In Chinese, the name of the Bodhisattva is Gwan Shr Yin, in Sanskrit, Avalokitesvara. "Gwan" means "to regard." What does he regard? Shr, "The World" What does he regard in the world? Yin, "the Sounds." "Gwan" refers to the wisdom which regards or contemplates. "Shr" refers to the realm which is contemplated - the realm of all living beings in the world.

Avalokiteśvara is the bodhisattva who has made a great vow to listen to the prayers of all sentient beings in times of difficulty, and to postpone his own Buddhahood until he has assisted every being on Earth in achieving nirvana.

One prominent Buddhist story tells of Avalokiteśvara vowing never to rest until he had freed all sentient beings from samsara. Despite strenuous effort, he realizes that still many unhappy beings were yet to be saved. After struggling to comprehend the needs of so many, his head splits into eleven pieces. Amitabha Buddha, seeing his plight, gives him eleven heads with which to hear the cries of the suffering. Upon hearing these cries and comprehending them, Avalokiteśvara attempts to reach out to all those who needed aid, but found that his two arms shattered into pieces. Once more, Amitabha comes to his aid and invests him with a thousand arms with which to aid the suffering multitudes.

Six inner qualities of Avalokiteśvara :
1. great compassion
2. great loving-kindness
3. lion-courage
4. universal light
5. leader amongst gods and men
6. the great omnipresent Brahma,Each of this bodhisattva's six qualities of pity, etc., breaks the hindrances respectively of the (6 realms) hells, pretas (hungry ghost), animals, asuras (demi god), men, and devas.


Avalokita is a name of Buddha. Literally it means one who looks from above -- avalokita -- one who looks from above, one who stands at the seventh center, sahasrar, the transcendental, and looks from there. Naturally, whatsoever you see is contaminated by your standpoint, is contaminated by the space you are in.

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