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PACIFIC WORLD Journal of the Institute of Buddhist Studies


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Journal of the Institute of Buddhist Studies

Third Series Number 11 Fall 2009

Special Issue Celebrating the Sixtieth Anniversary of the Institute of Buddhist Studies 1949–2009


Buddhism particularly to both academic and lay readerships. The journal is distributed free of charge. Articles for consideration by the Pacific World are welcomed and are to be submitted in English and addressed to the Editor, Pacific World, 2140 Durant Ave., Berkeley, CA 94704-1589, USA.

Acknowledgment: This annual publication is made possible by the donation of BDK America of Berkeley, California.

Guidelines for Authors: Manuscripts (approximately twenty standard pages) should be typed double-spaced with 1-inch margins. Notes are to be endnotes with full biblio- graphic information in the note first mentioning a work, i.e., no separate bibliography.

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Authors are responsible for the accuracy of all quotations and for supplying complete references. Please e-mail electronic version in both formatted and plain text, if possible.

Manuscripts should be submitted by February 1st.

Foreign words should be underlined and marked with proper diacriticals, except for the following: bodhisattva, buddha/Buddha, karma, nirvana, samsara, sangha, yoga.

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By agreeing to publication in the Pacific World, authors give the journal and the In- stitute of Buddhist Studies an unlimited license to publish and reprint the essay. This license includes, but is not limited to, any media format (hard copy, electronic, etc.), and international rights. Copyright remains the author’s.


David Matsumoto Eisho Nasu Natalie Quli Scott Mitchell ASSISTANT EDITOR


Scott Mitchell




Journal of the Institute of Buddhist Studies

Third Series, Number 11 Fall 2009


The Lord of All Virtues

Hudaya KandaHjaya 1

Bianhong, Mastermind of Borobudur?

Hiram WoodWard 25

Theravāda in History

Peter SKilling 61

Tsongkhapa on Tantric Exegetical Authority and Methodology

david B. gray 95

Nāgārjuna’s Worldview: Relevance for Today

KriStin largen 119

Pattern Recognition and Analysis in the Chinese Buddhist Canon:

A Study of “Original Enlightenment”

leWiS lancaSter 141

Basing Our Personhood on the Primal vow

jundo gregory giBBS 183

Shinjin and Social Praxis in Shinran’s Thought

taKamaro SHigaraKi, tranS. david matSumoto 193 The Metaphor of “Ocean” in Shinran

taKanori SugioKa, tranS. marK unno 219 World Macrohistory and Shinran’s Literacy

galen amStutz 229



taKuya Hino 273 The Taoist Priest (Daoshi) in Comparative Historical Perspective:

A Critical Analysis

ruSSell KirKland 307

Pì xiè jí 闢邪集: Collected Refutations of Heterodoxy by Ouyi Zhixu (蕅益智旭, 1599–1655)

cHarleS B. joneS 351

Initiation and the Chinese Hevajra-tantra (T. 18, 892)

cHarleS Willemen 409

A Comparison of the Tibetan and Shingon Homas

ricHard K. Payne 417


Readings of the Lotus Sūtra, eds. Stephen Teiser and Jacqueline Stone

taigen dan leigHton 451






Hudaya Kandahjaya Numata Center, Berkeley

The name Śrī GhananāTha appears on a Javanese stone inscription, known as the Kayumwungan inscription, but today this epithet is so obscure that we can hardly understand its significance or why the poet chose it at all.2 Nonetheless, a lead-bronze inscription and small clay votive stūpas dug out during the second Borobudur restoration project—which have been hitherto not utilized in analysis of the monument—pave the way to better understanding of this elusive name and of Borobudur Buddhism. They are critical for decoding verses of the Kayumwungan inscription that are otherwise not self- explanatory, and also for decoding mysterious phrases in other evidence, such as the terms stūpa-prāsāda in the Old Javanese text the Sang Hyang Kamahāyānikan, and Bhūmisambhāra in the Tri Tepusan inscription. a clearer understanding of “Śrī Ghananātha” helps in explaining the architecture, visual symbolism, and textual data embedded in Borobudur. These elements, in turn, help to demonstrate that Śrī Ghananātha likely means the Lord of all Virtues as applied to Borobudur. This is in conformity with supporting passages in the Kayumwungan inscription. The intimate bond between the inscription and Borobudur is fortified, and the Kayumwungan inscription may indeed be considered the consecration manifesto of Borobudur.

I shall limit this report of work in progress to discuss the following three topics, i.e., inception of the Mantranaya in Java; the numinous as seen in the Kūṭāgāra, tree, and stūpa; and finally the multitude of virtues of Sugata. These topics assist us in grasping the sophisticated link between the idea behind Śrī Ghananātha and the scheme underlying the construction of Borobudur.


InCePTIOn OF The manTranaYa In JaVa

The lead-bronze inscription was excavated in 1974 from the plain less than 100 meters west of Borobudur. A large number of small clay votive stūpas were also dug out from the same area. reports on this discovery were published in 1976 and 1979, respectively.3 Boechari dated the votive stūpas to at least the second half of the ninth century and the lead-bronze inscription to a decade or two earlier. Boechari published his transcription of the inscription in 1976. A lot remains to be done to improve his readings, but for the time being I have to be content with his initial attempt.4

Given Boechari’s readings, it appears that some of the lines in this inscription correspond with verses preserved in a Balinese stuti called the Nava-Kampa, or “The ninefold Tremble.”5 So far, the origin of Nava- Kampa verses is unknown. But some lines of this stuti can be found in a number of dhāraṇīs. Of particular interest, the Susiddhikara-sūtra,6 a text known from the Chinese translation of 726, includes phrases parallel to those at the beginning of the Nava-Kampa. Moreover, the Nava-Kampa seems to suggest that after recitation there would be brought about perfection in all actions (sarva-karma-siddhi-karam āvartayiṣyāmi), which is somewhat in line with the title and purpose of the Susiddhikara-sūtra.

Thus, it looks that the kind of dhāraṇīs represented by the Nava-Kampa originated in the cycle or family of this sutra (see table 1).

A number of implications follow from these correspondences.

First, in terms of dating, agreement between the inscription and the Balinese Nava-Kampa indicates that Sanskrit texts from Balinese sources may date from as early as the ninth century. This indication is of great consequence for the study of early Javanese Buddhism, for which there is so little written evidence. But now one can resort to old Balinese sources to look for possible evidence with greater confidence.7 This reminds us of Stutterheim’s proposal to employ the Sang Hyang Kamahāyānikan—which comes down to us from the Balinese tradition—

for the study of Borobudur. Back then his proposal stood only on top of Goris’s conclusion on linguistic grounds, which suggested that the older parts of the Sang Hyang Kamahāyānikan might have already existed before the Javanese King Siṇḍok (r. 929–947).8 Today we have a body of archaeological evidence to support the early dating of the Sang Hyang Kamahāyānikan and to seriously consider this text as being strongly connected to Borobudur.


Second, the connection with the Susiddhikara-sūtra opens up an- other dimension to this archaeological evidence. While a Sanskrit man- uscript of this sutra is yet to be found, the Chinese translation done by Śubhākarasiṃha in 726 is available. This sutra clearly belongs to a school upholding Mantranaya. We read in the chapter of “Selection of the Site” that this sutra considers the Buddha’s eight great stūpas as excellent sites for reciting mantras and gaining success.9 These stūpas are especially praised in the text known as the Aṣṭamahāsthāna-caitya- vandanā-stava.10 The Himalayan living tradition indicates that the ritual involving these eight great stūpas leads to the production of stūpa tsa- tsa, or votive tablets in the shape of stūpas, not unlike those unearthed near Borobudur. In other words, the inscription and the votive stūpas turn out to be tightly interrelated archaeological evidence point- ing to a Mantranaya environment around the time Borobudur was being constructed. Furthermore, given that one part of the Sang Hyang Kamahāyānikan is titled the “Sang hyang Kamahāyānan mantranaya,”

the connection between this Javanese compendium and Borobudur is strengthened. Such a connection becomes more significant as the con- tents of this text seem to be in agreement with Borobudur symbolism.

