sutra of casket seal

The Sutra Of Casket Seal Dharani From The Secret Whole Bodies’ Relics Of All Buddhas’ Hearts

The full name of this text is “The Mantra of the Secret Essence of the Whole Body Relics of All Tathagatas” (一切如来心秘密全身舍利宝箧印陀罗尼). It comprises a total of forty verses and is considered to gather all the merits of the whole body relics of all Tathagatas (Buddhas).

By writing, reciting, or worshipping this mantra, or by enshrining it in a stupa for veneration, one can eliminate karmic obstacles, be free from suffering in the three realms, have a long and healthy life, and accumulate immeasurable merits. A square stupa, known as “Baohuo Yin Stupa” (宝箧印塔), is specially constructed to enshrine this sacred mantra. Buddha images or seeds are engraved at the four corners of the stupa.

During the period of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms, King Qian Hongchu of the Wu Yue Kingdom, in accordance with the teachings of this text, cast 84,000 small stupas, enshrining this sacred mantra, and distributed them in all directions, becoming a renowned example of such practice.

Opening Of the Sutra

The Dharma, profound and exquisite, is supremely transcendent; it is difficult to encounter for millions of eons. Today, I have seen, heard, and received it; may I understand the true meaning of the Tathagata.

Sutra Context

Thus have I heard. Once, the Buddha was in the country of Magadha, in the Pure Light Illuminating Jewel Pond, surrounded by a vast assembly of great bodhisattvas, great arhats, devas, nāgas, yakṣas, gandharvas, asuras, garuḍas, kiṅnaras, mahoragas, and humans, numbering innumerable hundreds of thousands, all gathered before and after.

At that time, among the assembly, there was a great Brahmin named Pure Wonderful Light. He was well-versed and intelligent, admired by people, and consistently practiced the Ten Virtuous Actions. He had deep faith in the Triple Gem, a kind heart, and subtle wisdom. He always wished to benefit all sentient beings, enriching them with great wealth and abundance. The Brahmin Pure Wonderful Light rose from his seat, approached the Buddha, circumambulated him seven times, and offered various fragrances and flowers, priceless exquisite garments, necklaces, and jeweled head ornaments, presenting them to the World-Honored One. He also paid homage to the Buddha’s feet, then stood on one side and made this request, saying, “May the World-Honored One, together with the great assembly, come tomorrow morning to my residence to receive my offerings.” At that moment, the World-Honored One silently consented.

When the Brahmin Pure Wonderful Light knew that the Buddha accepted his invitation, he immediately returned to his dwelling and prepared a sumptuous feast with a variety of delicacies and drinks. He cleansed and adorned his hall, and set up banners and canopies. When the next morning arrived, he, along with his family and attendants, holding various fragrances and flowers, as well as musical instruments, proceeded to where the Buddha was and requested his presence, saying, “Please come, O World-Honored One.”

The World-Honored One, in a gentle voice, consoled the Brahmin Pure Wonderful Light and addressed the great assembly, announcing, “All of you should go to the residence of the Brahmin Pure Wonderful Light to receive his offerings. This is to bring him immense benefits.” After saying this, the World-Honored One rose from his seat. As soon as he rose, a multitude of light rays of various colors emitted from his body, illuminating the ten directions, alerting all beings there. Then, the Buddha set out on his way.

As the World-Honored One proceeded not far from the assembly, he arrived at a garden called Abundant Wealth. In that garden was an ancient, dilapidated stupa, collapsed and overgrown with thorns, entangled with vines, and covered with grass. It appeared like a mound of earth. The World-Honored One proceeded directly to the site of the stupa. At that moment, a radiant light shone forth from the stupa, illuminating brilliantly, and within the mound of earth, a voice proclaimed, “Excellent! Excellent! Śākyamuni, today you perform extremely virtuous actions. Moreover, Brahmin, you will gain great benefits today.”

The World-Honored One paid homage to the decaying stupa, circumambulated it three times, removed his upper garment, spread it over the stupa, and with tears streaming down like rain, tears and blood flowing together, he wept, and then smiled. At that time, all the Buddhas from the ten directions, as well as innumerable bodhisattvas, also shed tears, all appearing before him. Then, the great assembly was astonished and perplexed, and they sought to dispel their doubts.

