Buddhahood

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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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Mayan Apocalypse 2012 is Not Happening!

Published Disyembre 19, 2012 by jptan2012

When I was not yet very familiar with Feng Shui, I actually thought that Y2K might be an apocalyptic year, not because it is the end-of-the-world but because I can’t imagine a world without computers and electricity, and they’re people who are seriously afraid that this might happen. I was delving into Feng Shui already at that time, but I didn’t fully believe in the power of the calculation of Bazi or Paht Cheeand truth be told, I’m not yet familiar at that time in counting the Year Bazi.

apocalypse-world-121119Having said that, I would like to announce, in fact, I would like to declare that Dec. 21, 2012 is not apocalyptic day. The end-of-the-world is not about to happen on that day. Reviewed the Bazi charts and it will not happen on that day. Neither anything really bad on a worldwide magnitude will happen on that day.

Also, in a Buddhist perspective, there is no such thing as end-of-the-world, at least, not in the perspective of how Christians views it. From time-to-time some cleansing might happen, but not an end-of-the-world scenario, not until we all reach Buddhahood.

Having said that, Psy of the famous Oppa Gangnam song, is not a sign that predicted by Nostradamus that end-of-the-world is about to happen.

Also, I took the liberty of putting a link here of the top 5 apocalypse that never happened. Please click here.

Humans May Be Immortal by 2045?

Published Agosto 8, 2012 by jptan2012

No this is not the plot of the latest James Rollins or Steve Berry book, although in his latest book- BLOODLINE, James Rollins did use this as a plot. He did push it a little further by saying that being immortal is already possible.

This short blog will not try to answer whether immortality is possible or not, I leave that to the scientist, neither will I answer whether it is good or bad.

As a Buddhist, I’m feeling quite ambivalent about the issue of immortality. I don’t know whether it is good or bad in trying to achieve Buddhahood. In a way, it will give us more time to achieve Buddhahood in our current life time but also it may hinder our ‘urgency’ in attaining Buddhahood.

If you want to know more about immortality, do click on the link: COULD HUMANS BECOME IMMORTAL BY 2045?

The Fascinating Story of Chung Kwei, The Ultimate Catcher and Vanquisher of Hugnry Ghosts, Demons and Evil Spirits

Published Hulyo 21, 2012 by jptan2012

In the past few posts, I talked about ‘THE DREADED HUNGRY GHOST MONTH’, and ‘THE EFFECTS OF THE DREADED HUNGRY GHOST MONTH’, of course; I also posted about ‘THE RITUALS TO APPEASE AND PROTECT ONESELF FROM HUNGRY GHOSTS’, and the ‘PRECAUTIONS TO TAKE DURING THE HUNGRY GHOST MONTH’.

But if there’s one thing that can totally ensure your safety and protect you from the harms of the hungry ghosts and any ghosts especially during the hungry ghost month, that would be Chung Kwei (also spelled as Chong Kwei, Chung Kui, Chong Kui, Zhong Kwei, Zhong Kui, Zhung Kwei, and Zhung Kui).

Chung Kwei is the ultimate catcher and vanquisher of not only hungry ghosts but also of evil spirits and demons!

But who is Chung Kwei?

Chung Kwei (in Foo Kien) or Zhong Kui (as pronounced in Mandarin) 鍾馗 is a historical figure but unfortunately is largely considered as a mythological figure by westerners because of the lack of historical data about him.

Chung Kwei was born during the Tang Dynasty at Zhongnan Mountain in Shensi Province. According to legend, Chung Kwei is actually the fourth son, however, all of his older brother died at a very young age. Because of the old age of Chung Kwei’s mother and the number of times she has given birth, she didn’t conceive for a very long time. Knowing that the absence of a son has caused great sadness to her husband, she encouraged him to get a concubine, something that is totally acceptable during that time. However, because he loves his wife so much, getting a concubine was out of the question for him.

It is said that out of desperation, he went to consult a famous powerful sorcerer that is rumored to be a demon. His wife was against his decision but he persisted and won over his wife’s protest.

