Manjushri is known as the Bodhisattva of Wisdom and is the bodhisattva counterpart to Adi Buddha (Thogmai Sangye), the Primordial Buddha. He is the tutelary deity of astrology and generally the protector of students. Manjushri is often considered to be the Buddha's incarnate wisdom.
Manjushri is a typical representation of this bodhisattva. Red color manjushri, illustrating his desire to be actively involved with aiding beings toward liberation, by way of wisdom. Manjushri is seated in dhyanasana and the left hand is in the vitarka mudra of bodhisattvas. He has a plain green head aureole and a body aureole surrounded by garlands. To complete the bodhisattva ensemble his hair is in the jatamukuta style.
In his right hand Manjushri holds the flaming double sword of analytic discrimination to annihilate ignorance, the fundamental cause of cyclic existence and suffering. The left hand holds a blue lotus surmounted by the book of transcendent wisdom, the prajnaparamita sutra. Manjushri is surrounded by over a hundred similar golden manifestations, symbolizing the universality of the Bodhisattva of Wisdom. In Tibetan history there have been two important scholarly figures thought to be incarnations of Manjushri, Atisha and Je Tsong Khapa. For information regarding Atisha see page nine. Je Tsong Khapa was a great scholar in the fourteenth century; reformer of monastic rules, author of several important commentaries, and founder of the Gelukpa sect. Both of these figures played a major role in the academic and religious environment of Tibet , so naturally they are connected to the Bodhisattva of Wisdom.