11-faced Avalokitesvara Newari Thangka is a Hand-Painted Cotton Canvas in Newari Style by a master paubha artist from Nepal. 1000 Armed Avalokiteshvara is Bodhisattva of Boundless Compassion.
Avalokiteshvara manifested in this 1000 armed, 11 faced form as Avalokita, gazing upon us with compassion with his 11 faces, and the eyes that are found on the palm of every hand with his infinite compassion, Avalokita eternally strives to free us of our unhappiness and suffering.
A thousand arms represent his multi-faceted, skillful means of liberation us with the Dharma, While the scope of his arms shows the great expanse of his mind: the is always ready to catch and help us.
His eight principle hands clasp different implements to show the various ways he uses to help us. The center two hands clasp a wish-fulfilling jewel the attainment of compassion helps us to become a wish-fulfilling jewel to others.
It is clasped at the heart to remind us that sentient beings are most dear to us and that we should develop compassion for them.
The right hands clasp a mirror, the realization of ultimate truth, penetrative wisdom and insight; a crystal mala to remind us of the importance of persevering with our Dharma practice, and putting what we learn into action; and a lotus to denote the ultimate state of purity, the curtailing of anger and development of pure compassionate motive that we will achieve with his practice.
The left hands clasp as long life vase to show that with his practice, the causes of early death are cut and that the potential for the ultimate state of immortality, Enlightenment, can be attained; and a bow and arrow to symbolize that sometimes even wrathful method is required for him to help us. The remaining hand is held in a gesture of giving, telling us that he can give us ultimate protection from fears and negative states of mind.
As the embodiment of enlightened compassion, Avalokita and his 1000 arms also symbolize that combined synthesis of the compassion of the 1000 Buddhas that will appear in his golden eon. As such, when we recite Avalokita’s mantra, it is equivalent to praying to 1000 Buddhas and tapping into their combined compassionate energy.
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