Hinduism and Buddhism, An Historical Sketch, Vol. 3 (of 3)
by Charles Eliot
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

The shrine of the Royal God was first near Mt. Mahendra and was then moved to Hariharalaya.[290] Its location was definitely fixed in the reign of Indravarman, about 877 A.D. Two Sivakaivalya Brahmans, Sivasoma and his pupil Vamasiva, chaplain of the king, built a temple called the Sivasrama and erected a linga therein. It is agreed that this building is the Bayon, which formed the centre of the later city of Angkor. Indravarman also illustrated another characteristic of the court religion by placing in the temple now called Prah Kou three statues of Siva with the features of his father, grandfather and Jayavarman II together with corresponding statues of Sakti in the likeness of their wives. The next king, Yasovarman, who founded the town of Angkor round the Bayon, built near his palace another linga temple, now known as Ba-puon. He also erected two convents, one Brahmanic and one Buddhist. An inscription[291] gives several interesting particulars respecting the former. It fixes the provisions to be supplied to priests and students and the honours to be rendered to distinguished visitors. The right of sanctuary is accorded and the sick and helpless are to receive food and medicine. Also funeral rites are to be celebrated within its precincts for the repose of the friendless and those who have died in war. The royal residence was moved from Angkor in 928, but about twenty years later the court returned thither and the inscriptions record that the Royal God accompanied it.

The cultus was probably similar to what may be seen in the Sivaite temples of India to-day. The principal lingam was placed in a shrine approached through other chambers and accessible only to privileged persons. Libations were poured over the emblem and sacred books were recited. An interesting inscription[292] of about 600 A.D. relates how Srisomasarman (probably a Brahman) presented to a temple "the Ramayana, the Purana and complete Bharata" and made arrangements for their recitation. Sanskrit literature was held in esteem. We are told that Suryavarman I was versed in the Atharva-Veda and also in the Bhashya, Kavyas, the six Darsanas, and the Dharmasastras.[293] Sacrifices are also frequently mentioned and one inscription records the performance of a Kotihoma.[294] The old Vedic ritual remained to some extent in practice, for no circumstances are more favourable to its survival than a wealthy court dominated by a powerful hierarchy. Such ceremonies were probably performed in the ample enclosures surrounding the temples.[295]


Mahayanist Buddhism existed in Camboja during the whole of the period covered by the inscriptions, but it remained in such close alliance with Brahmanism that it is hard to say whether it should be regarded as a separate religion. The idea that the two systems were incompatible obviously never occurred to the writers of the inscriptions and Buddhism was not regarded as more distinct from Sivaism and Vishnuism than these from one another. It had nevertheless many fervent and generous, if not exclusive, admirers. The earliest record of its existence is a short inscription dating from the end of the sixth or beginning of the seventh century,[296] which relates how a person called Pon Prajna Candra dedicated male and female slaves to the three Bodhisattvas, Sasta,[297] Maitreya and Avalokitesvara. The title given to the Bodhisattvas (Vrah Kamrataan) which is also borne by Indian deities shows that this Buddhism was not very different from the Brahmanic cult of Camboja.

It is interesting to find that Yasovarman founded in Angkor Thom a Saugatasrama or Buddhist monastery parallel to his Brahmanasrama already described. Its inmates enjoyed the same privileges and had nearly the same rules and duties, being bound to afford sanctuary, maintain the destitute and perform funeral masses. It is laid down that an Acarya versed in Buddhist lore corresponds in rank to the Acaryas of the Saivas and Pasupatas and that in both institutions greater honour is to be shown to such Acaryas as also are learned in grammar. A Buddhist Acarya ought to be honoured a little less than a learned Brahman. Even in form the inscriptions recording the foundation of the two Asramas show a remarkable parallelism. Both begin with two stanzas addressed to Siva: then the Buddhist inscription inserts a stanza in honour of the Buddha who delivers from transmigration and gives nirvana, and then the two texts are identical for several stanzas.[298]

Mahayanism appears to have flourished here especially from the tenth to the thirteenth centuries and throughout the greater part of this period we find the same feature that its principal devotees were not the kings but their ministers. Suryavarman I (A.D. 1049) and Jayavarman VII (A.D. 1221) in some sense deserved the name of Buddhists since the posthumous title of the former was Nirvanapada and the latter left a long inscription[299] beginning with a definitely Buddhist invocation. Yet an inscription of Suryavarman which states in its second verse that only the word of the Buddha is true, opens by singing the praises of Siva, and Jayavarman certainly did not neglect the Brahmanic gods. But for about a hundred years there was a series of great ministers who specially encouraged Buddhism. Such were Satyavarman (c. 900 A.D.), who was charged with the erection of the building in Angkor known as Phimeanakas; Kavindrarimathana, minister under Rajendravarman II and Jayavarman V, who erected many Buddhist statues and Kirtipandita, minister of Jayavarman V. Kirtipandita was the author[300] of the inscription found at Srey Santhor, which states that thanks to his efforts the pure doctrine of the Buddha reappeared like the moon from behind the clouds or the sun at dawn.

It may be easily imagined that the power enjoyed by the court chaplain would dispose the intelligent classes to revolt against this hierarchy and to favour liberty and variety in religion, so far as was safe. Possibly the kings, while co-operating with a priesthood which recognized them as semi-divine, were glad enough to let other religious elements form some sort of counterpoise to a priestly family which threatened to be omnipotent. Though the identification of Sivaism and Buddhism became so complete that we actually find a Trinity composed of Padmodbhava (Brahma), Ambhojanetra (Vishnu) and the Buddha,[301] the inscriptions of the Buddhist ministers are marked by a certain diplomacy and self-congratulation on the success of their efforts, as if they felt that their position was meritorious, yet delicate.

Thus in an inscription, the object of which seems to be to record the erection of a statue of Prajna-paramita by Kavindrarimathana we are told that the king charged him with the embellishment of Yasodharapura because "though an eminent Buddhist" his loyalty was above suspicion.[302] The same minister erected three towers at Bat Cum with inscriptions[303] which record the dedication of a tank. The first invokes the Buddha, Vajrapani[304] and Lokesvara. In the others Lokesvara is replaced by Prajna-paramita who here, as elsewhere, is treated as a goddess or Sakti and referred to as Devi in another stanza.[305] The three inscriptions commemorate the construction of a sacred tank but, though the author was a Buddhist, he expressly restricts the use of it to Brahmanic functionaries.

The inscription of Srey Santhor[306] (c. 975 A.D.) describes the successful efforts of Kirtipandita to restore Buddhism and gives the instructions of the king (Jayavarman V) as to its status. The royal chaplain is by no means to abandon the worship of Siva but he is to be well versed in Buddhist learning and on feast days he will bathe the statue of the Buddha with due ceremony.

A point of interest in this inscription is the statement that Kirtipandita introduced Buddhist books from abroad, including the Sastra Madhyavibhaga and the commentary on the Tattvasangraha. The first of these is probably the Madhyantavibhaga sastra[307] by Vasubandhu and the authorship is worth attention as supporting Taranatha's statement that the disciples of Vasubandhu introduced Buddhism into Indo-China.

In the time of Jayavarman VII (c. 1185 A.D.), although Hindu mythology is not discarded and though the king's chaplain (presumably a Sivaite) receives every honour, yet Mahayanist Buddhism seems to be frankly professed as the royal religion. It is noteworthy that about the same time it becomes more prominent in Java and Champa. Probably the flourishing condition of the faith in Ceylon and Burma increased the prestige of all forms of Buddhism throughout south-eastern Asia. A long inscription of Jayavarman in 145 stanzas has been preserved in the temple of Ta Prohm near Angkor. It opens with an invocation to the Buddha, in which are mentioned the three bodies, Lokesvara,[308] and the Mother of the Jinas, by whom Prajna-paramita must be meant. Siva is not invoked but allusion is made to many Brahmanic deities and Bhikkhus and Brahmans are mentioned together. The inscription contains a curious list of the materials supplied daily for the temple services and of the personnel. Ample provision is made for both, but it is not clear how far a purely Buddhist ritual is contemplated and it seems probable that an extensive Brahmanic cultus existed side by side with the Buddhist ceremonial. We learn that there were clothes for the deities and forty-five mosquito nets of Chinese material to protect their statues. The Uposatha days seem to be alluded to[309] and the spring festival is described, when "Bhagavat and Bhagavati" are to be escorted in solemn procession with parasols, music, banners and dancing girls. The whole staff, including Burmese and Chams (probably slaves), is put down at the enormous figure of 79,365, which perhaps includes all the neighbouring inhabitants who could be called on to render any service to the temple. The more sacerdotal part of the establishment consisted of 18 principal priests (adhikarinah), 2740 priests and 2232 assistants, including 615 dancing girls. But even these figures seem very large.[310]

The inscription comes to a gratifying conclusion by announcing that there are 102 hospitals in the kingdom.[311] These institutions, which are alluded to in other inscriptions, were probably not all founded by Jayavarman VII and he seems to treat them as being, like temples, a natural part of a well-ordered state. But he evidently expended much care and money on them and in the present inscription he makes over the fruit of these good deeds to his mother. The most detailed description of these hospitals occurs in another of his inscriptions found at Say-fong in Laos. It is, like the one just cited, definitely Buddhist and it is permissible to suppose that Buddhism took a more active part than Brahmanism in such works of charity. It opens with an invocation first to the Buddha who in his three bodies transcends the distinction between existence and non-existence, and then to the healing Buddha and the two Bodhisattvas who drive away darkness and disease. These divinities, who are the lords of a heaven in the east, analogous to the paradise of Amitabha, are still worshipped in China and Japan and were evidently gods of light.[312] The hospital erected under their auspices by the Cambojan king was open to all the four castes and had a staff of 98 persons, besides an astrologer and two sacrificers (yajaka).


These inscriptions of Jayavarman are the last which tell us anything about the religion of mediaeval Camboja but we have a somewhat later account from the pen of Chou Ta-kuan, a Chinese who visited Angkor in 1296.[313] He describes the temple in the centre of the city, which must be the Bayon, and says that it had a tower of gold and that the eastern (or principal) entrance was approached by a golden bridge flanked by two lions and eight statues, all of the same metal. The chapter of his work entitled "The Three Religions," runs as follows, slightly abridged from M. Pelliot's version.

