The Chola Dynasty

Project: The Chola Dynasty
Author: Lem Chuck Moth

Started date: March/01/2005
Last updated: February/31/2015
All right reserved.
Since this paper is still drafted, the readers would be advised to ignore any context errors. The content is not final and subjected to be reviewed.

A millennium had passed since Southeast Asia brought itself up as an important part of the world civilization. Started with the Funan Empire, the cakravatin establishment freed the mainland Indochina from the dominance of China and brought prosperity into the region. At the time that the Funan empire was about to succumb, the Khmer Kingdom of Prey-Nokor took the lead and by carrying on the Hinayana Buddhism had set Indochina as the next powerhouse of South Asia. Once again, Southeast Asia prospered and was left to manage itself by the Chinese court. The advent of the Chenla uprising however split the Khmer Empire into two major powers. The alliance between the Khmer and the Sri Vijaya houses formed under the tutelage of God Indra, transformed Indochina into becoming the Buddhist center of Southeast Asia. In resuscitating the Khmer Kingdom at Prey-nokor, they were challenged by the emerging Sanjaya house of Central Java, formed by regrouping the falling courts of Chenla and Champapura. Under the tutelage of the Cholan Empire, the Sanjayan house started to harass the Khmer Kingdom of Prey-Nokor. Facing with the Javanese raid, Jayavarman II reinstated the concept of cakravatin Kingship to ward off the Javanese harassment. After his reign, a new consortium shifted the focus of the Cakravatin Empire. Both the Khmer and Javanese courts came to realize that their common interest was not about fighting each other, but to be reunited under the Cakaravatin umbrella. A new line of kings, with the Indra' s logo embedded in their crown name emerged in the Angkorian court. They were the Sailendra or Ketomala Kings who were famous for their construction's endeavor of stone temples in the history of the Khmer Empire. Evidences also show that through marital connection, the Cholan Empire also took the opportunity to join itself back in the new Cakravatin Empire. As expected, the consolidation brought more strength and security to Angkor as the presence of the Chola leadership brought more wealth and sophistication to the union. Together, they controlled the searoute and Angkor became in a true sense the Middle Kingdom of a Cakravatin Empire.
The Three celestrial Brothers *
Like the Sun, the Moon and the eclipse going in tune, the Angkorian empire had to embrace a bigger family of leadership that shape-up the dynamic of Angkorian future. Each dynasty, though originated from the same mystic couple of kaundinya and the Nagi princess, diverged itself from its counterparts through current association with the new wave of Indianization. By now, they had developed theirs own characteristics that enable us to identify, with a degree of certitude, which one of the three South Asian powerhouses the lineage belonged to. Besides the Aditya and the Soma dynasties, we shall see more of the Rashu line of kings in the politic of Southeast Asia. Consecrated by king Bhavavarman's brother-in-law, the Brahman Somasarman, Tribhuvanesvara was identified later as the God king of the Rashu lineage. Its first manifestation was in the form of the Chenla' s uprising that resulted in the falling of the Funan Empire. As we had seen, the emergence of the Chenla clan at Prey Nokor had very close connection with the South Indian Cholan development and its impact extended itself on both politic and culture of South India as well. On the same premises, we had argued that the rise of new Indian and Javanese dynasties, the Chola of Tanjore included, had its origin from the dispersion of the Khmer and the Kambojan court during the Chenla uprising (Dvaravati: The Indian escape ground: The eastern dynasties of India). In reversing their course, they were the contributing factor in the political dynamic of the Khmer Cakaravatin empire that lasted until the medieval time. Except for the inscription of the great charter of Leyden, inscribed on copper plates, the Chola left very litte information of theirs own to contradict our claim. From other sources, the Cholavamsa in particular, we know mostly about their exploits but virtually nothing of their background.
In its collision course with a new wave of Tartarization, the Angkorian Meru Culture started its accelerated decline. In South India, the Cholan empire built itself to become the next Vishnuite power-house and started to incurse itself into the politic of Southeast Asia. It was at this critical moment that Angkor started to face serious crises of pertaining the safety of its cakravatin establishment. Besides the traditional feud between the Sri Vijyan and the Cholan clans on religious believes, the change of environment under specific premises added more strains into the union. We shall look on specific impact created by the combination of social, cultural and economic factors that led to the final split between the two powerhouses.
The cultural and geographical Factor *
Geographical restriction always plays important role in the sovereignty of a kingdom. While Java became more and more viable as a community of Islands of the South China Sea, Kambuja that is Cambodia proper extended its control through the Cakravatin establishment of Angkor, to cover the whole of Indochinese continent. As we shall see, the difference of natural environment plays important factor in the development of communities of both Java and Angkor. On the demographic issue, Southeast Asia was no longer the homeland of the Kun-Lun (Kamara) people as seen by the Chinese in ancient time. In their modern assessment, scholars had established difference in Southeast Asian communities that were to become the next contributing factors of the split that undermine the unification of the cakravatin establishment of Angkor. The split stayed until modern days to give the misconception of mass migration theory a start (Notes: The Mass Migration Theory). Connecting cultural development to ethnicity, scholars misconcepted the dispersion of language as a result of human migration. It started with the classification of Austroasiatic language to be associated to the south and the Austronesian to be of the north. Due to their concentration, Java emerged as the homeland of the Austronesian speaking peoples and mainland Indochina was to become the homeland of the Khmer-Mon (a branch of Austroasiatic) speaking people. We had argued that this very first dispersion was actually due to migration of the Austronesians down south after the Great Flood. Nevertheless, the rest of the southern island people were not Austronesian and since there were no more catastrophic events recorded in Southeast Asia, there were no more mass migrations of people. As we had seen, the next major splits of cultural background were proved to be carried through by displacement of leadership from Mesopotamia. By challenging God, it was said that men were to experience God's wrath through many forms of manifestation. The dispersion of languages, for instances, was intended to create misunderstanding among men who were conspiring against God. They were descendants of Adam and Eve in the western genesis that built the great tower of Babel to show off their own glory. After they were induced to speak different language, they were spread through out the world. Due to its geographical isolation, Southeast Asia was the last part of the world to be affected. Nevertheless, the impact was particularly strong since it was the birthplace of the world' s cultures and leadership. As part of the dispersion of language, we had argued that the Khmer, the Mon, the Tai and the Malay Languages were actually due to the Meru, the Kambojan and the Cham leadership on the ground of the Kun-lun or Barma tribesmen. Angkor was formed as a cakravatin empire to consolidate all the factions back into the same entity. The unification of all courts under the Angkorian Empire, temporary resolved their cultural difference but more rivalry soon weakened their alliance. Through aggressive expansion, each faction was more concerning about their own benefit than the overall welfare of the cakravatin Establishment. The secession was mostly made possible by the geographical remoteness of their locality. Often started by independent minds, they managed to detach themselves from the central authority. For Angkor, the local development was only just a small setback as compared to the overall Southeast Asian development. Remote sites of the continent had been explored and new communities sprung up by ventures from the established communities. To make the matter worst, the emergence of the Cholan Empire would set Java at the mercy of this South Indian Empire. The breakout from Angkor of the Mon country, officially known as Ramandesa, was due to the same environmental connection. Undeniably, the close communication between this western part of Indochina and southern India would facilitate the work of the Cholan Empire. Also noticeable, the Karenous, Jin and other mountainous tribesmen were spared from the new development mostly due to their geographical isolation. Evidences show that they were for the most of their existence closely connected to their environment (Nagadvipa: Sri Vijaya).
