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Earth Store Bodhisattva Sutra: Praises of King Yama & His Followers, Part 2 of 2, Aug. 11, 2015

Lecture Language:English
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So, remember the Five Holy Names or the Buddhas’ names or some Saint’s name. Buddha is supposed to be a completely enlightened person, or a Bodhisattva. Their merits are immense, Their compassions are limitless, Their power is superb and eternal. So, calling Their names has more power, of course, or hearing Their names has more power than just an ordinary renunciate or anybody.

“At that time, the Ghost King Evil Poison placed his palms together respectfully, addressed the Buddha: ‘World-Honored One, each of us countless ghost kings of Jambudvipa bestows benefit or inflicts harm on beings differently, accordingly. But our karmic retributions are such that we and our followers roam in the world doing much evil and little good.’

They also have karma, that’s why they do bad things. They didn’t want to. Even kings of ghosts are under karma for what they did before. “‘But when we pass a household, a city...’” This is also not just their karma but the world’s karma, you see? What can they do in the bad world? They even bestow blessing and help if you’re good. Just that the karmic trouble pushes them into more bad than good. They didn’t want to.

“‘When we pass a household, a city, a town, a garden, a cottage, or a hut where there are men or women who have cultivated as little as a hair’s worth of good deeds, who have hung but one banner or one canopy, who have used a little incense or a few flowers as offering to images of Buddhas or Bodhisattvas, or who have recited the sacred sutras or burned incense as an offering to even one sentence or gatha in them, we ghost kings will respect such people as we would respect the Buddhas of the past, the present, and the future. We will instruct the smaller ghosts, each of whom has great power, as well as the earth spirits to protect such people.’”

You know banners and canopy? Sometimes like you put a banner out say, “Buddha is great,” whatever. Or write a sentence of the sutra on that piece of cloth and hang it outside or hang it on your house just to remind yourself to practice, something like that. Even if you make offering with flowers or incense to one sentence of a Buddha’s sutras, one sentence, one of this even, one sentence, and they also protect you and respect you as if they respect the Buddha. Because the words of Buddha are there, that’s why.

“‘We will instruct the smaller ghosts, each of whom has great power, as well as the earth spirits to protect such people. Bad situations, accidents, severe or unexpected illnesses, and all the other unwelcome events will not even come near their residences or other places that they may be, much less enter their house, or their life, or their door.’ The Buddha praised the ghost kings, ‘Excellent, excellent, that all of you ghost kings join Lord Yama in protecting good men and women in that way, I shall tell Lord Brahma and Lord Sakra to see that you are protected as well.’” Wow! They protect you, and the other gods protect them.

“When that was said, a ghost king in the assembly named Lord of Life said to the Buddha, ‘World-Honored One, my karmic conditions are such that I have jurisdiction over the lifespans of people in Jambudvipa, governing both the time of their births and their deaths. My fundamental vows are based on a great desire to benefit them, but people themselves do not understand my intent and go through birth and death in misery.’” Why is that? Why is that? Anybody know? Why? (They don’t listen.) They don’t listen, yeah.

“‘When women in Jambudvipa have just borne children, be they boys or girls, or when they are just about to give birth, good deeds should be done to increase the benefits of the household...’” Did you do that? Did any of you do that? Do any good deeds when your children are born? Or about to be born? No. You recite the Master’s name, right? Five Holy Names. That’s also a good deed.

“‘...thus causing the local earth spirits to be immeasurably pleased. The spirits will then protect the mother and child so that they experience peace and happiness and will bring benefit to the entire family. After the birth, all killing and injuring for the purpose of offering fresh meat to the mother should be carefully avoided, as should family gatherings that involve the consumption of alcohol, eating meat, singing, playing musical instruments.’” Even that we should avoid. Oh God! “‘All those things can keep the mother and child from being peaceful and happy.’” Oh man, even worldly music, and singing, dancing even disturb the mother and child. Nowadays, like “voom, voom, yeah, yeah.” It’s even worse. At the Buddha’s time, there were only manual instruments, they don’t make that noise... that much noise even.

