Examining the first of the Four Great Vows, “Sentient beings are numberless. We vow to save them all,” I developed a degree of empathetic compassion for the Great Bodhisattva, herself.
For centuries upon centuries, people have been calling out to the Great Bodhisattva, whether the name spoken be Avalokiteśvara, Guānshìyīn, Gwansaeum, Chenrezig, or one of the many others. In all this time, how many prayers were spoken for Avalokiteśvara, herself? I’d suppose some, but perhaps a small fraction?
For nearly 2000 years, if not more, Avalokiteśvara has selflessly put aside her own passing into Nirvana so that she may lend a helping hand (or many) to us ignorant, complacent folk. So, if I were to recognize Avalokiteśvara as part of my own vow to save the countless beings from suffering, how might I do my best to save her? By practicing as sincerely as I’m able, avoiding all evil, cultivating good, and purifying my mind.
The sooner I do this, the sooner we become Buddhas together, Avalokiteśvara and all!