is the eldest of the great Bodhisattvas and is foremost in
a Sanskrit word, is interpreted as 'wonderful virtue' or
'wonderfully auspicious.' Of the Bodhisattvas, Manjushri has
the greatest wisdom, and so he is known as 'The Greatly Wise
Bodhisattva Manjushri.' Among the Bodhisattvas he holds the
highest rank, and so he is listed first, before the
Bodhisattva Who Observes the Sounds of the World. There are
four great Bodhisattvas: Bodhisattva Manjushri, Bodhisattva
Who Observes the Sounds of the World, Bodhisattva Universal
Worthy, and Bodhisattva Earth Store.
Manjushri dwells in China on Wu-tai Mountain, where his bodhimanda
is located. His efficacious responses are marvelous beyond
all reckoning. He became a Buddha long ago and was called
Buddha of the Race of Honored Dragon Kings. After becoming a
Buddha, he 'hid away the great and manifested the small', in
order to practice the Bodhisattva way, teach and transform
living beings, and help the Buddha [Shakyamuni] propagate
the Dharma. His spiritual penetrations and miraculous
functions are inconceivable." (DFS II 144-145)
Manjushri . . . is a very special Bodhisattva. When he was
born, ten kinds of extraordinary events occurred, which show
that he was different from other Bodhisattvas. Manjushri is
known for his great wisdom.
the Venerable Shariputra is also known for his wisdom,' you
may ask. 'What is the difference between the two types of
wisdom of Shariputra is provisional wisdom, and the wisdom
of Manjushri is real wisdom. The wisdom of Shariputra is the
Hinayana wisdom; the wisdom of Manjushri is the Mahayana
were the ten auspicious signs which manifested at
room was filled with bright light, brighter than the light
which could be made by any number of light bulbs. The bright
light represented the Bodhisattva's great wisdom.
vessels were filled with sweet dew. Sweet dew is miraculous;
drinking it will cure all the sicknesses in the world. Then,
instead of having to undergo birth, old age, sickness, and
death, you'll only have birth, old age, and death to deal
seven jewels came forth from the earth. The seven jewels are
gold, silver, lapis lazuli, crystal, mother of pearl, red
pearls, and carnelian.
did the jewels appear?'
had cultivated the Six Perfections and the Ten Thousand
Conducts to such a high degree of perfection that in
response, wherever he goes, precious gems appear.
gods opened the treasuries. Manjushri Bodhisattva's great
spiritual powers caused the earth to open up and expose the
many treasuries it contains. This differs from the third, in
which the seven jewels well up out of the earth. Here the
treasuries were exposed when the earth opened up.
Chickens gave birth to phoenixes. Even more unusual than the
gods opening the treasuries was the fact that chickens gave
birth to phoenixes. Basically, of course, chickens only give
birth to chickens. But because Manjushri's birth was such a
special occasion, they gave birth to phoenixes.
Pigs gave birth to dragons. This is even more unusual than
chickens giving birth to phoenixes. . . .
Horses gave birth to unicorns. . . .
Cows gave birth to white tsai. The white tsai
is an extremely rare and auspicious animal. . . . It looks
like a horse but it has the hooves of an ox. It is in a
special category all of its own.
grain in the granaries turned to gold. Do you think that is
strange? Some of you probably think it is so strange that
you don't even believe it. If you don't believe it, it's
because you don't understand it. If you don't understand it,
its no doubt because you've never encountered such a thing
before. And so how could you possibly believe it?
the world is a very big place and what we have seen and
heard is extremely limited. Therefore, it is not strange
that there are unusual phenomena which we have not seen or
heard. When the grain turned to gold, it could no longer be
used as food, but then just a few grains could be exchanged
for a lot of food. . . .
Elephants with six tusks appeared. As we know, elephants
usually only have two tusks. At the time of Manjushri's
birth, however, they appeared with six. Is that strange or
ten special signs appeared at the time of Manjushri's birth
and represent Manjushri's rare eloquence in speaking all
Dharmas. . . .
he speaks the Dharma, Manjushri does not discriminate among
the dharmas. Although he does not discriminate among the
dharmas, he, nevertheless, does not not distinguish
all dharmas. The wonder lies right at this point, and that
is why he is known as 'wonderful virtue'--Manjushri. . . .
six tusks stand for the Six Perfections (see Six
Paramitas) and the elephants stand for the Ten Thousand
conducts. . . ." (DFS II 144-149)
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