Journal

Wurare Inscription of Joko Ḍolog (1289 CE)

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The Wurare inscription, is a Sanskrit inscription found on the base of the statue of Joko Ḍolog (literally, ‘plump lad’), now placed in a park in the city center of Surabaya. The statue was originally found in the village of Lĕmah Tulis near the town of Trowulan, which was believed to the site of the buried capital of the Majapahit Empire (1293-1527), and was moved to its present site during the Dutch Period in 1817. The inscription itself is dated to 1289 CE, and it informs us of a Buddhist sage Bharaḍa who drew the boundary between the kingdoms of Jaṅgala and Pañjalu to avoid a feud during King Airlaṅga’s reign in 1052 CE. While locals refer to the statue as the Akṣobhya Buddha, scholars have speculated its true identity, which was for a long time thought to be King Kṛtanāgara (r. 1254-1292), the last and most important ruler of the Siṅhasari kingdom of Java. According to Gompert et al’s latest study, the statue should be none other than the Buddhist sage Bharaḍa himself as the famous Dutch archaeologist Herni Maclaine Pont first suggested in 1926/1930. According to Pont’s excavation report of this site where the statue was first found, there was a burnt wooden structure which suggests an enclosed pavilion with a religious function, together with cremation urns of bone remains of children. Piecing all the evidences together, it has been suggested that the site must have been associated with the 11th century Buddhist sage Bharaḍa’s hermitage, around which cremated remains were buried. Following the suggestion of Gompert et al 2012, the name of the place should be Awurare (with the ‘a’ elided due to sandhi following a vowel in verse 13), meaning “bones of children” (awu-rare) in old Javanese.

The Sanskrit inscription consists of 19 verses. I have restored the text to standard Sanskrit orthography with emendations made in earlier editions by Kern, Poerbatjaraka and Gompert et al.

ādau namāmi sarvajñaṃ jñānakāyan tathāgataṃ /
sarvaskandhātiguhyasthaṃ sadasatpakṣavarjitam //l//
anw atas sarvasiddhiṃ vā vande ‘haṃ gauravāt sadā
śākakālam idaṃ vakṣye rajakīrtiprakāśanam //2//
yo purā paṇḍitaś śresṭḥa āryo bharāḍ abhijñātaḥ /
jñānasiddhiṃ samāgamyā ‘bhijñālābho munīśvaraḥ //3//
mahāyogīśwaro dhīraḥ sattveṣu karuṇātmakaḥ /
siddhācāryo mahāvīro rāgādikleśavarjitaḥ //4//
ratnākarapraṃāṇān tu dvaidhīkṛtya yavāvanīṃ /
kṣitibhedanaṃ sāmarthya kumbhavajrodakena vai //5//
parasparavirodhena nṛpayor yuddhakāṅkṣinoḥ /
estasmāj jaṅgalety eṣā paṃjaluviṣayā smṛtā //6//
kin tu yasmāt rarakṣemāṃ jayaśrīviṣṇuvarddhanaḥ /
śrījayavarddhanībhāryo jagannāthottamaprabhuḥ //7//
ājanmapariśuddhāṅgaḥ kṛpāluḥ dharmatatparaḥ /
pārthivānandanaṃ kṛtvā śuddhakīrtiparākramāt //8//
ekīkṛtya punar bhūmīṃ prītyārthaṃ jagatāṃ sadā /
dharmasaṃraksaṇārthaṃ vā pitrādhiṣṭhāpanāya ca //9//
yathaiva kṣitirājendraś śrīharivardhanātmajaḥ /
śrījayavardhanīputraḥ caturdvīpeśvaro muniḥ //10//
aśeṣatattvasaṃpūrṇo dharmaśāstravidām varaḥ /
jīrṇodhārakriyodyukto dharmaśāsanadeśakaḥ //11//
śrījñānaśivavajrākhyaś cittaratnavibhūṣaṇaḥ /
prajñāraśmiviśuddhāṅgas saṃbodhijñānapāragaḥ //12//
subhaktyā taṃ pratiṣṭhāpya svayaṃ pūrvaṃ pratiṣṭhitaṃ /
śmaśāne ‘wurare nāmni mahākṣobhyānurūpataḥ //13//
bhavacakre śakendrābde māse cāsujisaṃjñake /
pañcamyāṃ śuklapakṣe ca vāre pakabusaṃjñake //14//
sinta nāmni ca parve ca karaṇe viṣṭisaṃskṛte /
anurādhe ‘pi naksatre mitre mahendramaṇḍale //15//
saubhāgyayogasaṃbandhe somye caiva muhūrtake /
kyāte kuberaparveśe tulārāśyabhisaṃyute //16//
hitāya sarvasattvānāṃ prāg eva nṛpates sadā /
saputrapotradārasya kṣityekībhāvakāraṇāt //17//
athāsya dāsabhūto ‘haṃ nādajño nāma kīrtitaḥ /
vidyāhīno ‘pi saṃmuḍho dharmakriyāṣv atatparaḥ //18//
dharmādhyakṣatvam āsādya kṛpayaivāsya tattvataḥ /
śākakālaṃ saṃbaddhatya tadrājānujñayā punaḥ //19//

