As we were traveling to visit the Foster Botanic Gardens, we happened upon yet another hidden gem (literally next door to the gardens); the KuanYin Temple. This oldest Buddhist temple in Hawaii (established in 1880), is dedicated to Kuan Yin ( an abbreviated name for "One who sees and hears the cries of the human world"). She is not a Buddhist goddess, but rather a "budhistatta", or one who does delay elevation to nirvana in order to save suffering beings. Devotees of Kuan Yin trace the origins of their religion back to the twelfth century. The temple's architecture is in the traditional Chinese style of red-painted pillars and a green roof. While modest in size, compared to other Buddhist temples we've visited, it none-the -less is beautiful. We were fortunate enough to visit this temple at a relatively quiet period, when Tali, the priestess, could spend time with us and explain the ins-and -outs of their devotion. I suppose in Christian religions, Kuan Yin would be called "a patron saint", as she is noted for providing comfort for women, the troubled, the sick, the lost, and the unfortunate. Kuan Yin is also said to be the protector of farmers, travelers, and seafarers. A busy gal! According to Tali, there are temples all over the world dedicated to Kuan Yin. We really enjoyed the visit and felt much safer knowing that this "...slender and graceful..." Buddhist was watching out for us.
As with other Buddhist temples we've visited, the burning of incense is part of the prayer ritual. Thus, incense pots, like this one, are found everywhere throughout the temple.