Bodhisattva of Wisdom: Manjushri
Manjushri, the Buddhist price of wisdom, achieved enlightenment many eons ago. He vowed to return to the cosmos as a bodhisattva to spread the teachings of the Buddha on voidness and selflessness. With his right hand, he wields the flaming sword of wisdom, and with his left, he holds the Prajnaparamita book. He is the Bodhisattva with the most incredible wisdom according to Mahayana Buddhism.
One of Lord Shakyamuni Buddha's eight principal followers, Manjushri, used to ask questions about emptiness to benefit those listening. Practitioners consider him the only deity of wisdom who grants practitioners wisdom to improve their memory and intelligence. By praying and chanting Manjusri's bija mantras, individuals can understand the teachings of Buddha's immense and profound importance.
Forms of Manjushri
To emphasize the notion of knowledge, he is portrayed as a sixteen-year-old kid in the Buddhist universe. The ideas come from the development of intellectual brilliance, which cuts straight to the core of reality rather than from simple experience. Manjushri appears in five distinct Tantric manifestations, which are as follows:
- Simhanada Manjushri
- Tikshna Manjushri
- Arapacana Manjushri
- Vimala Manjushri
- Jnanasattva Manjushri
Simhanada is a form of Manjushri depicted in the red-colored body with a face and four arms. The right hand holds an arrow and a flaming sword. The lotus stalk, the book resting above the flower, and the bow are all held in the left hand. Samhanada Manjusri is often depicted seated cross-legged on a lotus flower throne dressed in pure silk and jewelry.
Tikshna Manjushri is a widely recognized form of Manjushri. Tikshna is often portrayed as having a face, two arms, and yellow colored body. The lotus stem (Utpala) is held by both arms on which the wisdom book is on the left, and the wisdom sword is on the right. Seated in vajra posture, he is adorned in silks and jewels.
Since he drained the valley's water to make it livable, this form of Manjushree has a special connection to the Kathmandu Valley. Manjushree is depicted in this form with a single face, signifying his non-dual wisdom. The holding of the wisdom sword in his right hand represents the cutting out of the root of delusion, which is the cause of grief, ignorance, and self-grasping—the "Perfection of Wisdom," one of his religious scriptures, purges all illusions.
To eliminate internal and external barriers, Manjushri's wrathful healing form, Vimala Manjushri, is invoked. He has two limbs, a single face, and a blue-black body. A fire-blazing sword that cuts through ignorance is raised to the heavens by the right hand. The left-hand holds the stem of an utpala while the upper hand carries the wisdom book. He is sitting with his feet in the vajra position and is dressed in silks and diamonds.
The form of Manjushri portrayed having a face, two arms, and a white body is Jnanasattva Manjushri. In this form, he is depicted with his legs crossed in the vajra position, his right hand in the mudra of boundless compassion, and his left hand grasping the stem of a lotus on which a blazing sword is perched. The fundamental feature of White Manjushri is a book sitting on an utpala flower, several faces and arms, or, in some tales, riding a lion.
Manjushri Iconography in Statue
View our Gold Plated Bodhisattva Manjushri Statue Collection
In the statue, Manjushri is depicted seated on a moon disc lotus seat, with a serene facial expression and meticulous attention to detail in our studio. He holds a flaming wisdom sword in his right hand and a lotus in his left. The deity's crown and other body ornaments are adorned with turquoise and valuable gemstones. The precious elements, combined with the magnificent design all around, particularly on the throne and the robes, set this statue apart from others. The body is molded using a copper body on which intricate design patterns are hand-craved. It is glided with 24K genuine gold.
Our artisans have been molding such pieces of art for decades. Their expertise in this field and attention to intricate details set this piece of art apart from others. The process of molding using copper, hand-craving design patterns, gliding with gold, and embellishing with precious gemstones took months and months of hard work and dedication. The materials used for the statue are of the highest quality and will last for years. Practitioners can use this figurine for different Buddhist rituals and regular meditational practices as well.
Manjushri Iconography in Thangka
Manjushri is shown as having a peaceful and tranquil look as he sits on a moon disc lotus seat. His face is illuminated by the vivid blue halo, which also lends brightness to the background's serene atmosphere. The wisdom sword is in his right hand. Swirling Silken Scarf, and he wears other priceless jewelry as decorations. In his left hand, he holds the lotus, which has Prajna Paramita resting above it. The top part of his hair is pulled back into a three-tiered top knot, with five jeweled crowns on his head.
This Manjushri thangka was painted in the traditional karma gadri technique using real 24K gold and natural stone colors. Any practitioner can easily comprehend the iconography shown in the image below.
Significance of Manjushri in Nepal
Manjushri is mentioned in several philosophical teachings by Shakyamuni Buddha. He also makes an appearance I n several myths and tales from the time of Buddha that are still well-known today. One of the most prominent tales is the emptying of Kathmandu valley by Manjushri in Nepal, making it suitable for human settlement.
On China's Five-Peaked Mountain, the Bodhisattva Manjushri spent a long time in meditation. He learned of the Nepal Valley and its lake of clean water. Buddha sowed a lotus root in the lake, and it blossomed into a massive thousand-petalled flower. Svayambhu Dharmadhatu, the Self-created Sphere of Ultimate Reality, mysteriously manifested on the lotus.
With his Chanda Hasa's sword, which means "the Horrible Laugh," Manjushri entered the valley. With his mighty sword, he cut a rift in the ground near Turtle Mountain, causing the lake's water to flow south. As the water drained from the valley, Diamond Peak emerged bearing the lotus and light of Swayambhu. He then constructed an Avalokiteshvara shrine as atonement for Turtle Mountain.
The miraculous Swayambhu light was subsequently placed in a stupa as a memorial for the future. One of Asia's most significant pilgrimage destinations is still the Swayambhu Stupa. The place has been visited by a lineage of great Buddhist gurus beginning with Shakyamuni himself.
Om: It is the essence of the five pearls of wisdom and the reflective awareness of the surrounding universe.
A: Leads to insights that all dharmas are unproduced from the beginning
Ra: The realization that all dharmas are pure is made possible
Pa: Opens the way to the sense that all dharmas are fully expressed
Ca: Results in the realization that there is no actual beginning or end; hence it is impossible to comprehend how things come into being and go away.
Na: The representative realization that all dharmas' names—i.e., nama—have vanished and that the fundamental essence underlying names cannot be acquired or lost
Dhih: Meaning "prayer," "insight," or "reflection."
The Manjushri mantra is a representation of the profound simplicity and absolute essence. The daily practice of this mantra helps the practitioners acquire vast knowledge and incisive insight to combat ignorance, strengthen one's communication, memory, writing, and comprehension of the scriptures, reconnect with divine nature, and ultimately attain enlightenment.