Vasudhara, Goddess of Abundance
Nepal, 1082. Gilt copper inlaid with precious and semiprecious stones, traces of vermillion. Lent by Susanne K. Bennet, courtesy Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution LTS1996.5.3

Like her Hindu counterpart Lakshmi, Vasudhara is the Buddhist goddess of wealth, good fortune, and abundance. She is one of the most popular household deities of Nepal, implored for earthly riches as well as for fertility of field and womb. In this image, the six-armed goddess is seated at ease, holding four precious, life-sustaining symbols: a book of knowledge, a sheaf of grain, an auspicious water-filled vessel, and a cluster of jewels. She is richly attired and wears a towering ceremonial crown. A rare feature of the image is the fact that the exact date, 1082, is mentioned in the four-line inscription on the back of the lotus pedestal recording its donation, presumably to a monastic chapel.

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Vasudhara, Goddess of Abundance