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 5th 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. 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.
By the time we get to the 3rd gallery Sudhana is ready to enter Maitreya’s Palace, and see the visions that await him there. At the beginning we see Sudhana outside the Palace, and then Maitreya opens the doors, and the visions begin.
One of the very interesting things about this video is that Walid has cross-faded between his own photos, and photos that were taken 100 years earlier, and we can see the extreme damage that has overtaken the monument in recent years.
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