Prasat Han Chei or Phnom Han Chei is the name given to the ruins situated in a large plain on the right side of the Mekong near the junction of the districts of Kampong Siem and Stung Trang. The two parts of the inscription which are independent of each other, are engraved on the two door pillars of the temple of Han Chei.
The inscription is written in Sanskrit verses, the metre being AnuSthub. The first part contains 35 and the second 12 verses, each verse occupying a single line. The characters are archaic.
The first part contains the eulogy of Bhavavarman and his successor, and records the installation of a Sivalinga, worshipped under the name of Bhasreshvara, by the governor of Ugrapura. The second part contains the eulogy of king Bhavavarman.
जितमिन्दुवतंसेन मूर्ध्ना गङ्गां बभार यः।
Siva, having the crown of crescent, conquered with his head, the pure Ganga, with its continuous waves, curved like the frowning eye-brow of Uma.
राजा श्रीभववर्मेति पतिरासीन्महीभृताम्।
अप्रधृष्यमहासत्वः तुङ्गो मेरुरिवापरः॥२॥
There was the king Sri Bhavavarman, who towered like another Meru mountain on earth with his unassailable great valour.
सोमान्वये प्रसूतस्य सोमस्येव पयोनिधौ।
केनापि यस्य तेजस्तु जाज्वलीति सदाहवे॥३॥
Born in the Lunar lineage, like the Moon from the ocean, his brilliance always shone brightly in war.
अन्तस्समुत्था दुर्ग्राह्या मूर्त्यभावादतीन्द्रियाः।
यदा षडरयो येन जिता बाह्येषु का कथा॥४॥
He conquered the six enemies arising in his mind, which were intractable, being formless and beyond the grip of the sense organs. (The six enemies are: desire, anger, greed, delusion, conceit and jealousy.); what to say about external enemies!
आत्मानुकारादिव यः समराय समग्रहीत्॥५॥
He held with his hands, wet with water used in giving ritualistic charity, elephants, massive as himself, for war.
द्विषामसह्यो यस्यैव प्रतापो न रवेरपि॥६॥
The brilliance of his valour engulfed and did not brook any enemies, not even the autumnal Surya, shining brightly.
The dust raised by his army marred the decoration of the enemy’s women and stuck as powder on their cheeks.
रिपोरपि मनश्शुष्कं नगरीपरिखाजलम्।
यस्य योधैः करापीतमासन्नै रविणा सह॥८॥
The water in the moat in the (enemy) city was drunk by the warriors with their hands and, with the Sun, this rendered the moat dry, along with the mind of the enemies.
परीतायामपि पुरि ज्वलता यस्य तेजसा।
पुनरुक्त इवारोपः प्राकारे जातवेदसः॥९॥
His brilliance surrounded the entire city, like Agni’s radiance increases with repetition of mantras in a yagna.
जित्वा पर्वतभूपालान् तनोति सकला भुवः।
वन्दिभिस्सगुणानीगैः यशोभिरिव यो दिशः॥१०॥
He conquered the kings of mountains and protects the entire world. His qualities of fame are praised by bards in all directions.
येनेयदैदवंश्यानां मर्यादालङ्घनं कृतम्।
By him was broken the limit of lands won in war earlier in his lineage; he conquered the earth beyond those limits with his show of valour.
शक्त्यापि पूर्वं विजिता भूमिरम्बुधिमेखला।
प्रभुत्वे क्षमया येन सैव पश्चादजीयत॥१२॥
Even earth, bounded by ocean, won by might earlier, was again won over by him through patience.
यस्याकृष्टा प्रभावेन पुरे युध्यजिता अपि।
राजश्रियमुपादाय नमन्ते चरणाम्बुजे॥१३॥
Even those kings, not won earlier in war, were attracted by his personality; they prostrate at his lotus feet, bringing the Lakshmi of kingdom with them.
अजित्वाम्भोधिपर्यन्तामवनिं यो न शाम्यति॥१४॥
Before being attacked by enemy, he thought he had conquered all earth; now he is not at peace if he has not won all earth right upto the limits of ocean.
अवाप्य षोडशकलाश्शशाङ्को याति पूर्णताम्।
असङ्ख्या अपि यो लब्ध्वा न पर्याप्तं कदाचन॥१५॥
The moon attains completeness, once it gains all the sixteen kalas (parts); but the king is not satisfied even after conquering innumerable regions.
नास्ति सर्वगुणः कश्चिदिति वाक्यं महाधियाम्।
येनासिद्धीकृतमिदं स्वेनापि वचसा विना॥१६॥
Very wise persons say that there is none who possesses all good qualities; but this king has falsified that saying without doubt.
तस्य राजाधिराजस्य नेवेन्दुरिव यस्सुतः।
गुणकान्तादिभिर्योगादुन्नेत्रयति यः प्रजाः॥१७॥
That emperor had a son, who shone like full moon with his qualities and splendour of personality and attracted the people no end.
रागं दधति भूपानां चूडारत्नमरीचयः।
यस्य पादनखेष्वेवमनागसि न चेतसि॥१८॥
In the emperor’s toe-nails, the red image of the brilliant gems in the crowns of prostrating kings could be seen without blemish; but not in his mind.
शिवं पदङ्गते राज्ञि दृष्ट्वा यमुदितं प्रजाः।
मुञ्चन्ति युगपद्बाष्पे शोकानन्दसमुद्भवे॥१९॥
When the emperor attained the feet of Siva, it was noted from what the citizens said that they were shedding tears, born of both grief and happiness.
Surya dawned, afflicted by darkness, as the region of earth was not peaceful and smooth.
नवे वयसि वृत्तस्य यस्य राज्यभरोद्यतः।
चित्रीयते कुमारस्य सैनान्यं मरुतामिव॥२१॥
The son of the deceased emperor, on whom devolved the burden of kingdom, was but nine years old. He was like Kumara (Subrahmanya) who was commander of the army of Maruts (and Devas).
उपधाशुद्धिमान् भृत्यः तयोरवनिपालयोः।
विश्रम्भदानसम्मानैः योग्यो यः पर्यतृप्यत॥२२॥
Of those two protectors of earth, there was a servant, who was known to be pure and able and who was satisfied with the kings’ confidence, gifts and honour.
यानं सुवर्णरचितं हस्त्यश्वपरिबर्हणम्॥२३॥
यो लब्धवान् प्रसादेन स्वामिनोरुभयोरपि॥२४॥
Through the grace of his two masters, this servant obtained a chariot, made of gold, drawn by elephants and horses, with beautiful paintings inside and having a decorated golden umbrella on top and also many valuable gifts including golden shaded pitchers etc.
न किञ्चित्स्वाम्यसम्भुक्तमाप्तं येन कदाचन।
भोजनं वसनं वापि यान्यान्याभरणानि वा॥२५॥
He never put to use any material, be it food, clothing, or ornaments, not used by his masters.
स्वामिनोऽर्थे गुरुस्थेयं क्रेतुमैहत यो यशः॥२६॥
He was keen on utilizing his life-breath, grown by the meagre and tasteless food enjoyed at the expense of his master, for earning long-lived and extensive fame for the master.
लक्ष्म्या गाढोपगूढोपि पूर्वाभ्यासबलेन यः।
मुनीनां चरितं धत्ते क्षमासमपरायणः॥२७॥
Though surrounded by excessive wealth, he lived like a sage, given to patience and equality, through the strength of his practice in earlier time.
भीरुत्वं यस्य विख्यातमकीर्तेर्वृजिनादपि॥२८॥
Though possessing well known valour and yet renouncing option of war, his fear of infamy and sin was indeed reputed.
पक्षद्वयं योऽमित्रत्वमनयद् गुणसम्पदा॥२९॥
By pleasing the disinterested people and even helping the enemies, he maintained balance among all parties through the wealth of his qualities.
कलिना बलिना धर्मो भग्नैकचरणोपि यम्।
महास्तम्भमिवालम्ब्य चतुष्पादिव सुस्थितः॥३०॥
Dharma (devata), though damaged by the strong Kali (yuga) and left with only one foot (out of four feet of the bull-form), was firm as if possessing all four feet, by taking his support like a big pillar.
यशःपुण्यमयीमेव यस्स्थिरां बह्वमन्यत॥३१॥
Paying no heed to body, wealth etc., considering them as impermanent, he thought highly of long-lasting and meritorious fame alone as well being of Atman.
