Sutra of the Buddha-Crown Superb Victory Dharani
Translated from Sanskrit into Chinese in the Tang Dynasty
by The Tripitaka Master Divakara

Thus I have heard:
At one time the Bhagavan was dwelling in the Anathapindika Garden of Jetavana Park in the city kingdom of Sravasti, together with a group of 8,000 great bhiksus. As recognized by the multitudes, all of them were venerable voice-hearers, or great Arhats. At the head of this group were great voice-hearers such as the venerable Sariputra, Mahamaudgalyayana, Mahakasyapa, Aniruddha, and others. Also present were a multitude of innumerable Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas, adorned with immeasurable virtues, all standing on the Ground of No Regress. Among them were Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, Mañjusri Bodhisattva, Great Might Arrived Bodhisattva, Maitreya Bodhisattva, Sublime Lotus Store Bodhisattva, Annihilating All Hindrance Bodhisattva, and Samantabhadra Bodhisattva. Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas such as these, seated with the multitude in the assembly, were at the head of 32,000 Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas. At the head of the Brahma group were the god-kings from Brahma Multitude Heaven, Great Brahma Heaven, and Sudarsana Heaven, and at the head of 12,000 gods was the god-king Sakro-Devanam-Indra. Also seated in the assembly was a large multitude of innumerable gods, dragons, yaksas, gandharvas, asuras, garudas, kimnaras, mahoragas, kumbhandas, pisacas, humans, nonhumans, and others. At that time, surrounding the World-Honored One with reverence and gazing at Him with adoration, the four groups of disciples and others listened single-mindedly to the Dharma.

Meanwhile, the gods in Trayastrimsa, or the Thirty-Three Heavens, met in the Good Dharma Hall, and among them was a god-son named Good Stay. Accompanied by goddess-daughters and attendants from the Great Jewel Palace, he frolicked indulgently with those surrounding him and amused himself with those goddess playmates. In the post-midnight period, he suddenly heard a voice in the sky pronouncing these words:

"God-Son Good Stay, counting from today, you will die after seven days and fall to the southern continent, Jambudvipa, to be reborn seven times as animals of different species, which eat filthy, impure food. Then you will fall to hell to undergo all kinds of sufferings. Only after many kalpas will you become a human being. Even though you will acquire a human body, you will be born incomplete, without two eyes, looking gross and ugly. Your breath will constantly be foul, and you will always lack food and clothing. You will be poor, sordid, and repulsive."

Having heard these words, the god-son Good Stay was shocked and terrified, and the hair on his entire body stood on end. Worried and unhappy, he took the well-adorned palace attendants, incense, flowers, and other articles of offering and went to the place where the god-king was. After kneeling and bowing down at the feet of the god-king Sakra, he cried in sorrow and said to the god-king, "Please hear me report. When I was making merry in the Good Dharma Hall with a multitude of gods and goddesses, just then I suddenly heard a voice in the sky calling my name. It said that my life would end after seven days and that I would descend to Jambudvipa, reborn in an animal form for seven lives, eating impure, filthy food. I would then enter hell and suffer for many kalpas. Afterwards, I would gain a human body without two eyes. I would live in destitution with a gross, ugly appearance. My breath would be foul, and I would be poor and sordid, fettered by afflictions and detested by others. God-King, how would you save me from this fate?"

At that time the god-king Sakra was astonished to hear these words, and he pondered what merit had caused the god-son Good Stay to have been born in heaven, enjoying wonderful pleasures for many kalpas. He also pondered what evil karma would cause his heaven-reward to end suddenly and cause him to be reborn in Jambudvipa in an animal form for seven lives, to enter hell to undergo a great deal of suffering, and then to become a human being without eyes, living under wretched conditions. After thinking those thoughts, he had this thought about what animal forms Good Stay would assume. Using his God-eye to scan these prospective retributions, Sakra saw in a momentary samadhi the seven animal forms that the god-son Good Stay would assume. They would be pig, dog, jackal, monkey, python, raven, and vulture, all of which eat very foul, filthy things. What he had just seen aggravated his concern, making his heart ache with sorrow and anguish. Sakra then had this thought: "I have only seen a small part of his retributions. Matters responding to causes deep and far are beyond my ability to conjecture. Only the Tathagata, the Ocean of True Omniscience, knows the good and evil causations such as these. I should go consult Him about this matter. The World-Honored One, out of His great lovingkindness, would tell us the reasons or even help Good Stay to avoid these sufferings."

