The inscription K. 733 from Phnom Preah Vihear and the root vidyā- in Cambodia
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The inscription K. 733 from Phnom Preah Vihear and the root vidyā- in Cambodia
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Anton Zakharov 
Occupation: Leading Research Fellow, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences; Professor, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education
Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
Moscow State University of Psychology and Education
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow

Early political, social and cultural history of Cambodia remains the realm of enigmas. Traditional accounts of a succession of the great kingdoms of Funan, Chenla and Angkor Empire (Briggs 1951; Cœdès 1968) seem but a simplification. Recent scholarship tends to view the early political landscape of Cambodia in terms of many small principalities and unstable claims to sovereignty (Vickery 1998). Furthermore, scholars have changed the term ‘Indian’ to ‘Indic’, stressing the local culture substratum prevalence over external influence and the outward resemblance of scripts, linguistic features and sculptural styles.

In 1937, the famous French historian and epigrapher George Cœdès opened his seminal Inscriptions du Cambodge (1937–1966) with the Sanskrit Phnom Preah Vihear inscription K. 733. He gave its French translation and chose this text because of its brilliant Sanskrit poetry and many references to Indian culture. Recently Swati Chemburkar and Shivani Kapoor (2018), and Dominic Goodall (2019) made use of this text examining the Pāśupata School in early Cambodia.

My present article focuses on a few points. First, I discuss how many kings named Bhavavarman are known from early Cambodian inscriptions of the sixth and seventh centuries. Second, I offer English and Russian translations of the Phnom Preah Vihear inscription K. 733. Third, I hope to bring together all the references to the Sanskrit root vidyā- in Cambodian Sanskrit and Old Khmer epigraphy and to examine its relation to the Pāśupata School of Shaivism. Fourth, I aim to show the Indic or Indian traits in ancient and medieval Cambodia.

Cambodia, inscriptions, epigraphy, Sanskrit, Indian philosophy, vidyā-, King Bhavavarman, Funan, Chenla
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2 The National Museum of Cambodia possesses many unique objects of ancient Khmer art and sculpture as well as inscriptions written on various materials. The early history of Cambodia is still full of mystery. The earliest kingdom in the Lower Mekong Delta known from the Chinese texts was Funan 扶南, which emerged in the beginning of the Common Era. During the sixth century CE, another kingdom emerged in the areas of the Tonle Sap Lake and the Dangrek Mountains. The medieval Chinese authors called this kingdom Zhenla, or Chenla 真臘; the latter spelling still predominates in modern scholarly discourse.
3 But recent historians, and Michael Vickery (1998) among them, have pointed out that there were many political centres in the territories of Cambodia during the first millennium CE. These centres often left few or no signs of their activity, but there is no contemporary text, written in Old Khmer and/or Sanskrit, which mentions the kingdoms of Funan or Chenla. On the contrary, the early inscriptions often mention no king at all; for example, see the Angkor Borei inscription K. 557/600 of 611 CE (Cœdès 1942: 21–23; Zakharov 2019: 66–80; 2016: 190–213).
4 The early inscriptions seldom give chronological and genealogical data. The scholars do agree that there were at least the two kings who reigned under the name Bhavavarman in the sixth to seventh centuries. The first Bhavavarman was the elder brother of the king Citrasena-Mahendravarman and an uncle of the king Īśānavarman I. This Bhavavarman and Citrasena-Mahendravarman were the two kings who, according to Chinese sources, were the rulers of Zhenla and who conquered Funan. Bhavavarman I issued the inscription K. 213 from Phnom Banteay Neang in the Battambang Province of Cambodia (Barth 1885: 26–28). Bhavavarman I is mentioned in the Prasat Roban Romas inscription K. 151 dated from 624 CE, which places the king to 598 CE (Cœdès 1943: 5–8). The inscription was found in the Kompong Thom Province of Cambodia; its original place was near the famous Sambor Prei Kuk temple site.
5 The second Bhavavarman was a successor—possibly even a son—of Īśānavarman I and left more inscriptions of greater eloquence. Among these texts are the inscriptions K. 79 dated from 639 or 644 CE and examined by Vickery in detail (1998: 281–284, 430–432, pl. II), and K. 1150 (Jacques 1986: 79–86). The inscription K. 79 was probably found in Ta Kev of the Ta Keo Province while K. 1150 was found in 1986 by Madame Anchana Chittasutthiyan in the area of Aranyaprathet, Prachinburi Province, Thailand.

