Pair of deer commemorating Buddha's first teaching
  See it in the Museum
Orientation 1
Standalone object 5

ABS 230

 Code: ABS 230

  Country: Mongolia


  Date: 1800 - 1900

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 67.5 x 100.5 x 30.5

  Materials: Gilt copper

This pair of deer commemorate the first sermon of the historical Shakyamuni in the Deer Park (Rsipatana Mrgadava) at Sarnath (Northern India). These animals were among the first creatures that listened to the Buddha's teachings. Therefor they stand for the Sangha, the community of Buddha's followers. Since the Gupta times it became customary to show Buddha Shakyamuni accompanied by a pair of deer when the first sermon is depicted. From northern India this theme spread to Nepal, Tibet, and further to China and Mongolia. Pairs of deer made from gilt sheets of hammered copper flank the eight-spoked "wheel of the Dharma" on many rooftops of the large monasteries.