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Guan Yin and the ten great protections of the Goddess of Mercy: Avalokiteshvara, Bodhisattva of Compassion

Guan Yin and the ten great protections of the Goddess of Mercy: Avalokiteshvara, Bodhisattva of Compassion

Millions of devotees around the world call on the name of Guan Yin (Kuanyin) Goddess of Mercy, in times of need, fear, or despair. Aside from her best-known role as Compassion embodied — she is, after all, none other than Avalokiteshvara — she also protects against the ten great fears. [For the Ten Great Salvations see the full text below.]

The weeping Guan Yin. Guan Yin’s name literally translates (in some versions) as “She who hears the cries of the world.” The goddess of mercy and compassion is none other than Avalokiteshvara.

The Ten great protections (or salvations or deliverances, depending on translation) are the protective actions of a Mother protecting her children. Like a Mother, she doesn’t question her child’s integrity — even going so far as to rescue her sons and daughters from prison.

Guan Yin, the Saviour

Guan Shi Yin is famous for rescues from harm — especially well known for rescues of anyone who calls out her name. Her devotees tell hundreds of tales of her rescues. In this way, she is similar to Green Tara, another manifestation of Compassionate Action, in Vajrayana Buddhism.

 

A beautiful temple and statue to Guan Yin.

 

In Tibetan Buddhism, Tara is the active female manifestation of Avalokiteshvara; many Tibetan teachers say that Guan Yin is more properly an aspect of Green Tara (but ultimately, Tara is also an aspect of Avalokiteshvara.) Guan Yin as “saviour” definitely cleaves close to Tara.

In China, a Buddhist will almost always call out “Namo Guan-Shi-Yin Pusa” if they were in trouble. Numerous lovely animated videos tell her stories.

Guan Yin  rescues from evil spirits:

There are literally thousands of stories from people who say they were rescued — from impending disaster — by faith and chanting of Guan Yin Pusa’s name praise:

Namo Guan-Shi-Yin Pusa

or the compassionate mantra

Om Mani Padme Hum

Statue of Guan Yin the Goddess of Mercy. The Goddess loves all beings.

Labels are just labels, but they are also symbols

In Buddhism, labels are just labels, and the name of the Compassionate Bodhisattva is another imputed label that just helps us relate to the Enlightened concept in our daily lives.  Guan Yin’s practice came to China as early as the first century AD from India, and from there spread to devotees in Japan and Korea. Guan Yin can be visualised as either female or male, but the majority, in China particularly, visualise her as Mother Goddess Guan Yin. Yet, she is not separate or different from the male four-armed Avalokiteshvara, thousand armed Avalokiteshvara, and dozens of forms and emanations: loving, wrathful, passionate, fiery, protective — but always compassionate. [For a story on the “Many Faces of Avalokiteshvara’s Compassion, see our earlier story>>]

 

Tang dynasty temple statue of 1000-Armed Guan Yin. The 1000 arms reaching out to comfort, save and protect all sentient beings carries profound symbolism.

 

 

The many faces of compassion

Guan Yin by Pamela Matthews

Compassion wears many faces — many of them the aspects of Avalokiteshvara (Chenrezig), also known as Guanyin, Guan Shi Yin, Quan Yin, Kwan Yin, Kannon, Kwun Yum, Kanzeon, Gwaneum, Quan Am, and many, many other names.

What’s in a name? The qualities of mercy and compassion. The appearance of beauty, motherly wisdom, tenderness. The activities of kindness, help, protection, nurturing — Mother.

Her practice originally came to China from India, and from there to Japan, Korea, Thailand and Vietnam, and many other countries. As Kuan Yin, the Goddess aspect of Avalokiteshvara, she is intuitively motherly. To many, the qualities of compassion, mercy, Metta (love) are those of a mother — but there is no contradiction in the Japanese Kannon (typically male) or Avalokiteshvara (male.) The manifestation of the Compassionate Bodhisattva as Guan Yin was a natural one. (From here on, for simplicity, Guan Yin.)

