jinggu

Kouzeon

An alternate translation of Kanzeon, also known as Guan Yin, the Chinese goddess of mercy. It is generally believed that Guan Yin started out as the Sanskrit bodhisattva of compassion, Avalokiteśvara who was a male, before being worshiped separately.

She once met a young boy named Sudhana who was disabled, but was devoted to learning Buddhist teachings. Guan Yin, had recently reached enlightenment and while she was resting on the rocky island, Mount Putuo, the boy suddenly arrived despite his obvious hardships, giving Guan Yin great surprise. To test his resolve, she transformed the plant life around them into pirates who began to attack them. Guan Yin jumped from a cliff and Sudhana jumped off himself to save her.

When they rescaled the cliff, Guan Yin showed Sudhana his mortal body down at the bottom and then asked him to walk. He did so, and found he was no longer disabled and that he was now handsome from looking in a pool of water. From that day forth, he was taught the entire dharma and became her loyal acolyte.

According to the ‘Complete Tale of Guanyin and the Southern Seas’ she met her second acolyte, a girl named Longnü, after a dragon king’s third son was caught by a fisherman while he was in the form of a carp. He became trapped on land and was unable to transform back, and was due to be sold at a market when Guan Yin heard of his plight. 

She sent Sudhana to buy him, but because the fish was alive after hours of no water, people began to believe it would give them immortality, starting a huge bidding war. When Sudhana begged for the fish to be spared, he received scorn until Guan Yin’s voice rang out and mollified them all. The dragon’s father was so gratified he sent his granddaughter to give them the gift of the pearl of light. When the girl caught sight of Guan Yin, she was enamored and became the second acolyte.

Guan Yin would also find an acolyte in the Filial Parrot, and helped a poor village in Quanzhou to build a bridge by offering to marry any man who could hit her with a silver piece. Many people missed, resulting in the boat she was in to overflow with silver, before a member of the Eight Immortals, Lü Dongbin managed to hit her. She bit her thumb and spilled blood into the river, where it was eventually swallowed by a washer woman and became a baby.

This baby was named Chen Jinggu, who would eventually sacrifice her life to stop a drought.