In Tantrism, Jambhala practice (also known as wealth deity practice)
is an expedient and worldly cultivation-method. Tantric cultivation is divided into
Generation Stage and Completion Stage: Generation
Stage is the foundation; Completion Stage consists of practices
pertaining to the holy truth and the transcendental methods.
Jambhala practice is a fundamental cultivation-method. It is also an expedient method
that can enhance ones fortune and blessings.
Spiritual-cultivators must possess fortune, companion,
Dharma and land.
Fortune is the resources that
sustain ones spiritual cultivation.
Companion is fellow
practitioners that accompany one along the path of spiritual cultivation.
Dharma means true Buddhist
Land refers to the positive
psychic energy from the earth.
It is only with the possession of fortune, companion,
Dharma and land, that ones spiritual cultivation can be
successful. Although the cultivation of wisdom is important in our spiritual practice, we
should nevertheless not neglect the cultivation of fortune. Fortune and wisdom complement
Spiritual cultivation will become very difficult if we do not have enough resources.
Cultivating the wealth deity practices is equivalent to cultivating fortune as they can
enable us to acquire resources. The Buddha is also known as the Most Honored
Two-footed Being; one foot symbolizes fortune while the other wisdom. It is
therefore evident that Buddhism places equal emphasis on the cultivation of both fortune
Will cultivating the Jambhala practice increase our greed?
Some people claim that cultivating the Jambhala practice will increase our greed. This
is not true. Although the spiritual practitioner has the desire to gain great fortune, his
body, mind and speech are nonetheless gradually purified in the process of practicing the
Tantric method. From the Dharma Bliss that he has derived from the cultivation, the
Buddhist disciple now begins to enjoy spiritual practice. The Jambhala Practice is hence
an expedient method that induces sentient beings to practice Buddhism through their desire
to obtain fortune.
Cultivating the Jambhala Practice will allow sentient beings to know that they can
better their fate and steer clear from adversities through the empowerment of the Buddhas,
Bodhisattvas, heavenly beings and the Dharma guardians. Sentient beings should seek to
enhance their fortune and wisdom by practicing Dharma diligently. After the practitioner
has gained the Dharma fortune, he should then give to the needy. This perpetuates the
karmic cycle of positive cause and positive effect, thus allowing one to accumulate
Therefore, the objective of Jambhala practice is not to increase the greed of sentient
beings. When cultivating until the stage whereby every action is purified and transformed
into emptiness, we shall then perceive the truth of Empty-nature. All behaviors are empty
in nature. When one is pure, all phenomena are pure; when one is empty, all phenomena are
empty. After spiritual enlightenment, all our doings will become those of a Buddha. Before
spiritual enlightenment however, everything seems to be an obstacle.
In view of the above, we can easily understand that the Jambhala practice is both a
worldly and transcendental cultivation-method. Worldly and transcendental methods are
"In order to salvage the innumerable minds, the Buddha has preached innumerable
teachings. Where is the need for such innumerable teachings, if there doesnt exist
any innumerable minds?" The Buddhas attracts sentient beings through desires, and
then draw them towards true wisdom. On the other hand, do not feel discouraged if your
prayer is not answered in the practice, for this is another form of karmic consequence.
Red Jambhala is a Hindu god. After the rise of Tantric Buddhism, he became a Tantric
wealth deity and is known as the "Lord of Provisions in Tibetan Tantrism". He
has great spiritual prowess and can grant fortune and treasures.
Ganesha is the other name of Red Jambhala, who is originally a Hindu guardian god
and dwells in the Elephant Trunk Heaven. According to legend, Red Jambhala was in charge
of the heavenly treasury that belonged to Lord Mahesvaras son. Due to his extreme
compassion, Red Jambhala had unfailingly answered the prayers of many worshippers. Enraged
by Red Jambhalas indiscriminate charity to both the good and evil, Dharma guardian
Mahakala decapitated him. It was only after the wealth deity repents that Mahakala plants
an elephants head on his neck, and receives him as a retainer.
Image and symbolism
Red Jambhala has many images: four-armed, six-armed and twelve-armed etc. He can be
found in either the sitting or standing posture. In Tantrism, there is also distinction
between the red, white and yellow elephant heads. The four-armed Red Jambhala has a red
human-like body, four arms, a big elephant head, smiling face, golden hair, a pair of
widely opened green eyes and is surrounded by radiance. His long trunk is extended and
curled inwards. He holds a radish in his first right hand, a demon-subduing axe in the
second, some radish leaves in the first left hand and a string of chanting beads in the
second. He is adorned with many treasures and precious necklaces, covered by a piece of
tiger skin and stands on an eight-petal lotus.
The special characteristic of Red Jambhala lies in his trunk. His trunk can be extended
to very far distance and hook back whatever object one has prayed for. Various precious
treasures are poured from his nostrils. The Red Jambhala also likes to count the radish
leaves; from the radish leaves, he can calculate in detail the wealth and possessions of a
person in this lifetime.
