Padmapani Avalokiteshvara

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Padmapani Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of infinite compassion, or who embodies compassion of all buddhas is said to be one of the most beloved and iconic bodhisattva in both Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. As the name suggests, Avalokiteshvara is the esvara (Lord) who gazes (lok) down (Ava) on the world and bears the pain of others. In Sanskrit, Avalokiteshvara is referred to as Padmapani.

Padmapani, means the “Holder of the Lotus” is often described and portrayed in different cultures as being of male, female or both genders. According to “Lotus Sutra”, the bodhisattva will manifest in whatever the form that best fits the situation. In Nepal, this figure of the Lord is known as “Jana Baha Dyah”, “Karunamaya” and “Seto Machindranath”.


Painting Description:

We often find Padmapani Avalokiteshvara in a standing pose facing the right side of Amitabha Buddha in Sukhavati Heaven. In this painting we can find him showing varada mudra with his right hand and holding onto a lotus flower with his left hand. An embellished crown on his head with bounded hair and top knot shows the enlightened experience. In absence of Amitabha buddha’s effigy in his crown, he is seen white in color.

A common trait of the different forms of Avalokiteshvara is the antelope skin on its shoulders. The magnificence of his to look upon all being with the eye of compassion is beautifully portrayed here. Just as a lotus can stand out beautifully even in a filthy pond, he appears even in hell realms to help all beings in distress and danger.

Size: 20cm x 40cm