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Morning & Evening Recitations

October 17, 2007

MORNING RECITATIONS

At the appointed hour, the signal is sounded and all monks form a processional outside the Great Shrine Hall. All monks are dressed in both full sleeved robe and kesa. The order of procession is fixed by tradition with the Rector (Tso Yuan) being the first to enter. He is followed by the Western Ranks. Next comes the Succentor (Yueh Chung) who is followed by the Eastern Ranks. The last one to enter is the Abbot, who takes his place at the left side of the door. The Proctor will stand in a position opposite by the right door, and, when all are inside, the Recitations begin.

INCENSE HYMN

Before taking his place in the ranks, the Abbot OR the Rector will stand directly in front of the altar. The Precentor will then signal for three strokes of the Great Ch’ing, and all in the assembly make three bows to the Buddha. Still standing in front of the altar, the Abbot (or the Rector) now lifts the Precious Tripod for the singing of the Incense Hymn. When the Hymn is completed the Precious Tripod is replaced on the altar and the Abbot (or Rector) takes his correct place.

ALL

Precious, Tripod! Burning, Rare Incense, Reaching Everywhere in the Ten Directions! This is a sincere offering to the King of Dharma Attainment! It is also fitting and proper that we pray for the happiness and longevity of the people: May they be on Earth a long time and in Heaven even longer! It is also fitting and proper that we pray for the happiness and longevity of the people: May they be on Earth a long time and in Heaven even longer!

Give Praise to the Fragrant Cloud Covered Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas!
Give Praise to the Fragrant Cloud Covered Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas!
Give Praise to the Fragrant Cloud Covered Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas!

GATHA FOR OPENING SUTRAS

The Precentor (Wei No) strikes the Great Ch’ing and intones:

PRECENTOR

The incomparable and profoundly exquisite Dharma!

ALL

It is rare that it can be met with, even in hundreds of thousands of millions of ages!
We are now permitted to see it! We are now permitted to hear it!
We are now permitted to accept it! We are now permitted to hold it!
May we truly understand the meaning of these words of the Tathagata!

THE SURANGAMA MANTRA

Praising the Surangama Assembly

PRECENTOR

Give Praise!

ALL

To the Surangama Assembly of Great Buddhas and Bodhisattvas!
Give Praise to the Surangama Assembly of Great Buddhas and Bodhisattvas!
Give Praise to the Surangama Assembly of Great Buddhas and Bodhisattvas!

The Dharani of Aryacalanatha

PRECENTOR

Throughout the ages, it is the rarely heard virtue of the Surangama that enables a Buddha to overcome every obstacle.

ALL

It dispels my one hundred million eons of upside-down views, and by its Power, this uncalculating monk can revere and obtain the Dharmakaya. I now resolve to obtain its fruit and become a Precious King; thus, I can repay the Buddha by saving the numberless assembly. I shall protect this Profound Mind, and yet also receive with respect the field of qualities. This Correct Living is called “the activity that repays the Buddha’s Blessings.”

We humbly request that the Lord of the World bear witness to this Vow of Wisdom:
In the Five Periods of the Evil World, I swear to begin entering into True Thusness, so that in the end, one and all living beings become Buddha. Finally, I will not from this practice and wisdom grasp Nirvana until this has been accomplished.

Greatly Heroic! Greatly Powerful! Greatly Merciful and Compassionate One!

It is also rare that one can examine and get rid of small subtle doubts, so, this morning I will advance the Unsurpassed Bodhi-Mind to the Ten Directions and also the underlying principle of this Ch’an Mountain: Sunyata’s Unchanging Nature can dispel and end the turning of the Wheel that Nets the Mind into Unchanging Transformations!

Seven Praises

ALL

We praise the constantly abiding in the Ten Directions Buddha!
We praise the constantly abiding in the Ten Directions Dharma!
We praise the constantly abiding in the Ten Directions Sangha!
We praise Shakyamuni Buddha!
We praise the Buddha’s Expounding of the Surangama!
We praise the Regarder of the World’s Cries Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva!
We praise the Diamond Thunderbolt Treasury Bodhisattva!

Introduction of the Surangama Mantra

PRECENTOR

At one time the World Honored One with His Flame-shaped tuft of Hair from which spring forth One Hundred Precious Lights caused this light to spring forth in the form of a Thousand Petalled Lotus. He then transformed Himself and sat in the center of the Lotus, and, from the Top of His Head, He sent forth in the Ten Directions One Hundred Precious Lights. One by one, the Precious Lights everywhere proclaimed this manifestation in as many times and places as there are Sands in Ten Ganges Rivers.

The Diamond-Thunderbolt Indestructible Deva Guardians of Vairocana sought Him out, and having found Him, lifted up the mountain upon which He sat. As if it was a pestle, they carried it into the empty reaches of space where He found a Great Assembly that was looking into their equally encumbering dreads and desires.

They beseeched the Buddha to have pity on them and to protect them. Thereupon, with “one-mind” so as to hear the Buddha, with His Invisible Mark upon His Head, they listened as the Light-Emitting One, the Tathagata, proclaimed this Mantra:

Text of the Surangama Mantra

ALL

Give Praise to the Awakened One! The Well Come One! The Holy One!
The One With Perfect Universal Knowledge! The Great One!
The Buddha Who Sits on Ten Million Thrones!
Give Praise to all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas!
Give Praise to all the Universally Enlightened Ones! And to those who have abandoned everything–the Sangha!
Give Praise to the Countless World Honored Arhats!
Give Praise to those who have entered the Holy Stream!
Give Praise to those who have but once more to be reborn!
Give Praise to the Countless Perfected Ones! Those who prevent the Sins of Desire!
Give Praise to the Devas and Immortals!
Give Praise to the Accomplished One! The Knowing Immortal Tara; who if looked upon with reverence takes immediate delight in us!
Give Praise to the Jewel of Salvation!
Give Praise to Indra the Creator!
Give Praise to the Holy One! The Guardian Deva Rudra, Lord of the Storms! And His Consort Unmada!
Give Praise to the Holy One! The Immensely Strong Nara, whose utterances are Great, Perfect and Illuminating! Give Praise to this Completely Compassionate One!

Give Praise to the Holy One! The Buddha Mahakara! He who crossed over in previous times! The Unfettered One! We give homage to this one of Untouched Virtue and Unsurpassed Emancipation who wore the cast-off clothing of graveyards and who was a founder of our sect. Give Praise to this Completely Compassionate One!
Give Praise to the Holy One! The Nobly Descended Tathagata!
Give Praise to the Nobly Descended Red Lotus!
Give Praise to the Nobly Descended Diamond-Thunderbolt!
Give Praise to the Nobly Descended Great Jewel!
Give Praise to the Nobly Descended Great Elephant!
Give Praise to the Holy One! The Sovereign Lord Sulasana, who was beyond being possessed by Joy, this Tathagata!
Give Praise to the Holy One! Give Praise to Amitabha! The Well Come One! The Blessed One! The One with Perfect Universal Knowledge!
Give Praise to the Holy One! The Unmoved Buddha Aksobhya! The Well Come One! The Blessed One! The One with Perfect Universal Knowledge!
Give Praise to the Holy One! The Lapis Lazuli Radiating Medicine Teaching Buddha Bhaisajya Tathagata!
Give Praise to the Holy One! The Completely Empty Teacher of Caution who takes pity on those in Hell! The Well Come One! The Blessed One! The One with Perfect Universal Knowledge!
Give Praise to the Holy Ones! Ratnaketuraja! The Two Thousand Precious Buddhas of the Future! The Well Come Ones! The Blessed Ones! The Ones with Perfect Universal Knowledge!
When we are in danger, if we give praise to these Highest Ones, from their dim clouds the World Honored Ones, the Tathagatas of the Ten Million Thrones, send down their protective White Canopy of Purity.
Giving praise to these who are victorious over backsliding on the Three Evil Paths is the perfect true antidote, and without this antidote we are cutoff from their compassion by our desires.

When you are in public and are called out to, or when fragrances secretly lure you, these Protectors of the Needy will surely save you. By completely worshipping these Virtuous Ones, all wrongdoing ends and the Heavenly Beings who proclaimed this Dharani take delight in our behavior!

Making Obeisance to those Enduring Ones that cause our perfection, I invoke the Destroyers of Evil! The Worthy Young Elephants who have caused the Constellations and have clearly pointed out that which is evil!
Thus! I invoke the Destroyers of Evil. Thus! I cause the confinement of all enemies!
These words contain the antidote that excludes evil and those that wish to prevent our passing to the Other Shore. Thus! I avoid the fire pits of Hell.
Great Moon of Nirvana! Great Purifier of Sins! Great Cause of Forbearance! Great Guardian Against Injury! Great Hearer of the Cries of the World: Noble and Compassionate Tara! To whom it is given to watch over us, and who is our sworn protector!

The Diamond-Thunderbolt Garland that pours down on ordinary men!
The Diamond-Thunderbolt Great Utterance of the Fully Accomplished Mind for the Removing of Wickedness!
The Diamond-Thunderbolt Samadhi that causes the Living Devi to be sent down from the Heights of Heaven! Great Emancipating and Nobly Compassionate Tara! The Great Guardian Against Damnation.
The Diamond-Thunderbolt Auspiciously Adorned Ones!
The Diamond-Thunderbolt Female Devas Who Delight in Protecting Us!
The Diamond-Thunderbolt that ends our offenses and changes our dangers into a covering of fragrant flowers, flowers that spread like a ring; created by Vairocana Buddha who exists on ten thousand worlds and who takes myriad delights in these jewel-like creations!

The Diamond-Thunderbolt of Golden Light!
Vairocana’s Diamond Thunderbolt that overcomes the threats of Mara! This cleansing light shines from the Buddha Vairocana and His Voice calls out, returning me to the Path of Discipline!

Surangama Mantra, Section Two

ALL

When desire manifests itself, it can be cut off with the following far reaching Gatha:
HUM! Danger Approaches O Yellow Flowered One!
HUM! Danger Approached O Treasured One!
HUM! Danger Approaches O Beyond Accomplishments One Who Is Continually Surrounded By Honors!
HUM! Danger Approaches O Conqueror of All Forms! To the One who has converted multitudes of heretics, I say this danger is drawing near me!
HUM! Danger Approaches! Thus I invoke the mystic formula of the Holy and Sacred One, the Tathagata who sits on Ten Million Thrones and who saves me from desires! The Great Savior of the multitudes who is honored by the fortunate multitudes! The All Knowing, who makes the earth tranquil and conveys understanding to living beings. I entrust myself to the Great Diamond Thunderbolt Illuminating One of the Pleasing Grove’s Mandala! The Dread and Desire Overcoming One that I thus honor and who returns me to the Path of Discipline!

Surangama Mantra, Section Three

ALL

He Who is like a King!
He Who is Master of Form!
He Who is like Fire!
He Who is like Water!
He Who is Fearless!
He Who is the Teacher!
He Who is like a Powerful Wheel!
He Whose Tasks are Difficult!
He Who is Unfettered!
He In Whom the Sky Delights!
He Who Created and Send Us this Dharani!
He Who was the Dragon King!
He Who is Above Censure!
He Who is the Great Dragon!
He Who is the Knowing One!
He Who has Overcome Klesa!
He Who has Compassion for Evil Spirits!
He Who has Compassion for Malignant Demons!
He Who has Compassion for Hungry Ghosts!
He Who has Compassion for Female Spirits!
He Who has Compassion for Demons produced by Metamorphosis!
He Who has Compassion for the Demons who consume the vitality of men!
He Who has Compassion for the Female Demons who poison children!
He Who has Compassion for the Evil Odoured Demons!
He Who has Compassion for the Demons who injure children!
He Who has Compassion for the Demons who cause seizures!
He Who has Compassion for the Demons who cause madness!
He Who has Compassion for the Demons who defile food!
He Who has Compassion for the Demons of the Fiery Pits!
We are carried by Birth!
We are carried by Activity!
We are carried by Gaining Strength!
We are carried by Discriminating!
We are carried by Judging!
We are carried by Producing!
We are carried by Feeling the Passing of Time!
We are carried by Becoming Fearful!
We are carried by Our Ties!
We are carried by Ignorance!
We are carried by Mind!
When we have a strong impulse, All the Compassionate Ones use their Knowledge to furnish us with the Armor of Restraint and the Power of Self-Control!
The Salvation from Sin knowledge that furnishes us with the armor of restraint and the power of self-control!
The Conquering One’s knowledge that furnishes us with the armor of restraint and the power of self-control!
The Terrible Ash-covered Great Storm God’s knowledge that furnishes us with the armor of restraint and the power of self-control!
The Power of the Desireless One’s knowledge that furnishes us with the armor of restraint and the power of self-control!
The Great and Upright knowledge that furnishes us with the armor of restraint and the power of self-control!
The Greatly Illuminating Condensed knowledge that furnishes us with the armor of restraint and the power of self-control!
The Very Penetrating Mysterious knowledge that furnishes us with the armor of restraint and the power of self-control!
The Cause of Victory, Cause of Joy One Hundred Fold Completely Pleasing knowledge that furnishes us with the armor of restraint and the power of self-control!
The Preeminent Non-discriminating knowledge that furnishes us with the armor of restraint and the power of self-control!
The Venerable Holy Knowledge that furnishes us with the armor of restraint and the power of self-control!
The Diamond-Thunderbolt Handed, Garland after Garland, Incomparable Lord’s knowledge that furnishes us with the armor of restraint and the power of self-control!
The Holy Guardian that returns me to the Path of Discipline!

Surangama Mantra, Section Four

ALL

The Holy Dharani! It descends like a White Canopy to protect us!
Give Praise to the Pure and Elegant Sovereign of the Unfettered Assembly, the Master of Salvation, the Lord Who Constantly Presides Over the Mind!
Rays of Light! Rays of Light! Shining! Shining!
The pervading illumination, the pervading brilliance that cuts through!
HUM! HUM! Moving, moving, moving, moving, moving the world!

Guardian of those who call out!
Guardian of the unfortunate!
Guardian of those who are yet unsaved!
Guardian of those who support the wise!
Guardian of those who cry out for Heavenly Knowledge!

From all the Female Devas, He guards us!
From all the Serpent Kings, He guards us!
From all the Demons, He guards us!
From all the Gods of Fragrance, Music and Sensuality, He guards us!
From all the Female Demons, He guards us!
From the Foul smelling Demons, He guards us!
From all Hostile Written Magic, He guards us!
From all Evil Eyes, He guards us!
From all the Followers of Shiva, He guards us!
From all seizures, He guards us!
From all Violent Beings, He guards us!
From all Self-Injuries, He guards us!
From all Worldly Views, He guards us! And His Triumphant Hand
Fills Us with Joy!
From all that would injure us, He guards us! And the Activities of the Sages, He protects!
The One Who Conquered the Demons’ Assembly: He guards us! The Diamond-Thunderbolt that reproaches the wicked!

The One Who Has Knowledge of All Beings: He guards us! The One Who Remembers Us in His Great Surpassing Contemplation: He guards us! The Diamond-Thunderbolt of Heaven!

The Wisdom Enveloped Victorious Guardian! The Great Illuminating One! He Who Has Embraced All Wisdom!
Give Praise to Him Who Acts as the Guardian!
He guards against the spread of disease!
He guards against the spread of the dissolution of the wise!
He guards against the spread of ignorance!
He guards against the spread of the Great Black Demon!
He guards against the spread of poisoning!
He guards against the spread of earthquakes!
He guards against the spread of tempests!
He guards against the spread of angry death causing spirits!
He guards against the spread of darkness on the surface of the earth!
He guards against the spread of the followers of Kali!
And for the freedom of mind of Hearers of the Law, He guards against the spread of celebrity!
He causes injuries to be impeded and thus returns me to the Path of Discipline!

