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Entries in Avalokiteshvara (4)


Avalokiteshvara II

Lovely Chinese statue of Avalokiteshvara at the Cincinnati Art Museum. Western Xia Dynasty (1038 - 1227), wood with traces of pigment and gilding. 



Is the Bodhisattva who:

"doing deep Prajna Paramita perceived the emptiness of all five conditions (skandhas) and was freed of pain". The record and pithy explanation of his/her deep realization, The Heart of the Perfection of Great Wisdom Sutra, is chanted daily in many Zen centers. 

[NOTE: Exquisite statue is willow wood with traces of pigment from 11th century China.  The decidedly relaxed posture of the Bodhisattva with right knee raised and the left leg crossed before the body is said to represent the "Water Moon" manifestation. Photographed in The Metropolitan Museum of Art].


4. Bodhisattva

I wouldn't have known without the label. This beautifully rendered sandstone statue from late 7th century Cambodia (Khmer Empire, pre-Angkor Period), sans multiple arms, layers of necklaces, flowing white robes, vase of pure water, wish-granting jewel, or willow branch, and of ambivalent sexuality - is Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion (see Quan Ăm, Om Mani Padme Hum) and one of the most widely revered archetypes in Mahayana Buddhism.

"Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva doing deep Prajna Paramita
perceived the emptiness of all five conditions,
and was freed of pain..."

-The Heart of the Perfection of Great Wisdom Sutra 

[NOTE: Those who are visiting Bodhisattva Week for the first time can find some context here].


Quan Âm

Beautiful statue of Avalokiteshvara, or Quan Âm, as the Bodhisattva of Compassion is known in Vietnam, on the grounds of Chuc Thanh pagoda (see Chuc Thanh Pagoda and Chuc Thanh Pagoda III). May all beings be healthy, happy, and peaceful during this holiday season.