This figurine depicts the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Kuan Yin, standing on a lotus. Her right hand is raised with the palm outward to signify protection, while her left hand holds a vase with which she pours compassion on to the world.
“The men love her, the children adore her, and the women chant her prayers. Whatever the temple may be, there is nearly always a chapel for Kuan Yin within its precincts; she lives in many homes, and in many, many hearts she sits enshrined.
She is the patron goddess of mothers, and when we remember the relative value of a son in Chinese estimation we can appreciate the heartiness of the worship. She protects in sorrow, and so millions of times the prayer is offered, ‘Great mercy, great pity, save from sorrow, save from suffering,’ or, as it is in the books, ‘Great mercy, great pity, save from misery, save from evil, broad, great, efficacious, responsive Kuan Yin Buddha.’
She saves the tempest-tossed sailor, and so has eclipsed the Empress of Heaven, who, as the female Neptune, is the patroness of seamen; in drought the mandarins worship the Dragon and the Pearly Emperor, but if they fail the bronze Goddess of Mercy from the hills brings rain.
Other gods are feared, she is loved; others have black, scornful faces, her countenance is radiant as gold, and gentle as the moonbeam; she draws near to the people and the people draw near to her. Her throne is upon the Isle of Pootoo [P‘u T‘o], to which she came floating upon a water-lily. She is the model of Chinese beauty, and to say a lady or a little girl is a ‘Kuan Yin’ is the highest compliment that can be paid to grace and loveliness.
She is fortunate in having three birthdays, the nineteenth of the second, sixth, and ninth moons.” There are many metamorphoses of this goddess." The Goddess of Mercy, The Biography of the Bodhisattva based on The Legend of Miao Shan, by Edward Wener.
• Bonded marble
• Height: 12 1/2 inches
• Weight: 3 lbs.