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:
In the preceding posts, I talked about the alternative historical belief about the Battle of Mactan, and about the story of Lapu Lapu, who is regarded as the first Filipino hero, and of Ferdinand Magellan.
Do you think it is curious why the site of the Battle of Mactan is called Magellan Shrine in honor of Ferdinand Magellan and not Lapu Lapu Shrine? It is said that historians who believes the alternative story who were also part of the committee in setting up the shrine insisted on the calling it Magellan Shrine to ensure that the real story never gets truly buried. This is their own little way of making sure that the truth stays behind the consciousness of people. It was said that they have to agree to the popular story because Filipinos need the story of how we fought the Spanish Conquistador right from the start.
Anyway, in Magellan shrine there was no image of Magellan, but rather they placed there an image of Lapu Lapu, facing towards the city of Lapu Lapu which is right beside the modern day City of Mactan. They placed on Lapu Lapu’s hand a bow and arrow (crossbow) in the immortal active stance even hostile as a symbol how he met a lot of conquistador. However, when they placed the image of Lapu Lapu several incumbent mayor of Lapu Lapu successively passed away while in office. Most of them due to heart attacks. Until somebody pointed out that the statue of Lapu Lapu has it’s bow and arrow pointed at the city of Lapu Lapu, in fact some says it is directly pointed at the Lapu Lapu City Hall.
So they replaced it with a less violent or aggressive stance. This time they made him hold a bolo. The death ceased after it.
So is it possible that the crossbow active stance has something to do with the death of the incumbent mayors? Feng Shui wise it’s highly possible.
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One of the most common question people ask me is whether we all really need an amulet. What if we don’t have one does that mean success and luck and protection is going to be more elusive?
The answer to this is that amulets are simply but tools for us to continuously tap into the energies or blessings or power of the Buddha or Bodhisattva or Deity to which an amulet is made from. And it is an effective means of tapping into said power. In fact, His Holiness the Dalai Lama when escaping the Chinese oppression and flee Tibet to India is said to have carried a powerful amulet and a Kalachakra with him. The current and acknowledged 17th Karmapa is said to have a Vajrapani Ruel with him, also another Tibetan Monk who was sent to hard labor and was considered as a political prisoner was also believed to have been given a Vajrapani Ruel to pave the way for his release. You can read the last two stories in a post entitled – VAJRAPANI RUEL STORIES: THE 17TH KARMAPA’S RELATIVELY EASY ESCAPE; THE MIRACULOUS RELEASE OF A TIBETAN MONK FROM CHINESE PRISON AND LABOR CAMP; AND THE WEALTH LUCK BESTOWED UPON THE PRODIGAL SON. So we cannot deny the importance and relevance of carrying or wearing an amulet. However, the truth is the best amulets are those that are aurically created. Something that is not physically tangible but is strong enough to give us physical and psychically protect us and also gives us some of our heart’s wishes.
There are many ways to ‘make’ such an amulet, however, it takes times and some are quite difficult to create and requires a very strong inner chi and deep knowledge of the spiritual esoteric practices or rituals.
Nevertheless, on THE SUTRA ON THE PAST VOWS OF EARTH STORE BODHISATTVA (Earth Store Bodhisattva is also known as Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva) Shakyamuni Buddha (also spelled as Sakyamuni Buddha and also called as Historical Buddha) shared with us one way to make auric amulet. An amulet that is not physically tangible. It does take time to make an amulet but according to my Guru Lama it is one of the most powerful amulet one can have. In fact, according to my Guru Lama when done properly one can also experience an abundance of wealth and financial luck as well as happy life. He is not taking this simply base on the said sutra, but rather he has recommended this to a Singaporean vendor several years ago and who after doing this went to become a very successful and rich businessman.
How to make this auric amulet?
First, it will be easier to do this is you have an image of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha OR A copy of THE SUTRA OF THE PAST VOWS OF EARTH STORE BODHISATTVA. Light an incense and chant mantra NAMO DA YUAN DI ZHANG WANG PU SA 1000 times a day for 1000 days (which is a little more than 3 years). By doing this, Lord Brahma and Lord Shakra, will always protect you and no harm will come to you and your family, on top of that they will be channel of auspicious blessings that will come your way.
This is a copy of the traditional SUTRA OF THE PAST VOWS OF BODHISATTVA KSITIGARBHA that my Guru Lama sent me.
NOTE: It has to be the mantra NAMO DA YUAN DI ZHANG WANG PU SA and not the other forms of mantra for this ritual to be effective.
Note: Will write about Lord Brahma and Lord Shakra in future articles.
