Gaṇḍavyūha, The Quest for Awakening
Level 3, Inner Wall
3. Maitreya’s Good Deeds

large collection of high-definition creative commons photographs from Borobudur, Java, illustrating the Gandavyuha Sutra, which tells about the Bodhisattva Sudhana and his search for Awakening by questioning 53 Masters, together with further information.

Play Moving Slideshow (157)

Level 2, Inner Wall,
Meetings with Spiritual Friends
Level 3, Inner Wall,
Maitreya reveals the Dharmadhātu
Level 3, Balustrade,
Good Deeds
Level 4, Balustrade,
Maitreya, Mañjuśrī and Samantabhadra
Level 4, Inner Wall,
The Aspiration to the Good Life

Reliefs on this Level:

East Wall    South Wall    West Wall    North Wall    East Wall


Introduction to the Gaṇḍavyūha Reliefs at Borobudur
(opens in a lytebox, without leaving the page)


use j/k or left/right arrow
to navigate through the photos below

Level 3, Balustrade
Maitreya’s Good Deeds

East Wall (Center to South)


1. Three Women and a Brahmin

Three women sit in a building with their attention directed to a brahmin who stands outside. Behind the brahmin there is a fruiting coconut tree, and he has a bull with him. Maitreya, accompanied by an attendant, looks on from the left.

On the other part of the relief a brahmin sits on the right with someone kneeling in front of him, they are both gesturing as though in conversation. On the left of these two sit two more who are watching the scene unfold.


2. Fragmentary

Sections of this relief are lost, and it is difficult to make out what may have illustrated. We see four people kneeling and one is standing.


3. Walking Bodhisattvas

Teṣu ca caṁkrameṣu niṣadya svāsaneṣu ca asaṁkhyeyān Bodhisattvān nānā-kārya-prayuktān-apaśyat, kāṃścic-caṃkramyamāṇān; He saw an uncountable number of Bodhisattvas engaged in various works while walking around or sat on their own seats, others were walking around.

Maitreya is near the centre, Sudhana and his companions are on the left. On the right of the relief we see eight Bodhisattvas walking round, some holding their hands in reverence.


4. Bodhisattvas gain Insight

Kāṃścid-vipaśyataḥ; Some were gaining insight. Maitreya sits in princely fashion on a high lotus throne, while an attendant holds a parasol over him. At a lower level we see seven Bodhisattvas sitting in meditation. Sudhana turns to explain the scene to his companions.


5. Bodhisattvas Striving

Kāṃścid-vyāyacchataḥ; Some with earnestly striving. Maitreya stands near the middle of the relief, while Sudhana and his attendants line up behind, some holding gifts. In a building to his right six Bodhisattvas are sitting, with only one facing centre.


6. Bodhisattvas spread Great Compassion

Kāṃścin-mahā-karuṇayā spharamāṇān; Some were spreading great compassion. Maitreya looks on from his lotus throne in the centre of the relief while the Bodhisattvas on the right are engaged in works of great compassion. Sudhana sits amongst his companions on the left.


7. Bodhisattvas instruct in Various Sciences

Kāṃścid-vividhān śāstranayān lokārtha-saṃprayuktānabhinirharamāṇān; Some were devoted to instruction in the various sciences for the welfare of the world. In this corner relief we see various groups of Bodhisattvas who are studying. Maitreya is standing, while Sudhana sits.


8. A Bodhisattva Teaching

Kāṁścid-uddiśataḥ; Some were teaching. Maitreya is sat on a lotus throne near the centre, while Sudhana sits on the left. On the far right one Bodhisattva is sat and evidently teaching the others, who hold books.


9. Bodhisattvas recite the Texts

Kāṃścit-svādhyāyamānān; Some were reciting. Many of the Bodhisattvas are seen holding palm-leaf books from which they will recite the texts. Maitreya gestures, while Sudhana sits holding his hands in añjali.


10. Some were Writing

Kāṃścil-likhitaḥ; Some were Writing. This is quite broken, but we can clearly see that the figures that are whole are writing on palm-leaves.


