Exact Match
Life scenes of the Buddha
Title Life scenes of the Buddha
Accession Number S3/A25098
Museum Name Indian Museum, Kolkata
Gallery Name N.A.
Object Type Sculpture
Main Material Sand Stone
Country India
Provenance Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh
Origin Place Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh
Period / Year of Work Gupta period, c. 5th century CE
Dimensions 92x32x11cm.
Brief Description The Buddha's life as a theme has been presented through five main events in his life beginning with the birth and ending with his death. The other three are his renunciation of the world, his defeat of Mara and his enlightenment and his dharmachakra pravartana or preaching the First Sermon. The vertical relief presents these events beginning from the bottom. 1. The bottom panel depicts four events starting from the right: a) The birth: Mayadevi is seen holding the branch of a tree as the nimbate child is being received by Sakra; on her right is her sister Mahaprajapati; b) In the centre the two Nagas, Nanda and Upananda, are anointing the child as he is about to take the first seven steps; c) at the bottom extreme left is seen the great departure - Prince Siddhartha riding his horse Kanthaka out of the palace; d) The scene above shows the Prince cutting his hair with a sword as a token of renunciation. 2. The second panel depicts Mara with his three daughters and other members of his retinue attempting to distract Siddhartha from his penance while the latter invites the Earth to witness his attainment of bodhijnana; the female figure below his seat is mother Earth and the snake next to her is Kala, who came to wish the sage as he meditated. 3. The third panel depicts the nimbate Buddha seated in pralambapada on a lotus in dharmachakra mudra delivering his sermon in the deer park at Sarnath. He is flanked by Vajrapani and Maitreya. 4. The topmost panel depicts the mahaparinirvana, the great demise of the Buddha. His body is laid on the couch which is surrounded by mourning devotees. While individual scenes from the Buddha's life were depicted separately, it was during this period that such a sequential presentation was introduced by the Sarnath (Benaras) School.