Jambhala

Jambhala

ALSO KNOWN AS:

Dzambala

ORIGIN:

Tibet

It’s very hard to focus on spirituality if you’re hungry or worrying about having enough money to pay the rent. Although some ascetics abandon all worldly possessions, they are the exception, not the rule. The average person may find that worldly concerns (food, shelter, medicine, bills, survival) get in the way of pursuing a spiritual path. That’s where Jambhala comes to the rescue.

Jambhala, sometimes called the Wealth Giving Buddha, provides for one’s physical needs so that you can focus on your soul. Theoretically, at least, Jambhala does not provide wealth for wealth’s sake, but so that you can live a better, more elevated, highly spiritual existence. (Orthodox versions of his legend suggest that Jambhala only helps those pursuing a Buddhist path; however, Jambhala is an extremely popular spirit and many non-Buddhists or casual Buddhists testify to his generosity and assistance.)

The name Jambhala derives from jambhara, the Tibetan name for the citron fruit (Citrus medica), symbol of wealth and fertility. Jambhala’s origins are subject to debate:

• Jambhala is a pre-Buddhist Tibetan spirit incorporated into the Buddhist pantheon.

• Jambhala is Kubera, India’s Lord of Wealth, incorporated into the Buddhist pantheon.

• Jambhala is an emanation of a Bodhisattva, for instance, a wealth-giving path of Avalokiteshvara.

• Jambhala is an emanation of the Buddha who realized that hunger and poverty prevented so many from pursuing the Dharma and sought to remedy the situation.

One legend explains that Buddha Shakyamuni was trying to meditate when he was interrupted by a Demon. Jambhala spontaneously appeared to divert the Demon. Buddha was so impressed by his bravery and initiative that he asked whether Jam bhala would like to serve as a Dharma Pro tector, and so Jambhala joined the Buddhist pantheon.

Jambhala bestows fertility in addition to wealth and material comforts.

ATTRIBUTE:

All aspects of Jambhala are identified with the citron fruit.

Sacred animal:

The gem-spitting mongoose is associated with all manifestations of Jambhala. Precious gems emanate endlessly from the mongoose’s mouth (variously described as vomiting or spitting) in the same manner that Jambhala causes wealth to flow toward you. The mongoose also indicates Jambhala’s victory over the Nagas, who are wealth-bestowing spirits, too.

OFFERINGS:

Offer water daily; also good deeds and donations on behalf of the less fortunate and those no longer living

Mantra: The short version is:

OM JAHM BA LA JA LEN DRA YA SO HA!

Jambhala became extremely popular and eventually evolved into five distinct manifestations (who may actually be paths of other spirits). All forms of Jambhala bestow wealth but they do so in different fashion. Each also provides other gifts and blessings. Yellow Jambhala is particularly beloved.

• Black Jambhala, Chief of the five Jam bhalas, is believed to be a path of Kubera, Lord of Wealth. Black Jambhala is recommended for ascetics and those who are really, truly poverty-stricken. He fulfills all wishes, providing they are benevolent and not harmful. (In other words, Black Jambhala will help you find anew home but will not help eliminate your present, evil landlord.) Black Jambhala eliminates illness, resentment, rage, and criminal inclinations. He is a wrathful form of Jambhala depicted standing, surrounded by a ring of fire. His additional attribute is a cup formed from a skull.

• Green Jambhala bring success and victory in all matters. He helps overcome jealousy, envy, and has the power to stop bad omens from coming true. Green Jambhala is depicted in sexual union with his consort, Vasudhara (Yellow Tara). He has vowed to protect anyone who chants his name or mantra.

• Red Jambhala sometimes appears with an elephant’s head. In addition to the wealth-spitting mongoose, his sacred creature is a mouse. Red Jambhala may be Ganesha incorporated into the Bud dhist pantheon. Red Jambhala is recommended for those already in possession of wealth and status. He helps keep business and finances healthy and assists in making advantageous contacts, contracts, and arrangements; he also helps overcome greed and attachment to the tangible and intangible benefits of wealth.

• White Jambhala is considered an emanation of Avalokiteshvara, born from the Bodhisattva’s right eye. White Jambhala may also be identified with White Tara. White Jambhala rides a turquoise dragon. His additional attribute is a bar of gold. White Jambhala is a wrathful form of Jambhala, manifested by his flame-like hair. White Jambhala helps accumulate wealth and merit and stimulates generous and charitable impulses. He also helps transcend material and emotional attachments. White Jambhala may be invoked to eliminate illness, impurity, and poverty. He can avert disaster and illness before they occur.

• Yellow Jambhala, the most beloved Jambhala, known as the “Wealth Buddha,” blesses people with prosperity and abundance so that they are free from material concerns and may focus on spirituality instead. If you chant his name or mantra, he allegedly provides protection as well as financial support.

SEE ALSO:

Avalokitesvara; Bodhisattava; Bon Spirits; Buddha; Eight Dharma Protectors; Ganesha; Hariti; Kubera; Naga; Tara, White; Tara, Yellow and the Glossary entries for Mantra and Path.

