Monday, June 29, 2015

History of Women in Buddhism - Indonesia: Part 10

Shedding Light on the Bhikkhunīs & the Great Founding Women of Borobudur

Ayyā Tathālokā Bhikkhunī

the Bhikkhunīs of Borobudur
Image 1: Bhikkhunīs of Borobudur
This paper is the tenth and final post in a series of extracts from the larger article titled “Light of the Kilis: Our Indonesian Bhikkhunī Ancestors” which explores what is known of the ancient Buddhist women monastics and ascetics of the Indonesian archipelago.
Chronologically, this post falls between part 4 and part 5 in this Awakening Buddhist Women blog series. Prepared especially for the 14th Sakyadhita International Conference in Yogyakarta, this previously unpublished extract was presented live at the Sakyadhita Conference. 

“Light of the Kilis” is based on research materials gathered from travelogues, local oral traditions, dedicatory inscriptions, monuments, and statuary, or what remains of these within their cultural and historical context. The materials span a time period of more than 2000 years, from the 3rd century BCE up to modern times.

Here we focus on the 8th and 9th centuries and materials that are of direct relevance to the Sakyadhita Conference locale and of special interest and value to women in Buddhism. I touch on the feminine aspect of Indonesian candis, the appearance and role of both the esoteric Bhagavatī Aryā Tārā, the human queen Devī Tārā, and her daughter (or granddaughter) Śrī Sanjiwana Prāmodhavardhanī, the latter two Buddhist women being key persons involved with the foundation and establishment of the world-famous Borobudur monument. I also highlight images of bhikṣuṇīs and the dual sangha (bhikkhus and bhikkhunīs) that are portrayed on three levels of the wall reliefs of the Borobudur monument. These images are of outstanding historical value, because we can glean from them unparalleled visual knowledge of Buddhist women’s monastic way of life at the time they were created. I review and describe these images in the context of the Dharma teaching stories they illustrate – shining examples of women’s leadership and eminence in the Buddhist sangha, as they were conceived of and understood during this period.

Shedding Light on the Bhikkhunīs & the Great Founding Women of Borobudur

Image 2: Tārā above the lintel at Tārā Bhavanam, Candi Kalasan

Womb of the Mountain, Mother of All Buddhas, and Tārā Bhavanam

It is late in the 7th century that we find the first known appearance of the monumental works of Buddhist religious art in the Indonesian archipelago that have come down to us today.[1] These massive stone shrines or temples came to be known as candis. It is not known whether the word candi is a localized form of the Pali word cedi (Sanskrit caitya) or whether the word candi is related to the bodhisattva Candī (also known as Cundī or Candā), the Mother of All Buddhas. The candi temple form represents the mother mountain and contains a central grha garbha (literally, “womb”) that is the central shrine or image shelter where a deity, Buddha, or bodhisattva might “incarnate” or come to dwell. Combining mountain, the divine, and the feminine was not a new concept in Indonesia; the concept is a very old one, in evidence from the time of the early megalithic cultures.

Nearly a century after the first appearance of Buddhist religious art in the archipelago, in 778 CE, Candi Kalasan was erected in Central Java on the Prambanan Plain by the will of royal guru Buddhist monk Kumāraghosa, with the support of Mahārāja Tejapurnapana Kariyana Panamkaran (Panangkaran).

Image 3: Closeup of Tārā above the lintel at Tārā Bhavanam.

Candi Kalasan was originally named Tārā Bhavanam and was dedicated to the female buddha Bhagavatī Ārya Tārā.[2] The king, Kariyana Panangkaran, was also known as Śrī Sanggramadhananjaya and as King Indra. His name has been found in the Ligor inscription from Nālanda Buddhist University in India, where the Śailendra royal guru, an Indian Pāla Dynasty Buddhist monk named Kumāraghosa, consecrated a sacred bodhisattva image.[3] From this, we know that there were strong connections between the Śailendra Dynasty in the Indonesian archipelago, and Nālanda Buddhist University and the Pāla Dynasty in India.

Image 4:  The Kalasan Inscription in Siddham script is the oldest known inscription to Tārā in the world.

According the the Kalasan inscription, a vihāra, likely Candi Sāri, was constructed and offered for Buddhist monastics in the Śailendra realm. The village of Kalasa was awarded to the monastery as a freehold (similar to a tax-free religious foundation)[4] to support the shrine and the monastic sangha. According to this inscription, the Kalasan Tārā Bhavanam[5] was the first and therefore the oldest Buddhist candi built on the Prambanan Plain in Central Java. This is the very first known inscription mentioning Ārya Tārā that appears anywhere in the world.[6] It is a very rare inscription, because it is written in the Sanskrit Siddham script.

Image 5: Ruins of the ancient Sinhalese monastics’ Abhayagirivihāra at Ratu Boko nearby Tārā Bhavanam.

The only other known Siddham script inscription like it in Java is the dedicatory inscription for the Java branch of Abhayagiri-vihāra, a community of internationally active Sinhalese monastics that was located on the Ratu Boko plateau, not far from Tārā Bhavanam.[7] This illustrates the connection between the Sri Lankan monastic sangha at Abhayagiri-vihāra and the Javanese royalty and monastic sangha.[8] This very rare Siddham inscription, circa 778 CE, also establishes direct connections between Java’s esoteric Buddhist tradition, and the Chinese, Japanese and Korean esoteric Buddhist traditions,[9] all of which had dual monastic sanghas at the time.

Image 6: French Map of Siam, highlighting Chaiya.
The name Tārā also appears in another very closely related context at this time. Just three years before the consecration of Tārā Bhavanam above, an inscription at Chaiya (the so-called Ligor or Nakhon Si Thammarat inscription) dated 775 CE, finds the daughter of the Śrivijayan ruler Dharmasetu/Varmasetu, a crown princess (putrī) named Devī Tārā, marrying the Śailendra crown prince (Panankaran’s son Samaragrawira (or Samaratungga)), who became the king of Śrivijaya around 792 CE.

Image 7: Śailendra Royal Coupled depicted on the walls of Borobudur.

The Nālandā inscription of 860 CE also tells of the Śrivijayan queen Tārā, daughter of Dharmasetu of the lunar race, and mother of the king Bālāputra, a śrī mahārāja from Yavabhumi (Java) who ruled on Suvarnadvipa (Sumatra), whose request to sponsor and build a Buddhist monastery at Nālandā was granted by the Pālā king Devapālādeva. According to the inscription, Queen Tārā was the likeness (the physical appearance) of Āryā Tārā herself, (whether as a way of praising her, or suggesting that one or more Tārā images were made in her likeness,[10] as was to become a very popular practice in later Javanese Buddhist and Hindu statuary).

