Mahakasyapa

All posts tagged Mahakasyapa

Basic Buddhism 7: Buddha Dipankara – A Powerful Protector, A Wealth Enhancing and Wealth Protecting Buddha, Patron Protector Buddha for Sailors or Seamen, and the Buddha Who Predicted the Enlightenment of Sakyamuni Buddha!

Published Setyembre 22, 2016 by jptan2012

A lot of you, especially if you are a regular reader of this blog, may know Amitabha Buddha, Sakyamuni Buddha / Shakyamuni Buddha, and Medicine Buddha. But not many will know Dipankara Buddha (also spelled as Dipamkara Buddha), however, serious students will most likely have an inkling as to which Buddha Dipankara is and or at the very least would have read about Him in some of the sutras. In fact, if you follow one of my suggestions to recite – a – sutra, especially “The Diamond of Perfect Wisdom Sutra” (also called The Diamond Sutra, The Vajra Cutter Perfection of Wisdom Sutra, The Vajra Sutra, The Vajra Cutter Sutra) mentions Buddha Dipankara several times. In the said sutra, Buddha Sakyamuni told his followers that Dipankara Buddha was His teacher in a previous life.

Buddha Dipankara is a very powerful protector, and is considered as the patron protector Buddha for sailors. According to my Guru Lama, Dipamkara Buddha is also the patron protector Buddha of all seamen and sea women. Practically anybody who works on a ship or in the sea. You have to note that during early times major traders or major trading involves sailor and the sea, thus Buddha Dipankara is considered as a powerful wealth enhancing and wealth protecting Buddha. Not only will he protect your wealth, but he will also help enhance your wealth luck.

But who is Dipankara Buddha?dipamkara-buddha1

Dipankara / Dipamkara Buddha is called as on the Buddha of the Past. Most of you would know that there have been a lot of Buddha in the past, and Buddha of the Present is Sakyamuni Buddha, and the Buddha of the Future is going to be Bodhisattva Maitreya (otherwise known as “The Happy Fat Buddha”). Dipankara Buddha is one of the Buddha of the Past, but since he plays a prominent role in the life and eventual enlightenment of the Buddha of the Present, the Historical Buddha – Sakyamuni Buddha, Dipankara Buddha is considered as THE Buddha of the Past in the Buddhas of the Three Times.

The Buddhas of the Three Times are: Dipankara Buddha (Buddha of the Past), Sakyamuni Buddha (Buddha of the Present), and Maitreya Buddha (Buddha of the Future).

Dipankara Buddha in Chinese is called 燃燈佛 (pinyin Rándēng Fo).dipankara-buddha-2

In Buddhism, it is estimated that Dipankara Buddha lives on Earth about one hundred thousand years ago. While there no archeological proof of Buddha Dipankara’s existence, he was prominently mentioned by Shakyamuni Buddha himself in several of the sutras.

Dipankara means “Lamp Bearer”, and he was accorded this name because he was the one who showed and predicted that Sakyamuni Buddha is going to be a Buddha, and this happened even before Sakyamuni Buddha was born in his latest physical body as Siddhartha Gautama.

Dipamkara Buddha is usually depicted as a sitting Buddha, although there a few one’s that shows him as a standing Buddha these are usually found in Laos, Nepal, and some parts of China. The most common images of Dipankara Buddha depict him together with Bodhisattva Manjushri and Bodhisattva Vajrapani. This is because it is stated in the sutras that Vajrapani Bodhisattva is also one of the most powerful protector amongst the Bodhisattvas and Bodhisattva acts as his ‘assistant’ (for the lack of an appropriate term) when it comes to protecting people, and Manjushri Bodhisattva because we all need wisdom even when we are protected. Another image of Dipankara Buddha is with Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva (also known as Kuan Yin Bodhisattva, Guan Yin Bodhisattva, Kuan Shi Yin Bodhisattva, Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva) and still Bodhisattva Vajrapani. Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara is to represent compassion. If you notice Bodhisattva Vajrapani is present at both times because Vajrapani Bodhisattva is one of the most powerful protective Bodhisattva, but like Buddha Dipankara he is also great wealth enhancing Bodhisattva.

