Gampingan Temple

Other animal that is often described in the temple is frog. The community believed that frogs have supra natural power to send rain so that it was also believed to increase productivity, because the rain will be able to increase the harvest. The frogs that usually come up from waters also symbolize life renewal and the awakening towards better direction.

The relief still leaves a question of whether it is a fable (the animal story told to children) like the one in Mendut temple or a description of animals that was intentionally made to denote certain meaning. Such question rises because the description of the animals in the temple was not found in any books containing fables such as Jataka, Sukasaptati, Pancatantra and its hereditary versions.

Gampingan temple that is predicted to be built between 730 – 850 AC is believed to be the place for adoring Jambhala (god of prosperity, the child of Siva). The idea is based on the finding of Jambhala statue in the digging process. Jambhala is described to have been meditating; sitting crossed-legged while closing the eyes. The body was decorated by iconographical element (asana) in the form of a lotus with 8 pieces of leaves as the symbol of Vishnu mystical weapon (cakra) in the human body.

The figure of Jambhala in this temple is different from those in other temples. Generally, Jambhalas in other temples are described with wide eyes looking at the worshippers with various accessories symbolizing prosperity and luxury. This different description is believed to be based on the worship motivation, not to invoke prosperity but guidance in order to achieve the real happiness.

Visiting Gampingan temple will lead us to remembering the path we have taken to achieve happiness and prosperity. Relief that is dominated by animals that live in the surrounding environment could be the realization of local community’s wisdom by that time in representing a message from nirvana: mankind must keep the harmony of nature in order to live in prosperity and to avoid disaster.

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