Prambanan: Kubera holding a pomegranate

Sculptural relief depicting Kubera holding a pomegranate with his right hand in the Shiva Temple in Prambanan located in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Kubera holding a pomegranate with his right hand

Lokapala Kubera with the Vara Mudra Gesture
This intricately carved sculptural relief depicts Kubera, the Hindu god of wealth, as a Lokapala (which means guardian of the world in Sanskrit). It is carved into the inner wall of the balustrade surrounding the inner sanctum of the Shiva Temple in Prambanan, a Hindu temple complex located 11 miles northeast of Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Read more about the bas-reliefs in the Prambanan temples in the Prambanan Bas-Reliefs page.

Seated on an ornate throne with the padmasana pose, Lokapala is portrayed with a slightly plump body and a big belly. He is wearing a variety of jewelry, including earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and armlets. A looped thread, known as yajnopavita, hangs from his shoulder to the waist. Adorning his head is an intricately carved mukuta (crown) with a halo behind it.

He is holding a lotus flower with his left hand. Notice the small object he is holding with his right palm. It is a pomegranate, which is considered a divine fruit in Hinduism and is often associated with Kubera, the Hindu god of wealth.

As mentioned before, Lokapala in Sanskrit means a guardian of the world. Note: Loka means the world and pala means a guardian. In Hinduism, there is a notion of guardians of the cardinal directions, and a Lokapala can be the guardian of a direction. Kubera is a Lokapala and the guardian of the north direction.

The iconography of Kubera typically shows him with a big belly and a pomegranate in his hand, which were used to establish the identity of this sculpture.

Related Images
Lokapala with the Bhumisparsha Mudra Hand Gesture
Meditating Lokapala
Lokapala with the Vara Mudra Hand Gesture

Related Pages
Prambanan, Prambanan Bas-Reliefs, Borobudur, Bali, Indonesia
Angkor Wat, Angkor Wat Bas-Reliefs, Banteay Srei, Cambodia

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