5 forms of Manjushri

Depicting 5 Forms of Manjushri Thangka

Wutaishan Mountain in is considered special for the deity/. According to oral and Chinese literature, it was who first talked about the five different of .

5 forms of are represented on each of the five peaks: central and four directions. The Five Manjushri forms are not depicted in a consistent manner.

There are many iconographic differences appearing between the various be they central figures or minor figures in a . This may suggest that there was no original definitive iconographic description for each of the five forms of Manjushri. These forms became more standardized after the publication of the White Beryl astrological text of in the 17th century.

is said to have originated from the of Manjushri while he dwelt on Mount Wutaishan. It is also from here, looking out onto the world, that Manjushri perceived the brilliant light shining from the relics of in the lake of what is now known as the Valley. Manjushri used his sword to cleave an opening in the mountains to drain the lake. The relics of Dīpankara Buddha are safely contained in the .

Later, after the of Tsongkapa, a Manjushri emanation, and based on the visions of the direct student Khedrubje, five forms of Tsongkapa also became associated with the five peaks. The five forms of Manjushri are unique to Wutaishan while the five forms of Tsongkapa can also be found represented in other compositions and contexts.

Manjushri is either seated on a lion or on an elephant. Both have associated with a fully buddha.  However, as a , he is depicted as a sixteen-year-old youth.  This is a confirmation of the fact that is not merely associated with maturity and age, but it is a direct consequence of anyone’s logical inquiry into the true nature of reality.

5 Forms of Manjushri

Manjushri is the bodhisattva of transcendent wisdom. He carries in his right hand the double-edged sword able to cut through illusion and with his left hand a blooming that supports a book, the .

In the Buddhist pantheon, he is depicted as a youth of sixteen years in order to convey the Buddhist insight that wisdom is not a matter of mere experience or years, but results from the cultivation of intellectual genius, which can penetrate directly to the bedrock of reality.

Wisdom is the most honoured virtue in , called the Mother of all Buddhas since only wisdom makes possible the great bliss of total from all that is the goal of all living beings.

5 forms of Manjushri

5 forms of Manjushri

Simhanada Manjushri

Red Manjushri is another form of Manjushri with a red in color, one face, 4 arms.

The right hands are holding a flaming sword and an arrow.

The left-hand holds the stem of lotus with the book on the top of lotus and bow.

Red Manjushri is often depicted as a beautiful youth, seated cross legged on a lotus-flower , attired in princely and ornaments.


red manjushri

red Manjushri

Tikshna Manjushri

Green Manjushri is another form of Manjushri. with a body green in color has one face and two arms.

The right-hand holds the stem of a lotus and a sword and left-hand holds the stem of lotus with the book on the top of lotus. He is wearing adorned with silks, jewels, and bone ornaments seated with the feet in posture.


Tikshna Manjushri

Tikshna Manjushri

Vimala Manjushri

Black Manjushri is a wrathful form of Manjushri used to remove inner and outer obstacles.

Lord Manjushri with a body blue-black in color, one face, two arms.

The right-hand holds aloft to the sky a sword blazing with severing

The left-hand holds the stem of an held to the heart with the One-Hundred-Thousand verse book above.

He is adorned with silks, jewels, and bone ornaments seated with the feet in vajra posture.

Vimala Manjushri

Vimala Manjushri

Jnanasattva Manjushri

White Manjushri, is another form of the wisdom deity Manjushri, white in color, with one face and two arms.

In this form, he is generally represented with his legs crossed in vajra posture; his right hand in the of supreme generosity and left holding the stem of a lotus on which rests a flaming sword.

There are other traditions where White Manjushri has the simple attribute of a book resting on an utpala flower or with multiple faces and arms, or riding a lion.


Jnanasattva Manjushri

Jnanasattva Manjushri

Arapachana Manjushri

Arapacana Manjushri, or is often depicted as a beautiful youth, seated cross-legged on a lotus-flower throne, attired in princely silks and ornaments.

In his right hand, raised above his head, he wields the symbol most distinctively, a flaming sword of wisdom that cuts through the ignorance which binds sentient beings to a cycle of suffering and unhappiness.

In his left hand, at his heart, he holds a book, a volume of the Perfection of Wisdom, representing both the source and embodiment of his awakened understanding.

Vimala Manjushri

Vimala Manjushri

Manjushri Mantra



Manjushri Thangka

Meaning and Benefits of Manjushri Mantra

OM also written , is a and mystical syllable that originates from but is now common in Buddhism, Hinduism, , , and the Bön tradition
AH is a door to the insight that all are unproduced from the very beginning (ādya-anutpannatvād)
RA is a door to the insight that all dharmas are without dirt
BA is a door to the insight that all dharmas have been expounded in the ultimate sense (paramārtha)
TSA is a door to the insight that the decrease or rebirth of any dharma cannot be apprehended, because all dharmas do not decrease, nor are they reborn
NA is a door to the insight that the names of all dharmas have vanished; the essential nature behind names cannot be gained or lost
DHI thought, thought, reflection, , devotion, prayer, understanding, intelligence, wisdom


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About sadiksha

Namaste! I am a Nepali Art Dealer specialized in Mandala and Thangka paintings. I love to write articles about the monastic culture of the Himalayas.

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