Friday, 27 May 2011

Om a ra pa cha na dhih dhih dhih dhih dhih...

My friend captured on her mobile phone and sent me this lovely photo of a huge smiling Manjushri 文殊菩薩 from Mount Wutai 五台山, where she was on a pilgrimage.

Mount Wutai (literally the "Five Plateau Mountain"), situated in the province of Shanxi China, is the home of the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, Manjushri or 文殊菩薩. Mount Wutai also has an enduring relationship with Tibetan Buddhism. Manjushri was said to bestow spectacular visionary experiences to those on selected mountain peaks and caves there. Hundreds of Buddhist monasteries, temples and shrines were built on the mountain from the 1st century AD to the early 20th century.

Mount Wutai is the only one mountain in China mentioned by Buddhist scriptures, and appeared in many Buddhist books as well. According to a holy Buddhist text, "Manjushri resides on a clear, cold mountain in the northeast," identified as Mount Wutai. The legend said that Manjushri stayed on the mountain and frequently manifested himself as ordinary pilgrims, monks, or even unusual five-colored clouds.

Manjushri is often portrayed as a young man holding a vajra double-edged sword in his right hand and the Prajna Paramita Sutra (ie. Perfection of Wisdom - teaching on Emptiness) in his left hand. Manjushri's most dynamic attribute is his sword, the vajra sword of discriminating wisdom. The sword cuts through ignorance and the entanglements of conceptual views. It cuts away ego and self-created obstacles. Sometimes the sword is in flames, which can represent light or transformation.

We can develop a clear, sharp and profound mind through the practice of Manjushri who embodies transcendental wisdom. Wisdom is a virtuous intelligent mind that functions to understand meaningful objects such as the existence of past and future lives, karma and emptiness. Understanding these objects brings great meaning to this life and countless future lives. Worldly intelligence is deceptive but wisdom will never deceive us.

Manjushri mantra is very easy to chant: Om A Ra Pa Cha Na Dhīh

The mantra is believed to enhance wisdom and improve one's skills in debating, memory, writing, and so on. "Dhih" is the seed syllable of the mantra and is chanted with greater emphasis.  Sometimes when we recite the mantra "om a ra pa cha na dhih..." we continue with a few "dhih dhih dhih dhih dhih dhih dhih dhih...". According to one Manjushri sadhana, we repeat the DHIH as often as possible in the one, same breath while visualizing a golden-orange DHIH on our tongue from which millions of other DHIHs spring, to be swallowed and fill the body purifying all negative energy and stains, especially the shadow of ignorance.

Thanks to my friend who sent me this photo. Definitely with a special connection to Manjushri in a certain way, may I be able to see Manjushri in any of his forms one day.  May I be able to attain the qualities of Manjushri in my practice. 

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