Brief Introduction for Beginners:
Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha: 地藏菩薩
(Na mo Dai Yuen Ti TsangWang P'usa) 南無大願地藏王菩薩
SUMMARIES OF THE SUTRA OF BODHISATTVA KSITIGARBHA’S FUNDAMENTAL VOWS
Spiritual Penetrations in the Palace of the Trayastrimsha Heaven, to listen to Buddha’s Dharma. In this Chapter, Buddha cited two past lives of Ti Jang Wang Pusa where he already had made the same great vows, vast long kalpas ago.(In one life he was a son of a rich man and the other was a Brahman girl)
The Division Bodies Gathered, where hundreds, thousands and millions of transformational bodies of Ti Tsang Wang Pusa employed extensive skillful means for the deliverance and liberation of sentient beings. In this Chapter, it stated that Buddha placed his confidence in to TiTsang Wang Pusa to deliver and liberate those suffering beings in the Saha world until the advent of Maitreya.
Contemplating the Karmic Conditions of Beings In this chapter, Ti Tsang Pusa cited the FIVE SERIOUS SINS, and described the conditions/functions of the 18 major hells
TheKarmic Retributions of Beings of Jambudvipa. In this chapter Buddha cited two past lives of Ti Tsang Wang Pusa (one life span as a king of a small country and the other was a woman named Prabhacaksuh (Bright Eyes) where the same big vows were made). Buddha also cited the benefits of those who pay obeisance to Ti Tsang Pusa images and recite this Sutra; and also the retributions yielded by evil deeds – the physical, verbal and mental karmas of sentient being. (This chapter is worth reading again & again).
The Names of Various Hells. In this chapter Ti Tsang Pusa described the various kinds of retribution for different sins in hells, where sentient beings who created bad karma by leading evil lives receive their retributions and gave warning that “Karma is tremendously powerful”.
TheTathagata's Praises. In this chapter, Buddha praised the deeds of Ti Tsang Pusa who had “manifested his great, inconceivable, merciful and compassionate powers, saves and protects all the sinful and suffering beings in all the worlds in the ten directions”. Buddha also talked briefly about the blissful and virtuous things which Ti Tsang Pusa has done to benefit beings, and the different benefits acquired by beings who pay obeisance, recite this Sutra and sincerely recite the name of Ti Tsang Pusa. (This chapter is worth reading again & again)
Benefiting the Living and the Dead In this chapter, Ti Tsang Pusa advised no killing or creating evil karma immediately after someone’s death; but to perform some good deedsduring the seven day period by his blood relatives to exert some blissful power to deliver him, even though the dead would only benefit one of every seven parts of the meritorious virtues and the living gets the other six parts.
Praises of King Yama and His Followers. In this chapter, Buddha praised the mercy of the Demon King in charge of human lives and make decisions relative to human being’s karma both at time of birth and at time of their deaths, who promised to protect the mother and baby at time of birth andadvise relatives of the dead person to read and recite the revered Sutras and invoke the names of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to divert the dead away from evil paths and the evil maras.
The Names of Buddhas. In this chapter, Ti Tsang Pusa spoke about the beneficial things that will help sentient beings gain great advantage in birth and death. He cited many examples ofsentient beings gaining immeasurable meritorious virtue if they invoke the name of only one Buddha or many names of Buddhas. These beings will automatically gain great benefit while living and while dead and they will not ever fall onto the evil paths of existence.
The Conditions and Comparative Merits and Virtues of AlmsGiving.Buddha spoke about the meritorious virtues gained from almsgiving, the show of great mercy and to keep the idea of compassion in mind. (This chapter is worth reading and following up).
The Protection of the Dharma by the Deities in charge of the Land. In this chapter, Buddha told Prthivi (the Deity or deva in charge of Land, tress, sand, grass, etc) to use his miraculous power to support and protect those good men and good women who worship this Bodhisattva, read this Sutra or should they cultivate and practice even only one thing or gathain this Sutra, so that they will ultimately leave the sea of suffering and realize the happiness of Nirvana.
