WEN-SHU-P'USA



he had no choice but to `open, with his sword, several val-
leys on the southern side of the lake, thus draining the waters
and drying up the land at the bottom'. is dried land is now
where Nepal stands which accounts for the great popularity of
Manjusri there. e Nepalese also considered him to be their
father of civilization as wel as the founder of Buddhism in
their country.
In Tibet Manjusri veneration matches that of Avalokitesvara
so that "Om-arapachana-Dhih" is recited as frequently by the
populace as "Om Mani Padme Hum". Many great lamas are in
fact manifestations of Manjusri and the most revered and well
known amongst them is none other than His Holiness Sakya
Trizin, the Head of the Sakya Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism or
Vajrayana.
anjusri in hina
e Chinese regard Manjusri as their Celestial Architect who
is believed to have inspired, with his divine intel igence, those
who are active in the propagation of the Dharma. He is known
as Wen-shu-shi-li P'usa or `Wen-shu P'usa' in short. With his
Sword of Wisdom, he dissipates the darkness among men. His
other symbol, the Book of Transcendental Wisdom is often de-
picted as a long and narrow volume, held together by their covers
and bound by a piece of cloth string. At times, it is just repre-
sented by a scroll which contains the teachings.


He is adored as the Master of Wisdom and Knowledge and is
more commonly seen to be seated in meditation on a golden-
maned lion which is also cal ed the Lion rone. Sometimes the
golden-maned lion is replaced by a green lion which symbolises
the wild mind which can only be transformed by meditation.
e practice of meditation is therefore mandatory for all who are
keen to have a calm and subdued mind, and Wen-shu P'usa is
the Deity who can help them to overcome all their obstacles of
Dharma practice.
Wen-shu P'usa's abode at the Wu-tai Mountain in Northern
China is the most important place of pilgrimage for his fol owers
and for al other energetic Buddhists as it is believed to be where
many Bodhisat vas gather. e Chinese people also address
him as the `Enlightener of the world' as his task is known to be
to drive away falsehood and ignorance from the minds of men.
Although the ascent to the Wu-tai Shan is steep and difficult, yet
countless devotees have reached its top. e lure of making this
difficult pilgrimage is mainly due to devotion and also to asertain
the claims made by those who have been there that upon reach-
ing the mountain top temple of Wen-shu, one `feels a great sense
of tranquil ity of the mind which cannot be described in words'.
ere have also been frequent claims by the more fortunate ones
that they had witnessed a strange and spectacular sight, that of
an unbelievable display of heavenly lights that appeared at cer-
tain nights like `rows of wel lit lanterns floating across the vast
sky...'. Disbelievers may take this claim lightly and treat it as a
kind of hal ucination suffered by the devotees' minds as a result of
the strenous climb, the height of the mountain, or even the deep


faith in the Bodhisat va. However they should bear in mind that
those who make this arduous trips are general y not mere sight-
seers but seekers of wisdom who are keen meditators and there-
fore possessing calm and not easily excitable minds that are likely
to be affected by the aforementioned factors.
Temples dedicated to Wen-shu P'usa are a rarity but a statue
honouring this Bodhisat va can be found in most Chinese
temples. General y Wen-shu either appears in a triad with the
Buddha Sakyamuni and Pu H'sien P'usa or, with Kuan Shih Yin
P'usa and Pu H'sien P'usa, as shown in the Pantheon of Deities.
ese ree Great Bodhisat vas, when appearing in a Trinity,
are in their feminine forms showing Wen-shu riding the Green
Lion and Pu H'sien astride the White Elephant. Wen-shu, as
usual, represents the Buddha's Wisdom aspect, Pu H'sien, the
Perfect Activity of Love, and Kuan Yin, the Perfect Compassion
-- these three aspects when combined together make up the
Buddha's perfection. In the Miao Shan legend, the Green Lion
of Wen-shu was described to be the transformation of the God
of Fire and the White Elephant being the Spirit of the Water:
two evil spirits who captured the parents of the Princess when
they set out to visit Hsiang Shan where Miao Shan was then
residing, but were later subdued by heavenly forces. Upon Miao
Shan's canonization into a Bodhisat va and earning the title as
`e Very Compassionate Saviour of the Afflicted, Miraculous
and Helpful Protectress of Mortals', her two elder sisters too
earned great spiritual elevations. Miao Ching became Wen-shu
P'usa and bears the title of `e Very Virtuous P'usa, the Com-
pletely Beautiful, Rider of the Green Lion'.


Manjusri Bodhisat va has many other forms which cannot be
ful y described in a book of this size. Suffice it to say that, like
Avalokitesvara, he too assumes numerous forms -- fierce or gen-
tle, one or multiple heads, two or several hands and legs, body
colour of yel ow, white or even black, all of which have their
respective symbolic meanings. Each of these forms are but a
Wisdom aspect of the Buddha and one of them should appeal to
you as your object of worship. ose who are new to Buddhism
are advised to accept the forms as depicted in this chapter and to
avoid the esoteric or tantric forms for the time being. With firm
faith why not place your hands together and offer a prayer to this
wonderful Bodhisat va and experience his calming influence?
He may yet impart some wisdom to you to help you in your un-
derstanding of the Dharma which will lead you to eternal bliss.
Wen-shu P'usa's festive day fal s on the 4th day of the 4th moon.
It is not usual y celebrated by many as those who are on the
Wisdom path are not too many in number, but students of Zen
Buddhism will most certainly treat this as a very special day of
the year.

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