The Construction of Angkor Wat
Project: The Construction of Angkor Wat
Author: Lem Chuck Moth
Started date: June/01/2003
Last updated: June/30/2017
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.
The resuscitation of ancient feuds between the two Naga clans completely reverse setting the geographical politic of Southeast Asia. The exodus of the Sri Vijaya from Mahidhara to take control of the Angkorean throne actually brought the Ocean Naga' s legacy in land. Inscriptions started to wtness the settlement of the family members of Suryavarman I (1006-1050) on the Khorat Plateau, whic was the traditional ream of Culodhara. At the same time, Indian history witnesses the occupation of the Malay Archipelago by the South Indian Cholan Empire. Under Rajendra Chola II, the Chola conquered and occupied the Mahidhara ream of the Sri Vijaya. His successor, Rajadhiraja (1044-1054) who took control of the Cholan Empire at 1044 was actually a contemporary of Suryavarman I. As a Cakravatin Monarch of Angkor, Suryavarman I must to have the same title as Rajadhiraja. Considering that the clash between the Chola and the Sri Vijaya continued on during the next reigns of both Chola and Angkor, the bearing of the same title of a cakaravatin monarch indicated rivalry between the two houses (Notes: The legacy of Angkor). In a hostile environment, we have the reason to believe that the Cholan King Rajadhiraja was not in a friendly term to the new Angkorean court. He was more likely a direct descendant of the last Angkorean king Jayavarman V who joined the Cholan consortium after the dynastic crisis. His title conveys that he was challenging Suryavarman I as a true cakravatin monarch through the assertion that he was actually the rightful heir for the Angkorean throne. Indian history seams to mark his reign as uneventful, being mostly preoccupying himself to stabilize the vast empire left by his predecessors. Evidences show however that his exploit was more focusing on the eastern front of India, and to the most extend on Southeast Asia. After strengthening the Cholan legacy at Java, he carried on the Cholan supremacy into the Mon country and beyond (Ramanadesa: The Mon Countries: The Mons of Tathon and the "Talaing" identity). After the reign of Rajadhiraja I, the Cholan Empire went into decline. At the same time, we see a new political adjustment at Angkor to accommodate the inclusion of Cholan members back into its cakravatin establishment.
A Shared Legacy
In modern history of Angkor, the account of the Sri Vijaya and the Javanese Empire had been written separately as of different entities. Compiled by different groups of specialized historians, each account was tied to its specific political region. Cambodia, Malaysia, and Java were portrayed as different countries, developed independently since the start of their existence. Overlooking past connection, scholars virtually see no existing links between these powerhouses other than their apparent drive for supremacy. Nevertheless, scholars agreed that they were connected under the same cultural development known to them as the Indianization. Happening way back in the past, we had argued that their common legacy started after the formation of Nokor Khmer at Prey-Nokor. Trigged by internal feud, the three factions of the royal descendants from Kaundinya (including the Chenla house itself) were becoming the next generation of kings for both Southeast Asia and India. Carrying on the legacy of the Gupta Empire, Jayavarman II established Angkor to become the next Cakravatin Empire. During its early foundation, Angkor succeeded in accomplishing its task as a Middle Kingdom, by reuniting family members who were direct descendants of the late Kaundinya and the Nagi princess. Along the way, other factions soon joined in and their contribution constituted the expansion of the Khmer Chakaravatin Empire. The Dynastic crisis however induced a serious setback as the Cholan and Sri Vijayan houses went head on contending for supremacy. It is important to note that despite family's connection, the two clans were of totally different cultural backgrounds and affinities. The Sri Vijaya was Buddhist but had been initiated to the Sivaite cult of Devaraja through the remaining legacy of the last Angkorean court. On the other hand, evidences show that the Chola became devout Vishnuite after Krishna III invaded Takkolam in 949 AD (The Chola Dynasty: The Cholan Connection: The Origin of the Cholas). The love-hate relationship between Sivaism and Vishnuism would create the dynamic of the next development that affected the whole welfare of Southeast Asia. At Ramanadesa, Pagan emerged under the leadership of Anuruddha as another powerhouse to challenge both the Sri Vijayan and the Cholan Empires. Under these adverse circumstances, fight erupted as each contender was preoccupying about their own hidden agenda. Underneath the conflicts, Buddhism had played its role sub-consciously to bring them back to rationality. Even though rivalry was still imminent, serious attempts for reunification had also been initiated.
THE RETURN OF THE CHOLAN DYNASTY
To many scholars, the disappearance of the Chola court from India was still a mystery. The last time that we heard about its existence was when Chinese sources mention that it became vassal of the Sri Vijaya. While many scholars are still skeptical about this sudden fall, evidences show that the Chola did really move its court to join with the Angkorean Empire. Unfortunately, the return of the chola was problematic. Instead of strengthening the situation of Angkor, they came with a new agenda of their own. Through contact with the west, the new Cholan court lost most of their zeal for Buddhism. They came back with the Sharia Law to establish Champapura as a duplication of South India. New monuments erected at the site of Po-Nagar and Mi-Son were unmistakably of South Indian architecture styles.
The Return of the Nandas
The circumstance that forced the Chola in becoming subordinate of the Mahidhara court of Angkor was due to the invasion of the Muslim front-line that shook-up the Hindu world under the leadership of the Chola itself. Before his death in 1030, the Musulman invader Mahmud led the Muslim force against Jayapala of Shahis whom we had identified as no other than a descendant of Jayavarman V (The Chola Dynasty: The Cholan Consortium: The Cholan Empire of Tanjore). The conquest had reached Delhi and further more infiltrated deeper into the Cholan territory. The Muslim's infiltration in India also lent support to the rising of two of the Chola's ancient rivals, the Pandya and the Hoysala of South India (Notes: The decline of the Chola). At the other front, the Buddhist consortium also rose up to fight off the Cholan supremacy. With the support from Anuruddha of Ramandesa, Ceylon drove the last of the Cholan yolk from Sri Langka. Facing with enemies of many fronts, the Chola's glory day was over. Since the reign of Rajadhiraja I, the Cholan presence in the Indian history started to fade and finally disappeared altogether after the next few remaining reigns. Before merging with Angkor, the Chola conducted the last raid against the Malay Peninsular to free its maritime venture from the control of Ramanadesa. According to Chinese sources, the Chola then handed the conquered territory back to its previous owner, which was the Sri Vijaya. As we shall see, the latter took no time to resuscitate back their old business and the same time left Angkor into the hand of less competent family members. Moving his court to Mahidhapura, Jayavarman VI left the Angkorean throne to his brother Dharanindravarman I. At the sane time, the Chola was allowed to move to Prey Nokor and gradually infiltrated itself into the Angkorean court through Champapura. On the other front, evidences also show that the Cholan campaign against Anurudha was not only concerning the lost of the Malay Peninsular but of Ramandesa itself. The Triphuvanaditya's legacy of the last Mon's King Makutavamsa was seen returning in the court of Tathon and Pagan, during the reign of Anuruddha's successor, Kyanzittha. It is important to note that during his reign, the Chinese council of rites recommended to give him the same honor as the ruler of Ta-the (a reference to Angkor). At Angkor, the Chola's return might start as early as the high priest Divakara performing the coronation of Dharanindravarman I while Jayavarman VI brought his court to Mahidhara where he reestablished the Sri Vijayan Empire. At the same time, an inscription found at the shore of the Mekong River near Wat Phu bring enigma to this region long time connected to the Cholan legacy. Known as the inscription of Wat Luong-Kau (Pagoda of the king Kau), it commemorates a king named Divanika with the title of Maharajadhiraja (BEFEO II: La Steles de Vat Luong-Kau, George Coedes). Unlike other Angkorean inscriptions of the time, it uses Gupta characters of the ancient Kaundinya court. The immediate reaction among scholars is to date the inscription around the fifth century and to relate the king Divanika to a member of the Kaundinya family, notably of the Funan King Gunavarman (Notes: The King Divanika). To recall back, Gunavarman was a heir apparent of Kaundinya Jayavarman and the nagi princess Praphavati who left many inscriptions in Gupta style characters during his reign at Prey Nokor. Connecting the King Divanika with th+e Kaundynia immediate lineage however created more problems to fit an ancient legacy of Vishnuite folklore into the Brahmanic Buddhist family tradition of Kaundinya. His title Mahadhiraja indicates that he claimed himself as a cakravatin monarch which none of the immediate descendants of Kaundinya could claim as such. At the time of its early foundation, Nokor Khmer was still a small kingdom and the Kaundinya kings at the time were not crowned as Cakravatin monarchs. Another clue that denies the antiquity of the inscription to the Kaundinya's early time at Prey Nokor is that it was dedicated to the memory of Kuruksetra, a northern Indian locality that has never been mentioned in Khmer inscriptions before but was mentioned in the recent inscriptions of Phnom Sandak and Prah Vihear. Consistent with the rise of the Cholan empire in South India, the arrival of King Devanika coincide with the emergence of the Botomsurya lineage in the Angkorean court. As we had seen, it was Suryavarman I who awarded a land to an abroad scholar named Sukarman and was named Kuruksetra, in the memory of his Indian origin (Notes: The original Kuruksettra). All these indication led us to believe that king Divanika was actually a close member of the Cholan King Rajdhiraja I (1044-1053), if it was not him. The late use of the Gupta script is not a surprise, considering that the Cholan court was so conservative to let go of any past Gupta legacies that were still present at the Pallava court.
