Sunday, March 1, 2009

Arunachala Darshan 28

Arunachala Kwan Yin Darshan

Guanyin (Chinese: 觀音; pinyin: guān yīn; Wade-Giles: kuan-yin) is the bodhisattva associated with compassion as venerated by East Asian Buddhists, usually as a female. The name Guanyin is short for Guanshi'yin (觀世音, pinyin: guānshì yīn, Wade-Giles: kuan-shih yin) which means "Observing the Sounds (or Cries) of the World".

It is generally accepted (in Chinese community) that Guanyin originated as the Sanskrit Avalokiteśvara (अवलोकितेश्वर), which is her male form. Commonly known in the West as the Goddess of Mercy, Guanyin is also revered by Chinese Taoists as an Immortal. However, in Taoist mythology, Guan Yin has other origination stories which are not directly related to Avalokiteśvara.

Guanyin's origin is debated among scholars. The root of this debate lies in the history of religion in China. China's indigenous religion is Taoism. It is possible that Guanshi'yin originated as a Taoist deity, the Queen Mother of the West. With the introduction of Mahayana Buddhism to China in around the fourth to fifth centuries AD, Taoism and Buddhism became religious rivals in China. The Buddhist tactic was to change, and even supplant, indigenous Taoist deities in favor of Buddhist deities. Over the centuries, this trend has had the effect that it is now virtually impossible to determine Guanshi'yin's true origin. The official Buddhist view is that Guanyin originated with the male Avalokiteśvara, though Guanyin's origin may be more complex than this simple, linear derivation. While it is certain that the name "Guanshi'yin" is derived from the name "Avalokiteśvara", the image of the Chinese/Korean/Japanese/Vietnamese Bodhisattva (along with her femininity) may be at least partly derived from other sources.

: courtesy wikipedia

Basically Kwan Yin is the Goddess of Compassion. She fulfills the needs of all. She is the eternal Wishfulfilling Tree. The Kalpataru.

The image of Lord Venkateshwara in Tirumala... which is venerated variously as an image of Vishnu, Shiva, Buddha Avalokiteś also venerated as an image of a female goddess of Buddhism.

Kwan Yin.

The image is said to fulfill the wishes of all whosoever asks anything of it.

Arunachala too has a Kwan Yin darshan. This is a darshan which is a personal darshan for it so happened that after thirty years when I first reached Arunachala,the mountain was covered in thick clouds. I could not see the peak. I felt personally hurt that the Mountain should have chosen this day of all days to veil Itself from me.

What followed was a string of prayers throughout the night with silent love and coaxing, asking the Mountain to show me its peak. By the time we started for Girivallam ( Mountain Circumbulation) the mountain still did not leave its cloud veil.

It was the time when we reached half the distance that finally the mountain decided to lift its cloud cover and answered my prayers.

The view of the mountain on that winter morning always reminds me of Kwan Yin...the Goddess of Compassion.

Arunachala Kwan Yin Darshan

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