Window of Archipelago

La Galigo - Similar to the Koran but older than the Koran

Ujungpandang ( Dreamland Library ) - The Bugis in South Sulawesi, adheres to a belief in the Gods of Seuwae (the Only God). "The Bug...

The entry of Buddhism in Indonesia - 400 AD

Jakarta (Dreamland Library) - Buddhism arrived in the archipelago quite early and a lot of information about this we get from Chinese sources. Fa Xien, who came from Sri Lanka in 414, was stranded because of a strong typhoon to Yeh p'o t'i (Yawadwîpa, whether this is Java or Sumatra, is unclear), feeling rather disappointed with his religious situation (= Buddhism) in there, especially when compared to the Brahmins and 'infidels'. But before 424, according to Chinese sources again, Buddhism spread in the country of Shê p’o (= Java). The missionary or preacher who spread this religion is said to be Gunawarman, a prince's son from Kashmir. He came to Java from Sri Lanka and in 424 left for China, where he died seven years later. He translated a text from the Dharmagupta school

In the 7th, 8th, 9th centuries Indonesian Buddhists, or at least some Buddhist centers in Sumatra and Java, were already part of the cosmopolitan nature of this religion. This impression is mainly obtained from the work of I Ching. In his memory book, he recounts that the pilgrim Hui Ning decided on his three-year journey on the island of Java (664/5 - 667/8) to translate a sutra, most likely from the Hinayana school, about the great Nirvana. His translation was assisted by a Javanese expert named Jñânabhadra. Whereas I Ching himself highly valued Buddhist studies centers in Sumatra. This is evident from the fact that he lived for six months in Sriwijaya and two months in Malayu (Jambi) on his trip to India in 671 and after that for ten years in Sriwijaya (685-695).

In addition he also summarized that Buddhism was embraced in the countries he visited and for the most part, the Hinayan school of thought was followed, except in Malayu where there were also some Mahayana adherents.

But on Java, less than a century after this, the most widely adopted form of Buddhism is a combination of Mahayana and Vajrayana. Borobudur Temple which is considered by some to be a giant mandala, in its thousands of bas-reliefs, it shows scenes or scenes contained in a number of texts in Sanskrit that breathe or form the basis of Mahayana understanding. These texts are: Mahakarmawibhangga, Lalitawistara, Diwyawadana and Gandawyuha.
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Buddhism in Indonesia
Buddhism in Indonesia has a long history. In Indonesia during the New Order administration era, there were five official religions in Indonesia, according to the state ideology of the Pancasila, one of which included Buddhism. President Soeharto has considered Buddhism and Hinduism as classical Indonesian religions. [Citation needed] Buddhism is one of the oldest religions in the world. Buddhism originated in India, precisely Nepal since the 6th century BC and still survives until now. Buddhism developed quite well in the Asian region and has become the majority religion in several countries, such as Taiwan, Thailand, Myanmar and others. Buddhism later also entered the archipelago (now Indonesia) and became one of the oldest religions in Indonesia today.

Buddhism that spread in the archipelago was originally an intellectual belief, and has little to do with the supernatural. But in the process, the political need, and personal emotional desire to be protected from the dangers in the world by a powerful deity, has caused modifications in Buddhism. In many ways, Buddhism is very individualistic, that is, all individuals, both men and women, are responsible for their own spirituality. Anyone can meditate alone; the temple is not needed, and no priest is needed to act as an intermediary. The community provides pagodas and temples just to inspire the right frame of mind to help people in their devotion and self-awareness.

Although various schools of Islam approach Buddhism in different ways, the main feature of Buddhism in Indonesia is the recognition of the "Four Noble Truths" and "The Main Path of the Eightfold". The Four Noble Truths involve the recognition that all being is filled with suffering; the origin of suffering is the desire for worldly objects; suffering ceases when desire ceases; and the Eightfold Path leads to enlightenment. The Main Path of the Eightfold brings perfect vision, resolution, speech, behavior, livelihood, effort, attention and concentration.

