The long frieze displays one of the five greatest events in the life of the Buddha – the First Sermon (dharmachakra pravartana) delivered by the Buddha at the Deer Park of Sarnath after his enlightenment at Bodhgaya. The Buddha sits cross-legged on a pedestal that bears a wheel on a pillar and below it two deer seated back to back indicating the site of the great event. Wearing a garment covering both shoulders (ubhayansika sanghati) the Buddha raises his right hand in the abhaya (granting protection) pose and the left supports the hem of the drapery. Out of his five disciples three are seated to his right and the two to his left. Like their Master they wear monk's robe and have thick kusa grass seat. The scene is witnessed by some noble men and divine beings who hold their hands clasped in adoration or carry lotus and other flowers for worship. The bearded Vajrapani is seen, thunderbolt in hand (damaged) in the background.


  • Title: First Sermon
  • Creator: unknown
  • Date: 100-200 C.E
  • Location: Indian Museum, Kolkata
  • Physical Dimensions: Schist stone, 38.5x68.5x9.5cm.
  • Provenance: Loriyan Tangai (north-west part of undivided India)

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