The 1000 armed Avalokitesvara statue depicts the most unique embodiment of this venerable Bodhisattva. Additionally, there is a most interesting Avalokitesvara story that illuminates how this portrayal came to be. Due to overwhelming compassion, Avalokitesvara (Chenrezig) exploded into thousands of pieces. Apparently, the immense pressure of his vow to rescue all sentient life from suffering was too much to handle. Fortunately, Amitabha Buddha put Avalokitesvara back together again. However, he gave Avalokitesvara 1000 arms and 11 heads to better observe and ultimately relieve the suffering of all sentient life.
Special Features of 1000 Armed Avalokitesvara
The unique form of our 1000 armed Avalokitesvara statue displays a eye on the palm of each hand. As a result, each of the five method perfections (fingers) are joined with the sixth perfection of wisdom (eye). Additionally, Avalokitesvara was given 11 heads with the head of Amitabha Buddha on the top and the penultimate head is that of Vajrapani.
His two main hands are pressed in front of his chest to show respect for Amitabha Buddha. Also, he holds the cintamani jewel between the palms of these two hands. This special jewel is believed to grant faithful devotees whatever they wish for. Click here to learn more about the special powers of Avalokitesvara.
Other notable aspects of this 1000 armed Avalokitesvara statue include what he is holding in his upper right hand. In his upper right hand he is holding the “108 mala beads”. The crystal mala beads help him keep track of the constant recitation of the Avalokitesvara mantra “om mani padme hum”. Additionally, he holds the lotus flower over his left shoulder. This is an important symbol of enlightenment and it encourages devotees to rise above the sea of suffering.
“Om Mani Padme Hum”