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These three richly carved stone panels from historical times (circa second century B.C. to second century A.D.) demonstrate the artistic and thematic continuity between the Harappan period and later periods. This capping stone of a stupa (symbolizing the tumulus of the Buddha) depicts an elephant disgorging a sacred vine (kalpa ratha) from its mouth. The elephant, believed to support the universe, is usually associated with rain clouds and fertility. In ancient India, such animals and various elements of nature were deified and adopted by Buddhism.

Left: A Yakshi (the spirit of the sacred tree) carved on the railing pillar of a stupa is reminiscent of the female figures from Harappan times. Right: A part of the right doorjamb depicts the figures of Yamuna and Sarasvati, the deified forms of two rivers, and other figures such as Kubera. Major rivers were mentioned as female deities in the Rigveda, and most were incorporated into Hinduism.

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