文殊

文殊
(文殊師利) Mañjuśrī 滿殊尸利 -later 曼殊室利. 文殊 is also used for Mañjunātha, Mañjudeva, Mañjughoṣa, Mañjuṣvara, et al. T., hjamdpal; J., Monju. Origin unknown; presumably, like most Buddhas and bodhisattvas, an idealization of a particular quality, in his case of Wisdom. Mañju is beautiful, Śrī; good fortune, virtue, majesty, lord, an epithet of a god. Six definitions are obtained from various scriptures: 妙首 (or 頭 ) wonderful or beautiful) head; 普首 universal head; 濡首 glossy head (probably a transliteration); 敬首 revered head; 妙德 wonderful virtue (or power); 妙吉祥 wonderfully auspicious; the last is a later translation in the 西域記. As guardian of wisdom 智慧 he is often placed on Śākyamuni's left, with 普顯 on the right as guardian of law 理, the latter holding the Law, the former the wisdom or exposition of it; formerly they held the reverse positions. He is often represented with five curls or waves to his hair indicating the 五智 q. v. or the five peaks; his hand holds the sword of wisdom and he sits on a lion emblematic of its stern majesty: but he has other forms. He is represented as a youth, i. e. eternal youth. His present abode is given as east of the universe, known as 淸涼山 clear and cool mountain, or a region 寶住 precious abode, or Abode of Treasures, or 寶氏 from which he derives one of his titles, 寶相如來. One of his (sa) dhāraṇīs prophesies China as his post-nirvāṇa realm. In past incarnations he is described as being the parent of many Buddhas and as having assisted the Buddha into existence; his title was 龍種上佛 the supreme Buddha of the (sa) nāgas, also 大身佛 or 神仙佛; now his title is 歡喜藏摩尼寶精佛 The spiritual Buddha who joyfully cares for the jewel: and his future title is to be 普現佛 Buddha universally revealed. In the 序品 Introductory Chapter of the <Lotus Sutra> he is also described as the ninth predecessor or Buddha-ancestor of Śākyamuni. He is looked on as the chief of the Bodhisattvas and represents them, as the chief disciple of the Buddha, or as his son 法王子. Hīnayāna counts Śāriputra as the wisest of the disciples, Mahāyāna gives Mañjuśrī the chief place, hence he is also styled 覺母 mother, or begetter of understanding. He is shown riding on either a lion or a peacock, or sitting on a white lotus; often he holds a book, emblem of wisdom, or a blue lotus; in certain rooms of a monastery he is shown as a monk; and he appears in military array as defender of the faith. His signs, magic words, and so on, are found in various sutras. His most famous centre in China is Wu-tai shan in Shansi. where he is the object of pilgrimages, especially of Mongols. The legends about him are many. He takes the place in Buddhism of Viśvakarman as Vulcan, or architect, of the universe. He is one of the eight Dhyāni-bodhisattvas, and sometimes has the image of Akṣobhya in his crown. He was mentioned in China as early as the fourth century and in the <Lotus Sutra> he frequently appears, especially as the converter of the daughter of the Dragon-king of the Ocean. He has five messengers 五使者 and eight youths 八童子 attending on him. His hall in the Garbhadhātu maṇḍala is the seventh, in which his group numbers twenty-five. His position is northeast. There are numerous sutras and other works with his name as title, e. g. 文殊師利問菩提經 Gayaśīrṣa sūtra, tr. by Kumārajīva 384-417: and its 論 or .Tīkā of Vasubandhu, tr. by Bodhiruci 535. see list in B. N.

Chinese Buddhist terms dictionary (Chinese-English). . 2006.

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