Buddhist Deity: Avalokiteshvara Main Page

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Tibetan: Pagpa Chenrezig ('phags pa spyan ras g.zigs)

Made famous in the Sutras as a bodhisattva, an aspirant to enlightenment, in the Vajrayana system of Northern Buddhism - in the Tantra texts - he is acknowledged as a fully enlightened Buddha manifesting in a vast array of meditational forms for the benefit of all living beings. The most common Sanskrit names for the deity in general and those found in Vajrayana Buddhism are Lokeshvara, Avalokita, Avalokiteshvara, Lokanata and Mahakarunika. After that there are scores of names for specific forms of Lokeshvara - peaceful, wrathful and in-between. The Sanskrit word 'arya' meaning 'noble' or 'noble one' is often used at the beginning of the name for each of the Eight Great Bodhisattvas as well as notables such as Tara.

Padmapani, as a name for Lokeshvara, is a Sanskrit term meaning lotus holder' primarily coming out of the Sutra literature and Mahayana tradition of Buddhism. The Tibetan language translation of the name Padmapani is not easily found in the Tibetan literature. The name is also not commonly, if ever, found in Vajrayana Buddhism where the forms of Lokeshvara are understood as meditational deities with clear descriptions and meanings taught in the various Tantras and commentarial material. (It is interesting to note that in the study of Art History the term Padmapani is almost exclusively used with reference to sculpture and not painting).

Lokeshvara Generic Names:
ཐུགས་རྗེ་ཆེན་པོ།
འཇིག་རྟེན་དབང་ཕྱུག།
འཇིག་རྟེན་མགོན་པོ།
སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག།
སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས།་


Avalokiteshvara is considered the patron bodhisattva of Tibet and is found in all of the Tibetan Buddhist traditions. There are numerous New (Sarma) lineages and varying forms of practice that span all four tantric classifications as well as uncounted old oral traditions (Kama) and Treasure (Terma) traditions from the Nyingmapa School. [Further description and bibliography].

Lokeshvara Based on Appearance
Two Arms:
- Amoghapasha
- Chintamani Lokeshvara
- Jinasagara (Mitra Tradition)
- Khasarpani
- Pagpa Lokeshvara Sculpture (108 Temples)
- Shristhikantha (Rakta)
- Simhanada
- Two Armed
- (Pema Lingpa Tradition)
Four Arms:
- Amoghapasha
- Chaturbhuja (Four Armed)
- Chaturbhuja Wearing a Tiger Skirt
- Eye Clearing Avalokiteshvara
- Jinasagara
Six Arms:
- Amoghapasha
Eight Arms:
- Amoghapasha
- Eight Fears
Twelve Arms:
- Amoghapasha
- Wrathful Lokeshvara
One Thousand Arms:
- Eleven Faces (All Traditions)
- Eleven Faces, Namka Gyalpo
- Shristhikantha (Universal Form)

Avalokiteshvara Types & Forms:
- Amoghapasha
- Chaturbhuja (Four Armed)
- Chaturbhuja Wearing a Tiger Skirt
- Chintamani Lokeshvara
- Eight Fears
- Eleven Faces (All Traditions)
- Eleven Faces, Namka Gyalpo
- Eye Clearing Avalokiteshvara
- Jinasagara
- Khasarpani
- Miscellaneous Forms
- Red Avalokita (Standing)
- Red Forms (Rakta)
- Resting in the Nature of Mind
- Shristhikantha (Rakta)
- Simhanada
- Two Armed
- Wrathful Forms
- Pagpa Lokeshvara Sculpture (108 Temples)
- Avalokiteshvara (Pema Lingpa)
- Others...

Avalokiteshvara Postures & Topics:
- Seated Holding a Lotus
-
Standing Holding a Lotus (Padmapani)
- Relaxed Posture
- Thinking Posture
- Lineage Paintings
- Potalaka
- Textile
- Others...

Jeff Watt 2-2007 [updated 9-2014]

Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity): Namka Gyalpo (Gaganaraja)
Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity)
Namka Gyalpo (Gaganaraja)
Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity): Sahasrabhujalokeshvara (11 faces, 1000 Hands)
Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity)
Sahasrabhujalokeshvara (11 faces, 1000 Hands)
Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity): Chaturbhuja (4 hands)
Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity)
Chaturbhuja (4 hands)
Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity): (11 faces, 8 hands)
Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity)
(11 faces, 8 hands)
Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity): (11 faces, 8 hands)
Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity)
(11 faces, 8 hands)
Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity): (11 faces, 8 hands)
Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity)
(11 faces, 8 hands)
Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity): Sahasrabhujalokeshvara (11 faces, 1000 Hands)
Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity)
Sahasrabhujalokeshvara (11 faces, 1000 Hands)
Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity): Namka Gyalpo (Gaganaraja)
Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity)
Namka Gyalpo (Gaganaraja)
Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity): Chaturbhuja (4 hands)
Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity)
Chaturbhuja (4 hands)
Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity): Sahasrabhujalokeshvara (11 faces, 1000 Hands)
Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity)
Sahasrabhujalokeshvara (11 faces, 1000 Hands)
Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity): Chaturbhuja (4 hands)
Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity)
Chaturbhuja (4 hands)
Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity): Chaturbhuja (4 hands)
Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity)
Chaturbhuja (4 hands)
Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity): Shristhikantha
Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity)
Shristhikantha
Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity): Sahasrabhujalokeshvara (11 faces, 1000 Hands)
Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity)
Sahasrabhujalokeshvara (11 faces, 1000 Hands)
Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity): Shristhikantha
Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity)
Shristhikantha