Friday, 15 January 2016

The Origin of The Sailendra Dynasty



The Sri Vijayan empire of South East Asia was once a superpower of the region. They controlled over 24,000 islands. This was once a very successful maritime empire. 

Prior to the establishment of Srivijaya, there were other kingdoms such as Tarumanegara and Kutei. Many of these kingdoms were influenced by Indian kingdoms such as the Pallavas and Kalingas. The people of the kingdom were local natives. This includes the royalties. But there were intermarriages with the people and royalties of India.

The Sri Vijayan empire was first mentioned by the Chinese traveller I-Tsing in 671 AD. The earliest record referring to the Sailendra dynasty in Indonesia are in inscriptions. It has a mix of Sanskrit, Javanese and Old Malay.

The oldest reference to the Sailendra dynasty in Indonesia is the Sojomerto Inscription dated around late 7th century AD to early 9th century AD. This is the oldest proof of the Sailendra dynasty in Sri Vijaya. 

The earlier Chinese (671 AD) record and Kedukan Inscription (683 AD) does not mention about the Sailendra dynasty although they speak about the kingdom. But the Kedukan Inscription spoke about a ruler with the name Dapunta Hyang who departed from Minanga Tamwan with 20,000 soldiers and conquered several places.

Some historians claim that this Dapunta Hyang is the same as Dapunta Selendra in the Sojomerto Inscription. Some disagree with it. The Sojomerto Inscription also mentioned the names of Dapunta Selendra's family members. Santanu was his father, Bhadrawathi was his mother and Sampula was his wife.

We can conclude that the name Sailendra or Selendra first appeared in Indonesia during the late 7th century only. If Santanu the father of Dapunta Selendra was the first king, then the rule of Sailendras began in the mid or late 7th century. i.e after 650 AD.

Prior to that, there were no Sailendras in Indonesia. It is generally accepted that they took over from the earlier Sanjaya Dynasty. The Sanjaya Dynasty were Hindus but the Sailendras were Buddhist. 

The kings of the much earlier Funan kingdom centred around the Mekong Delta were known as Sailaraja. There was also a dynasty in Kalinga known as Sailobhava. They existed before the Sailendras during 550-736 AD.

Saila is the Sanskrit word for hill or mountain. Indra or Raja refers to lord. The word Indra also refers to the Vedic deity Indra known as Devendra (Deva + Indra) as he was the lord of the Devas  in heaven. Sailendri refers to the Goddess Parvathi and her husband Shiva can also be addressed as Sailendra.

Before the kings of Funan or Srivijaya addressed themselves as Sailaraja or Sailendra, the Pandyan kings were also addressed as "Minankita Sailendra" which means the "Lord with the Fish Emblem". This is probably associated with Shiva because he is the main God of the Pandyas.

The Pandyans were known under several names. Malayan (Lord of Hill/Mountain), Thennavan (Southerner), Panchavan (The 5 Person) and a few others. Thennavan because they came from south. Panchavan because the Pandyans always rule with 5 kings with 1 king as the main king. 

They were known as Malayan because their original kingdom was further south of India in the remote past. It was known as Kumari and it comprised a chain of islands with many mountain peaks. The original Meru mountain is said to have existed here. Sangam literatures also speak about it.

The origin of the Indian kings is based on Itihasas like Ramayana and Mahabaratha, and the Puranas. According to Hindu tradition Manu son of Surya (Sun) was the progenitor of mankind. This is why humans are called manusha (Sanskrit), manushan (Tamil) or manusia (Malay).

During the Great Flood, Manu was saved by Vishnu in the form of Matsya Avatar (Fish). Manu then had 10 children. His son Ishvaku created the Suryavamsa (Sun lineage) named after his paternal grandfather Surya.

Ishvaku's sister Ila, married Buddha son of Chandra (Moon). That created the Chandravamsa. This means the Suryavamsa and Chandravamsa are cross cousins. 

As per Hindu tradition, major royal families in India originated from either the Suryavamsa or Chandravamsa. Later, other lineages like Nagavamsa, Agnivamsa and Indravamsa were created. Intermarriage with the same lineage is not allowed.

