HALL OF WATER 水大之殿

Manifestations of Avalokitesvara 观音万象

Chamber 5 第五堂

The 33 Transformation Bodies of Guanyin 三十三应化身

 

Leaf Cloaked Guanyin 叶衣观音, who appears as 帝释天身 Sakra, King of the Tavatimsa heaven, which is on the peak of Mount Sumeru. This form is the same as Parnashabari Avalokitesvara of the Garbhakosa. He is sitting in the lotus posture on a rock with both hands folded infront. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there are those that can be liberated by Sakra, the Bodhisattva will appear in this form to teach them the Dharma." This form is venerated for its ability to protect sentient beings from various diseases, lengthening life & also to protect households. The above image is 22nd of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.

 

Colored Glaze Guanyin 琉璃观音, who appears as 自在天身 Isvaradeva. Isvaradeva is Lord of the Paranirmita-vashavartin Heaven, the highest heaven in the Realm of Desire (where we dwell). In this realm he is considered the supreme deity. This form is the same as Gandharaja Avalokitesvara of the Garbhakosa. Also known as 高王观音 High King Guanyin. He is standing on a lotus petal floating on the water. In his hands is a incense burner made of colored glaze. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there are those that can be liberated by Isvaradeva, the Bodhisattva will appear in this form to teach them the Dharma." This form is venerated for its ability to protect sentient beings from many types of untimely death. The above image is 23rd of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.

 

Tara Guanyin 多罗观音, who appears protected from hostile bandits. This form is the same as Bodhisattva Tara of the Garbhakosa. As we know Tara means 'eye' or 'deliverer'. He is standing on a cloud floating in the sky. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there are sentient beings surrounded by hostile bandits, each wielding a sword ready to slay; by the power of invoking Avalokitesvara, they will immediately turn merciful." This form is venerated for its ability to protect sentient beings from being harmed by vicious bandits. The above image is 24th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.

 

Clam Guanyin 蛤蜊观音, who appears who appears as a 菩萨身 Bodhisattva. This form seats in meditation behind a giant clam. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there are those that can be liberated by a Bodhisattva, the Bodhisattva will appear as himself to teach them the Dharma." This form originated from the legends among China's coastal fishermen, & is venerated by them for its ability to protect them on their fishing trips out to sea. The above image is 25th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.

 

Six Period Guanyin 六时观音, who appears who appears as a 居士身 Upasaka (Layman). This form stands on a rock holding a Sutra text in his right hand. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there are those that can be liberated by a Upasaka, the Bodhisattva will appear in this form to teach them the Dharma." This form is so called because it constantly radiates compassion towards all sentient beings, throughout the six 2-hourly periods of both day & night. The above image is 26th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.

 

Universal Compassion Guanyin 普悲观音, who appears who appears as 大自在天身 Mahesvara. Mahesvara is originally Shiva of the Hindu faith, but after being converted by the Buddha he has since become a guardian deity. He is also thought to be the highest deity in the Realm of Form, thus very exalted in power & virtue. This form stands on a mountain top with both hands crossed & concealed in his robes. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there are those that can be liberated by Mahesvara, the Bodhisattva will appear in this form to teach them the Dharma." This form is so called because its universal & equal compassion is able to benefit all sentient beings, just as the power & virtue of Mahevsara is known by all. The above image is 27th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.

 

Lady Ma Guanyin 马郎妇观音, who appears who appears as a 妇女身 Lady. This form stands with both hands crossed infront, & is garbed in a celestial dress. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there are those that can be liberated by a Lady, the Bodhisattva will appear in this form to teach them the Dharma." During the reign of Emperor Xianzong of the Tang Dynasty, in the year 817 AD this form appeared in the 陕右 Shanyou district to convert the populace there. The people of Shanyou is fond of hunting & archery, & have never heard of the Dharma. Thus the Bodhisattva appeared as a beautiful lady & enticed the men to ask for her hand, but on the condition that they can memorize 3 Mahayana Sutra texts. So after 3 rounds of competition only a young man of the Ma family could memorize all the texts. So she married this young man, only to die the next day. A few days after she was buried an old monk appeared, asking that the grave be lifted. In it they found that only a golden collar bone remained. The old monk then revealed to them that this lady is actually a manifestation of Guanyin, who took pity on the people here & thus came to teach them. As he finished his words the old monk simply vanished. From then on the populace of Shanyou mostly became devout Buddhists. The above image is 28th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.

 

Clasped Palms Guanyin 合掌观音, who appears as a 婆罗门身 Brahmin. Brahmins are people of the priest caste, thus having the highest standing in Indian society. This form stands on a lotus with both palms clasped in salute. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there are those that can be liberated by a Brahmin, the Bodhisattva will appear in this form to teach them the Dharma." Although this form is of noble caste, but it is free from egoistic pride, humbly saluting all sentinet beings as future Buddhas. The above image is 29th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.

 

Oneness Guanyin 一如观音, who appears in control of storms. This form sits on a lotus seat on top of a floating storm cloud, with both hands placed on her raised left knee. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there thunderous clouds spitting bolts of lightning, dropping hailstones & showering great rain; by the power of invoking Avalokitesvara, they will all disperse in due time." This form is venerated for its ability to protect sentient beings from disasterous storms. The above image is 30th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.

 

Non-dual Guanyin 不二观音, who appears as a 执金刚身 Vajra Holder (guardian deity). This form stands on a lotus leaf floating on the water, with both hands lowered & crossed infront. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there are those that can be liberated by a Vajra Holder, the Bodhisattva will appear in this form to teach them the Dharma." This form is venerated for its ability to protect all Buddhas from unwholesome forces. Non-dual refers to the nature of the Bodhisattva's fierce & peaceful manifestations. The above image is 31st of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.

 

Lotus Holding Guanyin 持莲观音, who appears as a 童男童女身 Boy/Girl Child. This form, who wears a crown, is the same as Bodhisattva Padmapani of the Garbhakosa. It stands on a floating lotus leaf, with both hands holding a long stalk of 2 lotuses, one bloomed & the other half-bloomed. It symbolizes the fully enlightened mind together with the mind journeying towards enlightenment. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there are those that can be liberated by a Boy or Girl Child, the Bodhisattva will appear in this form to teach them the Dharma." As we may know, this lotus is a symbol of the Bodhisattva's fundamental vow. The above image is 32nd of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.

 

Water Sprinkling Guanyin 洒水观音, who appears controlling the flood waters. It stands on a rock holding a bowl in the left hand & sprinkling water from it with a willow stalk in the right hand. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there are sentient beings washed away by great waters, drifting helplessly in the flood; by the power of invoking Avalokitesvara, they will be able to reach shallow areas." This is exactly the same as Single Petal Guanyin. Likewise, this form is venerated for its ability to save victims of water disasters. The above image is the last & 33rd of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.

 

 

 

 

 

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