Four-Armed Avalokiteshvara Thangka

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  • Avalokiteshvara’s contribution to the Buddhist doctrine and his boundless compassion established him as one of the central figures of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism.

    Ultimately, Avalokiteshvara is the pure expression of limitless, reference-free compassion, indivisible from innate wisdom. Today, Avalokiteshvara’s mantra, OM MANI PADME HUM, is chanted across the globe, invoking in all beings the qualities of love and compassion present as their own buddha nature.

  • During the teaching of The Heart Sutra at Vulture Peak, the Buddha settled into the meditation called “Profound Illumination.” Through the blessings of the Buddha’s samadhi, Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion, was able to teach to a great assembly of monastics and bodhisattvas. The subsequent teachings were spoken by Avalokiteshvara through his personal insight into the nature of emptiness. During this teaching, Avalokiteshvara introduced the indivisible unity of appearance and emptiness: “Form is emptiness, emptiness is form. Emptiness is no other than form, form is no other than emptiness.”

    In his prayer The Blissful Path to the Ocean of Bodhicitta, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche states:

    By the truth of the perfect mind of awakening
    Generated by the supreme noble Lord Avalokiteśvara
    And all the buddhas and bodhisattvas,
    May the supreme mind of bodhicitta be born
    In me and in all other beings, as limitless as space.