Our voice that calls the Buddha is Buddha’s voice that's calling us.


Medicine Master Buddha Sutra (Kinh Dược Sư)

phat duoc su
Full name: Sutra of the Merit and Virtue of the Past Vows of Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata

Thus I have heard. At one time the Bhagavan was travelling through various lands to teach living beings. He arrived at Vaisali (“City of Extensive Adornments”) and stayed beneath a tree from which music resounded. With him were eight thousand great Bhikhus and thirty-six thousand Bodhisattvas Mahasattvas; also kings, ministers, Brahmans, lay disciples; gods, dragons, and the rest of the eightfold division; beings both human and non-human. The immeasurable great multitude respectfully surrounded him, and he spoke Dharma for them.

At that time, the Dharma Prince Manjusri, receiving the awesome inspiration of the Buddha, rose from his seat, bared one of his shoulders, knelt on his right knee, and inclining his head and placing his palms together, said to the Bhagavan, “World Honored One! We wish you would speak about such Dharmas as the Buddhas’ names, the great vows they made in the past, and their supreme merit and virtue, so that those who hear them will be rid of their karmic hindrances. This request is also for the sake of bringing benefit and joy to sentient beings in the Dharma-Image Age.”

The Buddha then praised the Pure Youth Manjusri: “Good indeed! Good indeed, Manjusri. With great compassion you now request that I speak about the Buddhas’ names and the merit and virtue of their past vows, for the sake of rescuing sentient beings who are bound up by karmic obstacles, and for the purpose of bringing benefit, peace, and joy to beings who live in the Dharma-Image Age. Listen attentively to my words and reflect on them extremely well, for I will now answer you.”

Manjusri said, “Please do speak. We are glad to listen.”

The Buddha told Manjusri, “Passing from here to the east, beyond Buddhalands numerous as the sand grains in ten Ganges rivers, is a world called ‘Pure Vaidurya’. The Buddha there is named Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, Of Proper and Equal Enlightenment, Perfect in Understanding and Practice, Well Gone One, One who Understands the World, Supreme Lord, Regulating Hero, Teacher of Gods and Humans, Buddha, Bhagavan. Manjusri, when that World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, was practicing the Bodhisattva path in the past, he made twelve great vows that enable all sentient beings to obtain what they seek.

The first great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life, when I attain anuttarasamyaksambodhi, my body will shine with dazzling light that will illumine measureless, countless, boundless worlds. My body will be adorned with the thirty-two heroic features and the eighty subsidiary characteristics, and I will enable all beings to become as I am.’

The second great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, my body will be as bright and clear as vaidurya, flawlessly pure, vastly radiant, majestic with merit and virtue, abiding at ease, adorned with blazing nets brighter than the sun and the moon. Beings dwelling in darkness will be illuminated and will succeed in all their endeavors.’

The third great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, will by means of limitless, unbounded wisdom and skill-in-means, enable all sentient beings to obtain an inexhaustible supply of material necessities so they are without the slightest want.’

The fourth great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, I shall lead those sentient beings who practice deviant paths to reside in the Way of Bodhi and those who travel on the vehicles of the Hearer or Pratyekabuddha to abide in the Great Vehicle.’

The fifth great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi I shall enable limitless and boundless numbers of sentient beings who cultivate Brahma conduct within my Dharma to perfectly uphold the three clusters of precepts without exception. Should there be any violation, upon hearing my name, they will regain their purity and not fall into the evil destinies.’

The sixth great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, if there are sentient beings whose bodies are inferior and whose faculties are imperfect, who are ugly, dull, blind, deaf, mute, deformed, paralyzed, hunch-backed, or afflicted with skin disease, insanity or various other sicknesses and sufferings, upon hearing my name they shall all become endowed with upright features, keen intelligence, and perfect faculties, and they shall be free of sickness and suffering.’

The seventh great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, I shall cause sentient beings who are oppressed by many illnesses and who are without aid, without a place to turn, without a doctor, without medicine, without relatives, and without a family, who are poverty-stricken and filled with suffering to be cured of their sicknesses upon having my name pass by their ear, so they are peaceful and happy in body and mind. They will have a family and relatives, and acquire an abundance of property and wealth, and even realize unsurpassed Bodhi.’

The eighth great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, if there are women who give rise to a deep loathing for their female body and wish to renounce it because they are oppressed and disturbed by the myriad sufferings of being female, upon hearing my name, they will be able to turn from women into men who are replete with male features and ultimately realize unsurpassed Bodhi.’

The ninth great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, I Shall liberate sentient beings from the nets of demons and the bonds of external sects. If they have fallen into the dense forests of evil views, I shall lead them to have proper views and to gradually cultivate the Practices of Bodhisattvas so they will quickly realize unsurpassed, proper and equal Bodhi.’

The tenth great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, I shall cause sentient beings who fall into the hands of the law and are bound, interrogated, whipped, fettered, imprisoned, sentenced to execution, or subjected to endless disasters, hardships, abuse, and humiliation so that they are tom by grief and distress and suffering in body and mind, to obtain, upon hearing my name, liberation from all worry and suffering by means of my blessings, virtue, and awesome spiritual power.’

The eleventh great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, I shall cause all sentient beings who are so plagued by hunger and thirst that they create all kinds of bad karma in their quest for food, upon hearing my name and single-mindedly accepting and maintaining it, to be filled with delicious food and drink and afterward, by means of the flavor of Dharma, to settle in ultimate peace and happiness.’

The twelfth great vow: ‘I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, if there are sentient beings who are poor and without clothes so that day and night they are troubled by mosquitoes and flies, and by cold and heat, upon hearing my name and single-mindedly accepting and maintaining it, they shall obtain all kinds of fine and wonderful garments that accord with their tastes, as well as a variety of precious adornments, flower garlands, fragrant balms, and the enjoyments of music and various kinds of talents, so that all their hearts, delights will be fulfilled.’

“Manjusri, these are the twelve sublime and wonderful vows that the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, One of Proper and Equal Enlightenment, made while cultivating the Bodhisattva Way.

