that we should not assume
that the stone always had its present shape, much less seek
to determine its use from that shape. But there can be no
doubt whatever that the very clear lettering that has survived
goes back to the sixth or even the ninth century A.D., and that it is decidedly an alphabet
of South Indian variety.
sculptures comprise, among others, the magnificent torso of
a Yaksinī, two very fine statues in tribhanga with cylindrical caps (very similar to the statue that
Lajonquière saw in the museum at Ayuthia), and a fragment
of a nandi; there is also a dvārapāla of clearly Khmer origin, which, while differing altogether
from the other pieces, evidences the later Khmer occupation
of this area. The other statues, unfortunately not easy to
identify because the arms are broken and therefore the symbols
lost, are thoroughly Indian in inspiration; the head-dress,
the features, the massive neck, the treatment of the legs
and clothing, and the tribhanga must be noted. The
torso of the Yaksinī is a masterpiece of technical
perfection. Cœdès has mentioned Gupta art and its canon as
nearest allied to this; but the epigraphy of Srideb points
to South India, and I am inclined to place the art of Srideb
as a transition from Amarāvatī to the later forms
of Pallava art of the time of Mahendravarman and his successors.
We know that in epigraphy the colonies supply transitional
forms of the South Indian alphabet not so well represented
in the home country;
something similar in monumental art need therefore
cause no surprise.
results obtained by Mr. Quaritch Wales in a recent expedition
to grideb in 1935 confirm these conclusions. He has identified
a Vaisnava shrine with a ruined brick tower 40 feet high on a laterite base 20 feet from ground level; the inner
vault of the tower is constructed by means of successive encorbelments,
and a fragment of an inscription on the bell capital of a
pillar is of the same alphabet as the other fragmentary inscription
noted before. The statues, a headless four-armed figure, and
“a large and very noble head,” are also of the fifth or early
sixth century A.D.
art of Srideb has rightly been described
as “the most ancient link now known in the history
of art in the entire peninsula” of Indo-China. It is remarkable
that this superb school of art flourished so early and in
so inaccessible a valley so far from the sea. “Such was the
force of expansion,” says Cœdès,
“of Indian civilization that it did not merely
touch the coast, as we may be tempted to believe, but penetrated
to the centre of the peninsula with its language of learning,
its writing, its religion and its art.”
was the political position of Srideb? Was it a vassal of Fu-nan,
and did Fu-nan extend its sway so far to the north-west? Or
was it an independent state? We have no means of deciding
turn to the later Indo-Kambujan remains, inscriptions in Mon
Khmer and Sanskrit ranging from the sixth century A.D. to the thirteenth are found; they
are mostly religious in import, though it is possible that
some of the buildings where they occur might have been palaces;
after all, the distinction between temples and palaces was
not very sharply drawn either in the thought of the people
or in the structures themselves. The Brahminical cult predominates
in the art of this group, and images of Brahmā, Indra,
Visnu, and Siva adorn the entrance of almost
every temple; Buddha images are not unknown, but usually only
as an avatār of Visnu. There is, however, one
exception; in the sanctuary of Phimai, the image of Gautama
takes the place of honour on the lintel of the principal entrance,
the Brahminical gods being relegated to the subsidiary entrances.
But this temple is unfinished, and belongs to the last days
of Khmer prosperity. In any event, this temple in honour of
the Buddha reconstructed in the midst of an old Visnu temple
is clear proof of the rising importance of Buddhism at the
cost of Hinduism.
the beginning, the Hindu colonies doubtless arose in favoured
spots as more or less independent units of moderate size;
more powerful kingdoms must have been formed later in the
course of several generations, by alliances, wars of conquest
and so on. Many names of the states together with descriptions
of their people, government, manners, trade and so on are
found in the Chinese accounts relating to the period; but
the names are not easy to identify, and the descriptions vague.
We see enough to recognize that we have before us a picture
of several states, all of them Hinduised, and in more or less
active communication with one another, and with China on the
one hand and India on the other. But on the restoration of
the original names of states from their Chinese forms, and
on their geographical location, wide differences of opinion
are still unfortunately possible and prevalent.
of an ancient Hindu settlement occur at a spot three miles
to the east of modern Chantabun (Candanapuri) on the banks
of a navigable river of the same name and commanding fertile
country all round, rich in rice, pepper and other products
as also in precious stones like rubies and sapphires. The
soil is red in colour, a matter of interest in the location
of the country of Tche-t'ou (red earth) of the Chinese geographers.
Acadra of Ptolemy's maps may very well be located here.
Fragments of inscriptions in Sanskrit and Khmer
have been found, Sanskrit being used generally for praising
gods or the founders of religious edifices, Khmer being employed
for edicts or other records meant to be understood by the
common people. One of them,
of about the end of the tenth century
a royal order in Sanskrit and Khmer communicated by the king's guru to the civil or religious dignitaries designated Vāp, Steñ, and Ācārya.
Another fragmentary inscription noticed by Lajonquière is
part of the digraphic inscriptions of Yasovarman (end of the
ninth century) set up in different parts of his kingdom. The
provenance of these inscriptions is uncertain; Lajonquière
rejects the slopes of Mount Sabab suggested by Schmidt as
there are no traces of ancient monuments there, and thinks
that the hamlet of Phamniep, near the village of Bau Narai,
3 kilometres east of Chantabun, about half way to Mount Sabab,
their more likely source. To this group belongs a sculptured
slab of red stone, 80 cm x 60 cm, that must have formed part
of a decorative lintel; the sculpture shows part of the façade
of a palace with five women seated in front and clad in short
sampots with vertical stripes, and wearing conical head-dress
and ornaments. Another slab of red stone, meant doubtless
for a spandrel, exhibits an unfinished sculpture which is
a replica of another found at Phamniep very near Chantabun
and described below.
ruins of Phamniep have long been used as a quarry for extracting
building material, and not much is now left of them; but there
is the village with a Hindu name, Bau Phra Narai—the village
of Visnu; there are the foundations of a double
structure, possibly a palace, standing in the open and not
enclosed together with other buildings by a surrounding wall,
as obtains in Cambodia in similar instances; and above all,
there has been found in the pepper garden of the village a
finely sculptured slab which must have been the lower half
of the tympanum over the doorway at the entrance of a temple;
it shows Garuda carrying Visnu on his shoulders, flanked by
two open-mouthed makaras with short trunks; only the
upper part of the Garuda's body is seen, the lower half being
hidden behind ornamental motifs, and of Visnu only the legs carried on the shoulders
of Garuda and held by his hands are seen; the bust of Visnu and whatever else was sculptured
on the upper slab are lost. The sculpture from Chantabun noted
at the end of the last paragraph is an unfinished copy of
date of these relics is a matter of conjecture; they resemble
Kambujan art, but there are also striking differences; they
must have had the same source of inspiration as Kambujan art; makaras similar to those we have noted here appear
in the earliest phase of Kambujan art. We seem to have here
the relics of an original Hindu colony established in the
valley of the Chantabun at some indeterminate, but early epoch;
towards the ninth century it became part of the Kambujan kingdom,
as the inscriptions testify.
(Louvo) in the valley of the Menam, was a centre of Mon-Hindu
culture from very early times. Later it became part of the
Kambujan kingdom and the seat of a Khmer viceroy for Central
Siam from the beginning of the reign of Sūryavarman I
(1002). Its monuments, sculptures and inscriptions,
particularly the earliest among them, are of great interest
to us. The city is located on a flat plain liable to inundation
in rainy weather, but it commands the more salubrious highland
adjacent to it on the eastern side.
statues of the standing Buddha were discovered in 1924 in Vat Mahādhātu and its
environs; statues in bluish limestone have nothing in common
with Khmer statuary and evidently belong to an earlier art;
one of them bears a Sanskrit inscription in characters similar
to those of the most ancient epigraphs of Kambuja,
and clearly of a South Indian variety of the sixth
or seventh century. The inscription reads:
nāyakenārjjaveneyam sthāpitā pratimā
e. the Nāyaka Ārjava, chief of the people of Tangūr
and son of the king of Sāmbuka, has set up this image
of the Muni. The two regions named cannot now be identified;
but the glimpse afforded by this correct Sanskrit record into
the political organization of the land in this early period
and the purely Indian designation of the offices mentioned
are noteworthy. Another of the Buddha statues bears a single
line in equally ancient characters, and probably in the Mon
Vat Mahādhātu, as it is at present,
has a strong affinity to the architecture of Angkor; but these
early Buddhas of the Mon-Hindu period are a clear indication
that this Khmer temple replaced an earlier temple in another
singularly archaic Mon inscriptions are found engraved on
an octagonal stone pillar with an ornamental cubical capital;
the pillar which comes from the neighbourhood of San Sung
is identical with some others found in the gallery
surrounding the great stūpa of Brah Pathamacetiya
to be mentioned presently. “Without doubt,” says Halliday,
“this inscription of Lobpuri is the most ancient
Mon text deciphered and published till now.” The inscription
contains some Sanskrit and Pāli words, and records gifts
of slaves, betel, carts, and a flag to a Buddhist temple by
different persons whose names are given. Some of these names
are indigenous like Cāp Sumun; others are Indian like
Prajñavanta, Sīlapāla, Sīlakumāra. The
characters of the record are those of a South Indian alphabet
of the sixth or seventh century A.D. The importance of the Mon element
in the population of the valley of the Menam and in the colonization
up to Haripuñjaya is being revealed for the first time by
these new and still rather obscure inscriptions.
triple shrine of Phra Prāng Sam Yot
(the temple with three Sikharas) was doubtless
at first a Hindu structure turned later to Buddhist uses.
The central shrine is slightly larger than those on the sides;
all face east and are connected with one another by covered
passages along the north-south axis; they are built of limonite,
stone being used for doorways, pediments and so on. “The design
is certainly not Buddhist,” says Le May, “and the three towers
ranged alongside one another invariably bring to the mind
the Hindu Trinity of Brahmā, Siva and Visnu. Non-Buddhist figures, too, have
been found on the towers¾bearded
figures with their hands resting on clubs¾which
also points to an originally Brahman construction.” Two other
features are noted by Lajonquière as marking the age and origin
of this temple; the shape of its openings, the windows and
passages terminating in an ogive, is unknown to purely Kambujan
monuments; again, the decorative sculptures are barely sketched
and the details are picked in stucco, a procedure extremely
rare in Khmer art, though not altogether unknown, Some vestiges
of ancient snānadronis attest the original character
of the shrine. The Phra Prāng Khek,
also a triple shrine without the connecting passages
and with the lateral shrines definitely smaller than the central,
and the San Sung, the Vaisnava shrine,
in the neighbourhood of which the pillar with
the Mon inscription was found, are other early monuments also
worthy of note.
temples in Saxenalai-Suk’otai in Central Siam, particularly
the Vat Pr'a Pai Luang and the Vat Sisawi in old Suk'otai,
seem to have been originally built for Brahminical worship
and later adapted to Buddhist uses in the Tai period;
this is clear from the plan of the structures
as also from the survival of the older decorative sculptures
on their walls.
lower valley of the Mekong and the valley of the small stream
Pechaburi offered the most favourable conditions for the establishment
of colonies; accordingly we find relics of a number of old
states with Ratburi on the Mekong at their centre, Muang Sing
farthest inland, Kanburi, Phra Pathom between the Mekong and
the western arm of deltaic Menam, and Pechaburi more to the
south nearer the sea. It is possible that at one time these
centres were united under a single state; but we know nothing
certain of their actual history.
Vat Kampheng Leng at Pechaburi is another temple, Brahminical
in origin, as its plan and the surviving images of dvārapālas and of Visnu on Garuda, testify, but turned later to Buddhist
monuments of the Indo-Kambujan group, as Lajonquière has called
them, show that the Kambujan kingdom extended its sway to
the west into Siam and tried to spread its own form of religion
and architecture among the conquered states; but in these
outposts of Kambujan culture enough remains yet to reveal
their original condition and to show that the early colonists
from India had selected most of these sites as favourable
for their settlement and occupation.
like Cambodia, maintained a number of court Brahmins at Bangkok
until recently when as the result of a revolution a republic
came to be established. Joseph Dahlmann who travelled in Siam
in the twenties of this century gives the following account
There are about 80 families. Their dwellings are
erected round a poorly temple comprising three insignificant
structures enclosed by a wall. The Brahmans differ from the
Bonzes by the long flowing hair on their heads. The white
ceremonial gown and the conical cap vividly bring to our minds
the Brahmans of the island of Bali. Small as is their number
by the side of the thousands of Buddhist Bonzes, they have
still many privileges conceded to them, as, in spite of all
the changes due to Buddhism, the memory of the old Brahmanical
royalty is still so deeply rooted in Siamese tradition. To
the Brahman community is reserved the consecration of the
new king, and royalty is held to be properly transmitted to
the new ruler only by the completion of such consecration.
Simply and solely for this end is this small group of Brahmans
preserved in the midst of the large community of Buddhist
Bonzes. At their head stands a guru bearing the proud
title Mahārājaguru. With the consecration
of the king goes the consecration of the royal elephant, also
reserved to the Mahārājaguru; for what is
the Siamese king without his white elephant?
is a published official account in English of the details
of ceremonies and mantras employed on the occasion
of the coronation of His Majesty King Prajādhipok in
February of B.E. 2468 (A.D. 1926). We have only to note that
unlike the Brahmins of Cambodia the Siamese Brahmins are not
relics of a once powerful religious caste, as Father Dahlmann
seems to think, but appear to have been brought in at a later
time from Ligor and elsewhere to conduct the court ceremonies,
in imitation of other courts, with an Indian ceremonial. The
Thai conquerors of Siam sought thus to legitimatize their
rule in the eyes of the people by observing the same forms
as the ancient Khmer monarchy of the land. In 1821, one of the Brahmins told Crawford
that he was fifth in descent from his ancestor who first settled
in Siam and had originally been an inhabitant of Rāmesvaram,
the sacred island adjacent to South India on the east, to
the north of Ceylon. Quaritch Wales
says that some Brahmins today have a tradition
that their ancestors came from Benares, that both these accounts
may be true and that there may be now in Bangkok descendants
of Brahmins from both North and South India. These traditions
are surely evidence of late immigrations; but the modern Bakus
of Cambodia have no such tradition, and the head priest at
Phnom-Penh is said to have claimed very recently and quite
seriously that his ancestor came from Mount Kailāsa!
VIII. Malay Peninsula
the Malay Peninsula the early colonists from India founded
a number of independent states. Our knowledge of these states
is still very limited and we have to depend on Chinese notices
which are not always easy to interpret. About the eighth century
A.D. these states began to attract the attention
of their more powerful island neighbours in the south; almost
to the end of the thirteenth century the whole region may
be said to have been under the political tutelage of the Sailendras,
who at first made their appearance in Central Java and later
became masters of the maritime empire of Srī Vijaya.
