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148 - The Power of Mantra

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QUANTITY

Preface

The Power of Mantra

Curing a Fever with Mantra

 

The water ghost realized an invisible energy field was covering the four corners of the bed, shielding me like a net of light. The bed itself was transformed into a lotus flower. I was transformed into a vajra. A net of light encircled me. The water ghost knew he had met his match and knelt down with his palms together.

 

Sheng-Yen Lu

 

 

I will begin with a story that happened years ago.

One day, a student of mine named Chen Jian hurried to my house and requested animmediate consultation.

“What’sthe matter?” I asked.

“Somebody really needs help!”

“Who?”

“My neighbor.”

“Your next door neighbor?” I was amused, “What has that got to do with you?”

In a serious manner, Chen Jian replied, “Grand Master! I often tell my neighbors of your great merits and deeds. I tell them about your great dharma power and how you have resolved many problems for others. ‘If there is a problem, just go to Living Buddha Lian-sheng and all will be resolved.’ Today, my neighbor’s only son came down with a fever and it just won’t go away. I came on his behalf to seek your help.”

“To treat a fever, they should see a doctor!” I said.

“They have consulted doctors and the child has taken the medicine, but the fever remains!”

“What about consulting a barefoot doctor or taking some Chinese herbal medicine?” I added.

“They consulted all kinds of doctors, but none could cure the child’s fever. That’s why I seek your help. Grand Master is a master of talismans and mantras.”

“Haha,I am a talisman master!”

We hurried to the home of Chen Jian’s neighbor. On arrival, I saw two encephalitis ghosts about to enter the house. I told the two ghosts, “Wait. Let me enter first.” I pushed the two ghosts aside and they fell flat to the ground. They were fuming and screaming.

“Grand Master, who were you talking to earlier?” Chen Jian asked.

“To the air,” I replied.

Once in the house, I met up with the house owners, Mr. and Mrs. Deng, whose son’s fever had persisted for several days. They looked worried and asked if I could save their son.

“Your son has encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain,” I said.

The couple’s eyes were wide open upon hearing my diagnosis and exclaimed, “That’s exactly what the doctor suspected and told us, and you knew it right away! Please help him, he’s our only son!”

“You’re fortunate to have met me. If not, your son would be doomed.”

“How are you going to save him?” the couple asked.

“I’ll use a mantra.”

“A mantra can cure a fever?” the couple was astonished.

“Just watch.”

I formed the Precious Hand Mudra with my right hand (the ring finger is extendedand slightly bent, while the thumb presses over the rest of the folded fingers), and formed the Vajra Fist Mudra with my left hand (the middle finger, ring finger and little finger are folded over the thumb, while the index finger is lowered to touch the back of the thumb). I placed my left hand at my waist. Using the Precious Hand Mudra, I wrote the [Sanskrit] seed syllable VAM on the child’s forehead and chanted, “VAM VAM VAM.” Afterwards, I stomped on the floor three times with my left foot.

I said, “OK! The fever will soon subside.”

“You mean the fever will go away just like that?” the couple uttered in disbelief.

What happened then was, not even two minutes later, the fever dropped and everything became normal. Once the fever went away, the child felt great, as if he was never sick.

The child recalled, “As I was feeling sick and drowsy, I saw a flaming cart coming towards me. Behind me was another cart in flames, blocking my retreat. I was doomed to die in that fire. All of a sudden, a man appeared in the sky and chanted some kind of mantra. He was riding on a cloud and his finger pointed right at me. With this, a downpour of rain came and extinguished the fire. I was saved and then woke up.”

“Do you recognize the man in the sky?”

              “Sure!” the boy exclaimed.

          He pointed his finger at me and said, “That’s him!”

             “Wow!” shouted Chen Jian.

I nodded. The couple was definitely convinced.

Thus:

 

If you chant a mantra diligently

With persistence and practice you will quickly advance

Once you gain response by chanting a mantra

All of heavens will extend their help to you

In time, you will attain immortality

 

What exactly is a mantra? How can a mantra cure a fever? A practitioner chants amantra and summons the Heavenly Water Deity to descend. Among mantras, the seed syllable VAM means water. You fight fire with water, and then the fire is subdued and the fever goes away.  It is that simple.

 

Mantras are also known as dharanis - all encompassing and containing limitless dharma. Thus, we describe mantras as:

 

The true word

The illuminating spell

The heart of thetathagata

The mani jewel

 

I feel that our time on earth is very short and the time that we can really useis scarce. If you spend all your time pursuing fame and wealth, you should know that you can lose it all in one moment.

I have always felt that the most important matter in life is the subject of life and death. To truly understand and transcend life and death by becoming enlightened is indeed the most meaningful thing.

When I practice the teachings of the Buddha, I realize the Dharma is simply supreme and remarkable. There are many gems within the teachings, such as:

 

The True Nature of Emptiness

The Prajna Wisdom

The Right View of the Middle Path

The Consciousness-only Manifestation

The Yoga of One Taste

 

I have seen many people who practice Zen Buddhism, and many who embrace the Pure Land School’s chanting of the Buddha’s name and sutras. There are those who follow the laws and rules of the Buddhist teachings, such as those who embrace the Vinaya School. There are other sects and schools that enable one to attain peace and happiness. Upon death, an individual ascends to the Pure Land, leaves the cycle of reincarnation, realizes his true self and gains enlightenment. He then roams freely in this world and beyond.

In my journey of practicing the teachings of the Buddha, I came across the teachings of the Yoga of One Taste. I entered the path of Mantrayana and realized that the Vajrayana teachings of mantras are able to fulfill all good wishes, and accomplish all great deeds. The Vajrayana teachings can eradicate disasters, enhance fortune, improve relationships and subdue all evils. The Vajrayana teachings can attract fortune and extend longevity and happiness within the family. You can certainly attain buddhahood through the teachings.

The buddhas and bodhisattvas have great compassion for all sentient beings and to liberate them from suffering, they utter dharanis [which are long mantras].When we recite these mantras, they help us find peace and joy, receive great benefits, ease our lives and bring good fortune. They can even help eradicate our karmic hindrances within this lifetime and deliver us to the Pure Land.

Guru Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelug tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, once said,“To chant a buddha’s name is to reflect his identity. To chant a mantra is to touch a buddha’s heart.”

In the book The Essence of Vajrayana, it is written, “If you combine the practice of chanting the Buddha’s name and the chanting of mantra, your merit is as wide as the seas of Mount Sumeru. If you chant only the Buddha’s name and not the mantra, your merit is but the size of Gandhamadana, the incense mountain located near Lake Anavatapta in Tibet.”

In another book titled As Small as Lake Anavatapta, it is written, “The Pure Land School reaches to all levels of sentient beings. However, not everyone makes it to the highest of the nine stages of birth in the Pure Land. If an individual follows the practice of Vajrayana, he will gain access to the Pure Lands of the Ten Directions. He will definitely be successful in attaining the highest level of existence in the Pure Land.”

Living Buddha Lian-sheng, Sheng-Yen Lu says, “By chanting the buddha’s name, one creates rapport with the buddha’s identity. By chanting the mantra, one gains access to the buddha’s heart. If you practice chanting both, you correspond with the outer and inner aspects of the Buddha, and this is most complete.”

Thus: 

Attain the clarity of mind through chanting the buddha’s name

Connect with the heart of the Tathagata through chanting mantras

Realize the ultimate bliss as one complete reality

You hear the cries of the world through one mantra

 

 

Contact Address:  Sheng-Yen Lu

                                      17102 NE 40th Ct.

                                      Redmond, WA 98052

                                      U.S.A.



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