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Mahasthamaprapta

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Chinese temple bouddha
This altar display at a temple in Taiwan shows Amitabha in the center, flanked by Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva on the viewer's right and Avalokitesvara on the left.

Mahāsthāmaprāpta or Vajrapani(Ch. 大勢至 Da Shì Zhì, Jp. 勢至 Seishi Vi. Đại Thế Chí Bồ tát, Tib. Thu-ch´en-Thob - equated with Vajrapani) is a bodhisattva that represents the power of wisdom and is often depicted in a trinity with Amitabha and Avalokitesvara, especially in Pure Land Buddhism. In Chinese Buddhism, he is usually portrayed as a woman, with a likeness similar to Guan Yin. He is also one of the Japanese Thirteen Buddhas.

Unlike most bodhisattvas, Mahasthamaprapta is one of the lesser known bodhisattvas, but is nonetheless regarded as powerful. In the Shurangama Sutra, Mahasthamaprapta tells of how he gained enlightenment through the practice of Buddha recitation, or continuous pure mindfulness of the Buddha, to obtain samadhi. In the Contemplation Sutra, Mahasthamaprapta is symbolized by the moon (wisdom) while Avalokitesvara is symbolized by the sun.

In Shingon Buddhism, the mantra used for Seishi in Japanese is:

On san zan zan saku sowaka

From the Sanskrit mantra:

Oṃ sam jam jam sah svāhā

The translation of this mantra is generally "Om, may defilements be removed, hail".

ReferencesEdit


cs:Mahásthámapráptaja:勢至菩薩

ru:Махастхамапрапта ta:மகாசுதாமபிராப்தர் th:พระมหาสถามปราปต์โพธิสัตว์ vi:Đại Thế Chí zh:大势至菩萨

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