Collections: Asian Art: Seated Kuan Yin

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    Seated Kuan Yin

    • Medium: Gilt bronze
    • Dates: 1736-1795
    • Dynasty: Qing Dynasty
    • Period: Qianlong Era
    • Dimensions: 7 3/4 x 4 1/2 in. (19.7 x 11.4 cm)  (show scale)
    • Collections:Asian Art
    • Museum Location: This item is not on view
    • Accession Number: X658.1
    • Credit Line: Brooklyn Museum Collection
    • Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
    • Caption: Seated Kuan Yin, 1736-1795. Gilt bronze, 7 3/4 x 4 1/2 in. (19.7 x 11.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Museum Collection, X658.1. Creative Commons-BY
    • Image: overall, X658.1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    • Record Completeness: Adequate (53%)
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    Recent Comments
    07:27 03/8/2011
    Guan Yin is at the door of nirvana.

    Long has she practiced and cultivated all virtues.
    Long has she given of herself so that she is almost perfect in her love.
    And here is she now, almost perfect in love, almost perfect in wisdom.

    Just to sit again in calm, and to focus. Just once again to sit and to meditate will bring her nirvana. The Great Silence will be hers. Guan Yin will have Perfect Wisdom. Perfection will be hers. That which all beings strive for, that which even gods may not reach but by right effort, that which God is yet to attain – that nirvana will be hers. Just one sitting. One meditation.
    And so Guan Yin sits.
    She is between.
    And then at that very fine line, at that very moment, just then she hears the cries.
    There is wailing and there is weeping, and there is pain.
    She opens her eyes and looks.
    The pain of the worlds, of all universes in all time and in all dimensions – all the pain, and all the sufferings of all beings reach her heart.

    She can hear the cry of all beings; she can hear it in the depths of her heart: even the almost inaudible whimper of a creature in pain, that too she hears.

    She can cross now. She can, if she so desires it for herself. But she listens to the sufferings of the world.
    She can be a Buddha now, forever; she can transcend now – but she looks at all the pain, she looks at all the dhukka again.

    She will not do this: She will not cross over to Perfection. She will not go over.

    Guan Yin smiles. She will not go. She will not take what is hers. After all, it is hers anytime. Just for the sitting.

    But here she will sit and here she will work for each and every life form, and for every being: until each being crosses the ocean of samsara, the ocean of suffering and pain; until each and every life form and every being crosses samsara over to the perfection of wisdom. Even till then will she sit and here she shall remain to help all beings.

    And there Guan Yin sits, right there at the shores – not crossing over but as the Mother Goddess, hearing the cries and the pain of all beings; and working to assuage their pain, working to see their sorrows cease, and waiting with infinite patience to the day for all beings to cross over.

    She will wait for she is the bodhisattva; for Guan Yin is pure compassion, perfect and unconditional.

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