Quick Reference

(Skt.; Tib., spyan-ras-gzigs; Chin, Kuan-yin; Jap., Kannon or Kwannon).

One of the eight great Bodhisattvas.and one whose activities especially involve the active practice of compassion (karuṇā) in order to save and protect beings. His name means ‘the Lord who gazes’ (compassionately upon beings). Though well-known from early Mahāyāna sūtras.the worship and cult of Avalokiteśvara in Tibet derives greatly from later tantric materials. Recitation of the mantra ‘Oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ’ is associated with Avalokiteśvara. Several iconographic forms can be distinguished such as that with eleven heads and a thousand arms, the popular four-armed version, as well as several wrathful aspects. Avalokiteśvara is considered to be the main patron Bodhisattva of Tibet, and the Dalai Lama is viewed as his incarnate manifestation.

Fig 3 Avalokiteśvara

Subjects: Religion.

Reference entries

See all related reference entries in Oxford Index »