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The Ten Realms of Existence in Buddhism (1): The First Six Lower Realms

Published Nobyembre 8, 2016 by jptan2012

When I wrote the post entitled – IS THERE A FENG SHUI RELEVANCE TO ALL SOULS DAY – I know that this is really the time for me to write about the topic that I have always wanted to write but has withheld from writing it because I’m not sure whether my readers are ready for it and also if it is the right time.

However, in hindsight this is something that I should have written before I even wrote and posted about the article about the Feng Shui relevance of All Souls Day. But having said that, I still believe that everything works and happened on its right time. And maybe it is really meant for me to write this now.

For Christians, when you die you either go to hell or heaven, maybe purgatory. And there you stay forever, that’s the only rebirth you experience. But in Buddhism, it is said that one goes thru reincarnation or rebirth, and there are different realms that you go to, the first six realms which are considered as the lower realm you go through that several times.

What are these SIX LOWER REALMS?

  1. HELL. To put it plainly this is a realm very similar to what Christians believe in. This is where you undergo punishment for your sins. If I’m not mistaken, in the Bible, hell is described as a lake of fire. In Buddhism, the lake of fire is just one part of hell. There are many different stages and parts of a hell. But needless to say in all those parts you go through retribution by a lot of suffering from your offenses in your other lives.
  2. HUNGRY GHOST. This is somewhat akin to hell, only the difference is that some Hungry Ghost still has the capacity to live amongst humans. You undergo suffering and retribution in this realm by feeling that you have a physical body but are unable to touch physical things. One of these things is food. Technically speaking, Hungry Ghosts may be nice or temperamental. They retain characteristics of human in terms of temperament and personality.
  3. ANIMAL. Simply put you are born as an animal, which is seen as a lesser being because of several attachments and inability to fully discern right and wrong. And most animals have a short life span and also are less fortunate than humans.
  4. HUMAN. This is us. If you are human, it is considered that you have enough good karma for you to be born as one. Because humans have the power to right things and learn new things and learn about the dharma (Buddha’s Teachings). But take note that we are still in the lower realm, and we are not in the highest in the lower realm.
  5. ASURA. Asura’ are unseen being that are better off than humans, they still need to learn things and they have their own realm of existence. They can see us, but we cannot see us. It is said that you are born as an Asura if as a human you are very generous but tends to have foul mouth and a bad temper. I guess one example of this is to take the story of Robinhood. Somebody like will be born as an Asura because he did a lot of good things but at the same time he stole things.
  6. HEAVENLY BEINGS. There are so many stages in Heavenly Beings that I will discuss in the future. But as a heavenly being one has some kind of supernatural power, but one has no physical body. A Heavenly Being lives in a place much like what the Bible described. However, as a heavenly being they still need to learn more about the Dharma. Some of the gods and deities of Taoism are considered as Heavenly Beings in Buddhism. In the lowest realm of Heavenly Beings are the Demons, who guard the lower realms like hell. And heavenly beings can be reborn as an Asura or Human or Animal, but their life span is much longer than that of human. Heavenly beings can help protect those in the lower realms like humans. In fact, in the Sutras a lot of the Lord and Yakshas and ‘Demons’ have committed to protect the people who read and carry or own the Medicine Sutra, Diamond Sutra, Earth Store Bodhisattva Sutra, and the Surangama Mantra Amulet.

Everybody in the lower realm undergoes rebirth. One can go up to Heavenly Beings or go down to Hell depending on one’s karma. As long as we don’t achieve Samadhi we will continue to be born in one of these realms.

We only stop samsara (cycle of rebirth) once we have attained Samadhi. And we enter the 4 higher realms. I will discuss that on my next post.

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

 

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Invite Wonderful Blessings in Your Life by Reciting a Sutra!

Published Abril 1, 2016 by jptan2012

I am a believer of the power of amulets; needless to say my favorites are the very powerful Vajrapani Ruel(1) and Surangama Mantra Amulet(1). The numerous personal testimonies found on this blog is testament as to how powerful wearing amulets are, especially the Vajrapani Ruel(2) which has showered a lot of people who has requested it with tremendous wealth luck, money luck, and financial luck. Wearing an amulet is like carrying an extension of a Buddha or Bodhisattva’s energies. However, the sad truth is not everyone will be able to avail of a powerful amulet. But of course, there are other ways of tapping into the power or energy of a Buddha or Bodhisattva.