 

Some of the many faces of compassion. From top left to right then bottom left to right: Hayagriva Vajrayogini (Vajra Varahi); 4-armed Chenrezig; Guanyin; Red Chenrezig Yabyum; White Mahakala; Black Mahakala; 1000-armed Chenrezig. See our Story “The Many Faces of Compassion”>>

 

 

“Rocks, willows, lotus pools or running water are often indications of her presences. In the chime of broze or jade, the sigh of wind in the pines, the prattle and tinkle of streams, her voice is heard.” — John Blofeld

Great Compassion Mantra of Kuan Yin:

Lotus Sutra — 10 Types of Protection

Ming dynasty Guan Yin statue, photo courtesy of Antiquezen.com

Although Avalokiteshvara is in many, many prominent sutras, it is in chapter 25 of the Lotus Sutra that we learn of the ten salvations (protections or deliverances) of Kuan Yin.   [Full Chapter 25 of Lotus Sutra at end of this feature.]

Although Kuan Yin is associated with rescues from fear and danger in other sutras, it is in chapter 25 of the Lotus Sutra that we learn, in detail, the ten Great Deliverance (Salvations) and Protections of Avalokiteshvara. These are similar to the protections of Green Tara from the Eight Great Dangers and Eight Great Fears. The Ten Salvations are (with supporting quotes from the Lotus Sutra):

Protection from dangers of Fire

“If there are people who wish to harm you

by pushing you into the great pit of inferno,

think of the power of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara;

the inferno pit will be transformed into a water pond.

— Lotus Sutra 25: 2.3

 

Guan Yin rescues the child from the fire, a charming animated story video (with English sub titles):

Deliverance from dangers of Water

“If you are drifting in a great ocean

and facing imminent danger

with dragons, fishes, and other demons,

think of the power of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara;

the waves will be unable to swallow you.

— Lotus Sutra 25: 2.4

Guan Yin.

Deliverance from dangers of falling

“If you are at the summit of Mount Sumeru,

and someone pushes you off the edge,

think of the power of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara;

you will be suspended in midair like the sun in the sky.

— Lotus Sutra 25: 2.5

Deliverance from dangers of politics

“If you are suffering from the punishment of government,

and your life is about to end by execution,

think of the power of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara;

the sword will be splintered into pieces.

— Lotus Sutra 25: 2.8

Deliverance from Prison

“If you are being locked in a prison

and your hands and feet are being bound by chains and fetters,

think of the power of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara;

you will be released and freed.

— Lotus Sutra 25: 2.9

Zeng Hao’s 1000 armed Guan Yin.

Deliverance from Curses or Poisons

“If there are people who wish to harm you

by curses or poisonous herbs,

think of the power of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara;

the effects will be bounced back to the originator.

— Lotus Sutra 25: 2.10

 

Deliverance from Demons

“If you face harm from vicious rakshasas,

poisonous dragons, or various demons,

think of the power of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara;

no one will dare to harm you.

— Lotus Sutra 25: 2.11

Deliverance from Evil Beasts

“If you are surrounded by evil beasts

with sharp fangs and fearful claws,

think of the power of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara;

they will quickly flee and scamper away in all directions.

— Lotus Sutra 25: 2.12

Protection during Disputes or War

“If you have disputes before the court,

or are fearful in the midst of the war,

think of the power of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara;

all enemies full of resentment will retreat.

— Lotus Sutra 25: 2.21

Bestow Children of Good Fortune

“If there are women who wish to give birth to a son, they should worship by giving offerings to Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, who will bestow them a son blessed with good fortune, virtue, and wisdom. If they wish to have a daughter, they will have a beautiful and adorable daughter blessed with accumulated benevolent roots.

— Lotus Sutra 25: 1.11

Charming video animated story (with English sub titles) of Guan Yin fulfilling the wish for children:

Practising Kuan Yin

Kuan Yin demands nothing of her followers. As a Bodhisattva, freed from attachments, she has no need of offerings, worship, praise, demotions.

It is the Buddhist follower who needs the offering, worship, praise, devotions. These acts are positive acts of Karma — Kuan Yin’s gift to us. She gives us the opportunity to extinguish our past impurities and negative karmic acts with meritorious acts. She asks only one thing — that you share her value of Compassion and Metta (love) for all sentient beings.

