Category Archives: Avalokiteshvara

Thirty-Three Manifestations of Kuan Yin // Chinese and English


Thirty-Three Manifestations of Kuan Yin
Om Mani Peme Hum (5x)

In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground
before beloved Kuan Yin in all her manifestations.
OM
Give prayers to Kuan Yin for intercession in personal and
planetary matters.

~May all beings benefit _/\_
Namo Da Bei Guan Shi Yin

01 楊柳觀音. 大悲楊柳觀世音 哀愍淪溺拔苦疾普入諸趣恆示現 令脫流轉超出塵右手持楊柳枝,以楊柳枝替人消弭病災,誓言拔濟眾生病苦,故亦稱「藥王觀音」,為三十三觀音菩薩的首尊.1. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin who holds a willow branch. (This image represents Kuan Yin’s ability to dispel illness with her healing powers. It teaches us of healing and compassion gained through inner flexibility and non-judgment.) Wo Xiang Yang Liu Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG YANG LEE-OH GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

02 龍頭觀音 聖德龍頭觀世音 照現光華澤物種開眾蒙悋啟慧光 普願有情悟覺明乘雲中之龍,以龍譬喻觀音之威德,是三十三身觀音中的天、龍身。2. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Dragon-Head Kuan Yin. (This image speaks of Kuan Yin’s unlimited powers to free us from lack and unnecessary suffering. It also teaches us how abundance and good fortune can be gained through gratitude.) Wo Xiang Long Tou Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG LOHNG TOE GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

03持經觀音聲聞持經觀世音 覺照內明光嚴飾最勝境界微妙智 不循根塵歸元真坐於岩石上,右手持經卷,是三十三身觀音中的聲聞身. 3. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin who holds the sutras. (This image represents the deeper insights of spiritual teachings. It teaches understanding of both the impermanence and eternity of this world and practical application of true spiritual wisdom.) Wo Xiang Chi Jing Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG TCHE JING GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

04 圓光觀音. 無垢圓光觀世音 性淨明露常寂光能伏眾生災風火 普明圓照遍十方. 身放光明,合掌而坐。「圓光」表觀世音菩薩的福德圓滿無缺。4. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin of complete light. (This image speaks of light dispelling all perceived darkness and misfortune. It teaches us to increase the light in our chakras and how intense fire can purge our lives and consciousness.) Wo Xiang Yuan Guang Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG YU-EN GWANG GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

05 遊戲觀音. 神通遊戲觀世音 自在幻化徧知海 千手千眼救倒懸 三十二應普現身 安坐雲端之上,表觀世音菩薩的教化圓通無礙,不拘時處,示現遊戲自在 5. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin of enjoyment. (This image of the playful, lighthearted KuanYin speaks of her assistance of those on the path of enlightenment. It teaches us to be compassionate toward both our shortcomings and victories.) Wo Xiang You Xi Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG YO SHIH GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

06白衣觀音. 大慈白衣觀世音 隨緣赴感應群機 三昧辯才善誘誨 妙德圓成證菩提 身穿白衣,左手持蓮花,右手作與願印。 白色意指純淨,象徵菩提心,表示觀音胸懷菩提之心, 是三十三身觀音中的比丘、比丘尼身.6. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before White-Robed Kuan Yin. (This image represents the virtuous Kuan Yin, a perfect embodiment of purity. It teaches us fearlessness and helps us to see each other as Kuan Yin sees us.) Wo Xiang Bai Yi Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG BUY YEE GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

07 臥蓮觀音 合掌蓮臥觀世音 寂湛生光寶華開 悟心無際性常凝 圓明清淨大覺海 合掌坐在池中蓮花之上, 是三十三身觀音中的小王身。7. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin who sits on a lotus leaf. (This image shows Kuan Yin as having complete dominion over any perceived darkness. It teaches us what is real and what is not and how to rise above all suffering.) Wo Xiang Lian Wo Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG LEE-EN WHAO GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

08 瀧見觀音 莊嚴瀧見觀世音 妙香芬馥悅意常 般若真智施無畏 進趣真淨妙吉祥 倚於山崖,眺望瀑布。《普門品》云:「假使興害意,推落大火坑, 念彼觀音力,火坑變成池。」為其由來。8. In humble adoration, I bow and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin who views waterfalls. (This image protects us against fires and intense emotions. It teaches us to stay calm, not react to energies flung our way and to stay focused on the desired outcome.) Wo Xiang Long Jian Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG LOHNG JEN GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

09 施藥觀音 寂靜施藥觀世音 尋聲救苦難思議 諦觀圓照三千界 楊枝淨水洗凡塵 坐於池邊,右手托頰,倚於膝上,凝視著面前的蓮花。 施藥觀音因能施予良藥,除治眾生身心病苦而得名。9. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin who gives medicine. (This image helps to dispel disease and all other difficult circumstances. It teaches us about compassion and how to be free from anger.) Wo Xiang Shi Yao Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG SHUH YAO GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

10 魚籃觀音. 除障魚籃觀世音 慈無能勝演圓音 精真洞然眾業海 六道群迷蒙慈恩 乘於大魚背上,或一手提盛有大魚之籃。 表示排除羅剎、毒龍、惡鬼等障礙。 10. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin of the fish basket. (This image speaks of saving lives and souls. It teaches us to be kind to all forms of life and when to sacrifice for the benefit of others.) Wo Xiang Yu Lan Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG YU LAHN GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

11德王觀音赴感德王觀世音 性淨妙常香光嚴慧啟群萌觀自在 梵王身相應現來趺坐於岩上,右手持綠葉一枝。是三十三身觀音中的梵王身。梵王為色界之王,因德性高超故名「德王」11. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin as King of Merit. (This image is about accomplishments and a sense of spiritual worthiness. It teaches us of true virtues and how to become a person of integrity and spiritual refinement.) Wo Xiang De Wang Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG DUH WAHNG GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

12 水月觀音吉祥水月觀世音 寶光常寂照三途解結怨瞋八難苦 周徧寂湛大悲母月下乘蓮瓣,飄蕩海面觀看映照水上之月。是三十三身觀音中的辟支佛身。12. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin of moon and water. (This image speaks of cause and effect. It teaches us about reality, unreality and how our outer life is a reflection of some aspect of our own consciousness.) Wo Xiang Shui Yue Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG SHUE YEH GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

13 一葉觀音. 乘蓮一葉觀世音 解縈眾生煩惱結 法音常轉廣長舌 定慧等持契果覺13. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before One-Leaf Kuan Yin. (Floating upon a single leaf, Kuan Yin protects us from perishing in the astral sea. It teaches us to remain centered and how to master our subconscious energies.) Wo Xiang Yi Ye Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG YEE YEH GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

14青頸觀音 勇健青頸觀世音 大悲示現威猛相 晦闇長夜為燈燭 苦海波翻作舟航 坐於斷崖上,右膝立起,右手置於膝上, 左手扶著岩壁,旁置一有柳枝之瓶, 是三十三身觀音中的佛身。14. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Blue-Throat Kuan Yin. (This image protects us from various poisons. It teaches us to be mindful of our speech and to always be in a vibration of loving-kindness.) Wo Xiang Qing Jing Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG CHIN JING GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

15 威德觀音 攝眾威德觀世音 摧破邪妖鎮魍魎 天大將軍度滄海 普門示現降吉祥 岩上觀水,左手持蓮花,右手著地。 是三十三身觀音中的天大將軍身。15. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin of power and virtue. (This image protects us from perceived oppressive authorities. It teaches us to focus our energies on expanding the good and pouring creative light into our goals.) Wo Xiang Wei De Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG WAY DUH GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

16 延命觀音 息災延命觀世音 滅諸咒詛毒怨害 懸示留礙輪迴種 紫金光照覺滄海 倚水邊岩上,悠然觀賞景物。 此尊能消除咒詛及毒藥,令眾生延命長壽故稱「延命」。 乘一葉蓮瓣浮於水面漂行。 是三十三身觀音中的宰官身。16. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin who extends life. (This image protects us from the fear of curses and poisons. It teaches us that light is our protection and that, by the law of attraction, harm always returns to its source.) Wo Xiang Yan Ming Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG YEN MING GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

17 眾寶觀音 妙嚴眾寶觀世音 般若光宣示真際 寂靜明心覺觀照 長者身相度群迷 坐在地上,右手向地,左手放在彎起的膝上, 是三十三身觀音中的長者身.17. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin of various treasures. (This image offers spiritual seekers inner fortification and protection. It teaches us to seek help when we have gone off course and that one person’s prayer can make a difference for the many.)Wo Xiang Zhong Bao Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG DJUHNG BAO GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

18 岩戶觀音 寂然岩戶觀世音 淨眼普觀周沙界 息滅三毒貪愛苦 蚖蛇蝮蝎出窟穴 端坐於岩窟內。 《普門品》云:「蚖蛇及蝮蠍,氣毒煙火燃,念彼觀音力,尋聲自迴去。」 因這些毒蟲多盤踞洞穴內,為免其出洞危害眾生,觀音因此坐鎮岩窟中保護眾生。18. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin of the rock cave. (This image offers protection from negative vibrations and negative perceptions. It teaches us how to properly care for our bodies and to guard the gate of consciousness.) Wo Xiang Yan Hu Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG YEN WHO GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

19 能靜觀音 安穩能靜觀世音 開示法藏戒定慧 三無漏學善護念 悲智雙運登覺岸 坐水邊岩上,雙手安置石上作靜寂相。 能靜觀音因能救護遭難者,使得平靜安穩而得名,為海路守護神。19. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin who calms. (This image helps us to be centered. It teaches us how to overcome anger and ignorance and not to be moved by any appearance or experience.) Wo Xiang Neng Jing Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG NUNG JING GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

20 阿耨觀音. 觀海阿耨觀世音 妙善圓明不思議 銷塵龍魚諸鬼難 度脫有情出淪溺立右膝坐於岩上,雙手抱膝觀望大海。20. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Anu Kuan Yin. (This image represents the sacred mountain lake Anu. The rivers flowing from the lake pour out heavenly blessings in every direction. It teaches us about the path of the Bodhisattva and bids us to spread the message of Kuan Yin’s transmuting powers of mercy and compassion to the world.) Wo Xiang Anu Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG AH-NOO GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

21阿摩提觀音 無畏觀音阿摩提 毘沙門天威神力 顧盼微塵目雄毅 智慧照見離苦際 雙手置膝上,遍身有光焰坐在岩上, 是三十三身觀音中的毘沙門身。21. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin of fearlessness. (This image bestows fearlessness when in challenging circumstances. It teaches us to be filled with love and guard against judging reality by what is perceived through the five senses.) Wo Xiang A Mo Ti Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG AH-MO-TEE GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

22葉衣觀音 圓明葉衣觀世音 三千威儀妙慈容 神光內凝覺真澄 心光發宣帝釋身 坐於敷草的岩上,是三十三身觀音中的帝釋身22. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Leaves-Robe Kuan Yin. (This image protects against disease and ensures longevity. It teaches us how to work with the forces of nature and to gain wisdom through observing the manifestations of cosmic law.) Wo Xiang Ye Yi Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG YEH YEE GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

23 琉璃觀音. 淨妙琉璃觀世音 旋湛清瑩熙怡相 息諸災厄成虛淨 銷滅三毒證菩提 觀音雙手捧琉璃香爐(或缽),乘蓮瓣浮於水面, 是三十三身觀音中的自在天身。23. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Vaidurya Kuan Yin. (This image is for healing. It teaches us to use lapis lazuli for healing and to bless and pray for all suffering life.) Wo Xiang Liu Li Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG LEE-OH LEE GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

24 多羅觀音 救苦多羅觀世音 與樂拔苦現剎塵 甘露徧灑十方界 遍應六趣普現身 直立乘雲,合掌,手持青蓮花。 梵名「多羅」亦為救度,故又名「救度母觀音」。 《普門品》云:「或值怨賊繞,各執刀加害, 念彼觀音力,咸即起慈心。」為此尊由來。24. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Tara Kuan Yin. (This image is of the Mother of Salvation. It teaches us about the feminine aspect of God and how to always view others with healing compassion.) Wo Xiang Duo Luo Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG DOH LOE GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

25 蛤蜊觀音 啟悟蛤蜊觀世音 慈誨愛語殷玄示 無礙神變覺有情 歷劫熏修應微塵 自蛤蜊貝殼中示現,是三十三身觀音中的菩薩身 25. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin of the clam. (This image protects us from perceived harm. It teaches us how to overcome certain states of consciousness and how to open closed, unmoving hearts and situations.) Wo Xiang Ge Li Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG GUH LEE GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

26 六時觀音. 淨光六時觀世音 晝夜開敷慈音揚 普願輪迴諸眾生 咸令安樂超出相 右手持梵篋的立像,此篋是六字章句陀羅尼, 誦之得脫六道苦果得六妙門,證六根相應。 為三十三身觀音中的居士身。 26. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin of six hours. (This image reminds us of Kuan Yin’s omnipresence and omniscience. It teaches us mastery over time and about being present in the Now.)Wo Xiang Liu Shi Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG LEE-OH SHIH GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

27 普悲觀音. 寶光普悲觀世音 妙相慈顏淨端嚴 圓明照徹三有海 大自在天聖威神 雙手披衣,立於山嶽之上。 「普慈」意即普遍施給眾生慈悲。 是三十三身觀音中的大自在天身。27. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin of universal compassion. (This image brings promises of an end to all suffering. It teaches us about compassion as the nexus between heaven and earth, and how to attain enlightenment by actively practicing compassion.) Wo Xiang Pu Bei Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG POO BAY GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

28 馬郎觀音. 善德觀音馬郎婦 寂妙湛然淨明露 夢幻泡影示出離 光照癡闇煩惱除 民間婦女形象。 即在「魚籃觀音」故事中化身為少女嫁給馬郎的觀音。 是三十三身觀音中的婦女身。28. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin, called the wife of Ma-Lang. (This image bids us to demonstrate the path to higher consciousness. It teaches discernment of spirits and prepares us to share our insights with others.) Wo Xiang Ma Lang Fu Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG MA LANG FOO GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

29 合掌觀音. 禮敬合掌觀世音 耳根圓通法門開 清淨寶覺徧含容 普令解脫越苦海 合掌立於蓮華臺上,乃三十三身觀音中的婆羅門身。29. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin of prayer. (This image represents dedication of one’s life to a spiritual path. It teaches us about devotion and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.) Wo Xiang He Zhang Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG HERH JAHNG GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

30 一如觀音. 法性一如觀世音 大悲如海性圓澄 慈音無遮開沉惑 直趣覺海不二門 觀音坐在雲中蓮華座上立左膝,現征伏雷電之姿, 為《普門品》云:「雲雷鼓掣電,降雹澍大雨, 念彼觀音力,應時得消散。」之表徵。30. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin of oneness. (This image represents harmony. It teaches us to rise above the vibrations of this world and to remain centered when experiencing the appearance of negative energy.) Wo Xiang Yi Ru Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG YEE ROO GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

31 不二觀音 圓融不二觀世音 普救眾生施無畏 金剛教化覺岸回 無上妙淨蓮池會 兩手低垂,乘一片蓮葉浮於水面, 是三十三身觀音中的執金剛神身。31. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin of non-duality. (This image promises protection from perceived negative energies. It teaches us how to suspend judgment and conquer our belief in any internal or external division.) Wo Xiang Bu Er Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG BOO-AHR GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

32 持蓮觀音. 妙哉持蓮觀世音 缽頭摩華淨妙香 十四無畏功德藏 六道眾生同悲仰 雙手執持一莖蓮華,是三十三身觀音中的童男童女身。32. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin holding a lotus. (This image represents the vow of the bodhisattva. It teaches us to correctly perceive the requirement of the hour and how to consciously work with the energies of our chakras.) Wo Xiang Chi Lian Hua Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG TCHE LEE-EN HWA GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

33 灑水觀音. 清淨灑水觀世音 妙湛慈母化閻浮 如海印現悉平等 普濟含識出三途 又名滴水觀音,左手持缽,右手執楊枝作灑水狀。33. In humble adoration, I kneel and touch my forehead to the ground before Kuan Yin who sprinkles pure water. (This image represents the many blessings of Kuan Yin. It teaches us about the healing, transforming powers of forgiveness, mercy and compassion.) Wo Xiang Sa Shui Guan Yin Kou Tou (WHA CHIANG SAH SHUE GWAN YIN KOE TOE) (3x) OM

Quietly give thanks to Kuan Yin for always hearing our prayers

MAY ALL BEINGS BENEFIT
_/\_ AMITUOFO

 

English Translation source

Buddhist Conviction


行善不難,難於發心。
“Practicing wholesome deeds is not difficult.
Rather, the difficulty lies in the cultivation of
a mindset to make and uphold solemn vows.”

