The Dhāraṇī of Lapis Light that Generates the Power of the Tathāgata’s Samādhi
[The Concise Medicine Buddha Sūtra]
Translated from the Tibetan by Erick Tsiknopoulos
In the Indian Language [Sanskrit]: Ārya Tathāgata Vaiḍūrya Prabha nāma Bala Dhana Samādhi Dhāraṇī(ārya-tathāgata-vaiḍūrya-prabha-nāma-bala-dhana-samādhi-dhāraṇī)
In the Tibetan Language: [1. actual title] P’akpa Dézhinshekpay Tingngédzin gyi Top Kyeypa Baidūryay Ö cheyjaway Zung (‘phags pa de bzhin gshegs pa’i ting nge ‘dzin gyi stobs bskyed pa baidūrya’i ‘od ces bya ba’i gzungs)
[2. ‘Nickname’ –Men Do Düpa (sman mdo bsdus pa)]
In the English Language: 1. Sanskrit title: Lapis Light of the Exalted Tathāgata: A Strength-Generating Dhāraṇī of Meditative Immersion
2. Tibetan title: The Exalted Dhāraṇīof Lapis Light that Generates the Power of the Tathāgata’s Samādhi
3. Tibetan ‘Nickname’: The Concise Medicine Buddha Sūtra
HOMAGE TO ALL BUDDHAS AND BODHISATTVAS.
Thus have I heard: At one time, the Bhagavān was dwelling in the Abode of Medicine, together in one company with a great congregation of monks and a great congregation of bodhisattvas, and it was at that moment that the Bhagavān entered into the meditative immersion known as ‘Invoking the Field of the Buddha’.
Immediately thereupon, all the world-systems in this three thousand-fold universe shook intensely. An immeasurable rain of divine sandalwood powder and flowers showered down. The Seven Tathāgatas, along with their retinues, came to the realm of this world, sat upon lion thrones which arose from the previous virtuous roots of those Tathāgatas; and all the Bodhisattvas circumambulated them. Devas, nāgas, yakṣas, gandharvas, āsuras, kinnaras, mahoragas, kings, government officials, brāhmiṇs, and householders circumambulated them passionately.
Then, through the power of the Buddha, Mañjuśrīkumārabhūta arose from his seat, and joining his palms, spoke the following words: “May all Tathāgatas consider this, I pray. Please purify the negativity of all sentient beings, dispel their illness, and fulfill all their hopes. O Bhagavān, I implore you; please relate the names of these Tathāgatas, and the Dhāraṇī that is blessed by their previous aspirations.”
Thereupon the Bhagavān gave Mañjuśrīkumārabhūta a confirmation of excellence, saying: “Mañjuśrī, excellent, excellent. Listen well and intensely; and keep this in mind. I shall explain it to you.”
“So be it”, said Mañjuśrīkumārabhūta to the Bhagavān, and listened in accordance with the Bhagavān. And the Bhagavān granted teaching thus: “They are as follows:
[The Names of the Seven Medicine Buddhas]
HOMAGE TO THE TATHĀGATA GLORIOUS KING WHOSE NAME IS EXTREMELY WELL-RENOWNED [SUPARIKĪRTITANAMAŚRĪRĀJA].
HOMAGE TO THE TATHĀGATA ERUDITE DAZZLING KING OF MELODY WHO IS ABUNDANTLY ADORNED BY GEMS, MOONS, AND LOTUSES [SVARAGHOṢARĀJA].
HOMAGE TO THE TATHĀGATA KING ACCOMPLISHED IN DEPORTMENT WHO RADIATES EXCELLENT STAINLESS PRECIOUS GOLD [SUVARṆABHADRAVIMALARATNAPRABHĀSARĀJA].
HOMAGE TO THE TATHĀGATA GLORIOUS KING OF THE SUPREME FREEDOM FROM SORROW [AŚOKOTTAMAŚRĪRĀJA].
HOMAGE TO THE TATHĀGATA KING OF THE OCEANIC MELODY OF PROCLAIMED DHARMA [DHARMAKĪRTISĀGARAGHOṢARĀJA].
