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A Meditation Upon Red-yellow Manjushri

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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 motivation


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.

Meditation on emptiness

Om sobhava shuddoh sarva dharmah sobhava shuddho ham

(Everything becomes empty. Rest in emptiness, free from mental constructions and fabrications.)


At my heart is my mind in the shape of an egg, its point upwards. Inside the egg on a full moon disc is an orange letter dhih, from which an infinite amount of light is emitted. It fills my entire body, purifying all negativities and removing all obscurations accumulated since beginningless time. The light rays then leave through my pores and become offerings to the Buddhas and bodhisattvas, thereby delighting them. This causes the blessings of the body, speech and mind of these holy beings to dissolve into light that destroys the darkness of ignorance of all sentient beings, thus placing them in wisdom’s illumination.

The lightrays then recollect into the syllable dhih. It transforms into light, and my ordinary appearance and grasping vanish. I emerge as the Venerable Manjushri, orange in color, with one face and two arms.

My right hand brandishes a sword of wisdom in the space above me. At my heart, between the thumb and ring finger of my left hand, I hold the stem of an utpala lotus. Upon its petals in full bloom by my left ear, rests a volume of the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra. I sit in vajra posture, and am adorned with precious ornaments on my head, ears, throat and shoulders, as well as bracelets and anklets. I am draped in a flowing mantle and skirt of exquisite silks, and my hair is tied up in five knots which coil counterclockwise. Bearing an entrancing and serene smile, I sit amidst a mass of light radiating from my body. The syllable om marks the crown of my head, ah my throat, and hum my heart.

Invoking and absorbing the wisdom beings


The hum 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 hum bam hoh: They absorb into me and become one.

Offerings and praise

Om arya vagih shara saparivara argham (padyam, pushpe, dhupe, aloke, gandhe, naivedya, shabde) pratichchha 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 and divine identity of oneself as Manjushri.

Cultivate single-pointedness on your Manjushri body. Cultivate divine identity of being Manjushri

Mantra recitation


At my 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 gathers the wisdoms of explaining, debating and writing, and the wisdoms of hearing, thinking and meditation possessed by the Buddhas, bodhisattvas, solitary realizers, hearers, and the wise and learned masters of all the Buddhist and non-Buddhist traditions.

(Contemplate the fusion of such wisdom with your mindstream while reciting the mantra as many times as you wish. Additional mantra visualizations may also be done at this point.)

Om ah ra pa tsa na dhi

(To purify excesses, omissions and mistakes, recite:)

Om vajrasattva 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

(Optional: again make offerings and praise as above.)


The entire universe and its inhabitants, who all appear in the form of Manjushri, melt into light and dissolve into me. I dissolve into the dhih at my heart, which then vanishes like a rainbow into space. (Rest in emptiness.)

Within the sphere of emptiness, I instantly appear in the form of Manjushri and engage in extensive deeds to benefit all sentient beings.

(Meditate in the break time 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.

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. It was translated into English by Kevin Garratt, with Chomdze Tashi Wangyal and Lozang Gyaltsen.


by the Fifth Dalai Lama (1617-1682)

Copyright by Thubten Chodron