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Buddhism in Indonesia, Past and Present by Ven. Ditthisampanno

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Buddhism is a religion which has since long been embraced by most of society archipelago. Srivijaya and Majapahit era was the golden era for Buddhism. The existence of Buddhism in Nusantara (Indonesia) can be proven by the existence of a legacy-legacy in the form of inscriptions and buildings of the temple as well as foreign literature, particularly literature-originating from China.

The history of the development of Buddhism in Indonesia can be found from various sources that refer to a legacies of the past. holdover past consists of inscriptions that were found and foreign news, i.e. from the people's Republic of China who visited Indonesia. Inscriptions dating from the fifth to seventh centuries do not give too much information. The inscription comes from Borneo, Sumatra and Java. From the inscription we know that at that time there were Kings name smells of India, like Mulawarman in Kutai and Purnawarman in West Java. However, it does not mean that the King was coming from India. The most likely is that Kings were Indonesia native embraced religion that came from India.

Many people suspect that the early introduction of Buddhism to Indonesia is on the arrival of Aji Saka to Java in the early centuries of the Union. These allegations were derived from etymologically to Aji Saka itself, as well as matters related to it. The word 'Aji' of Kawi Language may refer to the science that has to do with the Scriptures, while the 'Saka' is interpreted as the Sakya who experience the transformation. Thus many words Aji Saka is interpreted as the title of King Tritustha of experts about the Sakya, in this case an expert about Buddhist Dhamma, also considered to be the person responsible for the creation of Java script. If this is true, that have dates Saka expressed as \ ' Nir Wuk Tanpa Jalu' (Nir meaning empty (0), Wuk means not so (0), tanpa (without) mean 0 and Jalu equals 1) which at one time intended to capture the first landing of he in Jepara, Northern CentralJava.

Source of our knowledge of Buddhism was taken from an inscription was found and from foreign news stories of China, who visited Indonesia. Inscriptions dating from the fifth to seventh centuries do not give too much information. The inscription comes from Borneo, Sumatra and Java. From the inscription we know that at that time there were Kings that have names that smelled like in India, Mulawarman in Kutai (Borneo) and Purnawarman in Tarumanagara (West Java). But it does not mean that the King was coming from India. The most likely is that Kings is the original that already entered Indonesia religion that came from India. Furthermore these inscriptions suggest that the religion is embraced Hinduism. but from the discovery of the statues of the Buddha, it can be inferred that Buddhism also existed, even though the number is still a little bit.

Based on research conducted a number of experts in Indonesia's history, up to now still there are many different opinions on when masiknya Buddhism in Indonesia. But one thing that can be recorded in history, based on the Fa Hien travelogue, a Buddhist missionaries from China, around the year 414 AD, there have been Buddhists on the island of Java, though still in an amount not much. Then, based on historical records, the Bhikshu Gunawarman, in 421 AD, came to Java and translated scriptures form mulasarvastivada sect, also taught Buddhism. began developing in Java. Whereas the development of Buddhism in Indonesia is recorded on the record of travel I-Tsing, a bhikshu from China are on the way back to China and lived some time in transit to the Sriwijaya in Palembang in Southern Sumatra Island (685-695 AD). Bhikshu Hui Neng in the 664 lives for three years in kalingga (Holing) translating various Hinayana buddhism with the help of Javanese monk, Jnanabhadra. One among others, which they translated was Mahaparinibbana Sutta. According to I tsing, Hui-neng was just one of among 56 chinese monks who made a pligrimage to india during that period.

Indonesia especially in Java was not isolated at all from other advanced Buddhist development centers in India, Srilanka, and China, before, during, and probably after Borobudur construction period. There were probably more two way communications going on among those countries at this early period than what the history might know about.


The arrival of monks from different countries to java and also the existence of some highly regarded buddhist Scriptures, e.g., Mahavairocana, Vajrasekhara, and Gandavyuha Sutra, known or sculpted in Borobudur, should explain Java's own legacy of Buddhism and therefore the existence of Borobudur. On the other hand, the existence of borobudur also demonstrates the early evidence of international constructive relationships and fruitful cooperation.

Development of Buddhism in Kingdoms Era

Medang (Early Mataram)

Buddhism was originally developed in Java and Sumatra were originally developed by Theravada Monks Gunawarman. Slow-flow is gradually pressed by other branches coming into Indonesia after they have a strong position in India.

Compared to previous days, the source of Buddhism in Central Java a bit more. On these days in Central Java have been two major Dynasty: the Kingdom of Syailendra dynasty who embraced Buddhism and Sanjaya dynasty embraced the religion of Shiva. Presumably this good relationship both kingdoms once, for news that there is a mention that both kingdoms were helping each other in the founding of the temple.

In the Kingdom of Sailendra dynasty embraced religion is Mahayana Buddhism. It is known from historical relics and artefacts of the Temple of the Kingdom was the institution of Mahayana Buddhism. It is seen as the foundation of Kalasan Temple which is dedicated to the goddess of Aryatara (personification of Prajnaparamita according to the flow of Tantrayana/Vajrayana (esoteric buddhism), one of the sect of Mahayana Buddhism) in the year 779 a.d. from the epigraphic record is well known that one of the Kings of Sailendra dynasty in Java have a teacher named Kumaraghosa of Gaudidwipa (Bengal) who led the ceremony at the time of the inauguration of the statue of Manjusri. Likewise reported that there were other people diprasasti from Gujarat who ever did worship services in a certain Temple. The allegations date from news in India. King of the Pala dynasty of Dewapala (Bengal) in his 39th (between 856 and 860) gave some villages for the observance of a monastery at Nalanda, which was founded by King Suwarnadwipa Balaputradeva (Sumatra), grandson of the King of Java.

The kings who reigned in the days of Syailendra dynasty is Bhanu (754-775), Vishnu (775-782), Indra (782-812), Samarottungga (812-833) and Balaputra (833-856). Inscriptions of Syailendra Kalasan inscription was in 778, using letters pranagari and Sanskrit; Kelurak inscription near Yogyakarta in 782, also wear the letter a pre-nagari and Sanskrit; Karang Tengah Inscription near Temanggung in 824 in Sanskrit language and old Javanese Kahulunan Inscriptions, Kedu, in 842 written in Ancient Javanese language and letters.


An information coming from the biography of amoghavajra and, at the same time, his master, vajrabodhi seems to fill this gap. Both of them were regarded as patriachs of mantrayana school and disembarked in Java in the first half of eight century AD.

Notwithstanding the foregoing circumstances in Central Java is not the same situation in South Sumatera. How does the Mahayana developed in Java? That question is difficult to answer. To note is the Kalurak inscription (782), which presumably relates also to the inauguration of the statue of Manjusri, mentioned that Manjusri also likened to the Triratna (triple gem) is also identified with Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara. For the followers of the Mahayana in Central Java, presumably the Bodhisattva not distinguished with the gods of Hinduism.

In addition to inscriptions, there were temples which bear witness to Buddhism in Central Java. The temple gives a lot more explanation. The temples that build in this era, that is:

Kalingga (Ho-Ling)

Based on the records of the Tang Empire of China, in the mid-7th century in Central Java, there is an empire that embraced the Buddhist name Kaling. In China it is colloquially known as Ho Ling. it is very orderly and serene though led by a woman named Queen Sima. Ho ling then became science centers of Buddhism, and not least the Chinese from the Chinese came to the country to study Buddhism, although at the time of the Tang dynasty Buddhism became the official religion in the country of China.

Srivijaya Empires


In the 7th century and 8th between India and China are interwoven relationships are crowded. Hungan is not solely in the areas of trade, but also in science and Buddhism. Between the years of 618 to 907 AD, China ruled by Tang, was in India in the 7th century reign of King Harçha were being tolerant of Buddhism. Then at the time that many travellers and Monks from China who make a pilgrimage to the Holy places of Buddhism in India.

In the mid-7th century this grew and developed into an important port on the banks of the waters of the straits of malacca, an important traffic vein between India and china. For several centuries, the kingdom was held the hegemony of the ocean. Srivijaya was arguably the center of trade and the centre of buddhism in southeast asia. Buddhism in srivijaya times was mahayana buddhism to understand sanskrit.

Between ad 850 until early abad 13, royal sriwijaya ruled by the family of syailendra dynasty who have ruled in mataram, central java. Between ad for 75 years in charge of mataram, the family syailendra many of erecting buildings lustral buddhist temple. Sriwijaya then expands your dominion to the Southern Thai now called Suratani and Pattani. The temples made by srivijaya there among other vihara mahadhatu in jaiya and vihara mahadhatu in nakorn si thamarat until now still exists and a building form, for statues - Buddhist statues and the Bodhisattva similar to that was found in java.