HOMAGE TO THE TATHĀGATA KING OF CLEAR UNDERSTANDING WHO DEMONSTRATES WITH THE MIND OF THE DHARMA’S SUPREME OCEAN [ABHIJÑARĀJA].
HOMAGE TO THE TATHĀGATA MEDICINE GURU KING OF LAPIS LIGHT [BHAIṢAJYAGURUVAIḌŪRYAPRABHĀRĀJA].
[The Other Names]
HOMAGE TO THE TATHĀGATA, THE GLORIOUS ŚĀKYAMUNI.
HOMAGE TO THE BHAGAVĀTĪ, THE MOTHER PRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀ.
HOMAGE TO THE BODHISATTVA MAHĀSATTVA MAÑJUŚRĪKUMĀRABHŪTA.
HOMAGE TO THE BODHISATTVA MAHĀSATTVA AVALOKITEŚVARA .
HOMAGE TO THE BODHISATTVA MAHĀSATTVA VAJRAPĀṆI.
HOMAGE TO THE BODHISATTVA MAHĀSATTVA SURYAVAIROCANA.
HOMAGE TO THE BODHISATTVA MAHĀSATTVA CANDRAVAIROCANA.
HOMAGE TO THE BODHISATTVA MAHĀSATTVA MAHĀMATI.
HOMAGE TO THE BODHISATTVA MAHĀSATTVA MAITREYA.
HOMAGE TO THE BODHISATTVA MAHĀSATTVA VAJRA.
HOMAGE TO THE BODHISATTVA MAHĀSATTVA PRATIBHĀNAKŪṬA.
HOMAGE TO THE BODHISATTVA MAHĀSATTVA MEANINGFUL DOMINANCE.
HOMAGE TO THE BODHISATTVA MAHĀSATTVA BEAUTIFUL TO BEHOLD.
HOMAGE TO THE BODHISATTVA MAHĀSATTVA INTELLECT THAT DEFINITIVELY OVERPOWERS ALL DARK BEWILDERMENT.
HOMAGE TO THE BODHISATTVA MAHĀSATTVA INTENTION OF EXCELLENT ASPIRATION.
HOMAGE TO THE BODHISATTVA MAHĀSATTVA MERUKŪṬA.
HOMAGE TO THE BODHISATTVA MAHĀSATTVA BRIGHTLY SHIMMERING MELODY.
HOMAGE TO THE BODHISATTVA MAHĀSATTVA KING WHO CAPTURED THE PEAK OF GREAT MERU.
HOMAGE TO THE ĀRYA ARHATS ŚĀRIPUTRA AND MAHĀMAUDGALYĀYANA.
HOMAGE TO THE GREAT UPĀSAKAS BRĀHMA AND INDRA.
HOMAGE TO THE FOUR GREAT KINGS.
HOMAGE TO THE GREAT NĀGA UPĀSAKA, BUDDHA BHAGAVĀN.
HOMAGE TO THE TWELVE GREAT YAKṢA GENERALS.
Then, those Tathāgatas granted instruction in the words of the Dhāraṇī, in a single voice, thus:
NAMO RATNA TRAYĀYA/ NAMO BHAGAVĀTE/ APRATIHATA/ BHAIṢAJYAIRĀJĀYA/ TADYATHĀ/ OṀ SARVA TATHĀGATA HŪṀ/ GHUME GHUME/ IMINI MIHI/ MATI MATI/ SAPTA TATHĀGATA/ SAMĀDHYA DHIṢTHITE/ ATE MATE PĀLE PĀPAM ŚODHANI/ SARVA PĀPAM NAŚAYA/ MAMA BUDHE/ BUDHO TATAME/ UME KUME/ BUDHAKṢE TRAPARI ŚODHANI/ DHAMENI DHAME/ MERU MERU/ MERU ŚIKHARE/ SARVA AKĀLA ṀṜTYU NIVĀRANI/ BUDHE SUBUDHE/ BUDHE ADHIṢTHITENA/ ADHIṢTHITENA/ RAKṢANTUME/ SARVA DEVA SAME ASAME/ SAMANVĀHARANTUME/ SARVA BUDDHA BODHISATTVA/ ŚAME ŚAME/ PRAṢAMANTUME/ SARVA ITYU PADRĀPA/ VYADHAYAḤ PŪRANI/ SUPŪRANI/ PŪRAYAME/ SARVA ĀŚĀME/ VAIḌŪRYA PRATIBHĀSI SARVA PĀPAM KṢAYAM KARI SVĀHĀ/ OṀ BHAIṢAJYA BHAIṢAJYA/ MAHĀ BHAIṢAJYA BHAIṢAJYA/ SAMUDGATE SVĀHĀ
NAMO RATNA TRAYĀYA/ NAMO BHAGAWĀTE/ APRATIHATA/ BHAISHADZYAIRĀDZĀYA/ TADYATHĀ/ OṀ SARBA TATHĀGATA HŪNG/ GHUME GHUME/ IMINI MIHI/ MATI MATI/ SAPTA TATHĀGATA/ SAMĀDHYA DHISHTHITE/ ATE MATE PĀLE PĀPAM ŚODHANI/ SARBA PĀPAM NASHAYA/ MAMA BUDHE/ BUDHO TATAME/ UME KUME/ BUDHAKSHE TRAPARI SHODHANI/ DHAMENI DHAME/ MERU MERU/ MERU SHIKHARE/ SARBA AKĀLA ṀṜTYU NIBĀRANI/ BUDHE SUBUDHE/ BUDHE ADHISHTHITENA/ ADHISHTHITENA/ RAKSHANTUME/ SARBA DEVA SAME ASAME/ SAMANBĀHARANTUME/ SARBA BUDDHA BODHISATTWA/ SHAME SHAME/ PRASHAMANTUME/ SARBA ITYU PADRĀPA/ BYADHAYAḤ PŪRANI/ SUPŪRANI/ PŪRAYAME/ SARBA ĀSHĀME/ BAIḌŪRYA PRATIBHĀSI SARBA PĀPAM KSHAYAM KARI SWĀHĀ/ OṀ BHAISHADZYA BHAISHADZYA/ MAHĀ BHAISHADZYA BHAISHAJYA/ SAMUDGATE SWĀHĀ]
