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Manifestations of Avalokitesvara 观音万象

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Aryavalokitesvara 圣观音 "Holy Hearer of Cries" is the root form of the Bodhisattva.


Also know as the Vajra of Correct Dharma, Fundamental Purity & the Lotus, he represents the heart of compassion of all Buddhas.

As mentioned before he is also the Chief of the Lotus Section & successor of Buddha Amitabha in his Pure Land.

In reality they are inseparable from each other.


In the 胎藏界曼荼罗 Garbhakosa Dhatu Mandala, he is located on the northwest petal of the central Court of 8 petals (Astadala), in the middle of the 1st row of the Court of the Lotus, & also in the Courts of Sakyamuni & Manjusri.

In the Vajradhatu Mandala he is known as Vajradharma. The top 2 images are the ones in the Astadala Court & the Lotus Court. Their flesh is white.

For the left image, his left hand forms a Mudra of Bestowing Fearlessness in front of his chest, whereas the right holds a full bloomed red lotus.


He seats on a Pundarika (white lotus).

For the right image, his left hand holds a ]]half bloomed red lotus)] whereas the right holds one of its petals, with the intention of spreading it. This is the ability to open the heart of compassion in sentient beings.

The bottom 2 images are the ones in the Courts of Sakyamuni & Manjusri respectively.

The left image is standing & flesh colored. He holds a white duster in the right hand & the left is held by the waist.

This signifies the readiness to wipe away the dust of klesa covering the minds of sentient beings.

The right image is seated on a lotus & white colored. He holds a full bloomed red lotus in the left hand, & the right forms an open palm placed on the right thigh.

This signifies the ability to accept any means possible to save sentient beings from the sea of suffering.


The common mantra for Aryavalokitesvara is:


Om arolik svaha

There are also 4 Garbhakosa versions.


The Astadala version is:

Namah samanta buddhanam

buddha-dharani smrti-bala-dhana-kari dharaya sarvam bhagavatya-akaravati samaye svaha


The Lotus Court version is:

Namah samanta buddhanam sarva-tathagata-valokita-karuna-maya ra ra ra hum jah svaha


The Sakyamuni Court version is:

Namah samanta buddhanam sa


The Manjusri Court version is:

Namah samanta buddhanam sah


Sahasra-bhuja Sahasra-netra Avalokitesvara 千手千眼观音 the Bodhisattva in his most majestic form adorned with a thousand hands & eyes to see & help all suffering sentient beings in the 10 directions.

Like Buddha Amitabha, he is also known as the Vajra of Compassion.

In the Garbhakosa Mandala he is situated at the northern end of the Court of Akasagarbha.

Gold in color, this image on the right have 27 faces front & back as well as 40 main arms plus 960 minor arms each with its own eye.

The first pair of hands form the Amitayus Dhyana Mudra under his navel, & the second pair is clasp in 莲花合掌 Padma Anjali Mudra in front of the chest.

The third pair holds a white lotus on the left & blue lotus on the right.

The fourth holds a jade bangle on the left & the right forms the Mudra of Wish Fulfillment.

The rest of the hands hold 32 different kinds of 法器 [[Dharma Instruments\\, each with its individual Mantra & purpose. Forming the Mudra of the 9 Peaks of Potala, one recites his heart Mantra thus:


Om vajra dharma hrih


Ekadasmukha 十一面观音 (eleven-faced Avalokitesvara)], also known as the Vajra of Adapting, who possesses 10 extra faces to teach all the different sentient beings in the 10 realms of existence.

He is situated at the left (north) end of the Court of Susiddhi in the Garbhakosa Mandala.

According to the sadhanas, the frontal 3 faces are serene, the 3 on the left are fierce and the 3 on the right are awe-inspiring.

The one right at the top is the face of Amitabha, and the last face behind is one of laughter.

The serene faces are for teaching beings of wholesome nature, the fierce faces for teaching stubborn unwholesome ones & the awe-inspring, laughing faces for teaching beings of mixed nature.

The Buddha face represents complete enlightenment. This deity has 4 arms representing the 4 Buddha wisdoms.

The hand holding a full bloomed Lotus signifies the Wisdom of Excellent Observation.

The hand holding the vial signifies the Wisdomof Universal Equanimity.

The hand forming the Mudra of Bestowing Fearlessness signifies the Wisdom of Perfect Achievement.

Finally the one holding the Mala signifies the Wisdom of Mirror Clarity. This is another symbolic form to show the extent of his all-embracing compassion.


