87. Mahakatyayana returns to Cravasti
This relief as well gives the impression of not quite agreeing with the text. There we read that bhiksu's came to the monk and inquired about his adventures, while here the only bhiksu is the chief person himself. A large building stands on the left of the scene, it has a double-door, niches on both sides and a wide roof decorated with small stupa's on which some birds are perched. It is enclosed by a palissade that runs first along the lower edge of the relief and then bends round upwards, where a small gateway is inserted that has the same smooth ridged roof so often seen on the rice-sheds; a pair of peacocks are sitting on it. The monk has come inside the palissade which must be the city walls , he holds a water-jug in his left hand hanging down; what he has in the right hand is very indistinct, but looks like a lotus-bud. Just below this hand we see the head of a person standing much lower down with his back to him, turning round his head to the monk and evidently speaking or strewing him something. Mahakatyayana's dress, if he is meant, differs noticeably from that of the ordinary bhiksu's: he has a girdle tied round his loins with the ends hanging to his knee, and over his left shoulder a cloth that hangs down in front and behind, quite another thing than the tip of the monk's garment we have so often seen depicted. Outside the palissade on the right of the relief a number of people in fashionable dress are approaching with flowers, bowls of flowers and a fly-fan; these may be the citizens of liravast~ coming to greet the returning monk. It looks rather as if one man is the most important of the group and the rest attendants; this rouses the question whether the whore picture may not be intended to represent something else, unknown to our text.