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Manjushri Buddhist Deity – the God of Wisdom

manjushri statue gold

Manjushri in Sanskrit is defined as “gentle glory”. Thus also known as Manjushrikumarabuhta, which literally means the “prince Manjushree” is a one of the four great bodhisattva of Tibetan/Newari Buddhism.

Manjushri posture and gestures

Manjushree is regarded as male Bodhisattva holding a flaming sword in his right hand, representing the wisdom which can cut down the ignorance.Manjushri also holds the scripture, which lies upon the lotus held in his left hand, which is known as “prajnaparamita sutra”.  The sutra is said to show his attainment of realization from the blossoming of wisdom. He is sometime often shown sitting on the skin of lion or even riding a blue lion. Manjushree riding the ferocious blue lion is used to represent the wisdom he used to conquer the mind.

Manjushree as one of the Shakyamuni triads

Commonly known as god of the wisdom “Manjushree” is also often paired with Samantabhadra. Samantabhadra is a bodhisattva who is associated with meditation and practices. In Buddhism, It is shown that along with Gautama Buddha and Manjushri he forms the shakyamuni triad.  Ten vows of samantabhadra is also very much practiced in Tibetan and Newari Buddhism.

The Radiant Lotus and making of the Kathmandu Valley

In the Swayambhu purana, Manjushree is believed to be a prince who later on became a monk who came on the pilgrimage from Wutaishan which is five peaked mountains in China. During his pilgrimage he came upon lake filled with snakes,which later came to be known as the Kathmandu valley. In the center of lake,he caught the sight of a beautiful lotus radiating brilliant light.This perfect radiant lotus flower,which appeared on the surface of the lake, was proclaimed by the gods to be “Swayambhu” which means self-created. And thus to reach the Lotus,he drew his bright fiery sword and cut the “Chobar” hill (south to Kathmandu). As the water from lake drained the lotus firmly became set on top of the hill, which was then established by Manjushri as a shrine and also thus allowing the valley to become habitable for human beings.

Since Manjushree is regarded as the god of wisdom his Mantra is recited for inner wisdom as well as worldly knowledge. Mantra is believed to help us in gaining intelligence, better memory and effective learning.

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