Medicine Master Buddha Sutra

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Medicine Master Buddha Sutra

Post by bodhisattva » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:41 pm

Medicine Master Buddha Sutra
Sutra of the Merit and Virtue
of the Past Vows of
Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata
Translated during Torng Dynasty
By Tripitaka Master Yiun-Tzorng
Adapted from English translation by B.T.T.S.
Copyright © 2018 by Lance Carlyle Carter

And Thus I have heard.
At one time the Bhagavan
Was travelling through
The various lands to teach
The living beings.
He arrived at Vaisali
And he stayed beneath
A great tree from which music
Resounded. With him
Were eight thousand great Bhikshus
Thirty-six thousand
Bodhisattvas plus Maha-
Sattvas, kings, Brahmans,
Ministers, and lay disciples;
Gods, dragons, and rest
Of the eightfold division;
Beings both human
And the non-human beings.
Multitude respectfully
Did surrounded him,
And he spoke Dharma for them.

At that time, Dharma
Prince Manjusri, receiving
The awesome wisdom,
Inspiration of Buddha,
Rose from seat, bared one
Of his shoulders, knelt on his
Right knee, inclining
His head and placing his palms
Together, said to
Bhagavan, "World Honored One!
We wish you would speak
About such Dharmas as the
Buddhas' names, the great
Vows they made in the past, and
Their supreme merit
And virtue, so that those who
Hear them will be rid
Of their karmic hindrances
This request also
Is for the sake of bringing
Benefit and joy
To sentient beings in the
Dharma-Image Age."

The Buddha then praised
The good Pure Youth Manjusri:
"Good indeed! Good, good
Indeed, Manjusri. With great
Compassion you now
Request that I speak about
The Buddhas' names and
The merit and virtue of
Their past vows, for the
Sake of rescuing sentient
Beings bound up by
Karmic obstacles, and for
Purpose of bringing
Benefit, peace, and joy to
The beings who live
In the Dharma-Image Age.
Listen attentively to
My words and reflect
On those words extremely well,
I answer you now."

Manjusri said, "Please do speak.
We glad to listen."
The Buddha told Manjusri,
"Passing from here to
The east, beyond Buddhalands
Numerous as sand
Grains in ten Ganges rivers
Is a world called the
'Pure Vaidurya'. The Buddha there
Medicine Master
Vaidurya Tathagata
Light, Of Proper and
Equal Enlightenment, and
In Understanding
And in Practice he's Perfect,
Well Gone One, One who
Understands the World, Supreme
Lord, Regulating
Hero, Teacher of Gods and
Of Humans, Buddha,
Bhagavan. Manjusri, when
Medicine Master
World Honored One, Vaidurya
Light Tathagata,
Practicing Bodhisattva
Path in the past, and
Made twelve great vows enable
All sentient beings
To obtain what they desire.

"The first great vow is
'I vow that in future life,
When I attain the
Bodhi, my body
Shine with dazzling light that will
Illumine the measureless,
Countless, boundless worlds.
My body will be adorned
With the thirty-two
Heroic features and the
Eighty characteristics,
And I enable
All become as I am.'

"The second great vow
'I vow that in a future
Life when I attain
Bodhi, my body will be
As bright and clear as
Vaidurya, flawlessly pure,
Vastly radiant
Majestic with merit and
Virtue, abiding
At ease, adorned with blazing
Nets brighter than the
Sun and moon. Beings dwelling
In darkness will be
Illuminated, in all
Endeavors succeed.

"The third great vow is:
'I vow that in a future life
When attain Bodhi,
Will by means of limitless,
Unbounded wisdom
And skill-in-means, enable
All sentient beings
To get inexhaustible
Of necessary
Material supplies and
Necessities so
They without any want.'

"The fourth great vow is:
'I vow that in future life
When attain Bodhi
I shall lead sentient beings
Who follow wrong paths
To reside in the Way of
Bodhi and those who
Travel on the vehicles
Of the Hearer or
Of the Pratyekabuddha
To abide in the
Way of Great Vehicle.'

"""The fifth great vow is: "
"'I vow that in a future life "
"When attain Bodhi "
"Shall enable limitless "
"And boundless numbers "
"Of beings who cultivate "
"Brahma conduct in "
"My Dharma to perfectly "
"Uphold three clusters "
"Precepts without exception. "
"If violation "
"Upon hearing of my name, "
"Regain purity "
Not fall into evil .'

"The sixth great vow is:
'I vow that in a future life
When attain Bodhi
If there are sentient beings
With bodies that are
Inferior quality
Faculties impared
Who are ugly, dull, blind, deaf,
Deformed, paralyzed,
Mute, hunch-backed, or afflicted
With a skin disease
Insanity or other
Illness and distress,
Upon the hearing of my
Name all shall become
Endowed with upright features,
Keen intelligence,
And perfect faculties, and
They shall be free of
Sickness and suffering.'