In the past, I have written a lot about the importance and benefits of chanting a mantra, and a lot of you (my readers) has emailed me or texted me or personally shared with me the testimonials of how chanting a mantra has helped in your personal life or even in your career.

Chanting a mantra, for me, is one of the most powerful ways to connect and tap into the energies of the Buddhas or Bodhisattvas. Some people might say it is not as effective as having to wear an amulet like the Surangama Mantra Amulet(2) or Vajrapani Ruel(3). Well, there is truth to this, but I believe in some ways, chanting a mantra may be even more effective if we are able to chant it under deep meditation. How deep? To the level that you are no longer conscious of you’re surrounding. If we are to chant in that level of deepness, I would say it is even more effective than wearing an amulet. But whether we are able to chant it deeply or not, it is bound to have some effect, and we will definitely feel its power.

However, today I would also like to add and discuss the importance of reciting a sutra.

Amitabha_Sutra_bookA sutra or sutras are Buddhist teachings, usually ones that has been personally taught by Shakyamuni Buddha when He still have a physical body. Although, there are some sutras that was taught by different patriarchs. One of the most famous one is the 6th Patriarch Hui Neng. His sutra is called THE PLATFORM SUTRA OF THE SIXTH PATRIARCH. On my future posts I will discuss more about the sutra of the patriarchs. But for now let us focus on the sutra of the Buddha Shakyamuni.

I have mentioned before that mantras are powerful words lefts to us by the Buddha himself for us to chant to evoke some power. These mantras are usually found within a sutra. And as mentioned a sutra is a teaching taught by Shakyamuni (also spelled as Sakyamuni) Buddha. In effect, even when it has undergone a translation, it is still considered the very words of the Buddha.

Basically, a sutra is a teaching of the Buddha, and while the Christians and Muslims has the Bible and Koran (respectively), which is a compilation of different ‘books’, in Buddhism the sutras are not compiled. But there are a lot of different sutras.

As I said, a sutra is the Buddha’s teaching, within them are found the different mantras. But more than that, simply reciting (reading it loudly) carries a lot of blessings with it. As to what type of blessings it carries depends on the sutra being read, and these blessings are usually mentioned within the sutra itself. So reading a sutra doesn’t only bring about knowledge about Buddhism, but it also brings about blessings and this is another form to tap into the power or energies of the Buddha or Bodhisattvas.

But there are important things that one should remember when you got hold of a sutra. They are the following:

  1. You should treat it like a holy object only because it is a holy object.
  2. Don’t put it on the floor or a chair.
  3. If you placed it inside a bad, make sure you don’t put the bad on the floor or chair.
  4. Do not bring it inside restrooms, unless if its worn as an amulet.
  5. Do not sit on it.
  6. Do not lie on it.
  7. Do not put things on top of it.
  8. In keeping it, make sure you placed it on a high clean place.
  9. In keeping it, as much as possible put it on a vertical position and not horizontal. If horizontal (again) please make sure you don’t put anything on top of it unless it’s the same sutra.
  10. Take care of it like it’s the most precious book that it is.

In my next posts, I will share with you some of the sutra that I regularly read. Some of them I have written about in the past but it is worth writing about them again.

But for now, remember that while the Vajrapani Ruel(4) or the Surangama Mantra Amulet(3) are powerful amulets, there are other ways of tapping into the energy of the Buddha or a Bodhisattva.

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

 

Special Energizing Buddhist, Taoist, and Feng Shui Rituals to Bring Wealth, Career, and Personal Success (6): Read Sacred Texts to Imbibe Different Kinds of Blessing

Published Disyembre 9, 2012 by jptan2012

In Buddhism, reading or carrying a sutra will imbibe the blessing of a Buddha or Bodhisattva to whom the sutra comes from. I personally read the Medicine Buddha sutra everyday. It’s quite long but if you are in a rush, reading the shortest sutra in the world, which is the – THE HEART SUTRA – which is the Sutra of the Bodhisattva of Compassion, will also do.

The HEART SUTRA which is also one of the Sutras of the Bodhisattva of Compassion is the shortest sutra in the world. This is the Chinese version of the sutra.

The HEART SUTRA which is also one of the Sutras of the Bodhisattva of Compassion is the shortest sutra in the world. This is the Chinese version of the sutra.

