Jul 23, 2016

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One life one mantra – 3. STORIES ABOUT MANTRA ( Chuyện kể về thần chú)

Once upon a time, a poor old woman lived alone on top of a mountain in Tibet . All day, outside the meal time, the old woman only mubled the six-syllable mantra of Aryia Avalokiteshvara. After many years of recitation, one day the old woman was chanting the mantra when she saw a bean jump back and forward over two bamboo baskets. Since then she had such game. She lived with that joy all her remaining life without any concern. One day, a Tantric Yogi incidentally climbed to the top of the mountain, saw the luminous halo emanated from the small cave. He fumbled in and saw an old woman mubling something. And each time she mubled, bright lights radiate from that dim cave where the old woman was residing. The yogi realized (admiringly) that she had reached single-minded in Mantra reciation.

Legends told that there was a sherpherd called “chickenpox nose” as chinkenpox in his childhood had left red scars on his nose. Everyday he tended his flock of cow on the pasture while other ones in his family were studying hard with a lama. Supposing he was ignorant, so everytime he asked what they learnt from the lama, what the lama did and said, they pushed him aside immediately. They said that it was “esoteric”, not everyone knew! One time he asked: “How many thing did you learn?”, they answered: “Only three things! Even only 3 letters but cover the entire Buddhist knowledge”.

No one in the family paid attention to him, except telling him to lead the cows down to the village for selling or to buy food. He earnested to learn like them but almost no one cared about his desire. Aspired by the knowledge of the family’s members, a few years later, he silently escaped from home to seek Dharma. Overcoming many hardships, lastly he found out a place where a Lama was preaching to other monks in a tent at the foot of a mountain. He sneaked into the tent for attendance. How profound the Dharma was indeed! He was all at sea after two hours of intent listening. The Lama’s discourse was somehow so complicated and incomprehensible. The more he listened to, the more confused he was. He found nothing related to Three Words containing the entire Dharma as said by his family. He sadly confided to the Lama. Sympathizing with him, the Lama promised to invite his enlightened Guru to teach him the essence of Dharma.

(Medicine Buddha Mantra illustrated in Tibetan language)

Next morning, as the reddish orb of the sun rose slowly over the eastern horizon, the studious herdsman had stood readily in front of the Tantric monk, who was honored as a siddha. The Tantric monk quietly listened to his request for that three essence words. He knew that only one word could help the practitioners to be enlightened and enter the knowledge of liberation if his mind was ripe with high capacity. But looking at this herdsman with “chickenpox nose”, He couldn’t say anything because of his dullness. He smiled and diverted to other topic. The herdsman thought that the monk was too selfish to reveal his knowledge so he started to say in a rude tone. A string of swears poured out uninterruptedly. The monk’s attendant couldn’t stand, took off the prayer bead mala from his neck to hit the man’s head with compressed voice: “Hey nose chickenpox, it’s nothing! Benza Hung Phat! “. Suddenly the herdsman applaused on his lap and shouted: “Yes, thanks Lama, I will keep in mind the mantra you taught me which is the quintessence of Dharm. Benza Hung Phat! Right! Benza Hung Phat! I remember now! Benza Phat! Thanks a lot! “.

Then the herdsman was excited going on his way home. He had found out a great thing beyond the imagination of other people. His family members realized a joy on his face, against hid usual wistfulness and austerity. They asked him why, he thew out his chest and reply proudly: “You may not believe me! I did learn the Dharma’s essence abridged in only three words”. Mused for a moment, he continued: “I have to keep these words secret and chant everyday”. Next days, he returned to grazing cows as usual. Only one different thing was that he had a place for meditation on the straw carpet after work. He sat cross-legged, highly concentrated on mantra reciation. While herding cows, everytime of recognizing slackend mind, he recited “Benza Hung Phat”. Never did he learn the meaning of that three words. To this “chickenpox nose”, that three words covered the entire universe. Sincerely practicing, he gradually became a qualified Tantric practitioner though he didn’t know how far his spiritual experience reached.

