Buddha at Borobodur

This photo was taken by me some time ago at the Borobodur temple in Indonesia. The Borobodur temple complex is a world renowned monument. Built between the end of the seventh and beginning of the eighth century, it was the spiritual centre of Buddhism in Java. During the the eighteenth century, it was rediscovered.

I am posting a great poem by Germany’s celeberated poet Rainer Maria Rilke that is a befitting tribute to Buddha

Buddha in Glory

Center of all centers, core of cores,
almond self-enclosed, and growing sweet–
all this universe, to the furthest stars
all beyond them, is your flesh, your fruit.

Now you feel how nothing clings to you;
your vast shell reaches into endless space,
and there the rich, thick fluids rise and flow.
Illuminated in your infinite peace,

a billion stars go spinning through the night,
blazing high above your head.
But in you is the presence that
will be, when all the stars are dead.

The Borobodur stupa also symbolises the universe -a micro-cosmos. The three levels: first, the world of desire influenced by negative impulses; the middle level, the world where man controls his negative impulses; the top level, where the world of man is freed of shackles of the worldly desires.

Published in: on August 20, 2006 at 10:30 am  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Nice photos and thanks for the poem. I was here in August of 2006 and enjoyed it immensely.

  2. My dear Raza
    In a previous write-up you made mention of statues in Lahore. For your interest, here is a complete inventory of statues erected in Lahore during the days of Raj.
    The statue of Lala Lajpat Rai (1865-1928), who, while leading a procession with Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya to demonstrate against the Simon Commission, faced brutal baton charge and died of fatal injuries on November 17, 1928, was somewhere in the vicinity of Kim’s Gun or zamazama – the famous cannon on the Mall, Lahore. This statue is no more there.
    Another statue in this area was of Sir Ganga Ram, who gave many beautiful landmarks to the city of Lahore. What happened to this statue has been narrated by Saadat Hassan Manto, the celebrated Urdu short story writer, in one of his short stories on the frenzy of communal riots of 1947. Manto write that an inflamed mob in Lahore, after attacking a Hindu mohalla, ‘turned to attacking the statue of Sir Ganga Ram, the Hindu philanthropist. They first pelted the statue with stones; then smothered its face with coal tar. Then a man made a garland of old shoes climbed up to put it round the neck of the statue. The police arrived and opened fire. Among the injured were the fellow with the garland of old shoes. As he fell, the mob shouted: “Let us rush him to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.”
    The statue of Sir John Lawrence, the first Governor of the Punjab and later the Governor General of British India (1864-69), holding a sword in one and pen in the other hand, was in front of the Lahore High Court. This statue, created by Sir Joseph Boehme, was inaugurated sometime in 1887. On the base of this statue was inscribed ‘Will you be governed by the pen or sword?’ During 1920s, there was an agitation for the removal of this statue, which the Lahoris considered a disgrace to the Punjab. Now, this statue probably stands in Foyle College (now Foyle and Londonderry College) with a damaged sword in one hand, damaged during an agitation in Lahore. Further, one statue of Lawrence stands in Waterloo Place in central London and another in Calcutta.
    The statue of Professor Alfred Woolner, professor of Sanskrit, and vice-chancellor of Punjab University (1928 and 1936) still stands in Lahore outside the University of the Punjab on the Mall, Lahore.
    The statue of Queen Victoria at the Charing Cross, installed in 1902, is in the Lahore Museum now.
    (Sources: Pran Noel, Colonel H.R Goulding)

    • Re: Queen Victoria’s white marble statue originally placed in the garden across from the Punjab Assembly now graces the entry-way of the British High Commission in Islamabad.

  3. hey Raza ,
    I just visited this site, it is really informative and knowledgeable especially about Pakistan. I am also an half scholoar on Gandhara Buddhist art and archietecture. Here are some questions which need to be explain honestly, why every one focus on Taxila?
    beside Taxila there are more than 3000 sites had discovered in other parts of Gandhara dated to differnet periods even the first Fresco Buddhist Paintings have already found in MARDAN in 1995 .
    the biggest site of Gandhara is Rani Gutt(Queen s rock)spread over and area about 2 square kilometers.
    the most rare and unique sculptures are found in Mardan which clearly indicate the imprortance of this area.
    so far fasting siddhartha sculptures are found 3 of them from Mardan.
    Peshwar, Charsadha, Buner, swat, Dir, Manshera, Batgram, were also the hubs of Buddhism
    I myself discovered 7 Buddhist site and monasteries that were not the govt records

    you also focus on other sites of Gandhara too
    muhammad usman mardanvi

  4. hey Raza

    Do you any site I can get the complete poems of Sarmad- preferebly in Urdu or Persian?

    I have searched a lot, have got an chyance in the Indian Digital Library, as can be expected from the governemnt brats, the book does not exist there. I am seraching for the poems for years.


  5. hey Raza or any one

    Do you know any site I can get the complete poems of Sarmad- preferebly in Urdu or Persian?

    I have searched a lot, have got an chance in the Indian Digital Library, as can be expected from the government brats, the book does not exist there. I am seraching for the poems for years.


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