The Pandyas are Chandravamsa
The Cholas are Suryavamsa

The Pandyas of the Chandravamsa also intermarried with those from Indravamsa. For example, according to some version of the Mahabaratha, Arjuna married a Pandyan princess. 

Although Arjuna was the prince of Pandu and Kunti, his actual father was Indra himself. This is one of the earliest reference to marital alliance between the Chandravamsa and Indravamsa. 

There are then many legends of Pandyan king defeating Indra himself, taking away the armour of Indra with him and Indra refusing to give Pandya nation rain out of jealousy. 

There are also mentions of ancient festivals conducted in Pandyan nation in honour of Indra. It is known as Indra Vizha in Tamil. Then there are mentions of Indra offering worship to Siva in Pandyan country.

All these points to coexistence of Chandravamsa and Indravamsa in the Pandyan country much earlier than South East Asia. 

Earlier I mentioned that there was a dynasty in Kalinga named Sailobhava. The Pandyans and the Kalingans even had marital alliances. 

For example, when the Kalingan Prince Vijaya wanted to establish a colony in Sri Lanka, he married the daughter of the Pandyan king. Kalinga and the Pandyas had alot of interaction directly and also via Sri Lanka colonies.

One important thing which we need to understand here is regardless of the kingdoms, the origins of their dynasties be it Chandravamsa or Suryavamsa is as stated in the Hindu scriptures. It began in India and branched out into several royal families. These royal families maintained ties throughout the ages through marriage.

The royal vamsas then spread out to South East Asia. Some royal families in South East Asia, although they are part of a different race and religion today, trace their ancestries to these royal vamsas which began in India.

Pandyans were powerful between the 3rd century BC and 3rd century AD. Pandyan power declined after the 3rd century AD and this is because of the invasion by the Kalabhras. Then in the 6th century, together with the Pallavas, they defeated the Kalabhras and re-established themselves.

Kingdoms rise and fall. There were times the Pallavas were more powerful than the Pandyas allowing them to even spread their wings into South East Asia, then there were times the Pandyans were under the imperial Cholas. During such times, they will either live as feudatory or remain in exile. 




The Burmese historian, Prof Dr.Than Tun (6 April 1923-30 November 2005) mentioned that when the Funan forces withdrew from Pugama or Pugamadavara in 225 AD, the Mon forces and the Pandyas forces occupied it. It was then renamed as Pandya-Pura. It is presently known as Panthwa. ((Ref : Studies in Myanma history, Volume 1).  Dr.Than's works were banned when Burma (Myanmar) was under the Junta regime. He criticized the military regime for trying to hide the history of Myanmar and accused them of rewriting it in favour of them.

There is a dynasty in Assam known as the Ahom dynasty. They too trace their ancestry to Indravamsa. I am not sure if this Ahom dynasty is linked to the descendants of Pandyas who intermarried and mixed with the Mons in Burma 1000 years earlier. It has to be checked but possibilities are there.

The reason I wrote about the Pandyas and their link with those of Indravamsa is to show that there has been some sort of alliance or inter mingling between Chandravamsa and Indravamsa. The Sailendras could be an offshoot of this union. 

An inscription was discovered in Nalanda, Bihar. It was written in the year 860 AD. According to this inscription, the Sailendra ruler from Srivijaya, built a monastery in Nalanda. He was the son of Samaragriwa.

Samaragriwa's wife and Balaputra's mother named Tara was the daughter of Dharmasetu. According to the Nalanda inscription, Dharmasetu belonged to the Lunar race which is Chandravamsa.

We know that Parameswara, the founder of Malacca, belonged to the Sailendra dynasty. His descendants formed the Perak Sultanate. The Perak royalty can be divided into two houses. The first is the Malacca house. They were the direct descendants of Parameswara. This lineage ended in 1635.

Then in 1636, a scion from the Siak royal family in Aceh was crowned as the ruler of Perak. The Siak royal house is also known as Siak Sri Indrapura, meaning Siak City of Indra. 

I previously posted an article about the royal coronation of Perak. You can view it here


An account of the Malay "Chiri" : a Sanskrit formula by Maxwell, William Edward, Sir, 1846-1897

During the coronation, Sanskrit mantras are chanted. The ruler is addressed as Maharaja Indra Chandra Bhupati. This shows that the Perak royal family is of the Chandravamsa and Indravamsa ancestry. 

