Offerings to Kwan Yin
One of the most well loved goddesses Kwan Yin pronounced "Guanyin" is the Chinese name for the
female Celestial Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara god. A Bodhisattva is someone who does spiritual practice
with the goal of achieving full enlightenment. An Avalokiteśvara is one who beholds or looks upon. Kwan
Yin is the pre-eminent goddess in all of Asia. You find Her in China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Burma,
Thailand and other countries. In China. Kwan Yin is usually depicted as a woman. Additionally, some
people believe that Kwan Yin is neither male nor female.

In China, Kwan Yin is usually shown in a white flowing robe, and usually wearing necklaces of
Indian/Chinese royalty. In the right hand is a water jar containing pure water, and in the left She holds a
willow branch. She often wears a crown usually depicting the image of a Buddha (spiritual teacher) before
She became a Bodhisattva. Her name "Kwan" means "to inquire or look deeply into", and Yin means
"cries" (
One Who Sees and Hears the Cry from the Human World). The definition of inquiring deeply
into cries is extremely fitting since She is the goddess of Compassion and Mercy.

Today Kwan Yin is worshipped by Taoists as well as Mahayana Buddhists especially in Taiwan, Japan,
Korea and once again in Her homeland of China, where the practice of Buddhism had been suppressed
by the Communists during the Cultural Revolution (1966-69). She is the Protectress of women, children,
sailors, merchants, craftsmen, those under criminal prosecution, and is invoked particularly by those
desiring progeny. Beloved as a mother figure and divine mediatrix, She is very close to the daily affairs of
Her devotees. Kwan Yin's role as Buddhist Madonna has been compared to that of Mary the mother of
Jesus in the West. Kwan Yin is known as the
Ascended Lady Master who bears the office and title of
"goddess of Mercy" because She embodies the God qualities of the law of mercy, compassion and
forgiveness.
Mother of
Compassion
Goddess of
Mercy
Sometimes Kwan Yin is represented as a multi-armed
figure, with each hand either containing a different cosmic
symbol or expressing a specific ritual position, or mudra.
This characterizes the goddess as the source and
sustenance of all things. Her cupped hands often form the
Yoni Mudra, symbolizing the womb as the door for entry
to this world, through the universal female principle.

Kwan Yin, as a true "Enlightened One" or Bodhisattva,
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. The
goddess of Mercy is unique among the heavenly hierarchy,
in that She is so utterly free from pride or vengefulness and
She remains reluctant to punish even those to whom a
severe lesson might be appropriate.
She was said to be the daughter of a famous sovereign
dynasty in China, who sternly opposed Her wish to be a nun,
and was irritated by Her refusal to marry. To discourage Her
from being a nun Her father put Her through humiliating tasks
in a convent. This means of coercion failed, and Her father
then ordered Her to be executed for disobedience to his
wishes. Rather than obey him She accepted Her fate. But,
instead of ascending into pure energy, after Her death, She
choose to have Her spirit available to Her devotees on earth
so that She may extend mercy and compassion to all who
calls upon Her. Invoke Her name when you are in need of
mercy and compassion. This goddess loves the company of
dragons and is often depicted with them. Kwan Yin's
favorite element is water and Her favorite flower is the Lotus
Blossom.      
Kwan Yin
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