Buddha of Wisdom – Manjushri
Some Buddhist text say that Manjushri was brought to existence by the Shakyamuni Buddha, while others argue that he was a man like you and I, many Eons ago and served the Buddha of that time, before becoming a Bodhisattva.
Color : Yellow/Orange.
Attributes : Sword and Book of Wisdom.
Personification of Wisdom – Manjushri
Considered as the personification of the combined Wisdom (Prajna) of all the Buddhas. It is common to see Buddhist scholars reciting his mantra in the morning, and there are many legends of beings with exceptional intelligence following their devotion to Manjushri.
Wisdom and Wisdom…
Buddhist believe that this is of two different sorts :
1 – Ordinary : This is what we refer to as knowledge (science, arts, history) but remains within the constraints of this “world” (Samsara).
2 – Transcendant : Prajnaparamita or Transcendant Wisdom if you may, it allows us to discover the true nature of our existence and hence liberate us from Samsara.
The Sword and Book of Wisdom :
Manjushri is characterized by his two attributes, the sword and the sacred text. Let’s take a closer look at the symbolism of these attributes:
The Sword – It is the weapon of wisdom as it slice through the veils of ignorance. By Ignorance I am referring to our inability to see the true nature of our existence.
The Book of Wisdom – which contains all the Buddhas teachings of Prajnaparamita.
Legend of the Kathmandu Valley
In Nepal, Manjushri is particularily revered as the Valley of Kathmandu is believed to have been created by Manjushri.
Many years ago, Manjushri sitting atop his throne on Mount Parcharisa Parvata (the 5 Peak Mountain) decided to go on a pilgrimage to give homage to the Eternal Flame of the Adi-Buddha, a self born flame situated in the center of the Kalihrada Lac, Nepal. This flame was considered the Emancipation of the Adi-Buddha (Self-Born Swayambhu).
Once he had reached the lake, Manjushri to his great dismay had great difficulty to honour the flame (which was in the centre of the lake). With the desire to render Swayambhu accessible to all he used his sword to slice open the Southern rim of the lake and created the Bagmati river and the Valley of Kathmandu.
Swayambhunath : the Monkey Temple
The Lotus came to rest on the highest point of the Valley : Swayambhunath. The Stupa of Swayambhunath also referred to as the Monkey Temple, is a popular pilgrimage point in the Valley, it is believed that the Eternal Flame of the Adi-Buddha still glows in the centre of the Stupa. Numerous Buddhist will endlessly circle the Stupa in the hope of gaining Siddhis.