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suvarnadwipa

suvarnadwipa

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  • O. C. GANGOLY
  • SVVARNADW1PA
  • SUVAENADWIPA
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while others believe that the centre of Indonesian culture Sri-vijaya) in the was at Caiya (Jaya = Malaya State. (said to have name from the word 'Samudra' Sumudra to this excellent Sumutra the Sumatra). It is believed Sumatra rather than Java was the original focus and centre of expansion of Indian civilization in Indonesia. Java. In fact upto about the ninth century Indian Culture was spread over an unified Java-Sumatra- . Giri of The is author of this volume Swami Sadananda culture its an enthusiastic student of has visited Greater India and love and studied is monuments with and admiration and anxious to infuse his enthusiasm and interest in this into fascinating field of Indianistic culture He has written a the hearts of his brother Indians. the newspapers and journals giving very interesting descriptions of the religious and artisscries of articles in tic culture of Siam.FOREWORD I am happy to be allowed the few words Culture derived & its study of Civilization of Sumatra. and Cambodia. a very fascinating by some scholars that field of Indonesian Culture. In this into a little little volume he has made an excursion for known. and that account.

[ ii I Malay complex Sri-vijaya. or some part of it was known as Kandari or Kandali (in Chinese transcrip- tion Kan-t'o-li)." After the death of this king his son P'i-ye-po-mo (Vijayavarman) sent to China his ambassador named Pi-yuan-po-mo (Vijana-Varman?). The dynasty records of of the afford Song dynasty and Liang very interesting though of the state of things in Sumatra tantalizing glimpses before the rise of the Sailendra Kings. The kings ruling in Sumatra before the sixth century were Hindu- Brahminical in names and beliefs as appear to be suggested by the records of embassies sent from Sumatra to China of the "In the reign of the Emperor Hiao-Wou of the Song dynasty (454-464) the king country Che-p'o-lo-na-lien-t'o (Srivara. . About this time Sumatra. It is a well known fact that the earlier waves of Indian Colonization in further India were Hinduistic in colour and texture and the in all later currents were pre- dominantly Buddhistic parts of Indonesia. who were China devoted patrons of Buddhism. having its cultural and political centre of gravity in the famous Sailendra located either in Sumatra or Empire of in Lower Siam.narensent a high official of the name of Tchou Lieu-t'o dra) articles (Rudra. the Indian) to present valuable of gold and silver.

D.) which gave the impetus of the growth of Buddhist Culture So that when in Java.[ Si ] When to found so few Buddhists "that Fa-hien visited Java (in 413 A. at the Sn-vijaya (671-672 A. The famous Indian monk. Suniti phases by Kumar Chatterjee and it . And it is allur- study this cultural unity in the ancient remnants of the monuments of Sumatra and in the to It is a written records of Chinese history. long forof Indian history that Swami gotten and lost page Sadananda recovers for us in this interesting booklet. and other places. Sumatra became the most famous centre of Buddhist learning and no Buddhist priest could be said to have completed his education unless he had studied at this important centre of Buddhist theology. kirti.D. 424 A. was the visit of Gunavarman the exiled prince of Kashmir (c.) he learning of the Buddhist priests of the was In fact within a few years. He all its was inspired to in study Indonesian culture Dr.D. Yi-tsing visited amazed place. Sumatra. the High In fact for several centuries India and Sumatra were ing in close and intimate contact. Atisa otherwise called Dipankara-Srijnana of the Vikramsila monastery of Bihar spent ten years in Sumatra in order to complete his studies in the pure doctrine of the Sarvastivadins under Acarya CandraPriest of Suvarnadvipa.) he it is not worth while It mention them".

C. K.. Calcutta 6th May. De. tion at for courteous facilities to visit The study Indian Merchants' Associa- and have earned cordial thanks by their kind help and hospitality without which the Swami's sojourn to Sumatra would not have been possible. It is to be hoped that this book social will and help to revive interest in a resumption of relation with the inhabitants of spiritual Sumatra can justly claim to be near kinsmen of Indians through a common heritage of Culture which has been the glory of India and of Indonesia. who acknowledgements arc due to the Dutch Resident and Soetan Mangaradja Pintar of Grateful Goenoengtoca (Padang Lawas) given to Swami Sadananda the Biara Temple. Ashutosh Mukhcrjcc Road.A. In reading through the proofs Mr. . 1938.. C. Salil Kumar Bancrjcc M. GANGOLY 2. O.is that his studies are a matter of great gratification based on direct contact and experience derived from visits to that great island. B.L. it giving a literary form which testifies to his abi- lity singular distinction. has rendered valuable help of it is as a scholar of which a pleasure to record our acknowledgment. has taken considerable pains in the manuscript of the author and carefully revising in Medan Mr.

Sumatra. and temporizes the rigours of a tropical cliThere are some active craters and the Mt. Ophir.000 island feet. which precipitates miles. the Aryan colonies on Sumatra. the peninsular settlement of the Hindus lay. sharply towards the axially West Coast.SUVARNADWIPA Among the world's islands. She has an area of 180. one of the volcanic peaks (which perhaps lent its name to a coastal town from where King Solomon's traders used to height of 10. claims to be one of the big five. compass bang (Srivijaya).000 sq. collect bullion) reaches a The northern half of the which to lies above the Equator stretches almost the south-eastern-most projection of the parallel mainland on the other side of the Straits of Malacca. The mountain cord. traverses the island mate. The plains slope gently towards the east and are watered by a number of rivers navigable enough for largish boats . so that Selensing (Shailendrasingha?). via Singapore (Tumawithin an easy of Jambi and Palemsik).

