Buddha’s descent from the Trayastrimsha Heaven
Gandhara, 3rd or 4th century
Schist, height 55cm
This relief panel shows a remarkable amount of lively detail. It was once part of a series on a stupa chronicling the life of the Buddha. The Buddha went to the Heaven of the 33 Gods (Trayastrimsha) to preach the law to his mother. In the three stages of his descent shown here, he is flanked by the Hindu Gods Brahma and Indra.