Kuan Yin is the manifestation of Great Love and Great Compassion, and is most often represented as a female deity. Her name means "She who hears the cries of the world." She has the power to assume whatever form is necessary to fulfill her vow to save all beings from suffering.
Kuan Yin is the female form of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. This bodhisattva assumed many forms in Buddhist art as Buddhism traveled across the Asian continent. Originating in India as a male bodhisattva, Avalokiteshvara gradually transformed into the goddess known as Kuan Yin during the 10th century in China.
In Tibet, this bodhisattva is known as Chenrezig. Depicted here in the posture of royal ease, this exquisitely detailed statue of Kuan Yin captures the serene dignity of this well-loved bodhisattva.
Kuan Yin is sometimes depicted holding a vase containing the healing waters of compassion which she pours upon the suffering world. Kuan Yin is also known as guanyin, guan yin, quan yin, and guan yin.
Depicted here in three aspects, she holds a lotus flower symbolizing the innate purity of the Buddha nature, a sutra symbolizing the enlightened wisdom of the Dharma, and a mala, or rosary symbolizing the vow of the Bodhisattva to save all beings from suffering. This exquisitely detailed statue is a reproduction of the monumental "Guan Yin of the South Sea of Sanya".
Kannon is the Japanese name for Kuan Yin, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. Kannon means "she who watches and hears" the sound of suffering beings. With her thousand eyes and hands, Kannon swiftly fulfills her vow to save all beings. The Thousand Arm Kannon (Senjyu Kannon, Jpn.) is one of the principal representations of this bodhisattva in Japanese Buddhism.