4. Halaka entertained by the naga's

The sculptor here too seems to have allowed himself a little freedom. Two groups are depicted on the relief; these arc not consecutive, but in my opinion intended to represent events happening at the same time. On the righthand a naga couple are seated on a couch under a canopy, undoubtedly Janmacitraka's parents; the father holds uphisright hand, evidently talking to the nearest of the two naga's sitting in front of him, the first one making a sembah, the one behind holding an indistinct bowl. It is very possible that the front one is the rescued Janmacitraka himself, telling his father what has happened, rather than only a servant receiving orders for the entertainment of Halaka. The group on the left gives us the actual banquet; two naga's knee! in front of a small, richlydecorated pendapa in which the guest sits leaning at ease; one holds with both hands alarge dish of wreaths (or cakes), the other has abowlprobably containing the jewels spoken of in the text. The guest of honor reaches out his hand to receive the gifts. So far it is all right. The queer part, to begin with, is the fine clothing of the guest, more suitable for a prince than a hunter. We might overcome this difficulty by thinking that among other presents the grateful parents had given a splendid costume which the hunter had put on immediately. But this will not do away with the second inexplicable mystery; the presence, to the extreme left behind the pendapa, of a second handsomely-dressed man (no naga) who sits there with a blue lotus in his hand.

Considering the progress of the story, it is really quite certain that here the entertainment of Halaka and nothing else is depicted, and the second man is impossible to account for from the text. In my opinion this peculiarity gives us an insight into the Barabudur sculptor's manner of working and we again have an instance, such as I have already noticed, as regards the composition of the scenes. I mean this: it is not that the sculptor, knowing the whole story, has depicted from it this actual scene of the reception of the hunter Halaka by the parents of Janmacitraka, but the man whose work it was to carve this relief, received instructions to make a picture on that relief of a man being received by a naga king and queen. This he did, the receiving naga's, the attendants, the guest, all came into suitable places on the scene; the guest of course was dressed for the occasion and naturally had his own attendant with him. Whether the scene in this way quite coincided with the story, was not much considered. I believe that in this case we have an indication of the manner in which the reliefs were executed by artists, who received instructions to design a certain kind of scene, but who did not think much about the story as a whole, perhaps even did not know all the details. Notice that there is no sign of the lasso.