Kuan Yin Guan Yin Chinese Goddess
Who Is Kuan Yin
There are several ways to spell the Chinese name of this Buddhist Diety: Kuan Yin, Guan Yin, Guanyin, Kwan Yin, Guan Yen. She has other names in other languages.
I remember the first time I encountered an image of Kuan Yin. It was many years ago, before I had heard the name of Kuan Yin, I walked through a doorway in the Museum and felt this much larger than life Kuan Yin (see the photo) gazing down at me and it took my breath away. I sat down on the wooden bench in front of her for some length of time, not wanting to leave this enchanted presence. I watched as people came into the room and saw them experience the same reverence that I had at once felt. Even small children hushed their chatter as they entered her presence and could not take their eyes away from her.
In the following years, I have returned to this place of magic many times. It never loses it's enchantment.
This photo was taken by me.
Guanyin of the Southern Sea
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Among Buddhist statues exhibited in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri, is this 11th/12th-century C.E. polychrome wooden Avalokiteshvara, Seated Gaunyin Bodhisattva, internationally heralded as the finest sculpture of its kind outside China.
11th-12th century Chinese
Wood with paint, 95 x 65 inches (241.3 x 165.1 cm)
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri Gallery 230
Connect with the ancient power of the Goddess in you life.
The Kuan Yin Chronicles: The Myths and Prophecies of the Chinese Goddess of Compassion
This book introduces Kuan Yin to Western readers, and reveals that Kuan Yin is the mystery and power of the divine feminine, who transcends all doctrines, creeds, and traditions. It cover the origins and evolution of Kuan Yin in early China, Buddhism, Taoism, and shamanism, and includes the myths and stories about Kuan Yin and poetry.
Therefore should the mind be
constantly fixed on her.
~ Lotus Sutra
Kuan Yin by gmeador
Seated In The Posture Of Royal Ease
Guanyin of the Southern Sea also called Nanhai Guanyin.
"The Bodhisattva Guanyin, [Kuan Yen, Kwan Yin] the Chinese Buddhist deity of compassion and mercy," in the above photo "is seated in the posture of royal ease on a simulated outcropping of craggy, perforated rock."
"The position of the Guanyin, one leg in pendant, conveys the impression that the Bodhisavatta might at any moment rise from a state of deep contemplation and step down from the carved lotus rest."
photo cc by gmeador
Kuan Yin by gmeador
The Bodhisavatta's "worldly ornaments, such as the high tiara and rich necklaces in sumptuous detail, contrast with the more plain image of the Buddha, whose markings indicate his ethereal status. The soft skin and contour, charm of bearing and beguiling smile create an aura of femininity."
What is a bodhisattva? The bodhisattva, a popular subject in Buddhist art, is someone who does spiritual practice with the goal of achieving full enlightenment, but who who is still subject to birth, illness, death, sorrow, defilement, and delusion.
Just before arriving at the point of enlightment, she turns back into the world and says, "No, I will not achieve liberation until all beings have been set free." Then she steps into the world and works to alleviate suffering and to awaken beings to their true nature.
"A bodhisattva is one who has a determination to free sentient beings from samsara and its cycle of death, rebirth and suffering. This type of mind is known as the mind of awakening"
Guanyin of Moon and Water - Shuiyue Guanyin
The concept of the Shuiyue Guanyin arose from the eminent Tang poet Bai Juyi's poem "Ode to the portrait of Shuiyue Guanyin" expressing his devotion for the "Moon's reflection in Water form of Guanyin" (Shuiyue Guanyin).
The poem reads as follows:
Floating in water, Clean and pure,
As if hiding In the white light.
When I set my sight All egos are vanishing.
Your disciple Bai Juyi With devotion under your feet.
You are my cynosure Life after life forever.
- Find Out More About Guanyin of Moon and Water
She is, first of all, the pre-eminent goddess in all of Asia. You find her in China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Burma, Thailand and other countries. Then, in the Buddhist tradition, she is the Celestial Bodhisattva of Compassion.
One of the most interesting elements of Kwan Yin's story is how she transformed from a male figure into a female one. She was brought to China in the fifth century as the male bodhisattva Avalokitesvara; in the next three hundred years she mysteriously transformed into the female Guan Shih Yin or Kwan Yin. How did that happen! Well, she came into the world embodied in actual flesh-and-blood women. There would be a child who was particularly kind and sweetly accepting, she would grow into a compassionate woman who did many good deeds for others; sometimes she would even sacrifice her life to save others. Then, after her death, through various magical signs, it would be understood that this had not been an ordinary woman but was a sacred being, the goddess Kwan Yin. Many stories in China relate this history, and that is why there are so many different forms of the Chinese Kwan Yin or Guan Shih Yin.
Source Sandy Boucher, Opening the Lotus
Discovering Kwan Yin Buddhist Goddess of Compassion - By Sandy Boucher
This lovely, illustrated volume recounts the stories of this bodhisattva, explains Kwan Yin's role in Buddhism and includes meditations, chants, and prayers.
What is your interest in Kuan Yin?
