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Paintings > Thangka > Eleven-Headed Thousand Armed Avalokiteshvara and the Six-Ornaments of Enlightenment
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Eleven-Headed Thousand Armed Avalokiteshvara and the Six-Ornaments of
Enlightenment

Eleven-Headed Thousand Armed Avalokiteshvara and the Six-Ornaments of Enlightenment

Eleven-Headed Thousand Armed Avalokiteshvara and the Six-Ornaments of Enlightenment

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Tibetan Thangka Painting

1.5 ft x 2.1 ft
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TH67
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Viewed 1821 times since 2nd Oct, 2008
He is standing on a moon disc placed above a blue lotus.

On either side of the moon disc are two elephants. On the elephants' backs stand two snow lions. Above the lions stand two composite animals with the head of a goat and ears of a deer. Above the composite animals are two young dwarfs, whose hands support an entwined jewel crossbeam draped with silk brocade. The dwarf is a symbol of colossal strength in a diminutive stature, and since all of the above animals symbolize strength, speed, and power, the dwarf is their human equivalent.

Two makaras with upturned heads face outwards above the crossbeam.

Above the makaras rest two young naga serpents.

At the very top stands Garuda, devouring a snake.

These six creatures represent the 'six perfections' of the enlightened mind:

1). The two lions at the represent the perfection of wisdom (prajna).

2). The two elephants represent the perfection of concentration (dhyana).

3). The two dwarfs represent the perfection of effort (virya).

4). The two makaras represent the perfection of patience (kshanti).

5). The two nagas represent the perfection of morality (shila).

6). Garuda represents the perfection of generosity (dana).

These six creatures are also symbolically named: gurana, sarana, bharana, surana, varana, and karuna.

Of Related Interest:

Eleven Headed Thousand Armed Avalokiteshvara (Tibetan Thangka Painting)

Eleven Headed Thousand Armed Avalokiteshvara (Brass Statue)

Eleven Headed Thousand Armed Avalokiteshvara (Antiquated Sterling Silver Pendant)

Eleven Headed Avalokitesvara Chenresigs, Kuan-yin, or Kannon Bodhisattva: Its Origin and Iconography (Book)

The Bodhisattva Ideal: Buddhism and the Aesthetics of Selflessness (Article)

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