THE LEGEND OF KUAN YIN (2)
If there is a Goddess known to practically everyone of Chinese origin, it is surely the Goddess of Mercy, Kuan Yin Bodhisattva who is universally known for her wonderful compassion. She is often referred to as the Chinese manifestation of the Indian Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, who is associated with the attributes of compassion, kindness and love.
The Goddess Kuan Yin is dearly loved by millions of people around the world. She is usually shown robed in white and carries a sacred vase containing nectar. In her other hand, she holds a willow branch to sprinkle the nectar as blessings of help and peace to those seeking her assistance in a variety of problems. The willow branch is a Buddhist symbol of healing.
Sometimes Kuan Yin is shown holding a crystal mala or rosary with 108 beads. The crystal mala is always associated with Kuan Yin, and each bead represents living beings in need of help from the Goddess. The crystal mala hence symbolizes Kuan Yin leading suffering beings out of their state of misery.
Kuan Yin has many different manifestations. “Kuan Yin and the Dragon” and “Kuan Yin and the Child” are among the most beloved manifestations of Kuan Yin. The Dragon is China’s most revered celestial creature, and the Dragon enjoys wonderful affinity with many of the Spiritual beings of China. The Dragon is also Kuan Yin’s ally in her quest to help beings. The Dragon is of course an ancient symbol associated with spiritual beings and symbolizes wisdom, strength and divine powers of transformation.
“Kuan Yin and the Child” is her manifestation as the patron saint of mothers. Those wanting children and praying to her are usually successful in getting their wish granted, and such children are said to be “fostered” to Kuan Yin and usually lead charmed lives. Such children often grow up filial, bringing honor to the family. Anyone who wishes to conceive a baby can thus pray to Kuan Yin in this manifestation to have their wish granted.
Devotees pray to Kuan Yin for help in times of crisis, although many simply honor her and have an image of her in their homes out of devotion and respect. While Kuan Yin reaches out to help all living beings, her ultimate aim is to guide them towards enlightenment without pre-conditions or attachments. Usually people who pray to Kuan Yin exhibit wonderful attributes of kindness and compassion. And, they become vegetarian as an act of devotion and compassion. (05/31/2016)
The following images are my Chinese brush painting of “Kuan Yin and the Child”. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THESE IMAGES.
The following images are my Chinese brush painting of “Kuan Yin and the Dragon.” PLEASE CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THESE IMAGES.
Kuan Yin had vowed never to rest until every sentient being had been liberated from their sufferings. The “”Thousand-Armed Kuan Yin” with eyes on each hand is one of Kuan Yin’s 33 manifestations. In this manifestation, Kuan Yin represents the omniscient mother, looking in all directions simultaneously, sensing the afflictions of humanity and extending her many arms to alleviate their sufferings. The following image is my painting of the “Thousand-Armed Kuan Yin.” Please click the image to learn more.
(Spring Liao, 05/31/2016)