Wonderful Dharma Lotus Sutra



Chapter Twenty-five -- The Universal Door Of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva ( Guanshiyin / The Bodhisattva Who Contemplates The Sounds Of The World )


AT THAT TIME Inexhaustible Intention Bodhisattva rose from his seat, uncovered his right shoulder, placed his palms together, and facing the Buddha, said, "World Honored One, for what reason is the Bodhisattva Guanshiyin called 'Guanshiyin'?"

The Buddha told Inexhaustible Intention Bodhisattva, "Good man, if any of the limitless hundreds of thousands of myriads of kotis of living beings who are undergoing all kinds of suffering hear of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva and recite his name single-mindedly, Guanshiyin Bodhisattva will immediately hear their voices and rescue them.

"If a person who upholds the name of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva enters a great fire, the fire will not burn him, all because of this Bodliisattva's awesome spiritual power.

"If a person being tossed about in the great sea calls out the Bodhisattva's name, he will find a shallow place.

"If the hundreds of thousands of myriads of kotis of beings who seek gold, silver, lapis lazuli, mother-of-pearl, carnelian, coral, amber, pearls, and so forth enter the great sea, an evil wind may toss their boats into the territory of the rakshasa ghosts. But if among them there is even one person who calls out the name of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva, they will all be saved from the difficulty of the rakshasas. For this reason, he is called Guanshiyin.

"Further, if a person who is about to be harmed calls out the name of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva, the knives and staves of the attackers will break into pieces and he will be saved.

"If yakshas and rakshasas enough to fill the three thousand great thousand world system come to torment a person, if they hear him call out the name of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva, all those evil ghosts will not even be able to stare at that person with their evil eyes, how much the less harm him.

"If a person, whether guilty or not, who has been put in stocks or bound with chains calls out the name of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva, his fetters will break apart and he will immediately be freed.

"If bandits enough to fill the three thousand great thousand world system infest a dangerous road on which a merchant chief in charge of costly jewels is leading a group of merchants, but among the merchants there is even a single person who says, 'Good men, do not be afraid! You should all single-mindedly recite the name of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva. This Bodhisattva bestows fearlessness upon living beings. If you recite his name, you shall surely be saved from these robbers,' and if upon hearing that, the merchants all cry out together, 'Namo Guanshiyin Bodhisattva,' then they will immediately be saved because they recited his name.

"Inexhaustible Intention! The awesome spiritual power of the Bodhisattva Mahasattva Guanshiyin is as lofty and sublime as that!

"If living beings who have much sexual desire constantly and reverently recite the name of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva, they will be separated from desire.

"If those who have much hatred constantly and reverently recite the name of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva, they will be separated from hatred.

"If those who are very stupid constantly and reverently recite the name of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva, they will be separated from stupidity.

"Inexhaustible Intention, Guanshiyin Bodhisattva has great awesome spiritual powers such as these and confers great benefits. Therefore living beings should always be mindful of him.

"If women who seek sons bow and make offerings to Guanshiyin Bodhisattva, they will give birth to blessed, virtuous, and wise sons. If they seek daughters, they will give birth to upright and handsome daughters who have planted roots of virtue in previous lives and who are regarded and respected by all.

"Inexhaustible Intention! Guanshiyin Bodhisattva has powers such as these. If there are living beings who reverently bow to Guanshiyin Bodhisattva, they will be blessed and their efforts will not be in vain.

"Therefore living beings should all receive and uphold the name of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva.

"Inexhaustible Intention! If a person were to receive and uphold the names of Bodhisattvas in number as the grains of sand in sixty-two kotis of Ganges Rivers, and in addition were to exhaustively make offerings to them of food, drink, clothing, bedding, and medicine, what do you think°™would that good man's or good woman's merit and virtue be great or not?"

Inexhaustible Intention Bodhisattva replied, "Very great, World Honored One."

The Buddha said, "If another person were to receive and uphold the name of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva and bow and make offerings but once, that person's blessings would be equal to and not different from the other person's. They could not be exhausted in hundreds of thousands of myriads of kotis of eons.

"Inexhaustible Intention, one who receives and upholds the name of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva obtains the benefit of blessings and virtues as limitless and boundless as those."

Inexhaustible Intention Bodhisattva said to the Buddha, "World Honored One, how does Guanshiyin Bodhisattva roam through this Saha world? How does he speak the Dharma for living beings? How does he carry out this work with the power of expedients?"

