Pañcika

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Pancika (left) and Hariti (right), holding a cornucopia, 3rd century, Takht-i Bahi, British Museum.

Pañcika (Chinese: 般闍迦) was the consort of the Buddhist goddess of children, Hariti. He is himself a Buddhist god,[citation needed] and is said to have fathered 500 children.

He was the commander-in-chief of the Yakṣa army of Vaiśravaṇa (Bishamonten), and had another 27 Yakṣa generals under his orders.

Pañcika was often represented holding a lance and a bag of jewels (or money), together with Hariti, in the Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara,[1] where they illustrated marital love following the intervention of the Buddha. The two figures "were very popular in Gandhara in the latter part of the second century, and their statues are many."[2] When depicted holding a spear, he also signals his role as the chief of the Yakṣas.

The Yakṣas are commanded by 28 generals, of whom the chief is Pañcika — according to the Mahavamsa, he was the father of the 500 sons of Hariti [Kishimojin]. Possibly worshipped very early in Gandhara (some of his representations are found in other areas too where Gandharan influence is said to have spread. This general of the Yakṣas was soon merged with Vaiśravaṇa.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The gods of northern Buddhism: their history and iconography, Alice Getty, Courier Dover Publications, 1988, p. 157, ISBN 978-0-486-25575-0 at Google Books
  2. ^ Sir John Marshall, The Buddhist Art of Gandhara, New Delhi: Oriental Books Reprint Corporation, 1980, p, 104.
  3. ^ Buddhism (Flammarion Iconographic Guides), Frédéric Louis, Flammarion Publishing, 1995, ISBN 978-2-08-013558-2