Why is Guanyin so high? What is the origin of Guanyin?

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What is the origin of Guanyin brought to you by the Xiaobian of China story network today? I hope it can help you.

There are four Bodhisattvas in Buddhism: King Tibetans Bodhisattva, Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, Manjusri Bodhisattva, and Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva.

According to legend, the Daoists of the four Bodhisattvas were all in China. Mount Wutai in Shanxi used to be the Daoist center of Manjusri Bodhisattva, Mount Emei in Sichuan used to be the Daoist center of Puxian Bodhisattva, Mount Putuo in Zhejiang used to be the Daoist center of Guanyin Bodhisattva, and Mount Jiuhua in Anhui used to be the Daoist center of Tibetan Bodhisattva, so it is called the “four famous mountains of Buddhism”.


However, among the four Bodhisattvas, Guanyin Bodhisattva has far more faith than the other three, and is the highest ranking Bodhisattva in China.

Why is this?

/ the origin of Guanyin

In fact, as early as before the birth of the Buddha and the birth of Buddhism, the worship of Avalokitesvara already existed in the Brahmin classic Rigveda.

According to legend, Guanyin was originally a Bodhisattva of Brahmanism, named “horse head Guanyin” or “horse head Mingwang”. It is also said that she came from the good God of Brahmanism – double horseboy.

When Sakyamuni founded Mahayana Buddhism, the mainstream religion in ancient India was Brahmanism, which divided people into four classes.

Sakyamuni was a second-class Prince of King Jingfan, but he couldn’t bear to see the inferior suffer, so he founded Mahayana Buddhism.

However, in order to win democratic trust and support, early Mahayana Buddhism must absorb some theoretical knowledge and characters of Brahman.

So when primitive Buddhism created, consolidated and publicized its own theoretical system, it absorbed the figure of Brahmin Avalokitesvara and transformed his life experience.


Therefore, some Buddhist scriptures say that he is the eldest son of Amitabha Buddha. Together with Amitabha Buddha and dashizhi Bodhisattva, he is collectively known as the three saints of the West.

Since then, the Brahmin Avalokitesvara has become the ultimate Buddha of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva in later generations, that is, the self body in Buddhism.

Here, popularize the four bodies in Buddhism.

The four bodies are self nature body, Dharma body, newspaper body and incarnation. The combination of Dharma body, newspaper body and incarnation is self nature body. The other three bodies are differentiated after the fruition of practice. Only self nature body is the real self.

Therefore, it is understandable that Guanyin, as a foreign god introduced by the Buddha, has a higher status.

In fact, there are two kinds of Bodhisattvas. One is the Bodhisattva’s positive fruit after various practices, various consciousness, and various disasters, such as Maitreya Bodhisattva before becoming a Buddha.

The other is that these Bodhisattvas have become Buddhas in the past. In order to alleviate the suffering of all sentient beings, they voluntarily remove the Buddha fruit and become Bodhisattvas. Only when they achieve a certain ambition, they are willing to achieve the Buddha fruit again.

Among them, the most famous are the four Bodhisattvas: Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, Tiberium King Bodhisattva, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, Manjusri Bodhisattva, etc.


Because the four Bodhisattvas have different functions. Guanyin Bodhisattva master “compassion” is a symbol of compassion, Manjusri Bodhisattva master “wisdom” is a symbol of wisdom, Bodhisattva master “wish” is a symbol of great wish, Bodhisattva master “action” is a symbol of action.

In Buddhism, there is no distinction between the four Bodhisattvas, but among the people, Guanyin is far more popular than Manjusri and Samantabhadra.

Guanyin Bodhisattva’s main compassion is a symbol of compassion. Since it is compassion, it must be to save suffering and distress. Saving people from hardship and distress is always a great attraction and temptation for ordinary people in this world.

The first sentence in the Heart Sutra, which is familiar to people, is: observe the free Bodhisattva, go deep into Prajna paramita for a long time, see that the five implications are empty, and spend all hardships.

According to Buddhist classics, when the Buddha introduced Guanyin Bodhisattva, he said that she had become a Buddha as early as ancient times, and the Buddha’s positive Dharma, the Tathagata, was one of her Dharma bodies.

With the titles of zhunti Buddha mother and the lotus Buddha of Tantra Buddhism, it is reasonable for Guanyin to rank above most Buddhas.

/ Guanyin’s appearance of men and women

Among all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, Guanyin is the only female Bodhisattva, but the earliest portrait of Guanyin Bodhisattva appeared before is a male face.

There has been a debate for thousands of years about when men become women.

In fact, at the beginning of Buddhism, Guanyin was indeed a male.


