Information Sharing - with Beginners
(Extracts from books and internet. May immeasurable merits and our appreciation go to the authors of these articles)
BRIEF INTRODUCTION - MAHA CUNDI BODHISATTVA : 準提菩薩
Cundi (Sanskrit: चुन्दी, literally "Extreme Purity") is a bodhisattva venerated in the Mahāyāna Buddhist schools and is also known as a bhagavati, or "mother of buddhas",
Cundi Bodhisattva is a being of great spiritual status. Being the mother of all the deities of the Lotus class, she is therefore known as the Mother of Seven Kotis of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. She is all-powerful, and her Tantric epithet is the Most Victorious Vajra, or Subjugation Vajra.
Cundi is attended by two dragon (naga) kings who stand guard by her lotus throne. These two dragon kings are Nanda and Upananda. Devotees pray to Maha Cundi Bodhisattva for protection from all kinds of harm. The articles which are held in her hands possess great power and have symbolic meanings.
Cundi is well revered in the Chinese and Japanese Buddhist Esoteric sects. In China, she is known as Zhǔntí Púsà (準提菩薩, "Cundi Bodhisattva") or Zhǔntí Fómǔ (準提佛母, "Cundi Buddha-Mother"), while in Japan she is known as Juntei Kannon (准胝観音) or Kanji,and in Vietnam as Phật Mẫu Chuẩn Đề.
HOW TO PAY HOMAGE TO MAHA CUNDI BODHISATTVA?
To constantly recite the mantra as follow,
namaḥ saptānāṃ samyaksaṃbuddha koṭīnāṃ tadyathā
oṃ cale cule cundī svāhā
This dharani was revealed by Buddha out of great compassion for sentient beings, to help relieve them from sufferings.
First empty the mind and hold the root mudra in front of the chest, recite the long mantra everyday:
(Diagrams showing the hand mundra of Maha Cundi Bodhisattva: )
side view Front view
AUSPICIOUS DATE to pay respect to Maha Cundi Bodhisattva is 16th day of 3rd Lunar month.
The Outer Appearance of Maha Cundi Bodhisattva
Cundi Bodhisattva appears with eighteen arms and three eyes. She is adorned with a jeweled crown which is mounted with a figure of a manifested buddha.
Because of her many arms and eyes, she is often mistakenly taken to be Kuan Yin Bodhisattva with a Thousand Eyes and Thousand Arms, but a closer examination will reveal that the articles that she is holding are quite different from those of Kuan Yin Bodhisattva of Compassion. An easier way to differentiate them would be by way of the “Mudra” which is peculiar to Maha Cundi Bodhisattva. Although their forms are different, they are of same aspect and share the same limitless compassion. This means that Maha Cundi Bodhisattva will respond to prayers that are sincere and selfless.
The Uniqueness of the Eighteen Arms
The eighteen arms of Cundi are the symbolic expression of the profound principles of the pathway to attain enlightenment . Each one of Cundi's eighteen arms represent a particular quality of enlightenment such as the unflagging zeal to save sentient beings and perfect knowledge of the past, present and future.
01. His perfection of body
02. His perfection of speech
03. His perfection of memory
04. His perfection of impartiality to all
05. His serenity
06. His self-sacrifice
07. His unceasing desire to salvage sentient beings
08. His unflagging zeal to salvage sentient beings
09. His unfailing thought to salvage sentient beings
10. The unceasing wisdom to salvage sentient beings
11. The powers of deliverance
12. The principle of the powers of deliverance
13. Revealing perfect wisdom in deed
14. Revealing perfect wisdom in word
15. Revealing perfect wisdom in thought
16. Perfect knowledge of the past
17. Perfect knowledge of the future
18. Perfect knowledge of the present
In addition, each of her hands is either forming a mudra or holding an instrument symbolizing an activity characteristic of an enlightened being. For example in one of her arms, Cundi holds an axe which signifies the elimination of evil. Another of Cundi's arms form the Abhaya Mudrā which signifies the bestowing fearlessness to her devotees. Details of Cundi's iconography can be found below.
The Symbolism and Meaning of the Eighteen Instruments held by Maha Cundi Bodhisattva:
1. The original 2 hands forming the root Mudra of Expounding the Dharma represents the fluency of elucidating all Dharma
2. The hand holding the wondrous precious banner represents the ability to build a most magnificent, great monastery
3. The hand forming the Fearless Mudra represents the ability to deliver sentient beings away from all terror and fears.
4. The hand holding a lotus flower represents the purification of the six senses which, untainted, are as pure as the lotus flower.
5. The hand holding a sword of wisdom represents the severing of the entanglements of afflictions and the three poisons of greed, anger and ignorance.
