Ruins of Buddhistic Temples
Tyanḍis Båråbudur, Mĕndut and Pawon
Dr. I. GRONEMAN,
translated from the dutch by J. H.
Druk van H. A. BENJAMINS,
When in 1896 I was obliged to retire from practice, on account of sickness, I shortly after took up my residence at Jogyåkartå again in order to devote myself to the antiquarian and ethnological studies dear to me, and to which purpose I had to establish myself in the neighbourhood of the principal Hindu ruins in Java, that is, in the plain of Parambanan, and in the valley of Prågå whereas I could not rely on being assisted by the Dutch Government or whomsoever; I had grown too old under a system of Government who even refuse a professor septuagenarian to follow his profession.
As for the Indian antiquities however, there are still many things to be learned, not only because many a sculpture and symbolical ornament of building has not yet been explained or, so to say, insufficiently interpreted, but also because some of these images have been wrongly understood and expounded. I therefore thought it my duty to have my knowledge of them increased by a continued study of the antiquities themselves, and by consulting such writings as I could dispose of with my limited means.
I also would comply with other people’s wishes by giving a simple description of the most interesting ruin in the village of Mĕndut situated by the way-side to the Båråbudur, and mention the small tyanḍi Pawon lying in its neighbourhood.
And so I gathered all data for an up-to-date fifth edition in behalf of the continually increasing number of visitors who come to visit these incomparable temples, which, in spite of expensive but insufficient restoration, seem doomed to decay.
Having succeeded at last in finding a person from whose hand both the editor and myself express a wish to see a good English translation of this little book, I consequently completed and rewrote the former text (1906-1907.).
Buddhistic temples in Prågå-valley5
Ruins of Buddhistic temples in Prågå-valley.
The Buddhists believe their community, their worship, their church, or whatever one may be inclined to call this, to have been founded 24 centuries ago by the wise and humane king’s son of Kapilavastu, called Gautama, the Shâkja muni or wise Shâkja, Buddha or the Enlightened. All that which the later legends related either of Buddha himself or of his former lives, they consider historically true.
Competent Orientalists, among whom the Dutch ex-professor Dr. H. Kern, stated however that, much about those legends that cannot be true from a historical point of view, will become quite comprehensible and possible as soon as taken in a mythical sense, and when we understand the hero of the myth to be a sun-god. And then it will be perfectly indifferent to us, non-Buddhists, whether those legends may or may not have historical foundations and whether the Buddha of the Buddhists may have really lived and existed or not.
Still it is an indisputed matter of fact, that the Buddhist religion must have existed as such for about three centuries before the beginning of our era, and professed by king Ashoka the great. Inscriptions partly saved, and found upon columns, and on the walls of rocks, prove all this to be just.
This Buddhism taught that mankind might be freed from any sensual passion, and sin by following a pure conduct of life, and from the curse of being continually reincarnated in either a human or animal being, and that it could gain eternal rest as the highest reward of virtue on earth. And therefore Buddhism taught self-command, self-denial and self-conquest; the love of all beings either man or beast: patience with others, the sons of different castes, and patience too with the followers of all other religions.
The original Buddhism can’t be called a religion, for it knew no god and didn’t believe in a personal immortality. But like any other creation of time and of human desire to form and reform again and again, Buddhism also lost much of its original character, and so it came to pass that Buddhism in the first year of our era after its separation into two main sections, the so-called southern and northern churches, especially the last mentioned or the Mahâyâna acknowledged, besides the Buddha of this world, quite other Buddhas to be the redeemers of former and future worlds, whilst the Buddhists thought all of them to be the revelations of a same original and impersonal deity, Adi-Buddha; and even the gods or some of the gods of the Hindus were admitted as the awatâras of the same first Buddha. It may be easily understood that this Buddhism also invented hell in contradiction to heaven. However, by no means an abode for the eternal damned, such as the hell of Christianity alludes to.
But the southern church, the Hînayâna swerved less far from the ancient doctrine, though it may be true that it did not always keep its originality, for in its pagodae, are also found a few sculptures honoured there as the representations of Buddha himself.
Since some centuries Buddhism has been repelled from its country of birth by the ancient Hinduism. Its place was taken by the shivaistic and other Hindu religions which at their turn again were partly superseded by Islâmism.
But the Hînayânistic worship still exists in Ceylon and in Further-India at Burma, and Siam and Kamboja and Mahâjânism at Népâl and at Tibet and, more or less degenerated, in China and Japan. It flourished for some centuries in the island of Java, but became entirely exterminated by the fanatic and absolutely intolerant followers of Allah and Mohammed.
This was death after life; slavery after the command of senses; the decline of a civilisation lost for ever, and of a highly developed 7art whose products, by time’s tooth changed into ruins, still testify to her lost greatness.
This Mahâyânism only acknowledged Buddha the redeemer of this world, next to him were honoured the Buddhas of three former worlds, and even a fifth Buddha, the redeemer of a future world, which is to exist in the darkness of ages after the crack of this doom. These are the five Dhyâni-Buddhas: Wairotyana, Akshobya, Ratnasambhava, Amitâbha and Amoghasiddha. And with the exception of these five Buddhas they also honoured the five Dhyâni-Bodhisattvas or Buddha’s sons or Buddhas in a state of being, that is, in a state of self-exercise or self-denial which precedes the Buddhaship. They are in the same order of succession: Samantabhadra, Wadyrapâni, Ratnapâni, Padmapâni and Wishvapâni. The southern church doesn’t know these Dhyâni-Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, so their images on the Båråbudur and on other tyanḍis in Java prove to us that the Buddhists of those temples belonged to the northern church.
Proofs of the existence of Hînayânism in Java, there were none as yet. But the Chinese Buddhist J Tsing, who visited India and the Dutch Indonésian countries in the seventh century of our era, wrote us that at that period of time Hînayânism must have ruled here in Java.
It goes without saying that even the Mahâyânists honoured, among others, the Buddha of this their world, Amitâbha, as their Lord and Redeemer, putting faith in his life on earth as man and prince’s son, as ascetic and preacher, just as the Israelites do believe in the personage of their Jahvé, their Lord God of Hosts, their god of battle and revenge, and just like our German ancestors trusted in Odhin, and Thor, and in the dying sun-god Baldur.
And when we wish to judge and understand the temples built by these Buddhists, we also ought to start from that point of view, and accept the hero of the legend as if he should have really lived, and suffered in order to redeem the world from the burden of the sin of life, and from the curse of death, and infinite regenerations.
The Buddhists assert the ashes of their Buddha to have been divided after his cremation into eight towns, and buried there. King Ashoka is said to have seven of these graves re-opened again so as to distribute the holy ashes among some 84000 metal, crystal or stone vases or urns to cause them to be spread throughout his empire and without, and kept under barrows or stûpas.
We know the proper history of Buddhism to begin with this king in the third century before our era, and in several parts of Hindustan are found still undamaged inscriptions chiselled at his order upon rocks as so many unobjectionable evidences of this fact. I willingly allow this number of 84000 to be very exaggerated—yet, it is a fact proved by many an existing and opened grave, that the Buddhists of that or later date, and wherever they might have settled, always kept small quantities of ashes or bones they considered the remains of their Buddha’s corpse, in order to be buried under earthen or stone barrows to honour them as the relics of the great Master himself.
There where the Buddhists founded a community, there, under such a hill or stûpa they also buried an urn of ashes whereas the hill itself was honoured as the Master’s grave.
Those hills however, were badly protected from the influences of temperature and time, and not proof against the profaning hand of 9man, and therefore built of stone, the dâgaba or dagob, generally placed on a pedestal of composed leaves of the lotus, the padmâsana, hardly dispensible to Indian images.
Many temples’ ornaments have been copied after these dagobs, among others, the shape of the small-sized prayer-bell which is still rung by the visju in chinese temples even at this day. These are facts proving this tomb-stone’s having been highly honoured.
Not anything do we know about the Buddhists of eleven centuries ago who once populated these regions where afterwards arose the Mohammedan empire of Mataram. We only know that there formerly must have existed a Hindu empire of this name because of a found copper engraving all covered with ancient-javanese writing which contained in a oath-formula the words: “Sri mahârâja i Mataram.”
We understand them to have come from India, probably from the North, but we don’t know when this happened, and when they first began to deposit their Buddha ashes worthily.
It may be easily imagined however, that also the Båråbudur must have been such a depository, and so much the more, because of its being too large to think of a mausoleum built in honour of even the most powerful prince of that empire.
In flat defiance of Rhys Davids’s opinion who declared the Båråbudur to be only 7 centuries old, we, on the other hand, are inclined to give this monument, according to later data, more than eleven centuries.
That the Buddhists of Central Java were a powerful nation at that period of time may fully appear from the extent and splendour of the building which surpasses all other Buddha- and Hindu temples on all the earth.
And though it may be true that the grouping of the rock temples of Alara (vulg. Ellora) and Ajunta in India occupies more room, and granting Angkor in Kamboja (which wasn’t a Buddhist temple) to seem more majestic when seen at a distance, still, according to competent judges who also visited these ruins, the Båråbudur is grander by far as well for the unity of its whole as for the harmony of its different parts, and for both the nobleness of the schemer’s thought and the excellence of the execution.
This harmony supports the opinion of this building’s having been built after the scheme of one and the very same architect; a man of a surprising intellectual capacity indeed, who could have conceived such a scheme to be carried out in an incalculable number of years by hundreds of thousands of labourers.
We cannot possibly believe that so much labour and time would have been spent on the building of a prince’s mausoleum, however powerful he might have been.
Moreover, there are reasons enough to suppose that the prince of this empire, at whose command the Båråbudur must have been built, commenced or partly achieved, should have died before the finishing of this colossal work, and that his ashes were buried in the sumptuous grave temple, at that period of time most likely already finished, and the ruins of which we shall visit in the desså (native village) of Mĕndut. Or more exactly: that his successor or children or blood-relations, or perhaps his people, built this tyanḍi on the pit in which those ashes had been put away, and that as a worthy mausoleum to the king who once presented his subjects with the Båråbudur.
Some unfinished parts of both the Båråbudur and the ruins in the valley of Parambanan, especially the unfinished imageries at the foot (hidden again under the outer-terrace) on the outer-wall of the large temple, make us suppose that these products of art had been scarcely achieved, and the imageries hardly finished and placed on their walls, when the buddhistic empire of Central Java fell into a state of decay or became ruined at all.
Upwards of a thousand years have rolled since over these colossal 12ruins. Earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions replaced their masses of stone, solar heat and torrents introduced and supported their decay, parasitic plants dispersed their foundations, and narrow-minded slaves of ignorance and fanaticism damaged or spoilt many of their produce of art—still the ruins stand there as an impressive fact scarcely no less uncredible than undeniable; a majestic product of a master-mind of the past, a stone epic immortal even in its decline.
On account of its general form (“par le dessin général, mais par là seulement”) the French scholar about Indian matters A. Barth called the Båråbudur the only stûpa in Java, and this may be just when we understand a stûpa to be only those barrows where were buried some ashes or another relic of the Buddha himself, and when we consider all other tyanḍis in this island—with the exception of the monasteries which are no tyanḍis—to be nothing else but the mausolea of sons of Princes, or of gurus and monks, or belonging perhaps to other noble men and women.
Hereabove we already saw reasons enough to make us suppose that Tyanḍi Mĕndut had been built on the ashes of the prince of the buddhistic empire of which we don’t know anything but its having been supreme in Central Java for at least eleven centuries ago.
These ruins stand in the village after which they have been named, along the road leading from Jogyåkartå to the Båråbudur, not far from the Magĕlang route, and as they are the first we reach on our way from one of the two capitals, and generally visited, we shall therefore first describe this most interesting grave temple.
Leaving Jogyåkartå by steamtram or by carriage, and driving through the dessa of Muntilan—properly speaking a Chinese settlement—,turning two or three miles farther on near the stopping-place of Kalangan, 8 miles south of Magĕlang, into a by-path leading westward to the Båråbudur, we, within an hour, shall arrive at the real javanese village of Mĕndut, which is situated on the left bank of the river Élo. On this spot, as it were under the shadow of the Buddha temple, eleven centuries old at least, a Roman Catholic mission built a little church and parsonage, and opened a school for javanese children.
Living Christianity near the ruins of dead Buddhism!
Heavy teak wooden scaffoldings surrounded these ruins on all sides, and on the north-western frontside solid wooden stairs lead upward till under the attap temporary roof. This was to protect the Båråbudur’s pyramidical roof (at that time not yet shut off again) and protect also the three almost undamaged gigantic images from rain and sun-blaze. This scaffolding still appeared as a witness of W. A. van de Kamer’s clever diligence. Some eleven years ago, when in Government’s service as official for ways and roads, he got the order given to him by choice, to begin the work of restoration, and that above his own work as overseer in service of the Department of Public Works. Notwithstanding, he continued for three years this enterprise trusted to him, and without any other reward but the title of architect the diploma of which he had already got in Netherland for many years ago. Under his command, and without any accident, he had the heavy and badly menaced pyramidic roof brought downward, and he succeeded in having the decaying and declining walls erected again, and that in a manner (as I once 14witnessed) unconditionally admired by competent experts, among whom I know high-placed engineer officers. But his work became unjustly objected by the philological president of a newly appointed Båråbudur committee he saw suddenly placed above him (van de Kamer), and the pitiable manner in which the former official induced him to ask for exemption from the labour dear to him, and to retire from Government’s service some years afterwards, I already explained and blamed in 1901 by means of some non-published writings, because the latter, still subordinate at that time, could not defence himself, and above all, because of my being competent and obliged to do so as an honest man, loyal to the ancient device: “Fais ce que dois, advienne que pourra”. Even to me this deed became a source of misunderstanding and grief.
The first striking thing we see is that, in contravention to almost all other buddhistic buildings, the frontage of these ruins have not been placed opposite to the East, the sun-rise, but strange enough, opposite to the Northwest. When I first visited this temple in 1875 I saw that the porch which had been built before this frontage, had partly disappeared. Only its side-walls, the greater part at least, and fortunately, the two interesting sculptures had remained. This was also the case with the 14 large stone steps leading from without to the same porch, and flanked by heavy holds in the form of the garuḍa-nâga ornament we are going to know by-and-by.
The colossal pyramidic roof, and part of the front wall above and north of the entrance to the inner-room were greatly lost.
The two sculptures before the entrance show us, to the left, a princess in a garden of fruit-trees, with a suckling at her breast, and many playing children all round about her. And opposite to them, to the right, we see an Indian,—not buddhistic—prince with much more children in such another garden.
All the children wear a crescent of the moon on the hind part of their heads, but both the children and their parents miss everything that might have spoken of a buddhistic character. The prince himself wears a three stringed cord of a caste (upavîta), and is therefore characterised as a not buddhistic one. Buddhism doesn’t know any caste.
Nevertheless, there are Dutch scholars who suppose this prince to be Buddha’s father, this woman Buddha’s mother. Even professor 15Kern wrote to me that this woman with her suckling should be nobody else but Mayâ with her son in Lumbini garden. The Indian prince however, remained inexplicable.
The buddhistic king of Siam, Chula Longkorn, gave me in 1896 another and far better explanation which solved all difficulties, and to which I’ll come back again after having first given a superficial description of the gigantic images we see in this temple.
Let us therefore enter through the opened iron railing now replacing the wooden inner door, which for more than some 70 years ago, was used perhaps, as fire-wood.
The space before the unadorned south-easterly back-wall is occupied by a heavy altar-shaped throne not yet long ago newly built in an exceedingly simple style.
And on this throne sits a colossal Buddha image, by no means however, a nude one, so as professor Veth wrongly wrote in his standard work: “Java,” but this is dressed in the cowl of the southern Buddhists uncovering his right shoulder and arm; his two legs dangling and resting on a small cushion with his two hands before his breast in such a posture (mudrâ) as the Mahâyânists, the followers of the “Big Carriage” of the northern church, generally (not always) give to the first of their five Dhyâni-Buddhas. In Ceylon and in Farther India however, there where Hînayânism of the southern church still exists, which doesn’t know any Dhyâni-Buddha, this posture simply means “blessing.”
To the right of this Buddha nearly 4 yards high, we see a buddhistic prince seated on a throne abundantly decorated with nâgas, lions, and elephants, and ornamented with lotus-cushions and feet cushions. The monk’s hood, the bottom of which goes under the princely garb over his left shoulder and breast, and the small Buddha image in his crown characterise him as a Buddhist, and that in contradistinction to the other prince we see opposite him, to the left of the Buddha. And though this prince also has his seat on an equally richly ornamented throne, yet we don’t see any image in his crown, and then he doesn’t wear a monk’s hood, but only the three-stringed upavîta which characterises him as not buddhistic.
On this ground professor Kern thought this Indian prince as inexplicable as the other one we saw in the porch before the entrance.
The two kings wear the prabha, or disk of light, on the back part 16of their heads. Buddha does not, or no more; for this may have been fixed to the wall of the temple, and afterwards fallen down after that the image itself had slidden from its seat, or before its having been placed there.
On account of the posture of his hands before his breast there are some Dutch scholars who suppose this Buddha to be the first Dhyâni-Buddha Vairotyana, and the two other princes they think to be Bodhisattvas or future Buddhas, whilst the one on the north-easterly wall is said to be the fourth Dhyâni-Bodhisatthva, Padmapâni because of his being provided with a small image of the fourth Dhyâni-Buddha, Amitâbha, in his crown.
Which Bodhisatthva we then must see in that other image nobody could tell us, because it misses all attributes.
This however, is also the case with the buddhistic king’s image, and though it may be provided with a Buddha image in its crown, occasionally given to some Bodhisatthvas, yet it doesn’t characterise every wearer as such.
Moreover, I more than once demonstrated that all the crowns are provided with no other image but the one of the Buddha himself in his posture of meditation (or rest after death), and therefore we can’t accept these images to be Bodhisatthvas, or more especially Padmapâni, the Bodhisattva of the fourth Dhyâni-Buddha who, after all, should have been characterised by this Bodhisatthva’s usual attribute, the padma or lotus placed near his face. But these two images also miss this flower and the stem of the lotus which the Bodhisatthvas generally keep in their left hands. Sometimes however, we see them in their right hand, and the flower with the symbol above one or two leaves.
So the meaning of the mentioned scholars doesn’t explain these 3 images whereas Siam’s king, on his visiting this temple in 1896, satisfactorily interpreted the north-westerly image, wearing, like he does himself, a Buddha image in his crown, to be perhaps the king of the buddhistic empire, under whose reign the Båråbudur was built.
Further he supposed the other image to be the latter’s not-buddhistic father and predecessor whilst both father and son (the latter afterwards became a buddhist), might have been honoured by their descendants who brought together the two images in this sanctuary under the blessing of the only Buddha, the redeemer of this world. So this Buddha image has nothing to do with any Dhyâni-Buddha, and by no means with the first of them.
Imagery in front of the entrance of the ruin.
Hâritî, the goddess of the Yakshas, with some of her 500 children.
