INDO-THAI CULTURAL UNITY
BRAHMINICAL CULTURE IN THAILAND The BRAHMINICAL CULTURE/RELIGION came to THAILAND at quite early stage of its history . Historians are unanimous on this that the oldest religion of SIAM was the BRAHMINICAL religion . Simultaneously , Historians are of the opinion that both – the BRAHMINICAL RELIGION and BUDDHISM came to THAILAND from CAMBODIA as that time THAILAND was the part of CAMBODIA before 13th century AD . Some inscriptions/petrograph with portraits including two portraits of LORD GANESHA have been found in BANGKOK . In one inscription description has been found how to establish SHIVA LINGA . Statues of LORD GANESHA , LORD VISHNU , GODDESS LAKSHMI and LORD SHIVA made up of bronze have been found which proves the presence of the INDIAN BRAHMINICAL CULTURE in THAILAND . In one of the statues out of four hands of LORD VISHNU in upper one hand CONCH and in other CHAKRA (WHEEL) have been found which appears to be made by some INDIAN sculptures as such . Similarly , in one of the statues , LORD SHIVA was shown doing TANDAV NRITYA which appears to be Similar to one statue of NATRAJA SHIVA found in SOUTH INDIA . In LOPURI , one very ancient temple has been found about which many historians are of the opinion that it was built on the basis of the HINDU arts and it appears to be similar to that of the HINDU temples found in the far-east of CAMBODIA . Three sleeping rooms have been found in this temple which appears to be built for sleeping purposes of LORD BRAHMA , LORD VISHNU and LORD SHIVA .* BRAHMINS in SIAM were honored like BUDDHIST MONKS in the King’s Palace and when new King was going to be crowned on the throne of SIAM , all these BRAHMIN PRIEST were invited for chanting VEDIC MANTRAS on this occasion . Near to the BATVOT-FRAM temple , there existed a village of BRAHMIN families who were locally called FRAMS . And there existed three temples of bricks in which still there exists a statue of TRIMURTI ( THREE STATUES OF — BRAHMA , VISHNU AND MAHESH ) called in THAILAND , FRAMHA RAKSHESHWAERVIDHI . Like an ancient INDIAN King , the King of THAILAND used to celebrate a festival called REKNA in his palatial garden . During this occasion , the King used to plough the field as we see in the ancient INDIA , RAJA JANAK of VIDEHA used to plough the land once In a year or so . We can also get such story in the BUDDHIST book called NITANT KATHA where the SHAKA King SUDYODHAN used to plough the field once in a year . Moreover that , in SIAM like in INDIA tonsure ceremony of children are still celebrated . INDO-SIAMESE cultural unity could , thus , be seen from this fact that in a HINDU temple of BANGKOK , the entire story of the RAMAYANA is ingraved .
