Amaravati Art in the Context of Andhra Archaeology

by Sreyashi Ray chowdhuri | 2018 | 90,477 words

This page relates ‘monkey offers honey to Buddha’ 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.

[Full title: Depiction of scenes from the life of Buddha: A monkey offers honey to Buddha]

Story:-

When Buddha was residing in the Ghasita monastery at Kosambi his monks quarrelled among themselves. So he retired to the Parileyyaka forest and resided at the foot of the Śāl tree where a noble elephant attended on him. A monkey noticed this and desired to perform a similar service. One day he saw a honeycomb on a stick. He offered the honey to the Master on a plantain leaf. The Master did not partake it until the monkey removed the insect eggs sticking to it. When the Master took it the monkey was so delighted that he jumped from one branch to another. But one of the branches broke and he died. He was born in the world of thirty three.[1]

Depiction:-

This story is visible on a fragmented slab preserved in the British Museum. Here one monkey stands with a bowl in his left hand. To the left is another monkey seated on a leaf. Another monkey stands to the left with the garland.[2] (Pl 26d).

This incident is also represented in Nāgārjunakoṇḍa.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Sivaramamurti C, Op.cit, pp190-191.

[2]:

Knox Robert, Op.cit, pp 128-129, pl 67.

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