No. 37 – VAT PHU INSCRIPTION OF JAYAVARMAN I

Vat Phu is a well known temple near Bassac on the Mekong river. The inscription is written in Sanskrit and contains five verses, the second in Sragdhara metre and the rest in Sardulavikridita metre.
The first verse is a hymn to lord Shiva and the next two  contain an eulogy of king Jayavarman. The last two verses contain an ordinance of the king regarding Lingaparvata ie, the mountain on which the temple is situated. It exempts from arrest or imprisonment any one living on the hill evev though he be guilty of a crime, and guarantees the gold and other property to the god(v.4). it further directs(v.5) that no one should roam at pleasure within the sacred enclosure and forbids riding a chariot using a parasol or flywhisk, and keeping dogs and fowls within the compound of the temple.

The inscription proves Jayavarman’s authority so far north as the Bassac District.

शक्रादिर्विजितो मया मम शरा मोघंगता न क्वचित्

सोऽवध्यश्च मधुस्सखा मम सदा वश्यञ्च नॄणां मनः।

इत्येवं विगणय्य मान्नसभुवो योद्धुं गतस्तत् क्षणं

यद्रोषेक्षणजातभस्मनिचयो रुद्रेण जेजीयताम्॥१॥

Manmatha, the mind-born (son of Vishnu) thought: Persons like Indra have been conquered by me; my arrow (of flowers) never goes waste; my friend, the Spring season is unconquerable; hence people’s mind is always attracted by me. Thinking so, he went to fight Siva and at that very instant, he was reduced to a lump of ashes by the angry look of Siva. May he be given life again.

येनाकृष्टं द्विभारं सशरवरधनुर्योग्ययापास्तमस्त्रं

मातङ्गाश्वीयमर्त्यप्रजववलमनोयुद्धशिक्षाविदग्र्यः।

सद्गीतातोद्यनृत्ताद्यनुपमधिषणाशास्त्रसूक्ष्मार्थचिन्ता

रत्नप्रज्ञातितिक्षाविनयनयमतित्यागरत्नाम्बुधिर्यः॥२॥
The king, who had acquired loads of superior bows and sharp, barbed arrows, is master in warfare with armies of elephants, horses, soldiers and in strategic war. He is also expert in the arts of music, dance etc. and has sharp intelligence in getting at the subtle meanings of Sastras. He is verily an ocean of gems of wisdom, forbearance, humility, prudent management, renunciation etc.

नानाशास्त्रकृताभियोगजनितव्यायामकाठिन्यवत्

कम्बुग्रीवमहोरुसंहतबृहत्पीनांसवक्षस्तनुः।

आजानुप्रविलम्बहेमपरिघप्रस्पर्धिबाहुद्वयो

यस्सम्पूर्णनरेन्द्रसिंहबलवद्रूपाभिरूपो भुवि॥३॥
The king has a strong body, hardened by practice of different Yogic exercises; conch-like neck; heavy thighs, wide chest; the two arms extending upto knees, competing with golden staves. His form is like a strong lion among men of earth.

तस्य श्रीजयवर्मभूपतिपतेराज्ञानुभावोदया-

दत्र श्रीमति लिङ्गपर्वतवरे ये स्थायिनः प्राणिनः।

बद्ध्यन्तान्न जनेन केनचिदपि प्राप्तराधा कदा

देवाय प्रतिपादितं यदिह तद्धेमादिकं सिद्ध्यतु॥४॥

By order of the King Jayavarman, those who live on this holy hill, Srilingaparvata, shall not be arrested irrespective of their offence and their gold etc. shall be given over to the Lord.

देवस्यास्य यथाभिलाषगमना गच्छन्तु नैवाश्रमे-

यानारोहधृतातपत्ररचनाभ्युत्क्षिप्तसच्चामरैः।

पोष्याः कुक्कुरकुक्कुटा न च जनैर्देवस्यभूमण्डले

ष्वित्याज्ञावनिपस्य तस्य भवतु क्ष्मायामलङ्घ्या नृणाम्॥५॥

By order of the king, all are welcome to visit this temple; but none shall come in these holy precincts riding a vehicle or with parasol and flywhisk; nor shall those who are here keep dogs and cocks.

Translated by: P. R. Kannan, Navi Mumbai

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