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Schools of Buddhism => Mahayana => Mantrayana => Topic started by: Optimus Prime on January 16, 2010, 05:29:41 am

Title: The Shurangama Mantra - 26 Benefits from reciting it
Post by: Optimus Prime on January 16, 2010, 05:29:41 am
The Shurangama Mantra is the longest and most important mantra to be found in the Chinese Tripitaka.  In the Shurangama Sutra Vol. 6, the Buddha tells Ananda the 26 benefits that come from reciting this great spiritual mantra:

1.  All of you with something left to study who have not yet put an end to the cycle of rebirth and yet have brought forth sincere resolve to become arhats, will find it impossible to sit in a Bodhimanda and be far removed in body and mind from all demonic deeds if you do not hold this mantra.
2.  Ananda, let any living being of any country in any world copy out this mantra in writing on materials native to his region, such as birch bark, pattra, plain paper, or white cotton cloth, and store it in a pouch containing incense. If that person wears the pouch on his body, or if he keeps a copy in his home, then you should know that even if he understands so little that he cannot recite it from memory, he will not be harmed by any poison during his entire life.
3.  You should know that, after my extinction, if there are beings in the Dharma-ending Age who can recite the mantra themselves or teach others to recite it, such people who recite and uphold it cannot be burned by fire, cannot be drowned by water, and cannot be harmed by mild or potent poisons.
4.  And so it is in every other case, such that they cannot be possessed by any evil mantra or any heavenly dragon, ghost, or spirit, or by any essence, weird creature, or demonic ghost. These people's minds will attain proper reception, so that any spell, any paralyzing sorcery, any poison or poisoning gold, any poisoning silver, any plant, tree, insect, or snake, and any of a myriad kinds of poisonous vapors will turn into sweet dew when it enters their mouths.
5.  No evil stars, and no ghost or spirit that harbors malice in its heart and that poisons people can work its evil on these people. Vinayaka as well as all the evil ghost kings and their retinues will be led by deep kindness to always guard and protect them.
6.  Ananda, you should know that eighty-four thousand nayutas of Ganges' sands of kotis of Vajra Treasury-King Bodhisattvas and their descendants, each with vajra multitudes as retinue, are ever in attendance, day and night, upon this mantra.
7.  If living beings whose minds are scattered and who have no samadhi remember and recite the mantra, the Vajra Kings will always surround them. Therefore, good men, that is even more true for those who are decisively resolved upon Bodhi. All the Vajra Treasury-King Bodhisattvas will regard them attentively and secretly hasten the opening of their spiritual consciousness. 
8.  When that response occurs, those people will be able to remember the events of as many kalpas as there are grains of sand in eighty-four thousand Ganges Rivers, knowing them all beyond any doubt.
9.  From that kalpa onward, through every life until the time they take their last body, they will not be born where there are yakshas, rakshasas, putanas, kataputanas, kumbhandas, pishachas and so forth; where there is any kind of hungry ghost, whether with form or lacking form, or with thought or lacking thought, or in any such evil place.
10.  If these good people read, recite, copy, or write out the mantra, if they carry it or treasure it, if they make offerings to it, then through kalpa after kalpa they will not be poor or lowly, nor will they be born in unpleasant places.
11.  If these living beings have never accumulated any blessings, the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions will bestow their own merit and virtue upon these people.
12.  Because of that, throughout asamkhyeyas of ineffable, unspeakable numbers of kalpas, as many as the Ganges' sands, they are always together with the Buddhas. They are born in the same place, due to their limitless merit and virtue, and, like the amala fruit-cluster, they stay in the same place, become permeated with cultivation, and are never parted.
13.  Therefore, it can enable those who have broken the precepts to regain the purity of the precept-source. It can enable those who have not received the precepts to receive them. It can cause those who are not vigorous to become vigorous. It can enable those who lack wisdom to gain wisdom. It can cause those who are not pure to quickly become pure. It can cause those who do not hold to vegetarianism to become vegetarians naturally.
14.  Ananda, if good men who uphold this mantra violated the pure precepts before they received the mantra, their multitude of offenses incurred by violating the precepts, whether major or minor, can simultaneously be eradicated after they begin to uphold the mantra.
15.  Even if they drank intoxicants or ate the five pungent plants and various other impure things in the past, the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Vajras, gods, immortals, ghosts, and spirits will not hold it against them.
16.  If they are unclean and wear tattered, old clothes to carry out the single practice and single dwelling, they can be equally pure. Even if they do not set up the platform, do not enter the Bodhimanda, and do not practice the Way, but recite and uphold this mantra, their merit and virtue will be identical with that derived from entering the platform and practicing the Way.
17.  If they have committed the five rebellious acts, grave offenses warranting unintermittent retribution, or if they are bhikshus or bhikshunis who have violated the four parajikas or the eight parajikas, such heavy karma as this will disperse after they recite this mantra, like a sand dune that is scattered in a gale, so that not a particle remains.
18.  Ananda, if living beings who have never repented and reformed any of the obstructive offenses, either heavy or light, that they have committed throughout countless kalpas past, up to and including those of this very life, can nevertheless read, recite, copy, or write out this mantra or wear it on their bodies or place it in their homes or in their garden houses, then all that accumulated karma will melt away like snow in hot water. Before long they will obtain awakening to patience with the non-production of dharmas.
19.  Moreover, Ananda, if women who do not have children and want to conceive can sincerely memorize and recite this mantra or carry the mantra, Syi Dan Dwo Bwo Da La, on their bodies, they can give birth to sons or daughters endowed with blessings, virtue, and wisdom.
20.  Those who seek long life will obtain long life. Those who seek to quickly perfect their reward will quickly gain perfection. The same is true for those who seek something regarding their bodies, their lives, their appearance, or their strength.
21.  At the end of their lives, they will gain the rebirth they hope for in whichever of the countries of the ten directions they wish. They certainly will not be born in poorly endowed places, or as inferior people; even less will they be reborn in some odd form.
22.  Ananda, if there is famine or plague in a country, province, or village, or if perhaps there are armed troops, brigands, invasions, war, or any other kind of local threat or danger, one can write out this spiritual mantra and place it on the four city gates, or on a chaitya or on a dhvaja, and instruct all the people of the country to gaze upon the mantra, to make obeisance to it, to revere it, and to single-mindedly make offerings to it; one can instruct all the citizens to wear it on their bodies or to place it in their homes; and then all such disasters and calamities will completely disappear.
23.  Ananda, in each and every country where the people accord with this mantra, the heavenly dragons are delighted, the winds and rains are seasonal, the crops are abundant, and the people are peaceful and happy.
24.  It can also suppress all evil stars which may appear in any of the directions and transform themselves in uncanny ways. Calamities and obstructions will not arise. People will not die accidentally or unexpectedly, nor will they be bound by fetters, cangues, or locks. Day and night they will be at peace, and no evil dreams will disturb their sleep.  Ananda, this Saha world has eighty-four thousand changeable and disastrous evil stars. Twenty-eight great evil stars are the leaders, and of these, eight great evil stars are the rulers. They take various shapes, and when they appear in the world they bring disaster and weird happenings upon living beings.  But they will all be eradicated wherever there is the mantra. The boundaries will be secured for twelve yojanas around, and no evil calamity or misfortune will ever enter in.  Therefore, the Thus Come One proclaims this mantra as one which will protect those of the future who have just begun to study, as well as all cultivators, so that they can enter samadhi, be peaceful in body and mind, and attain great tranquility.
25.  Even less will any demon, ghost, or spirit, or any enemy, calamity, or misfortune due from former lives that reach back to beginningless time, or any old karma or past debts come to vex and harm them.
26.  As to you and everyone in the assembly who is still studying, and as to cultivators of the future who rely on my platform, hold the precepts in accord with the dharma, receive the precepts from pure members of the Sangha, and hold this mantra-heart without giving rise to doubts: should such good people as these not obtain mind-penetration in that very body born of their parents, then the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions have lied!

