..::Namo Guan Shih Yin Pusa::..

       

~ Online Temple ~

 

Literal Translation:

 

History:

 

Guan Yin or Kuan Yin is widely known as the Goddess of Mercy in Chinese and Siamese culture, and as Kannon or Kanzeon to the Japanese. Devotees of Guan Yin hail from all over Asia, from Vietnam to Korea, but numbers from Western shores are also increasing. Her name (in Chinese) can itself be defined as 'Hearer of Cries'. There is much debate about her origins, but all have come to agree upon her as the embodiment of Compassion. A virtue most Taoists/Buddhists place great stock by...Her benevolence is said to be so great that invoking her name alone (as above) is enough to bring her to your side wherever you are...so even online dedications will get you a reception as good as any!

According to some, Guan Yin's power is such that she can take on various incarnations when appearing to those in need of help. Her numerous manifestations include a ray of light from Buddha which transformed into the male being, Avalokitesvara, the princess Miao-Shan, and the playful Tibetan Child-Goddess, Tara.  She is often portrayed in a white robe, on a lotus, holding a beaded rosary and a vase containing the willow plant used to bless followers...Sometimes accompanied by a dragon, or her disciples Golden Boy and Jade Girl. In India, she is sometimes featured as the multi-headed, multi-armed Goddess - A reflection of her omnipotence, divinity, and far-reaching acts of compassion which she bestows on all...from victim to abuser, regardless of age, gender, or culture.

 

 

Prayers:

Prayers can be offered to Guan Yin from anywhere, and there are no hard and fast 'rules'...

Below are a few of the acknowledged mantras:

Traditional Guan Yin Chant - Audio

Instrumental Hymn - Audio

Guan Yin Lotus Sutra - Script

Great Compassion Mantra - Script

Prayer for the Abuser - Script

Yellow-Paper Amulet - Script

The bottomline is: As long as Guan Yin exists in your mind and heart, it is enough...However, whatever rituals that exist today vary in form...If you wish to construct your own altar, it might be a good idea to follow the steps in this Guideline...These apply not just to Guan Yin, but many of the other deities in the Taoist-Pagan Pantheon. it is common for most families to have an altar in the garden for the Sky God/Jade Emperor/King of Heaven, and another large set-up facing the front door or a large window with an area below for the Earth God (close to the ground), the main deity above (Eg. Guan Yin), and a small section on the left with a tablet for clan ancestors.

Taoism & Paganism:

I don't practise the form of Paganism that most people would find familiar, although I used to read the Runes (cards), and was learning how to use the tarot deck, and bamboo oracle (I-Ching related) but gave up after awhile as I had a lot on my plate at the time. Taoism is considered an orthodox religion, but I suspect it's only the philosophical side of it that's recognised as such. It's not Taoism as most of you may know it (Eg. The 'way' - several explanations, one of which is 'to do something without an ulterior motive', striving for harmony and balance between Yin and Yang essences which are in everything around us etc.). I do also subscribe to those beliefs, but at the same time I pay homage to the various Taoist gods and spirits that we believe are part of life, nature and the universe...such as the sky god, earth god, moon goddess...
 
The Goddess of Mercy (or 'Guan Yin' as the Chinese may call her and 'Kannon' to the Japanese) is a bit like the patron 'saint' of my family and we have an altar in the front room of our ancestral home...There's actually a whole pantheon of heavenly (and underworld) bodies, similar to greco-roman (though in no way related) mythology, involving a lot of rituals and festivals that can only be described as pagan. There's even a kitchen god who hangs round there 'cos it's where he can hear all the household gossip. Before he makes his yearly report to the sky god, my nan would make sweet offerings to him in an attempt to 'sweeten' his tongue. (Even the gods can be bribed!!) The one to look out for is the annual ceremony when we receive blessings from the sky god...can't remember precisely which date, since it goes by the lunar calender, but I'm sure one of the links below would lead you to it...Even if Guanyin (or whatever name she might go by), as a spiritual entity, were not to exist, I would still believe in the concept of mercy, which could be considered an element present throughout humanity. Compassion is a virtue that is divine, and worth striving for.
 
Some people argue that this should be considered Buddhism, mainly because they somehow associate the compassionate virtues of Guan Yin with Buddha...Plus, the philosophy of both are not vastly different. There are similarities, but I disagree with that theory because, however minute, there are still some differences. Now, I'm no expert on Buddhism, but I do subscribe to the notion of reincarnation...Stories of the 18 levels of hell are just a little too far-fetched in this secular world of ours, but Karma is certainly a feature in my belief system. 

Guan Yin is my particular favourite...because of the serenity that she radiates. My dad used to meditate before her altar during times of stress, and I remember it helping him greatly. There are many schools of thought, such as the belief that praying to such divinities puts a stain on Taoism that somehow dilutes the experience, especially when it comes to the use of mediums and some Asian forms of harmless 'voodoo', but surely, it's against the whole concept of YinYang if such practices are not accepted as having a place in life together with everything else. The Tao is everywhere and in everything. The Way is different for each person, as no two individuals are exactly the alike. The trick is to achieve some form of equilibrium. Taoism's a pretty peaceful and tolerant religion (comparatively, I guess), and one that doesn't thrive on converting as many numbers as possible. There are those who have read some of the literature out there on Taoism, and have automatically assumed that the accumulated knowledge makes them Tao Gurus. But the Tao is more than that...It is not there to be 'worshipped', and you will not find all the answers you want in a book (or even on one webpage). The Tao simply IS!

