JiuHuaShan

Sacred World of the Southeast

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Earth Store Bodhisattva Praise

Earth Store Bodhisattva wonderful  beyond compare,

Gold hued in his transformation body he appears,

Wonderous dharma sounds throughout the tree paths and six realms,

Those of the four kinds of birth and ten kinds of beings gain his kindly grace,

His pearl shining brightly lights the way to heaven's halls,

Six-ringed golden staff shakes open wide the gates of hell,

Leads on those with causes garnered life and life again,

To bow at the nine-flowered terrace of the Honored One.

Na Mo Earth Store Bodhisattva of Great Vows and Compassion, of the Dark and Dismal World; On Nine Flower Mountain, Most Honored One, With Ten Wheels of Power You Rescue All The Suffering Ones.

The Sutra of the Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva with Commentary by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua

 Earth Store Bodhisattva's Vows

If the hells are not empty,

I will not become a Buddha.

When living beings have all been saved,

I will attain to Bodhi. 

 

"Moreover, Empty Space Treasury Bodhisattva, if gods, dragons, or spirits of the present or future hear Earth Store's name, bow to Earth Store's image, or hear of Earth Store's past vows and the events of his practices, and then praise him, behold, and bow to him, they will benefit in seven ways:

First, they will quickly transcend to levels of Sagehood.

Second, their evil karma will dissolve.

Third, all Buddhas will protect and be near them.

Fourth, they will not retreat from Bodhi.

Fifth, their inherent powers will increase.

Sixth, they will know past lives.

Seventh, they will ultimately realize Buddhahood."

"Sutra of the Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva"

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Earth Store Bodhisattva

"Earth Store Bodhisattva is named after the earth, which not only gives birth to things and makes them grow, but can store a great many things within itself as well. Because this Bodhisattva is like the earth, he can produce the myriad things and make them grow. Anyone who believes in him may obtain the treasures stored in the ground: gold, silver, lapis lazuli, crystal, mother-of pearl, red pearls, and carnelian. . . .

"His Sanskrit name is , "Earth Store". There are ten aspects of the earth: it is wide and extensive; it supports all living beings; it is impartial; it receives the great rain; it produces grasses and trees; it holds all planted seeds; it holds many treasures; it produces medicines; it is not moved by the blowing wind; and it does not tremble at the lion's roar." (SPV 20 21)

"You could say that Earth Store Bodhisattva is the dumbest of the Bodhisattvas, and also the most intelligent. Why is he dumb? It is because he does things no one else wants to do. He can bear what others can't bear and yield when others can't yield. When his parents were extremely mean to him, it didn't make any difference; he was filial just the same. That is why within Buddhism Earth Store Bodhisattva is known as the Bodhisattva of great filiality and also as the Bodhisattva of great vows. He said, 'Until the hells are empty I will never become a Buddha.' Until every single living being is taken across, he doesn't want to attain proper and equal enlightenment. Take a look at that kind of vow-power- doesn't it seem kind of dumb? On the other hand, we can also say he is the most intelligent Bodhisattva. That is because he stands out above everyone else. He transcends all his peers. Someone asks, 'Is he trying to be special?' No. He does what others don't want to do and are not able to do. And so we can say that he is the most intelligent Bodhisattva. In short, it can be said of Earth Store Bodhisattva that he has great vows, great conduct, great wisdom, and great compassion. . . . Jyou-hwa Mountain is the sacred Wayplace devoted to Earth Store Bodhisattva." (SPV 136)

Source: Buddhism A to Z

Located in Qingyang county, Anhui province, the mountain covers an area of about 60 square miles and is regarded as one of the four Buddhist sacred mountains. Known as "the most picturesque mountain of the South-East," Mt. Jiuhuashan has altogether 99 peaks covered with verdant vegetation.

The original name of the mountain was Mt. Jiuzishan. However it was renamed Mt. Jiuhuashan, meaning "the Mountain of the Nine Lotuses," originated from the poem written by Li Bai, the famous poet of the Tang dynasty: "From the azure skies above descends a jade-like flow, and nine fascinating lotuses rise out of the hills below."

Religious Site

It was not until the late eighth century, the mountain became a place where religious rites were held to worship the god of earth. The construction of temples started in the Tang dynasty and their enlargement continued in the following dynasties. By the middle of the Qing dynasty, over 300 temples had been set up on the mountain where 5,000 Buddhist monks and nuns were in residence. Up till now there are still over 50 well-preserved temples and more than 6,000 sculptured Buddhas. No wonder that Mt. Jiuhuashan became one of the four great Buddhist mountains in China (the other three are Mt. Emeishan in Sichuan, Mt. Wutaishan in Shanxi and the Mt. Putuoshan in Zhejiang). Huacheng Temple is the oldest among all temples on Mt. Jiuhuashan. Simple and solemn, it has engraved linters, brackets and roofs. In the Historical Relics Museum of Mt. Jiuhuashan are on display many precious sutras and cultural relics contained in Huacheng and other temples. The Corporeal Body Hall of Wannian Temple houses the well-preserved mummy of Monk Wu Xia, wearing a lotus-flower shaped crown and a vermilion kasaya.

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