Śrīvijaya―towards ChaiyaーThe History of Srivijaya Renewed 25 December 2012
Chaiya was the capital oｆ Srivijaya. But most people believe that Palembang was the capital of Srivijaya, which had been one of the subordinate states of Srivijaya. By looking through the whole history of Srivijaya, we can reach the firm conclusion. I think we must revise the ancient history of Southeast Asia. The importance of the Malay Peninsula should be recognised. The Origin of the spread of Buddhism into Southeast of Asia also should be reconsidered. Following the Indian merchants, the Indian Buddhism came to the Peninsula, where people established the worship of Buddhism. We must face our history without prejudice and natioanalistic sentiment. History is heavy for us.
Very few historians have taught us about the real ancient history of Southeast Asia. The reason is very simple because they do not know the real history . Ignorant teachers cannot teach their students. They teach as fictions and are talking about the 'castle in the air'. So, students understand nothing. They use the empty word of ' mandala' which explains nothing real. We have to stop the usage of ambiguous words and face the reality.
The Historical Outline of Śrīvijaya
In this paper what I try to discuss is on the history of the trade between the East and West in the Śrīvijaya times at the same time I would like to correct the location of capital of Shih-li-fo-shi (室利佛逝) from Palembang to Chaiya. The Palembang Hypothesis presented by G. Coedès and has been supported by most historians is not rational from many aspects and it is proved apparent mistake. Yi-Jing (義浄）and the “Xin (New) Tang Shu (新唐書)” wrote that Shih-li-fo-shi was located in the northern hemisphere, in other words in the Malay Peninsula
The history of Southeast Asia has been distorted by many wrong hypotheses. The most serious error is the ‘Palembang Hypothesis’.
However the historians who have asserted that the capital of Srivijaya (Shih-li-fo-shi) located at Chaiya are very few. Dr. Quaritch Wales is rare exceptions. In Thailand, there may be more, for instance Prince Mon Chao Chand Chirayu Rajani and Dr. Piriya Krairiksh who have English publications. But it is not easy for us, ordinary readers to access their books.
The characteristics of my paper are mostly re-appraisal of the Chinese textual evidence from the viewpoint of an economist and economic historian on the region. At the same time, I tried to fix the location of the important states recorded in the Chinese annals. Without accurate identification of the major states, the history of Southeast Asia cannot be discussed and clarified.
Shih-li-fo-shi in the Tang（唐）times was well known as Śrivijaya. San-fo-chi (三佛斉) which appeared in 904 at the last stage of the Tang Dynasty（618~907）was acknowledged by the Tang officials as Śrivijaya. And in the Song times, it was recognized as San-fo-chi which appeared the last stage of the Tang court in 904.
Between Shih-li-fo-shi (室利佛逝) and San-fo-chi (三佛斉), there was ‘new Kha-ling (Śailendra). They were all Śrivijayas. Śrivijaya consists of more than fourteen city-states most of them were ‘port states’ which more or less were taking part in international trade. The champion states of them were, in Shih-li-fo-shi times Chaiya, in Kha-ling times central Java (Shailendra) and in San-fo-chi times Jambi, Kedah and Chaiya. Through the three stages of the history of Śrīvijaya, all of the leading kings were probably Funan’s royal descendants who had been devotees of Mahāyāna Buddhism, even though they embraced 'Hinduism.
The rulers of Funan (扶南), after kicked out from Cambodia, fled to their vassal state, namely Pan-pan (盤盤). At the middle of the seventh century, they established a new state called Srivijaya (Shih-li-fo-shi). Before making Shih-li-fo-shi, they merged other states in the Malay Peninsula. At the end of 670 A.D. only the name of Shih-li-fo-shi remained in the middle of the Peninsula, which was recorded in the Chinese annals as tributary country. Before that Chi-tu (赤土), Tan-tan (丹丹) and Pan-pan（should be pronounced as Ban-ban盤盤） disappeared.
Shih-li-fo-shi opened its window to the Strait of Malacca, after merged Kedah, which probably had been the capital of Chi-tu. It was necessary for Shih-li-fo-shi to control the Malacca Strait to purchase the western commodities coming across the Bay of Bengal. In the middle of the seventh century, the presence of the western countries, Persia and Arab, increased in the Tang court. This means comparative decrease of Shih-li-fo-shi’s status in the Tang court.
Shih-li-fo-shi sent an expeditionary navy to put Malayu (末羅瑜), Jambi (占卑) and Palembang (浡淋邦) under its control in early 680s. After successful campaign Shih-li-fo-shi set up several inscriptions near Palembang and Jambi. Then Shih-li-fo-shi sent force in 686 from the base of the Bangka Island to Kha-ling (訶陵=Sañjaya), located in central Java. The navy might have successfully landed at Pekalongan, a major port of Kha-ling. There Shih-li-fo-shi established the Śailendra kingdom. However Śailendra coexisted with the Sañjaya kingdom. At the end of the seventh century, the territory of Shih-li-fo-shi became the largest, covering the middle of the Malay Peninsula, the east coast of Sumatra and Java. At the same time, Shih-li-fo-shi started to control the traffic of the whole Malacca Strait.
However, around 745, Chen-la (Cambodia真臘) attacked the capital of Shih-li-fo-shi, and occupied Chaiya and Nakhon Si Thammarat. At the same time the control of the Malacca Strait collapsed. Nearly twenty years later, Śrīvijaya group counter attacked Chen-la and recovered Chaiya and Nakhon Si Thammarat. At this campaign the Śailendra navy from central Java (Shailendra) played the leading role and the king of Śailendra was given the title of the ‘Mahārāja’ of Śrīvijaya. The memorial of this event was the ‘Ligor inscription’ dated 775. Śailendra became the champion state of Śrīvijaya group, but Śailendra sent envoys to the Tang court under the name of ‘Kha-ling’ same as Sañjaya. Actual shipment of its tribute was dispatched from the east coast of the Malay Peninsula, probably Sathing Phra, and sometimes from Jambi where international commodities were easily accumulated.
Around 830, after Mahārāja Samaratuńga died, Śailendra had lost helm in the central Java and soon after the kingship of Śailendra in Java was usurped by Sañjaya family. Prince Bālaputra fled to Suvernadvipa (Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula) but he inherited the title of Mahārāja of Śrīvijaya. He might at first have fled to Palembang, but his final location was the Malay Peninsula. Jambi had the strongest economic power among the Śrīvijaya states and the kingship was also unshakable, so Bālaputra seemed to go to Kedah finally. At the end of the ninth century Śrīvijaya group formed the new allied states ‘San-fo-chi’. San-fo-chi means literally ‘three Vijaya’, perhaps consisted of Jambi, Kedah and Chaiya (not Palembang). The role of Palembang was not striking which was apart from the main route of the ‘East and West’ trade.
After forming San-fo-chi, control of the Malacca Strait was fortified and San-fo-chi could dominate the tributary trade with the last stage of Tang and through the Song times. On the contrary, Sañjaya could not continue sending embassies to China, because Sañjaya was unable to purchase western goods conveniently through the Malacca Strait.
At the early eleventh century, San-fo-chi was occupied by Chola, the south Indian, Tamil empire. San-fo-chi regained its helm at the end of the eleventh century.
At the end of the twelfth century the South Song abolished the tributary system due to the financial difficulty, and integrated all of the foreign trade into the ‘maritime custom system (市舶司制度)’. Under the new maritime custom system, the role of San-fo-chi was diminished as the leading tributary country. After 1178, the name of San-fo-chi disappeared from the chronicle of the South Song.
All of the city-states of Śrīvijaya group were thrown away amid the ocean of ‘free market system’. Among them Tambralinga (Nakhon Si Thammarat) emerged in the thirteenth century under the reign of king Candrabhānu. Tambralinga integrated important part of the Malay Peninsula and had twelve vassal states. However after Candrabhānu failed in the campaign against Ceylon around 1260, the power of Tambralinga declined and at the end of the thirteenth century Tambralinga was invaded and absorbed by king Rama Khamheng of the Sukodaya kingdom.
The Yuan (元）government inherited the ‘maritime custom system’, so the individual state could trade with the custom officers at the major ports of China.
At the beginning of the Ming（明） Dynasty, the first emperor Hongwudi (洪武帝) resumed the tributary system. Then so-called ’San-fo-chi’ appeared to the Ming court. This San-fo-chi came from Palembang. At that time Palembang was a vassal state of Java (the Majapahit kingdom) and Java killed the envoy from the Ming court at Palembang. Hongwudi realized that he was cheated by the rulers of Palembang and accepted the situation.This 'faked San-fo-chi (Śrīvijaya)' have confused the world historians.
Uncompleted Identification of the major states
In the Chinese annals, the names of many city-states were recorded, but in Southeast Asia, several names were identified and some of major states are still dubious. So many historians have been discussing the ancient Southeast Asian history without correct identification of many states such as Shih-li-fo-shi, Kan-tuo-li, Langkasuka, Chi-tu, Lo-yueh and Ho-lo-tan.
For instance, the location of Shih-li-fo-shi (室利佛逝) have been mistaken as Palembang for long time. It was not Palembang but Chaiya at the Bay of Bandon in Thailand. Langkasuka (狼牙須) was not Pattani but near Nakhon Si Thammarat.
Chi-tu (赤土) is supposed to the south of Langkasuka but it is not identified yet, because the location of Langkasuka has been mistaken as Pattani. If Langkasuka was identified Pattani, Chi-tu would be an eternal ‘stray child’. The main port on the east coast of Chi-tu might be Songkhla and their capital was without doubt Kedah. Chi-tu was probably the successor to Kan-tuo-li (干陀利), which was Kandari and modern Kedah, but many historians agree, according to G. Coedès, it was in Sumatra. Ho-lo-tan (or Kha-la-tan=訶羅単) is believed by many historians in Java, but in the fifth century, there was not so developed Buddhist state in Java. It must be Kelantan, now on the east coast of Malaysia. Tan-tan (丹丹) is not known, but it was probably Kelantan. Lo-yueh (羅越) cannot be Johore, but at the north end of the Malay Peninsula for instance Ratburi (Ratchaburi) in Thailand.
On the contrary, a few states were firmly identified. For instance, Kha-cha (羯茶) is Kedah. Pan-pan (盤盤) means a state at the Bay of ‘Ban Don’ in Thailand and its capital is Chaiya. Malayu (or Mulayu 未羅遊) is the estuary of Jambi. Dian-sun (典孫) is Tenasserim. Shepo (闍婆) is Java but the concept of ‘Java’ was ambiguous before the eleventh century.
With these basic uncertainties, we cannot discuss properly the history of ancient Southeast Asia. Many related historians seem to have been “building castles in air.” * Some of them talk about ‘Mandala’, but it explains nothing. What state was the center of Mandala, and where was it?
In this paper, I try to fix ambiguity as much as possible, and clarify the stream of the history of Śrīvijaya.
The whole history of Śrīvijaya is divided by three phases as tributary states to China. The first is ‘Shih-li-fo-shi (室利佛逝)’, the second is ‘Śailendra (in the central Java=訶陵)’, the third is ‘San-fo-chi (三佛斉)’. Shih-li-fo-shi sent embassies during 670 to 741, Śailendra during 768~860 and San-fo-chi during 904~1178. At every stage, the descendants of Funan’s royal family probably dominated Śrīvijaya.
My conclusion is that Śrīvijaya was a well organized ‘commercial oriented state (or empire)’ that tried to monopolize the tributary embassies to China from Southeast Asia. All of the subordinate states brought their commodities to the main port of Śrīvijaya, which were exported or ‘contributed’ to China. The function of Śrīvijaya looked like ‘Sougo shousha (giant trading firm)’ in Japan. Its location of the capital was at the first stage, when Yi-Jing visited in 671, was Chaiya at the Ban Don Bay in Thailand. Chaiya was known as the capital of Pan-pan which had been historically a subordinate state of Funan. Śrīvijaya was organized by the elite of Funan who fled to Pan-pan, after they were defeated by Chen-la in the middle of the sixth century.
The relation of Funan and Pan-pan had been not recognized properly for long time. Pan-pan was conquered by Funan’s Fan-shih-man (范師曼) in the early third century, since then Pan-pan was utilized by Funan as the major trade port connecting to Takua Pa and across the Gulf of Siam to Oc-Eo. Funan imported the western precious goods through ‘the trans-peninsular route’ between Takua Pa and Pan-pan. In a sense, Pan-pan had not only been a subordinate state of Funan, but also substantially a part of Funan.
Through the total history of Funan in the Liu Song times to Śrīvijaya, all of the kings were devotees of Mahāyāna Buddhism even though they paid respect to Hinduism.
Chapter1. Distorted history of Southeast Asia in Śrīvijaya times
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, few people doubt that the location of the Śrīvijaya was Palembang in Sumatra, because, according to G. Coedès, Palembang was the center of the trade between the East and West in the Śrīvijaya times as well as that of Mahāyāna Buddhism. However it is quite dubious if the hypotheses reflect historical facts or not. As the entrepôt between India and China, Jambi was located at more preferable location than Palembang.
As the center of Mahāyāna Buddhism, the states of Malay Peninsula, such as Chaiya had more advantage than Palembang. According to the Chinese annals, Funan and Pan-pan were known where Mahāyāna Buddhism flourished since the fifth century and contributed to China in the field of Buddhism.So, when the anboy of Srivijaya, the Tan court gave them the name of '室利佛逝’（Shi-li-fo-shi). This name includes the Buddha (佛）. This means special treatment for Srivijaya.
In the history of Śrīvijaya, the role of Palembang was too exaggerated, as the result the ancient history of Southeast Asia has been distorted. For instance the trade relation between China and Indonesia (Java and Sumatra) was not so developed before the seventh century. Even the inscription was rare before the seventh century in the central Java. The ancient Chinese courts preferred the Indian, Arabic and Persian goods as well as the products of Southeast Asia, such as incense woods and ivories. The Java Island was not in the position to get the western goods easily, compared with Funan and Champa. Funan obtained them mainly at the port of Takua Pa and carried them through the land route to Chaiya. From Chaiya, Funan shipped them to its own port, ‘Oc-Eo’ and directly China and Champa. Chaiya and Champa maintained good relations for long time.
Historically from very ancient times, Indian people and their cultural influences came to Southeast Asia in successive waves. The details of them cannot be discussed here. However the first migrant group came to Southeast Asia as treasury hunters. They primarily looked for gold and other precious things. They found several gold mines in this area, for instance Pahang in the middle of the Malay Peninsula. The Indian migrants brought beads and cotton clothes to exchange with gold and daily necessities from indigenous people.
In the second phase, Indian appeared in Southeast Asia as traders. At first they brought Indian products and next stage they brought the western products such as frankincense, glass wares, bronze lumps and various kind of Arabic and Persian goods. These products were consumed by local people and re-exported to China or other countries.
Indian economy needed more gold after huge inflow of gold coins from Rome. In India, at first silver was the major currency, but gradually gold substituted silver.
From the early third century, Funan and Lin-yi (Champa林邑) appeared as major tributary countries to China. Both countries dominated China trade, but from the east coast of the Malay Peninsula, Kelantan, Pahang and Patanni appeared as players. These states were free from Funan’s direct control. At this stage there is no evidence that Java and Sumatra had directly contacted with China. Some historians believe that Kha-la-tan (Ho-lo-tan=呵羅単), Po-hang (婆皇) and Po-da (婆達) were located in the Java Island or Sumatra without clear identification.
Śrīvijaya is recorded as one of the major tributary countries in the Tang Dynasty（A.D.618~907）. A famous Chinese monk Yi-Jing (義浄) wrote “Nan-Hui Chi-Kuei Nei-Fa Chuan(南海寄帰内法伝)” and “the Memoir on the Eminent Monks who sought the Law in the West during the Great Tang Dynasty (大唐西域求法高僧伝)” in which he recorded that he left Canton in 671 in a Persian ship to India. He landed the most frequent international port, Shih-li-fo-shi, where he found a huge number of Buddhist monks more than 1,000 who were learning and practiced the high level of Buddhism. He stayed there for six months to study the Sanskrit grammar. Most contemporary historians believe that Shih-li-fo-shi was located at Palembang in Sumatra. But the main route of the Buddhism teaching came to the Malay Peninsula first together with the western goods. In the Tang times Pan-pan had eleven Buddhist temples and Funan had been the center of Mahāyāna Buddhism in Southeast Asia.
Yi-Jing received warm welcome and treatment from the king of Shih-li-fo-shi and he was sent to the next port, Malayu (末羅瑜）by the king’s own ship. At Malayu, Yi-Jing stayed for two months, from where he turned the direction (転向) toward the east India, his final destination. On his way to the Northern India’s main port Tāmraliptī(耽摩立底), he stopped over Kedah（羯茶）and then the Naked People’s Island (裸人国), supposed one of the Nicobar Islands.
The locations of Malayu, Kedah and the Naked People’s Island are almost clear, but the location of Shih-li-fo-shi was not known for long time.
But around 1920, George Coedès gave ‘the decisive answer’ that Shih-li-fo-shi should be pronounced as Śrīvijaya and its location was Palembang of the southern Sumatra. His took up several inscriptions as evidence found at Palembang and Jambi, which I discuss later.
Nearly twenty years earlier than G. Coedès, Dr. Junjiro Takakusu (高楠順次郎博士） had published a book, “A Record of the Buddhist Religion－as practiced in India and the Malay Archipelago” Oxford University, 1896, which is the translation of Yi-Jing’s “Nan-hai Chi-kuei Nei Fa Chuan（南海寄帰内法伝）”. * In this book, Dr. Takakusu attached a sheet of map which showed the course of Yi-Jing’s itinerary to India from China. Dr. Takakusu made two big mistakes on this map. The first one is he supposed Yi-Jing’s first destination was Palembang. Yi-Jing wrote nothing about Palembang, he wrote that he arrived at Shih-li-fo-shi namely Śrīvijaya after less than twenty days’ journey from Canton. Dr. Takakusu mistakenly decided the location of Shih-li-fo-shi (Śrīvijaya）as Palembang.
