Ananda

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Basic Buddhism 7: Buddha Dipankara – A Powerful Protector, A Wealth Enhancing and Wealth Protecting Buddha, Patron Protector Buddha for Sailors or Seamen, and the Buddha Who Predicted the Enlightenment of Sakyamuni Buddha!

Published Setyembre 22, 2016 by jptan2012

A lot of you, especially if you are a regular reader of this blog, may know Amitabha Buddha, Sakyamuni Buddha / Shakyamuni Buddha, and Medicine Buddha. But not many will know Dipankara Buddha (also spelled as Dipamkara Buddha), however, serious students will most likely have an inkling as to which Buddha Dipankara is and or at the very least would have read about Him in some of the sutras. In fact, if you follow one of my suggestions to recite – a – sutra, especially “The Diamond of Perfect Wisdom Sutra” (also called The Diamond Sutra, The Vajra Cutter Perfection of Wisdom Sutra, The Vajra Sutra, The Vajra Cutter Sutra) mentions Buddha Dipankara several times. In the said sutra, Buddha Sakyamuni told his followers that Dipankara Buddha was His teacher in a previous life.

Buddha Dipankara is a very powerful protector, and is considered as the patron protector Buddha for sailors. According to my Guru Lama, Dipamkara Buddha is also the patron protector Buddha of all seamen and sea women. Practically anybody who works on a ship or in the sea. You have to note that during early times major traders or major trading involves sailor and the sea, thus Buddha Dipankara is considered as a powerful wealth enhancing and wealth protecting Buddha. Not only will he protect your wealth, but he will also help enhance your wealth luck.

But who is Dipankara Buddha?dipamkara-buddha1

Dipankara / Dipamkara Buddha is called as on the Buddha of the Past. Most of you would know that there have been a lot of Buddha in the past, and Buddha of the Present is Sakyamuni Buddha, and the Buddha of the Future is going to be Bodhisattva Maitreya (otherwise known as “The Happy Fat Buddha”). Dipankara Buddha is one of the Buddha of the Past, but since he plays a prominent role in the life and eventual enlightenment of the Buddha of the Present, the Historical Buddha – Sakyamuni Buddha, Dipankara Buddha is considered as THE Buddha of the Past in the Buddhas of the Three Times.

The Buddhas of the Three Times are: Dipankara Buddha (Buddha of the Past), Sakyamuni Buddha (Buddha of the Present), and Maitreya Buddha (Buddha of the Future).

Dipankara Buddha in Chinese is called 燃燈佛 (pinyin Rándēng Fo).dipankara-buddha-2

In Buddhism, it is estimated that Dipankara Buddha lives on Earth about one hundred thousand years ago. While there no archeological proof of Buddha Dipankara’s existence, he was prominently mentioned by Shakyamuni Buddha himself in several of the sutras.

Dipankara means “Lamp Bearer”, and he was accorded this name because he was the one who showed and predicted that Sakyamuni Buddha is going to be a Buddha, and this happened even before Sakyamuni Buddha was born in his latest physical body as Siddhartha Gautama.

Dipamkara Buddha is usually depicted as a sitting Buddha, although there a few one’s that shows him as a standing Buddha these are usually found in Laos, Nepal, and some parts of China. The most common images of Dipankara Buddha depict him together with Bodhisattva Manjushri and Bodhisattva Vajrapani. This is because it is stated in the sutras that Vajrapani Bodhisattva is also one of the most powerful protector amongst the Bodhisattvas and Bodhisattva acts as his ‘assistant’ (for the lack of an appropriate term) when it comes to protecting people, and Manjushri Bodhisattva because we all need wisdom even when we are protected. Another image of Dipankara Buddha is with Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva (also known as Kuan Yin Bodhisattva, Guan Yin Bodhisattva, Kuan Shi Yin Bodhisattva, Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva) and still Bodhisattva Vajrapani. Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara is to represent compassion. If you notice Bodhisattva Vajrapani is present at both times because Vajrapani Bodhisattva is one of the most powerful protective Bodhisattva, but like Buddha Dipankara he is also great wealth enhancing Bodhisattva.

Both Dipankara Bodhisattva and Vajrapani Bodhisattva have very similar qualities that they usually go together. In fact, in making with what is regarded as the most powerful amulet in the Buddhist pantheon, the Vajrapani Ruel, the high-ranking monks usually also call on Buddha Dipankara (this was shared with me by my Guru Lama).dipankara-buddha

The secondary depiction of Buddha Dipamkara is with Buddha Sakyamuni (Buddha Shakyamuni) and Buddha Maitreya. This is to represent their stature as the Buddha of the Three Times.

One of the greatest manifestation of Buddha Dipankara is when he predicted the enlightenment of Buddha Sakyamuni, furthermore, it is said that he also predicted that Mahakasyapa and Ananda would be Shakyamuni Buddha’s acolytes.

To be able to tap into the power or energies of Buddha Dipankara, you can wear his image, prominently display his image in your home or office, and more importantly honor him by chanting Namo Rándēng Fo or Namo Dipankara Buddha. Do it 108x under deep meditation.

According to my Guru Lama, chanting the Namo Rándēng Fo and Om Vajrapani Hum while holding the Vajrapani Ruel will make the ruel more powerful.

For questions, comments, and suggestions please email sanaakosirickylee@gmail.com

 

5 Ways to Protect Yourself From Evil Eye and/or Witchcraft!

Published Hunyo 16, 2016 by jptan2012

“How do I protect myself from witchcraft or evil eye?”

I have been asked this question a lot. That if I were to charge ten Philippine peso per person every time I’m asked this question, I would have earned several thousands of peso by now.

In order to save time from answering this question, I thought I’d just write about it.

But before we talk about that, it begets the question as to evil eye or witchcraft is real?

If we were to base our answer on Buddhist Sutras and Taoist texts, the answer is definitely yes. In fact, one of the Shakyamuni Buddha’s disciple, Ananda, was bewitched by a witch so that he will break his vow of celibacy and sleep with her daughter who happens to be a hospitality girl. This is where the Surangama Mantra started, and it was followed by the Surangama Sutra.

Evil Eye is basically “usog” in Filipino. This happens when a person who has a strong neutral or bad chi looks at you and intentionally or unintentionally wish you bad thing, and that bad thing happens to you. Or when a person gives you that look and you start to get sick. This is quite common than we realize.

Witchcraft on the other hand is not very common. I believe that it still exist, however, it is not as common as most people think it is. Doing witchcraft is much more complicated and requires a lot of chi. however, contrary to popular belief, despite the negative connotation of the word; witchcraft does not necessary mean evil. There are positive witchcraft, it really depends on what energy you use. But for the purpose of this article, witchcraft here refers to something evil or bad.

Here are top 5 ways to protect yourself from evil eye or witchcraft:

STAY POSITIVE AND STAY GOOD. If we stay positive and if we stay good we only attract positive chi. this should help protect us from all those evil eyes or negative power of witchcraft.

WEAR AN AMETHYST OR CLEAR QUARTZ. Wearing these two crystals will provide us with a positive auric shield. However, this is only effective for evil eyes and light form of witchcraft. If you are attacked with something stronger then this definitely will not work.

TAKE A SALT BATH. If you suspect that you got the evil eye or witchcraft is being done to you. Take a salt bath, make sure you use rock salt, sea salt, pink Himalayan salt, or the rare black salt. Put approximately 1 tablespoon of the salt on a small pail of water and use this at the start before you shampoo or soap yourself. For a bathtub, use about a cup and soak in it for a minimum of 5 minutes. Do this for one to three days for evil eye. If you suspect witchcraft, do this for 7 to 21 days.

WEAR A POWERFUL AMULET. One of the best ways to protect you from evil eye and witchcraft is to wear some powerful amulet. My favorite is definitely the one that is regarded as the world’s most powerful amulet in the Buddhist pantheon called Vajrapani Ruel, but of course the Surangama Mantra Amulet blessed by a high ranking monk should work very well as well, the Illness Suppression Amulet is also a very good protective amulet for evil and witchcraft. The Jatukam Ramathep Amulet is also a very powerful amulet for this purpose.

CHANT PROTECTIVE MANTRAS IN A DEEP MEDITATIVE STATE. Chanting protective mantras in a deep meditative state, in a state that you are almost not aware of your surroundings is a very good protection against evil eye or witchcraft. The following mantras should prove helpful if chanted one after the other: (1.) OM AMI DEWA HRIH       (2.) NAMO SAPTANAM SAMYAKSAM BUDDHA KOTINAM TADYATHA OM CHALE CHULE CHUNDI SOHA       (3.) TADYATHA OM ANALE ANALE KHASAME KHASAME BHAYRE BHAYRE SAUMA SAUME SARVA BUDDHA ADISHTANA ADISHTITE SOHA OM SARVA TATHAGATHA USHNISHA SITATAPUTRA HUM PHAT HUM MAMA HUM NI SOHA.

Chant it 108x each mantra.

You can read the other posts on this series:

  1. Witchcraft: It Is Not What You Think It Is But It Is More Common Than We Think It Is (Part 1)
  2. Witchcraft: It Is Not What You Think It Is But It Is More Common Than We Think It Is (Part 2)
  3. Witchcraft: It Is Not What You Think It Is But It Is More Common Than We Think It Is (Part 3)
  4. Five Ways to Protect Yourself From Evil Eye and/or Witchcraft.

For questions, comments, and suggestions please email sanaakosirickylee@gmail.com

Surangama Mantra: The Powerful and Effective Way of Gaining Access to Heaven’s Power!

Published Agosto 9, 2015 by jptan2012

This is a long post. A very long post at that. But also very important.

I should have written this post for quite some time now, but there are several things that prevented me from doing it. The first one is whether I’m adequate enough to write about the Surangama Mantra, which is also spelled as Shurangama, because the Surangama or Shurangama mantra is considered to be the king of all mantras not because it is the longest and considered as one of the most powerful mantras, but it is also the hardest to understand. In fact, chanting the Surangama Mantra or wearing the properly consecrated Surangama Mantra amulet is considered to be a powerful and effective way of gaining access to heaven’s power. It is said that one creates a direct link with the heavenly beings that has an affinity with us. Thus, it was not surprising that Venerable Master Hsuan Hua, one of the most famous and leading Pure Land Buddhist masters called his lecture about the Shurangama Mantra as the mantra that is “The Efficacious Language of Heaven and Earth”.

