Basic Buddhism 6: Bodhisattva Mahasthamaprapta – A Powerful Bodhisattva That Gives Us Inner Strength!

Published August 15, 2016 by jptan2012

Today, you will receive two different posts. I have written these articles in advance already and are scheduled for automatic posting because one is the birthday of the said Bodhisattva, and the other is to give you enough time to prepare for the ritual.

It is quite exciting for me to write this post because on this post I will be introducing you to another powerful and highly revered Bodhisattva that is usually mistaken as Bodhisattva Kuan Yin (also spelled as Guan Yin, or known as Avalokitesvara, Kannon, Cannon, Guan Shi Yin, Kuan Shi Yin).


Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva / Da Shi Zhi Pu Sa

Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva, like Kuan Yin Bodhisattva is actually a Bodhisattva Mahasattva, which means he is one of those higher Bodhisattvas. Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva is also known in Chinese as Da Shi Zhi Pu Sa. He is actually one of the three sages in Pure Land Buddhism that can be differentiated from by Guan Yin Bodhisattva with the jeweled pitcher adorning his/her crown. In Pure Land Buddhism, Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva is usually depicted in his/her female form.

A lot of Buddhist lineage considers Bodhisattva Mahasthamaprapta as representing wisdom, which makes him/her similar to Bodhisattva Manjushri. However, the difference, as his/her name means “arrival of great strength”, her form of wisdom is more in the form in inner strength in times of adversity.

Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva or Da Shi Zhi Pu Sa is part of the Amita Trinity, which consists of Amitabha Buddha, Guan Yin Bodhisattva, and Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva. He/She is also one the Eight Great Bodhisattvas in Mahayana Buddhism, here he/she is along with Bodhisattva Kuan Yin, Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha, Bodhisattva Manjushri, Bodhisattva Samantabhadra, Bodhisattva Akasagarbha, Bodhisattva Sarvanjyarana – Vishkambhin (which I will write about soon), and Bodhisattva Maitreya or is more popularly known as the Happy Fat Buddha.

Some Buddhist lineages sometime equate Bodhisattva Mahasthamaprapta with Bodhisattva Vajrapani, which makes her a very powerful Bodhisattva. Like Vajrapani Bodhisattva, she is also considered as a PROTECTOR OF THE BUDDHA. The SUTRA OF INFINITE LIFE talks about Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva in high regards.


From left to right: Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva, Amitabha Buddha, Kuan Yin Bodhisattva

The Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia has this to say about Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva:

In the Shurangama Sutra, Mahasthamaprapta tells of how he gained enlightenment through the practice of Buddha recitation, or continuous pure mindfulness of Amitābha, to obtain samādhi. In the Contemplation Sutra, Mahāsthāmaprāpta is symbolised by the moon while Avalokiteśvara is represented by the sun.
 Mahasthamaprapta (Sanskrit, “One Who Has Obtained Great Power”) awakens in humans their need to be liberated from Samsara. In Pure Land Buddhism he is often paired with Avalokiteshvara in association with Amitabha Buddha; Avalokiteshvara enacts Amitabha’s compassion, and Mahasthamaprapta brings to humanity the power of Amitabha’s wisdom.

Today is Bodhisattva Mahasthamaprapta’s Birthday or Feast day, and by chanting her mantra, we will definitely get some blessings. But more than that Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva’s is a great Bodhisattva to help us overcome addictions, or problems that has something to do with inner determination.

Bodhisattva Mahasthamaprapta’s mantras are the following:

HUM VAJRA PHAT (pronounced as Pay) OM VAJRA CHANDA (pronounced as Zhanzha) MAHA RO (pronounced as Luo) KHA NA HUM PHAT (pronounced as Pay).




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