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According to legend, Avalokitesvara was born from a ray of white light that [[Amitabha]], the Buddha of Boundless Light, emitted from his right eye as he was lost in ecstasy. Thus Avalokitesvara, or Kuan Yin, is regarded as the “reflex” of Amitabha—a further emanation or embodiment of ''maha karuna'' (great compassion), the quality that Amitabha embodies. Devotees believe that Kuan Yin, as the merciful redemptress, expresses Amitabha’s compassion in a more direct and personal way and that prayers to her are answered more quickly.
 
According to legend, Avalokitesvara was born from a ray of white light that [[Amitabha]], the Buddha of Boundless Light, emitted from his right eye as he was lost in ecstasy. Thus Avalokitesvara, or Kuan Yin, is regarded as the “reflex” of Amitabha—a further emanation or embodiment of ''maha karuna'' (great compassion), the quality that Amitabha embodies. Devotees believe that Kuan Yin, as the merciful redemptress, expresses Amitabha’s compassion in a more direct and personal way and that prayers to her are answered more quickly.
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In Buddhist tradition, Kuan Yin is sometimes depicted as the captain of the “Bark of Salvation,” ferrying souls across the rough sea of their karma to Amitabha’s Western Paradise, or [[Pure Land]], the land of bliss where souls may be reborn to receive continued instruction toward the goal of enlightenment and perfection.
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[[File:0000214 kuan-yin-on-a-dragon-2331AX 600.jpeg|thumb|upright|alt=Painting of Kuan Yin in Chinese style, riding a dragon in the midst of a turbulent sea|Kuan Yin riding a dragon. This image also represents Kuan Yin’s mastery of the water element, in the same way that Mother Mary’s mastery of the water element is depicted in images of her with the moon beneath her feet.]]
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In the [[Pure Land]] sect of Buddhism, Kuan Yin forms part of a ruling triad that is often depicted in temples and is a popular theme in Buddhist art. In the center is the Buddha of Boundless Light, Amitabha (Chinese, A-mi-t’o Fo; Japanese, Amida). To his right is the bodhisattva of strength or power, Mahasthamaprapta, and to his left is Kuan Yin, personifying his endless mercy.
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In Buddhist theology Kuan Yin is sometimes depicted as the captain of the “Bark of Salvation,” guiding souls to Amitabha's Western Paradise, or Pure Land—the land of bliss where souls may be reborn to receive continued instruction toward the goal of enlightenment and perfection. The journey to Pure Land is frequently represented in woodcuts showing boats full of Amitabha’s followers under Kuan Yin’s captainship.
    
One of Kuan Yin’s principal emblems is the willow branch. According to Buddhist belief, she uses the willow branch to drive away illness and to sprinkle the nectar of wisdom and compassion upon all who invoke her assistance. In some Asian traditions prayers to cure disease were given while stroking the afflicted person with a willow branch.
 
One of Kuan Yin’s principal emblems is the willow branch. According to Buddhist belief, she uses the willow branch to drive away illness and to sprinkle the nectar of wisdom and compassion upon all who invoke her assistance. In some Asian traditions prayers to cure disease were given while stroking the afflicted person with a willow branch.
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[[File:0000214 kuan-yin-on-a-dragon-2331AX 600.jpeg|thumb|upright|alt=Painting of Kuan Yin in Chinese style, riding a dragon in the midst of a turbulent sea|Kuan Yin riding a dragon. This image also represents Kuan Yin’s mastery of the water element, in the same way that Mother Mary’s mastery of the water element is depicted in images of her with the moon beneath her feet.]]
      
One of Kuan Yin’s principal emblems is the willow branch. According to Buddhist belief, she uses the willow branch to drive away illness and to sprinkle the nectar of wisdom and compassion upon all who invoke her assistance. In some Asian traditions prayers to cure disease were given while stroking the afflicted person with a willow branch.
 
One of Kuan Yin’s principal emblems is the willow branch. According to Buddhist belief, she uses the willow branch to drive away illness and to sprinkle the nectar of wisdom and compassion upon all who invoke her assistance. In some Asian traditions prayers to cure disease were given while stroking the afflicted person with a willow branch.
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The king ordered that she be strangled with a silken cord. But a tiger leaped into the execution grounds, dispersed the executioners, put the inanimate body of Miao Shan on his back and disappeared into the pine forest.  
 
The king ordered that she be strangled with a silken cord. But a tiger leaped into the execution grounds, dispersed the executioners, put the inanimate body of Miao Shan on his back and disappeared into the pine forest.  
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Miao Shan’s soul, which was not hurt, was taken to the lower world, hell. She prayed and hell was transformed into a paradise. She was sent back to earth to resume her life there. Carried on a lotus flower to the island of P’ootoo, near Nimpo, she lived for nine years healing the diseased and saving mariners from shipwreck.
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[[File:Statue of Guanyin, Mt Putuo, China.jpg|thumb|left|alt=caption|Thirty-three meter statue of Kuan Yin on Mount P’u-t’o, the sacred island-mountain that became a center of devotion to Kuan Yin]]
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Miao Shan’s soul, which was not hurt, was taken to the lower world, hell. She prayed and hell was transformed into a paradise. She was sent back to earth to resume her life there. Carried on a lotus flower to the island of P’u-t’o Shan—the sacred island-mountain in the Chusan Archipelago off the coast of Chekiang—she lived for nine years healing the diseased and saving mariners from shipwreck.
    