Attisa, a very popular Monk from Tibet that rebuilding Buddhism in the country has ever come to Sumatra and lived there from the year 1011-1023. He studied under the guidance of Dharmakirti, a leading Monks in an age of Srivijaya. based on a biography entry in writing Attisa in Tibet, Sumatra was the center of Buddhism, the main being Bhiksu Dharmakirti was a major scholar of that era. The arrival of the dharmaduta to Indonesia prompted a lot of people go on pilgrimage to India to visit the Holy places and Buddhist centers like Nalanda University and others. After returning to Indonesia they established temples of various shapes and sizes.

Srivijaya was expected to be centered around Palembang. Not much remains of the Temple found in Sumatra. There is a group of Muaro Jambi Temple (in Jambi), Muara Takus Temple (in Riau) and the Gunung Tua Temple, inclined to mahayana buddhism. In palembang ('Telaga Batu') many obtained rocks that reads ' siddhayatra ' meaning Holy trip that was successful, and on the Siguntang Hill found the great statues of buddha, the work of 6th century.

The earliest information about the existence of Buddhism in Java and Sumatra were obtained from a Chinese traveler named Fah-Hien, who upon his return from Ceylon to China in 414 was forced to land in the country named Ye-Po-Ti as his ship was damaged. Now is not very clear whether Ye-Po-Ti it Java or Sumatra. Some experts say that Ye-Po-Ti is a Java Island (Javadvipa). Fah-Hien mentioned in Buddhist Ye-Po-Ti, although only slightly. However, after the fifth century it is unlikely that things are changing. It was not until three hundred years later, at the end of the seventh century, Chinese Buddhist monk I-tsing records with complete Buddhism and its application in India and Malay. Its main attraction is the ' home of Buddhism ' North India where I-tsing resided and attended there for more than ten years. From his notes can be said that Buddhism in India and Sumatra have much in common, where I-tsing also found the distinction between Buddhism in China and in India.


I-tsing spent time living alone as a Buddhist monk in India and Sumatra. The whole book is a complete record of the life of the monks. He lives in India is entirely based on the rules of the vinaya. Compared notes Fah-Hien in 414 with notes of I-tsing, can be drawn the conclusion that the Buddhist in Java and Sumatra had been built very quickly. The work of I-tsing also write notes as expressed above, he also wrote a book about the journey of a famous religious teachers who went to the land to the West (Srivijaya?). She says in his note, the life of a monk who in essence are almost the same as in India. In his book it is said that the original Java and Sumatra Monks is a very good sanskrit scholars. One of saatunya is Jnanabhadra which is the Original Java people who live in Sumatra and acted as tutor to China and help translate Buddhist sutras into Chinese. The language used by Buddhist monks is the language of sanskrit. Pali is not used. However this should not be made a rule of thumb that Buddhism that developed here is Mahayana.

I-tsing explains in his book, embraced Buddhism throughout this country and most of the system adopted is Hīnayāna, except where there is little in the Malay who adopted Mahayana Buddhism, widely known to the public that speak sanskrit Buddhist literature not always mean the Mahayana.

This is a form of Buddhism that reach the Islands in the South seas. I-tsing says at the Islands in the South seas, Mulasarvastivadanikayo almost universally in the adaptation. I-tsing doesn't seem to make the difference between the adherents of the Hinayana and Mahayana. He said: those who worship the Bodhisatta and reading mahayana sutras are known adherents of Mahayana Buddhism. While not referred to adherents of the Hinayana. Both of these systems in accordance with the teachings of Dhamma. Can we tell which is right? Both teach virtue and guide us to Nirvana. The two leads to the destruction of lust and salvation of all sentient life. We should not care about these differences. create doubts in fact will create confusion.

From his works can be said that I-tsing is not too in Buddhist philosophy in matters of cope but only interested in the life of the monks and the tasks that the election was by them. In other words, he gave all his time to learning and the life of the monks rules (vinaya). As mentioned above , in sumatra and java more growing hinayana buddhism. I tsing telling that in the malay, middle east coast of sumatra others who adheres to mahayana buddhism. From other sources explained that before the arrival of I tsing, have come from india dharmapala monk, to the malays and spread the flow of mahayana buddhism. the early 20th century, two stele found near palembang south sumatera inclined to mahayana buddhism. Stele other made in 775, found in viengsa, the malay peninsula adduce that one of the King of Sriwijaya - that not only rule in south sumatra but also around the south of the malay peninsula - ordered the construction of three effigies. the third effigies offered to buddha, vajrapani bodhisatwa, and avalokitesvara. and other place found plate gold which said some Dhyani Buddha's name; which of course is the flow of mahayana buddhism.

From the news I-tsing's next we can take the conclusion that at that time Srivijaya became a centre of Buddhism. There is a college that didn't lose by Buddhist College in Nalanda India. There are more than 1000 Buddhist monks who are teaching as well as the ceremony is similar to that existing in India. Except for the followers of the Hinayana, Mahayana, there is a follower of Srivijaya. There is even a teacher teaching in Mahayana. From this news is clearly that of Srivijaya was central to Mahayana Buddhism, which is open to new ideas and are also happy to hold a scientific work. Therefore the Chinese traveller who wants to study in India must stop over in South Sumatera, to make preparations. It is also done by I-tsing.

Presumably then Mahayana is a growing and influential. This is evident from the inscriptions collected around Palembang that mention that the daputa hyang-perhaps the Prime Minister-trying to find the blessings and supernatural powers in order to establish the Kingdom of Srivijaya, so that all beings are able to enjoy it. From the expressions to be used, can be drawn the conclusion that this ceremony is an ancient ceremony of indonesia in accordance with the teachings of the Mahayana. From other news stories, it is clear that Mahayanalah is the boss at the time. Not even just that alone, perhaps the influence of tantra, which in India is affecting Buddhism since the middle of the seventh century, is also found in South Sumatera. It is obtained from the explanation that one of the highest level to get the wisdom is vajrasarira, body armor (diamonds) are reminded to teaching wajrayana. All this shows that at the beginning still exist close links between Indonesia and India. This relationship seemed are more and more substractive.

Kingdoms in East Java


In East Java, presumably to Buddhism and religious Shiva coexist. It appears from inscriptions where mPu Sindok referred to with the title Sri Isana (Shiva) while his daughter was married to Brihaspati is also called Sugatapaksa (Buddhist). Also discovered the influence of tantra on both of these religions are strong enough. From existing literature, the literature was obtained that terkuno compiled in such a way, to consist of verses in Sanskrit language, followed by a description of the encyclopedia in old Javanese. From here it looks that the passages were derived from India. In the next development was the book consists of verses in old Javanese and interspersed stanza from the Sanskrit language. This shows the relationship with India already loose. Finally there is the book which is entirely made up of old Javanese, only sometimes contained interludes in the Sanskrit language. At the time of these two books outlining the Mahayana, namely ' Mantrayana ' which Kamahayan trance dance contains the teachings of the Buddhist monks who were being ordained, and ' Sanghyang Kamahayanikan ' which contains a collection of teaching how one can achieve kele pasan. Principal teachings in Sanghyang Kamahayanikan is indicates that the form of various kinds of release form is essentially the same. For authors is not too difficult Sanghyang Kamahayanikan to identify Shiva with Buddha and call it ' Shiva-Buddha ', not to mention Shiva or Buddha, but Shiva-Buddha as one God.

Coexistence of the acculturation of culture resulted in blurring the original form and expression of Buddhism. In Kingdoms era, can be inferred that this era is the era where the Syncretism has already reached its peak. Presumably the flow of Shiva, Vishnu and Buddha can live together. All three are seen as a form of an assortment of the same truth. Shiva and Vishnu are considered equal in value and they are described as the statue of 'Harihara' half Shiva and half Vishnu. Shiva and Buddha are seen together. For example, King Vishnuvardhana (from Singasari) who died in 1268 was worshipped as a Shiva in Waleri temple and Amoghapaça Buddha on Jago Temple. Kertanegara glorified as Shiva and Buddha in the Jawi temple and his wife as Jina and Locana in Sagala as well as Bhairawa in Singosari Temple.