“Moreover, Manjusri, if I were to speak for an eon or more about the great vows made by the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, when he practiced the Bodhisattva Way and about the merit, virtue, and adornments of his Buddhaland, I could not finish.

“That Buddhaland has always been completely pure; there are no women, no evil destinies, and no sounds of suffering. The ground is made of vaidurya, with golden cords lining the roads. The city walls, towers, palace pavilions, studios, windows, and latticework are all made of the seven treasures. The merit, virtue, and adornments of this land are identical to those of the Western Land of Ultimate miss.

“Residing in that land are two Bodhisattvas Mahasattvas; the first is called Universally Radiant Sunlight, and the second, Universally Radiant Moonlight. They are the leaders among the immeasurable, uncountable hosts of Bodhisattvas in that land and will be the successors to that Buddha. They are able to maintain the precious treasury of the proper Dharma of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata. Therefore, Manjusri, all good men and women who have faith should vow to be born in that Buddha’s land.”

At that time, the World Honored One again spoke to the Pure Youth Manjusri saying, “Manjusri, there are living beings who don’t distinguish good from evil, who indulge in greed and stinginess, and who know nothing of giving or its rewards. They are stupid, ignorant, and lack the foundation of faith. They accumulate much wealth and many treasures and ardently guard them. When they see a beggar coming, they feel displeased. When they have to practice an act of charity that does not benefit themselves, they feel as though they were cutting a piece of flesh from their body, and they suffer deep and painful regret.

“There are other innumerable avaricious and miserly living beings who hoard money and necessities that they don’t use even for themselves, how much less for their parents, wives, or servants, or for beggars! At the end of heir lives, such beings will be reborn among the hungry ghosts or animals. If they heard the name of that Buddha, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, in their former human existence, and they recall that Tathagata’s name for the briefest moment while they are in the evil destinies, they will immediately be reborn in the human realm. Moreover, they will remember their past lives and will dread the sufferings of the evil destinies. They will not delight in worldly pleasures, but will rejoice in giving and praise others who give. They will not begrudge giving whatever they have. Gradually, to those who come to beg, they will be able to give away their own head, eyes, hands, feet, and even their entire body, to say nothing of their money and property!

“Moreover, Manjusri, there are beings who, although they study under the Tathagata, nonetheless violate the sila. Others, although they do not violate the sila, nonetheless transgress the rules and regulations. Others, although they do not violate the sila or rules and regulations, nonetheless destroy their own proper views. Others, although they do not destroy their own proper views, nonetheless neglect learning, so they are unable to understand the profound meaning of the sutras that the Buddha speaks. Others, although they are learned, nonetheless give rise to overweening pride, Shadowed by overweening pride, they justify themselves and disparage others, slander the proper Dharma, and join the retinue of demons.

“Such fools act on their misguided views and further, a cause immeasurable minions of beings to fall into pits of great danger. These beings will drift endlessly in the realms of the hells, the animals, and the ghosts. But if they hear the name of Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, they will be able to renounce their evil practices and cultivate wholesome Dharma, and thereby avoid falling into the evil destinies. If those who have fallen into the evil destinies because they could not renounce their evil practices and cultivate wholesome Dharmas, by the awesome power of the past vows of that Tathagata, get to hear his name for only a moment, then after they pass out of that existence, they will be reborn again as human beings. They will hold proper views and will be ever vigorous. Their minds will be well regulated and joyful, enabling them to renounce their families and leave the householder’s life-They will take up and maintain study of the Tathagatas, Dharma without any violation. They will have proper views and erudition; they will understand profound meanings and yet be free from overweening pride. They will not slander the proper Dharma and will never join the ranks of demons. They will progressively cultivate the practices of Bodhisattvas and will soon bring them to perfection.

“Moreover, Manjusri, if there are sentient beings who harbor stinginess, greed, and jealousy who praise them- selves and disparage others, they will fallinto the three evil destinies for countless thousands of years where they will undergo intense suffering. After undergoing intense suffering, at the end of their lives they will be born in the world as oxen, horses, camels, and donkeys that are constantly beaten, afflicted by thirst and hunger, and made to carry heavy burdens along the roads. Or they may be reborn among lowly people, as slaves or servants who are always ordered around by others and who never for a moment feel at ease.

“If such beings, in their former lives as humans, heard the name of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, and by this good cause are able to remember it and sincerely take refuge with that Buddha, then, by means of the Buddha’s spiritual power, they will be liberated from all sufferings. They will be endowed with keen faculties, and they will be wise and erudite. They will always seek the supreme Dharmas and encounter good friends. They will eternally sever the nets of demons and smash the shell of ignorance. They will dry up the river of afflictions and be liberated from birth, old age, sickness, death, anxiety, grief, suffering, and vexation.

“Moreover, Manjusri, there may be beings who delight in perversity and engage in legal disputes, bringing trouble to others as well as themselves. In their actions, speech, and thought, they create ever-increasing amounts of evil karma. Never willing to benefit and forgive others, they scheme to harm one another instead. They pray to the spirits of the mountain forests, trees, and graves. They kill living beings in order to make sacrifices of blood and flesh to the yaksa and raksasa ghosts. They write down the names of their enemies and make images of them, and then they hex those names and images with evil mantras. They summon paralysis ghosts, cast hexes, or command corpse-raising ghosts to kill or injure their enemies.

“However, if the victims hear the name of Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, then all those evil things will lose their power to do harm. The evildoers will become kind to one another. They will attain benefit, peace, and happiness and no longer cherish thoughts of malice, affliction, or enmity. Everyone will rejoice and feel content with what they have. Instead of encroaching upon each other, they will seek to benefit one another.

“Moreover, Manjusri, there may be those among the fourfold assembly of Bhikshus, Bhikshunis, Upasakas and Upasikas, as well as other good men and women of pure faith, who accept and uphold the eight precepts either for one year or for three months, practicing and studying them. with these good roots, they may vow to be born in the Western Land of Ultimate Bliss where the Buddha of limitless Life dwells, to hear the Proper Dharma, but their resolve may not be firm. However, if they hear the name of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, then as the end of their lives draws near, before them will appear eight great Bodhisattvas, whose names are: Manjusri Bodhisattva, The Bodhisattva Who Observes the Sounds of the World, Great Strength Bodhisattva, Inexhaustible Intention Bodhisattva, Jewelled Udumbara Flower Bodhisattva, Medicine King Bodhisattva, Medicine Superior Bodhisattva, and Maitreya Bodhisattva. Those eight great Bodhisattvas will appear in space to show them the way, and they will naturally be born by transformation in that land, amid precious flowers of a myriad colors.

“Or they may be born in the heavens due to this cause. Although reborn in the heavens, their original good roots will not be exhausted and so they will not fall into the evildestinies again. when their life in the heavens ends, they will be born among people again. They may be wheel-turning kings, reigning over the four continents with awesome virtue and ease, bringing uncountable hundreds of thousands of living beings to abide in the practice of the ten good deeds. Or they may be born as Ksatriyas, Brahmans, laymen, or sons of honorable families. They will be wealthy, with storehouses filled to overflowing. Handsome in appearance, they will be surrounded by a great retinue of relatives. They will be intelligent and wise, courageous and valiant, like great and awesome knights. If a woman hears the name of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, and sincerely cherishes it, in the future she will never again be born as a female.

“Moreover, Manjusri, when Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata attained Bodhi, by the power of his past vows he contemplated all the sentient beings who were undergoing various kinds of sicknesses and sufferings. Some suffered from diseases such as emaciation, atrophy, severe thirst, or yellow fever; others were harmed by paralysis ghosts or by poisonous hexes; some died naturally when young, while others experienced untimely deaths. He wished to dispel all their sicknesses and sufferings, and to fulfill their wishes.”

At that time, the World Honored One entered a samadhi called “extinguishing the suffering and distress of all beings.” After he entered this samadhi, a great light came forth from his flesh-cowl. From amid that light he proclaimed this magnificent dharani:

Namo Bhagavate bhaisajya guru vaidurya prabha rajaya
Om bhaisajye bhaisajye bhaisajya samudgate Svaha

After he had spoken that mantra from amid the light, the earth trembled and emitted great light. All beings, sicknesses and sufferings were cast off, and they felt peaceful and happy.

“Manjusri, if you see a man (or a woman) who is ill you should single-mindedly and frequently clean and bathe him and rinse his mouth-Provide him with food, medicine, or water that is free of insects, over any of which the dharani has been recited 108 times. After the sick person has taken it, all his sicknesses and sufferings will be gone. I f this person has a wish, he should recite this mantra with utmost sincerity. Then he will obtain whatever he wished for, and his life will be prolonged and free from illness-At the end of his life, he will be reborn in that Buddha’s land. He will become irreversible and will ultimately attain Bodhi. Therefore, Manjusri, if there are men and women who, with utmost sincerity, diligently worship and make offerings to Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, they should always recite this mantra and never forget it.

“Moreover, Manjusri, men or women of pure faith, who have heard all the names of Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, One of proper and Equal Enlightenment should recite and uphold them. In the early morning, after brushing their teeth and bathing, they should make offerings of fragrant flowers, incense, perfumed balms, and various kinds of music before an image of that Buddha. They should personally write out this Sutra or ask others to do so, and they should single- mindedly and constantly recite it. If they listen to explanations of its meaning from a Dharma Master, they should make offerings to him of all necessities, so that he is without the slightest want. In this way, they will receive the mindful protection of the Buddhas. All of their wishes will be fulfilled, and they will ultimately attain Bodhi.”

At that time, the Pure youth Manjusri said to the Buddha, ‘World Honored One, I vow that in the Dharma- Image Age, using various expedient means, I shall enable good men and women of pure faith to hear the name of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata. Even during their sleep, I will awaken them with this Buddha’s name.

“World Honored One, there may be those who accept and uphold this Sutra, read and recite it, explain its meanings for others, write it out themselves, or tell others to write it out. They may revere it by making offerings of various flowers, paste incense, powdered incense, stick incense, flower garlands, necklaces, banners, canopies, and music. They may make bags of five-colored thread in which to keep the Sutra. They may sweep clean a place and arrange a high altar on which to place this Sutra. At that time, the Four Heavenly Kings with their retinues and other innumerable hundreds of thousands of gods will come to that place to worship and protect it.

“World Honored One, it should be known that if, in the places where this precious Sutra circulates, people can accept and uphold it, then due to the merit and virtue of the past vows of that World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, because they have heard his name, none of those people will meet with untimely death. In addition, none of them will be robbed of his vital energy by evil ghosts and spirits. Those people whose vital energies have already been robbed will have their health restored, and they will be happy and at peace in body and mind.”

The Buddha told Manjusri, “So it is, so it is! It is exactly as you say. Manjusri, if there are good men and women of pure faith who wish to make offerings to that world Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, they should first make an image of that Buddha and arrange a pure and clean dais on which to place the image. Then they should strew all kinds of flowers, burn various incenses, and adorn the place with a variety of banners and streamers. For seven days and seven nights they should hold the eight precepts and eat pure food. Having bathed until clean and fragrant, they should put on clean clothes. Their minds should be undefiled, without thoughts of anger and malice. Toward all sentient beings, they should cherish thoughts of benevolence, peace, kindness, compassion, joy, giving, and equanimity.

“Playing musical instruments and singing praises, they should circumambulate to the right of the Buddha’s image. Moreover, they should recall the merit and virtue of that Tathagata’s past vows. They should read and recite this Sutra, ponder its meaning, and lecture on and explain it. Then they will obtain whatever they seek: Those who seek long life will attain longevity; those who seek wealth will gain wealth; those who seek an official position will obtain it; and those who seek a son or a daughter will have one.

“Moreover, if a person who suddenly has nightmare, sees ill omens, notices strange birds flocking together, or perceives many uncanny events in his dwelling can worship and make offerings of many fine things to that World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, then the nightmares, ill omens, and inauspicious things will disappear and will no longer trouble him.

