Asking Buddha for Progeny

Scene 16, Baodingshan, Dazu (map)

In the center of the relief, parents ask the Buddha to grant them children. This was an overriding concern for Chinese families. Children were considered essential to carry on the work of the clan, to continue the family line, to support their parents in old age, and to care for their spirit tablets after death. The people in this relief are commoners, not kings and princes; ordinary viewers could easily identify with the family values depicted here.