12th century Buddhist sculptures found in Indonesian cav

An Indonesian cave used for meditation by Buddhist priests in the 12th century contains previously undiscovered sculptures depicting the spiritual journey of Buddha, a religious leader said Wednesday. The sprawling cave - a reminder of the rich Buddhist past in the world's most populous Muslim nation - was discovered more than two decades ago near Jireg village in East Java province. But it had never been thoroughly explored because of its remote and difficult-to-reach location, said Dhamma Subho Mahathera of Shangha Theravada Indonesia - the country's largest Buddhist organization - who visited the site on August 12. "As far as I know it is the only Buddhist cave in the world for meditation of Buddhist priests," Mahathera said. "There are reliefs representing four levels of meditations, from Sutatana to Arahata." The sculptures include depictions of an elephant, cow, monkey, and a lotus - Buddhism's symbol of peace.