Another reason for delaying the writing about the Surangama Mantra and the Surangama Mantra amulet is because I know once I have written it I would be receiving several emails requesting for a legitimate and properly consecrated Surangama Mantra Amulet, and I was unable to do this before.Surangama Mantra

Lastly, the least of the three reasons is that I was mildly concern that if and when I write about the Surangama Mantra and Shurangama Manta Amulet, my detractors will start attacking it again. I’m no saint, I have done a lot of bad things, but with all humility I thought I don’t want my writing to be the cause of their bad luck and for this to create more negative energies on them. A few people badmouthed the VAJRAPANI RUEL, and I’m sure they would be doing the same thing again with the Shurangama Mantra and Surangama Mantra Amulet. My point is when you slander a Buddha, a Bodhisattva, a Deity, a Dharma teaching or Dharma instrument this will create bad luck and tremendous amount of negative energies to the people who slandered it, and while I’m not the one slandering it, by writing it and causing them to slander it just because I was the one who wrote it I will indirectly cause them to have bad luck. But, I would like to clarify that this is limited to the people who are malicious and malicious in their attacks. I truly believe that people who are not malicious in their attacks and are sincere in raising a concern and as long as they don’t slander the amulets are exempted from this.

But why am I writing this now?

That is because if I wait for myself to feel adequate about it, then it will never happen because I will never be adequate to write about the Surangama Mantra, because in reality nobody is adequate to write about it. Do I have enough knowledge about it for me to write about it since one of my prerequisite is for me to have stock knowledge first before I write some thing. Well, I have enough stock knowledge about it that when supplemented with a further on – phone lecture with a Pure Land Buddhist monk and some research and review of my books, I can say that I’m confident enough to write about. In the history of this blog, I think this is the only third time I’m writing about something that I have to do further research on, one is about the Ghost Month – Mercury Retrograde dilemma last year, then the other one is when I wrote about the Vajrapani Ruel. Much of the details I wrote in the post “The World’s Most Powerful Amulet in the Buddhist Pantheon’ and the very first “Vajrapani Ruel Stories” were told to me by my Guru Lama.

Second, the Pure Land Buddhist monk who I consulted with this post provided me with several Surangama Mantra Amulet. Lastly, I cannot stop writing just because I have made some mistakes in the past which I’m trying to correct now, and stop writing it will be open to attack by a few people as compared to the many who may believe this writing and benefit from it or to the few who may have not believe it but sincerely consider and think about it.

So what is the Surangama Mantra and the Surangama Mantra Amulet? (Again this can be spelled as Shurangama Mantra and Shurangama Mantra Amulet.)

For me to explain it properly, you will notice that I have lifted a lot of passages from the teaching of Venerable Master Hsuan Hua whose lecture can be found online and also published by Malaysia Dharma Realm Buddhist Association and Prajna Kuan Yin Sagely Monastery.Surangama Mantra2

But before anything else I would like to explain the benefits of chanting the Surangama Mantra or wearing the Surangama Mantra Amulet. It is said that when one chants the Surangama Mantra all the heavenly beings that has an karmic affinity with the person chanting it will stop moving and simply listen to the person chanting it, when this happened, it creates a lot of merits for the person chanting because a lot of the good heavenly beings energies is directed to the chanter of the mantra. When one wears the Surangama Mantra Amulet, which is also known as the Shurangama Mantra Amulet one is surrounded by the Heavenly Beings that has a karmic affinity with the person who is wearing it. When this happens, no hungry ghost, no negative energies can attack the person because this person is constantly protected. Furthermore, one will also develop a positive outlook in life and it will create a lot of good luck for the person. One will find one’ aura getting lighter and more positive, so some people use it as a love charm, although I would like to strongly advice against as primarily using it as a love charm. These are just some of the very simple benefits of chanting the Surangama Mantra or wearing the Surangama Mantra Amulet. As we go one you will see more of the things that wearing a Surangama Mantra Amulet can bring to a person.

But I think it is best to understand why Buddha created the Surangama Mantra.

According to the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua:

The Shurangama Sutra was spoken for the sake of the Shurangama Mantra. There’s no way to ever finish expressing the importance of the Shurangama Sutra and the Shurangama Mantra; to the ends of all time their merits, virtues, and wonderful functions could never be told–so absolutely inconceivable and ineffable are they!

So that is where I like to start. Buddha has a disciple called Ananda. Ananda is the Buddha’s cousin, who is also a royal prince, and later on became a disciple and personal attendant of the Buddha.

Ananda is said to be very handsome and one day while he was out to beg for food (something that they do every morning), he came across a prostitute’s house. Ananda had second thoughts but thinking about Buddha’s teaching that one must not discriminate he knock on the door to ask for food. The prostitute upon seeing Ananda fell in love with Ananda, and concocted a plan to entice him right there and then. Ananda, being a disciplined and devout monk didn’t fell for the prostitute’s evil plan. So the prostitute decided to ask for her mother’s help who is said to be very good in practicing black magic. Armed with some potion and magical incantation, the prostitute waited for Ananda the following day, Ananda wanted to avoid the prostitute but she called on him and told him that she wants to make an offering to Ananda. As a monk and disciple of Buddha, Ananda has a strict vow that he cannot refuse any offering even if it has a poison. Ananda approached her, and she gave him something to drink and immediately Ananda fell under her spell, she then start to lead Ananda to her room.

Buddha being enlightened knows what’s happening and immediately send a monk to go and pick up Ananda. He also gave this particular monk a mantra, which he is to use to protect himself from the black magic of the prostitute’s mother and for him to break the spell of which Ananda is under.

This monk went to the house, and use the spell. He found Ananda still under trance and about to break his vow of celibacy or no sexual misconduct. He used the mantra and brought Ananda out of the spell.

Usually Buddha will say a sutra first and within the sutra one can find a mantra, but for the Surangama Sutra and the Surangama Mantra, it was the mantra that came first and the sutra came after.

According to Venerable Hsuan Hua:

The word “Shurangama” translates as “Ultimately firm and strong.”

The entire title of the Shurangama Mantra is “Great White Canopy of Light Dharani Mantra” (mo he sa dan tuo bo da la tuo lo ni zhou). It is also called “Brilliant Buddha’s Crown, Great White Canopy of Light, Unsurpassed Spiritual Mantra.” The Buddha’s Crown refers to the transformation Buddha atop the Buddha’s crown. There is no way to conceive the subtle wonder of the mantra. The content of the Shurangama Mantra subdues heavenly demons and controls externalists. Every line, from beginning to end, is the Buddhas’ mind-ground Dharma-door.

Each line has its own function; each possesses its own esoteric wonder; and each is endowed with incredible power. The recitation of a single word, a single line, a single assembly, or the recitation of the entire mantra causes the heavens to vibrate and the earth to tremble; it’s said that heaven and earth are shocked, the ghosts and spirits wail, the demons keep a wide distance, and mountain and river sprites hide away.

This shows that the Surangama Mantra and the Surangama Mantra Amulet are very good protection against demons. You will notice that Venerable Master Hsuan Hua used the term Heavenly Demons. I’m sure that most people will find this weird, how can heaven have demons. This will take another post to fully clarify this but for now allow me to say that in Buddhism there are different levels of Heaven. And the lowest level of heaven is where some demons stay. This means they have supernatural power but they have evil thoughts. Earlier, I said that when one chants the Surangama Mantra or wears the Surangama Mantra Amulet, all the Heavenly Beings that has an affinity with the chanter or the wearer will surround the chanter or wearer, obviously, I refer to the Heavenly Beings that are good. That is like our angels, although angels are used here as a reference only and to describe these heavenly beings, because in Buddhism there are no angels. And I would like to clarify that in this post whenever the term Heavenly Being is always used to refer to the ‘angel’s’ and not to the Heavenly Demons that Venerable Master Hsuan Hua mentioned.

Chanting the Surangama Mantra or wearing the Surangama Mantra Amulet will also erase all karmic obstacles. This was also validated by Venerable Master Hsuan Hua:

then you can get rid of your karmic obstacles from last life and all past lives. That’s the incredible function of the Shurangama Mantra!

If one can chant the Surangama Mantra one will be able to emit this celestial light from the mouth, furthermore chanting or wearing the Surangama Mantra Amulet will also have us emit celestial lights from our body and mind. These celestial lights are lights that can only be seen by highly powerful psychic people and by demons and heavenly beings. Because of this light, neither hungry ghost nor demons can get near us.

This means that Surangama Mantra or the Surangama Mantra Amulet is one of the most powerful amulet one can use during the Hungry Ghost month and also for those whose job involves working in Yin places like hospitals, cemetery, funeral parlor, or if you go to one of these places. It is also a very powerful protection for those who travel a lot and for those who work at night.

Again, I would like to support this claim by quoting a passage from Venerable Hsuan Hua’s lecture.

The Venerable Ji is a well-known High Master in Buddhism. His expert use of this passage of the mantra to subdue heavenly demons and control externalists was extremely efficacious. And so the last line says: Dharma Master Ji, the Venerable, mastered these wonderful sounds. This passage of the mantra instructs us to “take refuge with all the Buddhas, all the Bodhisattvas, all the Hearers and Condition-Enlightened Ones, and all the gods throughout empty space and the Dharma Realm.” It’s a passage that protects the Triple Jewel, and so when you recite it the demons flee and the ghosts don’t stop running until they’re ten miles away. Not just ten miles, they back off until there’s no more room to retreat. They don’t dare make trouble; they are forced to behave themselves.

That’s a general description of what this passage of mantra is about; the details are even more wonderful.

Of course, the ten miles here is used as a figurative of speech to show that demons and ghost will not dare come near us.

But more than that, because of chanting the Surangama Mantra or wearing the Surangama Mantra Amulet, as mentioned earlier, powerful Heavenly Beings that has an affinity with the chanter or wearer, what will also develop a very positive aura, will surround one and thus one will have a competitive advantage in business and other endeavors.

