“He (Chenrezig) is represented in many different forms, of course, but in one of the most beautiful he has eleven heads, a thousand arms, and a thousand eyes, with one eye in the palm of each hand. His arms symbolize his power of compassion to reach into every atom, every moment, and every life of every being, like a great king of Dharma.
We at the Chenrezig Project are honored to be identified in name with a Buddhist entity as auspicious as Chenrezig. For our group and its members, individually and collectively, the qualities of Chenrezig serve as great and wonderful inspiration. In summary, Chenrezig is the Buddha of Compassion. When Buddhists define compassion, it is believed that Chenrezig is the embodiment of boundless loving .
In the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon of enlightened beings, Chenrezig, Avalokiteshvara, is renowned as the embodiment of the compassion of all the Buddhas, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. Chenrezig is considered the patron bodhisattva of Tibet, and his meditation is practiced in all the great lineages of Tibetan Buddhism.
Chenrezig is known under many different names: Avalokiteshvara in sanskrit, Kuan Yin in Chinese and Kannon in Japanese. He is always painted in white to represent how free he is of all the veils of Samsara. His four arms symbolize the 4 virtues; love, compassion, joy and equanimity.
(Chenrezig is the simplified phonetic transcription of the Tibetan word Avalokiteshvara.) Avalokiteshvara is the earthly manifestation of the self born, eternal Buddha, Amitabha. He guards this world in the interval between the historical Shakyamuni Buddha, and the next Buddha of the future, Maitreya.
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