Guan Yin has two sides. One side is very tender, sweet like a mother, very ancient…soft. The other side of Guan Yin has a wrathful face…some thangkas have a wrathful face like Mahakala. Mahakala looks very wrathful, but that’s the other part of Guan Yin. Just like a doctor. Some doctors give you sweet herbs to heal you, some doctors use a knife to give you surgery. When they hold a knife to do surgery, that means they want to heal you, to cut the obstacles, the ignorance away. At that time, Guan Yin will show you their wrathful (nature). But the essence of wrathful is compassion. It’s real compassion. They want to heal you. It all comes from love. That’s why my learning from Guan Yin has sometimes been wrathful…like a real doctor holding a knife. They really want you to awaken.
~ Yuan Miao, during an interview on Awakening Code Radio