"The seventh great vow:
'I vow that in future life
When attain Bodhi
I shall cause sentient beings
Who are oppressed by
Many illnesses and who
Are without aid, or
Without a place to turn, or
Without a doctor,
Without medicine, without
Relatives, without
A family, or who are
And are filled with suffering
To be cured of their
Sicknesses upon having
My name pass their ear.
They are peaceful and happy
In body and mind.
They will have family and
Relatives, acquire
Abundance of property,
Wealth, and realize
The unsurpassed Bodhi.'

"The eighth great vow is:
'I vow that in a future life
When attain Bodhi
If there are women who have
Feeling of a deep
Loathing for female body
Wish to renounce it
Because they are oppressed and
Disturbed by many
Sufferings of a female,
When hearing my name,
They will be able to turn
From women to men
Replete with all male features
Attain ultimate
And unsurpassed Bodhi.'

"The ninth great vow is:
'I vow that in future life
When attain Bodhi,
I Shall liberate sentient
Beings from the nets
Of demons and the bonds of
External sects. If
They become lost in the dense
Forests of evil
Views, I shall lead them to have
Proper views and to
Gradually cultivate
The Practices of
Bodhisattvas so they will
Quickly realize
Unsurpassed, proper, equal
Awakening and
Understanding Bodhi.'

"The tenth great vow is:
'I vow that in future life
When attain Bodhi,
I shall cause sentient beings
Who fall into hands
Of the law and are bound, whipped,
Fettered, imprisoned, sentenced
To execution,
Or subjected to endless
Disasters, hardships
Abuse, humiliation
So that they are torn
By grief, suffering, distress
In body and mind,
To obtain liberation
Upon hearing my
Name, liberation from all
Worry, suffering
By means of my blessings and
Virtue, and awesome
Spiritual power.'

"The eleventh vow:
'I vow that in a future life
When attain Bodhi,
Shall cause all sentient beings
Who are so plagued by
Hunger and thirst that they make
All kinds bad karma
In their quest for food, upon
Hearing my name and
Single-mindedly accept
And keep it, be full
With delicious food and drink
And afterward, by
Means of flavor of Dharma,
Settle ultimate
In peace and happiness.'

"The twelfth great vow is:
'I vow that in a future life
When attain Bodhi,
If there are sentient beings
Who are poor, without
Clothes so day and night troubled
By the mosquitoes
And flies, and by heat and cold,
Upon hearing my
Name and single-mindedly
Accept and maintain,
They shall obtain all kinds of
Fine and wonderful
Garments that accord with their
Tastes, as well as a
Variety of precious
Adornments, flower
Garlands, fragrant balms, music
Enjoyment and kinds
Of various talents, so
That in all their hearts,
Delights will be fulfilled.'

"Manjusri, these are
The twelve sublime wonderful
Vows that World Honored
One, the Medicine Master
The Vaidurya Light
Tathagata, One of the
Proper and Equal
Enlightenment, that were made
While cultivating
Of the Bodhisattva Way.

"Besides, Manjusri,
If I were to speak for an
Eon or longer
About the great vows made by
The World Honored One,
The great Medicine Master
The Vaidurya Light
Tathagata, when practiced
The Bodhisattva
Way and about the merit,
Virtue, adornments
His Buddhaland, not finish.

"That Buddhaland has
Always been completely pure;
There are no women,
No evil destinies, and
No suffering sounds.
The ground made of vaidurya,
Golden cords lining
The roads, city walls, towers,
Palace pavilions,
Studios, windows, and the
Latticework are all
Made of the seven treasures.
The merit, virtue,
And adornments of this land
Are identical
To Ultimate Western Land."

"Residing in that
Land are two Bodhisattvas
Mahasattvas; the
First called Universally
Radiant Sunlight,
Second, Universally
Radiant Moonlight.
They are the leaders among
Uncountable hosts of the
Bodhisattvas in
That land and they will be the
Successors to that
Buddha. They are able to
Maintain the precious
Treasury of the proper
Dharma of the World
Honored One, the Medicine
Master Vaidurya
Light Tathagata. Therefore,
Manjusri, all good
Men and women who have faith
Should vow to be born
Within that great Buddha's land."

At that time, the World
Honored One again spoke to
Pure Youth Manjusri
Saying, "Manjusri, there are
Living beings can't
Distinguish good from evil,
Who indulge in greed
And stinginess, and who know
Nothing of giving
Or its rewards. They stupid,
Ignorant, and lack
The foundation of faith. They
Accumulate much
Wealth and many treasures and
Ardently guard them.
When they see beggar coming,
They then feel displeased.
When they must practice an act
Of charity that
Does not benefit themselves,
They feel as though they
Were cutting a piece of flesh
From their body, and
Suffer deep, painful regret.

And "There are other
Innumerable beings,
Avaricious and
Miserly, who hoard money
And necessities
That they don't use even for
Themselves, how much less
For their parents, wives, servants,
Or for the beggars!
At end of living their lives,
Such beings will be
Reborn among the hungry
Ghosts or animals.
If heard name of that Buddha,
Medicine Master
Vaidurya Tathagata,
Light in their former
Human existence, and they
Call Tathagata's
Name for the briefest moment
While they are in the
Evil destinies, they will
Be reborn in human realm.

