"Manjushri is the Bodhisattva of Transcendent Wisdom... In his most fundamental form he sits on a lion holding a sword in his right and the manuscript of the Prajnaparamita in the left. The flaming sword cuts through all [illusion], intellectual and emotional entanglements thus revealing the transcendent wisdom of the Prajnaparamita...He is depicted as a youth of sixteen years in order to convey the Buddhist insight that wisdom is not a matter of mere experience or years, but results from the cultivation of intellectual genius, which can penetrate directly to the bedrock of reality. Wisdom is the most honored virtue in Buddhism, called the Mother of all Buddhas, since only wisdom makes possible the great bliss of total freedom from all suffering that is the goal of all living beings. Thus, Manjushri is one of the most important of all Buddhist deities, the veritable god of wisdom and herald of emancipation.
Intelligence, memory, wisdom and eloquence are all qualities that Manjushri bestows. His name is a compound of the words man-ju (meaning beautiful, pleasing, lovely, charming, smooth) and shri (meaning brilliance, splendour, glory), and the connotations of
both these words convey perfectly the kind
of intelligence and wisdom Manjushri
His hands are in the gesture of turning-the-wheel-of-the-dharma. Being the epitome of all the learning of the Buddha, Manjushri is the leading proponent of the transmission of esoteric philosophy."
[credit with gratitude www.abuddhistlibrary.com and the book "Wisdom And Compassion - The Sacred Art of Tibet"]