Tag Archives: Goddess

About : Guan Yin / Kwan Yin . Goddess of Compassion. Bodhisattva.

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In Chinese Buddhism, Guan Yin is synonymous with the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, the pinnacle of mercy, compassion, kindness and love.
(Bodhisattva- being of bodhi or enlightenment, one who has earned to leave the world of suffering and is destined to become a Buddha, but has forgone the bliss of nirvana with a vow to save all children of god.
Avalojkitesvara (Sanskrit: अवलोकितेश्वर): The word ‘avalokita’ means “seeing or gazing down” and ‘Êvara’ means “lord” in Sanskrit).

Guan Yin, 观音, or Avalokiteśvara is one of the most popular and well known female goddess in Asia and probably in the world. Guan Yin is the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion in Mahayana Buddhism.

By the Song dynasty, Guan Yin evolved into a female bodhisattva in white robes that we see today. The male Guan Yin continues to be depicted albeit less frequently. The bodhisattva’s gender is unproblematic to devotees as Guan Yin will manifest in any form to reach out or to help suffering beings.

The bodhisatva introduced into China via the Silk Road and initially, Guan Yin was presented in male form. As Buddhism became localized in China, Guan Yin was sinicised and subsequently transformed into Chinese female form.

Many names were used ; Guan Shi Yin, hearer of all sufferings, was a more popular version. When the second Tang Emperor Li Shi Min, ascended the throne, Guan Shi Yin was “renamed” as Guan Yin due to the Chinese custom of avoiding characters similar to an emperor’s name; Shi in this case.

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Guan Yin is also manifested as the multiple or the most common thousand arm Guan Yin, a symbol of her aspiration to reach out to any being in any form to help them.

She appears in the Book of Lie Zi as a Taoist sage, but it is unclear if this refers to the Kuan Yin later venerated as a bodhisattva.

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

Another story, possibly Taoist in origin, describes Kuan Yin as the daughter of a cruel father who wanted her to marry a wealthy but uncaring man. She begged to be able to enter a temple and become a nun instead. Her father allowed her to work in the temple, but asked the monks to give her very hard chores in order to discourage her.

The monks forced Kuan Yin to work all day and all night, while others slept, in order to finish her work. However, she was such a good person that the animals living around the temple began to help her with her chores. Her father, seeing this, became so frustrated that he attempted to burn down the temple. Kuan Yin put out the fire with her bare hands and suffered no burns. Now struck with fear, her father ordered her to be put to death. After she died she was made into a goddess for all of her kindness and began her journey to heaven. She was about to cross over into heaven when she heard a cry of suffering back on earth. She asked to be sent back and vowed to stay until all suffering had ended.

Buddhism and its Transgender History.

A person described as transgendered or transsexual usually identifies as, and desires to live and be accepted as, a member of the sex opposite to that indicated by his or her body. Thus some individuals have a strong feeling that they are female despite having male genitals or that they are a man despite having a woman’s genitals. Such people often say that they feel they are `in the wrong body’.

Ancient Indian literature contains numerous myths about people who spontaneously changed sex, usually as a result of having desire or sometimes even just admiration, for someone of the same sex. Several such stories are also found in Buddhist sources. The commentary to the Dhammapada (5th century CE?) includes a story about a man named Soreyya who changed into a woman after becoming entranced by a certain monk’s beautiful complexion. Later he married and supposedly bore two children (Dhp-a.324).

The Tipiñaka mentions several different types of transgendered states and individuals Ý the man-like woman (vepurisikà), sexual indistinctness (sambhinna), one with the characteristics of both genders (ubhatovya¤janaka), etc. (Vin.III,129). The existence of transgenderism is taken for granted in Buddhist literature with no moral judgments made about it.

