The Break down of the Cakravatin Empire
Project: The Break down of the Cakravatin Empire
Author: Lem Chuck Moth
Started date: January/01/2008
Last updated: May/31/2015
All right reserved.
Since this paper is still drafted, the readers would be advised to ignore any context errors. The content is not final and subjected to be reviewed.
Kublai Khan had spent his last years to overrun the south and had succeeded in setting the Angkorian Empire in shamble. After his death, the Mongolian Empire went into decline. While embracing Buddhism, the rest of the Mongolian leadership lost their aggressiveness and abandoned their plan of invading Angkor. It marked the end of the Mongolian intervention in the politic of the mainland Indochina for good. Taking the opportunity, vassal and enemy states freed themselves and took care of their own business. At the exception of Xiang-mai, other members of the Tai Pact were ready to join in a new consortium behind their past Buddhist legacy that could lead to the restoration of the Angkorian Empire. Sokhodaya for one, took on the leadership role in restoring back Hinayana Buddhism through the long distant contact with Srey Langka. In Rajapati, the Mongol's withdrawal allowed the Phukha Dynasty and the three Shan brothers to take back control of this northern Angkorian province and to work on restoring the rest of the Angkorian legacy. They appeared to have relatively less problems in restoring back Upper Burma and worked on consolidating with the Southern Mon country. The restoration of Angkor was on the other hand more challenging. It was not the court of Srindravarman that was the major obstacle. Losing all the Mongol's support, they were soon disappeared into obscurity leaving the Angkorian court dysfunctioning without rightful leadership role. It was the absence of the Angkorian court along with both the cores of the Sri Vijaya and the Chola royal houses that was actually the major setback. Nevertheless, a new consortium allowed local surviving courts to establish their own identities and the chance to take on the lead. Evidences show that Ava and later Sokhodaya had played important role in the next resettlement of the Mon courts, first from Ramandesa and later from Haripangjaya into the Angkorian court.
The Last of the legendary Past
The Royal Pangsavadar of Nokor Khmer is by far the only complete chronicle that was compiled and made available until this day. It provides us with historical backbone that is crucial in reconstructing Angkor's history from its early start to its fall. Coupling with Chinese sources and stone inscriptions, the chronicle is a priceless source in cohering missing links of major events found in modern history books. Unfortunately, the chronicle stops short of providing any information about the fate of Angkor during the Mongol's incursion. The lack of information presented a real challenge to compile a complete picture of the Mongol's incursion and the immediate fall of Angkor. The chronicle instead hints of a series of events that plagued Angkor after the usurpation of Ponha Ironwood Bat. Nevertheless, Information from other sources suggests that Angkor had also suffered the Mongol's incursion at the same time that its two cardinal states, Champapura and Burma had been repeatedly attacked by Kublai Khan. The chaos that was induced by the incursion obviously limited the Angkorian court to produce and preserve concrete historical data on stone inscriptions as in previous stage. What were left are legends and stories that were passed on through popular folklore and maintained through the care of Buddhist temples. Conforming to the fall of Angkor, the chronicle appears to indicate that Angkor's next rulers were not from the last court of Srindravarman, nor were they from any previous Angkorian courts. Theirs legendary past, as provided by the chronicle, do not matched any of the local tradition of the Angkorian era but are proved to be from Burma. As we shall see, the Glass Palace chronicle' s accounts about the reigns of king Nyaung Sarahan, Anuruddha and later Kyanzittha appears to provide the answer to the identity of the legendary Sweet Cucumber King, Pya Krek and Baksei Chamkrong of the Khmer chronicle (The Ramana Desa: The three Dynasties). As we shall see, they came from Pagan to challenge king Srindravarman's reign and drove him into exile.
THE FALL OF THE ANGKORIAN EMPIRE
The next event concerning the usurpation of king Srindravarman signals the Angkorian court' s last stand and its fall under the control of the Mongols. The records of Chou Ta-kuan, even though stating that the Khmer Empire (Chenla) was still rich, contained accounts that Angkor already fell prey to Siam (Sokhodaya) incursion. Its status of a Cakravatin Empire was on the other hand never been mentioned. Many other accounts in regard to the country's foreign affair with Chinese migrants and neighboring states provide clear indication that Angkor already lost its independence. We shall argue that along with Pagan and Champapura, Angkor had already fell under the vassalage of the Mongols.
The Impact of the Mongol Incursion *
Among the last records of the Royal Pangsavadra of Nokor Khmer, four story lines about four different legendary figures are portrayed to hint about the post-Angkorian lineage after its fall. The first story about the legendary king Ironwood-bat could be associated without doubt to the reign of the usurper king Srindravarman. We had argued that his reign marked the final fall of the Angkorian court under Kublai Khan through repetitive incursion by the Mongolian army. In a relentless drive, the Great Khan accomplished his mission by using Champapura and his other allies to bring down Angkor under his control. He had done it by interfering into the internal politic of the Angkorian court. The other three stories of the chronicle were, on the other hand, imported from Burmese source and were to represent three different lineage of Burma making their way to Angkor. It is an indication that after the reign of King Srindravarman, the Angkorian court was completely dismantled and that the next generation of the Angkorian kings had to be brought from the far away court of Pagan or Ramandesa. Evidences show that this transition might not been done without the support of a new alliance that was formed after the fall of Mongols. For one, we had seen that Sokhodaya, during the reign of Ladayaraja, had already broke free from the Tai Pact (Sokhodaya: The decline of Sokhodaya: The reign of Ladayaraja). On the other hand, Rajapati or Muang Yang, under the Phukha Dynasty, also freed itself from the control of Mongols thank to the bravery of the three Shan brothers. After taking back control of Rajapati, the youngest of the three brothers left to Pinya and established it as his own kingdom (The Fall of Nokor Thom: The Alliance with Pagan: The freeing of Rajapati). At Angkor, Legends attribute Srindravarman' s rise to fame and power mainly due to his military career. In battlefield, he was particularly victorious due to his special weapon, a bat made of ironwood. Nicknamed after his weapon as Pogna Ironwood Bat, he won victory over victory and was rising high in power. His success soon corrupted him as he decided to usurp the throne of Angkor.
There was a person named Ironwood Bat; he usurped the throne and made himself king. He asked the court astrologer to foretell his future. The astrologer foretold that a man of merit, an unborn baby at the first month of his mother pregnancy, would challenge the king's authority after the birth.
During his reign, he went on eliminating all rivals through series of massacre. Except for a faction that Angkor that settled at Sri Dharmaraja, the male descendants of Jayavarman VIII were all eliminated. Still his reign was destined to doom and paranoia soon took hold of him.
Then Pogna Ironwood Bat ordered to have all pregnant women killed. All pregnant women were killed except one consort lady of the previous court. The astrologer foretold to the king that the man of merit was being born. Pogna Ironwood Bat ordered all babies of the country to be burnt alive.
(RPNK:Ponha Ironwood Bat)
The rest of the story could shed some light to the fate of Srindravarman during his short reign. As the last Angkorian court was virtually wiped out, the usurper Srindravarman could rest assured that no contenders would challenge his reign. With the support of the Great Khan, his future was secured as long as he fulfilled all tribute requirements to the latter. What missing in his judgment was the fall of the Mongol and that his dependency on the foreign power did not last for long.
Even though he went to the extent of eliminating any potential heir of the kingdom, he soon found out that the Angkorian throne was not made for him. Evidences show that a movement to restore back the Khmer legacy was also under way. The lack of information however prevented us to be more specific about the next events concerning the end of King Srindravarman's reign and the next restoration of the new Angkorian courts. Without to go further verifying the existence of an alliance between the Ava and Sokhodaya courts, we shall see that both had some roles to play in resuscitating back the suzerainty of the Khmer empire. Unfortunately, we shall see that bad circumstances had still worked against the full recovery of Angkor.
