resplendent serene gilt wood thousand-armed Kuanyin, embodiment of compassion,
with a crown of five heads representing the five Dhyani Buddhas surmounted by
the ascendent head of Amitabha Buddha, of whom she is an emanation; seated upon
a delicately carved double lotus throne adorned in gracefully falling robes, sacred
cord and a rosary with which she calls upon the Buddha for succor. In her rear
right hand is the dhwoja, the banner of the victory of Buddhism, the left hand
holds a staff surmounted by a stupa, symbol of the Buddhist universe.
forward hands are pressed together in Namaskar mudra, the special gesture associated
with the thousand armed Boddhisattva. The lower hands are joined in meditation
position holding a precious vase symbolizing the nectar of compassion and wisdom.
Individually carved arms display an array of attributes; the aureole of arms and
hands surrounding her is carved to show an eye in the palm of each hand, the better
to search out the needs of suffering sentient beings.
Yin was about to enter heaven but paused on the threshold as the cries of the
world reached her ears. As a true Enlightened One, she vowed to remain in the
earthly realms and not enter the heavenly worlds until all other living things
have completed their own enlightenment and thus become liberated from the pain-filled
cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. Her name means "she who harkens to the cries
of the world."