Immediately, the god-king Sakra commanded his multitude of gods that each should have his palace attendants well adorned and take as offerings garlands, necklaces, powdered incense, incense for burning, and various kinds of solid perfumes, as well as celestial apparel hovering over all. Accompanied by his retinue, the god-king Sakra came swiftly to Jetavana Park. Upon arrival, he bowed down to the Buddha and circumambulated Him to the right seven times, and then made his enormous offerings before the Buddha. Having completed these Dharma affairs, he stepped back to one side. At the Buddha's holy command, he said, "World-Honored One, the god-son Good Stay was enjoying himself, frolicking with a multitude of gods and goddesses in the Good Dharma Hall when he suddenly heard a voice in the sky. It announced that after seven days the god-son Good Stay's celestial life would end and that he would assume various animal forms, then enter hell, and then become a human being with incomplete organs, undergoing a great deal of suffering as described above. Having reported everything to Buddha, I pray only that the World-Honored One, for the sake of the four groups of disciples and all of us, will explain the causes and conditions: In the past lives of Good Stay, what meritorious karma had he cultivated, which has brought about his birth in heaven to enjoy pleasures for many kalpas? Furthermore, due to what causes and conditions would he fall after death-to become successively those seven animals as stated above, eating filth as food; to enter hell to undergo sufferings for many kalpas; and then to gain a human form, but dwarfish and sordid, without eyes, gross and ugly, entangled by evils, poor and filthy, and despised by others? Also, what merit had he cultivated, which moved the one who spoke in the sky, forewarning him of his upcoming retributions? I pray only that the World-Honored One, out of sympathy for Good Stay and all of us, will tell the origin of these causes, conditions, and deserved retributions. Please save him with lovingkindness and compassion and enable him to achieve liberation."

At that time the World-Honored One said to the god-king Sakra, "Good man, out of great lovingkindness, you are able to ask for Good Stay's sake about matters related to the causes and conditions in his past, which would have resulted in good or evil karmic requital. You are also able to ask me to free him from his sufferings. Very Good! Hugely Good! Hearken! Hearken! I will explain these reasons separately to you."

At that time the World-Honored One radiated vast bright light from the crown of His head, illuminating all the Buddha realms in the ten directions. The light consisted of five colors: blue, red, yellow, white, and black, which reflected one another and circled to the right. It returned to the Buddha, circled Him three times, and then entered His mouth.

After drawing in the light, the Buddha smiled and told the god-king Sakra, "Hearken! Hearken! Immeasurable asamkhyeyas of kalpas ago, there was a Buddha named Vipasyin, who was the Tathagata, Arhat, Samyak-Sambuddha, Knowledge and Action Perfected, Sugata, Understanding the World, Unsurpassed One, Tamer of Men, Teacher to Gods and Humans, Buddha the World-Honored One. After the conditions for Him to convert the world had ended, He entered parinirvana. In the subsequent Dharma-likeness age, there was a city kingdom called Varanasi, where a Brahmin had an only son born to him and died soon afterwards. The son was raised only by his mother. As he was growing up, he worked in the fields planting crops, while his poor mother went about begging for food from place to place. When it was past mealtime and food did not arrive, the son, hungry, thirsty, and angry with his mother, would speak malicious words, grumbling about the reasons why she had not yet brought him food that day. With annoyance and resentment, he would go on and on. One day, he spoke angry words about her: 'My mother is less than an animal. I have seen pigs, dogs, jackals, monkeys, ravens, vultures, and the like raising their young. Even an animal, raising and caring for its young, would not let them go hungry and thirsty or temporarily leave them alone. Why does my mother not come to see me? I am so hungry and thirsty, but she does not bring food to me.'

