The Dharma of Repentance of the Great Compassion with a Thousand Hands and a Thousand Eyes

The Nīlakaṇṭha Dhāranī (नीलकण्ठ धारनी) also known as Mahā Karuṇā Dhāranī (महा करुणा धारनी), popularly known as the Great Compassion Mantra in English, and known as the Dàbēi Zhòu (Chinese: 大悲咒; pinyin: Dàbēi zhòu) in Mandarin Chinese, is a dharani of Mahayana Buddhist origin. It was spoken by the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara before an assembly of Buddhas, bodhisattvas, devas and kings, according to the Mahakarunikacitta Sutra. Like the now popular six-syllable mantra Om mani padme hum, it is a popular mantra synonymous with Avalokitesvara in East Asia. It is often used for protection or purification.

The Dharma of Repentance of the Great Compassion with a Thousand Hands and a Thousand Eyes (Da Bei Chan)

The Assembly says: NA MO GWAN SHR YIN BODHISATTVA OF GREAT COMPASSION (3 times)

The Leader says: LET ALL BE RESPECTFUL AND REVERENT.

The Assembly says: WITH ONE MIND I BOW TO THE EVERLASTING TRIPLE JEWEL OF THE TEN DIRECTIONS (Bow once, then stand and half-bow.)

The Leader says: ALL IN THIS ASSEMBLY, EACH ONE KNEELING, HOLDING IN ADORNMENT INCENSE AND A FLOWER, IN ACCORD WITH DHARMA MAKE OFFERINGS.

(The Assembly kneels holding up incense and a flower, and then says:)
MAY THIS FRAGRANT FLOWER-CLOUD FULLY PERVADE THE TEN DIRECTIONS. MAY ONE BY ONE ALL BUDDHALANDS BE ADORNED. MAY THE BODHISATTVA PATH BE FULFILLED AND THE THUS-COME-ONE FRAGRANCE PERFECTED.

(Bow and reflect silently:) This incense and flower pervade the ten directions, making a tower of subtle, wonderful light. All heavenly music, jeweled heavenly incense, rare heavenly delicacies, and jeweled heavenly garments, all inconceivably wonderful dharma-objects, each object emitting all objects, each object emitting all dharmas, revolving unobstructed and adorning each other, are offered everywhere to the Triple Jewel of the ten directions. Before the Triple Jewel of the Dharma Realm of the ten directions, my body everywhere makes offerings. Each one entirely pervades the Dharma Realm, each one unalloyed and unimpeded, exhausting the bounds of the future, doing the Buddhas' work, and spreading fragrance everywhere over all the living beings in the Dharma Realm. Having received the fragrance, they bring forth the Bodhi-mind, and together they enter the Unproduced and are certified to the Buddhas' wisdom.

The Leader says: THE OFFERING IS NOW COMPLETE. LET ALL BE REVERENT AND RESPECTFUL.(Stand and half-bow)

(Assembly kneels and recites)
NA MO THE FORMER THUS COME ONE LIGHT OF PROPER DHARMA, THE PRESENT GWAN SHR YIN BODHISATTVA, PERFECT IN MIRACULOUS MERIT, COMPLETE IN GREAT COMPASSION.

WHO IN A SINGLE BODY AND MIND MANIFESTS A THOUSAND HANDS, A THOUSAND EYES, WHO ILLUMINES AND LOOKS UPON THE DHARMA REALM AND PROTECTS AND UPHOLDS LIVING BEINGS AND CAUSES THEM TO BRING FORTH THE REAT MIND OF THE WAY, WHO TEACHES THEM TO HOLD THE PERFECT SPIRITUAL MANTRA.

TO LEAVE FOREVER THE EVIL PATHS, AND TO BE REBORN AT THE TIME OF A BUDDHA. GRAVE OFFENSES WHICH DESERVE THE UNINTERRUPTED HELLS AND EVIL ILLS WHICH BIND THE BODY, FROM WHICH NO ONE CAN BE SAVED OR EXTRICATED, ARE CAUSED TO MELT AWAY.

SAMADHI, ELOQUENCE, AND WHATEVER IS SOUGHT IN THIS PRESENT LIFE, ARE ALL BROUGHT TO ACCOMPLISHMENT.

THERE IS NO DOUBT WHATEVER THAT THE THREE VEHICLES CAN BE QUICKLY ATTAINED AND THAT THE GROUND OF THE BUDDHAS CAN SOON BE REACHED.

NO ONE CAN EXHAUST THE PRAISES OF HIS AWESOME SPIRITUAL MIGHT. THEREFORE WITH ONE MIND I RETURN MY LIFE IN WORSHIP. (Bow)

(Stand and half-bow) 

WITH ONE MIND I BOW TO MY ORIGINAL TEACHER SHAKYAMUNI BUDDHA, WORLD-HONORED ONE. (3 times)
(Bow to each Buddha or group of Buddhas, reflecting silently in turn:)
The worshipped and the worshipper are empty and still in nature. The response and the Way are intertwined, inconceivably. This Way-place of mine is like a wish-fulfilling pearl; the Buddha(s) [reflect on name(s)] appear before me. I appear before (name of Buddha or Buddhas). Bowing down, I return my life in worship.

WITH ONE MIND I BOW TO AMITA BUDDHA OF THE WESTERN LAND OF ULTIMATE BLISS, WORLD HONORED ONE.

