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The eleven aspects of Manjushri — kind, wrathful, protective, teaching and “beastly” — white, yellow, black; father, mother, spiritual child

Manjushri is the “master of the Seven Buddhas” and the “mother of the Buddhas” — and additionally the “child” of the Buddhas — in line with Ajatasatruraja Sutra:

“Manjushri is the father and mother of the Bodhissatvas, and their spiritual child.” [3]

Manjushri’s quite a few faces, personas, and complexities solely trace on the completeness of Buddha Manjushri  — father, mom and child on the similar time!  We see Manjushri, the “child” Bodhisattva, sitting on the facet of Shakyamuni within the Sutras, asking profound questions. [Child here means “Bodhisattva” or spiritual child of the Buddha.] At the identical time, we meditate on the absolutely enlightened Buddha Manjushri, the right illustration of Wisdom. As Orange Manjushri, his best-known kind, we see “youthful” Manjushri. As Black Manjushri, the healer. As Yamantaka the ferocious, unbeatable foe of demise! No Buddha has as many emanations and faces as Noble Manjushri.


Buddha Weekly White Manjushri Buddhism 1
White Manjushri.


Special Manjushri Event: Empowerment of White Manjushri!

White Manjushri is the enlightened knowledge of the Buddhas, and along with his follow, you may domesticate seven wisdoms: nice knowledge, clear knowledge, fast knowledge, profound knowledge, teaching knowledge, mental knowledge, and composition knowledge. Venerable Zasep Rinpoche, who’s providing empowerment by way of Zoom, mentioned, “Practice of White Manjushri is wonderful to restore memories and refreshing mindfulness.” For info, see the Zuru Ling web site>> or go on to Eventbrite to ebook the occasion>>

Note: A brief day by day Orange Manjushri Sadhana from the fifth Dalai Lama is on the finish of this function. This follow is open to anybody as reward and meditation (assuming you visualize Manjushri in entrance of you.)

Mother and Father and Child Manjushri?

Since Wisdom — particularly the Enlightened understanding of Shunyata — is the Mother of Buddhas, Manjushri the Buddha of Wisdom is Mother. Why is Wisdom the Mother? Without Wisdom, no Buddha may be Enlightened.

Buddha Enlightenment is born from two “equal wings”: Wisdom and Compassion. Wisdom is Mother. Compassion is Father. Since Manjushri embodies each, he’s each Father and Mother.


Buddha Weekly Feature image Manjushri by Ben Christian magnificent tangkha Buddhism
Lord Manjushri in his full youthful splendour by Ben Christian. The flaming sword (Khadga) of Lord Manjushri represents “cutting through delusions” — the start of knowledge. [For a feature on Ben Christian, the modern Thangka artist, see>>]


Buddha Weekly lord manjushri lg Buddhism
A gorgeous thangka of Lord Manjushri by Jampay Dorje. See this full interview with this nice fashionable Thangka artist>>

Of course, all Buddhas embody each — however Manjushri’s kinds and look give attention to each on the similar time in phrases of visible symbolism:

  • In his proper hand the Prajna Kudga, the flaming sword of knowledge — which represents the exercise of “cutting through delusions” — compassionate motion, and due to this fact “Father”

  • In his left hand he holds the stem of a Lotus, upon which is the Prajnaparamita sutra. Prajnaparamita is Mother, which he absolutely embodies

  • He manifests additionally as a youthful Bodhisattva — the “child” of the Buddhas.

Glorious youthful Manjushri, along with his iconic sword of energetic knowledge, is only one of his many kinds of knowledge. To fulfill this mission, as instructor, information and protector, Manjushri manifests with many faces. Traditionally, in Mahayana Buddhism, every Buddha manifests in as much as “eleven forms, expressions of “skillful means” — and every deity kind is profound and standard for various causes. Nowhere is that this extra obvious than in Manjushri, the Buddha who embodies Father, Mother, Bodhisattva Child, peaceable, wrathful, and even beastly. Why so many faces? Manjushri’s mission of “Compassionate Wisdom” calls for “skillful means.”

Peaceful, Wrathful, Semi-wrathful, Animal Aspect, and extra

Buddha Weekly Black Manjushri Buddhism
Manjushri manifests in lots of kinds. Here he’s Black Manjushri in wrathful standing kind — well-known as a therapeutic meditation for agressive sicknesses similar to Covid-19 and Cancers.

People who don’t perceive the profound “method” of deity visualization might imagine of the various kinds of Buddha as superstitious. They are, actually, deeply profound, incorporating common archetypal symbolism and visible triggers to our personal innate knowledge course of.

Why would Manjushri manifest with an “animal head? His “Highest Form” Yamantaka has 9 heads, one of which is a Buffalo head. Why can we generally meditate on a ferocious Black Manjushri? Why is Manjushri generally a youthful sixteen-year-old holding a flaming Wisdom Sword (“Prajna Kudga”) and the Prajnaparamita Sutra? In between these extremes is semi-fierce Black Manjushri.

Dharma as Medicine, Buddha kinds as Doctors

The nice lecturers usually current Dharma as analogous to medication — Dharma as medication, Buddha as “doctor” and Sangha as “supporting care givers.” Manjushri follow is Dharma (medication), his kinds are “doctors” — some kinds are specialists, similar to surgeons, different viral specialists — and his Entourage are the “supporting Sangha.”

In earlier options, we’ve used the analogy of the guardian to explain wrathful deities; in the identical method a father would possibly tackle the “persona” of “kind” or “sympathetic” or “fierce” guardian, relying on the wants of a child, Manjushri — and all Buddha’s — manifest in varied kinds to show or information us. Which father would you reasonably have at your facet in case you are bullied at college? Probably the fierce and protecting father. When you might be struggling nice tragedy? Probably the kindly, hand-holding father. [For more on this, see this feature on Wrathful deities>>]

Doctor, Specialist and Surgeon

Black Manjushri
Peaceful seated Black Manjushri.

In different phrases, for those who grouped the Buddha “emanation” kinds by wrathfulness and in comparison with “doctor” operate you would possibly see this analogy:

  • Peaceful kind of Manjushri — Family Doctor
  • Semi-wrathful kind of Manjushri, similar to Black Manjushri— surgeon or specialist
  • Wrathful kind of Manjushri, similar to Yamantaka — Specialist surgeon (neurosurgery, for instance.)

In the extra widespread metaphor of “father” character:

  • Peaceful kind of Manjushri — kindly father who listens to your issues
  • Semi-wrathful kind of Manjushri — father able to defend or self-discipline his child (for their very own good.)
  • Wrathful kind of Manjushri — the enraged protecting father who would do something to guard his child — within the case of the “Vajra Terrifier” Yamantaka, he protects from demise.

Mantra as Medicine

Since Manjushri encompasses Mother, Father and Child aspects, his core mantra is likewise all-encompassing. If Manjushri may be thought of as Doctor, his mantra is the medication:

Om A Ra Pa Cha Na Dhi


Buddha Weekly Manjushri and mantra Buddhism


Om begins all mantras, and Dhi is Manjushri’s “seed syllable.” For this cause his mantra is usually known as the ARAPACHANA mantra. Its impact on thoughts and physique has really been studied. Here is a full function on a Cognitive Study of ARAPACHANA by Dr. Deepika Chamoli Shahi, PhD>>

Manjushri’s highly effective mantra is open to anybody to chant:

Why is Black Manjushri related to therapeutic?

Black and wrathful symbolize ferocious vitality. While we might need for a “peaceful” state of thoughts when considering mindfulness or Dharma, when we’ve got want of therapeutic it’s extra vital to “activate” mind-over-body. Contemplating and visualizing Black Manjushri — in entrance of you for those who don’t have initiation — and chanting his mantra is a well-known therapeutic follow. While it actually does NOT exchange recommendation out of your doctor, there isn’t a doubt that — with religion — Black Manjushri’s therapeutic vitality may be useful. Hundreds of lineage lecturers by means of many generations have relied on the follow. For a narrative on Black Manjushri, see>>

Black Manjushri’s Mantra is suitable to chant with out empowerment so long as you visualize the Buddha in entrance of you:

The mantra is:


It can also be useful to chant Manjushri’s mantra:

Om Ah Rah Pah Chah Na Dih


Black Manjushri for therapeutic: a guided visualization:

Buddha Weekly Black Manjushri Mantra Buddhism
Black Manjushri’s therapeutic mantra. Screengrab from video inset above.


Five key kinds of any Buddha

People new to Mahayana Buddhism usually marvel at Sutra references similar to “hundreds of thousands of millions of Buddhalands to the West, there is a world called Ultimate Bliss.” [1]

Buddha Weekly White Manjushri Buddhism
White Manjushri

References to tens of millions of Buddhas or Purelands are cheap, on condition that the Universe is Infinite — and for those who perceive that every one sentient beings have “Buddha Nature.” [For a feature on Buddha Nature, see>>]

Colour is usually used to represent the 5 key aspects that target the 5 poisons (skandhas): White, Blue, Red, Yellow (Gold), and Green. There can also be “Black” for wrathful kinds. For instance, there are white, yellow, or orange and black Manjushris.

How we meditate on a Buddha varies. Not solely do we’ve got the various Buddhas — Manjushri, Shakyamuni (who manifested in our time), Amitabha, Tara, Avalokiteshvara, Vajrasattva — every of these Buddhas emanate in quite a few kinds.

These key kinds then can manifest with totally different ranges of “energy” or “activity” (wrathfulness) or archetype (similar to kingly, monastic.)

Emanations as layers?

You can suppose of these aspects of emanations of Buddhas as layers of symbolism. For instance, within the superior follow of Vajrabhairava (Yamantaka), the intense practitioner visualizes Yamantaka’s exterior kind — which is vastly difficult, with 9 faces, 34 arms, and 16 legs. But, at his coronary heart, Yamantaka has youthful Manjushri. Then, at Manjushri’s coronary heart, we visualize the seed syllable HUM. These “layers” are one other approach to perceive the deities — who’re none apart from your individual Buddha Nature manifesting outwardly.

It begins with the seed syllable Hum (then, generally, from Hum, an additional emanation to the seed syllable Dhi) — seed syllables are the primary emanation from the Emptiness or Oneness of Shunyata. From the seed syllable, we manifest outward to Manjushri in his youthful, standard kind, then additional outward to two-armed, one confronted Yamantaka — and lastly to the nice Vajra Terrifier Yamantaka with 9 faces, 34 arms, and 16 legs. [This is over-simplified, of course! The actual description in the Sadhana is many pages long!]


Buddha Weekly Yamantaka Buddhism
Arguably probably the most ferocious of wrathful yidams in Manjushri’s kind Solitary Hero Yamantaka with 9 faces, 34 arms, 16 legs treading on gods, males and beasts alike. Detail from a powerful Tangkha by Ben Christian (Jampay Dorje). See this full interview with this nice fashionable Thangka artist>>

An all-encompassing follow: Yamantaka

Buddha Weekly YAMANTAKA BITMAP Buddhism
Yamantaka and consort.

Yamantaka follow — celebrating probably the most ferocious side of Manjushri — particularly, contains each kind of sadhana follow:

  • Refuge and Bodhichitta
  • Lineage Guru Yoga
  • Vows
  • Complete Lama Tsongkhapa follow: “The Hundreds of Deities of the Joyful Land” (Gaden Lha Gyai Ma)
  • Seven Limb Practice
  • Complete Vajrasattva follow — not simply the mantra, however an entire purification sadhana
  • Outer and interior mandala choices
  • Inner Offerings (a number of)
  • Outer Sense Offerings (a number of choices)
  • Common Protection Wheel
  • Uncommon Protection Wheel
  • Three Kaya Practice: reworking abnormal demise into Dharmakaya; reworking the intermediate (Bhardo) state into the Sambogakkaya; reworking rebirth into the Nirmanakaya
  • Preliminary and Concluding Torma choices
  • Complete follow of the complete mandala, together with the wrathful protectors
  • Blessing of all of the organs and senses — a kind of Body Mandala
  • Empowerment and initiation
  • Consecrating the mala
  • Mantra recitations, together with Manjushri’s core mantra OM A RA PA TZA NA DHI, the nice Root Mantra Dharani, the Action Mantra and Essence Mantras
  • Generation of Karmayama and different wrathful members of the nice mandala and Torma choices — and the request for actions and actions to profit all beings
  • Extensive praises
  • The Yoga of Daily Activities

There is not any follow lacking right here.

For extra on Yamantaka follow — which, of course, requires permission and initiation — see our earlier function>> “Angry Wisdom: Yamantaka, the Destroyer off Death…”


Buddha Weekly Manjushri horizontal Buddhism
Orange Manjushri.


