PuTuoShan

A Buddhist Kingdom on the Sea

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Thousand Hands and Eyes Gwan Yin Bodhisattva 

The Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara is often depicted with one thousand hands, each hand containing its own eye, to indicate the vows and powers of the Bodhisattva to see all those suffering in the world and to reach into the world and pull them out of their suffering.

"If you cultivate the Great Compassion Mantra (see entry), you can obtain a thousand hands and a thousand eyes.

"But you say, 'I have two hands to pick things up with and two eyes to see things with. This is the scientific age. What possible use would I have for a thousand hands and a thousand eyes?'

"If you don't want them, then don't cultivate the Great Compassion Mantra. However, with a thousand eyes, you can shut your two eyes and give them a rest, and still see things. Isn't that wonderful Dharma?

"A thousand eyes can not only see, but illuminate. Your ordinary eyes can see ten or twenty miles, or with binoculars, perhaps a hundred miles. With a thousand eyes, you can see for a million miles, to the end of empty space and the Dharma realm. You don't even need a television to watch the astronauts walking on the moon. It's so much less expensive than buying a television or photographs, or magazines. Now don't do you think a thousand eyes are useful?

"Not only that, but with a thousand eyes, you can look out from the back of your head and see what is in front of you. Looking out in front of you, you can see what is behind you. And so the Venerable Syu-Yun wrote:

From behind your brains you can see your face:

You've caught the sparrow hawk;

A full set of eyes at the gate of the crown:

You've seized a flying bear.

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Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara with One Thousand Hands and One Thousand Eyes
 

Most people can't see their own faces, but with a thousand eyes, you can see your own face and you can see behind you. You can even see what's inside your stomach. You can know how many little bugs, lazy bugs, gluttonous bugs, and dead bugs there are in your stomach. From the outside, you can see inside, and from the inside, you can see outside, just as if you were looking through a pane of glass. You can see it all: what your heart looks like and what your stomach is about to say, every movement of those machines inside you. Do you want a thousand eyes or not? Do you still think your two eyes are sufficient? Such is the miraculous function of a thousand eyes.

"What about a thousand hands? If you have only two hands, then when you pick something up in each of them, you can't pick up anything else. With one hand, you can take the thousand dollars; with a thousand hands, you can take a hundred million.

"Now let's divide some apples. You may take as many as you want. Of course, if you only have two hands, you can take only two. If you have a thousand, you can take a thousand. Isn't that useful? But a thousand hands are not for child's play. The reason to have a thousand hands is to save other people. If a thousand people are drowning and you have only two hands, you will only be able to rescue two of them. If you have a thousand hands, you will be able to reach into the water and pull them all out. Is that useful or not?

A thousand eyes observe,
A thousand ears hear all;
A thousand hands help and support
Living beings everywhere.

"Regardless of what trouble living beings find themselves in, you can save them with your thousand hands and pull them out of the sea of suffering. Without a thousand hands, you can't rescue so many people.

"The Bodhisattva Who Regards the Sounds of the World has a thousand hands, not for stealing things, but for rescuing people. They are not for the purpose of surreptitiously picking a thousand apples. You should be clear about this point.

"Where do the thousand hands and eyes come from? They are born from the Great Compassion Mantra. You must recite the Great Compassion Mantra and cultivate the Great Compassion Dharma of the Forty-Two Hands. The last of the forty-two hands is called the "Uniting and Holding, the Thousand Arms Hand." Every time you recite this mantra, your hands increase by forty-two. Recite it once and you have forty-two more hands; recite it again and they increase by forty-two. Recite it a hundred times and you will have 4,200, a thousand times, 42,000, and so forth. It's simply a matter of whether or not you cultivate. But the thousand hands and eyes are not obtained in a day and a night. You must cultivate with effort every single day, never missing a day. If you cultivate daily according to Dharma, you will perfect the inconceivably wonderful function of enlightenment, but if you cultivate today and quit tomorrow, it is of no use at all. In the world, if you want a Ph.D., you have to study for fourteen or fifteen years. How much more effort is needed to study the Buddhadharma! Unless you continually use true, genuine effort, you will have no success. . . ." (DS 2-4)

In the Shurangama Sutra, the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara states:

For example, I may make appear one head, three heads, five heads, seven heads, nine heads, eleven heads, and so forth, until there may be one hundred eight heads, a thousand heads, ten thousand heads, or eighty-four thousand vajra heads; two arms, four arms, six arms, eight arms, ten arms, twelve arms, fourteen, sixteen, eighteen arms, or twenty arms, twenty-four arms, and so forth until there may be one hundred eight arms, a thousand arms, or eighty-four thousand mudra arms; two eyes, three eyes, four eyes, nine eyes, and so forth until there may be one hundred eight eyes, a thousand eyes, ten thousand eyes, or eighty four thousand pure and precious eyes, sometimes compassionate, sometimes awesome, sometimes displaying wisdom to rescue and protect living beings so that they may attain great self-mastery. (SS V 178-179)

Source: Buddhism A to Z

 

Thousand-Hand Guan Yin

by Derek Lin

Guan Yin Praise

Bodhisattva Guan Yin is wonderful past gratitude,

Pure and clear are her adornments, gained through practice ages long,

Sea-vast a red lotus flower fragrant rests beneath her foot,

Bay-curve of an autum moon is in the crescent of her brows,

Every where and constantly, sweet dew sprinkles from her vase,

In her hand, the willow branch, through the countless autumn,

Prayers depart a thousand hearts, in a thousand hearts she answers,

Sailing the sea of suffering, crossing people over.