His heart mantra is:


Om mahakarunika svaha

The Garbhakosa version is:

Om lokeshvara hrih


Hayagriva Avalokitesvara 马头观音, the fierce 3-eyed horse-headed burning-red form.

Otherwise known as 马头明王 Hayagriva Vidyaraja, and the Vajra of Chewing or Speed.

He is both a Bodhisattva & a Guardian Deity, situated at the bottom of the 1st row of the Lotus Section of the Garbhakosa Mandala.

The horse head represents the ]]single-minded desire)] of the horse for water and grass, which is like his will to save sentient beings; or the great running speed of the horse, which can be compared the speed that he appears to those who need him.

He is the esoteric guardian of the [[Lotus Section\\, all devotees of Avalokitesvara, & the teacher of sentient beings in the animal realm.

His common mantra is:

Om amritodbhave hum phat

The Garbhakosa version is:

Namah samanta buddhanam khadaya bhanja sphataya svaha


Cintamani-cakra Avalokitesvara 如意轮观音 turner of the Wheel, the Vajra holding the Jewel.

Cintamani represents the Bodhisattva's absolute freedom to teach the Dharma in any of the realms of existence.

He is also able to give sentient beings all kinds of worldly and spiritual benefits, such that their wishes are fulfilled.

The image of Avalokitesvara in the Grand Hall of Space is Cintamani, depicted as being 4-armed.

That is Chenrezig, the Tibetan form.

This one above from the Garbhakosa Mandala is the Japanese form, situated in the middle of the 2nd row of the Lotus Section.

Yellow-fleshed & seated on a red lotus, he has 6 arms to teach the sentient beings in each of the 6 realms of existence.

His first 2 hands are rested on his face & lotus seat, a sign of deep contemplation.

The rest of the hands hold a full bloomed Lotus, Cakra (wheel), Mani Jewel & Mala.

In his Crown manifests the seated Buddha Amitabha.


His heart mantra is similar with the mantra of 6 syllables:


Om varada padme hum


And the middle mantra:

Om padma cintamani jvala hum


Amoghapasa Avalokitesvara 不空绢索观音 holder of the infallible lasso, Vajra of Equal Guidance.

This lasso of compassion is used to rope in all wayward sentient beings to the Dharma, such that they will not fall into the 3 evil realms, always guiding them on the Correct Path.

White-fleshed, Amoghapasa is 3-eyed, 4-armed & wears a robe of deerskin.

In the Garbhakosa Mandala he is situated in the middle of the 3rd row of the Lotus Section.

According to the Amoghapasa Sutra those who recite his Dharani will be able to receive 20 kinds of merits in this life & 8 kinds of benefits at the moment of death.


His heart mantra is:

Om amogha vijaya hum phat

And the Dharani is:

Om amogha-padma-pasa-krodhakarsaya praveshaya maha-pashupati-yama-varuna-kuvera brahma-vesa-dhara padma-kula-samayan hum hum


Parnashabari Avalokitesvara 披叶衣观音 he who is cloaked with leaves, the Vajra of Special Practice.

The Garbhakosa Mandala image above depicts him with staff and lasso. Flesh-colored & seated on a red lotus, he is situated at the top of the 3rd row of the Lotus Section.

He has great powers to protect all those who call on him. He can relieve sentient beings from all sorts of unwholesome happenings like disasters, wars, plagues etc.

In the Sutras it is said that reciting his mantra once protects one, twice protects one's partner, thrice one's family, 4 times one's tribe & 5 times the entire nation. The mantra is thus:


Om parnashavari hum phat


Pandaravasini Avalokitesvara 白处尊观音, also known as the Vajra free of Impurities & White Robe Guanyin 白衣观音.

She is a female deity of the Lotus Section.

In the Garbhakosa Mandala she is situated at the bottom of the 3rd row.

So-called because she constantly dwells in the pure, undefiled place in her heart that is neither within, without nor in between.

This image is pale yellow, & seated on a red lotus. The left hand holds a white lotus & the right forms a mudra of wish fulfillment.

It is a popular form in China, Japan and Southeast Asia. Her Garbhakosa mantra, which can purify both physical and spiritual impurities, is thus:


Namah samanta buddhanam tathagata vishaya-sambhave padma-malini svaha


Udaka-sri Avalokitesvara 水吉祥观音 meaning 'water auspicious', the Vajra born of Moisture. According to the Commentary of the Maha-vairocana Sutra, spiritually refreshing water gushes forth from his lotus or directly from his hand for the benefit & nourishment of all sentient beings.

