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Opening remarks[edit]

Can't we just have a link to Gutenberg instead of copying it here? -- Zoe

gutenburg might not be around forever. if you have a link that dies, what do you do then? i have been using the internet for...over 10 years, and i learned a long time ago not to expect things to be around in one place consistently, certainly not at the exact same link. that is assuming you can find the appropriate footnote when you get to the appropriate link anyway.

We don't normally keep original texts in Wikipedia articles. -- Zoe

fine do whatever you like.

It's not keeping an original text Zoe, it's a citation of a footnote out of an entire book. Did you follow the link? --Brion

No, I didn't, Brion, thanks. It just looked like a long paragraph plopped down in the middle of the article. -- Zoe

Changed the title to standard romanization. (either pinyin or Wades-Giles use Guan)

Are you sure? I have no expertise in these matters myself, but I've only ever seen it written as "Kuan-yin". --Paul A
Wade-Giles uses Kuan-Yin, pinyin uses Guanyin. The most common spelling is Kuan-Yin, with its variant of Kwan. I'd honestly keep it to that, just for the sake of immediate readability. -- Hidoshi 18:31, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

Is Kwan-yin the same as Japanese Kannon?

Yes. Jpatokal 12:58, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Please add[edit]

14/11/2009 Mr. Ma's Wife/Fish Basket Kuan Yin

I added the legend of Mr. Ma's Wife/Fish Basket Kuan Yin. Why was this removed? This legend is in fact rather popular in oral traditions and definitely has a basis in written literature. In fact it is even cited in Kuan Yin, the Chinese transformation of Avalokitesvara by Chun-Fang Yu, who painstakingly pored through multiple sources that documents Mr. Ma's wife story. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Savras (talkcontribs) 15:57, 13 November 2009 (UTC)


Being an Account by the Chinese Monk Fa-Hien of his Travels in India and Ceylon (A.D. 399-414) in Search of the Buddhist Books of Discipline

Translated and annotated with a Corean recension of the Chinese text

By James Legge [out of copyright]

Guan-Yin does not hold the title of 'Goddess of Mercy' in Chinese. Reverse translate 'The Goddess of Mercy' into Chinese, and no Chinese would know who you are talking about. This title was probably 'created' by an English speaking Christian with no regards for accuracy in translation or other people's beliefs. Christians have justified their view that other religions are false on the basis that they are polytheistic. By claiming that Bhuddists worshipped many gods and goddesses, the Christians could justify to themselves that the Bhuddist 'religion' must be false, and thus should be converted to the 'true' religion. However, Guan-Yin and other figures in Chinese beliefs are not gods or goddesses or deities. Neither are there any inherent gods in Bhuddism. The Chinese figures are based on real flesh-and-blood human beings, and as such they are equivalent to 'saints' in the Christian scheme of terminology (although Christians also say their god became flesh), or martyrs in the communist scheme of terminology.

Please see the Cannon company explantion of Kannon/Kwannon/Guan-Yin in the references which refers to Kwannon in this way.--Timtak (talk) 22:16, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

JC-24 Aug 06

Kwan-she-yin and the dogmas about him or her are as great a mystery as Manjusri. The Chinese name is a mistranslation of the Sanskrit name Avalokitesvara, "On-looking Sovereign," or even "Onlooking Self-Existent," and means "Regarding or Looking on the sounds of the world" = "Hearer of Prayer." Originally, and still in Tibet, Avalokitesvara had only male attributes, but in China and Japan (Kwannon), this deity (such popularly she is) is represented as a woman, "Kwan-yin, the greatly gentle, with a thousand arms and a thousand eyes;" and has her principal seat in the island of P'oo-t'oo, on the China coast, which is a regular place of pilgrimage. To the worshippers of whom Fa-hien speaks, Kwan-she-yin would only be Avalokitesvara. How he was converted into the "goddess of mercy," and her worship took the place which it now has in China, is a difficult inquiry, which would take much time and space, and not be brought after all, so far as I see, to a satisfactory conclusion. See Eitel's Handbook, pp. 18-20, and his Three Lectures on Buddhism (third edition), pp. 124-131. I was talking on the subject once with an intelligent Chinese gentleman, when he remarked, "Have you not much the same thing in Europe in the worship of Mary?"


