Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Avalokiteshvara, Chaturbhuja Iconography

Chaturbhuja Main Page

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Description (below)
- Three Iconographic Topics
- Best Examples
- Three Deity (Karandavyuha Sutra)
- Tiger Skirt (Zamatog Mani Kabum)
- Eleven Deity Mandala: HAR #279, #85829 (King's Tradition)
- Thirteen Deity (Mitra Gyatsa)
- Twenty-three Deity Chintamani Jagadamara Lokeshvara (King's Tradition)
- Blue (Nyingma, Drugpa, Others...)
- Standing (Drigung, Longchen Nyingtig, Others...)
- Potalaka Pureland
- With a Krishnasara (Sculpture)
- Without a Krishnasara Skin (Painting)
- Avalokiteshvara Iconography
- Confusions
- Others...

- Chaturbhuja Lokeshvara: Four Armed
- Chaturbhuja Avalokita Iconography
- Chaturbhuja: Best Examples
- Potalaka Pureland

Other Forms of Lokeshvara with Four Arms:
- Amoghapasha (three faces, four hand)
- Lokeshvara, Red
- Eye Clearing Lokeshvara
- Jinasagara Lokeshvara (Rechung, Mindrolling)
- Others...

Iconographic Forms According to the Four Classes of Tantra:
- Kriya
- Charya
- Yoga
- Anuttarayoga

For an iconographic description and an art analysis of Chaturbhuja see HAR #73807.

The central figure is Avalokiteshvara, white in colour, with four hands. At his right is the male attendant Manidharin, yellow in colour, and at the left, the female, Shadakshari, white in colour. Both are similar to the Lord in colour, ornaments and appearance. Sometimes they are referred to as the son and daughter of Lokeshvara. Sometimes Shadakshari is referred to as the consort. The iconography for the two attendant figures is not consistent nor is it necessarily fixed in a single authoritative text. They can appear either white or yellow in colour and have either two arms or four. Often Manidharin appears with two arms and Shadakshari with four.

"As the nature of all buddhas, Avalokiteshvara, in colour like stainless conch and crystal, very resplendent, smiling, peaceful and radiant. With four hands the first are folded at the heart, the lower hold a crystal mala and jeweled lotus, two beautiful feet seated in vajra posture, adorned with many attractive silks and jewels, beautified with dark blue hair in tufts [some] loose. On the crown of the head, the wisdom of all buddhas, is the Lord, source of all refuge gathered as one, in essence the Guru in the aspect of Amitabha, in the manner of the Lord of the Family, seated happily." (Ngorchen Konchog Lhundrub 1497-1557).

Database Search: All Chaturbhuja Images | Painting | Sculpture | Mandalas

Jeff Watt 3-2007 [updated 9-2014, 8-2017, 2-2020]

Toh 116. The Basket’s Display. ཟ་མ་ཏོག་བཀོད་པ། · za ma tog bkod pa. Kāraṇḍa­vyūha.

(The images below are only a selection of examples from the links above).