75 • A Buddhist relief with Tusita Heaven and fasting siddhartha scene

Ancient Gandhara
Size: 42 cm long × 17 cm high

Because Tuṣita Heaven is where all Bodhisattvas destined to reach full enlightenment in their next life dwell, Tuṣita heaven is therefore closely associated with Maitreya, the next Buddha. Many Buddhists vow to be reborn there so that they can hear the teachings of Maitreya and ultimately be reborn with him when he becomes a Buddha. Other Bodhisattvas also dwell in this heaven realm from time to time. In the second scene Prince Siddhartha is shown as an emaciated Siddhartha. According to Buddhist texts, Siddhartha meditated for 6 years in order to reach enlightenment. We can see attendants holding pots of milk and honey for him.