The Perak regalia contains an object known as Chap Halilintar or The Lightning Seal. Lightning or Thunder represents the Hindu god Indra. This seal was inherited from Parameswara and the image in the seal was previously known as Dewa Petir (Lightning God). After the Malacca rulers became Muslims, Arabic inscriptions were added on the seal.

I told you earlier that the Pandyans were also known as Minankita Sailendra. We know that the traditional emblem of the Pandyas is fish or to be specific, the double carp. But in the 7th century, the Pandyans had an additional emblem.

It was the thunder/lightning flag and this was mentioned about 3 times in the ancient Tamil literature known as Paandikovai by Nakkeerar (not the Nakkeerar who lived earlier). 

To add on, the Agastya cult was brought to Indonesia from India in the 7th century. The worship of Rishi Agastya is not popular among North Indians. It is popular among South Indians and it is associated with the Tamil Siddha Tradition. 

In Indonesia and Malaysia, Agastya is also addressed as Batara Guru (In some places Batara Guru is Shiva himself). In Perak, the Malay bomohs (shamans) often invoke Batara Guru when they perform their magic rituals. 

Agastya was also the kulaguru (family priest) of the Pandyas. This was mentioned not only in the Tamil Sangam literatures but also in the Chinnamanur Copper Plates.

So you see the link now?

References (Please ask me if you cannot find the resources mentioned)
Epigraphica Indiga. No.17-The Nalanda Copper-Plate of Devapaladeva by Hirananda Shastri: M.A, M.O.I Ootacamund
Kedukan Bukit Inscription (683 AD)
Sojomerto Inscription (late 7th century AD - early 9th century AD)
Kalasan Inscription (778 AD)
Pandikovai (Verse 219,307 and 325)
Madurai Tiruvilayadal Puranam
Chinnamanur Copper Plates
Shaman, Saiva and Sufi A Study of the Evolution of Malay Magic, Chapter 2 Gods, Spirits and Ghosts by R. O. WINSTEDT

Note: This article was written to explain the origins of royal lineage. As time goes lineages gets passed into different races. Such process is known as "Dynastic Drift". It is the story about how the Y-DNA travels from a single male ancestor. Although some Malay royalties could trace their ancestry back to India it does not mean they are Indians today.



Thursday, 14 January 2016

Chora Man Dakini - The Spirit of The Sword



A dancing Dakini

The Patriot team explained that the word Chura comes from Sanskrit Kshurapatnam referring to blade. They also said that Kshura could be an abbreviation of blade later morphed in Chura. The commonly accepted theory for the sword in Malaysia is Blade from Mandakini which the Patriots also agree with. 

I would like to present more evidence that the sword is actually a representation of a Dakini as mentioned in my first article on this topic.

Dakinis are female spirits. They are known in both Hinduism and Buddhism. One aspect of religious practice which is common for both of these two Dharmic religion is Tantra. The word Tantra has its own meaning.

I have previously explained the Hindu point of view in my article. Here is the link

http://sharmalanthevar.blogspot.my/2014/03/tantra-more-than-just-sex.html


Both Hinduism and Buddhism have dozens of common deities. There are also various schools within this two Dharmic religion. The form of Hinduism or Buddhism which we see today may not be exactly the same of what it was 1000 years ago.

Unlike Christianity or Islam which are known as Abrahamic religions, the Dharmic religion is not based on a single book. It evolves and adapts according to the era, people and their culture.


Tantra is a living proof that these two Dharmic religion can be synchronised. 

The sword which the Malays call Chura Si Manja Kini is also known in records as Chura (or Churek) Samanda Kian. Buddhism was once the major religion in Southeast Asia.

In Buddhism, there is a goddess known as Samandabadri. The male version is Samandabadra. Both Samandabadri and Samandabadra are manifestations of Sakthi (Badri) and Shiva (Badra). 


Old records of Perak coronation speaks of guardian spirits. These guardian spirits are now known as Jin. We have to remember that Southeast Asia was not a Muslim region in the past when the sword was brought here. 

