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The Divine Feminine in Buddhist Art - Essay Example

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The twentieth century saw many social paradigm shifts, particularly towards greater diversity. One of the more profound social reforms in the West had been the redefinition of the role of women, from that of property or of subordinates to men, to that of equals with the same rights and benefits…
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The Divine Feminine in Buddhist Art
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The Divine Feminine in Buddhist Art

It was therefore enlightening to note that under Buddhism as practiced in the land of ancient China, women have traditionally been accorded a position not only of respect but even reverence. Case in point is Kuan Yin, the divine feminine, goddess of healing and compassion and a bodhisattva which meant enlightened (bodhi) existence (sattva). A bodhisattva is a being who foregoes or postpones entering Nirvana in order to come to the aid of others. Kuan Yin was encountered during the Module 4 cyberjourney to the video on the Thousand Hand Buddha Chinese dance (also entitled Thousand Hand Guan Yin). The dance itself was highly inspirational and embodies both spectacle and symbolism; the thousand hands represented the ready and willing help that arrives when one individual is in need of assistance, and the readiness of that individual to come to the help of others who may be in need. Other than the technical exquisiteness of the dance, the allure of the beautiful young Chinese woman’s face at the head of the line of dancers was exceedingly serene, benevolent, and unmistakably, mystically feminine. Unlike the Western denominations where all images of God and their ministers and pastors were all men, Buddhism appears to look favorably upon the power of women. ... Read More
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