“Kwan Yin I” of III, Acrylic on Paper . Kwan yin is the Chinese translation of Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion. She was first given the appellation “Goddess of Mercy” or “Mercy Goddess” by Jesuit missionaries in China. Guanyin is short for Guanshiyin, which means “[The One Who] Perceives the Sounds of the World. (spelling of Her name varies)..