Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Looking For Guanyin

From my notes where I was this time one year ago, living in a guesthouse with a rented bed in the sweltering Kolkata summer.

For a while my interior monologue had a British accent, like the ones I was surrounded with. Now it speaks to me in Spanish and I understand only fragments. 

There is a sound like a 1930s radio blaring just down the street, like a weird Hindu carnival calling all the insomniatic devout. 

The Mexican girls think Gotham City is a real city in America. I didn't correct them. 

You don't argue with darkness. You just shine a light. - Indian Pastor Ben

"Make a wish," Ahad says, " you wish on a broke star."

The less we have, the more we give. Seems absurd but it's the logic of love. -Mother Theresa

If you'd like to read more from my time spent in Kolkata volunteering with Missionaries of Charity, you can click here. 

Today I went in search of Guanyin, Goddess of Compassion found in Taoism, Buddhism, and Hinduism.

In one legend it is said that Guanyin reincarnated as the daughter of a cruel king who wanted her to marry a wealthy but uncaring man. She refuses until her father finds a way to alleviate the suffering of the people of the world. He cannot, and he punishes her, making her do manual labor. He finally is fed up with her insistence and orders her to be executed. According to legend, the executioner tried many ways of killing her: his axe shattered, his sword shattered, his arrows veered away from her. Finally, in desperation, the executioner uses his hands to choke the life from Guanyin.

The Princess, realising the fate that the executioner would meet at her father's hand should she fail to let herself die, forgave the executioner for attempting to kill her. It is said that she voluntarily took on the massive karmic guilt the executioner generated for killing her, thus leaving him guiltless. It is because of this that she descended into the Hell-like realms. While there, she witnessed first-hand the suffering and horrors that the beings there must endure, and was overwhelmed with grief. Filled with compassion, she released all the good karma she had accumulated through her many lifetimes, thus freeing many suffering souls back into Heaven and Earth. In the process, that Hell-like realm became a paradise. It is said that Yama, the ruler of hell, sent her back to Earth to prevent the utter destruction of his realm.

If you want to read more about Guanyin, you can read about her here. 

It's interesting, when you start looking for Jesus in places you've never looked, you find Him. 

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