Project: Nokor Khmer
Author: Lem Chuck Moth
Started date: June/01/2003
Last updated: November/30/2016
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.
In regard to the Han's exploit, the decline of the Kambojan Empire and the shift of its epicenter to the South left the mainland as the breeding ground of the Cham aristocrats. With the support of the Han court, the Cham king Ajiraja expanded his control over the mainland of Indochina at the expense of the Kamboja Empire. During the set back, the immediate descendants of King Hun tien stayed in background and left the control of Funan to a local general who ruled the Empire under the name of Sri mate Sri Man Dhamaraja. According to Chinese texts, Sri Man soon launched his own campaign to consolidate back the legacy of the Hiong-Wang Empire. His death however ended the campaign and Funan returned back to the anarchy as two factions of his court emerged to fight for the throne of Funan. Taking the opportunity, Kiao-Tche requested the Han's support and made its move toward the south. Just as the native court of Prey-Nokor was about to succumb, circumstances changed. The arrival of the exiled prince Kaundinya from Magadha at the beginning of the fourth Century, brought a new vigor to the Kamara world. At the start, he found supports from the people allowing him to establish his exile court at Lavo (Pan-Pan in Chinese texts). After the fight with the Cham king broke out, Kaundinya moved his court to Prey-Nokor where he erected his very first inscription at Vo-Canh. During this early formation of Nokor Khmer, evidences show that Kaundinya managed to stay in good term with the former Kamboj court of Funan. The alliance was however not strong enough for the Kamboj King to side with him during the next showdown with China. Tied with past obligation with the queen of the west, the Mahidhara court became now the target of emerging Chinese powerhouse. That left Kaundinya and his Prey-Nokor court at the mercy of Kiao-Tche. Backed by the Tsi court, the new governor of Kiao-Tche conducted expeditions against Prey-Nokor that left the Khmer Kingdom in shamble after the attacks (Prey-Nokor: The Thong Dynasty: Yang Mah II).
The Alliance Between the Khmer and the Kambojan Court
During the attack by Tan-Ho-Chih, the new Khmer Kingdom suffered severe destruction (Prey-Nokor: The cradle of Nokor Khmer: The tale of the two cities). After the assault, Kaundinya (Yang Mah) went back to restore Prey-Nokor but it is clear that his court could no longer stand on its own feet to face new Chinese attacks. It might be the reason why he later moved the capital of the Khmer Kingdom to Ba-Phnom (Prey-Nokor: The cradle of Nokor Khmer: The Kun-Lun Kingdom). However, a new series of events unexpectedly happened and contributed to the next development of Nokor Khmer. The decline of the Gupta Empire, for instance, would enforce the Kaundinya court with more brain-powers as evidences show that imminent Indian scholars and other members of the Gupta court came to join the Khmer court at Prey-Nokor. They brought along new disciplines, one of which was Hinayana Buddhism to be implanted in the new Kingdom. With all these new re-enforcement, Kaundinya was able to rebuild Prey-Nokor quickly that paved the way to the growing of Nokor Khmer. A new era had been started as Kaundinya 's audacity brought the Indian Culture to the Kamara world of Kambojadesa. These Indian legacies were noticeable at first but soon faded away in blending themselves into local ingenuity to form a new wave of the Khmer Culture. It was a new development that was going to shape up once again the history of Southeast Asia. Since it was started at Prey-Nokor at the heart of Nokor Khmer, we shall call it the Khmerization.
THE KHMERIZATION OF KAMBUJA
Kaundinya's effort to rise the Khmer Empire might never been completed without two other critical events. Traditionally seen as the catalyst of the expansion of the Khmer Kingdom, the marriage between Prah Thong and the daughter of the Kambojnaga King was followed by the drying of Cambodia through the latter' s majestic intervention. Because of their historical importance, it is expected that the two events were widely remembered in the Khmer tradition. Both events were well accounted in oral accounts, but inscriptions witnessed the first event more or less in connection to next formation of the Khmer royal house. Two inscriptions, in particular, one found at Mi-Son (Champapura) of Prey-Nokor and another found at the temple of Backsei-Cham-Krong at the heart of Angkor, commemorated the legendary wedding as the preceptor of two new generations of Southeast Asian dynasties.
The Wedding of Prah Thong and the Nagi Princess
According to the Khmer tradition, the marriage between Prah Thong and the Nagi princess had played important role in the early formation of the Khmer Empire. It started with a sweet encounter happening at the island of the Tloak tree (RPNK: The Nagi Kumari).
One day, Prah Thong with all his personal bodyguards (mahatalik) rode his horse across the sand dune to amuse himself at the island of Kauk-Tloak. Late in the afternoon the high tide prevented him to go back and decided to stay at the island. Late at night, the teenage (kumari) Nagi who was the daughter of the Naga King, transforming herself into a nymph along with her entourage, came to play on the sand dune.
The fact that the Nagi Princess came without a big escort to amuse herself at the island at night indicates that the island was safe and was not far from her domain (Notes: Angkorpuri). There, she met Prah Thong who was stacked at the middle of the island by the high tide. Theirs encounter soon led to a romantic courtship that ended with a marriage proposal.
Prah Thong, on seeing the teenage Nagi so beautiful, was immediately falling in love. He then tried to engage her in a courtship. As he tried to seduce her she suggested him to meet with her parents in the next 7 days to ask for her hand.
After all have been agreed upon, they went back to their places and proceeded to carry on theirs plan.
The Nagi, with all her entourage, returned back to her kingdom. At the low tide, Prah Thong rode back along with all his entourage. At the 7th day, after preparing all his tribute, he put on his royal dress and rode his horse along with his personal entourage to the island of Kauk-Tloak.
On her side, the Nagi princess also informed her father about her promise with Prah Thong.
The teenage Nagi princess, the daughter of the Naga King, arriving at the Naga Kingdom, informed her parents of her encounter. They happily consented to the proposition. At the 7th day, the Naga King made his way to the island of Kauk-Tloak along with his queen, the royal family, and all his entourage. The Naga King, after a cordial meeting, proceeded to hand his daughter to Prah Thong.
The rest of the story is about the marriage arrangement, which according to the khmer tradition was taking place right at the island. The Naga King then built palaces right at the place that the two met and the marriage was conducted under the merry sound of music on the island of Kauk-Tloak. The wedding ended with the Nagi Princess leading her groom back to the naga ream under water. Prah Thong who was just a human being had to hold on tight to her scarf for not being lost and drown along the watery way. The Khmer traditional wedding ceremony recreates the event by having the groom following his bride to her room, holding on to the end of her scarf, the same way that the Nagi led her prince to the realm of the Naga Kingdom. After the wedding, it is clear that the Kambojan king was to prepare the country for his son-in-law. At first, he built a kingdom out of the submerged land surrounding the island of Kauk-Tloak and handed it over to the new couple. As mentioned in the next paragraph, the Naga King proceeded to build a palace right at the island of Kauk-Tloak. He started by draining the region and built facilities for the wedding's ceremony.
He (the Naga King) then proceeded to empty the sea and create a kingdom (nokor) with palaces of 3 seasons, for the new couple. He then proceeded the wedding under the merry sound of drum, pipa, and gongs.
Trace of water works had been found around Angkorpuri where tradition strongly attributes to the settlement of the new royal couple. Etymologically, Angkorpuri that is the short form of Anga-Nokora-puri (Anga-Nagara-puri) means the city of Anga kingdom. In later inscriptions, Angkorpuri was often referred as Vyadharapura that we shall identify as Pyuksettra (Notes: Angkorpuri as Pyuksettra). This transition of the leadership from the original Naga king Bhagadatta to Piao-Sui-Ti reflected the beginning of Sakan incursion that was going to get worst after the fall of the Hiong-Wang kingdom. At this moment in time, evidences show that the Guptas already had made their intrusion in the politic of Deccan and extended their control over the Funan empire (The Indianization: The Rise of the Gupta: The Vakataka's Connection).
