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Fri Sep 6, 2019, 05:50 PM

The Guanyin of Nanshan (Avalokitesvara)

Saw this on the South Korean KBS World Theme Travel episode on Hainan. The Avalokitsvara Bhodihisattva statue was erected in Sanya, Hainan Island, PRC on the southern coast of Hainan. The area is a tourist haven for Chinese as well as a city. It took six years to build. It is 108 meters tall. I put a link below to a general description of the shrine from Wikipedia. It has useful cross references for someone (like me) not all that familiar with the tradition. The program mentioned that the relatively recent construction of the statue and shrine was an international effort.

The impressive statute has three aspects. One faces the statue after entering the main gate on the shore. This is the representation embodying wisdom, cradling the sutra. The right side represents mercy or compassion, and the Guanyin has prayer beads in hand. The left aspect represents peace or harmony and Avalokitsvara holds a lotus.

The statue took six years to build and was enshrined on April 24, 2005, with the participation of 108 eminent monks from various Buddhist groups in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao and Mainland China, and tens of thousands of pilgrims. The delegation also included monks from the Theravada and Vajrayana traditions.[3][4]


The South Korean host of the travelogue explained that originally, Avalokitesvara, was attributed the characteristics "Cheon Su Cheon An, ( a thousand offspring, and a thousand eyes) ," meaning the bhodhisattva looks down on all sentient beings and cares for them providing aid and relief (salvation). An expert on Chinese culture, he mentioned that the bhodisattva of compassion was a favorite of Chinese Buddhists.

The traditional Chinese above the entrance gate to the temple means literally "not two," or there is only one truth.

(Source- EBS (South Korea ODK) World Theme Travel : 09/06/2019 )

I've included several stills to depict the awesome scale not only of the statue but of the temple grounds in the five star Nansan National Park of China. There is a large plaza inside the gate, and a long walk to another plaza and then a bridge to the temple underneath the base of the statue. Also to show the multiple aspects of the statue as two face away to the sea side. People make offerings, bow and pray at the temple in the traditional way.

All images (Source- EBS (South Korea ODK) World Theme Travel : 09/06/2019 ) On Demand Korea https://www.ondemandkorea.com/world-theme-travel-e2358.html

South Sea Guanyin Bhodisattva. The fine dark markings on the pedestal of the statue are people.

Avalokitesvara, holding sutra symbolizing wisdom on the left side in this view and prayer beads symbolizing compassion on the right.

At the foot of the statute, people embrace the toes of the feet of Guanyin, hoping to elicit good fortune or spiritual favor. Chung Tae Kyum, travel writer, narrator and guide to the Korean documentary on China appears in foreground.

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