The god of wealth and king of the yakshas has a peaceful and several wrathful forms.
Yellow Jambhala has a peaceful appearance and always holds a jewel-spitting mongoose in his left hand and a lemon in the other.
Black Jambhala has a wrathful appearance and holds a skull cup in his right hand and a mongoose disgorging a jewel in the other. The above has a Mongolian hairstyle, with the flaming hair slanting to his left side.
Himalayan sculptures of White Jambhala are often late Chinese-style works on which the mongoose is not depicted. He has a wrathful appearance and may ride a dragon, a lion or a mongoose. He holds a sword or a stick in his right hand and may have a ritual staff and/or a banner propped against his left arm. The above (published in a previous post) is seated on a lion and holds a lemon and a mongoose.
When depicted with his consort, Red Jambhala has one head and four hands, he holds a wheel in each right hand and a mongoose in each left hand.
VAISHRAVANA AND RETINUE
Undated, (Tibet?), gilt metal, Vaishravana, private collection, published on Himalayan Art resources.
Lokapala Vaishravana, guardian of the north on a mandala, (nearly) always wears a Mongolian armour and holds a closed parasol or victory banner in his right hand and a mongoose in the other. He usually sits on a snow lion.
On this rare example he doesn’t wear an armour and looks more like yellow Jambhala but the object in his right hand isn’t a lemon (it looks like the handle of a parasol or banner) and he sits on a snow lion (although we did see one rare case of Yellow Jambhala seated on a lion, he had a lemon in his left hand). His mongoose is vomiting extraordinarily large jewels.
Vaishravana has a retinue of eight horsemen (often labelled ‘Vaishravana’) who hold a mongoose in one hand and an attribute in the other (the Himalayan Art Resources website give a list and description of each). The above has a triratna in his right hand.
Hardly present in Himalayan Buddhist sculptures, in the Hindu religion Kubera/Kuber/Kuvera is the king of the yakshas and the Lord of Wealth (Jambhala in the Himalayas), and a lokapala (Vaishravana in Buddhist art). Like the yakshas, he is naked and has a dwarfish appearance. He may hold various attributes in his right hand, a sheaf of wheat and sometimes a mongoose in the left one.
Despite their name, the twelve Yaksha general who are part of the medicine buddha retinue don’t wear an armour. They have a regal appearance, coiffed with a foliate crown with bows and ribbons, adorned with jewellery and a shawl or scarf, wearing a long lower garment loosely wrapping their legs and showing their bare feet. All of them hold in their left hand a mongoose disgorging jewels.
Five of them hold a stick. This may be the one with the dark blue skin.
The only one who holds a lasso has yellow skin.
The one who holds a vajra sceptre is among four who have a yellow body.
This arhat is identified by the jewel-spitting mongoose he holds in both hands.
In the Tibetan section of this blog we saw this rare Nepalese-style sculpture of a dakini holding a mongoose by the neck with her left hand.
The form of Shri Devi known as Dorje Rabtenma in Tibet also holds a mongoose disgorging jewels.