From the past, many hero Khmer Buddhist monks had never ignored to engage with the communities and the Khmer victims. It is the principle of Buddha's teachings to encourage those hero monks to engage with the social activities and help the communities. Acha Sva, Acha Po Kombo and Acha Hiem Chiev were well-known for their struggle for the maintaining of Khmer Buddhism, Khmer culture, Khmer language and Khmer sovereign independence during the French colony. Somdech Chuon Nath, Somdech Huot Tat, Preah Krou Pang Khat, Preah Krou Kiev Chum etc. were well-known for their campaign for the engagement of Buddhist monks with society, communities, culture, national identity and the poor, the weak and the victims.
Firmly, their leadership was to free Buddhist Sangha from the interfering and politicizing of the state leaders in which their power interference within the Buddhist Sangha would distort the pure teachings of Lord Buddha.
During this recent political upheavals, Khmer Buddhism was totally renegaded by the Khmer Rouge revolutionists and no place for Buddhists to publicly express their faith and rituals during that period. During the Khmer Republic of Khmer revolutionists backed by hundred thousands troops of Vietnamese arm forces, Khmer Buddhism was opened for the public to express but at the very narrow limited space. Only men whose ages are 50 years old up allowed to be ordained and the temples were only played their roles for the Khmer Republic of Vietnamese-Khmers propaganda. After the Paris Peace Agreement in 23 October 1991, Khmer Buddhism fully opened for the public to practice their faith and rituals though at the struggling pace for pure practice in accordance to the Buddha's teachings.
During this re-enactment of Buddhism, many Engaged Buddhist Monks mushroomed and made step-by-step changes for the great reputation of Buddhism. Among those engaged Buddhist monks is Somdech Preah Maha Ghosananda who initiated Dhammayietra or Dhamma March. Dhamma March was very successful and every where the March arrived, the people applauded, welcome and bred hopes in their daily lives. However, when this March has gradually become well-known among grassroots people, the authority started to eye on in which the March defected eventually.
In 2010, Preah Krou Luon Sovath faced with his own eyes the torment and unjustly treatment of local authority towards his siblings, relatives and neighbors. As he is a rural Kaun Khmer (Khmer son) who sees this violence is not acceptable, he gave up his wealthy living in capital city of Phnom Penh as well as his study in order to spend time stay with those victims and preached them the non-violence struggle for the rights of living, the rights of speech and the rights of having farm lands to sustain subsistence living.
Those victims were not solely brutalized by the gun men but they were also put in Siem Reap provincial jail.
Since then, although those victims were released from jail one year later because of his non-violence engagement and struggle, the ramifications of subsistence living are under critical conditions. One year term in jail made their children and families viciously suffered and their farm lands have not completely been returned back.
Seeing the social injustice like this, Preah Krou Luon Sovath with his knowledge on the principle of Buddha's teachings in engaging with the victims, the poor and the desperate, he has devoted his life to serve those causes without fear, and expecting any rewards. Several times, local authority and few top leaders of Buddhist Sangha frightened him to arrest, to defrock or to pressure on him by expelling him out from the pagoda, but his original determination to campaign for non-violence struggle for the basic rights of living of sentient has never changed.
His trail on the non-violence campaign for the basic rights of human being livelihood has long way to go and need commitment, determination and engagement from every one.
With Metta and Progress in the Dhamma,
ឆ្នាំងបាយលោកសង្ឃ គឺនៅនឹងប្រជាជន បើប្រជាជនវេទនា អត់បាយ ប្រជាជនគ្មានសិទ្ធិសេរីភាព បើប្រជាជននៅក្នុងឋានៈ ជាខ្ញុំកញ្ជះគេ លោកសង្ឃក៏ទទួល អំណោយផលអាក្រក់ដែរ។ ដូច្នេះ លោកសង្ឃមានភារៈ ប្រោសសត្វលោក គឺត្រូវស្តីប្រដៅ ធ្វើឲ្យមនុស្សមានស៊ី មានស្លៀក មានសេរីភាព ក្នុងប្រទេសឯករាជ្យ និងសន្តិភាព ដ៏បរិបូណ៌។
- ទឹកចិត្ត ព្រះអាចារ្យ ហែមចៀវ -
The monks’ rice pot remains with the people, if the people are miserable, have nothing to eat, if they have no freedom, if they live as slave, monks will also feel the hardship pinch. Therefore, monks whose duty is to save the humans, must teach and encourage people to find food to eat, to find clothes to wear, to find freedom for their country, to find independence and total peace.
Tears of the people are those of monks.
- View by Preah Achar Hem Chiev -
- Do not be a man of burden to the world (i.e. be useful in life).
- We must bring well-being to the present first because if we now have well-being, there will be well-being in the future as well.
- You must work, do not wait for fate.
- You can cross hardship only if you are determined.
- You can only depend on yourself (i.e. self-reliance).
- You must not frequent bad friends, you should not frequent friends with low life, you should frequent good friends, you should frequent people with high ideals.
- Unintelligent people will bring you actions that should not be brought up, they always bring you chores that are not of concern, they are people who are difficult to teach and bring back to the right path, when they are told about good behaviors, they become angry, they do not know about rules, if you do not meet them, or see them, it is best that way.
- You should not depend on someone else to feed you in life.