Avolokiteshvara: A Vision of Selflessness

43" x 25" Framed. Painting: 22" x 16"

Avolokiteshvara, the most important of the bodhisattvas, leads us to realize

that everything that has happened in our lives, whether directly or indirectly,

is the result of our aspirations.   We create our own reality.

Avalokiteshvara, the “bodhisattva of great compassion”, wears the silk robes

 and jeweled ornaments of a bodhisattva, a celestial being who returns to the

 world to bring others to the realm of enlightenment.  Two hands hold against

 his heart a wish fulfilling gem, a symbol of the mind’s enlightened potential

 for great compassion.  His other hand holds a crystal rosary and the lotus

 of transcendent wisdom. 

At the heart of the cosmos of compassion is the vision of the inseparability

of all existence.  Harm to others brings harm to oneself: kindness to others  brings forth kindness; generosity induces wealth and abundance; miserliness creates inner poverty.  The world reflects our level of consciousness.  Free

 from the  bonds of greed and aggression, one sees the world as a realm of

 illusions created out of hope and fear.  The deities of the Buddhist pantheon

 transport us, not to some alternate reality , but to a deeper vision of the   world of which we are an inseparable part.  These deities are not icons of

hope or escape, but expressions of our deepest potential.  Avolokiteshvara,

empathy and compassion, dwells in the hearts of all beings, a latent energy

 giving rise to all other virtues.

 The mantra  most commonly intoned by  Tibetans of all walks of life is that of Avalokiteshvara or, as he is known in Tibet, Chenrezig.  The mantra om mani padme hum converts   the mind from the self serving thoughts and invokes the spirit of universal compassion represented by Avalokiteshvara’s  archetypal form.

Although mantras defy literal interpretation, the Sanskrit syllables that invoke the energies of selfless compassion translate roughly as, “The jewel of compassion and the lotus of wisdom dwell in the innermost heart.”

By Romio Shrestha &  Ian Baker: Celestial Gallery

Handpainted by monks in Nepal




Avolokiteshvara: A Vision of Selflessness

SKU: 810
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