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Ratnaketu Dhāraṇī CHAPTER 12

From Tibetan Buddhist Encyclopedia
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12.­1 The great general of the yakṣas, [F.271.b] Āṭavaka, in the form of the yakṣa Bhīṣaṇaka, and Saṃjñika in the form of a deer, Jñānolka in the form of a monkey, Tṛṣṇājaha in the form of a jackal,455 and Chinnasrotas in the form of an elephant‍—these five great beings‍—were sitting not too far from the thus-gone Śākyamuni and in front of the thus-gone Kauṇḍiṇyārcis. From each of their bodies a pure light radiated, suffused with fragrance. Each of these five great beings was holding in his hands a great precious gem called Starlight for the sake of worshipping the Blessed One.456

12.­2 The bodhisattva Kautūhalika saw the profound purity of their hearts and minds. Thinking that they must be bodhisattva great beings, he addressed the great yakṣa general, Āṭavaka: “What purpose, O good man, do you see in your endeavor to worship the blessed buddhas through acting the way you do?”

12.­3 Āṭavaka replied, “Formerly, O noble son, ninety eons ago, there was a thus-gone, worthy, perfect buddha named Vipaśyin in this buddha field. At that time, the five of us were blood brothers. Once we developed the mind directed toward unsurpassed and perfect awakening, we earnestly applied ourselves to bringing beings to maturity. Later, following the time of the thus-gone Śikhin, the time of the thus-gone Viśvabhū, and right at the beginning of the Fortunate Eon {TK257} when the thus-gone Kakutsunda came to this world, {K166} we were again reborn as brothers because of our previous aspirations. We worshiped and served the thus-gone Kakutsunda a great deal. During that time, the lay practitioner Saṃjñika, the great being who delighted in [F.272.a] meditation, made the following great wish:

12.­4 “ ‘I must become a great general of the yakṣas during the Fortunate Eon. I will give the appropriate Dharma instructions. I will give the appropriate Dharma instructions to the yakṣas, . . . and the kaṭapūtanas who roam forests and wildernesses in various deformed shapes and who are wicked, cruel, and have no compassion for beings. I will cause them to develop faith and embrace the training and will thus establish them on the auspicious path. I will teach the Dharma also to those yakṣas born in animal forms such as deer, antelope, pigs, and so forth, until I have brought to maturity, by means of the Dharma instructions, as many wicked yakṣas as there are grains of sand in the Gaṅgā, including also those in animal forms that have not planted the roots of virtue. I will thus establish them in the three vehicles, and after this I will obtain a prophecy with regard to my own unsurpassed and perfect awakening.’

12.­5 “Similarly, the yakṣa Jñānolka, in the form of a monkey, made a wish to bring monkeys to maturity. Tṛṣṇājaha, in the form of a jackal, made a wish to bring to maturity beings born into unfree conditions fraught with danger. Chinnasrotas, in the form of an elephant, made a wish to bring elephants to maturity. In this way, twelve thousand yakṣas of great power, who lived in this world of the four continents, variously made wishes to bring beings to maturity, {TK258} as they themselves were seeking unsurpassed and perfect awakening. {K167}

12.­6 “I, too, seeking unsurpassed and perfect awakening, made a wish in front of the thus-gone Kakutsunda to bring wicked yakṣas to maturity in this world, throughout the entire Fortunate Eon:

12.­7 “ ‘Come what may, I must induce the wicked yakṣas to train so that I can establish them on the path of no return‍—the wicked yakṣas who are cruel, ungrateful, dangerous, inclined toward evil, and devoid of compassion . . . and the kaṭapūtanas who harm beings, steal their energy, [F.272.b] disturb their minds, inflame them with unwholesome thoughts, take their lives, . . . and who harbor wrong views; who disturb the minds of kṣatriyas, brahmins, vaiśyas, and śūdras; who plague countries, villages, towns, cities, and other inhabited areas; who upset the auspicious influence of planets, constellations, the moon, the sun, nights, days, months, fortnights, seasons, and years; who spread discord, quarrels, famine, disease, invasions by foreign armies, untimely winds and rains, and extreme cold and heat; who destroy seeds, herbs, leaves, flowers, fruits, and sap; and who cause the disappearance of all the happiness, contentment, and good health of beings, as well as social harmony, the desire for positive qualities, earth essences, vital force, wealth, and the taste for the Dharma and liberation. Later, I will obtain for myself a prophecy of unsurpassed and perfect awakening.’

