The Buddha Wall
The Last Temptation of Buddha has taken a full year to carve in Indonesia and now is standing in front of the Two Buttons building…
- The Buddha Wall
THE LAST TEMPTATION OF BUDDHA
This beautiful wall was hand-carved in Indonesia, and tells the story of the Last Temptation of the Buddha. The Buddha – who had been born a prince named Siddhartha, and who had been raised in utter luxury – had left his palace as a young man, seeking answers to the questions of life’s misery, injustice and suffering.
Relinquishing all comforts, Siddhartha traveled deep into the woods where he found a band of aesthetic monks and joined them in a life of severe austerity and renunciation, fasting almost to the point of starvation. Frustrated and suffering, he realized that this path of brutal denial brought him no more wisdom or perspective than his life of former luxury ever had. This realization led Siddhartha to his famous insight – that there must be a “middle way” to contentment, a path of being that lay somewhere between the life of a spoiled prince and the life of a masochistic hermit.
At this point, Siddhartha sat down under a shady Bodhi tree and resolved to meditate until he had found the true path of human deliverance. Hearing this vow, Mara – the demon of desire – grew threatened. Mara did not want humans to be free! So the demon Mara sent his beautiful daughters (named Desire, Hatred and Lust) to tempt Siddhartha out of meditation – but the prince would not be moved. Then Mara sent an army of wrathful soldiers (seen here carved into the wall) to frighten Siddhartha from his seat, but still he would not move.
Finally, Mara withdrew. Alone at last, and unmoved by lust, fear or ignorance, Siddhartha was victorious at last. He broke through the veil of illusion and ignorance, and ascended into perfect Enlightenment. At that moment of transformation, he became the Buddha – the Awakened One. As the Buddha, he would go forth into the world and teach his path of compassionate, calm, non-attachment to any who cared to listen.
This wall honors that moment of that awakened realization.