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Chenrezi (Four-Armed Avalokiteshvara)
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Chenrezi (Four-Armed Avalokiteshvara)
Chenrezi (Four-Armed Avalokiteshvara)

Chenrezi (Four-Armed Avalokiteshvara)

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Chenrezi (Four-Armed Avalokiteshvara)

Size of Painted Surface 10.0" X 13.5"
Size with Brocade 23.0" X 30.0"

This thangka portrays Four-Armed Avalokiteshvara or Shadakshari Lokeshvara. This form of Avalokiteshvara is believed to be the embodiment of the sacred six syllable mantra, om mani padme hum. He is one of the most popular deities of Mahayana Buddhism. He is the Bodhisattva of compassion and the manifestation of compassion of all Buddhas. He is considered the spiritual offspring of Amitabha Buddha. He gained popularity mainly due to his unlimited sympathy and endless readiness to help. He came to earth as a Bodhisattva to relieve humanitys sufferings. He promised to remain and delay his nirvana until the last person had been set on the right path to bodhi. This is why Tibetans call him Chenrezi, meaning to look with a merciful eye.

Chenrezi is the patron deity of Tibet. All the Dali Lamas, the Karmpas, Gesar of Ling, and many other lamas and kings are considered manifestation of Avalokiteshvara. It is said that Avalokiteshvara appeared on earth in two ways coming into existence from a ray of white light from the left eye of Amitabha, and being born as a young man of sixteen from a lotus bud. There are 108 forms of Avalokiteshvara, each with his own mantra. He is also extremely popular in China and Korea, where he generally considered female and is known as Kuan Yin, in Japan he is known as Kannon.

He is seated here in vajraparyankasana on moon disk on a lotus flower. His complexion is white, symbolizes purity. He has a smiling countenance, as he is filled with compassion for all beings. He looks down with tranquility, as Chenrezi feels equal compassion for all. He has four hands, the main hands are held in front of the heart, holding whish-granting gem, which stands for the spirit of enlightenment that consists of love and wisdom. His right hand holds a rosary, which symbolizes that he draws forth beings from phenomenal existence. His left hand holds a beautiful full-blown lotus flower, a sign that he serves living beings but is free from attachment. A gold compassion antelope skin is over his left shoulder, with antelopes head on his left breast, which indicates his compassion for all human beings.

His hair is partly upswept in knots with decoration on it and partly falls on his shoulders. He is extremely richly adorned which indicates that while pure he has not abandoned pleasant things. He wears a five-leaved crown with jewels and flowers, finely crafted gold hoop earrings, necklaces, armlets, bracelets and anklets. His green and turquoise silk scarf with decoration in gold covers both the shoulders. His multi-colored lower garments are exquisitely decorated in gold.

The background is filled with blue sky and clouds. The lower middle ground and foreground depicts mountainous landscape with green field and blue lakes. The centre portrays auspicious offerings. The painting is very much suitable for meditation and ritual of Chenrezi. The elaborate border of silk brocade is replete with the figures of stylized dragons and lotuses etc.

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