Kuan Yin, she is the Goddess of compassion. Of all the Goddesses, she is the most beloved and respected of all in the world.
There are several stories of Kuan Yin, so I will tell you one of them that I like to remember her with.
The Princess who became the Goddess Kuan Yin.
The villagers knew at once that something phenomenal had occurred. At the very moment that the Queen had given birth the earth literally trembled beneath their feet as fragrant blossoms sprang up through the winter snow that covered the hillsides. The King and Queen, however, were not impressed.
They had asked for a boy, wanting a son badly, who then could combine their power and their wealth. What use could another daughter be then. Especially like Miao-Shan who was so incredibly kind and pure?
Eventually the King and Queen decided to marry Miao-Shan off to a wealthy man. But Miao-Shan refused this telling her parents that she would do so only on three conditions. She would comply only if the marriage would...relieve all suffering to those of old age; ease the pain of all those who are ill and; comfort the dying and all those bereaved. Seeing nothing positive from her parents regarding these demands, she begged her parents to let her become a nun instead.
Ignoring her request to become a nun her father was so enraged with her that he forced her do every menial task around their home. To make matters even worse her mother and her two sisters continually taunted her unmercifully as she slaved away at her chores. At night while the others slept Miao-Shan stoked the fires, swept all the floors and chopped all the vegetables that would be needed for the next day’s meals without any complaints to anyone. The animals living around the palace felt bad for the princess who was so kind to everyone, so they began to help her with all her chores so that she could take some breaks and nap to restore her energy.
Her father, so angry that she could finish all her many chores every night and still be fresh and ready for the next day finally decided that he would let her go to the temple to become a nun. However, her father still being mad that she still insisted on helping all those that were unfortunate, he ordered the nuns to treat her so badly that she would become discouraged and return home willing then to succumb to his authority.
The nun's put Miao-Shan in charge of the food supply...managing the garden and collecting water from the distant springs. Her father and the nun's thought that surely this would discourage her seeing as it was winter time. To everyone's surprise crops appeared in the garden and a spring appeared right at the back door!
When her father received word of these miracles happening, he felt his only option was to end her life and sent his henchman to kill her. As Miao-Shan then bent her head to receive the terrible blow, she looked up into the henchman's eyes and said, “You must not worry for what you have to do...you have been forgiven”.
Terribly upset, the henchman threw his weapon onto a nearby stone and the axe shattered into a million pieces. Suddenly, the beautiful clouds in the sky came down and carried the young nun to safety on a nearby island where she continued her religious studies, prayer and meditations while living peacefully on her own. A few years later, the King fell gravely ill, the doctor's saying he would soon die. As his conditioned worsened, a traveling monk arrived and told the King he knew of a cure that would help him. A medicine made from the ground-up eyes and arms of one who was full of love and forgiveness.
So, in hopes of finding one willing, the King called his two other daughters to his side asking them to provide this gift of life to him. Of course, they both refused. Then the monk told him that he knew of someone that would surely make the sacrifice for him, so the King then sent his envoy to make the request. Miao-Shan immediately pulled out both of her eyes and had both of her arms severed telling the envoy to take them to the King so that he might be quickly healed.
The monk then prepared the medicine and gave it to the King who was quickly cured. The King tried to thank the monk, but the monk refused him saying instead “It is the one who made the sacrifice that you should thank”.
So, the King accompanied by the Queen made the trip to the island, and when they realized that it was in fact their daughter who had given up so much for her father, Miao-Shan told them “Knowing my father's love, I was honoured to be able to repay him with my arms and eye's”, and just at that moment, the clouds descended once again.
When the fog cleared away, Moao-Shan was no longer there. The earth again began to tremble, and thousands of blossoms floated down from the sky upon her parents. The royal family looked up and saw the Goddess Kuan Yin in the sky manifesting her thousand arms and eyes.
To honour their daughter, who was now known as the Goddess Kuan Yin, they built a shrine on the place of her ascension and named it “Fragrant Mountain”.
For centuries Kuan Yin has epitomized the ideal of being a Bodhi, or enlightenment who is destined to become a Budda, but instead of choosing the beauty of Nirvana, instead with a vow to save all the children of God.
Kuan Yin carried the Goddess and Divine Mother aspect of Buddhism. The same as Goddess and Diving Energy carried by the Virgin Mary in Christianity. In the Egyptian mysteries it is carried by Isis. In Hinduism it is carried by Shakti, wife of Vishnu, by Parvati, wife of Sheeba, by Radha wife of
Krishna, and by Sita, wife of Rama.
Other names are: Quan-Am (Vietnam); Kannon (Japan)); Kanin (Bali) and many others.
Symbols of Kuan Yin are a willow branch with which she sprinkles the divine nectar of life;
a beautiful vase symbolizing the nectar of compassion and wisdom; a dove representing the ability to produce live offspring; a book or scroll of prayers which she holds in her hand, which represents the dharma (teaching) or the Budda or Sutra which Miao-Shan is said to have constantly recited and a rosary around her neck with which she calls upon the Budda's for assistance in times of stress.
Kuan Yin, as a true Enlightened One vowed to remain in the earthly realms and not enter the heavenly worlds until all other living things have completed their own enlightenment and thus become liberated from the pain-filled cycle of birth, death and rebirth.
I hope you enjoyed meeting Kuan Yin, and I encourage you to read about her and perhaps call on her yourself sometime.
Image copyright KitchenWitchUK (c)