Guan Yin ( Wade- Giles: kuan-yin, Japanese: Kannon, Korean: Gwan-eum) is the bodisattva associated with compassion as venerated by East Asian Buddhists,  usually as a female. The name Guan Yin is short for Guanshi’yin y?n, Wade-Giles:  which means ” Observing the Sounds (or Cries) of the World” .

It is generally accepted (in Chinese community) that Guan Yin originated as the Sanskrit Avalokitevara which is her male form. Commonly known in the West as the Goddess of Mercy, Guan Yin is also revered by Chinese Taoists as an Immortal.

Guan Yin and Chinese Folk Belief

Guan Yin is an extremely popular Goddess in Chinese folk belief and is worshiped in Chinese communities throughout East and South East Asia. Guan Yin is revered in the general Chinese population due to her unconditional love, compassion and mercy. She is generally regarded by many as the protector of women and children.

Guan Yin goddess of Love & Mercy

Guan Yin goddess of Love & Mercy

By this association she is also seen as a fertility goddess capable of granting children. She is also seen as the champion of the unfortunate, the sick, the disabled, the poor, and those in trouble. Some coastal and river areas of China regard her as the protector of fishermen, sailors, and generally people who are out at sea, thus many also come to believe that Mazu , the Taoist goddess of the sea, is a manifestation of Guan Yin.

Due to her association with the legend of the Great Flood where she sent down a dog holding rice grains in its tail after the flood, she is worshiped as a rice goddess. In some quarters, especially among business people and traders, she is looked upon as a Goddess of Luck and Fortune. In recent years there have been claims of her being the protector of air travelers.

Amulet Description

This is a wonderful Guan Yin,  Goddess of Mercy, Amulet. Guan Yin will bless and provides support for you especially toward your pains and sorrows. She helps protect you from losing what you have worked so hard for. Gwan Yin sweeps away all obstacles in your way with her kind heart full of mercy.

Dimension 3.15 cm length  x  1.8 cm wide  x  0.42 cm thickness
Weight 6.8 Gram
Material 22K gold coated brass, matt finish.
Reliquary 16K gold
The Energy

Goddess of Mercy, Luck and Fortune.

This Guan Yin Amulet will save you from many kinds of human suffering and bring you Luck and fortune. Good things will unexpectedly happen to you. It also makes you success in anything you hope for. It will bring wealth, Luck and Fortune to your life.

Origin of Guan Yin (Kwan Yin)

Guan Yin’s origin is debated among scholars. The official Buddhist view is that Guan Yin originated with the male Avalokitevara, though Guan Yin’s origin may be more complex than this simple, linear derivation. While it is certain that the name “Guanshi’yin” is derived from the name “Avalokitevara“, the image of the Chinese/Korean/Japanese/Vietnamese Bodhisattva (along with her femininity) may be at least partly derived from other sources. in Tibet Buddhism, Dalai lama is Guan Yin’s current life.

Guan Yin’s Names in East Asia

Due to devotional popularity of Guan Yin in East Asia, she is known by many names, most of which are simply the localized pronunciations of “Guan Yin” or “Guanshiyin“:

  • Guanshiyin changed to Guan Yin under the naming taboo of Emperor Tauzont of Tang. In Japanese, Guan Yin is pronounced Kannon, occasionally Kan’on, or more formally Kanzeon the same characters as Guanshiyin; the spelling Kwannon, based on a pre-modern pronunciation, is sometimes seen.
  • In Korean, the Bodhisttva is called Gwan-eum or Gwanse-eum.
  • In Thai,  the name is called Kuan Eim or Prah Mae Kuan Eim due in part to the influence of the Chinese Thai population.
  • In Vietnamese,  the name is Quán Âm or Quán Th? Âm.
  • In Hong Kong and Guangdong Province the name is pronounced Kwun Yum or Kun Yum in the Cantonese language.
  • In Indonesian, the name is Kwan Im or Dewi Kwan Im referring the word Dewi as Devi or Goddess.

In these same countries, especially Japan, the variants Kanjizai and Kanzejizai are also found in the Heart Sutra, among other sources.

Depiction of Guan Yin

Guan Yin is the Chinese name for the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara.  . However, folk traditions in China and other East Asian countries have added many distinctive characteristics and legends. Avalokitevara was originally depicted as Buddha when he was still a prince, and therefore wears chest-revealing clothing and may even sport a moustache. However, in China, Guanyin is usually depicted as a woman. Additionally, some people believe that Guanyin is both man and woman (or perhaps neither).

In China, Guanyin is usually shown in a white flowing robe and usually wears necklaces of Indian/Chinese royalty. In the right hand is a water jar containing pure water, and the left holds a willow  branch. The crown usually depicts the image of Amitabha  Buddha, Guan Yin’s spiritual teacher before she became a Bodhisattva.

There are also regional variations of Guan Yin depictions. In the Fujian  region of China, for example, a popular depiction of Guan Yin is as a maiden dressed in Tang dynasty style clothing carrying a fish basket. A popular image of Guan Yin as both Guan Yin of the South Sea and Guan Yin With a Fish Basket can be seen in late 1500s Chinese encyclopedias and in prints that accompany the novel Golden Lotus.

In Chinese art, Guan Yin is often depicted either alone, standing atop a dragon, accompanied by a bird, flanked by two children, or flanked by two warriors.

Goddess Guan Yin Amulet back-side

Goddess Guan Yin Amulet back-side

Legends

Guan Yin and the Thousand Arms

One Buddhist legend presents Guan Yin as vowing to never rest until she had freed all sentient beings from samsara, reincarnation. Despite strenuous effort, she realized that still many unhappy beings were yet to be saved. After struggling to comprehend the needs of so many, her head split into eleven pieces. Amitabha Buddha  seeing her plight, gave her eleven heads with which to hear the cries of the suffering. Upon hearing these cries and comprehending them, Avalokitesvara attempted to reach out to all those who needed aid, but found that her two arms shattered into pieces. Once more, Amitabha came to her aid and appointed her a thousand arms with which to aid the many. Many Himalayan versions of the tale include eight arms with which Avalokitesvara skillfully upholds the Dharma, each possessing its own particular implement, while more Chinese-specific versions give varying accounts of this number.

In China, it is said that fishermen used to pray to her to ensure safe voyages. The titles Guan Yin of the Southern Ocean and ‘Guan Yin (of/on) the Island’ stem from this tradition.

Guan Yin and Vegetarianism

Due to her symbolising compassion, in East Asia Guan Yin is associated withvegetarianism.  Chinese vegetairan restarants  are generally decorated with her image, and she appears in most Buddhist vegetarian pamphlets and magazines.

You can buy the Amulets mentioned in this Post from my store section of mindandwork.com Asianmystiques Souvenir Store. I ship worldwide!