He sits, on his cloud, working tirelessly to release beings from suffering. He took a vow. He will work until there is liberation for all that lives.
At one stage, it became too much, he lost heart and he thought of himself. On breaking this vow he was split into a thousand pieces.
A Buddha took pity on him, recognizing the value of his work and the sincerity of his wish. And so Avalokiteshvara was put back together again, this time with a thousand arms that he might reach more beings and release them from suffering.
His tears of compassion fell to earth, and where they fell formed a lake. On this lake a blue lotus flower appears, and as its petals unfurl they reveal a beautiful woman.
This woman is Tara, the godess of compassion. She will act in the world as an embodiment of Avalokiteshvara’s wish. She is boundless and fierce love.
This story has been told for millennia, and touches what is good in us. We know it in our hearts.
Whenever I tell this story, I see emotion. It touches something in us that is pure, the part of us that knows we are all one and that any suffering in the world is us. The light in us that hopes to attain this wish, the love in us that knows it is already done.
This is why his mantra has echoed down the open corridors of time and space, a song from his world to end the suffering in ours.
Om mane padme hum
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