Images 8a and 8b: The Tārās of Borobudur

Images 8c and 8d: The Tārās of Borobudur
Queen Mother Tārā is further lauded in the Nālanda inscription as exemplary like a whole list of then-contemporary female deities, as well as finally to the Buddha’s mother Māyā who gave birth to that being who was to become the Buddha. It may be questioned whether the Devī Tārā referred to in dedication in line 3 of the Kalaśan inscription was this human queen and mother.

From the end of the 8th century onwards, the interchangeable names and figures of Devī Tārā and Ārya Tārā appear again and again in Indonesian sacred monuments and histories (“her-stories”) in many forms. Her popularity and influence have been strong, long-lasting, and widespread.

Borobudur, Royal Mother Śrī Kahulunnan, and Śrī Sanjiwana Prāmodhawardhanī

Image 9: Candi Plaosan dual temple complex.

By the 9th century, Śrivijaya had established monasteries in both eastern India (Bengal) and southern India, and had strong connections with western India. An inscription at Candi Plaosan (on the Prambanan Plain) that dates from around 800 CE refers to a “constant flow of people from Gurjaradeśa (Gujarat, India) – due to whom the temple was built.”[11] It is noteworthy that Candi Plaosan is a dual temple complex, with a northern cloister (Plaosan Lor), a southern cloister (Plaosan Kidul), as well as a commons area. It has been hypothesized that the twin complexes may have been for a dual sangha (ubhato sangha), that is, for related men’s and women’s monastic communities.
At the center of this temple complex, there are two two-storied buildings that constitute the main temple. The two buildings face west, each surrounded by stone wall[s]. … The wall of the south temple [building] carries relief[s] of male figures, while that of the north temple depicts female figures. The south temple [building] was probably a monastery for bhikkus while the north one [was] for bhikkunis.[12]
Images 10a and 10b: Samādhi images of Tārā and Mañjuśrī from Candi Plaosan (now in Gedung Agung’s garden).

The Candi Plaosan sculptures are notably similar to those at the rock-cut cave temple-monastery complexes of Ajanta and Ellora, located in what is today Maharashtra. This is an area where the Indian bhikkhunī sangha is said to have been established with the Aśokan Missions in the 3rd century BCE.[13] From rock-cut cave temple-monastery inscriptions, it is known that Buddhists were active in the area from that time up through the early centuries of the Common Era. Many of the inscriptions bear the names of bhikkhunīs, bhikkhunī student-teacher lineages, and great bhikkhunī teachers.[14] These connections to the Indian mainland—between heads of state, leading teachers, monastics and immigrants, shared appreciation of Buddhist doctrine and philosophy, and stylistically similar works of Buddhist art and architecture—give us clues to the inspiration that flowed to the great rock-cut “mountain cave” stoneworks of the Prambanan Plain in Java, leading up to the now world-famous Borobudur.

In the beginning of the 9th century, Nini Haji Rakryan Śrī Sanjiwana Prāmodhavardhanī, a crown princess of the Buddhist Śailendra Kingdom, [grand]daughter of Queen Tārā and daughter of King Samaratungga,[15] married a prince of the Śrīvijayan Hindu Sanjaya Dynasty named Rakai Pikatan, in what is believed to have been a great act of political and religious reconciliation. Described as “one of the most enigmatic persons of ancient Javanese history,”[16] it is generally thought that it was she who later came to be known by the title Śrī Kahulunnan, translated as “Royal Mother.”[17] However; this could have been her mother’s title, or first her mother’s and then hers.

Image 11: Kayamwungan
(Karangtengah) Inscription 842 CE.
According to the Karangtengah inscription, it was Prāmodhawardhanī who, in 824 CE, established and inaugurated the jinālāya (Buddhist sanctuary),[18] and in 842 CE, Śrī Kahulunnan who established the sīmā and a local tax-free royal religious foundation for both the construction and maintenance of what was become one of the most famous Buddhist monuments in the world: Mūlā Bhūmisambhāra, aka Borobudur.[19]

Prāmodhawardhanī further developed the 240 pervara temples that form the mandala-shaped compounds of Candi Sewu and Śrī Kahulunnan is credited with the construction of the ancillary structures between 825 and 850 CE at what may have been the dual sangha monastery at Candi Plaosan.

Images 12a and 12b: 224 pervara (“guardian”) temples of Candi Sewu developed by Pramodawardhani

Image 13: Anumoda of Royal Mother Sri Kahulunnan at Candi Plaosan. Anumoda and Dharma inscriptions show that people from many different lands, especially from western India, were involved in the monastery’s establishment.
Image 14: Inscriptions say Candi Sojiwan was established in the very center of the kingdom. It may have been the funerary temple of Sri Sanjiwana, where her crematory remains were deposited until recently.
Image 15: “Buddhacarita” contemporary
artist’s imagination of Pramodawardhani as female buddha
in the empty pinnacle stupa at Borobudur

Nini Haji Rakryan Śrī Sanjiwana also developed the Candi Sajiwan[20] temple and in 907 CE restored the local village of Rukam, which had been damaged by volcanic eruption, as a tax-exempt foundation for the development and maintenance of the Sajiwan monument.[21] It is believed that the monument bears the name Sanjiwana in her memory and may have served as her mausoleum.[22]

While all of these great deeds are regularly attributed to one amazing woman, the Queen Mother (Śrī Kahulunnan) Nini Haji Rakryan Śrī Sanjiwana Prāmodhavardhanī, they also could have been the dedicated efforts of two or three generations of leading Buddhist women: grandmother, mother and daughter.

The Bhikkhunīs of Borobudur

The Kamūlān Bhūmisambhāra monument known as “The Mountain of the Stages,” Borobudur,[23] is a three-dimensional diagram of the Buddha’s teachings in progressive stages: from the base in the desire realm or kāmaloka, to the moral tales and early stages of the bodhisattva path as expressed in the Jātakas, to the final birth of both the śrāvakas in the Avadānas[24] and the Sambuddha in the Lalitavistara, to the culmination of the bodhisattva path, Buddhahood, in the Gandavyūha.

