Medicine Master Buddha Sutra
(The full name:)
Sutra of the Merit and Virtue of the
Past Vows of Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata
(Tripitaka No. 450)
Translated during Torng Dynasty by
Tripitaka Master Yiun-Tzorng
Thus I have heard. At one time the Bhagavan was travelling through various
lands to teach living beings. He arrived at Vaisali ["City of Extensive
Adornments"] and stayed beneath a tree from which music resounded. With
him were eight thousand great Bhikshus and thirty-six thousand Bodhisattvas
Mahasattvas; also kings, ministers, Brahmans, lay disciples; gods, dragons, and
the rest of the eightfold division; beings both human and non-human. The
immeasurable great multitude respectfully surrounded him, and he spoke Dharma
At that time, the Dharma Prince Manjusri, receiving the awesome inspiration of
the Buddha, rose from his seat, bared one of his shoulders, knelt on his right
knee, and inclining his head and placing his palms together, said to the
Bhagavan, "World Honored One! We wish you would speak about such Dharmas
as the Buddhas' names, the great vows they made in the past, and their supreme
merit and virtue, so that those who hear them will be rid of their karmic
hindrances. This request is also for the sake of bringing benefit and joy to
sentient beings in the Dharma-Image Age."
The Buddha then praised the Pure Youth Manjusri: "Good indeed! Good
indeed, Manjusri. With great compassion you now request that I speak about the
Buddhas' names and the merit and virtue of their past vows, for the sake of
rescuing sentient beings who are bound up by karmic obstacles, and for the
purpose of bringing benefit, peace, and joy to beings who live in the
Dharma-Image Age. Listen attentively to my words and reflect on them extremely
well, for I will now answer you."
Manjusri said, "Please do speak. We are glad to listen."
The Buddha told Manjusri, "Passing from here to the east, beyond
Buddhalands numerous as the sand grains in ten Ganges rivers, is a world called
'Pure Vaidurya'. The Buddha there is named Medicine Master Vaidurya Light
Tathagata, Of Proper and Equal Enlightenment, Perfect in Understanding and
Practice, Well Gone One, One who Understands the World, Supreme Lord,
Regulating Hero, Teacher of Gods and Humans, Buddha, Bhagavan. Manjusri, when
that World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, was
practicing the Bodhisattva path in the past, he made twelve great vows that
enable all sentient beings to obtain what they seek.
"The first great vow: 'I vow that in a future life, when I attain
anuttarasamyaksambodhi, my body will shine with dazzling light that will
illumine measureless, countless, boundless worlds. My body will be adorned with
the thirty-two heroic features and the eighty subsidiary characteristics, and I
will enable all beings to become as I am.'
"The second great vow: 'I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi,
my body will be as bright and clear as vaidurya, flawlessly pure, vastly
radiant, majestic with merit and virtue, abiding at ease, adorned with blazing
nets brighter than the sun and the moon. Beings dwelling in darkness will be
illuminated and will succeed in all their endeavors.'
"The third great vow: 'I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi,
will by means of limitless, unbounded wisdom and skill-in-means, enable all
sentient beings to obtain an inexhaustible supply of material necessities so
they are without the slightest want.'
"The fourth great vow: 'I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, I
shall lead those sentient beings who practice deviant paths to reside in the
Way of Bodhi and those who travel on the vehicles of the Hearer or
Pratyekabuddha to abide in the Great Vehicle.'
"The fifth great vow: 'I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi I
shall enable limitless and boundless numbers of sentient beings who cultivate
Brahma conduct within my Dharma to perfectly uphold the three clusters of
precepts without exception. Should there be any violation, upon hearing my
name, they will regain their purity and not fall into the evil destinies.'
"The sixth great vow: 'I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, if
there are sentient beings whose bodies are inferior and whose faculties are
imperfect, who are ugly, dull, blind, deaf, mute, deformed, paralyzed,
hunch-backed, or afflicted with skin disease, insanity or various other
sicknesses and sufferings, upon hearing my name they shall all become endowed
with upright features, keen intelligence, and perfect faculties, and they shall
be free of sickness and suffering.'