Cultivating the Red Jambhala Practice can enable one to acquire wealth, food,
followers, a spouse, power and better human relations. There is also the Red Jambhala
magnetizing method that can bless the practitioner with marital bliss and a harmonious
family. Wishes are fulfilled and all endeavors become auspicious.
Yellow Jambhala is an emanation of Lord Vaisravana, who is in turn one of the
"Four Great World-protecting Heavenly Kings". He is the guardian of light in
Buddhism, a great charitable deity who grants fortune and protection. Lord Vaisravana
lives in the northern region under the Four Heavens, at the northern crystal palace on the
fourth level of Mount Sumeru. His servants are either yaksas or bhaisajya-yaksas.
According to the Commentary on Lotus Sutra, this heavenly king is extremely knowledgeable
as his perpetual protection of the Buddhas has enabled him to receive many teachings.
Yellow Jambhala can be found beside the northern gate of the External Vajra-section
Hall in the Garbhadhatu Mandala. He is also situated in the west of the Vajradhatu
Mandala, as the lord of yaksas. In both mandalas, the Yellow Jambhala is armored,
sits on an elephant, holds a pagoda on his left palm and a precious cudgel on the right.
Lord Vaisravana guards eternally the northern heaven and is the wealthiest heavenly
king. He protects Buddhism and likes to help the poor. In addition, Yellow Jambhala comes
from a great mystical origin and is a heavenly king transformed out of great karmic
conditions. Subsequently, the Firm Earth Deity, flanked by the two bhaisajya-yaksas,
Lanpo and Pilanpo, supports Yellow Jambhalas feet.
Image and symbolism
An ordinary image of Lord Vaisravana is one that holds a precious pagoda in the left,
which pours out various treasures. In his Tibetan Tantric images, since Yellow Jambhala is
an emanation of Lord Vaisravana, the precious pagoda is replaced by the treasure-emitting
mongoose. This is only a change in his image. Yellow Jambhala is actually Lord Vaisravana.
In Eastern Tantrism, Lord Vaisravana holds a precious pagoda that pours out innumerable
treasures to benefit sentient beings.
In Tibetan Tantrism, Lord Vaisravana is seen carrying a treasure-emitting mongoose that
emits innumerable treasures to benefit sentient beings.
Yellow Jambhala is one of the Eight Principal Deities of our True Buddha School. His
Holiness Living Buddha Lian-sheng feels that although there are many rich True Buddha
disciples, there are also many that are poor. This latter group of disciples wishes to
learn a practice that can extricate them from poverty. This is why Yellow Jambhala is
being upheld as one of True Buddha Schools Eight Principal Deities. It is hoped that
with the great blessings of Yellow Jambhala, True Buddha Schools teachings will be
propagated worldwide to salvage all sentient beings. This shall also fulfill our mission
to popularize Buddhism.
White Jambhala, an emanation of Avalokiteshvara (or Guanyin Bodhisattva), is also known
as the "White Treasure Lord". According to legend, when Master Atisha was
travelling in the Holy Land of Guanyin Bodhisattva at Mount Putuo of the Southern Sea, he
saw a sickly and pitiable poor man. Since Master Atisha was a monk, he had no money to
give and thus could not help the poor soul. Out of great sorrow, he could not but to cry
for the man.
During this time, Guanyin Bodhisattva appeared before him in human form, and asked the
reason for his crying. After having heard what Master Atisha had said, Guanyin Bodhisattva
empathized with his feelings and shed two drops of tears. The tear from the left eye
turned into Deliverance Buddha Mother, while the tear from the right transformed into
White Jambhala. Guanyin Bodhisattva then told the White Jambhala to personally empower and
teach Master Atisha the rite of his practice, so that the wishes of sentient beings can be
fulfilled. The White Jambhala Practice is passed on till this day.
Image and symbolism
White Jambhala has one face, three rounded eyes and two hands, holding in the right a
precious cudgel and in the left a treasure-emitting mongoose. A trident tipped katvanga
staff rests against his left shoulder. He is wrathful in appearance with the hair, red and
yellow color, flowing upwards like flames; adorned with jewel ornaments, a precious
headdress and silks of various colors. He rides on the back of a jade-colored dragon
sporting amongst the clouds.
Cultivating the White Jambhala Practice enables the eradication of poverty and
illnesses. It can eliminate sins and karmic hindrances, enhance ones positive karmic
affinities and wealth. This is an excellent cultivation for the financially impoverished
Buddhists. The Buddhist disciple should cultivate with the great compassion of Guanyin
Bodhisattva, practice formless charity and care for the suffering sentient beings. This
naturally leads to spiritual accomplishment and the fulfillment of all wishes.
When cultivating the "Dragon-ridding White Jambhala Practice", we can also
pray that he will lead us to hidden treasures. In the olden days, Tibetan Tantric masters
placed their precious teachings in caves. These teachings were sealed in the four elements
of "earth, water, fire and wind". One needs to employ very special methods to
retrieve these Dharma treasures. One must also know the location of the caves where these
ancestry masters had practiced in seclusion. We may pray to the "Dragon-ridding White
Jambhala", so that he will bring us to these caves where the treasures were hidden.