Third, with the help of the Nava-Kampa, one line of Boechari’s read- ings of the lead-bronze inscription may be construed as Namo Bhagavate Mahāvajra-dhara svāhā. As such, it indicates that the Buddhists of Borobudur knew the term vajradhara. This information reminds us of a site for the Vajradhara school (kabajradharan) named Buḍur in the Deśawarṇana (Negarakṛtagama), a Javanese text dated to the fourteenth century.11 Scholars dispute if Buḍur refers to Borobudur. Those reject- ing any link between Borobudur and tantric Buddhism find kabajra- dharan a reason to dissociate the monument and the place name.

But now, the evidence indicates that Borobudur is associated with Mantranaya, and therefore it is highly likely associated with a site for the Vajradhara school named Buḍur.

The nUmInOUS aS Seen In The KŪṬāGāra, Tree, anD STŪPa The Aṣṭamahāsthānacaitya-vandanā-stava says that by establishing or offering a stūpa that commemorates the eight miraculous events that happened in the life of Śākyamuni, one gains a great merit, reward, and praise. This practice even leads one to a heavenly realm after death. A votive stūpa with eight smaller stūpas attached to its anda is a token commemorating those eight great events that anyone could


Table 1. Relationship among the lead-bronze inscription, Nava- Kampa, and Susiddhikara-sūtra


transcription Nava-Kampa Susiddhikara-sūtra (A.1.) . . . ratnatrayāya sya

d ama [---] kvavajrav ā daya[---] yaksasenāpati — namo bhagavate [---]

ti mati valaviryya vici- travi [-] ya [---] raśata sahasra sya vra [---] . . . haśaśanakarasya

catu [r] guha [--] laṅkuteśā cira sya

su [---] meśala paraśu pāsa vajra jvalā gu-a– (A.2.) usalāka su

namo ratna-trayāya svāhā,

namaś Caṇḍa-vajra- pāṇi svāhā,

mahā-yakṣa-senā-pati svāhā,

namo Bhagavate ’prati- hata-bala-vīrya-vidhi- trividyā-dhara-sahasra svāhā,

catur-bhujalākṛti svāhā, asi-musala-paraśu- pāśa-vajrāgni- jvālātibhīṣaṇaka-rūpa svāhā

namo ratna- trayāya,

namaś Caṇḍa-vajra- pāṇaye,

mahā-yakṣa-senā- pataye,


asi-musala- vajra paraśu-pāśa- hastāya puṣṭa-atija-iteja-e saṇḍaya

vilamvita dakṣiṇapāthā sya

paśu-pati-jatijada- sañcaya-vilambita- dakṣiṇa-pāda svāhā parvvata-sthala tapavini-

viṣṭa vāmacarana sya sarva-niyantaka, tava viniṣṭha-vāma-caraṇa- uṣṇīṣa svāhā,

namo bhagavato

mahāvajra [---] sya namo Bhagavate mahā- vajra-dhara svāhā, mahāmedan



sarvabhūtagaṇa— -aśa kara.

rodrakara. traśakara.

g- —

kara (A.3.) vivādakara.

sarvvakarmmāsiddhi - kara.


avartaya śyami

namo rudra, namo hṛdayaṃ, parama-dāruṇaṃ, sarva-bhūta-gaṇa- vinaya


roṣāstrāśīviṣadhaḥ- karaṃ,

sarva-karma-siddhi- karam


tadyathāta tad yathā


produce and donate. Excavators discovered thousands of such votive stūpas at Borobudur. This shows that this kind of offering was the practice of the day. In modern Bali, the Nava-Kampa is recited in death ritual, as well as in daily ritual. Perhaps it is reminiscent of an older rite performed at Borobudur.

Tracing this practice further back, we can retrieve a substantial number of accounts asserting the significance of miraculous events and how they are likely related to Borobudur. I will elaborate briefly some of the ones more relevant to the planning of Borobudur. First, the Lalitavistara narrates at length the life story of Śākyamuni up to his turning of the dharma wheel. The absence of an account of the Buddha’s passing away cogently intensifies the force that elevates Śākyamuni to divinity. Somewhat similarly, the title of the text seems to suggest an eternal cosmic play.12 This is the story that the architects of Borobudur picked to be carved extensively and elegantly on the first gallery wall. The divine birth narrative draws our attention.

Here looking at the Lalitavistara reliefs of the birth story, Krom rightly noticed the double wall—instead of triple—of the kūṭāgāra in which the Bodhisattva dwelled while descending from the Tuṣita and staying in his mother’s womb.13 assuming the architects’ text was similar to ours today and acknowledging their mastery of texts and details, the discrepancy seems to be intentional rather than accidental. The whole structure of the monument, we can say, represents the absent third wall of the kūṭāgāra depicted in the relief. In fact, there are compelling grounds for believing that Borobudur represents the Javanese image of the kūṭāgāra of Śākyamuni, which carries with it many unusual properties and also interchangeable terms, such as garbha or śrī garbha, ratnavyūha, and caitya.14

Second, the Gaṇḍavyūha reliefs occupy a large portion of the Borobudur walls. This sutra starts with the Buddha staying at the kūṭāgāra in the Jeta Grove in the park of anāthapiṇḍada, in Śrāvasti.

Scrutinizing the site and settings at which the whole Gaṇḍavyūha narrative took place reveals much precious information. The sutra specifically states the kūṭāgāra, not just the Jeta Grove, is the site at which all started. While the initial setting appears historical, the events are increasingly ahistorical and cosmological. When it records the bodhisattvas in attendance, the list systematically arranges 152 names in 15 categories.15 Most of the categories are in a group of ten, except for the category of eyes (netra), which has twelve names. Ten out of fifteen categories create five pairs of categories because each of these pairs has a synonymic category (see table 2).


Table 2. Categories of bodhisattvas’ names Group no. No. of

bodhi- sattvas

Bodhisattvas’ ending

names Subtotals of no.



1. 10 -uttarajñānī -buddhī 10 20 supra

knowl- edge, or intelli- gence

2. 10 -dhvaja -ketū 10 20 banner

3. 9 -tejā prabhā 11 20 light

4. 10 -garbha 10 womb

5. 12 -netra 12 eyes

6. 10 -mukuṭa -cūḍa 10 20 crown, or


7. 10 -ghoṣa -svara 10 20 voice, or


8. 10 -udgata 10 come out

9. 10 -śrī 10 auspi-


10. 10 -indrarāja 10 Lord

Subtotals 101 51 152 Total

The importance of eyes becomes clear in subsequent events when the bodhisattvas alone are able to witness the Buddha’s spiritual power manifested in this very kūṭāgāra. This seems to be the rationale for the Javanese architects to take this starting part seriously, as the scene is depicted right at the first two panels introducing the series of Gaṇḍavyūha reliefs. This is especially notable because other depictions of Gaṇḍavyūha elsewhere in asia jump to the beginning of Sudhana’s pilgrimage and dismiss the introductory part altogether.16

as the narrative shifts to Sudhana’s pilgrimage, Qobad afshar tells us that when he investigated the places visited and identified them with ancient Indian toponyms, he learned that Sudhana’s itinerary circled the Indian subcontinent,17 that is to say, Jambudvīpa. In other words, the sutra seems to provide a circumambulating program for


the pilgrim to proceed south from one kalyāṇamitra to the next, going deeper into the human realm, until stopping at Magadha in the center and entering into maitreya’s kūṭāgāra, which at this point is identical to the magnificently adorned abode of Vairocana or the universal cosmos (vairocanavyūhālaṃkāragarbha mahākūṭāgāra). The mention of maitreya’s kūṭāgāra in the Tuṣita heaven brings to mind the story related to the kūṭāgāra of Śākyamuni as told in the Lalitavistara. As we compare this and other features, it becomes clear that to some extent the Gaṇḍavyūha-sūtra and the Lalitavistara have many parallels and are thereby closely correlated (see table 3).

