Buddhahood

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Recite – A – Sutra (10): Blessings from Reciting “The Sutra of the Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva”!

Published Marso 29, 2017 by jptan2012

Regular readers of this blog knows that I’m a great believe of reciting sutras because reciting sutras has the power to attract numerous blessings and offer strong protection to a person who recites it. In fact, simply having a copy of a sutra, especially if it’s the Traditional Sutra Amulet format, if one is unable to recite will give you financial blessings, peace, happiness, and protection. This blog has shared some of the personal testimonies of my readers who has requested for the Traditional Sutra Amulets (TSA).

earth-store-bodhisattva-sutra-traditional

This is a copy of the traditional SUTRA OF THE PAST VOWS OF BODHISATTVA KSITIGARBHA that my Guru Lama sent me.

But today, in this post, allow me to share with you some of the wonderful blessings you may receive if you recite the SUTRA OF THE PAST VOWS OF EARTH STORE BODHISATTVA. These are the blessings especially mentioned in the sutra. But to understand it further, I have copy – pasted the commentary (short explanation) of Venerable Master Hsuan Hua of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. This is to make the promise of the blessing a little more clearer.

Note: Earth Store Bodhisattva is also known or called as Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha and Di Zhang Pu Sa.

Here is the list of the blessings as stated in the sutra itself followed by commentary of Venerable Master Hsuan Hua:

First, they will be protected by gods and dragons. Gods, celestial dragons and celestial asuras will protect you because you know how to recite the Earth Store Sutra. Asuras in the heavens enjoy blessings but no authority. They swear to protect you. Gandharvas are music spirits before the Jade Emperor. They are also called “sniffing spirits”. Whenever the Jade Emperor lights up a particular incense, Gandharvas come. There are male gandharvas and female gandharvas. Male gandharvas wear a horn similar to chimeras on their heads. Once they get a whiff of this scent, they will dance and sing, so the celestial music rings in the heavens. Recite Earth Store Sutra and gandharvas will sing praises as they dance on air. Garudas are Great Peng birds with golden wings. Kinnaras are music spirits too. Maharagas are giant pythons. All of them protect someone who recite the Earth Store Sutra or bow to Earth Store Bodhisattva.

Second, their good roots will increase daily. Sometimes cultivators are extremely bold as they set their resolve on Bodhi; consequently doing a lot of merit. Sometimes they turn around and withdraw. They retreat because they feel that they do not experience any responses despite all the merit they do for Buddhism. Good results increase daily means that they do no retreat; instead they grow by the day. They develop blessings and wisdom, do good and virtuous deeds, achieve merit and always move forward vigorously in Buddhism. Why? It is because you recite Earth Store Bodhisattva’s name, recite the Fundamental Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva Sutra or pay respects to Earth Store Bodhisattva that you experience the response of growing good effects on a daily basis.

Third, they will amass supreme causes pertaining to sagehood. This means they do various jobs in Buddhism, such as printing sutras and building temples. Repairing bridges and paving roads are about amassing supreme causes pertaining to sagehood too. Making sutras, turning the great Dharma wheel and doing all these good deeds are about cultivating the path to Bodhi and amassing supreme causes pertaining to sagehood.

Fourth, they will not retreat from Bodhi. Sometimes we are vigilant and sometimes we are lax in our cultivation. Vigilant, we are quite bold with everything. Lax, we feel that we are not getting any responses from any work we do, so we retreat. Recite Earth Store Sutra, recite Earth Store Bodhisattva’s name, and bow and make offerings to Earth Store Bodhisattva; we do not renounce our resolve for Bodhi. Our wish for enlightenment moves ahead and grows on a daily basis, never retreating.

Fifth, their clothing and food will be abundant. We are not short of clothes or food. People work their entire lives for those three meals a day. They work hard out of fear of dying because of starvation or cold. They are always looking for more money. When we did not have any money, we want 10,000 dollars. When we get our wish and earn 10,000, we find that lacking. We tell ourselves, if we had 100,000 dollars, we will retire. But when we make that 100,000 dollars, we remember that our kids have to go to school. We do not have enough money. We want to buy a car, so there is not enough money. We want to buy a cruise boat, so there is not enough money still. Thinking even bigger, we may want an airplane. Hundred thousand dollars does not do any good. We look for money.

When we find that one million dollars and are ready to buy that plane, the price of the airplane has gone up. We could have purchased it for $990,000 before, but now it is $9,900,000. The price has gone up by ten times. We cannot afford it once again. We can never catch up because of our greed. We were going to be satisfied and retired as millionaires, but we end up continuing with the pursuit. We are never satisfied and never content.

If you recite Earth Store Bodhisattva’s name, recite Earth Store Sutra, bow and make offerings to Earth Store Bodhisattva, you will always enjoy more than enough clothing and food. When you want to buy an airplane, you will earn more than enough money for two airplanes. That is how wonderful this Dharma is. In that case, I will hurry up and recite Earth Store Bodhisattva! Recite Earth Store Bodhisattva in the hopes of buying two airplanes is greed. Large amounts of greed will not bring about results. All we can do is try our best while reciting. Do not care so much about whether there will be results. Some say, “Master, I feel I am tricked by what you say!” Then what? Do not be tricked. Consequently, we must be content and be patient with what comes.

Sixth, they will never succumb to epidemics. Recite Earth Store Bodhisattva’s name and you will not contract any contagious diseases. Epidemics cannot touch you because there seems to be a border between you and the disease.

I remember when I was in Northeast China during a plague. A household of eleven had thirteen deaths in three days. How can a household of eleven have two more deaths than the number in the family? Two were bearers of gifts. Eleven was not a large enough number, two more had to be added. Out of these two, one was a worker for the family and the other was a distant relative who came to visit. They were additions to the eleven that made the total number of dead thirteen. When I was there, I took four young disciples with me. “We are going to go and rescue people!” How? I told them, “Let us recite the Great Compassion Mantra to duel the plague spirit.” We went to villages plagued by this epidemic and circled the place three times, reciting the Great Compassion Mantra. When we finished reciting Great Compassion Mantra, the epidemic vanished. So reciting the Great Compassion Mantra is very effective and wonderful.

