Sanghyang Adi Buddha
This term was used by Ashin Jinarakkhita at the time of Buddhist revival in Indonesia in the mid 20th century to reconcile the first principle of the official philosophical foundation of Indonesia (Pancasila), i.e. "KeTuhanan Yang Maha Esa" (lit. "Recognition of the Divine Omnipotence") that requires the belief in a supreme God, with Buddhism which strictly speaking does not believe in such monotheistic God. This concept is used by the Indonesian Buddhist Council, an organization that seeks to represent all Buddhist traditions in Indonesia such as Theravada, Mahayana, and Tantrayana.
Adi Buddha is one of many names that may be used as an approximation for God Almighty in addition to Advaya, Diwarupa, Mahavairocana (Kawi language texts of Buddhism), Vajradhara (Tibetan Kagyu and Gelug schools), Samantabhadra (Tibetan Nyingma school), and Adinatha (Nepal).
He also called Adinatha (The first Protector), Svayambhulokanatha (self-originating World Protector), Vajradhara (Vajra Holder), Vajrasattva (Vajra Being), Svayambhu (the Self-Originating One), or Sanghyang Adwaya (Unequalled).
- "Dalam Kitab Sutji Sang Hyang Kamahayanikan, pupuh ke-19 didjelaskan bahwa Sang Buddha Gautama telah menunggal dengan Sang Hyang Adhi Buddha atau dengan kata lain bahwa Sang Buddha Gautama adalah pengedjawantahan dari Sang Adhi Buddha. Karena itu bila kita menjebut Sang Adhi Buddha maka itu adalah Sang Buddha jang tidak berkarya (saguna)."
- "In the Sacred Book of Sanghyang Kamahayanikan, 19th stanza, is explained that the Buddha Gautama was merged with Sang Hyang Adhi Buddha, or in other words the Buddha Gautama was the manifestation of the Adi Buddha.
Since, O monks, there is an Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unformed, therefore is there an escape from the born, originated, created, formed. What is dependent, that also moves; what is independent does not move.
Sanghyang Adi Buddha is the origin of everything in the universe, but he himself is without beginning or end, self-originating, infinite, omnipotent, unconditioned, absolute, omnipresent, almighty, incomparable, and immortal.
Indonesian National Encyclopedia
- "According to this view, one can coalesce (moksha) with Adi-Buddha or Isvara through his efforts with the ascetic path (tapa) and meditating (Dhyana).
The Seeker's Glossary of Buddhism
- "Term used in Mahayana Buddhism, especially in Nepal and Tibet, for the 'primordial Buddha', the Buddha without beginning." (Ling: 8)
- "The primordial Buddha. Although the concept itself can be traced to early Buddhism, it is widely acknowledge that the notion of the Adi-Buddha was fully developed in esoteric Buddhism.
"Esoteric Buddhism" is a general term used for the schools of Buddhism using mantras and mudras as a principal method of cultivation. These schools exist in the Mahayana tradition of most Asian countries.
Sir Charles Eliot on his Hinduism and Buddhism (III, 387) proposes that those development were the last effort of Middle East Buddhism to encounter the expansion of Islam by showed that monotheism may also be found inside Buddhism.
Csoma Körösi said that the name and system associated with it are closely related to Srikāla-cakra-tantra, a tantric that straightforwardly a Saivite in its inspiration, which arose in the 10th or 11th century AD.
But, the term Ādi Buddha had first appeared in Nāmasangiti as the epithet of Mañjusri, a sacred text which is considered earlier than the 10th century because the comment of this text is estimated to be written at least from the 7th century AD.
The other sacred texts are
Guhya‐samaya Sutra, and
Periods of development
- First Period (Mixed Esoteric Buddhism), include the origin and formation into two types of systems, i.e. Madhyamika and Vijnaptivada. This period only implied the seed of Esoteric Buddhism.
- Second Period (Pure Esoteric Buddhism), organize and systematize the first period and added a philosophical sense.