“When a person is endangered by water, fire, knives, or poison; or finds himself on a steep cliff or in a dangerous place; or faces fierce elephants, lions, tigers, wolves, bears, poisonous snakes, scorpions, centipedes, millipedes, mosquitoes, gnats, or other frightful things, if he can single-mindedly recollect, worship, and make offerings to that Buddha, he will be liberated from all those frightful things. When other countries invade or when there are thieves or riots, if a person can recollect and worship that Tathagata, then he will be free of all of these as well.

“Moreover, Manjusri, there may be good men and women of pure faith who, all their lives, do not worship other gods, but single-mindedly take refuge with the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. They accept and uphold precepts, such as the five precepts, the ten precepts, the four hundred precepts of a Bodhisattva, the two hundred and fifty precepts of a Bhikshu, or the five hundred precepts of a Bhikshuni. Perhaps they have violated some of the precepts they received and are afraid of falling into the evil destinies. If they concentrate on reciting that Buddha’s name and worship and make offerings to him, they definitely will not be reborn in the three evil destinies.

“If there is a woman about to give birth who suffers great pain, if she sincerely recites his name and worships, praises, venerates, and makes offerings to that Tathagata, her sufferings will be dispelled. The newborn child will be sound and healthy, and will have upright features. Seeing him will make people happy. He will be keen and intelligent, peaceful and secure, and with few ailments, and no evil spirit will come to rob him of his vitality.

At that time the World Honored One said to Ananda, “The merit and virtue of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, which I have just extolled, is the extremely profound practice of all Buddhas. It is difficult to fathom and to comprehend. Do you believe it or not?

Ananda said, “Greatly virtuous World Honored One, I have absolutely no doubts regarding the Sutras spoken by the Tathagata. why? Because all Buddhas’ karmas of body, speech, and mind are pure-World Honored One, the sun and moon could fall, wonderfully High, the king of mountains, could be toppled or shaken, but the words of the Buddhas never change.

“World Honored One, there are sentient beings deficient in faith who hear about the extremely profound practices of all Buddhas and think to themselves,’ How could one obtain such supreme merit and benefit merely by reciting the name of a single Buddha, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata? ‘Due to this lack of faith, they give rise to slander. During the long night they lose great benefit and joy and fall into the evil destinies, where they wander ceaselessly.”

The Buddha told Ananda, “If these sentient beings hear the name of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, and sincerely accept and uphold it without any doubts, they cannot possibly fall into the evil destinies.

“Ananda, this is the extremely profound practice of all Buddhas which is difficult to believe and to understand! you should know that your ability to accept this comes from the awesome power of the Tathagata Ananda, alI Hearers, Solitarily Enlightened Ones, and the Bodhisattvas who have not yet ascended to the Grounds are incapable of believing and understanding this Dharma as it really is. Only the Bodhisattvas who are destined in one life to attain Buddhahood are capable of understanding.

“Ananda, it is difficult to obtain a human body. It is also difficult to have faith in and to revere the Triple Jewel. It is even more difficult to be able to hear the name of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata. Ananda, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata possesses boundless Bodhisattva practices, limitless skillful expedients, and immeasurably vast, great vows. If I were to speak extensively of those for an eon or more, the eon would soon end, but that Buddha’s practices, vows, and skillful expedients have no end!”

At that time within the assembly, a Bodhisattva Mahasattva named One who Rescues and liberates arose from his seat, bared his right shoulder, knelt with his right knee on the ground, leaned forward with his palms joined together, and said to the Buddha, “Greatly virtuous World Honored One! During the Dharma Image Age, there will be living beings afflicted with various diseases, emaciated front chronic illnesses, unable to eat or drink, their throats parched and their lips dry. Such a being sees darkness gathering all around him as the signs of death appear. While lying in bed, surrounded by his weeping parents, relatives, and friends, he sees the messengers of Yama leading his spirit before that king of justice. Every sentient being has spirits that stay with him throughout his life. They record his every deed, both good and evil, to present to Yama, the king of justice. At that time, King Yama interrogates this person in order to tally his karma and mete out judgement according to his good and evil deeds.

“At that time, if the sick person’s relatives and friends, on his behalf, can take refuge with the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, and request members of the Sangha to recite this Sutra, to light seven layers of lamp, and to hang up the five colored banners for prolonging life, then it is possible for his spirit to return. As if in a dream, the person will see everything very clearly himself.

“If his spirit returns after seven, twenty-one, thirty five, or forty-nine days, he will feel as if awakened from a dream and will remember the retributions that he underwent for his good and bad karma. Having personally witnessed the retributions of his own karma, he will never again do any evil, even if his very life is endangered. Therefore, good men and women of pure faith should accept and uphold the name of Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata and, according to their capability, worship and make offerings to him.”

At that time, Ananda asked the Bodhisattva who Rescues and liberates, Good man, how should we worship and make offerings to the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata? And how should we make the banners and lamps that prolong life?”

The Bodhisattva who Rescues and Liberates said, “Greatly Virtuous One, if there is a sick person who wishes to be freed from sickness and suffering, for his sake one should accept and uphold the eight precepts for seven days and seven nights, and make offerings to the Bhikshu Sangha of as many items of food, drink, and other necessities as are in his power to give.

“During the six periods of the day and night one should worship, practice the Way, and make offerings to the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata. Read and recite this Sutra forty-nine times, light forty-nine lamps, and make seven images of that Tathagata. In front of each image place seven lamps, each as large as a cartwheel. These lamps must be kept burning continuously for forty-nine days. Hang up five- colored banners that are forty-nine spans long. Liberate a variety of living creatures, as many as forty-nine species. Then the sick one will be able to surmount the danger and will not suffer an untimely death or be held by evil ghosts.