12.­8 “Ever since the time of making this vow, I have taken rebirth as a general of the wicked457 yakṣas, and brought the yakṣas . . . and kaṭapūtanas to maturity by establishing them within the three vehicles, thus establishing them on the path of no return. Ever since that time, when seeing beings of a lower, middling, or superior type, {TK259} I do not allow myself to ignore their capacities, and whatever bodily form I see, I assume the same form to address them, converse with them, reinvigorate them, cheer them up, cause them to turn away from evil, and establish them in a loving and compassionate mindset. According to their different inclinations, I establish them in the three vehicles, thus setting them on the path of no return.458 Whatever gathering of yakṣas I approach, I am greeted with the words, ‘Welcome to the forest-roaming yakṣa!’ Hence my name has become Āṭavaka, one who roams the woods.

12.­9 “Humans who are presently deprived of the long-established Dharma, who do not practice restraint and who engage in singularly evil deeds, will plunge after death [F.273.a] into one of the three lower realms. Few of them will be reborn as humans. Those who engage in mixed activities and have no faith459 in the Three Jewels will, for the most part, fall after death into the realm of the wicked yakṣas . . . and kaṭapūtanas.460 This is why, in this time, there is in this world such {K168} a proliferation of wicked yakṣas . . . and kaṭapūtanas. All of them strive to make the white faction disappear.

12.­10 “For this reason,461 while the dark age is upon us, I am unable at this time to cause462 these wicked yakṣas . . . and kaṭapūtanas to develop the qualities of gentleness and kindness. Nor am I able anymore to quell463 the disturbed mental states of any kṣatriyas, brahmins, vaiśyas, śūdras, ascetics, men, women, sons, or daughters or the disturbances suffered by villages, towns, cities, countries, or states. Nor am I able any longer to instill in the minds and thoughts of beings464 the fondness for liberation. O noble son, I have thoroughly understood, through the majesty and splendor of the buddhas, the hearts of all the yakṣas and kaṭapūtanas‍—their treachery and the stratagems they employ. {TK260}

12.­11 “There is, O noble son, a very fierce and terrible dhāraṇī, a mantra of magic called the expanse of the vajra sky,465 which is the heart essence of all spirits. When the words of this dhāraṇī are employed, evil beings will no longer be able to disturb the kṣatriyas, . . . countries, or states‍—no yakṣa or yakṣiṇī, male or female yakṣa elder, yakṣa son or daughter, yakṣa or yakṣiṇī with a retinue, rākṣasa or rākṣasī, . . . nāga or nāginī, kumbhāṇḍa or kumbhāṇḍī, quotidian through quartan466 malarial fever-spirits, male or female pūtanas or kaṭapūtanas, male or female kaṭapūtana elders, [F.273.b] male or female kaṭapūtana offspring, or male or female kaṭapūtanas with a retinue.

12.­12 “In any village, town, city, . . . or household where the mantra words of the expanse of the vajra sky, this very fierce and terrible spell that is the heart essence of all spirits, have been taught, these wicked yakṣas and kaṭapūtanas {K169} there will abandon their unwholesome acts and previously held grudges. They will all develop minds of loving kindness, compassion, gentleness, compassion for all spirits, and benevolence. They will then quell all the disturbances that affect countries, households, gods, nāgas, yakṣas, and kaṭapūtanas, as well as all those that affect the moon, the sun, the planets, and the constellations. They will terminate punishments, neutralize poisons and weapons, and appease evil spirits. They will heal the bodies affected by imbalances of wind, bile, or phlegm, the malarial fever that lasts for one, two, three, or four days, and leprosy, ringworm, itching, {TK261} bronchitis, dermatitis, abdominal pain, and diseases of the limbs and digits.

12.­13 “They will cause human and nonhuman beings, animals, and birds to engage in wholesome activities, and they will cause all their fear to subside, provide them with all kinds of pleasure and comfort, and ensure that they pass their nights and days in the right way. They will cause them to delight in virtue, generosity, and restraint, they will remove their weariness of body and mind, and they will engage them in the quest of the path to awakening.”