Table 3. Correlations between the Lalitavistara and the Gaṇḍavyūha-sūtra Components Lalitavistara-sūtra Gaṇḍavyūha-sūtra Starting location Jetavana

anāthapiṇḍada arāma in Śravasti (Śrāvastyāṃ viharati sma Jetavane Anātha piṇḍa dasyārāme).


kūṭāgāra in Jetavana anāthapiṇḍada arāma in Śravasti (Śrāvastyāṃ viharati sma Jetavane Anāthapiṇḍadasyārāme mahāvyūhe kūṭāgāre).

Arapacana syllabary Viśvamitra was unable to teach the youth Siddhārtha, who excelled in arts and sciences. Siddhārtha taught the syllabary to many youths.

Viśvamitra does not teach the youth Sudhana, but lets the youth Śilpābhijña (Advanced Knowledge in Arts and Sciences) teach Sudhana the syllabary.

Mathematics Siddhārtha exhibited his mathematical knowledge.

The youth Indriyeśvara teaches Sudhana math- ematical knowledge.

Young lady Gopā Siddhārtha married

young lady Gopā. Young lady Gopā tells Sudhana that she has known Siddhārtha since many aeons ago.

earth goddess Sthāvarā earth goddess Sthāvarā protected Siddhārtha at the enlightenment site.

earth goddess Sthāvarā teaches Sudhana the practice of protecting a bodhisattva.


Components Lalitavistara-sūtra Gaṇḍavyūha-sūtra Mother of Buddha Lady māyā was the

mother of Siddhārtha. Lady māyā tells Su- dhana that she is the mother of all buddhas.

Tuṣita The Bodhisattva

expounded the 108 Dharmālokamukha before his last descent to earth in a kūṭāgāra.

Bodhisattva Maitreya tells Sudhana that, like other bodhisattvas in their last birth, he will be in Tuṣita teaching the Mahājñānamukha before descending.

Spiritual Instructors Siddhārtha had two

spiritual instructors. Sudhana has 52 (or 53, 54, 55) spiri- tual instructors (kalyāṇamitra).

Location Siddhārtha roamed

madhyadeśa until en- lightenment.

Sudhana circumambu- lates Jambūdvīpa until enlightenment.

Closing remark A statement: “Here ends the source of all Bodhisattva’s conduct”

(sarva bodhi sattva caryā- prasthāna).

A section: “The Samantabhadra’s Conduct”

(“Bhadracarī,” or

“Samantabhadracaryā- praṇidhāna”).

These correlations suggest that the Gaṇḍavyūha-sūtra could be conceived as a generalized Lalitavistara, while the Bhadracarī is the summary of all. This enforces the idea of an eternal cosmic play, especially when we also take into account the jātakas and the avadānas, which make up all the texts that the architects of Borobudur selected to be exposed on Borobudur walls. Thus, the conduct of the Bodhisattva or the Buddha as exemplar was probably the rationale underlying the selection process for the depiction on reliefs.18 The poet of the Kayumwungan inscription picked the phrase “the conduct of the Buddha” (vuddhacarita) when he composed verse 4.

Nevertheless, unlike the Lalitavistara, the meaning of the title Gaṇḍavyūha is far from clear, especially when the Chinese counterparts of Gaṇḍavyūha and Buddhāvataṃsaka are alternative names, not translations. A search for the meaning of gaṇḍa exposes two interesting


senses, i.e., stalk (trunk) and goitre, which are interrelated by way of being the interstice between two knots.19 Further, Gaṇḍa is the name of the gardener serving Prasenajit, the king of Kauśala.20 He offered a mango to the Buddha. The mango seed produced the mango tree (Pāli Gaṇḍamba) at the gate of Śravasti, under which Śākyamuni performed the double miracle (Pāli yamaka-pātihāriya; Skt. yamaka-prātihārya).

The word gaṇḍa, meaning “(tree) trunk,” is very well attes- ted to in the Divyāvadāna. It appears in compounds, such as mūla- gaṇḍapatrapuṣpaphala.21 This compound enumerates in an orderly fashion the components of a tree from the bottom to the tip: “root, trunk, leaf, flower, fruit.” as such, when the Gaṇḍavyūha-sūtra records nānābodhigaṇḍavyūhān,22 the word gaṇḍa in this compound most likely has the same meaning, so that nānābodhigaṇḍavyūhān are “various ornamented trunks of (trees of) enlightenment.” But, given that the compilers did not bother to include nānābodhi or bodhi in the title, it might just be the case that a broader meaning is intended. The trunks might include other trees under which Buddha’s miraculous events occur; gaṇḍavyūha might also mean “detailed explanation or description of (tree) trunk (miraculous events).”23 This meaning of gaṇḍavyūha still shares the miraculous context in which the compound buddhāvataṃsaka is found in the Divyāvadāna.24 Now, it turns out that buddhāvataṃsaka may have two meanings, depending on how one interprets this compound. One is “the garland of the Buddha.”25 The second is “the garland of buddhas.”26 Of these two meanings, the one most clearly manifested at Borobudur is “garland of buddhas.”

However, as both titles—Gaṇḍavyūha and Buddhāvataṃsaka—turn out to arise from the great miracle in Śrāvasti, the background of this event is equally important for the study of Borobudur. This great miracle occurred due to rivalry between some ascetics and the Buddha.

The ascetics felt deprived of provisions after King Bimbisāra offered Veṇuvana—the first royal gift in the year following the enlightenment—

and other offerings to the Buddha. The Avadānakalpalatā of Kṣemendra goes even farther claiming that it was the gift of Veṇuvana that caused jealousy among the six tīrthika teachers.27 In verse 13 of the Kayumwungan inscription, the poet states that the temple of Jina being built is similar to the famous Veṇuvana.

Third, the Saddharmapuṇḍarīka-sūtra (Lotus Sutra) has never been thought to have been known to the Javanese of Borobudur.28 But when we scrutinize verse 2 of the Kayumwungan inscription, there is a


statement about saddharma that alludes to familiar contexts or phrases found in the Lotus Sutra (see table 6 showing the comparison at the end of this paper). As such, it looks like that the poet was familiar with the Lotus Sutra. This text emphasizes the divine status of Buddha and says that many bodhisattvas reside in kūṭāgāra(s).29 When a buddha travels around through many buddha-fields, a kūṭāgāra can operate as a vehicle, one not unlike the conveyance by which the Bodhisattva descends from the Tuṣita heaven to the earth as told in the Lalitavistara. This scripture is also famous for its advice to build caityas for the Tathāgata.

It says that a caitya is to be built wherever the Lotus Sutra is expounded, preached, written, studied, or recited.30 It also indicates that it is not necessary to depose the relics of the Tathāgata in the caitya, since the relics of the Tathāgata are already entirely there. In other words, the caitya is identical to the body of Tathāgata,31 thus like a stūpa it is to be worshiped as such.32 This view is supported by another statement saying that the Great Jewel Stūpa is none other than the whole mass or entire personality of the Tathāgata Prabhūtaratna.33 In addition, like a physical body, a stūpa could produce voice34 and would magically emerge from the earth when the Lotus Sutra is expounded.

Fourth, in addition to the portrayal of kūṭāgara in the Lalitavistara, which I consider comparable to the circular terraces of Borobudur, it is worth noting that this text mentions the phrase kūṭāgāra-prāsāda at least six times35 in various contexts. Then, if we recall that the Lalitavistara interchanges a caitya with a kūṭāgāra, and the Lotus Sutra maintains an identity among caitya, relics, and stūpa, and even recognizes a stūpa as being the whole body of a tathāgata, we may come to an understanding through a process of substitution that the phrase kūṭāgāra-prāsāda might have eventually been transformed into stūpa- prāsāda. The latter is a term that I am thus far not able to find recorded anywhere else except in the Sang Hyang Kamahāyānikan, where it says:

“This body—inside and outside—is a stūpa-prāsāda.”36

Fifth, the Sang Hyang Kamahāyānikan correlates the five elements with the five tathāgatas (see table 4). Scholars have reported this association in different traditions, but Kats found no satisfactory correspondence with those reported by Waddell, Hodgson, or Groeneveld.37 It does not match the scheme used by Śubhākarasiṃha either.38 But de Visser informs us that amoghavajra differed funda- mentally from Śubhākarasiṃha by relating Vairocana to the earth element and akṣobhya to the ākāśa element.39 Comparing all of them,


it can be seen that the Sang Hyang Kamahāyānikan has two elements that match the amoghavajra’s configuration. This comparison has two important implications. First of all, the Sang Hyang Kamahāyānikan represents a distinct tradition. Secondly, it also shows that it follows a tradition that upholds akṣobhya being the ākāśa element, thus leaning toward the tradition advocated by Amoghavajra.


