Our 108 Chenrezig Tibetan Thangka painting depicts the Tibetan perception of Avalokitesvara. On account of different cultural norms, Avalokitesvara is given a unique name and form in Tibet. As a result, his 4 arms represent the four immeasurables – compassion, loving kindness, equanimity and appreciative joy.
Every arm and hand of our 108 Chenrezig Tibetan Thangka painting is also rich with additional symbolism. His upper left hand holds the stem of a lotus flower between the thumb and index finger. As such, devotees are reminded to strive in their practice to achieve Nirvana. The lotus grows from the muddy pond bottom through the murky water to blossom in the clean air and sunshine. In comparison, devotees can rise above the sea of suffering to experience enlightenment if they practice with sincerity.
Additionally, in his upper right hand Chenrezig holds the crystal mala beads between the thumb and index finger. This is because Chenrezig is constantly reciting his mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum”. This mantra translates as “Hail to the jewel of the lotus” in English and it will liberate beings from their suffering. Similar to Avalokitesvara, Chenrezig has vowed to forgo enlightenment until all beings have defeated the defilements and embraced infinite compassion.
In order to assist his devotees to obtain their wishes, he holds the cintamani jewel between his two clasped hands in front of his chest. This is known as the wish fulfilling jewel and it will grant his devotees whatever they wish for. Furthermore, Chenrezig is fully adorned in the crown and jewels of a Bodhisattva and he sits in full lotus pose.