References
Kern, H. 1917. “Sanskrit-inscriptie van het Mahãksobhyabeeld te Simpang (stad Surabaya; 1211 Çaka).” In Verspreide geschrifen. ‘s-Gravenhage: Nijhoff. 189- 96. (Transcription 189-92)
Poerbatjaraka, R.Ng. 1922. “DE INSCRIPTIE VAN HET MAHAKSOBHYA- BEELD TE SIMPANG (SOERABAYA).” Bijdragen Tot De Taal-, Land- En Volkenkunde / Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia 78 (1): 426-462. (Transcription 427-9)
GOMPERTS, AMRIT, ARNOUD HAAG, and PETER CAREY. 2012. “The sage who divided Java in 1052: Maclaine Pont’s excavation of Mpu Bharaḍa’s hermitage-cemetery at Lĕmah Tulis in 1925.” Bijdragen Tot De Taal-, Land- En Volkenkunde 168 (1): 1-25.

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The Sanskrit in Kawi script begins from below the left knee of the statue which reads:

ādau namāmi sarbajñaṃ…

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International Conference on Traditional Sciences in Asia 2017: East-West Encounter in the Science of Heaven and Earth

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International Conference on Traditional Sciences in Asia 2017: East-West Encounter in the Science of Heaven and Earth

Dates: 25 (WED) – 28 (SAT) October 2017
Place: Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan

Following the “International Workshop on Traditional Science in Asia (IWTSA) – Overlapping Cosmology in Pre-modern Asia”, which took place 17-19 June, 2015 at Kyoto University, we would like to bring together once again the leading scholars in the field of history of astronomy and astral science in various parts of Asia for an international conference on the topic of “East-West Encounter in the Science of Heaven and Earth”. While we tend to think of astronomical knowledge as unique to each civilization, the participants will share insights from historical studies and scientific projects exploring how different traditions interact across borders and cultures, making the science of the universe one of the most cosmopolitan knowledge systems. With particular focus on Asia – a region whose long scientific tradition has been understudied compared to that of its Western counterpart – the participants will discuss from different angles how pre-modern science had been transmitted, transformed and acculturated as they cross linguistic and cultural borders, past and present.

The proposed workshop in Kyoto will aim at promoting an in-depth dialogue between scholars of different disciplines and regional focuses through a combination of keynote lectures, panel sessions and a guided visit to historical places related to astronomical observation in Kyoto. Kyoto has been one of the leading centers of astronomical knowledge for centuries, and Kyoto University has been known for its research in the history of science. This conference will be our yet another effort to deepen our understanding the relationship between traditional and modern scientific knowledge through sustained, interdisciplinary dialogues among scholars of both the Eastern and Western traditions.

Proposed Topics/Panels topics

  1. East Asian astral and geo-sciences: science and the state; Conceptualizing, imaging and mapping heaven and earth; traditional mathematical astronomy ; transition to modern science
  2. South Asian (Indian and Buddhist) Astral and geo-sciences
  3. West Asian (Near Eastern) Astral and geo-sciences
  4. Reception and transmission of foreign sciences in Asia
  5. Contemporary research on historical astronomy and geo-sciences: eclipses and earth’s rotation; supernovae; solar-terrestrial physics, e.g. aurorae; archaeomagnetism; earthquakes

http://wdc2.kugi.kyoto-u.ac.jp/ictsa2017/index.html

ISAW HOSTS CONFERENCE “COSMOS, EAST AND WEST: ASTRAL SCIENCES IN SOUTH AND EAST ASIA AND THEIR INTERACTION WITH THE GRECO-ROMAN WORLD”

Last Monday, February 27, ISAW hosted a conference entitled Cosmos, East and West: Astral Sciences in South and East Asia and Their Interaction with the Greco-Roman World. The conference was organized by ISAW Visiting Research Scholar Bill Mak and ISAW Associate Professor of East Asian Art and Archaeology Lillian Tseng.

Read here.