Eleven iconic kinds — to faucet our visible creativeness

If you take a look at the totally different kinds of meditation, varied Buddhas emanate as cures (medication) for the Five Poisons — therefore the Five Buddha Families. [For more on the Five Buddha families, see>>] Then, every of these Five Buddhas — who may be thought-about emanations of Shakyamuni — manifest in varied kinds, which are likely to fall into the “eleven iconic aspects” — right here introduced within the order of “peaceful” to “wrathful”:

1 – Buddha look
2 – Monastic look
3 – Lay determine look
4 – Elder look
5 – Mahasiddha look
6 – Kingly look
7 – Peaceful Deva or Bodhisattva look
8 – Semi-wrathful
9 – Warrior look
10 – Wrathful or “Angry” look
11 – Animal-headed (or featured) deities


The many faces of Wisdom and Compassion: Top proper ferocious Yamantaka (two arms), prime middle Yamantaka with 9 heads — Manjushri’s head on prime — prime proper a rarer tantric kind, middle backside Orange Manjushri with Wisdom Sword, backside proper middle Peaceful Black Manjushri, backside Right Wrathful Black Manjushri and backside left, the syllable Hum on a Lotus.


You might simplify this checklist down by the “energy” degree side to Peaceful, Semi-Wrathful, Wrathful. For instance, underneath varied varieties of “wrathful energy,” you may need “Warrior”, “Angry” or “Animal Headed.”


Buddha Weekly Orange Manjushri Buddhism
Orange Manjushri along with his sword of knowledge that “cuts through delusions.”


Many kinds of Manjushri

There are numerous kinds from sutra and tantra, together with Manjushri the Bodhisattva who seems usually within the teaching sutras, Manjushri the Peaceful Buddha, varied semi-wrathful kinds, and — with out contradiction — probably the most wrathful kind of any meditation deity — Vajrabhairva, the Vajra Terrifier. There are additionally some lesser-known aspects. (See images on this function for some pictures).

Manjushri-Ghosha (Tibetan: jam pal yang)

The Glorious One with a Melodious Voice, the Bodhisattva we see because the heart-son of the Buddha Shakyamuni in sutra.

Buddha Weekly Manjushri Gosha Buddhism
Manjushri Gosha.

“Possessing a youthful body and fully extending wisdoms lamp, you clear away the darkness of the three worlds; to you, Manjushri, I bow.” from a Sakya liturgical verse.

This emanation is described as: “youthful in appearance, orange in colour like the rising sun, the right hand loosely extended across the knee holds the stem of a blue utpala flower blossoming above the shoulder supporting a blue upright sword of wisdom giving forth licks of flame from the tip. Cradled to the heart with the left hand is a folio text of the Prajnaparamita sutra. At the top of the head beneath a gemstone blazing with orange fire the blue hair is piled in a topknot, some falling loose across the shoulders, tied with golden flowers. A thin areola, reddish and ethereal, surrounds the head. Lightly adorned with gold earrings and a choker necklace, he wears a blue-green scarf and a lower garment with even-folds of red and pink covering the legs. In a relaxed posture of royal ease atop a large pink lotus blossom with lush green foliage rising on thin stems from a pond of blue rippling water below, he sits against an open background and vast clear sky.” [4]

Namasangiti four-armed Manjushri

Buddha Weekly Exotic many armed Manjushri BuddhismFrom Himilayan Art:
“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.”

A Meditation On Orange Manjushri

by the Fifth Dalai Lama (1617-1682)

I make humble obeisance to you, nice Tsongkhapa, Personification of Manjushri in human kind with all of the marks and indicators of perfection.
Your magnificent attainments had been nurtured within the matrix of motherly methodology and knowledge mixed
Of which the colourful syllable DHI is an embodiment.

Sipping the nectars of the profound teachings, Directly from Manjushri’s masterly eloquence, You realized the center of knowledge.
 Inspired by your instance, I’ll now set out an outline of the steps for actualization Of Manjushri, the bodhisattva of knowledge, In accord along with your realization.

Begin the session with the final preliminaries of taking refuge and producing the altruistic thought of enlightenment. Then con- template the 4 immeasurable ideas of love, compassion, pleasure, and equanimity.

Taking Refuge and Generating Bodhichitta

I’m going for refuge till I’m enlightened
To the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Supreme Assembly.
By my follow of giving and different perfections,
May I grow to be a buddha to profit all sentient beings. (3x)

The Four Immeasurables

May all sentient beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May all sentient beings be free from struggling and the causes of struggling.
May all sentient beings be inseparable from the happiness that’s free from struggling.
May all sentient beings abide in equanimity, free from want for associates and hatred for enemies.1
Recite the SVABHAVA mantra to purify notion in vacancy and then proceed:


Buddha Weekly Manjushri Orange Buddhism
Visualizing Orange Manjushri with knowledge sword in his proper hand and Prajnaparamita Sutra in his left on a lotus flower.




