Manjushri Buddha

In Buddhism, Manjushri is the Bodhisatva (Buddha-to-be) of Wisdom, although he is believed to have the enlightenment of a Buddha. He bestows intelligence, wisdom, mastery of the Teaching, the power of exposition, eloquence and memory. He is the principle guardian and patron of astrologers. Revered as the patron of arts and sciences, he is traditionally invoked by writers for assistance. Authors often open their books with verses in his honor.

Manjushri works with Lord Maitreya. The two are sometimes depicted in a triad with Gautama Buddha in which Manjushri represents the wisdom aspect and Maitreya the Compassion aspect of Buddhist teaching.

The Sanskrit name Manjushri means "gentle glory" or "sweet glory." Manjushri is also known as Manjughosha (meaning "sweet-voiced-one" or "gentle-voiced-one") and as Vagishvara ("Lord of Speech").

Manjushri is said to have the power of discriminating wisdom. He can discriminate between correct and incorrect views and between beneficial and non-beneficial actions that must be taken on one's spiritual path. He holds a sword that vanquishes ignorance. Manjushri's sword is also considered a sword of quick detachment and a symbol of enlightened will.

In Buddhist art, Manjushri is portrayed as a beautiful 16-year-old prince. He often holds in his left hand the stem of a blue lotus blossom. On the blossom rests one of the Prajnaparamita scriptures, which deal with the realization of Prajna, or wisdom. With his right hand he wields a flaming sword of wisdom to vanquish ignorance.

DHIH is the bija, or seed syllable, of Manjushri. The essence of a cosmic being is concentrated in his bija. Manjushri's mantra can be given to help develop wisdom, memory, and the understanding of the scriptures.

According to one Tibetan tradition, the devotee should recite this mantra -OM AH RA PA TSA NA DHIH- 100, 21, or at least 7 times. On the last repetition, the final syllable, DHIH, is to be repeated as many times as possible.

Manjushri's Mantras:

"Lord of speech, MUM!" or "Hail to the Lord of speech MUM!"

Om! May I obtain the wisdom of the five Dhyani Buddhas!