I know it’s quite long but technically speaking it is not long for something so powerful. According to my Guru Lama doing this will give you an auric amulet that may even be more powerful than the Vajrapani Ruel. And the Vajrapani Ruel is considered as one of the most powerful amulet in the Buddhist pantheon, in fact, a lot of those who requested for it has shared their wonderful personal testimonies.
Remember this has to be done everyday; you miss a day you have to start all over again.
To avoid confusion, you can simply chant 10 full malas, which is equivalent to 1080 a day. My Guru Lama said chanting more than 1000 of the Earth Store Bodhisattva mantra is fine as long as it is not less than 1000 a day.
Writing about the life of Siddhartha Gautama (also spelled as Siddartha / Siddharta) is a very big task, because there is just simply a lot of information about Him, and I really don’t know how to write about Him in this blog.
Today is a special day because this is my 700th article, and I thought I’d write about Buddha Sakyamuni (also spelled as Shakyamuni) because in a way I have reached a milestone. However, I still don’t know how to write about his life, but instead I will write about one of the most frequent question people ask me: If Amitabha Buddha is known for protection and Medicine Buddha is known for health and wealth, what is Sakyamuni Buddha known for?
First, all Buddhas or Bodhisattvas are capable of doing all things, it’s just that they have certain vows or certain character drawn from vows or life as written in the sutra that makes them known for certain virtues.
This is the most common image of Sakyamuni Buddha!
Rare form of the image of Shakyamuni Buddha, which I like better because His other hand is in the Mudra of a Blessing!
Buddha Sakyamuni is the Historical Buddha because He is the Buddha who manifested in human form in this lifetime. Amitabha Buddha also manifested in human in a different lifetime. And in the next lifetime Bodhisattva Maitreya is the one foretold to be the Buddha who will manifest in a human form. Anyway, Buddha Sakyamuni is also called the Fundamental Teacher because all the Buddhist teachings that we know now and all the Buddhist practices that we know now came from Him. It is in this regard that Buddha Sakyamuni is said to bring about wisdom for all of us. But more than that His wisdom is especially for leaders who lead their country, city, business, or even department.
In a hostile environment, having the Vajrapani Ruel to tap into the power of Bodhisattva Vajrapani is important to give us a winning edge. But pairing the Vajrapani Ruel with the power of Buddha Sakyamuni, will help give you wisdom how to diffuse the hostile environment. Buddha Sakyamuni, when He was still in human form also managed several Sangha communities, each Sangha community consists of about 2,000 Bhiksus (monks) and several more Bhiksunis (Buddhist nuns) and most of these communities also have Upasakas (male Buddhist students – not monks) and Upasikas (female Buddhist students – not nuns). And he is able to manage all of them all of these Sangha communities without having major concerns or problems. So when we tap into the power of Sakyamuni Buddha (Shakyamuni Buddha) we are able to tap into His power of managing a community (in present life businesses, departments, etc.) in a way we are able to gain respect and love but at the same time leadership powers.
Furthermore, Sakyamuni Buddha in so many ways is also a diplomat. Politicians (Emperors, etc.) would go to Him and seek His advice, more than that He has curbed some wars and conflicts. This shows that when we tap into His power we are able to become diplomat and deal with high statesmen with confidence.
The best way to tap into the power of Sakyamuni Buddha and honor Him is by chanting His mantra, wearing His image, and more also lighting incense and making offerings in front of his image.
The mantras of Sakyamuni Buddha are:
OM MUNI MUNI MAHĀ MUNI YE SOHA
NAMO PEN SHI SHI CHIA MUNI FO
For questions, comments, and suggestions please email firstname.lastname@example.org
In the preceding post, I briefly talked about the importance of chanting mantras daily. Sometimes, chanting mantras takes getting used to and the more we do it, the more we get used to it, the more it is easier for us to learn new mantras. But more than that, chanting mantras should be considered like taking vitamins, we have to take it everyday for us to build resistance, and in this case resistance to negative chi. Furthermore, aside from building resistance to negative chi or negative energies, chanting mantras daily makes us more attuned to the cosmic energy of the Buddhas or Bodhisattvas whose mantra we are chanting, not to mention it makes more attuned to the cosmic energy in general.
While we won’t be able to recite the entire mantras daily, because some of them are long and there are really a lot of mantras available for us. Chanting daily mantras of selected Buddhas or Bodhisattvas will also make us, as mentioned earlier, more attuned with the cosmic energy, to the divine cosmic energy of the world of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, in such a manner that when we have to chant a specific mantra for a specific purpose, because we already have a ‘relationship’ with the divine cosmic energy, it is easier for us to be attuned to the energy of the new mantra we are chanting, even this is for only a specific purpose.