The evolution of the Ādi Buddha's concept
Theravadan canonic texts sources
According to de La Vallee Pussin (ERE. I, 96a):
- "Quite possible that the Buddhist quickly belief that Sakyamuni during his stay in the earth was only a magical substitution and the real Sakyamuni had attained the eternal Buddhahood very long time ago."
- Sukhavati (Chapter 2): a Buddha live for a hundred thousand niyuta (millions) koti (10 millions) kalpa or more.
- Lokottaravada (Vetulyaka School): Sakyamuni did not appear as a human in the world, but gave his image to represent Himself.
- Mahavastu and Suvanaprabhasa: in countless past, at the beginning of time, Sakyamuni has achieved Buddhahood; his appearance on the earth at this time, his entry to Nirvana, and so on are merely a symptom of Nirmanakaya.
- Vibhajjavadin: Sakyamuni entered the sa-upadisesa-Nibbana ("nirvana with residue") when becoming a Buddha. The residue is the body without an "active soul", that constantly alive and talk.
As time goes by, an idea evolved from it that Shakyamuni Buddha is one of a series of Buddhas (for the sake of convenience it is calculated as four, seven, or twenty-four) that form an infinite series, extends indefinitely, backward to the past and forward into the future.
Many of these Buddhas does not born on this earth, but in various worlds which are referred as the "Buddha's Pure Land". The Buddhas that shine on the infinite space and infinite universe are under the Ādi Buddha.
However, in Sūtrālankara (IX, 77), the doctrine of Ādi Buddha is completely rejected, because no one can become a Buddha without sambhara, i.e. the merit and wisdom, which can only be obtained from a previous Buddha (which preceded and predicted that he will be the next Buddha in the next life). Therefore, there can not be the first Buddha.
Mahā-Vairochanābhisambodhi Sutra states that Buddha's liveliness comes from the body (kāya), speech (vāk), and mind (citta). The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are the manifestation of every innumerable virtues of Mahā-Vairochana-tathāgata that is the king of the universe. Chapter of Mahā-virasamādi describes Mahā-Vairochana-tathāgata as follows:
- The wisdom of the Buddha is not inconceivable and incomparable. Those who have been freed from all kinds of stains and have realized the truth by self-awaken will obtain the fulfillment of all their desires.
The term "those who self-awaken" (Svayambhu) is used later as another name of Adi Buddha and has an important meaning. In Buddhaguhya, the comment on Mahā-Vairochanā Sutra, the meaning of Ādi Buddha is described as follows:
- Those who "self-awaken" are the bodhisattvas that higher than the eighth level. They are not guided by the others, but reached his own awakening.
Each is represented by the mudrā as
- After Vajradhātu-mahāsattva himself realized the enlightenment of all Tathāgata, he became Vajradhātu-tathāgata and entered the Jewel Form (Vajra-sattva) which is the nature of the five types of understanding:
pure understanding of dharma-dhātu, understanding like mirror, understanding into the nature of oneness, magical understanding, and understanding to achieve all deeds. All Tathāgatas exist inside this Vajra-sattva.
Each one of them can talk to each other, and in fact they are one without difference.
These Buddhas are
By comparing Mahā-Vairochanābhisambodhi Sutra and Tatvasangraha Sutra, it can be seen the first classifies and amalgamates various deities from first period of Esoteric Buddhism, while the later (and newer) explains that the thirty six deities were derived from Vajradhātu-tathāgata Buddha.
Since the time of Sailendra and Medang Kingdom, Indonesian Buddhists have the same belief in the existence of God Almighty as the Buddhists in Tibet, Nepal, and the northern schools. Nepalese uses the term Adinata which means "main protector";
Namasangiti Text of Candrakīrti (a monk who was staying in Indonesia), and the symbolism of Borobudur's mandala stupa, provided evidence that the Buddhism embraced by Indonesian people since the days of Srivijaya, Ancient Mataram, Sailendra, and Majapahit is the Buddhism which glorifies the God Almighty.
1. Guna Karanda Vyuha Text
- "In the time of nothingness, Shambu was already exist, this is what is called Svayambhu (self-manifested), and preceded all things, this is why he is called the Adi Buddha."
