Adventures for the Soul: Day 19

28 DAYS: ADVENTURES FOR THE SOUL.

 

There are no secrets in the world.

Thai Proverb

 

Sawasdee (“hello”) from Bangkok!
I feel like the luckiest woman in the world being surrounded by my darling mom and hero-partner in the Land of Smiles!

At 07:30 AM we tackled the heat and sped off to Ayutthaya Province, a mere one hour drive from the city, where we spent the day learning about Thailand’s culture, history and spiritual significance (duh).

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First stop: the King’s Summer Palace; built by King Prasat Thong back in the 17th century. It’s a palace complex formerly used by the Thai kings and inspired by European architecture. It lies beside the Chao Phraya River in Bang Pa-In district, Ayutthaya Province. Just imagine being royalty during these times?!

Amidst colorful gardens and landscaping stand the following royal buildings: Wehart Chamrunt (Heavenly Light), a red and gold royal palace and throne room gifted by China; the Warophat Phiman (Excellent and Shining Heavenly Abode), a royal residence; Ho Withun Thasana (Sages’ Lookout), a brightly painted lookout tower; and the Aisawan Thiphya-Art (Divine Seat of Personal Freedom), a lighthouse-like pavilion constructed in the middle of a pond.

The palace remains largely open to visitors as the current King Bhumibol Adulyadej and his family use it only rarely for banquets and special occasions.

For more about the palace’s mythical aspects, click here.

From royalty to ruins, the second stop was the ruined ancient city of Ayutthaya, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Situated in the heart of Thailand, we spent time learning about the Buddhist temples “wats” and statues.

Back in the 14th and 16th centuries, it used to be the flourishing capital of Siam (Thailand) for 417 years. During this time, many temples and palaces were constructed by the 30+ monarchies that ruled over Ayutthaya!

Sadly, the city of Ayutthaya was destroyed by Burmese invaders in the 18th century. Its remains, characterized by the prang (reliquary towers) and gigantic monasteries, give an idea of its past splendour.

In the afternoon we boarded a luxury cruise ship and sailed back to Bangkok where we enjoyed lunch whilst overlooking the banks of the beautiful flora, architecture and Thai-life! (Hashtag living the life!)

The ancient relics I got to see today are a true reflection of Thailand’s glorious and golden past. However, as I sit and peer into the sunset and Bangkok’s modern towers and unsentimental spaces, I am heartbroken for the war inflicted on the beauty, purpose and spirituality of the city of Ayutthaya.

When it was attacked by the Burmese, the holiness of the Buddhist monasteries were also destroyed. There are countless decapitated Buddha statues in the ancient city. Shocking, to say the least.

I say I am shocked because I am deeply inflicted by people’s terror and disrespect to others’ beliefs. Throughout this journey I’ve become more and more aware of the hurt caused because of ancient societies’ religious indifference.

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Have you ever been hurt because of your spiritual or moral beliefs?

Today I’d like to ask you to become aware of your spiritual and moral beliefs. What do you believe? How do your beliefs shape you? How do others’ beliefs shape you?

Be careful not to discriminate others for their beliefs. Treat all human beings with equal kindness, respect and love and it will always be returned.

 

I AM ACCEPTING OF EVERYONE FOR I JUDGE NOTHING. ONLY GOODNESS COMES MY WAY.

 

Love,

Carmia

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