Barabudur etymology

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Dec 24 16:16:55 UTC 1998

   Barabudur etymology

B. Forman, Borobudur, The Buddhist legend in stone, Prague, 1980
p. 11:

"Indonesian sources suggest that the name Borobudur might be a
composite of two words: the word 'Budur' as a place name,
and the Sanskrit word 'vihara', meaning monastery, which later
became 'byhara' and then 'bara'. If this were the case, the name
Borobudur would simply mean 'monastery at Budur'.The name appears
in the medieval Javan panegyric Nagarakertagama."

p. 17:
There is a picture of the Tamilnadu coast. Legend to explain:
"The same enchanting picture since time immemorial: sunset on the
coast of souhern India. It was from here that, about 20 centuries
ago, the first Indian colonists set off. They took leave of the
shores of their homeland and, led by the constellations, they
set sail in a south-easterly direction to the remote islands
of Indonesia. It was the beginning of a new chapter in the
cultural history of India and Indonesia."

Baaraabuduur = baara + buduur
1) 'baaraa' < byhaara < vihaara
2) buduur = pudu (new in Tamil) + uur (village in Dravidian).
So, baarabuduur would mean "vihaara of the new village".

Comments, corrections on this suggestion are welcome.

Vajrabodhi and his disciple, Amoghavajra are from the
Potikai/Potalaka hills of the Malaya mountain range.
They lived in the Muulavaasam monastery in the 7th century AD.
Went to Anuraadhapuram, Sri Lanka and were important
teachers in Abhayagiri vihaara. Their Mahayana teachings
were considered heretic and later cleansed out from Ceylon.
Vajrabodhi was living at Kanchi and at the request of Pallava
King set sail off to China via Java.

Want to read the biography of Vajrabodhi and Amoghavajra,
the founders of Tantric Buddhism in China and Indonesia.
References are highly appreciated.

It is of note that Borobudur is considered to represent
a maNDala of esoteric Buddhism.

In all the 1400 big sculptural panels, calmness and serenity
prevails. No death, violence, sex is displayed at all.
I am reminded of the grammatical rules of Tamil poetics to write love
 poems: no descriptions explicitly of death, violence, or sex
should occur in akam/"interior landscape" poems.

What a difference with today's TV, magazines, Cinema??!!
Mostly they concentrate on opposite things of Borobudur
reliefs or Tamil sangam love poetry.

Happy holidays,
N. Ganesan

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