In the days, Shiva or Buddha is one of the aspects of a single religion, which is Java (so as not to compete). In the book of the Arjunawijaya for example is told that when the Arjunawijaya entered a Buddhist temple, the monk explained that the Jina of the corners of nature depicted on the sculptures it is tantamount to the incarnation of Shiva. Vairocana is equal to Sadasiwa who occupied the central place. Aksobya equal to Rudra, who occupied the East. Ratna sambhawa together with Brahma which occupied South, Amitabha is similar to the West and Mahadeva occupies the same Amogasiddhi with Vishnu to occupy the North. Therefore the monk says there is no difference between Buddhism with Shiva. In the book of 'Kunjarakarna' mentioned that no one, either followers of Shiva and Buddha could have let slip if she separates the real one, namely Shiva-Buddha.

We had the impression that at the time of Buddhism more evolved from Shiva. This is seen from the book of Sutasoma (compared by Mpu Tantular), States that the Buddha was none other than the Brahma-Vishnu-Isvara, the Hindu Trimurti. In fact, Shiva and Buddha is One (Siwa Buddha bhinneka tunggal ika tan hana dharma mangrwa). This book telling about anger Kalarudra who was about to kill Sutasoma, an avatar of the Buddha. The gods tried to defuse the Kalarudra by reminding that actually Buddha and Shiva indistinguishable. Jinatwa (substance of Buddha) is the same as Siwatattwa (substance of Shiva). Furthermore it is recommended that people pondering the Shiva-Buddha-Shiva tattwa, substance-Buddha.

This seems too the story of Bubuksah is also depicted in the Panataran Temple. Two older brothers named Gagang Aking (followers of Shiva) and Bubuksah (followers of Buddha), since young life as a hermit on Mount Wilis. Bubuksah eat everything edible while the butt of Aking take vegetables only. They argue about two Hermitage. Then God sent the Scorpion to master in the form of white tiger Wijaya to test both the boy. When White Tiger comes to the hilt Aking, he adviced so just go his brother because his body is fat. When the Tiger comes in Bubuksah, he deliberately handle him for the course, so that he might escape from this mortal world. From here it is clear that Bubuksah was a follower of the Buddhist scriptures he is not even in the hard ascetic practice. He got a place in heaven. This story reveals a polemic, which indicates the primacy of Buddhism. However the story is depicted in Panataran Temple. from this increasingly clear that the elements indonesia native the fore which was expounded in the form of hinduism and buddhism.

At the time of Majapahit (1293-1429) who have the spirit of the Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, Shiva does not mingle in the whole Buddhist system, so that more precise is called pararelism or coalition. In the book of nagarakertagama mentioned that both remain separate, different teachings, different priest and worship, even the built area is also regulated. Reverend devotees Sugata (Buddha) stepped on the land west of the island of Java because its inhabitants are not adherents of the teachings of the buddha. There is an official who manages of Buddhism (Kasogatan) and religion (Kasiwan). Gajah Mada's (the Prime Minister) is Buddhists and the King embraced the Religion of Shiva.

Formally, buddhism in nusantara perish together with the fall of the kingdom of majapahit (1429) because the civil war and the appearance of the kingdom of Islam. In the islamic rule not recorded the presence of life folk buddhist religious. but does that still persist, at least in the attitude life behavior, trust, inwardness, a penchant samadhi and ascetic, known as kejawen.

Buddhist Literature in Indonesia


Based on a legacies of the golden age of Buddhism during of the kingdoms era, both in Java and Sumatra, can we conclude that at such times, the development of Buddhism was rapidly once. Especially when we conducted the study of Borobudur, which we admit is one of the wonders of the world that can still be seen on this earth. At such times, Buddhist literatures has grown very rapidly. A lot of literature is the work of the Buddhist scholar in his era, i.e: Sanghyang Kamahayanikan, Sutasoma and Kunjarakarna.

Buddhist Developments In The Present

“The Mount Merapi will excite the lava be five hundred years from now Buddhist teachings will return to the Archipelago”, then General disappeared from the front of his enemies, after choosing to retain what he believes, with only leaving a few lines of a prediction ...

In 1429, the Majapahit Kingdom came to an end. Then join the collapse also pillars of Buddhism in the archipelago. The people who are loyal to embrace the religion of Shiva-Buddha fled and assembled at various places in East Java and Bali.

One hundred fifty years an intermittent, the indonesian nation colonized by netherlands. had come together the house of colonist, missionaires that spread the christian. In addition, there s also dutch scholar who came , for the purposes of examines history and culture is a nation that was colonized. The netherlands studies all of that , certainly with the purpose to perpetuates mastery his people over a nation that Colonized.

The teaching of spiritualism which is prominent among all these the dutch people who had come to indonesia is what known as the association of theosophy . the teaching of theosophy put pressure on the aspect of a fraternity between humans, without distinguish race, nation, or religious. So that there is also the indonesia educated who came to being a member of the Theosophical Society. The Theosophical Society formed a branch in Indonesia in 1883, when the arrival of H. P. Blavatsky (one of the leaders and founders of the Theosophical Society). The buddha's much-talked in Theosophical meeting and reintroduced meetings through lectures and meditation guidance given at the Theosophical branches in Jakarta, Medan, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, and others.

Traditionally, Chinese tradition in Indonesia is mix of Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. The Buddhst teaching is the Northern Buddhist tradition or generally known as the Mahayana. The presence of Mahayana Buddhism in most of the city can be traced to the growth of “kelenteng” (chinese temples). For example, the Shrine Jin de Yuan (now Dharma Bhakti Monastery) which was founded in 1650, and not less 18 monks lived there in the 18th century. In 1901, Most Ven. Pen Ching (Ben Lau Qing He Shang), which became known as Aryamula, arrived in Indonesia and providing religious services in the temples in a number of cities, including Bandung, Cirebon, Karawang, and Semarang. He also founded the Vihara Khong Hua Si in Jakarta. The Monks were merely providing rituals services. Rarely reveals the Buddhist teachings in detail.

Buddhism among bumiputeras (local) themselves at that time only a sporadic live domestic tradition. The newspaper 'Sin Tit Po', published on 27 March 1935 announces that in Kampong Petenon, Surabaya, there are 1,500 Buddhists, there is also a group of residents who profess religion buddha but no longer knew the teachings of the Buddha. Some are making Buddhism as a part of Hinduism who embraced the concept of Shiva-Buddha, the Buddha as an Avatar and contempt of Vishnu.

These three groups of people (chinese, Theosophy, Bumiputra) above the root of the birth of institutional Buddhism in Indonesia. In 1929, in jakarta have formed an organization named Buddhist Association for the Propagation of Buddhism in Java which is then converted into Java Buddhists Association, led by Ernest Erle Power (Chairman) and Josiast v. Dienst (Secretary). This organization is part of The Buddhists International Mission centred on Thaton, Myanmar. Java Buddhists Association oriented Theravada Buddhism, and print media named namo buddhaya with Dutch-speaking. The arrival of Josias Priest revealing many community leaders who pay attention to Buddhism. In the temple, while he was discussing with monks, many figures who come to listen to temple. Talks between the descendants of the Netherlands upasaka with the figures temple revolves around the teachings of Buddhism and its development in Java.

In the 1920s appears one character named Tek Hoay Kwee, a merchant, a keen writer and also a humanists. He also published the first magazine in Indonesia contains the teachings of Buddhism, with the name Moestika Dharma. The services Tech Hoay Kwee, established dialogue between Josiast V. Dients and Ven. Lin Feng Fei, Abbot of the Kwan Im Tong Temple, in Prinsenlaan (mangga besar), Jakarta. Dialogue that resulted in an agreement that the temples as places of worship of Buddhists is not only used as a place of worship, but also as a place to get a lesson in Buddhism. As a follow up to the deal, Ven. Lin Feng Fei allow Josiast give lectures on Buddhism in the Kwan Im Tong Temple. Then Kongkoan (Chineesche Raad), a Councils that is organizing the temples in Jakarta, allow all Josiast gave a talk at the temples around Jakarta.

03 diamond sutra.jpg

On March 4th, 1934, Ven. Narada Thera, a Buddhist Missionaris (dhammaduta) of Sri Lanka, came to Indonesia for the first time in the visit to Southeast Asia, at the invitation of Ong Soe An (a prominent Theosophical from Bandung). During his time in the island of Java, Ven. Narada Thera visited Batavia, Buitenzorg (Bogor), Bandung, Yogyakarta and Solo. In a five-city Ven. Narada Thera gave lectures about the teachings of Buddhism. The coming of the monk Narada by activists of the Theosophical utilized to broaden insights into Buddhist teachings. When they visit Borobudur Temple, in Magelang, on 10 March 1934, the Ven. Narada Thera blessed Bodhi Tree planting undertaken by the leaders of the Theosophical Yogya, Mr. E. E. Power. After from Borobudur, in the evening, Ven. Narada Thera ordain some upasaka in Yogya. Among them there is a Javanese named Mangunkawatja.