The Birth of the Khmer Empire
During the time that the Leang (502-556) ruled China, Chinese texts started to mention about Rajapuri of Deccan that was ruled by the Kaundinya 's family. From the Vishnu Purana, we know about the marriage of the daughter of Chandragupta II named Prabhavatigupta to the contemporary Vakataka's rule, Rudrasena II (AInd: The Deccan up to the Rise of the Rashtrakuta: Rudrasena: P.271). Rudravarman II continued to reign for only five more years and when he died, his children were still very young. The queen Prabhavatigupta had to rule the Vakataka court as regent for her minor sons. Her eldest son Divakara died before ascending the throne, which was successively occupied by his younger brothers Damodrasena and Pravareasena II. We have the reason to believe that one of them was the father-in-law of Prah Thong. Inscriptions commemorated the marriage of Jayvarman Kaundinya to the nagi princess Kolabrabhavati as the start of a new lineage of Southeast Asian rulers who were going to be the founders of the Angkorian Empire. It might or might not be as romantic as the Khmer legend portrays it to be, the marriage was proved to be politically motivated since it allowed both the Khmer and Vakataka courts to combine theirs military strength to face the unwanted Chinese incursion. It came at the critical moment that the Khmer court needed all the help to face Chinese direct attacks (Notes: The Romantic Aspect of the Legend of Prah Thong). After the wedding, Prah Thong was crowned to be the sole sovereign of the Great Kamboja Empire, which included now the Khmer Kingdom of Prey-Nokor.
And Prah Thong resumed his kingship under the name of Prah Bat Devavamsa the Mighty, having nang Nagi as his queen. He named his kingdom the great Kamboja kingdom (Nokor Krong Kamboja Thibti) having naga as well as human officials to serve him. (RPNK: The Nagi Kumari)
It is interesting to note that "Kamboja" was still retained as official name for his kingdom and that his court was composed of both Kambu naga as well as human officials. It indicates how the Naga and human consortium had been formed during the formation of the Khmer Empire through the Khmerization of Kambujadesa (Funan in Chinese). After the Khmerization, Sri Dharmaraja lost it naga's legacy and became politically part of the Khmer establishment of Lavo. It explains why there are no more mentioning of the naga King Bhagadatta in the inscription of Ayudhya during its next development (The Inscription of Ayudhya: The legacy of Bhagadatta). On the other hand, archeology at the site of Pang Tuk reveals the transition from the late Gandharian influence that was thought to have brought by western merchants to another layer of Indian influence (Siam Society Vol 21, The excavations at Pong Tuk and their importance for the ancient history of Siam, by G. Coedes). Artifacts that were found in this layer presented common feature of Indian origin from the Gupta court in its early Amravati root. At the same time, many unearthed Buddha's images from the same region witnesses the transformation of the Menam Valley as the seat of Hinayana Buddhism.
No ones of the statues found in Siam territory was dated but some indices and certain features allow us to attribute to them an anterior date, close to those of their Indian prototypes. (IDCL: Le Royaume de Dvaravati: P.2)
They were in fact legacies of the settlement of the first Kaundinya in the region right after his arrival from India. Nevertheless, other vestiges that were found around Lavo, event though still showed Indian origin, already presented Khmer feature that attest the settlement of Jayavarman Kaundinya court at the upper Menam Valley.
The most ancient monuments of Labapuri were not dated beyond the Khmer era. At the mean time, we found at the same city (at Vat Mahadhat) or around the area (Vat Khoy), standing images of Buddha that had no characteristic of Khmer statues, and appeared to be of an anterior art. One of them has an inscription Sanskrit in character analogue to the more ancient Cambodian character (Inscr. No. XVIII). It is surely Mon, and of Mon archaic, that was engraved on a pillar octagonal of cubic top decorated from Labapuri (No XVIII). (IDCL: The Kingdom of Dvaravati)
The findings contradict head-on with the early claim of Mon's ethnic origin at the Menam Valley prior to the arrival of the Khmers from India. It proved instead that the people of the Menam Valleys were in fact the same Kamara (Kun-Lun) people who were residents of Sri Dharmaraja since at least the fall of the Hiong-Wang kingdom. The misconception was due in part to the finding of many small inscriptions around Lavo, in a language that scholars mis-identified as Mon (Notes: Mon vs the Kun-Lun Language). As a result, other legacies of Sri Dharmaraja including the Theravada Buddhism were also though as of Mon origin. Despite the fact that Mon tradition located the origin of their identity at Tathon and not at the Menam Valley, scholars still located Dvaravati as the Mon birthplace.
The Drying of Kambodia
Another event that had a strong historical impact on the formation of the Khmer Empire was the drying of the mainland Indochina following the marriage of Prah Thong and the Nagi princess. Among the causes that might be counted as the manifestation of the Naga King, the Krakatoa's eruption was on top of the list. It is well known that Krakatoa was the site of strong volcanic activities very much active since the antiquity of time.
Due to its strong impact on humanity, Krakatoa induced many scholars to spend time studying both its eruption and its environmental effect on a global scale of catastrophic phenomenon (Cata: The Big Bang). The first account about the eruption could be found in the Indonesian book of kings. According to the record, the eruption occurred in the early part of the fifth century and created great disasters as well as completely changed the landscape of the region.
The whole world was greatly shaken and violent thunder accompanied by heavy rain and storms took place, but not only this heavy rain extinguishes the eruption of the fire of the mountain but augmented the fire. The noise was fearful, at last the mountain with a tremendous roar burst into pieces and sank into the deep of the earth. The water of the sea rose and inundated the country to the east of the mountain Batuwara, to the mountain Basa, was inundated by the sea; the inhabitants of the northern the Sunda country to the mountain Raja Basa were drowned and swept away with all property.
According to the same book, the eruption occurred in 416, however Scientific method used by a group of scholars dates its effect far later in 536 that set the time-frame of its disastrous post-effect of global changes. The Burmese tradition had a short account reporting that this last event happened during the late reign of king Mokhakaman.
When Mokhkaman was about to die, a shower of gravel fell. (The Glass Palace Chronicle, Translated by Pe Maung Tin and G. h. Luce)
Since the shower of gravel is only happening during the eruption of a volcano due to the falling of the Volcano's ashes, we are certain that the event was actually due to the last explosion of Krakatoa. According to the text, it happened during the last half of the fifth century that agrees with the khmer tradition about the drying of Cambodia after the wedding of Prah Thong that happened after the reign of Jayavarman Kaundinya in 485. Based on its immediate impact on the landscape of Southeast Asia, there could be other explosions after its first eruption that was recorded in the book of kings. Despite the difference in dating the eruption or eruptions, all sources agree on its tremendous effect in both local and worldwide impact. Politically and economically, we shall see that its effect was specifically crucial to the next shaping events during the formation of Nokor Khmer. The eruption that could be felt far away in the mainland to the Chinese continent obviously created geographical impacts affecting the political and economical changes of the region. First, the elevation of the Southeast Asian tectonic plate which resulted in the drying of Cambodia, provided the Khmer Empire more territory to colonize. Not long ago, Chinese sources stressed out that the Kun-Lun Kingdom was basically formed as confederation of a group of islands (Prey-Nokor: The cradle of Nokor Khmer: The Kun-Lun Kingdom). It was constantly mentioning in Chinese texts of a bay located at the southern part of Cambodia today that constituted the ream of both the Funan and later the Khmer Empire. The history of the southern Tsi (479-501), indicates clearly that during the reign of Jayavarman Kaundinya, Funan or Kamboja was still located in a bay.
The kingdom of Funan is at the south of Je-Nan and is located in a bay west of the grand (China) sea.
The statement agrees with other Chinese records that Funan and later the Kun-Lun (Khmer) Kingdom was formed on a group of islands (Prey-Nokor: The Cradle of Nokor Khmer: The Kun-Lun Kingdom). When I-Tsing visited the same place less than two centuries later, he mentioned in his record that Ba-Phnom (Poh-nan) was not an island anymore.
This region (Poh-nan) is the south corner of Gambudvipa (Kambudvipa?), and is not one of the islands of the sea. (RBR: A Record of Buddhist Practices: Introduction: P. 13)
Ba-Phnom was identified to be the capital of Funan and was part of a group of islands that form Funan when it was submerged. I-Tsing's comment confirms the drying of Funan (Cambodia) that, according to the Khmer tradition, was done through the divine manifestation of the Naga King. Superstitious as it may be, the topological change of this magnitude could not be the work of a human being. It was in high probability the eruption of Krakatoa, the volcano of the southern Indonesia archipelago that carried on the work of Naga King (Notes: The Drying of Cambodia). More study might confirm that it was the elevation of Southeast Asian portion of the Euro-Asian tectonic plate that caused the drying of the southern part of Indochinese lowland.
