Temple of Borobudur
Temple of Borobudur
The Borobudur is a gigantic mahâyâna Buddhist temple, built in the ninth century by the Sailendra dynasty in Indonesia on the island of Java. The Borobudur is the largest Buddhist monument. The site was built around 800, but abandoned around 1100. It was rediscovered in 1815 by Stamford Raffles, Lieutenant Governor of Java.
He pointed at the same time act as stupa and mandala, a form that appears from the sky. It is based on a square of about 113 metres from the side, with each cardinal point protruding part to the four corners accompanied by a party in retreat.
It consists of four successive galleries of superimposed geometric shape, as the entire monument, which is covered with bas-reliefs (whose total length is about 5 km) recounting the various episodes from the life of Buddha Sakyamuni. These bas-reliefs were carved in situ in the gray volcanic stone by different artisans who nevertheless managed to preserve the unity of artistic monument. A surprising element of these galleries, is the existence of a buried fifth gallery, also covered with bas-reliefs representing mainly the misdeeds of earthly life. Several hypotheses have been put forward to explain the concealment of this gallery:
* The purpose of consolidation of the building,
* The deliberate intent to conceal earthly realities.
After crossing the four galleries, one reaches the upper terrace also topped three concentric circular terraces lined with 72 stupas (respectively 32, 24 and 16). These consist of bells stone ajourées staying Bodhisattvas. At the centre of these terraces, and thus at the top of Borobodur, another covers a Buddha stupa unfinished, it is unclear whether it has been added or not thereafter.
In the same way that Christians have their way of the cross, the Borobudur is supposed to guide on the path to enlightenment. Since the completion of its restoration in 1973, Borobudur is again a place of worship and pilgrimage. Every year during the full moon in May or June, Buddhists from Indonesia and abroad will celebrate Waisak, Indonesian behalf of Vesak, which commemorates the birth, death and the time the Bodhisattva reached the Supreme wisdom to become Buddha.
The Waisak is an official holiday in Indonesia. The night of the full moon in May, a festival is held in Borobodur. A torchlight procession takes place at the Temple of Mendut, located 8 km to Borobudur. There, the procession climbed the stairs to the top. Hundreds of Buddhist monks in saffron robes the lead, bringing flowers and candles to light when the moon appears on the horizon. The monks begin their prayers, meditation and singing until late into the night.