|Pu Hsien P'usa -- Samantabhadra Bodhisat va|
Samantabhadra or Universal Virtue is known to the Chinese as
Pu Hsien and Fugen, to the Japanese. She is the personification
of love, sacred activity, virtue, diligent training and patience. In
the Chinese Pantheon she is seen in the triad with Kuan Shih
Yin (Compassion) and Wen-Shu (Wisdom) as the ree Precious
Bodhisat vas whose qualities make up the Buddha's Essence. In
many Japanese and Chinese temples she is also found in the Trin-
ity with Sakyamuni Buddha and Wen-Shu Pusa (Manjusri).
Imageries of Pu Hsien usual y show her seated on a white ele-
phant in various ways and holding a lotus flower or a scroll or
book. e elephant, normal y in a standing posture, may be
crouching and may either have three heads or one head with six
Pu Hsien P'usa is well known for her limitless offerings to the
Buddhas as well as her Ten Great Vows which are directed to-
wards benefit ing sentient beings. ey are:
1. To worship the Buddhas
2. To praise the Tathagatas.
3. To make offerings to all the Buddhas.
4. To confess past sins and to reform.
5. To rejoice in the virtues and happiness of others.
6. To request Buddha to preach the Law.
7. To request Buddha to stay in the world.
8. To study the Dharma in order to teach it.
9. To benefit all sentient beings.
10. To transfer all merit and virtue to others.
Pu Hsien's sacred abode in China is in the Ngo-Mei mountain
of the Szu-Chuan province.
In Japan she is often worshipped by her devotees for prosperity
as well as longevity and there are some who also revere her as the
divine patron in their meditational practices.
In the Sutra of Meditation on the Bodhisat va Universal Virtue
(Pu Hsien P'usa) the Buddha lavished great praises on her and
revealed that she was born in the Eastern Pure Wonder Land.
Meditators who practise this meditation will generate great
merits which will free themselves from all kinds of hindrances
as well as al owing them to see her excel ent forms. e Buddha
further gave a vivid description of her as fol ows:
"e Bodhisat va Universal Virtue is boundless in the size of her
body, boundless in the sound of her voice, and boundless in the
form of her image. Desiring to come to this world, she makes
use of her divine transcendent powers and shrinks her stature to
the size of a human being.... She appears transformed as mount-
ed on a great white elephant which has six tasks (representing
the purity of the six senses). Under the legs of the elephant lotus
flowers grow... the whiteness of the elephant is of the most bril-
liant of all shades of white which is so pure that even crystal and
the Himalaya Mountains cannot compare with it!"
e Lotus Sutra has done much to at ract great numbers of
female devotees for Pu Hsien P'usa as they are promised that
they too could attain Buddhahood which is described in detail
in the 10th Chapter of the Sutra. In Chapter 28 Pu Hsien P'usa
also made this promise to the Buddha:
"In the lat er five hundred years of the corrupt and evil age,
whoever receives and keeps this sutra I will guard and protect,
eliminate the anxiety of feeling away, and give ease of mind....
Wherever such a one walks or stands, reading and reciting this
sutra, I will at once mount the six-tusked white elephant king
and with a host of great bodhisat vas go to that place and, show-
ing myself, will serve and protect (him) comforting his mind,
also thereby serving the Law-Flower Sutra.... Moreover I will
give them dharanis, and obtaining these dharanis, no human
or non-human beings can injure them, nor any woman beguile
Still further on, one hears the Buddha extol ing Pu Hsien with
"...I, by my supernatural power, will guard and protect those
who are able to receive and keep the name of the Bodhisat va
PU HSIEN P'USA
Pu Hsien P'usa is not general y worshipped by the `average'
Buddhists as temples dedicated to her are very scarce. How-
ever, those who would like to form a karmic link with this great
Bodhisat va may do so in most of the Kuan Yin temples where
her images can be found and one of the most popular prayers to
recite to her is:
"NAMO TA HUNG PU HSIEN P'USA"
Like all other great Bodhisat vas she is able to grant those who
have firm faith in her, all kinds of favours that they are seeking.
ose who cultivate her dharma will enjoy a longer life-span and
they will most certainly not fall into the three evil paths (animal,
ghost and hell realms) in their future lifetimes. Moreover, they
will be protected by Pu Hsien P'usa from the dangers of flood,
fire, war and poisonous food, and they will be rewarded with
position and abundant wealth. Many a childless couple have
also been known to be blessed with children who are bright and
healthy after praying to her and, most important of al , she is
able to impart great wisdom which will be the greatest help to
any cultivator who seeks the Way. e festive day of this great
Bodhisat va fal s on the 21st day of the 2nd moon and it is a
great day for us to bring her to our heart.
PU HSIEN P'USA
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