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Chenrezig is the Tibetan term for Avalokiteśvara, Kwan Yin and is regarded in the Vajrayana teachings as a Buddha. In most Buddhist traditions Avalokitesvara is depicted as the female form, Kwan Yin whereas in Tibetan Buddhism, it is male.

In Tibetan Buddhism, Tara came into existence from a single tear shed by Avalokiteśvara. When the tear fell to the ground it created a lake, and a lotus opening in the lake revealed Tara. In another version of this story, Tara emerges from the heart of Avalokiteśvara. In either version, it is Avalokiteśvara's outpouring of compassion which manifests Tara as a being.