The Buddha told Inexhaustible Intention Bodhisattva, "Good man, if living beings in this land must be saved by means of someone in the body of a Buddha, Guanshiyin Bodhisattva will manifest itt the body of a Buddha and speak Dharma for them.

"If they must be saved by someone in the body of a Pratyekabuddha, he will manifest in the body of a Pratyekabuddha and speak Dharma for them.

"If they must be saved by someone in the body of a Hearer, he will manifest in the body of a Hearer and speak Dharma for them.

"If they must be saved by someone in the body of the Brahma King, he will manifest in the body of the Brahma King and speak Dharma for them.

"If they must be saved by someone in the body of Shakra, he will manifest in the body of Shakra and speak Dharma for them.

"If they must be saved by someone in the body of the God of Sovereignty, he will manifest in the body of the God of Sovereignty and speak Dharma for them.

"If they must be saved by someone in the body of the Great God of Sovereignty, he will manifest in the body of the Great God of Sovereignty and speak Dharma for them.

"If they must be saved by someone in the body of a great heavenly general, he will manifest in the body of a great heavenly general and speak Dharma for them.

"If they must be saved by someone in the body of Vaishravana, he will manifest in the body of Vaishravana and speak Dharma for them.

"If they must be saved by someone in the body of a minor king, he will manifest in the body of a minor king and speak Dharma for them.

"If they must be saved by someone in the body of an Elder, he will manifest in the body of an Elder and speak Dharma for them.

"If they must be saved by someone in the body of a layman, he will manifest in the body of a layman and speak Dharma for them.

"If they must be saved by someone in the body of a minister of state, he will manifest in the body of a minister of state and speak Dharma for them.

"If they must be saved by someone in the body of a Brahman, he will manifest in the body of a Brahman and speak Dharma for them.

"If they must be saved by someone in the body of a Bhikshu, Bhikshuni, Upasaka, or Upasika, he will manifest in the body of a Bhikshu, Bhikshuni, Upasaka, or Upasika and speak Dharma for them.

"If they must be saved by someone in the body of the wife of an Elder, of a layman, of a minister of state, or of a Brahman, he will manifest in a wife's body and speak Dharma for them.

"If they must be saved by someone in the body of a pure youth or a pure maiden, he will manifest in the body of a pure youth or pure maiden and speak Dharma for them.

"If they must be saved by someone in the body of a heavenly dragon, yaksha, gandharva, asura, garuda, kinnara, mahoraga, human, or nonhuman, and so forth, he will manifest in such a body and speak Dharma for them.

"If they must be saved by someone in the body of a Vajra-wielding spirit, he will manifest in the body of a Vajra-wielding spirit and speak Dharma for them.

"Inexhaustible Intention! Guanshiyin Bodhisattva has accomplished merit and virtue such as this and, in all manner of forms, roams throughout the land, saving and liberating living beings.

"Therefore you should all single-mindedly make offerings to Guanshiyin Bodhisattva. Guanshiyin Bodhisattva Mahasattva can, in the midst of fear, crisis, and hardship, bestow fearlessness. That is why in this Saha world all call him the "Bestower of Fearlessness."

Inexhaustible Intention Bodhisattva said to the Buddha, "World Honored One, I shall now make an offering to Guanshiyin Bodhisattva." He then removed his necklace of pearls, its value in the hundreds of thousands of ounces of gold, and offered it to the Bodhisattva, saying, "Humane One, accept this Dharma offering, this necklace of precious pearls."

Guanshiyin Bodhisattva refused to accept it.

Inexhaustible Intention Bodhisattva again said to Guanshiyin Bodhisattva, "Humane One, out of pity for us, accept this necklace."

The Buddha then told Guanshiyin Bodhisattva, "You should take pity on Inexhaustible Intention Bodhisattva and the fourfold assembly, as well as the gods, dragons, yakshas, gandharvas, asuras, garudas, kinnaras, mahoragas, humans, nonhumans, and so forth, and accept this necklace."

Then, out of pity for the fourfold assembly, the gods, dragons, humans, nonhumans, and so forth, Guanshiyin Bodhisattva accepted the necklace. He divided it into two parts: one part he offered to Shakyamuni Buddha and the other to the stupa of Many Jewels Buddha.

"Inexhaustible Intention, such is the self-mastery and spiritual power of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva, who roams throughout the Saha world."

At that time, Inexhaustible Intention Bodhisattva used verses to ask this question:

World Honored One, complete with wondrous marks,
I now ask again,
Why is this disciple of the Buddha Called Guanshiyin?

The Honored One of Perfect, Wondrous Marks,
With verses answered Inexhaustible Intention:
Listen to the practice of Guanyin,
Who skillfully responds in all places.

With vast vows, as deep as the sea,
Throughout inconceivable eons,
He has served many thousands of kotis of Buddhas,
And has made great, pure vows.

I shall now tell you in brief,
That for those who hear his name or see him,
And who are mindful of his name unceasingly,
He can extinguish the suffering of all realms of existence.

If someone is the victim of another's harmful intent,
And is pushed into a pit of fire,
If he evokes the strength of Guanyin,
The pit of fire will turn into a pool.
If someone is being tossed about in the great sea,
And is surrounded by the dangers of dragons, fish, and ghosts,
If he evokes the strength of Guanyin,
The waves will not drown him.

If someone is on the peak of Mount Sumeru,
And another person tries to push him off,
If he evokes the strength of Guanyin,
He will stand firm as the sun in space.

If someone is pursued by evil people,
Who want to throw him off a Vajra Mountain,
If he evokes the strength of Guanyin,
Not a single hair on his body will be harmed.

If someone is surrounded by vicious bandits,
Who threaten him with knives,
If he evokes the strength of Guanyin,
The bandits will all give rise to compassion.

If someone is in trouble with the law,
And on the verge of being executed,
If he evokes the strength of Guanyin,
The knives will break into pieces.

If someone is imprisoned, shackled, or chained,
Or if his hands and feet are in stocks,
If he evokes the strength of Guanyin,
His bonds will open and he will be free.

If someone is about to be harmed,
By mantras, spells, or poison,
If he evokes the strength of Guanyin,
The harm will all return to the sender.

If someone meets with evil rakshasas,
Poisonous dragons, or ghosts,
If he evokes the strength of Guanyin,
They will then not dare to harm him.

If someone is surrounded by vicious beasts,
With fearsome fangs and claws,
If he evokes the strength of Guanyin,
The beasts will quickly run far away.

Poisonous snakes and scorpions,
Have blazing lethal vapors,
But if one evokes the strength of Guanyin,
At the sound of one's voice, they will disperse.

Clouds of roaring thunder and lightning
May send down hail or great floods of rain,
But if one evokes the strength of Guanyin,
The clouds will immediately scatter.

Living beings are beset with hardships,
And oppressed by limitless sufferings.
The power of Guanyin's wondrous wisdom
Can rescue the world from suffering.

Complete with the power of spiritual penetrations,
Vastly cultivating wisdom and expedient means,
Going throughout countries in the ten directions,
He manifests everywhere in all places.

The various evil destinies,
Those of the hells, ghosts, and animals,
And the pain of birth, old age, sickness, and death
Are all gradually wiped away.

True Contemplator, Pure Contemplator,
Contemplator with Vast, Great Wisdom,
Compassionate Contemplator, Kind Contemplator,
May we constantly behold you with reverence!

Undefiled pure light,
The sun of wisdom that breaks through the darkness
Is able to quell calamities of wind and fire
As it shines on all worlds.

Compassionate substance: the thunder of precepts.
Kind intent: a wondrous great cloud.
He rains down sweet dew and Dharma rain,
Which extinguish the flames of affliction.

In the midst of contention, when faced with lawsuits,
Or when someone is terrified on the battlefield,
If he evokes the strength of Guanyin,
All his many enemies will scatter and leave.
Wondrous your sound, Contemplator of the World's Sounds
A pure sound, a sound like the sea tide,
A sound beyond all worldly sounds,
We shall always bear it in mind.

In thought after thought we have no doubt:
Guanshiyin is pure and sagely.
In times of suffering, agony, danger, and death,
He is our refuge and protector.

Complete with all merit and virtue,
His kind eyes watching living beings,
He is endowed with massive blessings, limitless as the sea.
Therefore we should reverently worship him.

At that time the Bodhisattva Guardian of the Earth rose from his seat and said to the Buddha, "World Honored One, if there are those who hear this chapter of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva, who learn about the self-mastery of his deeds and the power of his spiritual penetrations as shown in this Universal Door, you should know that the merit and virtue of such people will not be small."

When the Buddha had spoken the "Universal Door Chapter," eighty-four thousand living beings in the assembly all brought forth the resolve for Anuttara-Samyak-Sambodhi.

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