Verse 1 in chapter 24, “Trapuṣa-bhallika,” of the Lalitavistara men- tions Śirighana, or Śrīghana. It is by far the clearest evidence indicating that the architects of Borobudur had access to the epithet Śrī Ghana, since this scripture is carved prominently on the Borobudur walls. The verse is as follows: “I praise the feet of Śrī Ghana, overspread with a thousand-spoke chariot-wheel, which, having the radiance like the glowing countless-petaled lotuses, are continually rubbed by the tiaras of the gods.”40 The same verse attests the usage of the word ara, being a spoke of a wheel. Śrī Ghana(nātha) and the word ara appear in verses 11 and 8 of the Kayumwungan inscription, respectively.

Assuming that the Chinese translators encountered the epithet Śirighana in the manuscripts of the Lalitavistara being translated, their translations as fo (Buddha, 佛)41 or shizun (Bhagavat or the Blessed One, 世尊)42 provide additional indications that this epithet refers to the Buddha. But it is equally imperative to note that translators of the Samādhirāja-sūtra43 rendered the same term as “the assembly of all merit and virtue” (gōngdé jù, 功德聚), that is the Buddha, or “a stūpa as symbol of Buddha.”44 Still, on the other hand, gōngdé jù 功德聚 can come not only from Śrī Ghana, but also from the Sanskrit guṇagaṇa45 (multitude of virtues) and saṃbhāra (usually “assembly of merits and knowledge”).46 Some passages in the Lalitavistara47 and the Gaṇḍavyūha- sūtra48 corroborate this identification.

While there is no direct proof that the Javanese of Borobudur took the meaning of guṇagaṇa and saṃbhāra in the same way the Chinese translation team did, there is circumstantial evidence—especially with regards to the Gaṇḍavyūha-sūtra—indicating that both groups of Buddhists were dealing with the same version, and possibly the same personality, Prājña,49 and both might have thereby had similar interpretations. In the Javanese context, we also know that the Javanese were not lacking in the notion of an assembly of merits and knowledge.


Table 4. Configuration of the great elements in some tantric traditions TathāgataSang Hyang KamahāyānikanWaddellHodgsonGroeneveldŚubhākarasiṃhaAmoghavajra WairocanaEarthākāśaākāśaEarthākāśaEarth akṣobhyaākāśaWindWindWaterEarthākāśa ratnasambhawaWaterEarthFireFireFireFire amitābhaFireFireWaterWindWaterWind AmoghasiddhiWindWaterEarthākāśaWindWater


In addition to the sutras that are depicted at Borobudur, the knowledge was certainly known to the poet of the Kayumwungan inscription. Verse 3 of this inscription includes the concept saṃbhāra.

moreover, the name Bhūmisambhāra—inscribed in the Tri Tepusan inscription dated to 832—led de Casparis to connect this name to Borobudur,50 though many scholars vehemently rejected the idea due to its tenuous link.51 However, if I take into account the way the compound bhūmisaṃbhāra is used in the Gaṇḍavyūha-sūtra—from which the poet of the Tri Tepusan inscription might have gotten the idea—the text suggests that this compound is not being used in connection with the word bhūdhara but with the grounds of Tathāgata (tathāgata-bhūmi).52 Therefore, if I put aside certain details of de Casparis’s argument that causes a vulnerable link and instead apply a more comprehensive understanding of the concept of saṃbhāra shown above, de Casparis’s intuition, associating the name Bhūmisambhāra with Borobudur, might be right.

In any case, the Sanskrit guṇagaṇa is especially remarkable. Verse 15 of the Kayumwungan inscription puts this in a compound together with Sugata to describe the vihāra being consecrated. Via the Chinese translations, we are able to recapture the poet’s idea and perceive the profound relationship between the name Śrī Ghananātha (in verse 11) and the multitude of virtues of Sugata (sugataguṇagaṇa in verse 15) in the Kayumwungan inscription.

Last but not least, the Sanskrit word ghana is obviously in the name Śrī Ghananātha, but what is not obvious is its connection to meaning “the cube of a number.” This meaning does not carry any weight until we introduce the cube of three (33 which is equal to 27) to amoghavajra’s grid formula for the construction of the garbhadhātu- maṇḍala.53 Then, it is clearer why the meaning of ghana and the selec- tion of a grid of 27x27 do matter to this formula, especially after this study finds some essential yet missing links. The findings of small clay votive stūpas with eight smaller stūpas attached to the anda confirm that the main stūpa of Borobudur could be considered as absorbing the concealed eight stūpas. By the same token, the numinous as seen in the kūṭāgāra, tree, or stūpa permits the taking of 216 grids off the grid of 27x27 to reflect the invisible 108 Buddha statues, each for the nadir and zenith of Borobudur. In this way, the architects of Borobudur also represent the name Śrī Ghananātha mathematically and geometrically by entirely applying all the grids created by the ghana of three to the assignment of Buddha statues at Borobudur (see table 5).


Table 5. Odd-number gridwork for numerical series on Buddha images Layer Grids/ Side Grids/ Layer

Borobudur ImageNumerical transformation for no. of gridsLevel 1111

Layers 3 to 5 = 16 + 24 + 32 = 72 Buddhas in levels 9 to 7 = 16 + 24 + 32 = 72

10 238 3516169 4724248 5932327 61140Layers 6 to 8 = 40 + 48 + 56 = 144 71348 81556 9176464Layers 9 to 14 = 64 + 72 + 80 + 88 + 96 + 104 = 504 Buddhas in levels 5 to 1 = 64 + 72 + 88 + 104 + 104 = 432 Difference = 72

5 101972724 112180 122388883 1325961042 14271041041 Total729


Table 6. Correspondences between the Lotus Sutra and the Kayumwungan inscription Saddharma in the Lotus Sutra Saddharma in the Kayumwungan inscription SanskritKern’s translationTranslationSanskrit

Chap. 10, “Dharmabhāṇaka”: sarvalokavipratyanīkaḥ sarvalokāśradadhanīyaḥ

no acceptance with every-

body, to find no belief with everybody

Verse 2:

ādhyātmikadharmarahasyaṃ tathāgata- balasaṃrakṣitamapratibhinnapūrvaman ācakṣitapūrvamanā


the transcendent spiri-

tual esoteric lore of the law, preserved by the power of the

tathāgatas, but never

divulged; it is an article (of creed) not yet made known untold to the people by mundane buddhas, which is unequaled, . . . which cuts off . . . , lokānāṃ laukyavuddhair agaditam atula . . . chidam

Chap. 13, “Sukhāvihāra”: sarvalokavipratyanīkaṃ sarvalokāśraddhe- yamabhāṣitapūrvamanirdiṣṭapūrvaṃ meets opposition in all the world, the unbelief of all the world, never before preached, never before explained

tathāgatānāṃ paramā dharmadeśanā

the supreme preaching of the


dharmaguhyaṃ cirānurakṣitaṃ sarvadharmaparyāyāṇāṃ mūrdhasthāyi

reveals this long-kept mys-

tery of the law exceeding all others


Saddharma in the Lotus Sutra Saddharma in the Kayumwungan inscription SanskritKern’s translationTranslationSanskrit

Chap. 20, “Tathāgataddharyabhi- saṃskāra”: sarvabuddharahasya sarvabuddhagambhīrasthāna rahasyajñānaṃ puruṣottamānāṃ Chap. 15, “Tathāgatāyuṣpramāṇa”: mahābhaiṣajya

great remedyVerse 2: the prime medicine for all diseases of exis

- tence

akhila-bhavavyādhi- bhaiṣajyam agram

Chap. 22, “Bhaiṣajyarājapūrvayoga”: sarvavyādhicchedaka sarvasaṃsārabhaya-bandhana- saṃkaṭapramocaka extirpates all diseases, releases from the narrow bonds of the mundane whirl

Table 6 (cont.)



