John Huntington huntington.2 at OSU.EDU
Mon Oct 14 14:47:00 UTC 2002

>>Dear Indological friends,

Since the list does no accept images (Dominik told me a reason but  I
forgot why), I cannot supply you directly with the evidence,but early
depictions of Hamsa from the Mauryan period until quite late 12th
13th century are all obviously geese. the Mauryan offering platform
at the Vajrasana at Bodhgaya for example.Swans do appear in 20th
century calendar  prints of Sarasvati and the like but that is
probably European influence. In other examples from Nepal, the last
bastion of true Sanskrit Buddhism, Chandra's chariot is pulled by the
seven Hamsa which are definitely depicted as geese in  Buddhamargi
paintings and sculpture to the present day.

In short the physical evidence for the "Swan" is simmply not there.



John C. Huntington, Professor
    (Buddhist Art and Methodologies)
Department of the History of Art
108 North Oval Mall
The Ohio state University
Columbus, OH 43210-1318 U.S.A.

huntington.2 at osu.edu
Direct Line to office (614) 688-8198
Main Department Office: (614) 2927481
Fax: (614) 292-4401

Please visit the Huntington Archive website at

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list