The question of why Mañjuśrī could not see outside the gate but Buddha could bothered me for a long time. This story came from a Koan:
One day as Mañjuśrī stood outside the gate, the Buddha called to him,
“Manjusri, Mañjuśrī, why do you not enter?”
Mañjuśrī replied, “I do not
see myself as outside. Why enter?”
Why was Mañjuśrī, the Bodhisattva associated with wisdom and insight (prajñā) unable to see anything outside while the Buddha could? Well, one reason is that Buddha was acting out of compassion and thus could see the big picture!
Mañjuśrī was correct in recogoinising that ‘inside and outside are not two gates’ (內外不二門), but in abiding in non-duality he turned his back on the situation whereas Buddha just entered. Had it been another, such as Samantabhadra or
Kwanseum bosal they would have entered out of compassion without comment.
It is important to meet Mañjuśrī in our dealings, but we must not get stuck there. We need to go beyond wisdom and see the big picture.
No doubt there are other reasons too. Please leave your thoughts below.