Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, also known as the Universally Worthy Bodhisattva, is one of the Three Venerables of Shakyamuni. This bodhisattva is always on the right of Shakyamuni Buddha, representing the guardian of the Law, the lord of the Law and the practice of all Buddhas.
Samantabhadra usually reposes with dignity on a six-tusked white elephant while Manjusri rides on a lion. He holds a sword indicating that the Law is the basis of wisdom.
Samantabhadra is the patron of the Lotus Sutra and its devotees, and has close connection with the Avatamsaka Sutra.
Like Manjusri Bodhisattva, Samantabhadra is also assigned his universe in the east. In China, people worship Samantabhadra as the object of pilgrimage in Emei Shan (Mountain), which is regarded as his dwelling place.
Samantabhadra is also a great Bodhisattva of the Tenth Stage, with the particular quality representing cultivation and practice. He is one of the Four Great Bodhisattva, The Bodhisattva of Great Conduct.
Samantabhadra may be shown with a docile elephant lying down or standing. Sometimes, in place of six tusks, the elephant has three heads. It is also common to see Samantabhadra holding a lotus, a wish-fulfilling jewel, or a scroll bearing his sutra (scripture). Also, like Avalokitesvara, Samantabhadra is often portrayed as female. In Chapter 10 of the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha promises Enlightenment to both men and women; as Samantabhadra is the Patron of devotees of the Lotus (having the final say in the last chapter), and as he has attracted many female devotees, he/she has taken on a feminine form.
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