The reason why Dr. Takakusu brought Śrīvijaya to Palembang is apparent. He believed what Ma-Huan(馬歓) wrote, the“Ying-Yai Sheng-Lan(瀛涯勝覧)”, in 1416, in which Ma dictated that Ku-kang (旧港=Old Port) is the same country as was formerly called San-fo-chi (三佛斉) , and Ku-kang was also called Palembang (浡淋邦), under suzerainty of Java.
Ku-kang (Old Port) was another name of Palembang, but Palembang had been one of the vassal states of San-fo-chi in the Song times, but neither the capital of San-fo-chi (Śrīvijaya) nor the leader of San-fo-chi group.
Reading above sentence of Ma-Huan, Dr. Takakusu might have misunderstood that Palembang was the capital of Shih-li-fo-shi (室利佛逝), which is also Śrīvijaya. However, this was the grave misunderstanding. In the Yuan (元) times (1271~1368), San-fo-chi did not exist actually. In the Yuan Shih (元史）, the name of San-fo-chi is never mentioned, instead the name of Mulayu (木剌由) is recorded. Mulayu means Jambi at that time.
At the early stage of the Ming Dynasty, Palembang was a vassal state of Java, but sent embassies to China pretending as San-fo-chi. According to the “Zhu-fan-zhi “(諸蕃志=”Records of Barbaric Nations”) written by Chau-Ju-ka (趙汝适,1225), Palembang was one of fifteen dependencies of San-fo-chi and not San-fo-chi itself.
In a sense, at first the Ming court was cheated by the king of Palembang, and Ma-Huan was also misled. Subsequently Dr. Takakusu made a mistake. The fatal misunderstanding began at the last stage of the nineteenth century when Dr. Takakusu published his famous book on Yi-Jing from the Oxford University Press. Unfortunately Dr. Takakusu’s book has been so influential and read by many people and even Dr. Q. Wales believed that Yi-Jing’s first destination was Palembang.
When Dr. Takakusu drew this map, he could not read Shih-li-fo-shi as Śrīvijaya, but he wrote as ‘(Sri) Bhoga’. The second mistake was Kedah. Yi-Jing wrote clearly as Khe-da(羯茶), which Dr. Takakusu read as ‘Kacha’, so Yi-Jing was ‘misguided’ to Aceh of the northern Sumatra. ‘Cha(茶)’ was pronounced as ‘da’ in the Tang times, so it should have been pronounced as ‘Ka-da’, but he did not know the pronunciation in the old time. Even P. Wheatley wrote as Chieh-cha. The latter was corrected later by other historians, but Dr. Takakusu’s misunderstanding concerning Palembang has not been corrected until today. At the same time some historians subsequently do not understand the importance of Kedah and the trans-land trade routes of the Malay Peninsula. These are the causes of distorting the ancient history of Southeast Asia.
The History of Ming Dynasty (the Ming Shih) says that San-fo-chi (三佛斉) was formerly called Kan-da-li（or Kan-tuo-li,干陀利）and started tributary mission in the Liang times.
Kan-da (tuo)-li is equivalent to Kedah, so the Ming Shih is partly correct. One of the capitals of San-fo-chi was Kedah.. However through the total history of Śrīvijaya, its capitals were changed several times. The Ming Shih is also incorrect, because Kan-da-li was not the ancestor of Śrīvijaya. Some historians misunderstand that Kan-da-li was an ancestor of San-fo-chi (Śrīvijaya), so Kan-da-li was located in Sumatra not to say Palembang.
The Ming Shih (明史) forgot about Shih-li-fo-shi, the first Śrīvijaya, the Ming Shih should have mentioned that Shih-li-fo-shi was the predecessor of San-fo-chi. Certainly Kan-tou-li (Kedah) had sent embassies to China during 441～563 and therafter Kan-tou-li kept silence.
San-fo-chi sent its first envoy to the Tang in 904. Before San-fo-chi, there were Shih-li-fo-shi and ‘new Kha-ling’ (Śailendra). Shih-li-fo-shi, ‘new Kha-ling’ (Śailendra) and San-fo-chi are all Śrīvijaya. So, the description of the Ming-Shi is incorrect, but basically hits the vital historical point that Kedah was one of the capitals of San-fo-chi. Nowadays many historians still believe that Palembang had been the capital of Śrīvijaya for more than five hundred years. They begin discussion from the wrong starting point, so they cannot arrive at the right goal.
Chaper2. The Historical Development of Śrīvijaya
―Funan fled to Pan-pan, not to the Jawa Island.
The predecessor of Śrīvijaya was Funan as G. Coedès correctly says. Funan was at first pushed away to the southern region of Cambodia, then finally kicked out of Cambodia by Chen-la (真臘), northern subordinate of Funan perhaps at the middle of the sixth century. But the ruling class of Funan might have fled to one of neighboring subordinate states, Pan-pan accompanying their navy.
G. Coedès thought Funan made a way for Java, but Funan had no reason to go to the unfamiliar land and at least not friendly country such as Java. Śrīvijaya sent the first ambassador to the Tang court. Yi-Jing who left Canton in 671, he had collected information about Śrīvijaya and the level of Buddhism.
In the early 680s, Śrīvijaya conquered Palembang and Jambi where Śrīvijaya left several inscriptions. Afterwards, in 686 Śrīvijaya sent expedition from the base of the Bangka Island to the central Java, Kha-ling (Ho-ling 訶陵). G. Coedès thought that Śrīvijaya attacked the west Java, Tarumanegara.
However Śrīvijaya had no reason to conquer the west Java where existed no real competitor. Actually Śrīvijaya landed Pekalongan at the central Java, major port and perhaps the capital of Kha-ling (Sañjaya kingdom). According to the“Zhu-fan-zhi “(諸蕃志) Pekalongan (甫家龍) was another name of Java (闍婆),
The evidence of occupation of the central Java by Śrīvijaya is the‘Sojomerto inscription’ on which the name of ‘Dapunta Selendra’ is chiseled. ‘Selendra’ means ‘Śailendra’ in Sanskrit, who was probably the commander of Śrīvijaya’s force dispatched from the Banka Island in 686. ‘Dapunta Selendra’ was undoubtedly the founder of the Śailendra kingdom in central Java.
At the beginning of the eighth century, the territory of Śrīvijaya became the largest covering the Malay Peninsula, the Malacca Strait, Southern Sumatra and the Central Java. (Map #1)
Quaritch Wales says:
“I now appreciate that Fu-nan’s conquest of the region in the third century was largely stimulated by the desire to control the overland trade”. *
When Yi-Jing left Canton in 671, Śrīvijaya’s territory covered the northern half part of the Malay Peninsula including Takua Pa and Kedah in the west coast, and Chaiya, Nakhon Si Thammarat (Ligor), Songkhla, Pattani, and Kelantan on the east coast. In the last quarter of the seventh century, Śrīvijaya sent the first envoy in 670 as the only one tributary country in the Malay Peninsula. Chi-tu, Tan-tan and Pan-pan disappeared and they never came back again. This fact suggests us that Śrīvijaya integrated politically and economically the central part of the Malay Peninsula.
At the next stage, in early 680s Śrīvijaya invaded Jambi and Palembang, to control the south end of the Malacca Strait. Furthermore Śrīvijaya sent its navy to conquer Kha-ling (訶陵) in central Java. The result of the campaign was not recorded anywhere, but Śrīvijaya succeeded to overwhelm the Sañjaya kingdom in central Java, which had sent embassies to the Tang Dynasty in 646, 666 and 670. Tarumanegara, on the contrary had no record sending envoy to China.
The name of Śailendra came up suddenly in the ‘inscription of Ligor’ dated 775 as the major state of Śrīvijaya, of which king was entitled to assume Mahārāja (king of kings). Śrīvijaya had 14 subordinate city-states and at first Śailendra in the central Java was one of them.
There is another evidence of Śrīvijaya’s success of the expansionist campaign to Sumatra and Java. In 1963, an old inscription was discovered at Sojomerto near Pekalongan in the center of Java, on which the name of ‘Dapunta Selendra’ was engraved. Selendra is Malay language, but it is apparently Śailendra in Sanskrit. The inscription is not dated, but on paleographical grounds it can be ascribed to the seventh century. Dr. Boechari appraises the inscription of the first half of the seventh century however his estimation is not absolutely certain. There is possibility that the date might be the last quarter of the seventh century. Our problem is who was ‘Dapunta Selendra’ and from where did he came. I think it is natural to connect ‘Dapunta Selendra’ with a Śrīvijaya family. It is the oldest inscription in the central Java. This suggests that the Śrīvijaya’s army from the Bangka Island landed at the port of Pekalongan, and the commander of the army might have been Dapunta Selendra. Anyway it was certain that at the end of the seventh century, the ‘empire’ of Śrīvijaya was completed from the middle part of the Malay Peninsula to the central Java.
On the Kedukan Bukit inscription of Palembang dated 682, there is a name of Dapunta Hyang, who is supposed as the king of Śrīvijaya, Jayanaśa. Dapunta Selendra might belong to the same royal group of Śrīvijaya as well as Dapunta Hyang. Dapunta Hyang was probably the commander of Śrīvijaya force, but not certain that he was the Mahārāja of Śrīvijaya or Jayanaśa himself.
Chen-la occupied Chaiya and Śailendra revenged
The capital of Śrīvijaya, Chaiya was invaded by Chen-la (Khmer) around 745 A.D. and the rulers of Śrīvijaya abandoned Chaiya and Nakhon Si Thammarat. Śrīvijaya shifted its capital to the south territory, such as Kedah or Jambi or Pekalongan), even though the location is not identified. For Chen-la to occupy Chaiya, the capital of Śrīvijaya was a long time dream, because Chaiya was the key port connected with Takua Pa on the west coast of the Peninsula.
In 747 the king of Chen-la visited the Tang court and the emperor offered a banquet to Chen-la’s mission. Chen-la resumed a tributary envoy in 750, after 33 years of absence.
1n 753, 755, 767, 771, and 780, Chen-la successively sent embassies to China, perhaps it became easy for Chen-la to send missions to the Tang court after the occupation of Chaiya and Nakhon Si Thammarat. However the occupation of Chaiya could not perish Śrīvijaya, because Śrīvijaya had 14 vassal city-states and as the whole they could have survived. Chen-la had strong army, but its navy was not strong enough to defeat Śrīvijaya. On the contrary, Chen-la was easily defeated by the navy from Java, Śailendra.
Shih-li-fo-shi disappeared from the chronicle of Tang since 742, and ‘Kha-ling (訶陵)’ resumed its tributary to China in 768. But the last mission from former Kha-ling was in 666 or 670 *. It was nearly a century absence. This ‘new Kha-ling’ was apparently Śailendra（Śrīvijaya） from the central Java and representing Śrīvijaya group. This means the Śailendra kingdom recovered Chaiya from Chen-la and grasped the hegemony among the Śrīvijaya group. This counter attack might have succeeded around in 765.
The position of the leader of Śrīvijaya group might have been given to the king of Śailendra, after its victory over Chen-la army at Chaiya and Nakhon Si Thammarat. The victory of the Śailendra kingdom was commemorated at the Ligor inscription dated 775, in which the hegemony of Śailendra among the Śrīvijaya group was declared.
The title of ‘Mahārāja’ was given to the king of Śailendra. Formerly Śailendra was one of the Śrīvijaya’s subordinate city-states. The Xin Tang-Shu（新唐書）says Śrīvijaya had fourteen vassal city-states and was governed separately by two administrative divisions. The names of these states were not recorded but apparently Śailendra (Śrīvijaya Java) was one of them. And perhaps Kedah might have been the second capital, covering the Straits of Malacca.
It is quite mysterious that Śailendra sent embassies to the Tang Dynasty under the name of Kha-ling (Ho-ling=訶陵), and the court of the Tang Dynasty seemed unaware of disappearance of Shih-li-fo-shi (Śrīvijaya). At the same time, the Tang court was ignorant that the ruler of Kha-ling had changed from the Sañjaya line to the Śailendra. As a matter of fact, Śailendra did not inform the Tang Dynasty that they established helm in the central Java. Many things were behind curtain, but important changes happened since the second half of the seventh century in the Malay Peninsula, the Sumatra Island and Java.
In Java Sañjaya and Śailendra might have been co-existing after the invasion of Śailendra. At first Sañjaya might have been overwhelmed by the army of Śailendra and Sañjaya’s dominating power was reduced in central Java. But the number of Śailendra’s officer was limited and Sañjaya retained substantial power in the central Java. Sañjaya also extended their power to the east Java, where was rich rice field and many population.
These political changes in the seventh century at the middle of the Malay Peninsula ware not mentioned in any chronicles, but the occupation of Chaiya by Chen-la and the revenge of Śrīvijaya was what really happened. The Ligor inscription suggested the events. At the same time, Śailendra invaded Cambodia and Champa in 767, 774 and 787. As a matter of course, the international political power of Chen-la declined after these events until the twelfth century. Perhaps Śrīvijaya put Cambodia under its control for long time. At the same time we cannot forget that Champa (Lin-yi=林邑) stopped sending embassies since 749. Champa was destroyed and probably under the control of Śailendra (Śrīvijaya) after their attack. From Champa area Huan-wang (環王) once sent envoy in 793. In 958, new kingdom (Zhan-cheng=占城) from Champ started sending embassies.
Before construction of the Ligor inscription in 775, Śailendra might have conquered temporarily the southern part of Chen-la, and Mahāyāna Buddhism was forced to prevail in Cambodia. Yi-Jing recorded in the last quarter of the seventh century, in Cambodia Hinduism was strongly prevailed and no Buddhist monk was seen there. Probably most of Buddhist monks were expelled from the old land of Funan.
Apparently the kings of Funan believed in Mahāyāna Buddhism, and the rulers of Chen-la hated Buddhism as the religion of the Funan kingship. The rulers of Pan-pan were Buddhists though they accepted Brahmans from India and gave them livelihood. Buddhism was necessary for Funan and Pan-pan, because the Chinese Emperors were keen devotees of Buddhism.
Chen-la sent embassies to China in 780, 798, 813 and 814 perhaps under the auspice of Śailendras. However after 814 Chen-la completely stopped sending envoy to China for more than three hundred years. Chen-la (Angkor) resumed sending its own embassy in 1116, under the reign of Sūryavarman II (1113~52?), who built Angkor Wat.
The power of Śailendras did not decline at the end of the eighth century as far as Samaratuńgga, the Mahārāja of Śailendra dominated the central Java. Samaratuńgga was supposed to appoint Jayavarman II as the governor of Indrapura in the Mekong delta. Perhaps Jayavarman II was a sponsored king of Śailendras and his declaration of independence might have been a kind of ‘pretentious announcement’ for Cambodian people. After the declaration of independence, he had not been treacherous to Śrīvijaya.
R.C. Majumdar says:
“Taking Java of the inscription to be identical with Zābag of the Arabian account, it is reasonable to refer the ‘old’ story of Sulaymān to the same period.” Sulaymān told that Zabag king invaded Chen-la with big navy and beheaded the king of Chen-la and afterwards returned his head which was well washed and embalmed, to the prince of Chen-la. * This story sounds like fictitious, but the process of the history tells us the supremacy of Śrīvijaya over Chen-la for long time. Once Chen-la kicked out Funan from Cambodia and the lower Mekong delta area in the middle of the sixth century, but the descendants of Funan became very strong as Śrīvijaya at the middle of the eighth century and defeated Chen-la.
Jayavarman II, whose parents might have been captured by Śailendras at Chaiya district and sent to Java, came back to Cambodia and declared ‘independence’ from Java in 802. Coedès says that the liberation of Cambodia from the suzerainty of Java was the work of Jayavarman II, founder of the kingdom of Angkor. But whether Jayavarman II was entirely free from Java is dubious. Coedès considers that Jayavarman II “no doubt took refuge in Java during the disturbances over the succession.” Coedès elaborates further “Jayavarman II’s return from Java, perhaps motivated by the weakening of Śailendras on the island, took place around 800, for we have abundant evidence that the effective beginning of the reign was 802.” *
Jayavarman II is said to have reigned since 802 until 850 (or 835?) how old was he when he became the king of Chen-la? When he declared independence he might have been very young. Did he really take refuge when he was a small boy? When Śailendra (Śrīvijaya) recovered Chaiya area, it was around 765. Around 800, he was sent to Cambodia by Śrīvijaya to become the king of Chen-la.
My understanding is that before and after the declaration of independence, Jayavarman II had been still under the thumb of Śailendras and he did not seem to have taken refuge ‘voluntarily’ to Java.
Jayavarman II was a mysterious king who left no single inscription during his reign, but in an inscription of the eleventh century on the stele of Sdok Kak Thom. G. Coedès quote that His majesty (Jayavarman II) came from Java to reign Chen-la in the city of Indrapura. Later he moved the capital to several places and finally he died at Hariharālaya in 850. G. Coedès says that although his effective authority undoubtedly did not extend beyond the region of the Great Lake, Jayavarman II began the pacification and unification of the country. * Jayavarman II instructed a Brahman to conduct a religious ritual known as a cult of Siva, namely ‘Devaraja’ which placed him ‘universal monarch’, but he could not extend territory so much.
G. Coedès points out that’ the influence of Śailendras is apparent that in 791, some rulers of Cambodia erected an image of the Bodhisattva Lokeśvara at Prasat Ta Keām (near Siem Reap).’ * Before Jayavarman II entered the area of Indrapura, Śrīvijaya seemed to make enough preparation for him and helped him politically and militarily.
