Tibetan Thangka Painting – Sahasrabhuja-Lokeshvara (black and white) 320mm x 215mm


Original hand painted Thangka created by Tibetan refugees. Naggar Valley donates 10% of all profits generated from sales of Thangka paintings to Lha charity in McLeod Ganj, India. For more information regarding the wonderful work that Lha do please visit our About Lha Charity page.

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This is a beautiful unique hand painted Tibetan Thangka.

It is painted on cotton canvas in striking black and white, image size – 320mm x 215mm.

This art work is currently unframed. We have a wide selection of beautiful mouldings to choose from that will compliment this wonderful Thangka. If you would like this piece framed by Naggar Valley, please contact us for options and prices.


Sahasrabhuja-Lokeshvara is one of the many manifestations of Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of Great Compassion. He is believed to be the most important bodhisattva who leads us to realise that everything which has happened in our lives, whether directly or indirectly, is the result of our aspirations.

Avalokiteshvara is considered a ‘Buddha Jewel’; superior not only to ordinary beings, but also to other superior beings. He is mostly represented by the famous mantra; om mani padme hum (“Hail the jewel in the lotus!”).

The Dalai Lama is a reincarnation of Avalokiteshvara, the God of Endless Compassion.


At one time in the past, the Lord of Great Compassion, the Noble Avalokiteshvara, raised the Idea of Enlightenment, bodhicitta, and then for countless kalpas (eons) accumulated merit. After passing through the ten bodhisattva levels, he received the special Great Light empowerment.  Then, as he entered the ranks of the Noble Sons of the Buddha, he made this vow:

“Throughout the samsaric world realms in the limitless space of the ten directions, I will benefit beings.  I must liberate all beings from samsara.  Not until all beings are established on the level of Buddhahood, not even one left behind in samsara, will I myself enter Buddhahood.  Only when all beings without exception have been guided to Buddhahood, will it be well for me to achieve it.  Until then I will remain in samsara for the benefit of all beings.  And to ensure it, may my body be shattered into a thousand pieces if I break this vow.”

From then on, Avalokiteshvara resided on Potala Mountain.  Through his limitless emanations, at every moment he accomplished the ripening and liberating of innumerable sentient beings, to an extent beyond our means to express.  And in this manner he passed uncountable years, many, many kalpas.

According to legend, Avalokiteshvara in the form of Ekadasha-Mahakarunika-Lokeshvara descended from all-embracing compassion (mahakarunika) into hell and took a number of inhabitants to the intermediate paradise, Sukhavati, only to discover that for every soul that was saved, a new soul was damned in hell.

His head broke into ten pieces with sorrow and dismay about the evil in the world. His spiritual father, Amitabha, made a new head from every piece. There are nine faces full of love; above these is the head of Vajrapani, the wrathful Bodhisattva of Compassion who is there to ward off evil spirits. The top-most head is Amitabha himself, the spiritual father of Avalokiteshvara, the ‘Buddha of Infinite Light’ offering his protection

Avalokiteshvara’s teaching goes on perpetually till the end of cyclic existence and since he has the supreme attributes of Buddha activity, he can appear in whatever forms best suit his disciples. The well-known form depicted in this painting is known as Sahasrabhuja-Lokeshvara or The Thousand-Armed and Thousand-Eyed Avalokiteshvara.

Sahasrabhuja-Lokeshvara, the ‘All Sided One’, has eleven heads (the same as Ekadasha-Mahakarunika-Lokeshvara), in three tiers. The tiers represent the three worlds of desire, the living and the spirits.

Sahasrabhuja-Lokeshvara has one thousand arms with one thousand hands and an eye in the palm of each. The 1,000 arms represent the appearance of 1,000 Buddhas during this Eon of Light, whose compassion will guide beings from the darkness of ignorance and delusion into the light of the Great Awakening. The eyes on his 1,000 hands symbolize his all-seeing compassionate gaze upon every being in existence throughout the past, present and future.

In one of his special sutras, The Jewel-Casket Array (Karandavyuha), he actually descends to the hells of Yama. From the fingers of his thousand-arms, magic waters flowed and cooled the flames of the molten iron realm.


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