Shurangama Mantra - The King of Mantra
The Shurangama Samadhi is a solid samadhi
that heavenly demons and unbelievers cannot destroy.
It gives rise to limitless wisdom.
Why does the Shurangama Mantra have so many advantages? Because by reciting it, one can enter the Shurangama Samadhi. The Great Shurangama Samadhi is neither samadhi nor non-samadhi; thus there is no time when one is not in samadhi. As it is said,
The naga is constantly in samadhi;
There is no time when he is not in samadhi.
The Shurangama Samadhi is a solid samadhi that heavenly demons and externalists cannot destroy, and it gives rise to limitless wisdom. Why does one want to enter samadhi? Entering samadhi is like visiting Disneyland; there are both delightful and scary events, and you see and hear things you never saw or heard before. In samadhi, one is
Thus, thus, unmoving;
Clear and constantly bright.
One is not influenced by mental states; instead, one can influence all states. These are the advantages of entering the Shurangama Samadhi. Without the Shurangama Samadhi, one will be influenced by mental states. One will follow whatever comes up and be pulled away by it. That won't happen if one is in the Shurangama Samadhi.
The eyes see forms,
but inside there is nothing.
The ears hear sounds,
but the mind does not know.
If one recognizes what one sees,
one can transcend the world.
If one is confused by what one sees,
one will sink and drown.
While in samadhi, one can gain boundless wisdom, for samadhi is said to produce wisdom. If you do not enter samadhi, you cannot activate your wisdom. By analogy, if you don't go to Disneyland, you won't know what's there. If you do go, you'll discover that there are pirates and ghost towns. A certain layperson has asked me several times to go to Disneyland and take a look, thinking I haven't seen what's in there. Actually, all those different forms of amusement aren't that special. It is not known how many things we have seen during all these limitless eons! But after seeing them, we have forgotten about them. If we could remember these things, we wouldn't need to go see them again.
So, the Shurangama Mantra was not spoken by Shakyamuni Buddha himself in the flesh, but rather it was proclaimed by the transformation-body Buddha he sent out into empty space. As to the mantra, no one understands it. Nor is it possible to explain it syllable by syllable and line by line. But if you want to understand it, I can try to explain it for you. However, this is not the time for that, because we are in the middle of the explanation of the Shurangama Sutra, and the mantra alone couldn't be completely explained in a year, or even in three years, or even ten years. So, at this point it cannot be explained thoroughly. I will simply explain the general meaning of the mantra.
The mantra has five divisions which correspond to the five directions : north, south, east, west, and the middle. The eastern division is the Vajra division, with Akshobhya Buddha as the teaching host. The southern division is the Production-of-Jewels division, with Production-of-Jewels Buddha as the teaching host. The central division is the Buddha division, with Shakyamuni Buddha as the teaching host. The western division is the Lotus division, with Amitabha Buddha as the teaching host. The northern division is the Karma division, with Accomplishment Buddha as the teaching host. There are five divisions, because there are five huge demonic armies in this world. There are demons to the east, south, west, north, and in the center. Since there are these five demon armies, not just five demons, the Buddhas also cover the five directions to suppress the demons. If there were no Buddhas, the demons could appear openly in the world.
Within the five divisions of the mantra there are, in general, more than thirty dharmas, and it has more than a hundred dharmas that can be discussed in detail. There are five major kinds of dharmas:
1) Dharmas of accomplishment. This means that with this dharma, you will be successful in what you seek or in what you vow or wish for.
2) Dharmas of increasing benefit. This means that when you recite this mantra, you can increase benefits which you yourself seek and you can also increase benefits for other people.
3) Dharmas of hooking and summoning. This means, literally, to "hook in" and catch and to call with a command all the weird beings, demons, and ghosts. No matter how far away they might be from you, you can bring them in and capture them. For instance, suppose one of them is harming someone, and when they finish they run away. If one knows how to use the dharma of hooking and summoning, then no matter how far that being may have run, you can arrest him.
4) Dharmas of subduing. Demons also have spiritual penetrations and mantras which they use. When you recite your mantras, they recite their mantras. But if you can use the Shurangama Mantra, you can smash through all their mantras. I've told you before about the section of the mantra which is for smashing the demon kings. It also is effective in destroying their mantras and spells. Although I've taught you this already, it bears repeating here. Those who have not studied this yet can take note of it. Why was it that as soon as the Shurangama Mantra was recited the former Brahma Heaven mantra lost its effectiveness? It was because of the "Five Great Heart Mantras."
Chr Two Ni (叱陀你)
E Jya La (阿迦囉)
Mi Li Ju (密唎柱)
Bwo Li Dan La Ye (般唎怛囉耶)
Ning Jye Li (儜揭唎)
These five lines are called the "Five Great Heart Mantras." It is the fundamental mantra for destroying the mantras and spells of the heavenly demons and adherents of externalist ways. It doesn't matter what kind of mantra they come up with; you can destroy it with this one. Their mantras will lose their effectiveness. This dharma I've just transmitted could sell for several million dollars, but I do not sell it. Seeing that you have a certain amount of sincerity, I transmit it to you absolutely free.
5) Dharmas of dispelling disasters. Whatever calamity is due to occur can be prevented. For instance, suppose a person was due to fall into the sea and drown, but by reciting the Shurangama Mantra, he avoids the catastrophe. He might fall into the sea, but he doesn't drown. Perhaps you are in a boat that ought to sink, but you recite this mantra and the boat does not go down. Maybe you're in an airplane that is destined to crash, but you recite the Shurangama Mantra and the plane lands without incident. I'll tell you something incredible. I was going from Burma to Thailand, an air route that is particularly dangerous. But during that trip, the plane didn't show the effects of any turbulence. The ride was absolutely smooth. Even the pilot commented, "Why has it been such smooth going on this trip?" He had no idea that during that ride the gods, dragons, and the rest of the eightfold division, as well as Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, were on all sides of the airplane guarding and protecting it. That's the way the dharma of dispelling disasters works. When there clearly should be an accident, it can change big disasters to small ones and make small ones never even happen. Usually what happens is there's "alarm but no danger" if you recite the Shurangama Mantra.
In general, the mantra contains dharmas of auspiciousness. This means that when you recite the Shurangama Mantra, everything goes just as you'd like it to. It's really lucky and extremely auspicious.
The advantages of the mantra are so many that one could not even begin to express them in several years time. But at this time, I'll limit my explanation to these few dharmas and meanings.