6. The hand holding an empowerment vase represents the flowing of nectar to nurture all sentient beings so that they may receive the empowerment of the buddhas.
7. The hand holding a wonderful jewelled headdress represents the wish to be linked to wonderful dharma art.
8. The hand holding a vajra lasso represents the ability to attract all into the yoga tantra.
9. The hand holding a wonderful celestial fruit represents the accomplishment of the fruition of enlightenment, and the extensive cultivation of good karma.
10. The hand holding an eight-spoke wheel represents the constant turning of the great dharma wheel, radiating its magnificent lights over the three lower realms.
11. The hand holding a battle axe represents the elimination of all evil practices and the severing of attachment to oneself and others.
12. The hand holding a large dharma shell represents the expounding of pure Dharma which shakes the universe.
13. The hand holding a vajra hook represents the skill to magnetize and attract all phenomena within one's view.
14. The hand holding a wish-fulfilling vase represents the function of manifesting all treasures and scriptures at will.
15. The hand holding a vajra represents the collective convergence of support given by the eight classes of celestial beings and dragons. It also represents the subjugation of stubborn sentient beings.
16. The hand holding a wisdom sutra represents the self-cognition of knowing the profound and wonderful truth without any guidance from a teacher.
17. The hand holding a mani or wish-fulfilling pearl represents the vibrant and luminous state of mind which is flawless, pure and perfect.
Some images of Cundi Bodhisattva depict different gestures and instruments. The meaning remains the same, regardless. You may visualize the hands clearly and recite the mantra so that you may attain realization swiftly and liberate sentient beings from their suffering.
To pray for a wish to be fulfilled, one visualizes that particular object shines a brilliant light over one's entire body. The light is red for affection, yellow for prosperity; and white for removing all forms of calamity. To pray for some one, visualize they sit beside you, the light cleanses all bodies.
Visualize the third eye at Maha Cundi Bodhisattva's brow-point shine a brilliant light into one's third eye. Visualize the third eye of Maha Cundi Bodhisattva keeps emitting a brilliant white light that arches and enters one's body through the crown chakra, purifying the body into crystal white. All negative karmas, or sickness look like tar are flushed out through the lower part of the body. Dwell on this visualization (Samādhi) with utmost effort.
(to read the full English version of the Sutra, please go to the last page)
Maha Cundi Bodhisattva’s Dharani and its benefits:
The Buddha revealed the The Maha Cundi Dharani /mantra as follow,
"namaḥ saptānāṃ samyaksaṃbuddha koṭīnāṃ tadyathā
oṃ cale cule cundī svāhā"
THE BENEFITS FROM RECITING CUNDI MANTRA
In the sūtra, after the Buddha speaks extensively about the various effects and benefits of reciting the Cundī Dhāraṇī. Many of the effects are purifying and uplifting in nature. (The following are my summarised version of the benefits pronounced in the Sutra)
- the home of those who chant the mantra 800,000 times will not be ravaged by catastrophes or diseases. Their work will be smooth and harmonious, and others will believe and accept what they say.
- If those who memorize and recite this mantra 800,000 times, their deadly karma in every place, created over innumerable eons, will be completely annihilated. In every place where they are born or reside, they will always meet buddhas and bodhisattvas. They will always have adequate resources and abilities to do as they wish. In any birth, they have the option to leave home life, and will have the ability to maintain the pure precepts of a bodhisattva. They will be born in human or heavenly realms, they will not fall into evil destinies, and they will always be protected by all the heavenly guardians.
- For those who recite this mantra, a total of 100,000 times, you will see buddhas, bodhisattvas, śrāvakas, and pratyekabuddhas in a dream, and see a dark substance vomited from your mouth.
- For those who recite this mantra 200,000 times, will dream of the buddhas and bodhisattvas, and see a black substance being vomited out of one’s mouth.
- For those who have committed any of the five cardinal sins and recite the mantra 700,000 times, they shall receive the auspicious dream and if in their dream they vomited a white substance, it clearly indicates that they have gained the pure sign of karmic purification committed.
- For those who recite 1080 times in front of a mirror, you may visualize the bodhisattvas and have your prayers answered. (Please read the Maha Cundi Sutra for more details)
- This mantra could cure a sick person who is possessed by spirits (Please read the Maha Cundi Sutra for more details)
- For those who recite this mantra while travelling, there is no fear of meeting thieves, robbers or wild beasts. For those who travel across ocean and recite this mantra, no harm will come from the big sea creatures of the ocean.
- If those who always maintain this mantra, they will be on the winning end of any dispute.
- If a country suffers from a flood, drought, or a prevailing epidemic, recite the mantra once over the mixture, and cast it into a fire. Does this continuously for 12 hours over a period of seven days and all calamities shall be eliminated.