Seventh, they will escape calamities involving fire and water. Recite Earth Store’s name, there will be no floods or fire, or they will not drown in water and not be burned by fire. They will naturally float to shallow spots and reach the shore when they fall into the sea; they will naturally be rescued when fire is closing in on them.

Eighth, they will never be threatened by thieves. Why are you robbed and stolen from? It is because you unreasonably took other people’s money for your own. You had lied in the past so you are robbed in this life. You have to pay your due. This is the reason why you are robbed and stolen from. All this is a result of cause and effect. There is nothing strange about it. If you really understand this, then you will see the cause and effect in any state and recognize this cyclic law.

Ninth, they will be respected by all who see them. Recite Guanshiyin Bodhisattva (also known as Guan Shi Yin, Kuan Shi Yin, Guan Yin, Kuan Yin) and Earth Store Bodhisattva’s names and pay respect to them; people will respect you and feel close to you. They feel as if they see relatives from long ago. They feel so close to you, as if they have come home. This is like being along overseas where you know no one. When you meet some old friends, you feel awkward. You do not know whether you are happy or sad, whether to smile or cry, Or you want to laugh and cry! You cry because you see someone dear to you. You laugh because you feel secure now.

People respect you at the sight of you. No one criticizes you or mistreats you. Do not say, “You know, I am an upasaka! You must respect me!” Or, “I am a Dharma Master, bow to me when you see me!” This is not about forcing others to respect you. The saying goes, “ Musk will naturally smell nice, why let the wind blow on it?” If you were really virtuous, do not act like some medicinal patches salesperson. “Oh, my medicinal patch is the best. Arthritis, rheumatism, numbness, just put on this patch and it will cure itself even if you do not put on the patch. Do not sell yourself, fearing that others will not know you. “Do you know who I am? I am the most powerful Buddhist Dharma Protector. I am a senior Dharma Protect at so and so temple. Also, I am the Board of Director of some charity organization. I am also the supporter of some place, etc., etc.” One introduces oneself because one is afraid that other people will not know. Stop, that is pretense and untrue. Advertise and sell yourself, then blind individuals will not know and be swindled by you; but people with eyes will see it right away, finding you pathetic.

Tenth, they will be aided by ghosts and spirits. If you have real merit, why publicize it for yourself? Ghosts, spirits, & Dharma protectors will help and support you. They will help you and resolve your difficulties from behind the scenes. No need to publicize. The tenth advantage is that all ghosts, good and bad, and all spirits, good and bad, will all help you. Evil spirits will also help you? Is this due to the power of Earth Store Bodhisattva? It is by the power of Earth Store Bodhisattva. All evil ghosts and spirits become Dharma protectors.

If I recite Earth Store King Bodhisattva, will he tell people to come and scold me? No. Why? To tell you the truth, you are not up the level yet! You have not even finished studying, how can you pass the test? You pass when you graduate from college. Why test you if you just entered college and have not even graduated? Do not think that scolding is bad. Scoldings are tests. If you can take it, you pass. If you pass, keep going forward and cultivate. Do you cultivate any more after you pass the test? Cultivate even more once you pass. If not, what is the use of passing the test? What is the use of studying to earn a Ph.D.? It is the same idea. If you understand, you understand; if you do not understand, there is nothing I can do.

Eleventh, women who want to, can be reborn as men. The eleventh advantage is that if you are tired of being a woman, by paying respects and making offerings, praising and reciting the Fundamental Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva Sutra, or reciting and praising Earth Store Bodhisattva’s name, then you as a woman will turn into a man. Perhaps it is not because you are tired of being a woman that you wish to become a man. You feel that it is inconvenient being a woman and therefore wish to become a man. You make that kind of vow because everything will be convenient then. Earth Store Bodhisattva will make your wishes come true.

Twelfth, women who want to, can be reborn as daughters of national leaders and officials. Any wish to go from a woman to a man will be met. So will the wish to go from a man to a woman. Men may recite Earth Store Bodhisattva’s name, bow to an image of Earth Store Bodhisattva or recite the Fundamental Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva Sutra to become a woman who teaches living beings. Women usually have less of a temper, are more detail-oriented and speak as if they have affinities with others. This is why some Bodhisattvas make the vow to go from being men to women. They go from being men to women to propagate the Buddhadharma and teach living beings. Consequently, these women are not average women, but daughters to kings and ministers. They enjoy a lot of power to influence people so that people may develop their faith and intention to cultivate. These women have been reborn again because of their vows.

Thirteenth, they will have upright appearances. The thirteenth advantage is not only about being women, but women who are intelligent and wise, nice looking without any flaws. The nose, eyes, ears and mouth all look the way they should. Someone asks, “Are there ears that do not look like ears. Are there eyes that do not look like eyes?” Some women have triangular eyes or strange looking eyes that look about as if they are ready to steal some cows. They do not look so elegant. They are rather crude, improper and less than perfect. The nose is on top of the head, with nostrils pointed upward. What do you think that is like? Some women have one eye up close to the sky and one eye close to the floor, ears on the back of her head, and a mouth on the chin. They do not look quite like people, not quite like ghosts, and not quite like monkeys. If they were a product of evolution, how is it that they do not look like anybody else but they are the only ones who look that way? This is an improper and imperfect look. If you wish to become women, your looks ought to be perfect and proper. If your features were proper-looking, people will feel a sense of affinity with you. If your features were improper, people take a look and run away as if they saw a yaksha.

Fourteenth, they will often be born in the heavens. The fourteenth advantage surpasses those described before. They are born in the heavens often to enjoy heavenly blessings and supremely wonderful bliss.

Fifteenth, they may be emperors or national leaders. The fifteenth is that they may become candidates for emperors by reciting the Earth Store Sutra, bow to Earth Store Bodhisattva, and recite Earth Store Bodhisattva’s name. This is an incredible advantage. “Dharma Master, I do not want to go to the heavens and be an emperor or be a good-looking individual. This Saha World is so miserable, I have had enough already.” You really had enough? There are other opportunities for realizing Buddhahood, the last enumerated advantage is to realize Buddhahood.

