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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Manibhadra (मणिभद्र) was a Nagavanshi king, an attendant of Shiva. Punyajani (पुण्यजनी) was his wife. He is also mentioned as one of the major yakshas. He was a popular deity in ancient India.



Tej Ram Sharma [1] mentions in Gunaighar Copper-plate Inscription of Vainyagupta Gupta Year 188 (=A. D. 507) on page 248, S.N. 6. Manibhadra-ksetra (मणिभद्र-क्षेत्र) (No.52, LL.26-27) : This field belongs to Manibhadra literally meaning 'the excellent jewel'. Manibhadra has been the name of a brother of Kubera and king of the Yakshas (the tutelary deity of travellers and merchants).[2]


Several well known images of yaksha Manibhadra have been found.[3] The two oldest known image are: 1. Yaksha Manibhadra from Parkham, and 2. Yaksha Manibhadra from Padmavati Pawaya.

Yaksha Manibhadra from Parkham

Yaksha Manibhadra coming from Parkham near Mathura, datable to period 200 BCE – 50 BC[4] The statue is 2.59 meters high. On stylistic grounds and paleographical analysis of the inscription, the statue is datable to the middle of the 2nd century BCE.[5] The inscription says "Made by Gomitaka, a pupil of Kunika. Set up by eight brothers, members of the Manibhadra congregation ("puga")." This inscription thus indicates that the statue represents the Yaksa Manibhadra.[6] According to John Boardman, the hem of the dress is derived from Greek art. Describing a similar statue, John Boardman writes: "It has no local antecedents and looks most like a Greek Late Archaic mannerism". Similar folds can be seen in the Bharhut Yavana.[7]

Yaksha Manibhadra from Padmavati Pawaya

The inscription under the image mentions a group of Manibhadra worshippers.

Both of them are monumental larger than life sculptures, often dated to Maurya or Shunga period. The Parkham Yaksha was used an inspiration by Ram Kinker Baij to carve the Yaksha image that now stands in front of the Reserve Bank of India in Delhi.[8]

Manibhadra was often shown with a bag of money in his hand.

Shiva's Gana

Another figure with the same name is mentioned to be an avatar of Shiva which he called when he was angry and summoned for warfare. Manibhadra decimated the army of Jalandhara along with Virabhadra, another avatar of Shiva.[9] It is possible that the avatar of Shiva and the chief of the yakshas may be the same Manibhadra but there is no confirmation.


In Samyukta Nikaya, Manibhadra is said to reside in the Manimala chaitya in Magadha. Yaksha Manibhadra is invoked in The Exalted Manibhadra’s Dhārani.[10]


In Sūryaprajñapti, a Manibhadra chairya in Mithila is mentioned. Yakshas are referred to in the Harivamsa Purana (783 A.D.) of Jinasena made the beginning of this concept.[11] Among them, Manibhadra and Purnabadra yakshas and Bahuputrika yakshini have been the most popular. Manibhadra and Purnabadra yakshas are mentioned a chief of yakshas, Manibhadra of Northern ones and Purnabadra of Southern ones.

Manibhadra still a yaksha worshipped by the Jains, specially those affiliated with the Tapa Gachchha. Three temples are famous for association with Mandibhadra: Ujjain, Aglod (Mehsana) and Magarwada (Banaskantha). Manibhadra Yaksha (or Vira) is a popular demigod among the Jains in Gujarat.[12] His image can take many forms, including unshaped rocks, however in the most common representation, he is shown with a multi-tusked elephant Airavata.[13] [14]

Indian epics

Manibhadra was a son of Kubera and his wife, Bhadra. He had a brother named Nalakuvara. In Ramayana, Manibhadra fought with Ravana to defend Lanka but failed.[15]

In the Mahabharata Manibhadra is mentioned along with Kubera as a chief of the Yakshas. Arjuna had worshipped him.[16]


शिव पुराण के अनुसार इसका एक प्रसिद्ध नाम दारुका वन (Mbt:V.82.22) था , जहाँ नागों का निवास था। आर्यों ने उन्हें वर्णाश्रम-धर्म का अनुयायी बनाया और नागेश्वर ज्योतिर्लिंग की स्थापना की। ब्रह्माण्डपुराण (3.7.100) के अनुसार कश्यप का पुत्र यक्ष (गुह्यक) था, जिसे पञ्चचूड़ा क्रतुस्थला नाम की अप्सरा से रजतनाथ नामक पुत्र उत्पन्न हुआ और उनके मणिवर तथा मणिभद्र नाम के दो पुत्र हुए। इनमें मणिभद्र का विवाह पुण्यजनी नाम की कन्या से हुआ। इस पुण्यजनी की संतानें पुण्यजनी कहलाई। इनका कुछ दिनों तक इस क्षेत्र पर अधिपत्य रहा और कालांतर में भीस्मक के पुत्र रुक्मी ने इन्हें पराजित कर भगाया था । तभी द्वारका उजड़ गयी थी और इसी उजड़ी हुई द्वारका को कृष्ण ने फिर से बसाया था. सम्भवतः इसी कारण महाभारत में द्वारका के 'पुनर्निवेशनम्' शब्द का प्रयोग किया है।[17]

External links


  1. Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions/Place-Names and their Suffixes,p.248
  2. Sanskrit-English Dictionary by Monier Williams. p. 775, col. I.
  3. Yaksha cult and iconography, Ram Nath Misra, Munshiram Manoharlal, 1981
  4. Costumes & Ornaments As Depicted in the Early Sculpture of Gwalior Museum By Sulochana Ayyar, Mittal Publications, Dec 1, 1987, p. 29
  5. Luders, Heinrich (1961). Mathura Inscriptions. p. 179.
  6. "A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12 the century" by Upinder Singh p.365
  7. Bharut Yavana (John Boardman, "The Diffusion of Classical Art in Antiquity", Princeton University Press, 1993, p.112.)
  8. Of Art, Central Banks, and Philistines, RBI History Project,
  10. THE DHĀRANI OF THE EXALTED MANIBHADRA Archived 2 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Translated from Tibetan by Erick Tsiknopoulos
  11. Symbols, Ceremonies and Practices" by Pramodaben Chitrabhanu
  12. Yakshraj Shree Manibhadradev, Nandlal B Devluk, Arihant Prakashan, 1997
  13. Kristi L. Wiley (17 June 2009). The A to Z of Jainism. Scarecrow Press. p. 138. ISBN 978-0-8108-6337-8.
  14. Shah, U. P. (September–December 1982). "Minor Jaina deities". Journal of the Oriental Institute. Baroda: Oriental Institute, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. XXXII (1–2): 97–98.
  15. Ramayana: King Rama's Way, William Buck, Barend A. Van Nooten, Shirley Triest, University of California Press, Nov 1, 2000, p. 32–33
  16. Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide, Roshen Dalal, Penguin Books India, Oct 5, 2011, p. 240
  17. दिव्य द्वारका, प्रकाशक: दण्डी स्वामी श्री सदानन्द सरस्वती जी, सचिव श्रीद्वारकाधीश संस्कृत अकेडमी एण्ड इंडोलॉजिकल रिसर्च द्वारका गुजरात, 2013, पृ.16


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