- For those who recite 600,000 times as they imprint each stupa on the sand beside a river bank, one should either see the appearance of Guan Yin Bodhisattva or Tara herself. Or perhaps, one will see the appearance of Vajrapani. Whatever you pray for shall be fulfilled. One might even be given spiritual medicine or receive a prediction of attaining enlightenment.
- If you circumambulate the image of a bodhi tree clockwise and recite the mantra up to ten million times, you shall witness a bodhisattva preaching the Dharma to you and be allowed to follow the bodhisattva.
- If you should first complete 300,000 recitations of this mantra in front of a pagoda, or a statue of a buddha, or a stupa, and subsequently make a very large offering of food on the fifteenth of suklapaksa (the bright, first half of the month), reciting the mantra for a day while fasting from food, you shall gain an audience with Vajrapani and receive an invitation to go to his palace
- The dhāraṇī is also closely associated with buddhahood and complete enlightenment (Skt. Anuttarā Samyaksaṃbodhi).
- This great dhāraṇī of Cundī is a great brilliant mantra teaching that is spoken by all buddhas of the past, all buddhas of the future, and all buddhas of the present time.
Buddha said: "I also now speak it thusly to benefit all sentient beings, causing them to attain Anuttarā Samyaksaṃbodhi. If there are sentient beings with little merit, who lack the roots of goodness, natural ability, and the Factors of Bodhi, if they obtain hearing of this dhāraṇī method, they will quickly realize the attainment of Anuttarā Samyaksaṃbodhi. If there are people who are always able to remember, recite, and maintain this dhāraṇī, they will all obtain immeasurable roots of goodness."
(It is so unbelievably easy to clear our negative karma, even to us laymen. May this mantra of Cundi benefits countless sentient beings.)
Please read the full Sutra below:....
Buddha Pronounces the Sūtra of the Great Cundī Dhāraṇī
The Heart of the Mother of Seven Koṭi Buddhas
Translated from Sanskrit into Chinese in the Tang Dynasty
The Tripiṭaka Master Divākara from India
Translated from Taishō Tripiṭaka volume 20, number 1077
At one time the Buddha was dwelling in the Anāthapiṇḍika Garden of Jetavana Park in the city kingdom of Śrāvastī. The World-Honored One meditated, observing sentient beings of the future. Out of great compassion for them, the Buddha expounded the Dharma of the Cundī Dhāraṇī, the heart of the mother of seven koṭi Buddhas. The Buddha then pronounced the mantra:
namaḥ saptānāṁ samyak-saṁbuddha
koṭināṁ | tad-yathā oṁ cale cule cundi svāhā ||
“If there are bhikṣus, bhikṣuṇīs, upāsakas, or upāsikās who memorize and recite this dhāraṇī 800,000 times, their deadly karma in every place, created over innumerable eons, will be completely annihilated. In every place where they are born or reside, they will always meet buddhas and bodhisattvas. They will always have adequate resources and abilities to do as they wish. In any birth, they will always be able to leave the home life, and will have the ability to maintain the pure precepts of a bodhisattva.
They will be born in human or heavenly realms, they will not fall into evil destinies, and they will always be protected by all the heavenly guardians. If there are virtuous house-holding men or women who recite and maintain it, their households will not encounter harm caused by disasters or suffering caused by unexpected illness. Everything spoken to others will be truthful and accepted by them.
“If the dhāraṇī mantra has been recited a total of 100,000 times, you will see buddhas, bodhisattvas, śrāvakas, and pratyekabuddhas in a dream, and see a dark substance vomited from your mouth.
If you have committed serious offenses, you should recite it a total of 200,000 times. Then in a dream you too will see buddhas and bodhisattvas, and also see a dark substance vomited from your mouth. If you have committed any of the five cardinal sins, you may still not yet have this auspicious dream. Then you should then recite more, a total of 700,000 times to attain such a sign. In a dream you may even see a white substance vomited from your mouth, like rice paste, in the similar way. These are signs of purity and cleanliness indicating that the karma has been extinguished.
I shall now elucidate what this great dharani may achieve. One may stand before an image of the Buddha, or on clean ground before a stūpa, spread gomaya (cow dung, considered in India as clean and purifying) on the ground to create a square maṇḍala, large or small. Set up offerings of flowers, incense, banners, canopies, food, drinks, lamps, and candles, according to your abilities. While reciting the mantra, spray perfume in the four directions, and in the Zenith and Nadir, to seal the boundary of the maṇḍala. In the four corners of the maṇḍala and in the center, place one perfume bottle. You, the mantrin, should be at the center of the maṇḍala, facing East, and kneeling on your right knee. Recite the mantra 1080 times, and the perfume bottles will automatically rotate. Holding a bunch of various flowers as an offering, recite the mantra 1080 times, and then scatter the flowers over the surface of a mirror. Looking straight at the mirror, recite the mantra 1080 times, and you will see images of buddhas and bodhisattvas. You should then mantra with flowers 108 times, and then scatter them as offerings, and the questions you ask will be answered.
