HALL OF WATER 水大之殿

Manifestations of Avalokitesvara 观音万象

Chamber 3 第三堂

The 33 Transformation Bodies of Guanyin 三十三应化身

  

    

Willow Leaf Guanyin 杨柳观音 otherwise known as Bhaisajya-raja Avalokitesvara 药王观音, who holds a vial of elixir in the left hand and a stalk of willow leaves in the right. This refers to the flexibility of the Bodhisattva to adept to the mind of sentient beings, liken to willow leaves swaying in the wind. The elixir can cure all their physical and spiritual illnesses. Devotees suffering from illnesses therefore pray especially to this manifestation, so this is also another popular form in China and South East Asia. The above form is 1st of the 33 Chinese Guanyin. Her mantra is:

Om vajra dharmaya bhaisajya raja svaha

 

Dragon Head Guanyin 龙头观音, who appears as 天龙夜叉身 a Naga or Yaksa. This form is sitting or standing on the back of a dragon flying through the clouds. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there are those that can be liberated by a Naga or Yaksa, the Bodhisattva will appear in these forms to teach them the Dharma." They are all celestial or supernatural beings. But as the Dragon is the highest of all beasts, it can be compared to the might of Guanyin's powers. The above image is 2nd of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.

 

Sutra Holding Guanyin 持经观音, who appears as 声闻身 a Sravaka. This form is seated on a rock with a scroll in the right hand. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says: "If there are those that can be liberated by a Sravaka, the Bodhisattva will appear in this form to teach them the Dharma." A Sravaka is an enlightened disciple of the Buddha. As Sravakas attain enlightenment through listening to the Dharma, the Sutra is used as a symbol of teaching. The above image is 3rd of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.

 

Complete Hallow Guanyin 圆光观音, who appears inside an all encompassing hallow of light. This form is seated on a rock with clasped palms. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says: "If there are sentient beings punished by kings, about to meet their ends by execution; by the power of invoking Avalokitesvara, the blade will shatter into many pieces." The blazing flames behind this form is a symbol of such strength. The above image is 4th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.

 

Wander Jest Guanyin 游戏观音, who appears falling from the admantine mountain. This form is seated on rainbow colored clouds with one hand holding her raised knee & the other supporting her body. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says: "If there are sentinet beings pursued by evil men, and as a result fall off the admantine mountain; by the power of invoking Avalokitesvara, not a single hair on them will be injured." The rainbow clouds are used as a symbol of such freedom of flight. The above image is 5th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.

 

White Robe Guanyin 白衣观音, who appears as 比丘比丘尼身 a Bhikku or Bhikkuni. This form is seated in meditation on a rock wearing a white robe. It is the same as Pandaravasini Avalokitesvara of the Garbhadhatu Mandala. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says: "If there are those that can be liberated by a Bhikku or Bhikkuni, the Bodhisattva will appear in these forms to teach them the Dharma." A Bhikku/Bhikkuni is an ordained disciple of the Buddha. White symbolises the pure undefiled heart of enlightenment - the bodhicitta. Incidentally this Guanyin is also called the "mother-form", as almost all chinese depictions of Guanyin are modelled in this image. The above image is 6th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.

 

Lotus Seated Guanyin 莲卧观音, who appears as 小王身 a Prince. This form wears a crown & is seated in a lotus pond with clasped palms. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says: "If there are those that can be liberated by a Prince, the Bodhisattva will appear in this form to teach them the Dharma." The exalted lotus seat represents his or her natural noblity. The above image is 7th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.

 

Gush Seeing Guanyin 泷见观音, who appears as transforming a burning pit into a pond. This form is seated on a cliff gazing at a distant waterfall. Thus it is also known as Waterfall Observing Guanyin 观瀑观音 The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says: "If there are sentinet beings to be harmed, by being pushed into a pit of fire; by the power of invoking Avalokitesvara, the burning pit will become a pond." The gushing waters are used as a symbol of such salvation. The above image is 8th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.

 

Joy Giving Guanyin 施乐观音, who appears like the sun in the sky. This form sits beside a pond gazing at nearby lotuses, with one hand placed on her knee & the other on her cheek, as if in deep contemplation. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says although "Sentinet beings are in great trouble and distress, subjected to endless cycles of suffering; but through Avalokitesvara's wonderful wisdom, all worldly suffering can be saved." She constatly contemplates on how to relieve the suffering of sentient beings using her limitless wisdom, thus giving them true joy. The above image is 9th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.

 

Fish Basket Guanyin 鱼篮观音, who appears to save those running into evil 罗刹 raksas. This form is standing on a great koi fish with crossed hands, sometimes holding a fish basket. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says: "If sentinet beings meet with evil raksas, poisonous nagas and other demons; by the power of invoking Avalokitesvara, immediately none will dare to harm them." The great koi fish is a symbol of majesty that awes the raksas, nagas & demons into submission, & the basket is where they will be contained. The above image is 10th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.

 

Virtuous King Guanyin 德王观音, who appears as 梵王身 Mahabrahma. This form sits in the lotus posture on a rock, holding a branch of willow leaves in the right hand & the left hand rests below his navel. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says: "If there are those that can be liberated by Mahabrahma, the Bodhisattva will appear in this form to teach them the Dharma." Mahabrahma is the Primal Sentient Being & the Creator deity of the Hindu faith. After the Buddha appeared he has since become a guardian deity. He is Lord of the Realm of Form, thus extremely exalted in virtue. This is comparable to the virtue of Guanyin, so this form is named Virtuous King. The above image is 11th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More to come…

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