Samantabhadra (Sanskrit, "Universal Worthy") is a bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism associated with practice and meditation. Together with Gautama Buddha and his fellow bodhisattva Mañjuśrī, he forms the Shakyamuni trinity in Buddhism. He is the patron of the Lotus Sutra and, according to the Avatamsaka Sutra, made the ten great vows which are the basis of a bodhisattva. In China, Samantabhadra is associated with action, whereas Mañjuśrī is associated with prajñā (transcendent wisdom). In Japan, this bodhisattva is often venerated by the Tendai and in Shingon Buddhism, and as the protector of the Lotus Sutra by Nichiren Buddhism. In the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism, Samantabhadra is also the name of the Adi-Buddha – in indivisible Yab-Yum with his consort, Samantabhadrī.
Sri Lankan people venerate Samantabhadra Bodhisatva as Saman (also called Sumana, Samantha, Sumana Saman, Sinhalese: සුමන සමන් දෙවි). The name Saman means "the rising morning sun". God Saman is considered one of the guardian deities of the island and of Buddhism. His main shrine is located in Ratnapura, where there is an annual festival held in his honor.
It is very common that the bodhisattva of the Mahayana tradition with the name of Samantabhadra is conflated with a Buddha with the same name that appears as the primordial buddha, in some of the Tibetan traditions. This comes from the fact that both figures have the same name but their meaning within their respective traditions is quite different. It is not the case that the bodhisattva of the Mahayana has evolved or transformed when assimilated into the Tibetan tradition because in that tradition the Bodhisattva Samantabhadra is present and the Dharmakaya Samantabhadra as well as two separate and distinct entities.
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