Breadth Of Compassion

Breadth Of Compassion


I got to know that I am a breech baby at birth not long ago. First thought was that this is cool especially when my mum had me in an easy breech delivery. In the Chinese saying it is called lotus birth. The word lotus had me thinking about the bodhisattva GuanYin. I had quite an affiliation with her, since young my parents have place me as an adopted child with her. It is a taoist practice.

Well I was thinking about Guanyin and started googling about her story. In one story about how her 1000 arms came about attracted my attention.

Guanyin and the Thousand Arms

One Buddhist legend from the Complete Tale of Guanyin and the Southern Seas (Chinese: 南海觀音全撰; pinyin: Nánhǎi Guānyīn Quánzhuàn) presents Guanyin as vowing to never rest until she had freed all sentient beings from the samsara or reincarnation. Despite strenuous effort, she realised 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. The buddha Amitabha, upon seeing her plight, gave her eleven heads to help her hear the cries of those who are suffering. Upon hearing these cries and comprehending them, Avalokitesvara 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 appointed her a thousand arms to let her reach out to those in need. Many Himalayan versions of the tale include eight arms with which Avalokitesvara skillfully upholds the Dharma, each possessing its own particular implement, while more Chinese-specific versions give varying accounts of this number.

In China, it is said that fishermen used to pray to her to ensure safe voyages. The titles Guanyin of the Southern Ocean (南海觀音) and “Guanyin (of/on) the Island” stem from this tradition.

-quoted from wikipedia

Her story touches me and I felt that her compassion is beyond the breadth of my comprehension. So much so that I felt her immense love and magnitude of compassion that encompasses far and wide towards all living beings. My vision of her in her loving kindness shinning her holy light of 1000 arms reaching all beings. And all beings so enchanted by her compassion, all stand in awe as time stop for that minute.



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