From the seventh to the thirteenth centuries, the Golden Island—Suvarnadvipa in Sanskrit, now called Sumatra—was home to a great university, a vast center of knowledge at the crossroads of the Buddhist Sea Route, which attracted the greatest sages of China and India, from I-Tsing to Atisha, whose teachings radiated as far as Tibet. Nowadays, the site Muara Jambi is inhabited by a village of clairvoyant Muslims, its guardians but also its explorers, the dreamers of its history, ferrymen on the river of time to what lies beyond memory. They are the bridge between two shores, from Buddha to Allah.
Elizabeth D. Inandiak is a French writer and translator who has lived in Indonesia since 1990. She has translated and recreated into French, Indonesian, and English the great epic of Java The Book of Centhini. Her new book Dreams from the Golden Island (Padmasana Foundation, 2018) is a collaborative work written in five languages with the villagers of Muara Jambi.
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