sa_Saurashtra

Sahasrabhuja Sahasranetra Avalokiteshvara

sa_Saurashtra

Sahasra-bhuja Sahasra-netra Avalokiteśvara (Thousand Armed Thousand Eyed Avalokiteshvara) is one of the widely venerated forms of Avalokiteśvara. He has 48 principal arms which hold various instruments, and the rest of the arms form a background. He has an eye in each of those thousand palms. 

 

In the Kāraṇḍavyūha Sutra, Avalokiteshvara enters the Avici hells, to save the beings there. He converts the fire pits into cool refreshing pools, and makes the Avici Naraka a paradise.  The Guardians report this to Yama. Yama wonders whether the being who had done such a transformation, was “Shiva”, “Vishnu”, a “Rakshasa” or some other supernatural being. When seen through his divine eyes, he finds Avalokiteshvara there.

 

He then appears before Avalokiteshvara, he places his head at the feet of avalokiteesvara and worships Him. He utters the following praises on Avalokitesvara:

namo’stvavalokiteśvarāya, maheśvarāya, padmaśriye, varadāya, vaśaṁkarāya, pṛthivīvaralocanakarāya, jagadāśvāsanakarāya, śatasahasrabhujāya, koṭīśatasahasranetrāya, ekādaśaśīrṣāya, vaḍavāmukhaparyantāya,[…]

 

namo’stvavalokiteśvarāya, maheśvarāya, padmaśriye, varadāya, vaśaṁkarāya, pṛthivīvaralocanakarāya, jagadāśvāsanakarāya, śatasahasrabhujāya,koṭīśatasahasranetrāya, ekādaśaśīrṣāya, vaḍavāmukhaparyantāya,[…]

 

The words in bold reads “Hundred-Thousand-Armed” , “Ten-Million-Hundred-Thousand-Eyed“, “Eleven-Headed“. The God of Death, Yama praises Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara as having hundred-thousand-arms and Ten-millions times that amount of Eyes. But interestingly his heads seems to be constant – always counting to Eleven

 

There are lots of hymns praising the Thousand Armed Avalokitesvara, the most popular one is the “Mahā Karuṇā Dhāraṇī“, popularly known as the Great Compassion Mantra.However there are other less known hymns to the Thousand Armed Avalokiteshvara, many of such hymns are presented in Lokesh Chandra’s book, “Thousand Armed Avalokitsvara“.

 

One Such hymn is from Caryā Kalpa of the Thousand Armed Avalokitesvara recorded by Amoghavajra 

 

Corrected Text by Lokesh Chandra by comparing Taisho 1056 & 1062B) (From his Book)


namo ratnatrayāya

nama āryāvalokiteśvarāya bodhisattvāya mahāsattvāya mahākāruṇikāya

mahāvīrāya sahasrākṣāya sahasraśīrṣāya sahasrapadāya sahasrajihvāya sahasrabhujāya

ehi bhagavann āryāvalokiteśvara 

ugra atyugra mahāugra mahānāda

kili kili kili kili

mili mili mili (mili)

cili cili cili cili

naṭa naṭa naṭa naṭa

hasa hasa hasa hasa

kuru kuru kuru kuru

ehyehi mahāvīra

balaṁ dada vīryaṁ dada

sarva kāmaṁ me prayaccha

śīghraṁ vaśaṁ me 

rāṣṭraṁ sarājakaṁ kuru

sahasrabhuja sahasravīra lokeśvara

sādhaya sadā siddhiṁ me

bhava varado bhavāgro bhava me

oṁ namo’stute bhagavann āryāvalokiteśvara

prabudhya prasīda naḥ 

varado mama bhavāhi svāhā

 

* Lokesh Chandra’s text has 3 mili’s, but it is more consistent to have 4 mili’s.

