Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara)

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Avalokiteshvara (Tib.: Chenrezig)

The Buddha of Great Compassion

Avalokiteshvara, also referred to as The One who hears the Cries of the World – is the Bodhisattva of Compassion. He is seen as the Protector of Tibet and his mantra is the most famous Tibetan mantra.

His name in Tibetan is Chenrezig and long time ago he made the strong vow not to return to nirvana until he had liberated all sentient beings and freed them from suffering.

In this four-armed version, Avalokiteshvara sits full lotus posture (with his legs fully crossed) and his 4 arms represent the 4 Immeasurable Qualities of a Bodhisattva: compassion, love, joy & equanimity.

Avalokiteshvara reminds us of the fact that true awakening is not a retreat or escape from our personal problems (as we have the tendency to do so), but that it is actually reaching outwards and embracing the living beings in this entire world with all the love and compassion that’s in our heart.

Chenrezig Thangka
Copyright: © Carmen Mensink 2000
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3 Great Bodhisattvas

Chenrezig(Infinite Compassion) is often depicted right in the middle of Manjushri (Infinite Wisdom) and Vajrapani (Infinite Power), together forming The Three Great Bodhisattvas:

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