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date: 27 March 2017


Summary and Keywords

Mañjuśrī (“Gentle Glory”) is one of the oldest and most significant bodhisattvas of the Indian Mahāyāna Buddhist pantheon. Mañjuśrī is the personification of the Mahāyāna notion of prajñā (wisdom): discriminating insight into the nature of reality, and the hallmark philosophical insight that distinguished the Mahāyāna movement from earlier Buddhist schools (Nikāya) of thought. Like discriminating insight, Mañjuśrī is ever new. He is typically portrayed as a golden-complexioned, sixteen-year-old crown prince holding in one hand a flaming sword that cuts through ignorance, and a Perfection of Prajñā book (Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra) in the other.

In Mahāyāna sutras, Mañjuśrī is often cast as the interlocutor whose pointed questions to the buddha elicit the teachings their audience needs to finally understand the subtlest points of doctrine. His earliest known appearance is in the corpus of early Mahāyāna works translated into Chinese by the Indo-Scythian monk Lokakṣema (b. 147 ce). In these, the vivid contrast between Mañjuśrī as wonder-working bodhisattva and the slower-witted Nikāya monks implicitly legitimates the early emerging Mahāyāna movement; clearly, Mañjuśrī’s insight into reality is superior even to that of the disciples who sat at Śākyamuni Buddha’s feet and heard him teach.

This rhetorical strategy was developed in subsequent Indian Buddhist sūtras and commentaries, especially those that promulgated new or controversial teachings. Scholars from all of its schools claimed direct visions of the bodhisattva of wisdom; “to see Mañjuśrī” denoted the subject’s unmistaken insight into the buddha’s teaching. Mañjuśrī worship entered esoteric Buddhism (Tantra) in the 7th-century Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa—one of the earliest extant Indian Tantras—and reached its zenith in the early 8th-century Mañjuśrīnāmasaṃgīti, a liturgical text praising Mañjuśrī in all his forms. Its close association with the 10th-century Kālacakra Tantra, perhaps the last Tantric text to be composed in India, underscores how thoroughly Mañjuśrī pervaded esoteric Buddhism in South Asia.

As a figure of cult worship, Mañjuśrī was most prominent outside of India. By the 5th century, the Chinese Wutai shan (“Five Terrace Mountain”) was understood to be his earthly residence, and a magnet for pilgrims who sought a vision of the crown prince. Mañjuśrī became identified as the patron deity of China during the Tang dynasty, thereby setting a pattern for subsequent rulers of China, who often linked their own legitimacy to Mañjuśrī, and visibly promoted his worship at Wutai shan. This practice crystallized during the long reign of the Manchus (1611–1912), who not only portrayed their rulers as emanations of the crown prince, but fostered the folk etymology of their ethnonym as deriving from Mañjuśrī. Tibetan Buddhism was at its apex there, and Mañjuśrī and his mountain home become important to Tibetans, Nepalese, Khotanese, and Mongols.

Keywords: bodhisattva, Mahāyāna, Mañjuśrī, prajñā, Wutai shan

Mañjuśrī, the Bodhisattva of Discriminating Wisdom

Mañjuśrī (T. ‘Jam dpal; C. Wénshū;) In Sanskrit, “Gentle Glory,” also known as Mañjughoṣa (“Gentle Voice”), is one of the earliest and most important bodhisattvas in the Mahāyāna Buddhist pantheon. Mañjuśrī is the embodiment of prajñā, the discriminating wisdom that cuts through the ignorance that binds beings to a cycle of suffering. Like prajñā, Mañjuśrī is kumārabhūta, “ever youthful”; he is most commonly portrayed as a sixteen-year-old crown prince, wielding a flaming sword above his head with his right hand, while his left hand holds the stem of a lotus flower on which nestles a Prajñāpāramitā (Perfection of Prajñā) text. “Kumārabhūta” also speaks to Mañjuśrī’s advanced spiritual status. In early Mahāyāna models of the stages to enlightenment, the kumāra stage was just steps away from complete buddhahood. “Mañjuśrī Kumārabhūta” thus evokes the image of a spiritual heir-apparent—a youthful, sharp, clear-eyed crown prince poised on the cusp of full spiritual power and perfection.

Euro-American scholars consider the most likely antecedent of the melodiously voiced Mañjuśrī to be a youthful celestial musician (gandhārva) named Pañcaśikha (“Five Crested”), who features in both Pāli and Sanskrit Buddhist works as the buddha’s interlocutor. Mañjuśrī also bears a strong resemblance to the eternally youthful Brahmā Sanatkumāra, a “Lord of Speech,” a youth imbued with trans-worldly wisdom in the brahmanical Chāndogya Upaniṣad and the Pāli Buddhist Saṃyutta Nikāya. In the Janavasabha Sutta, Brahmā Sanatkumāra manifests as none other than Pañcaśikha and extols the value of the Buddhadharma in a voice magically imbued with eight qualities.1

Indian Mahāyāna

Mañjuśrī appears as both personification and spokesperson of prajñā in the earliest datable literary evidence of Mahāyāna works we have available in any language, namely the Chinese translations prepared from 168–189 ce by the Indo-Scythian scholar Lokakṣema and his team of translators. The bodhisattva appears in two-thirds of the extant texts. He is always portrayed as a monk, and has two key roles: he is the buddha’s key interlocutor and the spiritual friend (kalyāṇamitra) of King Ajātaśatru, the Indian king who ruled from Magadha during the historical buddha’s time. The Druma-kinnara rājaparipcchā-sūtra alludes to this latter role briefly. It is because of merit that King Ajātaśatru has “obtained two spiritual friends. The first one is the buddha. The second one is Mañjuśrī. Through their grace, the doubt arising from the unrighteous acts you committed was completely dispelled.” 2It is most eloquently demonstrated in the Ajātaśatrukaukṛtya-vinodanā sūtra, arguably the most sophisticated and engaging of the Mahāyāna sūtras translated by Lokakṣema. Many of its teachings are couched as philosophical discussions between Mañjuśrī and the Magadhan king, who struggles with the remorse he feels for murdering his father. Within this elastic frame story, Mañjuśrī imparts teachings on everything from Prajñāpāramitā thought to the efficacy of dhāraṇī (mnemonic prayers). Clad in his humble monastic robes, Mañjuśrī travels to fathomless landscapes and performs miraculous acts of transformation through the power of his meditation and prajñā.3

Most important, Mañjuśrī explicates the dharma with a fluidity and profundity that leaves the non-Mahāyāna monks speechless. The bodhisattva’s insight exceeds even that of the disciples who had heard the dharma from Śākyamuni Buddha himself—the sine qua non of legitimacy in the Buddhist tradition. This contrast tacitly communicates a larger message: Mahāyāna thought is superior to that of the earlier, established schools. Moreover, Mañjuśrī ‘s perfected prajñā manifests as more than mere verbal or intellectual acuity: the Mañjuśrī of the Ajātaśatrukaukṛtya-vinodanā travels to alternate universes, emits rays of light from his pores and manifests decillions of lotus flowers each containing a buddha seated within.4 Mañjuśrī in meditation is indistinguishable from the buddha himself. In fact, explains Śākyamuni Buddha, it was none other than Mañjuśrī who in a previous incarnation had inspired him and all the buddhas of the past to enter the bodhisattva path:

