Responding to an invitation by the First Prime Minister and First Lady, HRH Princess Marie Ranariddh, Master and Her Royal Highness visited the ancient temple of Angkor Wat -- the pride of Cambodia. Built in a high mountain style, this ancient temple was the capital of the ancient Great Kingdom of Cambodia. It was built by King Chalemen VII in memory of three sincere devotees of Brahma.
On a bright, mildly, breezy and auspicious day, Master, Princess Marie and her daughter flew to Tou-Lee, Wuoumanzheng Province, where the ancient temple, Angkor Wat, is located. Master and a group of disciples were accompanied by the Cambodian Royal Guards. Upon landing, they were respectfully welcomed by the governor of the province, a group of commentators and a guard motorcade. As Master and the Princess passed through the airport, they drew the attention of foreign tourists who immediately approached them to take pictures. After a short break, Master, the Princess and their entourage boarded the waiting vehicles; and led by the Royal Guards' vehicles, they left for Angkor Wat in a huge parade of cars.
Angkor Wat Temple is surrounded by a moat and a wall. Although it has been through many dynasties, many wars and years of turmoil, it has been preserved quite well. The motorcade drove into the temple complex and stopped outside of the ancient temple. There, Master and Princess Marie and their entourage began their tour through the temple complex. During their walk, they encountered stall vendors selling woven bamboo items and souvenir T-shirts. Following the local custom, Master purchased some souvenir T-shirts and the Princess bought some bamboo baskets to contain the fragrant flower rings as offerings to the Buddha.
Due to its very unique construction, Angkor Wat has been listed as the Seventh Wonder of the world. The Princess explained the magnificent ancient temple to Master in great detail. Delicate carvings were displayed all over the temple. Carved patterns were everywhere on the walls and almost no spot was left untouched. Even the temple's five pointed towers were decorated with ten thousand artistically crafted stones. There are two thousand human-sized depictions of fairies on the wall. If these carvings were laid flat on the ground, their length would reach sixteen hundred meters. Since Angkor Wat's radius is equivalent to its height, the temple looks magnificent close up and elegant from a distance.
On the way leading to the highest part of the inner hall, one has to climb some steep, slippery steps. Master looked at them with a smile and jokingly said that it was like being back in the Himalayas; the only difference was that now She was wearing high heels and a skirt. The Princess kindly offered her support to Master. It took quite a while but finally they conquered the steps and reached the top level.
Looking down over the whole Angkor Wat area, one can view a panorama of many hills, woods, streams and ponds; as well as a display of local traditions and customs. At that moment, the Princess kindly wiped the perspiration from Master's forehead with a moist paper towel, creating an intimate and warm picture. She then suggested to Master to enter the inner hall to honor the statue of the Buddha. Following the custom, Master and the Princess went in without shoes.
When honoring the statue of the Buddha, Master's expression was extremely pious and focused. The Princess then made a sincere wish, sprinkled perfumed water, and warmly greeted the attending lay people and monks. Also, according to tradition, she offered a long roll of white cloth to them. Master, on the other hand, offered money. They responded to Master's and the Princess's love with traditional auspicious phrases.
After sightseeing on the top level of this ancient complex, Princess Marie held Master's hand as though they had been friends for many years, and led Her on a walk down the over-one-hundred steps of the temple's stairway.
Later, on the way to a nearby restaurant, Master and the Princess went into a small temple by the roadside to honor a statue of the Buddha. They also offered money and rolls of white cloth to the temple's personnel. Upon arriving at the restaurant, the restaurant employees looked at their noble guests, who had appeared so suddenly, with pleasant surprise and happiness in their eyes. While eating, the Princess' little daughter asked about why one should eat a vegetarian diet, and Master answered her cordially.
On the trip back, the airplane flew over the largest lake in Cambodia. Her Royal Highness, the Princess, held Master's hand and led Her to the VIP cabin of the airplane to have a bird's-eye view of the lake, chatting warmly with Her all the while. After landing at a private airport, Master thanked all those in attendance for their service, which had been filled with a happy spirit. She also gave each of them elegant gifts and blessed candies; especially the two pilots, whose consummate skill won Master's special praise.
After the trip, Master said thoughtfully, "Cambodia's royal family members received me most courteously. It is because of their faith in Buddha and their humility. These actions and qualities will surely bring their country great merit." If all royal families and others in charge in the world could respect and love the masters and receive them so courteously, then the world would be more peaceful and the spiritual level of humankind would be lifted one step higher.