Jin is a Islamic concept of supernatural beings which can be harmful or even serve as guardian. In the Dharmic concept, the word used for Jins are Dakini, Muni, Yakshi, Yogini and many more. Some of these words such as Muni and Yogini also have other meanings.

So if we lived 1000 years ago, we won't be using the word Jin in Perak. It is a word introduced to them by the Muslims from Arab. The locals also use words like Mambang, Bentara and Saka. They are also called Saka Baka and Hantu Pusaka which means Old Spirit. 

These spirits which are now called as Jin after Islamization are said to guard or look after families. They are known to help their owner/master gain extraordinary physical strength, public influence, beauty and to instil fear in people's hearts.

These guardian spirits are said to guard not only the Perak state but also the royal family and their regalia. There is a ceremony conducted in the Perak palace known as Tabal Jin. It is for the guardian spirits. There is also a legend that during the ceremony, the sword will shake and try to come out from its cover as though it is alive.

Take a look at the picture below:



Translation: After completing the ritual of sprinkling holy water on the royal regalia and the ruler, the Bunga Panchawa Panchara (Panchara Panchava Flower) is placed on the right ear of the ruler and his consort by the royal shaman, the both then eat the 

The word which I highlighted is Bunga Panchawa Panchara. An ornament/flower which will be placed as mentioned above. Said to originate from Malacca Sultanate.

There is also another thing placed on the right ear of the ruler but it is called Chap Halilintar which means the Lightning Seal. Lightning is also known as Vajra in Sanskrit and Vajra is a common symbol in Buddhism. There is another reason for the Vajra symbol in this seal and I will explain it separately.

The word Panchara or Panjara refers to mantric armour. This could be symbolically represented by the ornament/flower. In Buddhism it is also used in reference to Tantras involving the Dakinis. This is also known as Dakini Vajra Panjara Tantra, Dakini Vajra Panjara Mahatantrajasya Panjika, Dakini Vajra Panjara Mahatantraja Kalpa.

Examine all these points which I highlighted and put them together. It is much more acceptable to conclude that the sword is indeed associated with the Dakini spirit and not the Mandakini river. 

If the sword came from the Mandakini river, then the things which I highlighted above would have not existed. 

The fact that there is more relevance with Dakini is not a mere conincidence.

Some reference for your own reading:


History of Perak (1934)
Shaman, Saiva and Sufi (1925)
The Perak Genies(1929)

by R.O Winsted





This is the first article in the series. In my next post, I will deal about the genealogy of kings mentioned in Malay Annals, Alexander the Great, and few other things.



Friday, 8 January 2016

Chora Man Dakini - The Sword of The Cholas




Please read these 2 articles before proceeding. It will give you the needed basic understanding. 

The Perak Coronation Address (click) 
The Meaning of Chola (click)


Yesterday, I made the above announcement in Facebook:

I was actually refering to the royal sword of Perak. This sword belonged to the Chola dynasty and I will explain about it. 

The sword is known as Chura Si Manja Kini, Chora Mandakini, Chora Man Dakini, Chora Samanda Kian, Chora Sa Mendang Kian. Some say that it is Churiga Si Mandakini and claims that it means The Blade From Mandakini in Sanskrit. Mandakini is a river in Uttar Pradesh. 

If we were to check its language structure, it will not be possible to construct such phrase in Sanskrit as the word Si and Churiga has no proper meaning when combined in such way.  Furthermore, it also has no meaning in the Malay language.

I am of the opinion that it is Chora-Man-Dakini and pronounced as Choraman Dakini. According to Tantric practices, Dakinis are female spirits who are companions of the Goddess Durga.

Although the Cholas were Saivites , they never worshipped Shiva as their clan or family deity. Shiva was considered as the Supreme God of the universe. The Chola kings were considered as representations of Vishnu. 

Durga and forms of Durga were their family deity. Durga known as Kotravai in ancient times. It was customary for ancient Tamil warrior clans to have female deities as family deities.

The family deity of Rajaraja Chola was known as Nisumbha Soodani or the Slayer of Nisumbha. The story of Nisumbha and his 
demon brother Sumbha slayed by the Goddess is written in Devi Mahatmyam.  