WITH ONE MIND I BOW TO KING OF A THOUSAND LIGHTS BUDDHA OF COUNTLESS KOTIS OLF KALPAS PAST, WORLD HONORED ONE.

WITH ONE MIND I BOW TO ALL THE BUDDHAS OF THE PAST, MANY AS THE SANDS OF NINETY-NINE KOTIS OF GANGES RIVERS, WORLD-HONORED ONES.

WITH ONE MIND I BOW TO LIGHT OF PROPER DHARMA OF COUNTLESS KALPAS PAST, WORLD-HONORED ONE.

WITH ONE MIND I BOW TO ALL THE BUDDHAS OF THE TEN DIRECTIONS, WORLD-HONORED ONES.

WITH ONE MIND I BOW TO ALL THE THOUSAND BUDDHAS OF THE THREE PERIODS OF TIME IN THE WORTHY KALPA, WORLD HONORED ONES.

(Stand and half-bow.)

WITH ONE MIND I BOW TO THE SPIRITUAL, WONDERFUL WORDS OF THE DHARANI OF THE GREATLY COMPASSIONATE MIND, PERFECT, FULL, UNIMPEDED, VAST, AND GREAT.

(Bow three times, reflecting:)
The Dharma-Nature, like emptiness, cannot be seen. The everlasting Dharma-Jewel is difficult to conceive of. With my three karmas now in accord with Dharma, I pray that it will manifest and accept this offering.

WITH ONE MIND I BOW TO ALL THE DHARANIS SPOKEN BY GWAN YIN AND TO ALL THE HONORED DHARMAS OF THE TEN DIRECTIONS AND THE THREE PERIODS OF TIME.

(Bow, stand, and half-bow.)

(Bow and reflect:) True emptiness, the Dharma-nature, is like empty space. The everlasting Dharma-Jewel is difficult to conceive of. I now manifest before the Dharma-Jewel. With one mind, in accord with Dharma, I return my life in worship.

WITH ONE MIND I BOW TO THE GREATLY KIND, GREATLY COMPASSIONATE GWAN SHR YIN BODHISATTVA, WHO WITH A THOUSAND HANDS AND A THOUSAND EYES CONTEMPLATES AT EASE THE SOUNDS OF THE WORLD, MAHASATTVA.

(Bow and reflect three times:)
The worshipped and the worshipper are empty and still in nature. The response and the Way are intertwined, inconceivably. This Way-place of mine is like a wish-fulfilling pearl. The Greatly Compassionate Bodhisattva manifests in it; I now manifest before the Greatly Compassionate One as I seek eradication of obstacles, prostrate and worshipping.

WITH ONE MIND I BOW TO THE BODHISATTVA WHO HAS ATTAINED GREAT STRENGTH, MAHASATTVA.

(Bow once to Great Strength Bodhisattva and to each subsequent Bodhisattva or Bodhisattvas, reflecting as when bowing to Gwan Yin Bodhisattva, but substituting the appropriate name or names.)

WITH ONE MIND I BOW TO DHARANI-KING BODHISATTVA, MAHASATVA. WITH ONE MIND I BOW TO SUNLIGHT BODHISATTVA AND MOONLIGHT BODHISATTVA, MAHASATTVAS.

WITH ONE MIND I BOW TO KING OF JEWELS BODHISATTVA, PHYSICIAN-KING BODHISATTVA, AND SUPREME PHYSICIAN BODHISATTVA, MAHASATTVAS.

WITH ONE MIND I BOW TO FLOWER-ADORNMENT BODHISATTVA, GREAT ADORNMENT BODHISATTVA, AND TREASURY OF JEWELS BODHISATTVA, MAHASATTVAS.

WITH ONE MIND I BOW TO MERIT-TREASURY BODHISATTVA, VAJRA-TREASURY BODHISATTVA, AND EMPTY-SPACE TREASURY BODHISATTVA, MAHASATTVAS.

WITH ONE MIND I BOW TO MAITREYA BODHISATTVA, UNIVERSAL WORTHY BODHISATTVA, AND MANJUSHRI BODHISATTVA, MAHASATTVAS.

WITH ONE MIND I BOW TO ALL THE BODHISATTVAS OF THE TEN DIRECTIONS AND THE THREE PERIODS OF TIME, MAHASATTVAS.

WITH ONE MIND I BOW TO MAHAKASHYAPA AND THE IMMEASURABLE, INNUMERABLE GREAT SOUND-HEARER SANGHA.

(Stand and half-bow.)

WITH ONE MIND I BOW TO THE VENERABLE ONE OF SZ MING MOUNTAIN, EXPOUNDER OF THE TYAN TAI TEACHINGS AND CONTEMPLATIONS, GREAT MASTER FA JR. (Stand and half-bow.)

WITH ONE MIND, ON BEHALF OF HE GOOD GODS JA FAN MWO AND CHU PWO CHYE, THE FOUR WORLD-PROTECTING KINGS, THE GODS, DRAGONS, AND THE REST OF THE EIGHT DIVISIONS, THE GODDESS PURE EYES, THE SPIRITS OF EMPTY SPACE, THE SPIRITS OF RIVERS AND OCEANS, THE SPIRITS OF FOUNTAINS AND SPRINGS, THE SPIRITS OF STREAMS AND POOLS, THE SPIRITS OF HERBS, GRASSES, AND WOODS, THE HOUSEHOLD SPIRITS, THE WATER SPIRITS, THE FIRE SPIRITS, THE WIND SPIRITS, THE EARTH SPIRITS, THE MOUNTAIN SPIRITS, THE GROUND SPIRITS, THE PALACE SPIRITS, AND OTHERS. ALL THE GODS, DRAGONS, GHOSTS, AND SPIRITS WHO PROTECT THOSE WHO HOLD MANTRAS, EACH WITH HIS OR HER RETINUE: ON THEIR BEHALF I BOW TO THE TRIPLE JEWLE.

