Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Avalokiteshvara (Common Names)

Avalokiteshvara Main Page

Five Common Names:
- Avalokita, Chenrezi, All-seeing One
- Avalokiteshvara, Chenrezi Wangchug, All-seeing Universal Lord of the World
- Lokanata, Jigten Gonpo, Lord of the World
- Lokeshvara, Jigten Wangchug, Universal Lord of the World
- Mahakarunika, tugje Chenpo, Great Compassion

Specific Names for Particular Iconographic Forms:
- Jinasagar, rgyal ba rgya mtsho
- Khasarpana, kha cho pa, Sky Flier
- Padmapani, pemo chan, Lotus Holder
- Shadakshara, yi ge drug pa, Six Syllable One (Karandavyuha Sutra)
- Simhanada, senge dra, Lion's Roar
- Others...

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 [updated 3-2017]

(The images below are only a selection of examples).