84000 Glossary of Terms

Our trilingual glossary combining entries from all of our publications into one useful resource, giving translations and definitions of thousands of terms, people, places, and texts from the Buddhist canon.

སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག | Glossary of Terms

    སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག

    spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug

    Avalokiteśvara

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Publications: 44

One of the “eight close sons of the Buddha,” he is also known as the bodhisattva who embodies compassion. In certain tantras, he is also the lord of the three families, where he embodies the compassion of the buddhas. In Tibet, he attained great significance as a special protector of Tibet, and in China, in female form, as Guanyin, the most important bodhisattva in all of East Asia.

Translation by Gyurme Dorje
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • Avalokiteśvara

Name of a bodhisattva.

Translation by Andreas Doctor · Catherine Dalton
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • Avalokiteśvara

One of the main bodhisattva disciples of the Buddha Śākyamuni, praised for his compassion.

Translation by Peter Alan Roberts
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • Avalokiteśvara

First appeared as a bodhisattva beside Amitābha in the Sukhāvatī­vyūha Sūtra (The Display of the Pure Land of Sukhāvatī, Toh 115). The name has been variously interpreted. In its meaning as “the lord of avalokita,” avalokita has been interpreted as “seeing,” although, as a past passive participle, it is literally “lord of what has been seen.” One of the principal sūtras in the Mahāsāṃghika tradition was the Avalokita Sūtra, which has not been translated into Tibetan, in which the word is a synonym for enlightenment, as it is “that which has been seen” by the buddhas. In the early tantras, he was one of the lords of the three families, as the embodiment of the compassion of the Buddhas. The Potalaka Mountain in South India became important in Southern Indian Buddhism as his residence in this world, but Potalaka does not feature in the Kāraṇḍa­vyūha Sūtra (The Basket’s Display, Toh 116), which is the most important sūtra dedicated to Avalokiteśvara.

Translation by Timothy Hinkle
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • Avalokiteśvara

The bodhisattva of compassion; one of the bodhisattvas in the retinue of the Buddha.

Translation by Jake Nagasawa · ErdeneBaatar Erdene-Ochir · Jaakko Takkinen
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • Avalokiteśvara

A bodhisattva.

Translation by Dr. Karen Liljenberg
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • Avalokiteśvara
Translation by Gregory Forgues
  • Avaloki­teśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས།
  • འཕགས་པ་སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • spyan ras gzigs
  • ’phags pa spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • Avaloki­teśvara
  • Āryāva­loki­teśvara

The bodhisattva who embodies compassion, also mentioned in this text as Āryāva­loki­teśvara, the noble Avaloki­teśvara.

Translation by Peter Alan Roberts
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • Avalokiteśvara

First appeared as a bodhisattva beside Amitābha in the Sukhāvati Sūtra. The name has been variously interpreted. In “The lord of Avalokita,” Avalokita has been interpreted as “seeing,” although, as a past passive participle, it is literally “lord of what has been seen.” One of the principal sūtras in the Mahāsāṃghika tradition was the Avalokita Sūtra, which has not been translated into Tibetan, in which the word is a synonym for enlightenment, as it is “that which has been seen” by the buddhas. In the early tantras, he was one of the lords of the three families, as the embodiment of the compassion of the buddhas. The Potalaka Mountain in southern India became important in southern Indian Buddhism as his residence in this world, but Potalaka does not yet feature in the Kāraṇḍa­vyūha Sūtra, which emphasized the premeninence of Avalokiteśvara above all buddhas and bodhisattvas and introduced the mantra oṁ maṇi­padme hūṁ.

Translation by Benjamin Collet-Cassart
  • Avaloki­teśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • Avaloki­teśvara

Bodhisattva embodying the compassion of all the buddhas.

For the reason why he received this name, see UT22084-051-002-40.

Translation by Peter Alan Roberts
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • Avalokiteśvara

First appeared as a bodhisattva beside Amitābha in the Sukhāvativyūha. The name has been variously interpreted. “The lord of Avalokita,” Avalokita has been interpreted as “seeing,” although, as a past passive participle, it is literally “lord of what has been seen.” One of the principal sūtras in the Mahāsamghika tradition was the Avalokita Sūtra, which has not been translated into Tibetan, in which the word is a synonym for enlightenment, as it is “that which has been seen” by the buddhas. In the early tantras, he was one of the lords of the three families, as the embodiment of the compassion of the buddhas. The Potalaka Mountain in South India became important in Southern Indian Buddhism as his residence in this world, but Potalaka does not feature in the Kāraṇḍavyūha.