Source:  http://www.cttbusa.org/shurangama6/shurangama6_10.asp
Title: Re: The Shurangama Mantra - 26 Benefits from reciting it
Post by: Optimus Prime on January 16, 2010, 05:32:11 am
Here is the great Shurangama Mantra itself, which is divided into 5 sections:

I.
na mwo sa dan two
su chye dwo ye
e la he di
san myau san pu two sye
na mwo sa dan two
fwo two jyu jr shai ni shan
na mwo sa pe
bwo two bwo di
sa dwo pi bi
na mwo sa dwo nan
san myau san pu two
jyu jr nan
swo she la pe jya
seng chye nan
na mwo lu ji e lwo han dwo nan
na mwo su lu dwo bwo nwo nan
na mwo swo jye li two chye mi nan
na mwo lu ji san myau chye dwo nan
san myau chye be la
di bwo dwo nwo nan
na mwo ti pe li shai nan
na mwo syi two ye
pi di ye
two la li shai nan
she pwo nu
jya la he
swo he swo la mwo two nan
na mwo ba la he mwo ni
na mwo yin two la ye
na mwo pe chye pe di
lu two la ye
wu bwo be di
swo syi ye ye
na mwo pe chye pe di
nwo la ye
na ye
pan je mwo he san mwo two la
na mwo syi jye li dwo ye
na mwo pe chye pe di
mwo he jya la ye
di li bwo la na
chye la pi two la
bwo na jya la ye
e di mu di
shr mwo she nwo ni
pe syi ni
mwo dan li chye na
na mwo syi jye li dwo ye
na mwo pe chye pe di
dwo two chye dwo jyu la ye
na mwo be tou mwo jyu la ye
na mwo ba she la jyu la ye
na mwo mwo ni jyu la ye
na mwo chye she jyu la ye
na mwo pe chye pe di
di li cha
shu la syi na
bwo la he la na la she ye
dwo two chye dwo ye
na mwo pe chye pe di
na mwo e mi dwo pe ye
dwo two chye dwo ye
e la he di
san myau san pu two ye
na mwo pe chye pe di
e chu pi ye
dwo two chye dwo ye
e la he di
san myau san pu two ye
na mwo pe chye pe di
bi sha she ye
jyu lu fei ju li ye
bwo la pe la she ye
dwo two chye dwo ye
na mwo pe chye pe di
san bu shr bi dwo
sa lyan nai la la she ye
dwo two chye dwo ye
e la he di
san myau san pu two ye
na mwo pe chye pe di
she ji ye mu nwo ye
dwo two chye dwo ye
e la he di
san myau san pu two ye
na mwo pe chye pe di
la dan na ji du la she ye
dwo two chye dwo ye
e la he di
san myau san pu two ye
di pyau
na mwo sa jye li dwo
yi tan pe chye pe dwo
sa dan two chye du shai ni shan
sa dan dwo bwo da lan
na mwo e pe la shr dan
bwo la di
yang chi la
sa la pe
bwo dwo jye la he
ni jye la he
jye jya la he ni
ba la bi di ye
chr two ni
e jya la
mi li ju
bwo li dan la ye
ning jye li
sa la pe
pan two nwo
mu cha ni
sa la pe
tu shai jya
tu syi fa
bwo na ni
fa la ni
je du la
shr di nan
jye la he
swo he sa la rau she
pi dwo beng swo na jye li
e shai ja bing she di nan
na cha cha dan la rau she
bwo la sa two na jye li
e shai ja nan
mwo he jye la he rau she
pi dwo beng sa na jye li
sa pe she du lu
ni pe la rau she
hu lan tu syi fa
nan je na she ni
pi sha she
syi dan la
e ji ni
wu two jya la rau she
e bwo la shr dwo jyu la
mwo he bwo la jan chr
mwo he dye dwo
mwo he di she
mwo he shwei dwo she pe la
mwo he ba la pan two la
pe syi ni
e li ye dwo la
pi li jyu jr
shr pe pi she ye
ba she la mwo li di
pi she lu dwo
bwo teng wang jya
ba she la jr he nwo e je
mwo la jr pe
bwo la jr dwo
ba she la shan chr
pi she la je
shan dwo she
pi ti pe
bu shr dwo
su mwo lu bwo
mwo he shwei dwo
e li ye dwo la
mwo he pe la e bwo la
ba she la shang jye la jr pe
ba she la jyu mwo li
jyu lan two li
ba she la he sa dwo je
pi di ye
chyan je nwo
mwo li jya
ku su mu
pe jye la dwo nwo
pi lu je na
jyu li ye
ye la tu
shai ni shan
pi je lan pe mwo ni je
ba she la jya na jya bwo la pe
lu she na
ba she la dwun jr je
shwei dwo je
jya mwo la
cha che shr
bwo la pe
yi di yi di
mu two la
jye na
swo pi la chan
jywe fan du
yin tu na mwo mwo sye

II.
wu syin
li shai jye na
bwo la she syi dwo
sa dan two
chye du shai ni shan
hu syin du lu yung
jan pe na
hu syin du lu yung
syi dan pe na
hu syin du lu yung
bwo la shai di ye
san bwo cha
na jye la
hu syin du lu yung
sa pe yau cha
he la cha swo
jye la he rau she
pi teng beng sa na jye la
hu syin du lu yung
je du la
shr di nan
jye la he
swo he sa la nan
pi teng beng sa na la
hu syin du lu yung
la cha
pe chye fan
sa dan two
chye du shai ni shan
bwo la dyan
she ji li
mwo he swo he sa la
bwo shu swo he sa la
shr li sha
jyu jr swo he sa ni
di li e bi ti shr pe li dwo
ja ja ying jya
mwo he ba she lu two la
di li pu pe na
man cha la
wu syin
swo syi di
bwo pe du
mwo mwo
yin tu na mwo mwo sye

III.
la she pe ye
ju la be ye
e chi ni pe ye
wu two jya pe ye
pi sha pe ye
she sa dwo la pe ye
pe la jau jye la pe ye
tu shai cha pe ye
e she ni pe ye
e jya la
mi li ju pe ye
two la ni bu mi jyan
bwo chye bwo two pe ye
wu la jya pe dwo pe ye
la she tan cha pe ye
nwo chye pe ye
pi tyau dan pe ye
su bwo la na pe ye
yau cha jye la he
la cha sz jye la he
bi li dwo jye la he
pi she je jye la he
bu dwo jye la he
jyou pan cha jye la he
bu dan na jye la he
jya ja bu dan na jye la he
syi chyan du jye la he
e bwo syi mwo la jye la he
wu tan mwo two jye la he
che ye jye la he
syi li pe di jye la he
she dwo he li nan
jye pe he li nan
lu di la he li nan
mang swo he li nan
mi two he li nan
mwo she he li nan
she dwo he li nyu
shr bi dwo he li nan
pi dwo he li nan
pe dwo he li nan
e shu je he li nyu
jr dwo he li nyu
di shan sa pi shan
sa pe jye la he nan
pi two ye she
chen two ye mi
ji la ye mi
bwo li ba la je jya
chi li dan
pi two ye she
chen two ye mi
ji la ye mi
cha yan ni
chi li dan
pi two ye she
chen two ye mi
ji la ye mi
mwo he bwo su bwo dan ye
lu two la
chi li dan
pi two ye she
chen two ye mi
ji la ye mi
nwo la ye na
chi li dan
pi two ye she
chen two ye mi
ji la ye mi
dan two chye lu cha syi
chi li dan
pi two ye she
chen two ye mi
ji la ye mi
mwo he jya la
mwo dan li chye na
chi li dan
pi two ye she
chen two ye mi
ji la ye mi
jya bwo li jya
chi li dan
pi two ye she
chen two ye mi
ji la ye mi
she ye jye la
mwo du jye la
sa pe la two swo da na
chi li dan
pi two ye she
chen two ye mi
ji la ye mi
je du la
pe chi ni
chi li dan
pi two ye she
chen two ye mi
ji la ye mi
pi li yang chi li jr
nan two ji sha la
chye na bwo di
swo syi ye
chi li dan
pi two ye she
chen two ye mi
ji la ye mi
na jye na she la pe na
chi li dan
pi two ye she
chen two ye mi
ji la ye mi
e lwo han
chi li dan
pi two ye she
chen two ye mi
ji la ye mi
pi dwo la chye
chi li dan
pi two ye she
chen two ye mi
ji la ye mi
ba she la bwo ni
jyu syi ye jyu syi ye
jya di bwo di
chi li dan
pi two ye she
chen two ye mi
ji la ye mi
la cha wang
pe chye fan
yin tu na mwo mwo sye

IV.
pe chye fan
sa dan dwo bwo da la
na mwo tswei du di
e syi dwo na la la jya
bwo la pe
syi pu ja
pi jya sa dan dwo be di li
shr fwo la shr fwo la
two la two la
pin two la pin two la
chen two chen two
hu syin hu syin
pan ja pan ja pan ja pan ja pan ja
swo he
syi syi pan
e mu jye ye pan
e bwo la ti he dwo pan
pe la bwo la two pan
e su la
pi two la
bwo jya pan
sa pe ti pi bi pan
sa pe na chye bi pan
sa pe yau cha bi pan
sa pe chyan ta pe bi pan
sa pe bu dan na bi pan
jya ja bu dan na bi pan
sa pe tu lang jr di bi pan
sa pe tu sz bi li
chi shai di bi pan
sa pe shr pe li bi pan
sa pe e bwo syi mwo li bi pan
sa pe che la pe na bi pan
sa pe di di ji bi pan
sa pe dan mwo two ji bi pan
sa pe pi two ye
la shr je li bi pan
she ye jye la
mwo du jye la
sa pe la two swo two ji bi pan
pi di ye
je li bi pan
je du la
fu chi ni bi pan
ba she la
jyu mwo li
pi two ye
la shr bi pan
mwo he bwo la ding yang
yi chi li bi pan
ba she la shang jye la ye
bwo la jang chi la she ye pan
mwo he jya la ye
mwo he mwo dan li jya na
na mwo swo jye li dwo ye pan
bi shai na bei ye pan
bwo la he mwo ni ye pan
e chi ni ye pan
mwo he jye li ye pan
jye la tan chr ye pan
mye dan li ye pan
lau dan li ye pan
je wen cha ye pan
jye lwo la dan li ye pan
jya bwo li ye pan
e di mu jr dwo
jya shr mwo she nwo
pe sz ni ye pan
yan ji jr
sa two pe sye
mwo mwo yin tu na mwo mwo sye