Barring loud objections, I will move this page to its original Sanskrit name Avalokitesvara -- it's the most neutral and accurate way of describing a deity known throughout Asia under an amazing variety of names. Jpatokal 12:58, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

"Developed from Avalokitesvara..." != " Avalokitesvara". --Menchi 05:24, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)
If they are indeed separate, then they should be on separate pages. However, I don't really see why they should be separated, because Guan Yin/Kannon is how even Buddhist theologians quite familiar with the origin and meaning of the deity address it. The page needs a thorough rewrite to describe the historical evolution though... Jpatokal 06:54, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Avalokitesvara has now been shunted off into a separate article. The mutual content could use a little more rationalization... Jpatokal 14:33, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Guan Yin and Avalokita[edit]

Nice new image, I like it. But what's the point of having separate pages for Avalokita and Guan Yin? - Nat Krause 15:37, 11 Apr 2004 (UTC)

For the same reason that Yahweh and Allah are separate; the origin may be the same, but Tibetan views of Chenrezig holding a skull while in sexual union with his consort and Chinese Taoists worshopping a white-robed woman are quite far apart in practice... Jpatokal 00:12, 12 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Well, the Yahweh and Allah articles are mostly about the words Yahweh and Allah. So, if I were king, I would not make Avalokiteṣvara and Guan Yin different articles unless they are mostly discussing etymology. However, the current set-up is totally fine, especially insofar as Guan Yin has been incorporated into religions other than Buddhism. I do think the articles should be a little clearer that Guan Yin and Avalokita are basically the same person, because I suspect that most Buddhists think they are; they even talk specifically about her/his ability to manifest in diverse forms. - Nat Krause 04:18, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)


Prat, why "samsara" instead of "(secular) world"? Does 世 gloss as "samsara"? It thought samsara was something like "lianhua". This wouldn't be a problem except that most people who read this probably won't know what "samsara" means. - Nat Krause 11:20, 16 May 2004 (UTC)

I'm not familiar with the particular issue here, but I will say that "secular" is, in an encyclopedic context, a purely sociological term, basically meaning "non-religious". -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽ 00:12, May 17, 2004 (UTC)
I changed it because it made sense. Reasoning was probably: samsara has an article behind it, which means that "most people who read this" can at least click on through and inform themselves. If we use 'secular world' it might sound to some like it means monks and nuns, which is totally the opposite of Guanyin's popular image (at least in China). I mean, if you call yourself Buddhist I wouldn't start labelling you as "of the secular world"... just sounds better to me to use samsara and have a link. Besides, I think Guanyin is probably supposed to listen to all people, secular or otherwise. Isn't that the whole point of the whole pure land deal? prat 13:36, 2004 May 17 (UTC)
Sorry I was very tired and re-read that post. I sound a bit like an asshole. Oh well. I think an improvement would be "... who listens" (without and 'of the...')" What do you think? prat 23:03, 2004 May 17 (UTC)
Well, I've got no idea who included "secular" in there originally, but it seems to me beside the point. We should probably leave it out. I do think that requiring people to follow a link to understand the definition, especially one in the first line of the article, is not desireable. I may be missing some context here, but it seems to me that guan means "observe", shi means "world", yin means "sound", and pusa, of course, means "bodhisattva." Therefore the most straightforward translation would be "the bodhisattva who observes the sounds of the world". We could make it "... the sounds (of the people in) the world" if that enhances clarity. - Nat Krause 08:58, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
The problem may also be influenced by the Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit etymology of Avalokitesvara, but I really don't know what that is; all I can tell you is that it isn't good Sanskrit. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽ 19:53, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

Split out section on Tie-Guan-Yin (tea)?[edit]

I notice a couple articles (Oolong, Chiuchow cuisine) are linking here for the section on the tea variety known as tie-Guan-Yin. Is there any objection to spinning off that section as an article? A-giau 19:23, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Good idea. - Nat Krause 03:16, 15 Aug 2004 (UTC)
OK, done. A-giau 23:35, 5 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Name of article[edit]

Wikipedia's policy is most common name. So we have the following Google hits:

  • "kuan yin" - 78000
  • "kuanyin" - 9660
  • "kwan yin" - 65000
  • "kwanyin" - 6170
  • "guan yin" - 20600
  • "guanyin" - 35100
  • "gwan yin" - 331
  • "gwanyin" - 199

Hence, I am moving this page to Kuan Yin. Lowellian (talk)[[]] 06:14, Dec 13, 2004 (UTC)