Surangama Mantra, Section Five

For the Evil Hearted, the Disobedient Hearted, He is the Powerful One, the Praiseworthy One, the Fierce One, the Fragrant One, the Moving One, the Engendering One, the Living One, the Mendicant One, the Shining One, the Nurturing One, the Producing One, the Speaking One

For the Wicked Hearted, the Evil Hearted, the Iron Hearted, it is:

He who has compassion for Evil Spirits!
He who has compassion for Malignant Demons!
He who has compassion for Hungry Ghosts!
He who has compassion for Female Spirits!
He who has compassion for Demons produced by metamorphosis!
He who has compassion for Demons who consume the vitality of men!
He who has compassion for Demons who injure children!
He who has compassion for Demons who cause madness!
He who has compassion for Demons who defile food!
He who has compassion for Demons who cause seizures!
He who has compassion for those who injure the Light of the Victorious
Ones!
He who has compassion for those who injure the Enlightened Ones!
He who has compassion for those who cling to clouds!
He who has compassion for the confused and inconsistent!
He who has compassion for those who are very happy!
He who has compassion for those who are unloved!
He who has compassion for those who become intoxicated!

He whose pleasure is the conquering of the multitude with the Light that shines in every region!
He whose pleasure is in accord with His Wishes!
He whose pleasure is to protect the fragrant earth!
He whose pleasure is to know the abandoned!
He whose pleasure is to lead the way for those who will conquer the multitude, lest they falter in their work!
He whose pleasure is to set free!
He whose pleasure is to mark the beautiful boundary!
He whose pleasure is to descend to us from Heaven!

The Complete and Universal Conqueror of the Multitude, who exists in the same realm as the deities and whose exhilarating knowledge pleases the wise! Produced by His Eye! Produced by His Mouth! Produced by His Body!

The One who receives our devotion!

My skin, He makes firm!
My teeth, He makes firm!
My flesh, He makes firm!
My vital spots, He makes firm!
My six parts, He makes firm!
My ligaments, He makes firm!
My belly, He makes firm!
My hair, He makes firm!
My blood, He makes firm!
My breast, He makes firm!
My senses, He makes firm!
My backbone, He makes firm!
My feet, He makes firm!
My whole body, from excesses, He makes firm!

True Father of Wisdom! Conqueror of the Principle of Life! To whom the Creator of the World presented the “Vessels that Protect the Living” as a sign of His respect for the characteristics of this writing!

He bestows on us this excellent existence!
He bestows on us these Sacred Sounds!
He takes pleasure in our activities!
He takes pleasure in our making offerings of incense!
He bestows on us the power to destroy worldly illusions!
He takes pleasure in our coming together to repent our sins!
He anoints our thoughts and takes pleasure in His complete power of speech and action!
He bestows on us His Universal Vows!

Binding our transient thoughts! This is the antidote for demons and malignant spirits, and from the desires of the illusory life!.
His Sacred White Canopy protects us!

The Great Diamond-Thunderbolt of Ten Million Thrones!
The Great One of Surpassing Wisdom! Who causes my feet to turn to the Conqueror, the Yellow Robed One!
Knowing One! Who increases my compassion!
Saving One! Who increases my compassion!
He of the Surpassing Knowledge! Who increases my compassion!

The Heavenly One! AUM!

He proceeds on the wind like fire, manifesting His devotion in place after place! The Diamond-Thunderbolt Handed One! HUM! To Him of Universal Attributes, Hail!

THE THOUSAND HAND THOUSAND EYED GREAT COMPASSIONATE HEART DHARANI

PRECENTOR

The Dharani of the Thousand Hand, Thousand Eyed Great Compassionate Hearted One!

ALL

Give Praise to the Three Treasures!
Give Praise to the Great Bodhisattva-Mahasattva Kuan Yin!
To the Great Compassionate One, AUM!
He who has leaped beyond all fears!
I take refuge, praising Him, in the sure hope that I will be taken into the Heart of the Blue-Necked Noble, Greatly Venerated Kuan Yin!

His is the Perfect Completion; His is the Pure State that brings Victory and clears obstructions from the Path!
AUM! To the Introspecting World Overcoming One! The Great Lion!
The Great Bodhisattva!
All, all is defilement, defilement! The World, world!
Do, do the work! Hold, hold fast to the Great Victory!

I hold, hold on to Indra the Creator!
Move, moving my defilement free one! Come and hear, hear!
Joy springs up in me! Speak, speak and direct me!
Like the trampling of elephants on the earth!
Like the trampling of elephants causing it to tremble!
Going, Going! Auspicious! Auspicious! The Excellent, Excellent One Is awakened, I have awakened The Merciful One! The Blue Necked One! The Daring and Successful One! The Joyous One!
He who has attained a Mastery of Discipline, Hail!
He of the Blue Neck, Hail!
He the Lion Head and Faced One, Hail!
He the Weapon Handed One, Hail!
He the Wheel Handed One, Hail!
He the Lotus Handed One, Hail!
He the Blue-Necked One of Far-reaching Causes, Hail!
He the Beneficent One Who Is Named in this Mystic Formula, Hail!

(a) He of the Diamond-Thunderbolt Surpassing Glory, Hail!
He of the Constellation Surpassing Glory, Hail!
He of the Small Vehicle Surpassing Glory, Hail! AUM!
We honor the words of this Holy One Who Bestows Virtue, Hail!

I give praise to the Three Precious Ones!
I give praise to Kuan Yin, Hail!
May there be success from this Mystical Incantation! Svaha!

(a) This section's four lines are added so that it will be in accord wit the ancient principle as recorded in the Great Compassionate Sutra and is required to insure success according to Great Teacher Yun Hsi (note: some of the newer versions lack this supplement and the verses)

THE TEN SMALL DHARANIS

The Precious Wheel King Dharani

PRECENTOR

The Relics of the Precious Wheel King Dharani!

ALL 

Give Praise to the Buddha!
Give Praise to the Dharma!
Give Praise to the Sangha!
Give Praise to the Sovereign of Introspection Bodhisattva Scriptures of the Mahayana, and the Completely Perfect Great Mercifully Hearted One Who Is Distressed for the nieces and nephews of others!

AUM! The Great Wheel King! The Great Mystical Jewel Cintamani!
The Great Red Lotus! Great! Great! Great! Great!
Dwelling in Tusita Heaven in Great Splendor!
Hail and Give Forth Praises!
This is the fundamental mantra
AUM! The Holy Red Lotus! HUM!
This is the Great Mind Mantra
AUM! The Red Lotus and the Mysterious Jewel Cintamani! HUM!

The Calamity Dispersing Mantra

PRECENTOR

The Mantra for Dispersing Calamities and for Bringing Auspicious Good Will From Spirits!

ALL

Adoration to all the Buddhas!
Adoration and Praise to the Unhindered Dharma!
AUM! Sky, sky, sky and wind, sky and wind! HUM! HUM!
Blazing, flaming! Our lives are blazing, our lives are aflame! To Those dwelling in the majestic shadow, whose foundations are in the majestic shadow, to the majestic and fate decreeing, to the ones who decree the fates and the one who are able, able to cease all calamities, to the gods who bring good luck, Hail!

The Meritorious Precious Mountain Dharani

PRECENTOR

The Meritorious Precious Mountain Dharani!

ALL

Give Praise to the Buddha!
Give Praise to the Dharma!
Give Praise to the Sangha! AUM!

To the thoroughly investigating Sovereign of Protection!
Conquering, conquering the Destroyer!
He of the Unique Power!
The Auspicious Lantern that thoroughly penetrates all that has gone before! Hail!

The Dharani to Cundi-Durgha

PRECENTOR

The Buddha’s Teaching of the Cundi-Dharani!

ALL

Making full prostration, I place my reliance in the Excellent Essence and I bow my head at the feet of Sakti!
I now praise the Great Cundi, Mother of Buddhas and reflect on Her Compassionate and Merciful Vow to send down Her Divine Aid!
Give Praise to the Hundred Named One! Universally Enlightened!
Who is called Excellent! The Terrible One! AUM!
The Moving and Destroying Cundi! Hail!

The Holy and Infinite Life Illuminating King Dharani

PRECENTOR

The Holy and Infinite Life Illuminating King Dharani!

ALL

AUM! Give Praise to the Unhindered Sovereign! Whose Wisdom Carries to the Other Shore!
Master of the Science of Longevity!
You who have the power to resurrect those who uphold the faith!
You of the Collected Brilliance who is sealed with authority!
Tathagata! Arhat! Completely Enlightened One!
Mystically Contemplating! AUM!
Wrathful Guardian of the Enchanted! Dharma Sovereign and Lord of the Sky and All Below!
The Well Come One!
Sovereign of the Monks and the Great Principle! Guardian of the Ignorant! Hail!

The Teacher of Medicine’s Pure Words of Consecration

PRECENTOR

The Pure Words of Consecration of the Teacher of Medicine!

ALL

Give Praise to the World Honored Sovereign! The Healing Bhaisajya!
Guru of the Lapis Lazuli Radiance of Compassion! Tathagata! Arhat!
Completely Enlightened One who is distressed for the sickness of others! AUM!
To the Healing, Healing Sovereign of all the monks. Hail!

The Pure Words to Bring a Response From Kuan Yin

PRECENTOR

Kuan: Yin’s Pure Inspired Words!

ALL

AUM! MANI PADME, HUM!
The Great Vehicle that reaches every where!
Distant! Beautiful! Eminent! His Open Hands Reach Everywhere!
Excellent and Eminent! From His slight distance, He investigates those who call out!
Lord of Receiving and Replenishing!
Investing and Selecting the Sweet Dew Water!
Give Praise to the Lord of the Worlds!
And to the Lord who expounded these words, Hail!

The Blame Dispersing Words of the Seven Buddhas

PRECENTOR

The Blame Dispersing Pure Words of the Seven Buddhas!

ALL

Calling, Calling Out!
Revealing, Revealing All!
Making Heartfelt Prayers!
Dissolving, Disappearing Blame!
Vanishing, vanished Blame!
Eminent Virtues Appear, and,
All Blame is Truly Buried and Gone by this Power, Svaha!

The Pure Words that Release Oppression

PRECENTOR

The Pure Words that Release Oppression and Set Free Bonds!

ALL

AUM! Age approaches! The Precious Trust, precious trust, the Sangha’s Precious Trust! Death can not cause thee to bind up this Precious Trust! AUM! Strength within strength! Auspicious among good fortune! The Salvation of the Superior Assembly that has this extreme advantage! All Enemies: Leave My Body! This is the Great Wisdom that Carries to the Other Shore!

This Mantra is, in fact, number ELEVEN in this section. It does not appear in the newer texts, but is found in the oldest versions, even though it has clearly been added to them after their original carving. The reasons for its addition are not clear-Editor

The Future Rebirth Mantra

PRECENTOR

The Future Rebirth in the Pure Land Mystical Mantra!

ALL

Give Praise to Amitabha Buddha! Tathagata! He Who Calls Out!
Amitabha Who Benefits! All That Exists!
Amitabha Benefits Everywhere! One Hundred Existences!
Amitabha Benefits Everywhere! The Prophesied Sovereign!
Amitabha Benefits Everywhere! The Prophesied Sovereign!
One Who Benefits All! The Firmament and Sky Benefiting! Hail!

The Mantra of the Virtuous Goddess

PRECENTOR

The Mantra of the Virtuous Goddess!

ALL

Give Praise to the Buddha!
Give Praise to the Dharma!
Give Praise to the Sangha!
Give Praise to the Beautiful One! The Great Devi!
She who is Completely Fulfilled and Whose Activities can be seen everywhere like mountain peaks!
Who arrives at Great Temples Everywhere and banishes the Great Black Devi!
Protector, the Surpassing Protector, Whose Wishes are Accomplished Everywhere,
Wondrous Guardian and Ancient Destroyer of the Enemies of the Dharma!
Greatly Devoted and Greatly Benevolent One Who Guards Against Those Who Would Violate the Sangha or Monasteries Everywhere by the Use of Her Surpassing Supernatural Powers!

THE GREAT WISDOM OF THE HEART SUTRA

Plainsong/Chant Ancient

PRECENTOR

The Great Wisdom of the Heart Sutra!

ALL

When the Bodhisattva Kuan Yin
Who was practicing Deep Prajnaparamita
Perceived the five skandhas
He saw them to be in their own self-nature Empty
And He Was delivered from all suffering and misery
He said:
Oh Sariputra, Form is emptiness, Emptiness is form.
Form is the same as emptiness, Emptiness is the same as form.
That which is formed is empty, that which is empty has form
So it is also with sensation and thought and activity and consciousness.
Oh Sariputra! All things are empty:
They are not born, They are not annihilated.
They are not impure, They are not pure.
They do not increase, They do not decrease,
Therefore, Oh Sariputra:

In emptiness there is no form, no sensation, no thought, No activity, No consciousness.
No eye, nor nose, nor tongue, Nor body, nor mind.
No form, nor sound, nor color, nor taste, nor touch, nor objects.
No element of hearing. No element of vision, no element of smelling, No element of tasting, no element of touching, No element of consciousness.
There is no knowledge and no ignorance ’til we come to No old age and No death
And no extinction of old age and death.
There is no suffering, No accumulation, no annihilation, No Path
There is no Knowledge, no attainment and no realization.
Because there is no Attainment in the mind of the Bodhisattva who depends on
Prajna Paramita there are no obstacles, And going beyond Distorted views: He is Nirvana!
All Buddhas of the Past, Present and Future depend on Prajna Paramita to attain the
Highest Perfect Enlightenment. Therefore one should know that The Prajna Paramita is the Great Mantra, The Mantra of Great Wisdom, The Highest Mantra, The Unequaled Mantra, The End of All Suffering! True not false! The Mantra is proclaimed in Prajna Paramita: Oh Buddha! Going, Going, Going On, To the Other Shore. Always going on to the Other Shore! Always Becoming Buddha! Hail the Sutra of the Heart of Great Wisdom!
The Great Scripture of Wisdom of the Heart!
The Great Scripture of Wisdom of the Heart!
The Great Scripture of Wisdom of the Heart!

GATHA FOR TRANSFERRING MERIT

Plainsong

PRECENTOR

These offerings

ALL

Now present before you have been offered by the Pure Monks of this Assembly.
We have recited the preceding Sutras and Mantras and Dharanis and these we dedicate to the Three Precious Ones, the Dragons and Heavenly Beings who are the Protectors of this Monastery and the surrounding places, and to the Bodhisattvas of the Saintly Assembly!

Speaking Plainly

We pray that all those on the Three Evil Paths and those in the Eight Conditions in which it is difficult to meet a Buddha or hear His Dharma Be Released from all suffering;
We pray that all beings in the Three Existences receive the Fourfold Blessing;
We pray that the Nations exist in peace and that the arms of the soldiers be melted;
We pray that the weathers be in accord with the seasons and that the people live in happiness;
We pray that the Great Assembly cultivate order and the ability to overcome and advance so that the sudden surpassing of the Ten Stages is not a difficult affair;
We pray that this monastery remains quiet and free from accidents;
We pray that this establishment’s faithful almsgivers increase in their reliance in Blessedness and Wisdom.

PRECENTOR

And also to the Precious Form of Amitabha Buddha

ALL

His Thirty-two Marks and Unequaled Light and Virtue!
They are beyond all comparison!
The White Curled One Who Pervades the Five Mystical Mountains!
His Violet-eyed Purity Extends to the Four Seas!
His Inner Illumination has transformed Buddhas beyond number and counting,
And also transformed Bodhisattva Assemblies without number!

The Chanting is now resumed:

His Forty-eight Vows to save All Living Beings Cause the Nine Classes to Attain the Other Shore!
Give Praise to the West! To The Very Highest Paradise! Greatly Merciful, The Source of Great Compassion Amitabha Buddha!

SERPENTINE PROCESSIONAL

ALL

I praise Shakyamuni Buddha

Repeat as required At the end of the Serpentine Processional the Ch’ing is struck and all stop and give WEN-HSUN bows to the center of the room and then to the Altar before returning to their places.

Now the Chanting is again resumed

Give Praise to the Calamity Dispersing Life Prolonging Medicine Teaching Buddha
Give Praise to the Pervading Light and Perfect Activity Bodhisattva, P’u Hsien!
Give Praise to the Great Wisdom Bodhisattva Who also stands With Shakyamuni, Wen Shu Shih!
Give Praise to the Pure Clear Great Ocean Assembly of Bodhisattvas!

