Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Manjushri deity sadhana with guided meditation

A meditation upon Orange Manjushri by the Fifth Dalai Lama (1617-1682)

Manjushri front generation sadhana (download)

Namo Guruja Vagih Sharigya

I make humble obeisance to you, great Tsong Khapa,
Personification of Manjushri in human form with all the marks and signs of perfection.
Your magnificent attainments were nurtured in the matrix of motherly method and wisdom combined
Of which the vibrant syllable DHIH is an embodiment.

Sipping the nectars of the profound teachings
Directly from Manjushri´s masterly eloquence,
You realized the heart of wisdom.
Inspired by your example, I will now set out
A description of the steps for actualization
Of Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom,
In accord with your realization.

Refuge and bodhicitta

In my heart I turn to the Three Jewels of Refuge. May I free suffering beings and place them in bliss. May the compassionate spirit of love grow within me that I may complete the enlightening path. (3x)

May all sentient beings have happiness and its causes.
May all sentient beings be free of suffering and its causes.
May all sentient beings not be separated from sorrowless bliss.
May all sentient beings abide in equanimity, free of bias, attachment and anger.

Analytic meditation on emptiness (core of practice)

Use any of the reasonings: dependent arising, four-point analysis, etc., to understand that oneself and all phenomena are empty of inherent existence.

Om sobhava shuddoh sarva dharmah sobhava shuddho ham

Rest in emptiness, free from mental constructions and fabrications.

Tibetan calligraphy of seed syllable Dhih.

DHIH (Image by Dorje Jampäl)

Manjushri front generation

Within the sphere of emptiness, a lotus and moon seat appear in front of me. Upon it sits an orange syllable DHIH. It emits infinite light rays, going in all directions. On each light ray are beautiful objects that are offered to all the buddhas and bodhisattvas throughout space. Again light rays emanate, touching each sentient being and eliminating his or her suffering and its causes. All sentient beings are blissful and become Manjushri. All of these Manjushris absorb back into the DHIH.

The DHIH transforms into Manjushri, orange in color, with one face and two arms. His right hand brandishes a sword of wisdom in the space above him. At his heart, between the thumb and ring finger of his left hand, he holds the stem of an utpala lotus. Upon its petals in full bloom by his left ear, rests a volume of The Perfection of Wisdom Sutra. He sits in vajra posture and is adorned with precious ornaments on his head, ears, throat and shoulders, as well as bracelets and anklets. He is draped in a flowing mantle and skirt of exquisite silks, and his hair is tied up in five knots, which coil counterclockwise. Bearing an entrancing and serene smile, he sits amidst a mass of light radiating from his body. The syllable OM marks the crown of his head, AH his throat, and HUM his heart.

Invoking and absorbing the wisdom beings

The HUM at Manjushri´s heart emits rays of light that invite the wisdom beings from the inconceivable mansion of their own pure lands. They resemble Manjushri described above and are surrounded by hosts of Buddhas and bodhisattvas.

Dza (wisdom beings approach Manjushri)
Hum (wisdom beings dissolve into Manjushri)
Bam (wisdom beings and Manjushri become one)
Hoh (wisdom beings are inseparable from Manjushri)


Om arya vagih shara saparivara argham pratichcha hum svaha
Om arya vagih shara saparivara padyam pratichcha hum svaha
Om arya vagih shara saparivara pushpe pratichcha hum svaha
Om arya vagih shara saparivara dhupe pratichcha hum svaha
Om arya vagih shara saparivara aloke pratichcha hum svaha
Om arya vagih shara saparivara gandhe pratichcha hum svaha
Om arya vagih shara saparivara naivedya pratichcha hum svaha
Om arya vagih shara saparivara shabda pratichcha hum svaha


I make obeisance to your youthful form, O Manjushri,
Like that of a dynamic and graceful sixteen year old.
You repose upon the full moon as your cushion
At the center of an expansive, milk-white lotus.

I make obeisance to your speech, O Mighty Fulfiller of Wishes,
So mellifluent to the minds of countless sentient beings,
A lucent euphony to accord with each listener´s capacity,
Its multiplicity embellishing the hearing of all fortunate ones.

O Manjushri, I make obeisance to your mind
Wherein is illuminated the entire tapestry of the myriad objects of knowledge.
It is a tranquil ocean of unfathomable profundity
Of immeasurable breadth, boundless like space itself.

Meditation on the clear appearance of Manjushri

(Concentration meditation on visualized image of Manjushri)

Mantra recitation

At Manjushri´s heart upon a moon disc is an orange syllable DHIH. Encircling it at the disc’s periphery stands the rosary-like mantra, om ah ra pa tsa na. All the syllables radiate light, which gather the wisdoms of explaining, debating and writing, and the wisdoms of hearing, thinking, and meditating possessed by the Buddhas, bodhisattvas, solitary realizers, hearers, and the wise and learned master of all the Buddhist and non-Buddhist traditions. (Contemplate the fusion of such wisdoms with your mindstream while reciting the mantra. i.e. all that wisdom dissolves into me.)

