Introduction of Religio-Cultural
Emissaries From India
According to the local tradition Cambodia (Kamboja) and Annam
(Campa) were brought under the Indian influence by Kaundinya, a
brahmana, who married Dana, a local princess, and took over the
rule of the kingdom there. In all probability, he was, to a great
extent, responsible for the introduction of Indian culture in Indo-china.
In Champa, the Vo-Canh Rock Inscription datable to 400 A.D. is
the earliest document referring to Visvajit sacrifice, an orthodox
Hindu sacrifice to be performed in one of the countries overseas.
One of the two Cho-Dinh inscriptions, also datable to 400 A.D.,
is benedictory in character praying for the progeny of Bhadravarman
and would perhaps point to the efforts of the Indian settlers, the
anxiety to stabilise the rich heritage of India, as also to enrich
the culture of the country they settled in. An inscribed stele from
My-Son, rich for its ancient Hindu monuments, praises Bhadravarman
as versed in the four Vedas-Catur-vaidya.
The majority of settlers in Cambodia hailed from south India.
The kings assumed the title dharma-maharaja and their names ended
with varman. Years were reckoned in the Saka era. Two epigraphs
belonging to the Fou nan (fifth century A.D.) reveal that Visnu
and Buddha were worshipped while the Phou Lokhon (Laos) Inscription
speaks of the worship of Siva. The names of bhiksus Ratnabahu and
Ratnasimha are to be found in the Vat Prey Vier Sanskrit epigraph.
Thus it appears that Hindusim, including Buddhism, prevailed here
but curiously enough the characteristic of this colonial Hinduism,is
that it presents a blending of peculiarly different sects, which
is less known in India. Siva and Buddha are often represented identically.I6
From the foregoing it is clear that the well- known Vaidika ideal
krnvantoo visvam aryam (let us make everyone in the world a noble
soul) was the foremost guide-line of the Indian missionaries. For
their work they devised two systems, samrat and parivrat signifying
political and religio-cultural movements. Normally, the way to infuse
religio-cultural ideas was paved by the parivrajakas, who tried
to gather information of all types and of all places from the pilgrim
centres in India itself and planned their itinerary to foreign lands
along with merchants. In case of any difficulty, the samrat perhaps
was to take a forceful action according to the needs and circumstances.
Samudragupta's sojourn might perhaps be considered to belong to
this type of Hinduisation.