Dhi on a lotus
Dhi syllable visualized on a lotus. This is the “seed” syllable of Manjushri.

At my coronary heart is my thoughts within the form of an egg, its level upwards. Inside the egg, on a full moon disc, is an orange letter DHI, from which an infinite quantity of mild emits. It fills the entire of my physique, purifying all my negativities and eradicating all my obscura- tions gathered since beginingless time. The mild rays depart by means of my pores and grow to be choices to the buddhas and bo- dhisattvas, thereby delighting them. This causes the blessings of the physique, speech, and thoughts of these holy beings to dissolve into mild that destroys the darkness of ignorance of all sentient be- ings, thus inserting them in knowledge’s illumination.

The rays then recollect into the syllable DHI. It transforms into mild, my abnormal notion and my clinging thereto vanish, and I emerge as Venerable Manjushri, orange in colour, with one face and two arms. My proper hand brandishes a sword of knowledge within the area above me. At my coronary heart between the thumb and ring finger of my left hand, I maintain the stem of an utpala lotus. Upon its petals in full bloom, by my left ear, rests a quantity of the Perfec- tion of Wisdom Sutra.

I sit in full lotus posture and am adorned with valuable ornaments for my head, ears, throat, and shoulders, in addition to bracelets and anklets. Draped in a flowing mantle and skirt of beautiful silks, my hair is tied up in 5 knots and coils counter-clockwise. Bearing an entrancing and serene smile, I sit amidst a mass of mild radiat- ing from my physique. The letter OM marks the crown of my head, AH my throat and HUM my coronary heart.

HUM emits rays of mild that invite the knowledge beings from the inconceivable mansion of their very own pure lands. They resemble Manjushri as described above and are surrounded by hosts of buddhas and bodhisattvas.


They take in into me and thus we grow to be one.

Offerings and Praise

Buddha Weekly Waterbowl offering Buddhism
Visualize the choices, or make them tangible in your altar.

One then makes choices and reward.


I make obeisance to your youthful kind, O Manjushri. Like that of a dynamic and swish sixteen yr previous, You repose upon the total moon as your cushion
At the middle of an expansive, milk-white lotus.

I make obeisance to your speech, O mighty fulfiller of needs, So mellifluent to the minds of numerous sentient beings,
A lucent euphony to accord with every listener’s capability,
Its multiplicity embellishing the listening to of all unlucky ones.

O Manjushri, I make obeisance to your thoughts
Wherein is illuminated the complete tapestry of the myriad objects
of information.
It is a tranquil ocean of unfathomable profundity
Of immeasurable breadth, boundless like area itself.

Mantra Recitation

Buddha Weekly Manjushiri mantra surrounding DHI syllable visualization Buddhism
Visualization of the DHI syllable on the coronary heart surrounded by A RA PA CHA NA.

At my coronary heart upon a moon disc is an orange syllable DHI. Encircling it on the disc’s periphery stands the rosary-like mantra of:


All the syllables radiate mild, which gathers each the wisdoms of exposition, dialectics and composition and the wisdoms of hear- ing, contemplation and meditation, that are possessed by the buddhas, bodhisattvas, sravakas and pratyekabuddhas, and the smart and discovered masters of all of the Buddhist and non-Buddhist traditions.

One contemplates the fusion of such knowledge inside one’s mindstream and recites the mantra accordingly. See pages September 11 for a extra elaborate clarification and follow of receiving the seven varieties of knowledge.

Conclude the session with the hundred-syllable Vajrasat- tva mantra to purify excesses, omissions and errors. Then finish with some prayers and auspicious verses.



By advantage of this follow might I shortly
Accomplish the highly effective attainments of Manjushri; And then might I lead all beings with out exception To that supreme state.


[1] Amitabha Sutra
[2] 11 Iconic Forms of Buddhas
[3] Chanting the Names of Mañjuśrī: The Mañjuśrī-nāma-saṃgīti
[4] Manjushri gosha web page on Himilayan artwork
[5] Orange Manjushri Sadhana by the Fifth Dalai Lama, translated by FPMT.


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