Bhikkhunīs are realistically portrayed in stone on the walls of Borobudur in several of these stages: in the past-life stories known as the Jātakas, in the heroic biography of Rudrāyana known as the Rudrāyanāvadāna of the Divyāvadāna, and in the Gandavyūuha of the upper bhadracāri level of the monument. There, we find the beautiful spiritual friend and mentor, the venerable kalyānamitra bhikṣuṇī Simhavijrmbhitā, in her meeting with the aspirant Sudhana-kumāra. The images of the bhikkhus and bhikkhunīs depicted here in stone give us a rare (perhaps exclusive) visual snapshot of how the 8th-century Buddhist monastic community and its bhikkhunīs appeared in Indonesia. From our present-day perspective, this is a revealing visual representation[25] of either one school of Buddhism (whether from the eastern Indian Pāla Dynasty, from South India, Sri Lanka, or the western Indian Deccan) or the mainstream cosmopolitan international monastic sangha of that period in South and Southeast Asia.[26] These forms hewn in stone are revealing because—despite the preservation of an abundance of images of bodhisattvas, buddhas, deities and royalty—we have found no other such ancient, true-to-life, visual representations of either the Indic Ubhato Sangha or of bhikkhunīs of South or Southeast Asia.

Image 16: Dual (Ubhato) Sangha of bhikkhus/bhikṣus & bhikkhunīs/bhikṣuṇīs together on Borobudur’s east wall - south to center

Image 17: Dual Sangha bhikkhus (bhikṣus) are sitting cross-legged at the right hand of the Buddha to the viewer’s left, listening with folded palms
Looking at the images on the Jātaka panels carved in stone on the eastern wall (south to center), we see five bhikkhunīs sitting to the left of the Buddha, with devatās above them, mirrored by seven bhikkhus sitting to the Buddha's right – all with their palms folded in añjali.[27] The first bhikṣuṇī nearest to the Buddha is holding a lamp and the last is holding a flower, with a devoted look on her face. Both the first bhikṣuṇī and the second bhikṣuṇī are seen with their “darkening twilight-color” robes[28] folded high over their left shoulder.

All the bhikṣus and bhikṣuṇīs are easily identifiable by their lack of adornment, the simplicity and length of their robes and their shaven heads—distinctive marks of their Buddhist monastic identity. The bhikṣus sit cross-legged at the Buddha’s right hand, with their exposed right shoulders toward the viewer; the bhikṣuṇīs sit at the Buddha’s left hand with legs in the half-crossed side-wise posture that is still popular among female Buddhist monastics and laywomen in Sri Lanka,[29] with their covered right shoulder toward the viewer. Other than their sitting postures and distinctly male and female physiques, there is no difference observable between the bhikṣus and bhikṣuṇīs.
Image 18: Dual Sangha bhikkhunīs (bhikṣuṇīs) are sitting in the side-seated posture at the left hand of the Buddha to the viewer’s right, with devas above.
Image 19: Central Buddha image in vitarka mudrā involving Dharma discussion, teaching and debate, here displayed equally for bhikṣus and bhikṣuṇīs.

The Buddha is sitting cross-legged with hands in the vitarka mudrā, a mudrā of teaching that involves Dharma discussion, debate, and the transmission of principles. This suggests that both the bhikkhus and bhikkhunīs are equally involved in receiving teachings, Dharma discussion, debate, and transmission.

It is noteworthy that the images of the two halves of the sangha are parallel; there is no difference in the height of their seats, front or back placement, ornamentation, or marks of honor or veneration. All are sitting with a serene near-samādhi-like demeanor of reverence and with beautiful smiles of happiness.
Image 20: review of image 16 - Dual (Ubhato) Sangha of bhikkhus/bhikṣus & bhikkhunīs/bhikṣuṇīs together on Borobudur’s east wall - south to center.

Further on, we find another scene, evoking a very different feeling. In Jātaka tales on the eastern wall, we find a bhikkhunī standing, wearing her robe on both shoulders,[30] but without the upper neck covered (suitable for a warm climate).[31] The bhikkhunī is the Queen Mother, and together with the other royal counselors, is part of a special envoy that have gone to warn a young king who has run amok (her son) about the dangers of his immoral ways, to try to protect him and the kingdom from disaster. Sadly, as part of the moral teaching of the story, he does not listen and perishes badly.[32]

Image 21: The bhikṣuṇī Queen Mother has gone with an envoy of ministers to warn her son the young king to protect him and the country from disaster.

Image 22: Here the elderly bhikkhunī Queen Mother is being carried in a very simply conveyance to the meeting.

Looking back on this panel, we see the elderly bhikkhunī Queen Mother pictured earlier in her ascetic’s lair (ālaya), sitting in a high alcove of what appears to be an ascetic’s cave (below); then we see her being carried in a simple conveyance to join the envoy (left).

Despite her obvious strength and presence when speaking to her son, the young king, she is now elderly and has experienced the rigors of an austere ascetic life.
Image 23: Here the elderly bhikkhunī Queen Mother sits on a high ledge in her ascetics lair, her bhikkhunī companion beneath her. The young king has come to visit her together with his close female companions
Such women’s monastic ascetic caves have been found and are still known in Indonesia,[33] so it is highly likely that the scene represents a living local reality known to the sculptors.

Images 24a - 24d: Gua Selo Mangleng, the ascetic cave of Devi Kili Suci (Crown Princess Sanggramawijaya Dharmaprasad Uttungadewi) at Mt Klotok

Image 25: Bhikṣuṇī teacher Acaryā Śailā teaching king and queen
Looking upwards, we now ascend to the Divyāvadāna, or “divine tales” level of the monument. In the telling of the Rudrāyana Avadāna,[34] at the request of King Rudrāyana and the arhat Mahā Kātyāyana, the venerable bhikṣunī teacher Śailā has come from Rājagrha especially to teach King Rudrāyana, the Queen Candraprabhā, and two other wives in the women’s compound (kaputren) of the royal palace, while men listen outside the guarded door.[35] (We know that, in some cases, no males except the king were allowed to enter the women’s compound.)

