Friday, February 8, 2008

MANJUSHREE God of wisdom

MANJUSHREE God of transcendent Wisdom

Posture of Hands [Mudra]: Dharmacakra [Wheel of doctrine],
Symbols: khadga [sword], utpala [lotus], and prajnaparamita [wisdom book],

Sakti [consort]: Goddess Sarasvati,

Body color: saffron.

Manjushree, personification of Transcendent Wisdom, and embodiment of the discriminative awareness [prajna] He is also the first among other Boddhisattvas according to Mahayana Buddhist scriptures. In the Namasangiti [Mahayana scripture] he is called 'Adi-Buddha', or pre-moral Buddha, while in some of the text of sutras he is referred to as an historical character.

Chinese Buddhist cannon claims that Manjushree was informed by Gautama Buddha to turn the Wheel of Buddha's Law for the salvation of the Chinese and the place chosen for the manifestation was Pancasirsha [mountain of five peaks of five different colors of diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, rubies, and lapis lazuli] When the time came for the manifestation of Manjushree, Gautama Buddha caused a golden ray to burst from his forehead. It pierced a jambu-tree, which grew from the foundation of mountain Pancasirsha. A lotus sprang from the tree, and 'from the interior of the flower was born the prince of sages, Arya Manjushree. His color was yellow; he had one face and two arms; in the right hand he brandished the sword of Wisdom; in his left, he carried a book on a lotus utpala; he was endowed with the superior and inferior marks of beauty; he was covered with many ornaments and he was resplendent.

In the Svayambhu-purana, it is related that Manjushree left Mount Pancasirsha to visit the shrine of Svayambhu [presently in Kathmandu], which was on a mountain in the center of Lake Kalihrada. He found the lake filled with aquatic monsters and the temple inaccessible. He therefore 'opened with his sword a valley on the southern side of the lake [presently CHOVAR], the waters of the lake drained through the opening, leaving dry land at the bottom, and this was the Katmandu, the capital city of Nepal. So, he is believed as founder of civilization in Nepal and a 'Wanderer' [mendicant Buddhist priest] who propagated Buddhism into Nepal.

Tsong-Kha-pa, also the founder of Ge-lug-pa School of Tibetan Buddhism, which the Dalai Lama have been head of the sect, was believed as manifestation of Manjushree.

MANJU GHOSHManjushree belongs to the group of eight Dhyani-Boddhisattva, and is therefore represented like a prince with all the Boddhisattva ornaments. He sometime has a small image of Dhyani-Buddha Akshobhya in his crown.

Manjushree is worshiped in different forms and name. Like he is in one form found seated on lion is known as Manjughosa (Right Image). These different forms of him are practiced for different purpose of Buddhist Sadhana, has two distinctive types: one with the sword and book, which is his more usual form, and the other with the utpala or blue lotus. The sword symbolizes the cleaving asunder [dissipating] of the clouds of Ignorance; the book is the prajnaparamita, Treatise on Transcendent Wisdom.

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Bikesh Shrestha said...

Nepal is now Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal and we arem going to change its county's name very soon and lots of people are coming up with various names for their autonomous state. But I have put a proposal for Kathmandu valley as MANJUSHREE RAJYA because Kathamndu valley was established by Boddhisatva MANJUSHREE.

Anonymous said...

I believe that Manjushree is the god of wisdom. I do not believe on the sayings that he created Kathmandu valley. It is clear that the valley was created by gradual changes of geography and Newars migrated here from the North, gradually with change, not drastically as was said. Still there is no doubt that it would be said a MANJUSHREE RAJYA, b'coz it is the valley of wisdom.

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