"The literati are called Pan-ch'i, the bonzes Ch'u-ku and the Taoists Pa-ssu-wei. I do not know whom the Pan-ch'i worship. They have no schools and it is difficult to say what books they read. They dress like other people except that they wear a white thread round their necks, which is their distinctive mark. They attain to very high positions. The Ch'u-ku shave their heads and wear yellow clothes. They uncover the right shoulder, but the lower part of their body is draped with a skirt of yellow cloth and they go bare foot. Their temples are sometimes roofed with tiles. Inside there is only one image, exactly like the Buddha Sakya, which they call Po-lai (=Prah), ornamented with vermilion and blue, and clothed in red. The Buddhas of the towers (? images in the towers of the temples) are different and cast in bronze. There are no bells, drums, cymbals, or flags in their temples. They eat only one meal a day, prepared by someone who entertains them, for they do not cook in their temples. They eat fish and meat and also use them in their offerings to Buddha, but they do not drink wine. They recite numerous texts written on strips of palm-leaf. Some bonzes have a right to have the shafts of their palanquins and the handles of their parasols in gold or silver. The prince consults them on serious matters. There are no Buddhist nuns.

"The Pa-ssu-wei dress like everyone else, except that they wear on their heads a piece of red or white stuff like the Ku-ku worn by Tartar women but lower. Their temples are smaller than those of the Buddhists, for Taoism is less prosperous than Buddhism. They worship nothing but a block of stone, somewhat like the stone on the altar of the God of the Sun in China. I do not know what god they adore. There are also Taoist nuns. The Pa-ssu-wei do not partake of the food of other people or eat in public. They do not drink wine.

"Such children of the laity as go to school frequent the bonzes, who give them instruction. When grown up they return to a lay life.

"I have not been able to make an exhaustive investigation."

Elsewhere he says "All worship the Buddha" and he describes some popular festivals which resemble those now celebrated in Siam. In every village there was a temple or a Stupa. He also mentions that in eating they use leaves as spoons and adds "It is the same in their sacrifices to the spirits and to Buddha."

Chou Ta-kuan confesses that his account is superficial and he was perhaps influenced by the idea that it was natural there should be three religions in Camboja, as in China. Buddhists were found in both countries: Pan-ch'i no doubt represents Pandita and he saw an analogy between the Brahmans of the Cambojan Court and Confucian mandarins: a third and less known sect he identified with the Taoists. The most important point in his description is the prominence given to the Buddhists. His account of their temples, of the dress and life of their monks[314] leaves no doubt that he is describing Hinayanist Buddhism such as still nourishes in Camboja. It probably found its way from Siam, with which Camboja had already close, but not always peaceful, relations. Probably the name by which the bonzes are designated is Siamese.[315] With Chou Ta-kuan's statements may be compared the inscription of the Siamese King Rama Khomheng[316] which dwells on the nourishing condition of Pali Buddhism in Siam about 1300 A.D. The contrast indicated by Chou Ta-kuan is significant. The Brahmans held high office but had no schools. Those of the laity who desired education spent some portion of their youth in a Buddhist monastery (as they still do) and then returned to the world. Such a state of things naturally resulted in the diffusion of Buddhism among the people, while the Brahmans dwindled to a Court hierarchy. When Chou Ta-kuan says that all the Cambojans adored Buddha, he probably makes a mistake, as he does in saying that the sculptures above the gates of Angkor are heads of Buddha. But the general impression which he evidently received that everyone frequented Buddhist temples and monasteries speaks for itself. His statement about sacrifices to Buddha is remarkable and, since the inscriptions of Jayavarman VII speak of sacrificers, it cannot be rejected as a mere mistake. But if Hinayanist Buddhism countenanced such practices in an age of transition, it did not adopt them permanently for, so far as I have seen, no offerings are made to-day in Cambojan temples, except flowers and sticks of incense.

The Pa-ssu-wei have given rise to many conjectures and have been identified with the Basaih or sacerdotal class of the Chams. But there seems to be little doubt that the word really represents Pasupata and Chou Ta-kuan's account clearly points to a sect of linga worshippers, although no information is forthcoming about the "stone on the altar of the Sun God in China" to which he compares their emblem. His idea that they represented the Taoists in Camboja may have led him to exaggerate their importance but his statement that they were a separate body is confirmed, for an inscription of Angkor[317] defines the order of hierarchical precedence as "the Brahman, the Saiva Acarya, the Pasupata Acarya."[318]

From the time of Chou Ta-kuan to the present day I have found few notices about the religion of Camboja. Hinayanist Buddhism became supreme and though we have few details of the conquest we can hardly go wrong in tracing its general lines. Brahmanism was exclusive and tyrannical. It made no appeal to the masses but a severe levy of forced labour must have been necessary to erect and maintain the numerous great shrines which, though in ruins, are still the glory of Camboja.[319] In many of them are seen the remains of inscriptions which have been deliberately erased. These probably prescribed certain onerous services which the proletariat was bound to render to the established church. When Siamese Buddhism invaded Camboja it had a double advantage. It was the creed of an aggressive and successful neighbour but, while thus armed with the weapons of this world, it also appealed to the poor and oppressed. If it enjoyed the favour of princes, it had no desire to defend the rights of a privileged caste: it offered salvation and education to the average townsman and villager. If it invited the support and alms of the laity, it was at least modest in its demands. Brahmanism on the other hand lost strength as the prestige of the court declined. Its greatest shrines were in the provinces most exposed to Siamese attacks. The first Portuguese writers speak of them as already deserted at the end of the sixteenth century. The connection with India was not kept up and if any immigrants came from the west, after the twelfth century they are more likely to have been Moslims than Hindus. Thus driven from its temples, with no roots among the people, whose affections it had never tried to win, Brahmanism in Camboja became what it now is, a court ritual without a creed and hardly noticed except at royal functions.

It is remarkable that Mohammedanism remained almost unknown to Camboja, Siam and Burma. The tide of Moslim invasion swept across the Malay Peninsula southwards. Its effect was strongest in Sumatra and Java, feebler on the coasts of Borneo and the Philippines. From the islands it reached Champa, where it had some success, but Siam and Camboja lay on one side of its main route, and also showed no sympathy for it. King Rama Thuppdey Chan[320] who reigned in Camboja from 1642-1659 became a Mohammedan and surrounded himself with Malays and Javanese. But he alienated the affections of his subjects and was deposed by the intervention of Annam. After this we hear no more of Mohammedanism. An unusual incident, which must be counted among the few cases in which Buddhism has encouraged violence, is recorded in the year 1730, when a Laotian who claimed to be inspired, collected a band of fanatics and proceeded to massacre in the name of Buddha all the Annamites resident in Camboja. This seems to show that Buddhism was regarded as the religion of the country and could be used as a national cry against strangers.

As already mentioned Brahmanism still survives in the court ceremonial though this by no means prevents the king from being a devout Buddhist. The priests are known as Bakus. They wear a top-knot and the sacred thread after the Indian fashion, and enjoy certain privileges. Within the precincts of the palace at Phnom Penh is a modest building where they still guard the sword of Indra. About two inches of the blade are shown to visitors, but except at certain festivals it is never taken out of its sheath.

The official programme of the coronation of King Sisowath (April 23-28, 1906), published in French and Cambojan, gives a curious account of the ceremonies performed, which were mainly Brahmanic, although prayers were recited by the Bonzes and offerings made to Buddha. Four special Brahmanic shrines were erected and the essential part of the rite consisted in a lustral bath, in which the Bakus poured water over the king. Invocations were addressed to beings described as "Anges qui etes au paradis des six sejours celestes, qui habitez aupres d'Indra, de Brahma et de l'archange Sahabodey," to the spirits of mountains, valleys and rivers and to the spirits who guard the palace. When the king has been duly bathed the programme prescribes that "le Directeur des Bakous remettra la couronne a M. le Gouverneur General qui la portera sur la tete de Sa Majeste au nom du Gouvernement de la Republique Francaise." Equally curious is the "Programme des fetes royales a l'occasion de la cremation de S.M. Norodom" (January 2-16, 1906). The lengthy ceremonial consisted of a strange mixture of prayers, sermons, pageants and amusements. The definitely religious exercises were Buddhist and the amusements which accompanied them, though according to our notions curiously out of place, clearly correspond to the funeral games of antiquity. Thus we read not only of "offrande d'un repas aux urnes royales" but of "illuminations generales ... lancement de ballons ... luttes et assauts de boxe et de l'escrime ... danses et soiree de gala.... Apres la cremation, Sa Majeste distribuera des billets de tombola."

The ordinary Buddhism of Camboja at the present day resembles that of Siam and is not mixed with Brahmanic observances. Monasteries are numerous: the monks enjoy general respect and their conduct is said to be beyond reproach. They act as schoolmasters and, as in Siam and Burma, all young men spend some time in a monastery. A monastery generally contains from thirty to fifty monks and consists of a number of wooden houses raised on piles and arranged round a square. Each monk has a room and often a house to himself. Besides the dwelling houses there are also stores and two halls called Sala and Vihear (vihara). In both the Buddha is represented by a single gigantic sitting image, before which are set flowers and incense. As a rule there are no other images but the walls are often ornamented with frescoes of Jataka stories or the early life of Gotama. Meals are taken in the Sala at about 7 and 11 a.m.,[321] and prayers are recited there on ordinary days in the morning and evening. The eleven o'clock meal is followed by a rather long grace. The prayers consist mostly of Pali formulae, such as the Three Refuges, but they are sometimes in Cambojan and contain definite petitions or at least wishes formulated before the image of the Buddha. Thus I have heard prayers for peace and against war. The more solemn ceremonies, such as the Uposatha and ordinations, are performed in the Vihear. The recitation of the Patimokkha is regularly performed and I have several times witnessed it. All but ordained monks have to withdraw outside the Sima stones during the service. The ceremony begins about 6 p.m.: the Bhikkhus kneel down in pairs face to face and rubbing their foreheads in the dust ask for mutual forgiveness if they have inadvertently offended. This ceremony is also performed on other occasions. It is followed by singing or intoning lauds, after which comes the recitation of the Patimokkha itself which is marked by great solemnity. The reader sits in a large chair on the arms of which are fixed many lighted tapers. He repeats the text by heart but near him sits a prompter with a palm-leaf manuscript who, if necessary, corrects the words recited. I have never seen a monk confess in public, and I believe that the usual practice is for sinful brethren to abstain from attending the ceremony and then to confess privately to the Abbot, who assigns them a penance. As soon as the Patimokkha is concluded all the Bhikkhus smoke large cigarettes. In most Buddhist countries it is not considered irreverent to smoke,[322] chew betel or drink tea in the intervals of religious exercises. When the cigarettes are finished there follows a service of prayer and praise in Cambojan. During the season of Wassa there are usually several Bhikkhus in each monastery who practise meditation for three or four days consecutively in tents or enclosures made of yellow cloth, open above but closed all round. The four stages of meditation described in the Pitakas are said to be commonly attained by devout monks.[323]

The Abbot has considerable authority in disciplinary matters. He eats apart from the other monks and at religious ceremonies wears a sort of red cope, whereas the dress of the other brethren is entirely yellow. Novices prostrate themselves when they speak to him.

