A few months ago, one of my students sent me a very interesting image of a 1000-armed Manjushri!!! I have never seen this form of Manjushri before, and instantly fell in love with Him!! I quickly got JJ to help me find more information on this beautiful form of Manjushri… and thought that I should share whatever was found with all of my blog readers.
This form of Manjushri is mainly found across China and Taiwan… Manjushri has always been one of my favorite Buddhas… I don’t know why, but I feel very close to Manjushri… I like any Buddha that can increase our wisdom and intelligence. To fully understand the Dharma, not just intellectually, but to understand it to the point where we can apply it and have some realizations, we need wisdom and intelligence… Do read the beautiful sutra translated from Mandarin Chinese by JJ.
I love this Manjushri emanation so much that I had JJ help make one for me… and beautiful 1000-arm Manjushri just arrived at my Ladrang a few weeks ago! Do look at the pictures below… Manjushri is stunning!!
My beautiful 1000-Arm Manjushri in the Ladrang. This picture was taken a few days after He was invited into my room!!
A few days later, I had Joy and helpers painted Him. Real gold was offered onto Manjushri’s face.
When we paint a statue we should never view it as beautification for our viewing pleasure, but as an offering to the Buddhas. It’s best to offer as much gold and jewels as you can onto the Buddha statue…
Joy painting in the waterline of Manjushri’s eyes…
Painting the many Buddha Shakyamuni’s that Manjushri holds!!
Two of Manjushri’s arms being painted black and gold.
More arms being painted!
Lots and lots of arms being painted!!
Mantras that are specifically placed inside the statue at the stomach area.
Holy relics are sealed tightly with a ziplock bag and wrapped in a yellow cloth. Other items that are placed inside the statue are potpourri and mothballs.
Everything is kept in place with a yellow cloth, and then a wooden base is hammered on.
Lastly, a red velvet cloth is placed under the lotus base.
The different parts of the 1000-arm Manjushri statue coming together.
Manjushri with His gold face and features painted in.
Lord Manjushri looking very regal!
Wonderful well done job… Manjushri looks spectacular!
Joy is a talented artist that has been with me for many years now. She does the paintings on most of my personal statues.
This statue of 1000-arm Manjushri is truly one-of-a-kind.
A close-up view of Manjushri.
I love all forms of Manjushri… anything Manjushri…
The very first 1000-arm Manjushri statue in Kechara!
What a perfect Buddha… He has now been invited into the Ladrang.
Each of Manjushri’s hand has a Buddha Shakyamuni statue.
Excerpt of the Mahayana Yoga Vajratta Sagara Manjusri Sahasrabhuja Sahasrapatra Mahasasanaraja sutra:
Translated by JJ
Thus have I heard, at one time Buddha Shakyamuni was in Maheshvara Heaven in the palace of Vinangkamuni. The Buddha was on his many jeweled throne together with the Buddha Vairochana in the assembly of Vajra Sagara speaking of this Sutra. Present were many Devas and Brahmas and an assembly of Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas.
In the assembly there was a Maha Arya Bodhisattva Manjushri who has a golden body. From his body emanated a thousand arms, with a thousand hands, each holding an alms bowl. From within these alms bowls comes forth a thousand Shakyamuni Buddhas. The thousand Buddhas continue to manifest limitless emanations.
Seated on his treasure throne in the midst of the great assembly, the Buddha told Samantabhadra, the great sixteen Bodhisattvas and assembly of Bodhisattvas Mahasattvas: “Listen carefully! I will now expound the blessings of Vairochana which enables all the Bodhisattvas of the Dharmadatu attain the state of Manjushri”
At that time, Vairochana Buddha told the thousand emanations of Buddha Shakyamuni: “In the past I have practiced the most secret Vajra practices, and from those practices, Manjushri is my teacher. After many eons of this Guru-disciple relationship, I have achieved the stainless pinnacle of Vairochana. With this attainment, I have become a cause for sentient beings to achieve enlightenment. I have become the source of immense Buddhahood. “
In the past, from the pure heart of Vairochana Buddha emanates the golden body of the Great Arya Manjushri Sahasra Bhuja Bodhisattva. Manjushri also manifested the secret mantra means of attaining this state of enlightenment. Buddha Vairochana spoke about the:
- Visualization of the syllable AH, leads us into the Deathless State is the embodiment of Tathagatha Vairochana.
- Visualization of the syllable RA, leads us into the nature of Emptiness free from defilements is the embodiment of Tathagatha Akshokbya.
- Visualization of the syllable PA, leads us into the insight that all Dharmas have been “Expounded in the ultimate sense, the embodiment of Ratnasambhava”.
- Visualization of the syllable TSA, leads us into the insight that the arising and ceasing of things cannot be apprehended because in reality there is no arising or ceasing, the embodiment of the Tathagatha Avalokita.
- Visualization of the syllable NA, leads us into the insight that all things are void of true nature, the embodiment of Tathagatha Amogasiddhi.