rubber. courageous. their of livelihood being chiefly hunting wild They were conversant with fire-arms before are still primitive in agricultural pursuits. trader There a reference of a Chinese exploring into their wild haunts in the iyth Century and the next representative of a civilised race to reach them was Dr. cocoanuts. serve a mention means animals.D. areas. Of the aborigines the Achines in the north. was is inaccessible from the north for centuries. coffee. Their land. 1863 These Bataks had an Page two evil reputation of being canni- . they love to roam about unrestrained. classed height is against their being with the pygmy races of the Andamans and elsewhere. however. Van der Tuuk in A. sugarcane. but but their element. and tobacco pro- Gold and copper mines there plenty. the notice of many lies travellers for several reasons. might have been. deduced in sturdy opposition to the Dutch.SUVARNADW1PA to penetrate into inland indigo. maize. The Bataks attract. but were long exhausted. where areca-nuts. which in the centre. rice. Their features suggest a strong negroid the Dutch came. around the shores of the Lake Toba and its island of Samosir. obdurate and of a nomadic infor their clination. are spices. tea palm-trees.

Suvarnaclwtpa Batak girl .

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it fused a good deal with negroid earlylater into at least indirect That they came contact with the Aryans can be guessed from the Page three . Moreupto over where there were no roads but foot-tracks.SVVARNADW1PA balistic and the Dutch had this horrible to exert authority to make give up persisted the first decade of the present century. The trip is to via But we a lovely one for its everchanging panorama of gor- geous mountains. settlers. canyons and thickly-wooded passes where some of the hair-pin bends almost take the breath away and can be only negotiated by a driver accustomed to them. The beautiful lake Toba with its of Samosir entrenched large island all round by firte sky-reaching trees that grow on high hills is really a recompense for the trouble we take to reach the Batak haunts These people who are divided into four groups owing to their dialectal differences are of a Proto- Malayan stock. which them propensity which were often lost in the dense tropical jungle there are today fine motor-highways leading from Medan are right down Padang Sibloga. which originally migrated from Cambodia through Malay and on its arrival at Sumatra. perhaps some of the very few Indians who have so far ventured into the Batakland in the modern era.

trait. lamps. well as from certain images of Hindu Whether on the decline of the Aryan in- fluence they reverted or not to the man-eating trait of their negrito forbears on one hand and to animism with their curiously blended devotion to spirits and ancestors derived from their Indonesian parents on the other. bamboo utensils. phers. save and except this savage preserves ture. (Batak famous the housebrass building. we leave to but the the researches of ethnograrevival of this awful characteristic indirectly might have been rated cult of the fomented by a degeneTantrists. prove standard of living unnoticed among other savages. trinkets. Page four . as worship. silver copper decorated ornaments. Mahayana Yet. weapons.SUVAENADWIPA presence of a number of Sanskrit words like Guru. pottery and intricate that they attained a remarkable carvings.. Devata etc. in cattle-breeding island). the Bataks many indications of a highly-evolved cul- Their horses iron agricultural are methods. baked and glazed wood- all Perhaps the Arab traders were responsible for the introduction of rifles and gun-powder and some of the Bataks are so intimately conversant with the firearm mechanism that they often undertake and execute creditable repair works.

SUVARNADW1PA which they cultivate in with implements mostly abundance on the upland made of bamboo. the boo pocket is utilised tor seeds into the sharp scythe needed for reaping the crop. Houses (which served as forts in old days) are raised three to six feet hold as many as above the ground by means of poles driven into brick piles. digging up the ground into clods. Though bullocks or buffaloes are seldom employed on the farmland yet methods used in stamping paddy are the same as in Bengal After the whole process is completed. the grain is gathered barns built close to one's house. which house with exquisite carvings and coloured wicker-weave. in which cleft are A bam- spreading furrowed with the help of a handrectangular plots The only iron tool used in agriculture is plough. Sharpened bamboo sticks are used Rice is their staple food. crushed into fine dust by heavy flails. in crescents of The access to Page five . heavy is cross-bars wedged into these poles sup- port the wooden frame-work tastefully decorated of the plastered wall. is The entrance to the often artistically marked by gable fronts holding up thatched roofs where camel-hump tops end shaded animal-horns. Residential quarters are often into picturesque large enough to eight families.

SUVARNADWIPA gained by a staircase (built underneath) the in the flooring o leading through a trap-door or the bachelor's room. which serves occasions.. as a platform to musicians on festive A sewer runs through the house. only some of the dress-materials are perhaps obtained from . Looms can be handled that are utilised in both sexes and dyes deftly by the fabric are obtained like staining from vegetable origin printed foreign countries. on either side of which are kitchens with stone slabs for ovens fitted with racks for holding bamboo utensils. These are differwhich serve the Bataks as recepently sized cylinders well as cooking. tacles for The cotton fabric for wear is made by the country. Page six indigo. Gut-string bows twang monotonously as ginned cotton fly about into fleece and spinning wheels groan unceasingly as they transform the staple into yarns amidst the gossips of women. hold utility are rare. There is sometimes stranger's is the house a verandah-like projection of bamboo. grown in their own people with Here the art of weaving and the mechanism employed in producing cloth vary little from what are in vogue in other eastern countries. storing and eating food as furnitures of houseOther tumblers for drinking.

It is the turban of the priest or the witch doctor. Slings. lances with sharp copper tips. guns. Some of the men-folk put on wickered hats to protect themselves against the hot sun while working in the field. these are either pinned to their hair with silver clasps and are adorned with large beads or Their ear-rings are enormous. powder-pouches. which has a sanctified bearing.SUVARNADWIPA Women affect large head-gears of coloured cloth in a peculiar style. these are generally made of copper but now are in a curious knot. because of its being a gift from their com- mon legendary ancestor Singamangraja. The 'Punjabi looking long 1 shirts which men put on in addition to their sarongs are sometimes bedecked with pieces of looking-glasses and their head-covers have the appearance of a 'pugrie' without a tail. bows. and caribou hide small shields Page seven . The settled under the Dutch Bataks were a fighting race before they to the more peaceful life. silver The fair sex may adorn their waist with but children who seldom cover their girdles body generally have a thin precious metal girdle round their stomach. from which it is not difficult to guess the source of their inspiration. The more affluent have gold necklets galled 'Brahmanis'. worn and again silver pendants are seen too. arrows.