Above the Abbots are Provincial Superiors and the government of the whole Church is in the hands of the Somdec prah sanghrac. There is, or was, also a second prelate called Lok prah sokon, or Brah Sugandha, and the two, somewhat after the manner of the two primates of the English Church, supervise the clergy in different parts of the kingdom, the second being inferior to the first in rank, but not dependent on him. But it is said that no successor has been appointed to the last Brah Sugandha who died in 1894. He was a distinguished scholar and introduced the Dhammayut sect from Siam into Camboja. The king is recognized as head of the Church, but cannot alter its doctrine or confiscate ecclesiastical property.


No account of Cambojan religion would be complete without some reference to the splendid monuments in which it found expression and which still remain in a great measure intact. The colonists who established themselves in these regions brought with them the Dravidian taste for great buildings, but either their travels enlarged their artistic powers or they modified the Indian style by assimilating successfully some architectural features found in their new home. What pre-Indian architecture there may have been among the Khmers we do not know, but the fact that the earliest known monuments are Hindu makes it improbable that stone buildings on a large scale existed before their arrival. The feature which most clearly distinguishes Cambojan from Indian architecture is its pyramidal structure. India has stupas and gopurams of pyramidal appearance but still Hindu temples of the normal type, both in the north and south, consist of a number of buildings erected on the same level. In Camboja on the contrary many buildings, such as Ta-Keo, Ba-phuong and the Phimeanakas, are shrines on the top of pyramids, which consist of three storeys or large steps, ascended by flights of relatively small steps. In other buildings, notably Angkor Wat, the pyramidal form is obscured by the slight elevation of the storeys compared with their breadth and by the elaboration of the colonnades and other edifices, which they bear. But still the general plan is that of a series of courts each rising within and above the last and this gradual rise, by which the pilgrim is led, not only through colonnade after colonnade, but up flight after flight of stairs, each leading to something higher but invisible from the base, imparts to Cambojan temples a sublimity and aspiring grandeur which is absent from the mysterious halls of Dravidian shrines.

One might almost suppose that the Cambojan architects had deliberately set themselves to rectify the chief faults of Indian architecture. One of these is the profusion of external ornament in high relief which by its very multiplicity ceases to produce any effect proportionate to its elaboration, with the result that the general view is disappointing and majestic outlines are wanting. In Cambojan buildings on the contrary the general effect is not sacrificed to detail: the artists knew how to make air and space give dignity to their work. Another peculiar defect of many Dravidian buildings is that they were gradually erected round some ancient and originally humble shrine with the unfortunate result that the outermost courts and gateways are the most magnificent and that progress to the holy of holies is a series of artistic disappointments. But at Angkor Wat this fault is carefully avoided. The long paved road which starts from the first gateway isolates the great central mass of buildings without dwarfing it and even in the last court, when one looks up the vast staircases leading to the five towers which crown the pyramid, all that has led up to the central shrine seems, as it should, merely an introduction.

The solidity of Cambojan architecture is connected with the prevalence of inundations. With such dangers it was of primary importance to have a massive substructure which could not be washed away and the style which was necessary in building a firm stone platform inspired the rest of the work. Some unfinished temples reveal the interesting fact that they were erected first as piles of plain masonry. Then came the decorator and carved the stones as they stood in their places, so that instead of carving separate blocks he was able to contemplate his design as a whole and to spread it over many stones. Hence most Cambojan buildings have a peculiar air of unity. They have not had ornaments affixed to them but have grown into an ornamental whole. Yet if an unfavourable criticism is to be made on these edifices—especially Angkor Wat—it is that the sculptures are wanting in meaning and importance. They cannot be compared to the reliefs of Boroboedoer, a veritable catechism in stone where every clause teaches the believer something new, or even to the piles of figures in Dravidian temples which, though of small artistic merit, seem to represent the whirl of the world with all its men and monsters, struggling from life into death and back to life again. The reliefs in the great corridors of Angkor are purely decorative. The artist justly felt that so long a stretch of plain stone would be wearisome, and as decoration, his work is successful. Looking outwards the eye is satisfied with such variety as the trees and houses in the temple courts afford: looking inwards it finds similar variety in the warriors and deities portrayed on the walls. Some of the scenes have an historical interest, but the attempt to follow the battles of the Ramayana or the Churning of the Sea soon becomes a tedious task, for there is little individuality or inspiration in the figures.

This want of any obvious correspondence between the decoration and cult of the Cambojan temples often makes it difficult to say to what deities they were dedicated. The Bayon, or Sivasrama, was presumably a linga temple, yet the conjecture is not confirmed as one would expect by any indubitable evidence in the decoration or arrangements. In its general plan the building seems more Indian than others and, like the temple of Jagannatha at Puri, consists of three successive chambers, each surmounted by a tower. The most remarkable feature in the decoration is the repetition of the four-headed figure at the top of every tower, a striking and effective motive, which is also found above the gates of the town. Chou Ta-kuan says that there were golden statues of Buddhas at the entrance to the Bayon. It is impossible to say whether this statement is accurate or not. He may have simply made a mistake, but it is equally possible that the fusion of the two creeds may have ended in images of the Buddha being placed outside the shrine of the linga.

Strange as it may seem, there is no clear evidence as to the character of the worship performed in Camboja's greatest temple, Angkor Wat. Since the prince who commenced it was known by the posthumous title of Paramavishnuloka, we may presume that he intended to dedicate it to Vishnu and some of the sculptures appear to represent Vishnu slaying a demon. But it was not finished until after his death and his intentions may not have been respected by his successors. An authoritative statement[324] warns us that it is not safe to say more about the date of Angkor Wat than that its extreme limits are 1050 and 1170. Jayavarman VII (who came to the throne at about this latter date) was a Buddhist, and may possibly have used the great temple for his own worship. The sculptures are hardly Brahmanic in the theological sense, and those which represent the pleasures of paradise and the pains of hell recall Buddhist delineations of the same theme.[325] The four images of the Buddha which are now found in the central tower are modern and all who have seen them will, I think, agree that the figure of the great teacher which seems so appropriate in the neighbouring monasteries is strangely out of place in this aerial shrine. But what the designer of the building intended to place there remains a mystery. Perhaps an empty throne such as is seen in the temples of Annam and Bali would have been the best symbol.[326]

Though the monuments of Camboja are well preserved the grey and massive severity which marks them at present is probably very different from the appearance that they wore when used for worship. From Chou Ta-kuan and other sources[327] we gather that the towers and porches were gilded, the bas-reliefs and perhaps the whole surface of the walls were painted, and the building was ornamented with flags. Music and dances were performed in the courtyards and, as in many Indian temples, the intention was to create a scene which by its animation and brilliancy might amuse the deity and rival the pleasures of paradise.

It is remarkable that ancient Camboja which has left us so many monuments, produced no books.[328] Though the inscriptions and Chou Ta-kuan testify to the knowledge of literature (especially religious), both Brahmanic and Buddhist, diffused among the upper classes, no original works or even adaptations of Indian originals have come down to us. The length and ambitious character of many inscriptions give an idea of what the Cambojans could do in the way of writing, but the result is disappointing. These poems in stone show a knowledge of Sanskrit, of Indian poetry and theology, which is surprising if we consider how far from India they were composed, but they are almost without exception artificial, frigid and devoid of vigour or inspiration.


[Footnote 242: See among other authorities:

(a) E. Aymonier, Le Cambodge, Paris, 3 vols. 1900, 1904 (cited as Aymonier).

(b) A. Barth, Inscriptions Sanscrites du Cambodge (Notices et extraits des MSS. de la Bibliot. Nat.), Paris, 1885 (cited as Corpus, I.).

(c) A. Bergaigne, Inscriptions Sanscrites de Campa et du Cambodge (in same series), 1893 (cited as Corpus, II.).

(d) L. Finot, "Buddhism in Indo-China," Buddhist Review, Oct. 1909.

(e) G. Maspero, L'Empire Khmer, Phnom Penh, 1904 (cited as Maspero).

(f) P. Pelliot, "Memoires sur les Coutumes de Cambodge par Tcheou Ta-kouan, traduits et annotes," B.E.F.E.O. 1902, pp. 123-177 (cited as Pelliot, Tcheou Ta-kouan).

(g) Id. "Le Founan," B.E.F.E.O. 1903, pp. 248-303 (cited as Pelliot, Founan).

(h) Articles on various inscriptions by G. Coedes in J.A. 1908, XI. p. 203, XII. p. 213; 1909, XIII. p. 467 and p. 511.

(i) Bulletin de la Commission Archeologique de l'Indochine, 1908 onwards.

(j) Le Bayon d'Angkor Thom, Mission Henri Dufour, 1910-1914. Besides the articles cited above the Bulletin de l'Ecole Francaise d'Extreme Orient (quoted as B.E.F.E.O.) contains many others dealing with the religion and archaeology of Camboja.

(k) L. Finot, Notes d'Epigraphie Indo-Chinoise, 1916. See for literature up to 1909, G. Coedes, Bibliotheque raisonnee des travaux relatifs a l'Archeologie du Cambodge et du Champa. Paris, Imprimerie Nationale, 1909.]

[Footnote 243: See especially P.W. Schmitt, Die Mon-Khmer Volker. Ein Bindeglied zwischen Volkern Zentral-Asiens und Austronesiens. Braunschweig, 1906.]

[Footnote 244: Cambodge is the accepted French spelling of this country's name. In English Kamboja, Kambodia, Camboja and Cambodia are all found. The last is the most usual but di is not a good way of representing the sound of j as usually heard in this name. I have therefore preferred Camboja.]

[Footnote 245: See the inscription of Bakse, Camkron, J.A. XIII. 1909, pp. 468, 469, 497.]

[Footnote 246: The Sui annals (Pelliot, Founan, p. 272) state that "Chen-la lies to the west of Lin-yi: it was originally a vassal state of Fu-nan.... The name of the king's family was Kshatriya: his personal name was Citrasena: his ancestors progressively acquired the sovereignty of the country: Citrasena seized Fu-nan and reduced it to submission." This seems perfectly clear and we know from Cambojan inscriptions that Citrasena was the personal name of the king who reigned as Mahendravarman, c. 600 A.D. But it would appear from the inscriptions that it was his predecessor Bhavavarman who made whatever change occurred in the relations of Camboja to Fu-nan and in any case it is not clear who were the inhabitants of Fu-nan if not Cambojans. Perhaps Maspero is right in suggesting that Fu-nan was something like imperial Germany (p. 25), "Si le roi de Baviere s'emparait de la couronne imperiale, rien ne serait change en Allemagne que la famille regnante."]

