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The art ofSāñcīas a whole is Buddhist in theme; the storytelling relieves successfully fulfil an edifying purpose. It is equally clear that their content is not entirely religious. The intrinsic quality of early art is realistic and sensuous. In the early centuries of its development, the Indian Buddhist visual narrative tradition is rich and extensive. To what extent these narrative sculptures were able to communicate their intentions are a matter of pure guess. The very nature of visual narratives opened possibilities of a misreading of text as incidents from the texts were selected and presented in such a manner so to make it difficult for the viewer to identify the story. The visual texts gave direction to but could not always control the communicative situation. One had to decode these visual narratives.

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