THE UNIVERSAL WAY OF AVALOKITESVAR BODHISATTVA

AVALOKITESVAR SHRINE
A Place to Pray to and Meditate on the Grace and Great Compassion of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva 

The Universal Way of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva- A

Public Domain   Translation of Chapter 25 of the Lotus Sutra

Preface

The Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva Chapter of the Lotus Sutra is perhaps one of the most efficacious Dharma Doors ever spoken by the Buddha. Regular recitation of this Sutra can dispel all disasters and help the cultivator build a strong foundational affinity with Avalokitesvara, a Bodhisattva able to uproot all types of suffering, no matter how severe or how strange, be it physical, spiritual and or psychological. Anyone who is able to build a foundation with Avalokitesvara (by reciting his Name or this Sutra) shall be forever remembered by the Bodhisattva, who will respond by granting all wishes (be they spoken or secret) and eliminating all of the cultivator’s misfortunes, flaws, problems and obstacles— either covertly or openly.

Thus, the purpose of this translation is to serve as a easily recited and understood edition of the Avalokitesvara Chapter for all to use in their daily practice. A public domain text to be freely printed and shared without any restriction.
Brian Chung,
March 2020

The Universal Way of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva

The Bodhisattva of Boundless Will arose from his seat, bared his right shoulder, turned towards the Buddha with joined palms and asked: “World Honored One, we yearn to know why the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, He Who Hears and Heeds the Sounds of the World, is titled thus?”

The Buddha replied to Boundless Will: “Virtuous Son! If a multitude of distressed sentient beings, ensnared in myriad sorrows, cry out with one heart the name of Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva will heed their cries and release them from suffering. If those who uphold Avalokitesvara’s name were thrown into a raging inferno, they would, by the astonishing power of the Bodhisattva, be immune from the flames. And if swept away by turbulent tides, they would reach the shallows. Likewise, whenever the many who cross the oceans in search of a fortune in gold, silver, red coral, pearls and precious stones find baneful winds forcing them into perilous or haunted waters, then the whole vessel may be steered to safety if just one among them chants the name of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva. For these reasons, he is honored as He Who Hears and Heeds the Sounds of the World.”

“Furthermore, if soon to be victims of violence cry for Avalokitesvara, the attacking blades shall break and leave them uninjured. Should a mighty host of Yakshas and Rakshasas —vast enough to cover the universe— march forth to torment others, then these fearsome ghosts, upon encountering someone who holds the name of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, would be unable to even gaze at them with evil eyes, let alone do any harm. And all who are chained and fettered, whether guilty or not, will be freed and their restraints shattered upon invoking the name of Avalokitesvara. Moreover, say a merchant caravan laden with wealth and goods is about to pass through a perilous path surrounded by hoards of marauders—men with hearts hardened by hatred and grievances. If at that time one of the merchants addressed his peers: ‘My good fellows, be not afraid, for let us all chant with one heart the name of Avalokitesvara, the one who bestows fearlessness, and be thus freed from these marauders,’ then the merchants, upon chanting ‘Homage to Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva,’ will be released from all danger and be able to see their goods to safety.”

“Boundless Will, the divine powers of Avalokitesvara Mahabodhisattva are ever so glorious. If beings stricken with lust or malice or ignorance often recall the Bodhisattva and cherish his name, they will see their vices recede. Boundless Will, Avalokitesvara possesses such bountiful and penetrating spiritual powers, thus, all beings must keep his name close to their hearts. If a woman wishing for a son prays and makes offerings to Avalokitesvara, she will have a son replete with fortune and wisdom. If she prays for a daughter, she will be blessed with a virtuous daughter of graceful countenance, honored by all. Boundless Will! Avalokitesvara has such awe inspiring powers, sentient beings who reverently pray to him will have endless good fortune. This is why all must receive and keep the name of Avalokitesvara.”

“Boundless Will, say someone faithfully upholds the names of Bodhisattvas as numerous as sand grains in sixty two hundred million Ganges Rivers, and offered bed linens, robes, alms food and medicines to each and every one of them for a lifetime, would not the merit of such a virtuous man or woman be great?”

