A few days ago I wrote and introduced you to the possible wonderful blessings of THE FOUR DHARMAKAYA RELIC MANTRAS, and the response has been truly overwhelming. Of course, regular readers are well familiar with WISH FULFILLING AND BUDDHA’S BLESSING MANTRA PENDANT, and the several personal testimonies of people who has requested for it. Sometimes, between THE FOUR DHARMAKAYA RELIC MANTRAS, WISH FULFILLING AND BUDDHA’S BLESSING MANTRA PENDANT, and the WEALTH AND MASTER PROTECTION PENDANT, which, unfortunately is no longer available for requests because of its price, I believe that there is no more excuse for us to go through any form of suffering. The truth Feng Shui, Taoism, and Buddhism has a lot of deities, Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, not to mention power of symbols and mantras that can help alleviate us from any form of suffering.
However, why do many of us still suffer? Many of us still go through some form of suffering because of either of two things. One, it can be due to the fact that our house Feng Shui is bad, or it can be also due to karma, whether past life karma or recent karma. When I say recent karma, I refer to karma that is sowed during this current lifetime.
Nevertheless, still, we have a lot of Bodhisattva who have vowed to help uplift us from any form of suffering. First, of all these Bodhisattvas is the Goddess of Mercy, Kuan Yin or Avalokitesvara in Tibetan Buddhism. She remains to be the most popular and revered Bodhisattva. In fact, often times she’s referred to as the Bodhisattva of Compassion or Buddha of Compassion.
Today, allow me to introduce to you another such Bodhisattva, who in reality is already a Buddha but vowed to stay on as a Bodhisattva until such time there is no longer any soul in hell. I’m referring to Ksitigarbha Buddha, who again is actually a Bodhisattva.
Ksitigarbha Buddha, is usually depicted as a Buddhist monk, and for bigger temples, he usually has his own temple hall. In the Philippines, and smaller hall he is usually placed at the memorial halls of the dead or mausoleums this is because of his vow to save people from hell. Personally speaking, I believe this is a limitation of how Ksitigarbha should be perceived. A lot of Filipino – Chinese Buddhists thinks of Ksitigarbha only as a Bodhisattva of the souls of the dead. While it’s perfectly true and accurate, this belief doesn’t paint the whole picture of who Ksitigarbha truly is.
Ksitigarbha Buddha or Dizang P’usa (also spelled as Ti Tsang P’usa, he is also called in Chinese as Dizang Wang P’usa or Ti Tsang Wang P’usa). There are a lot of translations of Ksitigarbha’s name in English, but the most common one is Earth Store.
Ksitigarbha Buddha or Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva is known for his vow to take care take responsibility of souls that are experiencing hell. This is where the translation becomes a little muddy; because some people took it to mean the literal hell, and while they are not incorrect, they’re not entirely correct either. I personally believe the other translation, hell means suffering, whether these are the souls that are suffering when they are in – between transitions from one earth life to another, or it is suffering because of what we are going through here on earth. Some people seems to have forgotten that Ksitigarbha’s vow is to take responsibility for the enlightenment of all souls in the six worlds between the physical death of Gautama (Sakyamuni or Shakyamuni) Buddha (also known as the Historical Buddha) and the rise of Maitreya Buddha (also known as the Happy Buddha or the Future Buddha), with this vow is the vow of not entering Buddhahood until all hells are emptied.
I mentioned earlier that Ksitigarbha Buddha is second to Bodhisattva of Compassion, Kuan Yin in terms of ‘popularity’ and followers to East Asian Buddhist. What’s striking is that Kuan Yin, became a woman in China from the male form of Avalokitesvara.
Ksitigarbha also had a transformation of gender, however with Ksitigarbha, he was she before she became a he. Also, unlike Kuan Yin, it is believed that Ksitigarbha really became a human being.
Much of what we know about Ksitigarbha Buddha or Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva is base on his own sutra, Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Purvapranidhana Sutra, which is one of the most popular sutra in Mahayana Buddhism. It is said to have been spoke by Sakyamuni Buddha himself to the Trayastrimsa Heaven towards the end is earth life.
To this day it’s not clear whether the Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Purvapranidhana Sutra has an Indian or Chinese origins. It was first believed that Tipitaka Master Siksananda, who is a famous Buddhist monk from Khotan who also provided a new translation of the Avatamsaka Sutra and the Lankavatara Sutra, translated it from the Sanskrit into Chinese during the Tang Dynasty in the 7th century. However, among all the sutras, Ksitigarbha Sutra strongly advocates filial piety, w/c was stereotype associated with Chinese culture. It talked about Ksitigarbha’s filial piety as a human or mortal, which lead to great vows to save all sentient being. Furthermore, no Sanskrit manuscript of Ksitigarbha’s sutras was ever found, which strengthen the belief that it is of Chinese origin.