V.
tu shai ja jr dwo
e mwo dan li jr dwo
wu she he la
chye pe he la
lu di la he la
pe swo he la
mwo she he la
she dwo he la
shr bi dwo he la
ba lyau ye he la
chyan two he la
bu shr bwo he la
pwo la he la
pe sye he la
be bwo jr dwo
tu shai ja jr dwo
lau two la jr dwo
yau cha jye la he
la cha swo jye la he
bi li dwo jye la he
pi she je jye la he
bu dwo jye la he
jyou pan cha jye la he
syi chyan two jye la he
wu dan mwo two jye la he
che ye jye la he
e bwo sa mwo la jye la he
jai chywe ge
cha chi ni jye la he
li fwo di jye la he
she mi jya jye la he
she jyu ni jye la he
mu two la
na di jya jye la he
e lan pe jye la he
chyan du bwo ni jye la he
shr fwo la
yin jya syi jya
jywe di yau jya
dan li di yau jya
je tu two jya
ni ti shr fa la
bi shan mwo shr fa la
bwo di jya
bi di jya
shr li shai mi jya
swo ni bwo di jya
sa pe shr fa la
shr lu ji di
mwo two pi da lu jr jyan
e chi lu chyan
mu chywe lu chyan
jye li tu lu chyan
jya la he
jye lan jye na shu lan
dan dwo shu lan
chi li ye shu lan
mwo mwo shu lan
ba li shr pe shu lan
bi li shai ja shu lan
wu two la shu lan
jye jr shu lan
ba syi di shu lan
wu lu shu lan
chang chye shu lan
he syi dwo shu lan
ba two shu lan
swo fan ang chye
bwo la jang chye shu lan
bu dwo bi dwo cha
cha chi ni
shr pe la
two tu lu jya
jyan du lu ji jr
pe lu dwo pi
sa bwo lu
he ling chye
shu sha dan la
swo na jye la
pi sha yu jya
e chi ni
wu two jya
mwo la pi la
jyan dwo la
e jya la
mi li du
da lyan bu jya
di li la ja
bi li shai jr jya
sa pe na jyu la
sz yin chye bi
jye la li yau cha
dan la chu
mwo la shr
fei di shan
swo pi shan
syi dan dwo bwo da la
mwo he ba she lu
shai ni shan
mwo he bwo lai jang chi lan
ye bwo tu two
she yu she nwo
byan da li na
pi two ye
pan tan jya lu mi
di shu
pan tan jya lu mi
bwo la pi two
pan tan jya lu mi
dwo jr two
nan
e na li
pi she ti
pi la
ba she la
two li
pan two pan two ni
ba she la bang ni pan
hu syin du lu yung pan
swo pe he.

Source:  http://www.cttbusa.org/shurangama6/shurangama6_9.asp
Title: Re: The Shurangama Mantra - 26 Benefits from reciting it
Post by: Optimus Prime on January 16, 2010, 05:42:46 am
How to memorize the Shurangama Mantra:

When people first see this mantra, they might think, "Heck!  How am I ever going to remember the whole mantra?"

The answer is to learn it 1-2 lines at a time.  Make sure you get those lines down in your memory properly before trying to remember the next few lines.  So you gradually build it up until you can remember the whole mantra.  It does take a while to be able to memorize the whole mantra - this is normal - in China, they used to call it 6 months of stupor when people were trying to memorize it.

For an idea of pronunciation, you can try following along with the recitation here whilst reading the mantra:
http://dharmabliss.org/audio/sur-textdrba-audiohj/sur-drba-audiotext.html
Title: Re: The Shurangama Mantra - 26 Benefits from reciting it
Post by: Tsomo on January 20, 2010, 10:31:32 am
 :dharma:
Thank you Optimus Prime for the Shurangama Mantra, and the awesome 26 Benefits from reciting this maha mantra.
Little did I know this mantra is so long. I hope I can manage to learn it by heart. I will try! Little by little .....
With much Metta,
Tsomo  :namaste:
Om Ami Dewa Hri!
Title: Re: The Shurangama Mantra - 26 Benefits from reciting it
Post by: Dharmakara on January 20, 2010, 01:28:06 pm
Yes, optimus, thanks for this thread... hopefully you and others will continue to contribute on the subject in general. There's also an article I came across on the physical and psychological benefits of mantra meditation that some might be interested in:

http://www.youmeworks.com/gentlyreturning.html
Title: Re: The Shurangama Mantra - 26 Benefits from reciting it
Post by: Optimus Prime on January 21, 2010, 05:44:34 am
Master Hsuan Hua's commentary from the Shurangama Sutra contains a brief introduction about the Shurangama Mantra:

The 5 Sections of the Shurangama Mantra
The mantra has five divisions which correspond to the five directions : north, south, east, west, and the middle.
-  The eastern division is the Vajra division, with Akshobhya Buddha as the teaching host.
-  The southern division is the Production-of-Jewels division, with Production-of-Jewels Buddha as the teaching host.
-  The central division is the Buddha division, with Shakyamuni Buddha as the teaching host.
-  The western division is the Lotus division, with Amitabha Buddha as the teaching host.
-  The northern division is the Karma division, with Accomplishment Buddha as the teaching host.
There are five divisions, because there are five huge demonic armies in this world. There are demons to the east, south, west, north, and in the center. Since there are these five demon armies, not just five demons, the Buddhas also cover the five directions to suppress the demons. If there were no Buddhas, the demons could appear openly in the world.

Within the 5 divisions of the mantra there are, in general, more than 30 dharmas, and it has more than 100 dharmas that can be discussed in detail.

There are 5 major kinds of dharmas:

1) Dharmas of accomplishment. This means that with this dharma, you will be successful in what you seek or in what you vow or wish for.

2) Dharmas of increasing benefit. This means that when you recite this mantra, you can increase benefits which you yourself seek and you can also increase benefits for other people.

3) Dharmas of hooking and summoning. This means, literally, to "hook in" and catch and to call with a command all the weird beings, demons, and ghosts. No matter how far away they might be from you, you can bring them in and capture them. For instance, suppose one of them is harming someone, and when they finish they run away. If one knows how to use the dharma of hooking and summoning, then no matter how far that being may have run, you can arrest him.

4) Dharmas of subduing. Demons also have spiritual penetrations and mantras which they use. When you recite your mantras, they recite their mantras. But if you can use the Shurangama Mantra, you can smash through all their mantras. I've told you before about the section of the mantra which is for smashing the demon kings. It also is effective in destroying their mantras and spells. Although I've taught you this already, it bears repeating here. Those who have not studied this yet can take note of it. Why was it that as soon as the Shurangama Mantra was recited the former Brahma Heaven mantra lost its effectiveness? It was because of the "Five Great Heart Mantras."

Chr Two Ni
E Jya La
Mi Li Ju
Bwo Li Dan La Ye
Ning Jye Li

These five lines are called the "Five Great Heart Mantras." It is the fundamental mantra for destroying the mantras and spells of the heavenly demons and adherents of externalist ways. It doesn't matter what kind of mantra they come up with; you can destroy it with this one. Their mantras will lose their effectiveness. This dharma I've just transmitted could sell for several million dollars, but I do not sell it. Seeing that you have a certain amount of sincerity, I transmit it to you absolutely free.

5) Dharmas of dispelling disasters. Whatever calamity is due to occur can be prevented. For instance, suppose a person was due to fall into the sea and drown, but by reciting the Shurangama Mantra, he avoids the catastrophe. He might fall into the sea, but he doesn't drown. Perhaps you are in a boat that ought to sink, but you recite this mantra and the boat does not go down. Maybe you're in an airplane that is destined to crash, but you recite the Shurangama Mantra and the plane lands without incident. I'll tell you something incredible. I was going from Burma to Thailand, an air route that is particularly dangerous. But during that trip, the plane didn't show the effects of any turbulence. The ride was absolutely smooth. Even the pilot commented, "Why has it been such smooth going on this trip?" He had no idea that during that ride the gods, dragons, and the rest of the eightfold division, as well as Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, were on all sides of the airplane guarding and protecting it. That's the way the dharma of dispelling disasters works. When there clearly should be an accident, it can change big disasters to small ones and make small ones never even happen. Usually what happens is there's "alarm but no danger" if you recite the Shurangama Mantra.

In general, the mantra contains dharmas of auspiciousness. This means that when you recite the Shurangama Mantra, everything goes just as you'd like it to. It's really lucky and extremely auspicious.

The advantages of the mantra are so many that one could not even begin to express them in several years time. But at this time, I'll limit my explanation to these few dharmas and meanings.

Source:  http://cttbusa.org/shurangama6/shurangama6_8.asp
Title: Re: The Shurangama Mantra - 26 Benefits from reciting it
Post by: Optimus Prime on January 29, 2010, 04:21:53 am
Here's an interesting personal story about benefit No.3 & 4 (above) from reciting the Shurangama Mantra - on how it can be protective against poisons, by Dharma Master Heng Mao:


August 20th, 2002 was a usual day that became unusual because six people
at the City of the Dharma Realm (CDR) were poisoned simultaneously.  
Ambulances took the victims of varying degrees of poison to the emergency rooms
of three hospitals nearby.

It was my turn to work in the office the morning of the incident. I took my food
to the office at 11 a.m. When I took that first bite of boiled vegetables,
I thought it was extremely bitter but didn’t mind it.  But it was still extremely bitter
on the second bite. I thought I  should learn to take what’s bitter.