In that year also formed Java Buddhists Association Afdeeling Batavia (Jakarta) by J.W. de Witt as a Chairman and his Secretary Dr. R. Ng. Poerbatjaraka. Beside that is formed is also Java Buddhists Association Afdeeling Buitenzorg (Bogor) under the leadership of A. Van der Velde (Chairman) and Oeij Oen Ho (Secretary). Shortly thereafter, on May 10, 1934, Java Buddhists Association Afdeeling Batavia escape from the Center of Java Buddhists Association and stands on its own under the name Batavia Budhists Association led by Tek Hoay Kwee (Chairman) and Ny. Tjoa Hin Hoey (Secretary). In the magazine Moestika Dharma, Tek Hoay Kwee explains that this separation is not a solution but to be able to move more freely. Batavia is the skew spread Buddhists inaugurated Association Mahayana, differs from Java Buddhist Association that spreading of the Theravada Buddhism. it also in 1934 formed a a central organization named Central Buddhistische Institute Voor Java with Magazine in the dutch called De Dharma In Nederlandsche Indie.

In 1935 Sam Kauw Hwee has established by Kwee Tek Hoay, i.e. local organizations whose members consisted of Buddhists, Confucianism and Taoism, with print media named Sam Kauw Goat Poo which Indonesian Language. This Organization's goal is essentially to prevent the Chinese people and Chinese ancestry to be adherents of other religions. During the occupation of Japan, all activities of the Buddhist organization stalled. Then in 1952, all Sam Kauw Hwee was activited back to combine themselves into a Association of Sam Kauw Hwee Indonesia (Gabungan Sam Kauw Hwee Indonesia - GSKI).

Revival of Buddhism after The Independence of Indonesia

The revival of Buddhism and its practice as a distinct religion in the Indonesian archipelago characterized by the solemnization of a waisak in borobudur temple for the first time 1953 attended by 3000 a participant, followed by the ambassador, and becomes headlines news in a newspaper. It was largely initiated by one man named The Boan An. A local Chinese he studied physics at Groningen in the Netherlands, but in 1953 he ordained as a novice in the Mahayana (c'han) tradition in Khong Hua Si Temple in Jakarta named Ti Cheng. His preceptor recommended that he further his studies in Myanmar and thus in the same year, he entered the famous Sasana Yeiktha in Yangon, to practise satipatthana meditation under Mahasi Sayadaw. In the following year he was ordained as the bhikkhu Ashin Jinarakkhita, the first Indonesian bhikkhu in 500 years. In 1955 he returned to Java and energetically worked for the reestablishment of Buddhist temples and monasteries. Largely as a result of his work, Buddhist organizations were formed in many parts of the country. With the background following the exercise in two tradition (theravada and mahayana), Buddhists built does not care about the difference of the sect. Although Most. Ven. Ashin Jinarakkhita teaches more people read the paritta in the Pali tradition, chanting in sanskrta and chinese also introduced.

On Asalha 2499 or July 4th, 1955, Ven. Ashin jinarakkhita founded the Fellowship of Layman and Laywomen Indonesia (Persaudaraan Upasaka-Upasika Indonesia - PUUI) in Vihara Buddha Gaya, Watu Gong, Semarang. PUUI are the crucible or agency for the monk helpmate, chaired by most upasaka Madhyantika. S. Mangunkawatja. These institutions duty to help propogates buddhism, because the monks that time had a little less .

In 1956 is the Buddhist world commemorates Buddha Jayanti, 2500 years since the Buddha passing away (Mahaparinibbana). In Indonesia commemorates Buddha Jayanti are marked with the spirit of revival of Buddhism was ever buried under the ruins of the Majapahit Empire, which was carried out with a warning of Vesak in Borobudur Temple.

Various Buddhist organizations which is the civic and social organizations as well as doing the development of Buddhist qualities of Buddhists. Among they are:

1.Indonesian Tridharma Combine (Gabungan Tridharma Indonesia - GTI)

Gabungan Tridharma Indonesia is a joint merging of some Sam Kauw Hwee (Chinese Temple). Sam Kaw Hwee Indonesian Assembly joined with Thian Lie Hwee, led by Ong Tiang Biaw (which later became Ven. Jinaputta) and combined Khong Kauw Hwee Indonesia (GAPAKSI). The Worship of Sin Ming Hui (Social Community of Candranaya) and Buddha Tengger, forming Combined Sam Kauw Indonesia (GSKI) under Leadership of The Boan An as Chairman in 1953. After The Boan An was ordained became Monk in 1954 in Burma with the name Ashin Jinarakkhita. Chairman of GSKI switched to Drs. Khoe Soe Khiam (Drs. Sasana Surya). In 1962, renamed as Gabungan Tri Dharma Indonesia (GTI).

2.Indonesian Buddhist Association (Perhimpunan Buddhis Indonesia – PERBUDHI)


Some Buddhists of the Javanese, including Sosro Utomo (Buddhist Tengger), see that hard for people to remain merged with GTI. Therefore, for the growth of a new organization which recommended form lets people join Java. 1957 formed the Buddhist Union of Indonesia (PERBUDHI) with the Chairman of the first Sosro Utomo. In its first Congress in 1958 it was renamed the Buddhist Association of Indonesia (PERBUDHI) with the Chairman Mr. Sariputra Sadono, and then successively as Chairman was Col. Soemantri M.S. and Gen. Brigadir. A.A. Suraji Kertawijaya. Upper effort of Ven. Jinarakkhita, Perbuddhi venture quickly grew and spread outward Java Island. In Perbudhi there is a group that is Upasaka and Upasika elite group in Perbudhi. This must be a member of the Group perbudhi and bound in brotherhood called Fellowship of Indonesian Layman and Laywomen (PUUI) which was formed in 1956 by the monk Jinarakkhita and is supporting the Sangha and responsible to the Sangha Suci Indonesia led by Ashin Jinarakkhita.

3.The Deliberations of All Indonesian Buddhists (Musyawarah Umat Buddha Seluruh Indonesia (MUBSI)

The Deliberations of All Indonesian Buddhists (Musyawarah Umat Buddha Seluruh Indonesia (MUBSI) was formed in 1962 by those who refused to PUUI in the Perbuddhi led by Drs. Suharto Djojosumpeno from Yogya, who last served as the staff at Lemhanas. They argued that the Organization could not be Perbudhi wheel goes well because PUUI is not subject to the decision of the Congress, but to the Sangha.

4.Buddhist Indonesia

In 1965 Perbudhi Semarang branch to break away from Perbudhi and formed the Buddhis Indonesia in Vihara Tanah Putih, Semarang. Buddhist Indonesia had the support of the various branches of Perbudhi in Central Java and East Java and declared themselves to be branch of Buddhist Indonesia. This is the initial split of serasian and personal problems between the characters Busshid in Semarang, Central Java and the central character of Buddhists, but as an excuse to get out of Perbudhi because Perbudhi participate in the Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) in Bangkok in attendance are representatives from Malaysia. At the time Indonesia was being argued with Malaysia.

5.Indonesian Buddhist Federation (Federasi Umat Buddha Indonesia)

In July 1965, held a meeting between Buddhist organizations that exist to create a foundation of unity and cooperation. The meeting was resumed again in August and October 1966. At their meeting in February 1967 successfully formed the Federation of Buddhist Indonesia whose members are: Buddhis Indonesia, Gabungan Tridharma Indonesia, Musyawarah Umat Buddha Seluruh Indonesia, Agama Hindu-Buddha Tengger, and Agama Buddha Wisnu Indonesia

Perbudhi does not want to join the Federation of Buddhist Indonesia because among members of the Federation of Buddhists this is Indonesia has issued a joint statement which harms the Holy Perbudhi Sangha and Indonesia. In the Maha Samaya II (PUUI Congress) held 16-18 March 1969 in Bandung, attended also by the Perbudhi and the Maha Sangha Indonesia, formed the highest Assembly of the entire Buddhist Indonesia that function sets the wisdom in religious and responsible to the Maha Sangha Indonesia. Chairman of the House is Ven. Girirakkhito (Chairman) and Gen. Suraji Aryakertawijaya (General Secretary).