The economic Factor *
Through Chinese sources, we know that Southeast Asia had abundant of natural resources during the early foundation of the Funan Empire. Fertile lands had provided good crops without much effort while fishes were abundant in river streams, lakes and ocean. Precious metals such us gold and silver were easily mined and Southeast Asia earned its reputation as Sovannaphumi, the Land of Gold. However, these resources were not the sole sources of wealth that sustained the mighty power of the Funan Empire. Once the natural resources had exhausted, it was the sea-trade that maintained Funan as the Southeast Asian economic powerhouse. Evidences show that Funan had made all necessary measures to secure its control of the South China Sea-trade. After the breakdown of Funan, the Khmer Empire spent the last half of the tenth century to develop its sovereignty on the mainland and at the same time secured itself of the control of the sea-trade. At the same time, the San Jaya court of Central Java was seen cooperating with the Chola of South India to develop the Cholan Empire of South China Sea. While the rivals concentrated on developing its own territory, rivalry appeared to take the back seat. The Khmer cakravatin Establishment was formed as the last attempt to consolidate the sea-trade business without creating serious friction between all contending factions. It was when the Chola and the Sri Vijaya managed to coexist peacefully and together had propelled the sea-trade business into becoming the next lucrative venture of Southeast Asia. Under the leadership of Yasovarman I, evidence shows that Angkor was strong enough to command respect from both the Sri Vijayan and the Cholan houses. The cooperation resulted in making Angkor into becoming a stronger cakravatin empire that enabled Yasovarman I to start embellishing his Middle-Kingdom Yasodhara. So far, the Sri Vijaya had done tremendous job in building relationship with both the Arab countries and the court of China. From the Chu-fan-chi compiled by Chao-Ju-kua while holding the post of inspector of foreign trade in 1178, we know that this success story was worldwide. Even though sketchy, the records were proved to be current of the time of its publication (CJK: Preface by the Chinese editor Li-Chau-Yuan, callled Yu Tsun or Tung Shan: P.43). The provided observation was of a quality of eyewitness accounts pertaining countries that were involved with the sea trade business with China, including Angkors and its dependency, during the Song Dynasty. As mentioned in the records, the early intercontinental trades between the west and the east were done through the Arab countries. An arrangement had been made between Constantinoble (Ta-Tsin) and the Arab countries (Ta-Tche) to settle their religious conflict and worked on a join venture in the trade with the east.
There is among the kings of the country of Ta-Tche he who styled So-tan; every years he deputed men to send in tribute, and, if trouble is apprehended in the country, he orders Ta-Tche to use their military force to keep order. (CJK: Ta-Tsin: P. 103)
Unfortunately the era of cooperation and prospering did not last. As the potential earning grew, the competition and rivalry between the two powerhouses intensified. With Islam, the Arab countries started to regroup themselves and challenged Rome for supremacy. The situation complicated when Constantinoble challenged the Muslim countries in the fight for Jerusalem and tried to break the monopoly of the Arab world in trading with the east. At the same time, Chao-Ju-Kua already mentioned that Constantinoble had established control over the Gangetic India.
The country of Tien-Chu is subordinated to the country of Ta-Tsin, so all its rulers are selected by Ta-Tsin. (CJK: Tien-Chu: P. 110)
The influence of Constantinoble explains the emergence of the Solomon legacy of the next Angkorian kings of BottomSurya' s lineage. At the same time we had seen a movement that set the Chola to take control of Angkor and to wrest the sea route from the Sri Vijaya. While the Angkorian Empire took care of the coastal line from Champapura to Malaysia, the Chola positioned itself for the control of the strait of Malakka. Needless to say, skirmishes did not only destroy their well-established alliance but also failed the purpose of the Cakravatin Empire of Angkor as well. Each contender started to ignore the central leadership role of Angkor and in the process of defending its own interest was fighting for its own account. As the conflict aggravated, each party' s negligence to common interest had led to a full-scale conflict and war was seen next as a viable solution to end the conflict.
The religious Factor *
It is undeniable that religion had played important role in shaping up societies and subsequent empires in both Southeast Asia and India. Without the separation of the state from the religion, the world of politic and religious institutions merged. Under the cakravatin establishment, Buddhism and Hinduism had been complemented each other in the making of the Khmer Empire. While Buddhism had been introduced to the people and played important role in the social harmony and order, Hinduism was basically the ultimate player in the state decision making that separate the power elite from the people. Social classes had been distinguished, but the distinction between classes was not rigid and most of all was not based on Hindu casting system. Orthodoxy was however starting to emerge through the revision of eminent schools in both Hindu and Buddhism. While Visnuite and Sivaite each claimed their own universality, other branches with lesser gods emerged to serve lower stratum of societies in needs of worshipping (Notes: The Hindu casting system). These religious developments resulted in the emergence of many South Indian dynasties to be formed and fought for supremacy. At the end, the Chola seamed to get the upper hand and while taking control of the Hindu World, worked itself out to bring back the Vishnuite supremacy. On the opposite side, Buddhism was no match to Hinduism in term of promoting itself among powerful elite seeking to elevate themselves from the people. After the formation of the Pali canon of Buddhism, Ceylon emerged as the front-bearer of Hinayana flag. Evidences show that they were supported by the Sri Vijaya even though Mahayana sect was still dominant in the latter' s court. As it was making its way deep and deeper in the core of the cakravatin establishment of Angkor, the Hinayana concept was soon confronted by the Hindu priests of the Chola clan (Notes: The practicality of Buddhism). While the Aditya's house of Brahmanism and the Soma line of Sivaism merged under Buddhism, the Rashu line of kings and their priests brought with them the orthodoxy of the new Hindu developments over the birth place of Buddha Gautama. It was part of the overall decline of Buddhism in India as prophesied by Buddha Gautama himself. Since the exodu of the Meru Culture from Middle East, the Abrahamic School of religious believe had been subjected for abuse. Under the God Ashura, Zoroastrinism was laying its claim over new development of Middle East. Under the initiative of the Emperor Constantine, Christianity became Rome' s state religion and became a war 's commodity for expansion through military mean. At the high of its might, Constantinoble started the extension of its frontier along side with Christianity into the east. At the same time, Islam was conceived through similar practices that allowed the Arab countries to make their own odyssey for world expansion. Without the leadership of a real living god, Ashura set both religions into a clash course (Notes: The Conception of a world religion). Using the name of the same universal God to propel their agenda, they ended up fighting each other for supremacy. The legacy of the Sharia Law, conceived outside of the Meru Culture was invigorated more or less to propel the effectiveness of the holy wars to come. Their fight, as we shall see, would have the big impact on Buddhism and the welfare of the whole world ever since. Before attaining Nirvana, Buddha revealed to his disciples, the course and the timeline of his religion during its first half of a Yuga and a prophecy for the last part of the Yuga. It was predicted that Buddhism would face its major setbacks that started with its first disappearance from India. In tune with the world development, Vishnuism sprung up first in Southern India by the Cholan leadership to challenge both the Sri Vijaya and the Angkorian empires. Their rivalry, as we shall see, was actually the main cause of the next political crises that change the course of the Angkorian Empire for good. As the Chola already had their own agenda, Angkor became their target. Joining with Angkor would provide them with opportunities to achieve their goal of launching Visnuite as the sole religion of the Cakravatin Empire. During the next reigns following Yasovarman' s rule at Angkor, we shall see a development that allowed the Chola to strengthen its position in the Middle Kingdom.
Following the tradition of its predecessors, Angkor carried on the near impossible task of maintaining unity between factions broken out of the Meru mainstream by foreign interference. As a Cakravatin Empire, Angkor's suzerainty was held through cooperation of its dependencies. So far, we had seen that Buddhism had played important role in helping Angkor to establish closer relationship with both the Javanese court and the Sri Vijaya. Nevertheless, the divergence became too much a problem for the alliance to stand the test of the Kala Yuga. Since the reign of Yasovarman, evidences show that the Cholan legacy had already infiltrated in the Angkorian court. This was possible since both the Sailendra and the Chola royal houses had the same root from the Nanda.
