Kuan Yin: Goddess of Compassion and Harmony by Rene Wadlow

Wise in using skillful means, in every corner of the world, she manifests her countless forms

kin01_40019 February, in countries influenced by Chinese culture, is a day devoted to honoring Kuan Yin, goddess of compassion “ she who hears the cries of the world and restores harmony.”  She is a goddess for the Taoists and a bodhisattva for the Buddhists but she represents the same values of compassion for both faiths.  There has been mutual borrowing of symbols and myths between the two groups, as well as an identification with Mary in countries with a Roman Catholic minority such as Vietnam and with Tara among the Tibetans. 

From the Taoist tradition, she is associated with running water and lotus pools. Many of her virtues come from Buddhist teachings:

Wrathful, banish thought of self
Sad, let fall the causes of woe,
Lustful, shed lust’s mental object,
Win all, by simply letting go.”

As in this Chinese verse reflecting her advice, many Buddhist values are phrased negatively: abobha (non-greed), adosa (non-hatred), amoka (non-delusion), less frequently in positive values metta (loving kindness), karuma (compassion), mudita

( happiness in the good fortune of others.)

Yet Kuan Yin is associated with active compassion as a driving force of action, where all, including the least of living things are treated with fairness and consideration and where the broader currents of life move toward harmony and equilibrium.

Read the whole article in Ovi Magazine, HERE!

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