Ruins of the Javanese and Sumatran periods of Malayan history
are found scattered throughout the peninsula. When Srī
Vijaya fell from power, the Malayan states fell an easy prey
to the Siamese, though the southern states passed under the
Javanese empire of Majapahit for a time.
Malacca must have been an early colonial centre. Lajonquière
has drawn attention to a makara fragment built into
a retaining wall near the ancient Portuguese church containing
the corporal remains of St. Francis Xavier; doubtless this
came from an ancient temple destroyed by the Christian conquerors.
village of Kuala Selinsing on the coast of the Matang district
of Perak has been identified by Mr. I. H. N. Evans as an ancient
Hindu settlement on the strength of a cornelian seal bearing
the incorrect Sanskrit inscription Srī Visnuvarmmasya
in box-headed characters of a South Indian variety of about
the sixth century A.D. or earlier. The level at which
the seal has been found justifies this date also.
There are also beads of shell and opaque glass,
besides a gold ring bearing a group identified by Mr. Evans
with reservations as Visnu borne on the shoulders of Garuda.
There is nothing improbable in this, and though I share to
some extent the doubts regarding the Hindu character of the
ring and the figure on it, I think that Mr. Quaritch Wales
carries his scepticism too far in doubting the presence of
Hindus in the settlement.
It is true, however, that no definitely Hindu
cult object has so far been found on the spot.
ancient Kedah we have an important and unmistakably Hindu
settlement which has been known for about a century now from
the discoveries reported by Col. Low and has recently been
subjected to a fairly exhaustive investigation by Dr. Quaritch
Among Col. Low's discoveries was an inscribed
slate slab found near Bukit Meriam in a ruined brick house
12 feet square, possibly the hut of a Buddhist monk, as Kern
was inclined to think. The inscription comprises two stanzas—the yedharmmā formula and the verse
ajñānāccīyate karma janmanah
jñānānna kriyate karma karmmābhavānna
means: Karma is accumulated through Ajñāna; Karma, is the cause of birth. Jñāna leads
to desistance from Karma, and in the absence of Karma there is no birth.
We have no means now of judging the age of the
record from its palaeography, as the original is lost and
there is no mechanical copy.
it seems hardly likely that this inscription differed much
in age from others from Kedah found by Dr. Quaritch Wales,
to be noted presently, and from the other discovery of Col.
Low, viz. the inscription of Mahānāvika Buddhagupta
from the northern district of Province Wellesley. This record,
also on a slate slab, is engraved on both sides of a stūpa with a chattrāvati (umbrella series) of seven
members, and is in characters very similar to those of Pūrnavarman's
inscriptions in Java of the early fifth century A.D. Besides the verse ajñānāt, etc., the inscription contains a short prose passage of
benediction wishing success in all ways and everywhere to
the enterprises undertaken by the Mahānāvika, the
sea captain Buddhagupta, resident of Raktamrttikā. It
contains the interesting word siddhayātrā, which is found in some other early Indonesian inscriptions
also, where it is seen to refer to a pilgrimage to a holy
place for the attainment of spiritual merit or potency leading
return to the antiquities of ancient Kedah, Dr. Wales investigated
no fewer than thirty sites round about Kedah. The results
attained show that this site was in continuous occupation
by people who came under strong South Indian influences, Buddhist
and Hindu, for several centuries. We need mention here only
some of the most conclusive and significant links in the chain
of evidence brought to light by these valuable investigations,
leaving the other details to be gathered from Dr. Wales' work
by the interested reader.
An inscribed stone bar, rectangular in shape,
bears the ye-dharmmā formula in South,Indian
characters of the fourth century A.D., thus proclaiming the Buddhist character
of the shrine near the find-spot (site I) of which only the
basement survives. This inscription naturally recalls the
Bukit Meriam (site 26) inscription of the same formula noted
above. A more interesting find from site 2 brings it into
line with the colonies in Lower Burma; it is a sun-dried clay
tablet measuring 51/8” x 11/8” x 11/8”
in the centre and slightly tapering towards either end; it
is inscribed on three faces in Pallava grantha of the
sixth century A.D., possibly earlier; each face carries
two lines making a complete sloka. The three Sanskrit
verses embodying Mahāyānist philosophical doctrines
have been traced together in a Chinese translation of the Sāgaramati-pariprcchā, the original
of which, is not forthcoming; two of these three verses occur
also in a number of translations of other works, all of the
Mādhyamika school. This inscription which, as Dr. Wales
rightly points out, precedes the earliest Mahāyānist
inscription from Sumatra (Talang Tuwo A.D. 674) by about a century, brings
Kedah into the same class as Prome in the same period where
also some Sanskrit Buddhist texts have been found in the midst
of several from the Pāli canon.
a low spur of the Kedah peak to the south are traces of a
Siva temple (site 8); its plinth and lower courses built of
small granite blocks have survived, as also a fragment of
a bronze trident and two curious nine-chambered reliquaries
of a type unknown in India, but common in more elaborate forms
in Java in the ninth and tenth centuries; this temple may
be considered, for several reasons, to be an important link
in the transition from the sepulchral shrines of South India
with lingas in them to the developed Candis (tomb-shrines)
of Java enshrining the portrait figures of particular monarchs.
From site 10 have been recovered foundation deposits of a
type unknown so far in India or Java; they comprise one gold
and six silver discs, each 1 ½” in diameter, inscribed on
one side in South Indian characters of a cursive type which
may be assigned to the ninth century A.D. The inscriptions are generally
either names of Bodhisattvas, whose images were perhaps set
up in the shrine or possibly of devotees who took part in
the consecration, though in one case there is only one syllable, Om. Among the foundation deposits of a Buddhist shrine
in site 14 were two silver coins of the Abbasid Caliphate,
one of them bearing a clear date 234 A.H. (A.D. 848). A large Siva temple has been
identified as such (on site 19) by a four-armed Ganesa figure
in terracotta and a bronze Sakti weapon of Kārttikeya,
and the temple is assigned to the eleventh or twelfth century.
was identified by Cœdès with Kadāram of the Cōla
literature and inscriptions and Katāha of Sanskrit literature;
this has however been questioned subsequently by other writers,
I think on insufficient grounds, and the explorations of Dr.
Wales seem to me to go far to confirm the identification made
by Cœdès on other grounds.
IX. Takua-Pa and Other Places
at the mouth
of the river of that name was identified by Gerini with the
Takola of Ptolemy and of the Milinda Panha. Lajonquière's
investigations brought to light a number of antique sculptures
and monuments which taken along with the Tamil inscription
discovered earlier (in 1902) by Mr. Bourke, a mining engineer
of the Siamese Government, makes it quite certain that Takua-pa
was in the early centuries of the Christian era a well-known
harbour and trading centre often resorted to by ships coasting
along the Golden Chersonese.
hinterland is rich in tin-mines and there are old mining shafts
here which are clearly distinguishable from those sunk by
the Chinese and Europeans in later times. There are also the
ruins of an old brick structure in the isle of Thung Tu’k
(‘the plain of the monument’), but they are not enough to
warrant any inference being drawn from them. Not far from
Thung Tu'k is a small conical hill known as Phra Noe in a
small island lost in a labyrinth of canals winding through
a forest of mangrove trees; on this hill was found a statue,
broken but with all the parts in situ, of a four-armed
figure with a cylindrical tiara.
The figure is of natural size and presents one
of the finest examples of artistic modelling; the cylindrical
head-dress and the long sarong, together with
the total absence of ornaments, place the statue in the same
class as that of Muang Phra Rot in the Pachim valley in Siam.
top of the hill has been cleared and levelled, but bears no
signs of any construction. Lajonquière considers the statue
to be one of Siva; but there is no means of sure identification.
in the interior is the hill of Phra Narai at the confluence
of the Khlong Pong and the Khlong Ko Srok which unite lower
down with the Khlong Phra Va to form the river Takua-pa. “This
is a small hill conical in shape, 40 metres high and covered by forests.
On the summit we find only debris of bricks and two large
flat unwrought stones. These few vestiges appear to be all
that remains of a small square sanctuary which measured three
metres from side to side in the interior and opened to the
the opposite side of the Khlong Ko Srok, an ornate stele of
three Brahmanical figures which came from this small shrine
is deposited on the bank. Local tradition says that it had
been brought from there by the Burmans during their last invasion
and deposited at the spot where it now is, to await its transport
to Burma. But when they were about to proceed with this operation
there fell such violent rains, that the spoliators were constrained
to abandon it. It was since broken by the wild elephants which
were for long the masters of this region devastated by wars.
When the inhabitants returned, they found it in the present
state and supported the debris against a tree. This tree with
a trunk divided in two parts and now 20 metres high, has framed the debris
in the growth of its trunks, and the folds of the bark cover
the figures in part.
appears to have been cut in a large slab of schistose limestone,
on which three figures come out in reliefs exceeding, at certain
points, 90 centimetres in thickness.
most important, at the centre, represents Siva standing. The
head (of which the cover has been removed), disappears under
a fold of the bark; the feet are broken; they form one piece
with a small plinth and tenon lying on the side of the tree.
The bust is nude; collars made of gold adorn the neck; above
(these) hangs a necklace of pearls increasing (in size) as
it descends; a girdle of rectangular plaques of gold goes
round the chest above the breasts; a thick ribbon woven of
many rows of pearls is attached by a wrought buckle on the
left shoulder and falls on the right hip; a girdle with a
large wrought buckle holds round the edge of a long sarong with many folds; along the thighs fall the folds of embroidered
cloth and cordons from which hang button-like ornaments. The
god is represented with four arms; we see only the right front
and left front arms; the right posterior arm is only indicated
by the lines of its fracture. The fore-arm of the right front
arm is raised, the wrist is adorned by three bracelets; the
hand, open and raised, is adorned with rings for the little
and ring fingers, the thumb appears to hold a cord, which,
passing above the right shoulder, comes to attach itself to
the thumb of the left front arm. The hand of this arm is supported
on the hip; its wrist has three bracelets of which two are
of pearls; a large wrought bracelet adorns the biceps.
figure which, in the stele common (to all of them), is placed
to the right of the god is without doubt that of his wife
Pārvati. Probably the goddess is represented as seated,
but the lower part of the body is missing, or is masked by
the ligneous developments of the trunk which form a natural
niche round the bust. The head is dressed in the form of a
high cylindrical chignon formed of tresses gathered up in
front and held in position by golden ornaments; a golden crown
with two large earlaps sustain this edifice of hair. The countenance
is round, the eyes lightly turned up, the nose is broken,
the mouth with a thick lower lip is well designed; the bust
is nude, a large necklace of pearls hangs on the chest between
the well-marked breasts; a cordon passed over the left shoulder
falls above the right hip; the right arm encircled by pearls
at the level of the biceps is lowered and covered largely
by the bark; the left arm is raised, the hand supporting the
head-dress; we can only see the upper part of the sarong and the knot of the belt.
figure to the right represents a danseuse; resting
on the left knee with the left hand on the hip, she stretches
towards the god her right arm which is broken; her head, inclined
to the right, is dressed as a high conical chignon held in
position by a crown of gold; the face is round, with eyes
half-closed with very curved and slightly upturned eyebrows;
the nose, the mouth with thick lips, the accentuated chin,
are of a pretty design; a necklace hangs on the chest; a cordon
passed over the left shoulder hangs between her two well-developed
breasts; the bust is nude, the waist supple and elegant; the
left arm is adorned at the biceps by a bracelet worked in
a rosaceous pattern, and at the wrist by three bangles; the
pelvis and the legs are very tightly draped in a long sarong which descends in multiple folds; the feet with anklets
of metal are nude.
three figures of natural size are very superior as sculpture
to what we have so far found in Indo-China.”
Lajonquière's identification of the figures as Siva, Pārvatī
and a danseuse need not be accepted, for it is more
likely a representation of Vishnu and his two consorts; but his careful
description of the sculpture is so valuable and so forcibly
brings out its South Indian inspiration in all its details
that I have not hesitated to reproduce it here in extenso. In fact, the same writer observed earlier and more summarily:
“The costumes, in numerous folds treated with details, the
profusion of jewels, the elegant movements of the body, recall
very nearly the oldest sculptures of Dravidian India.”
inscribed stele by the side of this sculpture carries, appropriately
enough, a Tamil inscription clearly of the ninth century A.D. It records the construction of a
tank, named Avani-nāranam, evidently after Nandivarman
III (826-850) Pallava, by a person who described himself as
the Lord of Nāngūr; the tank is placed under the
protection of the members of the Manigrāmam, the residents
of the cantonment (Senāmukham) and one other group of
which the nature is obscured by a gap in the inscription.
This record is valuable and conclusive proof of the active contact maintained in
the ninth century between the two shores of the Bay of Bengal. But there is
much in the record that we are not in a position to explain.
Was the Lord of Nāngūr a military chieftain of South
India or just a merchant prince? Was he actually present in
Takua-pa when the tank was dug and the record of it engraved?
If so, was his mission peaceful or warlike? And who maintained
a Senāmukham at Takua-pa and for what purpose? Did the
troops have any connexion with and were they under the employ
of the Manigrāmam (Sanskrit Vanigrāmam),
the large and influentlial guild of merchants of which we
hear in diverse connexions? Questions like these which leap
to our minds and which we are unable to answer indicate the
large gaps in our knowledge of those remote times. We have
to be grateful to the scientific zeal of the explorers from
Western lands whose labours, undertaken often under conditions
of great discomfort, have brought to light vestiges of long
forgotten chapters of the efforts and achievements of Indians
in ancient times.
on the southern shore of the Bay of Bandon was
a dependency of Srī Vijaya for several centuries and
contains several monuments some of which at least must be
taken to date from a much earlier time. The Vat Pra That is
surely a construction of the Srī Vijaya period having
much in common with constructions depicted on the bas-reliefs
of Borobudur and following the canons of the Silpasāstras of Indian origin.
the numerous statues found in this neighbourhood, belonging
to different periods and styles, the admirable bust of Lokesvara,
discovered by Prince Damrong and now in the museum of Bangkok,
deserves special notice. It is one of the most
magnificent bronzes of the Srī Vijaya art of the ninth
century. “The benevolent serenity of the face, the noble bearing
of the shoulders and the magnificence of dress and adornment,”
says Cœdès, “class this statue, badly mutilated, among the
masterpieces of Indian sculpture in Indo-China.”
Vat Keu is a brick structure on a plan similar to that of
Candi Kalasan of Central Java, though its architecture recalls
the ‘cubic’ art of Campā.