"The seventh great vow: 'I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi,
I shall cause sentient beings who are oppressed by many illnesses and who are
without aid, without a place to turn, without a doctor, without medicine,
without relatives, and without a family, who are poverty-stricken and filled
with suffering to be cured of their sicknesses upon having my name pass by
their ear, so they are peaceful and happy in body and mind. They will have a
family and relatives, and acquire an abundance of property and wealth, and even
realize unsurpassed Bodhi.'
"The eighth great vow: 'I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi,
if there are women who give rise to a deep loathing for their female body and
wish to renounce it because they are oppressed and disturbed by the myriad
sufferings of being female, upon hearing my name, they will be able to turn from
women into men who are replete with male features and ultimately realize
"The ninth great vow: 'I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, I
Shall liberate sentient beings from the nets of demons and the bonds of
external sects. If they have fallen into the dense forests of evil views, I
shall lead them to have proper views and to gradually cultivate the Practices
of Bodhisattvas so they will quickly realize unsurpassed, proper and equal
"The tenth great vow: 'I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, I
shall cause sentient beings who fall into the hands of the law and are bound,
interrogated, whipped, fettered, imprisoned, sentenced to execution, or
subjected to endless disasters, hardships, abuse, and humiliation so that they
are tom by grief and distress and suffering in body and mind, to obtain, upon
hearing my name, liberation from all worry and suffering by means of my
blessings, virtue, and awesome spiritual power.'
"The eleventh great vow: 'I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi,
I shall cause all sentient beings who are so plagued by hunger and thirst that
they create all kinds of bad karma in their quest for food, upon hearing my
name and single-mindedly accepting and maintaining it, to be filled with
delicious food and drink and afterward, by means of the flavor of Dharma, to
settle in ultimate peace and happiness.'
"The twelfth great vow: 'I vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi,
if there are sentient beings who are poor and without clothes so that day and
night they are troubled by mosquitoes and flies, and by cold and heat, upon
hearing my name and single-mindedly accepting and maintaining it, they shall
obtain all kinds of fine and wonderful garments that accord with their tastes,
as well as a variety of precious adornments, flower garlands, fragrant balms,
and the enjoyments of music and various kinds of talents, so that all their
hearts, delights will be fulfilled.'
"Manjusri, these are the twelve sublime and wonderful vows that the World
Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, One of Proper and Equal
Enlightenment, made while cultivating the Bodhisattva Way.
"Moreover, Manjusri, if I were to speak for an eon or more about the great
vows made by the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata,
when he practiced the Bodhisattva Way and about the merit, virtue, and
adornments of his Buddhaland, I could not finish.
"That Buddhaland has always been completely pure; there are no women, no
evil destinies, and no sounds of suffering. The ground is made of vaidurya,
with golden cords lining the roads. The city walls, towers, palace pavilions,
studios, windows, and latticework are all made of the seven treasures. The
merit, virtue, and adornments of this land are identical to those of the
Western Land of Ultimate miss.
"Residing in that land are two Bodhisattvas Mahasattvas; the first is
called Universally Radiant Sunlight, and the second, Universally Radiant
Moonlight. They are the leaders among the immeasurable, uncountable hosts of
Bodhisattvas in that land and will be the successors to that Buddha. They are
able to maintain the precious treasury of the proper Dharma of the World
Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata. Therefore, Manjusri, all
good men and women who have faith should vow to be born in that Buddha's
At that time, the World Honored One again spoke to the Pure Youth Manjusri
saying, "Manjusri, there are living beings who don't distinguish good from
evil, who indulge in greed and stinginess, and who know nothing of giving or
its rewards. They are stupid, ignorant, and lack the foundation of faith. They
accumulate much wealth and many treasures and ardently guard them. When they
see a beggar coming, they feel displeased. When they have to practice an act of
charity that does not benefit themselves, they feel as though they were cutting
a piece of flesh from their body, and they suffer deep and painful regret.
