Religious Art

Zambhala Applique Thangka

$1,270 USD

Thangka with brocade border 36 x 28 inches (91 x 71cm)
Thangka without brocade border 18 x 14 inches (46 x 36cm)
Please inquire if you wish to order without the brocade border. 

Zambhala is a manifestation of Avalokiteshvara who grants the wealth that is required for the Dharma to prosper.


The story of how Zambhala made his first connection with the Tibetan people goes as follows: Once, a lama came across an old man lying by the side of the road, apparently breathing his last breath. Filled with concern, the Lama asked the old man how he came to be in such a state. The old man replied that he was dying of hunger. Thinking there was no time to look for food, the lama thought to offer some of his own flesh, but the old man cried out, “I won’t eat human flesh, especially not the flesh of a renunciant. And anyway, this fate has befallen me because of my own past actions. Please, kind monk, just leave me be.” Saying this, he died.

As the lama walked away, he realized how many other beings suffer a fate similar to this man and he was filled with the most profound sadness, feeling helpless to meet their needs. Suddenly, Avalokiteshvara appeared before him. He too was weeping and from his tears wondrous beings came forth to help. Zambhala, the Lord of Wealth, was among them.

Zambhala is depicted here in royal garb that represents his command over wealth. The conch shell under his right foot indicates that while he is the Lord of Wealth, wealth does not rule him. In his left hand he carries a mongoose that spews jewels, indicating that if Zambhala is pleased, the supplicants’ coffers will overflow with abundance.

Each thangka is created using traditional methods and strictly adhering to the proportions of deities as they are laid down in Buddhist scripture. Our appliqu̩éd thangkas are created using hundreds of hand-cut and embroidered pieces of satin and brocade silk, stitched together with Mongolian horsetail. Each piece is witness to a unique tradition that survives intact to this day.
The thangka comes framed in a traditional silk brocade border.

Learn more about thangka appliqué at Norbulingka here.

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