《The extract of the dharma discourse delivered by the Dharma King Living Buddha Lian-sheng during the Prabhutaratna Homa Ceremony at Taiwan Lei Tsang Temple on December 31, 2011》
(This excerpt contains only the dharma discourse on Prabhutaratna given on that day.)
Prabhutaratna Tathagata, the principal deity of today's Homa ceremony, is a great Buddha. It has been mentioned previously that few people are currently praying to, reciting or making offerings to this Buddha. Nevertheless, the Prabhutaratna stupas can be seen in many parts of Mainland China. The very first Prabhutaratna stupa that I have seen was in South Korea's *Xinzhou. One will find the Prabhutaratna stupa as one enters a famous Buddhist monastery in *Xhizhou. Also, there are a number of Prabhutaratna stupas on display in the Museum of Korean Buddhist Art. These are the stupas that I have seen built by the Koreans.
Prabhutaratna Buddha is known by many names. ''Baosheng Buddha,'' as found in the High King Avalokitesvara sutra, is also Prabhutaratna Tathagata. Wherein lies his nobleness? His level is equal to that of Shakyamuni Buddha's. In fact, he attained Buddhahood before Shakyamuni Buddha. At times, in a Prabhutaratna stupa, one may find only Prabhutaratna Tathagata himself. At other times, there are two Buddha statues sitting side-by-side. This phenomenon is indeed very rare and extraordinary that the space next to Prabhutaratna Tathagata is reserved for Shakyamuni Buddha. When Sakyamuni Buddha was transmitting the Lotus Sutra, a Prabhutaratna stupa appeared from the ether. Bearing witness to the Lotus Sutra, Prabhutaratna Tathagata exclaimed that, ''the Lotus Sutra taught by Sakyamuni Buddha is a true and authentic sutra.''
In other words, this sutra is a true discourse by the Buddha. In particular, whenever the Lotus Sutra is being preached, Prabhutaratna Tathagata will surely make an appearance. Indeed, a person has beared witness in Grandmaster's dharma discourse today. He is my father, the virtuous one Lu Ershun, whose appearance today is the glory of Taiwan Lei Tsang Temple. (Audience applause) Similarly, Prabhutaratna Tathagata made an appearance from the ether during Shakyamuni's dharma discourse. Bearing witness to the Lotus Sutra, Prabhutaratna Tathagata exclaimed that Shakyamuni Buddha's discourse of the Lotus Sutra is true and authentic buddhadharma.
Some people are of the opinion that the Prabhutaratna stupa emerged from below the earth and later on lifted up and soared into the ether. If one makes offerings and pays respect to Prabhutaratna Tathagata, he will bless one with lots of treasures in return. So for those attending this ceremony today, they will be blessed with a lot of celestial treasures flowing down from the ether. Prabhutaratna Tathagata is the principal deity of today's Homa ceremony. In contrast, however, only a few people have spoken about Prabhutaratna Tathagata, made fire offerings to him or cultivated his dharma. The reason for this is because shortly after Prabhutaratna Tathagata attained Buddhahood, he left samsara and entered into nirvana swiftly before sentient beings had the chance to be aware of him or his preaching of the dharma. Therefore, few sentient beings know about him. In the past, I have spoken about this, ''At this time, if you pray to Prabhutaratna Tathagata, he will bestow treasures to you.'' (Audience applause) The reason for that is not many pray to him. As one does pray to him, he feels particularly happy. For commonly known deities, such as Amitabha Buddha whom many pray to for blessings and whose name many recite daily, may have gotten so used to people chanting their names that they become less responsive to the chanting. Unless one makes a special effort in one's prayers that touches their hearts, it is less likely for one to be noticed by these deities. Prabhutaratna Tathagata or Baosheng Buddha, on the other hand, is a buddha not commonly known and therefore not frequently prayed to for blessings. Hence, Prabhutaratna Tathagata will be particularly happy if one suddenly recites his name and prays to him. Moreover, if one makes fire offerings to Prabhutaratna Tathagata, emotionally he will be overjoyed and high spirited, and as a result, he will bestow a lot of treasures to one. It is easy to achieve a spiritual union with Prabhutaratna Tathagata.
The mudra of Prabhutaratna Tathagata resembles a blossoming lotus flower, with a gap in between the two palms so that each palm represents half of the flower. His mantra is ''Namo-bo-hu-la, da-na-ye, da-ta-ge-da-ye.'' His seed syllable is ''Ah.'' He wears a red monk robe and his body is yellow. With his image, mudra and mantra, we are thus able to construct a Vajrayana dharma practice.
One will earn many merits by cultivating his dharma practice. Sentient beings who hear the name of Prabhutaratna Tathagata will possess sufficient wealth, obtain whatever they wish for and need, and benefit from it infinitely. As for ghosts, the blessings of reciting the name of Prabhutaratna Tathagata can eradicate their evil karma of having been stingy in many past lives. As a result of reciting the name of Prabhutaratna Tathagata, ghosts will obtain complete fortune and merit. This tathagata is the principal deity of enrichment practice in the Lotus Sutra. In particular, when the Lotus Sutra is being preached, the Prabhutaratna stupa would appear from below the earth, lift up and soar into the ether. In actual fact, Prabhutaratna is also a wealth god because he is the principal deity of the dharma for enrichment, namely a fortune god. Therefore, Grandmaster is wearing yellow and red today. Have a look! Dharma brother Qizhong is also wearing yellow today as he is aware that one needs to wear yellow for Prabhutaratna Tathagata to bestow wealth and treasures to oneself. How sharp is he! Hence, dharma brother Qizhong ought to be wealthy and prosperous too. The Prabhutaratna stupa is truly solemn and dignified. It really is exceptional.
*Note: Xhizhou was later corrected to Gyeongju by Grandmaster during his dharma talk on July 22, 2012.
An empowerment must be received from Living Buddha Lian-sheng or an authorized True Buddha School master before engaging in this particular sadhana.
Translated by Lynn Ang, translation accuracy edited by DJ Chang, and English proficiency edited by Zi Cheung Pang