Our magnificent 1000 armed Avalokitesvara statue was carved with intricate precision. This is very important for such a unique and important figure such as Avalokitesvara. As a result, we can offer enthusiasts of Buddhist artwork a unique statue that portrays the most venerable Bodhisattva in the most original form.
The Story of 1000 Armed Avalokitesvara
The origins of Avalokitesvara’s 1000 arms and 11 heads lie on the Tibetan Plateau. From the high vantage point on the Tibetan Plateau, Avalokitesvara was able to see all the sentient beings trapped in the sea of suffering. However, for Avalokitesvara the suffering of sentient life takes on a special meaning. This is because he swore to forgo enlightenment until he was able to stop all suffering. As a result, Avalokitesvara became known as the “Bodhisattva of Compassion”.
However, when Avalokitesvara realized the immensity of the task ahead the deity imploded into thousands of pieces. Fortunately, assistance arrived in the form of Amitabha and Avalokitesvara was reconstructed. As a result of the reconstruction, the deity now has 1000 arms and 11 heads.
The purpose of the 11 heads is so that Avalokitesvara can better see and hear all of the suffering of sentient life. There are nine heads for Avalokitesvara, one head for Amitabha (top) and one head for wrathful Vajrapani. Additionally, the 1000 arms are so that the deity can work much faster to provide assistance to sentient beings.
Each of Avalokitesvara’s 1000 hands has the eye of perfected wisdom in the palm. This symbolizes the union of the five method perfections (fingers) with the sixth perfection of wisdom (eye). Additionally, our 1000 armed Avalokitesvara statue is adorned with right turning conch shells. The orbits of the planets and stars in the universe is to the right. As a result, right turning shells or hair coils are an important feature of Buddhist sculptures. This is because the right turning nature of the shell indicates the Dharma is in harmony with the universe. Click here to learn more about the important symbolism of Avalokitesvara.