The Cholan Interference *
In the heart of Angkor, Yasovarman I reigned supreme over the Khmer Cakravatin Empire. It is said that he inherited the Angkorian throne by his double ancestry of both the Sri Vijayan and the Cholan houses (The making of a cakravatin empire: The Deva Dynasty: Indravarman II). His two sons who succeeded him seamed to have uneventful reigns at Angkor. The older son, Harshavarman I (900-922), reigned for 20 years while the younger brother Isanavarman II (923-928) ruled only a few years. Beside the inscription of Baksei Cham Krong, no other Khmer sources provided us with more information about his rather short reign at Angkor. At the same time that Angkor' s suzerainty was extending itself to include the South China Sea, the short reign of Isanavarman II could mean an unexpected change of itinerary of the Angkorian court. At the same time, new development occurring at Java might have been a close connection to the Angkorian political underchange. The sudden emergence of Sindok as the founder of Javanese power houses in the eastern part of the island signals an external interference into the Javanese court. His crown name of Sri Isana (vikramadharottungadeva) was on the other hand a legacy of the late Isanavarman of the Chenla clan. The title moreover links him to the Angkorian king Isanavarman II whose reign preceded immediately his own. From the findings, we have the reason to believe that the Javanese Sri Isana or Sindok was no other than the younger son of the Angkorian king Yasovarman I. Perhaps due the interference of his uncle, Jayavarman IV, Isanavarman II reigned at Angkor for only 4 years. It was a rather short reign as compared to that of Sri Isana of Java who left a long legacy in his southern home country. Scholars date the end of Isanavarman II' s reign in 928, a year after the reign of Sri Isan at Java in 927 indicating a smooth transition between the two reigns. One reason that might suggest the sudden move was perhaps due to the picking up of business activities in Java where sea-trade was known to connect the west directly with China. It must to be a rare opportunity to command more of his attention that forced him to make the decision. Under the religious name of Sindok, he established the new Javanese Empire once again into becoming a maritime power. This surname could be related to the legacy of the Sumerian God King Sinduk or Meruduk (Notes: Meruduk) that was also a reminiscence of Dvaravati.
The Reign of Jayavarman IV (928-942)
He was the maternal uncle of King Isanavarman II and seized power while his nephew was still reigning. Many indications appear to implicate that he usurped the Angkorian throne from his nephew. First, he was not a direct descendant from Yasovaraman I and was connected to him only by marrying one of his sisters named Jayadevi. On the other hand, his crown name appears to be connected to Jayavarman II or further back to Jayavarman Kaundinya through his marriage, instead to Yasovarman direct lineage. After taking control of Angkor, he moved his capital from Yasodharapura to a place where he erected a new capital, Koh Ker. At this new location, he built a mountain temple with a great five-stepped of pyramid, to shelter the linga of the God King Tribhuvanesvara. The change of capital confirms the political shift in the Angkorian court due to the increasing external conflict that would later contribute to the Dynastic Crisis. He left many inscriptions at the location of Prasat Damrei (Elephant Temple), in one of which he dedicated the erection of a Linga to his elder brother of the same mother named Rajendravarman. The short reign of Isanavarman II could then be due to his uncle's usurpation and that the Chola was making its way to take control of Angkor. An inscription found at the temple Andon (Eal temple), also located at Koh-Ker, appears to provide a better version for the transition (Notes: The transition between Isanavarman II and Jayavarman IV). Jayavarman IV took control over the Angkorian throne after a family's conflict erupted between Isanavarman II and the Sri Vijaya. On the other hand, his reign appears to have the support from the Hindu court of Angkor. The Sten An Isanamurti, a grand-son of Sivasrama, was his presiding priest (Acarya pradhana). It indicated that his ascension to the Angkorian throne was legal and could also be an arrangement that allowed Isanavarman II to better challenging the Sri Vijaya, by moving back to Java. More study might reveal the actual cause of the transition, but we leave it open for now since the finding would not have any significant impact on the next unfolding history of Angkor. He died in 942 and his posthumous name was Paramesivapada. The next king Harshavarman II (942-944) was his son with the queen Jayadevi. His Chaplain was the Sten An Atmasiva, a nephew of Isanamurti. His posthumous name was Brah maloka. His short reign signals another political crisis.
The Reign of Rajendravarman I(944-968)
He was a son of a sister of Yasovarman I named Mahendradevi and Mahendravarman, governor of Bhavapura. Through his mother side he was a nephew of Jayavarman IV. The fact that both his parents having their titles associating to the God King Mahendra, related him to the legacy of the Chenla ruler, Citrasena. Before ascending the throne of Angkor, he inherited the throne of Bhavapura (Lavo) from his father. He had the same chaplain as Jayavarman IV, the Sten An Atmasiva. He was the sponsor of the inscription at Baksei Chamkrong that defines the lineage of the Devaraja dynasty of which he listed himself at the end as the reigning Angkorian monarch. His legitimacy to the Angkorian throne was apparently through his maternal side. Nevertheless, the inscription of Preah Enkosei mentions that he was a descendant of the Soma-Kaundinya family (SomaKaundinyavamsa) through the Baladitya ancestry (Inscription du Cambodge 4: Inscriptions de Vat Prah Einkosei: Inscription de la stele K. 263: Face A). This past connection strengthened his right to the Angkorian throne, but conveys to us that he was not part of the recent Anhgkorian main dynasty. His title "Rajendravarman" was hardly an Angkorian legacy as it appeared only at the first time in the list of the Angkoprian king. Instead, the title appeared more in the Cholan tradition after the advent of king Rajaraja taking over the course of the Cholan Dynasty. The inscription of Bat Chum mentions that he is of the "Somanvayo rirasamangalabhudharac" dynasty and practices Mahayana Buddhism (JA Tome XII, X serie: George Coedes, Les inscriptions de Bat Chum). It is consistent with the fact that Theravada Buddhism was already wiped out from India and only Mahayana sect still stayed. The finding led us to believe that as members of the original Soma-Kaundinya family, his ancestors had spent most of their time in South India either in Pallava or Chalukya royal houses. The extending of the Angkorian court into the Cholan ream gave them the opportunity to join in into the Southeast Asian Cakravatin Empire. Rajendravarman I was obviously the first among the Cholan peers to take advantage of the new consortium and ascended the Angkorian throne. The fact that he moved the capital back to Yasodharapura proved that the Chola was now in full control of Angkor. As we shall see, there were military attempts to take control of Champapura during his reign. The tight connection with the Chola of South India could be checked out with the presence of Rajakula ministers (Rajakulamontrie), mentioned in many of his inscriptions and later of Jayavarman V attested the strong influence of the Cholan school in the Angkorian court. In the last years of Rajendravarman's reign, the Steng An Vrah Guru Yajnavaraha built the beautiful temple of Banteay Sri to shelter the same linga Tribhuvanamahesvara that was recently brought back from Koh Ker. His posthumous name was Sivaloka.
The Reign of Jayavarman V (968-1001)
He succeeded his father Rajendravarman I in 968 when he was still very young. It was not until six years later that he finished his study under the direction of Prah Guru. Inscriptions erected during his reign continued to mention about his strong conviction to the Hinduism and his connection to the Chola empire of South India. Continuing the policy of his father Rajendravarman, Jayavarman V encouraged Indian prieast to settle at Angkor. During his reign, two foreign (paradesa) Brahmans, undoubtedly Indians, buying land and founding Sivaite sanctuaries. The great dignitary revealed by the inscriptions were, in general, like the king himself, adherents of the official Sivaism. He recruited immenent Brahmans from South Indian Hindu school to join in his court. The inscription found in the temple of Inkosey moreover mentions that he gave his sister Indralaksmi in marriage to the Indian Brahman DivakaraBhatta (Le Cambodge: Le center de Siem Reap, P. 405, by Etienen Aymonier). The Brahman was quoted to be born in India on the bank of Yamana and was the builder of various Sivaite structure. This cultural interchange in the high court of Angkor however appears to have little effect on the prospect of Buddhist practices at Angkor. As in previous reigns, Buddhism continued to be practiced by the people and officials of high ranking alike. From the doctrinal point of view, it presented itself as the heir of the Yogachara School and the representative of the "pure doctrine of the void and of subjectivity". Restored in Cambodia by the efforts of Kirtipandita, it borrowed part of its terminology from Hindu rituals and involved above all the worship of the Bodhisatva Lokesvara. We do not know much about the end of his reign during which the dynastic crisis brought the Sri Vijaya line of kings to take control of the Angkorian throne. Nevertheless, we know that when Sri Dharmaraja attacked the Angkorian court, Jayavarman V (the ruler of Lavo) had escaped to Haripangjaya and took over the Mon's throne for himself. Chronologically, his reign that ended in 1001 at Angkor preceded directly the emergence of king Rajaraja of the Chola dynasty. The title Rajaraja is actually the Angkorian title of Rajadhiralja of the Chakravatin Empire. It was the first time that a Cholan king adopted the title which prompts us to believe that Jayavarman V' s reign did not end at the Haripangjaya court but at the Cholan headquarter of India. Many of his descendants adopted the same title indicating that Angkor under the Sri Vijaya was no longer the seat of a Cakravatin Empire.
