Tibet, White Manjushri – standing

In sculpture, White Manjushri refers to the peaceful aspect of Manjushri, in bodhisattva attire, without a sword.

11th-12th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt copper, at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

11th-12th century, Tibet, Manjushri, gilt copper, at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

12th century, Tibet, brass, same as before.

12th century, Tibet, brass, same as before.

When standing, on early works he holds his right hand stretched before him, palm open, in the gesture of generosity, while holding the long stem of a blue lotus topped with a book/manuscript (the Prajnaparamita sutra) with the other hand. It is this manuscript which distinguishes him from other bodhisattvas in a similar pose. The above has a flaming pearl on top.

11th-12th century, Western Tibet, Manjushri, brass, photo by Koller.

11th-12th century, Western Tibet, Manjushri, brass, photo by Koller.

The lotus he holds is normally a blue lotus or utpala with narrow petals ending in sharp points.His right hand may be held before him, sometimes holding an object (rosary, book, shell etc.).

12th century, Western Tibet, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (USA).

12th century, Western Tibet, brass, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (USA).

12th century, Tibet, Manjushri, private collection on Himalayan Art Resources.

12th century, Tibet, Manjushri, brass, private collection on Himalayan Art Resources.

Or, the right hand  is doing the teaching mudra and the left hand is stretched out before him, palm open, as on the above sculpture, which depicts him with a crescent moon and a sun disc in his headdress.

 

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