Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Manjushri (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity) - Namasangiti

འཇམ་དཔལ་དབྱངས། 文殊师利菩萨
(item no. 531)
Origin Location Central Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Uncertain
Size 22.86x16.51cm (9x6.50in)
Material Ground Mineral Pigment, Fine Gold Line on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# F1996.31.17
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Peaceful

Gender: Male

TBRC: bdr:P22084

Interpretation / Description

Manjushri (Tibetan: jam pal tsan jod) the bodhisattva of wisdom; from the Manjushri Namasangiti Tantra.

In a peaceful manner, yellow in colour, with one face and four hands Manjushri holds in the first right a blue sword of wisdom wrapped with licks of flame and in the left held to the heart the stem of a pink utpala flower blossoming at the left ear supporting the Prajnaparamita text. In the lower two hands are an arrow and a bow. Adorned with fine ornaments of gold and jewels as a crown, earrings, necklaces and bracelets he is draped in a variety of scarves, silks and a lower garment of rainbow colours. Seated atop a moon and multi-coloured lotus seat he emanates a pale yellow nimbus of fine light rays and a green areola completely enclosed by dark green leaves and lotus blossoms.

In front, from a dark blue pool with water fowl sporting rises a pink lotus as a foundation for an array of rich offerings of a golden Dharma Wheel, wishing jewels, auspicious emblems, vases and delicious foods offered to the noble Manjushri.

At the bottom left is White Manjushri, with one face and two hands. The right is extended in front in the gesture (mudra) of generosity and the left holds to the heart an utpala stem with the Prajnaparamita book above. Adorned with jewels, gold ornaments and silks of various colours he sits in vajra posture above a lotus within a display of orange and red lights.

To the right is Blue-black Sarasvati with one face and two hands performing the Dharma teaching mudra at the heart while holding the stems of two utpala flowers blossoming at both ears and supporting the wisdom sword and book. Adorned with ornaments and silks he stands with the legs together upon a moon and lotus seat within a display of light rays.

This form of Manjushri from the Namasangiti Tantra belongs to the Yoga Tantra classification, however many early mahasiddhas chose to comment from the Anuttarayoga level of explanation while others made associations with the Kalachakra Tantra. White Manjushri arises from the Siddhaikavira Tantra of the Kriya classification. Manjushri in a variety of forms is practiced universally within the various Tibetan traditions.

Jeff Watt 9-98

Secondary Images
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Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Painting Gallery 3
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Buddhist Deity: Manjushri, Namasangiti (Painting)
Buddhist Deity: Manjushri, Namasangiti Main Page
Buddhist Deity: Sarasvati (blue) & Manjushri
Buddhist Deity: Manjushri, Namasangiti (1 Face, 4 Arms)