Shakyamuni Repays His Parents' Kindness

Scene #18, Baodingshan, Dazu (map)

The colossal statue of Shakyamuni, seen here, overlooks a relief that illustrates twelve instances of Buddhist filial piety, taken from various sutras and jatakas, including the sutra titled "With Great Skillful Means, the Buddha Repays [His Parents'] Kindness" (Da Fang Bian Fo Bao En Jing). The relief is shown on the following pages. Its intent, like the relief #16 illustrating parental kindness, is both moralistic (to illustrate the benefits of filial piety) and propagandistic (to prove that Chinese Buddhists can be as filial as anyone else).