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:
The last object on the 8 Auspicious Objects of Buddhism is the Dharmachakra Wheel.
The truth is Dharmachakra means Wheel, so to call it Dharmachakra Wheel is a bit redundant, however, Dharmachakra Wheel is a term where most people outside Tibet are familiar with, so it is the term that I’ll be using here.
The Dharmachakra Wheel is a symbol of Buddha’s teaching, however, the different parts each have their own iconography. The rim represents the factor of limitation, the hub represents the Earth’s axis, and the eight spokes shows the Eightfold Path dictated by Buddha.
In Feng Shui, the Dharmachakra Wheel is a powerful symbol to use for surmounting all shortcomings. Furthermore, the Dharmachakra Wheel is a powerful protection symbol that we can use to protect all the non-material things that are important to us.
In ancient times the Conch Shell is used as a trumpet horn, and was considered as a symbol of strength and sovereignty. It is also said that ‘heroic figures’ are also given the conch shell as a symbol of gratitude from the ruler. Religiously, specially in Tibetan Buddhism, the conch shell is a ‘vessel’ for holy water and holy oil, and is also used as a trumpet to signify the start of an important religious event.
In Feng Shui, the conch shell is a powerful tool for those who wants to be able to prosper in their business ventures. It is also extremely beneficial for politicians to carry a conch shell because it will help them be stable in their position.
Carrying a conch shell is also a powerful tool to help a person attain a higher level of meditation.
There are a lot of Buddhist and Taoist icons that are depicted either sitting on a lotus or are holding a lotus. This is because the growth pattern of a lotus represents the development that a being can make. The lotus has the ability to blossom out of dirty or muddy water – which represents materialism, the it grows past the water – which indicates experience, and make its way towards the sun – which represents enlightenment. It is a symbol of both mental and spiritual purity. The lotus which is a water flower is a symbol of blossoming decent deeds, that results in purification of the both mind and body.
In Feng Shui, the lotus also has the power to transform bad luck into good luck, and it is also said that the lotus has the power to drive out negative energies.
Wearing an image of the lotus made of a white stone or jade will help bring lots of blessings. It will also help in the attainment of the enlightenment.
In one of my earlier post entitled FENG SHUI TIPS TO ENHANCE WEALTH LUCK, I talked about the treasure vase, now allow me to briefly talked about it again. The treasure vase, even without the ritual and powerful ingredients that goes with it is a very powerful wealth – granting symbol or object. It is a powerful object that brings tons of material and financial prosperity.
In China, a lot of the rich people their has wealth vase hidden in their cupboard or cabinets. Some of the noveau rich in China also has wealth vase in their living rooms. I personally believe that wealth vases should be hidden and not displayed.
A pair of fish represents harmony, good family life, happiness, fertility and recovery. Given that the pair of fish are golden, it also represents abundance. In China, the fish also symbolizes unity and loyalty, and it is for this reason that the golden fish are often offered as wedding gifts to symbolize an abundant long peaceful life of the couple.
Thus a pair of golden fish is good for people who are facing financial troubles with their partners.
I know I have written about some of the 8 Auspicious Objects of Buddhism in passing before, but I really haven’t written about all of them. So please allow me to introduce you to The Eight Auspicious Objects of Buddhism and it’s Feng Shui use.
Before anything else, allow me to share that the 8 Auspicious Objects are a series of different symbols that individually and collectively represents different forms of luck. The Eight Auspicious Objects, which is also called as the Eight Auspicious Symbols, appeared on many different types of Buddhist artifacts like paintings, carvings, etc. Each symbol on its own represents a feature of Buddhist teaching, and corresponds to a certain blessing. When shown together, they become some form a wish-fulfilling symbol of the different aspirations and also becomes a protective symbol.
The Eight Auspicious Objects are the parasol, the wealth vase, lotus, the conch shell, the mystical mystic knot (also known as the endless knot), a pair of golden fish, the victory banner, and the dharmachakra wheel.
The first of these 8 Auspicious Symbols is the Parasol.
As most people know, the parasol which is an umbrella used for protection from the heat and rays of the sun. The parasol is an ancient symbol of protection used by the royalty, thus it represents protection, which is bestowed upon the beholder of this auspicious object.
The Parasol is said to prevent sadness, anguish, and obstacles. Its secondary effect is to protect us from devious spiritual forces. Thus this is the object carried by one of the most powerful protection goddess of Buddhism – the WHITE UMBRELLA GODDESS.
The White Umbrella Goddess which is a powerful protection goddess holds the Parasol.
As it is use by royalty, it can also represent a good life blessed with wealth especially those who are venturing into new things.
The 8 Auspicious Objects of Buddhism Combined into 1 Auspicious Object.