This explanation of the king-Buddhist became so comprehensible and logical to me that I could not but accept and defend it against others, and so I came to the hypothesis that the ashes of the two kings (but certainly the son’s ashes) must have been buried in this tyanḍi. Their urns may be found back again in a deep pit under the throne of the Buddha, or under the seats of the other images, just as we had found such urns of ashes in other tyanḍis, in square pits, under the pedestals of the images, and generally adorned with some figures of precious metal and provided with some coloured precious stones, the emblems of the seven treasures, the sapta ratna which were given to the dead.
These pits occupied the whole depth of the foundation of these temples, under the floor of the inner-rooms which may have been intentionally built so high above the surface of the earth. This, perhaps, is also the reason of the heavy substructure of tyanḍi Mĕndut.
Had Van de Kamer remained charged with the work of restoration to these ruins the Resident of Ked̆u would then have granted us to examine this affair more closely before the throne was rebuilt again, and the Buddha image replaced upon it.
But this didn’t happen.
That Siam’s king declared the two images before the entrance to be the representations of the buddhistic king’s parents with their children seemed more than reasonable to me, especially, because of all difficulties being solved then. Didn’t Mayâ, like any other mother of Buddha, die seven days after his birth? And then, all writings known to me, don’t mention anything about Siddhârta’s brothers or sisters. And all these children can’t possibly be angels or celestials, because in the smaller panels, above the groups in the porch, we always see them hewn floating in the air.
However reasonable this idea of the hînayîstic king may have seemed to me, yet I could not maintain this when I was told by Mr. A. Foucher, the great knower of the ancient Indian Buddhism, that in Old Gandhâra he often saw the Buddha, just as is the case here, sculptured in the mudrâ of preaching, standing between the two Bodhisatthvas, Avalokitésvara and Manjusri. This, among others, 18is to be seen at Sârnâth in the northern environs of Bénarès which passes for the very place where the Buddha should have preached for the first time. This is ordinarily indicated by means of the tyakra between two gazelles, and consequently hewn at the foot of Buddha’s throne. Mr. A. Foucher also taught me that my fellow-country-man, Dr. J. Ph. Vogel, leader of the archaeological service in British India, rightly declared the two demi-relievoes in the porch (volume 4th of the “Bulletins de l’école française d’Extrême-Orient”) to be the representations of Hâritî and Kuvera, the goddess and the god of the Yakshas with some of their children. In many a cloister in Gandhâra he saw the Yakshî Hâritî represented with one child at her breast, and that, after she herself, who is said to have been the former personification of small-pox (variolae), had been converted by the Buddha.
He had taken away one of her 500 children, and remonstrated with her on the sorrow she gave the mothers of the children killed by her, in consequence of which she totally changed her character, became truly converted and afterwards honoured as a patroness of children.
I am not going to expatiate about the artistic value of this produce of the ancient plastic arts in Old India. One should see them oneself and then judge whether the Indian sculptor knew how to chisel out living thoughts which are not less striking and beautiful than those of the Greeks in the age of Pericles, and much better hewn than those of the Egyptians in the time of the hieroglyphics, of Memphis and Thebae, of Carnak and Philae.
But there are more things to be seen in the sanctuarium of tyanḍi Mĕndut.
The space within the four heavy walls is not a square or rectangular one, but rather a trapezoid with parallel front- and back walls. Its side-walls somewhat join each other from front to back. I don’t know any other example of deviation from the rectangular form, and therefore try to find its meaning in the sculptor’s effort to increase the impression the large images make upon the visitor, by slightly supporting its perspective.
Imagery in front of the entrance of the ruin.
Kuwera, the god of riches and of the Yakshas, with some of his children.
Two niches have been spared in each of these side walls, but not symmetrically like we see them hewn before the impressive image-group, and not behind it or on the back wall. Half way between the entrance and the two corners however, two similar niches adorn the front wall. All these six niches have been framed with the garuḍa-nâga ornament, that is, with two composed serpent’s bodies whose tails disappear into the mule of a monstrous garuḍa head we see above the vault of these niches, and whose outward turned heads are provided with a proboscis.
In each niche there lies a small lotus cushion but without any image. Even in 1834 during the digging up of the ruin buried under an overgrown mound, no images were found in- or outside these niches.
What then was the meaning of them?
They were explained to us by the French Indian architect Henry Parmentier who spoke of analogical cases in Farther India [Bulletins de l’école française d’Extrême Orient]. Even there the temples closely related to the Hindu ruins in Java had no windows or openings outside the entrance which opened into an equally dark porch; and as it was very dark inside the walls were provided with niches for lamps to light the images throning in these sanctuaries.
After mature consideration I came to the conclusion that the niches of tyanḍi Mĕndut must also have had this destination, and this may be the reason why all of them were affixed in front and opposite (not behind) the three images, so that I never doubted the four walls to have had any other opening than the door which opened through the front wall into the almost equally dark porch.
This conviction of mine has been confirmed by some corresponding cases, among others, by the fact that the four still undamaged walls of the comparatively large inner-rooms of tyanḍi Sévu in the plain of Parambanan, have no other opening but the door which gives entrance to the (eastern) porch. However, we don’t see any niche in the inner-room of tyanḍi Kalasan, perhaps because there was room enough in these two sanctuaries to place one or more lights before or on the altars which carried the Buddha or Târâ image.
In the main temples of the Parambanan group, with the exception of tyanḍi Shiva, there was no place for these lights. The altar-shaped 20pedestals of the images were much smaller there, and round about them there was but little room.
This temple’s walls hewn with exquisitely modelled festoons had also no niches, and could not have had them unless one would have partly sacrificed its panels. But in all other, less spacious temples whose walls were unadorned, are still to be found simple and square formed stones, 2 of which we see in each side-wall, and 1 on every side of the entrance through the front wall, consequently just as the 6 niches in tyanḍi Mĕndut and equally fit to the same purpose. Had not the front walls of these sanctuaries partly fallen down I am sure we then could see that they also had no windows above the entrances, and that neither the inner-rooms of tyanḍis Sévu and Kalasan, nor the sanctuary of tyanḍi Mĕndut ever had them till before some years when the president of the “Oudheidkundige Commissie” (board of antiquarian science) ordered these openings to be pierced through the front wall scarcely rebuilt by Van de Kamer. And that, contrary to this architect’s official objections, and against my not-official but well argued warning. An irresponsible deforming, a violation of the original architecture, a desecration of a primevally pure style!
And this becomes much clearer to us when we raise our eyes, and fully see how this polygonal hole spoils the harmony of the character of the pyramidical vault so beautifully thought, and which I mean to have once known as a closed whole.
Those who contemplate this pseudo-vault unprejudicedly will no more regret than I do, that such a thing could have happened without having been redressed up to this date. It is true, it would cost much labour again, and money too, but this labour and money would undoubtedly be far better accounted for than that which was uselessly spent to commit such an unpardonable mistake.
Dr. Brandes may have been deceived by the form of the hole the dropping stones had made outside in the front wall above the entrance, and which he knew from engravings only, for, when he first visited this temple Van de Kamer had this wall erected again just as it once was, and without any other opening but the door. On account of analogical Indian ruins pictured in Fournerau’s and Porcher’s works, I stated elsewhere how the falling asunder of such walls which had been run up with hewn stones without mortar, are 21to form the very same angular lines of breach Dr. Brandes unrightly ascribed to the architect’s intention to build them so.
It is true that the front wall of the inner-room of tyanḍi Sévu makes us think, from its inside at least, of such a relievo vault, but this had been entirely shut off to its outside, and consequently not likely to have ever done duty as a “light-case”. Had Dr. Brandes taken van de Kamer’s objections and my warning into unprejudiced consideration, this meaning of his would not have been possible.
Tyanḍi Mĕndut has the outward appearance of a quadrangle with a somewhat rectangular wing in the centre of each of its four sides.
Consequently an icosahedral resting on an equally polygonal foundation of larger extent. The north-western forebuilding, which reached much farther, and formerly had been separately roofed in, contained the porch to which a broad and fourteen-tread staircase will lead us even now. This staircase is flanked by heavy banisters formed of composed naga and garuḍa heads we are going to know somewhere else.
However, among the sculptures we see on the outer-wall, Mr. M. Foucher recognised not without some reserve the main image on the northeast side as the eight-armed mahâyânistic deity Tyundâ or Tsyundâ, standing between the Bodhisattvas Avalokitésvara and Manjusri; on the wall to the south-east (the hind-part thus) he thought he saw Avalokitésvara himself, four-armed, and between two Taras; and on the south-western side he saw Tsyundâ once more, but now four-handed and standing between the very same two Bodhisattvas we see on the north-easterly outer-wall. On the side-panels of this wall he recognised the Bodhisattva Manjusri, on the south-east side Vajrâpani, the Bodhisattva of the second Dhyâni-Buddha; and on the outer-wall to the south-west he saw Manjusri again, the former with his sword and the latter with his book on a blue lotus. All the small series sculptured on the outsides of these heavy stairs refer to ancient legends.
The king of Siam told us that in the whole of his buddhistic empire there was only one image which, though much more damaged, could be compared to the colossal Buddha image we see 22here, whilst his brother, prince Damrong, called the Mĕndut Buddha priceless.
In 1896, and afterwards in 1901, H. M. rendered due homage to the Buddha image by a devout sĕmbah (salaam) and by strewing sĕmboja-flowers (Plumeria acutifolia Poir) in its lap; and so did the Queen.
Leaving the native village of Mĕndut behind us, crossing shortly after the small iron bridge built over the river Elo, and after having been ferried over the Praga, when a mile’s drive farther westward, we arrive at the little dukuh of Bråjånålå (or Bråjånalan) where we see the very small tyanḍi Pawon before our having turned into the broad kĕnari-avenue which leads through the native village of Bårå to the hill of the Båråbudur. Some years ago this tyanḍi had been pulled down and afterwards rebuilt again. Its name which means “kitchen” is clear enough to make us understand how the Javanese would have shown the striking contrast between this small temple and the other more extensive one, as if it were a kitchen compared with a mansion or temple.
Why then was this small ruin pulled down and afterwards rebuilt again?
It once stood there under the shadow, partly upon and among the roots of a gigantic tree, the most beautiful randu alas or “wild cotton-tree” (Bombax malabaricus D. C.) I ever saw. A whole, so strikingly beautiful that it charmed the eyes of all who understood a little the language of lines and forms (and colours), and of harmony and contrast. “An image of life which kills, and rises again from death.”
In 1901 conducting the Jena professor Ernst Haeckel to this spot, when on our journey home from the ruins of the Båråbudur, this scholar so sensible of nature’s beauty drew this rare scene in his sketch-book, and devoted himself for two or three hours to the contemplation of this combined creation of art and nature.
And even to him the mutilation this majestic tree had already undergone in its frame of roots beautifully formed by nature, seemed to be a sacrilege against—just as very long ago the destruction of ancient art—by Nature. But the latter worked quite unconsciously whereas the profaning hand of man did not.
I know full well the most insignificant remainders of this ancient Art to be of great value to Science; as well as the creations of Nature; in my opinion however, it would have been by no means necessary to fell this gigantic tree in order to preserve this small produce of art, though others with a less developed sense for nature’s beauty may be inclined to think otherwise.
The architect van de Kamer, one of the two members of the former Båråbudur Committee however, did not. He also thought it wrong to sacrifice this tree “not because the ruin doesn’t show us anything else we don’t know better preserved elsewhere; but because it might have been pulled down stone by stone, and then … rebuilt again without killing the tree itself.” That which had been hidden under the … tree on the north side was crushed long ago, and I therefore thought the felling down of this tree a useless deed and consequently a mistake. Attending in 1900 the Dutch Governor-general Roozeboom to these ruins we were photographed under this tree by his adjutant the naval officer de Booy, but the photographic productions soon faded. The following year I accompanied the Padang photographer C. Nieuwenhuis to tyanḍi Pawon spending one night in the Båråbudur pasanggrahan (resthouse). Next day he successfully succeeded in photographing the glorious group which still speaks of the truth I asserted, though the tree itself has been lost for ever.
The small ruin has some conformity to the many, almost as large grave temples, which surround the main temple of tyanḍi Sévu, in Parambanan valley, in four rectangles. Probably, also to those surrounding the terrace of the larger ruins of the Parambanan group in three quadrangles, still, these are no truisms, because out of the 157 small tyanḍis we dug up we found nothing else but their foundations only, and a few altar-shaped pedestals (without any escape-pipe for the holy-water the different sculptures were aspersed with, so that these pedestals are likely to have carried Buddha images) such as are to be seen in the small temples of tyanḍi Sévu. Other ones now adorn the premises of the residences of leaseholders living in these environs, for instance, at the tyanḍi Sévu sugar-factory.
But this conformity is not a perfect one.
A small square room with a very small porch we enter by means of some narrow treads flanked by the Garuḍa-Naga ornament, but 25this room is empty and unadorned, and I haven’t known it otherwise for more than 30 years. There is only a shallow niche in each side-wall in front of the place where once may have stood a pedestal and image.
On account of their height and breadth I estimated these niches too shallow for an image, a long time ago, and before I knew their destination. Just as in tyanḍi Mĕndut these niches may have been consequently used to light the inner-part by means of little bronze or earthenware lamps we also found elsewhere, and all this in spite of the very small and narrow air-openings, even those in the back wall which, though newly covered, only admit a very dim light now that the small porch, separately roofed in, has been rebuilt and covered again even when the two small doors remained open.
I suppose that, just as in other such tyanḍis, there must have stood in this dark inner-room opposite to the (westerly) entrance a small cubic pedestal without any sidelong escape-pipe, and thereupon a small image of the Buddha or of another buddhistic greatness. Beneath there, in a small square pit, may have been buried an urn containing the ashes of a guru or of some monk of high standing, and finally I suppose this small mausoleum to have been built by their surviving relations who generally but not slavishly kept within the provision of the existing examples of such a style of building.
The outer-walls of this small temple have been also hewn with demi-relievoes of Bodhisattvas and bodhi-trees with gandharvas.
It is an extraordinary thing that even the entrance of this incontestably true buddhistic temple had not been made on the east side but to the west. But as for the small tyanḍis Sévu and Parambanan they also did not follow this rule.
After having walked through the umbrageous kĕnari-avenue and the village of Bårå which we meet on our way when starting from the dukuh of Bråjånålå, we shall arrive within half an hour at the hill upon which we see stand the pasanggrahan, and the colossal ruin. By carriage in less than a quarter of an hour.
The first sight of this wonder of architecture is a rather disappointing one because, when standing at the end of the avenue, we only perceive the outer-walls of its south-easterly angle.
But this becomes quite otherwise as soon as we have reached the top of the hill, and got out of our carriages in front of the mentioned pasanggrahan lying opposite the north-west corner of the ruin, but which has been built as high as its foot. We then overlook the enormous mass of stone gradually developing itself in majestic lines and forms, in all the terraces, following each other in a regular range of succession till we see rise in their centre the high cupola now covered again by a cone with three sun-shades.
If we want to understand the overwhelming beauty of this ruin we must first try to know the whole in its different parts, and best of all, examine to what purpose this work of art had been produced by the Buddhists of Central Java who are said to have existed there more than eleven centuries ago.
I suppose that, when their predecessors left India for Java, they are likely to have brought a vase or urn containing some real or pretended ashes of the Buddha himself in order to bury them under a simple hill or in an artless dagob as soon as they had reached the place of their settling, to render these ashes to the worship of the believers, and to make them suppose as if this hill or cairn were the real grave of the Master himself.
The Tyanḍi Båråbudur (N. W. front).
But after a lapse of an uncountable number of years or, perhaps some centuries, this colony became a large and powerful empire, and—just as the Christians first assembled in grottoes or catacombs, and afterwards built churches rich and magnificent like St. Peter’s at Rome, and the Cologne cathedral—the Buddhists also disregarded their simple cairn, and wanted something better, something more worthy and beautiful, in consequence of which they built a dagob large and in solemn style, surrounded by many gradually descending terraces, walled in and covered with sculptures abundantly hewn, which was to speak, with the clearness of plastic art or in the poetic language of symbolism, of the Master and his doctrine, of the Redeemer and redemption, of life’s insufficiency and of victory after death.
He who would approach this dagob to sacrifice his flowers to the Buddha, to meditate his life there, and perhaps, to utter his homage in a prayer was obliged to mount all these terraces, and walk along these sculptures which became, as it were, a revival of the Buddha and his doctrine which taught him the dissolving in the nirvâna, the approaching of the infinite not-to-be as the end purpose of all life, and the deliverance of all the miseries of a sensual existence.
Many a sculpture reminded him there that self-conquest, self-command, singleness and purity of heart, veracity and meekness, and the love for all beings, either man or beast, were to lead him to that final purpose.
And if not blind with his eyes open, he reached at last the Master’s grave in a frame of mind so pure and noble, so serious and well-meant that the pilgrimage itself became a step on the right path.
But not always, and not to every one.
For even the impressions received there were of a transient kind, and it may be that many a one who went there for form’s or appearances’ sake only, remained as insensible of these impressions as he was of the majestic vista the highest terraces displayed deep down and far off on the surrounding mountains, valleys and plains, a view most astonishing, and culminating in the satisfaction of mounting the ruin even at this day.
Let us now follow the way the pilgrim took, and mount the hill which carries this heavy mass of stone.
Standing on the small plain at its north-west corner, in front of the pasanggrahan where we now find comparatively nice accommodation, and where once may have stood the cloister or dwelling of the monks who took care of the stûpa, we overlook the whole scene: a polygonal mass of dark-grey stone, a chaos of dome-shaped roofs and cones, of re-entering walls and projecting frame work, crowned by a higher situated middle-cupola the lost cone of which van Erp renewed after the copy of found fragments, but which was afterwards removed again.
We approach and ascend the outer-terrace, a tridodecahedral or rather a quadrangle, each side projecting twice outside in the shape of a rectangle, and encircling the equally polygonal temple.
This terrace has nothing to do with the original style of building. For about two yards deeper there lies another one, formerly extending three yards farther to outside, but now for the greater part hidden under a burden of 5500 cubic metres of stone.
Supposing now this lower terrace to be some two yards deeper on, we then arrive at the (probably) original outer terrace; but as its uncovered outer part has been lost since, we now can’t possibly ascertain its bounds.
When, according to my schematism offered to the Dutch Government by the board of directors of the “Oudheidkundige Vereeniging”, 29the upper series were dug up (1890) and the lower-part of the ruin’s outer wall had been uncovered, we found there heavy frames and bands, and underneath a series of 160 images much better hewn than the demi-relievoes, and for the greater part well preserved under their firm covering. Some years ago we had not the slightest idea of their existence. I proposed the Dutch Government to have them photographed so that they now have come within the range of the study of archaeologists.
It therefore appears that the first outer-terrace must have been twice heightened at its original foot, that is, before the last planned imageries had been entirely finished at its foot or hardly sketched.
And this must have been done by the Buddhists themselves to assure, perhaps, firmer foundations to the whole building.