The period of Hindu-Buddhist kingdom
Buddhism first entered the archipelago (now Indonesia) around the 5th century AD when viewed from the relics of the existing inscriptions. Allegedly first brought by a traveler from China named Fa Hsien [1]. The first Buddhist kingdom that flourished in the archipelago was the Kingdom of Srivijaya which stood in the 7th century to 1377. The Kingdom of Srivijaya was once one of the centers of Buddhist development in Southeast Asia. This can be seen in the notes of a scholar from China named I-Tsing who traveled to India and the Archipelago and noted the development of Buddhism there. Other Buddhist monks who visited Indonesia were Atisa, Dharmapala, a professor from Nalanda, and Vajrabodhi, a Buddhist from South India.

In Java also stands the Buddhist kingdom, namely the Kingdom of Syailendra, precisely in Central Java now, although not as big as the Kingdom of Srivijaya. The kingdom was founded in 775-850, and left behind a number of Buddhist temples that still stand today include the Borobudur Temple, Mendut Temple and Pawon Temple. After that in the years 1292 to 1478, Majapahit Kingdom was established which was the last Hindu-Buddhist kingdom in Indonesia. The Majapahit Kingdom reached its heyday when it was led by Hayam Wuruk and his Great Patih, Gajah Mada. However, due to internal divisions and also the absence of a successor to match the glory of Hayam Wuruk and Gajah Mada, the Majapahit Kingdom began to decline. After the collapse of the Majapahit kingdom, the Hindu-Buddhist kingdom began to be displaced by Islamic empires.

From the beginning of the entry of Buddhism in the archipelago, especially during the Kingdom of Srivijaya, the majority of the population in the area were Buddhists, especially in the Nusantara regions of Java and Sumatra. However, after the development of the Islamic empires in Indonesia, the number of Buddhists decreased as they were replaced by new Islamic religions that were brought into the archipelago by traders residing in the coastal areas. The number of Buddhists in Indonesia also did not develop during the Dutch and Japanese occupations. Even during the Portuguese occupation, Buddhists in Indonesia were diminishing because Europeans also brought missionaries to spread Christianity in the archipelago.

Kingdom of Srivijaya
The main article for this section is: The Kingdom of Srivijaya
The territory of the Srivijaya Kingdom around the 8th century.
Buddhist stupa at Borobudur Temple, which was built by Syailendra Dynasty.

Srivijaya is a maritime kingdom located in Sumatra, but its power reaches Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Malay Peninsula, Thailand, Cambodia and others. Srivijaya is derived from Sanskrit, Sri is "glowing" and Vijaya is "victory". The Kingdom of Srivijaya was first established around 600 and survived until 1377. The Kingdom of Srivijaya was one of the kingdoms that had been forgotten, which was then reintroduced by a French scholar, George Cœdès in the 1920s [2] [3]. George Cœdès reintroduced sriwijaya based on his findings from inscriptions and news from China. The discovery of George Coedes was later published in Dutch and Indonesian language newspapers [3]. And since then the kingdom of Sriwijaya began to be known again by the public. The loss of news about the existence of Srivijaya was due to the small number of relics left by the Srivijaya kingdom before it collapsed. Some of the causes of the collapse of the Kingdom of Srivijaya, namely:

    Attack of the Chola Dynasty from Coromandel, South India (1017 & 1025)
This attack succeeded in capturing the king of Srivijaya and later the Chola Dynasty became in power over the kingdom of Srivijaya. As a result of this attack, the position of the Srivijaya kingdom in the archipelago began to sway.

    The Malay kingdom, Dharmasraya, emerged

After the weakening of the Chola Dynasty's power, the Dharmasraya kingdom emerged which took over the Malay Peninsula and also suppressed the existence of the Srivijaya kingdom.

    Defeat the war of another kingdom

Another reason that caused the collapse of Srivijaya was war with other kingdoms such as Singosari, Majapahit and Dharmasraya. Apart from being the cause of the collapse of Srivijaya, this war also caused many relics of Sriwijya that were damaged or lost, so that the existence of the Srivijaya Kingdom was forgotten for several centuries.