A shared History with Pagan *
It is important to note that long after the fall of the Yuan Dynasty, the Tai movement was still strong among the northern Siam countries. As it took time to deploy Chinese troops at this remote region, the Ming still used the leftover Ho troops to control Yunnan as a tributary province of China. Under these circumstances, the royal court of Xiang-mai could still generate benefit from their association with the last of the Ho broken houses (The Lanna State: The affairs with Dai-Viet: The diplomatic maneuvers with the Ho). Under the shield of the Ho' s army of Yunnan, Xieng-mai started extending its frontier over its neighboring states. The first target was obviously Rajapati where the Angkorian legacy had been conveniently destroyed by the Mongol' s campaign against Angkor. During the hight of the Mongol's incursion, indications point out that King Gnam Muang whom we had identified as either Kioswa II or his son Kumarakassapa was moving to Rajapati or Muang Yang under the Mongols' discretion. Indications show that he still hold on to his power at Pyao until the campaign of the king Kham Fu of Xiang-mai drove him out from this former Angkorian territory (The Lanna State: The establishment of Lanna: The conflict with the Kaeo King of Nan). In later move, we shall argue that the last legacy of Pagan court had moved to the new Angkorian court. In the last part of the story about king Srindravarman, the Khmer chronicle introduces another legendary figure, known as Chao Kell, who came to challenge the usurper king in a benign fashion. The legend mimics the Burmese tradition of the king Kunhsaw, the father of Anuruddha, emerging from obscurity to establish his own kingship (Ramanadesa: The three dynasties: King Kunhsaw Kyaungbyu). The two stories however differ as to what court the conflict was involved. In the Khmer source, the conflict was between King Sandhapamarindra and the usurper King Ironwood Bat. The conflict in the Burmese court, on the other hand was involved between King Kunhsaw and the Cucumber gardener's king Sarahan. In either case, we shall argue that the challenger was from the same line of kings who were descended from Anurudha's ancestry. The story was incorporated into the Khmer chronicle to connect the next ascension to the Angkorian throne and the settlement of the last court of Pagan at Rajapati.
Because of his merit, one baby did not die even-though he was badly burnt. A monk, on his way to collect food, found the baby and adopted him. He named him Chao kell (scrolling child) because his arms and legs were all crooked and could not walk, but only scroll. (RPNK: Ponha Krek)
As the story continues, Chao kell became king the same way that king Kunhsaw ascended the throne of Pagan. Through Lord Indra' s intervention, he wrested the khmer throne from the usurper king's Ironwood Bat. As specific event was used in Khmer tradition to define a line of kings, we could deduct that the next Angkorian king was from the same line of King Kunhsaw of Pagan. The chronicle identifies the new king by his surname Pogna Krek, a deeper connection to the ancient lineage of the Chenla King Bhavavarman I. His title of Sandhapamarindra (Sandhap-amara-indra) suggests that he was and might be still a king of Gandhara (in short form Gandhap or Sandhap), a reference to Pagan at the time. It was obviously not Anuruddha himself, but one of his descendant who was contemporary to Srindravarman 's reign. As we recalled back, king Ngam Muang whom we had identified as the Pagan King Kyozwa II had already settled himself at the Nan Country and was in a position to contend for the Angkorian throne. The remaining kings of Pagan, were under the tutelage of the three Shan brothers and were already residing in Eva. On the same token, the Khmer chronicle introduced the next king Backsei Cham Krong to be another legendary figure that could be identified to the lineage of Kyangsetha. Shortly after his birth, a bird protected him during a life-threatening ordeal when he was still a baby; thus he was popularly known as Backsei Cham Krong (who is protected by the bird). The persecutor was no other than the last king Pogna Krek (or his descendant), establishing himself as the king Sandhapamarindra. During his reign, there were also predictions by his astrologer that another man of merit would challenge his power. Through similarity, the story refers to the rise of power by Kyangzitha, the next king of Sudhamavati (RPNK: Baksei Cham Krong). The ordeal was received during the reign of Anuradha before he was recognized by the latter and was given the throne of Pagan to him. These two references to the past lineage of Ramanadesa' s kings identify that the next Angkorian leadership came from the broken court of Pagan where the last of the Talaing legacy of Ramanadesa was left under the tutelage of the Three Shan Brothers (Notes: The move to take on the Angkorian court).
The End of King Srindravarman's Reign *
With no support from the Mongols, Srindravarman found himself isolated among rivals that were more or less legitimate for the Angkorian throne than he was. Before his coronation, he was making sure that no one from the Angkorian court would challenge him. As we shall see, the next challengers that he would face were not from the last court of Angkor but were instead from the falling court of Pagan. We had no idea of which the two lines took the audacity to move into the Angkorian court. Our first impression was that Kyozwa II who already settled himself at the Nan Country was actually in full potential to make his move down South. With the Mogolian support, they deposed the usurper king Srindravarman and took the Angkorian throne for himself. Considering that the Mongols already withdrew their forces from Yunnan in 1303, Kyozwa II receiving help from the Mongols was likely impossible. Nevertheless, evidences show that the court of Kyozwa II was strong enough to wage war against Srindravarman on his own term. The last Sanskrit inscription was found at the site called Kapilapura, located at the northeast of Bayon. Composed by a Brahman scholar Vidyesadhimant, servant of kings Srindravarman, Srindrajayavarman, and Jayavarmadiparamesvara, it is one among the last Sanskrit inscriptions found so far in Cambodia (ISSA: The Decline of the Indian Kingdoms: The Last Kings mentioned in epigraphy: P.228). Completely impregnated with Sivaite mysticism, it attests the last Hindu tradition of the Angkorian court prevailing after its fall. Judging from the fact that Srindrajayavarman and later Jayavarmadiparamesvara were served by the same Brahman Vidyesadhimant, we conclude that the two kings were the immediate successors of Srindravarman. They were the last Varman Kings known in Khmer history to be consecrated by a Hindu court. Except for the reign of Srindrajayavarman that last twenty years, the reigns of the other two kings were rather short that indicates crises were happening in both reigns. It confirms the legend of the usurper king Ironbat (Srindravarman) being ousted by a king descended from Anuruddha-Kyanzetha's lineage of Pagan. Interpreting the legends of Chao Kell and of Backsei Cham Krong, we know that the new king, after ending the reign of Srindravarman in 1307, ascended the Angkorian throne under the name of Srindrajayavarman. Another inscription tells us that he was a relative (vamsa) of the late king but no specific relationship had been mentioned. We owe to him the oldest inscription in the Pali language commemorating the construction of a vihara and of an image of Buddha in 1309, two years after his ascension to the Angkorian throne. This first introduction of Pali inscription, a legacy of Tathon, in the court of Angkor confirms Srindrajayavarman' s origin. An inscription of Angkor (BEFEO XXV: Inscriptions d' Angkor: Louis Finot: P. 209-409) gave more information of king Srindrajayavarman with family members of the Brahman Jayamangalaratha. Dated back since the reign of Jayavarman VIII, a Brahman named Hrishikesa who belonged to the Brahmanic clan of the Bharadvaja and came from Pagan (Narapatidesa). Having learned that Cambodia was full of eminent experts on the Veda, he came to manifest his knowledge and made his career in the Angkorian court where he continued to serve under the two successors of Jayavarman VII. Jayavarman VIII made him his chief priest (purohita) and conferred on him the title of Jayamahapradhana. Of his two daughters, he gave the eldest to the Brahman Jayamangalaratha and the cadet to Jayavarman VIII. His contribution to the Angkorian court must to be of high important for Srindrajayavarman brought up the Brahman 's legacy in the inscription. During his twenty years reign, says the inscription, the king embellished the capital built by Jayavarman VIII in honor of Jayamangalaratha. Located at the heart of Angkor Thom, a small shrine on a high foundation was dedicated to his name. As we had argued, the legacy of Phrya Phukha along with the Three Shan Brothers of Rajapati was eminent in the fight against the Mongols during the reign of Jayavarman VIII. He died during the latter' s reign of at the age of 104. Even though a direct implication could not be drawn to support the assumption that Srindrajayavarman was from the fallen court of Pagan, it could explain why Srindrajayavarman had such a high respect for the Brahman. A Chinese delegation in 1320 in Cambodia was charged with buying tame elephants. It is important to note that during that time Wang-Ta-Yuan wrote in his Tao-I Chih-lioh that Cambodia was still called "Chenla the rich". His successor, Jayavarmadiparamesvara ascended the throne in 1327. We know him only through the Khmer inscription from Bayon and through a Sanskrit inscription of Kapilapura. With no other epigraphs and Chinese information, we could not elaborate more on the rest of his reign of which legend attributes to the occurrence of a flood that was big enough to destroy Angkor.
