The Great Assembly, gazing upward, felt fearful admiration and sought the Buddha's kind protection. Single Mindedly they listened as the Thus Come One in the light at the Invisible Appearance on the Crown (Ushnisha) of the Buddha’s head proclaimed the Spiritual Mantra:
The Great Assembly, gazing upward, felt fearful admiration and sought the Buddha's kind protection. All the Great Bodhisattvas (Mahasattva), Great Arhats, Great Bhikshus, and all the others in the Great gathering, threw back their heads and looked up toward the Transformation Body of the Thus Come One atop the crown of the Buddha's head. Some felt fearful when they saw the Transformation Buddha. But at the same time, they admired that Thus Come One. They loved him, but not with the emotional love that exists between men and women. What they felt was True love, free of desire or longing. They had both these feelings at the same time, they were awestruck and yet drawn by love. So they hoped the Buddha would take pity on them and also protect them. Single Mindedly they listened as the Thus Come One in the light at the Invisible Appearance on the Crown of the Buddha's head proclaimed the Spiritual Mantra (Shurangama Mantra). They were all of one Mind. They all wanted to listen to the Buddha. The mound of flesh on the crown of the Buddha's head is called the “Invisible Appearance on the Crown.” It is called the “invisible appearance” because ordinary people cannot see it. Those who saw the Hundred rays of light and the Transformation Buddha atop the crown of the Buddha's head were Sages who had been certified to the Fruition. The Transformation Buddha that was emitted from the Invisible Appearance on the Crown hovered in Space and proclaimed the Spiritual Mantra.
So, the Shurangama Mantra was not spoken by Shakyamuni Buddha himself in the flesh, but rather it was proclaimed by the Transformation Body Buddha he sent out into Empty Space. As to the Mantra, no one understands it. Nor is it possible to explain it syllable by syllable and line by line. But if you want to understand it, I can try to explain it for you. However, this is not the time for that, because we are in the middle of the explanation of the Shurangama Sutra, and the Mantra alone couldn't be completely explained in a year, or even in three years, or even ten years. So, at this point it cannot be explained thoroughly. I will simply explain the general meaning of the Mantra.
There are Five Divisions, because there are five huge demonic armies in this World. There are demons to the East, South, West, North, and in the Center. Since there are these five demon armies, not just five demons, the Buddhas also cover the Five Directions to suppress the demons. If there were no Buddhas, the demons could appear openly in the World.
3) Dharma of Hooking and Summoning. This means, literally, to “hook in” and catch and to call with a command all the weird beings, demons, and ghosts. No matter how far away they might be from you, you can bring them in and capture them. For instance, suppose one of them is harming someone, and when they finish they run away. If one knows how to use the Dharma of Hooking and Summoning, then no matter how far that being may have run, you can arrest him.
4) Dharma of Subduing. Demons also have spiritual penetration]]s (Siddhi) and Mantras which they use. When you recite your Mantras, they recite their Mantras. But if you can use the Shurangama Mantra, you can smash through all their Mantras. I've told you before about the section of the Mantra which is for smashing the demon kings. It also is effective in destroying their Mantras and spells. Although I've taught you this already, it bears repeating here. Those who have not studied this yet can take note of it. Why was it that as soon as the Shurangama Mantra was recited the former Brahma Heaven Mantra lost its effectiveness? It was because of the “Five Great Heart Mantras.”
These Five lines are called the “Five Great Heart Mantras.” It is the fundamental Mantra for destroying the Mantras and spells of the Heavenly Demons and adherents of externalist ways. It doesn't matter what kind of Mantra they come up with; you can destroy it with this one. Their Mantras will lose their effectiveness. This Dharma I've just transmitted (see transmission and lineage) could sell for several million dollars, but I do not sell it. Seeing that you have a certain amount of sincerity, I transmit it to you absolutely free.
5) Dharma of Dispelling Disasters. Whatever calamity is due to occur can be prevented. For instance, suppose a person was due to fall into the sea and drown, but by reciting the Shurangama Mantra, he avoids the catastrophe. He might fall into the sea, but he doesn't drown. Perhaps you are in a boat that ought to sink, but you recite this Mantra and the boat does not go down. Maybe you're in an airplane that is destined to crash, but you recite the Shurangama Mantra and the plane Lands without incident. I'll tell you something incredible. I was going from Burma to Thailand, an air route that is particularly dangerous. But during that trip, the plane didn't show the effects of any turbulence. The ride was absolutely smooth. Even the pilot commented, “Why has it been such smooth going on this trip?” He had no idea that during that ride the Gods, Dragons (Naga), and the rest of the Eightfold Division, as well as Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, were on all sides of the airplane guarding and protecting it. That's the way the Dharma of Dispelling [[disasters]] works. When there clearly should be an accident, it can change big disasters to small ones and make small ones never even happen. Usually what happens is there's “alarm but no danger” if you recite the Shurangama Mantra.
Fair Use: Ron Epstein, Buddhism A to Z, Burlingame, California, Buddhist Text Translation Institute, 2003, and Vasant Lad, Textbook of Ayurveda, Ayurvedic Press, 2002, and many other sources (see Bibliography).
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