To prevent a split that is not widespread, on the initiative of General Saparjo, conducted a meeting to hold deliberations. After several meetings, on 26 May 1972 made the pledge in the temple to form a single container Buddhists Indonesia. The pledge signed by: 1. Suryaputta Ks Suratin (Buddhist Indonesia) 2. Bgen Sumantri MS (MUABI) 3. Brigjen Suraji AriyaKertawijaya (Perbudhi) 4. Djoeri (MUSBI) 5. Drs. Sasana Surya (GTI) 6. Soepangat Prawirokoesoemo SH (Salatiga Buddhist Brotherhood). A single container that is melting all Buddhist organizations and named Buddha Dharma Indonesia abbreviated BUDHI. Beside that also formed The Buddha Dharma Indonesia whose members consist of the leaders of Buddhism and Buddhist scholar from different sects. This function sets the Assembly of religious wisdom.

So much harmony, unity and unity still has yet to be realized, while the conflict between the organization increasingly, on the basis that the Hindu-Buddhist Customs Bimas conducted a meeting led by Buddhist organizations and the Buddhist leaders in 1976 in Jakarta. In the meeting it was realised that the Buddhist organizations have two forms of activities, namely: the social aspect of civic and religious aspects of life coaching are performed by the chaplain of the sect in question. Under these circumstances sukarlah to form a single container for Buddhists because each sect have traditions and religious ceremonies are different to each other. Therefore these two aspects of the Buddhist organization activities are separated and each is compiled in a single Institution.

Social aspects in a single container civic compiled non sektarial called the combined Buddhist Whole Indonesia (GUBSI) under the leadership of r. Eko Pratomo Bogdan Michka SH (Chairman) and Drs. Aggi Tjetje (General Secretary). Spiritual aspect of being a Religious Assembly representing Buddhist sect in existence. The field grew to be The spiritual Priest BUDHI Buddha Dharma Indonesia (MAPANBUDHI) (October 3, 1976) is now an Assembly of Buddhism Theravada Indonesia-Magabudhi. Of the group, named the Assembly Chaplain Tridharma Tridharma se Indonesia - Martrisia (December 17, 1977). in conjunction with the inception of the Sangha of Mahayana Buddhism Indonesia appear Assembly Mahayana Indonesia - Majabhumi (August 1978). Organization of Nichiren Syosyu Indonesia (October 28th, 1964) became Nichiren Syosyu Buddhist Assembly of Indonesia (NSI).

Then in the next meeting, set up Assembly of Buddhism in the form of the Federation of Indonesia MABI. MUABI then resigned from MABI. It became an Institution MUABI Dharmaduta Kasogatan Indonesia which eventually became the Tribunal Dharmaduta Kasogatan Tantrayana Indonesia, a leading by alm Sumarsono Giriputta and then Drs. Oka Diputhera. MUABI (after Indonesian Buddhists) has been renamed The Indonesian Buddhayana Council (MBI).

Development of the Sangha in Indonesia


1.Sangha Agung Indonesia

Indonesia takes a lot of Monks. According to vinaya or regulation of the Sangha, Vinaya or regulation, namely the upasampada or ordination of bhikkhu can be done in terms of the most poorly attended by 5 senior biku. In 1959 Y.M. Bhikkhu Ashin Jinarakkhita Invited 13 bhikkhu from abroad, namely:

1.Y.M. Mahasi Sayadaw dari Birma.
2.Y.M. Somdach Choun Nath Mahathera dari Kamboja.
3.Y.M. Ung Mean Chanavanno Mahathera dari Kamboja.
4.Y.M. Piyadasi Mahathera dari Sri Lanka.
5.Y.M. Narada Mahathera dari Sri Lanka.
6.Y.M. Tudawe Arivawangsa Nayaka Thera dari Sri Lanka.
7.Y.M. Walane Satthisara Mahathera dari Sri Lanka.
8.Y.M. Kamburugamuwe Mahanama Mahathera dari Sri Lanka
9.Y.M. Ransegoda Sarapala Thera dari Sri Lanka.
10.Y.M. Phra Visal Samanagun dari Thailand.
11.Y.M. Phra Sumreng Arnuntho Thera dari Thailand.
12.Y.M. Phra Kru Champirat Threra dari Thailand.
13.Y.M. Phra Kaveevorayan dari Thailand.

The invitation in order to form the Sangha Indonesia, through Sacred ordination of monks Indonesia 3 candidates. Then the Ven. Ashin Jinarakkhita also sent a wanna-be monk/nun ordination in Indonesia for other overseas.

When it ordained is Ong Tiang Biauw is named Jinaputta. There on 17 May 1959 Ong ordained samanera and next 5 days later ordained bhikkhu at Watugong, Central Java. At the same time was also Ktut Tangkas from Singaraja and Ki Sontomihardjo from Banyumas became a samanera. The years of the next candidates biku and biksuni sent to ordained abroad.

In 1959 by Bhikkhu Jinarakkhita established Sangha Indonesia consisting of monks and being ordained samanera, which according to the Theravada. Later changed to Sangha Suci Indonesia Indonesia in 1968 changed again become Maha Sangha Indonesia which consists of the monks of Theravada and Mahayana.

Bandung, 1969. For the benefit of the development of the Buddha Dharma in the land of water, at the invitation of Ashin Jinarakkhita Mahathera of the Maha Sangha Indonesia, in the Entourage of monks from Thailand. Headed by Most Ven. Chao Kun Sasana Sobhana, abbot of the Wat Bovoranives, Chao Kun Dhamma, Chairman of the Maha Sangha Indonesia Monk Ashin Jinarakkkhita, Bhikkhu Khantipalo from United Kingdom (A few years later the Most Ven. Chao Kun Sasana Sobhana who became Spiritual Teacher of the King of Thailand, was appointed Sangharaja (Supreme Patriach) Of Thailand). With the help of the ambassadors of the Dharma (dhammaduta) Thailand, in 1970 at the celebrations of Vesak in Borobudur held ordination Monks. Venerable Ashin Jinarakkhita gave up his murinya who still takes its roots in traditional samanera Dhammayuttika Monasteries of Wat Bovoranives Bangkok Most Ven. Chao Kun Sasana Sobhana (now Sangharaja (supreme patriach) of Thailand). 5 people that ordain is: Ven. Aggajinamitto, Ven. Uggadhammo, Ven. Jinadhammo, Ven. Sirivijayo (disrobe), Ven. Saccamano (disrobe). Because the Most. Ven. Chao Kun Sasana Sobhana must go back to Bangkok, coaching young biku-biku submitted on Bhante Vidhurdhammabhorn (bhante Vin) which then often are in Indonesia.

Divisions and disputes among the Buddhists to 1969 are generally based on a personal dispute. The split among the monks in the Maha Sangha Indonesia characterized by the existence of differences in the understanding of the Vinaya and Dharma. Some Theravada monk willed the monk did not intervene on this split and stands alone as a role model. Because of this attempt is not successful, then the monk went out of the Maha Sangha Indonesia and formed a Sangha Indonesia on January 12, 1972. Sangha Indonesia got support from organizations who gathered in the Federation of Indonesia Buddhists and from another organization such as Perbudhi and Buddhist Fellowship Salatiga.

On January 14, 1974, on the initiative of the Hindu-Buddhist Societies Guides Customs, held a meeting between Sangha Indonesia dan Maha Sangha Indonesia. At the meeting, agreed to fused Sangha Indonesia dan Maha Sangha Indonesia become Sangha Agung Indonesia and each monk will carry out the Vinaya under each sect. Elected as Chairman Most Ven. Jinarakkhita and his Deputy is Bhikkhu Jinapiya Thera. However, a subsequent meeting to define among others the structure and functions of the Organization of the Sangha Agung Indonesia never be implemented. The consensus made on January 14, that cannot be realized.

The Organization of Sangha Agung Indonesia at the present still exist with the member of monks and nun from three traditions that is theravada, mahayana, and tantrayana. Their member about 150 members all around if Indonesia.

2.Sangha Theravada Indonesia


Sangha Theravada Indonesia was form In 1976, separate from Sangha Agung Indonesia. In the afternoon on October 23, 1976, housed in the Maha Vihara Dhammaloka (now Vihara Tanah Putih), Semarang, initiated by some Buddhist monks and devotees namely: Ven. Aggabalo, Ven. Khemasarano, Ven. Sudhammo, Ven. Khemiyo, and Ven Nanavutto; Mr. Suratin MS., Mr. Mochtar Rashid, and Mrs. Supangat, to the agreement to form Sangha Theravada Indonesia.

3.Sangha Mahayana Indonesia

Similarly in 1978 with a few Mahayanis monks in the Sangha Agung Indonesia resigns and then formed a Sangha Mahayana Indonesia, Then, to unite the Mahayana monks and bhiksuni in one container, they founded the Sangha unity Mahayana Indonesia on September 10, 1978 in Buddha Murni Temple, Medan, North Sumatra.

