Kuan Yin the Mother Goddess of Buddhism

Jan 25


Rob Mabry

Rob Mabry

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She is regarded as the Mother Goddess of Compassion in China and other parts of Asia. Buddhist teachings tell how Kuan Yin rejected her right to eternal bliss to protect man from his suffering.


A popular idol in Chinese temples,Kuan Yin the Mother Goddess of Buddhism Articles the goddess Kuan Yin (also: Quan Yin, Kwan Yin, Guan Yin) is regarded as the goddess of mercy . Buddhist mythology tells the story of Kuan Yin as a bodhisattva (enlightened being) who had earned the right to enter paradise, but returned to earth to ease the suffering of man. Rather than accepting her gift of never-ending happiness, Kuan Yin assumed the role of compassionate protector of man. Kuan Yin was initially depicted as a man, an Indian bodhisattva very similar to Avalokiteshvara whose story is identical.

The image of Quan Yin as a woman started around the 12th century . Many scholars believe this is the influence of the Lotus Sutra which suggested that Avalokiteshvara could take any form required to end anguish and suffering . It was also believed that he possessed the ability to grant children . These factors likely resulted in the depiction of Kuan Yin as a "mother goddess." The depiction of the goddess as a female is further influenced by her role as a patron of women, nurturer and one who can end suffering. Chinese Buddhists fully embraced this concept of the female Kuan Yin, though some cultures view Kuan Yin as a man, both man and woman , or simply a spiritual being.

This Buddhist mother goddess is known by many names. She is "salvation from misery... the great mercy, great pity... salvation from anguish... thousand arms and thousand eyes." She is also known as one of the Three Great Beings influence the realm of nature and beast. Chinese Kuan Yin statues and sculptures most often depict the goddess as a beautiful woman in white, flowing robes . She is usually seen with a white hood over her head and carrying a vase of "holy dew." Other popular portrayals include statues of Kuan Yin holding a child, Kuan Yin standing on dragon or Quan Yin clutching a rosary.

Her popularity has increased over the centuries and she is viewed as a protector of sailors, farmers and those who travel . Especially popular in South China, her blessings are believed to grant a child to a hopeful husband-and-wife. in Chinese culture she is a paragon of beauty and those wishing to pay compliment to the parents of a young girl might refer to her as a "Kuan Yin."

Taoists have also introduced Kuan Yin into their religion. Additionally, some modern new age movements have included Kuan Yin in their teachings. As compassionate, female religious icons, Kuan Yin and the Virgin Mary have many similarities. During a time in Japanese history when Christianity was for bid in, Japanese Christians used Quan Yin as a stand-in for the Virgin Mary. She continues to be a popular figure around the world as a symbol of compassion and caring.