The Dharani “The Mother of Avalokiteshvara”

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The Dharani “The Mother of Avalokiteshvara” (Skt. Avalokiteśvaramātādhāraṇī; Tib. སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་ཡུམ་གི་གཟུངས།, Wyl. spyan ras gzigs yum gyi gzungs) begins in the city of Vaishali, where Shakyamuni Buddha is residing amidst an assembly of monks and bodhisattvas. The bodhisattva Samantabhadra requests that he reveal the powerful dharani known as The Mother of Avalokiteshvara, and the Buddha agrees. The Buddha first relates how he had himself received this dharani in a past life from the brahmin Prabheshvara, who benefited millions of beings by teaching it in Sukhavati, the pure land of the Buddha Amitabha. Following this account, Samantabhadra magically speaks the dharani to the assembly, after which the Buddha encourages the audience to recite it and praises its efficacy. Thus, the dharani can be divided into four sections: the request to teach the dharani, the dharani’s origin story, the dharani itself, and a praise of the dharani’s benefits.[1]


The Tibetan translation of this text can be found in the Compendium of Dharanis Section of the Tibetan Dergé Kangyur, Toh 909. It is also catalogued as Toh 725 in the Action Tantra section of the Tantra Collection.


  1. 84000 Translating the Words of the Buddha.