As a feminine counterpart of Buddha, who emanates from the Western Universal Gate of the Mandala of the Heavenly Jerusalem, we could contemplate the great Buddhist Goddess, Kuan Yin. 'Amitabha, a beloved figure in the eyes of Buddhists desiring to be reborn in his Western Paradise and to obtain freedom from the wheel of rebirth, is said to be, in a mystical or spiritual sense, the father of Kuan Yin'.

Symbols characteristically associated with Kuan Yin are a willow branch, with which she sprinkles the divine nectar of life; a precious vase symbolising the nectar of compassion and wisdom, the hallmarks of a bodhisattva; a dove, representing fecundity; a book or scroll of prayers which she holds in her hand, representing the dharma (teaching) of the Buddha or the sutra (Buddhist text) which Miao Shan is said to have constantly recited; and a rosary adorning her neck with which she calls upon the Buddhas for succour.

Elizabeth Clare Prophet, Kuan Yin's Crystal Rosary

In the Buddhist Mandala, each one of the Dhyani Buddhas, emanating from the four mythological directions, has his own characteristics which anthropomorphically symbolise some essential qualities of the Universe. Accordingly, the symbols characteristically associated with Kuan Yin have a very deep cosmological meaning as well. For instance, Kuan Yin, having ' a willow branch, with which she sprinkles the divine nectar of life', appears as a manifestation of the universal life-energy. She is a personification of motherly care, compassion, wisdom, help and protection. It is perfectly understandable why the people pray and rely on Kuan Yin in difficult circumstances:

She is the protectress of women, sailors, merchants, craftsmen and
those under criminal prosecution,
and is invoked particularly by those desiring progeny.
Beloved as a mother figure and divine mediatrix who is very close to
the daily affairs of her devotees, Kuan Yin's role as Buddhist Madonna
has been compared to that of Mary the mother of Jesus in the West.

The image and the symbolic characteristics of Kuan Yin give a clear example of the manifestations of the feminine counterparts of the Divine Masters. In a similar way, as with Kuan Yin, we have to find the symbolic characteristics (in postures, clothes, adornments, precious objects, etc.) of all other feminine counterparts in the celestial Mandala. Thus, by meditating on the whole Feminine Mandala we will contemplate some of the most significant and essential characteristics of Creation experienced through the universal feminine principle.


 


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