White Jade Buddha, YU FO SI, Shanghai  230k JPEG  Loading ..

Guan Yin, YU FO SI, Shanghai

To begin with, Guanyin, also can be pronounced as GUAN SHI YIN PUSA (translated as Mercy Goddess or Goddess of Mercy.
Other popular names used in Asia are: Kannon, Kwannon
* (Japan); Gwanse-eum (Korea); Kuan Eim, Phra Mae Kuan Eim (Thai); Kwan Im or Dewi Kwan Im (Indonesia) or Kwun Yum (Cantonese).

Widely believed originated as the Sanskrit, her male form, but traditions in China and other East Asian countries have added many distinctive characteristics and legends behind the character, and later, Guanyin is usually depicted as a woman and this has been long controversial on its origin/form. Guanyin has other forms, For an instance, fishermen at southern part of China used to pray to her to ensure safe voyages which named it as Guanyin for Southern Ocean (NAN HAI GUANYIN). Guanyin is also accepted in many other Asian beliefs, such as some Taoist records claim Guanyin was a Chinese female who became immortal during the Shang Dynasty. In Chinese Buddhist iconography, Guanyin is often depicted as a women, meditating or sitting alongside one of the Buddha and usually accompanied by another bodhisattva. The whole thing is, Guanyin has been evolved by various stages in history as well as story telling, miracles and legends throughout the centuries, and today among the East Asian community who has the belief in her, it is accept and depicted as a well faced woman, holding a small jar containing pure water, and the right hand holds a willow branch.

At the back exit door way of this YUFOSI, I find a very different arrangement in temple interior design and placement of Buddhist characters, where a Guanyin is guarding the exit, which is directly behind the Buddha statues placed at the main reception hall. Next, the presentation of this Guanyin Pusa at YUFOSI is also very different from other popular style and form found in many other areas and/or Buddhist locations. To me, given the long history and legends behind its evolution in acceptable traditional belief, the Guanyin here in this temple looks very close to what she is supposed to be in both, noticeably the dress code, facial expression, that was why I got hooked at the large statue here for a while and took an all new perspective of how I perceive this very popular Buddhist and/or Taoist figure among the Asian here in this temple. Somehow, I like what I saw ...

* an original, old trade name used by Canon Inc.


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