Karandavyuha Stotras on Avalokitesvara


khmer_kaaKāraṇḍavyūha Sutra is an important Sutra among the various Mahayana Sutras. It is wholly devoted to expounding, Avalokiteshvara’s qualities and his infinite virtues. It also contains the most important mantra, namely the Shadakshara (Six Syllabled) Mantra : Oṁ Maṇi Padme Hūṁ. Through which Avalokiteshvara attained the title “Shadakshari”. Many deities compose stotras praising and venerate Arya Avalokitesvara.


Padmapani20500pxKarandavyuha is one of the first Sutras that was translated into Tibetan from Sanskrit. According to Tibetan traditions, a casket containing various Mahayana Sutra fell from the sky which also included the Karandavyuha Sutra. Which probably, explains the popularity of the Six Syllabled Mantra, Om Mani Padme Hum in Tibet.


In the Twelfth Chapter, of the first Part of the Sutra, Avalokiteshvara visits the palace of a Deva in a guise of a begging Brahmin. The Deva who is first reluctant to donate to the Brahmin, is later encouraged by the Auspicious Signs that appear inside his house. He then invites him into his house, feeds him and provides various offerings. The Deva asks the Brahmin whether he is a Deva or Human, for he has not seen any one like him before. Avalokiteshvara replies,


na devaḥ api tu mānuṣo’haṁ bodhisattvabhūtaḥ |

evaṁ hīnadīnānukampako bodhimārgamupadarśakaḥ |


Not a Deva, but only a Human I am,  who has become a Bodhisattva.

In this way, [by] compassionating for lowly-miserable beings and showing the Bodhi path.


Thus reiterating the fact that Bodhisattva-hood is attainable by everyone, by generating Compassion towards the Sentient Beings.

Stotra by Yama

This occurs in the second chapter of the Karandavyuha Sutra, avīciśoṣaṇaṁ nāma dvitīyaṁ prakaraṇam (Second Chapter named Drying of Avici . Avalokiteshvara enters the Avici Hell to save the beings there. On entering the Hell, the lakes of fire dry up, and various lotuses as large as chariot wheels start to bloom. Also cool refreshing pools begin to appear in Hell. The Yamapāla gets startled over such happenings. He then reports the events to Yama, the God of Death and adds that a divine being has entered Avici. Yama, begins to wonder whether the deity that has entered the hell was Narayana, Maheshvara or Ravana. Seeing through his divine eye. He finds Avalokiteshvara there.  


yamaYama, immediately appears before Arya Avalokiteshvara, prostrates before him and utters the following praises on Avalokiteshvara:


namo’stvavalokiteśvarāya, maheśvarāya, padmaśriye, varadāya, vaśaṁkarāya, pṛthivīvaralocanakarāya, jagadāśvāsanakarāya, śatasahasrabhujāya, koṭīśatasahasranetrāya, ekādaśaśīrṣāya, vaḍavāmukhaparyantāya, dharmapriyāya, sarvasattvaparimokṣaṇakarāya, kūrmamakaramatsyāśvāsanakarāya, jñānarāśyuttamakarāya, priyaṁdadāya, ratnaśriye, uttamāya, avīcisaṁśoṣaṇakarāya, jñānalakṣmyalaṁkṛtāya, jñānapriyāya, sarvadevapūjitanamaskṛtāya, vanditāya, abhayaṁdadāya, dharmadīpaṁkarāya, kāmarūpāya, gandharvarūpayā, kāñcanaparvatasamārūḍhāya, sāgarakukṣigambhīradharmāya, paramārthayogamanuprāptāya, saṁmukhasaṁdarśanakarāya, anekasamādhiśatasahasrāvakīrṇāya, abhiratikarāya, vicchuritagātrāya, ṛṣipuṁgavakarāya, haḍinigaḍabandhanabhayatrastamārgaparimokṣaṇakarāya, sarvasattvābhāvasaṁyuktāya, bahuparivārasaṁvartanīyāya, upacitakarāya, cintāmaṇiratnāya, nirvāṇamārgopadarśanakarāya, pretanagarasamucchoṣaṇakarāya, chatrabhūtajagatkarāya, vyādhiparimocanakarāya, nandopanandanāgarājakṛtayajñopavītāya, amoghapāśasaṁdarśanakarāya, anekamantraśatāvakīrṇāya vajrapāṇividrāvaṇakarāya, trilokabhayaṁkarāya, yakṣarākṣasabhūtapretavetālaḍākinīkūṣmāṇḍāpasmārasaṁtrāsanakarāya, nīlotpalacārunetrāya, gambhīradhīrāya, vidyādhipataye, sarvakleśavimokṣaṇakarāya, vividhabodhimārgopacitāya, samārūḍhamokṣamārgapravarāya, āśrayacittabodhimārgopacitāya, pretagatiparimokṣaṇakarāya, paramāṇurajopamasamādhiśatasahasrākīrṇāya


[The endings -āya, -aye, -iye indicate the declension of the word for the Dative Case (Fourth Vibhakti )]


Yama, uses various interesting terms to denote Avalokiteshvara. Note the term, nandopanandanāgarājakṛtayajñopavīta – One who wears the Sacred Thread made of the Naga Kings Nanda & Upananda. It should be noted in the larger version of Maha Karunika Chitta Dharani  [Great Compassionate Dharani] Avalokiteshvara is praised as kṛṣṇasarpakṛtayajñopavīta (one who wears the Sacred Thread Made of a Black Snake). He is also praised as trilokabhayaṁkara – Terrifier of the Three Worlds by Yama!. 