11. A Bodhisattva answering Questions

Kāṃścit-paripraśnayataḥ; Some were answering questions. This relief is very damaged, and we can hardly see what is happening, but the compound quoted here would fit the little we can see.


South Wall

12. A Bodhisattva expounds the Dharma

Kāṃścit-tri-skandha-deśanāpariṇamanābhiyuktān; Some were devoted to transformation through the teaching of the three components (of virtue, concentration and wisdom). A teacher is sat on the far right and is evidently expounding the Dharma, while disciples look on respectfully. Maitreya is on a lotus throne, and Sudhana is next to him on the left.


13. Maitreya instructing in the Aspirations

Kāṃścit-praṇidhānāny-abhinirharamāṇān; Some were instructing in the aspirations (for Awakening). If this sentence is being illustrated here then perhaps it is Maitreya himself, seen sitting on the lotus, who is teaching the seven Bodhisattvas about the aspirations.


14. Seven Bodhisattvas

Maitreya stands in the middle of the relief, with Sudhana and his companions to the left, one of whom holds up the parasol. On the right sit seven Bodhisattvas, one of whom is worshipping, while the others are otherwise engaged.


15. Maitreya blessing Four Bodhisattvas

Tāṁś-ca Jāmbū-nada-suvarṇa-varṇa-kadalī-stambhān; (He saw) there were banana trunks of the colour of gold from the Jambū river. Maitreya is sitting on a lotus throne and holding the blessing posture (vara-mudrā). Behind him are the usual gathering of attendants, and in front we see four Bodhisattvas who are recipients of the blessing.


16. Six Bodhisattvas holding Pots

Sarva-ratna-vigrahāṁś-ca; (He saw) the distribution of all (kinds of) gems. On the left section we can see Sudhana standing amongst his companions, but his face is lost. On the right Maitreya is standing, and is holding the blessing gesture again. In front of him are six Bodhisattvas who are holding pots, presumably holding offerings of gems for the good of the world.


17. Six Bodhisattvas offering Flowers

Puṣpa-meghāvalambitāpāṇīn-adrākṣīt; He saw clouds of flowers cascading down from their hands. Maitreya sits above everyone else on his lotus throne, while on the right sit six Bodhisattvas holding flowers and branches of flowers. Sudhana sits in princely fashion, with a band holding his knee on the left.


18. Bodhisattvas holding Flowers

Mālya-dāma-pāṇīn; (He saw) garlands and wreaths in their hands. The relief is rather damaged. In the centre Maitreya faces the right. On the right we see one figure (minus his head) holding a flower. On the left is Sudhana and his companions, with an elephant behind them.


19. A Wish-Fulfilling Tree

A wish-fulfilling tree (kalpa-vṛkṣa) is pictured in the centre, with three bags of money placed at the base. The two figures on either side of the tree are kinnaras, who protect it. Maitreya stands left of centre, and Sudhana sits amidst his companions.


20. Eight Bodhisattvas under Parasols

Chatra-dhvaja-patākā-pāṇīn; (He saw) parasols, flags and standards in their hands. Maitreya stands in the middle of the panel, while an attendant holds a parasol over him. On the right sit eight Bodhisattvas with parasols having standards hanging down from them.


21. Five Bodhisattvas Holding Stems

A very damaged panel with many sections missing. Maitreya must be the figure in the centre, and on the right we see five sitting figures. Maitreya’s attendants line up behind him.


22. Offering Flowers to Maitreya

A corner panel with Sudhana marked by the nimbus sitting on the left. Maitreya sits on a raised lotus throne, and his attendant holds a parasol over him on the right section. Immediately next to Maitreya one Bodhisattva offers flowers, and two more sit behind him.


23. Five Bodhisattvas with Bells

Another corner panel has Maitreya standing on the right section under the parasol. On the far right sit five Bodhisattvas, one of whom has a bell. On the left side of the panel we see Sudhana, who is kneeling on one knee, and his companions.


