For a few months I have been working on the Karma-vibhanga reliefs at Borobudur. It first required an English translation of the text, as one has never been made before, and then fitting the text to the reliefs.
In 1932 the great French scholar Sylvain Lévi published an edition of the text, along with many parallels, and a French translation, and this has been a great help. He was also the first to translate the inscriptions that are found above some of the panels.
Jon Fontein, an indefatigable worker in Indonesian archeology and especially on Borobudur, had written The Law of Cause and Effect in Ancient Java in which, using a Chinese translation of a Sanskrit text he had managed to identify most of the panels.
I preferred myself to work with the Sanskrit text, and I have used that as a basis for the identifications, which are more or less complete. As with the other works I have done on the narrative reliefs at Borobudur I have written a short caption to describe what is seen, and I have also included the whole text in translation as well.
The black and white photos were taken by Kassian Cephas, a photographer to the Yogyakarta court as these are the only complete set available. Four photographs of the reliefs are still exposed at the monument, and these I have photographed and include to show the difference.
This is the fifth and last of the books I am making at present at Borobudur, and it is currently being prepared for publication in Jakarta. At present I am working on a full text and translation of Karma-vibhanga, which includes the examples that were unknown to the sculptors at Borobudur.