Legends of 1000 Armed Avalokiteshvara
M.B.ShakyaThe study of Avalokiteshvara and his forms has great importance for the student of Mahayana Buddhism. In the Mahayana Pantheon as developed in India, Nepal, Tibet,Japan, Mangolia, Bhutan, China and Korea, Avalokitesvara is depicted in the textGunakarandavyuha, Saddharmapundarika Sutra etc. According to these texts, he is personified as the symbol of compassion, He is frequently mentioned as the god of mercy who will help anybody who finds himself in trouble mentally or physically. Hecan infallibly eradicate all mundale sufferings. In order to achieve his ends, he canassume various forms, According to the text Karandavyuha Sutra he manifests all possible forms of life for the sake of ignorant and to bring liberation to living. It says:"As different people belonged to different faiths, this compassionate Bodhissattva wasobliged to assume the shape of all gods of all faiths."Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of compassion, in front of Buddha Amitabha madeto commitment to intentionally manifest into the three realms of Samsara in order toharrow the depths; that is to say, in order to stir from depths and completely liberateall sentient beings from samsara, and to be their supreme guide. Thus in the presenceof Buddha Amitabha, Avalokiteshvara made this promise. Also he vowed that if bychance his compassion and his courageous mind of mercy for sentient beings were todecrease, then may his head and his body just completely crack and fall into onethousand pieces.When Buddha was residing at the Veluvana garden he was surrounded by Arahats.There were five different divine rays coming out of his circle of hair between theeyebrows in the middle of the forehead and gradually it formed itself into a rainbow.Thereafter it went to the north in the direction of the Himalaya country of Tibet. Atthat time Buddha looked and smiled, then immediately Bodhisattva SarvanivaranaViskambhi asked Buddha, What is the reason of your smiling, Lord? Buddhaanswered, "Noble boy! In the future there will be a pure Dharma through which onecan be delivered to the path of liberation in the barbarian country of Tibet where therehas never been a single Buddha for three junctions of time and there are uncountabledemons and ghosts yet to time. "Therefore, Avalokiteshvara will tame those wild men, because once upon a time when he was a Bodhisattva he prayed to One thousandBuddhas Saying," May all the transcendents bless me to be able to time those beingswho are into barbarian country. May you bless that barbarian country through mytaming, May you bless me to become the parent of those ghosts and demons;. Mayyou bless me to free all those beings.