The Historical Important of the Disapramuk Inscreption, A.D. 1285
The King called a ( war ) council and said: “ Pagan is small. The walls are low. It could not keep a strong force to do the defensive for long. Let us make fortification starting from Badin on the north upstream down to Ywatha. Enough stones and bricks could not be made in time. Pull down pagodas, temples and monasteries for bricks “. In this way 1,000 big temples, 10,000 small temples and 300 brick monasteries were destroyed. Then in one of the big temples the Prophecy of Anonyaza written on a red copper plate was found. It stated that Pagan would be destroyed at the time of king father of Twins. A check was made and one of the concubines did really have twins. The King realized that his effort to put a stand against the Tayoke was futile. He decided to flee down the river. So a fleet was mustered. On 1,000 boats were put the palace treasure; 1,000 cargo boats carried paddy; 1,000 boats of speed travel carried the king’s harem. No more boats were available to carry the servant women. “ Bind their legs and limbs and drown them “ was the Order but through the interception of the Royal Preceptor, these women escaped death. Monks and men were allowed to take their choice of these three hundred women. The King got on board the Golden Barge and went to Bassein of the Talaing Land. General Anantapicci and Yantapicci made another stand at Male by putting up two fortifications on the east of the foot of a range. These two generals possessed some supernatural power of jumping very high and so they jumped into a crowd of enemies to kill and to escape easily. Even then Anatapicci was killed and Yantapicci made an orderly retreat to Pagan where he found that King had fled. He followed the king to Bassein. The invaders came after him as far as Tayoke Hmyaw and finally they gave the chase because of the scarcity of food. So the king earned the name Tayokepyay- He who fled from the Tayokes. ( Mnannan, I, 1967 Reprint, pp351-4 )
It was not difficult for the Pai-I to induce the Yunnan government, 1271, to send an envoy to the Pagan court demanding submission. ( Another envoy was sent ) in 1273, with an imperial letter threatening invasion. ( They never returned to Yunnan ). In 1276, Yunnan reports; “ We have sent persons to discover news of the ambassadors, but the P’u rebels blocked the way. Now the P’u have mostly submitted and the road is already open. The person we sent has found out those ambassadors all reached Mien Safely. ( In 1277 the Burmese came to attack A-ho but after two days fighting they were repulsed). What is chiefly striking about the raid is attempting it. They should have known what a terrible enemy they were bound to provoke. The Mongols were not slow to react. In ( Nov-Dec ) 1277 Yunnan province sent Nasir ed-Din, Comforter and Commander in Chief of the various Roads of Yunnan, at the head of over 3,840 men, consisting of Mongols, Ts’uan, P’o and Mo-so, to invade Mien. ( He ) obtained the submission of over 300 stockades and (36,200 households ). On account of the hot weather the army was withdrawn… Nasir re-Din (perhaps reached Ngasaunggyan). It does not seem likely that he took it… For his army Nasir ed-Din had to rely mostly on Yunnanese levies. Bu both he and the Emperor realized that more troops were needed to effect the conquest of Burma. They were not available till the autumn of 1283. On September 22nd of that year the army, the size of which we do not know, marched from Yunnan Fu.. On November 7th it reached Nan-tien. Here it divided into three parts. T’ai-pu proceed at once by the longer route via lo-pi itaties ( Mong Hum). On November 22nd
, Yagan-tigin left the A-his (Nam Ti) and A-ho ( Ta-p’ing ) route, through Chen-his (Kan-yai) with orders to build 200 boats so as to command the river at Chiang-t’ou. The Commander in Chief, Prince Sangqudar, followed the p’iao-tien route north of the Ta-p’ing. On December 3rd, proceeding by different routes, they fought ( I imagine it is not mentioned in the Chinese 0 the fatal battle of ( Ngasaunggyan). On December 9th they captured Chiang-t’ou city, killing over 1,000 men in the fighting.” They “took prisoner 10,000 of its keenest soldiers. “ The first report sent with a map to the Emperor, arrived on February 5th 1284. it says that they had sent envoys to deliver a summons to the king of Mien, but there was no reply………The Pagan Burmans called their invaders Taruk, presumably because (apart from local levies ) Turkic tribes formed the majority in the Mongol armies. The Pagan Burmans did not yield easily. On May 10th 1284, we read: “ Quduq Tamar’s army for the invasion of Mien encountered the rebels and was routed. “ Reinforcements had to be sent. On August 26th 1285, Yunnan report; “ This year we have not yet had time to invade Mien” … In this year 1285, King ( Narathihapati ) decided to submit, in orer to avert a new invasion.
