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Sanchi: East Gate

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CollectionsArthur Llewellyn Basham
Title: Sanchi: East Gate
Author(s): Morgan, Kenneth W.
Photographer: Arthur Llewellyn Basham
Keywords: India: Bodhgaya, Sarnath, Rajgir, Sanchi, Nalanda, Mathura, Ajanta;architecture;slide set
Description: The main stupa at Sanchi is surrounded by a stone balustrade, copying in stone the ancient wooden balustrade. There are four gates, of which the east gate is a good example of Buddhist symbolism in the last century B.D., before any images of the Buddha were permitted. The top lintel represents the seven Manishi Buddhas, with the tree of Sakyamuni on the left. The middle lintel tells the story of the great departure from Kapalivastu, showing the people on balconies
the horse without a rider represents the Buddha as he left the city
the gods are holding up the horse's hoofs, others are scattering flowers, waving scarves, or beating drums
the umbrella and fly-whisk as symbols of royalty hang in the air above the horse, and sacred footprints symbolize the invisible presence of the Buddha. The bottom lintel tells of Asoka's visit to the sacred Bodhi tree, showing the bands, and the people carrying pitchers of water for watering the tree. The six uprights between the lintels are decorated with three Bodhi trees and three first sermons. The top die on the left is a nativity scene with the Buddha's mother holding a lotus in the right hand, seated on a lotus sprouting from a vase. The die between the middle and lower lintel, on the left, is the First Sermon represented by the Wheel of the Law. The top die on the right represents Buddha Maitreya completing the Seven Manushi Buddhas from the top lintel. The die below it, on the right, is another Nativity scene. Each of the square pillars at the base is divided into four sections. The sections on the right represent the first six heavens of the Buddhist world, one of which is the Tushita heaven where Maitreya is waiting. On the left, the top scene is of the going forth of the Buddha
under that is the Enlightenment
next to the bottom is the last of the miracles which converted the Kasyapas, with the flood represented by wavy lines
the bottom square tells of Bimbisara's visit.
Other Identifiers: ANUA 682-3602


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