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.
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”.
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)
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)
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)
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)
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:
For Wealth and Prosperity recite the Mantra of King Vaisravana: OM VAISRAVANA YE SOHA
For Success and Progress in Life recite the Mantra of King Virudhaka: OM VIRUDHAKA KUMBHANDADHIPATA YE SOHA
For Peace and Harmony recite the Mantra of King Dhrtarastra: OM DHRTARASTRA RALAPRAVADHAHA SOHA
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:
In the preceding post, I briefly talked about the importance of chanting mantras daily. Sometimes, chanting mantras takes getting used to and the more we do it, the more we get used to it, the more it is easier for us to learn new mantras. But more than that, chanting mantras should be considered like taking vitamins, we have to take it everyday for us to build resistance, and in this case resistance to negative chi. Furthermore, aside from building resistance to negative chi or negative energies, chanting mantras daily makes us more attuned to the cosmic energy of the Buddhas or Bodhisattvas whose mantra we are chanting, not to mention it makes more attuned to the cosmic energy in general.
While we won’t be able to recite the entire mantras daily, because some of them are long and there are really a lot of mantras available for us. Chanting daily mantras of selected Buddhas or Bodhisattvas will also make us, as mentioned earlier, more attuned with the cosmic energy, to the divine cosmic energy of the world of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, in such a manner that when we have to chant a specific mantra for a specific purpose, because we already have a ‘relationship’ with the divine cosmic energy, it is easier for us to be attuned to the energy of the new mantra we are chanting, even this is for only a specific purpose.
Yesterday, I shared with you the initial list of the mantras I chant daily. Namely of the 3 main Buddhas of our time and they are Amitabha Buddha, Shakyamuni Buddha (Sakyamuni Buddha) and the only celestial Buddha among the three, Medicine Buddha.
Note: Medicine Buddha is the simplified name. Medicine Buddha’s formal name is Bhaisajya – guru – vaidūrya – prabhā – raja or King of Medicine Master and Lapis Lazuli Light. His Tibetan common name is Bhaisajyaguru.
Today, allow me to share with you the other mantras that I chant everyday. They are 4 Main Buddha of Chinese Buddhism, especially for Pure Land Buddhism and Zen Buddhism.
Note: Zen Buddhism although has Japanese name actually started in China. It’s the English-speaking world that ‘popularized’ Zen Buddhism, but in reality it is called Chan Buddhism.
THE 4 MAIN BODHISATTVAS WHOSE MANTRAS I CHANT EVERYDAY ARE THE FOLLOWING:
NAMO DA PEI KWAN SHI YIN PU SA & OM MANI PADME HUM (Mantra of the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Kuan Yin) – Kuan Yin (also known as Avalokitesvara, Kannon, and also spelled as Guan Yin, Kwan Yin, Gwan Yin) is more popularly known as the Bodhisattva of Compassion. Sometime people also refer to her as the Buddha of Compassion (although she is not a Buddha) or Goddess of Mercy (although she is also not a Goddess). I have written about Kuan Yin Bodhisattva many times, so I will put the link to those articles below. But it should be noted that perhaps Kuan Yin Bodhisattva is perhaps the most famous and most revered Bodhisattva in all lineage and school of Buddhism. She has become so famous that even the Taoist has adopted her as one of their Goddess. I personally make sure that I always chant her mantra.You can read more about Kuan Yin Bodhisattva by clicking on the links below:
NAMO DA YUAN DI ZHANG WANG PU SA and OM AH KSTIGARBHA THALENG HUM and OM PRA MANI DANI SOHA (Mantra of the Bodhisattva of Great Vow, Ksitigarbha) – Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva is known to have committed to the Buddha that he will not enter Buddhahood unless he has freed all sentient beings from hell or from being a hungry ghost. This is his great vow. Chanting his mantra will help ensure that we are freed from suffering and help ensure a good rebirth. To under stand Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva better please read: Ksitigarbha Buddha is a Bodhisattva Who Vowed to Help All Those Who Suffer in Hell and In this World.
NAMO DA XING PU XIAN PU SA and OM AH HUM AH A KAR SA LE OD A YANG OM DU (Mantra of the Bodhisattva of Great Conduct, Samantabhadra) – Samantabhadra Bodhisattva is a Bodhisattva known for her great conduct. She is also known as the Bodhisattva of Truth, because it is her sincerest desire the real truth be exposed does she has the famous TEN GREAT VOWS OF BODHISATTVA SAMANTABHADRA, where in each item of those vows has something to do with the permanent truth of Buddhism.
Manjushri is a disciple of Sakyamuni Buddha. He is also a great Bodhisattva.
NAMO DA ZHI WUN SHU SHI LI PU SA and OM A RA PA CHA NA DHI (Mantra of the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, Manjushri) – Manjushri Bodhisattva (also spelled as Manjushree) is a Bodhisattva known for his commitment to make all sentient beings attained the perfect wisdom or full enlightenment. He is usually depicted holding a sword and a sutra book. The sword represents the slashing of false knowledge, and the sutra book represents that we are only able to attained perfect wisdom with the help of the sutra or words of the Historical Buddha, Shakyamuni. Chanting the mantra of Bodhisattva Manjushri will help us attain wisdom and guide us in making our daily decisions.