In Indonesia there are thus three Sangha (Order): Sangha Agung Indonesia, Sangha Theravada Indonesia and Sangha Mahayana Indonesia.

Post Sectarian Periods

Indonesian Buddhist Trusteeship Council (Perwalian Umat Buddha Indonesia (Walubi))

Minister of religious affairs Alamsyah Ratu Perwiranegara held a meeting with the leadership of all assemblies and sangha in Indonesia. In this meeting all the Tribunal's Sangha stated all sects of Buddhism, based on the belief That the one true God with different designations. In this meeting established Perwalian Umat Buddha Indonesia (WALUBI) representing Buddhists in 1978. This name given by Minister of religious affairs Alamsyah Ratu Perwiranegara.

Walubi is federate with members: 1. Sangha Theravada Indonesia, 2. Sangha Mahayana Indonesia, 3. Sangha Agung Indonesia 4. Assemblies: 1. Assembly of the Buddhist Nichiren Syosyu Indonesia 2. Assembly of Mahayana Buddhism Indonesia 3. Assembly Dharmaduta Kasogatan, 4. Assembly of the Priest of Buddha Dhamma Indonesia (Mapanbudhi) 5. The Buddha Maitreya Priest Indonesia (Mapanbumi) 6. All Indonesia Assembly Chaplain Tridharma 7. The Scholars of Buddhism Indonesia (MUABI) after Buddhist Congress renamed The Indonesian Buddhayana Council (MBI).

Walubi Chaired by Suparto Hs from Mapanbudhi with Ir. T. Soekarno from NSI and advisor Board chaired by Soemantri M.S, from MUABI. Walubi have the Trial Sangha's and placing the three sanghas as an institution fatwa was with its chairman Ven. Ashin Jinarakkhita. The arrangement of its administrator is as follows:

Suparto Hs. From Majelis Pandita Buddha Dharma Indonesia as Chairperson (General Sekretary).

1.Central Board (DPP) WALUBI, are:

1.Suwarto Kolopaking, SH. (MUABI)
2.Ir. T. Soekarno (Nichiren Shoshu Indonesia)
3.Gunawan Sindhumarto, SH. ( Majelis Agama Buddha Mahayana Indonesia )
4.Drs. Oka Diputhera (Majelis Dharmaduta Kasogatan Indonesia)
5.Bhaggadewa Siddharta (Majelis Rohaniawan Tridharma Seluruh Indonesia)
6.Herman S. Endro, SH. (Majelis Pandita Buddha Dharma Indonesia)
7.Ir. Hartanto Kulle (Majelis Pandita Buddha Maitreya Indonesia)

2.Honor council, are:

1.Soemantri MS. (MUABI-MBI)
2.Sumeda Widyadharma ( Majelis Pandita Buddha Dharma Indonesia)
3.Giriputra Soemarsono (Majelis Dharmaduta Kasogatan Indonesia)
4.IS. Susilo (Majelis Agama Buddha Mahayana Indonesi)
5.Zen Dharma (Majelis Pandita Buddha Maitreya Indonesia)
6.Sasanaputera ( Majelis Rohaniawan Tridharma Seluruh Indonesia)
7.Seno Soenoto (Nichiren Shoshu Indonesia)

The workshop was held on February 20, 1978 in Jakarta produced the document “the stabilization of the Buddhist Teaching Workshops in Indonesia National Personality”. Results of this workshop is the Foundation to hold a Congress of Buddhists Indonesia.

After held Pre-Congress, Indonesian Buddhist Congress was held on May 8, 1979 in Yogyakarta. Pledge of Buddhists in which among others will carry out with a vengeance and it as well-good all statutes and decisions of the Indonesian Buddhist Congress, stated in an open forum before the Minister of religious affairs Alamsyah Ratu Perwiranegara in a National Ceremony on Vesak on May 10, 1979 in Mendut Temple and signed by all Buddhist Sangha and the Tribunal, including NSI, which at that time recognized as Buddhism that is similar to other assemblies.


The Congress confirmed the Decision of Buddhists Indonesia Workshop the stabilization of the teachings of Buddhism with Indonesia's national Personalities. Results of the Congress that include a code of conduct, Criteria of Buddhism, Buddhist Indonesia Pledge and the inaugural resolutions of Workshops the stabilization of the teachings of Buddhism With Indonesia's national Personalities. The decision regarding the admission of all sects of Buddhism in Indonesia against:

1.The belief of God (all sects respect different designations to refer to God, but in fact one and the same)
2.Buddha Gotama as Prophet (Great Teacher).
3.Holding the Tripitaka Scriptures of the Pali Canon and are committed to carrying out/Guidelines and Implementing Pancasila elegant timepiece.

Criteria the Buddhist religion in indonesia , i e the presence of : the lord of almighty god, triratna / tiratana , trilaksana law / tilakkhana , catur arya satyani / cattari ariya saccani, pratitya samutpada / paticcasamuppada , karma / kamma , punarbhava / punnabhava , nirvana / nibbana, and the bodhisattva / bodhisatta .

The code of conduct also decided at the Congress include:

1.Buddhists is a large family with the same teachers, though professing different sects.
2.In the teachings of the sect preached themselves must pass speech, attitudes, and actions to the detriment of other sects.
3.Each coaching people are encouraged to learn also other sects, positively steeped in the teachings of the sect other than its own.
4.In any event excluded personal considerations, group, or material advantage. Each Member of the other members help each other walubi in an attempt to hold of Buddhist infrastructure and Buddhism develop.
5.Each Member also abstain from actions that could undermine the atmosphere of family unity, and spreading the dharma in accordance with the Scriptures and does not interfere with the Affairs of the household of another members of Walubi.

Results of the Indonesian Buddhist Congress is the basis and large means to bring about harmony, unity and unity of Buddhists in Indonesia. With the results of the Congress which is the basis of harmony, unity and unity of Buddhists is not the means that will be immediately created harmony. It is not easy to implement program Walubi in the first years of the formation.

In 1981, held an extraordinary Congress Walubi. Results of the extraordinary Congress was the replacement of the DPP Walubi. The new Chairman is Soemantri M.S from MBI and Secretary General of the Seno Sunoto of NSI.

In 1980, The Guidance Customs Hindu and Buddhist Societies formed an institution under the name Combined the monastery, Temple, Gray's House (Gavikra), but the Agency is not to develop, because the temple-monasteries and temples as well as the home of deashes already was under the coaching socio-political service Assembly.

Replacement of the leadership is not bringing an increase in Walubi Concord intern Buddhists and terlaksananya Walubi program, but rather Welcome the day of Vesak as Secretary General of the Seno Sunoto Walubi contained in newspapers 'Sinar Harapan' in 1983 were contrary to the code of conduct and results of the workshop on the stabilization of the teachings of Buddhism. In his speech that Seno Sunoto changed the Feast day of Vesak as a reply to Bob for Buddhists based on the philosophy and Outlook on life of Japan. Protests in the newspaper can be stopped so as not to cause unrest and disrupt unity more amongst the Buddhists. Those problems would be resolved by DP Walubi Center. However, the issue was never resolved.

Then in early 1985 arise again disquiet amongst the Buddhists in Central Java, especially in Wonogiri about other Buddha at the presence of addition to Gautama Buddha. In a consultation officials Directorate General of the Hindu-Buddhist Bimas with Buddhist leaders, Seno admitted that Niciren Daisyonim is a Buddhist. The problem about the existence of two Buddhas are contrary to the criteria of the Buddhist code of ethics and the results of the workshop the stabilization of the teachings of Buddhism and damage internal unity of Buddhists, are not resolved by the DPP Walubi came to the 1st Walubi Congress in 1986.

1st Walubi Congress

The 1st Walubi Congress was held on 8-11 July 1986 confirming the results of the Congress of the people of Indonesia about the Buddhist code of ethics, the criteria of Buddhism in Indonesia, Buddhism with a national personality, Indonesia pledge Buddhists Indonesia. In the Congress was elected General Chairman was the Most Venerable Girirakkhito and his Deputy were Drs. Aggi Tjetje.

Based on the Widyaka Sabha fatwā Walubi and historically, factual and faith, that NSI has strayed from the criteria of Buddhism in Indonesia, as well as violating the code of conduct and decision workshops the stabilization of the teachings of Buddhism with Indonesia which has National Personality was confirmed by the Congress of the Buddhists and Congress Walubi. This result does not use Niciren Syosyu Indonesia as part of the Buddhism, therefore the NSI excluded from Walubi on July 10, 1987.

