Today is a full moon. It is a traditional Buddhist holiday. We call it Saga Dawa: This means “Month of Saga” which is the fourth month of the lunar calendar. On the full moon day of this month, Buddha Shakyamuni showed his deed of taking birth, attaining enlightenment, and going into Parinirvana.
Sutra of the Buddha-Crown Superb Victory Dharani
Translated from Sanskrit into Chinese in the Tang Dynasty
by The Tripitaka Master Divakara
Looking at Good Stay, the Buddha said, “You can stop crying now because I have a Dharma Door named the Superb Victory Buddha-Crown Dharani Mantra. Those who keep reciting this Mantra can be liberated from their sufferings. Good Stay, this Superb Victory Buddha-Crown Dharani Mantra of mine is pronounced by hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, and hundreds of thousands of kotis of Buddhas. This Dharani which I will soon pronounce can be compared to all the Buddha-crowns and is most dignified and most victorious. It can annihilate all karma-hindrances, bringing purity; pull sentient beings out of life-journeys in hell, as animals, and in Yama’s dominion; and eradicate the afflictions of life and death for all sentient beings.”
The Buddha then told the god-king, “If, among good men, good women, bhiksus, and bhiksunis, there are those who can uphold this Pure Buddha-Crown Superb Victory Dharani Mantra, reading it or reciting it, this virtue can totally obliterate their karma of the ten evil deeds and the five rebellious acts committed in hundreds, thousands, and tens of thousands of kalpas and ready them to attain anuttara-samyak-sambodhi. They will have past-life knowledge without changing their present bodies, and they will be reborn in one Buddha Land after another. They will constantly encounter Bodhisattvas Samantabhadra, Mañjusri, Avokitesvara, and Great Might Arrived, who will rub their heads and proffer them a guiding hand, recognizing them as Bodhisattvas. They will constantly hear and uphold the true Dharma in a bodhimanda and obtain sarvajña.
Their life spans will be lengthened, and they will not die accidental deaths because their body, speech, and mind will be pure. With their bodies pleasantly tingly, they will feel very clean, light, and tranquil anywhere and anytime. If they remember this Dharani upon dying, they will be able to be reborn in Buddha Lands.”
When the god-king Sakra heard the Buddha praise the inconceivable virtue of this Superb Victory Dharani, he was filled with joyful appreciation and whole-hearted longing. He said, “World-Honored One, I pray only that the Tathagata, taking sympathetic consideration of Good Stay and the rest of us as well as the sentient beings in the expected Dharma-ending age, will pronounce this Superb Victory Buddha-Crown Dharani Mantra. I should train myself to have all sentient beings forever leave the sufferings of the eight difficulties.”
At that time the World-Honored One, for the sake of the god-king, the god-son Good Stay, the four groups of disciples, and others, pronounced the Mantra:
namo bhagavate trai-lokya prativisistaya buddhaya bhagavate | tad-yatha om visodhaya visodhaya | asamasama samanta-avabhasa spharana gati gahana svabhava visuddhe | abhisiñcatu mam | sugata vara vacana | amrta-abhiseke maha-mantra pane | ahara ahara ayuh sandharani | sodhaya sodhaya gagana visuddhe | usnisa vijaya visuddhe | sahasra-rasmi sañcodite | sarva tathagata-avalokana sat-paramita paripurani | sarva tathagata hrdaya-adhisthana-adhisthita maha-mudre | vajra-kaya samharana visuddhe | sarva-avarana-apaya-durgati pari-visuddhe | prati-nivartaya-ayuh suddhe | samaya-adhisthite mani mani maha-mani | tathata bhuta koti parisuddhe | visphuta buddhi suddhe | jaya jaya vijaya vijaya smara smara | sarva buddha-adhisthita suddhe | vajre vajra-garbhe vajram bhavatu mama sariram | sarva sattvanam ca kaya pari-visuddhe | sarva gati parisuddhe | sarva tathagatas ca me sama-asvasayantu | sarva tathagata sama-asvasa-adhisthite | budhya budhya vibudhya vibudhya | bodhaya bodhaya vibodhaya vibodhaya | samanta parisuddhe | sarva tathagata hrdaya-adhisthana-adhisthita maha-mudre svaha ||
- If there is a sentient being who is in total misery due to his grave sins and has no one to rescue him, he should, on the fifteenth day of a waxing moon, bathe clean, wear clean clothes, and accept the eight precepts. He should mindfully kneel on his right knee, facing the image of an enlightened being, and recite this Mantra 1,080 times. Then all his sins and karma-hindrances will be totally annihilated. He will be able to retain all the meanings of this Dharani Door and command unimpeded eloquence, and he will be purified and liberated.
- If a person expecting a short life desires longevity, he should, on the fifteenth day of a waxing moon, bathe clean, wear clean clothes, observe the precepts single-mindedly, and recite this Dharani Mantra 1,080 times in total. This person expecting a short life will thus gain longevity, all his karma-hindrances having been annihilated.
- He should recite this Dharani Mantra 1,080 times in total without interruption. Then he should sprinkle the water in all four directions, also up and down, wishing all sentient beings be purified. After he has performed this rite, his evil karma as stated above, which should cause him to go to hell or to become an animal or a hungry ghost, will all be obliterated, and he will be liberated. The exoneration officer of Lord Yama, not angered but respectful instead, will joyfully join his palms and praise his virtues. After death, he will be reborn in a Buddha Land, and he can visit Pure Lands in the ten directions as he wishes.
- In addition, you can recite the Mantra on the fifteen day of a waxing moon to pippala figs in butter-honey 1,080 times and let the sinner eat them. Having eaten, his sins of the ten evil deeds and five rebellious acts will all be expunged. Furthermore, he will eventually attain anuttara-samyak-sambodhi.
- All his sins such as the ten evil deeds will thus be expunged, and he will eventually attain anuttara-samyak-sambodhi. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will rub his head, personally bestowing upon him the prophecy of his attaining bodhi. If he wants to visit the abode of Bodhisattvas, they will take him to their own palaces, traveling to and fro among the Buddha Lands in the ten directions.
For animals or our pets:
The Buddha said to the god-kings, “Furthermore, if a person recites this Dharani Mantra into the ears of an animal only once, this animal, having heard this Mantra once with its ears, will not assume an animal’s body again after this life. Even if the animal is supposed to enter hell, it will be exempted.”
To read the whole sutra: Sutra of the Buddha-Crown Superb Victory Dharani