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The Practice of Ksitigarbha to Avert Danger and Purify Obstacles
By Lama Zopa Rinpoche
A practice in relation to Ksitigarbha was given to George Propps in Ft. Myers, Florida, in September last year. He had written to Rinpoche to request a practice to help avert the danger of Hurricane Georges, threatening parts of Florida at the time. Having done the practice, and others, recommended by Rinpoche (below) he wrote the following:
“The National Weather Bureau had issued warnings that the hurricane was going to hit Key West, Florida, and the predictions were that it would travel straight up the coast of Florida, hitting all of the cities on the west coast and throughout the middle of Florida.
“I requested your help for the many sentient beings in Florida…
“I did as you instructed, and several times each day I did the practices. I knew, all along, that what I was doing would be of little help to Florida, but what you were doing would save Florida.
“The next day, the path of the hurricane took a 90-degree turn out to sea and completely missed Florida. I continued doing the practice just in case that it decided to come back. The path of the hurricane continued out to sea and finally came on shore in the Louisiana area of the gulf, with a lot less damage than if it had come up the west coast of Florida.
“It was very clear to me that what you had done was to save many sentient beings that were in the path of this bad hurricane. Thank you very much for saving Florida.”
It is good to recite daily the Sutra Prayer [after the mantra] praised by Buddha to Ksitigarbha and the Prayer that I have added [below]. Sometimes you may recite the long praise to Ksitigarbha explained by Buddha [yet to be translated into English] along with the Prayer, if you can.
I prostate, go for Refuge, make offerings, please grant blessings. The Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha, who has unbearable compassion for me and all sentient beings (whose minds are obscure and who are suffering), who has qualities like the sky and liberates sentient beings from all the sufferings and gives all the happiness. (Recite three times.)
With hands folded in prostration, you can visualize doing the prostrations to all the Buddhas and bodhisattvas; the saying of the word “prostration” becomes prostration. When you say the word “Refuge,” think that you are asking to be free from the two obscurations (to be able to achieve enlightenment). When you say the word “offering,” you think that all the offerings that you have are then offered. When you ask for blessings, you think in your mind that the whole path to enlightenment is the blessing to be received.
This is the mantra that Ksitigarbha heard from Buddhas equaling the number of sand grains of the river Ganga. He made offerings to them and then received this mantra. (This is the story of the mantra, to receive all of the benefits.) This mantra is to be used for any difficulties, problems; it is the best one to do for any problems in any situation. Even reciting four or five times, just a few times, it is very powerful. It is powerful to recite or just to think of the name of the Bodhisattva. It is very, very powerful. (The extensive benefits of this mantra will be translated.)
CHHIM BHO CHHIM BHO CHIM CHHIM BHO / AKASHA CHHIM BHO / VAKARA CHHIM BHO / AMAVARA CHHIM BHO / VARA CHHIM BHO / VACHIRA CHHIM BHO / AROGA CHHIM BHO / DHARMA CHHIM BHO / SATEVA CHHIM BHO / SATENI HALA CHHIM BHO / VIVA ROKA SHAVA CHHIM BHO / UVA SHAMA CHHIM BHO / NAYANA CHHIM BHO / PRAJÑA SAMA MONI RATNA CHHIM BHO / KSHANA CHHIM BHO / VISHEMA VARIYA CHHIM BHO / SHASI TALA MAVA CHHIM BHO / VI AH DRASO TAMA HELE / DAM VE YAM VE / CHAKRASE / CHAKRA VASILE / KSHILI PHILE KARAVA / VARA VARITE / HASERE PRARAVE / PARECHARA BHANDHANE / ARADANE / PHANARA / CHA CHI CHA CHA / HILE MILE AKHATA THAGEKHE / THAGAKHI LO / THHARE THHARE MILE MADHE / NANTE KULE MILE / ANG KU CHITABHE / ARAI GYIRE VARA GYIRE / KUTA SHAMAMALE /TONAGYE TONAGYE / TONAGULE / HURU HURU HURU / KULO STO MILE / MORITO / MIRITA / BHANDHATA / KARA KHAM REM / HURU HURU
OM AH KSHITI GARBHA THALENG HUM
PRAISE BY BUDDHA TO KSITIGARBHA
You have generated stability of thought and pure thought [altruism/bodhicitta] and eliminated the sufferings of immeasurable sentient being. I see [sentient beings] receiving happiness like the wish-granting jewel, and like the vajra you cut the nets of doubt [of others]. You offer the Destroyer, Qualified-Gone-Beyond-Ones holy offerings with great compassionate thought and perseverances. You liberate the sentient beings from the sufferings with oceans of wisdom. Because you have no fear [delusions], you have gone beyond samsara.
This is especially beneficial for those who have heavy problems, serious healthy problems, big projects or financial difficulties. I will suggest that it is extremely powerful to recite every day, at least four or five times or more, depending on how crucial [the problem] is; also, for protection. Even to grow crops well and to protect land and crops. It explains in the Sutra the extensive benefits and qualities, like the sky, of the Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha; like skies of benefit to all beings. There have been experiences, similar benefits received by those who practice Ksitigarbha.
This practice was translated, compiled and checked by Lama Zopa Rinpoche and dictated to Ven. Thubten Nyingje on June 30, 1998 in Madison, Wisconsin, and was revised April 5, 1999 in Aptos, California.
The Tibetan version of the Sutra of Ksitigarbha has yet to be translated.
Five Reasons for Being Born into Poverty
From The Sutra of the Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva, Ksitigarbha
Moreover, Universally Expansive, in the future, lowly people, bondsmen, serving maids and others who are not independent may be aware of their past needs and wish to repent of them and to reform. They should gaze at and worship Earth Store Bodhisattva’s image with a sincere heart for seven days and recite his name a full ten thousand times. When their current retribution ends they will be born into wealth and honor, and throughout thousands of tens of thousands of lives they will not pass through any of the sufferings of the Three Evil Paths.
There are five basic reasons for people being born into poverty.
The first of these is arrogance, particularly toward one’s parents.
The second is obstinacy, that is, refusing to listen to teachers and elders.
The third is lack of diligence in honoring the Triple Gem.
The fourth is thievery.
The fifth reason for being born into poverty is accumulation of unpaid debts. Although money is false and empty, it cannot be used casually and wasted. To borrow money and not repay it, thinking that you have no obligation because money is of no true importance, will lead to rebirth as a servile and poor person.
There are also five causes that lead to rebirth in wealthy and honorable families.
The first of these is compassionate giving.
The second is respect for parents and teachers. It is totally wrong for people to talk about how they hate their parents, how their parents restrict and hamper them, and how their parents are stupid. It is also wrong to bow to a master and then talk about him behind his back. Treating parents and teachers this way is to commit offenses that make it impossible to be reborn in a good family.
The third cause of birth into wealth and honor is worship of the Triple Gem.
The fourth is patience and lack of anger. When one is scolded, the best thing is to be happy, pleased and not in the least upset. This is a difficult undertaking, for it is not always easy to be patient and to be polite to everyone.
The fifth cause is listening to sutras and vinaya, which is to say, attending lectures on sutras and studying and practicing the moral precepts.
While the ideal is to have all five virtues, the practice of even one will keep you from being born in a servile and lowly position.
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Tibetan Buddhism teaches you to overcome your dissatisfied mind, but to do that you have to make an effort. To put our techniques into your own experience, you have to go slowly, gradually. You can’t just jump right in the deep end. It takes time and we expect you to have trouble at first. But if you take it easy it gets less and less difficult as time goes by.
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