The Inscription of Ayudhya

Project: The Inscription of Ayudhya
Author: Lem Chuck Moth

Started date: August/01/2005
Last updated: August/01/2006
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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. Please kindly notify me of the discrepancies.

The inscription, found on the island of Ayudhya, is one among rare incriptions of the Menam valley. The first part is in Sanskrit and the second part is in Khmer. It is consistent with other Angkorian inscriptions of addressing administrative issues. Mentioned last in the inscription, Mangalavarman was an administrator of the Angkorian Empire. We shall identify him as no other that Jayavarman's Guru named Sri Jayamangaldeva, the governor of Rajapati. His legacy as ruler of the western state of Angkor extended Angkor's dependency over all the Shan country, Burma and Bengal. Erected during the reign of Mangalavarman who rule Lavo after Narapatisinhavarman, the incription provides the dynamic of sri Dharmaraja's past.
Historical Background
Known as Dvaravati, the Menam valley played important part to the next formation of the Angkorian Empire. However evidences show that its past connection with the Meru or Jin Culture started since the spread of the Jin tribesmen from the foothstep of Himalaya since the last half of thirdth millinium BC (Prehistory: The move toward the plain: The Moi forts and the Kajin migration). Known in Hindu folklores as the Khun-Lun people in Chinese texts, the Jins moved to occupy Southeast Asia and were subjected to the next Middle-eastern development that broke-up their societies ever since. The Naga tribesmen were on other hand the product of the interference of Sri Kambu, on the ground of both the Jin and the rest of the Southeast Asian tribesmen. The Tataric elements from Parthia (Daya desa) later moved in to top themeselves over the Southeast Asian communities, they were known as the elephant or to the extend the Giant race. Among them were rulers of the Western kambojas that took hold of the Siam country and changed its identity to Kamboja Desa. The identification of GajAnAgapura in the inscription was in fact in reference to Sri Kambu, the progenator of the elephant Naga race, known as Kambunaga in Khmer tradition. According to Buddhist folklore, they were driven out from Southeast Asia, known as the Nagadvipa, supposedly by Buddha Gautama himself. After the Mauryan powerhouse took control of Gangetic India by storm, evidences show that they also extended their invasion into Southeast Asia. The race of Giants thus came back to Southeast Asian in a big way, but fortunately for the natives, they were soon converted to Buddhism. From then on, both the Lion of the Sri Vijayan and the Elephant races of the Maurya, became members of the naga King of Southeast Asia.
The legacy of Bhagadatta
Bhagadatta was mentioned in the Mahabharata epic as the ruler of the easterm ParamaKamboja. In it original form, it was a title of Sri Kambu Lineage of Kings. In correlation with the Sumerian tradition of Gilgamesh, the Kambujas started their debut at Southeast Asia. In close relationship with the Meru Culture they were known as the Paramakambojas. Their journey back to Middle east changed the whole politic of the Western World. Along with his companion in life Enkidu, they formed the Western Kambojan nation and usurped the throne of Egypt. They were known as the Gog and their presence in Southeast Asia brough the Gog (Tai) legacy to be implanted in both the northern Lawa and the Muang tribesmen of Yunnan to be known respectively as the Siam Kuk (Siam Gog) and the Annam Kuk (Annam Gog). It is important to note that the Gog (Tai) legacy of the western kambojan legacy was not restricted to these two northern regions of Yunnan, but was widespread around Southeast Asia as a whole. Perhaps due to Buddha Gaumtama's campaign, they were driven out to Yunnan (Giridvipa). According to the Hindu folklore, the Bhagadatta legacy ended after he was killed in the battle by Arjuna. As indicated in the inscription, the Bhagadatta' s