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Introduction to Buiddhism
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Namtoshe
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Namtoshe

Namtoshe

Mantra:
Classification:

    Namtoshe or Vaishravana, the Lord of Wealth, is the Buddhist counterpart of Kubera, the Brahmanical god of wealth and like him he presides over the domain of riches. As a Lokapala or Guardian King, Vaishravana looks after the Northern region and the Mount Sumeru, the centre of the universe. His abode is Alaka in the Himalayas, abounding in wealth and magnificence, where he is attended upon by yakshas and kinnaras. Vaishravana is also the king of yakshas.

    In Tibet, he has been one of the primary protectors of the Gelupa Sect since the fourteenth century. There is a special ceremony in Tibet for imploring Vaishravana for riches, which is called Yanyung, and he plays an important part in the Tantras, in sorcery and exorcism. He has two main aspects that of a warrior protector and that of deity of wealth. Here he has been shown as the deity of wealth. In southern Buddhism, particularly in the Indian sub-continent, he is known as Jambhala, because he also carries a Jambhara (lemon) in one of his hands. Though he holds different attributes and forms e.g., a sword, a banner, lemon and flat vessel etc., his most common attribute or insignia is a mongoose (nakula), often vomiting jewels and in all descriptions he is said to be fat and pot-bellied in appearance. His female counter part in Vasudhara, the goddess of wealth and prosperity.

    In the present form he is shown seated on a roaring red lion, placed on a lotus base. His is a golden yellow complexion. He has two hands, the right hand in holding a lemon and the left one a jewel–spitting mongoose, establishing him as the deity of wealth. A jewel offering has been shown in front of him. He is wearing a five-pronged crown, symbolic of the Five Transcendental Buddhas. His hair is upswept in a knot with a jewel on it. His open eyes, frowning eyebrows, upturned lips, moustache and a beard are all painted. He wears a long and flowing scarf. The scarf rounds behind the head in the shape of a prabhamandala (halo). The ornaments of the deity include necklaces, armlets and bracelets. He has a snake around his body. In spite of adornment he is bare to the waist, and his legs are covered by a dhoti (skirt).

References:

Alice Getty, The God of Northern Buddhism, Tokyo, 1962

A. Waddell, Buddhism and Lamaism of Tibet, Delhi, 1979 (reprint)

S. K. Saraswati, Tantrayana Art: An Album, Calcutta, 1977

This description by Dr. Shailendra Kumar Verma, Ph.D. His doctorate thesis being on the "Emergence and Evolution of the Buddha Image (from its inception to 8th century A.D).”

 

 

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