At that moment, the Bodhisattva Vajrapāṇi and others, also shedding tears, their radiance blazing, wielding their vajras, approached the Buddha and said, “World-Honored One, what is the reason for this light manifestation?

Why does the Tathāgata shed tears, and why do all the Buddhas display such auspicious light? Please explain this mystery to us.”

Then, the Bodhisattva Mañjuśrī addressed Vajrapāṇi, saying, “This great stupa contains the entire body relics of all Tathāgatas, and it also includes the secret mantra of all Tathāgatas’ boundless meritorious minds. Now it manifests itself. Vajrapāṇi, the stupa, being the receptacle of this mantra, now appears as closely packed as a sesame seed. It holds the bodies of hundreds of thousands of Tathāgatas, and it also contains the accumulation of eighty-four thousand dharmadhātu. Furthermore, it embodies the attributes of ninety-nine hundred thousand myriads of Tathāgatas’ crowns. Due to these extraordinary manifestations, the stupa in this place is filled with incredible efficacy and unmatched virtues, benefiting all in the world.”

At that moment, the great assembly heard the Buddha’s words and were distanced from worldly dust, freed from defilements, and gained the pure Dharma eye. Each individual’s capacities and benefits were different. Some attained the stage of stream-enterers, once-returners, non-returners, arhats, and pratyekabuddhas. There were also those who entered the path of bodhisattvas, attained the stages of anāgāmins, and achieved the levels of the ten bodhisattva grounds. Some fully accomplished the six pāramitās.

The Brahmin, Pure Wonderful Light, was purified from defilements and gained the five divine eye faculties. Witnessing this extraordinary and rare event, Vajrapāṇi exclaimed, “World-Honored One! Marvelous and miraculous indeed! Just by hearing about this event, one can attain such remarkable merits, not to mention understanding profound principles, developing sincere faith, and accumulating numerous virtues.”

The Buddha said, “Listen carefully, Vajrapāṇi! In the future, if there are faithful men, faithful women, and my fourfold assembly who, with a sincere mind, write down this scripture, they are considered to have written down all the scriptures spoken by the countless Buddhas, numbering ninety-nine hundred thousand million times. Even before the countless Buddhas in the past, they have already established good roots. Moreover, all those countless Buddhas, present and future, will protect and bless them, just as a loving mother cares for her young child. If someone reads and recites this single volume of scripture, it is as if they are reciting all the sutras spoken by past, present, and future Buddhas. Therefore, the countless Buddhas of the ten directions, including those who have yet to appear and those who have already appeared, come forth together without any gaps. They appear like sesame seeds, continuously and endlessly manifesting day and night, blessing and empowering those individuals. All the Buddhas of the past, present, and future, who are as numerous as the grains of sand in the Ganges River, gather in one place, reappear in another, and proceed with swift movements like swirling sand in water, never pausing, going back and forth.

If someone adorns this scripture with fragrant flowers, crowns it with splendid attire, and offers such exquisite offerings, they will gain merits equal to making offerings to the countless Buddhas of the ten directions, numbering ninety-nine hundred thousand million times. They offer fragrant flowers of heavenly origin and splendid attire made of seven precious treasures, accumulating merits as vast as Mount Sumeru. By performing such offerings, they also cultivate good roots.”

Upon hearing the Buddha’s words, the assemblies of the heavenly dragons, non-humans, and others were filled with amazement and marveled at the Buddha’s extraordinary power.

Vajrapāṇi, the holder of the Adamantine Fist, then asked the Buddha, “World-Honored One, why is this seven-jeweled stupa presently appearing as a heap of soil?”

The Buddha replied to Vajrapāṇi, “This is not a heap of soil; it is a wondrous and magnificent great stupa! Due to the inferior karmic fruits of sentient beings, it remains hidden and not visibly manifested. Because it is concealed, the Buddha’s complete body cannot be destroyed. How could the Buddha’s body, protected by the adamantine treasury, be subject to destruction? Even if I pass into Nirvana, during the future age of the Dharma’s decline when sentient beings follow wrongful practices, fall into hell, lack faith in the Triple Gem, and fail to cultivate good roots due to such circumstances, the Buddha’s teachings will become obscured. Nevertheless, this stupa will remain firm and indestructible, supported by the power of all the Buddhas. Though ignorant sentient beings are obscured and deluded, they disregard the precious treasures; because of this, I am shedding tears, and the other Buddhas also shed tears.”

Furthermore, the Buddha told Vajrapāṇi, “If there are sentient beings who write down this scripture and place it inside a stupa, that stupa will be the Vajradhātu Stupa of all the Tathāgatas. It will also be the stupa empowered with all the Tathāgatas’ secret and profound Dhāraṇīs. It will be the Vajradhātu Stupa of the ninety-nine billion Tathāgatas, and it will also be the stupa of all the Tathāgatas’ crowns and eyes. It will be protected by all the Tathāgatas’ spiritual powers. If this scripture is placed in a Buddha image or inside a stupa, the image will be made of the seven precious substances, fulfilling all wishes and desires. The stupa will have umbrellas, nets, wheels, canopies, the ‘OM’ syllable, bells, and bases, all according to the practitioner’s capabilities, made from earth, wood, stone, or brick. Due to the power of this scripture, the stupa itself will transform into the seven precious substances. All the Tathāgatas will empower this scripture, unceasingly blessing it with their truthful words. When sentient beings visit this stupa, offering a single incense stick or a single flower in homage, the heavy negative karma accumulated over eighty billion eons will be eradicated in an instant. They will be free from calamities and afflictions, born into the family of Buddhas in this life and the next. If anyone is destined to fall into Avīci Hell, but they offer a single homage or circumambulation to this stupa, they will close the gates of hell and open the path to enlightenment. Wherever this stupa or its image is, it will be protected by the spiritual powers of all the Tathāgatas. No disasters caused by storms, thunder, or lightning will harm it, and it will be invulnerable to the bites of poisonous snakes, scorpions, venomous insects, or ferocious animals such as lions, wild elephants, tigers, wolves, or wasps. It will also be free from the terrors of Yakṣas, Rākṣasas, Piśācas, Piśācas, Kṛṣṇas, Maṇḍūkas, and epileptic spirits. Moreover, it will not be affected by any illnesses or skin diseases, boils, abscesses, or leprosy. If someone merely sees this stupa, all calamities and disasters will be removed. The area where it is located will be free from epidemics that affect humans, horses, livestock, boys, and girls. People will not meet untimely deaths due to accidents with knives or sticks, water, or fire. It will be safe from harm caused by thieves and enemies, and there will be no worries of famine or poverty. They will be free from harmful spells and curses and will not experience inconvenience. The Four Heavenly Kings and their retinues will guard it day and night. The twenty-eight great Yakṣas will be present, as well as the sun, moon, and five stars, banners, clouds, and comets, all offering protection day and night. All the dragon kings will add their spiritual energy, causing rain to fall at the right time. All the gods and devas, including those from Tuṣita Heaven, will come to make offerings three times daily. All the celestial beings will come together, praising and circling around the stupa, offering their homage and gratitude. The gods Śakra and Brahmā, along with the heavenly maidens, will come to offer their homage three times daily. The area where it is located will be protected and blessed by all the Tathāgatas. Because this scripture is enshrined within, the stupa will possess these qualities. If anyone constructs a stupa using earth, stones, wood, gold, silver, copper, or lead and places this sacred mantra inside, as soon as it is established, the stupa will be made of the seven precious substances. The steps, platforms, banners, nets, canopies, and bells, all will be purely made of the seven precious substances according to the practitioner’s capabilities. The stupa will have the form and features of all the Tathāgatas, firmly upheld and protected by the Dharma. It will remain without any departure, day or night. This stupa with the seven precious substances will become a magnificent treasure trove of the relics of all the Tathāgatas. Through the power of this mantra, it will soar to the celestial palace of Āganiṣṭha Heaven. The stupa will stand tall, embraced and respected by all celestial beings, who will gaze upon it day and night, offering protection and homage.”

Vajrapāṇi asked, “What is the reason and cause for such extraordinary merits of this Dharma?”