But let us now return to the outer-terrace we mounted. In former times it must have been surrounded by a heavy breast-work which now has disappeared altogether.
In the centre of each side this parapet was replaced by the upper step of a staircase on two sides closed in by means of heavy banisters.
The banisters of such stairs ended into nâga heads with turned elephant’s trunks and gave entrance to the lower heightening.
Out of all still existing stairs, and upon those we now find ourselves there are other ones leading over all the higher terraces to the 30large middle-dagob we can still reach along this path without being obliged to walk all round these galleries, and without passing the imageries standing there.
On our first way we therefore only walk about part of the outer-terrace, along the north- and half east-side, and it is on this side that we shall mount the stair which will bring us to the very first gallery (also walled in on its outside) on the second terrace. And we shall find there the starting-point of four different series of alto-relievoes of which some prepare each other in regular succession.
Yet, these imageries, more or less reviving the heavy outer-wall above the outer terrace, and consequently standing comparatively high above the lower series we uncovered in 1890 (now covered again) don’t tell us any story or legend, but allude to symbolical ornaments only.
Notwithstanding, they can’t be said to be without sense, though we may not readily understand them.
They represent numberless, but continually modified repetitions of some motives: a man seated near an incense-offering or a flower-vase, and a man standing between two women, nymphs or servants; both scenes every time separated by a single woman’s image provided with a lotus or another symbol. This lotus may refer to female Bodhisattvas, otherwise I should be inclined to think of apsarasas or celestials, because I don’t see any reason for so many Bodhisattvîs. And yet, why not, provided that they are not taken as personal, legendary or historical Bodhisattvîs.
Don’t we also find them in other ruins (tyanḍi Parambanan, and tyanḍi Sévu), and in the Sari and Pĕlahosan cloisters?.
And on the top of the heavy cornice covering these imageries, stand—or formerly stood—from distance to distance, just above the sacrificers, small temples of a completely similar form, each of them containing a deep niche, wherein a Buddha image on a lotus-throne provided with the prabha or disc behind his head.
A square spire with screen-shaped stories reminding us of the Siam pagodae or of some tyaityas also represented on the imageries of our temple, crowned each small temple which had been flanked by two wings with similar but lower spires. And between every two 31small niche-temples stood—or stands—, just above the groups of the three small images, an altar-shaped stone-block, covered by a bell-shaped dagob which has or had been crowned with a conical column.
The front part of each of these dagob-pedestals has been adorned with a sitting man’s or woman’s image with a flower-vase or an incense-offering, or with both of them.
The back parts of these niche- and dagob temples formed—and they partly still form—an (formerly) uninterrupted cornice which carried the small spires and the dagobs, and beneath, a single wall-opening which, following all the re-enterings of the tridodecahedral, was only interrupted by the four doorways which showed us a repetition (on a larger scale) of the small niche-temples.
These stairs were and are still the weak points of the architecture.
Dissimilar as they are in height and depth of the steps, they sometimes occupy the greater part of the floor of the surrounding galleries. Even the doorways once covering them from terrace to terrace, but which now have for the greater part disappeared, were less proportioned to the whole, and therefore not always equally rich in style, and beauty. It still appears from that which has remained that the side-posts of these doorways—just as those of each niche—had been formed by the serpent’s bodies of two nâgas whose tails ended into the mule of a monster-head we saw above the doorway. We already came across this very same motif on our walk round the niches, and on the banisters of tyanḍi Mĕndut and tyanḍi Pawon, and find it back in all the Buddha temples in Java, especially in those of the plain of Parambanan, and in the ruins of the temple group of this name whose buddhistic character will not be easily acknowledged. At the foot of the doorway (or of the niche) these nâga-heads ended into outward turned mythical monster-heads which, at first sight remind us of elephants rather than of snake-like animals, because their upper lips generally (not always) change into a trunk curled up on their foreheads. Wilhelm von Humboldt and after him all European examiners, among whom the Dutch scholar Leemans, therefore took these monstrous figures for elephant’s heads without perceiving however, that they changed into serpent’s bodies when seen on the side-posts of the doorways; they also didn’t see the relation there was between these heads and the monster-head above the doorways and niches.
Many years ago I had been misguided myself, and in the beginning I even defended my error against the king of Siam who was, for all I know, the only one that disputed this, and H. M. succeeded in convincing me by logical argumentation.
In this ornament the nâga represents a power inimical to buddhism, and the monster which conquers this power by crushing the enemy’s tail should be, according to the Siam opinion, Rahu who also tries to devour the sun during every eclipse.
This is comprehensible because this Rahu has always been represented as a head only, and after that his body severed from his head by Vishnu’s tyakra, had fallen into the sea and perished.
When I afterwards communicated this explanation of the royal Buddhist to the members of the Mission archéologique de l’Indo-Chine, this mission’s director (who afterwards became the first director of the École française d’Extrême Orient), Mr. Louis Finot, the great indo-archaeologist, (even according to professor Kern) thought this monster-head didn’t represent Rahu but Garuḍa, the destroyer of the nâgas. And when I argued I had always seen this wâhana, god Vishnu’s riding animal or eagle, represented as a bird or as man-bird provided with wings and claws or at least with the beak of a bird of prey, the French-Indian scholar assured me he did know Vishnu’s representations seated on such a monster-head only.
It was I who afterwards found such garuḍa-heads with claws of a bird of prey (with 3 or sometimes 4 front-toes).
As for the rest Garuḍa is the deity’s faithful servant, and, according to the Buddhists of the northern church, Vishnu must have revealed himself in their Buddha for the ninth time. He is also the natural defender of this church, and the destroyer of its subterranean enemy.
In the form of the Javanese kĕris (creese) I found, for about seven years ago, the nâga mostly adorned with a proboscis and an elephant’s lip which may be taken as an indisputable proof of the truth of our idea about this nâga-symbol.
But we are standing, in front of the eastern staircase, or before that which has remained of it.
Northern staircase of the ruin of the Båråbudur, with the gate leading from the fourth polygonal and surrounding terrace to the round ones and the high middle-dagob. The only gate which has remained intact, with the Garuḍa-Nâga ornament on its frontside.
Even the beautiful banisters rising from above, out of a monster’s mule, and ending in a nâga-head with trunk curled up, are no more to be seen.
Eight high steps lead us to the first gallery.
The very first thing we see is that the two walls are hewn with two series of imageries richly framed, and placed above each other, whilst it is clear to be seen that this must have been done after that these walls had been run up from their combination of stone-blocks, and that an uninterrupted band of exquisite festoons has been affixed above these sculptures under the cornice of the back-wall.
Because of their having been modelled in relief style all these sculptures are therefore no basso but alto-relievoes.
The upper series of the front wall covers the somewhat declining back parts of the mentioned niche- and dagob temples.
On the back wall we see similar temple-groups, but all of them, even the small niche-temples, are crowned with dagobs and cones.
The three following and higher walls also carry such temple-groups, and beneath the cornices of the outer-walls we see a band modified for each wall, but always beautifully thought, and formed of elegant rosettes and guirlandes with birds.
On the five encircling walls of the Båråbudur we see no less than 432 niches provided with Buddha-images we are going to speak about afterwards.
We now turn to the left in order to begin our walk along the sculptures of the upper series of the back-wall.
This wall is the only one that has remained almost wholly preserved, showing us a comparatively well explained row of following 34events which give us an idea about the life of the Buddha Siddhârta Gautama, the Shâkyamuni, from beginning to end.
Out of these 120 sculptures we can only give a superficial description of a few of them that have been explained best.
Those of the lower series and of the two rows on the front wall of this gallery, and the few rows of the two walls of the three following galleries we shall pass in silence. Not yet all of them have been explained, and many a sculpture has been so badly damaged that it doesn’t seem possible to explain them. Other ones are lost at all. That which remained well preserved generally represents a worship of the Buddha, of dagobs or tyaityas, of bodhi-trees, or perhaps of different relics. Sometimes they also show us a distribution of viands, or other presents, a preaching, a fable about animals or a scene from the former lives of the Buddha as man or beast, or certain Bodhisattvas or divine predecessors of the Buddha, the Redeemer of this world.
Some sculptures are likely to be mere symbols. Formerly their number amounted to more than 2000.
Let us begin our walk to the left of the eastern staircase in order to return to our starting-point following the course of the sun of the 35northern hemisphere, going through the South, West and North. This order of succession regulated after this sun, we always find back on these and other Hindu ruins; more or less a witness of the northern origin of Javanese Buddhism.
The Siamese also followed this direction, and maintained that a walk to the right of the Buddha or the dagob, consequently with our left side turned to it, would show our ignorance or want of respect.
For convenience’ sake, and in order to assist the visitor in finding the few sculptures, we shall always count them from the preceding staircase or from the first till the ninth wall-angle, and begin with the eastern staircase.
The first scenes relate that which preceded Buddha’s life.
The fourth sculpture of the series (No. 7 of Wilsen’s pictures in Dr. Leemans’ work), or 1 after the first angle, may be, according to Foucher, some of the many Pratyeka-Buddhas in the park of gazelles near Bénarès, and, when a deity informs them the birth on earth of a consummate Buddha, one of them rises from his lotus-throne in order to be burned by his own shine and ascetic diligence when seven elbows higher in the air. The former explanation given by Leemans and myself, according to Wilsen’s, was inaccurate.
Further towards the South we meet more than one representation of Buddha’s parents, the Shâkya king of Kapilavastu, Shudhódana, and his first wife Mâyâ, honoured for the coming event, the next birth of the divine son.
The twelfth (23 W. L., 1 after the fourth angle) is a symbolical indication of Buddha’s descent from heaven in a palanquin moved on in the air by celestials.
The thirteenth (25 W. L., 2 after the fourth angle) shows us Mâyâ asleep, guarded by female servants, receiving the Buddha in a dream, in the shape of a white elephant carried by lotus-cushions, descending from heaven into her lap.
The twenty-seventh (53 W. L. eighth angle, 1) shows us Mâyâ on her journey to her paternal home. According to time-honoured usage she goes there to wait for her confinement. However, she doesn’t come any farther than Lumbini garden, and the following sculpture (55 W. L. angle nine, 1) tells us how she, while standing there under a tree, saw the Buddha born from her side, and how the latter immediately took seven steps to each of the four zones of heaven, and as many steps to the zenith, and that as a sign of his next authority over the five parts of the world.
A rain of lotus flowers falls upon him, and lotus-plants open themselves under his feet on each step he takes. The crescent of the moon on the hind part of his head must refer to his heavenly or perhaps princely origin.
On the following sculptures we see the young king’s son, most times on his father’s knees, honoured by brahmins and laymen. His mother is no more to be seen, because she (as every Buddha-mother) died seven days after his birth.
The thirty-first sculpture (61 W. L., 1 after the southern staircase) may refer to the brahmin who perceives the Buddha-tokens at Siddhârta’s body, and predicts his next greatness; however, in quite another sense than the king wishes.
On 77 and 79 (W. L., angle two, 5 and 6) we perceive similar scenes, but this happens more after all.
The forty-ninth (97 W. L., angle five, 4) on the westside sketches us Siddhârta’s authority over others, and also as for manly strength. In a wedding match (svayamvara) he bends a bow no other can bend, and sends his arrow through seven cocoa trees. On this ground he gains the hand of his cousin Rashodara, the most beautiful girl of all Shâkya virgins.
Four other sculptures refer to the four encounters outside the palace, which, in spite of paternal precautions, showed him life’s misery. What then would be the use of these precautions to celestial beings who only revealed themselves to him, and to his equerry and guide in order to persuade the next Buddha in giving up all worldly greatness and domestic happiness; in leaving his father and family, and gaining strength in a life of retirement, of privation and expiation, of self-denial and self-command in order to finish his heavenly task: the redemption of suffering mankind!
Outside the eastern gate he first comes across a decrepit grey-head (111 W. L., 6 after the seventh angle); afterwards, on his drive from the southern gate, he meets a sick one in death-struggle (113 W. L., angle 8, 1); and when he finds himself outside the western entrance a corpse shows him the end of life (115 W. L., angle nine, 1), and finally, outside the northern gate, a mendicant friar or bhikshu teaches him as how to gain the victory over life and death, and find peace by ruling all carnal desires (117 W. L., angle nine, 2).
On the sixty-first sculpture (121 W. L., 1 after the western staircase) he discusses his resolution with his disappointed father. The sleeping watchmen or servants refer to the night which passes on discussing the subject.
On the two following sculptures (123 and 125 W. L., 2 and 3 38after the staircase) he communicates his resolution to his wife (or wives), and his meditating posture, but also the larger disc of light crowning the higher seat upon which, among sleeping women and servants, he is watching the last night, all this speaks of the holy task of life which raises him for ever above his family.
The following scene (127 W. L., 1 after the first angle) tells us, how, in spite of closed doors and sleeping gate-keepers, he succeeds in leaving house and home to begin abroad the life of a poor wanderer seated on the noble sun-horse Kanthaka. The lotus-cushion carrying him again, just as it happened when he descended to earth, and which, on the next sculptures (129 W. L., 1 after the second corner) also carries Kanthaka through the air, speaks once more of his heavenly sending.
Then come the leave-takings from his servant Tyhanda (131 W. L., second angle, 2), and the taking off his princely garb (133 W. L., second angle, 3), his hair-dress and weapons (135 W. L., second angle 4 and following ones), and shabbily clothed in a hunter’s skirt—his first cowl turned yellow by long usage—he begins the life of the thinking ascetic whose sanctifying power we see continually indicated by the lotus-cushion and the disc of light.
Mâra, the wicked spirit of darkness, vainly tries to check him by offering him the dominion over the four parts of the world (the East, South, West, and North).
Far from his native town Siddhârta already began his new life which henceforth gave him claim to the name of the wise Shâkya (Shâkya-muni).
The following sculptures show us the penitent clothed as Buddha with the urna and the tiara, the ring of hair on his forehead, and the knot of hair on his crest, with the lotus-cushion and disc of the sun worshipped by princes and inferior people, by priests and laymen, men, women and celestials.
On the seventy-second sculpture (141 W. L., angle three, 1) we see him ask for being instructed by the wise brahmin Alara who is unable to teach his wiser superior. The Shâkya’s superiority appears from his Buddha posture and his lotus-throne.
On the now following one [143 W. L., 1 after the fourth angle] we see him near another wise person, called Udraka, and as this one also turns out to be his inferior he leaves him accompanied by five of his [Udraka’s] disciples.
On the following one [145 W. L., 2 after the fourth angle] he approaches Rajargriha, the capital of the empire of Magadha. Its king Bimbisâra and the queen come to visit him, and offer him half their empire, but the Bodhisattva doesn’t seek for worldly greatness.
The two first scenes on the north side [151 and 153 W. L., fifth angle, 1 and 2] place him and his five followers on the banks of a brook, vainly trying to seek strength [for wisdom] in a life of abstinence and penitence. He therefore breaks with that life and with his disciples, who wrongly suppose him an apostate and leave him alone to continue elsewhere their lives of penitence. Six years of misery convinced the wise Shâkya that a sound spirit can live in a sound body only.
The sculptor of these scenes incorrigibly hewed the disciples’ dislike in their Master’s changed opinion, which is to be seen in their spokesman’s posture. The hands of this man are a masterpiece of expression. It would be a loss never to be remedied if these hands were taken away, which, after all, would be of no value to the robber because they can’t give back the proportion to their arms and bodies. Nothing, however, is safe from the rapaciousness of foolish tourists-compilers.
The eighty-first sculpture [161 W. L., angle seven, 1] teaches us how Sujâtâ, the daughter of a village headman, takes care of the penitent, almost dying from exhaustion, and how she refreshes him with nutritive milk.
We see an almost similar representation on the eighty-fourth sculpture [167 W. L., angle seven, 4]. Such repetitions are more to be seen, though they are rare ones.
The Shâkya Muni accomplished his purpose at last. He got all knowledge, and truth became his power. He has ripened to appear as Buddha, the Enlightened, the awaking luminary celestial, to come in the world wrapped in darkness, to teach the true doctrine, the dharma, and redeem mankind from sin.
Seated on a heap of bulrush, under a fig-tree, afterwards sanctified as the tree of knowledge, the bodhidruma, he fights his last fight against the Evil Spirit which he knows to conquer once more; and the latter budges from his side for ever.
On the ninety-fourth sculpture [187 W. L., the first after the first angle after the western staircase] we see how the weapons of demons or false deities fall upon him as harmless flowers. A second and larger disc speaks of his increasing power, the magnificence of the sun rising in full glory.
The following sculpture (189 W L., after the second angle) tells us how Mâra tries to conquer him by the charmingness of his daughters, the apsarasas (the rosy morning-mists) (Kern). But though one of these nymphs adopts the shape of Yashódarâ, Râhula-mata (the mother of Râhula, Siddhârta’s son), he henceforth lives a life of love highly beneficial to all beings.
Teaching and honoured he goes to Banaras (Bénarès) such as the last sculptures on the north side will show us.
On the one hundred and seventeenth (233 W. L., eighth angle, 1) he proclaims truth to the five disciples found back, and now for ever his faithful followers and first apostles.
The three last sculptures of the whole series which bring us back again to our starting-point near the eastern staircase, speak of Buddha’s greatness, but don’t refer to his journey to the native-town and to the reclaiming of father and son, of his wife and step-mother, the first buddhistic nuns. The last sculpture but one (237 W. L., 2 after the ninth and last angle) speaks of his death, for the washing of his corpse hewn there, may only apply to his death, though the sitting posture of the dead one may seem in flat defiance of this. But this posture on the lotus-throne, with his two hands in his lap, is the posture of meditation or perfect rest suiting the nirvâna which is also the posture of the fourth Dhyâni-buddha, Amitâbha, hewn on the four lower-walls and dominating there the West, opposite to the setting sun speaking in a symbolical sense of the finished task of life.
Behind the dead one we see stand two monks pouring their vases to purify the corpse before the cremation will make an end to his material existence.
On the last sculpture (239 W. L., 3 after the last angle) the Buddha thrones in the very same posture, as the glorification of death, as the immortal Talhâgata who, in spite of his material death, continues to live in his holy doctrine, and who can never die as such.
That the study of Foucher’s work could also assist me in finding the sense of some other not comprehended sculptures may appear from the 5th panel after the 7th angle past the eastern staircase, which shows us the killing of Siddhârta’s elephant by his angry nephew Dervadatta.
When, for more than thirty years ago, I began to study the majestic ruin, I thought (like I afterwards wrote in my first essay about the Båråbudur) many other imageries, at least those of the undermost series of the back wall, and those of the uppermost row on the front wall of this first gallery, to be the representations of Buddha’s former lives, of the jâtakas of the man honoured by all the Buddhists of the northern and the southern church as the Redeemer of this world, the Dhyâni-Buddha of the Mahâyânists, for the last time reincarnated for about 25 centuries ago, and who enjoyed the rest of the nirvâna after having finished his heavenly task, but in order to reveal himself once more to a future world, that is, as the Redeemer of not yet existing beings.