Soon after visiting the sorcerer, his wife conceived again, but at about the same time they notice that a big black scary mountain panther was visiting them. They knew that this is a sign from the devil. Because of this Chung Kwei’s mom asked the help of a brother to go and visit a Kuan Yin temple to pray for them. The brother traveled for a month to visit this temple, and on his way back, he brought with him an image of Kuan Yin. Her brother gave this to her and told her that the Buddhist monk in the Kuan Yin temple did a divination and told her that she’s conceiving a child that is part demon. The only way to save the baby is if she and her husband will earnestly ask for Kuan Yin’s help and make sure that they dedicate the baby’s life to public service, which at that time is really servicing the emperor.

The husband realizing his folly earnestly prayed to Kuan Yin, and they would offer incense, recite mantras and sutras, write sutras for Kuan Yin every single day until the time she went into labor.

While giving birth to Chung Kwei, she went into trance and saw Kuan Yin riding on a Piyao, vanquishing the big black scary mountain panther. She knew then that her baby is going to be saved.

Chung Kwei was born as an ugly boy. It is said that he has a face of a black panther. However, no matter how ugly he is, he is a very nice and kindhearted boy. The only thing that he seem to have gotten from the big black scary mountain panther is the color of the skin, the looks, his size (because he is also a big boy) and the bravery, but other than that he seems to be a boy with a very unusual kindness.

Chung Kwei or Zhong Kui is also a very intelligent boy. His father hired the best tutor for him, but both his parents always ensure that he has a devotion to both Buddhism and Taoism and they instilled in him the importance of being in service to the public/emperor.

As a man, he has integrity, talented and profoundly learned. There was just one problem; the people who don’t know him ridicule him because of his looks.

Because of his intelligence and because he is a learned person, he was able to pass the exam to be of service to his emperor. This was in the time of Emperor Kao Tzu. However, because of his looks the judgmental and corrupt officials, in particular a treacherous minister name Lu Qi, refuse him entry to the imperial court.

Out of desperation to be of service to the public and to the emperor, Chung Kwei decided to commit suicide at the imperial entrance, not because he was depressed but because he believes that if he cannot be of service to the sovereign as a human, he’ll be of service to the emperor/sovereign in spirit. He committed suicide because he wants to fulfill his mortal wish to be of service to any reigning sovereign, which is equal to serving the public.

However, since he was a mere mortal at that time and has not achieved special skills in Taoism his spirit was captured by a Taoist priest so that he can be put to rest by sending the spirit to heaven through various prayers. That’s the last time they have heard of Chung Kwei.

If you have read my post entitled – GETTING TO KNOW ‘THE GREAT SAGE, EQUAL OF HEAVEN’, THE MONKEY GOD SUN WUKONG – you may remember the story of the Buddhist Monk Xuan Zang who went to get for the emperor some sutras and Buddhist texts in India for China. It is because of that journey or expedition that led to Sun Wukong’s Buddhahood. The emperor who tasked Xuan Zong to get the religious texts in India is Emperor Ming Huang (AD 712 – 742).

Anyway, Emperor Ming Huang during his reign, which was years after the suicide of Chung Kwei, succumbed to an illness that he has to be confined in his room. Even after consulting top doctors, he remained to be ill, worst, he soon started to get delusional and would always complain that he is unable get sleep in the evening because of unwanted supernatural visitors, which according to historical texts were described by Emperor Ming Huang as little devils. Thing soon got worse because they would hear his voice shouting out of fear and anger, and they thought that he was getting mad.

His top ministers then decided that they should see Emperor Ming Huang themselves so that they can decide whether they should appoint an interim ruler while Emperor Ming Huang’s son is not yet of age. This proved to be a fortunate matter for Emperor Ming Huang because his top ministers also saw the ‘little devils’ and they now know that he is not mad and is actually telling the truth.

They all decided to call some Taoist priest and Buddhist monks to exorcise the ‘little devils’. However, for quite sometime nothing worked. Out of desperation, one of the top minister called all palace guards and staff to offer the best vegetarian food and fruits to the Jade Emperor and Kuan Yin, for them to help exorcise the palace.

What follows is the most controversial, of what is already a controversial story, because it is said that this part came directly from Chung Kwei who conveyed it through a spirit medium.

The Jade Emperor having received the offerings and the ‘hu’ (a Taoist prayer tool), decided to intervene with the matter by sending another immortal to vanquish the little devils. However, Kuan Yin knowing of Chung Kwei’s desire to be of service to the sovereign, and also knowing about Chung Kwei’s fate (Chung Kwei at that time was in ‘heaven’ waiting samsara) decided to request the Jade Emperor to grant Chung Kwei special power so that Chung Kwei can be a deity and vanquish the little devil and be of service to the sovereign.

The Jade Emperor agreed to Kuan Yin’s suggestion, however, he clarified that while he can grant special deity power to Chung Kwei, the true test of Chung Kwei as a deity lies on his bravery, and good heart when he was still a mortal. Kuan Yin knowing of Chung Kwei’s character assured the Jade Emperor that Chung Kwei will succeed.

Meanwhile, Emperor Ming Huang is still being bothered by the ‘little devils’, and things has gotten worst because now the whole palace is affected by the ‘little devils’. The emperor is seriously considering relocating the palace, but for some reason the manifestations of the ‘little devils’ seemed to have simply and suddenly stop. Taking caution not to be optimistic about the sudden silence of the ‘little devils’, Emperor Ming Huang and the ministers decided to wait for a few days before they conclude that the haunting has stopped. Furthermore, Emperor Ming Huang was also miraculously cured of his illness.

When it was confirmed by everybody that the haunting has stopped, Emperor Ming Huang asked the imperial guardian deity (by praying to his image) to reveal to him as to who vanquished the ‘little devils’. That same evening, Emperor Ming Huang dreamt of a scary creature who look like a demon himself visited the palace, captured the little devils and vanquished them by devouring them.

Still in his dream, Emperor Ming Huang approached the vanquisher and asked for his name. Chung Kwei then introduced himself and told Emperor Ming Huang his story.

When he woke up, Emperor Ming Huang instructed his ministers for more information about Chung Kwei. He then was told of what happened to Chung Kwei, which is basically a confirmation of what was told to him by Chung Kwei through a dream.

Emperor Ming Huang then commissioned Tzu Wu Tao (also spelled as Tzu Wu Dao), a then well known and one of the most celebrated artists of his time, to paint Chung Kwei. Also through Emperor Ming Huang’s intervention and persistence, Chung Kwei was canonized by Taoists priest with the title – GREAT SPIRITUAL DEMON VANQUISHER!

Soon, Taoist priests would call on Chung Kwei to help them vanquish or exorcise a person or a place. They would also found out that a blessed image of Chung Kwei acts as an extension of Chung Kwei’s power.

So to this day, Chung Kwei remains to be the most powerful deity to protect us from any evil spirits, especially during hungry ghost month!

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

 

Suicide is Not a Solution

Published Hunyo 27, 2012 by jptan2012

I’ve received some emails from some of you inquiring as to why I haven’t post anything the past few days, in fact, for 20 days. I’ve been quite busy with work and I have to personally attend to two readers who sent me an email about suicide. I’m writing this post with their permission but I won’t really discuss their situation.

It feels weird that I’d received two emails from two different people contemplating suicide. Having a received a number of hoax emails, my initial reaction was to ignore the email or simply write a standard response, however, the emails felt real and more than that it is as if fate has ‘commanded’ to read their emails that day. I received several emails a day, and I have a huge backlog in responding to the said emails, as some of you may have experienced. Nevertheless, for some weird reason my attention was caught by this two different emails sent on two different dates.

There is something about their emails that really bothered me and it seems like there was a force that push me to reply. To make the long story short, I soon found out that those were real email, and real situations. The first thing that I did was to recognize the gravity of the situation, and the second thing that I did was to recognize the fact that I’m not trained to handle these kinds of situations.

I called up a clinical counselor friend to inquire how to handle the situation, she recommended some ways on how should I respond and then I hooked the two readers with her.

For Christians, suicide is a grave sin, and we’re taught that committing suicide will surely make your soul burn in hell for all eternity. In Buddhism and Taoism, it’s much more complicated, there is no clear response whether it is a sin or not. It really depends on the situation and the intent of the deed. However, one thing is clear though, suicide is not a solution.

In a Buddhist perspective, we are here on earth to achieve Buddhahood. Each lifetime is a consequence of a previous one and hopefully, the last one is always a little better than the previous one, until, one reaches Buddhahood. Unless, in extreme cases like when one commits suicide to save somebody else, or a nation, etc., committing suicide is definitely a solution, and it pulls you back several karma back from attaining Buddhahood.

It is in this sense, that for Buddhism, it is quite clear that suicide is not a solution, committing suicide will definitely bring you back to the same solution in your next lifetime or maybe even put you to a situation that’s even worse than your current situation.

If one is depressed and/or is contemplating suicide, the first thing that one should recognize is that you need to talk to somebody. It can be a relative, friend, or try one of those counseling hotlines.

If you’re Buddhist, you can also constantly recite the Mantra of the Buddha of Compassion – OM MANI PADME HUM.

If you’re Taoist, you can simply take a bath in a tub of water with salt. If possible do include some flowers.

If you believe in Feng Shui, you can also do the first two, and you can put salt in your room and make sure your room or house is well lit.

But most important of all, seek help!

Understanding Mercy and Compassion: The Transformation of Avalokitesvara to Kuan Yin.

Published Pebrero 21, 2012 by jptan2012

In my previous post I wrote about the Goddess of Mercy Kuan Yin (also spelled as Kwan Yin, Quan Yin, Gwan Yin, Guan Yin), who is also known as the Buddha of Compassion. Now, allow me to share with you a brief ‘history’ of Kuan Yin.

People who have read my earlier posts knows of my devotion to the ‘Great Sage, Equal of Heaven’ the Monkey God or Monkey King called Sun Wukong. Sun Wukong is a Taoist celestial being who became really wild whom the Buddha pacified. However, it was really Kuan Yin who paved the way for Sun Wukong to be a Buddha. She did this out of her extreme compassion for Sun Wukong who at that time was already condemned for an eternal imprisonment. Kuan Yin did this not just for Sun Wukong but also for other immortals. Westerners largely look at this story as some sort of fantasy, but to Taoist and Chinese Buddhist they have high regard for the said story and believe it actually happened in the celestial world. However, the point here is not whether the story is true or not, but it hopes to illustrate the depth of Kuan Yin’s mercy and compassion that she was able to subdue one of the most powerful Taoist Immortal/Deity. It should be noted that it was implied in the story mentioned above that should Kuan Yin had to ‘fight’ with Sun Wukong, her power would not have match that of Sun Wukong. However, her real power is not with her strength as a Bodhisattva, although, I must clarify, she is very powerful, but more than her physical and celestial strength, is the power of her mercy and compassion that is said to be infinite!

However, Kuan Yin or Kuan Shi Yin (Guan Shi Yin) which means ‘The One Who Hears the Cries of the World” has a very unique transformation. Kuan Yin is Avalokitesvara in India and Cherezig in Tibet. Nevertheless, Kuan Yin is the female transformation of the said Bodhisattva. I need not talk about who Avalokitesvara in detail now because Kuan Yin is Avalokitesvara (also spelled as Avalokiteshvara), Avalokitesvara is Chenrezig, Chenrezig is Kuan Yin, they may have different names, and in the case of Kuan Yin she may have a different image but they’re one and the same. All the attributes of Kuan Yin are that of Avalokitesvara and Chenrezig, all the attributes of Avalokitesvara and Chenrezig is that of Kuan Yin!

Image of Avalokitesvara (also spelled as Avalokiteshvara).

Nevertheless, allow me to state that Kuan Yin in the form of Avalokitesvara first started in India, the land where Buddhism really started. He/She is a Bodhisattva, which is traditionally considered a little less important compared to the Buddhas. However, Avalokitesvara gained reverence equal to that of Buddhas and to some extent, specially amongst Chinese Buddhist, exceeds that of the Buddhas because as the Historical Buddha Sakyamuni himself shared through various sutras, Avalokitesvara should have been a Buddha already, however, he refused Buddhahood and wished to remain a Bodhisattva for the welfare of all sentient beings.

The transformation of Avalokitesvara to Kuan Yin is in itself a very interesting story. There are various stories about how Avalokitesvara became Kuan Yin.

One story is that in relation to Tripitaka Monk Xuan Zang who traveled to India to get some Buddhist texts that he can share with his countrymen. When he wrote about his journey he always refers to the Bodhisattva of Compassion as a female Kuan Yin, some people believes that this is one of the first time that Avalokitesvara is addressed as Kuan Shi Yin, which later was shortened into Kuan Yin. In his account of the manifestations of Kuan Yin she always appear as a miraculous being and always under miraculous circumstances.

Another story is that of Princess Miao Shan. I’ll skip the story at the moment, and I’ll share her story as written in Wikipedia at the bottom of this post.

Still, another story about Avalokitesvara’s transformation to Kuan Yin is quite simple and not as popular because it lacks the theatrical and flair of the other stories.

When Buddhism was first introduced to China, the religion is largely Taoism, which has Immortals or Deities that are very powerful and ‘masculine’. The compassionate deities and immortals are mostly female deities. Because of this the Chinese had difficulty in fully comprehending the attributes of Avalokitesvara.

Buddhist monks prayed to Kuan Yin to ask for her guidance. Some text says that Kuan Yin spoke to some Buddhist monks through their dreams and instructed them to introduce him as Kuan Yin with a female form. Other text states that they were able to divine this through an Avalokitesvara/Kuan Yin oracle. Whether it was through a dream or through an oracle, it was clear that the Buddhist monks who brought Buddhism to China started the female manifestation of Avalokitesvara. As we know this image became popularly known as Kuan Yin.

This raises the question as to why when experiencing Avalokitesvara’s miracle or vision, people see her as Kuan Yin. According to the explanation of a Chinese Buddhist monk, this is because Avalokitesvara will always appear in the form that people will understand or easily relate to.

I personally believe that the last story is the real reason why Avalokitesvara became Kuan Yin. It is because they need to put an image of mercy and compassion, and because of this Avalokitesvara transformed into Kuan Yin.

Avalokitesvara as Kuan Yin became so popular that even Tibetan Buddhist who is extremely familiar with Avalokitesvara, as a male Bodhisattva would still mention Kuan Yin. In fact, the biggest image of Avalokitesvara in the world is that of Kuan Yin which is found China.

The biggest image of Kuan Yin in the world is in China.

This also answers why some images of Kuan Yin depicts her as a flat-chested handsome young prince.

One of the semi-masculine form of Kuan Yin.

You can read my other posts about Kuan Yin entitled KUAN YIN: THE ONE WHO HEARS THE CRIES OF THE WORLD and PAYING HOMAGE TO KUAN YIN, THE BUDDHA OF COMPASSION.

If you’re interested to know about the Legend of Princess Miao Shan please read on the following that was lifted from Wikipedia.

Another story from the Precious Scroll of Fragrant Mountain describes an incarnation of Guanyin as the daughter of a cruel king who wanted her to marry a wealthy but uncaring man. The story is usually ascribed to the research of the Buddhist monk Chiang Chih-ch’i during the 11th century CE. The story is likely to have a Taoist origin. Chiang Chih-ch’i, when he penned the work, believed that the Guanyin we know today was actually a Buddhist princess called Miaoshan (妙善), who had a religious following on Fragrant Mountain. Despite this there are many variants of the story in Chinese mythology.

According to the story, after the king asked his daughter Miao Shan to marry the wealthy man, she told him that she would obey his command, so long as the marriage eased three misfortunes.

The king asked his daughter what were the three misfortunes that the marriage should ease. Miaoshan explained that the first misfortune the marriage should ease was the suffering people endure as they age. The second misfortune it should ease was the suffering people endure when they fall ill. The third misfortune it should ease was the suffering caused by death. If the marriage could not ease any of the above, then she would rather retire to a life of religion forever.

When her father asked who could ease all the above, Miao Shan pointed out that a doctor was able to do all of these.

Her father grew angry as he wanted her to marry a person of power and wealth, not a healer. He forced her into hard labor and reduced her food and drink but this did not cause her to yield.

Every day she begged to be able to enter a temple and become a nun instead of marrying. Her father eventually allowed her to work in the temple, but asked the monks to give her the toughest chores in order to discourage her. The monks forced Miao Shan to work all day and all night, while others slept, in order to finish her work. However, she was such a good person that the animals living around the temple began to help her with her chores. Her father, seeing this, became so frustrated that he attempted to burn down the temple. Miao Shan put out the fire with her bare hands and suffered no burns. Now struck with fear, her father ordered her to be put to death.

In one version of this legend, when Guanyin was executed, a supernatural tiger took her to one of the more hell-like realms of the dead. However, instead of being punished by demons like the other inmates, Guanyin played music, and flowers blossomed around her. This completely surprised the head demon. The story says that Guanyin, by merely being in that hell, turned it into a paradise.

A variant of the legend says that Miao Shan allowed herself to die at the hand of the executioner. According to this legend, as the executioner tried to carry out her father’s orders, his axe shattered into a thousand pieces. He then tried a sword which likewise shattered. He tried to shoot Miao Shan down with arrows but they all veered off.

Finally in desperation he used his hands. Miao Shan, realising the fate that the executioner would meet at her father’s hand should she fail to let herself die, forgave the executioner for attempting to kill her. It is said that she voluntarily took on the massive karmic guilt the executioner generated for killing her, thus leaving him guiltless. It is because of this that she descended into the Hell-like realms. While there, she witnessed first-hand the suffering and horrors that the beings there must endure, and was overwhelmed with grief. Filled with compassion, she released all the good karma she had accumulated through her many lifetimes, thus freeing many suffering souls back into Heaven and Earth. In the process, that Hell-like realm became a paradise. It is said that Yanluo, King of Hell, sent her back to Earth to prevent the utter destruction of his realm, and that upon her return she appeared on Fragrant Mountain.

Another tale says that Miao Shan never died, but was in fact transported by a supernatural tiger, believed to be the Deity of the Place, to Fragrant Mountain.

The Legend of Miao Shan usually ends with Miao Chuang Yen, Miao Shan’s father, falling ill with jaundice. No physician was able to cure him. Then a monk appeared saying that the jaundice could be cured by making a medicine out of the arm and eye of one without anger. The monk further suggested that such a person could be found on Fragrant Mountain. When asked, Miao Shan willingly offered up her eyes and arms. Miao Chuang Yen was cured of his illness and went to the Fragrant Mountain to give thanks to the person. When he discovered that his own daughter had made the sacrifice, he begged for forgiveness. The story concludes with Miaoshan being transformed into the Thousand Armed Guanyin, and the king, queen and her two sisters building a temple on the mountain for her. She began her journey to heaven and was about to cross over into heaven when she heard a cry of suffering from the world below. She turned around and saw the massive suffering endured by the people of the world. Filled with compassion, she returned to Earth, vowing never to leave till such time as all suffering has ended.

After her return to Earth, Guanyin was said to have stayed for a few years on the island of Mount Putuo where she practised meditation and helped the sailors and fishermen who got stranded. Guanyin is frequently worshipped as patron of sailors and fishermen due to this. She is said to frequently becalm the sea when boats are threatened with rocks. After some decades Guanyin returned to Fragrant Mountain to continue her meditation.

Kuan Yin: The One Who Hears the Cries of the World.

Published Pebrero 21, 2012 by jptan2012

Kuan Yin, also spelled as Quan Yin, is a Bodhisattva of Compassion. A lot of people refer to her as the Buddha of Compassion, which is technically wrong in terms of terminology, but absolutely right when refers to her true being.

Kuan Yin (also spelled as Quan Yin, Guan Yin, Gwan Yin, Kwan Yin) is also known as the Goddess of Mercy, Buddha of Compassion, Bodhisattva of Compassion.

The truth is Quan Yin or Kuan Yin is a Bodhisattva who refuses to enter Buddhahood because of her desire to help all sentient beings to achieve nirvana or the Buddhist equivalent of heaven.

Kuan Yin (also spelled as Quan Yin, Kwan Yin, Guan Yin, Gwan Yin) is  of mercy and compassion. It is said, that her compassion towards sentient beings exceeds that of all the other Bodhisattvas combined. She is considered to be a source of unconditional love and a savior of sentient beings. When talking about Kuan Yin’s love for us, mankind is usually not used, because it is said that it is an underestimation of her compassion. Sentient beings is generally use because this also refers to other beings, other than just us humans, it refers to all living creatures that includes insects.

As a Bodhisattva, Kuan Yin pledges to response to all the cries and please of all beings, in fact, it is aid that even before you utter your plea, Kuan Yin would already have heard you and responded to your plea. Naturally, devotion to her will help hasten this, but you need not believe in her for her to reply to your pleas. The sutras that talked about Kuan Yin as a savior of both the spiritual and physical realm and when a person with deep negative karma call upon her, she will have cleanse and help this person from his karmic burden.

I don’t think that it’s an exaggeration to say that Kuan Yin’s popularity amongst Chinese Buddhist exceeds that of other Buddha and Bodhisattva. She is extremely popular and revered that Taoism has also ‘adopted’ her thus making her one of the most revered Taoist deities. It is not surprising to see Taoist temples having her image.

She is also extremely popular as being a merciful deity that some people wrongly address her as Goddess of Mercy.

There are a lot of miracles that are attributed to Kuan Yin. These miracles may range from the simple things like wanting to get a job, wanting to have a child to something really big and may seem like impossible.

My personal treasure trove of stories about Kuan Yin’s blessings and/or miracles is simply amazing. Not to mention stories shared with me by my friends, relatives, and acquaintances. You simply have to search the net and you’ll see a lot of stories about Kuan Yin’s miracles.

I’m not going to share a personal story because that will be a little self-serving. Instead, let me share with you a story of a woman who goes to the same temple that I go to. Let’s just call her A. A is a 40 something housewife. She said that she’s a devotee of Kuan Yin just like her mother. In fact, I’ll often see her make some offerings to Kuan Yin even if there’s no occasion such as the Kuan Yin feast day. I talked to her about her devotion to Kuan Yin and she clarified that while there are other small miracles that she can attribute to Kuan Yin, she believes that 2 of the important thing that happened in her life is due to Kuan Yin’s blessing. The first one is when she had her first child. It was a difficult pregnancy not only because it was her first child, but it was also a complicated pregnancy that almost got aborted several times. The worst part of the pregnancy happened on the 7th month. She had a severe case of bleeding that they thought she’d go into premature labor. On the way to the hospital, while her husband is driving, she and her mom just kept on calling Kuan Yin’s name while they mentally pray that Kuan Yin save her baby.

She was stabilized at the hospital but they can’t say the same were true for her baby. They are unable to detect the heartbeat of the baby and the ultrasound shows that the baby isn’t moving at all! After a while, the OB informed them that if another 15 minutes passed by with a heartbeat and/or a movement they would have to operate on her. By this time, she was almost hysterical, out of desperation; her mom took of her Kuan Yin pendant and gave it to A. A didn’t wear pendant but she ‘hold on’ to Kuan Yin, about 5 minutes after she ‘hold on’ to the pendant, the doctor got an heartbeat from the baby and the ultrasound also showed some movements! The baby who is now an 11-year-old boy is an honor student in Xavier.

Another story that she shared with me is about her husband. A’s husband owns a restaurant and there are times that her husband will have to stay out late to check on the operations of the restaurant. One night, when he was about get on the car, he suddenly had a very strong urge to go back and check on the Kuan Yin altar that A insisted be installed in his office. He just had this nagging feeling that he left something inside, it almost feels like he was being called to go back in by an unseen ‘force’. He thought to himself he might have left incense lighted, which might cause some fire. So he decided to go back in the restaurant. As soon as he stepped inside the restaurant he heard a very loud crashing noise, so loud, that some of the diners ducked down!

When A’s husband looked as to what happened, he saw that a large truck and another car crushed his own car! What happened was a drunk truck driver lost control of his truck, hit a car, which also hit A’s husband’s car. The whole driver side of A’s car was flattened! If he were in the car he would have died already or seriously injured. A said that when she saw the car she cried because she knew that if her husband was in the car he would have died already.

After the incident, that’s when A’s husband realized that he didn’t even light an incense, because he was really not in the habit of lighting an incense in the evening. It is simply not safe.

According to A both she and her husband believes that he was ‘called’ by Kuan Yin so that he wouldn’t have to be in the car when the accident happened.

A and her family always wears the image of Kuan Yin as pendant. This is just two stories from a single person; however, there are a lot more Kuan Yin miracle stories that can be shared.

You can also read my two other posts about Kuan Yin entitled UNDERSTANDING MERCY AND COMPASSION: THE TRANSFORMATION OF AVALOKITESVARA TO KUAN YIN and PAYING HOMAGE TO KUAN YIN, THE BUDDHA OF COMPASSION.

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