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(The full t it le is:)
Buddha Speaks The Sutra on Maha-Cundi Dharani -- The
Heart of The Mother of 70 bi l l i on Buddhas
(Tripit aka No. 1077)
Transl ated duri ng Tang Dynasty by Tri pi taka Master
Di vakara from Indi a
Once, t he Buddha was dwelling near Shravast i, at t he Anat hapindada
Garden in t he Jet a Forest . At t hat t ime t he World-Honoured One
was cont emplat ing and observing t he sent ient beings of t he fut ure.
Out of great compassion for t hem, t he Buddha decided t o expound
on t he Dharani of Cundi, t he heart of t he mot her of seven kot is of
buddhas. Thus, t he Buddha revealed t he mant ra:
NAMO SAPTANAM SAMYAKSAMBUDDHA KOTINAM.
TADYATHA: OM, CALE, CULE, CUNDI SVAHA.
If any bhiksu(monk), bhisuni(nun), upasaka(layman), or
upasika(laywoman) upholds and recit es t his dharani 800,000 t imes,
all his or her deadly karmic t ransgressions creat ed since beginningless
t ime shall be eliminat ed. The individual shall earn t he opport unit y
t o meet all buddhas and bodhisat t vas wherever he or she is born, and
shall be endowed wit h all accumulat ions of merit as t he individual
wishes. The individual shall gain t he opport unit y t o renounce
worldly exist ence in every lifet ime, maint aining all t he precept s and
vows of a bodhisat t va.
The individual will always be born in t he human and heavenly realms
and avoid encount ering rebirt h in t he evil pat hs, and will always be
prot ect ed by heavenly beings. If any layperson should uphold and
recit e t his dharani or mant ra, his or her household shall be free from
afflict ion and harm of calamit y and illness. Everyt hing t he person
does shall be auspicious; his or her words shall gain t he t rust and
accept ance of ot hers.
If one complet es a recit at ion of t his mant ra 200,000 t imes, he will
dream of t he buddhas, bodhisat t vas, prat yekabuddhas and sravakas,
and see a black subst ance being vomit ed out of one's mout h.
Should an individual commit a heavy karmic t ransgression, upon
recit ing t he mant ra 200,000 t imes he or she shall dream of t he
buddhas and bodhisat t vas and will also, in his or her dreams, vomit a
black subst ance.
If t he individual has commit t ed one of t he five deadly
t ransgressions, and is unable t o receive t his auspicious dream, it is
advisable t hat he or she recit e t he mant ra 700,000 t imes. Aft er t his,
t he individual shall receive t he auspicious dream and signs. When t he
individual dreams of vomit ing a whit e subst ance such as a t hick past e
of rice, it clearly indicat es t hat he or she has gained t he pure sign of
karmic purificat ion.
I shall now elucidat e what t his great dharani may achieve. One may
st and before a st at ue of a buddha or find some clear ground before a
st upa. Pour gomaya (cow dung, considered in India as clean and
purifying) over t he ground and creat e a square mandala shrine,
adorning it wit h offerings of flowers, incense, canopies, food, lamps
and candles, according t o t he size of t he mandala. Make t hese
offerings wit hin one's capacit y. Then recit e t he mant ra and spray
perfume in t he four direct ions, as well as above and below, t o set a
prot ect ive spirit ual boundary. Place a bot t le of perfume in each of
t he four corners and also in t he cent er of t he mandala shrine. The
pract it ioner should ent er t he mandala, kneel and face t he East .
Recit e t he mant ra 1080 t imes and t he perfume bot t les shall rot at e
on t heir own. Hold a variet y of flowers wit h bot h hands, which are
overlapped in a crossed posit ion, and recit e t he mant ra 1080 t imes
t o empower t he flowers. Upon complet ion, cast t he flowers at a
mirror. Aft er t his, face t he mirror and recit e t he mant ra 1080 t imes.
One should t hen be able t o see t he appearance of buddhas and
bodhisat t vas. Recit e t he mant ra again 108 t imes over some flowers
and cast t hem in t he air as an offering. Ask any quest ions and t hey
shall be answered.
