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    Thursday, December 31, 2009

    eight close sons of the Mahayana Assembly, pt.3

    7. Samantabhadra.

    Samantabhadra is the Bodhisattva who symbolizes the practices of the Bodhisattva. His vows and practices exemplify the ideal course of conduct to the aspiring Buddhist and duplicated by each aspirant, (who really is Samantabhadra) are as follows:

    1. Honor all Buddhas.
    2. Praise the Tathagatas.
    3. Make offerings to all Buddhas.
    4. Confess all past transgressions of the Law.
    5. Rejoice in the virtues and happiness of others.
    6. Request the Buddha to teach the Dharma.
    7. Request the Buddha to dwell in the world.
    8. Follow the Dharma.
    9. Always to benefit other beings.
    10. Turn over one's own accumulated merit to others.

    Samantabhadra Bodhisattva is believed by many Chinese Buddhists to reside on Mt. Omei in western China.  He is also Closely associated with the "King of Prayers" which summarize his ten-fold asspiration.

    8.  Manjushri  (tib. 'jam dpal dbyangs).

    Manjushri is the personification of the perfection of transcendent knowledge.

    When the primordial Buddha Vairochana vowed to emanate throughout the universe as the princely and ever-youthful, bodhisattva of Wisdom, his purpose was to lead beings in an inquiry whereby they could discover the true nature of reality.  For that reason, he is usually depicted displaying the two tools essential to that investigation: in his right hand he wields the double-edged sword of logic or analytic discrimination and in his left, the Prajnaparamita Sutra, the text of the teaching on Emptiness.

    Manjushri’s sword of discriminating wisdom is tipped with flames to show that it severs all notions of duality.  It can cut away delusion, aversion and longing, to reveal understanding, equanimity and compassion.

    Manjushri is either seated on a lion throne or on an elephant. Both animals are associated with a fully enlightened Buddha.


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