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Jambhala (जांभळा)

Hindi name for wealth gods in Mahayana Buddhism (fig.), especially in Tibetan Buddhism. It is believed that they dispense riches and that their number totals five to twelve, each with a different objective. They extinguish the obstacle of poverty and generate abundance, allowing devotees to attain material wealth. They bless others by eliminating poverty, so that they may practice the dharma. In art and iconography, they are sometimes depicted holding a treasure or wealth mongoose (fig.), that spews out precious jewels (fig.). Some sources however, describe Jambhala as being Vaisravana, or see him as the equivalent to Kubera or Kuvera (fig.) in Hinduism, whilst others mention him as a wealth-giving form of Avalokitesvara, the bodhisattva of compassion. He may at times also be compared to Phra Sangkatjaai. Sometimes transcribed Dzambhala. See also Luang Pho Sethi Nawakoht.