THE IMPACT OF KRAKATOA
Concrete proof of the eruption of Krakator has yet to be established but indication retrieved from past records already point to the same conclusion. Many accounts not only witness its eruption, but also comment on its strong impact on the political landscape of Southeast Asia that stayed until today. The only discrepancy between them was the exact time of the eruption that could be also not a single event but a series of prolonged eruptions. Scholars are working to link the post effect of the Krakatoa's eruption to the long lasting impact on European societies. The eruption was believed to create the prolonged Dark Age that plagued Europe for a long time.
The Sea Trade Route
In a twist of fate, Southeast Asian tradition did not have any recollection of the same plague as in Europe. Most impacts were seen through the geographic change of the region as more habitable land allowed the Kun-Lun people to move down from the high grounds to the valleys and carried on theirs agriculturist life-style. Nevertheless, the politic and economic impacts on the Funan Empire were seen no less prominent to the court of the Kambunaga king. The elevation of Southeast Asian tectonic plate created obstacles for the sea route along the coastal line of the mainland and impacted its economy. Before the eruption, the Isthmus of Kra must be a lot smaller or even completely submerged that could facilitate the northern sea route to pass through without major problems. Along with the rest of the Malay Archipelago, the isthmus became the size of today which created serious obstacle to the transport of merchandise through the northern seacoast. Many seaports in the past ceased to retain its activity of the past as the new sea route totally made a detour out of its vicinity. Local tradition claims that Lavo was actually one of the seaport of the past, but no proof of its activity was so far found to confirm the claim. On the other hand, archeology confirms that Oc-Eo was an important seaport of Funan and according to Chinese source, stayed active at least until the visit of Kang Thai and You Chin some time between 245-250 AD (Kamboja Desa: The Sea Route's plan: The Ancient Port Oc Eo). The eruption of Krakatora however established a new route at the south that proved to be a good catalyst for the future of Southeast Asia Sea trading. From the collapse of the land, Krakatoa created the strait of Malaka that enabled ships to pass through and created the southern sea route to bypass altogether the northern coastal line of the mainland Indochina. Now ships from the West could pass through the strait in direct destination to China. The Kamboja kings who already mastered the South Chinese Sea-trade would not let that opportunity to pass by, and they had all the means to succeed in their venture. This time around, he would concentrate on the latest commercial development taken place after the eruption. The move allowed them to take full advantage of the new southern sea route that led to the revival of the Sri Vijaya Empire, later in the history of Southeast Asia. Moving his court further south to the Malay Archipelago, the Naga King left the mainland to his son-in-law to expand his Kingdom. The history of the Leang (502-556) provides the first description of I-tsing that stress out the legacy of the Funan culture.
The country of Kan-to-li was located on an island of the south sea. Its tradition and culture were the same as at Funan. Its produce cloths of multiple colors, cotton, betel nuts with excellent quality and better than other countries. Under the reign of emperor Hia-Wou (454-454) of the first Song Dynasty, the king of this country Che-Po-ro-na-lien-to (Sri varanarendra) sent a high functionary named Tchou-Liou-ta (Tchou Rudra) to hand high value tributes in gold and silver. (JA 1919:Le Kun-Lun et les anciennes navigations, Gabriel Ferrand)
The Chinese word "Kan-to-li" is the transcription of "Ganthari" that was also a reference to Ganthara. A legacy of the western Kambojan State, located at Afganisthan of today, Ganthara might have been implanted in the Malay Archipelago since the early arrival of king Hun-Tien or to the most extend, of the early arrival of the western Kambojan aristocracy in the region. However, proofs of its active role in the development of the southern sea trade were only found in the Leang court's records in later time. By then, evidences show that Ganthari had already been moved to the Kedah mountain of the Malay Archipelago that extended itself to the island of Sumatra during the high of the sea-trading of the southern sea. Hoping for a lucrative sea trade, the king initiated the diplomacy with China and as their ancestors had done before, it started with tributes.
In the first year tien-kieu of the Leang dynasty (502), the eight of the fourth moon, the king Kiu-Tan-Sious-pa-ta-la dreamed that a monk says to him " The reigning king of China is a saint and in ten years Buddhism will be expanded in his kingdom. Sent him embassy, offer him tributes, and the prosperity would bloom in your kingdom where foreign merchants would affluent in all part. If you don't agree, you would be sorry. As time passed, the king died and his son Pi-Yr-Pa-mo (Vijayavarman) succeeded him. In 519, the latter sent a high functionary named Pi-Yuan-Pa-mo remitting the conceived letter. In 520, the same king sent a new embassy remitting as tribute, products of the country.
The use of the word "Pa-mo" or "varman" in the court of Ganthari in this late stage was not a surprise since after the fall of Hiong-Wang kingdom, many members of the fallen Tchou court were present in the court of Funan. Judging from an inscription that was found at Kotei and score of other vestiges, Borneo could be the Ganthari Island as mentioned in the Chinese text. The inscription (History of Indonesia: The inscriptions, B. R. Chatterji) commemorates king Mulavarman, apparently reigning at Kotei. His ancestor Kandanga (Kanda-anga), the Anga King of Kanda, as we shall see, was no other than the Naga King, father-in-law of Kaundinya Jayavarman.
Langkasuka as the Seat of Sri Dharmaraja
The history of the Liang (502-56) dates the existence of Lang-ya-hsiu more than 400 years ago, right before the time of Kang-Tai and Chu-Ying visiting Funan. The dating would set the existence (or a new formation) of Lang-ya-hsiu around the Christian era, during the reign of King Hun tien or one of his sons. According to Chinese source, it was bordered at the north by Pan-Pan that was a city founded and named by a successor of King Hun Tien named Pan-Pan. At first scholars identified Pan-Pn as an island of the south and subsequently located Lang-ya-hsiu even farther south than Pan-Pan. In a similar situation, we have seen that they made the same mistake when identifying the Kun-Lun kingdom due to the lost of their insight of the geographical change by the impact of Krakatoa (Prey-Nokor:The Birth of the Khmer Empire: The Kun-Lun Kingdom). Langkasuka was mentioned in the Dvipavamsa as Langka where Buddha had made several trips to establish his religion. It became a strong Buddhist Center of Southeast Asia after Ashoka's family members moved in to expand the Buddhist religion. On the other hand, Hiuan-Tsang noticed no trace of Buddhist practice was noticed at the Malay Peninsular when he made his trip to Southeast Asia in the fifth centiry. To him, the legacy of Langkasuka as an important Buddhist cultural center was not located at the Malay Archipelago where only Hindu Brahmans were found. At the same time, unearthed vestiges prove that the Buddhist tradition of Southeast Asia took a boost at the Menam Valley after the arrival of Kaundinya. Buddha's images of Gupta style were founded at Kedah and dated to be around the 4th to 5th century that prove the existence of Hinayana Buddhism of the Gupta origin. Scholars identified Langkasuka of the Malay and Javanese Chronicles that survives in modern time, as the name of a tributary to an upper-reach of the Perak River. It must to be situated astride the peninsula and have had access to both the Gulf of Siam in the Pattani region and the Bay of Bengal, north of Kedah (ISSA: The First Indian Kingdom: P.39). Our evidences show that Sri Dharmaraja was not only restricted to Ligor, but also covered-up a big part of the southern Menam Valley also. The Chinese text mentioned about a ruler of Lang-ya-hsiu (Langkasuka) with a name of Chinese transcription of "Bhagadatta" sending an embassy to the Chinese court around 515. By naming analogy, he was related to the ruler of the Gucha Nagapura with the title of Bhagadatta mentioned in the inscription of Ayudhya. As the inscription was found at the ancient city of Ayudhya, Gucha Nagapura was undoubtedly the capital of Kamboja and was the precursor of Ayudhya. This legacy of Bhagadatta dated long before the formation of the Funan Empire and extended deeper in the past before the Christian era. From these legacies, we are confident enough to identify Langkasuka (Lang-ya-hsiu in Chinese) as Sri Dharmaraja and that Pan-Pan was no other that Lavo. It became known later that Sri Dharmaraja became a cultural relay of Buddhism from North India to Ceylon. The legacy of Langkasuka at the Menam Valley however, was seen next moving south after the eruption of Krakatoa. Due to the dynamic of the sea trade, the Kambunaga King relocated his capital to further South to take full advantage of sea route through the opening of the strait of Malaka. After the setback during the fall of the Kushan Empire, the sea trade between the West and the East was once again in full bloom. This was because under the control of the Huns, the trade between China and the West through the silk route was never been safe and all transport was now virtually conducted through the sea route. Evidences show that Kedah as well as Sumatra became now two major commanding posts of the Sri Vijaya and that the whole of Kambojadesa was left to Kaundinya. As mentioned in Khmer tradition, naga and human court officials served in the Kaundinya court. By the late fourth century, traces of Hinayana Buddhism already attest the transition from the Naga Tradition into the substantially Buddhist Khmer-Mon Culture. Nevertheless, evidences show that Sri Dharmaraja still retained its strong Naga legacies that stayed through the formation of the Angkorean empire (The Construction of Angkor-Wat: The Dependency of Rajapati: The Siam Kut and the Siam Kuk). In the economic arena, the consortium between the two courts allowed the Khmer Kingdom to position itself as the next powerhouse of Southeast Asia. In addition to the availability of new dried lands, Prey-Nokor that was the birth place of the Khmer Kingdom became later an important seaport that served as midway-relay for their long journey from the strait of Malaka to the southern coastal shore of China (). Looking to control the sea trade route, we shall see that the Angkorean court would set Prey-Nokor as one of its important cardinal state.