In a small vihāra to the east of this
ruined temple, there are some interesting sculptures including
a Buddha statue clearly of the Dvāravati art. There is
also a statue of Visnu
described by Cœdès thus: “Image
of Visnu standing with a sort of decorated
mitre on the head and wearing huge earrings of a peculiar
style. The deity has four arms; the right back arm rests on
a large mace, and the front one is raised holding the disc;
on the left, the back arm is broken, and the front one rests
on the hip and holds a conch.
statues, wearing an identical costume, are still found in
situ at Nagara Srī Dharmarāja (Ligor).” The
statue is stiff and inelegant; it is a product of late art,
valuable as showing the persistence of Indian influences to
a late period.
an isolated hillock, 3 to 4 kilometres to the south of Vat
Keu, are relics of an old structure similar in plan and style
to Vat Keu, from which a Bodhisattva head has been recovered
and preserved in the museum at Bangkok.
This site is called Khau Nam Ron (‘hillock of
warm water’) from a hot spring at its foot.
Vat Hua Vieng comprises the debris of a large brick vihāra; from its neighbourhood comes the fragment of a statue
without head, arms or feet, but notable for the modelling
and the treatment of the dhoti and ornaments; the Jaiya
inscription of Chandrabhānu and another on a bronze Buddha
dated A.D. 1283 come from the same place.
Vat Sālā Tung is another ruined shrine containing
some fragments of Brahminical sculptures, and a fine stone
statue of Lokesvara, arms and feet broken.
The simple treatment of the body contrasts with
the complicated jatāmakuta.
shrines in actual use today show, in spite of repeated remodellings,
their original dependence on Indian silpasāstras for
their design; Vat Palelai and Vat-To are noted by Claeys as
good examples of this class.
was an important centre of pilgrimage for the Buddhists and
numerous votive tablets in clay attest this fact. Such tablets
which are also found in many caves in the mountain ranges
of Malaya used as Buddhist residences, have been studied in
some detail and classified according to their fabric, locality
and age. Those of the Malay Peninsula are of terracotta, circular
in shape, and bear representations of the Buddha or Bodhisattvas
and the formula of the creed. Palaeography and fabric alike
lead to the conclusion that they may be dated about the tenth
century A.D. and taken to follow on similar
tablets from Pra Pathom.
The practice, however, continued through centuries,
and at Ligor metallic tablets of modern make are in use to
Jaiya and Ligor there are a number of old sites of interest,
particularly Khao Srīvijaya whence a beautiful Visnu
with cylindrical head-dress and remarkable for the peculiar
knot of a scarf on the right hip attests the early age of
the site and the prevalence of Brahminical faith at the time.”
Srī Dharmarāja, in the middle of the peninsula within
twelve miles of its east coast, was doubtless the capital
of Tāmbralinga, one of the vassal states of Srī
It is a walled city in the midst of a fertile
plain of rice fields well protected from the monsoon by the
this centre of Buddhism, Brahminical antiquities are not very
important or striking, but are not altogether unknown. In
the interior of the town are three sanctuaries, Bot Prahm,
with a number of lingas, San Pra Isuon, containing
bronze images of the dancing Siva, Pārvatī and Ganesa,
and Na Pra Narai, with its statue of Visnu clearly showing
Indian influence like all statues of this region. The Bot
Prahm was called Na Phra Narai by Lajonquière by mistake.
The bronze Ganesa
bears a Tamil inscription which reads:
Jha- pi- ci- de- sa
the prosperous country of Majhapi (Majapahit), in modern characters.
In fact these temples are still in use and some of them have
been recently remodelled.
Vat Phra That or Mahādhātu is considered by Lajonquière
to have been the model of many similar edifices in Indo-China.
It is a bell-shaped monument on a square basement; elephants
are sculptured issuing from it and seem to carry on their
backs the weight of the superstructure, a motif borrowed from
India and copied again in many old northern sites of Siam,
like Kampheng Pet, Sukhotai and Saxanalai.
The rest of the structure bears sculptures representing
Buddhistic scenes sketched on laterite with the details picked
out in stucco. The extant structure is an enlargement of an
earlier and simpler building the pattern of which is presumed
to be preserved in a reduced model within the precincts of
the temple; the tradition of making a small-scale model of
an existing structure before enveloping it in a new and larger
edifice seems to have been commonly followed.
Of the model of Phra That this is what Claeys
says: “We find here again the plan of a large monument, reduced
to the dimensions of a small structure, recalling the Candi
Kalasan of Central Java or the Cham towers of Dong-düöng and
My-son. The base of the bell of the upper stūpa seems
to rest on a lotus flower, symbolized by a cylindrical moulding
adorned by petals lanceolated vertically.”
are three inscriptions from this temple. One of them from
the Vat Sema jaya comprises eight lines and is illegible.
Another engraved in large letters on a step in a staircase
is palaeographically of the class of South Indian script of
the fifth or sixth century A.D.; the whole inscription is only one
line of seven letters which I would read somewhat differently
from Cœdès thus:
ta ma ra yya lba ge sva rah
reading is not much easier to interpret than Cœdès’
ta mā yya ai ge spah or (ai gra sthāh)
the ending of my reading may appear to be an incorrect—īsvara ending.
The third is a Tamil inscription dated in a Saka
year in words, but the word for the hundred figure is unfortunately
lost, though one may guess from the palaeography and the expression (n) ūrru (a) ñju that it was eight, giving a date
in the last quarter of the ninth century A.D. This, if correct, would bring the
record very near the age of the Takua-pa Tamil inscription
noticed elsewhere. The record mentions some charity in favour
of Brahmins instituted according to the orders of a Dharmasenāpati.
leaving Ligor, we must notice another inscription in six long
lines, much damaged, each line comprising a verse in Sanskrit.
The record comes from Vat Maheyang in the province of Nagara
Srī Dharmarāja; it is engraved in characters ultimately
South Indian in origin but closely allied to those in the
Khmer empire in the seventh to ninth century A.D. It records prescriptions relative
to the internal discipline of a Buddhist monastery.
may be noted here that on this coast of the peninsula bordering
on the China sea there are no traces of early Hindu settlements
south of Patani; it is by no means easy to explain this, though
it has been suggested sometimes that the full force of the
north-east monsoon might have had something to do with it.
temple of Vieng Sra (‘the fortress of the lake’) in the upper
valley of the river Bandon about 80 kilometres to the south
of Jaiya contains some early relics.
The antiquities of the place, described in considerable
detail with a plan by Lajonquière, comprise a walled enclosure
with the relics of a small Buddha temple at the northeast
of which a small stone model has survived (0.60 metre), an
elegant square pedestal with simple horizontal mouldings symmetrically
inversed and a square mortice in the centre for the reception
of the image, and fragments of red stone statues including
one of a pot-bellied Buddha called Mek Thong by the Siamese.
But the most important find from the place is a fine statue
of Visnu, with cylindrical head-dress, which
was found almost in the centre of the enclosed space and which
is now in the Bangkok museum.
Nothing is now left of the temple in which this
fine image must once have been enshrined, and it seems possible
that the material from it was employed in the construction
of the ruined vihdra or of the more modern pagoda which is
still in use.
standing Visnu and a Vatuka-Bhairava form of Siva
in stone figured by Cœdès
also deserve to be noticed. Every detail in these
figures is decidedly South Indian except the facial features
which are indigenous. These figures may be of the ninth or
tenth century, in any case much later than the Visnu with
is perhaps worth noting that the famous stele inscribed on
both sides—one a Srī Vijaya record and the other an incomplete
Sailendra inscription—which was at one time believed to come
from this place has since been traced to Vat Sema Muang in
Both are in South Indian script and one of them
bears a Saka date corresponding to A.D. 775.
Malay Peninsula continues to be in the debt of South India
to this day and the contact between the two lands is being
actively maintained along many channels, primarily economic.
The results on the cultural side of these long-established
contacts have struck all close observers; and Annandale
says: “There are many similarities between the
Muhammadanism of the Labbies of the Indian shore of the Gulf
of Manaar and that of the Malays, and I think it would not
be impossible to find striking parallels between objects in
daily use, and especially in the patterns with which these
objects are adorned, among the two races.” Evans has studied
the persistence of an old type of Indian water vessel, the kendi with a spout, and reproduces
a Chinese porcelain kendi as an example of non-Chinese
ware made in China for export to Malaya.
“The importance of Rāma and Hanuman in the
folklore of the Malays, Buddhists and Muhammadans alike, agrees
with legends which link these with the region round Adam's
Bridge, the region whence came the bulk of the ‘klings’ resident
in Malaya.” “I would even hazard a suggestion,” continues
Annandale, “that it is largely owing to the commercial activity
of the Labbies and their ancestors that the Malays of the
mainland were first converted from pure Shamanism to Hinduism,
and then from Hinduism to what they call, in phraseology of
curiously mingled derivation, the āgama Islam.”
This is a just estimate on the whole, though perhaps the emphasis
on commerce and the ancestors of the Labbies may be considered
a little too strong in the light of facts known to Annandale
himself, and the more so in view of new facts that have come
to light since this estimate was written.
may conclude this sketch of South India's part in the making
of Malayan history and culture with some living examples of
the results still seen today. The Sanskrit word ‘Srī’
which begins all auspicious formulae persists today in Malay
in Muslim kingdoms long after the advent of Islam, and serves
as the name of an oath of allegiance in Perak as well as in
Borneo. The word is found, of course, only in a much altered
form as ‘chiri’; but its definitely Hindu origin, possibly
from the days of Srī Vijaya, may be inferred from some
Malay traditions of Perak recorded by Maxwell in 1881.
The Malays of Perak say that the chiri was introduced in the time of the first Malay
Raja, who came down from the mountain Saguntang Maha Meru,
and appeared suddenly in Palembang, in Sumatra, riding on
a white bull.” Ronkel has traced several common Malay words
like those for washerman, kind or sort, marriage pledge, leaf,
couple, and so on, to indubitably Tamil origins.”
We cannot be quite certain of the age of any of
these words in Malay as contact with the Tamil country has
been unbroken throughout the centuries that followed the early
period of colonization with which we are particularly concerned.
X. The Southern Islands
gain a correct idea of the extent of the influence of Hindu
culture in the islands that came under it, one must contrast
Sumatra, Java and Bali with the islands farther east which
were not touched by this influence. It will then become clear
that all the elements of higher culture, the form of organized
state-life, trade and industry, art and literature were practically
gifts of the Hindus to these islands, and that the archipelago
falls easily into two divisions¾one
which accepted the new culture and advanced with it into civilization,
and the other which lagged behind. We shall naturally be concerned
most with the first.
earliest inscriptions from the islands attesting the establishment
of Hindu culture belong to the end of the fourth century A.D.; but external evidence is sufficiently
clear that this movement must have begun very much earlier.
Strangely enough, this evidence is more Chinese and Greek
than Indian for the earliest phases of the colonization. Trade
at first, and later religion when the Buddhist pilgrims began
to use the sea-route to and from India, stimulated the interest
of the Chinese in the islands of the southern seas, and their
dynastic chronicles and travel books have preserved in one
way or another much that is of interest regarding the conditions
prevailing in those lands from very early times. The Chinese
were good observers and faithfully recorded what they saw
and heard in these strange lands, though it is quite probable
that they often enough derived erroneous ideas of these things.
On social, economic and religious conditions, nevertheless,
they tell us much that is sound, precise and authentic. Though
in course of time numbers of Chinese came to live in these
islands, unlike the Hindus, they always remained colonies
of aliens whose presence had little or no influence on the
culture of the surrounding inhabitants.
evidence on these lands is naturally even more vague and difficult
to interpret than Chinese. Though the trade of Hellenistic
and Imperial Roman times brought the Graeco-Roman world into
active contact with India proper, its notions of the lands
farther east were more often derived at second-hand than based
on direct observation. Chryse with its gold-mines and tortoise-shell
and Thinai with its silk and silk products are mentioned in
the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea;
though the inland silk route is traced
fairly accurately, there is no evidence of any direct or detailed
knowledge of the sea-route to China on the part of the writer.
Chinese source states that in A.D. 132, a king of Yetiao named Pien or Tiao-pien
sent an embassy to China and received a present of a gold
seal and violet ribbon in return. Ye-tiao has been taken generally
to stand for Yavadvīpa, and perhaps less plausibly, the
king's name has been restored in Sanskrit as Devavarman. If
these restorations are correct, this would be evidence of
Hindu influences already at work in Java, the island being
known in China by its celebrated Sanskrit name and as being
ruled either by a Hindu ruler or a native with a Hindu name.
the middle of the second century A.D., Ptolemy, the Alexandrine geographer,
gave a geographical description of the world as it was known
in his time, with maps and tables of latitudes and longitudes
of important places; the lands of the Far East are included
in his account under the name ‘India beyond the Ganges’. It
is, however, by no means easy to identify his names on modern
maps. He says: “The island Iabadiou or Sabadiou signifies
barely ‘island’; this island is said to be very fertile and
much gold is also got there; its capital named Argyre (‘silver
city’) lies at its western extremity.” Iabadiou has been taken
generally to be a representation of the Prākrt form of
the Sanskrit name Yavadvīpa, and Ptolemy’s account is
of interest not only for the Hindu name of the island, but
for its recalling a well-known verse in the Rāmāyana,
although a relatively late one, and perhaps of the same period
as Ptolemy, describing that very island for the benefit of
the apes that were to set out in search of Sītā:
Suvarnarūpyakam caiva, suvarnākara-manditam
Yavadvīpam atikramya Sisiro nāma parvatah
Divam sprsati srngena devadānavasevitah
Yavadvīpa is said to comprise seven kingdoms, to abound
in gold and silver and to have gold-mines as well. Beyond
the island lay Mount Sisira touching the sky and frequented
by devas and dānavas. The identity of names,
and the occurrence of the phrase sampannam kanakākaraih in the description of ‘the noble island of Java,’ dvīpavaram
Yavākhyam, in the Cangal inscription of Sañjaya (732
to justify the view that Ptolemy’s Iabadiou is no other than
the island of Java, possibly Sumatra also being included.
And as barley does not grow here, the name has been held by
some to refer to the shape of the island. But other views
have been held especially by those who consider the mathematical
data of Ptolemy more important than phonetic similarities
between the names mentioned by Ptolemy and those on our maps.
In any event, it is certain that the geographer knew several
places in the Archipelago and Indo-China, right up to the
borders of China, under their Hindu Sanskritic names, and
this is full of significance for the date of the first establishment
of Indian colonists in these lands. And Ptolemy's mention
of cannibals in several parts here and of men with tails,
though possibly exaggerated and distorted in part, must be
accepted as some evidence on the state of savagery that prevailed
here before the arrival of the Hindus.
