Manjushri is the Bodhisattva of wisdom and knowledge. Manjushri is closely associated with the goddess Prajnaparamita, who is not his partner but the personification of knowledge. With his flaming sword, Manjushri ensures that humans will gain knowledge, insight and cleaves the clouds of ignorance with it.
He also uses it in the morning to chase away the demons of the night, and so brings light into the darkness. This darkness has a double meaning and is thus also spiritual darkness, ignorance.
The Bodhisattva Manjushri is represented in his classic manifestation. The pricy figure is elegantly seated on a plinth of the lion’s skin. The brass statue with inlay work is reminiscent of the figural form of a much earlier period. The balance of form is expressed further by the graceful and measured gestures of the hands that form the focal point of the composition. The design of the garment is finely articulated with stone and goldwork. The smooth elegance of the suavely modelled figure and serene facial expression with half-shut eyes and sensuous mouth are vestiges of the classical features depicted in art produced during the early Lichchhavi period in Nepal. Manjushri was the initiator and master of prior Buddhas, and he will be the same for Maitreya, the future Buddha.
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