Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam...

The two major religions of Srivijaya before the 13th century, Hinduism and Buddhism, were both originated from the country India. The Indian religion arrived at Southeast Asia as early as seven centuries before the arrival of the Europeans'. According to Chinese inscriptions, the spread of both Buddhism and Hinduism to the kingdom of Srivijaya was peaceful, without involving any warfare. The influenceof the religion was not found in the coastal areas but in royal residences inland even though the coatal area was the place where traders,sailors and merchant gather. However, there are both evidences that the Indians came to Indonesia and as well as the Indonesians travelled all the way to India and brought back some aspects of cultures at the same time was influence and new practices were introduced to Srivijaya.During the 13th century, Islam arrived. In that period, there were a lot of Gujaroti merchants visiting Southeast Asia frequently. This was probably how Islam was spread by merchants and traders from India's Coromandel Coast.

Hindu concept of devaraja was actually a crucial part for forming a strong nation at that period of time. Devaraja was the divine of communication between the kings and the god. According to Hinduism, the goals of life include dharma, artha and karma. Dharma in sanscript translate 'duty' or 'virute'. As for Artha, it is a sanscript term of material prosperity. Lastly, karma is also a sanscript word that means 'action', 'effect' and 'destiny'. The Hindus also worshipped gods including Shiva (picture on the left) and Varuna (picture on the right).

external image Srivijaya_-_God_Shiva.jpgexternal image Varuna.jpg

Mahayana and Vajrayan Buddhism
Before the 11th century, Srvijaya was a stronghold of Mahayana Buddhism. Because of this, Buddhist pilgrim,I-ching, stopped at Srivijaya. In the 13th century Mahayana Buddhism died out in India, as well as in Srivijaya. On the other hand, Vajaryan Buddhism which is only a subset of Mahayana Buddhism, existed only until the 13th century. Both types of Buddhism share the same concepts and the goal for both Mahayana and Vajaryan Buddhism is the attainment of Buddhahood. However, Vajarya Buddhism is an accelerated path to enlightment which is accomplished by tantra techniques. It died out in India and as well as in Srivijaya in the 13th century, merging with Hinduism practices, after the arrival of Islam. Being either a Mahayana or Vajaryan Buddhist, one has to follow the laws of Kurma which basically sends the message of avoiding committing any harmful actions.
external image 300px-Mandala1.jpg external image kuan_yin_--_in_white.jpg

(On the left) A mandala used in Vajrayan practices
(On the right) Kuan Yin, the godess of compassion,worshipped by the Mahayana Buddhists

Islam arrived in Sumatra in the 13th century from Indian and Arab merchants and traders. The followers of Islam, muslims, believe only in the god Allah who is believed to have no spouse, children or partners. In addition, they also believe that the world would come to an end appointed by the Allah. The muslims also believe in angels and they are considered unseen creatures of God. It is said that the angels are never disobedient and carries the god's will. Muslims also believe that four books, Torah, Pslams, Gospel and Qu'ran consist of messages that god wanted to pass down to us, human kind.

Works Cited

A Short History of SouthEast Asia. Ed. Peter Church. 4th ed. 80, 83-84.

Cruey, Greg. Politics and History - SE Asia for Visitors.4 Oct. 2006

Vajrayana - Biocrawler. 7 Oct. 2006 <http://www.biocrawler.com/encyclopedia/__Vajrayana__>

Muslim's Belief. 8 Oct. 2006 <http://www3.sympatico.ca/shabir.ally/new_page_4.htm.>

Mahayana- Biocrawler. 7 Oct. 2006 <http://www.biocrawler.com/encyclopedia/__Mahayana__>

Vajrayan at AllExperts. 7 Oct. 2006 <http://experts.about.com/e/v/va/

Buddhism - Buddha - Religions of India. 7 Oct. 2006

Network Indonesia - Culture - History of Indonesia. 9 Oct. 2006

Hinduism - Biocrawler. 10 Oct. 2006 <http://www.biocrawler.com/encyclopedia/Hindu

Siva. 9 Oct. 2006 <http://www.biocrawler.com/encyclopedia/Image:Siva.jpg>.
Varuna. 9 Oct. 2006 http://www.probertencyclopaedia.com/j/Varuna.jpg.
Mandala. 9 Oct. 2006 http://img.search.com/2/2c/300px-Mandala1.jpg.
Kuan Yin. 9 Oct. 2006 http://www.ourmothershouse.org/images/kuan_yin_-_in_white.jpg