"There are other innumerable avaricious and miserly living beings who hoard
money and necessities that they don't use even for themselves, how much less
for their parents, wives, or servants, or for beggars! At the end of heir
lives, such beings will be reborn among the hungry ghosts or animals. If they
heard the name of that Buddha, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, in
their former human existence, and they recall that Tathagata's name for the
briefest moment while they are in the evil destinies, they will immediately be
reborn in the human realm. Moreover, they will remember their past lives and
will dread the sufferings of the evil destinies. They will not delight in
worldly pleasures, but will rejoice in giving and praise others who give. They
will not begrudge giving whatever they have. Gradually, to those who come to
beg, they will be able to give away their own head, eyes, hands, feet, and even
their entire body, to say nothing of their money and property!
"Moreover, Manjusri, there are beings who, although they study under the
Tathagata, nonetheless violate the sila. Others, although they do not violate
the sila, nonetheless transgress the rules and regulations. Others, although
they do not violate the sila or rules and regulations, nonetheless destroy
their own proper views. Others, although they do not destroy their own proper
views, nonetheless neglect learning, so they are unable to understand the
profound meaning of the sutras that the Buddha speaks. Others, although they
are learned, nonetheless give rise to overweening pride, Shadowed by
overweening pride, they justify themselves and disparage others, slander the
proper Dharma, and join the retinue of demons.
"Such fools act on their misguided views and further, a cause immeasurable
minions of beings to fall into pits of great danger. These beings will drift
endlessly in the realms of the hells, the animals, and the ghosts. But if they
hear the name of Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, they will be able to
renounce their evil practices and cultivate wholesome Dharma, and thereby avoid
falling into the evil destinies. If those who have fallen into the evil
destinies because they could not renounce their evil practices and cultivate
wholesome Dharmas, by the awesome power of the past vows of that Tathagata, get
to hear his name for only a moment, then after they pass out of that existence,
they will be reborn again as human beings. They will hold proper views and will
be ever vigorous. Their minds will be well regulated and joyful, enabling them
to renounce their families and leave the householder's life-They will take up
and maintain study of the Tathagatas, Dharma without any violation. They will
have proper views and erudition; they will understand profound meanings and yet
be free from overweening pride. They will not slander the proper Dharma and will
never join the ranks of demons. They will progressively cultivate the practices
of Bodhisattvas and will soon bring them to perfection.
"Moreover, Manjusri, if there are sentient beings who harbor stinginess,
greed, and jealousy who praise them- selves and disparage others, they will
fallinto the three evil destinies for countless thousands of years where they
will undergo intense suffering. After undergoing intense suffering, at the end
of their lives they will be born in the world as oxen, horses, camels, and
donkeys that are constantly beaten, afflicted by thirst and hunger, and made to
carry heavy burdens along the roads. Or they may be reborn among lowly people,
as slaves or servants who are always ordered around by others and who never for
a moment feel at ease.
"If such beings, in their former lives as humans, heard the name of the
World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, and by this good
cause are able to remember it and sincerely take refuge with that Buddha, then,
by means of the Buddha's spiritual power, they will be liberated from all
sufferings. They will be endowed with keen faculties, and they will be wise and
erudite. They will always seek the supreme Dharmas and encounter good friends.
They will eternally sever the nets of demons and smash the shell of ignorance.
They will dry up the river of afflictions and be liberated from birth, old age,
sickness, death, anxiety, grief, suffering, and vexation.
