Kuan-yin (Perceiver of Sounds), or Kuan-shih-yin (Perceiver of the World’s Sounds) is the Chinese name for Avalokiteśvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, . Source Version, Kuan-yin: the Chinese transformation of Avalokiteśvara / Chün- fang Yü. Yü, Chün-fang, New York: Columbia University Press, c Request PDF on ResearchGate | On Aug 1, , Beata Grant and others published Kuan-yin: The Chinese Transformation of Avalokiteshvara.

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Yu made the argument that avalokitewvara order for Kuan Yin to become a true Chinese deity then she needed a mortal embodiment to become human before she was able to become a god.

Jun 04, Jessica Zu rated it it was amazing Shelves: Professor Yu’s book concludes with detailed discussion of later “femi- nine forms of Kuan-yin,” including the Eternal Venerable Mother of sec- tarian mythology. A wee bit too scholarly. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. The Chinese Transformation of Avalokitesvara on your Kindle in under a minute. I am puzzled by the statement that “we can speak of the rise of a kind of ‘domesticated religiosity’ in late imperial times” p.

Finally, there is a whole new body of evidence about Kuan-yin as a local village protector deity to which Yii does not refer but which brings the goddess very much to earth.

Arvin Gouw rated it it was amazing Oct 24, Bea Kwan marked it as to-read Aug 09, Still working on this meaty piece of scholarship. The cult of Kuan-yin in China was made even more specific and con- crete by collections of miracle tales, stories of the bodhisattva’s efficacious responses to the prayers of her devotees, the first set of which was pub- lished in the fourth century.

Well worth reading by those interested in the history of Chinese Buddhism or in having a deeper understanding of the part Kuan Yin plays in the lives and hearts of many.

Kuan-Yin: The Chinese Transformation of Avalokitesvara by Chun-fang Yu

Review A major case study of the Mahayana concept of upaya Yu then looked at the feminine forms of Kuan Yin. This scripture influenced many more later on pp. In an indigenous Chinese scripture from the eleventh avalokitesgara a “white-robed Kuan-yin” appears, associated with a “child-giving Kuan-yin,” a “maternal figure holding a baby in her arms” p. As opposed to Mu-lien who was merely trying to free his mother and accidentally freed souls from hell, Miao Shan purposefully kuan-yn souls and eased the torments of those suffering there.


This scholarly and thorough book gives a good account of how Guanyin emerged in China. Since Kuan-yin is believed to combine uni- versal salvation with immediate practical aid, this study is a valuable ex- position not only about the goddess but also about the whole practical side of Mahayana Buddhism, a detailed reminder transfornation its promises to aid devotees with healing, protection from fire, drowning, bandits, and many other dangers, the birth and safe delivery of children, and other benefits.

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Kuan-yin: the Chinese transformation of Avalokiteśvara

Rosemary rated it really liked it Aug 30, 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.

Aziz marked it as to-read Nov 04, Would you like to tell us about a lower price? 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 chinrse the changing iconography reflected in Kuan-yin’s images and artistic representations — to determine the role these materials played in this amazing transformation.

The next chapter addressed pilgrimage sites.

Kuan-Yin: The Chinese Transformation of Avalokitesvara

If you are curious about Guanyin and already have some basic knowledge of the history and vocabulary of Buddhism I often traneformation with the specialized vocabularythis will be a very enlightening book. She starts with avalokitesvvara original, the MALE indian bodhisattva Avelokitesvara, and the source suttras, and then discusses how it became a female goddess. There is also a huge and ferocious transformation image of Kuan-yin venerated at rituals of community renewal to drive away harmful forces.


Kian-yin, originally Buddhist symbols can be incorporated into popular religion and so en- rich its power and scope. Yu also illustrated the money to be made in the pilgrimage business. 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.

As the author states, western interest in eastern religion, and feminism has greatly expanded the interest in Kuan-Yin, but it also misappropriated, either smearing her and other female goddesses into a translucent light blue, elevator muzak “great goddess”. Robin added it Jul 28, Angie rated it it was amazing Nov 19, There was so much in this book!

This is a quite dry and academic text, that gains in incredible detail, meticulous source references and attention to minutiae, while losing something in dryness and a failure to truly bring to life this most beloved of Chinese Mahayana Bodhisattvas. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you transformtaion to read. So much so that many Chinese, if they are not familiar with Gransformation, are not even aware of her Buddhist origin” pp.

Therese rated it really liked it Oct 27, While not so interesting a chapter. 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.

The Noble Eightfold Path: It will be a valuable resource for many years to come and has been a privilege to read and review. More than simply looking at the change Kuan Yin underwent in China Yu transformatin looks at the different course Buddhism took.