Cura Si Manja Kini
Bezoar of Dew
Kris Taming Sari
I recently stumbled upon the fact that there is in the possession of the Sultan of Perak and the Perak Royal Family some astounding relics of antiquity that in all probability have an extremely significant bearing on the question of Malaysian identity and history.
One such astonishing artifact is the sword Cura Si Manja Kini or Chora Samanda Kian mentioned in John Leyden's 1810 Malay Annals or Sejarah Melayu (published in 1821 by Sir Stamford Raffles). The same sword is said to have been used during the installation of Parmeswara as ruler of Melaka in 1400.
But in fact, its origins go further back, possibly 200-400 years earlier than 1400.
The sword was part of the regalia of a Indian/Hindu prince linked to the Chola Kings (Raja Cholan) from South India, i.e. Nila Utthaman/Sri Tri Buana/Sang Nila Utama (founder of Singapore) narrated in the Sejarah as having landed on Mt. Segantang Maha Meru in Palembang, Sumatra together with two other princes, Vichitram and Karna Pandita, and a probable Brahmin Priest, Bat'h, exact date unknown!
Now, Bat'h is a pretty unusual name for an Indian and perhaps it's a truncated form of Vadhyar (Tamil for priest), Vadh, which became Bat'h, in the same way Vichitram is spelt in the Sejarah as Bichitram. This is consistent with the fact that the Malay language generally does not have old words that commence with the letter 'V' and 'B' was substituted.
The Sejarah relates that it is this self-same sword that was used by the borrower (from Nila Utthaman/Sri Tri Buana/Sang Nila Utama) and champion warrior Peramas Cumambang to slay the serpent monster Saktimuna (Sakatimuna/Ichktimani) into 3 parts in Minangkabau, Sumatra. In the process the sword became etched with 190 notches which strange "clue" of Dan Brown and da Vinci Code proportions, no Indonesia or Malaysian historian or anyone else has ever deciphered!
The list of relics, other than Cura Si Manja Kini, dating anywhere from 600-1,000 years includes:
- Royal Collar (15th century) said to have been presented by the Emperor of China
- Dokong or Kerongsang Besar (Neck Pendent)
- Cap Lalulintar (Royal Silver Seal) of Sultan Muhammad Shah (Melaka) and Kayu Gampit mentioned in Sejarah Melayu. (The Royal Lance, Limbuar appears to be missing)
- Betel Boxes
- Mestika Embun (Bezoar of Dew)
- Kancing Halkah (Royal Collar Ornament)
- Kris Taming Sari (originally said to belong to Hang Tuah).
So, how did all these relics from Palembang and Melaka end up in the custody of the Perak Royalty?
After the fall of Melaka on 24th April 1511 to Portugal led by Alphonso de Alburquerque, Melaka's last ruler, Sultan Mahmud Shah eventually made his way to Kampar in Sumatra where he died in 1528. One of the sultan's two sons, Muzzafar Shah journeyed to Perak where he was installed the first Sultan in 1528. It was Sultan Muzzafar Shah who brought with him the artifacts which had been handed down to his father, Sultan Mahmud.
The inscriptions on Cura Sa Manjani Kini in Sanskrit are said to come from the the words "Churiga Si Mandakini" which means "the blade from Lake Mandakini of the Ganges (River) in India!! Refer to Sembangkuala's blog for more details. click here.
And what is the link between the Chiri of Perak, nobat players and Bat'h the Brahmin Priest cum charitra or cheritra teller in the Sejarah (pg. c4/23 - 25 John Leyden's Sejarah Melayu)? Click here and refer to the document below extracted from the Sejarah and a translation of it from page 175 of 'A History of Perak' by R.O.Winstedt and R.J.Wilkinson published by The Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (MBRAS): :
In short, Bat'h had recited the lineage of the 3 Indian/Hindu princes who landed in the mountains of Palembang to Demang Lebar Daun, the aboriginal chief and his people in Sanskrit !! Astonishing, is it not?
The Sejarah clearly states Parameswara was buried in Tanjung Tuan (Cape Rachado) near Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan (in Malaysia). It is Demang Lebar Daun and Nila Utthaman/Sri Tri Buana/Sang Nila Utama who are reputed to have actually been buried in Fort Canning, Singapore!!
There is therefore some serious error with the claim that Parameswara was buried in Fort Canning (Bukit Larangan) in Singapore. Click here for Keramat Iskandar, Singapore details. It absolutely makes no sense that Parameswara would be buried in Singapore when he originally fled from there in fear of his life, before founding Melaka!!).
The time has come for the Singapore Government to initiate investigations to identify through modern scientific procedures such as carbon dating, DNA testing etc., exactly who is buried in Keramat Iskandar and Fort Canning.
Some of these artifacts and regalia must be at least a thousand years old and there is not a shadow of a doubt about their links to Parameswara and the Melaka Sultanate of the 15th and early 16th century, Indonesia and INDIA!
So, why haven't our Government and Department of Antiquities engaged an archaeologist and expert in Sanskrit and Indian languages/dialects and South East Asian history (and there must literally be hundred of them in India) as well as China counterparts to piece together what must surely be THE story of the century?
In particular, the Sanskrit inscriptions on Parameswara's sword need to be investigated in depth!
So, why the leaden footedness? Too busy "interloked" in controversies?