Bearer of the Wisdom Sword

Dorje Shugden is a sublime emanation of Venerable Manjushri, Buddha of Wisdom. Highly attained masters like Mahasiddha Tagphu Pemavajra, Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche and Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche have mentioned this in their teachings and written works.

Venerable Manjushri’s name is a combination of ‘Manju’, which means gentle and ‘Shri’, which means brilliance. Therefore Manjushri literally means ‘Gentle Brilliance’.

Manjushri is really a fully enlightened being and has manifested as the Bodhisattva student of Buddha Shakyamuni. In the Sutra Revealing the Abode of Manjushri, Buddha explains that in the remote past, Manjushri attained full Enlightenment in his pure land as a Buddha called Tathagata Lamp of the Nagas. In the same Sutra, Buddha also describes how Manjushri manifests countless emanations to help sentient beings in many worlds and planes of existence.

Although Manjushri appeared as a disciple of the Buddha, he had great power himself to help sentient beings. Sometimes people would come to Buddha for help and advice but Buddha would refer them to Manjushri because they had a stronger karmic link with him. Some had such a strong connection with Manjushri that through his blessings and skill, they were able to develop very powerful realizations.

Thus, Manjushri features extensively in the scriptures of the Sutra and Tantra teachings. In the form of a Yidam (meditational deity), Manjushri appears as a 16 year-old youth wearing the six ornaments of a Bodhisattva.

He carries the fiery sword of wisdom in his right hand that he brandishes against the darkness of ignorance. In his left hand, he holds the stem of a lotus that blooms with the Perfection of Wisdom scripture resting on it.

Both the sword and the scripture denote Manjushri’s ability to bestow wisdom as a means to liberate sentient beings. Thus, Dorje Shugden closely resembles Manjushri, by holding up in the air a flaming sword of wisdom.

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  1. Thank you for this simple and clear write up about Manjushri. Manjushri is “famous” and I have personally mentioned his name countless time. However, I did not know all the details about Buddha Manjushri as presented in this article. Too often i take the Buddhas for granted and did not make conscious effort to learn more about them. Gentle Brilliance, what a beautiful significance and how kind the Manjushri who has reached enlightenment would return to samsara to help lord Buddha turn the wheel of Dharma.

    Through understanding about the Buddhas and what they do for us in detail, I experience a deeper sense of gratitude and appreciation of the significance of their practice.

    Thank you!

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.…Instead of turning away people who practise Dorje Shugden, we should be kind to them. Give them logic and wisdom without fear, then in time they give up the ‘wrong’ practice. Actually Shugden practitioners are not doing anything wrong. But hypothetically, if they are, wouldn’t it be more Buddhistic to be accepting? So those who have views against Dorje Shugden should contemplate this. Those practicing Dorje Shugden should forbear with extreme patience, fortitude and keep your commitments. The time will come as predicted that Dorje Shugden’s practice and it’s terrific quick benefits will be embraced by the world and it will be a practice of many beings.

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