40. Mandhatar with the herons and the rsi's

We are now again on the firm foundation of the Divyavadana-text, the scene of the cruel rsi's. This is as clear as possible. In the middle of the relief is a rocky plateau with a large tree and the unhappy herons walking about, unable to use their wings. The tree serves as partition between the two scenes here depicted, and. is designed in such way that the herons belong to both and also figuratively connect the right and left episodes. On the right, the king inquires the cause of the birds' strange behaviour. He has approached from the right with his retinue and stands in front of the person who is giving him information and kneels with the hands in sembah next to the rocky plateau. Behind the king stands the bearer of the folded tray, the umbrella-bearer kneels and the military escort are seated, all armed with sword and shield and one with bow and quiver as well. On the left hand scene we are strewn the rest of the episode and the departure of the rsi's. On the extreme left are some trees; between these and the plateau a pair ofrsi's are frying away. They wear a loin-cloth and necklace and a frightful coiffure, a brushed up and twisted mass of hair. Their light luggage is slung over the left shoulder and looks like a bundle at one end and perhaps a jug at the other end of the cord; both objects are swinging behind in their rapid flight. The text does not mention that the rsi's travel through the air to their new domicile, but it is of course the simplest means of locomotion for such holy persons and allows the sculptor to make their departure unmistakeable.