  • This is faulty logic. First of all searching Google for "Kuan Yin" gives you BOTH "Kuan Yin" and "Kuan-yin." Second Pinyin Guanyin is a close second place with 565,000 sites. --Naus 19:35, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Searing google for Kannon, the Japanese name, gives about 789,000 hits, which is more than twice as many as "kuan yin" 331,000. Can I change the article name to Kannon?!--Timtak (talk) 22:20, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Kannon is a derivative of Guanyin, which is a derivative of Avalokitasvara. Searching for "guanyin" OR "guan yin" OR "kuan yin" OR "kuanyin" yields 4,530,000 so it appears that the Chinese name is most common. I should also mention that non-Pinyin forms of names are basically old and non-standard these days for Chinese. Guanyin is the only spelling of the Chinese name that is both modern and accurate. Tengu800 22:28, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Removal of Chinese characters?[edit]

Why are the original Chinese characters removed? Mandel 07:11, Mar 13, 2005 (UTC)

Sorry I didn't scroll down. But those characters ought to be shifted up you know. Mandel 07:13, Mar 13, 2005 (UTC)
I agree and have moved the characters table to the top. —Lowellian (talk) 17:19, August 10, 2005 (UTC)
I don't agree with moving the characters table up. They constitute something of an eyesore right at the beginning of the article, as well as duplicating some of the information provided in the opening paragraphs. There's nothing so important about the characters that they need to appear before the TOC. - Nat Krause 08:32, 3 September 2005 (UTC)
Now there are more than 10 lines of characters with more than five languages. Should I remove those non-Chinese names out? --manop 07:02, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Why? China doesn't have a monopoly or even first invention rights on Avalokiteshvara, she/he/it is also a big deal in Japan, Korea and Vietnam. Jpatokal 09:08, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
I did, however, take the liberty of removing some duplicate info: chu nom/hanja are the same thing as Chinese characters, nobody uses Korean Wade-Giles, McCune-Reischauer was incorrect. Jpatokal 09:13, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, I had thought adding Thai name(s) (กวนอิม / Kuan Im) there. But it seemed like Wiktionary to me.--manop 19:47, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Moved from article[edit]

This comment was in the References section. The point should probably be addressed. --Jake 08:40, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Kannon and Canon is not accociated with each other AT ALL.Canon is not a religious product. They are pronounced differently too. Canon (like that song by Pachelbel) means "repeat", and the brand Canon means to repeat in life (since it's a camera company).

I agree with Jake's comment. See the image of Kuan Yin in Canon's original logo from the company's official website. Kowloonese 10:58, 9 February 2006 (UTC)


This gets into serious theological hair-splitting, but the basic issue is whether Kuan Yin is considered a 'stand-alone' goddess/boddhisattva, or whether s/he's is considered just one of the many manifestations of Avalokiteshvara. Jpatokal 06:49, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Even in China, Kuan yin is not always female. There are some category problems here:

The Name[edit]

Kuan yin is simply the Chinese for Avalokiteśvara, just as John is the English for Johannes, Ioannes, or Yochanan. In any Buddhist sutra, where the Sanskrit has Avalokiteśvara, the Chinese has either guān yīn or guān shì yīn. When Avalokiteśvara is depicted in male form, in earlier Chinese or other Buddhist traditions, the Chinese name is still guān yīn. The same goes, mutatis mutandis, for Kannon and Kwan Um.

How do you get Guan-Yin from Avalokitesvara? (talk) 01:49, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

The Gender[edit]

While some depictions of Kuan yin may be clearly feminine, for the most part they are not so much female as androgynous (or perhaps gynandrous) -- in pictures, even very recent ones, of Kuan yin one rarely sees more than a hint of breasts or a feminine shape, and the costume tends to cover the form pretty thoroughly. This follows on a long tradition of East Asian depictions of androgynous bodhisattvas, though only in Kuan yin's case has the matter gone far enough that the bodhisattva is generally perceived to be female. The change is not, however, one of "manifestation" and has little to do with Avalokiteśvara's ability to appear in different forms (something that could be said of many buddhas and bodhisattvas); it's more a question of changes in artistic style, and consequent revisions in popular thinking about the bodhisattva, including the thought that it would be more appropriate to pray to a quasi-maternal figure for children.