Like the other warrior kings of Tamil Nadu, the  Cholas made blood offerings to the Goddess, When offerings are made, worship is also conducted for the Dakinis. The Dakinis are venerated as guardians.

The sword could be enchanted with spells of a Dakini so that she ensures victory for the Cholas in their battles. This means the sword represents the Dakini itself. 

As explained in my other article, Chora = Chola. The word Man is an old Tamil word for king. We still have a Tamil king in Pudukottai district and his title is Thondaiman. 

Therefore, Choraman Dakini simply means the Dakini of Chola King in Tamil language. 











In order to prove the Chola theory, we need to look at some local sources. The Malay history book or Malay Annals is known as Sejarah Melayu or Sulalatus Salatin. Malay Annals is a mix of history and mythology. It must be interpreted carefully as it was written using metaphors.

According to the Malay tradition, Chora Mandakini sword originaly belonged to Sang Sapurba. He was also known as Sri Nila Pahlawan, Bichitram and Bichitram Shah. Together with his brothers Sri Krishna Pandita (also known as Palidutani) and Sri  Nila Utama (also known as Nilumanam), they appeared in a sacred hill known as Bukit Seguntang in Sumatra island. 

These princes were the founders of the Malay royalties. Sang Sapurba then gave his sword to his warrior Permasku Mambang which the warrior used to kill the serpent Saktimuna.

The sword was then passed into the hands of various kings who were considered as descendants of Sang Sapurba. It is now kept as a royal regalia by the Perak sultanate. The Perak Sultanate is an offshoot of the Malacca Sultanate.

During the coronoation, the sword is taken out, Sanskrit spells chanted and the sword will be kissed by the ruler. This has been going on since the days of Sang Sapurba.

The Malay tradition may after all be true and not just a myth but who exactly is this Sang Sapurba or Bichitram Shah? 



According to the Malay Annals, Raja Sulan was the mightiest prince of the lands of Hind and Sind (India) and of all the rajas under the wind. His daughter married Raja Narsi Barderas and they had three sons.

Raja Heiran 
Raja Suran
Raja Panden

Raja Suran took over the country of his grandfather, Raja Sulan. This is actually referring to Cheran (Raja Heiran), Cholan (Raja Suran) and Pandian (Raja Panden) kings. Although the three Tamil kings are not brothers as written in the Malay Annals, it is actually a metaphor to show that the three countries were under the rule of the Cholas.

This is actually correct because during the time of Rajaraja Chola and his son Rajendra Chola, the entire Tamil region of Chera, Chola and Pandya were under them. 

In fact, it was under the Cholas as one country for about 200 years. The empire started breaking after that and the Cholas were completely defeated by the Pandyas in the 13th century. The Pandyas then ruled the entire region until Malik Kafur appeared in the 14th century and destroyed them.

When the Cholas conquered it all under Rajaraja, it was customary to appoint brothers or cousins as governors of the conquered territory. So the three brothers mentioned above may after all be Cholas who were appointed to also govern the conquered Chera and Pandya territory. There are also records which shows that when the Cholas conquered Pandya kingdom, Chola princes ruled the land as Chola-Pandyas.

The Malay Annals then mentions that Raja Suran intended to conquer China. To do this, he needs to first go through Southeast Asia. He attacked Sri Vijaya and their vassal kingdoms. This refers to areas in Indonesia and Malaysia. Raja Suran attacked Gangga Negara which is ancient Perak. 

The last to be attacked was the city of Glang Kiu near Johor. Glang Kiu is a corruption of Thai word Ghlong-Keow which means "Box of Emeralds". This refers to the lost city of Kota Gelanggi which is nearby the Linggiu reservoir. Both Kota Gelanggi and Linggiu are words which morphed from Glang Kiu. 

In Glang Kiu, the ruler and warriors were Thai. this shows that the southern part of peninsular Malaysia were under the Thais. The king was known as Raja Chulan. This is probably a corruption of Thai name such as Chulalangkon (just guessing). 

Raja Suran then marched to Tamsak which is Temasek (Singapore). News about the Chola plunder of Sri Vijaya reached China. China then sent a vessel full of old toothless people to Temasek. Raja Suran meets the people in the vessel and notice that they are old and toothless. 