When in July 1896 I attended the king of Siam for three days on his journey to the ruins, this royal Buddhist expressed the same supposition, especially with regard to the lower series on the back wall of this first gallery.
But I could not possibly study these jâtakas as long as I didn’t know any translation of the original sanscrit- or pâli text in one of the languages known to me.
In 1893 professor J. S. Speyer published in the “Bydragen van ’t Koninklijk Instituut” an English translation of 34 of these legends derived from a sanscrit manuscript, the so-called Jâtakamâla or the wreath of birth stories.
And in the same “Bijdragen”, but in those of 1897, professor Kern gave a translation of an essay which had appeared from the hand of the Russian Orientalist Sergius E. Oldenburg—as far as it concerned the Båråbudur—who discussed the representations of a few jâtakas on different monuments whereas Dr. Kern had been so kind as to inform me of them by letter.
It therefore became possible for me to recognise in the two mentioned series some of the legends treated in Speyer’s Jâtakamâlâ, and moreover, show some other ones elsewhere.
And five years ago Speyer gave at length a full account of the Maitrakanyaka legend superficially treated by Oldenburg, and hewn on six sculptures of the lower series on the back wall. Oldenburg however, had only mentioned five of them.
In November 1899 I visited the Båråbudur in order to examine all these sculptures one by one, that is, in as much as they still existed and had not been lost or damaged, or no more to be recognized since the engravings studied by Oldenburg had been drawn in Leemans’ work.
It is a pity that these drawings are not exactly true ones, and not to be relied upon, but we shall afterwards speak about them.
As short as possible I shall successively treat these sculptures, mentioning again their numbers they refer to when counted from the preceding staircase, and afterwards from the first till the ninth reentering or projecting wall angle, and begin again from the eastern staircase, and walk towards the South. Doing this I’ll have to count in the disappeared and consequently missing sculptures—and many of them have been lost on the front wall—, because otherwise the numbers after each new loss would become quite worthless. Corner-sculptures are those which occupy the two sides of a wall angle, in Leemans’ engravings divided in two by a perpendicular line.
Let us begin with the upper series on the front wall after the eastern staircase.
Second corner, 3, 4 and 5 (W. L., 16, 17, and 18.).
The Lord once lived as a rich man who did much good. One day rising from table to fill the beggar’s bag of a monk, Mâra, the Evil Spirit, opened a precipice before his feet wherein he saw hell flaming. But the Lord steps through this precipice, remains uninjured, 44and favors the monk, in reality a Pratyéka-Buddha, a heavenly saint, with a gift and the latter afterwards disappears in a brilliant cloud.
On 3 we see the benefactor with his gifts, on 4 he steps through hell, and on 5 the monk ascends to heaven.
Hell is represented here by condemned persons in a cauldron with boiling contents.
Second corner 11 and 12 (W. L. 24 and 25). The Bodhisattva once lived as a hare in a wilderness frequented by many hermits. Her authority over all other animals was honoured even in heaven.
In order to put her to the test, Indra, the god, descends to her in the shape of an exhausted traveller. An otter brings him fish, a jackal presents him with a lizard and a cup of sour milk (left behind by another traveller), and a monkey favors him with juicy fruit to refresh the man. But the hare who could give nothing else but bitter grass flung herself into a fire (burned by Indra’s will) in order to be taken by the poor man as roasted food. But now Indra shows himself again in his divine shape, saves the hare out of the flames, and carries her to heaven in order to adorn his own palace, and that of the dévas, and also the moon, with the hare’s picture.
On 11 the animals carry their presents to Indra, and on 12 the hare is going to fling herself into the fire.
Second corner, 18, the corner-sculpture and 1 and 2 after the third corner (W. L., 31, 32, 33 and 34).
The Lord as a king of a happy people. Five yakshas (demons), expelled from Kuvera’s kingdom, the subterranean god of riches, come to tempt him in order to ruin him. They ask him for a good meal, but refuse the best things the king offers them, and demand human blood and human flesh.
The Lord doesn’t wish to let them go unsatisfied, but he is not inclined to sacrifice one of his subjects, and therefore offers them his own blood and flesh in spite of his ministers’ and courtiers’ resistance.
The demons reclaim themselves and acknowledge the king’s holiness, he then admonishes them not to do wrong in future, but only that which is good (also, among others, to leave off drinking intoxicants).
Indra descends from heaven to praise the Lord and to close his wounds.
On 18 and on the corner-sculpture the yakshas come across a herd who praises the king’s virtues. On 1 and 2 we see them near the king.
These five yakshas were afterwards reincarnated men, and became the first disciples who followed and left again the Shakya-muni in order to join the Buddha once more, and to become his first apostles.
Fourth corner, 3, 4 and 5 (W. L. 37, 38 and 39). Now the Buddha of after life was king Samjaya’s son and hereditary prince.
One day, riding his white elephant, he met with some brahmins who asked him, in the name of their king, for the elephant. He dismounts and gives them the noble animal.
On account of this foolish deed he saw himself driven away by his father who acted at the instigation of his (the father’s) courtiers.
He mounts his carriage accompanied by Madrî, his wife, and their two children, and then sets off. Once more some brahmins come to ask him for his fine horses. The prince gives his consent, and puts himself before the carriage. Another brahmin appears now, and demands this carriage; Madrî and the children get out, and the prince takes his little son on his, and the mother takes their little daughter on her arm to continue their journey afoot.
Trees bend their branches in homage, lotus-ponds refresh, and clouds overshadow them, and so they reach their place of exile where they find a tabernacle built for them by Indra.
One day, when Madrî found herself in the wood to seek for roots and fruit for their meal, there came a brahmin demanding from her husband the two little ones in order to lead them away as bound slaves.
An earth-quake calls Indra’s attention, and when the deity hears the cause of this he also comes, as a brahmin, to the now childless father, and claims the latter’s wife, the disconsolate mother.
But as the prince is also inclined to comply with this demand of his, Indra reveals himself and gives him back all that which he lost. Even his place at his father’s court.
On 3 we see him cede his elephant, and the children have been hewn on 4. On 5 the yakshas conduct the princely carriage after having put out the horses.
Fifth corner, 1, 2, 3 and 4 [W. L., 48, 49, 50 and 51].
Time was when the Lord himself was a king to whom one of his subjects offered his most beautiful daughter. At the advice of his courtiers sent to her, fearing that the king would become crazy of love for such an strikingly beautiful woman, he declines the offer after which she marries one of his officials. One day taking a drive the king saw her, and took a passionate love to her. On his being informed that she had already entered upon marriage he controls his passions, and even refuses to get her from the hands of her own husband, because he places his feelings of justice above his personal happiness.
On 1 the offer is being delivered to the king; on 2 his messengers visit the virgin; on 3 they give the prince a full account of the state of things, and on 4 the king meets her himself.
Fifth corner. 5 [W. L., 52].
As a retired old sailor the Lord, though almost blind, allowed himself to be gained into embarking for a commercial journey in order to assure the ship a safe voyage.
A heavy storm flung the ship far away, and through unknown seas till near the end of the world. Return again was impossible and their ruin seemed to be inevitable. One means only could save them, and they prayed the deities for help for the sake of the Lord’s spotless virtue and love of truth. And this succeeded.
The storm abated, and they could return to the harbour. On their journey home through an emerald-green sea, the blind sailor, seeing with the eyes of other passengers, told them to pull up sand and stones from the bottom of the sea, and take them on board by way of ballast. On their arrival into the harbour this appeared to be precious stones and jewels.
The only remained sculpture shows us the merchants with their ship on the open sea.
Fifth corner, 9 and 10 [W. L., 56 and 57].
We here see the Lord as a fish obeyed by all other fishes of the lake. Because of want of rain this lake once dried up, and became a little pool in which the fish didn’t know any means to escape from the birds of prey. The Bodhisattva prayed Indra for rain as a reward for his true virtue, and the deity himself came to him, and 47it rained as fast as it could pour, and Indra promised that the very same spot would be never tried again by such a plague.
The first sculpture represents the fishes in the lake before, and the other one, after the rain.
Fifth corner, 11 [W. L. 58].
A young sparrow—it was the Bodhisattva—who despised all little worms and insects—was outdistanced by the other young of the paternal nest. When on the occasion of a forest-fire all other animals fled away he only remained behind, because he could not fly. Praying he knew to persuade the fire-god Agni into going off. Since that day every forest-fire died out on this spot.
We see the young sparrow on the nest whilst the other birds fly away in all directions, and while all other animals give way for the fire.
Fifth corner, 12 [W. L. 59].
It once happened that the Lord descended from heaven in the shape of Indra in order to convert a king, Sarvamitra, who daily drank too much strong liquor with his courtiers. As a brahmin Indra now offers the king a bottle of sûra praising the pernicious properties of this drink in so eloquent a manner that the prince renders homage to the preacher as a guru (teacher), after which the latter admonishes him to fear drinking that he might afterwards live with him in heaven.
The sculpture needs no further interpretation.
Seventh corner, 3, 4, 5 and 6 (W. L. 65, 66, 67 and 68).
In the primeval forest the Lord once lived, as a brahmin, a life of severe penitence with six brothers and one sister. Only every fifth day they came together in his hut to hear him proclaim the doctrine. As for the rest they didn’t see each other. Every day their two servants put the eight portions of lotus-stems on the leaves of the lotus, and according to their age they came one by one to fetch their sober meal in order to take it in their own hut.
Indra, putting the Bodhisattva to the test, took away the first portion during five following days so that the Lord was obliged to fast. On the next service the others assembled again, and saw how their brother had grown thin. Being informed of the cause of it everyone 48wished the thief to be punished in a fitting manner, and even three strange auditors, a yaksha, an elephant, and a monkey cursed the thief, every one of them in his own manner. The Lord, returning good for evil, hopes that this one and the other that suspected one of them, wrongly perhaps, may live to see all his wishes fulfilled. But then Indra comes, and accusing himself he says why he did so—and humbles himself before the Lord whom he wishes to serve as his superior.
On 3 and 4 we see the hermits in the wood. On 5 is to be seen the lotus-pond with the servants seeking for leaves and stems, and on 6 we see Indra humbling himself before the Lord.
Seventh corner, 11, 12 and 13 [W. L. 73, 74 and 75].
Another time the Lord, a rich brahmin, left everything he possessed, and accompanied by his wife, who didn’t wish to leave him, he went to the woods to live there a hermit’s life.
There they were found by the king who came in this region to chase, and touched as he was by the woman’s beauty he ordered her to be kidnapped and carried away to his zenana.
In spite of her cry for help her husband doesn’t oppose himself against this robbery, and when the king asks him why he does not the brahmin answers with an oration about the virtue of self-command, and he therefore compels the king to honour him as an ascetic and to ask his pardon.
On 11 we see the brahmin and his wife on their way to the wood; on 12 the hunting king, and on 13 the woman’s abduction.
Seventh corner, 15, 16, and 17 and the eighth corner, 1 (W. L., 77, 78, 79 and 81).
In the lake of Mânasa the Bodhisattva once ruled as a king over many hundreds of thousands of swans, and was assisted by his viceroy Sumukha. Their praise sounded till the court of the king of Bénarès who desired to meet the two swans. He therefore ordered another lake to be made in the neighbourhood of his court-capital which was much more beautiful than the first mentioned, and promulgated 49everywhere that he should guarantee the safety of all birds who came to visit the new lake.
The swans of Mânasa went there in spite of their ruler’s objections, and so the Lord himself was obliged to follow them.
Shortly after he saw himself caught by the king’s hunter, and all other swans flew away with the exception of Sumukha however, who would not leave the Lord. The bonds which tied him to his king were stronger than those which kept the king in his trap, he said, and he demanded the hunter to bind him first, and afterwards release his master.
This touched the hunter and releasing both of them the Lord now requests him to speak with the king to persuade the latter not to punish, but to reward his hunter. This happens, and the king offers rich presents to the two swans they decline, and now all the swans return to their lake.
This lake with the swans has been hewn on 15. On 16 the king is informed of these birds. On 17 we see how the Lord is caught whilst all the other swans fly away with the exception of one of them.
The following sculpture after the eighth corner, which represents the meeting with the king, is almost wholly lost, the other one is lost at all.
Ninth corner, 5, 6, 7 and 8 [W. L., 90, 91, 92 and 93].
Another king once pursued a sharabha [a strong kind of stag], and fell from his horse into a cleft over which the wild beast had easily jumped, but before which the horse started back in full run. The sharabha descends into the cleft in order to rescue the fallen man, and help him on his way home after having admonished him to persevere in all princely virtues.
The chasing king we see on 5; on 6 the hunter stands on the brink of the cleft, on 7 we see the stag [the Lord] run to assist the fallen man, and on 8 the latter bids his rescuer farewell.
Southern staircase, 2, 3, 4 and 5 [W. L. 95, 96, 97 and 98].
In another life the Master ruled as a ruru [another kind of stag] over all other wild animals. One day he rescued a traveller out of a swollen mountain-stream, and for his only reward he wished the saved man to be silent about the event.
Now the queen, whose dreams had never turned out to be false ones, 50had dreamed of a stag who preached the doctrine sitting on a throne. The king therefore offered a rich reward to him who could show him this miracle of an animal.
The drowned person was a poor fellow, and breaking his promise, he led the king into the wood and showed him the ruru, but doing this the hand which had served him to indicate the animal, fell from his arm as if it had been cut by a sword.
The stag now asked the king who had conducted him there, the prince mentions his guide’s name, and when the ruru recognises and reproaches him his breach of faith, and whilst the king has the intention to shoot at the man, the noble animal sues the weak man’s mercy who had by his own fault recklessly lost his welfare in this, and in a future world.
The king pardons the guilty one and conducts the stag to his palace, and throning there the ruru preaches the law of love before the whole court.
The animals in the wood have been hewn on 2; on 3 the drowned person is rescued; the king meets the stag on 4, and the preaching stag has been hewn on the 5th sculpture.
Southern staircase, 6, 7, 8 and 9 [W. L. 99, 101, 102 and 103].
The Buddha of after life once ruled as king over a troop of monkeys in the Himâlaya. They lived in a fig-tree, abundant with fruit, situated on the bank of a brook. In order not to make the tree known by its delicious fruit the king ordered his people not to have a single fruit ripened on the branches which hung over the water.
Once upon a day such a fruit unperceivedly ripened fell into the stream, and drove away to an open spot in the wood, where the king and his wives were fishing.
Never before had the prince seen or tasted such a fine and nice fruit, and so he went up-stream to look for the tree.
Seeing the many monkeys he told his hunters to drive them away. But in order to take to flight the animals had to risk a leap no one but their ruler only ventured to undertake. He jumps, reaches the mountain-slope situated on the other side, and seeks there for a long bambu which enables him to return to the tree. Armed with this he forms with his own body a bridge over which all the monkeys know to escape at the cost of the Lord who sees his skin torn to bloody pieces by the monkeys’ toes.
This happens to the astonishment of the hunters who now catch up the swooning king of monkeys, and lay him upon a bed of leaves. He soon came to, and when the king interrogates him the Lord answers that he did his duty, because a prince should serve his subjects, and not let himself served by them.
On the 6th and 7th sculpture the king accepts the fig, on 8 he and his hunters go in search of the tree, and on 9 has been hewn the wonderful escape of the monkeys.
Southern staircase, 10 and the corner-sculpture [of the first angle] [W. L. 103 and 104].
The Lord once lived in a wood as an ascetic and taught patience to all who visited him.
It then came to pass that the king and his wives came into this wood to amuse themselves, and while the latter took a bath in a brook, which ran there, the former fell asleep.
Awaking he didn’t see them any more. They had strayed to the hermit and listened to his preaching. The king found them there, and angrily called the preacher a liar, and menaced him with his sword. The wise man however, remained calm, and the king, embittered as he was by his wives’ supplications, came up to the pious teacher, and cut his hands, ears, nose and feet.
The martyr, who only feared that the king could be said to have killed an innocent person, suffered much more from his sorrow for the king’s fall than from his own wounds, but when the evildoer left the dying man he saw the ground opening itself before him, and fell into the flaming depth.
The frightened courtiers thought that the preacher himself had punished their master, and they asked for mercy, and dying the poor man blessed them, and also the murderer whose ruin had remained unknown to him.
On 10 we see the king asleep, on the corner-sculpture we see him go off to seek for his wives. I suppose the first and 2nd sculpture behind the corner [W. L. 105 and 106] refers to the widows on their way home.
Second corner, 5 [W. L., 111].
This sculpture brings us again in the presence of a king, the unbelieving prince of Videha, who lived a life of unjustice renouncing 52all virtues. There was a time when the Lord lived as a devarshi [a wise one among the celestials] in the Brahmâloka, and descended to earth to convert the unbelieving ruler.
As sure—he says—as this life has been preceded by other lives there will once come other future lives. He then speaks about the tortures of hell which fall to the evil-doer and unbeliever when he doesn’t mend his life, and … the king acknowledges that he is in the right, and bids the Lord to lead him henceforth on the right path.
The sculpture need no further explication.
Second corner, 6, 7, 8 and 9 [W. L., 112, 113, 114 and 115].
Seven hundred astrayed and exhausted travellers meet on their way an elephant, the Bodhisattva. They had been expelled from their country with 300 others who had died on the way.
By means of his trunk the elephant shows them the way to a stream where to quench their thirst and near which they will find a dead elephant whose meat will feed them. Along a shorter cut he speeds to the indicated spot, runs headlong into the bottom of a ravine and was smashed.
It is on this spot that the hungry wanderers find his dead body, and angels descend from heaven to sing his praise.
On 6 the exiles come across the elephant; on 7 we see them on their way to the place pointed out to them; on 8 the elephant is ready to fall into the precipice, and on 9 the saved ones worship the ashes of their rescuer.
I suppose this homage to the ashes closed in a tyaitya, as if it were to indicate a preceding cremation, should be taken in a symbolical sense only.
Second corner, 10, 11, 12 and 13 [W. L., 116, 117, 118 and 119].
This is one of the most important jâtakas.
As Sutasoma, a king’s son, the Bodhisattva was once walking with his wives in the garden of his palace when there entered a brahmin whom they invited to deliver a harangue about virtue. This harangue was unexpectedly interrupted by the arrival of a monster who put all of them 53to flight, that is, with the exception of the prince himself. Another king had formerly procreated this monster by a lioness; most times he lived of human flesh only. Persecuted as he was by his own subjects after his father’s death he called in the aid of the demons and promised them a sacrifice of one hundred king’s sons. He now came to carry off Sutasoma to add him to the princes he already apprehended.
Sutasoma resolves to follow the lion’s son in order to convert him and to rescue the imprisoned princes. But on his arriving at the den of the violent monster he remembers that he left the brahmin unrewarded, and that he hasn’t wholly heard the latter’s preaching, and so he asks for permission to do that which he neglected; afterwards the man-eater could dispose of him.
The latter who has already gathered his 100 princes after all, releases his prisoner hoping to rejoice afterwards at the man’s fall as a person false to his word.