Deer-hunting and pig-sticking (with the help of a to pointed bamboo lance) often prove so interesting Batak adults that they spend most of the day in Page eight . but mostly Women have light to. are manned by fishermen. is indulged in by the Bataks. while in water. held batons blessed by clan-gurus for the extermination of enemies amulets darts. lines are Hooks and sometimes resorted nets are cast to land a big haul. who live close to such expanses of water as the Lake Toba. of hollowed and these palm trunks. Fishing. As an ordinary protective measure high mud-walls were built as ramparts round the village.SUVARNADWIPA were paraphernalia of war. both as a sport and as a living. look like some saurians with a raised hood. landing nets and some of the tribes use long sharp knives to finish the capture. whereas for common soldiers carried foe's charmed protection against the poisoned were used village in Sometimes heavy wooden maces hand-to-hand engagements and the to arrest the progress of the in- approach was 'mined' with fine bamboo spikes hidden in the grass vading army who generally were bare-footed. made out Light canoes. carried ivory-handled swords and knives while the untheir usual Chiefs derlords Generals displayed copper-hiked daggers.

.c X 5.

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anklongs. tops and balls woven with rattan-strips whereas the adults amuse themselves with games of dice and chess. are not very their ingenious.SUVARNADW1PA jungles. flutes. They games Bataks often lay traps both for aquatic and land which. Children play with pop-guns. The violins certainly love music. however. drums. is smoking (with Chinese-looking pipes and has had a check under the Dutch. which they drink out of bamboo Deli tobacco is available to them but opiumcups. lighters) Drugs are generally made of crude vegetable syrups and love potions are not unknown either. card-playing probably appears unknown to them. but these have diminished Page nine . Gurus probably had a thriving income from magic or charmed drinks. for. are and mostly queer attuned to looking strange mandolins forms of which snake-dances which include writhing motions of the entire body while hands and legs twist into curious figures. orchestra consists of gongs. Mouth organs are in left to lovers who serenade their are lady-loves their off-hours while billets-doux composed on decorated bamboo cylinders. which were supposed to do almost impossible things. Their common beverage palm-toddy.

which. burn the bury their dead. who have done great converted ser- vices to the community by are still erecting a leper asylum. This alone did not constitute their respect for the dead and it is the festivities our belief that they copied a good deal of a Buddhist funeral and there must have been some elaborate ceremonies connected with the worship of the dead which are now lost to us. On the shore of the Lake Toba there is a place called Prapat. exhume the same with a show of an iron vessel which pomp and collect the ashes in they would send floating down the mid-stream.SUVARNADW1PA owing to missionary work. they moral persuasion of their witch doctors and gurus it would be hard to gauge. would Page ten . The Bataks now being to Christianity but they for display their liking forefathers. animism and ancestor-worship imbibed frcm their The Hindu Gods are revered but spirits that are supposed to live in desolate places are feared their far is and protection against evil-doing are through priestcraft. How sought under the They used to bodies after a while. but among superstitious people there is always a tendency to revert to their old and the Batak ideas at the slightest contretemps. if of Sanskrit origin. Christians are no exception.

We were resi- shown dent a courteously by Mr.SUVARNADWIPA mean water is indeed very Sibloga from scenic point of view but to us the pleasant lands. judge precisely how far the physiographical conditions of Sumatra have affected ethnic distribution To and localisation. migration might have settled . or to celebrate how far racial com- plexities tually altered have been somatically temporized and intellecwould be extremely difficult and there is always a possibility of a grave error in the final verdict. unless corroboration trom an independent source is available. We Sumatra formed a connected know. where the Minangkabau race has fall The trip to Padang high its abode was naturally more attractive. This Pakan Baroe has some Hindu relics which would be of great interest to the historian but at present they require proper cataloguing. Fort-de-Kock one of the Dutch a clean towns has military base and the air-route from Pakan Baroe may be reached from here by road. when in a pre-historic era mass with the mainland was easy and a number of races and some of these early settlers Page eleven of Asia. Hoetagaloeng of this beautiful coast town Sibloga. in a hurry As we were built we had which to refuse is with thanks his hospitality. G.

We refer to the stone effigies of the Batoe Sankar caves.SUVARNADW1PA might have. for reasons unknown. flat but ears from which enorforeheads. and Malay have all traces of lithic evolution in far almost so phases. yet hands are held akimbo with both palms folded together. Could on stone they re- cave-man possibly execute such as fine details these display? What tribe of men do present? Large heads are covered with closely clipped curled hair. necks are short while backs are bent forward under a heavy burden. a posture which would remind a moderner of the cringing hawker. however. who would stock at the Page twelve be just pleased first to get rid of his heavy opportunity. we have not been put which of are into poslikely to indicate any particular period the prc-historic occupation of this island. What we have at our disposal. under which thick lips part in an expression of wonder or horror. largish mous pendants (or flowers?) hang against flabby cheeks. . altogether disLower Siam appeared from the face of the globe. which remains clear off the wide eyes bulge on either side of pug-noses. so much so that shoulders are propped up against it. yet session of any stone-age evidences. are so unique that we hardly human know which race to connect them with.

Snvarnadivtpa Minangkabau girl .

