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Russian Foundation of Transpersonal Psychology

International Noosphere Institute

Noosphere Research Institute


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Meta-historical aspects of Khmer's Empire

E. Faydysh, A. Olshanchenko
International Noosphere Institute


1. Instead of Preface

2. Introduction

3. Meta-historical mapping or cartography of the meta-historical description

3.1. Six worlds of Samsara

3.2. Mount Meru and yoni-linga archetype

3.3. Supreme Gods

4. Khmer Empire or Angkor Empire?

5. Hindu assimilation of Khmer shamanic traditions. Nagas and apsaras

5.1. First Khmer principalities and formations

5.2. Naga cult

5.3. Ак-Yom Temple

5.4. Celestial Apsara archetype and myth of churning of the World Ocean

6. Brief story about appearance of apsaras in myth about Churning

7. Legendary Khmer dynasties

7.1. Foundation of empire. Jayavarman II

7.2. Devaraja cult — Lord of the Universe

7.3. The Sacred Shiva Lingam — Srishivalingam

7.4. The sacred mountains — Phnom Kulen. The City Of Mahendraparvata

7.5. Royal Sacred Sword (Preah Khan Reach)

8. Sacred Khmer architecture

8.1. Water

8.2. River of a Thousand Lingas

8.3. Bakong - Temple-mount

8.4. Yashodharapura city as one large temple. Phnom Bakheng

8.5. Lingapura – type of opened city

8.6. Pre Rup

8.7. Sri Tribhuvan Maheshwar (Bantey Srei) — masterpiece of Khmer architecture

8.8. Last central Shiva temple

8.9. "Abode of Vishnu". Angkor Watт

8.10 Self-organization of trees in temple of Ta Prohme

9. Religion change

9.1. Leper king

10. Devaraja became a secular king

10.1. Stealing of the Sacred Sword

11. Religious wars

12. In conclusionе

13. List of references

1. Instead of Preface

During 2011 and 2013 Institute of Noosphere Research carried out expeditions at one of unique parts on our planet, home of ancient Khmer civilization. It is territory of modern Cambodia.

This article aims to familiarize reader with unique civilization of Southeast Asia, its spiritual traditions, and for those who are already familiar with it, will give an opportunity to look with unusual point of view to Khmers.

2. Introduction

In modern world ancient monuments of Cambodia are well known and are of increasing interest. This is really an amazing architecture with unique shapes and balanced sizes. Being built about 1000 years ago, they are still unique. Angkor Wat Temple is best-known temple in Cambodia and it is biggest temple in the world today! Complex of Angkor consists of many temples, palaces and other buildings. This structure has no architectural counterparts. All these temples that are included in Angkor area cover a surface comparable with the modern New York City. Researchers have already confirmed that Angkor is the largest city at pre-industrial era.

Besides cultural, historical and architectural value, Angkor represents a unique collection (library) of ancient psychotronic technologies. This technologies aims to control and manage the flow of vital energy. Such life energy called “prana” at Eastern countries.

History of Khmers Empire with architectural heritage clearly illustrate essential principles of meta-history, understanding of mutual influence to invisible “subtle” world and to our "dense" reality. Various ancient shamanic traditions and later great religions through all over our planet based on these ideas. Hinduism and Buddhism had deep influence on Khmers and all their culture. For ancient Khmers understanding how to drive life force and how to generate it by using psyhotronic technologies was the main mechanism for caring out interaction with different realities.

Meta-historical principles are well known and widely spread in diverse civilizations of our planet. Any historical event in meta-historical concept are result of interaction of mankind and different otherworldly powers: gods, demons, ghosts, etc. A special role in these events is played by unusual superpowered people —mediums or mediators between our and parallel worlds. Such people perceived as children of gods or even the embodiment (avatar or avatara) of Supreme God in human body. Mainly avatar came into our realm during critical moments at human history. At Hindu tradition most famous was Lord Vishnu’s avatars — Prince Rama, Krishna and others.

Similar views are typical for different ancient civilizations worldwide. We all know Greek myths — almost every hero was born from union of Olympic gods and humankind. For example, one of the famous Olympic hero was half-god half-human Hercules. His father was god Zeus and his mother was Greek queen Alcmene. Support or not support by supernatural beings ensures human (or half-human) success or failure in hostilities, war campaigns, etc. We can find similar conceptions at main historical or legendary scenarios all over the world (1, 2, 3).

Moreover, political leader’s success in modern history often associated with meta-historical forces that support him. Those who have support are fantastic lucky, almost invulnerable in assassination attempts and have amazing intuitive insights. But support remain as long as higher forces assist them. If higher forces stop such kind of assistance, he or she become to be an ordinary human being, irreversibly losing his or her charisma, ability to make suggestion influent on crowd, so on. Same happening with country that such persons lead — quickly squanders advantages and became a “loser-state”, both politically and economically.

Napoleon, Lenin, Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin, Ho Chi Minh, Mahatma Gandhi, Hitler and others can be an examples of such kind of leaders. As we see, support from supernatural forces can be achieved not only by positive leaders, but also by persons who are guided by evil and live under demonic influence.

Quite often future leader does not show any obvious signs of supernatural support at the very beginning. But assistance from higher forces can appear suddenly. This influence exerted by a qualitative change of the leader’s fate and the future of state that he leads. The current president of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin is a good example of such kind of leader. Detailed analysis of this situation you can find at interesting article by A. Dugin (4).

Therefore, all ancient traditions pay huge attention for searching and maintaining meta-historical forces. A large-scale construction of religious buildings, various sacrifices, offerings and much more are being held to reach this goal. Enormous material and human resources are involved in support supernatural forces. These expenses and costs in percentage are afar higher than modern budgets and investments in space projects, for example.

To understand how the ancient Khmers used meta-historical principles in building their Empire, why they practiced religious and magical rituals and build many amazing temples, let's us focus on the mapping and explanation of main ideas of meta-historical principles in the different traditions of our planet.

3. Meta-historical mapping or cartography of the meta-historical description

When we talk about meta-history, about the creatures of subtle world that affect the destinies of individuals and whole humanity, it is very important to understand nature of such kind of creatures, their behavioral archetypes and forms of contact with humans. Folklore and mythology, in abundance, give many descriptions of these creatures; there are plenty of reliable stories about people who met them (3).

For example, Celtic and Scandinavian folklore, a large number of mythological characters described, such as fairies, elves, banshees, trolls, goblins and others. These creatures became popular with release of the famous books "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" by Oxford scientist and writer J. R. R. Tolkien. Similar characters or so-called "little folk" are present in folklore of other cultures. Russian fairy tales, legends and myths of Siberian people, India, China, Tibet, North and South America and many others. However, it is difficult to find a culture all over the world that did not have such kind of stories.

Nowadays contacts with the supernatural beings did appear in form of stories about UFOs. Easily can find amazing similarity of "aliens" with characters of ancient myths and fairy tales within simple analysis. There are number of works that include detailed analyzes of deep similarity of UFOs stories and legends involving mythological characters (5, 6).

Tradition of Hinduism and Buddhism contain detailed classification of otherworldly and supernatural beings. Let us focus on this classification in more detailed way. Classification based on concept of six worlds of Samsara and the four-component (four-linked) system (7). This is a kind of cluster of related meta-historical worlds in four-dimensional space. Worlds of Samsara are located around sacred multidimensional axis (Mount Meru, World Tree, Lingam Shiva, etc.) and each of them tied to one of its levels (see Fig. 1).

Mount Meru and 4 continents

Fig. 1. Mount Meru and 4 continents.

World of people (the Earth) and part of the world of animals can be placed into our regular 3-dimensional world (8). Our world (with planet Earth) which India and Tibet called the southern continent of Dzhambudvipa (Jambudvipa) is located on southern side of Mount Meru. Other worlds of Samsara are located in other dimensions of space.

Same clusters of Samsara worlds tied to other planets and star systems (7). But they not necessarily inhabited by living creatures. For example, Moon it is a system of layers with died out middle layer. Life still present there only at lower layers. During full and new moon at Earth people feel impact of it.

3.1. Six worlds of Samsara

Six worlds of Samsara closely related to concept of karma and reincarnation (7, 8). It is Believed that every creature can be reborn in one of this world after death. Individual karma (chains of actions and attachments in previous lives) predetermines in which world a person will reborn.

Each world is associated with one of six kleshas — obscurations or defilements of mind, passion’s core or pernicious passions. Kleshas causing a fruitless pursuit of satisfying desires that breeds misery involving living creatures in chain of rebirths. All karmic problems are rooted at kleshas (7, 8, 9).

These kleshas are problems of egoism, poverty of mind, envy, pride, indomitable passions and anger. Each of defilements maximally manifests at followings worlds (see Fig. 2):

  • Top - world of gods or devas (ignorance in the form of egoism);
  • Top-right - world of demigods or asuras (envy, jealousy);
  • Top-left - world of humans (pride, selfhood);
  • Bottom-left - world of animals (ignorance in the form of poverty of mind, stupidity);
  • Bottom-right - world of hungry ghosts or pretas (untamed passions, greed, lust, hunger);
  • Bottom - hell realm (anger, hate, rage).

One of traditional image of wheel of Sansara

Fig. 2. One of traditional image of wheel of Sansara.

The first two worlds belong to the higher kingdoms, and last three to lower ones. In worlds of devas and asuras enjoyment reigns, their inhabitants spend days in pleasures, not caring about spiritual growth and senselessly spending good karma — consequences of good deeds at their past lives. However, time of death comes to devas and asuras eventually. Suffering associated with death and often they will reborn at lower worlds of Samsara.

Worlds of animals, hungry ghosts and infernal creatures filled with unbearable suffering, then lower the world then stronger it is. There are no time or energy to do spiritual practices. Inhabitants of these worlds spend all time and energy on elementary survival.

Humans world include both pleasure and suffering. This balance creates most favorable conditions for spiritual practice. Not allowing human beings to fall into idle decisional laziness, but still leaving energy and opportunities to do spiritual transformation. Of course, not all beings using these opportunities. However, birth in world of humans is considered most favorable for liberation from endless karmic reincarnations. Moreover, high spiritual and enlightened beings are present in both, higher and lower, worlds.

Probably it can look strange, but the world of gods and the world of animals have the common klesha — ignorance. World of gods manifest ignorance in form of oblivion about the nature of reality, the sense of existence and, as a consequence, selfishness, pride. As a result, the enormous opportunities given by existence of devas in the world remain unrealized, and a long life is wasted on selfish pleasures. This life comes to end eventually, and the dying god left alone, abandoned by all. He suffers endlessly, knowing that wonderfully life is over, good karma wasted, and he will born in one of the lower worlds, perhaps — hell. However, it always depend on one’s karma.

Ignorance in another form — paucity of mind, dullness, involvement in an endless struggle for survival manifested Animal Realm. The animal has no time to stop and think about why it lives, what to strive for, what it wants from life. The main concern is to get food, escape from danger and have time to generate progeny. All that happen with it is realization of rigid, unquestioned programs (instincts), and not as a conscious choice. Of course, like in all other worlds there are exceptions, some representatives of this world can show amazing heights of spirit.

Another important issue is location of Samsara worlds, in physical multi-dimensional space of four-component system (Mount Meru and the four continents around, see Fig. 3) (7, 9). In this case, Mount Meru acts as the multidimensional axis of the World.

Description of six Sansara worlds

Fig. 3. Description of six Sansara worlds.

3.2. Mount Meru and yoni-linga archetype

Perhaps Lingam of Shiva or Shivalinga is most ancient metaphor for Axis mundi (Axis of World), especially it is popular in Hindu tradition. Lingam (male principle) surrounded by yoni (female principle) creates an image of yoni-linga. This composite form is widespread at both India and Cambodia (Fig. 4). Has to be noted that square composite detailed structure of yoni-linga have been almost forgotten in India nowadays, but still easily find in Cambodia. Yoni-linga itself it is a metaphor for four-link system of world’s axis.


Fig. 4. Mukhalinga.

Image of Axis of world as Linga is common not only in Hinduism, but in other religions as well. For example, in Ancient Greece, the axis of the world is represented by Omphalos. Omphalos, from the Museum of Delphi, you can see on Fig. 5. There are many traditions on our planet that have similar representations.

The Omphalos in the museum of Delphi.

Fig. 5. The Omphalos in the museum of Delphi.

Another common metaphor for the axis of world is World Tree (Arbor mundi). World Tree is also popular image in different esoteric traditions.

Worlds of Samsara and other subtle material subspaces are arranged around Axis of World or its archetype.

Four-link system is a prototype for layout of the space of ancient temples and other sacred structures. All Khmer temples were built considering this model — Mount Meru archetype, Lingam at center of temple. Moreover, geometric structure of this archetype constantly repeated in smaller scales, up to the smallest yoni-linga sculptures. Same model of the four-link system appears in the geometric form of stupa, in Buddhism tradition.

If we talk about creatures that occupy worlds of Samsara, it is important to remember that we are mention only main habitats. Creatures (animals, hungry ghosts, etc.) can dwelled not only in their own world, but also in world of humans and asuras, and vice versa.

Kalachakra Tantra Cosmos scheme

Fig. 6. Kalachakra Tantra Cosmos scheme.

Each of Samsara world has no rigid boundaries, and seems more like a self-similar fractal set. Animals live not only on our earth, but also in World Ocean that surround Mount Meru (Fig. 3, 6). Numerous snake-like creatures called "naga" inhabit World Ocean. Structure of worlds of gods also have several layers located at different levels (ledges) of Mount Meru on its apex and above it (see Fig. 3, 6). There are different layers by location, by physical nature. For example, the worlds of gods that are located above the top of Meru do not consist any substances, but consist from energy (eddy fields). However, even these worlds also belong to worlds of desire (Samsara).

Demigods or asuras live below water level in crevices of Mount Meru. One of their type are closer to animals and lives on the ocean floor.

Hungry ghosts are called preta or pretas and that is why their world is called pretaloka. It is located below level of World Ocean at depth of 500 yojanas (yojanas — vedic measure of distance) under Jambudvipa continent. This place look like a gray dull plain, with potholes, almost devoid of vegetation, ruled by king called "Lord of the Dead". There are 36 kinds of hungry ghosts total; and they not only live in their world, but also appear in other places of Samsara. Our world of humans connected with it, lot of cases about obsession or channeling are result of that connection.

Hell (hells) is (are) located below the world of hungry ghosts at a depth of 20,000 yojanas below Jambudvipa. There are 8 hot hells at bottom with hottest hell called Avichi under them. Hells also have a fractal self-similar structure. Four sides of each of 8 hot hells include four additional hells that connected with them and behind it there are 8 cold hells. It is believed that continents (in four-link system) greatly expand to its bottom, due to this it is enough space for all hells (7).

According to Tibetan tradition of Kalachakra tantra, hells are located on disks of the primary elements. World Ocean, Mount Meru and continents are based on them (see Fig. 6).

Animals do not have their own separate world. However, they live almost at all areas of the four-component system and worlds of Samsara, including our world of humans (Earth). Mostly animal creatures live in World Ocean, which surrounds Mount Meru (Fig. 3, 6). As we noted earlier, numerous snake-like creatures or nagas inhabit it. This creatures are well known from different Fairy tales, myths, legends — dragons and snakes with intellect. We all know lot of love stories about man and such a snake (in girl form). Especially this theme is very popular in China, South-East Asia, India and other countries. “The Mistress of the Copper Mountain” by Pavel Bazhov is most popular tale of that kind in Russia.

Boundaries between worlds of Samsara are quite complicated thing. Borders are difficult to cross, and then lower it is then more difficult to do it. Comparatively, is easier to penetrate it from the upper worlds down, than from the lower up. The inhabitants of world of gods can most easily move between worlds of Samsara. Then higher layer they live, then easier it is to do it.

3.3. Supreme Gods

Supreme Gods are beyond the limits of Samsara, they are remain at higher layers of reality. In Hindu tradition Supreme Gods are manifested by Holy Trimurti — Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. Buddha and his numerous aspects like Dhyani-Buddhas, etc. are Higher Gods of Buddhism. All this Gods are immortal and beyond from any form of passions. Supreme Gods remain even after end of the world, moving to the next cycle of creation.

Supreme Gods came into our reality during huge crises, on the verge of destruction of humanity. Often, Vishnu is incarnated through one of earthly creatures, not only humans but also animals. During early stages of world's existence it was supernatural animals — Fish, Boar and Tortoise. One of the last avatars of Vishnu was Prince Rama who has conquered great demon Ravana (described at epic poem Ramayana), and another of his well-known avatar was Krishna (main hero in Mahabharata) (9).

Lord Shiva also appear in our world as an avatar. He incarnated himself in great warrior Hanuman (ape-like vaynar, type of creatures that in ancient times inhabited Earth). Hanuman is an ardent devotee of Lord Rama and one of the central characters of the epic Ramayana.

Important to note, that there are big difference between Supreme Gods and devas. Devas are mortal gods, even if their lives are immeasurably longer than human life. Devas like all other creatures at Samsara are subject to passions (kleshas). Main klesha for devas is ignorance in the form of oblivion, selfishness, narcissism. In Indian mythology, there are many descriptions about this.

World that is located nearby devas are inhabited by warlike demigods or asuras, who is similar to titans at Greek myths. They are powerful beings of great growth, but inferior in their abilities to devas. The main problems in asura’s world are envy and jealousy. That is why they make war with devas all the time, but with no success.

Devas and asuras are closely related to human world. They receive vital energy thanks to human prayers and offerings that people do for them. In turn, humans receive supernatural influences from devas and asuras, however this influence is often use in interests of gods or demigods themselves. At the same time, they protect and help chosen people to win wars, to overcome crisis, and at achieving material well-being. Therefore, there are such kind of symbiosis of people with devas and asuras, and most religions in the world describe this connection.

For example, Greek ancient tradition describe how titans (asuras) ruled at the world and how gods (devas) replace them. Apparently, Greek gods was replaced by other gods — Christian angels (and other celestials), and asuras were turned into fallen angels — servants of Satan.

Now, we mainly understand structure of reality and can start to describe an ancient Cambodian Empire — the civilization of Khmers. Let us show how such meta-historical principles have manifested with different stages of development of civilization of Khmers.

4. Khmer Empire or Angkor Empire?

Most books of popular literature are full of beautiful pictures and contains a variety of stories about the amazing and legendary country of Khmers — "Angkor Empire", which extended far beyond current borders of modern Cambodia. Unfortunately, not much information can found about meta-historical and mystical events that helps their Empire to appear, develop and subsequent disappear.

The name "Angkor" comes from word 'nagara' (sanskr.: ), that mean "the city". In Khmer language as 'noko' (Khmer:  —kingdom, country, city. That’s why area of capital cities, which existed from VIII to XIV centuries AD, named as “Angkor” (Fig.7). But "Angkor" is not original name of that area. This name was given much later when these places were no longer ruled by Khmer kings, lost its importance and fell into decay. The names of many temples and other historical heritage sites, such as Angkor Wat, have a relatively modern origin and do not correspond to their original purpose. So, we consider to use word "Khmer" instead of "Angkor".

Archeological sites in the Angkor region.

Fig. 7. Archeological sites in the Angkor region.

To understand how the meta-historical processes did influence on rising and disappearance of the Khmer Empire, we want first to turn to legends, primitive beliefs and folks of ancient inhabitants of this area. After we will look at influence of Hindu culture and religion on the emergence of first states and formations.

5. Hindu assimilation of Khmer shamanic traditions. Nagas and apsaras

5.1. First Khmer principalities and formations

As religion Hinduism become to make an influence from about the III century B. C. It associated with an ancient trading post named Ok-Eo at delta of Mekong River. Which was very important for Indian traders who visited this region across the Indian Ocean and the Malaya isthmus for trade at South Asia and further at China. Preserved architecture of that time, as well as reveal of Roman and Parthian coins, testify connections with the Hellenistic centers.

The first appearance of the Khmer language associated with Chenla states – or united kingdom of "Water Chenla" and "Earth Chenla" at late VI – early VII centuries AD. First inscriptions on Khmer language found on temples walls of that period. However, Sanskrit was language of elite (sacred), and Khmer — social or secular (profane).

Despite the fact that elite followed the Hindu ritual, lot of local rituals has not forgotten and received their further development due to outside influence. (10)

All versions of the Khmers people emergence have basis — ancient myth. Khmers consider themselves as nation born from confluence inhabitants from India and indigenous local tribes.

5.2. Naga cult

The worship of snakes and serpent-like creatures (Nagas and Nagis) include in many cultures in the world: Aryan Gangas culture, Dravidian India, ancient Tibet, Iran, etc. However, wide spread of this cult received in ancient Cambodia. Snakes (nagas) are closely related to agricultural religion of indigenous peoples, where the water played a primary role (11). For all ancient inhabitants of khmer area, Naga — is the main figure, the fundamental image of their culture.

As said before, at Hinduism, Nagas belong to the world of animals and they inhabit almost all realms of Samsara, including our world (Earth). However, most of Nagas live in a multi-dimensional World Ocean that washes the World Mountain or Mount Meru (check). Nagas live in depths of primordial Ocean, and represent materialized force of the water element in humans mind. Nagas patronized famous irrigation systems of Khmer’s Empire, and Khmer achieved great power with its help.

Traditions of Naga worship exist and maintained up to the present day. Secular institutions as armies (SE Asia region) have regulations that includes echoes of ancient tradition. For example, during crossing bridge or water barrier, the final soldier who cross the obstacle must do prayer to Nagas for safe pass.

Naga also play a significant role in architecture, design and space of khmer temples both ancient (Fig. 8) and modern (Fig. 9).

Naga sculpture at the entrance of Preah Vihear temple (X c.)

Fig. 8. Naga sculpture at the entrance of Preah Vihear temple (X c.)

Nagas at modern architecture – fountain at Siem Reap

Fig. 9. Nagas at modern architecture – fountain at Siem Reap.

5.3. Ак-Yom Temple

Ak-Yom (circa VII cent. AD) one of the oldest temples found at Angkor area. Here we can observe ancient archetypes, which present in other Khmer temples. It is dedicated to Shiva and has one main sanctuary. The Shivalingam was inside and placed above a deep well that goes several meters underground (Fig. 10).

The well is archetype of Yoni and the passage to lower worlds. On the other hand, Nagas are servants and assistants of Shiva and, in modern terms, correlated with energy channels through which vital energy (prana) circulates through the space-time. Using metaphor of theoretical physics, Nagas are represent superstrings – a kind of frame of multidimensional Universe (12). It is clear that in this case Nagas embody one of the most important archetypes of Shiva — Yoni-Linga. Yoni symbolizes the "female" channel.

Yonilinga at Ak-Yom temple (VII c.)

Fig. 10. Yonilinga at Ak-Yom temple (VII c.).

5.4. Celestial Apsara archetype and myth of churning of the World Ocean

Cult of Nagas closely related with apsaras or divine dancers. Nagas can manifest themselves in image of beautiful girl, and even engage in sexual intercourse with human. It is also typical for other tradition: at India, China, Tibet, or myths of the Russian Urals (we have already mentioned the legend of the Mistress of the copper mountain). In Hinduism image of the celestial nymphs appears in famous myth about Churning of the Ocean of Milk by Devas and Asuras. Apparently, this myth appeared during shamanism period before era of brahminic tradition.

Archetype of Nagas are closely related to fertility cult. Numerous images of apsaras play the role of vital energy — reactivate the Khmer temple complexes (Fig.11).

Apsaras bas-relief at Angkor Wat temple (XII c.)

Fig. 11. Apsaras bas-relief at Angkor Wat temple (XII c.).

Myth about Churning of the Ocean of Milk is very important and revered throughout whole India culture, but at Khmer Empire, we can observe it in almost each temple. In many temples across Empire there are sculptural design and bas-reliefs with motifs of Churning. Plans of temple complexes, buildings, etc. also represent main idea of myth. For example, image of Asuras and Devas holding Naga's body are present almost in each ancient or modern bridge in form of various fences and railing. (Fig. 12).

 Myth about Churning of World Ocean. Fronton at Preah Vihear temple (X c.)

Fig. 12. Myth about Churning of World Ocean. Fronton at Preah Vihear temple (X c.)

6. Brief story about appearance of apsaras in myth about Churning

Main actors in myth – Devas (gods) and Asuras (demons). Legend starts with description how gods lost long-life elixir (called Amrita) because of their pride. Then there is description of irreconcilable disputes between Devas and Asuras for possession of Amrita elixir.

Gods had to churn the World Ocean to get an elixir. However, their own power was not enough to do it. The have to conclude temporary alliance with their eternal enemies - Asuras.

It tells that it was assistance of Vishnu during obtaining the Amrita by gods and demons.  Vishnu appear in form of a huge Turtle (called Kurma), using a shell he propped up with Mount Mandara (analog of Mount Meru). Devas and asuras use a snake-king Naga named Vasuki as a “rope” and rotate the Mount. Dragged the snake-rope in one direction, then to another, the mountain revolved around its axis and World Ocean was churned.  Churning Ocean start to give various divine gifts and the Amrita elixir in the end. Among those divine gifts there are hundreds of thousands of beautiful apsaras (Fig. 13).

Apearring of apsaras during Churning of World Ocean. Bas-relief at Angkor Wat temple (X c.)

Fig. 13. Apearring of apsaras during Churning of World Ocean. Bas-relief at Angkor Wat temple (X c.).

Classic Hindu traditions do not indicate that role of apsaras are very important. Usually, classic apsaras play the role of courtesans, dancers, concubines in world of the gods. Nevertheless, at Khmer Hinduism apsaras acquire a valuable role as a symbol of cosmic vital energy.

Girls deeply connected with Khmer people until these days — their images are most popular motifs of decoration of important buildings, at premises, fine arts, etc.

In addition, that at time of tragic period of Khmer Rouge regime, which was forcibly "imposed" to Cambodia by the United States, girls who are work at theaters by dancing apsara-dance were outlawed and were subject to immediate physical destruction. Highly likely, such kind "remedy" was the result of controlled chaos programs using by Western globalists. And as a tool to take full control over vital energies of Noosphere in order to use it for preparation the arrival of Antichrist.

7. Legendary Khmer dynasties

Most Khmer rulers belonged to descendants of two legendary dynasties — Lunar and Solar. The territory of ancient state of Fu-Nan is the origin of Lunar Dynasty and found at the end of I century BC. Lunar dynasty formed by Kaudinya (Indian prince) and Soma (Nagini princess) in sacred union. Soma was daughter of king Nagaraja (cobra king). Legend tells that God Shiva himself to presented beautiful Soma to Nagaraja. Foundation of Solar dynasty was probably at the same time, but on territories of ancient principality of Chen-La. Chen-La was vassal state, but it eventually subdues suzerain state of Fu-Nan. Solar dynasty begins from sacred union of hermit brahmin Kambu Swayambhuva and princess of Chen-La heavenly apsara named Mera (13). Actually, the modern king of Cambodia is descendant of these legendary dynasties. Chinese Ambassador Zhou Daguan written a version of origin of one of dynasties during his journeys. He visited Khmer Empire at 1295-1296 and made interesting notes about it. Local people retold him an ancient legend, according to which the Khmer ruler must have intimate relationship every night with nine-headed naga at his palace. According to legend, the naga lived at Royal Palace (Phimeanakas) and appeal in form of beautiful celestial dancer or apsara. Naga was an owner of all land in country; believes that she patronized the construction of irrigation systems and rice cultivation. If ruler didn’t fulfilled his night duty (break with tradition or abolish rituals) ones it promised great troubles for the state. Probably the braking the vow could be another reason for decline of Khmer Empire at XIII century, when ritual ceased by the rulers or when ruler was denied by naga.

7.1. Foundation of empire. Jayavarman II

At the beginning of IX century great events happened and it is took place in Khmer country. It is believed that the first Khmer Emperor was Jayavarman II (reign 790-835 / 850). Recorded data (stone steles) consist that he had origin from each of two legendary dynasties. These inscriptions say that he was "the successor of Lunar dynasty and the honor guardian of Solar race of Shri Kambu."

Javanese rulers at VIII cent constantly attacked territories of Khmer. At 790 Jayavarman II returned from the island of Java, where he probably held captive after an unsuccessful naval campaign against the aggressors. After returning, he successfully unite disparate principalities, asserts its Supreme power and determines the place for the future capital of the Empire until 802. The capital called Hariharalaya, due to popular cult of the syncretic deity of Harihara, half Vishnu-Hari and half Shiva-Hara. This city is located near the area of following Khmer capitals at Angkor, on the territory of the modern settlement of Roluos (see map on Fig. 7).

For strengthen the power, Jayavarman II went to sacred from ancient times area – Phnom Kulen Mountains. He formed there the city of Mahendraparvata ("City of Indra"). Researchers discovered ruins of this city in 2013 but their work is still not complete (14).

Jayavarman II invited high brahmin from India for conduct the special ritual, which later became mandatory for every Khmer ruler. This event was a significant moment in Khmer history, which became the basis of religious cult of God-King or Devaraja and marked beginning of independence.

В VIII веке кхмерские земли подвергались постоянным нападениям со стороны яванских правителей. В 790 г. Джаяварман II возвращается с о. Явы, где он, вероятно, находился в плену после неудачного морского похода против агрессоров. И к 802 году он успешно объединил тогдашние разрозненные княжества, утверждает свою верховную власть и определяет место для будущей столицы империи. Столица получила название Харихаралая, что обусловлено популярным в то время культом синкретического божества Харихары, наполовину Вишну (Хари) и наполовину Шивы (Хара). Этот город находится близ района кхмерских столиц (Анкгора), на территории нынешнего поселения Ролуос (Roluos) (рис. 7).

7.2. Devaraja cult — Lord of the Universe

Rapid development of Khmer Empire is connected with new Khmer cult of Devaraja. In turn, ignorance of cult, violation of established tradition and distortion of its essence entailed catastrophic consequences in history of the Empire.

New king having passed the rite of initiation and was called a Chakravartin, which can be translated from Sanskrit as "the Lord of the Universe," and considered the epitome of one of the Higher Gods of the Hindu Pantheon. Originally, it was Shiva, but later rulers became identified their self with Vishnu.

Often in Hindu tradition, Gods have patronage above the king, and no much cases of embodiment. However, Khmer case it is exactly one of them. Supreme God incarnates in the human body of king, which is practically start to be an avatar of God.

Devaraja cult was closely associated with construction of temples all over the country. Model of Space and structure of cyclic development of Cosmos is reflects at geometry of all main Khmer temples. Khmer temple is a reflection of structure of multidimensional reality in our world. It is a kind of three-dimensional mandala of the Universe. God embodied in king and temples are of God’s abode in our reality (our world). In addition, temple is as an important psychotronic structure that works with life energy flows (prana, chi, negentropy). Temple function is to counteract increases of chaos and provide a higher order of biospheric processes (15). However, these functions implemented if proper rites (offerings, etc.) performed well. Deformed and defiled temple turns into its opposite – the source of destruction and increase chaos. Such scenario happened with Khmer civilization probably.

Anyway, if we talk about Devaraja cult, we do not know actually how original ritual was look like and performed. However, ancient sources have some descriptions. Hiranydama (Hira?yadaman), an Indian brahmin, through recitation passed sacred knowledge brahmin Sivakaivalya who was close to Jayavarman II. Ritual consisted transfer of knowledge based on four sacred texts (“Vinasikha”, “Nayottara”, “Sammoha’ и “Siraccheda”) in accordance with Vinasikha Tantra. Afterwards, priest Sivakaivalya became founder of Royal priest’s lineage. Priest of this linage and their successors performed tantric rituals and became guardians of the Royal regalia (10).  Main action during ritual of Devaraja was installing of Shiva’s statue or sacred Lingam called Shri Shivalingam.

7.3. The Sacred Shiva Lingam — Srishivalingam

Probably the most common form of Shiva in Cambodia (as well as in other countries of Hindu tradition) was a phallic symbol called lingam (Fig. 14). Culmination point of cult was installing of sacred statue (image) of God in central state temple. Khmeres also believes that the lingam was a symbol of protection of the state.  Lingam was made of stone or precious metal (Fig. 15) and placed inside central sanctuary called Prasat. Usually, prasat placed on the top of a truncated pyramid, which located on an artificial or natural hill. Such structure or design symbolizes multidimensional world axis, the sacred mountain.

Stone Linga. National Museum of Angkor, Siem Reap

Fig. 14. Stone Linga. National Museum of Angkor, Siem Reap

Golden Shivalingam. Image at National Museum of Angkor, Siem Reap

Fig. 15. Golden Shivalingam. Image at National Museum of Angkor, Siem Reap.

Khmeres Lingam (as masculine archetype) designed as three parted axis and symbolizes three Gods of Sacred Trimurti. Square base symbolizes God Brahma, middle octagonal part — Vishnu, and finally, the upper half-sphere or rounded part — Shiva. The lingam placed in a square shaped Yoni (as female archetype). Bottom square and middle octagonal parts of Lingam usually was hidden inside Yoni, an only upper rounded part, which is associated with Shiva, was visible (Fig. 16).

Yoni-linga. Preah Ang (Buddhist temple) at Phnom Kulen mountains

Fig. 16. Yoni-linga. Preah Ang (Buddhist temple) at Phnom Kulen mountains.

7.4. The sacred mountains — Phnom Kulen. The City Of Mahendraparvata

At 810 in new capital called Mahendraparvata at Phnom Kulen mountains start construction of Rong Chen Temple (Prasat Aram Rong Chen / Krus Preah Aram Rong Chen, Fig. 17). Most likely, the temple has another name, and current name is associated with a later period (the time of spread of Buddhism). Rong Chen is the first temple where we can observe the formation of Khmer own architecture style, not strictly related with Indian types. First ceremony of installing Srishivalinga with worship Devaraja originate here. Thus, the sacred power of the "God-king" extended to the new state-Empire.

Plan and section of Rong Chen temple (VIII – IX cc.)

Fig. 17. Plan and section of Rong Chen temple (VIII – IX cc.).

Almost each subsequent ruler after ascending the throne of Empire found a new capital and perform the rite of hoisting the sacred Lingam in new Central temple. For example, Hariharalaya with Bakong Temple, Yashodhapura with Phnom Bakheng Temple, Lingapura with Prang, also Pre Rup and Baphuon.

Most famous central temple of Empire was Angkor Wat with statue of Vishnu (Fig. 18) hosted at central shrine in the central shrine when it was build. Suryavarman II, who was the King of those days, associated himself with incarnation of Vishnu. Name of "Angkor Wat" was given to the temple much later (during the spread of Buddhism), and originally it called “Varah Vishnu-lok”, it can be translated as "abode of Vishnu". We give a detailed description in corresponding paragraph.

Vishnu statue from Angkor Wat temple (XII c.)

Fig. 18. Vishnu statue from Angkor Wat temple (XII c.).

Let us return to the image of Lingam, which has particular importance not only in the ritual of Devarajah cult, but also provide vital energy (or prana) for Empire. Lingam functions related to provision of an energy through unique psychotronic structures located at Phnom Kulen mountains (for example, river of Thousand Lingams or Sahasraralinga River).

Founding of a new cult marked the beginning of tradition of assigning a posthumous name to the king, which corresponded to one of the names of the God Shiva (for example, Parameshvara, Ishvaraloka, Rudraloka, etc.). Additional divine name of king tells ones again about sacred status of the king even after his death in our word. Therefore, main temples (in most cases) became not only the burial palace (mausoleum) of the ruler, but remained as a Shiva temple.

7.5. Royal Sacred Sword (Preah Khan Reach)

Ancient cult of Devaraja a closely related to Khmer Royal regalia (13). There is a Royal Sacred Sword (Preah Khan Reach, Fig. 19) among them. Sword is archetype of power and also bearing the symbolism of Lingam. It is known first Khmer Emperor Jayavarman II during his Devaraja initiation has an sacred sword. Probably same sword remains now and perform a symbol of divine authority of the ruler and protection of the state. Brahmins of that time and later, during official Buddhism, was guardians of all Royal regalia. Sword was protected by supreme brahmin. Since XIII century there are many interesting and mysterious events took place with relic. Even today mystical sword plays an important role and worshiped by Royal family.  Sword as a powerful and sacred symbol placed in the center of Royal insignia and Royal flag (Fig. 20). Interesting theme of royal regalia is a subject for further researches.

Royal sword and other regalia of Cambodian king (National Geographic, 1920)

Fig. 19. Royal sword and other regalia of Cambodian king (National Geographic, 1920).

Cambodian modern royal standard

Fig. 20. Cambodian modern royal standard.

8. Sacred Khmer architecture

As we noticed, architecture is sacred for Khmer and occur as an embodiment of cosmogonic myth. Originally, architecture of Khmers based on forms adopted from India. Also seen and Hellenistic influence in design. However, we can observe formation of own architectural style, based on combination of Indian sacred knowledge and local traditions during first stages of Khmer principalities.

Let us have a look closer on main points of formation of the city, temple complexes and individual shrines of Khmer.

One of the first temple complexes was established at the beginning of VII century by Isanavarman I (reign 616-635) in the city of Isanapura (Ishanapura, Fig. 21). It is located at Mekong river valley and now called a Sambor Prei Kuk (16). Archaeologists have found about thirty large and small buildings, which are combined into one dense array with at least 4 sq.km. Three temple groups contain Shiva shrines (with Lingams) in the center of each one. Corbel arch for the first time used here. Sambor Prei Kuk gives start to a new type for shrine structure called prasat, which will characterize all subsequent Khmer architecture. Usually, prasat plastered in white color, and elements were gold plated. Tendency to ensemble organization of individual prasats appear here and emergence of quincunx of prasats. Principle of chess order is typical for many Khmer temples and finally reach ultimate significance in most famous - Angkor Wat.

City plan of Isanapura (beg. VII c.)

Fig. 21. City plan of Isanapura (beg. VII c.).

Researches show that at beginning of the IX century in the city of Mahendraparvata the organization of large urban settlements realized for a first time (14). Both religious and secular buildings were located around main temple with sacred Shivalingam. Central temple associated with Mount Meru – center of the Universe. It is straightly corresponded with Indian cosmology as we mentioned before.

Various mystical traditions and it combinations eventually led that Khmer Empire concentrated around the capital and its state temple. Khmers likened with an image of sacred India through certain ideas of orthodox Brahmanism – its ideas of Universe structure and Cosmos.

8.1. Water

For Khmers (also for India region) water moat was not straightly a defensive structure at ancient and medieval times. However, many Khmers buildings of that time surrounded by such water moats (in form of closed ring). Some of complexes have not only one, but also two, three or more water enclosures. This structures embodied an abstract myths of Indian cosmogony related with surrounded by World Ocean Mount Meru.

Water played a key role in life of Khmers. Nagas protection facilitated the construction of an extensive network of irrigation canals throughout the country. Large artificial tanks was also build. Earlier they called “tataka”, and now - "baray". This tanks played a significant role for accumulation of water.

From the economic point of view, system of irrigation channels allowed several rice harvests per year, thus increasing the welfare. However, another and more significant role was in sacred sphere.

The Siem Reap river (Stung Siem Reap in  Khmer) originates from springs at sacred Phnom Kulen mounts and fill up with sacred water lot of handmade ponds of rectangular shape (barays). There at mountains, based on previous and ancient shrines, placed and finally completed in XI-XII centuries a unique psychotronic structures.

8.2. River of a Thousand Lingas

Two unique complexes are located in the mountains of Phnom Kulen. One of them is located on the tributary of Siem Reap River and called Kbal Spean (Stung Kbal Spean in Khmer). The name Kbal Spean comes from name of a huge stone that lies across the flow at the top and forms a natural "bridge" through the streams of water. Sahastralinga (Sahasralinga river) is a Sanskrit name that can be translated as River of the Thousand Lingas. Flow starts above "stone bridge" and ends over a small waterfall. Length of this complex is about 150 meters. (Fig. 22).

Plan of Kbal Spean monuments

Fig. 22. Plan of Kbal Spean monuments.

Other complex also called River of a Thousands Lingas, but it is located directly on source of Siem Reap River. Over there, few hundred meters to the West, located a Buddhist temple that called Preah Ang Thom. Downstream is a beautiful waterfall, which probably was a sacred place in those times.

According to recent researches, these places have been sacred to the Khmer since ancient times. However, they discovered only in 1968 by French researcher Jean Boulbet. (16). Monuments made in form of bas-reliefs of flat Lingas carved the bottom of the river. Many bas-reliefs are displaying higher gods of Hindu Pantheon and depicting scenes from Hindu legends. Suggest that style of these bas-reliefs belongs to the XI century.

These monuments are unique psychotronic devices that have no analogues and are of particular importance in history of Khmer Empire.

8.3. Bakong - Temple-mount

In the new capital founded by Jayavarman II, which called Hariharalaya we can observe a developed urban ensemble that has complicated structure (Fig. 23).

Central temple was Bakong, it completed at 881 (Fig. 24). Bakong was built as temple, which clearly embodies the principle of an idea of "temple-mountain" (Fig. 25). Water moats (as rings) surround the temple symbolize the World Ocean, which washes the sacred Mount Meru. In sum, the capital of Hariharalaya is a new model of urban organization with central temple and large artificial reservoir (Indra’s Lake or “Indratataka”). This reservoir later called “Baray of Lolei”, but nowadays it is completely dried.

City plan of Hariharalaya (IX c.)

Fig. 23. City plan of Hariharalaya (IX c.).

Plan and section of Bakong temple (IX c.)

Fig. 24. Plan and section of Bakong temple (IX c.).

Bakong temple (IX c.)

Fig. 25. Bakong temple (IX c.).

Similar model (larger or smaller scale) of urban planning and space arrangements will implemented in subsequent urban formations all over empire.

A huge Nagas made of stone found at Bakong – is a new architectural element for Khmer architecture. They arranged parallel to movement to center of the temples or other sacred areas. As noted before, there are an extensive symbolism of Naga-snakes in Khmer tradition and associated with popular beliefs mixed with ancient non-Hindu cults. The Nagas, in architecture, embody entrance guards and mediators between humans (profae – outside space) and parallel worlds of Gods (sacred – inside space). Such Naga-bridges are an archetypal representation of rainbow in Hindu tradition, which symbolizes bridge between the worlds. Nagas represent guardians of the welfare of Royal City of Khmer also (17).

Naga symbolism and other Hindu myth are integral part of a Khmer architecture and sculpture — legend about Churning of the World Ocean, Vishnu reclining on Shesha, union of Garuda and naga, Buddha under the hood of Mukhalinga.

Bakong with its proportional shapes become a prototype for most later religious buildings those times. Until now, it is taken as a basis for construction of a monument in honor of independence of Cambodia in Phnom Penh at XX century (1958, architect Van Molyvan), as well as memorial at Seam Reap town (Fig. 26).

 Modern memorial at Siem Reap

Fig. 26. Modern memorial at Siem Reap.

8.4. Yashodharapura city as one large temple. Phnom Bakheng

As was said, according to cult of Devaraja, in order to incarnate as "God-king", prince had to go through initiation and install Shri Shivalingam in center of new built temple.

Kings after Jayavarman II at late IX century start think that Hariharalaya is too small and already overpopulated for grandiose plans associated with the construction of new and bigger temples. So Yashovarman I (reign 889-915) founded a new capital — city of Yashodharapura (Fig. 27) with Phnom Bakheng temple located on natural hill. Yashodharapura surrounded by wall and occupied area more than 16 sq. km. Later, at XIII century, Angkor Thom (with Bayon temple) built on remains of Yashodharapura, but in smaller scale. As seen on Fig. 23 perimeter was in form of square with North-South and West-East axis — North corresponded to Phimenakas (royal palace); West corresponds to Ak-Yom temple. It looks that famous Angkor-Wat was built (much later) at center of the S-E quadrant of Yashodharapura. Nowadays, at S-E quadrant we can find best-preserved part of moat and stonewall of former city. Location of Yashodharapura discovered by archaeologists only with the advent of aviation in XX century, city was opened to the world by Russian researcher V. Golubev, who designated its borders for the first time.

Yashodharapura city (end of IX c.), satellite view

Fig. 27. Yashodharapura city (end of IX c.), satellite view.

As mentioned, city built around the central temple of Phnom Bakheng (893/903, Fig. 28, Fig. 29). Construction of this temple is further developing of "temple-mountain" concept that preceding at Bakong. Phnom Bakheng is located on natural hill (about 75 m), surrounded by water moat. From the East side in the front entrance there are two symmetrical placed reservoir (Fig. 30). Five shrines (quincunx) were at the top of the truncated pyramid. The total number of prasats is sacred — 108 plus one. Shivalingas was placed not only at central shrine, but inside all of 108 shrines.

Phnom Bakheng temple (end of IX c.), reconstruction model

Fig. 28. Phnom Bakheng temple (end of IX c.), reconstruction model.

Phnom Bakheng area (end of IX c.), satellite view

Fig. 29. Phnom Bakheng area (end of IX c.), satellite view.

Plan of  Phnom Bakheng temple (end of IX c.)

Fig. 30. Plan of Phnom Bakheng temple (end of IX c.).

Central Prasat faced east, towards rising sun. The floor of the cella stood well below the door level, so that the image of god, thus lowered, was exactly facing the doorway and could receive more light, therefore energy. It believed that at this moment there is fulfill of the statue with the divine energy (the embodiment of the deity). This arrangement is true for all Central temples, at least in the era of official Hinduism in Empire.

Should note, that five top sanctuaries were dismantled in the XVI century to build giant seated Buddha statue (Fig. 31). This project was implemented only at its initial stage and didn’t finished. Process turned other way at 1923 when the temple was partially restored by the EFEO (14).

Plan of unbuilt Buddha monument at XVI c. Top of Phnom Bakheng temple

Fig. 31. Plan of unbuilt Buddha monument at XVI c. Top of Phnom Bakheng temple.

Unique temple complex was built during the reign of Yashovarman I on one of the peaks of the Dangrek mountains in the North of modern Cambodia. It was dedicated to Shiva and called Shikharisvara (based approx. 900, enlarged at the beginning of XI cent.). Today it is known as Preah Vihear (Fig. 32). Certainly, this temple is one of the gems of Khmer architecture.

Preah Vihear temple (X c.)

Fig. 32. Preah Vihear temple (X c.).

8.5. Lingapura – type of opened city

In 928 the Jayavarman IV seized power by force. He transferred the capital in the area of the present town of Koh Ker (70 km North-East from Yashodharapura) and named it Lingapura or “The citi of Lingam" (Fig. 33). The layout of city is differed from the previous ones because it was open-type with no walls and no surrounded rings of water moats. According to latest research, its area reached at least 67 square kilometers (14).

The Central temple in Koh Ker called Prasat Thom (Fig. 34) and it is located on the East-West axis. It adjacent from the East to highest Khmer structure, now called Prang. As mentioned before, such names are not original. “Prang” means the pyramidal base of the Buddhist stupa in Thai language. The pyramidal five steps base with single prasat on the top platform. Inside it housed the sacred lingam called “Tribhuvaneshvara”.

Lingapura – central area model (first half of X c.)

Fig. 33. Lingapura – central area model (first half of X c.).

 Main temple of Lingapura (first half of X c.)

Fig. 34. Main temple of Lingapura (first half of X c.).

8.6. Pre Rup

In 944 crown prince Rajendravarman returns the capital back to Yashodharapura area. The image of "temple-mountain" embodied in new temple called Pre Rup (Fig. 35). It built outside city walls on territory of early Shaiva and Vaishnava monasteries. As in the Phnom Bakeng, there is five main sanctuaries placed in quincunx on the top of the pyramid platform. Shri Shivalingam installed in central shrine according to the Devaraja cult. Central prasat surrounded by four smaller shrines. One of them dedicated to Shiva, another to Vishnu and two shrines for their consorts Uma and Lakshmi, respectively.

Pre Rup temple (944 A.D.)

Fig. 35. Pre Rup temple (944 A.D.).

8.7. Sri Tribhuvan Maheshwar (Bantey Srei) — masterpiece of Khmer architecture

During reign Rajendravarman in 967 began the construction of temple, which will be one of the best sample of Khmer architecture. Original name of the temple is Sri Tribhuvan Maheshwar and it dedicated to "Lord of the Three Worlds" or Shiva (18). Now it is known as Banteay Srei (Fig. 36).  Temple was associated closely with spiritual tradition of the Empire, but not directly with Devaraja cult. The temple and its complex becomes a major religious and educational center, attracting many students from different parts of the Empire and from other countries. The temple area was surround by settlements and formed the city under the name of Isvarapura or "City of God".

