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Of all the deities in Mahayana Buddhism, the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara also known as Chenrezig is one of the most celebrated. He is the lord endowed with complete illumination, who refrains from entering the blissful state of nirvana to remain here below and save the creatures of the earth. This devotion to the salvation of others emphasizes the profound compassion this bodhisattva represents.
We have a huge collection of Nepali handmade statues in this category. These statues are made up of copper, brass or bronze and are finished in various styles like gold plating, partly gold plating, oxidized or bronze finishing. The majority of the statues you see with us are handmade by the process of loss wax system, which is considered to be the ancient process of making the statue in Nepal.
Padmapani is also a form of Avalokiteshvara. He is generally seen standing at the right side of Buddha Amitabha in Sukhavati Heaven. He is depicted red in colour. He holds a lotus flower in his left hand and shows varada mudra with his right hand. He wears an antilope skin on the shoulders. He wears all the ornaments typical of a bodhisattva symbolizing his enlightened experiences. He wears a crown and his hair is bound to form a top knot. Sometimes it is eclipsed by an effigy of Amitabha Buddha. When there is no effigy of Amitabha Buddha in the crown of Padmapani, he is then white in colour.
Padmapani Lokeshvara wears an antilope skin on the shoulders. Padmapani Lokeshvara wears all the ornaments typical of a bodhisattva symbolizing his enlightened experiences. Padmapani Lokeshvara wears a crown and his hair is bound to form a top knot. Sometimes it is eclipsed by an effigy of Amitabha Buddha. When there is no effigy of Amitabha Buddha in the crown of Padmapani, he is then white in colour.
A legend says that once an elephant was going to pick up a lotus flower in a pond. Unfortunately he slipped into the mud. Padmapani Lokeshvara cried in agony and prayed for Narayana. In the mean time Arya Avalokiteshvara was in that jungle and he heard the prayer. Immediately he took the form of Narayana and rescued the elephant from the marshy pond. Then Avalo-kiteshvara took the lotus offered by the elephant and went to Jetavana grove where Buddha Shakyamuni was residing. He in turn offered this lotus flower to Buddha Shakyamuni. Buddha Shakyamuni thanked Avalokiteshvara for his offer of the lotus flower and requested him to offer it to Lord Amitabha on his behalf. Avalokiteshvara told the whole story to Lord Amitabha Buddha. Appreciating the philanthropic deeds of Avalokiteshvara, Buddha Amitabha told him to keep that lotus flower forever and continue the act of benefitting all sentient beings. Later
on Avalokiteshvara was known as Padmapani Lokeshvara.
In Kathmandu valley nun.erous images of Padmapani Bodhisattva or Lokeshvara are found. Padmapani Lokeshvara found in Shreegha vihara in Kathmandu is believed to be of the fifth century of Christian era. According to Pandit Hem Raj Shakya 202 images or sculptures of Padmapani carved in stones are found in Patan city alone dating as early as theLichchavi period.