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:
This is just a quick post to remind you that the Hungry Ghost Month this 2017 is happening on August 22, 2017 to September 19, 2017. The eve of the Hungry Ghost Festival is on Sept. 4 and Hungry Ghost Festival or Hungry Ghost Day is Sept. 5.
The Hungry Ghost Festival is also known as the Zhong Yuan Festival in Taoism and Yu Lan Pen Festival in Buddhism. This is the day we pay respects to the deceased by making some offerings. This is also the day where you can do the Ullambana Ritual, which I introduced to my readers last year.
It is said that all ghost, especially the hungry ghosts, will come out of hell during the Hungry Ghost Month, and it is said that they are strongest on the eve and on the festival day itself. The festival day always happens on the 15th day of the 7th lunar month. This is why the 15th day of the 7th lunar month is called Hungry Ghost Day and the 7th lunar month is called Hungry Ghost Month.
The Chinese, especially the older generation have the custom of making offerings to their dead relatives and to their ancestors, but also to all hungry ghosts. The Hungry Ghost Festival is considered as one of the most important date in the Chinese tradition.
As mentioned the Chinese believes that during the Hungry Ghost Month (sometimes simply called Ghost Month), the gates of hell will open to allow the hungry ghosts to go back to our world. During this time, they will roam around our world to eat with us. Because of this they also bring about a lot of negative energies and may cause bad luck and illness and accidents.
To help ease the sufferings of the hungry ghosts, and to avoid causing bad luck to us, the Chinese usually perform ceremonies on the eve of the hungry ghost day, but a lot of Chinese, also make offerings all throughout the hungry ghost month. They will set altars for them and chant mantras or recite sutras that will help give merit to the hungry ghosts. . Monks often throw rice or some small foods into the air to distribute them to the ghosts.
On the evening of the Ghost day, people also make lanterns and float them on the river to help their relatives find their way back to home. The lanterns are usually lotus flower-shaped with light or candles. Some people also write their ancestors’ name on the lanterns.
I have written extensively about the Hungry Ghost Month and the Hungry Ghost Festival. If you are not yet familiar with them, I suggest that you check on the link below and read them to know how you can stay safe.
But at this point, allow me to share with you that for this year’s ghost month, while there is nothing extra significant other than what has been mentioned already, people born in the years of the Snake, Horse, and Sheep should take extra precaution because these three signs are already afflicted or side afflicted by the stronger than usual Five Yellow Star or Wu Wang (#5 Flying Star). As a result, they have to be extra careful with their business or financial dealings because money loss is definitely a serious threat during the hungry ghost month. Furthermore, people born under the sign of the Horse and Sheep ( who is also directly affected by the #7 Star of Violence) should take extra care about their safety. Accidents or crime may happen. It is very important the Horse, Sheep, or Snake should have the Vajrapani Ruel and the Ullambana Amulet, which will be sent to me by my Guru Lama in the next few days.
Before I share with you all the other posts that I’ve written about the Hungry Ghost Month, I just would like to remind everybody that it is very important that you should all make sure, whether you are born under the sign of the Sheep, Horse, or Snake, to protect yourself. There is no such thing as over protection.
TO UNDERSTAND MORE ABOUT THE HUNGRY GHOST MONTH, HUNGRY GHOSTS, IT’S EFFECTS, RITUALS AND PROTECTION READ THE FOLLOWING HUNGRY GHOSTS 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!!!!
The last object on the 8 Auspicious Objects of Buddhism is the Dharmachakra Wheel.
The truth is Dharmachakra means Wheel, so to call it Dharmachakra Wheel is a bit redundant, however, Dharmachakra Wheel is a term where most people outside Tibet are familiar with, so it is the term that I’ll be using here.
The Dharmachakra Wheel is a symbol of Buddha’s teaching, however, the different parts each have their own iconography. The rim represents the factor of limitation, the hub represents the Earth’s axis, and the eight spokes shows the Eightfold Path dictated by Buddha.
In Feng Shui, the Dharmachakra Wheel is a powerful symbol to use for surmounting all shortcomings. Furthermore, the Dharmachakra Wheel is a powerful protection symbol that we can use to protect all the non-material things that are important to us.
In ancient times the Conch Shell is used as a trumpet horn, and was considered as a symbol of strength and sovereignty. It is also said that ‘heroic figures’ are also given the conch shell as a symbol of gratitude from the ruler. Religiously, specially in Tibetan Buddhism, the conch shell is a ‘vessel’ for holy water and holy oil, and is also used as a trumpet to signify the start of an important religious event.
In Feng Shui, the conch shell is a powerful tool for those who wants to be able to prosper in their business ventures. It is also extremely beneficial for politicians to carry a conch shell because it will help them be stable in their position.
Carrying a conch shell is also a powerful tool to help a person attain a higher level of meditation.
There are a lot of Buddhist and Taoist icons that are depicted either sitting on a lotus or are holding a lotus. This is because the growth pattern of a lotus represents the development that a being can make. The lotus has the ability to blossom out of dirty or muddy water – which represents materialism, the it grows past the water – which indicates experience, and make its way towards the sun – which represents enlightenment. It is a symbol of both mental and spiritual purity. The lotus which is a water flower is a symbol of blossoming decent deeds, that results in purification of the both mind and body.
In Feng Shui, the lotus also has the power to transform bad luck into good luck, and it is also said that the lotus has the power to drive out negative energies.
Wearing an image of the lotus made of a white stone or jade will help bring lots of blessings. It will also help in the attainment of the enlightenment.
In one of my earlier post entitled FENG SHUI TIPS TO ENHANCE WEALTH LUCK, I talked about the treasure vase, now allow me to briefly talked about it again. The treasure vase, even without the ritual and powerful ingredients that goes with it is a very powerful wealth – granting symbol or object. It is a powerful object that brings tons of material and financial prosperity.
In China, a lot of the rich people their has wealth vase hidden in their cupboard or cabinets. Some of the noveau rich in China also has wealth vase in their living rooms. I personally believe that wealth vases should be hidden and not displayed.