Manjushri

Manjushri

Lord of Wisdom; The Gentle Voiced Lord; Glorious Gentle One; The Lamp of Wisdom

ALSO KNOWN AS:

Manjusri; Monju (Japan ese); Wen Shu (Chinese); Jam-dPal (Tibetan)

CLASSIFICATION:

Bodhisattva; Bosatsu; Bud dha; Yidam

Manjushri, the first Bodhisattva, is the essence and spirit of wisdom, embodying the wisdom of all Bodhisattvas. Guardian of sacred knowledge and spiritual seekers, his sword slices through illusions that cloud the minds of Buddhists as well as any other obstacles on the road to enlightenment. Manjushri, Lord of Awareness, served as initiator of the Buddhas of the past and will fulfill this role for Maitreya in the future.

Manjushri is a culture hero, too:

• The Manchu dynasty derived its name from Manjushri.

• Manjushri is considered the founding father of Nepalese culture.

FAVOURED PEOPLE:

Students, calligraphers, knowledge seekers, those born in the Year of the Rabbit

MANIFESTATION:

Manjushri travels in the guise of a simple mendicant (begging) monk.

ATTRIBUTES:

Lotus, bow and arrows, book, flaming sword

COLOUR:

White

Creature: Dog

When Manjushri travels in the guise of a mendicant priest, he is always accompanied by a small dog like a Pekinese, Lhasa Apso, Shi Tzu, or similar breed. Manjushri is not really a simple monk. Likewise, his companion is not really a simple dog but actually a disguised celestial snow lion (also known as a lion-dog). When Manjushri’s presence is urgently needed, his pet assumes its true form and serves as his mount.

Mount:

Kang-seng, the snow lion—a pre-Buddhist Tibetan spirit—serves as Manjushri’s mount and appears on the Tibetan flag.

Direction:

East

Time:

He is the guardian of the Year of the Rabbit.

Date: New Year’s Day is dedicated to Manjushri.

Sacred site:

His home on Wutaishan (Five Terrace Mountain), one of China’s four sacred Buddhist peaks. Many visions and apparitions of Manjushri have been reported on the mountain since the Tang Dynasty.

Mantra: OM AH RAH PAH CHAH NA DHIH

(Chanting his mantra allegedly enhances wisdom, memory, and the ability to study, learn, teach, and articulate one’s thoughts. Manjushri is associated with various mantras, some reserved for initiated adepts.)

SEE ALSO:

Avalokiteshvara; Bodhisattva; Bon spirits; Bosatsu; Buddha; Maitreya; Marichi; Yamantaka; Yidam and the Glossary entry for Mantra

SOURCE:

Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.

Related Articles

Yamantaka

Yamantaka Death Terminator; Destroyer of Death; The Diamond Terrifier; The Diamond Terror; The Solitary Hero ALSO KNOWN AS: Vajrabhairava; Vajra Bhairava CLASSIFICATION: Bodhisattva; Buddha; Yidam…

Marichi

Marichi Goddess of Dawn; Queen of Heaven; The Diamond Sow Also known as: Marici (Sanskrit); Mari shi; Marishiten (Japanese) Classification: Buddha; Yidam Marichi is a…

Vajrapani

Vajrapani – Thunderbolt Bearer; Diamond Bearer Vajrapani began as a Yaksha and was so fierce that he eventually attained the status of Chief General of…

Avalokitesvara

Avalokitesvara The One Who Responds to the Cries of the World; Lord of the Six Syllables ALSO KNOWN AS: Avalokiteshvara CLASSIFICATION: Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, Bodhisattva of…