Avalokiteshvara

The Kuan-Im Vihara is also situated within the temple’s premises, where one can see the five-meters-high statue of Kuan-Im flanked with her male and female disciples. They are carved from an aromatic, redolent wood from China.

The Sanskrit name, "Avalokiteshvara," means "the lord who looks upon the world with compassion" or according to another interpretation “the retarder of the cries of the world". Translated into Chinese, the name is "Kuan Shih Yin"or Quan Yin. Kuan:  Observe;
Shih:  The world / the region of sufferers; Yin:  All the sounds of the world, in particular, the crying sounds of beings, verbal or mental, seeking help.

This bodhisattva is variably depicted as male or female, and may also be referred to simply as Guanyin in certain contexts. The name Avalokiteshvara is made of the following parts: the verbal prefix ava, which means "down"; lokita is a past participle of the verb lok which means "to notice, behold, observe"; here used in an active sense; and finally Isvara, "lord", "ruler", "sovereign" or "master".

Avalokiteshvara is the embodiment of great compassion. She made a great vow to assist sentientbeings in times of difficulty, and to postpone her own Buddhahooduntil she has assisted every being on Earth in achieving Nirvana.

In her hands, she may hold a willow branch, a vase with water, or occasionally, a lotus flower. The willow branch is used to heal people's illnesses or bring fulfillment to their requests. The water (the dew of compassion) has the quality of removing suffering, purifying the defilements of our body, speech and mind, and lengthening life.

Avalokiteshvara is sometimes depicted with eleven heads, 1000 hands, and 1000 eyes on the palms of each hand. It is known as the One Thousand-Armed-and-Eyed Avalokiteshvara. Her thousand eyes allow her to see the sufferings of sentient beings, and her thousand hands allow her to reach out to help them.

Her six qualities are said to break the hindrances respectively of the six realms of existence: hell-beings, pretas, animals, humans, asuras, and devas. These six qualities are listed below.

1.       Great compassion

2.       Great loving-kindness

3.       Lion-courage

4.       Universal light

5.       Leader of devas and human beings

6.       The great omnipresent Brahman

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