It was Mañjuśrī who … caused me to conceive the Awakening Mind—my first aspiration for the sake of enlightenment … You should see that the Tathāgata Buddha’s greatness, the ten powers, the fearlessnesses, the unimpeded intuition and whatever other good (qualities) are engendered by Mañjuśrī. Why is that? Because the attainment of omniscience derives from that Awakening Mind … Śāriputra, that is the way in which it should be understood. It is about that very Mañjuśrī that those who speak and teach aptly say, “He is the mother of bodhisattvas, he is the father, he is the [giver of] compassion and inspiration.”5

The supremacy of Mañjuśrī and his prajñā thus functions rhetorically to assert the legitimacy of the emerging Mahāyāna movement. It is not surprising to find Mañjuśrī prominently extolled by the foundational Mahāyāna scholars of Lokakṣema’s time. Nāgārjuna opens his foundational Mūlamadhyamakakārikā by invoking the crown prince. In his voluminous Mahāprajñāpāramitāśastra, Nāgārjuna describes Mañjuśrī as one of the compilers of the Mahāyāna scriptures. Nāgārjuna’s disciple Aryadeva (170–270 ce) honors Mañjuśrī at the start of his Catuhśatakaśastra, and bows to “Mañjuśrī Jñānasattva” in his Hastavālaprakaraṇa. There is little question of Mañjuśrī ’s rhetorical importance to the Mahāyāna textual universe well before the second century ce.6

Indian Buddhist writers subsequently developed the roles and rhetorical functions that Mañjuśrī served in Lokakṣema’s corpus. In the Vimalakīrtinirdeśa-sūtra, a work of particular influence in East Asia, we find Mañjuśrī pointedly reiterating the superiority of the Mahāyāna to traditional Nikāya teachings. Mañjuśrī is the only of Śākyamuni Buddha’s major monk disciples who dares to lock philosophical horns with the great lay Buddha Vimalakīrti, and so elicit his recondite and often theatrical teachings on emptiness (śunyatā), wisdom and compassionate artistry (upāya). So incomparable is his power that he can convert even non-Buddhists to the Mahāyāna way. The Jain followers of the Ratnakāraṇḍa-sūtra drop to their knees before him and hail Śākyamuni Buddha. Mañjuśrī converts “incalculable numbers” of beings of the Nāga’s underwater kingdom in the Lotus Sūtra (Saddharmapuṇḍarika-sūtra), and even brings a prostitute to the Mahāyāna path in the Mañjuśrīvikrīḍita sūtra. “I do not in any way possess the learning that Mañjuśrī has just defined,” admits Ānanda, Śākyamuni Buddha’s disciple and attendant, to the followers in the Śuraṅgamasamādhi-sūtra.7

Mañjuśrī also facilitates the teaching of new concepts and models of various Mahāyāna schools. The bodhisattva’s queries in the Saṃdhinirmocana-sūtra engender the explication of the important “three body” (trikāya) model of the Yogācāra school. He inspires a lesson on Pure Land mechanics that transforms an entire assembly of disciples in the Śuraṅgamasamādhi-sūtra. In the Avataṃsaka-sūtra, the foundational text for the Hua Yen school of Chinese Buddhism, Mañjuśrī ’s public exposition of a scripture ignites the “unhindered, unattached determination for enlightenment” in young Sudhana, and sets him on his journey to enlightenment. Appropriately, Mañjuśrī is the first of fifty-two teachers Sudhana encounters, and the first the Buddha Maitreya acknowledges at the journey’s completion. “Inconceivably great is your gain,” exclaims Maitreya to Sudhana, “that you have seen Mañjuśrī face to face.”8

Maitreya’s emphasis on Sudhana’s “face-to-face” encounter with the crown prince was as strategic as it was poetic. In Mahāyāna circles, yogic communion with buddhas and bodhisattvas was another means by which a meditator who lived long after the death of the historical buddha could receive teachings that were deemed as legitimate as those spoken by the buddha to his own disciples. To “see Mañjuśrī face to face” was tantamount to receiving a teaching from the buddha himself.

These envisioned buddhas and bodhisattvas were sometimes said to reside in a buddha-field (buddhakṣetra)—a realm they created through their compassionate actions in order to ripen beings. In the Mañjuśrībuddhakṣetra-guṇavyūha sūtra, we learn that Mañjuśrī had vowed to create and purify his own buddha-field many eons earlier. Since then, he had “attained the ten stages of the Bodhisattva, fully acquired the ten powers of the Tathāgata and accomplished all the Buddha-dharmas.” Yet why then has he not attained supreme enlightenment? “Good man,” Mañjuśrī explains, “no one realizes enlightenment after he has achieved perfection in all Buddha-Dharmas. Why? Because, if one has achieved perfection in all Buddha-Dharmas, he need not realize anything more.” Mañjuśrī fully understands the truth of emptiness, and so has let go of the notion of “full Buddhahood.” In so saying, he makes clear that he is, through the logic of non-dualism, already fully enlightened.9

It is not only his buddha-field that blurs the distinction between this tenth stage bodhisattava and a fully enlightened buddha. Mañjuśrī can share his relics in the Mañjuśrīparinirvāna sūtra, and great benefits accrue to those who see his image or even pronounce his name. The crown prince inspires a group of disheartened bodhisattvas in the Śuraṅgamasamādhi-sūtra by recounting his own long-ago attainment of nirvana. It is due to his great compassion, he explains, that he remains present to help sentient beings. “World Honored One,” Mañjuśrī says to the buddha of the Saptaśatikā-prajñāparāmitā sūtra, “I am the inconceivable.”10

Mañjuśrī ’s unparalleled status in 7th-century works mirrored important changes in the landscape of Indian monasticism. After the decline of the Gupta political state, Buddhist monasteries (vihāras) become concentrated in the northeast regions of Bengal and Bihar, and several, including Nālandā and Vikramalaśilā, were enlarged into international hubs for scholastic training. Significantly, the curricula at these centers placed an especial emphasis on Buddhist epistemology and logic, especially the works of Dignāga (480–540) and Dharmakīrti (7th century). As the bodhisattva identified with prajñā and learning, Mañjuśrī gained even greater popularity and significance. Multiple stucco, bronze, and stone representations of the bodhisattva, particularly in his kumārabhūta form, speak to his cult status at Nālandā monastery. Typical is a 7th-century basalt sculpture of Mañjuśrī gracefully bending his torso (ābhaṅga posture), holding up his left hand in the gesture of gift-giving (varada mudrā) while his right grasps the long stalk of a lotus. His crown prince/kumārabhūta status is expressed by his plain, disc-like earrings, his decorated bracelet, and necklace with a spoked disc.11