These are the waters of wisdom from Vairocana himself. In the Garbhakosa Mandala he is situated in the 3rd row of the Lotus Section, 3rd from the bottom.

Pale yellow & seated on a red lotus, he holds a half-bloomed lotus in the left hand & the right forms the mudra of bestowing fearlessness. Another name for this manifestation is 水月观音 [[Water] Moon Guanyin]]. This is to show the calming effect he has on sentient beings. His mantra is:


Om aryodakasri svaha


Bhrkuti Avalokitesvara 比俱底观音 bhrkuti means wrinkled, or fierce eye, also known as the Vajra of Subduing.

This female deity is born from the wrinkle on the forehead of Avalokitesvara, and is a fierce form.

Its purpose is to strike fear into the egoism and self-centered minds of stubborn sentient beings.

According to the Maha-vairocana Commentary, she has 3 eyes and 4 arms, carrying rosary, lotus, and a vial of elixir. The last hand forms a wish fulfilling mudra.

The above is the Garbhakosa Mandala image. She is situated in the 1st row of the Lotus Section, 3rd from the top. Her Garbhakosa mantra is:


Namah samanta buddhanam sarva-bhaya-trasani hum sphotaya svaha


Svetabhagavati Avalokitesvara 白身观音 she with the white body, the Vajra of Universal Conversion.

It is similar with Pandaravasini Avalokitesvara, sharing the same fundamental vow.

In the Garbhakosa Mandala she is in the 3rd row of the Lotus Section, 2nd from the top. She is born of the purest all-seeing samadhi of Tathagata Maha-vairocana.

She is pale yellow, holding a half-bloomed lotus in the left hand, & the right palm, resting on her knee, covers her shoulder. This represents the ability to convert all sentient beings to their fundamental purity.

Her mantra is:


Om mahapadme shvetange huru huru svaha



Amoghanikusa Avalokitesvara 不空钩观音 holder of the infallible hook, also known as the Vajra of Transformed Appearance.

His hook is like the lasso of Amoghapasa Avalokitesvara, which never fails to draw all sentient beings to the Dharma & fulfill their wishes.

Thus they are similar deities.

In the Garbhakosa Mandala he is situated in the left end of the 2nd row in the Court of Akasagarbha. He is described as 4-faced, each with 3 eyes, 4-armed, flesh colored & sitting on a red lotus. The left & right faces are blue. His left hands hold a lotus with a single prong hook & a rope. His left hands hold a 3-prong hook & a 3-prong vajra.


His mantra is:


Namah samanta buddhanam dhi ram padmalaya svaha



Amogha-krodhanikusa-raja Avalokitesava 忿怒钩观音 holder of the fearsome hook, also known as the Vajra holding the Hook.

This fierce deity is able to manifest Avalokitesvara's Samadhi of Anger, & is named by his Teacher, Bodhisattva Akasagarbha.

When there are sentient beings who are stubborn & egoistic, this fearsome hook is used to pierce their ignorance & draw them to the Dharma.

In the Garbhakosa Mandala he is situated in the Court of Akasagarbha, beside Amoghankusa above. He is also described as 4-faced, each with 3 eyes, 4-armed, & flesh colored. The left face is blue, the right green. All 4 faces have a Buddha manifesting above them. A Bodhisattva (Akasagarbha?) holding 2 swords seats upon his crown. The left hands hold a lotus & a lasso, the right hands hold a tasseled iron hook & form a Mudra of Wish Fulfillment.


His mantra is:


Namah samanta buddhanam kuvalaya svaha


Gandharaja Avalokitevara 香王观音 the [[king of {fragrance]]. Classified as a deity of the Garbhakosa & as a manifestation of Avalokitevara, but not situated in the Mandala itself.

Thus named as this form bestows blessings on all sentient beings like a penetrating & powerful fragrance.

The Gandharaja Dharani Sutra says that he is white in color, & is dressed in celestial robes, crown & necklace. His right hand forms the Mudra of Bestowing Fearlessness, whereas the left holds a stalk of pink lotus. Under his feet also grows a pink lotus. There is a 5-colored umbrella draped in red & yellow beads above his hallow.

Nilakantha Avalokitesvara 青颈观音 he with the blue-throat. As he is able to swallow the 3 poisons of craving, hatred & ignorance in sentient beings, his throat became blue as a result.

