Buddhist Inscription in Candi Sungai Batu, Bujang Valley

Inscription in Candi (Shrine) Sungai Batu, Bujang Valley (Old Kedah)

Candi Sungai Batu (Buddhist shrine) was discovered in Bujang valley (Kedah, Malaysia) with the rectangular and circular shape foundation base. Estimated to be constructed around 3rd to 7th century CE. It was constructed using the local natural stone for the foundation base. The most significant discovery was the stone inscription in Pallava Grantha script that reads, ‘ Ye dhamma hetuppabhava tesam hetum tathagato aha… avam vadhi maha samano.'

The verse runs thus:

Ye dhamma hetuppa bhava
tesam hetum tathagato aha
tesanca yo nirodho
evam vadi maha samano.

It means:
Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata (Buddha),
And their cessation too
Thus proclaims the Great Ascetic (Sramana)

Ye dharmā hetu, also referred to as the doctrine of Dependent Origination is a famous Buddhist verse widely used in ancient times, and is often found carved on the buddhist shrine and sacred places. It is used in Sanskrit as well as Pali. This verse is extracted from the Mahavagga section of Vinaya Pitaka of the Pali Canon.

These words were used by the Arahat Assaji when asked about the teaching of the Buddha. On the spot Sariputta attained the first Path (Sotāpatti) and later told them to his friend Moggallāna who also attained. They then went to the Buddha, along with 500 of their disciples, and asked to become his disciples.