1: They existed first
Chapter 2: Journey
Chapter 3: A
Chinese Fairy Tale
1. They existed first
They existed first.
They always existed in the most passionate loves and dreadful hates,
in boundless freedom and helpless captivity, in shining bravery
and miserable cowardice, in hope and helplessness, in acceptance
of fate and challenge of fate, in wisdom and innocence, in intellect
and emotions, in kindness and wickedness.
All the emotions of the earth could be phrased with their existence,
They were countless. Their strength was infinite. I saw them first.
I saw most of them in Burma and Thailand. I saw many in Cambodia
and Laos. I saw them in Vietnam, in Bali
I saw fewer in Indonesia
and Malaysia. In China, Hong Kong and Singapore I saw more.
I saw their pictures: sculptures on stones and in the soil of steamy
lowlands, lush hills, green mountains and dripping forests, decorating
walls, hand-written manuscripts, colorful canvases, clothes, banana
leaves, bamboo stalks, tree trunks, palm leaves, and the palms of
They were in magnificent temples, in the poorest houses. They existed
in the timid looks of little girls, the rebellious manners of young
men, the nobility of the elderly.
They were in all things, in all forms. Not only in pictures, sculptures,
stories, poems, tales, and epics that were passed from generation
to generation, they existed in theatre, music and dance. They existed
in every heart.
They were the Gods.
They had existed since the creation of the universe. They were the
creators of the universe. They were strained through Hinduism and
Indian Mythology, their characteristics brewed, their accumulations
distilled, and they crossed to Buddhism.
They were too many. Their images crowded their world. Their strength
was infinite but their enormous power was metamorphosis.
They changed each time they passed through circles of life, death
rebirth and death again (they call this samsara). Their appearances
changed, personalities changed, their eminence and powers changed,
their places in the divine hierarchy changed, their adventures changed.
What did not change was the conflict of good and evil inside them.
Their efforts to reach perfection did not change.
Their striving to find answers to the universal questions by humankind
did not change:
"What is the meaning of this chaos we call planet earth?"
" Who am I?"
"Where did we come from?"
"Where are we going?"
"Why are we helpless against death and pain?"
" Why are we living?"
They appeared suddenly before me everywhere I went in Far East.
The more I was aware of them, the more I knew how little was my
knowledge. The more I asked about them, the more their relations
and adventures shot out obscure branches. The more I learned about
them, the more I felt lost in labyrinths, bottomless wells, dead
end corridors of different worlds. I embraced people so as not to
get lost. And people never tired of explaining. With patience, tolerance,
interest and love they taught me of their Gods. It was the people
who did not let me get lost in the endless labyrinths, bottomless
wells. I owe them endless gratitude.
The world of the gods was complex, chaotic. The complexities grew,
I discovered in Indian Mythology, with its stories that are more
fantastic than modern fantasy, surrealistic people beside whom today's
surrealism pales, and kings and gods whose adventures force imagination.
What seemed like complexity to me was order for the Far Eastern
people. It was harmony. It was the way of life
Finally, I started
watching those god statues, reliefs, figures that appeared suddenly
at my every step, as if they were pieces of art. That ended my confusion
and I saw the harmonious.
I became friends with some of these gods, goddesses and holy
creatures, which I met often in this order. I went on trips with
some of them. And with some of them I had great chats. Did I say
order! That is impossible, what kind of order! When I was watching
the Moon God in Bali, I was thinking of a moonlight stroll on Heybeli
Island . When I was examining the wall reliefs in Angkor Temples,
I was reminded of the fights in the Turkish National Assembly in
Ankara . Jumping from one country to another, the beds I slept in
changed, but not my dreams and nightmares.
The first god I saw was Brahma (I do not know if it was a dream
or it was real). He was created first and he created everything.
He could be considered the guardian of the earth.
He had four hands, four heads. Four heads, looking in four directions.
There was no escaping him. Anywhere I turned I felt his eyes upon
me. I tried not to turn the wrong way. Rumor is that Shiva cut off
his fifth head. To be frank, I was not missing his fifth head.
In some places the story was that he had been hatched from a cosmic
egg; in others, he was born from a lotus flower that came out of
the abdomen of the God, Vishnu. I prefer the latter. In my opinion
the lotus flower is the prettiest flower on earth.
Brahma is the God of Intelligence. It was natural that I wanted
him to be beautiful, but not practical. I do not know about the
gods, but is it not intelligence that makes people beautiful! Either
way, Brahma was linked to Vishnu and Shiva, together the three most
One day Brahma fell in love with the girl whom he created from his
flesh, and he married her. This girl, known by the names Satarupa,
Savitri, and Saravasti, was both his daughter and his wife. In time,
she was accepted as a goddess. She is praised as the Goddess of
Fine Arts, Poetry and Music.
The last time I saw Brahma, he was flying to the sky with his wife/daughter
on a swan with magnificent wings.
I was on top of the Ta Phrom Temple in Cambodia.