 

The Corrupted Version as recorded in the Chinese Tripitaka : CBETA Reader : Taisho No. 1062B 

 

namo ratna trayāya 

namaḥ āryavalokiteśvarāya bodhisatvāya mahāsatvāya mahākāruṇikāya

makāvīrāya sahasrākṣāya sahasraśīṣāya sahasrapadaya sahasrajidvāya sahasrabhujāya

ehi bhagavaṃ nāryāvalokiteśvara

ugra atmagra mahāugra mahānāda 

kili kli kili kili 

mili mili mili 

cili cili cili cili 

naṭu naṭu naṭu naṭu 

krasa krasa krasa krasa 

kuru kuru kuru kuru

ehyehi mahāvīra

valaṃ dada vīryaṃ dada 

savaṃ kāmaṃ me 

prayaccha śīghraṃ vaśaṃ me 

rāṣṭra sarājakaṃ kuru 

sahasrabhuja sahasravīra lokeśvara 

sādhaya sadā siddhiṃ me 

bhava dharado bhava agro bhavāmi 

oṃ namostute bhagavaṃ tnāryāvalokiteścara 

prapudhya prasīda maḥ 

varado mama bhavāhi svāhā

 

The Corrupted Version as recorded in the Chinese Tripitaka : CBETA Reader : Taisho No. 1056 Fascicle 2


namo ratnatrayāya 

namaḥ āryāvalākiteśvarāya bodhisatvāya mahāsatvāya mahākāruṇikāya

mahāvīrāya sahasrākṣāya sahasraśīṣāya sahasrapadāya sahasrajihvāya sahasrabhujāya 

ehā bhagavaṃ nāryāvalokiteśvara 

ugra ātyugra mahāugra mahāmahānāda 

kili kili kili kili 

mili mili mili mili 

cili cili cili cili 

naṭu naṭu naṭu naṭu naṭu 

krasa krasa krasa krasa 

kuru kuru kuru kuru kuru

ehyehi mahāvīra valaṃ dada vīryaṃ dada

savaṃ hāmaṃ me prayaccha 

śīghraṃ vaśaṃ me

rāṣṭra sarājakaṃ kuru 

sahasrabhuja sahasravīra lokeśvara 

sādhaya sadā siddhiṃ me 

bhadharado bhavagro abhavāmi 

oṃ namostute bhagavaṃ tnāryāvalokiteśvara 

prapudhya prasīda maḥ

varado mama bhavāhi svāhā 

 

CBETA reader gives various footnotes or alternate readings (I am not sure what those references in the middle of the text mean) for the above text. Replacing the sensible alternate forms (some alternates dont make any sense) gives the following version.

 

namo ratnatrayāya 

namaḥ āryāvalokiteśvarāya bodhisatvāya mahāsatvāya mahākāruṇikāya

mahāvīrāya sahasrākṣāya sahasraśīrṣāya sahasrapādāya sahasrajihvāya sahasrabhujāya 

ehā bhagavaṃ āryāvalokiteśvara 

ugra ātyugra mahāugra mahāmahānāda 

kili kili kili kili 

mili mili mili mili 

cili cili cili cili 

naṭu naṭu naṭu naṭu naṭu 

krasa krasa krasa krasa 

kuru kuru kuru kuru kuru

ehyehi mahāvīra valaṃ dada vīryaṃ dada

sarva hāmaṃ me prayaccha 

śīghraṃ vaśaṃ me

rāṣṭra sarājakaṃ kuru 

sahasrabhuja sahasravīra lokeśvara 

sādhaya sadā siddhiṃ me 

bhadharado bhava agro bhavāmi 

oṃ namostute bhagavaṃ āryāvalokiteśvara 

prapudhya prasīda māṃ

varado mama bhavāhi svāhā 

 

This hymn expands the appearance of Avalokitesvara as having Thousand Heads (Sahasra-Shirsha), Thousand Feet (Sahasara-Pada) & Thousand Tounges (Sahasra-Jihva). One cannot but compare this form to the Vedic Purusha. The Purusha Sukta in Rig Veda explains the primordial Purusha,as having “Thousand Heads”, “Thousand Eyes”, “Thousand Feet”. ( sahasraśīrṣā puruṣaḥ sahasrākṣaḥ sahasrapāt ). The followers of the Vedic religion believe that, it is from this Vedic Purusha’s body, the entire universe along with all the deities had emerged .

 

It is also to be noted that, in the Karandavyuha Sutra, Avalokiteshvara takes the role of this primordial Purusha emanating all the Vedic gods from his body. (See: Srishtikarta Lokeshvara) The description of  Avalokiteshvara as having Thousand Heads, Feet and Tougues must be seen as echoing this of Nature of Avalokiteshvara. He is completely metamorphosed into the Vedic Purusha. No wonder, He is known to take any forms to teach the Dharma !

 

Siddham Variations

One important thing that could be noted in these various recessions is that, some of the corruptions occur due to misreading of the closely-resembling siddham characters.

 

bha,va,ba are very similar in appearance, which may cause some amount of confusion. See Jayarava’s post here

 

bhava dharado (T. 1062B) is actually bhava varado. valaṃ (1056 & 1062B) is balaṃ. 

 

sahasrajidvāya (T. 1062B) is sahasrajihvāya (T. 1056), This has occured due to the fact that dva & hva look similar.

 

I have no idea why ha & ka are interchanged. They are usually visually distinct.

 

T. 1062B mavīrāya (for mavīrāya) ::  T.1056 maṃ (for maṃ)

ma_grantha

Mahamayuri Vidyarajni

ma_granthaMahāmāyūrī Vidyārājñī also known as “[Great] Peacock Wisdom Queen” (Literal Translation of the Sanskrit)  is a [peaceful looking] wrathful deity in Mahayana. She is known as Kujaku Myo-o in Japanese.  She is generally associated with the removal of poisons. 

Mahamayuri Devi belongs to the class of deities called “Vidyārājas” (Wisdom Kings). She is one of the Pañcarakṣā Devi’s [Five protection Deities] in the Nepalese Tradition. The others being “Mahāpratisarā“, “Mahāsāhasra-pramardinī“, “Mahāśītavatī“, & “Mahāmantrānusāriṇī

From the Iconography of Nepalese Buddhism :

According  to  the  Mahamayuri  sutra  of  Pancaraksha, there was  a bhiksu  called  venerable Svati. He was newly ordained  in  the Buddhist  community  of monks. He was unfortunately bitten by a poisonous snake and  fainted. On seeing his condition venerable Ananda reported this incident to Buddha Shakyamuni. Lord Buddha, out of compassion for the newly ordained monk and the future ones, disclosed a dharani which was capable of eliminating poisonous harm and malignant diseases. This was the dharani of Arya Mahamayuri.

There  is  another  story  about  this  deity. There  was a golden King peacock in the Himalayan mountain who used to recite Mahamayuri dharani with great devotion. It so happened one day that this king went along with his family to travel  in  the mountain  forgetting  to  recite  the dharani  that day. He was caught by hunters. thinking of his forgetfulness of the dharani he immediately began to recite and was able to free himself. Thee Buddha told Ananda that the peacock king called  Suvarnavabhasa  (i.e.  golden  coloured  one)  was  none other than Buddha Shakyamuni himself.  Thus this dharani is believed to be efcacious in all cases of dangers as well as for relieving poisonous harms.

According  to  the  Mahamayuri  sutra  of  Pancaraksha,
there was  a bhiksu  called  venerable Svati. He was newly or-
dained  in  the Buddhist  community  of monks. He was  un-
fortunately bitten by a poisonous snake and  fainted. On see-
ing his condition venerable Ananda reported this incident to
Buddha Shakyamuni. Lord Buddha, out of compassion for the
newly ordained monk and the future ones, disclosed a dharani
which was capable of eliminating poisonous harm and malig-
nant diseases. is was the dharani of Arya Mahamayuri.
ere  is  another  story  about  this  deity. ere  was  a
golden King peacock in the Himalayan mountain who used

The Mahāmayūrī vidyā seems to have appeared originally in the  “Bhaiṣajya Vastu” of the “Sarvāstivāda Vinaya” , from, which other derivations must have occured.

