The myth of Quan Yin

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Caroline Young, artwork and text

QFWF, February 23th 2020 © Source: The art of Caroline R. Young (2002), Heritage Immortals
Brilliance and Mercy

In ancient China it is said that the mischievous Monkey King created such chaos in the heavens that the gods finally captured and imprisoned him under the Five Finger Mountains on earth.

The Goddess of Compassion, Quan Yin, interceded on his behalf, promising to watch over the playful Monkey God to keep him on the straight and narrow path to goodness.

A red hat with a gold band was placed around the Monkey’s head by the gods to help keep him out of trouble. Each time the Monkey King would begin to make mischief, the gods would recite a secret mantra, causing the gold band to tighten around his head, giving him an excruciating headache.

However, Quan Yin’s compassion was so great, that the Monkey King was quickly won over and they both worked tirelessly for the good of heaven and earth.

The Monkey King also carried a magical Golden Rod that he could make so small it could be concealed behind his ear, and help him whenever he needed it.

Quan Yin, Goddess of Mercy and Patron Saint of Sailors

To atone for his sins, the gods appointed him protector of the great God Tripitaka. The Monkey King skillfully and successfully aided the God Tripitaka on his quest to find the sacred scriptures of the Buddha.

Caroline Young’s image is that of the Goddess Quan Yin watching ever vigilantly over the Money King.

Quan Yin, originally a Buddhist deity, was incorporated into Chinese mythology as the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion.

She is the very embodiment of beauty, love and impartial benevolence.

Quan Yin’s holy aura radiates from her entire being, bringing comfort to the suffering masses who pray to her. In her right hand is the willow branch, a symbol of strength and perseverance.
In her left, pointing downwards, is the flask of holy water, with which she blesses her true believers. On her robes is the symbol of the lotus, which represents purity and spiritual rebirth.

Quan Yin is also the patron saint of sailors. When a fearsome storm brews and giant waves threaten to engulf those at sea, sailors pray to Quan Yin to deliver them to safety.

Above, Caroline Young shows a beautiful and elegant Quan Yin riding on the back of the Mighty Dragon in order to rescue those who pray to her in their hour of need.

As an adopted child of Chinese-American expatriates living in Hong Kong, I have always been intrigued by how the Chinese culture explained the mysteries of the universe.