[Footnote 247: It is remarkable that the Baudhayana-dharma-sutra enumerates going to sea among the customs peculiar to the North (I. 1, 2, 4) and then (II. 1, 2, 2) classes making voyages by sea as the first of the offences which cause loss of caste. This seems to indicate that the emigrants from India came mainly from the North, but it would be rash to conclude that in times of stress or enthusiasm the Southerners did not follow their practice. A passage in the second chapter of the Kautiliya Arthasastra has been interpreted as referring to the despatch of colonists to foreign countries, but it probably contemplates nothing more than the transfer of population from one part of India to another. See Finot, B.E.F.E.O. 1912, No. 8. But the passage at any rate shows that the idea of the King being able to transport a considerable mass of population was familiar in ancient India. Jataka 466 contains a curious story of a village of carpenters who being unsuccessful in trade built a ship and emigrated to an island in the ocean. It is clear that there must have been a considerable seafaring population in India in early times for the Rig Veda (II. 48, 3; I. 56, 2; I. 116, 3), the Mahabharata and the Jatakas allude to the love of gain which sends merchants across the sea and to shipwrecks. Sculptures at Salsette ascribed to about 150 A.D. represent a shipwreck. Ships were depicted in the paintings of Ajanta and also occur on the coins of the Andhra King Yajnasri (c. 200 A.D.) and in the sculptures of Boroboedoer. The Digha Nikaya (XI. 85) speaks of sea-going ships which when lost let loose a land sighting bird. Much information is collected in Radhakumud Mookerji's History of Indian Shipping, 1912.]

[Footnote 248: Voyages are still regularly made in dhows between the west coast of India and Zanzibar or Mombasa and the trade appears to be old.]

[Footnote 249: See Jataka 339 for the voyage to Baveru or Babylon. Jatakas 360 and 442 mention voyages to Suvannabhumi or Lower Burma from Bharukaccha and from Benares down the river. The Milinda Panha (VI. 21) alludes to traffic with China by sea.]

[Footnote 250: Ram. iv. 40, 30.]

[Footnote 251: Pelliot, Founan, p. 254. The Western and Eastern Tsin reigned from 265 to 419 A.D.]

[Footnote 252: Pelliot, Founan, p. 254. Most of the references to Chinese annals are taken from this valuable paper.]

[Footnote 253: The inscription of Mi-son relates how Kaundinya planted at Bharapura (? in Camboja) a javelin given to him by Asvatthaman.]

[Footnote 254: This is the modern reading of the characters in Peking, but Julien's Methode justifies the transcription Kau-di-nya.]

[Footnote 255: See S. Levi in Melanges Charles de Harlez, p. 176. Deux peuples meconnus. i. Les Murundas.]

[Footnote 256: Nanjio Catalogue, p. 422.]

[Footnote 257: I-Tsing, trans. Takakusu, p. 12.]

[Footnote 258: Corpus, I. p. 65.]

[Footnote 259: Corpus, I. pp. 84, 89, 90, and Jour. Asiatique, 1882, p. 152.]

[Footnote 260: When visiting Badami, Pattadkal and Aihole in 1912 I noted the following resemblances between the temples of that district and those of Camboja. (a) The chief figures are Harihara, Vamana and Nrisimha. At Pattadkal, as at Angkor Wat, the reliefs on the temple wall represent the Churning of the Sea and scenes from the Ramayana. (b) Large blocks of stone were used for building and after being put in their positions were carved in situ, as is shown by unfinished work in places. (c) Medallions containing faces are frequent. (d) The architectural scheme is not as in Dravidian temples, that is to say larger outside and becoming smaller as one proceeds towards the interior. There is generally a central tower attached to a hall. (e) The temples are often raised on a basement. (f) Mukhalingas and koshas are still used in worship. (g) There are verandahs resembling those at Angkor Wat. They have sloping stone roofs, sculptures in relief on the inside wall and a series of windows in the outside wall. (h) The doors of the Linga shrines have a serpentine ornamentation and are very like those of the Bayon. (i) A native gentleman told me that he had seen temples with five towers in this neighbourhood, but I have not seen them myself.]

[Footnote 261: E.g. Mahendravarman, Narasinhavarman, Paramesvaravarman, etc. It may be noticed that Pattadkal is considerably to the N.W. of Madras and that the Pallavas are supposed to have come from the northern part of the present Madras Presidency. Though the Hindus who emigrated to Camboja probably embarked in the neighbourhood of Madras, they may have come from countries much further to the north. Varman is recognized as a proper termination of Kshatriya names, but it is remarkable that it is found in all the Sanskrit names of Cambojan kings and is very common in Pallava names. The name of Asvatthaman figures in the mythical genealogies of both the Pallavas and the kings of Champa or perhaps of Camboja, see B.E.F.E.O. 1904, p. 923.]

[Footnote 262: Some authorities think that Kaundinya is meant by the wicked king, but he lived about 300 years before I-Ching's visit and the language seems to refer to more recent events. Although Bhavavarman is not known to have been a religious innovator he appears to have established a new order of things in Camboja and his inscriptions show that he was a zealous worshipper of Siva and other Indian deities. It would be even more natural if I-Ching referred to Isanavarman (c. 615) or Jayavarman I (c. 650), but there is no proof that these kings were anti-buddhist.]

[Footnote 263: Schiefner, p. 262.]

[Footnote 264: See Maspero, L'Empire Khmer, pp. 24 ff.]

[Footnote 265: Perhaps a second Bhavavarman came between these last two kings; see Coedes in B.E.F.E.O. 1904, p 691.]

[Footnote 266: See Mecquenem in B.E.F.E.O. 1913, No. 2.]

[Footnote 267: But the captivity is only an inference and not a necessary one. Finot suggests that the ancient royal house of Fu-nan may have resided at Java and have claimed suzerain rights over Camboja which Jayavarman somehow abolished. The only clear statements on the question are those in the Sdok Kak Thom inscription, Khmer text c. 72, which tell us that Camboja had been dependent on Java and that Jayavarman II instituted a special state cult as a sign that this dependence had come to an end.

It is true that the Hindu colonists of Camboja may have come from the island of Java, yet no evidence supports the idea that Camboja was a dependency of the island about 800 A.D. and the inscriptions of Champa seem to distinguish clearly between Yavadvipa (the island) and the unknown country called Java. See Finot, Notes d'Epig. pp. 48 and 240. Hence it seems unlikely that the barbarous pirates (called the armies of Java) who invaded Champa in 787 (see the inscription of Yang Tikuh) were from the island. The Siamese inscription of Rama Khomheng, c. 1300 A.D., speaks of a place called Chava, which may be Luang Prabang. On the other hand it does not seem likely that pirates, expressly described as using ships, would have come from the interior.]

[Footnote 268: For these annals see F. Garnier, "La Chronique royale du Cambodje," J.A. 1871 and 1872. A. de Villemereuil, Explorations et Missions de Doudard de Lagree, 1882. J. Moura, Le Royaume de Cambodje, vol. II. 1883. E. Aymonier, Chronique des Anciens rois du Cambodje. (Excursions et reconnaissances. Saigon, 1881.)]

[Footnote 269: E.g. Ang Chan (1796-1834) received his crown from the King of Siam and paid tribute to the King of Annam; Ang Duong (1846-1859) was crowned by representatives of Annam and Siam and his territory was occupied by the troops of both countries.]

[Footnote 270: The later history of Camboja is treated in considerable detail by A. Leclerc, Histoire de Cambodge, 1914.]

[Footnote 271: Inscrip. of Moroun, Corpus, II. 387.]

[Footnote 272: Other local deities may be alluded to, under the names of Sri Jayakshetra, "the field of victory" adored at Basset Simadamataka, Sri Mandaresvara, and Sri Jalangesvara. Aymonier, II. p. 297; I. pp. 305, 306 and 327.]

[Footnote 273: Inscrip. of Lovek.]

[Footnote 274: Prea Eynkosey, 970 A.D. See Corpus, I. pp. 77 ff.]

[Footnote 275: This compound deity is celebrated in the Harivamsa and is represented in the sculptures of the rock temple at Badami, which is dated 578 A.D. Thus his worship may easily have reached Camboja in the sixth or seventh century.]

[Footnote 276: Jayato jagatam bhutyai Kritasandhi Haracyutau, Parvatisripatitvena Bhinnamurttidharavapi. See also the Inscrip. of Ang Chumnik (667 A.D.), verses 11 and 12 in Corpus, I. p. 67.]

[Footnote 277: The Bayang Inscription, Corpus, I. pp. 31 ff. which mentions the dates 604 and 626 as recent.]

[Footnote 278: Corpus, II. p. 422 Saivapasupatacaryyau. The inscription fixes the relative rank of various Acaryas.]

[Footnote 279: See B.E.F.E.O. 1906, p. 70.]

[Footnote 280: See specially on this subject, Coedes in Bull. Comm. Archeol. de l'Indochine, 1911, p. 38, and 1913, p. 81, and the letterpress of Le Bayon d'Angkor Thorn, 1914.]

[Footnote 281: I have seen myself a stone lingam carved with four faces in a tank belonging to a temple at Mahakut not far from Badami.]

[Footnote 282: Suvarnamayalingagatesvare te sukshmantaratmani. Inscrip. of Prea Ngouk, Corpus, I. p. 157.]

[Footnote 283: E.g. see Epig. Indica, vol. III. pp. 1 ff. At Pattadkal (which region offers so many points of resemblance to Camboja) King Vijayaditya founded a temple of Vijayesvara and two Queens, Lokamahadevi and Trailokyamahadevi founded temples of Lokesvara and Trailokyesvara.]

[Footnote 284: Aymonier, II. pp. 257 ff. and especially Finot in B.E.F.E.O. 1915, xv. 2, p. 53.]

[Footnote 285: See above.]

[Footnote 286: Sammohana and Niruttara are given as names of Tantras. The former word may perhaps be the beginning of a compound. There are Pali works called Sammohavinodini and S. vinasini. The inscription calls the four treatises the four faces of Tumburn.]

[Footnote 287: This shows that matriarchy must have been in force in Camboja.]

[Footnote 288: Janapada as the name of a locality is cited by Bothlingck and Roth from the Gana to Panini, 4. 2. 82.]

[Footnote 289: Possibly others may have held office during this long period, but evidently all three priests lived to be very old men and each may have been Guru for forty years.]

[Footnote 290: This place which means merely "the abode of Hari and Hara" has not been identified.]

