Manjushri – Bodhisattva of Wisdom
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Orientation 2
Display 2

ABS 063

 Code: ABS 063

  Country: Tibet (central)


  Date: 1050 - 1150

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 4.7 x 15 x 4

  Materials: Brass


Manjushri is the male equivalent of the female deity Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom). The meaning of the Perfection of Wisdom is to recognise the emptiness of all things, which leads to the liberation from the circle of rebirths.  

Manjushri holds a sword (khadga) with his right hand. The sword is double-edged: it cuts through the veils of ignorance and reveals both relative (everyday) and absolute (transcendent) reality. With his left hand he holds the stem of a blue lily (nilotpala). The Bodhisattva is clad with a robe that is tied around the waist with a beaded belt. He is adorned with royal ornaments: a single-pointed crown in front of the tall hair knot formed by his matted hair strands (jatamukuta), a pair of circular earrings, two necklaces, the "investiture with the sacred thread" (upavita), and ornaments on his upper arms and wrists.
Based on a number of published examples, it can be assumed that this image originally belonged to a group of three standing boddhisattvasAvalokiteshvara, Vajrapani/ Vajrasattva and Manjushri/ Manjugosha. Tibetans call this group "Protectors of the three spiritual families", the holy triad in Tibetan Buddhism. They are victorious over the three poisons of hatred, greed and ignorance/delusion.