Om ah ra pa tsa na dhih

Developing the Seven Wisdoms visualization

  1. Request, ¨Please grant great (extensive) wisdom, which has no resistance to understanding the meaning of Buddha´s extensive scriptures.¨ (Great extensive wisdom can memorize and understand many things quickly. It also knows the entire meaning of sutra and tantra and is able to see the conventional and ultimate natures of all universal phenomena without restriction.)From the DHIH and mantra syllables in Manjushri, orange lightrays radiate in all directions. (Optional: The light rays carry offerings, as in the previous visualization, to all the Buddhas and bodhisattvas.) The lightrays then invoke all their wisdom and realizations in the form of countless youth Manjushris. Some are as large as mountains, others as small as sesame seeds, and they pervade all of space. All the billions of Manjushris absorb into you through the pores of your body, uniting with you like snow falling into the ocean. Your entire body and nervous system become the nature of clean clear wisdom light that destroys all physical diseases and hindrances to developing great extensive wisdom. Feel that you have generated great extensive wisdom through concentrating on Manjushri´s body.Much powerful light, like billions of suns, radiates from the DHIH and mantra syllables at your heart, going out through all the pores of your body and touching all universal sentient beings who are immediately released from their ignorance and become Manjushri.
  2. Request, ¨Please inspire (bless) me to generate clear wisdom, which can understand the subtle and difficult points of the Dharma without confusion.¨ (Clear wisdom understands, for example, the detailed and subtle points of emptiness and dependent arising. Visualize: om ah ra pa tsa na dhih, as well as the Sanskrit vowels and consonants.)
  3. Request, ¨Please inspire (bless) me to generate quick wisdom, which quickly cuts off all ignorance, wrong conceptions, and doubt.¨ (Visualize: DHIH, as well as om ah hum.)
  4. Request, ¨Please inspire (bless) me to generate profound wisdom, which understands the meaning of the scriptures in a profound, limitless way.¨ (Visualize: Manjushri´s swords and texts.)
  5. Request, ¨Please inspire (bless) me to generate the wisdom of explaining or teaching the Dharma, which can perfectly explain the definite, correct understanding of all the words and meanings of the scriptures.¨ (Visualize: The Perfection of Wisdom texts.)
  6. Request, ¨Please inspire (bless) me to generate the wisdom of debate, which courageously refutes the damaging words that express wrong ideas and misconceptions.¨ (Visualize: wheels of swords.)
  7. Request, ¨Please inspire (bless) me to generate the wisdom of composition, which uses perfect grammar and words and has the meaning of clear wisdom that gives joy to the minds of all sentient beings.¨ (Visualize: The Perfection of Wisdom texts and wheels of swords.)

Concluding mantra visualization

Imagine Manjushri´s wisdom body appearing as a DHIH lying on your tongue with its head towards the back of your mouth. From the DHIH lightrays emanate in all directions and transform into offerings—protection umbrellas, victory banners, etc.—that are offered to all the buddhas and bodhisattvas. Their blissful omniscient wisdom and realizations manifest as orange DHIHs that absorb into the DHIH on your tongue. Recite dhih, dhih… 108 times in one breath, if possible.

As you say each DHIH, a duplicate DHIH emanates from the DHIH on your tongue and dissolves into the DHIH at your heart. After reciting the DHIHS, silently swallow some saliva and imagine the DHIH on your tongue comes down and absorbs into the DHIH on the moon disk at your heart, which becomes very brilliant. Immeasurable orange lightrays radiate from the DHIH, filling your entire body and purifying all negative karma, sickness, and hindrances. Think, ¨I have received the special qualities of memory which does not forget the words and meanings of the teachings and of knowledge of all things past, present, and future.”

To purify excesses, omissions, and mistakes, recite Vajrasattva´s mantra:

Om vajra sattva samaya manu palaya/ vajrasattva deno patita/ dido may bhawa/ suto kayo may bhawa/ supo kayo may bhawa/ anu rakto may bhawa/ sarwa siddhi mempar yatsa/ sarwa karma su tsa may/ tsitam shriyam kuru hum/ ha ha ha ha ho/ bhagawan/ sarwa tatagata/ vajra ma may mu tsa/ vajra bhawa maha samaya sattva/ ah hum pey (3x)

Repeat Offerings and Praise (Optional)

Lamrim meditation


Manjushri comes on top of my head and dissolves into me. Manjushri´s mind and my mind become non-dual. My body becomes clear and clean like crystal and very blissful. My mind is like Manjushri´s—saturated by compassion and wisdom. Concentrate on this for awhile.


Manjushri reappears at my heart, to help me engage in extensive deeds to benefit all sentient beings.

Meditate during the rest of the day that all sights are Manjushri´s mandala, all sounds are his mantra, and all your thoughts are Manjushri´s unlimited compassion and wisdom.)

Dedication and auspicious verses

By the virtue of this practice may I quickly accomplish the powerful attainments of Manjushri, and then may I lead all beings to that same supreme state.

May the precious bodhi mind not yet born arise and grow. May that born have no decline, but increase forever more.

(Additional optional dedications: long life prayers for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and King of Prayers)

Colophon: The above meditation upon Orange Manjushri was written by Ngawang Lozang Gyatso, a monk of rectitude from Zahor, at the request of Gajo Dargye.

Translated by Kevin Garratt with Chomdze Tashi Wangyal and Lozang Gyaltsen. Front generation adaptation by Venerable Thubten Chodron.

Guest Author: A sadhana of the tradition

More on this topic