Actually, anyone can be like Kuan Yin. You may say that you don't have a thousand eyes or a thousand arms or that you lack skilful means, but it is your compassion that can transform you into a Kuan Yin. With your eyes and hands, you can help others. With your compassion, you can bring peace and tranquility to this world.
Which best describes You?
Usually depicted glancing down symbolizing that Guan Yin continues to watch over the world.
Tibetan Wood Gilt Statue Seated Male Aspect Quan Yin
Antique and Collectible 1400-1450
This antique and collectible Bodhisattva Quan Yin the Compassionate is very very old (1400-1450).
Tibetan Wood Gilt Statue Seated Male Aspect Quan YinCHECK PRICE
Kuan Yin the Universal Mother
Kuan Yin, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, is shown here in the aspect of Universal Mother.
When a child plays on her lap, or children at her feet, they symbolize not only newborn and /or spiritual life, but also Mother Nature whose mysterious powers continually produce, sustain, destroy and renew life throughout the universe.
In China, Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva is represented in female form and is known as Kuan Yin. Probably because of Kuan Yin's great compassion, a quality which is traditionally considered feminine, most of the bodhisattva's statues in China since the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618 - 907) have appeared as female figures. In India, however, the bodhisattva is generally represented as a male figure.
Read More About Kwan Yin
Terms to know:
Kuan Shih Yin - Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva
The Bodhisattva of Great Compassion
The Sanskrit name "Avalokiteshvara" means "the lord who looks upon the world with compassion".
Translated into Chinese, the name is "Kuan Shih Yin"or Quan Yin.
Shih: the world / the region of sufferers
Yin: all the sounds of the world, in particular, the crying sounds of beings, verbal or mental, seeking help
Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva is the embodiment of great compassion. He has vowed to free all sentient beings from suffering.
As long as you are kind and there is love in your heart A thousand hands will naturally come to your aid As long as you are kind and there is love in your heart You will reach out with a thousand hands to help others.
Thousand Hands and Eyes Avalokitesvara - Flickr photo by JasonDGreat
In Buddhist art, "Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva is sometimes shown with eleven heads, 1000 hands and eyes on the palms of each hand (Thousand-Armed Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva). The thousand eyes allow the bodhisattva to see the sufferings of sentient beings, and the thousand hands allow her to reach out to help them.
Sometimes, he is represented with one head and 4 arms. This is the Four-Armed Avalokiteshvara, worshipped by all Tibetans as "Chenrezig", the Holder of the White Lotus. It is in the male form which has two hands in the praying gesture while the other two hands hold his symbols, the Crystal Rosary and the Lotus Flower." Source buddhanet.net
Thousand-Hand Guan Yin
If any is carried away by a flood, call upon her name, they will immediately reach the shallows . . . or if anyone cries who is in deadly peril by the sword, the sword will be snapped asunder. If wicked demons attach, the one who cries will become invisible to them ..."
- from the Lotus Sutra.
Kuan Yin Images
In her hands, Kuan Yin may hold a willow branch, a vase with water or occasionally, a lotus flower.
The willow branch is used to heal people's illnesses or bring fulfillment to their requests.
The water ( the dew of compassion) has the quality of removing suffering, purifying the defilements of our body, speech and mind, and lengthening life.
Guan Yin in Sydney - Flickr Photo by BotheredByBees
Kwan Yin also enjoys the wide popularity of a folk goddess.
The people of Japan know her as Kannon and in Tibet the people pray to her a Chenrezi.
Nanshan Park Guanyin Statue of Hainan - Flickr photo by lensmaster drs2biz
Currently the fourth tallest statue in the world, the Guanyin Statue of Hainan, also known as Guan Yin of the South Sea of Sanya, is a 108 metre tall statue of the bodhisattva. It is sited on the south coast of China's island province Hainan in the Nanshan Culture Tourism Zone near the Nanshan Temple west of Sanya. This aspect of the statue depicts Guanyin cradling a sutra in the left hand and gesturing the Vitarka Mudra with the right...
Other Sites About Kuan Yin
- Asian Art Forums - Detail List
Asian Art Forums Message Old Kuanyin or Kannon ( China & Japan ) Apr 07, 2006
- KUAN-YIN LINEAGE OF REIKI, Origins and Meaning.
Official Site KuanYin Reiki (TM)KUAN-YIN Lineage of Reiki EssentialReiki is Light and Harmony within and through all planes of being/reality. Origins of hands-on healing practices go back to the beginnings of spiritual culture, across most traditions
- *** Quan Yin Virtual Altar ***
B le s s Y o u, Q u a n Y i n!This page is a Virtual Altar dedicated to Quan Yin, Goddess of Mercy and Compassion. It serves to both honor Quan Yin and, as we believe she brought us together, to commemorate our marriage. In bringing us together Quan
"The Maitreya statue at Tashilunpo Monastery is huge!" - Photo by Kuanyin on Twitpic
Tashilhunpo Monastery (Tibetan: founded in 1447 by Gendun Drup, the First Dalai Lama, is a historic and culturally important monastery next to Shigatse, the second-largest city in Tibet. Wikipedia