"Moreover, Manjusri, there may be beings who delight in perversity and engage
in legal disputes, bringing trouble to others as well as themselves. In their
actions, speech, and thought, they create ever-increasing amounts of evil
karma. Never willing to benefit and forgive others, they scheme to harm one
another instead. They pray to the spirits of the mountain forests, trees, and
graves. They kill living beings in order to make sacrifices of blood and flesh
to the yaksa and raksasa ghosts. They write down the names of their enemies and
make images of them, and then they hex those names and images with evil
mantras. They summon paralysis ghosts, cast hexes, or command corpse-raising
ghosts to kill or injure their enemies.
"However, if the victims hear the name of Medicine Master Vaidurya Light
Tathagata, then all those evil things will lose their power to do harm. The
evildoers will become kind to one another. They will attain benefit, peace, and
happiness and no longer cherish thoughts of malice, affliction, or enmity.
Everyone will rejoice and feel content with what they have. Instead of
encroaching upon each other, they will seek to benefit one another.
"Moreover, Manjusri, there may be those among the fourfold assembly of
Bhikshus, Bhikshunis, Upasakas and Upasikas, as well as other good men and
women of pure faith, who accept and uphold the eight precepts either for one
year or for three months, practicing and studying them. with these good roots,
they may vow to be born in the Western Land of Ultimate Bliss where the Buddha
of limitless Life dwells, to hear the Proper Dharma, but their resolve may not
be firm. However, if they hear the name of the World Honored One, Medicine
Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, then as the end of their lives draws near,
before them will appear eight great Bodhisattvas, whose names are: Manjusri
Bodhisattva, The Bodhisattva Who Observes the Sounds of the World, Great
Strength Bodhisattva, Inexhaustible Intention Bodhisattva, Jewelled Udumbara
Flower Bodhisattva, Medicine King Bodhisattva, Medicine Superior Bodhisattva,
and Maitreya Bodhisattva. Those eight great Bodhisattvas will appear in space
to show them the way, and they will naturally be born by transformation in that
land, amid precious flowers of a myriad colors.
"Or they may be born in the heavens due to this cause. Although reborn in
the heavens, their original good roots will not be exhausted and so they will
not fall into the evildestinies again. when their life in the heavens ends,
they will be born among people again. They may be wheel-turning kings, reigning
over the four continents with awesome virtue and ease, bringing uncountable
hundreds of thousands of living beings to abide in the practice of the ten good
deeds. Or they may be born as Ksatriyas, Brahmans, laymen, or sons of honorable
families. They will be wealthy, with storehouses filled to overflowing.
Handsome in appearance, they will be surrounded by a great retinue of
relatives. They will be intelligent and wise, courageous and valiant, like
great and awesome knights. If a woman hears the name of the World Honored One,
Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, and sincerely cherishes it, in the
future she will never again be born as a female.
"Moreover, Manjusri, when Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata
attained Bodhi, by the power of his past vows he contemplated all the sentient
beings who were undergoing various kinds of sicknesses and sufferings. Some
suffered from diseases such as emaciation, atrophy, severe thirst, or yellow
fever; others were harmed by paralysis ghosts or by poisonous hexes; some died
naturally when young, while others experienced untimely deaths. He wished to
dispel all their sicknesses and sufferings, and to fulfill their wishes."
At that time, the World Honored One entered a samadhi called
"extinguishing the suffering and distress of all beings." After he
entered this samadhi, a great light came forth from his flesh-cowl. From amid
that light he proclaimed this magnificent dharani
Namo Bhagavate bhaisajya guru vaidurya prabha rajaya
Om bhaisajye bhaisajye bhaisajya samudgate Svaha
After he had spoken that mantra from amid the light, the earth trembled and
emitted great light. All beings, sicknesses and sufferings were cast off, and
they felt peaceful and happy.
"Manjusri, if you see a man (or a woman) who is ill you should
single-mindedly and frequently clean and bathe him and rinse his mouth-Provide
him with food, medicine, or water that is free of insects, over any of which
the dharani has been recited 108 times. After the sick person has taken it, all
his sicknesses and sufferings will be gone. I f this person has a wish, he
should recite this mantra with utmost sincerity. Then he will obtain whatever
he wished for, and his life will be prolonged and free from illness-At the end
of his life, he will be reborn in that Buddha's land. He will become
irreversible and will ultimately attain Bodhi. Therefore, Manjusri, if there
are men and women who, with utmost sincerity, diligently worship and make
offerings to Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, they should always
recite this mantra and never forget it.
