112. Maitrakanyaka with the man of the wheel and in the Tusita-heaven

The sculptor continues with his forest scenery; like the cities and the palace of the apsaras, now the Iron City where Maitrakanyaka is to suffer his well-earned punishment, is also depicted by means of trees. Only the gateway that is to shut behind him is here and forms the partition between the two episodes on this relief. A palissade as usual, represents the city walls and runs straight up from the lower edge of the relief, against the gateway that has a double smooth-sloping roof without any ornament. On the right of the gate squats a raksasa, leaning on his club with both hands. He wears the ordinary large round earrings, but the tangled hair is hidden under a cap or else left unfinished. Next to his foot a snake is raising its head. Besides this gatekeeper there are two men standing between the trees, one, with nothing particular about him, evidently by his gesture is speaking to the rak$asa; the other, quite on the right, catches hold of the wheel revolving on his head. This man might of course be Maitrakanyaka and the other his predecessor just relieved of the torture; it might of course also be the other way about, and on this point I agree entirely with Foucher whose opinion is that we are not allowed to see the actual punishment of the Bodhisattva, any more than the kick earlier in the story. Therefore I follow him in rejecting the idea that both these figures might be Maitrakanyaka, with and without the wheel, and believe too that the man with the wheelis the one just about to tee released from the torture, and that it is Maitrakanyaka who is speaking to the gatekeeper. In our text this gatekeeper plays no part, though he appears in the version of the Mahabhiniskramapasutra given by Beal from the Chinese translation and in the gatha's of the P1li-tradition , In the Chinese text it is a yaksa gatekeeper who himself places the wheel on Maitrakanyaka's head and tells him the reason and length of the punishment; this he tells in the Dali gatha's as well, though the reason of his presence is not given. As it appears, the Chinese version has not been followed on the monument, for here they speak to each other before the wheel gets on to the head of the Bodhisattva and the tale ends further happily in the Tusita-heaven, which is in accordance with the Avadana~ataka but not with the Chinese text; therefore the Mahabhiniskraman. asutra and the Pall gatha's are only of value to us because they shew that the gatekeeper is not an invention of the sculptor's, but belongs to a reading of the tale unknown to us.

On the left of the partition we are strewn the reward of Maitrakanyaka's compassion, the life as a god in the Tusita-heaven. The Bodhisattva sits on a throne with a back ornamented with makara, while a woman kneels on his left holding his right arm that he rests on her thigh. On the other side stands a waiting woman with a fly-whisk and there is an umbrella, really too small to be of any use. Behind her, still more to the right, more women are sitting ready to serve their lord and above this seated group we see hanging in the air on a separate foundation, a decorative tree between two kinnara's. In describing the reliefs on the covered base I have already strewn that this kind of tree with kinnara's is often used to indicate a heaven, where it would otherwise be difficult to distinguish between earthly and heavenly joys l).