24. Offering of Incense

The character next to Maitreya on the right is holding an incense-burner, in tribute to the Bodhisattva. Sudhana is worshipping him with hands folded in reverential salutation. It appears from old lithographs that this panel has been reassembled incorrectly.


25. Nine Bodhisattvas wearing Jewellery

We now start a series of panels in which the Bodhisattvas are wearing jewellery. On the left we see Sudhana and his usual attendants, in the middle is Maitreya, while on the right sit nine Bodhisattvas with jewellery around the necks and pendulant over their bodies.


26. Seven Bodhisattvas wearing Jewellery

Maitreya sits inside a simple pavilion, which has garlands hanging from it. On the right are seven Bodhisattvas who are holding strings of jewellery. On the left one attendant holds a parasol, another a fly whisk, and Sudhana looks up holding his hands in añjali.


27. Seven Bodhisattvas wearing Jewellery

Maitreya stands and appears to be pointing out to Sudhana and his companions the Bodhisattvas on the right of the panel. They do not seem to be engaged with Maitreya here, but look away. Again they all hold jewellery.


28. Maitreya and Garlands

We now have a few very broken and fragmentary reliefs where we cannot properly make out what is happening. In the first we see Maiteya standing in the middle, with his usual identifier, a stūpa in the crown. To the right we see bouquets and garlands. It appears from old lithographs that this panel has been reassembled incorrectly.


29. Fragmentary

Judging by the other corner reliefs, Maitreya would be the character standing on the right, whose hands are held in añjali. On the left the only complete character is in standing position, with one hand on the hip, presumably Sudhana.


30. Fragmentary

Much less can be seen or inferred on this relief, most of which is presently missing. A few characters’ faces are seen on the upper part of the register, and that is all.


31. Fragmentary

Another very dilapidated panel which is hard to make out. Faces are missing in the seated figures on the left, and it looks like they were chisseled out. There are a couple of standing characters.


31b. Divider

A very broken relief whose parts have evidently been separated and suffered diverse weather conditions. A few heads are visible, and a few bodies are left headless.


32. Missing

There are only blank blocks where this panel once was.


The following series of panels seem to illustrate this line:

Tābhyaś-ca puṣkiriṇībhyo ’saṁkhyeyāni ratna-padmotpala-kumuda-puṇḍarīkāny-abhyudgatāny-apaśyat; kānicid-vitasti-pramāṇa-mātrāṇi kānicid-vyāma-pramāṇa-mātrāṇi kānicic-chakaṭa-cakra-pramāṇa-mātrāṇi, teṣu ca nānā-rūpān vyūhān-apaśyat, yad-uta: strī-rūpān puruṣa-rūpān dāraka-rūpān dārikā-rūpān Śakra-rūpān Brahma-rūpān Lokapāla-rūpān Deva-Nāga-Yakṣa-Gandharvāsura-Garuḍa-Kinnara-Mahoraga-rūpān śrāvaka-Pratyeka-Buddha-Bodhisattva-rūpān; He saw an uncountable number of the best red, blue and white lotuses rising from the ponds; some a foot in size, some a metre in size, some a wagon-wheel in size, and on them various arrays of figures were seen, that is to say: figures of women, men, boys, girls, Śakras, Brahmās, Lords of the World, Devas, Nāgas, Yakṣas, Gandharvas, Asuras, Garuḍas, Kinnaras, Mahoragas, disciples, Independent Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

33. Women

Strī-rūpān; Figures of women. Maitreya sits inside a squarish pavilion, with a lotus prominent in front of him. On the right three women are sitting on very high lotus flowers, one of them holding a lotus herself. Sudhana appears to explain the scene to his companions.


West Wall

34. Boys

Dāraka-rūpān; Figures of boys. Maitreya stands in the centre, almost facing the viewer. Sudhana is also standing behind him. On the right we see four young boys standing on lotus flowers, emerging from the pond.


35. Śakras

Śakra-rūpān; Figures of Śakras. Here only one Śakra is shown, but the text specifies a plurality. His elephant Airāvaṭa is portrayed on the right, with a human face. At least six blocks have been lost from the left side of the panel. Maitreya faces back towards Sudhana and his companions.