The Context[edit]

It can also be contended that the character of Kuan yin has, in a way, "jumped the fence" and is no longer a purely Buddhist deity but a fixture in Chinese folk religion. While that is doubtless true, it has little to do with the perceived gender switch and nothing to do with the Chinese name. It is also true of other deities of Buddhist origin. However, it's doubtful that the particularly Chinese developments are such that, from a Chinese point of view, Kuan yin the "goddess" has become a different person from Kuan yin the bodhisattva of the sutras. And some of the most dramatic legendary transformations took place entirely within the Buddhist tradition.

In short, while there are interesting Chinese developments to Avalokiteśvara/Kuan yin, that could justify a separate article, it also seems to me that they could just as well be handled in an article about Avalokiteśvara; it's not as if a legendary figure acquiring local characteristics is anything terribly surprising, and an account of those developments helps in one's understanding of the figure as a whole.RandomCritic 18:03, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

Kuan Yin? Guan Yin?[edit]

Why is this article at Kuan Yin? I thought Naming conventions would place it at Guan Yin, unless the Buddhistava has a personal preference for WG spelling? --Sumple (Talk) 11:38, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

this issue has already been addressed. Apparently Kuan Yin won much to my dismay. Hanfresco 05:44, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
What you mean the dodgy google poll there? That's full dodgy. --Sumple (Talk) 05:54, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
What naming conventions? My understanding is that "Kuan Yin" is more common, so we should use that. I, personally, prefer Guan Yin as well.—Nat Krause(Talk!) 22:00, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
If you check "What links here", the majority of internal links actually point to "Guanyin" or "Guan Yin", not "Kuan Yin" or "Kwan Yin". What evidence is there that "Kuan Yin" is more common, beyond the google poll? Your average non-Chinese person probably haven't heard of either. I would suggest that in an ambiguous case like this, we should use the pinyin transliteration, which is the usual standard. --Sumple (Talk) 03:11, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't see what's ambiguous about it. We only have one piece of information, the google test, and it indicates that "Kuan Yin" is more common. If we had two contradictory data points, that would be different.—Nat Krause(Talk!) 06:30, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
The contradictory point is the number of internal links to "Guanyin" or "Guan Yin" versus "Kuan Yin" or "Kwan Yin" in Wikipedia. I only called it "ambiguous" to be polite. As far as I have seen, contemporary (academic) works on Buddhist art or Chinese Buddhism almost exclusively use "Guan Yin" or "Guanyin", not "Kuan Yin"; see, for example, (to pull something off the shelf) Jackie, M. (1990), Asian collection: handbook, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. ISBN 0730574555
Here is a recent study of the deity which uses "Guanyin":
Karetzky, P. (2003), Guanyin, Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN 0195930886
While I have no doubt Kuan Yin is also used quite commonly, a Google hits search is simply not nearly reliable enough to hold such sway.
As to your first question, naming conventions as in Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Chinese)#Names. Names should be transliterated into Pinyin unless (1) there is another name more familiar to English speakers, or (2) the person/group involved is more likely to prefer an alternative romanisation. Now, I would contend that Kuan Yin/Guan Yin is not a term so well-known in English as, say, Sun Yat-Sen, and so does not fall within the first exception. (How many non-Chiense English speakers do you know who would know what Kuan Yin/Guan Yin is?) The second exception is self evident. --Sumple (Talk) 11:44, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Well, I've been thinking about this for a few days. I was never very happy about the move of this page to Kuan Yin, and I'm not going to object much if someone moves it back. However, I don't think I can really endorse such a move. I like pinyin, but what I really like is Wikipedia's policy of using common names. Now, I agree that a Google search is not very reliable. However, I just don't see any reason here to think that any other information we have on the subject is any more reliable. "As far as I have seen, contemporary (academic) works on Buddhist art or Chinese Buddhism almost exclusively use 'Guan Yin' or 'Guanyin', not 'Kuan Yin'" is probably true, but completely anecdotal. The google test is much-maligned, but I've rarely seen a better alternative.—Nat Krause(Talk!) 03:37, 11 August 2006 (UTC) P.S.: As for how many non-Chinese English speakers I know who would know what Kuan Yin/Guan Yin is, I know more than a few of them, thanks. However, they seem to mostly refer to her as either Kannon or Kwan Um. Go figure.

