Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Manjushri (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity)

འཇམ་དཔལ་དབྱངས། 文殊师利菩萨
(item no. 68439)
Origin Location Nepal
Date Range 900 - 999
Lineages Buddhist
Material Silver
Collection Nyingjei Lam
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Manjushri, bodhisattva.

Manjushri is a male figure with one face and two arms. Peaceful in appearance he gazes forward with partially closed eyelids and a slight smile. Some of the hair is piled on the top of the head and some gathered on the right and left at the back of the head, bound with a cord and decorated with a flower.. The right hand is extended across the knee with the palm open and facing outward. The left hand is also across the knee palm down holding the stem of a blue utpala flower rising above the left shoulder. He is adorned with earrings, a short necklace, armlets, bracelets, a belt and skirt. With the right leg drawn under and the left leg in front, he sits in a relaxed posture with the left knee slightly raised up.

The hair style with the two gatherings falling to the right and left side at the back is unusual but unique to Manjushri, especially in his early and non-iconic depictions. Manjushri is known for having a hair style comprised of five tufts of hair. This concept of the five tufts is found in very early Sanskrit literature praising the bodhisattva and describing his appearance and qualities. It is believed by some that the idea of Manjushri having a sacred geographic location with five peaks, or five plateaus, is based on the five tufts of hair.

Jeff Watt 7-2019

Secondary Images
Related Items
Exhibition Appearances
Exhibition: Wutaishan, Pilgrimage to Five Peak Mountain

Thematic Sets
Buddhist Deity: Manjushri Sculpture Page
Nepal: Transitional Period Sculpture & Style
Collection of Nyingjei Lam (Deities)
Collection of Nyingjei Lam (Bonhams, HK 2019)
Buddhist Deity: Manjushri, Rare & Unusual Forms
Buddhist Deity: Manjushri Main Page
Collection of Nyingjei Lam
Buddhist Deity: Manjushri (Non-iconic Forms)
Sculpture: Silver (Figurative)