Repeat the above four praises three times each

The Ten Reflections

ALL

First, we completely worshipped the Myriad Buddhas!
Second, we gave homage to the Tathagata!
Third, we extensively cultivated nourishing offerings!
Fourth, we confessed and repented our karmic obstructions!
Fifth, we thereupon received the joy of these merits!
Sixth, we request the turning of the Dharma Wheel!
Seventh, we entreat the Buddha to abide in this world!
Eighth, we will continually follow the teachings of the Buddha!
Ninth, we will continue to be in accord with all living beings!
Tenth, we completely transferred the merit from these activities throughout the entire Universe!

In the Ten Directions and Three Realms, All Buddhas, All Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas Proclaim the Great Wisdom that Carries to the Other Shore!

As the Assembly kneels, the Abbot (or Senior Monk present unless another has been appointed to perform this portion) now comes forward and takes the Dharma Seat (or he may merely unfold his kneeling cloth and in this case kneels facing the Altar after offering incense). Then in compliance with Hung Shan’s Ancient Buddha Chou Ta, the Master begins the following recitations with the Assembly silently reading and reflecting with him.

HONORING THE HUA-YEN WRITING

ABBOT

Examine the Hua-Yen and its true portrait of the Immaterial Nature of the Dharmakaya. It sows the seeds of the Glorious Kingdom that shines everywhere. Likewise, it honoree P’u Hsien whose myriad actions are splendid and imposing. It is a Complete True Dharma Treasury, and is the same as that cited in the Palace of the Dragon King. These are the subtle words of explanation gathered by Shih Ch’a of Khotien, the One Vehicle Complete and Immediate Incomparable Dharma Gate to becoming Buddha by beholding the Buddha Nature within oneself! This is the True Secret Doctrine:

In the presence of knowledge, bow!
With the eyes, contemplate all things as being mind!
With the mouth, recite!

Due to this Great Cause, and the cooperating causes that exist from former lives, we can see and hear the Buddha; we can rejoice in the welfare of others; and we can send forth the Bodhi-Wisdom, until, in the end, we obtain Complete Perfect Omniscience!
Give praise to Vairocana Buddha’s Honored Compassion! Expound this Precious Gatha with its Golden Writing! Spread its esteemed favor from its Jade Roller! The world’s earthly confusion causes us to enter the monastic life, wherein we discover the perfect harmony of all differences! The One Vehicle Complete Doctrine: The Great Vehicle Hua-Yen Sutra!.

If a person desires complete knowledge, all the Buddhas of the Three Periods answer:
“Look into the Unchanging Dharma Realm, created by the All Unchanging Mind and vow to make nourishing offerings constantly while maintaining awe and reverence for the Seven Places and Nine Assemblies at which this Sutra was revealed by the Buddha and the Bodhisattvas. Make perpetual vows to experience this Unceasingly Proclaimed Buddha Truth: The Five Areas of Karma, Four Mental Phenomena Hua-Yen Sutra! Constantly vow and make nourishing offerings without ceasing to the Ninety Lands Bodhisattva Assembly! Make these vows also to the Four Favors and Three Existences and the Complete Dharma Realm of All Living Beings!
Thus, we should make perpetual vows to enter into this constantly proclaimed Buddha Truth! The Great Vehicle of the Buddha, the Hua-Yen Sutra!

ALL

Humbly, I  your name vow that in Birth after Birth, in Age after Age and in Place after Place:
My eye shall constantly look within, for thus the Sutra teaches;
My ear shall constantly hear within; for thus the Sutra teaches;
My mouth shall constantly speak within, for thus the Sutra teaches;
My hand shall constantly write within, for thus the Sutra teaches;
My mind shall constantly awaken within, for thus the Sutra teaches.

ABBOT

We have vowed that in Life after Life, in Age after Age, in Moment after Moment, and in Place after Place, we will constantly become closer to this Lotus Treasury of all the Saints and Sages. Indeed, those who constantly bear this Lotus Treasury will surely receive the Compassion and Mercy of all the Saints and Sages. In such a manner was this Sutra expounded that we have vowed to examine it thoroughly and so attain Enlightenment. We can also vow this in the same way as did the skilled and rich Bodhisattva Shan Ts’ai, we will vow this in the same way as did Wen Shu Bodhisattva, we will vow this in the same way as did Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva, we will vow this in the same way as did Vairocana Buddha. It is because of this that we call the Sutra meritorious, indeed, it is be cause of this that our own taking of these vows is also meritorious!

ALL

I vow to the Four Favors in the Three Existences and to the Dharma Realm of All Living Beings to disperse, from the time without beginning or ending, in the All Empty Dharma Realm and the visible vault of space, unlimited and immeasurable moral defilements.

I vow to the Four Favors in the Three Existences and to the Dharma Realm of All Living Beings to release, from the time without beginning or ending, in the All Empty Dharma Realm and the visible vault of space, immeasurable oppressions caused by karma.

I vow to the Four Favors in the Three Existences and to the Dharma Realm of All Living Beings to assemble, from the time without beginning or ending, in the All Empty Dharma Realm and the visible vault of space, immeasurable Blessedness and Wisdom.

I vow to do these things so that all shall together be able to wander the Pure Land with the Gloriously Adorned Ocean Assembly, and thus, All will enter Bodhi’s Great Place of Enlightenment.

PRECENTOR

Give Praise

ALL

to the Great Vehicle of the Buddha’s Flower Garland Sutra and to the Gloriously Adorned Assembly of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas!
Give Praise to the Great Vehicle of the Buddha’s Flower Garland Sutra and to the Gloriously Adorned Assembly of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas!
Give Praise to the Great Vehicle of the Buddha’s Flower Garland Sutra and to the Gloriously Adorned Assembly of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas!

Or the following may be read, or both (or those with the authority to teach the Dharma may substitute their own explanation at this point)

HONORING THE BUDDHAS ORIGINAL VOW

As composed by Ch’an Master Yi Shan

ABBOT

We entrust our lives to the Ten Directions Tamer of the Passions of Men!
He practiced and made evident His Pure Clear Mysterious Dharma with its Three Vehicles and Four Rewards of Emancipation to the Assemblies of His monks, and He vowed to bestow His Compassion, Mercy and Pity on all those that are thus gathered together.

ALL

I, disciple your name have avoided my true nature, wrongly entering and spreading delusion. From this has come birth and death’s continual whirl of coming into being and then perishing. I have been driven on by forms and sounds, and I have been sick with desire. The Ten Bonds and Ten Passions have accumulated from this, and these in turn have caused the Six Sense Organs and the Six Qualities to erroneously arise. My faults are without limit and I was deluded and lost in the Ocean of Misery, deeply sunk in heterodox methods. Being attached to the Ego and addicted to worldly pleasures, I also gathered up accumulations of karmic obstacles.

When I became completely filled with doubts, I looked into the Heart of the Three Precious Ones and therefore I was able, because of their Compassion and Mercy, to Confess and Repent with my whole heart.

ABBOT

It is by the power of this Vow that the Capable and Virtuous are pulled up from their roots, and friends of virtue also lift them up and lead them by the hand until, beyond trouble and suffering’s deep abyss, they thus arrive at the Other Shore. Thus, from this earthly foundation that was built on the throne of this life, every resolve because completed and the future rebirth Wisdom Seeds energetically sprout .
It is rare that this flowering increases, rare that one is born in a place where one can hope for the ability to meet with an Enlightened Master who helps one to develop a correct resolve to abandon the worldly life and enter the path of the pure and simple monk or nun. Then the Six Roots will penetrate the Truth and the Three Karmas become Pure and Harmonious. Then, uninfected by worldly causes, one can constantly cultivate Pure Living. By holding firmly to the Precepts, worldly karma can not encroach upon you and you can strictly guard your sense of decorum so that you will not even destroy flying mosquitoes, thus, you will not fall into the Eight Conditions in which it is difficult to see a Buddha or hear His Dharma, nor will you be deficient in the Four Cooperating Causes.
Wisdom and understanding are now presently before us and the Bodhi Wisdom Mind thus does not retreat as we cultivate the Right Dharma and the Complete Enlightenment of the Great Vehicle which unfolds the Six Paramita that carry us beyond the Sea of Mortality, and arriving by the Activity Gate, step over the Ocean of Rebirths to Nirvana. Setting up the Dharma Flag in place after place and breaking the web of doubt again and again, subjugating all illusions and demons and perpetuating the Three Treasures are the duties entrusted to the Myriad Buddhas of the Ten Directions who do not tire in body nor in spirit. It is because of this that He could cultivate and attain the Complete Dharma Gate and thoroughly investigate and penetrate this vast arising of Blessedness and Wisdom that give Universal Benefits in as many ways are there are numbers of sand and dust. In doing this He thereby attained the Six Transcendental Powers and perfected His whole life and arrived at the Buddha Fruit that leaves illnesses behind.
He has not forsaken the Dharma Realm! Everywhere He enters into the troubles of the Universe, and in this He is not different than the Compassionate Mind of Kuan Yin or the Universal Activity of P’u Hsien’s Ocean-like Vow. While other beings of this universe expel beings due to their forms, His responsive manifestations in physical forms expound and display the Mysterious Dharma without discrimination.
Thus He said:

“If those who will be born in the Joyless Hells, or Those who wander in the Path of Hungry Ghosts see my Great Illumination or from my manifesting the many kinds of Supernatural Powers that are visible to the Ego will call out My Name, I will always lift them up from the Wheel of Transmigration and Bitterness, or from the Fiery Caldrons and Icy Rivers of Earth, and take them to the Groves of Growing Incense. In the same way, I will transform the Drinking of Copper and the Eating of Iron into Birth in the Pure Land.”

When we are given His Divine Blessing and Joy, the terrible weight of the heavy burden of debts is relinquished, hatreds are ended and disappointments are ceased. In this age of sickness and pestilence, He causes the appearance of medicinal herbs that save and heal us from our chronic diseases. In times of hunger and famine, He causes transformations so that there are growing rice and millet that can be eaten by the many kinds of poor and hungry. It is only by His Blessing that there is prosperity or honor and in inferior times when the world accumulates enmity and friendship He appears for the sake of the survival of His descendants and those that put forth the Four Forms of Birth and those that are floating and sinking in Birth and Death. He helps them to forsake Ten Thousand Eons of the bonds that are created by desires, which are the same as clinging to life, and He exemplifies the Complete and Perfect Buddha Way.

This concludes the Dharma Lessons and Explanations. The Abbot, or whoever gave the Explanation makes the appropriate bows and, folding up his kneeling cloth, returns to his place in the Assembly while the Recitation continues.

ALL

As the Immaterial Universe is infinite, so also are my vows infinite:
That my passions become without passion and so that together all living beings can embrace Omniscience.
In the Ten Directions and Three Realms, All Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas proclaim: The Great Wisdom that Carries to the Other Shore!

PRECENTOR

Let us return again and again to the Surpassing Activity of P’u Hsien!

ALL

His Unlimited and Victorious Blessedness! All of which is given for the sake of Others, as is His Universal Vow on behalf of those that sink and drown in myriad Rebirths. Even though He was quickly proceeding toward the Unlimited Illuminating Buddha Land, He stopped, thus giving rise to a Superior Cause that is not different that those of the Buddhas of the Past, Present and Future.

Praise to Wen Shu Shih, P’u Hsien, Kuan Shih Yin and the Myriad Venerable Bodhisattvas who proclaim the Great Wisdom That Carries to the Other Shore!

PRECENTOR

The Four Forms of Birth and the Nine Existences

ALL

Mutually Advance the Lotus Treasury’s Mysterious Dharma Gate so that those in the Eight Conditions in which it is difficult to see a Buddha or hear His Dharma or those on the Three Evil Paths can together Enter the All Containing Ocean of Vairocana.

ALL NOW RISE

THE THREE REFUGES

ALL

I commit myself to the Buddha and pray that all living beings
All Slowly begin a full prostration
Expound with their bodies the Great Way Sending forth the Unsurpassed Mind
All rise before the beginning of the next refuge

I commit myself to the Dharma
All Slowly begin a second full prostration
and pray that all living beings Enter the Profound Sutra Treasury of Knowledge and Wisdom as broad and the Ocean
All rise before the beginning of the next refuge

I commit myself to the Sangha
All Slowly begin the final full prostration
and pray that all living beings respond in unison as a Great Assembly that is Wholly Unhindered in Giving Homage to the Sacred Assembly
All rise completely and then perform the WEN-HSUN bow

Notes on the Hua-Yen Sutra from Yun-Ch’i’s ancient source show that all are to recite these refuges as this is the ancient practice and it allows us to turn to and rely on this Expounding of the Great Way to send forth the Unsurpassed Mind that flows without interruption. However, this same source says that those who are “thoroughly acquainted” with the Dharma need not recite the above refuges and only join in for the following recitation.

ALL

Give Praise to the One True Dharma Realm! Deep! Silent! Perfect! Absolute in the Relative! Upright and Poor in the Past, Present and Future! Across the Ten Directions, the Pure Clear Dharmakaya of Vairocana Buddha!
Give Praise to the Lotus Treasury Realm! Seat of the Great Lotus! Helping Us To Obtain the Four Types of Fearlessness and Wonderful Merit! Gloriously Adorned! The Completely Perfect Reward Body of Vairocana Buddha!
Give Praise to the Earth Bearer! The Three Realms Surpassing Teacher who Pities those born of the Four Forms! The King of Men and Devas who is seated on the Thousand Petalled Lotus Throne In Worlds Beyond Number, Shakyamuni Buddha!

HYMN OF PRAISE

On the first and fifteenth day or those other auspicious day as directed by the Abbot or the liturgical calendar, the Assembly begins the Hymn with the following invocation:

The Supreme Seal Is Permanently Fixed The Sovereign Path is far from Worldly Glories The Buddha Sun Increases in Brightness As the Wheel of the Law Constantly Turns!

Then the Duty Distributing Monk takes up the small wooden fish to his breast so that he can keep time and all assembled stand with their hands in the position of salutation and give three bows before turning to face the East and beginning the first verse. After each verse is sung, all turn to the West and repeat the same verse, repeating the pattern for all four verses.

ALL - FACING EAST
(I give praise to the Original Teacher, Shakyamuni Buddha)

NA MYO PEN SHIH SHI CHI MU NI FU

ALL - FACING WEST
(I give praise to the Original Teacher, Shakyamuni Buddha)

NA MYO PEN SHIH SHI CHI MU NI FU

ALL - FACING EAST
(I give praise to Manjusri Bodhisattva)

NA MYO WEN SHU SHIH LI P’U SA

ALL - FACING WEST
(I give praise to Manjusri Bodhisattva)

NA MYO WEN SHU SHIH LI P’U SA

ALL - FACING EAST
(I give praise to Samantabhadra Bodhisattva)

NA MYO P’U HSIEN P’U SA

ALL - FACING WEST
(I give praise to Samantabhadra Bodhisattva)

NA MYO P’U HSIEN P’U SA

ALL - FACING EAST
(I give praise to Ten Directions Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas)

NA MYO SHIH FANG P’U SA MA HA SA

ALL - FACING WEST
(I give praise to Ten Directions Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas)

NA MYO SHIH FANG P’U SA MA HA SA

Now all turn to face the Altar and perform WEN-HSUN Bow

HONOR TO WEI TO

ALL

Give Praise to the Fragrant Cloud Covered Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas!
Give Praise to the Fragrant Cloud Covered Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas!
Give Praise to the Fragrant Cloud Covered Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas!

On the first and fifteenth the following is also added:

ALL

Give Praise to the Protector of the Dharma Wei T’o, the Honored Heavenly Bodhisattva!
Give Praise to the Protector of the Dharma Wei T’o, the Honored Heavenly Bodhisattva!
Give Praise to the Protector of the Dharma Wei T’o, the Honored Heavenly Bodhisattva!

Now the everyday text continues:

Give Praise to the Buddha!
Give Praise to the Dharma!
Give Praise to the Sangha!
Give Praise to the Beautiful One! The Great Devi!
She who is completely fulfilled and whose activities can be seen everywhere like mountain peaks! Who arrives at Great Temples everywhere and banishes the Great Black Devi! Protector, the surpassing protector whose wishes are accomplished everywhere!. Wondrous Guardian and Ancient Destroyer of the Enemies of the Dharma! Greatly Devoted and Greatly Benevolent One Who Guards Against those who would violate the Sangha or Monasteries everywhere by the use of Her Surpassing Supernatural Powers:

The above praises are repeated three times

Praising Wei T’o

This is done daily

Now, if an image of Wei T’o is present, all turn toward it and say:
If there is no Wei T’o image, the Eastern and Western Ranks turn to face each other at this time)

ALL

Give Praise to Wei T’o, the Heavenly Commander! The Transformation Bodied Bodhisattva that is the Great and Profound Protector and Defender of our Religious Vows: the Precious Hammer that holds back the Armies of Mara! His merits are difficult to equal and He aids the people in their devotion and prayers!

