Avaloketesvara is a bodhisattva who, in the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon of enlightened beings, is renowned as the embodiment of the compassion of all the Buddhas. He is one of the most beloved and popular bodhisattvas in mainstream Mahayana Buddhism. Avalokiteśvara (Sanskrit) is known as Chenrezig in Tibetan or Kuan-yin in China and is said to be incarnated in the Dalai Lama.
According to legend, Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion made a vow that he would not rest until he had relieved all beings from suffering. After working tirelessly at this task for a very long time, he looked out and realized that the number of beings yet to be saved is still innumerable. Seeing this, he became very disheartened and discouraged, and his head burst into thousands of pieces. Amitabha Buddha by the power of his grace, reconstructed the pieces as a body with thousand arms and eleven faces so that Chenrezig could work with myriad beings all at the same time. Chenrezig could henceforth help the beings in this form as well as with his other forms of two or four arms.
The showcased statue is made of brass. Two of his four arms are joined in the prayer position. In his other left hand he holds a lotus flower and in his other right hand, a crystal mala (rosary), which he is using to count the repetitions of his mantra, Om Mani Padme Hum, which liberates all beings from suffering. Together the four arms and hands signify the four immeasurables: immeasurable loving kindness, immeasurable compassion, immeasurable joy, and immeasurable equanimity.