True Buddha Dharma-character Treasury - Mahabala

On Sunday, Mar. 24, 2024, 3:00 PM, at Rainbow Temple, True Buddha School Dharma King Living Buddha Lian-sheng Sheng-yen Lu will preside over a Mahabala Homa Ceremony, discourse the Vimalakirti Sutra, and bestow empowerment for Mahabala Uncommon Practice. (Live Webcast Link:

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【Mahabala Mudra :】

Form the Tarjani Mudra by holding both the right and left hands in front of the chest, facing outwards as shown in the diagram above.

【Mahabala Seed Syllable :】


【Mahabala Mantras :】
Heart Mantra:「Om。ma-ha-ba-la-ye。so-ha。」
Ghost Prohibiting Mantra:「Om。ma-ha-ba-la-ye。hum-hum-pei。」

【Mahabala Dharmalakṣaṇa Brief Introduction】
The color of Mahabala's vajra body can be blue, red, yellow, or white. He has one face and four arms. His left leg is extended outward while the right leg is bent. His golden hair stands straight up and is bound with snakes. His fangs are exposed. He wears a tiger skin skirt and sunlight jewels on his crown with Amitabha as his crown ornament. (There are five sunlight jewels which are white, very white. Above each of the sunlight jewels is an Amitabha.)

One of his four arms holds a staff - to knock enemies out.
One of his four arms holds a lasso - to bind.
One of his four arms holds a whisk - to sweep away karmic hindrances.
One of his four arms forms the Tarjani Mudra - to express subjugation.

【Living Buddha Lian-sheng Sheng-yen Lu Dharma Discourse - Mahabala Background and Key Cultivation Formula】
Mahabala is a truly extraordinary vajra deity of the True Buddha School (TBS). He represents TBS lineage. One will not find this deity's image anywhere but within TBS as he is the great Dharma protector of TBS.

Although one may find Mahabala in Tibet, his practice is not widespread. There are only a few who know about this deity and cultivate his practice.

''Mahabala'' means ''mighty Dharma protector.'' He has vowed to protect TBS. His crown ornament is Amitabha. On a thangka, Amitabha should be positioned at the top, Golden Mother of the Jade Pond to the right, and Smiling-face Ghost King to the left.

Mahabala is a vajra Dharma protector manifested from the swirling heart of Padmakumara. On Grandmaster's right thumb, there is an image of Mighty Ghost King formed by the thumbprint. The resemblance of this thumbprint to Mahabala is remarkable.

Mahabala (Smiling-face Ghost King) is also one of the six primary attendants of Ksitigarbha. In Sheng-yen Lu's Book 76, Evenings by Phantom Lake,in the chapter titled Descending to the Hell Realm, the author states:
Padmakumara encountered Ksitigarbha and his six attendants at the Holy Palace of Emerald Cloud. The six attendants were Yama Envoy, Jewel-holding Youth, Mighty Envoy, Great Compassionate Goddess, Treasury Goddess, and Heaven Envoy.
Of these six attendants, it was to Mahabala that Ksitigarbha assigned the mission of attending Padmakumara for the purpose of saving sentient beings. Mahabala is namely Mighty Envoy. Because of Mahabala's smiling face, Living Buddha Lian-sheng addresses him as Smiling-face Ghost King. Mahabala is hidden in Living Buddha Lian-sheng's right thumb. This is how Smiling-face Ghost King came to be the attendant of Living Buddha Lian-sheng.

Mahabala is a Heruka and the integration of Amitabha, Golden Mother of the Jade Pond, Ksitigarbha, Mighty Envoy, and Padmakumara. He is depicted holding a whisk which symbolizes Golden Mother of the Jade Pond. What about Amitabha? Amitabha is the crown ornament of Mahabala. This signifies that Amitabha is the origin of Mahabala. The principal buddha appearing at the top of the thangka is Amitabha and Mahabala is an emanation of Amitabha. Why Ksitigarbha? Because Mighty Envoy is an emanation of Ksitigarbha. Why Padmakumara? Ksitigarbha bestowed Mighty Envoy as the protector of Grandmaster Lu. Hence, Mighty Envoy appears on my right thumb. Also, the staff wielded by Mahabala stands for Padmakumara. Mahabala is therefore the integration of these five deities. He is depicted holding a staff, a whisk, and a lasso. Mighty Envoy also holds a lasso. Mahabala is thus fully equipped. By attaining spiritual union with Mahabala, one also attains spiritual union with Amitabha, Golden Mother, Padmakumara, Ksitigarbha, and Mighty Envoy.

Mahabala is so truly great that everyone must cultivate his practice until attaining spiritual union with him. His mudra is the Tarjani Mudra. He has four arms which hold, respectively, a vajra staff, a celestial whisk, a vajra lasso, and a mala, as I am demonstrating. Mahabala is extraordinarily imposing and powerful. He is able to subjugate the Four Maras. What are the Four Maras? There is the mara of sickness. In human life, sickness brings the greatest suffering. Without a doubt, it is illness that brings the most intense suffering. Mahabala is able to subjugate the mara of sickness. In addition, Mahabala is able to subjugate the mara of afflictions. By practicing his Dharma, one's afflictions will vanish. He is surrounded by fiery red flames which burn away one's afflictions. By cultivating Mahabala, one is also able to subjugate the mara of the five aggregates. What are the five aggregates? Form, feeling, perception, volition, and consciousness. The five aggregates can be completely subjugated. What's most important is subjugation of the mara of death. When one subjugates the mara of death, one may continue on with one's cultivation. However, when death arrives, meaning that one is dead, it's extremely difficult to cultivate. This is because one then becomes subject to one's karma and must transmigrate in the six realms of samsara according to one's karmic hindrances.

