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Sanchi: Stupa No. 2, detail of sculpture of elephant

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CollectionsArthur Llewellyn Basham
Title: Sanchi: Stupa No. 2, detail of sculpture of elephant
Author(s): Photographer: Basham, Arthur Llewellyn
Keywords: Sanchi
stone sculpture
mounted transparency set
Series/Report no.: Basham Collection
Description: Another derivative from Vedic imagery, the elephant is connected to the worship of the 'Four Great Animals,'often depicted on the abacuses of columns, which were the vehicles of the gods and the symbols of their authority, In the paradisiac setting of the Sanchi sculptures, however, the elephant assumes a more humble role though a no less respectable nor important one: he is a fertility symbol just as the lush plants are and is immortal for he bathes in the primeval waters of creation, Lotus flowers surrounding him allude to this significance and represent in themselves the cosmic life force, In popular native cults, the elephant was the faithful bearer of Indra, king of the gods, Elephants have other roles and references as caryatids of the universe and royal vehicles for kings,
Other Identifiers: ANUA 682-276


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