Indonesian Sanskrit Rock Inscriptions
BY: RAJIV MALIK
Borobudur temple, Java, Indonesia
Sep 27, CANADA (HPI) New book released on Indonesian Sanskrit rock inscriptions.
"Sometime back Indonesia suffered earthquakes in which many of their temples had fallen. This included a huge Sivalaya, 100 feet in height, which had 240 temples belonging to its family. In Jakarta, you can see at a central location in the city, the huge statue which depicts Lord Krishna conveying the message of the Bhagavat Gita to Arjuna. Even in hotels owned by Muslims you can find pictures and statues of Sridevi - the ancient culture has such strong roots there."
A new book covers the subject of Sanskrit rock inscriptions found in Indonesia. Addressing a distinguished audience of authors, journalists and a large number of book lovers, the author, Dr. Lokesh Chandra in his speech said, "We are an ancient culture and civilization with very strong traditions." He went on to state, "So far as countries like Indonesia and China are concerned, they took from us our best. Few would know that the Chinese kings used to perform yagnas in 7th century at some of their prominent squares, including Tiananmen Square."
These views were expressed during the Delhi Book Fair at New Delhi's Pragati Maidan Tuesday, September 19, by Dr. Lokesh Chandra while lauding a book entitled Indonesia Ke Sanskrit Shilalekh, by Dr. Devendra Nath Thakur.
According to Dr. Chandra, "Today all the royal buildings in Indonesia are being studied from the angle of jyotish (astrology) and kal nirnaya (study based on time). Indonesia is a very special country and when I visited for the first time I saw the beauty saloons which announced that if a lady wanted to look beautiful then she had to pay a certain amount, but if she wanted to look like the wife of Kamadeva then the charges would be more. Most of us in India would not be able to explain the God Kamadeva and his wife."
He further added, "I also had an opportunity to visit the then navy chief during one of my visits to Indonesia who had a large collection of the puppets of Indian religious and historical characters. The navy chief was surprised when on his request, I could not identify the puppet of the saint Vyas Maharishi Ji out of his collection of hundreds of puppets connected to our epics Mahabharata and Ramayana."
Concluding his speech, Dr. Lokesh Chandra said, "After the recent earthquake there, it was realized that one of the reasons why the earthquake would have taken place would have been due to their ignoring the Goddess Dakshineshwari. After this the Indonesian government has spent thousands of dollars on conducting puja of the Goddess and organizing prayers to Her so that the earthquake does not take place again due to her wrath. In fact, after these pujas the earthquake has not taken place. But tell me which Indian government would organize performance of such a puja by spending so much money?"
In his address, Marathi author, Shri Gunakar Mule said, "Today so much is being said about our contributing to the world in terms of yoga and devis and devatas, but very few of us realize that India's biggest contribution to the world has been its ank sanket (numbers and directions) and ank padhati (the system of numbers) which are being universally used. These ank sankets and even our lipis (scripts) can be seen in a big way in Sumatra and Indonesia." Author of the book, Dr. Devendra Nath Thakur, in his speech said, "The Sanskrit shilalekh (stone inscriptions) of Indonesia were an eye witness to the history of those times. In fact they were the eye witnesses of the period when the history was being written there in a foreign language. Our countries were not just linked in terms of religion and culture but had business connections as well. After having completed this work, I would like to work on the shilalekhs of Cambodia and Vietnam as well."
Dr. Lokesh Chandra has written numerous books on Indology and related subjects.