In esoteric Buddhism, Avalokitesvara is one of the six Guanyins. The other five include Arya-avalo Kitesvara, Hayagriva, Ekādaa mukhānām Avalokiteśvara, Cundī, Cintamani-cakra. Nīlakaṇṭha Dhāraṇīor Mahākaruṇā Dhāraṇī records Guanyin’s saying, “I remembered I had encountered numerous misfortunes in the past. Buddha King of a Thousand Lights Who Abides in Stillness, out of pity and for the sake of the general public, mentioned Nīlakaṇṭha Dhāraṇīor Mahākaruṇā Dhāraṇī. With His gold hands patting on my head, saying, ‘Good man! You should bear Nīlakaṇṭha Dhāraṇīor Mahākaruṇā Dhāraṇī in mind. Living in the world of evils, you should think of the welfare of the general public.’ Upon hearing Nīlakaṇṭha Dhāraṇīor Mahākaruṇā Dhāraṇī, I joyfully exceeded the eighth land. Then I took a vow, ‘In the future, when I have a chance to benefit the general public, I would like the power of Nīlakaṇṭha Dhāraṇīor Mahākaruṇā Dhāraṇī to grow a thousand hands and a thousand feet on me.’ After making the vow, a thousand hands and a thousand feet grew on me. In the land of ten directions are six kinds of vibrations. The world of Thousand Buddha brightened up, enlightening me and the infinite world.”

  •   The one thousand hands of Guanyin represent various ways to help the people while the one thousand eyes indicate the wisdom to perceive all dharma, understand the people’s misfortune, and respond to their calls. However, Guanyin does not only have a thousand hands and a thousand eyes because each palm contains one eye which in turn has one hand, and this hand contains one eye as well, and go on and on infinitely. According to Dhāraṇīor Mahākaruṇā Dhāraṇī, Thousand-Hand Guanyin holds 42 objects in hands, signifying the infinite power and expansive help.