Manjushri, also referred to as Jampel, is regarded as the first divine teacher of the Buddhist doctrine and is believed to have made his appearance in the 1st century. Manjushri is one of the oldest and most important bodhisattvas who is a virtual synonym for wisdom, memory and intelligence. He wields a sword in his right hand -- signifying his ability to cut through delusion. He holds a book in his left hand - symbolizing wisdom and knowledge.

Manjushri is depicted as a boy, approximately 16 years of age. Probably this emphasizes the fact that wisdom is not in itself experience or age. Wisdom is in using the characteristics of Manjushri to see or become enlightened. He is seen wearing precious necklaces, chains, and stones. On his head, he has a crown obviously showing his great power. Usually he has his hands positioned in front of his heart, which many believe is to be a teaching position.

Updated on 6th November, 2005

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