6 October 2022

Cave No. 17

Identification: Schlingloff 2013.—

Indra was very proud of his stature and beauty and was curious to know if the Buddha could surpass him. He attempted to measure the Buddha’s stature but was not successful; despite climbing high on a pedestal he could not see the Buddha’s head. The Buddha then explained that no one could look down at him, even from the peak of Mount Meru. And if he wanted to measure the Buddha’s stature, he could do so with the help of a sacrificial stake buried beneath his fire altar. Indra found the stake and, converted by the Buddha’s omniscience, became an ardent follower. Then, taking the sandalwood stake, he measured the Buddha’s height. The brahmans and the rest resolved to hold a festival for goodness and blessings for all future generations.

—Source: Singh 2019, 31-33; Schlingloff 2013, I, 442

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