Translation by Peter Alan Roberts
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • Avalokita

First appeared as a bodhisattva beside Amitābha in the Sukhāvatī Sūtra. The name has been variously interpreted. In “The lord of Avalokita,” Avalokita has been interpreted as “seeing,” although, as a past passive participle, it is literally “lord of what has been seen.” One of the principal sūtras in the Mahāsamghika tradition was the Avalokita Sūtra, which has not been translated into Tibetan, in which the word is a synonym for enlightenment, as it is “that which has been seen” by the buddhas. In the early tantras, he is one of the lords of the three families, as the embodiment of the compassion of the buddhas. The Potalaka Mountain in southern India became important in Southern Indian Buddhism as his residence in this world, but Potalaka does not yet feature in the Kāraṇḍavyūha Sūtra (Toh 116), which emphasized the preeminence of Avalokiteśvara above all buddhas and bodhisattvas and introduced the mantra oṃ maṇipadme hūṃ.

Translation by Timothy Hinkle
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • Avalokiteśvara

One of the eight “close sons” of the Buddha, the embodiment of compassion.

Translation by Andreas Doctor
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • Avalokiteśvara
Translation by David Jackson
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • Avalokiteśvara

One of the bodhisattvas who attends the Buddha’s teachings in this text.

Translation by Ryan Damron
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས།
  • spyan ras gzigs
  • Avalokiteśvara

The bodhisattva who is the epitome of compassion.

Translation by David Jackson
  • Avaloki­teśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • Avaloki­teśvara
Translation by James B. Apple
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • Avalokiteśvara

A bodhisattva who first appears in the Sukhāvatī­vyūha sūtra (Toh 115) and then in a number of other Mahāyāna sūtras such as the Sad­dharma­puṇḍarīka (Toh 113). Avalokiteśvara develops into a great bodhisattva who embodies compassion with multiple forms in Indian, Chinese, and Tibetan Buddhism.

Translation by Timothy Hinkle
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • Avalokiteśvara

The bodhisattva of compassion.

Translation by Benjamin Collet-Cassart
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • Avalokiteśvara

Name of a bodhisattva.

Translation by Gyurmé Avertin
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་ཀྱི་དབང་པོ།
  • spyan ras gzigs kyi dbang po
  • Avalokiteśvara
Translation by Celso Wilkinson · Laura Goetz · L.S. Summer
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་པོ།
  • spyan ras gzigs dbang po
  • Avalokiteśvara

One of the eight “close sons” of the Buddha, the embodiment of compassion. He first appeared as a bodhisattva beside Amitābha in the Sukhāvatī Sūtra. The name has been variously interpreted. In his name meaning “the lord of avalokita,” avalokita has been interpreted as “seeing,” although as a past passive participle, it is literally “lord of what has been seen.” One of the principal sūtras in the Mahāsamghika tradition, not translated into Tibetan, was the Avalokita Sūtra, in which the word is a synonym for awakening, as it is “that which has been seen” by the buddhas. In the early tantras, he is one of the lords of the three families, as the embodiment of the compassion of the buddhas.

Translation by Robert A. F. Thurman
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་ཀྱི་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • spyan ras gzigs kyi dbang phyug
  • Avalokiteśvara

A bodhisattva emblematic of the great compassion; of great importance in Tibet as special protector of the religious life of the country and in China, in female form, as Kwanyin, protectress of women, children, and animals.

Translation by Benjamin Collet-Cassart
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • Avalokiteśvara

One of the eight main bodhisattvas, the heart sons of the Buddha.

Translation by Anna Zilman · Adam Krug
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • Avalokiteśvara

The name of a bodhisattva.

Translation by Gregory Forgues · Rolf Scheuermann
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • འཕགས་པ་སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • ’phags pa spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • āryāvalokiteśvara
Translation by Jamyang Choesang · Kunsang Choepel · Boyce Teoh · Solvej Nielsen
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • Avalokiteśvara
Translation by Benjamin Collet-Cassart
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • Avalokiteśvara

Bodhisattva embodying the compassion of all the buddhas.