Sixteenth, they will have the wisdom to know past lives. They know what they did in their past lives. Perhaps they were political officials, scholars or business people. They know what their last names, first names were, their place of birth and age of death. Now they are in a new house, different from their earlier ones. Those with the power to know past lives know what occurred in their past lives.

Seventeenth, they will obtain whatever they seek. The 17th advantage is that you get what you want. You want riches and you get them. You want people, you get people. You want food, you get food. You want to be rich and you will own an uncountable amount of gold, silver and jewels. Just avoid following in the footsteps of Disatrers.Reza Shah Pahlavi [the Iranian czar], who earned so much money, none of which was enjoyed during his lifetime. He died empty-handed. How meaningless and worthless. Do not be misers.

Eighteenth, their families will be happy. The 18th advantage is that their family, relatives and friends around them are all happy, safe and at peace. People do not fight or argue. This creates happy families.

Sometimes a lot of afflictions develop in the family, between husband and wife, father and son, brothers and sisters, or in-laws. The most intimate relationship in our lives has to be that between parent and child. When their opinions diverge, the child may think: “Look, the old man’s brain is arcane; his knowledge is arcane; everything he does is arcane. He has not caught up with modern times and does not know how to deal with the contemporary world.” He feels that old people do present a problem. Elders are so concerned about their children that they forgive their children no matter what wrong they do.

The children, unfortunately, are ungrateful and consider the elders in the wrong. Why do you not educate your children well? It is because parents do not know how to teach their children. Consequently children do not know how to take care of their parents. Many problems remain unresolved between parents and their children. As for couples, before marriage, both wear a façade and do not argue or fight. After marriage, both display their temper. The man will let the woman know that he is upset and the woman will let the man know that she is upset. They give each other stress. With this 18 th advantage, your families and friends will always be happy if you get to see an image of Earth Store Bodhisattva or hear the name of Earth Store Bodhisattva.

Nineteenth, they will never undergo any disasters. All disasters and accidents, adverse and inauspicious events are unexpected disasters. Suicide by hanging, drowning at the sea, airplane crashes, car accidents, suicide by taking poisons are all unexpected deaths. When all accidents disappear, all disasters disappear. There will be no more hurt or harm.

Twentieth, they will leave the bad karmic paths forever. No more offense karma. The three evil destinies are the realms of hell-beings, hungry ghosts, and animals.

Twenty-first, they will always reach their destination. The 21st advantage is one where they go everywhere unobstructed and very smoothly. Things are auspicious and beneficial for them.

Twenty-second, their dreams will be peaceful and happy. The 22nd advantage. Unlike average people’s dreams some always have vicious nightmares. They experience nightmares where they are either chased by ghosts, bitten by dogs, or eaten by tigers. Sometimes they are pressed upon by ghosts and cannot move. They panic. Recite The Fundamental Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva Sutra and Earth Store Bodhisattva’s name, your dreams will become happy and lucky.

Twenty-third, their deceased relatives will leave suffering behind. The 23rd advantage is that your parents, ancestors, and relatives since beginningless time, will leave suffering and attain bliss, become liberated from birth and death. Many deceased individuals fall into the hells because of their karma. However, because you see an image of Earth Store Bodhisattva or hear the name of Earth Store Bodhisattva, there are 28 advantages that make the deceased leave suffering behind and acquire bliss. The deceased of the present are our deceased parents and relatives in this life. They will leave suffering and attain bliss. The deceased of the past are all of our deceased parents and relatives throughout all of our lives will leave suffering and attain bliss.

Twenty-fourth, they will enjoy blessings earned in previous lives. You ride on the good roots and blessings from your past lives. Having done a lot of merit and planted deep roots of goodness, they enjoy such blessings of lives past. Why are we rich in this life? In past lives we made offerings to the Sangha and offered charity to the poor. In the past, we made offerings to the Triple Jewel, guarded Buddhism, and helped the poor. This is why we are rich in this lifetime. Why are we poor in this life, perhaps so impoverished that we have no clothing or food? In past lives we refused to help the poor. In lives past, we refused to aid the poor. We were very stingy and did not want to give up anything. If we were not so miserly before, but cultivated blessings and wisdom instead, then the blessings done in past lives may be enjoyed in this lifetime.

Twenty-fifth, they will be praised by sages. The 25th is that all Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, sages, and arhats praise you and tell you that you are a good man or a good woman.

Twenty-sixth, they will be intelligent and have keen faculties. The 26th advantage is about being very smart and wise, having a powerful memory. The eyes are bright and they see far. The ears hear well. All six sense faculties are keen.

Twenty-seventh, they will be magnanimous and empathetic. The 27th is being full of sympathy and compassion toward everyone. Providing every individual with joy and relieving one of one’s pain. Regardless of how unkind people are, they treat others kindly and refuse to seek revenge.

Twenty-eighth, they will ultimately realize Buddhahood. What is the 28th advantage? This is the most critical advantage– to irreversibly enter the Bhodi path so that they will definitely become Buddhas in the future.

If you wish to know more about the Sutra Amulet (A Special Recite – A – Sutra Article) Series you can click on the links below:

You can read all the other post about the ‘Recite A Sutra’ Series:

  1. Invite Wonderful Blessings in Your Life by Reciting A Sutra!
  2. Recite A Sutra (1): Create Harmony and Peace Thru The Powerful Sutra Called ‘The Heart of Prajna Paramita Sutra’!
  3. Recite A Sutra (2): Get Healed or Good Health, Create An Aura of Protection, Attract Wealth, With the Power of ‘The Medicine Buddha Sutra’!
  4. Recite A Sutra (3): For Protection & Unlimited Blessings of Auspiciousness Recite One of the Most Powerful & Highly Revered Sutra Both in Tibetan & Chinese Buddhism Called ‘The Diamond of Perfect Wisdom Sutra’!
  5. Recite A Sutra (4): Attract Auspiciousness and Cure Bad Feng Shui with “The Noble Stack of Auspiciousness Sutra”.
  6. Recite A Sutra (5): In Times of Conflict Recite the Powerful Protector Sutra Called “The Golden Light Sutra”!
  7. Recite – A – Sutra (6): Why Do We Have to Loudly Recite Sutras?
  8. Recite – A – Sutra (7): Recite the Ullambana Sutra on the 15th Day of the 7th Lunar Month – How the Hungry Ghost Month is Not Just About Negative Energies – It is Also Time To Change One’s Bad Fate to a Positive One!
  9. Chant – A – Mantra (7) & Recite – A – Sutra (8): Additional Protection from the Double Illness Star and Double Wu Wang in the Northeast!
  10. The Many Benefits of A Sutra: How A Sutra Can Be Use As An Amulet (A Special Recite – A – Sutra Article)
  11. “The Diamond of Perfect Wisdom Sutra” Is One of the Holiest and Most Powerful You Can Keep: A Special Recite – A – Sutra Article
  12. Getting Rid of Bad Luck and Bad Spirits With the Use of A Traditional Sutra Amulet: A Personal Testimony of A Reader (A Special Recite – A – Sutra Article)
  13. Recite – A – Sutra (9): A Sutra Called Avatamsaka Sutra and Powerful Amulet Called Avatamsaka Amulet that Dispels Off the Hindrances in Our Life’s Luck!

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

 

 

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The Ten Realms of Existence in Buddhism (2): The Four Higher Realms

Published Nobyembre 9, 2016 by jptan2012

In the preceding first part of this post, I introduced to you the TEN REALMS OF EXISTENCE IN BUDDHISM and also talked about the SIX LOWER REALMS. Today, I would like to talk to you about the Higher Realms. We should all aspire to reach these realms, although the ultimate goal is that we enter the highest realm. Once one enter into these realms one will no longer go back to the lower realms but again the goal is to reach the highest realm. Once you entered this realm you are considered as enlightened, although not fully enlightened unless you reach the highest level, which is Buddhahood.

The 4 Higher Realms of Existence in Buddhism are the following:

  1. ARHAT. This is the first level of the higher realm. Simply put this is someone who by listening or reading and practicing the Buddha dharma, as extinguishes all defilements and has achieved nirvana. While it may be easier for the Asuras and the Deva (Heavenly Beings) to enter Arhatship, they are a lot of humans who has entered Arhatship also. This is especially true during the time of Sakyamuni Buddha. When an Arhat passes away, their body usually doesn’t decay in the way like most people do.
  2. PRATYEKABUDDHA. Is someone who entered nirvana and has ended samsara. But in Buddhism, there is a time that there will be no Buddha and no Dharma, but if one enters nirvana through meditation this person is considered as a Pratyekabuddha also.
  3. BODHISATTVA. The word is actually a combination of two words. First, Bodhi means awakened or to awaken to the truth. Sattva means sentient beings. In short it means an awakened sentient beings. During the time of Buddha Sakyamuni, it is extremely possible to become a ‘living’ Bodhisattva or to be a human Bodhisattva. To this day, the Dalai Lama and the Karmapa are considered as living Bodhisattva. A Bodhisattva is strongly characterized by their compassion, loving – kindness, wisdom, great vows, good deeds. A Bodhisattva also has tremendous power to help all sentient beings. Some of the most well known Bodhisattvas are Avalokitesvara (also known as Kuan Yin, Guan Yin, Kuan Shi Yin, Guan Shi Yin, Kannon), Ksitigarbha (also known as Earth Store, Di Zhang Wang) Samantabhadra (also known as Pu Xian), Manjushri (also known as Wun Shu Shi Li), Maitreya (also known as Mi Luo and colloquially called Happy Fat Buddha), Vajrapani (also known as Chin Kang Shou) and who is the Bodhisattva that controls or has power over the Vajrapani Ruel, Mahasthamaprapta (also known as Da Shi Zhi) and a lot more. In Zen Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism, they acknowledge that some people although technically not a Bodhisattva and do not have supernatural powers and still has a body, do manifest the wonderful Bodhisattva traits. At this point, I’m reminded of my reader turned friend BM and Mother Teresa, now Saint Teresa. (Incidentally, a saint maybe equivalent to a Bodhisattva).
  4. BUDDHA / BUDDHAHOOD. This is the ultimate goal, and Siddharta Gautama achieved this in human form until he moved on to spiritual form. As a Buddha he is called Sakyamuni Buddha. A Buddha is some who has achieved perfect enlightenment, and one who is has perfect wisdom and perfect compassion. A Buddha is not a God. There are so many Buddhas that existed and still exist before Sakyamuni Buddha, and according to Buddha Sakyamuni the next Buddha is Maitreya Buddha .

 

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

 

Is There A Feng Shui Relevance to All Souls Day?

Published Oktubre 31, 2016 by jptan2012

Ire, Loves Well, obviously the Chinese ‘All Souls Day’ or day of remembering the dead doesn’t happen in November 1, or to be more accurate about it on November 2. All Saints Day / All Souls Day is a big deal for a lot of Filipinos and perhaps Catholics in the world. But is there is Feng Shui significance or relevance to this special day?

For Chinese, especially those who are in the older generation, it is very important that we remember our ancestors or loved ones who passed away, this is taken as a sign of respect but at the same time, it is believed that we should not earn their ire by forgetting about them, or we should earn their approval so that they can help shower blessing upon the living. This is why remembering our loved ones or dead ancestors are important part of the life of a Chinese. In fact, a lot of us have images of our ancestors in our home, where we light incense and offer food on special occasions. The older generation will offer incense everyday. This may be a little too excessive.

In Buddhism, according to the Medicine Buddha Sutra, when a person dies his or her consciousness will undergo rebirth within 7 days or 21 days or 35 days or 49 days. I will clarify that it will go through rebirth on the first day, it will have to wait for 7 days, then if you didn’t go through rebirth on the 7th day then on the 21st day if not then it will be 35th day, until 49th day. If you don’t go through rebirth in the first 5 stipulated days, then you will sure go rebirth on the 49th day.

But rebirth doesn’t necessarily mean rebirth here on earth as human.