[Source: Mahayana yoga vajratta sagara manjusri sahasrabhuja sahasrapatra mahasasanaraja sutra from the Chinese Tripitaka Cannon]
Manjushri Mantra to increase memory
[Source: Chinese Tripitaka Cannon – Tang Dynasty – Amoghavajra’s translation]
1000 Arm Manjushri Mantra
1000 Arm Manjushri Puja
Description of 1000 Arm Manjushri
From the 1st and 5th chapter of the Thousand Arm Manjushri sutra, there’s a detailed description of how Manjushri manifested himself in this particular form. His full name the Exalted One 5 peaks 5 wisdoms 1000 arms, 1000 hands, 1000 alms bowls, 1000 Buddha Shakyamuni Manjushri Bodhisattva.
The name for this form of Manjushri comes from the fact that he has 1000 arms and each hand carries a monk’s bowl. In the Dunhuang Caves of 1000 Buddhas, there are two depictions of this form of Manjushri. Found in the 6th cave, Manjushri is depicted sitting or standing atop a lotus flower as big as mount Sumeru. He has 5 hair knots, a Buddha adorns his crown and he wears precious jewels and garments on his body.
The first two hands is held at the level of his chest, the left hand holds an alms bowl with a Buddha Shakyamuni inside. The right hand is held upright with both thumb and index finger touching each other.
The second set of hands is held at the level of the waist in meditation mudra holding an alm’s bowl with a Buddha inside the bowl.
The remainder 1000 hands is divided by 6 levels, each level . There are 200 main hands which are found in the 72 cave. He wears the 5 Buddha crown and hands are stretched open forming a full moon. These wall paintings are from the Soong Dynasty and are part of the murals from the 1000 Buddha Caves in Dun Huang.
From the 6th Cave in Dunhuang
Monasteries with 1000 Arm Manjushri
1) Manju Buddha Monastery (曼殊佛寺)
Based in Taidong, Taiwan; this monastery holds the duplicated form of the Thousand Arm Manjushri statue from Chong San Monastery, Tai Yuan City, China.
This is a beautiful duplicate of a Ming Dynasty 1000-armed Manjushri statue…
Close up of the statue…
Each arm holds a begging bowl…
A Buddha inside each bowl…
… there are 1,000 bowls!
The full frontal view of the 1000-armed Manjushri statue.
Manju Buddha Monastery.
2) Chong San Monastery (崇善寺)
(Source: http://baike.baidu.com/view/67859.htm )
Chong San Monastery is located in Tai Yuan City, China. It was originally named Bai Ma Monastery (also known as White Horse Monastery). During the early Ming dynasty (1383’s), the monastery was renamed to the name we know of today. The 1000 Arm Manjushri statue is located in the Compassion Hall of Chong San Monastery, along side with the 11 faced Thousand Arm Chenrezig and Samantabhadra. All 3 statues stand at 8.5 meter high.
Chong San Monastery.
Beautiful 1000-armed Manjushri on the altar.
An antique image of the 1000-armed Manjushri in Chong San monastery.
The state stands at 8.5 metres tall!
The altar in Chong San Monastery.
Entrance of Chong San Monastery.
Beautiful altar, so many offerings placed in front of the Buddhas!
You can tell from the roof that this monastery is very old…
8.5 m Samantabhadra statue.
Three statues lined side by side…
3) Mogao Cave
Mogao Cave, also known as the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas have over 492 temples, located 25 km southeast of the center of Dunhuang which is strategically located on the Silk Road in Gansu province, China. The earliest cave that was identified is cave no. 361 in the mid fourth century and the biggest cave is no. 99. The Thousand Arm Manjushri murals are found in caves no. 14 and no. 114. There are over 16 wall paintings in these two caves. At the crown of Manjushri, he wears a Buddha crown. Wearing a heavenly clothes with 4 arms in front of the chest holding two bowls with a Buddha inside, and one thousand arms around the body. The arms that layer closer to Manjushri’s holy body contains Buddhas inside the bowls, while the arms at the outer layer contains no Buddha images inside the bowls. Above Manjushri’s body is a parasol with sun and moon on both sides. Images of Boddhisattvas and protectors surrounds Manjushri, with 2 naga kings below Manjushri.
1000-armed Manjushri painting in Cave No. 14
Larger view of the painting in Cave No. 14…
Close up of the 1000-armed Manjushri in Cave No. 114
[Source: http://www.travel-silkroad.com/chinese/silkroad/lishi/dunhuang/xia1802.htm; http://enweb.dha.ac.cn/0025/index.htm; http://wangshiqi.lofter.com/post/bd8c2_180d38]
4) Xiantong Monastery (五台山千臂文殊菩萨)
Xiantong Monastery is located in Shanxi province, China. It was built in the Qing dynasty, and during this time, a beautiful 1000 Arm Manjushri was built in the Thousand Bowl Manjushri Hall. It stands at 5.4 meters.
The 1000 Arm Manjushri here is depicted as having five heads and ridding on a lion. He has as a golden body, wearing heavenly clothes, jewels and the 7 Buddha crowns. Two of his arms hold Shakyamuni Buddha on the crown of Manjushri’s head, two arms on the cheeks while holding 2 bells, another two arms on the chest with the left holding a bell and right hand holding a bell; and 1000 arms surrounding His holy body, with each arm holding a bowl with a Buddha seated inside.
Entrance of Xiang Tong Monastery.
1000-armed Manjushri on the altar.
A very unusual, but beautiful form….
[Source: http://zifengling1049.blog.sohu.com/187251864.html; http://news.chiculture.net/article/62/1400.html; http://www.wu-tai-shan.com/bbs/thread-211-1-1.html]
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