Manjushri is the patron deity of Nepalese Buddhism. He is identified with the primordial Buddha Svayambhu and is the root teacher of Nepalese Buddhist Chakrasamvara practice. Moreover the cult of Manjushri is popular in Northern Buddhist countries. They conceived him in various forms and worshipped him with various mantras. Those, who could not form any conception of him according to Tantric rites, attained perfection only muttering his numerous mantras; he is believed to have been a wandering ascetic and the Gandavyuha Sutra records the tradition that he came out of Pratishthanakutagara and, accompanied by Bodhisattvas of his status and other divinities, led his journey to Dakshinapatha. Further it is also mentioned in the text about an assembly at Jetavana in which Manjushri, Samantabhadra, five thousand Bodhisattvas and Mahashravakas are said to have been present along with Buddha. A Chinese tradition records that Gautama Buddha informed Manjushri of his duty to turn the Wheel of Law for the salvation of the Chinese and choose Panchashira (five-peaked) mountain in Shan-si province in China as his place of manifestation. The association of Manjushri with China is also mentioned in the Svayambhu Purana in which it is mentioned that Manjushri was a great saint with many disciples and followers. He came from mount Panchashira, which was his abode, to Svayambhunath Kshetra in order to pay his respect to Adi Buddha who had manifested himself as a flame of fire on a mountain in lake Kalihrada, which is now the Nepal Valley. Manjushri erected a temple over the flame of fire and on a hillock and nearby he made his own abode, and also a vihara still known as the Manjupattana, for his disciples. He did many pious deeds there. He returned home after putting everything in proper order and soon attained the divine form of a Bodhisattva, leaving his mundane body behind. This tradition has led some scholars to propound the view that Manjushri was a historical character who brought civilization to Nepal from China. Arya- Manjusri-Mulakalpa and Sadhanamala describe a number of distinctive forms of the god for worship.
The present form of Manjushri is known as Arapachana. In this form he is to be seated in vajraparyankasana with two hands, right hand upraised with wisdom sword and the left with a manuscript held near the chest. But in many manifestations as in the case of present painting he does not carry the book against the chest, but holds the stem of a lotus flower, which bears the book. In this painting ever graceful Manjushri is seated in vajraparyankasana on a moon disk on a lotus flower against a brilliant aureole and moon disk with natural vegetation. He has a smiling face and his body is painted gold instead of white or red, the contribution of gold bringing increased merit to the donor. His hair is partly upswept in a knot with decoration on it and partly falls on his shoulders. He is adorned with a jeweled crown with flowers and ornaments of a prince, flowing scarf and floral dhoti. One white silk scarf is tied diagonally in his left shoulder.
This description is by Dr. Shailendra K. Verma. His Doctorate thesis being: "Emergence and Evolution of the Buddha Image (From its inception to 8th century A.D.)".