Depiction of Avalokitesvara in silver, XVIIIth century, Tibet


Period:XVIIIe century



Avalokitesvara [Lord who looks down] is a bodhisattva embodying the compassion of all Buddhas. He is one of the more widely revered bodhisattvas in mainstream Mahayana Buddhism.

According to Mahayana doctrine, Avalokitesvara is the bodhisattva who has made a great vow to listen to the prayers of all sentient beings in times of difficulty, and to postpone his own Buddhahood until he has assisted every being on Earth in achieving nirvana.

In Tibetan, Avalokitesvara is known as Chenrezig, and is said to be incarnated in the Dalai Lama, the Karmapa and other high Lamas.