[Footnote 291: Corpus, II. Inscrip. lvi. especially pp. 248-251.]

[Footnote 292: Veal Kantel. Corpus, I. p. 28.]

[Footnote 293: Inscr. of Prah Khan, B.E.F.E.O. 1904, p. 675.]

[Footnote 294: B.E.F.E.O. 1904, p. 677.]

[Footnote 295: Just as a Vedic sacrifice was performed in the court of the temple of Chidambaram about 1908.]

[Footnote 296: Aymonier, Cambodja, I. p. 442.]

[Footnote 297: Sasta sounds like a title of Sakyamuni, but, if Aymonier is correct, the personage is described as a Bodhisattva. There were pagoda slaves even in modern Burma.]

[Footnote 298: See Coedes, "La Stele de Tep Pranam," in J.A. XI. 1908, p. 203.]

[Footnote 299: Inscrip. of Ta Prohm, B.E.F.E.O. 1906, p. 44.]

[Footnote 300: See Senart in Revue Archeologique, 1883. As in many inscriptions it is not always plain who is speaking but in most parts it is apparently the minister promulgating the instructions of the king.]

[Footnote 301: Inscript. of Prasat Prah Khse, Corpus, I. p. 173.]

[Footnote 302: Buddhanam agranir api, J.A. XX. 1882, p. 164.]

[Footnote 303: See Coedes, "Inscriptions de Bat Cum," in J.A. XII. 1908, pp. 230, 241.]

[Footnote 304: The Bodhisattva corresponding to the Buddha Akshobhya. He is green or blue and carries a thunderbolt. It seems probable that he is a metamorphosis of Indra.]

[Footnote 305: An exceedingly curious stanza eulogizes the doctrine of the non-existence of the soul taught by the Buddha which leads to identification with the universal soul although contrary to it. Vuddho vodhim vidaddhyad vo yena nairatmyadarsanam viruddhasyapi sadhuktam sadhanam paramatmanah.]

[Footnote 306: Aymonier, I pp. 261 ff. Senart, Revue Archeologique, Mars-Avril, 1883.]

[Footnote 307: Nanjio, 1244 and 1248.]

[Footnote 308: The common designation of Avalokita in Camboja and Java. For the inscription see B.E.F.E.O. 1906, pp. 44 ff.]

[Footnote 309: Stanza XLVI.]

[Footnote 310: The inscription only says "There are here (atra)." Can this mean in the various religious establishments maintained by the king?]

[Footnote 311: See also Finot, Notes d'Epig. pp. 332-335. The Mahavamsa repeatedly mentions that kings founded hospitals and distributed medicines. See too, Yule, Marco Polo, I. p. 446. The care of the sick was recognized as a duty and a meritorious act in all Buddhist countries and is recommended by the example of the Buddha himself.]

[Footnote 312: Their somewhat lengthy titles are Bhaishajyaguruvaiduryaprabharaja, Suryavairocanacandaroci and Candravairocanarohinisa. See for an account of them and the texts on which their worship is founded the learned article of M. Pelliot, "Le Bhaisajyaguru," B.E.F.E.O. 1903, p. 33.]

[Footnote 313: His narrative is translated by M. Pelliot in B.E.F.E.O. 1902, pp. 123-177.]

[Footnote 314: Pelliot (B.E.F.E.O. 1902, p. 148) cites a statement from the Ling Wai Tai Ta that there were two classes of bonzes in Camboja, those who wore yellow robes and married and those who wore red robes and lived in convents.]

[Footnote 315: M. Finot conjectures that it represents the Siamese Chao (Lord) and a corruption of Guru.]

[Footnote 316: See chapter on Siam, sect. 1.]

[Footnote 317: Corpus, II. p. 422.]

[Footnote 318: The strange statement of Chou Ta-kuan (pp. 153-155) that the Buddhist and Taoist priests enjoyed a species of jus primae noctis has been much discussed. Taken by itself it might be merely a queer story founded on a misunderstanding of Cambojan customs, for he candidly says that his information is untrustworthy. But taking it in connection with the stories about the Aris in Burma (see especially Finot, J.A. 1912, p. 121) and the customs attributed by Chinese and Europeans to the Siamese and Philippinos, we can hardly come to any conclusion except that this strange usage was an aboriginal custom in Indo-China and the Archipelago, prior to the introductions of Indian civilization, but not suppressed for some time. At the present day there seems to be no trace or even tradition of such a custom. For Siamese and Philippine customs see B.E.F.E.O. 1902, p. 153, note 4.]

[Footnote 319: The French Archaeological Commission states that exclusive of Angkor and the neighbouring buildings there are remains of 600 temples in Camboja, and probably many have entirely disappeared.]

[Footnote 320: Maspero, pp. 62-3.]

[Footnote 321: The food is prepared in the monasteries, and, as in other countries, the begging round is a mere formality.]

[Footnote 322: But in Chinese temples notices forbidding smoking are often posted on the doors.]

[Footnote 323: The word dhyana is known, but the exercise is more commonly called Vipassana or Kammathana.]

[Footnote 324: M.G. Coedes in Bull. Comm. Archeol. 1911, p. 220.]

[Footnote 325: Although there is no reason why these pictures of the future life should not be Brahmanic as well as Buddhist, I do not remember having seen them in any purely Brahmanic temple.]

[Footnote 326: After spending some time at Angkor Wat I find it hard to believe the theory that it was a palace. The King of Camboja was doubtless regarded as a living God, but so is the Grand Lama, and it does not appear that the Potala where he lives is anything but a large residential building containing halls and chapels much like the Vatican. But at Angkor Wat everything leads up to a central shrine. It is quite probable however that the deity of this shrine was a deified king, identified with Vishnu after his death. This would account for the remarks of Chou Ta-kuan who seems to have regarded it as a tomb.]

[Footnote 327: See especially the inscription of Bassac. Kern, Annales de l'Extreme Orient, t. III. 1880, p. 65.]

[Footnote 328: Pali books are common in monasteries. For the literature of Laos see Finot, B.E.F.E.O. 1917, No. 5.]



THE kingdom of Champa, though a considerable power from about the third century until the end of the fifteenth, has attracted less attention than Camboja or Java. Its name is a thing of the past and known only to students: its monuments are inferior in size and artistic merit to those of the other Hindu kingdoms in the Far East and perhaps its chief interest is that it furnishes the oldest Sanskrit inscription yet known from these regions.

Champa occupied the south-eastern corner of Asia beyond the Malay Peninsula, if the word corner can be properly applied to such rounded outlines. Its extent varied at different epochs, but it may be roughly defined in the language of modern geography as the southern portion of Annam, comprising the provinces of Quang-nam in the north and Binh-Thuan in the south with the intervening country. It was divided into three provinces, which respectively became the seat of empire at different periods. They were (i) in the north Amaravati (the modern Quang-nam) with the towns of Indrapura and Sinhapura; (ii) in the middle Vijaya (the modern Bing-Dinh) with the town of Vijaya and the port of Sri-Vinaya; (iii) in the south Panduranga or Panran (the modern provinces of Phanrang and Binh-Thuan) with the town of Virapura or Rajapura. A section of Panduranga called Kauthara (the modern Kanh hoa) was a separate province at certain times. Like the modern Annam, Champa appears to have been mainly a littoral kingdom and not to have extended far into the mountains of the interior.

Champa was the ancient name of a town in western Bengal near Bhagalpur, but its application to these regions does not seem due to any connection with north-eastern India. The conquerors of the country, who were called Chams, had a certain amount of Indian culture and considered the classical name Champa as an elegant expression for the land of the Chams. Judging by their language these Chams belonged to the Malay-Polynesian group and their distribution along the littoral suggests that they were invaders from the sea like the Malay pirates from whom they themselves subsequently suffered. The earliest inscription in the Cham language dates from the beginning of the ninth century but it is preceded by a long series of Sanskrit inscriptions the oldest of which, that of Vo-can,[330] is attributed at latest to the third century, and refers to an earlier king. It therefore seems probable that the Hindu dynasty of Champa was founded between 150 and 200 A.D. but there is no evidence to show whether a Malay race already settled in Champa was conquered and hinduized by Indian invaders, or whether the Chams were already hinduized when they arrived, possibly from Java.

The inferiority of the Chams to the Khmers in civilization was the result of their more troubled history. Both countries had to contend against the same difficulty—a powerful and aggressive neighbour on either side. Camboja between Siam and Annam in 1800 was in very much the same position as Champa had been between Camboja and Annam five hundred years earlier. But between 950 and 1150 A.D. when Champa by no means enjoyed stability and peace, the history of Camboja, if not altogether tranquil, at least records several long reigns of powerful kings who were able to embellish their capital and assure its security. The Chams were exposed to attacks not only from Annam but also from the more formidable if distant Chinese and their capital, instead of remaining stationary through several centuries like Angkor Thom, was frequently moved as one or other of the three provinces became more important.

The inscription of Vo-can is in correct Sanskrit prose and contains a fragmentary address from a king who seems to have been a Buddhist and writes somewhat in the style of Asoka. He boasts that he is of the family of Srimararaja. The letters closely resemble those of Rudradaman's inscription at Girnar and contemporary inscriptions at Kanheri. The text is much mutilated so that we know neither the name of the writer nor his relationship to Srimara. But the latter was evidently the founder of the dynasty and may have been separated from his descendant by several generations. It is noticeable that his name does not end in Varman, like those of later kings. If he lived at the end of the second century this would harmonize with the oldest Chinese notices which fix the rise of Lin-I (their name for Champa) about 192 A.D.[331] Agreeably to this we also hear that Hun T'ien founded an Indian kingdom in Fu-nan considerably before 265 A.D. and that some time between 220 and 280 a king of Fu-nan sent an embassy to India. The name Fu-nan may include Champa. But though we hear of Hindu kingdoms in these districts at an early date we know nothing of their civilization or history, nor do we obtain much information from those Cham legends which represent the dynasties of Champa as descended from two clans, those of the cabbage palm (arequier) and cocoanut.

Chinese sources also state that a king called Fan-yi sent an embassy to China in 284 and give the names of several kings who reigned between 336 and 440. One of these, Fan-hu-ta, is apparently the Bhadravarman who has left some Sanskrit inscriptions dating from about 400 and who built the first temple at Mi-so'n. This became the national sanctuary of Champa: it was burnt down about 575 A.D. but rebuilt. Bhadravarman's son Gangaraja appears to have abdicated and to have gone on a pilgrimage to the Ganges—[332]another instance of the intercourse prevailing between these regions and India.