According to his sutra, Ksitigarbha was a maiden in the distant past eons. He or she was of the Brahmin caste named Sacred Girl. She was said to have shown love and respect towards her parents, especially her mother. When her mother died, Sacred Girl became deeply troubled because her mother had been very slanderous towards the Triple Gem. Wanting to save her mother from the tremendous tortures of hell, Sacred Girl sold everything she has to buy offerings for the Buddha of her era. The Buddha then is known as the Buddha of the Flower of Meditation and Enlightenment. Remember that Sakyamuni Buddha was then still a Bodhisattva.
Some Buddhists, specially in japan and China (where the one child policy is forcing women to commit abortion), Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva is considered as the Bodhisattva for the souls of babies who died.
Sacred Girl would always make offerings and recitation of prayers to help save her mother’s soul. One day, while she was making an offering and prayers at the temple, she heard the Buddha of her era telling her to go home and recite his name in meditation if she truly wants to know how her mother was in the other world. She did what she was told and her consciousness through a vision was transported to a realm of Hell. There she met the guardian of hell who informed her that through her offerings and fervent prayer, she has helped her mother accumulate enough merit to negate her karma and she has ascended to heaven where she awaits to be reborn. Sacred Girl was greatly comforted with this; however, she saw the suffering to the souls in Hell, which greatly affected her. She then made a vow to do her best to relieve the beings in hell of their suffering in her future lives.
It is normal that people will call Ksitiagrbha a Buddha even if he is actually a Bodhisattva. That is because like Kuan Yin, it’s his choice to remain a Bodhisattva to help suffering people and sould.
At this time Sacred Girl is already considered as living Bodhisattva, much like how some people consider the Fourteenth Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa Rinpoche to be a living Bodhisattva. When Sacred Girl left her physical body and went to heaven, she was given the chance to go back so she can start her vow to save souls. This time she chooses to be male monk. Before he left heaven to assume his new life as a monk, he found that her mother when she was still Sacred Girl would also go back to earth to take a life of a dog; this is because she has to earn a lesson from being slanderous about the Triple Gems.
Ksitigarbha as a monk seek out Sacred Girl’s mother who is now a dog. The dog often acted as Ksitigarbha’s guard, which is a way for Sacred Mother’s mom to repay Sacred Girl’s love.
Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva is popularly depicted in two ways, one as a bald monk and the other one as a monk who wears a Five Leave Crown. He is depicted either seated or standing up on a lotus base. On his right hand is the Ringed Staff, which is carried by a lot of monks during his time. The Ringed Staff is also called the Alarm Staff; it is used to warn animals and insects that he is arriving so that he can avoid harming them by unintentionally stepping on them. In Feng Shui the ringed staff has come to symbolize the announcement of an impending danger. On his right hand is the Wish Fulfilling Jewel, which actually is a pearl. The Wish Fulfilling Jewel symbolizes the fact that Ksitigarbha has ability to help us fulfill our wishes. The Wish Fulfilling Jewel becomes a Fireball to help subdue negative energies such arguments or fighting. So it is not surprising that in some temple, you’ll see Ksitigarbha holding a round ball signifying the Wish Fulfilling Jewel, while in other he holds the Fireball. These two are actually one and the same. In Feng Shui, the Ksitigarbha fireball signifies the taming of arguments and fighting.
From my personal collection. A rare Red Amber Ksitigarbha.
Having an image of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva at home or as a pendant, will help people who are going through some hardships, Ksitgarbha will help make things better. Furthermore, having his image at home or as a pendant will also help people deal with the compulsion or addiction. Addiction and compulsion are a form of hell and suffering, thus devotion to Ksitigarbha will help. People who are going through a difficult time will get some relief if they have the image of Ksitigarbha.
If wearing it as a pendant, I prefer the image with the five leave crown.
This is a rare red jasper Ksitigarbha pendant from my personal collection.
If you are suffering from a fixed karma, meaning karma from your past life and as indicated on your Paht Chee or Bazi, having Ksitigarbha’s image and reciting his mantra will help eradicate this negative past karma.
The mantra for this is OM PRA MANI DANI SOHA.
The other mantra for Ksitigarbha Buddha is OM AH KSITIGARBHA THALENG HUM.
His mantra in Chinese is NAMO DIZANG WANG P’USA.
If you wish to get an image of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, I find that an image of Ksitigarbha made of red jasper, or red amber is the best. The one made of jade only works for a select group of people.
Again, if using an image of Ksitigarbha at home, I prefer to use the one with the crown, unless, he is placed the ancestral altar.
Between the FOUR DHARMAKAYA RELIC MANTRAS, the images in the WISH FULFILLING AND BUDDHA’S BLESSING MANTRA PENDANT, GUAN YIN, KSITIGARBHA BODHISATTVA to name just some of the things that I’ve written there is no reason for us to suffer, as long as we keep our hearts pure and consciousness clean.