Bodhisattva Mahasthamaprapta

Mahāsthāmaprāpta (means Arrival of the great strength) {Ch. 大勢至 Dàshìzhì (often simplified in shìzhì 勢至) is a Bodhisattva Mahāsattva that represents the power of wisdom, often depicted in a trinity with Amitābha Buddha and Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva (Guan Yin), especially in Pure Land Buddhism.

Mahāsthāmaprāpta is one of the Eight Great Bodhisattvas in Buddhist Mahāyāna with Mañjuśrī, Samantabhadra, Avalokiteśvara, Akasagarbha, Kṣitigarbha, Maitreya and Sarvanivarana-Vishkambhin.

In Chinese Buddhism, he is usually portrayed as a woman, with a likeness similar to Avalokiteśvara. He is also one of the Japanese Thirteen Buddhas in Shingon. In Tibetan Buddhism (Tantrism), Mahāsthāmaprāpta is equated with Vajrapani who is one of his incarnations.

Unlike most bodhisattvas, Mahāsthāmaprāpta is one of the lesser known bodhisattvas, but is nonetheless regarded as powerful, especially in the Pure Land school where he takes an important role in the long Sutra of Infinite Life.

In the Shurangama Sutra, Mahāsthāmaprāpta tells of how he gained enlightenment through the practice of Buddha recitation (Niànfó 念佛), or continuous pure mindfulness of the Buddha, to obtain samādhi. In the Contemplation Sutra, Mahāsthāmaprāpta is symbolized by the moon (wisdom) while Avalokiteśvara is symbolized by the sun.