Hand-Painted Black Dzambala Thangka

This hand-painted thangka was created by Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche’s personal thangka painter    with extremely deep and rich color and detail.

Dzambala is famous among Buddhist deities of wealth. Considering the vast number of his sādhanas collected in the Tibetan canon and the numerous ancient Dzambala icons spread throughout Asia as far as Indonesia, his worship clearly has a long and widespread history. On one level, he is regarded as the enlightened manifestation of a practitioner who once prayed for the ability to eliminate poverty in any person who supplicates him with devotion. On another level, Dzambala is taken to be the bodhisattva who, along with Tārā, emerged from the compassionate tears of Avalokiteśvara. This is recounted in a famous episode in the life of Atīśa Dīpaṃkara who received such a vision having become overwhelmed with compassion upon witnessing the death of a man in poverty. On yet another level, Dzambala is part of the yakṣa retinue of Vajrapāni residing in his Jaṭila paradise along with the other gods of wealth such as King Vaiśravaṇa.

Black Dzambala is closely associated, among others, with the eleventh-century Kashmiri master Śākyaśrībhadra. A manifestation of the karma buddha family, black Dzambala takes the form of a dwarf who holds a skull filled with jewels and a mongoose. The mongoose is the animal associated with Dzambala that is said to spit out jewels to those who show it kindness. He resembles in form the god Kubera and is covered in nāgas, thus signifying that the wealth of both the overworld and underworld are in his control. Those who perform water offerings in his name, worship him with bali, or recite his mantra with devotion are certain to be freed from all forms of poverty and gain impressive wealth.

65 cm x 47 cm

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