Jayavarman II reigned until 850, but the last tribute from ‘land Chen-la (陸真臘)’to the Tan was in 798. The ‘water Chen-la (水真臘)’ *sent tribute to the Tang court in 813 and 814. However Chen-la totally ceased sending embassies until 1120. If Jayavarman II regained ‘real independence’, he should not have stopped sending envoys with tribute all of a sudden, because trade with China was big financial resource.
This nearly three hundred years interval suggests the continuation of the suppression from Śrīvijaya (Śailendra and San-fo-shi) against Chen-la. The helm of Śailendra was still in Java at the beginning of the ninth century. Śailendra started construction of the Mahāyāna Buddhist temple of Borobudur perhaps at the second half of the eighth century. At the early stage of the ninth century Samaratuńgga, the Mahārāja of Śailendra still dominated the central Java and Jayavarman II was perhaps under his control. Of course Chen-la could have traded with China, however the record of the tributary missions was not found in the Chinese chronicles after 814.
In 1116 Suryavarman II (1112?~1152?) restarted its tribute to the North Song, who is also said to have completed the first phase of Angkor Wat. The relation between Tambralinga (dominated by Śrīvijaya family) and Chen-la during around three hundred years is not certain, however Chen-la could not be entirely free from the influence of Śrīvijaya for most of the period.
In the later half of the tenth century a king of Sididhammangara, identified with Nakhon Si Thammarat, named Sujita intervened in the conflict between local kings and arrived at the gates of Lavo (Lopburi) with a considerable army and a fleet. Later Sujita, the king of Nakhon Si Thammarat, established himself as the master of Lopburi. His son was Kambojarājaand who is assumed Suryavarman I.
Suryavarman I (1002~1050) was believed to be a prince of Tambralinga and got the throne of Khmer. At least Suryavarman I dominated the Khmer kingdom throughout the first half of the eleventh century. *
On the contrary, a king of Chen-la who had strong relation with Nakhon Si Thammarat could have easily interfered with the political issue in Cambodia. Even though the relations between Chen-la and Nakhon Si Thammarat between 802 and 1116 A.D. have not been clarified yet, it is probable that Śrīvijayas directly or indirectly controlled Chen-la through Tambralinga.
Chaper 3. Trans-Peninsular Routes
At the beginning of the third century, Indian merchants from northern India came over to the Burma ports to trade. The major ports were Tavoy and Tenasserim, known as Tun-sun (典遜) by Chinese. At the beginning, the Three Pagodas Pass and the route down the Menam Chao Phraya River were used. Later Takua Pa and Chaiya and Surat Thani route, south of the Kra Isthmus became the main route, especially for north Indian merchants. At the beginning of the third century, General Fan-Shi-Man (范師曼) who later became the king of Funan, occupied these important ports with navy. The purpose of Fan-Shi-Man’s military activity was to monopolize the western precious goods for Funan. By controlling major ports and the trans-land route Funan carried what purchased at the emporium of the west coast ports, to the Bay of Siam. Finally these goods were accumulated at Funan’s major port Oc-Eo. Usually the Mon people handled the western commodities and transported them by using the net work of rivers of the mainland of Thailand and Mon formed a kingdom later called Dvaravati.
By the beginning of the fifth century Ceylon and southern Indian merchants directly crossed the Bay of Bengal to the Malay Peninsula ports such as Kedah, Trang and Takua Pa with the south-west monsoon, but from there they could not proceed to the south end of the Malacca Strait due to the seasonal headwind. So they had to wait for the northeast monsoon for several months．
However they found out the solution to save time and cost by using the trans-land route to the east coast of the Peninsula such as Chaiya, Nakhon Si Tammarart, Songkhla, Pattani, and Kelantan from the west coast harbors such as Takua Pa, Krabi, Khlong Thom, Trang and Kedah. There existed several frequent routes before the Tang times. In these port-cities, the population of Indian immigrants had been historically thick.
The First route: The shortest route was from Takua Pa to Chaiya course near the Kra Isthmus, which had been used by Funan for several centuries. I call this route as ‘A-route’. In this case the Punphin River of Surat Thani province was frequently used. Along the Punping River several old Buddhist temples exist and ‘Khao Si Wichai (the Sri Vijaya hill) is located as the sanctuary of Hinduism.
The Second route: From Kedah to Songkhla, Pattani and Kelantan is called here as ‘B-route’. This route became gradually large since the fifth century as the western merchants ship increased from the Southern India, For Arab and Persian ships which crossed the Bay of Bengal and directly sailed to the Malay Peninsula, Kedah was a convenient port and free from the influence of Funan until the second half of the seventh century. Kedah can supply enough rice, fresh water and safe harbor, but the most important factor was this route was not interfered by Funan owing to the distance from Takua Pa.
The Third route: From Krabi, Khlong Thom and Trang to Nakhon Si Thammarat, supposedly old Langkasuka (Lang-ya-su 狼牙須). This route was intermediate one between route A and B. The history of this route began at the third century, but perhaps Langkasuka was undoubtedly conquered by Fan-Shi-Man (范師曼) of Funan but not frequently used by Funan. I call this route as ‘C-route’. This C-route was probably absorbed before the Sui times by the ruler of B-route, namely Kan-tou-li which later became Chi-tu (赤土). Chi-tu is very short lived state in the Chinese annals and the origin of which is not clear at all and we can recognize it only by the Sui-Shu. However it is highly probable that Chi-tu was located in the middle of the Peninsula and had strong connection with Kedah. Perhaps Kedah was the capital of Kan-tuo-li and Chi-tu, strongly Indianized.
The route from Takua Pa to Chaiya is the shortest, nearly 100 kilometers length, located at the south of the Kra Isthmus. In the third century, Funan king Fan-Shi-Man conquered this region and kept this Takua Pa to Chaiya route as the main route of their trade with the West including India, Ceylon, Persia and Arab. Chaiya is located west of Oc-Eo, Funan’s major port.
Through this route, Indian culture, Buddhism came to Pan-pan and Funan. There is a stone sculpture of Buddha in meditation at the Chaiya National Museum, which is estimated made in the sixth century. A Bodhisattva Padmanpāņi of the early seventh century was discovered at Surat Thani province, which is now in the Bangkok National Museum. In the Tang times, at Pan-pan, there were more than ten Buddhist temples. After collapse of Funan in Cambodia, the ruling class of Funan went into exile to Pan-pan and re-established the helm and developed the Śrīvijaya Empire. Funan brought their navy with them and kept dominating the Gulf of Siam.
Chaiya, Phunphin and Wiang Sa area have a broad agricultural land to support many traders, craftsmen, Buddhist monks, common citizens and army.
The historical states belonging to ‘B-route’, recorded as tributary countries to China are as follows;
① Kha-la-tan (Ho-lo-tan=呵羅単）; 430~452
② Kan-tou-li (Kan-da-li=干陀利)；441～563
③ Tan-tan (丹丹、単単)；531～616
④ Chi-tu (赤土)；608～610
⑤ Po-hang (婆皇)：442～466 and Po-da (婆達) or Java-Po-da(闍婆婆達) : 435~451
① 呵羅単(Ho-lo-tan）is pronounced as ‘Kha-la-tan’ in Japanese which imported Chinese characters together with their pronunciation mostly in the sixth and seventh century. I sometimes refer Japanese pronunciation of Chinese character which often reflects the ancient pronunciation of Chinese characters in the Tang period and those of the preceding period.
Kha-la-tan was located on the east coast of the Malay Peninsula, which might be economically and politically connected with Kedah (‘Kha-la’ suggests Kalah=Kedah). Kha-la-tan was acknowledged by the first Song officials as a Buddhist country. Nowadays many scholars believe Kha-la-tan was a part of Java. But nobody identified its location, because in the first half of the fifth century, Buddhist countries never existed in the Java Island. The earliest Buddhist temple in Java is ‘Chandi Kalasan’ established around A.D. 778. In the Song Shu (the first Song or Lieu Song:420~479), there is a description that Kha-la-tan (Ho-lo-tan) governs Java Shu (呵羅単治闍婆州）, however this sentence does not necessarily mean Kha-la-tan governed the Java Island. The concept of Java（闍婆） was ambiguous in the fifth century. Concerning Java in the ancient time, we should consider that ‘Java’ means the Java Island, Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula. Even in the thirteenth century, Marco Polo called the Sumatra Island as ‘Small Java’. In this case, Kha-la-tan seemed to declare to the first (Liu) Song court that they are ruler of the Java region, including the southern Malay Peninsula and Java Island area. It was apparently a kind of exaggeration.
Kha-la-tan sent embassies to the first Song (420~479) in 430, 433, 434, 435, 436, 437, 452 and stopped suddenly. If Kha-la-tan was a state in the Java Island, what country was the successor to Kha-la-tan? Perhaps the first country which sent embassies to China from the central Java was Kha-ling (Ho-ling 訶陵) in 640. If Kha-la-tan was located in Java, nearly two hundred years absence is quite unrealistic. On the other hand Kan-tuo-li (干陁利) started tribute to China in 441, which looked like the successor to Kha-la-tan. Kan-tuo-li is without doubt Kedah and not in Sumatra as many prominent historians believe..
RC Majumdar says, believing Kha-la-tan located in Java;
“It is not clear whether Ho-lo-tan (Kha-la-tan) denotes a kingdom comprising the whole of the island of Java, or merely one of the many kingdoms into which island was divided. The statement in the ‘History of the first Song Dynasty’ that “the kingdom of Ho-lo-tan ruled over the island of She-po (Java) would , no doubt, incline us to accept the former view, but certain details, preserved in the same name would favor the latter.” *
“If we are to judge from the existing antiquarian remains in Java, we may presume that the kingdom of Ho-lo-tan represents the kingdom in Western Java ruled over by Pūrnavarman. For that is the only kingdom in Java of which the existence in the fifth century is established by epigraphic evidence.” *
This Majumdar’s theory is broadly accepted by many historians, but the kingdom of Pūrnavarman was Taruma in the west Java and its economic relation with India and China was not so strong. Taruma is not Ho-lo-tan (Kha-la-tan) and not a country of Buddhism. The remains of Taruma do not make any sense concerning the Buddhism in Java.
Kha-la-tan sent several embassies and disappeared from the record of the first Song. Then who was the successor to Kha-la-tan? If RC Majumdar’s hypotheses were correct, we must pick up Kha-ling（Ho-ling=訶陵）. Kha-ling was apparently a state of the central Java which sent the first mission in 640. However these 200 years absence is not realistic. We cannot directly link Kha-la-tan to Kha-ling. Kha-ling could not be an immediate successor to Kha-la-tan. In the first half of the fifth century, the Java Island could not be well developed enough to trade frequently with China. To trade with China, any country should have the strong economic relations with India or produced sufficient volume of precious goods such as gold and silver ware.
The History of the first Song Dynasty (Song-Shu宋書) says that Mahāyāna Buddhism was flourishing in Kha-la-tan, but in Java there exists no remains of Buddhism of the fifth century. Buddhism flourished in Java under the Śailendra Dynasty in the eighth century. So, Kha-la-tan could not have been in Java, but was located in the eastern part of the Malay Peninsula.
I suppose that Kha-la-tan should be identified as ‘Kelantan’ in Malaysia as a trade center of the South China Sea, and at the same time Kha-la-tan was strongly connected with Kedah. There is some possibility that Kha-la-tan had economic or commercial relation with a part of the island of Java. Java people might bring their products to Kelantan which had trade route to China and Champa. In other words, Kelantan might be an entrepôt of this area including Java and the southern part of the Malay Peninsula.
The ambassadors of Kha-la-tan (Ho-lo-tan) possibly exaggerated the presence of the kingdom. The name of ‘Kha-la-tan’ suggests its special connection with old Kedah. In the early fifth century the function of Kedah began as an international trading port. The merchants of Kedah needed exporting ports on the east coast of the Malay Peninsula. However Funan dominated Takua Pa and Chaiya (A route), so merchants of Kedah had to develop their own trade route remote from the Funan territory. In this context, Kelantan area must have been the most suitable place for them. The southern ports, such as Kekantan, Terengganu and Pahang might were out of Funan’s direct control.
G. Coedès talks about Chi-tu (赤土) and Kelantan；
“The most interesting document comes from the northern district of Province Wellesley. It is an inscription carved on the upper part of a pillar, on each side of which is determined a sutopa crowned by a seven tiered parasol. The Sanskrit text consists of a Buddha stanza and a prayer for successful voyage formulated by the master of the junk (mahānāvika), Buddhagupta, of the Red-Earth Land (Raktamrittikā). The script seems to date from the middle of the fifth century.
This Red-Earth Land, known to the Chinese under the name Chi-tu(赤土), must have been located on the Gulf of Thailand (Siam).
This understanding of Coedès is reasonable, but our concern is how Chi-tu became the major player in the Malay Peninsula and why disappeared suddenly after 609. And if Chi-tu had relation with Kedah, what happened to Kan-tuo-li? We have still many questions unanswered.
Apparently, as early as the fifth century Kedah area became an important port for the western merchants especially from the south India. Kedah provided them good and safe accommodation and sufficient rice and fresh water. At the earlier stage Indian merchants came from the north and they went to the Burma ports and Takua Pa. Takua Pa was connected to Funan through Pan-pan.
For Kedah, the role of Kha-la-tan located on the east coast was very important, from where Indian merchants could re-export their goods to China and Champa. Otherwise merchants of Kedah had to sail to Malayu area and wait there for several months to get the south-west monsoon wind to go to China. It was a waste of nearly six months with considerable risk of pirates.
Anyway the evidence that Kha-la-tan had located in the Java Island has never been found, except in the description of the “History of the first (Lieu) Song Dynasty” that Kha-la-tan governs or controls She-po Shu (訶羅単治闍婆州). The text did not mention that Kha-la-tan was located in the Java Island, nor Kha-la-tan had its capital there. Actually before the sixth century the presence of Indian people in the Java Island might have been scarce, because the island had not produced gold. At the sametime the concept of 'Jawa (Java)' was different from the contemporary Jawa. In the ancient times, 'Jawa' included the Malay Peninsula, Sumatar and the Jawa Island.
② Kan-tuo-li（干陁利） is Kandari（干陀利）or Kadāra, which means Kedah in the Tamil pronunciation. Here I introduce two explanations.
First, R.C. Majumdar writes;
“I hold the view that it (Kan-tuo-li) represents ancient Kadāra, a state in the Malay Peninsula. The Indian kingdom of Kan-tuo-li had been established in Malay Peninsula by the fifth century A.D., and it flourished at least from 455 to 563.” *
Second, G. Coedès writes as follows;
“Kan-tou-li, first mentioned in the History of the Liang in connection with events occurring in the middle of the fifth century, is located by general agreement in Sumatra.
It presumably preceded Śrīvijaya and may have had its center at Jambi. Between 454 and 464, a king of Kan-tou-li, whose name in Chinese characters can be restored to Śrī Varanarendra, sent the Hindu Rudra on an embassy to China. In 502 a Buddhist king, Gautama Subhadra, was reigning. His son, Vijayavarman, sent an embassy to China in 519.” *
O.W. Wolters also insists that Kan-tuo-li flourished as the chief trading kingdom of south-eastern Sumatra. *
G. Coedès insists that Kan-tuo-li is located in Sumatra ‘by general agreement’. However the location of a certain state could not be decided by majority of historians. Kan-tuo-li was without doubt Kedah as Majumdar insists. According to the Tong-Dian (通典), the people and customs of Kandari was almost similar to those of Champa (Lin-yi林邑) and Funan. Both G. Coedès and O.W. Wolters made mistake on this matter.
So Kandari could not be a state of Sumatra and was located in the Malay Peninsula.
According to the Liang Shu, the family name of the king was ‘Qu-tan’(瞿曇=Gautama). In 502, king Qu-tan Shuvadara (瞿曇修跋陁羅) sent an envoy to the Liang court. He pretended himself as a devotee of Buddhism in his letter to the Emperor of Liang, Gao-zu Wu-di (高祖武帝). Furthermore the king of Chi-tu (赤土国) had the same family name as ‘Qu-tan’.
③ Tan-tan(丹丹) was somewhat ambiguous, but might be considered as Kelantan, which has been one of major ports on the east coast of the Malay Peninsula. The Liang’s officials might have taken ‘tan’ from the last syllable of ‘Kha-la-tan’ for their convenience. I presume Tan-tan was a successor to Kha-la-tan located at Kelantan in Malaysia.
Tan-tan and Pan-pan are intimate states and both sent embassies to the Sui court in 616.
According to the Sui-Shu(隋書), ‘Tan-tan and Pan-pan, from the southern regions, came to offer the produce of their countries as tribute. Their customs and products are generally speaking similar. 「南荒有丹丹盤盤二國亦来貢方物其風俗物産大抵相類云」
According to the Tong-Dian(通典), “Tan-tan is situated north-west of Taruma (west Java). There are around 20,000 families. The king holds audience for two times every day. The king has eight senior ministers who are Brahmans, and the government style is Indian. The local products are gold, silver, white sandalwood, sapan-wood, and betel nut. The only grain is rice.” The location ‘north west of Taruma’ means probably the Malay Peninsula and not Sumatra.