THE FALL OF ANGKOR
The fall of Angkor had been in hot topic since the ruin was rediscovered from the wilderness by a French expedition along the Mekong River. Trying to explain its downfall, many theories had been suggested. Of all the suggestions, the exhaustion incurred by such a big scale of building many stone temples, especially of Angkor Wat, was the most accepted one. Even though there are some truth behind it, no one of the answers was so far satisfactory by it own implication. Microanalysis would nonetheless bring-up many more factors that were also imminent to both the falling and the next phase of recovery after the Mongol's withdraw. The finding would prove that the fall of any society, especially of high standard as Angkor, is much more complicated that could be exposed entirely into the open.
The Impact of the Mongol's Incursion *
Among the causes that had been suggested, the Mongol's incursion had never been cited and taken into serious consideration by scholars as a probable cause of Angkor's sudden fall. It is because among countries of Southeast Asia such as Japan, Burma and Dai-viet that have recorded history of battles with the Great Khan, none have succumbed. At the contrary, they recovered and even thrived after the Mongol's decline. During the Mongol's incursion, evidences show that Angkor suffered the least the Mongol's direct attack. Due to the fact that the Mongols's army never had a secured route to get into Angkor from Yunnan, Angkor stayed for most of the Mongol's incursion inaccessible to the Mongol's campaign. The only clash in which the Mongol army used Cham troops to conduct a raid deep into Angkor ended with defeat. Angkor took the fall not by direct hit by the Mongols but by the post effects of the Great Khan's campaign to disintegrate its political infrastructure. Although Angkor was intact after the fight, its Cakaravatin establishment was not. The break out of Sokhodaya and Lanna to join the Great Khan signaled the start of its fracture that was followed by the formation of other smaller nations. Under the Great Khan initiation, these nations regrouped themselves to form the Tai Pact fighting on the Mongol behalf against the Angkorian Empire. This cultural fracture became a topic of heated discussion between religious schools of different background. For some observers, the rise of the Mongolian Empire was credited to the aggressiveness of Genzis-Khan and its decline as due to the weaknesses of the later Khans. Many went far to blame Buddhism, adopted by the later Khans, as a cause of the decline. This view, although wrong, had been long applied to the rise and fall of Angkor as well. It was due to common belief that the Angkorian society was Hindu during its rising and was Hinayana Buddhist during its decline. As we had argued, the Khmer Empire had started from the very beginning with the application of Hinayana Buddhism in Southeast Asia and Buddhism had always been the unification factor of the Angkorian Cakravatin Empire. The basic cultural establishment of Angkor is thus not the same but the opposite of that of the Mongolian Empire and in neither case, Buddhism was the cause of the decline. Of each of the Khans, it is hard to pinpoint exactly what was his true devotion. As the head of the conquered countries, evidences show that the Khan' s faith was more driven by politic than his true religious belief. It was true that Kublai and his successors claimed themselves as Buddhist, but we know that they continued to cooperate with the Pope to expand Christianity in China as well. In the attempt to present himself as a true cakravatin monarch, the Great Khan had to adopt the politic of religious tolerance in the effort to win his subjects' cooperation. As a matter of fact, we had argued that Kublai used his Buddhist flair to gain trust from northern Siam ruling houses and to form the Tai pact against Angkor. On that thought, we conclude that the fall of Angkor was not due to Buddhism, but to the aggressiveness of the Mongols. If Kublai was Buddhist by faith at the first place, the history of both countries might have been changed completely. Nevertheless, comparing the condition of the two adversaries reveals the Angkorian weakness in regard to the application of science and technology. In contrast, the Mongols used these knowledge to their advantage in strengthen their military strength, in both armament and combat' s techniques. It gave them the upperhand in battle and the easy victory over their adversaries. In the high of Kala Yuga where rivalry sprung up to compete either for survival or supremacy, science and technology are eminent in the winning edge of wars and battles. The Angkorian Empire, as part of the overall Indianized societies, was clearly lagging behind. Visiting Angkor right after its fall, Tchou Ta-kuan recorded no educational institutions for the educated class Pan-ki. It indicates that these high-ranking scholars depended totally on religious institution for their education. Having no focus on scientific or technology, the Pan-ki lacked specialized knowledge and skills in sustaining the whole society. The decline of the Chola Empire, for instance, was due to the fact that its power elite was occupied more than ever to elevate their own social status. The self-preoccupation took the priority away from the building-up of the real power for the empire. Brahmins and religious figures alike were concentrating more on pleasing God than to spend time solving practical problems. On the other side, the Angkorian court was not far better. Compared to the progress of other parts of the world, Angkor was noticeably outdated. The lagging deprived Angkor of the knowledge's edge over its rivals and at the same time diminished its prestige among allies causing them to turn their heads away. After the Great Khan took control of Yunnan and later China, it did not take long for Sokhodaya to send their people to the Yuan court of China to learn the manufacturing of the ceramic ware and among other skills, the art of making canons.
The Last of Muang Pukha *
According to the Yunnan chronicle, the Great Khan' s control over the two northern provinces of Angkor had never been complete. Having no cooperation from the Three Shan Brothers, the Great Khan soon realized that his campaign against Angkor was not as easy as he tought.
The insubordination of Sokhodaya, as it lent support to Rajapati's uprisings, cost the Great Khan the control of Yunnan. The Khan's attempt to put down the uprisings failed and the unrest destroyed altogether the Mongolian southern control over Rajapati.
The 5th year ta-to (1301), the Kin-tche and the Pa-pai revolted, stopped sending tribute and killed the functionaries. The Yuan ordered the right general lieutenant Lieou Chen and Ha-la-tai, Tcheng Yeou and others to conduct an expedition against them. Lieou Chen having asked for help of Tsie, wife of Indigenous chief Choei-si, 3000 taels of gold and 3000 horses, the chief indigenous Song Long-tsi revolted and encircled Lieou Chen and his men at Kiong-kou. The prince of Leang, Kouo-kou, went to theirs help.
Apparently the rebellion took a toll of the Mongols and there were signs of lost interests to keep fighting against the rebels.
In winter there was a big earthquake, the censor Tchen Tien-siang spoke to the emperor against the barbarians of the southwest, but to no avail.
The next expedition sent to Rajapati in 1303 faced with another serious setback and was called off soon after. Facing with more obstacles, moral went down and the Mongols were about to start experiencing their own internal fractures. The internal crises marked the end of the Mongols aggressiveness and their southern campaign also suffered the consequence (Notes: The internal Crisises of the Mongols). They finally gave-up their stance and left Rajapati into the control of the Three Shan Brothers who took no time to secure their position after the Mongol withdrawal. Now that they succeeded to drive the Mongols out from Rajapati and subsequently from Pagan, they were now in a mission to establish orders back to both countries. We shall see that the youngest of the three brothers soon moved his family back to take control of Pagan for themselves. At the same time we shall see a revival of the Angkorian court by a lineage of kings, apparently originated from Ramanadesa, after fighting off the usurper king Srindravarman in 1307 (The Break down of the Cakravatin Empire: The legacies from Ramandesa: Evidences from Inscriptions). Connecting the last events together, we have the reason to believe that the Three Shan Brothers were the driving forces behind the dethroning of king Srindravarman and with their initiation, the last remnants of the Pagan's court was about to take on the throne of Angkor.