“Furthermore, Ananda, in the case of ksatriya princes who are due to be anointed on the crowns of their heads, at a time when calamity arises, such as pestilence among the population, invasion by foreign countries, rebellion within their territories, unusual changes in the stars, a solar or lunar eclipse, unseasonal winds and rains, or prolonged drought, those ksatriya princes should bring forth an attitude of kindness and compassion toward all sentient beings and grant amnesty to all prisoners. They should follow the above-mentioned methods to make offerings to that World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata. Due to these good roots and the power of that Tathagata’s past vows, the country will be safe and peaceful, the winds and rains will be timely, the crops will ripen, and all sentient beings will be blissful and free of disease. Within this country there will be no violence, nor any yaksas or other spirits that harms sentient beings, and all evil omens will vanish.

“The ksatriya princes who are due to be anointed on the crowns of their heads will enjoy longer lives and good health, and they will be at ease and free from illness. Ananda, if the queens, the princes, the ministers or court counselors, the ladies of the palace, the provincial officials or the common people suffer from diseases or other difficulties, they should also hang up five-colored spiritual banners, light lamps and keep them burning, liberate living creatures, strew flowers of various colors, and burn precious incense. Then those people will be cured of their diseases and relieved of their difficulties.

Then Ananda asked the Bodhisattva who Rescues and Liberates, “Good man, how can a life that has come to an end be prolonged?”

The Bodhisattva who Rescues and Liberates answered, “Greatly Virtuous One, did you not hear the Tathagata say that there are nine kinds of untimely death? That is why people are exhorted to make life-prolonging banners and lamps and to cultivate all kinds of blessings. Through such cultivation of blessings, they will be freed from suffering and adversity for the rest of their lives.

Ananda asked, “What are the nine kinds of untimely death?”

The Bodhisattva who Rescues and liberates said, “There may be living beings who, although not seriously ill have neither medicine nor a doctor to treat them, or else they meet a doctor who gives them the wrong medicine; consequently, they meet with an untimely death. Some of them believe in worldly cults, whose deviant teachers frighten them with false prophecies. Unable to set their minds at ease, they consult oracles to find out what calamities are in store for them. In order to propitiate the spirits, they kill various creatures. They pray to wang liang ghosts for aid and protection. Although they wish to prolong their lives, their efforts are to no avail. They deludedly hold to wrong beliefs and perverse views. Thus they meet with an untimely death and fall into the hells, never to come out. This is the first kind of untimely death.

“The second kind of untimely death is to be executed at the hands of the law. The third kind is to hunt for sport, to indulge in drinking and lust, or to become excessively dissipated, and then to be waylaid by non-human beings that rob one’s essence and energy. The fourth is to be burned to death; the fifth is to drown; the sixth is to be devoured by wild beasts; the seventh is to fall from a steep cliff; the eighth is to be harmed by poison, voodoo, evil mantras, or corpse-raising ghosts; the ninth is to die from hunger and thirst. These are the nine kinds of untimely deaths generally spoken of by the Tathagata. There are also innumerable other kinds which cannot all be spoken of here.

“Moreover, Ananda, King Yama keeps track of the karmic records of all the inhabitants of the world. If there are beings who are not filial to their parents, who commit the Five Rebellious Acts, who revile the Triple Jewel, who destroy the laws of the country, or who violate the precept of truthfulness, then Yama, the king of justice, examines and punishes them according to the severity of their offenses. Therefore, I encourage people to light lamps and make banners, to liberate beings and cultivate blessings so that they can overcome suffering and peril and forestall all disasters.

At that time, twelve great yaksa generals were present in the assembly. They were: General Kumbhira, General Vajra, General Mihira, General Andira, General Anila, General Sandira, General Indra, General Pajra, General Makura, General Kinnara, General Catura, and General Vikarala.

These twelve great yaksa generals, each with a retinue of seven thousand yaksas, simultaneously raised their voices and addressed the Buddha, “World Honored One! Today, by relying on the Buddha’s awesome power, we are able to hear the name of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata. As a result, we are no longer afraid of the evil destinies. All of us are of one mind to take refuge with the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha to the end of our lives. We vow to support all living beings and to benefit them, so that they may live in peace and happiness. In whatever cities, villages, countries, or secluded forests this Sutra circulates, or wherever people accept and uphold the name of Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata and venerate and make offerings to him, we, together with our retinues, will guard and protect them, deliver them from all distress, and fulfill all their wishes. If a person wishes to dispel illnesses and difficulties, he should read or recite this Sutra and tie a five-colored thread into knots, forming the letters of our names. He should untie the knots when his wishes have been fulfilled.

At that time, the World Honored One praised the great yaksa generals, saying, “Good indeed, good indeed, mighty yaksa generals! All of you who want to repay the kindness of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, should always benefit beings and bring peace and happiness to them in this way.

Then Ananda said to the Buddha, “World Honored One, what should we call this teaching? How should we uphold it?”

The Buddha told Ananda, “This teaching is called, ‘The Merit and Virtue of the Past Vows of Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata.’ It is also called ‘Twelve Spiritual Generals’ Vows to Use Spiritual Mantras to Benefit Living Beings.’ It is also called ‘Eradicating All Karmic Obstacles.’ You should uphold it in this way.

When the Bhagavan had finished speaking, all the Bodhisattvas, Mahasattvas, great Hearers, kings, minister, Brahmans, laypeople, gods, dragons, yaksas, gandharvas, asuras, garudas, kinnaras, mahoragas, humans, and non-human beings, and all the great assembly, on hearing what the Buddha had said, were greatly delighted. They received it with faith and respectfully practiced it.

