Hariti and Panchika

Cave 2, Ajanta

Cave 2, one of the beautifully painted viharas, dates to the late 5th century. This sculpture is from the right side-chapel at the rear of the hall. Hariti, with a child on her lap, was the goddess of smallpox, a child-eating ogress whom the Buddha converted into their protectress. To Hariti's left (viewer's right, in shadow) is her consort Panchika, who in some traditions is called Atavaka. Panchika/Atavaka are nature-spirits and followers of Kubera. Kubera is the king of the yakshas, a god of wealth and the hidden treasures of the earth.