Sanskrit names for cinnamon and nutmeg imply that they were
brought to India at an early date from across the seas and
may well be taken to attest the most ancient trade relations
between India and the Archipelago. But the ignorance of even
Indian astronomers of the fifth and sixth century on the proper
configuration of the eastern lands—witness their legendary
references to Yavakoti surrounded by golden walls—shows that
the knowledge gained by Hindu mariners of the coastal towns
did not spread inland and was itself, possibly, by no means
accurate or extensive.
the third century A.D., at the latest, begins a series
of stone inscriptions scattered over the various parts of
Indo-China and Malaysia, which, amidst the differences of
time and place, are characterized by an undeniable family
likeness. They cover some centuries and are found in Burma,
Malay Peninsula, Java, Borneo, Kambuja and Campā. They
are usually composed in Sanskrit and written in a script which
though often called ‘Pallava’ is perhaps best described as
‘South Indian’ using the term so as to include Deccan also.
The princes mentioned in these inscriptions have usually names
with a -varman ending. We thus see that the whole
of Sout-east Asia was touched by this vast movement of culture
which must have been slow and steady and a gradual and peaceful
penetration rather than the result of military expeditions
and violent conquest. That the earliest of these inscriptions
so far known comes from Vo-Canh in Campā should be held
to be more an accident; it might have come from any other
part. At any rate it should not lead us to infer that Campā
was the earliest region to come under Hindu influences; the
chances are that the western coast of the Malay Peninsula
and the islands had been occupied some time before the lands
bordering the Gulf of Siam and the China Sea were reached.
Time, the action of natural forces and the vandalism of man
have destroyed irretrievably many of the traces of these ancient
occurrences and what is now left enables us to see only a
part of the story, and that only in its broad outline. There
is little doubt that in every case, the evidence now available
belongs to a period much later than the commencement of this
movement of colonization.
Java: Among the earliest traces of
Hindu culture in Java now known are the Sanskrit stone inscriptions
of Pūrnavarman from the West Java. “It is significant,”
says Vogel, “that these earliest records of Hindu settlement
are found exactly in that part of the island where the Dutch
traders first established their ‘factories’ and which became
the centre from which the power of Holland has spread over
the whole of the Indian achipelago. The geographical position
of the Batavian coast with regard to the continent of India
and Sumatra and the special advantages its figuration offers
to shipping and trade are circumstances which will easily
account for a coincidence that is certainly not due to mere
the extant inscriptions of West Java are, as we shall see,
of a later date than those of Borneo, there can be no doubt
that Hindu culture must have reached Java, if anything, a
little earlier from South India than it reached Borneo.
routes taken by Hindu colonists can only be a matter of surmise
in the absence of direct evidence. There is no reason to believe
that there was any particular centre, Caiya, as Dr. Wales
has suggested, or any other place to which a greater importance
attaches as the basis of further advances in the movement
of colonization. It seems much more probable that every area
which was Hinduised during the early centuries of the Christian
era became in its turn a centre of diffusion of the new culture
among its neighbours. Java and Sumatra, however, attained
great celebrity in the arts about the eighth century, and
the evidence of Indo-Chinese epigraphy and Javanese traditions
taken together attests the rather widespread influence of
Indo-Javanese culture in these eastern lands.
inscriptions of West Java are engraved in the distinctly South
Indian type of characters to which the names ‘Vengi’ and ‘Pallava’
have been applied by epigraphists; the letters show a stage
of development which would place them in the middle of the
fifth century A.D., about half a century later than
the Kutei inscriptions of Mūlavarman of Borneo.
inscriptions are four in number. Apparently the earliest of
them is the one known as the Ci-Aruton record; it is a single anusthup verse engraved in four bold lines, each line
comprising a pāda (quarter of the verse), under
a pair of human feet in front of which are two additional
carvings which have been described as ‘lotuses’ or ‘spiders’.
inscription just says that these footprints which are like
those of Visnu belong to the illustrious Pūrnavarman,
the lord of Tārumanagara, a valiant ruler of the earth.
We have a repetition of Pūrnavarman’s footprints in another
place in the same district; “they are partly broken off with
the top of the rock” (Vogel); here we have a verse in the sragdharā metre engraved in two long lines in
elegant characters of the same type as the Ci-Aruton record.
This inscription is usually called the Jambu rock-inscription,
and as it constitutes the nearest approach we have to an account
of the king's reign, it may be reproduced here:
dātā krtajño narapatir asamo yah purā Tārumāyām
nāmnā srī-Pūrnnavarmā pracura-ripu-sarā-’bhedya-vikhyāta-varmā
tasyedam pādavimbadvayam arinagarotsādane nitya-daksam
bhavati sukhakaram salya-bhūtam
“Illustrious, munificent and true to his duty was the unequalled
lord of men—the illustrious Pūrnavarman by name—who once
(ruled) at Tārumā and whose famous armour (varman) was impenetrable by the darts of a multitude of foes.
His is this pair of footprints which, ever dextrous in destroying
hostile towns, is salutary to devoted princes but a thorn
in the side of his enemies” (Vogel). A third inscription,
the Kebon Kopi (coffee garden) rock-inscription, accompanies
the footprints of the elephant of the lord of Tārumā
which is compared to Airāvata, the divine
elephant of Indra.
inscription comprises just one anusthup verse, illegible
in part, and engraved in one line between two enormous elephant
footprints covering almost the whole of the flat surface of
the rock. This was no doubt Pūrnavarman's elephant.
all these three instances the inscriptions stand in definite
relation to the footprints near them. The worship of the footprints
of gods, prophets and saints is well known in India and Ceylon;
and in the Rāmāyana, Rāma is said to have given
Bharata his pādukas (sandals) to represent him
in the rule of Ayodhyā during the period of his exile.
The exact import of the footprints of Pūrnavarman and
his elephant has been the subject of some discussion. Vogel
suggests that the Ci-Aruton rock marks the spot of the king's
cremation and that the Jambu rock was more or less worshipped
as a posthumous shrine of magic potency; he admits that it
is even more difficult to explain the motives which prompted
the engraving of the elephant's footprints and the inscription
Stutterheim suggests that the footprints, the
king's as well as the elephant's, are marks of occupation
after the conquest, and he recalls the practice of the conqueror
placing his foot on the neck or head of the vanquished rulers
to signify their subjection.
think that all the inscriptions are posthumous and probably
put up in the reign of Pūrnavarman's successor, most
probably his son. Let us note the word purā in
the Jambu record and the absence of anything to indicate that
any inscription was actually engraved in Pūrnavarman's
reign. The footprints of the king and his elephants are no
more than mementos of the valour and heroism of a great king
and his state elephant that played a notable part in his wars
of conquest. Pūrnavarman was thus, so far as we know,
the first conqueror-king of Hinduised Java as the Jambu inscription
clearly shows, and all the inscriptions mentioning him turn
out to be memorials of his rule raised by a pious and grateful
successor who inherited a considerable kingdom with many vassal
states. These impressions receive further confirmation from
the remaining record in the same neighbourhood and of the
Tugu rock inscription.
considering this inscription, however, a word must be said
on the spider-like attachments to the footprints in the Ci-Aruton
record. The most plausible of the numerous explanations offered
is that of Finot which treats these marks as actual
representations of spiders, and refers them to the practice,
common in Indo-China and Insulindia, of representing the souls
of men, which are supposed to leave their bodies when they
are asleep, in the form of insects, particularly spiders.
The padadvayam and the spiders then represent respectively
the body and the soul, the nāmarūpa of the
king. If this view is correct, it would go to show that the
blending of Indonesian and Hindu cultures, of which we have
many tangible instances in later monuments and institutions,
began to be effective and successful at a very early stage
in the contact between them. And this may well have been so.
We know for instance that even the Rgveda is now seen to be
at least in part the production of a composite culture.
puzzle” related to the Ci-Aruton rock is the single line of
cursive writing “which is written over the inscription proper
but in a different direction along the right-hand side of
the royal footprints.” None of the attempts so far made to
read this line, including that of Jayaswal to treat them as
can be pronounced successful or
convincing. It is by no means certain that this line was a
part of the original inscription.
us turn now to the Tugu rock inscription. This is engraved
in five lines running round “a natural, undressed rock, conical
in shape and measuring about one metre in height and a little
less in diameter.”
It comprises five anusthup verses, and
its bold characters closely resemble those of the other three
inscriptions already noticed. The first verse mentions the
Candrabhāgā, dug out of old (purā) by
the famous king of kings (rājādhirāja), the strong-armed guru, and flowing into the sea
after skirting the famous city—evidently Tārumā.
The remaining verses form one long and complex sentence, but
their construction is not so difficult or obscure as others
have maintained. They state that Pūrnavarman, who was
prominent among kings by the height of his prosperity and
virtue, carried out the excavation (of the channel) of a beautiful
stream (nadī ramyā) of clear water (nirmalodakā) in the twenty second year of his reign; the work was begun
on the eighth day of the dark fortnight of the month of Phālguna
and completed on the thirteenth day of the bright half of
the month of Caitra, i.e, in a period of twenty-one days;
the length of the stream was 6122 bows,
and it cut across the camping-ground of the grandfather
who was a royal sage (pitāmahasya rājarseh);
and the opening of the stream was
marked by the gift of a thousand cows to Brahmins.
record therefore also commemorates an act of Pūrnavarman,
the digging perhaps of an irrigation channel. Obviously this
inscription is the work of a successor of Pūrnavarman,
and the reference to the grandfather must be to the grandfather
of the author of the record; if the author was Pūrnavarman's
son, the grandfather would be the father of Pūrnavarman;
but of this we cannot be sure. It seems clear, however, that
though all the West Javanese inscriptions of this time refer
to Pūrnavarman directly or indirectly, thereby indicating
the high place he filled in the history of the Hindu colony
in this part of Java, still Pūrnavarman had predecessors
and successors, and the kingdom of Tārumā flourished
for some generations, though we know little of the details
of the story. Pūrnavarman, we learn, had a reign of at
least twenty-two years. Let us note also the reckoning of
the month from the new moon (amānta system) which is characteristic
of the South Indian calendar.
we have clear evidence of a settled Hinduised society flourishing
in West Java in the fourth and fifth centuries. Pūrnavarman
rules for over twenty-two years
in which he apparently effects some conquests
and lays the foundations of a durable kingdom; this king,
who is compared to Visnu and makes a gosahasra dāna, was doubtless a Hindu colonist
from South India or a Hinduised Indonesian. That Hinduism
was the prevalent faith at the time in Java is borne out by
Fa-Hien who came to Java in A.D. 414 at the end of a storm-tossed
voyage on his way from Ceylon to China. He says that the land
was full of Brahmins and heretics (Pāsupatas?)
and the lore of Buddha little known. He must have
had occasion to know as he had to wait in Java for five months
before he could embark again, which he did on a large ship
sailing to China and manned by Indians. Fa-Hien's account
of the religious condition of the Hindu-Javanese society of
his time accords with what we learn from other Chinese accounts
of the mission of Gunavarman in Java and of his preaching
of Hīnayāna (Mūlasarvāstivāda) there
with the support of the queen-mother, between the years A.D. 396 and 424.
is necessary to note that the identification of Ye-p'o-ti
of Fa-Hien and Chop'o of the Gunavarman story with Java, though
probable, is not accepted by all scholars.
Hindu colonies in Java were not confined to the western part
of the island, as we were apt to think till recently from
the state of the evidence at hand. For in December, 1933,
Dr. Stutterheim had his attention drawn to a short rock inscription
at Rambi-poedji in the eastern corner of Java near the Loemadjang-Djember
The script of the inscription is clearly early
South Indian, and there is not the slightest doubt that this
record falls in the same class with the inscriptions of Pūrnavarman
of West Java and Mūlavarman of East Borneo. The whole
inscription comprises only five letters very clearly engraved
on a megalith with its upper sides smoothened and a big knob
on one of its sides. On the relatively rough underside is
found the inscription which reads:
rvva te sva ra,
Lord of the Mountain, a name of Siva. Was this big boulder
a primitive Indonesian object of worship and did the incoming
Hindus continue to recognize its sanctity in the new order
by treating it as a linga or symbol of Siva? If that
was so, the blending of the old and the new began very early
and went on in the happiest conceivable manner.
must also note the one-line inscription below a number of
religious symbols such as cakra, sankha, tridanda, parasu, and kamandala engraved on the rockface of Toek-Mas
at Merbaboe in Central Java. The record speaks of a tīrtha and may be dated about A.D. 650. It is the earliest record
giving a clue to the state of Hindu-Javanese religious observances.
Kingdoms: The Chinese annals
mention embassies from a number of other minor kingdoms in
the southern islands. Their identification is not easy. But
the general impression we get is clearly that of a set of
minor states in active intercourse with one another and with
China on the one side and India on the other.
is one of these kingdoms located somewhere in Sumatra by the
best modern opinion; its rulers were in communication with
China during the period A.D. 450 to 563.
The names of these rulers, to judge from their
Chinese transcriptions which alone are now available, were
typical Hindu names, and the manners and customs of the country
are said to have been similar to those of Campā and Kambuja.
may note at this point another trace of South Indian influence
in Sumatra, though we are by no means sure that it dates from
this very early period. It is the presence of certain names
of tribal sub-divisions which are unmistakably South Indian
among the Simbiring, a branch of the Karo-Batak race. These
names are—Coliya, Pāndiya, Meliyāla, and also Pelavi
(Pallava if not Melawi or Malay), as well as Tekang (Tekkanam,
Deccan). Though there were many occasions in later history
when these names might have been introduced, it is not altogether
impossible that they came in early, or at least the ground
was prepared early for their reception at a later time.
The social organization of the Karo-Bataks seems
to date from a very remote past and it is quite probable that
these names were taken over when they were still powerful
realities in South India. Some support for this view may be
derived from archaeology; no temples seem to have survived
from these early days when Indonesian society was being transformed
by the advent of Indian Hindu influences; and it is reasonable
to suppose that these changes took place at a time when temples
were still built of wood or other perishable material, and
we know that this was so in the early centuries of the Christian
era. That a continuity was maintained between the older Indonesian
religious institutions and the later Hindu-Javanese temples,
as we may call them, is seen from the preservation of and
worship offered to large bronze kettledrums in such temples,
and these drums are known clearly to have belonged to the
pre-Hindu phase of Indonesian religious life.
certainly came into contact with Hindus and Hindu culture
during the first two centuries A.D. at the latest, and the contact
thus established never wholly ceased and was kept up through
varying fortunes for well over a thousand years. And this
was not confined to contacts with South India, though doubtless
proximity gave it a dominant part. I have dealt with Hindu
Sumatran history in some detail elsewhere;
what happened in Sumatra is typical of the history
of almost every one of these colonies, and the following sketch
in which Heine-Geldern briefly sums up this history and gives
a fair estimate of the strength of the agencies concerned
will be read with interest.