Translation by Rolf Scheuermann · Casey Kemp
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས།
  • spyan ras gzigs
  • Avalokiteśvara

First appeared as a bodhisattva beside Amitābha in the Sukhāvati­vyūha. The name has been variously interpreted. “The lord of Avalokita,” Avalokita has been interpreted as “seeing,” although, as a past passive participle, it is literally “lord of what has been seen.” One of the principal sūtras in the Mahā­sāṃghika tradition was the Avalokita Sūtra, which has not been translated into Tibetan, in which the word is a synonym for enlightenment, as it is “that which has been seen” by the buddhas. In the early tantras he was one of the lords of the three families, as the embodiment of the compassion of the buddhas. The Potalaka Mountain in South India became important in Southern Indian Buddhism as his residence in this world, but Potalaka does not feature in the Kāraṇḍa­vyūha.

Translation by Thomas Doctor
  • Avalo­kiteś­vara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • Avalo­kiteś­vara

A great bodhisattva.

Translation by Timothy Hinkle · Anna Zilman · Lama Tenzin Sangpo
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • Avalokiteśvara

One of the main bodhisattva disciples of the Buddha Śākyamuni, praised for his compassion.

Translation by Jampa Tenzin · Ngawang Tenzin · Christian Bernert · Julia C. Stenzel
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས།
  • spyan ras gzigs
  • Avalokiteśvara
Translation by Reverend Dr. Chodrung-ma Kunga Chodron
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས།
  • spyan ras gzigs
  • Avalokiteśvara

Bodhisattva of compassion.

Translation by Laura Dainty
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • Avalokiteśvara

One of the main bodhisattva disciples of the Buddha Śākyamuni, praised for his compassion.

Tantra Text Warning

Warning: Readers are reminded that according to Vajrayāna Buddhist tradition there are restrictions and commitments concerning tantra. Practitioners who are not sure if they should read this translation are advised to consult the authorities of their lineage. The responsibility for reading this text or sharing it with others who may or may not fulfill the requirements lies in the hands of readers.

Translation by Wiesiek Mical
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས།
  • spyan ras gzigs
  • Avalokiteśvara

The deified bodhisattva of compassion; one of the original sixteen bodhisattvas.

Translation by Adam Krug
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • avalokiteśvara

One of the most popular bodhisattvas in the Mahāyāna Buddhist pantheon and one of the eight “close sons” of the Buddha, the embodiment of compassion.

Translation by Wiesiek Mical
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • Avalokiteśvara

One of the bodhisattvas attending the delivery of the MMK.

Tantra Text Warning

Warning: Readers are reminded that according to Vajrayāna Buddhist tradition there are restrictions and commitments concerning tantra. Practitioners who are not sure if they should read this translation are advised to consult the authorities of their lineage. The responsibility for reading this text or sharing it with others who may or may not fulfill the requirements lies in the hands of readers.

Translation by Wiesiek Mical
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས།
  • spyan ras gzigs
  • Avalokiteśvara
Translation by James Gentry
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་ཀྱི་དབང་།
  • spyan ras gzigs kyi dbang
  • Avalokiteśvara
Translation by Adam Krug · Dr. Andreas Doctor
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • Avalokiteśvara

The name of one of the most important bodhisattvas of the Mahāyāna pantheon.

Translation by Adam Krug
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • Avalokiteśvara

An important bodhisattva in the Mahāyāna pantheon.

Tantra Text Warning

Warning: Readers are reminded that according to Vajrayāna Buddhist tradition there are restrictions and commitments concerning tantra. Practitioners who are not sure if they should read this translation are advised to consult the authorities of their lineage. The responsibility for reading this text or sharing it with others who may or may not fulfill the requirements lies in the hands of readers.

Translation by Wiesiek Mical · Anna Zilman · Andreas Doctor
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • ཨ་བ་ལོ་ཀི་ཏེ་ཤྭ་ར།
  • spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • a ba lo ki te shwa ra
  • Avalokiteśvara

The bodhisattva of compassion.

Translation by Stefan Mang · Lowell Cook
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་དབང་ཕྱུག
  • spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug
  • Avalokiteśvara

One of the eight main bodhisattvas, the heart sons of the Buddha.

Translation by Stefan Mang
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས།
  • spyan ras gzigs
  • Avalokiteśvara

Bodhisattva of compassion. One of the eight main bodhisattvas, the heart sons of the Buddha.

Translation by Ryan Damron · Wiesiek Mical
  • Avalokiteśvara
  • སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས།
  • spyan ras gzigs
  • Avalokiteśvara

One of the main bodhisattva disciples of the Buddha Śākyamuni, he is renowned for his compassion.