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Samantabhadra (Bodhisattva)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Samantabhadra
Massive golden buddha on the sumit of Eimei Shan.jpg
Statue of Pǔxián (Samantabhadra) on Mount Emei in Sichuan, China
Sanskritसमन्तभद्र
Samantabhadra
Chinese普賢菩薩 普贤菩萨
(Pinyin: Pǔxián Púsà)
(Jyutping: pou2 jin4 pou4 saat3)
(Southern Min: Phó͘-hiân Phô͘-sat)
Japanese普賢菩薩ふげんぼさつ
(romaji: Fugen Bosatsu)
Khmerសមន្តភទ្រ
(sa-mun-ta-phoat)
Korean보현보살
(RR: Bohyeon Bosal)
Mongolianүндэсамбуу
Самандабадраа
Хамгаар Сайн
Sinhalaසුමන සමන් ‍දෙවි
Thaiพระสมันตภัทรโพธิสัตว์
Phra Samantaphat Phothisat
Tibetanཀུན་ཏུ་བཟང་པོ་
Wylie: kun tu bzang po
THL: küntuzangpo
VietnamesePhổ Hiền Bồ Tát
(Hán Nôm: 普賢菩薩)
Information
Venerated byBuddhists
P religion world.svg
 Religion portal

Samantabhadra (lit. "Universal Worthy", "All Good") is a bodhisattva in Buddhism associated with practice and meditation. Together with Gautama Buddha and the bodhisattva Mañjuśrī, he forms the Shakyamuni Triad in Mahayana Buddhism. He is the patron of the Lotus Sutra and, according to the Avatamsaka Sutra, made the ten great vows which are the basis of a bodhisattva. In Chinese Buddhism, Samantabhadra is known as Pǔxián and is associated with action, whereas Mañjuśrī is associated with prajñā (transcendent wisdom). In Japan, this bodhisattva is known as Fugen, and is often venerated in Tendai and Shingon Buddhism, and as the protector of the Lotus Sutra by Nichiren Buddhism. In Sri lanka, he is known as Sumana Samana Deviyo and is regarded as the guardian of the island of Sri Lanka.[1]

In the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism, Samantabhadra is also the name of the Adi-Buddha, often portrayed in indivisible union (yab-yum) with his consort, Samantabhadrī. In wrathful form he is one of the Eight Herukas of the Nyingma Mahayoga and he is known as Vajramrtra.

Origins

In the Lotus Sūtra, Samantabhadra is described at length in the epilogue, called the Samantabhadra Meditation Sutra (Chinese: 觀普賢菩薩行法經; pinyin: Guān Pǔxián Púsà Xíngfǎ Jīng), with special detail given to visualization of the bodhisattva, and the virtues of devotion to him.[2]

Samantabhadra is also a key figure in the Āvataṃsaka-sūtra, particularly the last chapter, the Gaṇḍavyūha-sūtra. In the climax of the Gaṇḍavyūha-sūtra, the student Sudhana meets Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, who teaches him that wisdom only exists for the sake of putting it into practice; that it is only good insofar as it benefits all living beings.

In the Āvataṃsaka-sūtra, the Buddha states that Samantabhadra Bodhisattva made ten great vows in his path to full Buddhahood:

  1. To pay homage and respect to all Buddhas.
  2. To praise the Thus Come One-Tathagata.[3]
  3. To make abundant offerings. (e.g. give generously)
  4. To repent misdeeds and evil karmas.
  5. To rejoice in others' merits and virtues.
  6. To request the Buddhas to continue teaching.
  7. To request the Buddhas to remain in the world.
  8. To follow the teachings of the Buddhas at all times.
  9. To accommodate and benefit all living beings.
  10. To transfer all merits and virtues to benefit all beings.

The ten vows have become a common practice in East Asian Buddhism, particularly the tenth vow, with many Buddhists traditionally dedicating their merit and good works to all beings during Buddhist liturgies.

In Mahayana Buddhism

Fugen Enmei (普賢延命菩薩), the life Preserver.
Fugen Enmei (普賢延命菩薩), the life Preserver.

