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The Four Heavenly Kings: Getting to Know Four Powerful Buddhist Gods that Helps Bestow Wealth, Success, Peace, and Protection.

Published Agosto 30, 2017 by jptan2012

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.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”.four heavenly kings 2

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)Vaisravana.

  • 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)Virudhaka

  • 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)Dhrtarastra

  • 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)Virupaksa

  • 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:

  1. For Wealth and Prosperity recite the Mantra of King Vaisravana: OM VAISRAVANA YE SOHA
  2. For Success and Progress in Life recite the Mantra of King Virudhaka: OM VIRUDHAKA KUMBHANDADHIPATA YE SOHA
  3. For Peace and Harmony recite the Mantra of King Dhrtarastra: OM DHRTARASTRA RALAPRAVADHAHA SOHA
  4. 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:

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

 

 

 

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The Buddhist Neighbor

Published Oktubre 17, 2016 by jptan2012

I’m really quite happy that I received the traditional copy of THE SUTRA OF THE PAST VOWS OF THE EARTH STORE BODHISATTVA (also called known as Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva) and THE DIAMOND OF PERFECT WISDOM SUTRA just when we are settling to our new home. As I have said these traditional sutra amulets provides protection but more than that they also provide wonderful blessings. I have been looking and aspiring to get such sutras to be place in our house or even in my room. However, even if it is quite common for temples to have them, they are not for sale, neither it is regularly given to the temple goers. Furthermore, while they are in itself carries with it some power; it will be better to get one that was consecrated by a qualified lama or monk. Not all monks are qualified to consecrate a sutra amulet.

sutra-amulets

These are just one copy each of the very limited copies sent to me by my Guru Lama of the THE SUTRA OF THE PAST VOWS OF THE KSITIGARBHA BODHISATTVA, THE DIAMOND OF PERFECT WISDOM SUTRA and THE MEDICINE BUDDHA SUTRA. Sutras are also used as very powerful amulets, that is why you will often old Buddhist Chinese houses has a copy of the Sutra on their altar though they might not be reciting the sutra itself.

But what I want to share now is that when we first moved to our new home, and although we got all the most auspicious omens which I have written about a few posts ago, we sometimes still can’t help but miss our old home. We have been living in our old home since 1980, and moving to new home, even one we have grown to love right away still makes us feel a little ‘homesick’. I think one of the reasons for this; we practically don’t know any of our neighbors. My mom who is not in her 70’s had to make new friends in our neighborhood and it would be quite difficult, especially when we never had any other neighbors than Chinese and pure Filipino, but now some of our neighbors are Spanish mestizo or mestizo.

diamond-sutra2

These are just one copy each of the very limited copies sent to me by my Guru Lama of the THE SUTRA OF THE PAST VOWS OF THE KSITIGARBHA BODHISATTVA, THE DIAMOND OF PERFECT WISDOM SUTRA and THE MEDICINE BUDDHA SUTRA. Sutras are also used as very powerful amulets, that is why you will often old Buddhist Chinese houses has a copy of the Sutra on their altar though they might not be reciting the sutra itself.

One other reason is that there is no Buddhist temple that is near our place. I think the nearest is about 45 minutes away. Unlike before where it was only 8 minutes away, on top of that, we’ve designed our house to include a big image of a Bodhisattva Kuan Yin (also called or spelled as Avalokitesvara, Guan Yin, Kuan Shi Yin, Guan Shi Yin, Kannon, Cannon) on our small and humble front lawn, and the image of Guan Yin Bodhisattva can be seen outside. Several times when we light incense or made offerings in that particular image of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, I noticed some car slowing down or there are a few who really can’t resist but to stare. From what I know there are very few Filipino – Chinese in our new subdivision and I really haven’t seen any of them. And maybe there would be even fewer Buddhist, and we were informed by the person who sold us the property that the subdivision is predominantly Catholic.

About a week since we moved in to our new home, neighbors started introducing themselves, and our image of Kuan Shi Yin Bodhisattva on our small and humble front lawn became the main focus of these conversations. My mom told me that she felt awkward explaining to our new neighbors as to why do we make offerings in front of the image. However, I think this seems to be an indication that they are genuinely interested in what we do and told my mom that she can use this as an opportunity to talk about Buddhism. But she clearly pointed out to me that she doesn’t have the passion of talking about her faith to people.

Anyway, when I received the traditional copies of the sutra amulets, and my Guru Lama said I and my family can have one each of THE SUTRA OF THE PAST VOWS OF THE KSITIGARBHA BODHISATTVA and THE DIAMOND OF PERFECT WISDOM SUTRA (also called THE VAJRA CUTTER PERFECTION OF WISDOM SUTRA or THE VAJRA SUTRA or THE VAJRA CUTTER SUTRA or THE DIAMOND SUTRA), and so as I said I was really happy to place them on the altar. It is customary that each member of the family to have one wish each as you put the sutras on the altar (we got two wishes each because there are two sutras), my youngest nephews all of a sudden uttered that his only wish is for his grandmother (my mother) to meet a Buddhist neighbor so that his grandmother won’t feel like she’s an alien.

earth-store-bodhisattva-sutra-traditional

These are just one copy each of the very limited copies sent to me by my Guru Lama of the THE SUTRA OF THE PAST VOWS OF THE KSITIGARBHA BODHISATTVA, THE DIAMOND OF PERFECT WISDOM SUTRA and THE MEDICINE BUDDHA SUTRA. Sutras are also used as very powerful amulets, that is why you will often old Buddhist Chinese houses has a copy of the Sutra on their altar though they might not be reciting the sutra itself.

Guess what? The next day, one of our neighbors (well they’re from two streets away) rang our bell and welcomed us with a pot of a vegetarian dish. They are a couple around 60 something. The wife is a Filipina and the husband is Irish, and they both happen to be practicing Buddhist for more than 20 years already! They said they’re happy that have a Buddhist neighbor. I wasn’t there at that time, but my mom said that she told them that she was happy to finally have met a Buddhist neighbor!

If you wish to know more about the Sutra Amulet (A Special Recite – A – Sutra Article) Series you can click on the links below:

If you wish to read the Sutras mentioned above, you can download them by clicking on the link:

Sutra of the Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva

The Diamond Sutra

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

 

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