Avalokitesvara - Lokanat, Quan Shi Yin or Kwan Yin
To the people of Myanmar, Kuan Yin is no foreign to them; she is the one they much revered as Lokanat who brings peace and prosperity to the Nation. The throne of the Myanmar king placed the Lokanat on both sides of the throne.
One of the popularly known deities in Myanmar is Lokanat; he was also the most widely worshiped Bodhisatta known in Mahayana Buddhist sect as Avalokitesvara, Lokesvara or Kuan Yin Mae Daw... Very few in Myanmar knew that their deity is known by different names like Lokanat, Lokanatha or Lokabyuhanat. . “This is Lokanat famous mantra:
“Om Mani Padme Hum”
The historical facts:
King Anawratha of Myanmar was the first king who accepted the Theravada Buddhism introduced by the Mon Bhikkhu, Shin Arahan of the Mon kingdom. Earlier, king Anawratha was also a Buddhist of Mahayana Sect. Many of the mural painting in Pagodas throughout Bagan will attest to this. Following the introduction of Theravada Buddhism, the king and his subject continued to worship Avalokitesvara in some modified form by naming the deity, by the name of Lokanat. It is not wrong to assume that this deity was first worshipped in Myanmar earlier as Avalokiteśvara and later on to this day as Lokanat. Few can trace the origin of Lokanat to the original Avalokitesvara (Kuan Yin), the Bodhisatta of Mahayana Buddhist Sect
According to the Mahayana scripture, the great Avalokitesvara has taken a vow to listen to the supplications from those in difficulty in the world and has postponed his own Buddha hood until he has helped every being on earth achieving enlightenment. He is treated as the embodiment of all the Buddhas' compassion, the lord of infinite compassion in Mahayana Buddhism.
In the Mahayana Heart Sutra he was described as the disciple of the historical Gotama or Shakyamuni Buddha. Avalokiteśvara has taken the task to guard the world in the intervening period between the departure of the historical Buddha Gotama Buddha (Shakyamuni) dispensation, and the appearance of the future Buddha, Metteyya Buddha. This period is estimated to be approximately 9 million years.
Avalokitesvara (Kuan Yin) is most widely revered by Buddhists outside of Myanmar; however, many in Myanmar when they see Kuan Yin, erected in Thanlyin (Syriam) in Nat Sin Tayar as foreign deity and never have the slightest idea that she (Kuan Yin) is their most revered Lokanatha.
In the spiritual circle in Myanmar, many hope that one day she (Kuan Yin or Lokanat) will bring peace and prosperity to this nation of Myanmar, soon.
Note: Shakyamuni, Mahamuni, or Gotama is the name of our Lord Buddha of this era.
Avalokitesvara, Lokesvara, Kuan Yin, Lokanat, Lokabyuhanat, or Lokanatha is the name given to the most compassionate Bodhisatta originally known as Avalokitesvara from India.
Posted by Maung Paw