Ven. Master Hsuan Hua on Kwan-Yin:

 

http://gbm-online.com/online/dharma/wonderful.html

 

A Kwan-Yin seven-day recitation session was held and Master Hua led it.  At the bottom of every page is "next", click on that to continue reading:

 

http://www.cttbusa.org/listen/listen1_1.asp

 

 

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Ah, Nicholas, you do have a way with words. But I think your choice words were intended for me, not for our kind host who has made this site and this space available for yours and our posts. It is I who here on this thread started to rationally look at the names Kuan Yin and Kuan Shih Yin, rather than focus on the topic of what Kuan YIn represents in Mahayana: compassion.

At the end of Surangama Sutra chapter five, after 25 bodhisattvas have given their recommended meditation methods, Buddha asks Manjushri Bodhisattva to pick the method that would be best for most people after Buddha's parinirvana.

Manjushri picks Kwan Shih Yin's method.  Here is a little of what Manjushri said:

 

"I now inform the Bhagavan,

The Buddha appearing in the Saha world:

In this land the true substance of teaching

Resides in hearing the sounds purely.

If one wants to attain Samadhi,

Hearing is the best way to enter.

Apart from suffering, liberation is found.

How excellent is he who contemplates the world's sounds!

Throughout eons as numerous as Ganges' sands.

He enters Buddhalands as many as fine dust motes.

Obtaining great power of self-mastery,

He bestows fearlessness on living beings.

Wonderful is the sound of Contemplator of the World's Sounds,

A pure sound, like the ocean's roar.

He saves the world and brings peace to all within it.

He has transcended the world, and his attainment is eternal."

There seems to be some special connection between Kwan Yin and the work of HPB.

As we have seen before, the mantra of Avalokiteshvara is the one taken as example for HPB speaking about the correlation and coordination between thinking, imagination, sound, principles, tattvas, etc.

There is more, in The Theosophist (to which we have an easy acces now thanks to devoted workers), v5, n2, november 1883, p. 39 & 40 footnote (in Five Years of Theosophy, p. 371, too), in speaking about the cave Saptaparna, is mentioned Avalokiteshvara as "the silent voice" which remember us to The Voice of the Silence. In the first fragment of that book, we find the method of hearing the seven sounds as in the Nadabindopanishat. However, the paralell does not ends here, in the first and second meetings of the Inner Group was taught the method using the sounds for reach states of conciousness. As we can see, it seems to be very much coincidence.

It could be made reference to a thread in this net in relation to Santmat and Theosophy (Santmat uses concentration on sounds as central practice).

 

http://www.theosophy.net/forum/topics/sant-mat-and-shabd-yoga?xg_so...

 

Quote of The Theosophist and Five Years of Theosophy:

 What are the six The six organs of sense. What are the five? The five elements of illusive being. And the ONE which is also ten ? He is a true Buddha who develops in him the ten forms of holiness and subjects them all to the one—’the silent voice’ (meaning Avolokiteswara).

Another connection between HPB & her gurus' theosophy and Lokeswara is the Tibetan word "devachan".  This word is only used for the Buddha Realm of Amitabha Buddha, sukhavati (happy land) in Sanskrit.  There are two main assistant bodhisattvas helping Amitabha in this pure land - Avalokitesvara & Vajrapani.

This book, which I have just started reading, may be the best overall on Kuan-Yin - Kuan-Yin by Chun-fang Yu.

http://cup.columbia.edu/book/978-0-231-12029-6/kuanyin

This same author, in an earlier article, gives the minority view of Hsuan Tsang (famous pilgrim and translator) that neither Kuan Yin nor Kuan Shih Yin was the correct translation.  He preferred Kuan Tzu Tsai (Perceiving Master).