2nd Walubi Congress

2nd WALUBI Congress was held in Desember, 7th 1992, who returns choose Ven. Girirakkhito as a chairperson. For General Secretary was be choose Drs. Budi Setiawan (Director of Buddhist Society, Department of Religious Affairs). The Congress also chose the Dra. Siti Hartati Murdaya as Board of trustees. Congress formed The Framers By law Walubi consists of 30 peoples.

24ac4f5 b.jpg

Buddhist organizations re-occurring conflict after the Congress because of a difference opinions regarding the work of the Framers Bylaw. This continued until the occurrence of acts of violence reported to National Commission for Human Rights. SAGIN and MBI expelled from Walubi by reason of the discipline of the Organization and teaching. Both were accused of heresy because syncretism, divisive, as well as animating chinese custom.

Konferensi Agung Sangha Indonesia (KASI)

Konferensi Agung Sangha Indonesia was formed on 14 November 1998 as a means to streamline and returns the position of the Sangha who suffered riot as a result of internal conflicts and the existence of Walubi and misrelationships among members of Walubi. KASI was founded by the monks of the three Sangha in Indonesia: Sangha Theravada Indonesia, Sangha Mahayana Indonesia, dan Sangha Agung Indonesia, supported by assemblies of autonomous under the auspices of these sanghas, as the Indonesian Buddhayana Council (MBI), Assembly of Buddhism Theravada Indonesia (Magabudhi), and The Mahayana Buddhism Indonesia (Magabhumi).

A manuscript of establishment of Indonesian Sangha Great Conference (KASI) was signed together by :

KASI is the association of sangha sangha ( of a fraternity the monk . bhiksu ) from a meeting ( conference ) supreme. with a holding in the Scriptures of Buddhism (Pali Tripitaka, Mahayanis, Tibetan/kanjur), this agency as decision considering the Dhamma (Dhammaniyoga). Although KASI is The Sangha-are members of the Sangha is its administrator/monks, but the monk of KASI also remained involved laity as helmate of the sangha.

According to The Tripitaka, the Sangha and the Laity is a group standing respectively. The presence of the Sangha is a mandatory law, whereas the presence of lay organizations (the Layperson) is indeed laudable, but not a must. A lay organization be changed or may be disbanded and renamed, but the Sangha to be preserved its existence with all its provisions as mentioned in the Vinaya Scriptures of the Pali Canon/Tripitaka. In a meeting with the Minister of religious affairs, also reported some activity KASI, among others: following the Work of the Executive Committee Meeting II VI World Buddhist Sangha Council (WBSC) in Sri Lanka on February 17-22 April 1999 and holding a Vesak With se-North Sumatra in Medan. Leadership of the World Buddhist Sangha Council (WBSC) is pleased to welcome the formation of KASI, and also raised the Most Venereble Ashin Jinarakkhita Maha Nayaka Sthavira (76-year-old monk pioneer of Buddhism in Indonesia) as Vice President of WBSC.

KASI as organization official buddhists it said in a letter numbered 455. 5 / 1204 that was signed plh director general social and political the department of the interior of the Republic of Indonesia, Drs H Ragam. The establishment of KASI hence now buddhists indonesia having an institution cleric who parallel to the institutions of the clergy in other religions where kepengurusannya up in the hands of the clergy as an assembly of the indonesian (MUI) of mohammedanism, a conference prelates indonesia (KWI) of catholics , fellowship of the churches of indonesia (PGI) of christianity.

Representative of Buddhist Indonesia (Perwakilan Umat Buddha Indonesia (new-Walubi)

Representative of Buddhists Indonesia formed on the basis of National Consensus Buddhists Indonesia on 20 August 1998, consists of the Confederation some Buddhist organizations fractions a few Buddhist organizations, as well as some Buddhist organizations that don't fit in KASI. It's organization was lead by Dra. Hartati Murdaya. This is a container of community organizations of Buddhists Indonesia which consists of assemblies of Buddhism, Buddhist, religious institutions, The Honor Council the Sangha and viable Container was breathing on Buddhism.

Buddhist Youth Organization

Encouragement to develop organization also found in groups of young people and women. The Buddhist Youth Indonesia (Pembudhi) who was born in the neighborhood MUABI (1973) and was active in the KNPI and Golkar after signing the Declaration of Indonesian Youth (1986) and prepare Youth Buddhist Congress. The Government ordered him to come with an intended element of youth assemblies, so that it gets done deliberation Walubi together in 1986 which gave birth to a younger generation of Buddhist Indonesia (Gemabudhi) with Chairman Lieus Sungkharisma.

Youth Organization growing among the assembly between others : Tridharma Youth (1954), The Joint Secretariat of the Indonesian Buddhayana Monasteries Youth (sekber Pmvbi - Buddhayana Youth) 1973 , Then The Young Generation Mahayana Buddhism Indonesia (1986), Theravada Indonesia Youth (patria ) 1995 , etc.

Buddhis Women Organization

Pening the mind.jpg

Buddhist women Indonesia originally was a local Buddhist women's organizations in Bandung (1973), then along with women's groups from assemblies, held a Congress Woman Walubi Buddhist Indonesia in 1987 and gave birth to a large family of Buddhist Women Indonesia (KBWBI). Subsequent developments gave rise to various women's organizations based on Buddhist assemblies that exist in Indonesia as Women Theravada Indonesia (Wandani), Indonesia, and the Mahayana Women etc.

Buddhist Become Official State Religion

An ancient literature said that the buddhist religion in indonesia will asleep in four times and shall stand again after 500 years later since the collapse of the royal mahapahit on in 1478. it appear to be a reality. After passing the 4 (four) era, i e , the Kingdom of Islam , era of Colonization , the Independence, and the Old Order; and also after about 500 years since the collapse of the Royal Mahapahit in 1478, Buddhism started to rise again in the archipelago (indonesia). It is characterized by the presence of a presidential decree republic of Indonesia number 45, 1974 and decision president of the republic of indonesia Number. 30, 1978 who sets the establishment of the directorate general for guidance society Hinduism and Buddhism.

If counted, since since the collapse of the royal majapahit on in 1478 and the rising of Presidential Degree of Republic Indonesia Number 30 in 1978 , there is a time lapse more or less 500 years. And by the presidential decree, Buddhism became one of the official religions recognized by the State and is aligned with other religions. In 1983, the day of Vesak (Vesak) designated by the Government as a holiday of Justice (Buddhist Year 2499 BE) with the Decree the President of the REPUBLIC of INDONESIA No. 3/1983.

Buddhism in Indonesian National Identity

Indonesian state philosophy is Pancasila. The pancasila was formulated by Soekarno and deliverd as a speech without text before the committee to Investigate Preparatory Efforts for Independence on the June 1st,1945. The principle of Divinity, which is the most relevant to this study, was at that time described as follows.

“I have described four principles: (1) Indonesian Nationalism, (2) Internationalism and Humanity, (3) Consensus or Democracy, (4) Social Security. The fifth Principle should be: to build independent Indonesia which is devoted to the God who is one. The every Indonesian Should believe in his or her own god. A christian worships the god according to instructions of Jesus Christ, a moslem believes in God according to the instrucion of the prophet Muhammad s.a.w., a Buddhist performs religious to his scriptures”.

Still a question whether the existence of the circle of Buddhist teachings acknowledged the existence of the Godhead That the one true God, make the Government at that time feel free to make Buddhism as the official religion. Then, the most Venerable Ashin Jinarakkhita proposed the name Sanghyang Adi Buddha, Buddha trance dance as the name of God in the teachings of Buddhism. It is then submitted to the Minister of religious affairs and the Government finally accepted Buddhism as the official religion of the country in 1978. It is listed in the GBHN 1978, Presidential Decree Number 30, 1978, as well as Circulars Minister of Home Affairs No. 477/74054/1978 (18 November 1978).

The workshop was held on February 20, 1978 in Jakarta produced documents of 'Workshop the stabilization of the teachings of Buddhism in Indonesian National Identity”. Workshop document contains the code of conduct, criteria of Buddhism in indonesia later confirmed as well as on the pledge along the Buddhist Congress in 1979. The decision regarding the admission of all sects of Buddhism in Indonesia against:

1.The belief of God (all sects respect different designations to refer to God, but in fact one and the same) – Monotheis.
2.Buddha Gotama as Prophet (Great Teacher).
3.Holding the Tripitaka Scriptures of the Pali Canon and are committed to carrying out/Guidelines and Implementing Pancasila elegant timepiece.