It wasn’t until my third or fourth bite that I felt things weren’t right. It was way too bitter.
My lips began to go numb and a thought flashed in my head:  
“There’s something wrong with these vegetables!”
I went to the dining hall immediately and told everyone not to eat any more.

When I stepped into the dining hall, Heng Chan Shi was coming my way and told me
that there’s something wrong with the vegetables. I rushed to tell everyone
not to eat any more of this vegetable. At the same time I went into the kitchen
to ask for water with brown sugar. Everyone were to be given a glass to detoxify their systems.

Later, I walked back to the office and halfway there I heard someone ringing the door bell.
I opened the door; then I completely lost consciousness. I don’t remember how I got sent to the hospital.

Below is what I learned when we later had a meeting reflecting on this event.

People found me in my room. I was sitting by the restroom door and staring blankly.
I didn’t react no matter how they pushed or yelled at me. Several people carried me onto the ambulance.
During the ride, the medical staff saw that my pupils were turned up and that I was foaming at the mouth,
so they rushed to save me with an oxygen mask.

When I went into the emergency room, six large men pressed me down to do
emergency enteroclysis and intestinal examinations. The doctor also said that
I needed to stay in the hospital and under observation for two to three days.

Eight-thirty that night, Ms. Chen, a laywoman at CDR came to the hospital
to see me and asked me if I were doing better. I wasn’t quite conscious yet
so I heard what she said to me, but I only saw strings of words in my head,
the meaning of which I could not grasp.

This lasted until the next morning when Cathi
(the now left-home person, Jin Huan Shi) was by my side and taking care of me.
I asked her what time it was and she said, “Almost four o’clock.”
“Oh, then I have to get up to do morning ceremony.” I rushed to find my sash.
When I got my sash on, I was doing the morning ceremony on
the sickbed. When that was finished at 5 a.m. and according to the CDR schedule,
it was time to recite the Shurangama mantra.

It wasn’t until I recited the Shurangama mantra three times, as we typically do at CDR,
that I woke up completely. I realized then that I was in the hospital and was sent there
because I had been poisoned.  I all of a sudden thought of a passage in the Shurangama Sutra
that talked about the benefits of reciting the Shurangama mantra:

During the time when the Dharma is on its decline, living beings who recite or teach
others to recite this mantra will not be burned by fire, drowned by flood, or harmed by major or minor poisons.

Furthermore, no evil mantras of dragons, gods, ghosts and spirits, goblins, earth gods, demons and ogres can touch them.
They will maintain proper feelings. All spells and curses, hateful black magic, poisonous medication, toxins from gold and silver,
venomous vapors from grass, trees, insects, snakes and all things will taste like sweet dew in the mouths of these individuals.


I know the Shurangama mantra has the power to dissolve poison. I also thought
of how last night Cathi kept telling me to drink more water and go to the restroom.
I sat up and crossed my legs and began to recite the Shurangama mantra.
Starting from 5 a.m. until 7:30 a.m., I recited and drank water. I drank several large glassful of water.

I started wanting to go to the restroom. I ran back and forth several times.
My stool was a dark black and urine was red.   By eight, I felt that I’ve recovered by
about 80 to 90 percent. In addition, I thought about how expensive the medical
fees were, so I had wanted to ask the doctors if I may leave the hospital.

When the doctor came in, I was smiling and looking quite energetic.  
The doctor saw this and agreed to release me  from the hospital.
It was nearly meal offering time when we drove back to CDR.  
Since other fellow cultivators who had been poisoned were still in the
hospital, everyone was busy, so I even came back in time to help be the cantor for the meal offering!

After this incident, several things touched me deeply. I wish to share them below:

1. The power of everyone cultivating together in a monastery is amazing.
The daily morning and evening ceremonies and other ceremonies in the
Buddha Hall after some time become a part of our biological clock. We
will be ready to do it whenever it’s that time. Even when we’re unconscious, we
will do them subconsciously. Naturally, we will save ourselves during critical
moments between life and death.

2. A profound realization of the merit and wonderful use of the Shurangama mantra.
The Buddha was indeed someone “who spoke the truth and did what he said.”
Not only is the principle of the Shurangama Sutra this way, every Dharma the Buddha
taught is true. As long as we’re willing to cultivate according to the Dharma
and the Vinaya, we will naturally turn calamities into blessings, turn
disasters into auspicious events, and develop our Bodhi.

3. Out of those poisoned this time, there were some who saw the ghost of impermanence.
We had escaped the claws of death and felt the impermanence of life with this incident.
The Saha World is not somewhere that we should yearn to stay. Think, we
were in a monastery, a place where we thought to be the safest. We
were eating vegetables we planted ourselves, which we thought to be the
most reliable (note: the poisonous wild vegetable we had was jimsonweed. It
looks very much like the vegetables that we typically plant so they
were accidentally picked and eaten.). Despite all that, we faced
such serious threat to our lives. In short, we should hurry up and
honestly collect the resources we need for heading to rebirth. Seeking
to become reborn in the Land of the Ultimate Bliss is the most ultimate.

Source:  http://www.drbachinese.org/branch/GSM/newsletter/2007_2_130C.PDF
Pure Sound From Silicon Valley Newsletter Issue 130 Feb. 2007


Important note: This story does NOT mean that you can neglect proper medical care!  If anyone does get poisoned, the FIRST AND FOREMOST priority is to get the person to a doctor or the emergency department of a hospital ASAP (e.g., by ringing the emergency number on the phone).  The Shurangama mantra can be used to complement the medical care - not to replace it.  Furthermore, for the mantra to be effective, you've got to develop a bit of skill in reciting it - which comes from reciting it everyday for a long time.  You can't just recite it casually with a scattered mind and expect it to work.  The key is to be focused when reciting it - recite it singlemindedly with sincerity.
Title: Re: The Shurangama Mantra - 26 Benefits from reciting it
Post by: sen on February 06, 2010, 05:49:29 pm
Yes, I've also recited it too. But I just don't get any reference about the meaning of Shurangama Mantra. Beside it's long words, I've also recited The Mahayana Ushnisha Sitatapatra Dharani. And I've took a long look for both of it and I think it's really akind of strong similarity.

If there're guides or references for Shurangama Mantra meaning in English, please help. Because reciting and knowing the meaning of it is the best.:)

Namo stu Buddhaya.:)
Title: Re: The Shurangama Mantra - 26 Benefits from reciting it
Post by: Optimus Prime on February 06, 2010, 07:10:41 pm
In general, what we're doing in reciting the mantra is requesting the Triple Jewel, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and the Dharma protectors.  For example, certain lines of the mantra are actually the names of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Heavenly beings and even Ghost Kings transliterated from sanskrit.  Here's a general explanation of the mantra for you from Master Hsuan Hua:

The Shurangama Mantra
The Efficacious Language of Heaven and Earth

Now I am explaining the Shurangama Mantra for you and it is extremely difficult to encounter such a rare Dharma assembly as this. Billions of eons pass and no one explains the Shurangama Mantra even once. Nor is it easy to explain even once. When I am explaining, I know full well that no one understands what's being said. Even if there are those who think they do, they don't really understand. Some think they already understand and so they don't pay attention, but that's also failing to understood.

Among the Buddha's teachings, the Shurangama Mantra is considered to be the king of mantras because it is the longest and most important. The flourish or demise of Buddhism rests entirely with the Shurangama Mantra. It is the efficacious phrases of the Shurangama Mantra that keep heaven and earth from being destroyed. It is the efficacious phrases of the Shurangama Mantra that keep the world from coming to an end. That is why I often tell you that as long as a single person can recite the Shurangama Mantra, the world cannot be destroyed, nor can Buddhism. But when there is no longer anyone who can recite the Shurangama Mantra, then very quickly the world will be destroyed, because the Proper Dharma no longer abides.

Now there are even heavenly demons and externalists who claim that the Shurangama Sutra and the Shurangama Mantra are false. These heaven demons and externalists send their demon sons and grandsons to stir up rumors that cause people to not believe in the Shurangama Sutra and the Shurangama Mantra. This sutra and mantra are critically important to the preservation of the Proper Dharma. The Shurangama Sutra was spoken for the sake of the Shurangama Mantra. There's no way to ever finish expressing the importance of the Shurangama Sutra and the Shurangama Mantra; to the ends of all time their merits, virtues, and wonderful functions could never be told--so absolutely inconceivable and ineffable are they! When all is said and done, the Shurangama Sutra is an ode to the Shurangama Mantra. As long as there is even one person who can recite the Shurangama Mantra, the demons, ghosts, and strange entities don't dare show themselves in this world. They fear the mantra. But when not even one person can recite the Shurangama Mantra by heart, then those weird entities, those demons and ghosts will come out of hiding. Depraved and up to no good, they will not be recognized by most people. At this point in time, since there are still those who can recite the mantra from memory, those malevolent beings haven't made their appearance yet. And so, if you want to keep the world from being destroyed, quickly learn the Shurangama Mantra and read the Shurangama Sutra to keep the Proper Dharma in the world.


Explanation of the Title of the Mantra
Today the explanation of the Shurangama Mantra is beginning. The word "Shurangama" translates as "Ultimately firm and strong."