According to Malay Annals, this was a trick by China. The people in the Chinese vessel told the Cholas that they set sail from China when they were 12 years old but only reached Temasek when they are very old. This gave Cholas an impression that China is too far away and not worth to be conquered. So the Cholas dropped the idea of attacking China.

The Chola raid of Sri Vijaya is a real historical event. However, Cholas did not intend to conquer China. What happened was a trade dispute between Sri Vijaya and Chola. The Sri Vijayans gave false information regarding the Cholas to China. 

They wanted to create an impression that Chola was under them so that they can get more preference from China. This angered the Cholas as it affected their trade with China. The Cholas had commercial motive to attack Sri Vijaya. 

This is based on historical research. You can download the research work entitled The Military Campaigns of Rajendra Chola and the Chola-SriVijaya-China Triangle by Tansen Sen. (click)

The Raja Suran mentioned in the Malay Annals is none other than Rajendra Chola 1, son of Rajaraja Chola. We don't know if he personaly participated in the battles. He could have even sent his commanders to fight on his behalf. But the Chola raid of Sri Vijaya under Rajendra Chola really happened.

He had many consorts and it was customary for the Cholas to marry princess from conquered territories. The children of Raja Suran mentioned in the Malay Annals could be a result of such marriage and they are not necessarily the children of the main queen who lives in India. 

The Malay Annals states that Raja Suran married the princess of Glang-Kiu, Putri Onang Kiu. He had a princess through her and she was named Chanduwani Wasias. 

Raja Suran also married the princess of Gangga Negara, Putri Gangga. They had 3 sons. Bichitram Shah, Palidutani and Nilamanam.

Scroll up, these three sons of Raja Suran and Putri Gangga are none other than Sang Sapurba and his brothers, the ancestors of Malay royalty as mentioned in Malay Annals. 

Bichitram Shah (Sang Sapurba) then goes to Palembang. Proves his royal lineage and becomes king. It is this Bichitram Shah who brought the Chola sword, Choraman Dakini.

This sword is now in the possession of the Perak sultanate. Perak was formerly Gangga Negara and it is also the maternal home of Bichitram Shah because his mother, Putri Gangga, was the princess of Gangga Negara. 

Information in the Malay Annals is a mix of truth and mythology. It may not be accurate however certain information can still be studied as it points to certain historical event which really happened. 

This is the story of the royal Chola sword of Perak!

The Malay Annals can be downloaded here

The Sultan of Perak kissing the royal sword.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

The Meaning of Chola


Picture Credit Nara 

Among the various empires of South India, it is perhaps the Cholas who were the most popular. The Cholas were known since the days of Ramayana. Together with the Pandyas and Cheras, they are part of the oldest dynasties which formed the trinity in the Tamil land.

According to inscriptions, Chola was also written as Sora or Chora. The plural form being Sorar or Chorar. In Telugu, R is replaced with D, hence they are known as Choda.

Indian History, 26th edition by V.K Agnihotri (Chief Editor)


There was a branch of Cholas in Andhra. This is a result of intermarriage between the Cholas and the feudal families in Guntur which happened during the time of Karikala Chola. So that family remained there as Telugu Chodas. There are many references to them in Andhra.

The Mauryan emperor Ashoka mentioned the Cholas as Choda in his rock edicts. The Greek writer, Ptolemy called them Sorai in his book about India. Sorai is a corruption of Sorar.

The word Chola has no meaning in Tamil but the word Chora has its meaning.

Research proves that the Cholas were famous for their plundering activities.
Tamil dictionary shows that Chorar (Tirudar) or Choram (Kalavu) are old Tamil words used to describe stealing and plundering. Source: A manual Dictionary of the Tamil language; publ. by the Jaffna-book society



The 7th song from Purananuru written in the 1st century BC shows that the Chola warfare includes plundering.

