Western scholarship (Avalokiteśvara)
Western scholars have not reached a concensus on the origin of the reverence for Avalokiteśvara. Some have suggested that Avalokiteśvara, along with many other supernatural beings in Buddhism, was a borrowing or absorption by Mahayana Buddhism of one or more Hinduism Hindu deities, in particular Shiva and Vishnu. The appellation 'Īśvara, "lord", is sometimes used to refer to Shiva and Vishnu as well as Avalokiteśvara. Avalokiteśvara itself is a Sanskrit word, supporting a common origin in cultural Hinduism. Representations of these deities may have been inspirations for some of Avalokiteśvara's depictions in art.