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Entries in Wat Preah Keo (4)


Palm Leaf Sutras

Close up of the ancient sutra books made from palm leaves archived at Wat Preah Keo in Phnom Penh. There were hundreds of these, all stacked on top of each other in two long glass cases. It was steaming hot the day I took the picture and it must have been an oven inside the cases. Maybe that's a good thing.


Peace, Benevolence, Dispelling of Fear

The hand gesture displayed by all of these statues at Wat Preah Keo is the abhaya mudra so common in Theravadan iconography (see Abhaya Mudra). Signifies protection, peace, benevolence, and dispelling of fear. Was said to have been first used by the Buddha to calm a charging elephant.

Calmly Abiding

The face on this statue at Kailassa Mountain in the Wat Preah Keo complex embodies a clear sense of peace. Calmly abiding whatever arises. There is, however, an unmistakable hint of sadness in the visage. I kind of feel this way today.

Silver Pagoda


Just arrived to Phnom Penh and had the afternoon off before a full day of meetings tomorrow. Walked down from my hotel to the Silver Pagoda, or Wat Preah Keo, which is so named in honor of the 5000 silver tiles that cover the floor, or, if you use the Khmer name, the emerald Buddha made of Baccarat crystal which dominates the main hall. Photography was not allowed in the Silver Pagoda so I just looked around and did some bows, but you could take pictures in several of the smaller temples. For example, in the Pavilion for Housing Buddha's Footprint, or Keong Preah Bath, shown above.  The golden slab shown in the center of the image contains four enormous footprints which represent the Buddha's first steps. 

Perhaps even more impressive to me, however, was the golden Buddha with the saffron sash sitting peacefully at the back of the hall watching over the footprints. A close-up of this exquisite sculpture is shown below.

[NOTE: I will post more images from my afternoon stroll around Phnom Penh as time - and internet access - allows].