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Bodhisattva Manjusri

Bodhisattva Manjusri, 18th century

Tibet, 1700-1799
Gilt bronze
3-3/8 in. (8.6 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
© The Norton Simon Foundation

On view

Within the Vajrayana Buddhist tradition, a devotee may pray to the Bodhisattva Manjusri to gain guidance from the insight and intelligence that he personifies. This example is depicted with hands in the teaching gesture (Dharmachakra mudra) and is seated in the meditation posture of upturned soles (Vajraparyankasana) on a lotus pedestal. In some representations, Manjusri may hold a sword in one hand, symbolizing intelligence that cuts through ignorance, and a book of teachings in the other, representing knowledge. He is also associated closely with Prajnaparamita, the goddess who embodies transcendental wisdom.

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