Benefits Derived from Seeing and Hearing. In this Chapter, Buddha spoke to Kwan ImPusa about the many different levels of benefits for those sentient beings who wholeheartedly recite the name of and pay obeisance to Ti Tsang Pusa, for one to seven days period, or for three seven day periods as many as ten thousand times, or one thousand times every day and continuously for a period of one thousand days, or ten thousand times, etc. (This chapter is worth reading to gain more insight into the many benefits)
The Entrustment or Commendation of People and Gods. In this chapter, Ti Tsang Pusa told Buddha not to worry and promised Buddha that he shall resort to deliver and liberate all beings who even have one small thought of reverence for the Buddha Dharma. In this chapter, Buddha also spoke about the 28 kinds of benefits for all beings, deva, and naga, etc., who hear, read and recite this Sutra, pay obeisance to Ti Tsang Pusa image. (This chapter is worth reading again and again).
SOME INTERESTING EXTRACTS FROM THE SUTRA OF BODHISATTVA KSITIGARBHA’S FUNDAMENTAL VOWS
Some interesting Extracts from Chapter 1 describes the great assembly
of inexpressible number of Buddhas and Bodhsattvasand countless millions of devas, nagas, demons, great demon kings, deities, hailing from countless worlds in ten directions, to greet the Buddha in Trayastrimsas Heaven where he expound the Dharma to his mother.
In this assembly, Buddha spoke about the many great vows and endurances of Ti Tsang Wang Pusa the various benefits if future good man or woman who hear the name of this Bodhisattva and praise or worship him or invoke his name or donate offerings to him as well as paint, sculpt or mold his image, he/she will be reborn in the thirty three heavens for one hundred turns and will never again fall onto the evil paths of existence.”
Same vows made by Bodhisattva Ksitigarhba during his past lives:
One of his past life = son of a rich man (see page 5). BUDDHA OF THAT ERA WAS LION’S-EXCITEMENT-MYRAID-DEED-ALL-ACCOMPLISHED TATHAGATA. This elder son consequently took his vow, saying, “I now vow that I will provide, throughout incalculable numbers of kalpas in the future, for the sake of all sinful, suffering beings on the six paths of existence, extensive expediencies to cause them all to be delivered and liberated before I mselfrealise Buddhahood.”
Another of his past = a Brahman girl whose mother practised wicked ways and often slighted the Three Jewels. (during the time of ENLIGHTENMENT-FLOWER-SERENITY-SELF-SOVERIGNTY-KING TATHAGATA.(see page 6). Demon king named Vandana (No Poison). Vandana explained to her: “those suffering people are newly deceased beings who committed evil. Since for forty-nine days none of their heirs have performed any meritorious or virtuous act to save and deliver them from their sufferings an since they did not create any virtuous causes in the lifetime, they must be committed to the various hells according to their karma. The grand hells are within the three karmic seas. All being places of immeasurable sufferings”. The Braham girl made a great vow in front of the stupa and image of Elightened…. King Tathaga: “May I through all future kalpas, provide extensive expediencies for the deliverance and liberation of all sinful, suffering beings”.
Some interesting Extracts from Chapter 2 described the many separate transformational Ksitigarbha
came from the hells in hundreds, thousands, myriads and millions of unthinkable, inexpressible, countless numbers of worlds to assemble in Trayastrimsas Palace together with those who had been liberated from karmic paths and would never retrogress from Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi. By virue of the extensive mercy and compassion as well as the profound vows of Bodhisattva Ti Tsang Wang, each one of them had realised the Bodhi fruit.
Those who are not yet tamed will receive their due retribution according to their karma.
