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Avalokiteśvara (Sanskrit: अवलोकितेश्वर lit. "Lord who looks down") is a bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas. Portrayed in different cultures as either male or female, Avalokiteśvara is one of the more widely revered bodhisattvas in mainstream Mahayana Buddhism, as well as unofficially in Theravada Buddhism.
The original name for this bodhisattva was Avalokitasvara. The Chinese name for Avalokiteśvara is Guānshìyīn Púsà (觀世音菩薩), which is a translation of the earlier name "Avalokitasvara Bodhisattva." This bodhisattva is variably depicted as male or female, and may also be referred to simply as Guānyīn.
In Sanskrit, Avalokitesvara is also referred to as Padmapāni ("Holder of the Lotus") or Lokeśvara ("Lord of the World"). In Tibetan, Avalokiteśvara is known as Jainraisig, སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་ (Wylie: spyan ras gzigs) and is said to be incarnated as the Dalai Lama, the Karmapa and other high lamas.