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SUVARNADW1PA The same puzzle. passed through Malay where a number of them settled down and east-coast Mon-khmers. specially former according to some mixture of the ethnographers. The Proto-Negroids and the Proto-Australoids. yet their reverence for the dead and their worship of spirits and ancestors would link them culturally with the Mongoloids. Sumatra via fused with the Polynesian while the rest gained access to Central rivers Hence arose the legend of the Minangkabau's being the parent-tribe of the Malayans. but to a less itself to us. only retained their Mongoloid eyes and flattened noses but have preserved much of the animistic and the Spirit worshipping in traditions of the ancient Oceanians They of their being converted to Islamism. who certainly migrated from the maritime regions of Chekiang and Fukien. when we attempt to trace history of all degree. spite are tall and the women-folk possess a majestic to the mien which renders them comparable women thirteen Page . to which the fact that the Hindu Shailendras hailed first from to dominate Palembang over the Srivijaya empire of the Peninsula lent an The Minangkabaus have not impressive colouring. represents an earlier the Minangkabaus. presents the evolutionary of the Bataks and aborigines. The Minangkabaus.

cattle-tending etc. His physical superiority has left agriculture. Property devolves on woman while man has just a pittance in the form of a small share in his own family heirlooms. also their queer matriarchal from the structure of bespeaks of their isolation felt society outer world at a certain stage of evolution for a conrules the hearth and hers siderable while. authoritative of social The house which barrack of married and visit the women. to him and while he plays on flutes or violins a batch of women will dance to the tune. gorgeously attired. however. house-building. but will be listened to when his sister advice on asks for his her children's affairs. has no opinion to offer on the marriage of his children. they lived much closer to the Aryan settlers yet the Hindu influence on them is less seraglio. their festival head-gears have Page fourteen . whose husbands may come inmates but must not make a long stay. There has been much than on the Bataks. kept under the surveillance of the oldest A man own male member of the family. Woman is on any question has a similar appearance to that of the Bataks but less artistic is really a i> the only voice that affairs. These latter are.SUVARNADW1PA of modern Turkey and not sisters to their Borkha-covered Indian who are lost behind the labyrinth of the speculation regarding the Minangkabaus.

There are doctors to attend the invalid. while their embroidered imitaSarongs with heavy waist bands are probably an tion of the court dress of the Shailendra ladies. European mines. New Orleans is cotton or in at. The Dutch tribes of soil. Korean condensed areas milk factories. authorities complain that none of the Sumatra. is There nothing to grumble it not natural to expect adequate returns for initial outlays and current expenses in any organisaThe Dutch system has all the ameliorative tion?.SUVARNADW1PA the look of similar bonnets affected by the i6th century European women. the benign Hague government was forced and the extensive a certain coolies to sanction the importation of the Javanese Chinese for intensive as well as agriculture. for. too indolent. supposed to rush the output and the wage-earning indexes to a higher level. owing to the extreme fertility of would work more than it is necessary for raising sufficient As they are crop for annual consumption. clean food and Page fifteen the . For large-scale production amount is ib of nigger-driving is essential. of features present day labour control ideas. when it based on legal contracts between capital and labour. The ethics or the psychoeffects of the logical system are much the same. be it instituted in Assam tea-gardens. which.

little The want of philosophic calm on the part of the worker is perhaps responsible for their non-observance of disciplinary action of the authority. They were of parts India the Aryans. but spread they did. How and culturally. who came from all but the Dakshinapatha contributed perhaps a larger share in colonisation and perforce enIn the followjoyed a larger return from commerce. in all the is- lands of the archipelago and the South-eastern Asia which to-day is better described as Further or Greater India. not only intellectually and monuments. but politically as well. ing lines we shall just give a few dates chronologically arranged so that it may develop into a well-linked There are records of events but story of the past. of places and persons is extremely Page sixteen . identification difficult.SUVARNADWIPA healthy barracks along with regular wages leave for criticism. The with in our rapid aborigines being dealt now be allowed to speak survey of Sumatra. we may a few words on the activities of a third race which created an West unprecedented glamour whether in the or in the East and which like those of the ancient Egyptians are now reduced to a few stone inscriptions they came to settle down at Jambi or Palembang and thence to Selensing we can only guess.

S/i varnadwipa. Mahakala (By courtesy of Netherlands Indies .

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which. Men display a deplorable lack of regarding their accurate geographic situaloved to indulge in hyperin those lands days picturesque. the nationality of the writer sifted before and the period able to all have to be carefully the fragments piece together The classical long-forgotten incidents into history. referred to the third Sultan of Malacca. Sarbaza had in hinted at the great empire which probably round Palembang first nucleus in the territory Suvarnadwipa. Shi-li-fo-She Zabaj.SUVAKNADWIPA speak of old chroniclers who perhaps never stirred out of their home.. all its Yet San-bo-tsai. were it not for the indefatigable researches of M. instance that of the Srivijaya in the Far-East. which often gives rise to serious confusion as to their identification in our age of precision. Coedes would still be over as the name of a of we are passed ruler. Dynastic designations and often personal styles of the monarch were made to denote the realm he ruled The Empire of the Mahaboles a and had manner days stood for the Hindu domination in the Further India but the Si-li-ma-ha-la of the raja in the ancient Chinese records of 1424 A. 2 We may cite a host of references Page seventeen . etc. but extremely vague of describing places and people. Thus the source.D. even traders who actually Not to visited distant knowledge tion.

which at least could be specially applicable to her to with the greater truth.SUVARNADW1PA to this Srivijaya relating to the activities of her several her final exit from the history of the sovereigns and World. the gold-exporting town. if Ophir. hesitated to visit her. This can be judged from the fact that as soon as Sumatra changed her religious ideals to the principles of Lord Tathagata we find the Chinese visiting her at length. whether the Shailendras were her actual founders or hundred years a they merely extended for eight liant bril- programme of of some equally glorious ancestors. Many some are the allusions to her sister island of Java. describing It and pure speculation. say definitely ed as Suvarnabhumi in the It would be to would be therefore a contested that the original Ramayana. when monks Hindu she lies closer Indo-Chinese trade-route round the Possibly the Buddhist who still retained her Jess to straits of Malacca. work of Valmiki con- tained no reference to her. beliefs and liked still make any mention of her in their memoranda. At the same time. but we have to maintain silence without fur- ther authoritative collation as to what preceded her. for that Sumatra was mentionexample. could be identified beyond doubt with any port on the Page eighteen east coast of .

