Cosmology and cultural ecology as reflected in Borobudur Buddhist Temple

  • Advancement in science and technology that has been achieved by human beings does not necessarily imply they are freed from environmental problems. Buddhism since the very be-ginning has been in harmony with nature; the Buddha was fond of nature; however, it is very little its sources speak about the interconnection between human and environment. The ques-tion of the significance of cultural ecology comes into prominent in these days as there has been increasing environmental problems happen. Borobudur Buddhist temple in Central Java contains some ideas or elements that can be used to cope with the problems mentioned. Inter-estingly, the whole body of the monument was inspired by the teachings of the Buddha and Buddhism in which the Causal Law having impetus in the theory dependent-origination (Pratyasamutpada) is reflected clearly in the reliefs of Mahakarmavibangga in Kamadhatu base level. For a better understanding of this law, the connection with cosmology in Maha-yana Buddhism is discussed in brief. It is found that there are various natural elements were depicted and crafted by the artists in a high standard of art as the manifestations of the Bud-dha’s teachings. Amongst the natural elements depicted here, tree, plant, or forest are domi-nant elements, which appear almost in all reliefs either in the main walls or balustrade. The relatedness amongst the elements is shown beautifully in complex relationship amongst them, and this has moral, aesthetical, spiritual, and ecological messages that need to be known for spiritual ascendance. When the interaction amongst them should be accomplished it is re-quired an ethical principle as how to maintain harmony with those natural elements, animals and human beings for a better world order and happy life.

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Author:Ida Bagus Putu Suamba
Parent Title (Multiple languages):Journal of religious culture = Journal für Religionskultur
Series (Serial Number):Journal of religious culture = Journal für Religionskultur (211)
Place of publication:Frankfurt am Main
Document Type:Part of Periodical
Year of Completion:2016
Year of first Publication:2016
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2016/03/30
Tag:Borobudur; Cosmology; Cultural ecology; Mahayana Buddhism; Science
Page Number:13
Paper presented to the 6th International Buddhist Seminar on Cultural Ecology organized by the Buddhist Research Institute of Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, Ayutthaya, Chiangmai Campus, Chiangmai Province, Thailand on 15th to 16th of October 2014.
Institutes:Evangelische Theologie
Dewey Decimal Classification:2 Religion / 23 Christentum, Christliche Theologie / 230 Christentum, Christliche Theologie
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht