Leaders - Government

According to inscriptions in the forms of old Malay it was revealed that Srivijaya was a monarchy. The inscriptions also revealed that kings of Srivijaya were served by a hierarchy of servants and were extremely wealthy. In the inscriptions, battles were also mentioned and that kings were considered unfriendly to the people at his capital. Punishments for being disloyal to the kings was death but on the other hand, those who showed faith and loyalty to the kings were promised eternal bliss. A king's power was also determined by his 'ritual soverignty'. A king was said to have sacred powers and reinforced the divine majesty by supporting the temple complexes and monks possesing learnings from India. Creating ceremonial centers by the ruler was also quite vital to maintain alliances with other kingdoms. Ceremonial centers was basically the center art, religion and learning.

Early Kings
Not a lot of inscriptions had been left by the Srivijayan state about their monarchs. The early kings’ names of Srivijaya were unknown. In 671 AD, it is told that one of the unknown kings embarked on a quest for finding extra land with a force of 20,000 men. One of the earliest inscriptions dated back between 683 and 684 AD where it mentioned about the establishment of Srivijaya’s sovereignty by the neighboring Batang Hari River. Another inscription stated that in 775, it reported the dedication of a Buddhist monastery.

Balaputra was one of the first known kings of Srivijaya. Balaputra was actually a former king of Seilandra Kingdom. Around 835 AD, Balaputra was crowned the Seilandra King and during his rule in Java, he simply changed the religion there from Hinduism to Buddhism. However, around 850 AD, Balaputra was defeated by Pakatan’s troops. In that situation, Balaputra was forced to flee Java and he headed for the kingdom of Srivijaya. In Srivijaya, he was easily crowned as the king due to weak opponents. However, there had been no records of his accomplishments or influences on the kingdom of Srivijaya.

King Chulamanivarmadeva
Between 988 and 1006 AD, Srivijaya was constantly attacked by the Javanese (Matarams). Around 992 AD, King Chulamanivarmadeva sent an ambassador to China requesting for imperial protection. In 1003 A.D. Srivijaya successfully defended their kingdom and King Chulamanivarmadeva erected a Chinese temple as an offering to the Chinese emperor. In 1006 AD, King Chulamanivarmadeva sent his troops to attack Dharmavamsa’s palace (Capital of Mataram) and managed to kill him. In around 1008 A.D, under King Chulamanivarmadeva’s rule, Srivijaya was at its height. At that time, Srivijaya had turned out to be the center of Buddhist learning and maritime trade nation. During that time, King Chulamanivarmadeva also built a Buddhist temple in Chola, India for merchants.

Parameswara was indeed the last prince of Srivijaya. During his rule, he converted to Islam and he also started the Sultanate of Malacca on the Malay peninsula. Parameswara was lucky enough to escape the capture of the Majapahit Kingdom and fleed to the Malay peninsula.

external image 131px-ParameswaraPortrait-1.jpg
Portrait of Parameswara

Works Cited

"Sotheast Asia" Asian History on File. New York 1995. 5.06

4. Southeast Asia, c. 900-1557. 2001, the Encyclopedia of World History - 8 OCt.
2006 http://www.bartleby.com/67/339.html.

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

Srivijaya - BioCrawler. 7 Oct. 2006 http://www.biocrawler.com/encyclopedia/Srivijaya