Thousands of Buddhist monks flocked to the Royal Palace on Wednesday morning to celebrate King Norodom Sihamoni’s newest title of “Preah Sri Loka Dhammika Raja,” an accolade offered by an international group of Buddhist leaders to recognize his work in propagating the religion and using it to “bring peace and eternal tranquility” to Cambodia.
At about 8 a.m. Wednesday, a parade float of a golden mythical bird began a procession from Wat Botum park to the Royal Palace carrying the king’s new title, which translates literally to “Great Joyful Worldly Virtuous King,” followed by contingents of monks, religious devotees and officials.
At the palace, three spiritual leaders from Japan, Singapore and Mongolia—representing Buddhist leaders from 41 countries—presented the king with his new title.
“[B]uddhism is the highest virtue and a priceless heritage that Cambodia’s former kings and queens…followed from ancient times,” King Sihamoni said in a speech.
“Dharma and Buddhism is the correct path that will lead us to live calm, peaceful and prosperous lives.”
According to Khim Sorn, chief of the Mohanikaya Buddhist sect in Phnom Penh, more than 10,000 monks from across the country joined the celebration.