Another fierce form, this image looks very much like Shiva, the Hindu God. But there are many references to Avalokitesvara as the blue-throated one in the Dharani of Great Compassion, so there's this relation to Blue Shiva, the Isvaradeva in Buddhism. The image above is a Tibetan depiction.

His mantra is:


Padma narakindi isvara buru buru hum


Amate Avalokitesvara 阿麽提观音 the forgiving, the fearless one. He has 3 eyes and 4 arms, and rides a white lion. One of the arms holds a Majya fish, the other an auspicious bird that can sing away the klesa of all sentient beings. Amate deals fairly with all sentient beings and bestows fearlessness.


His mantra is:


Om amate svaha


Qilin(chinese mythological beast) Riding Guanyin 麒麟观音, courtesy of Peter Yeh. Notice its resemblance to Amate Avalokitesvara above. This rare bronze image is brought to LA fm China in the 1920s. This image carries a Mani Jewel in his right hand & a Vial of elixir in his left - perhaps suggesting a cross btw Cintamani & Bhaisajraja Avalokitesvara. As Qilins are fierce, chaotic beasts, this depiction aims to tame the demon within our minds with Guanyin's compassion.


Lion Riding Guanyin 骑吼观音 The bronze image on the left carries a Mani Jewel in the left hand & the right forms the Mudra of Wish Fufillment, quite similar to Qilin Riding Guanyin above. The Lion represents the majesty & might of the Dharma, & the ability of Avalokitesvara to give the 狮子吼 Lion's Roar - to proclaim the doctrine of Truth far & wide. In this aspect he is no different from Bodhisattva Manjusri 文殊菩萨, who is depicted riding a Lion most of the time. He can be found in Temples in both China & Tibet (like the image on the right).


Southern Sea Guanyin 南海观音 This painting of Guanyin on an island at sea (Putuo Shan?) was most popular in South China during the final part of the 1800s and the early part of the 1900s. Then, millions of Southern Chinese migrants commit their fortunes to the great sea to escape the turmoil on the Mainland, hoping to find greener pastures in other countries. Praying for their individual safeties at sea, hoping to survive the waves, they felt a great need for spiritual consolation. This is of course personified as Guanyin of the Southern Seas. There are also many that worship the Chinese Sea Goddess 妈祖 Mazu aka 天后Tianhou for the very same purpose. So we can see there's a close relation between Taoist & Buddhist deities.


Four Armed Chenrezig 四臂观音 As we all know, Avalokitesvara in Tibet is called Chenrezig, & his 4 armed image is by far the most well popular form there. This form, the same as the one in the Hall of Space, carries Mala, full bloomed Lotus & a Mani Jewel, which is similar to Cintamani Avalokitesvara, except the latter has 6 arms. Even his mantra, the Mantra of 6 Syllables, the most popular mantra in Tibet, is similar to Cintamani's heart mantra. So it is safe to say 4 armed Chenrezig is derived from 6 armed Cintamani. This form is always white in color & sometimes Buddha Amitabha is depicted manifesting above his head.


Yab Yum Chenrezig 双身观音 This seated, sometimes standing image, shows Chenrezig in union with his consort. Notice that though the posture is the same, the items he carries have changed. Instead of a Mala he now carries a Vajra, & the red lotus is changed into a blue one. His color has also changed from white to red like Buddha Amitabha. His consort has one arm around his body & the other holding a skull cap high above her head. This is actually Chenrezig in Anuttara Yoga Tantra 无上瑜伽部 form, & is thus found only in Tibet.


Bodhisattva Padmapani 莲花手菩萨 In Vajrayana Buddhism Avalokitesvara is also known as Padmapani, which means "holder of the lotus", as opposed to Vajrasattva, who is also known as Vajrapani or Vajradhara. Usually both of them are depicted waiting at the right & left of Tathagata Vairocana, as in the Garbhakosa Mandala, which has the Lotus & Diamond Courts on the right & left of the Central Astadala Court. This standing, sometimes seated image, shows Padmapani holding a full bloomed red lotus in the right hand & the left forms a mudra of Wish Fufillment. The seated image is also the same, except that the right hand is now used to support his body; so the lotus is coiled around the other hand instead. Like Aryavalokitesvara & 4 armed Chenrezig, Padmapani is always white in color. He is found in Indian & Tibetan buddhist art, but not in China.


