RARE SANSKRIT INSCRIPTIONS WITH MEDICAL INFORMATION (Post No.5052)

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 27 May 2018

 

Time uploaded in London – 20–39

 

Post No. 5052

 

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RARE SANSKRIT INSCRIPTIONS WITH MEDICAL INFORMATION (Post No.5052)

 

Thailand has several inscriptions with interesting information. They provide documented history. Like India the donations to Brahmins and temples stand as historical documents. A very interesting inscription is the Hospital Inscription.

The Stone inscription is in Sanskrit language. Its from the Ku Noi Hospital, Khonkaen Museum. It belongs to Jayavarman VII of 13th century CE. The inscription was discovered in the excavations at Kunoi.

 

It states that the site was a hospital at the time of Jayavarman VII. The bottom part of the stele is broken and missing. There are three different sizes of stone inscriptions- large, medium and small. Ku noi is in the middle group. All the stone inscriptions gave details regarding the hospital, such as the number of doctors, nurses and types of offerings etc.

 

The earliest inscriptions of Khmer history in Northern Thailand dated to the end of the 6th century CE. One found in the province of Surin, north of Ta Muen, was erected by a king called Mahendravarman. The inscription written in Sanskrit, commemorates the installation of Shiva’s bull Nadin. Mahendravarman ordered the inscription carved after he has conquered ‘all the country’.

 

The interesting coincidence is that at the same time the great Pallava King Mahendravarman was ruling from Kancheepuram in South India.

 

There is another stele in Bangkok museum, a Sanskrit inscription  giving the details of land given by the King Udyadityavarman II. Land was donated to priestly family of Brahmins. It is in Prasat Sdok Kok Thom.  This is one of the most important inscriptions for the study of the Khmer history. Now housed in the National Museum in Bangkok, it dates to about 1052 CE and chronicles the history of Shivakaivalya dynasty of priests who served the King Jayavarman II, founder of the Khmer Empire in 802. It relates how Jayavarman arrived from Java, became king of Indrapura and later moved his capital to Hariharalaya, close to Angkor on northern shore of the Tonle Sap.

 

In addition it also provides information on subsequent Khmer history, the Khmer system of kingship, the various beliefs adhered to and details about the Brahmin family and their involvement with later Khmer kings.

 

11 Inscriptions in Phnom Rung

The inscriptions of Prasat Phnom Rung offer a unique insight into the nature of Khmer rule in Northern Thailand between the 10th and 13th century CE. They record the family history of Narendra Adiytya and his son Hiranya. They were independent rulers and not the vassals of king at Angkor. Altogether 11 inscriptions were found at Phnom Rung. The name Phnom Rung itself occurs once on a stele inscribed with a Sanskrit eulogy and several times in Khmer inscriptions.

 

The earliest inscriptions found at Prasat Phnom Rung is in Sanskrit. It is only four lines, but has been dated to 7th century CE. This inscription might have been shifted from another site, because other structures at the site are of later periods.

 

Of the other Sanskrit inscriptions, the most important bears the inventory no K.384. It is also the biggest measuring about 27X 53 centimetres. Another inscription is also in Sanskrit. Hiranya is talking about installing a golden image of his father. The inscription commemorates the new additions to Saivite monastery in Phnom Rung. Hymn to Shiva is in the beginning which praises Shiva as Maha Yogi.

 

Among other inscriptions, however are fascinating details of the religious practices of the monastery on Phnom Rung Hill. One inscription with an inventory no. BR 14 is carved on a round stone slab almost a metre high, a shape associated with sema stones of boundary markers. The 12th century Inscription refers to a pool called Sri Surya as well as setting up the images of gods Shiva, Vishnu, Linga etc.

 

Sanskrit inscriptions in Thailand serve as a great source of history.

Source book Palace of the Gods, Smiththi Siribhadra and Elizabeth Moore; photography Michael Freeman Year 1992.

–subham–

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1 Comment

  1. interesting. do they throw any light on social or even princely life besides chronicling royal lineage or endowments?

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