“I need only point out,” he says, “the Buddhist
establishments founded at Nālandā in the ninth century
and at Negapatam about A.D. 1000 by kings of Srī Vijaya;
the reproduction of Sumatran Buddhist idols in a Nepalese
manuscript of the eleventh century; the prominent part played
by Srī Vijaya in the history of later Buddhism, and the
manifold threads of Buddhist activity and learning spreading
from Sumatra to China, India, and even Tibet. The invasions
of Sumatra by a king of Cōla in the eleventh century,
the Tamil inscription of Luba Tua from the year A.D. 1088 and the Dravidian tribal names
still to be found among the Batak are also not to be forgotten.
So we can safely assert that Sumatra has not only once been
colonized by Hindus, but that, owing to more than a thousand
years of close connection, it became an integral part of the
Greater Indian cultural area. It is natural that other cultural
elements reached Sumatra from the Tamil region and Malabar
than those that came from Bengal, and again, influences coming
from South India in the time of the Cōla kings of the
eleventh century, must have differed remarkably from those
of the Pallava period in the seventh. Moreover, material as
well as spiritual influences did not make their way always
directly from the Indian mother-country but were also transmitted
by way of various Indian colonies, specially by Java, thus
being subjected more or less to changes and assimilations
before reaching the island.”
we have fairly long notices of the kingdom of P'o-li from
which embassies reached China between A.D. 518 and 630. These so-called ‘embassies’
were doubtless visits of groups of traders, and the ‘tribute’
they offered were articles of merchandise which were exchanged
by way of presents for other articles of more or less equal
value; these embassies often produced letters real or faked,
purporting to be addressed to the Imperial court by the ruler
of the country from which they came; even these letters may
be right in so far as they give the impression that Buddhism
was spreading in the archipelago.
is said to be on an island in the sea to the southeast of
Canton. It has been located by some in Sumatra, and identified
by others with Bali; but some of the data do not suit either
and lead one to think of Borneo (Puni); we are told for instance
that it took fifty days to traverse the island east to west,
and twenty days north to south, and there were 136 villages
in it. “The functionaries are called Tu-ka-ya-na, and those
of lower rank Tu-ka-si-na. The people of this country are
skilled in throwing a discus-knife; it is the size of a (Chinese
metal) mirror, in the middle is a hole, and the edge is like
a saw; when they throw it at a man they never fail to hit
him. Their other arms are about the same as in China. Their
customs resemble those of Camboja, and the productions of
the country are the same as of Siam. When one commits a murder
or theft they cut off his hands, and when adultery has been
committed, the culprit has his legs chained for a period of
a year” (Sui Annals).
particulars have a familiar ring and may well apply to many
a Hinduised land in the islands at the time. But then we are
told that the family name of the ruler of Fo-li was Kaundinya,
and that the queen of Suddhodana, the father of the Buddha,
was a woman from his country. This shows that the royal family
was actually a line of Indian princes or considered itself
to be such. The name Kaundinya naturally leads us to think
of the other Kaundinya, the Brahmin founder of Fu-nan (later
Kambuja). We may complete the data on this tantalizing kingdom
of P’o-li by another citation, this time from the Leang annals.
“The people of this country use cotton for their
clothes, and also make sarongs of it. The king uses
a texture of flowered silk wrapped round his body; on his
head he wears a golden hat more than one foot high, its shape
resembling the one called pien in China, and adorned
with various precious stones. He carries a sword inlaid with
gold, and sits on a golden throne with his feet on a silver
footstool. His female servants adorn themselves with golden
flowers and all kinds of valuables, and some of them carry
white feather-dusters or fans of peacock feathers.
the king goes out, his carriage, which is made of different
kinds of fragrant wood, is drawn by an elephant. On the top
of it is a flat canopy of feathers, and it has embroidered
curtains on both sides. People blowing conchs and beating
drums precede and follow him.”
P'o-li was Bali or not, modern Bali is of great interest to
us as the only island where Hindu culture has survived to
this day; and to this survival we owe the preservation of
manuscripts which have so much to tell of the early history,
literature and culture of Java from which these books disappeared
soon after the advent of Islam. Bali is, as it were, a living
museum of mediaeval Java. Neither Balinese traditions nor
Balinese monuments carry us back to a very early period. A
persistent tradition ascribes the incoming of Javanese culture
to a mass flight of the Hindu-Javanese after the fall of the
empire of Majapahit; but we are sure that Bali possessed a
Hinduised population and culture many centuries before, the
earliest date on a Balinese charter being S. 818 (A.D. 896). There is no need to follow
the mediaeval history of Bali here. But we may note that the
so-called Vedas of Bali are compilations of secret tantric
mantras, and that the only part of the real Veda known seems
to be a corruption of the gāyatrī-mantra.
In religion the most curious development is the Sivāditya
cult, a combination of Saivaism and Sūrya-worship. Siva
was considered at once as the highest member of the Hindu
triad and as a form of Sūrya, and this peculiar tenet
appears to have formed the chief deviation from Indian Hinduism
for which the Hindu Javanese were responsible.
Balinese village has preserved its cultural character as a
Hindu organization to this day; though doubtless some of its
characteristics may be derived from pre-Hindu Indonesian institutions,
it is now not easy to identify them as such—a trait which
finds its parallel in South India where we are hardly able
to distinguish the Aryan from the pre-Aryan elements in the
culture of the Tamils in historical times. The villager in
Bali entertains a vivid consciousness that he is a member
of a religious community to which it is a privilege to belong.
The three essentials of every village are first, a place for
the common meetings of the villagers, which is usually in
the centre; secondly, places for the worship of the Lord of
the Soil and the ancestors (pitarah) who were the founders
of the society, generally located at an elevation; and lastly,
a place usually below the village for the disposal of the
dead (preta) who became pitarah after purification
in due course. Balinese temples are of various types. Worship
spots where animistic sacrifices were performed are derived
probably from Indonesian origins. These may be said to correspond
to the grāmadevatas of an Indian village. Then
there are Hindu and Buddhist shrines of the usual type, and
occasionally a shrine with Islamic associations. Lastly, there
are spots where men of earlier generations, and historical
or legendary celebrities are commemorated in piety and gratitude.
Each village had its complement of officers whose number varied
according to needs. Business is transacted at periodical meetings
of the people of the desa held on occasions of a quasi-religious
character attended with feasting and entertainments. This
sketch of village life as it obtains today in Bali
may be taken to give a fair clue to life in all
the Hinduised colonies of the eastern lands as it obtained
in the early centuries of the Christian era.
most interesting and instructive evidence of South Indian
influences at work in the colonies is furnished by the Buddha
statues found in various places in the islands; these are
not numerous, but enough to enable us to see clearly their
mutual relations and also their resemblances with similar
statues from Siam, Kambuja and Annam, and to point beyond
any doubt to the celebrated art-centre of Amarāvatī
on the banks of the Krsnā as the source of their inspiration.
A bronze from South Djember, 42 centimetres high and therefore
larger than the usual run of Javanese statuettes; another,
still larger (75 centimetres) found in Sikendeng on the west
coast of Celebes; and the colossal stone Buddha of Bukit Seguntung
at Palembang recently restored almost to its original form
by a head from the Batavia museum being successfully tried
on its trunk¾are
all in the characteristic Amarāvatī style, even
the differences noticeable among them exactly reproducing
similar difflerences in the Amarāvatī images. It
is probable that the bronzes were brought from Amarāvatī
by the colonists, or imported from there by colonists already
established overseas; the transport of the large stone Buddha
of Palembang must have been more difficult, though by no means
impossible. If that image was made locally, it must have been
the work of an artist who went to school at Amarāvatī.
The art of Amarāvatī, it should be noted, reached
its high watermark in the latter half of the second and early
third centuries A.D., and the Buddha of Palembang shows
affinities with the earliest phase of this art. It is thus
very likely that this Buddha image is the oldest relic of
Hindu culture in the archipelago. And Palembang deserves to
count among the oldest centres of this culture; which is in
good accord with the statement contained in late Chinese authorities
that this was the region where the early state of Kan-t’o-li
Celebes Buddha has been studied in detail by Dr. Bosch,
and he has demonstrated in a most convincing manner
that this bronze has little in common with early Sumatran
(Srī-Vijaya) Hindu-Javanese art, and that it must have
been imported directly into Celebes from the Amarāvatī
region sometime during or after the blossoming of Amarāvatī
art and before the rise of Srī Vijaya, i.e. between the
second and seventh century A.D. No closer dating is possible when
we have no certainty whether we have before us an original
art-piece from Amarāvatī as suggested above, or
a local copy. Bosch rightly observes that it is now futile
to guess the nature or the duration of the Buddhist settlement
on the west coast of Celebes to which this fragmentary Buddha
image bears solitary witness. Still less is it possible to
say how far this culture penetrated into the interior of the
island. Yet one fact deserves mention; an ancient bell and
a pair of cymbals were recently presented to the musical collection
of the Batavian Society of Science and Arts by an official
of the district of Loewoe in Celebes; these were used till
then by the Boeginese bissoes
for chasing evil spirits during and after
child-birth. The bell and cymbals are very similar to those
still in daily use in South India in domestic worship and
otherwise. Thus we may suppose that South Indian Buddhism,
received at first on the west coast of Celebes, penetrated
along the valley of the Karama river into the neighbouring
province of Loewoe, and the people of that region preserved
these ancient ideas and usages until the time came for them to mingle with a fresh but allied stream of culture
that came in with the spread of the empire of Majapahit; for
the Nāgarakretāgama counts Luwak among the
dependencies of that empire.
then are the general conclusions that emerge from the data
briefly reviewed so far? We see that the movement of colonization
was in full swing in the second century A.D., and its beginnings may well be
put at the beginning of the Christian era. The Hinduisation
of the archipelago did not take place all at one time, and
must have been a gradual process with different beginnings
and results in different places. The Buddha of Palembang was
perhaps set up in the second century and Devavarman ruled
in Java about the same time. On the other hand, the beginning
of Hindu rule in Borneo (Kutei) can be traced only to one
generation before Mūlavarman c. A.D. 400. The relics of this movement are
naturally traceable in the Malay Peninsula also where the
oldest epigraphical records date from about A.D. 400.
would of course be wrong to imagine that Hinduism in the archipelago
was confined only to the spots that have yielded relics; this
is largely a matter of chance, and but for the Palembang Buddha
recovered in so fortuitous a manner and the Yūpas at Moeara Kaman (Borneo), we should have known nothing of
two of the most ancient Hindu centres in Sumatra and Borneo.
We cannot also be guided in our conclusions by the abundance
of Hindu relics on a site; for the chances are that these
date from the period of the spread of Hindu-Javanese power
which came long after the initial period of colonization and
by which a culture long since strongly Hinduised spread itself
practically over the whole archipelago. Even trained archaeologists
sometimes find it difficult to separate the remains of the
earlier culture from those of the later. Palaeography and
art-style are the two unmistakable marks of the antiquity
of objects belonging to really early times and attesting direct
contact of these lands with India in those days.
tests, as we have seen, point to a time much earlier than
that of the rise of the Pallavas as the age of colonization par excellence, and the country farther north of the
Pallava kingdom of history as the original home of the colonists.
We have indeed evidence of a somewhat later date attesting
the part of the rest of the cast coast of South India and
even of its west coast in the movement; but the primacy in
this expansion movement belongs to the Andhra country, to
its great centres of Buddhism and its trade marts on the coast.
what manner did Hindu influences spread in the eastern lands,
and what was the motive of the migration of the Hindus to
the eastern countries? In a general way, this movement may
well be looked upon as just a continuation of the process
by which the Deccan and South India were Aryanised and Hinduised
by the inflow of northern influences. Having secured the prevalence
of their culture in the whole of Jambudvīpa, the apostles
of Aryan culture turned their attention to the neighbouring
across the sea. But the question remains:
What exactly was the means of propagation and who were its
agents? This question has been discussed at considerable length
and the following observations are based on that
political conquest and empire-building, of the holding down
by force of vast populations and their exploitation to the
economic benefit and political advantage of a distant foreign
power, there is no question here at all. All our sources agree
in presenting a picture of a number of autonomous Hinduised
states, each going its own way and living its separate life,
all having direct but by no means very brisk trade relations
with India and China—witness for instance Fa-Hien's long halt
in Java. But of the political influence of India there is
no trace whatsoever.
the question, who first brought the elements of Hindu culture
to these lands, there are a number of possible answers: the
merchant, the adventurer, the priest or the exile. We shall
consider all of them in turn.
Merchant. The existence of trade
relations between India and the East, and the considerable
share of Indians in the carrying trade of the Indian Ocean
are alike attested by the early literature of the Tamil country
and of Pāli Buddhism. The splendid description of the
sea and its riches given by Varāhamihira at the beginning
of the chapter on Agastyacāra in his Brhat-samhitā has been interpreted as an indirect reference to the large
gains already enjoyed for many years by Indian merchants as
a result of their trade with the archipelago.
the merchants found a suitable market for their wares or articles
which they wished to bring over to India, in those places
they would naturally spend a considerable time, establish
lodges and factories, and perhaps enter into marital relations
with the women of the land and raise progeny. Thus might grow
up gradually a half-Indian, half-Indonesian population which
became the means of spreading Hindu ideas and institutions
among the indigenous population. Parallels to this development
may be found in what happened a thousand years later when
Islam came into the archipelago or in the early stages of
the establishment of European trading companies in the East.
Adventurer. The second possibility
is that of robber chieftains raiding and plundering the coasts
with their followers and where possible holding the population
under by force, and thus securing for themselves footholds
in the new countries from which they might extend their depredations
farther and farther. More friendly relations with the local
population and something like a new society might grow up
in such places in course of time. In such cases, conceivably,
the foreign adventurer might marry into the local royal family
and thus legitimatize and strengthen his position in the eyes
of the people. The memory of such occurrences seems to be
preserved in the later Malay and Javanese traditions; but
they need not necessarily have been confined to the beginnings
of colonization and might well have happened long after the
Hinduisation of these lands was completed.
Priest. Tradition is eloquent
on the role of the priest in the spread of Hindu culture.