Sukhavativyuha Avalokitesvara 极乐观音 Here we have Avalokitesvara in the bottom right hand corner as part of the Receiving Party of the Three Noble Ones of the West 西方三圣, who will appear to those virtuous ones seeking to be reborn in the World of Ultimate Bliss 极乐世界 when their time is up. In this Japanese painting we see Avalokitesvara kneeling & holding a Golden Lotus Pedestal 金莲台 to take whoever is ready back to the Pureland. Buddha Amitabha is in the middle froming the Mudra of Guiding 接引印, & Bodhisattva Maha Sthama Prapta is in the left hand corner with palms clasped in reverence. Similar depictions can also be found in China, which is common due to the popularity of the Pure Land School of Buddhism.


The 33 Transformation Bodies of Guanyin 三十三应化身


Willow Leaf Guanyin 杨柳观音 otherwise known as Bhaisajya-raja Avalokitesvara 药王观音, who holds a vial of elixir in the left hand and a stalk of willow leaves in the right. This refers to the flexibility of the Bodhisattva to adept to the mind of sentient beings, liken to willow leaves swaying in the wind. The elixir can cure all their physical and spiritual illnesses. Devotees suffering from illnesses therefore pray especially to this manifestation, so this is also another popular form in China and South East Asia. The above form is 1st of the 33 Chinese Guanyin. Her mantra is:

Om vajra dharmaya bhaisajya raja svaha


Dragon Head Guanyin 龙头观音, who appears as 天龙夜叉身 a Naga or Yaksa. This form is sitting or standing on the back of a dragon flying through the clouds. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there are those that can be liberated by a Naga or Yaksa, the Bodhisattva will appear in these forms to teach them the Dharma." They are all celestial or supernatural beings. But as the Dragon is the highest of all beasts, it can be compared to the might of Guanyin's powers. The above image is 2nd of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.


Sutra Holding Guanyin 持经观音, who appears as 声闻身 a Sravaka. This form is seated on a rock with a scroll in the right hand. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says: "If there are those that can be liberated by a Sravaka, the Bodhisattva will appear in this form to teach them the Dharma." A Sravaka is an enlightened disciple of the Buddha. As Sravakas attain enlightenment through listening to the Dharma, the Sutra is used as a symbol of teaching. The above image is 3rd of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.


Complete Hallow Guanyin 圆光观音, who appears inside an all encompassing hallow of light. This form is seated on a rock with clasped palms. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says: "If there are sentient beings punished by kings, about to meet their ends by execution; by the power of invoking Avalokitesvara, the blade will shatter into many pieces." The blazing flames behind this form is a symbol of such strength. The above image is 4th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.


Wander Jest Guanyin 游戏观音, who appears falling from the admantine mountain. This form is seated on rainbow colored clouds with one hand holding her raised knee & the other supporting her body. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says: "If there are sentinet beings pursued by evil men, and as a result fall off the admantine mountain; by the power of invoking Avalokitesvara, not a single hair on them will be injured." The rainbow clouds are used as a symbol of such freedom of flight. The above image is 5th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.


White Robe Guanyin 白衣观音, who appears as 比丘比丘尼身 a Bhikku or Bhikkuni. This form is seated in meditation on a rock wearing a white robe. It is the same as Pandaravasini Avalokitesvara of the Garbhadhatu Mandala. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says: "If there are those that can be liberated by a Bhikku or Bhikkuni, the Bodhisattva will appear in these forms to teach them the Dharma." A Bhikku/Bhikkuni is an ordained disciple of the Buddha. White symbolises the pure undefiled heart of enlightenment - the bodhicitta. Incidentally this Guanyin is also called the "mother-form", as almost all chinese depictions of Guanyin are modelled in this image. The above image is 6th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.


Lotus Seated Guanyin 莲卧观音, who appears as 小王身 a Prince. This form wears a crown & is seated in a lotus pond with clasped palms. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says: "If there are those that can be liberated by a Prince, the Bodhisattva will appear in this form to teach them the Dharma." The exalted lotus seat represents his or her natural noblity. The above image is 7th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.


Gush Seeing Guanyin 泷见观音, who appears as transforming a burning pit into a pond. This form is seated on a cliff gazing at a distant waterfall. Thus it is also known as Waterfall Observing Guanyin 观瀑观音 The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says: "If there are sentinet beings to be harmed, by being pushed into a pit of fire; by the power of invoking Avalokitesvara, the burning pit will become a pond." The gushing waters are used as a symbol of such salvation. The above image is 8th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.