In this chapter, Buddha told Ti Tsang Wang Pusa that “I, here in Trayastrimsas Palace, have, with confidence, placed in your care until the advent of Maitreya, all those suffering beings in the Saha World, desiring that you deliver and liberate them all so that they may continually free themselves from suffering forwever and thus be predestined to meet the Buddhas”. At that time, Ti Tsang Wang told Buddha “for vast long kalpas I have been called and received and led by Buddha who granted me inconceivable magic power and endowed me with great wisdom. For these, I will deliver hundreds of thoughts of myriads of millions of people, causing them to take refuge in the Precious Three, ridding them of birth and death and helping them attain the joy of Nirvana. However, for any virtuous deed accompalished by a sentient being in the name of Buddhadharma, even if it be as small as the tip of a strand of hair, I shall make use of it for his deliverance and liberation so that he may attain the maximum benefit. I only hope that you, O World Honoured One, do not worry about those beings of future generations who have wicked karma”. (page 15)
Some interesting Extracts from Chapter 3 relate to ‘The contemplation on the Karmic Connection between Sentient Beings”.
Interesting Extracts also describe the FIVE unpardonable sins and description of AVICI Hell.
Ti Tsang Pusa described The FIVE unpardonable sins:
- Sentient beings that ill-treat their parents or cause harm or kill them.
- Sentient beings who shed the blood of a Buddha, ridicule the Three Jewels or fail to respect the sutras.
- Those who encroach upon or steal the property of some Buddhist establishments, slander Bhiksus or Bhiksunis, destroy the harmony of the Sangha communities, indulge his/her carnal (sensual) lust in a sangharama or kill or harm beings there.
- Someone who pretends to be a sramana and yet actually is not one at heart, but on the contrary, abuses the establishment, cheats the laity, violates the precepts and commits all kinds of evil.
- Someone who steal the property from the Eternally Dwelling including its grain, rice, other food or clothing or take any kind of article whatsoever without permission.
Some interesting Extracts from Chapter 4 relate to “The Karmic Retribution of Sentient Beings”. More Details can be found in the Sutra book
In this chapter, it was stated that Buddha told Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha (Ti Tsang Wang Pu’sa) that
- “All evil habits will produce evil karma and their virtuous habits will yield fruition”.
- Further “if men/women fail to practise virtuous deeds and only commit evil or if they fail to believe in cause and effect and continue to indulge in perverted lust, lying, double-tongue, harsh words or defamation, such people will certainly fall onto the evil paths of existence.
If however, they genuinely regret and change their bad habits and take refuge in Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha, such beings will be delivered and liberated from retribution on the three evil paths of existence.”
Summary guides of the retributions are as below:
Bad Actions = potential retributions:
- To those who kill,= retribution of early, untimely death for such misdeeds.
- To those who steal = retribution of distress, destitution and indigence.
- To those who indulge in perverted lust = retribution of being born as peacocks, pigeons and mandarin ducks in future lives.
- To those using harsh words= retribution of quarrels and fights in the family.
- To those who defame = retribution of dumbness or ulcer sores in the mouth.
- To those who are angry and hateful = retribution of ugliness in the form of hunchback or a cripple.
- To those who are niggardly,=retribution of unanswered prayers.
- To those who eat or drink to excess= retribution of thirst, starvation or throat diseases.
- To those who indulge in hunting =retribution of death from fright or mental derangement.
- To those disobedient to their parents= retribution of calamities and destruction from the sky or the earth.
- To those who commit arson= retribution of death or crazy delusions.
- To those who abuse stepchildren=retribution of being likewise abused in future lives.
- To those who trap and catch live fledglings= retribution of separation from their blood relatives.
- To those who defame the Three Jewels = retribution in blindness, deafness and dumbness.
- To those who slight the Dharma and religion = retribution of permanent banishment to the evil paths of existence.
- To those who abuse the properties of the Sangha establishment, = retribution of transmigration in hell for millions of kalpas.
- To those who blemish religious practices and wrong the Sangha, = retribution of permanent existence as animals.
- To those who harm lives by boiling, fire, cutting or chopping, = appropriate retributory repayment in transmigration.
- To those who violate the precepts and break abstinences, = retribution of thirst and starvation as fowls and beasts.
- To those who destroy things or spend money unreasonably, = retribution of the deficiency or the complete extinction of the necessities they seek.
- To those who are haughty and self-conceited= retribution of being lowly and mean.