The lack of information prevents us from further eliciting the realionship between the court of King Ngam Muang and the Three Shan Brothers. Indication however shows that there was a secret pact between the two allowing King Ngam Muang of Phyao to launch his own campaign toward Angkor during the decline of Angkor. The new genealogy of the Pong Kings, as given by the Pong Chronicle, started after the Mongols' withdrawal in 1315. The emergence of Soongampha reigning over Vanga coincided with the death of Praya Phukha in Moang Yang as stated in the Nan chronicle (Notes: King Soongampha). Before his death, Praya Phukha sent messengers to invite Chao Kao Kuan of Muang Pua (Vara Nokor) to take care of Muang Yang and to start the next generation of the Phukha Dynasty. The same of many historical figures, Praya Phukha was not a real person but a legacy of the Mangalaratha royal house of Muang yang that was delegated by the Angkorian court. The death of Praya Pukha was by all means the end of the Angkorian direct control over Rajapati that according to the Pong chronicle happened in 1315. As we had seen, the Mangalaratha' s legacy was still active at 108 years old during the reign of king Srindrajayavarman (1307-1327) while the last Brahman Jayamangalaratha wad already been dead during the reign of Jayavarman VIII. Nevertheless, since there was no mentioning about his late descendants, we believe that the three Shan Brothers were actually the postrunner of the Pukha' s legacy. By then we had seen that the youngest of the three brothers, Tihathu, had already left Rajapati and went to establish Pinya in 1312. The Pong chronicle picked up the last ascension of the new king Soongampha whom we shall identify as King Chao Kao Kuan of the Nan chronicle. This last development that resulted in the displacement of the last legacy of the Phukha court from Rajapati might also explain what was happening next at Angkor. After the fall of the Mongols, an arragement had been made among the suviving royal houses of Rajapati to end the reign of the usurper king Srindravarman and to elect a member of the last Phyao court of King Ngam Muang to reign at Angkor under the name of Srindrajayavarman.
The Impact of the Flood *
As the Burmese tradition had made it known, the last of the Tathon kings who were descended from Anurudha-Kyansittha lineage, had already fell prey to immoral conducts. After they established themselves at Angkor, we have the reason to believe that they did not stop indulging themselves and at the same time was in the habit of inflicting self-destruction. After three generations, says the chronicle, Angkor was going to face another dilemma. The next king of Angkor who was the last of the line, left no inscription for us to know about his reign. We knew about him only through the Khmer chronicle, in connection to an incident that cost the Angkorian court its existence (RNPK: Prah Bat Senakaraja).
After Prah Bat Samtech Baksei Cham Krong passed away, his three sons ascended the throne successively until the reign of Prah Bat Senakaraja.
There was not much else mentioned in the chronicle except that he was going to exert a bad judgment which ended-up alienating the Naga King.
The king had a son named Siharajakumara; he raised a fly in a glass box. There was a son of a Parohita who raised a spider and used to play with the prince. One day while the prince opened his box to play with his fly; the spider of the Parohita's son killed the fly instantly. Siharajakumara saw it and of the strong attachment to his fly was very upset. Prah Bat Senakaraja heard the new and was very angry. Without reasoning and blinded by the love for his son, he ordered the Parohita's son to be arrested and drowned to die in a pit.
Upon hearing the new, the Naga King was very upset and decided to inflict damage to the Angkorian Empire. He created flood to drown the whole kingdom.
The Naga king then, through his magic manifestation, created flood to submerge the palace. Many people died by drowning. After king Senakaraja's death, only people who lived in the floating house survived. One of the Mahathera and people who looked after the Emerald Buddha consented on saving the Buddha image and the three sets of Tribidaka by moving them to the north by ship.
The outcome of the flood was devastating. The Angkorian court lost everything including the Emerald Buddha, and could no longer sustain itself to stand against the next change of events. The chronicle then mentioned that a ruler of Sri Dharmaraja named attitaraja came with his troops to rescue both the Tribidaka and the Emerald Buddha and brought them to Sri Ayudhya (Sri Dharmaraja: The reestablishment of Sri Dharmaraja: King Adityavarman). The flood created by the Naga King during the reign of King Senakaraja was by far, an important factor in the fall of Angkor. In the memory of Khmer tradition, bad leadership is as much damaging the welfare of a country as any other external events that were known to destroy the country. Following the Mongol incursion, Angkor still survived and many Chinese source witnessed that Angkor was still a wealthy country. The advent of King Senakaraja once again inferred that morality of the leadership role was to be emphasized. The flood was of big magnitude and caused damage not only on Angkor but a widespread disaster throughout the eastern part of the mount Himalaya. The Nan tradition recorded an event that could link to the flooding of Angkor around the birth of a prince of Nan named Chao Pha Nong.
He was given the name of Chao Pha Nong because before he was born there was no water, and as soon as he was born there was a rainstorm and a flood that was powerful enough to carry big rock down the stream.
(NC: The founding of Muang Nan)
Following a period of drought, the powerful rainstorm was widespread over the Himalara Mountain causing the flood of the Mekong River that gets its source from the Himalaya's range. It was the iconic event of a series of extreme weather that caused damage to the agricultural harvest of Angkor. It was occurring also over a vast Chinese agricultural field of the Yellow River that, according to some scholars, caused the Chinese economy to collapse and subsequently the revolt of the Chinese peasants against the Yuan dynasty. The uprising forced the last of the Yuan Dynasty out of China and the rising of the Ming Dynasty to take control of China in 1368. Back to its impact on Angkor, the flood had destroyed not only the material property of the country, but also the last of the Meru spirituality. After the flood, the Angkorian court was completely wiped out and was left virtually without leadership. It is not surprising that the next rulers were also outsider of the Angkorian court.
THE LAST OF PUGARAMA
Due to the lack of information, the next transition of the Angkorian court was very much obscure. The Royal Pongsavatar of Nokor Khmer that provided us with the guiding light to construct the Khmer history through out the Angkorian period had come to its end. Its last account about the debut of the Sweet Cucumber king and his dynasty that lasted until modern days was as usual, limited. The next source of information was from the chronicle of the Khmer heroes that was compiled to cover mostly the post Angkorian period (Nokor Caktomukh: Introduction: The historical Records of medieval Cambodia). Even though its beginning gave more clues about the dynasty of the Cucumber King, the information is unfortunately not straight forward as the rest of the chronicle.
The Lineage of the Sweet Cucumber King *
According to the Royal Pongsavatar of Nokor Khmer, a Cucumber gardener was crowned as the king of Angkor after an incidence that killed the previous king (RPNK: The Sweet Cucumber King). On a leasure trip outside of his palace, the king sneaked into the gardener's plantation to plug some cucumbers to eat because he was hungry. Taken for a thief, the king was killed on the spot by the gardener. The slain king was no other than the last king of Angkor who survived the flood left no heir to succeed him. The Angkorian court than crowned the Cucumber gardener as the king of Angkor. By correlating to the Burmese story of king Sarahan, we came to the conclusion that the Cucumber Gardener of the Khmer source was actually the same Gardener king of the Burmese legend of King Sarahan (The Ramana Desa: The Burmese Legacy: The three Dynasties). Connecting the two courts together however requires serious adjustments. To start, we need to keep in mind that the Khmer' s account of the Cucumber king was just a legendary past used to connect the new Angkorian court with the descendants of the Pagan King Sarahan. According to the Glass Palace Chronicle, his reign was ended by King Kunhsaw who was a descendant of Pogna Krek (Bhavavarman I) and father of Anurudha. After driving out the line of the Cucumber Gardener King, Anurudha took the throne of Pagan for himself. We knew nothing more from the Burmese source about what happened next to the King Sarahan' s other family members or descendants. The Chronicle of Khmer heroes, on the other hand, introduces a new line of kings who became the next Angkorian monarch after the flood (CKH: The Reign of King Ang Jaya or the Cucumber King). In addition of presenting the Cucumber King as a legendary figure, the chronicle gives a full line of kings starting from the Sweet Cucumber King whose real name was Ang Jaya and all his immediate descendants down to King Nippean Bat. According to the chronicle, the legendary Sweet Cucumber king started his reign at Angkor in 998 and lasted until 1048 for a total of 450 years' s reign. His queen was named Buphavati from whom he had one son Prah Seri Ratha. The attribution of his reign to start at 998 is consistent with the fact that it preceded the reign of Anuruddha right at the beginning of the dynastic crisis. It proves that he was in fact reigning at Pagan and not at Angkor since during that time the Angkorian throne was taken by family members of the Mahidhara court (The Sri Vijaya Connection: Introduction: The Mon' s Account of the dynastic Crisis). Without any doubt, we could relate immediately the lines of the Burmese King Nyaung Sarahan and the Khmer Sweet Cucumber King together as the same lineage (Notes: The Lineage of the Sweet Cucunber King). To explain how did they survive Anurudha' s campaign and move to the Angkorian court, we need to explore the Siam tradition (Annales du Siam, Chronique de Lapun) about the reign of Praya Dhammikaraja at Haripanjaya after the last king Atittaraja. He reigned for 5 years and his successor Rathami also reigned for 5 years after him. We could notice that he had the same title of Dhammikaraja that was attributed to the Sweet Cucumber King by the Khmer tradition.