It would be useless to follow in detail the long chronicle of the kings of Champa but a few events merit mention. In 446 and again in 605 the Chinese invaded the country and severely chastised the inhabitants. But the second invasion was followed by a period of peace and prosperity. Sambhuvarman (A.D. 629) restored the temples of Mi-so'n and two of his successors, both called Vikrantavarman, were also great builders. The kings who reigned from 758 to 859, reckoned as the fifth dynasty, belonged to the south and had their capital at Virapura. The change seems to have been important, for the Chinese who had previously called the country Lin-I, henceforth call it Huan-wang. The natives continued to use the name Champa but Satyavarman and the other kings of the dynasty do not mention Mi-so'n though they adorned and endowed Po-nagar and other sanctuaries in the south. It was during this period (A.D. 774 and 787) that the province of Kauthara was invaded by pirates, described as thin black barbarians and cannibals, and also as the armies of Java.[333] They pillaged the temples but were eventually expelled. They were probably Malays but it is difficult to believe that the Javanese could be seriously accused of cannibalism at this period.[334]

The capital continued to be transferred under subsequent dynasties. Under the sixth (860-900) it was at Indrapura in the north: under the seventh (900-986) it returned to the south: under the eighth (989-1044) it was in Vijaya, the central province. These internal changes were accompanied by foreign attacks. The Khmers invaded the southern province in 945. On the north an Annamite Prince founded the kingdom of Dai-coviet, which became a thorn in the side of Champa. In 982 its armies destroyed Indrapura, and in 1044 they captured Vijaya. In 1069 King Rudravarman was taken prisoner but was released in return for the cession of the three northernmost provinces. Indrapura however was rebuilt and for a time successful wars were waged against Camboja, but though the kings of Champa did not acquiesce in the loss of the northern provinces, and though Harivarman III (1074-80) was temporarily victorious, no real progress was made in the contest with Annam, whither the Chams had to send embassies practically admitting that they were a vassal state. In the next century further disastrous quarrels with Camboja ensued and in 1192 Champa was split into two kingdoms, Vijaya in the north under a Cambojan prince and Panran in the south governed by a Cham prince but under the suzerainty of Camboja. This arrangement was not successful and after much fighting Champa became a Khmer province though a very unruly one from 1203 till 1220. Subsequently the aggressive vigour of the Khmers was tempered by their own wars with Siam. But it was not the fate of Champa to be left in peace. The invasion of Khubilai lasted from 1278 to 1285 and in 1306 the provinces of O and Ly were ceded to Annam.

Champa now became for practical purposes an Annamite province and in 1318 the king fled to Java for refuge. This connection with Java is interesting and there are other instances of it. King Jaya Simhavarman III (A.D. 1307) of Champa married a Javanese princess called Tapasi. Later we hear in Javanese records that in the fifteenth century the princess Darawati of Champa married the king of Madjapahit and her sister married Raden Radmat, a prominent Moslim teacher in Java.[335]

The power of the Chams was crushed by Annam in 1470. After this date they had little political importance but continued to exist as a nationality under their own rulers. In 1650 they revolted against Annam without success and the king was captured. But his widow was accorded a titular position and the Cham chronicle[336] continues the list of nominal kings down to 1822.

In Champa, as in Camboja, no books dating from the Hindu period have been preserved and probably there were not many. The Cham language appears not to have been used for literary purposes and whatever culture existed was exclusively Sanskrit. The kings are credited with an extensive knowledge of Sanskrit literature. An inscription at Po-nagar[337] (918 A.D.) says that Sri Indravarman was acquainted with the Mimamsa and other systems of philosophy, Jinendra, and grammar together with the Kasika (vritti) and the Saivottara-Kalpa. Again an inscription of Mi-son[338] ascribes to Jaya Indravarmadeva (c. 1175 A.D.) proficiency in all the sciences as well as a knowledge of the Mahayana and the Dharmasastras, particularly the Naradiya and Bhargaviya. To some extent original compositions in Sanskrit must have been produced, for several of the inscriptions are of considerable length and one[339] gives a quotation from a work called the Puranartha or Arthapuranasastra which appears to have been a chronicle of Champa. But the language of the inscriptions is often careless and incorrect and indicates that the study of Sanskrit was less flourishing than in Camboja.


The monuments of Champa, though considerable in size and number, are inferior to those of Camboja. The individual buildings are smaller and simpler and the groups into which they are combined lack unity. Brick was the chief material, stone being used only when brick would not serve, as for statues and lintels. The commonest type of edifice is a square pyramidal structure called by the Chams Kalan. A Kalan is as a rule erected on a hill or rising ground: its lowest storey has on the east a porch and vestibule, on the other three sides false doors. The same shape is repeated in four upper storeys of decreasing size which however serve merely for external decoration and correspond to nothing in the interior. This is a single windowless pyramidal cell lighted by the door and probably also by lamps placed in niches on the inner walls. In the centre stood a pedestal for a linga or an image, with a channel to carry off libations, leading to a spout in the wall. The outline of the tower is often varied by projecting figures or ornaments, but the sculpture is less lavish than in Camboja and Java.

In the greater religious sites several structures are grouped together. A square wall surrounds an enclosure entered by a gateway and containing one or more Kalans, as well as smaller buildings, probably for the use of priests. Before the gateway there is frequently a hall supported by columns but open at the sides.

All known specimens of Cham architecture are temples; palaces and other secular buildings were made of wood and have disappeared. Of the many sanctuaries which have been discovered, the most remarkable are those of Mi-son, and Dong Duong, both in the neighbourhood of Tourane, and Po Nagar close to Nhatrang.

Mi-son[340] is an undulating amphitheatre among mountains and contains eight or nine groups of temples, founded at different times. The earliest structures, erected by Bhadravarman I about 400, have disappeared[341] and were probably of wood, since we hear that they were burnt (apparently by an accident) in 575 A.D. New temples were constructed by Sambhuvarman about twenty-five years later and were dedicated to Sambhu-bhadresvara, in which title the names of the founder, restorer and the deity are combined. These buildings, of which portions remain, represent the oldest and best period of Cham art. Another style begins under Vikrantavarman I between 657 and 679 A.D. This reign marks a period of decadence and though several buildings were erected at Mi-son during the eighth and ninth centuries, the locality was comparatively neglected[342] until the reign of Harivarman III (1074-1080). The temples had been ravaged by the Annamites but this king, being a successful warrior, was able to restore them and dedicated to them the booty which he had captured. Though his reign marks a period of temporary prosperity in the annals of Champa, the style which he inaugurated in architecture has little originality. It reverts to the ancient forms but shows conscious archaism rather than fresh vigour. The position of Mi-son, however, did not decline and about 1155 Jaya Harivarman I repaired the buildings, dedicated the booty taken in battle and erected a new temple in fulfilment of a vow. But after this period the princes of Champa had no authority in the district of Mi-son, and the Annamites, who seem to have disliked the religion of the Chams, plundered the temples.

Po-nagar[343] is near the port of Nha-trang and overlooks the sea. Being smaller that Mi-son it has more unity but still shows little attempt to combine in one architectural whole the buildings of which it is composed.

An inscription[344] states with curious precision that the shrine was first erected in the year 5911 of the Dvapara age and this fantastic chronology shows that in our tenth century it was regarded as ancient. As at Mi-son, the original buildings were probably of wood for in 774 they were sacked and burnt by pirates who carried off the image.[345] Shortly afterwards they were rebuilt in brick by King Satyavarman and the existing southern tower probably dates from his reign, but the great central tower was built by Harivarman I (817 A.D.) and the other edifices are later.

Po Nagar or Yang Po Nagar means the Lady or Goddess of the city. She was commonly called Bhagavati in Sanskrit[346] and appears to have been the chief object of worship at Nha-trang, although Siva was associated with her under the name of Bhagavatisvara. In 1050 an ardhanari image representing Siva and Bhagavati combined in one figure was presented to the temple by King Paramesvara and a dedicatory inscription describes this double deity as the cosmic principle.

When Champa was finally conquered the temple was sold to the Annamites, who admitted that they could not acquire it except by some special and peaceful arrangement. Even now they still continue the worship of the goddess though they no longer know who she is.[347]

Dong Duong, about twenty kilometres to the south of Mi-son, marks the site of the ancient capital Indrapura. The monument which has made its name known differs from those already described. Compared with them it has some pretensions to be a whole, laid out on a definite plan and it is Buddhist. It consists of three courts[348] surrounded by walls and entered by massive porticoes. In the third there are about twenty buildings and perhaps it did not escape the fault common to Cham architecture of presenting a collection of disconnected and unrelated edifices, but still there is clearly an attempt to lead up from the outermost portico through halls and gateways to the principal shrine. From an inscription dated 875 A.D. we learn that the ruins are those of a temple and vihara erected by King Indravarman and dedicated to Avalokita under the name of Lakshmindra Lokesvara.


The religion of Champa was practically identical with that of Camboja. If the inscriptions of the former tell us more about mukhalingas and koshas and those of the latter have more allusions to the worship of the compound deity Hari-hara, this is probably a matter of chance. But even supposing that different cults were specially prominent at different places, it seems clear that all the gods and ceremonies known in Camboja were also known in Champa and vice versa. In both countries the national religion was Hinduism, mainly of the Sivaite type, accompanied by Mahayanist Buddhism which occasionally came to the front under royal patronage. In both any indigenous beliefs which may have existed did not form a separate system. It is probable however that the goddess known at Po-nagar as Bhagavati was an ancient local deity worshipped before the Hindu immigration and an inscription found at Mi-son recommends those whose eyes are diseased to propitiate Kuvera and thus secure protection against Ekakshapingala, "the tawny one-eyed (spirit)." Though this goddess or demon was probably a creation of local fancy, similar identifications of Kali with the spirits presiding over cholera, smallpox, etc., take place in India.

The social system was theoretically based on the four castes, but Chinese accounts indicate that in questions of marriage and inheritance older ideas connected with matriarchy and a division into clans still had weight. But the language of the inscriptions is most orthodox. King Vikrantavarman[349] quotes with approval the saying that the horse sacrifice is the best of good deeds and the murder of a Brahman the worst of sins. Brahmans, chaplains (purohita), pandits and ascetics are frequently mentioned as worthy of honour and gifts. The high priest or royal chaplain is styled Sriparamapurohita but it does not appear that there was a sacerdotal family enjoying the unique position held by the Sivakaivalyas in Camboja. The frequent changes of capital and dynasty in Champa were unfavourable to continuity in either Church or State.