It is said that once, when word was brought to her that her father had fallen ill, she cut the flesh from her arms and used it as a medicine that saved his life. In gratitude, he ordered that a statue be erected in her honor, commissioning the artist to depict her with “completely formed arms and eyes.” The artist misunderstood, however, and to this day Kuan Yin is sometimes shown with a “thousand arms and a thousand eyes,” thereby able to see and assist the masses of her people.
 
It is said that once, when word was brought to her that her father had fallen ill, she cut the flesh from her arms and used it as a medicine that saved his life. In gratitude, he ordered that a statue be erected in her honor, commissioning the artist to depict her with “completely formed arms and eyes.” The artist misunderstood, however, and to this day Kuan Yin is sometimes shown with a “thousand arms and a thousand eyes,” thereby able to see and assist the masses of her people.
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During the twelfth century Buddhist monks settled on P’u-t’o Shan, and devotion to Kuan Yin spread throughout northern China. This picturesque island became the chief center of worship of the compassionate Saviouress; crowds of pilgrims would journey from the remotest places in China and even from Manchuria, Mongolia and Tibet to attend stately services there. At one time there were more than a hundred temples on the island and over one thousand monks.  The lore surrounding P’u-t’o island recounts numerous appearances and miracles performed by Kuan Yin, who, it is believed, reveals herself to the faithful in a certain cave on the island.
    
== The bodhisattva ideal ==
 
== The bodhisattva ideal ==
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The foundation of the path of the abundant life or of science is forgiveness. It is the resolution of harmony between every part of God. It is an intense love action of the freedom flame. The energies of the [[violet flame]], the energies of God, are always pulsating, always moving, and they are transmuting the records of the subconscious. Forgiveness is the fulfillment of the law in Isaiah, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”<ref>Isa. 1:18.</ref>
 
The foundation of the path of the abundant life or of science is forgiveness. It is the resolution of harmony between every part of God. It is an intense love action of the freedom flame. The energies of the [[violet flame]], the energies of God, are always pulsating, always moving, and they are transmuting the records of the subconscious. Forgiveness is the fulfillment of the law in Isaiah, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”<ref>Isa. 1:18.</ref>
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[[File:HainanSanya2-cropped.jpg|thumb|alt=caption|upright=1.2|108-meter (354 ft) statue of Kuan Yin on the island of Hainan, in the South China Sea]]
    
== The need to forgive ==
 
== The need to forgive ==
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If you expect forgiveness, then you must be ready to forgive seventy times seven, as the Master Jesus taught. “In small ways and in great ways, mankind are tested,” Kuan Yin says, “And the bigotry that remains in the consciousness of some is also a lack of forgiveness. Those who cannot forgive their fellowmen because they do not think or worship as they do—these have the hardness of heart that encases the flame of love and also prevents the flow of wisdom.”<ref>Kuan Yin, “Mercy: The Fire that Tries Every Man’s Works,” ''Pearls of Wisdom'', 1982, Book II, p. ''95''.</ref>  
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If you expect forgiveness, then you must be ready to forgive seventy times seven, as the Master [[Jesus]] taught. “In small ways and in great ways, mankind are tested,” Kuan Yin says, “And the bigotry that remains in the consciousness of some is also a lack of forgiveness. Those who cannot forgive their fellowmen because they do not think or worship as they do—these have the hardness of heart that encases the flame of love and also prevents the flow of wisdom.”<ref>Kuan Yin, “Mercy: The Fire that Tries Every Man’s Works,” ''Pearls of Wisdom'', 1982, Book II, p. ''95''.</ref>  
    
The mercy of the law is like a two-way street. It is the signal that you send to God and the signal that he returns. A two-way street means the give-and-take with God. If you expect mercy from God, then you must give mercy to every part of life. The fulfillment of the law of mercy must be for the ultimate liberation of each and every soul. Thus, as we forgive life, life forgives us.
 
The mercy of the law is like a two-way street. It is the signal that you send to God and the signal that he returns. A two-way street means the give-and-take with God. If you expect mercy from God, then you must give mercy to every part of life. The fulfillment of the law of mercy must be for the ultimate liberation of each and every soul. Thus, as we forgive life, life forgives us.
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{{MTR}}, s.v. “Kuan Yin.”
 
{{MTR}}, s.v. “Kuan Yin.”
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{{POWref|31|57|, September 9, 1984}}
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''Kuan Yin’s Crystal Rosary'' booklet, introduction.
    
Elizabeth Clare Prophet, July 1, 1988.
 
Elizabeth Clare Prophet, July 1, 1988.
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