This East-Asian Bodhisattva is associated with compassion, and venerated as the Goddess of Mercy by Mahayana Buddhists.
In the Karandavyuha Sutra, the deity is called ‘The One with A Thousand Arms and Thousand eyes’ and is described as superior to all Gods and Buddhas of the Indian pantheon.
One Buddhist legend presents Guan Yin as vowing to never rest until she had freed all sentient beings from samsara, reincarnation. Despite strenuous effort, she realized that still many unhappy beings were yet to be saved. After struggling to comprehend the needs of so many, her head split into eleven pieces. Amitabha Buddha, seeing her plight, gave her eleven heads with which to hear the cries of the suffering. Upon hearing these cries and comprehending them, Guan Yin attempted to reach out to all those who needed aid, but found that her two arms shattered into pieces. Once more, Amitabha came to her aid and appointed her a thousand arms with which to aid the many.