Silk Road Collection
Central Asia

The Relief of Buddhism: “The Four Heavenly Kings” Consecrated

  • Central Asia
  • Gandhara, Pakistan
  • from the 2nd to the 3rd centuries AD
  • The Kushan Dynasty
  • grey schist
  • 45.0cm in height

After attaining enlightenment, when Sakyamuni was thinking about what type of container to eat with, the Four Guardian Kings appeared and presented him with begging bowls. Looking face on, the two Kings on the right of Sakya and the King on the very left hold bowls. The Indian royalties wearing turbans and the remaining Kings of the Kushan royalties are folding their hands. Bishamonten was the first to receive the bowl from the Kings. Later, it is said that the Sakya turned the four bowls into one with magic. [CR] The pair of birds wings on the head of Bishamonten originates from the Greek messengers of gods, officiating monk for souls, and the god of trade Hermes.