12 Vows of The Medicine Buddha and Medicine Buddhas Sons

Living Buddha Dechan Jueren
Dari Rulai Temple, Los Angeles
Translated by: Jaliniprabhahumara
Transcribed by: Chanzi Decheng
17 June, 2000


Before I begin the lecture, the person, your son right? Deaf? Come here. Bring a chair for him, right in the center here. We will help him during the lecture. Can you read my lips or do you need… O.K. When we begin, don’t sign to him anymore. We want to see whether he can pick up the sound.

While I am healing him from the deaf problem, I will also teach you how to do this. How do you heal people born deaf, and born cannot speak? (Master describes dharma technique to heal deafness)

We’re looking for the paper right now. This kind of paper doesn’t work, too thick, more like Chinese calligraphy paper, or even thinner, there’s another type. Almost like rice paper, yeah. Rice paper. When you visualize, you have to focus, don’t wonder off half way. Today’s bring forth the light ceremony is a joyful occasion. But now we have a double joy because a few disciples brought in a statue of Bodhisattva. Of course, they thought it was a Kwan Yin. But that is not Kwan Yin Bodhisattva that is a Medicine Buddha’s assistant, the son of Medicine Buddha. This just happened like this, but its destiny, because we do have a Medicine Buddha right there. You cannot ask for it, it will just happen, the assistant will come to the Buddha.

The two of them together, they will be able to do more to bring out the power of Medicine Buddha and to save all living beings… That’s not the right paper, doesn’t work. Rice paper with kind of a little bit of shininess in there is best. Red doesn’t work very well. White is better. Jut the original color is better. That kind of rice paper you can get it everywhere in China, because that the only paper they have. In Japan they have a lot of this kind of rice paper, but here you don’t have it. I did bring some from China… (Master heals deaf person).

So they brought in that statue, I recognized that statue as Medicine Buddha’s assistant. So I chanted a mantra for that statue. I will tell you a story about the Medicine Buddha and his two sons, and their relationship, and their karmic tie together… We know that Medicine Buddha had made great vows to sacrifice himself for the happiness of the living. He saw the suffering, the pain of sickness, the harsh environment that caused problems for the people, so he decided to study plants, medicines, and how to help people. So in order to find cures for different kinds of sicknesses, he often used his own body, used himself as a guinea pig, to try the medicine he made himself. Of course, he tried everything and he was poisoned many times. So lets say if in the mountains, he was studying all these vegetations, and medicines, then without pen or paper, he would take very hard grass like a needle, and use the needle to carve out on his own arm his own forearms, and write out and record his own findings. So after he had studied and learned the nature of different types of vegetations, with his findings he was able to help a lot of people, and even animals when they got sick. But Medicine Buddha discovered, even though he could cure them of their physical ailments, they still got sick afterwards. Because they got sick after he healed them, he discovered that everyone’s mind is at a different place, at a different realm.

So he discovered the harsh environment caused a lot of problems for the living. It brought them sickness more than they would catch on their own, and also because their own mind. But what was more important; that people for their own selfish desire, then they would hurt one another. For their own selfishness, they would harm others, no matter what. Of course, there are some people in this world, for their own livelihood they will rob others, or they will steal from others. Then, there are those, for their own satisfaction, they will even commit murders. Every year there are wars that bring a lot of suffering to the people. He thought, these people are already so pitiful, but they saw those who broke the law and went to jail, and yet he will feel those who break the law are so hateful. But again, when they are in jail, then…they are suffering, in a way, even though they have done this for themselves, then he would feel their pain too.

There are those, for their own enjoyment of the moment, they will kill others. They have caused a lot of pain and brought a lot of suffering to the family members of the victim. If everyone learned of a person like this, they will say “lets get him”, because that not a good person, everybody will hate that person. Again, let’s say the government catches the criminal, and decided his punishment is execution, again, if you watch the execution you will have compassion for that person because you understand that’s a painful thing to go through.

Medicine Buddha also realized, even though you may occupy a position of power, a high political position, but still you have a lot of worries, in your heart, you have a lot of pain you are carrying. Every other ordinary people, for their life they have to work very hard, and they have to do all sorts of things in order to make a living. Then there are those who are so unlucky, they will run into a natural disaster, and they lose their home, and just go about everywhere begging for food. There are those who are born without hearing, born loss of speech, or born missing a leg or missing an arm, or born blind. All this suffering, all this pain, brings to the living a lot of inconvenience. So Medicine Buddha vowed what we call the 12 great vows of the Medicine Buddha.

In order to realize his 12 great vows, then he must attain to that high merit, and attain realization himself first. Once you have great merit, with great merit, that when, what we, the Chinese call it, Like a ship you will be able to carry everything. Then with your own merit you will be able to help those, because of their own karma from past life you can kind of, in a way, fill up the missing parts. For Medicine Buddha feels if you have a righteous heart, for someone who has a righteous heart in them, then if they want to go toward enlightenment. Medicine Buddha thought that, every living being because of different destiny, they may not have a chance to meet me in person.

