‘Avalokitesvara', perhaps the most beloved of the Mahayana bodhisattvas, arrived in Central Park this week. The name Avalokitesvara essentially translates as "Lord who (compassionately) looks down on the world". The newly garlanded trees seemed to awaken the hearts and minds of sluggish city dwellers with the tintinnabulation of spring's bells and floral chimes.
The word 'Avalokita' means literally "one who observes the sounds of the world" - sensing perhaps the deepest cries and distresses of our planet and its inhabitants. In China, Avalokitesvara is depicted as a beautiful, white-robed woman known as 'Kwan Yin'.