http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20070320/1174366118で、youlalaさん*1が「観世音菩薩」についてコメントされたが、Mishi SaranのChasing the Monk’s Shadow*2から。
洛陽の白馬寺の”the big Buddha”を遠くから眺めながらの記述；
He was Avalokiteshvara, the lord who regards the cries of the world. Indian Buddhism was stern, cerebral stuff, but ordinary housewives in China needed something more accessible, somewhere to turn to when their husbands beat them, when they couldn’t conceive, when the rice got burnt, when their children grew up to become drunks(p.18).
The cult of Avalokiteshvara swelled and spread in China after the seventh century. To pull him closer to earth, to reach for a more comfortable figure, the Chinese melded him into older Taoist and even older shamanist traditions. They made him female and called him Guanyin. Everybody needs the divine feminine. One form of Guanyin has a thousand arms. She is weaponed to the teeth, like the Indian goddess Kali. It was a startling resemblance. Was I imagining links where there were none? Or was I closer to home than I imagined? (ibid.)