(mostly) daily photoblog

Borobudur temple – almost enlightened

We hired a guide to take us up the Borobudur temple.  He give us some interesting insights, along with some local folklore and some personal interpretations.  The reason I titled this post “almost enlightened” is because of some information he shared when we got to the top of the temple.

I asked, “Why are these stupas (bell structures that house statues of Buddha) fitted with blocks that create a diamond shape, when the stupas on the last level, the top level, make square shapes?”

“The architect wanted to show how a person may be enlightened, but still not be entirely stable.  The diamond shape can be tipped on its side, whereas the square is stable.  Nothing can move it on its side, nothing can upend it,” was his reply.

Because we are still human, even though we may achieve enlightenment, we may still be upended, knocked over.  I think there’s a good lesson in that.


3 responses

  1. What a comment for thought!

    October 27, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    • There was much that Pak Darius said that gave me cause for thought.

      October 27, 2012 at 7:30 pm

  2. You are in Indonesia now? Hope you’ll gain abundance of thoughts & ideas here. Btw, I can see you like taking picture of temples. If i can recommend, we have temples complex in the east namely Cetho & Sukuh. The temples for the royal escapees when Islamic Kingdom took over. They are surrounded by tea plantation high in the hill, extraordinary sights, and uniquely it had genital statues to be worshiped but im not sure whether there are any guides as thoughtful as he’s in the Borobudur..
    Have a nice day in Indonesia!

    October 28, 2012 at 10:07 am