Exhibitions/ Art Object

Panel from a Portable Shrine: The Descent of the Buddha from Trayastrimsha Heaven

7th–8th century
India (Jammu and Kashmir, ancient kingdom of Kashmir),
Ivory with traces of color
H. 2 1/2 (6.4 cm); W. 1 3/4 in. (4.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Rogers and Seymour Funds; Margery and Harry Kahn and Mr. and Mrs. Peter Findlay Gifts; Gifts of Albert Ten Eyck Gardner, Florance Waterbury and Jacob Weisman, by exchange; Gift of Mrs. Laurent Oppenheim, in memory of her husband, and Gift of Albert Angell Southwick, in memory of Mrs. Charles Waterbury Clark, by exchange; Bequest of Florance Waterbury, in memory of her father, John I. Waterbury and Bequest of Gilbert H. Montague, in memory of his wife, Amy Angell Collier Montague, by exchange, 1979.
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 237
This diminutive panel depicts the Buddha’s descent from Trayastrimsha heaven, where he visited to preach the Buddhist gospel (dharma) to his mother, who had died soon after his birth. The three steps below his feet indicate the ladder upon which he descended. This miracle was widely depicted in the early Buddhist world. Here, umbrella and flywhisk bearers attend the Buddha, while airborne celebrants present garlands.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Buddhism Along the Silk Road," June 2, 2012–February 10, 2013.

Related Objects

Linga with Face of Shiva (Ekamukhalinga)

Date: 7th century Medium: Stone Accession: 1989.150 On view in:Gallery 237

Vaikuntha Vishnu

Date: last quarter of the 8th century Medium: Stone Accession: 1991.301 On view in:Gallery 237

Panel of a Portable Buddhist Shrine with Dancer and Musician Celebrants

Date: 8th century Medium: Ivory with traces of color Accession: 1988.148.1 On view in:Gallery 237


Date: 7th–9th century Medium: Bronze Accession: 1987.142.276 On view in:Gallery 237

Diadem with Kinnaris (Half-Bird, Half-Female Creatures)

Date: 9th–10th century Medium: Gold inset with garnet Accession: 1988.395a–c On view in:Gallery 237