Book Review: The Hero of Compassion


Book Review: The Hero of Compassion

About This Resource

Summary An inspiring book by Harry Einhorn, who is a composer, artist, meditation instructor and MWE dharma learning specialist. Published by Bala Kids, this book is a simple story that describes the aspirations and activities of Lokeshvara, and how he came to have a thousand arms and eyes.


Harry presents Avalokiteshvara (Lokeshvara), the bodhisattva of love and compassion, describing him with simple yet evocative language. Khoa Le’s illustrations are elegant and skillfully invoke the mood and beauty of compassion itself, as we see the world through Lokeshvara’s gentle gaze. Lokeshvara serves beings in multiple forms, but the text does not address reincarnation explicitly. For this reason, the book is accessible to a variety of audiences who wish to introduce the idea of compassion. Importantly, Einhorn touches on the essential practice of taming or resting one’s mind in order to benefit others, as well as the value of interconnection. 

The experience of trying to help others, but becoming discouraged when it’s not working out as one hoped is a common human experience. Through the story we see how Lokeshvara himself feels such sorrow upon seeing beings’ continued suffering that his heart bursts, and we see how his teacher, Amitabha then helps him to become even more capable in serving others than he was before.

“It is so important for children to know about Lokeshvara. I welcome this book as one that is not only timely but long overdue.”—Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse, author of What Makes You Not a Buddhist

From the publisher:

Lokeshvara shows us that with compassion,
we can always pick up the pieces of a broken heart,
and be stronger, more loving, and more wise than before.

Available now from Shambhala Publications.

review by Michael Macioce

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