Other contemporaneous examples emphasize his royal dimensions even more deliberately. A stucco figure of the bodhisattva sits against a large bolster, adorned not only with bracelets, arm bands, and enormous cakra earrings, but a necklace with a cakra suspended from a central amulet with tiger-claw (vyāghranakha) pendants, a traditional marker of protection for youths. Tellingly, his eyes are almond-shaped and open rather than lotus-shaped and downcast as common to most of the other stucco figures—a visual allusion, perhaps, to the crown prince’s association with prajñā: the critical, unblinking insight that sees through illusion to the truth of reality.12

Esoteric Indian Buddhism

By the 7th or 8th century, we find Mañjuśrī also appearing in esoteric Buddhist (Tantra) texts. The crown prince functionally supplants the buddha as the central teacher of the Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa (alt. Mañjuśrīyamūlakalpa), arguably one of the earliest esoteric works of Buddhist India.13 Śākyamuni Buddha signifies the bodhisattva’s importance by entrusting Mañjuśrī with a powerful six-syllable mantra: OM vakyeda nāma. So powerful is Mañjuśrī’s mantra, it releases one “from the binding fetters of existence,” is “invincible against all demons,” and “establish(es) the teachings of the buddhas.”14 Mañjuśrī even transforms the fiercesome Yamāntaka, the Slayer of Death into a cultivator of dharma: “Act on my behalf! … In an instant, the king of the Krodhas had gone to all regions of the world where he succeeded, thanks to his magic power, in mastering hostile beings and compelling them to enter the circle of the Assembly.”15 In this work, Yamāntaka is a wrathful attendant to the bodhisattva. Subsequently, he would become identified as a wrathful form of Mañjuśrī himself.

This attention to Mañjuśrī ’s sonic forms continued. The crown prince became closely identified with the Arapacana syllabary used in Mahāyāna texts as an mnemonic device for remembering key concepts. Over time, its title served as both an alternate name for Mañjuśrī and one of his mantras: Oṃ arapacana dhī. The exaltation of Mañjuśrī in both sonic and physical form culminated in the late 7th- or early 8th-century Mañjuśrīnāmasaṃgīti. For both the monastics and laypeople of northeast India, the Mañjuśrīnāmasaṃgīti was the Mañjuśrī-text par excellence. It spawned twenty-two commentaries and approximately 130 related works. As its title suggests, the Mañjuśrīnāmasaṃgīti is comprised of multiple Mañjuśrī epithets, each of which is understood to be a syllabic manifestation of Mañjuśrī as the perfectly enlightened buddha (see Figure 1):

The blessed one, Buddha (Mañjuśrī), the completely awakened, born from the syllable a, is the syllable a, the foremost of all phonemes, of great meaning, the supreme syllable …

Of great form and great body, with great color and grand physique, with exalted name he is very noble, having a grand expansive maṇḍala

Without beginning or end, he is Buddha, Adibuddha without causal connection. Stainless with his unique eye of gnosis, he is embodied gnosis, the Tathāgata …

Motionless, himself very clear, he hears the enlightenment of the perfect completely awakened, face-to-face with all buddhas.16

MañjuśrīClick to view larger

Fig. 1 Mañjuśrī as Manjuvajra in the Mañjuśrīnāmasaṃgīti tradition Bengal; Pala period (c. 700–1200), 11th century Metropolitan Museum of Art Collection.

The influence of the Mañjuśrīnāmasaṃgīti was fueled by its intimacy with another Indian Buddhist esoteric text, the 11th-century Kālacakra Tantra, one of the last Tantric works to be promulgated in India before Buddhism disappeared from its homeland altogether. The Kālacakra Tantra cites almost seventy verses from the Mañjuśrīnāmasaṃgīti. Its core commentary states unequivocally that the Kālacakra is “indivisible” from the Mañjuśrīnāmasaṃgīti. The Kālacakra tradition and the Mañjuśrīnāmasaṃgīti traveled to Tibet in the 11th century. They gained particular prominence in the late 13th and early 14th century when Tibet was under Mongol rule. To this day, students in Tibet recite the Mañjuśrīnāmasaṃgīti seeking to sharpen their academic performance. Mañjuśrī’s continued importance underscores how thoroughly the bodhisattva has pervaded Mahāyāna Buddhism in South Asia and beyond.

Beyond India: The Cult of Mañjuśrī in China, Central Asia, and Tibet

The most prominent extra-Indian cult of Mañjuśrī was located at Wutai shan (“Five Terrace Mountain”) in China’s Shanxi Province. Chinese Buddhists had known of the bodhisattva from sūtras translated into Chinese from at least the 2nd century, including those of Lokakṣema’s corpus and the Vimalakīrtinirdeśa-sūtra. It was Buddhabhadra’s 5th-century translation of the Avataṃsaka Sutra, however, that fueled Mañjuśrī’s rise to cult status. In this translation, the crown prince is said to actually reside in China at Mount Qingliang (“Clear and Cool Mountain”), an alternate name for the sacred mountain of Wutai shan: “Since ancient times the bodhisattva assemblies have dwelled here. Now the bodhisattva Mañjuśrī lives there with his assembly of ten thousand bodhisattvas. He is constantly present to preach the dharma.”17

Mañjuśrī ’s Chinese abode was confirmed by readings of other sūtras. In a 6th-century Chinese translation of the Mañjuśrī parinirvāna sūtra, the buddha predicts that “four hundred fifty years after my final passing, (Mañjuśrī) will go to a snowy mountain and … extensively proclaim the teachings of twelve divisions of the (Mahāyāna) scriptures.”18 He would then be brought to Gandhamadan, a Himalayan mountain known from other Sanskrit works as having five peaks. For Chinese devotees, both “Snowy Mountain” and the five peaks of Gandhamadan were clear allusions to the snowy and five-peaked Wutai shan, as well as Mañjuśrī’s own association with Pañcasikh, the Five Crested figure of Pāli and early Sanskrit literature. There, Mañjuśrī would lend his assistance to local devotees:

If sentient beings pay homage and make offerings to Mañjuśrī, then they will always be born in a land where a Buddha is present and be protected by Mañjuśrī … If a person wishes to make offerings in order to produce merit, then Mañjuśrī will transform himself into a poverty-stricken suffering wretch with no means of support and appear before the practitioner.19

Readers of the Mañjuśrī-dharma-ratnagarbha-dhāranī sutra, translated into Chinese in 710, also learned of Mañjuśrī ’s Chinese home from the buddha’s own prediction:

After I have passed away, in this Jambudvīpa in the northeast quarter, there is a country called Mahā Cīna. In the center of this country there is a mountain called Five Peaks. The youth Mañjuśrī will roam about and dwell there, expounding on the dharma at the center of the mountain for the sake of sentient beings. Countless devas, nāgas, spirits, rākṣasas, kinnaras, mahoragas and other creatures human and not human encircle him, reverently making worship offerings.20

Buddhist pilgrims flocked to Wutai to see the crown prince; his was a buddha-field that could be reached by foot rather than through elaborate ritual visualizations or fortuitous rebirth. These devotees reported visions of miraculous cloud formations and wondrous lights, and as these accounts circulated, the scope and popularity of Mañjuśrī worship increased. A constant flow of pilgrims from India, Kashmir, Tibet, Japan, and Korea marked Wutai shan’s development into an international pilgrimage site. The Tantric texts of the Zhenyen school extolled Mañjuśrī ’s mantra, image, and ritual invocations as the only true refuge in the times of mofa, the “final dharma” period. Mañjuśrī become central to followers of the Huayen, a school of thought especially popular in the Tang dynasty (618–907).