Talking about the Surangama Mantra or the Surangama Mantra Amulet is a very big task and I really don’t want to run the risk of writing something that may be misunderstood, so allow me to simply copy here for you essential portions of the lecture of Venerable Master Hsuan Hua. But before that allow me to share a few more things.

The Surangama Mantra is more powerful when chanted, and is also powerful when worn as amulet. If you can do both, it is obvious that one can magnify its effect. However, in choosing a Surangama Mantra Amulet it is highly advisable to wear something that is blessed by a Mahayana Buddhist monk, specifically Pure Land Buddhist monks and preferably a high ranking one because this usually means that this particular monk has a higher level of experience and divinity. . It is only when this is done that the Surangama Mantra Amulet becomes truly powerful.

Please note that when wearing the Surangama Mantra Amulet, you are surrounded by Heavenly Beings, so when engaging in intimate physical activity with your spouse or partner, it is better to keep the Surangama Mantra inside a pouch (preferably red or yellow) and properly set aside.

But just how powerful is the Surangama Mantra? To answer that allows me to post here a story shared by Venerable Master Hsuan Hua. Please note that Patriarch Hongren was able to gather such manifestation of the power of the Surangama Mantra because he himself is a holy person.

In the past, Great Master Hongren, the Fifth Patriarch, was cultivating in Hubei at East Mountain. He upheld the precepts strictly and cultivated with unusual intensity. Once when a group of bandits surrounded the city of Hubei, Great Mater Hongren could bear it no longer and decided to try to save the people in that city.

He came down the mountain and walked into that city. As soon as the bandits saw Great Master Hongren coming, they were terrified, dropped their armor and weapons, and fled. Why? Because although Great Master Hongren came alone into the city, the bandits saw an army of heavenly generals and heavenly troops clad in golden armour. It was as if the gods themselves had come down to earth–all donning golden armour and carrying jeweled swords and other awesome weapons. That’s what caused the bandits to retreat in such haste.

And so, without the use of a single knife, spear, or arrow, he routed the bandits. It was because Great Master Hongren recited the Shurangama Mantra that the bandits found him to be so terrifying. You could say that was a manifestation created by the Vajra Treasury Bodhisattvas or you could say it was the awesome virtue of Great Master Hongren that frightened them. That a cultivator was able to frighten the bandits into retreat without the use of a single soldier or weapon is verification of his genuine skill. How else could there have been such a response in the Way?

Shakyamuni Buddha proclaimed the Shurangama Mantra in order to protect of all of us who have brought forth the initial resolve to study the Way; to aid us in attaining samadhi; to help us be at peace in body and mind; and to keep us out of trouble. Therefore we should never forget this Dharma. We should recite and uphold the Shurangama Mantra with single-minded sincerity. By doing so we are helping to perpetuate the Buddhadharma, to keep the Proper Dharma long in the world.

Now allow me to share with you some excerpts from the lecture of Venerable Hsuan Hua. Mind you, this is quite long even though I’m not putting it here in its entirety.

Unendingly miraculous and mysterious, it’s extremely hard to fathom. The Shurangama Mantra is quite esoteric and its changes and transformations are inexplicable; it’s not easy to figure out. This vajra secret language wells forth from your own nature. The Shurangama Mantra is the secret within the secret. That’s the vajras who come to protect the mantra. Your own nature–it is born from your own Buddha nature. Inside the Shurangama Mantra is marvelous magic! The Shurangama Mantra is called an efficacious language because of its spellbinding power. That’s what “marvelous magic” is referring to.

Then come five eyes and six penetrations and the Way opens up. If you can continually uphold the Shurangama Mantra–single-mindedly without entertaining other thoughts–then you can attain the Five Eyes and Six Spiritual Penetrations. You will then experience the inconceivable, unfathomable changes and transformations that occur which ordinary people are totally unaware of. And that’s the reason why I hope everyone will learn to read the Shurangama Mantra and memorize it.

Why is it that the demons, ghosts, and goblins don’t dare show themselves when you recite the Shurangama Mantra? It’s so powerful that there isn’t a place in all of space or the entirety of the Dharma Realm that isn’t flooded with auspicious light. Recitation of the Shurangama Mantra patches up the imperfections in the heavens and the earth. One person reciting the Shurangama Mantra creates power equivalent to one person. A hundred people reciting create power equivalent to a hundred people. And the weird beings here in this world become very well-behaved. So it’s better if more people recite.

It’s an unsurpassed spiritual mantra. The negating prefix “un-” actually means “lofty to the utmost; brilliant to the extreme.” Peerless radiant illumination piercing the heights is the meaning of “un-“. And “surpassed”? Well, there’s nothing more esteemed, nothing more venerated. “Spiritual” is what is inconceivable and ineffable, what is awe-inspiring, efficacious and unfathomable. The power of mantras brings a response with the Way. When you recite mantras, something happens. “Brilliant Buddha’s Crown, Great White Canopy of Light, Unsurpassed Spiritual Mantra.” This means that the light at the crown of the Buddha’s head is like a great white canopy that comes to shelter and protect all of us who recite the mantra.

No one understands this mantra, nor can they explain line-by-line and word-by-word. But if you want to understand it, I can try my best to explain it to you. The Shurangama Mantra can’t be explained in a year’s time, or three years’ time, or even ten years’ time. Now I will explain the general intent of this mantra. This mantra is composed of five assemblies, which represent the five directions of east, west, south, north, and center.

The east is the vajra division with Akshobhya Buddha as the teaching host. The south is the welling up of jewels division with Welling Up of Jewels Buddha as the teaching host. The center is the Buddha division with Shakyamuni Buddha as the teaching host. The west is the lotus division with Amitabha Buddha as the teaching host. The north is the karma division with Accomplishment Buddha as the teaching host.

Altogether these five divisions watch over the five demonic armies that abide in this world. Because of these five demons, the Buddhas split up in five directions to repress these demons. Without the Buddhas, these demons would show themselves here in our world. And so, when you recite the Shurangama Mantra, the five demonic armies in the five directions submit and surrender. They behave themselves and don’t dare try to oppose the power of the Shurangama Mantra. The five divisions in the mantra are what make it so fine. But you shouldn’t be attached. Your becoming attached won’t be so fine.

Within the five assemblies of the Shurangama Mantra are more than thirty sections of Dharmas. Before, when I was in Manchuria, the reason I was able to cure people’s illnesses was all because of the power of the Shurangama Mantra. But the Shurangama Mantra cannot be used casually. If used, it’s not the entire thing that’s used, because within it are, in general, more than thirty different Dharmas. If looked at in detail there are over a hundred.

As to these Dharmas, there’s the Dharma of Accomplishment. That means by reciting the Shurangama Mantra, whatever method you are practicing will be perfected; whatever thing you want to do will get done. There’s also the Dharma of Increasing Benefits. That means, for example, if you don’t have enough resolve for the Way in your practice, by reciting the mantra you can increase your wisdom; increase your Bodhi mind; increase the power of your vows; everything will get better. When you recite the mantra, everything you hope increases will surely do so! It will increase for others, too.

The Dharma of Quelling Disasters means that if a calamity is due, reciting the mantra will make it disappear. The disaster will be quelled. Suppose someone is due to drown in the ocean. Reciting the mantra can change the situation so that he doesn’t get drowned. Or you’re on a boat that’s supposed to sink. Recitation of the mantra can keep the boat from sinking. Or the airplane is supposed to crash, but you are reciting the mantra and so it doesn’t.

Nonetheless, you have to take responsibility for dispelling the calamities in your own mind. What calamities are there in your mind? Well, if you merely rely on the mantra, but inside you are a bundle of false and malevolent thoughts, scattered and impure thoughts, lustful thoughts, then you certainly haven’t expelled the calamities in your own mind. In that case, no mantra is going to work. And so if you want to avoid disasters you must first purify your own mind.

The purity of your mind is what really dispels calamities. If you are full of greed, hatred, and stupidity, no mantra is going to be efficacious. Our frame of mind is extremely important. We must be kindhearted and filled with goodness, wishing to help others. Our mind should be wholesome.

The Dharma for Hooking and Summoning is for use when you meet up with heavenly demons and externalists and want to catch them. Just as law enforcement officers catch criminals, so too, the Hooking and Summoning Dharma catches weird creatures, demons, and ghosts. They do something here to harm others or do some bad thing that causes people to get sick and then they run away. But you want to catch them and so you recite the mantra, using the Hooking and Summoning Dharma. Well, no matter how far away from you they are, the Dharma-protecting good spirits, or members of the eightfold division, or some of the eighty-four thousand Vajra Treasury Bodhisattvas will immediately snatch them and bring those demonic beings back.

Even then, sometimes they won’t give in and you have to use all kinds of expedients to teach and transform them. If you use brute force to subdue them, then that’s the lowest grade of dharma, it’s not a good method. The best methods don’t use any sort of power plays to oppress beings. Don’t oppress them and don’t contend with them. Don’t be like an asura–tough and looking for a fight. Even when you clearly have the power to do so, don’t use the dharmas to subdue them. You should use virtuous conduct to influence beings and then teach and transform them.

And finally, there is the Dharma of Subduing. Demons have spiritual penetrations and they also have mantras. You recite your mantra and they recite theirs. But when you use the Shurangama Mantra, you break through all their mantras and subdue them. You use the power to quell them and make them behave.

I’ve told you all before that the Shurangama Mantra has within it a few lines of mantra that rends the nets of demons. Why was the mantra from the Brahma Heavens rendered useless? It was because of the Five Great Hearts Mantra. The Five Great Hearts Mantra destroys the mantras underlying the demons’ and externalists’ spells and incantations. It doesn’t matter what mantra they use, when you recite these lines, their spells are smashed and their mantras become ineffectual.

Furthermore, the Dharma of Auspiciousness enables things to go your way when you recite the mantra. Good fortune prevails. Now I’ve given you an explanation of these Dharmas.

