Vimalakirti was a lay follower of the Buddha renowned for his understanding and eloquence. He demonstrated both in his legendary encounter with Manjushri, "the crown prince of wisdom," who challenged the layman to explain the "nonduality of true reality." Vimalakirti kept silent. Acknowledging the truth in his silence, Manjushri cried, "Excellent!"
Vimalakirti serves as an inspiration to the lay practitioner, holding out the possibility of awakening for all of us.