Gaṇḍavyūha Level 4 Balustrade at Borobudur
Maitreya, Mañjuśrī and Samantabhadra

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

Play Moving Slideshow (152)

Level 2, Inner Wall,
Meetings with Spiritual Friends
Level 3, Inner Wall,
Maitreya reveals the Dharmadhātu
Level 3, Balustrade,
Maitreya’s
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)

 

Level 4, Balustrade
Maitreya, Mañjuśrī and Samantabhadra

East Wall (Center to South)

 

This level continues illustrating the text that was begun towards the end of the last wall with the great gifts that Maitreya in his various incarnations had given away.

1. Maitreya gives away Universal Monarchy

Kvacit-sarva-rājyaiś-varya-pradānaṁ; On one (checker-board Maitreya) gives away his excellent power to rule. We see four of the insignia that mark a Cakravartī, or Universal Monarch: the wheel, the queen, the elephant and the horse. Maitreya stands on the right and is evidently giving all these away to the people stood next to him.

 

2. Maitreya gives away a Throne

Kvacid-bhadra-rājāsana-pradānaṁ; On another he gives away his auspicious throne. Sudhana sits on the left, while Maitreya in the present gestures while showing the scene where his incarnation in the past gives a throne, apparently to three monastics, who are sat on the far right, one of whom has his hands ready to receive it.

 

3. Maitreya gives away a Female Servant

Kvacid-dāsa-dāsī-pradānaṁ; On another he gives away male and female servants. Sudhana sits on the left with his palm upturned, while Maitreya stands left of centre. Three young women follow and then the incarnation is seen offering a female servant to a man on the right. His two companions seem to discuss the matter.

 

4. Maitreya gives away a Harem

Kvacid-antaḥpura-pradānaṁ; On another he gives away his harem. In the next scene Maitreya in the past is pictured sitting next to two brahmins and is presenting them with the building behind him. It is evidently meant to represent his harem. Sudhana is kneeling on the left, and the present-day Maitreya is stood next to him.

 

5. Maitreya gives away Parasols

Kvacic-chatra-dhvaja-patākā-pradānaṁ; On another he gives away parasols, flags and banners. Maitreya sits on a lotus throne, while Sudhana stands, his hands in añjali next to him. They look on as his incarnation in the past is down on all fours presenting parasols to brahmins on the far right.

 

6-7. Maitreya gives away Banners

These two make up a corner relief. On the first we see Maitreya holding the teaching posture (vitarka-mudrā). Sudhana in sat in the middle of his companions and gesturing. On the right panel an incarnation of Maitreya is worshipping while giving the banners hung up behind the stūpa.

 

8. Maitreya gives away Standards

Maitreya sits in the middle holding up a lotus flower. Sudhana in the midst of his followers on the left also holds up a lotus. On the right of the relief we see Maitreya presenting standards to the monks on the far right.

 

9. Maitreya gives away Garlands

Kvacit-puṣpa-mālya-gandhānulepana-pradānaṁ; On another he gives away flowers, garlands, incense and creams. Both Maitreya and Sudhana stand on the left of the panel, others sit round them. On the right Maitreya’s previous incarnation is presenting garlands to seeming layfolk, at least one of whom is female. They sit inside a building that is itself garlanded.

 

10. Maitreya gives away Medicine

Kvacid glāna-pratyaya-bhaiṣajya-pradānaṁ; On another he gives away medicines to help when sick. Fontein marks this as giving of food and it true we can hardly see what is being given. The incarnation stands with spoon raised and waits to serve three brahmins who sit in a building. Maitreya sits cross-legged and holds his hands displaying the teaching posture, while Sudhana look on with his hands folded in revenerence.

 

11. Maitreya gives away Food

Kvacit-sarvānnapāna-vidhi-pradānaṁ; On another he gives away all kinds of food and drinks. The incarnation of Maitreya in the past is offering food to four elderly and sick persons on the right. Unfortunately much of Maitreya’s head is missing. Sudhana sits on the left, while Maitreya explains the scene.

South Wall

 

12. Maitreya gives away Drinks

This seems to be a gift of drinks that Maitreya has made in the past. Unfortunately sections of the panel are missing, so we cannot make out who he is giving the pots to. Maitreya is also rather damaged, and Sudhana has lost part of his features.