Both Dipankara Bodhisattva and Vajrapani Bodhisattva have very similar qualities that they usually go together. In fact, in making with what is regarded as the most powerful amulet in the Buddhist pantheon, the Vajrapani Ruel, the high-ranking monks usually also call on Buddha Dipankara (this was shared with me by my Guru Lama).dipankara-buddha

The secondary depiction of Buddha Dipamkara is with Buddha Sakyamuni (Buddha Shakyamuni) and Buddha Maitreya. This is to represent their stature as the Buddha of the Three Times.

One of the greatest manifestation of Buddha Dipankara is when he predicted the enlightenment of Buddha Sakyamuni, furthermore, it is said that he also predicted that Mahakasyapa and Ananda would be Shakyamuni Buddha’s acolytes.

To be able to tap into the power or energies of Buddha Dipankara, you can wear his image, prominently display his image in your home or office, and more importantly honor him by chanting Namo Rándēng Fo or Namo Dipankara Buddha. Do it 108x under deep meditation.

According to my Guru Lama, chanting the Namo Rándēng Fo and Om Vajrapani Hum while holding the Vajrapani Ruel will make the ruel more powerful.

For questions, comments, and suggestions please email sanaakosirickylee@gmail.com

 

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What to Do When One Sees A Dead Animal?

Published Mayo 15, 2015 by jptan2012

In my previous post, I talked about the story of Mahakassapa (also spelled as Mahakasyapa) and Ananda. In that particular post I talked about reincarnation, which I have talked about before, and subtly introduced a Buddhist accepted belief that I have never fully talked about here on this blog. This belief is about the accepted Buddhist teachings that all sentient beings reincarnate and has a consciousness and that we may have come from animals or insects and can be reborn as such.

In Buddhist temples, Mahakasyapa (Mahakassapa) is usually on the Buddha's left side (from our point of view - right side) and Ananda is on the Buddha's right side.

In Buddhist temples, Mahakasyapa (Mahakassapa) is usually on the Buddha’s left side (from our point of view – right side) and Ananda is on the Buddha’s right side.

Hope to be able to talk more about it in my future blog articles. However, today I would like to talk about what one should do if one sees a dead animal. In my previous post, I mentioned that Mahakassapa prayed over the dead cat and buried the cat. The question is what we can do for the dead animal these days.

Like Mahakassapa, it would be great if we can pray over a body of a dead animal or insect by reading a sutra over it. The Medicine Buddha Sutra and/or the Past Vows of the Earth Store Bodhisattva Sutra (Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Sutra) and then bury the dead animal or insect. If this is not possible or it may take time, you can do either of the following, put a printed copy of the sutra or a mantra on top of the body of the dead animal. If you can bury it, please do.

Still if this is not possible, chant the Medicine Buddha mantra (TADYATHA OM BHEKANDZYE BHEKANDZYE MAHA BHEKANDZYE RADZA SAMUGATE SOHA), or the Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Mantra (OM AH KSITIGARBHA THALENG HUM) or the Mantra of the Bodhisattva of Compassion (OM MANI PADME HUM) and the Amitabha Mantra (OM AMI DEWA HRIH or NAMO AMITOFO) as many times as you can then blow over the dead body of the animal or insect. If possible bury or cremate the body.

Some Buddhist Temples would conduct a collective prayers for all animals being slaughtered for human consumption. Compassion and respect for this animals as sentient beings is the primary reason why a lot of Buddhists are vegetarian.

Some Buddhist Temples would conduct a collective prayers for all animals being slaughtered for human consumption. Compassion and respect for this animals as sentient beings is the primary reason why a lot of Buddhists are vegetarian.

Still if this is not possible and you have the Vajrapani Ruel, which is a very powerful Buddhist amulet, you can simple place the Vajrapani Ruel near the body of the dead sentient being and then chant OM VAJRAPANI HUM three times or seven times.