In the 8th century, Mañjuśrī worship formally entered the domain of Chinese politics. The Buddhist monk Amoghavajra (705–774) labored to establish China as a legitimate Buddhist nation by promoting the worship of Mañjuśrī as the bodhisattva protector of the Tang nation. He initiated the Chinese emperor as a divinely anointed Buddhist ruler, and Mañjuśrī became identified as the personal guardian of the emperor and his family and the spiritual protector of the state in 759. An image of Mañjuśrī on his lion, said to be modeled on actual manifestations of Mañjuśrī as he appeared before the sculptor, was installed at a monastery at Wutai shan for cult worship.21

This time period also saw a growth of interest among Tibetans in Mañjuśrī ’s earthly whereabouts. In several Tibetan writings from the 7th and 8th centuries, we find the crown prince characterized as a long-term resident of a mountain-based monastery in Khotan (Li yul). In the Prophecy of Gośṛṅga (Ri glang ru lung bstan pa), Mañjuśrī and the gandharva-king Pañcasikha accompany the buddha to a tall hill called Gośṛṅga, where the buddha espies a lake and prophesizes that it will one day become a great country. Mañjuśrī then steps forth and offers a prophecy of his own: a monastery will arise on this hill, and all beings that approach it will attain great spiritual powers.22 In The Prophecy of the Li Region (Li yul lung bstan pa), we learn that this was not the first time Mañjuśrī had taken an interest in Khotan. Long ago, the bodhisattva had emanated as a monk named Vairocana, and taught a unique language to Khotan’s Chinese and Indian inhabitants so they could communicate with each other.23 It is Mañjuśrī as Lord of Speech who is at work here, dressed in monastic garb and serving as a bridge between Indian and Chinese cultures.

The legends of Nepal, themselves influenced by the Khotanese narratives, reinforced the Tibetan vision of Mañjuśrī as civilizing forefather. The most famous account portrays Mañjuśrī as the creator of the Kathmandu Valley. Long ago, we learn, a buddha planted a perfect light-emitting lotus flower in the center of a lake. Mañjuśrī, residing in his mountain home at Wutai shan, saw its light and realized that people were unable to reach this divine relic to worship it. The bodhisattva drew his sword and cut a gorge to drain the lake, and so created the Kathmandu Valley. As the water receded, Mañjuśrī established a stūpa over the lotus, which became known as the Mañjuśrī Stūpa. It was later renamed Svāyambhū, and continues to be one of the most significant Buddhist sites in Nepal.

By the 12th century, Tibetans were writing the bodhisattva Mañjuśrī back into their own early histories. In the work of a Nyang ral nyi ma ’od zer (1136–1204), it is Mañjuśrī at Wutai who facilitates the conception of King Khri-srong-Ide-btsan (742–796), the king who founded Buddhism in Tibet and oversaw the creation of Tibet’s first Buddhist monastery. Through this logic, it is the bodhisattva Mañjuśrī who sparked the spread of the dharma through Tibet. The king himself became known as an emanation of Mañjuśrī.24

The consolidation of the Mongol empire in the 12th century further shaped Mañjuśrī worship. Seeking to bring Tibet firmly under Mongol control, Godan Khan (1206–1251) a grandson of Genghis Khan and administrator over much of China, publically patronized Tibetan Buddhism. In 1247, he invited the illustrious Buddhist scholar Sa skya paṇḍita Kun dga’ rgyal mtshan to come to his court and serve as Tibet’s representative. In this capacity, Sa skya paṇḍita made several trips to Wutai shan and was later said to be a Tibetan emanation of Mañjuśrī himself. After his death, his nephew Chos rgyal ’phags pa blo gros rgyal mtshan became the personal religious teacher of the Mongol ruler Kublai Khan. He too traveled extensively to Wutai shan, and composed a range of texts that eulogized Mañjuśrī. Under the rule of Altan Khan (1507–1582), the Mongols reanimated the Tang practice of identifying its ruler with Mañjuśrī. Kublai Khan was retroactively “discovered” to have been an emanation of Mañjuśrī, as by extension, was Altan Khan, who also named one of his daughters “Mañjuśrī.” 25

Not surprisingly, the Mañjuśrīnāmasaṃgīti became especially popular among the Mongols of this time. Altan Khan’s nephew had it translated anew into a polyglot version containing the text in Sanskrit, Tibetan, Mongolian, and Chinese. The Mañjuśrīnāmasaṃgīti circulated in Mongolia as a separate work, and was the opening text of the Mongolian Buddhist canon translated in 1628–1629. Today, lay donors continue to offer donations to monasteries in Ulaanbaatar for the Tibetan version of the Mañjuśrīnāmasaṃgīti to be recited aloud in order to remove obstacles and engender wisdom in his devotees.26

The Mongols were not the only rulers of China to tap Mañjuśrī’s spiritual and political authority. In 1644, a nomadic people headed by the Jurchen and known as the Manchus founded the Qing dynasty (1644–1911). The Manchu rulers did not have a bloodline that linked them to Qubilai Khan and so legitimated their rule. Accordingly, they framed themselves as Qubilai’s spiritual inheritors by proclaiming themselves emanations of Mañjuśri. Lest there be any doubt as to their intimacy with the crown prince, the Manchus changed their ethnonym from Jurchen to “Manju” in 1635, less than a decade before they completed their conquest of China.27

The height of the Mongol’s religio-political associations with Mañjuśrī came when the Kangxi emperor (r. 1662–1723) referred to himself as Mañjuśrī in his preface to the officially commissioned Mongolian translation of the Tibetan Buddhist canon (1718–1720):

Mañjuśrī, the savior of all living forms, [with the] intellect of all

the Buddhas, was transformed into human form, and ascended the Fearless

Lion Throne of gold, and this was none other than the sublime Emperor

Kangxi-Mañjughosa who assisted and brought joy to the entire vast world.28

His grandson, who ruled China for the second half of the 18th century as the Qianlong emperor (r. 1735–1796), also identified himself as Mañjuśrī and was a vigorous patron of Tibetan Buddhist translation projects.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, Wutai shan continued to be an important pilgrimage site for Chinese Buddhists. For Tibeto-Mongols, however, for whom Wutai shan was considered the most sacred place to visit on earth, Mañjuśrī’s mountain became a second home.

With Qing support, more than two dozen Tibeto-Mongol monasteries were established, and they attracted so many Mongol pilgrims that the site became an object of exotic interest for Chinese. By the beginning of the 19th century, Wutai was called “Tibet of China.”29 Mañjuśrī worship was thus an expression of both imperial support and Tibeto-Mongol identity.

Prominent figures from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition composed poems to the crown prince, including Thub bstan rgya tsho, the thirteenth Dalai Lama, whose insights during his 1908 sojourn to Wutai shan were expressed in Beautiful Clear Mirror: A Praise to Lord Mañjughoṣa’s Abode. Perhaps most famous was the work of Lcang skya rol pa’i rdo rje, a close associate of the Qianlong emperor and intermediary between the Qing court and the peoples of Inner Asia. In his Cloud of Offerings to Please Mañjuśrī: A Song Coupled to a Place-Praise for Five-Peaked Mountain (1767) Lcang skya reminds all the peoples under the umbrella of Qing rule that Wutai shan was always populated by enlightening figures who, like Mañjuśrī himself, can appear in any form:

  • To faithful disciples who keep the holy vow,
  • These may appear at times just like a sage,
  • Or boys, or men, or women in different times,
  • Or Chinese monks wearing robes of brown,
  • As a destitute beggar wandering about,
  • As birds or as deer or whatever one thinks,
  • As medicine, flowers, plants or a forest,
  • As living or inanimate things they pretend.30

Mañjuśrī worship at Wutai shan suffered a sharp decline for much of the 20th century. Many of its monastic residents fled for safety during the Sino-Japanese War and the Japanese occupation from 1938 to 1945. Religious activities were severely curtailed during the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976). The 1980s, however, saw a new level of religious tolerance and a remarkable revival of Buddhist practice at Wutai shan fueled in part by notable pilgrimages to Mañjuśrī’s home. Of especial importance was the pilgrimage by Khenpo Jikme Phuntsok Jungné, a charismatic Buddhist monk from Eastern Tibet considered by his disciples to be an emanation of Mañjuśrī. In 1980, Khenpo founded the Larung Gar Buddhist academy in Sichuan Province. In 1987, after repeated visions and instruction from Mañjuśrī, Khenpo led hundreds of his students from the Institute on a pilgrimage to Wutai shan. Thousands of pilgrims from China, Mongolia, and Tibet flocked to Wutai shan to attend his teachings, during which a magnificent image of Mañjuśrī is said to have appeared in the sky. Subsequently, Khenpo took residence in the Cave of Sudhana (Tib. Nor bzang phug), renowned for being the site where Sudhana of the Avataṃsaka-sūtra beheld Mañjuśrī. There, the Khenpo was said to have had multiple visions of and about the crown prince, including one that helped him discover a broken stone statue of Mañjuśrī under a tree. The image was brought back to the Khenpo’s academy and housed in the Hall of Mañjuśrī. Today, it serves as an important object of Mañjuśrī worship at Larung Gar, the largest Buddhist monastic institution in the world.31

Review of the Literature

The study of Mañjuśrī is as old as the Euro-American study of Indian Buddhism, which dates back to the pioneering work of the legendary philologist Eugène Burnouf (1801–1852). In 1837, Burnouf received hundreds of Buddhist Indian Sanskrit (and some Tibetan) manuscripts from a British official of the East India Company stationed in Nepal. Virtually unknown in Europe, these manuscripts included many of the most important sūtra and Tantras of Sanskrit Buddhism, including the Lotus Sūtra, the Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa, and a number of Prajñāpāramitā sūtras. The remarkable Burnouf read through this voluminous body of work and, in 1844, published the first scholarly book-length study of Buddhism in a European language. Introduction a l’histoire du Buddhisme indian was also an introduction to Mañjuśrī, “a bodhisattva eminent in science and in virtue, who has fulfilled all the duties imposed to his condition under innumerable buddhas prior to Śākyamuni. Indeed

few names are so often mentioned among the Buddhists of the North as that of Mañjuśrī … the Chinese … have a most special veneration for Mañjuśrī, which is equally shared by the Tibetans and Mongols. The account by Faxian … traces the cult of which Mañjuśrī was the object back at least to the fourth century of our era. [His account] causes us to think that the existence of Mañjuśrī is connected, in ways still unknown to us, to a considerable portion of the collection of the North, the Prajñāpāramitā.32

For the remainder of the 19th century, scholarly interest, however, was less focused on Buddhism’s mythical figures than on Buddhism’s historical founder, Siddhartha Gautama. For this generation of scholars, the “pure” Buddhism taught by the buddha was considered rational and restrained—a sharp contrast to the ritualism, superstition, and fantasy of later, “degenerate” forms. Among the ten books of Buddhist translations printed in Max Muller’s renowned “Sacred Books of the East” (1879–1910), only three were dedicated to Mahāyāna works.

In first half of the 20th century, however, the tide began to shift. European expeditions in Central Asia recovered enormous caches of Buddhist manuscripts—most notably from the Dunhuang Cave complex in western China—that fueled new interest in Mahāyāna’s “great bodhisattvas.” For thinkers such as Har Dayal, such bodhisattvas were one of a “class of saints” that personified specific qualities of the buddha. Mañjuśrī, for example personified the buddha’s wisdom and his melodious voice.33

It was Étienne Lamotte’s landmark “Mañjuśrī” monograph (1960), however, that marked the beginning of serious scholarship on the history, literature, and cult worship associated with the crown prince. Over the next decades, influential French and American scholars drew upon Lamotte to explore Mañjuśrī’s iconography, cult worship, and textual history. Subsequent translation studies of key Mañjuśrī texts, especially the Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa and the Mañjuśrīnāmasaṃgīti, broadened the field.34 The cult of Mañjuśrī at Wutai shan has been widely studied.35 Today, the study of the Buddhist revival movements at Wutai shan since the 1980s has given new impetus to the study of Mañjuśrī worship and its impact on Asian history, religion, politics, art, and cartography.36

Primary Sources

In the case of Indian Buddhist works, an edition of the Sanskrit or Pali text is cited where available. The Tibetan and/or Chinese translations are given, using Tohoku (To), Derge (D), and Peking (P) for the Tibetan, and the Taisho number for the Chinese. Links to digital editions given last where available.

Ārya-ajātaśatrukaukṛttyavinodana-nāma-mahāyānasūtra: (‘Phags pa ma skyes dgra’i ‘gyod pa bsal ba shes bya ba theg pa chen po’i mdo) To. 216; Taisho 629; D. 216.

“‘phags pa ma skyes dgra’i ‘gyod pa bsal ba zhes bya ba theg pa chen po’i mdo/.” In bka’ ’gyur/(shel mkhar bris ma/). Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center (TBRC) W1PD127393. 69: 660–845. [s.l.]: [s.n.], [n.d.].

Emmerick, Ronald E. “The Prophecy of the Li Region (Li yul lung bstan pa)” in Tibetan Texts Concerning Khotan. London: Oxford University Press, 1967.Find this resource:


Banerjee, Biswanath, ed. A Critical Edition of Sri Kālacakratantrarāja (Collated with the Tibetan Version). Calcutta: Asiatic Society, 1985.Find this resource:

Paramadhibuddhoddhṛta-śrīkālacakra-nāma-tantrarāja (mchog gi dang po’i sangs rgyas las phyung ba rgyud kyi rgyal pod us kyi ‘khor lo) D. 364.