 

13. Maitreya gives away Utensils

It is hard to see what exactly is being given here as the block showing the gift has disappeared. In accordance with the text though it should be Maitreya giving utensils. The recipients here are kneeling, while Maitreya in the past is standing.

 

14. Maitreya gives away Mechanical Instruments

Kvacit-sarvopakaraṇa-pradānaṁ; On another he gives away mechanical instruments. This is a very interesting relief which shows Maitreya’s incarnation in the past giving mechanical instruments, probably used to grind grain and so on. These sorts of machines must have been known to the sculptors at Borobudur in the 9th century. Unusually the recipient is not shown. Sudhana stands mid-left.

 

15-16. Maitreya gives away Bowls

Kvacid-ratna-kāṁsya-pātrī-pradānaṁ; On another he gives away the best quality copper bowls. Sudhana is pictured on the far left, and Maitreya is standing on the right looking at the action on the next relief. In the middle of 16 his incarantion is handing an almsbowl to three monks who sit on the right. It may be he has also given the other bowl we see.

 

17. Maitreya gives away a Horse Carriage

Kvacid-vara-ratha-pradānaṁ; On another he gives away the best vehicles. One of the most striking panels, this shows Sudhana and Maitreya sitting on the left half of this corner panel, surrounded by attendants. On the right Maitreya in the past is on his knees presenting a horse and carraige to the donee.

 

18. Maitreya frees Prisoners

Kvacid-bandhanāgāra-gatān vimokṣayantaṁ, kvacid-vadhyān nirmokṣayantaṁ; On another (checker-board Maitreya was) freeing those in prison, on another liberating the condemned. The building in the centre is evidently meant to illustrate a prison: the doors downstairs are closed, and upstairs the windows have trellis bars. The previous incarnation of Maitreya is carrying what could be a decree written on palm leaves, setting the prisoners free. Maitreya in the present also has something similar in his hands.

 

19. Maitreya acts as Physician

Kvacid-bālāṁś-cikitsamānaṁ; On another he was acting as physician to the weak. Maitreya in a previous life is acting as a physician to the weak and sick who are represented by five monastics sitting on the far right. Sudhana is seen on his knees and Maitreya is standing, though his face has been lost.

 

20. Maitreya shows the Right Path

Kvacit-pranaṣṭa-mārgāṇāṁ mārgam-upadarśayantaṁ; On another he was pointing out the (right) path to those on the path to destruction. Maitreya is sitting on a lotus throne and holding the teaching posture. The top section of Sudhana on the left is now missing. On the right an incarnation of Maitreya is trying to show the right path to those who have gone astray. Interestingly the sculptors portrayed these people as physically turning away from the teacher.

 

21. Maitreya saves People from a Flood

I tend to agree with Krom that this must show a flood, and therefore departs from the text as we know it. We seem to see the waters washing away people and houses, and the incarnation standing firm and helping to save children by holding them above the flood. It is hard to make out what the building in the centre is meant to represent. Maitreya gestures as he shows the scene to Sudhana who stands with his hands in reverence.

 

22. Maitreya saves the Merchants

Kvacid-Bālāhāśva-rāja-bhūtaṁ mahā-samudre rākṣasī-dvīpa-gatān sattvān paritrāyamāṇaṁ; On another born as Bālāha, the king of horses, he was protecting beings who had gone to the rakṣasī island in the ocean. This relief references a well-known Jātaka story in which Bālāha, the king of horses, saves merchants from the demonic rakṣasīs on an island they had accidentally strayed to. We see a horse on the far right and its rider giving a helping hand to those in distress. Both Maitreya and Sudhana are standing, but the latter has lost his face once more.

 

23. Unidentified

We see Maitreya sitting on a very grand throne in the centre of the panel. On the left in the midst of his companions Sudhana kneels. The right side is rather damaged and the exact scene is difficult to make out now because of that.

 

24. Maitreya as a Spiritual Friend

Kvacit-kalyāṇa-mitrāṇi śuśrūṣantaṁ; On another he greatly desired to hear from spiritual friends. I tend to think the incarnation of Maitreya here is playing the role of a spiritual friend. He sits on the far right and is instructing his visitors, who have on elaborate headdress. Between them is a large vase with flowers.

 

25-27 are all missing now from the wall.

