Mahayana Buddhism

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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).




For questions, comments, and suggestions please email



Basic Buddhism (1): An Introduction and What to do When You Meet A Buddhist Monk or Nun

Published Enero 26, 2015 by jptan2012

My email has been barraged with questions and requests for the Vajrapani Ruel, unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be able to read all emails and between emails about the WISH FULFILLING AND BUDDHA’S BLESSING MANTRA PENDANT, the FOUR DHARMKAKAYA RELIC MANTRAS AMULET, the NAMTSO SALT, and now the VAJRAPANI RUEL, I think there would be more unanswered emails and I’m really sorry for this.

The internet has made it possible for people to know more about Buddhism and Buddhist amulets, however, I’m afraid that the internet has also, in a way, distorted the real concept of Buddhism. Buddhism is not simply about lighting incense, or wearing images of the Buddhas or Bodhisattvas or Deities, or chanting mantras. Buddhist is all that but it is definitely much more than that, what I’ve written here on this blog, despite of the fact that some people saying it is substantial, is in reality just a fraction of what Buddhism really is.

The popularity of the WISH FULFILLING AND BUDDHA’S BLESSING MANTRA PENDANT with it’s numerous personal testimonies, the demand for the FOUR DHARMAKAYA RELIC MANTRAS AMULET, the rising popularity and demand both for the NAMTSO SALT and the VAJRAPANI RUEL, which is considered as the most powerful amulet the Buddhist pantheon, may have diverted some people from understanding real Buddhism.

Yes, the NAMTSO SALT, the VAJRAPANI RUEL, and the FOUR DHARMAKAYA RELIC MANTRAS AMULET are some of the most powerful amulets in the world. In fact, according to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, all stupas should contain the Four Dharmakaya Relic Mantras! (Speaking of Stupas and Four Dharmakaya Relic Mantras, in the next few days you shall read my post about it and regarding the special gift I got from a reader, AC. These are all written already but will be posted automatically via the scheduled post.) But these things are not available to everybody, and having a bigger picture of what Buddhism is all about is way better than simply having one of these items. The WISH FULFILLING AND BUDDHA’S BLESSING MANTRA PENDANT, which is no longer available for new requests until we have delivered all requests for it, also garnered some popularity the past two years with my inbox loaded with a lot of personal testimonies about it. Again, these are just tools, Buddhism is all so much more about that.

Thus, I have decided to come up with a new category and series called BASIC BUDDHISM. The objective of which is really to talk about Buddhism outside the amulets, the wearing of pendants. The topics are going to be pretty basic because I don’t think I can talk about Buddhism deeply, but the topics should be able to give you some basic guideline on Buddhist protocol and on basic Buddhism. Nevertheless, you should understand, that there are many lineage of Buddhism. In Tibetan Buddhism alone, there are four lineages, and there is Mahayana Buddhism and there is Zen Buddhism, and Pure Land Buddhism, their basic teachings are basically the same but there may be some variations. What I will discuss here is the Buddhism that I practice, which is a mixture of Tibetan, Mahayana and Zen Buddhism. I will try my best to be very specific as to what kind of Buddhism I’m talking about if it’s possible.Buddhist monks2

After the long introduction, today let me start with something quite simple, let me talk about a basic Buddhist protocol and I chose this topic because a lot of people have been asking me about this.

What to do when you meet a Buddhist monk or nun?

Let me start for non – Buddhist. Please do not stare at them, and if you have some belief and respect for Buddhism bowing your head is already a sign of respect.

For Buddhist, it is customary to greet Buddhist monks and nuns with OM MANI PADME HUM, or AMITOFU, or NAMASTE. Do this and do a half – bow, which is actually bowing, from your waist. Make sure that you put your palms together.

Make sure you don’t touch them, especially if you’re of different gender, this is considered disrespectful. In some countries, like Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Buddhist monks there are not even allowed to receive things from women.

It is customary to let them pass first and bow once they have pass.

For some lineage, especially Tibetan Buddhism, it is important that you don’t stand taller than the lama; so bending your knee a little is widely appreciated.

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.

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