Give Praise to the Universally Seeing Bodhisattva-Mahasattva and to His Great Wisdom that Carries to the Other Shore!

The Three Prostrations

Now all turn to face the Altar and with the rhythm of the Hand Ch’ing begin three full prostrations. The prostrations are followed by the WEN-HSUN bow.

The Eastern and Western Ranks now turn to face each other, before raising their hands to the ‘position of salutation’ at the chest. Then the hands are gracefully lowered to the sides. The participants quietly and decorously file out of the hall. However of the first and fifteenth day, the following is substituted

The Precentor strikes the Great Ch’ing three times before the assembly prostrates itself with him and recites:

ALL

I prostrate myself with my head at the feet of the Western Heavens, Eastern Lands Teacher of the Successive Generations of Patriarchs!
Rise up and bow again
I prostrate myself with my head at the feet of this World’s Vast Sect that expounds the many kinds of practices to ‘Good and Learned Friends’!
Rise up and bow again
I prostrate myself with my head at the feet of everyone whose altar offering adheres to the precepts and to the ten teachers who continue to shave, save and favor us with their teaching!
All rise and stand as the Precentor concludes the service.

PRECENTOR

Today is the Buddhist Date Inserted here and certainly a pleasant day to gather together and universally worship those who have received our three bows!

All now give three bows and then a final WEN-HSUN bow before filing out of the Great Shrine Hall.


Copyright © 1996 Dragon Flower Ch’an Temple, Inc. – All Rights ReservedPractice Note: In accordance with the Chinese custom, this service is conducted shortly after NOON, this being the ‘Evening’ in monasteries. This series of recitations is devoted almost entirely to PURE LAND practices as has been the custom since the SUNG era. Those who wish a ‘Zen’ evening service will find a translation of a JAPANESE-style ZEN EVENING RECITATION in Appendix #3. If this book is used for practice by a small temple where only one major recitation is held daily, it is recommended that the MORNING RECITATION be the one commonly used, saving this recitation and others in this book for appropriate or auspicious occasions. For a listing of such times by the Lunar Calendar, please see Appendix #4-

EVENING RECITATIONS

All take their places in the same manner as for Morning Recitations.

INCENSE HYMN

ALL

Smoldering incense suddenly burns and the Dharma Realm is covered with its fragrance as the myriad Buddha Ocean Assembly as if one from their distance hear us and from this place join together as in an auspicious cloud. Sincere thoughts and honesty flourish as the myriad Buddhas appear in their Perfect Forms. Give Praise to the Fragrant Cloud Covered Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas! Give Praise to the Fragrant Cloud Covered Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas! Give Praise to the Fragrant Cloud Covered Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas!

GATHA FOR OPENING SUTRAS

The Precentor strikes the Great Ch’ing and intones:

PRECENTOR

The incomparable and profoundly exquisite Dharma!

It is rare that it can be met with, even in hundreds of thousands of millions of ages!

We are now permitted to see it! We are now permitted to hear it! We are now permitted to accept it! We are now permitted to hold it! May we truly understand the meaning of these words of the Tathagata!

THE PURE LAND SUTRA

Being the Buddha’s expounding of the Sukhavativyuha-sutra, the Smaller version.

Gatha in Praise of the Sutra

PRECENTOR

Give Praise

ALL

To the Lotus Pond Ocean Assembly of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas! Give Praise to the Lotus Pond Ocean Assembly of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas! Give Praise to the Lotus Pond Ocean Assembly of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas!

Text of the Sutra

PRECENTOR

The Buddha’s Expounding of the Amitabha Sutra!

Bring Palms Together

ALL

Thus have I heard: At one time the Buddha was dwelling at Sravasti in the garden and park purchased for His use by Anathapindaka from the Prince Jeta. With Him was a great company of monks numbering over twelve hundred and fifty. All were Great Arhats and many had achieved the State of Discernment The Venerable Sariputra, Mahamaugalyana, Mahakasyapa, Mahakapphina, Mahakatyayana, Mahakaushthila, Revata, Suddhipanthaka, Nanda, Ananda, Rahula, Gavampati, Bharadvaga, Kaodayin, Vakkula and Aniruddha were among them. Also with him and these Great Disciples were many Great Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas. Among these was the Dharma Prince Manjusri Bodhisattva, the Invincible Maitreya Bodhisattva, the Fragrant Elephant of the North Bodhisattva, and the Constant Unfailing Progress Bodhisattva and also many other Great Bodhisattvas. Also there was Sakra, the Indra-Lord of the Devas and with him were countless numbers of other Devas.

Release palms

In this way did the Buddha speak to the Venerable Sariputra:

“O Sariputra, if you go from here to the West and pass beyond Ten Ten Thousands of Hundreds of Thousands Buddhas Lands there exists a region called the Land of Ultimate Joy where there exists a Buddha called Amitabha. He is there now, expounding the Dharma, this Arhat.

“Now, Sariputra, why do you think that this land is called the Land of Ultimate Joy? Because in that realm for all living beings there is neither physical pain nor mental pain and the sources of blessings are without number. For this reason is it called the Land of Ultimate Joy.

“Furthermore Sariputra, the Land of Ultimate Joy is adorned with seven terraces and seven rows of wind chimes together with seven avenues of trees. The above are enclosed on all sides by the four precious substances. With such excellent things unique to Buddha Lands is this excellent Buddha Land adorned.

“Furthermore, O Sariputra, in that world called Ultimate Joy there are Lotus Ponds, ornamented with the seven precious stones. The water that fills them has the eight good qualities and the bottoms of these ponds are covered with pure golden sands that extend to their banks. On the four sides of these Lotus Ponds are flights of stairs–golden and silver, with beryl and crystal in splendid perfection. And at the top of these stairs are raised pavilions majestically adorned with gold and silver, beryl, crystal and coral, red pearls and agate. And in the ponds grow Lotus Flowers that are as large as the wheels of a cart blue colored, as if emitting blue radiance; yellow colored, as if emitting yellow light; red colored, radiating redness; white colored of pure white radiating light and their subtle and mysterious fragrances cleanse the air. O Sariputra for this reason is the Ultimate Joy Land perfect in its meritorious adornments.

“Furthermore Sariputra, in that Heavenly Music over the Buddha Land there is continual arising of yellow-golden colored earth. And for each of the six periods of day and night there rain down showers of Heavenly Coral Tree Blossoms. And the living beings of that Land are constantly using their miraculous robes to travel to other Buddha Lands and thereupon shower upon the Tathagatas of those worlds Ten Ten Thousands of Hundreds of Thousands of these wonderfully abundant flowers. Ten Ten Thousands of Hundreds of Thousands of Buddhas are honored in this way before the time for the first meal, and all the inhabitants of this Land then return to it to consume their own meal, nourished by the Dharma Teaching and by their own good roots. Sariputra, for this reason is the Ultimate Joy Land perfect in its adornment.

“And furthermore, O Sariputra, in this land there are all sorts of strange and wondrously colored birds. White Cranes and peacocks, parrots and mynah birds and other sorts of birds having melodious voices and fabulous birds who have two heads and all the many kinds of birds are assembled there. Day and Night, during each of the Six Periods their harmony creates and elegant sound which, if listened to, expounds and makes clear the five spiritual organ roots which are positive and the five powers of Mara which, if springing from the corresponding sensory organs, are negative factors. Likewise do they expound the seven characteristics of Bodhi and the Holy Eightfold Path; Thus do they spread the Dharma everywhere in that land and when living beings hear these sounds, they reflect on the Buddha, they reflect on the Dharma, and they reflect on the Sangha.

“Sariputra, you must not say that these birds are those reborn in this way a retribution for past sins. This is not so. While other Buddha Lands are without the Three Evil Paths Sariputra, in this Buddha Land even the names of these evil paths is unknown. How much more, the, do they have the truth? These many kinds of birds have been created solely to call on Amitabha Buddha and therefore they desire to proclaim these honorable Dharma sounds, and in so doing aid in the transformation of all living beings by their actions.

“Sariputra, in this Buddha Land subtle winds blow and stir along the myriad precious avenues of trees where they reach the preciously appointed gauze covered walkways. There they strike the wind chimes from which spring forth the most subtle and wonderful sounds which thus become one hundred thousand sorts of music all constantly arising together. Those hearing these sounds, even if they still possess the self that creates rebirths, are moved to call on the Buddha, to call on the Dharma and to call on the Sangha with all their hearts. Sariputra, for this reason is this Buddha Land perfect and is thus meritoriously adorned.

“Now, O Sariputra, for what reason do you think this Buddha has been called Amitabha? Sariputra, it is because this Buddha possesses Illuminating Wisdom Beyond Measure which illuminates the lands in the Ten Directions without obstructions or obstacles. For this reason is this Buddha called Amitabha.

“Furthermore, Sariputra, this Buddha can command that His Own Long Life be extended to all men: Immeasurable limitless countless numbers of eons! For this reason has he been called Amitabha. This Perfect Buddha has already ‘come,’ indeed, ten eons has He been “He who has Thus Come” to this present moment.

“And furthermore, O Sariputra, this Buddha has immeasurable, limitless countless numbers of ‘sound hearing’ disciples, Arhats they have all become in numbers not to be counted. Regarding this, you should know there are also myriad Bodhisattva Assemblies. For this reason. O Sariputra, is the perfect Buddha Land meritoriously adorned.

“Furthermore, Sariputra, all living beings who are reborn in this Ultimate Joy Land become ‘Bodhisattvas Who Never Recede.’ That it, Bodhisattvas who have but one rebirth to attain Buddhahood and this number is indeed very great a number that can neither be counted no known, and is expressed only as ‘countless and limitless’ for it is beyond expression.

“O Sariputra, all living beings should hear and respond to His Vow, and resolve to be reborn in His Land. And why? So that they can obtain and share together with the many kinds of superior and skillful men to be found there.

“Sariputra, you would not be able to gain rebirth in this land by means of wonderful good roots or even blessed or virtuous causes, but, Sariputra, if a son or a daughter of a good family or a good woman or man hears this expounding on Amitabha Buddha and abides in and holds fast His Name If for one day, if for two days, if for three days, if for four days, if for five days, if for six days, if for seven days and does so with single pointedness of mind and without confusion, then when that person is on the brink if his life’s end, he will see Amitabha Buddha together with many members of the Holy Sage Assembly standing before him. When such a person dies, because his mind was without perverted or erroneous views, he will immediately be reborn in Amitabha’s Land of Ultimate Joy.

“Sariputra, I see this as a correct benefit and so I have expounded these words so that those who have accumulated rebirths can hear of this and be filled with suitable resolve and thus attain rebirth in Amitabha’s Land.

Thus, Sariputra, I now sing the praises of Amitabha Buddha whose merits are so beneficial that they can neither be thought nor discussed.

Bring palms together

“In the Eastern Region there is the Unmoved Buddha Aksobhya, the Merudhavaja Buddha, the Great Mystical Mountain Buddha, the Excellent Mountain Illuminating Buddha and the Mysterious Sounds Buddha – thus so everywhere a number of Buddhas that is equal to the sands of the river Ganges, each of them having His Own Land. And from these Buddhas’ characteristically broad and long tongues, which can cover three thousand great universes of universes, and which they use to expound truthful and sincere words to all living beings everywhere, come also these praises of Amitabha Buddha whose merits are so beneficial that they can neither be thought nor discussed. Therefore all the myriad Buddhas in that region protect and care for this Sutra.

“O Sariputra, the Southern Region has the Day and Night Lantern Buddha. the Renown Fame Illuminating Buddha, the Great Blazing Shoulders Buddha, the Mystical Mountain Lantern Buddha, the Unlimited Pure Progress Buddha – thus so everywhere a number of Buddhas that is equal to the sands of the river Ganges, each of them having His Own Land. And from these Buddhas’ characteristically broad and long tongues, which can cover three thousand great universes of universes, and which they use to expound truthful and sincere words to all living beings everywhere, come also these praises of Amitabha Buddha whose merits are so beneficial that they can neither be thought nor discussed. Therefore all the many kinds of Buddhas of that region protect and care for this Sutra.

“Sariputra, the Western Region has the Boundless Life Buddha, the Immeasurable Characteristics and Marks Buddha, the Immeasurable Pennant Buddha, the Great Illuminating Buddha, the Great Wisdom Buddha, the Precious Marks Buddha, and the Clear Illuminating Buddha – thus so everywhere a number of Buddhas that is equal to the sand in the river Ganges, each of them having His Own Land. And from these Buddhas’ characteristically broach and long tongues which can cover three thousand great universes of universes, and which they use to expound truthful and sincere words to all living beings everywhere, come also these praises of Amitabha Buddha whose merits are so beneficial that they can neither be thought nor discussed. Therefore all the myriad Buddhas of that region protect and care for this Sutra.

“Sariputra, the Northern Region has the Blazing Shoulders Buddha, the All-Conquering Sound Buddha, the Difficult-to-Stop Buddha, the Daily Reborn Buddha and the Net of Wisdom Buddha – thus so everywhere a number of Buddhas that is equal to the sands of the river Ganges, each of these Buddhas having His Own Land. And from these Buddha’s characteristically broad and long tongues which can cover three thousand universes of universes, and which they use to expound truthful and sincere words to all living beings everywhere, come also these praises of Amitabha Buddha whose merits are so beneficial that they can neither be thought nor discusses. Therefore all the myriad Buddhas of that region protect and care for this Sutra!

“Sariputra, the Nadir has the Lion of Men Buddha, the Renown Buddha, the Famous Illuminating Buddha, the Dharma Buddha, and the Dharma Protecting Buddha – thus so everywhere a number of Buddhas that is equal to the sands of the river Ganges, each of them having His Own Land. And from these Buddha’s characteristically broad and long tongues, which can cover three thousand great universes of universes, and which they use to expound truthful and sincere words to all living beings everywhere, come also these praises of Amitabha Buddha whose merits are so beneficial that they can neither be thought nor discussed. Therefore all the myriad Buddhas of that region protect and care for this Sutra.

“Sariputra, the Zenith has the Brahma Voiced Buddha, the Lord of the Constellations Buddha, the Incense Offering Buddha, the Incense Illuminating Buddha, the Great Blazing Shoulders Buddha, the Many Colored Precious Flowers Adorned Bodied Buddha, the Teak Tree King Buddha, the Seeing – all – wishes – fulfilled Buddha and the Like-a-mystical-mountain Buddha – thus so everywhere a number of Buddhas that is equal to the sands of the river Ganges, each of them having His Own Land. And from these Buddhas’ characteristically broad and long tongues, which can cover three thousand great universes of universes, and which they use to expound truthful and sincere words to all living beings everywhere, come also these praises of Amitabha Buddha whose merits are so beneficial that they can neither be thought nor discussed. Therefore all the myriad Buddha in that region protect and care for this Sutra.

Release palms
 

“O Sariputra, what do you think? Why do those Buddha that I have named protect and care for this Sutra? It is because, Sariputra, if sons or daughters of good families or good men or women who hear of this Sutra and keep it and who also hear these myriad Buddha that I have named; these myriad sons and daughters of good families or good men or women, because of the pervasive activity of all the many kinds of Buddhas who protect and care for this Sutra, will obtain the ‘Never Receding Nor Turning Back From Any Advances Gained’ state which proceeds to the Unexcelled Complete Enlightenment.

“Venerable Sariputra, those anywhere in the Universe who have suitable faith and receive my words can then reach to the many kinds of Buddha places of which I have expounded.

“Sariputra, if a man in the past has made this resolve or at this moment obtains this resolve or does attain this resolve in the future ,such a one will be immediately reborn in the Land of Amitabha Buddha. This is equally true of the many kinds of men everywhere—all can obtain the ‘Never Receding Nor Turning Back’ state which proceeds to the Unexcelled Complete Enlightenment.