"While the son was harboring hatred, his mother had received food by begging, with which she immediately arrived. She comforted her son and made him happy. As they sat down to eat, they suddenly saw a Solitary Buddha, in the appearance of a monk, flying in the sky from the south to the north. When the son saw him, feelings of reverence arose in his heart. At once the son stood up, joined his palms and bowed his head, asking the monk to descend. The Pratyekabuddha accepted the invitation. Joyfully, the son prepared a white grass seat, gathered beautiful flowers, and took part of his food. He offered these to the monk, who, after finishing eating, taught him the essentials of the Dharma, which brought him benefit and delight.

"Later on, the son was able to renounce family life and was appointed the general director in charge of miscellaneous matters in a temple. About that time a Brahmin had built living quarters for the monks, and donors had offered a lot of butter and oil. It happened that some visiting monks were eating in the temple. The general director, stingy and antagonistic, saw the visitors eating and regarded them as trouble. He did not give them butter, oil, or other food. One of the visiting monks asked, 'It is customary to give food to the visiting monks. What is the reason why you are saving it and do not give it to us?' The ill-natured director exploded, shouting at the visiting monks: 'Why don't you eat feces and urine, instead of asking for butter? Your eyes are blind? Did you see me hide the butter?'"

The Buddha told the god-king Sakra, "The Brahmin's son then is the god-son Good Stay now. Because he used angry words comparing his mother to animals, he has drawn an animal's body for himself for the next seven lives. Because he, as the general director, spoke of eating filth, the karmic response is that he himself would eat filthy things. Because he was too stingy to offer food to those monks, he was bound to go to hell to undergo sufferings. Because he scolded the monks as being blind, he would receive the retribution of having no eyes for seven hundred lives, staying in darkness for a long time and undergoing enormous misery. God-King, you should know that such sinful karma, as causes, always brings retributions without fail. Furthermore, God-King, the god-son Good Stay has been reborn in heaven because he made offerings to a Pratyekabuddha in the past and, specifically, because of the force generated from his having prepared a seat, respectfully offered flowers and food, and listened to the teachings. Presently, he has accepted the heaven-fortune for several kalpas, continuously enjoying wonderful pleasures. Besides, when the Pratyekabudhha was flying across the sky, Good Stay was inspired, looking up at the sky. Then he sincerely bowed his head down, paying respects. In response to this virtuous act, the divine voice in the sky declaring Good Stay's upcoming retributions was from his palace guardian-god."

At that time, accepting what the Buddha had said, Good Stay acknowledged that his karma originated from past conditions. He severely reproached himself before the Buddha: "In the past, I had been angry with my mother and scolded the monks out of hatred and stinginess. Those deeds would bring me the upcoming horrendous retributions. Accepting Your holy finding, I now repent with my life."

Good Stay then threw himself to the ground. Blood all over his body, he stayed unconscious for a long time. When he gradually came to, overcome by anguish, he cried loudly, tears falling like rain.

The Buddha said to Good Stay and the god-king Sakra: "Of the ten evil karmic conditions, malicious mouth is the worst. You should know that malicious scolding is stronger than a blazing fire. While a blazing fire can only burn the wealth of the seven treasures, which are only worldly playthings, the flames of malicious speech can burn the wealth of the seven noble treasures. They can totally burn out all the virtues needed for transcending the world and can swiftly summon evil retributions. In your case, Good Stay, your words of hate about your mother and abusive language to the monks have totally burned out your heaven-reward, sending you to hell.

"You should not insult god-kings, parents, and monks. Instead, you should respect, honor, and make offerings to them. You should praise them with gentle words and constantly remember their lovingkindness. Remember that lovingkindness in the Threefold Realm of Existence comes only from your parents. The fields encountered in your past, present, and future lives for planting seeds of fortune do not outweigh the monks as such. For example, making offerings to the eight ranks of the true monks and to the twelve sages and holy beings will never be in vain because such virtue can support you to transcend the world and furthermore to accomplish the Way. How could you ever use abusive language to the monks?