The Cholan Expansion
Following the invasion of Krishna III over the ream of the Chola at Tanjore, it is expected now that the legacy of king Manu Vaisvata became now the top seed of the new Cholan Empire. Nevertheless, the Nanda's legacy still stayed as their core origin. The inscription of Wat Luang Kau also mentions about religious artifacts that had been brought from abroad (duradesa) to be installed at Wat Phu (Lingaparvata). Among them was the linga Bhadrasvara deifying the first Kaundinya king of Prey-Nokor. As we recall back, the prince Kaundinya was exiled by his father from the Gupta court and came to Prey-Nokor to build the Khmer Kingdom. A faction of his immediate family later formed the Chenla house that, as we had argued, along with time joined the Cholan consortium. From there, we are confident enough to identify Divanika as a new generation of the Nandas who through affiliation with the South Indian Cholan house claimed himself as a Maharajadhiraja. His Vishnuite connection indicates that he was a great king of the Cholan Empire whose settlement at the Khorat plateau was after the Chinese sources mentioned its becoming vassal of Ta Tche. In the attempt to further investigate on his recent origin, we had to trace back the history of the Chola since its early foundation. We had seen that after the fall of Chenla, fugitive kings of Cham descended were forming the Javanese court. Their settlement at Central Java, close by the Sri Vijaya and Sri Langka, was too much of a risk if there was no support from the emerging Chola consortium of Southern India. At first it was probably the eastern Chalukya's court that came to the rescue. Later on, their alliance grew stronger as they positioned themselves to take control of the Southern Sea. It was not before long that Angkor was under sway of the Cholas on their way to take control of the whole Southern Sea. Starting from the reign of Jayavarman IV, inscriptions started to mention the presence of Rajakola ministers and the influx of Indian Brahmins settling at the Angkorean site. Most importantly we see the return of the God King Tribhuvanesvara to take the protecting role of the new Angkorean Empire. We also see the Cholan legacy emerging in the Javanese court and later at Tathon in the court of King Manuha. It indicated that while the Sailendra was absorbing the Javanese court, it was itself subject to be absorbed by the Chola in a consortium that was exactly like the brotherhood between Rama and Lakhsmana in the Ramayana epic. At the same time, fight erupted with the Buddhist Sri Vijayan court when the Sailendra brought the Cholan school into the internal politic of Angkor. In 993, the Chola king Rajaraja was playing the Rama role of the epic of the Javanese Ramayana during the conquest of Ceylon. During the raid, Rama dragged along his brother Laksmana against the Buddhist consortium of Sri Vijaya and Ceylon. The last episode concerns about the regional development after the fall of Sri Langka that allowed Rama to be reunited at last with Sita concluded the epic of Ramayana epic. Nevertheless, the Rama's saga and his family's crisis was far to be over.
Then follows the episode of the fan (with Ravana picture on it) which Sita unwittingly handles. This leads to the estrangement between Rama and Sita. The couple is however reconciled at the hermitage of Kala (Janaga). Towards the end we have the marriage of the daughter of Indrajit with But-Lawa (Lawa). Dinjayapura is mentioned as the capital of Lawa. (HI: The Ramayan in Java)
In the continuing saga, Rama then turned against the Sri Vijaya. In the attack, the Sri Vijayan court did not suffer the same fate as its Buddhist Sri langka Ravana King. In a desperate attempt to save itself, the Sri Vijaya attacked Angkor (The Sri Vijaya Connection:The Ligor's royal house: The Viravamsa early Geneology). At the mean time, the Chola continued on its conquest over the north of the Indian Uttarapradesa. From the hermitage of the Kala Janaga, the Kalacuris took the advantage of the weakness of the Pala, advanced as far as Mithilda before 1019. King Rajendra Chola and a Chalukya king invaded the Pala dominions. The next kings of Pala continued the Cholan's legacy as witnessed by the birth of Rama. VigrahaPala III had three sons, Mahipala II, Surapala II, and Ramapala. It was Ramapala who conquered Kamarupa and forced the Varman rulers of East Bengal to submit into his authority (AInd: Northern India, 11th-12th Cent AD: Kaivarta revolt: p.319). These Varman rulers claimed themselves to belong to the Yadava dynasty of Simhapura or Ligor. It is important to note that by this time, they already took hold of the Angkorean court and was in the process of extending its control over Vanga. This was perhaps after Udayadityavarman' s campaign to open-up the sea-route failed by the attacks of the Rajendrachola in Sri Vijaya (The Sri Vijaya Connection: The Angkorean Empire under the Mahidhara Court: The Reign of Udayadityavarman II). Apparently, his campaign to open up the land-route through Yunnan also failed, this time by the attacks of Ramapala.
The Challenge to the Angkorean Throne
(The Sri Vijaya Connection: The Yunnan Connection: The Tai Culture)
As part of the deal with the Chola, Champapura was then handed-over to the displaced Cholan Court of King Divakara.
The establishment of his court at Wat Phu reflects an arrangement between the Chola and Angkor. As had been done in the past, the diplomatic connection between two of the Southeast Asian powerhouses was carried on by a joint religious project. One side built a religious temple and the other provided all the supports to the temple. In 1005, the Sailendra king Chulamanivarman built a Buddhist temple at Nagipattana and the Cholan king Rajaraja offered the revenue of a large village to sustain the temple. In the reverse role, king Divanika built the Hindu temples at Wat Phu and at the location of Wat Luong-Kau, to facilitate the stay of religious figures from the Chola court. During the last development that forced the Chola to escape the Indian continent, Wat Phu might served as the refugee camp for the Chola at the last moment of its fall. Divakara who was perhaps one among the refugees, would start his career at the Angkorean court under the reign of Udayadityavarman II. Inscriptions of Prah Vihear reveal later that the God King Bhadrasvara, consecrated at the first time at Mi-Son of Champapura, was now consecrated at Lingaparvata site of Wat Phu. In parallel to the Chola settlement at Champapura, evidence show that Prey-Nokor was also delegated to a Chola ruler under the name of Tribhuvanaditya. Two inscriptions on silver plates, commemorating the god king Tribhuvansvara, were found in a cave of Prey-Nokor (BEFEO IV: Notes d'epigraphy: Les Plateaux de Nui Cam, M. L. Finot). The first one mentioned about Sri Kalapavvaka, a daksina kamraten jakat, performing the ritual samvakapuna for the god king Tribhuvansvara at 1166. The second inscription mentioned about Tribhuvanadityavarman, a ruler (kamraten jakat) at Lingapavarta, performing the ceremony of kotihoma. As the god king Tribhuvansvara was a legacy of the Cholan line of kings, its mentioning in the silver plates indicates that it was brought back to Champapura during the settlement of Maharaja Divakara at Vat Phu. It is also suggesting that Tribhuvanadityavarman who was a ruler of Vat Phu (Lingaparvata), was himself a member of the Chola or Rashu line of kings. His title of Maharajadhiraja was clearly a show of insubordination to the Angkorean court suzerainty. It reveals his true identity neither as a member of the Sri Vijayan nor of Cham court and that he received the title because he was actually reigning over the Angkorean throne (Notes: The Title of Maharajadhiraja). He was likely the same personage of the "Bharata Rashu Samvuddhi", mentioned in the inscription of Banteay Chmar to revolt against the next Angkorean monarch, Yasovarman II. As we shall see, The revolt gave him the control of the Angkorean throne until he was dragged down and killed by the new Champa king with the name of Jaya Indravarman IV (Nokor Thom: The Shake-up of the Angkorean Court: The Reign of the Cham King Jaya Indravarman I). As we shall see, the Cham King also reigned over the Angkorean throne and took the same title of Maharajadhiraja.