The Proto Khmer-Mon Societies
Unlike his predecessors who left many inscriptions commemorating their control over Prey-Nokor, Kaundinya left no inscriptions of his own at Angkorpuri. This was due perhaps to the fact that he would soon have to move his court to Lavo. If there were no records in Chinese sources, we would not know that he was eventually ascending the Funan or the Kambojan throne under the crown title of Jayavarman Kaundinya. From the inscription of Mi-Son (BEFEO: Notes d'epigrahie: Les inscriptions de Mi-Son, By M. L. Finot), we know that Asvatthaman whom we shall identified as no other than the father-in-law of Kaundinya gave him the lance to mark his territory.
[It was there at Bhavabura that Kaundinya, the Bhrahmanic bull, [received] the lance given to him by the imminent Brahman Asvattaman, son of Drona.
As we recalled back, Lavo (Pan Pan in Chinese source) was a major city or the capital of the Kambojan Empire since the reign of Shrestavarman. Chinese source also confirms that the first Kaundinya settled his court at Pan-Pan, perhaps as a vassal of Funan. The vestiges that he left behind in the viscinity of the Menam Valley were what scholars mistakenly referred as of Mon ethnic origin. Noticeably Indian, the vestiges were proofs of the early Indianization of the Mainland Indochina by Kaundinya. After warding off the Cham King of Champasaka, he moved his court to Prey-Nokor. Nevertheless, the renewed consortium with the Funan court and the drying of the mainland Indochina created a fresh opportunity for the Khmer kingdom to expand its frontier. After the marriage with the Nagi princess, Kaundinya had to settle his court at Lavo and to consolidate the Kambojan Kingdom that had been received as wedding present from the Naga King. A close analysis convinces us that the availability of more fertile land did not excite the Kambunaga king. Of Sakan origin, his main preoccupation was the sea-trade and as we had seen, the opening of the Malaka strait was that exciting him more. At the contrary, Kaundinya who was a member of the Nanda dynasty would take the opportunity to expand the Khmer Empire on the ground of the agriculturist Kun-Lun people. Many vestiges unearthed found at the region conveys Indian features that scholars mistakenly attributed as Mon's. Small inscriptions of Buddhist themes that were found widespread around Lavo attest the practices of Hinayana Buddhism of the region. A close comparison shows the similarity in style and in scripture with many inscriptions unearthed at Angkorborey that conveys a close cultural relationship between the two regions. Conforming to the Chinese sources that Kaundinya brought with him Indian legacies to Funan, we shall see some other cultural changes to the local naga tradition as well. The wedding ceremony was clearly more elaborate than the custom of the natives, especially the Austroasiatic custom of the Lawa tribes.
For marriage, first of all a propitious hour is chosen. The five days after the appointed date are spent in rejoicing and drinking. On the sixth day, the father places the hand of the daughter in that of his son-in-law and on the seventh day the marriage is consummated. When the nuptials are completed, all take their leave and the newlyweds go to live by themselves- unless the husband's father is still alive, in which case they go to live with him.
The last mentioning of the newlyweds living with the husband's father reflects the influence of the Cham or the Chinese patrimonial custom. The funeral, on the other hand, was all derived from Hindu rituals of cremation.
Those who lost their father, their mother, or their brothers shave their heads and wear white clothing. They build a bamboo hut over the water, fill it with small sticks, and place the corpse in it. Streamers are put up, incense is burned, conches are blown, and drums beaten while the pyre is set on fire and the flames consume it. At the end everything disappears into the water. This ceremony never varies. Nothing distinguishes the funeral of a high official from that of a common man. Only for the king is care taken to perform the cremation in such a way as to collect the ashes, which are placed in golden urn and deposited in funeral monuments.
The burning of corpse on the Pyre was typical of Hindu Culture and was practiced perhaps by family's members of Brahmans. For the king, the funeral ceremony included the storing of the urn containing the ashes from the cremation in a funeral monument (Cediya) following the Buddhist tradition. The combination of both Hindu and Buddhist tradition is of course quite common with the custom of Mahayana Buddhism. Unlike in previous Kambojan era when Chinese texts mentioned about many forms of funeral ceremony were performed, only cremation was reported during the next Chenla era. If the report is accurate, it indicates the time that cremation became the only funeral ceremony of choice for the Khmer tradition. This conformance to the Buddhist practice of cremation was among other Khmer customs that were implanted by Kaundinya in the Menam Valley.
THE DEPENDANCY OF THE SIAM COUNTRY
Along with the emergence of new dried lands at the basin of the Menam Valley, the Khmer court of Kaundinya made its move to establish the Khmer control over the whole of the Siam country. In a close development with Magadha, Kaundinya was in the process of set-up Kambujadesa as the seat of the next Buddhist Empire. With the formation of Hinayana Buddhism, Kaundinya and his scholars introduced Pali into the mainstream of Buddhism. From now on, Pali was replacing the Sanskrit Language in the practice of Theravada Buddhism in the Menam Valley. Lavo that was known in ancient Chinese texts as Pan Pan, became now the seat of Buddhist expansion to the north. Since then, strong aspects of the Khmer-Mon culture could also be found among the Lawa tribesmen that were becoming new subjects of the Khmer Empire. It explains why the Mon Language incorporated many Pali features as the outcome of their religious practice.
The Syam Kuti and Lawaratha
The word "Siam Kut" was found in the depiction of Angkor-Wat attesting the connection of the Menam Valley with the Angkorean Empire. It was perhaps a corruption of the Pali word "Syam Kuti" meaning the "Siamese Camp" (The Making of a Cakravatin Empire: Notes: Kuti) and was referencing to a place of Guchanaga that was a Naga's stroghold of Dvaravati as mentioned in the Ayudhya incription. Even-though having noticeable concentration of Siam migrants from the north, Siam Kuti was just a small community of the Menam Valley. We shall see that until the late twelve century, Dvaravati still retained its Naga legacy in connection with Ligor of Sri Dharmaraja. However, the depiction on the wall of Angkor-Wat proves that Siam Kuti became a popular reference to Sri Dharmaraja, many centuries later (The Contruction of Angkor-Wat: The Dependency of ajapati: The Siam Kut and the Siam Kuk). Settling himself at Lavo, the Khmer legend said that Prah Thong was in contact with the Siam people of Dvaravati who came to render him homage.
