Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The 7th Century Kalingga University

n 644-645 Hui-ning, a Chinese Buddhist priest, together with Yun-ki his assistance studied in a famous Buddhist Centre in Kalingga Kingdom, Central Java a). He spent his time there to deepen his knowledge about Buddha teaching. Assisted by Jnanabhadra, a famous professor and priest of the centre, he finalized his translation of Parinirwana, one of the Buddha Holy books.

Apart of Buddha religion and philosophy teaching the centre also taught the basic geometry, art and mathematics. Thousands of students learned in numerous buildings having thick walls. The local people around the campus prepared the food for the students and part of them also participated in the studies. Among the famous products of this university’s graduates b) were among other Dieng, Plaosan, Kalasan and Borobudur temples.
Kalingga or Keling, spelled as Holing in Chinese was a Hindu-Buddhist Kingdom raised around 618 in Plawangan, Pekalongan, Central Java. founded by Dapunta Selendra c). In 674 he was succeeded by Maharani Shima, a famous iron lady for her strong ruling system and absolute honesty.
A folklore told about her indifferent in imposing law and order. Once, she wanted to test her people integrity and put in purpose gold ornaments in  a public open place. Nobody dared to touch them but after several days elapsed the gold disappeared. When she knew that the crown prince who had taken the ornaments, with a great grief she instructed to cut the hand. of her own son.
Her kingdom had a wide relationship with the neighbor countries indicated by archaeology discoveries of various goods originated from Dong-song and India. During her term, Kalingga’s commerce were flourished spreading out through out the bigger part of the archipelago and the South China Sea peripheral areas.
For the geoplolitical reason she even promoted inter-kingdom marriages by wedding her daughter Parwati with the crown prince of Galuh Kingdom  in West Java named Mandiminyak. The grandson of this couple they got from the marriage of their daughter with the third king of Galuh was named Sanjaya.
Instead of ruling in Galuh, Sanjaya chose to succeeded Shima when the latter passed away. He changed the name Kalingga to [ancient] Mataram with Medang Kamulan as its capital. During his flourished ruling time (723 – 746), he built Dieng Hindu temple high on top of mountain range closed to now Sindoro mountain  d).. The historical records show that Sanjaya Hindu Dynasty lasted for 12 generations until 1016.
Sanjaya Dynasty lived peacefully side-by-side with South Kalingga ruled by Syailendra Buddhist Dynasty. The first ruler and the founder of the dynasty was Sri Indrawarman (752-775). Syailendra Dynasty had close relationship with Sriwijaya as indicated by Sri Indrawarman’s gesture to make his son Wisnu, who would then become the second ruler in the dynasty (775-782), to marry with Princess Tara the daughter of Sriwijaya king. It was  during Wisnu ruling time that Kalasan temple was built to honor Princess Tara as the representation of female Bodhisattva e).
Other colossal project which was initiated by Dharanindra (782-812) and intensified by Samaratungga (812-833) was Borobudur temple construction  which blueprints are reproduced and shown in Figure 1-3.  But the temple   could only be finalized in the time of his daughter, the Queen Pramodhawardhani (833-836) after 50 years of construction and deployment of so many architects, engineers and skilled sculptors and builders.
Tragically, most of those people who were masters and skillful in construction and art sculptor together with  the center of knowledge and the university were almost suddenly wiped out by the volcanic catastrophic Merapi eruption. Most of the kingdom areas were destroyed and buried under the volcanic debris and ashes including Borobudur temple. This happened during the rule of Mpu Sindok (929-947), the 11thgeneration of Sanjaya Dynasty. He was forced to remove his Medang Kingdom to East Java left nothing in the old areas which then covered by dense jungle.
a. From I-Tsing, a Chinese traveler and reporter from Tang Dynasty era.
b. Almost at the same time, a similar university was established in now Muaro Jambi. The center of knowledge were attended by hundreds or even thousands students and priests from local and neighboring countries enhancing their knowledge on religion, philosophy, logic, arts and medical science. Its graduates designed and built hundred temples in the area but only 90 of them were discovered.
c. The name of Dapunta Selendra whose wife named Sampula was written in Sojomerto inscription around 8th century. It stated that his father was Santanu married to his mother Badhrawati.
d. He also erected a Siva obelisk, southeastward of the future location of Borobudur complex, as written in Canggal inscription (732 CE)
e. Kalasan inscription (778 CE) told that the priest and teacher of the King Tejahpura Panangkarana Mustika (other title of King Wisnu?) had succeeded to convince him to build Kalasan Temple in honor of Prince Tara.


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