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GANDHARA The Buddha with his protector Vajrapani. Gandhara; 2nd century. Vajrapāṇi (from Sanskrit vajra, "thunderbolt" or "diamond" and pāṇi, lit. "in the hand") is one of the earliest bodhisattvas of Mahayana Buddhism. He is the protector and guide of the Buddha, and rose to symbolize the Buddha's power.
Buddha with a topknot. Gandhara was the region that lies between N.W Pakistan and E. Afghanistan. first mentioned in a text in the 9th C. BCE. Over the next 900 years the region was conquered by Alexander the Great, the Indian Mauryan dynasty, the Parthians, the Indo-Greeks, and finally the Central Asian Kushan Empire. This complex history, with its many cultural influences, formed the foundation for a region where Buddhism flourished and the basis for some of the earlier images of Buddha.
Gandhara Heads. - Greco-Buddhist art