AT THAT TIME Medicine King Bodhisattva rose from his seat, uncovered
his right shoulder, placed his palms together, faced the Buddha, and
said, "World Honored One, if a good man or a good woman can receive and
uphold the Dharma Flower Sutra, whether reading or reciting it with ease and understanding, or writing it out, what blessings will that person gain?"|
The Buddha said to Medicine King, "What do you think? If a good man or a good woman were to make offerings to Buddhas equal in number to the grains of sand in eight million kotis of nayutas of Ganges Rivers, would the blessings he gained not be great?"
"Very great, World Honored One."
The Buddha said, "If a good man or a good woman can receive and uphold even a single four-line verse of this Sutra, read it, recite it, explain its meaning, and cultivate in accord with its teaching, his or her merit and virtue will be extremely great."
At that time Medicine King Bodhisattva said to the Buddha, "World Honored One, I shall now give to the speakers of Dharma a dharani mantra for their protection."
He then spoke the mantra, saying:
Then Shakyamuni Buddha praised Medicine King Bodhisattva, saying, "Good indeed, good indeed, Medicine King, that you mercifully protect this Dharma Master by speaking this dharani, thereby greatly benefiting living beings."
At that time Courageous Giving Bodhisattva said to the Buddha, "World Honored One, I too shall speak a dharani to protect those who read, recite, receive, and uphold the Dharma Flower Sutra.
If this Dharma Master gains this dharani, no yaksha, rakshasa, putana, kritya, kumbhanda, or hungry ghost will be able to seek out his weakness and take advantage of him."
Then, in the presence of the Buddha, he spoke this mantra:
At that time the Heavenly King and World-Protector Vaishravana said to the Buddha, "World Honored One, I, too, out of compassion for living beings and in order to protect the Dharma Masters, shall speak this dharani."
He then spoke this mantra:
At that time the Heavenly King "Holder of the Country" was present in the assembly and reverently surrounded by a host of a thousand myriad kotis of nayutas of gandharoas. He went before the Buddha, placed his palms together, and spoke to the Buddha, saying, "World Honored One, I too shall protect the upholders of the Dharma Flower Sutra with a dharani, a spiritual mantra."
He then spoke this mantra:
At that time there were rakshasa women.
The first was named Lamba, the second was named Vilamba, the third was named Crooked Teeth, the fourth was named Flower Teeth, the fifth was named Black Teeth, the sixth was named Much Hair, the seventh was named Insatiable, the eighth was named Holder of Beads, the ninth was named Kunti, and the tenth was named Robber of the Essence and Energy of All Beings.
These ten rakshasa women, along with the ghost mother and her children and their retinues, all went before the Buddha and spoke to him in unison, saying, "World Honored One, we, too, wish to protect those who read, recite, receive, and hold the Dharma Flower Sutra, and keep them from harm. Should anyone seek out the weaknesses of these Dharma Masters, he will not be able to take advantage of them."
Then, in the presence of the Buddha, they spoke this mantra:
Then, in the presence of the Buddha, they spoke this verse:
Or tries to disturb one who speaks the Dharma,
His head shall break into seven pieces,
Like the branch of the arjaka tree.
Like the retribution for the offense of killing one's parents,
Or that of pressing oil,
Or cheating others with weights and measures,
Or Devadatta's offense in breaking up the Sangha- One who harms this Dharma Master
Shall incur calamities such as these.
The Buddha told the rakshasa women, "Good indeed, good indeed! In protecting those who receive and uphold even the name of the Dharma flower, your blessings will be unlimited; how much more so for protecting those who receive and uphold it in full; who make offerings to the Sutra text of flowers, incense, beads, powdered incense, paste incense, burning incense, banners, canopies, and music; and who light various lamps-butter lamps, oil lamps, lamps of fragrant oil, lamps of sumana oil, lamps of champaka flower oil, lamps of varshika flower oil, lamps of utpala flower oil, and lamps such as these, of a hundred thousand kinds. Kunti! You and your retinue should protect Dharma Masters such as these."
When this "Dharani Chapter" had been spoken, sixty-eight thousand people obtained the Patience with the Nonproduction of Dharmas.