(Bow, stand and half-bow.)

(All kneel) The leader says:

THE SUTRA SAYS, " IF THERE ARE BHIKSHUS, BHIKSHUNIS, UPASAKAS, UPASIKAS, YOUNG MEN, OR YOUNG WOMEN WHO WISH TO RECITE AND BEAR IN MIND THIS MANTRA AND TO BRING FORTH A HEART OF KINDNESS AND COMPASSION FOR ALL LIVING BEINGS, THEY SHOULD FIRST FOLLOW ME IN MAKING THESE VOWS":

NA MO GREATLY COMPASSIONATE GWAN SHR YIN, I VOW THAT I WILL QUICKLY KNOW ALL DHARMAS.

NA MO GREATLY COMPASSIONATE GWAN SHR YIN, I VOW THAT I WILL SOON OBTAIN THE WISDOM-EYE.

NA MO GREATLY COMPASSIONATE GWAN SHR YIN, I VOW THAT I WILL QUICKLY CROSS ALL LIVING BEINGS OVER.

NA MO GREATLY COMPASSIONATE GWAN SHR YIN, I VOW THAT I WILL SOON OBTAIN GOOD SKILL IN MEANS.

NA MO GREATLY COMPASSIONATE GWAN SHR YIN, I VOW THAT I WILL QUICKLY BOARD THE PRAJNA BOAT.

NA MO GREATLY COMPASSIONATE GWAN SHR YIN, I VOW THAT I WILL SOON CROSS OVER THE SEA OF SUFFERING.

NA MO GREATLY COMPASSIONATE GWAN SHR YIN, I VOW THAT I WILL QUICKLY ATTAIN PRECEPTS, SAMADHI AND THE WAY.

NA MO GREATLY COMPASSIONATE GWAN SHR YIN, I VOW THAT I WILL SOON CLIMB NIRVANA MOUNTAIN.

NA MO GREATLY COMPASSIONATE GWAN SHR YIN, I VOW THAT I WILL QUICKLY DWELL IN THE UNCONDITIONED.

NA MO GREATLY COMPASSIONATE GWAN SHR YIN, I VOW THAT I WILL SOON UNITE WITH THE DHARMA-NATURE BODY.

IF I FACE THE MOUNTAIN OF KNIVES, THE MOUNTAIN OF KNIEVES OF ITSELF BREAKS UP. IF I FACE THE BOILING OIL, THE BOILING OIL OF ITSELF DRIES UP.

IF I FACE THE HELLS, THE HELLS OF THEMSELVES DISAPPEAR.

IF I FACE THE HUNGRY GHOSTS, THE HUNGRY GHOSTS BY THEMSELVES BECOME FULL.

IF I FACE THE ASURAS, THEIR EVIL THOUGHTS BY THEMSELVES ARE TAMED.

IF I FACE THE ANIMALS, THEY BY THEMSELVES ATTAIN GREAT WISDOM.

NA MO GWAN SHR YIN BODHISATTVA (Recite ten times).

NA MO AMITA BUDDHA. (Recite ten times, then bow once, stand, and half-bow.)

GWAN SHR YIN BODHISATTVA SAID TO THE BUDDHA: 

"WORLD HONORED ONE. IF ANY LIVING BEING WHO RECITES AND HOLDS THE SPIRITUAL MANTRA OF GREAT COMPASSION SHOULD FALL INTO THE THREE EVIL PATHS, I VOW NOT TO ATTAIN THE RIGHT ENLIGHTENMENT. IF ANY LIVING BEING WHO RECITES AND HOLDS THIS SPIRITUAL MANTRA OF GREAT COMPASSION SHOULD NOT BE REBORN IN ANY BUDDHALAND, I VOW NOT TO ATTAIN THE RIGHT ENLIGHTENMENT. IF ANY LIVING BEING WHO RECITES AND HOLDS THE SPIRITUAL MANTRA OF GREAT COMPASSION SHOULD NOT ATTAIN IMMEASURABLE SAMADHIS AND ELOQUENCE, I VOW NOT TO ATTAIN THE RIGHT ENLIGHTENMENT. IF ANY LIVING BEING WHO RECITES AND HOLDS THE SPIRITUAL MANTRA OF GREAT COMPASSION SHOULD NOT OBTAIN WHATEVER HE SEEKS IN THIS PRESENT LIFE, THEN IT CANNOT BE THE DHARANI OF THE GREAT COMPASSION MIND."

