Usage Chinese Mythology
Scripts 观音(Chinese) 觀音(Traditional Chinese)
Other Forms FormsGuan Yin
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Meaning & History
Means "one who observes sounds" from Chinese 观 (guān) meaning "to observe, to view" and 音 (yīn) meaning "sound, tone", referring to the prayers and cries of those who need help. Originally a calque of Sanskrit अवलोकितस्वर (avalokitasvara) literally meaning "down-observe-sound", it is used as a short form of Chinese 观世音 (Guānshìyīn) meaning "one who observes the sounds of the world". This is the Chinese name for Avalokiteśvara, a Buddhist bodhisattva who embodies compassion.