Who Is The 1000 Armed Avalokitesvara And Sitatapatra: The White Parasol
One of the most popular deities in Buddhism is Avalokitesvara, also known as Chenrezig, who has multiple forms and depictions of the deity. But one of the most well-known varieties is this one with eleven heads and "thousand arms." The diversity of hands, heads, and eyes symbolizes the countless ways that Avalokiteshvara can perceive, hear, and assist all sentient beings. Each hand has an eye in the middle of the palm.
He eventually earns the distinction of being more than a Buddha. He voluntarily returned to the path of a bodhisattva after attaining Buddhahood in order to lead all beings to Buddhahood. As a result, Avalokiteshvara is regarded as the embodiment of the Buddhas' selfless, unconditional compassion.
Sitatapatra, also known as 'Dug-Kar' in Tibetan. Dukar is known as the defender of Buddhism against paranormal threats like demons, black magic, and astrologically determined disasters. She is the notable protective aspect of Tara. The deity's representation of a thousand arms and a thousand heads is also what makes it most well-known. The meaning of the name Sitatapatra is "the white parasol." She is named after the parasol, which is not a typical umbrella but a substantial, white silken canopy that denotes a high rank and is a representation of royalty and divinity. The parasol declares the Buddha's dominion over all outward manifestations of the world and suffering.
She is believed to have emerged from the Buddha's ushnisha (the three-dimensional oval at the head). The Buddha declared it was her responsibility to "completely cut asunder all malignant demons, to completely cut asunder all the spells of others, to turn aside all enemies, dangers, and hatred." The benevolent appearance of Sittapatr conceals her ferocity as a "fierce, terrifying goddess, garlanded by flames, a pulverizer of enemies and demons." This is reflected in a longer version of her name, Usnisasitatapatra, which means "White Parasol Lady Who Emerged from the Buddha's Crown of Light."
The Two 1000-Armed Deities: Avalokiteshvara And Sitatapatra
With numerous statues that have been made in the past, many different depictions and forms of the deity are emphasized. Avalokitesvara, in particular, has many different forms, the most mentioned ones being the two-armed, four-armed, and 1000-armed depicted statues. Each statue depicts the two deities in a similar manner but uses entirely different iconography to convey their various meanings. The similar features shared by the two deities as they are shown in the statues may be the key to telling them apart from one another.
1000 Armed Avalokitesvara Depiction
The Avalokitesvara Chenrezig statue is pictured as having a thousand arms and eleven heads, each with a different color to represent it. According to legend, Avalokitesvara took on this form while making an effort to assist people. His head split into eleven pieces as he was listening to the needs of so many different people. When Amitabha Buddha saw his suffering, he gave him a thousand arms and eleven heads so that he could help as many people as possible.
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Of the various forms of the deity, the one which is most well known is depicted with a thousand arms, a thousand heads, and a thousand legs. Her each individual head possesses three eyes. The parasol that she was named after is placed at the top of the statue. The goddess tramples the foes of spiritual advancement (such as rage, greed, and illusion) with her many feet as she stands victorious within an aureole burning with the fire of wisdom.
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Similarities Between The Two Deities
Both the deities are depicted similarly with a thousand arms. A few similarities between the statues are
It shows Avalokitesvara's 11 heads, which stand for the completion of the ten stages of the Bodhisattva's path to enlightenment. The eleven heads of Avalokitesvara are depicted in four major colors: four red faces, three green, three white, and one black. The lowermost middle head of Avalokitesvara has a main white face.
Sitatapatra's 1000 heads are depicted with the main head in front, which is white, with 199 different white faces above. To the left is a vertical row of yellow faces, to the right is a vertical row of green faces, on both sides are red faces, and on top of those are 200 more blue faces. A representation of Sitatapatra's 1000 heads shows the main head in front, which is white, with 199 additional white faces above. To the left and right are vertical rows of yellow and green faces, respectively. On both sides are vertical rows of red faces, and on top of those are 200 additional blue faces.
Avalokitesvara's form of the body represents complete perfection. Avalokitesvara has one thousand arms, of which 992 are in the gesture of supreme giving, and one thousand arms represent the one thousand Chakravartins (universal monarchs). The thousand-armed Avalokitesvara possesses—of which 992 are extended in the ultimate gesture of giving—represent a thousand Chakravartins (universal monarchs), and Avalokitesvara's body stands for complete perfection. They also symbolize Avalokitesvara's desire to safeguard all beings in a variety of ways. A thousand eyes on these hands stand in for the thousands of Buddhas who lived during this virtuous era. Last but not least, the 1,000 eyes and arms symbolize the combined efforts of all 1,000 Buddhas.
Sitatapatra is known for her great beauty, while her body is covered in one million eyes, which are all focused on the needs of humankind. She is universal in shape, with a thousand heads, arms, and legs. She has a universal form with a million heads, legs, and arms and ten million eyes covering her body to watch over the needs of humankind. The 1000 arms represent her omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent nature while also protecting all beings from the Eight Great Fears of pride, ignorance, anger, envy, wrong views, avarice, attachment, and doubt.
The Iconographic Difference Between The Two Deities
The most distinctive feature is that the Chenrezig statue has a thousand arms but is only being depicted with eleven heads, each head consisting of two eyes. The hands of the deity each consist of one eye in the middle of the palm. Sitataptra, on the other hand, is depicted with a thousand heads, a thousand heads, and a thousand legs, each head possessing three eyes. The deity also possesses an eye in the palm of each hand and at the soles of her feet as well.
The items that the deities hold are meaningfully different. The Avalokitesvara Statue depicts the statue holding a variety of religious items, with his two front right side arms holding a prayer bead and a totem, while his left front hands hold an utpala lotus, a bow, and the empowerment vase. The two middle arms are clasped together in the namaste posture, where lies the wish-fulfilling gem.
The Sitatapatra statue is depicted with ten arms, which hold various religious items. The right frontal hand holds a Vajra, a Lotus flower, a Totem, and arrows while her left hand holds a totem, a flaming sword, a lasso combined with a hook, and an axe, the outer first-layer hand is also holding similar items, which are shown in her frontal arms. The white parasol, which is tilted slightly toward her shoulder, is held in place by the right front arm.
The Avalokitesvara Statue stands atop a moon disc lotus with a gentle and peaceful expression. A halo illuminates the deity from the back, her front arms crossed in the namaste position, and she was bathed in a warm, vibrant halo.
The legs on the right of the Sitatapatra statue are bent and pressed down on all the problems of the world, demons, and animals. The statue is overextended above a variety of animals and worldly deities. She is completely engulfed in a halo of flames of pure awareness as she stands on a lotus.