70. The portrait of the Buddha is received in state at Roraka

Bimbisara's last and most precious gift is escorted into Roruka with full honors. The text relates that the roads were decorated and that king Rudrayana himself with a military escort of the four weapons brought the gift into the city; but the sculptor gives us none of these details. All sign of decoration on the road is wanting, there is no indication of the road at all; nothing but the procession is given and in that neither the king nor the military escort is to be seen. As the procession reaches across the whole relief, we can only imagine that the monarch and his soldiers belong to another part of the train that either precede or follows this. What we see is, turning to the left, first three standardbearers and then a number of the king's household attendants, three of whom carry respectively a pole with a round cushionlike top, a large padma on a long stick and an umbrella. The place where the umbrella is carried might make us think the man with the lotus is the king, but this figure too much resembles the others in dress and is not conspicuous enough in the procession. The train ends with two conch-shell trumpeters. Then comes an elephant wearing a large bell; in the howdah on its back sits a man with the wreath on his hair, noticed before, holding in both hands a large oblong rolled-up parcel, of course the cloth on which the image of the Buddha is painted. To give this figure its required importance, the elephant is made quite small; in proportion to the figures on foot it is about the size of a calf. Behind the elephant comes another escort of men with empty hands, most likely courtiers. None of the company bear arms.