 

"The tao is omnipresent. That means it is present throughout Taoism, but that it is equally present throughout Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Voodoo, Santeria, and every other religion. The tao is completely areligious. If being a part of the tao was a religious experience or qualification, then every single person in the world would be a Taoist. Tao and Taoism, however, are not the same thing. Taoism is a specific religious tradition and not everyone is a Taoist. To claim so would be an insult to the hundreds of millions of people who sincerely claim to follow other religious traditions. So while the tao may or may not require deities, that has no bearing upon Taoism's requirement." - Taoist Restoration Society

 

Library & Community:

Taoist Restoration Society Find out all about Taoism...This site also provides an excellent explanation about Taoism - A completely A-RELIGIOUS religion. Aims to preserve the Taoist culture and various temples so you can make donations, consult ritual guides, join a meditation/healing circle and make donations.
Siu Tao Another Taoist portal with definitions, philosophy, history etc. It even has a list of all the deities in the Taoist-Pagan Pantheon and describes the background of each.
Daoism Depot Taoist website with useful links on related subjects like I-Ching and Tai Chi, educational resources, magazine and an online temple.
Taoist Culture and Information Centre Same as above; It describes the various rituals, presents scriptures and also has an English-Chinese glossary.
The Tao of Pooh Buy it and read it.
About Shaolin More about Tao, Martial Arts and Asian culture. You can also find a virtual Guan Yin temple on site!
Centre of Traditional Taoist Studies Taoist studies for those who want to delve in-depth, and learn more about The Way and Balance of Yin & Yang which is omnipresent...
Buddhist Hymns & Prayers Guan Yin Prayers and some rather lovely Instrumentals are available for your downloading and listening pleasure...
Buddha Net Chants Audio Mantras and Chants which you can download...
Legend of Kuan Yin Title speaks for itself...Also links to many other essays/explanations.
Taichido - Kuan Yin Prophecies Essentially about Tai Chi, but links to Guan Yin Prophesy Divination so you can get a reading on your life and find out where you stand, what you should do.
True Tao Another Taoist sanctuary. Find out about this organisation and read the articles.
The Virtues Gazette Taoist and Buddhist virtues explained...You'll find some great quotes and philosophical comments here...
Internet Temple of Kuan-Shih-Yin Post a request to have incense lit...
Mandarin Tools Practically anything you'll need to learn Mandarin and about the culture...Even a Calender Converter...
Chinatown UK Background info on Chinese culture, festivals, and what's on at Chinatown.
Japan Centre UK More about Asian culture, and shopping.
Things Asian For those interested in Asian Culture...Experience Asia through the eyes of travellers, or share your memories by contributing your own articles/images. Get info and tips about travelling around in the East...A portal full of blogs and gorgeous photos...
Dim Sum Forum and online magazine...
The Illuminated Lantern Website that explores Asian films from an unusual angle by examining the role of religion in them. Quirky and amusing, it features folklore, superstition and some rather questionable Taoist customs and ceremonies involving chicken blood!
Chinavoc Online resource related to Chinese tradition and beliefs...Also publishes latest news involving society in China...
British-Born Chinese Another community...Let the culture live on! People don't live forever, but it's the little things trickling down from generation to generation that makes ethnic identity immortal...
British Chinese Same as above...
Asia for Kids Just so the little ones don't get left out, here's something that's both educational and fun for them.
Asian Avenue Online magazine, jobcentre, forum, blogs, communal haven for all Asians etc.
Multi-Cultural Forum Forum that celebrates multi-culturalism...
Guan Yin Virtual Shrine Online Temple for Guan Yin where you can post your prayers...

 

Gallery & Marketplace:

Tao Arts More about Taoism, and you can also purchase related goods.
The Golden Brush Artwork by Zhang Cuiying. She has done a few beautiful portraits of Guan Yin.
Dharma Crafts More supplies for your spiritual needs, plus exotic home furnishings...
Feng Shui Art Poetry, Calligraphy and Paintings by Catherine Woo, many of which containing either a Sutra/Mantra, and even a poem about Guan Yin.
Feng Shui Designs All altar and prayer items can be purchased here. Find out more about Feng Shui while you are at it.
Tao E-Shop Another shopping site for Taoist stuff.
Practical Magik Virtual treasure chest for all Pagans, filled with pretty stuff that would come in handy as gifts, from Oracles to Spellbooks...Even the I-Ching Bamboo Oracle...
Mind Body Spirit New Age bookclub and shopping haven...'Nuff said...
Hoo Hing Oriental Internet store selling foodstuff...Also features recipes galore...
Yes Asia Popular portal where you can purchase entertainment/multimedia from the East...
Good Orient Sells anything and everything Asian, from the latest fashions to home decor...Send a free-e-card to a friend!

 

Temple Host:

 a.k.a Charme

Cyber Residence <<< Please make yourself at home and sign my Guestbook!

 

 

~ POST-A-PRAYER ~