Basic practice is similar to all Buddist practice (with simple, short-form English):

  • Taking Refuge in Buddha Dharma and Sangha (The Three Jewels): “I take refuge until I am enlightened in the Three Jewels.” Normally, we bow or kneel to show respect.
  • Bodhisattva vow (stating it, promising, like Kuan Yin, to rescue all beings from suffering): “By the virtues of generosity and other perfections, may I attain Enlightenement for the benefit of all beings.”
  • An offering: incense, fruit or just our love — but no meat, please! (Kuan Yin, after all, is Compassion for all beings)
  • An act of compassion: Kuan Yin smiles on acts of kindness, compassion and giving — make this generosity to others your offering to her.
  • Usually a Praise: “Namo Guan-Shi-Yin Pusa” or her compassionate mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum” or if you have time, the Great Compassion Dharani. [See this full feature on the Great Compassion Dharani complete with mantra for chanting and videos of chanting>>]
  • A final dedication of merit: “I dedicate the merit of this practice to the cause for Enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings.”

 

Normally, we bow and kneel at the beginning of our daily practice to show respect for the Compassionate Bodhisattva Guan Yin.

 

Kuan Yin and H.H. the Karmapa

Most Buddhists are accepting of different lineages and beliefs — believing all paths ultimately are one path,  all Buddhas are emanations (ultimately) of Buddha Nature. This was recently exemplified in a new Temple that opened in Canada, under the lineage of 17th Gyalwang Karmampa Ogyen Trinley Dorje (Kagyu Lineage.) Guanyin’s story, video from Bodhi Prajna Temple Canada — yet clearly incorporating Kuan Yin in her Chinese form. Under the direction of abbot Master Miao Jing and Master Miao Yin (see video below), they recently welcomed His Holiness to the dedication ceremony.

 

His Holiness Karmapa dedicates the new Great Compassion Bodhi Prajna Temple in Canada.

 

In the dedication ceremony, His Holiness said, “While my stay here is short, it means a lot to me. The reason is that the two Masters, who take charge of this temple, have profound understanding of different branches in Buddhism. What’s better is that they ingeniously fuse various ideas together… In this way, everyone will learn more about Buddhism, enjoy more happiness, and grow wisdom.”

Bodhi Prajna Temple is new, dedicated in 2017, and very unique in that it combines Chinese traditions — Kuan Yin is incorporated in the logo — but under the lineage and direction of  17th Gyalwang Karmampa Ogyen Trinley Dorje (Kagyu Lineage.) 

 

Not only is Kuan Yin the same Bodhisattva as Avalokiteshvara — and all of his manifestations — she herself, as Kuan Yin has at least 33 manifestations as the goddess.

 

The story of the Great Compassionate Mantra of Kuan Yin (feature-length video):

 

 

Kuan Yin’s other language names

In addition to Padmapani and Avaolokiteshvara (Sanskrit form, from India), she/he is known by many names:

  • Chenrezig (male) — Tibet སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས
  • Gwun Yam, Gun Yam, Kwun Yam, Kun Lam (female)— Cantonese versions 觀音 or 觀世音
  • Kwan Im Ma, Guanyin Pusa, Guan Shi Yin Pusha — Mandarin
  • Kanon, Kan’on, Kanzeon, Kwannon, Knnon, Nyoirin Kannon (typically male)— Japanese 観音 or 観世音
  • Kuan Im, Phra Mae Kuan Im, Chao Mae Kuan Im — Thai พระแม่กวนอิม
  • Kwan Yin Medaw — Burmese ကွမ်ယင်မယ်တော်
  • Kwan Im, Dewi Kwan Im, Mak Kwan Im — Indonesian
  • Gwan-eum, Gwanse-eum — Korean 관음 or 관세음
  • Quan Am, Quan The Am, Vietnamese
  • Natha Deviyo — Sinhalese නාථ දෙවියෝ
  • Preah Mae Kun Ci Lem — Khmer
  • Kab Yeeb — Hmong

Lovely images and chanting of Guanyin:

 

 

The Lotus Sutra
Translated by Burton Watson

Chapter Twenty-five: The Universal Gate of Bodhisattva Kanzeon

At that time the bodhisattva Inexhaustible Intent immediately rose from his seat, bared his right shoulder, pressed his palms together and, facing the Buddha, spoke these words: “World Honored One, this Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds– why is he called Perceiver of the World’s Sounds?”

