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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

 

 

 

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

 

Tanzanite (2):A Must Have Rare Precious Stone that Heals, Protects, and Increase Wealth Luck!

Published Enero 22, 2016 by jptan2012

In the preceding post, I introduced you to the rare and very powerful stone called Tanzanite. In that post I talked about its physical properties and why is it considered as a perfect stone to have for this 2016 Year of the Fire Monkey. However, the Tanzanite is not just a stone for this year, it is a great stone to have and wear even beyond 2016 because it is a powerful stone that has strong protective and healing energies, and it also helps increase wealth luck. Furthermore, it is a stone that can be worn even by people with high water element in their charts, because it is balanced by the intrinsic fire and earth element of the stone.tanzanite4

HEALING

As mentioned in the first part of this post, Tanzanites are good healing stones. It helps boosts our immune system and improve strength. It is especially good for people who always feel physically weak and drained. Furthermore, it is a very powerful stone for those who experience depression and anxiety, or even chronic stress syndrome and other psychological or mental illness. It’s subtle fire energy helps people fight off addiction, especially the milder ones like alcoholism, food addiction or even shopping addiction.

MOOD ENHANCER

On top of that a lot of people I know who got the stone consistently said that their mood has definitely improve. And true enough simply looking at a Tanzanite will imbibe you with a positive energy of elation. You will feel happier and much more energized. They said it is as if simply having the stone their worries has been lifted off their shoulder. And true enough the fluid energy of the water element and the subtle vibrant energy of the fire element in the Tanzanite has this positive effect on people.tanzanite3

RELATIONSHIP AND COMMUNICATION ENHANCER

One thing I really love about the Tanzanite is that it is a wonderful that aids us in having a better relationship, whether it is a personal or professional relationship. Its blue energies directly control our throat chakra thus making us more expressive and a better communicator. However, it’s intrinsic earth energies makes us grounded thus more in control of what we want to say. But it’s fire energy helps us to be more assertive and yet in a gentle manner.

PROTECTOR

The Tanzanite is also a very good aura protector. It protects you from negative energies, especially the ones like created by the people around you. But more than that, it helps protects you from negative energies caused by unseen elementals.tanzanite5

WEALTH ENHANCER

But what is really surprising with this stone is that the combination of the three elements found in this stone creates a wonderful wealth enhancing energies. At first look some of its intrinsic elements may be contradicting each other, but the right balance that forms in every Tanzanite makes it a unique blue stone that creates a wonderful wealth enhancing energy. This is especially true for people who are in marketing, legal, advertising, PR, and sales.

I personally have several different favorite stones but the Tanzanite is now overtaking all those stones. The fact that this is a rare stone that is bound not to last very long makes it even more special.

The problem is really looking for an authentic and not very expensive Tanzanite. If you are looking for a Tanzanite better contact a trusted gemologist or jeweler. But don’t be surprised if some jewelers are still not familiar with the Tanzanite, because this is a fairly young stone. Tiffany & Co. has one of the best collections of Tanzanites that are commercially available. You can visit their site if you really want the top of the line Tanzanite that may cost around US$ 3,000.00 for a small piece. However, you need not get the top of the line for you to experience its wonderful energies. Here in the Philippines, I don’t personally know of any stores that sell authentic Tanzanite. But recently I came across a FB page called Crystals and Gold, I don’t really know the owner but the ones I referred to them are very happy with the quality of semi – precious stones they get from her. The best part is that their price is not expensive. But a Tanzanite is a Tanzanite so even an affordable Tanzanite may still cost a little high. If you want to check out the said FB page you can click here.
For questions, comments, and suggestions please email sanaakosirickylee@gmail.com

Namo Sangharama Bodhisattva: A Bodhisattva that Protects, Grants Wealth Blessings, Protects Marital Relationships and is Better Known as Kuan Kong

Published Nobyembre 18, 2014 by jptan2012

kuan kong 3The first time I wrote about Kuan Kong was last February 15, 2012. Since then I have not written much about him except for a few mention in some blog articles and about the boy who is believed to have been saved by Kuan Kong from his death when Typhoon Yolanda (with international name Haiyan) hit the Philippines.

After almost 2 years, I am once again writing about Him because I feel that not to write about Him more is a great injustice to Kuan Kong (also called or spelled as Guan Gong, Guan Yu, Kuan Yu, Kwan Kong, Kwan Ti, Kuan Ti, Guan Ti, or Guan Sheng Di Jun).

Guan Yu as he is known as a person died in 220, but his date of birth is unknown. He actually served as a general with Liu Bei, as Eastern Han Dynasty warlord. It must be noted that although they’re called warlords it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re evil; we have to understand that during those time it is the norm.

Guan Yu is one of the best-known Chinese historical figures throughout East Asia that has slowly taken on the world. As mentioned in my last post about Guan Yu or Kuan Kong, the web is a treasure trove of stories about his life. However, I don’t think anyone alive now can actually say for certain what are the most accurate facts and what are the embellishments because people by nature loves to romanticized a person they admire or idolized. However, please be assured that in the bits and pieces of his life that I will share here in this post I will share with you what are the stories that historically proven and accepted. In the absence of that ‘confirmation’, it doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen, but it only means that it may be not very accurate or that it is widely accepted but may be argued by some historians. kuan kong 2

What is not arguable here is Guan Yu is so much loved and so much respected that he is the only person who became a deity or Bodhisattva in three of the major oldest religion in China. Although there has been a lot of crossovers between Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, like Kuan Yin being a high goddess in Taoism, and giving rise to the unofficial religion called Chinese Buddhism, Guan Yu or Kuan Kong or Guan Gong, is the only historically human being who became a significant deity or lord in Taoism, a significant Bodhisattva in Buddhism, and a significant god in Confucianism.  Not to mention that he is also a prominent figure in Chinese folk religion.

Guan Yu is known for being a very good general. In fact, he won most of his wars with as little bloodshed as possible. He doesn’t believe in killing all the enemies. When he wins a war he will not take unnecessary prisoners, so the prisoners that he takes are only the high officials and he would always treat them with utmost humanity. Those soldiers who yield to him are given the choice to join his troops or leave and go home to their family. His wars always has a cause and he will only resort to go to war only if he is absolutely sure in his heart that the war will in the end will serve greater good and is only the last resort. This kind of attitude runs akin to the Buddhist teaching that states one cannot judge the means but one can only judge what’s inside the heart of a person. I hope this will not be taken out – of – context, but in a simplistic point of view, what it means is that at the end some means might be seemingly evil or bad but in the end it is the deepest intent of the heart of the person whether the act is really evil or not. I would like to expound on this teaching a little further and leave Guan Yu’s story for a while in the next paragraph.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama once shared a story. A guy went on a trip via a ship. While he was onboard the ship he came across a plot by two men to plant a bomb on the ship and kill all the people onboard as an act of terrorism. The man went to inform the captain, but after some reluctant investigation, for they didn’t believe him, it was said that there was no plot at all. Still he did his best to make people believe him, however, nobody believed him. He was totally left in despair as to how to save the people on board. As the time of doom arrives he decided to confront the two terrorists, his first approach was to talk them out of what they plan to do, but because the terrorists perceived that he is a threat to what they have set out to do they manhandled him, brought him to their cabin to either bound him there or kill him. All throughout the man never feared for his life but he feared for the life of the hundreds of people onboard the ship. He knows that he has to do something otherwise all the people on the ship will perish, but he also knows that it is not only the people onboard the ship that will perish but their family will also grieve for them. He was left with no choice and although he knows what he needs to do is wrong, in the end he was left with no choice but to fight the two terrorists and hurt them enough to restrain them. In the process, he accidentally killed both terrorists. There is another version of the story that says he also died with them, an act of suicide that also killed the other terrorist. Whatever the version of the ending the message is quite clear. Killing and suicide are both considered graved sin one that causes eons of negative karma, but the man was reborn as a high lama that is because according to the Dalai Lama, while the act itself alone is pure evil, the deepest intent, meaning deep in his heart, it was not simply to kill the two men, but to save hundreds of live and prevent several more the pain of grief. Superficially speaking this is a Buddhist concept that can be easily abused. But let us always remember that in the end it is not our fellowmen’s judgment that we must be wary of but our own deep conscience and that of karma.

kuan kong 4Going back to Guan Yu, one of the most famous verified story about him was when he took a hit from an arrow. It was a poisoned arrow and the doctor needs to clean his wound right to the bone. He wants to administer a strong alcohol (medicinal wine) to Guan Yu so that he won’t feel the pain, or at the very least he will be able to tolerate the pain as he would open and clean it down to the bone. Guan Yu refused to take the alcohol because he believes taking the alcohol will totally cloud his mind. Please note that at this point he is already showing some signs that his belief are leaning towards Buddhism. For if he were purely Taoist, it would have been fine for him to drink the medicinal wine even if it clouds his mind. For Buddhism, medicinal wine are allowed as long as it doesn’t cloud your mind so much that you are unable to control it. What happen next are two different versions of the story. One version states that he didn’t take the wine but instead went into deep meditation by concentrating on a single matter and in his case he choose to play Chinese chess with himself, and that he totally didn’t feel any pain, even if the doctor was scraping his wound down to the bone to make sure there are no poison left. The other version is that he felt the pain but still bravely faces it rather than cloud his mind with the effects of medicinal wine. Personally, I’m unable to make a decision, which is true, because if he is a practicing Taoist or Buddhist, and if his practice is really deep already, being ‘operated’ without pain relievers, in his case medicinal wine is not impossible. But the point of importance here, is that he already showed signs of refusing wine for the reason that he doesn’t want to cloud his mind, which is a Buddhist teaching. I raise this point because it is later on very important part of his life for him to be accepted as a Bodhisattva in Buddhism. This is important because historians are not clear as to what his religious belief was.

Guan Yu is a celebrated war general, and he always wins a war until towards the end of his life. He was part of the ruling dynasty, but towards the end he notice that his leader is becoming selfish and goes to war not because it is the last resort but he simply wants to conquer more lands and wealth. He decided to break away and vowed to protect the weak. He became a minority, and it is said that in the last war he went to he already knew that he and his troops are going to be betrayed and that he will die, he figured this out when an oracle was done, something that is usually done during his time. They usually consult either a Taoist oracle or a Buddhist oracle to determine whether they should go to war. The oracle showed that he will lose the war and that he will die, but he has to go to this war for a long term good. So he went to war and true enough he and his family and closest friends were betrayed and they were captured.

His ‘archenemy’ who used to be his leader has great respect for him that he refused to kill Guan Yu, something that was totally unacceptable during those times. Not killing Guan Yu is a sign of great weakness and will render him a coward and a lame leader. To avoid killing Guan Yu and simply make him a prisoner for life he has show the people is of poor moral and a scum that needs to suffer imprisonment for the rest of his life.

As a ploy he decided to put Guan Yu in a cell full of women. Unverified stories states that Guan Yu was put amongst the wives and daughter of his friends. But Guan Yun didn’t give in to carnal desires instead he made sure that he became protector of said women. Seeing that this ploy didn’t worked. Guan Yu was then transferred to a better prison and he was imprisoned with naked virgin courtesans and was given permission to deflower them, still Guan Yu didn’t give in to carnal desire, instead he took time out too teach them to read. At the end, he was reluctantly sent to his death. kuna kong

Verified reports states that several weeks before his death, his consciousness would always appear to a monk. And he would ask him to read different sutras so that he will reach enlightenment. This is an important factor in the story and is largely the reason why he became a Bodhisattva. The question is whether his Bodhisattvahood was largely due to a testimony of a single monk? The answer is no, because while the testimony of this monk was the one that is largely popular, there are other numerous both verified and unverified reports that says that before his death his consciousness would appear to different monks to ask for a sutra reading. Also, all these monks so a vision that Guan Yu received enlightenment. In fact, some of these testimonies where not found out until the death of some the monks who saw these visions, for they were never shared but written in their testimonies or orally shared to their students or disciples.

In my last post, I already made mention of the fact that Kuan Kong or Sangharama Bodhisattva is a wealth god and a protector, however, what most people don’t know is, and I myself has temporarily forgotten about this is that he is also a Bodhisattva that helps safeguard marital relationships. This is because in his lifetime, Guan Yu, exhibited extreme loyalty and faithfulness to his wife. He never took on a concubine, or visited courtesan houses, although it was a norm during his time.

kuan kong pendantTo honor and pay homage to Sangharama Bodhisattva, it is highly recommended for you to get his image. Please choose the one that has a beautiful fierce face. Wearing a pendant of his image is also highly recommended. I myself decided to get more Kuan Kong pendant, and of course, Kuan Kong or Sangharama Bodhisattva is one of the Bodhisattva that I featured in my Wish Fulfilling and Buddha’s Blessing Mantra Pendant.

 

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USHNISHA SITATAPUTRA – A Protector Against All Danger, Better Known as The White Umbrella Goddess

Published Mayo 19, 2012 by jptan2012

Ushnisha Sitataputra, better known as the White Umbrella Goddess, is one of the female manifestations of Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. It should be noted that Ushnisha Sitataputra, although she has similar traits with Kuan Yin, is not Kuan Yin. Kuan Yin is literally Avalokitesvara as female Bodhisattva. To understand this better I suggest you read my earlier post entitled – UNDERSTANDING MERCY AND COMPASSION: THE TRANSFORMATION OF AVALOKITESVARA TO KUAN YIN.

However, Ushnisha Sitataputra is a female manifestation of Avalokitesvara, the difference is Kuan Yin has retained all the exact character traits of Avalokitesvara, while a Ushnisha Sitataputra or The While Umbrella Goddess serves a slightly different purpose.

Ushnisha Sitataputra directly translates as the ‘The Victorious Goddess of White Parasol’, and she does signify victory over all harm and danger, especially those of supernatural causes. According to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, reciting the mantra of Ushnisha Sitataputra will help illnesses, bring auspicious luck, prevent harm from happening, and drive away evil and negative energies. The Tibetan Buddhists regard Ushnisha Sitataputra or The White Umbrella Goddess as one of the most powerful deity.

The famous image of Ushnisha Sitataputra is the one where has a thousand face, thousand arms, and a thousand legs. Each of the face has three eyes, and she also has one eye in each of the palm of her hands and sole of her feet. This is to represent that she watches and protects all sentient beings. Her body as in her central faces glows in white, her right faces are yellow, her rear faces are red, and green is the color of her faces on her left. At the top of her head is another tier of blue faces. Her right hands hold the Dharma chakra, while her left hands hold arrows. She also has a white parasol on her left, which symbolizes the blessing of protection. This particular image of The White Umbrella Goddess can be likened to the Thousand-Hand Kuan Yin or Thousand Hand Avalokitesvara.

Image of the Thousand-Hand Avalokitesvara or Thousand-Armed Avalokitesvara

This is similar to the Thousand-Hand Kuan Yin we have at home.

Another image of Ushnisha Sitataputra or The White Umbrella Goddess is the simpler and can be likened to the White Tara.

In this subdued image of Ushnisha Sitataputra, she has 7 eyes, very much like the White Tara. Also white in color, she has one face with three eyes, two hands with one eye each on each palm, and 2 legs with one eye each on each sole. Her right hand is in the mudra of supreme generosity and also holds a Dharma chakra, while on her left she holds the famous White Parasol or White Umbrella of protection. However, in this version, the parasol is adorned with various jewel and ornaments.

Curing a Feng Shui Blunder Caused by a Leisure Tour

Published Marso 30, 2012 by jptan2012

In my last post before I went on a blog rest I talked about a Feng Shui blunder caused by our excitement while we’re on a vacation or a leisure trip or tour. I shared with you the bad luck that my friends and I experienced because of our innocent trip to the Ming Tombs. I also shared the story of a former officemate who went to Egypt entered a pyramid and had a series of bad luck.

I received some email inquiring what are the Feng Shui, Buddhist and/or Taoist amulets that one need to protect oneself from the negative effects of a Yin dominant place like cemeteries, tombs, morgues. I debated whether to share those amulets here because as I mentioned at the end of the post, it is better not to tempt fate and just completely avoid these Yin dominant tourist spots. While I’ll most likely share the said amulets in a future post, because a hospital is also a Yin dominant place, I believe for now it is important that everyone understands that amulets may help but nobody can tell whether it would be enough so again – IT IS BETTER NOT TO TEMPT FATE AND JUST AVOID ENTERING YIN DOMINANT PLACES. You can just simply admire it from the outside.

Having said that I would like to share with you how to cure should you accidentally enter a Yin dominant place while you’re on a trip.

First thing you can do is to go a restaurant before you go back to your hotel. Ask for a rock or sea salt. Put some on your head and throw some on your back before you go back to your hotel.

When you get back to your hotel, ask for a sea or rock salt and take a salt bath. A cup of salt in a bathtub will do. Just soak yourself for about 5 minutes. More if you want to relax, but 5 minutes is the minimum amount of time. If possible light some candle and place it beside you while you’re in the tub. Use red, yellow, orange, or pink candle. Don’t use white.

Before going to sleep recite one full mala (108 times) of the Mantra of the Medicine Buddha – TADYATHA OM BHEKANDZYE BHEKANDZYE MAHA BHEKANDZYE BHEKANDZYE RADZA SAMUGATE SOHA. If you want to know more about the Medicine Buddha do read my post entitled – MEDICINE BUDDHA: A HEALER, PROVIDER, AND PROTECTOR OF BOTH THE PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL REALM.

If possible, try to go out and have some small party with your tour group.

Also, on the particular day that you made a Feng Shui blunder of entering a Yin dominant place, do sleep with the lights on that particular night.

A Calm Mind

Published Marso 7, 2012 by jptan2012

The idea to write about this again came from a reader who a few weeks ago contacted me to request for the WISH FULFILLING AND BUDDHA’S BLESSING MANTRA PENDANT.

J mentioned in one of his emails that he’s just starting to understand more about the Buddha Dharma. A few days ago, he wrote another email inquiring as to whether there are mantras that he can recite for him to be calm and for him to have peace of mind.

A calm mind and peace of mind are two different things. The latter is usually achieved one’s we have come to terms with our past deeds and mistakes, it is also achieved one’s we have attained a calm mind. It’s a struggle. Having a calm mind is a precedent for a peaceful mind.

Since a calm mind precedes a peaceful mind, that it what I’m going to discuss now.

The first thing that you have to acknowledge is that it takes practice to have a calm mind. You work on it, it’s not something that you simply hope for and voila it happens right away. You have to constantly remind yourself that you want to be calm, that you NEED to be calm.

I, myself, had to struggle to achieve a calmness that I really need. I used to be a very hot headed person, not only that, since I was young my mind has always been hyperactive, I would constantly think about how things would go wrong, how people are doing me bad, I always think that all good things are done with malice and hidden motives. Because of this, I do get into trouble a lot of times. I was pretty violent and pretty harsh with my words and deeds; this kind of behavior is destructive not only to the people around me but also to myself.

There were a few times that I wanted to see a therapist to help me with my hyperactive and malicious mind. However, when I delve into Buddhism deeply, I found myself becoming calmer. I still do have those burst of emotions and hyperactivity, but I can honestly say that I’m now calmer and is able to control myself better. I also don’t really think a lot of negative thoughts and my being a worrier has subsided.

I won’t be able to pinpoint in on a single thing that helped me to be more calm, rather the change, which was gradual, is brought about different things that all worked together in helping me to have a calm mind.

First, understanding more about Buddhism has really helped. It helps that I understand that every action, every thought, every word has an effect. It creates karma, and whether that karma is good or bad depends on your deeds, words, and thoughts. The idea that reward and punishment is directly proportionate to your own deeds, thoughts, and words helped me to be more cautious and level headed.

Second, images of the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Deities, Immortals also helped in constantly reminding me that I can always call on their assistance for me to achieve the calmness that I need. They had become a constant point of meditation for me.

Another very effective tool is reciting the mantras. All the mantras will definitely have a calming effect. However, to be specific in the purpose of the calmness of the mind the PRAJNAPARAMITA MANTRA, the MANTRA OF THE MASTER OF HEALING, more popularly known as the MEDICINE BUDDHA MANTRA are the two mantras that works well with trying to calm the mind. The Prajnaparamita Mantra is – TADYATHA OM GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SOHA. It really is just GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SOHA, however, when reciting it one needs to add TADYATHA OM. The Medicine Buddha Mantra is – TADYATHA OM BHEKANDZYE BHEKANDZYE MAHA BHEKANDZYE BHEKANDZYE RADZA SAMUGATE SOHA.

Reading the various SUTRAS are also very helpful in trying to achieve a calmness of the mind. This is not only because at the point of reading you try your best to concentrate on the teaching, but more importantly, the Sutras really has such an effect.

Wearing a PRAYER WHEEL is also a very powerful tool to help achieve a calmness of the mind that we all need. If you want to know more about the Prayer Wheel do read my post – THE POWER OF A PRAYER WHEEL.

In my pursuit to have a calmer mind, I also decided to never watch horror movies because I find that the chi in creating a horror movie and watching them is so bad that it disturbs a person. It doesn’t matter whether you get scared or not, just watching it is enough to affect you in some way.

Wearing the image of the Medicine Buddha or the symbolic script of the Medicine Buddha Mantra as pendant also has a calming effect. I’ve previously discussed in length about the Medicine Buddha and about the power of the mantra. If you want to know more about them please read my post entitled – MEDICINE BUDDHA: A HEALER, PROVIDER, AND PROTECTOR OF BOTH THE PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL REALM – and – MANTRA: THE INSTRUMENT TO TAP THE POWER OF SYMBOLIC SOUND, SCRIPT, AND THOUGHT – respectively.

The WISH FULFILLING AND BUDDHA'S BLESSING MANTRA PENDANT has the image of the Medicine Buddha on the front and the Medicine Buddha Mantra symbolic script at the back.

These are just some of the tools that we can use to help us have a calmer mind. There are other ways to achieve a calm mind, however, this would require seeing one’s BAZI and Feng Shui of the house. Thus, I’m unable to discuss it here.

But more than anything, the first step to a calm mind is the decision to make it happen.

Myth Buster 5: A Tortoise or Turtle Slows Down Career, Business, Wealth, and Personal Growth

Published Pebrero 25, 2012 by jptan2012

I often here people say that having a turtle as a pet or having its image in the home or office is bad. In fact, I once saw a mom scolding her son for buying a turtle for a pet without asking her permission. Heard her tell her son that having a turtle in the house is bad.

This is one of the greatest and most common misconceptions. A turtle or tortoise is considered by a lot of people as bad because it is slow and timid. However, the truth is a turtle or tortoise is one of the most powerful Feng Shui protection and enhancer one can have.

For Feng Shui purposes, will just use the term tortoise, while a turtle and a tortoise has some biological differences with each other, they are actually have the same Feng Shui effects, so in Feng Shui a turtle and a tortoise is one and the same.

As mentioned a tortoise is one of the most powerful tool one can use both as a protector and enhancer. The tortoise is one of the Four Feng Shui Animals (some people call this as 4 Celestial Animals but only two of the animals in the 4 Feng Shui Animals are actually considered celestial) that should always be present or represented in any home or establishment.

The 4 Feng Shui animals are the Green Dragon, which is in the East, the Red Phoenix that should be present in the South, the White Tiger that is located in the West, and finally, the Black Tortoise, which is in the North. However, East-West-North-South here doesn’t exactly refer to the compass direction. In an actual Feng Shui setting, East is represented by the left side of the house, South is represented by the front side of the house, West is represented by the right side of the house, and North is represented by the back of the house.

For now we’ll focus on the Black Tortoise or simply Tortoise. A Tortoise symbolizes stability, strength, and support, does it always has to be put at the backside of the house. If your family needs financial stability, putting a tortoise at the back of the house will help you have the said stability. It is a great protection and energy-strengthening tool.

Placing a tortoise behind your workplace will also give you the career stability that you need. Furthermore, it gives you the energy support that all career people need, especially if you work in a highly competitive atmosphere.

One other function of a tortoise is for longevity. In this sense, it is better to put the tortoise in the actual compass north.

You need not get a real turtle or tortoise, in fact, unless you can really take care of them properly, it is better to simply get an image of a tortoise. I personally believe a tortoise made of metal or jade works best. Getting a real tortoise, and not being able to take care of them properly may cause more harm than good, specially, if they die because of neglect.

Medicine Buddha: A Healer, Provider, and Protector of Both the Spiritual and Physical Realm

Published Pebrero 20, 2012 by jptan2012

I’ve been debating whether I’m really ready to write about the Medicine Buddha, it feels like it’s such a heavy responsibility to write about the Medicine Buddha. Although I’ve been a devotee, worshiper, follower, and an indirect disciple of the Buddha of Medicine for many years now, I still discover new things about the Buddha of Medicine everyday! 

One reason I included the Medicine Buddha in the WISH FULFILLING AND BUDDHA’S BLESSING MANTRA PENDANT is because I know how powerful the Medicine Buddha is. In fact, it is said that simply seeing the image of the Buddha of Medicine and His Mantra showers us with blessings. On top of that simply hearing Medicine Buddha’s name will also have some healing effect on the people who heard his name.

The Buddha of Medicine’s formal name is Bhaisajyaguru Vaidurya Prabharaja, which means Master of Healing, Azure Radiance or Master of Medicine and King of Lapis Lazuli Light. He is commonly called by Tibetan Buddhist as Bhaisajyaguru, which means Medicine Buddha.

Medicine Buddha is a fully enlightened being that’s devoid of any form of biased against living beings. Like Avalokitesvara or Kuan Yin, the Medicine Buddha is a Buddha filled with unlimited compassion towards us. The Medicine Buddha protects all living beings from attachment; hatred; and ignorance, which Buddhists text indicates are the main cause of illness. But more than that, the Buddha of Medicine also protect us from danger and negative energies or beings.

There are some slight differences in how the Medicine Buddha is depicted in Tibetan Buddhism and Chinese Buddhism, however, he is usually pictured as seated on top of a lotus wearing a traditional Buddha robe, his left hand holds a lapis lazuli colored jar of medicine nectar, while his right hand holds a stem of Arura (sometimes called Aruna – a special mystical plant that is said to bloom only once in every 3,000 years) while it’s resting on his knee.  In THE SUTRA OF THE MASTER OF HEALING or commonly called as the MEDICINE BUDDHA SUTRA He is also described as having a lapis lazuli-colored aura. It is because of this that he is also usually depicted in Tibetan Buddhism to be a blue or lapis lazuli-colored Buddha.

The Sutra of the Master of Healing also states that when the Medicine Buddha became a Bodhisattva, “he made Twelve Great Vows to grant all beings with whatever they pray for.”

In essence the 12 great vows indicates that Bhaisajyaguru or Medicine Buddha is a Buddha that heals us from physical, mental, and spiritual illness. Furthermore, it also indicates that the Medicine Buddha is a Buddha of Protection and Provider Buddha. In fact, the 3rd Vow specifically indicates material wealth.

Furthermore, if one is to fervently say the Medicine Buddha mantra and do the Medicine Buddha rituals, one is to be saved from the nine violent deaths. Again, in essence, the nine violent deaths refer to any form of death that may bring about extreme hardship.

The Medicine Buddha’s short mantra is TADYATHA OM BHEKANDZYE BHAKANDZYE MAHA BHEKANDZYE BHEKANDZE RADZA SAMUGATE SOHA.

Don’t be surprise to see or hear a slight variation of this mantra, which is TADYATHA OM BHEKANDZYE BHEKANDZYE MAHA BHEKANDZYE RADZA SAMUGATE SOHA.

Saying the Medicine Buddha Mantra is a very powerful tool to open ourselves to the blessings of the Buddha of Medicine. However, it is better if you can say 5 full mala (108 times per full mala) in a day. It will be more ‘potent’ if you are able to say the Medicine Buddha’s long mantra.

The Medicine Buddha’s long mantra is: OM NAMO BHAGWATE BHEKANDZYE / GURU BEDURYA PRABHA RADZAYA TATAGATAYA / ARHATE SAMYAKSAM BUDDHAYA / TADYATHA OM BHEKANDZYE BHEKANDZYE / MAHA BHEKANDZYE BHEKANDZYE / RADZA SAMUGATE SOHA.

Image of Medicine Buddha with Mantra. Seeing the image and symbolic script of the Medicine Buddha has the power to bestow upon us blessings from the Buddha of Medicine.

Like any mantra, seeing the symbolic script of the Medicine Buddha’s mantra is enough to grant some blessings to us from the Buddha of Medicine.

Inviting the image of the Medicine Buddha inside our home will bestows upon us the blessings stated in His vows.

Wearing His image and the symbolic script of the Buddha of Medicine’s mantra is like paying homage to the Medicine Buddha and also constantly tapping into His blessing. This is the primary reason why I included both His image and symbolic script in the WISH FULFILLING AND BUDDHA’S BLESSING MANTRA PENDANT,which incidentally has become quite popular amongst my readers because of the pendant’s effectiveness. I’ve been receiving a lot of emails how it helped them and I’ve blog about several of the personal testimonies.(Revised on Dec. 1, 2013).

Remember though that while the Medicine Buddha’s image and mantra has the power to grant us so much blessing from Him. It will be more auspicious if one can read His sutra everyday.

This is another version of the image of the Buddha of Medicine. Notice while He is not pictured year as a lapiz lazuli-colored Buddha, He still has the Buddha robe, the jar, and the plant.

Allow me to briefly discuss what is a sutra. Sutras are mostly canonical Buddhist scriptures of which are mostly recorded oral teachings of the Historical Buddha Sakyamuni or Gautama Buddha. A Sutra is like the Christian Bible, but the difference is for Buddhist, they believe that simply carrying a copy of a Sutra bestows upon us the blessings of the Buddha referred in the specific Sutra. Furthermore, reading a Sutra is like praying to the Buddha.

I always make it a point to read the Medicine Buddha Sutra at least once a day. I have a copy of the Medicine Buddha Sutra in my bag, in my car, and in my bedroom.

You can read the Medicine Buddha Sutra in English, but do try to get a miniature copy of the Sutra and carry it with you everyday.

Writing about the Medicine Buddha, His miracles, what He stands for without sharing His sutra is unacceptable. So please do allow me to share with you the Medicine Buddha Sutra as translated during the Torng Dynasty by Tripitaka Master Yiun-Tzorng.

THE MEDICINE BUDDHA SUTRA

Also Called: THE SUTRA OF THE MASTER OF HEALING

Full Title: SUTRA OF THE MERIT AND VIRTUE OF THE PAST VOWS OF MEDICINE MASTER VAIDURYA LIGHT TATHAGATA

Thus I have heard. At one time the Bhagavan was travelling through various lands to teach living beings. He arrived at Vaisali [“City of Extensive Adornments”] and stayed beneath a tree from which music resounded. With him were eight thousand great Bhikshus and thirty-six thousand Bodhisattvas Mahasattvas; also kings, ministers, Brahmans, lay disciples; gods, dragons, and the rest of the eightfold division; beings both human and non-human. The immeasurable great multitude respectfully surrounded him, and he spoke Dharma for them.

At that time, the Dharma Prince Manjusri, receiving the awesome inspiration of the Buddha, rose from his seat, bared one of his shoulders, knelt on his right knee, and inclining his head and placing his palms together, said to the Bhagavan, “World Honored One! We wish you would speak about such Dharmas as the Buddhas’ names, the great vows they made in the past, and their supreme merit and virtue, so that those who hear them will be rid of their karmic hindrances. This request is also for the sake of bringing benefit and joy to sentient beings in the Dharma-Image Age.”

The Buddha then praised the Pure Youth Manjusri: “Good indeed! Good indeed, Manjusri. With great compassion you now request that I speak about the Buddhas’ names and the merit and virtue of their past vows, for the sake of rescuing sentient beings who are bound up by karmic obstacles, and for the purpose of bringing benefit, peace, and joy to beings who live in the Dharma-Image Age. Listen attentively to my words and reflect on them extremely well, for I will now answer you.”

Manjusri said, “Please do speak. We are glad to listen.”

The Buddha told Manjusri, “Passing from here to the east, beyond Buddhalands numerous as the sand grains in ten Ganges rivers, is a world called ‘Pure Vaidurya’. The Buddha there is named Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, Of Proper and Equal Enlightenment, Perfect in Understanding and Practice, Well Gone One, One who Understands the World, Supreme Lord, Regulating Hero, Teacher of Gods and Humans, Buddha, Bhagavan. Manjusri, when that World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, was practicing the Bodhisattva path in the past, he made twelve great vows that enable all sentient beings to obtain what they seek.

“The first great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life, when I attain anuttarasamyaksambodhi, my body will shine with dazzling light that will illumine measureless, countless, boundless worlds. My body will be adorned with the thirty-two heroic features and the eighty subsidiary characteristics, and I will enable all beings to become as I am.’

“The second great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, my body will be as bright and clear as vaidurya, flawlessly pure, vastly radiant, majestic with merit and virtue, abiding at ease, adorned with blazing nets brighter than the sun and the moon. Beings dwelling in darkness will be illuminated and will succeed in all their endeavors.’

“The third great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, will by means of limitless, unbounded wisdom and skill-in-means, enable all sentient beings to obtain an inexhaustible supply of material necessities so they are without the slightest want.’

“The fourth great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, I shall lead those sentient beings who practice deviant paths to reside in the Way of Bodhi and those who travel on the vehicles of the Hearer or Pratyekabuddha to abide in the Great Vehicle.’

“The fifth great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi I shall enable limitless and boundless numbers of sentient beings who cultivate Brahma conduct within my Dharma to perfectly uphold the three clusters of precepts without exception. Should there be any violation, upon hearing my name, they will regain their purity and not fall into the evil destinies.’

“The sixth great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, if there are sentient beings whose bodies are inferior and whose faculties are imperfect, who are ugly, dull, blind, deaf, mute, deformed, paralyzed, hunch-backed, or afflicted with skin disease, insanity or various other sicknesses and sufferings, upon hearing my name they shall all become endowed with upright features, keen intelligence, and perfect faculties, and they shall be free of sickness and suffering.’

“The seventh great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, I shall cause sentient beings who are oppressed by many illnesses and who are without aid, without a place to turn, without a doctor, without medicine, without relatives, and without a family, who are poverty-stricken and filled with suffering to be cured of their sicknesses upon having my name pass by their ear, so they are peaceful and happy in body and mind. They will have a family and relatives, and acquire an abundance of property and wealth, and even realize unsurpassed Bodhi.’

“The eighth great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, if there are women who give rise to a deep loathing for their female body and wish to renounce it because they are oppressed and disturbed by the myriad sufferings of being female, upon hearing my name, they will be able to turn from women into men who are replete with male features and ultimately realize unsurpassed Bodhi.’

“The ninth great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, I Shall liberate sentient beings from the nets of demons and the bonds of external sects. If they have fallen into the dense forests of evil views, I shall lead them to have proper views and to gradually cultivate the Practices of Bodhisattvas so they will quickly realize unsurpassed, proper and equal Bodhi.’

“The tenth great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, I shall cause sentient beings who fall into the hands of the law and are bound, interrogated, whipped, fettered, imprisoned, sentenced to execution, or subjected to endless disasters, hardships, abuse, and humiliation so that they are tom by grief and distress and suffering in body and mind, to obtain, upon hearing my name, liberation from all worry and suffering by means of my blessings, virtue, and awesome spiritual power.’

“The eleventh great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, I shall cause all sentient beings who are so plagued by hunger and thirst that they create all kinds of bad karma in their quest for food, upon hearing my name and single-mindedly accepting and maintaining it, to be filled with delicious food and drink and afterward, by means of the flavor of Dharma, to settle in ultimate peace and happiness.’

“The twelfth great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, if there are sentient beings who are poor and without clothes so that day and night they are troubled by mosquitoes and flies, and by cold and heat, upon hearing my name and single-mindedly accepting and maintaining it, they shall obtain all kinds of fine and wonderful garments that accord with their tastes, as well as a variety of precious adornments, flower garlands, fragrant balms, and the enjoyments of music and various kinds of talents, so that all their hearts, delights will be fulfilled.’

“Manjusri, these are the twelve sublime and wonderful vows that the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, One of Proper and Equal Enlightenment, made while cultivating the Bodhisattva Way.

“Moreover, Manjusri, if I were to speak for an eon or more about the great vows made by the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, when he practiced the Bodhisattva Way and about the merit, virtue, and adornments of his Buddhaland, I could not finish.

“That Buddhaland has always been completely pure; there are no women, no evil destinies, and no sounds of suffering. The ground is made of vaidurya, with golden cords lining the roads. The city walls, towers, palace pavilions, studios, windows, and latticework are all made of the seven treasures. The merit, virtue, and adornments of this land are identical to those of the Western Land of Ultimate miss.

“Residing in that land are two Bodhisattvas Mahasattvas; the first is called Universally Radiant Sunlight, and the second, Universally Radiant Moonlight. They are the leaders among the immeasurable, uncountable hosts of Bodhisattvas in that land and will be the successors to that Buddha. They are able to maintain the precious treasury of the proper Dharma of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata. Therefore, Manjusri, all good men and women who have faith should vow to be born in that Buddha’s land.”

At that time, the World Honored One again spoke to the Pure Youth Manjusri saying, “Manjusri, there are living beings who don’t distinguish good from evil, who indulge in greed and stinginess, and who know nothing of giving or its rewards. They are stupid, ignorant, and lack the foundation of faith. They accumulate much wealth and many treasures and ardently guard them. When they see a beggar coming, they feel displeased. When they have to practice an act of charity that does not benefit themselves, they feel as though they were cutting a piece of flesh from their body, and they suffer deep and painful regret.

“There are other innumerable avaricious and miserly living beings who hoard money and necessities that they don’t use even for themselves, how much less for their parents, wives, or servants, or for beggars! At the end of heir lives, such beings will be reborn among the hungry ghosts or animals. If they heard the name of that Buddha, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, in their former human existence, and they recall that Tathagata’s name for the briefest moment while they are in the evil destinies, they will immediately be reborn in the human realm. Moreover, they will remember their past lives and will dread the sufferings of the evil destinies. They will not delight in worldly pleasures, but will rejoice in giving and praise others who give. They will not begrudge giving whatever they have. Gradually, to those who come to beg, they will be able to give away their own head, eyes, hands, feet, and even their entire body, to say nothing of their money and property!

“Moreover, Manjusri, there are beings who, although they study under the Tathagata, nonetheless violate the sila. Others, although they do not violate the sila, nonetheless transgress the rules and regulations. Others, although they do not violate the sila or rules and regulations, nonetheless destroy their own proper views. Others, although they do not destroy their own proper views, nonetheless neglect learning, so they are unable to understand the profound meaning of the sutras that the Buddha speaks. Others, although they are learned, nonetheless give rise to overweening pride, Shadowed by overweening pride, they justify themselves and disparage others, slander the proper Dharma, and join the retinue of demons.

“Such fools act on their misguided views and further, a cause immeasurable minions of beings to fall into pits of great danger. These beings will drift endlessly in the realms of the hells, the animals, and the ghosts. But if they hear the name of Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, they will be able to renounce their evil practices and cultivate wholesome Dharma, and thereby avoid falling into the evil destinies. If those who have fallen into the evil destinies because they could not renounce their evil practices and cultivate wholesome Dharmas, by the awesome power of the past vows of that Tathagata, get to hear his name for only a moment, then after they pass out of that existence, they will be reborn again as human beings. They will hold proper views and will be ever vigorous. Their minds will be well regulated and joyful, enabling them to renounce their families and leave the householder’s life-They will take up and maintain study of the Tathagatas, Dharma without any violation. They will have proper views and erudition; they will understand profound meanings and yet be free from overweening pride. They will not slander the proper Dharma and will never join the ranks of demons. They will progressively cultivate the practices of Bodhisattvas and will soon bring them to perfection.

“Moreover, Manjusri, if there are sentient beings who harbor stinginess, greed, and jealousy who praise them- selves and disparage others, they will fallinto the three evil destinies for countless thousands of years where they will undergo intense suffering. After undergoing intense suffering, at the end of their lives they will be born in the world as oxen, horses, camels, and donkeys that are constantly beaten, afflicted by thirst and hunger, and made to carry heavy burdens along the roads. Or they may be reborn among lowly people, as slaves or servants who are always ordered around by others and who never for a moment feel at ease.

“If such beings, in their former lives as humans, heard the name of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, and by this good cause are able to remember it and sincerely take refuge with that Buddha, then, by means of the Buddha’s spiritual power, they will be liberated from all sufferings. They will be endowed with keen faculties, and they will be wise and erudite. They will always seek the supreme Dharmas and encounter good friends. They will eternally sever the nets of demons and smash the shell of ignorance. They will dry up the river of afflictions and be liberated from birth, old age, sickness, death, anxiety, grief, suffering, and vexation.

“Moreover, Manjusri, there may be beings who delight in perversity and engage in legal disputes, bringing trouble to others as well as themselves. In their actions, speech, and thought, they create ever-increasing amounts of evil karma. Never willing to benefit and forgive others, they scheme to harm one another instead. They pray to the spirits of the mountain forests, trees, and graves. They kill living beings in order to make sacrifices of blood and flesh to the yaksa and raksasa ghosts. They write down the names of their enemies and make images of them, and then they hex those names and images with evil mantras. They summon paralysis ghosts, cast hexes, or command corpse-raising ghosts to kill or injure their enemies.

“However, if the victims hear the name of Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, then all those evil things will lose their power to do harm. The evildoers will become kind to one another. They will attain benefit, peace, and happiness and no longer cherish thoughts of malice, affliction, or enmity. Everyone will rejoice and feel content with what they have. Instead of encroaching upon each other, they will seek to benefit one another.

“Moreover, Manjusri, there may be those among the fourfold assembly of Bhikshus, Bhikshunis, Upasakas and Upasikas, as well as other good men and women of pure faith, who accept and uphold the eight precepts either for one year or for three months, practicing and studying them. with these good roots, they may vow to be born in the Western Land of Ultimate Bliss where the Buddha of limitless Life dwells, to hear the Proper Dharma, but their resolve may not be firm. However, if they hear the name of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, then as the end of their lives draws near, before them will appear eight great Bodhisattvas, whose names are: Manjusri Bodhisattva, The Bodhisattva Who Observes the Sounds of the World, Great Strength Bodhisattva, Inexhaustible Intention Bodhisattva, Jewelled Udumbara Flower Bodhisattva, Medicine King Bodhisattva, Medicine Superior Bodhisattva, and Maitreya Bodhisattva. Those eight great Bodhisattvas will appear in space to show them the way, and they will naturally be born by transformation in that land, amid precious flowers of a myriad colors.

“Or they may be born in the heavens due to this cause. Although reborn in the heavens, their original good roots will not be exhausted and so they will not fall into the evildestinies again. when their life in the heavens ends, they will be born among people again. They may be wheel-turning kings, reigning over the four continents with awesome virtue and ease, bringing uncountable hundreds of thousands of living beings to abide in the practice of the ten good deeds. Or they may be born as Ksatriyas, Brahmans, laymen, or sons of honorable families. They will be wealthy, with storehouses filled to overflowing. Handsome in appearance, they will be surrounded by a great retinue of relatives. They will be intelligent and wise, courageous and valiant, like great and awesome knights. If a woman hears the name of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, and sincerely cherishes it, in the future she will never again be born as a female.

“Moreover, Manjusri, when Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata attained Bodhi, by the power of his past vows he contemplated all the sentient beings who were undergoing various kinds of sicknesses and sufferings. Some suffered from diseases such as emaciation, atrophy, severe thirst, or yellow fever; others were harmed by paralysis ghosts or by poisonous hexes; some died naturally when young, while others experienced untimely deaths. He wished to dispel all their sicknesses and sufferings, and to fulfill their wishes.”

At that time, the World Honored One entered a samadhi called “extinguishing the suffering and distress of all beings.” After he entered this samadhi, a great light came forth from his flesh-cowl. From amid that light he proclaimed this magnificent dharani

Namo Bhagavate bhaisajya guru vaidurya prabha rajaya
Tathagataya
Arhate
samyaksambuddhaya
tadyatha
Om bhaisajye bhaisajye bhaisajya samudgate Svaha

After he had spoken that mantra from amid the light, the earth trembled and emitted great light. All beings, sicknesses and sufferings were cast off, and they felt peaceful and happy.

“Manjusri, if you see a man (or a woman) who is ill you should single-mindedly and frequently clean and bathe him and rinse his mouth-Provide him with food, medicine, or water that is free of insects, over any of which the dharani has been recited 108 times. After the sick person has taken it, all his sicknesses and sufferings will be gone. I f this person has a wish, he should recite this mantra with utmost sincerity. Then he will obtain whatever he wished for, and his life will be prolonged and free from illness-At the end of his life, he will be reborn in that Buddha’s land. He will become irreversible and will ultimately attain Bodhi. Therefore, Manjusri, if there are men and women who, with utmost sincerity, diligently worship and make offerings to Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, they should always recite this mantra and never forget it.

“Moreover, Manjusri, men or women of pure faith, who have heard all the names of Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, One of proper and Equal Enlightenment should recite and uphold them. In the early morning, after brushing their teeth and bathing, they should make offerings of fragrant flowers, incense, perfumed balms, and various kinds of music before an image of that Buddha. They should personally write out this Sutra or ask others to do so, and they should single- mindedly and constantly recite it. If they listen to explanations of its meaning from a Dharma Master, they should make offerings to him of all necessities, so that he is without the slightest want. In this way, they will receive the mindful protection of the Buddhas. All of their wishes will be fulfilled, and they will ultimately attain Bodhi.”

At that time, the Pure youth Manjusri said to the Buddha, ‘World Honored One, I vow that in the Dharma- Image Age, using various expedient means, I shall enable good men and women of pure faith to hear the name of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata. Even during their sleep, I will awaken them with this Buddha’s name.

“World Honored One, there may be those who accept and uphold this Sutra, read and recite it, explain its meanings for others, write it out themselves, or tell others to write it out. They may revere it by making offerings of various flowers, paste incense, powdered incense, stick incense, flower garlands, necklaces, banners, canopies, and music. They may make bags of five-colored thread in which to keep the Sutra. They may sweep clean a place and arrange a high altar on which to place this Sutra. At that time, the Four Heavenly Kings with their retinues and other innumerable hundreds of thousands of gods will come to that place to worship and protect it.

“World Honored One, it should be known that if, in the places where this precious Sutra circulates, people can accept and uphold it, then due to the merit and virtue of the past vows of that World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, because they have heard his name, none of those people will meet with untimely death. In addition, none of them will be robbed of his vital energy by evil ghosts and spirits. Those people whose vital energies have already been robbed will have their health restored, and they will be happy and at peace in body and mind.”

The Buddha told Manjusri, “So it is, so it is! It is exactly as you say. Manjusri, if there are good men and women of pure faith who wish to make offerings to that world Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, they should first make an image of that Buddha and arrange a pure and clean dais on which to place the image. Then they should strew all kinds of flowers, burn various incenses, and adorn the place with a variety of banners and streamers. For seven days and seven nights they should hold the eight precepts and eat pure food. Having bathed until clean and fragrant, they should put on clean clothes. Their minds should be undefiled, without thoughts of anger and malice. Toward all sentient beings, they should cherish thoughts of benevolence, peace, kindness, compassion, joy, giving, and equanimity.

“Playing musical instruments and singing praises, they should circumambulate to the right of the Buddha’s image. Moreover, they should recall the merit and virtue of that Tathagata’s past vows. They should read and recite this Sutra, ponder its meaning, and lecture on and explain it. Then they will obtain whatever they seek: Those who seek long life will attain longevity; those who seek wealth will gain wealth; those who seek an official position will obtain it; and those who seek a son or a daughter will have one.

“Moreover, if a person who suddenly has nightmare, sees ill omens, notices strange birds flocking together, or perceives many uncanny events in his dwelling can worship and make offerings of many fine things to that World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, then the nightmares, ill omens, and inauspicious things will disappear and will no longer trouble him.

“When a person is endangered by water, fire, knives, or poison; or finds himself on a steep cliff or in a dangerous place; or faces fierce elephants, lions, tigers, wolves, bears, poisonous snakes, scorpions, centipedes, millipedes, mosquitoes, gnats, or other frightful things, if he can single-mindedly recollect, worship, and make offerings to that Buddha, he will be liberated from all those frightful things. When other countries invade or when there are thieves or riots, if a person can recollect and worship that Tathagata, then he will be free of all of these as well.

“Moreover, Manjusri, there may be good men and women of pure faith who, all their lives, do not worship other gods, but single-mindedly take refuge with the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. They accept and uphold precepts, such as the five precepts, the ten precepts, the four hundred precepts of a Bodhisattva, the two hundred and fifty precepts of a Bhikshu, or the five hundred precepts of a Bhikshuni. Perhaps they have violated some of the precepts they received and are afraid of falling into the evil destinies. If they concentrate on reciting that Buddha’s name and worship and make offerings to him, they definitely will not be reborn in the three evil destinies.

“If there is a woman about to give birth who suffers great pain, if she sincerely recites his name and worships, praises, venerates, and makes offerings to that Tathagata, her sufferings will be dispelled. The newborn child will be sound and healthy, and will have upright features. Seeing him will make people happy. He will be keen and intelligent, peaceful and secure, and with few ailments, and no evil spirit will come to rob him of his vitality.

At that time the World Honored One said to Ananda, “The merit and virtue of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, which I have just extolled, is the extremely profound practice of all Buddhas. It is difficult to fathom and to comprehend. Do you believe it or not?

Ananda said, “Greatly virtuous World Honored One, I have absolutely no doubts regarding the Sutras spoken by the Tathagata. why? Because all Buddhas’ karmas of body, speech, and mind are pure-World Honored One, the sun and moon could fall, wonderfully High, the king of mountains, could be toppled or shaken, but the words of the Buddhas never change.

“World Honored One, there are sentient beings deficient in faith who hear about the extremely profound practices of all Buddhas and think to themselves,’ How could one obtain such supreme merit and benefit merely by reciting the name of a single Buddha, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata? ‘Due to this lack of faith, they give rise to slander. During the long night they lose great benefit and joy and fall into the evil destinies, where they wander ceaselessly.”

The Buddha told Ananda, “If these sentient beings hear the name of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, and sincerely accept and uphold it without any doubts, they cannot possibly fall into the evil destinies.

“Ananda, this is the extremely profound practice of all Buddhas which is difficult to believe and to understand! you should know that your ability to accept this comes from the awesome power of the Tathagata Ananda, alI Hearers, Solitarily Enlightened Ones, and the Bodhisattvas who have not yet ascended to the Grounds are incapable of believing and understanding this Dharma as it really is. Only the Bodhisattvas who are destined in one life to attain Buddhahood are capable of understanding.

“Ananda, it is difficult to obtain a human body. It is also difficult to have faith in and to revere the Triple Jewel. It is even more difficult to be able to hear the name of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata. Ananda, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata possesses boundless Bodhisattva practices, limitless skillful expedients, and immeasurably vast, great vows. If I were to speak extensively of those for an eon or more, the eon would soon end, but that Buddha’s practices, vows, and skillful expedients have no end!”

At that time within the assembly, a Bodhisattva Mahasattva named One who Rescues and liberates arose from his seat, bared his right shoulder, knelt with his right knee on the ground, leaned forward with his palms joined together, and said to the Buddha, “Greatly virtuous World Honored One! During the Dharma Image Age, there will be living beings afflicted with various diseases, emaciated front chronic illnesses, unable to eat or drink, their throats parched and their lips dry. Such a being sees darkness gathering all around him as the signs of death appear. While lying in bed, surrounded by his weeping parents, relatives, and friends, he sees the messengers of Yama leading his spirit before that king of justice. Every sentient being has spirits that stay with him throughout his life. They record his every deed, both good and evil, to present to Yama, the king of justice. At that time, King Yama interrogates this person in order to tally his karma and mete out judgement according to his good and evil deeds.

“At that time, if the sick person’s relatives and friends, on his behalf, can take refuge with the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, and request members of the Sangha to recite this Sutra, to light seven layers of lamp, and to hang up the five colored banners for prolonging life, then it is possible for his spirit to return. As if in a dream, the person will see everything very clearly himself.

“If his spirit returns after seven, twenty-one, thirty five, or forty-nine days, he will feel as if awakened from a dream and will remember the retributions that he underwent for his good and bad karma. Having personally witnessed the retributions of his own karma, he will never again do any evil, even if his very life is endangered. Therefore, good men and women of pure faith should accept and uphold the name of Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata and, according to their capability, worship and make offerings to him.”

At that time, Ananda asked the Bodhisattva who Rescues and liberates, Good man, how should we worship and make offerings to the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata? And how should we make the banners and lamps that prolong life?”

The Bodhisattva who Rescues and Liberates said, “Greatly Virtuous One, if there is a sick person who wishes to be freed from sickness and suffering, for his sake one should accept and uphold the eight precepts for seven days and seven nights, and make offerings to the Bhikshu Sangha of as many items of food, drink, and other necessities as are in his power to give.

“During the six periods of the day and night one should worship, practice the Way, and make offerings to the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata. Read and recite this Sutra forty-nine times, light forty-nine lamps, and make seven images of that Tathagata. In front of each image place seven lamps, each as large as a cartwheel. These lamps must be kept burning continuously for forty-nine days. Hang up five- colored banners that are forty-nine spans long. Liberate a variety of living creatures, as many as forty-nine species. Then the sick one will be able to surmount the danger and will not suffer an untimely death or be held by evil ghosts.

“Furthermore, Ananda, in the case of ksatriya princes who are due to be anointed on the crowns of their heads, at a time when calamity arises, such as pestilence among the population, invasion by foreign countries, rebellion within their territories, unusual changes in the stars, a solar or lunar eclipse, unseasonal winds and rains, or prolonged drought, those ksatriya princes should bring forth an attitude of kindness and compassion toward all sentient beings and grant amnesty to all prisoners. They should follow the above-mentioned methods to make offerings to that World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata. Due to these good roots and the power of that Tathagata’s past vows, the country will be safe and peaceful, the winds and rains will be timely, the crops will ripen, and all sentient beings will be blissful and free of disease. Within this country there will be no violence, nor any yaksas or other spirits that harms sentient beings, and all evil omens will vanish.

“The ksatriya princes who are due to be anointed on the crowns of their heads will enjoy longer lives and good health, and they will be at ease and free from illness. Ananda, if the queens, the princes, the ministers or court counselors, the ladies of the palace, the provincial officials or the common people suffer from diseases or other difficulties, they should also hang up five-colored spiritual banners, light lamps and keep them burning, liberate living creatures, strew flowers of various colors, and burn precious incense. Then those people will be cured of their diseases and relieved of their difficulties.

Then Ananda asked the Bodhisattva who Rescues and Liberates, “Good man, how can a life that has come to an end be prolonged?”

The Bodhisattva who Rescues and Liberates answered, “Greatly Virtuous One, did you not hear the Tathagata say that there are nine kinds of untimely death? That is why people are exhorted to make life-prolonging banners and lamps and to cultivate all kinds of blessings. Through such cultivation of blessings, they will be freed from suffering and adversity for the rest of their lives.

Ananda asked, “What are the nine kinds of untimely death?”

The Bodhisattva who Rescues and liberates said, “There may be living beings who, although not seriously ill have neither medicine nor a doctor to treat them, or else they meet a doctor who gives them the wrong medicine; consequently, they meet with an untimely death. Some of them believe in worldly cults, whose deviant teachers frighten them with false prophecies. Unable to set their minds at ease, they consult oracles to find out what calamities are in store for them. In order to propitiate the spirits, they kill various creatures. They pray to wang liang ghosts for aid and protection. Although they wish to prolong their lives, their efforts are to no avail. They deludedly hold to wrong beliefs and perverse views. Thus they meet with an untimely death and fall into the hells, never to come out. This is the first kind of untimely death.

“The second kind of untimely death is to be executed at the hands of the law. The third kind is to hunt for sport, to indulge in drinking and lust, or to become excessively dissipated, and then to be waylaid by non-human beings that rob one’s essence and energy. The fourth is to be burned to death; the fifth is to drown; the sixth is to be devoured by wild beasts; the seventh is to fall from a steep cliff; the eighth is to be harmed by poison, voodoo, evil mantras, or corpse-raising ghosts; the ninth is to die from hunger and thirst. These are the nine kinds of untimely deaths generally spoken of by the Tathagata. There are also innumerable other kinds which cannot all be spoken of here.

“Moreover, Ananda, King Yama keeps track of the karmic records of all the inhabitants of the world. If there are beings who are not filial to their parents, who commit the Five Rebellious Acts, who revile the Triple Jewel, who destroy the laws of the country, or who violate the precept of truthfulness, then Yama, the king of justice, examines and punishes them according to the severity of their offenses. Therefore, I encourage people to light lamps and make banners, to liberate beings and cultivate blessings so that they can overcome suffering and peril and forestall all disasters.

At that time, twelve great yaksa generals were present in the assembly. They were: General Kimbhiro, General Vajra, General Mekhilo, General Antilo, General Anilo, General Santhilo, General Indalo, General Payilo, General Mahalo, General Cidalo, General Caundhulo, and General Vikalo.

These twelve great Yaksa generals, each with a retinue of seven thousand yaksas, simultaneously raised their voices and addressed the Buddha, “World Honored One! Today, by relying on the Buddha’s awesome power, we are able to hear the name of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata. As a result, we are no longer afraid of the evil destinies. All of us are of one mind to take refuge with the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha to the end of our lives. We vow to support all living beings and to benefit them, so that they may live in peace and happiness. In whatever cities, villages, countries, or secluded forests this Sutra circulates, or wherever people accept and uphold the name of Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata and venerate and make offerings to him, we, together with our retinues, will guard and protect them, deliver them from all distress, and fulfill all their wishes. If a person wishes to dispel illnesses and difficulties, he should read or recite this Sutra and tie a five-colored thread into knots, forming the letters of our names. He should untie the knots when his wishes have been fulfilled.

At that time, the World Honored One praised the great yaksa generals, saying, “Good indeed, good indeed, mighty yaksa generals! All of you who want to repay the kindness of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, should always benefit beings and bring peace and happiness to them in this way.

Then Ananda said to the Buddha, “World Honored One, what should we call this teaching? How should we uphold it?”

The Buddha told Ananda, “This teaching is called, ‘The Merit and Virtue of the Past Vows of Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata.’ It is also called ‘Twelve Spiritual Generals’ Vows to Use Spiritual Mantras to Benefit Living Beings.’ It is also called ‘Eradicating All Karmic Obstacles.’ You should uphold it in this way.

When the Bhagavan had finished speaking, all the Bodhisattvas, Mahasattvas, great Hearers, kings, minister, Brahmans, laypeople, gods, dragons, yaksas, gandharvas, asuras, garudas, kinnaras, mahoragas, humans, and non-human beings, and all the great assembly, on hearing what the Buddha had said, were greatly delighted. They received it with faith and respectfully practiced it.

(End of translation)
(Translated into English by B.T.T.S.)

Four Faced Buddha of Bangkok,Thailand-A Famous and Miraculous Wealth Granting and Protector Deity but He is Not a Buddha!

Published Pebrero 20, 2012 by jptan2012

Thailand is one of most iconic Buddhist country. Their monks to this day still literally beg for their food. Many Buddhist, like myself, goes to Bangkok to see some of the most sacred and majestic Buddhist temples. And like most Buddhist I also went to see the iconic ‘Patron Buddha’ of the country, which is the Four Faced Buddha at the heart of Bangkok.

The Erawan Shrine Four Faced Buddha is not a Buddha but a Brahma!

The famous Four Faced Buddha at Erawan Shrine draws both local and ‘international’ devotees as wells as tourists. The funny thing though, the Four Faced Buddha is not inside a Wat (temple in Thai), it is just in a small patch of land at Phloenchit Road corner Rajadamri Road. In fact, tall buildings around the area, a hotel, and Bangkok’s Skytrain tracks dwarf it. But do not be surprise to see that not a single minute passes by with a person praying or paying homage to the Four Faced Buddha. In fact, keeping the area uncluttered is a big problem for the city officials. They need to have somebody removed the flowers offered to the image every 10 minutes for 15 hours a day. If they fail to do this, the area will drowned in a sea of flowers offered to the Buddha.

Although, famously called as the Four Faced Buddha, Thailand’s unofficial Patron Buddha is not a Buddha, it is a Brahma and technically it has nothing to do with Buddhism. However, Thai Buddhist monks have already quietly and unofficially recognized the 4-Faced Brahma as an unlikely Buddhist deity, that a lot of people has recognized it as a 4-Faced Buddha. In a way, it can be said that the Four Faced Buddha is now an ‘adopted’ Buddhist deity.

The picture depicts of that a usual day in Erawan Shrine. This is just any other normal day. Picture lifted from Joy Holiday site.

There are a lot of Four Faced Buddha in Thailand, but the most popular one is the one Erawan shrine. One proof that the Four Faced Buddha in Erawan Shrine is really miraculous is how much money thankful devotees and worshippers throw in as an offering to the Buddha. In fact, the ‘joke’ there its their second central bank and that’s where they mint baht coins and print paper baht. The money is then used to maintain the shrine and also to feed some poor Thai families.

While I was there I met an American guy who said that he believes that it was the Four Faced Buddha who saved his life. He said, on a previous trip to Bangkok his Thai friend toured him to Erawan Shrine, and this friend also gifted him with a Four Faced Buddha pendant. While he doesn’t a strong religious background, he wore the pendant out of respect and also out of sentimental value for his friend who has been nice. “Besides the pendant is quite nice. Exotic. If you know what I mean?” he added.

Anyway, a few months after he got back to the United States, he experience a ‘…. miraculous event that made me believed in the Four Faced Buddha.” Apparently, while working on an electrical problem in his apartment, something that he felt he could handle on his own, he got electrocuted. He said it was really bad and that he literally felt all the electricity going through his body until he lost consciousness. According to him, his roommate saw him thrown off to the other side of the room! But he doesn’t have any recollection of this happening. He was rushed to the hospital and regain consciousness on his way there. After being observed he was released the following day.

This is a typical Four Faced Buddha pendant that you can buy in Bangkok, Thailand. Some of the images inside are made of real gold. My own Four Faced Buddha pendant is similar to this one.

On his way home he remembered his Four Faced Buddha pendant and thought the medics must have taken it off him. Resigned to the fact that he already lost the pendant, he just forgot about it. About a week after the incident when his roommate was cleaning the apartment, his friend saw his broken pendant under a cabinet. When the American saw his pendant, he just knew right away that it was the Four Faced Buddha that saved him.

Another story I heard 3rd hand. My Thai host shared the story with me. He said his officemate was in need of big amount of money for her father who’s battling cancer. Upon the advice of their other officemate his officemate who is need of money went to pray to the Four Faced Buddha. 7 days after she prayed to the Four Faced Buddha she was asked to go S30 hotel in Bangkok to meet a client. When their meeting ended, she went to use the rest room and in the stall the she used she saw a bag that must have been forgotten by somebody. She opened the bag to search for identification as to who might own the bag. What she saw surprised her because there was a huge amount of baht and US dollars inside the bag. She was honest enough to admit that she was really tempted to just get away with the money because it will definitely help her with her financial woes, not to mention the fact tat there was nothing in which she can use to identify the owner of the bag. She even wondered whether this was the help sent by the Four Faced Buddha. As soon as thought of it she also realized that it’s quite impossible that the Four Faced Buddha will be sending help by getting the money from somebody else. She decided to just surrender the bag to the hotel manager.

When she got to reception, there was a frantic girl being consoled by her client. As it turned out the frantic girl is the owner of the bag and she also happens to be the sister of her client. To make the long story short she returned the bag, to the obvious relief of the frantic girl.

They have to 'clean' the shrine every 10 minutes, otherwise it will drown on a sea of flowers and offering and money!

Two days later she got a call from her client. Her client knew of her financial problem because of her father illness from her boss, and as it turn out her client’s sister’s father-in-law is an oncologist in Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok, out of gratitude they offered to help her father. Not only will the father-in-law waive his professional fee, he also arranged for somebody to shoulder the medical bills of my host’s officemate’s father. My host said that the father of his officemate is now alive and ‘kicking’! They now visit the Four Faced Buddha every week!

Still another story was shared with me by another devotee who I met online thru the course of my ‘research’ about the Four Faced Buddha. J is a Malaysian Chinese businessman. He visited the Four Faced Buddha at the Erawan Shrine the first time he visited Bangkok. The tour guide told him that the image is miraculous and that it will grant all good wishes. J said he is not a very religious person but seeing the number of devotees that visits the site something just prompted him to ask for his ‘simple’ wish. He has been hoping to expand his business, having 5 children he wants to make sure that he is able to make sure that all children will have financial wealth that he can passed on to them when he gets older. J said while he was sincere in asking for the Four Faced Buddha’s help, he really didn’t give much thought to it. Until he slowly notices that his business was expanding, getting bigger, and more secured. By that time he has already forgotten about the wish that he has asked from the Four Faced Buddha of Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, Thailand. Nevertheless, he was really thankful. He decided to see a Taoist monk friend; J wants the Taoist monk to conduct a thanksgiving ceremony. While talking to J the Taoist Monk suddenly had a ‘vision’ and told J that the best way for the thanksgiving is to thank a man with four faces. The Taoist monk was not sure about his vision but J understood it right away! It was the Four Faced Buddha who granted his wish!

Since then J would travel to Bangkok once or twice a year simply to give thanks to the Four Faced Buddha. Every time he is there he would donate some flowers, incense, fruits, Elephant images, and he would always leave 15,OOO Baht as his thanksgiving. In a way he is trying to pay it forward. He also has invited an image of the Four Faced Buddha into his house and all his family even his grandchildren all wear the image of the Four Faced Buddha as an homage to the deity who granted them wealth.

The Four Faced Buddha in Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, Thailand is the most popular miraculous Four Faced Buddha in the world. The irony here is that a number of its devotee becamae a devotee after their first visit to the shrine. Meaning, a number of them visited the site without prior devotion but because they experienced a miracle after the visit they started becoming worshippers of the Four Faced Buddha. However, you don't really need to go to the site to pray to Four Faced Buddha. You can all on him where ever you are.

It’s not surprising that the Four Faced Buddha is miraculous, because even the story of its placement in that particular site was sort of a miracle. In 1956, the government was building the government-owned Erawan hotel. However, the government failed to consult geomancers as to what is the best time to built the hotel and this proved to be problematic. They were several accidents and labor problems that the construction workers threatened to walk out of their work, several times. Geomancers, Feng Shui experts, and Geomancers were called in to assess the problem. They reminded the government that the area used to be a dumping ground of people who were salvaged and also criminals were also used to be displayed and killed in the area. In fact, a portion of the place has become a ‘hungry ghost house’ of these troubled souls. They recommended putting an image of the Four Faced Buddha at the location where they identified as the ‘hungry ghost house’. I’m not really as to how they came about the decision that the image that should be placed there is that of the Four Faced Brahma, but after its installation construction went on smoothly and Erawan Hotel became a landmark until it was replaced by the Grand Erawan Hyatt Hotel in 1987 who happens also to be one of the most successful chain of Hyatt.

The image that you’ll see there now is not the original statue. The original one was destroyed by a mentally ill man who smashed the statue completely destroying it! Some people believed that the man is possessed by the devil. Some people who are in the area chased the man and UNFORTUNATELY killed the guy. The incident completely stunned and saddened the whole nation, a lot of Thais openly wept for the destroyed image, and they all felt that there’s a great misfortune that is about to befall their country. True enough 7 months after the incident they saw one of the most violent political crisis Thailand faced in modern era, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted from his position by a coup de’ tat!

Last May 21, 2006 at exactly 11:39am they have installed a new image of the Four Faced Buddha or Four Faced Brahma. It’s now made of a special alloy that consists of 9 different metals which includes the remnants of the first image and gold and silver.

I personally don’t have any ‘miraculous’ story to share about the Four Faced Buddha, however, you only have to go to the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok to see that its impossible for it not to be miraculous given the number of its devotee or worshippers who attests to the power of the Four Faced Buddha!

Kuan Kong

Published Pebrero 15, 2012 by jptan2012

Readers of my blog must now be superficially familiar with Kuan Kong (also called or spelled as Guan Gong, Guan Yu, Kuan Yu, Kwan Kong, Kwan Ti, Kuan Ti, Guan Ti, or Guan Sheng Di Jun).

Kuan Kong is the Chinese god of war. He protects and defends the oppressed and fights against all those who wish to take advantage of others. He is one of the Chinese gods of wealth as well, helping people pull in wealth and prosperity to their lives and homes.

This god of war is the ‘Saint Police Chief’, the god who commands all those who fight evil. Kuan Kong is the keeper of all good people and the fighter of those who intend to hurt them or cause them a problem of any kind. He protects people from being robbed, assaulted and from all kinds of crimes in general. This way, if you wish to feel more secure while being away from home, you can wear an image of Kuan Kong as a lucky charm and receive its protection wherever you go.

Kuan Kong is also the guardian of all business owners, politicians and leaders in general. Therefore, if you belong to one of these groups and have leadership responsibilities, you should have a Kuan Kong on your desk or at your workplace in order for it to guide and protect you from bad forces.

Unlike, Kuan Yin, Sun Wukong, and other famous Buddhas or Bodhisattvas or Taoist Deities, Guan Gong is a historical figure that became a Bodhisattva (for the Buddhist) or a Deity (for the Taoist). He is also revered in Confucianism.