④ Chi-tu(赤土) was a typical state covering “B-route” from Kedah to the east coast ports such as Songkhla and Pattani. Chi-tu means 'Red Earth'. In the Malay language, it is called ‘Tanah Merah’. ‘Tana’ is ’earth’ and ‘Merah’ is ‘red’. In Malaysia, there is a city called Tanah Merah in the Kelantan State, near Kota Bahru but there are some more towns attached the same name. Moreover, the ancient Tanah Merah might have nothing to do with the modern Tanah Merah. Judging from the record of Chang-jun (常駿) in the Sui Shu(隋書). The territory of Chi-tu probably covered from Songkhla area including Sathing Phra on the east coast to Kedah on the west coast. The ambassador, Chang-jun might have landed at Songkhla and he took thirty days journey to cross the Malay Peninsula to Kedah, the real capital of Chi-tu. G. Coedès suggests Chi-tu might have strong relation with Kedah. *
The Sui Shu says as follows:
“The kingdom of Chi-tu, another kind of Funan, is situated in the South Seas. By sea one reaches it in more than a hundred days. The color of the soil of the capital is mostly red, whence is derived the name of the country. Eastwards is the kingdom of Bo-luo-la (波羅剌), Westwards is Po-luo-suo(婆羅娑), Southwards is Kha-la-tan(訶羅旦), Northwards it faces the ocean. The country is several thousand li in extent. The king’s family name is ‘Qu-tan’(瞿曇=Gautama), his personal name is Li-fu-duo-sai (利富多塞).
If Kha-la-tan (Ho-lo-tan=呵羅単）was identified as Kelantan in Malaysia, Chi-tu might be its northern neighbor, such as Songkhla and/or Pattani.
In the first decade of the seventh century, Chi-tu dominated middle of the Malay Peninsula excluding Pan-pan and Tan-tan. Because both states sent their own embassies to the Sui court in 616. Considering the king’s family name of Kan-tuo-li and Chi-tu, Chi-tu was a possible successor to Kan-tuo-li（干陁利）.
Probably Kan-tuo-li might have merged Lang-ya-su (狼牙須=Langkasuka) and changed its name to Chi-tu before sending embassies to the Sui in 608. Usually tributary countries were prohibited to merge or invade other tributary states under the rule of China emperors. However, a peaceful merger among the tributary states was not prohibited. So, all of a sudden, ‘Chi-tu’ and later ‘Shih-li-fo-shi’ might have emerged.
In the Peninsula, Pan-pan and Tan-tan survived during Chi-tu domination, both sent embassies to the Sui court in 616 as above mentioned.
⑤ Po-hang (婆皇) and Po-da (婆達)：Po-huang (婆皇or媻皇) might be Pahang as R.C. Majumdar suggests. He says that Po-huang sounds like Pahang. Also Po-da（婆達or媻達）might be Pattani on the east coast of the Malay Peninsula. Pahang produced gold historically and had Indian colonies, but isolated or a little far from the main trans-peninsular trade ‘route B’ from Kedah.
I consider there is possibility Po-da is Pattani, because Pattani have its own port facing the South China Sea. Po-da is called as Java- Po-da (闍婆媻達), but in this case Java does not mean the Java Island. In the fifth century there could not be several countries in the Java Island trading with China. Java-Pa-da might be a country located in the Malay Peninsula. As above mentioned Kha-la-tan (Ho-lo-tan=呵羅単）did not govern the Java Island.
Three states, Kha-la-tan, Po-huang and Po-da sent embassies, only in the first Song times (420~479) and in the next Liang (梁) times they all disappeared.
The first Song Dynasty honored Kha-la-tan(訶羅単), Po-huang(婆皇) and Po-da(婆達) for their efforts for tributary missions and treated them equally. Perhaps these three countries came from the similar area, namely the east coast of the Malay Peninsula, even though without clear evidence. Some historians believe these three states belong to Indonesia (Sumatra and Java), but no evidence at all. In the fifth century, Indonesia could not be region of Buddhism.
Kan-tuo-li, Tan-tan and Langkasuka were the tributary states to China from the Malay Peninsula. Especially Kan-tuo-li might have succeeded or taken over the positions of Po-da (Pattani). Tan-tan seems to succeed the tributary position of Kha-la-tan (Kelantan) or to be simply another name of Kha-la-tan of which the last syllable ‘tan’ was taken for convenience.
Po-da (婆達) was probably Pattani and its capital was Yarang fifteen kilometers south of Pattani where mistakenly assumed as Langkasuka’s capital. After the World War II, several excavation works of Yarang were fulfilled, and they discovered somewhat important remains. Some remains of brick walls and ancient Buddha images were discovered. But generally speaking, the remains of Yarang were not so impressive. Especially the evidence of foreign trade such as porcelains and ceramics is not so much except some foreign coins.
There were several states between A and B route historically. The dominating state on the east coast of the Peninsula was Langkasuka.
Lang-ya-su (Langkasuka=狼牙須) sent embassies during 515 to 568, when Funan’s power was declining.
Lang-ya-su (狼牙須) is Langkasuka, even though we cannot find the location on the modern map. Before in the Sui (隋) times, its location should be considered near modern Nakhon Si Thammarat. In the Sui, the Chinese ambassador Chang-jun (常駿) observed ‘a high mountain’ from the ship, which might be Khao (Mt.) Luang (1,855meters), located just behind Nakhon Si Thammarat. In the Zhu-fan-zhi (諸蕃志) , the location of Langkasuka (凌牙斯加,or 狼加西) was identified as if Pattani. However Pattani area is mostly plain, there are not high mountains at all.
According to the ‘Xin and Jiu Tang Shu (唐書)’ Langkasuka was the neighbor state of Pan-pan, and probably in the vicinity of Nakhon Si Thammarat.
I suppose the name of Langkasuka came from ‘Lan Saka’. Lan Saka is about twenty kilometers behind Nakhon Si Thammarat, and surrounded by high mountains and traditionally a major bypass to the west coast ports, such as Krabi, Khlong Thom and Trang. Khlong Thom is famous for the remains of ‘beads factory’. At first Indian merchants brought ‘beads’ from their mother land to sell to the local people, however some of them imported material, such as agate, onyx and fragment of glassware and made beads at Khlong Thom in Krabi Province and Phu Khao Thong in Ranong. The production of beads at Khlong Thom is said to begin in the fourth century and estimated lasted until the ninth century. Later ‘beads factories’ extended to Kedah, Chaiya and Takua pa. There are remains of beads materials and semi finished beads. These were major ports and some of beads were exported to Southeast Asia and China from the Malay Peninsula.
The commercial routes between the ports of west coast of the Malay Peninsula for instance Krabi, Trang, Khlong Thom and Kedah to Nakhon Si Thammarat also existed since the ancient time. In the Sui times, Chi-tu seemed to have taken over or merged the whole ‘B-route’, which was strongly connected with or controlled by Kedah.
Lang-ya-su (Langkasuka=狼牙須) sent tributary missions during 515～568. Perhaps before 515, it was under control of Funan. However the influence of Funan began to decline in the early sixth century, so Langkasuka began tribute to China independently. Until 568, Langkasuka competed with Kan-tuo-li (干陀利), but Langkasuka was merged with Kan-tuo-li which formed a new state of ‘Chi-tu’
According to the Liang Shu (梁書), Langkasuka had history of more than four hundred years at that time, that means Langkasuka was established at the beginning of the second century.
Finally, ‘B-route’ and ‘C-route’ were integrated with ‘new Funan’ based at Pan-pan and formed ‘Shih-li-fo-shi(室利佛逝）’, the first Śrīvijaya, by 670. After 670, Shih-li-fo-shi became the only one state which sent embassies from the Malay Peninsula. Probably the Tang court gave a special position to ‘Shih-li-fo-shi(室利佛逝’) because Tang allowed 4 characters which are also good meaning to Śrīvijaya. Usually China treated them as ‘barbaric countries’ and named them with 2 or 3 characters, for instance, Chen-la(真臘), Chi-tu (赤土), Chola(注輦), Java(闍婆), Langkasuka(狼牙須) and so on. One conceivable reason is Śrīvijaya was the center of Buddhism in Southeast Asia and historically Funan and Pan-pan had sent many Buddhist monks to China to translate Buddhism Canon. So, I suppose that the Tang court paid a kind of respect to Śrīvijaya. In the Sui times Śrīvijaya did not exist, but Funan and Pan-pan were well known.
Chapter 4. Shih-li-fo-shi was a successor to Funan and Pan-pan.
Rise and Decline of Funan
Funan（扶南）and Champa（林邑）are well known as the oldest tributary countries to China. It was probably the second century when Funan was founded in the lower valley of the Mekong River. The name of Funan means ‘mountain’ of the old Khmer language ‘bnam’ (the modern Cambodian language is ‘phnom’). According to G.Coedès, the Sanskrit translation of ‘the king of mountain=Himalaya’ is Śailaraja or Parvatabhupala.
Funan was a state based in the Mekong-Delta with a commercial port at Oc-Eo and its capital was located at the foot of the mountain Ba Phnom, called Vyādhapura. The main financial resources of Funan were tax from farmers and profit from international trade. From the beginning Funan had a character of a ‘trading State’. The strategy of Funan was like a modern ‘imperialistic country’ to militarily expand business territory and to monopolize trade with China. To keep favoured relations with China Funan tried to purchase the western goods as much as possible, so they captured Tenasserim and Takua Pa. Following stream of imports, Buddhist monks came to Pan-pan and Funan. As the result both states became the centers of Buddhism in the region.
The history of Funan is recorded in the Chinese annals , especially in the Liang Shu (梁書) and the Nan-Ji-Shu (南斉書).
Funan sent the first mission to the Wu Dynasty (呉) in 225. In the middle of the third century, from the Wu Dynasty, two envoys Kang Tai (康泰) and Chu Ying (朱応), were sent to Funan. Kang Tai wrote that the first king of Funan was an Indian Brahman whose name was Khon-Tien (混填). Khon-Tien means ‘Kaundinya’, so some historians call him ‘Kaundinya I’.
According to the legend, Khon-Tien came over to a certain seashore of Cambodia on a large merchant ship, where he threatened with a ‘divine bow’ a local princess named Liu-ye (柳葉). She surrendered to Khon-Tien and they married. Then they established a new country ‘Funan’.
Dr. Naojiro Sugimoto (杉本直治郎) estimates Funan was founded between the end of the first century and the beginning of the second century.
The Liang Shu says, the great general Fan-Shi-Man (范師曼) took over the seat of king, Fan-Shi-Man expanded Funan’s territory by conquest with its navy. He developed a kind of rowing boat of which total length was eight to nine zhang (丈), around 21m length and width six to seven che (尺), around 1.6m width. Fan-Shi-Man ordered the construction of large ships and attacked more than ten countries including Chu-to-kun (屈都昆), Chiu-chi（九稚）and Dian-sun（典孫）. The location of Chu-to-kun is unknown, but Chiu-chi is supposed to be Takua Pa and Dian-sun is without doubt ‘Tenasserim’ near Mergui in Burma. Dian-sun was the biggest emporium on the Burmese coast.
The purpose of Fan-Shi-Man’s invasion was to secure major ports to facilitate Funan’s trade with foreign countries. Especially the ports of Takua Pa and Dian-sun (Tenasserim) were important, but since the fifth century Kedah emerged as the major ports for the south Indian merchant ships. However Kedah was not under control of Funan, so above mentioned ’B-route’ flourished independently.
The local products of Funan were, according to the Liang Shu ‘Gold, silver, copper, tin, agarwood（沉香）, ivory, blue peacock and five color parrot’. Funan had vast arable land, cultivating paddy and the northern part of Funan was a territory of Chen-la (真臘) a major subordinate state of Funan, but in the middle of the sixth century Chen-la militarily surpassed Funan.
Traditionally Funan flourished by international trade. Funan sent embassies to China many times and each time contributed a big amount of precious items, such as aromatics, glass ware, pearl, fine cotton, jewelry, ivory and so on, most of which were imported from the west countries. For Funan, acquiring the imports from the west was vital, because Chinese court preferred these western goods. Funan imported the western goods mainly through the trans-peninsular route especially between Takua Pa and Pan-pan.
The Liang Shu says “Chia Chen-ju（憍陳如=Kaundinya II）, one of the successors to King Chu Chan-tan (竺栴檀) was originally an Indian Brahman who received a ‘voice of God’ to go to Funan to become the king there. Chia Chen-ju delighted in his heart. He arrived at Pan-pan from India. When the Funanese heard of him, they all welcomed him with pleasure, went before him to choose him as their king. The news that Chia Chen-ju had arrived at Pan-pan seemed to be spread to Funan immediately and Funan people willingly accepted him as their king. As the king, Chia Chen-ju made many kinds of reformation and applied the advanced Indian systems.” *
G. Coedès says：
“Around 480 the History of the Southern Ch’i (南斉) speaks for the first time of these king She-yeh pa-mo (Jayavarman=闍耶跋摩) whose family name is Ciao Chen-ju （僑陳如）－that is, descendant of Kaundinya.” *
Funan suffered from political and military pressure of Chen-la gradually, even though Chen-la was a northern vassal state of Funan. However the decline of Funan was not apparent in the early sixth century. Funan sent embassies to China court in the sixth century, 502, 511, 512, 514, 519, 520, 530, 535, 539, 543, 559, 572, 588 and the Xin Tang Shu recorded that in the Tang times Funan sent two embassies from between 618~26 and 627~49.
Funan had been expelled from Cambodia by Chen-la at the end of the sixth century, but Funan continued tribute to the Tang Dynasty from Pan-pan which used to be a vassal state of Funan. I hypothesize that the rulers of Funan fled to Pan-pan with its navy after defeat, not to Java as G. Coedès supposed. The army of Chen-la could not pursue the Funan’s rulers due to lack of navy. In other words, Funan maintained sovereignty over the Gulf of Thailand.
Pan-pan became a tributary country to China during 424~53, in the first Song (420~479) times. Pan-pan was under instruction of Funan. Basically, Pan-pan had been a subordinate state of Funan for long time, since invasion of Fan-Shi-Man in the early third century.
G. Coedès says;
“In the second half of the sixth century, Bhavavarman and his cousin Chitrasena attacked Funan and, judging by their inscriptions, pushed their conquest at least up to Kratié on the Mekong, to Buriram between the Mun River and the Dangrek Mountains, and to Mongkolborei west of the Great Lake.”“The conquest of Funan by Chen-la in the guise of a dynastic quarrel is really the first episode we witness in Cambodia of the “push to the south”, constant latent threat of which we have already seen.” *
After this incident, G. Coedès considered Funan directly moved to Java, and there, established the new dynasty of Śailendra. Other historian, for instance Dr. Rokuro Kuwata thought Funan disappeared from the earth at the end of the sixth century.
However there is no evidence Funan had any political or commercial relations with Java. So the hypothesis of G. Coedès is not solid. Kuwta’s theory seems right, but the rulers of Funan could have easily escaped to Pan-pan, their subordinate state, from where the Funan rulers could continue sending embassies to China. The rulers of Funan could not await Chen-la to kill them in Cambodia.
We cannot forget that Funan had utilized Pan-pan as its major trade port and at the same time Pan-pan used to be a subordinate state of Funan since the 3rd century
P. Wheatley writes;
“On the dissolution of the Funanese Empire, its successor, Chen-la, possibly because of its continental origin, failed to consolidate its supremacy over the Malay Peninsula, whereupon the former dependencies in the region hastened to establish their autonomy by dispatching embassies to the Imperial Court of China.” *
Certainly as P. Wheatley writes Chen-la could not control the Malay Peninsula, without strong navy. The royal family of Funan easily survived at Pan-pan. On the contrary Chen-la had been counter attacked and dominated or influenced by Śrīvijaya (Śailendra) for long time since the last quarter of the eighth century until the beginning of the twelfth century.
Pan-pan became the sanctuary of Funan
Anyway Chen-la could not pursue Funan rulers militarily across the Bay of Siam (Thai) to Pan-pan, because Chen-la had poor navy. The new Pan-pan under the royal family of Funan sent embassies several times to China.
According to the Tong-Dian(通典), compiled by Du-You(杜祐) in 801, Pan-pan was a small state with no solid city walls and poorly equipped army.
“The ordinary people live mostly by the water-side, and in default of city walls erect palisades entirely of short wood.・・・・・The arrows are tipped with stone and the blades of lance with iron.”「百姓多緑水而居国無城皆豎木為柵・・・・・其矢以石為鏃、槊則以鉄為刃」
The ruler of Pan-pan might think it was an international commercial port-city and was guarded by Funanese navy around the Bay of Bandon and the Gulf of Thailand and might not suppose to be attacked from behind through land. This small government and navy-oriented military system might be inherited by Śrīvijaya. But actually the army of Chen-la came through the northern part of the Peninsula soon after 742, when the last envoy of Shih-li-fo-shi left China.
It is highly probable that Chaiya and Langkasuka (Nakhon Si Thammarat) were temporarily occupied by Chen-la around 745. The attack of Chen-la was not recorded in any chronicles, but Chen-la increased tributes to China after 750. However Śailendra, one of Śrīvijaya countries counterattacked Chen-la and recovered Chaiya and Nakhon Si Thammarat from Chen-la with strong navy before 767. The memoir of this victory is, without doubt, the ‘Ligor inscription’ dated 775. Śailendra’s navy was the major force among the Śrīvijaya states, even though Śailendra was the new comer among them, which was established after 686 in central Java.
The cooperation between Funan and Pan-pan concerning ‘China business’ looked very smooth and natural, sending tributary embassies to China alternatively. Pan-pan’s first mission was recorded at the first Song between 424 and 453. If Funan thought Pan-pan as its competitor, Funan could have eliminated Pan-pan at the earlier stage. Funan’s controlling power and navy were so strong, and Funan would not have allowed Pan-pan’s independent trade activity.
Funan is believed to have sent the last embassy to China in 572 to the Chin(陳) Dynasty by many historians. They believe that soon after Funan was expelled by Chen-la and declined rapidly and the relation between Funan and Pan-pan perished at the same time.
However, as abobe mentioned Funan shifted its political and economic base to Pan-pan and continued tribute to China. Actually the name of Funan appeared twice in the early stage of Tang times, sometime in 618~26 and 627~49. However Funan lost influence to the neighbor countries such as Langkasuka and Dvaravati.
