Kuan Yin has many names, including Guanyin, Chenrezig, Kelaniya and Avalokiteśvara.
She is the Buddhist bodhisattva of compassion and mercy, revered as immortal in many Eastern religious.
The Chinese name Guanyin, is short for Guanshiyin, which means “the one who hears the cries of the world.” She is often compared to the Virgin Mary.
Kuan Yin is the female Buddha, a beautiful Indian princess who forsook marriage and a good life to live in a convent to become a truly enlightened being, or bodhisattva.
After achieving enlightenment, legend has it that once she arrived at nirvana’s gates, Kuan Yin heard the cries of someone back on Earth. She quickly returned to help all those in need.
She is accessible to anyone, regardless of social status, and will come to anyone who calls upon her in a time of crisis.
According to the Lotus Sutra and Karandavyuha Sutra, Guanyin is one of the most beloved Buddhist divinities, holding miraculous powers that aid those who pray to her.
Some Buddhists believe when someone passes to the next world, they are placed by Kuan Yin in the heart of a lotus and then sent to the western pure land of Sukhāvatī.
About one third of the world’s population still pray to her on a regular basis.
A common mantra to Kuan Yin:
Om mani padme hum
Articles consulted for this blog post:
- Chinese Tranformation of Buddhism
- Kuan-yin: the Chinese transformation of Avalokitesvara
- Female Gender in Chinese Religious Symbols: Kuan Yin, Ma Tsu, and the” Eternal Mother”
- Kuan-yin: the cult of half Asia
- The development of Kuan Yin: Chinese Goddess of Mercy
- Bodhisattva of compassion: The mystical tradition of Kuan Yin
- Kuan Yin: Accessing the Power of the Divine Feminine
- Transformation of Buddhism in China
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