Mount Potala, The Abode of Avalokitesvara

After the Buddha himself, the most revered and universally popular figure in Buddhism is Avalokitesvara, the bodhisattva of compassion. Since his appearance in about the first century BCE this beloved bodhisattva has been worshipped with almost unparalleled fervor by the followers of all schools of Buddhism. Though accessible through prayer and supplication to anyone anywhere, Avalokitesvara was believed to abide on a mountain in a remote part of India where, from its lofty and cloud-decked heights, he could be as his name suggests, “the regarder of the cries of the world”. This mountain was called Potala or sometimes Potalaka. It seems that from about the first century CE pilgrims began visiting Potala although records are very scant.


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