"It is arduous toil for parents to bear and rear a child. It takes ten months of gestation and three years of nursing. As parents spend years of worries and hardships, rearing and educating the child, they hope that their child will develop outstanding abilities. They also hope that their child will renounce family life and transcend the cycle of life and death. Their kind concern is too great to requite. Therefore, as I have told Ananda, even if you carried your father on your left shoulder and your mother on your right to circumambulate Mount Sumeru hundreds, thousands, and tens of thousands of times, shedding blood ankle deep, it would not be enough to requite their lovingkindness in nursing you for one day. How could you ever think evil thoughts and speak angry words about them? "

The Buddha said to the god-king Sakra and the god-son Good Stay: "Because you have seen me today, your five eyes are purified. Because your repentance is thorough, your sins have been expunged."

Looking at Good Stay, the Buddha said, "You can stop crying now because I have a Dharma Door named the Superb Victory Buddha-Crown Dharani Mantra. Those who keep reciting this Mantra can be liberated from their sufferings. Good Stay, this Superb Victory Buddha-Crown Dharani Mantra of mine is pronounced by hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, and hundreds of thousands of ko?is of Buddhas. This Dhara?i which I will soon pronounce can be compared to all the Buddha-crowns and is most dignified and most victorious. It can annihilate all karma-hindrances, bringing purity; pull sentient beings out of life-journeys in hell, as animals, and in Yama's dominion; and eradicate the afflictions of life and death for all sentient beings."

The Buddha then told the god-king, "If, among good men, good women, bhiksus, and bhiksunis, there are those who can uphold this Pure Buddha-Crown Superb Victory Dharani Mantra, reading it or reciting it, this virtue can totally obliterate their karma of the ten evil deeds and the five rebellious acts committed in hundreds, thousands, and tens of thousands of kalpas and ready them to attain anuttara-samyak-sambodhi. They will have past-life knowledge without changing their present bodies, and they will be reborn in one Buddha Land after another. They will constantly encounter Bodhisattvas Samantabhadra, Mañjusri, Avokitesvara, and Great Might Arrived, who will rub their heads and proffer them a guiding hand, recognizing them as Bodhisattvas. They will constantly hear and uphold the true Dharma in a bodhimanda and obtain sarvajña. Their life spans will be lengthened, and they will not die accidental deaths because their body, speech, and mind will be pure. With their bodies pleasantly tingly, they will feel very clean, light, and tranquil anywhere and anytime. If they remember this Dhara?i upon dying, they will be able to be reborn in Buddha Lands."

When the god-king Sakra heard the Buddha praise the inconceivable virtue of this Superb Victory Dhara?i, he was filled with joyful appreciation and whole-hearted longing. He said, "World-Honored One, I pray only that the Tathagata, taking sympathetic consideration of Good Stay and the rest of us as well as the sentient beings in the expected Dharma-ending age, will pronounce this Superb Victory Buddha-Crown Dharani Mantra. I should train myself to have all sentient beings forever leave the sufferings of the eight difficulties."

At that time the World-Honored One, for the sake of the god-king, the god-son Good Stay, the four groups of disciples, and others, pronounced the Mantra:

namo bhagavate trai-lokya prativisistaya buddhaya bhagavate | tad-yatha om visodhaya visodhaya | asamasama samanta-avabhasa spharana gati gahana svabhava visuddhe | abhisiñcatu mam | sugata vara vacana | amrta-abhiseke maha-mantra pane | ahara ahara ayuh sandharani | sodhaya sodhaya gagana visuddhe | usnisa vijaya visuddhe | sahasra-rasmi sañcodite | sarva tathagata-avalokana sat-paramita paripurani | sarva tathagata hrdaya-adhisthana-adhisthita maha-mudre | vajra-kaya samharana visuddhe | sarva-avarana-apaya-durgati pari-visuddhe | prati-nivartaya-ayuh suddhe | samaya-adhisthite mani mani maha-mani | tathata bhuta koti parisuddhe | visphuta buddhi suddhe | jaya jaya vijaya vijaya smara smara | sarva buddha-adhisthita suddhe | vajre vajra-garbhe vajram bhavatu mama sariram | sarva sattvanam ca kaya pari-visuddhe | sarva gati parisuddhe | sarva tathagatas ca me sama-asvasayantu | sarva tathagata sama-asvasa-adhisthite | budhya budhya vibudhya vibudhya | bodhaya bodhaya vibodhaya vibodhaya | samanta parisuddhe | sarva tathagata hrdaya-adhisthana-adhisthita maha-mudre svaha ||

