A terracotta sealing bearing an impression of a dharmacakra ('wheel of the law') flanked by two deer and above a three-line inscribed Buddhist Creed.
Inscription Script: Nāgarī (early)
Inscription Language: Sanskrit
Inscription Translation: "[seal] of the noble community of monks at the Great Nalanda Monastery"
'Sri Nalanda-Mahavihariy-arya-bhikshu-sanghasya 'of the community of Venerable Monks of the Great Monastery at Nalanda'. Above the inscription we see the dharmachakra with a deer on each side suggesting the scene of the Deer park of Sarnath where Buddha first preached the Law, the motif was also adopted by Pala emperors. (Contributed by Mita Chakravorty)
Excavated/Findspot: Nalanda, site 9 (Nalanda Monastery).
The smaller sealing shows the wheel flanked by deer which, despite the association with the First Sermon, acquired a more general Buddhist application: it occurs as the device of the Pāla emperors who patronised Buddhism between the 8th and 12th centuries. The legend reads '(seal) of the noble community of monks at the Great Nālandā Monastery'. The other sealing consists of a deep impression of ‘stūpas’ above the Buddhist creed and must have been a symbolic offering of small votive ‘stūpas’ which also abound structurally at Nālandā.
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