The Brahmin founder of Fu-nan in Cambodia has his peer in
the Javanese tradition relating to Tritresta who is said to
have introduced the Hindu mode of divine worship and the Hindu
calendar into Java and whose son became king there. Most of
the inscriptions we have dealt with before attest the great
importance attaching to religious ceremonial in the colonies
and are framed in the correct metrical Sanskrit idiom of scholarly
Brahmins; such verses could hardly proceed from merchants
or soldiers. After all it is the Brahmin who can alone secure
to society the protection of the Higher Powers and had the
knowledge required to assist the state with advice in a difficulty;
no wonder then that whether by hearsay or by observation of
neighbouring states, Indonesian chiefs came to realize the
worth of such magical protection and did their best to procure
it for themselves. There was much competition for the services
of such Brahmins and they began to appear in increasing numbers;
and besides performing the particular services for which they
were invited, they became active agents in the further propagation
of Hindu culture.
lastly, the Exile. In this category we have to reckon
groups of people forced by circumstances to leave the land
of their birth. Krom states that at the beginning of the Christian
era the Tamil country was in a restless condition and that
Tamil texts narrate the story of the siege and fall of Tiruchirapalli
after which a hundred families migrated in ships to ‘an island’.
I am unable to trace any authority for these statements and
Krom does not cite any. Again, Moens has sought to find in
the confusion following Samudragupta's raid into the Deccan
and the political revolutions in the Andhra country preceding
and following Pulakesin's conquest of Vengi, circumstances
which compelled considerable sections of the population to
leave the country and migrate to the islands. Others have
turned to the period following the death of Harsa, in northern
India, for a similar reason. These suggestions, however, relate
to a much later time than the beginnings of colonization;
and they lack evidence in their support. There is nothing
to indicate that political unsettlement in India drove people
to abandon the country and migrate to other lands. And on
the whole, the role of political exiles in the furtherance
of this movement of colonization could not have been anything
so extensive or significant.
part of the learned Brahmin priest might appear at first sight
to be the most important of all; but then his services would
be required and appreciated only in a society that has already
gained acquaintance with Hindu culture and institutions, and
it seems extremely unlikely that Brahmins went out in any
numbers in a missionary spirit to preach their creed and commend
their practices to peoples who were utter strangers to both.
Even Buddhist monks, who were far more eager to preach their
gospel, often awaited a call before they started on a preaching
mission. The case of a Brahmin founder of a kingdom like Kaundinya
of Fu-nan is of course quite another matter. The best course
then would be to suppose that the merchant's role was the
most important at the outset, and when success attended his
enterprise and a mixed society arose, the priest came in to
consolidate it and make it a centre from which the process
of Hinduisation could be extended further into fresh lands.
every instance in which we are able to follow the history
of the new states, we find the native elements of the population
holding their own by the side of the newcomers, and the culture
and society resulting in course of time are seen to be decidedly
of a mixed character. If there was any exclusiveness among
the Hindu colonists at the beginning, it must have broken
down under the pressure of time and circumstance.
can hardly believe that the actual course of events was the
same in all places or that the use of force against natives
was totally unknown. Hindu institutions might have been forced
on an unwilling people in one place and eagerly welcomed by
them in another; but everywhere the newcomers seem to have
been few and the natives many; in course of time this naturally
led to the growth of a mixed culture to which both elements
of the population had made their contribution. The mixture
was sometimes symbolized at the outset by intermarriages among
the people in some cases, in the ruling families in others.
language of the inscriptions has much to tell us in this matter;
the earliest of them are in good Sanskrit, certainly not the
language of the people, and represent perhaps the phase of
relative exclusiveness of the Hindu element in the newly-settled
lands. When the new mixed society comes into its own some
generations later, inscriptions begin to appear in Old Javanese
or Old Malay; the structure of the language is fully Indonesian,
but a large number of words of Indian origin have got in,
and these are mostly the names of the higher culture goods
that have come in with the Hindus.
us also note this: the Indian words are borrowed not from
any of the spoken idioms of the Hindus, but usually in their
Sanskrit form. Thus the new language was an Indonesian idiom
adapted by liberal borrowings from Sanskrit to suit the newly-growing
javanese tradition relating to Adi Saka, the introducer of
a new religion, a new social order, a new script and a new
calendar, viz. the Saka era beginning with A.D. 78, is a transparent fiction which
personifies the name of the era employed in Javanese inscriptions
(the era was used elsewhere in the colonies also) and preserves
the memory of the times when much of the higher culture of
South India overflowed into Java in the early centuries A.D. This tradition also clearly points
to a pre-existing community in Java which received the new
culture with more or less readiness when it was first introduced
the court and the nobles might have sought distinction by
affecting the new culture more or less thoroughly; but in
the interior, the people would have kept to their traditional
ways and their mode of life would have been but little touched
by the new practices. There is a Javanese proverb—Nagara
mawa tata, desa mawa cara (the court has its culture,
the people their custom)—which stresses the sharp difference
between the higher Hindu-Javanese culture of the land and
its folk-ways; this surely is based on a real difference between
the Hindu-Javanese and the purely Javanese elements of the
Yet in course of time their pagan religion forced
its way into the new society and compelled a compromise between
the old and the new. The great popularity in Java of Siva
as Bhatāra Guru, the divine bestower of wisdom, and the
worship of Srī as the special protectress of the rice-crop,
may well hide the essence of Indonesian deities under a Hindu
garb. Likewise in political life, while the king might go
on issuing his edicts based on the Hindu law-books, the local
officials stuck tenaciously to the rule of custom. And in
course of time when contact with the mother-country became
infrequent and finally ceased, the Hindu culture of the colonies
necessarily underwent a radical transformation, lost its capacity
for further expansion and became merged in a culture which
was neither Hindu nor Indonesian but a synthesis of the two.
trace in any detail the impulses derived by these islands
from South India would be to embark on an elaborate review
of the whole range of Hindu-Javanese history together with
that of the empire of Srī Vijaya, and that is beyond
the scope of my present purpose. Some observations of a general
character calculated to illustrate the sustained contact between
South India and the islands, and its results on the religion,
administration, literature and art would, however, not be
out of place here.
role of Agastya as the promoter of Hinduisation in Java and
the preacher of Saivism is well attested by epigraphy, literature
The famous Dinaja inscription (A.D. 760) records
how the ruler of East Java, who was a great devotee of Agastya,
made a fine abode for that great sage, and installed in it
a beautiful Agastya image of black stone in the place of the
wooden image set up by his ancestors—clear evidence of the
importance and continuity of Agastya worship in Java. And
Bosch has argued in a convincing manner that Agastya was supposed
to have played the role of an intermediary between the Deity
and Royalty in Java, just as other sages did in Campā
is just a continuation of the Agastya tradition from South
India in which he is represented as the pioneer of Indo-Aryan
culture in peninsular India south of the Vindhyas. We may
note in passing that the Cangal inscription (A.D. 732) contains a reference to Kuñjarakuñjadesa
in a line from which a few letters have disappeared. This desa was till recently taken to be the borderland between
Tirunelveli and Travancore where the Tāmbraparni river
takes its rise in the Agastyakūta hill. Recently the
suggestion has been made by Stutterheim that the line should
kuñjarakuñjadesa nihitam Gangādi tirthāvrtam
that the desa should be looked for in Central Java,
where the Toek Mas river is found compared to Gangā in
another inscription noticed already by us.
But this makes little difference, for the possibility
remains that the desa in Java got its name from a district
in South India.
same scholar has argued with great force that the Hindu-Javanese
Candi, though its shape and ornaments are Hindu in origin,
is really a purely Indonesian monument based on purely Indonesian
conceptions. The close similarity in architectural features
between the Hindu-Javanese temple and the Pallava temples
of South India has often been noted and closely studied in
a well-known memoir by Dr. F.D.K. Bosch.
And Stutterheim is not oblivious of this relation;
he says: “the entombing of old Javanese kings was not a Hinduistic
practice grown in course of time more and more Indonesian,
but a thoroughly Indonesian ceremony, which in Java and Bali
took a Hinduistic form and should be considered as a higher
form of the analogous ceremonies of the Dayaks and other Indonesian
peoples not influenced by the Hindus.”
Temples dedicated to dead kings and warriors are
not so entirely unknown in South India as Stutterheim seems
though one sees quite clearly that the practice
of worshipping actual statues of dead kings and queens as
gods and goddesses carried the South Indian practice much
farther than in the mother country. And one may doubt if Stutterheirn's
references to the Indonesian conceptions of ‘the land of the
souls’ has any real bearing on this development. Again, it
is far from certain that all Candis are sepulchral in character;
in Bali a temple is exclusively the residence of a god, though
the Javanese Candi like the South Indian temple, seems to
have had a dual character—a temple as well as a mausoleum.
frequency with which Ganega images occur in Java is paralleled
only by the innumerable shrines to that urbane godling in
the whole of South India, and it has been very properly explained
by Stutterheim that, as the guarantor of safety in all enterprises
and protector against vighnas (obstacles), he was honoured
in ferries, forests, mountains and other dangerous spots.
A peculiar Bhīma-cultus of ancient Java and
the posthumous name of Krtanāgara of Singhasāri
(A.D. 1268-1292), viz. Sivabuddhaloka may be noticed in
passing as witnesses to interesting features of later Hindu-Javanese
religious development. The Bhīma cult is noteworthy for
the features it derives from a confusion between Bhīma
as a name of Siva and Bhīma, the second of the five Pāndava
brothers, heroes of the Mahābhārata.
The name Sivabuddhaloka shows the very close connexion
between Saivaism and Buddhism prevailing in Java unlike in
India; indeed, an easy-going tolerance among the cults, and
borrowing and blending of originally distinctive traits, mark
the entire religious atmosphere of ancient Java. Kings are
at times represented by images of Visnu bearing Saiva emblems—a
feature which only reproduces the engraving of Saiva and Vaisnava
symbols side by side above the Toek Mas inscription already
noticed. In one instance, the conception of Ardhanārī
is effectively adapted to the representation in one figure
of Krtanāgara with his queen Bajradevī.
indebtedness of old Javanese literature and sculpture to Indian
originals is well-known; the literary forms including metres,
the literary dialect often called Kawi (though the term Old
Javanese is to be preferred, to avoid confusion with the Javanese
literary dialect of today) and the choice of subject-matter
are all more or less completely Indian. Many books are direct
translations, others adaptations to Javanese needs. The Mahābhārata,
particularly the Ādi and Virāta parvas, is the main
source of the new Javanese Wayang tales. The comparison of
the available texts, however, leads to no definite results
regarding the particular recensions employed by the Old Javanese
translators; the present South Indian text of the epic differs
from the Javanese, and the suggestion has been made that these
differences are more modern than the times when the epic was
taken over by Java. Ksemendra's summary of the epic and the
Old Javanese Mahābhārata, both seem to be derived
from a common text.
Likewise the Rāmāyana sculptures of
Prambanam exhibit differences from the story as depicted in
Vālmīki; Stutterheim, who has made a detailed study
of the various versions of the Rāma legend prevalent
in India and in the colonies, has not found it easy to trace
the source of the Javanese version; he only reaches the rather
vague conclusion that in this matter our eyes should not be
turned exclusively on South India but Western and Eastern
Javanese theatre and dance have attracted great attention
and formed the subject of many studies, some of a controversial
nature. Java and Bali know to this day many forms of the Wayang:
shadow-play, mask-play, pantomime and something like the legitimate
theatre where the actors speak and act, though even here the dalang (announcer) has not been quite eliminated.
The main point of the discussion has been the extent to which
the Wayang is Hindu or Indonesian in its origin. The Indonesian
view had a strong vogue until in 1906 Pischel drew pointed
attention to the chāyānātaka (shadow-play)
of India; since then it has been recognized that Hindu influences
must be allowed a considerable share not only in providing
the subject-matter of the Lakons (stage versions of
stories) but in the technique of the whole art. At the same
time, in the form in which we now know it, there is no doubt
that several features of a primitive Indonesian ancestor-worhip
have taken a secure place in the apparatus of the Wayang.
Two facts of undoubted significance to the history of the
Wayang are: First, it is not found in Indonesia as a whole
but exclusively in Java and Bali, the lands that came strongly
under Hindu influences.
Secondly, the shadow-play comes into dominance
in later Javanese culture to the extent to which it departs
from Hinduist tradition. Both these facts go far to confirm
the hypothesis originally formulated by Krom, and confirmed
after detailed study by Rassers, that a Hindu shadow-theatre
was first introduced into court and higher society in the
early days of colonization, and that it then slowly penetrated
popular culture and there became mixed up with the traditional
rituals of ancestor-worship carried out by means of images
of ancestors. The Wayang as we know it is thus neither Hindu
nor Javanese but Hindu-Javanese. We cannot escape the impression
that the Indian shadow-play is in Java rejuvenated and renewed.
An evolution takes place which, as Rassers puts it, brings
it nearer its source and presents it with unusual clarity
in its full religious significance.
are two scales in Javanese music—the slendro with 5
tones in the octave and pelog with seven. The former
is popular in Central Java, the other in the eastern and western
parts of the island; slendro is connected with
the Rāmāyana and Mahābhārata while pelog goes with Indonesian stories of the Pañji. The origin and
relative antiquity of the two scales have been subjects of
debate. Kunst holds that the slendro scale is younger
and foreign in origin, probably an introduction of the Sailendras
from Sumatra immediately, and ultimately from India. Stutterheim
points out as against this that the slendro is older as a scale of court music, just as Middle Javanese
courts flourished much earlier than East Javanese. Tradition
treats the slendro as a gift of Girinātha, the
lord of the mountain, which is at once a name of Siva and
a synonym of the name Sailendra; Stutterheim thinks the Saiva
Sailendras of Matarām must be taken to be indicated by
this tradition, and that consequently the scale was as indigenous
in origin as the other scale. But the Sailendras were doubtless
a race of Hindu-Javanese rulers and not without South Indian
affiliations of their own.
the organization of rural economy and village administration,
again, Java presents the same unmistakable blend between pre-Hindu
Indonesian institutions and ideas and those borrowed from
South India. The ideas of common property in some part of
the village lands and of unrestricted individual property,
including the right to sell or transfer it to persons who
did not belong to the tribe, seem to have been developed by
this is an inference based on modern observations
of those parts of Indonesia which never came under Hindu influences
as Java and Bali did, and must be accepted with some reserve
when it is applied to Indonesian society of the early historical
period. But Javanese tradition is quite clear that the existing
organization of villages as more or less autonomous townships
each with a separate individuality of its own, dates from
the advent of the Hindus upon the island, and the institutions
of village government are either unknown or quite different
in their nature in the non-Hinduised parts of Indonesia.