“Certainly, World Honored One,” was the reply from Boundless Will.

The Buddha continued: “On the other hand, if someone else who holds only the name of Avalokitesvara bows and makes offerings but once to him, the merit and blessings attained will be equal to that of the previous person, and shall last for all time. Boundless Will! The blessings reaped from keeping the name of Avalokitesvara are unlimited and unending.”

The Bodhisattva of Boundless Will then asked the Buddha: “World Honored One, how does Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva tour the Saha world and minister to the masses? What is his way of preaching?”

The Buddha replied: “Virtuous Son, if the inhabitants of a land must meet a Buddha to be liberated, Avalokitesvara will appear in the form of a Buddha and minister to them. He will manifest as a Paccekabuddha to those who have such affinities, and as an Arhat to those who seek one. If people are to be liberated by the Great Brahma King, he will appear as one and preach the Dharma, and if an audience requires the form of the Heavenly Father, he will appear as the Heavenly Father. If beings need to be ministered to by a deva from the Heaven of the Unburdened, he will appear as one, and likewise manifest as a deva from the Greater Heaven of the Unburdened when required. If the need to appear as a Celestial Marshal arises, he will do so and preach in that form. If the form of the Celestial King Kubera is sought for, he will oblige. The same is true for the forms of princes, elders, householders, magistrates, brahmins, monks, nuns, lay devotees, consorts, matrons, youthful sons or pure maidens. He will furthermore appear as any god, dragon, yaksha, gandharva, asura, garuda, kinnara, mahoraga, human or nonhuman. And for those destined to be liberated by a Vajra God, he will manifest accordingly and preach the Dharma to them as a Vajra God.”

“Boundless Will! These are the meritorious deeds of Avalokitesvara, he graces all the lands in myriad different bodies and liberates all. So fail not to single-mindedly make offerings to Avalokitesvara, for it is this Mahabodhisattva who bestows fearlessness in moments of peril. He is known across the Saha world as the one who dispels all dangers and disasters.”

The Bodhisattva of Boundless Will declared: “ World Honored One, I shall now make an offering to Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva.” As he removed his bejeweled Livery Collar—a treasure equal to a thousand gold staters— and presented it before Avalokitesvara, he said, “O Humane One, please receive this pious offering of pearls and jewels.” Being ever humble, the Bodhisattva declined the gift. In response, the Bodhisattva of Boundless Will beseeched again, “Humane One, please accept this offering out of pity for me!”

At that moment, the Buddha said to Avalokitesvara: “You must accept this pious offering out of compassion for Boundless Will, the four assemblies, and for the gods, dragons, yakshas, gandharvas, asuras, garudas, kinnaras, mahoragas, humans and nonhumans.” Thus, out of compassion for them all, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva accepted the gift, halved it, and offered a portion each to the Buddha and the Myriad Jeweled Stupa. “Boundless Will! Such is the supreme spiritual power of Avalokitesvara, he who is ever present across the entire Saha World.”

The Bodhisattva of Boundless Will then asked in verse:
“O World Honored One of wondrous countenance,I now seek once more the origins of this Heir of Buddha,The One Who Hears And Heeds the Sounds of the World!”