Statue of a ffinale Paclang Lawas (13 y courtesy of Netherlands Arth&ologital Service) .

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and came to convert the people of Cho-po to Hinayanism. Gunavarman. apes (kapim) and (tukim) went to the court of the king Solomon. In 414 A.C. sway of the Aryans at least That the Hindus often embarked on cultural ocean-borne enterprise. He soon converted enough people to have left the Page nineteen .D. we could definitely assert that this island peacocks came under the in 1000 B.SUVARNADW1PA Sumatra. where only had abated and allowed the Brahmans flourished. for Yet the Sumatra a coast If was within the tempest a shorter reach of his boat than Java. whether for the greed of gold or from a sheer spirit of adventure. Within a decade of his Chwang had little departure. Fa-hien was too down-hearted at the fewness of co-religionists. to Just as much as Yuen in the say except paint Sasamka deepest black. there is no doubt that Fa-hien was marooned he says so. smooth voyage probably he would have never missed his visit to Java. Either the older religion of Java was fast losing its grip over the people or this Kashmiri was a good theologian. for. in Ya-va- di. may be substantiated by the Rigveda which happens to be much older composition than the Chapter on the wealthiest Hebrew king in the Old Testament. renounced his crown for monk's bowl. from where bullion. ivory. an ex-prince of Kashmir.

we only know that he was a Dakshini Vikshu and came to Sumatra on a Persian boat.SUVARNADWIPA place. he died in 429 ever certain that Hinduism held its A. from a from the seemed to 711 A.D. must have of the mass.. where. and the Mahayanists have captured Melayu under the guidance of one Dharmapala. where 08 Dwarapanditas must have severely tested his before he could reach the innermost knowledge.D. while the won the heart creed remained a scholars court cult. we are able to gather that 684 inscription the Vajrayana Buddhism was already prevalent among the Srivijaya rulers of Sumatra. On his way to Tamralipti he visited all the Page twenty . or I-tsing in Sumatra possessed good Sanskrit could not have gained enough in six proficiency grammar 1 months and proceeded to take up a ten-years course at the University of Nalanda. both of the Buddhist Schools had Malayan A.D. The Mulasaraswatiwadanikaya Mahayana School.D. It is how- own in Sumatra during the 5th century. Of him. the circle. but their Tantrism did not effloresce until the advent of Wajrabodhi in start established themselves in Sumatra. for China. apparently satisfied with his work. to which our diarist I-tsing belonged. it continued to do for By 671 A. which another hundred years at least. in Nanking.

who Page twenty-one . with four compatriots to help him in writ- ing up the religious tracts of the island and in 711 A. He went to China and returned to Sumatra in 691 A. that he could regain Sumatra. son of five Paramasaugata for the villages Sri Dharmapaladeva. whose mother. long after he had found his way back to the land of his forefathers. his one of the twelve erudite of day who could be classed with Jnanabhadra of Java. the ruler Isle.D.) that the the father of this Balaputradeva Golden was one Panangkran. Tara was the daughter of Dharmasetu of Java. alliance between Bengali Buddhists and their Sumatran brothers could be first gleaned from the fact that on the 2ist of Day Kartika of the 39th year of Devapaladeva.D. he translated the Hastananda Shastra scholars of Sakyakirti.SVVARNADWIPA it was not until Malayan ports of the Srivijaya and He spent 685 A. another four years in copying probably all the available sacred treatises. The Mahayana Tantrism was That strong impetus by there was a close spiritual really given a one of the Pala kings of Bengal. granted Nalanda of upkeep of a certain monastery near at the request of Balaputradeva. but the task was too great for one man. It is possible to infer from Kalasan inscription (778 A.D.D.

it is an adjunct to glorify the race from which the donor Balaputradeva The name Tara' itself is suggestive of the host of gods and goddesses that built up the Mahayanist cosmogony. whose arms his as all neighbours felt. so To make him that a Pala monarch of Balaputradeva Devapaladeva Bengal could be cousins would be stretching imagination a little too far. that is to say.D. Sanjaya. Page twenty-two . Saktas. epithet which should be taken at its face-value. there is and no reason to believe that he was a Kshattriya. nothing further should be deduced. in whom only the Kuru It is an blood flowed. in which case. would be the paternal grandfather of Tara was certainly the wife Balaputradeva. which on the decline of Buddhism had sprung.SUVARNADWIPA showed enough military ability to be described Samaragra. From the date that Bengal Pala ruled we may deduce in in Sumatra sometimes Balaputradeva the middle of the ninth century A. carjie to be included in the of Dasamahavidya the of the ruler. of Panangkran and Dharmasetu of Keluraka and Kalasan petrographs was a Mahayanist Buddhist but beyond the fact that Dharmapala and Dharmasetu were almost contemporaneous. Because Dharmasetu claims his descent from the lunar race.