"Moreover, Manjusri, men or women of pure faith, who have heard all the
names of Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, One of proper and Equal
Enlightenment should recite and uphold them. In the early morning, after
brushing their teeth and bathing, they should make offerings of fragrant
flowers, incense, perfumed balms, and various kinds of music before an image of
that Buddha. They should personally write out this Sutra or ask others to do
so, and they should single- mindedly and constantly recite it. If they listen
to explanations of its meaning from a Dharma Master, they should make offerings
to him of all necessities, so that he is without the slightest want. In this
way, they will receive the mindful protection of the Buddhas. All of their
wishes will be fulfilled, and they will ultimately attain Bodhi."
At that time, the Pure youth Manjusri said to the Buddha, 'World Honored One, I
vow that in the Dharma- Image Age, using various expedient means, I shall
enable good men and women of pure faith to hear the name of the World Honored
One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata. Even during their sleep, I will
awaken them with this Buddha's name.
"World Honored One, there may be those who accept and uphold this Sutra,
read and recite it, explain its meanings for others, write it out themselves,
or tell others to write it out. They may revere it by making offerings of
various flowers, paste incense, powdered incense, stick incense, flower
garlands, necklaces, banners, canopies, and music. They may make bags of
five-colored thread in which to keep the Sutra. They may sweep clean a place
and arrange a high altar on which to place this Sutra. At that time, the Four
Heavenly Kings with their retinues and other innumerable hundreds of thousands
of gods will come to that place to worship and protect it.
"World Honored One, it should be known that if, in the places where this
precious Sutra circulates, people can accept and uphold it, then due to the
merit and virtue of the past vows of that World Honored One, Medicine Master
Vaidurya Light Tathagata, because they have heard his name, none of those
people will meet with untimely death. In addition, none of them will be robbed
of his vital energy by evil ghosts and spirits. Those people whose vital
energies have already been robbed will have their health restored, and they
will be happy and at peace in body and mind."
The Buddha told Manjusri, "So it is, so it is! It is exactly as you say.
Manjusri, if there are good men and women of pure faith who wish to make
offerings to that world Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata,
they should first make an image of that Buddha and arrange a pure and clean
dais on which to place the image. Then they should strew all kinds of flowers,
burn various incenses, and adorn the place with a variety of banners and
streamers. For seven days and seven nights they should hold the eight precepts
and eat pure food. Having bathed until clean and fragrant, they should put on
clean clothes. Their minds should be undefiled, without thoughts of anger and
malice. Toward all sentient beings, they should cherish thoughts of
benevolence, peace, kindness, compassion, joy, giving, and equanimity.
"Playing musical instruments and singing praises, they should
circumambulate to the right of the Buddha's image. Moreover, they should recall
the merit and virtue of that Tathagata's past vows. They should read and recite
this Sutra, ponder its meaning, and lecture on and explain it. Then they will
obtain whatever they seek: Those who seek long life will attain longevity;
those who seek wealth will gain wealth; those who seek an official position
will obtain it; and those who seek a son or a daughter will have one.
"Moreover, if a person who suddenly has nightmare, sees ill omens, notices
strange birds flocking together, or perceives many uncanny events in his
dwelling can worship and make offerings of many fine things to that World
Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, then the nightmares, ill
omens, and inauspicious things will disappear and will no longer trouble him.
"When a person is endangered by water, fire, knives, or poison; or finds
himself on a steep cliff or in a dangerous place; or faces fierce elephants,
lions, tigers, wolves, bears, poisonous snakes, scorpions, centipedes,
millipedes, mosquitoes, gnats, or other frightful things, if he can
single-mindedly recollect, worship, and make offerings to that Buddha, he will
be liberated from all those frightful things. When other countries invade or
when there are thieves or riots, if a person can recollect and worship that
Tathagata, then he will be free of all of these as well.
