The teaching monks have under-robes showing at ankles and breast, and long mantles covering L. shoulder and arm and drawn partially over R. shoulder. The mantle of the teaching monk in (3) is light green lined with red ; his under-robe dark yellow. That of the teacher in (4) is dark yellow spotted with red rosettes and lined with grey, his under-robe being green ; and exactly similar garments are worn by the floating monk in (2). The younger monks wear short robes of light green, brick-red, or yellow with under-robes or linings of contrasting colours, their bare knees showing as they kneel. Their chests are bare, their R. shoulders partially covered except in one case where it is bare. The Bodhisattvas wear the usual dress and jewellery of the simpler type as in Ch. 0017, etc. In the floating figs. difficulty has been found with the unfamiliar position, and the drawing of limbs and drapery is confused.
The panels seem to represent the preaching in old age of two Buddhist saints, and their translation to the abode of the Devas on their death. The floating fig. in (2) is unhaloed ; his dress also is monkish, and exactly like that of the teacher in (4), though the repetition of the same colours may have little significance where the range is so small. He differs from the seated monk only in his black hair and rejuvenated complexion.
The nature and use of the writing materials in panel (4) offer interest. The pens have pointed writing-ends, but broaden out at the other end, where they are cut off slantwise ; they are like pens or styli much more than brushes, and there is no trace of the soft brush-end so obvious in Ch. lvi. 0033 and other of the Chien-fo-tung paintings. They are, however, grasped half-way from the writing-end and held at right angles to the paper like brushes ; and the leaf itself, though in Pothi form, is held with its narrow end towards the writer—an attitude impossible for the writing of any Indian script. This is specially noteworthy in the teaching monk in (4) and the writing recluses in
Condition good. Panels : H. 2' 4", width (r) 7" ; (2) I' 7" ; (3) I' 3"; (4) I' 6". Length of series 5'. Pl. CXXVI.
Mi. xiii. 5-9. Series of adjoining fresco panels, from north wall of chamber representing in two scenes : (a) monks grouped before a Buddhist teacher or saint ; (b) monks in retirement writing sacred texts. (The Arabic figures are arbitrary divisions, representing only the sections of the wall as cut up for removal.) The scenes are divided from each other, and bounded above and below where complete by a band of yellow as in (i)-(4); beneath the lower yellow band is represented a series of red stone blocks. The background is rich maroon with yellow trefoils in the few open spaces ; the colours used are exactly those of (1)-(4) with the addition of light sepia and a dull grey-blue. The colours are here in cleaner and brighter condition.
Scene (a) is shown in panels (8)-(9), but only the lower half of the latter is preserved, and the outer corner of (8)
is much destroyed. The colours used are the same as in (I)-(4) and the work is of the same quality.
On (8) are seen seven monks, three in upper and four in lower row, turned â to L. All kneel except the two at R.
end of bottom line, who sit cross-legged, the last of all being
provided with a lotus asana yellow and white-petalled, while the rest have only flat circular âsanas of an indefinite
character. Behind them on R. edge of panel are two caves (empty), and above, a row of trees now mostly destroyed. In dress and appearance the monks are like the preceding, but their robes are drawn partially over R. shoulder. The two on L. (above and below) hold their'
hands out horizontally joined as in adoration ; the two immediately behind them hold leaves, and the lower has
also a pen. His knees, doubtless intended to be bare like those of the rest, have been painted dark grey, and the modelling of the breast is emphasized by a double line of ink, giving appearance of a girdle. The same, incomplete, is seen in one of the monks in (7). The third and last in top row also holds a leaf, but his R. hand is raised before his breast, thumb and forefinger joined and fingers bent. The monk below him turns round to the last monk (fourth) in bottom row, holding up his R. hand before the latter's face, with first and second fingers raised. This last holds R. hand in attitude of argumentation. In his L. hand he holds Pothi-shaped leaves. The eyes of the main group are turned towards (9), in which another young monk prostrates himself before a seated fig. of which only the legs below the knees remain.
This monk is the most youthful-looking of all in series; his skin is a pale flesh-colour unshaded ; he kneels with his hands laid together upon ground in pose of worship and his head bowed almost to touch them. His robe is red, his feet bare, his knees painted dark grey ; a thin lock of hair passes across his shaven temple to his ear ; beneath him a pale green mat. Robe of seated fig. is pink, with green under-robe., His seat is high, four-legged, with red framework and green drapery between legs. His feet rest upon a red four-legged stool, and he seems to hold a Pothi leaf perhaps presented by kneeling disciple. In .background is a rectang. stand with green framework, draped with yellow and red valance like the seat. It seems to be filled with Pothis tied up between boards and ranged on their long sides.
In scene (b) seven monks arranged in a double tier, three above and four below; each is seated â to R. in a rocky cave, and writes with a pen-like brush upon Pothi-shaped leaves held end-wise towards him (see Mi. xiii. I-4). A small ink-pot or vase suspended at side of one cave (the bottom on R.).
The monks are of same physical type as in preceding series, and are similarly dressed in light green, brick-red, or dark yellow robes, R. shoulder being bare. All have their feet crossed, but they obviously sit upon low seats hidden by their robes, and not upon the ground. The monk at L. end top row is possibly an exception. Beneath each is an âsaua represented by a flat circular patch in red or green.