Unlike his more popular counterpart Mañjuśrī, Samantabhadra is only rarely depicted alone and is usually found in a trinity on the right side of Shakyamuni, mounted on a white elephant. In those traditions that accept the Avatamsaka Sutra as its root instruction, Samantabhadra and Manjusri flank Vairocana Buddha, the central Buddha of this particular sutra.

Known as Pǔxián in Chinese, he is sometimes shown in Chinese art with feminine characteristics, riding an elephant with six tusks while carrying a lotus leaf 'parasol' (Sanskrit: chatra), bearing similar dress and features to some feminine depictions of Guanyin. It is in this guise that Samantabhadra is revered as the patron bodhisattva of the monasteries associated with Mount Emei in western China. Some believe that the white elephant mount of Samantabhadra was the same elephant that appeared to Queen Maya, the mother of the Buddha, to herald his birth.

Mahayana esoteric traditions treat Samantabhadra as one of the 'Primordial' (Sanskrit: Dharmakaya) Buddhas, but the main primordial Buddha is considered to be Vairocana.

Tibetan Buddhism

Samantabhadra, pictured in Bodhisattva of Universal Virtue who Prolongs Life, 12th-century painting on silk, late Heian period.
Samantabhadra, pictured in Bodhisattva of Universal Virtue who Prolongs Life, 12th-century painting on silk, late Heian period.

In Tibetan Buddhism, Samantabhadra (Tibetan: Kuntuzangpo) is a name that refers to two different beings:[4]

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche following the Nyingmapa Dzogchen tradition qualifies the nature and essence of Samantabhadra as follows:

Samantabhadra is not subject to limits of time, place, or physical conditions. Samantabhadra is not a colored being with two eyes, etc. Samantabhadra is the unity of awareness and emptiness, the unity of appearances and emptiness, the nature of mind, natural clarity with unceasing compassion - that is Samantabhadra from the very beginning.[5]

'The Mirror of the Mind of Samantabhadra' (Tibetan: ཀུན་ཏུ་བཟང་པོ་ཐུགས་ཀྱི་མེ་ལོང, Wylie: kun tu bzang po thugs kyi me long) is one of the Seventeen Tantras of Dzogchen Upadesha.[6]

In Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan people venerate Samantabhadra Bodhisattva as Saman (also called Sumana, Samantha, Sumana Saman, Sinhalese: සුමන සමන් ‍දෙවි). The name Saman means "the rising morning sun". The god Saman is considered to be one of the guardian deities of the island as well as a protector of Buddhism. His main shrine is located in Ratnapura, where there is an annual festival held in his honor.[1]

Notes

  1. ^ a b "The Gods & Deity Worship in Sri Lanka". Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  2. ^ Katō Bunno, Tamura Yoshirō, Miyasaka Kōjirō, tr. (1975), The Threefold Lotus Sutra : The Sutra of Innumerable Meanings; The Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law; The Sutra of Meditation on the Bodhisattva Universal Virtue. New York & Tōkyō: Weatherhill & Kōsei Publishing.
  3. ^ THỰC HÀNH TỪ THIỆN THEO MƯỜI ĐẠI NGUYỆN CỦA ĐỨC PHỔ HIỀN BỒ TÁT
  4. ^ Khenchen Thrangu (2019). Tilopa's Wisdom: His Life and Teachings on the Ganges Mahamudra. p. 174. Shambhala Publications.
  5. ^ Khyentse, Dzongsar (1990). "Introduction: The Significance of This Biography" in: Palmo, Ani Jima (Eugenie de Jong; translator); Nyingpo, Yudra (compilor, et al.) (2004). The Great Image: the Life Story of Vairochana the translator. Shambala Publications, Inc.: Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. ISBN 1-59030-069-6 (pbk.: alk. paper). p.xxi
  6. ^ Rigpa Shedra (October, 2009). Seventeen Tantras. Source: [1] (accessed: Monday April 5, 2010)

References and further reading

  • Yeshe De Project (1986). Ancient Tibet: Research materials from the Yeshe De Project. California: Dharma Publishing. ISBN 0-89800-146-3.
  • Dudjom Rinpoche; Jikdrel Yeshe Dorje (1991). Translated and edited by Gyurme Dorje with Matthew Kapstein (ed.). The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism: its Fundamentals and History. Two Volumes. Boston: Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-087-8.

External links

This page was last edited on 19 October 2021, at 07:20
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