6 Types of Relief Forms at Borobudur Temple

There are various kinds of Borobudur Temple reliefs which are interesting to know and understand their meaning. Each relief contains a different story and is rich in information about the culture in which the building was built. Reliefs are images carved on the body of a temple building. There are 2 types of reliefs at Borobudur Temple, namely images for decoration and sculptures that contain a certain story. R. Soekmono in Chandi Borobudur, A Monument of Mankind (1976:20) notes that there are 2,672 relief panels in the largest Mahayana Buddhist temple in the world. The figure consists of 1,212 ornamental reliefs and 1,460 narrative reliefs. These reliefs decorate the 3 spiritual levels of the Borobudur Temple building, which follow the classification by W.F. Stutterheim, consisting of kamadhatu, Rupadhatu, and Arupadhatu. Narrative reliefs, according to Soekmono, are often carved at the kamadhatu and Rudhatu levels. For example, at the kamadhatu spaceman slot level, the Karmawibhangga relief is carved which contains an explanation of the law of cause and effect. Then, at the Rudhatu level, there are also various narrative reliefs such as Lalitavistara, Jataka-Avadana, and others (Soekmono: p. 21). Agus Aris Munandar, through the book Antarala Hindu-Buddhist Archeology (2018:39) explains that the reliefs at Borobudur Temple were carved with high artistic taste to convey religious teachings through visual language. In this way, stories about Buddha which are stated in detail in the forms of humans, animals, plants and other objects are easy for ordinary people to understand.

Types of Borobudur Temple Reliefs As explained above, the Borobudur Temple building is filled with 2,672 narrative and ornamental relief panels. Especially for narrative reliefs, there are 1,460 scenes carved on the walls of Borobudur Temple. Borobudur Temple has many server filipina stories about the phases of human life. The interpretation of each of these reliefs means that every human action will produce a cycle of life both during life and after (reincarnation). Quoting the explanation on the Borobudurpedia site belonging to the Borobudur Conservation Center, below are various types of Borobudur Temple reliefs (narrative reliefs).

Avadana Relief

The Avadana relief depicts the same story as the Jataka. It’s just that the main actor in the story in Relief Avadana is not the Boddhisattva but another character. The character can be a human or an animal which is not usually the incarnation of a Boddhisattva.

Gandavyuha Relief

The Gandavyuha relief is on the main wall of the second level hallway of Borobudur Temple. This relief contains the story of Sudhana’s journey from one teacher to another to achieve Buddhahood.

Bhadracari Relief

The Bhadracari relief can be seen on the main walls of level III and IV hallways as well as the balustrades at Borobudur Temple. The Bhadracari sculpture tells of Sudhana’s efforts to achieve Buddhahood by studying with Boddhisatva Maitreya and Boddhisatva Samanthabhadra.

Relief Karmawibhangga

Relief Karmawibhangga terpahat di bagian kaki Candi Borobudur. Pahatan relief ini menerangkan perbuatan-perbuatan manusia yang mengandung kebajikan maupun kejahatan, serta segala akibat dari melakukannya. Relief Karmawibhangga di Candi Borobudur bentuk adaptasi dari karya sastra lama yang kemudian diubah agar selaras dengan keadaan masyarakat pada era Kerajaan Mataram Kuno.

Relief Lalitavistara

Lalitavistara terpahat di dinding utama tingkat I Candi Borobudur. Relief Lalitavistara mengisahkan kehidupan Sang Buddha di Surga Tushita hingga menyampaikan khotbah pertama di Taman Rusa

Relief Jataka

Relief Jataka berada di dinding utama lorong tingkat I Candi Borobudur, dan pagar langkan tingkat I dan II. Jataka memuat kisah tentang Boddhisattva yang mengalami kelahiran berulang kali dalam berbagai slot dragon hatch wujud untuk membantu manusia mencapai jalan kebuddhaan.