This form of Avalokiteshvara, Bodhisattva of compassion, is one of the most complex in the Buddhist pantheon. Avalokiteshvara vowed to Buddha Amitabha to save all sentient beings. Doubting that he could accomplish his task, his head cracked into a thousand pieces until Amitabha blessed him again. His heads were reconstituted into the eleven-headed form demonstrating his omniscience while his thousand arms remained a symbol of his awesome power. An eye on each palm signifies the union of wisdom and compassion.
The dating of this embroidery is consistent with a carbon-14 test, ETH Zrich, sample no. ETH-18802, with a probable date of 1728.