And so, The Eminent One of Excellent Features replied
To Boundless Will in mellifluous verse: “Hear the Ways of Avalokitesvara, he who manifests in myriad places, Has resolve deeper than oceans, he who has waited upon Countless Buddhas over endless eons, and kept the
Great Vows of Purity. I shall now tell of the miracles Granted to those who hear his name, see his person,Those who hold his name close to their hearts, For their many sorrows shall all wither into dust! Say the murderous plot to push you into a fiery pit, Abide in Avalokitesvara and the fiery pit will turn into
A delightful pond. Or if you are cast adrift in a mighty Sea, surrounded by hydras, sea-nymphs and devil whales, Abide in Avalokitesvara and the shallows shall appear. If you are pushed off Mount Meru, abide in Avalokitesvara
And you will float in the void like the Sun. Suppose you are Pursued by hounds to the edge of the Vajra Cliff, abide in Avalokitesvara and see not one hair harmed. Or if you Are trapped by extortionists, armed and ready to do harm, Abide in Avalokitesvara and see forgiveness and mercy Swell in their hearts. Or if you are ensnared in the laws of Magistrates and sent to the guillotine, abide in Avalokitesvara And the blade shall break into pieces; if chained and fettered, Then the restraints shall be shattered and liberty regained. If you are victim of the dark arts, of curses and vexes, Abide in Avalokitesvara and the malice shall backfire Onto the culprit. And should you meet fearsome Rakshasas, venomous basilisks and other ghosts, abide in
Avalokitesvara and none would dare haunt you. Or if You are circled by ferocious beasts, teeth and claws Long and sharp, abide in Avalokitesvara and see them scatter Away in every direction. Cobras and scorpions, toxic vapors And thick smoke, all dissipate when the name Of Avalokitesvara resounds in the air. And so too Ominous clouds, striking lightning, hail and rainstorms–Fading before the powers of Avalokitesvara. The multitude Of sentient beings, ensnared in myriad sorrows, shall find
Release in the wondrous wisdom of Avalokitesvara, which Alleviates all worldly pains and anxieties. Replete with Divine powers, and forever perfecting his wisdom and ease, He manifests in all the lands across the ten quarters. The manifold states of woe, the hells, ghost realms and Beastly domains, the suffering of birth, old age, illness, and Death shall all recede. Heeding purity and truth, heeding the Vast body of wisdom, heeding benevolence and compassion, May all forever admire him with resolve and praise. Radiance pure and unblemished, like sagacious solar rays Dispelling the darkness, able to tame all disasters from wind to Fire, and illume without bounds the whole universe. He is The body of benevolence, with thundering virtue, pouring forth The ambrosia of truth to extinguish the embers of anguish. If you are mired in prosecutions or caught in the throes of Battle, abide in Avalokitesvara and all enmity shall vanish. The wondrous sounds of Avalokitesvara, so pure like Serene waves, peerless in this world, who could afford
Not to keep his name? Cherishing each chant with true faith, The pure and sagely Avalokitesvara is your rock in times of Pain and peril. Replete with merit and eyes of benevolence, Blessings boundless like the ocean, worthy of reverence!”

In the end, the Bodhisattva Who Shouldered the Earth rose and proclaimed before the Buddha: “O World Honored One, anyone able to hear this sermon on the boundless deeds of Avalokitesvara and his universal works of mercy surely has an abundance of merit.” And as the Buddha spoke this Sutra, the myriad beings in the congregation before Him vowed for Unsurpassed Bodhi.

Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva!
Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva!
Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva!
Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva!
Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva!
Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva!
Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva!
Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva!
Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva!

Homage to the Greatly Compassionate, Greatly Benevolent, Avalokitesvara Mahabodhisattva!

Foundations of Practice: Code of Conduct All Buddhists Must Anchor Themselves to Daily

The foundations of the Buddha-Dharma are the Ten Virtues. They are divided as follows:

The Three Virtues of the Body

  1. No killing

  2. No lustful misconduct

  3. No stealing or taking what is not yours and not given

The Four Virtues of Speech

  1. No lying, slander and libel

  2. No rude and harsh speech

  3. No idle gossip

  4. No back-stabbing/ spreading divisive rumors

The Three Virtues of the Mind

  1. No avarice

  2. No wrath

  3. No ignorance of the law of karma

These moral principles form the cornerstone of Buddhist practice ; they are the foundations of our daily conduct, and our respect for them will decide our future.

According to the Venerable Master Chin Kung, those who humbly perfect these Ten Virtues to a high degree will be reborn in the celestial realm. Those who perfect the Ten Virtues to a high degree, but are afflicted with extreme ambition and arrogance will be reborn as Asuras. Those whose diligence in observing the Ten Virtues are of an average level are reborn as humans, and those whose display of the Ten Virtues fall short of 50% effectiveness are reborn in the evil realms.

Thus, I personally consider it important to live by these principles everyday. None of us are perfect, but if we constantly reflect on these Ten Virtues, and anchor our conduct to these Virtues, we will soon reach an advanced state of practice, become unshakable in our peace of mind, and secure in our good fortune.

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