Varada Mudra hand sculpture and Guanyin statue, Sanya, China by Chris Millar

Varada Mudra hand sculpture and Guanyin statue, Sanya, China by 


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On the Chinese island of Hainan.

Varada mudra expresses the energy of compassion, liberation and an offering of acceptance.

The Guanyin of the South Sea of Sanya (Chinese: 南山海上观音圣像) is a 108-metre (354 ft) statue of the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara (better known as Guanyin in East Asia), sited on the south coast of China’s island province Hainan near the Nanshan Temple of Sanya. The statue has three aspects; one side faces inland and the other two face the South China Sea, to represent blessing and protection by Guanyin of China and the whole world. One aspect depicts Guanyin cradling a sutra in the left hand and gesturing the Vitarka Mudra with the right, the second with her palms crossed, holding a string of prayer beads, and the third holding a lotus. This is currently the fourth tallest statue in the world (many of which are Buddhist statues) and the tallest statue of Guanyin in the world.

The statue took six years to build and was enshrined on April 24, 2005, with the participation of 108 eminent monks from various Buddhist groups in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao and Mainland China, and tens of thousands of pilgrims. The delegation also included monks from the Theravada and Vajrayana traditions.


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