BUDDHISM IN SIAM/THAILAND
As we know that before 14th century , SIAM was the part of CAMBODIA and the King of CAMBODIA was a staunch SHAIV ( WORSHIPER OF LORD SHIVA ) . In 1356 AD , a SURYAVANSHI KING RAMA freed SIAM from CAMBODIA . He called a BUDDHIST MONK called MAHASWAMI SANGHRAJ from SRI LANKA to propagate BUDDHISM in SAIM . Again in year 1358 AD he planted a branch of pious PIPAL tree brought from SRI LANKA . And later a BUDDHIST MONASTERY was built where that PIPAL tree was planted by the King . One can see what is inscribed on the SHIGH DWAR ( LION’S GATE ) of BOROBADUR temple of JAVA and VARHUT temple of INDIA are written on the BOUDH VIHARA of SIAM almost everywhere . The number of BOUDH VIHARA in SIAM is more than twenty thousand in which more than a 100,000 BUDDHIST MONKS used to stay . As per popular belief , under the pedestal of some of the BUDDHIST Statues present in those BOUDH VIHARA , there existed so many precious metals as such . MOST OF THE BUDDHIST MONKS are from HINYANA SECT and they used to wear saffron color cloths like the INDIAN BUDDHIST MONKS . Their heads are tonsured . BUDDHIST MONKS never do marriage . They are free from worldly lures/temptations . They use to beg every morning for their livelihood . They never take narcotics substance or liquor . And the THAI Government provides government helps to every BUDDHIST MONASTERY OF THAILAND as the Ruler of SIAM is considered as the First and the Supreme head of BOUDH RELIGION . He is protector of the religion . The King never interfares into the affairs of any BUDDHIST MONASTERY as such but he uses to appoint a manager called SANGHKARTA for BUDDHIST MONASTERIES who uses to solve the religious disputes on the advice of the King . The people of SIAM considers his king as the form of the God on the Earth . Many INDIAN traditions had been followed in SIAM/THAILAND since ancient times . We can find the influences of laws made by MANU and KAUTILYA — both were ancient INDIAN law givers , on SIAMESE culture . As MANU has divided crimes into eighteen parts , in the SIAM’S schedule of crimes of nineteen , MANU’S list of crimes were also included . Like MANU , who had discussed about seven types of slaves in his book MANUSMRITI , SIAM also had devided slaves into seven categories . As per KAUTILYA’S political philosophy , during medieval period , the King used to abdicate the throne at old age for his elder son and he used to live the rest of his life peacefully . In SIAM similar traditions also existed . Like INDIAN ancient philosophy that the interests on debt should not be more than principal , are still followed in SIAM . And on the coins of SIAM , the images of GAJSHINGH RAJ and DEMON are ingraved .
LITERATURES OF SIAM & INDIA
In the Literatures of SIAM importance of Epics like RAMAYANA and MAHABHARATAS are considered as high as in INDIA . It is said that those early inhabitants from INDIA had brought with them both the Epics . But with some changes in the story , these Epics are considered still today as very pious . On the basis of the story of RAMAYANA , there is other book in THAILAND called FANAN SUN NANG in which we can find descriptions of the lessons given by BALI to SUGRIV . On the other hand , there exists a drama called UNNARAT based on the INDIAN Epic called MAHABHARATAS . In this book , there is a description about ANRUDHA , the grandson of LORD SRI KRISHNA , have been made in a vivid language . Apart from these HINDU Epics , we can find numerous books on BUDDHISM as such . In one such book called PRATHOG , description about the emergence of the universe has been given which appears to be similar to that of the INDIAN thought related to the emergence of universe . In this book one can get description about MANU , the writer of book called MANUSMRITI . Here name of MANU has been written as THOUM MANU . One can get description of BHAVANI/VAVANI in a book called POKHVADI . And in the SOMAN KHODOM book LORD BUDDHA’S life history has been written in a very interesting way . In FRAFROTISAT , there is description about the past life of LORD BUDDHA . We can find that the PALI language has been more propagated than the SANSKRIT language as such in SIAM. As we know that King RAMA-VII has translated the BUDDHIST literature called TRIPITHAK from PALI language to THAI language . JIN KAL NALINI and KAM DEVI VANSH are some of the books written in the THAI language which give detail description about the history of BOUDH RELIGION . In the book called NOK KHRUM , about the origin of the First Man in this universe (ADIPURUSH) , it is written that the First Man had come out of the egg of goose/swan . Here in INDIA , We have a GOLDEN WOMB (HIRANYAGARVA) theory of the origin of the universe . Thus , we can see the impact of INDIAN culture and civilization on SIAM in numerous ways .
*CITED IN JOURNAL OF SIAM SOCIETY , V (1908) III. PP-20-21.
NOTE : THE SOURCES OF THE BLOG ARE TEXT BOOKS AND OTHER WRITTEN MATERIALS ON THE SUBJECT .
OUR NEXT BLOG WOULD BE ON THE HISTORY OF INDONESIA .