Joy Giving Guanyin 施乐观音, who appears like the sun in the sky. This form sits beside a pond gazing at nearby lotuses, with one hand placed on her knee & the other on her cheek, as if in deep contemplation. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says although "Sentinet beings are in great trouble and distress, subjected to endless cycles of suffering; but through Avalokitesvara's wonderful wisdom, all worldly suffering can be saved." She constatly contemplates on how to relieve the suffering of sentient beings using her limitless wisdom, thus giving them true joy. The above image is 9th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.


Fish Basket Guanyin 鱼篮观音, who appears to save those running into evil 罗刹 raksas. This form is standing on a great koi fish with crossed hands, sometimes holding a fish basket. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says: "If sentinet beings meet with evil raksas, poisonous nagas and other demons; by the power of invoking Avalokitesvara, immediately none will dare to harm them." The great koi fish is a symbol of majesty that awes the raksas, nagas & demons into submission, & the basket is where they will be contained. The above image is 10th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.


Virtuous King Guanyin 德王观音, who appears as 梵王身 Mahabrahma. This form sits in the lotus posture on a rock, holding a branch of willow leaves in the right hand & the left hand rests below his navel. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says: "If there are those that can be liberated by Mahabrahma, the Bodhisattva will appear in this form to teach them the Dharma." Mahabrahma is the Primal Sentient Being & the Creator deity of the Hindu faith. After the Buddha appeared he has since become a guardian deity. He is Lord of the Realm of Form, thus extremely exalted in virtue. This is comparable to the virtue of Guanyin, so this form is named Virtuous King. The above image is 11th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.


Water Moon Guanyin 水月观音, who appears as 辟支佛身 a Pratyeka Buddha. This form is standing on a lotus petal floating on water with clapsed palms, gazing at the Moon. It is the same as Udakasri Avalokitesvara of the Garbhakosa Mandala. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there are those that can be liberated by a Pratyeka Buddha, the Bodhisattva will appear in this form to teach them the Dharma." A Pratyeka Buddha is a silent saint who is enlightened from realizing the 12 Causal Links of Existence. This Pratyeka Buddha form is shown to be able to realize the the truth of Dependent Origination by gazing at the Moon & observing its reflection in the water. The above image is 12th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.


Single Petal Guanyin 一叶观音, who appears as 宰官身 a Minister. This form sits on a lotus petal floating on the water with one hand placed on his raised knee & the other supporting his body. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says: "If there are sentient beings washed away by great waters, drifting helplessly in the flood; by the power of invoking Avalokitesvara, they will be able to reach shallow areas." This form of Guanyin is venerated for his ability to drift anywhere to help victims of water disasters. The above image is 13th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.


Blue Neck Guanyin 青颈观音, who appears as 佛身 a Buddha. This form is sitting on a rock with one hand placed on his raised knee & the other resting on another rock nearby. A vial with a willow branch is placed beside him. This form is the same as Nilakantha Avalokitesvara in Vajrayana Buddhism. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there are those that can be liberated by a Buddha, the Bodhisattva will appear in this form to teach them the Dharma." This form is venerated for its ability to cure diseases, alleviate sins & lengthen lifespans by swallowing the defilements of sentient beings into his throat, turning it dark. That is why Guanyin is sometimes called he with the blue neck. The above image is 14th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.


Majestic Virtue Guanyin 威德观音, who appears as 天大将军身 a Celestial General. This form is sitting on a rock gazing at the water with one hand placed on the ground & the other holding a stalk of lotus. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there are those that can be liberated by a Celestial General, the Bodhisattva will appear in this form to teach them the Dharma." This form is venerated for its ability to command awe & respect among all sentient beings with his majestic powers. The above image is 15th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.


Life Lengthening Guanyin 延命观音, who appears protected from harm by curses & poisons. This form rests behind a rock with one hand placed on his cheek in contemplation & the other placed on the rock. She wears a precious crown with Buddha Amitabha manifested above, & her body is a deep yellow color. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says: "If there are sentient beings plagued by curses & poisons, intending to cause bodily harm; by the power of invoking Avalokitesvara, they will be returned to the original senders." This form of Guanyin is venerated for she is able to protect sentient beings from harm by all curses & poisons, thus lengthening their lifespan. The above image is 16th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.