The Buddha said to the god-king, "This Purifying Life-Journey Superb Victory Buddha-Crown Dharani Mantra of mine can totally annihilate the hindrances caused by sinful karma and eradicate the sufferings of the three evil life-paths. This Dharani Mantra is pronounced by all Buddhas as numerous as the sands of 88 koti Ganges. They all remember, safeguard, delight in, and praise it. It bears the seal of recognition of all Tathagatas because it can totally expunge for all sentient beings their sins of committing any of the ten evil deeds and rescue those that are taking life-journeys in hell, as animals, as hungry ghosts, and in Yama's dominion. Suppose the meritorious karma of all sentient beings is diminishing, and some of them should receive the retribution of short life span or of being handicapped, sickly, ugly, dwarfish, destitute, blind, deaf, or mute, or should fall to hell or assume animal forms to undergo sufferings. However, if they hear me speak the name of this Dharani, their evil retributions will be revoked and they will be liberated. Even sentient beings that have accumulated evil karma, including the ten evil deeds and the five rebellious acts, will also benefit. All their hindrances by sin whether severe or slight will be totally annihilated. They will eventually attain anuttara-samyak-sa?bodhi, permanently leaving behind all sufferings and forever free from Yama's dominion or from taking life-journeys as animals or even as asuras, yaksas, raksasas, putanas, kata-putanas, apasamaras, and the like."

The Buddha said to the god-king, "If there are those who are able to accept and recite this Mantra, once they have kept reciting it, they will be permanently free from the evil life-journeys and will always live at the same place with Buddhas in the ten directions. They will be reborn in the excellent company of Bodhisattvas, or they will be reborn into the noble Brahmin caste. They will always be in the bodhima??as of Buddhas' Pure Lands, and they will even accomplish the unsurpassed bodhi and attain the liberation body in the Tathagata's ocean of true omniscience."

The Buddha said to the god-king and the god-son Good Stay: "This Purifying Life-journey Superb Victory Dhara?i Mantra of mine has vast spiritual force, great virtue, and awesome might. It is like the auspicious sun or a precious jewel, pure and immaculate like the sky. From its site, it illuminates the world, just like the superb seven treasures in the world. Whoever, among all sentient beings including kings, queens, princes, prime ministers, and state officials, has seen it will treasure it and never tire of seeing it because this wonderful jewel is never tainted by filth. God-King, this Dharani is like the jewel I just described. Whoever accepts, upholds, reads, recites, or copies this Dharani, or makes offerings to it, the eight classes of Dharma protectors such as gods and dragons will treasure his virtue just as that wonderful jewel which they would not want to part with even temporarily. Why? Because the power of this Dharani can expunge the grave sins of all hell-dwellers, animals, and hungry ghosts! Furthermore, its power will enable its upholder to attain anuttara-samyak-sambodhi."

The Buddha said to the god-king and the god-son Good Stay: "Suppose, among kings, queens, crown-princes, princes, prime ministers, state officials, bhiksus, bhiksunis, good men, and good women, there are those who, as an offering, copy this Dharani Mantra and enshrine the copy whether in a pagoda made of the seven treasures, on a jeweled lion-throne, on a vajra pedestal, in a pagoda containing relics, or on the top of a cylindrical banner. Then, suppose, among sentient beings of the four modes of birth, bhiksus, bhiksunis, upasakas, and upasikas, there are those who have committed grave sins such as the ten evil deeds, the five rebellious acts, or violations the four grave prohibitions, and therefore should be reborn in Yama's dominion or even should journey the six life-paths, suffering along the way. Should these sinners walk by the pagoda containing this Dharani and should the dust of the pagoda fall on them, their sins as stated above would all be expunged. Even if the wind sweeps across the pagoda and then blows a little on them, they will be reborn in heaven to enjoy splendid pleasures or in a Pure Land according to their wishes. Should a person who upholds this Dharani wash his hands and drip water from his hands to the ground, even the ants and insects touched by the water would be reborn in heaven. Therefore, if, among bhiksus, bhiksunis, upasakas, upasikas, men, and women, there are those who can observe their precepts day and night in the six periods and keep reciting this Dharani without interruption, all of their grave sins in the past and present, such as the five rebellious acts, violations of the four grave prohibitions, and the ten evil deeds will be totally expunged. Moreover, Bodhisattvas and Tathagatas will rub their heads, recognizing them as Bodhisattvas, and say to them, 'Good men, since you can accept and uphold the Superb Victory Buddha-Crown Dhara?i Mantra, you will certainly attain anuttara-samyak-sa?bodhi in a future life.'"

The Buddha said to the god-king, "If someone can at crossroads build a treasure pagoda or erect a high cylindrical banner for enthrining this Dhara?i Sutra and, moreover, make offerings of various kinds of flowers, incense, necklaces, adornments made of the seven treasures, wonderful apparel, food, drink, and medicinal potion, his virtue will be immeasurable and boundless, and his merit and wisdom incalculable. This person is then a Bodhisattva-Mahasattva, the true son of the Buddha. Why? Because he is saving and benefiting innumerable sentient beings that pass by under the pagoda!"

In the post-midnight period of that night, Yama, lord of the underworld, accompanied by his retinue in the millions and billions, holding flowers, incense, and various kinds of adornments, came to the place where the Buddha was, to make offerings. He circumambulated the Buddha to the right seven times, bowed down at the Buddha's feet, and offered Him flowers, incense, and other things. He said, "World-Honored One, I have heard that the World-Honored One is pronouncing the Superb Victory Buddha-Crown Dhara?i Mantra. Therefore, I now have come to hear, accept, and follow Your oral teachings, and to safeguard them."

Also at the same time, the four god-kings who protect the world, the god-king Sakro-Devanam-Indra of the Thirty-Three Heavens, and the god-kings of Suyama Heaven, Samtusita Heaven, Sunirmita Heaven, Vasavartti Heaven, Brahma Heaven, Great Brahma Heaven, and other heavens, accompanied by their retinues, brought various kinds of incense, flowers, and necklaces to the place where the Buddha was, to make offerings. They circumambulated the Buddha to the right seven times and said, "World-Honored One, we pray only that You will pronounce the Dharma instruction for upholding this Superb Victory Buddha-Crown Dharani Mantra so that we can know how to perform the ritual of offering."

The Buddha said to the world protectors, the great Brahma-kings, Lord Yama, and others: "Hearken! Hearken! I speak at your request. If there is a sentient being who is in total misery due to his grave sins and has no one to rescue him, he should, on the fifteenth day of a waxing moon, bathe clean, wear clean clothes, and accept the eight precepts. He should mindfully kneel on his right knee, facing the image of an enlightened being, and recite this Mantra 1,080 times. Then all his sins and karma-hindrances will be totally annihilated. He will be able to retain all the meanings of this Dhara?i Door and command unimpeded eloquence, and he will be purified and liberated."

The Buddha said to the god-kings, "Even though a person does not recite this Dharani himself but has heard its sound, the sound, once enters the ear, can condition his alaya consciousness and become the seed of Buddhahood. For example, when a small adamantine substance falls to the ground, it can penetrate deep into the earth. Unobstructed by the thickness of the earth, it will definitely reach the primal state and then rest there. In the same way the sound of this Mantra, once heard, can condition the person's habitual nature, turning it toward attaining perfect enlightenment, unhindered by his afflictions, however severe they may be. Even hell-dwellers, animals, and hungry ghosts will not be sunk by their karmic retributions because, by virtue of the power of this Mantra, their progress will become spontaneous until they arrive at the Buddha Ground.