The Google test is quite irrelevant. Older scholarly literature uses Wade-Giles (Kuan-yin, not "Kuan Yin"), modern sources use Pinyin (Guanyin, not "Guan Yin"). I suggest moving the article to Guanyin, in accordance with the naming convention, recent scientific literature, and the Pīnyīn spelling in the Xiàndài Hànyǔ cídiǎn 现代汉语词典 (Shāngwù yìnshūguǎn 商务印书馆 1996), p. 463. —Babelfisch 07:41, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

  • I agree. Kuan Yin looks awkward too. And yes, the proper Hanyu Pinyin spelling is Guanyin, not Guan Yin. --Naus 19:28, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Searching on Google for "Kuan Yin" gives you both "Kuan Yin" and "Kuan-yin." So the search results are inflated. The current spelling of "Kuan Yin" is simply wrong. It's not Wade-Giles. It's simply an ignorant spelling. --Naus 19:37, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Moved it to what I could. Going to have to get an admin to change it to Guanyin as it's currently a redirect. Zazaban 22:55, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

I vote for "Guanyin" which is the correct hanyu pinyin (ignoring the absence of tone marks). "Kuan Yin" is not wrong, but increasingly out of date, and causes consistency problems with other romanized Chinese.Dawud (talk) 11:29, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Now the article doesn't mention "Kuan Yin" or "Kuan-Yin" in the body at all. Perhaps the form(s) should be at least mentioned, since it is still commonish out there, even if it's mostly in older sources... Orbst (talk) 03:11, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

Guanyin is one word[edit]

According to Hanyu Pinyin orthography standards, Guanyin is one word, not two as used here. --Naus 09:26, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Yes, the whole article is a mess. One of the cases where Wikipedia's weaknesses crowd to the fore.
Bathrobe (talk) 07:16, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

An actual template?[edit]

I am tempted to replace the woefully-customized html table with Template:Chinese since it can handle all the languages. Will people actually be offended by it since this is a religious symbol across many nations? Benjwong 11:19, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

This is an example of a "no-nonsense" template; the "Chinese" template still has the strange yellow "hidden" bar which really seems unnecessary. This template just has the various names in order, without a lot of teminology like "Guan," "Yue," and two lines for each romanization name and romanization. Badagnani 06:17, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
Replace it. The current table is ugly as hell, and {{Chinese}} will do the job better and make it look much tidier. PC78 18:25, 23 August 2007 (UTC)


bull crap i need help with mythology —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:20, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Then you came to the right place! Guanyin helps all who cry out to her.
If this doesn't work, try St. Jude.Dawud (talk) 11:31, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Japanese Kannon/Virgin Mary[edit]

The Virgin Mary disguised as Kannon (Japan).

Here is an image of the Virgin Mary disguised as Kannon (Guan Yin) from 17th century Japan. Feel free to insert it in the article. Cheers PHG (talk) 09:04, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Kannon is big in Japan and presumably other East Asian countries but this article is very China centred. There is mention of Maria Kannon but it does not even get a section unlike "Guanyin in Chinese Buddhism" "Guanyin and Chinese folk belief." One might point out that she originated in China as justification for the China-centrism but then she didn't she originated in Sanscrit India.--Timtak (talk) 22:04, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Is this her mantra?[edit]

Literal Translation:

   * Namo (Sanskrit)- Homage to / Refuge in
   * Guan (Chinese) - Observe / Care
   * Shih (Chinese) - World
   * Yin (Chinese) - Sound / Voice
   * Pusa (Sanskrit) - Bodhisattva
Austerlitz -- (talk) 12:56, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, that's her mantra, alright. For the hanzi, it's this: 南無觀世音菩薩 (nam mo guan shi yin pu sa) (for it's Sino-Korean equivalent, it's this: 남무관세음보살)

I was also wondering why no one was putting this mantra in the article. Heran et Sang'gres (talk) 05:50, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Yes, Namo Guanshiyin Pusa is the most common mantra or mindfulness practice for Guanshiyin in Chinese Buddhism. Om Manipadme Hum is also associated with Guanshiyin and is quite common in East Asian Buddhism as well. There are other mantras as well, which are very popular in Chinese Buddhism and related to Guanshiyin. One very long mantra is the Great Compassion Mantra (Mahakaruna Mantra, also known as the Nilakantha Dharani), which is very common. Another is the Cundi Dharani, which is a popular method for an esoteric form of Guanshiyin. Tengu800 (talk) 23:42, 27 January 2011 (UTC)


Austerlitz -- (talk) 19:35, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Taoist bias[edit]

To say that "Taoism" is "the original religion of China" is hopelessly POV. In fact "Taoism" is one of several words used for a diverse and evolving family of religious practices and beliefs with both elite and popular manifestations. Its self-identity coalesced slowly, and probably in tandem with the entry of Buddhism into China.