All Treasures Guanyin 众宝观音, who appears as 长者身 an Elder. This form is sitting on a coastal rock in contemplation with one hand placed on the ground & the other holding his raised left knee. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there are those that can be liberated by an Elder, the Bodhisattva will appear in this form to teach them the Dharma." This form is venerated for its ability to protect sentient beings seeking treasures from harm if they ever meet with raksas in unknown lands. The above image is 17th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.


Rock Enclave Guanyin 岩户观音, who appears protected from snakes & scorpians. This form sits meditating inside a rocky cave, gazing at the water. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says: "If there are snakes & scorpians, breathing out venom like smoky fire; by the power of invoking Avalokitesvara, they will all go away seeking this sound." This form of Guanyin is venerated for she is able to protect sentient beings from harm by all snakes, scorpians & their venom. The above image is 18th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.


Tranquility Able Guanyin 能静观音, who appears in deep contemplation. This form is leaning on a rock with both hands folded in front. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there are measureless sentient beings going through from all kinds of suffering, who upon hearing the name of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, sincerely call on him; the Bodhisattva will immediately answer their prayer and relieve them of all suffering." This form is venerated for its ability to give peace to sentient beings who become victims of disasters. The above image is 19th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.


Anuda Guanyin 阿耨观音, who appears protected from hostile denizens of the sea. This form is sits on a rock with both hands placed on the raised left knee, gazing at a waterfall. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there are sentient beings castaway at sea, at the mercy of water dragons, fish & demons; by the power of invoking Avalokitesvara, waves will not be able to drown them." This form is venerated for its ability to protect sentient beings who become shipwreck victims lost at sea. The above image is 20th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.


Amate Guanyin 阿麽提观音, who appears as 毗沙门身 Celestial King Vaisramana. This form is the same as the 4 armed Amate Avalokitesvara of the Garbhakosa. He is sitting on a rock with both hands placed on the raised left knee, gazing out at sea. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there are those that can be liberated by Vaisramana, the Bodhisattva will appear in this form to teach them the Dharma." This form is venerated for its ability to bestow fearlessness towards all sentient beings. The above image is 21st of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.


Leaf Cloaked Guanyin 叶衣观音, who appears as 帝释天身 Sakra, King of the Tavatimsa heaven, which is on the peak of Mount Sumeru. This form is the same as Parnashabari Avalokitesvara of the Garbhakosa. He is sitting in the lotus posture on a rock with both hands folded infront. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there are those that can be liberated by Sakra, the Bodhisattva will appear in this form to teach them the Dharma." This form is venerated for its ability to protect sentient beings from various diseases, lengthening life & also to protect households. The above image is 22nd of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.


Colored Glaze Guanyin 琉璃观音, who appears as 自在天身 Isvaradeva. Isvaradeva is Lord of the Paranirmita-vashavartin Heaven, the highest heaven in the Realm of Desire (where we dwell). In this realm he is considered the supreme deity. This form is the same as Gandharaja Avalokitesvara of the Garbhakosa. Also known as 高王观音 High King Guanyin. He is standing on a lotus petal floating on the water. In his hands is a incense burner made of colored glaze. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there are those that can be liberated by Isvaradeva, the Bodhisattva will appear in this form to teach them the Dharma." This form is venerated for its ability to protect sentient beings from many types of untimely death. The above image is 23rd of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.


Tara Guanyin 多罗观音, who appears protected from hostile bandits. This form is the same as Bodhisattva Tara of the Garbhakosa. As we know Tara means 'eye' or 'deliverer'. He is standing on a cloud floating in the sky.

The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there are sentient beings surrounded by hostile bandits, each wielding a sword ready to slay; by the power of invoking Avalokitesvara, they will immediately turn merciful."

This form is venerated for its ability to protect sentient beings from being harmed by vicious bandits. The above image is 24th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.


Clam Guanyin 蛤蜊观音, who appears who appears as a 菩萨身 Bodhisattva. This form seats in meditation behind a giant clam.

The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there are those that can be liberated by a Bodhisattva, the Bodhisattva will appear as himself to teach them the Dharma."

This form originated from the legends among China's coastal fishermen, & is venerated by them for its ability to protect them on their fishing trips out to sea. The above image is 25th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.


Six Period Guanyin 六时观音, who appears who appears as a 居士身 Upasaka (Layman).

This form stands on a rock holding a Sutra text in his right hand.

The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there are those that can be liberated by a Upasaka, the Bodhisattva will appear in this form to teach them the Dharma."