Moreover, they will
Remember their past lives and
Will dread sufferings
Of the evil destinies.
They will not delight
In worldly pleasures, but will
Rejoice in giving
And praise others who give. They
Not begrudge giving
What they have. Gradually,
To beggars who come,
They will be able to give
Away their own head,
Eyes, hands, feet, entire body,
To say nothing of
Their money and property!

"Besides, Manjusri,
There are beings who, although
They study under
Tathagata, nonetheless
Violate sila.
Others, although they do not
Violate sila,
Nonetheless transgress the rules
And regulations.
Others, although they do not
Violate sila
Or rules and regulations,
Nonetheless destroy
Their own proper views. Others,
Although they do not
Destroy their own proper views,
Nonetheless neglect
Learning so are unable
Understand profound
Meaning of the sutras that
The Buddha speaks of.
Others, although they are learned,
Nonetheless give rise
To an overwhelming pride,
And shadowed by that
Overwhelming pride, try to
Justify themselves,
Disparage others, slander
The proper Dharma,
Join retinue of demons.

"Such fools act on their
Own misguided views and cause
Minions of beings to
Fall into pits of
Great danger and they will drift
Endlessly in realms
Of the hells, the animals,
And the ghosts. But if
Hear the name of Medicine
Master Vaidurya
Light Tathagata, they will
Then be able to
Renounce evil practices,
Cultivate wholesome
Dharma, and thereby avoid
Falling into the
Evil destinies. If those
Who have fallen in
Evil destinies because
They could not renounce
Their evil practices and
Cultivate wholesome
Dharmas, and by the awesome
Power of the past
Vows of that Tathagata,
Get to hear his name
For only a moment, then
After they pass out
Of that existence, they will
Be reborn human
Beings. They will hold proper
Views and be ever
Vigorous. Their minds will be
Joyful, enabling them to
Renounce families
And leave the householder's
Life-They will take up
Study of Tathagatas,
And maintain Dharma
Without violation. They
Will have proper views
And erudition; they will
Understand profound
Meanings and yet be free from
Overwhelming pride.
They will not slander proper
Dharma and never
Will join the ranks of demons.
Will progressively
Cultivate practices of
Bodhisattvas and
Will bring them to perfection.

"Besides, Manjusri,
If there are sentient beings
Stingy and greedy,
Filled with jealousy and praise
Themselves alone, but
Disparage others, they fall
Into three evil
Destinies, for numberless
Thousands of years where
They will undergo intense
Suffering. After
Go through intense suffering,
At end of their lives
They born in world as oxen,
Horses, camels, and
Donkeys that are constantly
Beaten, afflicted
By thirst and hunger, and made
To carry heavy
Burdens on roads. Or reborn
With lowly people,
As slaves or servants, ordered
By others and with
Never time to feel at ease.

"If such beings, in
Their former lives as humans,
Did hear the name of
World Honored One, Medicine
Master Vaidurya
Light Tathagata, and by
This good cause able
Remember and sincerely
Take refuge with that
Buddha, then, by the Buddha's
Divine power, they
Will be liberated from
All sufferings. Will
Be endowed keen faculties,
And they will be wise
And erudite. Will always
Seek supreme Dharmas
And will encounter good friends.
Will eternally
Sever the nets of demons
And smash the shell of
Ignorance. And they will dry
Up the river of
Afflictions, liberated
From birth, old age, death,
Sickness, anxiety, grief,
Suffering, anger,
Annoyance and vexation.

"Besides, Manjusri,
There are beings who delight
In perversity,
Engage in legal disputes,
Bringing trouble to
Others as well as themselves.
In their actions, speech,
And thought, they create ever-
Increasing amounts
Of evil karma. Never
Willing to help or
To forgive others, they scheme
To harm each other
Instead. They pray to spirits
Of mountain forests,
Trees, and graves. They kill living
Beings in order
To make sacrifices of
Blood and flesh to the
Yaksa and raksasa ghosts.
They write down the names
Of their enemies and make
Images of them,
And then they hex those names and
Evil images
With mantras. They summon ghosts
That paralyze, or
Cast hexes, or command corpse-
Raising ghosts to kill
Or injure their enemies.

"However, if the
Victims hear the name of the
Medicine Master
Vaidurya Tathagata,
Light, then those evil
Things will lose their power to
Harm. Evildoers
Become kind to each other,
Attain benefit,
Peace, and happiness and no
Longer cherish thoughts
Of malice, affliction, or
Discord. Everyone
Will rejoice and feel content
And not need encroach
Upon each other, they will
Seek to benefit
Each other with what they have.

"Besides, Manjusri,
There may be those among the
Fourfold assembly
Of the Bhikshus, Bhikshunis,
Upasakas and
Upasikas, as well as
Other good men and
Women of pure faith, accept
And uphold the eight
Precepts either for one year
Or for just three months,
Practicing and studying
Them. With these good roots,
They may vow to be born in
The Western Land of
Ultimate Bliss where Buddha
Of limitless Life
Dwells, to hear Proper Dharma,
But their resolve may
Not be firm. However, if
They hear name of the
World Honored One, Medicine
Master Vaidurya
Light Tathagata, then as
The end of their lives
Draws near, before them appear
Eight Bodhisattvas,
Whose great names are: Manjusri
Bodhisattva, The
Bodhisattva Who Observes
The Sounds of the World,
The Great Strength Bodhisattva,
Intention Bodhisattva
The Udumbara
Gem Flower Bodhisattva,
The Medicine King
Bodhisattva, Medicine
Of Superior
Bodhisattva, Maitreya
Bodhisattva. Those
Eight great Bodhisattvas will
Appear in space to
Show them the way, and they will
Naturally be
Born by transformation in
Land with flowers of
Myriad precious colors.

"Or they may be born
In heavens due to this cause.
Although reborn in
Heavens, their original
Good roots will not be
Exhausted and so they will
Not fall into the
Evil destinies again.
When their life in the
Heavens ends, they will be born
With people again.
They may be wheel-turning kings,
Reigning over the
Four continents with awesome
Virtue and with ease,
Bring uncountable hundreds
Of thousands beings
To abide living in the
Practice of the Ten
Good Deeds. Or they may be born
Ksatriyas, Brahmans,
Or sons of honorable
Families, laymen.
Will be wealthy, storehouses
Filled overflowing.
All handsome in appearance.
Will be surrounded
By a great retinue of
Relatives. They will
Be intelligent and wise,
Courageous, valiant,
All like great and awesome knights.
If a woman hears
The name of World Honored One,
Medicine Master
Vaidurya Tathagata
Light, and sincerely
Cherishes it in future
Then, if want, never
Again be born as female.

"Besides, Manjusri,
When the Medicine Master
The Vaidurya Light
Tathagata, got Bodhi,
By the power of
Past vows he contemplated
All sentient beings
Undergoing various
Kinds of sicknesses
And sufferings. Some suffered
From diseases like
Emaciation, severe
Thirst, atrophy, or
Yellow fever; while others
By paralysis
Ghosts harmed or by poisonous
Hexes; some passed on
Naturally when young, while
Some had untimely
Passing. He wished to dispel
All their sufferings,
Illness, and fulfill wishes."

At that time, the World
Honored One got samadhi
Called "extinguishing
The suffering and distress
Of all beings." A
Great light came from his hooded
Cloak. Amid that light
He proclaimed magnificent
Dharani mantra:

Namo Bhagavate bhaisajya
Guru vaidurya prabha rajaya
Om bhaisajye bhaisajye
Bhaisajya samudgate Svaha

After he had spoken that
Mantra from amid
The light, the earth trembled and
Emitted great light.
All beings, sicknesses and
Sufferings cast off,
Felt peaceful and were happy.

"Manjusri, if you
See an ill man or woman,
Resolutely and
Frequently clean and bathe him,
Rinse his mouth- Provide
Him with food, medicine, or
Water with no bugs,
Over any of which the
Dharani has been
Recited one hundred and
Eight times. After sick
Person taken it, all his
Sufferings and his
Sicknesses will then be gone.
If this person has
A wish, he should recite this
Mantra with utmost
Sincerity. Then he will
Obtain whatever
He wished for, and his life will
Be prolonged and free
From illness. At the end of
His life, he will be
Reborn in that Buddha's land.
And ultimately attain
Bodhi. So therefore,
Manjusri, He will become,
If there are men and
Women who, with the utmost
Sincerity, do
Diligently worship and
That Tathagata,
To the Medicine Master
Vaidurya Light make
Offerings they should always
Recite this mantra
Never forget this mantra.

"Besides, Manjusri,
Men or women of pure faith,
Who have heard all names
Of the Medicine Master
The Vaidurya Light
Tathagata, of proper
And Enlightenment
Equal, should recite, uphold
Them. In the early
Morning, after brushing their
Teeth and bathing, they
Should offer fragrant flowers,
Incense, perfumed balms,
Various kinds of music
Before image of
That Buddha. Personally
Write out this Sutra
Or ask others to do so,
And they should single-
Mindedly and constantly
Recite it. If they
Listen to explanations
Of its meaning from
A Dharma Master, they should
Make offerings to
Him of all necessities,
So that he without
The slightest want. In this way,
They receive mindful
Protection of the Buddhas.
All wishes fulfilled,
Ultimately get Bodhi."

At that time, the Pure
Youth Manjusri said to the
Buddha, 'World Honored
One, I vow that in Dharma-
Image Age, using
Expedient means, I shall
Enable good men
And women of pure faith to
Hear the name of the
World Honored One, Medicine
Master Vaidurya
Light Tathagata. Even
In sleep, awakens
Them with this great Buddha's name.

