A Basic Study of Tā Prohm (Vat Bātī) Inscription

Lun Lay Thera


About more than 500 hundred Sanskrit inscriptions have been discovered inCambodia. These belonged to different eras such as Funan, Chenla and Angkor periods.In the Funan period, four Sanskrit inscriptions have been found such as the Vo Canh,Neak Tā Dambang Dek, Prasat Pram Loveng and Tā Prohm of Vat Bātī. The Vo Canhand Tā Prohm reflected Buddhism that pointed out the phases of Buddhist aspects andthe rest are described Hindu beliefs.

The Tā Prohm inscription also reflects the Cambodian people who worshippedBuddhism. This inscription tells us about the details of the splendour of Buddhism. Itmentions of both Kaundinya Jayavarman and Rudravarman who begin with aninvocation addressed to the Buddha. This is followed by the mentioning of holy relics,the Buddhist triple jewels, and details of how a Brahman court official becomes aBuddhist lay-disciple.

According to the inscription the king of Funan sponsored Buddhist activities forpurely political imperatives. And certainly, little is known about the domestic life ofCambodia. The inscriptions and other material remains are the works of elites and wereoften associated with the kings himself. We do not know definitely when Buddhism firstarrived in Cambodia. But, after a few centuries, Buddhism has flourished in the Funankingdom. Because of this fact, I would, therefore, like to investigate the splendour ofBuddhism through Tā Prohm inscriptions.

Key words: Buddhism, Tā Prohm inscription, Funan, King

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