The Buddha replied, “You should know that it is due to the awe-inspiring power of the Dhāraṇī contained in this precious casket seal.”

Vajrapāṇi said, “I earnestly request the Tathāgata to have compassion and teach us this Dhāraṇī.”

The Buddha said, “Listen carefully and bear it in mind! The emanation bodies of all the Tathāgatas, present and future, their adorned appearances, and the bodily relics of all the past Buddhas are all contained within the Precious Casket Seal Dhāraṇī. The three bodies of all the Tathāgatas are also encompassed within it.”

At that moment, the World-Honored One uttered the Dhāraṇī, saying:

Namas triya-dhvikānām
sarva tathagatanam
om bhuvi bhavadha vare vachale vachatai
suru suru dhara dhara
sarva tathagata
dhatu dhare padma-bhavati
jaya vare
mudre smara
sarva tathagata dharma chakra
vajra bodhi manda
sarva tathagata dhistite
bodhaya bodhaya
bodhi bodhi
buddhya buddhya
samboddhani samboddhaya
chala chala
sarva varanani
sarva papa vigate
huru huru
sarva sukha vighati
sarva tathagata
hridaya vajrani
sambhara sambhara
sarva tathagata
suhaya dharani mudre
buddhi subuddhi
sarva tathagata dhistita
dhatu garbhe svaha
samaya dhistite svaha
sarva tathagata hridaya dhatu mudre svaha
supra tisthita stubhe tathagata dhistite huru huru hum hum svaha
om sarva tathagata
usnisa dhatu mudrani sarva tathagatam sad-dhatuvi bhusita dhistite
hum hum svaha

At that moment, as the Buddha finished reciting the sacred incantation, all the Buddhas and Tathāgatas emerged from within the earth and praised with joyful voices, saying: “Excellent! Excellent! Shakyamuni World-Honored One, for the benefit and welfare of all sentient beings without exception, you have expounded profound teachings and liberated them from this impure and troubled world. Such teachings will endure for a long time, benefiting countless beings, providing them with peace, stability, and happiness.”

At that time, the World-Honored One spoke this sacred incantation: (Here the sacred incantation is mentioned but not provided in the text)

At that time, the Buddha said to Vajrapāṇi, “Listen attentively! Listen attentively! Such is the extraordinary power and boundless benefits of this sacred incantation. It is like a wish-fulfilling jewel atop a banner that constantly showers precious treasures, fulfilling all wishes. I will now briefly explain only one out of a myriad of benefits, so you should remember and uphold it for the benefit of all beings.

If there are wicked individuals who have fallen into the hell realm, suffering endlessly without respite, and their descendants chant this sacred incantation, mentioning the name of the deceased, for merely seven repetitions, molten copper and red-hot iron will immediately transform into the Eight Ponds of Meritorious Deeds. The lotus will grow under their feet, and the jeweled canopy will shelter their heads. The gates of hell will be shattered, and the path to enlightenment will be opened. Their lotus will swiftly transport them to the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss, where all kinds of wisdom will naturally manifest, and they will endlessly expound on immeasurable joy, dwelling in the position of being supplementary to enlightenment.

Furthermore, for beings suffering from the consequences of grave karmic deeds, afflicted by various illnesses, and tormented by physical pain, if they chant this sacred incantation twenty-one times, all diseases and afflictions will be eradicated instantly, their lifespan will be extended, and their merits will be boundless.

For those who are plagued by poverty and misery due to their past stingy and greedy actions, living in destitute households with insufficient clothing and food, despised by others, feeling ashamed, wandering in mountains gathering wild flowers without an owner, or grinding decaying wood into fragrant incense and offering it with heartfelt repentance before the stupa, their poverty and misery will suddenly disappear, and wealth and nobility will arrive. The Seven Treasures will rain down upon them, and they will lack nothing. However, at this moment, they should decorate and promote the Buddha’s teachings and be generous to the poor and needy. If they are stingy, their wealth and treasures will quickly vanish.

