Gautama Buddha

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Basic Buddhism 2: The Three Jewels – Buddha, Dharma, Sangha

Published Abril 21, 2015 by jptan2012

three jewelsThe word buddha means ‘The Awakened One’, this refers to being awakened to the ultimate reality, to the true nature of the mind; being one who understands the world and all sentient beings without delusion, one who is perfect in wisdom and compassion. The Buddha is also sometimes called as the ‘Thus Come One’ or Tathagata, or the ‘World – Honored One’ or Bhagavat.

The Buddha is a historical being, and enjoys more evidence and historical facts than Jesus Christ that he actually existed. He is a Indian prince whose given name is Siddhartha. I will try to write more about Buddha extensively in future posts, but allow me to share briefly some of the highlights of his life now.

After years of diligent practice, Siddhartha, sitting under a Bodhi tree reach supreme enlightenment. Please note that the Bodhi tree was not called Bodhi tree then, it came after. When Siddhartha reached enlightenment, it is said that his very first words are, “Wonder of wonders! All sentient beings are inherently complete and perfect! But they do not realize it because of their delusions and cravings.”

When he reached enlightenment, he became known as Sakyamuni or Gautama Buddha. Gautama is from his name Siddharta Gautama, he then also embarked on an endless but untiring journey to teach living beings how to see the reality, how to gain true wisdom, and how to free themselves and attain true peace and joy.

Sakyamuni Buddha’s teachings are called Dharma.

Sakyamuni Buddha also gained several followers who renounced their home life to devote their lives to the practice of  Dharma, and to teach other sentient beings. They formed the ordained community of Buddhist monks and nuns and is called as the Sangha.

Sangha means ‘harmony’ or ‘harmonious assembly’. They are responsible for preserving and propagating the Dharma.

Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha are collectively called as the Three Jewels, because they are considered as the true treasures of the World.

Ksitigarbha Buddha is a Bodhisattva that Vowed to Help All Those Who Suffer in Hell and in this World!

Published Oktubre 6, 2013 by jptan2012

A few days ago I wrote and introduced you to the possible wonderful blessings of THE FOUR DHARMAKAYA RELIC MANTRAS, and the response has been truly overwhelming. Of course, regular readers are well familiar with WISH FULFILLING AND BUDDHA’S BLESSING MANTRA PENDANT, and the several personal testimonies of people who has requested for it. Sometimes, between THE FOUR DHARMAKAYA RELIC MANTRAS, WISH FULFILLING AND BUDDHA’S BLESSING MANTRA PENDANT, and the WEALTH AND MASTER PROTECTION PENDANT, which, unfortunately is no longer available for requests because of its price, I believe that there is no more excuse for us to go through any form of suffering. The truth Feng Shui, Taoism, and Buddhism has a lot of deities, Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, not to mention power of symbols and mantras that can help alleviate us from any form of suffering.Ksitigarbha

However, why do many of us still suffer? Many of us still go through some form of suffering because of either of two things. One, it can be due to the fact that our house Feng Shui is bad, or it can be also due to karma, whether past life karma or recent karma. When I say recent karma, I refer to karma that is sowed during this current lifetime.

Nevertheless, still, we have a lot of Bodhisattva who have vowed to help uplift us from any form of suffering. First, of all these Bodhisattvas is the Goddess of Mercy, Kuan Yin or Avalokitesvara in Tibetan Buddhism. She remains to be the most popular and revered Bodhisattva. In fact, often times she’s referred to as the Bodhisattva of Compassion or Buddha of Compassion.

Today, allow me to introduce to you another such Bodhisattva, who in reality is already a Buddha but vowed to stay on as a Bodhisattva until such time there is no longer any soul in hell. I’m referring to Ksitigarbha Buddha, who again is actually a Bodhisattva.

Ksitigarbha Buddha, is usually depicted as a Buddhist monk, and for bigger temples, he usually has his own temple hall. In the Philippines, and smaller hall he is usually placed at the memorial halls of the dead or mausoleums this is because of his vow to save people from hell. Personally speaking, I believe this is a limitation of how Ksitigarbha should be perceived. A lot of Filipino – Chinese Buddhists thinks of Ksitigarbha only as a Bodhisattva of the souls of the dead. While it’s perfectly true and accurate, this belief doesn’t paint the whole picture of who Ksitigarbha truly is.Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva

Ksitigarbha Buddha or Dizang P’usa (also spelled as Ti Tsang P’usa, he is also called in Chinese as Dizang Wang P’usa or Ti Tsang Wang P’usa). There are a lot of translations of Ksitigarbha’s name in English, but the most common one is Earth Store.

Ksitigarbha Buddha or Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva is known for his vow to take care take responsibility of souls that are experiencing hell. This is where the translation becomes a little muddy; because some people took it to mean the literal hell, and while they are not incorrect, they’re not entirely correct either. I personally believe the other translation, hell means suffering, whether these are the souls that are suffering when they are in – between transitions from one earth life to another, or it is suffering because of what we are going through here on earth. Some people seems to have forgotten that Ksitigarbha’s vow is to take responsibility for the enlightenment of all souls in the six worlds between the physical death of Gautama (Sakyamuni or Shakyamuni) Buddha (also known as the Historical Buddha) and the rise of Maitreya Buddha (also known as the Happy Buddha or the Future Buddha), with this vow is the vow of not entering Buddhahood until all hells are emptied.

KsitigarbhaI mentioned earlier that Ksitigarbha Buddha is second to Bodhisattva of Compassion, Kuan Yin in terms of ‘popularity’ and followers to East Asian Buddhist. What’s striking is that Kuan Yin, became a woman in China from the male form of Avalokitesvara.

Ksitigarbha also had a transformation of gender, however with Ksitigarbha, he was she before she became a he. Also, unlike Kuan Yin, it is believed that Ksitigarbha really became a human being.

Much of what we know about Ksitigarbha Buddha or Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva is base on his own sutra, Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Purvapranidhana Sutra, which is one of the most popular sutra in Mahayana Buddhism. It is said to have been spoke by Sakyamuni Buddha himself to the Trayastrimsa Heaven towards the end is earth life.ksitigarbha3

To this day it’s not clear whether the Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Purvapranidhana Sutra has an Indian or Chinese origins. It was first believed that Tipitaka Master Siksananda, who is a famous Buddhist monk from Khotan who also provided a new translation of the Avatamsaka Sutra and the Lankavatara Sutra, translated it from the Sanskrit into Chinese during the Tang Dynasty in the 7th century. However, among all the sutras, Ksitigarbha Sutra strongly advocates filial piety, w/c was stereotype associated with Chinese culture. It talked about Ksitigarbha’s filial piety as a human or mortal, which lead to great vows to save all sentient being. Furthermore, no Sanskrit manuscript of Ksitigarbha’s sutras was ever found, which strengthen the belief that it is of Chinese origin.

According to his sutra, Ksitigarbha was a maiden in the distant past eons. He or she was of the Brahmin caste named Sacred Girl. She was said to have shown love and respect towards her parents, especially her mother. When her mother died, Sacred Girl became deeply troubled because her mother had been very slanderous towards the Triple Gem. Wanting to save her mother from the tremendous tortures of hell, Sacred Girl sold everything she has to buy offerings for the Buddha of her era. The Buddha then is known as the Buddha of the Flower of Meditation and Enlightenment. Remember that Sakyamuni Buddha was then still a Bodhisattva.

Some Buddhists, specially in japan and China (where the one child policy is forcing women to commit abortion), Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva is considered as the Bodhisattva for the souls of babies who died.

Some Buddhists, specially in japan and China (where the one child policy is forcing women to commit abortion), Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva is considered as the Bodhisattva for the souls of babies who died.

Sacred Girl would always make offerings and recitation of prayers to help save her mother’s soul. One day, while she was making an offering and prayers at the temple, she heard the Buddha of her era telling her to go home and recite his name in meditation if she truly wants to know how her mother was in the other world. She did what she was told and her consciousness through a vision was transported to a realm of Hell.  There she met the guardian of hell who informed her that through her offerings and fervent prayer, she has helped her mother accumulate enough merit to negate her karma and she has ascended to heaven where she awaits to be reborn. Sacred Girl was greatly comforted with this; however, she saw the suffering to the souls in Hell, which greatly affected her. She then made a vow to do her best to relieve the beings in hell of their suffering in her future lives.

It is normal that people will call Ksitiagrbha a Buddha even if he is actually a Bodhisattva. That is because like Kuan Yin, it's his choice to remain a Bodhisattva to help suffering people and sould.

It is normal that people will call Ksitiagrbha a Buddha even if he is actually a Bodhisattva. That is because like Kuan Yin, it’s his choice to remain a Bodhisattva to help suffering people and sould.

At this time Sacred Girl is already considered as living Bodhisattva, much like how some people consider the Fourteenth Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa Rinpoche to be a living Bodhisattva. When Sacred Girl left her physical body and went to heaven, she was given the chance to go back so she can start her vow to save souls. This time she chooses to be male monk. Before he left heaven to assume his new life as a monk, he found that her mother when she was still Sacred Girl would also go back to earth to take a life of a dog; this is because she has to earn a lesson from being slanderous about the Triple Gems.

Ksitigarbha as a monk seek out Sacred Girl’s mother who is now a dog. The dog often acted as Ksitigarbha’s guard, which is a way for Sacred Mother’s mom to repay Sacred Girl’s love.

Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva is popularly depicted in two ways, one as a bald monk and the other one as a monk who wears a Five Leave Crown. He is depicted either seated or standing up on a lotus base. On his right hand is the Ringed Staff, which is carried by a lot of monks during his time. The Ringed Staff is also called the Alarm Staff; it is used to warn animals and insects that he is arriving so that he can avoid harming them by unintentionally stepping on them. In Feng Shui the ringed staff has come to symbolize the announcement of an impending danger. On his right hand is the Wish Fulfilling Jewel, which actually is a pearl. The Wish Fulfilling Jewel symbolizes the fact that Ksitigarbha has ability to help us fulfill our wishes. The Wish Fulfilling Jewel becomes a Fireball to help subdue negative energies such arguments or fighting. So it is not surprising that in some temple, you’ll see Ksitigarbha holding a round ball signifying the Wish Fulfilling Jewel, while in other he holds the Fireball. These two are actually one and the same. In Feng Shui, the Ksitigarbha fireball signifies the taming of arguments and fighting.

From my personal collection. A rare Red Amber Ksitigarbha.

From my personal collection. A rare Red Amber Ksitigarbha.

Having an image of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva at home or as a pendant, will help people who are going through some hardships, Ksitgarbha will help make things better. Furthermore, having his image at home or as a pendant will also help people deal with the compulsion or addiction. Addiction and compulsion are a form of hell and suffering, thus devotion to Ksitigarbha will help. People who are going through a difficult time will get some relief if they have the image of Ksitigarbha.

If wearing it as a pendant, I prefer the image with the five leave crown.  This is a rare red jasper Ksitigarbha pendant from my personal collection.

If wearing it as a pendant, I prefer the image with the five leave crown.
This is a rare red jasper Ksitigarbha pendant from my personal collection.

If you are suffering from a fixed karma, meaning karma from your past life and as indicated on your Paht Chee or Bazi, having Ksitigarbha’s image and reciting his mantra will help eradicate this negative past karma.

The mantra for this is OM PRA MANI DANI SOHA.

The other mantra for Ksitigarbha Buddha is OM AH KSITIGARBHA THALENG HUM.

His mantra in Chinese is NAMO DIZANG WANG P’USA.

If you wish to get an image of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, I find that an image of Ksitigarbha made of red jasper, or red amber is the best. The one made of jade only works for a select group of people.

Again, if using an image of Ksitigarbha at home, I prefer to use the one with the crown, unless, he is placed the ancestral altar.

Again, if using an image of Ksitigarbha at home, I prefer to use the one with the crown, unless, he is placed the ancestral altar.

Between the FOUR DHARMAKAYA RELIC MANTRAS, the images in the WISH FULFILLING AND BUDDHA’S BLESSING MANTRA PENDANT, GUAN YIN, KSITIGARBHA BODHISATTVA to name just some of the things that I’ve written there is no reason for us to suffer, as long as we keep our hearts pure and consciousness clean.

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

Published Pebrero 20, 2012 by jptan2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE MEDICINE BUDDHA SUTRA

Also Called: THE SUTRA OF THE MASTER OF HEALING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Happy Fat Buddha: A Representation of Maitreya Buddha’s Blessings

Published Pebrero 16, 2012 by jptan2012
Happy Fat Buddha or Laughing Buddha

Happy Fat Buddha or Laughing Buddha

Happy Fat Buddha or Laughing Buddha, as he is famously called by non-Buddhists, is undoubtedly one of the most famous and recognized image of a Buddha. The Happy Fat Buddha is in reality not a Buddha, at least, not yet. He is currently a Bodhisattva and a future Buddha who’ll replace the existing Historical Buddha which is Gautama Buddha or Sakyamuni (also spelled as Shakyamuni) Buddha. The Happy Fat Buddha or Laughing Buddha is in reality known as the Maitreya Buddha.

Buddhist scriptures states that we are currently under the ‘era’ of Sakyamuni Buddha, which is the fourth Buddha to have appeared on earth, there have been 3 others before him. It is said that his arrival will be at the time of the low point of human existence. He will come at a time where in mankind has forgotten about the Dharma (Buddhist teachings). This is not totally impossible because as shown in what is happening in Tibet, under the rule of China, the original Dharma is being purged and destroyed, albeit with extreme resistance from Tibetans and other Buddhists, but unfortunately, still with a lot of success. This answers why even after several recitations of Mantras it is still bound to happen, because it was prophesied in the Buddhist scriptures. In China, Buddhism has really taken a lot of different interpretations that are watered down. Buddhism, as any other religion in China, is closely monitored and censored by the government. Same thing is currently happening in other parts of Asia, such as Myanmar.

Going back to Maitreya Buddha or Happy Fat Buddha as he is normally called, is said to come when mankind is in need to be reminded of the Dharma. At present Maitreya Buddha is at present said to be living in Tusita Heaven, a celestial place where celestial Bodhisattvas are said to reside. In Tusita Heaven, it is said in the Buddhist scriptures, Maitreya Buddha constantly recites mantras and sutras for us. He also continuously gets lessons in preparation for his coming to earth where he’ll achieve enlightenment within 7 days and become a Buddha so that he can impart to us the Dharma.

Typically pictured seated on a throne either cross legged or feet flat on the floor, signifying that he’s waiting for his time, Maitreya is originally pictured as a slim, handsome prince. He is also usually dressed as a Indian royalty (India being the origin of Buddhism). As representation of him being a Bodhisattva, it is not uncommon to see that he is also adorned with jewels. A Khata is usually tied around his waist much like a belt.

Maitreya Buddha pictured in his original image.

Another representation of Maitreya Budda.

The idea of him pictured as a Happy Fat Buddha came about of what he represents. The Maitreya Buddha represents wealth, health, love, happiness or joy, success, peace, and harmony. In short, he represents what each person aspire for.

There are several stories as to why the image of Maitreya Buddha became that of the Happy Fat Buddha or Laughing Buddha. In fact, Maitreya is derived from Maitri which means Loving Kindness.

One of the story states that the image of the Happy Fat Buddha came about because of the Chinese buddhist monk Budai. Budai either claimed or people saw in him the qualities of Maitreya Buddha (the written history about this are not clear) that when he passed away people started using his image as the image of Maitreya Buddha.

Another story claims that Maitreya one day visited earth to share the sutras, however, all the women are unable to absorb his teachings because all they can see is a very handsome young prince and they fell in-love with him. Seeing that his image causes women to be distracted he transformed himself to a fat bald man.

Still another story is quite simple. When Buddhism was introduced in China, they’re unable to comprehend some aspect of the teachings of Buddhism. For example, Kuan Yin is a female representation of Avalokitesvara, the ‘Male’ Buddha of Compassion. However, Chinese are unable to comprehend the idea of a very loving, gentle, compassionate MALE being,  to make it easier for the people to understand the character and teachings of Avalokitesvara, they decided to represent her with a female image called Kuan Yin or Kwan Sheer Yin (He or She who hears the cries of the world). Allow me to briefly share here that it is said that it is Avalokitesvara himself who instructed some Indian and Tibetan monks through a vision to represent him as Kuan Yin. This is not totally veering away from reality, because in truth, celestial Buddhist gods are androgynous, they are neither male or female, or it can be said they are both male and female. Since at that time Chinese always associates wealth and health with plumpness, and happiness, love, harmony with a happy face, these characteristics became the representation of Maitreya Buddha in China.

Personally, I believe that the 3rd story is the most plausible explanation.

When I come across a big image of the Maitreya Buddha as a the Happy Fat Buddha or Laughing Buddha, or when I pray to him, I usually rub his stomach to signify the asking of blessing. It’s an affectionate gesture. However, never touch the head of a Buddha, because in Buddhism it is only monks, your elders or superiors who can touch the head of a person who is ‘beneath’ them.

Aside from ‘Happy Fat Buddha’, ‘Laughing Buddha’, Maitreya Buddha is also called ‘Metteya’, ‘Puy Lok Yah’ (Fookien term for The Happy Fat Father), ‘Mi Lo Fu’ in Chinese, ‘Mile (pronounced as Mee-Lay) Pusa’ also in Chinese, Miroku Bosatsu in Japanese, Mireuk Bosal in Korean, Phra Sri Araya Metrai in Thai.

Most of the images of the Happy Fat Buddha depicts him on a relax mode. There’s another image of him on his legs. Either of the two images are considered very auspicious.

Placing the image of Maitreya Buddha, either as the handsome young prince or as the Happy Fat Buddha or Laughing Buddha helps generate his blessings of happiness, harmony, love, peace, wealth, good health, etc. However, in the Philippines it is easier to get his image as the Laughing Buddha. Also this particular image also gives a psychological effect for all those who see it. It reminds us to be happy, it reminds us to become positive, and at the very least, because of how he looks as the Happy Fat Buddha, it creates an atmosphere of happiness and harmony.

You can place his image either on your altar, or any parts of your house except in the bedroom (for married couples) and or in the rest room.

This is from my personal collection. I wear this pendant everyday. In choosing an image of the Happy Fat Buddha to be worn as a pendant, always look for the face. Make sure that it has happy jolly face.

Wearing an image of the Maitreya Buddha as a pendant is also very auspicious and serves as an homage to him. In return, you get to tap into his blessings.

When I was designing the WISH FULFILLING AND BUDDHA’S BLESSING MANTRA PENDANT, a pendant that I initially designed for myself and for my family but has since then become a popular charm for my readers garnering a lot of very positive personal testimonies, my frustration is not having enough space to include the image of the Happy Fat Buddha. However, since I have a separate Happy Fat Buddha pendant I see no need to include. I’m just happy that the WISH FULFILLING AND BUDDHA’S BLESSING MANTRA PENDANT has since then become an instrument of good luck to a lot of my readers.

NOTE: This post was edited on Dec. 2, 2013.

Guardian Buddha Base on the Animal Zodiac

Published Enero 16, 2012 by jptan2012

Very much similar to the patron saints of Catholics. The Buddhist has Patron Buddha or Bodhisattva base on the animal zodiac.

Depending on your animal sign you have a corresponding Guardian Buddha. It is said that you, base on your animal zodiac, has an immediate affinity with your Guardian Buddha.

Praying to your Guardian Buddha and or chanting their mantra brings you protection and blessings.

AVALOKITESVARA si the Guardian Buddha of people born under the sign of the RAT.

Avalokitesvara is one of the most revered Bodhisattva. He is popularly known as Kuan Yin in Chinese Buddhism and as Cannon in Japanese Buddhism. Avalokistesvara is also known as the Buddha of Compassion, although, as mentioned He is actually not a Buddha but rather a Bodhisattva.

The mantra of Avalokitesvara is OM MANI PADME HUM.

Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva of Compansion

Avalokitesvara's femaie manifestation is popularly known as Kuan Yin in China. Kuan Yin means 'The One Who Hears the Cries of the World'.

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

AKASAGARBHA is the Guardian Buddha of people born under the sign of the OX and TIGER.

Akasagarbha Buddha is also known as the ‘Boundless Space Treasury’ Buddha. He is sometimes considered as twin brother of Ksitigarbha Buddha. He is a Buddha who bestows wisdom through enlightenment.

The mantra of Akasagarbha is OM VAJRA RATNA TRAH SOHA.

Akasagarbha is not a Buddha but a Bodhisattva.

MANJUSHRI is the Guardian Buddha of people born under the sign of the RABBIT.

Manjushri is the Bodhisattva of wisdom and awareness associated with spiritual studies or pursuits. He also brings education and marriage luck.

The mantra of Manjushri is OM A RA PA CHA NA DIH.

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

SAMANTABHADRA is the Guardian Buddha of people born under the sign of the DRAGON and SNAKE.

Samantabhadra is perhaps one of the most misinterpreted and un-identified Bodhisattva in Chinese Buddhism. While he is highly revered in Tibetan. In China, his female manifestation is often thought of as Kuan Yin. However, Samantabhadra is easily identified because He/She usually seats a top an Elephant. Samantbhadra together with fellow Bodhisattva Manjushri is a disciple of the Buddha Sakyamuni. If Manjushri is known as the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, Samantabhadra is known as the Bodhisattva of Truth.

The mantra of Samantabhadra is OM AH HUM AH A KAR SA LE OD A YANG OM DU

Bodhisattva Samantabhadra

MHASTHAMAPRAPTA  (pronounced with an A after the M. MA-HAS-THA-MA-PRAP-TA) is the Guardian Buddha of people born under the sign of the HORSE.

Mhasthamaprapta is also a misinterpreted Bodhisattva. In Chinese Buddhism He/She is usually mistaken as the Kuan Yin. Some think Mhasthamaprapta is a lesser Bodhisattva but He is actually one of the Eight Great Bodhisattva. Mhasthamaprapta aids an enlightenment of a person if they seek the Sutra of Infinite Light.

Unfortunately, I’m not well versed yet with the mantra of Mhasthamaprapta and is unable to share it here.

Mhastamaprapta is very hard to diffenrentiate from Kuan Yin. But the clue is how she holds the flower which is a lotus. Kuan Yin holds a willow. Also she's always on the right side of Amitabha Buddha. Kuan Yin is on the left side. Facing them Mhastamaprapta is on our left and Kuan Yin is on our right.

VAIROCANA is the Guardian Buddha of people born under the sign of the SHEEP and MONKEY.

Vairocana is a Celestial Buddha and is often interpreted as the Bliss Body of the Historical Buddha Gautama Buddha. He is a Buddha who grants wisdom and enlightenment.

The mantra of Vairocana is OM VAIROCANA HUM.

Buddha Vairocana

ACALA is the Guardian Buddha of people born under the sign of ROOSTER.

Acala is the principal destroyer of delusion and protector of Buddhism. Acala helps purifies negative karma and is a powerful Buddha for those who are in need of self control.

The mantra of Acala is NAMAH SAMANTA VAJRANAM CANDA MAHAROSANA SPHOTAYA HUM TRAT HAM MAM.

Acala Buddha. Notice how in Buddhism and Taoism there are gods whose images are wrathful and might seem 'demonic' to Christians and Westeners. But wratful gods are just representation of their protective powers and a lot of the wrathful gods are also good wealth gods.

AMITABHA is the Guardian Buddha of people born under the sign of the DOG and BOAR.

Amitabha is one of the most revered Buddhas. He is also called as the ‘Buddha of Infinite Light’. Amitabha greatly bestows blessings to those who earns good karma. He is also a powerful protector Buddha.

The mantra of Amitabha is OM AMI DEWA HRIH.

Amitabha Buddha

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