Kwan Yin (also written and pronounced as Guan Yin) is the most important female figure in many Buddhist traditions. She is the goddess of compassion. In Buddhism gods are impermanent higher beings who are still subject to rebirth, they are not absolute power deities or creators, as in the western use of the term God. Kwan Yin is a rebirth of the bodhisattva Avolikiteshvara, a monk from a previous eon who was reborn in a heavenly realm and filled with compassion for all living beings. One legend states that Avolikiteshvara chose to be reborn as a beautiful woman to marry a famous king and convince him to become a Buddhist.