Avalokitesvara with Retinue 15” X 20”
- original, hand-painted
- painted area 15" x 20", entire thangka 30" x 46"
- traditional brocade border
In vajrayana teachings, Avalokitesvara the Buddha of Compassion has many different forms - some peaceful and others wrathful. Among them, the most famous among Himalayan Buddhists is the so-called Four Arm Avalokitesvara. This form of Avalokitesvara is more formally Shadakshari Lokesvara - "Lord of the Six Syllables" and this refers to his role as the lord of the six realms of existence (hell beings, hungry ghosts, animals, humans, demigods, and gods). He personifies the well-known mantra om mani padme hung.
In this composition with a red background, above Avalokitesvara is Amitabha Buddha and to the right and left of Amitabha is White Tara and Green Tara respective. In the two bottom corners are the other two "lords of the families" - Manjushri (wisdom) and Vajrapani (power). The red color here emphasizes Avalokitesvara's "Lotus-family" in the Five Buddha-families system. The buddha of the Lotus-family is Amitabha and he is the personification of the transmutation of the poison of desire and the attainment of the wisdom of discernment.