SAMANTABHADRA


Amongst the Bodhisattvas of the high rank, Samantabhadra stands prominent. His activities are mentioned in Gandavyuha sutra. His most popular practice popularly known as Samantabhadra Carya is a household name for the Nepalese Buddhist.

 

Samantabhadra is represented with a crown, ornaments and princely garments of the Bodhisattva, typically of Sambhogakaya aspect. He holds Cintamani in his left hand and supports a blue lotus at his left shoulder. His right hand displays vitarka mudra. His posture may be either seated or standing. In Nispannayogavali, he is described as yellow in colour, showing the varada mudra in his right hand and holding the sword on lotus on his left hand.

 

 

 

He is also depicted as of golden yellow in colour. He holds a bunch of jewels in the right hand and left hand rests on the hip. According to a legend concerning Samantabhadra, it is said that Kathmandu valley was once a great lake measuring 14 kms. by 14 kms. in size. At the centre of this lake blossomed a thousand petaled lotus where there was a flame of self existing wisdom i.e. Swoyambhu. Many sages and devas used to bathe in this lake and paid homage to Lord Swoyambhu. Knowing that a self existing Buddha had appeared in the lake, Lord Manjudeva Acarya, an emanation of Bodhisattva Majushree, from wu-tai-shan mountain of Great China came to Kathmandu to drain water from the lake so as to make it habitable land as the legend narrates. This act of Manjudeva Acarya enraged Kulika Nagaraja who began to obstruct its outlets thus ponding water once again into the lake. As a result, many people suffered due to flood and destruction of houses. The people began to take refuge in Lord Avalokiteshvara for protection. In the meantime, Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva sent Samantabhadra Bodhisattva for the purpose of relieving the suffering of the people in Kathmandu. Samantabhadra subdued Kulika Naga and also inspired him to practice Dharma and gave many blessings. In Buddhist practice, Samantabhadra Bodhisattva is very famous for his extensive ten great vows and seven fold warship. His grandeur is well presented in lotus sutra and Gandavyuha sutra.