If someone should cont ract an illness t raced t o spirit ual ent it ies,
recit e t he mant ra over some cogon grass and sweep t he cogon grass
over t he pat ient . The pat ient shall be healed. If a child is possessed
by spirit s, t ake five different colored st rands of t hread and have a
young girl weave t hem int o a single t hread. Take t he weaved five-
colored t hread and t ie a knot wit h each recit at ion of t he mant ra and
complet e 21 knot s. Tie t he t hread of 21 knot s over t he neck of t he
child, recit e t he mant ra 7 t imes over a handful of must ard seeds and
cast t he must ard seeds over t he face of t he child and t he child shall
be cured of t he possession.
Ot her applicat ions of t his mant ra include t he following met hods:
1) For a sick person who is possessed by spirit s, while t he person is
present , draw t he body feat ures of t he sick person on a piece of
paper. Recit e t he mant ra over a willow st ick and st rike t he drawing
of t he sick person wit h t he st ick. This may cure t he sick person of
his or her illness. If a sick person affect ed by spirit s resides in a
dist ant place, recit e t he mant ra over t he willow st ick seven t imes,
and send anot her person wit h t he st ick. Have him or her draw t he
illust rat ion before t he sick person and st rike t he illust rat ion of t he
sick person wit h t he st ick. This should heal t he person of his or her
2) If one recit es t his mant ra while t raveling, t here shall be no fear of
meet ing t hieves, robbers or wild beast s.
3) If one should const ant ly recit e t his mant ra, he or she shall be on
t he winning end of any disput e. If one should cross t he ocean, recit e
t his mant ra and one shall not meet any harm caused by t he evil
beings of t he ocean.
4) If one is being locked up and handcuffed, recit e t his mant ra and
one shall be freed.
5) If a count ry suffers from a flood, drought , or a prevailing
epidemic, prepare cream, sesame seeds and polished non-glut inous
rice. Using any t hree fingers, grab a port ion of each t o prepare one
mixt ure. Recit e t he mant ra once over t he mixt ure, and cast it int o a
fire. Do t his cont inuously for 12 hours over a period of seven days
and all calamit ies shall be eliminat ed.
6) Seal an imprint of a st upa image int o t he sand beside a river bank
wit h each recit at ion of t he mant ra. Do t his 600,000 t imes. One
should eit her see t he appearance of Guan Yin Bodhisat t va or Tara
herself. Or perhaps, one will see t he appearance of Vajrapani.
What ever you pray for shall be fulfilled. One might even be given
spirit ual medicine or receive a predict ion of at t aining
enlight enment .
7) If you circumambulat e t he image of a bodhi t ree clockwise and
recit e t he mant ra up t o t en million t imes, you shall wit ness a
bodhisat t va preaching t he Dharma t o you and be allowed t o follow
t he bodhisat t va.
8) If you make offerings of food and recit e t his mant ra oft en, you
shall be out of danger from any evil person or fierce dogs. If you
should first complet e 300,000 recit at ions of t his mant ra in front of
a pagoda, or a st at ue of a buddha, or a st upa, and subsequent ly make
a very large offering of food on t he fift eent h of suklapaksa (t he
bright , first half of t he mont h), recit ing t he mant ra for a day while
fast ing from food, you shall gain an audience wit h Vajrapani and
receive an invit at ion t o go t o his palace.
9) If you should st and before t he st upa erect ed t o mark where t he
dharma wheel was first t urned, or t he st upa erect ed t o mark where
t he Buddha was born, or t he st upa built t o mark where t he Buddha
descended t he precious st eps from Trayast rimsas Heaven, or any
st upa cont aining relics, circumambulat e t he st upa clockwise and
recit e t he mant ra. You shall see t he Aparajit a Bodhisat t va and t he
Bodhisat t va Harit i. Your wishes shall t hen be fulfilled. If you should
need any spirit ual medicine, it shall be given t o you, and you will
also receive a spirit ual discourse on t he bodhisat t va way.