“With reference to this Land, if in a past life, the present life, or in a future life, O Venerable Sariputra, the myriad sons and daughters of good families or good men or women have faith in the worthiness of this Vow and respond to it suitably, they will be reborn in the Land of Amitabha .

“Thus, Sariputra, I now sing the praises of the myriad Buddha whose merit is beyond thought or discussion. Likewise the myriad Buddhas also sing praises to me, saying that my own merit is also beyond thought or discussion.

“Therefore with the arising of these words Shakyamuni Buddha has performed a very difficult and rare work by which He was able, in this universe and world, even with its Five Periods of Evil Realms and its Impure Eons, to discern its impurities. Also He discerned the defiling nature of passions impurity and the assembled rebirths impurity and also the reduced length of life impurity and even so, among these impurities, He obtained the Unexcelled Complete Enlightenment. Thereupon His Activity was to expound to all the many kinds of living beings the Dharma that is difficult to have faith in because of the separations caused by impurities.

“Sariputra, I have the suitable knowledge of these Five Evil Periods and have thus acted in this difficult labor because I have attained the Unexcelled Complete Enlightenment. Thus so also is my activity to expound to all the many kinds of living beings that Dharma that is difficult to have faith in because of the divisions in all realms. Although this correct activity is very difficult, the Buddha has expounded this correct Sutra.”

Thereupon Sariputra and the many kinds of fully ordained monks and the whole world of Devas, Men and Arhats who all equally heard the Buddha expound this Sutra were strengthened in Joy, Faith and Resolve and each of them made Ten Obeisances to Him.

PRECENTOR

Thus did the Buddha expound the Amitabha Sutra!

Now comes a time of “One Mindedness” free from distractions before beginning to enlarge the concentration to include the Holy Name. By means of our calling out this name, myriads of past blameworthy acts are completely eradicated and many beneficial roots, merits and blessings are thusly caused. The “twenty-one character (the first portion of the Future Rebirth Dharani)” compose this Treasury’ fundamental origin. Without this relationship, men of later times would not have been able to add to this offering and thus get rid of past karma.

PRECENTOR

Let us now recite the Mystical Formula for pulling out the ‘Tap Root’ of Karmic Obstructions and attaining rebirth in the Pure Land!

ALL

Give Praise to Amitabha Buddha! Tathagata! He Who Calls Out!
Amitabha Who Benefits! All That Exists!
Amitabha Benefits Everywhere! One Hundred Existences!
Amitabha Benefits Everywhere! The Prophesied Sovereign!
Amitabha Benefits Everywhere! The Prophesied Sovereign!
One Who Benefits All! The Firmament and Sky Benefiting! Hail!

ALL

Give Praise to Amitabha Buddha! Tathagata! He Who Calls Out!
Amitabha Benefits Everywhere! One Hundred Existences!
Amitabha Benefits Everywhere! The Prophesied Sovereign!
Amitabha Benefits Everywhere! The Prophesied Sovereign!
One Who Benefits All! The Firmament and Sky Benefiting! Hail!

ALL

Give Praise to Amitabha Buddha! Tathagata! He Who Calls Out!
Amitabha Benefits Everywhere! One Hundred Existences!
Amitabha Benefits Everywhere! The Prophesied Sovereign!
Amitabha Benefits Everywhere! The Prophesied Sovereign!
One Who Benefits All! The Firmament and Sky Benefiting! Hail!

WORSHIPPING THE BUDDHAS BY CONFESSION AND REPENTANCE

Also called the Litany of Eighty-eight Buddhas

While shown as a portion of the Daily Text, common practice may reserve the use of this for auspicious days

Plainsong

ALL

Greatly Compassionate, Greatly Merciful, Pitying All Living Beings!
Greatly Joyful, Greatly Renouncing, Aiding All Sentient Beings!
Their Thirty-two Marks are illuminated by their Heroism! With One Mind

all turn toward the altar and kneel

those gathered here offer their lives in worship!

Now speaking plainly

ALL

We praise and take refuge in the Diamond – Thunderbolt Superior Teachers!
We take refuge in the Buddhas!
We take refuge in the Dharma!
We take refuge in the Sangha!
At this moment my mind is made up and my ‘non-active’ self prays for the Reward that is called ‘Blessed’ by Men and Devas. Those who listened to the Buddha’s Teachings and the Pratyaka Buddhas who take the smaller expedient teaching and the diverse kinds of Bodhisattvas who rely upon the Supreme Vehicle all send forth the Enlightened Mind, vowing that this shall be extended to the Dharma Realm of All Sentient Beings so that all can together and at the same time attain the Unexcelled Complete Enlightenment!

Plainsong

I commit myself and take refuge in all the Myriad Buddhas of the Ten Directions and the Complete Universe!
I commit myself and take refuge in all the Honored Dharmas of the Ten Directions and the Complete Universe!
I commit myself and take refuge in all the Saintly and Virtuous Sanghas of the Ten Directions and the Complete Universe!

I commit myself to the Tathagatas, Arhats, Completely Enlightened Ones, Well Departed Ones, Knowers of the Worlds, Unsurpassed Lords, Tamers of the Passions of Men, Teachers of Men and Devas, Enlightened Ones, World Honored Ones!

I commit myself to the Universal Light Buddha!
I commit myself to the Universal Enlightenment Buddha!
I commit myself to the Universal Purity Buddha!
I commit myself to the Cassia Leafed Sandalwood Fragrance Buddha!
I commit myself to the Sandalwood Illuminating Buddha!
I commit myself to the Jeweled Pennant Buddha!
I commit myself to the Gladness Storehouse of Jewels Treasure- Heaped Buddha!
I commit myself to the Whole World of Joy Discerning Supreme Great Purified Progress Buddha!
I commit myself to the Jeweled Flickering Lantern Illuminating Buddha!
I commit myself to the Torch of Wisdom Shining Buddha!
I commit myself to the Ocean of Virtue Illuminating Buddha!
I commit myself to the Diamond Firm and Secure Pervasively Scattering Precious Light Buddha!
I commit myself to the Great Strong Unadulterated Progress Buddha!
I commit myself to the Great Merciful Illumination Buddha!
I commit myself to the Compassionate Powered Lord Buddha!
I commit myself to the Compassionate Treasury Buddha!
I commit myself to the Sandalwood Cave of Dignity Glorious Victory Buddha!
I commit myself to the Virtuous Sage Buddha!
I commit myself to the Virtuous Faculty of Thought Buddha!
I commit myself to the Greatly Dignified Glorious Lord Buddha!
I commit myself to the Precious Blossom Illuminating Buddha!
I commit myself to the Precious Canopy Shining in the Void Sovereign Powerful Lord Buddha!
I commit myself to the Sunyata Treasured Blossom Illuminating Buddha!
I commit myself to the Lapis Lazuli Adorned Buddha!
I commit myself to the Universally Manifested Physical Body Illuminating Buddha!
I commit myself to the Unmoved Wisdom Illuminating Buddha!
I commit myself to the Subjugating the Assembly of Demons Lord Buddha!
I commit myself to the Talent Illuminating and Enlightening Buddha!
I commit myself to the Knowledge and Wisdom Victorious Buddha!
I commit myself to the Benevolent Maitreya Immortal Illuminating Buddha!
I commit myself to the Skilled in Calmness Moon Sounds Mysteriously Honoring Knowing Lord Buddha!
I commit myself to the World of Purity Illuminating Buddha!
I commit myself to the Honored Race of Dragon Kings, Lord Buddha!
I commit myself to the Sun and Moon Illuminating Buddha!
I commit myself to the Sun and Moon Pearl Illuminating Buddha!
I commit myself to the Wisdom Pennant Victorious Lord Buddha!
I commit myself to the Lion’s Roar Sovereign and Powerful Lord Buddha!
I commit myself to the Mysterious Sounds Surpassing Buddha!
I commit myself to the Eternally Illuminated Pennant Buddha !
I commit myself to the Regarding the World Lantern Buddha!
I commit myself to the Wise and Majestic Lantern Buddha!
I commit myself to the Dharma Victorious Lord Buddha!
I commit myself to the Mystical Mountain Illuminating Buddha!
I commit myself to the Great Jasmine Flower Illuminating Buddha!
I commit myself to the Distinguished by the Udumbra Tree’s Weighty Blossom Surpassing Lord Buddha!
I commit myself to the Great Wisdom Powerful Lord Buddha!
I commit myself to the Unmoved When Surrounded by Pleasure Joyful Illumination Buddha!
I commit myself to the Unlimited Sound Hearing Lord Buddha!
I commit myself to the Talent Illuminating Buddha!
I commit myself to the Golden Ocean Illuminating Buddha!
I commit myself to the Mountain and Sea Wisdom Sovereign Universal Lord Buddha!
I commit myself to the Great Pervading Illumination Buddha!
I commit myself to the Wholly and Eternally Complete in the Dharma Lord Buddha!

The above 53 Buddhas come from looking into the “Sutra of the Two Bodhisattva Brothers of Medicine.”
The below 35 Buddhas come from looking into the “Sutra of the Fixed and Settled Vinaya.”

I commit myself to the Wise One of the Shakyas Buddha!
I commit myself to the Diamond -Thunderbolt Indestructible Buddha!
I commit myself to the Precious Illumination Buddha!
I commit myself to the Dragon Honored Lord Buddha !
I commit myself to the Like an Army Purely Progressing Buddha !
I commit myself to the Purely Progressing Joyous Buddha !
I commit myself to the Precious Fire Buddha!
I commit myself to the Precious Moon Illuminating Buddha!
I commit myself to the Manifested Without Ignorance Buddha!
I commit myself to the Precious Moon Buddha!
I commit myself to the Undefiled Buddha!
I commit myself to the Abandoning Defilements Buddha !
I commit myself to the Courage Bestowing Buddha!
I commit myself to the Pure Clear Buddha!
I commit myself to the Pure Clarity Bestowing Buddha!
I commit myself to the Easily Keeping Thusness Buddha!
I commit myself to the Water Deva Varuna Buddha!
I commit myself to the Fixed Virtue Buddha!
I commit myself to the Sandalwood Meritorious Virtued Buddha!
I commit myself to the Immeasurable Grasped in Both Hands Illuminating Buddha!
I commit myself to the Illuminating Virtue Buddha!
I commit myself to the Without Sorrow Virtuous Buddha!
I commit myself to the Son of the Eternal Spirit Buddha!
I commit myself to the Meritorious Virtued Blossom Buddha!
I commit myself to the Lotus Blossom Illuminating Supernatural Power Universal Buddha!
I commit myself to the Wealth of Virtue Meritorious Buddha!
I commit myself to the Meritorious at Reflection and Recitation Buddha!
I commit myself to the Skilled at Reflection and Invoking Virtue Meritorious Buddha!
I commit myself to the Scarlet Flame Sovereign Pennant Lord Buddha!
I commit myself to the Skilled at Travel By Walking Meritorious Buddha!
I commit myself to the Provokers of War Overcoming Buddha!
I commit myself to the Skilled at Travel By Walking Buddha!
I commit myself to the Completely Encompassed and Adorned with Virtue and Merits Buddha!
I commit myself to the Precious Blossom at Every Step of the Journey Buddha!
I commit myself to the Precious Lotus Blossom Virtuously Abiding In the Guardian Teak Tree Lord Buddha!
I commit myself to the Dharma Realm’s Place of Refuge Amitabha Buddha!

This last named Buddha is not a part of the 35, but is added from the “Sutra for the Salvation of the Flaming Mouths.”,

Slowly with feeling, but clearly

PRECENTOR

Thus so, everywhere

ALL

In all Worlds the myriad World Honored Buddhas are always thus abiding in those Worlds. And if in our present lives or in our past lives, we have yielded to the beginningless cycles of life and death and have assembled sins, these Myriad World Honored Ones have suitable compassionate thoughts for us. If I have acted or if I have urged others to act, I understand that following my desires is like mistaking a pagoda for an assembly of monks or for an assembly of living beings. If I have become attached or if I have urged others to become attached, I see that from these desires come the Five Uninterrupted Sins. If I have acted or if I have urged others to act, I understand that from acting according to desire comes the Ten Unvirtuous Paths. If I act or urge others to act, I see that acting according to desires sets up sinful barriers, and whether or not one has carefully examined the Pitakas, one like this deservedly falls into Hell, or becomes a Hungry Ghost, or is reborn as animal or one of the many other kinds of incarnations that result from sin. The Border of the Pure Land is not won cheaply, nor can it be reached by non-Buddhists. Thus we here who are held back by sinful obstructions now confess and repent all of them. As we do this, the Myriad World Honored Buddhas attest to knowing us and undertake to watch over us, and in response to this, before these Myriad World Honored Buddhas I speak thusly:

If in this life for all our remaining years we are continually active in the spreading of alms or in our keeping of the Pure Precepts, in this way giving alms to dumb animals so that each received what it needs, or if we cultivate pure actions we will have good roots. By doing these things with no thought except for the benefit of all living beings, we will come to possess good roots. By cultivating the actions of Bodhi-Wisdom, we will come to possess good roots. And when we finally achieve the Unsurpassed Knowledge, we will have done so because of having these good roots. Adding all this together, we can assess our gain and these merits we completely and totally offer up to the Unexcelled Complete Enlightenment. Thus in the past, present and future, as is presently being made manifest by these Myriad Buddhas, therefore I likewise do this for the benefit of others. My assembled sins I confess and repent, and their Infinite Blessings put an end to my self-indulgence. I also beg for these Buddhas’ Meritorious Virtues, vowing that I shall perfect the Unsurpassed Knowledge. In the Past, Present and Future these Buddhas have achieved the Greatest Surpassing Victory for all living beings and to their Immeasurable Ocean of Accomplishment, I now surrender my life in devotion.

This ends the Litany of the Eighty-eight Buddhas, but not the Rite of Confession and Repentance. If the preceding portion of the Rite is omitted, this remaining section must still be used daily.

All rise

ALL

In the Worlds in all directions dwell the Three Periods Complete Lions of Men, and with our pure clean bodies, speech and thoughts, we have wholly and completely worshipped them, excluding none! The awe-inspiring majesty of P’u Hsien’s Vow of Activity has also been completely manifested before these Tathagatas. His One Body repeatedly manifests itself in bodies as countless as dust with each of these bodies giving worship to Buddhas that are also countless as dust, and, within the center of each grain of dust, there are also Buddhas to be counted: Each of them residing in the center of a Bodhisattva Assembly! Throughout the Inexhaustible Dharma Realm, all grains of dust are also like this! Nevertheless, be firmly convinced that each of these Myriad Buddhas is replete with a Full Ocean of Expounding’s Wonderful Words which can not be used up by all the ages of the future!

Sing praises to these Buddhas Very Profound Oceans of Merits, and consider the myriads of Surpassingly Victorious Wonderfully Flowered Garlands which adorn them. Even as they are praised by singing maidens and other female dancers and performers who anoint themselves with perfume and incense to worship these Buddhas; Even as those great leaders and statesmen and those who are entitled to the signs and symbols of authority and others that can wear the Surpassing and Glorious Adornments of Merit worship these Buddhas; so do we also make nourishing offerings to these Tathagatas who are peerlessly robed and peerlessly fragrant.

Powdered Incense is burning and the Candles are lighted:

One-by-one, all these wonderful and Eminent Buddhas assemble as we wholly make these many kinds of nourishing offerings to the Tathagatas. Because of their Broad and Great Victories, our minds are liberated, and we come to have Deep Faith in all the Buddhas of the Three Realms.

We also know that it is because of the Power of P’u Hsien’s Vow of Activity that we can always and continually make this nourishing offering to the Myriad Tathagatas:

Bring the palms together and continue solemnly

From the beginning all evil karmas have been created by my greed anger and delusion and have stemmed from my body, mouth and mind. All of them I now completely Confess and Repent.

Releasing the hands, the Assembly continues normally saying:

In the Ten Directions, all the many kinds of living beings take refuge in the Two Vehicles which contain the Knowledge that extends beyond Knowledge, and, All Tathagatas, together with the Bodhisattvas, make use of this Meritorious Achievement to Rejoice in the Welfare of Others!

Throughout the Ten Directions they have “Divided the Light,” And from this superlative beginning have caused beings to attain the Bodhi-Mind.