He was crowned along with the daughter of the late king Siharaja as his queen and received the title of "Prah Bat Samtech Mahabapitt Dharmikaraja the master of the land of Kamboja".
Taking that into consideration, we conclude that during the Anuruddha' s coup, the family members of King Sahahan were not eliminated and were actually residing in Haripangjaya. It is important to recall back that the Angkorian king Jayavarman V took refuge at this Mon state while escaping the attack of Sri Dharmaraja during the Dynastic Crisis. We had also argued that after the attack, Jayavarman V joined the Cholan Consortium after he left Angkor and became an active member of the Indian royal house since then (The Chola Dynasty: The Cholan Consortium: The Cholan Empire of Tanjore). After Kyanzitha took control of Pagan, supposedly with the support of Chola or Talaing court, the surviving family of King Sarahan was then allowed to stay in the Mon court of Haripangjaya and Lampang. By marrying into the previous line of Angkorian king Jayavarman V, they became rulers of both Mon states. The attribution of the sweet cucumber's reign to last 450 years in Khmer version could then be attributed to include the reign of his son that was cut later by Anuruddha at the court of Pagan and the rest of his descendants reigning at unspecified court until 1048. At the same time, the chronicle also introduces another lineage from a king name Prah Bat Pogna Suos, mentioned as the younger brother of of the Cucumber king. Theirs reigns were also unspecified but we shall argued that they reigned at Haripangjaya or Lampang until the attack of Xiang-mai later forced them to move in the Angkorian court right after the flood that ended the line of the previous king Senakaraja (Lanna: The Angkorian Connection: The Conquest of Haripangjaya).
The Transition through Haripangjaya *
Unlike his immediate descendants whose reigns were unaccountable for, the next descendants of the Cucumber King were provided with consistent chronology and with indication that they were reigning at the Mon states of Harypangjaya and Lampang. To further explicate the move from Pagan to the Mon courts, we need to construct a transitional path through a series of known events that were occuring according to the chronology of each reign. It started with the king Prah Bat Pogna Suos (1048-1096) who was mentioned to be the brother of Prah Bat Anga Jaya. During the reign of the latter at Pagan, he served as his Obraja and might rule over a vassal state of Pagan. Considering that his reign started at 1048, with an elapse time of 450 years after the reign of his brother, the direct succession is impossible. He might have been instead a descendant in the line of a brother of king Cucumber King. The Khmer tradition mentioned that he had no heir and his successor was his nephew named Seri Ratana who was a son of the Sweet Cucumber King. The new king ascended the throne under the name of Prah Bat Siri Vichakra (1099-1163). The next King, Prah Lampang (1162-1217) was born in 1144 as the son of Prah Bat Siri Vichakra and the queen Gandhabotuma. His title indicates that he was then the ruler of Lampang, confirming our assumption that the line of the Sweet cucumber King reigned through the court of Haripangjaya and Lampang. His queen was named Bhagavati Chakrapatra Ksatri. Her title indicates that she belonged to a Cakavatin dynasty. Following the tradition of previous Angkorian court before the invasion of Ligor, the displaced Lavo kings still retained theirs past Cakravatin title at the court of Haripungjaya. Obviously by marrying a princess of the Mon court that the king received his title as Prah Lampang. The next king of the line was Prah Angka(1217-1275). He ascended the throne on 1217, his queen of the same Mongal royal family named Bhagavati Mongal Ksatri Seri Chakrapatra. Again, the arrangement prevails as the son of the last king, by marrying a princess of the Cakravatin line, became the ruler of Haripanjaya. His reign was contemporary to the Lao king Mangrai who ascended the Chiangrai's throne on 1259. The next king of the line was Prah Suryavarna. He ascended the throne on 1275 at the age of 23 years old. His queen was his stepsister of different mother named Bhagavati Monthapisi Seri Chakrapatra. His reign coincides with the conquest of Mangrai over Haripangjaya, which make us believe that he was no other than the King Yiba of the Xiang-mai chronicle. The attack started at 1291 but the preparation had been carried on since 1281.
Ai Fa, commissioned by king Mangrai a subterfuge in Haribhunjaya. In 1281/82, after seven years, during which as part of his regular duties Ai Fa had been conducting that ruse for those seven years.
After losing Haripanjaya to Mangrai, Yi-ba fled and took refuge with his son, Phraya Boek at Lampang. In 1296, Mangrai and his son, Prince Khram, renewed the attack against king Yiba at Lampang. They managed to kill his son, Phraya Boek, in an elephant battle and drove him out to seek refuge with Phraya Phitsanulok in Song Kwae where he died soon after. What happened next is unclear, but the Khmer source recounted the legend of the Sweet Cucumber King to move into the court of Angkor, after the death of the late Angkorian king Senakaraja. The Sweet Cucumber King then married the latter' s daughter, named Bhagavati Sri Chandra Mahaksatri, and ascended the Angkorian throne. Together they conceived two sons; the eldest one was born in 1292 and was named Prah Boromnipannabat, the youngest one was born a year later and was named Prah Sudhanaraja. The arrangement was undoubtedly due to the consortium of the declining Angkorian court after the flood with the displaced court of king Yiba with the support of Sokhodaya. As the new line of kings seems to have through mother side of past connection with the ancient Cakravatin dynasty, they were at least perceived as the conservator of the Khmer legacy and were in a stronger sence more legitimate to the Angkorian throne than other contemporary royal court at the time. His successor was quoted as his eldest son, Prah Nipanapada (1340-1345). After a short reign he died at the age of 40 years old by sickness and left the throne to his younger brother named Prah Sodhanaraja. After ascending the throne for three months, he was himself sick and died. The lineage of the Sweet Cucumber King however outlived him until modern days. It is important to note that Haripangjaya and its sister Lampang had been the seat of the Hinayana sect of Buddhism since the start of their formation by the queen Chamadevivamsa. They were the only courts known to practice solely Hinayana Buddhism with a total abstaining of Hindu practices. In an environment that aggression took hold of surrounding nations, the two Mon states were to test their faith against a new influx of Tartarization brought by the Yuan Dynasty of China.