1. This paper was read at the annual conference of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, atlanta, Ga, June 27, 2008. I would like to thank hiram W.

Woodward Jr. and marion robertson for giving me constructive comments on a draft of this article. Any remaining errors are mine.

2. J. G. de Casparis, Prasasti Indonesia I: Inscripties uit de Çailendra-tijd (n.p.:

Bandung, 1950), 139, 199, took this name as referring to King Dharanindra, whom he identified as Indra, the hindu god who controls the rains or clouds (ghana). he seems to dismiss this idea later. I can find only secondary sources mentioning Casparis’s dismissal of this name. One is in m. D. Poesponegoro and N. Notosusanto, Sejarah Nasional Indonesia, vol. 2 (Jakarta: Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan, 1984), 103, which refers back to de Casparis’s article, “new evidence between Java and Ceylon in ancient Times,” Artibus Asiae 24 (1961): 241–248. But here I cannot find any discussion regarding this dismissal. The second source is in Lokesh Chandra, “The Śailendras of Java,”

Cultural Horizons of India 4 (1995): 219–220. again, in this article I cannot find the reference for such dismissal. Chandra takes Śrī Ghananātha as the husband of Princess Prāmodavarddhanī, who was consecrated together with her father-in-law (this part is rather confusing, because in one place, i.e., p. 228, he says “his father” instead of “her father-in-law” as mentioned in p. 229). For Khmer’s occurences of this epithet, see Claude Jacques, “The Buddhist Sect of Śrīghana in ancient Khmer Lands,” in Buddhist Legacies in Mainland Southeast Asia: Mentalities, Interpretations and Practices, ed. François Lagirarde and Paritta Chalermpow Koanantakool (Paris and Bangkok: École Française d’extrême- Orient and Princess maha Chakri Sirindhorn anthropology Centre, 2006), 71–

77. For a recent survey on this epithet, see Peter Skilling, “random Jottings on Śrīghana: an epithet of the Buddha,” in Annual Report of the International Research Institute for Advanced Buddhology at Soka University for the Academic Year 2003, vol. 7 (march 2004): 147–158.

3. Boechari, “Preliminary report on Some archaeological Finds around the Borobudur Temple,” in Seri CC No. 5 Reports and Documents of the Consultative Committee for the Safeguarding of Borobudur, 5th Meeting, April 1976 (Borobudur:

Proyek Pelita Pemugaran Candi Borobudur, Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan, 1982). W. D. Boechari and h. Ongkodharma, “report on Clay Votive Stūpas from the Borobudur Site,” in Seri CC No. 8 Reports and Documents of the Consultative Committee for the Safeguarding of Borobudur, 8th Meeting, April 1979 (Borobudur: Proyek Pelita Pemugaran Candi Borobudur, Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan, 1982).

4. To date I have not had the opportunity to access the actual inscription nor the facsimile. Meanwhile, the table presented in the report does not show the full transcription. The whole thing deserves a full study by itself, which I hope I will be able to do eventually.


5. S. Lévi, Sanskrit Texts from Bāli (Baroda: Oriental Institute, 1933), 80–81; and in T. Goudriaan and C. hooykaas, Stuti and Stava (amsterdam and London:

north-holland Publishing Company, 1971), 314–316.

6. rolf W. Giebel, Two Esoteric Sutras: The Adamantine Pinnacle Sutra, the Susiddhikara Sutra (Berkeley: numata Center, 2001), 148–149, 315.

7. Some scholars have already attempted to take advantage of Balinese data to explain early Javanese Buddhism, especially after Lévi’s discovery of what was published later as Sanskrit Texts from Bāli (Baroda, India: Oriental Institute, 1933). among these is F. D. K. Bosch, “Buddhist Data from Balinese Texts; and Their Contribution to archaeological research in Java,” in Mededelingen der Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, Afdeeling Letterkunde 68, ser. b (1929): 43–78; max nihom, Studies in Indian and Indo-Indonesian Tantrism:

The Kuñjarakarṇadharmakathana and the Yogatantra (Vienna: Publications of the Denobili research Library, 1994). For recent discussion related to this subject, see hiram Woodward, “esoteric Buddhism in Southeast asia in the Light of recent Scholarship,” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 35, no. 2 (June 2004):

329–354. Of interest to this study is Stutterheim’s attempt, which is in the following note.

8. W. F. Stutterheim, “Chaṇḍi Barabuḍur: name, Form & meaning,” in Studies in Indonesian Archaelogy, trans. F. D. K. Bosch, KITLV Translation Series, no. 1 (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1956), 54.

9. Giebel, Two Esoteric Sutras, 143, 216, 273, 306, and 309. T. 893, 606a1: fobadata 佛八大塔 or badalingta 八大靈塔 occurs several times in the Susiddhikara- sūtra. The term badata occurs in other texts ascribed to Bukong (T. 897), Huilin (T. 911), and Yixing (Xuzangjing 438).

10. See G. P. malalasekera, ed., Encyclopaedia of Buddhism, vol. 2 (Colombo:

Government of Ceylon, 1971–1977), fasc. 2, 2:243–244 for Aṣṭamahāsthānacaitya- stotra (T. 1685, Foshuo-badalingtaminghao-jing 佛說八大靈塔名號經 by Faxian) and Aṣṭamahāsthānacaitya-vandanā-stava (T. 1684, Badalingta-fanzan 八大靈塔 梵讚 by Faxian). The Chinese translation of T. 1684 was done at the end of the tenth century by Faxian. a translation has been made into english by Dr. Kuyi Shen and posted by Prof. huntington at his website http://huntingtonarchive.

osu.edu/resources/buddhistIconography.html. T. 1685 is translated by H.

Nakamura, “The Aṣṭamahāsthānacaityastotra and the Chinese and Tibetan Versions of a Text similar to It,” in Indianisme et Bouddhisme, Mélanges offert à Mgr Étienne Lamotte, vol. 23 of Publications de l’Institut Orientaliste de Louvain (Louvain-la-neuve: Universite catholique de Louvain, Institut Orientaliste, 1980), 259–265.

11. Verse 77 of the Deśawarṇana; see Stuart robson, Desawarnana (Nagara- krtagama) by mpu Prapanca (Leiden: KITLV Press, 1995); or, Slametmulyana, Nagarakretagama dan Tafsir Sejarahnya (Jakarta: Bhratara Karya Aksara, 1979).


12. There are other indications leaning toward theistic connotations. The Lalitavistara uses the epithet Svayaṃbhu in referencing to the Buddha; see P. L. Vaidya, Lalita-Vistara (Darbhanga: mithila Institute, 1958), e.g., 68. The Balinese tradition recognizes adi-Buddha; see T. Goudriaan and C. hooykaas, Stuti and Stava (Amsterdam: North-Holland Pub. Co., 1971), 412.

13. N. J. Krom, Barabuḍur: Archaelogical Descriptions (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1927), 1:112.

14. Vaidya, Lalita-Vistara, 48; Gwendolyn Bays, The Voice of the Buddha, the Beauty of Compassion (Berkeley: Dharma Publishing, 1983), 106; Bijoya Goswami, Lalitavistara (Kolkata: Asiatic Society, 2001), 84.

15. T. 278 and T. 279 do not have the first ten names ending in –uttarajñānī.

They thus list only 142 names.

16. E. Steinkellner, Sudhana’s Miraculous Journey in the Temple of Ta Pho (roma:

Istituto Italiano per il medio ed estremo Oriente, 1995); Lokesh Chandra, ed., Sudhana’s Way to Enlightenment (new Delhi: Sharada rani, 1975); Yunpeng Li 李 雲鵬, Pictorial Displays of the 53 Visits of Sudhana, and Śākyamuni (Shancaitongzi wushisan can shijiashizun yinghua shiji tu 善財童子五十三參釋迦世尊應化示蹟 圖), (n.p., n.d.).

17. Q. afshar, An Ancient Indian Itinerary: The Geographical Appellatives in the Gaṇḍavyūhasūtra; Tentative Identifications (Lausanne: Kronasia, 1981).

