Avelokiteshvara in sanskrit means literally – the lord who looks down, as though from above. The deity of universal love and compassion is often depicted in androgynous looking male or female forms.

Avelokiteshvara’s many forms appear in all three schools of Buddhism.

In Theravada Avelokiteshvara is known as both Nātha and Lokanat. In Mahayana Avelokiteshvara appears as both male and female forms including those going by the same name and also known as Quan Yin. In Vajayana, Avelokiteshvara takes many forms in statues and Thanga paintings, including an appearance a male form known as Chenrezig, the deity of universal compassion.