The deities Panchika and Hariti, as dispensers of riches and fertility, are not part of the Buddhist pantheon. Their depiction in Hellenistic style is therefore rarely found in Gandharan art. In the known representations Panchika is usually rendered, like here, as a warrior holding a spear. His consort Hariti is regarded as a protector of children and is thus often depicted with an infant by her side.
Hariti Schist Stone, c 2nd century A.D. Skarah Dheri, Gandhara Hariti was originally a demoness having five hundred sons. She was in the habit of killing and eating children of the city of Rajagriha. Gautama Buddha converted her to normal motherly behaviour and made her the caretaker of all the children of the world. Thus she became the mother goddess in Buddhism. Hariti, as also Panchika, represent the concept, upheld prominently in Buddhism, that sin should be despised, and not the sinner.
Stèle illustrant Hariti assise vêtue d'une robe plissée parée de joyaux et coiffée d'un serre tête tressé à médaillon floral. La déesse Bouddhique de l'harmonie de la famille est entourée de sept enfants. Pierre schiste gris. Pakistan. Afghanistan. Art Gréco Bouddhique du Gandhara. 3 ème à 5 ème siècle. 45cm.