Various theories have been posited to explain transgenderism; that it is a psychological or hormonal disorder or that it has genetic or environmental causes. The Buddhist doctrine of rebirth could help explain transgenderism. A person may be reborn as, say, a woman in numerous successive lives during which time feminine attitudes, desires, traits and dispositions become strongly imprinted on the mind. This would determine that she be continually reborn into a female body or that her consciousness would shape the new embryo into a female form; whatever factors are responsible for the physical characteristic of gender. Then, for either kammic, genetic or other reasons, the person may be reborn into a male body while retaining all the long-established feminine psychological traits.

If this or something like it, is the cause of transgenderism, it would mean that this condition is a natural one rather than a moral perversion as some religions maintain. The Buddha said that traits or dispositions (vàsasà) developed through a succession of lives (abbokiõõanã) may well express themselves in the present life and  not be an inner moral fault (dosatara) of anything done now (Ud.28).

Transgenderism has presumably existed in all Buddhist societies as it does everywhere else. However, transgendered people seem to be particularly visible and common in Thailand. The Thai word kathoey is used loosely for effeminate homosexuals, transvestites and particularly for transgendered people. Although such people have a degree of acceptance in Thailand, probably because of the general tolerance encouraged by Buddhism, they still face numerous social and legal difficulties. A jurisdiction in which the Dhamma was genuinely applied would recognize transgendered peoples’ specific needs and allow them to legally change their gender if and when they undergo gender reassignment surgery. –

Article source below.

Sincerely Nina

http://www.buddhisma2z.com/content.php?id=497#.dpuf

The Story of Guan Yin. Goddess of Compassion

FB_IMG_1446244222099In Chinese Buddhism, Guan Yin is synonymous with the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, the pinnacle of mercy, compassion, kindness and love.
(Bodhisattva- being of bodhi or enlightenment, one who has earned to leave the world of suffering and is destined to become a Buddha, but has forgone the bliss of nirvana with a vow to save all children of god.
Avalojkitesvara (Sanskrit: अवलोकितेश्वर): The word ‘avalokita’ means “seeing or gazing down” and ‘Êvara’ means “lord” in Sanskrit).

Guan Yin, 观音, or Avalokiteśvara is one of the most popular and well known female goddess in Asia and probably in the world. Guan Yin is the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion in Mahayana Buddhism.

By the Song dynasty, Guan Yin evolved into a female bodhisattva in white robes that we see today. The male Guan Yin continues to be depicted albeit less frequently. The bodhisattva’s gender is unproblematic to devotees as Guan Yin will manifest in any form to reach out or to help suffering beings.

The bodhisatva introduced into China via the Silk Road and initially, Guan Yin was presented in male form. As Buddhism became localized in China, Guan Yin was sinicised and subsequently transformed into Chinese female form.

Many names were used ; Guan Shi Yin, hearer of all sufferings, was a more popular version. When the second Tang Emperor Li Shi Min, ascended the throne, Guan Shi Yin was “renamed” as Guan Yin due to the Chinese custom of avoiding characters similar to an emperor’s name; Shi in this case.

97525403f7cfebfd3cf5c10f98ec24d1

Guan Yin is also manifested as the multiple or the most common thousand arm Guan Yin, a symbol of her aspiration to reach out to any being in any form to help them.

She appears in the Book of Lie Zi as a Taoist sage, but it is unclear if this refers to the Kuan Yin later venerated as a bodhisattva.

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

Another story, possibly Taoist in origin, describes Kuan Yin as the daughter of a cruel father who wanted her to marry a wealthy but uncaring man. She begged to be able to enter a temple and become a nun instead. Her father allowed her to work in the temple, but asked the monks to give her very hard chores in order to discourage her.

The monks forced Kuan Yin to work all day and all night, while others slept, in order to finish her work. However, she was such a good person that the animals living around the temple began to help her with her chores. Her father, seeing this, became so frustrated that he attempted to burn down the temple. Kuan Yin put out the fire with her bare hands and suffered no burns. Now struck with fear, her father ordered her to be put to death. After she died she was made into a goddess for all of her kindness and began her journey to heaven. She was about to cross over into heaven when she heard a cry of suffering back on earth. She asked to be sent back and vowed to stay until all suffering had ended.