புறநானூறு பாடல் 7

களிறு கடைஇயதாள் 
கழலுரீஇய திருந்தடிக் 
கணைபொருது கவிவண்கையாற் 
கண்ணொளிர்வரூஉங் கவின்சாபத்து 
மாமறுத்த மலர்மார்பின் 5 

தோல்பெயரிய வெறுழ்முன்பின் 
எல்லையு மிரவு மெண்ணாய் பகைவர் 
ஊர்சுடு விளக்கத் தழுவிளிக் கம்பலைக் 
கொள்ளை மேவலை யாகலின் நல்ல 
இல்லவா குபவா லியல்தேர் வளவ 10 

தண்புனல் பரந்த பூசன் மண்மறுத்து 
மீனிற் செறுக்கும் யாணர்ப் 
பயன்றிகழ் வைப்பிற்பிற ரகன்றலை நாடே

Translation:

by George L. III Hart

Pressing him with your legs, you manage an elephant. 
Your fine ankles seem smooth, the leg rings worn flat. 
Your bow is so beautiful that it dazzles the eyes 
as it rests in your hand curved to draw and release 
your arrows in battle. Your chest is so broad the goddess Sri forsakes 
all others for it! You have the strength to drive back elephants! And whether 
it is night or day matters nothing to your desire 
for plunder and the sound of weeping, as your enemies scream 
for their kin in the light of their blazing cities! O Valavan 
riding your elegant chariot! In the countries of your enemies, nothing 
of value remains throughout the vast spaces where there were cities always 
shining with such fresh wealth they disdained earth 
and used fish to block holes in dams where the cool water poured through, roaring!

The act of stealing, raiding, plunder and ransack are known as Choram, Tiruttu, Kollai and Kalavu in Tamil language. Those who are involved in such acts are known as Tirudar, Kalavar, Kallar and Chorar. Although Tiruttu is commonly used today, it carries a different meaning as today Tiruttu is only confined to theft. 

In ancient times, plundering acts were hereditary and used in military campaigns. This was also popularly used by the Vikings of Europe and the Bugis of Southeast Asia. In Southeast Asia, it was the Bugis Lanuns (pirates) who later became feudal lords and formed the local navy. The British Naval force started off as pirates and they were even sanctioned by their queen to raid Spanish ships. Such things also happened in other parts of the world.

In Tamil Nadu, the Cholas were well known for such activity. It is in their name. According to the Mahabaratha (ref 5.22 and 8.12), Arjuna converted the people of South India to be a portion of his own army. It is also mentioned that the Cholas fought on his side as allies. 

The Chola-Chorar-Kallar connection can be further established if we refer to Peria Azhwar's 4th song in the Nalayiram Divya Prabandham. He wrote this around 785 AD. According to this song, Arjuna had a Kallar batallion known as Kallapadai and this batallion was helped by Krishna in the Mahabaratha war.




Old Tamil books referring to the kings as Soran and not Cholan. Source: Catalogue of the Tamil Books in the Library of the British Musuem edited by L. D. Barnett, G. U. Pope
Inscription referring to Chola king as Sri Kalla Cholan 
Even in the Malay Annals known as Sulalatus Salatin, there is a mention of Raja Suran conquering the Malay peninsular. Again, we see a a corruption of the Tamil word Soran written as Suran which means Chola. Until today, the Malays remember the Cholas as plunderers who destroyed the Srivijaya empire.

Considering the evidence, it is no doubt that the word Chola comes from the word Chorar (Sorar) and it is also known as Kalavar, Kalvar or Kallar. They are known in such way because of their plundering activity. 

Matahari - The Eye of Vishnu

Vishnu
Our Sun is known as Matahari in the Malay language. Many Malaysians and Indonesians use this word daily but they don't know its origins.

The Malay people call the eye as Mata. It has the same meaning in Polynesia and the Philipines. 

Hari is a Sanskrit word which means Vishnu. Hari also means a day in the Malay language. There is a Hindu connection.

The Malays have many art form. One of it is the Wayang Wong of Johor. The coming of Vishnu in the form of sunrise is portrayed in the Wayang Wong. I have attached some evidence to show that the Malays equate the Matahari to Vishnu.

Remember this the next time you say Matahari.

Sinkritisme dalam Wayang Wong Johor (Penerbit USM) 
by Mohd Kipli Abdul Rahman





Pengantar Sejarah Kebudayaan Indonesia 2
by R. Soekmon