Opaque watercolor and ink on cotton
Overall: 94.6 x 69.2 cm (37 1/4 x 27 1/4 in.)
Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund 1982.147
The figure's 1,000 arms surround the central figure like a radiating halo. Each hand has an eye in the palm to see the suffering of all beings, which generates the feeling of compassion that this figure embodies. The special form of the central image of Avalokiteshvara derives from the mystic vision of a nun named Gelongma Palmo, who was born a Kashmiri princess, but prayed for leprosy to avoid having to marry. As a nun she defeated the male representatives of different branches of Buddhism, but as her leprosy worsened, monks saw blood seeping from under the door of her cell. Accused of having a miscarriage, she was ejected from the monastery and went to meditate in a cave, where she achieved this vision of eleven-headed, thousand-armed Avalokiteshvara, who cured her leprosy and guided her on the path to enlightenment. Three-day community fasting rituals in her honor continue to be performed throughout the tantric Buddhist world.
The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
Is something not working on this page? Please email email@example.com.
Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.