Yakshas

Yakshas are ancient Indian nature spirits associated with tree worship.

Undated, Kashmir, bronze.

Undated, Kashmir, bronze.

In Himalayan sculpture, they are often depicted like dwarves supporting a throne with their head and hands, and ususally flanked by two snow lions. They may sit in the vajra position, as above, or crouch, as below.

13th century, Tibet, brass, Yaksha.

13th century, Tibet, brass.

They tend to have shoulder-length hair.

Undated, Nepal, stone, Yaksha, at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (UK).

Undated, Nepal, stone, Yaksha, at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (UK).

When depicted on their own, they often have a beard and a fat belly.

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2 thoughts on “Yakshas

    • The term gana is used in relation to Hindu or Jain art. The yakshas are present in Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. When depicted as secondary characters in Himalayan Buddhist art they are naked and usually support a throne along with two lions.

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