The Dream of Queen Maya (the Buddha's Conception)
ca. 2nd century
Pakistan (ancient region of Gandhara)
H. 6 1/2 in. (16.5 cm); W. 7 5/8 in. (19.4 cm)
Gift of Marie-Hélène and Guy Weill, 1976
Female attendants and guards, one of whom holds a sword, surround Maya, who is sleeping on a bed that has turned legs and is covered with an elegant floral textile. Maya dreams of a six-tusked elephant that descends from heaven to enter her womb through her right side; originally a small elephant would have been depicted in the broken central disk. This miraculous conception marks the Buddha Shakyamuni's final rebirth and physical entrance into this world.
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