At the time, there were Siam people moving from the North to settle around the lake Norng-Snor sending tribute of dried fishes and the lake water to his (Prah Thong) court regularly. (RHNK: Kamboja)
The passage mentions that some of the Siam people were moving south and settled around Lake Norng-Snor (a Khmer reference to the lake that later seated the Siam's city of Ayudhya). They submitted to Prah Thong and sent him tributes of dried fishes and sacred water. Evidences show that Kaundinya stayed at Lavo until he was driven out by the Chenla uprising. Many legacies of early Khmer culture could be found at Lavo (the lawa's stronghold) to witness the Khmerization of the Siam country. One of them was the hair in crew-cut style that was seen widespread among the Lua tribesmen. Known as the "basket's foot" styling in Khmer vogue, the hairstyle was in fact a Khmer tradition and could be seen depicted on the wall of Angkor-Wat. After the cut, only the top of the head was left with a few inches of cylindrical shape of hair. It was spread to the Siam country during the settlement of Kaundinya at Lavo. The tradition started at the early establishment of Khmer Empire when Prah Thong was exiled from Indrapathra. According to Khmer tradition it was an act of punishment imposed by king Adityavamsa upon his unruly son, Prah Thong and his entourage.
He issued order to have Prah Thong arrested along with all his entourage, have their hair cut for unruly, have their mouths brushed by fire wood three times and be ousted from the kingdom and never have his name heard again. The three sons then excused themselves from the court and went on to arrest Prah Thong and his entourage, had their hair cut off for unruly, had their mouth brushed by fire wood three times and exiled from the kingdom by the south of the Aranyadesa. (RPNK: Prah Thong)
The odd-looking hairstyle was meant to shame the exile court of Prah Thong as a sign of unruly clan of the kingdom. It was one of the ex-communication measures designed to make them looking different from the general population and perhaps to prevent them from sneaking back into the kingdom. However the style seamed to suit the exiled people very well. In the hot climate of their new homeland, the short haircut was more practical than their traditional long hairstyle that was normally reserved for the high-educated cast of India. The native appeared to take it as a sign of more civilized trend and the hairstyle became widely in vogue among them to stay as a trademark of the Khmer tradition to last until modern time. After Kaundinya moved his court to Lavo, the vogue also spread among the Lawa tribesmen. Another strong aspect of the Khmer legacy in Lavo was the wearing of "Kbin", used by both men and women alike. It was consisting of a large piece of cloth, wore with the front end passed between the legs and plugged into the back. The Kbin was considered as a formal wear and was normaly used in a ceremonial event. People however preferred to wear it at their old age, replacing the "Sarong", perhaps of its more dignified look. This custom was uncommon to the Naga tradition but could be found in widespread used in both northern and southern India. A disastrous event had forced the Tais to live among the people of race Lua at Vieng Jetha or Chet Lin.
They were fleeing demons preying upon them who were descendant of Praya Men Ta Tok. Tai brigands also of the latter's descendant, as a mean of living, threatened the fleeing Tais of giving them ransom. They fabricated a scheme that forced the migrant Tais to bring mortars back to face the demons if they don't pay their due. To protect the fleeing Tais, the chief Lua decided to confuse the demons by exchanging their appearance. The Tais had to cut their hairs the Lawa style while the Lawa had to dress the same way as the Tais. Undoubtedly, this arrangement became the starting point of mixture between the two races. Together they constituted a new Lao race who constituted the majority of the northern Siam country's people known to the Chinese source as the Ai-Lao, with the Tai taking the dominant role over the Lua people.
The Absorption of Xiang-Saen
Known to the Chinese texts as Chih-Tu, the Red Earth Country was actually a Chinese reference to the northern Siam country. The Chinese do not speak of it before 607, when two Chinese diplomats Tchan Sun and Wang Kiun Tching were invited to witness the absorption of the Siam country into the Water Chenla. Nevertheless, its existence had already been confirmed since the get-go of Southeast Asian history. During the trip of Buddha Gautama at Southeast Asia, the Siam chronicle mentions the formation of the BanduSimhanati Nagara by king BanduSimhanati who was a brother of king Bimbissara of Maghadha. The chronicle gives a long genealogy of king Simhanati's descendants ruling over the Siam country (also known as the Yunak country) peacefully until it clashed with the Krom ruler (A Thai reference to Kamara or Khmer). He was ruler of Umangsila Nagara (Xiang-Mai) that was located at the southwest of the Siam country and became a tributary to the Tai court. In 376 AD, the Krom ruler raised an army of a hundred thousands troops to rebel against the Siam king. He expelled the court out to a village and installed himself as king of the Yunak nagara. Ousted from Xiang-Saen to a small village of the north, the royal couple had to endure hardship in paying the tribute to the Khmer ruler. What the Siam chronicle did not tell was that the Krom ruler did not act alone. The attack on Xiang-Saen by the Krom ruler of Umangsila was seen in tune with the claim of Kaundinya and his father Chandragupta II over Kiao-Tche. Apparently the Krom ruler was a member of either the Funan court of Chandragupta II or the Prey-Nokor court of Kaundinya. Since the reign of King Sri Man, Funan along with Prey-Nokor had established a strong policy to drive out the rest of Sakan intrusion from Southeast Asia. In 357 AD, a ruler of Funan named Tien-Chu Chanda whom we had identified as Chandragupta II sent an embassy to the court of China requesting the control of Kiao-Tche (Yunnan) back to the Khmer court. It was proved that the attack was conducted during the hight of Hinayana expansion carried on by the joint effort of kaundinya and the Gupta's court of Maghadha. The event could be checked out by the presence of Buddhaghosa spreading the Pali version of Hinayana Buddhim as found in different sources. In his inscription left at Sri Dharmaraja, Buddha Gupta whom we had identified as Buddhaghosa mentioned that he was residing in the Siam Country (The Indianization: The Transition to Buddhism: The Identity of Buddhaghosa). On the other hand, the Siam chronicle confirms that Buddhaghosa was taking residence at Xiang-Saen and that during his stay he brought sixteen relies of various size from Langka to be enshrined by the king (Asiam1: P.194). It is important to note that the clash between the Kamara and the Kushan courts had been carried on since the fall of the Han dynasty. Still retaining their share of power over China through the Wu dynasty, the Kushans were seen as a treat to the southern countries. In consorting with other Chinese royal houses, they were retaining claim over Southeast Asian territory. As indicated in the Siam chronicle, Indra's interference in the conflict was seen crucial in the next development of Southeast Asian politic. With Indra's help, the fallen court of the Yunak country was able to regroup themselves and to stage back a fight to free their country. The royal couple of Xiang-Saen had a son who after growing up, was preparing on liberating his country from the Krom's control. He commanded his parents of not paying any tribute to the court of the Krom Bala and at the same time, sent spies to get information from them. Knowing that the Krom ruler was preparing for war, the prince launched his own surprise attack that caught the Krom ruler off guard. The prince drove the Krom Bala out from Xiang-Saen and chased them until the border of Lavaratha (Lavo). Indra decided to intervene and allowed the Krom fugitive to settle in a plain of Indrapath Nagara. At the mean-time, the Tai court of the Yunaka nagara was restored back and was able to sustain itself until the second arrival of the Kaundinya court in Lavo in 375 AD. When a new development of the Kamara's claim over the control of Kiao-Tche clashed with the Tsi court of China, it resulted in the fall of the Khmer court of Yang Mah II by the attack of Tan-Ho-Chih in 433 AD. According to the Siam chronicle, the last king of the Yunak dynasty started his reign at 434 AD. After ruling for eleven years, his court was attacked by Sudhammavati. With an army of 1,700 thousands troops, the ruler of Sri Dharmaraja attacked and subdued Jayaprakara (Asiam1: P.196-197). Unable to resist, the ruler decided to abandon the city and took refuge at Kampeng Phet. Due to circumstances that the attack of Tan-Ho-Chih in 433 destroyed the Kaundinya court at Prey-Nokor, we believe that the ruler of Sudhammavati was not Kaundinya or one of his successors. He was then too weak to launch such attack on the Siam country. At the contrary, the Funan king who resided at Angkorpuri was at the time on top of his might ruling over Sudhammavati. Jayavarman Kaundinya, eventually became ruler of the Siam country as part of his right to rule over Lavo.