Moreover, if someone engages in the cultivation of wholesome roots and builds a stupa with materials like clay, bricks, or stones, according to their abilities, even if it is as small as an Aratīnī, four fingers high, and inscribes this sacred incantation inside it, then offers it with fragrant flowers and worship, circling it seven times while shedding tears of repentance, due to the power of this sacred incantation and their sincere faith, a great fragrant cloud will emerge from the small stupa, and its fragrance and radiance will pervade the Dharma realm, refreshing and illuminating it. They should perform various Buddha’s activities, and the merits attained will be as mentioned before; in summary, their wishes will be fulfilled.

Furthermore, in the latter days, if disciples of the fourfold community, good men and women, wholeheartedly build stupas and place the sacred incantation within them, the merits they will accrue are beyond description.

Moreover, anyone who seeks blessings and comes to the stupa, offering one flower and one incense stick, worshipping and circumambulating it clockwise, will, through these merits, gain honor and official positions, which come to them without seeking; their life and wealth will be abundant, increasing spontaneously; enemies and thieves will be powerless against them; resentment and curses from others will turn into blessings from their roots; contagious diseases and evil spirits will depart from them; and they will attract good and virtuous spouses without seeking them.

All their wishes will be effortlessly fulfilled. If a sparrow, an owl, a dove, a vulture, a dog, a wolf, a mosquito, a gnat, or any other similar creature happens to pass by the shadow of the stupa or walk across its surroundings, their delusions will be shattered, and they will awaken from ignorance, revealing their inherent three kinds of Buddha nature. Eventually, they will abide in great Nirvana.

If someone stays on a high mountain peak, chants the sacred incantation wholeheartedly, and allows their eyes to extend their reach, far and near, throughout the world—mountains, valleys, forests, rivers, lakes, and seas—and if all living beings, from the smallest to the largest, including those with hair, feathers, scales, and shells, are touched by this incantation’s influence, their delusions will be shattered, and they will awaken from ignorance, revealing their inherent three kinds of Buddha nature, ultimately dwelling in the vast realm of great Nirvana.

If one of those individuals who chant the incantation happens to pass by the same road, touches their clothing, steps on their footprints, or merely sees their face or exchanges a few words with them, all the sins and hindrances of those individuals will be eradicated, and their karmic debts will be entirely fulfilled.

Thus, I have briefly explained this matter, and there is no end to the benefits it brings. After my Nirvana, my fourfold community of disciples should, in front of this stupa, provide relief to beings in the bitter realms, offer fragrant flowers and worship, and sincerely make vows, chanting this sacred incantation word by word, and radiate great light to illuminate the three realms. All sufferings will be averted, and sentient beings will be liberated. The seeds of Buddhahood will sprout, and they will naturally be reborn in the Pure Lands of the ten directions. If someone encounters this person while walking along the road, being brushed by their clothes, stepping on their footprints, or just seeing their face, all the heavy karmic obstacles will be eradicated, and all lands will be complete and fulfilled.”

At that moment, the Buddha said to Vajrapāṇi, “Now I entrust you and others with this secret and sacred incantation scripture. Respect and protect it, propagate it in the world, and do not let the transmission to sentient beings be cut off.”

Vajrapāṇi replied, “I am fortunate to receive the Buddha’s entrustment. I vow to repay the deep kindness of the World-Honored One by protecting and propagating this teaching day and night, spreading it throughout all realms. If any beings write, uphold, and constantly remember this incantation, I will command the Four Heavenly Kings and the eight classes of dragon gods to protect them day and night without any interruption.”

The Buddha praised Vajrapāṇi, saying, “Excellent, Vajrapāṇi! For the great benefit of all future sentient beings, you shall safeguard this teaching to prevent its discontinuation.”

Then the World-Honored One, having spoken this sacred incantation, engaged in various Buddha’s activities. Afterwards, he went to the house of the Brahmin family, received various offerings, and bestowed immense blessings and benefits upon the people and deities there. Then he returned to his abode.

At that time, the assembly of monks, nuns, male and female lay devotees, celestial dragons, yakṣas, gandharvas, asuras, garuḍas, kiṃnaras, and mahoragas, all greatly rejoiced and embraced this teaching with faith, veneration, and practice.

This is the entire body-relics treasure incantation scripture of all Buddhas, a profound secret teaching.

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