Like Amitabha Buddha, from whom he emanates, Avalokita is cherished on account of his vow to renounce Nirvana’s final peace for as long as there are sentient beings still lost amidst samsara’s ocean. To believers, this is a stupendous vow, for it binds one to samsara for incalculable eons. No wonder Avalokita (Kuan Yin) is adored by millions! Even so, humans, being as they are, most often enlist the Bodhisattva’s aid in banishing some immediate affliction rather than in escaping from samsara’s toils, even though the Buddhists among them must be aware that, until samsara is transcended, afflictions are bound to fall as copiously as rain!
From Bodhisattva of Compassion: The Mystical Tradition of Kuan Yin by John Blofeld, page 44