Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The World's Biggest Seated Guanyin (南海观音)

On the peak of the Xiqiao mountain in Foshan lies the biggest seated Guanyin statue in the world. I visited the place of pilgrimage on 22.10.2008 to see for myself how big the image really was. Above we see the main gate of the Guanyin peak.
The Outer Wall with the words "Nanhai Guanyin Cultural Park". Nanhai means Southern Sea. Guanyin is always associated with the Southern Sea because according to the Avatamsaka Sutra, Guanyin's Pure Land Putuoshan is situated in the Southern Sea.
The back of the wall has the Mantra of 6 syllables "Om Mani Padme Hum" inscribed in Chinese and Tibetan. There's also a statue of Dharmapala Skanda (Weituo).
The main incense altar at the bottom of the flight of steps leading up to the peak.
At the side was this smaller version of Nanhai Guanyin. Beside it was a tree for people to make wishes. We can see those red "wish tags" hanging above the image.
Starting my climb up to the peak.
In between the steps were these beautiful sculpted bas-reliefs. This one portrayed the 8 Immortals crossing the sea.
Almost reaching the base of the Guanyin statue. This world's largest seated Guanyin is made of bronze and has a height of 61.9m, signifying the 19th day of the 6th lunar month, which is the day Guanyin attained Enlightenment according to legend. She is seated in the full lotus posture, holding a vial of elixir in her left hand and forms a mudra of blessing with the right hand.
Finally reaching the base. The statue really looked huge from here. The lotus pedestal which Guanyin sits on has 66 petals, with a diameter of 36m and height of 14.9m. So the whole statue including the pedestal is 76.8m tall!
The bas-reliefs at the base depicts the different manifestations of Guanyin. This one shows Hayagriva Avalokitesvara, or Horse-head Guanyin. Hayagriva is the fierce form of Guanyin.
This one shows Guanyin in her Thousand Arm Thousand Eye form. It symbolizes that there is nowhere in the world that her compassion does not reach or see.
Inside the base there is this chamber that allows devotees to paste gold foil on the Guanyin Image.
And inside the Guanyin statue itself is a hall with shops selling auspicious items as well as food and refreshments.
Nanhai Guanyin coins and cards that I bought at the shop.
On the 2nd and 3rd storey of the hall were altars that let people sponsor 5-inch Guanyin buchas to make merit. Other shops within the park also had these Guanyin buchas for rent. I didn't get any however, as I was not sure whether they were blessed or not.
Looking down from the Guanyin Peak, one can "hear the cries of the world" with complete freedom. Guanyin hears any sentient being who calls on her for help, but do sentient beings hear her? Come, and hear for yourself.


Haryanto said...

wow...this is veryy nice...i can see the statue for myself through pics^_^...hopefully i can go for myself someday^^

Haryanto said...

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