The Gaṇḍavyūha is one of the great Buddhist stories telling of the pilgrimage of the young man Sudhana who wants to find out how Bodhisattvas live and behave, and his multiple encounters with 52 teachers during his quest.
This story is amongst those illustrated at Borobudur, and indeed it has by far the largest amount of reliefs dedicated to it of any story on the monument, there being 460 reliefs. This is the 8th of 9 videos which show the reliefs at Borobudur and tell the story of Sudhana’s journey.
The videos, each around one hour long, are a remarkable feat of dedicated story-telling by Walid Haddad, some of whose other videos I have featured on this site before, and I will show the whole collection over the next couple of months. The story is a great story, the reliefs are some of the finest examples of Buddhist art, and their retelling in these videos is a great accomplishment.
In this video Sudhana has the last of the visions he sees inside Maitreya’s Palace, and then emerges to be further guided on his way by Mañuśrī and Samantabhadra, before attaining his own Complete Awakening by the end of the wall. Once again Walid contrasts his own modern photos with those taken around the turn of the century, through which we can see how much the reliefs have worn.
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