10) If an individual who recit es t his mant ra is not in a spirit ual
place, he shall receive a visit from all t he bodhisat t vas, regardless of
where he or she is. This great dharani of Cundi is a great luminous
mant ra t hat has been expounded by t he buddhas of t he past , and
shall be expounded by t he buddhas of t he fut ure. In fact , all buddhas
of t he present expound t his mant ra, as I do t oday. This is done t o
benefit all sent ient beings so t hat t hey may at t ain Supreme
Enlight enment . Should any sent ient being who is lacking in merit s
and has lit t le good karmic root , and has none of t he nat ural capacit y
and fact ors of enlight enment be so fort unat e t o receive t his dharani,
he or she shall swift ly at t ain t he Supreme and Perfect
Enlight enment (Anut t ara-Samyak-Sambodhi). If one const ant ly
remembers t o recit e t his mant ra, infinit e good karmic root s shall
ripen int o accomplishment s.
When t he Buddha spoke of t he Dharani of Cundi, infinit e sent ient
beings were elevat ed from t heir impurit ies, and t hey received t he
merit s of t he Great Dharani of Cundi, t he Great Luminous Mant ra,
and wit nessed t he presence of t he buddhas, bodhisat t vas and holy
beings of t he t en direct ions before t hey prost rat ed and left .
**End of Sutra**
Introducti on to Cundi: The causes and condit ions of Cundi
Cundi Bodhisat t va is a being of great spirit ual st at us. She is said t o
have been t he manifest at ion of t he World Honored One ent ering
int o t he Samadhi of Spirit ual Power of Transformat ion of Space and
Ocean. Cundi is known also as t he Cundi Guan Yin. The word Cundi
means Supreme Purit y. Being t he mot her of all t he deit ies of t he
Lot us class, she is t herefore known as t he Buddha Mot her, t he
Mot her of Seven Kot is of Buddhas and Bodhisat t vas. Cundi has
eight een arms and t hree eyes. She is all-powerful, and her Tant ric
epit het is t he Most Vict orious Vajra, or Subjugat ion Vajra. Cundi is
at t ended by t wo dragon (naga) kings who st and guard by her lot us
t hrone. These t wo dragon kings are Nanda and Upananda.
The Outer Aspects of Cundi
Cundi Bodhisat t va appears wit h eight een arms and t hree eyes. She is
adorned wit h a jeweled crown which is mount ed wit h a figure of a
manifest ed buddha. Her body is light yellow in color, adorned wit h all
kinds of jade and pearl ornament s. She wears jade and pearl arm
ornament s, and wears a whit e celest ial garment . Seat ed on a lot us
t hrone, her eight een arms, wit h t he original t wo hands forming t he
Root Mudra, hold different implement s, in a clockwise direct ion: a
wish- fulfilling banner, a lot us, a bat hing vase, a lasso, an eight -
spoked wheel, a conch, a precious vase, a wisdom chest , a head-dress,
a vajra scept er, a hook, an axe, a heavenly fruit , mala beads, a
wisdom sword, and t he Fearless Mudra.
The Uni queness of Cundi
The eight een arms of Cundi are said t o express t he eight een merit s
of at t aining buddhahood. These are t he eight een uncommon
qualit ies. Her arms are t he symbolic expression of t hese secret s,
endowed wit h t he significance of profound principles. In t he
Mahaprajnaparamit a-sast ra, t hese eight een charact erist ics of a
buddha (t he avenikadharma ) dist inguish a buddha from a
bodhisat t va. They are:
01. His perfect ion of body
02. His perfect ion of speech
03. His perfect ion of memory
04. His perfect ion of impart ialit y t o all
05. His serenit y
06. His self-sacrifice
07. His unceasing desire t o salvage sent ient beings
08. His unflagging zeal t o salvage sent ient beings
09. His unfailing t hought t o salvage sent ient beings
10. The unceasing wisdom t o salvage sent ient beings
11. The powers of deliverance
12. The principle of t he powers of deliverance
13. Revealing perfect wisdom in deed
14. Revealing perfect wisdom in word
15. Revealing perfect wisdom in t hought
16. Perfect knowledge of t he past
17. Perfect knowledge of t he fut ure
18. Perfect knowledge of t he present
As t he eight een arms of Cundi represent t he eight een uncommon
qualit ies, t hey are able t o eliminat e all t he negat ive karma of
sent ient beings, hence t he name Most Vict orious Vajra. One who
pract ices t his deit y yoga is able t o eradicat e all past negat ive karma
and avoid all calamit ies. All t hat he or she wishes for in t his lifet ime,
and all siddhis of worldly and t ranscendent al pract ices, shall swift ly
As Cundi is also known as t he Subjugat ion Vajra, and t he pract ice of
Cundi const it ut es a special pract ice of Tant rayana, t his pract ice is
regarded as supreme. It is wish-fulfilling and can subjugat e all maras
and heret ics. It embodies infinit e power and merit s, and t hrough t his
pract ice t he pract it ioner shall gain a round and perfect aura.
