|In the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon of enlightened beings, Cherezig is renowned as the embodiment of the compassion of all the Buddhas, the Bodhisattvas. Chenrezig is the earthly manifestation of the self born, eternal Buddhda, Amitabha. He guards this world in the interval between the historical Sakyamuni Buddha, and the Buddha of the future-- Maitreya.
According to legend, Chenrezig made a vow that he would not rest until he had liberated all the beings in all the realms of suffering. After working diligently at this task for a very long time, he looked out and realized the immense number of miserable beings were yet to be saved. Seeing this, he became despondent and his head split into thousands of pieces. Buddha Amitabha put the pieces back together as a body with very many arms and many heads, so that Chenrezig could work with the vast number of beings all at the same time. Sometimes Chenrezig is visualized with eleven heads, and a thousand arms fanned out around him.
As Cherezig is considered the patron Bodhisattva of Tibet, and his meditation is practiced in all the great lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. Chenrezig may be the most popular of all Buddhist deities, excepts for Buddha himself. Cherezig is beloved throughout the Buddhist world. He is known by different names in different lands: As Avalokiteshvara in the ancient Sanskrit language of India, as Kuan-yin in China, as Kannon in Japan.
| Chenrezig is the Bodhisattva of Boundless Compassion embodied the four immeasurables. The four immeasurables are the vehicles through which Chenrezig benefits sentient beings; therefore, Chenrezig has four arms. The four arms and hands of Chenrezig signify the four meanings: immeasurable loving kindness, immeasurable compassion, immeasurable joy, and immeasurable equanimity.
The first two inner arms have palms joined at the heart holding a sky-blue wish fulfilling jewel. This symbolized that in whichever way Chenrezig manifests to benefit sentient beings, the quality of Chenrezig’s mind is never separate from the all pervasive, non-referential state of Dharmakaya. ( Primordial Wisdom )
In the outer right hand, Chenrezig is holding crystal beads, and moving them the way we use a mala to count mantras. This symbolizes there is not one moment when Chenrezig does not benefit beings. Like the steady movement of counting the beads, Chenrezig is continuously benefiting sentient beings and turning the wheel of enlightened activity.
In the outer left hand, Chenrezig holds a lotus flower. This symbolized that Cherezig manifests in whatever forms are necessary to benefit sentient beings in accordance with the mental capacities, circumstances, and aptitudes of sentient beings.
Whenever we are compassionate, or feel love for anyone, or for an animal or some part of the natural world, we experience a taste of our own natural connection with Chenrezig. Tibetan Buddhists believe that we all share, in our basic nature, unconditional compassion and wisdom that is no different from what we see in Chenrezig and in these lamas. Whence, Chenrezig’s mantra “Om”, “Ma”, “’Ni”, “Pad”, “Me”, “Hung” is the most recited mantra in Tibet.
Cherezig’s six syllable mantra represents Six Paramitas of Bodhisattavas : The perfection of Generosity, The perfection of Ehics, The perfection of Patience, The perfection of Diligence, The perfection of Meditation, and The perfection of Wisdom which purify the six realms of existences. “Om” represents The perfection of Generality which purifies pride / ego in the Samsara realm of Devas. ( God ) “ Ma” represents The perfection of Ethics which purifies jealousy in the Samsara realms of Asuras. “ Ni” represents The pferfection of Patience which purifies passion / desire of Human realm. “ Pad” represents The perfection of Diligence which purifies ignorance/ prejudice of Animal realm. “Me” represents The perfection of Meditation Stability which purifies poverty/ possessiveness of Pretas ( Hungry ghost ) realm. “ Hum” represents Wisdom which purifies Aggression/ hatred of Naraka (Hell ) realm.
Once heard of Cherezig’s six syllable of Mani mantra, it purifies one’s obscuration, defilement and obstacles in attaining enlightenment. The practitioner who hears of the Mani Mantra and truly understand the meaning of mantra will definitely attain the Buddha hood in the future. Furthermore, if animals or insects hear the Mani mantra before they die, they will definitely liberate from the three lower realms, and make connections with the Dharma.
As long as one contemplates on the six syllable of Mani matra, one’s defilement accumulated since the beginningless time will be purified. To make connection with each one of the individual syllables of the Mani mantra is equal to receive empowerment from limitless Buddhas. One who hears this mantra, and is able to contemplate, meditation on it, and explain the meanings to others will accumulate the merits of opening the precious gate of Dharma to benefit Santient beings and attain Dharmakaya.