The Medieval Nan Country *
As part of the northeastern cardinal state of Angkor, Nan had a history closely connected with Angkor. This is because the Nan country had always been an important part of the Angkorian Empire. We had seen later that a prince named Vidyanandana from the Nan country had proved himself capable in the eyes of Jayavarman VII and acquired a brilliant career in the Angkorian Court (Nokor Thom: The restoration of Angkor: The reign of Jayavarman VII). As a customary of vassal states to send theirs princes to live in the Middle Kingdom, Vidyanandana was raised and trained at Angkor during his youth. He was entrusted to lead Angkorian troops to win over the city of Malayang and again in 1208, he conducted troupes to rage battle against Dai-viet for the Khmer King. At the end, Vidyanandana had tried to convert Champapura as a Kingdom of his own. Using retainers of the previous Champa court, Jayavarman VII drove the new self-proclaimed Cham king into obscurity. After Angkor went into decline, Nan became prey of its many neighbors. At the early stage of the Mongols incursion, Nan was already taken by Mangrai and was given to the refugee court of Kaeo Pangsa to rule (The Lanna State: The reestablishment of Lanna: The conflict with the Kaeo King of Nan). In close connection with Rajapati, Nan had special relationship with Haripangjaya that explained the friendship between the two courts in post Angkorian era. Mentioned in the Nan chronicle as Khaleyang, the Lampang court was itself chased out by the Lanna court of King Mang-rai and had made its move into Angkor. Under these new conditions, Nan was however split from its sister city Vieng-tian as part of the overall breakdown of Rajapati. Soon after King Kao Kuan left for Muang Yang, King Ngam Muang of Pyao made his way to wrest Muang Pua and left it to the control of his queen, Lady Ua Sim (The Lanna State: The last legacy of Rajapati: The death of King Pukha). Indication shows that a faction of his court also made its move to take hold of Angkor after the reign of Srindravarman (The break down of the Cakravatin Empire: The legacy of Ramandesa: The last of King Ngam Muang). Starting its new era in 1322, the Nan country was plagued with disasters and setbacks. To start, a devastating drought and later a deluge flood were two of the iconic events to the reign of Chao Pha Nong. The rainstorm might have been the first of a series of severed rainstorms that later flooded Angkor during the reign of king Senakaraja. We know however that Chao Pha Nong did not share the same fate as the Angkorian monarch. Evidence shows that while Angkor was left without rulers after the flood, he and immediate family members all survived the flood.
Chao Pha Nong was, the third king of the dynasty. He was made ruler of muang Pua in 1320. Chao Pha Nong ruled Muang Pua for 30 years. He had six sons. They were Chao Kan Muang, Chao Lao, Chao Run, Chao Ba Chai, Chao Khwai Tom, and Chao Sai.
(NC: Section 2: The Founding of Muang Nan: P.9)
As the flood left Angkor with no ruler, some of Chao Pha Nong's sons had ventured inside of Cambodia to establish their own dominion. Chao Ba Chai, in particular, might had been the same as king Ba Jaya mentioned, in Khmer legend, as a vassal king of Angkor who built the temple of Wat Nokor at Kampang Cham province. After the settlement of the displaced Lampang court at Angkor, the new Khmer-mon consortium was going to exert its strength. The Nan chronicle confirmed that a good relationship was developing between Angkor, Sokhodaya and Nan. During the reign of Chao Kan Muang (the fift king of Nan), King dharmaraja invited the Nan King to Sokhodaya to help design and build Wat Lang Aphai (Abhaya). To show his appreciation for the help, king of Sokhodaya presented him with seven holy relics and twenty gold and twenty silver Buddhist votive tablets (NC: Section 2: The Founding of Muang Nan: P.10). The consortium allowed the three countries to face the aggression of the remaining members of the Tai pact. As we shall see, Angkor was working on strengthening its position by helping a Lao prince to reestablish Xiang-Tong as a new Lao kingdom of the northeast. Until it was built, Nan' s ordeal was far to be over. Now that Xiang-Mai was unified under Mangrai and became the seat of the new Siam Country of Lanna, Nan became its target. At the south, while fighting against Lanna and Sokhodaya, Ayudhya never ceased to exert its intervention in the internal affair of Nan. During the coronation of Chao Khamtan, the Ayudhyan king came to pour consacrated water to the Lao king. After the ceremony, the Lao King developed a strong migrane and died. Since then the Nan court lost all its strenght and became prey to its western neighbors. During all these hard time, Nan and Vieng-chan remained close to the Angkorian court and was politically tied to the formation of Lan-xang.
THE IMPACT OF THE CINIZATION
It was undeniable that the Tai cultural incursion was happening long before in Southeast Asia through the arrival of the Kambujan leadership (Notes: The Tai Movement Southward). Nevertheless, we shall argue that the modern Tai Cultural transplantation in both northern Siam and the Shan countries was actually the result of the recent Mongol's incursion.
Under the Mongol control, new frontiers were open-up for the nomad tribes of the Gobi Desert and Central China to look for better life-style. Their arrival to the southern tip of Chinese continent brought more strength for local economy leading to the rise of local Yueh leadership who, in turn, paid tribute to the Great Khan. Unfortunately, their movement was no longer restricted to the Chinese continent as they were set free to move further south.
The Tai Cultural Incursion
It is known that for most of its past, Yunnan was ruled by Tartaric dynasties and through Chinese interference, many aspects of northern Siam cultures retained strong Tai legacies of Central Asia. However, we had argued that Tai migration in the past was virtually restricted to the members of the Aristocratic societies only. Their venturing out to the south was mostly due to the wealth' s searching and the escape of political turmoil in their home land. Through cultural compatibility with the Khmer (Naga) court of the past, they blend themselves completely into the Khmer-mon societies. Only during the Han era that evidences of mass migration of the Yueh from the Tai-Yuan country resulting in the foundation of the Yueh communities of the southern part of China to become distinct from the Khmer-mon (Kun-lun in Chinese) feudality and pushed the latter farther south. Nevertheless, after the formation of the Angkorian Empire, the intervention of both the Tai and Chinese intervention stopped. At the same time, Yunnan became increasingly disconnected from Central China and the Sri Vijayan court of Xiang-mai took the opportunity to extend theirs own interference in the Yunnan country. At the late stage of the Angkorian era, both Suryavarman II and Jayavarman VII had extended Angkor's control over Vangadesa that included the Shan country and Manipura. Until the advent of the Mongol's incursion, neither the Tai culture nor the people could be proved to be present in northern Siam through mass Migration from either Central Asia or China. Nevertheless, some scholars still claimed that the Tai movement had occurred long time in the past (ISSA:The Repercussions of the Mongol Conquests: The Thai). Despite all the strong indication of Angkor to be ran by the Mongols, most scholars bypassed altogether the effect of the Mongol incursion (Noes: The Fall of Angkor under the Mongol Attack). The confusion aggravated by the Tai tradition of Khun Borom as claimed to be the ancestor of their race. We had argued instead that the Khun Borom legacy of Yunnan as well as the Siamese infiltration in Yunnan were in fact of Khmer legacy during the fall of Funan (Kambujadesa) by the Cham uprising. We had argued that after its formation, Angkor absorbed both Tai and Cham leadership under the same establishment of the Cakravatin Empire. At the hight of its might, Angkor had to face its own internal crises as well as a new influx of the Tai Cultural incursion from Yunnan. A Ho leadership of Mongoloid background took hold of both Yunnan and Dai-Viet under the historical identity of Kaeovamsa. After the fall of the northern Song Dynasty, Yunnan was virtually left under two of the local leaderships, the Tai rulers of Mean Ta Thok and the Kaeo kings of Mount Phrakan. During the Angkorian era, northern Siam countries were connected to the Khmer-Mon' s legacy of both Haripangjaya and Lawo. At the same time, evidences show that Angkor under the reign of Suryavarman I also extended its control through the Xiang-mai court deep into the Xiang-rai territory and beyond (The Sri Vijaya Connection: The Xiang-mai connection: The reign of King Cuang). During the Mongol's incursion, Mangrai joined the Tai Pact and became an ally of the Great Khan. Under Mangrai discretion, a faction of the Kaeo court who traced their ancestry to king Cuang of Xiang-mai and his Ho consort of the Kaeo court coming down to settle at Nan. As we shall see, the formation of Ayudhya brough the Tai culture down south to implant upon native people of the whole Siam Country (Notes: The northern Siam States). In support of their Tai' s root from Yunnan, the Kaeo leadership of Ayudhya enforced the Tai culture on the territory and people that were brought under their control. Since then, the Lao identity changed its original meaning as it was referring specifically to the people of Laos who were left out from the Ayudhyan control and the Siam identity was still reserved to the people of Xiang-mai. After the fall of the Mongols, Lanna continued on the Cinicization under the Tai legacy and became the strategic control of all northern Siam countries under the new Tai Pact (The Lanna State: The affairs with Dai-Viets: The diplomatic maneuvers with the Ho). On the other side, the left over of the Indianized Angkorian Empire tried to resuscitate back the past legacy of the Khmer Cakravatin Empire. This time the leadership was not from the last Angkorian court but from the fallen court of Pagan. After Sokhodaya broke free from the Tai Pact and joined in the alliance, the effort to revive back the Angkorian court started (Sokhodaya: The decline of Sokhodaya: The reign of Ladayaraja). While the resuscitation was under way, the formation of Ayudhya, as we shall see, tipped the balance in favor to the new established Tai Pact (Ayudhya: The expansion of Ayudhya: Ayudhya overran the Angkorian court). While Lanna continued to exert its control over the northern Siam countries, Ayudhya extended its control down south and in the process subdued and absorbed Sokhodaya into its control. Together they succeeded to undo the Khmer-mon alliance by splitting Ramanadesa from the new Angkorian court for good.