Vira, Raghu, and Lokesh Candra, eds. Kālacakratantra and Other Texts, Part 1. New Delhi: International Academy of Indian Culture, 1966.Find this resource:

rgyud kyi rgyal po dpal dus kyi ‘khor lo/. TBRC W4CZ75. 1 vols. [s.l.]: [kau lang ho/], 1294.

Mañjuśrībuddhakṣetra-guṇavyūhasūtra (‘jam dpal gyi sangs rgyas kyi zhing gi yon tan bkod pa) To. 59; Taisho 310.

“‘phags pa ‘jam dpal gyi sangs rgyas kyi zhing gi yon tan bkod pa zhes bya ba/.” In bka’ ’gyur/(shel mkhar bris ma/). TBRC W1PD127393. 43: 679–807. [s.l.]: [s.n.], [n.d.].


Āryamañjuśrīmūlakalpa (phags pa ‘jam dpal gyi rtsa ba’i rgyu) T. 543; D. 540; Taisho 1191.

Ganapati, T., ed. Āryamañjuśrīmūlakalpa. Trivandrum Sanskrit Series: Part I = no. LXX, 1920; Part II = LXXVI, 1922; Part III = LXXXIV, 1925. Trivandrum: Trivandrum Sanskrit Series, 1992.Find this resource:

Vaidya, P. L., ed. Mahāyānasūtrasaṃgraha, Part II. Buddhist Sanskrit Texts, no. 18. Bihar: Mithila Institute, 1964.Find this resource:

chos kyi 'byung gnas. “'jam dpal rtsa rgyud.” In bka' 'gyur (sde dge par phud). TBRC W22084. 88: 177–669. delhi: delhi karmapae chodhey gyalwae sungrab partun khang, 1976–1979.


Davidson, Ronald M. “The Litany of Names of Mañjuśrī.” In Tantric and Taoist Studies in Honour of Professor R. A. Stein. Vol. 1. Edited by Michel Strickmann. Brussels: Institut Belge des Hautes Études Chinoises, 1981.Find this resource:

Mañjuśrījñānasattvaparamārthanāmasaṃgīti (‘Jam dpal ye shes sems dpa’i don dam pa’i mtshen yang dag par brjod pa) To. 360; P. 2.

Mukherji, Durga Das, ed. Ārya Mañjuśrināmasamgīti: Sanskrit and Tibetan texts. Calcutta: Calcutta University Press, 1963.Find this resource:

Vira, Raghu, ed. Mañjuśrī-Nāma-Sangīti in Mongolian, Tibetan, Sanskrit, and Chinese and Sekkodesa in Tibetan and Mongolian. New Delhi: International Academy of Indian Culture, 1962.Find this resource:

Vira, Raghu, and Lokesh Candra, eds. Kalacakra Tantra and Other Texts: Part I. New Delhi: International Academy of Indian Culture, 1966.Find this resource:

Wayman, Alex, ed. and trans. Chanting the Names Of Mañjuśrī: The Mañjusri-nama-samgiti, Sanskrit and Tibetan texts, Translated with Annotation and Introduction. Boston and London: Shambhala, 1985.Find this resource:

“bcom ldan 'das 'jam dpal ye shes sems dpa'i don dam pa'i mtshan yang dag par brjod pa/.” In dpal ldan stag lung pa'i gsung rnams nor bzhi bang mdzod/. TBRC W1PD166109. 18: 441–474. khun men/: nor bzhi bstan rgyas tshogs pa/, 2007.

Manjusrinamasamgiti, based on the edition by Janardan Shastri Pandey in Bauddhastotrasamgraha, Sarnath 1994, pp. 5-20.


Vaidya, P. L. Mahayana-sutra-samgraha, Part I. Buddhist Sanskrit Texts, no. 17. Durbhanga: Mithila Institute, 1961.Find this resource:

Saptaśatikāprajñāpāramitānāma mahāyāna sūtra (shes rab kyi pha rol du phyin pa bdun brgya pa zhes bya ba thek pa chen po’i mdo.) To. 24; Taisho. 232.

Mañjuśrīparivartāparaparyāyā Saptaśatikā prajñāpāramitā.

Further Reading

Birnbaum, Raoul. Studies on the Mysteries of Mañjuśrī: A Group of East Asian Maṇḍalas and Their Traditional Symbolism. Society for the Study of Chinese Religions Monograph 2. Boulder, CO: Society for the Study of Chinese Religions, 1983.Find this resource:

Burnouf, Eugène. Introduction to the History of Indian Buddhism. Edited by Katia Buffetrille and Donald S. Lopez Jr. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010.Find this resource:

Cartelli, Mary Anne. “On a Five-Colored Cloud: The Songs of Mount Wutai.” The Journal of the American Oriental Society 124.4 (October 2004).Find this resource:

Chang, Garma C., ed. and trans. A Treasury of Mahāyāna Sūtras: Selections from the Mahāratnakuta Sūtra. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1983.Find this resource:

Davidson, Ronald. “The Litany of Names of Manjushri.” In Tantric and Taoist Studies in Honour of R. A. Stein. Edited by Michel Strickmann, 1. Volume 1. Brussels: Institut Belge Des Hautes Etudes Chinoises, 1981.Find this resource:

Davidson, Ronald. “The Litany of the Names of Mañjuśrī.” In Religions of India in Practice. Edited by Donald Lopez Jr., 104–125. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1995.Find this resource:

Debreczeny, Karl. “Wutai Shan: Pilgrimage to Five-Peak Mountain.” Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies 6 (December 2011): 1–133.Find this resource:

Delhey Martin. “The Textual Sources of the Mañjuśriyamūlakalpa (Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa), with Special Reference to Its Early Nepalese Witness A39/4.” Journal of the Nepal Research Centre 14 (2012): 55–75.Find this resource:

Harrington, Laura. “ Mañjuśrī.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Buddhism.Find this resource:

Harrington, Laura. “Probing Beneath the Surface: On Prajñā.” In In Vimalakirti’s House: A Festschrift in Honor of Robert A. F. Thurman on the Occasion of his 70th Birthday. Edited by Christian K. Wedemeyer, John D. Dunne, and Thomas F. Yarnall, 127–145. New York: American Institute of Buddhist Studies at Columbia University, 2015.Find this resource:

Harrison, Paul M. “Mañjuśrī and the Cult of the Celestial Bodhisattvas.” Chung-Hwa Buddhist Journal 13.2 (2000): 157–193.Find this resource:

Hirakawa, Akira. “Mañjuśrī and the Rise of Mahāyāna Buddhism.” Journal of Asian Studies (Madras) 1.1 (1983): 12–33.Find this resource:

Lalou, Marcelle. Iconographie des étoffes peintes (pata) dans le Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa, dans Buddhica. Vol. 6. Paris: Geuthner, 1930.Find this resource:

Lamotte, Étienne. “Mañjuśrī.” T’oung Pao 48.1–3 (1960): 1–96.Find this resource:

Lamotte, Étienne. L’Enseignement de Vimalakīrti. Louvain, Belgium: Publications universitaires, 1962.Find this resource:

