A NOTE ON SRISTIKANTA LOKESHVARA
by Min Bahadu Shakya
Among the many forms of Avalokiteshvara Sristikanta Likeshvara is the one derived from the textGunakarandavyuha Sutra. This sutra is basically composed in 3/4 century. This was the time lordMaitreya transmitted the teachings of Buddha nature to Acarya Asanga Circa 350 A. D.). The Sutra says that when this Universe was empty except Prabhashvara, there were no physical elementslike earth, water, air, and fire. Adi Buddha appeared in the first place. He meditated on a samadhi calledlokasansarjana with a view to create the Universe, first of all the emanated Aryavalokiteshvara. He inturn meditated deeply on samadhi called Lokotbhava thereby creating moon from his right eye, sun fromhis left eye, then the system of day and night evolved. He then created Mahadva from his forehead, Brhama for his shoulders, Narayana from his heart, sarasvarifrom his upper and lower teeth, Vayu deva from his mouth, Varyna Nagaraja from his abdomen,Mahalaxmi from his left knee, Agnideva from his navel, Kuvera from his right knee, the Prithivi for thissole, In this way he emanated many to the important deva, and assign tem characteristic duties as per each. These emanated deities gladly accepted their duties and promised to keep them forever. They also promised to practice Bodhisattva path for the sake of all sentient beings. Avalokiteshvara toldthem that if they kept their promises and worked for the benefit of sentient. beings they would then attainBuddhood in future. Now the problem arises as why Avalokiteshvara is depicted as the God of creation which is obviouslyand unacceptable tenet for all forms of Buddhism. The concept of Adi-Buddha or Primordial Buddhaseems to have developed fully around 10th century in Nalanda and in Nepal and in germ stage aroundthird/fourth century during the time of Arya Asanga. Arya Asanga in his Mahayana Sutralamkara tries torefute this concept of Adi-Buddha in the following line."Buddha is without beginning from the point of view of division of gotra, without purpose and integratedin the immaculate foundation, because of non differentiatedness." He says that no one can become a Buddha without two accumulations of merit and wisdom. Such anequipment can only be attained from a previous Buddha. There fore, there can be no first Buddha. (Skt:Adi-Buddha). It would b e a complete misconception to consider the Adi Buddha as just another versionof the Createo God. THat would be and absolute reversal of the Buddhist point of view which essentiallyand fundamentally denies the notion of create God. Adi-Buddha never meant here the first Buddha. Itmust be understood that "Prabhasavara is rendered as Clear light or in other words it is called Shunyata- prabhasvara. It is same as three nature of mind. The nature of our mind is empty is essence yet it cancognize everything. This principle is constant throughout three divisions of time. This nature beinginherent in all sentient beings. They are called primordially pure or Buddha nature or Tathagatagarbha. When one realizes that one's mind is empty and yet congnizant, one realizes Buddhahood. When one'sveil of obscuration are removed, one's Buddhanature is reveiled or manifested simultaneously.To communi8cate this idea., the sutra describes it in theistic sense that there appeared firsts a Buddhawhen nothing was there. Therefore the concept of the Adi-Buddha should rather be regarded as an attemptto express the nature of mind, that is empty but cognizant which is shunyata-prabhashvara it self.