The Reign of King Jayavarman Kaundinya (485-514)
Scholars consented that the Chinese word "She-yeh-Pa-mo" is the transcription of the Sanskrit word "Jayavarman" meaning the protégé of the God of Victory. The Chinese text mentioned about Jayavarman of the Kaundinya family ascending the Funan throne of Vyadhapura around the late fifth century. His first embassy to China dated in the period of Yong Ming (483-493) and his second embassy dated in second year of Tien Kien (503). His courtesy toward China was rewarded by the Chinese court as the "great king of Funan" and was given the title of "General of the Pacified South".
The king of Funan, Kaundinya Jayavarman reigns at the limit of ocean. From generation to generation they rule far away countries of the south. And their sincerity manifest from that far, with multiple interpreters, they offer present and homage; it is appropriate to offer back the favor, and offer them an glorified title, "General of Pacified South, the king of Funan". (BEFEO III: Le Funan, Paul Pelliot)
This recognition obviously was extending to his support for Buddhism. Evidence shows that during his reign, the Chinese court had depended on Funan to pass on the Buddhist knowledge to China. A prominent Buddhist monk named Sanghabala, following the footstep of his predecessor Gunabhattra, had made his trip to China and spent the rest of his life translating sacred books into Chinese language. Kaundinya Jayavarman died in 514 without leaving any inscription on him. However his queen Kulaprabhavati and his son Gunavarman each left a Sanskrit inscription detailing the practice of Vishnuite cult. It is undoubtedly that the queen Kolaprabhavati was from the line of the Naga King of the Kamboja Empire. She was the reason why Kaundinya Jayavarman could ascent the Kambojan throne at Angkorpuri. According to tradition, the legacy of being protected by the God King of Victory (Jaya) dated a long way from the Saka of Daya desa and to some sources was connected to Arjuna, the legendary hero of Mahabharata. We shall see that this legacy was carried on through many generations of Khmer kings, suggesting that in high probability, they were his direct descendants. For the sake of accuracy, Jayavarman I should be attributed to Kaundinya Jayavarman, since he was the first known Khmer king protégé of the god king Jaya. On the cultural issue, Buddhism became now the religion of choice for both the Khmer court and its people. Even though the Khmer throne was later usurped by Rudravarman, Buddhism was nevertheless thriving due to the fact that the usurper was himself a devout Buddhist. As we know it, Rudravarman was in fact descended from the long lineage of Ashoka and was inheriting the strong legacy of Mahayana Buddhism. Visiting Ba-Phnom that was the capital of Funan at the time, I-Tsing had made it clear that Buddhism was flourishing under both reigns of Jayavarman Kaundinya and Rudravarman (The Chenla Empire: The Last of the Chenla Court: The last Chenla king Jayavarman). Other Chinese texts also witness the presence of prominent Buddhist monks who had contributed to the Buddhist establishment in China (Funan: XXII: P. 284).
Buddhist monks originated from Funan lived in China. We could not trace many of them, but at least two that the traditions still portrays in the Tripitaka. The two lived in the second half of V century and the first half of VI century. One of them was named Sanghabala. Originated from Funan, he heard people talking about the dynasty of Tsi (479-501), he boarded a ship to China. He was born at 460. As he knows many languages, the emperor Wou of the Leang employed him from 506 and during the next sixteen years, he commissioned him to translate sacred books. Sanghabala died in China at 524 at the age of 65 years old.
Following the success of Sanghabala, other monks went to China to join him in the work of expanding Buddhist religion.
The second monk from Funan had a religious name Mandra or Mandrasena. He arrived at the capital of the dynasty Leang in 503, and received from the emperor Wou the order to work with Sanghabala translating sacred books but unlike Sanghabala Mandrasena, he never acquired good enough knowledge of the Chinese language.
Through Buddhism, Kaundinya was able to establish good relationship with China. Nevertheless, the Chams also wanted to bring Vishnuism into the lime-life. The contest would create unrest in his court that was composed of members from diverse religious background. Beneath the crisis, there were evidences that the queen Braphavati and her son Gunavarman also practiced Vishnuism. The unfavorable Rudravarman would obviously felt left out from the rest of the court.
THE THREE DYNASTIES
Due to his effort, Kaundinya Jayavarman received recognition from the Chinese court as the "General of the Pacified South". Nevertheless, his achievements and successes were proved to be fragile as rivalry still loomed among lower members of his court. In the high of the Kalayuga, peace was simply an illusionist proposition as political crises already undermined his effort to pacify the whole country. Back in China, the Tsin Dynasty started on consolidating its power over competing factions and extended its interference over the new formed Khmer Empire at Prey-Nokor. After the fall of the Han, China was divided in three political divisions known as the Three Gog Kingdoms (Notes: the Three Gog Kingdoms). As the fighting for supremacy became eminent, each faction often looked for extending their wars into Southeast Asia. Under the intervention from Chinese courts, the Khmer court broke down as antagonist dynasties were formed among its leadership to fight for their own supremacy.
Viravarman (456-484) and the Chenla Dynasty
Either by fate or by design, the Sumerian Under-world was well known in the Sumerian cosmogony as being the death-place of the world's fallen court. After the Kuru's war, the Indian continent became the escape ground of the fallen court from any part of the world. Joined later by the fallen Tchou dynasty, a new Hiong-Wang kingdom was under way to form itself at Southeast Asia. In the development, the Vakataka consortium was formed to allow these fallen courts to restore themselves with the grass-root local Naga leadership of king Samantha 's descendants. Evidences also show that Funan and Prey-Nokor were two of the active members of the Samvat. Following the conquest of King Fan-Tche-Man, evidences show that the Funan Empire got enough strength to take the leading role to challenge the Chinese intervention (Indianization: The Rise of the Gupta: The Naga Connection). The situation complicated with the fall of the Han dynasty that drove out the top Hiong-Nu leadership down to take refuge at Mahidhara. The subsequent rise of the Kushans also lent support to the remnant Mauryan court to take control of Vakataka court through intermarriage. After warding off the naga powerhouses of Padmavati, Samudragupta completed the formation of the Gupta court, started by his father Chandragupta I. As we shall see, the Gupta's intrusion in the naga countries had direct effect on the state affair of Prey-Nokor. In its latest history, we knew of the Lin-Yi king Fan Wen (336-349) who usurped the Prey-Nokor throne from the rightful heir of the Kamara court. During his short reign, he fought the Chin dynasty of China for the control of Je-Nan (Prey-Nokor: The Break down of the Hiong-Wang Kingdom: The Fight for Independence). We had assumed that he was of Cham background who tried to restore back the Cham aristocracy of Champapura. Assumably after Wen's failed northern campaign, the throne of Prey-Nokor was taken back by the Kamara king Fan Fo. His reign then ended by the usurpation of a court member whom the Chinese source identified as a son of the Funan king named Tang-Ken-TChoun.
Wen-ti was killed next by Tang-Ken-Tchoun, son of the king of Funan. The grand officer Fan Tchou-Nong subdued the troubles and ascended the throne himself. (Funan: VKI: P. 272)
It was then that the history of the Liang mentions about King Viravarman to reign over Prey-Nokor.
After the death of Kaundinya, one of his successors Che-Li-To-Pa-mo presented to the court of Emperor Wen (424-453) of the Song, a petition along with the products of his country. (Funan: VI: P. 269)
This Chinese name Che-Li-To-Pa-mo relates him to Sri Viravarman. He was according to another Chinese text either Yang Mah II's son or grandson named Fan Chen-Cheng (ISSA: The Second Indianization: P.57). His surname indicates to us that he was a Chenla king who, through Chinese records, ruled the Chenla kingdom as a vassal of Funan (The Chenla Empire: Introduction: The Chenla's Accounts from Chinese Source). Unlike his predecessors, Fan Chen-Cheng apparently tried to make a good relationship with China. Chinese source recorded his embassies to the court of Tsi in 456, 458 and 472. What happened next was not very clear, it appeared that Viravarman was himself usurped that prompted King Jayavarman sent a delegation to the Tsi Court of China to ask for help in conquering back Prey-Nokor from the usurper. He portrayed the usurper as one of his servants named Chiu-chou-lo who manage to capture the Lin-Yi throne with the help of local rebels. The Tsi apparently ignored the request and after thanking the Khmer King for the tribute, took no actions against the usurper. The usurper's reference of Kujala meant that he was a Kushan member of the Gujala clan of Southeast Asia (Notes: The Kushans of Southeast Asia). The Tsi court did not intervene and claimed that it was an internal affair as the usurper was a son of Kaundinya (the Funan King) himself. The skirmishes explained the politic unsettling of the Khmer court of Southeast Asia in regard the court of China. Through his marriage with the princess Prabhavati, Kaundinya Jayavarman was seen making a close consortium with the Funan Empire and through it, his policy was seen shifting back toward the Cham powerhouse. Perhaps of his own personal connection, King Viravarman was chosen to rule over the Cham communities of Lin-Yi. Since there were no other Chinese records about his reign, we know pretty much nothing else about him. Nevertheless, we know from the inscription of Phou Lokhon that he was the father of two illustrious Chenla kings Bhavavarman I and Citrasena who were going to change the course of the Kambojan history (BEFEO t.3: Inscription Sanscrite du Phou Lokhon: P. 446, By M.A. Barth). From there, we conclude that Viravarman was actually the preceptor of the Chenla Dynasty.
