Guanyin/Avalokitesvara, bodhisattva takes the form of male, female, adult, child, human, non-human being, in order to teach the Dharma to sentient beings. In the right hand is a water jar containing pure water & the left holds a willow branch. Water chanted with Nilakantha dharani is drunk as medicine. The crown is Amitabha Buddha, Guan Yin's spiritual teacher before she became a Bodhisattva. Looking down, symbolizes that Guanyin continues to watch over the world. Avalokitesvara has the supernatural power of assuming any form required to relieve suffering, & the power to grant children the ability to achieve enlightenment. Guanyin vowed to never rest until she had freed all sentient beings from samsara. Despite strenuous effort, she realised that there were unhappy beings yet to be saved.Struggling to comprehend the needs of so many, her head split into 11 pieces. The buddha Amitabha, gave her 11 heads to help her hear the cries of those who are suffering. Upon hearing these cries & comprehending them, Avalokitesvara reached out to all those who needed aid, but found that her 2 arms shattered into pieces. Amitabha came to her aid & gave her 1,000 arms to let her reach out to those in need. Himalayan tales have 8 arms with which Avalokitesvara skillfully upholds the Dharma, each possessing its own particular implement. In her bodhisattva vows, Guanyin promises to answer the cries & pleas of all sentient beings & to liberate them from karmic woes. Through his saving grace those who have no chance of being enlightened can be enlightened & those deep in negative karma can find salvation through his compassion. She temporarily liberates beings out of the Wheel of Samsara into the Pure Land, where they will have the chance to accrue the necessary merit to be a Buddha in one lifetime. Guanyin is compassion, mercy & love. A merciful, compassionate, loving individual is to be Guanyin. A meditative or contemplative state of being at peace with oneself & others is Guanyin.
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