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The Goddess of Kwan Yin

Kwan Yin, which is also seen as Kuan Yin or Guan Yin, is most commonly called the Goddess of Mercy. Reverenced by Chinese Taoists an immortal, the name is short for Kwan Shih Yin, which translates to “Observing the Sounds of the World.”  Other names given to Kwan Yin include the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Savior of Seamen and Fishermen, and Gentle Protectress.  Regardless of the spelling or the name of choice, this goddess is one of unconditional love and compassion.  In fact, the Goddess of Kwan Yin has often been compared to other greats such as the Virgin of Guadeloupe and the Mother Mary.

Kwan Yin is a singular soul although also a part of a very, complex energy presence.  The name is derived from a Chinese name for the goddess that is energy of motherly compassion, which is just who this goddess is.  Because Kwan Yin is one of the mother goddesses, she has a special connection to people needing help, especially those who are sick, weak, or frightened.  Although Kwan Yin is compassionate with adults, she is primarily concerned with babies and children.

Kwan Yin is also considered the “bestower of children.”  For this reason, you will hear people wanting to have children praying to her for fertility.  It is believed that she cares for souls during birth and all the way after death.  For newborns, she is said to build them carefully and gently to their new parents.  Kwan Yin has influence throughout China, Korea, Japan, and even Malaysia.  In fact, as you make your way through these countries, you will often see the image of Kwan Yin in homes, schools, temples, restaurants, grottos, shops, and in car dashboards.

The first reference to Kwan Yin, which is entwined with the belief in Buddha, was around 400 AD.  Although Buddha has already been worshiped for over 1,000 years at that time, those believing in Avalokitesvara, or the Bodhisattva of Compassion of Indian Buddhism brought the concept to China.  At that time, Kwan Yin was accepted as god but as a male.  It would not be until years later when the form was changed to be female.  Then by 1200 AD, she was most definitely female with beautiful, flowing robes.

Many times, you will see Kwan Yin depicted with numerous arms, hands, and heads, as well as an eye in the palm of each hand.  This means she is the ever-watchful goddess known as Buddha’s right eye.  Interesting, some people believe the Goddess of Kwan Yin is the incarnation of Amitabha Buddha.  Other people believe Kwan Yin was embodied as Miao Shan who as a Chinese princess around 700 BC.

Regardless of the correct theory, Kwan Yin is the representation of energy, kindness, rebirth, and enlightenment.  Although most people see her as a mythical goddess, they still worship her as if she were a living presence.  Even with all the variations, the bottom line is that Kwan Yin is a goddess that responds to the heartfelt needs and sorrows of the people of earth.  Today, Kwan Yin is still honored as manifestations of the Divine Mother energy, teaching people to live mindfully and simply while caring for both mind and body.

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Bronze Kuan Yin
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Porcelain Kuan Yin
Beautiful and powerful old porcelain temple Kwan Yin. Rare with vibrant colors and classic styling. We have the only 2 in North America. She measures about 23 inches tall. This Large Porcelain Kwan Yin, weighing almost 40 lbs., is so rare that we had to commission the making of a limited number of these excellent reproductions from the same Porcelain Shop that made these originally over 75 years ago.

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