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The Path to Nirvana in the Name of Avalokitesvara

Discussion of general East-Asian Mahayana Buddhism, Sutras & Shastras.

The Path to Nirvana in the Name of Avalokitesvara

Postby Sadaparibhuta on Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:12 am

Thee goal of all Buddhist practice is to subdue the three poisons of passion, aversion, and ignorance and thus attain Nirvana.

The Lotus Sutra promises reciting the name of Avalokitesvara will subdue the three poisons within ourselves.

This is because, in meditating on Avalokitesvara’s name, we cultivate the Bodhisattva’s meritorious qualities within ourselves.

Recollection of the Buddha is a meditation practice from the beginning of Buddhism, and Avalokitesvara can be our wholesome object of meditation.

The ultimate goal of reciting Avalokitesvara’s name is not to beg an external deity to save us. Instead, it’s to awaken the Avalokitesvara within.

The Lotus Sutra says that Avalokitesvara will appear in whatever form necessary to relieve the suffering of others.

The most important form she can manifest is within ourselves, so that we can be her head and hands in the world.

Avalokitesvara is the Bodhisattva of compassion. The name for Avalokitesvara in China is Guanyin, where she’s presented in female form. This is because, in the Lotus Sutra, Guanyin will appear in whatever form necessary, whether male or female, to lead beings out of suffering.

At the lowest level of recitation practice, one recites the name of Guanyin to receive material blessings, “Namo Guanshiyin Pusa.” As your Bodhisattva path advances, Guanyin will become an inspiration for your own life, rather than a bestower of material gifts, as in the popular level.

At the highest level of recitation practice, one chants “Namo Guanshiyin Pusa” to awaken the Bodhisattva within, to gain the strength and fearlessness for one’s own Bodhisattva path. As it says in the Lotus Sutra, Avalokitesvara is the “Bestower of Fearlessness.”

In Tibet, where Avalokitesvara is embodied in the Dalai Lama, the mantra to Avalokitesvara is “Om Mani Padme Hum.”

Many Zen/Ch'an masters encourage reciting the name of Guanyin, especially for lay people, to cultivate inner compassion. Here is a book on this topic:
https://books.google.com/books?id=DH4FC ... &q&f=false
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