Sunday, May 3, 2009

Borobudur

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"The grandeur of Borobudur is something immense, sphinx-like, incomprehensible and yet so fascinating. It overpowers with a sense of our own incapacity to give a description. Its enigmas are too many and too great for us to solve, and yet it exercises such a powerful charm, lays such a hold on the mind that we are irresistibly compelled to use all our powers to discover something of its mysterious being." -- Nicholas J. Krom

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In order to understand the reasons why the Javanese constructed Borobudur we must gain some knowledge about the Buddhist faith that provided their motivation.

Borobudur's foundation is far more than just the stone base upon which the monument rests. At its most fundamental level, this sacred Buddhist site rests upon a spiritual foundation that is based on the noble doctrine of one of the world's great spiritual teachers.

Modern scholars believe that the historical Buddha was born about 560 BCE into the royal Sakya clan of a small kingdom located near the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains in what is today the country of Nepal. At the age of 29, Siddhartha renounced his royal lineage to become a wandering monk. Six years later, he attained enlightenment under the canopy of the bodhi tree at Bodh Gaya, which is located in the modern Indian State of Bihar.



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