Wen Shu Shih-Li, Manjushri
The Bodhisattva of Great Wisdom
: marvelous, gentle
"shri" : combination of power, glory
The name "Manjushri" means "gentle glory".
He is the
embodiment of great wisdom (Sanskrit language: prajna).
to those who meditate on him. He instructs them in the Dharma
and stimulates them to develop wisdom. The image of Manjushri
Bodhisattva is often seen in meditation halls, libraries and
scripture study rooms in monasteries.
Depictions of Manjushri Bodhisattva
hand holds a flaming sword, which represents the sharpness of
prajna that can cut through the growth of suffering and the
net of wrong views. The flame lights up the darkness, just as
the light of wisdom dispels the darkness of
hand holds a magnificent blue lotus flower in full bloom, on
which rests the Prajnaparamita Sutra (Great Wisdom Sutra).
This sutra contains the essence of the great wisdom teachings
of the Buddha. The lotus is the promise of the future for all
beings who follow the Teachings.
often depicted as riding a golden-maned lion, which symbolizes
the stern majesty of prajna. The lion is the king of the
beasts and is fearless. Similarly, Manjusri Bodhisattva
teaches the dharma without fear or favour, like the lion's
the golden-maned lion is replaced by a green lion which
symbolises the wild mind which can only be transformed by
Worship of Manjushri Bodhisattva in China
There is a
famous place in China which is the centre for the worship of
Manjushri Bodhisattva - the Wutai Mountain in the province of
Shanxi in China.
in a sutra, the Buddha predicted that after He passed away in
Final Nirvana, Manjushri Bodhisattva would reside on a
mountain name Wuting in a country in the east called "Great
China", where he would teach the dharma. Hence, Chinese people
regard that mountain, now called Wutai Mountain, as a sacred
place for worshipping Manjushri Bodhisattva. Many temples
dedicated to Manjushri Bodhisattva have been built there.
The Mantra of Manjusri
prayer for developing wisdom: Om Ah Ra Pa Tsa Na