Casket Seal Dharani Sutra
Thus I have heard: Once the Buddha dwelt near the Pond of Treasured Light in the Garden of No Dust in the land of Magadha, together with innumerable Bodhisattvas Mahasattvas, respected sound hearers, humans and non-humans including heavenly beings, dragon spirits, yakshas, gandharvas, asuras, garudas, kimnaras, mahoragas and others.
Among the assembly there was a Brahmin named No Dust and Pure Light who was well known and respected, wise and compassionate. He brought joy to others, and having taken refuge in the Triple Jewel, he performed the ten good deeds. He was kind, merciful and worked for the happiness and well being of others.
No Dust and Pure Light approached the Buddha, and circled him clockwise seven times. Offering many flowers, incense, fine robes and precious jewels, the Brahmin stepped to one side, and spoke, “I invite the World-Honored One and the great assembly to accept food offering at my home tomorrow morning.”
Silently the Buddha consented and the Brahmin No Dust and Pure Light quickly departed. Returning to his home, he oversaw the cleaning of the dining halls and other rooms and the preparation of food and drinks, possessing one hundred flavors. He adorned his home with garlands and banners and gathered his relatives. Together they went to the Buddha with offerings of flowers, incense and musical instruments. The Brahmin again addressed the Buddha, “Preparations have been made. We request that the Buddha and his assembly accompany us.”
With great compassion the Buddha spoke to the assembly: “Let us go to the Brahmin's home and receive food offering. The merit and virtue shall be great.”
Then the Buddha rose from his seat, emitting wondrous colored lights and illuminating the ten directions. With the Brahmin and his family leading the way, carrying offerings of incense, flowers and musical instruments, the assembly formed a great procession including the Brahma-kings, the god-king Shakra, the four heavenly generals, other Dharma protectors, heavenly beings and dragon spirits.
After a short distance, the Buddha passed by a garden called Prosperous and therein he entered. There he approached an ancient stupa, in disrepair and overgrown with thorns, littered with broken tiles, loose stones and rubble. The whole resembled little more than a mound of clay. Yet as the Buddha approached, a bright light leaped forth from the stupa and a voice was heard: “Most auspicious! Most auspicious! Most auspicious are Shakyamuni Buddha's actions this day. Today, Brahmin, you will receive great benefits.”
Then with palms joined Buddha circled the stupa clockwise three times. Respectfully he removed his outer robe and draped it over the stupa. For a moment he wept. Then he smiled. All the Buddhas of the ten directions, witnessing these events, also wept and then smiled, each shining great light upon this stupa and gathered above in the open air.
The assembly was afraid. Tearfully Vajrapani respectfully approached, turning the diamond thunderbolt, and asked the Buddha, “For what reason are these lights seen? Why have you wept? Why do the Buddhas of the ten directions gather? We request the Thus Come One be compassionate and remove our fear.”
Then Buddha spoke, “This stupa contains all the bodily relics of the Buddhas and the innumerable secret heart dharanis of all Buddhas. Vajrapani, embodying the secret seal of all Dharmas, this stupa is without seam, or gap or space, filled with the bodies of all Buddhas like hundreds of thousands of sesame seeds and also with the usnisa crown of all Buddhas; wherever this stupa appears, great is its spiritual power. In all worlds, it fulfills good wishes.”
Having heard the Buddha's words, the minds of the assembly were swept clean and they obtained the Dharma-eye, with no trace of dust. According to the their karmic affinities, some among the assembly became Shrotapanna, others became Sakradagamin, while still others became Anagamin, or attained to the level of Arhats, Pratyeka Buddhas, or Bodhisattvas. Some became irreversible from Bodhi. Some attained the First Bhumi, others the Second and so on up to and including the Tenth Bhumi. Some obtained the six perfections while the Brahmin became free of mental defilement and attained the five spiritual powers.
Vajrapani Bodhisattva, seeing the transformations, uncommon and profound, spoke to the Buddha, “How wondrous, World-Honored One, that upon hearing of these matters we should obtain such great merit and virtue. If one should hear and accept this teaching with profound faith, how much greater still will be his or her merit and virtue?”
The Buddha responded, “Oh, Vajrapani in time to come, if good men and women, ordained or lay, should copy this sutra, the merit and virtue is the same as if they copied all the sutras spoken by all Buddhas and before all these Buddhas, they will plant good roots.
As a mother protects her only child, all these Buddhas will protect these good men or women. The merit and virtue of reciting this sutra is the same as reciting all the sutras spoken by all Buddhas of the past, present and future. Supporting these good men or women, the Buddhas will come day and night, like sesame seeds in a pile, without seam, or gap or space between them, the next appearing before the former has departed, moving to and fro, like particles of sand in swiftly flowing water.
Good men or women who offer up at this stupa incense, flowers, robes and ornaments in effect offer up heaps of the seven gems piled high as the polar mountain to all the Buddhas of the ten directions and with all these Buddhas, they plant good roots of merit and virtue.”
At that time, the dragon spirits and Dharma protectors, humans, non-humans and others, filled with awe, spoke, “How wondrous this mound of clay, transformed by the spiritual powers of the Buddha!”
Then Vajrapani asked, “World Honored One, why does this stupa of seven jewels now appear as a mound of clay?”
The Buddha then explained, “This is not a mound of clay but a wondrous, great stupa. It is hidden by the negative karma of sentient beings. However, though the stupa is concealed, the bodies of the Buddhas are imperishable; how could the indestructible bodies of the Buddhas be destroyed?
After my passing into nirvana, in the Dharma Ending Age, those who do unskillful deeds will fall into the hell realms where they will undergo much suffering. They do not take refuge in the Triple Jewels nor plant good roots. Because of such karma the Buddha Dharma will become hidden, yet this stupa will remain always firm and stable, preserved by the spiritual powers of all Buddhas. Lacking wisdom, sentient beings of the future will not recognize the treasure they possess or how to uncover it or use it. For them I and all Buddhas weep.”
Buddha continued, “Should a good man or woman copy this sutra and place it into a stupa, that stupa will be a stupa of the diamond matrix of all Buddhas; it will be blessed by their innumerable secret heart dharanis and held dear by them. It will be a stupa of the usnisa crowns of all Buddhas and a stupa of the Buddha-eye. All Buddhas will protect it.
All curtains, nets, supports, wheels, bells, platforms, steps and other ornaments used to adorn such a stupa, regardless if made of clay, wood, stone or brick will be as though formed of the seven jewels.
If this sutra is placed in a buddha image, it will be as though it was made of the seven jewels. It will be auspicious and grant all wishes.
All Buddhas vow to keep and preserve this Sutra, adding to it their own spiritual powers.
If sentient beings bows before this stupa and offers a single stick of incense or a single flower, the negative karma binding him or her to the birth-death cycle for lifetimes will be absolved. His or her life will be free of danger and after death, he or she will be born in the Buddha family. The one who bows but once before this stupa or circles it clockwise but a single time will find that the gates of hell are at once closed and the Bodhi Path appears.
“Whats more, the area surrounding the stupa will be protected by the spiritual powers of all Buddhas and will not be harmed by wind, storms or lightning.
It will be free of poisonous snakes, spiders, scorpions and insects. There wild animals such as lions, enraged elephants, tigers, wolves and wild dogs will not cause trouble. There yakshas, rakshasas, putanas, pishachas, and other non-humans will not cause alarm. There the spirits of disease, chills, fevers, seizures, weeping wounds and infections of the skin will not draw near.
Thus by gazing upon this stupa, all disasters are averted and no sickness will befall the people nor their children, nor livestock.
They will not undergo unnatural deaths; their lives will be free from the wounds of knives and fire; they will not be drowned, harmed by enemies, robbed by thieves or troubled by poverty and famine. Ghosts and curses will not harm them. The four heavenly generals and their attendants will protect them day and night. The twenty eight yaksha generals and their attendants will also protect them day and night. The sun, moon, the planets, stars and comets will all shine auspiciously. The dragon spirit kings will send the rains when appropriate.
All the heavenly beings, among them Shakra and the fair goddesses, will descend during the three periods of the day. There they will praise all Buddhas, circle the stupa three times clockwise, and give thanks. All Buddhas will empower this stupa because this sutra is enshrined within it.
“If one builds a stupa of clay, masonry, wood, gold, silver, copper or lead and conceals within it a copy of this spiritual dharani, it is as if that stupa is composed of the seven treasures. The steps, wheels, curtains, bells and supports are all transformed into precious jewels. The bodies of the Buddhas, the essence of the Dharma enclose and protect the four sides of the stupa day and night.
By the power of this dharani, the stupa composed of seven treasures, and containing all the bodily relics of the Buddhas, will rise up into the Akanistha Heaven where all heavenly beings will worship and protect it.
Then Vajrapani asked, “By what means does this Dharma hold such merit and virtue?”
The Buddha explained, “This merit and virtue are the result of the Casket Seal Dharani.”
Vajrapani then spoke, “We wish the World Honored One be compassionate and teach us this dharani.”
The Buddha replied, “Hear then the dharani; think upon it and remember it well for it contains the light of the transformation bodies of all Buddhas of the three times and all bodily relics of the Buddhas of the past and the three bodies of all Buddhas.
Then Buddha spoke the Dharani:
Namad sedeliya divi kanam,
Om bhuvibha vadhavari,
suru suru dhara dhara,
sarva tathagata dhatudhari,
Tathagata dharma chakra,
pravartana vajri bodhi pana,
Sarva tathagata dhistite,
Bodhaya bodhaya bodhi bodhi,
Chala chala chalamtu,
Huru huru sarva sukhavigati,
Sarva tathagata haridaya vajrani,
Sarva tathagata suhaya
Sarva tathagata dhistita,
dhatu garbhe svaha
samaya dhistite svaha,
sarva tathagata haridaya,
dhatu mudri svaha,
supra tisthita stubhe
huru huru hum hum svaha,
Om sarva tathagata usnisa,
Dhistite hum hum svaha.
When Buddha had finished speaking the holy dharani, from the mound of clay the voices of all Buddhas were heard, praising: “Auspicious! Most auspicious! Skakyamuni Buddha has appeared in the turbid Saha world and proclaimed this profound dharma for the benefit of sentient beings lost amidst the groundlessness of being.
Long will this precious dharma remain in the world, a source of innumerable blessings, a cause of tranquility and great happiness.”
The Buddha again spoke to Vajrapani, “Hear! Hear! This dharma is immeasurable and inexhaustible, pouring forth innumerable blessings! It is a wish fulfilling jewel atop the golden standard, fulfilling all sincere desires.
I expound for you only one ten thousandth of its virtue. Remember it for the benefit of others.
If a person commits many evil acts and falls into the hell realms of uninterrupted suffering without hope of release, should his or her child or grandchild call his or her name and recite this dharani seven times, lakes of molten copper and iron are transformed into cool lotus pools of eight virtues.
Overhead a fine curtain appears as a lotus flower closes around the deceased. The gates of hell are smashed open and the Bodhi Path appears. The lotus flower disappears and reappears in the land of Utmost Happiness. Intrinsic wisdom appears and taking joy in the dharma, he or she enters the stage of one who has once to be reborn.
If one is experiencing karmic recompense and experiencing great pain, that person should recite this dharani twenty one times; all pain will disappear and he or she will enjoy innumerable blessings and long life.
