Sunday, October 21, 2012

Preposterous Claims on Borobudur

 I chanced upon these articles below (and others in the internet) and this blogpost reflects my personal thoughts about this matter. You do not have to have the same opinion as mine. You should think and reflect, and then have your own opinion. The Buddha advised us to think for ourselves, not merely to follow others' thinking. In case you forget, we do have our own brains and minds. I am not trying to influence anyone. Please note that there are a series of video in youtube on this claim but it is in Bahasa Indonesia.

If you really study the logic of the claim made by this guy, any right thinking proper scholar will surely dismiss his claims as nonsense and preposterous. It is too wild a claim just to base it on similarity of the names. For example, he claimed that the word "Jawa" came from the word "Jews". Another silly logic has the name of first pronounce in prophet Solomon's name  in Malay (which is "Sulaiman"), i.e. "Su" as the origin of names of Indonesians such as the former leaders of Indonesia, i.e. Suharto and Sukarno. So, they are the descendants of prophet Solomon? Then does that mean that all the Chinese people with the family surname of "Su" or "Soo" are also his descendents? He also mentioned one place of Solomon called "Saba" and he believed it is something to do with Jawa. But I can tell him, there is a place, indeed called "Sabah" and it is the name of a state in Malaysia. It is situated in the island of Borneo. Not Jawa. His reasonings also did not take into account actual historical records written by independent voyagers from China and India to Indonesia from the 7th to the 14th century AD. Among them are Fa Hsien, Yi Jing Gunavarman, Vajrabodhi, Amoghavajra, and Atisa Dipankara Srijnana. All of them recorded that Jawa was a thriving place of Buddhist knowledge and practice. The Chinese voyagers even went there to learn sanskrit before going to India to bring back the Buddhist scriptures. All these are factual historical evidence ignored by this muslim scholar. The scholar also claimed that the statues in Borobudur are not modelled after the Buddha but are those of the prophet Solomon himself, who he claimed had curly hair. Obviously he does not know anything about the Buddha and why the Buddha's image has those tiny curly hair. Moreover, if these statues are modelled after Solomon, why aren't those Bamiyan statues not? And what about the different hand mudras of the Buddha? Solomon also had those hand mudras? 

He also took one picture/relief in the site and related it to prophet Solomon. If we study the Borobudur, we will know that the reliefs show the life of the historical Buddha and his previous lives(based on the Lalitavistara and Jatakamala), and they also tell the story of Sudhana's journey to Enlightenment according to the Gandhavyuha Sutra. And there are reasons why the reliefs were arranged in such manner from the lowest level to the highest. In fact, the entire structure has a spiritual Buddhist meaning. If you ask this scholar, he will not be able to explain the reasoning of the entire structure and the flow of each relief in the site from lowest to highest. There are many other aspects of Borobudur that this scholar did not explain in his "Solomon" context.  
There are other preposterous claims (such as a youtube video) claiming that the "2012" end of the world prophecy is also recorded in the Borobudur. the mathematical derivation of 20122012 is just his own imagination. At least, this is what I think since there is no recorded historical evidence of a "20122012" ever being inscribed on the site itself. This is definittely not recorded in the Borobudur. But the video is in Indonesian language. If you understand, you will know what I mean. The video link is here - 
If such flimsy reasons lie behind his logic of Borobudur being a muslim heritage, then it does not deserve any attention by any court of law. It is certainly imaginative and preposterous. He need a lot more concrete evidence to support his claims. And those that he had so far put forth, aren't. I am sorry. The Borobudur remains a Buddhist relic and monument. Congratulations to it being listed in 2012 as the Guiness World Record for the largest Buddhist monument in the world.
view of Borobudur from the top

No comments: