All posts tagged Mahasthamaprapta

The Ten Realms of Existence in Buddhism (2): The Four Higher Realms

Published Nobyembre 9, 2016 by jptan2012

In the preceding first part of this post, I introduced to you the TEN REALMS OF EXISTENCE IN BUDDHISM and also talked about the SIX LOWER REALMS. Today, I would like to talk to you about the Higher Realms. We should all aspire to reach these realms, although the ultimate goal is that we enter the highest realm. Once one enter into these realms one will no longer go back to the lower realms but again the goal is to reach the highest realm. Once you entered this realm you are considered as enlightened, although not fully enlightened unless you reach the highest level, which is Buddhahood.

The 4 Higher Realms of Existence in Buddhism are the following:

  1. ARHAT. This is the first level of the higher realm. Simply put this is someone who by listening or reading and practicing the Buddha dharma, as extinguishes all defilements and has achieved nirvana. While it may be easier for the Asuras and the Deva (Heavenly Beings) to enter Arhatship, they are a lot of humans who has entered Arhatship also. This is especially true during the time of Sakyamuni Buddha. When an Arhat passes away, their body usually doesn’t decay in the way like most people do.
  2. PRATYEKABUDDHA. Is someone who entered nirvana and has ended samsara. But in Buddhism, there is a time that there will be no Buddha and no Dharma, but if one enters nirvana through meditation this person is considered as a Pratyekabuddha also.
  3. BODHISATTVA. The word is actually a combination of two words. First, Bodhi means awakened or to awaken to the truth. Sattva means sentient beings. In short it means an awakened sentient beings. During the time of Buddha Sakyamuni, it is extremely possible to become a ‘living’ Bodhisattva or to be a human Bodhisattva. To this day, the Dalai Lama and the Karmapa are considered as living Bodhisattva. A Bodhisattva is strongly characterized by their compassion, loving – kindness, wisdom, great vows, good deeds. A Bodhisattva also has tremendous power to help all sentient beings. Some of the most well known Bodhisattvas are Avalokitesvara (also known as Kuan Yin, Guan Yin, Kuan Shi Yin, Guan Shi Yin, Kannon), Ksitigarbha (also known as Earth Store, Di Zhang Wang) Samantabhadra (also known as Pu Xian), Manjushri (also known as Wun Shu Shi Li), Maitreya (also known as Mi Luo and colloquially called Happy Fat Buddha), Vajrapani (also known as Chin Kang Shou) and who is the Bodhisattva that controls or has power over the Vajrapani Ruel, Mahasthamaprapta (also known as Da Shi Zhi) and a lot more. In Zen Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism, they acknowledge that some people although technically not a Bodhisattva and do not have supernatural powers and still has a body, do manifest the wonderful Bodhisattva traits. At this point, I’m reminded of my reader turned friend BM and Mother Teresa, now Saint Teresa. (Incidentally, a saint maybe equivalent to a Bodhisattva).
  4. BUDDHA / BUDDHAHOOD. This is the ultimate goal, and Siddharta Gautama achieved this in human form until he moved on to spiritual form. As a Buddha he is called Sakyamuni Buddha. A Buddha is some who has achieved perfect enlightenment, and one who is has perfect wisdom and perfect compassion. A Buddha is not a God. There are so many Buddhas that existed and still exist before Sakyamuni Buddha, and according to Buddha Sakyamuni the next Buddha is Maitreya Buddha .


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Basic Buddhism 6: Bodhisattva Mahasthamaprapta – A Powerful Bodhisattva That Gives Us Inner Strength!

Published Agosto 15, 2016 by jptan2012

Today, you will receive two different posts. I have written these articles in advance already and are scheduled for automatic posting because one is the birthday of the said Bodhisattva, and the other is to give you enough time to prepare for the ritual.

It is quite exciting for me to write this post because on this post I will be introducing you to another powerful and highly revered Bodhisattva that is usually mistaken as Bodhisattva Kuan Yin (also spelled as Guan Yin, or known as Avalokitesvara, Kannon, Cannon, Guan Shi Yin, Kuan Shi Yin).


Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva / Da Shi Zhi Pu Sa

Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva, like Kuan Yin Bodhisattva is actually a Bodhisattva Mahasattva, which means he is one of those higher Bodhisattvas. Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva is also known in Chinese as Da Shi Zhi Pu Sa. He is actually one of the three sages in Pure Land Buddhism that can be differentiated from by Guan Yin Bodhisattva with the jeweled pitcher adorning his/her crown. In Pure Land Buddhism, Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva is usually depicted in his/her female form.

A lot of Buddhist lineage considers Bodhisattva Mahasthamaprapta as representing wisdom, which makes him/her similar to Bodhisattva Manjushri. However, the difference, as his/her name means “arrival of great strength”, her form of wisdom is more in the form in inner strength in times of adversity.

Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva or Da Shi Zhi Pu Sa is part of the Amita Trinity, which consists of Amitabha Buddha, Guan Yin Bodhisattva, and Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva. He/She is also one the Eight Great Bodhisattvas in Mahayana Buddhism, here he/she is along with Bodhisattva Kuan Yin, Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha, Bodhisattva Manjushri, Bodhisattva Samantabhadra, Bodhisattva Akasagarbha, Bodhisattva Sarvanjyarana – Vishkambhin (which I will write about soon), and Bodhisattva Maitreya or is more popularly known as the Happy Fat Buddha.

Some Buddhist lineages sometime equate Bodhisattva Mahasthamaprapta with Bodhisattva Vajrapani, which makes her a very powerful Bodhisattva. Like Vajrapani Bodhisattva, she is also considered as a PROTECTOR OF THE BUDDHA. The SUTRA OF INFINITE LIFE talks about Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva in high regards.


From left to right: Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva, Amitabha Buddha, Kuan Yin Bodhisattva

The Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia has this to say about Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva:

In the Shurangama Sutra, Mahasthamaprapta tells of how he gained enlightenment through the practice of Buddha recitation, or continuous pure mindfulness of Amitābha, to obtain samādhi. In the Contemplation Sutra, Mahāsthāmaprāpta is symbolised by the moon while Avalokiteśvara is represented by the sun.
 Mahasthamaprapta (Sanskrit, “One Who Has Obtained Great Power”) awakens in humans their need to be liberated from Samsara. In Pure Land Buddhism he is often paired with Avalokiteshvara in association with Amitabha Buddha; Avalokiteshvara enacts Amitabha’s compassion, and Mahasthamaprapta brings to humanity the power of Amitabha’s wisdom.

Today is Bodhisattva Mahasthamaprapta’s Birthday or Feast day, and by chanting her mantra, we will definitely get some blessings. But more than that Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva’s is a great Bodhisattva to help us overcome addictions, or problems that has something to do with inner determination.

Bodhisattva Mahasthamaprapta’s mantras are the following:

HUM VAJRA PHAT (pronounced as Pay) OM VAJRA CHANDA (pronounced as Zhanzha) MAHA RO (pronounced as Luo) KHA NA HUM PHAT (pronounced as Pay).




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