Kwan Yin Reclining - 12 inches in length, bronze
Reclining Kwan Yin - Bronze - 12 inches in length. Kwan Yin, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, reposes, elegant and earthy. Approximately 12 inches in length. Cast in bronze. Made in Taiwan. Guanyin (Kwan Yin) is immensely popular among Chinese Buddhists, especially those from devotional schools. She is generally seen as a source of unconditional love and more importantly as a savior. In her bodhisattva vows, Guan Yin promises to answer the cries and pleas of all beings and to liberate all beings from their own karmic woes. In Pure Land Buddhism, Guan Yin is described as the "Bark of Salvation". Along with Amitabha Buddha and the bodhisattva Mahastamaprata, 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 so as to become a Buddha in one lifetime when next they are reborn. Even among Chinese Buddhist schools that are non-devotional, Guan Yin is still highly venerated. Instead of being seen as an active external force of unconditional love and salvation, the personage of Guan Yin is highly revered as the principle of compassion, mercy and love. The act, thought and feeling of compassion and love is viewed as Guan Yin. A merciful, compassionate, loving individual is said to be Guan Yin. A meditative or contemplative state of being at peace with oneself and others is seen as Guan Yin. In the Mahayana canon, the Heart Sutra is ascribed entirely to the bodhisattva Kuan Yin/Kwannon. This is unique, as most Mahayana Sutras are usually ascribed to Shakyamuni Buddha and the teachings, deeds or vows of the bodhisattvas are described by Shakyamuni Buddha. In the Heart Sutra, Guan Yin/Avalokitesvara describes to the Arhat Sariputra the nature of reality and the essence of the Buddhist teachings. The famous Buddhist saying "Form is emptiness, emptiness is form" comes from this sutra. In China, Guanyin is usually shown in a white flowing robe, and usually wearing necklaces of Indian/Chinese royalty. In the right hand is a water jar containing pure water, and in the left, a willow branch. The crown usually depicts the image of Amitabha Buddha, Guan Yin's spiritual teacher before she became a Bodhisattva. In some Buddhist temples and monasteries, Guanyin images are occasionally depicted as a young man dressed in Northern Song Buddhist robes sitting gracefully. He is usually depicted looking or glancing down, symbolising that Guanyin continues to watch over the world. There are also regional variations of Guan Yin depictions. In the Fukien region of China, for example, a popular depiction of Guan Yin is as a maiden dressed in Tang dynasty style clothing carrying a fish basket. A popular image of Guan Yin as both Guan Yin of the South Sea and Guan Yin With a Fish Basket can be seen in late 1500s Chinese encyclopedias and in prints that accompany the novel Golden Lotus.