Avalokitesvara Mantra lyrics:
”Namo Ratna Trayaya, Namo Arya Jnana Sagara, Vairochana, Byuhara Jara Tathagataya, Arahate, Samyaksam Buddhaya, Namo Sarwa Tathagate Bhyay, Arhata Bhyah, Samyaksam Buddhe Bhyah, Namo Arya Avalokite shoraya Bodhisattvaya, Maha Sattvaya, Maha Karunikaya, Tadyata, Om Dara Dara, Diri Diri, Duru Duru Itte We, Itte Chale Chale, Purachale Purachale, Kusume Kusuma Wa Re, Ili Milli, Chiti Jvalam, Apanaye Shoha.”
Avalokitesvara Mantra – Translation & Meaning
”Homage to the Three Jewels, Homage to the Ocean of that Superior, Exalted Transcendental Wisdom, The Appointed King, Vairocana, The Tathagata, the Arhat, the Pure and Complete Buddha, Homage to All the Tathagatas, the Arhats, the Pure and Complete Buddhas, Homage to the Supreme Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva, the Great Being, that Great Compassion, Thus, Om, Apprehending the Deity of Sound, Apprehending the Deity of Form, Apprehending the Deity of Sign, and the Surrounding Entourage.”
He is a Bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas. This Bodhisattva is variably described in distinctive cultures as either female or male. For example, in Cambodia, he appears as Lokesvara.
He is also one of the more widely venerated and adored Bodhisattvas in standard Mahayana Buddhism tradition as well as unofficially in Theravada Buddhism.
The Sanskrit name Avalokitesvara combines the verbal prefix ava “down,” lokita, a past participle of the verb ”lok” – “to notice, behold, observe”, here used in a dynamic sense; and lastly ”isvara,” literally translates as “lord”, “ruler”, “sovereign” or “master”.
In accordance with sandhi (Sanskrit rules of sound combination), a+isvara becomes ”esvara.” Combined, the parts signify “lord who gazes down (at the world)”. Moreover, the Sanskrit word ”loka” (“world”) is absent from the name, nevertheless, the phrase is implied. It does appear in the Cambodian form of the name, Lokesvara.
According to the Mahayana doctrine, Lokesvara is the Bodhisattva who has made a great vow to help sentient beings in times of difficulty and to postpone his own Buddhahood until he has assisted every sentient being in accomplishing nirvana.
Despite strenuous effort, Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara realizes that still, numerous unhappy beings were yet to be saved. After struggling to comprehend the needs of so many, his head splits into eleven different pieces.
Buddha Amitabha, seeing his plight, gives him 11 heads with which to hear the cries of the suffering.
Upon hearing these cries and comprehending them, Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara attempts to reach out to all those who needed aid but found that his 2 arms shattered into pieces.
Once more, Buddha Amitabha comes to his aid and invests him with 1000 arms with which to aid the suffering multitudes.
The Bodhisattva sits in many, if not most, of the photos seen in a meditation pose, offering himself to the world around.
In addition, He is sitting with one set of hands in front of his chest, performing the Uttarabodhi Mudra.
This is when a Bodhisattva places his 2 hands together, touching the index fingers and the other fingers inter winded with each other.
This mudra (gesture) is supposed to represent supreme enlightenment.
The other set of hands, demonstrated in the picture above, displays the Jnana Mudra. A mudra of teaching with the fingers touching to form the wheel of law.
The arms themselves represent the 4 immeasurables: immeasurable benevolence, immeasurable joy, immeasurable compassion, and immeasurable equanimity.
The outer right hand is holding crystal beads like the ones used to count sacred mantras.
This is because, like the constant counting of beads, Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara is continuously benefiting all sentient beings.
Additionally, in his outer left hand, he holds a lotus flower. Lokesvara has the “halo” like circle above his head showing his impermanence and greatest, much like a God.
Also, in this image, there are great images of richness and nature. This could show the importance of Bodhisattva’s greatness and devotion to the world.
This amazing picture would be used mostly for worship and remembrance of the great Bodhisattva that is awaiting his enlightenment until every individual in the world has reached nirvana.
Images credit – Getty