HAVING SPOKEN THESE WORDS BEFORE THE ASSEMBLY, HE PUT HIS PALMS TOGETHER. STOOD UPRIGHT, AND BROUGHT FORTH A THOUGHT OF GREAT COMPASSION FOR ALL BEINGS. HE SMILED BROADLY AND IN THIS WAY SPOKE THE WONDERFUL SPIRITUAL PHRASES OF THE DHARANI OF GREAT COMPASSION, PERFECT, FULL, UNIMPEDED, VAST AND GREAT. THE DHARANI RUNS LIKE THIS:

Chinese versionKorean versionJapanese versionVietnamese version
nā mò, hē lá dá nàna-mo-ra da-nana mu ka ra ta nonam mô hắc ra đát na
duō lá yè yēda-ra ya-yato ra ya yađa ra dạ da
nā mò, ā lī yēna-mak ar-yana mu o ri yanam mô a rị da
pó lú jié dìba-ro-gi-jebo ryo ki chibà lô yết đế
shuò bō lá yēsae-ba-ra-yashi fu ra yathước bát ra da
pú tí sà duǒ pó yēmo-ji sa-da-ba-yafu ji sa to bo yabồ đề tát đỏa bà da
mó hē sà duǒ pó yēma-ha sa-da-ba-yamo ko sa to bo yama ha tát đỏa bà da
mó hē jiā lú ní jiā yēma-ha ga-ro-ni-ga-yamo ko kya ru ni kya yama ha ca lô ni ca da
om, sà pó luó fá yèom sal-ba-ba-yeen sa ha ra ha eián tát bàn ra phạt duệ
shǔ dá nà dá xiěsu da-ra-na ga-ra-ya da-sa-myongshu ta no ton shasố đát na đát tỏa
nā mò, xī jí lī duǒna-mak-ka-ri-da-bana mu shi ki ri tonam mô tất kiết lật đỏa
yī měng ā lì yēi-mam ar-yai mo o ri yay mông a rị da
pó lú jí dìba-ro-gi-jebo ryo ki chibà lô kiết đế
shì fó lá lèng tuó pó nā mò, nà lá jǐn chísae-ba-ra da-ba i-ra gan-ta na-makshi fu ra rin to bo na mu no ra kin jithất phật ra lăng đà bà nam mô na ra cẩn trì
xī lī mó hē, pó duō shā miēha-ri-na-ya ma-bal-ta i-sa-miki ri mo ko ho do sha mihê rị ma ha bàn đa sa mế
sà pó ā tā, dòu shū péngsal-bal-ta sa-da-nam su-bansa bo o to jo shu bentát bà a tha đậu du bằng
ā shì yùna-ye-yomo shu ina thệ dựng
sà pó sà duō, nā mò pó sà duō, nà mó pó jiā, mó fá tè dòusal-ba bo-da-nam ba-ba-mar-a mi-su-da-gamsa bo sa to no mo bo gya mo ha te chotát bà tát đa (na ma bà tát đa)na ma bà dà ma phạt đạt đậu
dá shí tāda-nya-tato ji tođát điệt tha
om, ā pó lú xī, lú jiā dìom a-ro-gye a-ro-ga ma-ji-ro-gaen o bo ryo ki ru gya chián a bà lô hê lô ca đế
jiā luó dì, yí xī līji-ga-ran-je hye-hye-ha-ryekya rya chi i ki rica ra đế di hê rị
mó hē pú tí sà duǒ sà pó sà pó mó lá mó lá mó xī mó sī, lī tuó yùnma-ha mo-ji sa-da-ba sa-ma-ra sa-ma-ra ha-ri-na-yamo ko fu ji sa to sa bo sa bo mo ra mo ra mo ki mo ki ri to inma ha bồ đề tát đỏa tát bà tát bà ma ra ma ra ma hê ma hê rị đà dựng
jù lú jù lú jié měnggu-ro-gu-ro gal-ma sa-da-ya sa-da-yaku ryo ku ryo ke mocu lô cu lô yết mông
dù lú dù lú, fá shé yē dìdo-ro-do-ro mi-yon-jeto ryo to ryo ho ja ya chidộ lô đồ lô phạt xà da đế
mó hē, fá shé yē dìma-ha mi-yon-jemo ko ho ja ya chima ha phạt xà da đế
tuó lá tuó láda-ra da-rato ra to rađà ra đà ra
dì lī nída-rin na-ryechi ri niđịa rị ni
shì fó lá yēsae-ba-rashi fu ra yathất phật ra da
zhē lá zhē lája-ra-ja-rasha ro sha rogiá ra giá ra
mó mó fá mó láma-ra-mi-ma-ra a-ma-ramo mo ha mo ramạ mạ phạt ma ra
mù dì lì yī xī yī xī shì nà shì nà ā lá shēn, fó lá shè lìmol-che-ye hye-hye ro-gye sae-ba-ra ra-a mi-sa-mi na-sa-yaho chi ri yu ki yu ki shi no shi no o ra san fu ra sha rimục đế lệ y hê di hê thất na thất na a ra sâm phật ra xá lợi
fá shā fá shēn fó lá shè yēna-bye sa-mi sa-mi na-sa-ya mo-ha ja-ra mi-sa-mi na-sa-yaha za ha za fu ra sha yaphạt sa phạt sâm phật ra xá da
hū lú hū lú mó lá hū lú hū lú xī lìho-ro-ho-ro ma-ra-ho-ro ha-rye ba na-ma-na-baku ryo ku ryo mo ra ku ryo ku ryo ki rihô lô hô lô ma ra hô lô hô lô hê rị
suō lá suō lása-ra sa-rasha ra sha rota ra ta ra
xī lī xī līshi-ri shi-rishi ri shi ritất rị tất rị
sū lú sū lú pú tí yè, pú tí yèso-ro so-ro mot-cha mot-chasu ryo su ryo fu ji ya fu ji yatô rô tô rô bồ đề dạ bồ đề dạ
pú tuó yè, pú tuó yèmo-da-ya mo-da-yafu do ya fu do yabồ đà dạ bồ đà dạ
mí dì lì yèmae-da-ri-yami chi ri yadi đế rị dạ
nà lá jǐn chíni-ra-gan-tano ra kin jina ra cẩn trì
dì lì sè ní nà, pó yè mó nà, sā pó hēga-ma-sa nal-sa-nam ba-ra-ha-ra-na-ya ma-nak-sa-ba-hachi ri shu ni no ho ya mo no so mo kođịa rị sắc ni na bà dạ ma na ta bà ha
xī tuó yè sā pó hēshit-ta-ya sa-ba-hashi do ya so mo kotất đà dạ ta bà ha
mó hē xī tuó yè sā pó hēma-ha-shit-ta-ya sa-ba-hamo ko shi do ya so mo koma ha tất đà dạ ta bà ha
xī tuó yù yìshit-ta-yu-yeshi do yu kitất đà dũ nghệ
shì pó lá yè sā pó hēsae-ba-ra-ya sa-ba-hashi fu ra ya so mo kothất bàn ra dạ ta bà ha
nà lá jǐn chí sā pó hēni-ra-gan-ta-ya sa-ba-hano ra kin ji so mo kona ra cẩn trì ta bà ha
mó lá nà lá sā pó hēba-ra-ha mok-kamo ra no ra so mo koma ra na ra ta bà ha
xī lá sēng, ā mù qū yē sā pó hēshing-ha mok-ka-ya sa-ba-hashi ra su o mo gya ya so mo kotất ra tăng a mục khê da ta bà ha
sā pó mó hē ā sī tuó yè sā pó hēba-na-ma ha-ta-ya sa-ba-haso bo mo ko o shi do ya so mo kota bà ma ha a tất đà dạ ta bà ha
shě jí lá ā xī tuó yè sā pó hēja-ga-ra yok-ta-ya sa-ba-hasha ki ra o shi do ya so mo kogiả kiết ra a tất đà dạ ta bà ha
bō tuó mó, jié xī duō yè sā pó hēsang-ka som-na-nye mo-da-na-ya sa-ba-ha ma-ha-ra gu-ta da-ra-ya sa-ba-haho do mo gya shi do ya so mo koba đà ma kiết tất đà dạ ta bà ha
nà lá jǐn chí pó jiā lá yē sā pó hēba-ma-sa gan-ta i-sa-shi che da ga-rin-na i-na-ya sa-ba-hano ra kin ji ha gya ra ya so mo kona ra cẩn trì bàn đà ra dạ ta bà ha
mó pó lì, shèng jié lá yè sā pó hēmya-ga-ra jal-ma ni-ba sa-na-ya sa-ba-hamo ho ri shin gya ra ya so mo koma bà rị thắng yết ra dạ ta bà ha
nā mò hē lá dá nà, duō lá yè yēna-mo-ra da-na-da-ra ya-yana mu ka ra tan no to ra ya yanam mô hắc ra đát na đa ra dạ da
nā mò ā lì yēna-mak ar-yana mu o ri yanam mô a rị da
pó luó jí dìba-ro gi-jebo ryo ki chibà lô kiết đế
shuò pó lá yèsae-ba-ra-yashi fu ra yathước bàn ra dạ
sā pó hē om, sī diàn dōu màn duō lá bá tuó yēso mo ko en shi te do mo do ra ho do yata bà ha án tất điện đô mạn đà ra bạt đà gia
sā pó hēsa-ba-haso mo kota bà ha

Sanskrit version:
Namo ratna-trayāya Namo āriyā-valokite-śvarāya Bodhi-sattvāya Maha-sattvāya Mahā-kārunikāya Om sarva-raviye sudhanadasya Namo skritvā imam āryā-valotite-śvara ramdhava Namo narakindi hrih Mahā-vat-svāme Sarva-arthato-śubham ajeyam Sarva-sat Namo-vasat Namo-vāka mavitāto Tadyathā Om avaloki-lokate-krate-e-hrih Mahā-bodhisattva Sarva sarva Mala mala Mahi Mahi ridayam Kuru kuru karmam Dhuru dhuru vijayate Mahā-vijayati Dhara dhara dhrini śvarāya cala cala Mama vimala muktele Ehi ehi śina śina ārsam prasari viśva viśvam prasaya Hulu hulu mara Hulu hulu hrih Sara sara siri siri suru suru Bodhiya Bodhiya Bodhaya Bodhaya Maitreya narakindi dhrish-nina bhayamana svāhā Siddhāya svāhā Maha siddhāya svāhā Siddha-yoge-śvaraya svāhā Narakindi svāhā Māranara svāhā śira simha-mukhāya svāhā Sarva mahā-asiddhaya svāhā Cakra-asiddhāya svāhā Padma-kastāya svāhā Narakindi-vagalāya svaha Mavari-śankharāya svāhā Namo ratna-trāyāya Namo āryā-valokite-śvaraya svāhā Om Sidhyantu mantra padāya svāhā.