Since the formation of Druvapura, Java became the seat of Vishnuism. As a legacy of the fallen Chenla house, the Sanjaya was Vishnuite and was in close alliance with the Chola of South India. On the other hand, Buddhism was brought in by the new comer Sailendra in conjunction with the court of Sri Vijaya. Fight erupted during their first establishment in Central Java. After the Angkorian Cakravatin Empire was formed, evidences show that the two rivals came out into an agreement that bind them together. The subjugation and the absorption of the petty Javanese courts allowed the Sailendra to expand its control over all Javanese territory. Along the way, the Sailendra fell deeper into the control of the Chola who took the opportunity to make the claim of its share in the Khmer Cakravatin Empire.
The Reign of Sindok at Eastern Java (927-947)
Up to the 13th century, Sindok was regarded as the founder of the eastern Javanese royal house that, as we shall see, was no other than the resuscitation of the Sailendra empire. His ascension started with the definitive move of the capital to the east between the mountains Sumeru and Wilis. Unlike his Javanese predecessors, Sindok left a fairly number of stone inscriptions at the upper valley of the Brantas River. A legacy of the Angkorian Empire, stone inscriptions constituted valuable sources of historical facts in the study of the organization and institution of Java. We shall see an expansionist campaign that brought the Javanese court in becoming a new player of the South China' s sea-trade. His venture went deep into western Java that included the Hindu stronghold of Bali. Normally controlled by the traditional Hindu top cast of the Brahmans, A new development to revive back Buddhism was underway in spite of the strong Hindu presence in his court. Scholars had attributed to his reign the composition of the work named Sang hyang kamahayanikan. Composed by Sambharasuryavarana, this work is a precious source of information for Javanese Buddhism, rarely present in Java after the exodus of the last Sailendra court (Xiang-mai: The Indra Consorium: The Sailendra). Unfortunately his Buddhist drive have come to a face serious obstacles. Through Tartarization, South India became the seat of more cultural incursion from Middle East. Orthodox Vishnuism, carried by the bird' s clan Garuda (annanuki in Sumerian folklore) started to challenge Buddhism for supremacy in the Cholan's controlled territory. The Chola then fell deeper and deeper into the sway of Zoroastrianism and the application of the Sharia Law was seen widespread over the Cholan dominion. During the high of its territorial expansion, Buddhism was virtually disappeared from the Indian Continent. As remarked by Cho-Ju-Kua, the common people became combative and devoted solely to robbery and added that Maghadha was once a Buddhist center.
Some says that the Law of Buddha originated in this country, for Hun-Tsang the master of tribidala in the Tang period, (when) he got the Buddhist classic (to bring to China), had already reach the west. (CJK: Chu Lien :P. 97)
At the same time, evidence show that the Chola Empire had already extended its Vishnuite influence on both the Javanese and the Angkorian courts. In a close associate with the Cholan royal house of South India, the Sailendra had to adjust its policy in regard to the western Sanjaya royal house. It invigorated the Hindu legacy of West Java, especially of Bali which under the leadership of the new Javanese court, became part of the Hindu cultural center of Java. After the Saivaite king Bailitung, descendant of Sanjaya, had returned back from East Java to Mataram of Central Java, the Javanese Empire was set to invade the Sri Vijaya. That explains the association of the Sailendra court with the Cholan Empire, later during the attack on both the Buddhist stronghold of Srey Langka and Sri Vijaya. Through the Cholan influence, we shall see that the Sailendra had to yield more to the Hindu influence. Even though Buddhism still prevailed, we shall see the leaning of future generation of Sindok 's lineage more and more toward Vishnuism. Sindok himself was proved to become the brother in arm to Ramam in the fight against Seylon. Among his other great achievement, the Javanese version of the Ramayana epic was composed a little later in his reign. Its theme was mostly vishnuite and was about the conflict between the Vishnuite Chola and the Buddhist State of Sri Langka. As portrayed in the epic, Rama dragged along his younger brother Lakshmana into the battle against Sri Langka. Despise the latter' s lack of will to join in the fight, we shall see a political whirlpool that drove the sailendra to clash with the Sri Vijaya.
The Javanese Ramayana *
Ramayana is indeed an Indian epic, but its derivative had been found in different versions through out Southeast Asia. One of the versions composed during the reign of Sindok in Indonesia deviates very much from its Indian counterpart by embedding the Javanese recent history into the story. In this Javanese version, the casts of Rama's ancestors were not all Vishnuite. The epic starts with the past history of the Javanese kings and how they were related to Middle Eastern political and religious figures of the Muslim world.
The Serat Kandas begins with Adam in Mecca and all his sons Abil, Kabil and Satan. Then comes a curious association of Noah and Uma. We come next to the account of the birth of Vishnu and Vasuki and Muslim figures then disappears. The genealogy of early Javanese kings is worked into the story. (HI: The Ramayana in Java, p. 73)
This Middle Eastern connection explains the Vishnuite interference and the fast expansion of Muslim into the region later in the history of Southeast Asia. As we had argued, Rama was an avetar of Vishnu whose manifestation was first at the Egyptian court and later in the Sakan (Cham) world where the Javanese court was a part of it.
The Ramayana begins with Canto 22 and only in Canto 46 is the birth of Rama given. In the Cantos 23 to 45 the ancestors of Rama are discussed, some are ancestors of Javanese princes. In this work, Rama is called Bhagava, Lakshmana Murdhaka and sita Sinta, Janaga is Kala and Jatayu Jintaya. (HI: The Ramayan in Java, p. 73)
It is interesting to note that the hero of the epic Rama, as stated in the passage, was a Bhagava and a divinity of the Saka kings. Rama was portrayed as of dark complexion that matched the Kala stock of the Middle Eastean or Tamil of South Indian origin. Lakshmana was on the other hand mentioned as Murdhaka or a Kamara, and was of golden or yellow complexion. It is likely that Murdhaka (Martakka), in the Javanese Ramayana is the same as Marduk or Sinduk. In this Visnuite epic, the Meruduk Lakshmana plays a second role to the Kala (kling) Rama (Notes: Sindok as Murdhaka). The next passage is about the hero of the epic, Hanuman, who was portrayed as the king of the white monkeys.
Hanuman (Anuman), who is the son of Rama and Sita, when both of them metaphosed into apes, loses his tail which he recovers in the sea of sand. Just at this point when the invasion of Lanka is going to begin, the author digresses into the story of the Pandavas. In canto 70 the story of Rama is again taken up. Then the sequel after Ravana's death is related. Ravana is buried under a mountain.
As a son of Rama and Sita, Hanuman could be related to a local king of the Cham Banis or Indonesians of Austronesian stocks. As the Chinese, the Austronesians had deep tradition of connecting the origin of their ancestors from monkeys. Coincidentally enough, the bad character of the epic is Ravana, the ruler of Sri Langka. His recent conflict with the South Indian Chola Empire resulted with the invasion of Rama into Sri Langka. One might ask, is the Javanese Ramayana was just an exploit of the fight between the Visnuite Chola empire and the Buddhist Kingdom of Sri Langka. Judging from the fact that in Hindu Tradition, it is the norm that historical facts were embedded in religious folklore to be easy mesmerized, the answer is yes. As a religious figure, Rama was an avatar of Lord Vishnu, but as a political entity of South Inda, Rama was a subsiduary of the Cholan Empire. A more descriptive account of the invasion of Sri Langka by the Chola could be found in the Buddhist chronicle of the Chulavamsa. All set and done, the next campaign was against the Sri Vijaya. A Chinese text recorded that at the end of the tenth century, a Sri Vijayan ambassador sent to the court of China reported the attack from Java and requested protection. During the winter of 992, it was learned from Canton that this ambassador, who had left the capital of China two years before, had learnt that his country had been invaded by She-po (Java) and as a consequence, had remained in Canton for a year. In the spring of 992, the ambassador went to Champa with his ship, but since he did not hear any good new there, he returned to China and requested that an imperial decree be promulgated placing San-fo-chi under the protection of China. About the same time, the Chinese court received Javanese envoys that brought corroborative information to China. They reported that their country was continually at war with San-fo-chi, but what they did not say was that the aggression came from them. In 995, the geographer Masudi spoke in grandiloquent terms of the "kingdom of the Maharaja", king of the islands of Zabag; among their exploits were Kalah and Sribuza. At 999 a Sri Vijaya king had moved his court to Vijaya of Prey Nokor. He was known by his incomplete coronation name "Yang Pu ku Vijaya Sri" found in an inscription of the region.
