Quan Yin is one of the most universally beloved of deities in the Buddhist tradition. Also known as Kuan Yin, Quan'Am (Vietnam), Kannon (Japan), and Kanin (Bali), She is the embodiment of compassionate loving kindness. As the Bodhisattva of Compassion, She hears the cries of all beings. Quan Yin enjoys a strong resonance with the Christian Mary Magdalene, and the Tibetan goddess Tara.

Quan Yin's name is a translation of the Sanskrit name of her chief progenitor which is Avalokitesvara, also known as Avalokita. In its proper form it is Kuanshih Yin, which means "She who harkens to the cries of the world."

Buddhist mythology tells of Avalokitesvara's being born from a ray of light that sprang from Amitabha Buddha's right eye. He immediately said, "Om Mane Padme Hum". This is one of the mantras by which he can be invoked in Buddhist tradition.

Avalokita is a name of Buddha. Literally it means one who looks from above -- avalokita -- one who looks from above, one who looks with pure eyes, he looks with no ideas, he simply looks. one who stands at the seventh center, sahasrar, the transcendental, and looks from there. Naturally, whatsoever you see is contaminated by your standpoint, is contaminated by the space you are in.

The man of compassion is sharp. Without tears, without emotions, he simply moves into action. He is not cold, but neither is he hot. He is simply warm. And cool. That is the paradox of the man of compassion. He is warm, because he is loving, and yet he keeps his cool. His cool is never lost; whatsoever happens he remains cool, and out of his coolness he acts. And because he remains cool, he helps.


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