"Moreover, Manjusri, there may be good men and women of pure faith who,
all their lives, do not worship other gods, but single-mindedly take refuge
with the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. They accept and uphold precepts,
such as the five precepts, the ten precepts, the four hundred precepts of a
Bodhisattva, the two hundred and fifty precepts of a Bhikshu, or the five
hundred precepts of a Bhikshuni. Perhaps they have violated some of the
precepts they received and are afraid of falling into the evil destinies. If
they concentrate on reciting that Buddha's name and worship and make offerings
to him, they definitely will not be reborn in the three evil destinies.
"If there is a woman about to give birth who suffers great pain, if she
sincerely recites his name and worships, praises, venerates, and makes
offerings to that Tathagata, her sufferings will be dispelled. The newborn
child will be sound and healthy, and will have upright features. Seeing him
will make people happy. He will be keen and intelligent, peaceful and secure,
and with few ailments, and no evil spirit will come to rob him of his vitality.
At that time the World Honored One said to Ananda, "The merit and virtue
of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, which I
have just extolled, is the extremely profound practice of all Buddhas. It is
difficult to fathom and to comprehend. Do you believe it or not?
Ananda said, "Greatly virtuous World Honored One, I have absolutely no
doubts regarding the Sutras spoken by the Tathagata. why? Because all Buddhas'
karmas of body, speech, and mind are pure-World Honored One, the sun and moon
could fall, wonderfully High, the king of mountains, could be toppled or
shaken, but the words of the Buddhas never change.
"World Honored One, there are sentient beings deficient in faith who hear
about the extremely profound practices of all Buddhas and think to themselves,'
How could one obtain such supreme merit and benefit merely by reciting the name
of a single Buddha, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata? 'Due to this lack
of faith, they give rise to slander. During the long night they lose great
benefit and joy and fall into the evil destinies, where they wander
The Buddha told Ananda, "If these sentient beings hear the name of the
World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata, and sincerely
accept and uphold it without any doubts, they cannot possibly fall into the
"Ananda, this is the extremely profound practice of all Buddhas which is
difficult to believe and to understand! you should know that your ability to
accept this comes from the awesome power of the Tathagata Ananda, alI Hearers,
Solitarily Enlightened Ones, and the Bodhisattvas who have not yet ascended to
the Grounds are incapable of believing and understanding this Dharma as it
really is. Only the Bodhisattvas who are destined in one life to attain
Buddhahood are capable of understanding.
"Ananda, it is difficult to obtain a human body. It is also difficult to
have faith in and to revere the Triple Jewel. It is even more difficult to be
able to hear the name of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light
Tathagata. Ananda, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata possesses boundless
Bodhisattva practices, limitless skillful expedients, and immeasurably vast,
great vows. If I were to speak extensively of those for an eon or more, the eon
would soon end, but that Buddha's practices, vows, and skillful expedients have
At that time within the assembly, a Bodhisattva Mahasattva named One who
Rescues and liberates arose from his seat, bared his right shoulder, knelt with
his right knee on the ground, leaned forward with his palms joined together,
and said to the Buddha, "Greatly virtuous World Honored One! During the
Dharma Image Age, there will be living beings afflicted with various diseases,
emaciated front chronic illnesses, unable to eat or drink, their throats
parched and their lips dry. Such a being sees darkness gathering all around him
as the signs of death appear. While lying in bed, surrounded by his weeping
parents, relatives, and friends, he sees the messengers of Yama leading his
spirit before that king of justice. Every sentient being has spirits that stay
with him throughout his life. They record his every deed, both good and evil,
to present to Yama, the king of justice. At that time, King Yama interrogates
this person in order to tally his karma and mete out judgement according to his
good and evil deeds.
