Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Avalokiteshvara (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity) - Bodhisattva

སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས། 观音菩萨
(item no. 68412)
Origin Location Pakistan
Date Range 600 - 699
Lineages Buddhist
Material Metal
Collection Nyingjei Lam
Notes about the Central Figure

Alternate Names: Lokeshvara Avalokita Lokanata Lokanatha Mahakarunika

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Peaceful

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Avalokiteshvara in a relaxed posture accompanied by two standing figures.

With one face and two arms Lokeshvara sits leaning to the right side in a relaxed posture with the right leg resting on the seat and the left leg pendant and resting a flower or leaf cushion. The right arm rests with the elbow on the thigh and the forearm upright with the index finger extended inward. The left hand resting on the thigh holds the stem of a flower blossom extending to the level of the shoulder. Atop the head is Amitabha Buddha as a crown ornament. Behind the head is a large halo crowned with a stupa. Adorned with earrings, a necklace, armlets, bracelets and a skirt Lokeshvara sits atop a flower and vine braided seat.

At the right and left sides are two standing bodhisattva-like figures in similar adornments and dress as the central Lokeshvara.

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.

Jeff Watt 8-2019

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Buddhist Deity: Avalokiteshvara Main Page
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Buddhist Deity: Avalokiteshvara 'Thinking Posture'
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