Doing this out of great compassion is the best reason and it will earn you some tremendous amount of good karma. Doing this because of wanting to earn some good karma merit will work as well. But it may not as big as simply doing it because of great compassion.

 

For questions, suggestions and comments, please email sanaakosirickylee@gmail.com

Mahakasyapa and Ananda: A Lesson About Karma and Great Compassion

Published Mayo 13, 2015 by jptan2012

Some people, especially those who are not Buddhist or Taoist might find this post a little extreme because of the belief or teaching about reincarnation and that we humans could be reborn as animals, or insects, or could have come from either animals or insects. Nevertheless, no matter how shocking it is, and some may even consider it ridiculously degrading, the truth is this is a widely accepted belief in Buddhism and Taoism, and thus it is important to be kind and compassionate to all sentient beings.

Today, allow me to share the story of Mahakasyapa (also spelled as Mahakassapa) and Ananda. Mahakasyapa and Ananda are just two of the Sakyamuni Buddha’s (also spelled as Shakyamuni) disciple. Mahakasyapa is an old disciple, and Ananda, who is of the royal family before he became a disciple of Buddha and a monk, is young and famous not just for his astounding memory but also for being handsome.

In Buddhist temples, Mahakasyapa (Mahakassapa) is usually on the Buddha's left side (from our point of view - right side) and Ananda is on the Buddha's right side.

In Buddhist temples, Mahakasyapa (Mahakassapa) is usually on the Buddha’s left side (from our point of view – right side) and Ananda is on the Buddha’s right side.

One day, while they were out on a walk, the Buddha instructed Ananda to ask a fruit vendor for a watermelon. Ananda, confidently walked over to the lady who sells watermelon and begged for a watermelon. Remember, during those days it is traditional for monks to beg, and lay people even vendors would be very willing to donate food or whatever they can to the monks. However, much to Ananda’s surprise, the fruit lady not only denied him a watermelon, but also she rudely drove her away.

Ananda went back to the Buddha to report what happened. The Buddha then instructed Mahakasyapa to beg for a watermelon. Both Mahakasyapa and Ananda and other members of the sangha didn’t believe that Mahakasyapa will have better luck, but even before Mahakasyapa got to the fruit lady, the fruit lady ran towards him and offered him a watermelon to quench his thirst from the hot weather.

Needless to say, all the Buddha’s disciples were surprised. Then the Buddha explained to them what happened.

In one of their previous lives, Ananda and Mahakasyapa had come across the fruit lady. However, at that time the fruit lady was a cat. The cat died on the street, and when Ananda (in his previous life) saw the dead cat, he veered away because he didn’t like the smell of the rotting flesh and also he didn’t care about the dead cat. On the other hand, Mahakasyapa (in his previous life) when he saw the dead cat, he prayed for it, and picked it up to give the cat a proper burial. Mahakasyapa with his simple act of compassion and kindness towards the dead cat earned a lot of good karma affinity with the dead cat that now happens to be the fruit lady.

That simple act of compassion that Mahakasyapa did, which didn’t even cost him single money, earned him some good karma. Needless to say, Mahakasyapa did the good act of compassion and not for wanting good merits.

Ji Gong: An Eccentric Buddhist Monk that Became a Taoist Wealth God

Published Marso 19, 2012 by jptan2012

Today, allow me to share with you another powerful, though not very famous, wealth god called Ji Gong or Che Kong (濟公). Also spelled as Ji Kong or Che Gong.

Ji Gong is known as the ‘Legendary Monk with a Magical Fan’. This is because he is usually portrayed as having a fan and sometimes with a bottle of wine.

I entitled this post as – JI GONG: AN ECCENTRIC BUDDHIST MONK THAT BECAME A TAOIST WEALTH GOD – because Ji Gong in reality was a Buddhist monk, was expelled from his monastic life and later on became a Taoist wealth god. The irony here, is that he’s not considered as a Buddha or a Bodhisattva in Buddhism, and it was only after the Taoist has adopted Ji Gong as a deity did the Buddhist started including him in their Koans.

(A Koan, for lack of a better description, is like a form of Sutra. It’s a fundamental part of the history and lore of Zen Buddhism and it consists of stories, dialogues, questions and statements, the meaning of which are said to be understandable through intuition or lateral thinking. )

Ji Gong was born to a famous and rich family during China’s Southern Song Dynasty. His father is a highly respected ‘businessman’ and military advisor. Ji Kong, the only son, and whose real name is Li Xiuyuan (李修元), came late in the family. His parents were actually told by a respected Feng Shui consultant that they don’t have descendant’s luck and that they will never have any children. This cause great sadness to both his parents, and considered this as one of their greatest misfortune. Since they are a religious couple they decided to make sure that they would go on various pilgrimage to different temples to ask for child.

Like most Chinese then and now, they don’t really make any distinction between Buddhism and Taoism and they would visit temples from both religions even if they were really Taoist.

It is said that in one of their pilgrimage to a Buddhist temple, they entered the hall of the 500 Arhats. Whereby the image of one of the Arhat, Mahakasyapa, fell off from the altar. It was taken as a sign that at that moment Mahakasyapa’s energy or spirit left ‘his’ image.

Not long after that, Ji Kong’s mom found out she was pregnant. They remembered the incident in the temple and believed that the baby in her womb was a gift from the Buddhas. They even began to think, that what she was carrying in her womb is the reincarnation of the Arhat Mahakasyapa!

At the age of 18, Li Xiuyuan decided to go to Hangzhou (a province in China), to enter the monastic life at the famous temple called Ling Yin Temple. After several years of studying Buddhism, he was finally ordained as a Buddhist monk and named Dao Ji Chan Shi. He was then normally called Dao Ji, thus this has become another common name of Ji Kong.

His monastic life proved to be short but memorable. Being born from a very rich family, he’s used to eating meat and drinking wine, and he was unable to give this up when he became a monk. Furthermore, he started showing some eccentricity and it is believed that he is slightly mad. However, they all agree that he is kind hearted and generous. Nevertheless, because Zen Buddhists strictly prohibits eating of meat and drinking of wine, they really didn’t have much choice but to expel him from the monastery.

After being expelled from his monastic life, Dao Ji or Ji Kong never really bothered to search for another monastery that can adopt him. He just roam on the streets and is often thought of as beggar monk, because he really didn’t gave up his Buddhist robes either.

His eccentricity continued to manifest on the streets, but so his kindness and compassionate heart. It is said, the even he looks poor he never really begged for money, and it is often a wonder as to where he gets money for food. Some say that it could be part of his inheritance, but if it were from his inheritance, it’s a mystery were he kept his wealth.

However, after a while, Dao Ji or Ji Kong started to manifest another eccentricity. Since he has a compassionate heart, he would often approach beggars on the streets and other poor families. He would listen to them, crack a joke, then murmur a prayer, after which he’ll use his fan to fan them a little. Soon after these incidents the recipient of his kindness and weird ritual will come to a good fortune. He thus earned a reputation for being a Buddhist magician, which, in turn earned him the title Ji Gong Huoto, which means the Living Buddha Ji Gong. Ji is derived from his Buddhist name Dao Ji, Gong, is a respect for a powerful elderly, and Huoto literally means living Buddha.

At his old age, Ji Kong was adopted by another monastery. This is where he passed away on the 14th day of the 5th Lunar month. Right after his death, Taoist immediately adopted him as their deity, and it is said the he continuously manifest his compassionate and magical powers to every one who keeps his image and go to him.

His image is usually pictured as a monk in rugged clothing, holding a bottle of wine and a ‘magical’ fan. He is always shown with a smiling face, because he has a very happy nature. Although, he is usually pictured wearing a hat with the word Fo, which means ‘Buddha’, Buddhist never really considered him as Buddha or a Bodhisattva. However, seeing how much he is revered in Taoism, Buddhist did include him in their Koans, some sub-sects even considers him as an Arhat.

This is a jade Ji Gong pendant. It’s very similar to the one that I have.

Having an image of Ji Kong at home, and wearing his image as a pendant is a sure way to continuously tap into his blessings of wealth.

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