|Ti Tsang P'usa -- Ksitigarbha Bodhisat va|
Ti Tsang P'usa is an extremely popular Bodhisat va among
the Chinese and Japanese Buddhists. `Ti Tsang', meaning
`Earth-Store' is a direct translation of the Bodhisat va's name
KSITIGARBHA in Sanskrit. Among the countless Bodhisat vas
in the universe, he and three others have firmly captured the
hearts of the Mahayanists. ese four main P'usas are depicted
in the Chinese Buddhist Pantheon and they represent four basic
KUAN SHIN YIN as Great Compassion
WEN SHU as Great Wisdom
PU HSIEN as Great Love and Perfect Activity
TI TSANG as Great Vow to help and to deliver al beings.
His greatest compassionate Vow being: "If I do not go to the hell
to help the suffering souls there, who else will go? ...if the hel s
are not empty I will not become a Buddha. Only when all living
beings have been saved, will I attain to Bodhi".
e Sutra of the PAST VOWS OF THE EARTH STORE BODHI-
SATTVA, one of the most popular Chinese Buddhist Sutras, tel s
of the great filial piety which the Bodhisat va practised that led
to his il imitable vows to save all living beings. is Sutra was
spoken by the Buddha towards the end of his life to the beings
of the Trayastrimsa Heaven as a mark of gratitude and remem-
brance for his beloved mother.
In this Sutra the Buddha revealed that in the distant past aeons,
Ti Tsang P'usa, then a Brahman maiden by the name of `Sacred
Girl', was deeply troubled when her mother died as she had
often been slanderous towards the ree Jewels -- the Buddha,
Dharma and Sangha.
To save her from the great tortures of hel , the young girl sold
whatever she had and used the money to buy offerings which she
offered daily to the Buddha of her time, known as e Buddha
of Flower of Meditation and Enlightenment. She made fervent
prayers that her mother be spared of the pains of hell and re-
quested the Buddha for help.
One day at the temple, while she was thus pleading for help, she
heard the voice of the Buddha advising her to go home immedi-
ately and there to sit down and practise meditation on His name
if she wanted to know where the spirit of her mother was. She
did as she was told and while doing so, her soul was transported
to the Hell Realm where she met a hel -guardian who informed
her that through her fervent prayers and pious offerings, her
mother had accumulated much merits and therefore her soul
had already been released from hell and ascended to heaven. She
was greatly relieved and should have been extremely happy, but
the sights of the great sufferings in Hell that she had witnessed
so touched her tender heart that she made an immediate vow: "I
shall exercise my very best to relieve beings of their sufferings
forever in my future lives of kalpas to come."
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