"God-Kings, once sentient beings of the four modes of birth have heard this Dharani, they will not have more troubles or repeat their old troubles in their present lives. Instead of assuming the form of an embryo again, they will be reborn with miraculously formed bodies in lotus blossoms, and all shackles of defilement will be broken forever. Their five eyes becoming pure, they will have past-life knowledge and should eventually attain anuttara-samyak-sambodhi."

The Buddha said to the god-kings, "If a person recites this Dharani Mantra twenty-one times to a handful of yellow soil and scatters the soil on the remains of someone who is just deceased or has been deceased for a long time, the deceased will be reborn in any of the Pure Lands in the ten directions. If the spirit of the deceased has already begun his life-journey in hell, as an animal, as a hungry ghost, or under Yama's dominion, when the Mantra soil touches the bones, he will be liberated and reborn in heaven, abandoning the evil life-journey."

The Buddha said to the god-kings, "If a person expecting a short life desires longevity, he should, on the fifteenth day of a waxing moon, bathe clean, wear clean clothes, observe the precepts single-mindedly, and recite this Dharani Mantra 1,080 times in total. This person expecting a short life will thus gain longevity, all his karma-hindrances having been annihilated."

The Buddha said to the god-kings, "Furthermore, if a person recites this Dharani Mantra into the ears of an animal only once, this animal, having heard this Mantra once with its ears, will not assume an animal's body again after this life. Even if the animal is supposed to enter hell, it will be exempted.

Buddha said to the god-kings, "If a person who is suffering immensely from an evil disease hears only the sound of this Dharani Mantra, his hindrances by sin will be annihilated, and he will be able to leave his sufferings behind. Even sentient beings of the four modes of birth, having heard this Mantra, will be freed from their illnesses, sufferings, and their modes of birth. They will be reborn with transformation bodies in lotus blossoms, and they will know their past lives and not forget their birthplaces."

The Buddha said to the god-kings, "If a person has committed since birth any of the ten evil deeds, the five rebellious acts, and the four grave root-sins, he knows that on account of the evil karma he will, after death, fall to Avici Hell to undergo horrendous sufferings for many kalpas, repeatedly reborn there kalpa after kalpa for thousands of kalpas. Or if he falls down to various animal forms, he will also repeatedly take that evil life-path without reprieve. This person should, on the fifteenth day of a waxing moon, before the image of an enlightened being, place in the mandala one liter of pure water in a gold or silver container, accept the Bodhisattva precepts, and eat pure vegetarian food. He should stay on the west side of the mandala, facing the holy image on the east side. He should burn incense, do prostrations, and, mindfully kneeling on his right knee, pray with utmost sincerity. He should recite this Dhara?i Mantra 1,080 times in total without interruption. Then he should sprinkle the water in all four directions, also up and down, wishing all sentient beings be purified. After he has performed this rite, his evil karma as stated above, which should cause him to go to hell or to become an animal or a hungry ghost, will all be obliterated, and he will be liberated. The exoneration officer of Lord Yama, not angered but respectful instead, will joyfully join his palms and praise his virtues. After death, he will be reborn in a Buddha Land, and he can visit Pure Lands in the ten directions as he wishes. In addition, you can recite the Mantra on the fifteen day of a waxing moon to pippala figs in butter-honey 1,080 times and let the sinner eat them. Having eaten, his sins of the ten evil deeds and five rebellious acts will all be expunged. Furthermore, he will eventually attain anuttara-samyak-sambodhi."

