Usnisa Vijaya Dharani Sutra was translated in a total of eight times from Sanskrit to Chinese between 679-988 CE. This potent sutra gained wide circulation in China, and its practices have been used since the Tang dynasty, from which it then spread to the rest of East Asia.
This sutra is connected with Mount Wutai, which in the Chinese Buddhist tradition is considered the bodhimanda of Manjusri. Sacred stone tablets with the sutra carved into them have been distributed broadly in a few areas of the Far East.
Moreover, the sutra originated from a blessing given to a man named Devaputra Susthila. This man now lives in one of the great Primordial Worlds of Heaven, because of his past actions on earth, after his death, he was destined to fall into the animal realm for seven successive lives. Following that, he would fall into hell to endure incredible sufferings.
Only after he had undergone this punishment in hell would he be born as a human. Even then, he would be born in a poor and disreputable family. He was then destined to be born without eyes for seven hundred successive lifetimes.
Before his death, Devaputra prayed to the Lord of Heaven for benevolence. Out of empathy for Devaputra Susthita, the Amida Buddha gave him a great blessing. According to the legend, The Amida Buddha, together with more than 100 million other Buddhas, proclaimed The Usnisa Vijaya Dharani for Devaputra.
Instantly, various beams of light emanated from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet, enlightening the world in all ten directions.
In this way, Devaputra Susthita was liberated from falling into the paths of lower existence.
Usnisa Vijaya Dharani Sutra benefits:
The motivation of this sutra is said to be to help sentient beings in a troubled and tumultuous world. Furthermore, according to this sutra, living beings will leave suffering and obtain happiness, increase in their prosperity and longevity, satisfy all wishes and aspirations, remove karmic obstacles and hindrances, eliminate disasters and catastrophes, remove enmity and hatred, and quickly be led onto the Buddha’s way.
It is held by some that when the mantra is heard, it can imbue the Alaya consciousness with immaculate seeds that will help to lead one to Buddhahood.
According to the text, major benefits of this mantra include:
- Request for rain;
- Eliminate offenses and make good deeds (actions);
- Purify all karmic hindrances and obstructions;
- Increase blessings and lengthen lifespan;
- Relieve beings in the ghost realm;
- Benefit birds, animals, and all crawling creatures;
- Increase wisdom;
- Revert the fixed karma;
- Eliminate different disease and sickness;
- Guarantee the safety of the households, and having youngsters to inherit the family pride;
- Harmonize husbands and wives;
- Be able to reborn in the Land of Ultimate Bliss or various Buddhalands;
- Heal sickness inflicted by ghosts and spirits;
- Annihilate calamities and rescue those in difficulties.
To cite the Sutra, “… if somebody hears this Dharani even for one minute, he won’t experience karmic retribution from the evil karma and severe hindrances accumulated from millions of lifetimes, that would otherwise cause him to revolve in the cycles of birth and death – in all kinds of life forms in the evil paths – hell, hungry ghost, ferocious animals, crawling creatures and even ants and other life forms … he will be reborn in the Buddhalands, together with all the Buddhas, or in a recognized, wealthy and reputable family.
More importantly, the sutra additionally states, “… If one can chant this Dharani 21 times daily, he is worthy of accepting all the immense worldly offerings and will be reborn in the Land of Ultimate Bliss after his passing.
If one chants this Dharani continually, he will attain a form of enlightenment and be able to lengthen his lifespan besides enjoying the most extraordinary happiness … ”
According to the Records of the Teaching of the Sutra by Great Dharma Master Fa Cong (in the Tang dynasty), the great and amazing benefits of this Dharani can be sorted into ten doors as follows:
- The door of universally attaining purity.
- The door of revealing the Dharma Body.
- The door of accomplishing Nirvana.
- The door of Vajra offering.
- The door of lengthening the lifespan.
- The door of spiritual power protection.
- The door of integrating concentration and wisdom.
- The door of good and brightness initiation.
- The door of taking refuge under the sages.
- The door of purifying evil paths.