The lotus seat has nineteen petals that do not extend completely around. The back of the pedestal is exquisitely decorated with dragons and other mythical creatures. The bottom of the pedestal is incised with a stylized design.
Manjushri occupies a very high position in the Buddhist pantheon. His mention as a Bodhisattva occurs in the earliest Buddhist scriptures, however, he was comparatively late in making his appearance and his inclusion in the pantheon could not have been much earlier than the Gupta period. His image has not been found in the Gandhara and Mathura schools of sculpture. The noted Buddhist scholars Ashvaghosha, Nagarjuna and Aryadeva have also not mentioned his name in their works. His name occurred for the first time in the Aryamanjushrimulakalpa. In the Namasangiti he is called 'Adi-Buddha. References in medieval Buddhist literature seem to connect him with China and Nepal, and the way in which he is mentioned seems to suggest that there was some historicity behind him. His human original was perhaps connected in some way or other with the introduction of civilization in Nepal from China.
The Sadhanamala mentions many forms of Manjushri. The usual attributes of Manjushri are a wisdom word (flaming sword) and book (the book of knowledge (Prajna)). The meaning of his attributes is that he severs the coils of ignorance with the sword and imparts knowledge from the book, he is thus in a way the Mahayana counterpart of Brahma and Sarasvati of the Brahmanical pantheon.
A. Getty, The Gods of Northern Buddhism, Tokyo, 1961
B. Bhattacharyya, The Indian Buddhist Iconography, Calcutta, 1958.
S. K. Saraswati, Tantrayana Art: An album, Calcutta, 1977.
This description by Dr. Shailendra Kumar Verma, Ph.D. His doctorate thesis being on the "Emergence and Evolution of the Buddha Image (from its inception to 8th century A.D)."