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Monday, October 25, 2010

Thousand-Hand Guan Yin

A statue of the Thousand Hand Guan Yin (千手观音) or Goddess of Mercy at the Chin Swee Temple Vegetarian Restaurant in Genting Highlands.

Guan Yin is the short form for "Guan Shi Yin" (觀世音). Guan means to watch; Shi means the world and Yin means the sounds of the people who are suffering and pray to her for help. Guan Yin is full of compassion, hence she is known as the Goddess of Mercy. She watches over and responds to us, the mortal beings who seek her help. Guan Yin is a bodhisattva, meaning one who has attained enlightenment.

According to legend, Guanyin has made a vow to never rest until she had freed all sentient beings from samsara or reincarnation. Despite strenuous effort, she realized that there were still many unhappy beings yet to be saved. After struggling to comprehend the needs of so many, her head split into eleven pieces. Amitabha Buddha, seeing her plight, gave her eleven heads with which to hear the cries of the suffering. Upon hearing these cries and comprehending them, Guan Yin attempted to reach out to all those who needed aid, but found that her two arms shattered into pieces. Once more, Amitabha came to her aid and bestowed her a thousand arms with which to aid the many. Many Himalayan versions of the tale include eight arms with which Avalokitesvara (Guan Yin) skillfully upholds the Dharma, each possessing its own particular implement, while more Chinese-specific versions give varying accounts of this number. (Source: Wikipedia)

Can you see the many faces of Buddhas arrange in a circle on top of her head?
Do you know that authentic statues of Guan Yin should have a buddha image on top of her head?

The Thousand-Hand Guan Yin is often depicted with many hands and many faces, signifying the many methods she can see, hear and offer assistance.


This is my entry for Mellow Yellow Monday # 92. To participate of view what others have for MYM today, please click on the picture icon above.

This is also my entry for That's My World Tuesday Season 3 Episode 3. MyWorld is the place where we become virtual tourists guides and show others the best of our world! To view what others have in their world, please visit here. 


  1. I can't quite tell, but it looks as if each of her hands has a different finger formation?

  2. Great shot!

    My Mellow Yellow post, have a great week ahead!

  3. This is similar to a Hindu Goddess..
    Nice picture..

  4. Very interesting shot. I see two heads on top. Happy Monday!
    MYM-More flowers

  5. A lovely and very interesting and informative post for the day! Always enjoy learning more about other people's worlds! Terrific photo! Enjoy your week!


  6. Interesting.
    Reminds me of the Hindu gods/goddesses.
    Have a lovely week.

  7. A very beautiful statue. Very interesting post. Thanks for sharing your world.

  8. I think the two of us are similarly fascinated by many of the same things from reading your blogs over the past couple of months....you really take some great pics. Thanks for sharing!

  9. What a lovely and fascinating insight into this goddess.

  10. i was just watching Lara Croft in HBO the other night--Guan Yin with a sword on each hand.:p fascinating!

  11. Beautiful My World posting

    Have a nice week,
    Greetings, Bram

    My Word Tuesday post

    Seen on My World Tuesday

  12. Didn't know she has so many hands. I once read she was a Man before she became Guan Yin.


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