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Posted by: | Posted on: April 2, 2013

Brief History of Buddhism in the Kingdom of Cambodia


ashoka_lion_capitalIn the year of 238 B.C (before Christ), Emperor Asoka King sent two learned Bhikkhu monks named Sona Thera and Utara Thera to propagate Buddhism in Suwanaphumi or Southeast Asia of present time. From that time Buddhism has flourished through out the land of Suwanaphumi or golden land. We are able to trace back through various ancient kingdoms such as Funan Kingdom (first state of present Cambodia) had been claimed about the advantage of Buddhism in this capital city. Among the kings of Funan dynasty, Kaundinya Jayavarman (478-514 AD) sent a missionary to China under the leadership of a Buddhist monk named Nagasena from India. During the reign of the same Chinese emperor, two learned Khmer monks named Sanghapala Thera and Mantra Thera of Funan went to China. At this early years of the sixth century AD, the two learned Cambodian Bhikkhu monks taught Buddhism and meditation to the emperor of China. Bhikkhu Sanghapala had translated an important Buddhist scripture Vimutti Magga(the Way of Freedom) which it is believed older than Visutthi Magga (the Way of Purity) written by Buddhagosacara. Now this Chinese manuscript has been translated into different language by many Buddhist countries.

King Rudravarman (514-539 AD) is said to have claimed that in his country there was a long Hair Relic of Lord Buddha for his people to worship. The Tharavada with Sanskrit language flourished in Funan in the fifth and earlier part of the sixth centuries AD. Around seventh century AD, the popular usage of Pali language in southern region manifested the strong appearance of Theravada Buddhism in Cambodia.
The great emperor, Yasovarman (889-900 AD) established a Saugatasrama and elaborated regulations for the guidance of this asrama or hermitage, at the time, Buddhism, Brahmanism (both Visnuism and Vaisnavism) flourished in Cambodia. During the reign of Jayavarman V (968-1001 AD), the successor of Rajendravarman II, Mahayana Buddhism importantly advanced. The king supported Buddhist practices and invoked the three forms of existence of the Buddha. In this way, up to the tenth century AD, Mahayana Buddhism became substantially prominent.

Pramakramabahu I, the king of Sri Lanka, is said to have sent a princess as a bride probably for Jayavarman VII, son of Dharnindravarman II (1150-1160 jaya1AD), who was the crown prince. King Jayavarman VII (1181-1220 AD) was a devout Buddhist and received posthumous title of Mahaparamasaugata. The king patronized Mahayana Buddhism, his records expressed beautifully the typical Buddhist view of life, particularly the conduct of charity and compassion towards the whole universe. Taprohm Inscription of his reign informed that there were 798 temples and 102 hospitals in the whole kingdom, and all of them were patronized by the king. One of the monks who returned to Burma with Capata Bhikkhu was Tamalinda Mahathera, who is believed the son of the Cambodian Emperor Jayavarman VII. Under the influx of Sihala School Buddhism; his administrative prestige retreated, his temporal power crumbled away, and the god-king cult was weakened. Theravada Buddhism had become the predominant school of the people of Angkor at the end of Jayavarman VII ‘s reign.

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Posted by: | Posted on: December 28, 2011

Revolutionists follow Buddha’s teachings

Buddha characterized those who dwell in the past, which cannot be changed, as stuck, and said that those who dream of an imagined future equally waste the present moment, the here and now that provide an opportunity for one to influence the future.

Buddha did not tell us not to learn from the past. He taught us to learn from it, but not to live in it, which boxes us in, making us unable to move forward to the future, which will be created based on the actions we take in the present day. “I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done,” said Buddha.

Dec. 28, 2011

Revolutionists follow Buddha’s teachings

A. Gaffar Peang-Meth

In three days, the New Year 2012 will be upon us. The next 366 days await. What we do or do not do will influence our future. As usual in the holiday season, we reflect on what we have or have not done as we contemplate our new year resolutions.

As I wish all readers, Christians and non-Christians, a merry Christmas and a happy New Year, I find in this occasion a good opportunity to write on Lord Gautama Buddha’s teachings from 2,500 years ago, which continue to provide good lessons for mankind today.

Past, present, future

The past is a lesson for the present. The present is a guide for the future. Spanish philosopher George Santayana said, “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Earlier, German revolutionary socialist Karl Marx asserted, “History does nothing; it does not possess immense riches, it does not fight battles. It is men, real, living, who do all this.”

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Posted by: | Posted on: September 13, 2011

Monk evicted from pagoda

Phnom Penh Post  Monday, 12 September 2011 15:02 May Titthara


Photo by: Heng Chivoan

Venerable Luon Sovath speaks to reporters at Ounalom pagoda in Phnom Penh before removing his personal belongings from his room. The activist monk has been banned from pagodas.

A group of residents facing eviction from the Boeung Kak area yesterday turned out to support the monk who has shaken Cambodia’s Buddhist hierarchy by his peaceful advocacy on their behalf.

About 20 residents of the area helped Venerable Loun Sovath remove his personal belongings from Ounalom pagoda yesterday morning, following an order from Supreme Patriarch Non Nget that he do so.

The latest order followed one in April that banned the 32-year-old rural monk from all pagodas in the capital.

Boeung Kak representative Kong Chantha, 44, said it was an injustice that Loun Savath had been banned.
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Posted by: | Posted on: September 7, 2011

How much do you know about Buddhism?

Buddhism was found by Buddha (Enlightened One) in the year of 589 before Christ (BC.) on Vesakha Day, Full Moon, B.E. 1 at Bodhi Gaya, present India. The essence of Buddhism particularly handles the problems of living. Buddha has initiated to explore the meaning of life and he attained this life research eventually. Any one who has followed the Buddha’s pathways, they can attain the ultimate meaning or Truth of life like Him.

To comprehend Buddhism and to become a Buddhist, one should learn about the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha.

The Buddha

Buddha himself is not a sin redeemer but an Enlightenment policy maker. He is a Truth founder and an icon of Enlightenment. Enlightenment or Buddha nature omnipresently exists. When people have engaged in Buddhism, they can grasp this reality in their mind and heart.

Buddha is known as Gautama Sakyamuni. Lakhmi Narasu described Him that “Gautama Sakyamuni is generally spoken of as the founder of the Dharma. But Sakyamuni himself refers in is discourses to Buddhas who had preached the same doctrine before him. Nor can we speak of the Buddha as the founder of Buddha in the same sense as we speak of the founder of Christianity or Mahometanism. Their founder is essentially supernatural being; he is the incarnation of the son of God, who no other than God himself.”

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