Hariti and Panchika

unknown100-200 C.E

Indian Museum, Kolkata

Indian Museum, Kolkata

According to Buddhist legends, Hariti, in a former
incarnation, had vowed to to devour all infants at Rajagriha
and as a consequence she forfeited her life and was reborn
as a yakshi and gave birth to five hundred children. She used
to eat some infants every day till the Buddha was informed
of this. He took and concealed one of her own children,
which she called her beloved child. She sought for it from
place to place and found it with the Buddha. When
accused, the Buddha expressed amazement at her anxiety
for just one child among her five hundred children, when
people having only one or two had lost their children on
account of her vow. Thus chastened, Hariti soon was
converted but in her anxiety for her children she asked the
Buddha how her children could subsist thereafter! The
Buddha replied that, in every monastery where the Bhikhshus
dwell, her family would partake of sufficient food every day.

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  • Title: Hariti and Panchika
  • Creator: unknown
  • Date: 100-200 C.E
  • Location: Indian Museum, Kolkata
  • Physical Dimensions: Spotted red sand stone, 20x41cm
  • Provenance: Mathura, U.P.