Portable Buddhist Temple

Overall: 28 x 9 x 9 cm (11 x 3 9/16 x 3 9/16 in.)
Location: not on view
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The large niches on each side contain scenes from the life of the Buddha. The first features his mother Maya after his miraculous birth. The second and fourth depict his triumph over the forces of evil that attempted to frighten and seduce him away from the path to enlightenment. The third scene takes place after he has established a monastic following and depicts his wife bringing their son to meet him.

Kaolinite is a compacted mineral that approximates ivory in its ability to be carved with fine details. Visitors to sacred Buddhist sites would commission portable sculptures such as this to commemorate their pious pilgrimage.
Portable Buddhist Temple

Portable Buddhist Temple


Eastern India, Bihar

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