Telaga Batu inscription
Telaga Batu inscription is a 7th-century Srivijayan inscription discovered in Sabokingking, 3 Ilir, Ilir Timur II, Palembang, South Sumatra around 1950s. The inscription is now displayed in National Museum of Indonesia, Jakarta, with inventory number D.155. In previous years around 30 Siddhayatra inscriptions was discovered around Southern Sumatra, all mainly mentioning about the Siddhayatra journey of Dapunta Hyang Sri Jayanasa, that according to Kedukan Bukit Inscription took place around the year 605 Saka (683 AD). Today all of these Siddhayatra inscriptions is stored in National Museum of Indonesia.
The inscription was carved on an andesite stone measuring 118 cm tall and 148 cm wide. On top of it adorned with seven nāga heads, and on the lower part there is somekind of waterspout tho channel the water probably poured during ceremonial allegiance ritual. The inscription was written with Pallava letters in Old Malay language.
The content of the inscription is quite long arranged in numbers of lines. However many of the letters are eroded and difficult to read, probably because of the allegiance ritual function attributed to the inscription. The inscription was probably was heavily used by pouring water or any type of liquid upon it, then the waterspout collect the liquid to be consumed by people that swore their allegiance to the king. Some lines of the inscription can be red. The content of Telaga Batu inscription from third to the fifth row are as follows:
“kamu vanyakmamu, rājaputra, kāyastha, prostara, bhūpati, senāpati, nāyaka, pratyaya, hāji pratyaya, dandanayaka, ....murddhaka,tuhā an vatak, vuruh, addhyāksi nījavarna, vāsīkarana, kumaramatya, cātabhata, adhikarana, karmma...., sthāpaka, puhāvam, vaniyāga, pratisara, kamu marsī hāji, hulun hāji, wanyakmamu urang, niwunuh sumpah dari mangmang kamu kadaci tida bhakti di aku”.
"You all: the son of kings, ministers, regents, commander, princes, officials, court officials, judges, .... murddhaka, chairman of the workers, supervisors commoners, weapons experts, ministers, soldiers, construction workers, karmma ... , clerk, architect, skippers, merchants, captains, ye king's servants, king's slaves, all people, will be killed by the spells of your oath if you are not loyal to me. "
The text written upon the inscription is quite long, however the content is mainly mentioning about the curses cast upon everybody whom may committed treason against kadatuan of Srivijaya or disobey the order of dātu (datuk). According to Casparis, the people, occupations or titles mentioned in this inscription was categorized as potentially dangerous people that might revolt against Srivijayan hegemony. In order to prevent possible uprisings, the ruler of Srivijaya thought it is important for them to be sworn to pledge their loyalty under the threat of curse.
These titles are mentioned: rājaputra (princes, lit: sons of king), kumārāmātya (ministers), bhūpati (regional rulers), senāpati (generals), nāyaka (local community leaders), pratyaya (nobles), hāji pratyaya (lesser kings), dandanayaka (judges), tuhā an vatak (workers inspectors), vuruh (workers), addhyāksi nījavarna (lower supervisors), vāsīkarana (blacksmiths/weapon makers), cātabhata (soldiers), adhikarana (officials), kāyastha (store workers), sthāpaka (artisans), puhāvam (ship captains), vaniyāga (traders), marsī hāji (king's servants), hulun hāji (king's slaves).
This curse inscription contains the most complete list of state officials. Because of this complex and stratified titles of state officials, some historian suggested that these titles only existed in the capital of the kingdom, thus insisted that the court of Srivijaya should be located in Palembang. However Soekmono suggested that this curse inscription should not be placed in the center of the court, because this inscription contains intimidation curse for anybody whom drohaka or committed the treasons against kadatuan, and he suggested that the capital of Srivijaya should be located in Minanga as mentioned in Kedukan Bukit Inscription assumed around Candi Muara Takus.
- Casparis, J.G., (1956), Prasasti Indonesia II: Selected Inscriptions from the 7th to the 9th Century A.D., Dinas Purbakala Republik Indonesia, Bandung: Masa Baru.
- Irfan, N.K.S., (1983), Kerajaan Sriwijaya: pusat pemerintahan dan perkembangannya, Girimukti Pasaka
- Madjelis Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia, (1958), Laporan Kongres Ilmu Pengetahuan Nasional Pertama, Volume 5.
- Soekmono, R., (2002), Pengantar sejarah kebudayaan Indonesia 2, Kanisius, ISBN 979-413-290-X.