The Meaning of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva’s Commemoration.

Update: 24/03/2022
Every year, Buddhists from around the world hold the Ceremony on the 19th of February, 19th of June and 19th of September. Kuan Shi Yin Bodhisattva is also called Bodhisattva who often appears in Mahayana Sutra such as Avatamsaka Sutra, Surangama Sutra, and the Lotus Sutra…

The Meaning of Avalokitesvara  Bodhisattva’s Commemoration.


In the Lotus Sutra, Avalokitesvara Chapter described in detail and expressively about the meaning of saving someone from sufferings and dangers, which is the representation of Kuan Shi Yin Bodhisattva’s vow.

The Sutra also shows us that Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva is the outstanding image of compassion. There are 33 representations of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva which make it easier for the Bodhisattva to save all beings. Bodhisattva’s compassion can be seen as a mother's love for her children which is in line with the custom of many different religions.

Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva Bodhisattva is the Bodhisattva who vows to actively listen to the miserable complaints of life and from there try to find a solution to relieve human beings from the miseries. According to the Lotus Sutra, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva is capable of transforming into different appearances depending on the circumstances and conditions to save all kinds.

The image of  Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva is familiar, genuine and gentle like the image of a mother who is honorable and respected not only in Buddhist Religion but also in Vietnamese traditional custom. 

Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva’s Commemoration is held in three specific days in the year (lunar calendar): 19th of February is the day Bodhisattvawas born, 19th of June is the day Bodhisattva achieved Enlightenment, 19th September is the day Bodhisattva left home and joined the Sangha.

Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva’s commemoration is the day to commemorate different milestones in Bodhisattva's life and Bodhisattva’s Enlightenment. By celebrating this day, the Buddhist practitioners are able to show their love, remembrance of the great merits of Bodhisattva who always save, love and wholeheartedly treat all kinds.

Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva is also a Bodhisattva who is the most familiar with human beings. The Bodhisattva has all of the traits which we can learn from such as compassion, no hatred towards people who make us miserable, and Bodhisattvaalways forgives human’s sin, listens genuinely to our miseries in this life.

On this day, it is a good opportunity for us to reflect and take an oath of doing good deeds, having good souls and good actions. There are 3 basic things such as:

Firstly, vowing to be compassionate, and to love yourself because if we do not have compassion for ourselves, we will not have compassion for other people. To love oneself is to accept and to love both the good and the bad of ourselves in order to improve or change for the better and towards the true, the good and the beautiful.

Secondly, vowing to be patient: because of this factor, The Bodhisattva overcame countless tribulations to achieve enlightenment. Therefore, when we worship Bodhisattva, we will need to commemorate and grieve over this trait, to learn from the Bodhisattva. Under any circumstances, we need to be mindful to evaluate the situation and to be patient to overcome the difficulties in order to reap good deeds. Being patient also helps us live a peaceful life with good thoughts because no one wants to hurt a person who gives way for others. Being able to do this will help turn hatred into happiness.

Thirdly, vowing to be able to listen actively. Humans just only have 1 mouth, yet, they have 2 ears for listening. However, people talk more than listen. Thanks to compassion, the Bodhisattva overcame all the miseries of Human Beings, and increased sympathy. From there, the Bodhisattva put the most effort to help people who practice this trait to overcome tribulations. Therefore, active listening is a very important trait.

After knowing the meaning of these 3 days, we will gain a genuine happiness and sincerely commemorate the Bodhisattva in order to create the connection with the Bodhisattva and in case of trouble, one wish will be responded to. Please sincerely get to know and comprehend these traits of the Bodhisattva, as well as vow to change yourself for the better and for a better society.

 Hoa Đạo

Translated into English by Thai Nhuoc Don

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