Manjusri’s Great Vow

Here is some text which was chanted during the Festival Ceremony for Manjusri Bodhisattva back in October. Note the utter expansiveness within this piece. Listen to the heart within the words. It speaks of compassion does it not?

Now, in the presence of the entire assembly, I bring forth Bodhicitta for the sake of all sentient beings.
I vow to involve myself in samsara countless times to bring great boons to living beings until the end of the future.
I shall cultivate all the Bodhisattva’s deeds to save living beings from their sufferings.
From this moment on, if I break my vow and become greedy, miserly or resentful, I shall be deceiving the Buddhas in the ten directions.
From today until the day I realise enlightenment, I shall always follow the Buddhas in cultivating pure conduct; I shall observe the pure precepts and commit no misdeeds.
I shall not cherish the ideas of realising Buddhahood in haste, but until the end of the future, I shall benefit all living beings, and adorn and purify incalculable, inconceivable Buddha-lands.
My name shall be heard throughout the worlds in the ten directions.
Now I prophesy on my own behalf that I shall without fail become a Buddha. Because my aspiration is superior and pure, I have no doubt of my achievement.
I shall purify my words, thoughts and deeds and let no trace of evil arise. In accordance with this sincere vow, I shall eventually become a Buddha, an Honoured One among human beings.
If my vow is truly sincere, may the six kinds quakes shake the great earth! If my words are genuine and not false, may musical instruments sound spontaneously in the air!
I am free of flattery or resentment; If this is true, may flowers of the coral tree rain down!

When the king, who was then Manjusri Bodhisattva, had spoken this verse, the six kinds of quakes shook billions of Buddha-lands in the ten directions, musical instruments sounded in the air and flowers of the coral tree rained down, all because the king’s vow was sincere. At that time two billion of the king’s attendants rejoiced in ecstasy. They said to themselves with delight, “We shall realise supreme enlightenment,” and thus followed the king’s example engendering Bodhicitta.

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4 thoughts on “Manjusri’s Great Vow”

  1. What a very impactful verse especially this section I find.
    “I shall cultivate all the Bodhisattva’s deeds to save living beings from their sufferings.
    From this moment on, if I break my vow and become greedy, miserly or resentful, I shall be deceived the Buddhas in the ten directions.
    From today until the day I realise enlightenment, I shall always follow the Buddhas in cultivating pure conduct; I shall observe the pure precepts and commit no misdeeds.
    I shall not cherish the ideas of realising Buddhahood in haste, but until the end of the future, I shall benefit all living beings, and adorn and purify incalculable, inconceivable Buddha-lands.”

    But I do wonder about the line “I shall be deceived the Buddhas in the ten directions.” I don’t seem to understand that part or perhaps it is a translation issue.

    With Bows,

    Mike

  2. Hi Mike, glad to see you here againe. Sorry to deceive you the word in the verse should be _deceiving_! Makes more sense now. I’ll fix the mistake later on today. Snow here in Northumberland this morning. Edmonton came to mind as I cleared off the quilt of snow from a car.

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