It also set out any criteria of Buddhism in Indonesia, namely the existence of: Almighty God, Triratna/Tiratana, Law Trilaksana/Tilakkhana, Satyani/Aryan Chess Cattari Ariya Saccani, Pratitya Samutpada/Karma/Paticcasamuppada, Kamma, Punnabhava, Punarbhava/Nirvana/Nibbana, and Bodhisattva/Bodhisatta.

Therefore, Buddhists at the time viewed the need to adjust to the new order Government which sets out the terms of the religion is to believe in God (theistik), the political conditions in the past very difficult for Buddhism to thrive if it does not apply to categories of the Godhead that the one true God and would be considered Atheists and will not be allowed to develop.

Peculiar characteristic of Indonesian Buddhism appearing in a couple of decades after the failed communist coup in 1965, Indonesian Buddhism has accepted Adi Buddha in order to comply with the Indonesian State principle of Dicinity which has been strongly enforced since 1965. the indonesian Buddhism called Buddhayana appears syncretistic as one can see it from its liturgical publication. In this transformation, the first indigenous monk Ashin Jinarakkhita has played a significant role throughout. In the words of scholars who have since investigated further, the situation can be generally summarized in three suggestions.

One, the adoption of Adi Buddha was due to Indonesian government framing of buddhism into monotheistic religions, especially Islam, exerted major influence. Two, the adoption was also perceived as forming theistic Buddhism and therefore causing conflicts among Indonesian Budddhist organizations to arise. Three, in the middle of all these, Ashin Jinarakkhita, The Buddhist Leader of the time was allegedly the one who created Adi Buddha and Buddhayana. It is said that he had a particularly strong personality, was a great pragmatist and a shrewd judge of political developments, wore a theravada robe yet wore a beard in the Mahayana style. The latter eans the issue on hand cannot be examined just from the view or the action of the religious leader alone, but must also consider the state's view and governing acts as well as the history behind it.

In the archipelago, the discourse on divinity was neither totally new even for the fourtheenth century Java nor the end of it. The concept of divinity has been known to Indonesia for long time. The one term of divinity Buddhism was called Sanghyang Adi Buddha is from the wordadi buddha”. The term Adi Buddha reffereing to the concept of absolute and abstract divinity was employed for the forst time in Sanghyang Kamahayanikan. This term also found in scribed in the Pagarruyung I (Bukit Gombak I) inscription dated to 13 April 1356. The inscription claims that a descendant of Amararyya dynasty, the Illustrious King Adityawarman, who has the banner of non-duality, who was exceedingly like Adi Buddha – embedded with virtues of loving kindness, compassion, joy, and tranquility- was a king beneficial to misfortunate living beings.

This concept refers to the similarity of the concept of God in other religions (Islam, Christianity, Hinduism) which is the majority religion in Indonesia and a prerequisite for any mention of Theistik Religion in Indonesia. Government recognition of the appellation of God in Buddhism appeared in Government Regulation No. 21 RI in 1975 about oath/promise of a civil servant who claimed “Demi Allah” for those who are Buddhists replaced “Demi Sanghyang Adi Buddha” (later confirmed by Indonesian Law No. 43, 1999). The God term by 'Sanghyang Adi Buddha' is a trance dance of Buddhists under the Guidance of MUABI (now MBI – Indonesian Buddhayana Council).

Revival of Buddhist Education in Indonesia


The new order era schools must provide religious education. Buddhists began to pay attention to the development of education. Perbudhi and PUUI yan initially moves in the field of broadcasting and religious services at the monastery, began organizing a cetiya/courses-reserved Buddhist teachers and assigning their activist plunge into schools. Understaffed and Buddhist schools of education are still felt to this day. Many Buddhists traditionally follow another religious education at school, then moved the religion. Buddhists are not only founded a monastery, but also began to develop the school. Like Buddhists Tridharma in Jakarta set up “Sila ParamitaBuddhist School (1967). Later founded a school in Jambi is “Sariputra School” and the Tri Ratna School in Sibolga, North Sumatra, and so on. To print the teacher of Buddhism, Buddhists in Semarang is a pioneer in the presence of the Buddhist Teachers School “Smaratungga” in Boyolali. In Banyumas also founded Buddhist Teachers School “Mpu Tantular”.

At Jakarta in 1979 founded the Nalanda Buddhist Academy (now the Nalanda Buddhist College). Up in 2010 there are 15 Buddhist College are recorded, among them: Nalanda Buddhist College (Jakarta), Smaratungga Buddhist College (Boyolali), Mahaprajna Buddhist College (Cilincing-Jakarta), the Buddhist Srivijaya Empire State College (Banten), Kertarajasa Buddhist College (Unfortunate), Sailendra dynasty Buddhist College (Semarang), Bodhi Dharma Buddhist College (Medan), Ashin Jinarakkhita Buddhist College (Lampung), Raden Wijaya Buddhist College (Wonogiri), Dutavira Buddhist College (Jakarta), etc. some of them became the member of International Association of Buddhist Universities (IABU) and Association of Theravada Buddhist Universities (ATBU).


Buddhism is a religion which has since long been embraced by most of society archipelago. Srivijaya and Majapahit era was the golden era for Buddhism. The existence of Buddhism in Nusantara (Indonesia) can be proven by the existence of a legacy-legacy in the form of inscriptions and buildings of the temple as well as foreign literature, particularly literature-originating from China. A tradition or school of Buddhism that held by Nusantara society was non-Mahayana Buddhism, however, for the development of subsequent Mahayana and the Surmang Foundation became more popular in the community. This is evidenced by the many historical relics that have the value of the philosophy of Mahayana and the Tantrayana. From historical relics can also be seen that there has been a follow between Hinduism-Shiva with Mahayana Buddhism in Indonesia.

After experiencing two heyday, i.e. the Srivijaya and Majapahit Empires, Buddhism in Indonesia finally decline after the fall of Majapahit Kingdom. But after four days, after 500 years later since the collapse of the Kingdom of Mahapahit in 1478, Buddhism began to bounce back from his sleep. Travel the revival and development of Buddhism beginning in the colonial era to the present through a winding road. Various problems arise alternately.

At the time of colonization, the development of Buddhism face constraints include lack of notable understand Buddha Dharma and confront aggression missionaries of other religions. During the old order, independence and development of Buddhism tinged by differences of opinions and views among Buddhists leaders giving rise to turmoil here and there until the establishment of various Buddhist organizations. In addition, the Government has not acknowledged the attitude of Buddhism as the official religion, has narrowed the motion the development of Buddhism. However during this time, was born the Sangha Indonesia as Buddhists protector.

Buddhism became one of the official religion of the development of Buddhism in coloring the new order era. In addition, the formation of a single Container and chaos within the Organization WALUBI also occurred during this period. Instead of unifying the whole Buddhists all over Indonesia, not so long ago, the presence of the hostile hospital and the split cause WALUBI amongst Buddhists. caused any prejudice, misconceptions, and the impositions of a few unscrupulous private interests Trustees WALUBI.

The dissolution of the old WALUBI and established New-WALUBI for the purpose of burying the problem exists, it appears that does not give a good impact. Even so, there is a bright side of the chaos that ensued. At least Buddhist Sangha Institution which eventually have to sit abreast KASI with the institutions of the clergy in other religions.

The new paradigm in buddhism which envolved today is a single container is no longer a necessity. Each Assembly or religious organizations have the freedom, and therefore is responsible for implementing the vision and mission. Each of them. not to intervene in each other. Diversity is preserved without neglecting the unity, tolerance, mutual understanding, and brotherhood. Experience teaches that the hostile hospital organisation and conflicts occur because of abuse of power/position for personal gain, the use of violence to impose their will and practices that deviate from the values of religious (Scriptural). The Buddhist community becomes increasingly idealized through inter-disciplinary approach to appreciate and understand the sect with the various schools of Buddhism. Inter-religious dialogue is increasingly developed, so did the inter-ethnic dialogue sects (particularly in the mainstream environment or KASI). Globalization and advances in information technology have presented various influences from abroad. Monk/biksuni or foreign dharmaduta more and more are visiting Indonesia. Further efforts to safely Buddhist teachings through socially engaged Buddhism, Buddhist social care, has become increasingly evident. That movement does not just come from the assemblies, but also more recently a prominent Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation (based in Taiwan) spreading the love without discriminating group, nation, and religion.


  • Rusli, HS. Teori dan Praktek Tantra-Vajrayana, Medan: IBC, 1982.
  • Dharmakusumah, Alam Kematian sementara (Bardo Tholdo), Jakarta: 1992.
  • Kern, J.H.C and Rassers, W.H, Çiwa and Buddha. Jakarta: Djambatan, 1982

Electronic Sources

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Author: Ven. Ditthisampanno