Such serenity and peace, radiating from this Buddha statue. I like that term......... breathedreamgo
By Mariellen Ward on Dec 12, 2014 12:11 pm
Buddha’s timeless serenity
With some of the other travel bloggers at TBCAsia, I cycled through the ancient city of Polonnurawa.
Polonnurawa was the royal city of the Polonnaru Kingdom, largely built in the 12th century and abandoned
about a century later. The site was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982 and is one of the leading
historical attractions in Sri Lanka.
Throughout the extensive site, I was astounded by the beauty of the Buddhist carvings. In one dark temple,
I felt like I was entering a portal to antiquity. Several large Buddhist statues seemed to shimmer and glow in
the dim light, and I was told they were each made of a different stone — so that each glistened differently.
The effect was uncanny, and when I walked outside into the bright sunshine and saw the clear blue sky,
I felt like I had returned from somewhere.
But the best experience of Polonnurawa was yet to come. Near the end of the site, we parked our bikes and
walked to into a parkland setting to see three massive, beautiful and serene Buddha statues on display.
I read that just seeing them evokes loving kindness in the viewer, the mute statues doing the work of sage
teachers and meditation practise.
Perhaps it was their influence that made me connect with a large family of Sri Lankans who were seated on
a big rock, facing the sublime statues. I smiled at them, they smiled at me, and the next thing you know,
I was seated among them, linking arms and getting our photos taken together. We laughed together and
enjoyed the lovely spot, lit by the slanting rays of a warm afternoon sun.
These are the moments that make being a tourist worthwhile — when you reach across language and
cultural barriers to just BE together in a common humanity. We were all devotees there together".