The entire title of the Shurangama Mantra is:
- "Great White Canopy of Light Dharani Mantra" (mo he sa dan tuo bo da la tuo lo ni zhou).
-  It is also called "Brilliant Buddha's Crown, Great White Canopy of Light, Unsurpassed Spiritual Mantra."

The Buddha's Crown refers to the transformation Buddha atop the Buddha's crown. There is no way to conceive the subtle wonder of the mantra. The content of the Shurangama Mantra subdues heavenly demons and controls externalists. Every line, from beginning to end, is the Buddhas' mind-ground Dharma-door. Each line has its own function; each possesses its own esoteric wonder; and each is endowed with incredible power. The recitation of a single word, a single line, a single assembly, or the recitation of the entire mantra causes the heavens to vibrate and the earth to tremble; it's said that heaven and earth are shocked, the ghosts and spirits wail, the demons keep a wide distance, and mountain and river sprites hide away. That brilliance at the Buddha's crown represents the power of the mantra that can dispel every sort of darkness and that enables people to amass all kinds of merit and virtue. If you can accept and uphold the Shurangama Mantra, then you will definitely become a Buddha in the future. You will certainly attain the Unsurpassed Proper and Equal Right Enlightenment. If you continually recite the Shurangama Mantra, then you can get rid of your karmic obstacles from last life and all past lives. That's the incredible function of the Shurangama Mantra!
 
Mo he is Sanskrit and means "Great." The substance, appearance and function are all great. The substance is said to be great because it pervades the ten directions; the function fills up empty space and reaches throughout the Dharma Realm; and the appearance--well, there isn't any appearance. You can say that it neither has any appearance nor lacks any appearance. The function also doesn't really exist, yet there isn't any place its function doesn't reach in all of space and the Dharma Realm. That's a great function, a great appearance, and a great substance. Pervading the ten directions, exhausting the limits of space, and filling the Dharma Realm is the meaning of "mo he."
 
Sa dan tuo, also Sanskrit, means "white" and represents purity and lack of defilement. Pure white Dharma is devoid of filth. The Shurangama Mantra is pure white Dharma.
 
Bo da la is also Sanskrit and translates as "canopy." Canopy is an analogy. This canopy provides shelter for those with myriad virtues. The function of this canopy is to protect those endowed with virtue and those practicing virtuous conduct, meaning anyone who encounters this mantra. Those lacking virtuous conduct won't have an opportunity to meet with this Dharma.


The Shurangama Mantra Explained in Verses

It's said:

The three lights universally illumine, permeating the three forces.
In all this world of Jambudvipa you may not come upon it.
Only those with great virtue and great goodness will attain it.
Those lacking virtue and goodness just won't understand it.


The three lights universally illumine, permeating the three forces. [/i]Here, the three lights do NOT refer to the sun, moon, and stars. Rather, it means that when you recite the Shurangama Mantra:
-  Your body emits light,
-  Your mouth emits light, and
-  Your mind emits light.
It is talking about the light of the three karmas. The three forces refer to heaven, earth, and people. In all this world of Jambudvipa you may not come upon it. Throughout our world, Jambudvipa, you may seek but not find it. You absolutely must uphold the Shurangama Mantra in order to attain this light. If you have amassed virtuous conduct and have magnanimous virtue, then you will be able to attain the Dharma-door.

Those lacking virtue and goodness just won't understand it.
[/b] If you don't have sufficient virtue and haven't done enough good deeds, then even if you come face-to-face with it, you'll miss your chance. Right within arms' reach, you'll lose it. Having come upon gold you'll mistake it for copper; having found a diamond, you'll think it's a piece of glass. You'll fail to recognize it. You'll look upon the Shurangama Mantra as nothing at all out of the ordinary, and as a consequence won't realize it's the gem of gems, the wonder of wonders! You won't have any concept of the Shurangama Mantra's unfathomable merit and virtue.

Besides the three lights emitted when the three karmas of body, mouth, and mind are pure, there is also a swirling red light. Recitation of the Shurangama Mantra generates a swirling red light. It's described this way:

A thousand petaled red lotus supports one's body.
As one sits firmly mounted on a black unicorn.
Seeing this, the hordes of monsters go far away to hide.
Dharma Master Ji, the Venerable,
mastered these wonderful sounds.


A thousand petaled red lotus supports one's body.
When you recite the first twenty-nine lines of the Shurangama Mantra a state occurs wherein a red lotus with a thousand petals manifests and emits red light.
As one sits firmly mounted on a black unicorn. Upon reciting the Mantra, the person chanting finds himself sitting astride a unicorn.
Seeing this, the hordes of monsters go far away to hide. No matter what kind of weird creature or demon or ghost it might be, they all flee, not daring to face such a magnificent and awesome manifestation.
The Venerable Ji is a well-known High Master in Buddhism. His expert use of this passage of the mantra to subdue heavenly demons and control externalists was extremely efficacious.
And so the last line says: Dharma Master Ji, the Venerable, mastered these wonderful sounds.

This passage of the mantra instructs us to "take refuge with all the Buddhas, all the Bodhisattvas, all the Hearers and Condition-Enlightened Ones, and all the gods throughout empty space and the Dharma Realm." It's a passage that protects the Triple Jewel, and so when you recite it the demons flee and the ghosts don't stop running until they're ten miles away. Not just ten miles, they back off until there's no more room to retreat. They don't dare make trouble; they are forced to behave themselves.

That's a general description of what this passage of mantra is about; the details are even more wonderful.

Unendingly miraculous and mysterious,
it's extremely hard to fathom.
This vajra secret language wells forth from your own nature.
Inside the Shurangama Mantra is marvelous magic!
Then come five eyes and six penetrations and the Way opens up.


Unendingly miraculous and mysterious, it's extremely hard to fathom. The Shurangama Mantra is quite esoteric and its changes and transformations are inexplicable; it's not easy to figure out.
This vajra secret language wells forth from your own nature. The Shurangama Mantra is the secret within the secret. That's the vajras who come to protect the mantra. Your own nature--it is born from your own Buddha nature.
Inside the Shurangama Mantra is marvelous magic! The Shurangama Mantra is called an efficacious language because of its spell-binding power. That's what "marvelous magic" is referring to.
Then come five eyes and six penetrations and the Way opens up. If you can continually uphold the Shurangama Mantra--single-mindedly without entertaining other thoughts--then you can attain the Five Eyes and Six Spiritual Penetrations. You will then experience the inconceivable, unfathomable changes and transformations that occur which ordinary people are totally unaware of. And that's the reason why I hope everyone will learn to read the Shurangama Mantra and memorize it. Why is it that the demons, ghosts, and goblins don't dare show themselves when you recite the Shurangama Mantra? It's so powerful that there isn't a place in all of space or the entirety of the Dharma Realm that isn't flooded with auspicious light. Recitation of the Shurangama Mantra patches up the imperfections in the heavens and the earth. One person reciting the Shurangama Mantra creates power equivalent to one person. A hundred people reciting create power equivalent to a hundred people. And the weird beings here in this world become very well-behaved. So it's better if more people recite.

It's an unsurpassed spiritual mantra. The negating prefix "un-" actually means "lofty to the utmost; brilliant to the extreme." Peerless radiant illumination piercing the heights is the meaning of "un-". And "surpassed"? Well, there's nothing more esteemed, nothing more venerated. "Spiritual" is what is inconceivable and ineffable, what is awe-inspiring, efficacious and unfathomable. The power of mantras brings a response with the Way. When you recite mantras, something happens. "Brilliant Buddha's Crown, Great White Canopy of Light, Unsurpassed Spiritual Mantra." This means that the light at the crown of the Buddha's head is like a great white canopy that comes to shelter and protect all of us who recite the mantra.


The 5 Divisions of the Shurangama Mantra

No one understands this mantra, nor can they explain line by line and word by word. But if you want to understand it, I can try my best to explain it to you. The Shurangama Mantra can't be explained in a year's time, or three years' time, or even ten years' time. Now I will explain the general intent of this mantra. This mantra is composed of five assemblies which represent the five directions of:
-  East,
-  West,
-  South,
-  North, and
-  Center.

-  The east is the vajra division with Akshobhya Buddha as the teaching host.
-  The south is the welling up of jewels division with Welling Up of Jewels Buddha as the teaching host.
-  The center is the Buddha division with Shakyamuni Buddha as the teaching host.
-  The west is the lotus division with Amitabha Buddha as the teaching host.
-  The north is the karma division with Accomplishment Buddha as the teaching host.
Altogether these five divisions watch over the five demonic armies that abide in this world. Because of these five demons, the Buddhas split up in five directions to repress these demons. Without the Buddhas, these demons would show themselves here in our world. And so, when you recite the Shurangama Mantra, the five demonic armies in the five directions submit and surrender. They behave themselves and don't dare try to oppose the power of the Shurangama Mantra. The five divisions in the mantra are what make it so fine. But you shouldn't be attached. Your becoming attached won't be so fine.
 

The Dharmas within the Shurangama Mantra
Within the five assemblies of the Shurangama Mantra are more than thirty sections of Dharmas. Before, when I was in Manchuria, the reason I was able to cure people's illnesses was all because of the power of the Shurangama Mantra. But the Shurangama Mantra cannot be used casually. If used, it's not the entire thing that's used, because within it are, in general, more than thirty different Dharmas. If looked at in detail there are over a hundred.
 
