Guan Shih Yin – Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva The Bodhisattva of Great Compassion
The Sanskrit name “Avalokiteshvara” means “the lord who looks upon the world with compassion”.
Guan: observe. Shih: the world / the region of sufferers. Yin: all the sounds of the world, in particular, the crying sounds of beings, verbal or mental, seeking help
In China, Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva is represented in female form and is known as Guan Yin. Probably because of Guan Yin’s great compassion, a quality which is traditionally considered feminine, most of the bodhisattva’s statues in China since the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618 – 907) have appeared as female figures.
In India, however, the bodhisattva is generally represented as a male figure.