And you can't say that Guanyin was "originally" a Taoist goddess who got stolen by the Buddhists. For one thing, borrowing very obviously worked both ways--often it was Taoism imitating Buddhism rather than the other way around. Beyond that--at the risk of stepping on people's religious toes--it's not like Guanyin actually exists or anything. All we have are stories. Guanyin *is* the character in her stories, which (unlike details of say, the Star Wars canon) have no locus classicus to guide us.Dawud (talk) 11:27, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

An inquiry about external links for the Wikipedia entry on Guan Yin[edit]

I'm writing to ask if someone could add a couple of External Links to the Wikipedia entry about Quan Yin.

I manage a discussion group about Kuan Yin at Anyone can view the group, and membership is open to anyone, though you must make a request to join (the group's status is Public With Approval). The group features a library of texts about Kuan Yin -- articles, sutras and sutra excerpts, and so on -- and some useful audio recordings; an image gallery; and a message board. The group is called The Chapel of Kuan Yin, and here is its URL:

I believe, though I don't know this for sure, that the group has the largest amount of material related to Kuan Yin available in any one place online.

I have also written an informative blog about Kuan Yin, which includes several current links to additional information:

I check and update these links regularly.

You can contact me at my e-mail,

Thank you very much for your consideration. Bless you.

Kuanyindevotee (talk) 17:48, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

Page Move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 12:49, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Guan YinGuanyin — Guanyin is the correct pinyin. Philg88 (talk) 22:12, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

  • If we're going to move this, it ought to be moved to Kuan Yin, which is most common in English (but see the brouhaha above). Guanyin is the correct Pinyin, of course, but established names in English should take priority over that. Gavia immer (talk) 07:27, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
That is a valid point Gavia immer, so maybe change the move page request accordingly (although I think the correct WG tranlisteration would be Kuan-yin)? Or just move it and delete the template? Philg88 (talk) 12:18, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Support Guanyin, oppose "Kuan Yin" (or anything else). There's plenty of debate above, and I don't see any evidence that Kuan Yin (etc) are sufficiently more popular than Guanyin to not use WP's standard pinyin for this. Jpatokal (talk) 12:48, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Support per nom. Current title is incorrect pinyin. Also note the previous discussion above. — AjaxSmack 19:24, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

removable hands of guan yin?[edit]

what is the idea of figures that have one or two hands which can be removed? is this a typical feature of guanyin figures as in blanc de chine ceramic figures? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tabuki8 (talkcontribs) 00:33, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

Avalokitesvara vs Guanyin[edit]

Avalokitesvara is literally "lord who looks down". Guanyin is literally "observes sounds"; Guanshiyin is literally "observes world's sounds". These are not literal translations of each other. Jpatokal (talk) 00:47, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Guanyin is a translation of Avalokitasvara, which is the original name as it was used prior to around the 5th century CE. When the Lotus Sutra and the other early Mahayana texts were translated, Indian Buddhism was still using the earlier form Avalokitasvara. The later form Avalokiteshvara was a name change that probably followed the Karandavyuha Sutra and other sutras which associate in some manner Avalokitasvara with Maheshvara (Ishvara = Shiva), to appeal to practitioners of yoga in India, because Shiva is the lord of yoga. However, the earlier translations such as Guanyin and Guanshiyin all correspond to the original Sanskrit form Avalokitasvara. Sanskrit: Avalokita = contemplate or observe, asvara = sound. Chinese: Guan = contemplate or observe, yin = sound. The variant Guanshiyin is translating "lok" as "loka" or "world" in addition to the other meaning, so the translation is expanded in meaning slightly as Guanshiyin, but still directly from Avalokitasvara, and still with the same basic meaning. The Sanskrit has implications of vipasyana, or meditative contemplation. The Chinese word guan is also the main translation of this concept. When the Indian name was altered to Avalokitesvara, to adapt to the new conditions in India, then Chinese translators such as Xuanzang also modified their translations of this name to Guanzizai, which is in turn a direct translation of the meaning of the newer name. Therefore, the Chinese form Guanyin or Guanshiyin is actually closer to the original Indian name Avalokitasvara, than is the modified form Avalokitesvara. Tengu800 (talk) 01:43, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Western Paradise[edit]