The development of Buddhism during the Srivijaya period can be known based on the I-Tsing report. Before conducting a study at Nalanda University in India, I-Tsing visited the kingdom of Srivijaya. Based on I-tsing's records, Srivijaya was home to Buddhist scholars, and became a center of Buddhist learning. This proves that during the Srivijaya kingdom, Buddhism developed very rapidly. Besides that I-tsing also reported that in Sriwijaya there were Theravada Buddhist schools (sometimes called Hinayana) and Mahayana. And then the longer Buddhism in Srivijaya was influenced by the Vajrayana sect from India.

The rapid development of Buddhism in Srivijaya was also supported by a Buddhist professor in Srivijaya, namely Sakyakirti, Sakyakirti's name comes from I-tsing who became acquainted when he stopped at Sriwijaya. [8] In addition to the Buddhist Grand Master, I-tsing also reported that there were Buddhist schools that had good relations with Nalanda University, India, so that there were quite a number of people who studied Buddhism in this kingdom. In his notes, I-tsing also wrote that there were more than 1,000 priests who studied Buddhism in Sriwijaya.

Majapahit kingdom
Majapahit is an ancient kingdom in Indonesia that stood from around 1293 to 1500 AD This kingdom reached its heyday during the reign of Hayam Wuruk, who ruled from 1350 to 1389. The Majapahit Kingdom was the last Hindu-Buddhist kingdom to rule the Malay Peninsula and was considered as one of the biggest countries in the history of Indonesia.

Majapahit left many holy places, the remnants of religious ritual facilities at that time. These sacred buildings are known as temples, holy baths (pertirtan) and hermitage caves. The survey buildings are mostly Shiva religion, and a few are Buddhist, including Jago, Bhayalangu, Sanggrahan, and Jabung temples which can be known from architectural characteristics, abandoned statues, temple reliefs, and textual data, for example Kakawin Nagarakretagama, Arjunawijaya, Sutasoma, and a little news inscription.

Based on written sources, the Majapahit kings are generally Shiva from the Siwasiddhanta school except Tribuwanattungadewi (mother of Hayam Wuruk) who is a Mahayana Buddhist. Even so Shiva and Buddhism remained official kingdoms until the end of 1447. Official religious officials during the reign of Raden Wijaya (Kertarajasa) there were two high officials of Shiva and Buddhism, namely Dharmadyaksa ring Kasiwan and Dharmadyaksa ring Kasogatan, then five Shiva officials in under it is called Dharmapapati or Dharmadihikarana.

In Majapahit times there were two books describing the teachings of Mahayana Buddhism, namely Sanghyang Kamahayanan Mantrayana which contains teachings aimed at ordained monks, and Sanghyang Kamahayanikan which contains a collection of teachings on how one can attain deliverance. The main teaching in the Sanghyang Kamahayanikan is to show that the various forms of release are basically the same. It seems that the syncretism of the author Sanghyang Kamahayanikan is reflected in the identification of Shiva with the Buddha and refers to it as "Shiva-Buddha", no longer Shiva or Buddha, but Shiva-Buddha as the highest consciousness.

In the Majapahit era (1292-1478), syncretism had reached its peak. It seems like the Hindu-Shiva, Hindu-Vishnu and Buddhism styles can live together. All three are seen as various forms of the same truth. Shiva and Vishnu are seen as equal in value and they are described as "Harihara" which is a statue (statue) half Shiva and half Vishnu. Shiva and Buddha are considered the same. In Arjunawijaya's book kakawin Mpu Tantular, for example, it is told that when Arjunawijaya entered the Buddhist temple, the women explained that the Jinas from the corners of nature depicted on the statues were the same as the manifestation of Shiva. Vairocana is the same as Sadasiwa who occupies the middle position. Aksobya is the same as Rudra who occupies the eastern position. Ratnasambhava is the same as Brahma who occupies the southern position, Amitabha is equal to Mahadewa who occupies the western position and Amogasiddhi is the same as Vishnu who occupies the northern position. Therefore the monks said there was no difference between Buddhism and Shiva. In the Kunjarakarna book it is stated that no one, both followers of Shiva and Buddha can get liberated if he separates the real one, namely Shiva-Buddha.