The peace mission sent by the Burmese King is recorded in the Disapramuk inscription. But before we go on with this peace mission, I would like to quote here what an inscription we find at Minnanthu ( P1.227 of Inscriptions of Burma ) says:
At Sacchim and Hanlan we made no stay. Having made the Gold Address, we sent it to the Taruk King. The Taruk King said: “ This Gold Address is not from the King nor this learned man his (ambassador ). Anyway call him”. So they called me as being a learned man.
In due course we arrived at ( Santhway). Thereupon the monks who were stopping there gave me a few gifts and said:
“ The ( Mongol Emperor ) would welcome you. He is a good Buddhist. Please tell him that we could not preach the Religion at Pagan (because nobody is there). As for me, having passed the place of these (monks), I reached Yachan` where I stopped for the (Buddhist Lent). In Tachonmahum (November) I went up to Taytu. In Plasuiwe (December) I arrived there.
The Taruk King said: “In these words my profit is also include. Pundit, call the monks who were running hither and thither at the time of your coming and plant rice and beans. When they are full grown, and then send them onto me”. When he had said thus, I was allowed to leave him. But there was some delay in my final return (to Pagan).
Out of gratitude to me for this service, the King (of Pagan) gave me 400 pay (1,100 acre; 445.5 hectares) of land at Hanlan and 400 pay (1,100 acre; 445.5 hectares) of land at Kramu, including both wet and dry cultivation plots and slaves and cattle. All these I dedicate to the Three Gems at the Ceti` to Panpwat Rap- the Turner’s Quarter.
From the evidence that we get from this Disapramuk inscription, we can both add and correct the information that we have gathered from the Burmese chronicles and the Chinese sources. Firstly it is not correct to say that the Pagan King had put to death the Chinese envoys of 1273 although they had never returned to Yunan. In all probability they perished in the fighting with the frontier revels of that time. Secondly the Pagan King took refuge not at Pathein but at a place called Hlan`kla on the west of Pran` which is either Pagan or Pyay. Thirdly the Pagan King sent an envoy in the person of a learned monk called Disa`pramuk who succeeded in getting a truce from the Mongol Emperor and therefore the King gave land and slaves to the monk and a contemporary stone inscription by that monks still stands to bear testimony that the statements in the chronologies are more or less wrong.
REFERENCES AND NOTES
Inscription of Burma Portfolio II, London, Oxford University Press 1936.
Luce, G.H., “The Early Syam in Burmese History”, JSS, XLVI, ii, December 1978.
Mhannan Mahayazawin I, Complied by a Committee of learned Men appointed by the King in 1829, Rangoon, Pyigyi Mandaing Press, 1976 Reprint.
Than Tun., “History of Buddhism in Burma, A.D.1000-1300. JBRS., LXII, ii, December 1978.
B.R Gopal: On page 8 there is a quotation “Sakaraj 548(=1285)”. But on page 2, you mention “ Sakkaraj 634(= A.D. 1281). Are they correct ?
Than Tun : They are only 4 years apart each other in Christian era, but father apart in Burmese era. May be “Sakaraj 548” (page 8) in the quotation is the typing mistake. It should be around 638.
K.V.Remesh: What is the language of the inscription?
Than Tun: Old Burmese.
A.V. Narasimha Murthy: How faw would those religious inscriptions be useful to study the Mongol invasion?
Than Tun: I rely on Chinese records and Burmese chronicles as well. But those religious inscriptions are more important since they are contemporary, and again they can provide social and economic information about the donors.
G.Lubeigt(Paris): Where were “Badin” and “ Ywath mentioned on page 3 situated?
Than Tun: “ Badin” is somewhere on the north of Pagan And “Ywatha” is much farther south of Pagan, according to the story of the chronicles. But is very hard to tell about these places in details.
G.Lugeigt: In such case why do you give, 1,100 acres for 400 pay on page II? Multiplying 1.75 acres by 400 makes 700 acres, kinds of pay. One is the ordinary pay, 1.75 acres, and other is the between Lubeigt and Than Tun on the characteristics of the boat used in those days)