Mandala of Avalokiteshvara (Tib.: Chenrezig)
The Mandala of Compassion
All Buddhas have their own Mandala. Such a geometric structure can be seen as a world of existence in which the Buddha lives. This is the mandala of Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion.
Mandala is a Sanskrit word, and its Tibetan equivalent is dkyil-khor, meaning ‘that which encircles a centre.’ A mandala is the palace, or celestial residence of the deity. The structure of this place models that of the ancient palaces in India.
Every aspect of a mandala structure has a deep meaning. All four directions have doorways that represent the Four Immeasurables: love, compassion, joy & equanimity.
In the centre hub of the mandala the seed syllable Hri is painted, which represents the Thousand-Armed Avalokiteshvara. This syllable can be seen as the sound manifestation of Avalokiteshvara, containing the essence of his enlightened qualities.
A fire wall and a ring of vajras surround the mandala and protect it from negative energies and conditions.
Mandala of Compassion Thangka
Copyright: © Carmen Mensink 2007