Champapura as a Battle Ground between the Sri Vijaya and the Sailendra*
Since the formation of Angkor, Champapura had no royal house of its own. Its government so far was a delegation of the Angkorian court. The reign of Yasovarman I and later of Isanavarman II at Angkor revealed the Chenla legacy to be included into the Sailendra court through intermarriage. Since then the Javanese connection with Angkor was established. Similar development about Javanese influence over Champapura was already detected from the beginning of the ninth century. It confirms the claim that Yasovarman I inherited and also ruled over Champapura (The making of a cakravatin empire: The Deva Dynasty: The reign of King Yasovarman). A relative of the queen Tribhuvanadevi, Po Klung Pilih Rajadara, who continued to occupy high offices under the three following kings, went on a pilgrimage to Java. This Javanese connection with the new dynasty of Champa could be detected by the presence of Javanese art at Khuong-my and at Mi-son. His son Jayasaktivarman who succeeded him had a very short reign. During the next phase, we shall see the emergence of a new dynasty in Champapura as a consequence of the Cholan interference in the Angkorian court. The next king Bhadravarman II, whose family ties with his predecessor are not known, seems to have trouble accession. His successor, Indravarman, whose literary and philosophic knowledge is praised in epigraphs, consecrated a golden statue of Bhagavati in 918 at Po nagar in Nha trang. During his reign that lasted for forty years, he had to repel an army of Rajendravarman making it way to interfere in Champapura. It was during the early interference of the Cholan Empire taking hold of the Angkorian court after the usurpation of Jayavarman IV against his nephew Isanavarman II from the throne of Angkor. Apparently, the Sailendra was still in control of Champapura as an extention of their Central Javanese establishment. Their holding of Champapura however was to be challenged by the new Angkorian court of Cholan background that would make any attempts possible to lay claim over this eastern cardinal state of Angkor. By defeating the Cholan attack, Indravarman still kept Chamapura under the Javanese control. The Angkorian army suffered a severe loss but managed to take the golden statue with them. In 951, 958 and 959 he sent embassies to the court of the Later Chou. His successor, Jaya Indravarman I, sent in 960 presents to the first emperor of the Song. The alliance between the Sailendra and the dynasty of China whose accession brought up a new era of Buddhist expansion into the whole of Chinese continent, represented the ascending trend of Buddhism. Unfortunately, this Buddhist golden age was about to be over for the Song Dynasty. The split with the Sailendra and the political uncertainty regarding to the Cholan expansion brought the Sri Vijaya to look for an escape ground and Prey Nokor was on the top of their possible site. Being in close alliance with the Sailendra for many centuries, the Sri Vijaya had used Prey-Nokor for extending their commercial activity with China. Places such as the Tarim Vijaya were actually settled by Malay merchants in their day-to-day intercourse with Chinese merchants. From the Chinese sources, a Sri Vijayan ruler appears to have a troublesome reign over Champapura. Judging from the transcription of the Chinese text, his name was Paramesvara. It was the first attempt of the Sri Vijaya to take hold of Champapura as an escape ground. Away from its base and having no support from the Middle Kingdom, Paramesvara found himself in the odd position to survive the conflict. The situation was further aggravated by the interference of Dai-Viet who saw the vulnarability of the Sri Vijayan court as an opportunity to extend its frontier down South. Paramesvara lost his life while getting involved in Dai-Viet affair (ISSA: The Flowering of the Kingdoms of Angkor and Sri Vijaya: P. 123-125). At the same time, the breaking of the Buddhist Sailendra from the Sri Vijaya allowed the Sanjaya house to reemerge in Central Java, strenghtened by its alliance with the Vishnuite Chola. In theirs new founded alliance, the Sanjaya and the Chola were now in position to claim theirs own supremacy. Their first mission was to consolidate back the control of Angkor over Prey-nokor. They then launched a campaign against Dai-Viet who had overran both the legacies of Sailendra' s control and the new settlements of the Sri Vijaya at Champapura. The ascension of Harivarman II on the throne of Vijaya in modern Binh Dinh around 988 signals the victory of their join campaign against the Vietnamese incursion in Champapura. He restored the God King Isanabhadrasvara at Mi-son in 991 and continued the diplomacy with China by exchanging presents in 992. He had also requested the freeing of 360 Cham prisoners detained at Tonkin. After a short period of peace, he started a campaign against Dai-Viet again. This time his campaign was to free Indrapura where he installed himself there. We can judge by his coronation title that Harivarman was a Visnuite. It reflects the political and cultural changes of the Javanese court in Central Java, under the influence of the Cholan Empire.
While Southeast Asia became the seat of a Buddhist Cakravatin Empire, a similar movement regrouped Indian scattered societies under Hindu religious schools. Unlike the Angkorian Empire, the Chola started as a consortium of Hindu ruling houses rather than a kingdom ran by a well-established court. Its leadership was seen transplanted first at the Chalukya court under the lineage of the Pulakesin and later of Vikramaditya. Only after Rajaraja I (985-1014) took over the Chalukya court that the Chola officially emerged as an empire. It was then that the Rashu clan, originated from the Tamil country, started to expand its control over both northern India and Southeast Asia. Close to their traditional hometown of Ayudhya, the Pala resumed the legacy of Ramayana after being taken over by the Chola.
The Chalukyas of South India
In theirs own history, the Chalukya' s claim to rule over Ayodhya for a long period of time. The claim was however received with skepticism by modern scholars as it can hardly be accepted as an historical fact (INDIA: The Chalukya). Their South Indian existence started about 540 by one of their chiefs called Pulakesi who carved a small principality around Vatapipura that henceforth became its capital. The next king Kirtivarman (566-597) defeated the Maurya who ruled over Konkan in the North and the Nala who ruled over Bellay and Kurnool districts in the south. He is also credited with many conquests over Bengal and Bihar in the north, and the Chola and Pandya in the south. The younger Mangalesa defeated the Kalachuri and extended the boundaries of the kingdom to the river Mahi. If the first king Pulakesin I and his immediate descendants did not have that deep past connection with Ayodhya, the next king Vikramaditya I surely made up the claim. Their vast expansion, achieved in a short duration, proved their strong Indian base that guaranteed the stability of the conquests. In contrast to the foreign Pallava court, the Chalukya's success in both Northern and Southern India was done though cooperation of local Indian royal houses. The emergence of the ancient legacy of the Vikramaditya leads us to believe that the Chalukya was a modern reminiscence of the Nanda. Their claim to rule Ayodhya in the past could then be checked out as part of the Gupta Empire. We had also argued that Kaundinya, the founder of the Khmer Kingdom of Prey-nokor was an exile prince from this court. A cultural comparison would prove further the Chalukya' s inheritance from the fallen Khmer court of the Kambujan (Funan in Chinese) empire (Notes: Southeast Asian and South Indian connection). The similarity between the Chalukya and the Khmer scripture had been long discussed by scholars as to what origin the scripture came from. While there were consensus that South India was the source, indication however points out that the Chalukya, as well as many other South Indian dynasties, was formed after their Khmer Empire had already adopted its own scripture. The formation of the South Indian Chalukya house in 540 coincides with the reign of King Rudravarman (514-550) who, by usurping the Khmer throne from the Kaundinya family, triggered the Chenla uprising. As we had argued, the Chalukya as well as many other South Indian dynasties, were formed after the formation of the Khmer empire at Prey-Nokor (The Chenla Empire: The Chenla Brotherhood: The Leader of the Chenla' s Pact). The next Chalukya king Vikramaditya II who, according to the modern history of India, had invaded the Pallava dominions and conquered Kanchi even while he was a crown prince, about 730, had also a strong connection with the Nanda. One could notice bull images in full displays everywhere in the temple of Kanchipura. It is important to note that before the fall of Funan, the falling Khmer court and the Sri Vijaya of Kedah were in a tigh alliance, cemented by the marriage between Kaundinya and the Nagi Princess. The invasion of Vikramaditya II might have been just an usurpation or to the least extent, an arrangement to set a member of the Chalukyan prince on the Pallava's throne. That is consistent with the reemergence of the Sailendra powerhouse back in Java along side the Sri Vijaya. The formation of Angkor and the Cholan involvement in the politic of South India, as we shall see, would bring the legacy of Kaundinya and the Nagi princess back to Southeast Asia.
