10th century, Nepal, Manjushri, stone, in Kathmandu (Nepal), photo in the Purandi Hoard, Mary Sheperd Slusser, on jstor .
This image, known as Manjunatha, depicts the infant Manjushri wearing a delicately incised mitre-like crown, floral jewellery and a short garment held in place with a cloth belt.
15th-16th century, Nepal, Manjushri, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo on Bukowski
White Manjushri, his hands doing the ‘turning the wheel of dharma‘ gesture while holding the stem of lotuses that support the hilt of a sword to his right and a book (the Prajnaparamita sutra) to his left.
13th-14th century possibly, Nepal, Manjushri, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo on Uppsala
Manjushri brandishing a sword in his right hand and holding the stem of a blue lotus that supports his book.
Late 13th century, Nepalo-Chinese, Manjushri, gilt copper alloy with (replacement) glass inlay, private collection, photo and article on Robert Bigler .
Namasangiti Manjushri with one head and four arms, his main hands holding a sword curiously placed next to his temple and a book pressed against his heart, the other hands holding a bow and an arrow now missing, a combination identified as tikshna Manjushri by the author of the article. Indications that this piece was made in China are the crown with leaves set wide apart, the stirrup design of the necklace and belt, the curly tip of the petals on the base, the closed slanted eyes, while the helmet on his head and the ring on his finger(s) are the signature of a Newari artist. We saw this item in the Tibetan section of the blog because it was labelled ‘Tibet or Nepal’ by Bonhams and ‘Tibet’ on HAR (on the Bonhams/HAR photo there is no glass replacement).
16th century, Nepal, Manjushri, gilt bronze, private collection, photo on mutualart
Presumably a non-tantric form of dharmadatu vagisvajra, this deity has six heads plus a buddha’s head (Akshobhya or Amitabha’s), two legs and 12 hands. The main ones do the dharmacakra mudra, the remaining right hands hold a sword, a triple lotus stalk (tridanda), an elephant goad, a broken arrow. On the other side there is a night lotus, a day lotus, a noose and a bow. The lower right hand does the gesture of supreme generosity, the lower left probably held a book.
18th century, Nepal, Namasangiti Manjushri, gilt bronze and turquoise inlay, private collection, photo on Hardt .
A late example of the Mayajala tantra form of Manjushri, with one head and twelve hands, specific to Nepal. There is a half-vajra finial on his chignon and Kirtimukha at the front of his crown.The top hands are held above the head with two fingers folded, the middle and forefinger touching at the tip and one thumbs pressed against the other, to symbolise Mount Meru and Vajrasattva. The two pairs of hands at shoulder level do the gesture of debate and normally hold various implements including a book. The main hands held palm out before his chest symbolise Vairocana, the above display a lotus within a diamond embossed on each palm. The hands below are held down to sprinkle ambrosia into the bowl below. The lower hands do the meditation gesture and support the bowl.
18th century, Nepal, Dharmadhatu Vagisvajra, gilt metal, at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum in Mumbai (India), photo by Anandajoti Bhikkhu on Photodharma .
In Nepal, this form of Manjushri with four heads and six to eight hands often has his consort seated on his left thigh. On this example his main hands do the ‘turning the wheel of dharma‘ gesture, in which case the upper right hand would normally hold a sword, not a rosary. The middle hands hold a bow and an arrow, the upper left hand holds a manuscript, the lower hands are supposed to hold a vajra sceptre and a bell (not visible here).