WHEN GWAN SHR YIN BODHISATTVA HAD FINISHED SPEAKING THIS MANTRA, THE GREAT EARTH SHOOK IN SIX WAYS. THE HEAVENS RAINED FORTH JEWELED FLOWERS, WHICH FELL IN COLORFUL PROFUSION. ALL THE BUDDHAS OF THE TEN DIRECTIONS WERE DELIGHTED, WHILE THE HEAVENLY DEMONS AND EXTERNALISTS WERE SO AFRAID THEIR HAIR STOOD ON END. EVERYONE IN THE ENTIRE ASSEMBLY WAS CERTIFIED TO THE FRUITION, SOME ATTAINING THE FRUITION OF A STREAM-ENTERER, SOME THE FRUITION OF A ONCE-RETURNER, SOME THE FRUITION OF A NEVER-RETURNER, SOME THE FRUITION OF AN ARHAT, OTHERS ATTAINING THE FIRST GROUND OF A BODHISATTVA, THE SECOND GROUND, THE THIRD, FOURTH, OR FIFTH GROUND, EVEN UP TO THE TENTH GROUND. INNUMERABLE LIVING BEINGS BROUGHT FORTH THE BODHI-MIND.

(Bow and reflect, silently): I and all living beings, from beginningless time, have been constantly obstructed by the grave offenses of the three karmic actions and the six sense-faculties, not seeing any Buddhas, not knowing the essentials of escape, merely complying with birth and death and not knowing the wonderful principle. Now, although I know, I continue, along with all other living beings, to be obstructed by all kinds of grave offenses. Now, before Gwan Yin and the Buddhas of the ten directions, for the sake of all living beings everywhere, I return my life in repentance and reform, praying that there will be protection, and that offenses will be caused to be eradicated.

(Stand with joined palms and say)

EVERYWHRE, FOR THE SAKE OF THE FOUR SUPERIORS, FOR ALL IN THE TRIPLE WORLD, FOR LIVING BEINGS OF THE DHARMA REALM, I VOW THAT ALL CUT OFF THE THREE OBSTRUCTIONS, AS I RETURN MY LIFE IN REPENTANCE AND REFORM

(Bow and reflect silently:) Along with living beings, from beginningless time until the present, because of love and views, I scheme for myself within, and consort with bad friends outside. I do not rejoice compliantly in even a hair's breadth of the good of others, but with the three karmic actions commit all manner of offenses on a wide scale. Although what I do is not a very great matter in itself, my evil mind pervades everything. It continues day and night without cease, covering up its transgressions, errors, and mistakes, not wanting people to know, not fearing evil ways, not ashamed , without remorse, denying cause and effect. Therefore, on this day, I have come to believe deeply in cause and effect. I give birth to deep shame and great fear and repent. I cut off that incessant mind, bring forth the Bodhi-mind, cut off evil and cultivate good, go diligently forward in the three karmic actions, reform all my past errors, and rejoice compliantly in the slightest hair's breadth of the good of sages and ordinary people. I recollect the Buddhas of the ten directions, who have great blessings and wisdom which can rescue me and pull me, along with all other living beings, out of the sea of the two deaths, and can bring me straight to the shore of the three virtues. From beginningless time onward, I have not known that all dharmas are in their fundamental nature empty and still, and I have committed all manner of evil on a wide scale. Knowing now that all dharmas are empty and still, for the sake of seeking Bodhi and for the sake of living beings, I completely cut off every evil, and cultivate all good on a wide scale. I only pray that Gwan Yin will compassionately gather it in and receive it.

(All kneel.)
WITH THE UTMOST SINCERITY OF MIND, I DISCIPLE (your name), REPENT. THIS VERY MIND, SHARED BY ALL LIVING BEINGS OF THE DHARMA REALM, IS FUNDAMENTALLY COMPLETE WITH THE THOUSAND DHARMAS. IT HAS IN FULL ALL SPIRTUAL STRENGTH AND THE USE OF BRIGHT WISDOM. ABOVE, IT EQUALS THE BUDDHA-MIND; BELOW, IT IS IDENTICAL TO ALL THAT LIVES. BEGINNINGLESS DARK MOVEMENT BLOCKS THIS STILL BRIGHTNESS. CONTACT WITH THINGS DIMS AND CONFUSES IT, AND THOUGHTS ARISE AND BIND IT IN ATTACHMENTS. IN THE MIDST OF THE SAMENESS OF DHARMAS ARISE THE NOTIONS OF SELF AND OTHER. IN ALL EXISTENCE, LOVE AND VIEWS ARE THE BASIS AND THE BODY AND MOUTH ARE THE CONDITIONS: WITH THEM NO OFFENSE IS NOT CREATED. THE TEN EVILS, THE FIVE REBELLIOUS OFFENSES, SLANDERING DHARMA, SLANDERING PEOPLE, BREAKING THE PRECEPTS, BREAKING THE RULES OF PURE EATING, DESTROYING STUPAS, RUINING TEMPLES, STEALING FROM THE SANGHA, DEFILING THE CONDUCT OF THE PURE, DESTROYING PROPERTY OF THE SANGHA, EATING AND DRINKING THE SANGHA'S FOOD, AND FAILING TO KNOW REPENTANCE THOUGH A THOUSAND BUDDHAS APPEAR IN THE WORLD - OFFENSES SUCH AS THESES ARE MEASURELESS AND BOUNDLESS; WHEN THIS BODY IS CAST ASIDE, IT IS FITTING THAT I FALL INTO THE THREE PATHS OF REBIRTH AND THERE BE ENTANGLED IN A MYRIAD OF ILLS. MOREOVER, IN THIS PRESENT LIFE, BECAUSE A SWARM OF TROUBLES EMBROILS ME, FOUL ILLNESSES WHICH BIND ME UP, AND OPPRESSIVE CONDITIONS BROUGHT ABOUT BY OTHERS, I AM OBSTRUCTED IN THE DHARMAS OF THE PATH, AN DO NOT BECOME WELL-SEASONED IN MY CULTIVATION. NOW, HAVING MET (Bow) THE PERFECT SPIRITUAL MANTRA OF GREAT COMPASSION, I AM ABLE TO QUICKLY WIPE OUT THE OBSTACLES OF OFFENSES LIKE THESE. (Rise, remain kneeling)