Kuan Kong may be one of the most popular Chinese historical figures. He was a very famous general during the era of the Three Kingdoms in China, and is largely responsible for the collapse of the Han Dynasty.

The web is such a treasure trove of the historical background of Kuan Kong so I will not talk about his life here. I would like to focus more on his relevance and importance in Feng Shui, Buddhism, and Taoism.

In Buddhism, Kuan Kong is called Qielan Pusa or Sangharama, which means Protector of the Buddhist Dharma. His image is usually placed at the far left side of the altar. On the other side is Wei Tuo or Skanda (I’ll write about Wei Tuo soon). In the middle, is usually the image of Kuan Yin.

Kuan Kong is on the left side, and on the right is Wei Tuo. In the middle is Kuan Yin. Picture is lifted from Google Images and is taken by Ridoneko.

In Taoism, Kuan Kong is considered as one of the most important deity. Some Taoist sect believes that the Jade Emperor – Lord of Heaven has, in fact, taken a ‘retirement’ and that Kuan Kong is now the new Ti Kong or Lord of Heaven. People usually visit Kuan Kong’s temple or pray to his image to ask for protection and wealth. This is largely due to the fact that Kuan Kong is a famous general and strategist. The honorable title Guan Sheng Di Jun or Saintly Emperor Guan is largely used in Taoism.

Picture taken inside a Kuan Kong (Guan Gong) temple in Chinatown in Binondo, Manila. The temple is called Philippine Chinese Buddhist Temple, however, given that the fact that they have an altar for the Jade Emperor and Pia Be Kong, or the Horse Lord, indicates that they're really aTaoist temple. This is very common among overseas Chinese, the distinction whether they're into Taoism or Buddhism is vague. This is largely due to the fact that their respect for other religions is so deep that they tend to mix it.

In Feng Shui, the image of Kuan Kong is used as a symbol of protection and of wealth. His image if perhaps one of the most powerful Feng Shui tool available to protect us from harm.

Allow me to share a story about a Malaysian Chinese guy that I met in Singapore who is extremely devoted to Kuan Kong.

Lim Way is a retail business owner in Malaysia; his store is about 45 minutes away from where he lives, which is in the ‘outskirts’ of the city.

One time, on his way home, he didn’t notice that unidentified men were following him. When his house help opened the gate for him, the unidentified men in masks went inside with him. They aimed a gun at him and told him to get off the car.

He said he still have the chance to escape. However, he knows that his children are inside, and fearing for their life, he got off the car and went inside with the unidentified men behind him.

His Kuan Kong is placed beside their main door. When he entered, he immediately noticed it and had the courage to push the door close. Unfortunately, one of the unidentified men was able to go inside the house with him. He saw the masked man looked at the Kuan Kong and for some reason; the guy went out of the house and all of them fled.

To this day he still believes that it was the image of Kuan Kong that saved him and his family from the unidentified men. To honor Kuan Kong from saving them from harm, and to continuously tap into Kuan Kong’s power and blessing, he and his family has also started wearing a Kuan Kong pendant.

This is just one story amongst the numerous testimonials I’ve heard from people who profess that Kuan Kong saved them from harm or danger.

To truly benefit from Kuan Kong it is best the one wears his image. It doesn’t matter whether its big or small, but do look  for an ‘angry’ looking Kuan Kong. At home, Kuan Kong is usually place on the altar, or facing the main door, in this way, it is said that he protects the house from negative energies such as bad spirits and also from bad people.

Kuan Kong is usually depicted as red-faced guy with long beard in green outfit. His outfit also has the image of 9 dragons. He is the only Taoist Deity and Buddhist Bodhisattva that have the image of nine dragons on his clothes. He usually carries a nine-ring sword.

Kuan Kong is one of the featured images in the WISH FULFILLING AND BUDDHA’S BLESSING MANTRA PENDANT.

You can also read Kuan Kong as a Bodhisattva in a post called – NAMO SANGHARAMA BODHISATTVA: A BODHISATTVA THAT PROTECTS, GRANTS WEALTH BLESSINGS, PROTECTS MARITAL RELATIONSHIPS AND IS BETTER KNOWN AS KUAN KONG.

If you wish to know more about the historical aspect of Kuan Kong, you can click on the following links:

Guan Yu – Wikipedia , Guan Gong Culture – Chinatownology , Tao Living Guan Gong , Guan Yun – The Chinese God of War.

5 Quick Feng Shui Protection Tips

Published Pebrero 7, 2012 by jptan2012

I always tell my friends that prevention or cure is better than enhancing one’s positive Feng Shui luck. However, putting or wearing Feng Shui cures sometimes may create more harm if you’re not totally familiar with your Bazi chart. Full birth date and time should always be taken into consideration, on top of that, the Flying Star and house directions should also be taken into consideration.

However, there are some basic but effective protection and cures that can be used regardless of your birth date and house direction.

1. BIRD FEATHER/S

Hanging bird feathers on your door is one of the most effective Feng Shui protector and cure for minor problems and afflictions. It has the capability to drive away minor negative energies and deflect minor poison arrows. Try to get bird feathers that are colorful but note that a black colored feather doesn’t necessarily mean that its bad. It need not be a real bird feather, fake one will also do. If using a real one please make sure that the bird was not killed for this purpose.

2. BLUE RHINOCEROS

A Blue Rhinoceros is one of the most effective cure against the Flying Star #7. However, even if you’re not familiar where the Flying Star #7 putting a Blue Rhinoceros is still an effective cure against violence and robbery. Wearing or carrying a Blue Rhinoceros is also an effective cure and protection charm. Please make sure that its blue and not any other color.

3. PIYAO

A Piyao (also spelled or called  Pi Yao, Pi Xie, Pixie, Pi Xiu, Pixiu) is powerful protection charm also. I’ve written about this in an earlier post so I’ll won’t write much about it. If you want to know more about it, please click here.

4. IMAGE OF AN ELEPHANT

An image of an elephant is also a good Feng Shui tool against violence and robbery. Furthermore, an image of an elephant also brings about stability and harmony. You can place this in any part of your house, but it works best in the living room facing the front door. The image of an elephant can also be worn as a pendant or bracelet or carried as a key chain, mobile phone charm, or bag charm.

Putting an elephant with the blue rhinoceros makes this cure more powerful.

5. THE MONKEY GOD – SUN WUKONG KNOWN AS ‘THE GREAT SAGE, EQUAL OF HEAVEN’.

The image of the Monkey God – Sun Wukong is one of the most powerful tool to avoid and fight negative energies. You can put Sun Wukong in any part of your house except in the bedroom of married couple and the kitchen. Preferably though it should be place in your living room facing the door.

Wearing an image of Sun Wukong is also a very powerful wealth and protection pendant. You’ll constantly have the blessing and protection of Sun Wukong when its worn as pendant.

I personally can attest to its effectiveness because I’ve personally experienced Sun Wukong’s protection and blessing several times in my life. However, sharing my own story here might be bit a little self serving. However, I also know of somebody who firmly believes that his whole family was saved by Sun Wukong when fire struck their house at the middle of the night.

Allow me to briefly share the story with you but before that many of my readers know my devotion to Sun Wukong. My reverence, belief,  and devotion to ‘THE GREAT SAGE, EQUAL OF HEAVEN’ is so deep that I even designed a WEALTH AND MASTER PROTECTION PENDANT that has His image as the main feature of the pendant. Friends and family who wears the pendant swears by its effectivenes.

THE WEALTH AND MASTER PROTECTION PENDANT

However, before I became a devotee of Sun Wukong, I really don’t know anything about Him. But a friend introduced me to Him. This is the same friend whose story is what I’m about to share now.

My friend’s family has always been a devotee of Sun Wukong. However, an incident that happened several years ago strengthen this devotion, specially to the younger members of their family. My friend who lives with his parents at that time has several images of Sun Wukong in their. The ‘main image’ is on their altar in their living room. There’s another one in their home office and another one in the 2nd floor living room.

One night, while they were sleeping in separate bedrooms, they were all awaken by a loud knock on their doors and they all heard a voice who warned that their house is on fire. After this, they all heard a blast and the lights went out. Panicked, they all went out of their room, some of them carrying a flashlight, to investigate the matter. They soon found out that the fire is on the first floor of the house. My friend’s brother and father were the first one downstair and found out that the fire is within the home office. They both went in, but realized that they have nothing to kill the fire. Just when they were about to get out somebody handed them a fire extinguisher to which they killed off the fire.

When they were all already pacified they started to talk about what happened. They inquired as to who knocked on the door to warn them about the fire. This is when they realized that it seems that all of them were awoken at the same time, and all of them were awoken by that loud knock and warning. The weird part is his parents swears that they heard the warning in Chinese, my friend and his two other brothers swears that its in Filipino, their only sister seems to be the only person who is not sure whether he heard the warning in English, Chinese, or Filipino.

Furthermore, the eldest son knows that it was his father who handed him the fire extinguisher in the office, but the father can’t seem to be sure who handed him the fire extinguisher. He thought it was one of his other sons, but they’re all busy trying to attend to something. On top of that, their house help claims that they were also woken up the loud knock on their door and a voice in their local dialect warned them that there’s a fire. They all agreed that they were saved by God or by a God. They were just too happy to bother to find out exactly who, but recognized that they experienced Heaven’s blessing that night.

The following night their mother dreamed of the fire incident. But this time in her dream she saw Sun Wukong as the person who woke them up and who handed the fire extinguisher. The following they decided to offer incense to the image of Sun Wukong on their altar and in the office and upstair living room. That’s when they noticed that the image of Sun Wukong in the office has burnt base. Even if the fire happened across the room and the other side of the office where the image of Sun Wukong is totally untouched by fire except that it was ‘dirtier’ because of the fire extinguisher.

You can know more about Sun Wukong by reading my previous blog post – GETTING TO KNOW THE ‘GREAT SAGE, EQUAL OF HEAVEN’ THE MONKEY GOD CALLED SUN WUKONG.

 

 

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