The Si Thep mystery: how many Bhavavarmans were in the sixth and seventh centuries?


The Map 1: The Ancient Khmer Sites with the Si Thep and Preah Vihear locations marked in red. The source: Jacques & Lafond 2007: 13. Courtesy: River Books.

8 Since George Cœdès (1964: 156–158) had published the inscription K. 978 from around Si Thep in the Phetchabun Province of Thailand (see the Map 1), the number of Bhavavarmans in early Cambodia again became a point at issue. The French scholar read the inscription as follows:

1. – – śakapatisaṃva[tsare]

2. – – śubhrāṣṭamo – – –

3. – [di]kṣūrvy advayā na pra – – –

4. – ler abhyastabhūri – – –

5. … nanda – –

6. vidito dikṣu vikhyāta – –

7. kāṭā vai – – bhūtyaiṣa –

8. śivāṃs sthāpayet so pi rā[jā]

9. śrīcakravarttinaptā śrī

10. prathivīndravarmmatanayo ya[ḥ]

11. śrībhavavarmmendrasamas tasya

12. ca rājyodbhave kāle || (Cœdès 1964: 158)

10 He translated it as follows:
11 “In the year of the Śaka king…, in the eighth day of the waxing (or crescent) Moon… the eastern earth, undivided by two… famous in the east… (The statues of) Śiva were erected by this king, a grandson of Śrī Cakravartin, a son of Śrī Prathīvindravarman, (named) Śrī Bhavavarman, who is like Indra, when he ascended the kingdom” (Ibid.).
12 Cœdès was convinced that the inscription K. 978 did mention Bhavavarman I. He knew well that several inscriptions of Citrasena-Mahendravarman detail his pedigree. The king and his elder brother Bhavavarman were the sons of a certain Śrī Vīravarmman and grandsons of a certain Śrī Sārvvabhauma; see inscriptions K. 496–497 from Pak Mun or Khan Thevoda1, K. 508 from Tham Prasat or Tham Phu Ma Nai in the Ubon Province, Thailand; K. 1102 from Khon Kaen, and K. 1106 from Phimai in Thailand (Barth 1903: 445; BEFEO 1922: 385; Cœdès 1931, pl. I; Cœdès apud Seidenfaden 1922: 58; Jacques 1986: 66; Vickery 1998: 74–75). Cœdès identified Śrī Vīravarmman with Śrī Prathīvindravarman and Śrī Sārvvabhauma with Śrī Cakravartin. His main argument was the similarity of the names’ meanings: Sārvvabhauma means ‘the universal monarch’ and Cakravartin means ‘the sovereign of the world or the ruler of the country that borders with the sea everywhere’ (Cœdès 1964: 157).
1. The inscriptions K. 496–497 are engraved on two sandstone stelae. The height of both stelae is 1.7 m. Both stelae have a Sanskrit inscription of six lines. Their texts are poetic and composed as three stanzas in the anuṣṭubh metre. The stelae are located on a Khan Thevoda Hill on the right bank of the Mun River near her confluence to the Mekong River.
13 Pace Cœdès, the difference between the inscriptions issued by Bhavavarman I and that of Si Thep is striking. First, the texts of Bhavavarman I are poetic: they are composed in verse, whereas the K. 978 from Si Thep lacks evidence of any poetic nature; it looks like a damaged prose text. Second, the inscriptions of Bhavavarman I give no chronological data, contrary to the Si Thep text. Third, Cœdès took for granted that there could be only one monarch who claims a universal sovereignty but this is not self-evident. Last but not least, the identification of Śrī Vīravarmman and Śrī Prathīvindravarman remains hypothetical. We know that Citrasena adopted a royal name Mahendravarman but it gives no proof that the king could have two royal abhiṣeka, or consecration, names with the root -varman.
14 While Cœdès’ hypothesis is still feasible, it is more probable that K. 978 was issued by the third Bhavavarman. The location of the Si Thep inscription in the Pa Sak area is rather remote from the places where the inscriptions of Bhavavarman I were found. Even the inscription K. 213 from Phnom Banteai Neang in the Battambang Province of Cambodia, issued by Bhavavarman, is composed in the triṣṭubh metre and engraved in the single line (Barth 1885: 26–28). This source is also located far from the Si Thep area. Śrī Vīravarmman was mentioned in the inscription K. 359 from Veal Kantel in the Stung Treng Province, Cambodia. The text mentions his daughter who married a certain Somaśarman. This daughter was called a sister of Śrī Bhavavarman. She and Somaśarman were the parents of Hiraṇyavarman who erected the sculpture, perhaps, a lingam, of Śrī Tribhuvaneśvara (Barth 1885: 28–31).