"At that time, if the sick person's relatives and friends, on his behalf,
can take refuge with the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light
Tathagata, and request members of the Sangha to recite this Sutra, to light
seven layers of lamp, and to hang up the five colored banners for prolonging
life, then it is possible for his spirit to return. As if in a dream, the person
will see everything very clearly himself.
"If his spirit returns after seven, twenty-one, thirty five, or forty-nine
days, he will feel as if awakened from a dream and will remember the
retributions that he underwent for his good and bad karma. Having personally
witnessed the retributions of his own karma, he will never again do any evil,
even if his very life is endangered. Therefore, good men and women of pure
faith should accept and uphold the name of Medicine Master Vaidurya Light
Tathagata and, according to their capability, worship and make offerings to
At that time, Ananda asked the Bodhisattva who Rescues and liberates, Good man,
how should we worship and make offerings to the World Honored One, Medicine
Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata? And how should we make the banners and lamps
that prolong life?"
The Bodhisattva who Rescues and Liberates said, "Greatly Virtuous One, if
there is a sick person who wishes to be freed from sickness and suffering, for
his sake one should accept and uphold the eight precepts for seven days and
seven nights, and make offerings to the Bhikshu Sangha of as many items of
food, drink, and other necessities as are in his power to give.
"During the six periods of the day and night one should worship, practice
the Way, and make offerings to the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya
Light Tathagata. Read and recite this Sutra forty-nine times, light forty-nine
lamps, and make seven images of that Tathagata. In front of each image place
seven lamps, each as large as a cartwheel. These lamps must be kept burning
continuously for forty-nine days. Hang up five- colored banners that are
forty-nine spans long. Liberate a variety of living creatures, as many as
forty-nine species. Then the sick one will be able to surmount the danger and
will not suffer an untimely death or be held by evil ghosts.
"Furthermore, Ananda, in the case of ksatriya princes who are due to be
anointed on the crowns of their heads, at a time when calamity arises, such as
pestilence among the population, invasion by foreign countries, rebellion
within their territories, unusual changes in the stars, a solar or lunar
eclipse, unseasonal winds and rains, or prolonged drought, those ksatriya
princes should bring forth an attitude of kindness and compassion toward all
sentient beings and grant amnesty to all prisoners. They should follow the
above-mentioned methods to make offerings to that World Honored One, Medicine
Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata. Due to these good roots and the power of that Tathagata's
past vows, the country will be safe and peaceful, the winds and rains will be
timely, the crops will ripen, and all sentient beings will be blissful and free
of disease. Within this country there will be no violence, nor any yaksas or
other spirits that harms sentient beings, and all evil omens will vanish.
"The ksatriya princes who are due to be anointed on the crowns of their
heads will enjoy longer lives and good health, and they will be at ease and
free from illness. Ananda, if the queens, the princes, the ministers or court
counselors, the ladies of the palace, the provincial officials or the common
people suffer from diseases or other difficulties, they should also hang up
five-colored spiritual banners, light lamps and keep them burning, liberate
living creatures, strew flowers of various colors, and burn precious incense.
Then those people will be cured of their diseases and relieved of their
Then Ananda asked the Bodhisattva who Rescues and Liberates, "Good man,
how can a life that has come to an end be prolonged?"
The Bodhisattva who Rescues and Liberates answered, "Greatly Virtuous One,
did you not hear the Tathagata say that there are nine kinds of untimely death?
That is why people are exhorted to make life-prolonging banners and lamps and
to cultivate all kinds of blessings. Through such cultivation of blessings,
they will be freed from suffering and adversity for the rest of their lives.
Ananda asked, "What are the nine kinds of untimely death?"
The Bodhisattva who Rescues and liberates said, "There may be living
beings who, although not seriously ill have neither medicine nor a doctor to
treat them, or else they meet a doctor who gives them the wrong medicine;
consequently, they meet with an untimely death. Some of them believe in worldly
cults, whose deviant teachers frighten them with false prophecies. Unable to
set their minds at ease, they consult oracles to find out what calamities are
in store for them. In order to propitiate the spirits, they kill various creatures.
