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Images of Guanyin

Page history last edited by shannon.mahoney@... 10 years, 2 months ago

Images of Guan Yin


Guan Yin Standing on the head of a dragon



Image Retrieved from:



Guan Yin has been depicted in various different poses. In many images she is usually depicted wearing a long and flowing white gown symbolizing purity. According o Rev. Lynn Delellis, "She always appears cloaked in white, the color of purity, and her gowns are long and flowing. Often she will be holding a rosary in one hand, a symbol of her devotion to Buddhism and its tenets" (http://www.essenceofthedivine.com/kuanyin.htm). Here Guan Yin is shown standing on the head of a dragon. "The dragon being an ancient symbol for high spirituality, wisdom, strength, and divine powers of transformation" ( http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/Chinese_Customs/Guan_Yin.htm). According to Nations Online:Countries of the world, "Guan Yin is also known as patron bodhisattva of Putuo Shan (Mount Putuo), mistress of the Southern Sea and patroness of fishermen"(http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/Chinese_Customs/Guan_Yin.htm). "Often she will be holding a rosary in one hand, a symbol of her devotion to Buddhism and its tenets" (Rev Lynn Delllis, http://www.essenceofthedivine.com/kuanyin.htm).



Guan Yin with 1000 arms and eyes

Guan Yim with 1000_eyes


Image Retrieved from: http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/Chinese_Customs/Guan_Yin.htm


Here Guan Yin is shown with a thousand arms with eyes in the middle of the hands and multiple heads. This image is commonly known as the “thousand eyed, thousand armed bodhisattva".  According to Nations Online: Countries Around the World, this image of her represents the omnipresent mother looking in all directions simultaneously, sensing the afflictions of humanity and extending her many arms to alleviate them with infinite expressions of her mercy, while the thousand eyes help her see anyone who may be in need. In this particular portrayal Guan Yin is shown with peacock feathers because the feathers represent Guan Yin’s thousand eyes through the eye shaped design on each of the feathers.


Information Retrieved from: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.essenceofthedivine.com/Kuan%2520Yin.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.essenceofthedivine.com/kuanyin.htm&h=400&w=282&sz=32&tbnid=NSWZMYbENkodmM:&tbnh=124&tbnw=87&prev=/images%3Fq%3DImages%2Bof%2BGuan%2BYin&hl=en&usg=__gAVhWtioJnShUNivUPeaMynGdTM=&ei=zPzNS46LPI60swO_t8CvDg&sa=X&oi=image_result&resnum=2&ct=image&ved=0CA8Q9QEwAQ


Guan Yin sitting on top of a lotus.


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Here Guan Yin is shown sitting on a pink lotus which symbolizes her very important aspects. According to Nations Online: Countries of the World, "In Sanskrit she's known as Padma pani - "Born of the Lotus", the lotus symbolizing purity, peace and harmony" ( http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/Chinese_Customs/Guan_Yin.htm). Like in many portrayals of her, she is wearing a white flowing robe which again represents the symbol of purity while also wearing necklaces of Indian/Chineese royalty. "A necklace or rosary is associated with her calls upon Buddha for aid and help, or succour. Each bead of it the necklace represents all living beings and the turning of them symbolizes that she is leading them out of their state of misery and repeated rounds of rebirth into nirvana" (http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/Chinese_Customs/Guan_Yin.htm). The beads basically represent enlightenment. "She might be seated or standing on a lotus blossom, which is one of the main symbols of Buddhist purity, since it a beautiful flower that grows out of mud. The meaning is that our hearts should be pure like the lotus flower, even though our lives might be surrounded by dirty (or impure) people and situations" (http://www.circle-of-light.com/Mantras/KuanYin.html). According to Nations Online: Countries of the World, The water jar in her right hand contains pure water symbolizing the divine nectar of life, compassion, and wisdom; it also symbolizes her pouring compassion on to the world.  In her left hand she is holding a willow branch to "sprinkle the divine nectar of life upon the devotees to bless them with physical and spiritual peace" (http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/Chinese_Customs/Guan_Yin.htm). It is also said that the willow portrayed here is also "used in shamanistic rituals and has had medicinal purposes as well" (http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/Chinese_Customs/Guan_Yin.htm). Also according to Nations Online: Countries of the World, "The crown usually depicts the image of Amitabha Buddha (Fully Conscious Infinite Light), Guan Yin’s spiritual teacher before she became a Bodhisattva" (http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/Chinese_Customs/Guan_Yin.htm).  


Information Retrieved from: http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/Chinese_Customs/Guan_Yin.htm



Guan Yin of the South Sea of Sanya


Image Retrieved From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:HainanSanya2.jpg


This picture shows the 108 meter statue of Guan Yin the bodhisattva. It remains on the southcoast of  China's island province Hainan. The statue shows Guan Yin facing three different ways, 2 facing the Seas of South China and 1 facing inland. This statue represents the "blessing and protection by Guan Yin of China and the whole world" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guanyin_Statue_of_Hainan).


Comments (1)

Andrew Hepler said

at 7:52 pm on Apr 15, 2010

I like how many different images of Guan Yin there are, it really shows how far she is venerated. The information associated with the pictures is very insightful, I give a 5 out of 5

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