On 6 July, 42 participants on the 5-day Borobudur Study Tour departed for Yogjakarta with Bro. Tan as the tour leader. The highlight of this tour was a visit to the famous Borobudur, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Participants were amazed at the many candis they visited. Every candi (such as Candi Mendut, Candi Plaosan, and Candi Sewu) has a rich history; and all of them were beautifully constructed. One could marvel at how people of the past had such strong faith in the Buddha-Dhamma which inspired them to build those majestic structures.
Concentric rounds of stupas standing majestically on top of Candi Borobudur which was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1991.
Apart from visiting candis, our participants also visited modern onasteries in Vihāra Mendut, Vihāra Dhammasundāra in Solo, and Vihāra Bodhivamsa in Klaten. At Vihāra Mendut, the group was fortunate enough to meet Venerable Sri Paññavaro, a senior local monk who has made major contributions to the development of Buddhism in Indonesia. The visit to Vihāra Bodhivamsa in Klaten proved to be a fruitful one too, as the host Professor Dr. Lanny Anggawati, a popular Indonesian Buddhist speaker, urged our participants to be courageous and determined in carrying out Dhamma work. As it is natural for us to face obstacles in the course of our efforts, patience and perseverence are the keys to success.
On the whole, this trip provided a deeper insight into how Buddhism has impacted the course of Indonesian history, and the tour participants brought back with them a deeper understanding and appreciation of what to many uninformed people, would merely be stone monuments.
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