Long Prayer Banner - Avalokiteshvara
Long Prayer Banner - unfinished edges. The mantra of Avalokiteshvara. 'Om Mani Padme Hum'. 11 inches by 38 inches. Hand printed in the USA on high grade 100% cotton, using non-toxic textile paints.
Based upon the Lotus Sutra and the Shurangama sutra, Avalokitesvara (sometimes spelled with no "H" between the "S" and "V") is generally seen as a savior, both spiritually and physically. The sutras state that through his saving grace even those who have no chance of being Enlightened can be Enlightened, and those deep in negative karma can still find salvation through his compassion. Avalokiteshvara was originally depicted as Buddha when he was still a prince, and therefore wears chest-revealing clothing and may even sport a moustache. Avalokiteshvara is the male form of Kwan Yin, or Guanyin. In Chinese Buddhism, Guanyin/Kuan Yin/Kannon/Kwannon is synonymous with the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, the pinnacle of mercy and compassion. Among the Chinese, Avalokitesvara is almost exclusively called Guan Shi Yin Pu Sa. The Chinese translation of many Buddhist sutras has in fact replaced the Chinese transliteration of Avalokitesvara with Guan Shi Yin. Some Taoist scriptures give her the title of Guan Yin Da Shi, and sometimes informally as Guan Yin Fo Zu. In Chinese Buddhism, the popular myth and worship of Guan Yin as a goddess by the populace is generally not viewed to be in conflict with the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara's nature. In fact the widespread worship of Guan Yin as a "Goddess of Mercy and Compassion" is seen as the boundless salvific nature of bodhisattva Avalokitesvara at work. The Buddhist canon states that bodhisattvas can assume whatsoever gender and form is needed to liberate beings from ignorance and dukkha. With specific reference to Avalokitesvara, he is stated both in the Lotus Sutra and the Surangama Sutra to have appeared before as a woman or a goddess to save beings from suffering and ignorance. Some Buddhist schools refer to Guan Yin both as male and female interchangeably. That bodhisattva Avalokitesvara is also the goddess Guan Yin is not seen as contradictory. Given that bodhisattvas are known to incarnate at will as living people according to the sutras, the princess Miao Shan is generally viewed as an incarnation of Avalokitesvara. Avalokiteshvara (in Sanskrit lit. "Lord who looks down") is the bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas. He is the most widely revered bodhisattva in Buddhism. In China and its sphere of cultural influence, Avalokiteshvara has evolved into a female form known as Guan Yin. Avalokiteshvara is also referred to as Padmapāni ("Holder of the Lotus") or Lokeshvara ("Lord of the World"). In Tibetan, Avalokiteshvara is known as Chenrezig, and is said to be incarnated in the Dalai Lama, the Karmapa, and other high Lamas. In Mongolia, he is called Migjid Janraisig, Xongsim Bodisadv-a, or Niduber Ujegci. Lokeshvara-raja ( lit. 'King of world sovereignty') is an epithet of Avalokiteshvara. The Chinese interpretation of Lokeshvara-raja is 'World Sovereign King'.