1.  As to these Dharmas, there's the Dharma of Accomplishment. That means by reciting the Shurangama Mantra, whatever method you are practicing will be perfected; whatever thing you want to do will get done.
2.  There's also the Dharma of Increasing Benefits. That means, for example, if you don't have enough resolve for the Way in your practice, by reciting the mantra you can increase your wisdom; increase your Bodhi mind; increase the power of your vows; everything will get better. When you recite the mantra, everything you hope increases will surely do so! It will increase for others, too.
3.  The Dharma of Quelling Disasters means that if a calamity is due, reciting the mantra will make it disappear. The disaster will be quelled. Suppose someone is due to drown in the ocean. Reciting the mantra can change the situation so that he doesn't get drowned. Or you're on a boat that's supposed to sink. Recitation of the mantra can keep the boat from sinking. Or the airplane is supposed to crash, but you are reciting the mantra and so it doesn't. Nonetheless, you have to take responsibility for dispelling the calamities in your own mind. What calamities are there in your mind? Well, if you merely rely on the mantra, but inside you are a bundle of false and malevolent thoughts, scattered and impure thoughts, lustful thoughts, then you certainly haven't expelled the calamities in your own mind. In that case, no mantra is going to work. And so if you want to avoid disasters you must first purify your own mind. The purity of your mind is what really dispels calamities. If you are full of greed, hatred, and stupidity, no mantra is going to be efficacious. Our frame of mind is extremely important. We must be kindhearted and filled with goodness, wishing to help others. Our mind should be wholesome.
4.  The Dharma for Hooking and Summoning is for use when you meet up with heavenly demons and externalists and want to catch them. Just as law enforcement officers catch criminals, so too, the Hooking and Summoning Dharma catches weird creatures, demons, and ghosts. They do something here to harm others or do some bad thing that causes people to get sick and then they run away. But you want to catch them and so you recite the mantra, using the Hooking and Summoning Dharma. Well, no matter how far away from you they are, the Dharma-protecting good spirits, or members of the eightfold division, or some of the eighty-four thousand Vajra Treasury Bodhisattvas will immediately snatch them and bring those demonic beings back. Even then, sometimes they won't give in and you have to use all kinds of expedients to teach and transform them. If you use brute force to subdue them, then that's the lowest grade of dharma, it's not a good method. The best methods don't use any sort of power plays to oppress beings. Don't oppress them and don't contend with them. Don't be like an asura--tough and looking for a fight. Even when you clearly have the power to do so, don't use the dharmas to subdue them. You should use virtuous conduct to influence beings and then teach and transform them.
5.  And finally, there is the Dharma of Subduing. Demons have spiritual penetrations and they also have mantras. You recite your mantra and they recite theirs. But when you use the Shurangama Mantra, you break through all their mantras and subdue them. You use the power to quell them and make them behave. I've told you all before that the Shurangama Mantra has within it a few lines of mantra that rends the nets of demons. Why was the mantra from the Brahma Heavens rendered useless? It was because of the Five Great Hearts Mantra. The Five Great Hearts Mantra destroys the mantras underlying the demons' and externalists' spells and incantations. It doesn't matter what mantra they use, when you recite these lines, their spells are smashed and their mantras become ineffectual. If I wanted to market this Dharma, a million dollars wouldn't even touch my asking price! But I can see that you have a bit of sincerity and so I am transmitting it to you absolutely free.

To sum it up, no matter what Dharma you cultivate, you must have the unsurpassed resolve for Bodhi; you must have great kindness and compassion; you must practice great giving and great renunciation. You must not use the powers you gain in practicing the Way to oppress any other person or to squelch any demon, monster, goblin, or ghost. Furthermore, the Dharma of Auspiciousness enables things to go your way when you recite the mantra. Good fortune prevails. Now I've given you an explanation of these Dharmas.
 

The Benefits of the Shurangama Mantra
I could talk for several years and never finish describing the good points of this mantra:
-  All Buddhas of the ten directions come forth from the Shurangama Mantra. The Shurangama Mantra is the mother of all Buddhas. It was by means of the Shurangama Mantra that all Buddhas perfected Unsurpassed Proper and Pervasive Enlightened Knowledge.
-  The ability of the Buddhas of the ten directions to create response bodies and go throughout the ten directions turning the Dharma wheel to teach and transform living beings; to rub the crowns of those beings and bestow predictions upon them; to rescue beings from their complex sufferings; to enable beings to escape both large disasters and small calamities--their ability to do all that comes from the power of the Shurangama Mantra Heart.
-  If you want to attain the fruition of Arhatship, you absolutely must recite this mantra to keep demonic things from happening.
-  During the Dharma-ending Age if people can memorize the Shurangama Mantra or encourage others to memorize it, well, fire cannot burn such people and water cannot drown them.
-  No matter how potent a poison, it cannot harm them. For those who recite the Shurangama Mantra, poison turns to sweet dew as soon as it enters their mouths.
-  People who recite the Shurangama Mantra will never get born in bad places, even if they want to. Why is that so? It's because the Shurangama Mantra pulls you back and won't allow you to go.
-  Someone who recites the Shurangama Mantra may never have amassed any blessings or virtue, but, simply because he recites the mantra, the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions will bestow their own merit and virtue upon that person. Wouldn't you call that a bargain? That happens based on the recitation of the Mantra alone.
-  If you recite the Shurangama Mantra, you will continually get to be born at a time when a Buddha is in the world and will be able to immerse yourself in cultivation under that Buddha's guidance.

-  If your mind is terribly scattered so that you can't concentrate and don't have any samadhi-power, but you think about the Shurangama Mantra and recite it with your lips, the Vajra Treasury King Bodhisattvas will very attentively watch for ways to invisibly help you gradually until your confusion has disappeared and you develop samadhi. They will imperceptibly help you open your wisdom and concentrate your mind to the point that you become crystal clear about all the events spanning the previous eighty-four thousand Ganges' sands of eons.

-  If you can learn the Shurangama Mantra until you have memorized it fluently--so that you become one with the mantra--then you attain the mantra's samadhi and your recitation will be like flowing water, welling up uninterrupted. If you can do that, then at the very least for seven lives to come you will be as wealthy as America's richest oil magnates. And you say, "That's great! I'm going to learn the mantra right away! I wouldn't mind being a magnate of some kind!" Well, if you are that selfish, then don't even bother learning the mantra. Seven lives pass in the blink of an eye anyway. What should those who learn the Shurangama Mantra be hoping for? You should hope for ultimate Buddhahood; hope to attain the Unsurpassed Proper and Equal Right Enlightenment. Don't be so petty! Actually those who are really dedicated in reciting the Shurangama Mantra are transformation bodies of Buddhas. Not just any transformation bodies, but those atop the Buddha's crown--transformation bodies of that transformation body! And so you see that the wonderful aspects of the Shurangama Mantra are difficult to express, difficult to conceptualize.
-  Wherever someone is seriously reciting the Shurangama Mantra, a great white canopy will be there in the space above him. If your skill in reciting the mantra is high-level and far-reaching, then when you recite, the canopy will extend for thousands of miles, preventing any disasters or difficulties. If you only have a little skill, then the canopy will be right above your own head protecting you. If you have virtue in the Way, if you are a High Sanghan, then when you recite, the entire nation will be benefitted and no calamities will occur. Or if disasters are unavoidable, big ones will turn into little ones, and the little ones won't even happen.
 

-  It doesn't matter if it's a nationwide famine, plague, war, or plunder, all those kinds of disasters will be alleviated. Suppose you were to write out the Shurangama spiritual mantra and place it at the main entrances to the city, or in its watchtowers or other lookout places; suppose you could inspire the nation's inhabitants to show interest in the Shurangama Mantra, so that they bow to and revere it and single-mindedly make offerings to it as if they were offering to the Buddhas themselves; suppose you could get every single citizen to wear the mantra on their person or to keep it in their place of residence; well, if you could do that, all disasters would disappear.
-  Whenever the Shurangama Mantra can be found in a place, the gods and dragons are delighted, and so that place will be free from devastating storms; the crops will produce in abundance; and the populace will be peaceful and happy. That is why I say that the merit and virtue of the Shurangama Mantra is inexpressible; it can't be reckoned in the mind; it can't be cognized in our thoughts. That's the wonder of it!
 

-  Basically broken precepts cannot be mended. But if you recite the Shurangama Mantra, you can return to purity.


How to recite the Shurangama Mantra

But when I say recite, I don't mean you can just do it casually. You have to attain the mantra-recitation samadhi. The recitation of the mantra must flow forth from your mind and the mantra must flow back into your mind. That's called "the mantra is the mind and the mind is the mantra." Your mind and the mantra become united. There isn't any distinction. It reaches the point where you couldn't forget it if you wanted to. That's called even when not reciting, the recitation continues; when reciting there really isn't any recitation. You recite until there aren't any idle thoughts remaining. The only function of the mind is the recitation of the Shurangama Mantra. That's called meshing with the mind. There are no second thoughts. The flow of the mantra's recitation is like water that flows on in uninterrupted waves. At that point, everything expresses the Mahayana--the sounds of the breezes blowing and the water flowing are all the Shurangama Mantra's Heart Mantra.

