Chenrezig- The Lord of Compassion
Chenrezig is a form of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara and also known as Kharcherri. Avalokiteshvara is the lord who looks upon the world with compassion and kindness. He has vowed to free all sentient beings from suffering. He is revered by Buddhists as an incarnation born to spread peace in the world. He is also known as Six Syllabled Lokeshvara. The six syllables “OM MANI PADME HUM” is considered so valuable that it has been carved on rock and constantly chanted by devotees.
According to legend, he came to Kathmandu during the 7th century in order to protect the people from the deprivation which was lasted for about 12 years. He is white in color and has four arms with a noose on his right hand, lotus on this left hand and other two hands join together in Namaskara mudra with a jewel which symbolize knowledge in between. He sits on an elaborately decorated double lotus with his legs crossed in meditative position and his golden face is radiant with the beautiful crown on his head. The fingers on each of his four hands are smoothly curved.
Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva has great powers and can help all sentient beings. He has limitless skillful means and can appear in any form to relieve the suffering of all the sentient beings. He vowed to rescue those who call on him when they are in suffering. In the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha said that if a suffering being hears the name of Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva and earnestly calls out to the bodhisattva; Avalokiteshvara will hear the call and relieve that being from his suffering.
It is said that Chenrezig made a vow that he would not rest or become fully enlightened until he had liberated all the beings from all the realms of suffering. After working diligently at this task for a very long time, he looked out and realized the immense number of miserable beings yet to be saved. Seeing this, he became hopeless and his head split into thousands of pieces. Amitabha Buddha put the pieces back together as a body with very many arms and many heads, so that Chenrezig could work with myriad beings all at the same time. Sometimes Chenrezig is visualized with eleven heads, and a thousand arms fanned out around him.