II. Legendary Origin of Manjusri in Wutaishan
There is a sutra entitled
'The Sutra on the Dhârani of Mañju'sri's PreciousTreasury of the Dharma'
, translated into Chinese by Bodhiruci in 710 CE.It contains a prophecy connecting him with the mountain Wu Tai Shan. "Inthis sutra the Bodhisattva Vajraguhyaka asks 'Sakyamuni to elaborate onwhat will happen when his Dharma has disappeared from Jambudvipa.'Sakyamuni answers,'After I have passed away, in this Jambudviipa, in the north-eastquarter there is a country named Maha China. In the centre of thiscountry there is a mountain named Five Peaks. The youth Mañju'sri willroam about and dwell there, expounding on the Dharma at the centreof the mountain for the sake of sentient beings. Countless devas,naagas, spirits, raak.sasas, ki.mnaras, mahoragas and other creatureshuman and not human encircle him, reverently making worshipofferings'.
It is not possible to ascertain whether this is an interpolation into anIndian original since no Sanskrit version survives and the work has noknown Tibetan translation. However, as with the corresponding materialin the Chinese translations of the Avatamsaka Sutra, the passageindicates that by the beginning of the eighth century some Chinese sawMañjusri as not only resident at Wu-t'ai shan, but as teaching and beingworshipped there.
Sutra passages such as these can also be seen as giving scripturalauthority for Mañju'srii's presence at Wu-t'ai shan. If, as is likely, they areinterpolations, they are a means of providing legitimacy for an existingheld
belief that Wu-t'ai shan was the residence of Mañju'sri, a belief thatthe anecdotes indicate as already having some considerable momentum"Paul Demiéville has drawn attention to the association of Mañju'sri withMt. Ch'ing-liang in Buddhist Master Buddhabhadra's translation of theAvatamsaka Sutra in the first quarter of the fifth century (418-420 CE). Itis described as his residence and is the north-easterly mountain in a list of eight mountains placed at the eight points of the compass.