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Ajanta: Cave 17, doorway

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CollectionsArthur Llewellyn Basham
Title: Ajanta: Cave 17, doorway
Author(s): Photographer: Basham, Arthur Llewellyn
Keywords: Cave 17 475-500 A.D. [Ajanta]
stone sculpture
mounted transparency set
Series/Report no.: Basham Collection
Description: Vihara entrances were simply carved and did not have the characteristic horseshoe chaitya windows and doors of the temple entrances, Their form, in this respect, entirely followed function because the monks' quarters had no need of elaborate decoration and were equipped with paintings insofar as their instructive value was necessary, Over the doorway of Cave 17 are two bands of paintings, all containing images of Buddha and his followers, These were prerequisite figures for a monastery built in the Mahayana Buddhist styles where the theistic concept of the Buddha had to be present as a constant reminder to the monks of their holy vocation, The guardian figures on either side of the door are not inappropriate to Mahayana Buddhism really, since Buddhism was careful to integrate Brahmanic images into its imagery wherever necessary, but they are remnants of the Hinayana days in which no physical representations of the Buddha were permissible, These statues are Yakshis, female tutelary deities whose customary position at a sacred building is on or near the doors,
Other Identifiers: ANUA 682-776


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