Saturday, December 27, 2008

Borobudur Temple

Borobudur Temple is one of the miracles in the world. It is symbol of the Mahayana Buddhist. It is located in the center of Java Island. Some mountains and hills are around it, such as Merapi, Merbabu, Sindoro, Sumbing, Menoreh, Telomoyo, and Tidar. Based on geologist assumption the southern of Borobudur Temple was a lake. There are many villages that the name has relation with water, like: Tuksongo (nine wellsprings), Bumi Segoro (ocean earth), Tanjungsari, Sabrangrowo, and so on. The first assumption Borobudur was built on the natural hill that made terracing/stairs, then stones (andesite) construct with anastylosa method surrounding the hill. Borobudur Temple is in Borobudur district, Magelang regency, Central Java.

Aim of Borobudur Development
According to the Karangtengah prasasti, that had been translated by Dr. Casparis describe that Borobudur Temple was built by King Samaratungga from Cailendra Dynasty. The aim was for honor the ancestor of the King. Except to the worship to the ancestor, it was King obligation and the mission of Mahayana Buddhist propaganda in the 8 BC to attract people that didn’t join in the Mahayana Buddhist sect, where around Borobudur Temple there were Buddhist temples like Gunung Wukir Temple, some Temples around Ngrajeg, Selogriyo Temple, Pendem Temple, Lumbung and Asu Temple in Sawangan.

On the contrary, as people obligation to build the temple together hand in hand based on the King belief. With this belief they would find heaven someday because the King is a symbol of the God in the world.

Shape of Borobudur
Its’ form half ball, Borobudur Temple without interior, according to the building knowledge it is called Stupa (in Sansekerta), Tupa (Pali Language) or Tumulus in English. The shape of Borobudur is unique and the only one in the world. In the far view the shape is half of ball or stupa, when we go closer we will realize that it has two buildings in the different architecture. The lowest building is square and stairs, called Prasadha, it means house of Gods. The upper building has crown, symbolize Nirvana (heaven) or Acaiksa-Marga (no more tortures).
According to the analyzing from Ir. Theodore Van Erp, there were two rooms in the main stupa. The big room is located under the building, with pyramid roof and up on it the smaller room, maybe long time ago the function for saving/keeping Budha relief or holly person, so the function of Borobudur at that time is for meditation place and initiation.

Dr. Stutterheim has an opinion; the whole of Borobudur shape can be similar a Mandala, because of floors of tunnel and terrace, like some circles that focusing to the one point.

The Background of Borobudur Philosophy
According to the holy book Sang Hyang Kamahayanikan with ancient Javanese, that was collected in the Empu Sendok era, told that Borobudur was the symbol of micros cosmos, included of 3 parts : The lower/under Kamadhatu, is when human still around the lust, emotion boundaries. The second upper is Rupadhatu, included of four tunnels, picturing the world when human still in the form, name boundaries but away from lust emotion.
The third is Arupadhatu, a human world without matter, in the temple of Borobudur symbolized by 3 terraces of circle and the main stupa.

Relief and Buddha Statue
In the Borobudur monument there are 1460 panel of relief and they have story. Kamadhatu relief describes Maha Kamawibhangga relief; they are the examples of human behavior and the result cause, getting reward or go to the hell. In the step of Rupadhatu are relieves of Buddha Holly Book such as: Lalitavistara, Jataka Awadana, Gandhavyuha and so on. Except the story relief, there are also decorative relieves 1212 panels.

On the top of Borobudur monument there are 504 Buddha statues, 432 statues placed on under (Rupadhatu) and 72 statues up on the top step (Arupadhatu). The statues have similar shape, upper the size go smaller, the different only the character of hand, and called Mudra.

Based on Mudra, Buddha statue is divided by:
  • Eastern Buddha statue is called Dhyani Budha Aksobya, with Bumisparsamudra, it means calling world Gods for evidence.
  • The Southern Buddha statue is called Dhyani Budha Ratna Sumbhawa with Waramudra, it means affection, love to the human, zenith creature symbol of Danaparamita means giving or charity.
  • The Western Buddha statue is called Dhyani Budha Amitaba with Dyana Mudra, it means meditation.
  • The Northern Buddha statue is called Dyani Budha Amoghasidda, with A-Bhaya Mudra, it means away from fear.
  • The fifth level of Buddha statue at the all side or the center of point of the compass as Dhyani Budha Wairocana, with Witarka Mudra means say truly in body and soul.
  • Budha statues inside the stupas that have hole are Dhyani Budha Vajras-sattwa with Mudra Dharma Cakra means the life cycle birth, adult, elderly, die, etc.
Source :

Stupas of Borobudur Temple
While the stupas look like balls, they really symbolize inverted Lotus flowers

Wall Relief of Borobudur Temple

Stair to The Terraces

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