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Depicting two incarnations of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara ‘The Lord of Compassion’, perhaps a temple icon
Size: 15cm high, 11.5cm wide, 9cm deep – 6 ins high, 4½ ins wide, 3½ ins deep
The carving depicts two incarnations of Avalokiteshvara, to the right he holds in one hand a lotus blossom, an auspicious emblem denoting purity, and his other hand is open symbolising compassionate giving. To the left he is shown holding a triangular halo and another lotus flower. He embodies the universal mantra ‘Om Mani Padme Hūṁ’ which is chanted continually by all Tibetans as this helps to consolidate its beneficial effect. He is a manifestation of the celestial Buddha, symbolising compassion and its attributes. He is said to act in many and strange ways for the good of other beings trapped in cycles of suffering. He teaches that compassion is a spiritual quality that everyone possesses in a latent form, and which is present in every experience, even the harshest ordeal can be a teacher of compassion.