佛光山佛陀紀念館

喬達摩
喬達摩>第90期

慈悲的化身─觀音


文/佛館國際組 Buddha Museum International Affairs Team

圖/佛館編輯組 Buddha Museum Editorial Team

What is Guanyin?” 什麼是觀音?

Guanyin is the Chinese transliteration of the Sanskrit name Avalokitesvara. Guanyin is short for Guanshiyin,which means the perceiver of the sounds in the world.

Avalokitesvara is also translated as Guanzizai, which meansto perceive with ease. In Tibet, Avalokitesvara is commonly known as Chenrezig. In the Chinese society, Avalokitesvara is widely known as Guanyin.

「觀音」是梵文Avalokitesvara的中譯,也是「觀世音」的簡稱, 意為世界一切聲音的覺知者。Avalokitesvara這個詞也被翻作「觀自在」,自我觀照得自在。在西藏則以Chenrezig廣為人知。在華人社會則以「觀音」最廣為流傳。

In India, Guanyin would manifest in many different forms. He is known to have attained Buddhahood in the past eon, a disciple of the Buddha in the present eon, and the foremost attendant bodhisattva of Amitabha Buddha in the Western Pure Land. Out of compassion, he alleviate sentient beings from suffering and keep them safe from danger. He is also known to look after sentient beings in the afterlife.

在印度佛教中,觀音菩薩以多種不同的身份顯化世間:他是過去無量劫前的「正法明如來」,又是現在世釋迦牟尼佛的菩薩乘弟子,還是阿彌陀佛西方淨土世界的上首菩薩等等。他以悲天憫人的普世情懷,廣大無邊的神通法力,既為現世眾生解除各種苦難,帶給眾生幸福和安樂,也為眾生的來世尋求美好的歸宿,是一位集慈悲與智慧於一身的佛教大菩薩。

Is Guanyin male or female?觀音是男是女?

In the sutras, it mentions that Guanyin manifests in whatever form the person needs in order to enlighten them. The original appearance of Guanyin is mentioned in the 68th fascicle of the Avatamsaka Sutra, where it talks about the Guanyin on Mount Potalaka as being masculine

and brave. According to studies, all Guanyin statues were male in appearance prior to the Tang Dynasty and it was not until after the Tang Dynasty that the female version started appearing. The female form is more appealing to female believers as there is more empathy and compassion in the female form.

在佛經中的觀音,為了度化眾生的需要,「應以何身得度者,即現何身而為說法」,應現了種種形態種種樣貌。觀音菩薩的本身,乃是相好圓滿的大丈夫,即如《八十華嚴》的六十八卷所說,印度南方海上,普陀洛迦山的觀音,便稱為「勇猛丈夫觀自在」,根據研究,中國的觀音聖像,在唐朝以前,是大丈夫相,唐朝以後,才有女相的觀音像出現。觀世音菩薩的應現婦女身,乃是藉女性受苦之多來表現菩薩的堅忍,藉女性的母愛以表菩薩的慈悲。