All Prayers Are Answered on the Birthday of Cundi Bodhisattva

准提菩萨古来普陀村
(Image Source: 柔佛古来普陀村脸书专页)

The 16th day of the 3rd lunar month is the birthday of Cundi, the great Bodhisattva revered by both Hinayana and Tantric Buddhism; Cundi means "spurring, inspiring, urging" and because of the different transliterations of the word or words used, Cundi is also known as "Cundi Buddha Mother", "Cundi Bodhisattva", "Cunda Bodhisattva", "Zongda Heavenly Maiden", "Cunda Heavenly Maiden" and so on. In Tantric Buddhism she is known as “Mother of All Lotus Dharma Honours” and “Mother of Seven Kotis of Bodhisattvas and Buddhas”, and her Tantric epithets are the Most Victorious Vajra, or the Subjugating Vajra.

Most Buddhist sects consider Cundi to be an incarnation of Guanyin, also known as Cundi Guanyin, the Divine Hero, and classified as one of the Six Guanyin, the incarnation of Guanyin who saves the Human Realm. The Six Guanyin are Great Mercy (saving the Hungry Ghost Realm), Great Compassion (saving the Hell Realm), Fearless Lion (saving the Animal Realm), Great Light (saving the Demigod Realm), Divine Hero (saving the Human Realm), and Mahābrahmā (saving the Gods Realm).

As Cundi Buddha Mother has eighteen hands, she is commonly known as the "Eighteen-Armed Guanyin", and her statue is often confused with the "Thousand-Armed Guanyin". The Chinese Buddhist community generally says that Mālījī Guanyin is the embodiment of Cundi.

For Chinese Buddhists, Cundi is a great bodhisattva with strong senses and great compassion for all sentient beings, and the mother of all the Buddhas of the three worlds. She is blessed with infinite virtue and wisdom, has great merit and deep senses, and is able to protect all sentient beings from all kinds of misfortunes and obstacles, making them grow in virtue and wisdom and live longer lives.

At Putuo Village in Johor Kulai, Malaysia, the largest indoor statue of Cundi in Southeast Asia has been erected, attracting devotees from all over the world to worship during the Lunar New Year.

The symbolism of the statue of Buddha Mother Cundi, as recorded in the Cundi Dharma in Volume 60 of the White Treasure Transcription, is as follows: The moon-white colour of Cundi's body is a symbol of rationality and wisdom, and the ability of Buddhas to bear the ten thousand virtues. The various solemnities on her body symbolise the mortal's acceptance of bodhi as suffering and the bodhisattva's acceptance of suffering as bodhi. Cundi's body resembles a bright flame, signifying the use of wisdom and light to break the darkness of delusional mind.

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