The Indian Buddhist Iconography

by Benoytosh Bhattachacharyya | 1958 | 51,392 words | ISBN-10: 8173053138 | ISBN-13: 9788173053139

This page contains an iconography image of Emanations of Ratnasambhava: Jambhala and represents figure 176-179 of the book Indian Buddhist Iconography, based on extracts of the Sadhanamala English translation. These plates and illustrations represent either photographs of sculptures or line-drawing reproductions of paintings or other representations of Buddhist artwork.

Figure 176-179 - Emanations of Ratnasambhava: Jambhala

Jambhala 1
Fig. 176: Jambhala
Jambhala 2
Fig. 177: Jambhala
(Vikrampur, Dacca)
Jambhala 3
Fig. 178: Jambhala
(Vikrampur, Dacca)
Jambhala 4
Fig. 179: Jambhala

 Several of Jambhala’s forms are noticed in the Sādhanamālā, which states that the god may emanate either from Akṣobhya, or from Ratnasambhava. [The form that emanates from Akṣobhya has already been described.] The characteristic feature of Jambhala emanating from Ratnasambhava is that he carries the mongoose in his right hand and the citron in the left. The mongoose is supposed to be the receptacle of all gems and jewels, and when Jambhala presses the two sides of the mongoose it vomits the treasures within. It is this mongoose which makes it easy to identify Jambhala images. As an emanation of Ratnasambhava he may either be represented alone, or in the embrace of his Śakti in yab-yum. In the Sādhanamālā only three Dhyānas describe him as single.

When represented in yab-yum, he sits on the moon under which there is a double lotus of eight petals. He wears all sorts of ornaments, his complexion is golden yellow and he [has a] protruding belly, He carries the citron and the mongoose in the right and left hands respectively, wears a garland of yellow lotus, a and remains in yab-yum with Vasudhārā. The eight petals of the lotus seat are occupied by the eight Yakṣas, to wit, Māṇibhadra, Pūrṇabhadra, Dhanada, Vaiśrayaṇa, Kelimālī, Civikuṇḍalī, Sukhendra and, Carendra who are identical in all respects with the principal figure. Each Yakṣa is accompanied by a Śakti with whom he remains in yab-yum in the same way as Jambhala remains with Vasudhārā, and the names of these eight Yakṣiṇīs are: Citrakālī, Dattā, Sudattā, Āryā, Subhadrā, Guptā, Devī and Sarasvatī. The Yakṣiṇīs are identical in form with Vasudhārā, who is yellow in complexion, carries the ears of corn and shows the Varada-mudrā in her two hands.

When single, Jambhala is of golden complexion and carries the mongoose in the left hand and the citron in the right. The illustration (Fig. 176) shows a stone image from Nepal w huh was in the possession of the late Pandit Siddhiharsa. Here the god is represented as sitting in the Lalita attitude. Two other specimen (Figs. 177 and 178) from Vikrampur, in Eastern Bengal, depict the god in the same attitude, and they are some of the finest products of the Bengal art of medieval times.

There is another form of Jambhala which is two-armed, carries the citron and the mongoose in his two hands and tramples upon two semi-divine beings Śaṅkhamuṇḍa and Padmamuṇḍa by name, apparently in the Ālīḍha attitude.

(a) Jambhala (Yab-Yum):

Colour: white;
Faces: three;
Arms: six.

Jambhala in yab-yum has another form with three faces, six arms and white colour. According to the Sādhana his two faces to the light and left are red and blue respectively, Jambhala sits in the Vajraparyaṅka attitude, and embraces his Prajñā Vasudhārā of his own creation with the two principal hands. In the two remaining right hands he carries the red Vajra and the sword, and in the two remaining left hands he holds the emerald and the lotus. In all other respects he is identical with the forms described previously.

Images of Jambhala arc found in Tibet and China. Fig, 179 illustrates a Nepalese drawing of the deity in yab-yum.

(b). Ucchuṣma Jambhala:

Āsana: pratyālīḍha;
Appearance: terrible;
Vāhana: Kuvera.

This Ucchuṣma Jambhala is identical in form with the one already discussed under the emanation of Akṣobhya. Here also Ucchuṣma stands in the Pratyālīḍha attitude with his left leg stretched forward on the forehead of Kuvera while the right tramples upon his two legs. He is terrible to behold, with protruding belly, bare fangs and the snakes for ornaments. He holds the Kapāla full of blood against his chest in the right hand and looks eagerly at it with three eyes The left hand as usual holds the mongoose.

Ucchuṣma Jambhala is rarely represented and his images are not known except the one at Sarnath already described under the emanations of Akṣobhya. This unique image shows all the characteristic features of the god as obtained from the Sādhanas. The figure shows his consort Vasudhārā in the left, but the effigy of neither Akṣobhya nor Ratnasambhava can be seen on his head. It is Amitābha who is there. Nevertheless, this is the only figure known to students of iconography, as representing Ucchuṣma Jambhala.

Jambhala in his fierce form of Ucchuṣma or Ḍimbha is not known either in Tibet or in China.

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