I could talk for several years and never finish describing the good points of this mantra. All Buddhas of the ten directions come forth from the Shurangama Mantra. The Shurangama Mantra is the mother of all Buddhas. It was by means of the Shurangama Mantra that all Buddhas perfected Unsurpassed Proper and Pervasive Enlightened Knowledge.

The ability of the Buddhas of the ten directions to create response bodies and go throughout the ten directions turning the Dharma wheel to teach and transform living beings; to rub the crowns of those beings and bestow predictions upon them; to rescue beings from their complex sufferings; to enable beings to escape both large disasters and small calamities–their ability to do all that comes from the power of the Shurangama Mantra Heart.

If you want to attain the fruition of Arhatship, you absolutely must recite this mantra to keep demonic things from happening. During the Dharma-ending Age if people can memorize the Shurangama Mantra or encourage others to memorize it, well, fire cannot burn such people and water cannot drown them. No matter how potent a poison, it cannot harm them. For those who recite the Shurangama Mantra, poison turns to sweet dew as soon as it enters their mouths. People who recite the Shurangama Mantra will never get born in bad places, even if they want to. Why is that so? It’s because the Shurangama Mantra pulls you back and won’t allow you to go.

Someone who recites the Shurangama Mantra may never have amassed any blessings or virtue, but, simply because he recites the mantra, the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions will bestow their own merit and virtue upon that person. Wouldn’t you call that a bargain? That happens based on the recitation of the Mantra alone. If you recite the Shurangama Mantra, you will continually get to be born at a time when a Buddha is in the world and will be able to immerse yourself in cultivation under that Buddha’s guidance.

If your mind is terribly scattered so that you can’t concentrate and don’t have any samadhi-power, but you think about the Shurangama Mantra and recite it with your lips, the Vajra Treasury King Bodhisattvas will very attentively watch for ways to invisibly help you gradually until your confusion has disappeared and you develop samadhi. They will imperceptibly help you open your wisdom and concentrate your mind to the point that you become crystal clear about all the events spanning the previous eighty-four thousand Ganges’ sands of eons.

If you can learn the Shurangama Mantra until you have memorized it fluently–so that you become one with the mantra–then you attain the mantra’s samadhi and your recitation will be like flowing water, welling up uninterrupted. If you can do that, then at the very least for seven lives to come you will be as wealthy as America’s richest oil magnates. And you say, “That’s great! I’m going to learn the mantra right away! I wouldn’t mind being a magnate of some kind!” Well, if you are that selfish, then don’t even bother learning the mantra. Seven lives pass in the blink of an eye anyway.

What should those who learn the Shurangama Mantra be hoping for? You should hope for ultimate Buddhahood; hope to attain the Unsurpassed Proper and Equal Right Enlightenment. Don’t be so petty! Actually those who are really dedicated in reciting the Shurangama Mantra are transformation bodies of Buddhas. Not just any transformation bodies, but those atop the Buddha’s crown–transformation bodies of that transformation body! And so you see that the wonderful aspects of the Shurangama Mantra are difficult to express, difficult to conceptualize.

Wherever someone is seriously reciting the Shurangama Mantra, a great white canopy will be there in the space above him. If your skill in reciting the mantra is high-level and far-reaching, then when you recite, the canopy will extend for thousands of miles, preventing any disasters or difficulties. If you only have a little skill, then the canopy will be right above your own head protecting you. If you have virtue in the Way, if you are a High Sanghan, then when you recite, the entire nation will be benefitted and no calamities will occur. Or if disasters are unavoidable, big ones will turn into little ones, and the little ones won’t even happen.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a nationwide famine, plague, war, or plunder, all those kinds of disasters will be alleviated. Suppose you were to write out the Shurangama spiritual mantra and place it at the main entrances to the city, or in its watchtowers or other lookout places; suppose you could inspire the nation’s inhabitants to show interest in the Shurangama Mantra, so that they bow to and revere it and single-mindedly make offerings to it as if they were offering to the Buddhas themselves; suppose you could get every single citizen to wear the mantra on their person or to keep it in their place of residence; well, if you could do that, all disasters would disappear.

Whenever the Shurangama Mantra can be found in a place, the gods and dragons are delighted, and so that place will be free from devastating storms; the crops will produce in abundance; and the populace will be peaceful and happy. That is why I say that the merit and virtue of the Shurangama Mantra is inexpressible; it can’t be reckoned in the mind; it can’t be cognized in our thoughts. That’s the wonder of it!

Basically broken precepts cannot be mended. But if you recite the Shurangama Mantra, you can return to purity. But when I say recite, I don’t mean you can just do it casually. You have to attain the mantra-recitation samadhi. The recitation of the mantra must flow forth from your mind and the mantra must flow back into your mind. That’s called “the mantra is the mind and the mind is the mantra.” Your mind and the mantra become united. There isn’t any distinction. It reaches the point where you couldn’t forget it if you wanted to. That’s called even when not reciting, the recitation continues; when reciting there really isn’t any recitation. You recite until there aren’t any idle thoughts remaining. The only function of the mind is the recitation of the Shurangama Mantra. That’s called meshing with the mind. There are no second thoughts. The flow of the mantra’s recitation is like water that flows on in uninterrupted waves.

At that point, everything expresses the Mahayana–the sounds of the breezes blowing and the water flowing are all the Shurangama Mantra’s Heart Mantra. If you can reach that level, then if you have broken precepts, you will be able to return to pure precepts. You will be endowed with the precepts without going through the formal transmission. If you are someone who doesn’t want to progress in your practice, who doesn’t want to investigate the Buddhadharma, but you recite the Shurangama Mantra for a period of time, quite naturally you will be inspired to be vigorous; those who lack wisdom can open their wisdom.

If you are not pure in your cultivation so that you break your vegetarian practices and violate the precepts, but you have not forgotten the Shurangama Mantra, you will be able to quickly return to purity. If you violated precepts before you began upholding the mantra and prior to receiving the precepts, then once you start reciting the mantra you can completely wipe out all those former offenses, no matter how serious they were, including even the Four Parajikas, the Five Rebellious Acts, the Four or Eight Offenses warranting dismissal from the Sangha, which are basically unpardonable. Not even a hair’s breadth of an offense will remain. And so I say that the power of the Shurangama Mantra is beyond all conception or description!

Every line of the Shurangama Mantra contains infinite meanings as well as infinite functions. You should realize that the Shurangama Mantra is the most efficacious language in the world–the efficacious within the efficacious, the esoteric within the esoteric! It is an unsurpassed Dharma Treasure–the gem that can save living beings’ lives. It embraces all that exists.

From the Buddhas of the ten directions to the Avichi Hell, all the four kinds of sages and six sorts of common realms pay homage to the Shurangama Mantra. None of the ten Dharma realms transcends its scope. All categories of ghosts, spirits, Dharma-protecting deities, Hearers, Condition-enlightened Ones, up to the Buddha Vehicle are contained within the Shurangama Mantra. The Shurangama Mantra contains the names of ghost and spirit kings. When the names of those leaders are recited, all the ghosts and spirits in their retinues become very obedient and behave themselves. They don’t dare to make trouble.

Reciting the Shurangama Mantra every day can cause demonic beings and weird ghosts throughout the world to settle down and stop harming people. The substance and function of the Shurangama Mantra are all-encompassing. It can be said that within the mantra can be found the entirety of Buddhism’s teachings and meaning. If you can understand the Shurangama Mantra, then you have understood the essence of Buddhism’s esoteric teachings.

The Shurangama Mantra is extremely efficacious, but it is not that easy to master. First of all you cannot be selfish; next you cannot be out to get your own private gains. You have to be magnanimous and devoid of selfish thoughts. You have to be impartial and not prejudiced. You have to be willing to sacrifice yourself for the sake of others. You have to have the resolve to universally save all living beings. If you can embody the above-listed qualities, then you will have swift success. Pay close attention: you must hold the five precepts and practice the ten good deeds. That’s the very least you should do.

When you are developing your skill in reciting the Shurangama Mantra, you may dream of yourself bowing to the Buddhas; or in a dream see the Buddhas emitting light; or dream that you see the Buddha come as rub the crown of your head; or dream that the Buddhas speak Dharma for you; or dream that you see the Bodhisattvas, or Condition-enlightened Ones, or Hearers, or Sagely Sanghans or gods and heavenly generals; or in a dream see yourself ascending into space; or dream that you can fly. All of these are good experiences.

 Or you may be riding a horse or crossing a river and encounter all sorts of auspicious lights; or there may be other extremely rare appearances that manifest. If you do attain responses such as these, then you should be very careful. You should bring forth the resolve for Bodhi; guard the purity of the karma created by your body, mouth, and mind; and increase your efforts and tighten your skill in reciting the mantra.

You should not tell others what kinds of responses you’ve had in order to get others to believe in you or to think highly of you. It’s enough for you yourself to know what responses you’ve had. If you keep advertising your own merits and selling your cultivation out on the streets, then you are wrong. If you act like that, you leave yourself open and the demons will attack. That’s like failing to put your jewels in a safebox. If you leave them at the doorway, then someone is certainly going to steal them.

You may also want to read my other post about the Surangama Mantra entitled – THE SURANGAMA MANTRA AMULET: BEYOND BEING AN EFFECTIVE PROTECTION AGAINST THE HUNGRY GHOST MONTH!

For questions, comments, and suggestions please email sanaakosirickylee@gmail.com

What to Do When One Sees A Dead Animal?

Published Mayo 15, 2015 by jptan2012

In my previous post, I talked about the story of Mahakassapa (also spelled as Mahakasyapa) and Ananda. In that particular post I talked about reincarnation, which I have talked about before, and subtly introduced a Buddhist accepted belief that I have never fully talked about here on this blog. This belief is about the accepted Buddhist teachings that all sentient beings reincarnate and has a consciousness and that we may have come from animals or insects and can be reborn as such.

In Buddhist temples, Mahakasyapa (Mahakassapa) is usually on the Buddha's left side (from our point of view - right side) and Ananda is on the Buddha's right side.

In Buddhist temples, Mahakasyapa (Mahakassapa) is usually on the Buddha’s left side (from our point of view – right side) and Ananda is on the Buddha’s right side.

