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Jambhala, God of Riches

Period:
late Anuradhapura period (993–1235)
Date:
9th–10th century
Culture:
Sri Lanka (Anuradhapura)
Medium:
Copper alloy
Dimensions:
H. 3 11/16 in. (9.3 cm); W. 2 3/4 in. (7 cm); D. 2 3/8 in. (6 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Gift of Barry Fernando, M.D. and Coleene Fernando, M.D., 2010
Accession Number:
2010.475.4
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 242
In Mahayana Buddhism, Jambhalai s the god of riches and the guardian of the northern direction. He is the Buddhist equivalent of Kubera, the ancient nature spirit (yaksha) absorbed in early Hinduism as the protector of jewels and other treasures. Jambhala serves as the chief of the yaksha; his secondary role as a directional guardian (dikpaka) was probably assumed later.
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