Gunavarman (492-498) and the Deva Dynasty
With no intervention from the Tsi dynasty, Kaundinya apparently sent his own son to wrest back the throne of Prey-Nokor from the usurper. The Chinese record also indicated that the affair was solved by a member of Yang Mah (Kaundinya)'s own family member. At the same time, we know from the inscription at Prasat Pram Lveng (Fiveplex temple) that Jayavarman Kaundinya appointed his son king Gunavarman to rule over a piece of wetland called the district of Tuk-kmao (Black water) in the province of Prek-rusei (Bamboo Creek). It was a new wet-land formed after the drying of Cambodia and was located at the Mekong delta, south of Prey-Nokor (Notes: The Drying of the Mekong's Delta Region). It was him whom the Chinese text mentions as the son of Yang Mah who finally emerged victorious in the internal affair of Lin-Yi against the usurper. As a legitimate heir to the Kambojan throne after his father, King Kaundinya Jayavarman and his mother, the queen Kulaprabhavati, Gunnavarman (492-498) was considered as the first member of the Southeast Asian Devavamsa's lineage. Through many inscriptions erected by him and his mother, we know that Gunavarman and his mother practiced the Visnuite cult. A deviation of the last Khmer throne's practice that was based solely on Siva-Buddhist tradition. As we had seen, the formation of Nokor Khmer at Prey-Nokor was done by Kaundinya topping himself over the Cham royal house of King Ajisaka (Prey-Nokor: The Indian Arrival: The leftover Cham Legacies). Other circumstances during the Han's rule over China established the austronesian communities in the southern islands into becoming the dominant groups of the Indonesian people. Since then Java became a kingdom that rose up along the Cholan Empire of South India to control the trade route with the Middle Eastern world. In the early phase of their history, evidences show that the Cham Banis as well as the Cham Aristocrats of the mainland Indochina were mostly practiced the Soma (Yueh) culture, but along the way had made contact with their Middle Eastern peers and were converted to Vishnuism. Their consortium with the Kambu Naga king dated back since the establishment of the Han dynasty in China and continued to stay strong after its fall. The marriage between Kaundinya and the Soma princess was seen as a re-enactment of the Meru and the Queen of the west all over again. Either by coincidence or by fate, the cosmogony of Osiris to be usurped by his brother Seth repeated itself again, this time in the heart of Prey-Nokor.
Of Mauryan background, Rudravarman carried on the Kam tradition of the Sri Vijaya powerhouse. Unlike the middle-eastern development, we shall see that Gunanvarman was not resurrected back to fight against the Sri Vijaya but the two sons of his uncle Viravarman, Bhavavarman and Citrasena emerged to fight off Rudravarman instead. As we shall see, it took another blood-shedding war to have them coming into accord and finally accepted the teaching of Buddha (The Chenla Empire: The Chenla Brotherhood: The Fall of Funan). Only after the Chenla's fall that the legacy of Kaundinya and the Nagi Princess came back to establish once again the unifying factor of the Khmer Empire. During the Angkorean period, evidences show that the Chams joined in the Khmer Cakravatin Empire along with the Cholan court and stayed connected only to break out when conflicts with the Sri Vijaya later occurred. As part of the Angkorean Empire, we shall see that Sivaism and Vishnuism merged under Buddhism and the Chams still retained this heritage until the arrival of their new faith from Middle East, which was Islam. We shall see that this Middle-eastern reconnection happened late after the tenth century during the decline of the Chola Empire. This connection to the Muslim world is what made Indonesia of today one of the largest concentration of Islamic believers in the world. On the other hand, the Muslim migration into the mainland took place later in modern time after the decline of the Angkorian Empire (Nokor Champa: Nokor Kanta: The spread of Muslim). It is important to note that the majority of Malay speaking people in the mainland who are Muslim, identified themselves as Chwa (Java) meaning that they were originated from Java. Scholars mistook them as indigenous Austronesian of the mainland while they are in fact immigrants from Java. When they were mobilized to help Champa fighting with Dai-Viet, they were already been converted to Islam. Before its final fall under Hue, Champapura retained the most of Po-Nagara's legacy as many temples were built in her memory at the site of Po-Nokor of today. After the fall of Champapura, most Chams escaped and settled in neighboring countries (Nokor Catomukh: The Intervention of Ayudhya: Prah Suryauday).
King Rudravarman (514-550) and the Birth of the Sri Vijaya
He was the son of Kaudinya Jayavarman who, as mentioned in the Chinese texts, rose up to take on the Prey-Nokor throne after killing the legitimate heir, Gunavarman.
The son of a concubine, Liou-To-Pa-mo. killed his eldest brother, son of the legitimate queen, and ascended himself the throne.
(Funan: P. 270)
The passage indicates that Rudravarman (Liou-To-Pa-mo) killed his brother Gunavarman and took the throne for himself. Jaya Kaundinya refused to recognize him as his heir because perhaps his mother was only a cucumbine and requested the Chinese court for interference. Many Khmer inscriptions confirm his ascension to both the throne of Prey-Nokor at Champapura and the Kambojan throne at Ba-Phnom. An inscription at Tonle (river) Bati attests his reign around the sixth century at the Kambojan throne and indicates that he was a fervent Buddhist. Obviously after Kaundinya Jayavarman's death, Rudravarman came to claim the Khmer throne of Vyadhapura. Before then, he already took hold of Prey-Nokor throne without his father's consent. Despite his low status as heir inheriting the khmer throne, Rudravarman had nonetheless strong connection with this ancient line of Mang-Sui-Ti's descendants. A Chinese text refers him by the title of Mang-Sui-Ti as a ruler of the Kun-Lun (Khmer) Kingdom (The Chenla Empire: The Chenla's Brotherhood: Funan before its Fall). Looking back, the Ashoka's grandson Mang-Sui-Ti had left extensive heritage through the work of his sons for Buddhist expansion in China (Sakadvipa: The Saka of Daya Desa: The Mauryan Expansion). The Sui dynasty might have been descended from one of the royal houses formed by one of them in China. On the other hand, we had seen that Mang-Siu-Ti (or Ti-Mong-Tsiu) himself had also established his own legacy in the Khmer court of Prey-Nokor. In addition, an inscription of Champapura mentioned about one of his ancestors named Gangaraja making a pilgrimage to the shore of the Gange River. Rudravarman received the investiture from the Sui court of China as king of Champa in 530 and sent an embassy to China in 534. This close connection with the Chinese court of the Sui Dynasty allowed Rudravarman to stay on the throne of Prey-Nokor despite the objection of the rest of the Khmer court. Judging from the fact that Jaya Kaundinya was fighting against the Kushans to take full control of Southeast Asia, the support of the Sui for Rudravarman is understandable. Inscriptions found at Champapura attest the formation of a dynasty that began at Champa about 529, a dynasty that reigned for a little over a century. The founder was Rudravarman with the same coronation name as the next king of Vyadhapura. We shall see that the Sui Dynasty did not only ignoring the unrest due to the usurpation but gave support to Rudravarman all along during the next events of the Chenla uprising to come. Rudravarman who was a strong patron of Mahayana Buddhism, continued to establish the cultural connection between China and Funan. He sent various embassies to China between 517 and 539 and was recorded as the last king of Funan. The history of the Liang states that a Chinese embassy was sent to Funan between 535 and 545 to request Buddhist texts and Buddhist teachers to China. Rudravarman sent the Indian Paramartha or Gunaratha of Ujjayini, who was then living in Funan, for the mission. He arrived in China in 546, bringing 240 bundles of texts with him. According to the history of the Sui, the Siu Kao seng tchouan, Buddhist texts in Kun-Lun (Pali) scripture had been collected during a Chinese raid and brought to China.
