Re: Vox Populi: Buddhism, Relegion and the Khmer Empire
I disagree that religion is the cause for the downfall of the Khmer Empire. Thailand is successful against Khmer, correct? They started to take most of Khmer land, correct? What religion is Thailand following? I thought Thais and Khmers share the same religion.
We need to stop blaming others for our own mistakes! Be responsible for our own actions, this is one approach we need to take to dig ourselves out of the mess we are in...
24 October 2011 11:06 PM
24th Oct 8:24 AM
Empires do not come about because of the result of "peace" but the result of "war", check out the history of empires and how each one of those come about and you will see. And that means blood were shed in huge quantities when one nation rises against another nation. Do you expect that a docile religion of Buddhism, will produce a strong empire? I don't think so. The whole concept of Buddhism is about "cessation of desires" it is about searching for Nirvana or the ultimate release from the cycles of death and rebirth. The whole concept of Buddhism is about abandonment of all kinds of desires pertaining to this earthly life that you are living. That means the desires to be rich, the desires for sexual craving with the opposite sex, the desires for personal glory, the desires to be important, are just a few of the concept being taught. If you are a strict Buddhist follower, you will have to shave your head off and put on a yellow saffron and belong to a monastery. You concern is not about fighting the war of nationalism, neither are you concerned about racism either. But what happened when other race do not live by the same concept that you are following? Where it is ok for them to kill, steal, rob, pillage and do whatever they please. It is not them who is at a disadvantage; but it is you is is that the receiving end of it. They are playing the game by their own rules, you are playing your game by your own rules, the result? You are the "loser". That is what Buddhism in Cambodia had done to it's people. It teaches it subject to be compassionate, to be kind to make peace, to not desire to much riches so that it might stumble you from attaining Nirvana. These are the very things that I am referring to as "negative programming" that is putting the Khmer people at a disadvantage in comparison to that of the Vietnamese, the Koreans, the Japanese and so on. While some of you might reason that Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Vietnamese are also followers of the same Buddha,but come they can progress further than us Khmer's. The answer to that question is simple: "they have modified their concept of attaining Nirvana to a latter stage". To the Chinese, to the Vietnamese, to the Japanese, attaining riches, and glories is not a sin, so it ok to be rich. Hence, they are programing themselves to win, not to lose like most of us Khmer's.
25 October 2011 1:18 AM
1:18 AM, It is true that empires were achieved as a result of wars and conquer, but to blame the downfall of an empire on Buddhism is purely fiction. As you pointed out, the Thai (Siamese), the Viet (Annamites), the Chinese, the Koreans, the Japanese were and are still Buddhists and their countries are very strong militarily, politically and economically. So, we can't say that Buddhism makes a country weak.
Like I said, the downfall of the Khmer Empire was not due to Cambodia adopting Buddhism, but due to the internal fighting between pretenders to the throne and the southward expansion of the Annamites and the T'ai people.
If you attributed Hinduism to the expansion of the Khmer Empire or Buddhism to the downfall of the Khmer Empire, then you must look at the Hindu countries of Nepal, Bali and India itself which was fragmented into small states until the British colonized it and India has only become united after the independence in 1947. Before then, it was controlled by the maharajas as small kingdoms. Nepal is a backward country and Bali has totally been absorbed by the Islamic state of Indonesia.
In this post, you are not blaming Buddhism, but blamed we Khmers on the downfall of the Khmer empire. This what I have stressed from the beginning that the downfall of the Khmer Empire was not due to Cambodia adopting Buddhism, but due to our internal fighting and the T'ai and Viet expansionism. So, do you agree that we have only ourselves to blame for the downfall of our empire, and not Buddhism?