"World Honored One, there
May be those who accept and
Uphold this Sutra,
Read, recite and explain its
Meanings for others,
Write it out themselves, or tell
Others to write it
Out. They may revere it by
Making offerings
Of various flowers, paste
Or powdered incense,
Stick incense, flower garlands,
Necklaces, banners,
Canopies, and music. They
May make bags of five-
Colored thread in which to keep
The Sutra. They may
Sweep clean a place and arrange
A high altar on
Which to place this Sutra. Then
The Four Heavenly
Kings with their retinues and
Hundreds of thousands of gods
Will come to that place
To worship and protect it.

"World Honored One, it
Should be known that if, where this
Precious Sutra moves,
People accept, uphold it,
Due to merit and
Virtue of past vows of the
Medicine Master
World Honored One, Vaidurya
Light Tathagata,
Because they have heard his name,
None of those people
Will meet with untimely death.
In addition, none
Of them will be robbed of his
Vital energy
By evil ghosts and spirits.
People whose vital
Energies have already
Been robbed will have their
Health restored, and they will be
Happy and be at
Peace in body and in mind."

The Buddha then told
Manjusri, "So it is, so
It is! Exactly
As you say is. Manjusri,
If there are good men
And women of pure faith who
Wish make offerings
To that World Honored One, The
Medicine Master
Vaidurya Tathagata,
Light, they should first make
An image of that Buddha
And arrange a pure
And clean dais on which to
Place the image. Then
Should strew all kinds of flowers,
And burn incenses,
Adorn place with many types
Of banners, streamers.
For seven days and seven
Nights they should hold the
Eight precepts and eat pure food.
Having bathed until
Clean and fragrant, they should put
On clean clothes. Their minds
Should be undefiled, without
Thoughts of anger and
Malice. Toward all sentient
Beings, should cherish
Thoughts of benevolence, peace,
Kindness, compassion,
Joy, giving, and composure.

"Playing musical
Instruments, singing praises,
To the right of the Buddha's
Image. Moreover,
They should recall the merit
And virtue of that
Tathagata's past vows. They
Should read and recite
This Sutra, ponder meaning,
And lecture on and
Explain it. Then they obtain
Whatever they seek:
Those who seek long life attain
Longevity; and
Those who seek wealth will gain wealth;
And those who seek an
Official position will
Obtain it; If seek
Son or daughter, will get one.

"Moreover, if a
Person suddenly sees bad
Omens, has nightmares,
Notices strange birds flocking
Together, perceives
Many uncanny events,
Can, in his dwelling,
Worship and make offerings
Of many fine things
To the Medicine Master
The Vaidurya Light
Tathagata, World Honored
One, then the nightmares,
Bad omens, inauspicious
Things will disappear
And no longer trouble him.

"When a person is
Endangered by water, fire,
Knives, or poison; or
Finds himself on a steep cliff,
In dangerous place;
Faces fierce elephants, wolves,
Lions, tigers, bears,
Poisonous snakes, scorpions
Centipedes, gnats, or
Millipedes, mosquitoes, or
Other frightful things,
If can single-mindedly
Recollect, worship,
And make offerings to that
Buddha, he will be
Liberated from all those
Frightful things. And, when
Other countries invade or
When there are thieves or
Riots, if a person can
Then recollect and
Worship that Tathagata,
Then he or she will
Be free of all these as well.

"Besides, Manjusri,
There may be good men and good
Women of pure faith
Who, all of their lives, do not
Worship other gods,
But single-mindedly take
Refuge with Buddha,
Dharma, and Sangha. Accept
And uphold precepts
Such as five precepts, the ten
Precepts, four hundred
Precepts of Bodhisattva,
The two hundred and
Fifty precepts of Bhikshu,
Or the five hundred
Precepts of a Bhikshuni.
If violated
Some of precepts they received
And are afraid of
Falling into the evil
Destinies, if they
Concentrate on reciting
That Buddha's name and
Worship and make offerings
To him, not reborn
In three evil destinies.

"If there is woman
About to give birth and who
Suffers great pain, if
She sincerely recites his
Name, worships, praises,
Venerates, makes offerings
That Tathagata,
Her sufferings be dispelled.
The newborn child be
Sound and healthy, and will have
Upright features. Just
Seeing him will make people
Happy. He will be
Keen, intelligent, peaceful
And secure, and with
Few ailments, and no evil
Spirit will come to
Rob him of vitality.

The World Honored One
Then said this to Ananda,
"The merit and the
Virtue of World Honored One,
Medicine Master
Vaidurya Tathagata
Light, which I extolled,
Is the extremely profound
Practice of Buddhas.
It difficult to fathom
And to comprehend.
Do you believe it or not?

And then Ananda
Said, "Greatly virtuous World
Honored One, I have
Absolutely no doubts in
Regard to Sutras
Spoken by Tathagata.
Why? Because all that
Buddhas' karmas of body,
Speech, and mind are pure.
World Honored One, the sun and
Moon could fall, or High,
King of the mountains, could be
Toppled, shaken, but
Words of Buddhas never change.

