Attack of Mara Artist: Unknown

2nd–3rd cencury CE

Asian Art

On view, 2nd floor, Asian Art

After he revived himself following years of austerity, the historical Buddha Shakyamuni sat beneath a tree and vowed to meditate until he became enlightened. The two figures on this relief, one lay and one monastic, were part of a larger narrative showing the attack instigated by the demon Mara in a vain attempt to distract Shakyamuni and stop him from achieving enlightenment. The two demonic faces and the elephant at the top represent the members of Mara’s gang.


Gray schist


21 1/4 × 10 9/16 × 4 1/2 in. (53.98 × 26.83 × 11.43 cm)
base: 1 1/2 × 10 7/16 × 5 3/16 in. (3.81 × 26.51 × 13.18 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Georgia and Michael de Havenon, B.A. 1962

Accession Number



Kushan period (ca. late 1st–early 4th century)


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Michael and Georgia de Havenon, New York; gift in 2015 to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.


  • "Acquisitions 2015," (accessed December 1, 2015).

Object copyright

Technical metadata and APIs


Open in Mirador

View IIIF manifest

The International Image Interoperability Framework, or IIIF, is an open standard for delivering high-quality, attributed digital objects online at scale. Visit to learn more

Linked Art

API response for this object

Linked Art is a Community working together to create a shared Model based on Linked Open Data to describe Art.