The Tibetan legend that describes the origin of the Jambhala Wealth Gods is very interesting. It is said that a revered high Lama, Lama Atisha, was walking alone when he found a man starving and near death. After looking around and unable to find food for the old man Lama Atisha cut flesh from his own body and offered it to the starving man. The man refused to eat the Lama's flesh.
Being depressed and not knowing how else to help the man nearing death the Lama sat down next to him. At that point there was a blinding bright white light and before Atisha appeared the Buddha of Compassion, the Thousand-Armed Avalokiteshwara Chenrezig. The Buddha told Lama Atisha that he was going to manifest himself as the God of Wealth, Jambhala, and assure that those in poverty would suffer no longer.
Other legends have also been published on the origin of the Five Jambhala Wealth Gods but the one just given is the one most quoted. The five Jambhala (also known by the name Dzambhala) are all very popular wealth Gods and each has their own uniqueness.
The White Jambhala is said to be the manifestation of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva (he who listens to the sounds around him and embodies compassion). He sits on a snow lion and holds a mongoose in his left hand that spits out precious gems for the poor and needy to collect. He is said to be able to stop suffering and to dispel bad Karma. Chanting his Mantra can also bring wealth, avert disaster, and give you good health.
The White Jambhala is most effective for those with a Chinese Astrological lucky element of metal and animal sign of a monkey or chicken. It is believed pouring water on the head of his statue will allow for greater blessings. The Mantra that is chanted for this God is "Om Padma Trotha Arya Zambhala Siddhaya Hum Phat".
The Yellow Jambhala is considered the most popular and powerful of the Wealth Gods. It is thought to be the manifestation of Buddha Ratnasambhava, the Buddha of Giving. It is said you must practice Buddhism using correct procedures to gain the most powerful blessings from him. He is usually shown sitting on a lotus, sun and moon disk. As with all of the Jambhala, he holds a mongoose in his left hand which produces jewels to give to the needy..