We now ask, with every fiber of our beings, that they turn the Unsurpassed Mysterious Dharma Wheel by which, in the presence of the passions, All Buddhas proclaim Nirvana, and,
With greatest sincerity, we fully, avidly and devotedly meditate on their Vows to always abide in lands as countless as dust for ages without end until the Blessed Joy is arrived at by all living beings.

We have completely worshipped, sung hymns of praise and made nourishing offerings to the Buddhas, and,
We have invited the Buddha that abides in this World to turn the Dharma Wheel. We have fulfilled our wishes and been able to confess and repent. All these activities have created many good roots which we now dedicate to all living beings so that they, too, can reach the Buddha Path.

We also vow that whatever Victory and Merits that we receive from this, we dedicate to the Unsurpassed True Dharma Realm whose nature is manifested in the Buddha, in the Dharma and in the Sangha also!

The two forms of statements are thus combined in the Samadhi Seal creating an Immeasurable Ocean of Merit, and, this merit we also completely dedicate so that all living beings that possess body, mouth or mind can see as escape from the confusion that slanders our Dharma everywhere.

Thusly, all the many kinds of karmic obstacles will be fully and completely dispersed, without a trace of a remainder so that in the thought-after-thought, wisdom on every side Dharma Realms there will be the vast salvation of all living beings so that there will be no retreating into Birth and Death, and, so that throughout the Empty Realm of Sunyata and in the Finite Worlds, all living beings will be emptied of Karma and Klesa.

Therefore, in the same way that those of the Four Dharmas, whose merits are broad and limitless, have vowed to give their merit for the benefit of all living beings,

slowly turn so that the Two Ranks face each other

We also give our own merits to all living beings, saying:
Give Praise to the Great Activity of P’u Hsien Bodhisattva,
The Confession and Repentance Teaching Bodhisattva – Mahasattva!

repeat the above sentence three times

After the third repetition, the Hand Ch’ing is struck twice quickly and all rise and perform WEN-HSUN bow. The Two Ranks again turn to face each other.

RITE OF BESTOWING ALMS FOOD

Translation Note: CAUTION! This rite is clearly indicated in all texts, but common practice shows that it is not usually performed daily as the text would seem to indicate. Instead, this rite was generally performed only on Auspicious Days and on the 1st and 15th of each month. In some temples and monasteries, it was not performed at all due to caution on the part of the Abbot. Indeed, in some places anyone caught learning this Rite was banned from the establishment by standing rules. This is because this rite is one of the most serious of the Tantric Rites that became common to Chinese Buddhist practice. As the rite involves the use of Mantra, Mudra and Samadhi of the highest type, few were qualified to correctly perform it, and those who did so without the practice and knowledge required to do so correctly did (and do) so at their peril. Today, we live in an age when few ‘intelligent’ people believe in the ghosts for whom this rite is intended. Logic would then dictate that it be omitted by those who do not believe in ghosts. If you are one who is certain that this rite still has a purpose and an audience, please be cautious and learn the correct performance of the Mudra indicated before attempting this rite.

Being the correct manner of bestowing Alms Food on Hungry Ghosts by monks as taught at Meng Shan and handed down to us by Dharma Master Wai Kuo Kan Lu, who taught this method to the Great Assembly when he dwell for a time at the “Four Streams Concealed Mountain Monastery” commonly known as Meng Shan. In addition to the Ceremonial Words that follow, the Master also left us with this gatha:

ALL SILENTLY

A fierce fire, blazing, blazing, illuminating the Iron City
The Iron City that burns those Solitary Souls
The Solitary Souls that desire to be reborn in the Pure Land
Let them then listen to this portion of the Hua-Yen.

The IRON CITY is the most fierce and terrible of all the Hells. The phrase translated here as Solitary Souls means in its complete nuance “those souls for whom there is no-one to offer sacrifices.’ The HUA-YEN referred to is the “Flower Garland” or the Chinese name for – the Avatamsaka Sutra. [Japanese: Kengon]

The Eastern and Western Ranks are to stand facing each other.

ALL

If men desire the Complete Knowledge of all the Buddhas of the Three Realms, let them look thoroughly into the nature of the Dharma Realms which are affirmed to be completely created by the Mind!

At the first stroke of the Great Ch’ing above (after the word Buddha) an ACOLYTE (Shih-che) who has been schooled in his duty and who is standing in the Eastern Ranks, turns to face the Altar and gives WEN-HSUN bow. He remains quietly in this position.

If men desire the Complete Knowledge of all the Buddhas of the Three Realms, let them look thoroughly into the nature of the Dharma Realms which are affirmed to be completely created by the Mind!

If men desire the Complete Knowledge of all the Buddhas of the Three Realms, let them look thoroughly into the nature of the Dharma Realms which are affirmed to be completely created by the Mind!

PRECENTOR

The Pure Words That Break Open The Gates Of Hell!

ALL

AUM! To the One of Kharadiya Mountain, Hail!
AUM! To the One of Kharadiya Mountain, Hail!
AUM! To the One of Kharadiya Mountain, Hail!

PRECENTOR

The Pure Words of Universal Invitation!

ALL

Give Praise to the Earth and the Earth’s Unwavering Tathagata!
Give Praise to the Earth and the Earth’s Unwavering Tathagata!
Give Praise to the Earth and the Earth’s Unwavering Tathagata!

PRECENTOR

The Pure Words That Release the Bonds of Oppression!

ALL

AUM! To the Three Shining Antidotes, Hail!
AUM! To the Three Shining Antidotes, Hail!
AUM! To the Three Shining Antidotes, Hail!

Now the entire assembly brings the palms together in the position of salutation

ALL

Give Praise to the Surpassing Flower Garland Sutra of the Mahayana!
Give Praise to the Surpassing Flower Garland Sutra of the Mahayana!
Give Praise to the Surpassing Flower Garland Sutra of the Mahayana!

ALL

Give Praise to the Constantly Abiding in the Ten Directions Buddhas!
Give Praise to the Constantly Abiding in the Ten Directions Dharma!
Give Praise to the Constantly Abiding in the Ten Directions Sangha!
Give Praise to Our Original Teacher Shakyamuni Buddha!
Give Praise to the Great Compassionate Hearer of the Cries of the World, Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva!
Give Praise to the Dark and Light, Saving from Suffering Earth-Storehouse Lord, Ti Tsang Bodhisattva!
Give Praise to the One Who Recorded the Teachings, the Venerable Ananda!

At the stroke of the Hand Ch’ing after the word “original”, the ACOLYTE gives WEN-HSUN and moves slowly to stand before the “bowing cushion” which should be placed directly in front of the CELEBRANT’S SEAT in the central aisle between the Two Ranks. The ACOLYTE then makes another bow of WEN-HSUN when he arrives and standing in place begins to offer three bows for each of the seven praises, repeated three times.

Now the entire assembly turns to face the altar while continuing the repetition of these seven praises. All keep their hands in the position of salutation as they continue:

ALL

Give Praise to the Constantly Abiding in the Ten Directions Buddhas!
Give Praise to the Constantly Abiding in the Ten Directions Dharma!
Give Praise to the Constantly Abiding in the Ten Directions Sangha!
Give Praise to Our Original Teacher Shakyamuni Buddha!
Give Praise to the Great Compassionate Hearer of the Cries of the World, Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva!
Give Praise to the Dark and Light, Saving from Suffering Earth-Storehouse Lord, Ti Tsang Bodhisattva!
Give Praise to the One Who Recorded the Teachings, the Venerable Ananda!

Give Praise to the Constantly Abiding in the Ten Directions Buddhas!
Give Praise to the Constantly Abiding in the Ten Directions Dharma!
Give Praise to the Constantly Abiding in the Ten Directions Sangha!
Give Praise to Our Original Teacher Shakyamuni Buddha!
Give Praise to the Great Compassionate Hearer of the Cries of the World, Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva!
Give Praise to the Dark and Light, Saving from Suffering Earth-Storehouse Lord, Ti Tsang Bodhisattva!
Give Praise to the One Who Recorded the Teachings, the Venerable Ananda!

When the many bows are completed, the Acolyte will again perform WEN-HSUN and both the Acolyte and the Assembly release the palms.

The Acolyte who has come from his position has done so to display our honor to the Buddha, and his three bows have displayed our honor to the three Precious Ones, the Buddha Shakyamuni, the Bodhisattva Kuan Yin, the Bodhisattva Ti Tsang and the Venerable Patriarch Ananda, who because of the power of their fundamental vows hear us when we call out their names and make their appearance known throughout the entire universe so as to give their aid to help the Hungry Ghosts to escape suffering.

ALL

I take refuge in the Buddha!

The ACOLYTE, still acting on behalf of the entire assembly, at the word “Buddha” begins the bow of full formal prostration.

I take refuge in the Dharma!
I take refuge in the Sangha!

I take refuge in the Buddha because of His Two Complete and Honored Teachings!

The ACOLYTE now performs the mudra “Lifting the Buddha’s Feet”

I take refuge in the Dharma because its Mysterious Power aids me to abandon the passions
take refuge in the Sangha because it is the Wonderful Brotherhood that follows the Venerable Middle Way!

Thus, I have taken refuge in the Buddha!

The ACOLYTE now rises up from the Full Formal Prostration

Thus, I have taken refuge in the Dharma!
Thus, I have taken refuge in the Sangha!

ALL

I take refuge in the Buddha!

The ACOLYTE now begins a second Full Formal Prostration

I take refuge in the Dharma!
I take refuge in the Sangha!

I take refuge in the Buddha because of His Two Complete and Honored Teachings!

The ACOLYTE now performs the mudra “Lifting the Buddha’s Feet” for the second time.

I take refuge in the Dharma because its Mysterious Power aids me to abandon the Passions!
I take refuge in the Sangha because it is the Wonderful Brotherhood that follows the Venerable Middle Way!

Thus, I have taken refuge in the Buddha!

The ACOLYTE now rises up from the second Full Formal Prostration.

Thus, I have taken refuge in the Dharma!
Thus, I have taken refuge in the Sangha!

ALL

I take refuge in the Buddha!

The ACOLYTE now begins the third and final Full Formal Prostration.

I take refuge in the Dharma!
I take refuge in the Sangha!

I take refuge in the Buddha because of His Two Complete and Honored Teachings!

The ACOLYTE now performs the mudra of “Lifting the Buddha’s Feet” for the third and final time.

I take refuge in the Dharma because its Mysterious Power aids me to abandon the Passions!
I take refuge in the Sangha because it is the Wonderful Brotherhood that follows the Venerable Middle Way!

Thus, I have taken refuge in the Buddha!

The ACOLYTE now rises up from the final Full Formal Prostration.

Thus, I have taken refuge in the Dharma!
Thus, I have taken refuge in the Sangha!

The ACOLYTE now performs the WEN-HSUN bow and returns to his place

ALL

On behalf of the Children of Buddha who have created the many kinds of sinful karma, which has existed from time without beginning, having been caused by greed, anger and delusion which stemmed from the body, speech and thought, and has brought them to this present existence, all these do the Children of the Buddha thus completely Confess and Repent.

On behalf of the many sorts of Sentient Beings who have created the many kinds of sinful karma, which has existed from time without beginning, having been cause by greed, anger and delusion which stemmed from the body, speech and thought, and has brought them to this present existence, all these do the Sentient Beings thus completely Confess and Repent.

On behalf of the Solitary Souls who have created the many kinds of sinful karma, which has existed from time without beginning, having been caused by greed, anger and delusion which stemmed from the body, speech and thought, and has brought them to this present existence, all these do the Solitary Souls thus completely Confess and Repent.

All living beings without limits they swear and vow to save;
Pain and distress without ending they swear and vow to cut off;
Dharma Gates beyond counting they swear and vow to master;
Buddha Paths without measure they swear and vow to perfect;

All living beings without limits they swear and vow to save;
Pain and distress without ending they swear and vow to cut off;
Dharma Gates beyond counting they swear and vow to master;
Buddha Paths without measure they swear and vow to perfect;

All living beings without limits they swear and vow to save;
Pain and distress without ending they swear and vow to cut off;
Dharma Gates beyond counting they swear and vow to master;
Buddhas Paths without measure they swear and vow to perfect.

On my own behalf, I also swear and vow to save limitless numbers of living beings;
On my own behalf, I also swear and vow to endlessly cut off pain and distress;
On my own behalf, I also swear and vow to master countless Dharma Gates;

The ACOLYTE now performs WEN-HSUN and again comes from his place to stand before the “bowing cushion” with his hands in the position of salutation.

On my own behalf, I also swear and vow to perfect Buddha Paths without measure;

On my own behalf, I also swear and vow to save limitless numbers of living beings;
On my own behalf, I also swear and vow to endlessly cut off pain and distress;
On my own behalf, I also swear and vow to master countless Dharma Gates;
On my own behalf, I also swear and vow to perfect Buddha Paths without measure;

On my own behalf, I also swear and vow to save limitless numbers of living beings;
On my own behalf, I also swear and vow to endlessly cut off pain and distress;
On my own behalf, I also swear and vow to master countless Dharma Gates;
On my own behalf, I also swear and vow to perfect Buddha Paths without measure!

PRECENTOR

Ti Tsang’s Pure Words for Extinguishing Fixed Karma!

ALL

AUM ! To the One of Saving Transformations, Hail!
AUM! To the One of Saving Transformations, Hail!
AUM! To the One of Saving Transformations, Hail!

The ACOLYTE now turns to the center and performs WEN-HSUN.

PRECENTOR

Kuan Yin’s Pure Words for Extinguishing Karmic Barricades!

ALL

AUM! To be free from desires, Svaha!
AUM! To be free from desires, Svaha!
AUM! To be free from desires, Svaha!

PRECENTOR

The Pure Words for Opening the Throat!

AUM! Let those of the suffering existences come to the Tathagata!
AUM! Let those of the suffering existences come to the Tathagata!
AUM! Let those of the suffering existences come to the Tathagata!

The ACOLYTE now moves to before the Buddha and performs WEN-HSUN.

PRECENTOR

The Pure Words of the Precepts for Removing Unclean Hindrances!

ALL

AUM! Removing Unclean Impurities From All Living Beings!

As the first AUM, is spoken, the ACOLYTE begins the “Raising the Lotus” Mudra with the right hand The left hand circles the Sacred Character (AUM) on the Altar, clockwise, and then forms the “Binding Sign” Mudra. The entire action is completed before the end of the sentence. The above movements are repeated with each of the lines below, making three times in all.

AUM! Removing Unclean Impurities From All Living Beings!
AUM! Removing Unclean Impurities From All Living Beings!

During the next section the ACOLYTE picks up the Pure Chalice using the first two fingers of his right hand and his right thumb. He then lifts the Pure Chalice ‘up and out’ (as if offering a toast) before placing it in the up turned palm of the left hand. When the assembly reaches the word ‘Tathagata’ his right forms the “Raising the Lotus ” Mudra above the rim of the Chalice. When the assembly reaches the word “AUM” the fingers of the left hand, still holding the Pure Chalice close twice to make the “Binding Sign” Mudra. These motions are repeated with each repetition.

PRECENTOR

The Pure Words of Making the Food Edible!

ALL

Give Praise to every Tathagata! They are the Defenders! AUM! Protecting! Protecting! HUM!
Give Praise to every Tathagata! They are the Defenders! AUM! Protecting! Protecting! HUM!
Give Praise to every Tathagata! They are the Defenders! AUM! Protecting! Protecting! HUM!

The ACOLYTE now holds the transformed food in his left hand. He holds his right hand above the Food Offering and, pointing to it says:

ACOLYTE

I will now recite the Immeasurably Dignified Respect – Inspiring Sovereign of the Kingdom of Light’s Surpassingly Mysterious Dharanis, and by their power you are able to rely on this food offering. Draw near to this Unequaled Feast of monastic food. Draw near to this Immeasurable Food. This meal is given to you. It is not different than the food of the Buddhas. Thus, it is unsurpassed: This is Alms food! Therefore know that because it is the result of Almsgiving, it is twice superior! Know also that its merit is inexhaustible! It fills the Void and throughout the Complete Universal Dharma Realm, it can save all from the emptiness of hunger so that suffering is abandoned and joy obtained!

