A Chinese Painting of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva
GuanShiYin (Avalokitasvara) Bodhisattva is a well-known Buddhism figure in China and southeastern Asian. Actually the influence of Buddhism has reached to western countries as well. In my yoga class at San Francisco, the teacher often play music that chanting the name of Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva in English version.
Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva is a Bodhisattva at the level of marvelous enlightenment, which means possessing the marvelous enlightenment of a Buddha. That is, the Bodhisattva is one of the great holiness and virtue who is no difference from a Buddha. As recorded in sutras, Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva is the incarnation of an ancient Buddha called True Dharma Brightness Tthagata and is the king of great compassion. The Bodhisattva is incessantly busy day and night helping all humans and other living beings in Three Spheres and has accumulated boundlessly vast merit.
There are many different kinds of status and portraits of Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva in the world. In China, Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva is generally portrayed as a young woman wearing a flowing white robe, and usually also necklaces symbolic of Chinese royalty. In her left hand is a jar containing pure water, and the right holds a willow branch. The crown usually depicts the image of Amitabha Buddha.
At International Art Museum of America, there is a chinese painting of Na Mo Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva, the artist is H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. It gave me a really deep impression – Amazingly beautiful portrait. It is a fine brush stroke traditional Chinese painting. The painter used very fine and complicated strokes, all the details were vivid and perfectly presented. I can clear see the hair, the crown, all the small part of the jewelry, even the delicate pattern of the flowing strings. Through those details I can feel the painter’s expression of Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva’s meticulous compassion and love for all living beings. The whole portrait looks lifelike with infinite grace. The artist’s superb artistic skills is beyond perfection.
The great art work not only gives people artistic enjoyment, but also an experience of spiritual encounter. I stood in front of the painting for a long time, and I felt like forgetting about all worldly affairs and emerging into the Bodhisattva’s boundless compassion for ever and ever…