These hands belong probably to a disciple of the Buddha who occupy an important position in the traditional configuration of Buddhist figures. They are placed next to the Buddha as they are his personal disciples. Originally they formed a group of "Ten Great Disciples" although in due time the group was enlarged to over twenty-five. The two foremost among them are Kashyapa and Ananda.
In Longmen there are several caves, such as the Central Binyang Cave, Beiwei, illustrated in J.V. Alphen (ed.), The Buddha in the Dragon Gate, Buddhist Sculpture of the 5th-9th centuries from Longmen, China, Snoeck-Ducaju & Zoon, Ghent 2001, p.91, showing the Buddha flanked by the young, handsome Ananda on the other. He is holding the cintamani modelled as a cylindrical stone like the one presented here. This jewel symbolises the Buddhist doctrine and embodies the mind's purety. For another example of Longmen hands from the Northern Chi dynasty, (Xiangshan temple), refer to Mayuyama Seventy Years, volume 2, Tokyo, 1976, p.66, no.135.