When instruction in the Names and Dhāraṇī had been granted, a great luminosity arose; the great earth shook as well, and displays of miracles manifested. The retinue that had thus assembled then made offerings to the Tathāgatas with incense and scents, saying “Excellent!”; and circumambulated them seven times.
Then, those Seven Tathāgatas became invisible; and the Bhagavān, the Glorious Śākyamuni, granted teaching in the following words: “If any son of good lineage or daughter of good lineage who retains, upholds, reads, and pays reverence to the Names and Dhāraṇī of these Tathāgatas should cleanse themselves, in a clean place imbue themselves with the Eight Ennobling Factors [of the Noble Eightfold Path], and, with supreme compassion for all sentient beings, commence on the full moon, during the fourth month of the lunar cycle, arrange statues of those Tathāgatas, perform fasting observances on the eighth, fourteenth, and fifteenth days of the lunar month, recite the Dhāranis forty-nine, one thousand and eight, or forty-nine thousand times, and three times during the day and three times during the evening make offerings of flowers, scents, incense, butter lamps, garlands, musical sounds, parasols, victory banners, and flags; then, thereafter, those Tathāgatas will consider them; and all Bodhisattvas will think of them. Brāhma, Indra, the Four Great Kings, and the Great Nāga Upāsakas will also fully protect them; and all the Vajra-Bearing Yakṣa Generals will defend them impeccably, as well. All their karmic obscurations, such as the five heinous deeds, will be completely purified, they will not be stricken by any illnesses, they will live for a long time, they will be totally freed from all untimely death; and for them all fatalities, enemies, harm from the wilderness, fighting, arguments and disputes will be powerfully pacified. They will not fall under the power of any enemies; and all wishes that they mentally formulate will be comprehensively achieved.”
Then, Mañjuśrīkumārabhūta spoke the following words to the Bhagavān: “Bhagavān, what is the name of this section of Dharma? How should this be retained?”
The Bhagavān granted teaching thus: “Mañjuśrī, as for that, retain it as ‘The Dhāraṇī of Lapis Light that Generates the Power of the Tathāgata’s Samādhi’. Retain it also as ‘The Pulverizing and Cleansing of All Karmic Obscurations’. “
After the Bhagavān had granted teaching thus with those words, the Mañjuśrīkumārabhūta and that all-inclusive assembly rejoiced; they deeply praised what had been spoken by the Bhagavān.