Hope to be able to talk more about it in my future blog articles. However, today I would like to talk about what one should do if one sees a dead animal. In my previous post, I mentioned that Mahakassapa prayed over the dead cat and buried the cat. The question is what we can do for the dead animal these days.

Like Mahakassapa, it would be great if we can pray over a body of a dead animal or insect by reading a sutra over it. The Medicine Buddha Sutra and/or the Past Vows of the Earth Store Bodhisattva Sutra (Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Sutra) and then bury the dead animal or insect. If this is not possible or it may take time, you can do either of the following, put a printed copy of the sutra or a mantra on top of the body of the dead animal. If you can bury it, please do.

Still if this is not possible, chant the Medicine Buddha mantra (TADYATHA OM BHEKANDZYE BHEKANDZYE MAHA BHEKANDZYE RADZA SAMUGATE SOHA), or the Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Mantra (OM AH KSITIGARBHA THALENG HUM) or the Mantra of the Bodhisattva of Compassion (OM MANI PADME HUM) and the Amitabha Mantra (OM AMI DEWA HRIH or NAMO AMITOFO) as many times as you can then blow over the dead body of the animal or insect. If possible bury or cremate the body.

Some Buddhist Temples would conduct a collective prayers for all animals being slaughtered for human consumption. Compassion and respect for this animals as sentient beings is the primary reason why a lot of Buddhists are vegetarian.

Some Buddhist Temples would conduct a collective prayers for all animals being slaughtered for human consumption. Compassion and respect for this animals as sentient beings is the primary reason why a lot of Buddhists are vegetarian.

Still if this is not possible and you have the Vajrapani Ruel, which is a very powerful Buddhist amulet, you can simple place the Vajrapani Ruel near the body of the dead sentient being and then chant OM VAJRAPANI HUM three times or seven times.

Doing this out of great compassion is the best reason and it will earn you some tremendous amount of good karma. Doing this because of wanting to earn some good karma merit will work as well. But it may not as big as simply doing it because of great compassion.

 

For questions, suggestions and comments, please email sanaakosirickylee@gmail.com

Mahakasyapa and Ananda: A Lesson About Karma and Great Compassion

Published Mayo 13, 2015 by jptan2012

Some people, especially those who are not Buddhist or Taoist might find this post a little extreme because of the belief or teaching about reincarnation and that we humans could be reborn as animals, or insects, or could have come from either animals or insects. Nevertheless, no matter how shocking it is, and some may even consider it ridiculously degrading, the truth is this is a widely accepted belief in Buddhism and Taoism, and thus it is important to be kind and compassionate to all sentient beings.

Today, allow me to share the story of Mahakasyapa (also spelled as Mahakassapa) and Ananda. Mahakasyapa and Ananda are just two of the Sakyamuni Buddha’s (also spelled as Shakyamuni) disciple. Mahakasyapa is an old disciple, and Ananda, who is of the royal family before he became a disciple of Buddha and a monk, is young and famous not just for his astounding memory but also for being handsome.

In Buddhist temples, Mahakasyapa (Mahakassapa) is usually on the Buddha's left side (from our point of view - right side) and Ananda is on the Buddha's right side.

In Buddhist temples, Mahakasyapa (Mahakassapa) is usually on the Buddha’s left side (from our point of view – right side) and Ananda is on the Buddha’s right side.

One day, while they were out on a walk, the Buddha instructed Ananda to ask a fruit vendor for a watermelon. Ananda, confidently walked over to the lady who sells watermelon and begged for a watermelon. Remember, during those days it is traditional for monks to beg, and lay people even vendors would be very willing to donate food or whatever they can to the monks. However, much to Ananda’s surprise, the fruit lady not only denied him a watermelon, but also she rudely drove her away.

Ananda went back to the Buddha to report what happened. The Buddha then instructed Mahakasyapa to beg for a watermelon. Both Mahakasyapa and Ananda and other members of the sangha didn’t believe that Mahakasyapa will have better luck, but even before Mahakasyapa got to the fruit lady, the fruit lady ran towards him and offered him a watermelon to quench his thirst from the hot weather.

Needless to say, all the Buddha’s disciples were surprised. Then the Buddha explained to them what happened.

In one of their previous lives, Ananda and Mahakasyapa had come across the fruit lady. However, at that time the fruit lady was a cat. The cat died on the street, and when Ananda (in his previous life) saw the dead cat, he veered away because he didn’t like the smell of the rotting flesh and also he didn’t care about the dead cat. On the other hand, Mahakasyapa (in his previous life) when he saw the dead cat, he prayed for it, and picked it up to give the cat a proper burial. Mahakasyapa with his simple act of compassion and kindness towards the dead cat earned a lot of good karma affinity with the dead cat that now happens to be the fruit lady.

That simple act of compassion that Mahakasyapa did, which didn’t even cost him single money, earned him some good karma. Needless to say, Mahakasyapa did the good act of compassion and not for wanting good merits.

Medicine Buddha: A Healer, Provider, and Protector of Both the Spiritual and Physical Realm

Published Pebrero 20, 2012 by jptan2012

I’ve been debating whether I’m really ready to write about the Medicine Buddha, it feels like it’s such a heavy responsibility to write about the Medicine Buddha. Although I’ve been a devotee, worshiper, follower, and an indirect disciple of the Buddha of Medicine for many years now, I still discover new things about the Buddha of Medicine everyday! 

One reason I included the Medicine Buddha in the WISH FULFILLING AND BUDDHA’S BLESSING MANTRA PENDANT is because I know how powerful the Medicine Buddha is. In fact, it is said that simply seeing the image of the Buddha of Medicine and His Mantra showers us with blessings. On top of that simply hearing Medicine Buddha’s name will also have some healing effect on the people who heard his name.

The Buddha of Medicine’s formal name is Bhaisajyaguru Vaidurya Prabharaja, which means Master of Healing, Azure Radiance or Master of Medicine and King of Lapis Lazuli Light. He is commonly called by Tibetan Buddhist as Bhaisajyaguru, which means Medicine Buddha.

Medicine Buddha is a fully enlightened being that’s devoid of any form of biased against living beings. Like Avalokitesvara or Kuan Yin, the Medicine Buddha is a Buddha filled with unlimited compassion towards us. The Medicine Buddha protects all living beings from attachment; hatred; and ignorance, which Buddhists text indicates are the main cause of illness. But more than that, the Buddha of Medicine also protect us from danger and negative energies or beings.

There are some slight differences in how the Medicine Buddha is depicted in Tibetan Buddhism and Chinese Buddhism, however, he is usually pictured as seated on top of a lotus wearing a traditional Buddha robe, his left hand holds a lapis lazuli colored jar of medicine nectar, while his right hand holds a stem of Arura (sometimes called Aruna – a special mystical plant that is said to bloom only once in every 3,000 years) while it’s resting on his knee.  In THE SUTRA OF THE MASTER OF HEALING or commonly called as the MEDICINE BUDDHA SUTRA He is also described as having a lapis lazuli-colored aura. It is because of this that he is also usually depicted in Tibetan Buddhism to be a blue or lapis lazuli-colored Buddha.

The Sutra of the Master of Healing also states that when the Medicine Buddha became a Bodhisattva, “he made Twelve Great Vows to grant all beings with whatever they pray for.”

In essence the 12 great vows indicates that Bhaisajyaguru or Medicine Buddha is a Buddha that heals us from physical, mental, and spiritual illness. Furthermore, it also indicates that the Medicine Buddha is a Buddha of Protection and Provider Buddha. In fact, the 3rd Vow specifically indicates material wealth.

Furthermore, if one is to fervently say the Medicine Buddha mantra and do the Medicine Buddha rituals, one is to be saved from the nine violent deaths. Again, in essence, the nine violent deaths refer to any form of death that may bring about extreme hardship.

The Medicine Buddha’s short mantra is TADYATHA OM BHEKANDZYE BHAKANDZYE MAHA BHEKANDZYE BHEKANDZE RADZA SAMUGATE SOHA.

Don’t be surprise to see or hear a slight variation of this mantra, which is TADYATHA OM BHEKANDZYE BHEKANDZYE MAHA BHEKANDZYE RADZA SAMUGATE SOHA.

Saying the Medicine Buddha Mantra is a very powerful tool to open ourselves to the blessings of the Buddha of Medicine. However, it is better if you can say 5 full mala (108 times per full mala) in a day. It will be more ‘potent’ if you are able to say the Medicine Buddha’s long mantra.

The Medicine Buddha’s long mantra is: OM NAMO BHAGWATE BHEKANDZYE / GURU BEDURYA PRABHA RADZAYA TATAGATAYA / ARHATE SAMYAKSAM BUDDHAYA / TADYATHA OM BHEKANDZYE BHEKANDZYE / MAHA BHEKANDZYE BHEKANDZYE / RADZA SAMUGATE SOHA.

Image of Medicine Buddha with Mantra. Seeing the image and symbolic script of the Medicine Buddha has the power to bestow upon us blessings from the Buddha of Medicine.

Like any mantra, seeing the symbolic script of the Medicine Buddha’s mantra is enough to grant some blessings to us from the Buddha of Medicine.

Inviting the image of the Medicine Buddha inside our home will bestows upon us the blessings stated in His vows.

Wearing His image and the symbolic script of the Buddha of Medicine’s mantra is like paying homage to the Medicine Buddha and also constantly tapping into His blessing. This is the primary reason why I included both His image and symbolic script in the WISH FULFILLING AND BUDDHA’S BLESSING MANTRA PENDANT,which incidentally has become quite popular amongst my readers because of the pendant’s effectiveness. I’ve been receiving a lot of emails how it helped them and I’ve blog about several of the personal testimonies.(Revised on Dec. 1, 2013).

Remember though that while the Medicine Buddha’s image and mantra has the power to grant us so much blessing from Him. It will be more auspicious if one can read His sutra everyday.

This is another version of the image of the Buddha of Medicine. Notice while He is not pictured year as a lapiz lazuli-colored Buddha, He still has the Buddha robe, the jar, and the plant.

Allow me to briefly discuss what is a sutra. Sutras are mostly canonical Buddhist scriptures of which are mostly recorded oral teachings of the Historical Buddha Sakyamuni or Gautama Buddha. A Sutra is like the Christian Bible, but the difference is for Buddhist, they believe that simply carrying a copy of a Sutra bestows upon us the blessings of the Buddha referred in the specific Sutra. Furthermore, reading a Sutra is like praying to the Buddha.

I always make it a point to read the Medicine Buddha Sutra at least once a day. I have a copy of the Medicine Buddha Sutra in my bag, in my car, and in my bedroom.

You can read the Medicine Buddha Sutra in English, but do try to get a miniature copy of the Sutra and carry it with you everyday.

Writing about the Medicine Buddha, His miracles, what He stands for without sharing His sutra is unacceptable. So please do allow me to share with you the Medicine Buddha Sutra as translated during the Torng Dynasty by Tripitaka Master Yiun-Tzorng.

THE MEDICINE BUDDHA SUTRA

Also Called: THE SUTRA OF THE MASTER OF HEALING

Full Title: SUTRA OF THE MERIT AND VIRTUE OF THE PAST VOWS OF MEDICINE MASTER VAIDURYA LIGHT TATHAGATA

Thus I have heard. At one time the Bhagavan was travelling through various lands to teach living beings. He arrived at Vaisali [“City of Extensive Adornments”] and stayed beneath a tree from which music resounded. With him were eight thousand great Bhikshus and thirty-six thousand Bodhisattvas Mahasattvas; also kings, ministers, Brahmans, lay disciples; gods, dragons, and the rest of the eightfold division; beings both human and non-human. The immeasurable great multitude respectfully surrounded him, and he spoke Dharma for them.

At that time, the Dharma Prince Manjusri, receiving the awesome inspiration of the Buddha, rose from his seat, bared one of his shoulders, knelt on his right knee, and inclining his head and placing his palms together, said to the Bhagavan, “World Honored One! We wish you would speak about such Dharmas as the Buddhas’ names, the great vows they made in the past, and their supreme merit and virtue, so that those who hear them will be rid of their karmic hindrances. This request is also for the sake of bringing benefit and joy to sentient beings in the Dharma-Image Age.”

The Buddha then praised the Pure Youth Manjusri: “Good indeed! Good indeed, Manjusri. With great compassion you now request that I speak about the Buddhas’ names and the merit and virtue of their past vows, for the sake of rescuing sentient beings who are bound up by karmic obstacles, and for the purpose of bringing benefit, peace, and joy to beings who live in the Dharma-Image Age. Listen attentively to my words and reflect on them extremely well, for I will now answer you.”

Manjusri said, “Please do speak. We are glad to listen.”

The Buddha told Manjusri, “Passing from here to the east, beyond Buddhalands numerous as the sand grains in ten Ganges rivers, is a world called ‘Pure Vaidurya’. The Buddha there is named Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, Of Proper and Equal Enlightenment, Perfect in Understanding and Practice, Well Gone One, One who Understands the World, Supreme Lord, Regulating Hero, Teacher of Gods and Humans, Buddha, Bhagavan. Manjusri, when that World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, was practicing the Bodhisattva path in the past, he made twelve great vows that enable all sentient beings to obtain what they seek.

“The first great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life, when I attain anuttarasamyaksambodhi, my body will shine with dazzling light that will illumine measureless, countless, boundless worlds. My body will be adorned with the thirty-two heroic features and the eighty subsidiary characteristics, and I will enable all beings to become as I am.’

“The second great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, my body will be as bright and clear as vaidurya, flawlessly pure, vastly radiant, majestic with merit and virtue, abiding at ease, adorned with blazing nets brighter than the sun and the moon. Beings dwelling in darkness will be illuminated and will succeed in all their endeavors.’

“The third great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, will by means of limitless, unbounded wisdom and skill-in-means, enable all sentient beings to obtain an inexhaustible supply of material necessities so they are without the slightest want.’

“The fourth great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, I shall lead those sentient beings who practice deviant paths to reside in the Way of Bodhi and those who travel on the vehicles of the Hearer or Pratyekabuddha to abide in the Great Vehicle.’

“The fifth great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi I shall enable limitless and boundless numbers of sentient beings who cultivate Brahma conduct within my Dharma to perfectly uphold the three clusters of precepts without exception. Should there be any violation, upon hearing my name, they will regain their purity and not fall into the evil destinies.’

“The sixth great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, if there are sentient beings whose bodies are inferior and whose faculties are imperfect, who are ugly, dull, blind, deaf, mute, deformed, paralyzed, hunch-backed, or afflicted with skin disease, insanity or various other sicknesses and sufferings, upon hearing my name they shall all become endowed with upright features, keen intelligence, and perfect faculties, and they shall be free of sickness and suffering.’

“The seventh great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, I shall cause sentient beings who are oppressed by many illnesses and who are without aid, without a place to turn, without a doctor, without medicine, without relatives, and without a family, who are poverty-stricken and filled with suffering to be cured of their sicknesses upon having my name pass by their ear, so they are peaceful and happy in body and mind. They will have a family and relatives, and acquire an abundance of property and wealth, and even realize unsurpassed Bodhi.’

“The eighth great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, if there are women who give rise to a deep loathing for their female body and wish to renounce it because they are oppressed and disturbed by the myriad sufferings of being female, upon hearing my name, they will be able to turn from women into men who are replete with male features and ultimately realize unsurpassed Bodhi.’

“The ninth great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, I Shall liberate sentient beings from the nets of demons and the bonds of external sects. If they have fallen into the dense forests of evil views, I shall lead them to have proper views and to gradually cultivate the Practices of Bodhisattvas so they will quickly realize unsurpassed, proper and equal Bodhi.’

“The tenth great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, I shall cause sentient beings who fall into the hands of the law and are bound, interrogated, whipped, fettered, imprisoned, sentenced to execution, or subjected to endless disasters, hardships, abuse, and humiliation so that they are tom by grief and distress and suffering in body and mind, to obtain, upon hearing my name, liberation from all worry and suffering by means of my blessings, virtue, and awesome spiritual power.’

“The eleventh great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, I shall cause all sentient beings who are so plagued by hunger and thirst that they create all kinds of bad karma in their quest for food, upon hearing my name and single-mindedly accepting and maintaining it, to be filled with delicious food and drink and afterward, by means of the flavor of Dharma, to settle in ultimate peace and happiness.’

“The twelfth great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, if there are sentient beings who are poor and without clothes so that day and night they are troubled by mosquitoes and flies, and by cold and heat, upon hearing my name and single-mindedly accepting and maintaining it, they shall obtain all kinds of fine and wonderful garments that accord with their tastes, as well as a variety of precious adornments, flower garlands, fragrant balms, and the enjoyments of music and various kinds of talents, so that all their hearts, delights will be fulfilled.’

“Manjusri, these are the twelve sublime and wonderful vows that the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, One of Proper and Equal Enlightenment, made while cultivating the Bodhisattva Way.

“Moreover, Manjusri, if I were to speak for an eon or more about the great vows made by the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, when he practiced the Bodhisattva Way and about the merit, virtue, and adornments of his Buddhaland, I could not finish.

“That Buddhaland has always been completely pure; there are no women, no evil destinies, and no sounds of suffering. The ground is made of vaidurya, with golden cords lining the roads. The city walls, towers, palace pavilions, studios, windows, and latticework are all made of the seven treasures. The merit, virtue, and adornments of this land are identical to those of the Western Land of Ultimate miss.

“Residing in that land are two Bodhisattvas Mahasattvas; the first is called Universally Radiant Sunlight, and the second, Universally Radiant Moonlight. They are the leaders among the immeasurable, uncountable hosts of Bodhisattvas in that land and will be the successors to that Buddha. They are able to maintain the precious treasury of the proper Dharma of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata. Therefore, Manjusri, all good men and women who have faith should vow to be born in that Buddha’s land.”

At that time, the World Honored One again spoke to the Pure Youth Manjusri saying, “Manjusri, there are living beings who don’t distinguish good from evil, who indulge in greed and stinginess, and who know nothing of giving or its rewards. They are stupid, ignorant, and lack the foundation of faith. They accumulate much wealth and many treasures and ardently guard them. When they see a beggar coming, they feel displeased. When they have to practice an act of charity that does not benefit themselves, they feel as though they were cutting a piece of flesh from their body, and they suffer deep and painful regret.

“There are other innumerable avaricious and miserly living beings who hoard money and necessities that they don’t use even for themselves, how much less for their parents, wives, or servants, or for beggars! At the end of heir lives, such beings will be reborn among the hungry ghosts or animals. If they heard the name of that Buddha, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, in their former human existence, and they recall that Tathagata’s name for the briefest moment while they are in the evil destinies, they will immediately be reborn in the human realm. Moreover, they will remember their past lives and will dread the sufferings of the evil destinies. They will not delight in worldly pleasures, but will rejoice in giving and praise others who give. They will not begrudge giving whatever they have. Gradually, to those who come to beg, they will be able to give away their own head, eyes, hands, feet, and even their entire body, to say nothing of their money and property!

“Moreover, Manjusri, there are beings who, although they study under the Tathagata, nonetheless violate the sila. Others, although they do not violate the sila, nonetheless transgress the rules and regulations. Others, although they do not violate the sila or rules and regulations, nonetheless destroy their own proper views. Others, although they do not destroy their own proper views, nonetheless neglect learning, so they are unable to understand the profound meaning of the sutras that the Buddha speaks. Others, although they are learned, nonetheless give rise to overweening pride, Shadowed by overweening pride, they justify themselves and disparage others, slander the proper Dharma, and join the retinue of demons.

