Who is Kuan Yin: The Goddess of Compassion?

Woman lying on sofa reading laptop

What is Kuan Yin Known For?

Kuan Yin is a shortened name that means “One Who Sees and Hears the Cries of the World.” She made an unconditional vow to serve humanity–if anyone calls her in an emergency, she will come. She shines her light on those who need it most.

Kuan Yin Legends

There are many amazing legends demonstrating Kuan Yin’s miraculous acts of compassion. For example, there’s an ancient story about a fisherman who was caught in a violent storm, which capsized his boat. He cried for Kuan Yin for help and later awoke on the shore: Kuan Yin had saved his life.

ancient story of Kuan Yin saving the fisherman from drowning

What is a Bodhisattva?

A Bodhisattva is someone who seeks awakening and is on the enlightenment path to become a Buddha. Kuan Yin made a very special vow to stay a Bodhisattva and not become a Buddha until all sentient beings attained enlightenment.

Kuan Yin & The Thousand Arms

Kuan Yin is often portrayed as having 1,000 hands and 1,000 eyes. 1,000 means unlimited in this context; this demonstrates her unlimited capacity, magnitude, and commitment to assist. Kuan Yin helps anyone who calls her, in thousands and thousands of different ways.

Significance & Cultural Impact of Kuan Yin

statue of Guan Yin


Kuan Yin represents a caring mother for all people and there are many statues and temples throughout Asia honoring her. Many people also have statues of Kuan Yin in their homes and/or commit to chanting her sacred mantra daily for healing and protection.

Kuan Yin’s Sacred Mantra

Kuan Yin


Kuan Yin is associated with a special 88-line mantra called the Greatest Compassion Mantra, or the Da Bei Zhou. It includes the names of the 88 Buddhas who work with her and support her. She learned this sacred mantra from her teacher Qian Guang Jing Wan, whose name means “1,000 Light Quietness King.”

Kuan Yin’s frequency comes through this powerful mantra, and it’s a powerful way to connect to her Divine field of light, love, and compassion. Through this mantra we can transform and release our own negative information or blockages interfering with connecting to our highest self, or our own soul’s wisdom.

Additional Resources About Kuan Yin

Who is Guan Yin?

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