2. Sanghyang Kamahayanikan Text
- "All praises for Sanghyang Adi Buddha, this is the Sanghyang Kamahayanikan that I have been wanted to teach you, to the sons of Buddha (whom also) the family of Tathagata, the grandeur of 'Sanghyang Mahayana' practices is what i have to teach you."
Herman S. Hendro (1968) in his paper mentioned:
- "The closed uppermost large stupa [of Borobudur) is the epitome of a man who has reached the Absolute Freedom (Nibbana/ Nirvana) and united with Adi Buddha.
Since Indonesian independence in 1945, the founders of this new state had agreed on a proposed ideology as a national foundation for uniting all ethnicities, religions, and races, i.e. Pancasila as the basic foundation of the state and nationhood.
The first precept of Pancasila is "Belief in the Almighty Godliness" ("Recognition of the Divine Omnipotence"). The majority of Indonesian people mistranslated the sanskrit "Esa" -Almighty (absolute in virtues)- as "Eka" -One.
Following the attempted coup of Communist Party of Indonesia's (PKI) in 1965, Indonesian Government rejects and prohibits the development of all views that correspond to communism or atheism. Consequently, there was some doubt within the Indonesian Government at the time whether Buddhism can be accepted as an official religion.
His Holiness Ashin Jinarakkhita proposed the name of Sanghyang Adi Buddha as the God of Buddhist teachings. He sought confirmation for this uniquely Indonesian version of Buddhism in ancient Javanese texts, and even the shape of the Buddhist temple complex at Borobudur in Jawa Tengah Province.It was submitted to the Minister of Religious Affairs, and the government eventually accepted Buddhism as a state religion in 1978, as stated in GBHN (Outlines of Indonesian State Policy) of 1978, Presidential Decree No. 30 of 1978, and the Form Letter of Indonesian Department of the Interior No.477/74054/1978 (November 18, 1978).
While the State seemed to be easily satisfied with Ashin Jinarakkhita's assurance, questions came from their fellow Buddhists and, later, also his primary disciples who were on the same boat with him in the beginning.
The strongest opposition was coming from the Theravādan members, and it seemed to happen partly because of the influence of the Thai Buddhist’s purification movement started in the nineteenth century by King Mongkut as later on many Thai bhikkhus coming to Indonesia.
In the same year when the controversy was erupting (1974), the Indonesian Directorate General Guidance of Hindu-Buddhism (Gde Puja, MA.) issued a resolution on all schools/ traditions of Buddhism that they should believe in the presence of an Almighty God (First precept of Pancasila), and while each of this sects may give different names to Him, He is essentially the same entity.
This resolution became indirectly a government imposition of the doctrine of Oneness of God on all schools/ traditions of Buddhism. Any schools/ traditions that do not believe in the existence of One God would be dissolved.
Some schools treat the concept indifferently, while the others simply refuse and consider the idea as heresy (especially the Indonesian Theravada Sangha), and only a fraction supports it fully or partially.
Sanghyang Adi Buddha is used in greeting especially by Indonesian Buddhayana Council, i.e. Namo Sanghyang Adi Buddhaya. This salutation was popularized by the late His Holiness Mahawiku Dharma-aji Uggadhammo, one of the five first disciples of [[Ashin] Jinarakkhita]], whose ordained as the first Indonesian Buddhist monks after the independence of Indonesia.
The complete salutation which is commonly used as a greeting in the books' preface, letters, or meeting is:
- Terpujilah Sanghyang Adi Buddha Tuhan Yang Maha Esa
- ("Homage to Sanghyang Adi Buddha the Almighty God")
- Terpujilah Bhagavā, Yang Maha Suci, Yang telah mencapai Penerangan Sempurna
- ("Homage to the Blessed One the Worthy One, the Fully Enlightened One")
- Terpujilah Para Bodhisatta-Mahasatta
- Namo Sanghyang Ādi Buddhaya (3x)
- "Homage to the Almighty God, shout the whole world"
- Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammā-sambuddhassa (3x)
- "Homage to the Blessed One the Worthy One, the Fully Enlightened One"
- Namo Sabbe Bodhisattāya-Mahāsattāya (3x)
Indonesian Government Regulation Number 21/1975 about the vow of the civil bureaucrat, arranges the vow for the Buddhist bureaucrat by mentions "Demi Sanghyang Adi Buddha" ("by Sanghyang Adi Buddha") in the beginning of the vow.