The inscription K. 733 from Phnom Preah Vihear (Kompong Chnan, Cambodia)

16 The Phnom Preah Vihear inscription (figs. 1–2) opens the first volume of Cœdès’ seminal Inscriptions du Cambodge (1937: 3–5). It was especially attractive for him because of its Sanskrit text, clear script and rich Hindu references. The inscription is engraved on the stele of 0.76 m high and 0.63 m wide. It consists of 9 lines of Sanskrit poetic text. The first eight lines contain the śloka metre and the last line is in āryā metre. Cœdès dated the inscription to the reign of Bhavavarman II because of its script and the absence of the characters jihvāmūlīya and upadhmanīya ᳶ that were in constant use in earlier inscriptions. (1937: 3). The Phnom Preah Vihear text was published in Devanagari by Ramesh Chandra Majumdar (1953: 18) but he gave no translation. I offer English and Russian translations with a commentary in English. The Latin numbers refer to the strophes whereas Arab numbers mark the lines of the inscription K. 733.

Fig. 1: The EFEO Print no. 928 / K. 733. Courtesy: École française d’Extrême-Orient.


Fig. 2: The EFEO Print no. 928 / K. 733—text only. Courtesy: École française d’Extrême-Orient.

19 The text of K. 733

I.(1). jayatīnduravivyoma-vāyvātmakṣmājalānalaiḥ tanoti tanubhiś śambhuryyo ṣṭābhir akhilañ jagat

II.(2).vijitya yaḥ kṣitipatīnnītiśauryyavalānvitān divaspṛśaṃ samārabhyayaśa[ḥ]2stambham akīlayat

III.(3).rājā śrībhavavarmmetibhavaty adhikaśāsanaḥ somavaṅśyo py aridhvānta-pradhvaṅsanadivākaraḥ

IV.(4).tasya pāśupatācāryyaḥvidyāpuṣpāhvayaḥ kaviḥ śabda3vaiśeṣikanyāya-ta[t]tvārthakṛtaniścayaḥ

V.(5).śrāyasīṃ gatim uddiśyaśrīsiddheśapraṇālikāṃ rājatīṃ rājato la[b]dhvākārayitvāpy atiṣṭhipat

VI.(6).tatas sa niṣkramad nānā-tīrthāyatanaparvvatān kathañ cid ānīta ihasvapnānte śrītriśūlinā

VII.(7).yathā pradarśitaṃ svapnedṛṣṭavān iha śāṅkaraṃ liṅgaṃ padaṃ goṣpadañ cabhasma tuṅgīśaparvva[t]e

VIII.(8).pradānāni pradāyāsmaidāsādīni śivāya saḥ punaś śaivena vidhinātaptvā śaivaṃ pa.aṃÈÈ

IX.(9)yāvat pradānam asmai śivāya gobhūhiraṇyadāsādi bhogyaṃ pāśupatānām ahāryyam a …

2. Correction by Ramesh Chandra Majumdar (1953: 12). Cœdès does not comment upon that obvious omission.

3. My own correction is due to the print of the inscription made for the cole Franaise d’Extrême-Orient. Cœdès writes çapda (śabda in current transliteration norms, 1937: 4).

The English translation with a commentary

22 I.(1). Conquers Śambhu (Śiva) who extends to all this world by his eight forms: Moon, Sun, Sky, Wind, Mind (ātman), Earth, Water, and Fire!4
4. Cf. the Canggal inscription of Sañjaya from Central Java dated from 732 CE saying yo ṣṭābhistanubhirjagatkaruṇayā puṣṇāti, “who flourish by his eight forms for the compassion to this world” (line 8, strophe 4; Sarkar, 1971, p. 17).
23 II.(2). Having conquered the kings, who possessed political wisdom (nīti), prowess/valour and armies, he (the king Śrī Bhavavarman) did stake this beautiful column to touch the sky.5
5. Cœdès translates yaśastambham as “the column of his glory” (« le pilier de sa gloire »; 1937: 4).
24 III.(3). The king Śrī Bhavavarman, whose rule is excellent, annihilates his enemies like the sun [destroys] night; despite that he is of the Lunar dynasty!6
6. Сœdès treats the compound aridhvāntapradhvaṅsanadivākaraḥ as « c’est un soleil anéantissant l’obscurité des ennemis » that lacks comparison of ‘night’ (dhvānta) and ‘day’ (div). He also translates adhikaśāsana as « doué d’une autorité sans égale » (gifted by unmatched power) that seems likely too.
25 IV.(4). His teacher, a Pāśupata (an adept of Śiva) whose name is Vidyāpuṣpa (‘Flower of wisdom’), is a poet and connoisseur of truth, language (grammar) and the [doctrines of] Vaiśeṣika and Nyāya.7 V.(5). Having shown the path to welfare and obtaining silver, [he] ordered the building of the silvery channel8 for the illustrious Lord of the Magic (Śrī Siddheśa).9
7. I discuss the question of Indian philosophic and religious schools below, in a separate section of the article.

8. Praṇālikā is a form of the term praṇāla ‘a channel from a pond’ (Monier-Williams 1899: 660). The first word corresponds with the word rājatīṃ (Acc. Sg. fem.) ‘silvery; (of) silver’ in the stanza Ⅴ.

9. Cœdès offers another translation: « Ayant en vue une condition supérieure et l’ayant obtenue du roi, il fut faire pour Śrī Siddheśa une rigole en argent et l’installa » (1937: 5). Personally I see no mention of the ‘king’ in the strophe Ⅴ, if one agrees that īśa from siddheśa refers to the name of a deity or a divine title. Even if one admits that īśa means ‘lord, king’, this word stays in a position of the compound type tatpuruṣa before the word praṇālikā where the compound means “a channel for the Lord of Magic”.
26 VI.(6)–VII.(7). Going out to various places of pilgrimage, sanctuaries and mountains, he was brought here (in this world) during his sleep, by Śrī Triśūlin (‘The Bearer of Trident,’ i.e. Śiva), | since he, instructed in his dream, saw here (in this world) Śiva’s male organ, footprints and puddles (which covered the latter), and ashes [on which Śiva sits] on the Mount Tuṅgīśa (Śiva’s mountain).
27 VIII.(8). He gave donations/bestowals to this Śiva, including slaves,10 again being practiced ascetics as a devotee of Śiva in a Śaiva [manner]…
10. The term dāsa usually means ‘slave or servant’. I follow scholarly convention but one should remember that the legal status of the dependent persons in Ancient Cambodia remains problematic (see Vickery 1998; Jacques 2014; Zakharov 2019).
28 IX.(9). These large donations of the Pāśupata (adepts of Śiva) to Śiva, including cattle (oxen and cows), land, gold, slaves and money, should not be taken away…

The Indian Philosophy in Cambodia

30 The fifth stanza of the K. 733 mentions śabdavaiśeṣikanyāya or the grammar and doctrines of the Indian philosophical schools Vaiśeṣika and Nyāya (see also Goodall 2019: 27). Another ancient Cambodian inscription, also written in Sanskrit and found in Sambor Prei Kuk, K. 604, contains the same compound:
31 (15) śabdavaiśesikanyāya-samīkṣasugatādhvanām |
32 (16) dhuri yo likhito nekaśāstraprahatavuddhibhiḥ || (Goodall 2019: 45; Finot 1928: 44).
33 The translations of the term by Finot and Goodall are different. Finot translates it as follows: « Celui-ci fut proclamé par les connaisseurs de multiples sciences comme la plus haute autorité dans les systèmes de la Grammaire, du Vaiśeṣika, du Nyāya, du Samīkṣa ( = Sāṅkhya) et du bouddhisme » (1928: 46). But Goodall, following a suggestion proposed by Arlo Griffiths, offers another translation: “The experts of many sciences inscribed him at the head of the list of those who have followed [to the end] the paths of grammar, of Vaiśeṣika, of Nyāya, and of the philosophy [of the Sāṅkhyas] (samīkṣā)”, (2019: 49), omitting the reference to Buddhism that appeared in Finot’s understanding of the passage. Finot adds Buddhism due to a meaning of the word sugata but Goodall believes that sugatādhvanām should be connected with the technical phrase dhiri likhito that ‘requires a plural genitive’ and denotes ‘accomplished people’ (2019: 48–49).
34 Be that as it may, the most important reference is the one to the Vaiśeṣika and Nyāya in both K. 733 and K. 604. Goodall cites the third inscription K. 364 (Section 3, stanza 18) from Ban That where these schools are listed with the Sāṅkhya, the Grammar of Pāṇini and its Commentary by Patañjali: nyāyasāṅkhyakaabhuṅmataśabdaśāstrabhāṛyārthasomam (Goodall 2019: 50; cf. Finot 1912: 16, 25). The list calls the Vaiśeṣika School kaabhuṅmata, the terminolgy stressing an Atomistic philosophy because kaa means ‘atom’. I would suppose these references show the acquaintance of ancient Khmers with the Vaiśeṣika Atomistic viewpoint of Indian scholars, suggesting that the widely-held view that Indic influences in Cambodia should be viewed in only in religious, linguistic and cultural spheres needs to be refined to include the domain of sophisticated philosophy.

The Pāśupata School and the root vidyā- in Cambodia

36 The Pāśupata tradition in Indochina was recently examined in detail by Goodall (2019) and by Swati Chemburkar & Shivani Kapoor (2018). Goodall supposes the root Vidyā- may refer to a Pāśupata follower; he gives a list of inscriptions containing this root, and a half of them,—namely, K. 80, K. 733, K. 54 of 629 CE, K. 13 of 614 CE, and K. 604 of 627 CE,—have explicit references that the bearers of Vidyā-names were Pāśupata (2019: 27). He gives the following names:

“Vidyākumāra K. 79/639,8 K. 561/681.

Vidyākīrti K. 127/683.

Vidyādeva*11 K. 80.

Vidyādharadeva K. 561/681.

Vidyāpuṣpa* K. 733.

Vidyāvarabindu K. 652/687.

Vidyāvinaya* K. 54/629.

Vidyāvindu* K.13/624.

Vidyāviśeṣa* K. 604/627.

Vidyāśakti K. 493/657”.