 

28. Maitreya as a Disciple Teaching

A badly damaged relief. We can see that one monk is teaching on the far right, presumably an earlier incarnation of Maitreya, and someone in front is worshipping him. Maitreya of the present stands in the middle. The compound illustrated on panel 24 is followed by the one on 29, so we do not know exactly what 25-28 represented.

 

29. Maitreya as a Disciple

Kvacic-chrāvaka-varṇa-rūpeṇa sattva-vinayena prayuktaṁ; On another in the form of a disciple he was devoted to leading beings to discipline. The previous incarnation is sitting in the midst of a group of monks, and is the third from right, the one who is gesturing with his hands. Maitreya turns away from the scene and is explaining it to Sudhana who stands with hands folded in respect.

 

30. Maitreya as Himself

Kvacid-Bodhisattva-varṇa-rūpeṇa; On another he took the form of a Bodhisattva. I believe that Maitreya in the middle is the actor in this panel, and he is, as it were, playing himself, while other Bodhisattvas are seated on the right listening to his instructions. Maitreya is again pictured as standing and looking on, while Sudhana kneels.

 

31. Unidentified

Again it is difficult to know what exact scene this represents. Maitreya sits with one hand held up and one lying on his knee, but both extended outwards, presumably a show of blessing. Sudhana sits on the left and turns to his companions. On the right we see two bearded characters, I believe the previous life of Maitreya is shown second from right, along with his wife, or queen.

 

32. Maitreya as a Disciple

In this corner piece we see Sudhana standing on the right, with part of the panel missing. On the right side Maitreya stands, and looks back at his companions. Meanwhile on the far right, in a previous incarnation, he is shown sitting and teaching Dharma to those in front of him.

West Wall

 

33. Maitreya builds a Stūpa

Tathāgata-caityāny-alaṁkurvāṇaṁ; he built stūpas for the Tathāgatas. Presumably a previous life was represented by the figure left of the stūpa which he has built but it is now fairly broken. Judging by the parasols on the mid to left of the panel, Sudhana is standing, while Maitreya is sitting and looking back.

 

34. Maitreya makes Buddha Images

Tathāgata-vigrahān kārayamāṇaṁ; he had statues of the Tathāgatas made. The statue is clearly seen mid-right inside a pavilion, and people on the far right worship it. To the left of the pavilion is Maitreya, and standing in the midst of his companions is Sudhana, although his head is damaged.

 

35. Maitreya teaches Dharma

Daśasu kuśala-mūleṣu karma-patheṣu sattvān pratiṣṭhāpayamānaṁ; He was establishing beings in the ten wholesome deeds. This is probably the meaning of this scene, or some other type of teaching that is mentioned in this passage. The previous life is shown as a monk sat on a throne on the right, and is teaching monks before him. Both Sudhana and Maitreya are shown standing.

 

Iti hi Sudhanaḥ śreṣṭhi-dārakas-tata ekaikasmāt-Kūṭāgārād-ekaikasmād-ārambaṇād-imāni ca anyāni ca avicinty-avyūha-viṣaya-vikurvitāny-adrākṣīt; And so in this way Sudhana, the merchant’s son, saw these various Towers and their supports and many other inconceivable arrays concerned with miracles.

We have come to the end of the main section in which Maitreya is seen inside the Tower performing all manner of good deeds, the rest of the wall is taken up with Sudhana’s emergence from the Tower and his preparing for his next great meeting, which will be with Mañjuśrī, who will point him, now that he is fully prepared, in the direction of Samantabhadra, who is featured later in the series.

36. Sudhana and the Tower

Sudhana stands along with one attendant who holds the parasol for him and another who looks away. To the right is a magnificent Tower, with a kāla protecting the entrance and a large bowl of flowers at its front. Birds are also pictured on the spires.

 

37. Sudhana and Maitreya

Here we see Sudhana on the left worshipping the Bodhisattva on the right who is in teaching posture. The Bodhisattva lacks the normal identifying stūpa in the crown that would show it was Maitreya, but it seems this is who it is. Behind Sudhana his attendant holds up what appears to be an inverted parasol.

 

38. Maitreya opens the Tower

This panel shows a very important scene from the story where Maitreya – the real Maitreya, who has waited outside – opens up the Tower again. Previously when Sudhana had entered the door it had closed behind him, and the ‘Maitreyas’ he has seen inside were a part of the grand dream or vision.