Dipamkara was probably born at Vajrayogini when the Mahayana cult had its exponents all over the Gangetic delta. His exceptional Atisha Sri-Jnana abilities marked him out from his soon spread outside Bengal as youth and his fame one of the greatest ex- ponents of the secret teachings of certain Buddhist monks. while the Tibetan authoheld out invitations to him more than once to Sumatra expressed her greatest the flowers of her desire visit their land. but he is revered in countries where the Tantric School of its still the Buddhists continues to draw votaries to fold. Tibet and Palembang write a biography of this great scholar. to see him among Mahayana School. Tara and a crowd of Buddhist gods and goddesses in spite of the fact that in the system of Lord Buddha God Himself had no place. was a Sumatran prince and was initiated into Page twenty-three . saw the birth o one of the most learned Bengali. Bengal. which has He may to be a mere name to-day in to secure materials from Nepal. Hariti. Dharmakirti.SUVAENADWIPA The year 980 A. who were more or less responsible for the conceptions such as Avalokitesvara.D. who according to a Nepalese Punthi. whose profound knowledge of the esoteric doctrines of Buddhism made him the head of the rities Nalanda University.

If it were otherwise. just as much as the figure of Amoghapasa at Padang Chandi or the Maha- to the kalamurti of the same place would create unsympathetic comments from 'nice-minded' In the inspeople.SUVARNADW1PA the Mahayana Tantrism by to his Sri Ratna at Bodh-Gaya. Dharmakirti's. The tion for a figure of Amoghapasa It is deserves our attena moment. twenty-four eyes and vested with a garland of human skulls hanging around the neck. and not Dipamkara's name would have been engraved on Sangklion a which probably served as plate. On monk Dipamkara. soon achieved the went back arrival of country and highest position among the Sumatran monks. the figure of Yamari (the enemy memorial tablet to of Death) with eight hands. cription Dipamkara which shows that he still lived in the appears memory of the Sumatrans just a few years before the Sri- of Amoghapasa too. It would appear perhaps revolting tic present aesthenotions of the civilised world. the name of vijayas were swept off by the continuous attacks of the Bilwa Tikta monarch. he showed this Bengali and proall the courtesy due to his vast knowledge some of the most bably it was the latter who taught hidden practices of Tantra to the Sumatran monks. really conception of the Page twenty-four .

Sitvarnadwipa Vishnu Sri vi jay a (By courtesy of Netherlands Inches .

.

when the of mental conceptions. in a and metempsychosis is the direct outcycle of karma and only ceases with it. science of the Tan trie worship disappears. birth and rebirth move come ed. primarily and funda- mentally related to certain yogic practices necessary for setting mind free from the trammels of materia- The gruesome aspect of the whole thoughts. rites greatest Nirvanam. She represents destruction in the sense that creation follows immediately from annihilation. is attain- The that came to be connected with the Tantrism. the inscription at the back one of the all from peculiar significance. it is not to sexual The word Kama has a pleasure which is alluded to. It carnal thoughts. may mean lust and it may Page twenty-five . not single one excepted. one of which was necessarily the construction of a concrete were all. thought-form like Amoghapasa. when all listic and horrid things are given their true meanings which only the initiated have the right to know when they prove themwords apparently related to gross selves. after severe tests free Hence when we of the statue of last learn from Adityavarman. (perhaps Shailendras of Sumatra) that the Lord of Matanis gini removing her loneliness.SUVARNADW1PA Adyasakti with her attendants or Yoginis who form the chakra with her. in early Buddhist idea.

The period. had really mastered all the agamas self-control If Adityavarman and practised the necessary for the puridid. Buddhism. tices we may by well bear in our mind It is the cautions possible advocated 'Mr. but not before dual devataship such as the early conceptions of Siva- Buddha had their chance. The finally disappears into all-embracing Aryan religion of India. which we do not doubt he he must have been one of the greatest Yogins of his When we talk of the Tantras and their pracage. The Lord of destruction is one of the members of the Hindu Trinity. Pantheon and the emergence of the Hinduised too. an idea which the Lord Tathagata and Christ so eagerly advocated. Avalon'.SUVARNADW1PA mean an ardent introspective hope for final salvation. that Matangini was really a woman of the hill tribe but was married to an aryanised monarch of Palembang. the slow Buddhist devas among the Hindu of final latter. Page twenty-six The same cyclic conception of . which only leads to the conclusion that fusion with the indigenous element was never at an end in the Far East. the installation Mahakalamurti marks the transition waning of popular Buddhism. fication of thoughts. but He represents the renunciation of material pleasure as well.

the pyjama-like open. The temple itself is in a senile state.SUVARNADWIPA life of of by the skulls at the base the Mahakala image which has the enigmatic smile an ageless wisdom. varman married a lady of the Minangkabau race. It stood on a square base and the whole architecture is remarkable in one sense Page twenty-seven . Both the hands of the figure is and death represented are well-amuleted and folded in yogic mudras. a pleasant Probably a it really represents a dancing as well as Yaksha with mace (?) in one hand. whereas the Matangini has the stature of a tempts person. even the central dome has lost the spire. us to ask the scholars of eastern if AdityaHistory. central The which hangs pleat is secured to the waist by a jewelled belt. The face and the figure represents betrays Mongoloid features a stumpy human specimen. The Rakshasa There are still some traces of on the wall of the Biara Temple has rather feature. tall It almost pure Hinduism in Sumatra mostly in Padang country. The head in a shows beautiful curls of hair and the arms cloth ankles have ornaments. the it is head-gear is Buddhistic in appearance and closed or very hard to say if the statue has the eyes The attire is rather peculiar. fold with a dangling end of the cummerband is rather suggestive of a non-Hindu inspiration.