Yesterday, I shared with you the initial list of the mantras I chant daily. Namely of the 3 main Buddhas of our time and they are Amitabha Buddha, Shakyamuni Buddha (Sakyamuni Buddha) and the only celestial Buddha among the three, Medicine Buddha.
Note: Medicine Buddha is the simplified name. Medicine Buddha’s formal name is Bhaisajya – guru – vaidūrya – prabhā – raja or King of Medicine Master and Lapis Lazuli Light. His Tibetan common name is Bhaisajyaguru.
Today, allow me to share with you the other mantras that I chant everyday. They are 4 Main Buddha of Chinese Buddhism, especially for Pure Land Buddhism and Zen Buddhism.
Note: Zen Buddhism although has Japanese name actually started in China. It’s the English-speaking world that ‘popularized’ Zen Buddhism, but in reality it is called Chan Buddhism.
THE 4 MAIN BODHISATTVAS WHOSE MANTRAS I CHANT EVERYDAY ARE THE FOLLOWING:
NAMO DA PEI KWAN SHI YIN PU SA & OM MANI PADME HUM (Mantra of the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Kuan Yin) – Kuan Yin (also known as Avalokitesvara, Kannon, and also spelled as Guan Yin, Kwan Yin, Gwan Yin) is more popularly known as the Bodhisattva of Compassion. Sometime people also refer to her as the Buddha of Compassion (although she is not a Buddha) or Goddess of Mercy (although she is also not a Goddess). I have written about Kuan Yin Bodhisattva many times, so I will put the link to those articles below. But it should be noted that perhaps Kuan Yin Bodhisattva is perhaps the most famous and most revered Bodhisattva in all lineage and school of Buddhism. She has become so famous that even the Taoist has adopted her as one of their Goddess. I personally make sure that I always chant her mantra.You can read more about Kuan Yin Bodhisattva by clicking on the links below:
NAMO DA YUAN DI ZHANG WANG PU SA and OM AH KSTIGARBHA THALENG HUM and OM PRA MANI DANI SOHA (Mantra of the Bodhisattva of Great Vow, Ksitigarbha) – Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva is known to have committed to the Buddha that he will not enter Buddhahood unless he has freed all sentient beings from hell or from being a hungry ghost. This is his great vow. Chanting his mantra will help ensure that we are freed from suffering and help ensure a good rebirth. To under stand Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva better please read: Ksitigarbha Buddha is a Bodhisattva Who Vowed to Help All Those Who Suffer in Hell and In this World.
NAMO DA XING PU XIAN PU SA and OM AH HUM AH A KAR SA LE OD A YANG OM DU (Mantra of the Bodhisattva of Great Conduct, Samantabhadra) – Samantabhadra Bodhisattva is a Bodhisattva known for her great conduct. She is also known as the Bodhisattva of Truth, because it is her sincerest desire the real truth be exposed does she has the famous TEN GREAT VOWS OF BODHISATTVA SAMANTABHADRA, where in each item of those vows has something to do with the permanent truth of Buddhism.
Manjushri is a disciple of Sakyamuni Buddha. He is also a great Bodhisattva.
NAMO DA ZHI WUN SHU SHI LI PU SA and OM A RA PA CHA NA DHI (Mantra of the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, Manjushri) – Manjushri Bodhisattva (also spelled as Manjushree) is a Bodhisattva known for his commitment to make all sentient beings attained the perfect wisdom or full enlightenment. He is usually depicted holding a sword and a sutra book. The sword represents the slashing of false knowledge, and the sutra book represents that we are only able to attained perfect wisdom with the help of the sutra or words of the Historical Buddha, Shakyamuni. Chanting the mantra of Bodhisattva Manjushri will help us attain wisdom and guide us in making our daily decisions.
So you see, aside from the mantras of the 3 main Buddhas of our time, I also chant the mantras of the 4 main Bodhisattvas of Chinese Buddhism. But that’s not all, in my succeeding posts, I will share with you the other mantras I chant everyday.
You can also read other posts in the Chant – A – Mantra series:
Several posts ago entitled – AURALITE: A GIFT OF LIGHT FROM A READER – I talked about how one reader, Atty. B, gave me a wonderful that I also need at that the time the gift was given to me. In that particular post, I mentioned that another reader has given me a very wonderful gift. The gift that was given to me is a Stupa!
