Who is Chenrezig or Guanyin?

Chenrezig (Avalokitesvara) is a bodhisattva, who is mainly referred to as the Bodhisattva of compassion.

What is Bodhisattva?

Bodhisattva are enlightened beings who have put off entering paradise to help others attain enlightenment. Bodhisattva understands he/she remains trapped in the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth(samsara) because of greed, anger, and ignorance. The spiritual path to Buddhahood of the bodhisattva are:
  • The perfection of generosity: providing material aid, advice, protection from fear, and love. Purely motivating other people.
  • The perfection of morality: Developing selfless compassion, practicing renunciation, gaining an appreciation for karma, and avoiding all harm to others.
  • The perfection of patience: controlling yourself for harming others and, also controlling anger.
  • The perfection of efforts: preserving all our efforts in virtuous activities.
  • The perfection of concentration: Being calm, clear mind and positive thoughts should be trained our mind to hold.
  • The perfection of wisdom: Dualistic conceptual processes are overlaid without seeing anything that is.
Guanyin Thangka Painting

Why Chenrezig is known as the Buddha of compassion?

Chenrezig is a Boddhisattva who symbolizes the compassion of all the Buddhas. He vowed himself that he will not rest until all beings enter nirvana. In that process, he takes a vow - “May I be able to establish in emancipation all the living beings in the cruel Land of Snow, where beings are so hard to discipline and none of the buddhas of the three times has stepped out. I may be able to mature and liberated them, each according to his way. May that gloomy, cruel country become bright, to the island of precious jewels." and takes a form with 1000 arms,1000 eyes, and 11 heads to see and help everyone who is needed.

Meaning of Chengrezig

The meaning of the word Chengrezig is CHAN means “eye”, RE means “idea of continuity”, and ZIG means ‘to look”. He is one of the celebrated deity and he was the lord gifted with complete enlightenment who refrains from entering the blissful state of nirvana to remain below and save the living being of the earth. He is visualized in many forms, with various numbers of faces armed and with various colors and ornaments. He is four-armed Chenrezig, his two arms are joined in the prayers position and his left arm is holding a lotus flower, and his right hand is holding crystal mala (rosary). He used to count that rosary and repeat his mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum”. He is the Boddhisattva of Boundless Compassion, which is very embodiment and realization of the four immeasurable hands and arms signed of his.

His four arms and hands signify the four immeasurable:

  • Immeasurable loving-kindness (Sanskrit- Maitri): immeasurable loving kindness makes the wish for all the sentient beings to have happiness and its causes.
  • Immeasurable compassion (Sanskrit- karuna): immeasurable compassion makes a wish for all sentient beings to be free from suffering and its causes. 
  • Immeasurable joy (Sanskrit- Mudita): immeasurable joy highlights the love-kindness or compassion in equal and unlimited measures to all sentient beings, developing the visual of them.
  • Immeasurable equanimity (Sanskrit- upeksa): The total impartiality needs are emphasized and providing love equally to the poor, the suffering, friends, and loved one.

Chenrezig four-hand with symbolization:

Two of his hands are pressed together at his heart where they hold the wish-fulfilling jewel of enlightenment, the Chintamani. This jewel manifests whatever a faithful seeker may pray for, and is also a metaphor for the profound teachings and virtues of the Buddha.

Chenrezig s clasped hand position further expresses his gratitude and respect for Buddha Amitabha.

In his upper right hand, he holds a crystal mala, or Buddhist rosary, that he unceasingly counts and which represents his continuous compassionate activity in the world.

And in his upper left hand, he holds a beautiful lotus flower in full bloom. Just as the lotus arises, dazzling and pure, from dark muddy waters, Chenrezig constantly manifests amidst the misery and suffering of our world, but is never stained or tainted by samsaric conditions. His blossoming lotus is meant to inspire us to do the same, by unfolding the pure compassion of our true natures even amidst the challenges of worldly existence.

    Mantra “OM MANE PADME HUM”:

    “Praise to the jewel in the lotus” or “O may I actualize the jewel of the lotus” are the ancient Buddhist mantra, it has been translated as a rhythmic slogan in the English language. According to the Dalai Lama, it means “great and vast” because all the wrapped of the teaching of Buddha in one phrase.

    OM - It represents the vibration / sound of the universe, divine energy, generosity, and purifies the ego.

    MA - It represents the purifies and ethics to jealousy and entertainment.

    NI - It represents patience and purifies passion and desire.

    PAD - It represents diligence and purifies ignorance and judgment.

    ME - It represents concentration and purifies attachments.

    HUM - It represents wisdom and purifies the haters and aggression.

    Chenrezig Mantra Prayer Flag

    Click here to shop for the beautiful Prayer Flag with Om Mani Padme Hum Mantra

    Syllable

    Six Paramitas

    Purifies

    Color

    Samsaric realm

    Symbol of deity

    OM

    Generosity

    Pride/ego

    White

    Devas

    Wisdom

    MA

    Ethics

    Jealousy

    Green

    Asuras

    Compassion

    NI

    Patience

    Passion/ desire

    Yellow

    Humans

    Body, speech, mind quality, and activities

    PAD

    Diligence

    Ignorance

    Blue

    Animals

    Equanimity

    ME

    Renunciation

    Greed/ possessiveness

    Red

    Pretas

    Bliss

    HUM

    Wisdom

    Aggression/hated

    black

    Naraka

    Quality of compassion

    What are the benefits of chanting this mantra?

    ~ It helps in clearing your mind and allow you to detach the ego.

    ~ It helps in releasing the karmas which hold you still back.

    ~ This mantra helps you to send out a message about life that you wish to manifest.

    ~ It helps to take out negative energy from your body and provide awareness from the inside.

    OM

    Whenever we listen or say OM, it sounds like a three-part word A, U, and M.

    A - Creation

    U - Manifestation

    M - Destruction

    These words represent the union of the mind, body, and spirit. Also, represents the beginning of the earth and humanity. 

    MANI

    Mani means jewel which symbolizes the factors of method and the altruistic intention to become enlightened, compassionate, and love. Jewels fulfill the wishes of sentient beings.

    PADME

    Padme means lotus and it symbolizes wisdom. It is a syllable that dissolves our attachments to the many prejudices and judgmental notions.

      HUM

    It achieved purity in an indivisible unity of method and wisdom and symbolizes the final syllable hum. According to the mantra system, the indivisibility syllable method and wisdom refer to the wisdom affected by the method and method affected by the wisdom.

    How was Chenrezig aformed into a Thousand Armed Avalokiteshvara?

    Avalokiteshvara Thangka with 1000 arms

    Click here to shop for this beautiful Avalokiteshvara thangka painting from Nepal.

    Shakyamuni Buddha himself declared that Chenrezig had a special relationship with the snowy land of Tibet and he has mentioned this in one sutra of him. He related to the miraculous birth of Chenrezig. Buddha Amitabha manifests intentionally into the three realms of samsara and he vowed never to rest until he frees all sentient beings from samsara. After struggling to comprehend the needs of so many sentient beings, then his head splits into eleven pieces. Amitabha saw his plight of giving him eleven heads which can hear the cries of the suffering sentient beings. When he tries to reach out to the all-needed aid, his arms were exhausted into pieces. Then after Amitabha comes to the aid and provides him with a thousand arms which will be easy to help the sentient being.

    Himalayas thangka

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