THe Lone Apsara

THe Lone Apsara

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lakshmi and Sita

Yesterday I posted a photo of a relief that is in a museum in New Delhi, India of the Ramayana . One of the characters is Sita who is the Avatar of Lakshmi. If you look at my older blogs you will see the photo taken at Banteay Srei at Angkor Wat linking the two together. This will all make sense once it is written out. I am waiting for my copy of the Ramayana so I can read.
All of you who read this have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Ramayana

A scene from the Ramayana that is in a museum in India. Rama who is a Avatar of Vishnu and Sita is an Avatar of Lakshmi, are in the photo above. Some may say I am getting off on a rabbit trail but it will all make sense once I get the 2nd book done. I am just so happy with my research today.
In Hinduism an Avatar is a deliberate descent of a deity like Vishnu to earth from heaven to become Rama. In English it would be, incarnation, appearance or manifestation.
My Indian adopted Son and his wife did a lot of explaining and answering of questions today, their night.

Photos of the President of India's Visit to Cambodia

The 2nd photo is of the Indian President at Banteay Srei, The last photo is of her with the King of Cambodia.

India and Cambodia, two countries with ancient ties

Angkor Wat Awes Indian President

The President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, look at the Wall Curving of Ramayana & Mahabharata Story on Angkor Wat Temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
By Kent Davis

“To the age old friendship between India and Cambodia; to the progress and prosperity of the people of Cambodia; and to the historic city of Siem Reap and to the World Heritage site of Angkor Wat.”

With these words the President of India, Shrimati Pratibha Devisingh Patil, honored her Cambodian hosts in Siem Reap province, home of Angkor, the capital of the Khmer empire that brought civilization to most of Southeast Asia between the 8th and 15th centuries.

India and Cambodia share much religious, architectural, artistic, literary and spiritual heritage. In ancient times, royal members of the educated Brahman class began traveling to Southeast Asia where local leaders apparently welcomed them and assimilated their ideas into their own indigenous culture.

The President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil at Banteay Srey, the Citadel of Women.
In Earth in Flower, Paul Cravath relates one tale Cambodia’s origin with a royal Indian progenitor:

According to the oral tradition recorded by the Chronicles, Preah Thong was the son of a north Indian king who was banished and came to Kok Thlok where he drove out the Cham ruler prior to his courtship of the beautiful daughter of the King of the Nāga, called Neang Neak (nana naka) or “Lady Serpent.”

Following a grand marriage, the nāga king created a kingdom for his son-in-law by drinking the waters covering a vast area on which he then formed houses and a palace. This kingdom took the new name of Kambuja, and Preah Thong was the first Khmer king.

The President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil at Ta Prohm Temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Cambodian classical dance still include performances of this legend in their repertoire.

The President’s title, Shrimati (abbreviated as Smt.), is a title of veneration that means radiant or effulgent light. The Khmer language shares this term because of its Sanskrit roots. The “Sri” root of the title itself is a feminine term from ancient times, but today men have adopted the formerly feminine prefix. Married women use Shrimati and Sushri is used as the equivalent of Ms.

In 2007, Smt. Patil became the first woman President of India. Her appointment is a powerful reminder that women also played essential roles in developing, governing and perpetuating the Khmer Empire. The most magnificent temples built by the Khmer, including Angkor Wat, the Bayon, Ta Prohm, Preah Khan and many others, prominently feature female imagery.

Regarding her views on the role of women, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil stated that

“Empowerment of women is particularly important to me as I believe this leads to the empowerment of the nation.”

The Khmer civilization evidently valued equality and women’s rights very highly in building their balanced society. The latest research on the women of Angkor Wat indicates that they may have represented many different nationalities. There is considerable evidence that Angkor was an important international center for economic and intellectual commerce so this seems probable.

Before her visit to Angkor the King of Cambodia, H.M. Norodom Sihamoni, received Smt. Patil at the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh. The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, H.E. Mr. Hun Sen and the President of the National Assembly, H.E. Mr. Heng Samrin, also met with the President of India during her visit.

The President of India Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, being escorted by the King of Cambodia HM Preah Bat Samdech Preah Boromneath Norodom Sihamoni during the Guard of Honour Ceremony at Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

The President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil and the King of Cambodia, H.M. Norodom Sihamoni meeting at the Royal Palace on September 14, 2010.

Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hum Sen, Prime Minister of Kingdom of Cambodia called on The President of India Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, at Royal Palace.
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Posted in Khmer History.
By admin September 28, 2010
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Shots of Preah Vihear

Preah Vihear

European Parliament Seeks End to Preah Vihear Thailand Cambodia Border Clash

The Khmer temple of Preah Vihear is located in Cambodia, as resolved by the International Court of Justice in their ruling on June 15, 1962. Photo by Kent Davis.
Strasbourg - The European Parliament has issued a strongly worded resolution seeking to end fighting between the armed forces of Thailand and Cambodia near the Khmer temple of Preah Vihear on the Cambodian-Thai border. (download a PDF of the resolution here)

Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the ruling by the International Court of Justice on June 15, 1962 that irrevocably ruled that the temple stood on Cambodian soil. Despite this, violence erupted in the area again in early February, resulting in fatalities to soldiers and the displacement of innocent civilians on both sides.

