The Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara originated in India and represents the compassion of all Buddhas. In Sanskrit the interpretation is “the lord who looks down”. However, Buddhism spread eastwards to other countries such as Japan, Tibet, Cambodia and China. As a result, this Bodhisattva of compassion began to receive different interpretations. Therefore, in Japan Avalokitesvara became known as Kannon, in China Guanyin, in Cambodia he is Lokesvara and in Tibet Avalokitesvara is Chenrezig. The Chenrezig statue with consort is known for looking rather extravagant compared to more conservative Buddha statues.
In Tibet, Chenrezig is interpreted as being the earthly manifestation of the Celestial Buddha named Amitabha. Additionally, Chenrezig guards the earthly realm during the interval between Shakyamuni Buddha and the coming of the future Buddha Meitreya.
When Chenrezig saw the suffering of humanity he vowed to hold back from entering Nirvana until all sentient life had reached enlightenment. It is believed that Chenrezig exploded upon realizing the enormity of this promise. However, Amitabha put Chenrezig back together. As a result, it is common to see a Chenrezig statue that has many arms and heads. Amitabha had rebuilt him so he could better assist humanity reach enlightenment. In Tibet, they believe that many of their Kings, Karmapas and Dalai Lamas are incarnations of Chenrezig.
The Tibetan Buddhists believe that every human being has a special connection with the Bodhisattva Chenrezig. Every time that you feel unencumbered compassion for nature, a person or an animal it is this connection revealing itself. As a result, every human being has a fundamental level of compassion.
All Buddhists can receive powerful benevolent blessings by reciting the Chenrezig mantra in Tibetan form “Om Mani Peme hung”. Plus, the Avalokitesvara mantra in Sanskrit form is very similar “Om Mani Padme Hum” pronounced: ohm-mah-nee-pahd-may-hum. Say these repeatedly loudly or silently to your Chenrezig statue with consort. Click here to learn more about the Avalokiteshvara mantra.
“Om Mani Peme hung”
“Om Mani Padme Hum”