Guanyin, Guan Yin or Kuan Yin (/ˌɡwɑːnˈjɪn/) (Chinese: 觀音) is the most commonly used Chinese translation of the bodhisattva known as Avalokiteśvara.[1] Guanyin is the Buddhist bodhisattva associated with compassion. In the East Asian world, Guanyin is the equivalent term for Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva. Guanyin also refers to the bodhisattva as adopted by other Eastern religions.[2] She was first given the appellation of "goddess of Mercy" or the Mercy goddess by Jesuit missionaries in China.[3] The Chinese name Guanyin is short for Guanshiyin, which means "[The One Who] Perceives the Sounds of the World."[4] On the 19th day of the 6th lunar month, Guan Shi Yin's attainment of Buddhahood is celebrated.[5]

Northern Song Dynasty Chinese wood carving of Guanyin, c. 1025. Male bodhisattva depiction with Amitābha's crown
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese觀音
Simplified Chinese观音
Full Chinese name
Traditional Chinese觀世音
Simplified Chinese观世音
Literal meaning"[The One Who] Perceives the Sounds of the World"
Second alternative Chinese name
Traditional Chinese觀自在
Simplified Chinese观自在
Literal meaning"Lord who Gazes down on the World (Avalokiteśvara)"
Burmese name
IPA[kwàɴ jɪ̀ɴ]
Tibetan name
Vietnamese name
VietnameseQuan Âm, Quán Thế Âm, Quán Tự Tại
Hán-Nôm觀音, 觀世音, 觀自在
Thai name
Thaiกวนอิม, พระอวโลกิเตศวรโพธิสัตว์
RTGSKuan Im, Phra Avalokitesuan Phothisat
Korean name
Hangul관음, 관세음, 관자재
Hanja觀音, 觀世音, 觀自在
Mongolian name
Mongolian scriptᠨᠢᠳᠦ ᠪᠡᠷ
Japanese name
Kanji観音, 観世音, 観自在
Hiraganaかんのん, かんぜおん, かんじざい
Indonesian name
IndonesianKwan Im, Kwan She Im, Awalokiteswara
Sanskrit name
Khmer name
Khmerអវលោកិតេស្វរៈ, អវលោកេស្វរៈ, លោកេស្វរៈ
(Avalokitesvarak, Avalokesvarak, Lokesvarak)
Hmong name
HmongKabyeeb, Niam-Txiv Kabyeeb, Dabpog, Niam-Txiv Dabpog

Some Buddhists believe that when one of their adherents departs from this world, they are placed by Guanyin in the heart of a lotus, and then sent to the western Pure Land of Sukhāvatī.[6] Guanyin is often referred to as the "most widely beloved Buddhist Divinity"[7] with miraculous powers to assist all those who pray to her, as is said in the Lotus Sutra and Karandavyuha Sutra.

Several large temples in East Asia are dedicated to Guanyin including Mount Putuo, Shaolin Temple, Longxing Temple, Puning Temple, Nanhai Guanyin Temple, Dharma Drum Mountain, Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple, Shitennō-ji, Sensō-ji, Kiyomizu-dera, Sanjūsangen-dō, and many others. Guanyin's abode and bodhimanda in India is recorded as being on Mount Potalaka. With the localization of the belief in Guanyin, each area adopted their own Potalaka. In China, Putuoshan is considered the bodhimanda of Guanyin. Naksansa is considered to be the Potalaka of Guanyin in Korea. Japan's Potalaka is located at Fudarakusan-ji. Tibet's Potalaka is the Potala Palace. There are several pilgrimage centers for Guanyin in East Asia. Putuoshan is the main pilgrimage site in China. There is a 33 temple Guanyin pilgrimage in Korea which includes Naksansa. In Japan, there are several pilgrimages associated with Guanyin. The oldest one of them is the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage, a pilgrimage through 33 temples with Guanyin shrines. Guanyin is beloved by all Buddhist traditions in a non-denominational way and found in most Tibetan temples under the name Chenrezig. Guanyin is also beloved and worshipped in the temples in Nepal. The Hiranya Varna Mahavihar located in Patan is one example. Guanyin is also found in some influential Theravada temples such as Gangaramaya, Kelaniya and Natha Devale nearby Sri Dalada Maligawa in Sri Lanka; Guanyin can also be found in Thailand's Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Huay Pla Kang (where the huge statue of her is often mistakenly called the "Big Buddha") and Burma's Shwedagon Pagoda. Statues of Guanyin are a widely depicted subject of Asian art and found in the Asian art sections of most museums in the world.