Sivaism, without any hostility to Vishnuism or Buddhism, was the dominant creed. The earliest known inscription, that of Vo-can, contains indications of Buddhism, but three others believed to date from about 400 A.D. invoke Siva under some such title as Bhadresvara, indicating that a temple had been dedicated to him by King Bhadravarman. Thus the practice of combining the names of a king and his patron deity in one appellation existed in Champa at this early date.[350] It is also recorded from southern India, Camboja and Java. Besides Siva one of the inscriptions venerates, though in a rather perfunctory manner, Uma, Brahma, Vishnu and the five elements. Several inscriptions[351] give details of Sivaite theology which agree with what we know of it in Camboja. The world animate and inanimate is an emanation from Siva, but he delivers from the world those who think of him. Meditation, the practice of Yoga, and devotion to Siva are several times mentioned with approval.[352] He abides in eight forms corresponding to his eight names Sarva, Bhava, Pasupati, Isana, Bhima, Rudra, Mahadeva, and Ugra. He is also, as in Java, Guru or the teacher and he has the usual mythological epithets. He dances in lonely places, he rides on the bull Nandi, is the slayer of Kama, etc. Though represented by figures embodying such legends he was most commonly adored under the form of the linga which in Champa more than elsewhere came to be regarded as not merely symbolic but as a personal god. To mark this individuality it was commonly enclosed in a metal case (kosha) bearing one or more human faces.[353] It was then called mukhalinga and the faces were probably intended as portraits of royal donors, identified with the god in form as well as in name. An inscription of 1163 A.D. records the dedication of such a kosha, adorned with five royal faces, to Srisanabhadresvara. The god, it is said, will now be able to give his blessing to all regions through his five mouths which he could not do before, and being enclosed in the kosha, like an embryo in the matrix, he becomes Hiranyagarbha. The linga, with or without these ornaments, was set on a snanadroni or stone table arranged for receiving libations, and sometimes (as in Java and Camboja) four or more lingas were set upon a single slab. From A.D. 400 onwards, the cult of Siva seems to have maintained its paramount position during the whole history of Champa, for the last recorded Sanskrit inscription is dedicated to him. From first to last it was the state religion. Siva is said to have sent Uroja to be the first king and is even styled the root of the state of Champa.

An inscription[354] of 811 A.D. celebrates the dual deity Sankara-Narayana. It is noticeable that Narayana is said to have held up Mt. Govardhana and is apparently identified with Krishna. Rama and Krishna are both mentioned in an inscription of 1157 which states that the whole divinity of Vishnu was incarnate in King Jaya Harivarman I.[355] But neither allusions to Vishnu nor figures of him[356] are numerous and he plays the part of an accessory though respected personage. Garuda, on whom he rides, was better known than the god himself and is frequently represented in sculpture.

The Sakti of Siva, amalgamated as mentioned with a native goddess, received great honour (especially at Nhatrang) under the names of Uma, Bhagavati, the Lady of the city (Yang Po Nagar) and the goddess of Kauthara. In another form or aspect she was called Maladakuthara.[357] There was also a temple of Ganesa (Sri-Vinayaka) at Nhatrang but statues of this deity and of Skanda are rare.

The Chinese pilgrim I-Ching, writing in the last year of the seventh century, includes Champa (Lin-I) in the list of countries which "greatly reverence the three jewels" and contrasts it with Fu-nan where a wicked king had recently almost exterminated Buddhism. He says "In this country Buddhists generally belong to the Arya-sammiti school, and there are also a few followers of the Aryasarvastivadin school." The statement is remarkable, for he also tells us that the Sarvastivadins were the predominant sect in the Malay Archipelago and flourished in southern China. The headquarters of the Sammitiyas were, according to the accounts of both Hsuan Chuang and I-Ching, in western India though, like the three other schools, they were also found in Magadha and eastern India. We also hear that the brother and sister of the Emperor Harsha belonged to this sect and it was probably influential. How it spread to Champa we do not know, nor do the inscriptions mention its name or indicate that the Buddhism which they knew was anything but the mixture of the Mahayana with Sivaism[358] which prevailed in Camboja.

I-Ching's statements can hardly be interpreted to mean that Buddhism was the official religion of Champa at any rate after 400 A.D., for the inscriptions abundantly prove that the Sivaite shrines of Mi-son and Po-nagar were so to speak national cathedrals where the kings worshipped on behalf of the country. But the Vo-can inscription (? 250 A.D.), though it does not mention Buddhism, appears to be Buddhist, and it would be quite natural that a dynasty founded about 150 A.D. should be Buddhist but that intercourse with Camboja and probably with India should strengthen Sivaism. The Chinese annals mention[359] that 1350 Buddhist books were carried off during a Chinese invasion in 605 A.D. and this allusion implies the existence of Buddhism and monasteries with libraries. As in Camboja it was perhaps followed by ministers rather than by kings. An inscription found[360] in southern Champa and dated as 829 A.D. records how a sthavira named Buddhanirvana erected two viharas and two temples (devakula) to Jina and Sankara (Buddha and Siva) in honour of his deceased father. Shortly afterwards there came to the throne Indravarman II (860-890 A.D.), the only king of Champa who is known to have been a fervent Buddhist. He did not fail to honour Siva as the patron of his kingdom but like Asoka he was an enthusiast for the Dharma.[361] He desires the knowledge of the Dharma: he builds monasteries for the sake of the Dharma: he wishes to propagate it: he even says that the king of the gods governs heaven by the principles of Dharma. He wishes to lead all his subjects to the "yoke and abode of Buddha," to "the city of deliverance."

To this end he founded the vihara of Dong Duong, already described, and dedicated it to Sri Lakshmindra Lokesvara.[362] This last word is a synonym of Avalokita, which also occurs in the dedicatory inscription but in a fragmentary passage. Lakshmindra is explained by other passages in the inscription from which we learn that the king's name before he ascended the throne was Lakshmindra Bhumisvara, so that the Bodhisattva is here adored under the name of the king who erected the vihara according to the custom prevalent in Sivaite temples. Like those temples this vihara received an endowment of land and slaves of both sexes, as well as gold, silver and other metals.[363]

A king who reigned from 1080 to 1086 was called Paramabodhisattva, but no further epigraphic records of Buddhism are known until the reigns of Jaya Indravarmadeva (1167-1192) and his successor Suryavarmadeva.[364] Both of these monarchs, while worshipping Siva, are described as knowing or practising the jnana or dharma of the Mahayana. Little emphasis seems to be laid on these expressions but still they imply that the Mahayana was respected and considered part of the royal religion. Suryavarmadeva erected a building called Sri Herukaharmya.[365] The title is interesting for it contains the name of the Tantric Buddha Heruka.

The grotto of Phong-nha[366] in the extreme north of Champa (province of Quang Binh) must have been a Buddhist shrine. Numerous medallions in clay bearing representations of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Dagobas have been found there but dates are wanting.

It does not appear that the Hinayanist influence which became predominant in Camboja extended to Champa. That influence came from Siam and before it had time to traverse Camboja, Champa was already in the grip of the Annamites, whose religion with the rest of their civilization came from China rather than India. Chinese culture and writing spread to the Cambojan frontier and after the decay of Champa, Camboja marks the permanent limit within which an Indian alphabet and a form of Buddhism not derived through China have maintained themselves.

A large number of the Chams were converted to Mohammedanism but the time and circumstances of the event are unknown. When Friar Gabriel visited the country at the end of the sixteenth century a form of Hinduism seems to have been still prevalent.[367] It would be of interest to know how the change of religion was effected, for history repeats itself and it is likely that the Moslims arrived in Champa by the route followed centuries before by the Hindu invaders.

There are still about 130,000 Chams in the south of Annam and Camboja. In the latter country they are all Mohammedans. In Annam some traces of Hinduism remain, such as mantras in broken Sanskrit and hereditary priests called Basaih. Both religions have become unusually corrupt but are interesting as showing how beliefs which are radically distinct become distorted and combined in Eastern Asia.[368]


[Footnote 329: Also spelt Campa and Tchampa. It seems safer to use Ch for C in names which though of Indian origin are used outside India. The final a though strictly speaking long is usually written without an accent. The following are the principal works which I have consulted about Champa.

(a) G. Maspero, Le Royaume de Champa. Published in T'oung Pao, 1910-1912. Cited as Maspero.

(b) A. Bergaigne, "Inscriptions Sanskrites de Champa" in Notices et Extraits des Manuscrits de la Bibliotheque Nationale, tome XXVII. 1^re partie. 2^e fascicule, 1893, pp. 181-292. Cited as Corpus, II.

(c) H. Parmentier, Inventaire descriptif des Monuments Cams de l'Annam. 1899.

(d) L. Finot, "La Religion des Chams," B.E.F.E.O, 1901, and Notes d'Epigraphie. "Les Inscriptions de Mi-son," ib. 1904. Numerous other papers by this author, Durand, Parmentier and others in the same periodical can be consulted with advantage.

(e) Id., Notes d'Epigraphie Indo-Chinoise, 1916.]

[Footnote 330: Corpus, II. p. 11, and Finot, Notes d'Epig. pp. 227 ff.]

[Footnote 331: See authorities quoted by Maspero, T'oung Pao, 1910, p. 329.]

[Footnote 332: Finot in B.E.F.E.O. 1904, pp. 918 and 922.]

[Footnote 333: Corpus, II. Stele de Po Nagar, pp. 252 ff. and Stele de Yang Tikuh, p. 208, etc.]

[Footnote 334: The statements that they came from Java and were cannibals occur in different inscriptions and may conceivably refer to two bodies of invaders. But the dates are very near. Probably Java is not the island now so called. See the chapter on Camboja, sec. 2. The undoubted references in the inscriptions of Champa to the island of Java call it Yavadvipa.]

[Footnote 335: Veth. Java, I. p. 233.]

[Footnote 336: See "La Chronique Royale," B.E.F.E.O. 1905, p. 377.]

[Footnote 337: Corpus, II. p. 259. Jinendra may be a name either of the Buddha or of a grammarian. The mention of the Kasika vritti is important as showing that this work must be anterior to the ninth century. The Uttara Kalpa is quoted in the Tantras (see Bergaigne's note), but nothing is known of it.]

[Footnote 338: B.E.F.E.O. 1904, p. 973.]

[Footnote 339: From Mi-son, date 1157 A.D. See B.E.F.E.O. 1904, pp. 961 and 963.]

[Footnote 340: = Chinese Mei shan, beautiful mountain. For an account of the temples and their history see the articles by Parmentier and Finot, B.E.F.E.O. 1904, pp. 805-977.]

[Footnote 341: But contemporary inscriptions have been discovered. B.E.F.E.O. 1902, pp. 185 ff.]

[Footnote 342: Doubtless because the capital was transferred to the south where the shrine of Po-nagar had rival claims.]

[Footnote 343: See especially the article by Parmentier, B.E.F.E.O. 1902, pp. 17-54.]

