Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Buddha's First Sermon at Sarnath

2nd century
Pakistan (ancient region of Gandhara)
Gray schist
H. 11 1/4 in. (28.6 cm); W. 12 1/4 in. (31.1 cm); D. 2 in. (5.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Daniel Slott, 1980
Accession Number:
Not on view
The Buddha is shown teaching the first sermon to five ascetics who become monks; in this way, he establishes the monastic order. The Buddha reaches down to set in motion the wheel of the law—a well-established symbol of Buddhist teaching, or dharma. To the Buddha's upper right stands the protective deity Vajrapani holding a vajra (thunderbolt).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Pala-Sena Period," 2007.

New York. Asia Society. "Pilgrimage and Buddhist Art," March 16, 2009–June 20, 2010.

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