placed outside the ruins is of another Temple which has a too-suspiciously close with upturned palms to be appearance of a Buddha identified with a Hindu deity. the entire structure consists of burnt cemented together closely while figures into the brick with a sharp chisel. When we times we mean of the olden speak of political Sumatra the pre-Srivijaya kingdom and the Shilendra monarchy. and fortylater.SUVARNADWIPA only. Of the first. as were the figures on the walls of the Mi-Son palace in Champa. The wonderful . drawn from the memory Page twenty-eight in the morning. were cut There a fine murti. two years Iswara Gautama Subhadra. the then Celestial Emperor on the 8th of April and so vivid was his dream that he had a picture of his overlord. dreamt of a successor to the Narendra.D. which in Kantoli the is tive as to its geographical position. well-proportioned and carefully executed with minute details. who him an independent ruler with the title 'Sri Iswara Narendra\ This happened in 460 A. bricks that is. we may be itself allowed to begin with Kantoli. in Leaving aside the vague references to Sumatra the pre-Christ literature. it is mostly guess- work. would be speculaThis kingdom of supposed to have sent beautiful presents to in return created Hsiau-Wu emperor.

Suvarnadwipa &va (liy Srivijaya tourtesy of Netherlands Indies Arc haologi cal Scrvic e) .

SUVARNADWIPA
point in the whole incident was that his court painter who was despatched post haste to the Chinese capital

brought back an exact replica drawn from life. This clever adulation was perhaps appreciated by the
Seigneur of China who probably compensated the envoys with the most valuable presents his empire
could produce. Seventeen years later his son Priyavarman sent an epistle to the Chinese court, where
his

extreme piety

as a

Buddhist must have made
in less

a

deep impression. in 564 A.D. to be
vion and for the
of the Srivijaya.

Yet

than half a century,
get to

precise,

Kantoli vanishes into obli-

first

time

we

know

the

name

have already detailed, what ing the visit of the Chinese scholar
version

We

work

Tantrism by

regardthe conI-tsing, of Dharmapala and the introduction of But before the Javanese, Wajrabodhi.

we know

conquest of Sumatra, the Shailendras or the Mountain kings had already created an empire, which included
the
districts
if all

of

Lower Siam, Malay, Sumatra and
to fifteen different territories.

Java and
sessions

the small islands are included, her pos-

would number

Of

course,

the Shailendras did not consolidate the

whole power under one central authority for long but upto the rise of the Banka revolt in the yth century,
Page twenty-nine

SVVARNADWIPA
park was commemorated in another inscription, must have held the reins of the whole of Srivijaya authority in one hand. But

King

Jayansa,

whose

gift

of a

within a couple of centuries, probably owing to outside invasions, if not, due to internecine war, there
branches of the Shailendras, at least appear to be three two, one with Java as the centre of his activities, the
other with Palembang. This split is indicated in the Pala Copper grant at Nalanda in 1921. Hence we are at a loss

dug up

to determine, unless the

Chinese records

specifically

mention the 'country of origin', which branch of the Shailendras were responsible for gifts and envoys to
the Imperial Court, when the common monarchical These designations the 'Sri-vijayas' are spoken of.
friendly missions serious troubles

were never interrupted, except when
prevented their continuance.

from 671
sadorial

to

741 A.D.

we have

proofs

of this
it
is

exchange of presents

and

on record

that a Shailendra Yuvaraja visited the Imperial Court in 724 A.D. and was confirmed in the title personally of 'Sri Indravarman' after 17 years by the Emperor's

proclamation. The second half of the ninth century is commemorated by Balaputra's request of Devapaladeva to
Page
thirty

There record of the Si-li-wu-ya king sending in gifts a 960 and 962 A. silver wares. white sugar. white porcelain. peaches.D. ivory. sandal (Agastya himself preferred the Harichandana of the Indian Archipelago to that of the Dakshinapatha). rose water.SUVARNADW1PA build a monastery in Nalanda. The chamari and bridles. silk thread. ports which camphor. (included in the list of Chinese presents). aloes and sappan wood. Arabia perhaps officer of An envoy. probably an the army of the title is Srivijaya received in 905 A. (the Near East).D. The exchange of 972 and 974 A. splendour the Sumatran gifts Court must have was repeated in 971. made the bulk of the Europe. Malay continued its government under the same banner Sumatra. saddles all display the height of attained. when according to Ibn-at-Fakih. The Chinese mission resumed in the rirst decade of the 9th century. ebony and and spices Srivijaya export to India. tail to the Imperial seat. The pre- sents that included ivory. Tin. glass phials and coral trees and most of these were the luxury articles the Page thirty-one . a high-sounding from the head of the Tung dynasty.D. Srivijaya sent dates.. Srivijaya as the island of All sorts of people used to flock to the traded under royal control.

SUVARNADWIPA wealthy Sumatrans used to enjoy. Sanskrit culture seemed to have flourished more and more from the literature nth century in A.D. The Sumatran in books Shailendras were the practice first to break away from the wide script of employing Pallava and petrographs. crystal and rhinoceros horns. lar More books came owing to to be composed in popuintroduction of Sanskrit the the Tantras. The cargo of perfumes and drugs which had to be taken to Canton owing storm in 980 A. Malaya.).D. Cambodia.D. and this time the vogue. tells us that the Hindu colonists must have learned the art of manufacturing to a the same from the mother country where according to Vatsayan there were some 74000 'Scent-articles' in These presents which went from Ha-chi (which may stand for some king Ajit or Raja Sri) were again repeated in 983 A. Sumatra and Java. Lower Siam. Page thirty-two . in The Pallava types were so well known Champa. that the Chinese appellation for Further India was 'Kouen Louen'. Pali for Buddhist which was mainly was probably taught along with Sanskrit by scholars such as Pandit Wimalaseri to Chinese students like Fah Yu (963 A. list included cotton cloth.D.

Snvarnadwipti Brahma Srivijaya (Ry courtesy of Netherlands Indies .