The words of Acaryā Śailā made a deep impression upon her listeners, especially queen Candraprabhā. Afterwards the queen, realizing her mortality, decided to become a bhikṣuṇī and dedicated herself to a life of asceticism in hopes of becoming either an arhat or a goddess. After death she becomes a goddess and as she had promised before dying, she returns to tell her former husband what she has learned via direct experience about karma, merit, and rebirth. What she tells him moves him so deeply that he also goes forth into monastic life.[36]

Image 26: Queen Candraprabhā’s pabbajjā/pravrajyā with Acaryā Śailā
In these rock-cut murals, we can see Queen Candraprabhā requesting the pabbajjā (Sanskrit: pravrajyā, going forth into monastic life) from Bhikṣuṇī Śaila, who sits on a raised platform with another bhikṣuṇī companion next to her.[37] Queen Candraprabhā’s head has already been shaved and she is kneeling humbly on the floor with her right knee down and left knee raised, hands raised and folded together.[38] She has a large, decorated offering tray in front of her, which appears to contain a single, enormous unfolding flower. Perhaps the tray contains her monastic robes and alms bowl folded like a blossoming flower, as was (and sometimes still is) practiced in eastern India and Bangladesh. Behind Queen Candraprabhā sit seven of her fellow court women looking on with interest and obvious wonder. The scene of the pabbajjā appears to take place right in the women's quarters of the palace,[39]  after which the queen returns with her preceptor to her vihāra, hermitage, or ascetic abode.

Image 27: Sudhana kumāra of the Avatawmsaka Sūtra’s Gandhavyūha--“Entering the Dharma Realm”--Chapter at Sūryaprabhā (Sunlight) Park in the Kalinga Wood
The Gandavyūha is both the final and ultimate sūtra or chapter of the larger collection known as the Avatamsaka (Flower Adornment) Sūtra.[40] It tells of the ultimate journey, the pilgrimage of the young Prince Sudhana, who has set forth as a spiritual seeker and is fortunate enough to be guided by none other than the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, Mañjuśrī.
Mañjuśrī leads him to visit various good and wise spiritual advisors and teachers, or kalyānamitra. On his journey, he visits 52 spiritual teachers, 20 of whom are female[41] – a notably high ratio of female to male teachers.

The women teachers include both the Buddha’s wife and his mother, a courtesan, a queen, a goddess, and a bhikkhunī – the bhikṣuṇī teacher Siṃhavijṛmbhitā.[42]
Image 28: Sudhana meeting kalyāṇamitra bhikṣuṇī Siṃhavijṛmbhitā

In order to meet the venerable kalyānamitra bhikṣuṇī Siṃhavijṛmbhitā, Sudhana travels to Kalingavana (the Kalinga wood), where he is directed to the female guru by crowds of people. The wood is a royal park named Sūryaprabhā (Sunlight), where he finds magnificent magical trees and ponds and richly decorated thrones. Heavenly beings have gathered there, drawn from throughout the universe by the spiritual power of the bhikṣuṇī who is expounding the dharmaparyāyas, various direct and indirect Dharma teachings that match the needs of each of her various audiences – a practice requiring both great wisdom and great skill in means (upāya).

Image 29: Bhikṣuṇī Siṃhavijṛmbhitā, “She of the Lion’s Roar,” teaching Dharma-pariyāyas with great upāya (skilfull means)

The Gandavyūha describes her thus:
“The bhikśunī Simavijrmbhitā realized innumerable hundreds of thousands of entrances into the ten perfections of wisdom, beginning with: the equanimity of the universal eye, elucidations of all the teachings of the buddhas, the dividing the levels of the Dharma realm, the destruction of all the multitudes (mandala) of obstructions, the origination of the thought of merit in all beings, the superior arrays, the container of unobstructed principles, the multitudes within the Dharma realm, the storehouse of thought and the container of universal brilliant realizations. And of those bodhisattvas and other beings who came to the great park Sūryaprabhā in order to see the bhikśunī Simavijrmbhitā or hear the Dharma, all of those the bhikśunī Simavijrmbhitā first urged them with regard to the elements (dharma) of the roots of merit they should acquire and then made them irreversible from [their path toward] supreme, perfect enlightenment.”[43]
“She of the Lion’s Roar” is pictured here in stone in the Kalinga Wood sitting within what has become, by her presence, a shrine. She sits on a teaching throne supported by lions, with a bhikṣuṇī companion standing behind her. Sudhana is portrayed listening with interest, surrounded by avid participants both human and divine, and beautiful trees.[44] Due to the aging of the stone carving, her robe can no longer be distinctly seen, except where still apparent on her arms and neck, and the distinctive folds of the monastic robe cloth over both her and her bhikṣuṇī companion’s left shoulders.

Ascending further still, we come to the level of the monument Buddhas and stūpas, and then to the empty and ineffable stupa, into the Dharma realm, described as representing the Ādibuddha.[45]


This area of Indonesia and time in history—Central Java during the 8th and 9th centuries CE—are particularly fruitful and revealing with regards to both women in Buddhism and the history of the Bhikkhunī Sangha. We have noted the ancient feminine associations of mountain, womb, and the sacred combined in the Javanese candīs. We have further noted that the first temple in this area was dedicated to Ārya Tārā, a female Buddha, and contains the oldest known dedicatory inscription to Tārā in the world. We also discovered a luminary human woman, Devī Tārā, who became queen of the rising Śrīvijaya Empire and mother to a daughter (or granddaughter) who is remembered for the inauguration and establishment of both the shrine and sīma of Borobudur, and for her buddhacāritā, literally “acts of a buddha.”[46] Through Queen Tārā and her daughter or granddaughter Śrī Sanjiwana Prāmodhawardhanī, we learn of a dual sangha monastery that can still be seen today, of queens going forth into monastic life, of bhikkhunīs leading a hermit’s life, and of bhikkhunī teachers at court. At Borobudur, we see egalitarian images of the male and female monastic sanghas assembled, depicted at equal height and with equal lustre on either side of the Buddha. Such then-contemporary life-like images of the ancient South and Southeast Asian Buddhist monastic community a thousand years ago are found nowhere else in the world. What we have found shines inspiring light on women’s luminary and sanctioned leadership in Buddhism and women’s eminent role and position within the monastic sangha.




Many thanks to Ven. Ānandajoti Bhikkhu and Dr. Patricia Buske-Zainal for their helpful editorial comments on earlier drafts of this paper. Thanks also to Ādhimuttā Bhikkhunī for all her support for this series and for presenting this paper to the Sakyadhita Conference on the author's behalf, to Alison Hoffmann for her editorial care for which all of the extracts in this series are better, and to Anāgārikā Āneñjañāṇī and Mariani Dewi for all of their care in layout and posting.