The print ing of t his sut ra and all ot her sut ras will benefit oneself and
ot hers, and help t o remove all forms of calamit y. It helps one gain
great merit s and blessings, and bridges ot hers t o t he t eachings of
The Symbolism and Meaning of t he Eight een Arms of Cundi
1. The original 2 hands forming t he root Mudra of Expounding t he
Dharma represent s t he fluency of elucidat ing all Dharma.
2. The hand holding t he wondrous precious banner represent s t he
abilit y t o build a most magnificent , great monast ery.
3. The hand forming t he Fearless Mudra represent s t he abilit y t o
deliver sent ient beings away from all t error and fears.
4. The hand holding a lot us flower represent s t he purificat ion of t he
six senses which, unt aint ed, are as pure as t he lot us flower.
5. The hand holding a sword of wisdom represent s t he severing of
t he ent anglement s of afflict ions and t he t hree poisons of greed,
anger and ignorance.
6. The hand holding an empowerment vase represent s t he flowing of
nect ar t o nurt ure all sent ient beings so t hat t hey may receive t he
empowerment of t he buddhas.
7. The hand holding a wonderful jewelled headdress represent s t he
wish t o be linked t o wonderful dharma art .
8. The hand holding a vajra lasso represent s t he abilit y t o at t ract all
int o t he yoga t ant ra.
9. The hand holding a wonderful celest ial fruit represent s t he
accomplishment of t he fruit ion of enlight enment , and t he ext ensive
cult ivat ion of good karma.
10. The hand holding an eight -spoke wheel represent s t he const ant
t urning of t he great dharma wheel, radiat ing it s magnificent light s
over t he t hree lower realms.
11. The hand holding a bat t le axe represent s t he eliminat ion of all
evil pract ices and t he severing of at t achment t o oneself and ot hers.
12. The hand holding a large dharma shell represent s t he expounding
of pure Dharma which shakes t he universe.
13. The hand holding a vajra hook represent s t he skill t o magnet ize
and at t ract all phenomena wit hin one's view.
14. The hand holding a wish-fulfilling vase represent s t he funct ion
of manifest ing all t reasures and script ures at will.
15. The hand holding a vajra represent s t he collect ive convergence
of support given by t he eight classes of celest ial beings and dragons.
It also represent s t he subjugat ion of st ubborn sent ient beings.
16. The hand holding a wisdom sut ra represent s t he self-cognit ion of
knowing t he profound and wonderful t rut h wit hout any guidance
from a t eacher.
17. The hand holding a mani or wish-fulfilling pearl represent s t he
vibrant and luminous st at e of mind which is flawless, pure and
18. The t wo original hands, beginning wit h t he first hand, are held in
t he Dharma Expounding Mudra. Hence, t he eight een arms.
Some images of Cundi Bodhisat t va depict different gest ures, such as
forming t he root mudra or holding mala beads. The meaning remains
t he same, regardless. The gest ures represent t he eight een merit s of
Cundi Bodhisat t va. You may visualize t he hands clearly and recit e
t he mant ra so t hat you may at t ain realizat ion swift ly and liberat e
sent ient beings from t heir suffering.