- To those who use double tongues to instigate trouble, = retribution of dumbness.
- To those with perverted views= retribution of rebirth in the hinterland.
“Such are the results yielded by evil deeds – the physical, verbal and mental karmas of sentient beings. There are hundreds of thousands ways of encountering their proper retributions and the above retributions were only described briefly.”
Some interesting Extracts from Chapter 7 relates to “Benefitting the Living and the Dead”
Ti Tsang Pusa raised his concerns relating to sentient beings that practise evil, may begin by performing only one small evil act, which if not controlled and stopped, eventually grows to an immeasurable proportion of evil. Such a sentient being will certainly fall onto some evil path of existence. Therefore, it is recommended that many good deeds (performing charity/donations, reciting/readying venerated sutras or by invoking the names of the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Pratyekabuudhas) be performed by the living blood relatives during the seven day period just after his death. The force of which will permanently distance the departed one from all evil paths and enable him to be reborn as a human being and bring countless benefits to his living relatives.
If his/her relatives, either juniors or seniors, should cultivate meritorious virtues for him, or to provide purity in the offerings to the Buddha and the Sangha, or provide vegetarian meals to create good karmic causes, then such a dead person would gain great benefit as well and deliverance and liberation. However, such blissful beneficial sacraments would then, one out of every seven parts of the meritorious virtue thus gained will go to the dead person while six parts will go to the living themselves. Therefore, it would be more beneficial to cultivate these good deeds themselves while still alive so that they may gain every part of such meritorious virtue.
Ti Tsang Pusa also advised that during the days immediately after someone’s death, there should be no killing or destroying, or creating evil karma by worshipping or offering sacrifice to demons and evil deities or having recourse to monsters and goblins, because such killing and slaughtering or such sacrifice offered would entwine even more sinful karma into previous karma, making it even deeper and more serious evil karma of the dying or dead person.
Some interesting Extracts from Chapter 8 cited the praises of Yamaraja and others.
Buddha praised Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s great mercy and compassion in delivering and liberating all sinful, miserable beings by helping them to be reborn as human beings, etc. and enable those sinful ones to become aware of the sufferings so that they never fall onto the karmic paths again.
Buddha also commended Yamaraja and the demon kings who support and protect all good men and good women. There was a Demon King (Master of Lives) who is in charge of and makes decisions on human being’s karma both at time of their births and at time of their deaths. Some of the Demon King’s advices are as follow:
- After the birth of baby, care must be exercised not to kill any animal in order to feed the mother with meaty delicacies and not to assemble many relatives to drink liquor or to eat meat in noisy indulgences, or to collectively provide some offerings in thanks to the divinities in charge of local land by ignorantly resorting to killing of lives of animals, which are detrimental to both the mother and baby.
- At time of death, even for a person who has performed virtuous deeds, there are also hundreds of thousands of spirits and gods of the evil path in existence, who feigning either to be parents or other kinds of relatives, try to lead the dying one towards them and towards the evil paths. This is also applicable to those approaching the end of his life, who might be in a coma or an unconscious stupor. So, his/her relatives ought to provide major (non-killing) offerings and read and recite the revered sutras and invoke the name of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Such virtuous acts could divert the dead one away from evil paths and all the maras, demons and evil spirits would then withdraw and be dispersed.
Buddha commended on the great mercy of this Demon King who has vowed to protect sentient beings at the moment of their births and deaths. “It is because of his vows that he takes the form of a great demon. In reality he is not demonic but will become a Buddha with the title of NirbhasaTathaga (Animitta) after one hundred and seventy kalpas have lapsed. The number of human beings and devas delivered by him is inexpressible.”
Some interesting Extracts from Chapter 9 – the benefits from recitation of the Buddhas’ Names
Interesting Extracts (which are in line with our Sifu’s sermons)
Ti Tsang Pusa spoke about the beneficial things that will help sentient beings gain great advantage in birth and death. Examples of people, who performed obeisance to the following Buddhas and the benefits gained by those sentient beings, are as follow:
- Anantakya Buddha. Sentient beings that perform obeisance to him will be exonerated from serious sins of life and death covering forty kalpas.
- RatnasuabhavaTathagata. Sentient beings who made up their mind and took refuge in him will never suffer retrogression from the stage of unsurpassed Enlightenment.
- PadmajinaTathagata. Sentient Beings who hears this Buddha’s name will be reborn one thousand times in the six heavens.
- SimhanandaTathagata. Sentient beings who took refuge in him will be able to encounter incalculable numbers of Buddhas, who will touch his head and bestow upon him the superlative predestination.
- Krakucchandsa Buddha. Sentient beings who hearing this Buddha’s name also wholeheartedly worships or praises him will gain superlative predestination.
- Vipasyin Buddha. Sentient beings that hear this Buddha’s name will never fall onto evil paths of existence but will always be reborn as a human being or a deva and enjoy extraordinarily wonderful happiness.
- RatnasambhavaTathagata. Sentient beings, who hear this Buddha’s name and showing respect to him, will soon attain the stage of an Arhat.
- KasayadhvajaTathagata. Sentient beings who hear this Buddha’s name will be exonerated from all the sins he or she ever committed during he/she ever committed during his or her rebirths and deaths in one hundred great kalpas.
- Mahabjijna-SumeruTathagata. Sentient beings who hear this Buddha’s name, will encounter Buddhas, as numerous as the grain of sand in the Gages River, preaching extensively to him/her and will definitely attain Bodhi.
All sentient beings of the present and future generations whether males or females – will gain immeasurable meritorious virtue if they invoke the name of only one Buddha or many names of Buddhas. These beings will automatically gain great benefit while living and while dead and they will not ever fall onto the evil paths of existence.
When someone is approaching the end of his life, if any of his/her relatives or even only one person should on his behalf invoke aloud the name of just one Buddha, such a dying person will be exonerated from all karmic retribution for his sins other than the (five) unpardonable offenses. However, it will be much better for the dying one to invoke the Buddhas’ names himself/herself in order to gain immeasurable bliss and to eradicate innumerable sins!”
Some interesting Extracts from Chapter 10 relate to the Meritorious Virtues gained from almsgiving.
Buddha asked Ksitigarbha do advise all sentient beings to follow these examples.
If for the benefit of the lowest and the poorest or disabled ones as hunchbacks, the maimed, the deaf, the idiotic or the blind, the kings and others should show great mercy and keep the idea of compassion in mind. These people should do so with humility and with a warm smile and kind words of consolation. They should extend universal charity by doling out alms with their own hands or through some of their agents.
If any good men and good women on seeing Buddhas’ stupas or temples or images, Bodhisattvas’ images, Pratyekabuddhas’ images or Cakravartins’ images should make donations and offerings, they will gain immeasurable bliss and always dwell among human beings and devas, enjoying extraordinary and wonderful happiness. Moreover, if they should dedicate rewards thus gained for the benefit of the entire Dharmadhatu, then their bliss will defy comparison.
If any good man and good women, on encountering Mahayana sutras or on hearing one gatha or even one sentence thereof, should seriously and sincerely generate their deepest minds and, at the same time, give praise, show respect and make donations and offerings, then the tremendous rewards gained by such people will be countless and boundless. Moreover, should they be able to dedicate the reward thus gained for the benefit of the entire Dharmadhatu; then their bliss will defy comparison.
Should anyone pass by old, broken down and damaged stupas or temples of Buddhas, or if they see a sutra that is torn and worn, or on seeing holy things in such a condition, are able to repair and mend them, they will enjoy bliss in their future lives. If they decide to dedicate the benefit to the entire Dhamadhatu; then such kings and others will achieve Buddha hood and their retributory rewards will be countless and boundless.
Should kings or other people see the aged, the infirm and women about to give birth and they instantaneously have great mercy and show great charity to them by donating medicine, food, drink and bedding to make them comfortable, they will become devas of Suddhavasa for one hundred kalpas and eventually may become Buddhas. They will never fall onto evil paths of existence, nor will they hear the sounds of sufferings for many lives.
Furthermore, O Ksitigarbha, in future times, if the good roots panted by any good men and good women, either by means of donations or offerings or as a result of the repair of stupas and temples or the mending of sutras or scriptures, even though such deed were as tiny as one droplet of water, one grain of sand, one hairpin or even one mote of dust – such good deed, if dedicated for the benefit of the entire Dharmadhatu, will gain so much meritorious virtue that such people will be able to enjoy superior wonderful happiness for many future lives.
However, if the same deed should be directed only to the benefit of themembers of their own families or to themselves, their reward will enable them to enjoy happiness for only three future lives. So, the relinquishment of one’s own exclusive interests will be rewarded myriads of times.
Thus, you see, O Ksitigarbha, that donations and almsgiving create such causes and conditions.
Some interesting Extracts from Chapter 11 relates to the Protection of the Dharma by the Deities in charge of the Land:
Buddha told Prthivi (a deva with many miraculous powers and deeds) in charge of the Land and protect everything in the Jambudvipa Realm, that in future should some good men and good women worship Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, read this Sutra or should they be able to cultivate and practice even in accordance with one thing in the Sutra, you will apply your own miraculous power to support and protect them, lest any news of calamity and other unpleasant things even reach their ears, far less happen to them. As these people worship Ksitigarbha’s image and read this Sutra, they will ultimately leave the sea of suffering and realize the happiness of Nirvana. Therefore, they deserve all your great support and protection..
Some interesting Extracts from Chapter 12 of the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s fundamental vows:
Lord Buddha told Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (Kwan ImPorSat):
- In the various worlds at present and in the future, whenever a heavenly being is at the end of his enjoyment of celestial bliss, there will manifest five kinds of decadent symptoms. Sometimes they may fall onto an evil path of existence. At that time when such symptoms manifest, should this celestial being see Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s image or hear his name and pay him one visit or make even one act of obeisance to him, such a heavenly being will consequently enjoy even more celestial bliss, more great delight and will not fall onto the three evil paths of existence as retribution.
- If a sentient being on the six paths of existence in present and future times should be able, at the end of his life, to hear the name of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha, if even just one invocation of the name reaches his ear – such a being will never again experience the suffering of the three evil paths of existence. If, due to his karmic retribution, this person is, at the end of his life, still burdened with all his sinful and karmic hindrances, which deserve rebirth on evil paths, then, on account of this meritorious virtue (his parents and relatives have used his wealth to mould or paint Ksitigarbha’s image), he shall be reborn as a human being or a deva after the termination of his present lifetime and enjoy extraordinary happiness with all his sinful hindrances entirely eradicated.If good men and good women should wish to generate the mind of great, widespread compassion and mercy to deliver all sentient beings, wish to cultivate the unexcelled Bohdi, yearning to escape from and leave forever the three realms and if these people on seeing the Ksitigarbha’s image and hearing his name, should wholeheartedly take refuge in him or offer incense, flowers clothing, etc, then such good sentient beings will soon see their wishes come true, never experiencing any obstructions whatsoever.
- If there are good men and women who deeply treasure the Mahayana sutras and wishes to read and recite them and to learn the sutras by heart but may forget them as soon as they recite them, such good persons have inborn karmic hindrances that are not yet eradicated and therefore may not yet able to acquire the technique of reading and reciting the Mahayana sutras. Such persons should, on hearing BohdhisattvaKsitingarbha’s image, reverently proclaim his name with sincere hearts, furthermore they should offer incenses, flowers, etc to the Bodhisattva. If they could put aone cup of pure water infront of the Bodhisattva’s image for one day and one night, then, with their palms joined, the supplicants should pray and drink the water while turning their heads to the south; and they must maintain a wholeheartedly serious attitude as the water enters their mouths. Having partaken of the water, they must take care to avoid the five pungent plants, liquor, meat, lust, lying and killing for one to three seven-day periods.