The Hindu regard for desadharma, its tendency
to treat the family rather than the individual as the unit
of social system, the regard for the married man (grhastha) who had a secure position in the social order (only married
men being full burghers in Java), and the grouping of four,
eight, or ten adjacent villages into a larger local unit—all
these features Java shared in common with India. And the proceedings
at village meetings in Java even today strongly remind one
of the conditions of village administration in South India
in ancient days as it is vividly portrayed in the numberless
inscriptions of the Cōla monarchs. This may be seen from
of such a meeting from the pen of a modern observer.
attention has been given mainly to the early cultural movements
and the role of South India in their promotion. But this is
only due to our initial intention to restrict the scope of
our study to this aspect of the subject; influences from other
parts of India flowed into Java and other lands in the East,
though as I understand the matter, they were, on the whole,
weaker and less persistent than those from South India. The
discovery of a Gupta gold coin of Candragupta II near Batu
Baka in Central Java, the early nāgari script
and Mahāyāna Buddhism characteristic of the early
Sailendra records of Java, which bring them into direct relation
with Nālandā and the Pālas of Bengal, are sufficient
testimony to the presence of other Indian influences in Java
than those of South India.
should not also overlook the continuous contact maintained
by Java with South India in later times. The relations between
the Sailendra empire of Srī Vijaya and the Cōla
empire at the end of the tenth century and in the eleventh
century form an important chapter of their history and Java
was certainly not unaffected by them. The Nāgarakretāgama mentions that Buddhāditya, a bhiksu of Kāñcīpura,
sang slokas in praise of the Javanese ruler Hayam Wuruk
in the fourteenth century—a testimony to those renewed and
fresh contacts with South India which students of Hindu-Javanese
art history have found it necessary to postulate.
Jayanagara adopted the characteristic Pāndyan
title Stindarapāndya at his coronation early in the fourteenth
century and adopted the Pāndyan emblem of mīnadvaya (two carps) for his seal.
And there is literary evidence of an embassy from
Malaya to Vijaynagar in the days of the celebrated Krsna Deva
rivers are often the channels of commerce and colonization,
and in Borneo, the Kapoeas, Barito and Mahakam rivers have
promoted intercourse between the interior of this large island
and the outside world. At Kutei at the mouth of the Mahakam,
and at Moeara Kaman are found the oldest inscriptions of the
Archipelago. Though not dated, these inscriptions may from
their script be taken to belong to the end of the fourth century
are engraved on four stone pillars, sacrificial posts (yūpas), and are in Sanskrit verse. The first mentions that the
celebrated king Kundunga had a famous son, Asvavarman, the
founder of a dynasty (vamsakartā); he had
three sons, the best among them being Mūlavarman who
performed the bahusuvarnaka sacrifice, commemorated
by this yūpa set up by the best of Brahmins. The
second post was set up by priests who had come there to receive
gifts of twenty thousand kine
in the most sacred ksetra of Vaprakesvara.
The third, also set up by priests, commemorates the great
gifts of the same king including Kalpavrksa and land
among other things. The fourth inscription is just a fragment;
it compares Bhagīratha born of Sagara evidently to the
son of Mūlavarman.
these four pillars, three other similar inscribed yūpas were found in the same place in 1940 and they also record
the gifts of Mūlavarman. The first of these inscriptions
comprises two verses, an anustup and an āryā,
and mentions gifts of jaladhenu, ghrtadhenu, kapilā,
tila, and vrsabhaikādasa, meaning
respectively water-cow, ghee-cow, tawny-cow, sesamum, and
eleven bulls. Dhenu is explained by Monier-Williams
as a gift in lieu of or in the shape of a cow. The second
inscription, a single anustup verse records the gift
of a tilaparvata (sesamum mountain) with a row of lamps
(dīpamālā). The last is longer,
comprising four verses in anustup, but has many gaps.
It says that Mūlavarman conquered many kings in war and
made them his vassals just as Yudhisthira had done; it also
records the gifts at Vaprakesvara of 40,000 and 30,000 (gold coins?) and of Jīvadāna of different kinds (prthagvidham); it mentions
an ākāsadīpa set up in the capital city
e. this yūpa (post) has been erected by Brahmins
who came here from different countries.
Sanskrit language, the script and the contents of these inscriptions
are fully Hindu, and decidedly South Indian. The twice-born (dvijendraih, vipraih), the sacrifices named,
the kalpavrksa and all the other dānās, the vamsakartā, the genealogy, and the reference
to the story of Bhagīratha and Sagara, are all typically
Indian. But the name of the ksetra where the gift is
made, Vaprakesvara, though Hindu in its appearance, is hard
to explain. The term recurs as Baprakesvara in Javanese epigraphy.
suggestion has been made that in V(B)aprakesvara we have to
recognize an Indonesian institution in an Indian (Sanskrit)
garb. Each Indonesian village had its own shrine in the form
of an enclosed space (vapra) in the centre of which
stood a wooden sacrificial post at which many an animal was
slaughtered ceremonially. Possibly it was also a burial ground
at which again animal sacrifices were common, the prototype
of the well-known Candis of Java.
But all this sounds rather far-fetched and unconvincing.
True, monumental yūpas are rare in India and
those of Borneo differ considerably in size and form from
the most typical of the yūpas so far known
in India, e.g. those of Īsāpūr, a village on
the bank of the Jumna opposite Muthurā.
But we cannot expect any close conformity in details
between Mathurā of the first century A.D. and Borneo
of the fourth, and we should remember also that yūpas of different sizes and shapes were prescribed for different
sacrifices and by different schools of Srauta-sūtras.
Let us also note that only one of the yūpas of
Borneo is sacrificial (yajñasya yūpa), two others
are donative and describe as tasya punyasya yūpoyam and tesām punyaganānām yūipoyam, and we lack the data for determining the nature of the
fourth stone, the inscription on it being only legible in
is absolutely no indication in the inscriptions of any Indonesian
religious influences. They are all in correct Sanskrit, and
fully devoted to yajña and dāna in which
blue-blooded Brahmins who came from all the Hindu settlements (ihāgataih) in the neighbourhood took part. There
is indeed the name Kundunga; he is described as a mahātmā and has Asvavarman for his son and Mūlavarman for
grandson; yet his name sounds un-Indian.
But he too, as Kern pointed out long ago,
“must have been an adherent of Hinduism. Otherwise
he would not have given his son an Indian name.” Clearly we
have here to do with an indigenous royal family in the process
of being Hinduised, and accepting the Hindu culture and religion
just as they came to them from across the seas. But whether
this culture was just a veneer adopted by the upper classes
for its novelty and distinction, or permeated the details
of everyday life and practice and soaked down to the common
people, we have now no means of determining.
any event V(B)aprakesvara is by no means an Indonesian term.
The -īsvara ending is typically Indian, not to
say South Indian, and Vapra figures among the twenty-eight
Veda-vyāsas named in the Visnu Purāna and is represented
by an image in the Brahmā temple at Prambanam. There
is also reason to think that this sage was held to be identical
with Agastya, so that the name of the ksetram in Borneo attests the role of Agastya, the mythical apostle
of Hindu culture in South India and the Eastern lands. Some
early names and forms of Hinduism which in the homeland became
overlaid by later aspects might well have been preserved in
their original form in the colonies, and Baprakesvara may
well be considered one of them. This and some other names
of a like formation, Pūtikesvara, Malankusesvara and
so on, are known in Java also.
provenance of the inscribed yūpa stones is not
altogether clear; they have sometimes been stated to have
been found at Kutei, but after considering all the evidence
now available, Vogel came to the conclusion that Moeara Kaman,
at the confluence of the Mahakam river with its tributary
the Kaman, has the strongest claim to be considered the findspot
of the yūpas.
He quotes H. von Dewall, who visited Moeara Kaman
in 1847 and wrote: “Here are found a number of stone slabs
piled up underground. It was on this spot also that the idol
of massive gold, weighing 8 thail, was discovered,
which the Sultan wears round his neck on State occasions.
This image is four-armed, well proportioned and of good workmanship
and seems to represent some god of Hindu mythology. The youthful
prince, moreover, wears beneath this idol another golden,
box-shaped object on which various mythological figures of
the Hindu religion are shown in alto-relievo. The same appears
to be of higher antiquity than the golden image, but, like
the idol, it was discovered beneath the stone slabs in the
reign of Sultan Muhammad Salih-ud-Dīn.” The golden statuette
is a representation of Visnu;
a gold tortoise is also known to have come from
the same place.
images of the Saiva pantheon have been found in various other
localities in the island. A small-sized nandi and a linga come from the spot where the Rata river joins
The caves of Mount Kombeng, another site in the
Pantoen valley in Kutei, contain a collection of Hindu images
which seem to have been stowed away here for safety at some
time or other, and must originally have belonged to some temples
in the neighbourhood. They have tenons underneath the base,
indicating that they originally stood in some niches or receptacles.
A Ganesa surely, and possibly a Visnu, a Brahmā, a nandi and a Kārttikeya seem to
be among them.
They have not yet been fully and accurately described.
Three of these images, all Saiva, are said to have been removed
to the Batavia museum.
exact age of most of these finds, other than the yūpa inscriptions, has not been studied
and can hardly be settled without further exploration of the
still virgin field of the archaeology of Borneo. Dr. Bosch
has pointed out that the style and grouping of
the Saiva images of the Kombeng caves show clear Hindu-Javanese
influences at work and concluded thence that it is improbable
that Hindu colonists migrated directly to Borneo. But to say
this is to fly in the face of the evidence of the yūpa inscriptions. It is best to
suppose either that the Hindu colonies of Borneo in the later
phases of their development lost touch with India and naturally
fell more and more under influences of Hindu-Javanese origin,
or that these images are the relics of a new and later Hindu-Javanese
settlement in Borneo. There are some Buddhist images also
among them, mostly female deities, which “show grave errors
and misconceptions”; the stone-masons who fashioned them must
have lost touch with the authentic tradition of their co-religionists
is not otherwise unrepresented in the island. A bronze Buddha
from Kota Bangoen is much earlier and nearer the true Buddhist
tradition; it recalls the Amarāvatī style, though
Hindu-Javanese influences also seem to be present. This image
was destroyed by fire in the Paris exhibition of 1931.
In West Borneo in the Kapuas region and in Batoe-Pahat
at the source of the Tekarek are found stūpas engraved on rocks with inscriptions
on their sides in somewhat late Pallava script, containing
the Buddhist ye-te formula and another verse ajñānāccīyate
jñānam etc., nearly as well known.
These verses also occur in the Kedah inscription of Nāvika
Buddhagupta. There are other parts of these inscriptions of
which the import is far from clear as yet.
Ganesa image from Sarawak, North Borneo, a linga and yoni in the upper
Malawie in West Borneo,
and a Pallava inscription from near Sang-betrang
on the cast coast, are other relics to be noted. There is
also a mukhalinga of the sarvasama type in which the square Brahmabhāga
(below), the octagonal Visnubhāga (middle), and the cylindrical
Sivabhāgha (above) are of equal length; the linga comes from Sepaoek in the Sintang
division of West Borneo.
We thus find unmistakable traces in different
parts of Borneo of the settlements of Hindu colonists who
had come directly from South India; they are most strikingly
seen in the valleys of the Kapuas and Mahakam rivers, the
relics of the Mahakam valley being among the earliest known
and dating from about A.D. 400. These must be distinguished from
the later monuments of a Hindu-Javanese character of the Majapahit
period when Borneo was subject to strong cultural influences
from Java. Such influences might have come from Java also
at an earlier time, say, in the second half of the tenth century
under Dharmavamsa who adopted a policy of active expansion
of the Javanese state. Of the later history of the Hindu colonies
of Borneo we know nothing at present.
XII. The Philippines
Philippines must be held on the whole to have remained outside
the range of the early cultural movements with which we are
concerned. Two images of deities are the only known Hindu
antiquities from these islands. One is a solid gold image
of a goddess found accidentally after a storm on the left
bank of the Wawa river in Mindanao. The gold is of 21 carats, and the image which is 15.2
cm. high and 9 cm. broad from knee to knee, weighs 1791.5
grammes and is estimated at $ 1003.15. The area from which the image comes
was before A.D. 1500 under a chief known as the Rāja
of Butuan. The image is of fine workmanship and shows clear
evidence in its tall pointed head-dress and other ornaments
of the influence of Hindu-Javanese art of the tenth century
is not easy to decide if the goddess belongs to the Hindu
or Buddhist pantheon. The other is a copper image, 8 cm. high, found on the island of
Sibu in 1820 most probably of Siva.
The extent of the influence exerted by the Hindu
civilization of Java and Sumatra even in late historical times
on the Philippines is not beyond dispute; while American scholars
working in the Philippines are inclined to rate it rather
high and to derive several features of Philippine culture
from the colonies established by Srī Vijaya on these
islands, Krom is somewhat sceptical of the far-reaching inferences
drawn from the name Visaya current in the Philippines and
in Borneo. The subject requires far more detailed study before any final judgement can be formed.
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sea. (JBRS, Dec. 1939, p. 264).
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VIII, 12; Mahāvamsa, XII, 6, 44.
Pt. III, i, Inscr. IX B.
the earliest Pyū inscriptions of the fourth and fifth
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V, 101-2, JA, July-Aug., 1912, pp. 121-136.
ARB, 1917, pp. 42-3.
JA, July-Aug., 1913,
ASI, 1926-27, pp.
JA, July-Aug., 1912,
EI, xii, pp.127-132.
ASI, 1926-7, p.176
n. 2.; Ray (Sanskrit Buddhism, p. 20) holds that
since from the bilingual inscription noted below Jayacandravarman
and Harivikrama appear to have been brothers there were
really not two dynasties but one.
ASI, 1927-8, pp.
ARB, 1919, pp.37
and 56. Contra E. H. Johnston: Some Sanskrit
Inscriptions of Arakan. BSOS, xi, Pt. II. (1944),
pp. 358 and 382.
ASI, 1927-8; 1928-9.
1912, July-Aug.; ARB, 1916, p. 12; 1917, pp. 34ff; ASI,
1915-16, pp. 79-93.
ASI, 1915-16, p.92 n. 3.
I have followed
Finot's summary of the evidence as in JA, July-August,
1912, pp. 127-8. Ray detects close affinity in these sculptures
to Orissan art of the ninth or tenth century A.D. (ABIA,
1930, N° 589).
ARB, 1920, pp 22-3;
ASI, 1926-7, p.172.
August, 1931, pp. 152-7.
ARB, 1920, pp. 22-3.
ASI, 1926-7, pp.
172 and 182.
E.I., vii, pp. 197-8.
BCAIC, 1911, pp.
Finot in BCAIC,
1911, pp. 29-30.
BEFEO, xxviii, pp.
As., ii, pp. 245-6.
BEFEO, iii, pp.
IHQ, xvi (1940),
BEFEO, xxxi, p.
