While the majority of Cambodian people claim the Buddhist faith and many Buddhist traditions are deeply embedded in Cambodians’ minds, not many can recite the precise rules that, for example, ban killing or intruding with someone’s wealth.
Last August, Srong Channa, 30, a director of Mobility One Company, decided to share the knowledge of Buddhist teachings with lay followers by investing his time and money to create a Buddhist resource website, 5000-years.org.
“My purpose behind this website is to give good information and experiences,” Srong Channa says, adding: “My ancestors were followers, so am I. Buddhist Dharma is priceless and if we do good, we receive good.”
Srong Channa says that education of Buddhist knowledge for lay people is still limited in the Kingdom since programmes that teach the Dhamma, or the Buddha’s teachings, are conducted mainly in pagodas and monasteries for monks.
Yet with the increased popularity of the internet as a form of communication in the Kingdom, he saw an untapped opportunity to disseminate Buddhist teachings and resources to Cambodians so that they can learn the Dhamma at home, school, and elsewhere.
Since its August launch, 5000-years.org has become a popular site among Cambodian faithfuls, and now sees at least 1,000 visitors per day.
The website, which is primarily in Khmer with a few English translations, allows guests to download Buddhist articles, listen to lectures and traditional “smot” music, and access different Dhamma, or teachings, such as those on the code of ethics.
Dhamma teachings are also available in eBook form on 5000-years.org, and the site broadcasts live audio streams from Buddhist radios in Siem Reap and Battambang.
“I want all Cambodian people to take some time outside of their studies or their jobs to learn about Dhamma more and more in order to find the way to Nirvana,” Srong Channa says, referring to the Buddhist concept of ultimate enlightenment.
To contact the reporter on this story: Seun Son at firstname.lastname@example.org