The Candakinnara jātaka.
- The Candakinnara jātaka.
Stair-riser length showing perhaps the Candakinnara jātaka, to be read from left to right. A mounted warrior, perhaps the king of Benares, with sword, spear and bow or shield worn at the back and wearing a girdled knee-length tunic over trousers, faces a flowering tree with vestiges of another tree in the top corner behind him. The stationary horse is stocky, wears a phalera or disc on the crupper, a crest between the ears and has reins. Beyond the flowering tree a female dancer, seen from the back, wearing a sleeved tunic and a paridhāna round it with a scarf tucked into the girdle, bracelets, anklets and earrings, looks over her left shoulder at a turbancd male harpist seated, although no seat is visible, and turned towards her, wearing uttarīya, paridhāna, earrings, collar and bracelets. Beside him another, frontal female, perhaps similarly dressed and with a fall of drapery from her middle and with the same ornaments, dances with raised leg and arm beside another seated male harpist.
The damaged horizontal framing elements are those of 1880.54.
- Made in: Gandhara
- (Asia,South Asia,Pakistan,North West Frontier Province,Peshawar,Gandhara)
- Found/Acquired: Jamalgarhi
- (Asia,Pakistan,North West Frontier Province,Jamalgarhi)
- Height: 17.6 centimetres
- Width: 56 centimetres
- Diameter: 4.1 centimetres (as visible)
In the Pali tradition of jātaka 485 the armed king of Benares comes upon a kiṃnara couple playing and dancing beside a stream; enamoured of the kiṃnarī, the king shoots the kiṃnara, who is the Bodhisattva, but his consort refuses the king and calls upon the gods. Indra, moved by her fidelity and disguised as a brāhmaṇa, sprinkles the Bodhisattva with water and restores him to life.
The identification of this theme in Gandhāra is due to Foucher following Vogel; a Sanskrit story of the faithful kiṃnarī lacks the playing and dancing and in it the widowed sprite shares her consort's funeral pyre. Whatever the subject, on the only other comparable piece reported the archer is on foot and aims at a couple also with a male harpist; the next scene shows the male musician lying dead while the archer in two successive incidents is perhaps trying to take a grieving woman away. The scene at Bhārhut captioned 'Kinara jātaka' lacks any sufficient feature in common with the Gandhāra pieces and Luiders, 1963: I36ff., refers it to another story.
According to the summary List of sculptures from Yusufzai (Cunningham) supplemented by an early photograph, this length, together with 1880.882 and 1880.885 on the left, formed the eleventh riser on the stair to the main stupa at Jamalgarhi.
1.Grey schist, broken, cracked and exfoliated. 2.Top roughly flat with chisel grooves; left side quite irregular and with plaster make-up; right side roughly straight; bottom uneven. 3.Back, as visible, of irregular depth and set in plaster against a slate back secured by pins. 4.Vestige of '1' presumably for '11' painted in red on left on plaster make-up.
- Associated Title: Candakinnara jātaka
Formerly in the India Museum from the Archaeological Survey of India.
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Object reference number: RRI1321
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