Na Mo Greatly Kind and Compassionate Bodhisattva of The Crystal Land, Who Dwells on Potola Mountain and Observes The Sounds of The World.


The 12 vows of Guan Yin

I respectfully bow to Guan Yin, with the title Boundless Understanding, the name Great Liberation, who raised the immeasurable vow.

I respectfully bow to Guan Yin,  of one thought and a mind of no obstacles, who vowed to stay always in the Southern World.

I respectfully bow to Guan Yin, who vowed to stay in samsara, in the realm of darkness, listening to the cries and rescuing sentient beings.

I respectfully bow to Guan Yin,  the conqueror of raksas and destroyer of evil spirits, who took the vow to end all troubles and difficulties.

I respectfully bow to Guan Yin, who holds the bowl of pure water and willow branch, who took the vow to sprinkle sacred water to calm the mind of humankind.

I respectfully bow to Guan Yin, the great compassionate, forgiving one, who took the vow to practice equanimity at all times.

I respectfully bow to Guan Yin, who day and night is the destroyer of obstacles, who took the vow to destroy the three realms of suffering.

I respectfully bow to Guan Yin,  who faces South, diligently practicing, who took the vow to cut all fetters and knots.

I respectfully bow to Guan Yin,  the maker of the Dharma boat which rows in the suffering ocean, who took the vow to save all sentient beings.

I respectfully bow to Guan Yin,  with streamers in front and a canopy behind, who took the vow to guide beings to the Western World.

I respectfully bow to Guan Yin,  who resides in Realm of the Buddha of Unlimited Life, who took the vow to be the helper of Amitabha Buddha.

I respectfully bow to Guan Yin, the honorable one with a body without imperfections, created by the Twelve Great Vows.

 

Chanting 12 Great Vows of Gwan Yin Bodhisattva 

(6.1 Mb) at the City of Ten Thousand Bhuddas

 

One scripture (or Sutra) in particular is well-known wherever people cultivate Great Compassion. Known as the "Pu Men Pin" or the "Universal Door Chapter" of the Lotus Sutra, this single piece of Buddhist sacred literature is perhaps, with the exception of the well-known "Heart Sutra," among the most recited scriptures in the Buddhist world.

Along with reciting the Universal Door Chapter, people most often recite the Great Compasson Mantra, in 86 syllables, a mantra that contains the healing power and good energy of Guan Yin's great compassion

The Fozu Tongji has the following passage from the Cao-an lu (Record of a grass hut) written by Nanhu Daoyin during the period 1165-73 AD:

"Mount pu-to is in the great ocean. It is situated southeast of Jin [Ning-po], about a thousand kilometres by the water route. It is no other than the mountain called Potalaka that is declared by the Hua yen Jing to be the 'isolated place at the end of the ocean' where kuanyin Bodhisattva lives. It is also no other than the Mount Potalaka that is declared by the Dabei Jing to be the place where the palace of Kuanyin in which Sakyamuni Buddha reveals the heart-seal of the Mantra of Great Compassion is located. The Cave of Tidal Sound is on the island. Ocean tides pound in and rush out day and night making deafening noises. In front of the cave is a stone bridge on which pilgrims stand facing the cave to pray. If they are sincere, they sometimes can see the Great Being sitting leisurely. Or they will see Sudhana come forward as if to welcome them. Other times one will see the pure vase of green jade or the Kalavinka bird flying as if performing a dance. Some six or seven li from the cave there is a large monastery. Merchants, diplomats and tribute bearers sailing to and from the various countries in the Eastern Sea would come here to pray for safety. Those who are reverential and sincere all receive protection without fail."  

Putuoshan (Putuo Mountain) is located on one of the Zhoushan Islands in eastern Zhejiang Province, and has an area of 12.5 square kilometers, with mountain ranges in the northwest, and beaches in the southeast.

Putuoshan is noted for its rough terrain and exquisite landscape. Its main peak, the Peak of Buddhist Top, 297 meters above sea level.

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The Temple of Puji
The existing Grand Hall was rebuilt in the 9th year of Yongzheng Reign (AD 1731) in the Qing Dynasty. It consists of over 200 structures of various types, and is the chief temple where Guanyin (a Bodhisattra) is enshrined. The construction with 9 halls, 12 pavilions and 16 houses, is magnificent and large in scale, and covers an area of 14,000 square meters. In front of the Temple lies a Haiyin (Lotus Flowers Pool). Directly facing the entrance leading to the Temple, are an 8-angled pavilion and an imperial tablet pavilion built above the center of the pool. To the southeast of the Temple, stand several pagodas, and to the southwest, stone tablets.

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Fanyin Cave (Cave of Buddhist Sound)
It is sandwiched in between two steep cliffs of some 100-m. in height. The cave, as deep as 100 meters, winds it's way towards the sea. When the sea swells, the waters pour into the cave with thunderous roars. A stone stair leads from the mountain top to a rock platform built into the cave wall, half way above the bottom with a marvelous view of the sea.

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Fa-Yu Monastery (Dharma Rain Monastery)

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