The Cholan Empire of Tanjore
In connection to the rising of the Chenla supremacy, Bhavavarman established a new era at 638 as the Chola Sakaraja. We had no idea how this era fit into the resuscitation of the Indian Cholan Dynasty which after playing an important role in the history of South India during the Sangam age, ceased to exercise any effective political power for more than five hundred years. We know however that it predated the emergence of the modern Cholan consortium by more than two centuries. At the mean time, evidences show that the era was observed by many royal houses of Southeast Asia and Ceylon where the lineage of king Bhavavarman, Anurudha, had established strong connection after the Chenla's conquest. This Buddhist development had been since the beginning considered as a crucial factor for the formation of the Angkorian Empire. Another development that created strong impact on the welfare of Angkor during its last stage, was carried on by the consortium of Indian rulers known as the Chola. Despite of its strong presence in India, the Chola did not leave much information in the form of chronicle or stone inscriptions for the compiling of its modern history. From limited vestiges left behind, we knew that the Chola started its debut in 846 by king Vijayalaya (846-871) seizing Tanjore from the Muttarayar feudality lord of the Pandyas. The fact that his son Aditya (871-907) sided himself with the Pallava overlord Oparajita against the Pandya shows of their past connection. This Aditya's legacy could be related to Vikramaditya I (654-668) who took control of the Chalukya in 654, right after the consecration of the Chola Sakaraja. It is important to recall back that the Chalukya was formed inheriting many Cham and Khmer legacies of the court of Prey-nokor (Xiang-mai: The Chenla's connection: Bhavapura as the birthplace of the Santhap-amarindra 's dynasty). Apparently, the Cholan legacy was resuscitated back by a leadership of the Nanda clan that was scattered during the breakdown of the Gupta Empire. Unlike the northern Buddhist Bala, the Southern Indian Nanda was in close association with the ancient Chola and was Vishnuite. In conjunction with the fugitive Chenla court they were not in friendly term with the Pallava or the Sri Vijaya. Taking hold of the Pallava court later, they built the Chola Empire on the ground of the scattered members of the Kaundinya family. Taking the opportunities of the decline of the Tondaimandalam's court, Aditya decided to take over the Pallava and in a final clash of 891, Aditya defeated the Pallava king and took Tondaimandalam. Alarmed at the growing power of the Chola, ancient Indian royal houses were in guard against the new Southeat Asian intruders. The Rashtrakuta king Krishna III conquered the Ganaga Kingdom and invade South India. He inflicted crushing defeat upon the Chola at Takkolam in 949 and took Tondaimandalam. After a period of dark-age, the Cholan house recovered itself after King Sundara Chola or Parantaka II (957-973) recaptured Tondaimandalam by defeating Vira Pandya and his Simhalese allies. His sucessor, Rajaraja I, by conquering Vangi, started an aggressive policy. As we shall see, the event coincides with the fall of the Cholan Clan at Angkor during the reign of king Jayavarman V by the surprise attack of the Sri Vijaya. The title "Rajaraja" might have been the same as the Angkorian title "Rajadhiraja" retained by the ousted jayavarman V or his immediate successor from Angkor. We knew from the Mon' s source that after the attack by Sri Dharmaraja, he had escaped to Haripangjaya where he reestablished connection with the Chola. The conquest over Manipura (Vanga) should be next after he ascended the throne of Haripangjaya. Added into the complication of the events, the emergence of Jayapala as a new progenator of the next Pala kings happened to earn the same title as "Kings of King" when he became ruler of Shahis, the north western part of the Gangetic India. From the unfolding events bound together, we are confident that the Cholan king Rajaraja I and the king Jayapala of Shahis was no other than the ousted Angkorian monarch Jayavarman V. By keeping the title of Rajadhiraja, he went on challenging the new Angkorian court of Sri Vijayan background. His next move against Angkor was however restricted by the invasion on Shahis by the Muslim ruler Mahmud.
The Exploit of the Chola
We had seen that after the fall of Chenla, the fugitive kings of Coladara 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 Empire 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 South China Sea. By then, evidences show that Angkor was under control of the Cholan Dynasty on their way to take control of the whole Asia. 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 Angkorian site. Most importantly we see the return of the God King Tribhuvanesvara to take the protecting role of the new Angkorian Empire. We also see the Cholan legacy emerging in the Javanese court and later at Tathon in the court of King Manuha. Fight erupted, when the two factions brought their external feud into the internal politic of Angkor. In 993, the Chola king Rajaraja invaded Sri Langka. If our assumption is correct, the Cholan King Rajaraja who was no other than Jayavarman V was already in control over the Cholan consortium in 985. The subsequent attack on Ceylon in 993 was apparently done when he was still reigning at Angkor. He was then playing the Rama role of the epic of the Javanese Ramayana during the conquest of Ceylon. The consortium between the Chola and the Sailendra was exactly like the brotherhood between Rama and Lakhsmana. 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 desparate 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. Mahipala succeeded his father about 1070. He put his two brothers in jail out of suspicion that the two conspired against him. Ramapala conquered Kamarupa and forced the Varman ruler of East Bengal to submit into his authority. After a long and eventful reign Ramapala died about 1120. During the reign of his two sons Kumarapala and Madanapala, the Pala Kingdom disintegrated giving way to the Sena's emergence in the ream of Manipura. As quoted in the moder history of India, the Sena belonged to a Kshatriya clan of Karnata and probably came to Bengal along with Vikramaditya VI when he undertook an expedition against Bengal, Assam and other countries. The Senas first settled at Ratha (W. Bengal). The first king of the Sena was Vijaya Sena who defeated the king Madanapala. Lakshmana Sena controlled a big part of Bihar. A contemporary Muslim chronicle bestows high praise on him for his charity and other qualities of head and heart. It was in fact the prelude of the Sri Vijaya-Muslim consortium that will end the glory days of the Chola in India for good.
The inscription of Backsei Cham Krong gave us a continuous genealogy of Angkorian kings from the start-up of the Cakravatin Empire to the end of Rajendravarman I's reign. It was found at the temple known as Backsei Cham Krong having the same name as of a legendary Khmer king (Backsei Cham Krong) whose reign was particularly connected to the dynastic crisis. Enduring many ordeals as a target of persecution of the reigning king, the Khmer Monarch shared the same legendary past with the Rammana King Kyanzittha of Tathon (Ramanadesa: The three Dynasties: Kyanzittha). We shall see that they both had close connection with the Chola Dynasty and that they had the same ancestry from the Sailendra court. The fight appeared to happen neither at Tathon nor at Angkor, but at Sri Dhamraja where evidences of family disunion with the Sailendra house had contributed to a sudden crisis.
The Conflict between Java and Sri Vijaya
Starting from the ascension of jayavarman IV over the Angkorian throne, rough transitions could be noticed at each coronation event of the Angkorian throne. A long the way, we see changes across the cardinal states of Angkor that could be identified as the post effect of the internal crisis at Angkor. In the history of Java, a princess pregnant with Udayana (Notes: Javanese Princess), took refuge on Javanese soil (HI:Bali). The princess, perhaps a consort of the Sri Vijaya king Sri Udayadityavarman, managed to escape to Java during the crisis. Her ordeal reflects the conflicts that later broke-up the two courts. The History of the Sung confirms about a succession of Sri Vijaya throne from the king Si-li Hu-ta-hsia-li-tan to the king Shih-li Wu-yeh. Scholars agree that Si-li Hu-ta-hsia-li-tan was a Chinese transcription of king Udayaditya and that Shih-li Wu-yeh was perhaps a transcription of Sri Viraujaya. It indicated a power transition from the king Sri Udayaditya whose reign ended in 960 to the new king Virauraja in 962 that was most likely due to internal crisis. The Mon tradition, in Jinakalamali chronicles, had attributed this period to the reign of the Malay king Sochita of Malay Peninsular under the name of Sri Viraujaya (Jayaviravarman in Khmer inscription). During the conflict, evidences show that the Sri Vijaya already made their move to take control of the Khmer seaport city of Champapura. According to Chinese sources, a new king appeared on the throne of Champa in 972. Judging from the Chinese transcription of his name, he must have been Paramesvaravarman and must to be member of the Sri Vijayan court. He sent seven embassies to China between 972 and 979. The political changes in the court of Champapura reflected the split between the Sri Vijayan and the Sailendra that drove the latter into the alliance with the Cholan empire. In a desperate move, the Sri Vijaya cut tie from the Sailendra and moved to take control of Champapura. Needless to say, this maneuver would draw retaliation from both the Sailendra and the Chola's courts. He was undoubtedly the same Cham ruler who sent embassies to China in 971,972,974, and 975. The accounts do not give the king's name. However embassies of 980 and 983 are said to come from a king Hsia-chih. It was during the reign of this king in 983, that the priest Fa-yu, returning from India where he had been seeking sacred books to be translated into Chinese. Arrived at San-fo-chi he met the Indian priest Mi-mo-lo-shish-li (Vimalasri), who after a short conversation entrusted him with a petition in which he expressed the desire to go to the Middle Kingdom and translate sacred books there. The situation reflects a total change in the internal politic of the Sri Vijayan court that prevented Fa-yu from completing his project in Sri Vijaya. The crisis that was due to the power fighting during the transition from Sri Udayaditya to Virauraja, undoubtedly split the long time alliance between the Sailendra and the Sri Vijayan houses. With no other information, we could not comment more on the cause of the crisis but we know fairly well what happened to Udayana. Apparently the Princess took refuge with the Javanese court and her baby was raised in the royal house of Sindok. He later married a Javanese pricess and became the governor of Bali known under the name of Udayana (or Udayaditya). The inscriptions of the period 989-1022 bear his name of King Udayana and of queen Mahendradatta who was known as the great-granddaughter of Sindok. By then, evidences show that a faction of the Javanese court already fell into the influence of the Chola and started harassing the Sri Vijaya. According to an inscription of Airlanga of 1041, the daughter of Sindok named Isanatungavijaya, who was the wife of a certain Lokapala, succeeded her father. Their son and successor was Makutavamsavardhana whose daughter Mahendradatta was married to the prince Udayana of Bali. Around 990 a son of Makutavamsa, Dharmavamsa Tguh Anantavikrama, inaugurated an aggressive policy with regard to the Sri Vijaya. According to the Chinese source, he invaded Sri Vijaya in 992 (CJK: San-fo-tsi: P. 62). His son and successor, Airlanga (1016-1049) represented himself as an incarnation of Vishnu. A Sanskrit inscription that was erected during his reign gives a genealogy of the Javanese lineage from Sinduk. Like his ancestor, Airlanga retained the Laksmana legacy of Meruduk. His title is quoted in Sanskrit as "Jala-Langa" meaning the Water Dragon, was also a reminiscence of Meruduk. He was officially crowned under the name of "Sri Maharaja Rakai Halu Sri Lokesvara Dharmavamsa Airlanga Anandavikramatonggadeva ". After the weakening of the Sri Vijaya in 1025, he succeeded in expanding his rule over the Sri Vijayan ream. Apparently Maravijayottangavarman who, according to the inscription of the great charter of Leyden, became the ruler of Sri Vijaya was a member of his court.
The Reestablishment of the Sea Route
Since the formation of the Khmer Cakravatin Empire, we had argued that the Sailendra had hold on to the control of the eastern cardinal state of Angkor. In a good relationship with the Sri Vijaya that was developed since the early stage of the Khmer Empire, the Sailendra had moved to take control of Angkor after the reign of Jayavarman III. True to the fact that Prey Nokor was always under their control, Angkor became the true Middle Kingdom of the Cakravatin Empire under the reign of Yasovarman I whose origin was from the Sailendra Royal house. After fighting off the Sri Vijayan court of Ligor, the Sailendra was now in position to control the sea route and this time it was under its own control. The next ruler of Sri Vijaya named Chulamanivarmadeva was according to his title, a member of the Chola, but could also be from the Sailendra court of Sindok that was also a strong ally of the Chola. What happened next is a typical attempt of Chulamanivarmadeva to reopen the sea trade between India and China. At first, Chulamanivarmadeva would try anything that he could to initiate the best of relations with China and as it had always been done in the past, it started with a tribute.
In the year 1003, the king Se-li-chu-la-wu-ni-fu-ma-tiau-hwa (Chulamanivarmadeva), sent two envoys to sent tribute. They told that in their country a Buddhist temple had been built in other to pray for the long life of the emperor and that they wanted a name and bells for it, by which the emperor would show that he appreciated their good intentions. An edict was issued by which the temple got the name of Cheng-tien-wan-shou (ten thousand years of receiving from heaven) and bells were caste to be given to them.
Other embassies were sent to China in 1004, 1008, 1016, 1017, and 1018. His son Maravijayottangavarman was already on the throne of Vijaya in 1008, for in that year he sent tribute to China. At the same time, a similar diplomatic work had also been initiated with the Chola Empire. Around 1005, following the example of his predecessor Balaputra who had built a monastery at Nalanda in Bengal, King Chulamanivarmadeva had built a Buddhist temple bearing his name, the Chulamanivarmanvihara, at Nagipattana. The Cholan king Rajaraja I appeared to honor the donation and offered the revenue of a large village to the temple (Notes: Rajaraja I Chola). An inscription known as the great charter of Leyden, made during the reign of RajendraChola I, which began in 1014, informs us that the new Chola king composed an edict for the village offered by his father Rajaraja to the Chulamanivarmanvihara. The inscription styles Maravijayottangavarman as the descendant of the Sailendra family, king of Srivijaya and Kataha. According to the Chu-fan-chi, the Chola had also made contact with China by sending two embassies to China, the first one in 1015 and the second one in 1077 to work out a solution with the Song court. The first one was conducted by Rajendrachola I at the start of his reign that marked the conquest over the Sri Vijayan ream. The second expedition was done during the reign of Rajendrachola III, after the Chola started on declining. It appears that the Buddhist Song Court did not want to make any deal with the Cholan proposals. According to Chao-Ju-Kua, the Song court had already looked for an alternative way. A land route was not only viable but also showed itself more expeditious.
Concerning Wang-Chu-Song tradition says that one that north of Kiau-Chi (Tongkin) one comes to Ta-li and west of Ta-li one comes to Wang-chu-Song with less than thirty days. . . Yet as Ta-Mo came sailing across the sea to Pan-Yu (Quanton) we may fairly ask weather the sea journey is not more expeditious than the long overland one. (CJK: Chu-Lien: P. 97)
The plan allowed the Sri Vijaya to play big role in controlling the land route and at the same time became head-on in direct competition with the sea trade. Through the Muslim expedition, the Arab countries had already in control of the northwestern part of the Gangetic India and the Sri Vijaya, along with Xiang-mai, had already made their move deep in the Yunnan country.
An Account from the Cholan Court
An inscription known as the great charter of Leyden, made during the early reign of RajendraChola I (1014-1044), informs us that the new Chola king composed an edict for the village offered by his father Rajaraja to the Chulamanivarmanvihara. The inscription gave evidences of the Cholan support the control of the Sailendra king Maravijayottangavarman over Srivijaya at Kadaha. What happened next reveals a turn of event that change completely the diplomacy of the next Cholan king in regard to the ruler of Sri Vijaya. According to the Tirukkalar inscription, Rajendrachola reversed completely the policy of his predecessor and turned against the Sri Vijaya. Shortly afterward, the Chola king sent a big naval expedition against the Sri Vijaya realm that hit its target hard. The ruler of Vijaya was identified in the inscription as Samgramavijayayottungavarman who unlike his predecessor was obviously not in friendly term with the Chola. We have the reason to believe that the crushed Sri Vijayan ruler was no other than the Angkorian General Sangrama of king Udayaditya II who, as we had seen, had done tremendous job in crushing rebels and enemies alike to consolidate back the country's sovereignty. Our speculation is that he succeeded to drive the Sailendra out from Sri Vijaya and installed himself as its governor, this time reporting to Angkor. If this is true, the Chola's next raids were just a series of retaliations conducted during the reign of Rajendra Chola II against the occupation of Sri Vijaya by the Angkorian general Sangrama (Notes: The Timing of the Cholan Raids over Sri Vijaya). It correlated to the fact that during the rest of Rajendra's reign, inscriptions reveal his harsh policy toward the new Sri Vijayan establishment. In the Tirukkalar inscription, he brags about the succumbing of the new Sri Vijayan king Samgramavijayayottungavarman, the successor of Maravijayottangavarman, under powerful attacks by the Chola fleets.
He (Rajendrachola) having dispatched many ships in the midst of the rolling sea and having caught Samgramavijayayottungavarman, the king of Kadaram, along with his rutting elephants which put up rare fight, and brought victory.
From Takkola of the Menam Valley to Kadaram, the Srivijaya principalities were crushed under massive naval attacks by Rajendra' s fleet. The inscription enumerates the exploits of the campaign.
The prosperous Sri-Vishaya, Panni with a of ghat of water, the ancient Malaiyur with a fort situated in a fine hill, Mayirudingam, surround by the deep sea as a moat, hangasogam (Langkasuka) undaunted fierce battles, Mappapalam having abundant deep waters as defense, Mevilimbangam having fine walls as defense, valaippanduru possessing cultivated land and jungle, the principal city of Takkolam praised for great men of science, the Madamaligam of strong battlements, Hamuri desam provided with scientifically ripe excessive strength, the great Nakkovaram whose gardens abounded in flowers dripping honey, and Kadaram of fierce strength protected by foot-soldiers wearing katal.
Conducted during the reign of King Udayadityavarman II, the raid resulted in the whole of the Malay Archipelago being taken into the control of the Chola. This expedition was seen so far as the first interference of an Indian Empire into the politic of Southeast Asia. The attack was more about the ancient feud between the Coladhara and the Mahidhara clans than about any India or Angkor's interests. This time, it was not about the throne of jewels as in prehistoric time but was about a more serious split due first to the cultural clash, and then the sea trade's rivalry. As orthodoxy of both Hindu and Buddhism was setting the two clans once again apart, the Chola fought for the Hindu supremacy.

  1. ISSA: The Indianized States of Southeast Asia, by G. Coedes
  2. INDIA: Ancient India, by R.C. Majumdar
  3. IH: India A History, by John Keay
  4. HI: History of Indonesia: Early and Medieval, By B.R. Chatterji
  1. Chronology
    802-869: reign of Jayavarman II; 869-877: reign of Jayavarman III; 877-889: Reign of Indravarman II; 871-907: The reign of King Aditya I (Chola); 889-900: reign of Yasovarman; 923-927: The reign of Isanavarman II: 927-947: The reign of Sindok (Sri Isan at Eastern Java); 928-942: The reign of Jayavarman IV (Koh-Ker); 944-968: The reign of Rajendravarman I; 968-1001: The reign of Jayavarman V; 985-1014: The reign of the King Rajaraja I (Chola); 1014-1044: The reign of Rajendra I (Chola): 1022-: The reign of Airlanga (Java)
  2. The Mass Migration Theory
    Mainly through elaborate mass migration theories, modern scholars formulated the emergence of the Mons and later the Tais as subsequent demographic change of the mainland Indochina. In Malay peninsula, the new arrival of Austronesians from Southern China would create the Malay communities that promoted the seafaring lifestyle of the polynesian people.
  3. The Hindu casting system
    From the start, Hindu created social casting system and enforced the elevation of the ruling classes that enhanced their powers. Orthodoxy extended the privilege to the hight class by promising the status of divinity to the flag holders of the religion. For Buddhism, privilege is earned and not inherited. As its core basis challenges the practical concepts of divinity and emphasizes on the true application of Dharma, the Hinayana concept stripped the ruling classes of their inherited privilege.
  4. The practicality of Buddhism
    As their privilege status was constantly under scrutiny, many rulers found themselves incompatible with Buddhism. It took many lives to waste and a lot of suffering before king Asoka started to realize his mistake and seriously considered the true dharma as the righteous way to conduct the state affair. Following his legacies, both Indian and Khmer Cakravatin Empire adopted Buddhism as its state religion.
  5. The Conception of a world religion According to Sumerian cosmology, the last of the living god (Man) of this kappa was Buddha Gautama. In transition from Sivaism, Buddhism is supposed to be the last religion on earth before Metreiya started a new Kappa for himself.
  6. The transition between Isanavarman II and Jayavarman IV The inscription of Prasat Andon, of the South pier, appears to provide the cause of transitioning from Isanavarman II and his uncle Jayavarman IV. In its paragraphs ranging from stanza XVI to the end.
    XVII tasy Anujo bhut soda[r]y[ya]----kAntyA cricAnavarmammeti----XVIII- paramparyotsavoddAma dAna dAksin yasangatA sAdhu sAthArana yasya laksmi llileva yajvanAm XIX bhismo yenajito nitva sagunagAndIvan dhanuh brAjisnu karmmayogena jisnuneva YacasvinA XX- tat piyuh---[rA]ja crija[yavarman]ti---
    It appears that prejudice might have been the cause of the conflict that triggered the dynastic crisis. From the description, we know that it was concerning a member of the court (Isanavarman II ?), descendant of Bhisma and worshipper of Liliva laksmi. It is consistent with the fact that the dynastic crisis was about to start between the Javanese court and the Sri Vijaya. Unfortunately, we could not be sure of his identity nor of his relationship with Isanavarman II or his uncle, Jayavarman IV. More information could provide us the answer if the paragraph is not fully unreadable.
  7. Southeast Asian and South Indian connection
    It had been long accepted that Southeast Asia received a cultural transfer from South India. New evidences show in contrary, that South India had received the latest of the Southeast Asian development through the refugee courts of falling Funan Empire. Both the Chalukyan and Pallavas scriptures, once thought to be the preceptors of the Khmer scriptures, were postdated after the fall of the Funan (Kambojan ) Empire. Their resemblance to the Khmer scriptures during the Chenla era more than any other Indian scriptures lead us to believe that they were instead brought by both the Chalukya and Pallava courts to South India.
  8. Meruduk
    In Mesopotamia, the God King of the last Cakravatin Empire of Babylon was Marduk or Meruduk (the Water Meru). This correlation led us to believe that Babylon was subordinated to Egypt under the Ramasura line of kings. The fight between Nebuzadbegar and Egypt however proved otherwise. Conforming to the shallow relationship with Zeus and Hardi, Poseidon broke free from his two brothers and join with the Nanda in the Naga coalistion agaisnt the God Ashora (The Sakadvipa: The Saka of daya Desa: The paramKamboja).
  9. Sindok as Murdhaka
    As Sin (Jin) is a Babylonian reference to Meru, Sindok (Sin-duk) is a Javanese reference to Meruduk or Mardhaka (Martakka) of the Javanese Ramayana. The association of Sindok to Mardhaka conveys his links to the Nanda line of kings.
  10. The Javanese Princess
    She was mentioned as a Khmer princess since the Khmer legacy was dominant in both the Javanese and the Sri Vijaya courts. However, evidences show still that the three courts were retaining their own distinct background. Judging from the next events concerning the conflict, she was actually a princess of the Javanesae court of Sindok sent to be the consort of the Sri Vijayan king Udayadityavarman.