If one is able to stay alive and have a long life, and truly engage in cultivation throughout this period, one will be able to subjugate the mara of death. Furthermore, one is able to subjugate Mahesvara, the celestial mara. Mahesvara is the most severe mara of them all. Therefore, one can see that there are many advantages to cultivating Mahabala. He is also able to bestow good fortune. Because Mahabala has Padmakumara in him, he is able to bestow good fortune. Additionally, because of Amitabha, Mahabala is able to bestow wisdom. Amitabha Tathagata has another body, namely Manjusri Bodhisattva. Manjusri is the bodhisattva of wisdom and is able to bestow wisdom. Manjusri's wisdom is equivalent to the tathagata wisdom of Amitabha Buddha.

Mahabala is actually a vajra Dharma protector of precepts. When cultivating for love and respect, one visualizes Mahabala in red color; subjugation, blue; purification, white; and enrichment, yellow.

Mahabala's mudra is the Tarjani Mudra, which is namely the Wrathful Mudra, signifying intense wrath. Mahabala's seed syllable is also ''hum,'' as ''hum'' is the seed syllables of most vajra Dharma protectors including Hevajra, Guhyasamaja, Chakrasaṃvara, Yamantaka, and Mahottara Heruka, who are the five great vajra Dharma protectors of Tibetan Buddhism.

Mahabala has four arms. One arm holds a vajra staff, for striking. One arm holds a celestial whisk. What is the purpose of a celestial whisk? It's for purification. What is the purpose of the staff? It's for knocking people out. One arm holds a vajra lasso. What is the purpose of the lasso? It's for tying up.

As for those disciples who have violated precepts, have no remorse, never think to repent, don't follow the Confucian teaching of reflecting upon one's actions three times a day, and continue to violate precepts, Mahabala will knock them out with his staff, tie them up with his lasso, and haul them down to ceaseless hell, Avici Hell.

What does ''ceaseless'' mean? Ceaseless means ceaseless in duration. If there was even the slightest instant to gasp for breath, then this hell would not be called ceaseless. It would be called intermittent as one would be tormented for a certain time and would recover for a certain time. Ceaseless also means ceaseless in suffering, ceaseless pain without any respite whatsoever.

Let me tell everyone that if one has violated precepts, as long as Mahabala uses his celestial whisk to sweep over one's body, one will become clean again. Because one has reflected upon one's mistakes and repented, let bygones be bygones.

Vajrayana also has this precept: ''As for those who violate precepts, by being with them, one will also begin to violate precepts.'' Consequently, there is a need for distance and separation because those who have violated precepts will become contagious and infect other people
Absolutely do not violate precepts or be in the company of those who violate precepts unless one is Mahabala and has already developed stability and power. ''I am forever pure. My being with you is to save you.'' Otherwise, everyone will be dragged into hell. If a person who has violated precepts subsequently leads other TBS disciples into a trap and succeeds in getting those disciples to follow them, then it's a real disaster!

With regards to Mahabala's practice for love and respect, one just gently taps one's love interest with the staff. The person will become dazed and fall in love with one. One can then use the vajra lasso to bind one's object of affection and bring them home to get married. Mahabala can change the feelings of the object of one's affection from having no interest to having passionate feelings for one. This is a practice for love and respect.

For subjugation, one strikes one's enemies forcefully with the staff followed by binding with the lasso and hauling down to hell. Mahabala can subjugate adversaries and sweep away obstacles. He is capable of conquering all opponents.
(Because Mahabala is a mighty Heruka, his practice methods are relatively aggressive.)

The greatest benefits of the Mahabala Practice are:
  1. A strong and healthy body
  2. Imposing in every way
  3. A mighty vajra
  4. Invincible
    (Ability to accomplish anything one desires.)

Mahabala Ghost Prohibiting Practice
Enshrine an image or statue of Mahabala at home. Prepare offerings to him. Light three incense sticks. One then stands inside the door of one's house, forms the Mahabala mudra, and visualizes Mahabala standing at the door. One then chants the Mahabala ghost prohibiting mantra, ''Om, ma-ha-ba-la-ye, hum-hum-pei'' 108 times.

Apply this same method of visualizing Mahabala, forming the mudra, and reciting the Mahabala ghost prohibiting mantra 108 times at every door and window in one's house. If one performs this practice, ghosts will not be able to enter one's house. One can perform this practice daily or once every 15 days. Through this practice one's home will be safe, peaceful, and pure. If practitioners constantly chant the Mahabala mantra while walking, standing, sitting or lying down, they will be safe and peaceful.

The Mahabala Sadhana transmitted by Living Buddha Lian-sheng has already been published in True Buddha School Net ( Everyone is welcome to download it.

Mahabala Heruka Sadhana
Mahabala Ghost Prohibiting Sadhana
”Mahabala Ghost Prohibiting Practice”, Living Buddha Lian-sheng Sheng-yen Lu Book 256, Conversing with the Wise One.
Aug. 27, 2016 Dharma Talk - Mahabala Heruka

!!Please be aware that before engaging in any True Buddha Vajrayana practices, one must first take refuge and receive the respective empowerment.!!

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Mahabala Heruka Sadhana

File download Detailed introduction

Mahabala Ghost Prohibiting Sadhana

File download Detailed introduction


Mahabala Mudra - Tarjani Mudra

Detailed introduction


Mahabala Heart Mudra

File download

Mahabala Ghost Prohibiting Mantra

File download

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