AC contacted me because she wanted to get the WISH FULFILLING AND BUDDHA’S BLESSING MANTRA PENDANT, this led to a series of email conversations and she really did give me an impression of being a very kind person. In one of her emails she inquired about getting a Stupa as somebody in the temple that she attends to offered this to her. I told her owning a stupa is such a wonderful blessing, especially if this was blessed by a high-ranking lama like Lama Zopa Rinpoche. She ended up acquiring the Stupa and what’s more her very kind heart and generosity prompted her to get one more for me to be given as a gift!!!!!
As mentioned before, receiving amulets or holy objects as a gift does not make it holier or more powerful, but the act of receiving a gift makes the object comes with an auspicious chi brought about by the giver’s generosity.
Even if I put her generosity aside simply having a Stupa is such a wonderful blessing, and words won’t be able to convey how happy and blessed I feel to have receive that gift from AC. I can’t imagine how much blessings I’ll receive because of the Stupa. In fact, I’m sure even my friend and reader, DU, who was the middle person to get the Stupa from AC and to give it to me will definitely have received some blessing simply because she held it and having it in her possession.
This is the stupa that AC gave me.
I thought I’d show my gratitude to AC by asking my Guru Lama whether I can invite a Vajrapani Ruel(1), which is considered as one of the most powerful if not the most powerful amulet in Buddhism, in behalf of AC and I’m really happy that my Guru Lama agreed and told me to go ahead with it. AC herself has expressed gratitude in advance for the Vajrapani Ruel(2), which has had enjoyed some personal testimonies already.
But why am I so excited about the Stupa? Not only because it was a gift from a reader but also because it is a Stupa!!! I think I should make myself clearer. Allow me to tell you first what is a Stupa and what are the blessings that it can bestow.
A stupa, which is pronounced with long U sound, is almost similar to a pagoda but is more mound – like and/or hemispheric structure that contains one or more Buddhist relics. A big stupa will usually contain a relic from a high-ranking Buddhist monk, usually a green, or red, or white, or yellow pearl – like object produced by high-ranking lamas when they are cremated. Surprisingly, people who are holy only produce these pearl – like objects. A layperson may produce this also and becomes an indication of the goodness of the person’s heart.
It is believed that Shakyamuni or the Historical Buddha’s body was cremated and the ashes were divided into equal parts and which was put inside 8 different stupas. Two additional stupas were further made for the temporary casket that was made for the Buddha and for the left over embers. However, these stupas were not identified.
All stupas represent the Buddha with his crown of enlightenment and in meditative lotus seat position.
The ubiquitous Five Element Pagoda, which is a very famous and effective cure for the Five Yellow Killing Star or the #5 Flying Star is actually patterned after a stupa and not a pagoda. Pagoda was used to make it more familiar with the majority, because a stupa is somewhat limited to Buddhists. The difference between a stupa and a pagoda is that a stupa houses relics and is considered a very holy structure. A pagoda may or may not be a religious or spiritual structure, and while it may house holy images, it doesn’t have relics.
Building a stupa is not an easy matter. Obviously, in modern times you’ll need the skill of an architect and an engineer, but it is impossible to build a stupa without the leadership of a monk who is familiar with building one. There are a lot of empowerment ceremonies, Buddhist texts transmissions and ceremonies for one to build a stupa. And the most important component is the presence of a relic. In the absence of a physical relic, the Four Dharmakaya Relic Mantras, which are considered as a first class relic because it is said that it was the Buddha himself of wrote those particular mantra are put inside the stupa. All small and multiple – produced stupas, like AC’s gift for me, will have the Four Dharmakaya Relic Mantras. It is highly considered immoral to own a physical relic for oneself. Because it should always be shared thus it is always put inside a stupa or hidden in temples. Most Buddhist temples will also have the stupa easily accessible so people can circumambulate around it, if space is of a concern, thee stupa is put on top of the structure so that everyone who passes under it will be blessed.
The different kinds of stupa are:
Relic Stupa, and it is the relics of the Buddha, or human Bodhisattvas (like monks) are interred here. These relics are considered first class relics.
Object Stupa, where in the relics that are interred are the things used by the Buddha or monks. For example, their prayer wheels, mala, clothes, shoes, etc. These items are considered second-class relics.
Symbolic Stupa, these kinds of stupas are built to symbolize various Buddhist aspects. For these kinds of stupas, the Four Dharmakaya Relic Mantras are interred.
In Tibetan Buddhism, these different kinds of Stupas are further, sub – categorizes into the 8 different types, which is called the Eight Great Deeds Stupas, which are base on the different events in Shakyamuni Buddha’s life.
The Eight Great Deeds Stupas are the following:
LOTUS BLOSSOM STUPA, which is also known as the BIRTH STUPA, or STUPA OF HEAPED LOTUS, or BIRTH OF THE SUGATA STUPA.