The Buddha said to Bodhisattva Inexhaustible Intent: “Good man, suppose there are immeasurable hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of living beings who are undergoing various trials and suffering. If they hear of this Bodhisattva Perceiver of the Word’s Sounds and single-mindedly call his name, then at once he will perceive the sound of their voices and they will all gain deliverance from their trials.

 

Beautiful Guanyin, the feminine face of Avalokiteshvara’s compassion.

 

If someone, holding fast to the name of bodhisattva perceiver of the world’s sounds, should enter a great fire, the fire could not burn him. This would come about because of this bodhisattva’s authority and supernatural power. If one were washed away by a great flood and call upon his name, one would immediately find himself in a shallow place.

“Suppose there were a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand, a million living beings who, seeking for gold, silver, lapis lazuli, seashell, agate, coral, amber, pearls, and other treasures, set out on the great sea. and suppose a fierce wind should blow their ship off course and it drifted to the land of rakshasas demons. If among those people there is even just one who calls the name of Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s sounds, then all those people will be delivered from their troubles with the rakshasas. This is why he is called Perceiver of the World’s Sounds.

 

The 33 Manifestations of Kuan Yin:

 

 

“If a person who faces imminent threat of attack should call the name of Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s sounds, then the swords and staves wielded by his attackers would instantly shatter into so many pieces and he would be delivered.

Thought enough yakshas and rakshasas to fill all the thousand-million-fold world should try to come and torment a person, if they hear him calling the name of Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds, then these evil demons will not even be able to look at him with their evil eyes, much less do him harm.

“Suppose, in a place filled with all the evil-hearted bandits of the thousand-million-fold world, there is a merchant leader who is guiding a band of merchants carrying valuable treasures over a steep and dangerous road, and that one man shouts out these words: ‘Good men, do not be afraid! You must single-mindedly call on the name of Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds. This bodhisattva can grant fearlessness to living beings. If you call his name, you will be delivered from these evil-hearted bandits!’ When the band if merchants hear this, they all together raise their voices, saying, ‘Hail to the Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds!’ And because they call his name, they are at once able to gain deliverance. Inexhaustible Intent, the authority and supernatural power of the Bodhisattva and mahasattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds are as mighty as this!

“If there should be living beings beset by numerous lusts and cravings, let them think with constant reverence of Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds and then they can shed their desires. If they have great wrath and ire, let them think with constant reverence of Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds and then they can shed their ire. If they have great ignorance and stupidity, let them think with constant reverence of Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds and they can rid themselves of stupidity.

 

The very face of compassion, Metta personified in glorious Avalokiteshvara, the compassionate Buddha.

 

“Inexhaustible Intent, the Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds possesses great authority and supernatural powers, as I have described, and can confer many benefits. For this reason, living beings should constantly keep the thought of him in mind.

“If a woman wishes to give birth to a male child, she should offer obeisance and alms to Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds and then she will bear a son blessed with merit, virtue, and wisdom. And if she wishes to bear a daughter, she will bear one with al the marks of comeliness, one who in the past planted the roots of virtue and is loved and respected by many persons.

Beautiful mother Guanyin is one feminine aspect of Avalokiteshvara.

“Inexhaustible Intent, the Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds has power to do all this. If there are living beings who pay respect and obeisance to Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds, their good fortune will not be fleeting or vain. Therefore living beings should all accept and uphold the name of Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds.

“Inexhaustible Intent, suppose there is a person who accepts and upholds the names of as many bodhisattvas as there are sands in sixty-two million Ganges, and for as long as his present body lasts, he offers them alms in the form of food and drink, clothing, bedding and medicines. What is your opinion? Would this good man or good woman gain many benefits or would he not?”

Inexhaustible Intent replied, “They would be very many, World-Honored One.”

The Buddha said: “Suppose also that there is a person who accepts and upholds the name of Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds and even just once offers him obeisance and alms. The good fortune pained by these two persons would be exactly equal and without difference. For a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand, a million kalpas it would never be exhausted or run out. Inexhaustible Intent, if one accepts and upholds the name of Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds, he will gain the benefit of merit and virtue that is as immeasurable and boundless as this!”

