Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Avalokiteshvara Study Topics

Avalokiteshvara Art History

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Description
- Names
- Narrative Figures
- Deity Figures

Video: Avalokiteshvara Study Topics

Avalokiteshvara is a male student, known as a bodhisattva, of Shakyamuni Buddha in the Mahayana sutra literature. In Vajrayana Buddhism and the tantra literature he has the function of a meditational deity. He is extremely popular in Vajrayana and has up to or more than one hundred different iconographic forms.

- Avalokita, Chenrezi, All-seeing One
- Avalokiteshvara, Chenrezi Wangchug, All-seeing Universal Lord of the World
- Lokeshvara, Jigten Wangchug, Universal Lord of the World
- Lokanata, Jigten Gonpo, Lord of the World
- Mahakarunika, Tugje Chenpo, Great Compassion
- Padmapani, Lotus Holder

Narrative Figures:
- Non-iconic
- Mahayana
- Sutras
- Simple figurative mode:
--- One face
--- Two arms
--- Peaceful
--- Various postures

Meditational Deity Figures:
- Iconic
- Vajrayana
- Tantras
- Fixed iconography: peaceful, semi-peaceful/wrathful & wrathful
- Tantra classes: kriya, charya, yoga & anuttarayoga
- Figurative modes: simple, complex & universal
- Avalokita appearing as other deities

Jeff Watt 8-2022

(The images below are only a selection of examples from the Avalokiteshvara Masterworks Page).