18. Possibly this was one of the reasons why the Mahākarmavibhaṅga-sūtra be- came out of context and needed to be covered.

19. T. W. rhys-Davids and William Stede, Pali-English Dictionary (repr., Oxford:

Pali Text Society, 2004), 241: “Gaṇḍa [a variation of gaṇṭha (–i), in both meanings of (1) swelling, knot, protuberance, and (2) the interstice between two knots or the whole of the knotty object, i. e. stem, stalk].”

20. See G. P. malalasekera, Dictionary of Pāli Proper Names (London: Luzac & Co., 1960), 741.

21. P. L. Vaidya, Divyāvadānam (Darbhanga: mithila Institute, 1999). This phrase occurs on the following pages: 63 line 14, 68 line 25, 130 line 24, 215 line 9, 413 line 13, and 428 line 22.

22. P. L. Vaidya, Gaṇḍavyūha Sūtram (Darbhanga: mithila Institute, 1960).

In section 37 of the Samantasattvatrāṇojaḥśrī, 214, line 1. However, Chinese witnesses read it as bodhimaṇḍa rather than bodhigaṇḍa. T. 278, 732b3 has 種種道場; T. 279, 381c13 has 種種如來菩提場; and T. 293, 752c7 has 種種 如來菩提場. Two reasons may explain this reading. First, although we do not exactly know the script being used to record the Gaṇḍavyūha-sūtra, the syllable “ga” in some Indic scripts could be mistakenly read as a “ma” or vice versa, especially when the letter is considered badly written or a typo. Second, bodhimaṇḍavyūha is a well-attested compound. Kajiyama, Satori e no henreki:


Kegonkyō Nyuhōkkaibon, vol. 2 (Tokyo: Chuo Koronsha, 1994), 28, translates the phrase as (その世界には) 様々な菩提道場が整然とあり, clearly taking it as bodhimaṇḍa, in spite of the written bodhigaṇḍa in the Sanskrit text. Nonetheless, all these by themselves do not necessarily and effectively reject the possibility of still reading it as nānābodhigaṇḍavyūhān. This case may demonstrate that the exact meaning of the compound gaṇḍavyūha—as also appeared in the title and in the colophon of the Sanskrit text—might already have been not exactly understood by the time the first Chinese translation was executed.

23. Besides the Bodhi tree (H. Nakamura, Gotama Buddha: A Biography Based on the Most Reliable Texts (Tokyo: Kosei Publishing, 2000), 186, in Hindi it is known as the aśvattha tree, or in Sanskrit the pippala tree (botanical name Ficus religiosa) or the mango tree; we recall that the Buddha’s life stories record miracles happening under many other trees. Three of the better known ones are (1) the Plakṣa tree, when the baby Bodhisattva was born (the name Plakṣa comes from the Lalitavistara; others may call it by a different name; ibid., 59:

aśoka; 62: Sāla); (2) the Jāmbū tree, when the young Bodhisattva first attained his first complete absorption (jhāna) (ibid., 91); and (2) the twin Sāla trees, when the Buddha entered into parinirvāṇa. The less known trees, but not less important, are (1) trees under which the Buddha spent many days just after the full enlightenment, i.e., the ajapāla tree or the Goatherd’s Banyan, the mucalinda tree, and the rājāyatana tree (ibid., 217); (2) trees associated with the Buddha’s performance of supernormal powers, i.e., the āmalakī tree, the harītakī tree, and the pāricchattaka tree (ibid., 302); (3) many enlightenment trees for different buddhas (Malalasekera, Dictionary of Pāli Proper Names, 319).

24. P. L. Vaidya, Divyāvadānam, 257 line 30, 258 line 14: yadāpi mahārāja bhagavatā śrāvastyāṃ tīrthyān bijayārthaṃ vijayārthaṃ mahāprātihāryaṃ kṛtam, buddhāvataṃsakam yāvadakaniṣṭhabhavanaṃ nirmitaṃ mahan, tatkālaṃ taitraivāhamāsam | mayā tadbuddhavikrīḍitaṃ dṛṣṭamiti |

25. Ju-hyung rhi, Gandhāran Images of the “Śrāvastī Miracle”: An Iconographic Reassessment (PhD diss., University of California Berkeley, 1991), 305, takes buddhāvataṃsaka as “adornment of the Buddha.”

26. Ōtake Susumu, “On the Origin and early Development of the Buddhāvataṃsaka-sūtra,” in Reflecting Mirrors: Perspectives on Huayan Buddhism, ed. Imre hamar (Wiesbaden: harrassowitz Verlag, 2007), 90, interprets buddhāvataṃsaka as “legion of buddhas.”

27. P. L. Vaidya, Avadāna-kalpalatā (Darbhanga: mithila Institute, 1959), chap.

13, “Pratihāryāvadānam.” Deborah Black, Leaves of the Heaven Tree: the Great Compassion of the Buddha (Berkeley: Dharma Publishing, 1997), 65, in chap. 14,

“Performance of the miracles,” trans. from Tibetan.

28. There are at least two scholars suggesting that the Saddharmapuṇḍarīka- sūtra was behind the construction of Borobudur. I have earlier rejected the


idea as there is no evidence of its existence in Java. The two scholars are J. J.

Boeles, The Secret of Borobudur (Bangkok: Jan J. Boeles, 1985) and D. Snellgrove, Asian Commitment: Travels and Studies in the Indian Sub-Continent and South- East Asia (Bangkok: Orchid Press, 2000), 377–378, the latter of whom suggests that the configuration of the main and the surrounding sixteen stūpas of Borobudur might have been triggered by this sutra. After this study, their idea can be supported, but only at the most general level. As for the details, it is difficult to maintain that this sutra is the only one providing the architectural prototype for Borobudur. I also feel that Boeles’s primary argument on the perforated stūpas, being of checkerboard-like, was based on a mistaken notion of the Sanskrit term aṣṭāpada. H. Nakamura, Indian Buddhism: A Survey with Biographical Notes (hirakata: KUFS Publication, 1980), 185, referring to Yutaka Iwamoto’s study (“Lexikalische nachlesen aus dem Saddharmapuṇḍarīka I,”

Asia Asiatica 9 [September 1965]: 78–82), says that aṣṭāpada must have been aṣṭapaṭṭa, meaning “eight crossings.”

29. H. Kern, The Saddharma-Puṇḍarīka or the Lotus of the True Law (Oxford:

Clarendon Press, 1884), chap. 16, English translation: “They will behold here my Buddha-field in the Saha-world, consisting of lapis lazuli and forming a level plain; forming a chequered board of eight compartments with gold threads;

set off with jewel trees. They will behold the towers that the Bodhisattvas use as their abodes.” Sanskrit text: idaṃ ca me buddhakṣetraṃ sahāṃ lokadhātuṃ vaiḍūryamayīṃ samaprastarāṃ drakṣyati suvarṇasūtrāṣṭāpadavinaddhāṃ ratna- vṛkṣairvicitritām | kūṭāgāraparibhogeṣu ca atra bodhisattvān nivasato drakṣyati | 30. The prescription is in chap. 10, “Dharmabhāṇaka,” of the Lotus Sutra.

31. M. Monier-Williams, Sanskrit-English Dictionary (orig. pub. 1899; Delhi:

Motilal Banarsidass, 2005), 376, shows that ghana may mean “the body.” This meaning is apparent in the compound ekaghana, that according to the context suggests the compound literally means “the same body,” or “identical.”

