The Avalokitesvara story is based on his vow to forgo enlightenment until all sentient life was cured of all suffering. The weight on his shoulders was so immense that he exploded into thousands of pieces. Fortunately, Amitabha Buddha was able put Avalokitesvara together again. Additionally, he gave him a thousand arms so he could work more efficiently to achieve his vow. He also gave him 11 heads so he could hear and see the suffering of all beings. As a result of this amazing history, devotees can have their own 1000 armed Avalokitesvara statue.
Special Features of Avalokitesvara Statue
The two main hands of our 1000 armed Avalokitesvara statue are in front of his chest pressing the cintamani wish fulfilling jewel between them. Additionally, his other main arms hold traditional objects such as the 108 mala beads, bow and the blossoming lotus. He holds the 108 mala beads in his upper right hand because he is constantly reciting the Avalokitesvara mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum”.
Additional aspects of the statue include the 11 heads that rise over his shoulders and above the 1000 arms. However, only 9 of the heads are his and the top two are Vajrapani and Amitabha. Indeed Avalokitesvara, Vajrapani and Amitabha Buddha form an important trinity in Mahayana and Pure Land Buddhism. Click here to learn more about the Avalokitesvara bodhisattva.