In 605 when the Chinese general Liou Fang took the capital of Lin-Yi, it reported to 1350 Buddhist works forming 564 volumes, and all are written in Kun-Lun Scripture. (BEFEO IV: Deux itinaraires de Chine en Inde I: Page 220, Paul Pelliot)
The attack that was conducted against the Champa court of Prey-Nokor, was presumably the attempt of the Sui Dynasty to salvage Buddhism from destruction. It was the proof of interference from the Chinese court during the uprising of the Chenla Empire, in support of the fallen court of Rudravarman. With the deep root from king Ashoka's lineage in Southeast Asia, Rudravarman carried on the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and instated the God King Paramesvara along the Sri Vijayan Line of his descendants. Under the protection of the God King Paramesvara, we shall see that the Khmer Empire was reinstated again due very much to the cooperation of the Water Chenla (The Making of a Cakravatin Empire: The Deva Dynasty: Jayavarman II). Unfortunately, the unification process did not happen before the complete break-off of the Funan Empire by the Chenla uprising.
- ISSA: The Indianized States of Southeast Asia, by G. Coedes
- Camb: The Cambodge, by E. Aymonier
- RPNK: The Royal Pangsavadra of Nokor Khmer, by M. Tranet
- Funan: BEFEO III: Le Funan, by Paul Pelliot
- IDCL: Recueil des Inscriptions du Siam: Inscriptions de Dvaravati, de Crivijaya et de Lavo, George Coedes
- DICI: BEFEO IV: Deux Itineraires de Chine en Inde, by Paul Pelliot
- RBR: A Record of Buddhist Religion as Practiced in India and the Malaya Archipelago (Ad 671-695), by I-Tsing, Translated by J.Takakusu
- Cata: Catastrophe: An Investigation into the origins of modern world, by David keys
137: Uprising of Chu Lien at Lin-Yi against the Hans; 192: Chu Lien liberated and formed Lin-Yi; 230: Fan Man extended the Funan Empire; 240-550: The Gupta Empire; 357: Tien-Tchou Chan-tan offered tamed elephants as tribute to the Tsi court; 375: Kaundinya settled at Prey-Nokor; 265-420: Jin dynasty ruled China; 420-589: China was ruled by Northern and Southern dynasties; 421: Yang Mah I requested investiture from the court of China; 431/432: Yang Mah II requested troops from Funan to detroy Kiao-Tche; 433: The governor of Kiao-Tche Tan Ho Chih overran Prey-Nokor; 456-485: The reign of King Viravarman (Fan Chen-Cheng, at Prey-Nokor); 485-514: The reign of King Kaundinya Jayavarman at Lavo; 492-498: The reign of King Gunavarman (at Prey-Nokor); 514-550: The reign of King Rudravarman (at Prey-Nokor); 581-618: The Sui dynasty ruled China; 598: Bhavavarman; 606-647: The reign of king Harshavaradhana (at Gangetic India): 616-635: The reign of King Ishanavarman (Land Chenla)
Archeology confirms that Angkorpuri was once a major settlement of the Funan era. The fact that it is located near the island of Kauk-Tloak suggests that it was the capital of Funan where the Naga King and his daughter, the Nagi Princess, actually resided.
- Angkorpuri Vs Pyuksettra
- The Romantic Aspect of the Legend of Prah Thong
It is obvious that the legendary Prah Thong was not a real personage of the Khmer court since he is the representation of the whole of Kaundinya lineage. His romance with the nagi princess might or might not be a true event also. Nevertheless, the marriage between Kaundinya with the Nagi Princess was confirmed through Khmer inscriptions. It was actually Kaundinya Jayavarman who was married to the princess of Kambujan court named Kolaprabhavati.
- The Location of Pan-Pan
From the Chinese sources, Coedes concluded that Langkasuka was bordered to the north on Pan-pan. However he was wrong, as many other scholars, to restrict Langkasuka only in the gulf of Siam.
To the north, Langkasuka bordered on Pa-pan, a country located on the Gulf of Siam, very likely on the Bay of Bandon. (ISSA: The second Indianization: The states of the Malay Peninsular: P. 52)
As we had identified that Langkasuka was to become later Sri Dharmaraja, it must to include the lower part of the Menam Valley. Pan-pan was then no other than Lavo.
- The Red-Earth Country
It is supposedly that the Red-Earth country was named according to the color Red of its land. We shall identify that Xiang-Mai was the capital of the Siam Country (Xiang-Mai: The city of Lawasangharatha: The connection with the Angkorean court). It is not clear however that Xiang-Mai or any part of the Siam country of today had its land all red so that the whole country was named after this specific characteristic. Indication moreover, that the Syam identity might owe its origin to the Syam mountain range, mentioned in the Vishnu Purana to be located in the Khmer Empire at the time.
- Mon vs the Kun-Lun Language
Looking closely, the inscriptions of the old Mon Language that were dated from the Dvaravati era used the same scripture in Khmer inscription of Han-Chey that was known as the ancient Khmer scripture. On the other hand, we had argued that the old Mon Language was in fact a derivative of the Kamara (Kun-Lun) language under the influence of the Kamboj legacy, another ancestor of both the modern Khmer and Mon cultures (Prehistory: The Hoabinhian Culture: The Language Factor).
- The Drying of Cambodia
It was actually an earth crust's movement that elevated the drowned Southeast Asian Tectonic plate into its current position. The eruption of Crakatoa, on the other hand, was the effect of the same event. This finding led us to believe that the flooding of Southeast might have been due to a similar cause. Some kind of catastrophic event might happen that lowered the Southeast Asian tectonic plate to below the sea level.
- Cho-pa as Champapura or Java
Etymologically Cho-Po was a Chinese reference to Champapura. During the specific time that the Tang Dynasty ruled over China, Cho-Po was referring specifically to Java. It was happening during the time that the Cham court, driven out of Pery-Nokor by the coalition of Water Chenla and the new Khmer courts, took refuge at central Java, along with the Land Chenla court (Dvaravati: The rise of the Javanese Empire: The Ho-Ling Kingdom of Java).
- The Three Gog Kingdoms
The fall of the Tchou allowed Sakan leaderships to take over China. Under the Han, evidence shows that the Wu dynasty was mostly left intact while the Tchou and the Tsu were drastically changed. As we had argued, after Meru exited from Middle East, the western Tchou (Tien-Tchou) moved into the Gangetic India and established their own Magadhan Empire. The Tsin that took control of China after the western Tchou and the Tsu were completely destroyed along with the Hiong-Wang kingdom and were replaced by the Wei and the Shu. Scholars agreed that the Sam Kok era was the most bloody era in the history of China as each side was fighting for its own supremacy.
- The Kushans of Southeast Asia
As remnant of the Shang dynasty, they were surviving and spreading themselves in Southeast Asia, but were later moved to the Tien Shan range of Yunnan after making a deal with Buddha Gautama. Trough the conquest of king Ashoka over the Nandas, they were back in both the Gangetic India and Southeast Asia. Converted to Buddhism, their re-settlement was much more peaceful than the old days. Nevertheless, the fallen Tchou's court was not ready to accept them as parther in the restoration of the Hiong-Wang kingdom, especially that they were in close connection with the Tsi's court of China.
- The Drying of the Mekong's Delta Region
Along with the drying of Cambodia, evidences show that the delta regions of the three rivers, the Mekong, the Menam and the Irrawadi 's delta regions also dried out. The inscription of Prasat Pram Lveng witnesses the Khmer's early colonization over the new-formed wetland of the Mekong Delta that was going to become Kamboja Krom (Kamboja lowland) of Prey-Nokor today.