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 1st 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 the first video we see the Prologue to the story, and afterwards meet the first 16 teachers on Sudhana’s pilgrimage. Besides the story, Walid also shows us the great detail that the sculptors brought to the reliefs and highlights many scenes that would be otherwise unnoticed.
One small warning: some of the reliefs are very worn down: please do not let this put you off, as some are also in a remarkably good state of preservation, and the story is clear on many of the reliefs.