The Legend of Kwan-yin

11 Feb

                                      Author: Norman Hinsdale Pitman

                                           Rewritten by : Liana Chau

Once upon a time in China, long time ago,there was a king, a kingdom, and three daughters. The ost beautiful and fairest of them all was Kwan-yin, the youngest one. The king soon realized that she should take over the throne with her husband, since he’s becoming old. But, Kwan-yin was not pleased. She would rather live as a princess, and thought if she ruled as queen she would become miserable. The king told his daughter:

” You are not young anymore, already 18! It’s time to find you a husband.”

Kwan-yin didn’t want to marry, because she didn’t even know the man, also because she didn’t want to take over the kingdom. So, on the wedding day, she ran out of the kingdom to the nunnery. She dressed as a poor maiden, begging to be turned into a nun. The abbess, not knowing who she was, did not accept her kindly. But, after several tears, the abbess let her in, but only as a kind of servant. The girl had to do all the chores, and all the hard work. They let her fetch loads of water and wood far away from the nunnery. It was quite heavy. One day, as she was doing her normal chores, she heard a tiger coming from the forest behind her. She did not run, but she only prayed for the gods to protect her. Surprisingly, the tiger did not tear her into pieces, but helped her with her duties. The next day, a lot of savage beasts were helping her. Soon, all the animals in the forest came to help her. When she was walking up the hill one day with a load of water on her back, she saw a dragon. She wasn’t surprised, but a dragon was sacred in China. She knew she had done nothing wrong. It shot fire out of its nostrils, and dissapeared. She looked up at the nunnery, and saw a well, as if it appeared out of nowhere. On it, were the words:

“In honor of Kwan-yin, the faithful princess.”

The other ladies at the nunnery stared in disbelief. They let her rest for a bit, and started to be nice to her, since there was a well, there was no need for her to fetch water. It didn’t take long for them to boss her around again. They wouldn’t let her have a moment of peace and freedom. She had no time to do her personal activities. They soon found some extra tasks for her. One day,  the guards came to drag her back to the king! But the other ladies didn’t know that, since they thought she wasn’t important enough to cause all this distress. A fire started to burn down the nunnery.

” Who has caused all this? We are going to be destroyed!” cried the women.

” I have! I caused all this, for I am the dughter of the king that has fled from the palace on my wedding day! It is all my fault!” cried Kwan-yin.

” YOU? What have you done to us?” they demanded.

” I will try to get us out of this!” she replied.

She knelt and put her head on the stump and prayed. The ladies could wait no longer, so they decided to flee. The guards charged in and took her away and dumped her in front of the king.

” Kwan-yin, you have 2 choices. One, is to marry and rule my kingdom as a queen, or die.” he yelled, clearly dissapointed.

” But-but,” she sputtered.

” I don’t get you Kwan-yin, why would you rather give up life instead of a throne?” the king asked,

They argued and argued, and soon, the king was angered and punished her to death. After they dragged her to prison to be killed, the king fell out of his chair colorless.

As soon as she died, she thought that she would be treated badly in the dark country of the dead. But, as soon as she set foot on the ground, flowers arose from the ground and it filled the room with a sweet scent. King Yama,ruler of the dominion,  approached her. He asked for her story and concluded that a good person like her shall  live in heaven. After that, she became the goddess we know today, Kwan-yin.

The moral of this story is that if you are a good person while you are living, than you shall be rewarded greatly and live in heaven.

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Posted by on February 11, 2011 in Fables and Stories


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