11. Goodall’s asterisk points out the inscriptions with clear references to the Pāśupata followers.
38 But Goodall’s list seems exemplary rather than exhaustive, and further attestations of the term suggest that it is not always the case that the Vidyā-denominated name confirms the presence of a Pāśupata.
39 For example, the Prasat Ampil Rolum inscription K. 163, dated to the seventh century, mentions kñuṃ ʼaṃnoy poñ vidyā -n ta vraḥ kaṃmratāṅ ʼañ śāstā vraḥ kaṃmratāṅ ʼañ maitreya vraḥ kaṃmratāṅ ʼañ śrī avalokiteśvara ... (II.5–7): “Slaves given by the poñ Vidyā- to My Holy High Lord Śāstṛ (Teacher or Buddha, or Vishnu), My Holy High Lord Maitreya, My Holy High Lord Śrī Avalokiteśvara” (Сœdès 1954: 101; Jenner 2009a–b, >>>> with minor corrections12). Here we see the mention of the root Vidyā- in the Buddhist context.
12. Jenner did change the name Vidyā to Prajñācandra who occurs in the first part of the inscription; I also added the meanings of the term śāstā < śāstṛ.
40 The seventh century inscription from Tan Kran K. 726 mentions a certain poñ Vidyācaṅn or Vidyācandra (B.5; Сœdès 1953: 76, Сœdès’ conjecture) along with poñ Īśānagupta; the text also includes the phrase svarga śivapura (A.3) that means “the heaven of Shiva’s abode”. The Sambor inscription K. 132 dated to 708 CE, mentions the image of Śrī Vidyādhāraṇī erected by a certain physician in 693 CE; this pious man passed away in 629 CE (Сœdès 1942: 85). The seventh century Phnom Ho Phnou inscription K. 76 refers to a certain poñ Vidyādhivāsa (Сœdès 1953: 8). The text is Old Khmer but it includes names of Sanskrit origin, Candrakumāra, Viṣṇu, Rudra and Siṅha among them.
41 The pre-Angkorian Vat Thlen inscription K. 1 refers to poñ Vidyābhadra (Сœdès 1954: 29). This text is of great value because it describes the actions by certain ‘governors’—mratāñ kloñ of Jyeṣṭhapura, mratāñ kloñ of Bhavapura, and ācārya Īśānadatta (Goodall 2019: 71–72)—as well as the erection of an image of the deity Śrī Śaṅkaranārāyaṇa, who is Viṣṇu, Śiva, or Harihara (Lavy 2003: 21–39).
42 Less important is the tenth century mention of two Vidyāguru whose images were probably installed by a certain Yajñavarāha, who erected an image of Vāgīśvarī according to the Banteai Srei inscription K. 575A (Majumdar 1953: 281–282). Vāgīśvarī may denote Brahmā, Sarasvati or else an orator (Monier-Williams 1899: 936). Another 949 CE inscription from Tuk Chum K. 238 mentions a certain steṅ , or ‘My Venerable’, Vidyādhipa who obtained a rice-field for a deity. The context shows many ācārya and Trailokyanātha. According to Сœdès (1954: 120–121), this Trailokyanātha the ‘lord of three worlds,’ is not an image of Lokeśvara but may be Rāma from the Rāmāyaṇa. Another inscription from Kok Samron dated to 966 CE also mentions steṅ or venerable Vidyādhipa (Сœdès 1951: 82). This text seems Buddhist because of its beginning praising the Buddhist community: namas sa[]ghāya (Сœdès 1951: 80).
43 The eleventh century Trapan Kramal inscription from the present Ubon Province of Thailand mentions a mrateñ Vidyāpanditta (Сœdès 1964: 62). The deity here is Vinaya and corresponds to the Buddhist discipline but the context is unclear. The tenth century Prasat Kantop inscription K. 353 mentions a certain vāp Vidyāśiva twice (Сœdès 1953: 135). The term vāp is a ‘courtesy title for commoner men’ (Jenner 2009a, >>>> s.v. ‘id.’). The name of a loñ — an official of unclear function — Vidyāśiva occurs in the Kuk Prasat inscription K. 741 of 994 CE (Сœdès 1953: 161).
44 The place name Vidyāśrama occurs several times in the Old Khmer epigraphy. It appears in the Preah Einkosei inscriptions K. 262 of 983 CE (southern part, lines 46, 47 – anak vidyāśrama “the folk of Vidyāśrama or the Abode of Wisdom”; Сœdès 1952: 113, 118), and K. 263 of 984 CE (D.60, 63; Сœdès 1952: 129, 138). The twelfth century Angkor Wat inscription K. 298 mentions anak sañjak Vidyāśrama “loyal folk of or the most trusted servant (named) Vidyāśrama” (cf. Aymonier 1883: 208). An official steṅ Vidyāśrama occurs in the Prasat Kok Po inscription K. 814 of 1004 CE (Сœdès & Dupont 1937: 407, 412). Another official or member of a court vraḥ sabhā Vidyāśrama—kaṃmrateṅ Vidyāśrama—who demarcated land possessions and obtained some cloths, occurs in the Vat Baset inscription K. 206 of 1042 CE (Сœdès 1951: 11, 13, 16). He also occurs in another Baset inscription of the same date, K. 207 (Сœdès 1951: 18, 19, 21, 23). In that text, Vidyāśrama is called the teacher (adhyāpaka) of the temple of Śrī Jayakṣetra and the reciter of Dharmaśāstra (svat vraḥ dharmmaśāstra). Philip Jenner translates it as “...My Holy High Lord of the Vidyāśrama, reciting the Dharmaśāstra...” (2009a–b; >>>> accessed 13.07.2019).
45 The eleventh century Phnom Chisor inscription K. 34 (A.18) mentions a place or personal name Vidyādharmma; its text refers to Hiraṇyagarbha, Hari and Śaṅkara—the Hindu triad of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva (Сœdès 1951: 153–154). The Old Khmer Stung Chrap inscription K. 693 of 1003 CE mentions a certain vāp Vidyānanta (Сœdès 1953: 205). The main actors of the inscription K. 693, Brahmaputra and his brother Amarānanta, both bear the title ‘vāp’; one may translate it as ‘respectable’. The Prasat Trapang Run inscription K. 598 of 1006 CE mentions a certain vāp Vidyāmaya and a vāp Śivavrāḥmana (Finot 1928: 68); the text is clearly Hindu and not Buddhist as it opens with a eulogy to Viṣṇu, Śiva, and Brahma.
46 The Old Khmer Trapang Don Mas inscription K. 843 of 1025 CE mentions another Vidyāmaya thrice but as a chloñ ‘an unidentified official rank’ (A.35–36, B.10–11, C.29–30; Сœdès 1964: 110–112). The pertinent deities are Vraḥ, or Holy, Guru and Śivaliṅga. The K. 843 also mentions a high official mratāñ khloñ Śrī Vijayendrapandita who read dharmaśāstra in Īśvarapura (A.19–20; Сœdès 1964: 110). The Preah Nan inscription K. 89 of 1002 CE contains a name Vidyāvīraloka (Сœdès 1951: 166). Сœdès (1951: 169, n. 2) believes it was a posthumous name.

