Photo – Buddhist Monks in Angkor Wat Temple. Until today the Buddhist monks still comes to Angkor Wat temple for their prayers and religious ceremonies.
Buddhism In Cambodia (Buddhist Monks) :
Buddhism in Cambodia is currently a form of Theravada Buddhism. Buddhism has existed in Cambodia since at least the 5th century, and in its earlier form was a type of Mahāyāna Buddhism. Theravada Buddhism has been the Cambodian state religion since the 13th century (except during the Khmer Rouge period), and is currently estimated to be the faith of 95% of the population.
The history of Buddhism in Cambodia spans a number of successive kingdoms and empires. Buddhism entered Cambodia through two different streams. The earliest forms of Buddhism, along with Hindu influences, entered the Funan kingdom with Hindu merchants. In later history, a second stream of Buddhism entered Khmer culture during the Angkor empire when Cambodia absorbed the various Buddhist traditions of the Mon kingdoms of Dvaravati and Haripunchai.
For the first thousand years of Khmer history, Cambodia was ruled by a series of Hindu kings with an occasional Buddhist king, such as Jayavarman I of Funan, Jayavarman VII, who became a mahayanist, and Suryavarman I. A variety of Buddhist traditions co-existed peacefully throughout Cambodian lands, under the tolerant auspices of Hindu kings and the neighboring Mon-Theravada kingdoms.
Suryavarman I :
Suryavarman I (1006–1050) is considered the greatest of the Buddhist kings, with the exception of Jayavarman VII.
The origins of Suryavarman I are unclear but evidence point that he began his career in northeastern Cambodia. He came to the throne after a period of disputes between rival claims to the Khmer throne. However, the term “usurper” is not appropriate when speaking in the Khmer context of royal succession as the Khmer throne did not exclusively include paternal lines but also recognized and even valued more to an extend the royal maternal line.
A strong proponent of Mahayana Buddhism, he did not interfere or obstruct the growing presence and dissemination of Theravada Buddhism during his reign.
Indeed, inscriptions indicate he sought wisdom from wise Mahayanists and Hinayanists and at least somewhat disestablished the Sivakaivalya family’s hereditary claims to being chief priests (purohitar). Surayvarman’s posthumous title of Nirvanapada, ‘the king who has gone to Nirvana’ is the strongest evidence that he was a Buddhist.”
More photos of Angkor Wat Temple here.
Our group trip photos in Instagram.