THEREFORE, ON THIS DAY, WITH UTTER SINCERITY, I RECITE AND HOLD THIS MANTRA AND RETURN (Bow)

TO GWAN SHR YIN BODHISATTVA AND TO ALL THE GREAT MASTERS OF THE TEN DIRECTIONS. (Rise, remain kneeling)

I BRING FORTH THE BODHI-MIND AND CULTIVATE THE PRACTICE OF TRUE WORDS. TOGETHER WITH ALL LIVING BEINGS I CONFESS MY MANY OFFENSES AND SEEK REPENTANCE SO THAT THEY WILL BE EXTINGUISHED AT LAST. I ONLY WISH (Bow)

THAT THE GREATLY COMPASSIONATE GWAN SHR YIN BODHISATTVA, MAHASATTVA, WILL PROTECT AND UPHOLD US WITH HIS THOUSAND HANDS (Rise, remain knelling)

AND THAT WITH HIS THOUSAND EYES HE WILL ILLUMINE US AND LOOK UPON US AND CAUSE OUR INNER AND OUTER CONDITIONS OF OBSTRUCTION TO BECOME STILL AND EXTINGUISHED. I VOW THAT MY PRACTICE AND THE PRACTICE OF OTHERS WILL BE COMPLETE IN ACCOMPLISHMENT. I VOW TO OPEN THE KNOWLEDGE OF MY ORIGINAL SEEING AND TO HAVE CONTROL OVER DEMONS AND EXTERNALIST PATHS. I VOW TO BE VIGOROUS IN THE THREE KARMIC ACTIONS AND TO CULTIVATE THE PURE LAND CAUSE, SO THAT WHEN THIS BODY IS CAST ASIDE I WILL HAVE NO OTHER DESTINY BUT TO ATTAIN REBIRTH (Bow)

IN AMITA BUDDHA'S LAND OF ULTIMATE BLISS, AND DRAW NEAR TO, SERVE, AND MAKE OFFERINGS TO THE GREATLY COMPASSIONATE GWAN YIN.(Rise, remain kneeling)

I VOW TO BE COMPLETE IN ALL THE DHARANIS AND ON A WIDE SCALE TO CROSS OVER THE MANY CLASSES OF BEINGS SO THAT THEY ALL ESCAPE THE WHEEL OF SUFFERING AND REACH THE GROUND OF WISDOM TOGETHER. NOW THAT THE VOWS OF REPENTANCE ARE MADE, I RETURN MY LIFE IN WORSHIP TO THE TRIPLE JEWEL.(Bow and then stand.)

(For each name, each side of the Assembly bows once while the other side recites:)

NA MO THE BUDDHAS OF THE TEN DIRECTIONS. NA MO THE DHARMA OF THE TEN DRECTIONS. NA MO THE SANGHA OF THE TEN DIRECTIONS. NA MO OUR ORIGINAL TEACHER SHAKYAMUNI BUDDHA. NA MO AMITA BUDDHA. NA MO KING OF A THOUSAND LIGHTS BUDDHA WHO ABIDES IN STILLNESS. NA MO THE GREAT DHARANI OF THE GREATLY COMPASSIONATE MIND, PERFECT, FULL, UNIMPEDED, VAST AND GREAT. NA MO GWAN SHR YIN BODHISATTVA OF THE THOUSAND HANDS AND THOUSAND EYES. NA MO BODHISATTVA WHO HAS ATTAINED GRAT STRENGTH. NA MO DHARANI-KING BODHISATTVA. TO THE BUDDHA I RETURN AND RELY, VOWING THAT ALL LIVING BEINGS UNDERSTAND THE GREAT WAY PROFOUNDLY, AND BRING FORTH THE BODHI MIND. (Bow)

TO THE DHARMA I RETURN AND RELY, VOWING THAT ALL LIVING BEINGS DEEPLY ENTER THE SUTRA TREASURY AND HAVE WISDOM LIKE THE SEA. (Bow)

TO THE SANGHA I RETURN AND RELY, VOWING THAT ALL LIVING BEINGS, FORM TOGETHER A GREAT ASSEMBLY, ONE AND ALL IN HARMONY. (On the word "sheng" of the final recitation, the side of the Assembly that is bowing stands; at the end, the entire Assembly makes one full bow, stands, and half-bows.)

NA MO GWAN SHR YIN BODHISATTVA OF GREAT COMPASSION. (3 times)


               VERSE FOR TRANSFERRING THE MERIT FROM BOWING REPENTANCE

I DEDICATE THE MERIT AND VIRTUE FROM THE PROFOUND ACT OF BOWING REPENTANCE. WITH ALL ITS SUPERIOR, LIMITLESS BLESSINGS, WITH THE UNIVERSAL VOW THAT ALL BEINGS SUNK IN DEFILEMENT, WILL QUICKLY GO TO THE LAND OF THE BUDDHA OF LIMITLESS LIGHT (AMITABHA). ALL BUDDHAS OF THE TEN DIRECTIONS AND THE THREE PERIODS OF TIME. ALL BODHISATTVAS, MAHASATTVAS. MAHA PRAJNA PARAMITA!

