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Art of Thangka
According to the II Dalai Lama’s explanations there is deeper symbolism for the eleven faces of Avalokiteshvara: ten represents ten Paramitas and the eleventh is the Dharmakaya.
The hands number one thousand because this aspect of Avalokiteshvara corresponds to the essence of the Thousand Buddhas of the Bhadrakalpa.
The two principal hands are joined in anjali mudra, to signify that he is identical with the Dharmakaya. The palm of each of the thousand hands has an eye to see the suffering of all sentient beings and to help and illuminate all with the light of Wisdom and Compassion.
Eleven-faced Avalokiteshvara, White and Green Taras
2008, 73.5 x 52 cm
canvas, mineral pigments, gold, brocade, silk