Avadana’s Relief: The Stories of Sudhana

December 05, 2017 / Articles

In a relief of Borobudur Temple, there is a story about a man named Sudhana who sat down beside a lotus pond. There, he found Manohara and her sisters were bathing. Previously, Sudhana has learned a spell from a wise man to cripple Manohara. The artist who made the relief has successfully shown Manohara’s inability to move by isolating in a plain background, while the fairies flew toward the sky and left. One of the fairies saw Manohara in surprise because she did not fly with them.

The next story tells that Manohara is married to Sudhana and live in the palace with Sudhana and his father who is also a king. However, the women in the palace were jealous of Manohara’s beauty and planned to kill her when Sudhana was on a military expedition. But before it happens, Manohara has gained her power to fly and escape from the palace.

Another story tells about the fair king who makes the prohibition of killing. God Indra wanted to test the king by turning into a hawk that chased a dove into the palace. Later, the king forbade the eagle to kill the pigeon, but the hawk said that if he did not eat meat, he would die from starvation. The good King Sibi offered a hunk of his own flesh for the eagle to eat instead of the pigeon. Sibi cuts parts of his body one at a time, but Indra makes the scales, not in such a way that the body part will not be as heavy as the pigeon. Finally, King Sibi offered his entire body. At the time, Indra acknowledged the kindness of King Sibi and restored it as before.

Another story is Rudrayana and King Bimbisari that illustrate the destiny of a king who opposes Buddhist monks. On this relief, jewelry and gold fell down from a vase that floated in the sky just before the city of the evil king were destroyed. Immediately the crowd tried to collect the treasure. Described as well that two ministers were also have been warned about what will happen, and they filled their little boats with jewelry for the escape plan.
The king, unaware of the coming catastrophe, depicted sitting on a throne in front of a building that represents the remainder of the city.

#borobudur #buddhist #buddha #relief #temple

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