Guan Yin Bodhisattva, also known as Guan Shi Yin (Avalokiteshvara) Bodhisattva or The Great Knight Guan Yin, has the deepest affinity with sentient beings of this Saha world. What does the name Guan Shi Yin mean? The three Chinese characters: "Guan" means contemplation, "Shi" means world, and "Yin" means sound. The name itself implies the awesome spiritual power of the Bodhisattva who contemplates the request of the sentient beings and saves them from suffering.
It is well-described in the Wondrous Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra (Lotus Sutra), If the limitless hundreds of thousands of myriads of kotis of living beings who are undergoing all kinds of suffering hear of Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva and recite his name single-mindedly, Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva will immediately hear their voices and rescue them.
Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva attained Buddhahood a long time ago, and is known as the Proper Dharma Brightness Thus Come One. In fulfilling his past vow, he returns as the Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva, and together with Da Shi Zhi Bodhisattva (Great Strength or Mahasthamaprapta), assist Amitabha Buddha to teach the Pure Land Dharma. They are known as the Three Sages of the Western Pure Land.
Shakyamuni Buddha taught us in the Dharani of Great Compassionate Sutra that Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva still remains at the transformation state of a Bodhisattva for the sake of helping all the sentient beings in their Way cultivation. Shakyamuni Buddha urges us to always be mindful of the Bodhisvatta, so that we can terminate our samsara cycle, and end up in the pure land after this life.
Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva has manifested in numerous forms to speak the dharma according to the situations encountered. Worshipping the Bodhisattva started far back in ancient times from India to China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and many other Asian countries. The Bodhisattva attained the same popularity as Amitabha in Chinese families. There is a saying in China, Amitabha in every home; Guan Shi Yin in every household. This reflects the Bodhisattva's position among the Chinese.
There are three celebrations annually dedicated to Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva among the Chinese Buddhists:
The Bodhisattva's Birthday: 19th of the second lunar month.
The Bodhisattva's Enlightenment Day: 19th of the sixth lunar month.
The Bodhisattva's Leaving Home Day: 19th of the ninth lunar month.
Avatamsaka Vihara observes these celebrations by reciting the Universal Door chapter of the Lotus Sutra. The Universal Door chapter describes Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva's boundless compassionate and kind spirit in saving beings from the seven calamities, responding to the two kinds of seeking, and transforming into thirty-two response bodies. The state of his spiritual power is inconceivable.
Venerable master Hsuan Hua once taught us that in order to achieve the spiritual connection with Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva, we must recite his name with a perfect concentrated mind. The true purpose of commemorating the Bodhisattva is to follow his spirit of practicing, "Great compassion to all beings as one unit. Kindness to all beings without discrimination".
|8:30 - 10:00||Universal Door Chapter Assembly|
|10:00 - 11:00||Dharma Talk|
|11:00 ||Meal Offering - Vegetarian Lunch |
| 1:00 - 3:30||Great Compassion Repentance |
|3:30||Dedication of Merit in the Rebirth Hall|