Long, Mark E. “An Eighth-Century Commentary on the Nāmasaṅgīti and the Cluster of Temples on the Prambanan Plain in Central Java.” Working Paper Series No. 20. Nalanda-Srivijaya Centre: November 2015.Find this resource:

Macdonald, Ariane. Le maṇḍala du Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa. Paris: Adrien-Maisonneuve, 1962.Find this resource:

Mallmann, Marie-Thérèse de. Étude iconographique sur Mañjuśrī. Paris: École Française d’Extrème-Orient, 1964.Find this resource:

Rhie, Marilyn, and Robert Thurman. Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1991.Find this resource:

Tribe, Anthony. “Part III: The Cult of Mañjuśrī.” Western Buddhist Review 1 (1994).Find this resource:

Tribe, Anthony. “Mañjuśrī: Origins, Role and Significance. Parts I and II.” Western Buddhist Review 2 (1997).Find this resource:

Tuttle, Gray. “Tibetan Buddhism at Ri bo rtse lnga/Wutai shan in Modern Times.” Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies no. 2 (August 2006): 1–35.Find this resource:

Tuttle, Gray, and Johan Elverskog, eds. “Wutai Shan and Qing Culture.” Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies 6 (December 2011): 1–428.Find this resource:

Wallis, Glen. Mediating the Power of the Buddhas: Ritual in the Mañjuśrī-mūlakalpa. Albany: State University of New York, 2002.Find this resource:

Wallis, Glen. “Om Vakyeda Nāmah: Mañjuśrī’s Mantra and its Uses.” In As Long as Space Endures: Essays in the Kālacakra Tantra in Honor of the H. H. the Dalai Lama. Edited by Edward A. Arnold, 169–178. Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion Publications, 2009.Find this resource:

Williams, Paul. Mahāyāna Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations. New York: Routledge, 2009.Find this resource:


(1.) Étienne Lamotte, “Mañjuśrī,” T’oung Pao 48.1–3 (1960): 1–96; Marie-Thérèse de Mallmann, Étude Iconographique sur Mañjuśrī (Paris: École française de’Extrȇme-Orient, 1964); Anthony Tribe, “Mañjuśrī: Origins, Role and Significance, Parts I and II: The Cult of Mañjuśrī,” Western Buddhist Review 2 (1997): n.p.

(2.) Paul Harrison, “Mañjuśrī and the Cult of the Celestial Bodhisattvas,” Chung-Hwa Buddhist Journal 13.2 (2000), 166.

(3.) Paul Harrison, “The Earliest Chinese Translations of Mahāyāna Buddhist Sūtras: Some Notes on the Works of Lokakṣema,” Buddhist Studies Review 10.2 (1993): 135–177; Paul Harrison, “Mañjuśrī and the Cult of the Celestial Bodhisattvas,” Chung-Hwa Buddhist Journal 13.2 (2000): 157–193.

(4.) In the United States, “decillion” is understood to be 10.33 By contrast, some Continental European and older British publications use the long-scale system for naming integer powers of ten, and represent decillion as 10.60 The absolute value of decillion is identical.

(5.) Translation mine. ‘Phags pa ma skyes dgra’i ‘gyod pa bsal ba shes bya ba theg pa chen po’i mdo; Ārya Ajātaśatrukaukṛtya-vinodanā-nama-mahāyāna sutra. Derge 216, bka’ ‘gyur, mdo sde, Tsha 228b–229a. From Derge Kanjur and Tanjur, facsimile edition of the 18th-century redaction of the Situ Chos kyi ‘byung gnas, Delhi, 1978. Numbers from Tohoku catalogue (Tokyo, 1934).

(6.) Christian Lindtner, ed., Masters of Wisdom: Writings of the Buddhist Master Nāgārjuna (Oakland: Dharma Publishing, 1986).

(7.) Étienne Lamotte, L’Enseignement de Vimalakīrti (Louvain, Belgium: Publications universitaires, 1962). English version by Sara Boin, The Teaching of Vimalakirti (London: PTS, 1976); Étienne Lamotte, “Mañjuśrī,” T’oung Pao 48.1–3 (1960): 40ff; Leo Hurvitz, trans., Scripture of the Lotus Blossom of the Fine Dharma (New York: Columbia University Press, 1976); Étienne Lamotte, Śuraṅgamasamādhi-sūtra: The Concentration of Heroic Progress, trans. Sara Boin-Webb (Surrey: Curzon Press, 1998), 210.

(8.) Alternately entitled the Mahāvaipulya Buddhāvataṃsaka Sūtra. Thomas Cleary, trans., The Flower Ornament Scripture: A Translation of the Avatamsaka Sutra, 3 vols. (Boston: Shambala, 1984–1987).

(9.) Chen-chi Chang, A Treasury of Mahāyāna Sūtras: Selections from the Mahāratnakūṭa Sūtra (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1996), 176–177.

(10.) Also called the Mahāprajñāpāramita-mañjuśrī-parivarta-sūtra. English translation at

(11.) Paul Debdanji, The Art of Nālandā: Development of Buddhist Sculpture, A.D. 300–1200 (New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal Publisher, 1995), 10.

(12.) Fredrick M. Asher, The Art of Eastern India, 300–800 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1980), 48.

(13.) The compilation of the MMK probably spanned the 7th to 12th centuries. Martin Delhey notes the prevalence of the unusual stem form mañjuśrīya in Sanskrit and Nepalese manuscripts, and argues for Mañjuśrīyamūlakalpa as the more likely original title. See Martin Delhey, “The Textual Sources of the Mañjuśriyamūlakalpa (Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa), with Special Reference to its Early Nepalese Witness A39/4,” Journal of the Nepal Research Centre 14 (2012): 70–71.

(14.) Glen Wallis, “Om Vakyeda Nāmah:Mañjuśrī’s Mantra and its Uses,” in As Long as Space Endures: Essays in the Kālacakra Tantra in Honor of the H. H. the Dalai Lama, ed. Edward A. Arnold (Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion Publications, 2009), 170.

(15.) Ariane Macdonald, Le maṇḍala du Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa (Paris: Adrien-Maisonneuve, 1962), 25; Rob Linrothe, Ruthless Compassion: Wrathful Deities in Early Indo-Tibetan Esoteric Buddhist Art (London: Serindia Publications, 1999), 26–27.

(16.) Ronald Davidson, “The Litany of the Names of Mañjuśrī,” in Religions of India in Practice, ed. Ronald Davidson and Donald Lopez (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1995), 104–125; “The Litany of Names of Mañjuśrī: Text and Translation of the Mañjuśrīnāmasaṃgīti,” Tantric and Taoist Studies in Honour of R.A. Stein 1 (1981): 1–69.

(17.) Mary Anne Cartelli, “On a Five-Colored Cloud: The Songs of Mount Wutai,” The Journal of the American Oriental Society (October 2004): 39.

(18.) Raoul Birnbaum, “The Manifestation of a Monastery: Shen-ying’s Experiences on Mount Wu-t’ai in T’ang Context,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 106.1 (1986): 123.

