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Who is Kwan Yin, and what is so special about her?

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  • P'ang
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Kwan Yin (full name: Kwan Shi Yin) is the Chinese name for the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Avalokitesvara.

    The name means "perceive world sound" (kwan=perceive; shi=world; yin=sound), so this bodhisattva hears the world's suffering and vows to ease that suffering. This is the nature of compassion - the vow to ease suffering.

    While Avalokitesvara appears in both Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism, "she" plays a central role in the Mahayana tradition. Practitioners in this tradition typically vow to reenter the world over and over until all beings become free of suffering. Kwan Yin represents this vow.

    Some Buddhists, especially in Asia, tend to venerate Kwan Yin as if "she" were a deity, an being that might have some compassionate influence on human affairs. Viewed in this way, Kwan Yin plays a role similar to that played by Mary (the mother of Jesus) in some Christian traditions.

    Other Buddhists, particularly those in the Zen tradition and in the West, tend to view Kwan Yin as a representation of the compassionate potential within all beings. These practitioners aspire to awaken their inherent compassionate nature, thus becoming a manifestation of this bodhisattva.

    In Indian and Southeast Asian Buddhism, Avalokitesvara is often portrayed with masculine characteristics. In China, Korea and Japan, the bodhisattva often takes on a feminine appearance. In daily life, compassion takes whatever shape is required by the situation.

  • 1 decade ago

    Goddess of Mercy.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    She could suck a tennis ball through a straw if you know what I mean.

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