A Japanese prominent historian, Dr. Rokuro Kuwata thought the description of the Xin Tang Shu was dubious. However it was technically possible for Funan to send embassies to China from Pan-pan by using the port of Chaiya at the bay of Bandon.
Some historians exaggerate the effect of the fall of Funan. For instance O.W. Wolters says;
“On the coast of mainland Southeast Asia, as a result of the collapse of Funan, there was a political vacuum. Already from the second half of the fifth century missions had occasionally come from Pan-pan and Langkasuka on the Malay Peninsula.” *
As for, Langkasuka, it was an independent state for long time, and it had its own traditional trade route from India through the west coast of the Malay Peninsula, such as Krabi and Trang. After the collapse of Funan in the second first of the sixth century (not the second half of the fifth century), Langkasuka got a free-hand, so it started tribute to China in 515. Dvaravati also sent the first envoy to China in 583. But the missions from Pan-pan had not been affected by ‘the collapse of Funan in Cambodia’, because Pan-pan used to be a direct subordinate city-state of Funan and its security was guarded by Funanese navy. The relation between Funan and Pan-pan had been apparently different from those of other countries.
After the collapse of Funan, Chen-la frequently sent embassies to China, in 616, 623, 625, 628, 635, 651, 682, 698, 707, 710 and 717. After 33 years interval Chen-la resumed the tributary in 750, 753, 755, 767, and 769 and after 34 years interval 813 and 814. After 814 Chen-la totally stopped sending embassy to China, probably due to the intervention of Śailendra (Śrīvijaya).
However Chen-la could not enjoy the fruits of the tributary trades with China as expected, because Chen-la still had not stable import route of the western goods. The gulf of Siam and the major ports of the Peninsula were under control of Pan-pan and the exiled Funan. So, Chen-la relied on the ports of Burma coast for import of the western goods, such as Tenasserim. To send embassies to China, Chen-la found the way to Champa otherwise it used the inland route via Yun-nan (雲南) to Chang-An (長安), the capital of the Tang Dynasty. It is apparent that Chen-la could not use the Bay of Thailand to send its envoy to China and asked Champa for cooperation to use latter’s maritime facility.
According to the Jiu (old) Tang Shu (旧唐書), Emperor Tai-Zong (太宗,626~649) when the envoy of Chen-la came to the court with Champa’s ambassador in 628, specially praised the Chen-la mission that the embassies from Chen-la came to the court through ‘land and sea’, overcoming many obstacles with tremendous efforts and gave them thick rewards.
「貞観二年、又與林邑国倶来朝献。太宗嘉其陸海疲労、錫賚甚厚。」(旧唐書=the Old Tang Shu)
Wen-tan (文単) was another name of ‘Land Chen-la (陸真臘)’. The location of Wen-tan is not clear, but perhaps the region related with ‘land-route’ to China. ‘Wen-tan’ sounds like ‘Vientian’ in Laos, but I cannot elaborate now.
On the other hand, Pan-pan also continued tributary missions after the last embassy of Funan (572 A.D.), in 584, 616, 633, 635, 641, 648 and 650~655. Pan-pan had continued sending embassies constantly, however, after the last tribute in 650~655 Pan-pan also disappeared from the annals of the Tang Dynasty. The reason why Pan-pan suddenly terminated its tribute to China was not clear. My hypothesis is that Pan-pan, ruled by Funan people, changed its name to Śrīvijaya (Shih-li-fo-shi) after taking over Chi-tu (赤土国) which was located at ‘B-route’ zone including Kedah, Songkhla and Pattani and Pan-pan perhaps reported to the Tang Dynasty Pan-pan merged with Chi-tu ‘peacefully’ and formed the new state called Śrīvijaya (Shih-li-fo-shi).
The name of Śrīvijaya (Shih-li-fo-shi) was possibly taken from the ‘Khao Si Wichai (Mount Śrīvijaya)’ which had been sanctuary of Hinduism since the ancient time at the suburb of Surat Thani city.
Under the leadership of Funan rulers, Pan-pan probably merged and integrated the whole Peninsula including Langkasuka, Tan-tan and Kedah. Yi-Jing recorded later that Kedah(羯茶) became the subordinate state of Śrīvijaya (Shih-li-fo-shi).
Thus Śrīvijaya (Shih-li-fo-shi) established the hegemonies over the Malay Peninsula. According to the Sui-Shu, Tan-tan had kept friendly relations with Pan-pan. The last envoy of Tan-tan to China was in 666. Śrīvijaya (Shih-li-fo-shi) sent the first embassy to the Tang Dynasty between 670~673, probably in 670. Because Yi-Jing knew the existence of Śrīvijaya (Shih-li-fo-shi) before he left Canton to India in 671.
After integration of the major parts of the Malay Peninsula, the next target of Śrīvijaya was to control the Straits of Malacca. Śrīvijaya dispatched navy from the Bay of Bandon (Chaiya) and Kedah to Malayu Shu (末羅瑜州) first, thereafter to Jambi and Palembang. That might have been not difficult job for Śrīvijaya, because the population of Sumatra states was not so big and they had not strong army. After the occupation, Śrīvijaya left several ‘inscriptions’ at Palembang, Jambi and the Bangka Island. And finally the force of Śrīvijaya attacked Kha-ling located in the central Java after 686. The army of Śrīvijaya without doubt landed at Pekalongan, a major port of central Java and perhaps the capital of Kha-ling (Ho-ling訶陵＝the Sañjaya kingdom).
Chapter 5. The development of Śrīvijaya (Shih-li-fo-shi)
Śrīvijaya (Shih-li-fo-shi）started sending embassies sometime between 670 and 673, not in 695 as G. Coedès considered.
G. Coedès says;
“Perhaps it was also he (King Jayanāśa) who sent the embassy of 695 to China, the first one from Śrīvijaya for which we have a definite date. Before this embassy we have a vague mention of embassies beginning with the period 670-73; after it, we know of embassies of 702,716, and 724 in the name of the king Shih-li-t’o-lo-pa-mo (Śrī Indravarman) and of 728 and 742 in the name of king Liu-t’eng wei-kung.” *
G. Coedès misunderstands here. The first embassy from Śrīvijaya was without doubt between 670 and 673(咸亨年間＝Xian Xiang years) and in 695, Śrīvijaya did not send mission to China. In 695 the Tang court issued the Emperor’s decree to provide food to the tributary countries for their return journey, for instance , to South India, North India, Persia, and Arab six months worth of food, to Śrīvijaya, Chen-la and Kha-ling for five months worth of food to Champa three months worth of food.
證聖元年（695AD）九月五日敕「蕃國使入朝、其食料各分等第給；南天竺、北天竺、波斯、大食等國使、宜給六箇月糧；尸利佛誓、真臘、訶陵等國使、給五箇月糧；林邑國使、給三箇月糧。」唐会要(the Tang Hui Yao)、巻百一、雑録。
According to the Ce-fu Yuan-Gui (冊府元亀), Śrīvijaya (Shih-li-fo-shi) sent the first envoy to the Tang court between 670-73, and thereafter 701, 716,724, 727 and 724.
Yi-Jing left Canton at November 671 for India via Śrīvijaya where he recognized existing considerable number of Buddhist temples and respectable monks. The location of Śrīvijaya was undoubtedly Pan-pan and its capital was Chaiya.
According to the Tong-dian compiled by Du-You in 801;
“There are ten monasteries where Buddhist monks and nuns study their canon. They eat all types of meat but refrain from wine. There is also one monastery of daoshis (道士＝religiously advanced devotees) who partake neither of meat nor wine. They study the classic of the Asura king, but they enjoy no great respect. The ordinary Buddhist priests are commonly called pi-chiu (bhiku＝比丘), the others ‘tan’ (貪=greedy)”. *
In the Chinese annals of Tang, we cannot find any other state which had more Buddhist temples than Pan-pan (Chaiya area). On the west coast of the Malay Peninsula, Kedah had some Buddhist temples, but Yi-Jing told nothing of the Buddhist temples.
On the east coast, Nakhon Si Thammarat was a large port-city, but there are not so many archaeological remains belonging to the Tang’s era. In Palembang, there exist some remains of Buddhist temples and Buddha images, but we cannot compare them with those of Chaiya. According to the “Zhu-fan-zhi (諸蕃志)” published in 1225, only two Buddhist temples existed in Java.
Probably Yi-Jing had visited Chaiya in a Persian merchant ship which usually stopped over the commercially frequent port-city. Before leaving China, Yi-Jing consulted his itinerary plan with several supporters including high government officials. Yi-Jing could have gathered sufficient information beforehand about the Buddhism of Southeast Asia and Śrīvijaya (Shih-li-fo-shi).
The king of Śrīvijaya might be one of the descendants of Funan kings as G. Coedès suggested.
They might have founded the new state named Śrīvijaya (Shih-li-fo-shi) ‘peacefully’ and the Tang Dynasty accepted the new order in the Malay Peninsula.
Chi-tu sent three consecutive embassies to the Sui Dynasty and the emperor sent the special envoy to Chi-tu, but the Chinese chronicles kept silence about the fate of Chi-tu.
As we know Śrīvijaya continued expansion of its territory to the southwards along the Strait of Malacca, the southeast of Sumatra including Palembang and Jambi around 680s, then finally occupied Kha-ling (Ho-ling) in the central Java.
Śrīvijaya sent embassies several times, but after 742 the name of Śrīvijaya also mysteriously disappeared from the Chinese chronicles without any explanation. However the Tang court did not seem to recognize the disappearance of Shih-li-fo-shi.
Originally Ho-ling (訶陵) might be pronounced as ‘Kha-ling’ even though the modern Chinese pronunciation is ‘Ho-ling’. The name of 'Kha-ling' had, without doubt, somewhat relations with Khalinga, an ancient dynasty on the east coast of India, now Orissa district.
Kha-ling sent embassies in 640, 647, 648 and 666. In 670, if Kha-la (訶羅) was misspell of ‘Kha-ling (訶陵)’ the last envoy of Kha-ling (Sañjaya) was the same year.
Since then, the name of Kha-ling was not seen in the chronicles of the Tang for nearly one hundred years. It appeared again in 768, after the name of Śrīvijaya disappeared since 742 and Śailendra established hegemony among Śrīvijaya group since 768 or earlier year.
Inscriptions of Śrīvijaya in the Palembang area
Śrīvijaya left several inscriptions near Palembang, Jambi and the Bangka Island which were read and interpreted by G. Coedès and other historians.
G. Coedès says;
“A group of inscription in Old Malays, four of which were found in Sumatra (three near Palembang, another at Karang Brahi on the upper course of the Batang Hari) and a fifth at Kota Kapur on the island of Bangka, show the existence in 683~686 in Palembang of a Buddhist kingdom that had just conquered the hinterland of Jambi and the island of Bangka and was preparing to launch a military expedition against Java. This kingdom bore the name Śrīvijaya, which correspond exactly to Yi-Jing’s (Shih li-) fo-shih.
“The oldest of the three inscriptions from Palembang, the one that is engraved on a large stone at Kedukan Bukit, at the foot of the hill of Seguntung, tells us that on April 23, 682, a king began an expedition (siddhayātrā) by boat, that on May 19 he left an estuary with an army moving simultaneously land and sea, and that, a month later, he brought victory, power, and wealth to Śrīvijaya.” *
① The Kedukan Bukit inscription
The first is the Kedukan Bukit inscription. In which, the name of king (or commander) was described only as “dapunta hiyam”. It is not so clear that the name means the title of the supreme commander or the great king of Śrīvijaya. The contents of this inscription are simple. The army of Śrīvijaya attacked this place and made victory. It took nearly one month for the army to arrive the battle field, and another month to confirm final victory. They came over the place with 200 boats and the number of foot soldiers was 1,312. This inscription is the memoir of their victory. Apparently the army came from outside of Palembang. The commander of the force might be ‘Dapunta Hiyam’. But it does not mention that the capital of Śrīvijaya was Palembang. According to the Xin Tang Shu Śrīvijaya had fourteen subordinate states and the reason why Palembang became the capital of Śrīvijaya, as G. Coedès says, is not clear at all.
There are some questions to be clarified in this inscription. The first is from where this army came from? The answer has not been clearly given, but it is almost certain that they came from the Malay Peninsula, perhaps dispatched from Kedah and Chaiya. Śrivijaya had traditionally an army of high-speed rowing boats inherited from the Funan times, legacy of King Fan-shi-man. It might take nearly one month from Kedah to cross over the Strait of Malacca to arrive at the estuary of the Musi River. After some preparation, the army probably went up the Musi River and attacked Palembang.
The second question is number of army. The Kedukan Bukit inscription states that number was ‘dualaksa’ which means ’20,000’. However 20,000 was too many, even the fleet of Zheng He (鄭和）, total number of crew was 28,000 in the early fifteenth century. In the contemporary Indonesian dictionary, ‘laksa’ means ’10,000’. But in the late seventh century, Śrīvijaya could not mobilize such a big number of soldiers, so the recent interpretation is ‘dualaksa’ was ‘2,000’ which sounds more realistic.
② The Talang Towo inscription
There is the second inscription named “Talang Towo” which is dated on March, 684, nearly two years later than Kedukan Bukit inscription. Talang Towo is at five kilometers northwest of Seguntung where Śrīvijaya founded a public park planting fruit trees. The Talang Towo inscription is to commemorate the opening and to honor king Jayanāśa of Śrīvijaya as the founder of the park. Notably, on the stone, the king expressed the wish to receive the ‘merit’ by his deed and to bring the happiness to the local people, using several Mahāyāna Buddhism words. Apparently king Jayanāśa’s intension was to propagate the belief of Mahāyāna Buddhism to the residents and at the same time justification of the Śrīvijaya’s suzerainty in this area. However there is no evidence king Jayanāśa was the ‘great king’ of Śrīvijaya. Probably he was the new regional ruler of the Palembang kingdom dispatched from Śrīvijaya group.
G. Coedès says;
“Although king Jayanāśa is named in only one of five inscriptions, they probably all emanate from him: the military expedition in 682, the foundation of a public park in 684, the affirmation of authority in northwest and southwest of the kingdom, and sending of an expedition against Java…….Perhaps it was also he who sent the embassy of 695 to China, the first one from Śrīvijaya for which we have a definite date.”
If king Jayanāśa was the Mahārāja of the Śrīvijaya Empire, the name of ‘Dapunta Hiyam’ might not be used, and his real name must have appeared on some other inscriptions. * At the same time, Śrīvijaya did not send any envoy in 695 to China. The first embassy from Śrīvijaya had been sent between 670 and 673(咸亨年間＝Xian Xiang years) as clearly recorded in the Xin Tang Shu. So, It is dubious if king Jayanāśa sent the first envoy to the Tang Dynasty or not. Certainly he looked a keen Mahārāja Buddhist, but it is not sure that he was ‘Mahārāja’ of Śrīvijaya. Perhaps he was the governor ‘king’ of Palembang.
③ The Telaga Batu inscription
The third inscription found at Palembang area is Telaga Batu (or Sabokingking) inscription, which was a water-oath stone used by the ruler to ensure the loyalty of the local people and government officials for the authorities. The text of the inscription is ‘curse formulas’ promising supernatural and corporal punishment for them who broke the oath. The purpose of the inscription was apparently to threaten the residents and government officials not to betray the new conqueror, Śrīvijaya. If Śrīvijaya had governed Palembang area for long time, this kind of water-oath stone might not be needed. The meaning of this inscription is that Śrīvijaya was pulling out most of its army from this area to prepare expedition to Java in 686.
The inscription contains the list of state officials, common citizens and even king’s slaves. In this context the social structure of Palembang state becomes clear. From the top of the hierarchy, namely rājaputra (son of king) then various titles are mentioned as follows:, kumārāmātya (ministers), bhŭpati (regional leaders), senāpati (generals), nāyaka (local community leaders), pratyaya (nobles), hāji prataya (lesser king), dandanayaka (judges), tuhā an vatak (workers inspectors), vuruh (workers), addhyāksi nījavarna (lower supervisors), vāsīkarana (blacksmiths/weapon makers), cātabhata (soldiers), adhikarana (officials), kāyastha (store workers), sthāpaka (artisans), puhāvam (ship captains), vaniyāga (traders), marsī hāji (king’s servant), and hulun hāji (king’s slaves). *
The order of the list does not seem to represent the social order, but this may be a typical composition of a subordinate state of Śrīvijaya. However farmers and Buddhist monks are exempted.
④ The Kota Kapur Inscription
Why Śrīvijaya left these three inscriptions threatening local people? The key to solve this question is the next inscription which located at Kota Kapur, on the island of Bangka. Śrīvijaya had to pull out most part of its army from the newly occupied area, Palembang and Jambi, because Śrīvijaya had another plan to send the expedition against Kha-ling (訶陵) in central Java from the base of the Bangka Island.
G. Coedès does not touch Telaga Batu inscription, but continues further:
“As for the three other inscriptions, one of which is dated February 28, 686, we wonder if the conquests that they imply do not represent the continuation of the expansionist policy commemorated by the stone of Kedukan Bukit. These three texts, in part identical, deliver threats and maledictions against any inhabitants of the upper Batang Hari (the river of Jambi whose basin must have constituted the territory of Malāyu) and of the island of Bangka who might commit acts of insubordination toward the king and toward the officials he had placed at the head of the provincial administration. The inscription of Bangka closes by mentioning the departure of an expedition against the unsubdued land of Java in 686.”
The ‘unsubdued land of Java’ means ‘Kha-ling (訶陵)’ a rival of Śrīvijaya, not the ancient Tārumā kingdom as G. Coedès insists below.
