Who is MANjushri?
In Buddhism, Manjushri is the bodhisattva (“enlightened being”) of wisdom. His right hand wields the flaming, double-edged sword of discriminating wisdom that cuts through all delusion. His left hand holds the stem of a lotus blossom, upon which rests open a volume of sacred scripture from the Prajnaparamita (Heart of Wisdom) Sutra.“One of Manjushri’s foremost roles is as bodhisattva of poetry, oratory, writing, and all the uses of language. Manjushri has an intricate relationship and involvement with language, one of the foremost catalysts of human ignorance and delusion. The patterns of our conventional thought processes are established and learned through our languages. Our sense of alienation is strengthened and inculcated through the syntax that separates subject and object. Mentally absorbing this subject-verb-object grammar, we come to see ourselves as agents acting on a dead world of objects, or we see ourselves as dead, powerless objects being acted upon and victimized by external, sovereign agents. We fail to recognize that the whole world is alive, vibrant, totally interconnected, informed and dancing with prajna. Manjushri works to reveal our enslavement by language, and to liberate language and use it to express the deeper realities.”(Taigen Dan Leighton, FACES OF COMPASSION: CLASSIC BODHISATTVA ARCHETYPES AND THEIR MODERN EXPRESSION)
“The fully enlightened mind has three characteristic qualities: universal compassion, discriminating wisdom and the skilful and effective means to deal with all situations beneficially. Manjushri embodies the second of these three, discriminating wisdom: the ability to see into the true nature of reality by cutting through the distortions of egoism and banishing the deceptive appearance of things.He has the power to discriminate not only between correct and incorrect views of reality but also between which actions are to be performed and which abandoned as one travels the path of inner development. To symbolize these various attributes he is depicted as brandishing the flaming sword of wisdom and holding the scriptural text entitled The Perfection of Wisdom, the wellspring of the greater vehicle path to enlightenment.”
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