Legend of Goddess Guan Yin - Spreader of Compassion

Once upon a time in China there lived a king with 3 daughters. The most beautiful and kind hearted Gwan Yin was also the youngest. The old king was very proud of this youngest daughter. Without hesitation the king decided that Gwan Yin was the heir to the royal throne and her husband became king.

Gwan Yin was strangely not happy at this good fortune. She had little interest in the luxury and beauty of court life. She foresaw that she would not find happiness in becoming queen, and worried that for such a high position she would be unfit and unfit for office.

Every day Gwan Yin went to her room to study and read. This habit of hers made her stand out far in knowledge when compared to the other 2 sisters. In court circles she was known as Gwan Yin the Wise Princess.

Besides likes to read, she is very tolerant with her friends. She was very guarded her behavior both in the palace and in public places. Her gentle heart is always touched to see those who suffer. She was very kind to the poor and suffering people. She had captivated the hearts of the lower classes.

For them, Gwan Yin is a goddess who appears to help them when they are hungry. Some people even believe she is a fairy who came to earth from her home in the western heavens, while others say that once upon a time Gwan Yin had lived on earth as a prince, not a princess.

Whatever one may say, however Gwan Yin is portrayed, one thing that is certain is that she is pure and kind-hearted, deserving of the accolades that wash over her.

One day the king called his beloved daughter to his bedroom, because he felt that his death was getting closer. Gwan Yin prostrated himself before her father, kneeling with her forehead touching the floor, a sign of utmost respect. The king then asked Gwan Yin to stand up and come closer to him. Holding his daughter's hand gently, he said :

"Daughter, you know how much father loves you. Your humility and benevolence; your talent and penchant for knowledge have made you my favorite daughter. As you know father choosing you as heir to the royal throne has been considered for a long time. Father promised your husband would be king in father's stead."

"It's almost time daddy to ride the dragon and be a guest in the sky. You must get married soon!"

"However, great father!" Gwan Yin said hesitantly: "I'm not ready to get married yet."

"Little one, not ready yet! Why, aren't you 18 years old? Don't all the girls in our kingdom often get married long before the age of 18? Because of your fondness for studying, father has delayed getting you married, but now we can't wait any longer!"

"Venerable king, listen to the voice of your daughter and do not force him to abandon the pursuits she loves so much. Let her go to the lonely monastery where she will live her life!"

The king took a deep breath when he heard those words. He loved this daughter and didn't want to hurt her heart.

"Gwan Yin" The king continued: "You want to spend your youth by leaving the palace? You want to enter the door of the convent where women bid farewell to worldly life? No! Your father will not allow it. It is a sad thing father, with a very heavy heart next month you must get married. Father has chosen a virtuous noble man. You already know his name, but have never met him face to face. Remember the rule of one hundred virtues of a woman, that is most important, therefore you must thank father, not to anyone else on the face of this earth."

Gwan Yin's face was pale. Her body shook. She almost fell to the floor, but her mother and sister immediately picked him up, then lovingly nursed him back to consciousness.

Every day for the next month Gwan Yin's relatives begged her to just give up on what they called a stupid idea, Gwan Yin who had long given up hope of becoming queen. They were amazed at her stupidity. They think that if someone chooses a monastery over the royal throne, that person is showing signs of being insane to them.

They asked time and time again why she had made this strange choice. Each time Gwan Yin shook her head and said: "A voice from heaven told me to do so and I must obey."

The night before the wedding Gwan Yin sneaked out of the palace. After a tiring journey, he arrived at a monastery called the 'White Sparrow Monastery'. When she ran from the palace, she was dressed in clothes with the appearance of a poor woman. She said she wanted to become a nun.

The head of the monastery, because he did not know who this poor woman really was, did not receive Gwan Yin kindly, but refused to let Gwan Yin join the monastery on the grounds that the building was full. Finally, after Gwan Yin wept bitterly, the abbot allowed Gwan Yin to enter, but only as a kind of servant doing light work.

Now Gwan Yin feels the life she has long dreamed of. She tried to convince himself, but the nuns seemed to want him to suffer. Often they gave him such hard work that she had no time to rest, busy all day. Draw water from the well under the foot of the monastery hill or collect wood from the forest around the monastery.