But after having heard and presented the brahmin with gifts Sutasoma returns to the lion’s son in spite of his parents’ and wives’ supplications. Has not the lion’s son become his benefactor by allowing him to do his duty? On this ground he has a right to his commiseration and to be released from the curse resting on him by birth.
And when the astonished robber asks him what this brahmin did say the prince delivers so eloquent a harangue about law that the lion-man converts himself and puts all his prisoners at liberty to follow them to Sutasoma’s residence.
On 10 we see the prince with the brahmin; on 11 the former is carried away by the robber; 12 refers to the continuation of the preaching, and on 13 has been hewn the reclaiming of the lion-man.
Second corner, 14, 16 and 17 third corner, 2 (W. L. 120, 122, 123 and 127).
Once upon a day the Lord was born as the son of a king whose elder sons had died young. In order to withdraw him from the influence of the demons the newborn son was educated in an iron house (ayogriha).
Once driving through the residence the young man saw much that set him thinking; he saw how old age, sickness and death threatened everyone while storms, inundations and fire destructed their properties. 54Returned at home he resolves to part from the world and to live in the wilderness as a hermit and penitent, and to ask his father’s consent. All that lives, is from the moment of being in mother’s womb, doomed to death, is not it? And all that lives kills to save life, but nobody can kill death. Even the angels and devas can’t.
His father asks him whether this death will not catch him in the wilderness as sure as anywhere, but agreeing he says that death can’t find him unfit to the preparation for the transition in a future life.
The father agrees at last, and the prince devotes his further life to the dhyâna, the holy meditation which will lead him to the brahmâloka.
The prince’s birth has been hewn on 14; 16 shows us the brahmin’s homage to the new-born; 17 represents the drive outside the palace, and 2 after the following corner describes the prince’s life in the wilderness.
Besides, I suppose the corner-sculpture and the first behind the corner (W. L., 124 and 126) to refer to the prince’s leave-taking from his father and wives, just as it afterwards happens with Siddhârta.. Striking is the conformity of this life with that of the king’s son of Kapilasvastu.
Fourth corner, 2, 3 and 5 (W. L., 129, 130 and 132).
Living in the primeval forest as a strong buffalo the Buddha of after life was continually teased by a monkey who, taunting the wild animal’s inexhaustible kindness, perpetually came in his way.
A yaksha admonishes the bull to be less patient and to crush or thrust down the snarer, but the strong one answers that the monkey can’t be otherwise than he now is, and that they should bear him as he is. There is no better exercise in meekness than suffer a bad treatment patiently, and by which one may hope to set the snarer thinking, and make him turn from sin.
On 2 we see the bull and the monkey, on 3 we also perceive the yaksha, and on 5 the bull delivers his harangue to the demon, and 55know to persuade him into acknowledging and praising virtue.
Fourth corner, 6, 7, 8 and 9 (W. L., 133, 134, 135 and 136).
The Lord once living in the wilderness as a wood-pecker came across a lion who suffered unbearable pains because of a piece of bone which had remained in his throat. The wood-pecker relieved his pains by putting a piece of wood into the opened mule, and by getting the bone out of the throat.
A long time afterwards flying round and almost starving from hunger the wood-pecker met the lion again who was regaling himself on an antelope, he had just killed.
After a moment’s hesitation his former rescuer begs him for a little bit of the antelope’s meat, but the lion asks the beggar whether he is tired of life, and whether he ought not to be thankful that his life was spared when he formerly ventured himself into the inquirer’s mule. A lion doesn’t know any commiseration.
Ashamed the wood-pecker flies away. A sylvan deity follows him, and asks why he doesn’t pick the lion’s eyes, and takes as much of the prey as he likes. And the bird answers with a glorification of virtue; he who does good will find his reward in a future life, but he who returns evil for evil will lose the merit of all his good deeds.
The deity praises the wood-pecker as a wise one, a saint, and disappears.
On 5 has been hewn the lion in the wood where the wood-pecker comes-to him; on 7 the lion writhes with pain, and on 8 he is helped by the wood-pecker.
On 9 we see the hungry bird near the lion with his prey.
Major Van Erp supposes that this last sculpture should refer to another jâtaka. See at the bottom.
Many pieces formerly placed among the mentioned sculptures, have been lost whereas other ones have not yet been explained. But when we remember how those described here follow each other in the same range of succession like the jâtakas in the Mâla translated by Speyer, we then may believe that the not expounded and missing sculptures have had some connection with other former lives, and that even this gallery may have been a continuous series.
Oldenburg indicated indeed, still other jâtakas in this series which had not been translated by Speyer, that is, after the western staircase, 6, 7, 8 and 9 (W. L., 192, 193, 194 and 195).
The Lord hewn as a tortoise at sea takes the endangered crew of a sinking ship on his back, and carrying them ashore he offers his own body to the starving ones.
On 6 has been hewn the tortoise, on 7 the sinking ship surrounded by sharks and other fish, on 8 we see the tortoise with the shipwrecked men on his back, and 9 describes the rescued ones with their rescuer who is inclined to sacrifice himself.
On the front-wall of the fifth and highest gallery Oldenburg meant the second sculpture behind the southern staircase (W. L. CCCLXXXIX) to be the Lord as the horse Balâha, which, once carried travellers across the sea.
But as for the lower series of the back-wall of the first gallery he shows to:
3 after the eastern staircase and 1 after the next corner which should refer to king Dakshina Pantyala’s conversation with the bewitched nâga Janmatyitra; the latter’s exorcism and redemption by hunter Halaka (the Lord), and the hunter’s admission into the residence of the grateful nâga.
This nâga is to be recognised at the serpents in his hair.
Mr. Foucher fortunately gives us an account of this story (according to the text of the Divyâvadana) far more detailed than I could have possibly taken from other sources.
It refers to the Sudhana Kumârâ Vadâna: the 1th after the second corner, and following relievoes: 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38 and 40 W. L. It begins with the first panel south of the eastern staircase.
1. In the empire of Pantyâla there once lived 2 kings, one in the north, and the other in the south. The first was a good prince, and his empire prospered. The latter was bad, and his empire had fallen into decay. Probably, the first prince may have been hewn here.
2. The other bad king discusses with his ministers what to do to raise his empire from decay. Under the pretext of a hunting-party he inspects his neglected country, and then forms a plan to kidnap the young nâga Jammatyitraka from the hands of his thriving neighbour. Now it should be understood that this nâga lives in a pond situated outside the capital of north-Pantyâla, and as he knows to dispose of rain the country abounds with excellent produce even during the dry monsoon. Perhaps the brahmin we see before the king, will be the snake-charmer whose crimes we are going to know.
3. This relievo shows us a succession of three events. First of all (to the right) the young nâga kneeled down calls in hunter Halaka’s assistance. In the midst we see the same nâga, angrily and most unwillingly rising from his lotus-pond under the brahmin’s formula of exorcism, and in front of the latter’s sacrificial fire; but hunter Halaka kills the conjurer after having compelled him to give up his wicked plan.
And to the left may have been hewn the very same brahmin when he shortly before got the king’s secret command to commit this evil. In this case this episode should be exceptionally thought as a preceding one to both the middle-most and first sculpture.
4. The young nâga’s parents make their son’s rescuer splendidly welcome. On this occasion the hunter wears a princely costume which is above his rank (caste), but he appears without his host’s present, the never failing knot.
5. In the Himâlaya. The hunter squats down near the kinnarî Manoharâ he caught with his knot. To the left other kinnarîs are flying over a lotus-pond. To the right we see the ascetic whose words directed the hunter’s arm on his catching the fairy.
6. The hunting Sudhana, crown prince of the northern empire, is just coming on, and the hunter presents him with the kinnarî he caught. Fairy and prince fall in love with one another.
7. The king of the northern empire, Sudhana’s father, discusses with his purohita or private prelate, the traitor in this drama, who tries to persuade the king into charging the prince with the heavy burden to overpower a rebellious vassal against whom no less than 7 expeditions had already failed.
8. The prince bids his mother fare-well, and charges her with the care of his young wife.
9. Sudhana under a tree outside the rebellious town. Vaisyravana, one of the four great deities of this country, sends his general Pântyika with a troop of yakshas to assist him.
10. Once more in Hâstinapura, the royal residence of the northern empire. The king asks his purohita to interpret a bad dream upon which the priest demands to sacrifice a kinnarî in order to avert an immanent danger. The king hesitates, and the queen gives proof of her dislike.
11. The good heart of both triumphs, and Manoharâ escapes through the air.
12. With the assistance of the yakshas Sudhana performed the task he took upon his shoulders and offers his father the taxes and fines of the rebels submitted.
13. After having learned the reason of Manoharâ’s absence he applies to his mother again for help.
14. Druma, king of the region of the kinnaras, surrounded by his court. Manoharâ, seated on his left hand, relates her experience among mankind. So we find ourselves in the Himâlaya again, in this region of fairies and spirits hardly to be penetrated.
15. Sudhana consults the risyi who once helped the hunter on his catch, and who now hands him a ring and a travelling-plan Manohara had given him to this purpose.
16. Sudhana outside the capital of king Druma, where he comes across some kinnarîs who are drawing some water out of a well to cleanse Manoharâ’s body from all human-smell. Sudhana flings the ring into a vase of one of the fairies, and requests her to be the first to empty this vase on her mistress’s head. According to the text Foucher consulted, the fairy should have 59remained quite ignorant of all this, consequently the sculptor must have swerved from this text, or, perhaps, meant another one.
17. Manoharâ found the ring, and tells her father about Sudhana’s coming. The king agrees to put him to the test; to the left of this relievo we see him bend his bow to drive an arrow through 7 cocoa-trees. Druma himself is watching this, and to be recognised by his prabha.
18. He then gives the prince his daughter.
19. The newly-married couple is now enjoying their happiness in the woman’s quarter. In honour of them, and to the accompaniment of music, a court-dancer is showing her art of dancing. This fair dancer is one of the best proofs of the sculptor’s art.
20. Returned at Hastinâpura the newly-married distribute presents among their people.
In this same series follow 6 other sculptures referring to the Maitrakanyaka-jâtaka; a note-worthy karma-legend.
We shall find them after having turned the fifth corner of the northern staircase, and on our having reached the east side of the ruin where we are going to view the 2nd, 3d and 4th sculpture (W. L., 214, 216 and 218), and 1 after the sixth corner (W. L., 220), and 1 and 2 after the seventh corner (W. L., 222 and 224) all of which Mr. Winter photographed for me.
On the first of these imageries we first see a woman handling a balance, and probably serving the customers of the young merchant Maitrakanyaka. This woman is likely to be his mother, and if he himself has been hewn near her, he can’t possibly be the shabbily dressed and bearded man who stands next to her. This man rather reminds of a brahmin or a mendicant friar instead of a rich merchant. The man by her other side is not visible on the photograph.
Clearer however, is the following group in which professor Speyer made us known Maitrakanyaka’s mother throwing herself at her son’s feet, and beseeching him to give up his plan to undertake a sea-voyage.
The widow’s tress made the professor suppose that the beautiful moustache (with which Wilsen adorned this little sculpture in Leemans’ work) should be a mistake of the draughtsman. And he observed this rightly, and so did I after heaving read Speyer’s essay, 60because I have been able to ascertain in loco that even the woman’s breasts, Wilsen didn’t see or engrave at least, are clearly to be seen and palpable. To be very short the legend runs as follows:
Maitrakanyaka was still a child when his father was shipwrecked on a voyage. According to time-honoured usage he was afterwards inclined to choose his father’s profession. In the beginning his mother told him that he had kept a shop, and afterwards had dealt in perfumes and in gold.
Maitrakanyaka did likewise, and gave his mother the first 4, 8, 16 and 32 kârshâpanas he gained, that they might be divided among the brahmins and indigent. These were four good deeds.
But when he was told that his father had gone abroad on business, and as he soon saw that his mother could not deny this he resolved to tread in his father’s foot-steps in spite of his mother’s resistance who feared to lose her only child in the very same way like she formerly lost his father. Bathing in tears she fell on her knees at last, and tried to detain him at the last moment, but he gave her a kick and went on board. This was one evil deed, and according to the doctrine of the karma, the eternal law of cause and consequence, he should be punished for this deed of his as sure as he would be rewarded for his good deeds.
On the second sculpture we see him shipwreck, and after having reached the shore he finds there four celestial young women who reward him for his first good deed by letting him, for many years, dream a dream of perfect happiness till his karma drives him away from there, successively showing him eight, afterwards sixteen, and at last two-and-thirty more and more beautiful nymphs in return of the as many kârshâpanas he formerly gave away to the indigent. Finally he happens to enter a castle which gate closes itself behind him, and there he sees a martyr bearing a red-hot wheel turning for ever on his head, that is, the inexorable punishment to all who insulted their father or mother. This wheel the unhappy one will always bear till another, guilty of the same deed, will release him.
On the third, fourth, and fifth sculpture have been hewn the encounters with the 8, 16 and 32 nymphs, though, for want of room, we can’t see 5 of the 16 and 19 of the 32 nymphs. And on the sixth and last sculpture we first see Maitrakanyaka suffer under the torture of the red-hot wheel, but at a short distance from this we 61see him released by the expression of his self-denying wish, that another, guilty of such a deed, may never come to free him.
I think the last group of this very same imagery should refer to the conclusion of this karma-legend: the Bodhisattva’s dying and his transition into the nirvâna..
Foucher means that the four relievoes which precede the shipwreck, refer to the same jâtaka, and that Maitrakanyaka may have been already represented with his mother on the first sculpture where the son offered his mother a purse filled with the kârshâpanas he first gained. On the following panel, divided into two by a style of building, Foucher sees, to the right, the son in his last business which may appear from the goldsmith’s balance whereas the larger purse should refer to the very same one in which he gathered the 32 kârshâpanas.
On the other, left part, Foucher thinks he also sees the mother at her son’s feet. So does Speyer, and so do I.
As with regard to the following relievoes I refer to that which I already said formerly.
As for the seventh relievo I beg to point to my explanation, and interpretation in my “Oudheidkundige aanteekeningen” IVth (page 25 and 26). According to Foucher the sculptor should not have dared to represent Maitrakanyaka as a repentant sinner, because of his being the Bodhisattva himself. Anyhow, the redemption of this punishment by a deed of the highest self-denial appeared so very significant to me that it should not have been unnoticed, neither in metaphor nor in writing, but this would have been impossible if this punishment had not preceded the redemption itself.
And moreover, granting the one little sculpture to represent the older penitent with the flaming nimble on his head, it surely should have preceded Maitrakanyaka’s sculpture, and by no means come after this whilst M. first arrives in the town of darkness, and afterwards finds there the martyr from whom he takes possession of the nimble. And last of all, the separating trees should not have had any sense at all if they should not refer to two following events relating to the very same person.
I think it my duty to point to the following sculptures of the upper series of the front-wall which represent no jâtakas but refer to the Buddha of after life.
After the eastern staircase and the second corner, 15 (W. L., 28).
Buddha in a preaching posture forming the tyakra with the thumb and index of his right arm such as all Buddhas do, we see hewn in the niches of the highest, fifth, wall.
Lotus-throne and prabha, style of hair-dress and costume have been hewn in the same manner as those of the Buddhas of all niches. All round about him we see auditors rendering homage to him.
Western staircase, fifth corner, 2 (W. L., 235) shows a similar sculpture, but above the Buddha two angels are floating in the air, and near him we see stand burning incense-offerings.
After the seventh corner, 4 and 8 (W. L., 252 and 256) we see similar representations, with this difference however, that on the last sculpture the Lord has been hewn in the posture of the fifth Dhyâni-Buddha (like all Buddhas on the 4 lower walls on the north side), and that his curls of hair have not been finished.
Still other relievoes of this very same lower series have been explained by Mr. Foucher.
At the south-west corner, west of the southern staircase, has been hewn king Mândhâtar’s life, but not any sculpture before the eighth can be expounded from the Divyâvadâna text. The seven preceding sculptures are likely to refer to the same history the sculptor brought to light something more than the text’s writer did, who starts from the hero’s birth, and describes his acts of government after having given a short account of his youth.
Foucher’s meaning was quite unexpectedly confirmed by another writing, the so-called Bodhisattvavadânakalpalata which runs as follows:
“One day (king) Uposyada went on horseback in order to visit a hermit’s colony which had asked for his assistance to be defended from demons.
There were princely risyis who kept a stone bottle ready. This was meant for a sacrifice which was to have the power to procreate children. The king, tired as he was of the long ride, and before he could be prevented from doing so, empties the bottle. Returned at 63home he discovers an unpainful swelling on his head, and when the tumour had ripened at length out came a boy whose education was disputed by the 60.000 women of the harem.”
On this ground of birth the child was called Mûrdhyaya, and Mândhâtar or Mûrdhatar when both names are joined together.
It was the Kasymir poet Ksyemendra who gave Foucher this missing link to explain the sculptures.
On the two first relievoes we see the distribution of presents done in the name of the king that he might get a child.
On the third sculpture the king is departing.
On the fourth we see Upasyada dismounting, and the sacrificial vase he is going to drink from.
5 shows us the child got by this.
6 and 7 refer to the horoscope of the future tyakravartin or suzerain of the world, and the astrologer’s reward.
On 8 the young prince bids his father farewell in order to travel about the country.
On 9 he is informed of his father’s death, and his succession to the throne.
10. Between the young prince and two risyis floating in the air, recognisable by their large tuft of hair and their rosaries, we see some broken winged birds sitting on the ground. The curse of one of the 500 risyis, living in a neighbouring wood, broke their wings.
The king, indignant at such cruelty, denies the risyis every right for staying on his territory.
11. On his further journey Mândhâtar forms a plan to cause a rain of corn so as not to oblige his people to work any longer.
12. Cotton shall be cultivated no more, neither spinned nor weaved, and now ready clothes are falling down out of the clouds.
13. Taking offence at the fact they ascribe the merit of all these wonders to themselves, the king now produces a seven days’ rain of gold which fell within the walls of his palace, and with the exception of the king himself and his ministers we only see women gather the treasures falling down out of vases hidden in the clouds.
14. Mândhâtar marches out to conquer the world. The feet of none stir the earth.
15. A yaksha shows the king the way as how to make new conquests. The sculptor represented this yaksha as a brahmin-minister.
16. The guide brings the king to his pinnacle of glory. Two kings having a striking resemblance to each other, throne in a palace on seats which are equally high.
One of them is Syakra, the Indra of deities, and on Mândhâtar’s unuttered wishes he ceded to him half his territory. Only by his non-blinking the god is to be distinguished from the man-king, and it goes without saying that the sculptor was not able to show this.
17. Deities fighting asuras (devils). With the assistance of their human ally the deities gain the victory over them.
18, 19, and 20 don’t exactly correspond to the text which teaches us that Mândhâtar asked his ministers who got the day.
“The king” they replied upon which the creezy one tried to dethrone Indra in order to rule himself. Scarcely did he entertain this, when he saw himself flung down from heaven to earth, and dying he bewails his blind impertinence.
