According to Buddhist scripture, Guan Yin or the Goddess of Mercy, resides in a mountainous home located in the Southern Seas. It is at this sacred place that the deity's devoted followers gather for worship. The environment is one of great peace and serenity. Trees grow in abundance and rivers flow with the coolest of waters. Plants flower throughout the year and amidst this lush green foliage, bamboo trees stand tall. Bamboos hold a special significance in Chinese culture. Evergreen and strong, the tree is known for its durability and resilience. It bends in the storm but does not break, and it never loses its leaves, weathering all seasons. When Guan Yin is not teaching, it is among these bamboo trees, where she sits to meditate.
As one of the Three Friends of Winter and one of the Four Gentlemen among Flowers, the bamboo symbolizes integrity, fidelity and courage in the midst of adversity. Adding to these virtues, the hollow centres of the bamboo are said to embody the value of modesty.
These representations of good behaviour are well-connected to the teachings of Buddhism. Guan Yin is depicted holding a vase of divine water and a willow branch which she uses to sprinkle the water at her devotees. This dew of compassion has the qualities of purifying defilements and lengthening life, qualities that are likened to the strength of character of the bamboo tree. As the Bodhisattva who Watches and Listens, Guan Yin is filled with compassion and will hear all prayers. She observes and looks upon mankind, unceasingly bestowing beneficence to all who seek her. As befitting her benevolence, Guan Yin is eternally surrounded by a spiritual and heavenly light.