By John Blofeld

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Iaybe the:; had meant only to rob Jigme and give him a good beating) be: their blood was up and it was decided to make an enj of hinl. ~ and maiden-soft skin came galloping up, leading t\\-O spare ::orses on a rein. "Jigme, my dear, yO'J. are duller tha:; a yak," cried a \vcll-knmvn voice. ith these \\'ords, the youth drew a deep breath anc. ~lo\Vin~ it out effortlessly, caused the dust to rise in cloud ~. 'on engulfed the earth until long after the captives had ridden otf to a place of safety.

Not for her the gaudy splendour of the red-faced War God, the magnificent panoply surrounding the Jade Emperor or the selfish luxurv of the \Y/ estern Royal Mother who once fed upon the vital ~ssence of a thousand youths. Even Chang 0, chaste Goddess of the Moon, is too fastidious in her cold virginity to be congenial to Kuan Yin. Alone among ten thousand gods, Kuan Yin is warm in her compassion, refined in her simplicity. If she is sometimes decked in golden ornaments, it is only because they are employed as a special symbol for denoting celestial Bodhisattvahood.

I n these days, one fir~ds in Korea and Japan gigantic statues of her so piaced as to be visible from afar that people may call to mind, amidst the pitiless struggle for material gain, the beauty of compassion; but I wonder if Kuan Yin welcomes a kind of publicity so reminiscent of cinema billboards and sexy advertisements for toothpaste or bikinis? Her presence is felt n10re strongly in those little images of clay one comes upon 66 Bodhisattva of Compassion ensconced in some dim and cool recess hard by a miniature waterfall in a garden rockery.

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