 

39. Sudhana emerges from Meditation

Probably the person in the Tower is Sudhana, who is now emerging from meditation. He sits facing the viewer with his hands held in añjali. On the left we see various of his companions looking on at the scene. On the right people sit under the tree.

 

40. Maitreya addresses Sudhana and Another

Sudhana and another person who also has a halo are pictured inside a simple pavilion. Who exactly the second person is I am unsure. On the lotus throne under the tree on the right is Maitreya who is teaching. The usual array of attendants are sat around.

 

41. Maitreya as Householder Gopālaka

Probably Fontein is right to identify this as Maitreya in his previous incarnation as the householder Gopālaka. He seems to be listening to the teacher on the right, and is sat with his wife and others behind him. Sudhana stands and looks on.

 

42. Sudhana takes Leave of Maitreya

In this scene Sudhana, sitting on the left, is taking his leave of his most beneficial spiritual friend, who is seen inside the building in the middle. It is through the power of Maitreya that Sudhana has come to understand the true nature of reality, but he must now progress to further teachers for final instructions. This is exactly half way through the reliefs on this wall, and is separated from the following reliefs by the staircase.

 

43. Sudhana visits Mañjuśrī

After his visit to Maitreya Sudhana returns to Mañjuśrī, who had originally send him off on his pilgrimage. Here we see Mañjuśrī sitting on a throne in the centre of the relief. Notice the crescent moon behind his head which is used to mark him as still in his youth. Sudhana sits with his head bowed on the left with four of his companions.

 

44. Sudhana worships Mañjuśrī

We do not know what the exact scene is that is supposed to be represented on a number of these reliefs, but this again is Sudhana’s visit to Mañjuśrī. The youthful Bodhisattva sits with one hand held high, probably in a teaching gesture. Sudhana meanwhile sits holding his hands together in respect.

 

45. Sudhana visits Mañjuśrī

Mañjuśrī is sitting with his legs crossed in an elaborate and festooned pavilion and is teaching eight Bodhisattvas on the left. Sudhana sits under the parasol, while his companions are sat under trees behind him.

 

46. Sudhana worships Four Buddhas

Again we cannot find a proper textual correspondent for this relief, but we do see Sudhana sitting on the left respectfully holding his hands together. In front of him are four Buddhas, all on lotuses, and holding similar postures, indicating they are teaching. The panel is reminiscent of the ones we see on the inner wall at this level.

 

47. Sudhana and a Bodhisattva

This is part of a corner panel. Here we see Sudhana kneeling, with his hands on the floor, as he converses with a Bodhisattva who is highlighted in the pavilion. Notice the way he is sitting, with one knee raised, and the other tucked under him.

 

48. Unidentified

This panel is somewhat similar to the dividers that are used to seperate the main reliefs on this level. On the left four men are sitting under trees and holding flowers. While those on the right are standing and facing the action on the next panel.

 

49. Sudhana on a Journey

Sudhana is the prominent character with his hand on his hip, fourth from the right. He is surrounded by his companions, and they are all on a journey. One of them holds a large bowl, but what is inside we do not know, and cannot infer.

 

50. Sudhana worships Mañjuśrī

We are back again with Sudhana’s meeting with Mañjuśrī in his youthful aspect. He sits on a high cushion and is teaching. One other character sits inside the pavilion with him. On the right we see a fruiting coconut tree with guardians underneath. On the left Sudhana is kneeling while paying his respects.

 

51. Sudhana visits Mañjuśrī

The second visit to Mañjuśrī is actually one of the shortest in the text, and nothing much happens, esxcept that Mañjuśrī directs Sudhana to his final spiritual friend, Samantabhadra. However, the sculptors have been alloted a large number of reliefs to fill, and fill them they do. What the scene here represents particularly is unknown.

 

52. Meditating Bodhisattva

A Bodhisattva sits under a tree in the middle of this relief and is in meditation posture. It is not clear who he is. On the right sit a worshipful congregation of devotees. Sudhana sits on the left next to the main character, with his followers behind him.

 

53. Meditating Bodhisattva

Unusually we see the main character on this corner relief is sitting on the left side panel. He is meditating under a tree, just like the previous panel. Sudhana is under the parasol next to him. On the right are his companions in various postures.

North Wall

 

Fontein makes an effort to correlate the following reliefs with the text, but to my mind it is really unsucessful, and random mentions of items in the text do not allow us to quote here a convincing sequence.