The inscriptions of Jambi (Batang Hari) and the island of Bangka (Kota Kapur) have almost same contents threatening the inhabitants. The meaning of Kota Kapur inscription has closing words that the army of Śrīvijaya would go to Java as above mentioned by G. Coedès.
G. Coedès insists as following:
“The land referred to may had been the ancient kingdom Tārumā on the other side of the Sunda Strait, which we do not hear spoken of again after its embassy to China in 666-669. Tārumā may have become the nucleus of the expansion of Sumatran influence on the island of Java which is evidenced in the following century by the inscription of Gandasuli in the province of Kedu.” *
However we cannot find out the name of Tārumā (多羅磨) as a tributary country in the annals of China, instead the name of Kha-ling (or Ho-ling, 訶陵) is recorded on the Ce-fu Yuan-Gui (冊府元亀), which sent an embassy in 666 and perhaps 670 under the name of Kha-la (訶羅), which is supposed erratum of Kha-ling (訶陵), thereafter the name of Kha-ling disappeared for a century.
In 686, from the Bangka Island, Śrīvijaya sent a big army to Java, with speed-boats. It is highly probable that the army of Śrīvijaya easily occupied the strategic part of Kha-ling, namely Pekalongan, but the result of the expedition from the Bangka Island was not recorded. However, the victory of Śrīvijaya in Java is certain, because later Śrīvijaya set up its government, named Śailendra in central Java.
All of a sudden the name of Śrīvijaya appeared on the inscription of Ligor dated 775. This tells us that Śrīvijaya had succeeded to invade into the Island of Java and established the Śailendra kingdom. Actually, Śailendra became one of the vassal states of Śrīvijaya. However G. Coedès says that Śrīvijaya sent army to Taruma (not Ho-ling) in the west Java, and later many historians followed him. They say ‘Tarumanegara’ in the west Java sent embassies to the Tang in 528, 666 and 669. However, unfortunately I cannot find the name of Tarumanegara which sent envoys to China in the seventh century, in the Chinese annals. Apparently the west Java is wrong direction where was no strong kingdom to send a tributary mission to the Tang court.
Furthermore, in 1963, at Sojomerto near Pekalongan, an old stone inscription was found, of which date is unclear, but supposed to be enclaved at the seventh century. It is known as ‘Sojomerto Inscription’, on which the name of ‘Dapunta Selendra’ was found. This inscription is the key to solve the mystery of the activity of Śrīvijaya in central Java and the foundation of the ‘Śailendra’. It was written in old Malay language and the name ‘Selendra’ came from Sanskrit spelling of ‘Śailendra’.
The meaning of the inscription seems very important, because the expedition of Śrīvijaya’s navy might have arrived at Pekalongan, the major port of the central Java. The name of commander was ‘Dapunta Selendra’, who was the founder of the Śailendra kingdom.
According to the Ce-fu Yuan-Gui (冊府元亀) and other annals, Kha-ling (Ho-ling) sent embassies to the Tang in 640, 642, 647, 648 and 666 and its neighbor in the west Java, Da-Po-To (堕婆登) sent an envoy in 647 to the Tang court and presented Indian cotton clothes, ivories and sandal-wood. The location of Da-Po-To is not clear, but the Jiu (Old)Tang Shu says that Da-Po-To is located at the south of Lin-yi (林邑,Champa), two months journey by sea and its eastern neighbor is Kha-ling and the western neighbor is Mei-Lei-Sha (迷黎車，unknown）and the north side is large sea. Hence, there is possibility the location of Da-Po-To was a kingdom in the west Java, probably the same location of ‘Tārumā’ in the fifth century.
In the west Java, there are three inscriptions with foot-prints related with king Pūrņavarman, whose capital was the city of Tārumā. The forth inscription was found near Tanjong Priok, which describes canal which Pūrņavarman dug. The age of Pūrņavarman’s reign is not clear, but generally supposed at the middle of the fifth century. Perhaps G. Coedès and his followers connect this Taruma with Kha-ling (Ho-ling) in the central Java. However there is no solid evidence. The inscriptions of Pūrņavarman were all limited around Batavia.
Anyway, the target of Śrīvijaya’s expedition was undoubtedly Kha-ling in central Java, which had sent embassies several times and apparently been the rival of Śrīvijaya (Shih-li-fo-shi).
Śailendra became the top of Śrīvijaya
After nearly one hundred years interval, the Kha-ling reappeared and sent an envoy to the Tang Dynasty in 768. As a matter of course, the ‘new Kha-ling’ was Śailendra which represented Śrīvijaya group. From any other Śrīvijayan states, no embassy was sent to Tang. Some historians misunderstand that after 742, Śrīvijaya group stopped sending embassies to the Tang court until 904. However the interval had been basically filled by another Śrīvijaya state, namely Śailendra under the name of Kha-ling. The reason why Śrīvijaya as the conqueror of Kha-ling in the central Java, used the name of ‘Kha-ling’ seems mysterious. However under the tributary trade system, Śrīvijaya could not attack or occupy the other subordinate states of the Tang Dynasty. In case of Palembang and Jambi, they were not tributary states, but Kha-ling was the formally registered tributary state of the Tang court.
According to the Xin Tang Shu (新唐書）, Śrīvijaya (Shih-li-fo-shi), had fourteen vassal city-states, and divided them into two administration districts to control the whole empire (有城十四、以二国分総). In the early stage of the Tang times, the kingdom of Kha-ling prospered in the central Java. Śrīvijaya dispatched its strong navy from the base of the Bangka Island in 686 and conquered Kha-ling. The Xin Tang Shu tells us that Kha-ling in Java was well governed, especially with high discipline and moral. There was no theft at all and nobody picked up goods left on the streets.
When the army of Śrīvijaya arrived at Pekalongan, the kingdom of Kha-ling might have had insufficient preparation and possibly easily surrendered to Śrīvijaya. Kha-ling probably admitted the supremacy of Śrīvijaya.
However, perhaps the aim of Śrīvijaya was not to rule the whole territory of the Kha-ling kingdom, so Śrīvijaya might have selected to co-exist with Kha-ling in the same territory. Their common kingdom was the ‘old Mataram’, originally founded by the Sañjaya family.
However, Śrīvijaya (Shih-li-fo-shi) could not report the fact of conquest to the Tang court. Under the Chinese tributary system, the relation between the emperor of China and the kings of tributary countries is like that of a king and subordinates in one state. Quarrels among subordinates were not allowed, so in this case, Śrīvijaya concealed the conquest of Java.
In 768, when Śailendra sent the first envoy to the Tang court, Śailendra pretended that Kha-ling restarted to send mission after one hundred year’s absence. At that time, Śailendra represented Śrīvijaya group, but Śailendra continued to use the name of Kha-ling. So, the Tang court did not aware that Kha-ling was conquered by Śrīvijaya.
In the Tang court, Śrīvijaya (Shih-li-fo-shi) was not eliminated from their record books, even though Shih-li-fo-shi stopped sending envoy after 742. So, the Tang officials might consider that Kha-ling (Śailendra) has the territory in the Malay Peninsula and Java, and Shih-li-fo-shi has in the Peninsula and Sumatra. Perhaps Śailendra explained to the Tang officials that its territory covered Java and the Malay Peninsula. Kha-ling (Śailendra) might have sent its envoy’s ship from a port on the east coast of the Malay Peninsula, such as Songkhla or Sathing Phra. Sathing Phra might have become the export center of Śrīvijaya group states in the Śailendra and San-fo-chi period, owing its convenient location with good security.
Q.Wales says about Sathing Phra:
“Sathingphra, situated on the narrow spit bordering the Inland Sea (Thale Sap) north of Songkhla, was practically unknown to historians before the early 1960s, but it is now clearly recognizable as the east coast counterpart of Pengkalen Bujang (Kedah)…. I now feel that the foundation of Sathingphra may best be seen as fitting into the picture of Śrīvijayan withdrawal from the northern Isthmian region, under Khmer pressure in the eleventh century.”*
Actually Sating Phra was connected to Phatthalung by the Inland Sea, and Phatthalung was connected to Kedah and Trang. Further more many traders gathered at Sathing Phra and many remains of Hindu and Buddhism images were found there of the late sixth century to the thirteenth century.
Probably Chen-la attacked Chaiya after 742, so the royal family of Shih-li-fo-shi might have fled to the southern districts. Chen-la’s purpose to occupy Chaiya is to obtain one of the major trans-peninsular trade routes to import from the west such as India.
But Śrīvijaya group recovered Chaiya and Ligor (Nakhon Si Thammarat) from Chen-la around 765. The main army of Śrīvijaya’s force was without doubt Śailendra’s navy from Java.
So, the king of Śailendra was allowed to use the title of ‘Mahārāja’ (king of kings). At that time, ‘Mahārāja’ of Śrīvijaya might be Dharumasetu who later became father-in law of Samaratuńgga.
After the victory, Śrīvijaya erected a memorial inscription, so-called the ‘Ligor inscription’, which has two sides A and B. A is dated 775 and B has not clear date, which may be inscribed much later.
R.C. Majumdar explains the contents of Ligor Inscription;” The inscription A begins with eulogy of Śrī-Vijayendrarāja, and refers to the building of three brick temples for Buddhist gods by Śrī-Vijayeśvarabhūpati. Jayanta, the royal priest (Rājasthavira), being ordered by the king, built three stūpas.
The inscription B, enclaved on the back of the slete, consists of only one verse and a few letters of the second. It contains the eulogy of an emperor (Rājādhirāja) having the name of Vişņu.” *
G. Coedès says; “The text of the inscription states that King Vishnu ‘bore the title of mahārāja to indicate that he was a descendant of the family of the Śailendras.’ This king was undoubtedly the king of the inscription Kelurak－that is, Sangrāmadhananjaya.”
“Although the Śailendras were, as we see, the kings of Śrīvijaya in the eleventh century and undoubtedly also in the tenth, we have no proof that such was the case in the eighth.” *
It is dubious as G. Coedès says that the Śailendras were, as we see, the kings of Śrīvijaya in the eleventh century and undoubtedly also in the tenth. In the times of San-fo-chi during, 904~1178 as recorded in the Chinese annals, the role of the Śailendra family was not impressive in the tenth and eleventh century.
Certainly prince Bālaputra was expelled from Java before the middle of the ninth century. The most brilliant time for the Śailendras was apparently at the last quarter of the eighth century. Bālaputra was a crown prince of the Śailendra family and assumed the great king of Śrīvijaya after the exile from Java. However the final destination of prince Bālaputra was not clear, but he could have maintained the title of Mahārāja of Śrīvijaya group for the time being. At the middle of the ninth century, Jambi was stronger than Śailendra and sent its own envoy to the Tang court in 852 and 871.
When Śrīvijaya group formed ‘San-fo-chi ’, the leader of San-fo-chi is unknown, or at least there was no evidence that Bālaputra took the initiative. Anyway the political power of Bālaputra declined among the Śrīvijaya group after exile from Java, even though in the ‘Nalanda copper-plate’ inscription of Devapāla *, Bālaputradeva is described as the king of ‘Suvarnadvipa’. However it was a matter of before 850. Many historians believe the family of Śailendra dominated San-fo-chi, but without firm evidence.
I suppose that Śailendra could not have established the full hegemony in Java, and the Sanjaya line was still strong in the eighth century in the central Java. The Canggal inscription of Sanjaya which was set up in 732, clearly tells the fact that Sanjaya was dominant at that time. This inscription was written in Pallava letters and in Sanskrit, and memorized the erection of a linga on the Wukir Hill in Kedu. The Canggal inscription described the history of the Sanjaya Dynasty that king Sanna and his sister Sannāha ruled righteously for long time and Sanjaya (son of Sannāha?) became the ruler.
Queen Simo (674~704) * might be included in this family. The ‘Xin Tang Shu’ says in the article of Kha-ling that people recommended a princess to become the queen, her name was “Simo (or Sima=悉莫)” and her government was highly praised. Probably the army of Śrīvijaya invaded Kha-ling during her reign. However there was no record of battle and perhaps both parties made compromise to share the power peacefully.
On the other hand the Kalasan inscription dated 778 and the Kelurak inscription dated 782 seem to be sufficient evidences for the helm of Śailendra in the central Java in the latter half of the eighth century. Anyway, Śailendra had enough power in Java to dispatch strong navy to defeat Chen-la at Chaiya area and further to send expeditions to Champa several times. After the success of a series of navy operations, Śailendra (Śrīvijaya) established the monopoly of the tributary trade to China from Southeast Asia.
The‘Canggal Inscription’ contains twelve verses in Sanskrit that a Sivalinga was set up by king Sañjaya, supposedly a son of Sannāha, founder of the kingdom. At the latest until the first half of the eighth century, the Sañjaya family seemed to have helm of the central Java.
G. Coedès probably did not consider the effect of Śrīvijaya’s expedition to Java from the Bangka Island. He wrote that the target of Śrīvijaya’s expedition was Tārumā in the west Java and not Kha-ling (Ho-ling). The reason why he insisted on Tārumā, neglecting Kha-ling, the real competitor of Śrīvijaya is unknown. Tārumā certainly left some inscriptions dated presumably around 450 AD. Pūrnavarman was the king of Tārumā, but after him, we hear nothing. I wonder why Śrīvijaya selected Tārumā as the target of expedition and there is no evidence that Tārumā was a big international trading country in the seventh century. Only Da-Po-To (堕婆登) a state of the west Java sent an envoy to China between 627 and 649.
G. Coedès adds;
“On the basis of the documents available, Java does not appear to be the native country of the Śailendras of Indonesia, who, as has been, claimed rightly or wrongly to be related to ‘the kings of the mountain’ of Funan .“ *
This hypothesis is the most important point to the history of Śrīvijaya. However G. Coedès seemed to ignore or neglect the Funan’s relation with Pan-pan and its development as the base of Śrīvijaya (Shih-li-fo-shi). Historically, there were very close relations between Funan and Pan-pan for long time. Actually Kaundinya II who became the king of Funan, came from India through Pan-pan. G. Coedès assumes that the rulers of Funan directly fled to Java (or Palembang), where they founded the Śrīvijaya (Shih-li-fo-shi).
Basically G. Coedès understands well the importance of trans-peninsular trade route, but he seems to put bigger stress on the role of Palembang. He ignores the important fact that Kedah was a subordinate state of Śrīvijaya, at the latest when Yi-Jing re-visited there on his return from India in 686, but when Yi-Jing visited for the first time in 672, Kedah might have been a subordinate state of Śrīvijaya.
Yi-Jing wrote nothing about Buddhism at Kedah, because Hinduism probably had superseded Buddhism in this area. However in the fifth century at Kedah, without doubt Buddhism prevailed. A sailing-master and merchant Buddhagupta left an inscription with the Mahāyāna Buddhist formula. Mahāyāna Buddhism in Kedah was carried over to the east coast of the Peninsula with the imported goods from the south India, so the rulers of Kha-la-tan (Ho-lo-tan呵羅単), Po-hang (婆皇) and Po-da (婆達) were able to dictate their worship of Buddhism in the ‘Liu Song’ (劉氏宋：420~479 AD) court.
G. Coedès says;
“Śrīvijaya’s expansion northwest toward the Strait of Malacca and southeast toward the Sunda Strait is very clear indication of its design on the two great passages between the Indian Ocean and the China sea, the possession of which was to assure Śrīvijaya of commercial hegemony in Indonesia for several centuries.” *
G. Coedès suggests Śrīvijaya expanded from Palembang to northwest toward the Strait of Malacca and occupied Kedah. He also made misunderstanding of the international trade in the Tang and Song times. The Strait of Sunda was seldom used by the big western merchant ships before the sixteenth century, due to the bad seafaring conditions of the south Bengal Sea and unstable condition of the Sunda Strait to pass through. The Sunda Strait was used by European and Arab ships after Portuguese occupied the kingdom of Malacca in 1511. Even Chola did not use the Sunda Strait and occupied Kedah to use the trans-peninsular route.
Furthermore, G. Coedès considers Śrīvijaya attacked Kedah from the Palembang, but his hypothesis is quite unimaginable, because Kedah were more populated state and prosperous compared with Palembang. Yi-Jing visited Kedah two times. The first time is in 672, when he went to India and the second time was in 686 from Tāmraliptī. Yi-Jing recorded that Kedah was a subordinate state of Śrīvijaya, but he did not mention about the war with Śrīvijaya.
G. Coedès should have explained when Kedah had become the vassal state of Śrīvijaya. On the contrary, Śrīvijaya, based in the Malay Peninsula sent big navy to the south of Sumatra and conquered Jambi and Palembang to control the whole Malacca Strait, thereafter in 686 Śrīvijaya dispatched the expedition to the central Java. Śrīvijaya’s target was without doubt Kha-ling. The west Java and the Strait of Sunda were not major concerns for Śrīvijaya.
Furthermore if Palembang functioned as the stopping point or entrepôt between China and India, the position of Malay (near Jambi) would be meaningless. In that case, Yi-Jing needed not stop over at Malayu waiting for the favorable wind to go up Kedah. Waiting at Palembang would have been enough for Yi-Jing.
R.C. Majumdar who discovered the difference of A and B side of the Ligor inscription says;
“The inscription A begins with eulogy of Śrī-Vijayendrarāja, and then refers to the building of three brick temples for Buddhist gods by Śrī-Vijayeśvarabhūpati.”
“The inscription B, engraved on the back of the stele, consists of only one verse and a few letters of the second. It contains the eulogy of an emperor having the name of Vishnu. The last line is not quite clear. It seems to refer a lord of the Sailendra Dynasty named Śrī-Mahārāja,” *
These three temples are considered as Wat Hua Wieng, Wat Long and Wat Keu in Chaiya. * The conceivable reason why Sailendra selected Chaiya as the construction site of the temples is Chaiya was the capital of Śrīvijaya before Chen-la occupied there around 745.