(19.) This passage would be of especial importance to the Japanese Buddhist monk Eison, who encouraged the view that alms to the poor could be understood as offerings to Mañjuśrī himself. See Robert H. Sharf and Elizabeth Horton Sharf, eds., Living Images: Japanese Buddhist Icons in Context (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2002), 135.

(20.) Raoul Birnbaum, Studies on the Mysteries of Mañjuśrī: A Group of East Asian Mandalas and Their Traditional Symbolism (Boulder, CO: Society for the Study of Chinese Religions, 1983), 11.

(21.) Richard D. McBride, “Popular Esoteric Deities and the Spread of the Cults,” in Esoteric Buddhism and Tantras in East Asia, ed. Charles D. Orzech, Henrik H. Sorenson, and Richard K. Payne (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2010), 215–219; Karl Debreczeny, “Wutai Shan: Pilgrimage to Five-Peak Mountain,” Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies 6 (December 2011): 6–7.

(22.) The ‘phags-pa glang-ru lung bstan; ārya-gośriṅgavyākaraṇa-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra. Derge #0357, mdo sde, a: 220b6–232a7. Discussion and English translation in F. W. Thomas, Tibetan Literary Texts and Documents Concerning Chinese Turkestan—Part I: Literary Texts, Oriental Translation Fund, New Series, vol. 32 (London: Royal Asiatic Society, 1935), 3–38.

(23.) Ronald E. Emmerick, Tibetan Texts Concerning Khotan (London and New York: Oxford University Press, 1967); John Brough, “Legends of Khotan and Nepal,” The Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 12 (1948): 333–339.

(24.) Karl Debreczeny, “Wutai Shan: Pilgrimage to Five-Peak Mountain,” Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies 6 (December 2011): 8–10.

(25.) Debreczeny, “Wutai Shan: Pilgrimage to Five-Peak Mountain,” 16–18, 30–31; Johan Elverskog, “Wutai Shan, Qing Cosmopolitanism, and the Mongols,” Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies 6 (December 2011): 248–249.

(26.) Isabelle Charleux, Nomads on Pilgrimage: Mongols on Wutaishan (China), 1800–1940 (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2015), 158–159.

(27.) Karl Debreczeny, “Wutai Shan: Pilgrimage to Five-Peak Mountain,” Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies 6 (December 2011): 30–31.

(28.) Patricia Berger, “Preserving the Nation: The Political Uses of Tantric Art in China,” in Latter Days of the Law: Images of Chinese Buddhism, 850–1850, ed. Marsha Weidner (Lawrence: Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas; Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1994).

(29.) Isabelle Charleux, “Mongol Pilgrimages to Wutai Shan in the Late Qing Dynasty,” Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies 6 (December 2011): 276–277.

(30.) Kurtis R. Schaeffer, “Tibetan Poetry on Wutai Shan,” Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies 6 (December 2011): 222–224.

(31.) David Germano, “Re-membering the Dismembered Body of Tibet: Contemporary Tibetan Visionary Movements in the People’s Republic of China,” in Buddhism in Contemporary Tibet: Religious Revival and Cultural Identity, ed. Melvyn Goldstein and Matthew Kapstein (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), 53–94; Wen-Shing Lucia Chou, “The Visionary Landscape of Wutai Shan in Tibetan Buddhism from the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Century,” unpublished dissertation (Berkeley: University of California at Berkeley, 2011), 120–142. See also Antonio Terrone, “Tibetan Buddhism beyond the Monastery: Revelation and Identity in rNying ma Communities of Present-day Kham,” Images of Tibet in the 19th and 20th Centuries, Etudes thématiques 22, vol. 2 (Paris: École française d’Extrême-Orient, 2008), 747–779; Antonio Terrone, “Visions, Arcane Claims, and Treasures: Charisma and Authority in a Present-day Treasure Finder,” in Tibet, Self, and the Tibetan Diaspora: Voices of Difference, ed. Christiaan Klieger (Proceedings of the Ninth Seminar of the IATS, Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2002): 213–228.

(32.) Eugène Burnouf, Introduction to the History of Indian Buddhism, ed. Katia Buffetrille and Donald S. Lopez Jr. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010), 148.

(33.) Har Dayal, The Bodhisattva Doctrine in Buddhist Sanskrit Literature (New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1932/1970), 36.

(34.) Étienne Lamotte, “Mañjuśrī,” T’oung Pao 48.1–3 (1960), 1–96; Marie-Thérèse de Mallmann, Étude Iconographique sur Mañjuśrī (Paris: École française de’Extrȇme-Orient, 1964); Paul Harrison, “The Earliest Chinese Translations of Mahāyāna Buddhist Sūtras: Some Notes on the Works of Lokakṣema,” Buddhist Studies Review 10.2 (1993): 135–177; Paul M. Harrison, “Mañjuśrī and the Cult of the Celestial Bodhisattvas,” Chung-Hwa Buddhist Journal 13.2 (2000): 157–193; Raoul Birnbaum, Studies on the Mysteries of Mañjuśrī: A Group of East Asian Mandalas and their Traditional Symbolism (Boulder, CO: Society for the Study of Chinese Religions, 1983); Ronald M. Davidson, “The Litany of Names of Mañjuśrī: Text and Translation of the Mañjuśrīnāmasaṃgīti,” Tantric and Taoist Studies in Honour of R.A. Stein 1 (1981): 1–69; Ariane Macdonald, Le maṇḍala du Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa (Paris: Adrien-Maisonneuve, 1962); Glen Wallis, Mediating the Power of the Buddhas: Ritual in the Mañjuśrī-mūlakalpa (Albany: State University of New York, 2002).

(35.) Cartelli, Mary Anne. “On a Five-Colored Cloud: The Songs of Mount Wutai,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 124.4 (2004): 735–757; Richard D. McBride, “Popular Esoteric Deities and the Spread of the Cults,” in Esoteric Buddhism and Tantras in East Asia, ed. Charles D. Orzech, Henrik H. Sorenson, and Richard K. Payne (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2010), 215–219; Gray Tuttle and Johan Elverskog, eds., “Wutai Shan and Qing Culture,” Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies 6 (December 2011): 1–428.

(36.) David Germano, “Re-membering the Dismembered Body of Tibet: Contemporary Tibetan Visionary Movements in the People’s Republic of China,” in Buddhism in Contemporary Tibet: Religious Revival and Cultural Identity, ed. Melvyn Goldstein and Matthew Kapstein (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), 53–94; Wen-Shing Lucia Chou, The Visionary Landscape of Wutai Shan in Tibetan Buddhism from the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Century, unpublished dissertation (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011), 120–142. See also Antonio Terrone, “Tibetan Buddhism beyond the Monastery: Revelation and Identity in rNying ma Communities of Present-day Kham,” Images of Tibet in the 19th and 20th Centuries, Études thématiques 22, vol. 2 (Paris: École française d’Extrême-Orient, 2008), 747–779; “Visions, Arcane Claims, and Treasures: Charisma and Authority in a Present-day Treasure Finder,” in Tibet, Self, and the Tibetan Diaspora: Voices of Difference, ed. Christiaan Klieger (Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2002), 213–228.