- R. B. Cribb, Audrey Kahin (2004). Historical Dictionary of Indonesia (Second Edition ed.). Scarecrow Press. p. 63. ISBN 978-0810849358.
- Andrew Clinton Willford, Kenneth M. George, ed. (2004). Spirited Politics: Religion and Public Life in Contemporary Southeast Asia. Cornell University Southeast Asia Program. p. 132. ISBN 978-0877277378.
- Somo Wibowo. June 4th, 2013. Asal Muasal Istilah Sang Hyang Adi Buddha. (Indonesian)
- Sarjana dan Profesional Buddhis Indonesia. November 28th, 2008. Konsep Ketuhanan Dalam Agama Buddha. (Indonesian)
- Shandi Bucung. November 20th, 2012. Ketuhanan Dalam Agama Buddha. (Indonesian)
- Hudaya Kandahjaya. September 2nd, 1989. "ADI BUDDHA dalam AGAMA BUDDHA INDONESIA". Bogor: Forum Pengkajian Agama Buddha Indonesia. (Indonesian)
- Translator: Jeanne Martani and Krishnanda W. Mukti. 1976. "Adi Buddha". Translated from "Encyclopedia of Buddhisme" (Edited by G.P. Malalasekera. Published by: Government of Ceylon, 1953). Publisher: Yayasan Buddhayana Jakarta.
- Van Hien Study Group. 2003. The Seeker's Glossary of Buddhism, "Adi-Buddha", p. 7. New York: Sutra Translation Committee of the United States and Canada. Strictly for free distribution
- Van Hien Study Group. 2003. The Seeker's Glossary of Buddhism, "Esoteric School", p. 228. New York: Sutra Translation Committee of the United States and Canada. Strictly for free distribution.
- Tārānātha, p. 152.
- Wilis Rengganiasih Endah Ekowati. 2012. Bhikkhu Ashin Jinarakkhita’s Interpreting and Translating Buddhism in Indonesian Cultural and Political Contexts. University of California, Berkeley, USA.
- The Indonesian word "Tuhan" usually is translated into "God" or "Lord". "Tuhan" is a noun while "Ketuhanan" is an adjective. Wilis in her paper citated: With the addition of prefix and suffix, it changes the noun into an adjective “Ketuhanan” or “Lordness.” Page 3, 4.
- Bhagavant. SEJARAH PERKEMBANGAN BUDDHISME DI INDONESIA, "Zaman Wadah Tunggal WALUBI". (Indonesian)
- Library of Congress Country Studies. Indonesia, Buddhism.
- RO. Wednesday, Juni 3rd, 1987. "Suara Karya", Bhikkhu Uggadhammo Telah Tiada, p. IX. Jakarta. (Indonesian)
- See the preface on Buddhist ritual books Li Fo Chan Hui Wen PA SHE PA FO by Sagin, Saddharma Pundarika Sutra Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva Samanta Mukha Varga (2005) by Sagin, and Amitabha Sutra, Evening Service complete edition + translation.
- The salutation on the PREFACE of Paguyuban Wulan Bahagia and East Java Indonesian Buddhist Council's magazine is Namo SangHyang Adi Buddhaya, Namo Buddhaya.
- YM. Khemacaro, YM. Pasadiko Nyanavijjananda, and YM. Thiradhammo. 2006. PARITTĀ (Buku Tuntunan Puja Bhakti). Palembang: Penerbit Svarnadipa Sriwijaya.
- Editor: Ashin Nyanavirya. September 2013. Buku Tuntunan Puja Kunjungan Kasih, Second Edition, p. 4. Surabaya: Yayasan Buddhayana Dharmawira Centre. Free distribution.
- SUMPAH/JANJI PEGAWAI NEGERI SIPIL Peraturan Pemerintah Nomor 21 Tahun 1975 Tanggal 23 Juni 1975 (Indonesian)