From Bulletin of Tibetology  – A Dharani Mantra of Vinayavastu :

(The paper summarizes the presence of this Vidya in the Sarvastiva Vinaya, as an early indication of Tantra in Pre-Schismatic Buddhism)

[…] It is interesting to note that ‘Mahamayuri-Mantra’ had been prescribed by Sakyaputra Gautama, the Buddha, himself when a monk was not cured in spite of the treatment of a Vaidya from his snake-bit. The account is mentioned in the Bhaisajya-vastu (T. Sman gyi gzhi) of the Mulasarvastivada Vinaya vastu (‘Dul ba gzhi: Bka’ – ‘gyur. Nge. Vol. Peking Edn). As usual the method of narrating an account in the vinaya-texts is observed here. A monk named Sari (Skt. Svati) had a snake-bite.

In this connection a legend of the Peacock-king named suvarna-prabhasa depicts the efficacy of the Mahamayuri-Vidya who had bee conversant in the Vidya. He was in the right side of the Himalaya mountain when he was caught hold in a net of an enemy at the midnight after allure in the company of the peahens around him. He however regained his memory and chanted the Vidya. Thereafter, he could run away. The net was broken off.

[…] It becomes evident that the Vidya in Sanskrit had been prevalent in India […]

In course of time the Mahamayuri Vidya became prominent for its power to sope snakes biting and it was called Vidyarajni. (Queen of the secret sciences. The Vidya was included in the list of the five protecting Dharanis (Parncaraksa) […]

The Vidya of Mahamayuri

The Vidya of Mahamayuri as seen in the Bhaisajyavastu, from the e-text of Goettingen State and University Library.

There are two different versions of the Vidya. The Buddha says the first version, to cure the Bhikshu Svati, and the second version as the Peacock King to free himself from the net.

First Version of the Vidya:

 


namo buddhāya namo dharmāya namaḥ saṃghāya
 
tadyathā amale vimale nirmale maṃgale hiraṇye hiraṇyagarbhe bhadre subhadre samantabhadre śrībhadre sarvārthasādhani paramārthasādhani sarvānarthapraśamani sarvamaṅgalasādhani manase mānase mahāmānase acyute adbhute atyadbhute mukte mocani mokṣaṇi araje viraje amṛte amare amaraṇi brahme brahmasvare pūrṇe pūrṇamanorathe mukte jīvati rakṣa svātiṃ sarvopadravabhayarogebhyaḥ svāhā 
 

 

 

Second Version of the Vidya: 

[ namo buddhāya namo dharmāya namaḥ saṃghāya ]

 

tadyathā amale vimale nirmale maṅgalye hiraṇye hiraṇyagarbhe bhadre subhadre samantabhadre śrībhadre sarvārthasādhani paramārthasādhani sarvānarthapraśamani sarvamaṅgalyasādhani manasi mānasi mahāmānasi acyute adbhute atyadbhute mukte mocani mokṣaṇi araje viraje amare amṛte amaraṇi brahme brahmasvare pūrṇe pūrṇamanorathe vimukte jīvati rakṣa māṃ sarvopadravebhyaḥ svāhā

 

Apart from the variation such as Mangale/Mangalye Manse/Manasi etc [which I think is mostly due to manuscript variations ] between the two versions, note the Italicized portions. In the first version, when the Buddha proclaims the vidya to save the Bhikshu Svati he says, “rakṣa svātiṃ” (Protect Svati), and in the second version, as the Peacock Suvarnaprabhasa, when remembering the dharani to help himself out,  the buddha says “rakṣa māṃ” (Protect Me).

Similar to that noted by Jayarava here, this could be an example of a “Template-style-dharani” too – The Pattern to be matched is  Raksha <<object in accusative case>>. 

Notes:

  1. The e-text has “rakṣā svātiṃ” which must be a typo. The BoT has “rakṣa svātiṃ”, which seems to be correct  “Protect<<imperative>> Me<<accusative>>”, and matches more with the second version of the dharani. I have followed the later.

 

 

Image

 

 

The Image of Mahamayuri in full resolution: http://www.lifetv.org.tw/downlond/provide/佛母大孔雀明王a.jpg (1000 X 1687)