Chenrezig is how the Tibetan Buddhists perceive Avalokitesvara. Although it is a different variation than the classic emanation, Avalokitesvara is held in the most high esteem. Our Chenrezig Tibetan Thangka painting depicts him with four arms and hands. This is because each arm represents one of the four immeasurables – compassion, loving kindness, equanimity and appreciative joy.
This Chenrezig Tibetan Thangka painting includes important symbolism. As a result, Chenrezig holds the uptala flower (blue lotus) in his upper right hand. The lotus is very symbolic in Buddhism and it serves as an important metaphor for enlightenment. Therefore, devotees are encouraged to practice diligently in samsara which is also known as the “sea of suffering”. As the lotus flower rises above the murky pond water, so can devotees rise above the sea of suffering.
Additionally, Chenrezig holds the crystal mala beads in his upper left hand because he is constantly reciting his mantra. It is the same mantra of Avalokitesvara, “Om Mani Padme Hum”. This means “hail to the jewel of the lotus” and it will bring his faithful devotees many blessings.Click here to learn more about the meaning of the Avalokiteshvara mantra.
Another aspect of this Chenrezig Thangka painting that is beneficial to devotees is the “cintamani jewel”. This special wish granting gem is clasped between his hands in front of his heart. It is believed that it has the power to grant the faithful followers of Chenrezig their best wishes.