The Goddess of Mercy or Kuan Yin is also known as the Goddess of the Southern Sea or Nanyang in Chinese and Nusantara in Malay. So it is most appropriate a temple dedicated to this beloved goddess should be by the sea, South China Sea as a matter of fact!
Built in 2007 this Kuan Yin of the Southern Sea stands facing the South China Sea as she is also patron goddess of sailors as well as children, women and those suffering in our world of delusions called samsara. Kuan Yin was human and attained enlightenment but postponed her entry into eternal bliss that is Nirvana until she could save every sentient human being!
She is also known as Avalokitesvara or 'Lotus Born' as it is said she was born from a tear of Chenrezig or Buddha when he saw how cruel humans could be. This tear dropped onto the ground and formed a lake from which a lotus bloomed to reveal Kuan Yin!
Others believe she was a daughter of a vicious, evil king who comforted the prisoners by stealing out of her palace at night. When her father died, he was sent straight to the 9th level of hell to suffer for eternity.
Kuan Yin, then known as Miao Shan forced her way into hell to demand the release of her father as she insisted on taking his place! Such a sacrifice! As she was still human and alibe, she was not supposed to enter hell but the Gates of Hell crumbled into dust as she approached. Flowers bloomed around her feet as she entered and sinners stopped suffering.
As she went deeper into hell, its foundations started to shake which affected heaven itself!
Buddha, the Jade Emperor, Mother of the Western Heavens and the denizens of the celestial realm demanded Kuan Yin to leave hell but she refused until her father was released. She offered to be killed to replace her father but no harm could befall her. The King of Hell begged the gods to intervene as the universe was on the verge of imploding.
The divinities agreed to release Kuan Yin's father on condition she left instantly before irreparable damage was done but as punishment her father was turned into a cow. Today Kuan Yin worshippers do not eat meat out respect to Kuan Yin's father!