Amaravati Art in the Context of Andhra Archaeology

by Sreyashi Ray chowdhuri | 2018 | 90,477 words

This page relates ‘Making of a Monk and practice of Austerities’ of the study on Amaravati Art in the Context of Andhra Archaeology, including museum exhibitions of the major archeological antiquities. These pages show how the Buddhist establishment of Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh) survived from 4th century BCE to 14th century CE. It includes references and translations of episodes of Buddha’s life drawn from the Avadanas and Jatakas which are illustrated in Amaravati art.

Making of a Monk and practice of Austerities

[Full title: Depiction of scenes from the life of Buddha: Making of a Monk and practice of Austerities]


After leaving his palace Siddhārtha travelled to various places in search of truth. He decided to adopt monkhood and released all his ornaments and ordered Chandaka to go back to the palace with his horse Kaṇṭhaka. He cut off his hair and slashed it to the sky which was collected by Śakra to erect a Cūḍāmaṇī caitya over it at Trāyastrimśa heaven[1]. For gratifying his ascetic necessities he was provided with civara, pātra, shaving blade, needle kāyabandhana and a fine cloth to filter water. He followed a life of a bhiksu and went to several places practicing austerity. At Uruvilva he was joined by five ascetics but later detached himself from them. Slowly he developed a feeling of disgrace in accepting a grain of food stuff and became unconscious because of hunger. But he realized that by this way he cannot win[2]. So he took food. This act was not succumbing to temptation but the first definition to the Middle way[3].


The last section in a crossbar from Amarāvatī preserved in the Madras Government Museum illustrate eight devatās carrying the turban and hair locks of Gautama. Two divine figures are chiseled carrying a tray while another figure stands in adoration with folded hands[4].

Footnotes and references:


Rao Vinay Kumar, Op.cit, p 49.


Ibid, p 60


Ibid, p 50


Dr. Kannan R, 2014, Op.cit, p 179, fig 155,

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