Manjushri is an ancient Buddha who vowed to emanate throughout the universe as the always youthful. His special purpose is to lead the audiences of the Buddha in the inquiry into the shelf, to discover the true nature of reality. He is usually depicted holding the text of the transcendent Wisdom Sutra in his left hand and the double-edged sword of analytic discrimination, which cuts through all delusions, in his right.
Manjushri raises his hands in front of his heart in the teaching gesture. He sits comfortably in the pose of ease atop an ornate Lotus pedestal whose base is decorated with winding vines and cavorting lions, probably a reference to the lion mount he sometimes rides.
Manjushri carries with his right hand the double-edged sword able to cut through illusion and with his left hand a blooming lotus that supports a volume of the Prajnaparamita Sutra. 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 honored virtue in Buddhism, called the Mother of all Buddhas since only wisdom makes possible the great bliss of total freedom from all suffering that is the goal all living beings. Thus, Manjushri is one the most important of all Buddhist deities, the veritable god of wisdom and herald of emancipation.