According to the Sutra of compassion, “there is a rotating Saint King, whose name is not pure. The king has four sons. The first Prince is named Buxuan, that is, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva; the second prince is named NIMA, that is, dashizhi Bodhisattva; the third prince is named Wang Xiang, that is, Manjusri Bodhisattva; and the fourth son is named mintu, that is, Samantabhadra Bodhisattva.”

This shows that the prototype of Guanyin Bodhisattva is the crown prince of the Runner King.

The Huayan Sutra also proves that one day, a boy who was good at money went to Mount Putuo to pay homage to Guanyin and saw a brave husband on a diamond in the rock valley forest.

The brave husband was the standard image on the Guanyin ID card in that era.

Those who know a little about Buddhism know that at the beginning of Buddhism, there was no way for women to be saints and Bodhisattvas (senior titles in Buddhism).

Because early Buddhism had serious discrimination against women, not only did it not allow women to join the church, but even regarded women as the great enemy and destroyer of practicing and learning Buddhism.

The position of bhikuni was also established after Sakyamuni’s aunt mahapraja Poti (Tao of great love) became a monk.

According to the great love bhikhuni Sutra, Maha Bodhisattva Bodhi vowed to observe the eight reverences, so he was allowed to be disciplined by special cases.

But there are still several levels between bhikuni and the sage Bodhisattva.

Guanyin Bodhisattva was introduced into China in the Wei and Jin Dynasties. When he first came in, he sat high in the Buddhist hall as a “great husband”.

This can be confirmed by the murals in the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang and the wood carvings in the northern and Southern Dynasties. In Tibetan Buddhism, Guanyin is a man’s face, and the most obvious sign is the “Lotus hand”.


So when did Guanyin become a female again?

First of all, theoretically speaking, Guanyin can be male or female.

The Vajra Sutra records that Bodhisattvas have no appearance, no self, no sentient beings, and no longevity… If there are these four aspects, they are not Bodhisattvas.

Secondly, from the perspective of Chinese people’s perception habits, Guanyin’s compassion is dignified, gentle and dignified. Saving people from hardship is full of human feelings, which is more consistent with the positioning of women’s roles.

Therefore, in the process of spreading, some people gradually feminize and sinicize him.

Of course, this is only a private phenomenon. Therefore, although there were female Avalokitesvara as early as the northern and Southern Dynasties, there were not many.

It was not until Wu Zetian became emperor that there were more female Avalokitesvara, and even all became female prime ministers in the end.

In ancient times, women’s status was low, not to mention being emperors, who couldn’t even eat at the table.

And Wu Zetian risked the world’s great condemnation and became the only female emperor through the ages, which naturally caused the dissatisfaction of countless people. Therefore, in order to prove the legitimacy of her status, Wu Zetian decided to use the power of religion to stabilize the regime.


Therefore, she declared that she was the reincarnation of Maitreya Buddha to save the world. (at that time, Buddhism prevailed over Taoism)

But Maitreya Buddha is a man. Why is he reincarnated into a woman?

Wu Zetian couldn’t help it. She asked her lover Xue Huaiyi and fameng, a Buddhist monk in the Eastern Wei Dynasty, to compose a “great cloud Sutra” to demonstrate why she was Maitreya’s reincarnation.

Also let master Bodhi Liuzhi, an eminent monk of the Pure Land Sect, note when translating the “precious rain Sutra”: “there was a day in the east when the son was named sun and moon, and came to the Buddha by five colored clouds. He was really a Bodhisattva, so he appeared as a woman.”

This theoretically demonstrates why Maitreya Buddha was reincarnated as a female body and why he was his reincarnated female fetus.

Through this wave of publicity, the people not only accepted the fact that Wu Zetian was emperor, but also accepted the idea that Bodhisattva can also be a woman.

Since Wu Zetian was the birth of Maitreya Buddha and Maitreya Buddha can be female, why can’t Guanyin be female?

Therefore, in the era of Wu Zetian, people devoted themselves to creating Guanyin into a full moon and compassionate female Bodhisattva.


If you pay a little attention, you will find that the appearance of Guanyin Bodhisattva is very similar to Wu Zetian’s face.

/ the origin of thousand hands and thousand eyes

Compared with other gods worshipped by people, the image of Avalokitesvara is variable. According to Buddhist legends alone, she has 33 Dharma phases.

Among them, Guanyin with willows, Guanyin with fish baskets, Guanyin with children, the great man in white, Guanyin with four arms and so on are more familiar.

Every Guanyin represents a wish of the people.