PRECENTOR

The Sweet Dew Water Pure Words

During the next section, at the word “Formed”, the ACOLYTE picks up the Purifying Vessel (asperger) and places it within the mouth of the Pure Chalice, thus filling it. At the word “AUM” the ACOLYTE lifts a stick of burning incense to his head and circumambulates the Altar twice (clockwise). When this is done, the ACOLYTE then lifts the Pure Chalice so that the mouth is raised and again circumambulates the Altar twice (clockwise). Finally, at the word “Hail” at the end of the third repetition, the ACOLYTE pours or shakes out a bit of water from the Purifying Vessel.

ALL

Give Praise to the Wonderfully Formed Tathagata the Buddha Aksobhya, the Conquering One!
AUM! Auspicious! Auspicious! Completely Auspicious Beyond the Auspicious! Hail!
Give Praise to the Wonderfully Formed Tathagata, the Buddha Aksobhya, the Conquering One!
AUM! Auspicious! Auspicious! Completely Auspicious Beyond the Auspicious! Hail!
Give Praise to the Wonderfully Formed Tathagata, the Buddha Aksobhya, the Conquering One!
AUM! Auspicious! Auspicious! Completely Auspicious Beyond the Auspicious! Hail!

The assembly quietly reflects

PRECENTOR

Let us regard and reflect on this Water and on the dependable power of this Mystical Incantation. Throughout the Deep and Profound, Pure Clean Dharma Realm, it has the Power to command that the throats of the Hungry Ghosts open up. Because of this, throughout the entire Dharma Realm, all beings can now obtain this offering of the Sweet Dew Water and Pure Food!

As the PRECENTOR recites this passage, the ACOLYTE pours out a bit more water, and then with his RIGHT SHOULDER facing inward, circumambulates the Altar once. He then pours out a bit more water and with his LEFT shoulder facing inward, circumambulates the Altar again. Then, pouring out a bit more water, the ACOLYTE makes a dual circumambulation, first with the RIGHT shoulder inward and then with the LEFT shoulder inward, not pausing between these two.

When the above actions are completed, the Precentor continues the Rite. saying:

PRECENTOR

The One Character Pure Words of the Watery Realm!

ALL

In the following passage, after the initial “AUM” the syllable “VAM” is recited as if in 4/4 time – i.e. x&x&xxx

AUM! Vam, Vam, Vam, Vam, Vam!
AUM! Vam, Vam, Vam, Vam, Vam!
AUM! Vam, Vam, Vam, Vam, Vam!

As this formula is recited, the ACOLYTE, still holding the Purifying Vessel as above, pours out a bit of the Sweet Dew Water for each time the syllable ‘”VAM” is pronounced. This action is performed with the Purifying Vessel in the Right Hand, and with the Left Hand held behind the back so as to be concealed.

PRECENTOR

The Pure Words of the Ocean of Milk!

During this section, at the first stroke of the Ch’ing, the ACOLYTE produces the SAMAYA Mudra, first turning the body.

ALL

Give Praise to All the Buddhas in the Universe! AUM! VAM!
Give Praise to All the Buddhas in the Universe! AUM! VAM!
Give Praise to All the Buddhas in the Universe! AUM! VAM!

At the third repetition of the syllable “Vam” the Assembly brings their hands to the position of salutation.

The ACOLYTE now grasps the Pure Chalice with his fingers held at its mouth and at the beginning of the phrase ‘Vairocana Tathagata’ he raises it and turns facing the West. At each the words (Fear, Dread and Abandoning) the ACOLYTE takes a step to the West, and then pauses, still facing outward, and raises the Pure Chalice in offering. He then returns to his original position. At the next cycle of repetition, he repeats the previous motion, except using the East, returning again to his original position. the Third (final) cycles is the same as the previous two, except that the disciple turn to face the Center of the Hall. When he has taken the three steps, he then turns to the North (and the Altar) before raising the Chalice.

ALL

Give Praise to the Abundant Treasures Tathagata!
Give Praise to the Precious Victory Tathagata!
Give Praise to the Wonderfully Formed Aksobhya Tathagata!
Give Praise to the Space Filling Vairocana Tathagata!
Give Praise to the Fear and Dread Abandoning Tathagata!
Give Praise to the Sweet Dew King Tathagata!
Give Praise to the Infinite Qualitied Amitabha Tathagata!

Give Praise to the Abundant Treasures Tathagata!
Give Praise to the Precious Victory Tathagata!
Give Praise to the Wonderfully Formed Aksobhya Tathagata!
Give Praise to the Space Filling Vairocana Tathagata!
Give Praise to the Fear and Dread Abandoning Tathagata !
Give Praise to the Sweet Dew King Tathagata!
Give Praise to the Infinite Qualitied Amitabha Tathagata!

Give Praise to the Abundant Treasures Tathagata!
Give Praise to the Precious Victory Tathagata !
Give Praise to the Wonderfully Formed Aksobhya Tathagata!
Give Praise to the Space Filling Vairocana Tathagata!
Give Praise to the Fear and Dread Abandoning Tathagata!
Give Praise to the Sweet Dew King Tathagata!
Give Praise to the Infinite Qualitied Amitabha Tathagata!

The assembly now releases the hands and resumes the normal position

During this next section, as the Assembly recites, the ACOLYTE begins to trace the Sanskrit character “HUM” in the water of the Pure Chalice, using the third (or middle) finger of the right hand. When the recitation reaches the words “Pure Land,” he flicks water from this finger water toward the Altar and kneels, right knee down, left knee up.

ALL

It is by the power of these Mystical Incantations that you can obtain this Pure Dharma Food! These Alms, which are as pervasive as the sands of the Ganges, are given to the Sons of Buddha so that they can vow to completely and fully renounce meanness and greed, thus speedily casting off their ghostly existences so that they can enter the Pure Land and take refuge in the Three Precious Ones that Send Forth the Bodhi Wisdom so that all can finally attain the Complete Unsurpassed Way whose merits are limitless to the end of time!

Let all the Sons of Buddha equally receive this Dharma Food!

It is by the power of these Mystical Incantations that you can obtain this Dharma and Alms Food! These Alms, which are as pervasive as the sands of the Ganges, are given to All Sentient Beings so that they can vow to completely and fully renounce meanness and greed, thus speedily casting off their ghostly existences so that they can enter the Pure Land

The ACOLYTE again traces the Sanskrit character “HUM” in the water of the Pure Chalice. this time, however, he uses the first two digits of the Left Hand.

and take refuge in the Three Precious Ones that send forth the Bodhi Wisdom so that all can finally attain the Complete Unsurpassed Way whose merits are limitless and eternal!

Let All Sentient Beings be nourished by this Dharma Food!

When the recitation arrives at the word “Water” the ACOLYTE makes one flick of the Water with his Left Hand while still holding the rim of the Pure Chalice.

It is by the power of these Mystical Incantations that you can receive this Sweet Dew Water!

These Alms, which are as pervasive as the sands of the Ganges, are given to All Solitary Souls so that they can completely and fully renounce meanness and greed, thus casting off their ghostly existences so that they can enter the Pure Land

The ACOLYTE again traces the Sanskrit character “HUM” in the water of the Pure Chalice. using the first two digits of the Left Hand. As the recitation continues after the tracing indicated above, the ACOLYTE begins a series of flicks, beginning with three to his left, followed by three to his right and finishing with two flicks inward towards the Altar. Then turning outward away from the Altar, the ACOLYTE makes two flicks outward toward the ground, and then at the words THIS DHARMA FOOD, begins the last three flicks, timing the flick to punctuate the last three words (THIS DHARMA FOOD). The flick that punctuates (THIS) should be over the right shoulder. The flick that punctuates (DHARMA) should be over his left shoulder. The flick that punctuates (FOOD) should be straight outward towards the ground.

and take refuge in the Three Precious Ones that send forth the Bodhi Wisdom so that all can finally attain the Complete unsurpassed Way whose merits are limitless and eternal!

Let All Solitary Souls be nourished by this Dharma Food!

Now the Assembly begins the Offertory Hymn and at the word “Offering” the Acolyte will take the Pure Food to the Birthless Altar as described below:

The Pure Dharma Food Offering is taken outside and is placed on a Special Platform in the Courtyard. (If this is not possible, then a Special Altar inside the Hall is used. Neither of these Offering Altars contains images of either Buddhas or Bodhisattvas on them, nor visible from them. Otherwise it will be impossible for the Offering to be received.)

The Acolyte now divides the Offering into three portions, reciting as he does:

ACOLYTE

This first offering is given so that those who prey on fish will find their nets empty.
This second offering is given so that those who prey on animals will find their traps barren.
This third offering is given to all other places so that we can pray that living beings will perceive the fragile nature of their bodies and finally attain the Birth of No-Birth.

Thus is the Birthless Altar divided: A Pure and Superior Place!

If it is possible, there is also a Great Stone Canopy over the Altar, or, if not, then a pomegranate or a peach tree near the Altar to provide cover. This is so that the Ghosts and Spirits will not fear to partake of this offering without being seen. This is the custom that was established so that there will be no distinction made of the three sorts of beings.

PRECENTOR

Sing now the Pure Words of Unfettered Charity!

Plainsong Chant

ALL

In the following section, when the recitation reaches the Sacred Word “AUM” the ACOLYTE gives three finger snaps, first to the center and then to the left and right. This is done for each of the three times.

To thee the Universal Sons of Buddha Assembly, we now give to thee these Alms of Offering. This food is sent to the Ten Directions to All Children of Buddha. We swear that by means of the merits that universally extend from all Alms Food that is given to the Children of Buddha, together all will perfect the Buddha Path: AUM! Completely Filling! Svaha!

To thee the Universal Sentient Beings Assembly, we now give to thee these Alms of Offering. This food is sent to the Ten Directions to All Sentient Beings. We swear that by means of the merits that universally extend from all Alms Food that is given to the Sentient Beings, together all will perfect the Buddha Path: AUM! Completely Filling! Svaha!

To thee the Universal Solitary Souls Assembly, we now give to thee these Alms of Offering. This food is sent to the Ten Directions to All Solitary Souls. We swear that by means of the merits that universally extend from all Alms Food that is given to the Solitary Souls, together all will perfect the Buddha Path: AUM! Completely Filling! Svaha!

ALL

AUM! The Diamond Thunderbolt From Sambhava! HU!
AUM! The Diamond Thunderbolt From Sambhava! HU!
AUM! The Diamond Thunderbolt From Sambhava! HU!

When the ACOLYTE finishes the final three finger snaps, he positions himself outside the door to the Great Hall (on the Western side) and waits for the recitation of the Heart Sutra to reach the phrase ” Who was practicing Deep Prajna Paramita”. At the word “Who”, he opens the door and walks to the Main Altar so as to arrive at the phrase “In emptiness there is no form.” He then performs WEN-HSUN, turns and follows the Eastern Border to position near the Bowing Cushion. When he arrives at the Bowing Cushion, he turns to face the Main Altar , gives one Full Formal Prostration and rises. After the bow is completed, the ACOLYTE retraces his path to again stand before the Main Altar. At the phrase “Going, Going” the Acolyte, using both palms grasps the Pure Chalice. He lifts it from the Altar and stands motionless while listening for the second repetition of the of the Future Rebirth Mantra.

THE GREAT WISDOM OF THE HEART SUTRA

Plainsong/Chant Ancient

PRECENTOR

The Great Wisdom of the Heart Sutra!

ALL

When the Bodhisattva Kuan Yin
Who was practicing Deep Prajnaparamita
Perceived the five skandhas
He saw them to be in their own self-nature Empty
And He Was delivered from all suffering and misery
He said:
Oh Sariputra, Form is emptiness, Emptiness is form.
Form is the same as emptiness, Emptiness is the same as form.
That which is formed I s empty, that which is empty has form
So it is also with sensation and thought and activity and consciousness.
Oh Sariputra! All things are empty:
They are not born, They are not annihilated.
They are not impure, They are not pure.
They do not increase, They do not decrease,
Therefore, Oh Sariputra:

In emptiness there is no form, no sensation, no thought, No activity, No consciousness.
No eye, nor nose, nor tongue, Nor body, nor mind.
No form, nor sound, nor color, nor taste, nor touch, nor objects.
No element of hearing. No element of vision, no element of smelling, No element of tasting, no element of touching, No element of consciousness.
There is no knowledge and no ignorance ’til we come to No old age and No death
And no extinction of old age and death.
There is no suffering, No accumulation, no annihilation, No Path
There is no Knowledge, no attainment and no realization.
Because there is no Attainment in the mind of the Bodhisattva who depends on
Prajna Paramita there are no obstacles, And going beyond Distorted views: He is Nirvana!
All Buddhas of the Past, Present and Future depend on Prajna Paramita to attain the
Highest Perfect Enlightenment. Therefore one should know that The Prajna Paramita is the Great Mantra, The Mantra of Great Wisdom, The Highest Mantra, The Unequaled Mantra, The End of All Suffering! True not false! The Mantra is proclaimed in Prajna Paramita: Oh Buddha! Going, Going, Going On, To the Other Shore. Always going on to the Other Shore! Always Becoming Buddha! Hail the Sutra of the Heart of Great Wisdom!

The Great Scripture of Wisdom of the Heart!
The Great Scripture of Wisdom of the Heart!
The Great Scripture of Wisdom of the Heart!

ALL

The Future Rebirth Mantra

Give Praise to Amitabha Buddha! Tathagata! He Who Calls Out!
Amitabha Who Benefits! All That Exists!
Amitabha Benefits Everywhere! One Hundred Existences!
Amitabha Benefits Everywhere! The Prophesied Sovereign!
Amitabha Benefits Everywhere! The Prophesied Sovereign!
One Who Benefits All! The Firmament and Sky Benefiting! Hail!

As the recitations continue, the ACOLYTE sets down the Pure Chalice and picks up two sticks of Incense. Holding these as if one, traces n the face of the CENSER the Sanskrit character “HUM” before lighting the sticks and placing them in the Censer.

Give Praise to Amitabha Buddha! Tathagata! He Who Calls Out!
Amitabha Who Benefits! All That Exists!
Amitabha Benefits Everywhere! One Hundred Existences!
Amitabha Benefits Everywhere! The Prophesied Sovereign!
Amitabha Benefits Everywhere! The Prophesied Sovereign!
One Who Benefits All! The Firmament and Sky Benefiting! Hail!

The ACOLYTE now returns to the Bowing Cushion via the Eastern Border.

Give Praise to Amitabha Buddha! Tathagata! He Who Calls Out!
Amitabha Who Benefits! All That Exists!
Amitabha Benefits Everywhere! One Hundred Existences!
Amitabha Benefits Everywhere! The Prophesied Sovereign!
Amitabha Benefits Everywhere! The Prophesied Sovereign!
One Who Benefits All! The Firmament and Sky Benefiting! Hail!

The ACOLYTE, having arrived at the Bowing Cushion, now begins three Full Formal Prostrations, then rises are waits while the recitation continues.

The Pure Words for Universally Transferring Merit

ALL

AUM! To those that dwell on Earth, to each one of the Earth and the Great Universe HUM!
AUM! To those that dwell on Earth, to each one of the Earth and the Great Universe HUM!
AUM! To those that dwell on Earth, to each one of the Earth and the Great Universe HUM!

In the section below, at the phrase “Four Forms of Birth” the ACOLYTE makes one additional Prostration, rises, and then gives WEN-HSUN. At the phrase ” Three Existences are entrusted,” the ACOLYTE will turn and give a bow to the LEFT. When he does this, the GREAT ASSEMBLY will also give WEN-HSUN. At the phrase “Sands of the Ganges” the ACOLYTE turns again to the FRONT and gives one bow. At the phrase “Ten Thousand Classes” the ACOLYTE turns to the RIGHT and gives one bow, and the Great Assembly gives WEN-HSUN in response.

ALL

Our vows bring our days good fortune, they bring our nights good fortune. Thus so every hour of every day has good fortune. So that all those who exist in this age can have such good fortune, we resolve that the many kinds of teaching from Superior Teachers we shall gather up. So that all those who exist in this age can have such good fortune, we resolve that the many kinds of Gifts from the Three Precious Ones we shall gather up. So that all those who exist in this age can have such good fortune, we resolve that the many kinds of Dharmas we shall embrace. Indeed, we shall constantly embrace and protect them. The Four Forms of Birth Advance in the Precious Stages, and the Three Existences are entrusted to the Transforming Lotus Pools. Solitary Souls as numerous as the Sands of the Ganges thus attain the Three Stages of Virtue, and the Ten Thousand Classes of Sentient Beings advance in the Ten Stages.

