is the mother of Siddartha Gautama, the Buddha. During her pregnancy an auspicious
and important birth was predicted. Nearing her time, Mayadevi set out with her
attendants to give birth at her mother’s home. Traveling they came to a glorious
garden of fragrant Sal-trees in full bloom. The young queen, wishing to pause
in that delightful spot, stepped down from her palanquin and entered the garden.
Suddenly the pains of labor overtook Mayadevi and as she reached up to the tree
to steady herself, a flowering bough bent down to support her. Grasping it, she
stood and gave birth to her child, who came forth from her right side.
Mayadevi is reaching up toward the sal tree, her lithe body rising as if in a
dance, anklets and ornaments embellishing her graceful form. There never was a
more lyrical, felicitous image of birth, but more importantly, as the mother of
the Buddha, Mayadevi is also seen as the generative source of the enlightenment
process. It is in this aspect that she is glorified in this lush and frankly sensual