(Tripitaka No. 450) Translated during Torng Dynasty by Tripitaka Master Yiun-Tzorng
Translated into English by The Buddhist Text Translation Society

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89 Buddhas Repentance (Sám Hối)

Incense Praise (Hương Tán)

Incense in the censer is now burning.
All the Dharma realm receives the flagrance.
From afar the sea vast host of Buddhas, all inhale its sweetness
In every place auspicious clouds appearing
Our sincere intention thus fulfilling
As all Buddhas now show their perfect body

Namo, Incense Clouds Canopy Bodhisattva, Mahasattva!
Nam Mô Hương Vân Cái Bồ tát Ma ha tát

89 Buddhas Repentance

Đại từ đại bi thương chúng sanh, đại hỷ đại xả cứu hàm thức
To the greatly kind, compassionate Ones who rescue living beings, the Ones of great joyous giving who rescue conscious beings,
Tướng tốt chói sáng tự trang nghiêm, chúng con thành tâm cung kính lạy. (1 lạy)
The Ones adorned with the light of hallmarks and fine characteristics, the assemblies return their lives in worship with utmost sincerity. (1 bow)

Nam mô quy y thập phương tận hư không giới nhứt thiết chư Phật. (1 lạy)
Namo, I take refuge with the Buddhas of the ten directions to the ends of empty space. (1 bow)
Nam mô quy y thập phương tận hư không giới nhứt thiết tôn Pháp. (1 lạy)
Namo, I take refuge with all the venerable Dharma of the ten directions to the ends of empty space. (1 bow)
Nam mô quy y thập phương tận hư không giới nhứt thiết Hiền Thánh Tăng. (1 lạy)
Namo, I take refuge with the Sangha of all sages and worthies of the ten directions to the ends of empty space. (1 bow)

Nam Mô Như Lai, Ứng Cúng, Chánh Biến Tri, Minh-Hạnh Túc, Thiện Thệ, Thế Gian Giải, Vô Thượng Sĩ, Điều Ngự Trượng Phu, Thiên Nhơn Sư, Phật, Thế Tôn. (1 lạy)
Namo the Thus Come Ones, worthy of offerings, of proper and universal knowledge, Perfect in understanding and conduct, skillful in leaving the world through liberation, unsurpassed knights, Taming heroes, teachers of gods and people, Buddhas, World Honored Ones. (1 bow)

(từ đây mỗi câu 1 lạy)
(From here onward, 1 bow after each Buddha’s name)

