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Notes on the Geography of Indonesia: Borobudur 4: Photo 41

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Hoping to disrupt his meditation, the demon Mara shoots arrows at the prince. She is the ruler of the Kingdom of Desire and has achieved that position by sacrificing herself in a prior life. The prince says that her sacrifice does not match his, for he has given himself in hundreds of previous births. She demands proof. He touches the earth, in the gesture known as bhumisparsamudra--it appears in countless Buddha images--and calls the earth to testify to his sacrifices. It does so.

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