Gods on the left and demons on the right – these are the guardians of Cambodia’s “Great City”, Angkor Thom. As you may look closely, bad-looking heads with eyes piercing on you lining up on one side and kind-looking ones smiling at you on the other side. (Some of the heads here are only replicas due to preservation purposes of the original ones at the Angkor Conservancy.) Source: tourismcambodia.com
This long causeway leading to the ancient city of Angkor Thom depicts life’s constant battle between good and evil ever since the beginning of time. We, human beings are always put in between choosing what is good or what is evil. We are always on the verge – which way, which way? Call me a liar. We do not always choose what is good, right? So for me, this is what this causeway represents and no matter what we choose, there’s also always a supreme being watching over us just like this gate tower of the many faces of Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara.
If Angkor Wat houses a number of different kinds of Buddhas, Angkor Thom has the faces of Avalokiteśvara on top of its south gate tower, in 360-degree, representing omniscience. That the Bodhisattva sees everything and knows everything thus, nothing could stay hidden from it.
Just like us. Our ways, our thoughts, and our intentions are not hidden from God. He sees everything and knows everything. What we do in the open and what we do in secret, He surely knows. All good deeds, He honors, given that the intention is pure. All bad deeds, He despises, but sometimes He allows evil for evil. He even knows our sin even if we haven’t committed it yet. As it is written,
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.” – Romans 3:11-12
So in between choosing what is good or evil, let us be reminded that there will always be consequences for every choice we make. God created us in His own image and likeness. God is holy and His standard is holiness. However, we always fall short from His glory for He also gave us freewill. Freewill to be on our own, to make our own decisions. Good or evil? In the gods side or the demons side? That’s why Jesus taught us how to pray: “Deliver us from evil. Amen.” – Matthew 6:9-13