If you can reach that level, then if you have broken precepts, you will be able to return to pure precepts. You will be endowed with the precepts without going through the formal transmission. If you are someone who doesn't want to progress in your practice, who doesn't want to investigate the Buddhadharma, but you recite the Shurangama Mantra for a period of time, quite naturally you will be inspired to be vigorous; those who lack wisdom can open their wisdom. If you are not pure in your cultivation so that you break your vegetarian practices and violate the precepts, but you have not forgotten the Shurangama Mantra, you will be able to quickly return to purity. If you violated precepts before you began upholding the mantra and prior to receiving the precepts, then once you start reciting the mantra you can completely wipe out all those former offenses, no matter how serious they were, including even the Four Parajikas, the Five Rebellious Acts, the Four or Eight Offenses warranting dismissal from the Sangha, which are basically unpardonable. Not even a hair's breadth of an offense will remain. And so I say that the power of the Shurangama Mantra is beyond all conception or description!
 

Some people who learn how efficacious the Shurangama Mantra is decide to exclusively recite it and ignore all other aspects of cultivation. That's going overboard. In cultivation, no matter what Dharma it is, you have to keep to the Middle Way. Don't do too much and don't fail to do enough. Although the mantra is definitely efficacious, still, you have to develop samadhi. The Shurangama Sutra describes how efficacious this mantra is, but it also explains the method of returning the hearing to listen to your own nature by cultivating perfect penetration of the ear organ. That's also extremely important. While you are reciting the mantra you should be returning your hearing to listen to your own nature. You must reflect within. Didn't I explain earlier how the mantra becomes the mind and the mind becomes the mantra? The mind and the mantra cannot be separated; they are non-dual. When you get there, then you can attain whatever you seek; everything will go the way you want it to; and you will have success in whatever you undertake. When the mind and the mantra merge into one, then you have actually attained the samadhi of Chan meditation and have acquired real samadhi-power. That is something you should know.

Every line of the Shurangama Mantra contains infinite meanings as well as infinite functions. You should realize that the Shurangama Mantra is the most efficacious language in the world--the efficacious within the efficacious, the esoteric within the esoteric! It is an unsurpassed Dharma Treasure--the gem that can save living beings' lives. It embraces all that exists. From the Buddhas of the ten directions to the Avichi Hell, all the four kinds of sages and six sorts of common realms pay homage to the Shurangama Mantra. None of the ten Dharma realms transcends its scope. All categories of ghosts, spirits, Dharma-protecting deities, Hearers, Condition-enlightened Ones, up to the Buddha Vehicle are contained within the Shurangama Mantra. The Shurangama Mantra contains the names of ghost and spirit kings. When the names of those leaders are recited, all the ghosts and spirits in their retinues become very obedient and behave themselves. They don't dare to make trouble. Reciting the Shurangama Mantra every day can cause demonic beings and weird ghosts throughout the world to settle down and stop harming people. The substance and function of the Shurangama Mantra are all-encompassing. It can be said that within the mantra can be found the entirety of Buddhism's teachings and meanings. If you can understand the Shurangama Mantra, then you have understood the essence of Buddhism's esoteric teachings. All the inconceivable wonders and esoteric phenomena in the universe are contained in the Shurangama Mantra. If you master the Shurangama Mantra, then you don't need to study the esoteric school's white teaching, black teaching, yellow teaching, red teaching or any other teaching. This is the ultimate method of samadhi and the most esoteric Dharma. Unfortunately no one really understands this esoteric Dharma; no one even recognizes it. Most people study it but cannot absorb it; they can only recite it but don't know its meanings. Basically it's not necessary to know the meanings of mantras, you need only realize that they are an ineffable efficacious language.

Being able to recite the Shurangama Mantra is a benefit to all beings. Not being able to recite it, you cannot offer that benefit to beings. Quickly learn it, memorize it, investigate and understand it! Then you will be doing what Buddhist disciples should do. The very best is for those who want to recite the Shurangama Mantra to do it for the sake of the entire world; transfer all the merit to the whole world. There isn't anything more important in Buddhism than the Shurangama Mantra. The Shurangama Mantra is a sure sign of the Proper Dharma. The existence of the Shurangama Mantra ensures the existence of the Proper Dharma. When the Shurangama Mantra is gone, the Proper Dharma is gone. Those who cannot recite this mantra are not worthy of being Buddhist disciples. The Shurangama Mantra is nicknamed "six months' stupor" because for most people it takes a half year of diligent recitation to get it memorized. Those of us who can recite the Shurangama Mantra have been planting and nurturing good roots for countless eons. Being able to memorize it perfectly and never forget it is evidence of those good roots. Without good roots, not only will you not be able to recite it, you will never even hear of the existence of the Shurangama Mantra; or if you hear of it you won't understand it and won't be able to recite it. Truly, then, those who can recite it by heart do have great good roots!

The Shurangama Mantra is a Dharma-door difficult to encounter in billions of eons. For every line we learn and understand, we activate one part of its power. But, then, we must actually put it into practice. However it's not that you try to make use of the mantra's vast efficacy and tremendous power. If you use this Dharma but you don't hold the precepts--like most people who aren't clear about anything and casually kill, steal, are lustful, lie, and indulge in intoxicants, and who only recite the Five Great Hearts Mantra when some crisis happens--then you are defiling the Dharma and there is no merit in that. If you insist on trying to control the ghosts and order the Dharma protectors around, then you're just going to be increasing your own karmic offenses. You will bring calamities down upon yourself. Therefore, the first criterion for people who want to cultivate a Dharma is to hold the precepts and place emphasis on developing virtuous conduct. You must not fight, be greedy, seek, be selfish, pursue your own advantages, or lie. If your virtue in the Way is insufficient but you pretend to be a sage who can transmit teachings, or pass yourself off as the leader of a nation, then your behavior is unacceptable. Nowadays everyone is interested in getting the most magic out of mantras, but they are not attentive to their own moral character. And so in fact their recitation will be ineffectual.

Therefore those who study the Shurangama Mantra Dharma must be proper in their behavior, proper in their intent; must not have defiled thoughts, and must not do impure deeds. They should be very attentive to cultivating purity. If on the one hand they cultivate the Shurangama Mantra and on the other hand they don't follow the rules, then they will get themselves into deep trouble. Everyone should pay close attention to this point. If your intent is not proper and your conduct is not proper, then the Vajra Treasury Bodhisattvas will lose their respect for you and won't protect you. The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are compassionate and would not hurt any living being or harm beings out of anger. But their attendants--the Dharma-protectors, gods, dragons, ghosts, and spirits will become enraged. Those evil ghosts and evil spirits, upon seeing you cultivating the mantra while committing offenses, will bring disaster and harm down upon you; will make you feel very uncomfortable; will cause you to get in grave trouble; or make you have to undergo a series of misfortunes or a series of retributions. This is really no joking matter! Therefore you must eat vegetarian food and purify yourself. Most of all your mind must be pure. Don't have defiled false thoughts. Maintain physical purity and don't practice defiling dharmas. At all times guard your purity. Don't commit even the slightest infractions of the rules.

Reciting the Shurangama Mantra is more valuable than any amount of gold. Reciting the mantra once is equivalent to tons of gold! But your recitation shouldn't be motivated by greed! If you hold the precepts, then you won't be jealous or obstructive; you won't be greedy or angry and your recitation of the mantra will generate pervasive responses and massive benefits. But if your behavior doesn't accord with the rules, the Dharma protecting good spirits will stay far away from you and when something happens to you they won't pay any attention. Therefore, those who recite the Shurangama Mantra shouldn't be cunning or behave in ways that continually create offenses. At all times they should be open and public-spirited; they should strive to benefit others, not themselves; they should cherish the ideals of Bodhisattvas; and cultivate the practices of Bodhisattvas.

The Shurangama Mantra is extremely efficacious, but it is not that easy to master. First of all you cannot be selfish; next you cannot be out to get your own private gains. You have to be magnanimous and devoid of selfish thoughts. You have to be impartial and not prejudiced. You have to be willing to sacrifice yourself for the sake of others. You have to have the resolve to universally save all living beings. If you can embody the above-listed qualities, then you will have swift success. Pay close attention: you must hold the five precepts and practice the ten good deeds. That's the very least you should do.

It won't work to practice this Dharma if you are not following the rules. If you cultivate this Dharma but you don't behave yourself; if you don't guard the precepts or if you are always having defiled thoughts, then not only will there be no response, not only will you have no success, you will in fact bring disaster down upon yourself. And so when you are cultivating the Shurangama Mantra you must be very attentive to maintain purity with your body, your mouth, and your mind. That's the only way you're going to get a response. You cannot say things that cause schisms or make people in the Way-place uneasy. You must pay attention to all aspects of your behavior, whether walking, standing, sitting, or lying down. It's not all right to always be "washing other peoples' clothes" as it were. Take care of yourself. Look into yourself.
 
