Guanyin - the Goddess of Mercy

Guanyin - a Buddhist deity at Musée d'ethnographie, Dahlem, Berlin
Guanyin - a Buddhist deity China, Song Dynasty, wood AD 960-1278 Musée d'ethnographie, Dahlem, Berlin. CC Flickr User dalbera

Definition: The Bodhisattva Guanyin is a Chinese comforting and mother goddess, although sometimes she is a he. Maria Reis-Habito says the name means:

One who listens to the cries of the world.
Pure Land Sutra


  • "The Bodhisattva Guanyin and the Virgin Mary," by Maria Reis-Habito; Buddhist-Christian Studies (1993)
  • "Review: Kuan-yin: The Development and Transformation of a Chinese Goddess," by Daniel L. Overmyer; The Journal of Religion (Jul., 2002)
  • "The Development of Kuan Yin: Chinese Goddess of Mercy," by John H. Chamberlayne Numen (Jan., 1962)
  • "Guanyin" The Oxford Companion to World mythology. David Leeming. Oxford University Press, 2004

Also Known As: Kannon (Japan), Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara, (India), Chenrezig, Kanzeon, Buddhist Madonna

Alternate Spellings: Kuan-yin, Kuan-shih-yin

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Your Citation
Gill, N.S. "Guanyin - the Goddess of Mercy." Learn Religions, Dec. 6, 2021, Gill, N.S. (2021, December 6). Guanyin - the Goddess of Mercy. Retrieved from Gill, N.S. "Guanyin - the Goddess of Mercy." Learn Religions. (accessed March 25, 2023).