“‘Why is that? At the difficult time of birth, uncountable evil ghosts, including mountain spirits,’” oh God, “‘goblins, and spirit-beings desire to eat the strong-smelling blood. I quickly order the local earth spirits of that household to protect the mother and child, allowing them to be peaceful and happy and to receive other benefits.’” A lot of work. A lot of births every day so he works a lot.

“‘When people in such households witness those benefits, they should do meritorious deeds to express their gratitude to the earth spirits.’” Nobody did that, nobody does that. I guess not. “‘If instead, they harm and kill, and have large family gatherings involving feasting and entertainment, then the retributions that result from such offenses will be borne by they themselves and will bring harm to the mother and child as well.’”

My God! So you thought you’re doing a good thing by having a party when your child is born. It’s not like that. Should be more quiet, offering your heart, your spirit or some flowers, something to the Buddha that you believe, or Saint, Sages.

“‘Moreover, when people of Jambudvipa are on the verge of death, I wish to keep them from falling into the evil paths, regardless of whether they have done good or evil.’” Wow! Even then. All the ghost kings, they are so kind even; they try so hard. They try to keep the people from falling into evil paths even when they’re dying. Everybody helps really, not just Earth Store Bodhisattva but the ghost kings are also so kind, trying to help.

“‘But how much is this power of mine to help them increased when they have personally cultivated good roots.’” When we cultivate good deeds, then this king can even help more. He has more excuse, more energy, more power to help, to bless them. Even just a king ghost, imagine if you even believe in Buddha and all that. You have more blessing. And God, believe in God, all blessing. But we have to walk the way of God, the way of Buddha. We can’t just walk the opposite way and always expect good benefit.

“‘When those who practice well in Jambudvipa are about to die, hundreds of thousands of ghosts and spirits from the bad paths transform themselves and appear as the parents or other relatives in an attempt to lead such people to fall into the evil paths.’” Oh God! Even good people are being cheated. Not fair, not fair. “‘How much more is that the case of those who have done evil deeds!?’” Worse. Even if you do good things in life even bad ghosts still come, try to cheat you, mislead you. So, if you do bad things, they don’t have to transform into anything; they just do it outright.

My God! Poor people! Poor beings on this planet. No chance. So very little chance to survive all this. No little chance, too little chance. If the Buddha’s not there, Master’s not there, or Saints not there, no chance, very, very little chance. Do good deeds and still being cheated by bad ghosts, hundreds of thousands of them. They try to say, “Oh, this way to Heaven,” and manifest some heaven and then you follow them and then you fall.

“‘World-Honored One, when men or women in Jambudvipa are on the verge of death, their consciousness becomes confused and dark. They are unable to discriminate between good and evil, and their eyes and ears are unable to see or hear.’” God! “‘That is why relatives of those deceased should make generous offerings, recite the sacred sutras, and recite the names of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Such good conditions can cause the deceased to leave the evil paths, and all the demons, ghosts, and spirits will withdraw and disperse. World-Honored One, if at the time of death, beings of any kind have an opportunity to hear the name of one Buddha or Bodhisattva…’” means Saints, enlightened Sages, past or present. Didn’t say past or present, but past also will do; just the name. “‘ hear a name of one Buddha or one Bodhisattva or to hear a sentence or gatha of Mahayana Sutra,’” like one of this, just one sentence, “‘I observe that such beings can quickly be freed from the pull of their accumulated minor bad deeds that would otherwise send them to the bad paths.’” This for minor only, one sentence of the sutra, one Buddha’s name, or one Bodhisattva’s name can pull them back, don’t let them go into the bad paths.

“Bad paths,” meaning you could be reborn as ferocious animals or born in a lighter hell or even other hells or in unfavorable humans conditions where you might not have enough food to eat, not have clean water to drink, not enough clothes to wear, subjected to suffering of some kind. That’s bad paths. Or maybe due to bad karma pulling them back into the circle of criminals again, or bad things again, doing bad deeds. Not necessarily go straight to hell yet. Maybe reborn but in unfavorable conditions.

“‘This includes crimes involving killing that warrant five-fold uninterrupted retributions.’” Wow! That’s not minor bad deeds. Killing is not a minor bad deed. Even committed killing, is bad... There are different kinds of killings. You kill your parents, then you go straight to the Uninterrupted Hell, for example. Just to hear one name of the Buddha or the sutra, even this kind of person… Supposed to go to five-fold Uninterrupted Retribution, doesn’t mean just one-fold. Just not a simple hell, a more complicated, deeper, more painful.