According to karmic recompense, one may be born poor, poverty arising from past greed; having scant clothing and food, being malnourished and thin, unpleasant to look upon and filled with shame, he or she may gather wild flowers and grind old wood for incense. Bowing before the stupa and making offerings, he or she circles it seven times clockwise and tearfully repents. Poverty will cease and wealth will be obtained. The seven treasures will appear in abundance. Care should taken to support the Buddha and the Dharma and the poor. Failing to give generously, the wealth will quickly disappear.
If a person seeks to plant good roots, he or she should build a stupa, be it of clay or bricks or whatever can be afforded, and measuring as little as four fingers high. This dharani should be copied and placed inside the stupa; then bowing before it and offering incense and fragrant flowers, supported by the power of the dharani, a fragrant light cloud will appear; pervading the dharma realm, the fragrant light will work miraculous deeds; the merit and virtues as above explained will be great and all wishes shall be fulfilled.
In the Dharam Ending Age, if goood men or good women of the fourfold sangha, erects the stupas in confidence and therein places the wondrous dharani, their merit and virtue will be immeasurable.
If a person desires good fortune, he or she should go to the stupa, offer a flower or some incense, bow and circle the stupa clockwise. Happiness and good repute will effortlessly arise from the resulting merit. Longevity and prosperity will flow naturally. Enemies and thieves will be vanquished without conflict. Hatred will cease. Curses will have no effect. Epidemics will not cause harm. A good husband or wife will appear. Beautifully children will be born. Good wishes will be fulfilled.
Should the shadow of this stupa fall upon crows, owls, doves, wolves, wild dogs, mosquitoes, ants and the like or should they step on the grass there about, their obstructions shall be destroyed and they will perceive their ignorance. They will enter Buddha's home and be given Dharma treasure. Greater still will be the reward for humans who hears the bell, or the name of the stupa or abides within its shadow. For such a person, karmic obstructions will disappear, life will be serene, good wishes will be fulfilled, and beyond death, he or she will be born in the pure land Utmost Happiness of Amida Buddha. If a person uses a little clay to repair the wall of the stupa or a small stone to repair its foundation, the lifespan of such a person shall increase and beyond death, he or she will become a Wheel Turning King.
After my nirvana, should members of the fourfold assembly offer incense and flowers, make vows to read this dharani in front of the stupa, and to eradicate the suffering of those in the three lower realms, every word they utter will shine forth with great light, alleviating the suffering those who so wander and allowing them to be born into any Buddha-land they desire.
If a person ascends to a high place and sincerely recites this dharani, all those within his or her field of vision, all sentient beings, with fur or feathers, scales or shells, both seen and unseen, near and far, will remove their karmic obstructions, and perceive their own ignorance. The three intrinsic natures of the Buddha will appear and they will ultimately dwell in nirvana. Those who accompany this person upon the road, touches his or her clothing or footprint, looks upon his or her face or converses with him or her, will find their karmic obstructions removed and will attain success in their endeavors.
Then Buddha told Vajrapani, “Now I give to you this secret spiritual dharani sutra. Respect and protect it. Propagate it in the world that sentient beings may learn it.”
Vajrapani then replied, “World Honored One, I am fortunate to receive it. I shall respect and protect it and propagate it in the world, endeavoring to repay the kindness of the Buddha.
Those who copy, uphold and remember this dharani sutra without ceasing will be faithfully protected by Shakra and the four heavenly generals, other Dharma Protectors, heavenly beings, Dragon Spirits and others.”
Buddha replied, “Very good, Vajrapani. It is for the benefit of all sentient beings that I ask you to respect, protect and propagate this dharma.”
Then having spoken the Casket Seal Dharani, the works of the Buddha were widely manifested. Continuing on to the Brahmin's home, the Buddha accept the food offerings for the benefit of humans and heavenly beings and then returned to his dwelling.
Then all the bhikshus and bhikshunis, upasakas and upasikas, humans, and nonhuman including heavenly beings, dragon spirits and yakshas, gandharvas, asuras, garudas, kimnaras, mahoragas, and others, deeply rejoiced. They believed, accepted, and practiced in accord with the teaching.