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A fragment of a stone slab, originally a facing on the drum of a small stupa, carved with a narrative scene.  In this relief, he is converting devotees of the fire god Agni, the three ascetic Kasyapa brothers and their disciples. In this narrative, the Buddha asked to spend the night in the fire temple of Uruvilva Kasyapa. The temple’s fire god worshipers thought the fearsome fire serpent that dwelled within the temple would vanquish the Buddha.  Instead, the fiery radiance of the meditating Buddha overwhelmed the serpent, who crawled into the Buddha’s alms bowl; the defeated snake appears in this sculpture below the Buddha. Meanwhile, the dazzling radiance the Buddha emits has been mistaken for flames and a fire brigade using ladders and pots of water has been formed to put out the fire, as can be seen here. Seated in the posture and gesture of meditation, the Buddha’s calm presence is in contrast to the action unfolding around him. The three Kasyapa brothers, with their beards and matted hair, are at the bo
Artist Unknown, Gandhara (Ancient Pakistan and Afghanistan)
Scene from the life of the Buddha: Buddha triumphs over the fire snake at the Fire Temple of Uruvilva Kasyapa (architectural fragment)
200 – 232
Museum purchase made possible by the Margaret Watson Parker Art Collection Fund