Buddhist Pentad

Middle Binyang Cave, Longmen

There are three "Binyang" caves at Longmen: the middle cave (Northern Wei, c. 523 AD), and a north and a south cave on either side of it. Seen here is the central pentad (group of five figures) of the middle cave: The Buddha flanked by Ananda (left), Kasyapa (right), and two bodhisattvas. Also in the cave, but not seen in this photo, is a triad (three figures, standing Buddha flanked by bodhisattvas) on the left side and another triad on the right side. Reliefs of an imperial procession were removed from the front wall of the cave to the Nelson-Atkins museum in Kansas City and the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Other reliefs on the front wall (not seen in this photo) include the debate between Manjusri and Vimalakirti, and the Mahasattva Jakata.

Reference for names: Chinese Deities