AJANTA CAVE PAINTINGS
the many-splendoured delights of Ajanta compiled by Subramanian Swaminathan
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Themes

Jataka Stories
The subjects of the paintings are mostly from the jataka-s, Buddhist mythological stories of the previous lives of the Master.
a scene from the story of King Shibi,
who offered his own flesh to save a pigeon
Life of the Buddha
Episodes from the life of the Buddha form the next important theme.

Gautama was meditating under the Bodhi tree to attain enlightenment. Mara, the Evil Spirit, made many attempts to dislodge Gautama from His resolve. Mara sent his three most beautiful daughters to distract Him. This failed. Then Mara summoned his demons to dislodge Gautama. But Gautama was calm and unmoved.

On the way to Her parentís house Mayadevi gave birth to Siddharta in Lumbini grove of shaala trees. Brahma, Indra and other gods descended to pay their respects to the new-born.
Maraís Episode, Cave 1
Maya Devi giving birth to Siddharta, Cave 2
Solo Pictures

There are a few compositions of divinities, but not part of any story.

A few of the solo-pictures do not seem to have any religious import.
Religious - Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, Cave 1
Secular - Lady doing her make-up, Cave 17
Decorative

The paintings in the last category are decorative and secular. They fill up all the available space on the ceilings pillars, etc.
Mythical birds
Clown
Geometrical
Geometrical
Hilarious
Animals

Swaminathan's Presentations
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