9 and n.
BEFEO, xxxi, pp.
BEFEO, xxxi, pp.
BEFEO, xxxii, pp.
183-9; AA, xii, p. 24.
JA, 10, 13 (1909),
Cœdès, BEFEO, xxviii,
pp. 130-31, 139.
ISSC, I and II.
These records are sometimes ascribed to Bhavavarman II,
JA, 1927, Jan.-Mar.,
BEFEO, iii, pp.,
Barth has read tesam and then corrected it to desam; but I think
it is unnecessary as the writing is obviously ornate.
BEFEO, xxviii, pp.
BEFEO, xxviii, p.
130. Also JA, 1927, (i) p. 186.
Salilasthāpana in Barth's reading, ISCC, p. 36, is wrong.
I think this is
the correct interpretation of the line Vidyādibindvanta-grhītanāmnā (v. 8) which has somewhat puzzled Barth who writes
of “un brahmane décoré du surnom védantique de Vidyādibindvanta.”
This, I think, is
better than the suggestion of Barth at ISCC, p. 36, n. 4.
See Sivādvaita of Srīkantha by S.S. Suryanarayana Sastri,
p. 128, n. 49.
du Cambodge, i, p. 4.
p. 149 (v. 7).
BEFEO, xxxvii, pp.
BEFEO, i, pp. 208-30.
i, pp. 266-7.
Enumerated at BCAI,
1908, pp. 5-6.
ISCC, XX, BEFEO,
ii, 185 and xv, N° 2, pp. 3-5.
JA, 1927, (i) p.
Inscr., p. 232.
p. 202, n. I refers to the exclamation Sivam, Sivam accompanying the sacrifice of a bull to Rudra,
as seen from Sānk. Sr. Sū., IV, 17, 13.
AV, xi, 2, 9; Mbh.
Sabhā, vv. 62ff.
BEFEO, xxxv, p.
471 and NIA, Extra series i (Studies presented to F.W.
Thomas) 1939, pp. 46-9.
BCAIC, 1912, Pl.
ix, pp. 211-12; BEFEO, xi, figs. 42, 43, pp. 471-2; as
reconstructed Vol. xxi, Pl. xi.
BEFEO, iii, pp.
The final m is still written below the other characters, but has now
a virāma above; the letters r and k have now two vertical arms; i medial is marked
by a complete circle, and ī by a further loop in
the centre of the circle; ā begins to be marked
by a trait descending to the bottom of the line. On the
other hand the older form is still used for l and n.
His original reports
will be found in BEFEO, xxvii and xxviii. There is an
English summary by Goloubew at pp. 7-21 of ABIA, 1929.
BEFEO, xxviii, p.
149. It may be mentioned that Jaimini was worshipped in
Kambuja at about the same time, as is seen from a square
pedestal of Sambor bearing on four sides the inscription: Om Jaiminaye Svāhā. BEFEO, xxviii, pp.
BEFEO, iv, p. 928;
xv, ii, p. 190; and xxviii, p. 151. The text of the inscription
is short and may be set down here:
Mahesvarasakhasyedam kuverasya dhanākaram
BEFEO, xxviii, p.
pp. 919-20, vv, xv, xxiii.
There have been
many discussions of this set of legends; see BEFEO, ii,
pp. 144 ff.; xi, pp. 391-3; xxiv, pp. 501 ff. translated
in Dr. Minakshi's Administration and Social Life under
the Pallavas; also BCAIC, 1911, pp. 32 ff;
Etudes Asiatiques, p. 322 ff.; and JA, 1909,
Mai-Juin. Przyluski thought that one of the sculptured
scenes from Tra Kieu was a representation of the legend
of Kaundinya and Somā; but Cœdès has identified the
scene as an incident in the life of Krsna where Krsna,
Balarāma, the hunch-backed lady of Mathurā and
the bending of the bow of Kamsa can all be recognized—BEFEO,
xxxi, pp. 201-12.
BEFEO, ii, pp. 17-54;
ABIA, 1931, pp. 22-8.
JASB (NS) 29, (1933),
BEFEO, iv, pp, 678-9;
also vii, pp. 351-3 and xx, N°4, pp. 8-11.
BEFEO, iii, p. 56;
TP, xxx (1933),
BEFEO, vii, pp.
316-17 and 346-51.
BEFEO, ii, p. 149.
See also vii, p. 317 n. I.
A. Steffen in Man,
1902, pp. 179-80.
ABIA, (1927), pp.
16-20; and IAL, ii (1928), pp. 9-20; Le May, pp. 15ff.
Class I (a) of Cœdès, St. As. I, pp. 152-4.
By Dr. H.G. Quaritch
Wales, IAL, x (1936), pp. 42-8.
in Siam, p. 17.
BCAIC (1909), pp.
210-12 (plan); also (1912), p. 29.
BCAIC (1909), p.
212; illus. pp. 213-14.
Le May, op. cit.,
BCAIC (1909), p.
is that of Lajonquière.
BCAIC (1909), pp.
BEFEO, xxxi, p.
395; AA, xii pl. i. See also BCAIC (1912), pp. 105-14.
BCAIC (1909), pp.
BEFEO, xxxi, p.
402; Cœdès in Mélanges Linossier, pp. 159-64.
Krom, HJG, pp. 69-70.
Ill. Lond. News,
Jan. 30, 1937; ABIA (1935), pp. 41-3.
By Claeys, BEFEO,
xxxi, p. 402.
BCAIC (1909), pp. 190-I.
Le Siam Ancien,
i, pp. 137-8; Aymonier, Le Cambodge, ii, p. 80.
N° xvi in Cœdès, Recueil ii (Illus. Pl. xi).
Cœdès, op. cit.,
ii, p. 328.
BEFEO, xxx, p. 82,
Cœdès, op. cit. N° xviii. Lajonquière thought the
record to be Khmer.
N° 466. (Plan).
Le May, pp. 79-81;
BCAIC (1909), pp. 205-6.
BCAIC (1909), p.
i, p. 124 (adapted from the German original).
Ceremonies, p. 61.
BCAIC (1909), p.
Jl. F.M.S. Museums,
XV (1932) p. 90.
(1940) pp. 54-6. See also (1936) pp. 282-3.
(1940) xviii (i).
I have translated
the text as it stands. But Dr. Chhabra may be right in
suggesting that here also, as in the other known instances,
we must read cīyate for kriyate in
the third quarter of the verse. JASB, Lett. (1935) pp.
15, n. 2 and 17, n. 2.
See JGIS, IV (1937),
I retain the numbers
of sites as in Dr. Wales’ original description. See JGIS,
VIII (1941), pp. 1-16 for a resume and critique of Dr.
Wales’ report by the writer.
BCAIC (1909), pp.
234-7; (1912), pp. 166.9. See also my paper on the Takua-pa
Tamil inscription in JOR, VI (1932), pp. 299-310.
BCAIC (1909), Fig.
25, p. 233.
BEFEO, xxxi, pp.
BEFEO, xxvii, p.
AA, xii, pl. x (centre).
ii, Numbers xxiv and xxv.
BEFEO, xxxi, pp.
Cœdès, in Et.
As. i, pp. 145-57.
BEFEO, xviii, vi,
Ligor and Jaiya Inscr.
Description in BCAIC
(1912), pp. 145-8.
BEFEO, xxvii, p.
BCAIC (1909), pl.
Fig. II; Insc. (1912), p. 160.
BEFEO, xxxi, p.
BCAIC, (1909), p.
229, and Fig. 24.
BEFEO, xxxi, pp.
Cœdès, Recueil ii, N° xxviii.
Cœdès, op. cit.,
JRAS - Malayan Branch
(1940), p. 59.
BCAIC (1909), pp.
228-9; (1912), pp. 139-44.
BKI (1927), p. 462, n. Con. Recueil, ii, p. 35, N° xxiii.
JASB, N.S. (1907),
iii, pp. 459-60.
JRAS, N.S., 13 (1881),
p. 86; also JRAS, Straits Br., N°. 10 (1882), pp. 287-9.
TBG, 46 (1903),
pp. 92-4, 241-2, 532; BKI, (1903), pp. 49-52.
Sections 63 and
Rām., IV, 40,
Sanskrit inscription of Java, p. 15.
Cf. Cœdès in JRAS
- Malay Br., xiv, sec. 1936, p. 2.
For Yandripānām of the original.
This is not a South
Indian name as has been thought. The reference to SII,
iii, p. 159, given by Schnitger (TBG, 1934, p. 187; also
Stutterheim, Ibid., 1939, p. 83) is irrelevant.
Krom's suggestion that it comes from an Indonesian word
meaning indigo (HJG, p. 78) is more likely. GNI, i, p.
Jayaswal has little
warrant in the record for calling him Jaya-visāla as he does. EI, xxii, pp. 4-5.
BKI, 89, (1932),
See Vogel, op.
cit., pp. 23-4.
Vogel, op. cit.,
p. 24; EI, xxii, pp. 4-5.
This works to nearly
seven English miles, as Vogel points out.
This reminds one
of the story of Gangā flooding the sacrificial hall
of Jahnu. Rām., I, 63.
The North Indian
names of the rivers Candrabhāgā and Gomatī
are easily accounted for; Campā and Mathurā
recur in South India, and nothing is commoner in an age
of active colonization than the repetition in the new
country of names keeping up the memory of the homeland
immediate or ultimate. Cf. Krom, GNI, i, 129. Moen's attempt
[TBG (1940), pp. 78ff.] to make a sun-worshipper (Saura)
of Pūrnavarman on the strength of these river-names
among other things, does not convince me.
His name has been
supposed by Rouffaer to occur in the Chinese annals; but
this has been doubted. Vogel, op. cit., p. 16.
As Kern surmised:
VG, vii, pp. 137 ff.
BKI, 95 (1947),
Kern, VG, vii, pp. 67-72.
Krom, GNI, i, pp. 131.2. Also BKI, 74 (1918), pp. 263-6;
618,19; and 82 (1926), pp. 1-34, where Neumann seeks to
establish the relatively recent date of this migration
from South India.
BEFEO, xlii, pp. 239-310.
JASB, N.S. 22 (1926),
pp. 351-64; Stutterheim, Het Hinduisme, pp. 122-3.
Based on R. Goris, Het Godsdienstig Karakter der Balische Dorpsgemeenschap,
Djawa (1935), pp. I-16.
TBG, lxxiii (1933),
This word, once
thought to be derived from Sanskrit bhiksu, is
now seen to be an Indonesian vocable.
Sylvain Levi, BKI,
88, pp. 621-7.
HJG, pp. 88-94;
GNI, i, pp. 136-42.
The Cola expeditions
against Srī Vijaya in the eleventh century, which
are in a class by themselves, do not belong to this period
or affect the substance of the argument presented above.
in den Archipel, pp. 11-12.
Cf. Ferrand, JA,
Oct.-Dec., 1932, pp. 294-7.
pp. 11, 14.
Agastya in den Archipel and my Agastya, TBG,
(1936), pp. 471-545.
TBG, 64 (1924),
Above p. 112 and
TBG (1939), p. 81. Chhabra, Expansion, p. 36.
JAOS, 51 (1931),
In addition to the
examples cited by A.K.C. at n. 5, pp. 4-5, ibid., I may invite reference to my Colas,
index s. v. palli padai.
Attention may be
invited to a very good discussion of the whole subject
by J. C. Van Eerde, Hindu-Javaansche en Balische Eeredienst, BKI, 65 (1911), pp. 1-39. He discusses the subject
under three heads—Siva and Buddha, Candi and Meru, and
Dhinarma and Devata. Dhinarma means ‘entombed by means
of an image’. See also Moens, TBG, 58 (1919), pp. 493
ff. A similar practice obtained among ancient Khmers also:
Cœdès in BCIA (1911), p. 46.
BKI, 86, pp. 308-10.
(1935), pp. 37-64.
Krom, HJG, pp. 344-5;
Stutterheim, Het Hinduisme in den Archipel, pp.
126-9 and fig. 14.
Hazeu, TBG, 44 (1901),
pp. 289-357 and Juynboll, Mbh. Introduction.
BKI, 84 (1928),
There is a shadow-play
in Siam also; but that is clearly derived either from
Java or possibly even directly from India.
den Oorsprong van het Javaansche Tooneel, BKI, 88,
(1930-31), pp. 317-450. See also BKI, vi, 10, pp. 501-65;
vii, 5, (1906), pp. 149-77; Indian Art and Letters, 9 (1935), pp. 126-39.
BKI, 89 (1932),
See my Origin
of the Sailendras, TBG (1935), pp. 605 ff. and Agastya, TBG, (1936), pp. 500 ff.
TP, i (1890), pp.
BKI, vi, 8 (1901),
Sir Hesketh Bell, Foreign Colonial Administration in the Far East,
See Brandes, Tjandi
Singasari and Panataran, pp. 22-3.
BKI, vii, 2 (1904),
The original expression
is vinsatirgosahasrakam. Vogel (p. 214) took this
to be 1020 kine; but changed his view later, Pub. Oudh.
Dienst, i, p. 32. n. 80.
JGIS, xii (1945),
The arguments thus
briefly summarized are stated at length and examined in
my paper on Agastya, TBG (1936), lxxvi, pp. 515-34.
“If we remember
that the Īsāpūr pillars measure about 5
metres in height, whilst their width is nearly the same
as that of the Kutei stones, it will be seen that both
as regards size and shape, there is no similarity whatever
between the two sets of monuments”—Vogel, Yūpa Inscriptions,
p. 202. The Īsāpūr Yūpas again were
exact copies of wooden originals and ornamented like them,
while the Borneo Yūpas are just “roughly dressed
stones of irregular shape”—ibid., pp. 199 and 202.
The attempts to
connect this name with Kaundinya, the Hinduiser of Indo-China,
or with Kandu Kūra, a place in South India, are alike
As cited by Vogel,
Vogel, op. cit.,
Fig. on p. 26, ABIA
Vogel, p. 203, n.
Vogel, p. 211. ABIA
(1926), pp. 25-6.
OV (1925), pp. 132-6.
Cf. Krom, HJG, p. 74; ABIA (1926), p. 25.
Chhabra, p. 38;
ABIA, (1926), pl. xi.
BKI, vi, 2, (1896),
pp. 36 ff.
OV (1920), pp. 102-5.
OV (1920), pp. 101-2.
See Steiger-Beyer-Benitez, A History of the Orient (1929), pp. 113,
117, 120; also Krom, HJG, pp. 306 and 418. M. S. Ramaswami
Aiyar, Hindu Influence in the Philippines, QJMS,
xxv, pp. 103-13, just reproduces passages from the first
book mentioned in this note and much antiquated matter
from older books.