Kuan Yin is not a buddha, female or otherwise. A buddha is a person who has received/achieved total enlightenment and who at that point can step across the threshold into nirvana. Kuan Yin is a
bodhisathva: a person who has received total enlightenment and stands at the threshold of Nirvana, but chooses NOT to cross into it, but rather returns to the world
in order to help others on *their* path to enlightenment.
- Dimitri Mihalas 17th Jun 2009
Whilst we usually view Kuan Yin as a female buddha, there is the male form Kannon - of which I think this may be an example.