Renunciation of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva Assembly
观音菩萨出家法会

Guan Yin

Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva is able to benefit sentient beings in three main areas. First, to save them from the seven types of sufferings; second, to treat them for the three poisons and third, to respond to their two types of requests. He is also able to reach out to sentient beings and expound the Dharma according to their level of understanding.

Besides having great compassion in liberating sentient beings, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva also possesses great wisdom to look deeply into the Five Aggregates and realize their intrinsic empty nature. This enables him to alleviate the sufferings of sentient beings.  This is the content of the Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra.

From the arising of the Bodhicitta, the practice of the Six Paramitas and the cultivation of merit and wisdom, all these are the concrete manifestations of compassion and wisdom of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva. Equipped with deep faith and vow, compassion and perfect wisdom, all of which are the content of Bodhisattva practice, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva has reached the final stage of the Bodhisattva Path.

A bodhisattva is someone with Bodhicitta. Mahayana Buddhists are layman bodhisattvas. Learning from the Buddha and cultivating towards Buddhahood should be our ideal aspiration. Thus, we should emulate the spirit of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, to cultivate faith and vow, compassion and perfect wisdom, spread the Dharma to benefit sentient beings and liberate all sentient beings before becoming a Buddha. Then, how do we start practising? As Master Yin-Shun had said, “If we can extend our loving-kindness and protection universally to all living beings, then the cultivation of our mind will be in line with Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva’s great compassion.”

观世音菩萨能救七难,解三毒与应二求来利益众生;又能以三十三应化身说法度不同根次的众生。

除了具有大慈大悲救苦救难的功德以外,观世音菩萨也具备大智慧,能照见五蕴皆空,度一切苦厄,这如般若心经所说的内容。

观世音菩萨从发菩提心开始,修学六度万行,修福又修慧,正是慈悲与智慧的具体展现,具备信愿,慈悲与空慧的菩萨道内容,以致达到现在的等觉菩萨阶位。

发菩提心就是菩萨,大乘佛教徒就是凡夫菩萨,我们应该学佛而以成佛为理想的目的,那就要效法观世音菩萨的精神,修学信愿,慈悲与空慧,有为了利益众生而弘法,广度众生然后成佛的观念。那么入门是什么呢?那就是依照印顺导师所开示的:“对一切众生,都能给予(Ji Yu)普遍的爱护,那么我们的心行,就与观音菩萨的慈悲相应”。