20 may bear upon his cremation, and upon the entombing of his ashes into a stûpa.
Out of the 10 relievoes in front (south) of the western staircase, the sixth explains itself.
A pigeon was caught by a falcon, and the Bodhisattva buys the poor animal’s liberty by offering the bird of prey a proportional part of his own flesh. This is the so-called Syébi-jataka.
Out of the 30 relievoes belonging to the lower series of the north-west corner, some 22 or 25 may refer to the Rudrâyanavadana. Passing the first 3 sculptures north of the western staircase we shall see on:
4. Rudrâyana, king of Roruka, consulting Râyagriha merchants about the merits of their prince, Bimbisâra.
5. A king receives from a courtier a square sheet of paper or gives him this. It is Rudrâyana’s letter addressed to Magadha’s king. So the principal personage should be one of these two, but who knows which? It doesn’t appear after all.
6. A reception at the court of one of them in order to lend an ear to the bearers of the letter or to take their leaves. All round about a large dish, likely full of rice, we see some 20 smaller plates full of other eatables.
7. Bimbisâra receives the jewel-case Rudrâyana sent him with the letter.
8. In the midst we see the box containing the presents made in return all which Magadha’s king destined for his cousin of Roruka. The principal personage is Bimbisâra again, who gives, or Rudrâyana, who receives.
9. Bimbisâra gets a precious armour from Rudrâyana.
10. Roruka’s inhabitants on the occasion of the present’s arrival made in return by Bimbisâra; a drawing with a silhouette of the Buddha. The bearer is riding an elephant.
11. Almost on a part with 4, but now Râjagriha’s messengers are sounding the praise of the Buddha.
12. Rudrâyana requested the Buddha for being instructed by a monk, and the Lord sent him Mahâkâtyâyana who now takes a higher seat next to the king. A declining gesture of the monk may refer to a refusal to preach the doctrine in the woman’s quarter. This ought to be done by a nun.
13. The nun Syailâ preaches before the king and his wives.
14. Such another representation but with a second nun standing behind Syailâ. In all likelihood an ordinator. In the king’s place we see a third BHIKSYUNÎ who may be queen Tyandraprabhâ. Acquainted as she is with the circumstance that she won’t live much longer she got the king’s permission for being admitted into the order.
15. The queen, after death born again in heaven, descends to show the king the way for a reunion in the Great Beyond.
16. Rudrâyana communicates to his son Syikhanḍin his resolution to become a monk, and so to abdicate the throne in his son’s behalf.
17. At Râyagriha the Buddha consecrated Rudrâyana a bhiksyu, and on his first way as a mendicant friar he declines Bimbisâra’s rich offerings.
18. To the right we see how merchants from Rudrâyana’s country inform him Syikhanḍin’s bad behaviour. And to the left how the 66son is informed by his wicked ministers about his father’s return, and we then also see how he therefore forms a plan to have his father murdered. In the back-ground we see Syikhanḍin’s mother in her own palace.
19. Even this relievo is divided in two. To the right Syikhanḍin learns that his father has been killed, perhaps by the man with the long sword. And to the left he seeks comfort from his mother who frees him from the heavy burden of parricide by letting him know that Rudrâyana wasn’t really his father.
20. But the equally unpardonable murder of a bhiksyu, a saint, weighs heavily on the king. In order to free him from so great a debt they now pretend there are no saints. Deceivers are those who mean to be arahats. To the left we see two cats, each of them in a stûpa of her own. They have been taught to answer to the names of the two first converts convinced by Mahâkâtyâyana, and to the right we see the queen-mother with her son who agrees with such sofisms.
21. To the right king Syikhanḍin in a sedan-chair. He tells his retinue to throw sand at the monk Mahâkâtyâyana. To the left the monk himself, released as he now is from the heap of sand, predicts Roruka’s downfall to the two good ministers Hiru and Bhiru.
22. From his palace the king is watching the rain of jewels which precedes the wicked storm of sand.
People jostle each other on catching up the treasures. In the foreground we see the two good ministers loading a boat with the mentioned riches.
23. Fate in fulfilment. Roruka and almost all its inhabitants are buried under the sand. We see Mahâkâtyâyana on his home-journey in the village of Khara. Through the air the tutelary goddess of the destructed town followed him to that place, and the monk leaves her his begging cup over which a stûpa will be built.
24. In the next stage, called Lambaka, the inhabitants offer the royalty to the monk’s disciple, Syâmaka, because of the wonder they saw, that is, that the shadow of the tree under which he 67took his seat, behaved to himself but didn’t follow the course of the sun.
25. In the third stage, named Vokkâna, the monk gives his mendicity to a woman, who in former life, had been his mother. Reason for the building of a new stûpa.
26, 27 and 28. A rural scene between two sea-pieces. On 27 we see a monk in a town fenced all around. Mahâkâtyâyana’s return in Syrâvastî. 26 and 28 represent Hiru’s and Bhiru’s disembarkment on the spots where they once will found the towns of Hiruka, and Bhiruka.
The 2 remaining panels, 29 and 30, relate the touching story of the two kinnaras who could never forget that one day, 697 years ago, man and wife had been separated in their millennial life for a whole night because of a swollen river.
The king of Bénarès, one day hunting for game, surprised and listened to them. In the one relievo we see the prince hewn in a standing—in the other in a sitting posture, for the rest both the representations consecrated to the kinnara- or Bhalâtya-jâtaka, have been hewn in the same manner.
These mythical beings I always called gandharvas because they always represent birds provided with a human head and bust. I never saw them with a horse’s head like kinnara’s have been described in Dowson’s Classical Dictionary.
With the exception of the Maitrakanyakavadâna, mentioned here-above, Foucher didn’t explain any other relievo of the inferior series of the back wall at the north-west corner, because we haven’t any data.
He also had no time necessary for a complete and decisive study of the sculptures we see on the 3 higher galleries. He only acknowledged their less historical or legendary sense but accepted their iconographic character. Some sculptures of the second gallery I thought to be Hindu-gods represented as Bodhisattvas, he, on the other hand, thought they were Avalokitésyvara, and Manjusyri. This does correspond at last to my meaning because Avalokitésyvara is nobody else but the deity Shiva, in this case Padmapâni, at the same time the fourth Dhyâni-Bodhisattva.
A short word about some sculptures we see on the three higher galleries. No double series are to be seen there, but the hewn panels, especially those of the back-walls of the second and fourth gallery, are a little higher, and have been partly modeled in an excellent style.
Wilsen’s and Leemans’ engravings are not always true representations of the sculptures themselves, f. i. no: 214 (W. L.) representing the unpardonably bad drawing of Maitrakanyaka’s mother. But for professor Speyer’s acute observation she would have been never recognised perhaps, and this group would then have remained unexplained for ever, if this sculpture, and so many other ones, might happen to be ruined at all. Fortunately enough, I ordered this group to be photographed for about 4 years ago, and these photos can’t possibly lie.
The productions, formerly taken by Mr. van Kinsbergen to the cost of the Dutch Government, are beyond my reach, and so I’ve not been able to control whether this sculpture has been photographed or not. I think it was not..
Let me mention another example of Wilsen’s inaccuracy, the thirtieth sculpture we see on the back-wall of the second gallery, and so much the more, because it might have been easily photographed. More than one expert did so, among others, in 1901 (in my presence) the known Padang and Atyèh photographer C. Nieuwenhuis. Comparing this photo with Wilsen’s drawing we shall perceive that the two inner-pilasters of the small temple have been wrongly drawn, and that the outer-pilasters, behind the standing women, have 69been forgotten; that the prabha (glory) behind the saint’s head, we see sitting inside this small temple, impossibly goes upward before the upper-threshold of the entrance; and that the young lions and the throne’s carpet have been disfigured as well as the garlands and prayer-bells, both in form and placing. This also refers to the visitor’s parasol, and to the flower-offering we see near him. The second parrot, just above the right bodhi-tree, and one flower-piece to the right under this tree, have been wholly left out. This visitor’s hand flatly folded for a sĕmbah (salaam) has not been folded flatly, because the finger-tips only touch each other, so that the sĕmbah itself is to be recognised no more. The right foot of this man the drawer also forgot.
It is not difficult to show such mistakes in other drawings of Wilsen’s; and I therefore suppose them not to be relied upon for the explanation of further particulars.
There where Wilsen copied monks (bhiksyus) he nearly always raised them to Buddhas by decorating their clean-shaven heads with the hair-crown, the tiara or usynîsya! as if he, who didn’t even know the text the sculptor had followed, knew far better than the latter! And don’t we know how he, just like Ovid in his Metamorphoses, changed women into men or otherwise?
I further point to the above mentioned sculpture because of the worship of the bodhi-tree characterised by parasols and tyĕmaras (fly-flaps), rosettes and prayer-bells. Such fig-trees are still cultivated and honoured by all the Ceylon (and elsewhere) pagodae even at this day, and in consequence of this worship by buddhistic ancestors the Sundas and Javanese always respect kiaras and wĕringins (banyan-trees) and other akin Ficaceae.
Such trees as we always see on the alun-aluns, the front-places of kratons and dalĕms of princes and native chiefs originally meant, I think, a recognition to Buddha’s fig-tree. The preacher and his 70doctrine are forgotten here in Java, but one of the forms of this worship still exists.
I mention the eighteenth and the twenty-second sculpture (eastern staircase, fifth corner, 2 and sixth corner, 1) because of the winged shell, the syankha, provided with payongs and tyĕmaras as a sign of dignity.
Even now Javanese princes carry the tyåkrå, the trisulå and other weapons of deities in their ampilan, and so Vishnu’s tyankra doesn’t mean that the person whom it is carried after, should refer to this deity, though it is true that the Buddha of the Mahâyânists must be this god’s avatâra.
Among the following imageries I more especially see Hindu-gods as Buddha’s predecessors. (Bodhisattvas).
The four-armed sculpture we see on 18 (southern staircase, fourth corner 5), in Buddha posture on a throne carried by a bull, the nandi, the vâhana or Shiva’s carriage, makes us think, even without any other characteristic, of a Bodhisattva, perhaps. The lost head might have given more certainty.
Similar images we find on 100, 101, 102 and 104 W. L..
On the first (northern staircase, second corner, 1) we see a four-armed sculpture on a lotus-throne in Buddha posture, with the glory, and in his left hand an elephant’s hook and a flower. The objects in his right hand are to be recognised no more. The throne itself has been adorned with elephants, lions and nâgas. The four arms near the single face may possibly refer to Vishnu or another deity, 71but not to Brahma which we see generally hewn four-faced: the small Buddha image in the crown only speaks of Buddhism.
And as Buddha, according to the northern church, had been Vishnu’s avatâra, this deity may by no means raise our astonishment because of his being represented here as a Bodhisattva.
Even the following sculpture (2 after the second corner) has been hewn four-armed, but too badly damaged to be recognised as the deity it should represent.
This also refers to the third sculpture (3 after the corner). The six arms may point to Shiva.
The fourth sculpture (5 after the same corner, W. L., 104) would not be easily recognised on Wilsen’s drawing. On the ruin itself however, there is no doubt whatever, because we here see clear enough that the upavîta is nothing else but the Cobra (snake) with a nicely modeled and crowned head. And this only speaks of Shiva or of his son Ganesha who has been always represented as an elephant or with an elephant’s head so that here he can’t be meant as such.
Another sculpture (W. L., 106, the seventh after the second corner) is still note-worthy, because the temple wherein it sits (not on a lotus-cushion) has been crowned by five shivaïtic trisyulas. Should this be a woman’s image it then may represent a Târâ or female deity, but it hasn’t any token to be recognised as Durgâ, the syakti of Shiva.
Unique of its kind is the sixty-ninth sculpture on the back-wall of the following, third, gallery (northern staircase, second corner, 2).
To the left we see a deity (a Bodhisattva, perhaps) in a temple crowned by eleven trisyulas. To the right such another deity (or greatness?) on a lower seat. Between these two stands a tree the branches of which don’t bear leaves or fruit, but swords and daggers. And beneath there we see a cauldron full of boiling contents hanging over a flaming fire. Next to this we see three (armed) men guarding three fettered prisoners who are likely to ask for mercy to the second, less great deity. It seems however, that one of the keepers is waiting for further instructions of the deity we see in the small temple.
The eleven trisyulas make us think of Shiva again, perhaps as Kâla, the god of death, the all destroying time.
Leemans thought this representation should be connected with a particular event or, should refer, in a general sense, to hellish punishments. The last mentioned explanation seemed acceptable to me, but then when taken in a pure symbolical sense.
The king of Siam simply called this a representation of hell. “Buddha sees hell.”
We may leave the walled terraces after having seen two other sculptures we find on the back-wall of the fourth and highest gallery which has no more than 20 angles and hewn wall-panels.
First of all I’ll mention the fifty-seventh sculpture (3 after the northern staircase). There we see a Buddha throning in a temple upon which we see, to the right, a flaming tyakra and, to the left, a crescent of the moon floating in the air on lotus-cushions.
And last of all I’ll point to the seventieth sculpture (fifth corner 2), showing us a similar representation, but where the tyakra has been replaced by the disc of the sun.
One can’t possibly wish a more eloquent witness of the harmony of the tyakra and disc of the sun, and of the connection there is between these celestial bodies and the Buddha, between Buddha and Vishnu or, in other words, between the Buddha- and sun-worship.
For completeness’ sake I further mention that on the back-wall of this gallery are to be found many sculptures upon which more than five till seventeen Buddhas have been hewn in different postures (mudrâs). In my opinion the king of Siam rightly observed that here can’t be meant any Dhyâni-Buddha.
Foucher gave us another reasonable explanation of these sculptures by connecting them with Syrâvastî’s great wonder when the Buddha covered all the heaven with the reflexions of his own body. For the sake of brevity I therefore refer to that which has been mentioned hereabout in my “Oudheidkundige Aanteekeningen” IV, p. 42 and 44.
It only remains for me now to speak a few words about the relievoes major van Erp recognised to be jâtaka-representations guided as he was by the text of the great work of Mr. Cowell’s and contributors.
In the lower series on the front-wall of the first gallery we see, on the second sculpture south of the eastern staircase, the Bodhisattva ploughing his field as a farmer. Performing this task he suddenly finds a treasure the fourth part of which he presents the needy. (W. L., engraving CXXXVI). This is the Kanytyanakhandhajâtaka.
In the upper series on the very same wall van Erp thought the last of the 4 sculptures, after the fourth corner west of the southern staircase, to be another Sigala-jâtaka. In imitation of professor Speyer’s however, I described this as the jâtaka’s conclusion, the starving sparrow asking the lion for a little bit of the prey he killed shortly before. (W. L.’s engraving CLXX).
And in 5 relievoes on the same front-wall, but on the northern side of the ruin (not engraved in L’s) he meant he saw the Mora-jâtaka, where the Bodhisattva, caught as a peacock by the hunter of the king of Bénarès, teaches the doctrine to the prince.
Another jâtaka has been still mentioned in Leemans’ (Engraving CLXXXIII, and CLXXXIV and 3 other ones), where the Bodhisattva died a monkey when he sacrificed his life for the sake of his blind mother. His younger brother did likewise all which can’t prevent the hunter from shooting down even the mother-monkey after having first killed the two others.
It is the Syula-Nandiya-jâtaka in which the wicked hunter is being severely punished.
According to the pâli-text the Buddha himself related that this former hunter afterwards became his wicked nephew Devadatta; his younger brother-monkey Ananda, and that their blind mother was afterwards reincarnated in his step- and foster-mother Gotamî.
Van Erp gives us at last an explanation of another relievo we see on the lower series of the same wall, but this hasn’t been engraved in Leemans’ work either. Consulting the ground-plan we come across number 120 which refers to the panel it has been sculptured upon. Van Erp possesses a photography of this.
It corresponds pretty well to the relievoes I described as 11 and 12 of the upper series behind the second corner south of the eastern staircase, because in the two jâtakas the Bodhisattva represents a hare who flings herself into a fire to feed a hungry traveller; in this Syasya-jâtaka however, the mentioned hungry man does not represent the deity Indra but rather a risyi or anachorete, who rescues the hare out of the flames as well as Indra did.
I further mention that each of the terraces under foot lies about 3 yards higher than the preceding one, and communicates with each other by staircases of about 10 treads on an average.
Further, that each gallery between the walls is about 2 yards wide, and that these walls have a thickness of 1½ yard.
And finally, that there are among the architectural ornaments, I didn’t mention, numerous nâga-heads with opened mules and upward curled trunks which formerly carried off the rain-water (from under all these walls) to outside from terrace to terrace. Nowadays this water permeates through the time-worn stones into the rather loose soil of the hill till under the ruin. Dropping through all lower joints, and between the stones falling asunder more and more upon which the heavy stûpa has been built, it can’t be otherwise or all this is to destroy the ruin more and more, and sooner or later there will come a time when the temple itself shall partly or wholly fall to the ground, … when the Dutch Government don’t know to prevent this by doing all that will be indisputably necessary.
And as it is a truth not to be denied that solar heat and rain-water are the two prevailing factors to cause the destruction of these and other ruins the only way to prevent all this must be therefore found by shutting out solar-heat and rain, that is, by means of a protecting cover such as drawn up and offered to the Dutch Government by Mr. van de Kamer. Any other manner of “restoration” will turn out to be a failure even when one may succeed in joining together all loose stones, and in cementing all the gaps. For the stone itself (andesit-lava) is so very porous that is used anywhere in Java for filtering-stones.
However, it doesn’t alter the fact that there will be no much chance that the Dutch Government will do what I also recommended her as the only thing needful. The late Dr. Brandes, the first official president of the “Oudheidkundige Kommissie voor Java en Madoera” had proposed a far less sovereign but cheaper effort to the rectification of this sorrowful state of things, and even the authorities in Netherland concurred with this idea of his, though they would be inclined to think quite otherwise if they could unprejudicedly examine this question in loco. And the newly appointed president, the competent scholar and great authority on Indian matters, shall he think otherwise?. Or will the rain-water continually permeate through and under the invaluable ruin, and carry away its bottom, and assure at last the ruin of the richest and most beautiful Hindu-work of art we possess, which, in all India and even in the mainland, speaks of the Buddha?… Should we then, as a civilised colonising power, not be worthy of such a treasure?
Oh, could I only persuade the Indian and Dutch authorities into willing and acting in quite another and better sense!
The major of the Indian engineer corps, Mr. van Erp, did everything he could, notwithstanding the limited means the Dutch Government 76allowed him to dispose of, and he consequently co-operated to the preservation of this precious ruin for a longer or shorter period of time. But this is not yet enough. Granting the means of our (Dutch) small empire to be too feeble to such a purpose—why then not try to form a Båråbudur-Society like the French founded a Société d’Angkor in behalf of the ruins of Kamboja, which not only found support from the side of fellow-country-men in Europe and Farther-India or anywhere else, but also from foreigners?