The Shurangama Mantra is an efficacious language. Every line has its own particular efficacy. But you don't need to think: Why don't I get any responses from holding the Shurangama Mantra. Don't pay any attention to whether there are responses or not, just keep reciting it. It's like practicing martial arts, every day you have to practice your punches, regardless of what your skill is like. Skill comes through training. It's impossible to have skill without training. By the same principle, you should cultivate your Dharmas every day, no matter what happens, no matter how busy you are. Don't slack off after you've been at it for a while, losing interest in the Shurangama Mantra. It's certainly not the case that you will have some efficacious response as soon as you begin reciting it. Regardless of whether you perceive any response, you should continue reciting it every day. You must deepen your skill day by day. Success doesn't happen overnight. For instance you have to study for ten, twenty, or even thirty years before you gain real scholarship. It's the same with cultivation. You must keep your mind on your recitation of the mantra, continuing your recitation without ever letting it get cut off. It should be just as important as putting on clothes, eating food, and going to sleep; you shouldn't be able to be without it for a single day. It doesn't matter whether there's any response, because by reciting every day you will gradually have a foundation and quite naturally the mantra will function.

If you hope for its wonderful functions and inconceivable power, then you must not keep having false thoughts, always day-dreaming and fantasizing. If you cut off your recitation of the mantra, then you will not be able to attain samadhi. You must use your true mind and practice the Shurangama Mantra with sincerity. What's a true mind? It means that for the sake of reciting the Shurangama Mantra you can forget all about time and even space disappears. You don't know if it's day or night; you don't know if you've eaten or not; you don't know if you've slept or not. You forget everything else. Everything disappears and one thought extends for infinite eons, while infinite eons is one thought. That's the kind of spirit you should have--forgetting to eat and sleep for the sake of cultivating the Shurangama Mantra. In that way you certainly can attain the Shurangama Samadhi. If you cannot be that way, then you aren't really cultivating the Shurangama Dharma-door. You should be that way not only in cultivating the Shurangama Mantra, but in the cultivation of any Dharma door--walking without realizing you are walking; sitting with being aware you are sitting; being unaware that you are thirsty or hungry. "Well," you say, "isn't that just turning into a stupid person?" That's right. It's said,

When you learn to be a big idiot, then you start to have some skill;
Studying until you are as if stupid is the beginning of real insight.

If you can learn to be as if stupid, then no matter what Dharma door you cultivate you will attain samadhi and gain some realization. It's just because you are unable to be stupid that you cannot properly enter into samadhi and don't get any response from your cultivation.


Be careful when you have certain dreams when reciting the Shurangama Mantra

When you are developing your skill in reciting the Shurangama Mantra, you may dream of yourself:
-  bowing to the Buddhas; or
-  in a dream see the Buddhas emitting light; or
-  dream that you see the Buddha come as rub the crown of your head; or
-  dream that the Buddhas speak Dharma for you; or
-  dream that you see the Bodhisattvas, or Condition-enlightened Ones, or Hearers, or Sagely Sanghans or gods and heavenly generals; or
-  in a dream see yourself ascending into space; or
-  dream that you can fly.
All of these are good experiences.

-  Or you may be riding a horse or crossing a river and encounter all sorts of auspicious lights; or
-  there may be other extremely rare appearances that manifest.
If you do attain responses such as these, then you should be very careful. You should bring forth the resolve for Bodhi; guard the purity of the karma created by your body, mouth, and mind; and increase your efforts and tighten your skill in reciting the mantra. You should not tell others what kinds of responses you've had in order to get others to believe in you or to think highly of you. It's enough for you yourself to know what responses you've had. If you keep advertising your own merits and selling your cultivation out on the streets, then you are wrong. If you act like that, you leave yourself open and the demons will attack. That's like failing to put your jewels in a safebox. If you leave them at the doorway, then someone is certainly going to steal them. Therefore, we must be very careful in our cultivation of the Buddhadharma. Don't let the heavenly demons and externalists have their way with you. But you can report your experiences to your fellow-cultivators if you are not doing it in order to get famous or rich or to make people respect and praise you.
 
The Shurangama Sutra says, "If you recite and uphold the Shurangama Mantra until you gain skill and can make it function, then eighty-four thousand Vajra Treasury Bodhisattvas and their retinue of followers will always stay near you and protect you, so that everything you hope for will come true." But the demon kings never give up searching for a hole so they can give you more trouble than you can handle.

In the past, Great Master Hongren, the Fifth Patriarch, was cultivating in Hubei at East Mountain. He upheld the precepts strictly and cultivated with unusual intensity. Once when a group of bandits surrounded the city of Hubei, Great Mater Hongren could bear it no longer and decided to try to save the people in that city. He came down the mountain and walked into that city. As soon as the bandits saw Great Master Hongren coming, they were terrified, dropped their armor and weapons, and fled. Why? Because although Great Master Hongren came alone into the city, the bandits saw an army of heavenly generals and heavenly troops clad in golden armour. It was as if the gods themselves had come down to earth--all donning golden armour and carrying jeweled swords and other awesome weapons. That's what caused the bandits to retreat in such haste. And so, without the use of a single knife, spear, or arrow, he routed the bandits. It was because Great Master Hongren recited the Shurangama Mantra that the bandits found him to be so terrifying. You could say that was a manifestation created by the Vajra Treasury Bodhisattvas or you could say it was the awesome virtue of Great Master Hongren that frightened them. That a cultivator was able to frighten the bandits into retreat without the use of a single soldier or weapon is verification of his genuine skill. How else could there have been such a response in the Way?


Why the Buddha taught the Shurangama Mantra
Shakyamuni Buddha proclaimed the Shurangama Mantra in order to protect of all of us who have brought forth the initial resolve to study the Way; to aid us in attaining samadhi; to help us be at peace in body and mind; and to keep us out of trouble. Therefore we should never forget this Dharma. We should recite and uphold the Shurangama Mantra with single-minded sincerity. By doing so we are helping to perpetuate the Buddhadharma, to keep the Proper Dharma long in the world.



Source:  http://online.sfsu.edu/~rone/Buddhism/Shurangama/Shurangama%20Mantra.html
The Shurangama Mantra - The Efficacious Language of Heaven and Earth
Lectures by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua

Edited and Translated by the Editorial Committee of the
Buddhist Text Translation Society
In Memory of the First Anniversary of the Nirvana of Venerable Master Hsuan Hua
[Headings above added by Optimus Prime]
and the Twentieth Anniversary of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas.

Burlingame, CA: Buddhist Text Translation Society, Dharma Realm Buddhist University,
Dharma Realm Buddhist Association, 1996.
Title: Re: The Shurangama Mantra - 26 Benefits from reciting it
Post by: sen on February 07, 2010, 06:14:33 am
Thank you, I copy this explanation.:)

Namo stu Buddhaya.


And about The Maha Vairocana Sutra, can you post it here because I never read and know anything about it. But I've read that it contains the making of vajradhatu and about the amazing Yugandhara power so that it makes me try hard to find it but till now I don't success, Please help for the merit and for all. Thanks for the Shurangama mantra. I've recited it all and I've also heard it from dhammadesana and the book have an image about the Ushnisha Sitatapatra who have more hands, eyes and it's said that The Ushnisha Sitatapatra born from all Tathagata Ushnisha. First time I meet and recite it, I'm very happy. Because of the merits. Thank's once more.
Title: Re: The Shurangama Mantra - 26 Benefits from reciting it
Post by: SherabZangpo on February 11, 2010, 02:25:48 pm
oṃ āḥ hūṃ vajra guru padma siddhi hūṃ
Title: Re: The Shurangama Mantra - 26 Benefits from reciting it
Post by: t on February 20, 2010, 12:27:43 am
See also: http://www.freesangha.com/forums/index.php?topic=237.0

MaitrÄ«  :namaste:
Title: Re: The Shurangama Mantra - 26 Benefits from reciting it
Post by: ChangYuan on July 12, 2011, 07:24:40 am
Amituofo. A friend told me that a good mantra for recitation is the 5 hearts of the shurangama, as you have listed here. My question is this; what does it mean in english? Also, does it require an empowerment like they have in tibetan practices?

Chr Two Ni
E Jya La
Mi Li Ju
Bwo Li Dan La Ye
Ning Jye Li
Title: Re: The Shurangama Mantra - 26 Benefits from reciting it
Post by: Optimus Prime on July 13, 2011, 06:59:07 am
Any mantra is a good mantra to recite if the mind is singleminded.  If the mind is scattered, your recitation has no power behind it.  When the mind is still and focused, then your recitation will approach samadhi.

Mantras like these are often Sanskrit transliterated into Chinese.  Sometimes the chinese sounds like the sanskrit, sometimes it doesn't.  Speaking about the mantra in general, often, you're reciting the names of Dharma protectors and invoking their presence.  For example, one line of the mantra goes:

Namo Yin Two La Ye

Which translates into Namo Indra, i.e., Shakra Devanam Indra - King of the Gods of the Trayastrimsa Heaven - the Heaven of the 33.

If you want to know how to use the Shurangama mantra - then you probably need this teaching transmitted by some of the chief disciples of Master Hsuan Hua.  However, if you want to recite the mantra - you don't need any transmission and you'll benefit from just reciting it.
Title: Re: The Shurangama Mantra - 26 Benefits from reciting it
Post by: Kaji on May 28, 2015, 03:11:31 am
As an alternative to reciting the Chinese characters transliterated from Sanskrit, you may want to go straight to romanised Sanskrit version.

Have a look at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shurangama_Mantra#Shurangama_in_romanized_Sanskrit (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shurangama_Mantra#Shurangama_in_romanized_Sanskrit)

Even though I am Chinese and can speak the language, I always go for the romanised Sanskrit to recite all my mantra and dharani.
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