By: D. Wright
Borobudur is an ancient Buddhist temple that is located on the island of Java in Indonesia. Although its age is uncertain, it is believed to have been built sometime near 700-800 A.D. Considered to be one of the highest symbols of Buddhism in the world, this monument is said to be a “replica of the universe.” It was actually lost between the time of about 900 and 1700. It is composed of 6 rectangular floors and is built from lava rock. The entire structure is shaped in the form of the Lotus flower, which is the sacred flower of Buddha. This magnificent Buddha monument was built in Java’s dark ages, and was ignored for hundreds of years until its renewal, and to this day millions of people visit it each year.
The temple, being Buddhist, is even more respectable for it’s endurance of the hundreds of years of different religions that comprised the islands of Indonesia. From Christianity to Hinduism to Islam, the temple has stood and been a part of the culture. Not long after it was built, the Buddhist culture was slowly depleted in the area. The artifact’s balance with the universe and the natural world make it a central monument in Java’s culture and history, despite the religion it was built for. Interaction with this artifact, although not a basic part of life for the predominately Muslim community of Indonesia, is key for several aspects, including both economical and spiritual. Tourism is greatly influenced by this monument, from sight seeing to Buddhist prayer and the spiritual side of the monument is no less valued. It is one of the greatest Buddhist monuments the world has ever seen, and this should not be forgotten. If I had to guess, I’d say that this monument will be an important part to life in Indonesia for years to come, especially to the communities of the island of Java.
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