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Exquisite Thousand Handed Guanyin

Thousand Hands and Thousand Eyes Guanyin is one of the most important Bodhisattvas in Buddhist Tantra, and is also the most revered and depicted Bodhisattva in Buddhist Tantra art.


The most unique shape of Thousand Hands and Thousand Eyes Guanyin is the head, eyes, and hands. In the scriptures, it is said that Guanyin Bodhisattva can fulfill many wonderful aspects by practicing perfection: from one to three, eleven, twenty-seven, fifty-one, 108, five hundred, one thousand, ten thousand, and even countless; Its eyes can be transformed from two to three, 108, 1000, and even countless; Arms can also be transformed from two arms into four arms, eight arms, twelve arms, forty-two arms, 108 arms, five hundred arms, one thousand arms, ten thousand arms, and even countless arms. So when it comes to “thousand hands and thousand eyes”, it doesn’t mean real numbers but exponential quantities.


Why does Guanyin have a thousand hands and thousand eyes? It is to demonstrate the immense divine power of Guanyin. A thousand eyes indicate infinite wisdom, and a thousand hands indicate boundless power. Looking at the world with a thousand eyes, one can see all the hardships and difficulties; A thousand hands can rescue a thousand people. In today’s words, a thousand eyes are recognition, and there is nothing that cannot be seen through; A thousand hands is practice, nothing is impossible. The integration of knowledge and practice can generate immense power.


How can so many heads, eyes, and arms be displayed? In ancient times, intelligent artists used the method of replacing more with fewer and replacing reality with emptiness to draw many different shapes and styles of “Thousand Hands and Thousand Eyes Guanyin”. The first aspect of Guanyin is often replaced by three, eleven, or fifty-one. So what about a thousand hands and a thousand eyes? The artist drew many large hands holding various magical tools and treasures on Guanyin’s body, and drew a thousand small hands outside the large hands to form the round wheel shaped backlight of Guanyin, allowing each hand to grow an eye, which became a “thousand hands and thousand eyes”. In the sculpture of Thousand Hands and Thousand Eyes Guanyin, sculpture is the creation of a tall statue of Zhengguanyin and dozens of pairs of large arms and hands, with countless fan-shaped sculptures of small hands with only eyes replacing Thousand Hands and Thousand Eyes. Some are actually made with thousands of hands and thousands of eyes, some are more than thousands of hands and thousands of eyes, and some are less than thousands of hands and thousands of eyes.


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