A poem based on notes from Venerable Master Hua's lectures on the "Universal Door Chapter" of the Dharma Flower Sutra, spring, 1968. Complied by Bhikshuni Heng Yin


      Many aeons ago there was a Buddha, Miao-shan, And also a king with a thousand sons. The eldest son made offerings to that Buddha Of bedding and medicine, clothing and food. "If anyone recites my name, I will go there to save him," he said. Then he asked the buddha for a name. It was given: "Kuan-shih-yin."

"Kuan" means to contemplate.
"Shih" is the world.
"Yin" is sound.
Kuan-shih-yin contemplates the sounds, The sounds of living beings in the worlds of the past, present, and future--All sounds: good, bad, right, wrong, and he cries.

      He cries because we are trapped in our delusion, hate, and greed. He cries because we are unfilial, And we hurt each other. He cries because he knows that we will pay And pay well for our evil deeds.

      Bodhi is enlightenment, Sattva, sentient being. Kuan-yin is a sentient being who enlightens other sentient beings. He helps everyone become a Buddha.

      He has great power.
      He has wonderful power.
      What is this power?
      He sees every person suffers. 

      He helps make that suffering disappear. He sees every person afflicted. He sees every person suffers from sickness. He helps make that suffering disappear.

      How does he see?

      He sees with his Buddha Eye,

      He sees with his Dharma Eye,

      He sees with his Wisdom Eye,

      his heavenly eye,

      his flesh eye.

      He sees with these five eyes, And not only with these five, but with many eyes:

      one hundred eyes

      one thousand eyes

      ten thousand eyes

      eighty-four thousand eyes!

      Where does he see? He sees everywhere. There is no place where he does not see: North, east, south, west, above, below, inside, outside. He sees everywhere--everywhere people are suffering, and he helps to make their suffering go away.

      He can transform into countless bodies to help you, to teach you the Dharma. To a Bodhisattva, he is a Buddha. To an Arhat, he is a Pratyeka-buddha. He can be God, a warrior, a scholar, a bhikshu, a bhikshuni, a king, a princess, a dragon, a ghost, or a great golden winged p'eng bird!

      If you recite his name with faith, nothing can harm you. Standing at the place of execution you need only think of Kuan-shih-yin, and the sword will break in two. Bound and gagged, you need only think of him, and those bonds will be broken. Surrounded by goblins, ghosts, or giants, think of Kuan-shih-yin: They won't harm a single hair on your body. Fearful beasts with sharp claws and teeth will scatter in the ten directions. "But I cannot see him," you say. "Where is he?" Kuan-yin's body is in your heart, and your body is in Kuan-yin's heart. He has great compassion and great light.

      Why does he help others and not himself? He knows that helping others is just helping himself.

      If people suffer, he suffers. We think we are two. He knows we are one. With every living creature we are one--not two.