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Published October 16th 2015
Adelaide's biggest and best God of Mercy
Perched on the side of the hill and overlooking Adelaide's southern coastline, Guan Yin is an imposing figure on the majestic Sellicks Hill. Known more commonly as the God of Mercy or the Bodhisattva of infinite compassion, Guan Yin attracts the attention of anyone travelling along Main South Road to or from the lower Fleurieu.
Located on Cactus Canyon Road, Guan Yin is the significant feature of a soon-to-be-built $15m Buddhist retreat. Some road works and tree plantings have already taken place at the Nan Hai Pu Tuo Temple with the major works expected to be completed in 2018 when a stunning temple that has been erected to match the beauty of Guan Yin is opened.
Current statues on the site include the 18m tall Guan Yin, a number of significant stones, and several other smaller features throughout the site and alongside the temporary temple. Incense tables and bowls are also common throughout the site, as is the regular and perfumed fragrance of burning incense.
Guan Yin was originally worshipped in India over 1500 years ago as a male, but in more recent times, Guan Yin is most often represented as a beautiful, white-robed woman who brings wealth and children to her followers. She is also associated with vegetarianism, being an act of compassion toward animals, and Chinese vegetarian restaurants are generally decorated with her image.
Guan Yin has become an icon in East Asia including throughout China, Japan and Korea where she is known by several different names, albeit being most popular in China. Guan Yin is not the only goddess found in China, but she is the most revered and popular goddess following her introduction as a caring mother for all people, attributes define her character in all literature.
So next time you are travelling past, or are looking for something to do one weekend, why not stop in at the giant statue on Sellicks Hill and say hello to Guan Yin, the most revered goddess in East Asia.