Chura Si-Manjakini

The mystical Chura Si-Manjakini. (Source: Buku Pertabalan DYMM Sultan Azlan Shah)

The Chura Si-Manjakini is a sword that forms part of the Perak regalia. It is also known as Curik Man-Dakini, and was said to have been the sword of Raja Suran (likely to be Rajendra Chola Dewa I) that was described in Sejarah Melayu. The original name of the sword was believed to be Cureka Si Manjakinicurik being a Tamil-Sanskrit word that meant ‘to cleave’ (Malay: mata besi, alat pemotong, penetak, penebas); man deriving from the Sanskrit mantera; and Dakini which was a mambang kecil (bentara perempuan) that was said to devour the flesh and blood of man. It was likely that Chura Si-Manjakini was a pedang kuasa used in war by Raja Suran that had been mantera-ed (puja) invoking the name of the aforementioned Dakini, as he and his army attacked Srivijaya c.1025 – 1028AD. There is also another description of the derivation of the sword’s name – churika meaning ‘blade’, whilst Mandakini is a tributary of the river Ganges in India.

According to Hikayat Ketinggian Salasilah (Sejarah Raja-Raja Negeri Perak), the Sultan of Perak is descended from Sang Sapurba, the son of Raja Suran and Puteri Mahtab al-Bahari, the daughter of Aftab al-Ardzi. Chura Si-Manjakini was carried by Sang Sapurba as he arrived at Seguntang Mahameru in Palembang. It was said that Sang Sapurba had once instructed Permasku Mambang to use Chura Si-Manjakini as a weapon to destroy Saktimuna, a serpent-dragon that wreaked havoc in the state of Minangkabau. This has been described in John Leyden’s version of Sejarah Melayu (Malay Annals):

Then the ancient chiefs desired them first to enquire if he would engage to kill the snake Sacatimuna (Ichktimani) which destroys all our cultivation… Sangsapurba assented, and requested them to shew him its den. Then a champion, named Peramas Cumambang, was sent by with his famous sword Chora Samanda Kian, to perform this service… the champion smote it with the sword, and cut it into three parts… In this combat, however, the sword Chora Samanda Kian received one hundred and ninety notches.”

It was also described that Parameswara bore this sword during his installation ceremony as the first Sultan of Melaka in 1405. The sword was handed down to the subsequent Sultans and after the demise of Sultan Mahmud Shah in Kampar, following the fall of Melaka to the Portuguese, Chura Si-Manjakini was brought to Perak by Sultan Muzaffar Shah in 1528, and the sword had remained as part of the regalia since.

According to YM Raja Razman bin Raja Abdul Hamid in an interview with the Straits Times in 1953, the sword is known as Chorek Manja Kenen. He revealed that the sword was taken away to England following the friction between Sultan Ismail and Sultan Abdullah Muhammad Shah II  that led to the assasination of J.W.W Birch in 1875. He also added that no installation of a Sultan can be made without the sword which has been handed down to Perak Sultan from Sang Sapurba, the founder of Malay dynasty.

During the installation ceremony, the YM Raja Chik Muda Pawang Di-Raja presents Chura Si-Manjakini to the Sultan. The DYMM Sultan will unsheath the sword to kiss the edge of the sword’s blade, following which the sword is resheathed and carried over the right shoulder, the same way it was carried by Sang Sapurba when he made the promise with Demang Lebar Daun, the Raja of Palembang.

Reference:

1. The Straits Times: On the Margin. 5 March 1953. p. 6
2. YM Raja Kobat Salehuddin Almarhum Raja Muda Musa
3. Buku chenderamata pertabalan Sultan Idris II.
4. Leyden J. John Leyden’s Malay Annals. Kuala Lumpur: MBRAS; 2009. p38-39.
5. Laman Rasmi Pejabat DYMM Sultan Perak.

7 thoughts on “Chura Si-Manjakini

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