1. Nam Mô Phổ Quang Phật
Namo Universal Light Buddha
2. Nam Mô Phổ Minh Phật
Namo Universal Understanding Buddha
3. Nam Mô Phổ Tịnh Phật
Namo Universal Purity Buddha
4. Nam Mô Đa Ma La Bạt Chiên Đàn Hương Phật
Namo Tamalapattra and Chandana Flagrance Buddha
5. Nam Mô Chiên Đàn Quang Phật
Namo Chandana Light Buddha
6. Nam Mô Ma Ni Tràng Phật
Namo Mani Banner Buddha
7. Nam Mô Hoan Hỷ Tạng Ma Ni Bảo Tích Phật
Namo Treasury of Happiness and Accumulation of Mani Jewels Buddha
8. Nam Mô Nhứt Thiết Thế Gian Nhạo Kiến Thượng Đại Tinh Tấn Phật
Namo Supreme Great Vigor That All Worlds Delight To See Buddha
9. Nam Mô Ma Ni Tràng Đăng Quang Phật
Namo Mani Banner and Lamps’ Light Buddha
10. Nam Mô Huệ Cự Chiếu Phật
Namo Wisdom Torches’ Shining Buddha
11. Nam Mô Hải Đức Quang Minh Phật
Namo Sea-Vast Virtue’s Radiance Buddha
12. Nam Mô Kim Cang Lao Cường Phổ Tán Kim Quang Phật
Namo Vajra-Firm and Shedding Golden Light Everywhere Buddha
13. Nam Mô Đại Cường Tinh Tấn Dõng Mãnh Phật
Namo Great Firm Vigor and Courage Buddha
14. Nam Mô Đại Bi Quang Phật
Namo Greatly Compassionate Light Buddha
15. Nam Mô Từ Lực Vương Phật
Namo King of Kindness and Strength Buddha
16. Nam Mô Từ Tạng Phật
Namo Treasury of Kindness Buddha
17. Nam Mô Chiên Đàn Khốt Trang Nghiêm Thắng Phật
Namo Adornment and Victory in Chandana Cave Buddha
18. Nam Mô Hiền Thiện Thủ Phật
Namo Worthy and Wholesome Leader Buddha
19. Nam Mô Thiện Ý Phật
Namo Wholesome Mind Buddha
20. Nam Mô Quảng Trang Nghiêm Vương Phật
Namo King Vast Adornments Buddha
21. Nam Mô Kim Hoa Quang Phật
Namo Golden Flowers’ Light Buddha
22. Nam Mô Bảo Cái Chiếu Không Tự Tại Lực Vương Phật
Namo King Mastery-Self Power Like a Jewelled Canopy Shining in Space Buddha
23. Nam Mô Hư Không Bảo Hoa Quang Phật
Namo Light of Precious Flowers in Space Buddha
24. Nam Mô Lưu Ly Trang Nghiêm Vương Phật
Namo King Adorned with Lapis Lazuli Buddha
25. Nam Mô Phổ Hiện Sắc Thân Quang Phật
Namo Form-Body’s Light Appearing Everywhere Buddha
26. Nam Mô Bất Động Trí Quang Phật
Namo Light of Unmoving Wisdom Buddha
27. Nam Mô Hàng Phục Chúng Ma Vương Phật
Namo King Demon-Horse-Subduer Buddha
28. Nam Mô Tài Quang Minh Phật
Namo Gifted and Brilliant Buddha
29. Nam Mô Trí Huệ Thắng Phật
Namo Wisdom Victory Buddha
30. Nam Mô Di Lặc Tiên Quang Phật
Namo Maitreya, Immortal Light Buddha
31. Nam Mô Thiện Tịch Nguyệt Âm Diệu Tôn Trí Vương Phật
Namo King Well-Still Moon-Sound and Wonderful Venerable Wisdom Buddha
32. Nam Mô Thế Tịnh Quang Phật
Namo Pure Light for the World Buddha
33. Nam Mô Long Chưởng Thượng Tôn Vương Phật
Namo Supreme and Venerable Dragon-King Buddha
34. Nam Mô Nhựt Nguyệt Quang Phật
Namo Light of Sun and Moon Buddha
35. Nam Mô Nhựt Nguyệt Châu Quang Phật
Namo Pearl-Light of Sun and Moon Buddha
36. Nam Mô Huệ Tràng Thắng Vương Phật
Namo Victorious King Wisdom-Banner Buddha
37. Nam Mô Sư Tử Hẩu Tự Tại Lực Vương Phật
Namo King Lion’s Roar and Power of Self-Mastery Buddha
38. Nam Mô Diệu Âm Thắng Phật
Namo Wonderful Voice and Victory Buddha
39. Nam Mô Thường Quang Tràng Phật
Namo Banner of Eternal Light Buddha
40. Nam Mô Quan Thế Đăng Phật
Namo Lamp That Contemplates the World Buddha
41. Nam Mô Huệ Oai Đăng Vương Phật
Namo King Awesome Lamp of Wisdom Buddha
42. Nam Mô Pháp Thắng Vương Phật
Namo King Dharma-Victory Buddha
43. Nam Mô Tu Di Quang Phật
Namo Sumaru Light Buddha
44. Nam Mô Tu Ma Na Hoa Quang Phật
Namo Suman Flower Light Buddha
45. Nam Mô Ưu Đàm Bát La Hoa Thù Thắng Vương Phật
Namo King Rare as the Udumbara Flower Buddha
46. Nam Mô Đại Huệ Lực Vương Phật
Namo King Great Wisdom-Power Buddha
47. Nam Mô A Súc Tỳ Hoan Hỷ Quang Phật
Namo Akshobya, Light of Joy Buddha
48. Nam Mô Vô Lượng Âm Thanh Vương Phật
Namo King Infinite Voices Buddha
49. Nam Mô Tài Quang Phật
Namo Gifted and Bright Buddha
50. Nam Mô Kim Hải Quang Phật
Namo Golden Sea of Light Buddha
51. Nam Mô Sơn Hải Huệ Tự Tại Thông Vương Phật
Namo King Wisdom Like Mountains and Seas and Self-Mastery’s Penetrations Buddha
52. Nam Mô Đại Thông Quang Phật
Namo Light of Great Penetrations Buddha
53. Nam Mô Nhứt Thiết Pháp Tràng Mãn Vương Phật
Namo Forever Replete in all Dharmas Buddha
54. Nam Mô Thích Ca Mâu Ni Phật
Namo Shakyamuni Buddha
55. Nam Mô Kim Cang Bất Hoại Phật
Namo Vajra-Indestructable Buddha
56. Nam Mô Bảo Quang Phật
Namo Precious Light Buddha
57. Nam Mô Long Tôn Vương Phật
Namo Venerable Dragon-King Buddha
58. Nam Mô Tinh Tấn Quân Phật
Namo Vigor’s Army Buddha
59. Nam Mô Tinh Tấn Hỷ Phật
Namo Vigor and Joy Buddha
60. Nam Mô Bảo Hỏa Phật
Namo Precious Fire Buddha
61. Nam Mô Bảo Nguyệt Quang Phật
Namo Precious Moonlight Buddha
62. Nam Mô Hiện Vô Ngu Phật
Namo Manifesting without Delusion Buddha
63. Nam Mô Bảo Nguyệt Phật
Namo Precious Moon Buddha
64. Nam Mô Vô Cấu Phật
Namo Undefiled Buddha
65. Nam Mô Ly Cấu Phật
Namo Apart from Defilement Buddha
66. Nam Mô Dõng Thí Phật
Namo Courageous Giving Buddha
67. Nam Mô Thanh Tịnh Phật
Namo Purity Buddha
68. Nam Mô Thanh Tịnh Thí Phật
Namo Pure Giving Buddha
69. Nam Mô Ta Lưu Na Phật
Namo Swo Lyu Na Buddha
70. Nam Mô Thủy Thiên Phật
Namo Water-Deva Buddha
71. Nam Mô Kiên Đức Phật
Namo Firm Virtue Buddha
72. Nam Mô Chiên Đàn Công Đức Phật
Namo Chandana Merit and Virtue Buddha
73. Nam Mô Vô Lượng Cúc Quang Phật
Namo Infinite Handfuls of Light Buddha
74. Nam Mô Quang Đức Phật
Namo Bright Virtue Buddha
75. Nam Mô Vô Ưu Đức Phật
Namo Virtue Free of Worry Buddha
76. Nam Mô Na La Diên Phật
Namo Narayana Buddha
77. Nam Mô Công Đức Hoa Phật
Namo Flower of Merit and Virtue Buddha
78. Nam Mô Liên Hoa Quang Du Hí Thần Thông Phật
Namo Lotus-Flower Light, Roaming in Spiritual Power Buddha
79. Nam Mô Tài Công Đức Phật
Namo Wealthy in Merit and Virtue Buddha
80. Nam Mô Đức Niệm Phật
Namo Virtue and Mindfulness Buddha
81. Nam Mô Thiện Danh Xưng Công Đức Phật
Namo Merit and Virtue and Good Renown Buddha
82. Nam Mô Hồng Diệm Đế Tràng Vương Phật
Namo King Blazing Red Imperial Banner Buddha
83. Nam Mô Thiện Du Bộ Công Đức Phật
Namo Skillfully Travel and Merit and Virtue Buddha
84. Nam Mô Đấu Chiến Thắng Phật
Namo Victorious in Battle Buddha
85. Nam Mô Thiện Du Bộ Phật
Namo Skillfully Traveling Buddha
86. Nam Mô Châu Tráp Trang Nghiêm Công Đức Phật
Namo Encompassing Adornments and Merit and Virtue Buddha
87. Nam Mô Bảo Hoa Du Bộ Phật
Namo Precious Flower Traveling Buddha
88. Nam Mô Bảo Liên Hoa Thiện Trụ Ta La Thọ Vương Phật
Namo King Precious Lotus Skillfully Dwelling Beneath the Sala Tree Buddha
89. Nam Mô Pháp Giới Tạng Thân A Di Đà Phật
Namo Amita Buddha, whose body is the treasury of the Dharma realm

And all other Buddhas like them, World Honored Ones. Kindly be mindful of me as I repent of all the offenses I have committed in this life and in former lives. Throughout births and deaths without beginning, whether I have done them myself, told other to do them, or condoned their being done, such as taking things from stupas, from a sanghan, or from the Sangha of the four directions, either taking them myself, telling other to take them, or condoning their being taken; or committing the five Avici offenses, either committing them myself, telling other to commit them, or condoning their being committed; or committing the ten evil, either committing them myself, telling other to commit them, or condoning their being committed; all such obstructing offenses, whether hidden or not, which merit my falling into the hells or among the hungry ghosts or animals or any other evil destiny, or into a lowly life, a life in the border region, or a life as a Meleccha.

