Thousand-armed Avalokiteshvara

Thousand-armed Avalokiteshvara is the most elevated and popular form of Bodhisattva of the Great Compassion. Legend explains the eleven heads as follows: «Avalokiteshvara descended into hells converted the wicked, liberated them, and conducted them to Sukhavati, the paradise of his spiritual father, Amitabha.

He discovered, however, to his dismay, that for every culprit converted and liberated, another instantly took his place.

The legend claims that his head split into ten pieces from grief and despair on discovering the extent of wickedness in the world, and the utter hopelessness of saving all beings.

Amitabha caused each piece to become a head, and placed the heads on the body of Avalokiteshvara and put his own head above them all».

Thousand-armed Avalokiteshvara

1998, 53.5 x 42 cm.

canvas, mineral pigments, gold, brocade, silk


Offered to HH the XIVth Dalai Lama