“Such fools act on their misguided views and further, a cause immeasurable minions of beings to fall into pits of great danger. These beings will drift endlessly in the realms of the hells, the animals, and the ghosts. But if they hear the name of Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, they will be able to renounce their evil practices and cultivate wholesome Dharma, and thereby avoid falling into the evil destinies. If those who have fallen into the evil destinies because they could not renounce their evil practices and cultivate wholesome Dharmas, by the awesome power of the past vows of that Tathagata, get to hear his name for only a moment, then after they pass out of that existence, they will be reborn again as human beings. They will hold proper views and will be ever vigorous. Their minds will be well regulated and joyful, enabling them to renounce their families and leave the householder’s life-They will take up and maintain study of the Tathagatas, Dharma without any violation. They will have proper views and erudition; they will understand profound meanings and yet be free from overweening pride. They will not slander the proper Dharma and will never join the ranks of demons. They will progressively cultivate the practices of Bodhisattvas and will soon bring them to perfection.

“Moreover, Manjusri, if there are sentient beings who harbor stinginess, greed, and jealousy who praise them- selves and disparage others, they will fallinto the three evil destinies for countless thousands of years where they will undergo intense suffering. After undergoing intense suffering, at the end of their lives they will be born in the world as oxen, horses, camels, and donkeys that are constantly beaten, afflicted by thirst and hunger, and made to carry heavy burdens along the roads. Or they may be reborn among lowly people, as slaves or servants who are always ordered around by others and who never for a moment feel at ease.

“If such beings, in their former lives as humans, heard the name of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, and by this good cause are able to remember it and sincerely take refuge with that Buddha, then, by means of the Buddha’s spiritual power, they will be liberated from all sufferings. They will be endowed with keen faculties, and they will be wise and erudite. They will always seek the supreme Dharmas and encounter good friends. They will eternally sever the nets of demons and smash the shell of ignorance. They will dry up the river of afflictions and be liberated from birth, old age, sickness, death, anxiety, grief, suffering, and vexation.

“Moreover, Manjusri, there may be beings who delight in perversity and engage in legal disputes, bringing trouble to others as well as themselves. In their actions, speech, and thought, they create ever-increasing amounts of evil karma. Never willing to benefit and forgive others, they scheme to harm one another instead. They pray to the spirits of the mountain forests, trees, and graves. They kill living beings in order to make sacrifices of blood and flesh to the yaksa and raksasa ghosts. They write down the names of their enemies and make images of them, and then they hex those names and images with evil mantras. They summon paralysis ghosts, cast hexes, or command corpse-raising ghosts to kill or injure their enemies.

“However, if the victims hear the name of Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, then all those evil things will lose their power to do harm. The evildoers will become kind to one another. They will attain benefit, peace, and happiness and no longer cherish thoughts of malice, affliction, or enmity. Everyone will rejoice and feel content with what they have. Instead of encroaching upon each other, they will seek to benefit one another.

“Moreover, Manjusri, there may be those among the fourfold assembly of Bhikshus, Bhikshunis, Upasakas and Upasikas, as well as other good men and women of pure faith, who accept and uphold the eight precepts either for one year or for three months, practicing and studying them. with these good roots, they may vow to be born in the Western Land of Ultimate Bliss where the Buddha of limitless Life dwells, to hear the Proper Dharma, but their resolve may not be firm. However, if they hear the name of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, then as the end of their lives draws near, before them will appear eight great Bodhisattvas, whose names are: Manjusri Bodhisattva, The Bodhisattva Who Observes the Sounds of the World, Great Strength Bodhisattva, Inexhaustible Intention Bodhisattva, Jewelled Udumbara Flower Bodhisattva, Medicine King Bodhisattva, Medicine Superior Bodhisattva, and Maitreya Bodhisattva. Those eight great Bodhisattvas will appear in space to show them the way, and they will naturally be born by transformation in that land, amid precious flowers of a myriad colors.

“Or they may be born in the heavens due to this cause. Although reborn in the heavens, their original good roots will not be exhausted and so they will not fall into the evildestinies again. when their life in the heavens ends, they will be born among people again. They may be wheel-turning kings, reigning over the four continents with awesome virtue and ease, bringing uncountable hundreds of thousands of living beings to abide in the practice of the ten good deeds. Or they may be born as Ksatriyas, Brahmans, laymen, or sons of honorable families. They will be wealthy, with storehouses filled to overflowing. Handsome in appearance, they will be surrounded by a great retinue of relatives. They will be intelligent and wise, courageous and valiant, like great and awesome knights. If a woman hears the name of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, and sincerely cherishes it, in the future she will never again be born as a female.

“Moreover, Manjusri, when Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata attained Bodhi, by the power of his past vows he contemplated all the sentient beings who were undergoing various kinds of sicknesses and sufferings. Some suffered from diseases such as emaciation, atrophy, severe thirst, or yellow fever; others were harmed by paralysis ghosts or by poisonous hexes; some died naturally when young, while others experienced untimely deaths. He wished to dispel all their sicknesses and sufferings, and to fulfill their wishes.”

At that time, the World Honored One entered a samadhi called “extinguishing the suffering and distress of all beings.” After he entered this samadhi, a great light came forth from his flesh-cowl. From amid that light he proclaimed this magnificent dharani

Namo Bhagavate bhaisajya guru vaidurya prabha rajaya
Tathagataya
Arhate
samyaksambuddhaya
tadyatha
Om bhaisajye bhaisajye bhaisajya samudgate Svaha

After he had spoken that mantra from amid the light, the earth trembled and emitted great light. All beings, sicknesses and sufferings were cast off, and they felt peaceful and happy.

“Manjusri, if you see a man (or a woman) who is ill you should single-mindedly and frequently clean and bathe him and rinse his mouth-Provide him with food, medicine, or water that is free of insects, over any of which the dharani has been recited 108 times. After the sick person has taken it, all his sicknesses and sufferings will be gone. I f this person has a wish, he should recite this mantra with utmost sincerity. Then he will obtain whatever he wished for, and his life will be prolonged and free from illness-At the end of his life, he will be reborn in that Buddha’s land. He will become irreversible and will ultimately attain Bodhi. Therefore, Manjusri, if there are men and women who, with utmost sincerity, diligently worship and make offerings to Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, they should always recite this mantra and never forget it.

“Moreover, Manjusri, men or women of pure faith, who have heard all the names of Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, One of proper and Equal Enlightenment should recite and uphold them. In the early morning, after brushing their teeth and bathing, they should make offerings of fragrant flowers, incense, perfumed balms, and various kinds of music before an image of that Buddha. They should personally write out this Sutra or ask others to do so, and they should single- mindedly and constantly recite it. If they listen to explanations of its meaning from a Dharma Master, they should make offerings to him of all necessities, so that he is without the slightest want. In this way, they will receive the mindful protection of the Buddhas. All of their wishes will be fulfilled, and they will ultimately attain Bodhi.”

At that time, the Pure youth Manjusri said to the Buddha, ‘World Honored One, I vow that in the Dharma- Image Age, using various expedient means, I shall enable good men and women of pure faith to hear the name of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata. Even during their sleep, I will awaken them with this Buddha’s name.

“World Honored One, there may be those who accept and uphold this Sutra, read and recite it, explain its meanings for others, write it out themselves, or tell others to write it out. They may revere it by making offerings of various flowers, paste incense, powdered incense, stick incense, flower garlands, necklaces, banners, canopies, and music. They may make bags of five-colored thread in which to keep the Sutra. They may sweep clean a place and arrange a high altar on which to place this Sutra. At that time, the Four Heavenly Kings with their retinues and other innumerable hundreds of thousands of gods will come to that place to worship and protect it.

“World Honored One, it should be known that if, in the places where this precious Sutra circulates, people can accept and uphold it, then due to the merit and virtue of the past vows of that World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, because they have heard his name, none of those people will meet with untimely death. In addition, none of them will be robbed of his vital energy by evil ghosts and spirits. Those people whose vital energies have already been robbed will have their health restored, and they will be happy and at peace in body and mind.”

The Buddha told Manjusri, “So it is, so it is! It is exactly as you say. Manjusri, if there are good men and women of pure faith who wish to make offerings to that world Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, they should first make an image of that Buddha and arrange a pure and clean dais on which to place the image. Then they should strew all kinds of flowers, burn various incenses, and adorn the place with a variety of banners and streamers. For seven days and seven nights they should hold the eight precepts and eat pure food. Having bathed until clean and fragrant, they should put on clean clothes. Their minds should be undefiled, without thoughts of anger and malice. Toward all sentient beings, they should cherish thoughts of benevolence, peace, kindness, compassion, joy, giving, and equanimity.

“Playing musical instruments and singing praises, they should circumambulate to the right of the Buddha’s image. Moreover, they should recall the merit and virtue of that Tathagata’s past vows. They should read and recite this Sutra, ponder its meaning, and lecture on and explain it. Then they will obtain whatever they seek: Those who seek long life will attain longevity; those who seek wealth will gain wealth; those who seek an official position will obtain it; and those who seek a son or a daughter will have one.

“Moreover, if a person who suddenly has nightmare, sees ill omens, notices strange birds flocking together, or perceives many uncanny events in his dwelling can worship and make offerings of many fine things to that World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, then the nightmares, ill omens, and inauspicious things will disappear and will no longer trouble him.

“When a person is endangered by water, fire, knives, or poison; or finds himself on a steep cliff or in a dangerous place; or faces fierce elephants, lions, tigers, wolves, bears, poisonous snakes, scorpions, centipedes, millipedes, mosquitoes, gnats, or other frightful things, if he can single-mindedly recollect, worship, and make offerings to that Buddha, he will be liberated from all those frightful things. When other countries invade or when there are thieves or riots, if a person can recollect and worship that Tathagata, then he will be free of all of these as well.

“Moreover, Manjusri, there may be good men and women of pure faith who, all their lives, do not worship other gods, but single-mindedly take refuge with the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. They accept and uphold precepts, such as the five precepts, the ten precepts, the four hundred precepts of a Bodhisattva, the two hundred and fifty precepts of a Bhikshu, or the five hundred precepts of a Bhikshuni. Perhaps they have violated some of the precepts they received and are afraid of falling into the evil destinies. If they concentrate on reciting that Buddha’s name and worship and make offerings to him, they definitely will not be reborn in the three evil destinies.

“If there is a woman about to give birth who suffers great pain, if she sincerely recites his name and worships, praises, venerates, and makes offerings to that Tathagata, her sufferings will be dispelled. The newborn child will be sound and healthy, and will have upright features. Seeing him will make people happy. He will be keen and intelligent, peaceful and secure, and with few ailments, and no evil spirit will come to rob him of his vitality.