The free Dai-viet *
Dai-Viets had obviously been in contact with the Mongols through the Tai-yuan ledership more than any other Chinese southern provinces. Entrusted by the Chinese court of different dynasties, their armies stood guard the southern frontiers of China since the Han Dynasty. By the arrival of Kublai Khan, they were very much used to the Mongoloid policy and military strategy, so much so that after their relationship went sour they had no problem to withstand their attacks. Being left alone by the Song Dynasty, Dai-viet was looking for self-autonomy but would soon faced with strong resistance from the Mongols. Their restlessness prompted them once again to look for opportunity in the south and Champapura became their target. Unlike previous attempts when attacks were met with the Angkorian defense, this time Champapura was isolated and became prey for a take-over. Their drive was however met with serious setback induced by Kublai own personal drive. After taking over Champapura, evidences show that Kublai gave the Cham court full protection. At the same time, Kublai transformed Champa into becoming a strong military center to support the next campaign against Angkor. We had argued that Kublai had also used his Tai vassalage of Siamese states to bread through the southern barrier toward Angkor. Despite the elaborate preparation, his campaign however received limited success due to constant resistance of the locals under the leadership of the Three Shan Brothers and worst yet, the Tai pact started to show sign of cracking down. The conquest of Champapura was by all mean Kublai's last change to carry on the campaign against Angkor. Facing with the uncertainty in regard to the Yuan court, Dai-Viet had to use the best of their ability to manipulate the Cham court to stay out of the Mongol's target list. The Mongols 'decline moreover gave Dai-Viet not only a great relief, but a new opportunity to run over Champapura. By the time that the Yuan court had pulled itself out from Rajapati in 1303, evidences show that he also decided to scrape his Southeast Asian venture algogether. When that happended, Champa had to face head-on with Dai-viets who were well prepared to fill out the gap. As expected, Champapura succumbed to Dai-viet's taking over but managed to free itself again when the son of Jaya Simhavarman III with the Queen Bhakaradevi ascended the throne in 1307, at the age of twenty-three. At that moment, Champa had to rely on the long distance relationship either with Java and the Yuan court for protection. During the next phase of Dai-Viet intervention, there was not much information left by the Cham Court and scholars had to rely solely on Dai-Viet' s source to compile the next history of Champa. The annals of Vietnam called the new Cham King Che Chi and his reign marked the start of a new attempts to recover back lost territory to Dai-Viet. Rebellions in the old provinces north of the Col des nuages that had been ceeded to Dai-Viet obliged the Emperor Tran Ahn-tong to lead an expedition there in 1312. The expedition resulted in the capture of the Cham king to be brought as prisoner to Tonkin where he died in 1313. His brother was made a suzerain protector of Champa by the emperor of Dai-Viet in the same year and was protected by the emperor during the Siamese attack. In 1314, when the Emperor Tran Ahn-tong abdicated in favor of his son Tran Minh-Trong, the feudatory prince took the opportunity to free himself and conquer back the lost provinces of the north. He was defeated in 1318 and escape to take refuge in Java. In his place, Dai-Viet placed a military Chief called Che A-nan on the throne of Champa. This attempt to take control of the Cham court resulted in the elimination of the legitimate Cham royal house until the next advent of the formation of Nokor Kanta by a line of kings from Malayu (Nokor Champa: The Reestablishment of Champapura: The Formation of Nokor Kanta). The Cham ruler soon attempted to liberate himself and by relying on the Mongols he conducted a successful campaign against Dai-viet in 1326. During his reign, the Fransciscan priest Orderic of Pordenone visited the country. In his account of the visit, the priest stressed the procreation of two hundreds children by the king for he hatch many wives and concubines. He also noticed the Hindu ritual of Sharia law being applied at a grand scale at the Cham country.
When a man died in this country, they bury his wife with him, for they say that she should live with him in the other world also.
At the death of Che A-nan in 1342, his son-in-law called Tra-hoa Bo-de supplanted the legitimate heir Che Mo after a fight of ten years. However, his attempt to conquer Hue in 1353 failed.
The Impact on the Indianized states *
After the Yuan pulled itself out of Yunnan, their were still Ho army stationed at Mount Phrakan rendering services to the Ming court (The Lanna State: The affairs with the Ming Dynasty). Evidences also show that Mien or Shan Chinese aristocrats were moving into the indigenous communities of the south. They found themselves perfectly at home thank to the Tai legacy implanted by the Mongols in southern countries. They enjoyed their privilege with corrupted rulers who became addicted to their frivolous life-style, financed by war's revenue and the bride money of the new Chinese migrants. Behind the Tai legacy of Khun Borom, they infiltrated themselves into local politic and became regulars of the northern Siamese courts. Even though formed on the same Meru legacy, new Cinicized nations diverged from its Indianized counterparts through the adoption of more and more tartaric culture. New nations were formed around cities and towns often by the aristocratic migrants and people were needed to become part of the urban population. As the cities grew in size, the need for workforce to sustain the economy became critical. To make the matter worst, their fighting for supremacy required more recruits than ever for the central army. As human stocks were valuable, it became a habit of the winning party to collect human trophy as large as they could grab from the losing side. Needless to say, the rural Khmer-mon communities were the most effected since they were mostly on their rice field out of the city' s wall. Treated as war's prisoners, they suffered all kind of cruelty and mistreatment. Rape and separation of family members were common among other inflicted sufferings. In a bleak picture, the same people ended up wrested back and forth from one country to another depended upon which side was winning the battle. Those who were recruited in the army were forced to fight their own relatives of the enemy line. While guns and canons were replacing traditional weapons, war's casualty mounted and head-count of human trophy were less and less as many were killed and others tried to escape the ordeals, hid themselves in the forest. This human-resource's deficiency created opportunities for old and new Central Asians as well as new influx of Chinese immigrants to fill out the city lots. The influx of migrants from China, in particular, created a new environment which scholars called the start of the Cinicization era. Mostly of city dwelling background, their first task was to build their business through market place and to get themselves moving up in the high society through bribery and corruption. Following the Mongols success' s story, they emerged to become new leaders in propagating the western ways of life that was going to change the east for a complete reversal. Inspired by the Barbaric lifestyle, they acquired military marvel and started on fighting not only for their own autonomy, but also for supremacy. While bigger and bigger market places were formed to promote their commercial activities, they became later the residence of western style administrative office. Through this demographic and administration changes, the rest of the native people were left in the dark along with other isolated communities. Due to inaccessibility, they managed to maintain their feudatory systems but were left behind by the new administration that mostly concentrated on urban development. Needless to say, the natives that moved into the city or lived by the city's resources would be absorbed into the new societies and lost all their identities. Through many generations, the Khmer-mon people living outside of today's Cambodia lost all their identity to become citizens of their new nations. At the same time, city dwellers were creating their own identity and to justify their right over the native communities they brought it up into becoming the nation' s official name. As agressiveness was one of the important key factors of their successful drive, aggression was promoted as a way of life for the new Cinicized nations. Another key factor in their success was the application of scienve and technology in the development of the new nation. While the rest of the Indianized states were still holding on to its tantrum past, Ayudhya and Dai-viet were formed to benefit from the last of Tartarization. Through the Kaeo leadership, they were introduced to Central Asian way of conducting state affair that was offered by the free spirit of the steppe. It is not a secret that the success of the Mongolian conquest was due very much to the innovation of their military science as well as the development of their society through the progression of technology. The result is inevitable as the Westernized aggressively was also brought in along with its progression to challenge the Meru Culture. AS the Khmer cakravatin Empire started its decline, Southeast Asia began to disintegrate and became divided more than ever. Being itself reduced to a nation, Angkor had to join in the fight for its own survival.
