Notes on the Geography of Peninsular India: The Bhaje, Bedse, and Karla Caves: Photo 19
So much for Surya. Johnston writes: "The chariot has two wheels and is drawn by four horses abreast; these facts alone are sufficient in my view to negative the identification with Surya. In the chariot are standing three deities of more or less equal size, which fact alone prevents us from equating them with Surya, Pingala and Dandin..." Instead, "I had always taken this scene to represent the war between Sakka and the Asuras as told in Samyuttanikaya I,224-5." But of course. A similar story appears in the Kulavaka-Jataka, in which the Buddha flees in his chariot as asuras rise against him. To spare the birds terrified by his chariot, the Buddha turns his chariot around to sacrifice himself. The asuras, misinterpreting this as the arrival of reinforcements, flee.
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