Many years had passed, one day a local person came to see “chickenpox nose”, asking him to exorcize the haunted wife of a richman. He refused but that man insisted on inviting “chickenpox nose” to go down to the village, given that everyone believed he possessed a sacred mantra. Finally, urged by compassion, he reluctantly followed the man though he dared not to believe his abilities. Upon arrival, he immediately came in to visit the patient writhing in bed. Imitating the Guru, he took the rosary out from his neck and hit on the patient head, shouting: “Nose chickenpox, it’s nothing! Benza Hung Phat! “. The patient was suddenly back to normal, bewiderly looked at everyone as if recently waking up after a coma. The householder profusely thanked him and offered him many items.

From then, “Chickenpox nose” was not a mediocre herdsman any more, he got much respect. Now he gave all social affairs away, just concentrate on meditating with his mantra. His family members didn’t dare to let him herd cows any more. They sent him to a simple, convenient cottage and offered meals everyday. “Chickenpox nose” did only one thing: cure demonic and other diseases of the villagers. Then one day, the Lama who had previously transferred the mantra for “Chickenpox nose” got sick. They heard of a certain practitioner who had the chickenpox nose having a marvelous mantra that treated various diseases. The Lama’s disciples invited their old fellow to treat the Guru’s swelled throat. Hearing his Guru got sick, “Chickenpox nose” hastily left the tent for the Guru’s place and came straight to his bed. He was about to took the rosary out when the Lama asked his attendant who was this crazy man that was about to hit this rosary to his head. At that time, the herdsman kneed down and said: “Don’t you recognize me? I came here to practice the therapy that you taught me with infinite compassion whereby I helped many people”.

The six-syllable mantra

Seeking his memory, the Lama gradually remembered that he had uttered angry words, beat the rosary on this fool man’s head and read an exorcism Mantra: “Benza Hung Phat”. The Lama laughed because of the unexpectedly infinite effeciency of that former behavior. His attendant also laughed and so did the herdsman. They all laughed out loud and thus the toxic sputum from the Lama throat was expelled. He recovered naturally.

However, there is another true story happened in the Buddha’s time. One day, Anan, the disciple cum attendant of Buddha was seeking alms on the path of a village. At that time, there was a country girl named Madanga belonging to the pariah. Seeing Anan’s appearance, she fell in deep love immediately.  Since then, she was lovesick, ignored eating and sleeping. After investigating the cause, her mother entreated the help from a Brahminical shaman for Brahman incantation specialized in luring men. Next time when Anan went through this village, Madanga ricited the Brahman incantation that made Anan forget everything, slowly followed her to the bedroom. At that time, Buddha was residing at Jetavana Vihara. Being aware of the incident, He immediately asked Bodhisattva Manjushri to recite the Shurangama Mantra to preserve Anan’s recipent. This was the origination of the Shurangama Meeting where the Buddha  preached on the Shurangama Mantra, which  is used to deal with sensuality, helps monks and nuns overcome lust of flesh’s frontier passage, firmly step on the path of liberation.

Three real cases mentioned above lively demonstrate miraculous functions of mantras. There is a diverse number of mantras but whoever attempting to practice with sincerity and intenseness will definitely attain inconceivable achievement.

Thinley Nguyen Thanh

Translated by Mat Thuy


Vietnamese version: MỘT ĐỜI NGƯỜI MỘT CÂU THẦN CHÚ – 3. Chuyện kể về Thần Chú —


 

ONE LIFE ONE MANTRA

  1. PREFACE (MỘT ĐỜI NGƯỜI MỘT CÂU THẦN CHÚ – 1. Lời nói đầu
  2. WHAT IS A MANTRA? (THẦN CHÚ LÀ GÌ?)
  3. One life one mantra – 3. STORIES ABOUT MANTRA ( Chuyện kể về thần chú)
  4. ONLY MANI MANTRA IS ENOUGH (Chỉ một thần chú MANI là đủ)
  5. THE EFFICIENCY OF MANI MANTRA (Tướng trạng của thần chú Mani)
  6. ONE LIFE, ONE MANTRA (Một đời người một câu thần chú)
  7. ONE LIFE ONE MANTRA – 7. Crossing the Samsara to the Pure Land (Vượt luân hồi vào Tịnh độ)
  8. ONE LIFE ONE MANTRA – 8. SELF-DETERMINATION ON SPIRITUAL DESTINY (TỰ QUYẾT ĐỊNH VẬN MỆNH TÂM LINH)
  9. ONE LIFE ONE MANTRA – 10. Index (Phần phụ lục)
  10. ONE LIFE ONE MANTRA – 11. INDEX (Phần chú thích)

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