(Following is an excerpt of Dharma King Living Buddha Lian-sheng discourse on Skanda Bodhisattva, Nov. 12, 2011, at Taiwan Lei Tsang Temple.)
Today, we conducted a homa ceremony for Weituo, who is the dharma protector Skanda Bodhisattva. In most temples in Taiwan, one will find two great protectors. One is the dharma protector Skanda Bodhisattva. The other is the dharma protector Sangharama Bodhisattva. In temples in mainland China, after passing the first heavenly gate and entering the main temple, the first thing one sees will be the Four Heavenly Kings. These are namely, Heavenly King of Learning, Heavenly King Who Upholds his Country, Heavenly King of Increase and Growth, and Heavenly King of the Broad Eyes. The Four Heavenly Kings directly face Maitreya Bodhisattva, who is the future buddha. Upon turning around, one will see the dharma protector Skanda Bodhisattva, who always faces the main hall. Statues of Sakyamuni Buddha, Medicine Buddha, and Amitabha Buddha are located in the main hall.
Skanda Bodhisattva is quite famous. After Shakyamuni was cremated, a large number of relics were found in his ashes. Ghost monsters called Non-human stole the relics and quickly ran away. At that very moment Skanda appeared. Skanda, who is foremost in the Divine Foot, went flying after the ghost monsters, caught them, and retrieved the stolen relics. This was the dharma protector Skanda.
In temples in Taiwan, one will find Skanda Bodhisattva and Sangharama Bodhisattva neatly and properly arranged. What is great about Skanda Bodhisattva? To put it simply, the first buddha of the first thousand buddhas of the Auspicious Aeon is Lotus Light Buddha. The first buddha of the second thousand buddhas of the Auspicious Aeon will be Rudita Buddha. No one knows who Rudita Buddha is, but it turns out that Rudita Buddha is none other than Skanda Bodhisattva. (applause) The first buddha of the third thousand buddhas of the Auspicious Aeon will be Maitreya Bodhisattva, that is, Maitreya Buddha.
We visited the eight great sacred sites in India. The first of these sites, Lumbini, is where Sakyamuni was born. The second sacred site is Deer Park. This is where Sakyamuni converted the five monks. The third site is Bodh Gaya. This is where Sakyamuni attained enlightenment under the bodhi tree. The next site is Vulture Peak in Rajagaha, where Shakyamuni discoursed the Buddhadharma. Then there is Kalaṇḍaka Veṇuvana where Sakyamuni lived. The next sacred site is Jetavana Grove where Sakyamuni also lived for a period of time. There is also the famous sacred site of Kushinagar where Sakyamuni entered parinirvana under a sal tree and was cremated. Some of these sacred sites are in India and some are in Nepal. Lumbini is in Nepal. Kushinagar is where the Buddha entered parinirvana and was cremated. This is also where the dharma protector Skanda retrieved Sakyamuni's relics.
In the future, when dharma protector Skanda Bodhisattva attains Buddhahood, he will be called Rudita Buddha. Rudita Buddha will be the first buddha of the second thousand of the three thousand buddhas of the Auspicious Aeon. He has a wonderful background and is truly magnificent.
Skanda's mudra is the Vajra Mudra. His mantra is ''Om。 wei-tuo-tian-duo。ma-ha-tian-duo。 so-ha。'' (Grandmaster recites the mantra). One recites the mantra and forms the mudra.
Everyone knows about dharma protector Skanda Bodhisattva. His image is the same as the statue we can see from the main hall of our temple. He carries a demon subjugating sceptre in his hand. His image, mantra, and mudra constitute a sadhana for practice. What is the capability of Skanda? Skanda is the future Rudita Buddha and therefore capable of doing anything.
Today we conducted a homa for the dharma protector Skanda Bodhisattva. We pray to Skanda to protect those participating in the ceremony and those registered for the ceremony. May everyone have good health and success in their undertakings (applause); may all netherworld beings be delivered to the pure land; may the blessing light increase our good fortune and wisdom; may we have perfect love and respect; and may Skanda's demon subjugating sceptre vanquish our enemies and drive away our karmic creditors. (applause)
Translated by TBTTs (sections relevant to Skanda Bodhisattva only)
Translator: Henry Wolf
Editor: DJ Chang