Since the time of the great Dharma Kings, Tibetans have enjoyed a special connection to the one they know as Chenrezig.”
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama repeated the story of the Kyirong Jowo, the Wati Sangpo statue that he has had installed in the Temple for the duration of the collection of Mani mantras.
June 2, 2022: Indicating a statue behind him, Dalai Lama explained, “Here we have the statue known as Wati Sangpo or Kyirong Jowo. During the time of the Fifth Dalai Lama this statue and another one similar to it, the Avalokiteshvara brothers, were brought together in the Potala”
“Monks of Dzongkha Chödé Monastery and members of Chushi Gangdruk were involved in bringing this Kyirong Jowo out of Tibet to Nepal. Eventually, it was brought here to Dharamshala and placed in my safe-keeping.”
“I remember that when first saw it, I was filled with happiness. When Dzongkha Chödé Monastery was re-established in South India a question arose about where the statue should stay. I performed a divination that indicated that it would be favourable if it stayed with me,”
“I feel that his expression changes and sometimes he seems to smile. Anyway, we have set him up here in this temple for the duration of our collection of 100 million mani mantras this month,” he explained.
In Tibet, there was a celebrated statue of Avalokiteshvara in the Potala, another in the Jokhang, while a third was the Wati Sangpo.
When the Fifth Dalai Lama undertook an Avalokiteshvara retreat he brought the three together and experienced visions of deities emerging from the heart of the Wati Sangpo.
The monks of Dzongkar Chödé say that different expressions can be seen on its face and His Holiness says he’s noticed that it seems to smile when he’s making prayers related to bodhichitta.
The 3 holy Buddha statues of Kyirong Jowo Wati Sangpo was brought from Nepal to Tibet in the 8th century One of them is Pabalakang (Tibetan for “Bodhisattva’s palace”), which is placed in the Gyilong area of Shigatse, and is guarded by the monks of the nearby Dzongkar Chödé
Two holy statues are in Lhasa: one is the 8-year-old statue of the Buddha, which was first enshrined in the Jokhang Temple and later enshrined in the Ramoche Temple. It was cut in half during the Cultural Revolution.
After the Cultural Revolution, the upper body was found from Beijing and brought back to Lhasa and placed in a warehouse. The lower body is spliced together.
This Image of Lokeshara is in the Pabala Kangsheng Guanyin Hall of the Potala Palace today, which is the center of the image.
Research and Scholarly Credits: Tsering Woser, Office of His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama, The Tibet Post.
Photo credits: Tsering Woser, office of his holiness the Dalai Lama.