So you see, aside from the mantras of the 3 main Buddhas of our time, I also chant the mantras of the 4 main Bodhisattvas of Chinese Buddhism. But that’s not all, in my succeeding posts, I will share with you the other mantras I chant everyday.
You can also read other posts in the Chant – A – Mantra series:
I just shared with you why Chung Kwei is considered as the ultimate protector from evil spirits, demons, and hungry ghosts, and their ill effects with the post entitled – THE FASCINATING STORY OF CHUNG KWEI, THE ULTIMATE CATCHER AND VANQUISHER OF DEMONS, GHOSTS, AND EVIL SPIRITS!
Chung Kwei (also spelled as Chong Kwei, Chung Kui, Chong Kui, Zhong Kwei, Zhong Kui, Zhung Kwei, and Zhung Kui) is usually depicted as an extremely ugly deity. He can be considered as a wrathful god, which is usually how protector gods are depicted. His face is also usually really dark if not black, and he usually has beard. He carries a sword that he use for battling demons and evils spirits and a magical fan, which he uses to ward of hungry ghosts or ghosts. However, it is said that his face alone is enough to ward of any evil spirits that is why it is not surprising to see some pendants that simply features his face. Sometimes, he is featured with a red bat, which symbolizes that he is capable of bringing good fortune through scholarly approach. This is because he is a highly learned man when he was still living.
Tapping into his power of protection is quite simple. All you need is to invite his image into your house. It is best to place him near the main door. However, if you can you can also put him by the stairs. Having his image in your office is also a good way into tapping into his protection for your office.
It is also advisable to wear an image of Chung Kwei as a pendant. Wearing his image as a pendant will ensure your protection. I always wear my Chung Kwei black jade pendant whenever I travel and I usually hang it beside my bed when I sleep, especially, if I suspect the hotel room where I’m staying is a Yin room.
However, there are some guidelines when choosing your Chung Kwei.
In choosing an image of a Chung Kwei for your home or office, it is important that:
The image is made of wood, ceramic, porcelain, stone and never plastic or metal, unless it’s made of real gold.
The image of Chung Kwei’s face should be red, black, or at the very least dark color.
The image of Chung Kwei should have a fierce or angry looking face.
The image should also have either all or one of his implements – sword and magical fan.
In choosing a Chung Kwei pendant, it is important that:
This particular Chung Kwei pendant features only the face. Notice the 2 little devils besides him with fearful face, it represents the first devils that Zhong Kui vanquished!
The Chung Kwei pendant (Zhong Kui Pendant) is made of a red stone or black stone (ink jade which is technically green is also acceptable) or real gold. These are the only acceptable material for a Chung Kwei pendant. If getting a gold, make sure that it’s made of either yellow or red gold and not white gold. Anything outside these three are unacceptable. There are some Chung Kwei amulets available that are made of metal painted with gold. That’s not acceptable, plus it really has to be a pendant. It’s also very impolite to put the image of Chung Kwei in your pocket.
This is a sample of an ink jade pendant. It looks like it’s black, but if you put a light behind it it’s green tone will appear. This is acceptable.
The Chung Kwei pendant should have a fierce and/or angry face.
It’s fine to simply get a pendant that just features the face.
The problem is it’s quite difficult to get an image of Chung Kwei either as a pendant or as statuette, unless, you’re from Malaysia and Singapore. In the Philippines, I’ve only seen one or two stores in Chinatown in Binondo that sells good statuette of Chung Kwei. I now have only one piece of the statuette that I got in Singapore that I can dispose of. It is even harder to find a good Chung Kwei pendant, again, unless, you travel to Singapore, Malaysia, or Hong Kong.
This is a rare black jade pendant image of Chung Kwei. Was fortunate enough to find one in Beijing, China in a small shop.
Before wearing or ‘displaying’ your Chung Kwei it is important that you have it bless by a Taoist priest. If a Taoist priest is not immediately available to you, or if the Taoist priest that you met is not familiar with Chung Kwei, you can bless your image yourself.
Blessing an image of a Chung Kwei:
Make sure that your Chung Kwei is really clean from any physical dirt.
Place your Feng Shui on top of a bowl of rock salt or sea salt; adjust accordingly depending on the size of your Chung Kwei.
For pendants cover it with a piece of red paper with your name and birthday on it.
For statuettes, you can place the red paper on its base or foot. Write your complete address.
Leave it there for 3 days.
On the third day, light 3 candles in front o the Chung Kwei while it’s still on top of the rock salt or sea salt. Small candles will do, and make sure they are made of 3 different colors – red, black, and yellow or white.
Burn the paper before 6PM.
You can start wearing or displaying your Chung Kwei the following day.
TO UNDERSTAND MORE ABOUT THE HUNGRY GHOST MONTH, HUNGRY GHOSTS, IT’S EFFECTS, RITUALS AND PROTECTION READ THE FOLLOWING HUNGRY GHOSTS SERIES: