Since emerging from the ancient texts of Mahayana Buddhism many years ago, Avalokiteshvara has become known worldwide. He has evolved to become known as the “Bodhisattva of Compassion” to devotees because of his unwavering commitment to sentient life. As a result, of his compassionate vow he has elected to forgo accepting the fruits of Nirvana until the suffering of all sentient beings has ceased. To receive assistance devotees only need to recite his mantra – “Om Mani Padme Hum“.
Our 1000 armed Avalokiteshvara statue is the most dramatic form of Avalokiteshvara. Indeed, Avalokiteshvara has taken the form of 4 arms (Chenrezig) and also male and female (Guanyin) over the last 2000 years. Although he originated as a male, cultural norms facilitated his adaptation as a female in East Asia.
1000 Armed Avalokiteshvara Story
The 1000 armed Avalokiteshvara story has Tibet as it’s source. In Tibet, Avalokiteshvara is known as Chenrezig. Some time after taking his most compassionate vow, he realized the enormity of the task and came under unbearable pressure. As a result, he exploded into thousands of pieces.
Fortunately, Amitabha Buddha appeared to put him back together again. Additionally, Amitabha chose to make a few modifications in order to enable Avalokiteshvara to work faster. As such, Amitabha Buddha gave him 1000 arms and 11 heads. The arms are for working and the 11 heads will enable him to better see and hear the suffering of the world. Click here to learn more about the important symbolism of Avalokitesvara.
Description of 1000 Armed Avalokiteshvara Statue
This handmade 1000 armed Avalokiteshvara statue is a classic depiction of the special embodiment that Amitabha derived for him. His two principle hands are pressed together in reverence to his teacher Amitabha Buddha. The other 5 principle hands are holding tools, and the final principal hand is depicting the Varada “gift giving” mudra. Additionally, all of the hands feature an eye in the palm symbolizing wisdom and the 5 method perfections. Finally, two of his heads are dedicated to Vajrapani (wrathful) and Amitabha Buddha.