- ISSA: The Indianized States of Southeast Asia, by G. Coedes
- RPNK: The Royal Pangsavadra of Nokor Khmer, by M. Tranet
- CKH: The Chonicle of Khmer heroes, by Sot Eng
- CMC: The Chiang Mai Chronicle, by David K. Wyatt and Aroonrut Wichienkeeo
- CNSD: The Christal Sands: the chronicles of Nagara Sri Dharmaraja, by David K. Wyatt
- NC:The Nan Chronicle, Translated by Prasoet Churatana, Edited by David K. Wyatt
- HL:History of Laos, Maha Sila Viravong, Translated by the U.S. Joint Publications research Service
- NCHAO: Histoire particuliere du Nan-CHAO, by Yang Chen, Translated by Camille Sainson
998-1048: The reign of Prah Bat Anga Jaya; 1048-1096: The reign of Prah Bat Pogna Suos; 1099-1163: The reign of Prah Bat Siri Vichakra; 1162-1217: The reign of Prah Lampang; 1217-1275: The reign of Prah Angka; 1261-1368: The Yuan Dynasty in control of china; 1275-?: The reign of Prah Suryavarna; 1291: Mangrai conquered Haripangjaya; 1295-1307: The reign of Srindravarman (at Angkor); 1296: Chou-Ta-Kuan visited Angkor; 1303: The Mongols pulled out from Rajapati (Pa-pa-sfu and Kin-tche); 1307-1327: The reign of Srindrajayavarman (at Angkor); 1327: The reign of Jayavarmadiparamesvara (at Angkor); 1340-1345: The reign of Prah Nipanapada (at Angkor); 1368-1644: The Ming Dynasty in control of china
- The move to take on the Angkorian court
Connecting to the Mongol' s exodus from Yunnan, we postulate that the Three Shan Brothers moved to take control of Rajapati and later the Angkorian throne. The dethroning of the usurper king Srindravarman in 1307 and the installment of the Ramanadesa Kings in the court of Angkor could also be related. On the other hand, new evidences from the Shan chronicle seam to indicate that it was king Ngam Muang of Piao who moved to take on the Angkorian court, with the support of the Chinese court. In either case this last legacy of the Pagan court.
- King Soongampha
The reference in the Pong Chronicle of King Soongampha might have been the same as king Gnam Muang of northern Siam chronicle. It is actually a title "Prah Sugnam" for the ruler of Muang Ngam, a locality of Rajapati. We had argued that KIoswa II or his son received this title from the Mongols as a member of the Tai Pact. He was a survivor of the Pagan court who was actually a descendant from the broken lineage of Anurudhha and Kyanzedtha of Ramanadesa. During the Mongol's dominance, evidences that he was in control of Pagan. Apprently with the arrangement of the Three Shan Brothers, Soongampha became the ruler of Rajapati and went on to become ruler of Angkor. The last time that we knew about him was when he extended his control over Vieng-tchan at the expense of Chao Kao Kuan (The Lanna State: The last legacy of Rajapati: The last of Rajapti).
- The Pong Kings
According to the Pong chronicle, Vanga appears to have no consistent rulers since 808 to 1315.
From the death of Sukampha, in the year 808, to the accession of Soognampha, in 1315, the name of ten kings only are given, whose reigns appear to have been unmarked by any event of importance (SHAN: CHAPTER II: Some Earlier Shans: Captain R.B. Pemberton has written: 11th).
It coincided with the early formation of Angkor by King Jayavarman II at 802, and the withdraw of the Mongols from Rajapati in 1303. We could attribute this elapse of Vanga's local history to the control of Rajapati and subsequently the control of Vanga by Angkor since its early formation. During Angkor's occupation, Vanga was ruled by a member of the Angkorian court, as a province of the Khmer Empire. Only in special circumstances that Vanga was ruled quasi-independently by its own court. Evidences also show that Phraya Pukha who was the last local ruler of Vanga was no other than Jayavarman VII' s guru named Mangalavarman who was annointed to be the governor of Rajapati through special accommodation from Angkor.
- The Conflict with Yunnan
About the year 1332, some disagreements originating in the misconduct of four pampered favorites of the Pong King, led to collision between the frontier villages of his territory, and those of Yunnan (SHAN: CHAPTER II: Some Earlier Shans: Captain R.B. Pemberton has written: 11th).
- The Lineage of the Sweet Cucunber King
The Khmer sources introduced the Cucumber king as a person that needed to have some adjustement in the interpretation to prevent further confusion. Since the chronicle of khmer heroes makes him as old as 350 years of age it is impossible that he could live that long. Clearly he was referred as a dynasty that started with the reign of Prah Bat Anga Jaya until King Nippern Bat taking over the Antgkorian throne in 1340.
- The Siam vs Tai Identity
As we recalled back, he Siam identity was originally connected with the color red of the soil, known in the past to the Chinese source as Chih-tou or the Red-earth Country. Under more Tartaric incursion, northern Siam communities were known to its Southern neighbors as Siam Gog, in reference to Siam' s people under Gog leadership. It is important to note that both the Siam and Tai identity were not racial classification by ethnicity but rather by native environment under new cultural development brought by the Tai leadership. Under the Angkorian Empire, evidences show that they were left to their own identity and that they were to remain mostly at the north until Angkor was breaking down (The Construction of Angkor Wat: Maha Nokor: The Siam Kute and Siam Kuk).
- Prah Ko and Prah Keo
The two brothers Prah Ko and Prah Keo were depicted in the Khmer epic story to represent the two legacies of the Khmer society. The eldest brother Prah Ko was born as a cow represents the Nanda legacy of the Hindu culture. As we had argued, kaudinya who came from Maghadha to form the Khmer empire was himself a member of the Nanda society. The younger brother Prah Keo was on the other hand representing Buddhism. Cared for and protected by Prah Ko, Prah Keo was then the target abduction by Siam.
- The Tai Movement Southward
Auguing about the Tai Movement Southward, Coedes proposed that the Tai Migration started gradually in the antiquity. Luce on the other hand, argued that it did not happend before the Mongols incursion. In his argument, Coedes mistakenly attributed the Tai Cultural interference in Southeast Asia as the effect of the Tai migration of Tai people from Central Asia. It was actually due to the settlement of Tai leadership among native people that happened since the long pass. On the other hand, Luce confused the Mien mass Migration, happening after the Mongols incursion, to be actually of Tai people.
- The Fall of Angkor under the Mongol Attack
Angkor's falling under the spell of the Mongols could be easily checked out during of its history. For one, Angkor ceased to function as a cakravatin empire after many of its vassal states turned into rivals. Under the aggression of its new formed neighboring states, Angkor's fate was very much set. The influx of Chinese merchants in the heart of angkor was just the start of a new era of Cinicization. Taking advantage of the collapse of the Angkorian control over the sea trade, Chinese communities started to build their own control along the sea route. Last and not least, the terrorized scheme of the bile collectors broke down the spiritual strength of Angkor that disables altogether the last creativity of Angkor.
- The Northern Siam States
Under these circumstances, the northern Siam states underwent identity crisis as the pre-Angkorian legacy of Khun Borom along with the Shan, Siam, and Lao identities became flurry to make way for the Tai migration theory. We shall argue that the new cultural diversion that set these northern Lawa communities apart from the southern Khmer-mon heritage was much more recent than claimed.