Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Avlokiteshwor

One prominent Buddhist story tells of Avalokiteśvara vowing never to rest until he had freed all sentient beings from samsara. Despite strenuous effort, he realizes that still many unhappy beings were yet to be saved. After struggling to comprehend the needs of so many, his head splits into eleven pieces.  Amitabha Buddha, seeing his plight, gives him eleven heads with which to hear the cries of the suffering. Upon hearing these cries and comprehending them, Avalokiteśvara attempts to reach out to all those who needed aid, but found that his two arms shattered into pieces. Once more, Amitabha Buddha comes to his aid and invests him with a thousand arms with which to aid the suffering multitudes.
He manifests in many forms in order to help sentient beings. His 1,000-armed form is described as follows:
His body is white. He has 1,000 arms and one thousand eyes. However his original two hands and two eyes are not included. Out of 1,000 arms of Avalokiteshvara, 38 arms of this lokeshvara are depicted with various symbols or emblems