All posts in the "History of Women in Buddhism - Indonesia" series: 
Part 5: The Mystery Story of Devi Kili Suci ~ the 11th Century Vanishing Crown Princess Bhikkhunī Hermit & Her Selomangleng Goa Cave
Part 6: Bhrikutī & the Appearance of New Non-Bhikkhunī Forms of Women’s Asceticism in Buddhism
Part 7: Ardhanāriśvārī Ken Dedes & Gender in Ancient Indian Buddhism

Part 10: Shedding Light on the Bhikkhunīs & the Great Founding Women of Borobudur (Sakyadhita Conference Presentation)

Part 10 Image Credits
  • Image 1: Bhikṣuṇī Śaila and bhikṣuṇī companion teaching in the women’s quarters of the palace. Borobudur. Image courtesy of Huntington Archives, web: http://huntington.wmc.ohio-state.edu/public/index.cfm?fuseaction=showThisDetail&ObjectID=30030832&detail=large.
  • Image 2: Tārā above the lintel at Tārā Bhavanam, Candi Kalasan. Image courtesy of: www.indonesia.travel, web: http://www.indonesia.travel/public/media/images/upload/poi/Candi-Kalasan-Indonesia-015.jpg.
  • Image 3: Closeup of Tārā above the lintel at Tārā Bhavanam. Image courtesy of: “From Land to Land | it’s a journey to nowhere” blog, web: https://naliam.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/candikalasan2528172529.jpg.
  • Image 4: Kalasan inscription. Image courtesy of Gunawan Kartapranata via Wikipedia Commons, web: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalasan_inscription#/media/File:Kalasan_Inscription.JPG.
  • Image 5: Ruins of Abhayagiri-vihāra at Ratu Boko. Courtesy of Galuhdaridesa, web: https://galuhdaridesa.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/site.jpg?w=1216.
  • Image 6: French Map of Siam. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons (adapted), web: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Srivijaya#/media/File:1686FrenchMapOfSiam.jpg.
  • Image 7: Sailendra Royal Couple on the walls of Borobudur. Image courtesy of Gunawan Kartapranata via Wikipedia Commons: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medang_Kingdom#/media/File:Sailendra_King_and_Queen,_Borobudur.jpg.
  • Image 8: Tārās of Borobudur. Images courtesy of Wikipedia Commons, web: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Tara#/media/File:Tara_Borobudur_1.jpg, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Tara#/media/File:Tara_Borobudur_2.jpg, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Tara#/media/File:Tara_Borobudur_3.jpg, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Tara#/media/File:Tara_Borobudur_4.jpg
  • Image 9: Candi Plaosan dual temple complex. Image courtesy of Kosud Wisata, web: https://kosudwisata.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/plaosan-temple.jpg.
  • Image 10: Samadhi images of Tara and Manjusri from Candi Plaosan (now in Gedung Agung’s garden). Courtesy of New York Public Library Digital Collections, web: http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47dc-9dfe-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99 and http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47dc-9df9-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
  • Image 11: Kayamwungan (Karangtengah) Inscription. Image courtesy of: Indonesia Raya, web: https://anangpaser.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/kayumwungan.jpg.
  • Image 12: Candi Sewu pervara temples. Image courtesy of Jogyakartour, web: http://jogjakartour.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/sumber-outoftheboxindonesia-wordpress-com.jpg, 2nd image courtesy of: , web: http://kebudayaan.kemdikbud.go.id/bpcbjateng/wp-content/uploads/sites/20/2014/06/18.jpg.
  • Image 13: Sri Kahulunnan Anumoda inscriptions from Candi Plaosan. Image courtesy of: Kalamata, web: http://kalamata.me/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/plaosan_04.jpg.
  • Image 14: Candi Sojiwan. Image courtesy of Kisah Bangsa, web: https://kisahbangsa.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/candi-sojiwan.jpg?w=600&h=336
  • Image 15: Female buddha Promodawardhani in stupa, Borobudur. Image credit: hpijogya.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/stupa.jpg.
  • Slides 16 through 23: Bhikkhunīs at Borobudur. Images courtesy of Anandajoti Bhikkhu at PhotoDharma.net, web: 
    http://www.photodharma.net/Indonesia/04-Jataka-Level-1-Top/images/Jataka-Level-1-Original-00048.jpg, http://www.photodharma.net/Indonesia/04-Jataka-Level-1-Top/images/Jataka-Level-1-Original-00051.jpg,  http://www.photodharma.net/Indonesia/04-Jataka-Level-1-Top/images/Jataka-Level-1-Original-00052.jpg, http://www.photodharma.net/Indonesia/04-Jataka-Level-1-Top/images/Jataka-Level-1-Original-00263.jpg, http://www.photodharma.net/Indonesia/04-Jataka-Level-1-Top/images/Jataka-Level-1-Slide-00264.jpg, http://www.photodharma.net/Indonesia/04-Jataka-Level-1-Top/images/Jataka-Level-1-Slide-00265.jpg, http://www.photodharma.net/Indonesia/06-Divyavadana-Level-1/images/Avadana-Level-1-Original-00098.jpg, http://www.photodharma.net/Indonesia/06-Divyavadana-Level-1/images/Avadana-Level-1-Original-00099.jpg
  • Image 24: Gua Selomangleng asectic cave of Dewi Kili Suci. All photo credits here: http://awakeningbuddhistwomen.blogspot.com/2015/04/history-of-women-in-buddhism-indonesia.html.
  • Images 25-29: All images of Bhikṣuṇī Śaila, Queen Candraprabha, Sudhana and Bhikṣuṇī Simhavijrmbhita courtesy of the Huntington Archives, web: http://huntington.wmc.ohio-state.edu/public/index.cfm?fuseaction=showThisDetail&ObjectID=30030727&detail=large, http://huntington.wmc.ohio-state.edu/public/index.cfm?fuseaction=showThisDetail&ObjectID=30030832&detail=large, http://huntington.wmc.ohio-state.edu/public/index.cfm?fuseaction=showThisDetail&ObjectID=30032605&detail=large.