As long as they will chant my name, the Medicine Buddha’s holy name, then I will help them with my power, and to save them from their sufferings. #1. If they will chant the Medicine Buddha’s holy name, I will save them from their sicknesses. #2. If they chant the holy name of Medicine Buddha, then they will avoid disasters and I will help them live a longer life. #3. Those who chant the holy name of Medicine Buddha will help themselves, and they will naturally avoid the sufferings from the natural environment. #4. Those who will chant the holy name of Medicine Buddha all their life, then no evilness, no ghost will come close to them. #5. If they chant the holy name of Medicine Buddha for all their life, then they will never run into fighting, bullets, guns, and so on. #6. If they chant the holy name of Medicine Buddha, if they are taking along journey to some other places, they will not run into robbers, they will have a safe trip back. #7. Those who were born with physical deficiencies, if they chant the names of the Medicine Buddha, then they will quickly dissolve that problem, and next life, they will strive toward light and have a better life. #8. Those who chant the holy name of Medicine Buddha all their life, in their heart, they will no longer have this pain, and they will have joy. #9. If someone chanted the name of Medicine Buddha, if they are in jail, then they will not feel they are in jail, they will not feel the pain and the suffering. #10. Those who chant the holy name of Medicine Buddha will naturally avoid all problems of what we call the 5 thunders of nature, thunderbolts.

We mean those 5 thunderbolts as the 5 elements. First, metal, which means, no knife will harm you. Wood element means all kinds of car accidents or transportation accidents. Water element means you will never be drowned. Fire element means you will never suffer from the fire, or you will never have a fire accident happen to you. The firth element, the earth, means you will not run into the accident or suffer from earthquakes, mudslides, etc. so what that means, the 5 elements the 5 thunderbolts, means the destruction of nature.

#11. Those who chant the holy name of Medicine Buddha all their life, if they are in jail, then they will not be harmed by the prison guards or by their jail mates. Last one, #12. Those who chant the holy name of Medicine Buddha, if they are facing execution, at that moment they will have no fear, and they will go to their next life, pure, with pure karma. Medicine Buddha had made 12 great vows to save all sentient beings.

So he studied all kinds of medicine, all kinds of vegetations, and accumulated great merits. Because he put all his heart into it, all his energy into it, so he forgot about his own family. For he had 2 sons. His 2 sons saw that their father never came home to take care of them and their mom. His sons felt anger toward the father for the pains of their mom. For their mom’s sake, the 2 sons fought with their father and argued with their father.

In the beginning, the Medicine Buddha felt that he had not done anything wrong. He felt that he was doing something to serve everyone; his family was only a small portion of the whole humanity. Later, Medicine Buddha realized he had already made a mistake. Even his own wife, his own sons, his own family, they were still just like a living being, and they also needed help like every living being. If he could not help even his own wife and his own sons, then how could he help and save others? So from that moment on, he vowed to give to his wife whatever he owed her, if he owed her. He would treat his wife with love and care and more attention. For his sons, he reasoned with logic and reasoning to change their thinking, their views, for he had never really spent much time with his own sons.

His sons had no emotional feeling or love toward their father. They didn’t understand what he was doing. Through his own family, he tried to change himself. Yet, not only did he have to change himself, but he also in a way had to guide the three persons of his own family. Medicine Buddha eventually decided he would bring along his two sons to the mountains. He decided to bring his two sons along with him on this journey, but he carried all the luggage. Wherever he heard there was a place where there were a lot of people getting sick or suffering from different kinds of things, then he would go there. They had journeyed to many different places for along time, and they had to suffer a lot of pain and harshness as they were traveling. As time went on, his two sons eventually realized what their father was doing. From that time on, his two sons wanted to carry the luggage for the father. They began to help their father out, they would cook and clean and do everything else. They would wash their father’s hair, wash their father’s feet, so they could free up more time for their father so he could think about ways of helping others. Through his own actions, his own deeds, he transformed his 2 sons, his own wife, and in a way he transformed all the people who met him.

Once his 2 sons realized about their father, they followed their father everywhere. They became the assistants of the Medicine Buddha, the 2 greatest assistants, or the 2 protectors of Medicine Buddha. Their names, one was called Dur Wei Li, the other was called Dur Wei Shen. Dur Wei Li means, all the merits I have, and they belong to everyone. Dur Wei Shen means, all the merits I have, respect everyone else as my own parents. Their merits, the two sons merits, became just like their own father, the Medicine Buddha merits, became shining without bounds through this whole universe. Today, we have this destiny, one of the sons of Medicine Buddha… (Changing tape)

… mudras of Medicine Buddha and visualization that goes along with that whole dharma. I will teach you the ways to chant medicine Buddha mantra. Do not think you are just like joking, and say it a couple of times and its going to work. For you have to chant the mantra, really get into it, and when that mantra is vibrating in such a way, that when things will happen. For an analogy, its like a TV. If we are watching a TV, you switch to a certain channel. If that channel is just slightly off, then you will not have good reception. So how long has it been since we began, almost 40 minutes? We will see if the red paper will work also. Open his eyes. (Master claps his hands, the deaf person responds to the sound. Master voices a syllable, the deaf person voices the same syllable back… everyone is astonished and amazed)

Kuo: That’s one, two three in Chinese.

(Master counts to 10 in Chinese, the deaf person repeats after him)

Master: So he had not been able to hear from 15 years, and could not speak at all. But I can only teach him Chinese! So talk to him, he will pick up some sounds. You have to do this all the time, everyday. If you don’t do this, he will become atrophied again. Then you will get him to follow you and make sounds, the more he uses his tongue… it will come beck again. The more he can hear, no matter what kind of sound, the sensitivity will come back. Everybody talk to him. Thats it for today.

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