Finding ourselves on the fourth gallery we see there twelve-treaded staircases leading to the twenty-angled upper plane which had been walled in to its outside only. Successively (concentrically thus) we see there three circular terraces continually rising one yard and a half, declining three yards, and connected with each other by means of seven or eight-treaded staircases.
Along the outer-edge of the first we see stand 32 open worked dagobs or tyaityas; on the second there are 24, and on the third and highest 16, so altogether 72. And within this circle rises the majestic middledagob as the only real dagob or stûpa representing the leading idea, the final purpose of the whole ruin.
When standing on the polygonal upper plane the space between the spires of niches and tyaityas of the highest wall offers a strikingly beautiful aspect deep down and far off on the surrounding mountainous landscapes; a vista we enjoy far better when from the third and highest circular terrace. The whole valley of Prågå lies there westward at the foot of mount Mĕnoreh, a neptunian formation of volcanic materials—and, to the east, of the high twin volcanoes Mĕrbabu and Mĕrapi, and, to the north, of the Sumbing, the highest volcano of this part of Central Java.
All the open worked tyaityas of the round terraces have a round foot modeled like a lotus-cushion doing duty as Padmâsana which carries the sculpture (placed thereupon and inside) with its bell-shaped barrow.
The bell with square openings has a height of 1½ yard carrying a slantingly rising square stone-block crowned with an octangular cone rounded off on its top.
The large middle-dagob has the same type, but its wails partly rise in a perpendicular line above the foot nicely framed and hewn in the 78style of a colossal lotus-cushion in order to finish into a flat cupola rising for at least 8 yards above the highest circular terrace.
It was van Erp who found back some fragments of the large cone, which once crowned this real dagob, so that he was able to finish again this stûpa, now wholly closed again, and crowned once more with the basis of the cone.
The unfinished Buddha image found inside in its bhumi-sparsya-mudrâ had been kept outside, and provisionally deposited on the hill at the north-western foot of the ruin.
Now it will be impossible to reach this dagob’s top because the temple-stone staircase leading to this (it should be understood however, that the staircase itself did not belong there), has been removed, but a walk on the highest terrace situated at the foot some 40 yards above the hill-top is still worth while, and the eyes are pleased then with the very same beautiful vista formerly to be overlooked from a brick bench placed on the damaged cupola, and overburdened as it were with the names of unknown visitors scratched upon it.
Deep, ever greening and blooming, or, in harvest-time, brown-yellow or earth-colored planes, most often cloud-likely bedewed early at morn, breathing life and enjoyment of life, so to say under the powerful ribs of mount Mĕnoreh, badly bursten and highly crowned, and the cloud-like tops of craters of more than three volcanoes, and the active Mĕrapi still vomitting death or destruction in their surroundings, but also producing new life on the soil all covered with time-worn volcanic-ruins.
In face of such a stupendous creation we feel very little—yet, as the children of the very same creation, rich, and as thinking beings happy and great.
It only remains for me now to add a short description to the Buddha sculptures which made the ruin call: Båra-buddå or Pårå buddå, that is, the many or conjoint Buddhas..
All of them are in a sitting posture with crossed legs, almost in the same posture the Javanese call silå, but upright.
They are dressed in a thin mantle uncovering their right arms and shoulders—such as the monks of the southern church wear their cowls—and have the tiara, the round hair-knot, on their heads all covered with short curls. Even the ûrnâ, the little tuft of hair on their fronts is still to be seen on many a sculpture, and on the other ones, less accurately hewn, they are forgotten.
The posture of all of them tells resignation and peace, and may speak of the later final dissolving in the nirvâna, the joy- and painless not-to-be.
But the sculptor didn’t succeed in interpreting all the sculptures in this sense. Not all the sculptors had been equally good artists for they must have had much more work the best of them might have finished alone.
Among the sculptures placed opposite the five zones of heaven, the East, South, West and North and the Zenith, there is to be seen a slight difference in the posture of the right hands, and something more difference in the posture of the two hands with regard to those sculptures we see on the round terraces. All the sculptures on the five encircling walls have been hewn with their left hands in their laps, that is, with the palm on the right foot. Those on the four lower walls have (on the east side) their right hands with their backs, on the south side these very same hands with the palms upwards on the right knees; those of the west (opposite to the setting sun) hold both their hands in their laps, and those of the north rise their right hands a little above the right thigh, palm forward, and the five fingers closed together in a perpendicular line.
The sculptures of the whole fifth and highest walls dominating all the regions of heaven only distinguish themselves from those on the northern lower walls by means of the bent index of the raised right hand forming a closed circle with the somewhat joined thumb, that is, because of the stone’s brittleness.
The sculptures of the open worked tyaityas on the three round terraces however, raise their two hands before the epigastric region, the left one with the palm and the bent finger-tips in an upward direction, the right one with the palm to the left and the fingers bent over those of the other hand. Moreover, they all miss the glory and have not been placed in open temple-niches above a human and mythical- and animal world represented by many sculptures, but hewn in transparently closed graves, and in higher spheres above this world. There is consequently more difference than between the sculptures of the five encircling walls.
There is still another sculpture unique of its kind.
When, a long time ago, in the beginning of our last century, the middle-dagob was opened a double space was found inside, a smaller above a larger one, and, among others, a Buddha image corresponding in size to all other sculptures, whereas the posture of the hands tallied with those on the eastern lower walls.
This image having been unfinished can’t be ascribed to the merest chance or to an untimely stop of the temple-building, because the dagob itself, where it had been wholly closed in, was finished afterwards.
So it must have been intentionally left in this state, but I can’t possibly accept the supposition that it should refer to the future [fifth] Dhyâni-Buddha in state of being.
A future, not yet existing Buddha can’t be materialized by a half-sculptured image, and the fifth Dhyâni-Buddha is never hewed in the posture of the hands of the second, but always, such as on the northern lower walls, in his own mudrâ whereas the future Buddhas as Bodhisattvas were represented not only in other postures but also in another dress and ornament and with their own attributes.
Besides, the hypothesis challenged by me would not yet solve still existing mysteries, but would only give rise to other enigmas which don’t bring us any farther.
The explanation of the fact may be much simpler.
I think it may have been considered quite unnecessary to finish a sculpture in such an accurate manner like all the other ones, if it should be hidden from sight for ever.
What is the meaning of these different Buddhas?
According to the posture of the hands we may divide them into six—according to other data into three groups. Nothing more and nothing less.
The three groups are:
1. The 432 Buddhas of the open temple-niches on the five richly hewed encircling walls, all of them seated on lotus-thrones and crowned with glories.
2. The 72 Buddhas of the open worked tyaityas on the three round terraces, without any glory or lotus-throne but represented by the padmâsana of the tyaitya-foot. But even the human and animal world hewn under the niche-Buddhas we don’t see there again.
3. The only Buddha of the large dagob entirely sequestered, without glory or throne, but seated above the padmâsana which carries the whole dagob.
The posture of the hands however, ought to refer to six groups, because there are six different mudrâs.
Wilhelm von Humboldt was the first who considered five of the six Buddhas to be the representations of the five Dhyâni-Buddhas.
Three of them: Vairotyana, Akshobhya and Ratna Sambhava successively redeemed and ruled over three following former worlds; the fourth, Amitâbha—our Gautama or Shakya-muni—ruled over our world these 24 centuries, and is said to be succeeded, after the creation of a new world, by the fifth and last, Amogasiddha, the Buddha of love.
Especially in the posture of the hands there is some conformity between five of the six Båråbudur-images and the five Dhyâni-Buddhas such as we see them hewed in Asia. But there are also some points of difference.
In the Mongol countries, for instance, the two first Dhyâni-Buddhas are throning in the East; the third in the South, the fourth in the West and the fifth in the North.
Taking, according to the posture of the hands, the images of our ruins to be Dhyâni-Buddhas the East would then be only occupied by the second and the zenith by the first of them, that is, above the round terraces which don’t dominate any region of heaven. But this happens more elsewhere in Asia.
But which will be the sixth Buddha represented there by all the sculptures of the fifth and highest encircling wall, and dominating all the zones of heaven, but which can’t be a Dhyâni-Buddha?
That’s a new enigma rightly explained by the king of Siam, I suppose, and which I’m going to show directly.
And that the unfinished Buddha of the large dagob can’t represent the fifth Dhyâni-Buddha appears from the posture of the hands which would refer to the second, 92 times hewed on the eastern lower-walls.
Should it represent a Dhyâni-Buddha, it must be this one and for such an idea I can’t find any reason.
Had the Mahâyânists had the intention to place there one of their 83five Dhyâni-Buddhas, they surely would have rendered homage to their own Redeemer, the fourth. The four other ones may have only had a legendary-historical sense, consequently also the second. In spite of the mudrâ of this second Dhyâni-Buddha the image itself should not be meant as Akshobhya, but simply as the perfect Buddha, the Shakya having taking flesh as Buddha—for this is the meaning of this mudrâ even to the Buddhists of the southern church who don’t know several Dhyânis but the only Buddha.
And as these five Dhyâni-Buddhas don’t wholly explain the images of the Båråbudur, and don’t wholly expound the sixth, I therefore thought it reasonable to take all the Buddhas of the five encircling walls as one separated group, those of the three circular terraces as a second, and the ones of the closed dagob as the only representative of a third, whereas the placing of the sculptures on these five walls should be connected with the five zones of heaven Siddhârta took possession of after his birth.
Should this group represent the Buddha perhaps, with reference to the human- and animal world described by the sculptures hewed beneath there, we then may refer to Wilsen’s and Leemans’ and accept the images (taken from the mentioned world) of the upper-terraces to be the Buddha as Arahat in a state of supreme purity or holiness, in the nirvâna, perhaps. The Buddha wholly enclosed by the large dagob, and so positively separated from the world, may refer to the parinirvâna, that is, the wholly dissolving in the infinite not-to-be; death without regeneration, the final purpose of all life.
For this dagob is a closed grave in which for about, or at least, eleven centuries ago the Buddhists may have hidden the vase containing some ashes of the really died Buddha; a trace of the remainders of the great wise man, the spotless preacher; a minim quantity of the Master’s ashes, the divine redeemer of all that lives and suffers, that thinks, feels and dies.
Mr. Foucher starts from the principle that he doesn’t like to contradict the explanation as if these Buddha images were to represent 84Dhyâni-Buddhas, but he means that they should be examined more closely, and completed, and that the different groups ought to be judged again after severe study.
As for the present he discerns:
1, the bhunisparsya mudrâ in the 92 niches on the 4 first walls to the East;
2, to the South the vara-mudrâ;
3, to the West the dhyâni-mudrâ;
4, to the North the abhaya-mudrâ, and
5, in the 64 niches on the fifth and highest wall the vitarka-mudrâ (the gesture of discussion) and higher, among the 72 cupolae of the 3 circular terraces:
6, the dharma-tyakra-mudrâ (mark of distinction), and finally the only sculpture from the wholly closed dagob, hewed in the bhumi-sparsya-mudrâ.
So there is a slight difference between Foucher’s idea about the north-indian Mahâyânists and my defended explanation of the Siam Hînayânists.
“This is Buddha preaching the tyakra” said king Tsyula Longkorn to me, “and this means the tyakra”, joining the tops of the thumb and the index of his right hand so as to form something like a circle.
This seemed convincing to me, and I found this idea confirmed not only on all and still undamaged statues on the highest wall, but also, and especially, on a great many relievoes of the second gallery which represent the Buddha in a preaching posture.
It is true that the exactness of this view of mine had been indirectly denied by my great official antagonist, the late Dr. Brandes, but never did he dispute or refute this scientifically.
Mr. Groeneveldt, formerly the most competent authority on our Hindu sculptures in the Dutch Indies, thought the unfinished image of the middle-dagob to be a representation of the Adi-Buddha, and this would certainly have expounded this statue in it separately placing, if this immaterial primeval Buddha might have been ever represented in a material image. And there are more objections than only this impersonality of the divine primeval being materially revealing himself in the different Buddhas, and consequently not hewed 85at Nepâl and Tibet but only represented by a symbol, a circle or two eyes.
Would the mahâyânistic architects of the Båråbudur have acted in quite a different sense?
I don’t see any Dhyâni-Buddha in this Buddha, but only the perfect preacher having taken flesh as the Buddha, the Master, who, though he did die, continues to live as long as this his world will exist.
Each posture of the hands has its own meaning, and there are much more than five mudrâs even in the hînayânistic countries like Siam where one doesn’t know any Dhyâni-Buddha.
This also refers to the posture of the sixth, for a long time unexplained Buddha on the highest encircling wall whose mudrâ was rightly called dharma tyakra. Thumb and index, circularly joined together, represent the tyakra, god Vishnu’s disc, the sun, the symbol of the dharma, the buddhistic Doctrine.
Buddha has been consequently hewed there as preacher, preaching the doctrine to all people, and consequently towards all the regions of heaven. And this teaching of the king-Buddhist has been perfectly confirmed by the fact that on all the sculptures (especially on those we also see on the backwall of the second gallery) the thumb and the index join each other in the very same manner.
That this preaching preacher has been placed upon the highest wall will be easily understood if we consider the preaching of the doctrine to be the highest vital expression of Buddhism, and possibly referred to both the world of the four zones of heaven and to the one of the celestials in the zenith.
A few remarks about the sculptures of the original foot of the outer-wall we didn’t discover before 1886. In 1890 I proposed them to be uncovered and photographed, afterwards they were covered again in the ancient manner, and hidden from sight.
They have been hewed on a projecting wall-foot which goes tolerably deep beneath the heavy ogive, now resting as a socle again on the surrounding outer-terrace that has been afterwards built all round the 36-angled basis of the temple, but only on 24 of the 40 panels. The two sides of each of the double fore-buildings of the four temple-fronts built towards the different zones of heaven, haven’t been adorned with any sculpture, but the staircases divide the four middle fore-buildings into two panels.
Each of the 24 hewed panels contains six or eight imageries one metre long by about 80 inches high. A system of flat frames might have separated the whole series from the mentioned ogive, so to say, a regular combination interrupted by the staircases only.
If the 160 scenes which form this combination are to represent a series of following events or legends we then must try to find the beginning (like on nearly all other hindu temples) to the south of the eastern staircase following it from there through the South, West and North till the starting-point in the East.
This didn’t happen and could not have happened when they were photographed because the temporary uncovering began and was continued at more than one place at the same time without knowing how many sculptures there would be found. They have been marked on the clichés with capital letters for the different panels, and with figures for the scenes of each panel (from 1 till 6 or 1 till 8), but these numbers have been occasionally noticed in a just direction, and from time to time in a reversed successive number. On a few copies we don’t see any letter and number; they may have been cut off with the margin of papier.
Fortunately, the figures in lead pencil on the back-side could assist me, though they sometimes started from quite a wrong point.
The Dutch Government ordered 15 pair of photos to be taken from these clichés, and presented them to special musea or societies. I, the schemer of the plan, do not belong to the favoured. But the afterwards wrecked Archaeological Society did, notwithstanding I, her president, sent this plan to the Government for about 25 years ago.
Those who desire to examine these photos will find here the letters and figures in the just successive number of the sculptures to begin with C 1 south of the eastern staircase.
C, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6;
B, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8;
A, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6;
U, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1;
T, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1;
S¹, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1;
S, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6;
R, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8;
Q, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6;
P, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1;
O, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1;
N¹, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1;
N, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6;
M, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8;
L, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6;
K, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1;
I, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1;
H¹, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1;
H, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6;
G, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8;
F, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6;
E, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1;
D, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1;
C¹, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1;
Six of these 160 sculptures are badly damaged whilst one of them is wholly lost. (R. 5). Seven have less suffered. Twenty 88representations remained partially unfinished (C 3 and 4, B 7, A 2, U 4, S 1, O 7, N 5, M 2, K 4 and 3, H¹ 2, H 1, G 4 and 8, F 2, 4 and 6, D 3 and C¹ 4). Partly finished but for the rest not yet drawn in the rough are 3 scenes (H¹ 1, F¹, and D 4) whereas one (I 1) has been scarcely sketched.
On the flat frame above the series we see a few short indications engraved in ancient-javanese characters—dating, according to professor Kern, from about the year 800 of the Syaka-era,—roughly hewed and in a perfunctory manner, as if it were scratched in stone with a knife or a chisel, that is, above H 1, 2, 3 and 4 (twice); 5 (bis) and 6 (bis); F 1, 4, and 5; E 6 and 5; D 8, 6 (bis), 5 (bis), 4, 3 and 1 (bis).
Some of these legends are no more or hardly to be read but the other ones read by Dr. J. Brandes don’t teach us any more than that which we may understand by closely examining the representations themselves, for instance, that the sĕmbah of the persons seated around a tomb or sanctuary refers to a reverence to a tyaitya.
Some inscriptions may contain the name of the person to be hewed, and to assist the sculptor.
The unfinished and scarcely sketched sculptures prove us that they, such as on other tyanḍis at Parambanan, have been hardly hewed here on the walls of the finished temples.
In these sculptures I could not have recognised any continuous series. Among many a domestic and some rural scenes I saw two or three fowlings with a pea-shooter or bow and arrow (M 5 and 3), and one fishing (I 6); one war-dance (C 5) and some other dancings on the occasion of which a wind-instrument provided with a bagpipe (S 2 and R. 17) was played on. Further there are offerings of food or flowers to Bodhisattvas or other venerable personalities, and once to the Dhyâni-Buddha Amitâbha, the Redeemer of this world 89(K 3), by six crowned men and to be distinguished by their glories (Bodhisattvas perhaps?)
On one sculpture (K 2) Amitâbha (?) has been four times represented as an ascetic in the wilderness. Sometimes there are hewed demons or raksyasas, most often attacking or killing other people (M 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8); tyaityas are to be seen more than once (U 3, T 6, 4 and 3, K 4, G 6, F 6, E 6, D 8, 6 and 3, and C¹ 6). Bodhi-trees covered by payongs and some gandharvas under their shade, such as to be found more than once in the Parambanan ruins and speaking of Buddhism even there, have been hewed five times (K 6, G 4, F 3 (bis) E 4 and C¹ 6), and once with a payong only (D 1). Vishnu’s tyakra has been once represented on a lotus-cushion in the sky (C 2).
In a small compass I suppose to have mentioned all that may be discussed about the three buddhistic monuments speaking in this valley, on the two banks of the river Prågå, of a former high civilisation and of a very developed art.
Those who require, or desire, a better insight into the ancient Buddhism, and those who wish to know more about its sanctuaries to be found here in Java and elsewhere in India, are kindly referred to the works I consulted by the study of this subject, and to those I wrote myself and which have been for the greater part mentioned in or at the bottom of the text of this little book.
Granting Buddhism to have been lost in Java and elsewhere in India,—yet, it still exists, more or less degenerated, still counting more followers than any other religion ever counted, and its lucky freedom from bigotry, especially in the hînayânistic countries, and noble doctrine of love and self-command is raised above all suspicion.
Jogjakartå, October, November 1906, and 1911.
