- Museum number
- Object: The Hashtnagar Pedestal
Carved image base, inscribed with a date in the year 384 of an unknown era. A seated and haloed Bodhisattva, turned slightly to his right and almost bare to the waist, wears his uttarīya in the narrow mode across the lap. The damaged right hand was presumably in abhaya, while the left holds a water pot. He has long hair crowned by a large chignon drawn in by a band at its base, a collar, necklace and earrings. The face is oval and full, the eyes are a little narrow with distinct lids. The seat has legs with claws at the foot and drapery in between with pendent folds and gathered at the sides. A plain little footstool is below. The Bodhisattva is flanked on his right by Brahmā wearing an uttarīya, a paridhāna and long hair below a horizontal and knotted length probably looped at one end; his hands are damaged and may have been joined, but perhaps his left hand supports from below an offering held in the right. His face is long, the chin a little pointed, the eyes rounded and prominent. On the Bodhisattva's left the standing figure with hands cupped and joined as if holding something, wearing a turban with a globular ornament in the crest, earrings, collar and necklace, uttarīya and paridhāna, appears to be Indra. On the Bodhisattva's far right a damaged standing male figure, whose feet appear shod, wears the uttarīya in the wide mode, earrings, a large chignon on the back of his head and an offering in his cupped left hand with bracelet; the right arm is almost lost. The framing pilasters, continued on the sides, have a recessed oblong panel with curved top and bottom on the shaft, a two-tier Corinthian capital with pronounced volutes and abacus and the usual base; above is a sawtooth cornice and on the sides are indications of a palmette.
This dated base, called after the Hashtnagar or stretch of eight villages in which it was found, is said to have belonged to a Buddha image now no longer traceable but formerly, and with its head replaced, under worship at Rājaṛ. The base now lacks all trace of the figure above.
- Production date
Diameter: 7 centimetres
Height: 20.50 centimetres
Weight: 11 kilograms
Width: 38 centimetres
- Curator's comments
The headless statue and pedestal was dug up some time in the 19th century by a local tradesman quarrying the mound for stone. It was given the head originally from another statue and set up for worship in a pilgrims' rest house at Rājaṛ. In 1883 White King was allowed to cut off the inscribed pedestal and take it away for study.
Among the groups with a Bodhisattva flanked by Brahmā and Indra or other figures he sees as representing the Instigation (saṃcodana) of Siddhārtha to abandon the secular life, Foucher specifies this panel as an example, explaining the water pot as symbolising the Bodhisattva's spiritual intentions, although it does not occur on all the examples he proposes for this subject. Framed representations of a Bodhisattva with water pot are indeed found associated with narrative scenes from the Buddha's life but not in unambiguous sequences to confirm an identification.
For the Instigation (saṃcodana) on earth the texts relate how Indra, Brahmā and other gods urge the Bodhisattva to leave the palace. For this theme see BM 1890.1116.1.
- On display (G1/wp143)
- Exhibition history
2000 14 May-29 Oct, Germany, Berlin, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Seven Hills – Images and Signs of the 21st Century
- 1.Grey schist, broken and chipped.
2.Top and back sawn off in modern times; sides carved; bottom fiat and rough.
- Associated events
- Associated Event: The Instigation
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Originally received in the Department of Coins and Medals from Mr L. White King, by whom it was obtained in situ c. 1883, in exchange for duplicates.
- Registration number