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The Deity Jambhala
Place of Origin: India, Sarnath area or Bodhgaya area, perhaps Uttar Pradesh or Bihar state
Date: approx. 1000-1100
Materials: Sandstone
Dimensions: H. 24 1/4 in x W. 13 1/2 in x D. 5 in, H. 61.6 cm x W. 34.3 cm x D. 12.7 cm
Credit Line: The Avery Brundage Collection
Department: South Asian Art
Collection: Sculpture
Object Number: B63S8+
On Display: Yes
Location: Gallery 3

Description

Label: Jambhala is chief among a group of deities known as yakshas, who are closely associated with nature and the riches of the earth. The overturned treasure vases at the base of this sculpture and the mongoose spitting forth jewels in Jambhala's left hand indicate his ability to grant wealth and prosperity. Jambhala and other yakshas were the focus of numerous local cults before Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism emerged as major religious forces more than two thousand years ago. To win the support of local communities, the proponents of these three faiths incorporated many such deities into their pantheons. This image shares stylistic features with eastern Indian images of the Pala period. Its relatively simple decoration and the use of buff sandstone, however, are more typical of late Buddhist art from north central India.

More Information

Inscriptions: "Buddhist creed" Damaged inscription in corrupt Sanskrit and Eastern Indian script (see translation by Gouriswar Bhattacharya 11/17/2000).
Label: Jambhala is chief among a group of deities known as yakshas, who are closely associated with nature and the riches of the earth. The overturned treasure vases at the base of this sculpture and the mongoose spitting forth jewels in Jambhala's left hand indicate his ability to grant wealth and prosperity. Jambhala and other yakshas were the focus of numerous local cults before Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism emerged as major religious forces more than two thousand years ago. To win the support of local communities, the proponents of these three faiths incorporated many such deities into their pantheons. This image shares stylistic features with eastern Indian images of the Pala period. Its relatively simple decoration and the use of buff sandstone, however, are more typical of late Buddhist art from north central India.
Inscriptions: "Buddhist creed" Damaged inscription in corrupt Sanskrit and Eastern Indian script (see translation by Gouriswar Bhattacharya 11/17/2000).