legacy came back to the Menam valley along the formation of Nokor Khmer by Kaundinya. It correlates to the Chinese account of Kaundinya' s staying at Pan Pan which we had identified as Lavo. The story of Bhagadatta's exilation was on the other hand in correlation with the Khmer legend of Phrah Thong being exiled by king Adityavamsa whom we had identified as no other than Chamdragupta II of Magadha. The Inscription of Vo-Cang, on the other hand, gave additional information during the rulership at Southeast Asia of both Chandragupta II and his son Kaundinya, then starting to build the Khmer Kingdom at Prey-Nokor.
The inscription was thouroughly studied by George Coedes and to our overall impression, we agree with most of his original work. Two problems however are found in the reading of the text. The first is about the name of "CAnAgapura" in line 6 that was an attribution to the place "CAnAga" of the Menam Vally. Also on line 12, the title "Sri CAnAgadhipati" of Sri Narapatisimhavarman. The mistakes are due to the ommission of the letter "cha" inscribed underneath the letter "ca" as a short form of "CachA". Another minor mistake was the reading of letter "ga" as "ca". We propose to change the word "CAnAca", otherwise unindentified, to "GachAnAga" that is a reference to "GajAnAga", the elephant race of the naga classification. Here is our version of the text reading from line 5 to line 13 of the inscription:
5) bhUbhujo bhUrayu bhUvan bhUtabhUtivibhuanAh 6) bhUbhujo bhagadattAdyAc CachAnAgapura bhUbhujah 7) tadanvaya yrddhakalac Cri sundaraparakramah 8) kulam uddyotayann Asid gaganan candra mA iva 9) virAnAm adhikac caktyA tasrAgratanayo bhavat 11) cri madvapur saya sutac cri narapatisimhavarmamasammjno yab 12) cri cachAnAgadhipatic cri patir iva vikramenAsit 13) tasya mangalavarmmAkhyo yonujo dhikadhibrtih
Contrary to Coedes 's version of listing each ruler as a direct descendent of each other, we propose to list them as unrelated historical figures spanning from the ancient Naga reahm of Bhagadatta to Sri Jayamangalvarman of the thirteenth century. Here is our version of the translation from the same excerpt of the inscription:
In the Bhuja (naga) world, the first king of Gachanagapura was Sri Bhuja Bhagadatta. Then was Sri Sundarapakrama who brought prosperity to the Kula family of Chandra, with the battle name (Yudharanama) as Sri Sundaryvarman Kantanya Udaya and the hero name (Varanama) as "athik saktaya" (The great saktaya), son of Sri Madvapura. His decendant was Sri Narapatisimhavarman who was the ruler of Gachanagpura (Sri Gachanagadhibti) and Sri Pati Vikramanasita. Then was Mangalavarman ...
Connecting to the Angkrian legacies, two titles are to be noticed. The first one is Narapatisimhavarman which is well known as the Angkorian title of the governor of Lavo. Both Narapatisimhavarman and Sri Pati Vikramanasita could then be identified as court members of Suryavarman I. The next one "Magalavarman" could also be related to the title "Sri Jayamangaldeva" of Jayavaman VII's guru, a governor of Rajapati. During Jayavarman VII, Rajapati was then a reference to the whole Siam country. Unlike other governors of Lavo who were in fact tied to the Angkorian lineage and eventually became Angkor's monarch, Narapatisimhavarman and Sri Jayamangaldeva were two prominent members of the Angkorian court who ruled Lavo in special circumstances. Evidences show that Lavo was then ruled quasi-independently from Angkor. The second problem is about dating the inscription in saka 859 (937 AD) that was drawn from line 15. The reference of Sri Magalavarman to "Sri Jayamangaldeva" of Jayavarman VII's guru invalidates the erection of the inscription in 937 AD that is more likely a reference to a prior event. The real date of the inscription is perhaps left undeciphized due to the unreadability of the last portion of the inscription.

The following sources provide basic historical facts of this paragraph.
  1. JSS: JSS: Une nouvelle d'inscription d'Ayuthya, by G. Coedes
  2. ISSA: The Indianized States of Southeast Asia, by G. Coedes