I wept when my friend Nancy gave me this statue after my surgery, with only an intuition of why Kuan Yin touched me so. Then I read this quote from Exotic India, which captures how I have been feeling these past few weeks:
Kuan Yin: The Compassionate Rebel. Buddhism's most enduring (and universal) contribution to the world has been insufficiently translated as compassion. The original Sanskrit word is karuna, which holds within itself traces of the fragment ru, meaning to weep.
The term karuna is frequently described as a love for all beings. However, the all-encompassing nature of compassion is quite unlike conventional love—which is rooted in dualistic thinking and is egoistic, possessive, and exclusive.
Karuna's root meaning is said to be the anguished cry of deep sorrow and understanding that can only come from an unblemished sense of oneness with others. The name of Kuan Yin signifies her compassionate nature, literally meaning 'One who hears the cries of the world.'