"Neither  Kuan-yin  nor  Kuan-shih-yin,  however,
        corresponds    to    Avalokites'vara,  but  rather  to
        Avalokitas'vara,  a  name   not  used  in the Buddhist
        world.That  was  why Hsuan-tsang (602-64) considered
        them  as  mistakes and suggested the right translation
        as  Kuan-tzu-tsai    (the Perceiving Lord).In a note
        explaining  the  name  of  the  bodhisattva  which  he
        transliterated  as  "A-fu-lu-che-t'o-i-shih-fan-lo" in
        his  Records  of  the Western Regions (Ta T'ang hsi-yu
        chi,  T.   no. 2087), Hsuan-tsang said, "This means in
        Chinese  'Kuan-tzu-tsai  '.    While    'a-fu-lu
        che-t'o' [Avalokita]  means  'Kuan' (perceiving),
        'i-shih-fan-lo' [isvara]  means 'tzu-tsai'(lord). The old
        translations    of 'Kuang-shih-yin (Illuminator of the
        World's  sounds),  '  Kuan-shih-yin'  or  'Kuan-shih
        Tzu-tsai'  are all wrong."(T. 51: 883b). Hsuan-tsang
        therefore  used  kuan-tzu-tsai  in  all  the sutras he
        translated,  including    the    Heart  Suutra,    a
        scripture   as important to Chinese Buddhists  as  the
        Lotus  Sutra,  in  which  the  bodhisattva  is called
        Kuan-shih-yin. Because   of  the  great  authority  and
        prestige  of  these two scriptures,  both  names  have
        become  familiar  to Buddhists in China, although they
        have    consistently  preferred  Kuan-shih-yin  or
        Kuan-yin."

Shiksananda's translation of the Avatamsaka Sutra also used Kuan-tzu-tsai.  The Brothers of Blavatsky may have been able to live with "Perceiving Lordliness", which is close to what they gave as the esoteric meaning of Avalokiteshvara.


Nicholas Weeks said:

This book, which I have just started reading, may be the best overall on Kuan-Yin - Kuan-Yin by Chun-fang Yu.

http://cup.columbia.edu/book/978-0-231-12029-6/kuanyin

Here is a PDF of this Karandavyuha Sutra translation:

http://kaladarshan.arts.ohio-state.edu/resources/downloads/sutras/0...

Nicholas Weeks said:

An old Mahayana sutra on Avalokiteshvara:

http://www.fodian.net/world/1050.html

An excerpt from this sutra:

"At that time, a great brilliant light was emitted from the Great Avichi hell, the light fully illuminated the Jeta grove garden and made the garden become completely pure....

When such a rare, pure, wonderful and sublime scene was manifesting in Jeta grove garden, in the midst of the congregation, Eliminate-Obstructions Bodhisattva-Mahasattva arose from his seat, uncovered his right shoulder, placed his right knee on the ground, joined his palms respectfully, looked at the face of the Bhagavan with reverence and said to the Buddha: 'Rare Bhagavan, now I have a question in my mind, and wish that the Bhagavan can allow me to ask. Bhagavan, now there is a great brilliant light in this place, where did it come from? For what cause and relationship did this rare scene appear?'

The Bhagavan then told Eliminate-Obstructions Bodhisattva: 'Virtuous man, all of you should listen attentively, and I am going to analyze and expound for you. This great brilliant light is caused by Arya Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva-Mahasattva, because he had just entered into Great Avichi hell to rescue all the sentient beings who were suffering from extreme afflictions and ferry them to the shore of liberation.'



Nicholas Weeks said:

Here is a PDF of this Karandavyuha Sutra translation:

http://kaladarshan.arts.ohio-state.edu/resources/downloads/sutras/0...

Nicholas Weeks said:

An old Mahayana sutra on Avalokiteshvara:

http://www.fodian.net/world/1050.html

 

More from the Karandavyuha Sutra:


Eliminate-Obstructions Bodhisattva then said: "Bhagavan, what were the mighty sacrosanct power, merits, and virtues of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva Mahasattva that you had heard about?"