-Ven  Xian Zhong Shi

Great Compassion Dharani Sutra


Great Compassion Dharani Sutra

Thus I have heard, once Sakyamuni Buddha was at Potalaka Mountain, in the treasure-adorned Way-place in Avalokitesvara’s palace, sitting on a precious Lion-Throne adorned in purity with countless multifarious Mani-jewels. Hundreds of precious streamers and banners were hanging all around.

At that time, the Tathagata, who was sitting on his throne, intending to explain a teaching of the Total-Retention Dharani, was along with innumerable Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas, whose names are: Dharani King Bodhisattva, Treasure King Bodhisattva, Bhaisajya-Raja(Medicine King) Bodhisattva, Bhaisajya-Samudgata(Medicine Superior) Bodhisattva, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, Maha-stamaprapta(Great Strength) Bodhisattva, Avatamsaka Bodhisattva, Great Sublime Bodhisattva, Precious Deposits Bodhisattva, Virtue Store Bodhisattva, Vajragarbha Bodhisattva, Akasagarbha(Space Store) Bodhisattva, Maitreya Bodhisattva, Samantabhadra(Universal Goodness) Bodhisattva, Manjusri Bodhisattva, and so on. Such Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas are all great Dharma-Princes who had been empowered through their crowns (Abhiseka).

The Buddha was also along with innumerable great Voice-Hearers (Sravakas), all of whom were practicing the tenth stage of Arhat, headed by Maha-Kasyapa;

He was also along with innumerable gods of Brahma-Heaven, headed by Sinza-Brahma;

Also along with Him were innumerable Gods of heavens of the desire realm, headed by Gopaka-God;

Also along with Him were innumerable four-guardian-gods, headed by Dhritarastra;

Also along with Him were innumerable gods, dragons, Yakshas, Gandharvas, Asuras, Garudas, Kinnaras, Mahoragas, human beings, Amanusyas, headed by Heavenly Virtue great dragon king;

Also along with Him were innumerable goddesses of heavens of the desire realm, headed by Virginal Eye goddesses;

Also along with Him were innumerable Sunyatas(Gods of spaces), gods of rivers and oceans, gods of fountains and spring, gods of stream and pond, gods of herb, gods of forest, gods of houses, gods of water, gods of fire, gods of earth, gods of wind, gods of ground, gods of mountains, gods of rocks, gods of palaces, and so on.

They all came and gathered in the congregation.

At that time in the congregation, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva secretly emitted his sacrosanct light, thereupon, the worlds in the ten directions, along with this three-thousand-great-thousand worlds system, were all illuminated and became golden. Heavenly palaces, palaces of dragons, and palaces of all gods were all shaken. Rivers, oceans, Iron-Ring Mountains (Cakravada-parvata), Sumeru Mountains, Earth Mountains, and black mountains were also shaken. The light of suns, moons, pearls, fire, and constellations all disappeared.

Witnessing this rare scene, Dharani King Bodhisattva was more surprised than ever before, so he arose from his seat, joined his palms and asked the Buddha with a Gatha(verse):

“Who achieved the Correct-Awakening today,
emitting such great bright light universally?
The worlds of the ten directions are all golden,
so do these three-thousand-great-thousand worlds.

Who attained the ultimate freedom today,
manifesting the rare great holy power?
Innumerable Buddha-Worlds are shaken,
so do palaces of dragons and gods.

Now the entire congregation is wondering,
not knowing whose power caused these.
Is he a Buddha, Bodhisattva, or great Voice-Hearer,
or a Brahman, demon, heavenly god, or Sakra?

We pray for the Bhagavan (World Honored One)’s Great Compassion,
to tell us the source of this great supernatural power.”

The Buddha told Dharani King Bodhisattva: “Virtuous man, you all should know that in this congregation there is a Bodhisattva-Mahasattva named Avalokitesvara, the Unrestricted One. He had achieved the Great Kindness and Great Compassion since uncountable Kalpas before, and he excels at practicing countless Dharani-Gates. In order to comfort and please all living-beings, he secretly emits such great sacrosanct power.

After the Buddha said that, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva arose from his seat, tidied up his clothes, joined his palms towards the Buddha and said:

“Bhagavan, I have a mantra of Great-Compassionate Heart Dharani and now wish to proclaim it, for comforting and pleasing all living beings; for healing all illness; for living beings to attain additional lifespan; for living beings to gain wealth; for extinguishing all evil karma and weighty sins; for keeping away from hindrance and disasters; for producing merits of all White (pure) Dharmas; for maturing all virtuous-roots; for overcoming all fears; for fulfilling all good wishes. Bhagavan, please be merciful and allow me to speak.”

The Buddha said: “Virtuous man, you have great kindness and great compassion, in order to comfort and please all living beings, you wish to speak the holy mantra, it is the proper time now, please speak it soon, the Tathagata approves and rejoices it, and so do all Buddhas.”

Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva then said to the Buddha: “Bhagavan, I remember that countless billions of kalpas ago, a Buddha, whose name was Thousand Rays King Stillness Thus Come One, appeared in the world. Because of his mercy and mindfulness towards me and all living beings, that Buddha, the World Honored One spoke this Vast, Perfect, Unimpeded, Great Compassionate Heart Dharani, rubbed my crown with his golden hand and said: ‘Virtuous man, you should hold this heart-mantra to give great benefit and happiness to all living beings in the future evil age.’ At that time I was just at the first Bhumi(stage of Bodhisattva), right after hearing this mantra, I exceeded the eighth Bhumi. At that time, as my heart was joyful, I vowed: ‘If I will be able to give benefit and happiness to all living beings in the future, let me have one thousand hands and one thousand eyes immediately.’ Instantly after the vow, I got fully one thousand hands and one thousand eyes on my body, then, the grounds of the worlds of the ten directions quaked in six ways, thousands of Buddhas of the ten directions emitted their light to my body and illuminated boundless worlds of the ten directions. From then on, from countless Buddhas and congregations, I have repeatedly heard, accepted and held this Dharani, and the joys were also repeatedly aroused from my heart, and made me greatly enthusiastic. Therefore, I transcended imperceptible births and deaths of countless billions of kalpas. Since then, I have always been reciting and holding this mantra, and have never forgotten it. Because of holding this mantra, I was always born by miraculous creation (nirmana) from lotuses in front of Buddhas, and have never been born from any womb.”

“If there are monks(Bhikshus), nuns(Bhikshunis), laymen(Upasakas), laywomen(Upasikas), pure youth and maidens who wish to recite and hold(keep reciting) this mantra, they should first arouse heir great merciful and compassionate hearts for all living beings, and follow me in making these vows:

(* The pronunciation of “Namo” is [na:mo:] in international phonetic symbols)

Namo great compassionate Avalokitesvara, May I quickly know all Dharmas;
Namo great compassionate Avalokitesvara, May I soon obtain the Wisdom Eye;
Namo great compassionate Avalokitesvara, May I quickly ferry all living beings (to the shore of liberation);
Namo great compassionate Avalokitesvara, May I soon obtain virtuous skillful means (to enlighten various living beings);
Namo great compassionate Avalokitesvara, May I quickly board the Prajna Boat;
Namo great compassionate Avalokitesvara, May I soon transcend the ocean of suffering;
Namo great compassionate Avalokitesvara, May I quickly achieve precepts, Samadhi and the Way;
Namo great compassionate Avalokitesvara, May I soon ascend the mountain of Nirvana;
Namo great compassionate Avalokitesvara, May I quickly dwell in the house of non-action;
Namo great compassionate Avalokitesvara, May I soon unite with the Dharma-Nature Body.

If I go towards the mountain of knives, the mountain of knives of itself breaks up;
If I go towards the boiling oil, the boiling oil of itself dries up;
If I go towards the hells, the hells of themselves disappear;
If I go towards the hungry ghosts, the hungry ghosts of themselves become full.
If I go towards the Asuras, their evil thoughts of themselves are tamed.
If I go towards the animals, they themselves attain great wisdom.”

“After making these vows, recite my name(Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva) with the deep-felt sincere heart, also recite single-mindedly the name of my teacher — Amitabha Tathagata(Namo Amitabha), then recite this mantra, 5 times or more in a day, to remove from the body the weighty sins of births and deaths accumulated in hundreds of thousands of billions of kalpas.”

Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva then said to the Buddha: “Bhagavan, if humans or gods recite and hold the phrases of the Great Compassion Dharani, when they are about to die, all the Buddhas of the ten directions will come to receive them with their hands, and they will be reborn in whichever Buddha-World according to their wishes.”

Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva continued to say to the Buddha: “Bhagavan, Should any living being who recites and holds the holy mantra of Great Compassion fall into the three evil paths, I vow not to achieved the Correct-Awakening.

Should any living being who recites and holds the holy mantra of Great Compassion not be reborn in any Buddha-World, I vow not to achieve the Correct-Awakening.

Should any living being who recites and holds the holy mantra of Great Compassion not obtain unlimited Samadhis and eloquence, I vow not to achieve the Correct-Awakening.

Should any living being who recites and holds the holy mantra of Great Compassion not obtain whatever he seeks in his present life, then it cannot be called the Dharani of the Great Compassionate Heart, unless it is used by those who are not virtuous or not completely sincere.

If a woman dislikes her female body and wishes to become a male, if she recites the phrases of the Great Compassion Dharani but can not change from a female to a male, I vow not to achieve the Correct-Awakening. However, if she arouses even a slightest doubt, her wish will not be satisfied.

If any living being usurps the drinks, foods, or possessions of Sanghas (group of monks), even though one thousand Buddhas appear in the world, he will not get to repent and reform. Even if he repents, his sins will not be eliminated. But now, by reciting this Great Compassion holy mantra, his sins will be eliminated. If anyone usurps, eats, or uses the drinks, foods, or possessions of Sanghas, he must repent to teachers of the ten directions to eliminate his sins. Now, when he reties this Great Compassion Dharani, the teachers of the ten directions will come to bear witness, and then all his weighty sins and hindrances will be eliminated.

All evil karma and weighty sins such as the ten evil deeds, the five rebellious sins, slandering people, slandering the Dharmas, breaking the Abstinent-precepts (*), breaking other precepts, destroying stupas (holy towers), wrecking temples, stealing properties of Sanghas, and profaning Brahma (pure) practices, can be completely eliminated (by reciting this Dharani), except this: if one has doubts about this Dharani, then even his small sins and light karma cannot be eliminated, not to mention the weighty sins. Although the weighty sins do not disappear immediately, the reciting can still be the cause of Bodhi in the future.”

(* Abstinent-precepts: The precepts of Tzie/Zhai. To observe these precepts, one must:
1. eats only vegetarian food;
2. takes only one meal before noon each day, eating after noon is prohibited;
3. also keeps the five basic precepts: no killing, no stealing, no sexual misconduct, no false speech, no consumption of alcohol.)

Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva continued to say to the Buddha:
“People and gods who recite and hold the Great Compassionate Heart Dharani will obtain fifteen kinds of good birth and will not suffer fifteen kinds of bad death. The bad deaths are:

1. They will not die of starvation or poverty;
2. They will not die from having been yoked, imprisoned, caned or otherwise beaten;
3. They will not die at the hands of hostile enemies;
4. They will not be killed in military battle;
5. They will not be killed by tigers, wolves, or other fierce beasts;
6. They will not die from the venom of poisonous snakes, black serpents, or scorpions;
7. They will not drown or be burned to death;
8. They will not be poisoned to death;
9. They will not be killed by mediumistic insects;
10. They will not die of madness or insanity;
11. They will not be killed by landslides or falling trees;
12. They will not die of nightmares sent by evil people;
13. They will not be killed by deviant spirits or evil ghosts;
14. They will not die of evil illnesses that bind the body;
15. They will not commit suicide;

Those who recite and hold the Great Compassion Holy Mantra will not suffer any of these fifteen kinds of bad death and will obtain the following fifteen kinds of good birth:

1. Their place of birth will always have a good king;
2. They will always be born in a good country;
3. They will always be born at a good time;
4. They will always meet virtuous friends;
5. The organs of their body will always be complete;
6. Their hearts of Way(Bodhi) will be pure and mature;
7. They will not violate the prohibitive precepts;
8. All their relatives will be kind and harmonious;
9. They will always have the necessary wealth and goods in abundance;
10. They will always obtain the respect and help of others;
11. Their possessions will not be plundered;
12. They will obtain everything they seek;
13. Dragons, gods, and good spirits will always protect them;
14. In the place where they are born they will see the Buddha and hear the Dharma;
15. They will awaken to the profound meaning of that Proper Dharma which they hear.

Those who recite and hold the Great Compassionate Heart Dharani will obtain these fifteen kinds of good birth. All gods and people should constantly recite and hold it without laziness.”

After saying that, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva joined his palms and stood upright in front of the congregation, aroused his great compassionate heart for all living beings, smiled and in this way spoke the Sacrosanct Wonderful Phrases of the Vast, Perfect, Unimpeded, Great Compassionate Heart Great Dharani. The Dharani is:

—Audio of Dharani Chinese Chant  http://www.e-sangha.com/alphone/dabei_ch.mp3

— Audio of Dharani  Sanskrit  http://www.e-sangha.com/alphone/dabei_sk.mp3

Namo ratna-trayāya
Namo āriyā-valokite-śvarāya
Bodhi-sattvāya Maha-sattvāya Mahā-kārunikāya
Om sarva rabhaye sudhanadasya
Namo skritva imam
āryā-valokite-śvara ramdhava
Namo narakindi hrih Mahā-vadha-svā-me
Sarva-arthato-śubham ajeyam
Sarva-sata Namo-vasat Namo-vāka mavitāto
Tadyathā
Om avaloki-lokate-karate-e-hrih Mahā-bodhisattva
Sarva sarva
Mala mala
Mahi Mahi ridayam
Kuru kuru karmam
Dhuru dhuru
vijayate Mahā-vijayati
Dhara dhara dhrini
śvarāya cala cala
Mama vimala muktele
Ehi ehi śina śina
ārsam prasari
viśva viśvam prasaya
Hulu hulu mara
Hulu hulu hrih
Sara sara Siri siri Suru suru
Bodhiya Bodhiya Bodhaya Bodhaya
Maitreya narakindi dhrish-nina bhayamana svāhā
Siddhāya svāhā
Maha siddhāya svāhā
Siddha-yoge-śvaraya svāhā
Narakindi svāhā
Māranara svāhā
śira simha-mukhāya svāhā
Sarva mahā-asiddhaya svāhā
Cakra-asiddhāya svāhā
Padma-kastāya svāhā
Narakindi-vagalāya svaha
Mavari-śankharāya svāhā
Namo ratna-trāyāya
Namo āryā-valokite-śvaraya svāhā
Om Sidhyantu mantra padāya svāhā

When Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva finished speaking this mantra, the earth shook in six ways. The heavens rained down precious flowers, which fell in colorful profusion. All the Buddhas of the ten directions were delighted, while the heavenly demons and Exterior-paths practitioners were so frightened that their hair stood on end. Everyone in the congregation achieved different fruitions, including the fruitions of stream-enterer (srota-apanna), once-returner (sakrd-agamin), non-returner (Anagamin), and Arhat; others achieved the first Bhumi(stage of Bodhisattva), the second Bhumi, the third, fourth, fifth …… up to the tenth Bhumi. Innumerable living beings aroused the Bodhi-Heart (The resolve to save all living beings and help them to achieve the Correct Awakening).

Then the great Brahma heavenly king arose from his seat, tidied up his clothes, joined his palms respectfully, and said to Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva: “How virtuous, Mahasattva! I had attended innumerable Buddha-Congregations and heard myriads of Dharmas and Dharanis, but never before had I heard such Sacrosanct Wonderful Phrases of the Unimpeded Great Compassionate Heart’s Great Compassion Dharani. Mahasattva, please tell us the feature and characteristics of this Dharani, all of us will be pleased to know that.”

Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva told the Brahma king: “For the convenience of benefiting all living beings, you have asked me this question. Now you listen carefully, and I will tell you in brief.”

Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva said: “It is the great merciful and compassionate heart, the impartial heart, the motionless heart, the unpolluted and unattached heart, the emptiness-observing heart, the respectful heart, the humble heart, the uncluttered heart, the non-view and non-grasping heart, and the uppermost Bodhi-Heart. You should know that such hearts are the feature and characteristics of this Dharani, you should practice according to them.”

Then the great Brahma king said: “We now know the feature and characteristics of this Dharani, from now on, we will recite and hold it and will never dare to forget or loss it.”

Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva said: “If any virtuous men or virtuous women, who recite and hold this holy Dharani, can arouse the vast Bodhi-Heart that vow to ferry all living beings to the shore of liberation, keep the Abstinent-precepts(*) bodily, arouse the heart of equality towards all living beings, keep reciting this Dharani without interruption, reside in a clean room, wash themselves clean, wear clean clothes, hang up streamers and light up lamps, make offerings with fragrances, flowers, vegetable foods of hundreds of tastes, make their hearts stay still at one place, do not think about others, and recite and hold this Dharani according to the Dharma, then, Sunlight Bodhisattva, Moonlight Bodhisattva and innumerable gods and immortals will come to bear witness and enhance the efficacy of their recitation.”

“At that time, I will illuminate them with a thousand eyes, and protect and support them with a thousand hands. From then on, they will be able to master all worldly literature, and will perfectly understand all Exterior-paths’ theories and sorceries, as well as the Veda Scriptures.”

“One who recites and holds this holy mantra can heal all the 84000 kinds of diseases of the world, without exception. He also can command all ghosts and spirits, vanquish heavenly demons, and tame all Exterior-paths practitioners.”

“If one is reading Sutras or practicing Dhyana (Zen) in a mountain or a wild field, and some mountain-spirits, various ghosts, demons, monsters or Devas come to disturb and make him unable to concentrate, recite this mantra once, then all those ghosts and spirits will be tied up.”

“If one can recites this Mantra in accord with Dharma and arouse merciful and compassionate heart towards all living beings, I will then command all virtuous gods, dragon kings, and Vajra Secret-Traces Divinities to always follow and guard him, never leaving his side, guarding him as their own eyes and lives.”

Then Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva said the Gatha:

“I command the Vajra Secret-Traces Knights: Ucchusma, Kundalin, Ankusa, and the eight clans’ powerful knight Shankara,
to guard the Mantra-holders constantly;

I command Mahesvaras, Narayana, Kumbhiraba and Kapila,
to guard the Mantra-holders constantly;

I command Pajis, Sahassakkhas, perfect-virtuous chebuds and Kimnaras,
to guard the Mantra-holders constantly;

I command Sajamahoras, Kumbhandas, Katabhutanas, and Banjras,
to guard the Mantra-holders constantly;

I command Bhipagara kings, and morality Vitasaharas,
to guard the Mantra-holders constantly;

I command Brahma king Sambra, the five clans of pure-abode heavens and Yamarajas,
to guard the Mantra-holders constantly;

I command Sakra Devanam indra, the Lord of the thirty-three heavens, Sarasvatis, and Vardhanas,
to guard the Mantra-holders constantly;

I command Dhritarastra king, Haritis, goddess and great strength gods,
to guard the Mantra-holders constantly;

I command Virudhaka king, Virupaksa king and Vaisravana king,
to guard the Mantra-holders constantly;

I command the Golden Peacock King, and the twenty-eight clans of great immortals,
to guard the Mantra-holders constantly;

I command Manibhadra, and Pancika-imperator Phalava,
to guard the Mantra-holders constantly;

I command Nanda, Upandanda, and the Sagara dragon-king Ibhra,
to guard the Mantra-holders constantly;

I command the Asuras, Gandharvas, Karunas, Kimnaras, and Mahoragas,
to guard the Mantra-holders constantly;

I command the gods of water, fire, thunder, lightning, Kumbhanda king and Pisacas,
to guard the Mantra-holders constantly;

“Those virtuous gods, dragon-kings and goddess, each along with 500 retinues of great-strength Yaksas, will always follow and guard the holders of the Great Compassion Holy Mantra. If the Mantra-holder dwells and sleeps alone in an uninhabited mountain or wilderness, those virtuous gods will guard him by turns to eliminate misfortunes. If the Mantra-holder loses his way deep in the mountain, because of reciting this Mantra, the virtuous gods and dragon-kings will transform themselves into virtuous people and tell him the correct way. If the Mantra-holder lacks water or requires fire in a mountain, forest, or wilderness, the dragon-kings will protect him by miraculously creating water and fire for him.”

Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva then said a misfortune-eliminating and refreshingly cool Gatha(verse):

“When walking in wilderness, mountain or marsh,
if encountering tigers, wolves, or other fierce beasts,
or snakes, spirits, demons, monsters, ghosts,
they will be unable to harm the Mantra-holder when they hear this Mantra;

When voyaging on river or sea,
poisoned dragons, flood dragons and Makaras,
Yaksas, Rakshas, fishes, and soft-shelled turtles,
will dodge when they hear this Mantra;

If besieged by battle arrays or robbers,
or being robbed by villains,
recite the Great Compassion Dharani sincerely,
those villains will show mercy and go back;

If one is imprisoned by government official,
jailed, chained and locked,
recite the Great Compassion Dharani sincerely,
the officer will show mercy and set him free;

If entered a house of a poisonous insects raising family in a wild way,
the family purpose to venom with drinks, foods or medicines,
recite the Great Compassion Dharani sincerely,
the poison will turn to nectar;

When a woman is giving birth to a child,
evil demons comes to obstruct the birth and causing suffering and oppressive pain,
recite the Great Compassion Dharani sincerely,
the demons will disperse, leaving a safe and comfortable birth;

If evil dragons or pestilence ghosts spread poison,
people are infected by pyrexia and about to die,
recite the Great Compassion Dharani sincerely,
diseases will be healed and lives of people will be lengthen;

If evil dragons or ghosts spread the tumescent diseases,
people suffer from carbuncles, sore, abscess, ulcer and bleeding,
recite the Great Compassion Dharani sincerely,
then spit three times to the abscesses and it will be cured.

If there are muddled and wicked living beings who aroused immoral minds,
causing hatred by sending nightmares, ghosts and curses to you,
recite the Great Compassion Dharani sincerely,
then the hexes and evil spells will return to its original senders.

When Dharma is about to disappear,
the world is evil, feculent and disordered,
poeple’s sexual desire are like raging fire,
their hearts are deluded and they confuse right and wrong.
They have adulteries behind their spouses,
and think of lust days and nights ceaselessly.
If they can recite the Great Compassion Dharani sincerely,
the fire of sexual desire will quench and the evil minds will extinguish.

If I glorify the effect and power of this Mantra in detail,
even one kalpa is not enough for the glorification.”

Then Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva told the Brahmas: “Recite this Mantra 5 times, use threads of 5 colors to tie knots, then recite the Dharani 21 times, tie 21 knots, wear it on neck. This Mantra has been spoken by previous 9.9 billions Ganges-river-sands Buddhas.

Those Buddhas spoke this Mantra for the practitioners who practice the six Perfections (Paramita) but have not yet fulfilled them, to make them succeed quickly;

For those who have not yet aroused Bodhi-Heart, to make them arouse their Bodhi-Heart quickly;

For Sravakas who have not yet achieved fruitions, to make them achieve fruitions quickly;

For all gods and supernatural persons in the three-thousand-great-thousand worlds, who have not yet aroused the unsurpassed Bodhi-Heart, to make them arouse the Bodhi-Heart quickly;

For all living beings who have not yet gained the root of faith in Mahayana, with the mighty holy power of this Dharani, their seeds of Mahayana and Dharma-buds will grow quickly; with the power of my expedients, mercy and compassion, all of their needs will be supplied.

For those living beings of the three evil paths, who live in the gloomy regions of the three-thousand-great-thousand worlds, when they hear this Mantra, they will all be free from suffering;

For Bodhisattvas who have not yet achieved the first Bhumi, to make them achieve quickly, and make them achieve even up to the tenth Bhumi, and even up to the Buddhahood, with the thirty-two marks and the eighty minor marks achieved naturally.

If a Voice-Hearer (Sravaka) once hears this Dharani pass by his ears, if he practices and writes this Dharani, and if he settles down with straightforward heart in accord with Dharma, then he will naturally achieve the four Sramana-fruits even if he does not seek for the fruitions.

Suppose all the mountains, rivers, cliffs, and oceans in the three-thousand-great-thousand worlds can be boiled; the Sumeru mountains and Cakravada-parvata mountains can be shaken, and grinded to dust, all living beings of that magnitude will arouse the unsurpassed Bodhi-Hearts [by the power of this Dharani].

If anyone prays for any wish in his present life, he should keep the Abstinent-precepts(*) and keep reciting this Dharani for 21 days, then his wishes will certainly be fulfilled. From the verge of the previous birth-and-death to the verge of the next birth-and-death, all his evil karmas will be cleaned up. In the three-thousand-great-thousand worlds, all the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Brahmas, Sakra Devanam-Indra (heavenly lord), the four guardian gods, divinities, immortals, and dragon-kings, will bear witness.”

(* Abstinent-precepts: The precepts of Tzie/Zhai. To observe these precepts, one must:
1. eats only vegetarian food;
2. takes only one meal before noon each day, eating after noon is prohibited;
3. also keeps the five basic precepts: no killing, no stealing, no sexual misconduct, no false speech, no consumption of alcohol.)

“If a human or heavenly being, who recites and holds this Dharani, baths in a river or a sea, the nearby living beings wet by his bath-water will have all their weighty sins cleaned and be reborn in pure-lands of other directions. They will be born through miraculous creation from lotuses, and will not undergo birth from wombs, moistures, or eggs. How much more so, for those who recite and hold this Dharani themselves!”

“If one who recites and holds this Dharani is walking, a wind blows his hair and clothes, then the living beings blown by the wind that previously touched the Mantra-holder will have all their heavy obstructions and evil karmas cleansed, will not continue to suffer from karmas of the three evil paths, and often be born in front of Buddhas. It should be known that the Mantra-holder’s blessings, virtues, and fruit-repayments will be unimaginable.”

“If the Mantra-holder says anything, no matter good or bad, it sounds like pure Dharma-sound to all heavenly demons, Exterior-paths practitioners, gods, dragons, ghosts, and spirits, thus they will respect the Mantra-holder as if he were a Buddha.”

“As to one who recites and holds this Dharani, we should know that he is a store of Buddha-bodies, because he is cherished by 9.9 billions Ganges-river-sands Buddhas;

We should know that he is a brilliant light store, because he is illuminated by the light of all Tathagatas;

We should know that he is a store of mercies and compassions, because he constantly saves living beings with this Dharani;

We should know that he is a wonderful-Dharmas store, because this Dharani includes all Dharani-Gates;

We should know that the he is a store of Dhyana and Samadhi, because hundreds of thousands of Samadhis often appear in front of him;

We should know that the he is an Empty Spaces store, because he constantly observes living beings with wisdom of emptiness;

We should know that the he is a store of intrepidities, because he is constantly guarded by dragons, gods, and virtuous gods;

We should know that the he is a Wonderful Language store, because the Dharani-Sound come from his mouth is uninterrupted;

We should know that the he is an Eternally-Abiding store, because the three-disasters and evil-kalpas cannot harm him;

We should know that the he is a Liberation store, because heavenly demons and Exterior-paths practitioners cannot detain him;

We should know that the he is a Medicine-King store, because he constantly heals living beings with this Dharani;

We should know that the he is a supernatural power store, because he can freely travel round the Buddha-Worlds.

The glorifications for the merits and virtues of the Mantra-holder are endless.”

“Virtuous men, if one tires of the sufferings of the world and seeks for happiness of long life, he should settle down in an unoccupied and clean place, make a pure Secure Boundary, recite this Dharani towards his clothing, water, foods, fragrances, or medicines for 108 times and then use them, then he will certainly gain a long life. If he can make a Secure Boundary, accept and hold the Dharani in accord with Dharma, then all things will be achievable.”

“The method of making a Secure Boundary is:

Recite the Dharani 21 times towards a knife, and then countermark the ground with the knife to make a boundary;

or recite the Dharani 21 times towards some clean water, and then sprinkle it around as the boundary;

or recite the Dharani 21 times towards some white mustard seeds, and then scatter them around to mark a boundary,;

or make a boundary by mental visualisation;

or recite the Dharani 21 times towards some clean ashes(of Incense) and use them to mark a boundary;

or recite the Dharani 21 times towards a five-colored thread and then make a closed circle on the ground with the threads as a boundary.

All of these will do.

If one can accept and hold the Dharani in accord with the Dharma, he will achieve the fruit naturally.”

“If anyone just hears the name of this Dharani, his weighty sins of births and deaths of countless kalpas will be eliminated, how much more so, of those who recite and hold this Mantra themselves! If anyone can know and recite this holy Mantra, we should know that he has already offered and sustained innumerable Buddhas and have widely planted his virtuous roots. If he can recite and hold the Dharani in accord with Dharma to relieve all living beings from sufferings, we should know that he is the one with the great compassionate heart, and will become a Buddha soon.”

“If he recites the Dharani for all living beings that he sees, make them hear the Dharani and make it become a cause of their achievement of Bodhi, then, his merits and virtues are immeasurable, boundless, and cannot be praised completely.”

“If he can, with pure sincerity, apply his heart to keep the Abstinent-precepts, repent the previous sins on behalf of all living beings, also repent his own various sins accumulated in countless past kalpas, keep reciting this Dharani and never allow the sound of recitation to be interrupted, then he will achieve the four Sramana-fruits in his present life; if he has excellent talent for Dharma (literally: sharp root) and masters the skillful means of Wisdom-Observing, then achieving the fruits of ten Bhumis is not difficult for him, not to mention those small worldly blessings. All his wishes will be fulfilled.”

“If he wishes to command ghosts, he should find a skull in the wild, wash it clean, set up a Mandala(altar) in front of a statue of Thousand-Handed and Thousand-Eyed Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, and make offerings of multifarious fragrances, flowers, drinks, and vegetable foods. Do this day after day, then 7 days later, the ghost will appear and obey his orders.”

“If he wish to command the four guardian gods, he should recite towards a sandalwood and burn it, then he will achieve the goal – because the power of the Bodhisattva’s great compassionate vows are deep and weighty, and the power of this holy Dharani is mighty and vast.”

The Buddha told Ananda: “When there are catastrophes in a country, if the king of the country can manage state affairs according to correct laws, be liberal toward people and animals, not to do anybody an injustice, absolve people from blames, and for 7 days and 7 nights, keep both his body and his mind sincere and diligent, and in this way recite and hold this Great Compassionate Heart Dharani Holy Mantra, then all the catastrophes of his country will disappear, the five kinds of crops will be abundant and his people will live in peace and happiness.”

“If a country is being frequently invaded by enemies from other countries, people are unsafe and ministers are traitorous, pestilences are spreading everywhere, the rains and the droughts are unbalanced and unseasonable, or even the sun and the moon lost their accuracy, when such disasters come, the people should make a statue of Thousand-Handed and Thousand-Eyed Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva and set it facing the west, make offerings to it sincerely with fragrances, flowers, streamers, precious canopies, or vegetable foods and drinks of hundreds of tastes, and, for 7 days and 7 nights, if the king of the country can keep both his body and mind sincere and diligent, and in this way recite and hold the Sacrosanct Wonderful Phrases of this Dharani, then the foreign enemies will be tamed of themselves, they will return to their own countries and make no further disturbance. These countries will be in communication and will have friendly relations, the princes and officers will be loyal, the queen, the prince’s wife, and the maids will also be loyal to the king. Dragons, ghosts and spirits will protect this country, the rains will be seasonal, the fruits will be abundant, and the people will be happy.”

“If anyone in a family gets a serious evil disease, or if hundreds of monsters appear, or if ghosts, spirits, and demons deplete and demolish the family; or if some villains malign the family and plot to harm them; or if the members of the family are disharmonious, they should set up a Mandala(altar) in front of a statue of Thousand-Handed and Thousand-Eyed Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, recite the name of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva with their deep-felt sincere heart, and then recite this Dharani fully 1000 times, then all those misfortunes will disappear, the family will be peaceful forever.”

Ananda asked the Buddha: “Bhagavan, what is the name of this Mantra? How should we accept and hold it?”

The Buddha told Ananda: “This holy Mantra has many names, one of them is Vast, Great, Perfect, another is Unimpeded Great Compassion, another is Relieving Sufferings Dharani, another is Lengthening Life Dharani, another is Extinguishing Evil Destinies Dharani, another is Breaking Evil Karma Hindrances Dharani, another is Wish-Fulfilling Dharani, another is The Dharani Of The Freedom In Accord With The Heart, another is Quickly Exceeding The Upper Stages Dharani. Thus should you accept and hold it.”

Then Ananda asked the Buddha: “Bhagavan, what is the name of this Bodhisattva-Mahasattva, who is so good to teach us this Dharani?”

The Buddha said: “This Bodhisattva is called Avalokitesvara, the Unrestricted One, also called Nipping a Lariat, also called A Thousand Bright Eyes. Virtuous man, this Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva has unimaginable mighty and holy powers. Uncountable kalpas before, he had already been a Buddha named True Dharma Brightness Tathagata. Because of the power of his great compassionate vows, and in order to call upon all Bodhisattvas to comfort and please all living beings, he appears as a Bodhisattva. All of you, including the Bodhisattvas, Brahmas, Gods of the 33 heavens, dragons, and divinities, should show respect to him, do not despise him. All heavenly and human beings should constantly make offerings to him and recite his name absorbedly, then they will get infinite blessings and eliminate countless sins, and at the end of their lives, they will be reborn in the Pure Land of Amitabha Buddha.”

