- Museum number
A large standing figure of the Buddha, crowned and holding one hand in varadamudrā; surrounded by eight scenes of his life; a bowing devotee on the lower left; inscribed. Carved in a dense grey schist and subsequently blackened.
- Production date
Height: 1.95 metres
- Curator's comments
Illustrated: Janice Leoshko, 'On the Construction of a Buddhist Pilgrimage Site', Center for Asian Studies, University of Texas (1996): figure 53.
The crowned and ornamented Buddha holds his right hand in the gesture of giving, repeated by the smaller crowned figure on his left, while the one on the right makes the gesture of reassurance. The minor scenes, with the central figure, are eight in number and should represent the Eight Great Events of the Buddha's life. The first, reading clockwise, shows the Buddha taming an elephant, his power represented by the small lion emerging from his outstretched hand. Above, a monkey offers a bowl of honey to the Buddha and on its acceptance throws himself with joy down a well. The First Sermon, death and Śrāvastī miracle, where one confounded heretic represents six beneath the Buddha's left, are followed by the temptation beneath a tree crowned by a parasol. The taming of the elephant is repeated exactly with an acolyte holding monastic staff and bowl, while the usual birth scene is omitted and the descent from the heaven of the Thirty-three Gods is not explicitly represented by the central figure. At the Buddha's right shoulder is the usual Buddhist creed, and on the base a damaged verse naming a donor 'desirous of release from the ocean of existence' who is also shown prostrate on the left.
- On display (North Stairs)
- Exhibition history
Buddhism: Art and Faith (BM 1985)
- Associated events
- Associated Event: Eight Great Events of the Buddha's life
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Purchased by John Bridge at the Stuart sale at Christie's in June, 1830. The collection was given to the British Museum in 1872 by Mrs John Bridge and his nieces, Miss Fanny Bridge and Mrs Edgar Baker, on the death that year of George Bridge, brother of John Bridge.
- Registration number