At that time the World Honored One said to Ananda, “The merit and virtue of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, which I have just extolled, is the extremely profound practice of all Buddhas. It is difficult to fathom and to comprehend. Do you believe it or not?

Ananda said, “Greatly virtuous World Honored One, I have absolutely no doubts regarding the Sutras spoken by the Tathagata. why? Because all Buddhas’ karmas of body, speech, and mind are pure-World Honored One, the sun and moon could fall, wonderfully High, the king of mountains, could be toppled or shaken, but the words of the Buddhas never change.

“World Honored One, there are sentient beings deficient in faith who hear about the extremely profound practices of all Buddhas and think to themselves,’ How could one obtain such supreme merit and benefit merely by reciting the name of a single Buddha, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata? ‘Due to this lack of faith, they give rise to slander. During the long night they lose great benefit and joy and fall into the evil destinies, where they wander ceaselessly.”

The Buddha told Ananda, “If these sentient beings hear the name of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, and sincerely accept and uphold it without any doubts, they cannot possibly fall into the evil destinies.

“Ananda, this is the extremely profound practice of all Buddhas which is difficult to believe and to understand! you should know that your ability to accept this comes from the awesome power of the Tathagata Ananda, alI Hearers, Solitarily Enlightened Ones, and the Bodhisattvas who have not yet ascended to the Grounds are incapable of believing and understanding this Dharma as it really is. Only the Bodhisattvas who are destined in one life to attain Buddhahood are capable of understanding.

“Ananda, it is difficult to obtain a human body. It is also difficult to have faith in and to revere the Triple Jewel. It is even more difficult to be able to hear the name of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata. Ananda, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata possesses boundless Bodhisattva practices, limitless skillful expedients, and immeasurably vast, great vows. If I were to speak extensively of those for an eon or more, the eon would soon end, but that Buddha’s practices, vows, and skillful expedients have no end!”

At that time within the assembly, a Bodhisattva Mahasattva named One who Rescues and liberates arose from his seat, bared his right shoulder, knelt with his right knee on the ground, leaned forward with his palms joined together, and said to the Buddha, “Greatly virtuous World Honored One! During the Dharma Image Age, there will be living beings afflicted with various diseases, emaciated front chronic illnesses, unable to eat or drink, their throats parched and their lips dry. Such a being sees darkness gathering all around him as the signs of death appear. While lying in bed, surrounded by his weeping parents, relatives, and friends, he sees the messengers of Yama leading his spirit before that king of justice. Every sentient being has spirits that stay with him throughout his life. They record his every deed, both good and evil, to present to Yama, the king of justice. At that time, King Yama interrogates this person in order to tally his karma and mete out judgement according to his good and evil deeds.

“At that time, if the sick person’s relatives and friends, on his behalf, can take refuge with the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, and request members of the Sangha to recite this Sutra, to light seven layers of lamp, and to hang up the five colored banners for prolonging life, then it is possible for his spirit to return. As if in a dream, the person will see everything very clearly himself.

“If his spirit returns after seven, twenty-one, thirty five, or forty-nine days, he will feel as if awakened from a dream and will remember the retributions that he underwent for his good and bad karma. Having personally witnessed the retributions of his own karma, he will never again do any evil, even if his very life is endangered. Therefore, good men and women of pure faith should accept and uphold the name of Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata and, according to their capability, worship and make offerings to him.”

At that time, Ananda asked the Bodhisattva who Rescues and liberates, Good man, how should we worship and make offerings to the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata? And how should we make the banners and lamps that prolong life?”

The Bodhisattva who Rescues and Liberates said, “Greatly Virtuous One, if there is a sick person who wishes to be freed from sickness and suffering, for his sake one should accept and uphold the eight precepts for seven days and seven nights, and make offerings to the Bhikshu Sangha of as many items of food, drink, and other necessities as are in his power to give.

“During the six periods of the day and night one should worship, practice the Way, and make offerings to the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata. Read and recite this Sutra forty-nine times, light forty-nine lamps, and make seven images of that Tathagata. In front of each image place seven lamps, each as large as a cartwheel. These lamps must be kept burning continuously for forty-nine days. Hang up five- colored banners that are forty-nine spans long. Liberate a variety of living creatures, as many as forty-nine species. Then the sick one will be able to surmount the danger and will not suffer an untimely death or be held by evil ghosts.

“Furthermore, Ananda, in the case of ksatriya princes who are due to be anointed on the crowns of their heads, at a time when calamity arises, such as pestilence among the population, invasion by foreign countries, rebellion within their territories, unusual changes in the stars, a solar or lunar eclipse, unseasonal winds and rains, or prolonged drought, those ksatriya princes should bring forth an attitude of kindness and compassion toward all sentient beings and grant amnesty to all prisoners. They should follow the above-mentioned methods to make offerings to that World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata. Due to these good roots and the power of that Tathagata’s past vows, the country will be safe and peaceful, the winds and rains will be timely, the crops will ripen, and all sentient beings will be blissful and free of disease. Within this country there will be no violence, nor any yaksas or other spirits that harms sentient beings, and all evil omens will vanish.

“The ksatriya princes who are due to be anointed on the crowns of their heads will enjoy longer lives and good health, and they will be at ease and free from illness. Ananda, if the queens, the princes, the ministers or court counselors, the ladies of the palace, the provincial officials or the common people suffer from diseases or other difficulties, they should also hang up five-colored spiritual banners, light lamps and keep them burning, liberate living creatures, strew flowers of various colors, and burn precious incense. Then those people will be cured of their diseases and relieved of their difficulties.

Then Ananda asked the Bodhisattva who Rescues and Liberates, “Good man, how can a life that has come to an end be prolonged?”

The Bodhisattva who Rescues and Liberates answered, “Greatly Virtuous One, did you not hear the Tathagata say that there are nine kinds of untimely death? That is why people are exhorted to make life-prolonging banners and lamps and to cultivate all kinds of blessings. Through such cultivation of blessings, they will be freed from suffering and adversity for the rest of their lives.

Ananda asked, “What are the nine kinds of untimely death?”

The Bodhisattva who Rescues and liberates said, “There may be living beings who, although not seriously ill have neither medicine nor a doctor to treat them, or else they meet a doctor who gives them the wrong medicine; consequently, they meet with an untimely death. Some of them believe in worldly cults, whose deviant teachers frighten them with false prophecies. Unable to set their minds at ease, they consult oracles to find out what calamities are in store for them. In order to propitiate the spirits, they kill various creatures. They pray to wang liang ghosts for aid and protection. Although they wish to prolong their lives, their efforts are to no avail. They deludedly hold to wrong beliefs and perverse views. Thus they meet with an untimely death and fall into the hells, never to come out. This is the first kind of untimely death.

“The second kind of untimely death is to be executed at the hands of the law. The third kind is to hunt for sport, to indulge in drinking and lust, or to become excessively dissipated, and then to be waylaid by non-human beings that rob one’s essence and energy. The fourth is to be burned to death; the fifth is to drown; the sixth is to be devoured by wild beasts; the seventh is to fall from a steep cliff; the eighth is to be harmed by poison, voodoo, evil mantras, or corpse-raising ghosts; the ninth is to die from hunger and thirst. These are the nine kinds of untimely deaths generally spoken of by the Tathagata. There are also innumerable other kinds which cannot all be spoken of here.

“Moreover, Ananda, King Yama keeps track of the karmic records of all the inhabitants of the world. If there are beings who are not filial to their parents, who commit the Five Rebellious Acts, who revile the Triple Jewel, who destroy the laws of the country, or who violate the precept of truthfulness, then Yama, the king of justice, examines and punishes them according to the severity of their offenses. Therefore, I encourage people to light lamps and make banners, to liberate beings and cultivate blessings so that they can overcome suffering and peril and forestall all disasters.

At that time, twelve great yaksa generals were present in the assembly. They were: General Kimbhiro, General Vajra, General Mekhilo, General Antilo, General Anilo, General Santhilo, General Indalo, General Payilo, General Mahalo, General Cidalo, General Caundhulo, and General Vikalo.

These twelve great Yaksa generals, each with a retinue of seven thousand yaksas, simultaneously raised their voices and addressed the Buddha, “World Honored One! Today, by relying on the Buddha’s awesome power, we are able to hear the name of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata. As a result, we are no longer afraid of the evil destinies. All of us are of one mind to take refuge with the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha to the end of our lives. We vow to support all living beings and to benefit them, so that they may live in peace and happiness. In whatever cities, villages, countries, or secluded forests this Sutra circulates, or wherever people accept and uphold the name of Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata and venerate and make offerings to him, we, together with our retinues, will guard and protect them, deliver them from all distress, and fulfill all their wishes. If a person wishes to dispel illnesses and difficulties, he should read or recite this Sutra and tie a five-colored thread into knots, forming the letters of our names. He should untie the knots when his wishes have been fulfilled.

At that time, the World Honored One praised the great yaksa generals, saying, “Good indeed, good indeed, mighty yaksa generals! All of you who want to repay the kindness of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, should always benefit beings and bring peace and happiness to them in this way.

Then Ananda said to the Buddha, “World Honored One, what should we call this teaching? How should we uphold it?”

The Buddha told Ananda, “This teaching is called, ‘The Merit and Virtue of the Past Vows of Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata.’ It is also called ‘Twelve Spiritual Generals’ Vows to Use Spiritual Mantras to Benefit Living Beings.’ It is also called ‘Eradicating All Karmic Obstacles.’ You should uphold it in this way.

When the Bhagavan had finished speaking, all the Bodhisattvas, Mahasattvas, great Hearers, kings, minister, Brahmans, laypeople, gods, dragons, yaksas, gandharvas, asuras, garudas, kinnaras, mahoragas, humans, and non-human beings, and all the great assembly, on hearing what the Buddha had said, were greatly delighted. They received it with faith and respectfully practiced it.

(End of translation)
(Translated into English by B.T.T.S.)

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