Bantey Srei temple (967 A.D.)

Fig. 36. Bantey Srei temple (967 A.D.).

Central part of the temple contains three sanctuaries (Fig. 37). Inside the central prasat was the lingam named "Sri Tribhuvan Maheshwar", the southern contained the lingam "Ishvara" and finally the northern — the statue of God Vishnu.

Best craftsmen of that time worked on sculptural design of the temple, which will be the reason for the formation of the temple-based school for future Khmer sculptors. Apparently, we owe to this school, emergence of such masterpieces of architecture as Angkor Wat, Preah Vihear, Bayon, etc. So much images of deities and legendary scenes shown here for the first time. This temple reflects almost all main Hindu myths. Despite the small size of the complex, we can observe a very harmonious combination of abundant sculptural decoration and architecture itself.

Plan of Bantey Srei temple (967 A.D.)

Fig. 37. Plan of Bantey Srei temple (967 A.D.).

Brahmin Yadjnavarhan built the temple and he became a famous ascetic and a personal guru of next ruler of the Empire —Jayavarman V (reign 968-1000).  Yadjnavarhan was highly educated, taught ancient sacred Vedic literature, sciences, philosophy, ethics, astrology and philosophy of Hinduism and Buddhism. He was fluent in many languages, as well as imparting ancient knowledge and practices named Patanjali, Kannad, Gautam and Kapil.

City of Ishvarapura was major religious and educational center, an abode of culture and arts. Sources indicate that, Yadjnavarhan was a skilled musician and practiced ritual dances. At Cambodia ancient sacred dances from the ancient epic of Ramayana (Reamker and Lakhaon Khaol), for example, perform until now (18).

High importance given to healing and virtue. The house of the Supreme Brahmin was always open for pauper, elderly, sick and all those who seek help. There also was reservoirs with holy water, which sanctified and activated with vital energy by sacred lingams.

8.8. Last central Shiva temple

Tenth century marked by intense construction in area of Angkor capitals: state temples, extension of irrigation system to the North, establish of new channels and artificial reservoirs. Exception was a short period at approximately 921-944, when capital was relocate to Koh Ker area. Empire gradually expanding borders and move it further.

Baphuon (circa 1060, Fig. 38)  was the last state temple dedicated to Shiva. It built by Emperor Udayadityavarman II (reign 1050-1066). Central prasat of the temple covered with gold and contained a golden Sri Shivalingam inside, that is why later temple was called the "Golden Mountain".

Baphuon temple (ок. 1060), reconstruction model

Fig. 38. Baphuon temple (ок. 1060), reconstruction model.

Udayadityavarman II went to Phnom Kulen mounts. Over there, at places of first initiation of Jayavarman II and where Devaraja cult was appear, new ruler install the golden lingam to pass through initiation rite. To confirm this story we can observe many bas-reliefs in complexes of Thousand Lingas Rivers. These bas-reliefs can attributed to the Baphuon style and the period of Udayadityavarman II reign.

8.9. "Abode of Vishnu". Angkor Wat

From 1066 to 1113 years ruler changes frequently and during this period new central temples are not built.

At 1113 power engulfs by Suryavarman II (reign 1113-1150). Researchers note, that he had no consanguinity with either one of the legendary dynasties of Khmer. However, also mentioned that he was in blood relationship with the king of  northern state inside Dangrek mounts. It was vassal state for Khmer Empire and its capital located at Phimai. That is why we can speak of Suryavarman’s II high origin.

Suryavarman II continues the cult of Devaraja, but dedicates himself to Vishnu instead of Shiva. Probably, it is happen because Buddhism (Mahayana) wide spread over the country already. Embodiment in Vishnu more acceptable for Buddhists, and decision to incarnate in Vishnu chosen to minimize religious conflicts.

Since 1113 and until death in 1150, Suryavarman II has been build central temple called Varakh Vishnulok, it is can be translated as "The Abode of Vishnu". Now this complex is world famous under the name Angkor Wat.

Instead of Shivalingam, Vishnu statue was erected inside the central sanctuary. Statue of Buddha replaced the statue of Vishnu much later, and nowadays statue of Vishnu placed in eastern entrance gate (Fig. 18). Whole complex and temple itself is the apotheosis of Khmer architecture. This is the largest religious building in the world until now. Its plan shows basic ideas of Hinduism – as structure of the Universe embodied in stone. Central Prasat is the image of sacred axis of the World and represent holy mount Meru.

We will not dwell on it in detail because extensive information in a variety of sources we can easily find nowadays in Internet or in any serious bookstore all over the world.

Under reign of Suryavarman II, the Khmer Empire significantly expanded its holdings and gained military and economic power. However, in the near future it led to large-scale conflicts with neighboring kingdoms, in particular with the Champa (territory of South Vietnam).

8.10. Self-organization of trees in temple of Ta Prohm

Let us look aside briefly from chronology and do step to future events during the reign of the leper king.

During our expeditions, one complex struck us with its uniqueness and originality. It was a qualitatively different experience than in other places of this interesting and disappeared civilization. Ta Prohm temple established in 1186 and built by further king Jayavarman VII for his mother. The temple is dedicated to embodiment of wisdom in the form of Buddhist bodhisattva Prajnaparamita. Giant trees with open roots form a whole with artificial stone structures. Several species of huge trees sprout through sanctuaries. Its trunks permeate and embrace the stone blocks and sculptures (Fig. 39, 40). Trees naturally encircle the buildings with its gigantic thick roots that remind us of the body of the mythical serpent Naga. It is feeling like we saw only three-dimensional shadows of multidimensional trees, sprouting through space-time. At these moments, immediately recall the famous image of the World Tree or sacred axis that permeates all the worlds of the Universe, or The World Mountain.

Inside the Ta Prom temple

Fig. 39. Inside the Ta Prom temple.

Trees and temple buildings form a single whole

Fig. 40. Trees and temple buildings form a single whole.

Lot of temples were in a state of longtime interaction with nature without human intervention. With the beginning of the modern restoration works, trees partially were removed, as it interfered conduct of restoration and threatened the collapse of buildings. Ta Prom temple sprouted by trees much stronger than other temples. It was impossible to “release” them from the power of trees, without causing serious destruction.  Therefore, archaeologists make a decision to leave them like it was - as visual demonstration of that like they was discovered by French at the end of the XIX century.

At Ta Prohm we can saw the edge of future that is opened up for us. We saw technologies of our descendants. First, it is the growth or self-organization technologies. These technologies exist and develop all living organisms — plants, animals and the planetary biosphere as a whole. Such growth technologies are foundation of philosophy of Taoism. Another thing with biblical logic (religions of a Book) — where our world with its inhabitants created on “production line” from “components”, if we use terms from car industry. However, Taoism and other Eastern religions are speaks about gradual manifestation and development of the World. This is clearly seen in example of a simple tiny seed from which the tree (a thing of incredible complexity) are groth. Can said that tree grows by itself, it does not need any manufacture or plant with an production line, parts, etc.

The idea of the emergence and development of the world, returned to the scientific environment with the self-assembly and self-organization concepts. Practical realization of this idea becomes possible due to modern discoveries in non-equilibrium thermodynamics, non-linear physics, chaos theories and fractal sets (19). So far, it is only beginning far from practical implementation of a new direction in the scientific fields. However, can say that we saw in Ta Prohm a new type of temple built on such technologies and even advanced in higher dimensions of space-time. Is it mark for our descendants? Is it lost remnants of an ancient technology for current generation? We find it out soon or later hopefully.
Temple of Bantey Kdei (late XII century) built in fact at the same time and located not far from Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm. Trees much less occupy it and archaeological works was eliminate the natural environment capture. Therefore, as a result it is actually no such feeling associated with the influence of nature on the organization of multidimensional space as it feel in Ta Prohm.

Strong feelings and interesting altered states was arise when we get each time into Ta Prohm – a unique place of natural harmony. Perhaps this is just our projections and personal point of view, but it is want to believe that these statements are close to the truth.

