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Entries Tagged as Manjushri

Manjushri 'Holding a Book' - Added

October 28, 2012 ·

Manjushri 'holding a book' is an iconographic characteristic of several different forms of Manjushri - all of which are meditational deities (yidam, ishtadevata). These forms according to Tantric classification belong to the Kriya, Charya and Yoga Tantras. Early textual descriptions, prior to the 13th century, often place the text of the Prajnaparamita in the left hand and next to the heart of Manjushri.

Over the centuries the depicted iconography of these Manjushri forms changes. The Prajnaparamita book gets moved, relocated, to the top of a blue utpala flower blossoming next to the left ear, with the stem held between the ring finger and thumb, in the right hand of Manjushri. The most popular forms of Manjushri undergo the relocation of the text. Some less popular and much less commonly depicted forms of Manjushri are still described and depicted holding the text but the majority of depictions have adopted the new utpala and Prajnaparamita iconography.

Tags: additions · Manjushri · Sculpture

Manjushri in a Relaxed Posture - Added

October 25, 2012 ·

Manjushri in a relaxed sitting posture is a popular sculptural form in India, Nepal and Tibet. In this iconographic style Manjushri is typically depicted in a seated posture with the right knee raised and the wrist or elbow of the right arm resting atop the knee. The left hand is pressed downward onto the seat slightly behind the horizontal left leg. The upper torso of the body and head generally display a pronounced curve imitating the 'tribanga' form of standing figures.

Both hands can each hold the stem of a flower blossom. Usually the right hand holds a lotus blossom and the left an utpala (lily, iris). In a number of examples the left flower blossom supports a book or text representing the Prajnaparmita Sutras. The sculptural form representing the text on the left flower is sometimes in the shape of a cylinder. This is actually depicting a metal tube which is the outer box or container for the sutra text.

Again, with some examples of Manjushri in this form he is wearing a type of meditation belt extending around the waist on the proper left side and circling the right leg just below the knee.

There are iconographic examples of Avalokiteshvara which an appear very similar to Manjushri as depicted in these examples.

Tags: additions · Manjushri · Sculpture

Wutaishan Mountain, China

May 09, 2011 ·

Several hundred photos of Wutaishan Mountain in China have been uploaded to the HAR website. They are not art photos per se but rather snap shots of some of the important stupas, temples, sculpture and sight locations. The mountain with its five terraces (peaks) and the narrative relating to the Mahayana bodhisattva and Tantric figure Manjushri are important in the art of the Himalayas, Tibet, Nepal, China and Mongolia.

In the center of the vast pilgrimage site, in the principal valley is a large white stupa constructed by the famous Nepalese artist Aniko, also responsible for the White Stupa in Beijing. In the recorded literature it also states that Chogyal Pagpa himself assisted in the physical construction of the stupa - all during the time of Kublai Khan in the Yuan dynasty. It would be a huge task to document and photograph all of the major and minor sites at Wutaishan and likely take more than a week to conduct a traditional pilgrimage even with the use of a motor vehicle.

Over the next few months the images of the various sites will be divided into thematic pages accompanied by identifications and explanations wherever possible.

Tags: Architecture · art · China · Manjushri · Wutaishan

An Early Tibetan Painting of Manjushri

December 10, 2010 ·

This painting is an early Tibetan depiction of Manjushri as the leader of the Three Lords a popular grouping of the bodhisattvas Manjushri, Avalokiteshvara and Vajrapani. The Seven Buddhas of the Past are depicted in the top register along with eight different forms of Manjushri placed throughout the composition.

Manjushri is a popular Buddhist figure commonly represented in art. He first arises from the Mahayana Sutra literature where he is regarded as a bodhisattva, a principal student of the Buddha, specializing in the subject of wisdom.

In the Tantric literature of Northern Buddhism he is seen as a completely enlightened Buddha with a great number of manifestations and appearances spanning all classes of Tantra. He can appear both simple or complex in form. All of these various forms function as Tantric meditational deities. (View more of the various forms of Manjushri as a Tantric deity).

Tags: art · iconography · Manjushri

Manjushri: Principal Tantric Forms & Emanations

February 19, 2010 ·

Manjushri is most commonly known as a bodhisattva, principal student and interlocator, of Shakyamuni Buddha as found and described in the Mahayana sutras. However, in Tantric Buddhism, Manjushri is understood to be a completely enlightened Buddha with a wide range of iconographic appearances, both peaceful and wrathful. These various appearances are used as Tantric meditations. This page has been created to exhibit Manjushri's most common Tantric forms found in Himalayan and Tibetan style art.

Tags: Manjushri · outlines

Wutaishan Mountain: Unidentified Manjushri Forms

October 30, 2009 ·

There are two examples given below of unidentified forms of Manjushri. These are only two of many unidentified forms found on Wutaishan Mountain.

The first found in the Golden Temple, frequented by Chogyal Pagpa in the 13th century, has one face and two hands and rides atop a lion. What is unique about the form is the right hand holding an utpala stem and the left extended across the left knee with the left leg pendant.

The second form, found in a building in front and below the Golden Temple, is a very large sculpture with eleven faces and one thousand hands, seated in a Western style atop a lion. Is there a Sanskrit or a Tibetan source text for these two unique forms of Manjushri? Are the forms possibly of a Chinese origin and inspiration?


Tags: Manjushri · Wutaishan

Arapachana Manjushri: Explanation of Form

September 29, 2009 ·

Manjushri in the form of Arapachana is one of the most common and recognizable images in Tantric Buddhism. Other than appearing with the hands in the Dharma teaching gesture this is the form that is most often depicted in paintings, murals and sculpture. The explanation of form is a brief introduction to how Manjushri appears in this particular appearance, what he holds in his hands, along with any other significant characteristics.

Arapachana Manjushri: Explanation of Form

Tags: iconography · Manjushri