For example, Yang liuguanyin is specially responsible for relieving the drought for farmers’ rainfall, Longtou Guanyin is responsible for supporting justice and eliminating disasters for the people, white clothes Guanyin is responsible for transcending the dead and ghosts, lotus Guanyin is responsible for helping pregnant and giving birth, Liuli Guanyin is responsible for bumper harvest and human and animal safety, and fishing basket Guanyin is responsible for eliminating diseases for people

The most eye-catching is Guanyin with thousands of hands and eyes. She has 11 faces, 42 arms, and one eye on each palm, representing thousands of faces, thousands of hands and thousands of eyes. It is used to watch, listen to and care for countless sentient beings, and save them from suffering.

In fact, there is another reason for the transformation of Guanyin Bodhisattva to goddess, which is said to be related to the princess Miaoshan of Xinglin country in ancient India.

The king of Xinglin had three beautiful princesses. The first princess and the second princess served their parents in the palace. Only the third princess Miaoshan became a nun since childhood. The king tried hard to persuade her to return to the palace, but she resolutely refused.


So the angry king sent people to demolish the temple and expel the monks and nuns.

This blasphemous act offended the God, who made the king grow 500 abscesses all over his body, and all kinds of treatment failed to improve.

Later, the king invited a famous doctor, who said that the disease could be cured only with hands and eyes that were close to his bones.

The king asked for help from the eldest and the second around him, but neither princess was willing to make such a big sacrifice.

When the third Miaoshan learned the news, he didn’t hesitate to gouge out his eyes and put down his hands. Only in this way did he heal his father’s illness.

Miaoshan’s self sacrifice not only moved his father, but also the Sakyamuni Buddha.

In order to enable Miaoshan to continue to save suffering beings, he rewarded her with thousands of hands and eyes. From then on, Princess Miaoshan became a Bodhisattva with thousands of hands and eyes.

In later legends, she fused with the Godhead of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, known as Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva with thousands of hands and eyes.

Therefore, the Sutra of great compassion contains: “if I come, I can benefit all sentient beings. It makes me instantly born with thousands of hands and thousands of eyes. The hair is a wish. At that time, the thousands of hands and thousands of eyes on my body are all sufficient. The earth in ten directions. Six kinds of vibrations. Thousands of Buddhas in ten directions. I know to put light. Touch me. And shine on the boundless world in ten directions.”

The general meaning is that in the past countless hundred million disasters, there was a thousand light king, Jingzhu Tathagata, who was born. Because of his compassion for all sentient beings, he said that the vast perfection did not hinder the great compassion of toroni. As soon as Guanyin Bodhisattva heard this mantra, he surpassed from the beginning to the eighth place, and then issued a vow of thousands of hands and thousands of eyes to benefit all sentient beings. At that time, he had thousands of hands and thousands of eyes.


Since the Tang Dynasty, Guanyin statues with thousands of hands and eyes have been widely spread, which can be roughly divided into two types.

First, there are thousands of hands and thousands of eyes. The typical statue is headed by a crown with a Buddha, three eyes on the face, thousands of arms, and one eye on each hand.

Thousand hands are divided into eight hands of the Dharma body, the largest hand, of which the second hand is palm shaped, and the other six hands are law enforcement devices; There are 40 hands, slightly small, including second-hand palms and 38 other law enforcement instruments; Incarnation 950 second-hand, all in the hands of each weapon.

There is also a simplified thousand hand thousand eye Guanyin, which is actually forty hand eye Guanyin.

Most of the statues have two eyes and two hands on the front, with 20 hands on the left and right, one eye on each hand, and two hands inside. One is called manna hand, the other is called Shi Wuwei hand, and the remaining 38 hands all hold magic objects.

According to the Sutra of great compassion, the objects held by 40 hands or the palms presented are: Shi Wuwei, Sun Jing Mani, moon Jing Mani, Baogong, Baojian, junzhang (bottle), Yang Liuzhi, Bai Fu, Baoping… Plus manna hands, they are combined into 41 hands.

Among them, “thousand” means immeasurable and perfect. “Thousand Hands” symbolizes the immeasurable convenience of Guanyin’s great compassion and altruism, and “thousand eyes” symbolize observing the wisdom of the machine root when it should be materialized and guided.


In fact, for all living beings in the world, it doesn’t matter whether they believe in Buddhism or not, or even whether they believe in atheism.

It is important to maintain a basic awe for the unknown and mysterious fields. People must have a sense of awe in order to restrain evil thoughts.

Common language: no matter what the trace is, there is no perfect person in the mind, which is generally the case.

Therefore, if there are gods three feet above the head, adhere to the rules, and do not exceed the boundaries, everyone will become a Buddha. Disclaimer: the above content originates from the network, and the copyright belongs to the original author. Please inform us if your original copyright is infringed, and we will delete the relevant content as soon as possible.

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