The tenth century Prasat Chen inscription K. 182-I from Koh Ker mentions a certain gho or male slave Vidyāmaya (Chhom 2011: 32; Jacques 2014: 294, 296).13 Another Prasat Chen inscription K. 182-II refers to gho Vidyābhāva in the line 54 (Chhom 2011: 42) or line 58 (Jacques 2014: 286–287)14. The two gho named Vidyābhāva occur in the Prasat Kracap inscription K. 183-10 (Chhom 2011: 115–116; Jacques 2014: 146–148). The same name appears in the Prasat Kracap inscription K. `183-25 (Chhom 2011: 176; Jacques 2014: 206–207). According to Kunthea Chhom (2011: 151, 315), the Prasat Kracap inscription K. 183-19 presumably mentions tai khñuṃ [kule] vidyābhāva ‘a female servant [of/from the family of] Vidyābhāva,’ but Claude Jacques (2014: 168) reads tai (khñuṃ) k(u)le – – – only. The EFEO print published by Jacques shows no clear sign in the place of possible mention of Vidyābhāva (Jacques 2014: 169). A gho or slave Vidyā occurs in the Prasat Kracap inscription K. 183-20 (Chhom 2011: 154–155; Jacques 2014: 170–17115) and in the Prasat Kracap K. 183-23 (Chhom 2011: 167; Jacques 2014: 178–179). A gho Vidyādeha occurs in another Prasat Kracap inscription K. 183-21 (Chhom 2011: 159–160; Jacques 2014: 174–175).

13. Jacques puts the name in the line 17, and he is right, if one follows the number of lines in the biggest part of the fragment 2 on the EFEO print n 92-1 fragment 2 / K. 182-I. But the smaller upper part of the fragment clearly shows that there was at least one upper line in the text (see Jacques 2014: 296; Chhom 2011: 36).

14. Despite the reading seeming clear, I cannot establish the number of lines in the inscription without inspecting its fragments personally in situ. Therefore I give different numberings by Chhom and Jacques.