At night when her back was in pain like it was about to break, she was still given extra work, which could break the spirit of any woman, but this did not discourage this brave princess. Trying to forget the sadness and hide the suffering, sometimes makes her white forehead furrow. She tried to get these hard-hearted nuns to like him. Replying to their harsh words she spoke kindly and never got mad at them.

One day when poor Gwan Yin was picking bushes in the forest she heard the sound of a lion walking in the bushes. Having no weapons to defend himself, he prayed to the gods for help. After that, wait quietly for the arrival of the beast.

He was shocked, when the bloodthirsty animal appeared, the lion didn't pounce and tear its body. Just snort softly. The lion did not try to hurt Gwan Yin, but instead rubbed its body gently against Gwan Yin and allowed Gwan Yin to pat her head.

The next day the princess returned to the same place. There she saw no less than a dozen wild animals at work under the command of a tame lion gathering wood for himself. In a short time he had accumulated enough brushwood and firewood to last the monastery for 6 months. So even the wild animals of the forest were better able to judge his kindness than the nuns.

On another day when Gwan Yin was climbing the hill for the 20th time while carrying 2 buckets of water, a huge dragon faced him on the way. In China the dragon is a sacred animal. As Gwan Yin recalled she had done nothing wrong, so she wasn't afraid in the slightest.

The dragon looked at him for a moment, then turned around with its head towards the hill, then breathed fire from its nose. All of a sudden then, the weight on this stunning woman's shoulders was not felt. Full of anxiety she ran up the hill to the monastery. As he approached the inner courtyard, she was surprised to see a new stone building in the middle of an open room.

The building magically appeared while she was running from the foot of the hill. Above the door facing west is a stone tablet bearing the inscription 'Respect to Gwan Yin Daughter of the Faithful'. Inside the building. there is a well with very clear water. Meanwhile to draw water, there was a strange machine, neither Gwan Yin nor the nuns had ever seen before.

The nuns know that this magic well is a monument to remember the kindness of Gwan Yin. For several days the nuns treated Gwan Yin better: "Because the god dug a well in front of our gate." they said. "This girl no longer needs to carry water from the foot of the hill. Is that why the god wrote the beggar's name?"

Gwan Yin heard their unkind words in silence. She could just explain the meaning of the dragon gift. but he chose to let the nuns guess in ignorance. In the end the selfish nuns started to carelessly again and treated Gwan Yin even worse than before. They couldn't see the poor girl enjoying her free time.

"Here to work !" the nuns said to Gwan Yin, "We all work hard to succeed in this environment. You should do the same!" So they took away Gwan Yin's opportunity to study and pray and did not entrust her with the magic well.

One night the nuns were awakened by strange voices, then they heard trumpets. Gwan Yin's father had sent a large army to attack the monastery. It seems that royal spies have succeeded in tracking down the princess's escape in this sacred place of exile.

"Oh, who has brought this misery upon us?" all the women shouted, looking at one another in horror.

"Who has committed a great crime? One of us has sinned gravely and now the gods are going to destroy us." They looked at each other, but no one suspected Gwan Yin, because they thought that he was not an important person who could make the heavens angry, even though in fact Gwan Yin had caused something to shock them at this time. Also to them Gwan Yin was lowly and so docile, that they didn't accuse her of all kinds of things.

The sound of threats from outside grew louder. At the same time a terrified cry suddenly burst out among the nuns: "They are going to burn our magic well."

Smoke was rising behind the fence where the royal soldiers were burning wood, the flames were about to grow and scorch the walls of the monastery to ashes. Suddenly a voice was heard in the clamor and cries of the nuns: "Oh, I am the cause of all this trouble!"

The nuns turned their heads in shock, seeing that the woman who spoke earlier was Gwan Yin: "You?" they cried out in surprise.

"Yes, I am indeed the daughter of a king. My father would not allow me to obey a holy order from heaven. I fled from the palace. He has sent his soldiers to burn down this monastery and bring me back." Kwan Yim said.

"See what you have done to us, pathetic girl!", shouted the abbess.

"See how you repay our kindness! Our monastery will burn before our eyes! How you have made us miserable, May the heavens curse you!".

"No, no !" shouted Gwan Yin, speaking and trying to keep the abbot from saying any bad words.