Renewal of Shiva-Buddhism in the Majapahit era, among others, was seen in the way of bringing the king and his family to death in two temples with different religious characteristics. This can be seen in the first king of Majapahit, namely Kertarajasa, who was celebrated in Sumberjati Temple (Simping) as a form of Shiva (Siwawimbha) and in Antahpura as Buddha; or the second king of Majapahit, namely Raja Jayabaya who was sent to the Shila Ptak (ed. Sila Petak) as Vishnu and in Sukhalila as Buddha. This shows that beliefs where the Supreme Reality in Shiva and Buddhism are no different.

Although Buddhism and Hinduism have spread in East Java, it seems that ancestral beliefs still play a role in people's lives. This is indicated by the structure of the temple in which there is a place of worship of ancestors, which is megalith stone, which is placed on the highest terrace of the holy place.

After the Majapahit Kingdom suffered a setback at the end of the reign of King Brawijaya V (1468-1478) and collapsed in 1478, the Buddhist and Hindu religions were gradually displaced by Islam.

The Period of Modern Indonesia

The period before and after Indonesia's independence

After Indonesian independence, there were people who cared about and preserved Buddhism in Indonesia, starting with a monk from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) named Narada Maha Thera. In 1934 he visited the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) as the first Theravada monk who came to spread Buddhism after more than 450 years of the fall of the last Hindu-Buddhist kingdom on the archipelago. [11] His arrival began to regain interest in studying Buddhism in the Dutch East Indies. This interest was later strengthened by a bhikku from Indonesia who was ordained in Burma (now Myanmar) named bhikkhu Ashin Jinarakkhita, and resumed the development of Buddhism in Indonesia, where Buddhism gradually began to be recognized again.

Post September 30 Movement

After the failed 30 September Movement coup attempt in 1965, any indication of deviations from the monotheistic teachings of Pancasila was considered as betrayal. To maintain Buddhism in Indonesia, Perbuddhi's founder, Bhikkhu Ashin Jinarakkhita, proposed an adjustment in the dogma of Buddhism in Indonesia, namely the existence of a single supreme deity, "Sang Hyang Adi Buddha". He sought evidence and confirmation for this distinctive version of Indonesian Buddhism in ancient Javanese texts, and even from the complex form of Buddhist temples in Borobudur in Central Java Province. In the years that followed after the failed 1965 coup attempt, when all Indonesian citizens were required to register with certain religious denominations or were suspected of being communist sympathizers, the number of people registered as followers of Buddhism rose sharply, several dozen new Buddhist monasteries were built. In 1987 there were seven schools of Buddhism affiliated with Representatives of Indonesian Buddhists (Walubi), namely: Theravada, Buddhayana, Mahayana, Tridharma, Kasogatan, Maitreya, and Nichiren.

According to estimates in 1987, there were around 2.5 million Buddhists, of which 1 million were affiliated with Theravada Buddhism and around 0.5 million with Buddhayanaism founded by Jinarakkhita. Other estimates place Buddhists in only about 1 percent of Indonesia's population, or less than 2 million. At that time Buddhism got that number because of the uncertain status of Confucianism or Confucianism. Confucianism was officially tolerated by the government since the fall of the New Order administration, but because Confucianism was considered only as a system of ethical relations, not religion, this religion was not represented in the Ministry of Religion.

Buddhism in Indonesia in the early 1990s was an unstable product of a complex accommodation between Eastern religious ideologies, traditional Chinese ethnic culture, and political policy. Traditionally, Chinese Taoism, Confucianism ("Confucianism" in Indonesian) and Buddhism, as well as Buddhism, which is more indigenous to Perbuddhi, all have followers in the ethnic Chinese community.

The period of commencement of the Population Census

The population census that began in 1961 shows the population growth of Indonesia based on quantitative data 1961-1971 = 2.1%, 1971-1980 = 2.32%, 1980-1990 = 1.97%, 1990-2000 = 1.48%, 2000-2010 = 1.3% [12]. Based on these data, we can find out the average rate of population growth every 10 years, i.e. 1,834%. So, we can predict the population of Indonesia in 1100 which is the majority of Buddhists, which is around 24.1 million inhabitants.