The Buddha said to the god-kings, "Those who desire to perform this Mandala Dharma should, on the fifteenth day of a waxing moon, mix perfumed water with yellow soil and cow dung and paint the ground with this mixture. The square mandala measures four elbows' length on each side, and it should be surrounded by three tiers of gemstones in five colors from the Lanka Mountain. An ancillary tier of white Lanka gemstones marks the boundary of the four sides. Scatter flowers inside the ma??ala and place four vessels of water on the lotus flowers painted in the four corners. The vessels should be the same in size. Reverently place a bottle of relics and cow's bezoar on the center lotus flower. In the mandala, scatter various flowers, burn incense and various kinds of fragrances such as camphor, saffron, agalloch, and so forth. Light various kinds of lamps such as butter lamps, oil lamps, and scented lamps. Prepare various kinds of food such as rice, milk, cream, butter, oil, cane sugar, and the juice of grapes and pomegranates, in a container made of the seven treasures, and offer it in the mandala. Then the spiritual trainee should accept the Bodhisattva precepts, strictly observing the rules, and eat the three white foods as a meal. He should wear clean clothes and stay on the west side of the mandala. After praying with his palms joined, kneeling on his right knee, he should first make the mudra of Buddha-protection and then perform the Buddha-mind Mandala Dharma by reciting this Superb Victory Buddha-Crown Dharani Mantra 1,080 times. All his sins such as the ten evil deeds will thus be expunged, and he will eventually attain anuttara-samyak-sambodhi. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will rub his head, personally bestowing upon him the prophecy of his attaining bodhi. If he wants to visit the abode of Bodhisaattvas, they will take him to their own palaces, traveling to and fro among the Buddha Lands in the ten directions."

The Buddha said to the god-kings, "Such is the Superb Victory Buddha-Crown Dharani Mantra! In the Dharma-ending age, if, among bhiksus, bhiksunis, upasakas, and upasikas, or among kings, queens, queen-mothers, crown princes, princes, princes' wives, prime ministers, state officials, humans, and nonhumans, or even among sentient beings that understand the human language, there is one who can perform this Mandala Dharma, he should paint the ground with the mixture of water or perfumed water, soil, and cow dung to purify the ground. When he adorns the mandala with scattered flowers, burning incense, cylindrical banners, canopies, and lanterns, and makes an offering of various kinds of precious jewels, food, and drink, this is called dana-paramita. When he maintains the mandala without any resentment at disturbances, it is called ksanti-paramita. When he engages in this Mandala Dharma diligently and bravely without negligence or indolence, it is called virya-paramita. When he follows the Dharma rules single-mindedly without being distracted, it is called dhyana-paramita. When he arranges things straight and proper, knowing the difference between right and wrong, it is called prajña-paramita. God-Kings, if you follow my oral teachings to conduct Dharma affairs, you will have included the six paramitas. Therefore, you should in turn pronounce these teachings to all sentient beings because they will benefit from the teachings and eventually attain enlightenment."

After the Buddha had finished expounding this Sutra, the god-king Sakra and Good Stay returned to their own palaces. The god-son Good Stay recited the Mantra according to the instruction for seven consecutive days, and then he saw that the retribution for his sins had all been revoked. Moreover, his god life span was increased immeasurably. Forthwith, he and the god-king Sakra, along with other gods, holding incense, flowers, and various kinds of wonderful celestial apparel and necklaces, came to make offerings. They bowed down to the Buddha in celebration of His great lovingkindness and compassion, and they joyfully and exuberantly circumambulated Him thousands of times.

At that time the World-Honored One opened His golden hand and rubbed the head of the god-son, bestowing upon him the prophecy of his realization of bodhi. The Buddha said to him, "This Sutra is named the Sutra of the Superb Victory Buddha-Crown Dharani Mantra That Totally Annihilates Karma-Hindrance. All of you and the four groups of my disciples should accept and uphold it."

At that time the four groups of disciples, Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas, and the eight classes of Dharma protectors such as gods, dragons, gandharvas, asuras, yaksas, garudas, kimnaras, and mahoragas, together with kumbhandas, pisacas, humans, nonhumans, and others, having heard the Buddha's teachings, greatly rejoiced. With faith, acceptance, and determination to carry out the teachings, they made obeisance and departed.