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Bodhisattva Guanyin (Kuan-yin)

Avalokitesvara (India), Lokesvara (Cambodia),Lokanatha (Burma), Natha Deviyo (Sri Lanka), Chenresi (Tibet) Kennon or kwannon (Japan) Kwanseum (Korea) Quan-am (Vietnam)

Avalokitesvara in Angkor, Cambodia: Lokesvara

Vietnam, Hanoi region

Tibetan form of Avalokitevara ( Four-armed Chenrezig)

Avalokiteshvara in South Vietnam (8th and 9th century Bronze, Museum of the history of Ho Chi Minh City),

Seated statue of Senju-Kannon, Kyoto, Sanjusangen-do


a minor figure in some major Mahayana scriptures such as the Vimalakirti Sutra Figured prominently in the Huayan Sutra and the Lotus Sutra. Most prominent in the Pure Land Sutras,
Chief attendant to Amitabha Buddha

another is Mahathamaprapta

Prominent in Chinese Buddhist art


White-robed, Fish-basket, Clamdwelling, Wife of Mr. Ma

Avalokitesvara in Major Scriptures

In the ascending order in terms of the importance of his role
The Sutra on the Mental Fixation of Integral Illumination The Vimalakirti Sutra The Longer/Larger Sutra The Sutra of Guanshiyin Bodhisattvas Receiving Prediction [Prophesy] The Sutra on the Original Cause for Guanshiyin Bodhisattvas Rebirth in the Pure Land

Guanyin (Kuan-yin) Assumes the Role of a Savior

The Lotus Sutra (chap. Universal Gateway) The Contemplation Sutra (or The Sutra of Visualization on Amitayus Buddha) The Surangama Sutra The Karandavyudha Sutra

By Wu Daozi, Tang Dynasty

Guanyin and Indigenous Chinese Scriptures

Reasons for the making of indigenous Chinese scriptures:
Promoted the interest of the ruling authority Criticized policies of the ruling authority Reconciled differences between Buddhism and traditional Chinese thoughts, both Confucianism and Taoism Advocated/proselytized a specific faith Enhanced a cult of a national hero/heroine Promised cures, blessings and other miracles

Guanyin in Indigenous Scriptures

The Sutra of Guanshiyin (Kuan-shihyin) Samadhi The King Kaos Guanshiyin (Kuan-shihyin) Sutra The Sutra of the Bodhisattva Guanshiyin (Kuan-shih-yin) [who explains] the Conditions to be Reborn in the Pure Land Dharani of Great Wish-fulfillment

Dharani Sutra of Five Mudras of the Great Compassionate White-Robed Guanyin Sutra of the Great Merit of Foremost Rarity Spoken by the Buddha Received by the Empress Renxiao (Jen-hsiao) of the Great Ming in a Dream Exalted Sutra Spoken by the Buddha on the Incarnation of the Great Compassionate and Supreme Holy Nine-lotus Bodhisattva to Save the World

The Sutra of Guanshiyin Samadhi


grants the wishes of all who carry out a seven-day meditation Sakyamuni acknowledges that he was a student of Guanyin when Guanyin was tathagata Buddha acknowledges the recitation of the Sutra as the cause of his enlightenment


method: Sit upright for seven days & nights and recite this sutra. On the seventh day, the Bodhisattva will reveal himself recite dharani Rewards of reciting the Sutra and the dharani Good life, end of transmigration, rebirth in a buddha land, no rebirth in any of the evil paths, not be born with a female body

Southern Sea Guanyin

King Gaos (Kaos) Guanshiyin Sutra

Has only ten sentences Central idea: Sins could be expiated by calling on the name of Guanyin, reciting a sutra, and chanting a dharani Benefits similar to those described in the Universal Gateway chapter of the Lotus Sutra:
Be saved from seven perils (fire, water, wind or raksasa, knives, ghosts, shackles, enemies), three poisons (greed, delusion, and hatred) Get two wishes (for a son and a daughter)

Sutra of the Bodhisattva Guanshiyin [Who Explains] the Conditions to be Born in the Pure Land

Sutra provides a story about Guanyins past family life and spiritual journey
His father was Sakyamuni Buddha,his mother Amitabha Buddha, and his younger brother Mahasthamaprapta


took vows to

save those who have no parents, have no eminent teacher, are poor Save/help kings, ministers, merchants, householders, rulers, Brahmans, four assemblies, eight groups of living beings, and various kinds of living beings

Dharani of Great Wish-fulfillment


three texts

1st text has dharani 2nd text is a talisman against difficulties in childbirth 3rd text is about Guanyins manifestations, e.g., as a layman wearing a white garment appearing in 3 miracle stories


derived from copying, chanting, and upholding the dharani

Bodhisattvas appear upon ones death, touch ones head, and promise ones rebirth in the Pure Land Practitioner is protected from loss of money, bad dreams, chronic illnesses, demons attack See Guanyin, the Buddha and enjoy blessings Woman gives birth to a wise boy or a beautiful girl

Dharani Sutra of Five Mudras of the Great Compassionate White-Robed Guanyin


known as the White-robed Guanyin Sutra Content: A feminized White-robed Guanyin presented as a fertility goddess, or Child-giving Guanyin, in miracle tales


the scripture with sincerity, a wife would give birth to a handsome baby boy wrapped in a white caul Perform good deeds:print and distribute 500-1000 copies of the sutra for free; make image(s) of Guanyin; build a shrine for Guanyin

Sutra of the Great Merit of Foremost Rarity


discussion of true nature of mind and nature; dharanis spoken by various bodhisattvas Benefits of chanting this sutra:
Free from all worries and suffering Saved from fire, weather, robbers, poison, and wild animals Dead ancestors of 9 generations back receive deliverance Heirless persons given intelligent sons Wont go to Avici Hell Obtain unmeasured blessings and virtues

Exalted Sutra Spoken by the Buddha

Guanyin asks the Buddha to help relieve people who suffer because of ignorance and evil deeds The Buddha prophesizes the appearance of the Nine-lotus Bodhisattva Urges people to chant the sutra and dharani revealed therein

Benefits not clearly detailed Wood sculpture, Ming Dynasty