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Goddess Kuan Yin’s

Goddess Kuan Yin’s

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She's the Chinese goddess of compassion, bestows prayers and fertility. In ancient times Kuan Yin was supposed to be a male, so don’t be surprised if you come upon a masculine Kuan Yin.

In Sanskrit she's known as Padma pani - "Born of the Lotus." She is revered by both the Taoist and Buddhist. Kuan Yin is a shortened form of a name that means One Who Sees and Hears the Cry from the Human World. Her Chinese title signifies, "She who always observes or pays attention to sounds," i.e., she who hears prayers. Sometimes possessing eleven heads, she is surnamed Sung-Tzu-Niang-Niang, "lady who brings children." She is goddess of fecundity as well as of mercy.

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Okay besides giving vague descriptions on their religions, can’t tell you much since most of my Chinese friends can’t tell me the difference. I’ve always wondered on the Chinese part, since I know enough of the Buddhist teachings (enough general knowledge). Anyone care to explain, been asking this question for ages.

Actually a lot of Chinese beliefs, goddess and festivals are similar to the Hindus. For example we have Navarathri and at the same time they have the 10 emperor or goddess festival. They also abstain from meat during holy days and according to custom, on the first day of Chinese New Year they should also abstain from meat, but like how Deepavali has evolved in Malaysia, most generations don’t follow it.

Anyway yesterday I went along with my colleagues, to pray at a Kuan Yin temple and have a Sek Chai* (vegetarian) lunch.

This is the second time I’m going to that particular temple on Goddess Kuan Yin’s birthday. Well I’ve been to Chinese and Buddhist temples before but not really for prayers, though when I was a kid we used to go every year during Wesak Day.

Its quite peaceful, like Hindu temples in Malaysia, during festivals we get free lunch. Not the one dish one rice thing, but a few dishes, curry and the whole works. The only difference is in a Hindu temple, they stuff you with food, at the Chinese temple you’re served with limit so as not to be greedy (I think).

The custom to observe at a Chinese temple is, less noise, buy some joss sticks, pray and place it in their respective places. Monks only chant prayers at the beginning of the prayer and not in between though if you go to a Buddhist temple you might get blessed.

There’s also a few rules to absorb while eating at a Chinese table.

No sticking your chopsticks into your rice bowl - bad omen for the host.

No putting back food into the main dish

No licking utensils since everyone picks food from the same plate.

Wait till the eldest person on the table eats first, discard rule if with friends.

If you don’t know how to use a chopstick, for gods sake ask for a fork and spoon :p

Eat fast, food vanishes into thin air :p

Of course I was the only Indian there. I don’t mind going for any function regardless of the religion, as long as I’m invited, I’d go. To me god is the same just a different name.

Nice lunch, also had ice cream well not on Kuan Yin but it was a hot day :p

Some links on Goddess Kuan Yin

Legend of Kuan Yin

Wikipedia explains

Info on Kuan Yin and here

The Japanese link (quiet interesting)

Kuan Yin prayer

Kuan Yin photos