El·e·na [el-uh-nuh, uh-ley-nuh; It. e-le-nah] /ˈɛlənə, əˈleɪnə; It. ɛˈlɛnɑ/ –noun a female given name, form of Helen // A proud student of His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche // Personal assistant with a BSc (Hons) Psych from Uni of Warwick // These are snapshots of my life, in words and pictures

The power of Manjushri

May 16, 2015 0

Manjushri

Manjushri is the reason I got into college and then went on to university. Back in my high school days, I was terrible at Maths (and I still am!) and was in one of the lowest classes in our year group. During the mock finals, arranged to familiarise us with the testing process, I scored 31%. I had never done so badly in any exam ever.

To wake me up, my mother skillfully took me to every single college in Kuala Lumpur. Every single one of the admissions staff said they would never admit me with results like that. They said the minimum was a C and since I had just scored an E, well things weren’t looking too good for me.

Sufficiently panicked at the thought of not even doing my A-Levels (let alone getting a university degree!), I turned to Manjushri for help. Every single night for the next few months, I recited Manjushri’s mantra feverishly. I asked him, begged him for help and threw my entire lot in with him. You should have heard the kinds of conversations I had with him…he must definitely be a Buddha to have the patience to put up with my desperation!

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Then came the day of the actual exam. Ten minutes before we were due to start, a friend handed me her study notes. They were on the one topic (matrices) I had not revised in our entire syllabus so I took the opportunity to memorise as much as I could. Walking into the exam, I was in complete shock because a large chunk of the paper was on that one topic.

When my results finally came out months later, I discovered I had scored 75% and because of that, was eligible to do my A-Levels.

To this day, I can tell you if I had attempted to memorise those notes on my own power, no way would it have been possible. For whatever reason, mathematical concepts escape me and even on my best days, with the best teacher, I struggle. Yet somehow in those 10 minutes before my exam, I manged to memorise and understand an entire section of our syllabus well enough to pass my paper. (Of course, I promptly forgot everything the second I left the examination hall but that’s another story haha)

So when someone tells me that Manjushri’s mantra works for clarity and wisdom, I know through personal experience that it does. It was only through the power of Manjushri that I was able to move on to higher education.

Now you may say, “I don’t care about going to university. Tonnes of successful people don’t get college educations and they’re doing just fine.” That’s true and I can’t (and won’t!) argue with that, but the benefits of Manjushri extend beyond higher education.

As a Buddha, exams are the lowest in the rung of benefits that his practice can grant to you. Even more than exam results, his practice bestows upon us the Seven Types of Wisdom necessary for us to achieve enlightenment:

  1. Great Wisdom: ability to know what are objects to be abandoned and what are the objects to be attained for both ourselves and others
  2. Clear Wisdom: ability to understand the subtle characteristics of phenomena
  3. Quick Wisdom: ability to respond to our own and others’ questions. Always knowing what to do in all situations, external and internal
  4. Profound Wisdom: wisdom realising emptiness
  5. Wisdom of Expounding Dharma: ability to present the Dharma in ways that living beings can accept and understand. Ability to let the guru work through you to teach the Dharma
  6. Wisdom of Spiritual Debate: ability to skilfully overcome wrong views through spiritual debate. Ability to let the guru work through you to overcome others’ wrong views
  7. Wisdom of Composing Dharma Books: writing flawlessly reveals the path to enlightenment and inspires others to follow it. Ability to let the guru write through you.

Dude, seriously. Accomplish these and you’ll never, EVER have to worry about an exam ever again!

 

For more information about Manjushri, check out these handy links!

Buddhas, Reflections and Teachings

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