This is an exquisite representation of the beautiful Bodhisattva Samanthabhadra, who together with the venerable Goddess Kuan Yin (Sakyamuni Buddha) and Wen-Shu Pusa (Manjusri) forms the Three Precious Bodhisattvas or Buddha Trinity. She is depicted sitting on a golden lotus seat atop a six-tusked elephant with a Dorje on one hand and the bell on the other, symbolizing the union of the forces of wisdom and compassion, respectively. A saddlecloth decorated with clouds and flowers covers the elephant’s back, numerous jewels and pendants adorn its harness and trappings with its feet resting on a lotus pedestal. With her hair pulled up and adorned with a crown, Samanthabhadra is a picture of serenity and benevolence, ever ready to answer the calls of those who need her assistance.
Samantabhadra or Universal Virtue (Samanta means, “universally extending” and Bhadra means “great virtue”), known to the Chinese as Pu Hsien and Fugen to the Japanese is the personification of love, sacred activity, virtue, diligent training, and patience. In the Chinese Pantheon, she is seen in the triad with Kuan Yin (Compassion) and Wen-Shu (Wisdom) as the Three Precious Bodhisattvas whose qualities make up the Buddha’s Essence. In Mahayana Buddhism, Samantabhadra represents “Great Practice” and “Great Conduct.” Both of these attributes result from the fact that Samantabhadra made Ten Great Vows and, more importantly, followed through on them. A vow is worthless if it is not put into practice. As her name suggests, Samantabhadra extends such great compassion that every sentient being is benefited and her practice so extensive and profound that all virtue is perfected.
Through her practice, our views are no longer dismally bound by worldly worries but are now expanded to include the activities of Bodhisattvas who seek to alleviate the miseries of all sentient beings. Instead of seeing ourselves as limited beings, we have inklings of our Buddha nature — the potential each of us possesses to become a fully enlightened being. Our aspiration to realize these Buddha potential flowers and our lives are renewed with meaning and purpose.
Invite the Samanthabhadra on Sacred Elephant into your home and place her in a high and respectful place. Besides being a magnificent showpiece, she will bring you countless blessings, clears obstacles, and make your wishes come true, especially your path to wisdom and enlightenment.