32. The Sanskrit passage, from which the English summary is derived, is as follows: yasmin khalu punarbhaiṣajyarāja pṛthivīpradeśe’yaṃ dharmaparyāyo bhāṣyeta vā deśyeta vā likhyeta vā svādhyāyeta vā saṃgāyeta vā, tasmin bhaiṣajyarāja pṛthivīpradeśe tathāgatacaityaṃ kārayitavyaṃ mahantaṃ ratnamayamuccaṃ pra- gṛhītam | na ca tasminnavaśyaṃ tathāgataśarīrāṇi pratiṣṭhāpayitavyāni | tatkasya hetoḥ? ekaghanameva tasmiṃstathāgataśarīramupanikṣiptaṃ bhavati, yasmin pṛthivīpradeśe’yaṃ dharmaparyāyo bhāṣyeta vā deśyeta vā paṭhyeta vā saṃgāyeta vā likhyeta vā likhito vā pustakagatastiṣṭhet | tasmiṃśca stūpe satkāro gurukāro mānanā pūjanā arcanā karaṇīyā sarvapuṣpadhūpagandhamālyavilepanacūrṇacīva racchatradhvajapatākāvaijayantībhiḥ | sarvagītavādyanṛtyatūryatālāvacarasaṃgīt isaṃpravāditaiḥ pūjā karaṇīyā |

33. Chap. 11, “Stūpasaṃdarśana,” of the Lotus Sutra.

34. asmin mahāpratibhāna mahāratnastūpe tathāgatasyātmabhāvastiṣṭhati


ekaghanaḥ | tasyaiṣa stūpaḥ | sa eṣa śabdaṃ niścārayati | h. Kern’s translation for this passage is: “In this great Stūpa of precious substances, mahāpratibhāna, the proper body of the Tathāgata is contained condensed; his is the Stūpa; it is he who causes this sound to go out” (Kern, Saddharma-Puṇḍarīka or the Lotus of the True Law, 228).

35. They are in chap. 2, “Samutsāha”; chap. 3, “Kulapariśuddhi”; chap. 5,

“Pracala”; chap. 10, “Lipiśālāsaṃdarśana”; chap. 13, “Saṃcodanā”; and chap.

15, “abhiniṣkramaṇa.”

36. J. Kats, Sang Hyang Kamahāyānikan (The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1910), 53. Nihan ta waneh pājara mami ri kita, ikang śarīra i jro i yawa stūpa prāsāda. Kunang ta ngaranya ikang akṣara: namaḥ siddhaṃ. a, ā; i, ī ; u, ū; . . . śa, ṣa, sa, ha. Nihan lwir ning akṣara pinakāntara nikang śarīra [stūpa]-prāsāda tatwa. . . . (“Look, more of my teaching for you. This body—inside and outside—is a stūpa-prāsāda. The name of the letters is: the holy Siddhaṃ. a, ā; i, ī ; u, ū; . . . śa, ṣa, sa, ha. These letters attached to this body are the essence of [stūpa]-prāsāda. . . .”)

37. Kats, Sang Hyang Kamahāyānikan, 186.

38. Dale a. Todaro, “The Illuminating Secret Commentary on the Five Cakras and the nine Syllables by Kakuban,” in Shingon Texts (Berkeley: Numata Center, 2004), 276.

39. m. W. de Visser, “The Bodhisattva ākāśagarbha (Kokūzō) in China and Japan,” in Verhandelingen der Koninklijke Akademie van Wetenschappen te Amsterdam, Afdeelingen Letterkunde, Nieuwe Reeks, deel XXX, no. 1 (1931): 11–12.

40. Vaidya, Lalita-Vistara, 269. The Sanskrit verse says: rathacaraṇanicitacaraṇā daśaśataarajalajakamaladalatejā | suramukuṭaghṛṣṭacaraṇā vande caraṇau śirighanasya ||1|| The Chinese translation by Divākara (T. 187, Fangguang- dazhuangyan-jing 方廣大莊嚴經) has it as follows: 世尊足有千輻輪 猶如蓮華 甚清淨 恒為諸天寶冠接 是故我今稽首禮 (T. 187, 599b27–28).

41. T. 186, Puyao-jing 普曜經. T. 186, 525a3–4: 常奉行諸行 悅寂句威力 使魔失 徑路 自投稽首佛. Comparing with T. 187 in the previous note, Dharmarakṣa might have had a slightly different recension.

42. See note 39.

43. U. Wogihara, Sanskrit-Chinese-Japanese Dictionary (Tokyo: Suzuki research Foundation, 1979), 1356. P. L. Vaidya, Samādhirājasūtra (Darbhanga:

mithila Institute, 1961), verse 106 in chap. 35, “Supuṣpacandra”: hā suvratā kṣāntitapodhanāḍhyā hā rūpadākṣiṇyaguṇairupetā | hā niṣkuhā śrīghana niṣprapañcā kuha prayāto’si vihāya mā tvam || 106 || And, verse 2 in chap. 36,

“Śīlaskandhanirdeśa”: tasmāt samagrā bhavatha aduṣṭacittāḥ sarve ca bhogā satata manāpakārī | dṛṣṭvā ca buddhān śirighana aprameyān bodhiṃ spṛśitvā bhaviṣyatha dharmasvāmī || 2 ||

44. W. e. Soothill and L. hodous, A Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms (orig.


pub., 1937; repr., Delhi: motilal Banarsidass, 1977), 168.

45. A. Hirakawa, Buddhist Chinese-Sanskrit Dictionary (Tokyo: The reiyukai, 1997), 200.

46. The Lalitavistara provides a somewhat detailed and elaborate understanding for the Buddhist concept of saṃbhāra. As already noted by some lexi- cographers, the Lalitavistara shows two more saṃbhāras, i.e., śamatha-saṃbhāra (accumulations of tranquility) and vidarśanā-saṃbhāra (accumulations of insight), in addition to the usual puṇya-saṃbhāra (accumulations of merits) and jñāna-saṃbhāra (accumulations of knowledge); see, e.g., Monier-Williams, Sanskrit-English Dictionary, 1179; and F. Edgerton, Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary (Delhi: motilal Banarsidass, 1970), 580; on p. 487 edgerton indicates that vidarśanā is a synonym for vipaśyanā. All of these four saṃbhāras are members of the 108 doors into the light of the dharma (dharmālokamukha).

But, the Lalitavistara does not stop there. It also indicates that saṃbhāra may include other kinds of excellent attributes. In chap. 27, “Nigama,” the compiler lists eight kinds of saṃbhāras, including the four just mentioned. These eight are: accumulations of charity (dāna-saṃbhāra), morality (śīla-saṃbhāra), sacred word (śruta-saṃbhāra), tranquility (śamatha-saṃbhāra), insight (vidarśanā- saṃbhāra), merits (puṇya-saṃbhāra), knowledge (jñāna-saṃbhāra), and great compassion (mahākaruṇā-saṃbhāra).

47. at least two passages: (1) in chap. 2, “Samutsāha”: “guṇagaṇavimala- sarasisujātasya” (the Chinese translation in T. 187, 540b09 is 譬如蓮華出於功 德廣大池中, a bit different to the expected gōngdé jù 功德聚); (2) in chap. 15,

“abhiniṣkramaṇa”: hā mama anantakīrte śatapuṇyasamudgatā vimalapuṇyadharā

| hā mama anantavarṇā guṇagaṇapratimaṇḍitā ṛṣigaṇaprītikarā ||130||

48. There are at least two instances in the Gaṇḍavyūha-sūtra where saṃbhāra is translated as gōngdé jù 功德聚. Chap. 36, “Pramuditanayanajagadvirocanā,”

verse 92: tataḥ saṃbhūtaḥ praṇidhimeghaḥ sarvajagatsukhapravaṇagarbhaḥ | saṃbhārasaṃbhawa anantā mārgasamudranaya anugataśca ||92|| Then, chap. 42,

“Sutejomaṇḍalaratiṣrī,” lines 11–12: etat pramukhair buddhakṣetraparamāṇurajaḥ samair bodhicittāṅgasaṃbhārair abhiniṣpannaḥ sa bodhisattvo jāto bhavati tathāgatakule.

49. earlier I have demonstrated that Prājña’s version of Bhadracarī was likely the one depicted at Borobudur, and consequently the same for the Gaṇḍavyūha- sūtra. Besides, either the Javanese monk Bianhong–whom I considered went back to Java after the demise of his master, Huiguo—brought back a copy of Prājña’s Gaṇḍavyūha-sūtra, or Prājña himself provided a copy while staying in Java. Before arriving at Canton in 780, Prājña spent twenty-two years on the islands of the South Seas (W. Pachow, “The Voyage of Buddhist missions to South-east asia and the Far east,” Journal of the Greater India Society 17 [1958]:

19, says, “traveled extensively in the South Seas.” But, Kenneth r. White, The


Role of Bodhicitta in Buddhist Enlightenment including a Translation into English of Bodhicitta-śāstra, Benkemmitsu-nikyōron, and Sammaya-kaijo [new York: The edwin mellen Press, 2005], 425, says Prājña spent twenty-two years in the South Seas). Thus, Java is not excluded from the possible places where he stayed.

