Scene from the Life of the Buddha


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 226

This cycle of paintings shows key scenes from the life of the Buddha, Shakyamuni, who was born a prince in ancient north India. Beginning with his birth, his discovery of suffering and confrontation with his own privilege, and continuing through events of his post-enlightenment, these images are a reminder that suffering is the essence of life but that the Buddha’s teachings offer a way out.

This panel portrays the heretic Raudraksa fighting the Buddha’s disciple Shariputra. Two of the six contests of their magical power are represented at the right: above, Shariputra causes a wind to blow down a large tree created by Raudraksa, and below, an elephant created by Shariputra drinks up the flood Raudraksa caused. Shariputra’s defeat of Raudraksa testifies to Buddha’s Law, presented as an iconic gathering on the left.

On view for rotations 1 and 2

Scene from the Life of the Buddha, Section of a wall panel mounted as a hanging scroll; ink, color, and gold on silk, Japan

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