While the Meng Shan Rite is now completed, the Acolyte that performs the vital functions of the Rite is not yet finished with his duties. This next portion of the text is a Homage to Amitabha and the Serpentining Processional. However, so as to correctly complete the duties of the Acolyte, the directions for his duty are continued as above until he is able to return to his position in the Assembly. If the Meng Shan Rite is not performed, then these directions for the Acolyte are to be ignored. Also if the Meng Shan Rite has not been performed, the Evening Recitations are to be continued at this point.

Homage to Amitabha

PRECENTOR

And also to the Precious Form of Amitabha Buddha

ALL

His Thirty-two Marks and Unequaled Light and Virtue!
They are beyond all comparison!
The White Curled One Who Pervades the Five Mystical Mountains!
His Violet-eyed Purity Extends to the Four Seas!
His Inner Illumination has transformed Buddhas beyond number and counting,
And also transformed Bodhisattva Assemblies without number!

PURE LAND WRITING

Being a treatise on the Pure Land composed by Great Teacher T’zu-yun Ch’an chu – whose name means “Compassionate Clouds of Forgiveness”

The Assembly should be kneeling, with the mind calm and stilled

PRECENTOR

With Single-mindedness, we commit our lives
To the Pure Realm of Ultimate Joy, and
Amitabha Buddha,
Vowing that by means of the Pure Illumination that shines on us
And His Compassionate Vows, which include us,
That we now correctly reflect on
And invoke this Tathagata’s Name
It is because of this Path of Bodhi-Wisdom
That we pray to be reborn in this Pure Land.
In Ancient Times this Buddha took Fundamental Vows, saying,
If there exist living beings
Who desire Rebirth in my land,
and are of determined mind and joyful faith,
Let them make Ten Reflections on me, and,
If they are not so reborn,
I will not take up my own Complete Enlightenment.
It is due to the reflecting on this Buddha’s Causes
We can obtain and enter this Tathagata’s
Great Oath Ocean Sea
And receive this Buddha’s Compassionate Power
Which completely cuts off our assembled sins
And strengthens and lengthens our Good Roots
When we then approach the ends of our lives
And we know that our time has arrived
Our bodies will be beyond suffering
Our hearts will not be confused, and,
Our Thoughts will not be ”topsy-turvy”
Thus, we will enter into the Profound Samadhi
The Buddha and the Saintly Assembly
Will hold out their hands to us forming a Precious Platform
And they will come to greet us.
Then, in an instant of thought
One is reborn in the Land of Ultimate Joy
Where one’s Lotus Blossom will open at the sight of a Buddha.
And one can then hear the Buddha’s Vehicle
And from this begin a Buddha’s Enlightenment.
The Great Salvation of All Living Beings
Is His Vast Vow of Bodhi-Wisdom!

ALL

The Great Salvation of All Living Beings Vast Vow of Bodhi-Wisdom! We vow to be reborn in the Western Region’s Pure Land Where the Nine Kinds of Lotus Blossoms will be our fathers and mothers And when these Blossoms unfold at the sight of a Buddha, to become aware of the Birthless State, and, The Always Progressing Bodhisattvas will be our constant companions!

THE WESTERN REGION VOWS WRITING

A treatise by Great Teacher Yun Hsu, called “Cloud Rest”

The Assembly remains kneeling

ALL

We bow our bodies and heads to the Ease of Body Joy of Heart Western Realm And the Great Guiding Teacher who welcomes All Living Beings. Now, we also send forth our own vows, pledging to be reborn in His Land, and, He affirms our Vow by sending down to us His Compassion and Mercy!

Because of the activities of the Four Favors throughout the Three Existences of the Dharma Realm of All Living Beings, I, Disciple your name spoken here now pray to All Buddhas and their One Vehicle Path of Unsurpassed Bodhi-Wisdom. And, I remain wholeheartedly Mindful of the Great Name of Ten Thousand Merits: Amitabha Buddha, in the expectation of being Reborn in the Pure Land. Again, because my karma is heavy and my good fortune light, my obstacles deep and my wisdom shallow, my mind easily inflames and Pure Virtue difficult for me to perfect, at this moment, to the Buddha before me, I energetically raise the Five Members, open and unfold my heart and surrender myself in sincere confession and repentance.

I have had many rebirths, leading from early ages to this very moment, and, I know that the source of all illusions is the Pure Mind that indulges in greed, anger and delusion which contaminate and infect the Three Karmas without measure or limit. This has brought about impure sins which are also without measure or limit, and these bindings of oppressive karma I vow to completely cast-off and diminish from this moment on. I will manifest this solemn and profound oath and be absolutely separate from sinful doctrines so as to remain unchanged by them as I zealously cultivate the Holy Way. I vow not to retreat into laziness, I vow to perfect the Wisdom of a Buddha, and I vow to save all living beings.

The Power of Amitabha Buddha’s Compassionate and Merciful Vow is my example, and He feels concern for us and sends us His Divine Protections as we sit in Right Meditation. Then, as if in a dream, we can obtain sight of Amitabha Buddha’s Golden Colored Body and thus be inspired to be reborn in Amitabha Buddha’s Precious Land where we will be consecrated with Amitabha Buddha’s Sweet Dew Nectar and covered with the Illumination of Light and Wisdom. He will hold His Hand over our heads and His Robe will cloth our bodies. This vision causes me to personally remove my former karmic barriers and to increase my good roots so that Klesa will quickly become nonexistent and my ignorance suddenly destroyed as I attain the Complete Enlightenment Which Is Beyond Human Thought.

When awakened to this Calm and Illuminating region of reality, continual attainment is now present and continues to life’s end. Foreknowledge is continual and the body is without obstructions caused by pain or illness, suffering or difficulties. The mind is without passion, desire, delusion or doubt, and from previous existences appear myriad good roots and Right Mindfulness that separates knowledge and abandons retribution, thus enabling entry into Ch’an Samadhi.

Amitabha Buddha, the Bodhisattvas Kuan Yin and Ta Shih Chih, and the Complete Assembly of the Holy Saints emit abiding illumination in welcome and reach out their hands to raise and guide us to the Lofty Pavilions where Pennants and Flags fly, rare Incense burns and Heavenly Musicians play. Before your eyes, see the Western Region’s Sacred surrounding which cause all living beings to see and hear the Dharma, filling them with such gladness that all are moved to give praise and to send forth the Bodhi-Wisdom Mind.

In your time, I have taught the Diamond Vehicle and the Platform Vehicle, and now encourage descendants of the Buddha with this teaching: In a finger snap of time you can be reborn in the Land of Ultimate Joy, there to dwell in the center of a Surpassing Lotus Blossom in the Seven Precious Lakes. When this flower opens in the presence of a Buddha you will be able to see all the Bodhisattvas and to hear the Profound Dharma sounds which enable you to attain the patient state of Birthlessness, and from that moment on, you will also receive the merits created by the efforts of all the Bodhisattvas!

I, myself, am without the ability to foretell the future, but this prediction has already come to pass, and, the Threefold Body, the Four Forms of Wisdom, the Five Sorts of Vision, the Six Supernatural Powers and the Limitless Pervasive Merit of the One Hundred Thousand Dharani Gates are completely perfected as a result of this having happened.

Non-interfering with peaceful nourishment repays the Buddha for His Entering the World of Transmigration, which occurs by the use of His Beyond Thought or Description Sovereign Supernatural Power of appearing everywhere in the Ten Directions of the Universe within the same instant, and where He uses myriad Expedient Means to Save All Living Beings from the Wheel of Transmigration, commanding them to completely abandon pollution and return to their Fundamental Minds so that all will be reborn together in the Western Region’s Pure Land and thus enter the State of Continual Progress without Regression.

This is the Great Vow:

As there are worlds without limit, and living beings without limit, Karma and Klesa without limit, so also is My Oath without limit!

Now we vow to worship the Buddha that sent forth this vow and thus cultivate and maintain the merit that repays this gift to all sentient beings. Thus also are the Four Favors completely repaid and the Three Existences equally depend upon this: The Universal Dharma Realm of All Living Beings Embracing Complete Omniscience!

With this Assembly, I now invoke and reflect on Amitabha Buddha, calling out this truly meritorious Buddha’s name! O And I reflect on the enduring assistance given by His Compassionate, Merciful, Pitying Vow. It is due to this Vow that we are able to make this Confession and Repentance:

Now all bring their palms together

ALL

From the beginning, all evil karmas have been created by my greed, anger and delusion and have stemmed from my body, mouth and mind, bringing me to this present life. All of them I now completely Confess and Repent and vow that up to the very moment of my death I will cut off all obstructive barriers so that I will personally be able to see Amitabha Buddha and immediately be reborn in the “Ease of Body – Joy of Heart” Land. The merit from such a vow, end rebirth in the Gloriously Adorned Buddha’s Pure Land is the superior repayment of the Four Favors and sends down salvation to the Three Paths of Suffering. If you can see or hear tines words, you should completely send forth the Bodhi-Wisdom Mind until this One Reward Body is exhausted so that all can together be reborn in the Land of Ultimate Joy!

The palms are released

In the Ten Directions and Three Realms, All Buddhas Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas proclaim: The Great Wisdom That Carries to the Other Shore!

PU HSIEN’S WARNING TO THE ASSEMBLY

Plainsong

ALL

This day has come to an end And our lives have been thus shortened We are like fish running out of water how can there be any joy in this

PRECENTOR

Great Assembly! Be zealous in your advancement and pure progress! And to be saved from having a swelled head, be careful and do not slacken in moment after moment!

Now to the sound of the Ch’ing the Assembly brings together their palms and perform the Full Formal Prostration. All rise and perform WEN-HSUN.

THE THREE REFUGES

ALL

I commit myself to the Buddha and pray that all living beings

All Slowly begin a full prostration

Expound with their bodies the Great Way Sending forth the Unsurpassed Mind

All rise before the beginning of the next refuge

I commit myself to the Dharma

All Slowly begin a second full prostration

and pray that all living beings Enter the Profound Sutra Treasury of Knowledge and Wisdom as broad and the Ocean

All rise before the beginning of the next refuge

I commit myself to the Sangha

All Slowly begin the final full prostration

and pray that all living beings respond in unison as a Great Assembly that is Wholly Unhindered in Giving Homage to the Sacred Assembly

All rise completely and then perform the WEN-HSUN bow

In this way we offer the Three Refuges to permeate the Dharma and All Existences! If we do not remember these Three Refuges, it is certain that all our thoughts will be inferior!

ALL

Give Praise to the Western Region’s Land of Ultimate Joy, and to the One for whom One Atom of His Body equals Five Great Mystical Mountains, for whom One Tear from His Eye is the same as the Four Great Oceans, and in whom the Eighty-four Thousand Marks and Signs Emit the Wisdom Illumination; He who has given the Forty-eight Vows that welcome and guide, the Great Teacher: Amitabha Buddha!

PRECENTOR

The Evening Recitations are concluded!

All face the Altar and give WEN-HSUN, but remain in place as the Precentor continues:

Note: The Tai Tsang Text ends after the PRECENTOR declares that the Evening Recitations are ended, but the modern texts and common practice indicate that the following sections were widely used as additions to the standard text.

HYMN OF PRAISE TO AMITABHA

PRECENTOR
Let us now sing the Praises of Amitabha Buddha!

Then the Duty Distributing Monk takes up the small wooden fish to his breast so that he can keep time and all assembled stand with their hands in the position of salutation and give three bows before turning to face the East and beginning the first verse. After each verse is sung, all turn to the West and repeat the same verse, repeating the pattern for all four verses.

ALL - FACING EAST
(I give praise to the Amitabha Buddha)

NA MYO A MI T’O FU

ALL - FACING WEST
(I give praise to the Amitabha Buddha)

NA MYO A MI T’O FU

ALL - FACING EAST
(I give praise to the Cries of the Word Regarding Kuan Yin Bodhisattva

NA MYO KUAN SHIH YIN P’U SA

ALL - FACING WEST
(I give praise to the Cries of the Word Regarding Kuan Yin Bodhisattva)

NA MYO KUAN SHIH YIN P’U SA

ALL - FACING EAST
(I give praise to Mahasthama Bodhisattva)

NA MYO TA SHIH CHIH P’U SA

ALL - FACING WEST
(I give praise to Mahasthama Bodhisattva)

NA MYO TA SHIH CHIH P’U SA

ALL - FACING EAST
(I give praise to Pure Clear Great Ocean Assembly of Bodhisattvas)

NA MYO CH’ING CHING TA HAI CHUNG P’U SA

ALL - FACING WEST
(I give praise to Pure Clear Great Ocean Assembly of Bodhisattvas)

NA MYO CH’ING CHING TA HAI CHUNG P’U SA

Now all turn to face the Altar and perform WEN-HSUN Bow

PRECENTOR

The Giving of Humble Praise and the Offering of Solemn Vows has been completed. We have also given Homage to the Three Precious Ones and taken the Three Precious Refuges. Because this has perfectly transformed our bodies, we can now say:

ALL

Give Praise to the Sangharama Sage Assembly of Bodhisattvas!
Give Praise to the Sangharama Sage Assembly of Bodhisattvas!
Give Praise to the Sangharama Sage Assembly of Bodhisattvas!

Now all bring their palms together in the position of salutation and recite the Great Compassionate Mantra

PRECENTOR

The Dharani of the Thousand Hand, Thousand Eyed Great Compassionate Hearted One!

ALL

Give Praise to the Three Treasures!
Give Praise to the Great Bodhisattva-Mahasattva Kuan Yin!
To the Great Compassionate One, AUM!
He who has leaped beyond all fears!
I take refuge, praising Him, in the sure hope that I will be taken into the Heart of the Blue-Necked Noble, Greatly Venerated Kuan Yin!
His is the Perfect Completion; His is the Pure State that brings Victory and clears obstructions from the Path!
AUM! To the Introspecting World Overcoming One! The Great Lion!
The Great Bodhisattva!
All, all is defilement, defilement! The World, world!
Do, do the work! Hold, hold fast to the Great Victory!
I hold, hold on to Indra the Creator!
Move, moving my defilement free one! Come and hear, hear!
Joy springs up in me! Speak, speak and direct me!
Like the trampling of elephants on the earth!
Like the trampling of elephants causing it to tremble!
Going, Going! Auspicious! Auspicious! The Excellent, Excellent One Is awakened, I have awakened The Merciful One! The Blue Necked One! The Daring and Successful One! The Joyous One!
He who has attained a Mastery of Discipline, Hail!
He of the Blue Neck, Hail!
He the Lion Head and Faced One, Hail!
He the Weapon Handed One, Hail!
He the Wheel Handed One, Hail!
He the Lotus Handed One, Hail!
He the Blue-Necked One of Far-reaching Causes, Hail!
He the Beneficent One Who Is Named in this Mystic Formula, Hail!
(a) He of the Diamond-Thunderbolt Surpassing Glory, Hail!
He of the Constellation Surpassing Glory, Hail!
He of the Small Vehicle Surpassing Glory, Hail! AUM!
We honor the words of this Holy One Who Bestows Virtue, Hail!
I give praise to the Three Precious Ones!
I give praise to Kuan Yin, Hail!
May there be success from this Mystical Incantation! Svaha!
(a) This section’s four lines are added so that it will be in accord with the ancient principle as recorded in the Great Compassionate Sutra and is required to insure success according to Great Teacher Yun Hsi  (note: some of the newer versions lack this supplement and the verses)

Now the entire Assembly makes Three Formal Prostrations to the sound of the Ch’ing. as the Precentor recites:

PRECENTOR

Thus the Sangharama has been praised and we offer the merit of this recitation for its benefit.

When the Three Prostrations are completed, the Eastern and Western Ranks turn to face each other. They place there palms together at the position of salutation and then offer the WEN-HSUN Bow. The hands are then released.

The Evening recitations are now ended and all now file out of the Great Shrine Hall unless there are additional Rites to be held.

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