Hsien P'usa: Samantabhadra
or Universal Virtue is known to the Chinese as Pu Hsien
and Fugen, to the Japanese. She is the personification
of love, sacred activity, virtue, diligent training
and patience. In the Chinese Pantheon she is seen in
the triad with Kuan Shih Yin (Compassion) and Wen-Shu
(Wisdom) as the Three Precious Bodhisattvas whose qualities
make up the Buddha's Essence. In many Japanese and Chinese
temples she is also found in the Trinity with Sakyamuni
Buddha and Wen-Shu Pusa (Manjusri).
of Pu Hsien usually show her seated on a white elephant
in various ways and holding a lotus flower or a scroll
or book. The elephant, normally in a standing posture,
may be crouching and may either have three heads or
one head with six tusks.
Hsien Fusa is well known for her limitless offerings
to the Buddhas as well as her Ten Great Vows, which
are directed towards benefiting sentient beings. They
To worship the Buddhas
2. To praise the Tathagatas.
3. To make offerings to all the Buddhas.
4. To confess past sins and to reform.
5. To rejoice in the virtues and happiness of others.
6. To request Buddha to preach the Law
7. To request Buddha to stay in the world.
8. To study the Dharma in order to teach it.
9. To benefit all sentient beings.
10. To transfer all merit and virtue to others.
Hsien's sacred abode in China is in the Ngo-Mei mountain
of the Szu-Chuan province.
Japan her devotees for prosperity as well as longevity
often worship her and there are some who also revere
her as the divine patron in their meditational practices.
the Sutra of Meditation on the Bodhisattva Universal
Virtue (Pu Hsien Fusa) the Buddha lavished great praises
on her and revealed that she was born in the Eastern
Pure Wonder Land. Meditators who practise this meditation
will generate great merits, which will free themselves
from all kinds of hindrances as well as allowing them
to see her excellent forms. The Buddha further gave
a vivid description of her as follows:
Bodhisattva Universal Virtue is boundless in the size
of her body, boundless in the sound of her voice, and
boundless in the form of her image. Desiring to come
to this world, she makes use of her divine transcendent
powers and shrinks her stature to the size of a human
being. She appears transformed as mounted on a great
white elephant which has six tasks (representing the
purity of the six senses). Under the legs of the elephant
lotus flowers grow. The whiteness of the elephant is
of the most brilliant of all shades of white which is
so pure that even crystal and the Himalaya Mountains
cannot compare with it!"
Lotus Sutra has done much to attract great numbers of
female devotees for Pu Hsien P'usa as they are promised
that they too could attain Buddhahood, which is described
in detail in the 10th Chapter of the Sutra. In Chapter
28 Pu Hsien Pusa also made this promise to the Buddha:
the latter five hundred years of the corrupt and evil
age, whoever receives and keeps this sutra I will guard
and protect, eliminate the anxiety of feeling away,
and give ease of mind. Wherever such a one walks or
stands, reading and reciting this sutra, I will at once
mount the six-tusked white elephant king and with a
host of great bodhisattvas go to that place and, showing
myself, will serve and protect (him) comforting his
mind, also thereby serving the Law-Flower Sutra. Moreover
I will give them dharanis, and obtaining these dharanis,
no human or nonhuman beings can injure them, nor any
woman beguile them"
further on, one hears the Buddha extolling Pu Hsien
with this promise: I, by my supernatural power, will
guard and protect those who are able to receive and
keep the name of the Bodhisattva Universal Virtue"
Hsien Fusa is not generally worshipped by the 'average
Buddhists as temples dedicated to her are very scarce.
However, those who would like to form a karmic link
with this great Bodhisattva may do so in most of the
Kuan Yin temples where her images can be found and one
of the most popular prayers to recite to her is:
TA HUNG PU HSIEN FUSN'
all other great Bodhisanvas she is able to grant those
who have firm faith in her, all kinds of favours that
they are seeking. Those who cultivate her dharma will
enjoy a longer life?span and they will most certainly
not fall into the three evil paths (animal, ghost and
hell realms) in their future lifetimes. Moreover, they
will be protected by Pu Hsien P'usa from the dangers
of flood, fire, war and poisonous food, and they will
be rewarded with position and abundant wealth. Many
a childless couple have also been known to be blessed
with children who are bright and healthy after praying
to her and, most important of all, she is able to impart
great wisdom, which will be the greatest help to any
cultivator who seeks the Way. The festive day of this
great Bodhisattva falls on the 21st day of the 2nd moon
and it is a great day for us to bring her to our heart.