The Dharani Possessing the Limbs of All the Buddhas

The following dharani is yet another precious practice from the Zung Du (Collection of Dharani) within the Kangyur. As such, it can be read and recited by anyone without empowerment or oral transmission. As discussed above under the Amitayus Sutra, there are two kinds of death in Tibetan Buddhism and medicine, timely or natural and untimely. This dharani frees one specifically from the fear of untimely death. While there are many causes of untimely death, including fire, water, weapons, lightning, etc., disease is the most common cause of untimely death in humans (at least in times and places of peace), and, as the Buddha Himself says in this dharani, "Bad diseases will nor arise in [his or her] body" if one reads or recites this dharani every day. Therefore, the recitation of this dharani on a daily basis is an excellent "insurance policy."

 

Gya-gar ked-du: Arya Sarwa Buddha Adgawati Nama Dharani

Bod ked-du: Phag-pa Sang-gay Tham-ched-kyi Yen-lag-dang Den-pa Zhe-ja-wai Zung

 

I prostrate to all the Buddhas and Bodhisatvas.

 

Thus have I heard:

 

Once the Blessed One was dwelling together with the Four Guardians of the World on the banks of the Ganges River. At that time, the Blessed One spoke thus to the Four Great Kings, Vaishravana and the others:

 

“Great Kings, the four great fears arise for men, women, boys, and girls. What are these four? They are aging, sickness, decrepitude, and death. Moreover, among these, the one great fear is the great fear of the Lord of Death. Without [being able] to oppose it and lacking an antidote for it, they are always pursued by this one great fear. Great Kings, now I will tell you the antidote to that one great fear.”

 

Then the Four Great Kings replied thus to the Blessed One:

 

“Blessed One, by fully bestowing life, You take care of all beings. Excellently today we have secured a [great] boon.”

 

Then the Blessed One went to the eastern direction and, sitting [down] there, exhorted all the Tathagatas with the sound of a fingersnap and spoke thus:

 

“All those Tathagatas, Arhats, Sam-yak Sam-Buddhas Who, out of compassion for sentient beings, have attained Buddhahood in the manifest complete Enlightenment that is unsurpassed and perfectly complete, please assist Me! Then, having been blessed here by the blessings of all the Buddhas, I will thoroughly avert untimely death for all sentient beings. I will also turn the second wheel of Dharma that I turned before.”

 

In the same way, [the Blessed One] exhorted all the Tathagatas in the south, west, north, above, and below speaking thus:

 

“All those Tathagatas, Arhats, Sam-yak Sam-Buddhas Who, out of compassion for all sentient beings, have attained Buddhahood in the manifest complete Enlightenment that is unsurpassed and perfectly complete, please assist me!”

 

Moreover, He also spoke thus to those [Buddhas] in the intermediate directions in order for life, strength, and complexion to be thoroughly accomplished and for the fear of untimely death to not arise, saying: “All Buddhas, please assist Me!”

 

Then, like [seeds in] a sesame pod, the Buddha Bhagawats, filling universes equal to however many [grains of] earth exist in the 10 directions, appeared to the eyes of the Buddha. Having accepted to assist the Tathagata, all the Tathagatas spoke thus:

 

“TAD-YA-THA

TSA-LA TSA-LA TSA-LE

BI-NA-TI

SWA-STI-KE CHA-KRA

AD-GA-TI

PRA-SHA-MAN-TU

SAR-WA RO-GA

A-NA-TE

KU-NA-TE

MA-HA KU-NA-TE

TSA-RE TSA-RE-RE

HE-MA GA-RI

HE-MA GAU-RI

HE-MA NI-SHUN-TI

HE-MA SI-SI

KAUR-WE KAU-WAR-WE

HE-KU RA-RE

KU-RA-RE

KU-MA-TI

BI-SHA SA-MA-NE

SHI-SHU-BHI

TSA-LE TSA-LE

BI-TSA-LE

MA-BI LAM-BA

HU-MU HU-MU SO-HA"

 

Then, all the Lords of Secrets, however many exist, having sat down beside all the Tathagatas, said, “HUNG HUNG SI-SI SO-HA.” They spoke thus and all the Tathagatas vanished.

 

Next, the great King Vaishravana replied thus to the Blessed One:

 

“Blessed One, I too will protect them with the blessings of the Tathagatas. I will avert untimely death. TAD-YA-THA SHWE-TE SHWE-TE SHWE-TE LE-LI-LI.”

 

Likewise, Virudhaka said: “MA-TAM-GEMA-TAM-GE MAT-TAM GI-NI SHU-MA SHU-MU.”

 

Similarly, Dhritarashta said: “TSA-RE TSA-RE-RE SO-HA.”

 

Virupaksha also said: “BA-LIM BA-BA.”

 

The Blessed One spoke thus:

 

“Great Kings, anyone who recites this vidya mantra seen by all the Buddhas once per day, that son of the [noble] Family or that daughter of the [noble] Family will generate a perception of the Teacher. That son of the [noble] Family or that daughter of the [noble] Family will not go to the three bad migrations. [He or she] will benefit the lives of all sentient beings. Whoever recites these words for the sake of all sentient beings for [even just] one day or whoever [merely] reads them will be free from the fear of untimely death. Bad diseases will not arise in [his or her] body. Water will not bring about the time of [his or her] death, nor will fire, nor will weapons, nor will poison, nor will lightning. Wherever the sons [and daughters] of the Victors recite this vidya mantra will be seen by the Enlightened intent of all the Buddhas and Bodhisatvas. If one should write or cause others to write it, [he or she] will be revered by all those who serve the Buddha Bhagwats. Why is that? It is because the Tathagatas have taught, ‘Those who serve sentient beings, serve the Buddhas.’ [Further,] anyone who, having written this [mantra], affixes it to [his or her] limbs, all [his or her] limbs will be protected.”

 

When the Blessed One had said this, the Four Great Kings and all their retinues as well as the world with its Gods, humans, Asuras, and Gandharvas rejoiced [and] praised the words spoken by the Blessed One.

 

[Thus] the dharani called Possessing the Limbs of All the Buddhas is completed.