They pray to wang liang ghosts for aid and protection. Although they wish to
prolong their lives, their efforts are to no avail. They deludedly hold to
wrong beliefs and perverse views. Thus they meet with an untimely death and
fall into the hells, never to come out. This is the first kind of untimely
"The second kind of untimely death is to be executed at the hands of the
law. The third kind is to hunt for sport, to indulge in drinking and lust, or
to become excessively dissipated, and then to be waylaid by non-human beings
that rob one's essence and energy. The fourth is to be burned to death; the
fifth is to drown; the sixth is to be devoured by wild beasts; the seventh is
to fall from a steep cliff; the eighth is to be harmed by poison, voodoo, evil
mantras, or corpse-raising ghosts; the ninth is to die from hunger and thirst.
These are the nine kinds of untimely deaths generally spoken of by the
Tathagata. There are also innumerable other kinds which cannot all be spoken of
"Moreover, Ananda, King Yama keeps track of the karmic records of all the
inhabitants of the world. If there are beings who are not filial to their
parents, who commit the Five Rebellious Acts, who revile the Triple Jewel, who
destroy the laws of the country, or who violate the precept of truthfulness,
then Yama, the king of justice, examines and punishes them according to the
severity of their offenses. Therefore, I encourage people to light lamps and
make banners, to liberate beings and cultivate blessings so that they can
overcome suffering and peril and forestall all disasters.
At that time, twelve great yaksa generals were present in the assembly. They
were: General Kimbhiro, General Vajra, General Mekhilo, General Antilo, General
Anilo, General Santhilo, General Indalo, General Payilo, General Mahalo,
General Cidalo, General Caundhulo, and General Vikalo.
These twelve great Yaksa generals, each with a retinue of seven thousand
yaksas, simultaneously raised their voices and addressed the Buddha,
"World Honored One! Today, by relying on the Buddha's awesome power, we
are able to hear the name of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya
Light Tathagata. As a result, we are no longer afraid of the evil destinies.
All of us are of one mind to take refuge with the Buddha, the Dharma, and the
Sangha to the end of our lives. We vow to support all living beings and to
benefit them, so that they may live in peace and happiness. In whatever cities,
villages, countries, or secluded forests this Sutra circulates, or wherever
people accept and uphold the name of Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata
and venerate and make offerings to him, we, together with our retinues, will
guard and protect them, deliver them from all distress, and fulfill all their
wishes. If a person wishes to dispel illnesses and difficulties, he should read
or recite this Sutra and tie a five-colored thread into knots, forming the
letters of our names. He should untie the knots when his wishes have been
At that time, the World Honored One praised the great yaksa generals, saying,
"Good indeed, good indeed, mighty yaksa generals! All of you who want to
repay the kindness of the World Honored One, Medicine Master Vaidurya Light
Tathagata, should always benefit beings and bring peace and happiness to them
in this way.
Then Ananda said to the Buddha, "World Honored One, what should we call
this teaching? How should we uphold it?"
The Buddha told Ananda, "This teaching is called, 'The Merit and Virtue of
the Past Vows of Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata.' It is also called
'Twelve Spiritual Generals' Vows to Use Spiritual Mantras to Benefit Living
Beings.' It is also called 'Eradicating All Karmic Obstacles.' You should
uphold it in this way.
When the Bhagavan had finished speaking, all the Bodhisattvas, Mahasattvas,
great Hearers, kings, minister, Brahmans, laypeople, gods, dragons, yaksas,
gandharvas, asuras, garudas, kinnaras, mahoragas, humans, and non-human beings,
and all the great assembly, on hearing what the Buddha had said, were greatly
delighted. They received it with faith and respectfully practiced it.
(End of translation)
(Translated into English by B.T.T.S.)