Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Manjushri (Leg Pendant)

Manjushri (Leg Pendant) | Manjushri (Relaxed Posture) | Manjushri: List of Forms

Manjushri 'Leg Pendant'

From among the many sculpture depicting the figure of Manjushri, some have the right leg or left leg pendant. In these depictions the general appearance of Manjushri portrays him holding a sword and book, or sometimes with the hands in the Dharma Teaching gesture. Figures of Manjushri riding atop a lion (Vadisimha) have not been included here because almost all of those have the right or left leg pendant. For Vadisimha Manjushri the primary characteristic is the lion and not the position of the legs.

There are several Tantric texts describing Manjushri with this general physical appearance. One such text is from the Bari Gyatsa of Bari Lotsawa Rinchen Drag (1040-1112) and further elucidated upon by Konchog Lhundrub (1497-1557) in his edited version.

[8] "Vidhyadhara Pitaka Samkshepta: [Above] a lotus and moon is white Manjushri Arapachana. Holding a sword and a book, the same ornaments and garments, seated in the lalitaraja [posture]."

The important points in this very short translated description are the mention of the sword and book, and more importantly the 'lalitaraja' posture which states clearly a non-vajrasana posture and non-sattvasana posture. 'Lalitaraja' is sometimes translated as a posture of 'royal ease' which is characterized by one leg, left or right, extended forward.

Of the images below several of them have the hands folded in front of the heart in the Teaching gesture. Other depictions have a sword and book either held directly in the hands or placed above utpala flowers with the stems held in the hands.

Jeff Watt 10-2102