More useful information on the benefits of seeing and hearing the name of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha and The Buddha’s praises on Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha tremendous compassion and meritorious virtues can be found in Chapter 12 of the Sutra book. (copies of the Chinese and English versions of this Sutra are available in Tai Pee Sim Monastery for free distribution).
Some Extracts from Chapter 13 of the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s fundamental vows:
At the Tiayastrimasas Palace where Buddha amidst the congregation of hundreds of myriads of millions number of Buddhas and Boddhisattvas, together with devas and nagas, commended Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha.
As a result of Ti Tsang P'usa having made this promise to Sakyamuni Buddha: "I will fulfil your instructions to continue to relieve beings from their states of suffering and lead them to Salvation. I shall strive to work hard until the next Buddha, Maitreya Buddha, comes to the world ". He is also adored as the "Master of the Six Worlds of Desire," thus there are depictions of him being surrounded by a Bodhisattva, an Asura, a Man, an Animal (horse or ox), a Preta, and a Demon holding a pitchfork, which symbolises the six different forms he assumes in the six realms to save the beings there.
The Buddha told Bodhisattva Akasagarbha: Listen attentively, listen attentively! If any good man or good woman who should see Ksitigardbha’s image and hear this Sutra and furthermore, read and recite the Sutra and those who donate incense, flowers, etc as offerings in addition to giving praises and making obeisance to Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha will gain twenty eight kinds of benefits, namely:
- Protection and mindfulness of devas and nagas;
- Daily increase of virtuous fruition;
- Accumulation of elevated and sacred causes;
- Non retrogression from the path of Bodhi
- Affluence and abundant clothing and food;
- Non-occurrence of diseases;
- Non-occurrence of the calamities of flood or fire;
- No harassment by robbery or thievery;
- Admiration and respect of all persons one encounters;
- Aid and support of deities and demons;
- Reborn into a happy environment
- Possession of a dignified and graceful form;
- Frequent rebirth in the heaven-realms;
- Possession of the miraculous power of knowing one’s previous lives
- All prayers will be answered.
- Delight and happiness for the members of one’s family;
- Elimination of all unexpected and unpleasant happenings;
- Permanent eradication of the karmic ways of life;
- Always passing through safely wherever one travels;
- Always feeling safety and delight in one’s dreams
- Elimination of suffering for one’s departed ones;
- Rebirth on the strength of pervious bliss;
- Praises by the Holy ones;
- Possession of clever wit and healthy organs;
- Fullness of mercy, pity and compassion;
- Ultimate attainment of buddhahood
The wordings of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s vows from the Sutra books:
- “I vow that I will provide, throughout incalculable numbers of kalpas in the future, for the sake of all sinful, suffering beings on the six paths of existence, extensive expediencies to cause them all to be delivered and liberated before I myself realize Buddhahood”.
- May I, through all future kalpas, provide extensive expediencies for the deliverance and liberation of all sinful, suffering beings.
- From this day forth and throughout hundreds of thousands of myriads of millions of kalpas to come, I will succour and deliver all sinful, suffering beings in all worlds, in all hells and on the three evil paths of existence, causing them to leave the evil paths of hell dwellers, of animals and of hungry ghosts; and it is only after all beings subject to retribution for sins have achieved Buddhahood that I myself will attain complete enlightenment.
(In simple term “I shall attain Buddhahood only when every last sentient being has been converted and saved; and, furthermore, if Hell itself is not completely emptied of suffering beings, I vow never to enter Buddhahood”).
Whenever you have the urge to pray to Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva for any help, focus at his picture intently for a few seconds as you silently recite, "NAMO TI TSANG WANG PUSA, NAMO TI TSANG WANG PUSA" before closing your eyes to visualise him. He is very responsive to sincere prayers of faith and he may yet grant you your wish, if it is not too unselfish or unreasonable. All may pray to him with this simple invocation and, who knows, your past karmic links with him may yet make you into another ardent Ksitigarbha devotee again in this lifetime.
"Om Pra Ma Ni Da Ni So Ha" This is Ksitigabha Bodhisattva Tibetan Mantra for Eradicating Fixed Karma.