THE RISE OF THE SURYA DYNASTY
After the Sri Vijayan faction left Angkor back to their homeland, a new leadership emerged once again at Yasodhara to bring the glory back to the Angkorean Empire. An obscure figure by the name of Divakara became the new leader to consolidate the Khmer court and went on strengthening once again the cakravatin kingship. His political skill, as we shall see, brought the legacy of the Chola back into the mainland Indochina. As we had argued, the Chola was no stranger to the Angkorean court (The Chola Dynasty: The Cholan Consortium: The Cholan Empire of Tanjore). While the Sri Vijayan legacy was seen leaving the Angkorean court, the old Angkorean tradition was soon subverted. Under the initiative of Divakara, Suryavarman II became next the cakravatin monarch to bring Angkor back into its old glory days.
The Early Career Path of Divakara
The inscription of Phnom Sandak (BEFEO XLII, The Steles of Phnom Sandak: K.194, by G. Coedes) is the only inscription so far that provides us with information of Divakarapandita during his early career stage at Angkor. Unfortunately, the inscription does provide only a sketchy background about his origin.
The venerable lord Guru Cri Divakarapandita from the region of Vnur Dnan, in the district of Sadya of the sect of Karamantara, third category, trained in reveal knowledge (from his) youth never ceased to learn and to teach all the sacred texts (agama) and to practice asceticism.
The locality of Vnur Dnan was mentioned in another inscription found at Phnom Sandak where Divakara apparently settled in. His presence in the Angkorean court is mentioned next during the reign of Udayadityavarman II.
In the reign of SM Cri Udayadityavarmadeva, who ascended the throne in 972 caka (1050 AD) when the king erected the KA Suvarnalinga. For the purpose of worshipping, the venerable lord Guru Cri Divakarapandita was invited to officiate.
It is important to note that Udayadityavarman II was crowned by his guru Jayendrapandita whose family from Stok Koh Thom had sole ownership of the Devaraja ritual. Divakara on the other hand who was at the time very young, might just hold a minor position at first, but his career would pick-up fast after he was promoted to the rank of president of rites for the Angkorean King.
In the reign of SM Cri Udayadityavarmadeva, the venerable lord Guru Cri Divakarapandita was invited to (takes over the duties of) president (pradhana).. with the rank of precedence in the fourth category.
The inscription is quiet about his ascending career during the reign of Harshanavarman III (1066-1080). Only during the reign of Jayavarman VI (1080-1107) that he was mentioned to be promoted to the rank of Lord Guru, a position traditionally held by the family of Jayendrapandita from Stok Koh Thom. The history of the Sung recorded the arrival of one of the highest dignitaries of San-fo-shish named Ti-hua-chieh-lo at the court of China in 1067. Ten years later, in 1077, it also recorded the arrival of another dignitary of the same name, Ti-hua-chia-lo, but this time from the Cholan court of king Rajendradevakulottanga. His name as the exact transcription of the Chinese word "Ti-hua-chia-lo" leads us to believe that Divakara was the same person in the Chinese Texts who played a key role in the development of post dynastic crisis. It shows that during the reign of Harshavarman III, Divakara was more active at Sri Dharmaraja and was working on the conciliation between the Sri Vijaya and the Chola. About the same time, many inscriptions found at the temple of Prah Vihear (JSS: Sanskrit Inscriptions of Campa and Cambodia, by Abel Bergaine) attest the apparition of the chief priest Divakara at Angkor during the next reigns. It signals another political shift that allowed the Chola clan to join in the Cakravatin establishment. Divakara's presence in both the Sri Vijaya and the Angkorean court is not a surprise since they belonged now to the same Mahidhara or Mahavamsa family. The fact that he represented the court of Rajendradevakulottanga at the court of China suggests that he had close connection with the last Cholan king of Angkor (Notes: Rajendradevakulottanga). To recall back, Jayavarman V had recruited many Indian Brahmans to be part of his personal entourage, among them was DivakaraBhatta (The Chola Dynasty: The Dynasty of Koh Ker: The reign of Jayavarman V). Apparently Jayavarman V hired the Cholan priest DivakaraBhatta to join the Angkorean court before the Dynastic crisis. When he was ousted by Sri Vijaya, he took along Divakarabhatta with him. It is most likely that when the Chola was allowed to join the Angkorean consortium during the late stage of King Udayadityavarman II, the family members of Divakarabhatta were also allowed to move to Angkor. It was because of his unique background and ability that Divakara managed to bring the two contending houses in consort. As we shall see, his audacity would play important role in the politic of the Angkorean court during the next turbulent reigns to bring up the Cholan supremacy again onto the Angkorean throne.
The Leadership of Divakara
The joining of the Chola in the Cakravatin establishment marked the ascending of Divakara's career in the Angkorean court. Taking the opportunity of internal conflict, he promoted himself through the Angkorean channel that was previously reserved to the priestly family of Sdok Koh Thom. From the inscription of Phnom Sandak, we know that he was assigned to the job of Lord Guru. The first king to be crowned by him was Jayavarman VI.
In the reign of SM Cri Jayavarmadeva, when, on the occasion of his ascension to the holy royalty, he sought for a priest fit in all respects to carry out the function of Prah Guru to celebrate the royal coronation. - .It was the venerable lord Guru Cri Divakarapandita who was invited to fulfill the venerable lord Guru.
The passage appears to indicate that Divakara brought himself up to become Lord Guru to perform the coronation of the king Jayavarman VI. Once again, we see the aggressively of the Chief priest in the politic of the Angkorean court. Conforming to the Vishnuite sect of Hinduim, Divakara was just exercising his priesthood's right as a member of the top cast of the kingdom. Needless to say, his aggressiveness had led to more unrest during the next reigns at Angkor. After his coronation, there are not many records or legacies of Jayavarman VI left at Angkor's site. The next passage indicates that he was more active at Champapura.
When SM Cri Jayavarmadeva went on a pilgrimage to the temples and holy places .. went to K.J Cri Campasvara, the venerable lord Guru Cri Divakarapandita was invited to go and make (concessions?) in all the temples.
It is important to note that Champapura became the homeland of the Sailendra since the formation of the cakravatin Empire. During the dynastic crisis, we saw the Sri Vijaya moving into Prey-Nokor and the Sri Vijayan community at the south of Pandaranga might had been formed at the same time. After a new consortium was formed, we shall see the return of the Sailendra back to Champapura. The presence of Jayavarman VI at Prey Nokor signals that the reestablishment of the Sri Vijaya court was not constrained only to Sri Dharmaraja. The next prince who was residing at Champapura before he returned to take the Angkorean throne under the name of Jayavarman VII, might have been taking part of the mission. After Jayavarman VI left for Mahidhara, Divakara was again performing the duty of Lord Guru for the coronation of king Dharnindravarman.
In the reign of SM Cri Dharnindravarma, brother of Cri Jayavarmadeva, the venerable lord Guru Cri Divakarapandita accomplished the duties of Vrah Guru to celebrate the royal coronation and perform the oblations at all sacrifices.
The crowning of both Jayavarman VI and Dharnindravarman reveals the high achievement of Divakara's career in the Angkorean court. However, he was a real guru for neither one of the two kings as they were already grown up and thus already been trained. His real achievement as the traditional Lord Guru was for the next king, Suryavarman II whom he was entrusted to take care of the prince's education since he was young. As we shall see Divakara would train the young Suryavarman II to become a powerful Cakravatin monarch who left a long lasting legacy of the Angkorean Empire. It is also important to note that this high achievement was amid a political development of intense rivalry at Angkor. He had to manage through difficult situations of consolidating two antagonist dynasties with many centuries of old feuds to join in the workable alliance. His effort appeared to pay off but was with a heavy cost. His aggression had jeopardized the stability of the Angkorean internal politic preserved through many generation of the Param-Guru in performing the cult of Devaraja. Their in-cooperation apparently let to the crack down on Xiang-Mai during the reign of Suryavarman II. Their Vishnuite devotion had undermined the long-standing Sivaite-Buddhist heritage of Angkor. Condemned by the Angkorean king, evidences show that Xiang-Mai sought protection of the Song Dynasty. On the other hand, the Chola itself would not fit under the cakravatin Empire of Angkor even though it was ran by the same Cholan leadership. Looking for its own supremacy, we shall see that the Chola own uprising had led to the secession of Champapura from the Angkorean establishment. As we shall see, the break-off of the two key cardinal states would undermine the Cakravatin security of Angkor for the long run.
The Bottom Surya Dynasty
The inscription found at a foundation of the temple of Ban That, described the historical facts about Jayavarman VI, his elder brother Dharninvarman I, and their young successor Suryavarman II (Le Cambodge: Le Monument and le stele de Ban That, p.165: Aymonier). Their genealogy, though showing family connection, portrays different affinities of political and cultural background. Jayavarman VI was the son of Hiranyavarman from Kshitindragrama, and of Hiranyalaksmi. An otherwise unknown locality, Kshitindragrama (Kshita + indra + grama) was meant to be the land of the Indra ksatra which was the legacy of the Sailendra Sri Ksetra which we had identified as Ayudhya Puran (Dvaravati: Notes: Sri Ksetra). From the fact that Jayavarman VI brought his family to Mahidharapura and that he was originated from Kshitindragrama, we believe that Kshitindragrama is part of Mahidharapura, the stronghold of the Sri Vijaya where Suryavarman I also originated. It is certain that Jayavarman VI did not reign at Angkor for long, for he was mentioned only in an unfinished inscription. According to the inscription of Ta Prohm, Jayavarman VI appears to spend the rest of his life ruling at Mahidhara of Sri Vijaya.
Having obtained the supreme royalty of the sacred city of Yacodharapura, the king Jayavarmadeva, winner of all enemies, planted in every direction until the seashore his pillars of glory, fixed the residency of his family at Mahidharapura.
The inscription of Mount Prah Vihea, erected by the Bhraman Divakara, mentions his name in the construction of Sivaite temples at Phnom Sandak, Prah Vihea, and Vat Phu along with the construction of the Buddhist temple at Phimai. These construction works at northern part of Angkor reflected the attempts to take control of the Siam country during the unrest induced by the Cholan presence in Laos. At his death he received the posthumous name Paramakaivalapada. The next king was a brother of his who was also crowned by Divakara and received the crown name of Dharanindravarman I. The inscription of Ban That explicitly describes his ascension to the Angkorean throne as by circumstance.
Without having desired royalty, when his younger brother the king had returned to heavens, through simple compassion and yielding to the prayers of the human multitude without a protector, he governed the land with prudence.
Apparently Dharanindravarman I did not succeed directly Jayavarman IV, but his younger brother who died soon after his coronation. A king named Naripatindravarman, mentioned in inscriptions to reign at Angkor until 1113 might have been him. The title Naripatindravarman indicates that he was then a ruler of Lavo, a function traditionally assigned to the army general of the Angkorean Empire. Dharanindravarman I continued the building and endowment program of the preceding reign and pursued traditionalism to the point of taking as his wife the Queen Vijayendralaksmi, widow of the heir apparent prince who died before reigning. He had reigned for five years. He received the posthumous name of Paramanishkalapada. As much as Jayavarman VI and Dharninvarman I were retaining the Sri Vijayan legacy of the late Suryavarman I, the next king Suryavarman II, on the other hand, emerged as the new leader of the Chola clan. As the Inscription of Ban-That put it, he would bring the Vishnuite legacy of South India to be implanted first time at Angkor. Worst yet, he had done it through violence.
Releasing the ocean of his armies on the fields of combat, he (Suryavarman II) gave terrible battle; leaping on the head of the elephant of the enemy king, he slew him, just as Garuda swooping down from the top of a mountain kills a serpent.
Garuda is an epic creature of the Vishnuite mythology originated from the Annanuki symbol of the late Sumerian folklore. As portrayed, it was the ennemy of the serpent or naga. Young and energetic, Suryavarman II wrested the Angkorean throne from the contemporary Angkorean king, in a battle that ended the latter' s life. The serpent or naga of the passage was referring to the late king Dharanindravarman I who was a member of the Sri Vijayan clan. As we shall see, his aggressiveness undermined the Meru's legacy of Angkor that was formed through the Buddhist peaceful discipline of a cakravatin empire. By further splitting of the Khmer Cakravatin Empire's basic alliance with the Sri Vijaya, Suryavaman II set himself as the sole ruler of the universe.
THE MAKING OF MAHA NOKOR
The ascension of King Dharnindravarman at Angkor marked a downturn of the Sri Vijayan influence in Angkor. Not only that he was reluctant to take on the responsibility as the Angkorean monarch, his reign was also plagued by the incidence that led to the usurpation of his throne. Under the leadership of Divakara, the Cholan Clan took the opportunity to rise up and to wrest the power from the weak king and handed it to the still very young Suryavarman II. By quieting down the rivalry of the Sri Vijaya powerhouse, he took sole control of Angkor. Crowned by his guru Divakara, Suryavarman II's audacity brought Angkor to the next status of a Cakravatin Empire. Angkor retained then the title of Maha Nokor, recognized by the Chinese council of rites as Ta-Tche to be treated in honor by the Chinese court.
The Reign of Suryavaman II (1113-1145/1150)
Suryavarman II was a grandnephew in the female line of Dharanindravarman I. His obscure background prevents us from further elaborating on his origin. However his Crown title appears to link him to Suryavarman I of whom the Khmer tradition associated to a specific lineage of Bottomsurya. This title of orthodox Vishnuite cult was unknown to the Angkorean tradition of Sivaite and moderate Vishnuite background, but was quite common to the Cham tradition. As we had argued, the Bottomsurya lineage was linked to the Solomon tradition of Middle Eastern origin and could be due to the late western interference on the Indian Cholan Dynasty (The Chola Dynasty: The Divergence: The economic Factor). On the other hand, the background of his guru Divakara could be traced to the early ousted court of Jayavarman V (The Chola Dynasty: The Dynasty of Koh ker: The reign of Jayavarman V). Suryavarman II himself could have been born in Angkor from parents that were closely tied to the Jayavarman V's family circle. It was likely that they came back to Angkor when the Chola had made a deal with the Sri Vijaya. Having less legitimacy as compared to his uncle Dharanindravarman I in the Angkorean court that was now under strong Sri Vijayan influence, Suryavarman II 's right to the Angkorean throne was not secured. Even though the Cholan presence in Angkor was strong after the arrangement with the Sri Vijaya, there was indication that the Savaite legacy was still dominant in the Angkorean court. That would change over time as inscriptions started to mention that he received more and more esteem and support from family members. As much as we know more about the lineage of Suryavarman I, we know little about Suryavarman II's ancestry. Unlike Suryavaramn I, Suryavarman II was an insider of the Angkorean court and took hold of the Angkorean throne not by invasion but rather by usurpation. From the fact that he had not enough legitimacy to the Angkorean throne, he needed to work harder to earn his credential. The building of Angkor Wat was one among many of his achievements that had never been done before in the history of Angkor. We know then that he had a brilliant career after he took control of Angkor that was very much up to the expectation of his personal guru Divakarapandita. Evidences however show that even though he had bent himself to the Cakravatin rule of Angkor, there was still unrest during the early stage of his reign. As we shall see, the condemnation of the Param-Guru later signals the harsh resolution of Suryavarman II to curb down resistance from the Angkorean's Sivaite side of the court. At the same time, evidences also show that the control of Lavo was not trouble free. Lohac (as the Chinese called the court of Lavo) sent a mission to China on its own in 1115, two years after the ascension of Suryavarman II who was then very young. At a time that the young king had not yet fully established his authority over the outlying dependencies of his kingdom, Lavo under Jaya-Simhavarman took the leadership role. The finding suggests that in some circumstances, a cardinal state of a Cakravatin Empire might take the control if needed, especially when there are internal crises. Again in 1155, following the death of Suryavarman II, Lavo sent another embassy to the Chinese court. This time, evidences show that Lavo had detached itself from the control of Angkor and took the side with the Sri Vijaya of Sri Dharmaraja. An inscription of 1167 found in the region of Nagara Svarga (Nakhon Sawan) of a king named Dharmasoka who might had been another ruler on the Lavo throne. As Dharmasokaraja was a traditional title of Sri Dharmaraja (Sri Dharmaraja) Nagara Svarga was undoubtedly meant to be a city of Sri Dharmaraja. Perhaps due to restless state of Angkor, there were not many inscriptions that were directly dedicated to him. Due to the lack of information, we know little about the rest of his life and career in the Angkorean court. The end of his reign was obscure and the date of his death is still unknown. The last inscription in his name is dated in 1145, but there is every reason to believe that he was the instigator of the campaign of 1150 against Tongkin and, therefore his reign lasted at least until that date. An Annamite chronicle mentioned about a raid to Nghe-An in 1150 by Cambodian troops and suffered a lost due to hot and wet weather (BEFEO IV, Deux ittinaries de Chine en Inde: Paul Pelliot, p210). Contrary to the common belief that the building of Angkor Wat was done during his reign, we shall see that he died before the whole temple was actually completed. Some parts that were left unfinished were completed later during the next reigns. The fact that he was referred by his posthumous name proved that the last depiction on the hallway about the military processing was done after his death. We know from the depiction that his posthumous name was Paramavishnuloka.
Angkor Wat's Architecture
Despite all troubles of his reign, Suryavarman II left a much longer lasting legacy of him. The construction of Angkor wat became the iconic success story of the Khmer Empire. It was in this temple that he was deified in the form of Visnu incarnation and received the posthumous name of Paramavishnuloka. The new introduction of Visnuite legacy, as we shall see, marked the high point of the next Khmer architecture. Conforming to the Khmer legend of the building of Angkor Wat, an inscription found at the temple at Ban that located near Kuruksetra where the scholar Sukarman resided, makes a reference to an architectural marvel. Under the Cholan influence, Suryavarman II 's leaning toward Vishnuism was obvious. However, we had argued that true to its legacy from the Cholan legacy of the Sangum era, the Cholan clan of South India had very strong Sivaite legacy of the Nanda. For instance, the naga king that was the representation of the Soma Culture was still considered as progenitor of the Vishnuite Cult. On the other hand, other aspects of the Meru legacy had been revised and included in the new Angkorean architecture. On its face B, the inscription described an edifice of three towers, a representation of the three tops of mount Meru, the celestial mountain. This could be the reference to the temple of Ban-That where the inscription was found, but it was also a prelude to an architectural design used in a larger scale for the building of the celestial temple of Angkor Wat as representing the mount Meru.
Three high edifices (Saudhhatrayam) represent the three tops of mount Meru, the celestial mountain where dwelled religious sages and celestial nymphs. Just as the Indra' s palace, with banner floating in the air, under the sound of music high into the sky, groups of women dance and sing with mellow voices accompanying string musical instruments.
The use of tower (prang in Khmer) is typical of Khmer architecture that could not be found anywhere else in India. Contrary to stone temples in Champapura of Po-Nokor where Indian architecture was well noticeable, Angkor Wat and its contemporary temples are undeniably free of Indian influence. It is reflecting that Suryavarman II was conforming to the Khmer custom of the Angkorean Empire. As a matter of fact, we shall see that many more khmer legacies were founded in Angkor Wat than in other temples of prior date. And for those who wonder what Angkor Wat was built for, the next passage of the inscription provides the best answer of all. One could imagine that it was used the same way as Buddhist temples are used in Cambodia today. Besides sheltering monks and religious members, it was the place where all sort of religious activities and ceremonies took place. At Ban-That and perhaps the same at Angkor Wat, two such ceremonies were mentioned in the inscription.
During the Sraddha and the Dirghasatra, people listen to the recital of the pass history. There we can see, in anytime, the universe brought close on the magnificent tables displayed on the wall.
The Sraddha, known as the ceremony of ancestral observance, consist of bathing procession of the ancestral royal linga. On the other hand, the Dighasatra was referring to a sacrifice ceremony of some sort, for the god Soma. During these two ceremonies, people might entertain themselves and learn the pass history from the recital of scholars. The two ceremonies were undeniably not Vishnuite. It confirms the fact that under Suryavarman II, Angkor was retaining no less of its Sivaite legacy. On its architecture, Angkor's temples undoubtedly adopted new feature that reflected the greatness of the Angkor Empire of the time. The earlier mountain temples embedded the legacy of Nokor Phnom that consisted of using the pyramid bases to support a tower of lotus shape. Later temples, including the temple of Angkor Wat, were the aggrandizement of the previous architecture consisting of a central mountain temple surrounded by smaller towers at the cardinal points. With multiple enclosures and different level of terraces, the five towers represented the Cakravatin Empire consisting of its Middle Kingdom and its four cardinal states. One significant feature of the new architecture, more noticeable at Angkor Wat than any other temples, was the presence of the Naga sculptures. Under the Buddhist and Vishnuite influence, these Khmer nagas grew many heads out of the mouth of a Makara. Each head represented a Naga clan formed by the Meru Culture and classified by the Hindu culture: the Simha (lion), the Kala (Sura), the Guchasa (elephant) etc... Looking closely one might notice the Buddhist wheel of Dharma right at the beginning of spanning fan of the Naga heads. It was an integrated symbol of Naga races under the influence of mixed cosmology of the Hindu Trinity. The Simha or Lion sculptures were also noticeable, at the site of Angkor Wat, reflecting the importance of the Simha past legacy of the Khmer Empire.
Lavo as the Angkorean Military Command Post
Another feature of Angkor Wat is the depiction on the hallway of each enclosure of bas-reliefs depicting various themes of either related Hindu cosmology or specific events of the Khmer Kingdoms. What standout from the rest of the depiction is a bas-relief that actually portrays the Angkorean court under Suryavarman II himself. Its presentation was of particular historical values that scholars attribute that division of the hallway as the historical gallery of the temple (JA Tome II, VIII serie: Aymonier, Les Inscriptions en vieux Khmer). The depiction is divided into many distinct partitions showing off the military parades to the public. Under the watchful eyes of Suryavarman and his entire court, different contingents displayed their military strength along with their commanders. The first or lower partition depicted the corteges of the queens and princesses with elaborate hair dresses of diadem with triple points. Five queens who were placed in the front, laid themselves on palanquins with magnificent dais. We know that one of them was the principal queen while the other fours were, according to the Cakravatin tradition, the daughters of the four cardinal states. At the background, princesses hit themselves in cabins covered by drape. They were observing the Khmer tradition known as "entering in shade" which required young girls at the age of puberty to be hidden in the shade out of public sight. At the higher partitions, lancers and archers stood guard the royal audience. Brahmans with long hair knotted in Chignon sit respectfully according to their ranks. Next came the depiction of the king himself. A small inscription tells us that he was Suryavarman II assembling his troops on the mount Civapada or mount Isvara.
Samtac Prah Pada Kamraten an Parama Viushnuloka na stac nau the vnam Civapada pi pancuh vala.
The fact that the inscription was referring to Suryavarman II by his posthomus name, we believe that the depiction was done after his death. As some parts were left unfinished, we also believe that the building of Angkor Wat was then not completed during his reign. Wearing the makuta or the diadem, he sat in a royal pose surrounded by fourteen umbrellas. The inscription tells us that he is inspecting his troop. The depiction also shows the army of Suryavarman II in different contingents marching in a parade with each contingent has its own commander identified by a small inscription. A number of umbrellas surrounded each one of them indicating their ranking. Most soldiers were depicted with bare foot and bare torso. If they don't wear headdresses, the depiction shows them with crew-cut style hair cut. Their armaments were spears, knives and shields. On the other hand some contingents were depicted with specific discipline showing that the Khmer army is a coalition of forces composed of recruits from different cardinal and vassal states of the country. A small inscription of one of the contingents tells us that it was about the conduction of Lavo army under the command of Sri Jaya-Simhavarman.
Vrah kamraten An Sri Jaya Simhavarman Kamlun prey nam vala Lvo.
The army under Sri Jaya-Simhavarman was portrayed as having the same discipline and uniform, exactly as the Angkorean army of Suryavarman II. What is interesting is the portraying of Jaya-Simhavarman with seventeen umbrellas while other personalities of the Angkorean court had at most twelve and Suryavarman II himself had only fourteen. It is expected that Jaya-Simhavarman, as an obraja of the Angkorean Empire, had more status than other dignitaries of the Angkorean court. However, the depiction of more umbrellas suggests that his ranking was even above the younger Suryavarman II. It indicates that in a cakravatin establishment, the ruler of the Middle Kingdom was not always the supreme leader of the Empire. As we have seen, Dvaravati had been a cultural inspiration and the political support of the Soma line for the previous Angkorean kings and Lavo had been one of the strong cardinal states of the Angkorean Empire. This arrangement explains the influence of Lavo over the Angkorean court and also the shake off between the two when Suryavarman II decided to exert his full authority as a Cakravatin monarch.
THE DEPENDENCY OF RAJAPATI
The depiction on the wall of Angkor Wat reveals the solidarity of the Southern alliance that reflects no serious skirmishes with the southern powerhouses. By now, evidences show that Sri Dharmaraja, along with the hard core of the Sri Vijaya had been succumbed and absorbed in Suryavarman II's internal circle either by force or by persuasion. The last part of the bas-relief provides us with important information about the control of the Angkorean court over Dvaravati of the Menam Valley. Complementing the rare information from the Chinese texts, it shed light to the political aspects of the Angkorean dependency of northern Siam states during the reign of Suryavrman II.