50. J. G. de Casparis, Prasasti Indonesia I, 167.

51. After introducing the word bhūdhara to create a hypothetical name

“Bhūmisambhāra-bhūdhara,” de Casparis (ibid., 169) reconstructs the mean- ing of Bhūmisambhāra as: “De Berg van het verwerven (van vrome verdiensten) (op de tien) stadia (van de ontwikkeling van de Bodhisattva),” or the “Mountain of accumulation of Virtue on the Ten Stages of the Bodhisattva.” The meaning in English is given in p. 202. Two scholars, A. J. Bernet Kempers, Ageless Borobudur: Buddhist Mystery in Stone, Decay and Restoration, Mendut and Pawon, Folklife in Ancient Java (Wassenaar: Servire, 1976), and Soekmono, Chandi Borobudur: A Monument of Mankind (assen: Van Gorcum and Paris: The Unesco Press, 1976), support de Casparis’s suggestion. But, L. C. Damais, and others (see Poesponegoro and Notosusanto, Sejarah Nasional Indonesia, 2:122–124) reject his idea altogether.

52. The phrase is found in chap. 15, “Indriye śvara”: tathā gata bhū misaṃ bhā ra- jñā nāni. Chinese translations are as follows: T. 278, 704c09: 此如來地; T. 279, 350c19: 此人應入一切智地; T. 293, 704b10: 此人應入如來智地.

53. I have demonstrated how this formula might have been the underlying scheme for the placing of Buddha statues at Borobudur. See H. Kandahjaya, The Master Key for Reading Borobudur Symbolism (Bandung: Yayasan Penerbit Karaniya, 1995), 28–30, 38–40.



Hiram Woodward Walters Art Museum

BiAnhong, A nAtive of JAvA, arrived in Chang’an in 780. the brief Chinese biography of huiguo (746–805), the monk who studied with the prolific esoteric master Amoghavajra and was in turn the teacher of Kūkai (774–835), states that Bianhong 辨弘 came from Holing (Java) and presented Huiguo with a copper cymbal, two conches, and four vases, expressing interest in the teachings of the Womb Mandala.1 According to Kūkai—a towering figure in the history of Japanese Buddhism—Bianhong had already studied esoteric texts in Java, and in Chang’an, huiguo initiated him into the Womb (but not the Diamond) Mandala.2 (Kūkai was initiated into both.) It is not known whether Bianhong ever went home to Java.

the hypothesis that Bianhong did return and was involved in the design of Borobudur was proposed by Hudaya Kandahjaya.3 Brief inscriptions on Borobudur’s covered base belong on palaeographic grounds to the 820s, and it has been suggested that the monument was founded by King Warak (r. 803–827).4 Bianhong could well have participated in planning sessions in the early 800s. To the question,

“Was Bianhong the mastermind?” the answer is surely, “Quite possibly.”

Still, since the true answer is essentially unknowable, the question is not really a good one. More fundamental are two distinct matters, one being the degree to which the monument should be understood in a Chinese context, the other being whether there is a tantric element.

In regard to tantric, or Mantrayāna, elements, a case can surely be made that by 800 there was awareness of esoteric texts in Central Java.

there were the texts Bianhong himself studied before his departure to China. Very likely the excerpts from such texts as the Mahāvairocana- sūtra (also known as the Mahāvairocana-abhisaṃbodhi-tantra) preserved in Java in the Sang Hyang Kamahāyānan Mantranaya were circulating in the eighth century.5 Evidence dating from the 790s indicates that there were links between central Java and the Abhayagiri Monastery


in Sri Lanka, where Amoghavajra was presumably in residence in the 740s.6 (he returned to China in 745, where he died in 774.) finally, the inscription found less than a hundred meters from Borobudur, discussed by Hudaya Kandahjaya in his contribution to this issue of Pacific World, may be considered a dhāraṇī with esoteric content, and it shows that Buddhists following the Mantrayāna were active in the vicinity of the monument.7 that the Buddhists who planned Borobudur were ignorant of these currents is improbable. On the other hand, the content of the reliefs at Borobudur is not esoteric. It depends on a scripture concerning the law of cause and effect (a Karmavibhaṅga), the Lalitavistara, the Jātakamālā and other jātaka and avadāna texts, the Gaṇḍavyūha, and the Samantabhadracārya-praṇidhana (vows of the Bodhisattva Samantabhadra, the Bhadracarī).8 the monument, in its overall thrust, surely conforms with the doctrines of the Avataṃsaka- sūtra, of which the Gaṇḍavyūha and the Bhadracarī are the final parts.

(Sometimes the arrangement of the buddhas overlooking the galleries, with jinas of the center and of the four directions of space, is considered evidence of esoteric content, but these buddhas may simply be buddhas who have descended from pure lands in various galaxies to pay homage to the teaching.) All this means that the planners must have chosen one of several paths: they could have suppressed all knowledge of the Mantrayāna in their efforts to create a monument proclaiming Avataṃsaka (Ch. Huayan) tenets; or, they could have embraced certain Mantrayāna beliefs but re-interpreted them in their own way; or, on the other hand, they could have decided they wanted to build a monument that simultaneously had dual or multiple meanings, or, perhaps, meanings specifically outer, inner, and secret.9 If Bianhong was an important player in the decision-making process, this last alternative is the only one possible—though it could be added that he likely regarded the Avataṃsaka content as both undergirding and totally consistent with his own beliefs. All of this supposes that Borobudur presents a coherent message, that it is not the product of one ideology grafted onto another in the course of construction. Although there is evidence of changes in plans while the monument was being built, the upper terraces and the galleries in their final form must have been planned together; otherwise there would not have been seventy- two panels devoted to the Bhadracarī on the fourth gallery and seventy- two latticed stūpas on the terraces.10 Of course, to the possibilities just listed above, various nuances could be added, such as that Borobudur’s


Avataṃsaka was already tantricized, and so there was not necessarily a strong consciousness of two distinct paths.

As for China, the very fact that Bianhong is a historical figure implies the existence of forgotten Javanese monks who also traveled to China. Once a Chinese factor is assumed, many conjectures can be made about the meaning of Borobudur, and discussion will be found in the pages that follow concerning the design of the terraces, the role of assemblies (hui, 會), cause and fruit, sudden enlightenment, and other matters. it has to be granted, however, that identifying elements for which no other explanation can be found than knowledge of Chinese thinking is a somewhat different matter, simply because there survives so much more evidence on the Chinese side than on the Indian. An example is the matter of the Gaṇḍavyūha–Bhadracarī sequence, the first text depicted in the reliefs of the second and third galleries, the second on the fourth. These two scriptures had existed independently until brought together in the eighth century, perhaps not until the creation of the text sent by the ruler of Uḍra (modern Orissa) to the emperor of China in 795. This was translated in Chang’an by Prajña in 796–798.11 The Bhadracarī illustrations at Borobudur best conform in certain details to the text translated by Prajña.12 Bianhong arrived in China in 780, but nothing is known about how long he stayed. if he was still there in 796, then he could have studied the text with Prajña and returned with it to Java. on the other hand, ties between Java and Orissa are attested by art-historical evidence, and recent excavations at the site of Udayagiri will doubtless strengthen the evidence for close communication.13 Therefore the text translated by Prajña could have reached Java directly from Orissa, without any Chinese connection at all. My focus will be on Borobudur’s upper terraces. Since their design is unique in the Buddhist world and because they are relatively mute—

especially in comparison with the illustrations of the identified Buddhist texts in the gallery spaces below—there is no way to understand them without making imaginative leaps. the interpretations i have made in the past, as they are the basis for the proposals in this paper, will be first reviewed. Then I shall focus on the place of the alphabet diagram (prastāra), as found in esoteric texts, in the designing of the terraces, and on the implications this dependence has for the understanding of Borobudur.



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