North Pakistanian, Gandhara

Relief Displaying Various Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

2nd–3rd century C.E.


Gift of Morton D. May


The top tier contains a haloed Buddha seated on a plain, slab-like throne between two standing Buddhas, also with haloes. A crowned Bodhisattva (or holy person, who possesses the potential to become a Buddha) stands between the two haloed Buddhas in the center panel. The bottom panel shows two Buddhas flanking a central one seated upon a round, lotus-based throne. A Buddha on or in a lotus symbolizes the essence of enlightenment. This Buddha’s hands are in a “discourse pose.”

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