The Siam Kut and the Siam Kuk
What could not be missed is the last depiction on the wall of Angkor was the section under the label of "Syam Kut", apparently depicting non-Khmer troupes under their own commander. The depiction shows contrast between a contingent of Siamese troupes with the Khmer army of Angkor. Another small inscription identifies their commander as "Anak rajyakaryya bhaga paman jen jhala ta nam Syam Kuk", a royal officer bearing the title of the "bhaga paman Jen jhala" named "Siam Kuk". It is important to note the difference between the two words "Siam kut" and "Siam Kuk" as the former was referring to the whole Siamese contingent and the latter as part of the title of the Siamese commander. We shall identify that the Siam Kuk (Gog), as referred to the Siamese commander, was in general a reference to the Tai leadership of Western Kambojan stock (The Meru Culture: The impact of Cinicization: The Identity crisis). On the other hand, we had also identified that Siam Kut was a Khmer reference to a southern community of the Menam Valley (Nokor Khmer: The Syam country: The Syam Kuti and Lawaratha). Located around Ayudhya, Siam Kut was part of Sri Dhammaraja. The depiction portrays the soldiers in the Syam Kut's contingent to be more primitive than the rest of the Angkorean troupes and clearly less organized. Looking closely, they fit the description of the Guchanaga warriors in various Chinese texts. Of their attire in consistency with the Naga traditional vogue, we could identify them as Ligor' s warriors of Sri Dharmaraja. When they came to the country for trading, Chinese merchants often had to interface with Sri Vijayan soldiers and noticed their particular appearance in their memoirs of the Southern Sea's empire. From their description, we are confident enough to identify the depicted Siamese troupes of Angkor Wat to be the Sri Vijayan warriors, in joining Lavo troops as part of the Angkorean army. Setting them apart from the Angkorean troops, peacock and other exotic bird's feathers were used for decoration on both their spears and headdresses. On the other hand, their skirts appear to be the same as the traditional Mon or Malay "sarong" called "longyi" that was still in use until modern days. They were recruited from southern indigenous tribesmen whose lifestyle was preserved until modern days. Despite their primitive appearance, they were often mentioned in Chinese Texts as of incomparable bravery. Chinese merchants were then advised not to mess around with these Sri Vijayan Law enforcement officers. On the other token, evidences show that the Siamese or Lao people of the northern countries were already adopting the Khmer culture. Through Lavo, Xiang-Mai received the Khmer Culture long before the creation of Haripangjaya. It could be checked out that their traditional dress consisting of a larger piece of cloth wore with the front end passed between the legs and tied to the back. Called in Khmer as "Kbin", the same apparel was good for both sex and was common to all citizen of Angkor (Nokor Khmer: The Siam country: The customs). Had they been recruited into the Khmer army they would blend in completely with the depicted Lavo contingents. In the depicted military parade, it is expected that they wore exactly the same uniform as the depicted Khmer and Lavo Soldiers were wearing. At the time, we shall see that Suryavarman II had already subdued Xiang-Mai and was in the process of reorganizing the whole northern region. As Lavo was now under his tight control, evidences show still that the northern Siam countries were in disarray. It was due in part to the fact that Haripangjaya emerged as a serious contender against Angkor since the reign of Suryavarman I and sided itself with Ramandesa. As an inscription put it, Suryavarman II himself went into the countries of his enemies to eclipse the glory of the victorious Rashu who was the ancestor of Rama. It was referring to Ramanadesa that was then under the last Triphuvanaditya's lineage of Kyansetha. There was no indication that Suryavarman II succeeded in consolidating back Haripangjaya and other northern Siam countries into the Khmer Cakravatin Empire during his reign. For concrete evidences showing these northern Siam troops joining in the Khmer coalition army, we would have to wait until later under the reign of Jayavarman VII when evidences show that Ramandesa along with other northern Shan countries were absorbed under Angkorean control. At the mean time, Suryavarman II still had more unrest to quiet down. As we shall see, the challenge came from Champapura that was all along a cardinal state of Angkor. The crisis stayed until the reign of Jayavarman VII, when many inscriptions witness the coalition force of Pukam, Shan and Khmer troops fighting against Angkor' s enemy, Dai-Viet.
The Conflict With Xiang-Mai
As the capital of Dvaravati, Lavo was always been the strategic center of the Angkorean Empire. In connection with Siam internal affairs, evidences show that Lavo had very much credential to exert its own control over the Siam Country. Chao-ju-Kua confirms in his Chu-fou-chi when it was compiled in 1178 Chao-ju-Kua, that Lavo was the capital of Chen-La (CJK: Kambuja (Chon-La): P.52). It explains why Lavo was often mentioned in northern Siam tradition as a cakravati, instead of Angkor. Under the Mahidhara leadership, the role of Lavo was still retained as the military command post of the new Angkorean Empire. The depiction on the wall of Angkorwat confirms Lavo' s dependency to Angkor during the reign of Suryavarman II. It was undoubtedly Jaya-Simhavarman who wrested it from the control of Sri Vijaya. After the south had been subdued and stabilized, evidences show that the priority of Suryavaramn II and his Guru was shifted to the northern Siam Countries. The settlement of Divakara at Phnom Sandak and the resuscitation of Phnom Prah Vihea as a new political center, reflect the new policy of Angkor concerning its northern dependency. It was in conjunction with the effort of Divakara as the governor of Rajapati to regroup the Cholan legacy back, during the rest of his career in the Angkorean court. It also agrees with the Shan tradition of commemorating the two celestial brothers, making their ways to make an extensive conquest to the west (Notes: The Pong Chronicle). Working under the suzerainty of his brother, Sam Long Pha extended the Shan dominion to cover up the ancient legacy of Varadhana. This extensive campaign, in the effort to consolidate the Cholan territory under Angkor however, created more impact on the last legacy of the Sri Vijaya that was already settled over the northern Siam country (Notes: The Tai race). Retaliation from the orthodox members of the Sri Vijayan clan, especially of Xiang-Mai was to be expected. With no information, we only could speculate what was going to happen next during the late reign of King Suryavarman II. While Jaya Simhavarman succeeded to stabilize most of the southern provinces, Xiang-Mai started to rebel and induce treats to the new king and his Cholan court. To recall back, Xiang-Mai was part of Aninditapura and was the seat of the Parama-kings who were important players in the early formation of Angkor. In close connection with the Sri Vijayan establishment of the Menam Valley, Lawasangharatha was the progenator of Angkor's most powerful cardinal state. The locality of Prey Sla (Betel Forest), in particular, was connected to both royal and the Lord Guru 's family members of the previous Angkorean court. Following the cult of Devaraja that became the crowning procedure of Angkor, it was a direct family member of Lord Guru Silvakaivalia who took care the coronation of the Angkorean monarch. During the attack of Angkor by King Suryavarman I, the family of Lord Guru was also targeted but had survived the assault. They were reinstated back and continued to perform their works until at least the reign of Udayadityavarman II. The inscription of Stock Kak Thom indicates that Jayendrapandita still hold high position in the court of the latter. However, the merging with the Chola and the appointment of Divakara as the royal guru of Suryavarman II, would hint the end of Jayendrapandita 's legacy in the court of Angkor. Our speculation is that they were following Jayavarman VI to Sri Dhammaraja and then came back to reinstate his eldest brother Dharnindravarman I to the throne of Angkor. This maneuver obviously clashed with the youthful Suryavarman II who, under the tutelage of his Guru Divakarapandita, was also contending for the Angkorean throne. To no avails, the strong leadership of Suryavarman II would not let the insubordination happened. An inscription of Prah Vihear reveals a measure that concerned specific re-enforcement of order, conducted by Suryavarman II and his Guru Divakarapandita on Xiang-Mai.
Concerning the villages and family estates of the lord Parama-guru who had committed faults, such as the village of Prey Sla, family of lord ... deva, and the village of Kantin, which the kings had given to gods, the venerable lord Guru Sri Divakarapandita made appeal to the royal favor. His Majesty redeemed them all and all the guilty ones... again as henceforward.
The lord Parama-guru of the passage was undoubtedly a member of the last Angkorean elite and a family's member of the late guru lord Jayendrapandita. Under the condemnation, the people of Xiang-Mai, along with family's members of the Param-Guru, were put under strict control of Angkor and received harsh treatment. It was a punishment known of the Khmer tradition against any members of its Cakravatin Empire, found guilty of insubordination. In normal circumstances, both the rulers and the people were treated as war-slave until the condemnation was lifted. In their own history, the Xiang-Mai chronicle recorded no events during the reign of King Lao Chun and Lao Meng of Xiang-Mai. Considering that Suryavarman II was carrying a strict measure on them, it is understandable that Xiang-Mai was not in a position to challenge the Angkorean punishment. The emergence of Lao Meng's son, king Mangrai who rose-up later along with Rama-Kamheang and king Ngam-Muang to form a pact against the Angkorean Empire during the Mongol's incursion, however suggests a retaliation against the condemnation by the late Angkorean court.
