The Date of King Jayavarman VII's Accession to the Throne: Its Relationship with the Interpretation of Bhūtasaṃkhyā, Veda Beliefs and Political Contexts

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Nipat Yamdate
Chirapat Prapandvidya
Sombat Mangmeesukhsiri

Abstract

This article aims to specify the date of King Jayavarman VII’s accession to the throne which is still a subject of scholarly debate due to the interpretation of the word ‘Veda’. Some scholars argue that the word denotes the number "4", others associate it to the number "3". Upon the investigation of the Bhūtasaṃkhyā system in which     numbers are recorded by words, as mentioned in Arogyasala and   Pimeanakas inscriptions, alongside Vedas beliefs in the reign of King Jayavarman VII, as depicted in Prasat Tor and Prasat Chrung inscriptions (k.288), the authors are of the opinion that the word ‘Veda’ denotes the number "4"; hence the date of the King’s accession to the throne should be in the śaka era 1104 (A.D.1182, B.E.1725).


            In the case of the word “Netra” which was used to record the date of King Jayavarman VII’s accession to the throne in the inscription (k.567) of the Maṅgalārtha temple, the authors suggest 3 ways of  interpretation: (1) the word does not signify the number ‘3’ or the three eyes of the god śiva but the number ‘4’ or the four Vedas and the four eyes of the Brāhmin who see Vedas; (2) the date recorded in the inscription is incorrect; and (3) some other numeral systems or artistic symbols related to the word ‘Netra’ may be found in the   future.


            Another evidence of King Jayavarman VII’s accession to the throne is Mi-Son inscription. It was written that Prince Vidyānanda of Champa visited Cambodia in the Saka era 1104. This could be implied that the Prince came to attend the coronation of King Jayavarman VII.

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