Chapter 6. Śailendra
The Inscription of Śailendra in Java
In Indonesia two inscriptions regarding the Śailendra were found. Śailendra means ‘king of mountain’ which suggests belonging to the elite of Funan family. R.C. Majumdar gives explanation of them as follows;
① The Kalasan Inscription dated 778 AD.
This inscription dated in 778 was discovered at the village of Kalasan in Jogjakarta district. “The preceptors (Guru) of the Śailendra king had a temple of Tārā built with the help of Mahārāja Paňcapana Paņamakaran.”
This sentence is a little confusing, because it implies existence of two kings in the kingdom of Śailendra. The senior king’s Guru asked to the junior Mahārāja Paňcapana Paņamakaran to help the construction of a temple of Tārā.
Paņamakaran was supposedly at first a lower king of the Śailendra family and he was assigned to the commander of Śailendra’s navy. Paņamakaran defeated Chen-la at Chaiya and Nakhon Si Thammarat and he was recommended to take the title of Mahārāja of Śrīvijaya. So, within the Śailendra family, Paņamakarana was elevated to the top position and he was called Mahārāja Paňcapana Paņamakarana in central Java. As he was assigned the Mahārāja of Śrīvijaya, the balance of power in the Mataram kingdom changed so the Sañjaya family gave way to Śailendra. Thus he was promoted as the great king of the central Java.
In the Ligor Inscription, Paņamakarana was called ‘the brave enemy killer (viravarimathana)’. This means that Paņamakarana as the commander of the Śailendra’s force defeated Chen-la completely at Chaiya.
② The Kelurak Inscription Dated 782 AD.
This inscription was originally situated at Kelurak, to the north of Lolo Jongrang temple at Prambanan in Jogjakarta district.
After praising Buddhist deities, ‘This earth is being protected by the king named Indra, who is an ornament of the Śailendra dynasty and the killer of enemy’s well known hero.’ *
Paņamakarana was also praised as a great warrior and commander representing the Śailendra Dynasty. The name of the first Mahārāja of Śrīvijaya group was Rakai Paņamkaran (Panagkaran) of Śailendra. Thus the last subordinate state of Shih-li-fo-shi (Śrīvijaya) became the champion of the group.
It was not clear why the name of Śailendra did not appear before 778 (the date of the Kalasan Inscription), in front of Java people. But, suddenly, the king named Indra appeared with the title of Mahārāja Panagkaran, who defeated the Chen-la army.
The influence of Mahāyāna Buddhism emerged strongly in the central Java and the script of northern India which was used in the inscriptions of Kalasan and Kelurak, was apparently owing to this influence of western Bengal and the University of Nālandā.
The Sojomerto Inscription
In addition to the above two inscriptions, one more important inscription related with Selendra was found in 1963, in the province of Pekalongan, written in Old Malay language known as ‘the Sojomerto Inscription’. Its date is not clear, but is estimated of the seventh century. In this inscription, the name of the ‘Dapunta Selendra’ was found. Selendra is Malay expression of Śailendra in Sanskrit. The meaning of ‘Dapunta’ is not clear but almost ‘His Highness’.
On the Kedukan Bukit inscription of Palembang, we can find the name of “dapunta hiyam”. So, this ‘dapunta Selendra’ might come from Sumatra or from the Malay Peninsula, presumably as a commander of Śrīvijaya’s army dispatched from the Bangka Island in 686. There is no other evidence, but such a hypothesis may be arguable. In addition, Śrīvijaya’s navy probably occupied Pekalongan, which was a major port of the central Java in ancient time, and probably the capital of old Kha-ling (Sañjaya).
Dapunta Selendra might be one of kings of the Śrīvijaya Empire, and later become a founder of the Śailendra kingdom. The descendants of Dapunta Selendra survived in the central Java and a few generations later, the name of the Śailendra Dynasty came up in the main stream of history. The history of Śrīvijaya in Java started since 686 or 687 when ‘dapunta Selendra’ landed near Pekalongan and conquered the Sañjaya kingdom.
However Śailendra without doubt coexisted with the Sañjaya kingdom, because Śailendra had no intension to govern the whole central Java. Śailendra wanted to control the external trade of Kha-ling (Sañjaya). Perhaps Śailendra could not administer the inland problems of Java, because they had no knowledge to control a large number of villages and farmers.
The retaliation against Chen-la from Śrīvijaya group was conducted mainly by Śailendra which had large population and could organize big and strong navy. The history of war was not recorded in any annals, but the tributary records of Śrīvijaya group tell what happened in this area.
This understanding clarifies the meaning of the Ligor inscription 775 and the development of the kingdom of Śailendra.
The ‘new Kha-ling (Śailendra)’ sent embassies to China in 768, 769, 813, 815, 818 and between 827~35 and 860~73 AD. In addition to the new Kha-ling, a country named ‘Java (She-po =闍婆)’ sent embassies to China in 820, 831 and 839. This Java (She-po) was different from Śailendra and it was perhaps the Sañjaya kingship mainly based in the eastern Java and later regained the helm of the central Java.
After establishing the Śailendra kingdom, Sañjaya had no intension to send its own embassy to China, because the tributary trade with China had been controlled by the Śrīvijaya’s headquarter, which was probably located at Chaiya until 742. Thereafter the name of Shih-li-fo-shi (Śrīvijaya) in the Tang chronicles disappeared until 904.
After the expulsion of Chen-la from Chaiya, Śailendra got free hand to send embassies to the Tang Dynasty, representing whole Śrīvijaya group, and dispatched its ships to China mostly from the east coast of the Malay Peninsula, probably from Sathing Phra near Songkhla. In this case, Śailendra used the name of ‘Kha-ling (訶陵)’ to cover up the fact that Śrīvijaya had occupied Kha-ling (Sañjaya) nearly a century before.
G. Coedès writes:
“In any case, the appearance in the southern islands of Śailendras, with their imperial title of mahārāja, was, we can safely say, “an international event of importance.” *
However G. Coedès did not elaborate on the meaning of “an international event of importance.”
G. Coedès and his followers could not connect the Kota Kapur inscription of the Bangka Island with Śailendras in the central Java. They ‘sent’ the navy of Shih-li-fo-shi (Śrīvijaya) to the west Java, Tarumanegara, of which existence was quite vague. However Tarumanegara is wrong direction. Shih-li-fo-shi (Śrīvijaya)’s enemy was in the central Java, the kingdom of Sañjaya or ‘Kha-ling’, the real competitor against Shih-li-fo-shi (Śrīvijaya).
There are so many arguments about the relations of Śailendra and Sañjaya. The father of Rakai Paņamkaran with the title of Śrī Mahārāja who became the king of Śailendra, is unknown. Anyway Paņamkaran came from the Śailendra family and he expelled Chen-la from Chaiya. In some inscriptions, Paņamkaran’s epithet is ‘a killer of proud enemies’ or ‘the jewel of Śailendra family’. Judging from these words, he might be a strong army commander.
His son and successor is Samaratuńgga, who might be Samaragravira. Samaratuńga had married Tārā, the daughter of Dharmasetu, leading king of the Śrīvijaya Empire, and got a son named Bālaputra (deva). Samaratuńga had another (first) wife, with whom he got a daughter, princess Prāmodāwarddhanī. She married to Rakai Pikatan who defeated prince Bālaputra and exiled him to Suvernadvipa (Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula), the traditional Śrīvijaya territory before 686.
Even though Paņamkaran and Samaratuńga belonged to the Śailendra family, they became the kings of ‘the Mataram dynasty’. Formerly the Sañjaya family should have inherited ‘the Mataram Dynasty’. As above mentioned, Śailendra was a new comer in the central Java who could not (or did not) expel Sañjaya by force. In a sense, both families coexisted ‘peacefully’ for long time.
The Śailendra family believed in Mahāyāna Buddhism and the Sañjaya family Hinduism (Sivaism). However, in the middle of the eighth century, Paņamkaran of the Śailendra family probably took over the seat of the Mataram king, after he got the title of Śrī Mahārāja of Śrīvijaya. The kingship of Mataram was succeeded to his son, Samaratuńga (Samaragravira).
However after the death of Samaratuńga, the situation changed unfavorably for the Śailendra family. Finally prince Bālaputra lost the power struggle with Sañjaya family and left Java but he became the Mahārāja of Suvernadvipa.
There may be some argument that Bālaputra had the political power in Suvernadvipa. His grand father and father had left some heritage to him, so Bālaputra was probably respected by many of the Śrīvijayan kings. However Śailendra kingdom substantially disappeared in the central Java after Samaratuńga died, even though Prāmodāwarddhanī, sister of Bālaputra, retained some political influence as the queen of Rakai Pikatan. Anyway prince Bālaputra seemed to have established his own helm in Suvernadvipa (Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula).
Chapter 7. The problems of the Palembang theory
The “Palembang theory” established mainly by G. Coedès is very long-lasting, and survives nearly a century. It may be fixed as the eternal truth in the history of Southeast Asia. G. Coedès wrote that the placing of Shih-li-fo-shi at Palembang was proposed in 1886 by Samuel Beal. Actually a Japanese scholar, Dr. Takakusu’s influence has been prominent even until today.
Dr. J. Takakusu ‘misguided’ Yi-Jing
The first book of the ‘Palembang theory’ may be “A Record of the BUDDHIST RELIGION as practiced in India and the Malay Archipelago” written by Dr. Jyunjiro Takakusu (高楠順次郎）, published by Oxford University Press in 1896. *
Dr. J. Takakusu attached a sheet of map to his book, which showed the voyage route of Yi-Jing from Canton to Tamluk (Tāmraliptī), the major port of Bengal. * According to his drawing Yi-Jing went to Palembang first, next he went to Aceh (Achin) of the north Sumatra.via Malayu.
Most of the historians have believed easily what Dr. Takakusu wrote was correct, because he was respected as a prominent expert of Buddhism.
But Yi-Jing wrote simply that he landed at Shih-li-fo-shi and there he studied the Sanskrit grammar for six months but never mentioned its exact location. Next he went to Malayu (末羅瑜), by the king’s ship, where was the estuary of Jambi in Sumatra. (地図)
There was no evidence at all that Yi-Jing went to Palembang. The Persian ship, on which Yi-Jing embarked, had no reason to go to Palembang which had little commodities to trade and often thought to be a sanctuary for pirates. On the contrary, the Persian ship might have stopped over at Chaiya which was an important commercial port at that time and they exchanged commodities there.
According to “the Memoir on the Eminent Monks who sought the Law in the West during the Great Tang Dynasty (大唐西域求法高僧伝)” written by Yi-Jing, he sailed from Canton on the north-east monsoon in 671 boarding a Persian merchant ship. He arrived at Shih-li-fo-shi (室利佛逝、Śrīvijaya) within twenty days journey. After six months learning Sanskrit grammar, the king kindly sent him to Malayu (末羅瑜国), where he had to stay for two months.
Then he changed direction to go up to Kedah. Here, Yi-Jing used important words, ‘change direction (転向). If he came from Palembang, he did not use the words ‘change direction’, because the route from Palembang to Malayu and to Kedah is almost on the straight line. Yi-Jing meant to change direction at Malayu, because he came down from the north (probably Chaiya) to Malayu, where he waited for two months for a ship and convenient wind then he went up to Kedah though the Malacca Strait to the northwards.
At that time in 672, Malayu was a friendly country toward Śrīvijaya, more than ten years later when Yi-Jing returned from India he was surprised to find Malayu had become a subordinate state of Śrīvijaya. When Yi-Jing stopped over Kedah in 672, Kedah was probably a part of the kingdom of Śrīvijaya and a major port on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula. It is quite curious why G. Coedès did not put much importance on Kedah. Kedah was much more important to control the Strait of Malacca than Palembang, because most ships from the west, Arab, Persia, Ceylon and India had to stay at the port of Kedah area, waiting for the north-east monsoon wind.
The ships from the south India or Ceylon usually crossed the Bay of Bengal riding the monsoon from the south-west in summer time, and arrived at Kedah or other ports near the Kra Isthmus. But for some months, they must wait there for the northeast wind to go down the Strait of Malacca.
In 411, when Fa-shin (法顕, a prominent Chines pilgrim）used this route, his ship with 200 passengers arrived at Yabathe (耶婆提＝Yaba-duvipa),
he had to wait for 5 months. This Yabathe might have been 'Kedah'. It was a considerable waste of time for them. So the ancient merchants developed some routes crossing the Malay Peninsula. The most famous route is the Takua Pa to Chaiya route, which was used traditionally by Funan.
Dr. Takakusu misunderstood ‘Ka-cha (羯茶)’ as Achin (Aceh), the biggest port of the north Sumatra. But Ka-cha was Kedah, now a ‘state’ of Malaysia near the Penang Island.
Kedah provided favorable accommodation to the western merchant ships with fresh water and rice and safe harbors along the Merbok and Muda River. From Kedah, the western commodities were transported via the overland route to the east coast of the Malay Peninsula such as Songkhla, Pattani and Kelantan and later to Nakhon Si Thammarat (Ligor). Before the fifth century most of the western merchants sold their goods at the Burmese ports such as tenasserim and the west ports of the Malay Peninsula such as Takua Pa, and in the fifth century Kedah emerged.
By using the overland routes they could save time, but some of them found that the direct trade with China would be more profitable. Persia, Arab and Some of Indian merchants selected the direct deal. The first Persian embassy to China was in 533 to the Liang Dynasty and the first from Arab was in 651 to the Tang Dynasty.
Thereafter the number of embassies of Persia and Arab increased rapidly. At the first stage of the Tang Dynasty, during 648 and 767, Persia sent at least 27 embassies and Arab sent more than 29 envoys. This frequency gave great shock to Shih-li-fo-shi (Śrīvijaya), because they were not able to purchase the western goods sufficiently, for instance frankincense (乳香), glass ware, perfume, pearl, amber, coral and cotton cloth.
After Śailendra (new Kha-ling) established hegemony and started envoy in 768, Arab and Persia reduced tributary embassies to Tang decreased dramatically. Arab sent embassies three times in 769, 772, 791 and Persia only once in 771.
The fact implies that the navy of Śrīvijaya (including Śailendra) had regained the control of the Malacca Strait since the last quarter of the eighth century. This control policy was continued and fortified by San-fo-chi during the Song times.
As above mentioned in “the Memoir on the Eminent Monks” Yi-Jing wrote on sixty Buddhist monks who undertook pilgrimages to India in the second half of the seventh century. One of them, Wu-Xing (無行) sailed from China in the time of east wind (that is the north-east monsoon in winter) and arrived at Śrīvijaya (Shih-li-fo-shi) after a month. The king of Śrīvijaya also sent him to Malayu (near Jambi) with his ship and it took fifteen days and from there to Kedah, it took another fifteen days. If Śrīvijaya was Palembang, the journey between Palembang and Malayu took only a few days. We have to estimate the distance from Śrīvijaya to Malayu is almost same as that of from Malayu to Kedah. It is obvious that Śrīvijaya (Shih-li-fo-shi) could not be Palembang.
Our problem is if Shih-li-fo-shi located Palembang, the whole history of old Southeast Asia was distorted significantly, especially the trade route between the East and West and the development of the states of the Malay Peninsula. Buddhism also came to this area together with merchant ships.
Buddhists from India settle down at the Indian colonies first, where they expanded the teaching of Buddha and made some 'Phuttabats (Buddha's Foot-prints)' for daily worship. In the Malay Peninsula there are still many 'Phuttabats' remain, but we cannot find any example in Palembang and the Jawa Island. At Karimun Island, one of the Riau Islands, just in front of Singapore, there is one example. That means Karimun used to be a junction betwen the West and East trade, probably one of the Mulayu Islands, where many Indian merchants resided.
Left; Wat Narai Nikaram, Takua Pa, Right; Wat Tham Suea, Krabi
By-products of the Palembang theory, the excessive importance was attached to the Sumatra Island compared with the Malay Peninsula. Actually Sumatra produced gold and some kind of aromatic woods and spices like pepper, but basically Sumatra had smaller paddy field. As a consequence its population was not so big to sustain large and armed forces. Palembang was surrounded by swamp with little agricultural potentialities in its vicinity.
Yi-Jing recorded in Śrīvijaya there were more than1,000 monks, but no significant remains of big temples and accommodations were found in Palembang. Moreover G. Coedès thought Śrīvijaya kept huge armed force there and conquered its neighbor countries. If so, the population of Palembang might be tens of thousands. Was it probable in the seventh century?
Dr. Quaritch Wales writes in his ‘Towards Angkor’ (p172, foot note) as follows;
“In a recent criticism of my views G. Coedès, while admitting that a kind of sub-capital probably existed in the northern part of the Malay Peninsula, still supports his original contention that Palembang was the seat of the Mahārāja and capital of Śailendra Empire, dismissing Chaiya mainly on the ground that its position at the bottom of a cul-de-sac (dead end) and its distance from the Strait makes it geographically impossible for it to have controlled this important waterway. His objection would indeed offer a very difficulty if we had to suppose that Chaiya was obliged to control the Strait directly, especially in the North-east monsoon period. But Arab texts and South Indian inscriptions repeatedly refer to Kedah in such a way that we must conclude that it was the chief port of the Empire, and there was always easy overland communications between Kedah and Chaiya-Nakhon Śri Thammarat region. Moreover, Kedah situated at the western entrance to the Strait, and in opposition to patrol them throughout their length, certainly seems better placed to exercise this control than Palembang, which lies fifty miles up a river, the mouth of which is 250 miles distance from Singapore.” *
Simply, Coedès ignored the significance of the trans-Peninsular trade. He probably consiered that the merchnats ships from the west could easily passed through the Straits of Malacca.
