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The Fusion between Buddhism and Mother Goddess Worship in Vietnam through the Image of Nam Hai Bodhisattva
Avalokiteshvara, Bodhisattva, Buddhism, Folk Beliefs, Nam Hai Bodhisattva, Vietnam
The image of Nam Hai Bodhisattva in Buddhism in Vietnam has a special relationship with folk beliefs. Nam Hai Bodhisattva was one of the incarnations of Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva (Lam Thanh Dac, 2008), a Bodhisattva in Buddhism, full of great compassion and generosity, willing to listen to all sufferings of the human world to protect and help people in need. The name of Nam Hai Bodhisattva is especially familiar to people in coastal areas of Vietnam and her image which is very simple and very dear is regarded by the people as a goddess, not merely a Bodhisattva in Buddhism. In this article, using key research methods such as fieldwork, observations, and in-depth interviews, we focus on understanding the “becoming a Mother – Goddess” of the Nam Hai Bodhisattva image in folklore, thereby contributing in clarifying the relationship, the interaction between Buddhism and The Goddess Worship in Vietnam, and understanding the merger between Buddhism and Mother Goddess Worship in Vietnam through the image of Nam Hai Bodhisattva.
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