Willow Guanyin 楊柳觀音

Willow Guanyin


Hello everyone. Welcome to Wutai Shan Buddhist Garden in Canada. On the left side of Bodhi 2nd Rd., there is a house that was constructed a hundred years ago. Facing this house is a statue of Willow Guanyin.

This Willow Guanyin statue has a head covering and wears an elegant, jewelled crown. The crown is adorned with an image recognized by people everywhere: Amitabha Buddha. The facial features of Willow Guanyin imply that she is looking downwards, with her earlobes drooping over her shoulders, like she is compassionately watching over all sentient beings.

Her hands are forming the Teaching Mudra, with her left hand holding a bottle made out of pure jade. Sprinkling the sweet rain of Dharma, she rescues all living beings. She is seated barefoot atop a lotus flower, dignified and tranquil, evoking a sense of awe.

It is no secret that Willow Guanyin liberates all sentient beings from their suffering, and guides them to the shore of enlightenment. She is the transformation body of one of the most widely known and influential Bodhisattvas. Visual depictions usually show her standing or sitting on a rock, with her right hand holding a willow branch, signifying the Willow Hand Samadhi of the Thousand-Armed Guanyin. She is typically presented as a female, wearing a woman’s shawl. The willow branch symbolizes the blessing of the Bodhisattva in our lives, which just like the rain, can be seen everywhere.

Believing in the spiritual power of willow trees, the people of Ancient China listed Willow Guanyin as the first of Guanyin’s thirty-three transformations. She shakes the willow branch, the way that insight shakes the mind. Yet, the water remains clear and motionless, like the cessation of mental activity. Since she is often called upon to avoid calamities, heal sicknesses, and prevent natural disasters, she is also known as Guanyin The Medicine Queen.

What makes this statue of Willow Guanyin special and unique?

Wutai Shan’s Willow Guanyin has been spiritually purified by the Monks and Nuns of Cham Shan Temple, and infused with the compassion of the Bodhisattva Guanyin. If she is sincerely prayed to, the Bodhisattva can heal all sentient beings and relieve their suffering. Furthermore, willow trees can effectively ward off evil spirits. In the past, when modern medicine was not yet developed, some babies were weak and physically unwell. On these occasions, a peach or willow branch would be tied to the side of their body to repel evil spirits, avoid accidents, and fend off serious illnesses. Likewise, Willow Guanyin protects the health and wellness of children, promoting optimal childhood development.






自古以來中國人相信柳枝具有靈力,因而將楊柳觀音命名為觀世音菩薩三十三種應化身的第一尊。楊柳觀音的楊柳為拂動之物,象徵〝慧〞;淨水為清澈之物,象徵〝定〞,用以消災解除疾病、災厄,因此,楊柳觀音又被稱為“藥王觀音” 。