Ghau, Gau, ancient Tibetan.
Bodhisattva of compassion, Chenrezi, Guan Yin, Butsu kannon.
protective portable altar
Mantra of compassion
Approximate date from the 1940s.
Ghau dimensions: height 61mm, width 444mm, thickness 22mm
Weight of 76 grams.
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The ghau is a kind of transportable altar in which the image of the chosen deity of the possessor is kept, wrapped in silk garments. The vast majority of Tibetans use the ghau at home and carry it during their travels. They keep it on a real altar at home. During travels, it is hung on the back belt. It serves as a protective symbol during travels and also allows its owner to prove his devotion to his deity.
The interior contains a representation of the Bodhisattva of Cherezi compassion as well as mantras of compassion "om mani padme hum" inscribed on fabrics.
BODHISSATVA OF CHENREZI COMPASSION
The bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (Hindi अवलोकितेश्वर Avalokiteśvara "lord who observes from above", Chinese 觀世音 Guānshìyīn or 觀音 Guānyīn, Shanghainese Kueu(sy)'in, Korean Gwanseeum 관세음, Japanese 観音 Kan'non, Tibetan Chenrezig, Vietnamese Quán Thế Âm, Indonesian Kwan Im, Khmer លោកេស្វរ Lokesvara), is arguably the most revered and popular great bodhisattva among the Buddhists of the Great Vehicle. It is also used as a yidam (tutelary deity) in tantric meditations.
Protean and syncretic Bodhisattva (it can represent all other bodhisattva), embodying the ultimate compassion, it can be feminine in China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam, in the form of Guan Yin.
He is considered the protector of Tibet where King Songtsen Gampo and later the Dalai Lamas are seen as his emanations. This is also the case for other tulkou such as the karmapa. Also called Padmapāṇi or Maṇipadmā, it is invoked by the famous mantra Om̐ Maṇipadme hūm (ॐ मणिपद्मेहूम्).
Chenrézi is the bodhisattva of love and compassion. The poudja of Chenrézi aims to develop friendship full of love and compassion for all living beings without distinction. Chenrézi manifests itself in different forms: the Chenrézi with 10 heads and 1000 arms of compassion is the best known: he promised his spiritual father, the Buddha Amitabha, to spend all his energy to liberate all living beings and not to rest until all living beings were delivered from their suffering. If he were ever to doubt his mission, 'may my head fragment into ten and my body into 1000'. When, after meditating deeply and constantly reciting the Mantra of the Mani, he saw that the ocean of suffering had still not emptied, so he fell into deep despair and broke his head in 10 and his body in 1000. The six-syllable mantra OM MANI PEME HOENG is the best-known mantra in Tibetan Buddhism.
According to Tibetan Buddhism, reciting Chenrezi Om Mani Padme Hum's mantra, aloud or inwardly, is an invocation to Chenrezig's benevolent and powerful attention, the expression of the Buddha's compassion. Seeing the written mantra can have the same effect, which is why it is found in clearly visible places, or even engraved in stone. It can also be invoked using prayer wheels on which the mantra is inscribed, sometimes thousands of times. There are different formats of prayer wheels: there are those that you can carry with you and rotate with one hand, and there are others that are so large and heavy that it takes several people to turn them. According to Tibetan Buddhist monks, the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum (Hung) alone brings together all the teachings of the Buddha.
Each syllable closes a door of reincarnation:
OM: Close the door to the world of the Devas (gods). MA: Close the door to the world of asuras (demigods). NI: Close the door to the human world. PAD: Close the door to the animal world. ME: Close the door to the world of pretas ("greedy spirits"). HUNG: Close the gate to hell.
Each syllable purifies a veil:
OM: purifies the veil of the body. MA: Purifies the veil of speech. NI: purifies the veil of the mind. PAD: purifies the veil of contradictory emotions. ME: purifies the veil of substantial existence. HUNG: purifies the veil that covers knowledge.
Each syllable is a mantra in itself:
OM: for the body of the Buddhas. MA: for the word of the Buddhas. NI: for the spirit of the Buddhas. PAD: for the virtues of the Buddhas. ME: for the achievements of the Buddhas. HUNG: for the grace of the body, the word, the spirit, the virtue and all the accomplishments of the Buddhas.
Each syllable corresponds to one of six transcendental paradigms or refinements:
OM: generosity. MA: Ethics. NI: tolerance. PAD: perseverance. ME: concentration. HUNG: discernment.
Each syllable is also connected to a Buddha:
OM: Ratnasambhava. MA: Amaoghasiddi. NI: Vajradhara PAD: Vairocana. ME: Amitabha. HUNG: Akshobya.
Each syllable of the mantra purifies us of a defect:
OM: Pride. MA: the desire/desire to be entertained. NI: passionate desire. PAD: stupidity / prejudice. ME: poverty/possessiveness. HUNG: aggressiveness/hatred.
Finally, each syllable corresponds to one of the six wisdoms:
OM: the wisdom of stability. MA: the all-fulfilling wisdom NI: wisdom emanates from oneself PAD: the all-embracing wisdom (dharma) ME: the discriminating wisdom HUNG: the mirror-like wisdom.
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