9. Religion change

In 1150 Dharanindravarman II became king. He was a Buddhist and start transformation of Hindu temples into Buddhist temples. First attempt of a construction of Central Buddhist temple was at his reign. This period characterized by serious changes in religious and secular life of the Empire. It happens because of struggles for power within the country, constant conflicts and wars with neighbors, and experiments with state religion. The capital of Yasodharapura captured and plundered by Champa.

Dharanindravarman II known as a father of Jayavarman VII – lepper king, who is well popular in Cambodia nowadays.

9.1. Leper king

Yashodharapura destroyed by neighbors, struggle for the throne among the successors and other unfavorable reasons weakened the state. In this time leprosy sick Jayavarman VII became a king. He is depicted on bas-reliefs of Bayon temple as the victorious hero of the war with Champa. At his reign he rigidly changes the state religion from Hinduism to Buddhism (Mahayana), as a result the cult of Devarajah no longer plays a major role and takes a hybrid distorted form.

Leper king makes significant changes to the irrigation system of the country in order to match the new layout of capitals area of Angkor. In area of much-destroyed Yadhodharapura and more remote territories, he begins the construction of Buddhist temples and monasteries. The main building is the Central Buddhist temple of Bayon (early 1200). This temple will be completed after the death of the ruler as much at the end of the XIII century. It becomes the center of the new capital — this complex now called Angkor Thom.

10. Devaraja became a secular king

From time of Jayavarman VII the state religion was changed. Devaraja cult and it main idea of it takes a distorted form. Buddhist king could not be devoted with all rites of Devaraja cult and its canon. However, to become a rightful ruler of Empire he declares himself as incarnation of Buddha Amitaba (bodhisattva Lokeshvara). Thus, sacred tradition of ancestors significantly changes from its original essence. Higher Gods of Hinduism (Shiva or Vishnu) with an idea of "cosmic concerns", maintenance and world transformation was not close to the Buddhist-ruler. Buddhism (Theravada especially) is largely a religion of personal salvation. World’s transformation is not typical for Buddhists. Jayavarman VII becomes a protagonist of spiritual values, but he acted only in world of Samsara. Abundant construction of hospitals, monasteries and other secular institutions is evident of it. Temple frescoes and bas-reliefs reflects scenes from secular life of ruler and his Empire in most cases. Ancient myths and legends that contain cosmogony narratives are receiving less and less attention.

In spite large-scale construction since the middle of the XII century, the principle of chess placement (quincunx) for main sanctuaries of complex and axial harmony are no longer appear in layout of temples. There is a violation of harmonic unity, strict logic and purity of proportions. Desire to speed up construction inevitably grows negligence and lack of quality. Pyramid-based (up-down axis) are transform into planar perimeters (concentric or E-W axis) of complexes.

It is important to note that idea of Cosmos and representation of structure of the Universe in Khmer Buddhism is highly different from Mahayana Buddhism tradition. Buddhists stupas in India, Tibet, China, Japan and other countries are characterized detailed display of subtle reality. We can compare them to Hindu prototypes. Compare early scheme of worlds of Samsara (Fig. 1) and Kalachakra-Tantra Space (Fig. 6). Principle of progressive evolution and development is usual characteristic of subsequent spiritual traditions. But, you cannot see progressive development of Buddhists structures in Khmer tradition. Rather it vice versa — a general decline of spiritual culture, which apparently led to disappearance of great civilization.

10.1. Stealing of the Sacred Sword

One of reasons for the rapid declining of the Empire was that Sacred Sword stolen at the end of the XIII century. In year of 1295 Srindrabhupesvera Cuda (princess) betrays father. She’s father was Jayavaraman VIII (reign 1243-1295). She stole a symbol of Royal power — Royal Sacred Sword (khmer Preah Khan Reach). She pass it to her lover, who was military chief in Khmer army. Subsequently, he takes power over and names himself as king Indravarman III (reign 1295-1307). He had no relationship with any previous rulers, so to legitimize authority he take the princess as a wife. Another woman will soon replace this place, by the way.

Apparently, Indravarman III reign was not especially successful, so in 1307 he abdicated in favor of his relative named Srindrajayavarman. Buddhism (Theravada) stated as main religion and spread its influence throughout the Empire during this period. Hence first appearance of inscriptions on Pali language made after two years after Srindrajayavarman coronation.

During the reign of Indravarman III, mission of Kublai Khan Embassy led by Zhou Daguan in 1296-1297 have arrived. Zhou Daguan leave extensive information about the life and structure of the Khmer Empire.

Interesting, that the last stone temple at Angkor area built in 1295. It was East Prasat Thom (Prasat Mangalartha/Monument 468), his devoted to son of brhamin Jayamangalartha, personal guru of Jayavaraman VIII.

Religious conflicts and internecine wars of elites, as well as gaining strength of neighboring states, bring legendary Khmer Empire to its rapid twilight. Khmers lose its greatness and for many centuries will forgotten.

11. Religious wars

Often we can find mentions in modern sources about so-called "Hindu reaction" on spread of Buddhism all over Empire. However, extant ancient sources does not include any mentions about it. Researchers, who promote the idea of “reaction”, rely only on traces of damage that left on architectural objects. They assume that in the XIII century, religious wars mostly started by followers of Siva (Hindus) against Buddhists. We have to note, indeed that this fact confirms by presence in some temples significantly damaged or destroyed statues and bas-reliefs. Purpose was to transform an images of Buddha into the images of Lingam, Lord Shiva, yogis in the posture of deep meditation, etc.

Nevertheless, it should also note that the other side of such events had even more destructive effect probably. Many Hindu temples were reform into Buddhist ones, the Central sanctuaries replaced by Buddha statues. Thousands and thousands of Hindu statues, sculptures and architectural decorations were destroyed (Fig. 41) and looted by religious fanatics. Such an activity continued subsequent times. Let us remind reader about complete destruction of central sanctuary of Phnom Bakheng temple in order to erect a statue of Buddha on its place.

Destroyed sculpture of sacred bull Nandi (Vahana of Shiva) by religious fanatics. Territory of Bantei Srei temple (967 A.D.)

Fig. 41. Destroyed sculpture of sacred bull Nandi (Vahana of Shiva) by religious fanatics. Territory of Bantei Srei temple (967 A.D.).

We suggest that in following colonization of Indochina was a kind of karmic feedback. This feedback manifested in total abduction of cultural values from territory of Cambodia to Western Europe and to USA. Depredation accompanied by significant destruction of Buddha statues and architectural decoration, because there are not possible to dismantle and remove with no damages.

12. In conclusion

A huge variety of information related to the historical heritage of the Khmer can be found at internet or other sources nowadays. However, to our great regret, we cannot find detailed studies on the religious cult of Devaraja as well as sacred Phnom Kulen monuments, which was, probably, most important issue during development of Khmer Empire.

Rapid transformation of original shamanism into Hinduism and Buddhism was also an important moment. Unique archetypes of ancient Khmer shamanism preserved well and include variedly into the great religions that came from India and China. Specific architecture and most unique psychotronic devices formed from this symbiosis. We can observe a unique civilization and a repository of ancient technologies, rites and cults. Such sacred technologies preserved even much better than in ancestral homeland of India, where they repeatedly destroyed by numerous wars, invasions and colonization.

Rapid degradation of culture, economy decline and foreign affairs abruption are result of distortion of spiritual values and traditions neglecting as we saw.

Our own country has also experienced such a sad issue in recent past. Collapse of the USSR accompanied by “western help”: total looting and export of culture and material resources of all kind. Giant funds and assets of USSR exported in Western “democracies”. New born countries of former USSR received a “lentil soup” instead. It took more than 20 years after 1991 to reverse course of devastating experience in Russia. Only, when Crimea returned to its native harbor in 2014, Russians realized and reversed devastating experience — returned to bosom of true course. Return on the "Dragon line", as it calls in China. Naturally, this situation causes hatred and anger inside parasites-globalizers camp.

We can conclude that such way of studying of meta-historic courses in state formations, both ancient and modern, should help us to understand better our reality in present and future.

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© International Noosphere Institute. Evgueny Faydysh, Anton Olshanchenko. 2015.
© International Noosphere Institute. Anton Olshanchenko, translation. 2018.
© International Noosphere Institute. Dmitry Ryazanov, web-design. 2019.