Friday, July 29, 2016

Guanyin and the Son of the Dragon King

Guanyin with Fish Basket in Dehua, China

This imagery comes from the legend of Guanyin and the Dragon King’s Son.  In this legend the Dragon King’s son takes the form of a fish and is caught by a local fisherman.  Unable to transform back into his dragon form, he calls out in distress and Guanyin hears his cry.  Meanwhile, the fisherman takes him to be sold in the market, where all are amazed because the fish is still alive after many hours out of the ocean.  They begin to compete with each other to get the fish thinking that by eating it they will live longer themselves. The bidding grows intense 

Guanyin sends her young disciple Shancai to beg the fisherman not to sell the fish, but to give it to him so he can take it to Guanyin.  The crowd grows impatient and tries grabs the fish away from the fisherman until the voice of Guanyin can be heard calling out from Precious Mountain, “A life belongs to one who tries to save it, not to one who tries to take it.”