[1] The oldest Mahāyāna/Vajrayāna inscriptions found in Indonesia are from this period late in the seventh century, during which the South Sumatran King Sri Jananāśa began propounding the bodhisattva vow and practice of the pāramitās. Eighth century records are marked by the development of a new teaching, the Mantranāya School of Indonesia, as taught by Indian master Vajrabodhi, who stayed as an honored guest in both Śrīvijaya and Java, and accepted Javanese native Amoghavajra as his disciple.
[2] A closeup of the image of Tārā above the lintel of the Tārā Bhavanam can be found at: https://naliam.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/candikalasan2528172529.jpg and at a distance: http://www.photodharma.net/Indonesia/19-Candi-Kalasan/images/Kalasan-Slide-00010.jpg. The original central image is missing. It is thought to have been a bronze image around four meters high of Vaśyādhikāra Tārā, the “Supreme Tamer [of Those to Be Tamed],” a form of Green Tārā associated with Amoghasiddhi, sitting in bhadrāsana, with varada-mudrā holding the blue utpala lotus. The dedication reads “Namo bhagavatyai āryatārāyai.” There are further niches for the 21 Tārās in this temple. Jordaan, Roy E.. “The Tārā temple of Kalasan in Central Java,” Bulletin de l’Ecole française de’Extrême-Orient, Vol 85 (1998) 167-173.
[3] Sita Mañjughosa Mañjuśrī Bodhisattva image from Candi Plaosan: http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/id?1113602. Image of Tārā from Candi Plaosan: http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/id?1113612.
[4] Note that in Indonesia, as in India, the royalty were known to grant freehold properties, that is, a tax-exempt foundation, to support a religious or public-benefit site. What this meant is that the people of that area no longer needed to pay taxes to the royalty, as those revenues were dedicated to the local religious foundation.
[5] The inscriptions were made in the Siddham script, Candi Kalasan and the Abhayagirivihāra at Ratu Boko being the only two places in Indonesia where such has been found. The Siddham script was widely used by Chinese, Japanese and Korean esoteric masters. See Stutterheim (1989)
[6] Beyer (1973: 6-10). As Beyer mentions, this is so unless one were to count the 5th century poem Vāsavadattā, which (although not an inscription) reads: bhiksuki 'va tardnuragaraktdmbaradhdrini bhagavati samdhya samadrsyata: "Lady Twilight was seen, devoted to the stars and clad in saffron sky, as a Buddhist nun [is devoted to Tārā and is clad in saffron garments]." Sanskrit tentatively reconstructed by Bhikkhu Ānandajoti as: bhiksukī 'va tārānurāgaraktāmbaradhārinī bhagavatī samdhya samadrsyata (private correspondence 27 Jan 2015).
[7] The actual dedication in Siddhaṃ script reads: Jinavaravinayoktaih śiksitānam... <ya> tīnām abhayagirvihāraḥ kāritaḥ sinhalānām and was translated in De Casparis (1961: 245) as, “This Abhayagirivihāra here of the Sinhalese ascetics, trained in the sayings of the [Vinaya] discipline of the Best of Jinas, was established.” “The relationship between Ratu Boko, the Abhayagiriwihāra inscription and the Sri Lankan Abhayagiri-vihāra has been underlined by several authors (Casparis 1959; Sundberg 2004), but this connection is not limited to merely one inscription; it is also architectureal (Miksic 1993-1994; Degroot 2006). In fact the whole southeastern compound of Ratu Boko appears to have been conceived as a replica of Anuradhāpura. Furthermore, the meditation platform, the most characteristic building in the meditation monasteries of Sri Lanka, was used as a model for the third building stage of the pendopo.” Degroot, Candi, Space and Landscape (2006: 110-111) It is not yet known whether the monastic community related to Abhayagiri in Indonesia had both men’s and women’s monastic branches as did the Abhayagiri community in Sri Lanka, yet there are no specific indications otherwise. It is known that the Abhayagiri bhikṣuṇīs were internationally active and mobile and undertook sea voyages for Dharmadhuta/Vinayadhuta missionary Sangha activities, as these bhikṣuṇīs undertook two voyages to China for the sake of the dual ordination of Chinese bhikṣuṇīs, which was well recorded, and has been widely published in recent years (See: Wijayasundara (1993: 82), Chodron (1999), Tsomo (2004), Perera (2010), Kusuma (2010), Sujato (2012: §39)). Sinhalese bhikkhunīs are also recorded as having traveled to both India and Tibet, and one bhikkhunī from Kalinga is recorded as having been ordained in Sri Lanka (See: Gunawardana (1988)).
[8] The Abhayagirivihāra monastics appear to have had strong international connections between Sri Lanka, China and India, as well as Indonesia, including as seen here, at least one international branch monastery, specially highlighting the connection with Java (See Sundberg’s “The Wilderness monks of Abhayagirivihāra” (2004)).
[9] The aforementioned master Vajrabodhi translated the Sārva-tathāgatha-tattva- saṃgraha or “Compendium of Principles” into Chinese, and he and Amoghavajra later travelled to China where they spread the esoteric Mantrayāna School to China, Japan and Korea. Amoghavajra translated the Tattva-saṃgraha Tantra texts into Chinese, authored a version of the Humane King Sūtra (仁王經), developed Jinge Temple (金閣寺) on the Five Peaks Mountain, Mt. Wutai (五台山), and promoted the bodhisattva of wisdom Mañjuśrī as protector. These teachings and translations in China give us an idea of the doctrine popularized by these two eminent teachers in Indonesia, teachings which are now called Vajrayāna Yoga Tantra, as well as being formative in esoteric Tien-tai (天台宗) and Shingon (Mantrayāna, 真言宗) Buddhism.
[10] Although the principle Candi Kalasan Tārā image is lost, this stone image from the walls of Borobudur is thought to represent Queen Tārā sitting at court with King Samaratungga: http://apsara.transapex.com/wp-content/uploads/Sailendra_King_and_Queen.jpg (from: http://apsara.transapex.com/collection/javanese-figurines/). The walls of Borobudur are frequented by standing images of Tārā alone, i.e.: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tara_(Buddhism)#/media/File:Tara_Borobudur_2.jpg.