ALSO KNOWN AS:

Dzambala

ORIGIN:

Tibet

It’s very hard to focus on spirituality if you’re hungry or worrying about having enough money to pay the rent. Although some ascetics abandon all worldly possessions, they are the exception, not the rule. The average person may find that worldly concerns (food, shelter, medicine, bills, survival) get in the way of pursuing a spiritual path. That’s where Jambhala comes to the rescue.

Jambhala, sometimes called the Wealth Giving Buddha, provides for one’s physical needs so that you can focus on your soul. Theoretically, at least, Jambhala does not provide wealth for wealth’s sake, but so that you can live a better, more elevated, highly spiritual existence. (Orthodox versions of his legend suggest that Jambhala only helps those pursuing a Buddhist path; however, Jambhala is an extremely popular spirit and many non-Buddhists or casual Buddhists testify to his generosity and assistance.)

The name Jambhala derives from jambhara, the Tibetan name for the citron fruit (Citrus medica), symbol of wealth and fertility. Jambhala’s origins are subject to debate:

• Jambhala is a pre-Buddhist Tibetan spirit incorporated into the Buddhist pantheon.

• Jambhala is Kubera, India’s Lord of Wealth, incorporated into the Buddhist pantheon.

• Jambhala is an emanation of a Bodhisattva, for instance, a wealth-giving path of Avalokiteshvara.

• Jambhala is an emanation of the Buddha who realized that hunger and poverty prevented so many from pursuing the Dharma and sought to remedy the situation.

One legend explains that Buddha Shakyamuni was trying to meditate when he was interrupted by a Demon. Jambhala spontaneously appeared to divert the Demon. Buddha was so impressed by his bravery and initiative that he asked whether Jam bhala would like to serve as a Dharma Pro tector, and so Jambhala joined the Buddhist pantheon.

Jambhala bestows fertility in addition to wealth and material comforts.

ATTRIBUTE:

All aspects of Jambhala are identified with the citron fruit.

Sacred animal:

The gem-spitting mongoose is associated with all manifestations of Jambhala. Precious gems emanate endlessly from the mongoose’s mouth (variously described as vomiting or spitting) in the same manner that Jambhala causes wealth to flow toward you. The mongoose also indicates Jambhala’s victory over the Nagas, who are wealth-bestowing spirits, too.

OFFERINGS:

Offer water daily; also good deeds and donations on behalf of the less fortunate and those no longer living

Mantra: The short version is:

OM JAHM BA LA JA LEN DRA YA SO HA!

Jambhala became extremely popular and eventually evolved into five distinct manifestations (who may actually be paths of other spirits). All forms of Jambhala bestow wealth but they do so in different fashion. Each also provides other gifts and blessings. Yellow Jambhala is particularly beloved.

• Black Jambhala, Chief of the five Jam bhalas, is believed to be a path of Kubera, Lord of Wealth. Black Jambhala is recommended for ascetics and those who are really, truly poverty-stricken. He fulfills all wishes, providing they are benevolent and not harmful. (In other words, Black Jambhala will help you find anew home but will not help eliminate your present, evil landlord.) Black Jambhala eliminates illness, resentment, rage, and criminal inclinations. He is a wrathful form of Jambhala depicted standing, surrounded by a ring of fire. His additional attribute is a cup formed from a skull.

• Green Jambhala bring success and victory in all matters. He helps overcome jealousy, envy, and has the power to stop bad omens from coming true. Green Jambhala is depicted in sexual union with his consort, Vasudhara (Yellow Tara). He has vowed to protect anyone who chants his name or mantra.

• Red Jambhala sometimes appears with an elephant’s head. In addition to the wealth-spitting mongoose, his sacred creature is a mouse. Red Jambhala may be Ganesha incorporated into the Bud dhist pantheon. Red Jambhala is recommended for those already in possession of wealth and status. He helps keep business and finances healthy and assists in making advantageous contacts, contracts, and arrangements; he also helps overcome greed and attachment to the tangible and intangible benefits of wealth.

• White Jambhala is considered an emanation of Avalokiteshvara, born from the Bodhisattva’s right eye. White Jambhala may also be identified with White Tara. White Jambhala rides a turquoise dragon. His additional attribute is a bar of gold. White Jambhala is a wrathful form of Jambhala, manifested by his flame-like hair. White Jambhala helps accumulate wealth and merit and stimulates generous and charitable impulses. He also helps transcend material and emotional attachments. White Jambhala may be invoked to eliminate illness, impurity, and poverty. He can avert disaster and illness before they occur.

• Yellow Jambhala, the most beloved Jambhala, known as the “Wealth Buddha,” blesses people with prosperity and abundance so that they are free from material concerns and may focus on spirituality instead. If you chant his name or mantra, he allegedly provides protection as well as financial support.

SEE ALSO:

Avalokitesvara; Bodhisattava; Bon Spirits; Buddha; Eight Dharma Protectors; Ganesha; Hariti; Kubera; Naga; Tara, White; Tara, Yellow and the Glossary entries for Mantra and Path.

SOURCE:

Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.

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