Ever since I saw the first pic of Angkor Wat, I imagined visiting this Wonder of the world some day. A westerner might feel like Indiana Jones here but being from India where you have such wonders at every corner, I was disappointed as far as the temples of Cambodia are concerned. It is a lost civilization, the country has thousands of other temples that are neglected. Only Angkor Wat and few others drew world’s attention in recent times. Though Cambodia is a Buddhist country, Angkor Wat and other temples originally are of Lord Vishnu or Lord Shiva that were built during Vedic period. These temples are just ruins now, no elaborate worship or meditations are going on in the premises. You just notice a deity or two of Lord Buddha, mostly for tourists to offer prayers and to facilitate an experience of a different culture/religion.
I wanted to experience Cambodian countryside so I decided to take a bus from Phnom Penh to Siam Reap (Home of Angkor Wat temples). The city outskirts are still raw and basic with continuously changing landscape, not much affected by urbanization. The journey proved to be a refreshing experience for the soul!!
I met Mr Tan, a businessman from Malaysia whose seat was next to mine. He was also visiting Cambodia for the first time to do some sightseeing but mainly to explore new business opportunities. He was a Chinese Buddhist and must be in his 50s.
I was doing Japa meditation since it was an early morning bus. Some time later I opened Bhagavad Gita and immersed into it as the feeling of gratitude overtook me. What have I done to deserve this? To be fortunate enough to be in a strange, new land surrounded by people from different countries, all on their own journeys but still sharing a common bond!!