“Samurai Manjushri” – poem and explanation

It’s not the meekness in his eyes, I know!

He holds a sword or two or even more…

To sever vanity and greed in single blow,

And all the rest delusional galore!

I am at the altar, kneeling in repentance,

I take my oath, abandoning the pray…   

And sword of truth so steady and relentless,

Flames through the fogginess unburdening the way! 

***

Manjushri is a Bodhisattva of Wisdom in the Buddhist tradition. He often portrayed with a sword in his hand, which is needed to destroy delusions and clear the path to Enlightenment. In some traditions, his depictions are flowery and beautiful, but in reality, the appearance of Manjushri energies in our lives are often far from beautiful!

Manjushri

Manjushri from Doi Suthep temple, Thailand

It brings changes, it cuts our attachments, it burns the delusions we loved and “harbored in our hearts” for so long… Until we develop our own maturity to recognize his gifts even when some parts of us are still aching from loss or disappointment.

There is no way to enter the Great Emptiness still carrying a load of concepts and self-images, even the nice and convenient for you! Nothing is allowed through. Manjushri will see to it.

In a sense, we need to become like Samurai in old Japan, famous for their devotion and sense of purpose. Samurai serving Manjushri has only truth in his heart, the deepest truth, the truth of your identity “before your parents were born” (old Zen koan). An inconvenient truth, uncomfortable truth, the truth that does not compare or explain… Samurai takes an oath, he doesn’t pray or asks for anything, his trust and surrender are complete!

My favorite spiritual teacher Adyashanti often speaks about “the fire of truth”, the process when we have to face our delusions and attachments head on. It hurts, it burns, it cuts… but it so worth it!

Zen Manjushri

Manjushri from Zen temple, Japan

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