Miao Shan Legend  


above account has been included in this chapter not for the
purpose of propagating KYCO but, to encourage those who are
seeking Kuan Yin's help to do so with firm faith.
e iao han egend
e legend of Kuan Yin's emanation as Princess Miao Shan
has caught the hearts of all the Chinese people. To them it is
common knowledge that Kuan Yin is the enlightened form of
their beloved princess and therefore Kuan Yin, their Goddess of
Mercy, cannot be a male God or Deity. is, in fact, is the fixed
view of the Taoists and those who are not so wel -informed of
Buddhism. Who can real y blame them for holding such a view
when the episode of such a sweet princess turning into a God-
dess happened only slightly more than two thousand years ago
in a country whose history is well remembered right down to
five thousand years?
Towards the end of the Chou Dynasty (around 3rd Century BC),
in the kingdom of Hsing Lin, there lived a king cal ed Miao
Chung. He had three daughters and they were Miao Ching,
Miao Yin and Miao Shan. Before the birth of the third girl,
Queen Po Ta had a strange dream in which she saw a heavenly
pearl transforming into a fiery sun which then tumbled down
and settled at her feet. When told of it, the king, in his wisdom,
considered the seeing of such a celestial sign to be an excel-
lent omen and he looked forward to having a male heir to his


throne. However, to his great disappointment, a girl was born
to him. is was on the 19th day of the 2nd moon and she was
named Miao Shan.
Miao Shan grew up to be a religious and virtuous girl unaffected
by the at ractions of worldly mat ers. What she yearned for was
to have a quiet retreat in the mountains where she could practise
the perfections of her virtues. She longed to be able to bring re-
lief to all the miserable beings on earth.
When his daughters were of marriageable age, the King found
suitable husbands for them. While her sisters accepted their
marriages, Miao Shan steadfastly refused to marry and infu-
riated the father by choosing to retire to a nunnery cal ed the
White Sparrow.
e father made several at empts to make temple-life unbear-
able to his fragile daughter so as to pursuade her to return to her
palace. However, all his at empts failed for a lit le suffering was
not going to deter one whose mind was set on cultivating the
Buddha's path. In his anger, the King ordered that the nunnery
be set on fire for such an unfilial daughter deserved to be put to
death. However, the fire was instantly put out by an inundating
shower which saved the lives of the princess and the few hun-
dred nuns. e enraged King then decreed that Miao Shan be
executed but the executioner's sword, upon contacting the prin-
cess's neck, broke into smithereens! is so angered the King that
he next ordered that his unfilial daughter be strangled to death
with a silken cord. As she was being strangled, the tutelary god


appeared in the form of a great tiger, dispersed the crowd, and
carried the inaniminate body into the forest.
Miao Shan's spirit descended into hel , but her sweetness and
the purity of her prayers soon converted it from a place of great
suffering to a paradise. is alarmed the Registrar of the Liv-
ing and the Dead who then hastily petitioned Yen Lo, the King
of the Underworld, to order her removal declaring, `Since it has
been decreed that, in justice, there must be a heaven and a hel ,
if Princess Miao Shan's soul is not sent back to the upper world,
there will be no hell left, but only a heaven'.
Her soul was then quickly transported back to her body which
was lying under a pine tree. Upon returning to life, Buddha
Amitabha appeared, and directed the princess to continue her
practice of the perfections in a cave cal ed Hsuan Ai, in the
island of Pu-to.
For nine years she devoted herself to performing acts of merits
and meditational practices and attained Buddhahood. It was in
Pu-to Island that she acquired her two acolytes Hoan Shen-tsai
and Lung-nu, bet er known to all as Golden Youth and Jade
Maiden.
In the meantime, King Miao Chung, who had displeasured the
Jade Emperor, Supreme Ruler of Heaven, by his heinous crimes
of burning a nunnery which nearly caused the loss of so many
lives and the kil ing of so virtuous a maiden as Miao Shan, that
he received the punishment of an incurable disease, the only

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