The Reestablishment of Muang Nan
The Nan Chronicle is by far the only chronicle that dedicates Nan as a country of its own right (Notes: The Nan Chronicle). The chronicle started from the formation of Muang Chandapura (Vieng-chan) and Muang Varanagara (later became Muang Pua) to satisfy the need of two princely brothers by the ruler of the Phukha Dynasty. The mentioning of the two brothers, hatched from two eggs in the story line reflects the obscure background of the next rulers of Nan and Vieng-Chan. Found by a hunter, the two eggs were handed over to Phraya Phukha.
While resting under the tree, he (the hunter) saw two large eggs the size of Coconuts. He picked them up and brought them to Phraya Phukha.
As usual, the compiler of the chronicle used myth to hideout the obscurity when dealing with unclear historical facts. The formation of Vieng-Chan, as we had seen dated back since the Han when it was built around the same time that the Han took hold oy Yunnan (Sakadvipa: The Cham Countries: Yueh-tiao and the kingdom of the Chan). On the other hand, Varanagara appears to be a legacy of Varadhana (Hiong-Wang in Chinese source) that dated back since the antiquity. Nevertheless, the Nan Chronicle makes a reference to Muang Phukha (Puga) or Muang Yang to be the progenator of both city-states. The chronicle also referred to Phraya Phukha as an authority figure of Muang Yang, but left his real identity very much in the dark. His obscure background leads us to believe that Phraya Phukha's origin was not local to the Shan country. Two neighboring powerhouses that might be his home country were Pagan and Angkor. However the Glass Palace Chronicle had made it clear that Muang Maw was a threat to Anuruddha when he was ruling over Ramandesa (Ramandesa: The Angkorean Connection: The frontier cities). It is implying that Phrya Phukha could not be from the court of Pagan, but was from the court of Angkor instead. We shall identify him as no other than Rajapativarman of the Khmer inscriptions of Prah Vihea who was then the governor of Muang Yang. Chronologically, the event was in conjunction with the formation of Rajapati as an Angkorean control-post of northern Siam Countries. After stabilizing Xiang-Mai, Suryavarman II was in the mission to take back the Shan country. The reestablishment of Muang Nan and Vieng-Chan, as we shall see, was a strategic move to secure the northern part of the Angkorean Empire. Of the court of Nan, descended Vidyanandana who spent most of his youth at Angkor and would be instrumental in the reorganization of the Angkorean Empire during the reign of Jayavarman VII (Nokor Thom: The restoration of Angkor: Vidyanandana-Suryavarmadeva). Another Shan source that might provide us with additional information about Muang Yang or Muang Mao is the Pong chronicle. The chronicle was found at Manipura and was likely compiled by the displaced court from Srasvati. The fact that it is known as the Pong chronicle refers that the Shan states were part of Vanga or the Pong's Kingdom. It supports our assumption that Vanga was initially the same as Nokor Phnom (known in Chinese as the Shan country). Under the occupation of the Han, we had argued that the original Cholan rulers were driven down to Prey Nokor while the rest was retracted to Manipura. The Pong chronicle places the epicenter of the Shan Country not at Manipura, but at Muang Yang (Notes: The court of Vanga). Identified as Rajapati in Khmer inscriptions, Muang Yang reappeared in the history of Angkor starting from Suryavarman I' s reign. The formation of Muang Yang was actually a part of the Angkorean Empire, in the resuscitation of the ancient Shan legacy (of Nokor Phnom) back under the Khmer control (Nokor Thom: The new development of the Shan Country: The dependency of the Shan Mao country). Mimicking the Tai and Northern Lao tradition of Khun Borom and Khun Lo, the Pong Chronicle introduces two celestial brothers Khun Lung and Khun Lai to become the next kingship of the Shan country (SHAN: Appendix II: The story of Mung-Mau: P. IX). As we had identified Khun Borom and his brother Khun Lo as the Angkorean God King Paramesvara and Triphuvanesvara of the Sailendra royal house, we shall do the same for Khun Lung and Khun Lai of the Shan chronicle. Their legacies were carried on through their descendants, Khun Kam-Pha of Kambojan stock and Khun Sam-Lung-Pha of the Cham stock of whch the Shan legacy was just confirming the Sri Vijayan and the Cholan ancestry of its two ruling classes. That might have been started before the dynastic crisis since through their recent works on Rajapati, we know that both Suryavarman I and II had implanted their own family members in northern Shan countries to strengthen the Angkorean control up north. Another important event that links to the next return of the Cholan court was also hinted in the Shan chronicle. While the two celestial brothers were at first indecisive in their role of ruling the earth, the chronicle comments on the third prospector who through better preparation became ruler of Mithilda (China).
THE SECESSION OF CHAMPAPURA
The success of Suryavarman II's aggressive expansion had unfortunately its dark effect. Done mainly through military conquest, the expansion created its own dilemma. During the progression, internal skirmishes intensified. During the early phase of his reign, he had to face the resistance from the Sri Vijayan court. Nevertheless, we shall see that the real challenge came from his own Cholan side of the family. Being a Cakravatin monarch, Suryavarman II had to adhere to the interest of the Middle Kingdom and the independence of Champapura would not fit into his ambitious agenda. He spent the rest of his life trying unsuccessfully to bring Champapura back to the Angkorean control.
The Secession of Champapura
While the depiction on the wall of Angkor shows cooperation of Sri Dhammaraja with his court, Champapura was on the other hand not in the same picture. As soon as it was delegated to the Cholan court, Champapura became increasingly restless while looking for its own independence. The concentration of the Cholan clan in Champapura, this time with Vishnuite orthodoxy, allowed the Cham legacy to revive itself and to seek its political secession from the Angkorean Empire. The situation worsened by the emergence of Dai-Viet as a free agent during the down turn of China's central authority. As we recalled back, Dai-Viet was formed by the Han Dynasty as a southern commanding post of China. Following the fall of the Tang Dynasty, China was broken into different factions allowing local rulers to exercise direct authority on their own terms. According to Chao-Ju-Kua, Dai-Viet was kept still as a command Post of China until the last review by the Song Dynasty.
The various dynasties (of China) kept troops continually stationed (in Kiau-chi) although the revenue (derived from it) were extremely small, while the military occupation was at the contrary was extremely expensive. (CJK: Kiar-Chi: P.45)
The cost had proved to be too much for the Song dynasty to keep Tongkin as a military command post.
In view of these facts the government of our present dynasty, out of the affection for the army and for the veal of the poor humanity, deemed it advisable that our troops should no longer be kept in this pestilential climate for the purpose of guarding such an unprofitable territory, and in consequence the territory was held merely for the collection of tribute. (CJK: Kiar-Chi: P.45)
The change from a costly command post to a tribute-paying vassal of China explains the next activities of Dai-Viet in regard to its southern neighbor, Champapura. Relieved from military duty, Dai-Viet needed revenue to pay tribute to China in addition of sustaining its own cost. Their military strength was what becoming the main source of their survival mean of income. As Angkor was there to take back the control of Champapura, Dai-Viet joined Champapura in the political conflict with the Angkorean Empire. Suryavarman II obviously saw the interference of Dai-Viet as a serious treat to Angkor. In 1128, he led 20,000 men to invade Nghe-An but was driven out by Ly-Cong-Binh soon after. Suryavarman renewed his attack by sending out a fleet of more than 700 vessels to pillage the coasts of Tan-hoa. In the campaign, he dragged along the Champa King Harivarman to fight Dai-Viet. Again, the Dai-Viet garrisons of Nhe-An and Thanh-hoa united under the command of Duong Anh-nhe drove them out. After the fight, Champa was apparently making a pact with Dai-Viet and when Suryavarman II launched the next campaign in 1138, the Champa King refused to take any more part in the fight. At the contrary, Harivarman sent tribute to the Emperor Ly-Than-tong in the beginning of 1131 to settle their alliance. Realizing that the ruler of Champa had betrayed him, Suryavarman II decided to launch a campaign against him in 1145. The Angkorean army captured Champapura, seized Vijaya and apparently ended the control of Harivarman. When another Champa king named Jaya Harivarman I established himself in the south at Pandaranga in 1147, Suryavarman II sent another army, composing of both Cham and Khmer troops, led by Senapati Sankara against him in 1148, but was once again defeated on the plain of Rajapura. Another campaign with more troops did not fare better. As soon as Suryavarman II installed his brother in law, prince Harideva to be the ruler of Vijaya, Jaya Harivarman marched on Vijaya and threw its ruler off from power. The defeat ended once for all Suryavarman's attempts to bring Champapura back into the Angkorean control. In cooperation with Dai-Viet, Champapura succeeded to outmaneuver military campaigns carried by Suryavarman II to take back the control of the region. Angkor's last fight against Dai-Viet also took a worst turn. Without support for ground troops and a relay station for fresh supplies from Champapura, the Angkorean troops arrived at Nhe-An so weak that they had to withdraw without fighting. After the obscure end of Suryavarman II's reign, the Angkorean court was virtually broken down. As internal fighting intensified, the attempts to unify back the Cakravatin Empire faced with a serious setback. The next Angkorean monarchs spent most of their time curbing uprisings and succumbed in the process.
