From a distance, the Temple of Bayon in Angkor, Cambodia looks like a pile of rubble. But as you get closer, you realize the rubble is staring back at you.
There are 216 smiling faces of Avalokeshvara (he’s a Buddha-to-be) at Bayon. Built by Jayavarman VII (he was a king) around 1200 for Sri Jayarajacudamani (that’s his Mom), the temple was the last one to be built at Angkor – smack-dab in the middle of the ancient city.
The four great stone faces of each of the 54 towers represent The Four Immeasurables, also known as the Brahmavihāras, which are the virtues of:
- Appreciative Joy
216 smiling stone faces for your mother? And I have trouble remembering to send a Mother’s Day card. Plenty of stone faces from her in that case.
There are also well over 11,000 bas-relief figures carved into the stone walls.