Mid 20th century Avalokiteshvara Thangka from Tashilhunpo Monastery, Shigatse, Tibet
Size: 65cm high, 49cm wide
Beautiful thangka of Avalokitesvara depicted in golden colour with one head and four arms. Amitabha on his head and two bodhisattvas on his sides. He has two hands folded in prayer while holding a brilliant sky-blue wish-fulfilling jewel at his heart. In this way, he holds closest to his heart Bodhicitta or altruistic love for all sentient beings. The other arm on his right holds aloft gently a set of crystal prayer beads and the other left hand holds a pristine lotus. This shows his promise to manifest continuously in a multitude of ways to benefit us like the steady momentum of counting prayer beads.
Object literature: In the Vajrayana system of Northern Buddhism - in the Tantra texts - Chenrezig 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. Chenrezig "One who looks with unwavering eye," is the most revered of all Bodhisattva, embodying the compassion of all Buddhas, he is consider the patron of Tibet, and, in fact, the Dalai Lama, is believed to be an incarnation of him.
Object history: From a Tibetan collection dating back to before 1950.