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SICY        Updated:2007-02-07      Text:Large /  Medium  /  Small  

  

Maitreya
Sarnath
5th Century A.D.
Sandstone
       65.5 x32.8 x 13 cm
       Acc No.6697
  
  
  
Maitreya, the future Buddha is supposed to bepassing the life of a Bodhisattva in the Tushita heaven andpreparing to descend to earth in humanform.     Asanga is said to have visitedMaitreya in the Tushita heaven and took lessons into the mysteriesof Tantra (magic).   Iconographically, he isdifferentiated from Padmapani mainly by the figure of a smallchaitya or stupa which he bears on hiscrown.  
  
Bodhisattva Maitreya is clad in a diaphanousantariya secured by a beaded belt with pleated ends fallingnaturalistically along the left side of theleg.     He stands in a graceful flexion and isadorned with dear skin and upavita.   His hair isneatly arrayed, matted and tied to string, with few locks fallingon the shoulders and contains a chatiya or stupa in thecentre.     The right hand raised against theshoulder is in vyakhyana-mudra, holding a rosary betweenthumb and index finger, while the suspended left hand holds thesprinkler.  
  
The upper end of the rectangular back slab ishemispherical in the centre while sides are notched, however, upperleft and lower right corners are damaged.