[11] Pollock, Sheldon (quoting Sarkar 1971: No. 10, 48). “The Sanskrit Cosmopolis,” in Ideology and Status of Sanskrit: Contributions to the History of the Sanskrit Language, Edited by Houben, Jan E. M., 222, Leiden: Brill (1996).
[12] National Library of Indonesia, “Temples of Indonesia”->“Central Java”-> “Plaosan” (2014), web: http://candi.pnri.go.id/temples_en/deskripsi-central_java-plaosan_39[13] “The Thēra Dhammarakkhita the Yōna, being gone to Aparāntaka and having preached in the midst of the people the Aggikkhandhopama-sutta (of Anguttaranikāya) gave to drink of the nectar of truth to thirty-seven thousand living beings who had come together there, they who perfectly understood truth and untruth. A thousand men and yet more women went forth from noble families and received the pabbajjā.” (Mahāvamsa XII, Dīpavamsa VIII.7)
[14] Rock cut cave monasteries for both bhikkhus and bhikkhunīs are still found in cave complexes around this region of India, with many donative and dedicatory inscriptions containing bhikkhunīs’ names. Rock cut cave monasteries in which bhikkhunīs are believed to have dwelled due to inscriptions include the bhikkhunīs’ section of the 1st century BCE to 9th century CE Kānhērī Caves complex Cave 12, and the Kārlē (Karla) Caves Complex located nearby the “twin” Bhājē (Bhaja) Caves complex. (Mokashi 2012). Tārā is particularly found represented in four color forms at Kānhērī Caves (Wayman 1992:104).
[15] There is some confusion, as Samaratungga and Samaragrawira are generally thought to be one and the same person (de Caspiris, Krom), that is, the son of king Panangkaran, also known as Śrī Sanggramadhananjaya and as King Indra. However, Bālaputra is the son or youngest son of Queen Tārā (per the Nālandā inscription), and Prāmodhavardhanī is the daughter of Samaratungga who had no male heir (per the Karangtengah inscription). Various theories have been proposed to solve the question. The Nālandā inscription places Bālaputra as grandson of the Śailendravamsatilakana, who the Kalasan inscription identifies as Panangkaran. Indonesian historian Slamet Muljana identifies Samaratungga as Rakai Gawrung, Samaragrawira’s successor, that is, the elder son of Devī Tārā, elder brother of Bālaputra, and father of Prāmodhavardhanī, who would then be Queen Tārā’s granddaughter (Muljana: 2006).
[16] Zakharov 2012: 18
[17] It is a dispute as to whether the name Śrī Kahulunnan found in these inscriptions should be attributed to Crown Princess Śrī Sanjawana (Prāmodhawardhanī) or to her mother, Queen Dewī Tārā; or if Śrī Kahulunnan was Prāmodhawardhanī’s mother and Dewī Tārā her grandmother or aunt. Boechari. Lokesh Chandra, Andries Teeuw, and Sergey Kullanda use the term “Queen Mother,” but we do not know to whom she was queen mother (Zakharov 2012:19). De Caspiris interprets the term to mean Paramesvarī or Premier Queen Consort, indicating Prāmodhawardhanī. However, Boechari makes the excellent point that in the Mahābhārata, Yudhisthira uses Śrī Kuhulunan to refer to his mother Kunti, thus indicating that she is the Crown Princess Prāmodhawardhanī’s mother, the ibu suri, wife of Samaratungga.
[18] The Karangtengah inscription (also known as Kayumwungan inscription) can be dated to the year 746 of the Saka era or 824 CE and is written in Old Javanese and Sanskrit. The inscription related to the inauguration of the Jinālaya is generally associated with Borobudur. It records that another Venuvāna Jinamandira was also established in memorial dedication to the “Dharma Cloud” (thought to be Prāmodhavardhanī’s grandfather, King Indra). This latter mandira, due to its inscribed dedicational aim of accomplishing the ten stages in the development of buddhahood, has also been identified with Borobudur (by de Caspiris), and with either Candi Mendut which was built by King Indra or Candi Ngawen (by Seokmono and others). Note the relationship of the “Dharma Cloud” imagery to the Candi Plaosan inscription.
[19] Tri Tepusan inscription dated 842 CE. The inscription states that: ‘“tatkāla śrī kahulunnan manusuk wanwa i tru tppussan watak kahulunnan sīma ning kamūlān i bhūmi sambhāra,” (de Caspiris’s translation: “At that time Her Majesty the Queen dedicated the village of Teru i Tepusan, under the Queen’s jurisdiction, as a [sīmā/]freehold belonging to Kamūlān Bhūmisambhāra). (Caspiris, 1950:83ff.).’ Soekmono 1995 (58)
[20] Candi Sajiwan main temple attending bodhisattva image from the New York Public Library collection: http://digital-collections.nypl.org/items/510d47dc-9e75-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
[21] The Rukam inscription is dated 907 CE.
[22] “at Candi Sajiwan…a temple pit is sunken in the center of the cella’s floor in front of the singhāsana (van Blom, 1935:13, 36-27, 109-110). It contained gold foil shapes and fragments of burnt bones…[he] had considered it to be a mausoleum…” Soekmono (1995:25)
[23] Boro, bioro and biara are thought to be colloquial forms of the Sanskrit vihara, and budur a form of bhudhar (mountain) or bud (buddha)+udhur (mountain). As the name is also pronounced Barabudur, it is also possible that the meaning is bhara (stages), as in sambhara, so “Mountain of the Stages [of the Path to Buddhahood]”.
[24] The Pali-text equivalent is the sāvakas and sāvikās (male and female “hearers”/disciples of the Buddha) of the Khuddaka Nikāya’s Apadāna genre.
[25] Visual similarities may be noted with regards at least one of the contemporary Sri Lankan forest traditions, as well as numerous paintings, statues and line drawings from Burma, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia from antiquity.
[26] At the end of the 7th century, famous Buddhist monastic pilgrim monk and travelogue author Bhikkhu I-tsing (Yijing, 義淨) had noted more than 1000 Buddhist monastic at his place of residence in Indonesia, mostly of the then prevalent Mūlasarvāstivāda Nikāya, but with a few members of the Sthavira Nikāya, then newly introduced. “Sthavira Nikāya” is generally considered the Sanskrit name of the Pali “Theriya Nikāya,” which later came to be known as the Theravāda. See Bhikkhu Anālayo’s "A Note on the Term Theravāda,” Buddhist Studies Review, 2013, vol. 30 no. 2 pp. 216–235. However, in this case, it might also be the name of the Abhayagirivihāra school monastics, who also came to be known as “Mahāyāna Sthāviras” according to another 7th century Chinese Buddhist monastic pilgrim and travel writer, Xuanzang (玄奘, Hsüan-tsang). It is noteworthy that, both in India and in Indonesia, to study Mahāyāna, Madhyamika, Yogācāra and bodhisattva teachings was observed by the venerable I-tsing to be a monastic's personal choice, not related or tied to their monastic nikāya, order, monastery or ordination lineage. From Tathālokā’s “Light of the Kilis” (2015), forthcoming.