ENHLIGHTENMENT STUPA, which is also called as the STUPA OF THE CONQUEST OF MARA.
STUPA OF DESCENT FROM TUSHITA HEAVEN, which is also called as the STUPA OF DESCENT FROM THE GOD REALM.
STUPA OF GREAT MIRACLES, and is also known as the MIRACLE STUPA, or STUPA OF CONQUEST OF THE TIRTHIKAS.
STUPA OF RECONCILIATION OF THE SANGHA, which is also known as the STUPA OF RECONCILIATION.
STUPA OF COMPLETE VICTORY, which is also VICTORY STUPA.
STUPA OF MANY DOORS, which is also called as the STUPA OF MANY GATES or STUPA OF TURNING OF WHEEL.
STUPA OF NIRVANA, which is also called as the STUPA OF PARINIRVANA.
Much later, another kind of Stupa came out of Tibetan Buddhism, which is the Kalachakra Stupa. It has nothing to do with the Buddha’s life as represented by the other Stupas, but rather it is a symbolism of the tantric practice of Kalachakra. This particular stupa is said to be able to double the protective energies of the other Stupas as enhanced by a Kalachakra symbol.
The image below will show the images of the different Stupas, but it has to be noted that these are just the basic image, for example as Lotus Blossom Stupa may look a little different from one another. The stupa that AC gave me is a Stupa of Nirvana.
A sample of a Kalachakra Stupa
Simply seeing, being around or owning a stupa will give you a lot of blessings, more so if one circumambulate or prostate around it. Allow me to share some of them here:
Blessing of happiness.
Karma Cleansing or Purification of Defilements.
Gift of Dharma Blessing. (My own journey in learning the Dharma started when I came across a Stupa. After that I was granted the blessing of having access to the Dharma and studying it. Dharma is basically deeper Buddhist teachings.)
Eradication of Sufferings.
Purification of the Mind.
Gift of a Better Next Life.
More than the above mentioned benefits it also helps establish peace and harmony.
It is said that when a wind touches or passes through a stupa it temporarily becomes a holy wind, and has the ability to give blessing those who are ‘touched’ by the wind, even if they don’t believe in Buddhism.
Simply receiving a stupa as gift brings you numerous wonderful blessings, and giving it as a gift earns you not just numerous wonderful blessings but also a lot of good karma merits!
I took the liberty of copy – pasting below the text from a talk given by Lama Zopa Rinpoche about the stupa. But before that I again would like to thank AC for the wonderful gift and for the wonderful blessings that comes with it! It’s more than just a Buddhist gift; it’s a gift of good life!!!!
One of the most famous immortal in the 8 Immortals is Lu Dongbin (also spelled as Lu Dongpin, Lu Tong Pin, Dongbin Lu), I believe to some extent he is even more famous than Chung Li-Chuan. In fact, there are more records about Lu Dongbin than Chung Li-Chuan, and some Taoist priest consider Lu Dongbin as the leader or chief of the Eight Immortals. However, if you study the story of the Eight Immortals there are records that states that Lu Dongbin is a student or disciple of Chung Li-Chuan, thus the more common belief is that Chung Li-Chuan is the chief of the 8 Immortals and that Lu Dongbin is the de facto leader of the group. In the official counting of the Eight Immortals he usually comes third, but the chronological line-up of their names is not in any way related to their capabilities and hierarchy.
In my post about the Eight Immortals, I mentioned that they are largely considered as legendary beings this is because it is unclear whether they truly lived in the past or not. However, that is not true about Lu Dongbin. Lu Dongbin is a confirmed historical figure.
Lu Dongbin’s real name is Lu Yan during the Tang Dynasty. Lu is his family name and Yan is his given name. It is largely believed that when he was born, instead of a pungent smell of blood, the room was filled with a very sweet smelling fragrant aroma. Some records states that he has always been an intelligent student with so many academic achievements.
In his older age it is said that he learned the alchemy and Tao under the guidance of Chung Li-Chuan. Some Taoist scripturess states that Lu Dongbin became a very good exorcist of people who are possessed by bad spirits. He is also able to drive aways bad chi, bad luck cause by evil spirits.
It is because of his life as mortal that when he became an immortal he is largely associated with scholastic luck. More than being an immortal that bestows scholastic luck, he is also an immortal that we can call on when we need protection from unseen forces. His secondary power is his ability to heal illnesses.
His implements are the double edged sword that he uses to slay evil spirits and a flywhisk that he uses to cure illnesses.