According to the ‘Xin Tang Shu’（新唐書）, Śrīvijaya had fourteen subordinate city-states and divided them into two administration districts to control the whole empire. The territory of Śrīvijaya was very long from the east to the west 1,000 li (about 400kilometers) and from the south to the north 4,000 li (1,600kilometers).
This geographical aspect suggests Śrīvijaya was located in the Malay Peninsula. Probably the first capital was Chaiya, and the second was Kedah. Kedah was in charge of the Strait of Malacca.
These geographical descriptions of the Xin Tang Shu do not seem to have been studied with a sufficiently critical mind by historians.
From Kedah Śrīvijaya might have sent its expedition to Jambi and Palembang in early 680s. The result was shown in the inscriptions of Palembang and Jambi.
The basic concept of G. Coedès on Śrīvijaya
G. Coedès made several basic misunderstandings concerning Śrīvijaya of which I want discuss four points below.
G. Coedès says;
“Owing to an increase in the number of ships plying between China and India, the region of Palembang had acquired a new importance. The coast here is halfway between the Sunda strait and the Strait of Malacca, and was usual point landing point for ships sailing from China with the north-east monsoon. It thus occupied a favorable position for controlling the trade between the China Sea and the Indian Ocean, from which much profit could be derived. Doubtless this explain why the kingdom of Śrīvijaya –the (Shih-li) fo-shih of Chinese documents－prospered so rapidly.
A desire to command the strait must have accounted for its expansion north-westwards to the Malay Peninsula and south-eastwards towards the western part of Java, which enable it to maintain a commercial hegemony over Indonesia for several centuries.” *
The explanation of G. Coedès is very confusing moreover contains several basic mistakes.
① The location of Java was very inconvenient to do business with the southern India due to the long distance from the northern head of Sumatra and unfavorable wind for the southbound ships in the summer time.
② The Indian, Persian and other ships from the western countries did not use the Sunda Strait before the sixteenth century. Almost all of them used the Strait of Malacca. So the Sunda Strait had little importance at the actual west-east trades in the Tang times.
③ Palembang was not so favorable or convenient as the entrepôt or junction-port compared with Jambi, Kedah and Takua Pa. From the mouth of the Musi River to Palembang, the distance is nearly 80 kilometers (in the 7th century, the distance might be shorter) and the location is too far from the Strait of Malacca. Apparently, Jambi or Malayu was much better as the junction and entrepôt.
The merchant ships from the West crossed the Bay of Bengal to the Malay Peninsula ports such as Kedah and Takua Pa with the south-west monsoon, but from the Malay ports they could not directly proceed to the south end of the Strait of Malacca due to the unfavorable wind of the season (mostly summer). So they had to wait for the north-east monsoon for several months at these harbors．But they had found the solution to save time and cost. They used trans-peninsular route to the east coast such as Chaiya, Nakhon Si Tammarart, Songkhla, Pattani, and Kelantan. The shortest route was from Takua Pa to Chaiya course, which had been used by Funan for several centuries.
Some of Persian merchants also use this trans-peninsular route without doubt, but the normally shipped to China directly. The trans-peninsular route was dominated mainly by Indian merchants, so Persian traders had to develop their own route. In that case, Persian merchants coasted along the shore of the Bay of Bengal to Tamralipiti from the southern Indian port. In winter time, they came down with the northeast monsoon, from Bengal to the southern ports of the Malacca Strait such as Malayu and Jambi via Tenasserim, Takua Pa or Kedah. By using this route Persian merchants could minimize waiting time at Takua Pa and Kedah. At every port they stopped over, they traded commodities. They anchored at Malayu area for several months and with the south-west monsoon in spring time they went up to China, collecting aromatics, cotton and some other precious goods. For Persian merchants, Palembang was not so convenient to anchor, because it located too south and there were not important commodities except pepper. Most of the commodities of this area, such as pepper, spices, aromatic wood, camphor and rice were accumulated at Malayu by local merchants. This was the best way for Persian merchants to save time and to avoid unnecessary idle waiting time.
The importance of Malayu and Jambi area as the entrepôt increased after the tenth century. It the Song times, Chinese merchants were allowed to go abroad by the government’s ‘free trade policy’ at the same time the merchandise from China changed drastically. Ceramics increased rapidly as the main export item from China, which were heavy and bulky compared with traditional goods such as silk and copper coins. Because large ceramic ware was unsuitable for land transportation, so the sea-route was used more frequently and Malayu and Jambi area became more developed. Malayu and Jambi were used more than Palembang because they were nearer to the Strait of Malacca. These ceramics were mainly destined for the west world, not for Java. In case of Java, Chinese merchants went directly to Java not through Palembang.
④ G. Coedès writes the importance of the land routes as follows, but he seems not to recognize real meaning of it;
“It was the growth of piracy in the straits, and later the tyrannical commercial policy of the kingdom of Palembang that made the land routes so very important, as is demonstrated by archaeological finds.
Those seamen who, proceeding from southern India to the countries of gold, did not coast along the shores of Bengal but risked crossing the high seas were able to make use of either the 10-degree channel between Andaman and Nicobar or, farther south, the channel between and the headland of Achin.
In the first case they would land on the peninsula near Takua Pa; in the second, near Kedah. Archaeological research has uncovered ancient objects in these two sites.
One passes without difficulty from Kedah to Singora (Songkhla); from Trang to Phatthalung, to the ancient Ligor, or to Bandon; from Kra to Chumpong; and especially from Takua Pa to Chaiya.The importance and antiquity of these routes have been revealed by archeological research.” *
As above G. Coedès noticed the importance of the trans-peninsular commercial routes, but he failed to connect them with the formation of Śrīvijaya. Śrīvijaya used the land-route from Takua Pa to Chaiya, as Dr. Quaritch Wales pointed out. The route between Takua Pa and Chaiya was the most important route for Funan. However G. Coedès adhered to the importance of the Strait of Malacca and could not embrace the significance of land-routes.
The questions for the Palembang theory on Yi-Jing
① Did Yi-Jing go to Palembang within twenty days, from Canton?
Palembang is an inland city nearly 80 kilometers from the mouth of the Musi River. For a sailing ship in the seventh century, 80 kilometers’ trip took several days. In the seventh century, the length of the river from sea to Palembang might be shorter than 80 kilometers, still it took a few days to arrive at Palembang.
It is generally said a journey from Jambi to Canton it took one month *, it might be physically impossible to go to Palembang from Canton within 20 days. Yi-Jing also wrote that it took one month from Malayu to Canton. Jambi is nearer than Palembang to Canton.
② More than 1,000 Buddhist monks in Palembang in 671?
Yi-Jing wrote that in Śrīvijaya, there was a center for Buddhism in Southeast Asia, and more than 1,000 Buddhist monks were studying and practicing Buddhism teachings. He also recommended Chinese monks who were going to India to learn Buddhism that they had better study the basic Buddhism manners and theory at Śrīvijaya for one or two years. *
The size of Śrīvijaya as the Buddhist training center was said to be similar to that of Nālandā University in India. At the same time, there must have been a number of Buddhism temples.
According to the Tong-Dian(通典), compiled by Du-You(杜祐) in 801, at Pan-pan (Chaiya) there were eleven temples and they were supported by the king and citizens.
In Palembang, there were not so much remains of Buddhism. On the contrary, Chaiya had such facilities and many remains of old temples. Chaiya also had a big port for the international trade and vast hinterland for food supply.
When Yi-Jing arrived at Kedah, he mentioned nothing about the Buddhist temples even though there are considerable remains of temples. Judging from Yi-Jing’s attitude towards Kedah, the capital of Śrīvijaya might have been much bigger than Kedah.
In the seventh century, there were two large cities on the east coast of the Malay Peninsula, Chaiya and Nakhon Si Thammarat.
Dr. Quaritch Wales compared both cities and his conclusion was that Chaiya must be Śrīvijaya. Because remains are much richer in Chaiya than in Nakhon Si Thammarat, and latter was comparatively newer than Chaiya as an international port and from many other respects. ‘Chaiya’ means ‘Vijaya’ or victory, success or glory. Furthermore Q.Wales mentioned about existence of ‘Khao Si Wichai’ near Surat Thani city, which had been known as the sanctuary of Hinduism and Buddhism by local resident since earlier times.
Chapter 8. The Location of Shih-li-fo-shi (Śrīvijaya)
As above mentioned, in the Tang times, there were no other states which had more Buddhist facilities in Southeast Asia, comparable to Pan-pan (Chaiya).
The Xin Tang Shu provides some more evidences that Shih-li-fo-shi (Śrīvijaya) was located in the Malay Peninsula.
The Xin Tang Shu says in the article of Shih-li-fo-shi (Śrīvijaya):
The location of Shih-li-fo-shi (Śrīvijaya) is 2,000 li (about 800 kilometers) from the Con Son Island, south of Hō Chī Minh city. The width from east to west is 1,000 li (about 400 kilometers) and the length from north to south is 4,000 li (about 1,600 kilometers). Shih-li-fo-shi has fourteen subordinate city-states and the administration is separated by two portions. The west neighbor is Lo-Po-Lou-Si (郎婆露斯). The products of Shih-li-fo-shi are plenty of gold, mercury and borneol (a kind of camphor). At the summer solstice, the length of shadow from the 8 chi (尺＝about 22.5 centimeters) straight erected bar is 2 chi and 5 chun (寸＝1/10 Chi) to the southwards. The number of resident, men exceeds women……. Why the number of men exceeds that of women(国多男子)? I hint at two reasons, the first is Shih-li-fo-shi gathered many soldiers from neighboring states and the second is there were many Buddhist monks.
Concerning above descriptions of the Xin Tang Shu, I have to point out three issues as following.
① The first is the distance from the Con Son Island, which is 2000li, approximately 800 kilometers. The distance between the island and Chaiya is just 800 kilometers. The distance from the island to the estuary of Palembang is about 1,200 kilometers.
② The second point is the shape of the country, which is apparently long-shape suggesting the Malay Peninsula and not Sumatra. The width from east to west is 1,000 li (about 400 kilometers) and the length from north to south is 4,000 li (about 1,600 kilometers).
③ The third point is the latitude. The length of the shadow of strait standing eight chi bar at the summer solstice at noon, is two and half chi, which means approximately the north latitude 6 degrees and 7 minutes. This is the latitude of Kelantan on the east coast and Alor Setar of Kedah on the west coast of the Peninsula. In this case, the port of B-route might be used as a shipping port of Shih-li-fo-shi because Chaiya is located too north and inconvenient to accumulate commodities from various states. Shih-li-fo-shi had wide territory which covered central part of the Malay Peninsula, on the east coast from Chaiya to Pahang and on the west coast from Takua Pa to Kedah (or Taipin).
As the conclusion, Shih-li-fo-shi was located without doubt at the north hemisphere, at the middle of the Malay Peninsula. It means that the location of the capital of Shih-li-fo-shi (Śrīvijaya) was at Chaiya, considering the existence of many Buddhist temples. However the shipping port to China, where a Chinese sailor or navigator measured the shadow of eight chi (尺) bar might be Kelantan or Pattani. When Shih-li-fo-shi covered whole central part of the Malay Peninsula, its shipping port to China should be convenient to locate at the middle of the Peninsula. Perhaps every city-state of Śrīvijaya brought their commodities to a certain port which was convenient for shipping abroad. In the Tang times, the western commodities were imported more at Kedah than at Takua Pa. From Java area, the port of Kelantan or Pattani was more convenient than Chaiya. Chaiya was the most convenient port to export from Takua Pa.
The Xin Tang Shu says in the article of Kha-ling (Ho-ling)
The Xin Tang Shu says that Kha-ling (訶陵) is called as She-Po (社婆) or Du-Po (闍婆) and is located among the South Sea (南海). The east of Shih-li-fo-shi (Śrīvijaya) is Po-Li (婆利), the west is Da-Po-To (堕婆登). At the summer solstice, the length of shadow from the 8 chi straight erected bar is 2chi and 4chun, which means approximately the north latitude 6 degrees 45 minutes. According to the description of the Xin Tang Shu, the location of Kha-ling should be a little northward for instance, Songkhla (7 degrees 11 minutes) or Sathing Phra.
Most historians think Kha-ling was in Java, this description of the Xin Tang Shu is apparent mistake, so they cannot believe it. The role of Sathing Phra as a port of Śrīvijaya group has not been appreciated by many historians. However many Buddha images which are estimated belong to the eighth and the ninth century have been discovered at Sathing Phra. A big old temple, Wat Cha Thing Phra was said to be established in 999.
Q. Wales considers that Sathing Phra was Kedah’s corresponding east coast entrepôt. * Q. Wales thinks that Sathing Phra was used as a substitute of Chaiya in the eleventh century. In my view Sathing Phra was used at the time of Śailendra and San-fo-chi as the major port of Śrīvijaya group on the east coast of the Malay Peninsula.
Sathing Phra was connected with Phatthalung via the Songkhla Lake. From Kedah or some other ports on the west coast, imported commodities were carried to Phatthalung, from where they were transported by boat to Sathing Phra. Q. Wales says that it is only about 300 yards from the old coast line on the east, and two miles from the Inland Sea on the west, to which it was connected by canal. *
Probably Sathing Phra was a substitute port of Songkhla for the security reason. Sathing Phra became the major port on the east coast for the Kedah and Trang ports. Śrīvijaya group in the Malay Peninsula accumulated their goods at Sathing Phra and the big ship sailed away through the narrow water way of Songkhla to the South China Sea. However San-fo-chi disappeared at the end of the twelfth century, the role of Sathing Phra port also diminished. As an international port Tambralinga (Nakhon Si Thammarat) emerged in the twelfth century and became the champion state of the Śrīvijaya group in the Malay Peninsula.
Basically, the location of Kha-ling (Ho-ling) was considered in central Java. Many historians think that the reliability of the Xin Tang Shu is dubious, due to these descriptions. In the Jiu Tang Shu(旧唐書), there is no description on Shih-li-fo-shi nor of the shadows. However the writers of the Xin Tang Shu might be serious, after they found the new evidence or record, they wrote the shadow issue.
At first, old Kha-ling was a country based solely in central Java, however at the latter half of the eighth century the Śailendra Dynasty held the helm of the whole Śrīvijaya group states, and it sent the first envoy to the Tang court in 768. Śailendra might have sent its ship to China from the east coast of the Malay Peninsula, where was the territory of Śrīvijaya group.
I suppose that occasionally a Chinese navigator measured the length of the shadow on the summer solstice day at the port on the east coast of the Peninsula. It is almost sure that the Tang court thought Shih-li-fo-shi (Śrīvijaya) survived after 742, at the same time the Tang never noticed that Kha-ling had been taken over by Śailendra (also Śrīvijaya).
To the eyes of Chinese officials, there might be some geographical confusion about the ports of the east coast of the Malay Peninsula, who owned which between Shih-li-fo-shi and Kha-ling. But when Shih-li-fo-shi existed, Kha-ling was in Java, and when new Kha-ling (Śailendra) came over to the Malay Peninsula, Shih-li-fo-shi had disappeared nearly twenty years before.
The Tang and the Song officials probably did not notice such a historical change. Moreover when new Kha-ling appeared in China after 768, it (Śailendra) was representing whole Śrīvijaya group. So it was highly probable, new Kha-ling (Śailendra) could use the port of the east coast of Malay Peninsula. There is no reason for Śrīvijaya group to transport their cargo to Java.
Yi-Jing wrote in his “Nan-Hai Chi-Kuei Nei Fa Chuan（南海寄帰内法伝）”, how to know ‘noon’ to take lunch: ”For instance in Shih-li-fo-shi (Śrīvijaya), we see the shadow of a sundial neither becomes long nor short in the eighth lunar month (generally September). At midday no shadow falls from a standing person. The case is the same in the middle of spring. The sun passes above the head two times in a year”.
The quoted sentence is an explanation how to use a sundial to know noon (midday), but Yi-Jing says it is difficult in Shih-li-fo-shi (Śrīvijaya) to know the time in the eighth lunar month, because the sun is just above the head. And Yi-Jing suggests the location of Shih-li-fo-shi is between south of the ‘Tropic of Cancer’ and north of the Equator.
As the conclusion, Shih-li-fo-shi (Śrīvijaya) is without doubt located in the Northern Hemisphere or the Malay Peninsula. In the Malay Peninsula, the possible candidates of Shih-li-fo-shi (Śrīvijaya) were Chaiya, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Kedah. Kedah is out of question. When Yi-Jing visited Kedah in 672, he told nothing about Kedah, because at that time Hinduism was prosperous there. Nakhon Si Thammarat was neither center of Buddhism nor major entrepôt in the Tang times. So, only Chaiya remains. In the Tang times, Chaiya (Pan-pan) was only one state with more than ten Buddhist temples in Southeast Asia in the Tang times. At the same time, Chaiya was the important entrepôt connecting with Takua Pa and China.
Jia-Dan’s（賈耽) sea route and the location of Luo-Yue(羅越)
The Xin Tang Shu has the geographical articles in which Jia-Dan’s “sea route map” is quoted.
”After five days journey from ‘the Con Dao Island’, one reaches a strait which the barbarians call ‘Zhi(質)’, and which is 100 li from south to north. On its northern shore is the kingdom of Luo-Yue, on its southern shore the kingdom of Fo-shi (Śrīvijaya). Some four or five days’ journey over the water to the eastward of Fo-shi is the kingdom of Kha-ling, the largest islands in the south Then, emerging from the strait, in three days one reaches the kingdom of ‘Ko-ko-seng-chih (葛葛僧祇)’, which is situated on another island off the north-west corner of Fo-shi. The inhabitants are mostly pirates. Voyagers on junks go in dread of them. On the northern shore of the strait is the kingdom of Ko-lo (箇羅). To the west of Ko-lo is the kingdom of Ko-ku-lo (哥谷羅)