"World Honored One, there
Are sentient beings lacking
In faith yet who hear
About extremely profound
Practices of all
Buddhas and think to themselves,
' How can obtain such
High merit and benefit
By reciting name
Of merely single Buddha,
Medicine Master
Vaidurya Tathagata
Light?' Due to lack of
Faith, they slander. During night
Lose great benefit
And joy and they fall into
Evil destinies,
Where they wander ceaselessly."

Then the Buddha told
Ananda, "If these sentient
Beings hear name of
World Honored One, Medicine
Master Vaidurya
Light Tathagata, and do
Sincerely accept
And uphold it without doubts,
They cannot descend
Into evil destinies.

"Ananda, this the
Extremely profound practice
Of all Buddhas which
Is difficult to believe
And to understand!
Know that your ability
To accept this comes
From the awesome power of
The Tathagata.
Ananda, the all Hearers,
Enlightened Bodhisattvas
Ones who have not yet
Ascended to the Grounds are
Incapable of
Believing and mastering
This Dharma as it
Really is. Only the
Bodhisattvas who
Are destined in one life to
Attain Buddhahood
Capable understanding.

"Ananda, it is
Difficult to obtain a
Human body. It
Is also difficult to
Have faith in and to
Revere the Triple Jewel.
Much more difficult
To be able to hear the
Name of World Honored
One, the Medicine Master
Tathagata Light
Vaidurya. Ananda, the
Medicine Master
Vaidurya Tathagata
Light has the boundless
Bodhisattva practices,
Skilled expedients,
Unlimited vast, great vows.
If I spoke at length
Of those for eon or more,
The eon soon end,
But that Buddha's practices,
Vows, and his skillful
Expedients have no end!"

Then from within the
Assembly, Bodhisattva
Mahasattva named
'One who Rescues, Liberates'
Arose from his seat,
Bared his right shoulder, knelt with
His right knee on the
Ground, leaned forward with his palms
Joined together, and
Said to the Buddha, "Greatly
Virtuous and World
Honored One! During Dharma
Image Age, there be
Living beings afflicted
With bad diseases,
Chronic illnesses, many
Unable to eat or drink,
Their throats parched and their
Lips dry. Such a being sees
Darkness gathering
All around him as the signs
Of death appear. While
Lying in bed, surrounded
By weeping parents,
Relatives, and friends, he sees
The messengers of
Yama leading his spirit
Before the king of
Justice. Sentient beings have
Spirits that stay with
Them throughout life and record
Their every deed, both
Good and evil, to present
To Yama, the king
Of justice. King Yama then
Interrogates this
Person to tally karma
And give judgement based
On their good and evil deeds.

"At that time, if sick
Person's relatives and friends,
On his behalf, take
Refuge with World Honored One,
Medicine Master
Vaidurya Tathagata
Light, request members
Of the Sangha to recite
This Sutra, to light
Seven layers of lamp, and
To hang up the five
Colored banners prolonging
Life, then his spirit
May return as if in dream
And person will see
Everything very clearly.

"If spirit returns
After seven, twenty-one,
Thirty-five, forty-
Nine days, he will feel as if
Awakened from a
Dream and will remember the
Retributions that
He underwent for his good
And his bad karma.
Having personally seen
The retributions
Of his own karma, he will
Never again do
Any evil, even if
His very life is
Endangered. So good men and
Women of pure faith
Should accept, uphold name of
Medicine Master
Tathagata Vaidurya
Light, and worship him
And make offerings to him."

Then, Ananda asked
Bodhisattva who Rescues
And Liberates, Good
Man, how should we worship and
Make offerings to
World Honored One, Medicine
Master Vaidurya
Light Tathagata? And how
Should we make banners
And the lamps that prolong life?"

Bodhisattva who
Rescues and Liberates said,
"Greatly Virtuous
One, if there is sick person
Who wishes freedom
From sickness, and suffering,
For his sake one should
Accept and uphold the eight
Precepts for seven
Days and seven nights, and make
Offerings to the
Bhikshu Sangha of many
Items of food, drink,
And other necessities
That in one's power
To give for sake of sick one.

"And during the six
Periods of day and night
One should worship and
Practice the Way, also make
Offerings to the
World Honored One, Medicine
Master Vaidurya
Light Tathagata. Read and
Recite this Sutra
Forty-nine times, light forty-
Nine lamps, make seven
Tathagata images.
In the front of each
Image place seven lamps, each
As large as cartwheel.
These lamps must be kept burning
For forty-nine days. Hang up
Five colored banners
That are forty-nine spans long.
Liberate varied
Living creatures, many as
Forty-nine species.
Sick one will surmount danger;
No untimely death
Or capture by evil ghosts.