Reading a sutra is a very powerful way to open up yourself to the blessings of the Buddhas or Bodhisattvas. More importantly, it cleanses you from negative energies and negative karma. Sutras also carries with them protective attributes that work like amulets and by simply carrying the sutra or reading them you spiritually acquire these protective attributes.

For non-Buddhists, I was told that the Koran and the Bible might also bestow some blessings to the reader simply by looking at it.

DO READ THE OTHER ‘SPECIAL ENERGIZING BUDDHIST, TAOIST, AND FENG SHUI RITUALS TO BRING FINANCIAL, CAREER, AND PERSONAL SUCCESS’ ARTICLES: (1) Tap the Power of the Sun’s Yang Energy; (2) Tap the Power of the Buddhist and/or Taoist Auspicious and Sacred Symbols by Displaying Them at Your Home or Workplace; (3) Upsurge the Yang Energy of Your Front Door and Living Room; (4) Wear Some Mantra or Seed Syllable as Jewelry; (5) Put Sacred Objects/Images in Your Home and Workplace; (6) Read Sacred Texts to Imbibe Different Kinds of Blessing; (7) Make Peace with the Spiritual Realms Through Incense, Holy Sound, and Mantras.

Special Energizing Buddhist, Taoist, Feng Shui Rituals to Bring Wealth, Career, and Personal Success (5): Put Sacred Objects or Images in Your Home and Workplace

Published Disyembre 8, 2012 by jptan2012

The simple act of inviting a Buddha, Bodhisattva, Goddess, Deity, Immortal or a Saint in your home or workplace will shower upon you wonderful blessings of peace, luck and protection. Having a Sacred Image can immediately transform negative energy into positive ones, and if the energy is all positive, it can ensure that the energy stays positive.

Sun Wukong aka Monkey God aka Pilgrim aka 'Great Sage, Equal to Heaven' is a very powerful wealth and protector god. He is one of the few deities worshipped both in Taoism (also spelled as Daoism) and Buddhism.

Sun Wukong aka Monkey God aka Pilgrim aka ‘Great Sage, Equal to Heaven’ is a very powerful wealth and protector god. He is one of the few deities worshipped both in Taoism (also spelled as Daoism) and Buddhism.

Avalokitesvara or Kuan Yin is known as Cannon in Japan. Notice that even though the image looks feminine, the breast is exposed and its flat signifying a breast of a man. This is to signify that Kuan Yin has no gender.

Avalokitesvara or Kuan Yin is known as Cannon in Japan. Notice that even though the image looks feminine, the breast is exposed and its flat signifying a breast of a man. This is to signify that Kuan Yin has no gender.

Kuan Kong / Guan Gong / Guan Ti / Guan Yu / Guan Sheng Ti Jun

Kuan Kong / Guan Gong / Guan Ti / Guan Yu / Guan Sheng Ti Jun

Medicine Buddha

Medicine Buddha

Constantly seeing the images of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Deities, Immortals, or Saints will also subconsciously connect us to higher form of consciousness.

While I prefer actual images of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, etc. Other sacred objects like Prayer Wheels, Stupas, or the Koran for Muslims or the Bible for Christians will also do.

A table top prayer wheel.

A table top prayer wheel.

An indoor stupa is only effective if it either has a relic or a sutra or mantra inside it. A real relic is very rare though.

An indoor stupa is only effective if it either has a relic or a sutra or mantra inside it. A real relic is very rare though.

DO READ THE OTHER ‘SPECIAL ENERGIZING BUDDHIST, TAOIST, AND FENG SHUI RITUALS TO BRING FINANCIAL, CAREER, AND PERSONAL SUCCESS’ ARTICLES: (1) Tap the Power of the Sun’s Yang Energy; (2) Tap the Power of the Buddhist and/or Taoist Auspicious and Sacred Symbols by Displaying Them at Your Home or Workplace; (3) Upsurge the Yang Energy of Your Front Door and Living Room; (4) Wear Some Mantra or Seed Syllable as Jewelry; (5) Put Sacred Objects/Images in Your Home and Workplace; (6) Read Sacred Texts to Imbibe Different Kinds of Blessing; (7) Make Peace with the Spiritual Realms Through Incense, Holy Sound, and Mantras.

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