- ISSA: The Indianized States of Southeast Asia, by G. Coedes
- JSS:Sanskrit Inscriptions of Campa and Cambodia:Phnom Prah Vihear, by M. Abel Bergaigne
- BEFEO XLII:The Steles of Phnom Sandak (K.194) and of Prah Vihar (K. 383), by G. Coedes
- INDIA: Ancient India, by R.C. Majumdar
- SHAN:The Shan State and the British Annexation, by Sao Saimong Mangrai
- IC VI:Inscriptions Of Cambodia: Inscriptions of Prah Vihar, by G. Coedes
1006-1050: The reign of Suryavarman I; 1044-1053: The reign of Rajadhiraja I (Chola); 1050: The reign of Udayadityavarman; 1080-1107: The reign of Jayavarman VI; 1103: Probable reign of Kyanzittha; 1107-1113: The reign of Dharanindravarman; 1070-1122: The reign of Rajendra III (Chola); 1113-1145/1150: The reign of Suryavarman II; 1166-1178: The reign of Rajadhiraja II (Chola);
- The Legacy of Angkor
Since the formation of Angkor, the title of Rajadhiraja (the king of kings) was an Angkorean tradition referring to a Cakravatin Monarch. On the other hand, the titles Rajaraja or Rajendra was typical of Cholan tradition. The emergence of Rajadhiraj on the throne of Cola suggests that he was from Angkor. More study might reveal his true identity. He could be Suryavarman I himself who during the last part of his reign, ruled also the Cholan Empire. He also could be a successor of the last Angkorean king Jayavarman V who was ousted in 1002 from the Angkorean court. Considering that the two antagonist houses merged later proved of their common origin. The remaining question is how and when the reconciliation was taking place.
Kulottanga I, the son of the Eastern Chalukya king, Rajaraja, had a great deal of Cholan ancestry in him. His father's mother was the daughter of Rajaraja the Great, his own mother was the daughter of the great Rajendra Chola Gangaikonda, and he had married the daughter of Rajendra, the victor of Koppan (INDIA: Chapter XIII, South India: The Cholas: Rajadhiraja).
- The Pong Chronicle
Among Southeast Asian kingdoms, we had argued that the Shan country was one of the ancient countries of the Mainland Indochina since the Great Flood (The Man Race: The Himalayan Culture: The Shan people). Its modern history however was made obscure by the interference of the Mongbol's incursion and the transplant of Tai identity in the Mainland Indochina. The Pong Chronicle was so far the only one chronicle that would connect back the Shan country to its origin that was at the footstep of mount Himalaya where they once shared the Flood Myth with Manipura (SHAN: Appendix II: Some Earlier Shans: P.27).
The most famous so far, of such chronicles is not that of any of our own Shan States, but of the Kingdom of Pong.
We shall identify that the Kingdom of Pong was no other than Vanga centered at Manipura where the Pong Chronicle was discovered from.
The Pong Chronicle was discovered by Captain R.D. Pemberton of the Indian Army who was sent to Manipur on intelligence work in the early 1830's.
- The Tai race vs the Cham
Dated around the Christian era, the incursion of western Kambojan leadership into Southeast Asia brought the Tai culture to spread over the Lawa tribesmen of northern Siam countries. The Angkorean Empire was formed by consolidating the Tai legacy of the Sri Vijaya and the Cham legacy of the Chola under the Khmer Culture. Until the Dynastic crisis, Angkor became the Middle Kingdom controlling the Tai world of Soma Culture in the west and the Cham (Chola) world of Vishnuite Culture in the east. As we had argued, this arrangement that constituted the backbone of the Sumerian cosmogony allowed the Khmer Empire to thrive during the krita (or satya) time frame but suffered during the Kala period.
- The Court of Vanga
Inheriting the legacy of Kiao-tche, Vanga had its political center settlement according to political dynamic of Surrounding. Under the Angkorean control, Rajapati or Muang Yang was conveniently chosen because of its proximity to Angkor. During the Mongol incursion, we shall see that Vanga moved its court back to Manipura of Bengal. (Sokhodaya: The Mongol's affair: The fall of Pagan).
- The Nan Chronicle
Compiled in 1894 by Senluang Ratchasomphan, an official at the court of Nan in 1894, the chronicle includes in part I, the history of the Yonok Chiang-saen Dynasty from which the Nan rulers claimed to be descended from.
- The next Development of Moung Mau
The Chronicle appears to support the Nan Chronicle ablout the next development of Moung mau.
But however this may have been during Anuratha's lifetime, certainly the succeeding kings of Mau were entirely independent, and they appear to have reigned in peace and unbroken succession until the death Pam-Yau-Pung in AD 1210, when a third influx of Khun Lung's posterity occurred in the person of Chau-Ai-Mo-Kam-Neng of the race of Kun-su of the race of Maing-Kaing Maing-Nyaung.(SHAN: Appendix II: The story of Mung-Mau: P. IX)
We shall refer Chau-Ai-Mo-Kam-Neng to no other that Jayavarman VII ().
- The Decline of the Chola
The decline of the Chola might have been started after the death of Rajadhiraja (1044-1053) in the battle with the Chalukya. It continued on during the reign of Rajendra III (1246-1279) who ruled as the feudally of the Pandya. The last legacy of the Chola Empire was ended, after the invasion of Malik Naib Kafu in 1310.
- The title of Maharajadhiraja
Etymologically the title Maharajadhiraja (Maharaja-rajadhiraja) is the concatenation of Maharaja and Rajadhiraja. Traditionally, Rajadhiraja is the crown title of the Choladhara king while Maharaja is on the other hand the title of Mahodhara king. In short, the title refers to the suzerainty of both Choladhara and Mahadhara.
- The King Divanika
All those characteristics that belong to the Pallava scripture of the 5th century, were found in the most ancient inscription of Funan, that of Gunavarman, that appears to be dated at the 2nd half of that century. In all the finding, the inscription of Vat Luong-Kau could not be posterior to the 2nd half of that century. (BEFEO II: La Steles de Vat Luong-Kau, George Coedes)
Nevertheless, Coedes himself could not answer the following question:
The question is now to place in which lineage the king Divanika whose name is found in the puranic tradition among the ancestors of Rama. (BEFEO II: La Steles de Vat Luong-Kau, George Coedes)
The Rama's connection places the king Divanika in Vishnuite clan of the Cholan Empire. Even though Gunavarman was Visnuite, we know that the rest of immediate family members of Kaundinya were Sivaite-Buddhist.
- The original Kuruksettra
Etymologically, KurKsettra (Kuru-Ksettra) menas the country of the Kuru kings. Originally it was Yunnan that was formed as part of Varadhana. During the spread of the Sun culture, Kuruksettra had been seen implanting itself around the world. The last of Kuruksettra implantation was at Gangetic India when the Chola took refuge during the dynastic crisis.
- Jayavarman V as leader of the Cholan Consortium
Our conjecture about Jayavarman V is that after taking refuge at Haripangjaya, he joined the Chola consortium and became known as Rajaraja. His immediate family on the hand stayed in the court of Haripangjaya and Lampang to be merged later with the family members of the Cucumber king Nyang Sarahan (The Break down of the Cakravatin Empire: The Legacy of Ramandesa: The Lineage of the Sweet Cucumber King)
- The Title of Maharajadhiraja
The inscriptions of Mi-Son witness the transition of power occurring at Champapura along with two other strategic regions of Prey-Nokor, Virapura and Sri Vijaya (MI-SON: Inscription found in front of the big temple: Face D: P.939-940). From these inscriptions, scholars were able to compile a new list of kings during the transition at the Angkorean court from Mahidhara to the Chola legacy. Among the rulers of Champapura, let alone of Wat Phu (Champasaka), none claimed themselves as the king of king, unless he established himself on the Angkor throne as a cakravatin monarch.