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0069 The Thousand Buddhas : vol.1
The Thousand Buddhas : vol.1 / Page 69 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000188
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supposed to pour forth, is not actually represented here. Five women stand round, one holding a towel.

The upper portion of the banner shows the Seven Jewels (sapta ratnâni) associated in tradition with Gautama. According to ancient Indian notions, the Seven Jewels, i. e. the best specimens of each kind that appear during the reign, appertain to every Cakravartin, or Universal Monarch, from his birth, and there is good reason to believe that the Predestined One was credited with this character and its attributes from an early date. We see them represented here in two groups : in the upper one the wheel, emblem of sovereign rule ; the strong-box, symbolizing the jewel or treasure ; the general and the wife ; in the lower one the minister, the elephant, and the horse. They all stand on the curling white clouds, stylized in a peculiar fashion and edged in red, blue, and green. Flaming jewels adorn the wheel, the horse, and the elephant.

The general, clad in a coat of scale-armour and resembling a Lokapala, holds with his right hand a narrow oblong shield and in his left a pennoned lance. The wife, Yaiodharâ, is attired in a trailing skirt and wide jacket with sleeves reaching to the ground. Her hair, as usual with royal ladies represented in the Life scenes, is bound with a gold fillet and done in two high loops rising up from the crown. The minister's dress is like hers, with a long terra-cotta band tied in a bow hanging down the back. In the white horse, with red mane and tail, we recognize, of course, Kanthaka, the Bodhisattva's cherished steed, a favourite figure in the Life scenes of our banners.



THE two silk paintings reproduced in this Plate on the scale of one-fourth, and originally mounted as Kakemonos, present special interest on account of their subjects and treatment. The one above (Ch. liv. 007), according to the Chinese inscription in the left-hand top corner, dates from A. D. 897, and yet is painted in a style which, as pointed out by Mr. Binyon,82 looks distinctly earlier. It represents the Buddha Tejaliprabha (` radiant with light ') on a chariot which two bullocks draw, and surrounded by the genii of the five planets whom the inscription mentions. The same subject appears to be treated also in one of the finest of the wall-paintings of the Thousand Buddhas' Caves.83

The Buddha is shown seated on a blue lotus which occupies the top of an open two-wheeled car. A draped altar placed in front of him across its shafts is decked with gilded vessels. Two elaborately decorated flags float behind the car, hung from slanting poles. The Buddha, whose figure alone in the picture shows distinct Indian convention, raises his right hand in the abhaya-mudra. His flesh was originally gilded and his hair is shown blue. Rays of different colours radiate from his person, replacing a halo. Overhead a rich canopy waving in his advance symbolizes rapid movement. By the side of the trotting bullock strides a dark-skinned attendant, recalling the ` Indian ' leaders of Manjusrï's and Samantabhadra's mounts, but carrying a mendicant's staff instead of a goad and playing a sistrum with his left hand, as clearly seen in the original.

Of the genii represented two stand beyond the car dressed in Chinese official costume with trailing under-robes and wide-sleeved jackets. The one on the left carries a dish of flowers, and within the crown of his black head-dress appears a white boar's head. The other on the right holds a brush and a tablet in his hands ; between two loops of his elaborate head-dress there rises the figure of a monkey. A third, dressed all in white, plays upon a large lute with a very longlectrum ; 84 his head is surmounted by a phoenix. The figure of the fourth divinity is of demonic type, four-armed, with fiery hair and

82 See above, p. 8.   84 For a full description of this instrument, cf. Miss

83 See Serindia, pp. 933 sq., Figs. 215, 226.   K. Schlesinger's note in Appendix H, Serindia, p. 1468.