3. The enchantment and rescue of Janmacitraka

Three consecutive incidents are put together on this one relief, the middle one occupying the most space with the other two treated as subordinate episodes. The scene on the right, the first one, shews two persons against a background of trees; one plainly-dressed, sitting on aslope, has an arrow in his hand and a bow next to him, the other, a naga evidently by the cobra's in his headdress, is kneeling before him in supplication, his hands raised in a sembah. This will be the moment that Janmacitraka asks help of Halaka.

The middle scene is the enchantment. In a lake profusely decorated with lotuses and surrounded by trees, the upper part of a naga appears, the right hand pressed to his forehead, evidently forced by the enchantments against his will. On the left an altar is erected, where on a stone pedestal great flames are rising up from the piled-up blocks of wood; behind that, quite to the left, the magician sits against the rocks, in a loin-cloth, moustache and beard and his hair brushed bacl: smooth and twisted up at the back of his head. His arts are to be annihilated, for Halaka stands behind a tree, ready with his bow in one hand and the arrow in the other.

The small scene on the extreme left presents difficulties. On a couch with a back, and a couple of boxes under it, is seated a man in the dress of the upperclass under a canopy supported by columns; to the right on the ground, conversing with him, is a person, the very image of the snakecharmer; he can hardly be taken for anyone else. The most likely explanation would be that the magician after the attempt comes to inform his employer that it has failed. This is however contrary to the text, where it is expresslystated that the enchantergetskilledbyHalaka. Another explanation is suggested , namely that this may be the moment when the snake-charmer receives his instructions. The strange thing is that a scene which must happen before the middle one should be represented after it. This might be necessary for the composition of the scene, that required the large centre picture to be flanked with the two lessimportant episodes even at the cost of their proper sequence. We might also think that the sculptor was only concerned about the middle scene and added the accessory episode as explanation of the events happening to the chief persons; on the right to Halaka and Janmacitraka who are on the right, on the left, to the snake-charmer seated left. Such explanations are not quite satisfactory, considering the precision strewn elsewhere on the monument with regard to the sequence of events. We had better leave a loophole for the possibility that the adventure did not end fatally in the version of the tale here used by the sculptor, and that in contrast to the Divyavadana text the magician lived to tell his tale.