The Nīlakaṇṭha Dhāraṇī, also known as the Mahākaruṇā(-citta) Dhāraṇī, Mahākaruṇika Dhāraṇī or Great Compassion Dhāraṇī,, is a Mahayana Buddhist dhāraṇī associated with the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara.
Different versions of this dhāraṇī, of varying length, exist; the shorter version as transliterated into Chinese characters by Indian monk Bhagavaddharma in the 7th century enjoys a high degree of popularity in East Asian Mahayana Buddhism - especially in Chinese Buddhism - comparable to that of the six-syllable mantra Oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ, which is also synonymous with Avalokiteśvara.
It is often used for protection or purification.
Avalokitasvara is the bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas.
In Sanskrit, Avalokiteśvara is also referred to as Lokeśvara ("Lord of the World").
In Tibetan, Avalokiteśvara is Chenrézig and is said to emanate as the Dalai Lama, the Karmapa and other high lamas.
An etymology of the Tibetan name Chenrézik gives the meaning of one who always looks upon all beings with the eye of compassion.
One prominent Buddhist story tells of Avalokiteśvara vowing .
The Buddhist Tantras are a varied group of Indian and Tibetan texts which outline unique views and practices of the Buddhist tantra religious systems.
Buddhist Tantric texts began appearing in the Gupta Empire period though there are texts with elements associated with Tantra that can be seen as early as the third century.
By the eighth century, Tantra was a dominant force in North India and the number of texts increased with numerous Tantric pandits writing .
A mantra is a sacred utterance, a numinous sound, a syllable, word or phonemes, or group of words in Sanskrit, Pali and other spiritual languages.
Some mantras have a syntactic structure and literal meaning, while others do not.
One of the most ancient Buddhist mantras is the Ye Dharma Hetu, also known as the dependent origination dhāraṇī.
This phrase is said to encapsulate the meaning of the Buddha's Dharma. It was a popular Buddhist mantra .