According to media reports, shelling from Thailand during the recent clash has caused serious damage to the ancient Khmer temple itself. UNESCO listed Preah Vihear as a World Heritage site on July 7, 2008. The European Parliament notes that the international community has a special responsibility to preserve this monument.

This troupe of dancers from the Nginn Karet Foundation gathered at Preah Vihear to perform a dance of peace in August 2010.
Respecting a Sacred Site
Sadly, to Khmer and Hindu people throughout the world, the temple of Preah Vihear is a spiritual site that deserves respect above the affairs of governments and armies.

To honor the temple’s sacred nature, a special group of children gathered there on August 17, 2010 to perform a religious ceremony of rare intensity called a “buong suong“. At that time, sixty-two young girls danced a sacred ritual praying for peace.

All the children are students at the Conservatoire NKFC Samdech Preah Ream Buppha Devi, the first school of Cambodian dance to operate under the Royal Patronage of HRH Princess Buppha Devi.

The peace ritual was organized by Ravynn Karet Coxen, founder of the Nginn-Karet Foundation for Cambodia, as part of her ongoing effort to bring purity and respect to Khmer temples throughout the region. Though unable to return to Preah Vihear due to the fighting, the NKFC troupe conducted another peace ritual 12 km from the Cambodian-Thai border on February 10, 2011, at the temple of Banteay Chhmar.

These children join people throughout the world who wish to see the sanctity of this and every sacred Khmer temple respected.

Other Resources
Click here to download a PDF of the European Parliament resolution on the border clashes between Thailand and Cambodia (117k)

Sacred Dance Arts Sooth Cambodian Souls

Cambodia Complains of Google Map Mistake at Preah Vihear

Preah Vihear on Wikipedia – Useful maps and historical information

Khmer Temple Photo Index

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At Preah Vihear – Prayers From Earth to Heaven A religious ceremony of rare intensity took place August 17...
Cambodia Complains of Google Map Mistake at Preah Vihear Temple By Kent Davis Phnom Penh, Cambodia – Google Maps and...
Sacred Dance Arts Sooth Cambodian Souls Banteay Srey, Cambodia – From 1975-1979 genocide swept the tiny...
Posted in Cambodian dance, Children of Angkor, Khmer History.
Tagged with Khmer History, Khmer temple, Preah Vihear.
By admin February 19, 2011

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February 20, 2011
We are Cambodian people, we must protict our land. Win Win Win all the time!!!!

Continuing the Discussion

Banteay Chhmar Video of Ancient Khmer Temple | Angkor Wat Apsara & Devata: Khmer Women in Divine Context linked to this post on February 24, 2011
[...] listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, like the Angkor Heritage Park and the Khmer temple of Preah Vihear. Three partners supporting the efforts of the government and local authorities are the Global [...]
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Monday, March 28, 2011

The Ramayana

Well my project today is finding a version of the Ramayana , the epic poem in India to help me in my writing of my 2nd book. Cambodia made an adaptation of this epic called the Reamker and so I have to try and learn and understand it to some degree to do my characters justice but to make it be understandable for the layman in America. It is a story of epic proportions of love, courage, wisdom, good and bad, bravery.
I had been eluding in the first book about two of the three main characters being reincarnations and to understand this grand and great story I need to really read it. So I am hunting and my son Arun is hunting for me.
Some may ask, why all the interest in the Indian Epic Story? Your story is about Cambodian history, Angkor Wat? Yes, you are right but "IT" , Angkor Wat was dedicated to Vishnu. That is Hindu, Angkor Wat was Hindu at the beginning. Suryavarman II was Hindu where as his cousin Jayavarman VII was Buddhist.
So that is my project now to learn more... Maybe I should get an audio version to listen to it at night so I absorb it fully...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Book cover to die for...

Well this is what happens when I wake up with a migraine in the wee hours of the morning. Go on my blog and post after reading other favorite blogs.
I just wanted to say Thank you to Arun for that wonderful cover design. Now if my publishers will use it that would be awesome. I had that cover pictured in my head and Arun understood!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Devatas at Angkor Wat

Received a very kind letter from Kent Davis who is the project Coordinator for
He was kind enough to tell me I could email him with questions. The problem is I always have some. So now I will write them down when I am away from my computer or desk.
I also told him my thoughts about what I thought were their possible roles there at Angkor Wat back in the beginning.
If you look at the beautiful relief of the woman on the top of my blog you wonder at what she must have been like. I do, like Kent Davis believe they are individual snapshots of the different women there. Maybe they were teachers, healers, philosophers, wives, lovers concubines, dancers, princesses but I also think they may have been protectors of the royal family. Like I told Mr. Davis if General Sun Tzu of China could use women in his army, concubines of the Emperor why couldn't the Kings of Angkor have them? I mean who would suspect a beautiful woman.
So this is one of my rabbit trails for this morning. Back to work...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A follower !!