Before my edit was reverted, I changed "Western Paradise" to Sukhavati, because "Western Paradise" is an inaccurate colloquial term for Amitabha's pure land of Sukhavati. The western pure land has Xitian as one of the names in Chinese, which means literally "Western Heaven". It is more accurately called Jile ("Ultimate Bliss") or Anle ("Peaceful Bliss") in Chinese, both of which are direct translations of the Sanskrit name Sukhavati. As for Avalokitasvara Bodhisattva attending to people who are reborn in lotus flowers in Sukhavati, you can read about this for yourself in the Longer Sukhavativyuha Sutra, which is the source for this belief. It is available on Wikisource in full translation from the Sanskrit text by Max Mueller. It is also a widely known fact that in texts related to Amitabha Buddha, which are some of the earliest sources mentioning Avalokitasvara, that Avalokitasvara Bodhisattva and Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva are the attendants of Amitabha Buddha in his western pure land of Sukhavati. Again, the earliest Indian sources for Avalokitasvara Bodhisattva and translations of doctrines related to him/her are no mystery if people actually take the time to read them and understand how they relate to Chinese culture. Pure Land Buddhism was extremely influential in traditional Chinese culture, and it should be no surprise that Chinese "folk beliefs" about Avalokitasvara are often not folk beliefs, and come directly out of the sutras. However, earlier orientalists were not familiar with the Chinese Buddhist traditions or the Mahayana sutras. Tengu800 (talk) 02:03, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

I have reinserted the "pure land of Sukhavati" since as you say "Western Paradise" is an inaccurate term. However, this may invalidate the reference since I suspect Johnson himself used the term "Western Paradise". Philg88 (talk) 02:10, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
He probably does use the term "Western Paradise", which is no doubt a translation of Xitian, which means literally the "Western Heaven" (see: Sukhavati). This is one of the Chinese names for Sukhavati, but it is a colloquial name, and therefore lacks accuracy for an encyclopedia article. In general, the practice in articles related to Buddhism, is to use an original language such as Sanskrit or Pali for proper names, where the name exists across Buddhist traditions which use various languages. For example, everyone in China says Amituofo, the Chinese name for Amitabha Buddha, but all Wikipedia articles should use the Sanskrit form Amitabha. Similarly, region-specific names for Sukhavati should be avoided, such as the Tibetan "Dewachen," or Chinese "Xitian" in this case. Tengu800 (talk) 02:41, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. Xitian (西天) is the commonly used term but it is not "ideologically" correct. Philg88 (talk) 02:51, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Taoists v Daoists[edit]

This is almost negligible, but in the introduction, I found the sentence including "Chinese Taoists (sometimes called Daoists)" to be misleading, as "dao" is the closest approximate pronounciation of the Chinese character "道", and is the correct spelling according to the dominant Hanyu Pinyin system of transcribing Chinese phonetics in the Roman alphabet. "Tao" however, is an outdated and less accurate spelling originating from the Wade-Giles system. The page on "Taoism" devotes an entire section to this issue: "". So while "tao" may remain the popular spelling of "道" in the West, the sentence in the introductory paragraph should truly read "Chinese Daoists (sometimes called Taoists). Once again, this is perhaps a very minor distinction, but it is a matter of accuracy and correctness.

Good quality image[edit]

Eleven-faced Goddess of Mercy

It has been suggested in this featured picture candidacy, that this image be added to the article. I'd be happpy if somebody familiar with the topic could do that. Thanks. bamse (talk) 08:57, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

This is a good example of Guanyin as a bare-chested male figure, complete with thin moustache and beard. Tengu800 22:46, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

More Information About Other Traditions?[edit]