“The Buddha told the Ghost King Lord of Life, ‘Because of your great compassion, you are able to make such great vows and protect all beings in the midst of life and death. When men or women in the future undergo birth and death, do not withdraw from your vow, but cause them all to be liberated and to attain eternal peace.’” Even the kings of ghosts are trying to help us, protect us, bless us; it’s just, if we are too bad, they are helpless.

So, remember the Five Holy Names or the Buddhas’ names or some Saint’s name. Buddha is supposed to be a completely enlightened person, or a Bodhisattva. Their merits are immense, Their compassions are limitless, Their power is superb and eternal. So, calling Their names has more power, of course, or hearing Their names has more power than just an ordinary renunciate or anybody.

So, remember all the great Buddhas that you heard: Jesus, Buddha, Amitabha, Medicine Buddha, Earth Store Bodhisattva, Quan Yin Bodhisattva, Manjusri Bodhisattva – all these Beings have great power. Jesus, did I say? Yes. (Yeah.) Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and the Jain’s Master, (Guru Nanak.) Guru Nanak is Sikh. Yeah, Guru Nanak, good. (Mahavira.) Mahavira, that’s the Jain’s Master. (Huineng.) Huineng. Could be, but to be sure, say “Shakyamuni Buddha, Amitabha Buddha, Medicine Buddha, Quan Yin Bodhisattva, Earth Store Bodhisattva, Manjusri Bodhisattva,” that’s safer. Jesus, OK? (We call the name of our Master.) Master, OK, if you like Her, you can. (Your name is powerful.) All right. Five Holy Names, good. Seven Blessings, good. And, I don’t know, who is your Master? (You.) Supreme Master Ching Hai, good, good. I’m sure She can help you.

“The ghost kings told the Buddha, ‘Please do not be concerned. Until the end of my life I shall in every thought, protect beings of Jambudvipa, both at the time of birth and at the time of death,’” it’s our world’s people, “‘so that they all gain tranquility. I only wish that at the time of birth and of death they will believe what I say so that they all can be liberated and gain many benefits.’” We believe you. We thank you.

“At that time, the Buddha told Earth Store Bodhisattva, ‘This great Ghost King Lord of Life has already passed through hundreds of thousands of lives as a great ghost king, protecting beings during both birth and death. Only because of this great being’s compassionate vows does he appear in the body of a great ghost king, for in reality he is not a ghost. After one hundred seventy eons have passed, he will become a Buddha named No Appearance Thus Come One. His eon will be called Happiness, and his world will be named Pure Dwelling. That Buddha’s lifespan will be incalculable eons. Earth Store Bodhisattva, the circumstances surrounding this great ghost king are thus. They are inconceivable, and the people and gods whom he takes across are countless.’” Ghost king – future Buddha. He’s already a Bodhisattva. That’s why he could help you at the time of birth and death. Even though he appears as a ghost king, he’s not in that position, he’s very high.

What is it? (Master, I don’t speak English really but I want to ask about the sentence, that past sentence, when saying the name of Jesus, for example. In the Catholic religion, that’s what I know.) Yes. (When someone died,) Yes. (the people start to pray) Yes. (and repeat and repeat...) Jesus’s name. (Jesus’s name or prayers. Prayers.) Yes. (About Mary, Jesus and...) Yeah, yeah. (It’s...) It’s good. (That is good?) Of course, it’s good. (OK.)

It’s good for the dead and good for the living to even remember Jesus. (OK.) It’s good, it’s good. It’s the same. (Because the people repeat and repeat and repeat.) Repeat it or not repeat it, have to remember Him with love, sincerity, respect and truly, truly pray, not just repeating, repeating. Then it’s better if you just use a record player. The more sincere, the better for the deceased. So, that’s why we have to respect all religions. It helps in some extent. It helps. It helps in that, during the lifetime when we are still alive, the priests, the monks, the nuns remind us to be good. Keep the Five Precepts, the Ten Commandments. So, other kings, ghosts or the Bodhisattva, Saints, are able to help them better. Have to say Jesus Christ, not Jesus-Next-Door, not Jesus... Not Jesus, Jose, Maria, Josef Next Door. No. Jesus Christ, Master Jesus Christ, Son of God, Master Jesus Christ so that they know, in their subconscious, realize more the power of the Master, of the Lord. Not just “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.” Sometimes we say “Jesus Christ” when we’re in trouble and all that. It’s always good to remember God in whatever form, and Jesus Christ was powerful. It’s OK then.

