The Compassionate One: Thousand-hand Bodhisattva of China, Bhutan, 2013, 1oz


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Spreading out radially like the beautiful plumage of a peacock are the intricate hands of the Thousand-Hand Bodhisattva featured in the 6th coin of this World Buddha Heritage series. Also known as the Thousand-Hand Thousand Eye Guan Yin Bodhisattva, this is the world’s largest rock carving Thousand-Hand Bodhisattva – Rock Carving No.8 of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Dazu Rock Carvings, in the rock grottoes of the Baoding Mountain, within the Chongqing municipality.

Up till 2009, this Thousand-hand Bodhisattva was wide believed to have 1007 hands. However, a recount in recent years proved the number of hands of this Thousand-Hand Bodhisattva to be 830, taking the honour of the bodhisattva with the most number of hands in the world.

At 7.7meters high and 12.5 meters wide in a rock grotto, this benevolent Thousand-Hand Bodhisattva sits calmly with an eye in each hand in different positions, and holding different sacred vessels such as the treasure mirror, rosary, scarf, treasure vase, lotus and the treasure sword, representing the many abilities to watch out and render assistance to the people in the world. This historical 800 years old rare 3-D Thousand-Hand Bodhisattva rock carving is truly a representative of the ancient grotto rock carvings.

On the coin reverse, features one of the 8 auspicious elements in Buddhism – ‘Endless Knot’ named Palbheu. The Palbheu has overlapping layers of knot with no beginning or end. It not only represents the infinite wisdom of the Buddha, and also symbolizes the existence of everything as a part of the web of karma and its effect in universe.


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