This form is so called because it constantly radiates compassion towards all sentient beings, throughout the six 2-hourly periods of both day & night. The above image is 26th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.


Universal Compassion Guanyin 普悲观音, who appears who appears as 大自在天身 Mahesvara. Mahesvara is originally Shiva of the Hindu faith, but after being converted by the Buddha he has since become a guardian deity.

He is also thought to be the highest deity in the Realm of Form, thus very exalted in power & virtue.

This form stands on a mountain top with both hands crossed & concealed in his robes. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there are those that can be liberated by Mahesvara, the Bodhisattva will appear in this form to teach them the Dharma."

This form is so called because its universal & equal compassion is able to benefit all sentient beings, just as the power & virtue of Mahevsara is known by all.

The above image is 27th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.


Lady Ma Guanyin 马郎妇观音, who appears who appears as a 妇女身 Lady. This form stands with both hands crossed infront, & is garbed in a celestial dress.

The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there are those that can be liberated by a Lady, the Bodhisattva will appear in this form to teach them the Dharma."

During the reign of Emperor Xianzong of the Tang Dynasty, in the year 817 AD this form appeared in the 陕右 Shanyou district to convert the populace there. The people of Shanyou is fond of hunting & archery, & have never heard of the Dharma.

Thus the Bodhisattva appeared as a beautiful lady & enticed the men to ask for her hand, but on the condition that they can memorize 3 Mahayana Sutra texts.

So after 3 rounds of competition only a young man of the Ma family could memorize all the texts. So she married this young man, only to die the next day.

A few days after she was buried an old monk appeared, asking that the grave be lifted. In it they found that only a golden collar bone remained.

The old monk then revealed to them that this lady is actually a manifestation of Guanyin, who took pity on the people here & thus came to teach them.

As he finished his words the old monk simply vanished. From then on the populace of Shanyou mostly became devout Buddhists. The above image is 28th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.


Clasped Palms Guanyin 合掌观音, who appears as a 婆罗门身 Brahmin. Brahmins are people of the priest caste, thus having the highest standing in Indian society. This form stands on a lotus with both palms clasped in salute.

The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there are those that can be liberated by a Brahmin, the Bodhisattva will appear in this form to teach them the Dharma."

Although this form is of noble caste, but it is free from egoistic pride, humbly saluting all sentinet beings as future Buddhas.

The above image is 29th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.


Oneness Guanyin 一如观音, who appears in control of storms. This form sits on a lotus seat on top of a floating storm cloud, with both hands placed on her raised left knee.

The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there thunderous clouds spitting bolts of lightning, dropping hailstones & showering great rain; by the power of invoking Avalokitesvara, they will all disperse in due time." This form is venerated for its ability to protect sentient beings from disasterous storms.

The above image is 30th of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.


Non-dual Guanyin 不二观音, who appears as a 执金刚身 Vajra Holder (guardian deity). This form stands on a lotus leaf floating on the water, with both hands lowered & crossed infront.

The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there are those that can be liberated by a Vajra Holder, the Bodhisattva will appear in this form to teach them the Dharma."

This form is venerated for its ability to protect all Buddhas from unwholesome forces. Non-dual refers to the nature of the Bodhisattva's fierce & peaceful manifestations.

The above image is 31st of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.


Lotus Holding Guanyin 持莲观音, who appears as a 童男童女身 Boy/Girl Child. This form, who wears a crown, is the same as Bodhisattva Padmapani of the Garbhakosa.

It stands on a floating lotus leaf, with both hands holding a long stalk of 2 lotuses, one bloomed & the other half-bloomed. It symbolizes the fully enlightened mind together with the mind journeying towards enlightenment.

The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there are those that can be liberated by a Boy or Girl Child, the Bodhisattva will appear in this form to teach them the Dharma."

As we may know, this lotus is a symbol of the Bodhisattva's fundamental vow. The above image is 32nd of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.


Water Sprinkling Guanyin 洒水观音, who appears controlling the flood waters. It stands on a rock holding a bowl in the left hand & sprinkling water from it with a willow stalk in the right hand.

The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, "If there are sentient beings washed away by great waters, drifting helplessly in the flood; by the power of invoking Avalokitesvara, they will be able to reach shallow areas."

This is exactly the same as Single Petal Guanyin. Likewise, this form is venerated for its ability to save victims of water disasters. The above image is the last & 33rd of the 33 Chinese Guanyin.

Source

http://www.lianhuayuan.net/index312.htm