Goddess Kuan (Quan) Yin is an embodiment of the Buddhist ideal of compassion, known in Sanskrit as ‘karuna.’ The term karuna is central to the Buddhist tradition. It is frequently described as a love for all beings, equal in intensity to a mother's affection for her child. Karuna is actually our ability to relate to another in so intense a measure that the plight of the other affects us as much as if it had been our own. These are the ideals which the sculptor set out to capture in this portrait of the great goddess Kuan Yin.
The goddess has a reassuring and mild smile, with an introspective demeanor on her face. Actually she is listening with concentration, her head slightly bent forward, striving to catch any call for help, however soft it might be.
She carries in her right hand a vase, containing sacred waters, also known as the dew of compassion. This fluid has the quality of removing our sufferings and purifying our body, speech and mind. The goddess in this sculpture makes a gesture as if outpouring this divine elixir on to her devotees.
The sculptor has deftly captured the essence of Kuan Yin in this composition. The highlight is the superb depiction of the goddess’ robe, defined exclusively through its innumerable folds, making us for a moment even forget that she is but wearing a single piece of flowing drape. This kind of unstitched drapery has been a symbol of purity since eternity. The same drape extends up to her head, falling like a veil over her hair.
The goddess wears a two-strand necklace with three tassels. She stands with her hands folded in front of her, on a double-layer lotus with large, magnificent petals. Her delicate feet, with fingers rendered realistically, can be seen emerging below the folds of her garment.
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