Sunday, October 12, 2008

Quan Yin - Goddess of Mercy and Compassion

Quan Yin, Guan Yin or Kannon Quan Yin is the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion in Buddhism. She is known as Kannon in Japanese, Guan Yin in Chinese, Chenrezig in Tibetan and Avalokiteśvara in Sanskrit. Avalokiteśvara and Chenrezig are usually depicted as a male or androgynous, while Quan Yin, Kannon and Guan Yin are female.  Illustration left is Kannon.

Guan Yin (觀音, pinyin guānyīn, Wade-Giles: kuan-yin) is an exact translation of Avalokitasvara (अवलोकितेश्वर, Sanskrit). The prefix ava = down; lokita = to notice, behold, observe and svara = sound, noise or sound perceiver. Literally “he who perceives sound (or hears the cries of sentient beings who need help)."  From Tibetan Chenrezig translates as chen = eye; re = continuityAvalokiteśvara and zig = to look. From this one can derive the meaning "he who always looks upon all beings (with the eye of compassion). Illustration right is Avalokiteśvara.

According to legend, Quan Yin was born into this world as Miao  Shan, the daughter of a king of the Chou Dynasty (1050-256 B.C.). Another legend says, in a previous time a devoted, compassionate monk became a Bodhisattva, who later became Avalokiteśvara. Most of the Buddhas and Boddhisattvas have a living breathing man or woman associated with them. This shows humanities ability to become enlightened with dedicated practice.

In the Buddhist teachings, Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva postponed his own Buddhahood and vowed to end suffering by listening to and assisting every sentient being to attain enlightenment.Chenrezi

Lama Jigme a Tibetan Buddhist monk explains, "No matter how you address the Buddha of Compassion (by which name), the Buddha of Compassion is still the Buddha of Compassion." He says about the mantra, "Chenrezig’s Six-syllable mantra, Om  Ma-ni  Pad-me  Hum, is the compassionate wisdom of all the Buddhas manifested as sound." Illustration right is Chenrezig.

Bokar Rinpoche writes, "Every person whose heart is moved by love and compassion, who deeply and sincerely acts for the benefit of others without concern for fame, profit, social position, or recognition expresses the activity of Chenrezig."

Duane, Reiki Teacher says "I’ve always found the theory that Quan Yin, Mother Mary, Isis, Avalokiteśvara, Kannon and even Ha Hai-i Wuhti of Hopi Indian lore (amongst many others) are all actually one and the same… manifesting at different times, to different cultures in an attempt to bolster the belief that love and compassion are amongst the stronger powers known to man to be quite fascinating."

Interesting indeed... let's take that a step further... ultimately we are all One. This implies that you and I are One, as well you and Quan Yin are One. And Quan Yin and I are One... as she and every sentient being are One. We humans just don't recognize this. We have forgotten and see ourselves as separate from everything and everyone. Isolated and alone... we suffer. This is an illusion! We simply have forgotten our connectedness and our own Sacredness.

A few Souls incarnate with full remembrance. Some of them we recognize and call 'Buddhas, Avatars, Saints or Messengers of God'. They are us... walking, breathing, talking reminders who impart knowledge. They show us 'Who We Truly Are'. But we only see their Specialness or Godliness, put them on pedestals and end up worshiping them. We create entire religions full of dogmas based on their messages. We think so little of ourselves that we couldn't possibly be 'THAT'. So we worship it, rather then remembering, emulating and becoming 'THAT' ourselves.

Even if we have the understanding we are 'THAT', we still don't fully believe. For if we did... when we do... we will walk not only in the footsteps of the Great Masters... we will be the One's creating the footsteps. All we have to do is set aside our beliefs, forget all we have learned, feel our connectedness and just be... in this moment.

We are all Love and Compassion in beautiful diversity. If we all walked this, imagine the wondrous, magical things we'd create together. Reiki helps us remember, builds our compassion and love, and reconnects us to the Gift of Spirit. Thanks Usui Sensei for this great gift!


This blog post was inspired by 'Reiki Sense of Compassion' by Duane Flowers

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