THE ORCHESTRA OF MARA
Sculpted bas-relief in grey schist. Four masculine figures, draped in the Greek-style, have raised hairstyles. Three of them have curly hair, the fourth has long straight hair. Two are sitting on stools and the other two are standing. Looking to the left, they all hold up a hand in a sign of devotion, most likely to the prince Siddharta.
In Buddhist tradition, Mara is a devil of temptation for Buddha, who did not hesitate to put forward each of his beautiful girls to achieve his aims. These are represented by singing dancers ready to turn away the god from the holy path he had chosen. The orchestra is seated on drums while they are clapping their hands. They represent the paradise on earth, as music for the Buddhist was a transcendental pleasure. We also know that Buddha spent his last night in the palace surrounded by female musicians. But as he already had decided to leave for the Great Departure, the music had henceforth lost its former appeal.