There are different levels of possible rebirth and starting from the bottom they are the following:

  1. Hell
  2. Hungry Ghost
  3. Animal Kingdom
  4. Human
  5. Asura
  6. Heavenly Beings
  7. Arhat
  8. Pratyekabuddha
  9. Bodhisattva
  10. Buddhahood

The first six are considered as the lower realms wherein the being still has an attachment and the last four are considered as the upper realm wherein the being or our consciousness no longer has any attachment. Once one is born in the upper realm, his or her consciousness no longer goes back to any of the lower realm.

It should be noted that for Catholics or Christianity, heaven is the ultimate goal, for Buddhism is a better place than the first five but it is still a place where in desire and attachment exist and one can still go down to the other realms. It is also not the most desired realm. I will talk about the 10 realms further in a future post.

I will also discuss the difference between Hungry Ghost and the Hell in another post.

But for now what I want to show is that for Buddhism, one can be born in different realms, until we reach Buddhahood.

So when a person dies, his consciousness or soul as Christians would call it will be born again in one of these realms. As humans 98% we will be born in either the realm of Hell or Hungry Ghost or Animal Kingdom or Human (again). If we have been good we might be born in the realm of an Asura or a Heavenly Beings.

This is where remembering and offering ‘good merits’ to our departed love ones or ancestors will become important. For example, your loved one or ancestor was born in the realm of the Hell or Animal Kingdom or Hungry Ghost, by offering good merits to them such as praying for them or chanting mantras or reciting sutras for them will shortened their suffering in the lower realms of Hell or Hungry Ghost or Animal Kingdom. On the other hand, if they were born in the realm of Human, by offering good merits to them their life will be better. If their current life is bad it will become better, if it is already good it will become even better. And if they were born as an Asura or Heavenly Beings then their life will even become better or they maybe pushed up to being born as Arhat or a Pratyekabuddha.

But this is the thing. Days like ‘All Souls Day’ are important because it forced us to remember them on these days. However, it certainly doesn’t mean that we should only remember them on this day. In fact, it is very important that we offer prayers or mantras or sutras or incense to them everyday. And by remembering them and offering merits to them everyday, we in turn make our life better. Because we are interconnected with each other. They may have a totally different life now but because of affinity with each other we are somewhat linked to each other. And if we send them merits, in a way we also get our own merits.

 

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

Chant – A – Mantra (3b): Daily Mantras to Chant – The 4 Main Bodhisattvas of Chinese Buddhism!

Published Hulyo 12, 2016 by jptan2012

In the preceding post, I briefly talked about the importance of chanting mantras daily. Sometimes, chanting mantras takes getting used to and the more we do it, the more we get used to it, the more it is easier for us to learn new mantras. But more than that, chanting mantras should be considered like taking vitamins, we have to take it everyday for us to build resistance, and in this case resistance to negative chi. Furthermore, aside from building resistance to negative chi or negative energies, chanting mantras daily makes us more attuned to the cosmic energy of the Buddhas or Bodhisattvas whose mantra we are chanting, not to mention it makes more attuned to the cosmic energy in general.

While we won’t be able to recite the entire mantras daily, because some of them are long and there are really a lot of mantras available for us. Chanting daily mantras of selected Buddhas or Bodhisattvas will also make us, as mentioned earlier, more attuned with the cosmic energy, to the divine cosmic energy of the world of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, in such a manner that when we have to chant a specific mantra for a specific purpose, because we already have a ‘relationship’ with the divine cosmic energy, it is easier for us to be attuned to the energy of the new mantra we are chanting, even this is for only a specific purpose.

Yesterday, I shared with you the initial list of the mantras I chant daily. Namely of the 3 main Buddhas of our time and they are Amitabha Buddha, Shakyamuni Buddha (Sakyamuni Buddha) and the only celestial Buddha among the three, Medicine Buddha.

Note: Medicine Buddha is the simplified name. Medicine Buddha’s formal name is Bhaisajya – guru – vaidūrya – prabhā – raja or King of Medicine Master and Lapis Lazuli Light. His Tibetan common name is Bhaisajyaguru.

Today, allow me to share with you the other mantras that I chant everyday. They are 4 Main Buddha of Chinese Buddhism, especially for Pure Land Buddhism and Zen Buddhism.

Note: Zen Buddhism although has Japanese name actually started in China. It’s the English-speaking world that ‘popularized’ Zen Buddhism, but in reality it is called Chan Buddhism.

THE 4 MAIN BODHISATTVAS WHOSE MANTRAS I CHANT EVERYDAY ARE THE FOLLOWING:kuan Yin3 white

  1. NAMO DA PEI KWAN SHI YIN PU SA & OM MANI PADME HUM (Mantra of the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Kuan Yin) – Kuan Yin (also known as Avalokitesvara, Kannon, and also spelled as Guan Yin, Kwan Yin, Gwan Yin) is more popularly known as the Bodhisattva of Compassion. Sometime people also refer to her as the Buddha of Compassion (although she is not a Buddha) or Goddess of Mercy (although she is also not a Goddess). I have written about Kuan Yin Bodhisattva many times, so I will put the link to those articles below. But it should be noted that perhaps Kuan Yin Bodhisattva is perhaps the most famous and most revered Bodhisattva in all lineage and school of Buddhism. She has become so famous that even the Taoist has adopted her as one of their Goddess. I personally make sure that I always chant her mantra.You can read more about Kuan Yin Bodhisattva by clicking on the links below:

 

  • NAMO DA YUAN DI ZHANG WANG PU SA and OM AH KSTIGARBHA THALENG HUM and OM PRA MANI DANI SOHA (Mantra of the Bodhisattva of Great Vow, Ksitigarbha) – Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva is known to have committed to the Buddha that he will not enter Buddhahood unless he has freed all sentient beings from hell or from being a hungry ghost. This is his great vow. Chanting his mantra will help ensure that we are freed from suffering and help ensure a good rebirth. To under stand Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva better please read: Ksitigarbha Buddha is a Bodhisattva Who Vowed to Help All Those Who Suffer in Hell and In this World.

    Samantabhadra

    Bodhisattva Samantabhadra

  1. NAMO DA XING PU XIAN PU SA and OM AH HUM AH A KAR SA LE OD A YANG OM DU (Mantra of the Bodhisattva of Great Conduct, Samantabhadra) – Samantabhadra Bodhisattva is a Bodhisattva known for her great conduct. She is also known as the Bodhisattva of Truth, because it is her sincerest desire the real truth be exposed does she has the famous TEN GREAT VOWS OF BODHISATTVA SAMANTABHADRA, where in each item of those vows has something to do with the permanent truth of Buddhism.

    manjushri_buddhist_god_of_wisdom_eq03

    Manjushri is a disciple of Sakyamuni Buddha. He is also a great Bodhisattva.

  1. NAMO DA ZHI WUN SHU SHI LI PU SA and OM A RA PA CHA NA DHI (Mantra of the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, Manjushri) – Manjushri Bodhisattva (also spelled as Manjushree) is a Bodhisattva known for his commitment to make all sentient beings attained the perfect wisdom or full enlightenment. He is usually depicted holding a sword and a sutra book. The sword represents the slashing of false knowledge, and the sutra book represents that we are only able to attained perfect wisdom with the help of the sutra or words of the Historical Buddha, Shakyamuni. Chanting the mantra of Bodhisattva Manjushri will help us attain wisdom and guide us in making our daily decisions.

So you see, aside from the mantras of the 3 main Buddhas of our time, I also chant the mantras of the 4 main Bodhisattvas of Chinese Buddhism. But that’s not all, in my succeeding posts, I will share with you the other mantras I chant everyday.

You can also read other posts in the Chant – A – Mantra series:

  1. Chant – A – Mantra: A Reintroduction to the Wonderful Benefits of Chanting A Mantra.
  2. Chant – A – Mantra (2): When You Need Compassion, Wisdom, and Power!
  3. Chant – A – Mantra (3a): Daily Mantras to Chant!

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

Basic Buddhism 3: Basic Buddhist Ideals

Published Abril 27, 2015 by jptan2012

Buddhist believes that everyone can be awakened, that all of us can become a Buddha. This is definitely stressed by Shakyamuni (also spelled as Sakyamuni)Buddha himself. To be awakened means to see reality as it is and not as we think it is. To see reality is to gain true wisdom and this wisdom will free us.

We are not trapped by external conditions, but by our misperceptions and prejudices. Whatever we do, our actions create reactions that come back to affect us. Because of this, we are responsible for our actions. Also because of this, we are responsible for our own salvation. Each one of us is capable of achieving perfection, it may not be easy, but we are definitely capable of it. The Dharma which was mentioned in Basic Buddhism 2 teaches us how.

It is said that there are many ways to achieve Buddhahood, and they fall into three general categories:
1. Performing Good Deeds
2. Meditation
3. Studying the Dharma

Clarifications on the Post About the 2014 Hungry Ghost Month and Mercury Retrograde

Published Hunyo 20, 2014 by jptan2012

I know that the information shared on this blog the other day about the 2014 Hungry Ghost Month and Mercury Retrograde entitled – WHAT EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT THE 2014 HUNGRY GHOST MONTH AND MERCURY RETROGRADE – & – PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THE ILL EFFECTS OF THE 2014 HUNGRY GHOST MONTH AND MERCURY RETROGRADE – can be a little overwhelming for a lot of you. Almost immediately I was bombarded by literally hundreds of emails, which I really haven’t read. On top of that, there were also an overwhelming number of sms that was sent to me, not to mention several phone calls.

I thought it is only appropriate to clarify something for everybody’s better understanding of the topic.

First, Mercury Retrograde is as mentioned a Western Astrology concept, I’m not an expert and I don’t have mastery of the said topic, however, I know it to be true because:

  1. I know that Western Astrology to be true. Before I dwelt on Feng Shui and Chinese Astrology, Western Astrology was my first interest. My personal bias is that Chinese Astrology is more accurate but it doesn’t change the fact that Western Astrology has some basis.
  2. Mercury Retrograde is a concept that I have read before. In fact, several years back. There are also some famous people who have claimed that they experienced Mercury Retrograde and that it has affected their relationship and work. Some of these people are Ronald Reagan, Cameron Mackintosh, Shirley Maclaine, etc.
  3. The few times I got to meet some reputable Astrologer, this is something that we’ve discussed. And they are all in agreement that this is true.
  4. Particularly this year, when June set in a lot of people have been complaining to me about their relationship problems and communication problems, which prompted me to do more research about this topic.
  5. I believe that it is stronger this year because of several factors that may affect it to become stronger. This is just theory and I didn’t included in the first two article because it is quite difficult for me to substantiate this, but the stronger Hungry Ghost Month this year might be making Mercury Retrograde stronger also.

Second, the stronger Hungry Ghost Month phenomenon is not something new. Although rare it has been known to happen. And it is different from what happened last year, because last year we had a triple whammy, but this year it is simply stronger Hungry Ghost Month that we have to deal with it, and because it is stronger, it also extends itself. As mentioned, I’ve consulted other Feng Shui experts, particularly my teachers; most of them agree that this is indeed the case. However, I would like to clarify that there is one particular Feng Shui expert that said that they (group that she works with) are not sure whether this is an interpretation concern. Meaning, they saw it but they seem to think that this is still subject to further discussion. They are drawing their unclear stand from the ‘Double Negative Theory’; this theory states that in some aspects of Feng Shui a double negative may be a positive sign.

Third, regarding the cures for the 2014 Hungry Ghost Month and Mercury Retrograde, I would like to reiterate that something is still way better than nothing at all.prayer

Lastly, we should not under estimate the power of a prayer. In fact, if you look at the suggested cure, a lot of it is drawing power or protection from Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and sutras (Buddhist holy texts that are considered prayer books) and mantras, which is a form of praying. On top of this, I personally believe is also going to create some form of protection. Do good deeds, help people, help people you know, but more than that help people that you don’t know. Do something that is beyond what is JUST COMFORTABLE. The positive energy created by a very good deed is a very powerful protection, and remember a good deed is not measure by how many people you help or by how much you spent. A good deed is measured by sincerity, the amount of compassion you have, and how much of you was shared.

TO UNDERSTAND MORE ABOUT THE HUNGRY GHOST MONTH, HUNGRY GHOSTS, IT’S EFFECTS, RITUALS AND PROTECTION READ THE FOLLOWING HUNGRY GHOSTS SERIES:

YOU MAY WISH TO READ THE FOLLOWING ALSO:

OR YOU CAN CLICK ON THE CATEGORY – KUWENTO TUNGKOL SA HUNGRY GHOST MONTH.

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

 

Protect Yourself from the Ill Effects of the 2014 Hungry Ghost Month and Mercury Retrograde

Published Hunyo 18, 2014 by jptan2012

In my previous post – WHAT EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT THE 2014 HUNGRY GHOST MONTH AND MERCURY RETROGRADE, I talked about how the combined effect of the annual and monthly flying stars and of the annual and monthly Bazi or Paht Chee are making this year’s Hungry Ghost Month so much stronger that its effects will be felt 15 days before the first day of the Hungry Ghost month which is on July 27, 2014 up to 15 days after its supposed last day which is August 24, 2014. This phenomenon is made worse with the last Mercury Retrograde periods of the year sandwiching this year’s Hungry Ghost month, leaving us with about 5 challenging months in succession.

Photo uploaded from Google Images

Photo uploaded from Google Images

At the start of the year, a lot of Feng Shui writers and consultants talked about how the first part of the year will show an abundance of luck for most people, and how towards the end of the year it will get depleted. This was obvious on the year’s Paht Chee chart; but nowhere was a definitive explanation of the cause discussed. It is actually only by accident that I came across a possible explanation. I believe the effects of both Mercury Retrograde and the particularly strong Hungry Ghost Month of the year occurring in succession explains why the energy of the year gets depleted towards the end of the year.

As mentioned in my previous blog post, as I wanted to validate my reading of the year’s annual and monthly flying stars and Paht Chee charts especially in relation to the year’s Hungry Ghost Month, I decided to call first my Feng Shui teacher in Hong Kong, and my Guru Lama in Singapore. Both of them confirmed the said phenomenon. After writing the previous blog post, and just before writing this one, I decided to call another Feng Shui teacher from Beijing, China, and he also confirmed the said phenomenon. Lastly, I was also able to discuss the matter with other Feng Shui consultants, who likewise acknowledged the phenomenon. Certain experts, however, are not sure whether they will be discussing it through any of their avenues because of two reasons: (1) they are not sure whether the effects are in fact going to be really bad (this goes into interpretations of the resulting calculations) and (2) if in fact the effects will be very bad, they are not sure whether remedies exist to successfully counter the effects.

In the course of writing this entry, I decided to call another Feng Shui teacher. This particular Feng Shui teacher practices Transcendental Feng Shui, which is also known as Spiritual or Third Dimension Feng Shui. Like the other Feng Shui experts that I consulted, he acknowledges the said phenomenon and like my Guru Lama he believes that we can do something about it.

Before I go into discussing how one can protect oneself from this phenomenon, let me explain that the recommendations below are an aggregation of the different recommendations that I gathered from my Guru Lama, Feng Shui teachers, and a few of my own recommendations based on my own experience. Also, it would be of course best if you follow all the recommendations; and, needless to state, following some is better than following none of them. I would also like to point out that it was a reader who since then has become a good friend, DU, who pointed out this direction of how to remedy this phenomenon.

Always have with you the following:

  1. Kuan Yin pendant, preferably with a sutra.
    This is from my personal collection. The reason I love this pendants so much is because it has a inscription of the Heart Sutra at the back. I wear the smaller one everyday.

    This is from my personal collection. The reason I love this pendants so much is because it has a inscription of the Heart Sutra at the back. I wear the smaller one everyday.

    Back image of the Kuan Yin pendant. This is the reason why I love these pendants is because they have very nicely crafted image of Kuan Yin pouring healing and auspicious from her magical vase, and at the back it has the Heart Sutra. Unfortunately, it is quite difficult to look for this kind of Kuan Yin pendant.

    Back image of the Kuan Yin pendant. This is the reason why I love these pendants is because they have very nicely crafted image of Kuan Yin pouring healing and auspicious from her magical vase, and at the back it has the Heart Sutra.
    Unfortunately, it is quite difficult to look for this kind of Kuan Yin pendant.

  2. Chong Kwei (also spelled as Chung Kwei) or Mahakala (a wrathful image of Avalokitesvara or Kuan Yin) pendant. To be honest I’ve been looking for a Mahakala pendant and I’m unable to find one. For this year, according to my Guru Lama, Mahakala is preferred but no one can deny the efficacy of a Chong Kwei pendant during the Hungry Ghost month. Please take into consideration that he may be partial to Mahakala because he is a Buddhist Lama and Chong Kwei is of a Taoist lineage. Your Chong Kwei should be made of a black stone or gold.

    This is a rare black jade pendant image of Chung Kwei. Was fortunate enough to find one in Beijing, China in a small shop.  Remember in choosing a Chong Kwei or Chung Kwei or Zhung Kwei or Zhong Kwei, always get a something that's made of a black stone or gold. Otherwise, it might not be very effective.

    This is a rare black jade pendant image of Chung Kwei. Was fortunate enough to find one in Beijing, China in a small shop.
    Remember in choosing a Chong Kwei or Chung Kwei or Zhung Kwei or Zhong Kwei, always get a something that’s made of a black stone or gold. Otherwise, it might not be very effective.

  3. Kalachakra pendant, preferably made of gold or jade or clear quartz.
  4. Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva pendant.

    From my personal collection. A rare Red Amber Ksitigarbha.  Unfortunately, it is quite difficult to get a Ksitigarbha pendant unless you're from Malaysia, Hong Kong, or Singapore.

    From my personal collection. A rare Red Amber Ksitigarbha.
    Unfortunately, it is quite difficult to get a Ksitigarbha pendant unless you’re from Malaysia, Hong Kong, or Singapore.

  5. Wear or carry a Prayer Wheel and spin it as often as you can.
  6. Medicine Buddha pendant or simply carry a Medicine Buddha sutra.
  7. Always carry a Four Dharmakaya Relic Mantras or Lama Atisha Amulet with you at all times.