I now repent of and reform all the obstructing offenses I’ve committed. Now may all the Buddhas, World Honored Ones, certify me; may they be mindful of me. Before all the Buddhas, World Honored Ones, I further speak these words: Any good roots that I have gained in this life, or in past lives, through giving, through guarding precepts, simply through giving a morsel of food to an animal, or through cultivating pure conduct, any good roots from bringing living beings to accomplishment, any good roots from cultivating Bodhi, and any good roots from attaining wisdom, all of them, accumulated and reckoned up throughout my lifespans, I transfer to Annutra-Samyak-Sambodhi. My transference is like the transferences made by all the Buddhas of the past, present, and future.

I repent of and reform every offense, compliantly rejoice in all blessings. Seek the Buddha’s merit and virtue, and vow to accomplish the unsurpassed wisdom. To all Buddhas of past and present, supreme among living beings, with seas of infinite merit and virtue, I now return my life in worship.

Throughout the worlds in the ten directions, before all lions among men in the past, in the present, and also in the future, with body, mouth, and mind entirely pure, I bow before them all, omitting none. With the awesome spiritual power of Samantabhadra’s vows, I appear at the same time before every Thus Come One, and in transformed bodies as many as motes of dust in lands, bow to Buddhas as many as motes of dust in lands. In every mote of dust are Buddhas as many as motes of dust, each dwelling amid a host of Bodhisattvas.

Throughout motes of dust in endless Dharma realms, it is the same: I deeply believe they are filled with Buddhas. With sea of each and every sound, I everywhere let fall words and phrases, wonderful and endless, which exhausts all kalpas of the future, and praise the wide, deep sea of Buddhas’ merit and virtue. Flower garlands supreme and wonderful, music, perfumes, parasols, and canopies, and other decorations rich and rare, I offer up to every Thus Come One, fine clothing, superior incense, powdered and burning incense, lamps and candles, each one heaped as high as wonderfully high mountain, I offer completely to all Tathagatas. With a vast, great, supremely liberated mind, I believe in all the Buddhas of the three periods of time. With the strength of Samantabhadra’s conduct and vows, I make offerings to all the Thus Come Ones everywhere.

For all the evil deeds I have done in the past based on beginningless greed, anger, and delusion, and creates by body, speech, and mind, I now know shame and repent them all. Of all beings in the ten directions, the learners and those past study in the two vehicles, and all the Thus Come Ones and Bodhisattvas, I rejoice in all their merit and virtues.

Before the lamps of the world of the ten directions, those who first accomplished bodhi, I now request and beseech them all to turn the foremost, wondrous Dharma wheel. If there are Buddhas who wish for Nirvana, I request with deep sincerity, that they dwell in the world for as many kalpas as there are dust motes in kshetras to bring benefit and bliss to every being. All good roots from worshiping, praising, and making offerings to Buddhas, from requesting that Buddhas dwell in the world to turn the Dharma wheel, from compliantly rejoicing, from repenting and reforming, I transfer to all living beings’ attaining the Buddha’s way.

May this supreme merit and virtue, be transferred throughout the unsurpassed true Dharma realm. To the nature and appearance of the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, these two truths are fused and understood by the impress of samadhi’s sea. Of all such infinite seas of merit and virtues, I now make complete transference. May all the karmic obstruction of living beings’ body, mouth, and mind: view delusions, false accusations, self, Dharmas, and so forth…, be entirely extinguished without remainder.

In every thought may my wisdom encompass the Dharma realm and widely cross over living beings to irreversibility, till the exhaustion of the realm of empty space, and the exhaustion of living beings, of karma and afflictions. Just as these four Dharmas are vast and boundless, I now vow that my transference will be so, too.

Namo Universal Worthy, Bodhisattva of Great Conduct. (3x)
Nam mô Ðại Hạnh Phổ Hiền Bồ Tát. (3x)

Three Refuges (Tam Quy Y)

Tự quy y Phật,
Xin nguyện chúng sanh,
Thể theo đạo cả,
Phát lòng vô thượng (1 lạy)

To the Buddha I return and rely
Vowing that all living beings
Understand the great way profoundly
And bring forth the Boddhi mind
(1 bow)

Tự quy y Pháp,
Xin nguyện chúng sanh,
Thấu rõ kinh tạng,
Trí huệ như biển (1 lạy)

To the Dharma I return and rely
Vowing that all living beings
Deeply enter the sutra treasury
And have wisdom like the sea
(1 bow)

Tự quy y Tăng,
Xin nguyện chúng sanh,
Thống lý đại chúng,
Hết thảy không ngại (1 lạy)

To the Sangha I return and rely
Vowing that all living beings
Form together a great assembly
One and all in harmony
(1 bow)

Transferring Merit (Hồi Hướng)

I vow that this merit
Will adorn the Buddha’s Pure Land
Repayīng four kind of kindness above
Aiding those below in the three paths of suffering

May those who see and hear
All bring forth the Bodhi heart
And when this retribution body is done
Be born together in the Land of Ultimate Bliss.


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2009 Year of the Earth Ox

2009 January 26th

1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997

People born in the Year of the Ox are patient, speak little, and inspire confidence in others. They tend, however, to be eccentric, and bigoted, and they anger easily. They have fierce tempers and although they speak little, when they do they are quite eloquent. Ox people are mentally and physically alert. Generally easy-going, they can be remarkably stubborn, and they hate to fail or be opposed. They are most compatible with Snake, Rooster, and Rat people.