(end)
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One Thousand Hands and Eyes
The Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (see entry) is often depicted with one thousand hands, each hand containing its own eye, to indicate the vows and powers of the Bodhisattva to see all those suffering in the world and to reach into the world and pull them out of their suffering.
"If you cultivate the Great Compassion Mantra (see entry), you can obtain a thousand hands and a thousand eyes.
"But you say, 'I have two hands to pick things up with and two eyes to see things with. This is the scientific age. What possible use would I have for a thousand hands and a thousand eyes?'
"If you don't want them, then don't cultivate the Great Compassion Mantra. However, with a thousand eyes, you can shut your two eyes and give them a rest, and still see things. Isn't that wonderful Dharma?
"A thousand eyes can not only see, but illuminate. Your ordinary eyes can see ten or twenty miles, or with binoculars, perhaps a hundred miles. With a thousand eyes, you can see for a million miles, to the end of empty space and the Dharma realm. You don't even need a television to watch the astronauts walking on the moon. It's so much less expensive than buying a television or photographs, or magazines. Now don't do you think a thousand eyes are useful?
"Not only that, but with a thousand eyes, you can look out from the back of your head and see what is in front of you. Looking out in front of you, you can see what is behind you. And so the Venerable Syu-Yun wrote:
From behind your brains you can see your face:
You've caught the sparrow hawk;
A full set of eyes at the gate of the crown:
You've seized a flying bear.
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Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara with One Thousand Hands and One Thousand Eyes

Most people can't see their own faces, but with a thousand eyes, you can see your own face and you can see behind you. You can even see what's inside your stomach. You can know how many little bugs, lazy bugs, gluttonous bugs, and dead bugs there are in your stomach. From the outside, you can see inside, and from the inside, you can see outside, just as if you were looking through a pane of glass. You can see it all: what your heart looks like and what your stomach is about to say, every movement of those machines inside you. Do you want a thousand eyes or not? Do you still think your two eyes are sufficient? Such is the miraculous function of a thousand eyes.

"What about a thousand hands? If you have only two hands, then when you pick something up in each of them, you can't pick up anything else. With one hand, you can take the thousand dollars; with a thousand hands, you can take a hundred million.
"Now let's divide some apples. You may take as many as you want. Of course, if you only have two hands, you can take only two. If you have a thousand, you can take a thousand. Isn't that useful? But a thousand hands are not for child's play. The reason to have a thousand hands is to save other people. If a thousand people are drowning and you have only two hands, you will only be able to rescue two of them. If you have a thousand hands, you will be able to reach into the water and pull them all out. Is that useful or not?
A thousand eyes observe,
A thousand ears hear all;
A thousand hands help and support
Living beings everywhere.
"Regardless of what trouble living beings find themselves in, you can save them with your thousand hands and pull them out of the sea of suffering. Without a thousand hands, you can't rescue so many people.
"The Bodhisattva Who Regards the Sounds of the World has a thousand hands, not for stealing things, but for rescuing people. They are not for the purpose of surreptitiously picking a thousand apples. You should be clear about this point.
"Where do the thousand hands and eyes come from? They are born from the Great Compassion Mantra. You must recite the Great Compassion Mantra and cultivate the Great Compassion Dharma of the Forty-Two Hands. The last of the forty-two hands is called the "Uniting and Holding, the Thousand Arms Hand." Every time you recite this mantra, your hands increase by forty-two. Recite it once and you have forty-two more hands; recite it again and they increase by forty-two. Recite it a hundred times and you will have 4,200, a thousand times, 42,000, and so forth. It's simply a matter of whether or not you cultivate. But the thousand hands and eyes are not obtained in a day and a night. You must cultivate with effort every single day, never missing a day. If you cultivate daily according to Dharma, you will perfect the inconceivably wonderful function of enlightenment, but if you cultivate today and quit tomorrow, it is of no use at all. In the world, if you want a Ph.D., you have to study for fourteen or fifteen years. How much more effort is needed to study the Buddhadharma! Unless you continually use true, genuine effort, you will have no success. . . ." (DS 2-4)
In the Shurangama Sutra, the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara states:
For example, I may make appear one head, three heads, five heads, seven heads, nine heads, eleven heads, and so forth, until there may be one hundred eight heads, a thousand heads, ten thousand heads, or eighty-four thousand vajra heads; two arms, four arms, six arms, eight arms, ten arms, twelve arms, fourteen, sixteen, eighteen arms, or twenty arms, twenty-four arms, and so forth until there may be one hundred eight arms, a thousand arms, or eighty-four thousand mudra arms; two eyes, three eyes, four eyes, nine eyes, and so forth until there may be one hundred eight eyes, a thousand eyes, ten thousand eyes, or eighty four thousand pure and precious eyes, sometimes compassionate, sometimes awesome, sometimes displaying wisdom to rescue and protect living beings so that they may attain great self-mastery. (SS V 178-179)
(Source: Epstein, 2003: pp. 152 - 154)

Buddhist Text Translation Society (http://www.BTTSonline.org) References: SS IV; Great Compassion Dharma Transmission Verses; DS 2-5; SS V 178-179; VBS #197, p. 3.

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