Sunday, December 24, 2006

Secret Buddhas

Photo: Wikitravel

As I've mentioned, we only had half an hour at the Buddhist temple at Borobudur, which was a little crazy. We only had time to capture the feeling of the place, which to me was a happy feeling. Even the lions looked cheerful -- especially the ones with the raised paws, who reminded me of the little gold waving-cat statuettes you see in Chinese restaurants.

The top of the temple is ringed with bells, and inside the bells are Buddha statues.

Some are missing their heads, so you have to peer into a few to find a Buddha smiling serenely to himself.

One of the Buddhas is considered especially lucky, because a terrorist put a bomb inside his bell, but the bomb was a dud and didn't go off. People reach in and touch the Buddha for good luck. It's hard to imagine how anybody's understanding of religion could compel them to put a bomb in a place like this.

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