Searching the Answers
|UNESCO: Face Tower at South Gate, Angkor Thom|
Mystery and the search for answers of the Angkor Kingdom is a universal appeal to people who interested in these World Heritage site. These puzzles have only presumptions, discussions and debates that are not conclusive.
Everyone wants to know who is the owner of face on Face Towers.
Everyone wants to know who are the brilliant rulers of Ancient Khmer Kingdom.
Everyone wants to know how did this great kingdom happened, developed and fallen down.
We have read descriptions of the questions above from Southeast Asia civilisation experts who gathering and analysing evidences such as stone inscriptions, record of Chinese diplomats, missionaries, western explorers and archaeological evidences for ancient monuments and artifacts.
There is no related information that I eager to know from visiting Angkor National Museum and the historic sites in Angkor Archeological Park.
A lot of information that difficult to remember are described the art history, ancient architecture and artifact characteristics that are more tangible.
The idea that I think is a solid foundation and a powerful conductor of the Ancient Khmer civilization is Devaraja (God-king) concept.
|Devaraja: Suryavarman II, Angkor Wat Gallery|
According to history of Thailand, Ayutthaya kings adopted Devaraja cult from Ancient Khmer to rule the country. This concept was carried over to the Rattanakosin era, along with the concept of the Buddhist concept "Dhammaraja". Do not forget that by Buddhism (Mahayana) has also been recognised from the beginning with the Ancient Khmer Empire as well as Hinduism.
Currently, Thailand is a democratic nation by constitutional monachy. But Devaraja also has influence on Thai society and people.
Experienced under the influence of Devaraja as Thai people, presumptions based on Western idea for example Khmer people could not tolerate to long time excessive power usage of the kings or the influence of Theravada Buddhism are the reasons to loosen their love and loyalty to the kings and brought the collapse of the kingdom. These factors are weightless.
The notion of Devaraja and Dhammaraja are my key to understand and appreciate prosperity of the Angkor civilisation, talent of the kings and loyalty of the people. Deterioration and the collapse of the kingdom would come from other causes such as disease outbreaks of water resources that play an important role in the kingdom. The struggle for power among the members in royal family brings the monarchy weakness. This is my personal beliefs.