36. Guardians of the World

Lokapāla-rūpān; Figures of the Guardians of the World. The four Guardians of the World, otherwise known as the Four Great Kings, protect the four quarters. Maitreya appears to be pointing them out to the people around him, who look on in interest.


37. Devas

Deva-rūpān; Figures of devas. As we see in so many of the panels, the devas are pictured as flying. Normally they are above the clouds, but here they are above the lotuses which emerge from the pond.


38. Nāgas

Nāga-rūpān; Figures of nāgas. The nāgas are a kind of celestial serpent, and are recognisable by the snakes in their crowns. Three are portrayed here on the right. In the same side of the panel stands Maitreya with his attendant. Sudhana and his companions are pictured together on the left side.


39. Yakṣas

Yakṣa-rūpān; Figures of yakṣas. Yakṣas are quite ambiguous figures, they are part of the heavenly fold, but are sometimes seen as fierce and violent. They are pictured as heavy-set, with mustaches. Four of them are presented in this relief.


40. Gandharvas

Gandharva-rūpān; Figures of gandharvas. The gandharvas are the Heavenly Musicians, which are seen quite regularly amongst the celestials in the reliefs at Borobudur. Here they play flutes.


41. Asuras

Asura-rūpān; Figures of asuras. Like the yakṣas, the asuras, or anti-gods are pictured as heavy-set with braided hair, beards and mustaches. The two have such similar characteristics it is hard to tell them apart. The asuras opposed the gods (suras) and were thrown out of Heaven because of it. Sudhana’s attendant, who holds the parasol, looks like he is destined to be an asura himself!


42. Garuḍas

Garuḍa-rūpān; Figures of garuḍas. This panel is quite badly damaged, and only Maitreya’s feet remain. On the right we see two garuḍas, heavenly birds, facing each other. They are traditionally the enemy of the nāgas.


43. Gandharvas

Gandharva-rūpān; Figures of gandharvas. Again another badly damaged panel. We can see enough to know this portrayed the gandharvas, or heavenly musicians. Why the gandharvas are shown twice in close succession is not known.


44. Kinnaras

Kinnara-rūpān; Figures of kinnaras. Although the relief is badly damaged and parts are missing this pictures the kinnaras, a kind of half-woman, half-bird type of celestial. Manohara, whose story is told amongst the Divyāvadāna stories on Level 1 (1-20), was a kinnara.


45. Missing

It probably represented the mahoragas of the text.


46. Disciples

Śrāvaka-rūpān; Figures of disciples. The śrāvakas are the disciples of Śākyamuni Buddha belonging to the Hīnayāna tradition. They are mainly associated with conservative monastics, but lay people also belong to the tradition, and both groups, monastic and lay are represented here.


47. Independent Buddhas

Pratyeka-Buddha rūpān; Figures of Independent Buddhas. The Independent Buddhas have reached full Awakening by themselves, but do not found a Śāsana to carry on their teachings. Three are pictured here, and they are indistinguishable from Samyak-Sambuddhas.


48. Fragmentary

Again we face a difficulty here as in the hierarchy of beings we do not expect to find anyone between Pratyeka-Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, who are portrayed on the next panel. As not much of this relief is left we also cannot make it out from the inconography.


49. Bodhisattvas

Bodhisattva-rūpān; Figures of Bodhisattvas. Fontein doubts the identification here, because he identifies the one 2nd from right as a nāga. Five Bodhisattvas are seen sitting on lotuses, Maitreya stands, his body turns towards his attendants, but his head turns towards the Bodhisattvas. Sudhana is similarly seen standing a little way behind.


50. Buddhas

Buddha-rūpān; Figures of Buddhas. Three Buddhas, holding different postures (mudrā) are seen separated by lotus stalks. We see elsewhere that when this configuration appears it normally indicates all the Buddhas of the three times, and that must also be the case here. Maitreya holds a lotus on his hand, and Sudhana gestures to his companions.