The governor of Ugrapura, established here with great devotion a Siva Linga, named Sri Bhadreswara.
प्रमाणमिह ते सन्तु यतयो देवयाजकाः॥३३॥
May self-controlled (Sanyasi) worshippers of Iswara be the custodian of the extensive wealth of the temple, viz. servants, cows, lands, gold etc.
बान्धवा यजमानस्य पुत्रास्सम्बन्धिनोऽपि च।
देवस्वन्नोपभुञ्जीरन्न प्रमाणीभवन्ति च॥३४॥
The blood relatives, sons or other relations of the person, who worships and contributes to the temple, even though not enjoying the temple wealth, cannot be the authority to run the temple.
यद्दतमस्मै देवाय यजमानेन भक्तितः।
ये नरा हर्तुमिच्छन्ति ते यान्तु निरयं चिरम्॥३५॥
Those, who wish to steal any material gifted by the worshipper with devotion to this Iswara, will stay in hell for long.
एकेनापि जगत्कृत्स्नं विभुत्वेनाधितिष्ठता॥१॥
Though himself part-less (indivisible whole) by nature, Siva, wearing part-moon (crescent) on head, has conquered the entire world all by himself. (Indirect reference here is to King Bhavavarman, Bhava meaning Siva).
स्थानातिशयलाभेन मुखे लसति भारती।
असत्कृत्योषिता यस्य महतीमुरसि श्रियम्॥२॥
The king having attained a wonderful state, in his mouth shines Saraswati; Lakshmi, the adversary of Saraswati, shines in his large chest.
सोमान्वयनभस्सोमो यः कलाकान्तिसम्पदा।
The king, of the Lunar lineage, shone like a moon in the sky with the wealth of arts and splendor (the gift of Saraswati and Lakshmi). He caused profuse tears to flood the lotus faces of his enemies’ women.
अतिषेणयतो यस्य प्रतापश्शरदागमे।
रवेरप्यधिकस्सह्यो न हि सावरणैरपि॥४॥
His splendor (heat) was more unbearable than the Sun’s on arrival of autumn, though kept out by (protective) enclosures.
सेतुप्रावृषि यस्यासीद्धास्तिनेष्वपि वारिषु॥५॥
He conquered mountain kingdoms from the head of the serpent supporting the earth (Adi Sesha); in lakes of even elephant’s depth, he had built bunds for protection during rainy season.
भटैरावेष्टितं यस्य रिपूणां परिखाजलम्।
अशुष्यत् सह चेतोभिः बन्धुस्नेहाप्लुतैरपि॥६॥
He dried up the waters in the moat of the enemies, though surrounded by warriors, relatives and friends.
समशेरत कामिन्यः पुष्पकेतोरनङ्गताम्॥७॥
On looking at his extreme handsomeness, stealing away the eye of mind, women envied the body-less state of Manmatha (Ananga).
रणे क्वचिदरातीणां पश्यतां यञ्चतुर्भुजम्।
अकाण्डेऽप्यगमद्भङ्गं सहचक्रो मनोरथः॥८॥
On the enemies noticing him at times in the battlefield with four arms with Chakra (discus) in one hand, their ambition broke into pieces, though not in keeping with the circumstances at the time.
भ्रान्ता विदूरतो यस्य कीर्तिराशामुखेष्वपि।
His fame spread far and wide, deluding the ambitions of men and it acquired further momentum with the words spoken by good people.
न केवलामिमां भूमिमशेषाञ्जेतुमिच्छति।
सर्वसाधनसंपत्या यो द्यामपि दवीयसीम्॥१०॥
With the wealth of means he had, he wished to conquer not only this entire earth without any residue, but also the distant heavens.
न गुणानामशेषाणां कश्चिदेकः समाश्रयः।
इति रुढप्रवादोऽयं गुणिना केन लुप्यते॥११॥
By which person of excellence will not the established saying that out of innumerable good qualities, at least one should be achieved, be erased?
महाराजाधिराजस्य तस्य श्रीभववर्मणः।
Of that king of kings, Sri Bhavavarman, there was a servant, who gained close proximity to him through reputed purity.
Translated by P.R.Kannan, Navi Mumbai