Chenrezig and his 1000 arms

Om Mani Peme Hung (in Pali) or Om Mani Pedme Hum (in Sanskrit) is probably one of the most popular mantras. More than 2500 years old, the mantra of Love and Compassion has a beautiful story...

Chenrezig (in Pali), Avalokiteshvara (in Sanskrit), is a Bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas and is one of the favorite deities of Mahayana Buddhism. This school of Buddhism proposes Four Immeasurable Virtues: Compassion, Loving Kindness, Joy in the Joy of Others and Equanimity. The legend says that Chenrezig saved all sentient beings by sacrificing himself. He gained generosity and merit when he renounced being enlightened (reaching the blissful state of nirvana) and he accepted to stay in samsara to remove the suffering of all sentient beings. He made a vow that he would not rest until he had liberated all beings in all realms of suffering. After working at this task for a very long time, he realized the number of suffering beings was too large to be saved in his life time so his body split into thousands of pieces. Amitabha Buddha put them all together as a body with 1000 arms, an eye on each palm to see the suffering of the world and eleven heads with Amitabha's head at the top. Avalokiteshvara could then assist into helping ease the suffering of the world. He then realized everything is empty and there is no difference between nirvana and samsara (eternal suffering), between time and eternity.

Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara) Bodhisattva of Boundless Compassion.

Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara) Bodhisattva of Boundless Compassion.