Monday, June 16, 2014
In case you're wondering, Budai is not Buddha.
Budai or Pu-Tai is a Chinese folkloric deity. His name means "Cloth Sack,"and comes from the bag that he is conventionally depicted as carrying. He is usually identified with or seen as an incarnation of Maitreya, the future Buddha, so much so that the Budai image is one of the main forms in which Maitreya is depicted in East Asia.He is almost always shown smiling or laughing, hence his nickname in Chinese, the Laughing Buddha.
Guanyin (in pinyin; previous transliterations Quan Yin, Kwan Yin, or Kuanyin) is the bodhisattva associated with compassion as venerated by East Asian Buddhists, usually as a female.
Probably because of Kuan Yin's great compassion, a quality which is traditionally considered feminine, most of the bodhisattva's statues in China since the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618 - 907) have appeared as female figures. In India, however, the bodhisattva is generally represented as a male figure.
In her hands, Kuan Yin may hold a willow branch, a vase with water or occasionally, a lotus flower.
The willow branch is used to heal people's illnesses or bring fulfillment to their requests.
The water ( the dew of compassion) has the quality of removing suffering, purifying the defilements of our body, speech and mind, and lengthening life. Quan Yin carries the Goddess and Divine Mother aspect of Buddhism.