JACQUES-EDOUARD BERGER FOUNDATION:World Art Treasures

The Buddha wishes to leave his palace life and world, but is being kept from doing so. In the Lalita, his escape is clandestine: the hoofs of his horse are wrapped to ensure that his departure is noiseless, and the sentinels are drugged. In the earliest Lalita versions, the four winds - north, south, east, and west - carry the horse's hoofs. Those of you interested in comparative mythology will note that all saviors take off on flying horses: think of Perseus arriving to rescue his future wife Andromeda from the sea monster. In any case, this important event is depicted at all the major classical Buddhist sites illustrating the life of the Buddha, from Datong (China) to the Bangkok Palace.


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