15. Jacques places the sign v in round brackets but without explanation. The picture of the EFEO print clearly reveals the sign in the beginning of line 5.
48 The root vidyā- can be found in the Prasat Chen inscription K. 182-Ⅲ, line 57 (Chhom 2011: 46) and in the Prasat Kracap K. 183-10 (Chhom 2011: 116; Jacques 2014: 146–147, 149). Jacques (2014: 289) reads the K. 182-Ⅲ in another way, enlisting 87 lines and reading gho avidyāghana in the line 69. Unfortunately, the damage of the inscription itself—clearly seen on the EFEO print (Jacques 2014: 291)—gives no way to restore the reading.
49 The eleventh century Prasat Sek Ta Tuy inscription K. 617 mentions a certain Vidyāvāsa (A.19, Finot 1928: 56). A khloñ Vidyāvāsa occurs in the Phnom Bayan inscription K. 852 of 1107 CE (Сœdès 1937: 267). The Phnom Aksar inscription K. 523 of 1118 CE mentions a guru Vidyāvāsa and tapasvi(n) or ascetic Vidyāspada (Сœdès 1951: 137, 139).
50 The term vidyā also appears in compounds. The thirteenth century Angkor Wat inscription K. 300 makes use of the term vidyeśavid as personal name “One who knows the Lord of Knowledge or Śiva” in the stanza 40 of its side A, and that person knew all the sciences (sarvvadā sarvvavidyābhis sevito vedyam āvīdan | tasmād vidyeśavid iti nāmnā yaḥ prathito bhuvi) (Barth 1885: 571, 583). The same text mentions the name Vidyeśadhīmat in the concluding stanza 103 (side B):
51 vidyābhis sakalābhiryyas sarvvadā sevito bhṛśam |
52 vidyeśa iva vidyeśadhīmānityativiśrutaḥ || (Barth 1885: 578; Majumdar 1953: 557).
53 “All the sciences live in him like in the Lord of Knowledge (i.e. Shiva), and he is known by another name Vidyeśadhīmat (Learned in sciences)”. I would suppose that Vidyeśadhīmat and Vidyeśavid was the same person who served as the main priest under the king Jayavarman and his predecessors.
54 The Prasat Kantop inscription K. 353 of 1046 CE four times mentions vraḥ kaṃmrateṅ Vidyeśvarapandita who was a teacher (adhyāpaka) of Śivapāda (Сœdès 1953: 136–137); he lived during the reign of Suryavarman I and bore the name Bhadrāspada earlier.
55 As can be seen, the root vidyā- was popular in ancient Cambodia. It may denote a Pāśupata follower, and it did occur in the Angkorian inscriptions of the eleventh and thirteenth centuries as the reference to ‘all knowledge’ or ‘all sciences’. But it also had been used in Buddhist context and in the Old Khmer names of servants without proper reference to any religious school. These Old Khmer names were of Sanskrit origin but during the Angkor times the root vidyā- lacked any specific reference to high social groups and in fact became a popular root for the personal names of servants or ‘slaves’.

Russian Translation = Русский перевод

57 I.(1). Побеждает Шамбху (Шива), который простирается на весь мир своими восьмью формами: Луной, Солнцем, небом, ветром, сознанием (атман), землёй, водой и огнём!
58 II.(2). Победив царей, знающих политическое искусство, доблестных и имевших войско, он (царь Бхававарман) вначале повелел воздвигнуть прекрасную колонну, чтобы касалась неба.
59 III.(3). Хотя царь Шри Бхававарман, чья власть превосходна, принадлежит к Лунной династии, он уничтожает врагов подобно тому, как Солнце [изгоняет] ночь!
60 IV.(4). Его наставник-пашупат (шиваит) – поэт по имени Видьяпушпа («Цветок мудрости»), знаток истины, грамматики и [учений] вайшешики и ньяи.
61 V.(5). Указав путь к процветанию и получив серебро, [он] повелел построить серебряный канал для прекрасного Владыки красоты/йоги/чародейства/святости/рая (или: для почтенного Прекрасного владыки).
62 VI.(6)–VII.(7). Уходя в разные места паломничества, святилища и горы, он был принесён сюда (в этот мир) во время сна Шивой (Владыкой трезубца), | так как/поскольку он, получив видение во сне, и здесь (в этом мире) видел половой орган и отпечатки ног Шивы, а также лужи (собравшиеся в этих отпечатках), и пепел[, на котором восседает Шива,] на горе Тунгиша (Горе Шивы).
63 VIII.(8). Он совершил дарения этому Шиве, в том числе рабов, снова практикуя аскезу, как шиваит, в шиваитском [духе]…
64 IX.(9). Столь большие дары шиваитов (пашупатов) этому Шиве, включая скот (быков и коров), землю, золото, рабов и деньги, никто да не отнимет!..


66 Thus, the K. 733 inscription reveals many Indic signs in ancient Khmer culture. It confirms a deep knowledge of Indian philosophy and religion in early Cambodia. The analysis of the early Cambodian inscriptions reveals the diverse functioning of the Sanskrit root vidyā- which may have denoted a Pāśupata follower as well as a servant or a Buddhist. Finally, this essay shows that there were at least three kings named Bhavavarman in the sixth and seventh centuries.


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