This 4th century Gandahara sculpture shows the Gautama Buddha flanked by the Brahma and Indra descending down the triple stairway from the Trayastrimsa heaven, where he had gone for three months to preach the Abhidharma to his mother Maya and the 33 gods. The nun Utpalavarna kneels in waiting below.
Gandhara was a Greek and Kushan Buddhist kingdom (from 180BC to 450AD) in what is today Afghanistan and Pakistan. The capital was at Taxila, a great centre of Buddhist learning. ("Taxila" is the origin of the Burmese word "Tekkatho", now meaning "university").