It seems strange to me, since there are no separate articles for the other "versions" of Guanyin/Avalokiteśvara, that only Chinese traditions are mentioned in the article. This seems to imply that Kannon, for instance, is nothing more than Guanyin by another name, with all beliefs and traditions surrounding the figure identical to those found in China. While I admit that I am no expert on the subject, my impression is that this is clearly not the case (the theory of honji suijaku being an obvious example). Unless the article is to be split into separate articles for the various national traditions, could a contributor more knowledgeable than myself please write up sections on those traditions in the existing article? Maitreya (talk) 13:17, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Why would there be different "versions" of this figure, just because there are some different beliefs? For that matter, why is there a separate page for "Guanyin", since this name is a straight translation of Avalokitasvara? Remember also that the Japanese name Kannon is just the Japanese pronunciation of the exact same Chinese characters for Guanyin. Would we have separate pages for Jesus or Moses, just because there are different beliefs in various parts of the world? Tengu800 23:19, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
I think the main reason for existence of a separate article for Guanyin is because there are a lot of differences between Guanyin and Avalokitasvara besides name. For example (quoting from the article): "Avalokiteśvara was originally depicted as a male bodhisattva, and therefore wears chest-revealing clothing and may even sport a moustache. Although this bare-chested and moustached depiction still exists in the Far East, Guanyin is more often depicted as a woman in modern times." There are lots of Chinese only traditions/stories about Guanyin like Miao Shan and Chen Jinggu. An example of a Western tradition similar is how there's an article on Black Madonna/Mary. I wouldn't be opposed for Kannon for example, however, I'm not very knowledgeable about Japanese characteristics. DemonicInfluence (talk) 05:08, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, except the bare-chested male depiction of Guanyin is very common in China as well. Tengu800 23:46, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
"Version" was perhaps a poor choice of word, but my main point was that there are significant variations in the legends and traditions surrounding the figure, with honji suijaku, as mentioned, being a very clear example. Despite this, the article only describes Chinese legends and veneration. Now, as I stated in my original post, I do not think there necessarily has to be separate articles, but there should at least be separate sections in the article describing these variations. As you say, Tengu800, we would not have separate articles for different beliefs about Jesus, but the Wikipedia article on Jesus does in fact mention not only different Christian beliefs about Jesus, but also Jewish, Islamic, historical and scholarly perspectives with links to separate articles further describing these perspectives. Maitreya (talk) 10:34, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
I agree with this, and I would encourage you to add material regarding Avalokitasvara in Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean, or other traditions. The issue of naming is an unfortunate one again in this regard, because this article is somewhat assuming that Guanyin is different from Avalokitesvara, and that Guanyin is the most common name, when each tradition has its own pronunciation of the Chinese characters for "Avalokitasvara" (i.e. Guanyin, Kannon, Gwanseeum, Quán Thế Âm, etc.). Tengu800 23:46, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

"Some Chinese of the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic Philippines"[edit]

What the hell does that mean, it's grammatically gibberish. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:11, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

"Some Chinese of the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic Philippines, in an act of syncretism, have identified Guanyin with the Virgin Mary.[14]" the reference is an audio clip, talking about a Virgin Mary carving that's created by a Chinese carver. That hardly "identified Guanyin with the Virgin Mary" It's actually talks about the influence of two cultures upon each other during colonization, which is AGAINST the idea that Guan Yin is the Virgin Mary. I suggest this sentence deleted or re-worded. (talk) 03:17, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

The articles talks about how the western market of Virgin Mary statues stimulated and inspired the Eastern market of Guan Yin statues. It's in every way against Guanyin is Virgin Mary. (talk) 03:28, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

File:Eleven-faced Goddess of Mercy edit.jpg to appear as POTD[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:Eleven-faced Goddess of Mercy edit.jpg will be appearing as picture of the day on April 3, 2013. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2013-04-03. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page. Thanks! — Crisco 1492 (talk) 23:19, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Picture of the day

A 12th-century painting of Guanyin, on a silk hanging scroll. In East Asian Buddhism, Guanyin (Kannon in Japan) is the bodhisattva associated with compassion. The painting is a National Treasure of Japan and is stored at the Nara National Museum.

Painting: Unknown
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

no mention of connection to willow (salix) tree[edit]

I was hoping to find some mention of the connection with the willow tree (salix). I know nothing about this and was hoping to find it here. Much appreciated if someone who is knowledgeable about this could write a few lines.

DLW, PhD — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:17, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

In China, it was used for its medicinal properties (e.g. monks cleaned their teeth with a makeshift willow twig toothbrush). In India they used neem for these same purposes. Tengu800 08:59, 6 August 2013 (UTC)


The text of the article says that Guanyin though originally described as male is venerated as both male and female. Therefore I have removed the word "mistakenly" in the opening sentence (it read "mistakenly as a female"). I do not hold to this edit dogmatically, but before reverting somebody should find a reference substantiating the use of the word "mistaken:ly". As of present I did not manage to find one in the article. (talk) 13:10, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

You have a valid point so I wouldn't worry - "mistakenly" is not neutral. I've removed the "see below" as that is inferred. ► Philg88 ◄ Star.pngtalk 14:03, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

Thank you! (talk) 18:57, 26 February 2014 (UTC)