|Born||13 March 1050
Tuesday, 1st waning of Late Tagu 411 ME[note 1]
|Died||c. April 1084
Pyidawtha Island, near Magwe
Sawlu (Burmese: စောလူး [sɔ́lú]; also known as Min Lulin (မင်းလုလင် [mɪ́ɴ lṵlɪ̀ɴ], lit. Boy King; 1050–1084) was king of Pagan dynasty of Burma (Myanmar) from 1078 to 1084. He inherited from his father Anawrahta the Pagan Empire, the first ever unified kingdom of Burma (Myanmar) but proved an inexperienced ruler. In 1082, he faced a rebellion in Lower Burma, and was captured. He was later killed in captivity.
|Chronicles||Birth–Death||Age||Reign||Length of reign|
|Maha Yazawin||1006–1061||55||1035–1061[note 2]||26|
Moreover, the chronicles do not agree whether or not Sawlu was older than Kyansittha, Anawrahta's other son. According to early chronicles, Kyansittha was older (20 years per Zata) and (two years per Maha Yazawin). However, later chronicles Yazawin Thit and Hmannan say Sawlu was older by about one and two years, respectively.
At any rate, Anawrahta made Sawlu the heir presumptive even though Anawrahta already had a son, Kyansittha by a minor queen whom he had discarded. Sawlu was brought up by a Mon lady of noble birth. He grew up with the wet nurse's son Yamankan, who became a close friend of his. Sawlu was not interested in running the kingdom, and never participated in any of his father's military campaigns. He viewed Kyansittha, his half-brother and general in the Pagan army who was extremely popular with the people, with suspicion.
Sawlu ascended to the Pagan throne in March 1078 after his father Anawrahta had died under mysterious circumstances. When he became king, he married his father's Mon queen Manisanda (Khin U) and made her the chief queen. To run the Mon-speaking territories in the south, he appointed his trusted childhood friend Yamankan, an ethnic Mon. To administer the upcountry, Sawlu, at the urging of Primate Shin Arahan, reluctantly brought back Kyansittha, who had been sent to exile by Anawrahta for his affair with Manisanda. However, Sawlu soon had to banish Kyansittha again (this time to Dala near Yangon) because the latter renewed his affair with Manisanda.
As governor of Pegu, Yamankan continued to visit Sawlu at Pagan.[note 3] Knowing the inexperience of his childhood friend well, Yamankan decided to rebel. The chronicles describe the final breach between Sawlu and Yamankan in a dramatic way. The two were playing a game of dice, and Yamankan won. As Yamankan romped about in joy at his victory, Sawlu taunted him, "If you are so clever, why don't you rebel against me?"
Yamankan went back to Pegu, and revolted. In late 1082, he sailed up the Irrawaddy river with his army, and took a position on an island a few miles below Pagan. Sawlu recalled Kyansittha from exile, and gave him the command of Pagan army. They marched south and halted near Myingun (near Magwe). Yamankan's army was stationed at Thayet. Sawlu was impatient and against Kyansittha's warning, attacked. But Yamankan had expected such an attack and prepared his positions well. Sawlu's army was routed and the king was taken prisoner. According to the chronicle Zatadawbon Yazawin, the battle between Sawlu and Yamankan took place in November 1082.[note 4]
Kyansittha tried to rescue but Sawlu refused to be rescued. His last fatal miscalculation that Kyansittha would kill him to get the throne but his friend Yamankan would not. He was killed by Yamankan to prevent the further rescue attempts. Yamankan himself was ambushed by the sniper bow-shot of Nga Sin the hunter and died. Later Kyansittha became the third king of Pagan Dynasty.
According to Zatadawbon Yazawin, Kyansittha and Yamankan fought a battle c. April 1083 (Kason of 445 ME).[note 5] The battle may not be the final battle in which Yamankan was slain since Zata says Sawlu died in 1084 after having reigned seven years. However, other chronicles (Hmannan and Yazawin Thit) say he reigned only for five years, followed by an interregnum that lasted till 1084--implying that the king died in 1083.
Sawlu was so incompetent that it says much for the genius of the father that his kingdom survived the test.
- (Zata 1960: 64): The horoscope section of Zatadawbon Yazawin says he was born on Tuesday, 16th day of Late Tagu 411 ME. But the regnal list section of Zata (Zata 1960: 39) says he was born on a Wednesday. Hmannan Yazawin (Hmannan Vol. 1 2003: 279) also says he was born on a Wednesday.
- (Maha Yazawin Vol. 1 184–185): Sawlu died in 423 ME (1061–1062 CE), and his death was followed by two years interregnum. Kyansittha succeeded the throne only in 425 ME (1063–1064 CE).
- (Htin Aung 1967: 38): the name Yamankan (literally, Blind Mon) was not the governor's true name. It was an insulting posthumous name given by the chroniclers. His true name is lost to history.
- (Zata 1960: 83): 9th month (Natdaw) of 444 ME = 23 October 1082 to 20 November 1082.
- (Zata 1960: 84): The battle took place in Kason 445 ME ( 21 March 1083 to 19 April 1083). But since the new year's day of 445 ME fell on 26 March 1083 (6th waxing of Kason 445), Kason 445 only began on 6th waxing of Kason. Thus, the battle took place between 26 March and 19 April 1083.
- Maha Yazawin Vol. 1 2006: 348
- Htin Aung 1967: 38–39
- Hmannan Vol.1 2003: 274
- Harvey 1925: 34–36
- Hall 1960: 18
- Aung-Thwin, Michael A. (2005). The Mists of Rāmañña: The Legend that was Lower Burma (illustrated ed.). Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press. ISBN 9780824828868.
- Hall, D.G.E. (1960). Burma (3rd ed.). Hutchinson University Library. ISBN 978-1-4067-3503-1.
- Harvey, G. E. (1925). History of Burma: From the Earliest Times to 10 March 1824. London: Frank Cass & Co. Ltd.
- Htin Aung, Maung (1967). A History of Burma. New York and London: Cambridge University Press.
- Kala, U (1724). Maha Yazawin (in Burmese) 1–3 (2006, 4th printing ed.). Yangon: Ya-Pyei Publishing.
- Royal Historians of Burma (c. 1680). U Hla Tin (Hla Thamein), ed. Zatadawbon Yazawin (1960 ed.). Historical Research Directorate of the Union of Burma.
- Royal Historical Commission of Burma (1832). Hmannan Yazawin (in Burmese) 1–3 (2003 ed.). Yangon: Ministry of Information, Myanmar.
SawluBorn: 13 March 1050 Died: c. April 1084
|King of Burma
|Heir to the Burmese Throne