According to the 1990 national census, more than 1% of Indonesia's total population is Buddhist, around 1.8 million people. Most Buddhists are in Jakarta, although there are also in other provinces such as Riau, North Sumatra and West Kalimantan. However, this number is not the actual number because at that time Confucianism and Taoism were not considered as the official religion in Indonesia so they were deliberated as Buddhists. In 2008, the number of Buddhists was around 1.3 million inhabitants out of 217,346,140 Indonesians or around 0.6%. In 2010, the number of Buddhists was around 961,086 inhabitants out of 240,271,522 residents of Indonesia, or around 0.4%.

Based on these data, it can be concluded that the total population of Indonesia who adheres to Buddhism is in contrast to the growth of Indonesia's population.
Buddhism in Indonesia is the most widely practiced by the Chinese community and some indigenous groups of Indonesia, with a percentage of the amount of 1% (Buddhism only) to 2.3% (including Taoism and Confucianism) Indonesian population which includes Buddhists.

The development of Buddhism in Indonesia

The revival of Buddhism after the Majapahit empire was begun in 1954 by Bhikkhu Ashin Jinarakkhita. He was the first monk from Indonesia to be ordained since the collapse of the Majapahit kingdom.

Bhante Ashin Jinarakkhita contributed a lot to the development of Buddhism in Indonesia. In 1954, to help the development of Buddhism nationally, the Upasaka Upasika Indonesian Fraternity (PUUI) was established, celebrating the Vesak holy day at Borobudur Temple in 1956, then the formation of Perbuddhi (Indonesian Buddhist Association) in 1958.

In 1959, for the first time since the end of the Majapahit Hindu-Buddhist Kingdom, an ordination of monks was held in Indonesia, as many as 13 senior monks from various countries came to Indonesia to witness the ordination of two monks named Bhikkhu Jinaputta and Bhikkhu Jinapiya.

In 1974, Bhikkhu Ashin Jinarakkhita led the Great Indonesian Sangha from the Indonesian Sangha and the combined Indonesian Sangha. GUBSI (All Indonesian Buddhist Association) was formed in 1976 as a single organization of Indonesian Buddhists originating from Perbuddhi, Indonesian Buddhist Dharma, and so on.

Mahayana Development

Mahayana Buddhism is thought to have come from the 1st century BC to 1 CE, the term Mahayana is found in the Lotus Sutra of Pundarika. The Mahayana school only came to be clearly known in the 2nd century AD, when the Mahayana teachings were explained in the writings.

The development of Mahayana teachings in Indonesia is generally divided into two namely Mahayana Buddhism and Tridharma Buddhism. Mahayana Buddha is a fusion of the Zen and Sukhavati sects (the Chinese elements are still strong). The Buddhist Tridharma (Buddhist Temple) in Indonesia is a blend of Mahayana Buddhism with Taoism and Confucianism (Confucianism), namely the Chinese culture of Dao Jiao, Run Jiao, and local culture. Where developers include Kwee Tek Hoay, Khoe Soe Khiam, Ong Kie Tjay, and Aggi Tje Tje.

In 1978, monks from the Mahayana school formed the Indonesian Mahayana Sangha, chaired by Bhikkhu Dharmasagaro. This Mahayana Indonesian Sangha sparked the idea of ​​developing the Mahayana Indonesian Buddhist Pusdikiat. The goal of the Sangha is to spread the teachings of Mahayana Buddhism in Indonesia by using Indonesian and translating Buddhist scriptures into Indonesian.

Vajrayana Development

The Vajrayana Buddhist School or also called Tantrayana in Indonesia was first pioneered by Father Giriputre Soemarsono and Father Dharmesvara Oke Diputhera in 1953 - 1956 by forming a Tantrayana group called Kasogatan.

Kasogatan was formed because of the drive to restore Buddhism so that it could expand again as it was during the days of the Majapahit kingdom. Kasogatan has an important meaning and history in terms of national personality. In the Majapahit era, kasogatan was the word used to refer to Buddhahood.

Kasogatan comes from the word "sugata", one of the great titles of the Buddha which means "the happy one". The teachings of Buddhism that developed at that time were found in the Sanghyang Kamahayanikan holy book which was embraced by Buddhists at that time.

