Silver Drachm of Amoghbhuti Features Goddess Lakshmi

18 Jan 2021  Mon

Lakshmi is the Goddess of Prosperity. Ever wondered; ‘how Lakshmi was represented in the ancient times?’ Coins can help us trace the changing visual representations of Lakshmi. One of the early representations of Goddess Lakshmi is on the Bharuth stupa.

The Gajalakshmi stands atop the lotus which is placed over a ‘Kalash’ (urn). Two elephants also upon lotuses flank her and anoint her with water. Each of these elements is an indicator. Goddess is earth. The elephant is the anointing of the cloud. Abhisheka is rain. When the rain falls on the earth, new creations emerge. The birth of the child of Maya Devi is the origin of the new creation.

Out of the many ‘Janarajya’ (tribes) that arose in northern India after the Mauryan period, silver coins only from the Kunind region have been recovered. These coins have been minted as per the Indo – Greek patterns and weights. The above-shown coin is a Silver Drachm of Kuninda King Amoghbhuti.

The Obverse of the coin depicts a deer standing facing right and Goddess Lakshmi standing before it facing right holding a long-stemmed lotus, with Brahmi legend “Rajnah Kunindasya Amoghabhutisya Maharasya” around. A peacock/chalice between deer and Lakshmi!

The Reverse of the coin depicts a six-arched hill with nandipada above, swastika and split standard at left, railed tree at right, the river below, and Kharoshthi legend around. The tree has four branches.

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