12.­14 Āṭavaka, the great general of the yakṣas,467 then continued:

“If, O noble son,468 all the blessed buddhas would grant me the mastery of activity based on the mantra words of this expanse of the vajra sky, and if they empowered me and gave me their felicitous approval, [F.274.a] I would become the reciter and teacher of these mantra words, which are the heart essence of all spirits‍—words that quell all disturbances, inspire deep faith in beings, restrain all those who reinforce what is unwholesome, and support all those who reinforce what is wholesome.

12.­15 “Thus-gone Śākyamuni, please confer upon me, through your blessings, the maṇḍala of sound that conveys words, so that I may fill this entire buddha field by its means with the sound of enunciated syllables and delight the members of the assembly gathered in it with the meaning, words, and letters469 that comprise this maṇḍala of sound that conveys words.” {K170}

12.­16 The thus-gone Śākyamuni then spoke to Āṭavaka, the great general of the yakṣas:

“In order to scare away the black faction and glorify the white faction, the blessed buddhas now confer upon you, O noble son,470 the maṇḍala of sound that conveys words {TK262} for conveying this expanse of the vajra sky‍—this mantra-dhāraṇī that is the heart essence of all spirits. Act with courage, O good man, and recite the mantra words of this expanse of the vajra sky that quells all disturbances‍—this mantra-dhāraṇī that is the heart essence of all spirits and restrains all wicked beings.”

12.­17 Āṭavaka, the great general of the yakṣas, now got up from his seat, bowed with folded hands in the direction of the thus-gone Śākyamuni, and, making the entire buddha field resound with the sound of his voice, uttered the following mantra words:

12.­18 “dhuma dhuma dhama dhama dhūma dhūma nili na nala nola milā kuṭanī kuṭane mahākuṭane ṭaṭa ṭaṭo mahāṭaṭo abhaṣa abhi abhi riṇi riṇi mahāriṇi riṇi rimi rimi rimi rimi dārimi riṣe mahāriṣe śulu śulu mahāśulu śulu śulutha mahāśulu śulu uguma [F.274.b] guma gumana rimi rimi hiri hiri hiri hiri hiri hiri hiri hiri hiri hiri nimi nimi nihi nihi muni muni buddhi li pravarā sṛṣṭhaloka caryājine jine jina­rṣabha jinā jina jina­rṣabha svāhā!”

12.­19 He then continued:

“O Blessed One! If in any village, town, . . . or household where this expanse of the vajra sky‍—this mantra-dhāraṇī that is the heart essence {TK263} of all spirits, this great spell consisting of mantra words‍—is recited, the wicked yakṣas . . . and kaṭapūtanas do not develop faith in their minds; if they do not fully embrace the study and training with their body, speech, and mind; {K171} and if they do not give rise to loving kindness for the beings there, then I will recite, for their sake, even more terrible mantra words. They are:

12.­20 acche acche mune mune agne hu hu mune mune manārṣabha hu hu akradaṇḍe atadaṇḍe ata ati aṭa hini hini hiri hiri hiri hiri hiri hiri traguma guma guma guma hili hili nili nili mahānili samudramekha haṭa haṭa haṭa dharaṇamekha kṣabhakha kṣabhakha pṛthivī apa tejo vāyv ākāśa ṭha ṭha ṭha guṃbhe bhagumbhe akṣi kumbhe jihvāgu­gumbhe sarvā­guṃbhe raja­gumbhe sabhāstu­gumbhe svāhā!”

12.­21 As soon as Āṭavaka, the great general of the yakṣas, intoned these mantra words, all the gods, nāgas, yakṣas, and kaṭapūtanas were jolted with fear, trembling violently wherever they were on earth or in the sky. They immediately folded their hands toward the blessed buddhas, bowing three times, and said, {TK264} “Homage to all the blessed buddhas! Homage, homage to all the blessed buddhas! These mantra words that penetrate [F.275.a] the hearts of all the spirits, just intoned by Āṭavaka, the great general of the yakṣas, are extremely terrifying.”471

12.­22 This concludes the twelfth chapter, about Āṭavaka, in the “Ratnaketu Sūtra” from the Great Collection of Mahāyāna sūtras. {K172} {TK265}