What pleases Kuan Yin…

13 Sep


A week ago, Tsem Rinpoche told us a wonderful story of the 1000-armed Kuan Yin. He had just received a book called Words of Power by John Blofeld. The author of the book wrote about his journeys to Hong Kong and China and his studies of Buddhism. In this particular book, he wrote a story of the 1,000 armed Kuan Yin. Rinpoche told the story and I will attempt to tell this tale here with my own words.

In China, there was a temple dedicated to the worship of a beautiful statue of the 1,000 armed Kuan Yin. The monks were strict vegetarians and completely enveloped their lives in the pursuit of the worship of Kuan Yin with meditations and chanting of Tai Pei Chou or the Great Compassion Mantra. Thus, the monks lived a spartan and simplistic lifestyle. One day, a man came to the temple to offer prayers and offerings to Kuan Yin. He was a sort of ruffian and he came bearing offerings of meat. However, he had deep faith in Kuan Yin and reverently placed his offering of meat on the altar and left.

When the monks discovered the offering, they were repulsed by the sight of the meat. They immediately decided to discard the meat. Not long after, famine and pestilence struck the land and the monks of the temple sat day and night, requesting Kuan Yin to alleviate the disaster. After 3 days of chanting, Kuan Yin’s eyes shone brightly and completely enveloped the prayer hall with light.

Then, the statue of Kuan Yin spoke,”You should not have discarded the man’s offering that day. No offerings are impure when it was offered with a pure intent. We must have compassion on all beings and accept whatever offerings that are given with pure intent. I will now answer your prayers but you must remember what I have said.”

The light from Kuan Yin’s eyes disappeared and the monks rejoiced.

5 Responses to “What pleases Kuan Yin…”

  1. Wah Ying September 13, 2014 at 2:16 am #

    I like the story and the teaching behind it. It’ s a good teaching for all practisioners. We will think people’s offerings are impure, ours are pure, when we are judgemental, and judgemental itself is opinion derive from our ego?

  2. Michael C. September 16, 2014 at 6:13 pm #

    So for how long does Chenrezig want the monks to leave the meat offering on the altar for? until the smell turns sour to my nose and signs of decay occur? until it turns to dust? Remember the bad smell is from my side, my perspective. I perceive the smell as bad because i have an aversion to it.

    • Michael C. October 10, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

      So i tested out my theory in the previous comment and left an offering for a few days and white puss started growing on it. And it smelled rank. The point is to offer up our attachments right? and i’m not attached to bad smelling things or white puss so i decided to remove that offering and not let it remain there until it turned to dust. i can make one food offering a day and then the next morning i remove the offering from the previous day and replace it with the new, fresh food. i found this mantra also to say when removing the offerings – (quoted from http://shop.fpmt.org/The-Preliminary-Practice-of-Altar-Set-up-Water-Bowl-Offerings-_p_339.html ) “If you choose to eat the food that was offered on your altar, say the following mantra seven times to avoid accumulating the karma of stealing from the Triple Gem. TADYATHA IDAM PENI RATNA PEMANI PARATNA NI SVAHA (7X) then blow on the food. i saw this mantra anyways even if i am not going to eat the food and also when i remove anything like water offerings because i am personally paranoid & don’t feel comfortable removing it otherwise – feels like i’m stealing to me – and it can’t do any harm to say it, right?

      • Pastor David Lai October 21, 2014 at 3:13 am #

        Thanks… That’s an interesting mantra. Thank you.

    • Pastor David Lai October 21, 2014 at 3:12 am #

      Hi Michael,
      Sorry, I did not reply you earlier but I think that the offering of meat is not a good idea despite the story. The point of the story is that the offering was made by someone with great faith in Chenrezig and does not know much Buddhism, hence his offering is pure. We as Buddhists or spiritually inclined, I think should refrain from offering meat of an animal that has been killed unless we are advance tantric practitioners. Anyway, to answer your question, preferably we leave any food offering, meat or not for a short time and before it rots. Offerings that have gone bad should be clearly asap.

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