[27] Jataka Stories: East Wall (south to center) on panels 264-265-266:
[28] We cannot tell the color of the robes in stone. However, the Candi Plaosan inscription mentions the “color of darkening twilight” in poetic comparison with being Dharmamegha, the “Dharma cloud” that cools and quenches thirst (Seokmono 1995:60). The twilight color is also mentioned as the robe color of Buddhist bhikṣukīs in the 5th century Sanskrit poetry of Subandhu in his work vadattā (Beyer 1973/1988:9).
[29] This addha-pallanka or “half-crossed legged sitting posture” is prescribed in the Pali-text Vinaya in the Bhikkhunīkkhandhaka at Cullavagga X.435, PTS X.27.2 [279], and in the Mulasarvāstivāda Vinayasútra at 17.37. In Thailand, this posture known as papiyup or the “polite posture,” is used by both male and female monastics and householders, whereas both men and women cross their legs for sitting meditation or nang samadhi. Laywomen and maechees do also use the “mermaid” posture kneeling with both legs a little to the side, as illustrated here with the bhikṣuṇīs at Borobudur.
[30] In his travelogue, I-tsing relates what he learned of the bhikkhunī’s ways of wearing the monastic robes in India and the South Seas thus: “When she is out of doors or before the monks (然其出外及在僧前), or when she is invited to a householder’s home for meal dana (并向俗家受 他請食), her Kāśāya must always be wrapped round her neck and covering her body (袈裟繞頸覆身不合)…during the meal, she must not bare her chest, but eat with her hands coming out from underneath [her robe]… Having one shoulder bare [outside] or having a shirt or trousers are prohibited by the Great Sage (Mahā Samana)) himself, and must not be done by bhikṣuṇīs.” (T54, p0216a, adapted from Record of Buddhist Practices XII:78)
[31] Jātaka Stories: East Wall (south to center) on panel 52 (named 53): http://www.photodharma.net/Indonesia/04-Jataka-Level-1-Top/images/Jataka-Level-1-Original-00052.jpg. The appearance of the both shoulders covered robe wrapping here is perhaps most similar to that in use by the bhikkhus of one branch of a contemporary Sri Lankan forest tradition (Arañyavamsa), but dissimilar to that of the contemporary Burmese/Myanmar Sangha.
[32] From this and frequent other examples, it seems common that Queen Mothers, even after having retired into Buddhist monastic life, might still be consulted (and even on occasion intervene) with regards important affairs of the kingdom.
[33] In example, the Gua Selomangleng Cave of Devi Kili Suci (Crown Princess/Putrī Sanggramawijaya, regnal name: Rakrayan Mahāmantri i Hino Sanggramawijaya Dharmaprasada Uttunggadewi (alternate spelling: Dharmaprasadottunggadewi)), Tathālokā, “Light of the Kili’s” (2015), web: http://awakeningbuddhistwomen.blogspot.com/2015/04/history-of-women-in-buddhism-indonesia.html.
[34] See Digital Sanskrit Buddhist Canon: 37 Rudrāyanāvadānam: http://www.dsbcproject.org/node/5431.
[35] From the Divyāvadāna Level 1, Inner Wall at Borobudur: Rudrāyana Avadāna Relief 73 (of 120): http://www.photodharma.net/Indonesia/06-Divyavadana-Level-1/images/Avadana-Level-1-Original-00098.jpg
[36] Both panel images and story are found at 74-76 here in “Rudrayana’s Storyboard” here: http://www.photodharma.net/Indonesia/06-Divyavadana-Level-1/06-Divyavadana-Level-1-Rudrayanas-Storyboard.htm
[37] From the Divyāvadāna Level 1, Inner Wall at Borobudur: Rudrāyana Avadāna Relief 74 (of 120) of Queen Candraprabhā requesting the going forth into monastic life: http://www.photodharma.net/Indonesia/06-Divyavadana-Level-1/images/Avadana-Level-1-Original-00099.jpg
[38] This posture is still practiced in Sri Lanka during ordinations into the Theravāda Buddhist monastic communities.
[39] In the Commentary (Atthakathā) to Anguttara Nikāya 8.51 there is mentioned antonivesana pabbajjā — “going forth in the women’s inner chambers”—with regards the initial actions of Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī’s cutting of her hair and donning the kāsāya monastic robes before setting forth from the palace. One may wonder if such antonivesana pabbajjā is what is illustrated here.
[40] In Sanskrit it is known as the Gandavyūhasūtra; in Tibetan, སྡོང་པོ་བཀོད་པ་ (Wyl. mdo sdong po bkod pa), and in Chinese as 入法界品 or ‘Entry into the Dharma Realm.’
[41] “Gandavyuha Sutra” in the Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia, web: http://www.chinabuddhismencyclopedia.com/en/index.php/Gandavyuha_Sutra
[42] Siṃhavijrmbhitā (師子嚬申比丘尼) means “lion’s roar” and is the name of a type of samādhi meditation. The text mentions that this bhikṣụnī kalyānamitra is enthroned on a lion’s throne. Although her teaching throne is not depicted as a lion’s throne in the relief corresponding to the first pilgrimage; it is in the relief corresponding to the second pilgrimage. See p 47 of Jan Fontein’s Entering the Dharmadhātu: the Gandavyūha Reliefs of Borobudur. Note the possible pattern of relationship between 7th century Javanese Queen Simha (Ratu Shima) of Kalinga and the Gandhavyūha’s “Simha of the Lion’s Roar,” as also the synchronicity between 8th century Śailendra Śrīvijayan Queen Tārā and Ārya Tārā, and 7th century Nepalese Tibetan Queen Bhrikuti and Bhrikuti’s appearance in Buddhist tantras.
[43] Adapted from Osto (2008): Endnote 30
[45] An artist’s depiction of Prāmodhawardhanī as the female buddha Tārā inside the pinnacle Borobodur stupa: hpijogya.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/stupa.jpg
[46] See Hudaya Kandahyaya’s “What is Borobudur?” (2015) Sakyadhita Conference paper for more regarding Śrī Sanjiwana Prāmodhawardhanī and the buddhacarita she is remembered for in the Kayumwungan Inscription (aka Karangtengah Inscription) of 824 CE. http://www.photodharma.net/Indonesia/04-Jataka-Level-1-Top/04-Jataka-Level-1-Top.htm

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