We now seem to get a few reliefs illustrating this line: Tebhyaś-ca ardha-candrebhyo ’saṃkhyeyāṃś-candra-sūrya-grahana-tārā-pratibhāsān niścarya daśa-diśo ’vabhāsayamānān-apaśyat; And from the crescent moon he saw an uncountable number of moons, suns, planets and constellations appear and emerge, shining over the ten directions.

51. Sun and Two Moons

This is a corner-panel. Sudhana stands on the left, and his companions sit around him. On the right are the Sun and two Moons.


52. The Planets

Maitreya sits on a lotus throne looking at the women on the right, who are the planets (grahana), as is shown by the planets the end figures are displaying. Sudhana is in the middle of the group of the left, holding his hands in salutation.


53. The Constellations

Maitreya looks at the lotus pond on the right, and holds his hand up. Instead of the usual group of people what we see are the constellations wrapped in clouds. On the left Sudhana turns away and gestures. One of his companions has turned his back on us!


54. Bodhisattvas

Maitreya sits cross-legged on a lotus throne, Sudhana is standing on the left. On the right we see Bodhisattvas sitting on lotuses emerging from the pond. They appear to be teaching.


55. Buddhas

Many of the blocks in this panel are missing or broken. We can still see Sudhana standing on the left side. On the right three Buddhas, maybe of the three times, are sitting on large lotuses.


North Wall

56. Fragmentary

All but four of the blocks are missing from this long panel, and we can’t see enough to know who it featured, or how the principal characters were situated, although we can see that they are emerging from a lotus pond.


57. Fragmentary

This relief is badly damaged as well, Maitreya is seen standing and holding the lotus in the middle. Sudhana is standing to the left.


It seems the following sentence is selectively illustrated in the next sequence: Kvacic-Cakravarti-Manuṣyendrārdha-kāyān, kvacid-Rāja-kumāra-śreṣṭhi-gṛhapaty-amātya-strī-puruṣa-dāraka-dārikā-bhikṣu-bhikṣuṇy-upāsakopāsikārdha-kāyān; There were some figures of a Universal Monarch, a King, Princes, a merchant, a minister, women, men, boys, girls, monks, nuns, laymen and laywomen.

58. A Universal Monarch

Cakravarti; A Universal Monarch. Maitreya stands and gestures in the middle of the panel while looking on at a Universal Monarch (Cakravarti), who is identified by the elephant, horse, wheel and jewel. His courtiers appear to await his instructions.


59. Kings

Manuṣyendra; Kings. The character right of centre is a King, who has a lady (his queen?) and four others on his right. To the left one figure worships him. Both Maitreya and Sudhana are standing, while attendants kneel.


60. Princes

Rāja-kumāra; Princes. The top row of the blocks on the left side of this corner relief are missing, but I think the figure standing would have been Sudhana. Maitreya stands on the right side, and on the far right we see three princes sitting in meditation posture on lotuses.


61. A Minister

Amātya; A minister. Kneeling left of centre we see Sudhana, who waas holding a lotus, now broken off. Maitreya stands just to the left of the lotus pond, while on a lotus sits what is probably a minister (if so, the merchant and householder have been omitted, although it could be one of these, of course, as they are not easily distinguished).


62. Men

Puruṣa; Men. Maitreya here sits on a high lotus just right of centre. Sudhana is looking back at his companions. On a lotus sits a man in meditation posture (it is possible this is the householder).


63. Boys

Dāraka; Boys. We are on safer ground here, as we see three boys sitting on their lotuses which emerge from the pond. Maitreya sits on his own lotus, while Sudhana in down on one knee.


64. A Tree and Jeweled Pots

The scene seems to have changed now, and we see Maitreya faces the viewer, and seems to be teaching. Sudhana standing on the left looks on and worships. On the right we see a stylised tree with bejewelled pots beneath it. Two figures seem to keep guard.


65. Four Children

We have an odd scene here of four children standing on only three lotuses, one of them sharing the lotus of two others! Maitreya looks on at the strange scene. Sometimes the sculptors at Borobudur seem to be having fun with us!