The second Tantrayana sect group is the Satya Dharma Surya Indonesia Foundation which was founded in 1987. This group is a Tantrayana group of Zhanfo Zong followers, led by a Buddhist named Harsono (now named Vajracarya Harsono). At that time the Tantrayana Zhenfo Zong people numbered around 200, they performed a devotional service by hitching a ride to one temple to another because there were no permanent facilities available. Eventually the Satya Dharma Surya Indonesia Foundation was formed with the construction of a temple in the Muara Karang area under the name Vajra Bumi Jayakarta Vihara as the first Zhenfo Zong place of worship in Indonesia. In October 1988, all the leaders of the Satya Dharma Surya Indonesia Foundation with members of the Indonesian Kasogatan Ambassador Dharma Assembly met and merged the two foundations. This merger is intended to assimilate the community properly through religion and socio-culture and the realization of Buddhism which is oriented towards the personality and culture of Indonesia.

With the merging of the Buddhist schools into sangha-sangha and Buddhist assemblies becoming members of the Indonesian Buddhist Representative, the Indonesian Kasogatan Ambassador Dharma Council changed its name to the Tantrayana Kasogatan Indonesian Buddhist Council, inaugurated in October 1994 and then became the Tantrayana Zhenfo Buddhist Council Zong Kasogatan Indonesia in 2001.

Theravada development
The development of the Theravada Buddhist school was pioneered by Bante Vidhurdhammabhorn (Bhante Vin). During the rapid development of Buddhism, young monks were ordained at Wat Bovoranives, Thailand, with the help of Bhante Vin. This dedication was given permission by Bhante Vin himself, not through Bhante Ashin. Bhikkhubhikkhu who were ordained at Wat Bovoranives have a Dhammayuttika bloodline, this means that if the bloodline is different, then it is not allowed to follow the Patimokkha ceremony from another lineage.

With differences in view, then in January 1972, Bhikkhu - Bhikkhu who were graduates of Wat Bovoranives finally separated and formed the Indonesian Sangha, but in 1974, the Indonesian Sangha finally rejoined the Indonesian Sangha under the leadership of Bhante Ashin. The name of the Indonesian Sangha was changed to the Indonesian Great Sangha (SAGIN). In 1976, a Bhikkhubhikkhu graduate from Wat Bovoranives who was a pupil of Bhante Vin, decided to leave the Great Sangha of Indonesia and establish the Sangha Theravada Indonesia (STI).

Literature of Buddhism in the Archipelago

Two important Javanese Buddhist texts are Sang hyang Kamahaanikan and Kamahayanan Mantranaya.

Borobudur temple
The Lalitavistara Sutra is well known by Mantranaya masons from Borobudur, see: The Birth of Buddha (Lalitavistara). The term Mantranaya is not a spelling error of Mantrayana although most of it is the same. Mantranaya is a term for the mantra esoteric tradition, certain derivatives of Vajrayana and Tantra in Indonesia. The term in Sanskrit Mantranaya has clearly been proven in Old Javanese Basa tantra literature, especially those documented in the oldest esoteric Buddhist tantra text in Old Java, Sang Kyang Kamahayanan Mantranaya, see Kazuko Ishii (1992).
Factors in the decline of Buddhists in Indonesia

Factors that cause the shortage of Buddhists in Indonesia include:

    Buddhism itself teaches that we must do ehipassiko, which is to come, see and prove yourself. This is what causes many people who do not know the teachings of Buddhism because they do not know when they can learn it.

    Many consider that the teachings of Buddhism are identical to incense, flowers, candles, etc. that make people think about the large enough capital to be spent.

    In Buddhism there is no agreement that binds a person to continue to follow Buddhism, so after marriage, quite a lot of Buddhists change religion because they have to follow the religion of their partners.

    Many people think that Buddhism does not give them the promise to enter heaven because the majority needs security and guarantees that they will go to heaven.

    The lack of Buddhism in the family so that their children who attend non-Buddhist schools will follow the ways and rules in their schools that cause them to be influenced.

    Factors from parents who do not really understand the teachings of Buddhism so that there are parents who only carry out the traditions of the Chinese and there are also only the status of Buddhism, but do not know anything about Buddhism. This is also due to the lack of belief in Buddhism.


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