Bodhisattva Inexhaustible Intent said to the Buddha, “World-Honored One, Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds– how does he come and go in this saha world? How does he preach the Law for the sake of living beings? How does the power of expedient means apply in this case?”

The Buddha said to Bodhisattva Inexhaustible Intent: “Good man, if there are living beings in the land who need someone in the body of a Buddha in order to be saved, Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds immediately manifests himself in a Buddha body and preaches the Law for them. If they need someone in a pratyekabuddha’s body in order to be saved, immediately he manifests a pratyekabuddha’s body and preaches the Law to them. If the need a voice-hearer to be saved, immediately he becomes a voice-hearer and preaches the Law for them. If they need King Brahma to be saved, immediately he becomes King Brahma and preaches the Law for them. If they need the lord Shakra to be saved, immediately he becomes the lord Shakra and preaches the Law for them. If they need the heavenly beiang Freedom to be saved, immediately he becomes the heavenly being Freedom and preaches the Law for them. If they need a great general of heaven to be saved, immediately he becomes a great general of heaven and preaches the Law for them. If they need Vaishravana to be saved, immediately he becomes Vaishravana and preaches the Law for them. If they need a petty king to be saved, immediately he becomes a petty king and preaches the law for them.

 

Thousand-armed Chenrezig or Guanyin.

 

If they need a rich man to be saved, immediately he becomes a rich man and preaches the Law for them. If they need a householder to be saved, immediately he becomes a householder and preaches the Law for them. If they need a chief minister to be saved, immediately he becomes a chief minister and preaches the Law for them. If they need a Brahman to be saved, immediately he becomes a Brahman and preaches the Law for them. If they need a monk, a nun, a layman believer, or a laywoman believer and preaches the Law for them. If they need the wife of a rich man, of a householder, a chief minister, or a Brahman to be saved, immediately he becomes those wives and preaches the Law for them. If they need a young boy or a young girl and preaches the Law for them. If they need a heavenly being, a dragon, a yaksha, a gandharva, an asura, a garuda, a kimnara, a mahoraga, a human or a nonhuman being to be saved, immediately he becomes all of these and preaches the Law for them. If they need a vajra-bearing god and preaches the Law for them.

“Inexhaustible Intent, this Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds has succeeded in acquiring benefits such as these and. Taking on a variety of different forms, goes about among the lands saving living beings. For this reason you and the others should single-mindedly offer alms to Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds can bestow fearlessness on those who are in fearful, pressing or difficult circumstances. That is why in this saha world everyone calls him Bestower of Fearlessness.”

“Bodhisattva Inexhaustible Intent said to the Buddha, “World-Honored One, now I must offer alms to Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds.”

Then he took from his neck a necklace adorned with numerous precious gems, worth a hundred or a thousand taels of gold, and presented it to [the bodhisattva], saying, “Sir, please accept this necklace of precious gems as a gift in the Dharma.”

At that time Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds was unwilling to accept the gift.

Inexhaustible Intent spoke once more to Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds, saying, “Sir, out of compassion for us, please accept this necklace.”

Then the Buddha said to Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds, “Out of compassion for this Bodhisattva Inexhaustible Intent and for the four kinds of believers, the heavenly kings, dragons, yakshas, gandharvas, asuras, garudas, kimnaras, mahoragas, human and nonhuman beings, you should accept this necklace.”

Thereupon Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds, having compassion for the four kinds of believers and the heavenly beings, dragons, human and nonhuman beings and the others, accepted the necklace and, dividing it into two parts, presented one part to Shakyamuni Buddha and presented the other to the tower of the Buddha Many Treasures.

[The Buddha said,] “Inexhaustible Intent, these are the kinds of freely exercised supernatural powers that Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds displays in his comings and goings in the saha world.”