[Footnote 344: XXVI Corpus, II. pp. 244, 256; date 918 A.D.]

[Footnote 345: Sivamukham: probably a mukhalinga.]

[Footnote 346: Also Yapunagara even in Sanskrit inscriptions.]

[Footnote 347: Parmentier, l.c. p. 49.]

[Footnote 348: This is only a very rough description of a rather complicated structure. For details see Parmentier, Monuments Cams, planche XCVIII.]

[Footnote 349: Inscrip. at Mi-son of 658 A.D. See B.E.F.E.O. 1904, p. 921.]

[Footnote 350: Other examples are Indrabhadresvara, Corpus, II. p. 208. Harivarmesvara, B.E.F.E.O. 1904, p. 961.]

[Footnote 351: E.g. B.E.F.E.O. pp. 918 ff. Dates 658 A.D. onwards.]

[Footnote 352: Yogaddhyana, Sivaradha, Sivabhakti. See B.E.F.E.O. 1904, pp. 933-950. Harivarman III abdicated in 1080 and gave himself up to contemplation and devotion to Siva.]

[Footnote 353: See B.E.F.E.O. 1904, pp. 912 ff. and esp. p. 970. I have seen a kosha which is still in use in the neighbourhood of Badami. It is kept in a village called Nandikesvara, but on certain festivals it is put on a linga at the temple of Mahakut. It is about 2 feet high and 10 inches broad; a silver case with a rounded and ornamented top. On one side is a single face in bold embossed work and bearing fine moustaches exactly as in the mukhalingas of Champa. In the tank of the temple of Mahakut is a half submerged shrine, from which rises a stone linga on which are carved four faces bearing moustaches. There is said to be a gold kosha set with jewels at Sringeri. See J. Mythic. Society (Bangalore), vol. VIII. p. 27. According to Gopinatha Rao, Indian Iconography, vol. II. p. 63, the oldest known lingas have figures carved on them.]

[Footnote 354: Corpus, II. pp. 229, 230.]

[Footnote 355: B.E.F.E.O. 1904, pp. 959, 960.]

[Footnote 356: See for an account of same B.E.F.E.O. 1901, p. 18.]

[Footnote 357: Corpus, II. p. 282.]

[Footnote 358: In several passages Hsuan Chuang notes that there were Pasupatas or other Sivaites in the same towns of India where Sammitiyas were found. See Watters, Yuan Chwang, I. 331, 333; II. 47, 242, 256, 258, 259.]

[Footnote 359: Maspero, T'oung Pao, 1910, p. 514.]

[Footnote 360: At Yang Kur. See Corpus, II. pp. 237-241.]

[Footnote 361: For his views see his inscriptions in B.E.F.E.O. 1904, pp. 85 ff. But kings who are not known to have been Buddhists also speak of Dharma. B.E.F.E.O. 1904, pp. 922, 945.]

[Footnote 362: Apparently special forms of deities such as Srisanabhadresvara or Lakshminda Lokesvara were regarded as to some extent separate existences. Thus the former is called a portion of Siva, B.E.F.E.O. 1904, p. 973.]

[Footnote 363: Presumably in the form of vessels.]

[Footnote 364: B.E.F.E.O. 1904, pp. 973-975.]

[Footnote 365: B.E.F.E.O. 1904, p. 975.]

[Footnote 366: Ib. 1901, p. 23, and Parmentier, Inventaire des Monuments Chams, p. 542.]

[Footnote 367: Gabriel de San Antonio, Breve y verdadera relation de los successes de Reyno de Camboxa, 1604.]

[Footnote 368: See for the modern Chams the article "Chams" in E.R.E. and Ethics, and Durand, "Les Chams Bani," B.E.F.E.O. 1903, and "Notes sur les Chams," ib. 1905-7.]




In most of the countries which we have been considering, the native civilization of the present day is still Indian in origin, although in the former territories of Champa this Indian phase has been superseded by Chinese culture with a little Mohammedanism. But in another area we find three successive stages of culture, indigenous, Indian and Mohammedan. This area includes the Malay Peninsula with a large part of the Malay Archipelago, and the earliest stratum with which we need concern ourselves is Malay. The people who bear this name are remarkable for their extraordinary powers of migration by sea, as shown by the fact that languages connected with Malay are spoken in Formosa and New Zealand, in Easter Island and Madagascar, but their originality both in thought and in the arts of life is small. The three stages are seen most clearly in Java where the population was receptive and the interior accessible. Sumatra and Borneo also passed through them in a fashion but the indigenous element is still predominant and no foreign influence has been able to affect either island as a whole. Islam gained no footing in Bali which remains curiously Hindu but it reached Celebes and the southern Philippines, in both of which Indian influence was slight.[369] The destiny of south-eastern Asia with its islands depends on the fact that the tide of trade and conquest whether Hindu, Moslim or European, flowed from India or Ceylon to the Malay Peninsula and Java and thence northwards towards China with a reflux westwards in Champa and Camboja. Burma and Siam lay outside this track. They received their culture from India mainly by land and were untouched by Mohammedanism. But the Mohammedan current which affected the Malays was old and continuous. It started from Arabia in the early days of the Hijra and had nothing to do with the Moslim invasions which entered India by land.


Indian civilization appears to have existed in Java from at least the fifth century of our era.[370] Much light has been thrown on its history of late by the examination of inscriptions and of fairly ancient literature but the record still remains fragmentary. There are considerable gaps: the seat of power shifted from one district to another and at most epochs the whole island was not subject to one ruler, so that the title king of Java merely indicates a prince pre-eminent among others doubtfully subordinate to him.

The name Java is probably the Sanskrit Yava used in the sense of grain, especially millet. In the Ramayana[371] the monkeys of Hanuman are bidden to seek for Sita in various places including Yava-dvipa, which contains seven kingdoms and produces gold and silver. Others translate these last words as referring to another or two other islands known as Gold and Silver Land. It is probable that the poet did not distinguish clearly between Java and Sumatra. He goes on to say that beyond Java is the peak called Sisira. This is possibly the same as the Yavakoti mentioned in 499 A.D. by the Indian astronomer Aryabhatta.

Since the Ramayana is a product of gradual growth it is not easy to assign a definite date to this passage, but it is probably not later than the first or second century A.D. and an early date is rendered probable by the fact that the Alexandrian Geographer Ptolemy (c. 130 A.D.) mentions[372] [Greek: Nesos Iabadiou e Sabadiou] and by various notices collected from inscriptions and from Chinese historians. The annals of the Liang Dynasty (502-556 A.D.) in speaking of the countries of the Southern Ocean say that in the reign of Hsuan Ti (73-49 B.C.) the Romans and Indians sent envoys to China by that route,[373] thus indicating that the Archipelago was frequented by Hindus. The same work describes under the name of Lang-ya-hsiu a country which professed Buddhism and used the Sanskrit language and states that "the people say that their country was established more than 400 years ago."[374] Lang-ya-hsiu has been located by some in Java by others in the Malay Peninsula, but even on the latter supposition this testimony to Indian influence in the Far East is still important. An inscription found at Kedah in the Malay Peninsula is believed to be older than 400 A.D.[375] No more definite accounts are forthcoming before the fifth or sixth century. Fa-Hsien[376] relates how in 418 he returned to China from India by sea and "arrived at a country called Ya-va-di." "In this country" he says "heretics and Brahmans flourish but the law of Buddha hardly deserves mentioning."[377] Three inscriptions found in west Java in the district of Buitenzorg are referred for palaeographic reasons to about 400 A.D. They are all in Sanskrit and eulogize a prince named Purnavarman, who appears to have been a Vishnuite. The name of his capital is deciphered as Naruma or Taruma. In 435 according to the Liu Sung annals[378] a king of Ja-va-da named Shih-li-pa-da-do-a-la-pa-mo sent tribute to China. The king's name probably represents a Sanskrit title beginning with Sri-Pada and it is noticeable that two footprints are carved on the stones which bear Purnavarman's inscriptions. Also Sanskrit inscriptions found at Koetei on the east coast of Borneo and considered to be not later than the fifth century record the piety and gifts to Brahmans of a King Mulavarman and mention his father and grandfather.[379]

It follows from these somewhat disjointed facts that the name of Yava-dvipa was known in India soon after the Christian era, and that by the fifth century Hindu or hinduized states had been established in Java. The discovery of early Sanskrit inscriptions in Borneo and Champa confirms the presence of Hindus in these seas. The T'ang annals[380] speak definitely of Kaling, otherwise called Java, as lying between Sumatra and Bali and say that the inhabitants have letters and understand a little astronomy. They further mention the presence of Arabs and say that in 674 a queen named Sima ascended the throne and ruled justly.

But the certain data for Javanese history before the eighth century are few. For that period we have some evidence from Java itself. An inscription dated 654 Saka ( = 732 A.D.) discovered in Kedoe celebrates the praises of a king named Sanjaya, son of King Sanna. It contains an account of the dedication of a linga, invocations of Siva, Brahma and Vishnu, a eulogy of the king's virtue and learning, and praise of Java. Thus about 700 A.D. there was a Hindu kingdom in mid Java and this, it would seem, was then the part of the island most important politically. Buddhist inscriptions of a somewhat later date (one is of 778 A.D.) have been found in the neighbourhood of Prambanam. They are written in the Nagari alphabet and record various pious foundations. A little later again (809 and 840 A.D.) are the inscriptions found on the Dieng (Dihyang), a lonely mountain plateau on which are several Brahmanic shrines in fair preservation. There is no record of their builders but the New T'ang Annals say that the royal residence was called Java but "on the mountains is the district Lang-pi-ya where the king frequently goes to look at the sea."[381] This may possibly be a reference to pilgrimages to Dieng. The inscriptions found on the great monument of Boroboedoer throw no light on the circumstances of its foundation, but the character of the writing makes it likely that it was erected about 850 and obviously by a king who could command the services of numerous workmen as well as of skilled artists. The temples of Prambanam are probably to be assigned to the next century. All these buildings indicate the existence from the eighth to the tenth century of a considerable kingdom (or perhaps kingdoms) in middle Java, comprising at least the regions of Mataram, Kedoe and the Dieng plateau. From the Arabic geographers also we learn that Java was powerful in the ninth century and attacked Qamar (probably Khmer or Camboja). They place the capital at the mouth of a river, perhaps the Solo or Brantas. If so, there must have been a principality in east Java at this period. This is not improbable for archaeological evidence indicates that Hindu civilization moved eastwards and flourished first in the west, then in mid Java and finally from the ninth to the fifteenth centuries in the east.

Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15     Next Part
Home - Random Browse