Yes? (Master, I have a question about the 49 days) Yes. (after passing.) Yes, yes. (Master read in the last story that on the 49th day...) Within the 49 days. (That there would be a judge that made a decision.) On the last day. (On the last day.) Yes. Yes. (So, I’d like to ask, please, who is this judge that’s referred to?) Who? He’s the judge who’ll judge you. What you mean who is the judge? That’s his job, one of the hierarchy, one of the, whoever, you know? Whoever is appointed at that time to be the judge. He’s not like an eternal judge. Other people might come to replace him later. Like the ghost king, they have their lifespan. And during that lifespan, they judge, they record everything that you do on this planet.

And during the 49 days, you’re waiting. Forty-nine days pass, then the sentence is fixed. Forty-nine days are for the judge to review everything absolutely, even a grain of sand of your deeds in your lifetime. Included also are the past lifetimes, it’s that why it takes so long. But if you’re initiated and meditate diligently and keep the Precepts, truly sincerely want to seek God, then you don’t have to wait 49 days. The Master comes right away and takes you up. You don’t have to wait, you have no worry, nothing. OK? (Thank You, Master.)

All these sutras and explaining are for the ordinary people. It’s good that they know. If they don’t follow me, if they know some of this, it’s very beneficial for them and for their families. Even if they know Jesus or Muhammad the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), Buddha, it’s all good for them. Mahavira, Guru Nanak. Very, very good.

I think I’ll just go and I’ll come back later because it’s still early. I want... I squeezed a lot of lectures in one, because you’re going tomorrow and I’ll probably also be leaving. (Thank You, Master.) That’s why I sat so long, last night and this night. But you also need a rest, and I’ll see you later.

(What is the name of that book or is that just a collection.) What, darling? (Is that the name of that book or is that just a collection that You have.) This book? Name, “All the Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva. Sutra of the Past Vows.” Buddhism has many such sutras, meaning bibles, meaning the collection of the teaching of the Buddhas. And we have many different Bodhisattvas, different stories, different books. And the Buddha taught for such a long period, so many Buddhas, the Buddha recounted many, many things, so they collected and made many sutras. Some of them are translated into English, some are not. (It’s not just like the Diamond Sutra or Heart Sutra.) Yeah, it is. It is. (It is, OK.) Just a different, different one.

I told you, many sutras. There are other sutras also, the Buddha told about, the Medicine Buddha and the Amitabha Buddha and other Buddhas or Quan Yin Bodhisattva, etc. There’s so many sutras, many bibles like that. I’m just reading one or two of them. Not even finished yet. This one is not finished, I still have some. This one is not finished yet.

When I come back, I will read you the names of the Buddhas. (Wow!) So the people who don’t follow us, don’t follow my teaching or initiates, you can tell them these Buddhas. That will help because I also transfer some of the power into that, what I said. That’s also more support, more beneficial, more effective.

We should really thank the past Masters, monks, nuns, scholars, who have taken time to record the Buddha’s teaching after the Master’s nirvana; and also for the past and present persons ‒ lay or monks and nuns ‒ who have really dedicated themselves, sacrificed their time and precious health, or under any difficult situation to translate this so that I can read it to you. We have to thank them. May they be blessed forever by all the Buddhas, past, present, and future. May their merit be immense. May they be liberated forever. Thank you.

It’s OK. It’s big enough, thank you. You worry about something? It’s good. Somebody stole your job. Everybody OK? (Hallo, Master.) See you later, OK? (Thank You, Master. Have a good rest.) (Step slowly.) Step slowly? What for? Walk downstairs slowly, I’m already down here. (Hallo, Master.) (Thank You, Master.)

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