Relief fragment depicting the life of Buddha

This is an early sculpture depicting Buddha's life from the Gandhara region during the Kushana period (1st-3rd centuries CE). It captures the most important events from the life of Buddha in a narrative that is well- preserved and easy to understand. The lower relief represents Buddha’s Mahabhinishkramana, the Great Departure with prince Siddhartha riding a horse and yaksha (the vegetative spirit) holding the hooves of the horse. The middle panel shows Buddha seated in meditation touching the earth in the Bhumisparsha mudra surrounded by the retinue of the demon god, Mara while the top panel represents Buddha in Dharmachakra mudra, performing the First Sermon surrounded by his disciples.

3rd-4th centuries
Gandhara, Pakistan
Object size: L 31 x W 6 x H 67 cm
Accession No.
Grey schist
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Credit Line
Purchased with funds from Hwang Soo Jin