The Budhanada – schist Buddha Triad is one of only five inscribed Buddha images from Gandhara. The inscription is dated to year five of presumably the Kaniṣka era that commenced in 127 CE and is most likely from the second century of this dating system. The text states that this was a donation made by Budhanada, who is identified as one versed in the Tripiṭakas suggesting that he was a monk, and he directed the merit of this gift to his deceased parents. The image is a schist stele depicting the Buddha seated on a lotus throne and flanked by two Bodhisattvas, Maitreya on the Buddha’s right and Avalokiteshvara to his left. These three figures complete the triad. Positioned above Buddha’s shoulders are two Indic gods, Brahma to the Buddha’s right and Indra on the left. The provenance of this image is unknown but based on objects with similar stylistic features it was likely from the Charsadda, Takht-i-Bāhi, Sahrī-Bahlol region located northeast of Peshawar, Pakistan.
Conventional Name Year 5 Buddha | Item Schist sculpture | Findspot Unknown | Surface Recto | Dimensions Height: 61.6cm, Width: 59.1cm | Date Year 5 | Collection Private | Current Location Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, United States | Language/Script Gāndhārī/Kharoṣṭḥī
Budhanada, a monk who knows the Tripiṭaka, makes a donation (pious gift) in year 5 and honors his deceased parents.
Donation, EraRulerDate, Honor
Fussman, Gérard. 1974. “Documents épigraphiques kouchans.” Bulletin de l’École française d’Extrême‐Orient 61: 1–66.
Harle, J. C. 1974. “A Hitherto Unknown Dated Sculpture from Gandhāra: A Preliminary Report.” In: J. E. van Lohuizen‐de Leeuw and J. M. M. Ubaghs, eds., South Asian Archaeology 1973: Papers from the Second International Conference of the Association for the Promotion of South Asian Archaeology in Western Europe Held in the University of Amsterdam, pp. 128–35. Leiden: E. J. Brill.
Bibliographic details of references to this inscription, and a revised reading of Fussman’s edition by Stefan Baums, are available from Gāndhārī Language and Literature
Development of the 3D model was facilitated by John Guy (The Met, New York). Research on this inscription and production of the digital edition was completed with the generous support of Prakaś Foundation and the Power Institute (University of Sydney).
Digital publishing by Ian McCrabb
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Saṅghabhedavastu (ed. Gnoli 1977–1978)
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Taishō 大正 edition