Quan Yin and Compassion

by Diana Rankin

766

 
“You wish to speak with me?” Quan Yin spoke and her voice sang like cool water flowing over smooth stones.
“Oh Goddess, Bodhisattva of Compassion, I wish to have more compassion and less judgment of others,” I said.
“Compassion comes from understanding of suffering and nonjudgment comes from understanding. Neither is a gift I can give to you. These are gifts you give to yourself,” Quan Yin said, her voice a melody of harmonious vibrations of a thousand hands passing over a thousand harp strings. “These are gifts of wisdom,” I heard her say. Then she seemed to float away, and I used my voice to pull her back to me.
“It is said you still walk among the people to alleviate suffering, that you will stay until the last cry of suffering is changed to one of joy.”
She spoke to me without words, and I felt her approval of what I had said, so I continued. “Your story is so beautiful, so inspiring. You were the third daughter of a wealthy ruler who had already married his two older daughters to wealthy, but cruel men. You pleaded with your father to not force you to marry, instead to allow you to serve the temple dwellers.”
“It was a daughter’s duty to obey her father,” Qua Yin spoke, and for the briefest of moments I saw the young Chinese girl during the Chou dynasty.
“Your father finally relented, but he went to the temple dwellers and told them to work you extra hard, a punishment for your disobedience.”
Quan Yin’s eyes sparked in recognition. She nodded her head and smiled slightly. “Yes, I have heard this story,” she said.
“It is said you worked very hard and with a pure heart, doing much more than was asked of you. Every day when you went to fetch water for the temple, your kindness spread to the animals of the forest, and soon word of your good deeds and kind heart spread throughout the forest. The animals gathered together and decided to help you with your chores. Birds filled the table bowls with ripened berries, cock brought the hens’ eggs, horse brought roots from the earth, tiger gathered rice on his coat to bring, and dragon lit the fire. Word of this miracle swept to the nearby village, making the villagers happy until word spread to your father.
“He went to the temple dwellers. Such a rage he was in. ‘She has disobeyed me,’ he said. ‘She has disobeyed me and made a fool of me. All the villagers are laughing at me. She must be punished.’ The temple dwellers tried their best, but your father would not calm down. Finally in his rage, he said, ‘Kill her. Kill her.’
“No one in the temple obeyed, but still you were slain. As you ascended to the heavens, you saw nirvana before you and knew you could spend all eternity in bliss. You were about to step into your ecstasy when you heard a cry of suffering from Earth.”
“I vowed to return to Earth and walk among the people until there were no more cries of suffering, but only joy,” Quan Yin said.
“You were given the status of Goddess because of your pure heart and compassion.”
“Yes, I remember this story, but Dear One it is a story made up long ago in the villages to comfort those in need.”
“Then you did not live in China long ago?”
“This is not the question. It is of no significance. Quan Yin is the Bodhisattva of Compassion. Whether or not she lived as a girl is of less importance than that her spirit lives in the hearts of all who show compassion.”
“It is her spirit, her energy that walks the earth,” I said awed by the compassion I felt from Quan Yin. She judged me as being neither ignorant nor wise.
“Stories are of immense importance to the greater human story,” she said. “You must continue to tell the story. It is a way of teaching and learning.” Quan Yin looked deeply at me, smiled, and then became a ball of light and moved away. I watched her recede from my sight, the depth of my gratitude for our encounter almost overwhelming . . .
 
From “The Found Child” by Diana Rankin, www.dianarankin.com
©2013 Diana Rankin
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