66. Fragmentary

Unfortunately the blocks that are missing in this scene are exactly the ones we would need to identify the picture. Maitreya, slightly to the left of the missing blocks looks on and gestures, and Sudhana watches from the left.


67. A Palace

For once Maitreya is seen sitting on a lotus on the left side of this corner panel. Behind him Sudhana is pictured kneeling. The whole of the right side of the corner is taken up with a magnificent palace, with devotees on either side. Flowers fall from the sky.


68. Fragmentary

Not much of this panel is left, and the whole right side is missing. We do still see Sudhana kneeling, and Maitreya sitting on his lotus throne.


69. Missing


70. Fragmentary

Again a badly damaged panel prevents us from properly identifying the scene. Sudhana is seen holding a lotus, and Maitreya appears to be standing.


The following sequence is connected to this passage from the text:

Tāś-ca prāsāda-vimāna-kūṭāgāra-bhittīḥ sarva-ratnāṣṭāpada-vicitrā apaśyat; Teṣu ca sarva-ratnāṣṭāpadeṣu Maitreyasya Bodhisattvasya sarva-Bodhisattva-caryā-kramam-apaśyat yathā pūrvaṁ Bodhisattvāś-caryām-acaran; (Sudhana) saw the walls of the palatial Towers and the manifold jeweled checker-board, and on all these jeweled checker-boards the Bodhisattva Maitreya practiced all the Bodhisattva practices, just as in the past he had practiced the Bodhisattva practices.

Kvacid-aṣṭāpade Maitreyasya Bodhisattvasya śiraḥ-pradānam-apaśyat, kvacin-netra-pradānaṁ, kvacid-vastra-pradānaṁ; On one of the squares he saw the Bodhisattva Maitreya give away his head, on another give away his eyes, on another give away his clothes.

Kvacic-cūḍā-maṇi-ratna-pradānaṁ, kvacit-Saddharma-cūḍā-maṇi-pradānaṁ; On another giving away the best gem from his topknot, on another giving away his Dharma gem from his topknot.

Kvacid-danta-pradānaṁ, kvacij-jihvā-pradānaṁ, kacit-karṇa-nāsā-pradānaṁ, kvacid-dhṛdaya-pradānaṁ, kvacin-majja-māṁsa-pradānaṁ, kvacid-rudhira-pradānaṁ, kvacic-chavi-carma-pradānaṁ, kvacin-māṁsa-nakha-pradānaṁ, kvacit-sajālāṅguli-pradānaṁ, kvacit-sarva-śarīra-pradānaṁ; On another giving away his teeth, his tongue, his ears and nose, his heart, his fat and flesh, his blood, his skin, his nails, his webbed fingers, his whole body.

Kvacit-putra-duhitṛ-bhāryā-pradānaṁ, kvacid-ratna-rāśi-pradānaṁ, kvacid-grāma-nagara-nigama-janapada-rāṣṭra-rāja-dhānī-pradānaṁ; On another giving away his sons, daughters and wives, on another giving away heaps of jewels, on another giving away his villages, towns, districts, countries, kingdoms and capital cities.

In these scenes Maitreya is always portrayed twice: once in the centre of the relief in the present day, although this is also a vision of Maitreya, as he remained outside when Sudhana entered the Tower. A second time he is shown on the right performing his Bodhisattva practice in a previous incarnation. On many of these reliefs we cannot easily identify what is being donated.

71. Maitreya donates his Head

Maitreya in the present and his incarnation in the past sit on almost identical thrones. The Maitreya of the present is explaining the practice to Sudhana who kneels before him on the left. In the past he is about to give his head to two brahmins, one of whom stretches forth his hand to receive it.


72. Maitreya donates a Body Part

In the past Maitreya’s incarnation is evidently donating a body part to the brahmin on the far right. It is hard to make out, but it may be an arm. Maitreya in the present sits on the lotus throne, displaying the blessing posture (vara-mudrā). Sudhana kneels behind him holding a lotus.