See, among others, H. Kern’s “Geschiedenis van het Boeddhisme”, II, page 308 and following ones, and Dr. S. Lefman’s “Geschichte des alten Indiëns”, Berlin 1880, page 768 and following ones, and the engravings on page 769 and the picture “Der Açokafelsen van Girnaroden Junàgadh im Jahre 1869”, in the 3d number of this work opposite to page 257.
See my illustrated work published in 1893 by “het Koninklijk Instituut voor de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde van N. I.” entitled: “Tyanḍi Parambanan na de ontgraving” and therein the photo’s of many deities represented as Bodhisatthvas, and my “Boeddhistische tempel- en klooster-bouwvallen in de Parambanan-vlakte”. Surabaya 1907.
In the Buddha pagodae I visited in Ceylon, at Colombo and its environs, I saw badly hewn or coloured images of Shiva and of Ganesja. The monks called these images the representations of Buddha.
See the English translation of his “Record of the Buddhist Religion as practised in India and the Malay Archipelago (A. D. 671-695)” by the Japanese scholar I Takakusu., provided with a preface of prof Max Müller and published by the Clarendon press at Oxford in 1896. Pages XXII, XXV, XXXIX and XLVIII of the “General Introduction.”
In a temple at Kandy in Ceylon is kept a tooth which, though of animal origin, took the place of a former so-called Buddha-tooth which has been destroyed by fire. This tooth, named Dalada, is taken care of, and honoured too. And the holiest pagoda in this island, the Thuparama, possesses one of Buddha’s clavicles, according to the assertion of its believers certainly with as much right as the Catholic Christians maintain the genuineness of many a relic of Jesus and the apostles.
Even the ashes of other saints, princes and noble men, of gurus or teachers, of priests or monks, were occasionally put away in such graves upon which arose the glorious mausolea the ruins of which we still admire at this day.
It won’t do maintaining that these dagobs should have been formed after the lotus, the holy padma, and that its openings in the transparent dagobs on the round terraces above the Båråbudur must represent the empty seed-holes of the nursery of the ripe lotus. The leaves of a lotus (Nelumbium speciosum Willd) fall off before bending downward, and then the pericarp only remains on its stem like a urned cone or cupola whose flat, uprighted and afterwards, by the sagging of the withering stem, downrighted base has been stung by the seed-holes. Not the bell-shaped sides, for they remain closed. So these openings must have quite another sense than the one derived from the natural form of the lotus-plant.
Only the red lotus, the Nelumbium speciosum referring to all this, and recognisable by its peduncles and leaf stalks rising high above the water, has been frequently represented on Hindu temples. But not the white lotus, the Nymphae Lotus Linn., the leaves and flowers of which are floating on the surface of the water.
Professor Kern wrote to me that the alphabetical writing of the inscriptions we see on some demi-relievoes on the outer-walls should date from the year 800, or thereabouts, of the Shaka era, thus our ninth century. And this rather corresponds to the age of the Buddha temples in the plain of Parambanan. Does not a stone of one of these tyanḍis testify to this temple’s having been built in the year 701 of the shaka era, and dedicated to the service of Târâ in honour of the prince’s guru or teacher, who may have been buried there? And in the year 415 the Chinese Buddhist, Fa Hien, when in Java, came across many a brahmin Hindu. He didn’t speak about Buddhists, but this circumstance alone does not prove his not having met co-religionists, nor does it produce any evidence of their non-existence in the interior of Java he didn’t visit probably. I Tsing see note says that the inhabitants of Java and of the other islands of the Archipelago principally embraced Hînayânism. “Buddhism was … chiefly the Hînayâna” (page XLVII), and “the ten or more islands of the Southern Sea (Sumatra, Java etc.) generally belong to the Hînayâna.” (page XXX). Such happened in our seventh century.
See his essay about Aymonier’s: “Le Cambodge”, I, written in the “Bulletin de l’Ecole française d’Extréme-Orient”, II, page 83 note 4.
Attap means palm-fronds used for thatch by the Javanese (Chambers).
The scaffolding has been removed since, and the stone roof was rebuilt by the major engineer Van Erp. 1911.
This prabha has been also restored. 1911.
The heavy colonnades of which will be sacrificed to the swelling waters of the river Nile. But they are doomed to destruction because this stream must vivify the rainless country.
I, number 3, p. 249 and II, number 1, p. 20 and 30.
“Oudheidkundige Aanteekeningen” IV, p. 59 and 60.
This cone’s top has been removed again because of Mr. van Erp’s having been unable to prove his reproduction of this cone with its umbrellas to be incontestably true.
This idea of mine about the graduation of the Båråbudur’s origin is given as a questionable hypothesis. However great the consequences were, we can not know until we have compared the alto-relievoes of these and other Javanese Hindu-temples with the artless wall-paintings I saw in the Ceylon pagodae.
Buddha himself thought it useless to pray, but the Buddhists of later times prayed however, but didn’t worship the images themselves. The Chinese—very degenerated Buddhists—light their pipes on the flames of the consecrated waxcandles burning on the altar, and consider this no sacrilege.
According to Rhys Davids’s work, nirvâna means the state of holiness which ripes man for death without regeneration, the so-called parinirvâna. But the signification of nirvâna itself differs in proportion to time and caste.
This superstratum is about 2,5 yard high and 7 yards wide. The lower terrace on the outside was about 3 yards wider, and 1 yard high. These numbers are nearly just and sufficient enough to my purpose.
At that time I could not have thought of a permanent uncovering, because the preservation of the whole ruin would have required retain-walls too expensive, and too much disfiguring the temple itself. The architect van de Kamer thought it afterwards possible, but expensive, to have the ruin restored again, and its original foot permanently uncovered. Sunlight, heat and rain-water however, would do much to its decay unless the ruin itself became wholly covered. Otherwise the time-worn joints becoming more and more wide would admit much more rain-water between the stones into the earth of the hill under the ruin, and this earth would then be carried away more rapidly than is the case now, and have the ruin spoilt and decayed.
Above the first discovered imageries of the foot we found inscriptions in ancient Javanese characters scratched in stone. On this ground the Society, presided by myself, proposed the Dutch Government to have the whole temple’s foot uncovered (in the only way possible) without endangering the foot itself, whilst the cost was estimated at £ 768. The Government put up with it, and granted the necessary sum for the budget of 1890.
As well as so many angels painted by our artists don’t always represent a Gabriel, a Raphael or a Michael.
Bulletin de l’école française d’Extrême Orient, I, No: 1 page 21-22.
Both this Nâga and Garuḍa are mythical beings who adopt different shapes.
On the lower wall 4 × 26 = 104
on the second ” 4 × 26 = 104
on the third ” 4 × 22 = 88
on the fourth ” 4 × 18 = 72
and on the fifth ” 4 × 16 = 64
The first effort to interpret this series we owe to the Austrian draughtsman in Netherlands-Indian civil service F. C. Wilsen.
We shall afterwards speak about these former lives or jâtakas. It was Mr. Foucher who afterwards expounded many representations, and after him, van Erp also explained another few ones.
If we don’t count those on the front sides of the more than 400 small dagobs, we see there:
On the outer-wall, above 408
”””” below 160
on the front-wall of the first gallery 568
on the back-wall 240
on the second gallery in front 192
”””” behind 108
third gallery, in front 165
”” behind 88
fourth gallery, in front 142
”” behind 70
The relation of this fact with the apparent course of the sun to the inhabitants of the northern hemisphere in which Farther India, and Hindostan are situated, was, thus far, shown by nobody before me (in 1887). Still it is an important fact to those who believe the Buddha a sun-god.
Of North-India where Buddhism first arose.
Pratyeka-Buddhas are believers raised by their own consummating to the dignity of a Buddha; they have, however, no right to teach or redeem other people.
One of these servants massages her like the Javanese still do (pidjĕt); another fans her or chases away annoying flies and gnats.
I think it permitted to show the relation there is between this representation, and the placing of the five Dhyâni-Buddhas we see on the highest (round) terraces, opposite to the zenith, and upon the encircling walls opposite to the four zones of heaven.
Dr. Leemans thought he saw in this crescent of the moon the tips of a headkerchief. Had he seen the sculptures himself he would not have been mistaken in such a way. Siddhârta wears a crown (makuta), and this doesn’t match the headkerchief, neither does the Javanese kuluq or ceremonial cap. Such crescents of the moon are also weared by Hâritî’s and Kuvera’s children on the two sculptures before the entrance of tyanḍi Mĕndut, but without headkerchiefs.
Kern says that Buddha means both the awaking of the sun and of the moon and that the two celestial bodies also refer to Buddha on the other sculptures of the Båråbudur. Had the Dutch Government sent Leemans to Java, before he wrote his work, he should not have taken a sénté-leaf (Alocasia macrorrhiza Schott, an Aroïdee consequently) for a banana-leaf (Musa L.,) but he should then have seen how even this leaf is still used by the Javanese as a provisional umbrella, and he should have understood why in former times it was carried as ampilan after the saints and princes, just as the cow’s hair fly-fan. (tjemara).
Occasionally called Gopa. Some people say these are the names of two women, and as the 45th sculpture (107 W. L.) represents him enjoying his domestic happiness the schemer should then have thought of two women. Ceylon writers know to tell us that 1000 men could not bend this bow, and that the blow of its string was heard at a distance of 7000 miles. This bowshot which enabled him to gain his bride’s hand has been also mentioned in other legends—it was once awarded to Râma in the Ramâyâna, and to Arjuna in the Mahâbhârata. In Homeros’ Odyssea Penelope’s lovers vainly try to do the same with Odysseus’ bow upon which all were convinced by his mastershot, and killed.
The evil spirit had no authority over the fifth part of the world, the zenith.
According to other people muni means an anchoret or ascetic.
Leemans calls him Arala Kalama.
In Leeman’s work Rudra.
The Javanese would now say griyå råjå, that is, royal house.
Who these 5 apostles were in former lives another series of sculptures on the front wall of this gallery will teach us.
On one of the sculptures at Parambanan we see the death of king Dasyaratha, Rama’s father, represented in almost the same manner.
In “de Indische Gids” of 1887.
The writings of the Mahâyânists have been written in sanscrit, those of the Hînayânists generally in the pâli language.
Speyer and other sanscrit scholars write: Jâtaka according to an acknowledged manner of writing which replaces the Dutch dj by the j, the j, by the y, the tj by c. Because I also write for laymen who don’t know this writing I try to do my best to replace these consonants by our own, and therefore write tyakra and tyaitya instead of cakra and caitya what would seduce many a one to say kakra and kaitya. In English of course, we write j instead of the Dutch dj.
Engraving CXXXVIII and following ones.
By the Dutch called: “the little man in the moon.” About such another jâtaka, explained by Van Erp, look at the bottom of this page.
See above, the sculptures 73, 77, 78 and 117.
This happens more amongst the jâtakas.
Like anywhere we also see here the red Nelumbium speciosum hewn as a lotus plant with its leaves and flower rising above the water; but not the white Nymphaea Lotus the leaves and flowers of which are driving on the surface of the water.
The eternal hell of the Christians as a punishment for temporary sin the Buddhists don’t know.
See W. L., 121, 123 and 125 of the upper series of the back-wall.
In Mr. A. Tissandier’s work “Cambodge et Java” published by Mason at Paris in 1896, we find opposite page 124 a good engraving of this last sculpture (picture XXVIII); but the author, who even dares maintain that this whole series has nothing to do with Buddhism, says that it represents a young, richly diademed Hindu worshipping the bull (the nandi) of Shiva! By so much ignorance Tissandier blames his work, and … himself. Striving we may err, but let us at any case strive after science within reach.
I thought we should not think here of the mythical subterranean serpents, but of a likewise called and fabulous tribe.
But Mr. Foucher didn’t agree with me. The nâgas, he said, are generally hewn as serpents, but often as men with snaky hair.
In the “Bijdragen van ’t Koninklijk Instituut” of 1907.
Those who desire to know more about the deeper, mythical sense of these jâtakas are kindly referred to professor Speyer’s essay or my “Een karma-legende” provided with 6 photo’s of the photographer A. Winter, published by the firm H. van Ingen at Surabaya.
See at the bottom of this page.
The Jâtakamâlâ V, 15, tells us that the clouds “weeped like water-jars turned about.”
See my above mentioned “Karma legende”.
The difficulties we meet by placing the camera in the narrow space there is between the front and back-walls of the galleries have not yet been wholly obviated. Yet, it would be advisable to do what has turned out to be possible before that the sculptures should be lost for ever.
In the Ceylon pagoda at Kelany I saw the Buddhists perform the sĕmbah in the very same manner as done by the Javanese, and Siam’s king and queen when on the Båråbudur and in tyanḍi Mĕndut, and in the same manner I saw this mark of veneration hewn on all the buddhistic imageries known to me. Perhaps, it was the Buddhists who once introduced this sĕmbah in Java.
See my illustrated work “In den Kĕdaton te Jogjåkartå” published in 1888 by E. J. Brill at Leyden, picture II, and the IXth. photo of my illustrated work “De garĕbĕgs te Jogjåkartå” (published by the “Royal Institute” in 1895).
At Parambanan and Pĕlahosan we already knew these deities to be Bodhisattvas. (See my above mentioned works: “Tyanḍi Parambanan na de ontgraving” and “Boeddhistische tempel-en kloosterbouwvallen in de Parambanan vlakte”.)
Some time before the digging up of Parambanan Mr. Groeneveldt wrote to me: “The theory as if these sculptures should represent known princes we must give up.”
Çiva was one of the lokiçvaras of the Buddha-pantheon, and we know even other brahmin deities to have been admitted into this. Such is also the case with the holy queens of Leemans’ work who are Târâs or Çaktis (wives or powers of deities).
Till 1896 I also thought that these small Buddha images, we see in the crown, characterised the wearers as Bodhisattvas, that is, the Bodhisattvas of the Dhyâni-Buddhas whose small images were hewn in the crowns. The king of Siam denied this. Because of his being a buddhistic prince himself he also wore such small images in his crown. Moreover, I never saw another image in these crowns, except the one with the two hands in his lap, which is to signify the mudrâ dhyâna or meditation, a posture the Mahâyânists gave to the fourth Dhyâni-Buddha, Amitâbha, the Redeemer of this world. If now these small images were to characterise Dhyâni-Bodhisattvas, why, another Bodhisattva but Padmapâni the fourth, would have been never hewn.
Should they refer to buddhistic princes it then may be easily imagined that they never referred to another Buddha but the one of this their world. On undeniable images these small ones therefore only point to the buddhistic character the northern church adjudicated to these deities.
The crescent of the moon Leemans ascribes to this sculpture we don’t see anywhere, but is to be perceived on the preceding one, 105.
On the fourteenth sculpture on the front-wall of this gallery the sun and moon have been sculptured with seven stars (planets?).
“Oudheidkundige aanteekeningen” IV, p. 55-58.
“Oudheidkundige Aanteekeningen” I and II.
Dr. Vogel doesn’t come.
But I also do expect very much from the younger sanskritic scholar, Dr. N. J. Krom, the appointed president of the “Oudheidkundige Kommissie” whose acquaintance I’ve made to my great satisfaction.
Later note, October 3th 1910.
I don’t know how it must have been possible for von Saher to see linggas and yonis in these buddhistic produce of art. Buddhism doesn’t know any lingga- or yoni-worship. See his “Versierende kunsten in Ned: Oost-Indië”, p. 15, 18, 21 and 64.
When the sky is not overclouded we see from this point 9 volcanoes with the exception of the Sindårå and Diyèng which hid themselves behind the Sumbing-giant. This old volcano still rises 3336 Metres above sea-level, the Mĕrbabu and Sindårå (or Sĕndårå) reach a height of 3145 Metres, the Mĕrapi 2875 Metres, the far, not always visible Slamĕt 3472 Metres; the adjacent neptunian Mĕnoreh (or Minoreh) doesn’t reach more than 1000 Metres.
Never shall I forget the first night I partly spent on this full moon lit spot, a death past under, and over me the immortal light. This happened more than 37 years ago.
The last mentioned estimation of name I got from a former Magĕlang regent, now called haji or kaji Danu ning Rat. The Javanese generally wrote and write buddå, in Javanese characters: Javanese script
According to Kern the word ûrnâ means a symbol of both the sun and lightning.
A young Dutchman, whom I met in 1898 in the Båråbudur’s pasanggrahan, thought he saw a mutual difference in the posture of the hands of these 72 dagob-Buddhas. This difference really exists, but only in the manner in which the different sculptors interpreted the positively meant posture of the two hands.
This very same difference in the execution of one and the same task is also to be seen on other Buddha images. Should it have another meaning the thesis that these sculptures are to represent the different five Dhyâni-Buddhas would then be frustrated, because there would be much more than five, indeed.
The man appealed to the official draughtsman accompanying him, an absolutely unscientific fellow.
The other objects were a little metal vase with cover—formerly containing some ashes, perhaps—; some ancient javanese coins and another small metal image. In the pits of other tyanḍis in Java we also found stone urns with ashes, and coins or other objects of precious metal, and some coloured precious stones which were given to the dead in their graves, and symbolically representing the sapta ratna or seven treasures. See my “Boeddhistische tempel- en klooster-bouwvallen in de Parambanan-vlakte” and my “Tjanḍi Idjo” in the “Tijdschrift v. Ind. T., L. en V. K.” published in 1888.
Out of the six Buddhas of the Båråbudur we don’t see any trace of a sixth Buddha such as we found in a different form at Nipâl: four-armed, in a mythical dress, crowned and provided with peculiar attributes.
See my “Een Boeddhisten-koning op den Båråbudur” appeared in “het Tijdschrift van Indische Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde” of 1896, and the manuscript of the interpreting second part, not published by the editors, but of which I afterwards sent a copy to professor Kern and other learned men.
On the twenty-seventh sculpture (W. L. 53).
I for me don’t know any analogue of these three groups though they may exist elsewhere in the mainland, so that this explanation of mine will be a questionable thesis only.
See Oldfield’s “Sketches from Nipal” p. 90 and 157 and the pictures opposite p. 219 and 260 of the second volume.
See my apologetics mentioned in VI note 14 and my “Oudheidkundige Aanteekeningen”, I.
Notes of the “Kon. Instituut” (Royal Institute) from 1887, p. XCIV and following ones.
G 5 has been wrongly marked with 6, just as the following one has been numbered G 6.
Each dagob is a tyaitya, but not each tyaitya is a dagob. This word is only given to the depositary of one or more than one relic. See Kern’s “Geschiedenis van het Boeddhisme in Indië”, II p. 139 and following ones.
In the same manner I saw Ceylon Buddhists render due homage to the dagob at Kelany.
I’m not a Buddhist myself though I highly esteem the undegenerate Buddhism of the southern church.
p. 15 line 3 from bottom: ground instead of groud.
p. 30 note 22 line 1 from top: as well instead of as weil.
p. 38 line 7 from bottom to be read: the knot of hair on his crest, with the lotus-cushion and disc of the sun worshipped by princes and inferior people, by priests etc.
p. 60 line 17 from top: but instead of bu.