At that time Bodhisattva Inexhaustible Intent posed this question in verse form:

World-Honored One replete with wonderful features,
I now ask you once again
for what reason that Buddha’s son
is named Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds?
The honored One endowed with wonderful features
replied to Inexhaustible Intent in verse:
Listen to the actions of the Perceiver of Sounds,
how aptly he responds in various quarters.
His vast oath is deep as the ocean;
kalpas pass but it remains unfathomable.
He has attended many thousands and millions of Buddhas,
setting forth his great pure vow.
I will describe him in outline for you-
listen to his name, observe his body,
bear him in mind, not passing the time vainly,
for he can wipe out the pains of existence.
Suppose someone should conceive a wish to harm you,
should push you into a great pit of fire.
Think on the power of that Perceiver of Sounds
and the pit of fire will change into a pond!
If you should be cast adrift on the vast ocean,
menaced by dragons, fish and various demons,
think on the power of that Perceiver of Sounds
and the billows and waves cannot drown you!
Suppose you are on the peak of Mount Sumeru
and someone pushes you off.
Think on the power of that Perceiver of Sounds
and you will hang in midair like the sun!
Suppose you are pursued by evil men
who wish to throw you down from a diamond mountain.
Think on the power of that Perceiver of Sounds
and they cannot harm a hair of you!
Suppose you are surrounded by evil-hearted bandits,
each brandishing a knife to wound you.
Think on the power of that Perceiver of Sounds
and at once all will be swayed by compassion!
Suppose you encounter trouble with the king’s law,
face punishment, about to forfeit your life.
Think on the power of that Perceiver of Sounds
and the executioner’s sword will be broken to bits!
Suppose you are imprisoned in cangue and lock,
hands and feet bound by fetters and chains.
Think on the power of that Perceiver of Sounds
and they will fall off, leaving you free!
Suppose with curses and various poisonous herbs
someone should try to injure you.
Think on the power of that Perceiver of Sounds
and the injury will rebound upon the originator.
Suppose you encounter evil rakshasas,
poison dragons and various demons.
Think on the power of that Perceiver of Sounds
and then none of them will dare to harm you.
If evil beasts should encircle you,
their sharp fangs and claws inspiring terror,
think on the power of that Perceiver of sounds
and they will scamper away in boundless retreat.
If lizards, snakes, vipers, scorpions
threaten you with poison breath that sears like flame,
think on the power of that Perceiver of Sounds
and, hearing your voice, they will flee of themselves.
If clouds should bring thunder, and lightning strike,
if hail pelts or drenching rain comes down,
think on the power of that Perceiver of Sounds
and at that moment they will vanish away.
If living beings encounter weariness or peril,
immeasurable suffering pressing them down,
the power of the Perceiver of Sounds’ wonderful wisdom
can save them from the sufferings of the world.
He is endowed with transcendental powers
and widely practices the expedient means of wisdom.
Throughout the lands in the ten directions
there is no region where he does not manifest himself.
In many different kinds of evil circumstances,
in the realms of hell, hungry spirits or beasts,
the sufferings of birth, old age, sickness and death–
all these he bit by bit wipes out.
He of the true gaze, the pure gaze,
the gaze of great and encompassing wisdom,
the gaze of pity, the gaze of compassion–
constantly we implore him, constantly look up in reverence.
His pure light, free of blemish,
is a sun of wisdom dispelling all darknesses.
He can quell the wind and fire of misfortune
and everywhere bring light to the world.
The precepts from his compassionate body shake us
like thunder,
the wonder of his pitying mind is like a great cloud.
He sends down the sweet dew, the Dharma rain,
to quench the flames of earthly desires.
When law suits bring you before the officials,
when terrified in the midst of an army,
think on the power of that Perceiver of Sounds
and hatred in all its forms will be dispelled.
Wonderful sound, Perceiver of the World’s Sounds,
Brahma’s sound, the sea tide sound–
they surpass those sounds of the world;
therefore you should constantly think on them
from thought to thought never entertaining doubt!
Perceiver of the World’s Sounds, pure sage–
to those in suffering, in danger of death,
he can offer aid and support.
Endowed with all benefits,
he views living beings with compassionate eyes.
The sea of his accumulated blessings is immeasurable;
therefore you should bow your head to him!

At that time the Bodhisattva Earth Holder immediately rose from his seat, advanced, and said to the Buddha, “World-Honored One, if there are living beings who hear this chapter on Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds, on the freedom of his actions, his manifestation of a universal gateway, and his transcendental powers, it should be known that the benefits these persons gain are not few!”

When the Buddha preached this chapter on the Universal Gateway, a multitude of eighty-four thousand persons in the assembly all conceived a determination to attain the unparalleled state of anuttara-samyak-sambodhi.

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