Kuan-Yin: The Chinese Transformation of Avalokitesvara

By far one of the most important objects of worship in the Buddhist traditions, the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara is regarded as the embodiment of compassion He has been widely revered throughout the Buddhist countries of Asia since the early centuries of the Common Era While he was closely identified with the royalty in South and Southeast Asia, and the Tibetans continue tBy far one of the most important objects of worship in the Buddhist traditions, the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara is regarded as the embodiment of compassion He has been widely revered throughout the Buddhist countries of Asia since the early centuries of the Common Era While he was closely identified with the royalty in South and Southeast Asia, and the Tibetans continue to this day to view the Dalai Lamas as his incarnations, in China he became a she Kuan yin, the Goddess of Mercy and has a very different history The causes and processes of this metamorphosis have perplexed Buddhist scholars for centuries.In this groundbreaking, comprehensive study, Chun fang Yu discusses this dramatic transformation of the male Indian bodhisattva Avalokitesvara into the female Chinese Kuan yin from a relatively minor figure in the Buddha s retinue to a universal savior and one of the most popular deities in Chinese religion.Focusing on the various media through which the feminine Kuan yin became constructed and domesticated in China, Yu thoroughly examines Buddhist scriptures, miracle stories, pilgrimages, popular literature, and monastic and local gazetteers as well as the changing iconography reflected in Kuan yin s images and artistic representations to determine the role this material played in this amazing transformation The book eloquently depicts the domestication of Kuan yin as a case study of the indigenization of Buddhism in China and illuminates the ways this beloved deity has affected the lives of all Chinese people down the ages.
Kuan Yin The Chinese Transformation of Avalokitesvara By far one of the most important objects of worship in the Buddhist traditions the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara is regarded as the embodiment of compassion He has been widely revered throughout the Bud

  • Title: Kuan-Yin: The Chinese Transformation of Avalokitesvara
  • Author: Chun-fang Yu
  • ISBN: 9780231120296
  • Page: 313
  • Format: Paperback
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      Published :2018-04-26T04:48:33+00:00

    1 thought on “Kuan-Yin: The Chinese Transformation of Avalokitesvara”

    1. An encyclopedia of the Chinese Guanyin, who comes to us today not just as instructor, savior, and wonder-worker, but through every diverse form of media. Guanyin comes to her audiences in fragments that do not necessarily come together as one coherent whole; and any one of these chapters could be the basis of an individual book. What we are presented with is a genuine surfeit of surfaces, of appearances. Yü deftly threads them all together, but there are so many nodes and connections that it ca [...]

    2. The book Kuan-Yin: The Chinese Transformation of Avalokitesvara by Chun-Fang Yu is easily one of the best books I've read in quite some time. The amount of research that has gone into this book is truly staggering. Yu takes as her sources sutras, both from Indian and Indigenous to China, miracle tales, iconography, precious scrolls, rituals and writings of monks and lay people spanning almost 2000 years. She also looks at Western, Chinese and Japanese scholarship. In addition to written document [...]

    3. Finally finished reading this classic! whew. the research methodology can be greatly useful, though I'll be more interested in the negotiations of being/becomeing "chinese" while still maintain 'authenticicity' instead of taking chineseness of chinese people/locale/culture as a given. Yu's book definitely touched on the changing nature of 'chineseness' but her focus is more on the chinese transformation of this indian deity, hence 'chineseness' becomes the background. in chinese buddhist moderni [...]

    4. This scholarly and thorough book gives a good account of how Guanyin emerged in China. I especially enjoyed reading a lot of old stories about Guanyin that were woven into the book. If you are curious about Guanyin and already have some basic knowledge of the history and vocabulary of Buddhism (I often struggled with the specialized vocabulary), this will be a very enlightening book.

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