"You have no right to curse me, for I am innocent, but wait ! You will soon know whose prayer the gods will hear, yours or mine!" After saying this she then bent down and pressed her forehead to the floor, praying that the convent and nuns would be safe.

Outside the monastery the sounds of flames had already begun. The fire lord will soon destroy every building on the hill. In a panic the nuns prepared to leave the convent and leave their belongings to the cruel fire lord and his many tyrannical soldiers. Only Gwan Yin remained alone in the room, praying fervently for help.

Suddenly a light breeze blew from the forest around the monastery. Black clouds gathered in the sky and even though it was the dry season, rain poured down on the fire. Within 5 minutes the fire was out and the monastery survived the fire. Just as the trembling nun thanked Gwan Yin for bringing divine help to them, 2 soldiers who climbed the outer wall of the monastery building complex came and roughly asked for the princess.

A trembling Gwan Yin knew that this soldier was only carrying out her father's orders, then prayed to the gods and then named himself. The two soldiers then pulled Gwan Yin away from the nun who was starting to like him. After being humiliated in front of her father's soldiers, Gwan Yin was taken back to the royal capital.

The next day he was in front of her father. Her father looked sadly at his daughter. With the strained look of a judge he motioned for the guards to bring him forward. From the next room came melodious music.

A feast had been prepared amidst the splendor. The loud laughter of the guests reached the ears of this young girl as she bowed shyly before her father's throne. She knew that this feast was in store for him and her father wanted to give her one more chance.

"My daughter  !" her father finally spoke again, "Leaving the palace on your wedding night embarrass not only your father but also your future husband. For this act you deserve the death penalty. However, due to your outstanding track record before your escape, father has decided to give you one." another chance to make amends for all your mistakes. If you refuse, then the punishment will be death, if you obey all will be well. The royal throne that you have rejected remains yours. All I want is for you to marry the person I have chosen!"

"And when should my noble king decide?" asked Gwan Yin seriously.

"Today, right now, right now!" her father replied.

"Are you hesitating between the throne and death? Speak to my daughter, say that you love your father and are willing to accept your father's offer."

This was a time when Gwan Yin could do something to keep herself from kneeling at her father's feet and fulfilling her father's wishes, not because her father offered her the royal throne, but because she loved her father and would be happy to make him happy.

Her strong heart desire has made Gwan Yin far from compassion. There is no power on earth that can prevent him from carrying out the task he has been given.

"Dear father!", she replied in a sad and gentle voice, "It is not a question of a daughter's affection for a father. For this one there is no doubt. Throughout my life, it has been reflected in all my deeds. Believe in me If I were free to fulfill my father's request, I would gladly do it to make my father happy, but God has said, has ordered me to maintain chastity, to devote my life to doing acts of mercy. When the heavens have decreed so, what can a daughter do other than listening to the power that governs this earth?"

The old king was very dissatisfied with Gwan Yin's answer. He gets angry. The thin wrinkles on his face turned purple as boiling blood rose to his crown.

"Then you refuse to fulfill father's order!"

"Take him away, Punish him to death for betraying the king!" As Gwan Yin was taken away from him, the gray king fell from his chair, unconscious.

That night when Gwan Yin's execution was carried out, she entered the lower realms of suffering. Before long she had set her foot in the black land of death. Then in that place where there was no end of suffering, it suddenly bloomed like a garden of heaven.

Pure-white lotus flowers appeared in every corner. The fragrant aroma of millions of flowers fills the entire room and corridor. King Yama, the ruler came in haste to know this wonderful change. Soon his eyes landed on the beautiful young face of Gwan Yin. Then he saw that there was a sign of purity in him that he deserved to be in heaven.

"Holy and beautiful virgin, performed many deeds of mercy.", after saying this he said again: "I beseech you, in the name of justice to leave this bloodstained kingdom. It is not in its place that the most beautiful flower from heaven spreads its fragrance on this room. The guilty must suffer and the sinners will be rewarded. You depart from this place of mine. Eternal life will be bestowed upon you and only heaven will be your abode."

Gwan Yin became the goddess of mercy. She occupies her beautiful abode, far more than any king and queen on earth. Since then, because of her virtue, thousands of poor people have turned to him for help. There is no fear of these poor people when they stare at the statue of Gwan Yin. Their eyes filled with tears of love.

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