THE DHĀRAṇĪ KNOWN AS ‘LAPIS LIGHT WHICH GENERATES THE POWER OF THE TATHĀGATA’S SAMĀDHI’ IS COMPLETE.
This was translated, edited, and checked by the Indian panditas Jinamitra, Dānashīla, and Śrīrendrabodhi, and the [Tibetan] translator and editor Lotsāwa Bendé Yéshé Dé. Later, it was revised and checked according to new linguistic terminology by the Indian pandita Dīpamkara Śrī Jñāna [Atisha] and Gélong Tsultrim Gyëlwa, in the Golden House of Thönding.
Translated from Tibetan into English by Erick Tsiknopoulos in late April of 2013, in the Sanctuary of Yearning for Release [Thardö Ling], McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala, India.
This translation was revised in early October of 2013, again in mid-January of 2014, and once again in late March of 2017.
By the positive karmic potential arising from this translation, may all living beings be healed from the sickness of dualistic fixation.
Special thanks to Dr. Lobzang Gyatso for his skilled explanation of certain difficult points in the Tibetan text, to Mike Dickman for his excellent English editing suggestions[i], and to Ned Branchi for his valuable help with the Sanskrit, English editing, and insights on Buddhist terminology.
Very special thanks to Thekchen Choling Singapore, who kindly sponsored the translation of this text, which they have compassionately published for free distribution in Singapore and Malaysia. May we all rejoice in their merit and virtue.
For more English translations of Buddhist texts from Tibetan, please see the official website of Erick Tsiknopoulos and the Sugatagarbha Translation Group, Sugatagarbha Translations, at: http://www.buddha-nature.com
1) Vaiḍūrya has indeed been translated as ‘sapphire’ and also ‘lapis’, but it also refers to beryl. In Wikipedia we find:
In geology, beryl is a mineral composed of beryllium aluminium cyclosilicate with the chemical formula Be3Al2(SiO3)6. The hexagonal crystals of beryl may be very small or range to several meters in size. Terminated crystals are relatively rare. Pure beryl is colorless, but it is frequently tinted by impurities; possible colors are green, blue, yellow, red, and white.
The English name beryl is derived (via Latin: beryllus, Old French: beryl, and Middle English: beril) from Greek βήρυλλος (beryllos) which referred to a “precious blue-green color-of-sea-water stone”. This in turn originated from the Prakrit veruliya (वॆरुलिय) and the Pāli veḷuriya (वेलुरिय) and veḷiru (भेलिरु), which are derived from the Sanskrit वैडूर्य vaidurya, which is ultimately of Dravidian origin, maybe from the name of Belur or “Velur” in southern India. The term was later adopted for the mineral beryl more exclusively. The late Latin word berillus was abbreviated as brill-, which produced the Italian word brilllre meaning “shine”, the French word brille meaning “shine”, the Spanish word brillo, also meaning “shine”, and the English word “brilliance”.
Why is this important? If we are visualizing Medicine Buddha in practice, we visualize the body as not solid but translucent, like blue crystal (beryl) that shines with a blue light. Indeed, that could even give a blue sapphire-like appearance, and that colour is also related to the blue hue of the lapis stone. We see lapis related to blue deities in many ways where the stone is used to represent blue practices such as mālās made of ‘lapis’. However, when it comes to the actual description and the actual visualization of Medicine Buddha, then a body of blue sapphire-coloured light is closer to the original blue-coloured crystal indicated by vaiḍūrya, that is, beryl.
2) during the fourth month of the lunar cycle: That is, on the fifteenth day of the fourth month of the lunar calendar. This corresponds to the holy month of Saga Dawa (sa ga zla ba) in Tibetan Buddhism, known elsewhere in the Buddhist world as Vesak/Wesak.
3) For the names of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, the Sanskrit has been retained wherever possible and reasonable. Most of the names that are in Sanskrit are the names of bodhisattvas who are more well-known in general, and by their Sanskrit names in particular.