54. Sudhana worships three Buddhas

From what we know regarding the display of three Buddhas on these reliefs they normally represent the Buddhas of the three times, especially when they are separated by trees like this. Sudhana is seen kneeling down and holding his hands in añjali. The character behind him has an interesting object, which looks like body-armour; he also carries a sword.

 

55. Sudhana worships a Buddha

In the middle sits a Buddha, who was almost certainly in teaching posture (vitarka-mudrā), but the arm has been lost. Sudhana sits on the left and is worshipping while the Buddha teaches. On the right we see a group of seven monks, who are the Buddha’s monastic disciples.

 

56. A Meditating Bodhisattva

This time it is a Bodhisattva who sits under a stylised tree. He is in meditation posture. Sudhana kneels and holds his hands together in reverential salutation, while behind him his companions also kneel. The devotee on the right next to the central character holds up a lamp.

 

57. A divider.

This is actually a divider, not a panel at listed in Krom and Fontein.

 

58. Sudhana on a Journey

This is evidently a traveling scene, in which a group of people are processing, although the person on the far right seems to impede their progress. Presumably this represents Sudhana on his way to his final friend, the Bodhisattva Samantabhadra.

 

59. Sudhana curls up on a Throne

This relief is actually part of a corner section, but the right hand side is a divider, and not part of the main scene. On the left we see Sudhana rather curled up on a throne in the midst of his companions. On the far left we see one of them carrying three bags of money on a tray. Sudhana may be talking to the pair of devotees in front of him.

 

60. Samantabhadra Teaching

From here to the end of the wall we see that Sudhana has moved on to his final spiritual friend (kalyāṇa-mitra), Samantabhadra. Here the principal Bodhisattva sits on a dias and is teaching. He sits in the midst of his attendants and devotees, but it appears unexpectedly that Sudhana is not amongst them.

 

61. Sudhana and an empty Throne

We cannot understand from the text what is represented here. One suggestion is that it is Samantabhadra leaving his throne, but in the text he does no such thing. I tend to think it must be Sudhana we see on the left, not Samantabhadra. And it is Vairocana on the throne, but still invisible to Sudhana at this point.

 

62. Two Buddhas

Two Buddhas are sat inside a divided pavilion, both in the same meditation posture. On the left of this scene Sudhana sits with raised hands held together. On the right we see three monks in various poses, and devotees bringing offerings.

 

63. Festoons of Jewels

Samantabhadra sits on the throne on the left, but it appears Sudhana is not featured in this panel. In the middle we see festoons of jewels raining down, including something that looks like a reliquary on a lotus.

 

64. Two Buddhas

A number of times on these concluding reliefs we see two Buddhas sat in their own pavilions like this. Here the Buddha on the left has his hand on knee, apparently calling the earth to witness. On the right he has his hand raised in a teaching posture.

 

65. An Offering of Flowers

Although this scene should be easy to identify from the text, we find no correspondent. It appears to be Samantabhadra in the middle of the panel, and a brahmin on the left is making an offering. It is hard to see what he offers because of the erosion, but judging from the other offerings in the relief it must have been a flower, or flowers.

 

66. The Sun, the Moon and the Stars

We see a countryside scene with trees and bushes in the middle. Above the clouds are figures of the moon, stars and sun. Samantabhadra stands to the left of this and gestures while pointing it out. Sudhana is seen sitting amidst his companions on the left.

 

67. Bodhisattvas in a Row

Fontein thinks this may be a scene from the rūpa-dhātu worlds, but there is nothing about the relief which suggests it. Rather it seems to be a line of Bodhisattvas sitting on elevated seats and holding various postures. Sudhana is sat on the left under the parasol, and the elephant again makes his entrance.

 

68-69. Not Missing

Both are marked as missing by Krom and Fontein, but on my inspection it appears that panel 70 follows directly on from panel 67.

 

70. A Buddha and Two Monks

This is a very damaged corner relief with most of the blocks missing at present. We do see a Buddha on the right, and two monks sat next to him, but apart from that too much is missing to identify the scene.

 

71. A Meditating Bodhisattva

A bodhisattva sits in dhyāna-mudrā in a pavilion in the centre of the relief. On the left sit Sudhana and his companions. There is a horse behind them. On the right sit another group of devotees, with an elephant behind them. From his description Fontein seems to have been looking at a different relief to the one I see.

