Today is a very good day and an exciting day (please note that actual writing and date of posting are usually different from each other) for me and in a way for my regular readers and believers of Feng Shui and Buddhism it should be a good day for you also, because today is the day I was told by my Guru Lama to share with you about the Four Heavenly Kings.
The Four Heavenly Kings has been featured in numerous Buddhist Sutras, one of which is in The Sutra of the Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva; Earth Store Bodhisattva is also known as Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva or Di Zhang Pu Sa. In this particular sutra, Sakyamuni Buddha (The Historical Buddha) directly addressed the Four Heavenly Kings to help propagate the Sutra of the Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva. They were also prominently mentioned in the highly revered Golden Light Sutra.
It is said that those who recite the Golden Light Sutra will be protected by the Four Heavenly Kings themselves. Furthermore, those who recite and keep the Lotus Sutra will also be protected by the Four Heavenly Kings.
From this we can see that the Four Heavenly Kings are powerful protector Buddhist gods, however, as you read on you will that they don’t only protect us but they each also have a specific function which is different from each other.
At this point, I would like to clarify that the Four Heavenly Kings are gods in the Buddhist pantheon; it means they are not yet Bodhisattvas or Buddhas, and they serve the Buddhas or Bodhisattvas.
Again, The Four Heavenly Kings are Buddhist gods, each of who watches over their assigned cardinal direction of the world. The cardinal directions are East, West, North, and South. In Chinese they are originally known or called as “Fēng Tiáo Yǔ Shùn” (風調雨順), which literally translates to “Good climate”, but in the translation in the Chinese version of sutras they are called “Sì Dà Tiānwáng” (四大天王) which means “Four Great Heavenly Kings”.
In most Chinese Buddhist Temples, one will normally see the THE HEAVENLY KINGS HALL. This is usually one of the first most majestic halls one will see.
The Four Heavenly Kings resides in Mt. Sumeru, a celestial and cosmic mountain where the heavens are. They are also the protector of the world and they fight evil, each of the 4 Heavenly Kings are able to command a legion of supernatural creatures to protect the Dharma or people who follow the Dharma.
Each of the Four Heavenly Kings serves Sakra, the of the devas (gods) of the Trayastrimsha Heaven. In Buddhism there are many heavens, and the Tranyastrimsha Heaven is the heaven nearest to our world, which is called Jambvudpiva is Buddhist sutras.
Although they are more commonly called as the Four Heavenly Kings, each one of them has a name and their specific directions and functions. Allow me to introduce to you the Four Heavenly Kings:
VAISRAVANA (He Who Hears Everything)
Is the chief of the Four Heavenly Kings and is the main protector of the cardinal direction North. He is sometimes likened to Bodhisattva Kuan Yin (also spelled or called as Quan Yin, Guan Yin, Kuan Shi Yin, Guan Shi Yin, Quan Shi Yin, Avalokitesvara, Kannon, Chenrezig, Bodhisattva of Compassion, Goddess of Mercy) whose literal translation is THE WHO HEAR THE CRIES OF THE WORLD.
Vaisravana is also known as Kubera, Namtose (Namthose), Vessavana, Thao Kuwen, Wetsawan, Wetsuwan, Wéthawún Nat Min, Duō Wén Tiānwáng.
Vaisravana is the rule of water or rain, which is also the element that represents wealth or money. The umbrella or the pagoda are his symbolic weapons. Vaisravana is considered as a very powerful god of wealth.
In fact, Vaisravana rules over the famous gods of weatlh, which are the Five Dzambhalas (also spelled as Dzambhala, Dzambala, Jambala, Jambhala, Zambhala, Zambala) namely Red Dzambhala, Yellow Dzambhala, White Dzambhala, Black or Blue Dzambhala, and Green Dzambhala. He rules over the Dzambhalas amongst other Yaksha (also spelled as Yaksa) which are generals of the heavenly realm.
Vaisravana is often associated with the colors yellow and green.
Symbols of Vaisravana: Umbrella, Stupa, Pagoda, Mongoose
Cardinal Direction: North
VIRUDHAKA (He Who Causes To Grow)
Is the king of the South. He is the ruler of the wind. And is the god who helps cause good growth of roots or crops.
His symbolic weapon is the sword, which he carries in his right hand to protect the Dharma and also to symbolize power over ignorance.
Virudhaka is also known as Virūḷhaka, Thao Wirunhok, Virúlaka Nat Min, Zēng Zhǎng Tiānwáng, Zōchō-ten, Jeungjang-cheonwang,
Virudhaka rules over Kumbhanda, which are a group of dwarfish spirits and is considered as one of the lesser deities in Buddhism.
Virudhaka is often associated with the color blue.
Symbol of Virudhaka: Sword
Cardinal Direction: South
DHRTARASTRA (He Who Upholds the Realm)
Is the king that rules over East. He is also considered as the God of Music.
His symbolic weapon is a stringed instrument called pipa.
It is said that Dhrtarastra uses music to convert all sentient beings to Buddhism. While all of the Four Heavenly Kings are harmonious and compassionate, Dhrtarastra is considered to be a god that helps promotes harmony and compassion.
Dhrtarastra is also known as Dhrutharashṭa, Thao Thatarot, Daddáratá Nat Min, Chí Guó Tiānwáng, Jikoku-ten, Jiguk-cheonwang, Yülkhorsung.
Dhrtarastra rule over the gandharvas, which are male nature spirits that has superb heavenly and celestial musical skills. They are part animal usually a bird or a horse, and acts as messenger between gods and humans.
Dhrtarastra are often associated with the color white.
Symbol of Dhrtarastra: Pipa
Cardinal Direction: East.
VIRUPAKSA ( He Who Sees All)
Is the king that rules over the West. He is considered as the one who sees everything that happens in the Dharma world.
His symbolic weapons are snake or a red cord that is representative of a dragon.
It is said the Virupaksa watches over us in the sky, and that when we solemnly call on him in time of danger, he will guard and protect us. And if you are not Buddhist and for some reason knows a lot of Buddhism, it is said that it Virupaksa is the one who feeds you these informations.
Virupaksa is also known as Virūpakkha, Virūpaksha, Thao Wirupak, Virúpekka Nat Min, Guăng Mù Tiānwáng, Kōmoku-ten, Gwangmok-cheonwang,
Virupaksa rules over the Nagas, which is a deity that has taken the form of a very great snake.
Virupaksa is often associated with the color red.
Symbols of Virupaksa: Snake, Stupa, Pearl.
Cardinal Direction: West
According to Guru Lama praying to the Four Heavenly Kings will provide us with wealth and prosperity (thru King Vaisravana), success and progress (thru King Virudhaka), peace and harmony (thru King Dhrtarastra) and, good health and protection from danger (thru King Virupaksa). Placing their images at home also serves as one of the most powerful protection amulet one can have.
Guru Lama shares with me a story about how when he was assigned by the Dalai Lama to leave Dharamsala, India to help spread Buddhism and build temple in other parts of Asia, he has personally tapped into the blessings and power of the Four Heavenly Kings.
That was a few decades ago and when he left India, he was only given small amount money to travel and spread the Dharma and eventually build a temple. Guru Lama said he was a little apprehensive because a few years back they just left Tibet because of Chinese oppression, and when he was asked to leave again to spread the Dharma, he was apprehensive and really nervous even though he was excited and felt honored to be entrusted with the task of spreading the Dharma.
A few months before leaving India, he started preparing himself physically and mentally to this overwhelming task. He would always meditate on the teaching of the different sutras and would always draw strength from Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (aka Kuan Yin, Quan Yin, Guan Yin, Kuan Shi Yin, Quan Shi Yin, Kuan Shi Yin, Chenrezig, Kannon) and Bodhisattva Vajrapani. One night in his sleep he received a vision that Vajrapani Bodhisattva visited him and that he was shown the images of the Four Heavenly Kings. Upon waking up he knew then that he would need the help of the Four Heavenly Kings to help progress in his endeavor.
This totally make sense, because if you go back to the description of the Four Heavenly Kings, he will need wealth and prosperity to help build a temple, success and progress so that people will see the good side of what he was about to do, peace and harmony so that he can transmute that feeling to the people around him, good health for this overwhelming task, and protection to ensure that he doesn’t come to harm’s way in spreading the Dharma.
And so my Guru Lama started worshipping and praising the Four Heavenly Kings by making offerings to them and by chanting the mantras of the Four Heavenly Kings. He also vigorously recited The Golden Light Sutra, and The Lotus Sutra (full title is called “Sūtra on the White Lotus of the Sublime Dharma”). And the rest is history. According to Guru Lama he was able to become an instrument into building a temple and building a Sangha (Buddhist community) with relative ease. Money for the temple just kept on pouring in.
Note: To this day Guru Lama still actively participate in building temples. The stipulated donation from the amulets goes to the feeding of the monks or building temples or making of images of Buddhas or Bodhisattvas.
And so today, again for the first time, I want to share with you a powerful mantra that will help you attract wealth and prosperity, success and progress, peace and harmony, lastly, good health and protection, you can recite the mantras of each of the Four Heavenly Kings.
Here are the mantras of each of the Four Heavenly Kings:
For Wealth and Prosperity recite the Mantra of King Vaisravana: OM VAISRAVANA YE SOHA
For Success and Progress in Life recite the Mantra of King Virudhaka: OM VIRUDHAKA KUMBHANDADHIPATA YE SOHA
For Peace and Harmony recite the Mantra of King Dhrtarastra: OM DHRTARASTRA RALAPRAVADHAHA SOHA
For Good Health and Protection recite the Mantra of King Virupaksa: OM VIRUPAKSA NAGA DHIPATA YE SOHA
You can read the following posts to know more about the Vaisravana _ Dzambhala Wealth Amulet:
Today allow me to share with you a short post explaining the difference between an amulet, a talisman, and a charm or better known as Feng Shui charm.
An amulet is basically an object that has protective power ascribed to it. Note the key word here protective power, so the main purpose of the object is to protect the wearer from danger or harm.
A talisman is an object that contains some special prayer or magical energies that may bring about some luck to the one who possess it. However, it also has the power to protect.
A charm of a Feng Shui charm is basically an ordinary object that represents or symbolizes a certain aspect of our life. Basically a charm uses the power of symbolism and subconscious.
A charm or Feng Shui charm is usually used in Feng Shui. Sometimes a religious image is use as a charm. A charm can also be called as a Feng Shui cure. And depending on the charm use, it may have the capability to protect and or induce or bring about good luck to a person.
An amulet is usually use by Buddhist. Moat Buddhist items whether man – made or naturally occurring are considered as an amulet, meaning it’s primary purpose to protect the possessor from harm, either from physical, esoteric harm or even health, wealth harm. Again, Buddhist mostly makes an amulet rather than a talisman. However, it doesn’t mean that the power is limited to protective powers. A lot of Buddhist amulets also bring about a lot of other miraculous energies. The Vajrapani Ruel, which is considered as the world’s most powerful amulet in the Buddhist pantheon and enjoys a lot of personal testimonies from readers who acquired it is an example of an amulet (although strictly speaking it is above an amulet), The Surangama Mantra Amulet and the Illness Suppression Amulet are other examples of the amulets that may offer other miraculous energies to the one who possess it. An amulet usually follows certain religious rule for one to make it.
A talisman is mostly used in Taoism. There are a lot of talismans that offers different purposes for its wearer. A talisman is usually made by a Taoist priest and has no ‘universal’ guidelines in doing it.
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Today, allow me to continue talking about the daily mantras that I chant, which you can also adopt for yourself. I know there are a lot, and if you are newbie in chanting mantras you can start with a few first and gradually work your way up to chanting more mantras.
All mantras are protective, but like the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, some mantras have a special characterization. Some of the well-known protective mantras are the Mantra of Buddha Amitabha, Mantra of Bodhisattva Vajrapani and the Mantra of Bodhisattva Sangharama. But of course, Vajrapani Bodhisattva and Sangharama Bodhisattva are also known for business, money, career, financial and wealth growth, especially Vajrapani Bodhisattva. The many people who have the Vajrapani Ruel or the readers of this blog would know that by now.
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you would know already that I always take the stance that one should protect oneself first before enhancing one’s luck. But with mantras, you automatically do both. That’s the beauty of it.
Now, allow me to share with you other protective mantras that I chant everyday!
These mantras are the following:
OM AH HUM HO HAM KSHAMALA VARAYA HUM PHAT (Mantra of Tantric Deity Kalachakra) – the Kalachakra symbol is one of the most powerful protective symbols in the Buddhist tradition. It actually consists of the 10 – syllable symbolic script compressed together. However, when chanting it’s mantra, you OH AH HUM, so that one cleanse oneself first of negative karma before invoking the protection from the powerful Tantric Deity Kalachakra. Simply wearing a Kalachakra will certainly protect you from both physical and esoteric harm. But chanting the mantra daily will also imbibe you with the same amount of protection, and having both will certainly double or event triple it’s protective effect. Aside from that chanting or wearing its symbol will also protect you from negative energies that may prevent you from achieving your utmost financial or wealth potential.
This is a Kalachakra Pendant designed by Lillian Too. She has included some mandala sands inside the pendant to make it more potent. I personally love this pendant and has one that is made of white gold. The Kalachakra Symbol is a powerful protection symbol. It is actually ten syllable mantra compressed into one symbol. The mantra is HO HAM KSHAMALA VARAYA HUM PHAT. However, it is usually chanted with OM AH HUM thus making the complete mantra as OM AH HUM HO HAM KSHAMALA VARAYA HUM PHAT. It is because off this that for the WISH FULFILLING AND BUDDHA’S BLESSING MANTRA PENDANT, I decided to put the symbolic script OM AH HUM on top of Kalachakra Symbol.
NAMO SAPTANAM SAMYAKSAM BUDDHA KOTINAM TADYATHA OM CHALE CHULE CHUNDI SOHA (Mantra of Bodhisattva Cundi Avalokitesvara / Bodhisattva Chundi Avalokitesvara) – Cundi Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva (also spelled as Chundi Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva) is another manifestation of Bodhisattva Kuan Yin or Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. Cundi Avalokitesvara is sometime called Cundi Kuan Yin (Cundi Guan Yin). Bodhisattva Chundi Avalokitesvara is usually depicted with 18 arms with various implements. Chanting the mantra of Bodhisattva Cundi Avalokitesvara will provide you with a protection from business and political problems. It will be great that this mantra be chanted to help protect you from office politics and also hostile business atmosphere. The mantra is also spelled NAMO SAPTANAM SAMYAKSAM BUDDHA KOTINAM TADYATHA OM CALE CULE CUNDI SOHA.
OM BHRUM SOHA OM AMARITA AYUR DADAY SOHA (Mantra of Buddha Namgyalma) – Namgyalma Buddha is another Buddha that is considered as a very powerful protector. Chanting the mantra daily will ensure that you are always free from danger. The mantra is sometimes spelled as OM BHRUM SOHA OM AMARITA AYUR DADE SOHA or OM BHRUM SOHA OM AMARITA AYUR DADI SOHA. Daday/Dade/Dadi is pronounced as ‘the – die’.
TADYATHA OM ANALÈ ANALÈ KHASAMÈ KHASAMÈ BHAYRÈ BHAYRÈ SAUMA SAUMÈ SARVA BUDDHA ADISHTANA ADISHTÎTÈ SOHA TADYATHA OM USHINISHA SITATAPUTRA HUM PHAT HUM MAMA HUM NÌ SOHA (Mantra of the White Umbrella Goddess – Ushinisha Sitataputra) – Chanting this mantra will provide one with long life and good health. It prevents accidents and help prevents you from falling ill. It does protect one from evil or negative energies.
NAMO WEI TUO PU SA (Mantra of Bodhisattva Wei Tuo) – Wei Tuo Bodhisattva is a Bodhisattva known for protective the dharma and the sutras. If you are a student of dharma, chanting the mantra of Wei Tuo Bodhisattva will block the negative forces that might want to prevent you from being a serious dharma student. Chanting the mantra will also help protect you from esoteric harm.
You can also read other posts in the Chant – A – Mantra series:
Today, I was asked whether I have done things that I’m ashamed of. The quick answer is yes. I don’t have to think about it. Some of these things are intentional and thus are more shameful, but most are not. But whether intentional or not we create karma for every act. Karma has been planted and so corresponding karma shall be reaped.
Please note that in Buddhism an act or the word act constitutes the following: SPEECH, THOUGHT and DEEDS! So a bad thought is a bad act.
Sometimes, no matter how much we try we unintentionally do wrong things, or bad things, and while we can only be judge with our deepest intention, an act is an act so it has a corresponding karma. How can we then help prevent bad karma from happening if we unintentionally created it?
We chant the short but powerful mantra – OM AH HUM.
OM AH HUM cleanses us from the immediate light negative karma that we acquired with our speech, thought and deeds. This negative karma may become hindrances for us to receive blessings.
OM AH HUM is also a protection mantra; so whenever you find yourself in danger, simply chant this mantra.
OM AH HUM is also a very powerful environment purifying mantra. Chanting this mantra in a room will cleanse it of any negative karma. So for example, one just had a fight in a room, chanting this mantra in that room will help cleanse the room of the negative chi created by the fight.
OM AH HUM is also known as the Protection, Environment Purifying and Immediate Negative Karma Cleansing Mantra.
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Today, I once again would like to share a natural way of tapping into the power or blessings or protection of a Buddha.
This happened a few months back. I had a business/project trip in a remote part of Zamboanga, since we have to catch a flight back to Manila, we decided that we should leave early to go back to the city because we were informed that the roads, since we are in a very remote place might not be safe. However, due to last minute concerns our departure for Zamboanga City was delayed. As a result we had to leave for the city in the wee hours of the morning.
A lot of people were against the decision to leave at around one in the morning, but those who decided they want to leave is more than those who wants to stay. I myself would have wanted to stay. The reason for pushing for us to leave is because flights have been booked and rebooked several times that we can no longer afford to rebooked them again, because doing so will entail so much money and not to mention inconvenience to a lot of people. The heads of our group decided to risk it because we have some military escorts anyway.
I was totally uncomfortable with the decision but was not able to do anything because we took the stance of heeding the majority’s decision, not to mention, the majority also has the voice of the leaders of the project.
So off we went. As soon as we set off, I decided to alternately chant the name and mantra of Amitabha Buddha, Medicine Buddha and Kuan Yin Bodhisattva. I was determined to continue chanting it even if travel time is approximately 7 hours or until we reached an area where our escorts can guarantee safety even without them protecting us. So I began to chant.
We were a large group and we have a total of 7 cars, in each car we have either 3 or 4 military escorts each riding with us. We said that we should convoy, without breaking the sequence of the car. Meaning no overtaking. The first car will always be the first car and the last car will always be the 7th car or the last car. I rode on the 5th car, meaning there are 2 more cars behind me.
Again, I would like to stress that all through out I was alternately chanting the name and mantras of Amitabha Buddha (NAMO AMITUOFO / OM AMI DEWA HRIH), Medicine Buddha (NAMA XIAO TSAI YEN SHOU YAW SHI FO / TADYATHA OM BHEKANDZYE BHEKANDZYE MAHA BHEKANDZYE RADZA SAMUGATE SOHA) and Kuan Yin Bodhisattva (NAMO KUAN SHI YIN PUSA / OM MANI PADME HUM). Approximately, on the 2nd hour of our travel, our tire hit something, which cause it to ‘explode’. As a result we got a totally flat tire! For some reason, the first four cars didn’t notice our predicament, and our mobile phones were not working in the area because of lack of signal, we tried informing them through short-range radio, but we are unable to get in touch with them also. The place was really dark and in a ‘middle of no – where’, we can’t even see a single house or light. All the lights are coming from our car and mobile phones and flashlights. But we have to turn them off because our escorts are afraid that the lights might attract ‘rebels’ in the area. Nevertheless, all of us in car number 5 were asked to get off while the driver and some of our escorts change the tire. As a safety precaution, all the civilians in car number 5 were squeezed inside cars number 6 and 7.
You can see that a lot of the civilians are scared, some try to make light of it, but there was one of us who deals with her fear by getting with the first 4 cars, that they didn’t even stop or came back for us. To be completely honest, I was also a little scared, I believe in the power of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, but neither do I want to tempt fate.
To make the long story short, I continued quietly chanting, and after a short while that seems like eternity for us, we were asked to go back to car number 5 and off we went on our way.
After about 30 to 45 minutes of travel from when we had the flat tire, we caught sight of our companions, which are cars number 1 – 5. We knew right away something was wrong, because their tires were flat also and at several of their escorts were obviously physically hurt.
Apparently, for some strange reason, they were already quite far when they noticed that we weren’t able to follow. They wanted to go back for us but armed men attacked them. It was only their extreme luck that no one was killed, but all their valuables including mobile phones, bags, and guns of their escorts were all taken away. Because of our ‘accident’ we were saved from this, and all we had was minor trouble.
I, as well as other people in the whole group totally believe that we, cars number 5 to 7 were saved by some higher divine beings. I know Amitabha Buddha, Medicine Buddha, and Kuan Yin Bodhisattva saved us. Our accident was not an accident; we were stopped to save us from a possible harm. Our escorts think that the group that attacked them was big enough to overpower 4 cars, but maybe not 7 cars, in which case if they see 4 cars they might resort to ambushing the cars by firing on it before stealing our things. It was a miracle!
I totally believe that by chanting the names and mantras together with my amulets like the Vajrapani Ruel, we were saved from harm.
On my next post, I will discuss why it was only car numbers 5 – 7 were totally saved and not cars 1 – 4.
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Ushnisha Sitataputra, better known as the White Umbrella Goddess, is one of the female manifestations of Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. It should be noted that Ushnisha Sitataputra, although she has similar traits with Kuan Yin, is not Kuan Yin. Kuan Yin is literally Avalokitesvara as female Bodhisattva. To understand this better I suggest you read my earlier post entitled – UNDERSTANDING MERCY AND COMPASSION: THE TRANSFORMATION OF AVALOKITESVARA TO KUAN YIN.
However, Ushnisha Sitataputra is a female manifestation of Avalokitesvara, the difference is Kuan Yin has retained all the exact character traits of Avalokitesvara, while a Ushnisha Sitataputra or The While Umbrella Goddess serves a slightly different purpose.
Ushnisha Sitataputra directly translates as the ‘The Victorious Goddess of White Parasol’, and she does signify victory over all harm and danger, especially those of supernatural causes. According to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, reciting the mantra of Ushnisha Sitataputra will help illnesses, bring auspicious luck, prevent harm from happening, and drive away evil and negative energies. The Tibetan Buddhists regard Ushnisha Sitataputra or The White Umbrella Goddess as one of the most powerful deity.
The famous image of Ushnisha Sitataputra is the one where has a thousand face, thousand arms, and a thousand legs. Each of the face has three eyes, and she also has one eye in each of the palm of her hands and sole of her feet. This is to represent that she watches and protects all sentient beings. Her body as in her central faces glows in white, her right faces are yellow, her rear faces are red, and green is the color of her faces on her left. At the top of her head is another tier of blue faces. Her right hands hold the Dharma chakra, while her left hands hold arrows. She also has a white parasol on her left, which symbolizes the blessing of protection. This particular image of The White Umbrella Goddess can be likened to the Thousand-Hand Kuan Yin or Thousand Hand Avalokitesvara.
Image of the Thousand-Hand Avalokitesvara or Thousand-Armed Avalokitesvara
This is similar to the Thousand-Hand Kuan Yin we have at home.
Another image of Ushnisha Sitataputra or The White Umbrella Goddess is the simpler and can be likened to the White Tara.
In this subdued image of Ushnisha Sitataputra, she has 7 eyes, very much like the White Tara. Also white in color, she has one face with three eyes, two hands with one eye each on each palm, and 2 legs with one eye each on each sole. Her right hand is in the mudra of supreme generosity and also holds a Dharma chakra, while on her left she holds the famous White Parasol or White Umbrella of protection. However, in this version, the parasol is adorned with various jewel and ornaments.