Kuan Yin literally means "looking on, or heeding, the sound," is considered to be a mistranslation of Avalokitevara (Sanskrit, "the lord who sees" or "the lord who hears the sounds of the world"). Among her many titles are "the great compassionate one," "great mercy, great pity," "salvation from misery, salvation from woe," "self-existent," "thousand arms and thousand eyes," "onlooking controller," and "sound of the world of light."
Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy also has many roles. One of these, is the protector of fisherman. And since Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are often seen riding animals, it is only appropriate that she is riding a turtle.
The twelfth-century legend of the miraculous saint Miao Shan, the Chinese princess who lived in 696 b.c. and is widely believed to have been Kuan Yin, reinforced the image of the goddess as a female. During the twelfth century, when Buddhist monks settled on P'u-t'o Shan--the sacred island-mountain in the Chusan Archipelago off the coast of Chekiang where Miao Shan is said to have lived for nine years, healing and saving sailors from shipwreck--devotion to Kuan Yin spread throughout Northern China.
• Bonded marble
• Height: 6 inches
• Weight: 2 lb. 4 oz.