COLLECTING A COMMEMORATIVE GOLD MEDALLION OF GUAN YIN BODHISATTVA
IN AID OF INTERNATIONAL BUDDHIST COLLEGE
To commemorate the opening ceremony of the International Buddhist College, Than Hsiang Temple of Penang， Malaysia is launching a 999.9 Fine Gold Medallion project featuring the Zi Zai Guan Yin statue enshrined in the Great Compassion Hall of the temple and the Six Syllable Great Bright Mantra.
Guan Yin is the most popular Bodhisattva in the Mahayana tradition of Buddhism. He is referred to as a Bodhisattva Mahasattva (great being) because He is a guide to other aspiring Bodhisattvas.
Avalokitesvara, known as ‘Guan Yin’ or ‘Guan Shi Yin’ in Chinese, is seen as the very embodiment of the Buddha's compassion and loving-kindness. The Sanskrit name of Avalokitesvara has its root meaning as “he who observes and inquires into the sounds of the world”. The great vow of Guan Yin is to listen to the supplications, and cries for help from sentient beings in difficulty and selflessly takes on the suffering of them without distinction. Therefore, the Bodhisattva of Compassion is sometimes wrongly referred to in the West as the Goddess of Mercy. Strictly speaking, a Bodhisattva is a Buddha-to-be and has transcended the cycle of birth and death while a goddess is still within the cycle of birth and death.
Guan Yin Bodhisattva's worship was first introduced into China as early as the 1st century AD. Representations of the Bodhisattva in China prior to the Sung dynasty were masculine in appearance. Later images displayed attributes of both genders in accordance with the Lotus Sutra where Guan Yin Bodhisattva has the ability of assuming whatever form required to relieve suffering.
Guan Yin Bodhisattva takes many different forms...male, female, four arms, thousand arms and eyes, human, non-human.... whatever expedient means needed to effect the salvation. Therefore Buddhists have conceived Guan Yin Bodhisattva in various forms corresponding to His diverse activities in helping beings. Each form demonstrates a unique aspect of the Bodhisattva's compassion and mercy.
As the worship of Guan Yin Bodhisattva has long been popular, even fervent, it has inspired some of the most artistic representations throughout the Buddhist world as early as the 2nd century AD. Throughout the history of Buddhism, many changing iconography reflected in the images of Guan Yin's had appeared with various attributes on his headdress. In China, Guan Yin Bodhisattva is more usually portrayed in the form of a white robed female.
The Guan Yin Bodhisattva image that appeared on the gold medallion originated from the ‘Zi Zai Guan Yin' image that has been worshipped by thousands of Buddhists at Than Hsiang Temple, Penang since the opening of Great Compassion Hall in 1991. The image is a replica (with slight modification) of a masterpiece crafted during the Sung Dynasty in north China's Shanxi Province.
Many especially those with a profound trust in Guan Yin Bodhisattva's saving grace and healing powers, believe that the recitation of His name and the Six Syllable Great Bright Mantra ‘OM MANI PADME HUM' will evoke many benefits.
The Six Syllable Great Bright Mantra is engraved on the reverse side of the medallion.
‘OM MANI PADME HUM ’ is the heart mantra of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva (Guan Yin) and the essence of the Buddhas. The mantra embodies perfect compassion, and is the core of the 84,000 Teachings of all the Buddhas.
This Commemorative Gold Medallion always is the first choice for either acquiring as your own collection or giving away as a gift to friend and relative. The buyer while contributing his share to the establishment of the International Buddhist College may receive boundless blessing as well. It is indeed a great meritorious deed.
Caption to 999.9 Gold Medallion of Guan Yin Bodhisattva
Statue of Guan Yin Bodhisattva located at Great Compassion Hall of Than Hsiang Temple, Penang, Malaysia.
Front view of Six Syllable Great Bright Mantra.
999.9 fine gold