.

SUVARNADW1PA The Sumatrans language for the is substituted Sanskrit as the court common Proto-Malayan mixture of the Dravidianised Sanskrit (which in Dakshinapatha called Of could grand Stupas at Takocs Moeroes and at Tanjong the Tamil). course neither they nor their Malayan cousins build half as as the Javanese. but as rulers and conquerors they were perhaps more tectural evidences vigorous. They the trade of their in the habit of territory. Artistically they were far behind the Javanese people. In another hundred controlled all Malay was subjugated. One of the Princes was storing gold bricks in a tank near his a brick "This a tall bably the is palace saying each time he threw Of course this protreasury! story. By 775 A. years. The Medan in Padang highlands are some of the few extant archi- they have still to their credit. the teller being a compatriot of is my composer of that the the 'Arabian Nights'. was one was probably maritime power.D this is the Lower Siam was in their hands and repeated three times in proved by the word 'Srivijaya' being an inscription found there. was an attempt 3 to veil the double entendres which Page thirty-three .D. But we of the know richest in Sriyij'aya 848 A. whose 'barbarous' Sanskrit inscriptions of the Tantric It intentional.

From the nor first two assaults which were neither systematic continuous. a attacks in different ages against the discredited. So long the Srivijaya monpossessions. all were sowers of dissensions and disrupture. Possibly. the archs could command to all cracy was bound different Srivijayas. powerful navy. Petty jealousies. and the reputed accumulation of gold. The downfall of the was engineered by Srivijaya internal tion at Conscripluxury and the royal indolence. while who grew more and more they were being shorn of their possessions. the want of proper control of distant growth of competitive ports. the time of war probably did not work accord- ing to the scheme drawn out during peaceful days.SUVARNADW1PA profusely of the unbelievers. Page thirty-four . the the Tantric literature used to ward off idle prompted ponsible for among the elite of traders were primarily resthe introduction of wine and slave women colonists Arab the Srivijaya and one of these of bucolic debaudeplores bitterly the absence chery in countries like Cambodia. similar reasons curiosity cabalistic writings of the Near East. their thalassoThere were really three prosper. the Shailendras had time to recuperate but from the third they could hardly have enough resources left to revive their power.

but by enterprises. Srivijaya Rajendra Chola I began to destroy possessions piecemeal. The years 1005-90 must have been prosperous to them. Thus ruler was Bilwa Tikta passed levied away a house of magnificient rulers who never heavy direct taxes. even then. the facilities of which were extended to all that traded in their ports. It with his queen-mother.D. who always looked after the welfare of their people by not raising extravagant vain solid commercial glorious monuments. but They the could resume their relations with China after 1035 A. Gaja Mada and Admiral Nala who did not allow any respite to the Srivijayas.D. Page thirty-five . But.SUVARNADWIPA Thus Srivijaya could not only repulse. but took offensive against their aggressors Dharmaswanga between (992-1007) A. his Prime Minister. the Shailendras had a chance to at regain least some and create a shadow of the former prestige Srivijaya after the passing away of Rajendra Chola I and his successor. and came out victorious.

representing Siva. These three them bespeak of one of Siva. if the technique was borrowed from India the Mongoloid features of three originally of the great adaptability of the Hinduised force under the Shailendras. Page thirty-six it is the figure of a . Palembang home of the Shailendras. figures. figures. one of Vishnu and one of Brahma which are absent from the display certain peculiarities The last one has profourth. There arc at present very little materials to is which enable us but it assign any to these particular date. original And to all these casts bear witness to the of tolerance spirit sects. nounced Aryan physiognomy.APPENDIX Quite a number of bronze casts have been collected from Palcmbang and its environments from which the Hindu trinity appears to be in great evidence in the religious life of the ancient to was reputed be the Suma trans. In spite of the ravages of time the Sumatran figures display beautiful work- manship and even. probable that they are older than similar objects found in Java.

which slant. There is between two Yogic arms a tuft of cloth purporting to be the Uttaria. Like the Sumatran Siva this Aryan Siva has a girdle below the navel pit but the latter is much more elaborately clothed. one of the special shape of an entwined snake emblem of the Lord Siva. The nose. and long eyes do not From the cars Jiang large round rings. Save not. touch the neck. the upper chest above the Brahmanic cordon. Lips are locked in a benevolent. while lower part which reach the ankles. while two of its hands fold across the chest in mudra. leted is pleated cloth all The four arms are amu- and have bracelets. for these ornaments there is no cover draped in for the upper body. which however is not seen on its Sumatran counter-part. rectangular in shape but rounded Page thirty-seven . its trait Necklet adorns enigmatic Buddhistic smile. the cords that tie the crown the temple are flung on either shoulders like epauBroad shoulders add an unspeakable dignity lettes. and to the figure. while the palms have the usual emblems in their grip.SUVARNADWIPA whose Yajnopavita has taken the healthy Brahmin. right Moreover all the three figures of the Sumatran trinity have a background. The head has an elaborate coiffure of plaited hair at the base of which to there is a grand crown.

Schnitger during his excavations around the region of the Biara Temple. the fact that this Tantrism of north Sumatra was but gradually of Buddhistic origin. which show the Indian are that the Sumatrans closely conform these tx> artistic canons. has attached itself to any That Tantrism was deeply rooted Sumatra from the north to the south in all parts of may be gathered from the recent findings of Dr. F. nothing of distinction of these figures.SUVAKNADWIPA at top besides their usual divine carriers. Except that Bahanas rather grotesque in appearance. Om Namab Sivaya Page thirty-eight . The various idols and statues indicate. degraded form of spirit-worship any resemblance to the philosophic preachings of the merged into a which bore hardly Aryan colonists of old. M.

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