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.
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.
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