 

72. Sudhana and a Buddha

The relief features a Buddha sat in Dharma-cakra-mudrā in the centre. On the right a figure stands and worships, and he has seven devotees sitting behind him. On the left we see what, contra to Fontein, I would identify as Sudhana, with the customary parasol held over him. To his left are his companions.

 

73. A Tree with Incense Burners

We now have a series of trees coming up, with various requisites placed upon them. In this one Sudhana stands just left of centre, while an attendant holds a parasol over him. Other companions are behind him. The central feature is an ornate tree with incense burners underneath it.

 

74. A Tree hung with Cloth

In this corner relief the tree has cloths hanging from it, and the tree itself straddles the two sections of the relief. Sudhana stands on the left hand side and gestures. On the right five people – maybe Bodhisattvas, or maybe just rich people – are sitting under more trees.

East Wall (North to Center)

 

75. Trees hung with Musical Instruments

The tree in this relief has musical instruments hanging from it. Sudhana turns back to his companions who are sat under trees on the left and seems to be explaining the scene. On the right two more devotees sit under a tree.

 

76. Sudhana visits a Noble Lady

Sudhana stands with one foot on a brick and his hands held in respectful greeting to the six men on the right. Inside a pavilion is pictured a woman who is kneeling. The whole scene would again seem to beg for identification, but nothing in the text agrees with it.

 

77. A Buddha and Bodhisattvas

In the centre of the relief we see a Buddha sitting. Although the right arm is broken off, it looks like he would have been pictured teaching. On the right we see seven Bodhisattvas, and on the left three more, and then Sudhana who is standing with his hand on his hip.

 

78. The Hells

Sudhana, who is here standing, appears to be having a vision of the hell realms. On the right we see a bath tub, or cauldron, with fire underneath it. Three people are pictured inside the boiling waters, while one has emerged.

 

79. Animal Realm

Sudhana must be the character on the right of this relief, who is attracting the attention of those around him. The relief is very broken here so the identification is not sure. Two, and maybe three, women stand in front of him, while there are two more at his feet. On the left we see an elephant and other animals, probably indicating the animal realms.

 

80. A Buddha Teaching

Another corner relief shows a Buddha sitting on a lotus and teaching on the right hand side, with various devotees sitting and kneeling around him. Those on the left have offerings, those on the right hold their hands respectfully. On the left Sudhana stands, and his companions are around him.

 

81. A Bodhisattva Meditating

A Buddha sits in meditation posture under a tree. Around him are many devotees also under trees. Although it is not easy to distinguish, Sudhana must be the the character on the left of the Buddha. The devotees all hold various postures, while Sudhana holds his hands up in añjali.

 

Yathā ceha Sahāyāṁ loka-dhātau Bhagavato Vairocanasya pāda-mūla-gataḥ Samantabhadro Bodhisattvo dakṣiṇaṁ pāṇiṁ prasārya Sudhanasya murdhni pratiṣṭhāpayāmāsa, tathā sarva-loka-dhātuṣu sarva-Tathāgata-pāda-mūleṣu niṣaṇṇaḥ Samantabhadro Bodhisattvo dakṣiṇaṁ pāṇiṁ prasārya Sudhanasya śreṣṭhi-dārakasya mūrdhni pratiṣṭhāpayāmāsa; Just as in this world, the Bodhisattva Samantabhadra laid his right hand on Sudhana’s head, so in all the worlds, sitting at the feet of all the Tathāgatas, the Bodhisattva Samantabhadra laid his right hand on Sudhana’s head.

82. Samantabhadra blesses Sudhana

We finally catch up with a relief that has a certain identification again, and here we see Samantabhadra sitting in a simple pavilion on a lotus stretch forth his hand and lay it on Sudhana’s head, which gives Sudhana further visions of these miraculous worlds known to the great Bodhisattvas.

 

83. Two Buddhas

We see two Buddhas sat in two separate pavilions, almost certainly one was teaching, and the other calls the earth to witness his Awakening. Sudhana sits holding a flower and offering it on the left, while other devotees and companions sit around.

 

84. Two Buddhas

The final relief in this sequence we again see two Buddhas sat in pavilions. One is teaching, and one is in meditation. Sudhana stands, with his hands held in respectful salutation on the left, while other devotees look on.

 

Photographs by Anandajoti Bhikkhu

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