The Buddha told Ananda: “This holy Mantra spoken by Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva is true, real, and not false. If you wish to invite this Bodhisattva to come, recite the Mantra 21 times towards a Guggula Incense and burn it, then this Bodhisattva will come.”

“If being possessed by a soul of cat, find a dead cat’s skull, burn it to ashes, mix the ashes with clean soil, and then use them to shape a cat. In front of a statue of Thousand-Handed and Thousand-Eyed Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, recite the Dharani 108 times towards a wrought iron knife, and then cut the model into 108 pieces with the knife. Recite once, cut once, and say his name once, then the cat’s soul will leave and never return.”

“If harmed by mediumistic insects(Gu), mix Karpura(Dragon Brain Incense) with a same bulk of Guggula Incense, add 1 bowl of Well-flower-water and decoct them into 1 bowl of decoction; when done, recite the Dharani 108 times towards the decoction in front of a statue of Thousand-Handed and Thousand-Eyed Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, then take the decoction, the illness will be healed.”

(*[Note] Well-flower-water: the purest water from a well – each morning, the very first bucket of water from the well)

“If bitten by fierce snakes or scorpions, recite the Dharani 7 times towards some powder of dry gingers, apply the powder on the bite and they will be healed.”

“If someone plots to harm you because of hatred and resentment, you should find some clean soil, or flour, or wax, to shape the enemy’s body. In front of a statue of Thousand-Handed and Thousand-Eyed Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, recite the Dharani 108 times towards a wrought iron knife, then cut the model into 108 pieces with the knife. Recite once and cut once and say his name once, and then burn up all 108 pieces. After that, the enemy will be happy, will respect you and will like to befriend you for his entire life.”

“If you have the eye-diseases of dimmed vision or blindness, or if your eyes are covered by a white haze or a red film, you should find a Haritaki fruit, an Amala fruit, and a Vihetaki fruit, and grind them into powder. During the grinding, you must guard their purity: do not be seen by women who have just given birth, or by pigs or dogs, and you should keep reciting a Buddha’s name, mix the powder with white honey or human milk. The human milk must be from a mother of a boy, not from mothers of girls. When the medicine is done, in front of a statue of Thousand-Handed and Thousand-Eyed Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, recite the Dharani 1008 times towards the medicine, then apply it on the sick eyes for fully 7 days, stay in a quite room and do not be exposed to wind, then the eyes will recover, the white haze and red film will disappear, and the eyesight will be very clear.”

“If you are afflicted by recurrent fevers, recite the Dharani 21 times towards the skin of a tiger, panther, or a wolf, place the skin on your body and the fever will be healed. The skin of a lion is best.”

“If someone is bitten by a snake, get some earwax of that person, recite the Dharani 21 times towards the earwax, apply them on his sore, then it will be healed.”

“If an evil fever enters your heart, and it is so oppressive that makes you even wish to die, in this case, you should find a peach-glue as big as a normal peach, add 1 bowl of clean water and decoct them into a half bowl of decoction. When done, recite the Dharani 7 times towards the decoction, take them all, than the disease will be healed. The medicine should not be decocted by a woman.”

“If you are possessed by a ghost, recite the Dharani 21 times towards a Guggula incense and burn it to fume the nostrils, further, make 7 pills of Guggula each as big as a rabbit dung, recite the Dharani 21 times towards them and take them, then you will be cured. Be careful: do not drink alcohol, do not eat meat or the five-pungencies, and do not abuse others. If you find some Manahsila (realgar), mix it with white mustard seeds and YanSheng-salt, then recite the Dharani 21 times towards the mixture and burn it under the bed of the patient, then the possessing ghost will run away and not dare to stay.

(*[Note] The five-pungencies are: onions, leeks, garlic, chives or shallots)

“For deafness, recite the Dharani towards some sesame oil and drop the oil into ears, then the disease will be healed.”

“If someone is suffering from hemiplegias, his nose is blocked and his hands and feet cannot move because of apoplexy, you should mix some sesame oil with Green-wood-spice and decoct them, recite the Dharani 21 times towards the mixture, and rub it on the body, then the diseases will forever be healed. Another prescription: recite the Dharani 21 times towards some pure cow ghee, and rub it on the body, then the diseases will also be healed.”

“For dystocias, recite the Dharani 21 times towards sesame oil and apply on both the navel and the jade-gate of the woman who is giving birth, then there will be an easy birth.”

“If a baby dies in a pregnant woman’s womb, find one large Lerng(*) of hyssops, mix it with 2 bowls of clean water, and decoct them into 1 bowl of decoction. Recite the Dharani 21 times towards the decoction and let the woman take it, then the dead baby will come out, and the woman will not be in pain. If the placenta does not come out, let her take this medicine again and it will be fine.”

(* Lerng: a Chinese measurement)

“If you have a disease that your heart is often attacked by an unbearable pain, this is called Hidden Corpse Disease. Find a Fume-Land Incense with mature nipples, recite the Dharani 21 times towards it, chew and swallow it – no matter more or less. After some time, it will cause vomiting or diarrhoea, then the disease will be healed. Do not eat any of the five-pungencies, do not eat meat, and do not drink alcohol.”

“If burned by a fire, recite the Dharani 21 times towards some dung of black cows, apply them on the sores, the pain will be healed.”

“If one’s heart is being attacked by ascarids, recite the Dharani 21 times towards a half bowl of urine of a white horse and take it, then the disease will be healed. If the disease is serious, take more medicine up to 1 bowl, then the ascarids will come out like a linked rope.”

“For a Nail-sore, find some Ling-Sil-leaves, grind them and get the juice, recite the Dharani 21 times towards the juice, apply the juice to the sore, pull the sore out by the root and it will be healed immediately.”

“If one’s eyes were bitten by flies, find some new dung of donkey, filter it and get the liquid, recite the Dharani 21 times towards the liquid, drop it into the eyes when lying on the bed at night, then the disease will be healed.”

“For bellyaches, mix Well-flower-water with YanSheng-salt to make 21 pellets, recite the Dharani 21 times towards them, take half a bowl of the medicine, then the disease will be healed.”

“For red-eyed diseases, or neoplasms in eyes, or cataracts, find some leaves of Chinese-wolfberry (Gau-Gey), grind them and get their juice, recite the Dharani 21 times towards the juice, soak a bronze copper coin in the juice overnight, recite the Dharani towards it 7 more times, drop the juice into the eyes, then the disease will be healed.”

“If someone is afraid and not peaceful at night, and he may even be frightened when entering or leaving a house, he should make a rope with white threads, recite the Dharani 21 times towards it, tie it into 21 knots, and wear it on his neck, then the fear will disappear. Not only will his fear disappear, his sins will also be eliminated.”

“If some unexpected calamities come to your household, find a guava branch, cut it into 1008 segments, smear some ghee and honey on both ends of them, recite the Dharani once and burn one segment, burn up all 1008 segments in this way, then all calamities will disappear. This must be done in front of a Buddha.”

“If you recite the Dharani 21 times towards a white flagleaf and tie it to your right arm, you will always win others in all fighting places and debating places.”

“If you find some leaves and branches of Sami(*), cut them into 1008 segments, smear some true-cow-ghee and white-honey-cow-ghee on both ends of them, recite the Dharani once towards each segment and burn it, and burn up all 1008 segments in this way. Do this 3 times each day, 1008 times each time, for 7 days, then you, as a Mantra-master, will realize the Through-Wisdom of yourself.”

(* Sami: Chinese wolfberry / medlar)

“If you wish to tame powerful ghosts or spirits, find some Wood-Wan-Tzee, recite the Dharani 49 times towards them, smear some ghee and honey on them, and burn them up. This must be done in front of a statue of Great Compassionate Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva.”

“If you put 1 large Lerng of bezoar(Cow yellow) into a lapis-lazuli bottle, then put the bottle in front of a statue of Great Compassionate Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, recite the Dharani 108 times toward it, apply the bezoar on your body and dot it on your forehead, then all gods, dragons, ghosts, spirits, human and non-human beings will be pleased.”

(* Lerng: A Chinese measurement)

“If being chained and locked, find some dung of white pigeons, recite the Dharani 108 times towards them, smear them on your hands and rub the chains and locks, then the chains and locks will open of themselves.”

“If a husband and wife have a disharmonious relationship and their situation is like that of water and fire, find some feathers of the tail of mandarin ducks, in front of a statue of Great Compassionate Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, recite the Dharani 1008 times towards the feathers and let the couple wear them, then the couple will be delightful, and will love and respect each other unto the end of their lives.”

“If the seeds and fruits in your farm are being eaten by insects, find some clean ashes, or clean sands, or clean water, recite the Dharani 21 times towards them, sprinkle them around the farm and the seedlings, then the insects will quit. If you sprinkle some Mantra-water on the fruit trees, the insects will not dare to eat the fruits.”

The Mudras of Great Compassion Dharani

The Buddha told Ananda: ”
For richness, treasures, or various valuables and necessities, use the Wish-Fulfilling Pearl Mudra(gesture).

For seeking stable life in various unstable situations, use the Pasa(lasso / lariat) Mudra.

For various diseases in abdomen, use the Precious Bowl Mudra.

For vanquishing all demons, monsters, ghosts, and spirits, use the Precious Glave(double edge sword) Mudra.

For vanquishing all heavenly demons and deities, use the Vajra Mudra.

For taming all enemies, use the Vajra Pestle Mudra.

For eliminating all fears in any situation, use the Fearless-Giving (Abhayam-dada) Mudra.

For healing dim eyes, use the Sun-Quintessence Mani Mudra.

If one has a disease caused by the poison of heat and seeks for refreshing coolness, he should use the Moon-Quintessence Mani Mudra.

For high positions and promotions, use the Precious Bow Mudra.

For meeting all virtuous friends as soon as possible, use the Precious Arrow Mudra.

For healing various diseases on one’s body, use the Willow Branch Mudra.

For eliminating evil obstacles and misfortunes of one’s body, use the White Whisk Mudra.

For good harmony among all relatives, use the Precious Vase Mudra.

For evading all tigers, wolves, jackals, panthers, and other fierce beasts, use the Shield Mudra.

For always resting in peace and avoiding being imprisoned, use the Axe-Tomahawk Mudra.

For commanding men and women, use the Jade Bracelet Mudra.

For various merits and virtues, use the White Lotus Mudra.

For rebirth in pure lands of the ten directions, use the Blue Lotus Mudra.

For great wisdom, use the Precious Mirror Mudra.

For personally meeting all Buddhas of the ten directions, use the Purple Lotus Mudra.

For underground precious deposits, use the Precious Box Mudra.

For achieving the Way(Tao) of immortals, use the Five Colored Cloud Mudra.

For rebirth in Brahma heaven, use the Bath Bottle Mudra.

For rebirth in heavenly palaces, use the Red Lotus Mudra.

For vanquishing traitors of other places, use the Precious Halberd Mudra.

For summoning all virtuous heavenly gods, use the Precious Trumpet Shell Mudra.

For commanding all ghosts and spirits, use the Skull Staff Mudra.

For the Buddhas of the ten directions coming to receive you with their hands quickly, use the Prayer Beads Mudra.

For achieving all superior wonderful Brahma sounds, use the Precious Bell Mudra.

For the ability of eloquent, clever, and wonderful speech (mouth karma), use the Precious Seal Mudra.

To be constantly guarded by virtuous gods and dragon kings, use the Kusinagara Iron Hook Mudra.

For mercifully sheltering and protecting all living beings, use the Tin Staff Mudra.

For making all living beings always respect and love each others, use the Joining Palms Mudra.

For always being reborn beside Buddhas for all lifetimes, use the Nirmana(Miraculously Created) Buddha Mudra.

To be always reborn in the palaces of Buddhas for all lifetimes, and never be born from a womb, use the Nirmana-Palace Mudra.

For eruditeness, use the Precious Sutra Mudra.

If you wish that from your current incarnation(lifetime) to the incarnation that you are a Buddha, you will never retrogress from or lose the Bodhi-Heart, use the Non-retrogression Gold Wheel Mudra.

If you wish that the Buddhas of the ten directions will come quickly to rub your summit and award you the mark of future Buddhahood, use the Summit Nirmana Buddha Mudra.

For fruits, melons, and various crops, use the Grape Mudra.

There are thousands of such requesting Mudras, now I have just briefly said some of them.”

Sunlight Bodhisattva then spoke a great holy Mantra for those who accept and hold the Great Compassionate Heart Dharani to protect them:

“Namo Buddha Kunami, Namo Dharma Mahadi, Namo Sangha Tayeni, DhriBhuBhi Sattva Yam Namo”

“This Mantra can extinguish all sins, and can evade demons and natural disasters. If one can recite the Dharani once and bow to the Buddhas once, 3 times daily, recite the Dharani and bow to the Buddhas, then in his next lifetime, he will gain the delightful fruit-repayment that all of his facial features are handsome.”

Moonlight Bodhisattva also spoke a Dharani to protect practitioners:

“Sumdhidi Tusuza Ahjamidi Uduza SumKiza Bolaidi Yemijaza Uduza Kuladiza Kimoza Svaha”

(* in the above sentence, the ‘z’ should be pronounced as [tz])

“Recite this Mantra five times, making a Mantra-Rope with five colored threads, and wear it on where it is sore. This Mantra had been spoken by the previous 40 Ganges-river-sands Buddhas, now I also speak it, for supporting all practitioners, for eliminating all obstacles and calamities, for healing all serious diseases and relieving all sufferings, for accomplishing all virtuous Dharmas, for eliminating all fears.”

The Buddha told Ananda: “You should accept and uphold this Great Compassion Dharani with a deeply pure heart, spread it abroad widely throughout Jambudvipa and never allow it to be lost. This Dharani can greatly benefit all living beings of the Three Realms of Transmigrations, all living beings suffering from diseases can use this Dharani to heal their diseases. Even a withered tree can grow new branches, flowers and fruits when someone recites this great holy Dharani towards it. Thus, it is impossible that any diseases of sentient and conscious beings cannot be healed by this Dharani.”

“Virtuous man, the mighty and sacrosanct power of this Dharani is unimaginable, is unimaginable, and one will never be able to fully praise it. If one has not extensively planted virtuous roots since the long distant past, he is not able to hear even the name of this Dharani, much less that he could see it. All of you in this congregation — the gods, human beings, dragons, spirits, should accordingly rejoice when hearing my praise. Slandering this Dharani is equal to slandering those 9.9 billion Ganges-river-sands Buddhas.

If anyone doubts, or disbelieves this Dharani, we should know that he loses great benefits forever. For billions of kalpas, he will constantly fall into the evil categories (of hell beings, hungry ghosts, and animals) and unable to escape; he will always be unable to see the Buddhas, unable to hear the Dharmas, and unable to see the Sanghas.”

After hearing the Buddha praise this Dharani, the whole congregation — the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas, Vajra Secret-Traces Divinities, Brahmas, Sakra, gods, the four heavenly kings, dragons, ghosts, and spirits, were all delighted, they accepted the teaching respectfully and started practicing it.

Avalokiteshvara’s Methods and Vows//from Surangama Sutra // PART 1 of 2


Meditation on the organ of hearing// Avalokiteshvara’s Methods

Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva

and Vows//from Surangama Sutra

Thereupon Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva rose from his seat,
prostrated himself with his head at the feet of the Buddha
and declared: .I still remember that long before numbers of
aeons countless as the sand grains in the Ganges, a Buddha
called Avalokiteshvara appeared in the world. When I was
with Him, I developed the Bodhi Mind and, for my entry into
Samàdhi, I was instructed by Him to practise meditation by
means of the organ of hearing.
.At first by directing the organ of hearing into the
stream of meditation, this organ was detached from its object,
and by wiping out (the concept of) both sound and
stream-entry, both disturbance and stillness became clearly
non-existent. Thus advancing step by step both hearing and
its object ceased completely, but I did not stop where they
ended. When the awareness of this state and this state itself
were realized as non-existent, both subject and object
merged into the void, the awareness of which became all embracing.
With further elimination of the void and its object
both creation and annihilation vanished giving way to the
state of Nirvàna which then manifested.
.Suddenly I leaped over both the mundane and
supramundane, thereby realizing an all-embracing brightness
pervading the ten directions, and acquired two unsurpassed
(merits). The first was in accord with the fundamental
Profound Enlightened Mind of all the Buddhas high up
in the ten directions and possessed the same merciful
power as the Tathàgata. The second was in sympathy with
all living beings in the six realms of existence here below in
the ten directions and shared with them the same plea for
compassion.
.World Honoured One, as I (followed and) made offerings
to the Tathàgata Avalokiteshvara, He taught me to use
my illusory hearing and sublimate it to realize the Diamond
(Vajra) Samàdhi which gave me the same power of mercy of
all Buddhas and enabled me to transform myself into thirtytwo
bodily forms for the. purpose of visiting all countries in
saüsàra (to convert and liberate living beings).
.World Honoured One, if there are Bodhisattvas who
practise Samàdhi to attain the transcendental (Mean), when
there is a chance for them to realize absolute Wisdom, I will
appear as a Buddha to teach them the Dharma to liberate
them.
.If there are solitary students seeking (only) self enlightenment,
who practise the stillness of Nirvana, when
there is a chance for them to realize it, I will appear as a
teacher of self-enlightenment to teach them the Dharma to
liberate them.
.If there are students of the Four Noble Truths who,
after realizing the unreality of suffering and its accumulation,
tread the Path leading to the extinction of passions, when
there is a chance for them to achieve this, I will appear as a
hearer (sràvaka) to teach them the Dharma to liberate them.
.If there are living beings who realize (the harmfulness
of) desire in the mind and abstain from all worldly cravings to
achieve purity of body, I will appear as Brahmà to teach
them the Dharma to liberate them.
.If there are living beings who desire to be lords of
devas to rule over the realms of the gods, I will appear as
Sakra to teach them the Dharma so that they reach their
goals.
.If there are living beings who wish to roam freely in the
ten directions, I will appear as Isvaradeva to teach them the
Dharma to that they reach their goals.
.If there are living beings who wish to fly freely in empty
space, I will appear as Mahesvara to teach them the Dharma
so that they reach their goals.
.If there are living beings who wish to be lords of ghosts
and spirits to protect their countries, I will appear as a great
warrior to teach them the Dharma so that they reach their
goals.
.If there are living beings who wish to rule over the
world to protect all its inhabitants, I will appear as a deva king
of the four quarters to teach them the Dharma so that they
reach their goals.
.If there are living beings who wish to be reborn in the
palace of devas to command ghosts and spirits, I will appear
as a son of the deva king of the four quarters to teach them
the Dharma so that they reach their goals.
.If there are living beings who wish to be kings of
human beings, I will appear as a king to teach them the
Dharma so that they reach their goals..
.If there are living beings who wish to be heads of clans
to enjoy the respects of their clansmen, I will appear as a respectable
elder (gçhapati) to teach them the Dharma so that
they reach their goals.
.If there are living beings who enjoy discussing wellknown
sayings and practise pure living, I will appear as a respectable
scholar to teach them the Dharma so that they
reach their goals.
.If there are living beings who wish to govern cities and
towns, I will appear as a magistrate to teach them the
Dharma so that they reach their goals.
.If there are living beings who delight in practising mysticism
for self-welfare, I will appear as a Brahmin to teach
them the Dharma so that they reach their goals.
.If there are men who are keen on study and learning
and leave home to practise the rules of morality and discipline,
I will appear as a bhikùu to teach them the Dharma so
that they reach their goals.
.If there are women who are eager to study and learn
and leave home to observe the precepts, I will appear as a
bhikùuõã to teach them the Dharma so that they reach their
goals.
.If there are men who observe the five precepts, I will
appear as a upàsaka to teach them the Dharma so that they
reach their goals.
.If there are women who observe the five precepts, I
will appear as a upàsikà to teach them the Dharma so that
they reach their goals.
.If there are women who are keen to fulfil their home
duties thereby setting a good example to other families and
the whole country, I will appear as a queen, a princess or a
noble lady to teach them the Dharma so that they reach their
goals.
.If there are young men who are chaste, I will appear as
a celibate youth to teach them the Dharma so that they reach
their goals.
.If there are young women who are keen to avoid carnality
in order to preserve their virginity, I will appear as a
maiden to teach them the Dharma so that they reach their
goals.
.If there are gods who wish to be freed from bondage
in their realms, I will appear as a deva to teach them the
Dharma so that they reach their goals.
.If there are dragons (nàgas) who wish to be freed from
bondage in their realms, I will appear, as a nàga to teach
them the Dharma so that they reach their goals.
.If there are yakùas who wish to be freed from bondage
in their realms, I will appear as a yakùa to teach them the
Dharma so that they reach their goals.
.If there are gandharvas who wish to be freed from
bondage in their realms, I will appear as a gandharva to teach
them the Dharma so that they reach their goals.
.If there are asuras who wish to be freed from bondage
in their realms, I will appear as an asura to teach them the
Dharma so that they reach their goals.
.If there are garuóas who wish to be freed from bondage
in their realms, I will appear as a garuóa to teach them
the Dharma so that they reach their goals.
.If there are kinnaras who wish to be freed from bondage
in their realms, I will appear as a kinnara to teach them
the Dharma so that they reach their goals.
.If there are mahoragas who wish to be freed from
bondage in their realms, I will appear as a mahoraga to teach
them the Dharma so that they reach their goals.
.If there are living beings who wish to be reborn as
human beings, I will appear in human form to teach them the
Dharma so that they reach their goals.
.If there are non-human beings with or without forms
and either thoughtful or thoughtless, who wish to be freed
from bondage in their realms, I will appear as one of them to
teach them the Dharma so that they reach their goals.
.These are my thirty-two transformation-bodies in
response to (the needs of) all countries in saüsàra,
achieved by means of the uncreated sovereign power of
Samàdhi realized in my practice of sublimating the faculty
of hearing.
.World Honoured One, I also use this uncreated sovereign
power of Diamond Samàdhi, derived from sublimating
hearing, to share with all living beings in the six realms in the
ten directions the same plea for compassion, and to bestow
upon them fourteen kinds of fearlessness which emanate
from my body and mind.
1. .Since I myself do not meditate on sound but on the
meditator, I cause all suffering beings to look into the sound
of their voices in order to obtain liberation.155
2. .By returning (discriminative) intellect to its (absolute)
source, I cause them to avoid being burned when they
find themselves in a great fire.
3. .By returning hearing to its source, I cause them to
avoid drowning when they are adrift on the sea.
4. .By stopping wrong thinking and thereby cleansing
their minds of harmfulness, I lead them to safety when they
wander in the realm of evil ghosts.
5. .By sublimating their (wrong) hearing to restore its
155. This is a very profound meditation which readers should not let pass without careful study if they
wish to know why Avalokite÷vara is so popular in Far Eastern countries where he is the merciful
patron saint. By discarding the sound to look into the meditator himself, that is into the nature of
hearing, he disengages himself from both organs and sense data and thereby realizes his allembracing
Buddha nature which contains all living beings. By developing their pure faith in him
and by calling his name, or concentrating on him, they achieve singleness of mind that mingles with
his Bodhi substance and become one with him; hence their liberation from sufferings which do not
exist in the absolute state.

absolute condition, thereby purifying all six organs and perfecting
their functions, I cause them, when in danger, to be
immune from sharp weapons which become blunt and useless
like water that cannot be cut and daylight that cannot be
blown away, because their (underlying) nature does not
change.
6. .By perfecting the sublimation of their hearing, its
bright light pervades the whole Dharma realm to destroy the
darkness (of ignorance) thereby dazzling evil beings such as
yakùa, rakùa, kuübhàõóa, pisàcã, påtana, etc., who cannot
see them when meeting them.
7. .When hearing is reversed so that sound vanishes
completely, all illusory objects of sense disappear so that
(practisers) are freed from fetters which can no longer restrain
them.
8: .The elimination of sound to perfect hearing results
in universal compassion so that they can pass through
regions infested with robbers and bandits who cannot plunder
them.
9. .The sublimation of hearing disengages them from
the objects of sense and makes them immune from (attractive)
forms, thereby enabling lustful beings to get rid of desires
and cravings.
10. .The sublimation of sound eliminates all sense
data and results in the perfect mingling of each organ with
its objects and the total eradication of subject and object,
thereby enabling all vindictive beings to bury anger and
hate.
11. .After the elimination of sense data and the return to
the bright (Reality), both inner body and mind and outer phenomena
become crystal dear and free from all hindrances, so
that dull and ignorant unbelievers (icchantika) can get rid of
the darkness of ignorance.
12. .When their bodies are in harmony with the nature
of hearing, they can, from their immutable state of enlightenment
(bodhimaõóala), re-enter the world (to liberate others)
without harming the worldly, and can go anywhere to make
offerings to Buddhas countless as dust, serving every Tathà-
gata in the capacity of a son of the King of the Law and
having the power to give male heirs with blessed virtues and
wisdom to childless people who want boys.
13. .The perfecting of the six organs unifies their divided
functions so that they become all-embracing, thus revealing
the Great Mirror (Wisdom) and immaterial Tathàgata
womb compatible with all Dharma doors taught by Buddhas
as uncountable as dust. They can bestow upright, blessed,
gracious, and respect-inspiring girls on childless parents who
want daughters.
14. .In this great chiliocosm which contains a hundred
lacs of suns and moons, there are now Bodhisattvas countless
as sand grains in sixty-two156 Ganges rivers. They practise
the Dharma to set a good example to all living beings by
befriending, teaching and converting them; in their wisdom
their expedient methods differ. Because I used one penetrat-
156. The digit 6 stands for the sixth consciousness, or mad mind, which creates the duality of ego and
dharma, symbolized by the digit 2. The duty of every Bodhisattva is to liberate living beings
deceived by the illusions thus created.
ing organ which led to my realization through the faculty of
hearing, my body and mind embrace the whole Dharmarealm
in which I teach all living beings to concentrate their
minds on calling my name. The merits that follow are the
same as those derived from calling on the names of all these
Bodhisattvas. World Honoured One, my single name does
not differ from those uncountable ones, because of my practice
and training which led to my true enlightenment. These
are the fourteen fearless (powers) which I bestow upon living
beings.
.World Honoured One, because of my Perfect Understanding
which led to my attainment of the Supreme Path, I
acquired four inconceivable absolute virtues.
1. .When I first realized the hearing mind which was
most profound, the Essence of Mind (i.e. the Tathàgata store)
disengaged itself from hearing and could no longer be divided
by seeing, hearing, feeling and knowing, and so became
one pure and clean all-pervading precious Bodhi. This is why
I can take on different wonderful forms and master a countless
number of esoteric mantras. I can appear with one,
three, five, seven, nine, eleven and up to 108, 1,000, 10,000
and 84,000 sovereign (cakra) faces; with two, four, six, eight,
ten, twelve, fourteen, sixteen, eighteen, twenty, twenty-four
and up to 108, 1,000, 10,000 and 84,000 arms making various
gestures (mudràs); and with two, three, four, nine up to
108, 1,000, 10,000 and 84,000 clean and pure precious
eyes, either merciful or wrathful, and in a state either of still
imperturbability (dhyàna-samàdhi) or of absolute wisdom
(praj¤à) to save and protect living beings so that they can
enjoy great freedom.
2. .Because of my meditation by means of the (organ
of) hearing, which resulted in my disengagement from the six
sense data, like a sound going through a wall without hindrance,
I can, with each appearance and with the aid of each
mantra, bestow fearlessness upon (suffering) beings in countries
as countless as dust in the ten directions in which I am
regarded as the Giver of Dauntlessness.
3. .Because of the perfection which I won by sublimating
the appropriate organ, living beings in countries which I
visit (lay down their desires and attachments and) offer their
bodies and treasures to implore my compassion.
4. .As 1 have realized the Buddha mind and attained
Ultimate (Reality) I can make offerings to the Tathàgatas in
ten directions and satisfy living beings in the six worlds who
seek (virtuous) wives, (good) sons, samàdhi, long life and
even parinirvàõa.
.As the Buddha now asks about the best means of perfection,
my method which consists in regulating the organ of
hearing so as to quiet the mind for its entry into the stream of
meditation leading to the state of Samàdhi and attainment of
Enlightenment is the best.
.World Honoured One, that Buddha praised my excellent
method of perfection and gave me, in the presence of
the assembly, the-name of Avalokiteshvara. Because of my
all-embracing (absolute function of) hearing, my name is
known everywhere..
Thereupon, the Buddha, from His lion-seat, sent out
from the five members of His body, rays of light which reached
and shone on the heads of the Tathàgatas and Bodhisattvas
countless as dust in the ten directions. In return countless
Tathàgatas sent back rays of light which shone on the heads of
the Buddha, great Bodhisattvas and Arhats in the assembly,
causing the groves and streams to intone the Dharma and uncountable
rays of light to interlace in precious nets, a spectacle
never seen before. As, a result, all (the Bodhisattvas and
Arhats in the assembly) realized the Diamond Samàdhi. At the
same time showers of green, yellow, red and white lotus blossoms
turned the whole of space into a seven coloured expanse
and caused mountains, rivers and the great earth to disappear
and all the countless other realms to merge into one universe
filled with songs and recitations.157
Thereupon, the Tathàgata said to Ma¤jusrã: .Son of the
Dharma king, these twenty-five Bodhisattvas and Arhats
who no longer need to study and learn, have related the expedient
methods used by them at the start of their practice
for their realization of Bodhi. In reality each of these methods
does not differ from, and is neither superior nor inferior to the
others. Tell me which one of them is suitable to ânanda so
that he can awaken to it and which one is easy of achievement,
for the benefit of living beings who, after my nirvàõa,
wish to practise with the Bodhisattva vehicle in their search
for Supreme Bodhi..
157. This reveals the blissful realm of Avalokiteshvara.s reward-body (sambhogakàya) wherein all
dualities and contraries are replaced by a uniform state of Sublime Majesty.

See also

Surangama Sutra 

PART 2 of 2 AVALOKITESHVARA’S MEDITATION ON HEARING FROM SURANGAMA SUTRA

Samantabhadra Bodhisattva’s answer to a question from the Buddha

AVALOKITESVARA’S MEDITATION ON HEARING FROM SURANGAMA SUTRA // PART 2 of 2


AVALOKITESVARA’S MEDITATION ON HEARING FROM SURANGAMA SUTRA
The Gathas by Bodhisattva Manjusri

Reverently I declare to the Tathagatha what Avalokitesvara said:

“When one dwells in silence, Rolls of drums in ten directions,

All can be simultaneously heard. Thus is hearing complete.

Seeing cannot penetrate a screen, Neither can taste nor smell;

Manjusri

Feeling comes only in contact, And thought in focus lack.

Avalokiteshvara

But sound whether near or far, At all times can be heard;

The other senses are imperfect, Only hearing is truly pervasive.

The presence and absence of sound, Perceived by the ear as existent or not;

Absence of sound means nothing heard, Not hearing devoid of its nature.

Absence of sound is not the end of hearing, And presence of sound is not its beginning.

The faculty of hearing is unborn, Undying and one with the Truth.

Even when thoughts stop, Hearing does not end.

For hearing is beyond all thought, Beyond both mind and body.

In this Saha world, One teaches by voice.

Sentient beings who know not true hearing, Follow false sounds to be reborn.

Though Ananda memorizes all he has heard, He is not freed from inverted thought.

By clinging to sound one falls into Samsara, By non-clinging one attains Nirvana.

Listen, Ananda, listen closely. 

In Buddha’s name do I declare, By the indestructible king of enlightenment;

The inconceivable wisdom of reality- The Samadhi of all Buddhas.

You may hear of esoteric teachings, from Buddhas as countless as dust;
But if you overcome not craving, Hearing only causes more errors.

To hear your true self, you must invert, What you use to hear the Buddha’s words.

Hearing has no nature; It owes its name to sound.

Freed from sound by inverting hearing, What to you call this thing?

When one sense return to its source, All other senses will be liberated.

Seeing and hearing are both illusions, Like falling flowers in the sky.

Hearing without sound, The illusionary sense vanishes.

When object is no more, the subject is no more. 

And pure is the Bodhi attained. Its pure, bright light pervades all. 

Its shining stillness filling the void.

All worldly things when examined, Are like illusions seen in dreams, 

So was the foolish maiden Matangi – How could she keep your body?

Like a clever artist, Presenting a puppet play, 

The movements may be many, But only one controller exists.

When that control stops, The puppets become lifeless.

Likewise are the senses, Derived from one Alaya (store consciousness).

If one return to the source, So will the other senses follow.

With all illusions ended, Bodhi is thereby attained.

Defilement represents sentient beings, Enlightenment represents the Tathagata.

Ananda and those listening, Invert your false hearing.

When one hears truly, That is true Bodhi.

Buddhas of all worlds, Many as Ganges sands,

Thus entered this Nirvana. 

All the past Tathagatas, Have this method perfected.

All the present Bodhisattvas, Have this teaching mastered.

All you future sentient beings, Should learn this dharma well.”

“Avalokitesvara did not practice alone; For I Manjusri was with him.

The Enlightened and World-honoured One, Asked me for the best expedient,

For those in the Dharma ending era, Who wish to escape from this Samsara;

In their search for Nirvana, It’s best to contemplate sound.

Other methods are only expedients, Used just for special cases,

To keep disciples from occasional difficulty.

They’re not for indiscriminate practice, By beings of varying minds.

I salute the Tathagatha’s treasure, Beyond all the worldly streams.

Blessed be future generations, If they can have faith,

In this excellent expedient.

It’s good for teaching Ananda, And those of future age,

Who should rely on hearing, Surpassing all the other senses –

For it is one with profound Reality.”

– END –

See also :
Surangama Sutra 

PART 1 of 2  Meditation on the organ of hearing// Avalokiteshvara’s Methods and Vows//from Surangama Sutra

Samantabhadra Bodhisattva’s answer to a question from the Buddha

Kwan Yin and the Swallows


Kwan Yin and the Swallows 
by Dharmadasa Karuna

“Kwan Yin is one of the most universally beloved of deities in the Buddhist tradition. Also known as Kuan Yin, Quan Yin, Quan’Am (Vietnam), Kannon (Japan), and Kanin (Bali), She is the embodiment of compassionate loving kindness. As the Bodhisattva of Compassion, She hears the cries of all beings.”

*** *** ***

The cloud blue crests of Jianshan Mountain leaned into the morning light. Flaxen rays reached into the window of a young woman sleeping on a bed of straw. Her hair was the color of the night sky, and lapped over her belly and hips. Her skin was the color of the sun. She awoke and walked outside. The nest of swallows on her windowsill was empty. It was the end of summer.

Her bare feet pressed into the fallen leaves on the ground. She entered the woods in search of a cluster of white flowers with purple stems. Mother seemed unsure of herself this week, and Dong Quai would calm her nerves. She closed her eyes and let the forest guide her. She found the flowers in the silence.

“Kwan Yin, where are you? Talking to your birds again?”

“Coming mother.” The young woman emerged from the woods. “I was gathering a tonic for our tea.”

“I have to go wash clothes at the river for Mrs. Lim. Save the tea for lunch. We’re having visitors.”

“Who mother?”

“Madam Hong and her son.”

“Why are they coming? We don’t need visitors.”

“The fortune teller said you were a good match for Madam Hong’s son.”

“Mother, you know I don’t want to marry.”

“You are a woman now, and while your hair still falls down your back and your breath is sweet, you must take a husband.”

“I’m going to enter the nunnery.”

“That is a child’s dream, Kwan Yin.”

Kwan Yin looked down and did not answer.

“We are poor Kwan Yin, and the Hongs are wealthy. They are an honorable family. Do you understand?”

“Mother, I…”

“You have never been with a man and….”

“I know it is my duty to care for you.”

“They are not all as kind as your father was. After you clean the house and cook the meals, they will make you cut wood, carry water, and milk the goat. Then you must lay with them every night. Your work is only done when you sleep.”

“Mother, I know. I know what I must do.”

*** *** ***

“Ma, I’m hungry. Are they going to have food?”

“You had three bowls of rice porridge and five eggs for breakfast, and you are ready to eat again?”

“Riding in the cart makes me hungry.”

“Everything makes you hungry. When you have a son I hope he is smaller than you. Small people eat less. It is better for long life. Stop the cart, Guoping. We are here.”

“That’s a goat shack, not a house. What kind of girl lives here?”

“One that will give you a son. Now tie up the ox and come with me.”

Madam Hong walked carefully to the door, navigating the goat dung, and holding a scarf with dried flower petals under her nose, to mask the smell. Before she could knock, Kwan Yin’s mother opened the door. “Please come in Madam Hong and honorable son.”

Madam Hong entered.

Guoping stood in the doorway and blew his nose on his shirtsleeve. The goat nibbled at his pant leg. He kicked at the goat and missed. The goat charged and Guoping hurried inside, still wiping his nose. “This is where you live?”

“Excuse my son, Mrs. Li. He meant that we were not sure this was the right house.”

“It is simple but you are welcome.”

Madam Hong craned her neck to survey the house. Kwan Yin stood in the shadows. “Is that a ghost I see?”

“That is my daughter. Kwan Yin, say hello to Madam Hong and her son.”

Kwan Yin stepped forward, holding a wood board with two, chipped teacups. She knelt before Madam Hong and lifted the board up, offering the tea.

Madam Hong looked into the cup. Steam rose up from a swirl of black tea leaves. Black, like her father’s eyes the night she was born, when he looked at her and turned away in disappointment. A daughter.

“He wanted a son.”

“Madam Hong. I am sorry, ” said Kwan Yin’s mother, “ what did you say?”

“A son. I mean the sun.”

“Yes Madam Hong, the sun is hot today.”

Kwan Yin offered the tea to Guoping.

“Is that all you have”, he said. “I’m hungry.”

“Guoping, where are your manners?” Madam Hong turned to Kwan Yin’s mother. “Please forgive him.”

“Let’s go Ma.”

Guoping walked to the door and his mother turned to follow him.

Kwan Yin’s mother grabbed Madam Hong’s sleeve. “But we have…”

Madam Hong pulled her arm away, and brushed off the sleeve. “I’m sorry Mrs. Li. This was a mistake.”

Kwan Yin saw her mother’s eyes fill with tears. “Wait”, Kwan Yin blurted out. “Please, honorable son.”

Guoping stopped. He turned and looked at Kwan Yin.

“I have something else to offer.” With outstretched hands, Kwan Yin cradled a fiery red peach. “This peach is sweet and fresh, like none you have ever tasted.”

Guoping’s eyes followed Kwan Yin’s hands, to her arms and shoulders, and the curve of her neck. He looked into her eyes and a wave of crimson blush swept up his torso and face. “I…I…”

Kwan Yin slowly cut the peach open, and brought it to Guoping. A lock of hair fell in front of her face. Sunlight penetrated her roughly woven blouse, and he saw the outline of her breasts and stomach. “Would you like to taste?”

“Yes…yes…” Guoping grabbed half the peach and bit down. Juice spilled from the corners of his lips.

Kwan Yin stepped directly in front of him. Her skin glistened and its moist perfume filled his nostrils. “Master Hong, would you like more?”

He nodded. Kwan Yin placed the other section of peach in Guoping’s mouth. He wiped his face with his shirtsleeve. Madam Hong and Kwan Yin’s mother watched without blinking.

Madam Hong cleared her throat. “Well… uh… we… uh… understand that Kwan Yin was born in the year of the dragon. Yes… and… uh… Guoping was born a pig… I mean in the year of the pig. So he is Yin and she is Yang.”

“Yes…” Kwan Yin’s mother chimed in. “Master Hong is water and earth and Kwan Yin is fire and heaven. A perfect combination.”

“Perfect, except for one thing”, warned Madam Hong.

“What, Madam Hong?”

“Dragons. Dragons have secrets.”

*** *** ***

“Kwan Yin, where have you been”, asked Madam Hong.

“In the woods”, replied Kwan Yin.

“Doing what, listening to the birds again?”

“No Madam. Gathering herbs for you and Master Hong.”

“Do not waste your time with such things. We don’t need medicine. We need a son. You’ve been here for one year. One year and no son. Maybe it was your mother who had a secret. I thought she was a dumb washerwoman but she outfoxed me. I got a barren daughter-in-law and she got the honor of joining my family.”

“Yes Madam.”

“Yes what? Yes you tricked me? I know you do not love Guoping. Is that why you cannot bear a son? You are trying my patience Kwan Yin. Now, go feed your husband. At least you can give him that satisfaction.”

Kwan Yin ran into the kitchen. The servant girls giggled and whispered. “If Kwan Yin can’t give him a son, maybe I can. He watches me everyday when I clean the floor. I know what he wants but he’s too scared to ask.”

Kwan Yin prepared a pig for Guoping’s dinner, and cried in silence. He always ate alone, and she served him in his private dining room.

“Kwan Yin, do you love me?”

“Master Hong, I am your wife.”

Guoping sneered. “Mother says if you loved me you’d give me a son.”

“Does your mother know you will not lay with me?”

“Don’t be disrespectful, peasant girl. If you loved me then I’d be with you. I told you never to speak of that to anyone. Do you understand?”

“Yes Master.”

He tore a leg off the pig and waved it at her. “Leave. Now.”

Kwan Yin cleaned the kitchen while he ate. The servant girls ignored her. She returned to find Guoping passed out, his head on the table, with a fist of meat in one hand and a knife in the other. Pig grease was smeared on his face and hair. Kwan Yin opened his fingers to release the meat from his hand. Guoping grunted and swept his arm across the table. Plates of food and a goblet of wine crashed to the floor. He opened one eye, and flickering candlelight seeped through his pupil, into his brain. As Guoping tried to stand up, he slipped on the food and fell to the floor, stabbing his leg with the knife. He cried out and Kwan Yin rushed to remove the knife. Madam Hong stormed into the room and found Guoping covered with food and wine and blood, writhing on the floor. Kwan Yin stood over him with the knife in her hand.

Guoping blurted out, “She almost killed me! Keep her away!”

Kwan Yin dropped the knife. Madam Hong screamed, “finally, you show your black heart!” She grabbed Kwan Yin’s hair and dragged her into the courtyard. “You tried to kill my son! Get out! Get out of this house!” Madam Hong slammed the door. The servant girls watched from the kitchen and laughed.

Charcoal colored rain oozed out of the sky and soaked Kwan Yin’s clothes. She crawled across the courtyard and stumbled into the road. She walked until morning, in a daze. Her feet were caked with dirt and blood. She arrived at her mother’s house. It was covered with vines and thorns, and the goat was gone. At that moment, she realized her mother was dead. Madam Hong never let her visit and never told her she died. Kwan Yin knelt and touched her head to the ground.

A man ran up the road and called out, “good neighbors of Woolong, I bring news from Chengdu. Kwan Yin, daughter of your village, attempted to murder her benevolent husband.” The neighbors emerged from their houses. “She stole his strength with a witch’s potion and tried to drive a knife through his heart.” Gasps rippled through the crowd. “Before her evil deed was done, the ancestors of the venerable Hong family rushed from the nether world and held her arm back. Now, the fearless Madam Hong has banished this sorceress forever. Oh wise neighbors of Woolong, be forewarned. Shun this creature. Give her neither a crumb of food nor a drop of water. Do not let her rest.”

The crowd surrounded Kwan Yin and a neighbor admonished, “you shame your family and village. Leave us and never return.”

Another yelled, “we don’t want trouble with ghosts.”

A third screamed, “go live in the forest where witches belong.”

Kwan Yin stood and walked slowly past the villagers. They glared at her until she disappeared, into the woods.

*** *** ***


Kwan Yin walked aimlessly for a week. Her clothes were torn and her hair was tangled with leaves. Her body convulsed from the cold. She finally collapsed from exhaustion, and curled up by a boulder. She slept for two days. When she opened her eyes, there was a brilliant, orange dragonfly sunning itself on the boulder. It slowly opened and closed its double pair of translucent wings.

Kwan Yin stood up and followed the dragonfly to a stream, where she removed her clothes and let them float away. She lay down in a shallow pool and closed her eyes. Her hair spread out, and rested in the soft water. The dragonfly waited on a lily pad. When Kwan Yin arose, the dragonfly led her downstream to a bed of flowers with fragrant fruit. She fell to her hands and knees and ate.

Kwan Yin followed the dragonfly through the forest for three weeks. Her menstruation stopped, and the softness of her hips and breasts disappeared. Each day, her body became more angular and sinewy. And each day, her hearing became more acute. She heard the brush of leaves in the wind, the stream lapping over stones, and the dragonfly beating its wings.

On the night of a full moon, the dragonfly stopped at a jagged, stone wall. Kwan Yin stood before a massive timber gate with iron hinges. The dragonfly circled three times, and flew away. Kwan Yin hid in the bushes by the gate, and fell asleep.

She awoke to the sound of swallows. The morning light revealed thatched nests, twined with twigs and thread, along the top of the wall. The gate shuddered open, and crimson robed figures emerged. Kwan Yin was afraid to look into their eyes, and watched only their feet. They touched the earth in silence, like ghosts gliding above the ground. The last pair of feet stopped at her bush. An old man bent down and placed a folded robe on the ground. Then he left with the others.

Kwan Yin put on the robe on and walked to the wall. She rubbed her hair against the stones, moving her head closer and closer, until all that was left were jagged lengths of hair like leaves. She spread the hair on the ground and returned to the bush. The birds flew down and retrieved the locks for their nests. When the sun rose to the top of the trees, the robed figures returned. The gate opened and each entered, save the last. The same old man placed a bowl of rice with glazed vegetables on the ground in front of the bush. Then he walked through the gate and it closed.

Kwan Yin took one bite and closed her eyes. She slowly ate half the bowl and spread the rest on the ground in front of the wall. The birds flocked to the food. The old man watched from behind the gate and smiled. He opened the gate and called out, “you who shares your only meal, come forward and tell me your name”.

Kwan Yin emerged from the bush and knelt before the old man. “Kwan…I mean Kang Lin. My name is Kang Lin.”

“I am the abbot of this monastery, Kang Lin. Bring your begging bowl, and come.” Kwan Yin walked through the gate into a courtyard. Before them was a great hall with dragons lining the roof.

“Don’t be afraid”, said the old man. “They protect the prayer hall from hell dogs and hungry ghosts.”

Clouds of incense and the drone of chanting wafted out the doors. They walked past freshly washed robes, hung on a rope between two trees, and entered a long, linear building. Lining the walls were low cots, each with wood slats.

“This is where you will sleep.”

*** *** ***

Kwan Yin awoke to find a monk lying on the next cot, staring at her. He sat up when she did, and mimicked her every move. She thought she was looking at herself. He held a small bird in his palm.

“This bird told me a secret. Guess what it said and I’ll spare its life.” 

Kwan Yin sat up. “I don’t know. Please don’t harm it.”

“You don’t know? Or you don’t want to share secrets?”

“I can’t…”

The monk squeezed his hand shut. “Maybe later.” He dropped the crushed bird on Kwan Yin’s cot and left.

Nausea swept through Kwan Yin’s body. She ran outside and vomited. Then she buried the bird behind the building.

Monks were walking to the courtyard and Kwan Yin followed. The abbot addressed them. “Oh monks, we eat but one meal a day, and must never forget that we depend on the kindness of others. We start our day with gratitude, and the villagers start their day with charity. So we begin alms rounds.”

As the gate opened and the monks left, the abbot said to Kwan Yin, “keep your head down and do not talk to the villagers, it is considered improper”. The monks walked through the gate in single file, and Kwan Yin searched for the one who killed the bird. She followed the monks and the gate closed behind her.

They entered the village and stopped at houses where villagers waited with freshly cooked food. The monks at the front of the line had their begging bowls filled first. They were given so much that some carried fruit in the crook of their arms. Kwan Yin avoided eye contact with the villagers. They stopped in front of the largest house, and the abbot nodded to a man at the doorstep. The man bowed. It was the mayor.

Kwan Yin kept her head down, and saw two delicate feet appear within her vision. She raised her gaze and saw long black hair as she once had. She dared not look up. Suddenly, a clay pot of rice fell to the ground. Kwan Yin began cleaning it up.

A young woman bent down and said, “please Venerable monk, do not lower yourself. I will clean it.”

Kwan Yin continued to pick up shards of pottery. The young woman looked into Kwan Yin’s eyes and touched her hand. It was the first kind touch Kwan Yin received since she left her mother. She looked at the young woman and, with tears in her eyes, said, “thank you”.

The abbot stood above them and the procession of monks stopped. The mayor glared from the doorstep. The abbot motioned at Kwan Yin to follow him. She stood up, lowered her head, and followed the abbot. Her bowl was empty.

The monks returned to the monastery and the abbot said, “I want everyone in the courtyard. I have something to say.” The monks circled around him. “What occurred this morning broke the monastic rules. We must never speak to the villagers on alms rounds. They must have a feeling of veneration towards us. Especially grievous is a woman touching a monk. Kang Lin, I know you understand this.”

Kwan Yin said, “but master, I am not…”

He cut her off. “You are not what?”

“Nothing master. I understand.”

A monk laughed aloud. The abbot looked at him and said, “and you who finds this so amusing, what have you to say?”

Kwan yin looked at the monk in shock. It was the one who killed the bird. He stepped forward and said, “does the mayor feed us out of kindness, or does he seek merit so he won’t be reborn as a dog?” The monks next to him turned their faces into their robes, trying to muffle their laughter.

The abbot glared. “Enough! Whatever the intention, it is an act of kindness. That is all we need to know.”

The next day, Kwan Yin avoided the young woman’s gaze when they stopped at her house. The abbot and the mayor watched. The mayor’s daughter carefully ladled a portion from her pot.

The monks returned to the monastery and sat at a long, roughly chiseled, dining table. They held their bowls above their heads and chanted, “in accepting this meal, we vow to abstain from evil, to cultivate good, and benefit all beings”. Kwan Yin fingered the food from her bowl into her mouth, until she bit something hard. She hid the small object in her robe until she was outside the dining hall. It was a scrap of wood with the words, “meet me tonight”, carved into it. Kwan Yin looked around to see if anyone was watching, and then buried the scrap in the garden. When she left, a hooded monk emerged from behind a tree and retrieved it.

Kwan Yin joined the monks in the prayer hall for evening chant. She mouthed the word, “tonight”. Why? Did the woman know her secret? Did she know what happened? Kwan Yin could not disobey the abbot. She scratched the words, “I cannot see you” on another piece of wood, and hid it in the sleeve of her robe.

The young woman waited for her caller. At nightfall, she saw a hooded monk walking down the road. She ran to him and took his hand. They entered a shed behind her house. She removed his robe in the darkness and lay down on a bed of blankets and straw. The next morning on alms round, at the moment the young woman was going to serve her, Kwan Yin let the piece of wood fall from her sleeve into the pot.

*** *** ***

The young woman’s breasts grew round and she was sick in bed every morning. On the day the baby was born, the mayor brought it to the abbot. “Our village has always supported the monastery but now that is in jeopardy. I have lost all merit and shamed my ancestors. You know who the father is. You must banish your new monk and this ill-begotten child forever.”

The abbot called Kwan Yin to his office. “Kang Lin, do you deny that you are this baby’s father? “

“Master, that cannot be.”

“And why not? Did the mother not give you this?” The abbot held up the scrap of wood. “Yes, I know you are surprised. One of the monks found it while working in the garden. You did not bury it deep enough. What other secrets have you not buried deep enough?”

“I am…” Kwan Yin lowered her head.

“Speak up.”

“I am grateful for your kindness, and want no evil to come to you. I will leave the monastery with the baby.”

Kwan Yin cradled the baby in her arms and felt a warmth flood into her breasts and groin. She walked through the courtyard with her head up, looking straight ahead, as the monks watched in silence. The abbot closed the gate behind her. She walked to the village and a forest mist that shrouded the ground moved with her. She saw no one, but heard voices through the mist.

“That’s him.”

“He stole our food.”

“The monk with no shame.”

As she walked by the mayor’s house, the mist engulfed her, and the voices grew louder.

“He wears robes to steal our daughters.”

“We’ve lost ten thousand years of merit.”

“The baby is doomed.”

The door to the mayor’s house opened and a voice boomed. “You are the leech that took my food, seduced my daughter, and stole my honor. You sucked the blood and life from this village. How will these good people find dignity again?” The mayor stepped forward. His face was red and his eyes were black. “Answer me.”

Kwan Yin held the baby close, and turned away.

“Answer me, you coward.”

The mayor’s daughter stepped forward. “Who will marry me now? I hate you.” She picked up a rock and threw it. It struck Kwan Yin’s back. Kwan Yin draped her body around the baby, protecting it within her robes, and kept walking. She heard the villagers.

“Thief…”

“Liar…”

“Rapist…”

People on either side of the road picked up rocks and threw them at Kwan Yin. They hit her eyes and ears and mouth, until she could walk no further. Kwan Yin bent down to shield the baby, and it started to rain. She heard all their voices at once.

“Don’t let him escape…”

“Stone him…”

“Kill him…”

They were upon her, striking with stones, bludgeoning with their fists, clawing her back. They tore off her tattered robes. Their hands were covered with blood.

Kwan Yin felt the rain seep into her, until there was no more blood. Only rain. Her body slumped over and the villagers stared in silence. A woman.

The mayor lifted Kwan Yin in his arms, and his daughter cradled the baby. They walked slowly to the monastery, tears streaming, with the villagers behind. The mayor laid her down in front of the gate. Hundreds of swallows swooped down from the monastery walls and covered Kwan Yin’s body with crimson threads. All the villagers prostrated, and then they heard her voice in the rain.

“Remember me when it rains, I am always near.
Remember me when you are troubled, I will calm your fear.
Remember me when you cry, I will always hear.”

http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma8/kwanyin.html

The Enlightenment of Guan Yin /Avalokiteshvara


Delivered at the University of Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii February 26, 1982 Co-sponsored by Kuan-yin Temple

Dear friends:

The Bodhisattva Kuan-yin made a great vow to release all sentient beings in the universe from suffering. Numerous miraculous events have been attributed to Kuan-yin all over the world. Because of the intimate relation that he has with us, it is taught that by undertaking his method of cultivating realization, one will obtain swift success.

There is an important passage in the Shurangama Sutra in which Bodhisattva Kuan-yin relates how he cultivated realization. In that sutra, twenty-five bodhisattvas, in response to the inquiry of Buddha Shakyamuni, explained their methods of cultivation and spiritual attainment. Afterwards, the Buddha asked Bodhisattva Manjushri to evaluate what had been said. Manjushri pointed out that Kuan-yin’s way of cultivating realization through hearing was best suited for the people of this world.

So it is because of these reasons that I have chosen the enlightenment of Bodhisattva Kuan-yin as the topic of today’s talk.

Before we discuss Bodhisattva Kuan-yin’s method, it is important that we should have some fundamental understanding about the teachings of the Buddha.

The aim of Buddha’s teachings is to release all sentient beings from suffering. The essential point is that all human suffering results from our deluded attachment, which in turn is the product of our object-clinging mind.

Here, ‘object’ means all objects of consciousness, whether they are in the outside world as perceived by our sense organs and skin, or in the inside world of our thoughts, ideas, knowledge, etc. ‘Clinging’ means grasping or becoming attached. Therefore the object-clinging mind is the state of mind through which we become attached to objects we encounter, and come to believe that those objects are real. Such attachment is deluded attachment. Because of this deluded attachment, our judgment is confounded. Ignorance, greed, hatred, and suffering result. In short, much of our experience of life is based on assumptions and perceptions which are actually contrary to reality.

To reverse this process, Buddha taught various methods to stop clinging to objects and to contemplate reality with a one-pointed mind. This is the key concept involved in ‘dhyana’ which is incompletely translated as ‘meditation.’ The practice of meditation is not just sitting like a block of wood or stone; rather, it is the act of learning to concentrate one’s mental energies in a state of absorption. This state is achieved in stages, like an ascent to one peak after another. The goal is not reached until one day you suddenly discover that all your deluded attachments have gone like the wind, leaving not a trace, or even a name to hang onto.

To begin my discussion of Kuan-yin’s method of cultivation, I would like to present first my translation of the passage from the Shurangama Sutra where he explained his meditation technique to the Buddha:

First I (concentrated) on the audial consciousness, allowed the sounds that were contacting (the ear) to flow off, and thus audial objects subsided and were lost.

Then, since ear-contact and audial objects produced no effect, the mind remained in a state of clarity, and the phenomena of motion and stillness no longer occurred.

Meditative absorption gradually deepened; ultimately the distinction between audial consciousness and the objects of audial consciousness was no longer in existence.

Although there was no experience of audial consciousness, meditative absorption continued to deepen.

Then, all awareness and objects of awareness became empty.

The awareness of emptiness expanded without boundary; then emptiness and that which is empty became extinct.

Since all arising and subsiding had ceased, equanimity became manifest.

Suddenly, transcending both the mundane and supramundane, there was an undistracted luminosity in all the ten directions.

As is evident, Kuan-yin’s method is based on the process of hearing. Before proceeding with a discussion of the technique, we should first have a clear understanding of the following five terms: ‘I,’ ‘the nature to hear,’ ‘audial consciousness,’ ‘hearing,’ and ’sound.’ I might also state here that these five terms correspond to five degrees of deluded attachment, the coarsest and weakest of which is sound, and the subtlest and strongest of which is our ‘I.’ The latter is the most difficult one to eradicate. Ordinarily we tend to confuse sound, hearing, audial consciousness, and the nature to hear. But actually there are some important and fundamental differences.

Kuan-yin began his cultivation of realization by recognizing those differences. He practiced meditation by the sea. Every morning, when he woke up and everything was quiet about him, he would hear the sound of the tide coming in from afar, breaking the silence. After a while the sound of the tide receded and he would hear the silence restored. Then, the sound of the tide came again, and again the silence was gone. Kuan-yin studied the coming and going of the sound of the tide and discovered that the two objects the sound of the tide and the silence – were mutually exclusive, that is, he could not hear them both at once. When the sound of the tide arose, silence ceased. When the sound of the tide ceased, silence arose. Nonetheless, he perceived that they both had something in common: both arose and then ceased; both were impermanent. But not so his innate nature to hear itself; it was always present. The nature to hear enabled him to hear the sound of the incoming tide, but it did not go away when the tide went back out, for then he heard the silence. Indeed, if it were otherwise and his nature to hear were to have departed with the tide, then he would not only have not heard the silence, but he would not have heard the next tidal advance either. Thus, although the sound of the tide came and went, the nature to hear itself was not subject to those changes.

It is important to realize that while sound just comes and goes, arises and subsides, we ordinarily “pursue” sound’s transient pattern of arising and cessation; that is to say, we seize upon it as being entirely real, and therefore develop deluded attachment. In order to impress you more deeply with this crucial point, let me give an example.

Suppose that someone rings a bell. If he then asks if the bell is ringing, one would answer affirmatively. If he were to ask the same question after the ringing had faded away, one would answer in the negative. Here, language is well in accord with what has actually taken place, for the sound of the bell has, in fact, arisen and subsided. But now, if the bell is made to ring again and the question posed is “Can you hear something?” the situation becomes quite different. While the affirmative answer made while the bell continues to ring would still be correct, the same cannot be said of the negative response given when the ringing has ceased. It is true that one no longer hears the bell, but one can still hear. Even if one is aware of no sound at all, it is precisely by using the sense of hearing that one is aware of silence. So it is clear that while sound just comes and goes, the same is not true of our innate nature to hear. This aspect of hearing, which hears transient sounds, but does not itself change, is what is called the innate nature to hear in Buddhist terminology.

The examples given above serve to illustrate the difference between sound and the nature to hear. Sound arises and ceases without lingering for even a moment. It is impermanent. The nature to hear, on the other hand, is always present; it neither arises nor ceases. Even a deaf man possesses the nature to hear, but due to other impairments he cannot hear sounds.

What then is meant by audial consciousness and how does it differ from hearing?

As we all know, the organ through which we hear sounds is the ear. To be more precise, sound waves from external sources cause the eardrum to vibrate, and this in turn stimulates the audial nerves, which in one’s brain give rise to the sensation of hearing. Thus, hearing is the process whereby the nature to hear is stimulated to produce a sensation of sound through the activity of the ear and the brain. Nonetheless, sometimes the sensation of sound may even be produced without the activity of the ear. Over two decades ago, a certain Dr. Vincent, in Montreal, Canada, conducted experiments on the human brain in which he made a small opening in the skull of a woman and touched a particular part of her brain with a pair of very fine electrodes. Suddenly, the woman said that she heard someone singing a familiar song, although there was no one actually singing at the time. When the electrodes were removed, the singing stopped. When the same point was touched again, the singing commenced anew. It is obvious that in this case the sensation of the song was produced through the sole agency of the brain without the use of the ear. This part of the hearing process is called ‘audial consciousness.’ It is the consciousness of sound itself and can exist with or without the existence of an external sound and the physical ear. Another example of audial consciousness is what one hears in a dream.

The foregoing discussion clarifies, I think, the four terms used in connection with the process of hearing. To sum them up once more, then, the ‘nature to hear’ is one’s ever-present ability to hear. It neither comes nor goes; neither arises nor subsides. ‘Hearing’ is the audial process that comes about through the activity of the ear and brain. ‘Audial consciousness’ is the aspect of hearing that functions solely through the agency of the brain. ‘Sound’ is the object of hearing, whether it be the actual object perceived through the activity of both the ear and brain, or the audial object perceived by the brain alone. It comes and goes, arises and then subsides. In fact, every sound is actually a series of momentary vibrations, each of which has its arising and cessation. Having comprehended these four concepts in this way, we may proceed to discuss Kuan-yin’s way of cultivating realization.

Kuan-yin begins his discourse by saying: “First, I (concentrated) on the audial consciousness” which means “during the first stage of meditation, using my hearing.” Here, special attention should be paid to the fact that the Bodhisattva Kuan-yin began his cultivation of realization at the level of an ordinary human being. He had a strong sense of self, of an ‘I.’ Second, he possessed the innate nature to hear. Third, both his audial consciousness and hearing were unimpaired. Fourth, he heard sounds, such as the sound of the tide mentioned above. We all possess these faculties and the delusions associated with them. This is significant, because in the course of this discussion we will see how Kuan-yin progressed from his ordinary state and proceeded to eradicate his deluded attachments one by one.

As I mentioned above, Kuan-yin practiced meditation by the sea. By listening to the coming and going of the sound of the tide, he realized that sound is neither permanent nor substantial, but arises and ceases momentarily within the field created by one’s innate nature to hear. Nonetheless, one becomes attached to sounds, and as a result, delusion arises. Therefore, by allowing the sounds that contacted the ear to flow off, and thereby being detached from the object sound, Kuan-yin was able to eliminate the delusion that has its origin in sound.

“Allowed the sounds that were contacting the ear to flow off, and thus audial objects subsided and were lost” has two aspects that require study. First, we will examine “allowed the sounds that contacted the ear to flow off.” This refers to ‘entering,’ a Buddhist technical term that denotes contact between a sense organ and its object in the external environment. The contacts of the five physical sense organs (i.e., eye, ear, nose, tongue, and skin) with their respective objects and of the mind with the world of thoughts and ideas are termed the ’six entrances’ in Buddhism. The entrance we are considering here is that of the ear, and entering in this case is the arising of the sensation of sound when the vibrations of an external source reach the eardrum.

The meaning of ‘flow off’ is not grasping, not abiding. In the Diamond Sutra it says:”…not arousing one’s mind by abiding in sound, smell, taste, touch, or mental objects…” Here not abiding means that one does not linger on the sensation but rather allows the stream of consciousness to continue to flow freely even after contact is made with the object. Thus, Kuan-yin’s phrase “allowed the sounds that contacted the ear to flow off’ has exactly the same meaning as does “not arousing one’s mind by abiding in sound” in the language of the Diamond Sutra.

To be precise, ‘allowing to flow’ means that one does not cling to every single sound heard by the ear in contact with the external world. One should allow each sound to pass away, like water flowing in a stream. This is easy enough to say, but it is quite a feat to accomplish. Our difficulty lies in the fact that we have an established habit whereby we catch hold of single sounds, string them together to form words and sentences, and then impart meanings to them. From this process, deluded attachments, turbulent emotions, and sufferings arise. We can confirm this by means of a simple experiment:

Let someone produce a sequence of single syllables, for example: KUAN SHIH YIN. Now if you were asked what you heard, you might very well reply, “Kuan-shih-yin.” Such a response would indicate that at the time you heard those syllables you had not allowed each of the syllables ‘kuan’ and ’shih’ and ‘yin’ to flow on after entering; you retained them all, strung them together, and made up the word ‘Kuan-shih-yin.’ You might also associate everything you have ever heard about Bodhisattva Kuan-shih-yin with these sounds. This exemplifies deluded attachment. It does not matter at all whether ‘Kuan-shih-yin’ is a good or bad term, deluded attachment is deluded attachment all the same. Therefore, in order to get rid of deluded attachments one must allow any and every single sound to flow off.

At this point one might object to all this with the idea that it is just not possible for us to allow sounds to flow without abiding. It would seem that our brains are constructed in such a way as to make us automatically string monosyllables together. This, however, is not entirely true. If we consider this carefully, we will find that allowing sounds to flow is not at all impossible.

At any one moment our ears are in contact with many external sounds: sounds of passing vehicles, of children calling to one another and crying, of someone next to us breathing, and so forth. Usually, we naturally allow these sounds to flow without abiding. Right now, you are probably allowing many sounds to flow, but not the sounds of the words I am speaking. This is because you are paying attention to them, for you desire to know what my talk is getting at. Thus in this case, my words are the sound objects that you do not let flow. You cling to my words. This permits you to understand what is being said and to form mental responses. On the other hand, if you were to desist from this and just allow each syllable to flow, you would not be able to put together words and sentences. You would not have grasped the term ‘Kuan-shih-yin’ in the example given before, nor would you have grasped the meaning of that term. The results of practicing the allowing-to-flow method, when extended to all perception, can lead to some very profound realizations.

To proceed with Kuan-yin’s account, we may next consider the word ‘lost’ in the phrase “the audial object subsided and was lost.” This refers to the elimination of any consciousness of the object. ‘Audial object’ means the sound heard, or anything that becomes an object of one’s hearing. In Chinese Buddhist texts one often comes across two terms which mean ‘capability’ and ‘object.’ Specifically, ‘capability’ refers to the ability to perform subjective functions, as in the statement “I who am capable of hearing,” or “I who am capable of seeing.” The ‘object’ is the object of this capability, the sound that is heard, or the color that is seen. Many phenomena result from this dichotomy, which is the primary form of deluded attachment. Therefore, becoming detached from the object is to become detached from the object of hearing and all other objects that arise in connection with the object of hearing. This may be illustrated with an example:

A person once said to me: “The New York subway is so noisy that whenever I board a train my mind is disturbed by the rumbling sound.” An analysis of this sentence reveals the following sequence of events:

1. He boards the subway train, and his ears make contact with sounds.
2. He retains every single sound (i.e., he does not allow the sounds to flow off, but grasps at them) and perceives noise. This is the first object of hearing.
3. Stringing all the sounds together, he determines that the noise is a rumble. This is the second object.
4. He identifies the rumble as the sound being made by the subway train – the third object.
5. Because of past associations and present conceptualization he determines that the rumbling sound of the subway is a disturbance. This is the fourth object.

Now let us reverse the order and remove attachment to the objects one by one:

1. Recognizing the rumble of the subway one refrains from associating it with the past experiences that cause one to regard it as a disturbance. This is detachment from the fourth object.
2. Recognizing a rumble, one refrains from determining whether it is the rumble of a train, plane, or something else. This is detachment from the third object.
3. Perceiving noise, one refrains from judging it to be a rumble, squeak, or other sound. This is detachment from the second object.
4. Immediately after making contact with individual sounds one allows them to flow off – one refrains from retaining the sounds and stringing them together to form the sensation of sound in the audio-consciousness that is grounded in the nature to hear. Thus, one becomes detached from the first object.

When we reach this stage, we have become detached from all the objects. This is what is meant by allowing sounds to flow off and losing the object.

Now you know the entire meaning of the statement “I (concentrated) on the audial consciousness, allowed the sounds that were contacting (the ear) to flow off, and thus audial objects subsided and were lost.” This was the method employed by Kuan-yin during the first stage of his cultivation of realization. By not allowing sounds which enter through the ear to abide in the audial consciousness, one becomes detached from the object of hearing at once. Therefore audial objects subside and are lost.

Kuan-yin continued: “Then, since ear-contact and audial objects produced no effect, the mind remained in a state of clarity, and the phenomena of motion and stillness no longer occurred.”

These words indicate that through ceaseless training in allowing the sounds to flow off and letting the objects disappear, one gradually attains a state in which the innate nature to hear becomes free from the object of hearing and the contact of the ear with the external world. The nature to hear becomes thoroughly quiet and clear, and the mind is not torpid, but remains lucid. When that occurs, one feels neither the sensation of motion, for sound is the result of motion or vibrations, nor does one feel the sensation of stillness, for stillness is perceived in relation to motion. At this stage, ’samadhi’ (a technical Buddhist term for meditative absorption) has been attained, but there are many degrees of samadhi and progress through them is made in stages. The state described here may be called the initial stage of meditative absorption. At this level two of the five deluded attachments have been removed – deluded attachment to sound, and deluded attachment to hearing. Nonetheless, having removed only these two deluded attachments, worldly suffering may be greatly reduced. If we can attain just this stage, we will enjoy ample happiness and freedom in this world.

Your attention is invited to the fact that at this point Buddha’s basic teaching to “stop clinging to objects” is achieved. Now the next step is to “contemplate reality with a one-pointed mind.”

Therefore Kuan-yin did not stop at this point. He made greater efforts and pushed on in his practice, deepening his samadhi day by day. Thus he said, “Meditative absorption gradually deepened…”

The level of cultivation of realization described above could have already been attained by many of you, but what follows is entirely concerned with advancing the state of meditative absorption and is thus not easy for ordinary people to comprehend. Therefore, I wish to clarify my own position at this point. It may be that some of those who hear this have already experienced deep realizations, but I myself am just like the tadpole whose mother has just returned from the bank of a pond. She tries to make us young waterbound frogs understand the loveliness of the gentle breeze and the warm sunshine, but we can merely repeat what she has already said. We will only truly understand what she means when we get our own legs and go onto the bank ourselves. Only then will we realize the truth of the Bodhisattva Kuan-yin’s words.

Bodhisattva Kuan-yin continued:”…ultimately the distinction between audial consciousness and the objects of audial consciousness was no longer in existence.”

Bodhisattva Kuan-yin, in meditative absorption, continued to investigate the difference between the concept of the ‘I’ who is hearing and the object of hearing, because at the stage he had attained thus far, both audial consciousness and the nature to hear were still present. In this case, the word ‘audial consciousness’ is used to mean the ‘I’ who is hearing, or the nature to hear. The object is the object of the audial consciousness. In the final analysis, he realized, there is no difference between the two. Therefore, both (the individual engaged in) hearing and its object ceased completely; that is to say, they merged. At this time, because the concepts of hearing and the nature to hear were no longer present, his mind was filled with freedom and pure happiness. All sufferings except those of birth and death had been eradicated.

Nonetheless, Kuan-yin did not stop meditating, but continued his one-pointed mind contemplation, and he found that “awareness and the object of awareness became empty. Then the awareness of emptiness expanded without boundary.”

This is a higher level of meditative absorption wherein there is nothing but awareness left. But who is it that is aware? It is the ‘I.’ Thus, as long as there is awareness, there remains this ‘I.’

Kuan-yin proceeded to investigate further to find the difference between the ‘I’ who is aware and the object of awareness. In the end he found that there was no difference between the two, because they were both empty, intangibly empty. Hence he said, “awareness and the object of awareness became empty…”

In this state of meditative absorption he no longer felt the existence of his physical body, and he was liberated from the pains of birth and death. The sensation of emptiness was so pervasive that it was felt to reach the uttermost boundaries of the three realms and into the infinite past and future. It was everywhere, and it had no temporal or spatial limits. Therefore, Kuan-yin described the stage he had reached as being without boundary. Still, this was not the stage of perfection he sought, so the bodhisattva cultivated his realization further:

“Then emptiness and that which is empty became extinct.”

This level of meditative absorption was, of course, higher than the previous one, but even at this stage there remained a sensation of emptiness. Who was it that felt the sensation of emptiness when emptiness was attained? Although he had lost the sensation of a physical ‘I’ at this point, there was still a vague sensation of an ‘I’ present in his consciousness. In other words, there was still a slight degree of deluded attachment left. This stage could easily be mistaken for the highest degree to which realization could be cultivated, but there was still one most important step left to be taken. Therefore, instead of stopping here, he took a further step and doubled his efforts in order to investigate the difference between the ‘I’ who was empty and the emptiness that was its object. At last he came to realize not only that there was no difference between the two, but that even the sensation of emptiness was nonexistent. Therefore, Kuan-yin said that emptiness and its object were eliminated.

At this stage everything that was subject to arising and subsiding, everything that might appear and then cease, such as thought, sensation, mental reflection, hearing, awareness, emptiness, and ego, had completely ceased. Not a bit of deluded attachment remained. All the sufferings of existence had ended. Darkness was totally dispelled and nothing was left.

Therefore, Kuan-yin said:

“Since all arising and subsiding had ceased, equanimity became manifest.”

This is the picture of the land as the mother frog had expressed it. One must not take “equanimity became manifest” to mean “equanimity then appeared before me.” So that we might not form such a mistaken impression, the Sixth Patriarch, Hui Neng, pointed out that “when total nirvana manifests, it does not manifest in the relative sense of the word. ” (Platform Sutra, Chapter on Opportunity.) At this stage there is no longer any concept of an ‘I.’ Therefore, the word ‘manifest’ actually denotes a complete all-pervasiveness and is not a relative term involving a comparative concept. Hence, Kuan-yin continued:

“Suddenly, transcending both the mundane and supramundane…”

At this stage every obstacle was removed. All the deluded attachments, the stages of samadhi realized in meditation, and the sensations of subject and object were transcended none of them were obstacles any longer. The true nature of reality was revealed and all Bodhisattva Kuan-yin could say was:”…there was an undistracted luminosity in all the ten directions.”

‘Ten directions’ refers to the absence of any fixed center, the absence of a central ego. ‘Undistracted’ means that nothing is wanting; it is perfect, unbounded. ‘Luminosity’ means a brightness that is totally without obstacles. These words are used to convey in language the condition of one’s basic nature, attained through the cultivation of realization, though language is not at all adequate here. “Undistracted luminosity in all the ten directions” makes it clear that there is now nothing but original nature: There is no buddha, no sentient being; there is not even emptiness. This is the ‘basic nature,’ ‘original nature,’ ‘primordial element,’ or ‘buddha-nature’ described in the Buddhist scriptures. All these terms have the same meaning.

In the Shurangama Sutra, the Bodhisattva Kuan-yin made two further statements explaining the function that arises from our basic nature. This function is the universal delivery of all sentient beings from suffering through the great compassion and loving kindness that arise spontaneously from the empty nature of the primordial element. In this state, defilements are identical with enlightenment and enlightenment with defilements. Such a state cannot be the object of mundane speculation, for the attempts of ordinary individuals to grasp this conceptually can easily cause further delusion. If we become attached to the notion of the function, obstacles to the cultivation of realization may arise. Therefore I have left Kuan-yin’s two further statements unexplained. In any case, if one gains an insight into the nature of the primordial element, the function will follow naturally, for they are two aspects of one and the same thing. Tadpoles like me would do much better to just concentrate our efforts on the practice of allowing objects that contact the sense organs to flow off, and thus become detached from objects. This will at least remove some of the mundane defilements and attachments. I sincerely hope that all of you become free from suffering by practicing Kuan-yin’s method.

It is said that to be born as a human being is as rare as the early morning star; to have the opportunity to hear Buddha’s teaching is even more rare. I might add that to find the opportunity and time to practice those teachings is the rarest among the rare. I sincerely hope that you are among the rarest of the rare.

Thank you very much.

Guan Shi Yin Pusa / Avalokiteshvara


Guan Shi Yin Pusa / Avalokiteshvara

Guan Shi Yin Pusa / Avalokiteshvara

About Guan Shi Yin Pusa

Chants

The Origin of Kuan Yin:

There are many legends about the origin of Kuan Yin, but this in one of the most popular.

In 7th century China, a king had three daughters, the youngest named Miao-Shan. At the time of Miao-Shan’s birth, the earth trembled and a wonderful fragrance and flower blossoms sprang up around the land. Many of the local people said they saw the signs of a holy incarnation on her body.

While the king and queen were amazed by this blessing. Unfortunately, they were corrupt and saw little value in a child who appeared pure and kind. When Miao-Shan got older, the king wanted to find a husband for her. She told her father she would only marry if by so doing she would be able to help alleviate the suffering of all mankind.

The king became enraged when he heard of her devotion to helping others, and forced her to slave away at menial tasks. Her mother, the queen, and her two sisters admonished her, all to no avail.

In desperation, the king decided to let her pursue her religious calling at a monastery, but ordered the nuns there to treat her so badly she would change her mind. She was forced to collect wood and water, and tend a garden for the kitchen. They thought this would be impossible, since the land around the monastery was barren. To everyone’s amazement, the garden flourished, even in winter, and a spring welled up out of nowhere next to the kitchen.

When the king heard about these miracles, he decided that he was going to kill Miao-Shan. After all, the nuns who were supposed to have tormented her. But as his henchmen arrived at the monastery, a spirit came out of a fog of clouds and carried her away to safety on a remote island. She lived there on her own for many years, pursuing a life of of religious dedication.

Several years later, her father became seriously ill. He was unable to sleep or eat; his doctors believed he would certainly die soon. As he was about to pass, a monk came to visit the king. The monk told the king he could cure the monarch, but he would have to grind up the arms and eyes of one free from hatred to make the medicine. The king thought this was impossible, but the monk assured him that there was a Bodhisattva living in the king’s domain who would gladly surrender those items if asked.

The king sent an envoy to find this unknown bodhisattva. When the envoy made the request, Miao-Shan gladly cut out her eyes and severed her arms. The envoy returned and the monk made the medicine. The king instantly recovered. When the king thanked the monk; he chastised the king by saying, “You should thank the one who gave her eyes and arms.” Suddenly, the monk disappeared. The king believed this was divine intervention and after ordering a coach prepared headed off with his family to find and thank the unknown bodhisattva.

When the royal family arrived they realized it is was their daughter, Miao-Shan, who had made the sacrifice. Miao-Shan spoke up, “Mindful of my father’s love, I have repaid him with my eyes and arms.” With eyes full of tears and hearts full of shame, the family gathered to hug Miao-Shan. As they did so auspicious clouds formed around Miao-Shan. The earth trembled, flowers rained down, and a holy manifestation of the Thousand Eyes and Thousand Arms appeared hovering in the air.

And then, the bodhisattva was gone. To honor Miao-Shan the royal family built a shrine on the spot, which is known as Fragrant Mountain.

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he correct way to pray

For the sake of explaining the true spirit of prayer, a typical prayer follows:

Om Mani Pay may Hom Sri
(Om Mani Padme hum Hrih(in written form))
I take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha
Homage to Lord Avalokitesvara of Great compassion.
Namo Arya Avalokitesvara
I request the Compassionate One, please listen to me,
Please guide myself, mothers and fathers.
In all 6 realms to be freed swiftly from the great ocean of samsara
I request that the vast and profound awakening mind may grow.
With the tear of your great compassion, please purify all evil karma and delusions.
Please lead all sentient beings with your hand of compassion to the Land of Amitabha.
Please, Amitabha and Avalokitesvara.
May all of you be my virtuous friends in all my lives.
Show us well the path and quickly place us in Buddha’s state.
( personal requests are then added humbly)

From this prayer, it is evident that prayer has a higher ideal that what people think. The main priority is to pray that may all (including ourselves) be free from all sufferings and one day attain Buddhahood. Buddhism teaches that all beings with life have this potential to be a Buddha, but like a jewel locked in a safe, this potential is like an unsprouted seed. Thus is the difference between the Buddhas and sentient beings like us is like a fruit and a seed. Once we generate compassion, it develops this potential, in this way everyone has a Guan Yin in himself\herself. Thus we pray to develop compassion and wisdom not just for the fulfillment of mundane wishes.

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Guan yin is often shown with a thousand hands and although this is biologically impossible, it symbolises the uinversal compassion for all beings (ie,a helping hand for every one). Of course if there were more than 1000 people in help it would be ridiculous to think that Guan Yin would have a lack of arms to help others. Many numbers are used metaphorically in Buddhism, this is an important point we must keep in mind. In Tibetan Buddhism, Guan Yin is also portrayed as a male deity ( there is a female form of him known as Tara) with 4 arms. These four arms represent the 4 vows of the Bodhisattva way. These 4 vows are as follows:

1) Living beings are infinite, I vow to save them all.
2) Sorrows and defilments are infinite and I vow to break them all.
3) The Dharma doors are infinite and I vow to learn them all.
4) Buddhahood is the Highest without compare and I vow to achieve it.

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GUAN YIN AND AMITABHA BUDDHA

GUAN YIN AND THE THOUSAND ARMS
One Buddhist legend presents Guan Yim as vowing to never rest until she had freed all sentient beings from samsara, reincarnation. Despite strenuous effort, she realized that still many unhappy beings were yet to be saved. After struggling to comprehend the needs of so many, her head split into eleven pieces. Amitabha Buddha, seeing her plight, gave her eleven heads with which to hear the cries of the suffering. Upon hearing these cries and comprehending them, Guan Yim attempted to reach out to all those who needed aid, but found that her two arms shattered into pieces. Once more, Amitabha came to her aid and appointed her a thousand arms with which to aid the many.

Many Himalayan versions of the tale include eight arms with which Avalokitesvara skilfully upholds the Dharma, each possessing its own particular implement, while more Chinese-specific versions give varying accounts of this number.

Like Avalokitesvara, Guan Yim is also depicted with a thousand arms and varying numbers of eyes, hands and heads, sometimes with an eye in the palm of each hand, and is commonly called “the thousand-arms, thousand-eyes” bodhisattva. In this form she represents the omnipresent mother, looking in all directions simultaneously, sensing the afflictions of humanity and extending her many arms to alleviate them with infinite expressions of her mercy, while the thousand eyes help her see anyone who may be in need.

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AVALOKITESHVARA OM MANI PADME HUM

Seven Syllable Guan Shi Yin Pusa Chant