“If there is an illness caused by a ghost, mantra with kuśa grass, and then brush the sick person with it, and he or she will be healed. If there are young children possessed by ghosts, have a maiden twist together a multi-colored string using five threads. Then mantra one time for each knot you tie, for total of 21 knots, and fasten the knotted string around the neck of the child. Mantra with mustard seeds a total of seven times, and then scatter them over the face of the child, and it will be removed. Moreover, there is a method in which you stand before a sick person with an ink drawing of him or her. Mantra with a willow branch and strike the drawing, and the illness will be easily removed. There is also a method if there is a sick person who is affected by ghosts, but is in a distant place. You should mantra with a willow branch a total of seven times, and then send another person with the willow branch to strike the picture of the patient in his presence, and the illness may also be removed.
“Moreover, there is a method when one is traveling. Recite this mantra, and you will have no fear of meeting thieves, bandits, wild beasts, and so on. Moreover, there is a method for disputes. If you always maintain this mantra, you will never be without victory. If you wish to sail across great rivers and oceans, recite this mantra, and you will not have difficulties with wild sea creatures. Moreover, there is a method if your body is has been bound and imprisoned. Recite this mantra, and you will be liberated.
“Moreover, there is a method for a country that is suffering from flooding, droughts, or epidemics. You should prepare an even mixture of sesame seeds and non-glutinous rice. Use three fingers to obtain a pinch of this mixture. Then mantra with it, and throw it in the fire to burn. Continue this for seven days and seven nights, in the six periods of the day and night, uninterrupted. Every disaster and epidemic will be annihilated.
“Moreover, there is a method for the sand near a river bank. By means of a stamp, imprint an image of a stūpa in the sand. Recite the mantra one time with the completion of each stūpa, for a total of 600,000 times. Then you may see Avalokitasvara Bodhisattva, Tārā Bodhisattva, or Vajrapāṇi Bodhisattva. Anyone of them can fulfill your wishes. You may also be granted siddhi medicine, or receive the prediction of future enlightenment.
“Moreover, there is a method for circumambulating an image of a bodhi tree clockwise. After reciting the mantra a total of ten million times, you will see a bodhisattva expounding the Dharma. You will be able to follow this bodhisattva if you wish.
“Moreover, there is a method if you beg for food often. Maintain this mantra, and no malevolent person or malevolent dog will cause you harm. If you are before a stūpa, before a buddha image, or before a reliquary, recite and maintain this mantra for a total of 300,000 times. Furthermore, on the fifteenth day of a waxing moon, make a large offering and recite the mantra mindfully without eating food for one day and one night. You will even be able to see Vajrapāṇi Bodhisattva, and he can take you to his palace.
“Moreover, there is a method if you are standing before the stūpa where the Dharma Wheel was first turned, or the stūpa where the Buddha was born, or the stūpa where the Buddha descended the jeweled steps from Trāyastriṃśa Heaven, or a reliquary stūpa. Before a stūpa such as this, recite the mantra while circumambulating clockwise. Then Aparājitā Bodhisattva and Hāritī Bodhisattva will appear, and your wishes will all be fulfilled. If necessary, you will be given siddhi medicine, and then they will instruct you on the Bodhisattva Path. Although one who recites this dhāraṇī may not have yet sat in a bodhimaṇḍa,, will have all bodhisattvas as his skillful teachers and beneficent friend.
“Moreover, this Great Cundī Dhāraṇī, the great illumination mantra, was pronounced by all Buddhas of the past, will be pronounced by all Buddhas of the future, and is pronounced by all Buddhas of the present. I too now pronounce it for the benefit of all sentient beings, helping them to attain the unsurpassed bodhi. There are sentient beings with a meager store of merits, without roots of goodness, without the right capacity, and without the [Seven] Bodhi Factors. If they are so fortunate as to hear the Dharma of this Cundī Dhāraṇī, they will quickly attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi. If a person always remembers to recite this mantra diligently, he will develop immeasurable roots of goodness.”
As the Buddha was expounding this Dharma of the Great Cundī Dhāraṇī, innumerable sentient beings shunned dust and filth [their afflictions], and gained the virtue of the Great Cundī Dhāraṇī, the great illumination mantra. They were able to see Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and other holy beings [in worlds] in the ten directions. [The listeners] made obeisance to the Buddha and departed.
Buddha Pronounces the Sūtra of the Great Cundī Dhāraṇī
Heart of the Mother of Seven koṭi Buddhas
Translated from the digital Chinese Canon (T20n1077)