Kuan Yin, also spelled as Quan Yin, is a Bodhisattva of Compassion. A lot of people refer to her as the Buddha of Compassion, which is technically wrong in terms of terminology, but absolutely right when refers to her true being.
The truth is Quan Yin or Kuan Yin is a Bodhisattva who refuses to enter Buddhahood because of her desire to help all sentient beings to achieve nirvana or the Buddhist equivalent of heaven.
Kuan Yin (also spelled as Quan Yin, Kwan Yin, Guan Yin, Gwan Yin) is of mercy and compassion. It is said, that her compassion towards sentient beings exceeds that of all the other Bodhisattvas combined. She is considered to be a source of unconditional love and a savior of sentient beings. When talking about Kuan Yin’s love for us, mankind is usually not used, because it is said that it is an underestimation of her compassion. Sentient beings is generally use because this also refers to other beings, other than just us humans, it refers to all living creatures that includes insects.
As a Bodhisattva, Kuan Yin pledges to response to all the cries and please of all beings, in fact, it is aid that even before you utter your plea, Kuan Yin would already have heard you and responded to your plea. Naturally, devotion to her will help hasten this, but you need not believe in her for her to reply to your pleas. The sutras that talked about Kuan Yin as a savior of both the spiritual and physical realm and when a person with deep negative karma call upon her, she will have cleanse and help this person from his karmic burden.
I don’t think that it’s an exaggeration to say that Kuan Yin’s popularity amongst Chinese Buddhist exceeds that of other Buddha and Bodhisattva. She is extremely popular and revered that Taoism has also ‘adopted’ her thus making her one of the most revered Taoist deities. It is not surprising to see Taoist temples having her image.
She is also extremely popular as being a merciful deity that some people wrongly address her as Goddess of Mercy.
There are a lot of miracles that are attributed to Kuan Yin. These miracles may range from the simple things like wanting to get a job, wanting to have a child to something really big and may seem like impossible.
My personal treasure trove of stories about Kuan Yin’s blessings and/or miracles is simply amazing. Not to mention stories shared with me by my friends, relatives, and acquaintances. You simply have to search the net and you’ll see a lot of stories about Kuan Yin’s miracles.
I’m not going to share a personal story because that will be a little self-serving. Instead, let me share with you a story of a woman who goes to the same temple that I go to. Let’s just call her A. A is a 40 something housewife. She said that she’s a devotee of Kuan Yin just like her mother. In fact, I’ll often see her make some offerings to Kuan Yin even if there’s no occasion such as the Kuan Yin feast day. I talked to her about her devotion to Kuan Yin and she clarified that while there are other small miracles that she can attribute to Kuan Yin, she believes that 2 of the important thing that happened in her life is due to Kuan Yin’s blessing. The first one is when she had her first child. It was a difficult pregnancy not only because it was her first child, but it was also a complicated pregnancy that almost got aborted several times. The worst part of the pregnancy happened on the 7th month. She had a severe case of bleeding that they thought she’d go into premature labor. On the way to the hospital, while her husband is driving, she and her mom just kept on calling Kuan Yin’s name while they mentally pray that Kuan Yin save her baby.
She was stabilized at the hospital but they can’t say the same were true for her baby. They are unable to detect the heartbeat of the baby and the ultrasound shows that the baby isn’t moving at all! After a while, the OB informed them that if another 15 minutes passed by with a heartbeat and/or a movement they would have to operate on her. By this time, she was almost hysterical, out of desperation; her mom took of her Kuan Yin pendant and gave it to A. A didn’t wear pendant but she ‘hold on’ to Kuan Yin, about 5 minutes after she ‘hold on’ to the pendant, the doctor got an heartbeat from the baby and the ultrasound also showed some movements! The baby who is now an 11-year-old boy is an honor student in Xavier.
Another story that she shared with me is about her husband. A’s husband owns a restaurant and there are times that her husband will have to stay out late to check on the operations of the restaurant. One night, when he was about get on the car, he suddenly had a very strong urge to go back and check on the Kuan Yin altar that A insisted be installed in his office. He just had this nagging feeling that he left something inside, it almost feels like he was being called to go back in by an unseen ‘force’. He thought to himself he might have left incense lighted, which might cause some fire. So he decided to go back in the restaurant. As soon as he stepped inside the restaurant he heard a very loud crashing noise, so loud, that some of the diners ducked down!
When A’s husband looked as to what happened, he saw that a large truck and another car crushed his own car! What happened was a drunk truck driver lost control of his truck, hit a car, which also hit A’s husband’s car. The whole driver side of A’s car was flattened! If he were in the car he would have died already or seriously injured. A said that when she saw the car she cried because she knew that if her husband was in the car he would have died already.
After the incident, that’s when A’s husband realized that he didn’t even light an incense, because he was really not in the habit of lighting an incense in the evening. It is simply not safe.
According to A both she and her husband believes that he was ‘called’ by Kuan Yin so that he wouldn’t have to be in the car when the accident happened.
A and her family always wears the image of Kuan Yin as pendant. This is just two stories from a single person; however, there are a lot more Kuan Yin miracle stories that can be shared.
You can also read my two other posts about Kuan Yin entitled UNDERSTANDING MERCY AND COMPASSION: THE TRANSFORMATION OF AVALOKITESVARA TO KUAN YIN and PAYING HOMAGE TO KUAN YIN, THE BUDDHA OF COMPASSION.