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SRISTIKANTA LOKESHVARA

Among the many forms of Avalokiteshvara Sristikanta Lokeshvara is the one derived from the text Gunakarandavyuha Sutra. This Sutra was basically composed in the 3rd or 4th century. This was the time Lord Maitreya transmitted the teachings of Buddha nature to Acarya Asanga (Circa 350 A.D.). The Sutra says that when this Universe was empty except Prabhasvara, there were no physical elements like earth, water, air, and fire. Adi-Buddha appeared in the first place. He meditated on a samadhi called Lokasansarjana with a view to create the Universe. First of all he emanated Aryavalokiteshvara. He in turn meditated deeply on samadhi called Lokotbhava thereby creating moon from his right eye, sun from his left eye, then the system of day and night evolved.

He then created Mahadeva from his forehead, Brahma from his shoulders, Narayana from his heart, Sarasvati from his upper and lower teeth, Vayu deva from his mouth; Varuna Nagaraja from his abdomen, Mahalaxmi from his left knee, Agnideva from his navel, Kuvera from his right knee, the earth from his sole. In this way he created many other important devas, and assigned them characteristic duties for each. These created Devas gladly accepted their duties and promised to keep them for ever. They also promised to practise Bodhi-sattvacarya for the sake of all sentient beings. Avalokiteshvara told them that if they kept their promises and worked for the benefit of all sentient beings they would then attain Buddhahood in future.

We have already dealt with Dharmakaya or Adi-Buddha or Prabhasvara (in the Introduction) that Adi-Buddha never meant first Buddha. It must be known that Prabhasvara is rendered as Clear light. The nature of our mind is empty in essence yet it can cognize everything. This principle is constant throughout the three divisions of time. It is also known as primordially self-existing wakefulness or dharmakaya nature of our mind. This nature is inherented by all sentient beings — so they are all potential Buddhas. When one realizes that one’s mind is empty and yet cognizant one realizes Buddhahood. When one’s veil of obscurations are removed one’s buddha nature is manifested simultaneously. To communicate this idea the sutra describes it in a theistic sense that there appeared first a Buddha when nothing was there. Although the Sutra illustrates in a theistic sense, the inner meaning of the sutra is to communicate this Buddhanature theme.

Iconographically, Sristikanata Lokeshvara is red in colour. Sristikanta Lokeshvara holds a lotus flower with his left hand and displays varada mudra with his right hand. Sristikanta Lokeshvara is generally depicted in a standing posture with a dozen important deities emanating. His image can be seen in the Golden Window of Patan Durbar Square, Patan.

 
 
 
 
 
 
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