    I decided to put THE FOUR DHARMAKAYA RELIC MANTRAS inside a test tube type glass holder that I bought in The Bead Shop, then I included the incense ash, Pink Himalayan Salt inside before sealing it. Thank you to DU, a reader and friend who took this photo.

    I decided to put THE FOUR DHARMAKAYA RELIC MANTRAS inside a test tube type glass holder that I bought in The Bead Shop, then I included the incense ash, Pink Himalayan Salt inside before sealing it. Thank you to DU, a reader and friend who took this photo.

At home and in the office you should have the following:

  1. Figurine of Kuan Yin.
  2. Figurine of Mahakala or Chong Kwei.

    This is an image of a Mahakala, the wrathful form of Avalokitesvara or Kuan Yin. Wrathful form doesn't mean that they are really angry, it means that they are largely use for protection.  This photo was uploaded from Google images.

    This is an image of a Mahakala, the wrathful form of Avalokitesvara or Kuan Yin. Wrathful form doesn’t mean that they are really angry, it means that they are largely use for protection.
    This photo was uploaded from Google images.

  3. Figurine of Medicine Buddha or Kuan Kong. These two are optional.
  4. Figurine of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva. It may be pretty difficult to get a figurine of Ksitgarbha Bodhisattva. What you can do instead is print his image, laminate it and put it on your altar. If you don’t have an altar, put them where the other images are.

    In looking for an image of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva either as a pendant or a figurine for your home, you will come across with two versions, the one with the 'Amitabha' hat and the one where He is not wearing any hat and shows his bald head. I prefer the one with the hat, because the one where He is bald is usually associated with the spirits of the dead and connotes that he hasn't attain His Buddhahood.

    In looking for an image of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva either as a pendant or a figurine for your home, you will come across with two versions, the one with the ‘Amitabha’ hat and the one where He is not wearing any hat and shows his bald head. I prefer the one with the hat, because the one where He is bald is usually associated with the spirits of the dead and connotes that he hasn’t attain His Buddhahood.

  5. Put Four Dharmakaya Relic Mantras or Lama Atisha Amulet on all the doors and windows of your house that are facing the perimeter of your house (living quarters). If you find it difficult to find these, then the second best option would be to use Kalachakra stickers.
  6. Put a small bowl of rock salt in all the rooms of your house.
  7. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT: FIX ALL THE FENG SHUI ERRORS OF YOUR HOUSE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE BECAUSE THE YIN EFFECTS OF ALL THESE FENG SHUI ERRORS ARE MULTIPLIED.
  8. Play mantras in all the rooms if possible.

 

Do the following ‘rituals’:

  1. From July 12, 2014 to Sept. 8, 2014, chant, DAILY, 10 full malas of OM MANI PADME HUM, 10 full malas of the Medicine Buddha Mantra – TADYATHA OM BHEKANDZYE BHEKANDZYE MAHA BHEKANDZYE RADZA SAMUGATE SOHA, and 100 full malas of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva’s mantra. He has several and you can choose which of the following are you more comfortable with:
    1. OM PRA MANI DANI SOHA
    2. OM AH KSITIGARBHA THALENG HUM
    3. NAMO DI ZHANG WANG PUSA
    4. NAMO KSITIGARBHA BODHISATTVA
  2. Recite both the Wish Fulfilling and Negative Karma Cleansing Mantra.
  3. Do the usual rituals for the Hungry Ghost Month that I’ve written about in the past.
  4. Try to make offerings at the temple or church or give to charity as often as you can.
  5. In reciting the mantra of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, it will be better if you gaze upon his image.
  6. Light some incense and read the following sutras as often as you can – MEDICINE BUDDHA SUTRA and KSITIGARBHA BODHISATTVA SUTRA, which is known as THE SUTRA OF PAST VOWS OF THE EARTH STORE BODHISATTVA. The sutra of the Medicine Buddha is in a blog post that I wrote about Him. Please see link below. If you want a downloadable PDF file of the Sutra of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, please click Earth Store Bodhisattva and KSITIGARBHA BODHISATTVA SUTRA. The two versions are basically the same but slightly differ in the way it was translated. One of the difference is that in one of them Shakyamuni Buddha is simply called Buddha, which is is the more common term in addressing Shakyamuni Buddha is most of the Sutra translations. This is because it is widely accepted that all sutras that we have now are from the time of Shakyamuni Buddha. A sutra is basically a prayer and word of Buddha written in a story or conversation format.
  7. Avoid the usual things that one should avoid during the Hungry Ghost Month.

For the Mercury Retrograde periods (June 7- July 1; October 4 – 25), wear an image of Kuan Kong or Kalachakra, and if possible, wear or carry with you a Prayer Wheel and spin it as often as you can.

Optional for July 12 to Sept. 8 is also to wear the script of the Wish Fulfilling Mantra and the Negative Karma Cleansing Mantra.

There are a lot of things mentioned on this post that for some might be hard to understand. For example what really is Hungry Ghost Month, which I didn’t discuss in detail in these 2 posts about the 2014 Hungry Ghost Month, or about Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, Kuan Yin, four Dharmakaya Relic Mantras, etc. I humbly suggest for you to read some of my previous posts to make you understand things that were discussed here better, or why were such items recommended as a cure.

TO UNDERSTAND MORE ABOUT THE HUNGRY GHOST MONTH, HUNGRY GHOSTS, IT’S EFFECTS, RITUALS AND PROTECTION READ THE FOLLOWING HUNGRY GHOSTS SERIES:

YOU MAY WISH TO READ THE FOLLOWING ALSO:

OR YOU CAN CLICK ON THE CATEGORY – KUWENTO TUNGKOL SA HUNGRY GHOST MONTH.

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

 

If you wish to know more about Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva please read the following post:

Who is Kuan Yin?

Learn more about Medicine Buddha:

If you wish to understand about the Four Dharmakaya Relic Mantras and the Lama Atisha Amulet please read the following posts:

If you want to know what are the Wish Fulfilling and Negative Karma Cleansing Mantras please read the following post:

One of the must have that’s written in this post is the Prayer Wheel. If you wish to understand more about it please read the following posts:

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