Manjushri Thangka

Manjushri Thangka

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Manjushri is one of the best-known and most important of the bodhisattvas of Mahaayaana Buddhism and is especially associated with the wisdom of awakening. Manjushri is traditionally used as a support for one’s meditation practice.


Manjushri sits cross-legged upon a lotus flower on top of an elaborate alter which has embedded a symbol of the wheel of dharma and more pink lotuses at the base. In his right hand, he holds a flaming sword. His left hand is positioned in a gesture of teaching and in the same hand, holds a stem of a lotus that is supporting a book, the Prajnaparamita Sutra.

He is wearing a white sash, is also draped with a green garment, and is wearing a jeweled headpiece. In the background, there is a mountain range. There are eight auspicious symbols located on the left and side of Manjushri.


The lotus flowers symbolize purity/compassion. The sword represents wisdom and it is tipped with flames to cut through ignorance and duality. The mountain range represents Wutaishan Mountain, where it is said that Munjushri visited and now dwells.

Today, Buddhist’s visit the mountain as a sacred site for veneration. The eight auspicious symbols are as follows:

The Conch Shell

it stands for the “fame of the Buddha’s teaching, which spreads in all directions like the sound of the conch trumpet.”

The Endless Knot

It represents the infinite wisdom of the Buddha since the knot has no end.

The Victory Banner

It “denotes the Buddha’s triumph over Mara.”

The Wheel

It is a symbol for the Buddha’s teachings and refers to setting the wheel of dharma in motion.

The Parasol

Parsol is a symbol of protection and royalty.

The Golden Fishes

They represent happiness, because “they have complete freedom in the river.”

The Treasure Vase

The Treasure Vase is a refers to the “spiritual abundance of the Buddha.”

The Lotus

Lotus represents purity and compassion.


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