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Aya Shawn
Living in Singapore, professional investor
Some answers focus on the differences between Mahayana Buddhism, Theravada Buddhism, and Buddhism.
I think this is incorrect
Avalokitesvara is a special existence in China and has little to do with Buddhist sects.
Although Mahayana Buddhism is mainly popular in China, Avalokitesvara does not have these unique statuses in other countries that believe in Mahayana Buddhism.


The specialization of Avalokitesvara in China actually comes from China's transformation of Buddhism, or the changes that naturally occurred during the integration of Buddhism into China. I call it the "Sinicization of Buddhism",OR "Chinese Buddhism"
Sakyamuni can be considered the supreme god in Buddhism. He expounded the truth of the Buddhist world, the philosophy of the Buddhist world, and the world view of the Buddhist world.


However, Gautama Buddha was more like a philosopher and a teacher. His image is far removed from people's lives. Buddhist believers in China will worship Sakyamuni, recite scxtures and pray. But in all the Buddhist scxtures, there are very few interactions between Sakyamuni and ordinary people. He tells people more: "How should you manage yourself, practice for your own spiritual world, and help others instead of asking for help from others?"


But in the real world, there are always many people who are helpless and need specific help.
The infertile wife wants to have children, the old man who cannot find his son wants to know if his son is still alive, the sick man wants to be healthy, the student wants to get good grades in the imperial examination, the fisherman wants to avoid shipwreck, and the farmer wants good weather.


In the Buddhist system, Gautama Buddha does not provide corresponding solutions, which creates a flaw. China's native Taoism is very good at this kind of thing.I think this is an inherent flaw in Buddhism from India. Too much emphasis on "patience and introspection" and neglect of "giving and help"


The Chinese are essentially educated in Confucianism, and they are the most secular civilization in the world. The spread of Buddhism in China, which is entirely based on ideological practice, is bound to encounter challenges. They need a character to solve these problems.


Early image of Avalokitesvara, from original Indian (Nepal) Buddhism

原创翻译:龙腾网 转载请注明出处

Avalokitesvara was chosen, and they began to absorb Taoist ideas and make Buddhism more "practical"
Avalokitesvara becomes a goddess who “responds to secular prayers”


In China, Avalokitesvara gradually became the image of a Chinese goddess


Hundreds of years after Buddhism entered China, various images of Avalokitesvara began to appear. So far, 33 different images of Guanyin(Avalokitesvara) have appeared in China.
As a wife who is infertile, you can pray to "Guanyin(Avalokitesvara) for children"


People who are sick can pray to the "Medicine-Applying Guanyin"
Farmers pray to “Willow Guanyin” because she governs climate
Students pray to “Guanyin holding scxture” because she is in charge of education
When a loved one dies, pray to “ White clothes Guanyin”, because she is responsible for sending the soul to the paradise world.
Bridal services pray to the “Fish Basket Guanyin” as she is Wesponsible for marriage and happiness


Buddha provides ideas, Avalokitesvara provides practical help
This is why in China, Avalokitesvara tends to be worshiped more
All this has nothing to do with Buddhist sects, it depends on Chinese culture, Chinese people’s thoughts and needs
Religion can change people, but people can also change religions