The Bhagavan said: "Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva gave birth to the sun and the moon from his eyes, gave birth to the Great unrestricted God (Mahesvara) from his forehead, gave birth to the Brahma heaven God from his shoulder, gave birth to Narayana from his heart, gave birth to the Great eloquence God (Sarasvati) from his teeth, gave birth to the god of wind from his mouth, gave birth to the god of earth from his navel, and gave birth to the god of water from his stomach.

Having given birth to those gods from his body, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva said to the Great unrestricted God: 'At the Dharma ending age in the future, in the realms of sentient beings, there will be some living beings attaching to the erroneous views, saying that you are the great dominator from the beginningless of time and can create all sentient beings. At that time, those living beings, who have lost the Way of Bodhi, are ignorant and perplexed, they will say that:

The universe is a vast body,

and the earth is his throne.

All realms and sentient beings,

were born from this body.'"

When that 2nd paragraph reminds us of the SD saying Avalokiteshvara is the 7th universal principle and has mind-born sons, that suggests the SD is less esoteric than we might think or that exoteric sutras are more esoteric than we think.

 


This seems a challenge, it is good.

I think that SD is esoteric enough, as esoteric as sutras  are, for as you know sutras are matched with tantras and tantras with initiations in order to empower the disciple yogi to accomplish the sadhana. In this sutra the esotericism is how to use the navel, the eyes, etc. In the same manner as HPB tried to explain in her esoteric instructions and inner group teachings. She spoke about a similar story but remarking the importance of geometrical proportions, human orifices and centers of action, etc.

So, you have made a good selection of texts, very interesting.

 


Nicholas Weeks said:

When that 2nd paragraph reminds us of the SD saying Avalokiteshvara is the 7th universal principle and has mind-born sons, that suggests the SD is less esoteric than we might think or that exoteric sutras are more esoteric than we think.

 

Glad you like the selections, there will be more.

While sutras can be matched to tantras etc, they need not be.  The ordinary Mahayana or Sutrayana can take one to buddhahood - it just may take longer.

More from the sutra:


Buddha said: 'Virtuous man, not only me in this realm, even if innumerable Tathagatas, Arhats, Samyak-sambuddhas of other directions all get together in one place, they also cannot finish speaking the blessings and virtues of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva.

Virtuous man, if anyone in this world can keep remembering the name of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva Mahasattva, this person will be far away from the sufferings of birth, aging, illness, death and transmigration. He will be reborn quickly in the Utmost Bliss world [devachan], just like a goose king flying with the wind, and then personally see the Infinite-Life (Amitayus) Tathagata and hear wonderful Dharmas. Then this person will never suffer from transmigration, greed, anger, ignorance, aging, illness, death, or hunger. By the majestic power of Dharma, he will be born miraculously from a lotus, instead of suffering from being born from a womb.'"


This seems a challenge, it is good.

I think that SD is esoteric enough, as esoteric as sutras  are, for as you know sutras are matched with tantras and tantras with initiations in order to empower the disciple yogi to accomplish the sadhana. In this sutra the esotericism is how to use the navel, the eyes, etc. In the same manner as HPB tried to explain in her esoteric instructions and inner group teachings. She spoke about a similar story but remarking the importance of geometrical proportions, human orifices and centers of action, etc.

So, you have made a good selection of texts, very interesting.

 


Nicholas Weeks said:

When that 2nd paragraph reminds us of the SD saying Avalokiteshvara is the 7th universal principle and has mind-born sons, that suggests the SD is less esoteric than we might think or that exoteric sutras are more esoteric than we think.

 

 

Leila Becquer said:

In Buddhism Amitabha Buddha's realm is called the Blissful Realm or Devachan in Tibetan.  But there are many other Pure Lands & Buddhas.  So why did the Brothers pick devachan to put forth as a theosophical teaching?  One possibility is suggested in HPB's letters to Sinnett book - page 243:

4.  Amitabha                   4.  Avalokitesvara                        4.  Gautama

 

There she mentions that for this 4th Round Amitabha  & Avalokiteshwara & Gautama have a primary function for humanity.  Other cycles have differing bodhisattvas & buddhas overseeing.

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