Ananda, in the case of
Ksatriya princes
Who are to be anointed
On crowns of heads, when
Calamity come, such as
Pestilence among
Population, invasion
By foreign countries,
Rebellion in their regions,
Strange changes in the
Stars, or solar or lunar
Eclipse, winds and rains,
Out of season or long drought,
Ksatriya princes
Should possess an attitude
Compassion, kindness
Toward all sentient beings
And grant amnesty
To all prisoners. They should
Follow the above-
Mentioned methods to make the
Offerings to that
World Honored One, Medicine
Master Vaidurya
Light Tathagata. Due to
Good roots and power
Of that Tathagata's past
Vows, the country will
Be safe and peaceful, winds and
Rains will be timely,
The crops will ripen, and all
Sentient beings will
Be blissful and disease free.
Within this country
There will be no violence,
Nor anyyaksas
Or other spirits that harm
Sentient beings. All
Evil omens will vanish.

"Ksatriya princes
Who due to be anointed
On the crowns of heads
Will enjoy longer lives and
Good health, and they will
Be at ease and illness free.
Ananda, if the
Queens, princes, ministers or
Court counselors, the
Ladies of the palace, the
Provincial agents
Or common people suffer
From diseases or
Other difficulties, they
Should also hang up
Five-colored spiritual
Banners, light lamps and
Keep them burning, liberate
Living creatures, strew
Flowers of mixed colors, burn
Precious incense. Then
Those people will be cured of
Their diseases and
Relieved of difficulties.

Then Ananda asked
Bodhisattva who Rescues
And Liberates, "Good
Man, how can a life that has
Ended be prolonged?"
Then the Bodhisattva who
Rescues, Liberates
Answered, "Greatly Virtuous
One, did you not hear
The Tathagata say that
There are nine kinds of
Untimely death? That is why
People exhorted
Make life-prolonging banners,
Lamps and cultivate
All blessings. Cultivation
Of blessings frees from
Suffering, misery and
Adversity for
Rest of their lives. Ananda
Then asked, "What are the
Nine kinds of untimely death?"

The Bodhisattva
Who Rescues, Liberates said,
"There may be living
Beings who, although they not
Seriously ill
Have neither medicine nor
Doctor to treat them,
Or else they get a doctor
Who gives them the wrong
Medicine; consequently
Have untimely death.
Some believe in worldly cults,
Deviant teachers
Frighten with false prophecies.
Unable to set
Their minds at ease, they consult
Oracles to find
Out what calamities are
In store for them. In
Order to propitiate
The spirits, they kill
Various creatures. They pray
To wang liang ghosts for
Aid and protection. Although
They wish to prolong
Their lives, their efforts are to
No avail. They hold
Wrong beliefs and perverse views.
Meet untimely death,
Fall into hells, never to
Come out. This is the
First kind of untimely death.

"The second kind of
Untimely death is to be
Executed at
The hands of the law. The third
Kind is sports hunting,
Drinking alcohol and lust,
Or excessively
Dissipated, to become
And then get waylaid
By non-human beings that
Rob one's essence and
Energy. The fourth is to
Be burned to death; the
Fifth is to drown; the sixth is
To be devoured by
Wild beasts; the seventh is to
Fall from a steep cliff;
The eighth type is to be harmed
By poison, voodoo,
Evil mantras, corpse-raising
Ghosts; the ninth is to
Die from hunger and thirst. These
Are the nine kinds of
Untimely deaths spoken by
The Tathagata.
There are also other kinds,
Which cannot all be voiced here.

"Besides, Ananda,
King Yama keeps track of the
Karmic records of
All the inhabitants of
The world. If there are
Beings who not filial
To their parents, who
Commit the Five Rebellious
Acts, who revile the
Triple Jewel, who destroy
The laws of country,
Or violate the precept
Of truthfulness, then
Yama, the king of justice,
Examines and then
Punishes them according
To severity
Of offenses. Therefore, I
Encourage people
To light lamps and make banners,
Liberate beings,
Grow their blessings, overcome
Suffering, peril,
And forestall all disasters.

At that time, twelve great
Yaksa generals present
In the assembly
Were Generals Kimbhiro,
Vajra, Mekhilo,
Antilo, Anilo, and
Also Santhilo,
And General Indalo,
And Gen. Payilo,
And Mahalo, Cidalo,
And Gen. Caundhulo,
And General Vikalo.

These twelve great Yaksa
Generals, each retinue
Of seven thousand
Yaksas, at once raised all their
Voices and addressed
The Buddha, "World Honored One!
Today, by trusting
The Buddha's awesome power,
We can hear name of
World Honored One, Medicine
Master Vaidurya
Light Tathagata. As a
Result, we are no
Longer afraid of evil
Destinies. All of
Us are of one mind to take
Refuge with Buddha,
The Dharma, and the Sangha
To end of our lives.
We vow support all living
Beings, benefit
Them, so that they may live in
Peace and happiness.
In each one of the cities,
Villages, countries,
Or secluded forests this
Sutra circulates,
Wherever people uphold
And accept the name
Of the Medicine Master
Vaidurya of Light
Tathagata, revere and
Make offerings to
Him, together with all our
Retinues, will guard
And protect them, deliver
From all distress, and
Fulfill wishes. If wish to
Dispel sickness and
Problems, then one should read or
Recite this Sutra
And tie a five-colored thread
Into knots, forming
Letters of our names. One should
Untie the knots when
One's wishes have been fulfilled.

At that time, the World
Honored One praised great yaksa
Generals, saying,
"Good indeed, good indeed, all
You mighty yaksa
Generals! All of you who
Want to repay the
Kindness of the World Honored
One, the Medicine
Master Vaidurya Light the
Tathagata, should
Always benefit beings
And bring happiness
And peace to them in this way.

Then Ananda said
To Buddha, "World Honored One,
What should we call this
Teaching? How should we uphold
It?" The Buddha told
Ananda, "This teaching called,
'The Merit and the
Virtue of the Past Vows of
Medicine Master
Vaidurya Tathagata
Light'. It also called
'Twelve Spiritual Generals'
'Spiritual Vows
Mantras used to Benefit
Living Beings.'
Also 'Eradicating
Karmic Obstacles'.
Should uphold it in this way.

When the Bhagavan
Had finished speaking, all the
Bodhisattvas, and
Mahasattvas, great Hearers,
Ministers, Brahmans,
Kings, laypeople, gods, dragons,
Yaksas, gandharvas,
Asuras, garudas, and
Kinnaras, and the
Mahoragas, humans, and
Non-human beings,
And the great assembly, on
Hearing what Buddha
Said, were delighted. With faith
They received it and
Respectfully practiced it.

Note: This poem uses lines of alternating five and seven syllables. An extra seven syllable line is at the end and is an attempt to imitate the Japanese chōka, or "long poem" style in English.
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Re: Medicine Master Buddha Sutra

Post by desert_woodworker » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:00 am

And, to you, what is this? --Joe
Ignorance is to be ignorant of one's original mind. - Ma Tsu

Liberation is awakening to one's original nature. - Ma Tsu

A guest never knows how much to laugh at a family joke. -Henny Youngman

Bodhi-Mind is working for the good of others. -Hakuin

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Re: Medicine Master Buddha Sutra

Post by bodhisattva » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:45 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:00 am
And, to you, what is this? --Joe
I believe that verse may be best for translating zen scripture and all Buddhist scripture for that matter. Prose translations of Buddhist scripture are still prose and not so easily memorized as verse in the form of poetry. I chose to imitate the Japanese chōka or "long poem" style in this English version formatted into lines of alternating five and seven syllables. An extra seven syllable line is at the end and is an attempt to imitate the Japanese chōka, or "long poem" style in English. The haiku or tanka poetry forms used by zen poets was too limiting for converting long scriptures to English (other other languages). The limitations of the haiku form, such as seasonal references, cutting words, and pronunciation patterns dissimilar to English make it too difficult to work with. What is nice about the chōka, or "long poem" style is that many lines can be used for a sutra or long document. It may be an ideal form for transmitting the history, stories, and ideas of the dharma in a format that is easier to understand than prose.

Prose is used for translating many documents, but perhaps there should be side by side presentation of the scripture in verse and the prose form. Using graphics as well enhances the experience.

Getting back to the poem and why it was created, the poem was created as a test. The readers can judge if these chōka versions are better or worse than the prose they are based on. This kind of poetry can only serve to remind the reader or listener of the true text, which may be more accurately conveyed in prose. Reading the original would be better, but even then the written script often can only serve to remind the reader of the sounds meant to be said, chanted, or sung. Poetry is also sung, as some Japanese poets do so well. Poetry helps people to remember, and poetic scripture is easier to remember, that is why it was written that way in the first place. Lines separate thoughts and if those lines are of a regulated length, then the repetitious patterns can be repeated as spoken word, chanted, or sung, etc. The target audience is the younger generation that might appreciate turning scripture into song and chant. Some oriental bands are taking the performance of scripture to new heights with rock band shows, etc. But the dharma is so hard to find if you are young and far away from the teachers. Songs, chants, and spoken stories in your native language about the Buddha and the way to enlightenment could be more accessible if it were presented in ways that are appealing. Reading the prose translations of Buddhist scripture might not give the reader the correct interpretation because of changing vocabulary patterns, so a sutra translated a century ago may not make as much sense to the modern reader. The arrangement of words is sometimes strained at times using the chōka style for long names and terms that could be hyphenated or sometimes shortened.

The Medicine Master Buddha Sutra was chosen at random, as was the other poem written about the 48 Vows. I had no idea what the content of this sutra was when I started converting it to verse. This was an experiment to find out what poetic problems I would encounter and if this poem format was appropriate for translation of Buddhist scripture. I didn't want to start with a zen scripture because I wanted a learning curve and some feedback before attempting converting documents with higher content to simple verse. Other translation projects exist, but I believe that adopting a set format for translation of scripture into verse such as the chōka style is best for introducing conformity into the translation. Japanese is probably best for the chōka style, but with modification in text, English and other languages could use this style. Some languages may need another format such as 6-8, or 5-7-9, syllables to best convey a sense of what is being communicated. - Lance

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