I have happened to find an excellent artist from India who worked with a friend of my son on another movie. He had posted some sketches of the movie that my son will be starting up later this year. I commented on his sketches and we have been writing back and forth ever since.
It is exciting for me because I have found someone from that area of the world that I love and who may be able to get across more of my stories but in another art form. I am excited to be working with him even in this little way but I know it will be a blessing to know I have a new friend who has a love for art in it's many forms whether it be movies, sketching and or books. I am going down off the coast of Brunswick today to one of the islands to do a photo shoot for my book cover for when it's needed. The weather is clearing and I can feel the heat already.

Friday, March 11, 2011

King Jayavarman VII

Writing the story, thank you Brendan!

It was only a year ago more or less that my son Brendan was on the phone and we were talking about projects. Maybe a year or so before that he tried to get me excited about a movie he wants to make. He tried that first time but I just couldn't get into the idea.
Fast forward a year or so later. We are on the phone, I'm on my computer and he is telling me and all of a sudden I was like, "Yes, Bren I can see what you are telling me. Let me do the research for your project. I will get the background for your script..." I knew it would take me some time to get a lot of information for him, not just one day. Days, weeks, months but I was up for the challenge. research is one of my pet hobbies and I am good at it.
So as we talked I was finding information and more books on the internet. It's amazing the amount of research that is out there. But at the same time as he talked and my son can talk... I was putting together what I pictured, what the characters would look like, the story was building before my eyes and I didn't just want to do the research for him I wanted to write the story. I was getting really excited about this brain child of my son's.
Then Bren said to me, "Mom, you write the story, not just a script, which I wouldn't have a clue but a book and then I will base the movie off your book."
Well I wasn't working at the time so I had my days to myself and I could write and write. Sometimes 18-20 pages. It was awesome.
There were so many moments that I would be writing something, because this is a work of Historical Fiction. It's baed on real people that shaped a part of the world. They built monuments to themselves that have lasted despite the ravages of time, the elements and countless wars. But anyway I had three characters firmly pictured in my tiny brain and the relationships between the three and then I would stop and going off on a rabbit trail to do some more research. And I would find some information that would leave me breathless and I would have the hair on the back of my neck standing on end because without knowing it I had come upon something that was fact but I had already written it into my story... it didn't happen once but many, many times.
How did I figure all this out? I haven't a clue. I do know sometimes you are meant to do something or write something . I know I am not on par with Stephen King or the author of Harry Potter or Jane Austen but who knows maybe I will leave a tiny mark in the book world.
So thank you Brendan for the idea and thank you for being my inspiration. Your excitement bounces off me. On my dark days of doubt you charge me up!
I love you!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Well it's Official !!

Well just back from running errands and I have signed my contract and mailed it out!! So I am now under contract for this book. I talked to my son Brendan in Cambodia for a few minutes till we were cut off. He had a lot of questions some I was able to answer but then got cut off. I need to get him back on the phone because he can help me later when it comes to publicity . I can use all the help I can get. So hoping this will be good and that I can get eager readers to read this one and future books of mine.
Anyway I have a lot of work cut out for me.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Goddess Lakshmi

This photo of this Indian goddess at Banteay Srei( Citadel of the Women) plays a huge part in my story that will be revealed more in the 2nd book. A lot of earlier religion in Cambodia comes from the Indian, Hindu and that is what Angkor Wat was before being a Buddhist Wat or Temple. It was dedicated to Vishnu. Lakshmi was a consort to Vishnu. I get a headache when trying to understand all the gods and goddess of India. I will be keeping it simple in my books though.
My book I guess can best be described described as Historical Romance but I'm not sure because it starts out in the present and then goes back in time. We will see what Genre the publisher puts it in.

Some photos of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom

My book

It's a very rainy Monday. Good day for staying in and editing. Received my registration for my Copy Right so now my book is all protected. I also received my proposal packet for publishing my book. Called the woman who is handling it. We will probably play phone tag for a few days like last week... I am sure it will take a while to iron things out and then wait on them to hand me back my book for editing, though I am doing it again right now. I wish I had more info but will keep you posted.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

New Blog

This will be a place devoted entirely to my books in the series of The Kings of Angkor. My pen name on my books will be Mary Moriarty. I will post on my facebook when I have new updates.