73. Maitreya donates a Body Part

A corner panel with Maitreya in the present and Sudhana and his companions on the left half. The incarnation is on the right side of the panel and is presenting a body part, maybe his eyes, to Śakra, Lord of the Gods. His vehicle, Airāvaṭa, is seen with elephant ears on the far right.


74. Maitreya donates a Body Part

In this panel Sudhana and the present Maitreya’s faces have been broken off unfortunately. On the right of the panel the incarnation is sitting and is about to give a body part to the brahmin standing next to him. Behind Maitreya are sat other Bodhisattvas learning the practices.


75. Maitreya donates a Body Part

The present-day Maitreya sits left of centre, and Sudhana is sat lower on the left. On the right half the incarnation sits on the high seat and is about to present something to the man with outstretched arms.


76. Maitreya donates a Body Part

Again it appears the three central characters have lost their faces, these include both representations of Maitreya. On the right he is standing and leaning forward while presenting something to the leading brahmin before him.


77. Maitreya donates a Body Part

Maitreya in the present stands just left of centre, while Sudhana sits on a raised seat behind him. Behind Sudhana and his companions is an elephant, perhaps signifying a journey. The incarnation in the past is giving something to the brahmin before him who receives it with open hands.


East Wall (North to Center)

78. Maitreya donates a Body Part

Many blocks belonging to this panel have been lost and we can’t see what is being depicted. We still do see Sudhana and his companions on the left, together with the elephant behind them. We presume this was also a gift of a bodily part.


79. Maitreya donates a Body Part

Large sections of this relief are again missing. We see Maitreya in the present standing and gesturing. The incarnation is again presenting something, but we cannot identify who to. Sudhana seems to have been sitting left of centre.


80. Five Yakṣas

The incarnation of Maitreya in the past is sitting on the throne centre right and is in meditative posture. The yakṣas, who are the recipients of his bounty, appear to be pouring something into their mouths. There are evidently five yakṣas, not four as Fontein states.


81. Maitreya donates a Body Part

Maitreya in the past is standing and leaning forward while presenting something to someone on the right. Again it is hard to see what is intended for the gift, but it is probably a body part of one sort or another. Maitreya in the present sits with one leg pendulant.


82. Maitreya donates a Body Part

A corner panel. On the left Sudhana kneels worhipping Maitreya, while his companions sit behind him. The incarnation is giving something to the brahmin on the far right, who sits in a pavilion.


83. Maitreya makes a Gift

Maitreya in the present in sat on a lotus throne, his knee supported by a strap, as seems to have been the custom. Sudhana sits on the left and has his arms crossed in front of him amongst his companions. On the right the incarnation is kneeling and giving something to the man before him.


84. Maitreya gives a Boy

Maitreya in the past stands and hands what is presumably his son to the brahmin in front of him, who receives him with open hands. Maitreya of the present is also standing, and gestures as the scene unfolds. Sudhana is also standing amidst his companions.


85. Maitreya gives a Woman

The relief is rather worn, but what it shows is Maitreya in the past, just right of centre, offering a woman, presumably his wife, to the person sitting on the throne in the pavilion. Sudhana holds a large flower, and the present-day Maitreya gestures as though explaining the scene.


86. Maitreya gives Jewels

The incarnation of Maitreya on the right is sat on a raised dias and appears to be giving a platter of jewels to the person in front of him. Maitreya in the present is in teaching posture, and Sudhana is listening to his teaching.


87. Maitreya gives a Building

The crucial blocks for identifying this scene are missing from this relief, it is possibly the gift of a building. Maitreya in the present is seen sitting on the lotus, and Sudhana is pictured in the middle of his companions.

88. Maitreya gives a Palace

This is a corner piece showing an incarnation of Maitreya on the right side on his knees offering a palace, which he points out to the recipient who sits in front of him. On the left side Maitreya in the present sits on a lotus and looks on. Sudhana sits with his knee drawn up in the centre.


Photographs by Anandajoti Bhikkhu

About this Website

Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License