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Sahasrabhuja Lokeshvara – One Thousand Armed Lokeshvara

Sahasrabhuja Lokeshvara – One Thousand Armed Lokeshvara is one of the many forms of Avalokiteshvara comprising 108 as depicted in the Kanak Chaitya Mahavihara of Kathmandu.

He manifests in many forms in order to help sentient beings. His 1000 – Armed form is described as follows: His body is white. He has 1000 arms and one thousand eyes. However his original two hands and two eyes are not included. Out of 1000 arms of Avalokiteshvara, 38 arms of the Lokeshvara are depicted with various symbols or emblems which are given below:

1. Jewel (Sanskrit: Ratna) 1. Svetamegha
2. Noose (Sanskrit: Pasa) 2. Kamandalu
3. Alms Bowl (Sanskrit: Pindapatra) 3. Padma
4. Sword (Sanskrit: Khadga) 4. Khadga
5. Vajra 5. Sankha
6. Suryakantmani 6. Kapala
7. Chandrakantmani 7. Akshamala
8. Dhanu 8. Ghanta
9. A root shoot of willow 9. Vajra
10. Chamara 10. Amkush
11. Kavacha 11. Danda
12. Kalasa 12. Nirmita Buddha
13. Parasu 13. Devalaya
14. Akshamala 14. Pustakapothi
15. Utpala 15. Chakra
16. Kamandalu 16. Buddha Pratima
17. Surya 17. Phala
18. Pundarika 18. Padmakeshara
19 Dhanyamanjary 19 Ratna

Sometimes he is depicted with emblems with eight arms only carrying rosary, disc, Varada Mudra and jewel with his right hands and lotus, bow, vase and clapping Ratna with his left hands. Sahasrabhuja Lokeshvara wears antelope skin on his shoulders symbolizing compassionate nature. Sahasrabhuja Lokeshvara wears all the bodhisattva ornaments Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara made the commitment in front of Buddha Amitabha to intentionally manifest into the three realms of Samsara in order to liberate all sentient beings from Samsara and to be their supreme guide. Sahasrabhuja Lokeshvara also vowed that if by chance his compassion and courageous mind of mercy for like earrings, and so on. Sahasrabhuja Lokeshvara has eleven heads. The eleventh one being his spiritual sire Buddha Amitabha. It is said that sentient beings were to decrease, then let his head and body just completely crack and fall into one thousand pieces. Receiving blessings from Buddha Amitabha, Avalokiteshvara went through universal manifestations into the three realms of Samsara.

Thereby he went to Hell and emancipated them from both the hot and cold hells by teaching Om Mani Padme Hung. Sahasrabhuja Lokeshvara in turn went to ghost realm, human, Asura and Deva realms to free the sentient beings from their respective suffering. Sahasrabhuja Lokeshvara absolutely emptied the ocean of suffering. Following which he went back to Buddha Amitabha and declared that the liberation had been affected. Buddha Amitabha said to him, “You should look again, look back again and again into the world.” And as he did, there he saw once again that sentient beings were in Samsara and in sorrow, he became so disappointed when he saw the sight. Ten his enlightened thought (Bodhicitta) decreased in the moment and he lost his courage. Sahasrabhuja Lokeshvara became disappointed in the very presence of Buddha Amitabha.

Sahasrabhuja Lokeshvara felt how the time could come to liberate all sentient beings for ever from this type of condition. And instantly when his mind felt with sorrow, his body and head just cracked and fell apart into one thousand pieces, and then he fainted.

Avalokiteshvara thus fainted, and Buddha Amitabha said to him, “My son where has your courage, your mental strength gone?” He picked up all the pieces of his body and the head. At the same time he said, “This happened because of your prayer. You deserve the praise of all Buddhas since your prayer was efficacious. However, noble son! Don’t worry.” Thereby he blessed his broken heads into eleven faces and he sat upon those heads and his broken body into one thousand hands like one thousand petals of the lotus. Thereafter he said, “I bow to you because your thousand hands are the hands of the thousand universal emperors and those eyes in each of the palms of the hands are the eyes of one thousand Buddhas who will appear in this fortunate aeon. After that Avalokiteshvara appeared in many different forms in order to tame the suffering sentient beings and he successfully accomplished many events.


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