Stotra by Asura King Bali


baliIn the 11th Chapter of the first part of the Sutra, Avalokiteshvara visits the Asura King Bali which is prisoned in an Iron Place along with this retinue, and expounds Dharma of giving offerings to the right persons. The Bodhisattava explains that offerings given to the Buddha and his Sangha surpasses all other offerings, generating innumerable merits. Bali explains to avalokiteshvara that he has attained his current state, my giving offering to the wrong persons. 


Bali narrates the story, how Narayana took the form of a Dwarf and tricked him to offer 3 feet of land, to which he agreed. Upon which Narayana assumed his Vishvarupa [magnifecent form] measured the entire world with this two feet, and asked land for the third feet which he couldn’t provide. Narayana states that Bali should reside, where he might place him. Bali agrees to Narayana’s proposal.


He again repeats that he has put his offering at the wrong place. Bali, then recites the following Stora on Arya Avalokiteshvara and asks him to be his protector.


trāṇaṁ bhavāhi śubhapadmahasta| padmaśriyālaṁkṛtaśuddhakāya| amitābhamūrte śirasā namāmi| jaṭārdhamadhye cintāmaṇimukuṭadharāya| śubhapadmahastāya| padmaśriyā samalaṁkṛtāya| jaṭāmukuṭadharāya| sarvajñavaśīkṛtāya| bahusattvāśvāsanakarāya| hīnadīnānukampāya| dīvākaravararocanakarāya| pṛthivīvararocanakarāya| bhaiṣajyarājottamāya| suśuddhasattvāya| paramayogamanuprāptāya| mokṣapravarāya mokṣapriyāya| cintāmaṇivatsadṛśāya| dharmagañjaparipālanakarāya| ṣaṭpāramitānirdeśanakarāya| sucetanakarāya 


idaṁ stotraṁ mayā kṛtamavalokiteśvarasya | sukhitāste sattvā ye tava nāmadheyamanusmaranti |

This Stotra of Avalokiteshvara is created by me (Bali) | Comforted are those Beings which keep in mind your (Avalokiteshvara) names |


He further explains the various merits that people may acquire by reciting the various names of Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva. Ultimately, those who uphold Avalokiteshvara’s name gain the Merit to go to Sukhavati, and listen to the Dharma for Amitabha himself.


Stotra by Maheshvara (Shiva)


Sanatan_ShivaTowards the end of the Sermon of Karandavyuha Sutra, Maheshvara comes to Shakyamani and prostrates before the Buddha. He then requests for a Vyākaraṇa [Prediction of Buddhahood] from the Buddha. Shakyamuni receives Maheshvara and instead instructs him to receive the Vyakarana from Arya Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva Mahasattva.


Maheshvara goes to Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, prostrates before him by placing his head one the earth, and then utters the following Stotra:


namostvalokiteśvarāya maheśvarāya padmadharāya padmāsanāya padmapriyāya śubhapadmahastāya padmaśriye parivṛtāya jagadāsvāsanakarāya pṛthivīvaralocanakarāya prahlādanakarāya ||


Maheshvara himself praises Avalokiteshvara with the epithet “Maheshvara” .


Avalokiteshvara, predicts that Maheshvara in future would become a Buddha named “Bhasmeshvara” in the word system named “vivrita“.


Stotra by Uma Devi


After Shiva received his Vyakarana, Uma Devi, appears before Avalokiteshvara, prostrated before him & praises him as follows:


namo’stvalokiteśvarāya meheśvarāya prāṇaṁdadāya pṛthivīvaralocanakarāya śubhapadmaśriye parivṛtāya nirvāṇabhūmisaṁprasthitāya sucetanakarāya dharmadharāya||


Avalokiteshvara, prophesizes that Uma Devi in future would attain Anuttara Samayaksambodhi and become a Buddha named “Umeshvara”  in a world system south of Himalayas. Shakyamuni comments to Sarvanivaranavishkambhin, just as Avalokiteshvara has converted Umadevi, likewise he will do it for all beings.



1. The Origins of Om Mani Padme Hum : A study of the Karandavyuha Sutra, Alexander Studholme

2. UWest Digital Sanskrit Tripitaka Edition of Karandayavyuha Sutra

3. Chinese Version of the Karandavyuha Sutra from Fodian.net 

One thought on “Karandavyuha Stotras on Avalokitesvara

  1. I appreciate your work but kindly note Avalokiteshwara was never a man but always a supreme god. The translation is that I am now in the form of a man but this is as He takes all forms as necessary. Also can you publish the full text where He is creator of the world? Thanks

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