Sasa Jataka
Title Sasa Jataka
Accession Number mar-scu-0016
Museum Name Archaeological Survey of India, NagarjunaKonda
Gallery Name Gallery-02
Object Type Sculpture
Main Material Lime stone
Provenance Nagarjunakonda valley, Guntur district Andhra pradesh
Find Place Nagarjunakonda valley , Guntur district, Andhra pradesh
Style Nagarjunakonda art.
School Late phase of Amaravathi school
Patron/Dynasty Ikshavakus
Period / Year of Work C. 3rd/4th century CE
Dimensions 85 X 98 X 9cm
Brief Description Lime stone - depicts Sasa Jataka (Mended). Mutilated drum slab narrating Sasa-Jataka in the extant lower panel. Bodhisattva born as a hare (Sasa), the hermit's environs in which he lived and the companions - monkey, Jackal and otter are all appropriately depicted. The main action of the story viz., the hare leaping into the fire in order to roast himself is shown prominently .
Detailed Description "We know that the hare was sacred to the Buddhists, and carved on one of the few slabs recovered from Stupa 9 is a charming picture of the Sasa Jataka in which the Bodhisattva appears on earth in the form of a hare. The scene takes place near a village on the Ganges. In the background is a shrine at the foot of a rocky hill like those around Nagarjunakonda and inhabited by panther, while on the right we see the hare talking to his three friens the monkey, an otter, and a jackal. The conventional trees and pair of antelope denote that this incident took place in lithe jungle at the foot of the hills. On the left, Sakka disguised as a poor old hungry Brahman is depicted approaching the group of animals to whom he explains that he has no food and asks them to assist him which they agree to do. On the left we see the three animals bringing their gifts of food to Sakka, the monkey brings a cluster of mangoes, the otter a fish and the jackal a pot of ghee stolen from the village, while the poor little hare being herbivorous has nothing to offer but himself so jumps into the fire which the old Brahman had kindled to cook his evening meal. It is a pretty story of self-sacrifice and a fitting subject to decorate a stupa of this curious kind, the only example so far discovered in India". Page-24 , Memoirs of the Archaeological Survey of India, No.54, by A.H. Longhurst, (New Delhi,1999).